Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 1, Episode 8 - The Devil Made Me Do It - full transcript

God asks Joan to keep Adam's work out of the school art show but Joan is clueless as to how. And could it be that it wasn't really God asking? Meanwhile, Kevin accidentally shoplifts a CD but the clerk's pitying reaction causes him a crisis that ends up involving Luke. Meanhwile Will is considering whether or not the shooter of an armed burglar should be brought to trial and the question reawakens some of his past feelings surrounding his shooting of a bank robber.

Meet Mr. Ricky Clark. Down twice, felony armed robbery.

He the bad guy in this?

That's what I'm thinking. Allan burns, husband and father. Clark was burglarizing the home. When burns confronted him, shots were exchanged, death ensued on the front lawn.

Get him, let him talk to his wife and kids.

Standard operating procedure ISO--

Guy protects his family, we don't treat him like a criminal.

Man died, chief. We gotta take the shooter into custody pending investigation.

We do it by the book, detective, but the nice version of the book, ok?

Looks to me like it all worked out for the best.

Not for ricky clark. Too law and order?

You'll make better time if you pump your arms!

Thanks for the tip.

Be more physically active. Remember how good you felt when you were building that boat and working out with the cheerleaders? A happy outlook is all about endorphins.

So, what, you want me to join the track team? 'Cause I'm not playing field hockey, even for god.

You're familiar with the upcoming art show?

Absolutely, 'cause, you know, art's really my thing, next to field hockey.

They're gonna need some help moving the exhibits around, you know, brute strength.

So, what, this is my future, right, unless I pull my grades up?

Why are people always trying to discern my deeper meanings? This is the kind of thinking that starts wars. Stop it.

I always thought you'd be nicer!

Can I help you, complete stranger who I happen to know should be in english class in 2 minutes?

Uh, witty, mom. Who do I talk to about the art show?

What do you need to know?

Who I talk to about the art show?

What kind of talk?

Mom, do you really want me to miss english or what? I'm gonna volunteer.

As an artist?

No, to help move things around.

Oh. Why?

For community service points.

This doesn't qualify.

Then to just be a good citizen. Cripes, mom, could you please just tell me which has-been failed teacher/artist is organizing the dumb-ass art show?

Volunteers for the art show are to report to the auditorium at lunch and the has-been failed artist... that would be me.

Chief Girardi, do you foresee releasing allan burns today?

The matter is still under investigation.

Do you see his actions as heroic?

I'm guessing that Mr. Burns will claim justifiable homicide,

that he was simply protecting his home and family from a dangerous intruder, but I'm only guessing because I'm not his defence lawyer, I'm a cop,

and you talking to me about this is like asking a figure skater about the state of the economy.

It's cool, bro. Can I help you?

Uh, there's this band called red house painters...

yeah, we don't really carry anything good, just, you know, million sellers, so...

I don't have anything.

No sweat. Have a good day.

I want to intersperse the plastic arts amongst the concrete arts, so this should be moved over there.

Could you all just help me? I think if you grab it maybe down here...

Mom, I think grace polk is juggling the ceramics.

No, no! Art is not for juggling.

Ok, so how do we move this without skewering our eyeballs?

Hey, did you notice who made this?

"A.R." Adam rove? Adam made this?

Yeah. By now, you ought to recognize his style, Joan...and mine.

Maybe if you picked one style, I might.

All styles is my style, all right? And I'd rather adam's sculpture not be part of the show.

Why? Sorry. Reflex action, like barfing.

I'm not sure you understand.

Of course you understand. You understand everything, but it's difficult for me... you already know it's difficult for me. Ok, listen, I--I don't hate adam.

You're asking me to-- to prevent this from going on display. That simple?

That simple. Ok? And you're gonna have to find somebody else to help you move this thing.


I do not want to lay charges against this man.

I agree.

Middle of the night, this hard-working, solid citizen is in bed with the wife, his own wife, with his children asleep down the hallway.

It's the D.A.'S decision whether or not to lay charges. Frankly, I'd be happy if you didn't.

