Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 1, Episode 21 - Vanity, Thy Name Is Human - full transcript

While at the grocery store, Kevin sees an old high school girlfriend who tries to reconnect with the Girardi family. Kevin is very upset because he thinks she dumped him because of the accident, but when he starts to ask questions, he finds out what really happened. Helen paints a picture that she is very excited about, but when she struggles when she tries to recreate the experience to create more paintings. Joan becomes obsessed with her appearance after taking a make-up class and seeing the reactions of others once she is all dolled up. But Adam hardly seems to notice, so she decides to not shower or change clothes to try to get him to react. Will follows a hunch that breaks up a prostitution ring.

Item next:

Garlic mashed home-style potatoes, family size.

Those potatoes are from a box?


And apparently,

there's a bomb that can blow up the entire world.

Ok, marinated artichoke hearts. Check.

Those are from a can?!

Did you think mom was running a kibbutz?

Whoa, look.

A picture of a whole artichoke.

It's freaky-looking, huh?

Ok, let's hit the jars of spaghetti sauce.



You went for it.

Come on, let's speed this up.

I have to call Glynis.


Haemorrhoid cream, economy size.

So, what is it?

That's you.

See ya, buddy.



Thought that was you.

And look, it's you.

And not that other guy you dated who ended up in a wheelchair?

Hey, Joan.




Wow. Everyone looks the same.

Only shorter.

Well, I guess Staten high wasn't that long ago.

I still remember the fight song.

So how's everything?


And you?

I'm at Fordham college in Fordham.

You know, nearby.

I have a part-time job here in arcadia,

2 days a week going--

well, paying for school.

I got injured, so that...

the dance Scholarship I had--

not like injured.

You know, I just screwed up my knee.

I'm babbling.

You do very well.


So I'm studying business now,

which doesn't require a pirouette.

Yeah, I guess a lot of stuff ends in high school.

Um... I gotta get going.

It was good to see you guys.

Um, say hi to your folks.

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That was weird.

No, it was great.

Just like old times.

All right, where were we?

Haemorrhoid cream.

Hell, I'll get it.

I got no pride left.

Good Morning.

Coffee?s made.

I wondered what happened to you.

I couldn't sleep.

Been up all night.

You should have woke me up.

I would have massaged you to a blissful stupor.

Is this new?


I just wanted to see how it looked in here.

I love the morning light through that window.

All night you've been painting?

You're gonna be dead.

It just poured out of me.

It's like I was plugged into some universal palette.

So, what do you think?

It's nice.

Forget it.

No, I love it.


It's great.

Whoa. There's a painting on the counter.

So what do you think about it?

Uh...well, you know, I'm not really conversant in the technical jargon of fine arts,

but from a right-brain, intuitive perspective,

I'd say aesthetically it's very appealing.

Thank you.

I think.

What part of "please stop talking about it or I'll kick your ass"

don't you understand?

Free speech, newspaper boy.

How can you gear up so fast in the morning?

Kevin doesn't want me to tell you that we ran into Beth Reinhard yesterday.



That's great..

What is she doing here?

Can we not talk about this?

Why are boys so mind-numbingly numb-minded about girls?

Wow. Mom, that's cool.

I mean, it's truly terrific.

Thank you.

That does kind of rock, mom.

It's nice to have kids who appreciate my work.

Your dad's more of a dogs playing poker kind of guy.

Oh, come on.

What do you want?

I said I loved it.


I gotta go.


call you later.

So I got a little wrapped up in Embrane theory last night,

and I forgot to call Glynis totally late.

And when I finally did call,

I get the wall of silence,


sniffling even.

What is that about?

Is this a math problem?

Come on, do you and Adam ever fight about--

don't even go there.

It's relationships, man.

It's like you can never just relax.

Ok, discussing this with you is worse than what comes out of the bathroom drain.

What's this?

That's your psyche.



What's this, my psyche?

It's a giraffe.

I'm gonna give this to Glynis.

You're talking to my brother?

I talk to everyone, Joan.

