Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 1, Episode 11 - The Uncertainty Principle - full transcript

God asks Joan to ask an unhappy troublemaker to the school's semi-formal dance. Meanwhile Luke is pleasantly baffled by Grace when he approaches her to remind him of their working together in the science fair and they end up going to the dance together. Adam goes to the dance stag as he's still on the outs with Joan after she destroyed his sculpture. Meanwhile Will uncovers evidence that the corruption of his predecessor may have been more widespread than originally thought.

So first I was gonna try to construct a gamma ray microscope that actually proved heisenberg's uncertainty principle,

oh, god, which would almost be worth it just to see the look on Friedman's face,

except a gamma ray microscope would cost, like, $8 million, so then I started thinking more conceptually, you know, something that gets the real meaning of the uncertainty principle without--

So I asked grace to do this thing with me, and at the time she said yes, sort of, but--

wait. Grace Polk said yes to you?

It was somewhat contingent, but essentially yeah.

She's so gonna get it!

But, see, I don't know if she actually remembers me asking, so do I have to do the full re-approach or--

now what is she gonna wear, because they don't make gowns out of fatigues.

What are we talking about?

You asked Grace Polk to the semi-formal.

I asked her to be my partner in the science fair.

Wow. Science really is like sex to you, isn't it?

Well, that's-- I don't know how to respond to that.

Look, do yourself a favour, ok?

Put on some stupid clothes and go grope each other in the gym. It's much more direct than building some gammy telescope or whatever.

Gamma ray microscope. And this isn't about groping. Why? Are you groping, uh, going?

No way! Those things are lame. Plus, I don't have anybody to go with.

Ah. So I take it you and Adam Rove are still on the outs?

Well, I can't remember if we were ever on the ins.

You want to get in my way? Is that what you want?!

Hey! Leave him alone!

You think I won't hit you, too?!

Hey, Ramsey! Break it up! Now!

You, you, and you in my office now.

Adam, are you ok?

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Mr. Ramsey, let's begin with you.

Oh, my goodness. Um, I gotta go.

Crystal ball. Cool. Are you going?

No. You are.

Hmmph! I hope you have a date for me in your magic bag.

We should do this more often Price.

This is your last chance, Mr. Ramsey.

I want you to go with him.

Wh-- no way. Please. You always said I have a choice.

You do. But if you're gonna do this, you have to do it right now.

Or what? Ugh!

Hey, Ramsey, can I talk to you for a second?

I didn't touch you.

No, I know. It's not about that.

I was wondering if you were planning on going to the semi-formal.

You want to know if I'm going to the semi-formal?

Yeah. It's called the crystal ball. Um, they do a different theme every year.

Yeah, it's hilarious.

No, wait! I'm serious.

I-- I wanted to know if you'd go with me,

since I don't have anybody.

You want to go out with me?

Yeah. Ok.

Is it strange that you're always awake before I am?

I like to ambush my brain before fear and reason kick in.

You're too young to worry about fear and reason. That doesn't start till you're 30.

As long as I don't have to make any speeches, I love it.

I just won a community leadership award from the citizens' league.

Hey, that's fantastic.

Apparently being taken hostage makes me a hero.

You! Children present!

Right. Breakfast. Glitter balls, anyone?

Those are my decorations for the dance.

Mom, the crystal ball?

That was not my idea. Oh, that just reminds me. Marlene wants me to chaperone.

What? Mom, you cannot chaperone the dance.

What do you care? You're not even going.

I am now.

Hey, that's terrific. Who you going with?


Um, this guy from school.

What guy at school?

Ramsey. I asked him. He said yes. I have to go.

You're going with Ramsey?

You asked Ramsey?

Who's Ramsey?

Why on earth would you ask that boy to the dance?

Because he's the only person who would go with me.

Adam rove would've been thrilled to go with you.

Hello! Do I have to brief you people every morning? Adam. Hates. me. Ok? I have to go.

Whos Ramsey?

We're not done discussing this.

Ok, wrap it up, people. You have cinco minutes.

And as a reminder for the procrastinators among us,

science fair applications are due by the end of the day.

Ms. Polk. One wonders why you bothered.

Will you look at this? I'm making electricity out of sugar.

You asked Ramsey to a dance?


What is up with that? Are you trying to kill Rove?

You didn't tell him, did you?