He hears glass break downstairs. He fetches his properly licensed and registered weapon from the gun safe and loads it with ammunition he keeps in a separate locked box. He surprises an armed intruder.

Shots are exchanged. The good guy is left standing, the bad guy dies, and choirs of angels sing in joy what do you want from me?

I want you to say he's a hero, that this is not a murder case.

He is a hero.

I want you to say it to the press. Leave figure skaters out of it.

That would not be smart.

A police chief should not comment on the relative guilt or innocence of a suspect before the investigation is complete.

So complete the investigation, then tell the press he's a hero.

That is my plan.

You're not fighting me on this?

No. We're in complete agreement.

I find that disconcerting.


Cha, jane. Hey. You ever seen anything like this before? Hold that.

Yeah. I need to talk to you about your entry the art show.

Where'd you see it?

I'm helping out as a volunteer.

No, I meant this.

Every kid makes necklaces out of those. Listen, have you considered rethinking entering the art show?

What? I thought I invented this.

Adam, forget about the soda pop necklace, ok? Art show, art show, art show. Art show, art...

so, wait, why don't you want me to enter?

What would be a good reason?

If my piece blew chunks.

No. No, no, no, no. It doesn't... it doesn't blow chunks.

What I think is, um...

They're not ready for you. You're avant-garde, ok? This whole thing is basically very high school

You think my art stinks?

No! No. Don't go there.

I thought you got my work. I thought you liked it.

I do. I do like it. No. I do like it. That's why, you know...

I want to buy it.

I want you to withdraw your piece from the art show so that I can buy it.


Yeah. How much?

I'll give it to you.

Great. Great, 'cause I love it. Really, it's avant-garde.

Well, it's yours. Ok. After the art show.

What's the big deal?

Cha, Jane, there's gallery owners and then there's buyers and there's judges and the papers.

There's not very many things I have a chance to win and this is one of them, so I'd like that...

and so would my dad and...

so would my mom...

if she were here. So I want to win.

What do you think you're doing?

are you trying to steal this sculpture?

No, no, no, no. Not--not steal.

The artist said I could have it.

You know, you'd make my life a lot easier if you just arrested me right now and took me to jail.

You want to lift something that heavy, you need help.

Or maybe you could help me. That's what people say, right? I mean, god, help me?

I take more of an advisory role in our work together.

Adam won't pull this thing out of the competition. It's too big for me to steal. I'm out of ideas.

Then you're gonna have to think harder.

Are we like, afraid that Adam won't win and this is gonna break his heart?

Or maybe, maybe someone's gonna trip over it and then try to sue the school.

I like the way you're beginning to consider the results and ramifications of our work together. Turn the lights off when you leave.

Is dad home?

Hi, honey, nice to see you too. What do you need dad for?

What's with this new thing I ask you a question and you ask me 20 questions about Luke

I think of it as socratic parenting.

I'm home!

Daddy! Is it ever ok to break the law?

Somebody kills somebody, it's serious, no matter what the circumstance.

Who said anything about killing?

What are we talking about?

I'm not allowed to ask.

I'm home. What's to eat?

Hey, how was work?

Let's just say I know a lot more about Ashton Kutchner than I really want to.

Kutcher! Hey, what's with that shot you took at figure skaters?

It was an analogy.

Dad, is it ever ok to do something wrong for a good reason?

Are you talking about Allan Burns?

Who's Allan Burns?

The guy who shot the robber.

Is that illegal?


I can't believe you're not allowed to shoot an armed robber breaking into your home.

Well, honey, you're from the south.

Come on, dad, if someone was breaking into our house, you'd kill him.

No, no, dad wouldn't kill him. He'd shoot him in the legs.

Uh, he didn't shoot the bank robber in the legs.


My father shot a bank robber?



When was this?

When I was 6.

Wait--wait, did your victim die?

My victim?

Dad, you killed someone?

I--I didn't mean... it wasn't my victim. He was shooting... can we just drop this?

