Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 1, Episode 7 - Death Be Not Whatever - full transcript

God asks Joan to be on the lookout for people needing help and she ends up babysitting for an overstressed waitress struggling with her job, a death obsessed child and night-school. Meanwhile Will is dealing with the fall-out from a possible case of police brutality and Helen talks to a priest about grieving. Kevin hears about the police brutality/racism issues at work and Joan learns why Adam hates November.

What about could watch the Godfather.

No. Weve only seen it like a hundred and eleven times.

There are nuances.

I vote for something funny.

Ok Duck Soup.

No. Nothing black and white.

How about Godfather part two.

How about instead of watching a movie, we just talk about movies for 2 hours?

Nothing sad. I don't want to cry.

Oh, mom, you cried when you saw Bill and Teds excellent adventure.

You know, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the only thing we have in common is BNA.


"Our station has just received the following video footage. As you can see..."


"This is downtown arcadia, and we're watching some kind of physical dispute between and a civilian"

"and the arcadia police. This footage was recorded earlier by a local resident from his apartment. "

"The identity of the suspect Has not been confirmed at this time, "

"and the Arcadia police department has not yet released a statement."

So much for movie night.

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What if you just want to live in your car? Where's the booth for that?

Dude, you have a car?

It was an attempt at humour, Rove. And I told you about "dude."

I tried Yo It didn't take.

I so don't have time to think about my future right now.

Is it just me, or are you spacey-er than usual?

I don't like November.

The whole month?


Well, what did November ever do to you?

I'm like so behind in my classes.

How do you feel about February?

I hate February.

What's with hating months? That's like arbitrary.

Pardon me, but the point of this afternoon is to pretend

that you might one day make a valuable contribution to society.

Perhaps you could play along.

For example, ms. Polk, you might want to look into journalism,

which is a profession where they actually pay people to be cynical and disaffected.

Not since all the publications got consumed by media conglomerates who manipulate information and--

Go. And what career would you like to explore, Mr. Rove?

I want to do something soulless and corporate, Mr. Price.

Good choice.

Maybe I'll just browse.

May I answer any questions for you?

I don't know. Is it kind of gross breathing all that recycled air?

All air is recycled, Joan. You've heard of photosynthesis.

Look, madam almighty, it's really awkward when you just drop in at school, and I'm not gonna become a flight attendant if that's what you're here to tell me.

Not at all. I find career day a little bit bogus. It's too early for you to be thinking that way.

Then, why'd you make me get a job?

Well, that's different. That's work. Work is a spiritual exercise. It keeps things moving along, prevents stasis, builds character.

Most of all, the point of working is to help.

Hmm! Help what?

Each other.

Each other do what?

Whatever needs to be done.

Well, what needs to be done?

Ok, would you just let me finish? You're about to realize that you're gonna be in the position to help someone.

And how will I know?

You're going to pay attention. You might even listen and stop interrupting.

You have to look at behaviour. Not everyone knows how to ask for help.

Now move along. Unless you want your friends to think your interested in this profession. Buh-bye!

We clocked him at 15 miles over the speed limit.

He gave chase. Um, we finally forced him to stop.

I approached the vehicle. We did everything by the numbers.

The guy was slinging serious trash in between making no sense. He was on something.

Yeah. I mean, I, uh-- I told him to turn around and put his hands on the vehicle, but w-wouldn't listen. He just kept arguing, you know, and flailing his arms like he wanted to take a s-swing at us.

At this point, we're getting nervous.

And I said it to him again. He didn't respond. And that's when he reached into his pocket, We didnt know if he has a weapon.

you didn't frisk him?

The guy wouldn't settle down long enough, chief. That's what we're trying to tell you.

He was twitchy. He was on something.

We're waiting for the tox screen to come back. He's still at county. They say he's got a concussion.

Then what?

Then what, what?

How did you get from there to what I saw on the tape?

The guy was a nut, chief. He--he wouldn't listen to us. I used reasonable force to subdue a suspect, sir.

Chief, I.A.D. Is here.


Just give it to them straight.