I don't need to. You asked Steve Ramsey to the semi-formal. That's like a CNN headline.

Um, you're going to the dance with Ramsey?

That's desperate.

Ok, everybody, just take a breath. Maybe I was just trying to do something nice.

Good luck. That guy is seriously psycho.

You're just saying that because he threw you in the trash. I think it's sweet.

I heard he has a private arsenal out in the woods where he shoots squirrels and stuff.

And you believe that?

Ask Rove. They used to hang out.

Oh, wait! Rove will never speak to you again after this. Never mind.

I wouldn't worry. If you get into any trouble, Luke here will defend you.

What am I doing?

You're not gonna do anything because nothing bad is gonna happen.

So, ... I was wondering if you--

how you were feeling about the,

what is with these sanctioned mating rituals that make everyone drool over each other like zombies?

Oh, no. That's actually not what I'm talking-- ok.

Remember when I asked you about the science fair?

I already said I'd do that. Why are you getting all sweaty?

You said to check back with you. I wasn't sure.

I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like I'm gonna be any help.

Uh, don't worry about that. I have like a file folder of ideas.

Whatever. Long as I don't have to wear a dress.

Me, too.

No, not that I would ever wear a dress, but--

it's ok, man.

Did you get a chance to look at the report on the Kaminski homicide?

Chief. Sorry.

I just looked up the Ramsey lawsuit payments in the city payroll, the ones you asked about.


The payments are going to his mother. It's nothing unusual, but when I was in there, I saw this.

Well, that's funny. I don't remember signing you up for a monthly bonus.

That's my name on the city payroll.

Who's getting the checks?

I'm not. I've never seen one of these payments.

Let's put a trace on the P.O. Box.

I just did that.

Oh, boy.


It's all right, Jeanne. Thank you.


Dennis Rowley is still collecting his chief of police salary...

in Jeanne's name.

And it's better than mine, I might add.

You thinking graft?

I don't think it's his pension.

I wouldn't worry about self defence.

Then why the psycho mission because I didn't sign up for martyrdom.

Heh! Joan. Have I ever endangered you?

Well, you never told me to ask evil out on a date before.

Evil is not a word to use lightly. It's only the darkest end of a broad spectrum.

You mean like light?

Exactly like light.

Nobody is born in total darkness.

Most of you live on the grey end of the spectrum,

a lie here and there, jealousy, wrath.

But you only get to absolute evil by doing one thing after another till eventually you're transformed.

Like...into a monster.

A monster is a creature with no consciousness. They're extremely rare, but they do exist.

Have you watched the news? I'm not sure they're so rare.

Almost everybody has some light somewhere. And light is always worth fighting for.

Ok. So I'm supposed to find Ramsey's...light.

I just want you to listen and observe. Be present.

That's it?

I have stuff to do.

Have a seat, honey.

The first thing I want to say is your mother and I want you to have a social life.

We love to see you making friends and going out on dates, and we just--

we want you to see people who are good for you. People--

can we stop speaking in code? Ok? Will you just say that Ramsey freaks you out?

Ramsey freaks us out.

You're not gonna let me go to the dance.

No, we definitely want you to go to the dance.

Just not with him.

It's a matter of your safety.

Dad, you haven't even met him.

No, but I know he has a juvenile record.

And I spoke to Chadwick.

Oh, my god! I'd rather you guys just say no than go around spying on people.

Honey, I understand the appeal of somebody who breaks all the rules.

Mom, this is not me being hot for some guy on a motorcycle.

Then what is it? Can you please explain it to us?

I don't know! Maybe he's, like...

trapped in all these stories that people tell about him. Maybe what he needs is for someone to give him a chance and, like...

have some faith.

Ok, but there is no getting in cars with him. At all.

You can meet him there, but stay within sight of your mother at all times.

Ok. Fine. Can I go?


This better be wicked important, Grace.

It's not Grace.

Ramsey? How'd you get my number?

It wasn't as hard as your address. You got a nice porch.

What are you doing here?

There was nothing good on TV.

You're crazy.

You... wanna come for a drive?

At 2:00 in the morning?

I have to go.

This every report filed from January up to Rowley's departure last August. Can I get you anything else?

No, that's good. Thanks.

Jeanne, can I ask you about this?

You noted down here that chief Rowley had 4 meetings with internal affairs the week before he left.