Some people listen.

You're not very good at this, are you?

Good is relative.

Beauty is relative.

Everything's relative.

Except for me.

I'm absolute.

I thought that was vodka.

I want you to take a make-up class.

Make up what?

I haven't missed anything


Will you stop with the latex!

Make up what?

Which class?

You'll know.

It'll only take a minute.

This is the only place that has Charleston chews.

Take your time.

I?ll get to catch up on my reading.

Wow! Bigfoot had a kid.

We'll have to send a card.

My father lost his medicine.

He needs his medicine.

Sorry. You have to do better than that.

I have prescription!

Which I filled twice last week.

Forget it.

I'm not losing my license.

Now get lost, or I'll call the cops.

I mean it.

What's her story?

These girls.

kids from Russia or someplace,

they come in here every day trying to scam me.

Phoney scripts?

The prescriptions are legit,

but they're trying to get more than the doctor prescribed.

Misoprostol, it's an ulcer med.

You can get high on ulcer medication?

No wonder my grandfather was always smiling.

It can induce miscarriage.

It's an off-label use.

Without a doctor's supervision, it's pretty risky.

Do-it-yourself abortion.

And it's more than just her?

It is the combo of the Marshmallowy goodness and the chocolate--

we got trouble?

Why should today be any different?

I'm not seeing the giraffe.

Never mind.

2-for-1 Smoothies at the mall tonight.

Who's in?

I'm in.

You're so not

I don't do the mall.

I've got Hebrew class.

The bat mitzvah thing?

Isn't that over?

You'll know when it's over.

There'll be a big, embarrassing party with a rubber chicken

and old Jews dancing to Donna Summer.

You're really not gonna go with me?

The mall gives me a rash, Jane.

The aesthetic is rude.

Listen up, my noble warriors,

one week seminar,

starting today,

counts for 2 whole points on your final exam if you decide to partake.

I advise you to partake.

The ancient ritual of cosmetology.

What, like the zodiac?

How's that science?


Face painting.

Takes us all the way back to the Egyptians.

What's more, it's the marriage of compounds to create colour and texture.

It's chemistry, people.

I don't get it.

It's makeup.

You mean, like a make-up class?

Let me see a show of hands!

the Egyptians,

the aztecs,

The Mayans,

all believed that to paint one's face was an expression of power,

of nobility,

of health,

even spirituality.

Oh, I'm blind.

Oh, I'm blind.

No, I'm ok.

Makeup was used by men and women alike.

If anything, the men were more adorned.

It's only in recent times that we've attached shame

to the idea of men coiffing and preening.

Straight up.

Ow! This is like torture.

May I suggest you rest your pinkie on your cheek to get a straight line?

There's no need to apologize for the pursuit of beauty.

Ancient civilizations understood this.

So it's important to look your best while

being a human sacrifice?

Moving on to layering.

Palette is everything.

Colours should be celebrated.

And layered and blended, of course.

How do I look?

Like Erykah Badu.


Friedman, what are you even doing here?

I'm here to converse with chicks about Prada.

I don't want to look too brazen.

You'd tell me if I was crossing over into Aguileraland?

Whoa. "Caliente".

Are you hitting on my brother's girlfriend?


I'm just notating scientific data.

While hitting on my brother's girlfriend.

A little bit.

It's high school.

Maybe that was her grandfather.

Somehow I'm not getting the family reunion vibe.

I'm going in.


I have probable cause out the wazoo.

I'll call for backup.

By the time they get here, it'll be over.

We don't know what else is inside.

Dispatch, this is unit 52 requesting 2 units for backup

At 928 Spruce Lane.

I have a daughter that age.


Child endangerment in progress.

We're at the location in plain clothes.


Detective Will Girardi, sheriff's department.


You, show me your hands!

Show me your hands!

You, back up!

Show me your hands!

You, down!

Down on the floor!

All right, keep your hands where I can see them.

Everybody stay calm.

Stay were you are!

We want our lawyer.

I don't know why I asked you, right.

