Joan of Arcadia

Season 2 Episode 14

The Rise & Fall of Joan Girardi

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 28, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Rise & Fall of Joan Girardi
After saving a girl's life Joan suddenly becomes famous but she soon learns fame is fleeting and can even turn against you; Adam has a job interview that doesn't quite go the way he wants; tension builds between Lucy and Will; as Luke prepares to get his drivers license Grace tries to educate him on the harmful impact vehicles have on the environment.moreless

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  • In this episode starring the talentless Hilary Duff as a wannabe, Joan saves the aforementioned wannabe, who at first is grateful and then turns against her the next day to stay with the popular girls.moreless

    One of the few episodes I ever watched of this show, and it just had to star my least favorite person ever: Hilary Duff. However she did play a wannabe quite well, being one herself if you ask me.

    Joan is being taunted by the popular girls, and the character HD plays makes a snide remark about her school bag. Joan retorts (quite well, Joan deserves a standing ovation for this one) back "And your heads, from Mattel?" referring of course to the manufacturer of Barbies. And then Joan saves the girl's life from a coming car. At first the girl, Dylan (I think that was her name that Hilary Duff played but not completely certain) is so grateful and spills her secrets: her mom isn't a lawyer like she is telling the popular girls she hangs with, she works in an airplane restaurant. She also gives Joan a watch, which Joan wears grudgingly. I love Joan as a character, she is so sarcastic reluctant and yet you gotta love her.

    Then later there are accusations against Joan, and Dylan doesn't fire them back like she should've. Dylan goes back to the popular girls and the snide remarks and Joan accuses her of making that sob-story about her mom up, leading Dylan to tears and her popular girl friends in disgust.

    In the end Dylan is at the cafeteria, not knowing what to eat for dessert because she doesn't know what she likes because she's spent so much time copying other people. This is where Joan comes in, accompanying her and having her try all the desserts. Great episode.moreless
Jared Hillman

Jared Hillman

Brian Beaumont

Guest Star

Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff

Dylan Samuels

Guest Star

Lauren C. Mayhew

Lauren C. Mayhew


Guest Star

Juliette Goglia

Juliette Goglia

Little Girl God

Recurring Role

Patrick Fabian

Patrick Fabian

Gavin Price

Recurring Role

Annie Potts

Annie Potts

Lieutenant Lucy Preston

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • What kind of editors at the Herald would let Kevin write a favorable piece about his own sister, and not edit out the seven uses of the word "hero," etc.?

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Joan: It doesn't make any sense.
      Personable Woman God: It's a paradox. You're a hero. And you're not perfect. You were horrible to Dylan because you cared. Another paradox. If you accept that they both can exist simultaneously, then you can find peace in the contradictions, which is where you'll find me

    • Personable Woman God: They should really put benches at all the bus stops. Make the world a better place, one tush at a time. What do you think, Joan?
      Joan: God says "tush"?

    • Grace: Dude, you're contributing to global warming--and you're handing over vital information to the CIA. When they take that picture? That's really a retinal scan.
      Luke: I'm getting my license, Grace. I'm not starting a covert war.
      Joan: Is this, like, pillow talk for you two?

    • Adam: My girlfriend is the Wonder Woman of Arcadia High.

    • Adam: If we were married I would be Mr. Joan Girardi.

    • Adam: So it's stoke-o-rama for the Rove-ster.
      Joan: Who?
      Adam: I have no idea.

    • Grace: I'm just a simple anarchist trying to get through my day.

    • Joan: Who names their kid Storm? Was his dad in the X-Men?

    • Joan: The other stalls are free. How about giving me a little peace in here?
      Little Girl God: I'm all about giving you peace, Joan.

    • Freidman: Are you seriously considering not getting your driver's license because of her, because you cannot let her put your you-know-whats in the you–know-what – you know?
      Luke: I'm both confused and disturbed by what you said.

    • Helen: Honey, what you did was incredible. I'm so proud of you. And if you ever do it again, I'll kill you.

    • Personable Woman God: I just thought I'd ask. Show I care... because I do.

    • Luke: I just want to drive a really big machine.
      Grace: Is that all men are about?
      Joan: Apparently...

  • NOTES (4)


    • Joan: Enormously huge, like Marlon Brando, but before he died.
      Referencing the talented actor, who unfortunately put on a few (dozen) pounds in his later career and decided he had to display it in movies like The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996).

    • Joan: Who names their kid 'Storm'? Was his dad in the X-Men?
      The X-Men are a superhero team of mutant teenagers popularized in the comics, an animated series, and two movies (as of the episode's original airing). Storm is Ororo of Africa, a woman with the power to control the weather and, coincidentally (or not), Summers is the last name of another X-Men. Both Storm and Scott Summers are/were (co)leaders of the X-Men.

    • Adam: My girlfriend is the Wonder Woman of Arcadia High.
      Referencing the long-standing comic book and TV heroine - the Amazon Princess, Diana of Themyscria (sic). As of the time this episode aired, plans were underway for Joss Whedon to produce a theatrical version of the character.

    • Kevin: My editor thought "Joan the Hero" was too good for Hagar the Horrible.
      Referencing the inexplicably long-standing newspaper strip that first appeared in 1973 and is distributed by King Features Syndicate. Created by Dik Browne and now drawn by his son Chris, Hagar shows the life of rampaging Viking and befuddled family man Hagar the Horrible.

    • Joan: You made me sound like Catwoman.
      Referencing the long time comic book villainess and sometime hero, most recently immortalized in a less-than-successful movie starring Halle Berry.