Case #1.03: "America, What a Town"

A teenage boy steals a car and drives it to a garage. He and his buddies quickly strip the car down to the frame, which they roll out into the street. One of the boys pulls down the garage door behind them; "Northside High School Auto Shop" is painted on the door.

Nadia, an honor student and athlete from Warsaw, Poland, arrives at the airport amid a crowd of reporters. She's a pretty girl but wearing a long dress and cardigan that makes her look like an old woman. A male government official from Poland explains to the reporters that Nadia won a 4-week exchange trip to the USA through an essay contest. I'm realizing a show like this won't always be 100% accurate, but the foreign exchange students who came to my high school always stayed for the whole school year.

Nadia's host family is standing behind the reporters holding a homemade sign welcoming their guest. Jennifer, the couple's teenage daughter, is scowling. Her mother tells her that hanging out with Nadia might be fun. Jennifer wrinkles her nose and says in the nastiest tone possible, "Girls who win contests in school are not fun." Jennifer's mom chides that they're hosting Nadia for America. Jennifer thinks she'll defect.

At the Jump Street chapel, Jenko assigns Judy to go to the high school that Nadia will be attending. Judy doesn't want to take the assignment; she calls it babysitting. Jenko's hands are tied because the police department is cooperating with the State Department. Doug, in an uncharacteristic moment of insight, explains the concept of trickle-down cooperation. "Why do I feel like the dog that gets kicked in this scenario?" Judy asks. Doug mockingly yelps like a puppy. Jenko tells Judy the assignment should only last a few days; she just has to help Nadia acclimate to American life. Judy agrees to watch out for Nadia in the name of world peace.

Jenko segues into talking about car theft, which is becoming a big business in the area. Car insurance companies have been paying out a lot of claims. Tom, referring to the insurance companies, says, "They're the ones who should be going to jail." An "uninsured doofus" hit Tom's Mustang while it was parked and his insurance company raised his rates. Doug dryly notes: "Maybe you shoulda had uninsured doofus protection." Tom says it won't do any good if you're under 25 and neither will a perfect driving record. 

Jenko interrupts to assign Tom to Northside's auto shop class, which is where the police suspect the stolen cars are being stripped. At Northside, the teacher lectures the class on opportunity and we learn that the school is famous for its shop program. That really isn't too far-fetched; mine was famous for its drama productions. The teacher assigns Tom to work on the end-of-semester group project with Mark "the Mechanic," his best student. What a creative nickname...not. 

Mark is frustrated by the fuel-injection computer in the car they're working on for the project. Tom has a friend who can get them another one for a great price: free.

At Nadia's high school, she discusses the difference between American and Soviet politics in front of the class. She tells the history teacher, Mr. Ramsey, that Poland's feelings are basically pro-American. She even goes as far as to say that Poland may be the only pro-American country left in Europe.

After school, Judy takes Nadia to the local mall. Nadia is impressed, especially by the ATM and the food court ice cream. Despite still wearing frumpy clothes, Nadia somehow catches the eye of a shifty-looking guy in a leather vest. He comes over to their table. Nadia gathers up her sweater, thanks Judy for inviting her to the mall, and goes off with the guy.

Mario, a car dealer, is at an auction house. Mark "the Mechanic" and his friend Stevie are there too. Mario needs more kids to drive cars to auction. He bids on and wins the frame that the boys stripped. Mario wants them to put the car back together and he'll keep 20% of the price once the car sells.

Doug arrives at Northside's auto shop carrying a paper bag. "You forgot your lunch!" he singsongs to Tom. There's really a fuel-injection computer in the bag and Doug has a car key dangling from his ear. Very odd accessory. Tom pulls Doug aside to tell him he thinks the kids are rebuilding the stolen Mercury and asks if Doug has the car's VIN. Doug doesn't have it on him, so Tom tells him the VIN and asks him to remember it. "Give to me again, man. I'm not Kreskin," says Doug.

The teacher comes over and interrupts them, asking who Doug is. Doug says he's a friend of Tom's and was bringing Tom's lunch over because he forgot it. The teacher kicks Doug out of the shop. Doug walks away, mumbling the VIN to himself. Tom asks the teacher where the frames and parts come from and what happens to the car's after they're rebuilt. The teacher retorts that it's none of Tom's "darn business." Ooh, he sure told him!

