Joan of Arcadia
Touch Move

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Deborah: B+ | 1 USERS: B-
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The Medium and the Message

Arcadia Central Division. Will arrives at work, to be told by Daghlian and his assistant that the woman waiting in his office is a psychic. Will: "Not in my office, she's not." Daghlian says she's there for the missing kid case, and the Reinemanns asked for it: "We have to try everything, or risk being exposed legally." Will doesn't work with psychics. Daghlian says the mayor is on board, and she's had success with other squads. Will tells Daghlian to work with her since it's his case. Daghlian: "Yeah, but...she's in your office." As Daghlian takes off, Will's assistant brings him the tea the psychic asked for. He takes it in, hands it to her, and gives her his name, adding, "But you probably already know that." She replies, "Gee. I've never heard that one before." He says he didn't mean it quite that way. She's played by HITG! Lee Garlington, who's been on practically every show on television. If you've never seen her, you must be roommates with Walt Disney. He does tell her he's not into this whole paranormal thing, and that he's being forced into it. She introduces herself: "My name is Charlotte Bloome, since you neglected to ask, and here again, I'm shocked to find a cop who's skeptical about my profession." Will says they might as well try to make it work: "How does it work?" If you don't have any idea about it, how do you know that it doesn't? She suggests he brief her on the case: "And no, I don't know what's in [the file]."

Grace slams Joan's locker shut: "Tell your brother to stop with the aftershave. First, he has nothing to shave. Second, it smells like pickled eggs. And third, he sits behind me and I'm allergic. I have, like, one working sinus left." I'm with you, sister. Perfume and scented products are a special kind of olfactory, neurological hell. I guess they have other classes together, because in Chemistry Grace sits behind him. Joan asks, "Why don't you do it yourself?" Grace asks her to take care of it. Grace's "friends," and I use the word advisedly, from the first episode are watching nearby, and when Grace takes off, they walk over to get in Joan's grill. Scylla and Charybdis are wearing, respectively, a baby pink jacket and a hot pink T-shirt. Hate the baby pink jacket. Scylla's all, "You know her?" Joan says she doesn't really; they're in AP Chem together. Charybdis says she thought Joan's brother was the geek. Joan drops her chess book, and Scylla picks it up (highly unlikely she'd stoop -- literally -- to such lowly and kindly labour, but whatever) and expresses her incredulity. Joan says it's not hers. She snatches it back and starts walking. Charybdis and Scylla follow and flank her, as Scylla asks if it's true that Grace is a big lesbo. Joan has no idea; she hardly knows her. Scylla says there's a big pool going in a gym class and they want Joan to find out. Joan wonders if she's just supposed to ask her. Charybdis tells her to apply the fingernail test (which I had never heard of): ask her to look at her fingernails. If she holds her hand out with her palm facing away, as if admiring a ring, "not gay." If she folds her fingers over her palm and turns her nails toward herself: "gay." Scylla dismisses that test as "so unreliable." Yeah, but seeing the size of the fist gives you an idea...never mind. I suppose it works in reverse for guys? ["There's also a sole-of-the-shoe test, if I recall correctly, which works on the same principle. I had no idea kids still did that in our post-Will & Grace world." -- Sars] Scylla advises talking about some hot guy and seeing how she reacts. Yeah, now there's a reliable test. Because no gay person in the history of the world has ever pretended to find someone of the opposite sex attractive in order to pass. Frankly, I think the fingernail test is more reliable. Charybdis blurts out, "Dax Hibbing!" She and Scylla both swoon. Joan has no idea what that is. Sounds like either a tropical disease or somebody who should be on some space show, though. Scylla: "Dax Hibbing? The captain of the wrestling team?" The wrestling team? The sport God invented as a gift to adolescent queers? Sure thing. Charybdis adds, "Anyone who doesn't get him is definitely gay." Joan says she doesn't know who he is. The girls just give her a snotty, disbelieving look. Joan insists, though, that if she knew who he was, she'd totally get him. Charybdis asks, "So you'll find out?" Joan: "Is it anybody's business?" Charybdis looks at Scylla like, "What are we doing with this loser?" The two of them go upstairs together as Charybdis says to Joan, "Okay. Chill." They mutter to each other as they wander off, "They protect each other." "It's another sign." "Like shoes."

Helen's come to see the doctor, who's surprised she's there, since Kevin isn't due for a while: "Everything all right?" She says it's fine. Doc: "Oh, yeah, that's convincing." He offers her some coffee. I don't know what kind of kick-ass HMO she's got where the doctors offer coffee, but I have probably had doctor visits in my life numbering in three digits, and never has a doctor offered me anything to drink. Helen says she probably could have just phoned. She tells him about Kevin's dream, and how his legs were hurting when he woke up. Doc says it's neuropathic pain, and "pretty textbook." Helen knows, but she says there's this one thing that's never come up. After all the tests had been done, "Dr. Slater told us Kevin would be paralyzed from the waist down because of the spinal cord injury. He said it's the saddest thing in the world to tell someone their son won't walk again." Doc agrees there's no good way to say that. Helen says she remembers thinking, "He didn't actually say Kevin will never walk again." She gives the doctor a warm, hopeful smile. Ah, she's overly literal, like me. Give it up, lady. Trust me on this. The doctor leans forward and says in a serious but not mean way, as the smile fades from her face, "Helen, Kevin's back was broken in three places. When the vertebrae collapsed, the nerves were damaged, the cord itself was compressed. The circulation was denied to that area, which rendered that part of his spinal cord essentially dead. He will never walk again. Ever." In a small, sad voice, she says, "I guess I just needed to hear it." The doctor understands. She thanks him and leaves, but she stops at the door: "'Essentially.'" He looks up. "You said, 'essentially dead.'" Seriously, Helen. You'll make yourself crazy. I know from experience. The doctor asks: "You want a number, don't you?" Wouldn't they have asked for that at the time of the injury? Wouldn't they have already gone through all the "is there any hope" stuff? The doctor "strongly advise[s] against it." Helen doesn't say anything. The doctor relents, and says, "Two percent chance that he'll walk again." Helen takes that in, sighs a bit, and thanks him.

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Joan of Arcadia

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