Joan of Arcadia
Wealth Of Nations

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The Wages Of Sin

Speaking of not normal…here's Friedman now. He's putting up posters to sell his laptop for $425. Judith comes down the stairs, freezes when she sees him, and darts into a nearby room where Joan's sorting clothes. She's got a hood -- just a hood -- on her head, and is marvelling over a particularly fugly pair of pants in Lilly Pulitzer colours. Can't stand wild patterns in frooty-tooty colours. As Judith starts unpacking a bag she's brought in, Friedman arrives: "Soft, the fair Judith…halfway through the fourth act and it's all for you." Judith just avoids his gaze and shakes her head. Friedman persists (I should make a macro for that): "Come on, look me in the eye and tell me you're not impressed." She looks right at him and tries to intimidate him into backing off with a challenging expression and raised eyebrow. But Friedman just gulps a little and says, in a totally genuine way, "You have really pretty eyes." Judith doesn't know what to do with that. Finally, she just screws up her face and says, "Don't be sincere." Joan smiles to herself. Friedman backs out of the room, saying, "In the words of the immortal bard: 'I'll be back.'" That's one of the worst Schwarzenegger impressions I've heard. Judith looks like she's finally realizing she's going to have to make good on this date. All I ask is that she use her influence to convince him to get rid of the dickies. Joan: "Wow." Judith: "Persistent. I'll give him that." Joan: "Mm-hmm. Like a cold sore." She thinks their clothing haul isn't too bad for the first day. Judith pulls a bright red leather jacket out of a bag: "Holy crap. Look at this! Someone gave away an Italian leather coat. Feel it." Joan: "Wow." Judith: "Some homeless person's gonna get this?" Judith says she knows a vintage store that would pay a lot of money for it. Joan gets a bright idea: "We sell the coat and use the money to buy, like, five more for the homeless!" She gasps. "Oh, I'm so gonna end up, like, a millionaire one day." Judith guffaws, "Good plan," as Joan holds the coat up to her. At the door, Friedman's sneaking another peek at Judith.

Next scene: a good-sized vintage store. Tinny strains of "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" by the Pet Shop Boys. (Sorry, didn't like hardly anything about the eighties, especially the music. The whole decade was a cultural and political nightmare I'm still trying to forget.) But it's a good choice for this scene, nonetheless. On their way in, Judith warns, "Rudi's touchy, so let me do the talking." Joan: "Where do you meet these people?" Judith: "Community service, driving school, group…I lose track." The guy behind the counter is a Poor Man's Vin Diesel (tm Gustave). I'm totally expecting him to be God, but he's not. PMVD: "Judith, dear. How was Camp Bad Girl?" Judith: "Crazy Camp this time. This is Joan. We brought treats." PMVD: "I trust they're not hot..." Judith replies, "That was a fluke, man. These were her aunt's. She died last week." Joan's face pretty much gives away the lie. PMVD looks at her suspiciously and says he lost an uncle last week: "We'll take good care of you, okay?" He pulls out the red leather coat and says, "Wow! Your aunt had good taste." Actually, from the look of that coat, I'd say her aunt was Michael Jackson. "Silk lining…how's thirty bucks sound?" Joan: "Thirty bucks? For my aunt's coat?" He says he has to make a living too. He barely looks through the rest and says, "A hundred for everything." I highly doubt any vintage store owner would buy anything without looking it over much better than that. Lots of things appear fine at a glance but have tears, missing fasteners, broken zippers and stains that can't be removed. You really have to inspect secondhand stuff. Joan turns on the emotion: "She used to read to me in this coat. I won't take less than $150!" Judith smiles slyly to herself. PMVD thinks about it and considers Joan's resolute expression and finally says, "Well, in honour of your aunt's memory…" He shakes Joan's hand. Joan and Judith smile at each other. They couldn't be more pleased with themselves. "I've got the brains, you've got the looks / Let's make lots of money." Which one has the brains, now? And it's not such a bad idea to sell stuff -- especially the sort of impractical stuff that not only won't keep anyone especially warm but would probably get a homeless person beaten up and robbed for their coat -- in order to buy more appropriate things. But Joan's just gone about it in all the wrong ways.

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Joan of Arcadia

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