Jennifer is shocked to see Nadia riding up to school on the back of a motorcycle. The driver is the guy she met at the mall. Nadia's outfit belongs in a Motley Crue video: black leather jacket with matching high heels, fishnet stockings, and a short leather skirt. She has '80s mall hair too. In history class, Judy, along with everyone else, is startled by the drastic change of appearance. Mr. Ramsey asks Nadia if she would be allowed to dress that way in Poland. "Oh yeah, but I'd have a heck of a time finding these pantyhose," she replies in heavily-accented English.

That night on a deserted street, Doug hotwires a car very fast, impressing Stevie and Mark. They drive away in Tom's Mustang; Doug is actually being allowed to drive it, though Tom watches him nervously. Mark and Stevie are planning to open their own garage. It will only service BMWs, Mercedes, Jaguars, and Porsches; the waiting room will have leather couches and a picture window that looks into the service bay. 

Mark and Stevie are trying to raise enough money to place the winning bid on a garage that's in probate. They offer Tom and Doug a job driving cars to auction, making stops along the way to have the odometer rolled back a few thousand miles, etc.

Back at the mall, Nadia is talking to an older man who sells insurance. Nadia wants to learn to drive and own her own sportscar. The salesman offers to let Nadia drive his Camaro. She's excited by the offer and takes the keys. I start having flashbacks to the 1960s educational/scare tactic video "Girls Beware". Before Judy can do anything to stop her, Nadia's peeling out of the mall parking lot with the Camaro's owner holding on for dear life.

In the chapel, Judy bemoans that she can't keep up with Nadia. "You can't keep up with a 17-year-old tourist?" teases Jenko. Judy tells him that "the Rolling Stones couldn't stay on tour with this girl." She runs down Nadia's exploits over the last few days: She tried to leave town with the drummer at a rock 'n roll club. Judy had to pull her away from guys at the mall who were trying to teach Nadia how to shoplift records. "And now," Judy finishes, "she's taken off with some yuppie who decided she needs driving lessons."

Doug's interest is piqued. "What was that girl's number again?" he asks. Tom suggests hooking Nadia up with a guy. Doug immediately volunteers, but Jenko elects Harry to take her to the movies instead. Harry and Nadia sit in the theater making out, ignoring both the movie and Judy. Nadia leaves to get some popcorn.

At the snack counter, another sleazy older guy starts hitting on Nadia. He likes her accent and uses the old "you could be an actress" line. Nadia asks what he does for a living. Sleazebag #2 is an attorney. Nadia asks what he drives. A Porsche. She smiles and says she's always wanted to to ride in a Porsche with an attorney.

Jenko decides to do a little undercover work himself by running down car ads to find out who's selling the stolen 1986 Mercury. The car in question is in Mario's driveway. The registration is in his name, but something seems suspicious to Jenko.

In a car, Tom and Doug share some revelations. Stevie and Mark are brothers and Mario is selling the stolen cars. They've figured out how the scam works: Stevie and Mark steal and strip a car; they roll the frame into the street. The owner reports the car as stolen, the police find the frame, and the insurance company writes the car off as totaled. Mario buys the frame at auction so he'll legally own the car. Stevie and Mark rebuild the car for Mario to sell.

The next day, Tom and Doug reveal that they're cops to the shop teacher. They lay out the details of the scam to the shop teacher. "That's brilliant!" the teacher cries, "This is the best class I've ever had!" What a great role model!

Mark and Stevie now have enough money to buy the garage out of probate. Tom and Doug decide to help them steal the next car so they can bust them. Harry rents a Mercedes, which will be covered by his own insurance but won't have comprehensive coverage. The woman at the rental agency says the lack of comprehensive won't be a problem unless the car is stolen. Harry looks worried because he knows that's exactly what's about to happen to it.

Nadia is missing and her angry handler arrives at the Chapel to berate Judy. Some cops eventually find Nadia dancing and partying in a fountain with several other people, including the attorney she met at the movies. Hopefully he's a good lawyer 'cause he's got some serious explaining to do. In the interrogation room with Judy, Nadia reveals why she's been running around with all these guys. She doesn't want to live in Poland anymore because of Communism; she wants to get married so that she can immigrate to America right away.

