Joan of Arcadia (2003–2005): Season 2, Episode 10 - The Book of Questions - full transcript

"In light of the tragic death of Judith Montgomery,

grief counselling will be offered to all students

by Stuart Dingle, MSW.

And don't forget Friday is spirit day.

Wear blue.

Support the eagles"?

How lame is this?


Like eagles are ever blue.

I mean, grief counselling?

The school has to do it.

They're covering their asses in a litigious society.

Someone could freak out and sue the school.

Oh, and Dingle's gonna calm them down?

That comb-over alone could trigger a mass suicide.

Well, talking about it might help.

Hey, I'm the brainchild of Dr. Dan, remember?

Sitting in a room and crying with Dingle is not gonna help.

You show me someone with the answers, and I'm there.

But this...

So Saturday, uh...

I have this thing on Saturday with food and crap.

You guys can come if you want to,

but you don't have to.

I don't care.

Could you be any less specific?

It's my bat mitzvah, ok?

Do not start with me!

The Jews have been making kids do this for thousands of years.

You got problems, ask Maimonides.

And wipe that smirk off your face, Rove.

You know, you've been putting it off for years.

You're really gonna go through with it this time?

Do I look like I wanna discuss this?


I...ripped off the baby pictures.

Parents are sadists.

I think we should go, Jane.

Like I wouldn't go to Grace's bat mitzvah?

No. To the grief counselling thing.

I mean, don't you think it would help talking about it?

You know?

I mean, I'm having trouble coming to sense with it.

Ok, Look. I'm sorry that I jumped all over you.

It was just...

talking about it over and over like this just keeps it too fresh in my mind.

That's kind of why it's just gonna drive me crazy.

I can't.

I'm sorry.


Look, I...

I have to go.

I can't be late for French.


keep my "d" average.

Hey, do you think your grades are tanking because...

please, don't.

Just don't.

Someone keeps ripping these down.

Ah, snippy God.

I don't need to go whine.

Other people might.

Maybe you should have a question and answer session.

Ask the almighty.

I'd show up for that one.

You wanna know why she died,

why it had to be Judith.

Uh, yeah.

You wanted me to live in the present,

but you know what?

Here in the present, Judith's death is with me all the time.

I wish you could have seen the baby picture, Joan.

Adorable !

She had these little chubby cheeks.

Could we focus?

I'm always focused.

Grace seems a little scattered, though.

You should help her get through this.'s a Jewish thing.

I'm not really the point person for Jewish.

Help her, Joan.

Hey! What...

what about Judith ?

Hey Grace, um...

if you want any help with your mitzvah thing...

No !

Just stay outta my face.

It's enough of a nightmare as it is.

Advertise your product or brand here
contact today

We know you saw Judith get stabbed.

We know you didn't do it, Ryan.

All we want...

is a name... or a description.

I don't remember.

What do you mean, "I don't remember"?

My client was traumatized.

I was asking him.

And he answered.

The guy who sold you the ecstasy...

my client has never said he bought drugs.

Would you let me talk to him?

I'm just setting the record straight here.

She was your friend.

You saw her get stabbed 7 times.

Don't you want the person who did that to pay?

I asked you the question.

I don't remember what happened.

Give me something, Ryan

hair colour, eye colour....

She would have helped you.

I think we're done.

Got a second, counsellor?

Wait for me downstairs.

You know what I'm up against here.

I'm just asking.

I'm just protecting my client, Will.

If he incriminates himself...

You think this is all about busting that kid for a couple of hits of x?

Come on, Catherine.

You know me.

I'm sorry, but the kid is scared and it's what his parents want.

What about Judith?s parents?

Knowing that the guy who killed their daughter is still out there?

Well, I can't force my client.

Let's cut the lawyer speak for a minute, ok?

You're a parent.

You have a daughter.

Don't go there.

Judith's age.

Same as my daughter.

If it were my kid or yours...

Find another angle, Will.

Your client just left her there.

I hope you get this guy.

I really do.

Grace !

So what can I do?

For your bat mitzvah.


I...I just want it to come and go quickly like Hoobestank.

