Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 1, Episode 22 - The Gift - full transcript

Studying for finals and working at a hotel because his dad can't work, Adam is tired and stressed. When God tells Joan that she needs to give Adam a gift, she goes to extremes trying to figure out what to get him. Searching his backpack for clues, she finds a condom and is convinced that God wants her to have sex with Adam. Kevin begins reporting from the courthouse and writes an article that influences a ruling, enraging his father. Glynis has a new boyfriend, so Luke joins Joan's study group and realizes his feelings for Grace are still strong.

So we can meet at 5:00,

study for the chem. final,

move straight into trig.

Ok, this isn't going to be a problem,

because you guys aren't squeezing
the produce anymore, is it?

Sharing data is entirely separate from matters of the heart.

of course.

You didn't have to heave an eraser at me.

Adam, look...

I know 19th century Europe can be kind of a snooze,

but you were snoring,

you know, like the 3 stooges with the little "whee" at the end.

Well, I am kinda wiped, yo,

from the finals and this stupid job at the hotel.

Adam, it's not even summer yet.

You could have put the job off for a few weeks.

They were gonna give it away,

and...and the pay is good...

dude, my English teacher wants us to be able

to draw on everything we read this semester.

Who remembers January?

Did we even have one this year?

Well, I can't use a calculator on my math final.

That's civilized.

Do they want us to ride horses to school, too?

Maybe kill our own food?

I have to get to work.

I'll walk you.

Hey, hey... before the violins start playing,

when are we gonna study for chem?

Tomorrow at lunch?


Ok. I'll move my math group to the morning
and write my Spanish paper during Hebrew class.

That'll give me enough time to make my noose at lunch.

Oh, Adam.

I thought you were gonna show me your
schedules for the final sculpture project.

Oh, uh... I'm a little behind.

You're running out of time.

They wanted me to grade every phase of the project.

mom, it's the end of the year.

Ok. Yeah, we're all a little stressed out.

And for what?

Cramming our head with information we'll retain for, like,

one second after finals?

So, um, if you need any extra help...



and Adam,

um... would you please ask your girlfriend

not to be so snotty to the faculty?

You know, my mom isn't gonna cut you any slack.

If anything, she's gonna be even harder on you.


I just wish it would all go away.

You know, we could just hang out with each other.

Well, we'll have all summer.

Yeah, we'll my job's full-time in the summer.

You know, it's a lot of nights,

and if you're working in the bookstore days...

well, we'll have weekends, you know?

We can go on that hike you talked about at mercer creek,

watch some junk movies.

Uh, I don't know. It's just hard to think about summer right now.

We'll study together.

We'll get through finals.

See you in the morning?


Support us and become VIP member
to remove all ads from

Wait. Wait. I lost you at Francais.

Oui? But you have your French final very soon,

so you should know what I'm saying. it's vous.

You want me to ace French?

Why don't you make the language easier,

or make it...




I want, uh, you...

to give to, uh,

your boyfriend...

a gift.

Whoa. Well...

you might be God,

but you're a little clueless.

We just started going out.

Very delicate time.

Way too soon for the gift thing.

I'll ace French instead.

Je will ace Francais.

But he needs something from you, Joan.

I have finals.

I don't have time to get a gift.


but before the finals,

you give to him a gift.


Maybe more.

He says they took everything.

So the cleaner gets taken to the cleaners.

The irony.

That's what I love about the job.

The wiring for the alarm was cut.

Someone knew how the place was laid out.

Mr Petroff...

do you have any employees who might have been angry with you?

Only one woman works for me.

Has since 1978.

I was fresh with her once...

during the Clinton years.

I don't think this was her.

A witness,

a homeless man, uh,

asleep in a doorway across the street,

says he saw an old blue Honda.

Last month, that gift shop on the next block was hit.

Isn't that the same security company?


And we have a vehicle I.D.

Why do they even bother to commit crimes
when there are cops like us?

Cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow to the brain,

thereby increasing your chances for higher grades on your finals.

Then how come the football team can't spell?

Mr. Friedman, you're flailing.

It's unattractive.

Why now?

It's too early for the gift thing.

Iris gave him those shirts,

and then they were toast.

You think this is news to me?

Adam needs a gift.


5 push-ups.

Did he say so?


Adam would never ask for a gift.

Then how do you know he needs one?

I just know.

Then you should know what it is.

You'd think.

Up and run.


That means vertical, Mr. Friedman.

So, suggestions?

I'm not getting in the middle of this.

I say the wrong thing, you two break up.

I wind up with Friedman as a friend.

Grace, come on.

You've known Adam forever.

He used to like slot cars and Smurfs,

but I wouldn't go there.

Glynis, please don't run so close to me.


5 push-ups.

I just want to know what happened.

Was it something I did?

You know as well as I do that there are equations where no definitive solutions exist.

You and I are such an equation.

You're a cold and heartless determinist.

Up and run.

The endorphins are kicking in,

and you're feeling really good, huh?

Glynis is too intense.

I need to switch study groups.

I'm starting to understand women who live with cats.

I already see enough of you.

Will we get your lab notes?

Of course.

He's in.

Ok, but we're not studying right now.


So what do you think about a backpack?

His is kind of ripped.

Yeah, he'd love that, mom.

What about new underwear?

I'm sure those are ripped, too.

Hey, why are you two speeding?

I mean, last is our thing.

No reason.

The new guy.

I'm Kevin Girardi.

Roger franz of bby-am.

Erica Stevenson from wgf-tv.

Henry, free press.

News will roll in around lunch.

We were thinking of ducking out to see the Ben Stiller movie this afternoon.

Wanna come?

Uh, I don't think so.

First day.

I don't want to screw it up.

There's nothing to screw up.

You get the docket,

report the number of burglaries,


mention a few names,

and you're done.

If a big case comes in, the satellite dishes come out.

You'll be replaced by a first-stringer.

I'd like to think there can be more to it than that.

Dude, I'm from the free press,

and even I don't give a crap.

She called me a determinist.



You know, I thought because we shared similar intellectual goals,

she could deal with modifying our relationship.

I'm trying to take her mind off it, ok,

but she just keeps shoving me into walls.

I'm sure it's a game.

Women make no sense.

They don't obey the rules.

They don't even know the rules.

Friedman, there are rules.



Luke, there's an emergency.

I need your help.



He's a sculptor,

so he's really good with his hands.


You said this site would help find the right thing, so type.



"good with hands."

What else?

Ok. He's 16.

He's a really good listener. got anything?

Victoria secret Catalog.


Must have been the 16-year-old boy thing.

Take that off.

Put in, um... uh...

put in practical.

He's got a very practical side.

"Electric sander".

Oh, that's romantic.

You know, if I could just offer an observation here
about your overall method.

No offense,

but you couldn't hold on to Glynis for a month.

Yeah, and it was exactly this kind of forced behaviour--

do you see any body language that says I care?



but not overly romantic,

because that's like a teddy bear with those "I love you" balloons,

and that'll just look like I got him something from a gas station.

So a hint of romantic...

so that he doesn't feel pressured but
that he still knows how much I care.

Should I be hearing this?

No. Just put in...


"sense of humour"...

"budding romantic"...

with potential for a full-on thing, but...

at a somewhat...

later date.

Garfield night-light.

I'm meant to die alone.

So, I was just thinking that maybe you're behind on your sculpture project

because you don't have one of those reminder book things,

you know, to write down what you have to do.

Would you like one of those?

No, no.

I just write my stuff on scrap paper.

Of course.

That's lame people who have those.

Um, what would you like? Huh?

If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

Uh...I...I don't know.

Um, there's not much I want, really...

except you.

Oh, that's sweet?

but let's pretend it's Christmas right now.

We're opening presents, and...

"Look! I got a puppy!"

You want a puppy?