Yes, sir.

Now you're both suspended for 30 days. You know that. It's policy.

What for?

It's policy.

What the hell?

The way they see it, They expect you to back them.

I know what it's like out there. My position is we'll figure out what happened and act appropriately.

Has anyone talked to the suspect or his family?

An attempt was made, but they're not gonna talk until they see a lawyer.


It's nice of you to take this time for me. I'm not a practicing catholic or any religion.

The job of a priest is to serve human kind. And, you know, fund-raising.

So that's why I kept bugging you in the parking lot,

because of my son and all these questions that came up for me. I'm not really crazy.

I understand.

You look different in your clothes.

Oh! I'm sorry! No, I...

it's ok. Priests scare people. You're worried that I'm seeing into your soul or gossiping about you with god.

Oh, no, no. Priests just make me feel like I'm going to hell.

Why is that?

I dont know. I'm just rambling.

I think I need someone to talk to.

I've been doing this perpetually optimistic, "everything's gonna work out" thing, and it's not going so well.

I've been crying a lot more than I used to.

Are you familiar with the 5 stages of grief? Elisabeth kubler-Ross spelled them out intelligently in her book. You might want to read that.

But my son didn't die. And I know that I should just stop complaining and be grateful.

Kevin didn't pass on, it's true, but all of you experienced a kind of death.

Of the life you imagined for him.


The philosopher, Kierkegaard, he said the most painful state of being is remembering the future.

Particularly one you can never have.

I only get a half an hour for lunch

That's ok.

Thank you.

"Sublimation is the process of conversion from solid state to gaseous state while bypassing the liquid state."

Does this make any sense to you?

Co2 solid becomes co2 gas.

What does that even mean?

I told you I don't know. I just memorize things.

Rove, you plus cranky becomes a real pain in the ass.

I've explained my situation, Jane.


Excuse me. Are--are you ok? Is there anything I can do to help?

My ex-husband suddenly met a woman and moved to Mexico with her.

He stopped sending child-support payments, so I'm trying to raise my 8-year-old son

on the money I make as a waitress. Oh, the guy I work with is such an ass.

That's bad.

Yeah! It gets worse. My baby-sitter quit and moved to Hawaii.

I'm trying... to go to night school and become a legal assistant.

But if I don't find somebody pretty soon, I'm just gonna have to quit. You know what? I'm just gonna quit. I'll be a waitress for the rest of my life.

So, you need help.

Were you listening or what, you know? Because yeah.

You need a baby-sitter?

Yeah, I need a baby-sitter. I need a cheap baby-sitter who's not a psycho.

I can do it. And I'm not a psycho.

Rocky, my kid, he's really a great kid. He mostly entertains himself.

And you're really not a psycho?

No, I'm-- I'm totally normal. You can even ask my friend.

Maybe you should just take my word for it.

The mayor's here.

I noticed the seas parting.

Mr. Mayor.

Mr. Chief. This is Brad Crewson. He's the P.R. Wrangler for the department.

Yes, we've met.

Well, we all know why we're here.

I want to come out of this strong Will. I do not want to take a defensive posture, and most of all, I want it handled.

I.A.D. Is talking to the boys. and I'm making a statement to the press today.

Let's talk about that statement.

Here's your statement.

Let me guess. We're distancing ourselves from our boys.

Oh, come on. You know how it is. We can't argue their case with that videotape floating around. It sounds like we're supporting police brutality.

We don't know anything yet, and when we do, we'll put the blame where it belongs.

They beat the crap out of an unarmed man.

They didn't know he was unarmed. We don't know anything yet.

Ray Hartzel is in the hospital with a concussion and 3 broken ribs. He nearly lost an eye.

Raymond hartzel, who was driving without a license, gave chase

on a public street, resisted arrest, and threatened a police officer.


So our story is alleged, and his is gospel? I have my own statement.

Be reasonable, will.

I've done this without script for a long time.

Not this job, you haven't.

Any pre-packaged nonsense is gonna sound that way.

You can sing your statement for all I care, but if this comes back on me, will, let's just say I hope you're not too comfortable in that chair.