Savor it, Marge.

I tell you, when the hora starts, you're up in that chair...

now, that's a rush.

But don't crowd surf.

The elderly aren't prepared for it.

Look, just come to my stupid party, laugh at the chocolate fountain,

make fun of my relatives,

and if you're good, maybe we can make out behind the DJ booth.

Sweet !

Shut up, Friedman !

I'm just saying if you need anything, just...

No, I'm serious, dude, please just leave me alone,

and no one gets hurt.

You wanted someone more emotionally complex.


What'd you get her?

Well, she told me not to get her anything.

I thought...

I thought it was like a religious thing.

Rabbi Friedman will guide the goyim.



They said you'd be here.

Another brush with the law, miss Reinhart?

Kind of.

I'm being deposed by Andy's attorney.

I have to talk about what happened the night of the accident.

Oh, man, I'm sorry.

No party-goer left behind, huh?

W..what should I say?

Just tell them what happened.

But I remember...

that you saw how hammered he was and that I let him drive anyway.

It's not that simple, Kevin.

You know that.

If I make a mistake...

things are hard enough for you.

You don't have to lie for me, Beth.

I'll be fine.

Grace !

I think it is so cool that you are having this big party and everything.

Did you know once I had a moon bounce when I was 3 years old,

and this kid jumped like 8 feet up in the air and came down on my arm.

I was in a cast for a month...

You're babbling.

I'm just excited about your mitzvah because it's gonna be better than breaking your arm,

'Cause I'm gonna help.

Grace, Grace !

I..I heard.


Or Mazel Tov.

Did I say it right?

Like a native.

If there's anything I can do...

There isn't!

I'm helping.

You might consider making nicer friends.

What is with you people?

The Jews have survived 5,000 years of persecution,

but we're finally gonna get finished off by the Girardis!

Is something wrong?

Yeah !

You all wanna help!

You think I can't get through this because of the blatant materialism of post-industrial society

which has totally corrupted the bat mitzvah experience beyond redemption...

Seems like you might have a few issues...

I'm cool !



Do I need to say cool again, or are we finished?

We're finished.


So what are you wearing?

A dress.


wearing a dress.

Oh, nice smirk.

Thanks for the help.


I was...

I had to sneeze.

I'm thinking 10 shares of eBay.

It's practical yet romantic.

Are you insane?

Why not ?

The Teitelbaums gave me 10 shares of Halliburton.

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving...

I'm not giving Grace stock.

Ooh! You could give her a bran muffin.

Why would I do that?

Oh, 'cause that's what you got me when we were going out,

except you were low on cash and I had to pay.


For a bat mitzvah?


The lady is becoming a woman.

Am I not good?

The muffin was a little stale.

I'm not bitter, though.

Is a moped too expensive?

Dude...the Friedman knows what to choose for the chosen people!

"In ancient times, some tribes marked the coming of age ceremony

by having the celebrant kill, cook, and eat a large animal."

I don't think there's gonna be any hunting at Grace's party.


She's having it catered.

"Becoming a bat mitzvah means that a young person has become part of the community

and shares moral responsibilities of an adult and is now of age to study the tora?.

Wow. Grace is gonna have a lot of homework.

No wonder she's flipping out.

"Studying the torah is a gift,

as it is said to contain all one needs to know of life".

That'd make things easy.


Answers would be nice.



um... before the summer, you know, uh... saw... know, God...


I'm sorry.

But if there's anything you ever heard that can make things clearer...

you know, about death...

Ha! It doesn't work that way.


it...I mean, it doesn't...

I don't...I...

I don't have any answers, Adam.

Look at me.

Don't I look like the kind of person who needs the answers just as much as you do?

Yeah, sorry.

I just...

Well, please...

you promised me you wouldn't bring this up anymore.

Besides, we shouldn't be talking about death.

Grace is about to become a woman,

and she's gonna have a lot of homework,

and we just need to be happy for her.

Sure. Sure.


I didn't mean to...

I'm sorry.

I didn't...

Come here.

This is work-related, I trust.


She was just recommending a really good book.