No, they poop all the time.

I'm just...

work with me here.

I'm trying to get into it.

"And what did Santa bring for Adam?"

"Not an electric sander, by any chance?"


look, I'm kinda late.


Ohh! I'm such a dud. Uh,

I only have a dollar.

I need to get something to eat.

Can I borrow some money until...

no, but...

but you can have it.


Here you go.

10 dollars.

It's a gift from me to you.

I'll pay you back.

No. Uh-uh. I don't want it back.

It's a gift.

I can buy my own food.

I...I know.

Just because I work,

that doesn't make me a charity case, Jane.

I'm...I'm sorry.

I'm just trying to be nice.

Nice? Nice?

Nice is what you get from a stranger.

I'm sorry.

It was really stupid.

You can pay me back.

Look, I'll just get something at home later.

That didn't go very well, did it?

Isn't this a little over the top, even for you?

What you tried to give Adam wasn't a gift, Joan.

It was an attempt to avoid giving,

just like your internet search.

Giving isn't about things.

Oh, you're gonna lecture me on materialism?

That rock on your finger could end world hunger.

It's just carbon.

The same element that makes up the graphite in your pencils.

People have endowed it with value.

It might just as easily have gone the other way around.

$50,000 pencils?

Why not?

They do more than this.

Ok. Let's swap. Your ring for my Ticonderoga.

A gift is an offering,

a selfless act that adds something to someone's life,

something that they need,

and only the two of you can decide the value of that gift.

He won't give me any hints.

They're everywhere, Joan.

You should know that by now.

Find out what he needs, Joan.

He gets laid off from the alarm company

but he still can't keep his hands off those alarms.

That's a man who loves his work.

Ben Pollack?


Detective Girardi.

This is detective Williams.

Uh, please...

just keep swinging, Katie.

I got to talk to these folks for a sec.

I'm not gonna give you any trouble.

Good call.

Could you, uh, call my ex

and have her pick her up,

so she won't have to come to the station?

Now you're worried about being a good father?

Look, I know that I screwed up...

but I've been looking for work for months, and, uh...

I don't want my kid to see this.

There are social workers at the station
that will take good care of her.

How soon do you think your ex can be here?

I'm really sorry about yesterday.

Oh, that's cool.

No, no, it's not cool.

We should know things like that about each other.

No, it was me.

You know, I just shouldn't have...

you know...

gone postal?



Hey, first fight, right,

except for all the other ones.

Um, but Dr. Phil actually says
that fighting can make you closer.


Let's get miserable.


Why do we have to learn about all these stupid wars and treaties?

The only thing cool about the 19th century was the art scene in Paris.

Now that was the place to be.

Ohh. I forgot my notes in my locker.

Be right back.

Hints are everywhere.

I just gotta look, right?

Hey. Here we go.

37 pages of crushing boredom.



Hey, honey.

Hey, mom.

I just wanted to let you know
that I won't be home for dinner tonight.

I'm gonna be studying at the library.

Well, you gotta eat.

I can drive you over after dinner.

Don't worry about it.

I'll grab something from the vending machine.

I'll bring you a sandwich.

No, mom!

I'll be fine!

That was inappropriate.

I'm sorry.

What's wrong?


It's just finals. You know...

if I want to keep my grade point average up, I gotta...

it's not finals.

Finals you can deal with.

Is it glynis?


Well, I know you're 15,

and it's embarrassing to talk to your mom...

I said I'm sorry.

No, no, no, it's not...

it's not about me.

You just... seem like a jumble of feelings
that you don't want to look at.

You're a scientist. Shouldn't you...

examine the things you don't understand?


Feelings are ephemeral, ok?

And as such cannot be a reliable scientific determinants.

But they affect behaviour which, in turn, affects perception which,

as Heisenberg taught us, affects reality.

How do you know about Heisenberg?

I listen to you.

Glynis and I made sense.

You know...

now I've hurt her, and I feel guilty and sad and angry.

