Saturday, February 21, 2004

Joan of Arcadia - The Ties That Bind 

Okay, now I get it. Kevin's an asshole. He admitted it at the end of the last episode, but I was hoping that meant that he recognized it and would work on it. Of course, he's had these personal awareness breakthroughs on a number of episodes, but thus far they've not gotten him far. Maybe he's no longer picking on Luke, so now he has to transfer his completely inexcusable and unanticipated behavior onto Rebecca. As with last episode, I just don't buy the sudden and complete personality change. Then again, I also don't buy Rebecca's having fallen for and pursuing him in the first place. As they pointed out, he's a 19-year-old kid with a high school degree. She's got to be in her mid to late 20's, with at least one college degree and a number of years' work experience, given her apparent position of editorial authority at the seemingly leading newspaper in this fairly large city.

The rest of the family won me back last night, however. Helen handled Adam's slacking with attempted discretion, then fair but tough honesty when challenged to discuss it in front of the class. His later work was clearly disturbing. I was disturbed for her - I can't imagine how I would have felt in her shoes, particularly given her own history with violence and feelings of victimization. She handled the initial shock appropriately, and once they had each had the chance to think about it, they both expressed their feelings in an intelligent, plausible and even laudable manner. Adam did have me creeped out, though. I get the feeling that Iris is perhaps manipulating him a bit, encouraging him to defy authority even if it is the one teacher and adult who has demonstrated again and again that she gets him and wants him to grow as a person and an artist. But I'm glad he had an insight into the ramifications of his actions. Hopefully the lesson will stick better for him than it does for Kevin.

Luke-Will. I liked this storyline. I can see where it's been developing from over the season, I understand each of their motivations, desires and anxieties. They're trying to work on it, but it's not easy or smooth. I found the detective side of the story a little forced, though. Do they have so many murders in Arcadia that no one would have been able to recall that there were several with exactly the same pattern?

Glynis flattening Friedman with the medicine ball. Priceless. I love Glynis. I love Luke and Glynis. And Bobby Glass! Sir.

We need more Grace.

I feel like Joan with regard to Casper. What was the point of the story? I guess Joan showed Casper that she could trust some people, that not everyone is out to get her. Of course Price followed that up with a lesson in how some adults in positions of authority really are petty bureaucrats more interested in flaunting their own power at the expense of those over whom they wield it.

Good God-Joan interaction this episode. Joan looked so satisfied that she slammed Pizza Delivery God about his not deserving a tip because is it really that hard for God to deliver a pizza in less than 30 minutes. Jump Rope Girl God and Joan jumping together at the end reminded me of Little Girl God walking Joan home last episode. I like the juxtaposition of an omniscient being presenting as a child, enjoying the small joys that can come with childhood, and reminding Joan of those joys while at the same time helping her to understand the pains and sorrows that many children and adults also experience.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:48 AM