I agree that they are shortcutting the really good storylines, and it stinks. They have fodder for really good shows, and they are electing not to develop them.
I remember... many many moons ago ....I took a class where one of the guys couldn't process written tests and had to be given the test orally. I often wondered what happened with him since the class we were taking required a lot of reading and writing to perform the job we were training for.
Joan is staying out of bed an awful lot. She is cruising toward trouble. But, then again, with the way they are 'aborting' these storylines, who knows?