Grace, shalom !

I've just been reading about bat mitzvahs!

You must be so stoked!

Yeah, I'm tingling.

Is anyone gonna buy anything?

That was rhetorical, right?

Why can't you hang out in a arcade like normal delinquents?

So anyway, um...

did you know that becoming a bat mitzvah is also referred to as being called to the torah

and that only recently women were introduced to the ceremony?

Are you on a game show, Girardi?

Look...I don't know why I agreed to wear a lame-ass dress to this thing...

Dress ?

You did not say that, Rove!


Anyway, the blade is about to fall. have to come with me to buy one.

Tomorrow. After school.


Hey, me and a dress, it takes a village.


He sees his friend get stabbed to death,

but he just can't step up and do the right thing.

We offered to cut him a deal, give him protection.

But his lawyer, a real low-life, buttons him up.

Well...that's her job, I guess.

Well, that's an excuse I just can't hear anymore.

Killer's back on the street because his lawyer did her job.

Drug dealer buys a new car because his lawyer's so good?

Could we maybe talk about anything else, politics even?

Fran calls me every day asking me if there's any new information.

I know it's out there, and I can't give her anything!

Lucy thinks maybe I'm getting too emotionally involved.

Oh, well, if Lucy thinks so...

Helen !

I'm, sorry.

That was out of line.

The whole concept of a dress is a sexist symbol of thousands of years of reducing women to fetish objects.

This would look so hot on you!

Have you been listening at all?

Yeah, angry, angry, angry, society, angry, politics.

Here !

Try this on.

Look, Grace, this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, you know, like a wedding!

Except lots of people do that more than once, so it'll be even better.

Guilt and pressure.

That is the only reasons I'm here.

No, that is not true.

You've never been afraid to say no to anything before.

You learned Hebrew, all the prayers.

This has to mean something to you.

Yeah, well, it gets kinda deluded when you have to spend 3 hours

trying to convince the DJ not to blow off a confetti can when you walk into the party.

Look, very Courtney Love, huh?

What do you think ?

Post-makeover, pre-meltdown? ?


Try it on.

Gracie !

Grace !

Oh, my God !

You must be Joan.

I'm Sarah, Gracie's mom.

She hides me because I don't wear all black, I think.

I know I'm supposed to leave you alone, honey, but you're not an adult until Saturday,

so I'm still allowed.

Take a breath, mom.

And you...

I'm fine.

It's so nice to finally meet you.

And you. too.

I was...starting to think maybe Grace didn't have a mother.

Ha ha ha. I keep telling Grace to bring her friends over.

She finally let your brother through.

He seems so nice.

Even though I've just seen him leaving.

Those are beautiful!

Ok, mom.

I'm done.

Not another word.

I'm gonna go try these on.


Let's see how it looks with this.

What are you doing, mom?

Grandma gave you that.

And now it's your turn to wear it.

Oh, that is so sweet!

I wanna be Jewish!

I don't mean to embarrass her.

Oh! Ha. Hey... you're a mom, right?

Ok, this one's pretty nifty.

It's got Jerusalem embroidered on it, matching kippah.

Smoking hot.

People really give these?

I got 5.

And you like them?

Like them?

They're bar mitzvah presents.

Nobody likes them.

They simply exist, like Stonehenge.

Consider the candlestick, a popular Shabbat favourite.


lighting of the candles, Friday night...

but she doesn't do that.

Then she can use it to kill colonel mustard in the library.

Dude, you are so over-thinking this.

I just...I can't give her some random thing, you know?

I should give her something that when she looks at it, she thinks of me.

Even when she's 90.

There's always the giant sea turtle.

Can't the almighty creator take a break?

Come on...

Who's gonna yell at you?

What can I say?

Lots to do, lots to do.

Well, you don't have to worry about me.

'Cause I'm doing just great, aren't I?

I so helped Grace out with her dress.

She was gonna wear this seriously nasty green that was totally wrong for her skin tone.

I am all over this bat mitzvah thing.

You know plutonium decomposes quicker than these?

Sometimes I think all I do is ask humanity to clean up its room.

