Case #1.08: "Bad Influence"

The episode opens with two middle school boys (Jordan and Dylan) hanging out in a deli late at night. Dark-haired Dylan apparently works there. Blond-haired, blue-eyed Jordan is looking at a porn magazine. Sidebar: Why are the blonds always the perverted ones on this show? See "The Worst Night of Your Life".

The boys' attention is torn away from the naked women by some noise from outside. Some men in a van are breaking into an ATM across the street. Jordan wants to call the police, but Dylan has other ideas. He hits the store alarm, which can be heard from outside. The robbers are spooked and flee. Dylan and Jordan hurry to the gutted machine and start stuffing their pockets with cash; the guys who started the robbery see them doing it.

In Cap'n Rufus's office, the Jump Street team passes around school pictures of Dylan and Jordan; they've now been missing for 36 hours. Tom is concerned they could be homicide victims. In his black T-shirt and white sportscoat, he looks like he robbed Don Johnson's closet. Doug, in a denim tuxedo and brown leather jacket, is channeling Hutch. Rufus instructs them to go talk to the missing boys' parents.

Next item of business: Rumors are circulating that a teenage prostitute is working the halls of her high school. Judy thinks it "sounds like a story a bunch of guys like Penhall would make up." Doug doesn't even get the slightest bit defensive about this remark. Harry will be going undercover to bust the girl (if she exists) for prostitution while Judy works things from the girl's side.

Doug leaves the office to call Jordan and Dylan's parents to set up an interview. Tom warns Doug to watch what he says and try not to get their hopes up too much. Doug promises to be as pessimistic as possible. 

At one of the boys' houses, the two sets of parents are seated on opposite sides of the kitchen table. The writers don't really distinguish who's who, so I'm not going to attempt to. One of the dads is very hostile to Doug and Tom. They try to be professional and ask if there's any places Jordan and Dylan liked to hang out. Hostile Dad tells him they like to play basketball at the Y; Mom #2 (not Hostile Dad's wife) reminds him that they did that a couple of years ago. 

There's a brief pause before Doug states: "You people have no idea what your kids are up to, do you?" All four parents aggressively state that they can't monitor the boys' activities 24 hours a day because they all work full-time. Mom #2 is nearly in tears. "Those poor babies," she whimpers. "I can't bear to think what's happened to them."

At a VERY nice hotel restaurant, Jordan and Dylan, both in designer clothes, are relaxing at a table. Dylan orders two vodka martinis and bribes the waitress when she asks for ID. It seems they've been on a spending spree: new suits, pinky rings, and tipping the waitress $50 for a bag of chips. Jordan thinks they should go home because he's worried the ATM robbers will find them. The waitress appears with the martinis. "This is nuts," Jordan hisses. Dylan smirks and asks if it's acceptable. "Barely," concedes Jordan as they toast.

At the high school with the suspected prostitute, poor Harry is picked last for basketball in gym class. One of the guys on his team has a date that night with a girl named Lauren, who's supposed to "do it for money." After class, he informs Judy of this. Judy bets that Lauren has no clue what's being said about her.

Judy finds Lauren in the library. Lauren bears a striking resemblance to one of my mother's friends from college. She has newspaper real-estate ads spread all over a table. Judy introduces herself as transfer student from Jefferson, the same cover story she used in the last episode! Have some creativity, Rufus!

Anyway, Lauren is looking at the ads for her dad. He's being transferred to his company's office in Connecticut and wants her to see what's available. Judy, understandably, doesn't seem to buy this story. Who asks their 16 or 17-year-old daughter to check out housing ads for them?

Lauren goes on to say her mom doesn't want to move because it'll mean leaving the country club. Lauren's dad has promised to buy Lauren a horse when they get to Connecticut. They're interrupted by a blond girl who smiles sweetly before asking nastily if Lauren is interviewing more candidates for the massage parlor.

"What was that about?" Judy wants to know. Lauren advises Judy to be careful who she dates. The guys expect sex; if they don't get it, they'll lie and say you had sex with them anyway. 

That is only too true. My first boyfriend would act like we weren't together. When my best friend told me that he asked her out, I broke up with him in our school cafeteria in front of everyone. Next thing I know, he told all his football teammates that we had sex. Our relationship lasted a grand total of a week and we never even kissed. 

Later that day, Harry approaches Lauren at her locker and awkwardly asks her out. He assures her that he's a sweetheart. Lauren agrees to a date with him the next night.

At Judy's locker, she asks Harry if Lauren really strikes him as a hooker. Guys, she points out again, are notorious for rumors: "She can't get enough...she swings from chandeliers. No one ever stops to think about how it hurts the girls because your brains are stuck in your zippers." Testify, my sister!

