Joan of Arcadia
Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | 2 USERS: A+
Maybe He's Born With It...Maybe It's Maybelline

Grace and Joan are sitting on the stairs at school. Joan's hair is an unbrushed, dirty, sketchy mess, she's not wearing any makeup, and she's dressed in dark clothes with a rumpled plaid overshirt. She tells Grace, "Ohhh, it felt so good, throwing down against the oppression of eyebrow pencil -- like a true revolutionary." Grace, dryly: "Without the bloodshed, social upheaval or CIA involvement." Hee. Joan nods. Grace: "So, Rove like the new look?" Joan's slightly discomfited by this question, and says that he hasn't said anything yet: "But I'm sure he will." Grace: "Past is prologue, dude. He didn't notice before." I wish we'd gotten to see Grace's reaction to the X-treme Tart look. Joan: "Look, we're both about more than just superficial appearances. Like you!" Grace, bristling slightly: "Hey, I look good!" The smile falls off Joan's face. Glynis and Luke walk up to them, hand in hand, tailed by Friedman. Glynis -- plenty made up, with her hair sort of vaguely waved and wearing a trendier outfit than she usually does -- declares, "What a glorious day today!" Joan: "Can you even see it?" Glynis says she saw the blue of the sky, and felt the warmth of the sun: "And when I get my contacts, um --" Joan stands up and interrupts her, "Glynis…you look great in your glasses. You don't have to be a slave to society's fake, sexually exploitive view of external beauty! Power to the pimple." She doesn't actually raise her fist, though. Glynis looks puzzled as Joan walks down the hall. Grace hustles after her with a look of consternation. Perhaps she's going to quote Elizabeth Bibesco to Joan: "You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word." Or, you know…not.

Glynis also has a look of consternation: "Um, do I -- do I have a blemish?" Luke: "Not that I can observe." He adds, "No, of course…I mean, all the makeup obfuscates the natural texture of the skin." Glynis: "So you're saying…I'm fake?" The way she delivered that line sounded much more natural than almost anything else I've heard her say all year. She didn't chirp it; she just said it. Keep it up. Luke: "No…you're just different than you were." Glynis: "That didn't sound very supportive." Friedman, who's been witnessing all this with slight discomfort, says, "I'm gonna be walking over there. You kids take your time." When he goes, Luke says they should have this conversation later. By which he means, "Like, once I'm dead." Glynis tells him: "I have been the gawky one all my life. No one's head ever turned when I walked by. Is it so wrong to enjoy that now?" Luke: "No. It's just…" He pulls her away from the middle of the hall to one side, and says, "Our connection…was based on immutable certainties…a shared intellectual buffet, if you will." What if I won't? Will the ghost of Roland Barthes thumb-wrestle me into submission? "Shared intellectual buffet"? O-kay. He continues, "And one of the constants in that equation has changed…" Glynis asks, with a lot less incipient hysteria than might have been the case prior to Makeup 101, "Are you breaking up with me?" Luke says he wants her to be happy: "And I think maybe I need to get out of your way." Glynis looks sad. He tells her, "You should go and see Manic Toolhead with those guys." Glynis is ever so slightly sniffly and her mouth twists a little bit, but she keeps her shit together, and says, "Okay." Luke's expression is a mixture of guilt, sadness, confusion and defensiveness. Glynis bites her lip a little and takes off down the hall, but she doesn't combust. Yay, Glynis! She's upset enough to not really notice the guys noticing her.

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Joan of Arcadia




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