The BEST Episodes of Joan of Arcadia

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021

Network: CBS

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.

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#1 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 26, 2003

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 7.25
168 votes
Writers: Barbara Hall

#2 - Jump

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 9, 2004

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 7.07
115 votes
Writers: Hart Hanson
St. Joan

#3 - St. Joan

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2003

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 7.06
117 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Randy Anderson
Queen of the Zombies

#4 - Queen of the Zombies

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 14, 2005

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 7.04
107 votes
Directors: Graeme Clifford
Writers: Joy Gregory
Friday Night

#5 - Friday Night

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 12, 2004

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 7.02
134 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Stephen Nathan
The Election

#6 - The Election

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 22, 2004

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 7.02
108 votes
Directors: Rob Morrow
Writers: Ellie Herman
Drive, He Said

#7 - Drive, He Said

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 5, 2003

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 7.00
147 votes
Directors: Ron Lagomarsino
Writers: Tom Garrigus
The Uncertainty Principle

#8 - The Uncertainty Principle

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 12, 2003

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 7.00
112 votes
Directors: Helen Shaver
Writers: Joy Gregory
Trial and Error

#9 - Trial and Error

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 1, 2005

Joan prepares to prosecute a case for a mock trial at school, per God's request, while enthusiastically planning a way to celebrate her one-year anniversary with Adam, who has secretly betrayed her. Joan surprises everyone with her passion in prosecuting a mock case against the equally motivated defense attorney, Grace. Meanwhile, while trying to hide his guilt from Joan as she plans a special anniversary night out with him, Adam decides to confess his wrongdoing to an appalled Grace. Meanwhile, Will investigates the murder of an eight-year-old girl and Helen continues her study of catholicism.

star 6.98
167 votes
Writers: Marc Flanagan
Wealth of Nations

#10 - Wealth of Nations

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 29, 2004

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 6.97
139 votes
Directors: Kevin Dowling
Writers: Tom Garrigus
The Cat

#11 - The Cat

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 15, 2004

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 6.95
141 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: David Grae
Book of Questions

#12 - Book of Questions

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 26, 2004

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 6.86
131 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: Ellie Herman
Only Connect

#13 - Only Connect

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 24, 2004

After a summer of therapy and with school resuming Joan tries to return to a ""normal"" life even as she ignores God, who keeps reappearing; Will is sued for emotional distress by Andy Baker, whose drunk driving caused the accident that paralyzed Kevin; Luke and Grace try to adjust to their relationship.

star 6.86
134 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Barbara Hall
Touch Move

#14 - Touch Move

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 10, 2003

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 6.85
125 votes
Directors: Josh Brand
Writers: Barbara Hall
Double Dutch

#15 - Double Dutch

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 20, 2004

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 6.76
112 votes
Directors: Alan Myerson
Writers: Tom Garrigus
Bringeth It On

#16 - Bringeth It On

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 31, 2003

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 6.75
115 votes
Directors: David Petrarca
Writers: Joy Gregory
Death Be Not Whatever

#17 - Death Be Not Whatever

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 7, 2003

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

star 6.75
119 votes
Directors: Peter Levin
Writers: Barbara Hall
Back to the Garden

#18 - Back to the Garden

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 8, 2004

God instructs Joan to start a community garden; Judith continues her downward spiral; Luke puts up a strong front with Grace; a former police informant is killed setting Will and Carlisle on a mission to find corrupt cops.

star 6.75
140 votes
Directors: Kevin Dowling
Writers: Joy Gregory
State of Grace

#19 - State of Grace

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 6, 2004

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 6.74
111 votes
Directors: Steve Gomer
Writers: Joshua Ravetch
The Devil Made Me Do It

#20 - The Devil Made Me Do It

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 2003

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 6.72
116 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Hart Hanson
Out of Sight

#21 - Out of Sight

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 1, 2004

Judith, a wild friend of Joan's from summer camp, starts school at Arcadia High; Will investigates a drive-by shooting; Kevin confronts Andy about the on-going lawsuit.

star 6.72
138 votes
Directors: Rob Morrow
Writers: Stephen Nathan

#22 - Recreation

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 16, 2004

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 6.72
114 votes
Directors: Elodie Keene
Writers: Barbara Hall
The Gift

#23 - The Gift

Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired May 14, 2004

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 6.69
109 votes
Directors: Martha Mitchell
Writers: Stephen Nathan
Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

#24 - Vanity, Thy Name Is Human

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired May 7, 2004

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 6.66
111 votes
Directors: Jerry Levine
Writers: Robert Girardi

#25 - Silence

Season 1 - Episode 23 - Aired May 21, 2004

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 6.64
80 votes
Directors: James Hayman
Writers: Barbara Hall