We join Lauren on a porch with the guy from Harry's gym class. She's dressed somewhat provocatively and they're making out. They go in the house and raid the fridge for beers. Lauren watches intently as the guy punches in the code for the burglar alarm. She asks if he's sure his parents are gone for the night and if he has protection. Upstairs in his bedroom, she takes off her top, revealing her bare back. She says they have plenty of time as long as he has money. He passes out mid-kiss.

At the upscale Ambassador Hotel, Tom and Doug are interrogate the waitress and desk clerk. Tom has changed into a tweed jacket reminiscent of something a college professor would wear; Doug looks quite out of place in his flannel shirt and Army surplus store jacket.

"Didn't you think it was little strange that two 15-year-olds asked for the presidential suite?" Tom wants to know. The clerk did at first, but Mr. Steel and Mr. Bond paid in cash. Doug repeats the fake names with raised eyebrows. The waitress just thought they were rich kids until she saw the report in the newspaper that they were missing. The clerk says the boys were pleasant guests and good tippers.

Tom requests a copy of the hotel bill and gripes to Doug, "Everybody's worried these kids are dead and they're out there auditioning for Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." Doug is surprisingly calm. He tells Tom to relax and just be glad the kids are okay.

Jordan and Dylan's hotel bill contains charges for room service, pay-per-view movies, valet (odd since they didn't have a car), and a dozen calls to a number called Dial-A-Sweat. Tom doesn't know what Dial-A-Sweat is and Doug eagerly explains, "You pay 2 bucks to talk for 3 minutes to an extremely friendly lady." When Tom shoots him a look, Doug says that Fuller told him about the number. 

A man with a mustache knocks on Lauren's front door. Lauren is upset; they had a deal that Mr. Mustache wasn't supposed to come to her house. Lauren asks for her money. Mr. Mustache says Lauren's mother never gave him this attitude or any problems. Presumably, Mr. Mustache used to be her mom's pimp. "A $400-a-day fix was no problem?" Lauren asks. A drug-addicted candidate for Mom of the Year.

Mr. Mustache hands over a wad of money. Lauren thinks she's being shortchanged; she knows she stole an expensive stereo. He tells her it was a foreign knock-off and asks how last night went. She tells him the guy from gym had a new TV, stereo, CD player, and original artwork. Mustache asks for the location of the master bedroom and the alarm code. Lauren gives him both and tells him to come back with more money next time before slamming the door in his face.

Lauren goes into her mom's bedroom and asks if her mom's picked a house. Her mom doesn't know how they can afford a place that costs $100,000. Lauren says they just need the down payment and she's been saving everything she earns from her night job. She wants to keep her promise to get Mom clean and away from guys like Eddy the pimp. She kisses her mom's cheek and says they'll be in Connecticut in no time.

In the boys' locker room, the guy from gym class brags about his "date" with Lauren, conveniently leaving out the part where she drugged him into unconsciousness. According to him, Laura broke a nail ripping his clothes off and they did things even he's embarrassed to discuss. The boys hoot and cheer. Harry tells the group he has a date with Lauren that night. A nerd with glasses is apparently letting Harry use his house because he begs Harry to rip up the security code once he gets inside.

At Judy's locker, Harry gives her the latest update on the case. They argue again about Harry not taking this seriously. In the girl's bathroom, Judy and Lauren discuss a Spanish test while touching up their lipstick. Lauren says she was up late with her dad conjugating verbs. Judy notices Lauren's broken nail; Lauren says it happened when she was loading the dishwasher.

We join Jordan and Dylan in the lobby of a BMW dealership. Jordan still wants to go home; Dylan promises they will when they spend all the money. The salesman informs the boys that he can't go forward with the deal. Is it because neither one of them is old enough to drive? Nope, it's because they have no credit history.

Time for Plan B. The boys go to a Honda dealership and pay cash for a red-white-and-blue crotch rocket, matching leather motocross outfits, and helmets. Apparently not having a driver's license doesn't matter to the owner. The boys ride off, Dylan driving and Jordan on the back.

In the Jump Street locker room, Harry and Judy plan out the final details of Harry's date/bust. Judy gets upset when Harry suggests that he can go without her as back-up. She apologizes and explains why this case is getting to her; when she worked Vice, a detective sexually harassed her and told recruits she was a real hooker that was rescued and trained for Vice.

At the decoy house, Harry types in the alarm code with Lauren watching over his shoulder. Harry asks how she wants to handle payment, but Lauren changes the subject. Harry signals Judy, who's waiting across the street in a car. She drives to a payphone and calls the phone company to get the house's phone number.