Ok, so sometimes it is all right to do something that looks wrong if you have a good reason.

Dad blew away a bank robber. That's the coolest thing I've ever heard.

No, it's not. It's not cool to take another person's life in any situation. It might be unavoidable, but it's not cool. I'm not proud of it.

I see that man's face every day.

It's not something I boast about, and it's not something I want my children boasting about.

All right, can we please have dinner, and find something nice to discuss?

Mom, you know a lot about art, right?

Oh, about as much as the next has-been failed artist.

All right, I'm sorry, ok? You kind of led me into it.

I gotta go out.


Because I accidentally stole a CD and given the high moral tone of this family, I'm going to return it.

How do you accidentally steal something?

Ooh, you're in for it now, buddy.

I didn't notice that it fell between my butt and the chair and since I can't feel my butt...

fine. Drive carefully.

Mom, you know Adam's sculpture, the one in the art show?



He wanted to call it "the thing made out of stuff," and I talked him into "ascension."

Is it any good?

Is that why you volunteered? To show support for your friend? Why didn't you just say so? Was it because you didn't want me prying into your relationship with Adam? Because I know the importance of boundaries.

Mom, do you really need me for this conversation?

Adam shows a lot of potential. He's unschooled and he's raw

and he hasn't yet figured out where he stands on the nexus between non-objective abstraction and neo-expressionism--

again, mom, you don't need me for this.

So, mom, in simple language, is Adam any good?

I think he has the potential to be great.

Yeah. I gotta go see grace.

Grace Polk? Tonight?

Thank you for shopping in a store instead of stealing off the internet.

Hey! It's red house painter Guy

yeah, um, remember when I left earlier today the beeper went off?

It was because I accidentally took this Jason Mraz CD, so, sorry.

Keep it, man.

Keep it?

Sure, uh, we write off a certain amount to shoplifting, anyway, so...

but I didn't steal it... and it's Jason Mraz.

You're an honest guy, so for a reward, keep it.

Are you giving it to me because I'm honest or because I'm in a wheelchair?



What if I take this, too? Would you call the cops?

Right. I'm gonna call the cops on a guy in a wheelchair.

Why not? I'm stealing.

'Cause you got enough problems, ok?

Mr. Polk?

It's Rabbi Polonsky, if you please. How do you do? Um, I assume you're a friend of Grace's?

Uh, Joan Girardi.

Hi, How are you? Well, um, despite our different names, Grace is my daughter. You see, her great-grandparents changed our name to Polk,

then I changed it back to Polonsky and to defy her father, which is healthy in moderation, uh, Grace kept Polk. Also, she's not home. Is there a message?

Oh, well, I just dropped by to ask a favour.

Oh? What favour?

Well, now that I'm thinking about it, I'll just leave a note on her locker.

All right, I won't ask. Fine. Good night, Joan Girardi.

Um, rabbi, can I ask you a religious question?

Well, a small one, maybe, all right? 'Cause I'm enjoying my dessert.

W-would god ever ask a person to do something bad?

No. No, and for future reference, evil is a large question.

So if someone were asking me to do something wrong, they would probably be working for the devil?

You see, we don't really believe in "the devil."

Why don't you have a seat for a moment, ok? Here. Sit down.

Now, if you mean yetzer hara, which is our own inclination towards evil, that comes between us and god,

then the answer is maybe. Why? Is somebody asking you to do something wrong?

I'm not sure.

I see, well, yetzer hara just thrives on moral confusion.

Hmm. What do I do?

Confuse the confuser.

You act with righteousness and you act with kindness, then you follow yetzer hatov...

that's your own good inclination.

So, good night?

Oh, good night. Enjoy your dessert.

Thank you.


Hey, thanks for coming. I need your help.

What the hell made you think you could just drop by my place?!

You never said I couldn't.

Well, I figured you had the brains to deduce from my general vibe.

Oh, yeah, like I deduced that your dad's a rabbi, a really nice rabbi, and that your real last name is Polonsky.

Don't stop by my house, unless your invited, which will never happen.