Was the department being investigated?

Not that I'm aware of, no.

Who did he meet with?

Uh, the head of I.A. That was Roy Roebuck.

Roebuck is in arson.

He got busted down after Rowley left, but he won't say why.

Well, if he was head of I.A., He must have been after something. Either that, or he was in on it.

No, he wasn't in on it.

Then why hasn't he come forward, and why take a hit instead?

No, it's boldly retro, but I'm thinking something involving Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

And that would be?

Glad you asked. Ok.

You know that solar system model of an atom you learned in the fifth grade, you know, the one with the nucleus here and the little electrons rotating around it?

Heisenberg says that's crap. There is no little nucleus, or at least there's no way to determine where a nucleus is with any certainty, and why, you ask?

Not really.

Because just by looking for it, you change it,

so by extension, the observer is always changing what we observe.

I mean, reality itself is indeterminate, and atoms, the very building blocks of matter, are nothing more than just mere clouds of possibility.

Quit eating my grapes.

Now, off of this, we can go in several different directions, like phototropism, where,

you know, you know, you, um, determine how a plant grows using light, or--

What's this?

Um, that's a rail gun. You use electromagnetic currents to... basically shoot a slug.

That sounds cool. Let's do that.

Still scrambling for a project?

We're narrowing it down. How's the sonoluminescence going?

Latest results from my web site if you're interested, wrathoffriedman.Com,

so, uh, guess we won't be seeing you at the dance tomorrow night.

Says who?

It's an assumption based on the unlikely hypothesis of you wearing a dress.

Well, guess what, Galileo? Your assumptions suck, and we'll see you at the dance.

Now beat it before I give you a wedgie.

You can't give me a wedgie.

Are we going to the crystal ball?

Must have got caught up in the testosterone.


Hey. What are you eating? Is that, like, your brain on drugs?

It's a fried egg sandwich. My dad's specialty.

So, you missed the, um, first interesting Chem. lab ever. We used orange juice to turn on a light bulb.

Look, I don't really want to talk about it, ok?

Ok. Fine. I have to go.

So what's up?

So Whats up Stoner boy needs a bodyguard?

He's not a stoner. He's a really nice guy. What'd you have to beat him up for, anyway?

Ever since seventh grade, he acts like he's some big artist. Anybody can twist up a bunch of tin foil.

And that's what you do is just beat up whoever bugs you?

You got a problem with that?

Yes, I do.

It's fine if you're pissed off at the world, but to take it out on the one person who would ever hit you back is pathetic.

Look, I know I'm a jerk.

It's just I get mad about stuff and... I don't think right.

I have a tie...

in case you need one.

So? A public official in arcadia is taking graft.

I thought you said you had something serious to talk about.

You know this is serious because it cost you your job.

How far does it go?

I couldn't tell you. I stopped before I found the end of it.

You have allies this time. Rowley sold you out. I'm not about to do that.

This isn't just blowing a whistle and picking up another award for being the town hero. This could cost you everything you have.

We're not naive about what this means.

I lost a career. And I lost-- I lost my wife over this.

You once told me you'd be one amazed son of a bitch if I did my job. I'm here to do it.

This is everything I got.

It runs all the way to the top.

Now, after I left I.A., I put it away, figured I'd wait till the right person started asking questions.

I hope like hell that's who I'm talking to.

Sorry to bother you, Gabe.

Well, chief Girardi. Another moment, that could have been a nasty news item. What are you doing here?

I met with Roy Roebuck yesterday.

He had quite a few interesting things to say about arcadia, some of them involving the former chief.


Should I be following something here?

Oh, let's not play our usual games, shall we, Gabe?

Roy Roebuck collected evidence on corruption in this city to take you

and possibly everyone else down to the ground.

Now, I know you cut a deal with Kaminski about this to shut him up.

I want the same deal.

I'll say one thing, Girardi, that's, uh...

that's an impressive learning curve.

Oh, I catch on eventually.

But I'm afraid you've got the wrong guy.

As far as I know, he retired to be with his grandkids.

So if you have something I should know about, I suggest you leave it with me and I'll see if it warrants an investigation.

Well, if you're not willing to work with me, I'll find somebody who is.

Hold up.

I suggest we follow protocol, otherwise, the consequences could be dangerous.

Well, still, I'd prefer to hold on to it.