Meanwhile, Harry and Lauren are kissing in a bedroom. He asks if she wants to talk about price before they get down to business. The phone rings. Harry answers. Judy tells him not to bust Lauren yet because she might be connected to a string of burglaries in the area. Harry hangs up and turns to find Lauren lying on the bed. She's wearing nothing but lacy lingerie. Harry offers up the most classic excuse in the book: He has a headache.

Judy wants a chance to talk to Lauren and find out who her partner is before they arrest her for conspiracy in the burglary cases. Fuller asks why Judy wants to go so easy on a girl who's lied from the beginning. Judy feels like Lauren never had a chance in life: prostitute mother, no father, and she was "probably raised in the back room of a massage parlor." Fuller reminds Judy that they're not social workers. Judy thinks Lauren wants to come clean on her own, but promises to bring her in if she won't talk.

In the squadroom, Harry tells Doug and Tom that the ATM robbers were caught. The amount of cash recovered was $12,000 short. Tom is still irritated that Jordan and Dylan are worrying their respective parents for nothing. He wants to hold off on finding them until they're broke. Doug says that could take years if they found a good investment counselor. Rufus reminds them they still have to bring the missing kids back. Tom wishes he could witness the punishments the boys will get.

Cap'n Rufus tells them to let the parents know the kids are alive and not in danger. Tom counters that they're in danger of him breaking their necks. Doug tells him to take it easy. Harry asks Rufus if Judy was able to talk him into not busting Lauren.

In the school parking lot, Lauren is pissed to learn her new friend Judy is a cop. Judy tells Lauren she knows the truth about Lauren's life. Lauren argues that all women sell their bodies; she just takes cash up front instead of expecting theater tickets or a wedding ring. Judy asks if that's what Lauren's mom taught her. Lauren's just providing for her family and no one is getting hurt. Well, except the people whose houses she helps rip off.

Lauren challenges Judy to prove she had anything to do with it. Judy wants to know who Lauren is working with. Lauren gets in her car and drives off.

Dylan pops a wheelie while going down the street on his new motorcycle. When they park, Jordan excitedly points out a pair of girls their age who are eyeing them from the arcade across the street. Dylan dismissively tells Jordan the girls are jailbait. "So are we!" Jordan points out. 

Dylan wants to meet older women at a nearby bar called Champagne Charlie's. Jordan is going to the arcade whether Dylan likes it or not. Dylan, for some reason, follows Jordan. The girls, they learn, are outside the arcade because they ran out of quarters. Jordan offers to treat them to pinball and throws an arm over the brunette's shoulder. The arcade attendant is stunned when Jordan gives him a $100 bill and asks for quarters. Back outside, Dylan is talking to the blond girl. She agrees to go for a motorcycle ride.

Mom #2 is relieved the boys are okay. Bald Dad thinks his son must've stolen his credit card to finance their little adventure. Tom says they've been using the $12,000 they stole. Doug thinks they're down to $6,000 or so after the hotel, limo, and motorcycle. Mom #2 asks whether Tom and Doug know if the boys bought helmets. Doug shrugs. 

Bald Dad doesn't seem to appreciate that Dylan and Jordan essentially committed bank robbery. Tom promises to call the parents once they find the boys. Bald Dad asks who'll get the things that Jordan and Dylan already bought.

Lauren arrives home to find Mustache Eddy coming out of her mother's room. Her mom is sitting on the floor, clearly high on something. Lauren cries that her mother promised she'd stay off drugs. She runs into the living room, shouting that Eddy is an animal. Eddy pushes her over. Lauren tells him to leave before she kills him, which he finds amusing. He says that Lauren's mother asked him to come over. 

Judy shows up at Lauren's door and flashes her badge. Lauren asks what's gonna happen to her now. Judy says she'll be arrested for conspiracy and will probably get off with just reform school. Lauren wants a deal for telling Judy that she's been working with Eddy. She asks what'll happen to her mom. Judy tells Lauren that she'll probably end up in a foster home. Lauren starts to cry. Judy gives Lauren her business card with instructions to call when she finds out where Eddy lives.

Tom and Doug arrive at the arcade in Tom's Mustang. Tom complains that kids dump $20 a night into the videogames and ought to work to support their habit. Doug says kids need to be kids. The arcade attendant points out Jordan, who's at the pinball machine with the brunette girl. The attendant called the cops after Jordan asked him to break a $100. 

When Tom and Doug show up, Jordan sheepishly tells his new girlfriend that he's involved in grand theft. "Neat!" she exclaims. She equates this with her getting caught shoplifting once. As he's lead out of the arcade in handcuffs, she calls, "I'll wait for you, Jordy!" 

