Joan of Arcadia 11/7, Or This Episode Made Me Cry, Dammit (spoilers inside)

After admitting I like this show and finding out I’m not the only one, I decided to start a weekly thread.

God appears to Joan at Career Day as a Flight Attendent. Joan isn’t given an actual task, but told to keep an eye and ear out for someone who may need help.

In what I realize was an attempt to move the plot along, but seemed rather forced and contrived to me, Joan approaches a weeping woman on the bus and finds 1)The woman’s husband left her, 2)Her babysitter moved to Hawaii, and 3)She’s trying to go to night school while working as a waitress. Joan volunteers to babysit, and apparently, Arcadia is such a nice town it’s okay to accept strange teenage girls as babysitters without checking to make sure they’re not ravening sluts or coke fiends. But hey, it’s our Joan.

Adam says he hates November, which confuses Grace, who thinks hating a month is abritrary.

In the obligatory police subplot, we have two of Arcadia’s finest caught on tape beating a suspect. (Why are all the police station scenes blue? It’s very distracting.) The police say the suspect was fighting them, and they thought he was on drugs. They believe they acted appropriately.

It made me feel rather old to see Richard Gilliland as the mayor, since I last saw him as Mary Jo’s boyfriend in Designing Women, and he had a lot less gray hair then. Mayor and his slightly slimy PR guy want the Chief to distance himself from the rogue cops, but Chief stands by his men. (Can I tell you the way Chief stood up to the mayor and slimeball PR guy just made me want to lay at his feet, awaiting his bidding?)

Joan’s new babysitting job is Rocky, and he’s a boy obsessed with death. He admits to Joan he has a breathing disorder, which she assumes is asthma.

Joan passes along God’s advice to dad, such that it’s good to listen and observe behavior. Then, in what I think is a nice twist, Joan searches for God at the playground and finds Little Girl God. I think this is the first time Joan has looked for God, rather than having God appear to her. Little Girl God tells her Rocky doesn’t have asthma, that he tried to tell her what was wrong with him, but she didn’t want to listen.

Toni tells Chief that she believes one of the Beating Cops is racist, and that since the suspect was black, he may have been looking for a reason to unload on the guy. Then the suspect is brought in, and it’s obvious after a short discussion that the guy is mentally retarded, and that’s why he didn’t understand the police officer’s commands. Chief says the two officers will face charges.

Joan learns from Rocky’s mother that he has cystic fibrosis and is unlikely to live past “another election cycle.” (Does that mean next year?) Also, the babysitter is returning from Hawaii, and Joan’s services will no longer be needed. Stunned by the news about Rocky’s impending death, she says she will babysit Rocky on the last day. He takes her to a cemetery, and points out a child who died around her birthday, and notes a lot of people die around their birthday. (William Shakespeare did.) Joan tells Rocky she understands about his illness, and discovering he doesn’t believe in God, tries to prosletize (sp?) a bit, which I found very awkward. I hope this is the first and last time they do that. The appeal of this show is not, I think, it’s spiritual message, but how God works in mysterious ways.

Rocky points out another gravestone of someone who died around their birthday, and this is when I had to grab the Kleenex (dammit). It was Adam’s mother, who died a few days after her birthday. In November.

Joan goes to see Adam, telling him she hasn’t been a good friend, and that she understand why he hates November. They end up working on one of his statues together.

This episode was a little more preachy that normal, but that throwaway line of Adam hating November really came back with a vengance, and now we know why God wanted Joan to be a babysitter…to help her dad crack a case, and to understand Adam a little better. It was also a nice lesson about looking and listening…if the police had looked and listened, they would have realized the suspect was not resisting arrest, he just didn’t understand.

And I hope Kevin hooks up with Cute Newspaper Reporter. Very nice.

I’m gonna watch it in about an hour. I tape it for another Doper too.

Great show!

Oh, viva, I hope I didn’t ruin it for you. I did put “spoilers” in the title…my apologies…

Just make sure you have a hanky nearby…

I like this show, but my “happily ever after” center kicks in. I want her brother to walk, for Rocky to get better (maybe she’ll convince an organ donor’s family to give him new lungs), for Adam and Joan to hook up so they’ll both have someone to talk to about angels, god, and how hard life is… Does this show do that to anyone else, too? I’m usually more cynical than this, I swear.

…I’m the Doper that viva’s taping it for but I managed to catch it this week. Hope that doesn’t bother you.