These are my men. This situation happened on my turf. I will make the statement, and I will take the heat.


By the way, have you filed charges against the victim?

The perpetrator? Charges are still pending. Detective Williams is handling it.

Keep me apprised.

Father ken, it's Helen Girardi. Could you give me a call sometime? It's not urgent. Whenever it's convenient.

I got that book, and I'm having trouble figuring out what stage of grief I'm in.

I think I'm somewhere between denial and bargaining, and I think I skipped right over anger.

- Hi, mom.
- Oh, god! Not you.

Talking to your boyfriend again?

That's not funny, Luke.

Well, I admit it wasn't my best material, but...


Good job on the garden show.

Did you know that the hydrangea can change colour from bloom to bloom, depending upon the acidity of the soil?

Is that a fact?

It is, because facts are my life.

I just a got a statement from the chief of police. You want me to read it to you?

"We take police misconduct seriously, "and we don't tolerate it on any level.

"If we are convinced our officers were out of line, we will take swift and draconian measures." Draconian.

So he's smarter than the last guy. "I will keep the public informed on this matter as it progresses. Thank you."

Go write the story.

Not much of a story. Black guy gets holy hell beaten out of him. White Chief of police says he backs his guys

That's not all he said.

Oh, come on. Nothing's gonna happen to these cops.

Dave, you should know that Kevin--

I'm just a fact checker. I got no politics.

So go write the story.

I've been a cop's kid my whole life. You don't have to worry about me.

Besides, aren't you the one I'm going to remember for not cutting me any breaks?

I don't think those were my words.

Well, if it's any consolation, my dad's a fair guy. He's not a racist. He'll do the right thing.

Did I imply something else?

No. I just... it felt implied somewhere in there.

I've had this complexion my whole life. You don't need to worry about me.

You must be rocky. I'm joan.

How old are you?


Do you smoke?


Exercise moderately?

I guess.

Your current life expectancy is approximately 85.

Rocky, don't creep Joan out. Hi.


He likes facts. Come on in.

My mom used to smoke, so her life expectancy is 7 years less than yours.

Ok, well, he's already had his dinner, and he can have a snack at 7:00 when he's watching the discovery channel.

It's disaster week. Tsunamis tonight. Thousands dead.

Rocky. Ok, bedtime is 9:00. Ill be back at 10 at the latest. Cell phone cell-- cell phone number's on the fridge, and I need to show you something.

He has some breathing issues. Sometimes it can act up.

Now, he knows exactly which inhalers to use, but if it gets bad, I need you to call me.

Ok. And I have chemistry homework, too, so--

oh, really? Rocky, she's got chemistry homework so don't talk her to death.

Don't worry. Once the disasters start, he'll be glued to the set.

Bye, sweetie.

I can list all the organic poisons in alphabetical order.

Kevin! Luke! Dinner!

No Joan?

No. She's, um-- she's baby-sitting.

Her latest enterprise. Do you think she's saving up for a tattoo or something?

Nothing would surprise me.

Long day, huh?

I don't want to talk about it. Tell me what you did. Did you go out to lunch again?

I only get half an hour. You know that.

Well, I called you at work yesterday. They said you were off campus for lunch.

I just needed to get some air and a decent cup of coffee. Kevin! Luke!


Ok. Thanks.

How long will it be?

Save me a plate.

Bye, dad.

Kaczara was still conscious. His wife found him in plenty of time.

What was it?

Antidepressant. Doc had given him some to get him through this.

It's impossible to know how this will affect us, in terms of negative fallout.

If you'll excuse me.

Officer koczara. Mrs. Koczara.

Im sorry chief. I'm not proud of myself.

The important thing is you're ok.

That's what I keep telling him.

Lucky you came home when you did.

I almost stopped off for a drink with the girls, else I wouldn't have been there in time.

They're gonna keep you overnight. You're getting a psych consult.

I can't believe you have the nerve, calling him nuts. It is normal for him to be depressed after what you did.