I could have stopped by your gallery.

Don't worry about it.

I love to see where an artist works.

Don't look at that stuff.


It's nice.

Oh, exactly.

Look, not that it's genius or anything,

but that's what I wanted you to look at.

It's kind of a new direction,

so I just wanted to get somebody else's take on it

'cause it came out so fast.

I can see that.

I should take more time with it.


Don't touch it.

You're right.

It's a new direction for you.

It's free.

It's uncalculated.

It's beautiful, Helen.

I was afraid it was easy.

No, it's fresh.

I love this orange.

Isn't that amazing?

I was just mixing,

and that happened.

You're not afraid of the paint.

I'm very impressed.

Thank you. Oh.

I hope I don't sound too mercenary,

but do you think you could pull this into a series?

I know I could sell them.


3 or 4 would be great.

Keep them this size.


Hey. I thought you'd already left.

No. I'm here.

Oh! Oh! They're showing night of the hunter at the rialto

classic film noir with Robert Mitchum.

Wanna go?

I don't know. Is it in black and white?

Uh, yeah, yeah. It's noir.

I don't know.

I have a lot of homework.

Are you mad at me

'cause I wouldn't go to the mall?



Notice anything?



Ok, just wondering.

Enjoy your noir.



Joan! Ooh, don't sneak!

It's not Joan.


I tried the doorbell.

Then I just came around back. Um...

Kevin's not here.

I came to see you.

It's a miracle.

I got whistled at.

That never happens.

Unless, you know, someone's making a dog joke.

Hey. Luke is all about you.

I know.

But how can I compete with his true love?

I mean, he refers to Embrane theory as stunningly elegant.

He doesn't compliment you?

Once he told me my dermis was pleasantly exothermic.

Jeff Fletcher just asked me to come see his band play this weekend.

Isn't that crazy?

"Manic Toolhead"?

Nicely done.

I don't want to hurt Luke,

but sometimes I'm afraid he only loves me for my mind.

What about Adam?

What about him?

Does he give you compliments?

Does he make you feel cherished?

Is there genuine lust?

Yeah, all the time.

Yeah, you know, there's the love talk

and the poetry

and the gushing.

He's an artist, you know.

I think I'm gonna go walk down the hall again without my glasses.

Wish me luck...

and balance.

Too much eyeliner.

You think so?

No, you think so.

I don't know if I look good

or like a circus freak.

Perspective is everything.

Yeah, I know,

I know, I know.

Shadowing makes the cheekbones pop.

Why are you having me do this

The class makes everyone crazy.

The way the world sees you can change the way you see yourself.

Glynis has certainly become a different person.

It appears that way, doesn't it?

I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Adam hasn't noticed anything different about me.

Sometimes you have to see what you're not

in order to see what you are.

What is this, a Sheryl crow song?

I am dating someone at college,

a few months now.

His name's Todd, and he's an English major.

But other than that, he's really great.

Hey, you like milk, right?



It seems so normal to have you in my kitchen.


It feels normal being here.

I can still see the two of you doing your homework at this table.

Kevin thinks that we broke up because he got hurt.

Well, it is difficult for any relationship to endure that kind of stress.

You were kids.

You still are.

But it wasn't like that.

This is really between you and Kevin.

But I had a relationship with your whole family.

I just--

I can't stand you guys having that kind of opinion of me.


I know that you need some kind of closure on all this,

but it can't be with me.

Back from the mines!

Kevin, look who dropped by.

Get out.

I don't want her in here.

On second thought, since you're here,

why don't you come watch me ride the little motor chair up the stairs?

And then for big laughs, I can adjust my catheter!

Kevin, whatever you think that I have done to you,

you've more than made up for it now.


Proud of yourself?


I held back.

By feathering the foundation,

you achieve a natural, flawless finish.

Ms Candy?

can you take a look at my lip liner?

I can't get it to go straight.

Oh, you've corrected your own lip line.

Wait a minute. What--

what's wrong with my own lip line?

Well, everyone has flaws and asymmetries.