It's not your area of expertise, Girardi. Let me handle it.

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear.

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Give me the package, Girardi, now.

Then again, maybe it's best to play by the rules.

Hey! What's up? Where's your tie?

I wasn't gonna put it on unless you showed.

Well, I-- I guess you lose.

Do you want help? 'Cause I can tie it. I always do that for my brother.

If you want.

All right. You know, you should be glad you don't have to wear high heels.

Yo, tie it in a noose.

Shut up, brillo head!

Let's get out of here!

No way. I didn't put on this stupid dress for nothing.

Mr. Ramsey. Joan.

I can't believe this is the same place I got creamed in dodgeball.

Hey, you want some?

No way! I'm not gonna get suspended.

Ok. Fine.

Come on.

This music sucks!

Hey. W-wow.

Yeah. Don't talk about it.

Where's your sister?

I--I don't know. Um, did you want to take off your coat or--

cool it, horn dog. I'm not there yet.

Hi there.


Looks like you came stag, huh?

Yeah. Huh. What?

When you come to a dance alone, it's called stag. I don't know why.

Uh-huh. Have you seen Joan yet?

No, I haven't

Do you sometimes wonder if high school will ever come to an end?

Adam, wait. Girls are just stupid in high school, ok? If you will just hang on a few more years,

I guarantee you, eventually the smart girls will figure out that guys like you are way more interesting than guys like Ramsey.

So, Polk looks pretty hot under all that feminazi garb. Who knew, huh? Right? Heh.

Did you just say "feminazi"?

Be straight with me, Girardi. You guys exchanging fluids?

Why am I friends with you?

Well, it's the only explanation. Why else would you commit science fair suicide?

What can I say? The search for truth is more precious than its possessions.

Ok, seriously, invest in Birkenstocks now because you're doomed to a life of lesbian worship.

Did he just convert her from mac to pc?

I cant do this.

Don't think of it as dancing. Just pretend like you're on fire or something.

Let's slow it down. Come on Guys, pull her close, Hold her tight..

You, uh, mmm,


I, uh... I said you smell nice.

I've always wanted to do that.

Do it again.

What is going on here?

Nothing. She fell.

We were just dancing.

What's going on?


That's not what I saw.

Hey, get your hand off me.

Are you ok?


Look, I didn't do anything!

Oh, really? Then what is this, Mr. Ramsey?

It's not even open.

You brought alcohol onto school premises, which you know is grounds for expulsion.


D-don't you think that's enough now?

God, mom, you act like you wanted something to happen!

I wanted you to go with someone decent.

Don't let him go, Joan.

You said all I had to do was listen to him.

You're not finished. Hurry.


Wait! Stop!

I told them what happened! You won't get expelled!

Just forget it!

Please, just come back inside with me.

Leave me alone!

Roebuck wasn't exaggerating. Kickbacks on construction contracts 8 years running, council members and judges taking bribes, city inspectors, the mayor.

I hate to say it, but we may be in over our heads on this.

You don't have to be a part of this, detective, but if you're gonna step away, you should do it now.

Helen, can I call you ba--

ok. Take it easy. I'll be right there. 10 minutes.

Here's what I need you to do.

Call this guy. He was my FBI field rep in Chicago.

Victor Delacruz.

Get him everything tonight. Tell him we're putting ourselves in his hands.

Ok. I got it.

She's in his truck!

It's ok. What happened?

She ran after him and jumped in the truck right as he was taking off.

Will, he may have been drinking.

There's this place that he hangs out at sometimes. I think I can get you there.

Ok, let's go. It's gonna be ok.

Where are you going?

What, you're just not gonna talk to me?

Listen! I know-- you have to believe me when I say that everything's gonna be ok.

I can't tell you how I know that. I just do.

Just stop talking! I'm trying to think!

What's there to think about?

You don't understand. I just got expelled.

That is the one thing that can't happen.

Now my stepdad's gonna kick me out, and then I'll have to call my real dad,

which is something that I never, ever wanna do.

He'll say some B.S. About how he's not surprised and make some excuse why I can't stay with him, which means this is it. I am done.

Can't you just tell your dad that it was my fault?

No, it is not your fault!

It's price!

He's been after me since seventh grade! Well, now he can go to hell!

What are you doing?

You know what my record is? It's 12 hits in 14 shots.