His whole life, he's wanted to be a cop. He lives and he breathes it. You take that away from him, this is what happens.

He wasn't fired. He was suspended, temporarily.

What she's saying is it's a stain against me. suggesting that

I'm a bad cop. Some freakin' skel talks trash at me, and I respond with

an acceptable amount of force, I'm the one who gets in trouble? How does that work?

Is this really good for you?

Death is a natural part of life. Why does it scare you?

Maybe because it looks like it might hurt.

You can't feel death.

How do you know?

I've researched it. A chemical goes off in your brain that anaesthetizes you,

so the worst that happens is nothing, and you just go away and cease to be.

See, now that seems like it would suck, ceasing to be. Where's the fun in that?

It's only our consciousness that ceases to be. Matter is neither created nor destroyed.

Just out of curiosity, why are you so interested in death?

'Cause that's where we're all heading. That's how the story ends.

Why worry about it now?

I have breathing issues. It's a lung disorder. You can die from that.

Rocky, you're just a little kid. You're not dying, ok? They can fix all kinds of things nowadays, so just take it easy and stop obsessing.

I'm late. I am so late. Did Luke leave already?

I think so.

Where's mom?

She had some kind of early appointment.

Why can't they make homeroom at a reasonable time? I mean, you're the chief of police. Can't you take care of it?

It's on the top of my list-- investigate public school schedules.

"We've learned the identity of the man in question, 29-year-old Raymond Hartzel."

Dad, you're not in trouble over this, are you?

I'm the chief of police. It's my job to be in trouble.

Good luck.

Do--do you need any help?

Do you have any?

Well, apparently, you're supposed to pay attention to behaviour, because people don't always ask for help.


Yeah. And... that's all I got. Bye, dad.

Hi. I'm sorry I'm late.

It's ok. Got your message about the book. I look forward to discussing it.

I can't stay. I just came to tell you I dont think I can see you any more.


Um... I'm lying to my husband about seeing you, which is wrong and kind of defeats the purpose of talking to a priest.

Helen, I completely understand.

Not that there's anything to lie about.

I know a lot of people get crushes on priests, but I love my husband.

Helen, I think what you're touching on here is that you should be talking to your husband, and you miss being able to do that.

But you don't understand what kind of job he has, and it's especially bad right now. I just can't make it worse for him.

I've married a lot of people, and I remember the words. You're depriving him of the privilege of living up to them.

Well, when you put it like that... I'll think about it.

Do you have a take on this?

Well, I'm working it out right beside you.

And koczara?

Not my favourite. The odd offensive remark now and then, when he's been drinking. Across the board, though, he doesn't single out any particular brand.

And yet, you can't really look at me when you say that.

I could benefit from your candor, detective. And don't worry about the blue all.

Everything stays right here.

The guy's a racist. In my opinion, he was looking for an excuse.

Raymond Hartzel's been released and lawyered up. I'm going to interview him, but due to the sensitive nature of the situation, I think

you should be there.

I think so, too. Set it up.

2 general categories of energy...Luke.

Kinetic and potential.

With the sexier of the 2 being?

Potential, for its chemical bonds being the forces that hold atoms together.

And we have to remember that this potential energy...

this kid is totally obsessed with death. Isn't that strange?

No stranger than being obsessed with this stuff, like atom boy.

I heard that.

I mean, he's got asthma or something, but it's not like he's gonna die from it.

Then maybe he knows someone who's dead.

You can't know dead people.

Forget I attempted to contribute.

Seriously. What is wrong with you?

He doesn't like November.

Hi, Joan. How do you like baby-sitting?

It's ok. He's kind of freaky, you know.

He has a lot on his mind.

Like his asthma?

It's not asthma. He tried to tell you what it is, but you ignored him.

I understand why. You don't want to look at anyone's pain.

The trouble is, when you try to avoid it, you stop helping, people end up alone.

You care about everybody so much. Why can't you help them?

Hey, I'll do my job, and you do yours.

Mine is confusing. I thought I was supposed to help the mother, and now Im suppose to help Rocky. Where does it end?

