Joan of Arcadia
The Fire And The Wood

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Deborah: B | Grade It Now!
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The Smallest Catalyst

Joan's in chemistry class. Man, Amber Tamblyn has some seriously pouty lips. Excellently shaped, too. Joan looks miserable. Mrs. Leschak is rambling on. Joan glances to her left, and notices Adam drawing an extremely exaggerated cartoon of the teacher as a scantily-clad dominatrix type. The teacher continues blathering on about laws of proportions or something, and after smacking the blackboard with her pointer, walks around twirling it like a baton, saying, "The chemical concepts here include single-replacement, exothermic reactions, enthalpy, and..." She points dramatically to Luke, who says, "Entropy." Everyone gasps like he just proved that the earth revolves around the sun or something. Mrs. Leschak starts marching around and chanting, "Go, Luke, go, Luke..." The class joins in. To Joan's right, Grace is fiercely carving something into the desk with a metal ruler. Probably "Fuck school before it fucks you." Luke: "Iron oxide is reduced to metallic iron by aluminum reaching a temperature of..." He thinks, and the teacher leans over his shoulder and taunts, "Need a calculator?" Luke: "No...approximately 3,000 degrees Centigrade." As the bell rings, Mrs. Leschak assigns a home test: "List the chemical equations which take place in a typical wood fire." They have to work with their groups, and it's due before the bell. Joan looks like she's planning to check into atheism at her earliest opportunity.

At the arson site, Will greets Roy: "Mr. Roebuck." Roy corrects him, "Lieutenant Roebuck." Will points out that he's a Chief. Roy: "Not my Chief." Dude, chill. Will says that if he's withholding evidence, he'll arrest him for obstruction of justice. Roy says he's just taking the time he needs to be thorough: "Your guys should try it sometime." I bet he gets great results with this confrontational, insulting approach. Girardi complains that the trail of arsonist is getting colder by the minute. Roy says, "Anybody asking questions about who might benefit from this building being burned down?" Will walks away, saying that they'll do their job, and he should do his. Roebuck has one last shot: "That's the least a reasonable person could expect."

Beyond a fence enclosing a playground full of laughing children, Kevin sits in his wheelchair, smoking and watching them. Joan walks up and asks, "When did you start smoking?" Kevin: "Don't knock it -- it's the only exercise I get. Besides, it makes me look cool." Joan: "Yeah. Chicks really dig a perv smoking and staring at the kids in the yard." Kevin tosses his cigarette down on the ground and taps Joan's elbow, saying, "Stamp that out, will you? I'm not a good stamper." Hee. She does, and then she sits on the ground and leans against the fence. She says their mother thinks he's out looking for a job: "FYI: that's pitiful." Kevin: "Yeah, well, these days, Pityville is my home town." Joan asks why he doesn't just let "the parental units" buy him a car. Kevin laughs: "I suppose you'd let them buy you a car." Joan replies, "Duh...any normal person would." Kevin just lets that hang there, and Joan feels bad immediately, of course. She apologizes and says she didn't mean it. Kevin says, "No, I remember 'normal.' Back when I was normal, I wanted them to buy me a car. And you know what they said? They said, 'No.' They said, 'Be a man. Get a job. Buy your own car.' So what's changed since then?" Joan's started crying a little bit. Kevin pushes: "Joan, what's changed?" She says gently, "You know what's changed." Kevin nods: "Nobody expects me to be a man anymore." He wheels his chair around sharply and takes off. Joan hollers after him through her tears: "You've stopped trying! You just sit around and smoke in the park like some sub-defective!" Yikes. Can't tell if Kevin was close enough to hear that, because he is really motoring.

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Joan of Arcadia

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