The point of cosmetics is to redirect the eye to our best features.

Mm-hmm. What if I don't have any best features?

Everyone has a best feature, Joan.

I saw to that.

No offence, but you've broken, like,

like, every single rule she taught us.

The thing to remember is, adornment isn't who you are.

If you're so worried about me getting caught up in adornment,

maybe you shouldn't have sent me to this stupid makeup class.

I sent you here to learn,

to observe the effects of appearance.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I know, changing the way the world sees me.

But the world, I.E. Adam,

still doesn't see Zippo.

Look in the mirror, Joan,

and what do you see?

Some ridiculous, vain girl who can't stop thinking

about shading and concealing.

This is just not who I am.


So I'm just supposed to reject all this stuff, that's the point?


how about filling in with some lip colour?

Actually, no.

Then perhaps a clear gloss?

Ms. Candy, I'm done glossing

and powdering and primping.

Because all that stuff just isn't who I am.

Don't get caught up in the surface.

There is a deeper truth.

Dude, it's called extra credit.

Your lip liner's crooked.


Joan, you didn?t powder!

Hey, honey.

Hey, Will.

You are not gonna believe what happened.

Did you hear the news?

What news?

Come on, you missed my headline bust?

"Detective breaks underage prostitution ring

using his Spidey Sense."

Oh. You--you busted a prostitution ring?

Yeah, well, it was a fluke.

I followed this kid home and stumbled onto it.

7 girls, none over the age of 17.


channel 5 wants to interview me tomorrow.

Your man is a hero!

Why don't I fix you a plate? You must be starving.

What, tough day?

It's nothing.

It's nothing.

I have Spidey sense, remember?

It's just this morning when I showed you my painting,

I guess I was a little disappointed that you didn't seem to really see it.

I did.

I looked.

I said I liked it.

Didn't I?

Yeah, like you would tell a child his drawing is nice.

This is my work, Will.

That painting is a part of me,

and you just dismissed it.

I mean, what does that say about our relationship?

Our relationship?

How did we make that leap from a painting?

It's not just a painting!

I had Ken Thompson from the Franklin gallery look at it,

and he thought it was a big breakthrough for me.

He wants me to do a series.

He thinks he can sell them.

That's terrific.


I had to go to a stranger to get what I wanted to get from you.

I'm sorry.

Helen, I'm an idiot about art.

You know, there's stuff about my job that you don't get.

What's not to get about busting up a prostitution ring?

It's noble.

It's newsworthy.

Oh, my man's a hero.

What can you say about my work after that?

Well, what do you want? I mean--

I don't want to have to tell you when I need support.

I want--

just forget it.

You know what?

I'm just tired.

Hey, congratulations on the big bust.

What happened?

It's spring.

I'm cleaning.

That's what people do, right?

What, mom send you up here to make sure I'm not nuts?

No. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

It's just this whole Beth thing...

why the hell is she all over me?

Did she say anything to you?

Why would she be talking to me?

She's snooping around, talking to mom.

I thought maybe she cornered you, too.

She probably just wants to be your friend.

Pretty cool of her, considering.

Considering what?

She never came to see me after the accident,

and now she's feeling guilty?

She was in the hospital every day to see how you were doing.

She wasn't allowed in the I.C.U.

When she knew you were ok, she kind of took off.

You didn't know that?




Um... I have to, uh...

hey, what are you doing?


Everything you own?


That your father and I paid for?

How 'bout you?


I can see that.

Especially with that staring at me.

Hey, don't touch that!


You said it was staring at you.

I was just trying to help.

It's bad enough that you interrupt me.

HEY, I was taking out the garbage.

Don't touch my painting!



Don't tell me to chill!

Oh, god. I'm sorry.

I have to recreate that...

and I don't know what I'm doing.


well, what were you thinking about when you painted this one?

That was different.

It was a burst!

From you.

So burst again.

What's the problem?

I don't know.

Is that you?


You stink.

Thank you.

Why do you stink?

Because I am not vain.