It doesn't. Help kind of moves around, like light. Even a little bit is good.

Well, if I help 2 people, do I at least get extra points?

It's not a point system, Joan. You don't get coupons.

What kind of system is it?

A perfect one. Trust me.

I'm listening.

I'm finished.


Raymond's under strict physician's orders. Due to his recent head injuries, he can't participate in an interview longer than 30 minutes.


It's also to be understood that these doctors have determined that Raymond has traumatic amnesia. He can only remember the events up to a point.

Anything Mr. Hartzel can tell us would be helpful. Ready?

Mr. Hartzel, I'm detective Toni Williams with the arcadia police.

I like the police.

I'm gonna ask you a few questions.

I like the uniforms.

According to their statement, around 5:15 P.M. On Monday, they clocked you going 15 miles over the speed limit, hit their lights, giving you a full 10 minutes to respond.

It was my sister's car. She lets me borrow it sometimes, even though I shouldn't.

I went to the store to get things for dinner. She needed unsalted butter and green onions.

Make sure the butter is unsalted.

Are you sure you're the police? You're pretty.

Is this secondary to the head injury?

No. My client's always had an I.Q. Just shy of 70, which helps explain his resistance to your officer's orders.

That policeman was yelling at me, but I had to get home. Because of the unsalted butter.

So we're clear on the situation?

You'd better start to get sleepy.

It's all right. She won't yell at me. She's too guilty about going to night school.

What are you reading?

Modern Vampires.

Are the modern ones any different? I mean, do they improve substantially?

No. Same rules. No Garlic, No daylight. In the coffin by sunrise.

Seriously, Rocky, um...

do you know why you're so interested in this stuff?

Is there something bothering you?

Something that you tried to tell me before, but I wasn't listening to you. So...

something is bothering me.

Go ahead.

The Spanish flu epidemic of 1918? It killed more than twice the amount of people who died in world war I. So why is it still an obscure point in history?

I'm Home. Joan? He was up, wasn't he?

Yeah, he was. I'm a bad disciplinarian.

It's ok, 'cause I'm in a good mood. I passed my latest exam, whoo, and I just found out that my baby-sitter is coming back to town. Apparently, Hawaii was too humid for her hair.

Oh. Ok.

Yeah, so tomorrow will be your last day with rocky.

You went and got attached to him, didn't you? He has that way with people.

Yeah, I did.

I'm kind of... worried about him.


He seems to think that he's dying.

He is dying.

You mean like... Dying, dying?

There's another kind?

His breathing disorder, it's cystic fibrosis. There's no cure. He's going through a good spell right now.

They call it a grace period.

But he could grow up and stuff?

It's an unpredictable disease. He has an aggressive form.

He's had a lot of episodes. There's scar tissue in his lungs. It's pretty unlikely he'll survive another infection.

You don't have to come tomorrow. This stuff freaks people out.

No. No. Um...

I want to come back. I'm just--

I'm sorry.

Me, too.

Mom? I heard you come in. I wanted to say good night.

Yeah, like I'm buying that. Come here. I'll tuck you in. Say, "good night, Joan."

Good night, joan.

The Arcadia police department has determined there may have been serious police misconduct in the case of Raymond Hartzel.

I don't like saying that.

I'm a police officer. I was on the line for many years.

I wanted my guys to be cleared of any wrongdoing.

As police officers, we always have the option for physical force,

"but it should be considered a last resort. First, we should exhaust our other options. "

We should listen and pay attention to detail.

In this case, we failed. We will be bringing charges against officers Koczara and Eicher.

On behalf of the entire department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Hartzel and his family and to the public

we are obligated to serve. Thank you.

Ok, we'll see if it happens.

He just said they're indicting the guys.

Yeah, so a white jury can exonerate them.

That's not up to the chief of police.

Since when do you defend the cops?

I'm just saying that maybe he's trying to do things differently.

- Maybe he's--
- Maybe you're just hot for his son.

Now that's a man, picking on the guy in the wheelchair.

I didn't tell him about your father.

He's a reporter, Kevin. He finds things out.