Relationships that work don't always make sense.

Ok, great, but what am I supposed do with all these feelings
that I know are just gonna make me look like a fool?

Mom, I need a logical explanation for why,

against all reason...

I bought this.

It's beautiful.

For glynis?

For Grace.

There he is.

Dad, hi.

Didn't think I'd run into you so soon.

How do you like it?

There's so much on the docket the other reporters just ignore.

Well, it's mostly routine stuff.

I don't think it should be.

That's why we have youth.


Case A43804.

The people vs. Ben Pollack.

2 felony counts.


How do you plead, Mr. Pollack?

Not guilty.

Your honour, we request Mr. Pollack be released
on his own recognizance pending trial.

Any objections, Mr. Frost?

None, your honour.

Mark him for the next available prelim.

Case A43805.

People vs. William Demis.

Back so soon, Mr. Demis?

So, you found something yet?


Well, yeah, act--

but no.

That was unclear, even for you.

Well, I mean, I found something,

but I didn't...

I didn't give it to him.


I was...

I was looking through his bag...

oh, god!

Yeah. I was trying to get to know him better.

Um, you know, I thought if I saw some of his private things

maybe I'd be able to find out what he'd want.

This doesn't end well, does it?

I--I found a condom in there.


I was looking for some hints, you know...

to--to find out what he might really value.

I guess you found it.

It's just I didn't expect the right gift to be...

we...we haven't talked about.



I'm thinking the slot cars might not be such a bad idea.


what am I supposed to do?

I don't think I can tell you that, girardi.

You know, in my Hebrew class,

the Rabbi talked about giving.

He said that the act itself makes you love the person more.

The Hebrew word, even, "to give" has the same root as "love."

Do you love him?


Ben Pollack?s failed plee,

release and pending plea bargain,

are further proof that arcadia's judicial system,

is more interested in protecting criminals than their victims.

I thought he was just doing docket reports like the other guys.

He was.

So getting a feature run. This is a big deal.

You must be a proud papa.


My kid body slams the entire county judicial system.

We'll have to wear armour to the courthouse.

Kevin's a good writer.

The way he spins it even made me think twice.

Only he forgot to mention that Pollack's a first-time offender.

...Who pulled 2 jobs and stole 5 grand.

Both on the 14th of the month.

His child support was due on the 15th.

The guy's been out of work for a year.

He was about to lose his kid.

That doesn't mean anything?


It's the D.A.

Oh, it's you.

Where were you?


I was in the library studying.

I thought we were gonna meet on the roof.

Oh. I'm such a tube sock.

I'm sorry.

We can meet later.

Well, I have to pick up stuff for my dad,

and then I have work.

You know that.

Oh, right. Um...

well, it must be finals.

Mush brain.

Are you avoiding me, Jane?

Of course not.


why would I do that?

I don't know.

Look, we'll meet on the roof tomorrow after study group





You have a locker now.

What do you keep in there? Wrath?

So are you gonna walk away from him just
when you're starting to get close?

I need some time to think, ok?

I don't like what you're asking me to do.

I just asked you to get to know him better.

I did.

It's turning out to be really weird.

Intimacy is never easy, Joan.

Why are you doing this to me?

You couldn't give me a head's-up?

I didn't think they'd print it,

but they thought it was a new take on the system so...

you killed the guy's plea bargain.

What's the problem?

It's your collar.

I thought you'd be happy.

Why would I be happy ruining a man's life?

Come on.

What the A.D.A and the public defender agreed to?

A felony reduced to mis-demeanour.

One year of probation. No jail time.

Pollack doesn't deserve to walk.

Oh, so 3 days in the courthouse,
and now you know the whole system.

I did my research on the percentages of repeat offenders
who got plea bargains...

Then you know that I was part of the deal.

It was carefully designed to help the guy, and now Pollack is going to jail for 2 years,

and he'll never get custody of his kid again

because of your damn article.

Hey, I'm a reporter.

All I did was present the facts.