Caring about your appearance is a soulless expression of vanity.

If you've been smoking marijuana, honey, you need to tell me.

No, no. no.



I am freeing myself from the media's ideals of feminine beauty.

And you're doing this by stinkin' and lookin' like hell.

I'm sorry I interrupted.

Sorry I yelled at you.

Get your clothes out of the garbage and go take a shower.

I like me...

Just the way I am.

Focus on your bursting.

I was surprised to hear from you.

I'm surprised you came after the way I've been.

Me, too.

Joan told me something that I didn't...

remember... .

and I wanted to find out from you what really happened.

You wanna sit?

Well, I'm not sure. What--

what do you wanna know?

She said you did come to visit me in the hospital.

Why didn't you stay when I came to?

The days around the accident,

they're just gone.

I thought since I never saw you again

that you couldn't handle what happened to me.

Kevin, you dumped me.

But I was crazy about you.

Well, yeah, me and, uh,

Jeannie Heron.


what happened?

What did I do to you?

It was after the game at Toby's house.

Everyone was drinking, and...

I told you that I knew you and Jeannie had been hooking up.

You didn't like being called out in front of your friends,

so you dumped me.

You busted me, and then I...

broke up with you.


Classic, right?

Blame the victim.

Why didn't you...

call me on it?

You had just gotten your scholarship from Arizona...

and you were so full of yourself

that you didn't wanna feel guilty about cheating on me, so...

you took off.

In Andy's car.

I, uh...

didn't know.

It's ok.

No, it's, uh--


it's not.

Ohh, it felt so good throwing down against the oppression of the eyebrow pencil,

like a true revolutionary.

Without the bloodshed,

social upheaval,

or C.I.A. Involvement.

So, Rove like the new look?

He hasn't said anything, yet, but...

but I'm sure he will.

Past is prologue, dude.

He didn't notice before.

Look, we're both about more than just superficial appearances.

Like you.

Hey, I look good!

What a glorious day today.

Can you even see it?

I saw the blue of the sky,

and I felt the warmth of the sun,

and when I get my contacts, um--


you look great in your glasses.

You don't have to be a slave to society's fake,

sexually exploitive view of external beauty.

Power to the pimple.

Um, do--do I have a blemish?

Well, not that I can observe.

No. Of course...

I mean, all the makeup obfuscates most of the natural texture of the skin.

So, you're saying I'm fake?


you're just different than you were.

that didn't sound very supportive.

I'm gonna be walkin' over there.

You kids take your time.

We should have this conversation later.

I've been the gawky one my whole life.

No one's head ever turned when I walked by.

Is it so wrong to enjoy that now?


It's just...

our connection...

was based on immutable certainties

You know, uh...

a shared intellectual buffet,

if you will,

and one of the constants in that equation...

has changed and--

are---are you breaking up with me?

I want you to be happy...

and I think maybe I need to get out of your way.

You should go and see manic toolhead with those guys.


Did you reject, dude?


The pre-emptive dump.

Protect your own skin 'cause you knew it was just a matter of time--

it was just too much coming at me, all the time.

Don't worry.

I'll give her the shoulder she needs.

The girls were sent over here from eastern Europe

and held captive for 6 months.

None of the neighbours bothered to ask

why strangers were coming and going from the house

or why these children never went to school

or played with any other kids.

How could that happen?

Human nature.

No one wants to believe something that ugly can happen

in their own backyard.

but you recognized it.

Well, it's kind of my job.

I've been a cop for over 20 years.

You were on a psych leave recently after being kidnapped.

Is that correct?

You know, that's something I'd rather not discuss.

I'm just saying, that must make this so much sweeter,

that you've had such an impressive comeback.

Detective Girardi never left us.

He was on a temporary reassignment.

We were never without him.

That's correct. It actually was just a bureaucratic thing.

You know what the guys upstairs are like.

Obviously I'm pretty capable of being a police officer.

I would say so.

They're probably kicking themselves for taking you off the street at all.

I hope so.

Well, lucky for us you're back,

and lucky for those poor girls.

