Joan of Arcadia
St. Joan

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Paranoid Schizophrenic With A Miscellaneous Complex

The entire Girardi family is sitting around in a therapist's office, sighing, clearing throats, and looking uncomfortable. Helen has her usual "everything's all right" smile plastered on. The therapist asks where they'd like to start. Luke says he's not shy, so he'll jump in. Joan interrupts: "The family thinks I'm crazy!" Helen and Will deny this. The therapist asks Helen why she thinks she's there. She sighs and says, "I think we're experiencing transitional pains because of the accident and because of the move. I think we just need to check in with each other. That was my idea." The therapist asks Will for his answer. Will's honest: "I'm here because my wife wants me to be." Helen doesn't look entirely thrilled with that answer, so Will adds, "Because she thinks it's important." Strike two. "Because...it is important." The therapist looks at Kevin, who says, "I'm good." She asks, "Really?" Kevin replies, "Well, I'm as happy as a gimp can be. Let's put it that way." Luke says he has this problem of nobody listening to him: "It's like I'm invisible." The therapist glances at Luke and then goes back to Kevin, asking, "That's kind of a passive-aggressive statement, isn't it, Kevin?" Will: "Aw, here we go." Therapist: "You object to the terminology?" Will says, "I'm a big believer in resourcefulness, people solving their own problems, that kind of thing."

The therapist says she's picking up that Kevin is very angry, and wonders how Will would like to solve that. Kevin looks at him if he's very interested in Will's answer. Will replies, "He's driving. He's working. He's figuring it out. Actually, I'm more concerned about Joan." Joan says, "I told you. This is about me being crazy. So I picked up some strange interests. I mean, kids do that. So I smash a piece of art. I mean, I had my reasons. And the whole cheating thing is completely wack." Will's puzzled about the cheating thing. I guess he hasn't yet heard. Joan insists she didn't cheat and isn't retaking the test. Will asks Helen: "Joan cheated?" Helen says it's just "Price on a tear." She assures him Joan didn't cheat. Will asks, "How could you not tell me about it?" Helen: "This just in, Will: I try to protect you from things if I can." Luke: "You see? This is the problem. I'm the 'good kid,' so I never get any attention." Kevin: "Also, we're poor." Helen says they're not poor. Joan: "We're only here because of me." Helen: "Not true." Naturally, the therapist thinks the problem is a communication issue. Isn't it almost always? I could have pulled that out of my ass when I was three years old. She says they're not communicating, and gives them their assignment for the week, which is to make a special effort to listen and ask each other questions and really absorb the answers. Joan: "Wait, we're going to have assignments?" Heh. She says she can't have any more assignments. She asks the therapist, "Are you the therapist...or are you...you?" She whispers the last word, then puts her hand up by her eyes and whispers, "Blink twice if you know what I mean." The therapist is dumsquizzled and blinks once, in confusion. Joan does this weird exaggerated winking thing behind her hand. The therapist clearly has no idea what Joan's on about, but may be starting to give some credence to Joan's version of why they're all there. Joan shrugs slightly and looks at her family, every member of which is looking at her like she's nuts. She puts her hand down and says, "I'm not crazy."

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Joan of Arcadia

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