Joan of Arcadia

Season 1 Episode 20


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 30, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
58 votes

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Episode Summary

Joan joins the yearbook staff, per God's request, and decides to use this assignment as a means of impressing Adam... Feeling threatened that Iris and Adam continue to share a bond over their passion for art, Joan vows to discover a hidden talent that Adam will admire. However, her disastrous attempt to be the yearbook's star photographer soon adds to her insecurities about losing him. Meanwhile, Will and Toni attempt to set up a sting for a man who is planning to hire a hitman to murder his wife.moreless

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  • Joan joins yearbook to find her calling while Luke and Freedman dealing with their friendship and Kevin seeks further understanding of his chances to walk again.

    "Don't tell anyone about this" - Kevin

    "(sticking a dart in Kevin's behind) Yeah, like I would want this to get out" - Luke

    Joan's plot of this episode was one of the comical ones with only tinges of drama. While Adam and Joan are now together after Adam broke up with Iris, Joan feels disconnected since she doesn't have a "thing". This is understandable, since Adam has his art, Iris has her photograph, Grace has her brooding nature, Luke has science, etc. When God tells her to join yearbook, she thinks He will lead her to her calling. She believes this to be photography, which the yearbook editor gives her by default, but finds out she has very, very, very limited skills. After being **** out about her amatuerness, she quits but God tells her she shouldn't. She returns to the yearbook to perform menial tasks such as garbage collecting and, in the process, tosses the yearbooks' poetry submissions. She confesses to her mother, the adviser for the yearbook, who says she will cover for Joan but is overheard by the editor. Helen ends up defending Joan and quiting, but Joan does not join her walkout, since she still hasn't found her "thing". Joan then has to rifle through the garbage to find the poems, leading to the discovery of an anonymous one that is far better then the rest. In her search to find the author, she reads the poem to Adam who tells her it was written by Grace. Grace reveals it is hers, but she wrote it for personal use and through it out at lunch. She doesn't want the poem published. However, it is only at the end of the episode when Joan and Adam through flyer's of the poem into the air for other students to read that Grace seems to realize that perhaps her work is good.

    I could almost feel the same amount of frustration that Joan was going through. I really did want Joan to find her "thing", but it turns out that just her doing stuff, thanks to God, is what she is good at. This does fit her personality and I think it is a nice touch at making her feel better about herself. Joan and Adam already seem strained after getting together, but it is most likely from the latent tension with Iris. I hope that the relationship will become more relaxed soon.

    Luke and Glynis seem to be at the breaking point, since Luke is getting frustrated at his lack of independence. This is compounded by the fact that he is spending less time hanging out with his (only) friend, Friedman. It turns out that Friedman had come up with a girlfriend to hide his pain of missing his friendship with Luke and I think this was a good little plot; it was very in-character for Friedman to do. It seems more and more like Luke and Glynis are going to call it quits soon, leaving a way for Grace and Luke to finally get together, since I believe Luke was the object of her poem.

    The final little plot line in the episode comes when Kevin, in a highly amusing scene, has Luke stick a dart in his behind to gage his perception of pain. After feeling a bit, Kevin becomes frustrated when his neurologist basically tells him the feeling does not mean much. In a huff, Kevin demands a second opinion, gives up on physio, and disses The Bear. It seems like he finally comes to the conclusion that he is in the wrong and stops his tantrum before long.

    Overall, this was a above average episode, slightly better than the last one dealing with the piano lessons because I felt there was a better resolution of God's task. Also, I enjoyed Luke's storyline almost as much as the main one, mostly due to the character of Friedman. I think paved the way for some future plots and that they will lead to a good area.moreless
Jared Hillman

Jared Hillman

Brian Beaumont

Guest Star

Louis Mustillo

Louis Mustillo

Custodian God

Guest Star

David Starzyk

David Starzyk

Robert Higgins

Guest Star

Mark Totty

Mark Totty

Det. Carlisle

Recurring Role

Misti Traya

Misti Traya


Recurring Role

Christopher Marquette

Christopher Marquette

Adam Rove

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In the scene where Joan is talking to Helen in the kitchen about her photographs, the Hershey's syrup Helen takes out of the bag is in one place in the first shot and then another when they shift back and forth between Joan and Helen in the scene.

  • QUOTES (14)

  • NOTES (5)

    • This episode marks the final appearance of Iris (Misti Traya) and the first appearance of Brian Beaumont (Jared Hillman) on the series.

    • Grace's poem...

      Sewer Walking

      You and me, we used to talk
      Like a river underground, the sewer where we used to walk.
      The hole at the end empties out to the pier
      Where paperboats disappear

      Me, I try to send this note,
      Float it like a paper boat,
      But paper sinks and words are weak.
      I try but I don't speak

      Join together in the silent snow
      Turn our faces up to see
      Not endless night, but day
      A pier
      And you and me, talking.

    • Christopher Marquette was billed as a "Special Guest Star."

    • Music featured in this episode included:
      "Get Up" by Superchick
      "My Girl" by Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
      "Remind Me" by Fisher
      "You Put A Spell On Me" by Souleros
      "Mystery" by Barbara Hall
      "Special" by Wilshire
      "Trust Me" by Bleu
      "Holiday" by Ariel's Worm
      "Love and Hope" by 4 Way Street

    • New Gods: Custodian God and Old Man Walker God. While Student God, who appears in this episode, is the same God as Computer Girl God from the "State of Grace" episode.


    • Iris: Very Titanic.

      The quote is not about the boat, but about the movie Titanic. In the movie, there is a scene where the character, Jack, sketches a nude portrait of Rose. This quote comes right after Adam asks to sketch Joan on the rooftop.