Ok. Well, what about that last part?

That was just him editorializing.

I had to ask, because, you know, I'm the fact checker.

When you said a fun place, I was thinking more like laser tag.

Oh. Well, I come here all the time. It's informational.

Like that, for example. "Lucy Ellen Thompson. April 6, 1929, through April 4, 1930." Not quite a year old. Also, notice how often people die around their birthdays.

Rocky... I understand now.

Understand what?

Well, your condition, what's happening to you.

It's happening to you, too. It's just happening to me sooner.

You're leaving now, right?

Rocky, I'll still come visit you. I just-- I don't like hanging out in graveyards.

Well, why?

Death kinda scares me.

Death doesn't hurt. You just go away. It doesn't matter that you don't get to see your mom and stuff anymore, because you don't know that.

Would it make you feel better to know that there's somebody out there watching for us and caring for us and that that person or thing or whatever

will still be caring about us after we leave?

I don't believe in god.

What if I promised? I mean, crossed-my-heart promised.

I've seen him.

You've had a near-death experience?

No. I--I just-- I've seen him.

Sometimes. It's not always a him.

It's complicated.

But the point is,

god is there, and if he's there, then there's a plan, and if there's a plan, then...

everything is gonna be ok, I think.

Yeah. That'd be cool.

Come on. Let's go.

There it is again.

"Elizabeth Rove. "Beloved wife of Carl. Mother of Adam. November 8, 1952, to November 11, 2000."

Do you think people hang around for their birthdays on purpose?



Did I know you were coming by?

No, it's a surprise.


I haven't been a very good friend to you.


No, it's--it's not ok.

I mean, you were cranky for a reason. People should pay attention to things like that.

I should have asked you if you wanted to talk or something.

I don't need to talk, but thanks.

I know why you hate November.

Who told you?

I was at the graveyard. It's a long story.

I always, um...

made her something for her birthday. She liked it.

She said...

"don't buy me something. That doesn't tell me anything."

She said, "this is like having a piece of you to take with me."

She said stuff like that.

You miss her.

Doing this helps. You know, it's like she's watching me, and I know that sounds stupid, but...

you talk to angels.

I'm glad you came by.

Me, too.

Hey. Welcome to the longest week in my life.

Didn't fly by for me, either.

I was proud of you today.

What you reading?


Because for me, sometimes it's like Kevin died, and I need to deal with that.


I know. I'm the one who's always preaching gratitude and moving on,

and I was clinging to that so hard, and then it-- it stopped working for me.

I felt alone, and I, um... I talked to a priest. I didn't want to bother you.

That was the deal we made a long time ago. You get to bother me. You don't have to do anything alone.

I'm sorry I lied to you about the priest. That's who I met on my lunch break.

You come to me, not some stranger. Promise me.

Our beautiful boy, will. Our perfect, beautiful Boy.

Remember me?

Why all the familiar looks? Doing the greatest hits? Starting to get a little pleased with yourself?

You see me the way you want to see me, Joan. Like right now, you're mad at me.

Maybe you feel safer to be mad at me when I look like this.

You have a lot to answer for, buddy. Nobody asked to be born.

So we all get to die, and then everybody we love dies.


And that's-- that's good for you?

Joan, there's nothing I could say about that that would make sense to you.

A lot of what happens here really sucks. So much for your perfect system.

Can you see me being really mad at you right now?


Why does it have to be so hard?

What, specifically?

Being alive. Let's start there.

You wish you weren't alive?

No, I-- I don't know. I wish it didn't hurt so much.

It hurts because you feel it, Joan, because you're alive.

You love people. That generates a lot of power, a lot of energy, same kind of energy that binds atoms together.

And we've all seen what happens when you try to pry them apart.

So if I don't get attached to people, then it won't hurt so much?

No, it's in your nature to get attached to people. I put that in the recipe.

It's when you guys try to ignore that, when you try to go it alone, that's when it gets ugly. Its hell.

It's hell? Like the hell?

Oh, look. Your house.

Go on, Joan. People are waiting for you.