His life is a fact.

Decent people screw up.

It's not so black and white.


I screwed up..

I didn't get to make a deal.

Where's my deal?

Well, I'm sorry..

That excuse doesn't work this time.

Detective Girardi, I imagine you want to stay on my good side,

so shut it...

Moving along.

what the hell are you doing?!

Stop it!!!

Get your hands off my chair!

This is the part of the story you left out.

I...I think this whole gift-giving thing is just a merchandising ploy

to keep the capitalist machine moving.

I don't know.

You got glynis something?

You guys were together, what, 3 weeks?

I thought about it.

You know, getting her Richard Feynman's lectures on physics,

but it just seems so...



I don't know.

A gift should just happen, shouldn't it?

You know, if you think too much, then...

forget it.

You were getting all poetic there for a minute, Spock.

No, I just...

you know...

actually, no.

You mean you haven't ever walked by something

and you just had this feeling that someone you knew

would absolutely love it?

Are you interested in somebody else already?

I'm just having a theoretical discussion.

So there is somebody.

Guys should be sprayed down with cold water,
like, every hour.


You know, maybe--

maybe we should study later

when Adam and Joan are here.

I mean, they're gonna get so far behind.

Well, they knew we were meeting.

If their thing is getting so hot
that they want to blow finals...


Well. what?

Their thing is hot?

How hot?

Ok. Take a nap.

I'm not going there.

I think you just did.

Ok, but this falls under...

chemistry-study-group-partner- confidentiality.

Yeah, ok. Sure.

So what do I do?

What do you mean?

She's my sister.

I guess you hope that she's smart and happy.

Ok, dude.

This is just weird.

Yeah, I know.

I don't care.

exchange reactions.


When solutions of ionic compounds are mixed and

cut ions from each solution encounter ions from another.

Jane, what are you doing here?

Never been in this nice of a hotel room.


It's a nice place.

So did you wanna...

study or something?

I didn't bring any books.


I, uh, I went...I went through your bag.


I know it seems kinda stalker-like and weird.

I was just trying to get to know you better.

I thought...

I thought if I was able

to give you something that meant something--

but I told you, I...

I don't need anything.

Yeah, well...

I saw the condom.

Oh-- oh, god! Oh...

they passed them out in health class.

So you haven't thought about... ha.





is that why you're here?

It just seems like we're supposed to get...


Why are you crying?

Guess I'm just a little afraid.

are you?


I mean, it's not like we're the first.



I'm just not sure.

If we do this...

what the ripples are going to be.

Yeah, me neither.

I don't wanna lose you.


This job... I had to take it early.

My dad hurt his back.

He can't work.

You should have just told me.

What different would it make?

Because then you wouldn't have to go through it alone.

He's gonna get better, right?

I guess.

It just always seems like there's something

that gets in the way of what you hope for.


That's not true.

My mom dies.

My dad gets sick.

I fall in love with you.

How is that bad?

Are you gonna stay with me if this is what my life becomes?


this thing for the rest of my life?

Is that why your sketch book's empty?

Before I met you, I was...

barely getting through school.

Everybody goes through rough times.

I'm not some struggling artist in paris.

I'm a 16-year-old kid in arcadia

who has to work to buy his dad pills.

Adam, you believed in yourself.


You believed in me.

That felt good.

But I need something more now.

I need something...


Something I can hold in my hand.



I'll give you anything you need.

I have to get back to work.

Thought I saw a light on.

Luke said you went out.

I did.

I just didn't get very far.

I probably should have handled things...

differently today.

Yeah, you made your point.

I ruined 2 people's lives.

Case closed.

It's not that simple, Kevin.

That's the whole point.

Think about...

the way people look at you on the street.

I see it.

They make a decision about your life.

Is that fair?

They don't know who you are or what you're capable of,

what you mean to people.

Could you take a look at this joint?

Needs sanding.

When do you think we'll, uh,

get this thing in the water?

Hull's been here too long.