Shouldn't God listen?

I multi-task.

If I didn't, well...

you wouldn't wanna know.

You know, I knew nothing about Judaism before.

I don't think I could ever learn Hebrew, especially not while I'm taking French.

Try being Hindu and learning Sanskrit.

Why did you make so many religions anyway?

I mean, wouldn't it be easier if everybody just had the same one?

Well, there's so many different people.

They all need a different way of relating to me.

And that's what religions are...

different ways to share the same truth.

And...the...truth is...

come on, I helped Grace.

Cut me some slack!

Just one answer!

Kev' ?

Did you know that 90% of paintings hanging in building lobbies are all painted by the same guy?

Really ?


But wouldn't it be a great article if it were true?

What are you doing here?


I don't really know.


I, uh, I just wanted to...

see if you were ok.

It's just like all of a sudden we're... it again.

Andy and...

uh... us and everything.

I thought... uh...

I just didn't want you to be alone with it.


Do you wanna get a cup of coffee?


Will you get me one, too?

It's ok...

Come on !


Oh, hey.

Just met Grace's mom.

She's like this horrible anti-Grace.

She's funny and outgoing.

Why didn't you tell me about her?

Well, I...I haven't seen her in years..

Grace's house is kind of off-limits.

I'm surprised she let you meet her.

She didn't.

She just showed up at the store and then she took us out to this old-time bar downtown for buffalo wings

which were the best thing in the entire world.

Of course, Grace couldn't wait to get out of there, something about corporate agriculture and factory-raised chickens.

What are you working on?


It was the day she died.

You know, we were having coffee.

She was telling me what kind of flowers to get you for our date.

Getting a little obsessed, don't you think?


It makes me feel better.

You should try it.

I don't paint.

Then write.

You know?

Just...let your thoughts pour out and...

Why would I want to think about that day?

It just helps to lay it out, you know,

to look at it all, try and make sense of it.

We can't.

It doesn't make any sense.

Not even God can make sense of this one.

Jane, if we could just...

Don't, ok ?

I just meant that...

I just meant that this means we have to move on.

That's why this mat mitzvah thing is so important.

We get to be happy.

Look, I have to go.

I have to talk to Grace about shoes.

She's all into wearing boots.

I'll see you later, ok?

You can't give me anything.

I did everything you wanted.

Why won't you help me?

Are you talking to yourself, Girardi?

They're not gonna have to lock you up again, are they?

Doors, Grace.

Is that a corporate plot, too?

I brought back your shoes.

They went so well with the dress.

Just because they don't have steel in the toe...

I don't need 'em.

And you don't have to help me with my hair, either.

I'm calling it off.

What? Why?

It's in 2 days!

Not anymore.

See, you were right.

I can say no.

Hi, Grace, it's me again.

Call me.

I'm wearing out the redial.

Bat mitzvah girl still missing?

I just don't get it.

No explanation.


She's better off.

Religion is the opiate of the people.

Oh, you're a communist now.

Oh no.

No need to pay.

What's mine is yours.


'Scuse me while I go dock your pay.

I just finished Weathering Heights

and I hear that Sense and Sensibility can be a real tear-jerker, too.

You got that one?

You wanna read Sense and Sensibility?

A tough exterior can hide a tender heart, Joan.

Hey !

Hey, almighty one !

I have been calling Grace non-stop!

She won't talk to me!

Must make it hard to figure out what the problem is, huh?

Yeah! You could help.

Still after the answers.


What really broke my heart in Weathering Heights

is that Catherine destroyed her love for Heathcliff by hiding her feelings.

That killed me.

And this pertains to Grace's Bat Mitzvah how?

Ah, there it is !

Mm. Pretty cover, huh?

Don?t give up on her, Joan.

Happy birthday.

It's not my birthday.

Well, I got you a little something anyway.

I didn't do anything!


Because you look an awful lot like the guy who knocked over the convenience store on 23rd.

Lucy, we're really walking on the edge here.

I mean, this looks nothing like him.

Don't you want to catch the bad guy who killed the little girl?

Trust me.

