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.