1×14 State of Grace

….. by TeeJay

There’s something new in school. The incident with Steve Ramsey obviously scared the school enough to put up metal detectors at the entrance. Joan and Grace talk about smuggling guns into school and how Grace feels her privacy violated while they’re waiting to be scanned. Adam is worried about the metal studs on his boxers. “It’s from my 8th grade Iron Maiden period. I haven’t done a wash in a few days, so…” Iron Maiden period? Wow, Adam, I would have never pegged you for a headbanger! Joan and Adam look on as Mrs. Jankow, the art teacher, is leaving. She tells Price she quits. “I’m not teaching art in a war zone.” She almost trips over Adam, and when he helps her pick up some of the things she dropped, she tells him, “I’m sorry. Adam, you’re really talented, but I.. I’m sorry.” Adam looks so down, like his hopes were just crushed to pieces. What is he going to do without art class?

While Helen is giving out late slips to basically everyone (because everyone’s late due to the new metal detectors), Adam says he wants to drop art. Grace is astounded. “What? It’s the only class you like, Rove.” He explains that if the art teacher is gone, they’re gonna have one lame sub after another who’ll teach them how to draw a dog. He can do his art much better in his shed. Helen goes all motherly on him, telling him he needs art on his transcript if he wants to go to art school one day. She promises Adam that she will find them a good new art teacher, but Adam’s not convinced. “Yeah, there are tons of inspiring artists, lining up to teach high school.”

Grace and Adam come by the Girardi’s house later to study chemistry with Joan. Helen tells Adam that she’s got lots of applicants for the new art teacher. Adam doesn’t react very enthusiastically. In the living room (or is it the study?), Grace plops on the sofa while Adam first crawls over half of it before he sits down, taking his toque and scarf off. And as they babble on about the determination of the heat of an ionic compound in water, Grace and Adam uncover some books that Joan has lying around. “The Necessity of Martial Law” and “Abdicating Civil Rights” and “Understanding and Controlling Stuttering”. (Just to explain: God told Joan to join the Debate Team and she encounters a boy there who has a bad stuttering problem.) And Grace just freaks. She thinks Joan is helping promote suppressive propaganda, giving power to words by looking into all this stuff. Grace storms off, clearly Joan can’t be her friend if they disagree on “basic human rights”. Adam utters the obvious. “Guess we’re not gonna study tonight, are we?” No, guess not. But now I wonder what exactly they did instead.

In school, Joan confides in Adam as they walk along the hallway. “I can’t believe Grace won’t talk to me!” Adam isn’t very reassuring. “Why? I went for weeks without talking to you. I can’t hold a grudge like she can.” And Joan tells him, “Yeah, you had a good reason. She’s being a jerk.” When she asks Adam if he thinks Grace is right, he admits, “I usually don’t listen unless I hear my name.” Yeah, dreamer boy, there we have it again. But maybe Grace is not as mad as Joan thinks because Adam tells her that Grace is coming to listen to the debate. What about him, she asks. Adam says he’ll come if she wants him too. To Joan it all still seems a little awkward between the two of them, so she asks him, “Adam, we’re okay now. Aren’t we?” He gets lost in her eyes, then catches himself. “Su—sure. We’re… us.” They share a very sweet smile before they separate. If they’d been standing there a moment longer, I’m sure they would have kissed.

The episode ends on Helen telling Will about that she filled out the application for art teacher and threw all the others away. Bet Adam’s gonna be really thrilled about that. (And that was truly not meant to sound sarcastic.)