I've been down this road before.

Let's go, precious.

You know this is crap.

Maybe, but since it's the weekend, it might take a few days to sort out.

But meanwhile, you'll have a nice bed and 3 squares a day

and some charming roommates to pass the time with.

Joan !

What a nice surprise!


I'm sorry to bother you.

I've just been calling Grace, and I can't seem to find her.

Oh, she's with her father.

She should be back soon.

Would you like a soda or something?

Uh...Mrs. Polonsky, are you ok?

Oh! Maybe a little tired.

Help yourself!

Grace'll be back soon.

Grace is so lucky to have a friend like you.

Yeah, me, too.

Hmm. She's always so embarrassed with me, but I think we had a lovely time the other day, don't you?

Yeah, sure.


Would you like a soda or something?

No, thanks.


I should probably go.

Can you just tell her to call me?

Ok, dear.

It's good to see you again.

Yeah, and I'll... I'll see you later.

We could go kama sutra.

You said you wanted personal.

If that's not personal, I don't know what is

Friedman, this is a religious event!

It's got deeper meaning than...

remarkably limber.


An astronomy text?

That's relationship suicide.

I don't know. I mean...

we met in science class.

My God, it's used!

Grandparents wouldn't give that.

"This is the very ecstasy of love.".

This would have been perfect for Judith.


I found it.

There's no...

no admonitions, Friedman.

I am committed.

You know best, buddy.

It was so weird.

The other day, her mom was like this regular, normal mom, then today...

She was drunk.

I've never seen her mom when she's been drinking.

I've only been to her place a couple of times.

She was a totally different person.

So sad.

If this happens all the time, you should have told me.

Grace made me promise not to say anything.

I'm her best friend.

I should have known!

And I'm her boyfriend.

Look, I got her to go to A-La-Teen so she could start dealing with it.

You just have to give her time.

Time ?

Luke, she already put off her Bat Mitzvah.

She's put it off before, probably for the same reason.

Luke, she has to do this!

Why the hell did you come to my house?

Did you tell her, freak?


No !

He didn't say anything.

I just wanted to talk to you.

You wouldn't call me back.

And you couldn't take a hint this is none of your business?

And it's none of yours anymore either.

We're done.

Grace, I'm sorry.

I was concerned!

Just leave it alone!

Grace, you have to do this

Why the hell do you care if I chant some stupid prayers?

Because you care.

This was just for my parents, and you shouldn't have come over!

Why are you running away?

You don't seem to mind getting in people's faces except for when it matters!

Oh, save it.

You hide Luke !

which, yeah, ok,

I kinda understand...

but you hide your mom, you hide all the important stuff, Grace.

I'm not Jewish, but it seems to me this whole bat mitzvah thing is about standing up and declaring yourself!!

Getting in people's faces for real!


I already got you a present.

You better tell the truth or I'll cancel again.

I told you I will!

If I hear the word adorable, I will go postal.


Getting bored and crabby out here.

Grace !

Shut up, dude.

Oh, God, whoever invented pantyhose should be shot.

My little girl in high heels?

Cry on the dress, dad, and they become lethal weapons.

Come here.

Well, uh...your mother's gonna be ready in a minute.

She's gonna be fine today, Grace...

because she promised.

I'm really sorry about the other day.

She had help, but...

Oh, no, you don't need to explain..

I just wish that I had an answer for...

why this has to be this way.

I don't know.

You wanna go over your torah portion again?

It's under neural lockdown.

Let's boogie.

I'll be down in a minute.

Do you want me to...



Shabbat Shalom.

Today, Grace becomes a bat mitzvah.

She enters a new chapter of her life where she will see the world

not through my eyes or her mother's but through her own.

Who knew the lady was a lady?

And this ceremony is about a celebration of that new sight

the awareness of the complexity of life...

awareness that she now holds, the moral responsibility...

for her own decisions.

Today we pass the torah from generation to generation as it has been handed down for thousands of years.

This torah is being entrusted to you, Grace, with all it contains,

the tradition, the history, the beauty, the pain, the struggle, and most of all...

the mystery.