Tom, Doug, and Harry ride in Harry's real car. Turns out renting the Mercedes wasn't exactly police procedure, but they did it because, as Doug puts it, "We'd have to wait 3 weeks and they'd give us a Plymouth." They tell Harry not to worry because the boys will rebuild the car. Harry is still anxious; after all, it's his insurance on the Mercedes. They find the Mercedes on the street...and it's on fire.

Tom analytically decides Stevie and Mark must've stripped the Mercedes for parts because they were worth more than the car itself. Understandably, Harry is beside himself. "I'll never be able to get insurance again!" he yells, "Never! You guys made me a high risk!" Doug makes a hilarious politically-incorrect joke by saying that Harry was a high risk to begin with. You know, as an Asian driver and all.

Tom and Doug go to Mario's lot and bust him. They find Stevie and Mark loading a truck with the last few Mercedes parts. They tell them they're cops. Stevie and Mark don't believe them at first. Once they see the badges, they take off through the lot and run over the tops of cars. It reminds me of "Greased Lightning" without the singing and dancing. Doug tries to follow them but very nearly gets stuck between two cars that are parked close together. Stevie and Mark, of course, do get arrested.

Judy goes to the airport to say goodbye to Nadia. The Polish girl is sporting a jean jacket with an American flag on the back, a denim miniskirt, and the fishnets and heels from the earlier scene. Nadia is accompanied by a boy named Chris, who gives her a flower. Judy is visibly relieved that Nadia is interested in a guy her own age.

At the Chapel, Doug gives Harry the last check from the sale of the Mercedes parts. Harry notices that it's short by a lot of money. Tom explains that it's because Jenko has docked his and Doug's pay for not following the proper police procedures. Doug growls in frustration and headbutts the wall. Easy there, big guy; you probably can't afford any more brain damage.

End of episode.

Case #1.02: "Pilot (Part 2)"

I noticed something that kind of detracted from the experience of watching both halves of the pilot: terrible sound editing. The words "ass" and "sucks" have been quite obviously dubbed over several times, probably due to network censorship when it originally ran on Fox. This results in Judy delivering the laughably horrible line: "Original Gangster, my eye."

The episode begins with the mandatory "Last week on 21 Jump Street" montage introducing us to Waxer, Tom, and Kenny once more.

When Tom arrives to work, Jenko, Harry, and Doug are reenacting a famous football game using a Frisbee. Tom tries vainly to get their attention so he can deliver his debriefing. The game ends with Doug tackling Jenko around the waist, picking him up, and setting him back down on his feet. Tom is obviously irritated by their childish behavior and mutters, "I bet this is the only precinct in the department that has recess."

Tom begins reading a novel-length report of the previous day's activities. Doug's ADHD kicks in and he yells, "Get to the point!" Jenko lets Tom know that he purposely put him undercover at Amherst to investigate the theft of Mr. Weckerle's Jaguar. Tom and Harry will be staking out Kenny's house that night.

In the car after dark, Harry reveals that he learned to speak English by watching reruns of Dragnet. He heard Tom Senior was a good cop who won a medal for valor; Tom points out that it was awarded posthumously. They see Kenny pull out of the garage on his scooter and follow him. 
It looks like he's just innocently delivering newspapers until he pulls up to a store, smashes the front window, and starts shoving cameras in his bag.

"The little jerk's doin' smash-and-grabs!" Tom cries. Harry gives chase, but Kenny ditches them by zipping down a narrow side street. Harry's erratic driving gets him pulled over by a marked police car which happens to contain Tom's last partner Charlie. It also adds another politically incorrect joke to the show's tab.

The next day in English class at Amherst, Tom gets mouthy with the teacher Mr. Lamb. A girl named Wendy passes Tom a note. Mr. Lamb openly mocks both of them in front of the whole class and reads the note aloud. When the period ends, he drafts Tom into drama club and gives him the script for that year's play, Rip Van Winkle.