This was a pretty good episode but, as you said, a bit more preachy and glurgey than the past few I’ve managed to see. (I’m still waiting on last weeks. Stupid postal system) I even sniffed a time or two during the show since I’m a pansy.

Also, I noticed the blue fliter that they were using during the cop scenes and thus paid attention to it a bit more during its segments. At the end, when Chief Girardi is announcing that the racist cop is going to be indicted, the scene is much more brighter, with lots of natural sunlight streaming in. I’m guessing that it was mood lighting.

The darkness was really apparent in other scenes too, like when the mother and Joan’s brothers are eating alone in the dining room and at the end when Joan is staring after God on the bus.
Also, as an aside to viva: We should start weekly Jake threads, assuming there’s interest. Then we can post together even more! :smiley:

Past another infection. He’s in a ‘grace period’ but due to the scarring and existing damage, he probably won’t live through another serious infection.

I thought Adam’s storyline was a bit predictable, but the resolution was still nice. Hasn’t Joan wondered where his mom was? After all, she’d met his dad… hmm.

I liked the subplot of the mom sneaking around to see the priest, but the comment from the dad at the end (“talk to me, not some stranger”) left me a little cold.

I love, love, love creepy little girl god. Mr. Kitty pointed out tonight that she reminds him a good bit of the pics of me as a child that he’s seen. I just like her spunk. Interestingly, Joan’s gone looking for god before (the guy she chased down on the streetcleaner, for one), but this is the first time she’s actually found him.

Jason Ritter breaks my heart. He looks so much like his dad sometimes. He definitely got the best line of the night. “Oh, sure… pick on the guy in the wheelchair.” :smiley:

Next week looks pretty good…

This is such a good show! TPTB are getting better, imo, at interweaving the storylines; the most powerful message (for me) was how important -listening- is.

I bawled as Joan and Rocky found the grave of Adam’s Mom. Hit even closer to home as I realized Mrs. Rove was the same age as myself–and only 48 when she passed away.

Grace and Luke are apparently back to snipping at each other–wonder what will happen there?! And Grace pointedly asked Adam to stop calling her “dude.” Hmmm…

No problem, ivylass. You didn’t ruin a thing. :slight_smile:
I liked the way it ended because Joan had to deal with God’s not intervening.

Hijack:
I missed the first 15 minutes and will have to go back and watch the tape I made for Aes which he may not need after all…Let me know, Aes! Hmmm…the most recent tape is in a fat squarish or rectangular box, whereas the one right before might have been in a narrow box that used to hold a book. It should show up soon!
Should I tape over the Joan ep. since you saw it already?
Hey, I heard a rumor–still trying to confirm it–that UPN may have renewed Jake. If this is so, they would have no excuse not to pick up our other show, since Jake’s ratings are so low that they barely register anymore, while the other’s are climbing or at least remaining steady.

Okay… I’d like to see a bit more with Joan’s bespectacled bro. I love what Jason Ritter is doing with his character, but Michael Welch is kinda cool too.

[non-Joan highjack] That really sucks about Jake. With its ratings so low, you know it’ll only be a matter of time before one of the execs axe it. Does this mean I’ll get to be one of those cool geeks that liked a show that was got cancelled real early, like the Firefly people? If so, yay!

Also, on the tape, you can feel free to tape over it with something else if you like. I sometimes am able to catch it (and Friends) before I get your tape and on those weeks, usually only skim through them before getting to Enterprise and Jake.

Do you watch Miss Matched on NBC? If so, can you tape that for me as well? If not, that’s cool. And just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough, you rock for doing this for me. :slight_smile: [/n-jh]

[Joan-related-comment] Amber Tamblyn is yummy [j-rc]

:smiley:

Just wondering, Aesiron…do you not have cable or satellite where you are?

I didn’t think Chief was cold to the Missus at the end. She’s so intent on being SuperMom that she doesn’t want to show her dark side. And since her husband is in such a high pressure job, I can understand not wanting to bother him with what she thinks are “petty” problems. I like what the priest said, that he’s married lot of people, and by not talking to her husband, she’s denying him the opportunity to live up to his vows. That was pretty cool.

And God saying to Joan on the bus that he couldn’t give her an answer she would understand about why things happen…it made me think of Stephen King’s Insomnia, and how Clotho and Lachesis wanted Ralph to stop Ed from flying the plane into the Civic Center not to save thousands of people, but to save one little boy, Patrick, who must not die.