Wait, I need you to help me steal this!

I'm mad at you! I'm yelling at you! I wouldn't help you do anything! Don't you pick up any signals at all?

Excuse me, but I'm out of ideas.

But if you expect me to destroy this, that's just evil.

Do you do that? Well, do you?!

I appreciate your cooperation.

My client is willing to cooperate fully because he has nothing to hide.

What happened is not completely clear in my own mind.

My client is traumatized by the fact that he used force to end another man's life, and he's traumatized by his incarceration.

Ms. Hamdon, you don't need to use your courtroom voice on me.

Really? Because I'm a little confused why the chief of police is asking these questions.

We'd all prefer that the evidence show that Mr. Burns acted purely in self-defence, but it doesn't.

Oh, my god.

Relax, Allan. I've read the forensics report, and nothing in it indicates that you acted in a pernicious manner.

He shot at me first.

You're certain of that?

there was only light from the street lights outside. I saw a shape...

I saw the flash from the muzzle when he fired at me, and I fired back.

He, uh, he ran... on the lawn... he--he aimed at me again, but I shot first. Pop. Just like that.

I thought I missed him, but I didn't. I didn't miss him.

Mr. Burns protected his wife and his family at great personal risk. He should not be in jail.

Mr. Burns, could you tell me how a man like yourself came to own a gun?

The weapon was legally purchased, registered--

that's not what I asked. I'd like to know why.

My wife and i were mugged 2 years ago.

I was beaten. Fine. I could take that,

but they beat my wife...

in front of me...

and they said things to her.

And she called for help.

And there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it.

Do you have any idea what that feels like?

So I swore that that would never happen again.

I bought a gun.

It's a fine job, Mrs. Girardi.

Yeah, it's turning out really well.

Well, let's see how many kids actually make a sale before we jump to any conclusions.

The show isn't about sales. It's about display and community.

It's about young artists sensing the dynamic between creator and audience.

Hey, how do I look?

Like always.

This is a new hoodie.

Ok, adam, I think people have seen this enough. Let's take it out of the show.

Relax, Jane. It has your name on it.

That's very apropos.

Are you a priest?

Roman catholic, yes.

I have to ask you a question.

Hey, you're Joan Girardi. Hasn't your mother ever mentioned me to you? We--she invited me here today.

Oh, that's great. Would god ever ask a person to do something wrong?

What do you mean by ask?

Well, want or...require.

God doesn't ask his children to do evil.

What about the whole inquisition/torture business?

Well, you really are a lot like your mother.

Uh, I would explain the inquisition as a case of men being duped by the adversary and to believe--

The Adversary! Ha! Like Satan.

I realize it sounds melodramatic, but yes.

S-s-so the devil really exists.

One of his best tricks is to get people to believe he doesn't exist, or to take on the guise of our lord.

The devil imitates god?

In essence.

Is he any good?

Very good. In fact, in the book of revelations, it tells us that when the antichrist first appears, even the most godly may be fooled.

Yeah, like when you first hear Dave Matthews and you think he's good, but...he's not.

I don't know who that is.

You sold it? $500.

Adam! That's amazing.

This is a creepy development.

Adam made a sale. Ooh, I'm gonna go rub price's nose in this.

Ok, don't get mad, but um... this old lady just offered me money.


Yeah. I know, I'm sorry, but I'll make you another one, ok?

Adam. Adam, bring your check over here. Show him.

You know, I'm not certain this magnet is powerful enough for my needs.

See, 'cause what I want to do is make a rail gun that lessens the power requirements of the compulsator by increasing the magnetic field using ceramic magnets.

Just give me the magnet!

Oh. Well, Mr. Big bucks has a job and wants to show off.


What are you-- what are you doing?

It's called the wheelchair discount.

Will that be all?


Kev? What?

Shut up.

Give me the magnet.

Fine. Be jelly. I'm just trying to help you out here.

Be that as it may--

you want me to empty out my pockets or anything?

No, it's ok.

'Cause sometimes my chair sets off the alarm.