Outside in the hall, sexually aggressive Wendy continues to pursue Tom. She's wearing a micro-miniskirt with a slit up the front. Tom looks desperately uncomfortable. "My mom thinks I'm a tramp," Wendy says. Gee, I wonder why? Wendy adds that her mom makes her watch public TV documentaries about teenage pregnancy and STDs. Her attempts to scare her daughter straight are failing miserably.

After school, Mr. Lamb partners up Kenny and Tom to read through Rip Van Winkle in drama club. Kenny mutters that the play could cure an insomniac. I've had insomnia for years and never considered that remedy; I may have to look into it. Kenny thinks Tom looks familiar. Tom panics, thinking Kenny recognizes him as the cop who was at his house a few days ago. He's visibly relieved when Kenny says he remembers Tom dating Noreen.

Kenny gets very squirrelly when Tom offers him a ride home after drama and we soon found out why. Waxer confronts Kenny in the school parking lot. The Jag was just interest and Kenny still owes. Tom tries to intervene and Waxer pulls a switchblade on him. Principal Schaffer appears just in time to break it up, but doesn't seem overly concerned about Waxer having a weapon on school property. It doesn't make a lot of sense due to the earlier scene painting him as a strict disciplinarian. He actually lets Waxer walk away!

Tom goes to Jenko's office with a computer printout on reported burglaries. Unsurprisingly, there have been a lot on Kenny's paper route in the past few months. He initially suspected Kenny was involved with drugs, but now it looks like Kenny and Waxer are running a burglary ring. Jenko points out that it would take more than fencing watches to pay for Waxer's Ferrari.

Across town, we see Waxer and his henchman Ray-Ray stripping down Mr. Weckerle's Jaguar in an abandoned warehouse. Both are clad in orange jumpsuits. It seems to be a tool to foreshadow their eventual trip to juvenile hall. Kenny arrives to drop off a backpack full of stolen cameras.

That night, Harry and Tom follow Waxer to a fancy restaurant where he seems to be a regular. He meets a drug dealer, they talk shop for a few minutes, and switch cars in the valet lot after leaving the restaurant. Harry, unaware of the switch, tails the Ferrari.

Tom hails a passing taxi and shouts, "Follow that Porsche!" The driver refuses and Tom ends up having to bribe him to get his way. It turns out the cabbie is a terrible driver. Tom wonders if he's related to someone named Ioki. The cabbie answers with a question of his own: "Is he Italian?" Heh.

The taxi ends up rear-ending the Porsche at a red light. Waxer gets pissed and jumps out. He wonders out loud why Tom is following him, but then decides to get back in the Porsche and just take off. The chase ends because the taxi is undriveable.

Tom goes to a payphone to call Jenko and explain the screw-up. Jenko tells him to arrest Kenny for the burglaries to try to get him to talk about Waxer's other business.

Meanwhile, Waxer is in a generous mood. He gives Kenny a keychain vial full of drugs. At school the next day, Kenny goes into the locker room to shoot up. Tom ends up finding him OD'ed on the floor and calls an ambulance.

At the hospital, Tom blames himself for what's happened. He feels Waxer gave Kenny a "hot shot" because he thought Kenny might start talking about the burglary ring. Judy says that an OD is inevitable when someone starts using drugs. Mr. and Mrs. Weckerle also blame themselves for Kenny's drug problem and thank Tom for calling the ambulance.

Tom asks to speak to Kenny alone and his parents have no problem with that. Tom reveals himself as a cop, which really shouldn't have been such a surprise to Kenny. It's not like Tom was at his house earlier that week in uniform or anything. Tom starts playing "bad cop" to get information on Waxer. Kenny tries his pathetic tough-guy routine again, but cracks after one slap to the face.

Doug rides up to the warehouse where Waxer stripped the Jaguar with Judy on the back of his motorcycle. They knock and Judy says she wants to buy drugs. Ray-Ray and Waxer make Doug wait outside. During the buy, Waxer finds out that Judy is wearing a wire. Hearing that his officer's cover is blown, Jenko enters the warehouse by driving his van through one of the wooden walls.

Waxer runs, but Tom eventually catches him after a lengthy foot pursuit involving climbing fences and a dead sprint through a subway station. Jenko arrives with back-up after Tom tackles the teenage coke dealer. Tom wheezes for the uniformed cop to finish reading Waxer his rights so the case won't be blown on a Miranda technicality. "And they say white boys ain't fast," Judy flirts.

