The Best Episodes of Joan of Arcadia

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2018

A drama about a typical family, the Girardis, facing atypical situations -- not the least of which is their teenage daughter Joan's sudden, unexpected conversations with God in such random forms as a cute boy, Goth kid, little girl or the school lunch lady. Joan (Amber Tamblyn) must endeavour to balance the natural and supernatural elements of her life, often with little success. This is not the only major problem the family must face as her elder brother Kevin (Jason Ritter) was paralysed from the waist down in a car accident in 2002. As a result, her younger brother Luke (Michael Welch) often feels that his needs are being ignored.

Jump

#1 - Jump

Season 1 - Episode 12

Joan is saddened when she learns Rocky (Death Be Not Whatever) has passed away, causing her to further question God about life and death. Will loses his job when his discovery, and whistle blowing, of a political conspiracy causes the town government, and police department, to be desolved. While Luke continues to work on his science project and his growing attraction to Grace and Kevin is injured in a game of basketball.

star 8.44
23 votes
Writers: Hart Hanson
Queen of the Zombies

#2 - Queen of the Zombies

Season 2 - Episode 13

God instructs Joan to try out for the school play; Adam builds the sets for the play; Grace becomes jealous of Luke and Glynis.

star 8.27
19 votes
Writers: Joy Gregory
Friday Night

#3 - Friday Night

Season 2 - Episode 8

After being prodded by Judith to go on a real date, Joan and Adam nervously prepare for a romantic night at a fancy French restaurant. Little do they know that Judith has subsequently made some misguided plans for herself for that evening, which later causes the guilt-ridden Joan to wonder if she could have prevented her friend's misfortune.

star 8.20
16 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Stephen Nathan
Wealth of Nations

#4 - Wealth of Nations

Season 2 - Episode 6

Gods tells Joan to help her mother collect clothes for the homeless; Kevin attempts stand-up comedy in order to impress Beth; Will wants to counter-sue the Bakers.

star 8.15
21 votes
Directors: Kevin Dowling
Writers: Tom Garrigus
State of Grace

#5 - State of Grace

Season 1 - Episode 14

God tells Joan to join the debate team, where her partner has a stuttering problem. A new security system is implemented at Arcadia High School. After the art teacher quits, Helen wonders if she would be right for the job. Both Kevin and Luke seperately deal with the aftermath of a kiss. And Will and Toni deal with a case involving a reverend accussed of child molestation.

star 8.15
20 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: Joshua Ravetch
Double Dutch

#6 - Double Dutch

Season 1 - Episode 16

God tells Joan to learn to jump rope with a group of inner-city teens, one of whom Joan discovers is homeless. Kevin goes on a date, but not with who you think.

star 8.14
21 votes
Directors: Alan Myerson
Writers: Tom Garrigus
Touch Move

#7 - Touch Move

Season 1 - Episode 3

God encourages Joan to learn how to play chess; Will must work with a psychic on a missing toddler case; Helen hopes a miracle will enable Kevin to walk again.

star 8.13
29 votes
Directors: Josh Brand
Writers: Barbara Hall
Silence

#8 - Silence

Season 1 - Episode 23

When the hospitalized Joan is diagnosed with Lyme disease, she begins to question if she's been seeing God or merely experiencing the hallucinations that can be symptomatic of her condition... Upon hearing that Joan may have been suffering from the symptoms of Lyme Disease for months, a somewhat relieved Will and Helen believe this news may explain Joan's mood swings and atypical behavior, while a concerned Adam wonders if Joan will be different upon her recovery. Meanwhile, the hospitalized Joan experiences a crisis of faith -- and considers revealing to someone close to her that she's been talking to God. In separate circumstances, Helen and Will begin to rethink their belief systems after, respectively, experiencing spiritual dreams and miraculous events.

star 8.12
17 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Barbara Hall
Anonymous

#9 - Anonymous

Season 1 - Episode 20

Joan joins the yearbook staff, per God's request, and decides to use this assignment as a means of impressing Adam... Feeling threatened that Iris and Adam continue to share a bond over their passion for art, Joan vows to discover a hidden talent that Adam will admire. However, her disastrous attempt to be the yearbook's star photographer soon adds to her insecurities about losing him. Meanwhile, Will and Toni attempt to set up a sting for a man who is planning to hire a hitman to murder his wife.

star 8.12
17 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: David Grae
The Election

#10 - The Election

Season 2 - Episode 5

Things get dirty in a student council election as God instructs Joan to support a candidate; Helen must deal with a student who protests another students work of art.

star 8.10
20 votes
Directors: Rob Morrow
Writers: Ellie Herman
St. Joan

#11 - St. Joan

Season 1 - Episode 9

God wants Joan to score an ""A"" on a test about French saint Joan of Arc. As the teen hits the books, she draws comparisons to the life of the young heroine who claimed to hear divine voices and was burnt at the stake. Helen finds her daughter's newest obsession troublesome and urges Will to have the entire family visit a therapist. Meanwhile, Will is unjustly raked over the coals for shutting down a crack house.

star 8.00
23 votes
Writers: Randy Anderson
Recreation

#12 - Recreation

Season 1 - Episode 13

At Helen's insistance, she and Will take a getaway to a spa, but all does not go well when Will cannot forget about his job. And with the parents away, the kids are up to a little recreation of their own; Kevin and his boss, Rebecca, find it hard to ignore their mutual attraction; Joan, as she is trying to sort out her feelings for Adam, is instructed by God to throw a party while her parents are way; Luke helps Joan pull off a successful party.