Uh, it won't be necessary. $3.87, please.

See? It's like being invisible.

Isn't that one of those geek powers you always used to wish for?

Is this the strongest magnet you've got?

Uh, yeah. $6.49.

That's $6.49 you could have saved.

Keep the change.

Out of a 20?

I'm sorry, um, I'll pay for these.

Poor guy, right? I mean, he's got it tough. Poor bastard.

Ok. See, what you're doing right there, you might as well spit on him.

It even makes me want to steal from you.

I know you're trying to be a nice guy, here, but still, I'd like to smash your face.

I'm having second thoughts about you.

It's called a crisis of faith.

It's all right. It's not really faith if there's no crisis. Faith is an act of will, not a feeling.

How do I know you're not the devil?

You asked me to do something which I didn't do, and a good thing happened to Adam. Why would god want a good thing not to happen.

I understand you're confused, but there are no dilemmas without confusion, there's no free will without dilemmas, and there's no humanity without free will.

You know, I don't understand what you're saying. It's all just blah, blah, blah.

It's not for now. Its for later.

Are you really god?

You know I am.

You know I don't know you are,

and maybe you don't know because aren't really god or maybe I'm crazy and talking to thin air.

You're confused because I asked you to do something you thought was wrong.

I tried talking Adam out of it. I tried buying it. I tried stealing it.

What else is there? I mean, you want me to smash it?

Do blame me for your failure of imagination.

What you have to ask yourself is what are you going to do now?

That's what m all about, your next chance to do the right thing. That's how you know I'm who I am.

That's how you shall know me from all others. What are you going to do now?

Every new decision is another chance to do the right thing.

You don't get that from the other side.

What's wrong with Adam making a little bit of money? I mean, if you took a second to explain it--

if I explain it to you, then there's no need for faith.

Remember, Joan, it's all about what you do next.

Don't be late for school.

How can you be late for school? You left home before I did.

You didn't stop somewhere and smoke a cigarette?


Mr. Price Mr. Rove, you are making a huge mistake.

You have to say that.

You cannot go out into the world without finishing high school.

I am artist. Yo. What do I care about school for? hey! It's Bastille day, Jane. I'm free man.

Adam, are you quitting school?

Well, my dad says I can't quit school unless I can pay rent, so I got, like 500 bucks off that one piece.

You can't live on $500!

I got, like, 20 more things at home, so I can pay my dad rent and work on my art.

You're going to end up on the street.

Dude, I won the art show. I'm hot.

Listen to me. An education will make you a deeper artist. You're very talented--

Mrs. Girardi, listen. My stuff comes from the inside, ok? From the heart, not the brain. And school is a brain specialist.

You're all about the brain. You've got no heart. Jane, don't worry. We'll still be able to hang out ok?

I believe the pertinent phrase is you can't win 'em all.

I mean, what are you going to do?

All right. Here's the situation. Mr. Rove refuses to lodge a complaint, which means there are no grounds to have you arrested.

I am suspending you for 3 days for vandalism and brandishing a weapon on school property.

Excuse me. It was a chair.


The only reason you're not being expelled is that your parents have agreed to get you counselling.

Now, I believe you owe Mr. Rove an apology.

Never mind. As soon as I make another sale, I'm outta here.

Adam, please don't be mad at me. Please?

You know that-- you know that i make these things to remember my mother, ok, because she loved them.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Please?

Listen, we're not friends anymore. We probably never were.

What do we do, ground her?

I don't know. Have her committed?

Please stop talking about me like I'm not here.

Then maybe for a change you could talk to us as though we were here.

You think I'm happy? Adam hates me. He's never going to talk to me again. Did you see the way people were looking in the hall? They think I'm insane!

What did you think would happen? What possible justification could you have for going berserk?

She wanted to keep her boyfriend in school.


Mom, no, Adam is not my boyfriend.

I didn't want to wreck his sculpture. I left it too late and I couldn't think of another way to keep him from quitting school. I--

Adam can't quit school!

