Joan of Arcadia
The Devil Made Me Do It

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

Joan gets home as Luke and Helen are preparing dinner. Joan asks if Dad's home. Helen asks what she needs her father for. Joan: "What's with this new thing where I ask you a question and you ask me twenty questions about it?" Luke: "Think of it as Socratic parenting." Heh. Frink really enjoyed that one. Will comes in another door, and Joan rushes over, saying, "Daddy! Is it ever okay to break the law?" Will says, "Somebody kills somebody, it's serious, no matter what the circumstance." Joan: "Who said anything about killing?" Will asks what they're talking about. Helen says they're not allowed to ask. Kevin gets home, and Will asks how work went. Kevin snorts, "Let's just say I know more about Ashton Kutcher than I really want to." You and me both, Kev. I feel you. He mispronounces Kutcher's last name, and Luke, Joan, and Helen correct him in unison. That's the second Ashton Kutcher reference on this show in eight episodes. The guy is just not all that, okay? Now, Christopher Marquette... Kevin asks his dad, "What's with that shot you took at figure skaters?" Will says it was an analogy.

As Kevin drinks right from the orange juice container, Joan asks her father if it's ever okay to do something wrong for a good reason. Kevin asks if they're talking about Allan Burns. Joan doesn't know who that is. Luke tells her, "The guy who shot the robber." Joan asks, "Is that illegal?" Will: "Technically." Helen: "I can't believe you're not allowed to shoot an armed robber breaking into your home." Everyone's quiet for a moment and then Will says, "Well, honey, you're from the South." Ha! Also: good, because I think I hear a soft Southern accent in Helen's voice and I like the continuity. Kevin says to his father, "If someone were breaking into our house, you'd kill him." Well, and it doesn't hurt if you're the chief of police. Luke says that their father wouldn't kill him, he'd shoot them in the legs.

As Kevin takes off his coat, he argues, "Uh, he didn't shoot the bank robber in the legs." Helen admonishes him, "Kevin!" Joan: "My father shot a bank robber?" Kevin: "Twice." Come on, you've been a cop's kid your whole life and you've never wondered or asked if your father shot anyone? Turns out this happened when Kevin was six, so Joan would have been about three and Luke about two. Luke asks if the victim died. Will: "My 'victim'?" Joan: "Dad, you killed someone?" Will starts to explain and becomes very flustered, asking, "Can we just drop this?" They all go into the dining room as Joan asks, "Okay, so sometimes it's okay to do something that looks wrong if you have a good reason?" Luke says, "Dad blew away a bank robber. That's the coolest thing I've ever heard." Here it comes, as The Music of You Have No Idea, You Dumb Kid plays. Will says firmly, "No, it's not. It's not cool to take another person's life in any situation. It might be unavoidable, but it's not cool. I'm not proud of it. I see that man's face every day. It's not something I boast about, and it's not something I want my children boasting about." Luke hangs his head, and everyone looks serious. Helen suggests they start dinner and find something nice to talk about. Everyone's too subdued to speak. The family meal scenes on this show are excellent and very convincing. I also admire how often the Girardis actually manage to have meals together.

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Joan of Arcadia

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