It's getting all warped.

Ah, I wouldn't give up on it just yet.

Well, that looks like everything.

Thank you.

Ooh! I'm sorry.

No problem.

So, you know what to give him.

Do you know what I was planning on doing when I went up there?

I know everything.

Then how could you let it go that far?

I'm sure you've seen the latest polls on teenage sex.

You're always faced with difficult decisions.

I can't make your choices for you.

I'm really committed to the free will thing.

That's a cop-out if you ask me.

If you hadn't gone in there.

You wouldn't have found out what Adam needs.

Adam needs to have faith in himself.

That's your department, isn't it?


It's yours.

Faith is believing when there's no rational reason to believe.

Like your seeing me...

who would believe that's rational?

Yet you know that it's true

You're the one who has the faith, Joan.

Find a way to give a little to Adam.

Hey, you guys are here!



and wondering where you've been.

You didn't call.

Oh, I was with Adam. Um...

who was that artist, the French guy?

My history teacher mentioned him.

We tried your cell phone.

I turned it off.


I didn't want to be disturbed.

We called Adam's house.

His dad said he was at work

At some...



We were studying.

You were with Adam at a hotel?


Where in the hotel?

In a room.

Mom, I really need to know about this French artist.

Well, h.whoa, ho, ho... you were alone in a hotel room with Adam?

He was shampooing the rug.

Mom, this artist, he had no money.

He somehow made it to Paris and then became really successful.

So, I th...

I thought you were studying.

You don't have any school books.

So what were you doing in a hotel room with Adam and no books?

Do we really have to go there?

We're already there.

Do you really think...

what do you think we think?

Of course we think!

What would you think?

Is this a real conversation or an Abbott and Costello routine?

Answer the question.

No, wait.


Ok, wait.

Take a breath.

Take a breath.

Sit down.

Look, honey,

we know you and Adam are close, right?

Yes. Ahem.

I...I love him.

You love him?


You were alone with Adam in a hotel room,

and you love him.

And he was shampooing the rug.

I'm a cop, Joan.

This is when I start reading you your rights.


I think I should talk to Joan alone.

Remember when I took you on a pony ride?



I'll be upstairs if you need me.

Mom, I really need to know who this artist was


But first I think we should deal with what happened tonight.

I'm trying to!



when 2 people...

have feelings for each other,

there are natural impulses...


Let me finish!


Because you're gonna start crying and quoting songs!

I did not have sex with Adam.

Are you sure?


I took health.

I'm pretty sure..

I mean...

I thought about it.

You did?

I was going to.

You were?


But then I realized I was really only there to find out
what Adam needed from me.

And it wasn't sex.


Adam is such a nice boy.

but he is going through something really big.

Which is why I have to know who this French guy was.


But you are going to have to narrow it down a little more than "French guy."

Uh...poor artist.




You mean the thinker guy, right?



Thank you!

That's all I needed.

Wait, wait!

That's it?

If you'd...

said me that earlier,

you wouldn't have thought about having sex?


Oh! No. Ha ha. That still would have happened.

Thanks, mom.

Who won?

We did.

She thought about it but she didn't sleep with him.

And we believe that?

What choice do we have?

Well, we could tell her that she can't see him anymore.

Ah. The west side story strategy.

Yeah. That always turns out great.

Well, she thought about it.

Aren't we supposed to do something?

We've already done it.

W what was that, exactly?

Been her parents.

So basically you're saying we go on faith

that we've raised her right.


You're asking an awful lot, Helen.

Hey. I thought maybe you weren't gonna make it again.

I was finishing this.

For you.


He was a sculptor.

Like you.

He had to support his family by being a bricklayer.

And this is his girlfriend Rose.

His house in Paris is a museum now.

It's filled with all the stuff that he made.

I'm not Rodin, Jane.


You're Adam Rove.

And you have what you asked for...

something real you can hold in your hands.

And it doesn't have to make sense, you know?

We don't.

That doesn't mean it's not real.