Back at Jump Street Chapel, Doug is upstairs in the locker room. He slams his gun and holster into his locker as he loudly gripes about Tom. Tom hasn't even been at the precinct a week and already busted Waxer for working Kenny over on a cocaine payroll and running a burglary ring. 

Doug kisses his fingertips, presses them against one of his posters of scantily-clad models, and slams the locker door shut. He turns around and we see he's wearing a "Just Say No to Drugs" T-shirt. Score one for placement of a quintessential '80s catchphrase.

"Are we just gonna let him get away with that?" Doug asks, referring to Tom's beginner's luck. He slides down the fire pole into the squadroom, where he discovers that everyone, including Tom, heard everything he said upstairs. Judy tells Tom that when Doug complains about another cop like that, it means he's impressed.

Once they're alone, Doug grudgingly admit that he is, in fact, impressed. "Just don't let anyone else know," he warns Tom, "I got a rep to protect." Given that Doug spent most of the pilot wearing motorcycle T-shirts and a studded watch, it appears he's the resident tough guy.

Tom asks why everyone left because they haven't done debriefing yet. Doug looks at Tom like he has an extra head. "It's Friday night!" he says, "Nobody debriefs on Friday night."

The episode ends with a completely throwaway sequence where Tom shows up to play saxophone with Jenko's garage band.

Case #1.01: "Pilot (Part 1)"

The episode begins with the show's do-it-yourself theme song with Holly Robinson (who plays Judy Hoffs) on lead vocals. The backup screams of "JUMP!" are provided by Johnny Depp, who plays Tom Hanson, and Peter DeLuise who plays Doug Penhall. Holly's not a bad singer at all, but I'm a bit curious as to why they didn't have somebody else perform the theme song. Budget issues probably had something to do with it...

We move on to the first scene. A preppy, wealthy family (the Weckerles) is getting ready for dinner: Mom, Dad, and their two teenage children Noreen and Kenny. Noreen's discussing a classmate's dad getting busted for drunk driving. Mom sniffily scolds her son, "Criminals get busted; Mr. Baumler was...arrested." She serves the family meatloaf.

This Leave It to Beaver moment is interrupted by two black teenage boys breaking into the house through the dining room window. They're looking for Kenny, who owes them $6,000. Kenny tearfully promises the money if they give him more time. The larger boy, Waxer, demands the keys to Dad's Jaguar. Dad is reluctant. "Give us the keys or we take little sister here to the prom!" sneers the other boy.

After the boys leave with the keys, Kenny's dad heads to the kitchen to call the police. Kenny flips out and doesn't want the police called.

At a Sonic style diner, a painfully young-looking Johnny Depp is sitting in a police cruiser talking to his partner Charlie. Charlie is the classic "6 months left 'til retirement and don't wanna risk my neck doing police work" cop. Johnny, AKA Tom Hanson, asks Charlie if that's what he was taught in the academy. Charlie responds with: "30 years ago, there wasn't any academy. You rode in the backseat of a black-and-white for a week and a half." As a criminal justice student, I found the attention to detail regarding the history of policing to be a nice touch.

Charlie makes it clear that he doesn't really want to ride with Tom. Tom's previous two partners ended up with broken noses due to his tendency to charge headfirst into situations. Tom and Charlie peel out of the diner parking lot with the food tray still attached to the window, causing Tom to spill both cups of coffee all over himself; they're responding to a domestic disturbance call at the Weckerle residence. 

Dad recounts the story of the break-in while Noreen eyes up Tom. "Are you sure you're old enough to be a cop?" she asks. "You look just like that kid in Pretty In Pink." Kenny is a band geek and nobody in his family has a clue who these kids were or why Kenny owes them $6,000. Charlie suggests kicking in the kid's door and beating the answer out of him. Tom chuckles nervously. 

Kenny speaks up from another room, trying to act tough. He fails miserably when he complains that he was grounded from a Eurhythmics concert for failing gym and says to Tom, "I don't have to tell you spit."