In case you haven't noticed, he's kind of weird, and if he just sits at home and works on his weirdo art,

he's just-- Mr. Price said, "what are you going to do?" So I...

smashed his artwork with a chair?

What else could I do?

Oh... say... talk to the buyer. Talk to Adam.

Talk to Adam's father. Believe it or not, I have some influence with him, too. Honey, there are lots of other things that you could do before...

destroying his best work.

Destruction is not a good option.

I had a failure of imagination.

Well, that's putting it kindly.


Helen, you aren't going to defend what she did, are you?

We raised Joan to do what she thought was right.

She did what she did to help another human being, despite the consequences.

You want me to be proud of her?

No, it was stupid, but...

She is only 16, and her intentions were good.

And, um... she had a failure of imagination.

Do we punish her for that or what?

Go to work.

Chief Girardi, have there been any developments in the Allan Burns case?

No comment.

Do you personally believe that this man should go to trial?

I don't know. It seems to me that burns is a decent man, but the evidence as to whether or not he had the intent to kill that night is unclear.

That's why we have juries.

So you believe this case should go to trial.

Yes. I believe the case should go to trial. Excuse me.

The mayor would like a word. Excuse us, would you?

Am I in trouble?

The point was not to take Allan Burns to trial.

The point is to figure out what really happened that evening.

Good speech, chief.

So you support the budget request?

Thank you, gabe.

The people have spoken. Allan burns is a hero.

Gabe has informed you of my wishes in this matter?

Oh, yes, sir. He's very good at that.

Then why didn't you behave accordingly?

There's a problem in this town.

Enlighten me.

You like to handle everything through back channels.

You want to decide this case here or in an office or on the pages of a newspaper instead of in a jury room.

You lack faith in the system.

Now, either it's because you don't give people credit for being able to deal with complicated matters or it's because confusion works for you.

All right, then let me be very clear.

At the end of your probation period, your employment will be terminated.

I'm pretty sure the police commission will have something to say about that.

Oh, I don't know about that, Girardi. As you say, I don't give a damn about the system.

You have about 6 months to find another job.

I brought you the stuff you needed.

The stuff you bought for me, you mean?

I don't need it. I'm getting rid of all my toys.

Well, scale models are not toys.

It's time for me to grow up.

I wasn't aware that was something you could just decide.

I was the prefect big brother.

Come on, admit it. I'm stronger, faster, better-looking.

Well, not better-looking.

It's a reality, kid. Face it.

People were nice to you because you were Kevin Girardi's kid brother. Probably kept you from being beat up about 100 times.

I do seem to attract threats of violence.

Last night, the natural order was reversed.

You were the Big Brother. You were smarter and stronger and tougher.

And better-looking?

I'm the big brother in this family, in or out of the wheelchair, so get off of my cloud.

The cloud reference eludes me.

Yesterday... that will not happen again.

Are you apologizing to me? No, no, of course not. Why--why would you? It's an explanation, and that's enough.

If you can't get your money back, I'll reimburse you.

Well, that's ok.

Of course. Yes, I can use the money. And you're fully capable.

You're going to be proud of me again.

Why is it so quiet?

Joan won't come out from beneath her covers till we promise not to send her back to school,

Kevin is mad at Luke for something... teenagery, and Luke's coping mechanism is to build-- I don't know-- a spaceship maybe.

Well, if it works, you and I should take it on a spin through the milky way.

We don't need a spaceship for that.

I saw you on the news.

Yeah. I'm afraid I'm not turning out to be a very good chief of police.

I don't know if I almost did the right thing for the wrong reason today or the wrong thing for the right reason or both or...

something in-between.

When I shot that bank robber, when I killed him--

the kids were bound to find that out some day.

It was a righteous shooting, Helen.

I mean, I'm sorry I killed a man, I really am,

but I don't doubt that it was necessary, that I had no other options.

I miss that clarity. Everything in this job is so murky with politics.

Hey! I love you, and if there's a problem with your job, then the fault does not lie with you.

I'm as certain about that as you are about... shooting bad men.