Joan of Arcadia
Wealth Of Nations

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
The Wages Of Sin

As Joan and Judith emerge from a classroom, someone on the PA is saying something about returning a teacher's desk within twenty minutes. Pranksterism is alive and well at AHS. Joan's elated to see that she got an A+ on her test. Judith, always preoccupied with more important matters: "Cool. Do you think I should put purple streaks in my hair?" Nope, as a matter of fact, I don't. Joan's completely dumsquizzled: "I got an A+ in Economics!" Judith: "I was in reach of a B…ish. Purple and red?" Nope, and nope. Joan: "I didn't even know you could get 105. I'm more than perfect!" Judith: "I don't really matter right now, do I?" Joan doesn't hear that; her face lights up when she sees Adam. She hustles over to him, hugs him, and squees about her grade. Adam: "No way!" Judith: "I shot a moose in the cafeteria." Heh. Joan: "I am such a genius!" Adam: "Oh, and my mentor at the studio wants me to help him out on his anti-drug ad. Me, an actual layout!" Joan kvells: "How cool are we?" Adam says he has to go because he promised to have a rough design by the end of the day. As he zooms off, he says, "Hey, Judith." She replies, "Oh, am I here?"

She catches up with Joan, who's wandering along in a daze of self-congratulation, and asks, "Do you have any idea how insanely adorable you guys are?" Joan: "Mmm. It's noxious. Sorry." Judith chuckles, "Are you kidding? Maybe I can borrow him sometime. You know, when you're not using him. I'd leave a deposit." Oh, please don't go there. I'll leave a deposit, and it won't be the shiny jingly type. Joan: "He doesn't even have time for me anymore. We're like yuppies but without the money or the kids or the hypocritical drug position." Judith: "I'm going to go hang out by the boys' locker room before gym!" Sounds…like a plan? She takes off. As Joan rounds a corner, she runs into Mascot God, who commends her on her A+ and raises his beak. Joan: "Thanks. You didn't, like, pull any strings for me, did you?" Professor Frink: "God should have his beak down. It's funnier if she talks to the bird head." Mascot God assures her it was her own doing: "It feels good to do a good job, doesn't it?" Joan says economics is very complicated: "But I just, I got it, you know? Adam Smith -- very cool dead guy. He says economies function best when based on self-interest. Kind of gives you a moral head-butt, huh?" "Moral head-butt"? God rains on Joan's parade a little: "It's easy to establish economic principles on paper." Joan: "Are you saying it was easy to write this essay? 'In an economy run by self-interest, the invisible hand of social justice will feed and clothe everyone.' Look: she wrote 'great' with two exclamation points and a happy face." Mascot God wants to know what she's going to do with all her knowledge: "The trick is putting it into action." Joan wonders if God wants her to start her own country. Mascot God: "Start a little closer to home. Maybe make sure…" He raises his megaphone and barks into it: "Everyone gets a piece of the pie!" Joan seems to care less and less all the time about who notices her when these sorts of things go on. Remember how freaked out and insecure she was early last season, how worried she was about calling attention to herself or seeming like a weirdo? And even this season, it seems like she's readjusted to having God talking to her a little too easily. She wrestled with it in the first couple of episodes, but now things are much the same as they ever were. Anyway, Mascot God takes off, pumping his megaphone as a sort of Godwave, and Joan comments, "Way to make an A a bummer…God."

Girardi kitchen, dinnertime. In case you’d like to know what's on the Girardis' chalkboard, it's a grocery list (chocolate milk, shampoo, dishwashing liquid, coffee, and pickles) and a note for Joan that Adam called. And a little flower. Aw. As the table is set, Helen tells the family about how they've set up the church basement so it looks like a real clothing store, except that everything's free to the homeless. Joan: "Charity compromises free market capitalism. Wealth of Nations, chapters 2-4." Kevin: "How come I'm sensing this is gonna lead back to your A?" Joan corrects him in a trilling tone: "Plu-u-u-u-us!" Luke: "If the free market works, how come there are still families living on the street?" Will wants to know how come the Bakers can sue them. Helen suggests, "Maybe it's in wealthy people's best interest to clean out their closets." Joan thinks: "Of course…that way they have to buy more things and contribute to the economy! And people who don't have clothes get a job, and then they can afford to buy clothes for themselves. Everybody gets a piece of the pie. I'm in. I'll help with the drive." Helen: "Seriously?" Joan: "Yes. Mom, it would be pretty silly of me to have all this knowledge and not use it for the benefit of society." No one says anything; her family is giving her a range of dubious and skeptical looks. Joan, irritated: "What?" Kevin just shrugs. Joan tosses her head slightly. Family members can be such buzzkills. Theme song.

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Joan of Arcadia




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