I shed a tear at the end of this one, too, but I didn’t let my wife see. This show has such full, rich charachters and the stories are so real and nicely intertwined, it is sure to be cancelled. It is careful to point out the real miracles in life rather than the nice, Hollywood miracles we would all like. God will not interfere in reality. It is fun to watch the charachters play the cards they have been dealt and help each other.

I am real interested in Kevin. In 1995 I spent time in a rehab facility recovering from a closed-head injury. I made freinds with people that had severed their spinal cords. Kevin will never walk, it just doesn’t happen and it can’t happen, not if the writers want to maintain reality. People with spinal cord injuries shoot themselves, become drunks or addicts, or live life. The last one is the miracle in reality. Kevin is learning to venture out into the world on his own, has a job that I assume he is going to excel at, and there is sexual tension between him and a co-worker. He lives life. I really liked the “make fun of the guy in the wheelchair” statement. Things like that really throw people off guard in real life. I tutor algebra and trig but when it’s convenient, “Hey, what do you expect? I’m brain damaged.” It’s fun.

I love love love this show. My kids love this show. We were all crying at the end of this one. Hit kind of close to home for us.

If they cure Kevin I will never watch this show again. That just isn’t how life (or God, for that matter) works. See hlanelee’s post above.

I didn’t mean that he was cold, but that the line left me a little cold. It’s a bit of a personal knee-jerk reaction for me at the moment, but it struck me as a ‘I am everything you need now that we are married, so don’t go talking to other people.’ I know that’s not how it was meant, but I thought the priest said esssentially the same thing much better than the Chief. Sort of like the rape episode where he “needed” Helen to talk to Joan and asked her to ‘do this for me.’ That’s just a bit out of line for a husband to ask, and the overall emotional impact of the scene, for me, was a ruined by the seemingly unrealistic expectations they have of their marriage.

Of course, it’s probably just me. I’m just kinda weird that way. :slight_smile:

Bobkitty after that scene with the chief and his wife my wife looked at me and said, “You do that to me. You go to other people for help before you come to me, if you come to me at all. And it hurts.”

I will think about how I do things in the future.

Does Kevin have a severed spinal cord? I thought when mom had the the doctor scene a few eps. ago, that the doctor described the injury differently.

It’s not just you. It was condescending and totally dismissed any notion of her ever going to anyone else for emotional support. That, and his comments in the rape episode leave me wondering just how much control this guy needs over his wife’s emotional wellness.

I thought the line was a little odd myself but eh. That’s how a lot of men seem to feel when it comes to marriages. If anything’s wrong, they’ll fix it. They don’t want any interlopers messin’ with their women.

And ivylass: I have cable but not UPN. Instead of missing out on Enterprise due to the rat bastards at Paramount not having a national presence, viva tapes Enterprise and Jake 2.0 for me every week since she and I are both regs in the weekly Enterprise threads here. I had originally only asked for Enterprise but since she doesn’t like sending just one hour of TV per tape, she started taping other shows that she watches too.

The reason I’m asking for the other show is because I’m generally doing something else when it’s on and miss it.

Yes, he does. When he smiles you can really see the resemblance. I recently saw a commercial for “Three’s Company” on DVD, and seeing the young John Ritter in the ads, I was amazed at how much he looks like his dad.

The cute newspaper reporter is Sidney Poitier’s daughter, BTW.

I also like Little Girl God. I love how she dresses, in nothing that matches - stripes and plaid and florals, all together. There’s a little girl in my class who dresses the exact same way.

ivylass, I think we must have our butts planted in front of the TV at the same time. *ER, CSI, Joan of Arcadia, * and Trading Spaces. :stuck_out_tongue:
More Handy Andy tonight!

In another episode the psychic told Kevin “You will dance at your wedding.” Now granted, that could mean anything, even twirling around in his wheelchair with his wife in his lap, and she wasn’t very helpful in finding the missing child, but who knows!

Yeah, biblio, I noticed that too! I don’t know if I can watch TS tonight…there might be a football game Ivylad needs to watch, but I want to see Hildi paint appliances.

I thought this week’s episode of 8 Simple Rules couldn’t be matched as far as raw emotion was concerned. That was until I watched yesterday’s episode of Joan of Arcadia. I was simply blown over. What a powerful episode! It reached for your gut from the very beginning and just didn’t let go.

WOW! Two sterling programs, brilliantly written and acted, in a single week. We are SO not used to that…How I wish every month was sweeps month.
BTW, they are re-broadcasting the 8 Simple Rules episode on ABC tonight at 10 P.M. Eastern, if anyone’s interested.