star 8.00
24 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Barbara Hall
The Uncertainty Principle

#13 - The Uncertainty Principle

Season 1 - Episode 11

God instructs Joan to ask a troublemaker to the winter formal. Will uncovers secrets that could prove unfavorable to the former Chief of Police and other members of the city's government.

star 7.96
22 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers: Joy Gregory
Night Without Stars

#14 - Night Without Stars

Season 1 - Episode 15

Joan's newest mission from God is to work with kids, so she volunteers to help babysit children of abused mothers; Joan becomes jealous when Adam falls for one of the volunteers; Kevin starts to get cocky again and sleeps with his girlfriend, Rebecca; previous events emotionally catch up with Will; and Luke makes a shocking admission to Kevin.

star 7.95
20 votes
Directors: Kevin Dowling
Writers: David Grae
No Bad Guy

#15 - No Bad Guy

Season 1 - Episode 17

After Joan stands up for one of her classmates being bullied, an embarrassing picture of Joan, taken with a picture phone, is rapidly spread around school. God instructs Joan to join the band. Will must deal with an elderly driver who accidentally killed several people.

star 7.94
17 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Sibyl Gardner
The Gift

#16 - The Gift

Season 1 - Episode 22

After God tells Joan to give Adam a gift, she finds something that leads her to wonder if God's suggesting she have sex with him... While secretly searching through Adam's backpack for gift ideas, Joan is stunned to find a condom there. She soon wonders if sex is the ""gift"" God had in mind, and she nervously ponders whether or not she'd be ready for such a big step. Meanwhile, Kevin begins covering court proceedings for the paper and ends up causing a stir in one of Will's cases.

star 7.94
17 votes
Writers: Stephen Nathan
Drive, He Said

#17 - Drive, He Said

Season 1 - Episode 10

Each of the Girardis deal with crises of varying seriousness, the worst of which puts Will at the mercy of a crazed gunman. The day also finds Helen reacting with mixed emotions after getting a positive result on a home-pregnancy test. Meanwhile, Joan dreads having to take her driver's exam, and Luke is presented with a major distraction just before he's supposed to compete in a high-stakes competition.

star 7.93
26 votes
Writers: Tom Garrigus
Bringeth It On

#18 - Bringeth It On

Season 1 - Episode 6

Joan gets a lesson in popularity when God tells her to try out for the cheerleading squad, and her efforts to impress two pom-pom girls pay off with an invite to hang out together outside of school. Meanwhile, Will's first case working with Det. Toni Williams involves an abandoned newborn left in a trash bin, presumably by a student from Arcadia High. Another story line has a classmate sensing a gay vibe in Luke.

star 7.91
24 votes
Directors: David Petrarca
Writers: Joy Gregory
Pilot

#19 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1

16 year old Joan Girardi is approached by someone claiming to be God. He gives her a mission, get a job. Will Girardi, Joan's dad and new chief of police for Arcadia, is trying to solve the case of a serial killer.

star 7.90
40 votes
Writers: Barbara Hall
Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

#20 - Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

Season 1 - Episode 21

Joan takes a cosmetics class, per God's request, and Kevin doesn't react well to crossing paths with the last girlfriend he dated before his disabling accident... Glynis' flattering makeover attracts a great deal of positive attention at school, which only adds to Joan's disappointment when Adam fails to notice her own new look. Meanwhile, Kevin, who remains bitter with the belief that he had been dumped by Beth because he had become a paraplegic, harshly rebuffs her efforts to make peace with him.

star 7.89
19 votes
Directors: Jerry Levine
Writers: Robert Girardi
The Cat

#21 - The Cat

Season 2 - Episode 4

God has Joan adopt a wild cat; Helen's Aunt Olive has a stroke while visiting; Will calls Internal Affairs to investigate for corrupt cops.

star 7.88
23 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: David Grae
Death Be Not Whatever

#22 - Death Be Not Whatever

Season 1 - Episode 7

Joan baby-sits for a 6-year-old boy who is obsessed with death; officers assault a black man at a gas station.

star 7.88
25 votes
Directors: Peter Levin
Writers: Barbara Hall
The Fire and the Wood

#23 - The Fire and the Wood

Season 1 - Episode 2

Joan enrolls in advanced-placement chemistry, after God asks her to stop being an underachiever; Will ruffles feathers during an arson investigation.

star 7.83
36 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Hart Hanson
The Devil Made Me Do It

#24 - The Devil Made Me Do It

Season 1 - Episode 8

God's mysterious ways once again bewilder Joan, when He asks her to volunteer at the high-school art show, so that she can keep Adam Rove's sculpture from being exhibited. Elsewhere, Will feels pressure from the DA's office to call a man a hero after he shoots and kills a home intruder. Meanwhile, Kevin grows weary of receiving special treatment because he uses a wheelchair.

star 7.83
24 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Hart Hanson
The Book of Questions

#25 - The Book of Questions

Season 2 - Episode 10

While helping Grace shop for a dress for the occasion, Joan is delighted to finally meet Grace's seemingly perfect mother, Sarah. However, when Sarah's drinking problem becomes evident, Joan begins to understand why Grace is so private – and why she's long been avoiding having her bat mitzvah. Meanwhile, Luke racks his brain to come up with a meaningful bat mitzvah gift for Grace. Additionally, Adam and Joan have different ways of coping with Judith's death. Will supports Lucy's less-than-legal means of trying to get one of Judith's friends to describe Judith's on-the-run killer, and Kevin's ex-girlfriend is deposed for the trial.

star 7.80
14 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: Ellie Herman