Just doin' my job.

Ok. That's a wrap.

Great stuff.


So, is it true?

amera adds 20 pounds?


To your head.

What's that supposed to mean?

You know, we go to the mat for you when you were in trouble,

and you talk trash about us?

That's not what I meant.

If I hadn't been one of those bureaucratic fools,

you wouldn't be standing here right now.

Look-- look, I'm sorry.

I, um--

I got a little lost in the lights.

I'm sorry.

Hey. Hey, have you ever seen touch of evil?

It's playing at the rialto tonight--

in black and white?

Yeah. It's Orson Welles.

I want colour.

But the way he shot--

I mean, black and white, you know,

it gives the images this rich texture and--

Adam, it's the 21st century, ok?

I want colour and THX and stadium seating

and cup holders.

The rialto smells like a nursing home.


but you have to learn the visual language of film if you wanna--

how--how can you be so observant when it comes to some movie made during the civil war,

but when it comes to me, I could grow a mustache, and you wouldn't notice?

Did I miss something?

I've been wearing the same clothes for 2 days!

I haven't washed my hair!

My--my face is so...

unadorned, I could be killed by the Aztecs!

it's cool with me.

Um... so the rank, stinky, slob thing, that's a turn-on for you?

If it's who you are.

And how about before?

In the last couple days, I've been wearing so much makeup and hairspray,

I looked like a TV evangelist!

Does that work for you, too?

Appearances are superficial, Jane.

So it's about inner beauty.

That's what matters?


How about going to the mall?

That matters to you,

and that's all about appearances!

That's different.

no, it isn't!


You are so vain!


Look at me.

Yeah, exactly!

You try so hard to look like you don't care, just--

just like I was trying to do,

but you do!

You do care! Ohh, you--

you wanna be that arty guy who thinks he's so above the mall.

Well, I like the mall, ok?!

Ok, you like the mall!

Yeah, you know what else I like, too?

I like watching Laverne & Shirley on TV Land!

That's right!

"Laverne & Shirley"?

Yeah! Lenny and Squiggy!


loved it, and I was afraid to tell you that

because I thought you would think I was some bubblehead

and you wouldn't wanna hang out with me anymore,

and you know what?

Maybe you don't!

I can't stand...

us pretending like this.

Both of us trying to live up to some image

of what we think we should be!

Well, if that's what we are...

then I don't like us!

Hey. What are you doing?

Hey. Just a new project.

Oh, did I miss your interview?

Oh, it was nothing.

Ohh... oh, god. I just got caught up.

I.m so sorry.

No, no, no. I'm kind of glad you missed it.

I was a little full of myself.

Hey--hey, that's your painting!


The one that caused all the trouble.

Oh, Helen, I am really sorry.

No, it's not you.

This painting...

it became so important.

It had this hold over me, like...

the whole world was supposed to love this brilliant new Helen.

Well, I hated her.

Someone was gonna pay you for that


There'll be others.

"Out of the ashes the phoenix rises,

reborn in boundless grace to fly again."

Don't take this the wrong way,

but artists are a little cracked.

Least I didn't cut off my ear.

Mmm. It's so nice and warm.

I missed you

How much were they gonna pay?

I'll get it!


I guess I kind of flipped out.


The mall really does freak me out.

You know, it's like all the stores are yelling at me.

So I guess that makes us both crazy.

So we got that going for us.

Uh, I--I really liked that pink shirt that you were wearing the other day.

I think I threw that out.

Do you wanna come in?



what's in the bag?

"Dude, where's my car?",

?Bill and Ted's excellent adventure?

"Dumb and dumber"...

"Tommy boy"?

Did you rent these?

They're yours?

There's an anarchic absurdity in dude that speaks to teenage alienation.

It's funny as hell.


"Tommy boy's a classic.

Tell me about it.

You know that scene where spade spills the M&Ms on the dashboard?

"Yo, there's a protective candy shell!"

"Your brain has a protective candy shell!"

Yeah, I remember that.