Tom and Charlie leave, agreeing to hand the case off to Juvenile. Charlie becomes suspicious of a car that stops for a green light and learns from the radio that the car was seen leaving a convenience store robbery. A chase ensues with Hanson driving erratically, flying down a one-way street. A pit maneuver ends the pursuit.

The suspects are ordered out of the car. They begin to taunt Tom about his baby face. Tom gets angry and ends up in a physical scuffle with them. Charlie comes over and tries to break it up. Tom's wild swing catches the older cop in the nose.

The next morning, Charlie is shown in the police locker room with  tape covering his broken nose. One of Tom's previous partners thinks Tom is a liability. Charlie disagrees; the kid's a good cop who doesn't like being picked on about how young he looks. Tom comes in and Charlie lets him know that the captain wants to see Tom.

On the way to his office, the captain complains to the rookie about the Vice detectives: "All they wanna do now is wear pink sportcoats and drive Ferraris." Freeze! Miami Vice! The subject turns to Tom. Tom's not intimidating to suspects and nobody wants to ride with him anymore. The captain suggests Tom is too young. Tom thinks he's being fired and complains: "6 months at the academy and now I get to go manage a doughnut shop. Or maybe I could be one of those rent-a-cops who checks proof at a teen club."

The captain tells Tom that the department has a secret undercover program called Jump Street Chapel, which got its name because it's run out of an abandoned church. The program involves sending young-looking officers undercover in local high schools. Tom is initially uninterested, calling it "Fast Times at Bust-Your-Buddy High." He hated high school the first time and lists his reasons why. The captain delivers an ultimatum: It's either Jump Street Chapel or driving a desk at Parker Center (the department's administrative building) until Tom looks old enough to be a cop.

Tom goes home to think about it, mournfully playing his saxophone in front of a framed picture of himself as a little boy with his dad Tom Hanson Senior. Tom Senior is in a police uniform. Tom plays an answering machine tape of what is presumably the last time he talked to his father; it was clearly a long time ago since the two discuss Tom Junior fighting at school.

Next we see Tom pulling up to an old church in a beauty of a '60s-era Mustang: blue paint job with black leather interior. He's wearing his patrolman uniform. The church's windows are boarded up and the surrounding neighborhood is also in disrepair. There are a few other vehicles near the church, notably a faded yellow van, a green roadster, and a blue-and-white motorcycle that looks like it could be a Harley-Davidson. 

Tom walks up into the loft of the church. It initially appears empty. Suddenly, he's ambushed from the side by a tall, heavyset cop with long curly brown hair and a pierced ear. It's Peter DeLuise. He looks over Hanson's attire and quips, "Guess nobody told ya this prom ain't a formal." He introduces himself as Doug Penhall. An Asian police officer played by Dustin Nguyen appears behind Doug. His name is H.T. Ioki.

Tom asks if he's in Jump Street Chapel, to which Doug replies "only if you're Catholic." This leads Doug and Harry to discuss  their respective lineage. The dialogue is delightfully politically incorrect. Doug reveals that his mother is Jewish, "which only means I get to celebrate both guilt and hell." Harry clarifies this by explaining Doug's father used to be a priest: "So don't play bingo with this guy; he's a killer."

Doug tells Tom that Ioki's initials stand for Harry Truman. Harry deadpans that he's "named after the guy who dropped an atom bomb on my house." He starts playing with a rat he found somewhere. An actual, live rat. Kinda gross but kinda cute.

Tom needs to talk to Captain Jenko. Doug turns and bellows "YO! JENK!" over his shoulder. Tom looks stunned that somebody would be summoning their superior in this fashion. A middle-aged man with long, stringy black hair makes a grand entrance by sliding down a yellow-and-red-striped fire pole. And I'll be damned, the actor is Frederic Forrest, AKA "Chef" from Apocalypse Now! He's wearing jeans and a leather bomber jacket with a picture of Jim Morrison on the back.

The man proudly declares he's "been a Deadhead since Woodstock." Tom didn't go because he was only 5 years old and asks where to find Jenko. Tom is shocked that this guy turns out to be Captain Jenko. He's equally confused by Jenko's hippie slang. Tom asks if he has time to get an omelet.

