Joan of Arcadia

Season 1 Episode 22

The Gift

Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 14, 2004 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Gift
After God tells Joan to give Adam a gift, she finds something that leads her to wonder if God's suggesting she have sex with him... While secretly searching through Adam's backpack for gift ideas, Joan is stunned to find a condom there. She soon wonders if sex is the "gift" God had in mind, and she nervously ponders whether or not she'd be ready for such a big step. Meanwhile, Kevin begins covering court proceedings for the paper and ends up causing a stir in one of Will's cases.moreless

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  • God asks Joan to give Adam a gift. After she finds a condom in his backpack, she begins to worry that this gift is related to sex. Also, as Kevin begins his new job as court reporter, he makes a bad call that challenges Will.moreless

    It is getting near the end of the school year and the group has to cram for finals. Adam in particular seems distracted, having to juggle school, studying, and work. God appears to Joan and tells her to get Adam a gift. She begins to mull and fret over what Adam could possibly want, ultimately trying to enlist the help of Grace and Luke. During this time, Luke has joined the group to study because he wants to keep away from Glynis, who he broke up with the previous episode. He had bought a geode for Grace, but is worried about giving it to her. During a discussion with her about Adam and Joan, he does give it to her, and that story is left for now. When Joan finds a condom in Adam's book bag while looking for clues, she wonders if sex is the gift she needs to give. She decides to go to Adam's job at the hotel and possibly have sex with him. During the course of their conversation, he reveals that he feels he is nothing since he has work his job to pay his dads bills, which has cut into his time to work on his art. In the end, all Joan needs to give Adam is faith in him.

    The other story involves the fact that Kevin has become a court reporter. Will and his partner had collared a guy who had committed theft to keep his daughter. During the arraignment, Will asks for a softer sentence. Kevin is appalled by this and writes a scathing article. This in turn destroys the plea bargain setup for the guy and Will is furious because Kevin didn't take into consideration facts outside his sight. The two end up reconciling over the boat and coming to a sort of agreement.

    Overall, I felt this episode was average. I think the hemming and hahing that Joan goes through is a bit heavy-handed. I understand why it would be such a hard decision for her, but I felt that storyline was lacking a bit. The storyline involving Kevin and Will was pretty good, but faltered at the end because it seemed like too easy an out for Kevin. My favorite moments of the episode were between Luke and Grace, especially when he gave her the rock and she blushed a bit before they went back to studying. I am hoping for a real good finale to end this great season.moreless
Elizabeth Liang

Elizabeth Liang

Erica Stevenson

Guest Star

Diane Delano

Diane Delano

Coach Carol Keady

Guest Star

Michael Wyle

Michael Wyle

French Waiter God

Guest Star

Christopher Marquette

Christopher Marquette

Adam Rove

Recurring Role

Becky Wahlstrom

Becky Wahlstrom

Grace Polk

Recurring Role

April Grace

April Grace

Sergeant Toni Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • When Adam and Joan are looking at the framed photo (the gift) at the end of the show, the photo shows a tight head shot of a man and a woman with just the top of an oil lamp sticking up. The scene cuts into black and white with Joan and Adam as the two people in the photo as a black and white moving picture. When the scene comes back to the framed photo, the lamp and a table are in full view in a much wider shot in the photo where they were not before.

    • In the garage, the screwdrivers are mounted so high that Kevin can't reach them, and Will has to help him. It's a sweet moment but...why'd they mount the screwdrivers so high in the first place? Kevin's been working on the boat for months - you'd think they'd mount a lower rack or something.

    • In the garage, Kevin says he ruined two people's lives. But actually he ruined three - Ben, his wife, and the daughter. Kevin saw all three of them when his dad wheeled him out.

    • Joan planning to have sex with Adam in a hotel, that he's working at, while he's working? It just doesn't seem like the kind of thing you do for that "special" occasion, one of the most important in her life.

    • When Joan is talking to Grace on the bench sometime after she discovers the condom, with presumably a coffee or some such beverage in her hand, there are numerous inconsistent camera cuts between close-up and far away what alternate between Joan having her head tilted down and Joan looking straight at Grace. Looks like a continuity error.

  • QUOTES (22)

  • NOTES (5)

    • If you look closely when you see God's locker, there is a globe and several pictures of galaxies and nebulas. Specifically, the pictures in God's locker are the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Whirlpool Galaxy, either the Crab Nebula or the Orion Nebula, a spiral galaxy (probably M81), and the Aurora Borealis.

    • '' is not a real web site - it once redirected to, which does reviews of Joan of Arcadia but as of November 2007 is just a holding page.

    • Music featured in this episode included:
      "Good (I've Got A Lot To Learn)" by Dakona
      "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys
      "Hard Times" by Stevie
      "See You" by Troy Gassaway
      "I Feel" by Julie Plug
      "Bellamy" by Jennie DeVoe
      "Confessions" by The Trews
      "La Vie En Rose" by Cyndi Lauper

    • Susan Sullivan and Christopher Marquette were billed as Special Guest Stars.

    • New Gods: French Waiter God and Rich Woman God.


    • Grace: You were getting all poetic there for a second, Spock.
      Spock was one of the main characters from the original television series of Star Trek and some of the film adaptations. Played by Leonard Nimoy , Spock was the logical thinking Vulcan member of the crew who eloquently gave rational insights into certain situations.

    • Grace: He used to like slot cars and Smurfs.
      At the time when Adam would have been young, The Smurfs were a popular Saturday morning cartoon. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, the show ran on NBC from 1981 through 1990.

    • Joan: You were snoring, you know, like the Three Stooges...
      The Three Stooges were a famous comedy/vaudeville group, mostly as a trio, that made movies and television shorts in the 1940s-1960s.

    • Helen: Ah, the West Side Story strategy... that always turns out great.
      Perhaps an in-joke of sorts, because Amber Tamblyn's (Joan) father, Russ Tamblyn, was a star in the popular musical of the early 60's, West Side Story. He has also guested on JoA as Dog-Walker God. At the end of West Side Story Tony (who in this case would be Adam) was killed.

    • Joan: You mean 'The Thinker' guy, right?
      "The Thinker" or "Le Penseur" is a sculpture Auguste Rodin made as part of a monumental portal named "La Porte de l'Enfer". It is likely the most famous and recognised work the artist made.

    • Joan: Is this a real conversation, or an Abbott & Costello routine?
      Abbott & Costello were a comedy act comprised on Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The duo made series of very popular records, movies and a TV series. They were well-known for getting things mixed up, like asking questions with names like Who, What, I-Don't-Know, Tomorrow, and Today, including the very popular "Who's on first?" baseball sketch.