Check out the muscle definition in her calves.

Don't you have any respect?


I'm in awe here.

Shut it.

Today you are a woman, Grace.

Take care of my little girl.

I know we're all bonding here with the singing,

but seriously, that is a bad song.

Anyway, basically me and my dad have been fighting about this day since I hit the double digits.


I won't go into it.

It was a political thing.

And a daughter of a rabbi thing.

But finally I...gave in and indulged them one last empty ritual before I'm outta here.

But then, um...

not to get all gooey...or anything like that,

when you handed me the Torah, and I read those words, it hit me that...

this is a genius way of attacking adulthood.

I mean, this scroll...

there are no easy answers in here

It's basically a book of questions...

something that makes us keep searching for a way to make sense of this mess.

And just dealing with a lot of questions,

that takes a lot of guts when there's no guarantee that there will be answers.

And, uh, I just hope I'm up for it.

So... fire up that cheesy music, and let's eat.

Dude, I warned you!

Come in.


Your mom said that you wouldn't mind.

No, I...I was just, uh, finishing a story.

You ok ?

I just finished the deposition.

You wanna...sit?

They just kept trying to twist everything that I said, you know, make it seem like you didn't care what happened.

So I yelled at them.


I just kept thinking...

I just kept asking myself, you know, what if...

what if I didn't pick a fight with you that night?

Maybe you wouldn't have got in the car.

It wasn't your fault.

If I could just...

take back that night.

I don't understand why all this is happening.

Are we just supposed to...

forget about all this...

go back to our lives?

I don't know.

You're late.

I was celebrating.

Ryan finally cracked.

It's just a description, but at least it gives us someplace to start.

Thank God.

Why didn't you call me?

Ah, it was a long day.

But, gotta hand it to Lucy....

she's really something.


Ryan was doing his usual whine and sulk,

and she comes in and apologizes for bringing him in on the convenience store bust.

She says, um...

she understands how he feels.

She had me fooled.

What convenience store bust?

Oh, she said he matched some guy's description who knocked over a place on 23rd.

False charges?


aren't you worried his testimony won't hold up?

Look, I'm trying to find the guy who killed Judith.

This is how business gets done.

You never used to talk like this before.

Excuse me ?

Well...making false arrests,

strong-arming some scared kid and telling me that's how business is done?

What are you, Dirty Harry?

You don't understand, Helen.

Do you?

Did you even...

question what you were doing?

Those pictures are gonna surface one day.

Bat mitzvah vets for truth are gonna ruin my life.

I'll get some juice.

You...were so wonderful, Gracie.

So beautiful.

It's just ginger ale.

This is your night.

I'm not going there this time, mom.

Don't you think I can change?

I love you

So thank you for today.

Lovely affair.

You did a nice job, Joanie.

God shouldn't pinch cheeks.

It never makes the world better.

Rugelah ?

No, thank you.

I only eat what I can spell.


That's it?

It's about questions?

That's it.


Well, then, I have one.


Why did she have to die?

What if she never lived at all?

What if I had done things differently ?

What if I could have saved her?

What if knowing you gave her days she thought she'd never have?

No !

No, I want answers.

People need answers.

Don't you see how much...

I miss her?

Can't you still feel her?

See, it's not about answers.

It's about asking the right questions, Joanie.

I told you not to get me anything.

Just come on.

Alone in the dark?

This better not be something Friedman suggested.

Ok, look up.

No, no, no.

Right over there, above the constellation Leo.

My neck is cramping.

Look !

Did you see that?

How did you get them to do that?

It's the Leonid meteor shower.

Happens every year or so.

So you'll never forget tonight.

I mean, it was either this or...

Shabbat candlesticks.

Oh, look !

There's another one!

You know, there's a theory that...

that all organic matter on earth, life, may have come from those.

Wonder if we'll ever know.

Ah... can't believe Grace actually went through with it.

I was so scared to ask.

I mean, what if Judith died because we went on that date,

and what if that means we're not supposed to be together anymore?


I know, I know, I know....

I just...

I was just so scared to...

to lose 2 people that I loved.