Jenko gives him a look. "When was the last time you saw a teenager have a cup of black coffee and an omelet for breakfast? From now on, it's potato chips, sodapop, pizza, and French fries." He tosses Tom a can of Coke and a bag of potato chips from his desk and cries, "It's the Pepsi Generation, sport!"

Jenko tells Tom that the rest of the undercover unit is several weeks ahead of him and Tom will have to be rushed through some of the training. He'll pair Tom with Officer Hoffs and shouts for Hoffs to wake up. Judy Hoffs, played by Holly Robinson, enters the office. It's obvious from the look on Tom's face that he thinks she's cute. "Run this cat down to wardrobe," Jenko instructs, "And for God's sakes, do something about that Jack Kennedy haircut."

Jenko leaves. Tom and Judy shake hands. He offers her a chip. There's a montage of Tom trying on clothes, getting a haircut, hanging out at an arcade with Judy, and buying records. By the end, Tom is clad in tight acid-washed jeans, boots, a black T-shirt, and a black leather jacket. His hairstyle is similar to James Dean's and he has a pierced ear.

At night, Tom has his first field training assignment, posing as Penhall's cousin. Jenko gives him firm instructions to buy drugs from the target, a kid named Jace, but not bust him. Tom and Jace head into an alley. Tom is visibly nervous. Jace gets suspicious and puts a gun to Tom's head. Tom tackles Jace and arrests him. Jenko tears into the alley and jumps out of his yellow van. He discovers that there were no drugs in the plastic bag, just a pair of smelly socks.

Jenko gives Tom a thorough ass-reaming in the street. "Now I gotta pull Penhall out!" he yells, "'Cause now the creeps who were hanging with Jace are gonna make him faster than Elton John in a hat shop!" I like that metaphor. May have to start using it...

In the wee hours of the morning, Kenny leaves his parents' house on his motor scooter. He rides to what looks like downtown and starts delivering newspapers. He spots some watches on display and smashes the store's front window. He shoves them into his newspaper bag and rides away.

At Jump Street Chapel, the gang gathers around a table for roll call. Doug is annoyed with Tom for blowing his cover. Judy is earning good grades and Jenko warns her, "Honor students don't usually hang out with felons." Jenko tells Tom that he's being sent to Amherst High as a disciplinary transfer. Nothing is really going on at Amherst that the department knows of; it's just a chance for Tom to get his feet wet.

As Jenko dismisses them, Doug pounds on the table and lets out a loud wolf howl. Jenko mutters that he's glad Doug's on their side, giving us the hint that the big guy may be a little unstable.

In the Amherst parking lot, Tom makes the mistake of pulling into a parking space that's normally occupied by a red Ferrari. The luxury car belongs to Waxer, the guy who broke into Kenny Weckerle's house. The disagreement quickly turns physical. A teacher breaks it up and sends both boys to the principal's office.

Jake Schaffer, Amherst's principal, has a tedious conversation with Tom and Waxer using football metaphors ("completion record," "10 minutes into the first quarter on a Monday morning", etc). Tom learns that Tyrell "Waxer" Thompson is on probation. 

A short time later, Tom is in the hallway at his locker. With a jolt, he recognizes the guy a few lockers down; it's Kenny Weckerle. Kenny shouts for Waxer to leave him alone, but it's not Kenny that Waxer's interested in this time. Instead, Waxer approaches Tom.

"You gonna like it here at Amherst, boy. You gonna like it a lot if you like dyin'," Waxer threatens.

TO BE CONTINUED...flashes across the screen.

Welcome to My Project!

I got the idea for this blog earlier this year after seeing the movie 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. I'm a longtime connoisseur of all things Johnny Depp and loved his cameo appearance in it. However, I'd never seen the original '80s TV show that made Johnny both a teen idol and a household name. My best friend, a fellow Johnny Depp lover, told me I absolutely had to watch the series.

I was given a DVD box set of Season One as a birthday present. I really enjoyed its unabashed cheesiness and unique blend of drama and comedy. I recently discovered that the rest of the series run is available for free on Hulu. My plan is to watch every single episode, then post a recap/critique of each installment. There were a total of 103 episodes over the show's 5-season run

I'm looking forward to seeing what the other 4 seasons hold. So hang on tight as I crack open the case files of the Jump Street Chapel!