Joan of Arcadia
The Devil Made Me Do It

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Deborah: B+ | Grade It Now!
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God Told Me To

Shout-out to 39mickemuskrat.

The scene opens with a dead man lying on a lawn with a bullet wound through his chest. His pose seems a little too artfully arranged. Also, there's something about the two large, light-coloured leaves on the ground nearby that make it look like he has extra hands. He's doing a pretty good job of holding his breath and staying still in awkward position, though. Kudos to the corpse. Toni starts briefing Will on the situation. They're on the lawn of what looks like a nice house in an established neighbourhood. The man's name is Ricky Clark. Toni says, "Down twice, felony armed robbery." Will asks if he's the bad guy here. She holds up a large plastic bag containing what Professor Frink thinks is a .44 magnum (and I did the world's best freeze-frame for that shot) and says, "That's what I'm thinking." She indicates the anxious-looking handcuffed guy, an all-American type, being put into the back of a cruiser, and says, "Allan Burns, husband and father." We see shots of his children watching nervously from a second-floor window as his agitated wife cries on the front porch. Toni says he confronted the guy breaking into his home, and shots were exchanged: "Death ensued on the front lawn." Will tells her to gets the cuffs off him and let him speak to his family. Toni cites standard operating procedure. Will: "Man protects his family, we don't treat him like a criminal." Toni reminds him there's been a murder here and they have to take Burns into custody. Will: "We do it by the book, Detective -- but the nice version of the book, okay?" Maybe someone should distribute copies of that one to the LAPD. Will adds, "Looks to me like it all worked out for the best." Toni: "Not for Ricky Clark." Professor Frink: "This is so Law & Order." Briscoe looks at Green oddly, prompting her to ask, "Too Law & Order?" Hee.

Joan's walking to school alone. It's an interesting street scene: a residential street with lots of pedestrians walking every which way and no vehicular traffic. Something odd about that. Some power-walking fitness nut in a track suit with a headband holding back her long, straight hair comes up behind Joan and advises her, "You'll make better time if you pump your arms!" She herself is carrying small hand weights to amp up her workout. Joan says apathetically, "Thanks for the tip." Power-walker walks energetic circles around Joan, saying, "Be more physically active! Remember how good you felt when you were building that boat and working out with the cheerleaders! A happy outlook is all about endorphins!" God might be in danger of endorphin poisoning. Joan wonders if she's supposed to join the track team now: "'Cause I'm not playing field hockey, even for God." She starts walking faster to keep up as God asks if she knows about the upcoming art show. Joan doesn't seem to be. God says they'll need some help moving exhibits around. Joan walks even faster and starts pumping her arms as she asks, "So, what, this is my future, right? Unless I pull my grades up?" Power-walking God wonders, "Why are people always trying to discern my deeper meanings? This is the kind of thinking that starts wars." They reach the corner and Joan, exhausted, says, "Stop it!" Power-walking God keeps on trucking and Joan yells, as she leans on a tree, "I always thought you'd be nicer!" Power-walking God does her trademark dismissive wave as she barrels down the sidewalk.

Joan's leaning on the counter in the administrative office when her mother comes up behind her asking, "Can I help you...complete stranger who I happen to know should be in English class in two minutes?" Joan does not find her mother amusing, and asks who she should talk to about the art show. Helen distributes mail as she says, "What do you need to know?" Joan, losing patience: "Who I talk to about the art show." Helen: "What kind of talk?" Joan wonders if her mother is trying to make her miss English, and says she wants to volunteer. Helen: "As an artist?" Joan says she's just going to help move stuff around. Helen wants to know why. Joan claims it's for "community service points." Bet Grace has a ton of those. Helen says this doesn't qualify. Joan, completely exasperated: "Then just to be a good citizen. Cripes, Mom, could you please just tell which has-been failed teacher/artist is organizing the dumb-ass art show?" Helen: "Volunteers for the art show are to report to the auditorium at lunch and the has-been failed artist...that would be me." Helen wanders off, leaving Joan there with her eyebrows raised and mouth slightly twisted. Yeah, I saw it coming a mile away but I liked it anyway.

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Joan of Arcadia

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