Ohh! Ok, wait. Wait.

You shouldn't, like, hurt anybody or yourself.


You have to fire between heartbeats.

This wasn't supposed to happen. You weren't supposed to get expelled!

Don't worry about it. I still had a pretty good time.

No, you didn't. this isn't a good time!

Oh, sure it is.

See, the way I see it, high school's war. You're the first person to be on my side.

But it wouldn't-- it wouldn't be like that if you would just...

let people see, like, your whole spectrum.

All people want from me is a creeped-out, psycho gun freak, so that's what I give 'em!

But that's not who you are! That's not who anyone is!

You wanna take off? Just the two of us, right now?

Where are we gonna go?

I don't know. We'll just go. Come on.

Put your hands in the air.


Put down your weapon, son.

No, you first!

Joan... get in the car.

Dad, listen... I can explain!

Go to the car!

I didn't hurt her!

You put down your weapon, and then we'll talk.

You're not gonna listen to me! You already got your mind made up!

You stole my daughter and threatened her with a gun. Yeah, I'm drawing some conclusions.

I didn't steal anybody.

He didn't, dad. I went with him!


Now, you wanna shoot me, Steve? Is that gonna make it better?


It'll end your life as you know it.

I don't think that's what you want.

What do you know about me? You don't know anything!

Let me tell you something.

And you're not gonna believe me until you're older.

This will end.

This hell you're living through right now is mostly made up of things you had no control over.

But this next place that you end up...

that's gonna be all you.

Well, maybe I'm ready to go to hell, 'cause it can't be any worse!

Steve, don't!

You hear that? My daughter sees something in you.

Now, that counts for something in my book.

Are you telling me she's wrong, that there's not something worth saving in there?

Now come on, son.

Let's you and me see tomorrow.

Come on.

It's all right. Hey, is that my tie?

Ok, start talking.

Why? You're not gonna listen to anything I have to say.

Oh, this is not you mouthing off, Joan. This is you explaining why you defied everything your Father and I specifically said!

What about price? It's 'cause of him this whole thing started!

We said no cars under any circumstances! There were no exceptions to that.

It wasn't price who pulled a gun on your father.

Do you have any idea how seriously you could have been hurt tonight?

I'm really sorry.

This whole-- this whole thing has gotten way out of hand.

So what do we do now?

Is it back to therapy or what?

No, no.

Ok, we will do this the old-fashioned way.

You are grounded, young lady.

And as for everybody else, if we could just keep it down to one tragedy a month, that would be really great.

You're not gonna put him in jail, are you?

He threatened to shoot the chief of police. It doesn't look good.

I'm really sorry, daddy.

It's been a long night. Let's all just go to bed.

So, uh... I'm thinking no second date with you and this guy?

Don't worry about mom and dad. They've just had enough kid trauma for a lifetime. You know?

Good work, detective. You ok?

This affects a lot of people, you know? Can't help feeling like I pulled the trigger.

All we did was look where nobody else would look.

Adam. Thanks for showing up with my dad.

They just needed to know where to go.

Adam, I know I keep doing these incredibly stupid and hurtful things to you, but you have to believe me when I say that hurting you is the last thing I wanna do.

I'm sure you have your reasons.

You're getting really good at showing up when nobody needs you.

Well, now, that's your opinion.

So what do you want me to fail at this time?

Now, what makes you think you failed? You did exactly what I asked you to do. You observed.

Hmm! And what good did that do anybody? Ramsey's going to jail. Adam hates me even more.

Observation is a more powerful force than you could possibly reckon.

The invisible, the overlooked, and the unobserved are those that are most in danger of reaching the end of the spectrum.

They lose the last of their light. From there, anything can happen.

Ok. Fine. I observed Ramsey. His life is still ruined.

His life wasn't the only one at stake.

What do you mean?

There's Laura Eason, ninth-grader.

She plays the flute. She would have been one of the first to go,

coming out of orchestra at the wrong time. And Andrew Bayer, he would have tried to save his friend Lawrence Distasi and lost his life.

And Gavin price and 3 other students in the cafeteria and Mr. Harvey and ms. Schmidt in the library.

And finally Steve Ramsey himself.

And for each of these faces, Joan, there are 12 more whose lives would have come to an end today,

lives altered forever by you,

by the simple effect of being present...

by entering the light, by joining the dance.