Police cars surround Eddy's house. Eddy comes out to see what's going on. When Judy asks for Eddy, he says his name is Kyle. Turns out Kyle is just one of a long list of aliases. A uniform cop opens the U-Haul parked outside and finds stolen items from the burgled houses. Harry arrests Eddy. Judy wants to move Lauren out of her house before Eddy gets out on bail.

When Judy and Harry arrive at Lauren's house, it's empty. At least of people. All the furniture and their belongings are still there.

Tom and Doug ring the doorbell to the place that's home to one of the delinquents. Bald Dad invites the cops in and offers them a drink. Doug asks who the men sitting around the table are. Apparently, they're Bald Dad's lawyer and a couple reps from a movie studio. He's been getting a lot of offers to turn the boys' story into a movie. Bald Dad giddily says this is the best thing that's ever happened to him.

Doug has some bad news for Bald Dad. According to state law, any personal gain due to the commercialization of a criminal act must be turned over to the state. Bald Dad is disappointed.

In the backyard, Jordan and Dylan are wrapping up an interview with a local news crew. They greet Doug and Tom warmly. Doug is glad to see probation hasn't cramped their style. The cops are still 5 grand short of the robbers' take. Jordan suggested the ATM bandits still have it. Doug says the robbers didn't spend a dime. Tom wants the kids to get in touch if they ever find out what might have happened to the rest of the money. They leave.

"What do you think?" Dylan asks. Jordan replies, "There's always a possibility they believed us."

"What do you think?" Tom asks Doug in the front yard. Doug answers, "There's always a possibility they might be tellin' the truth." They look at each other for a moment before saying "Nah" in unison. End of episode.

Case #1.07: "Gotta Finish the Riff"

This is the saddest Jump Street episode I've seen to date. And by "sad," I mean "poignant," not "terribly done."

Anyway, it opens with a montage. (Remember, this was 1987 and I'm pretty sure they were required by law). Doug, for reasons that will soon become clear, is riding his motorcycle down a deserted road while wearing a suit. His long hair and dangling cross earring blow in the breeze. Judy stands in front of an orca tank at the aquarium, a single tear rolling down her cheek. Tom, also in a suit, stands on a bridge looking at his father's old badge, which he throws into the river. Harry, in an all-white suit, does tai chi in the middle of the woods.

At a graveside service, a police department chaplain delivers a eulogy to a handful of mourners. He says it's a tragedy that Jenko didn't have the dignity of dying in the field. At this, Doug puts on a pair of aviators to hide his tears. Jenko, it transpired, died when a drunk driver crashed into his van. Doug pulls Judy close so she can cry on his shoulder. Judy composes herself long enough to lay a single red rose on the coffin lid.

Time cut to Judy entering the deserted Chapel loft in full uniform. The Chapel has been unoccupied for so long that the coffee has turned to disgusting sludge in the pot. Tom arrives, kisses Judy on the cheek, and remarks that she looks different in uniform. So does he. Judy's spent the last month working Vice. Tom's been driving a desk at headquarters. Harry arrives to tell them about working the parking division.

Suddenly, they hear squealing brakes and a crash outside. Unfazed, the 3 officers say "Penhall" in unison. Doug enters, looking like he walked off the set of CHiPs and yells at Harry, "Did you put those trash cans in my spot?" Tom says it's good to see that Doug has mellowed out.

The captain who recruited Tom arrives and there's a hush. The Jump Street program was supposed to be dismantled after Jenko's death, but the mayor decided to keep it going. Tom says it'll be like Charlie's Angels without Jenko. The team is getting a new captain, Adam Fuller, a former NYPD detective who did a lot of undercover work. Harry mutters that Fuller will probably tell them he was in Serpico's academy class. The unnamed captain expects the team to act professionally.

A middle-aged black man with a beard enters. Fuller announces that he doesn't want to take Jenko's place because he knows they loved him. It's okay with him if the team wants to keep the unusual decor Jenko favored. His office door is always open if they need him. Fuller plans to make some changes to take full advantage of Jump Street's potential. And hey, it's that guy! Steven Williams played monster hunter Rufus on Supernatural.

Another time cut. The Chapel's loft is now crammed with people, file cabinets, and desks. Tom gripes that he feels like his parents went on vacation and 300 kids showed up to have a party. "Do you see us walking here?" Doug shouts at a rookie who tries to push past him, then he asks Tom, "You did that too?" "Everybody did that," Harry says dismissively.

Cap'n Rufus summons Judy and Tom to his office. Doug reminds Tom that Fuller's now their boss and could make their lives miserable if they upset him. Tom snaps, "I'm getting behavioral advice from YOU?" before going to see what Fuller wants.

Ace, a fellow baby-faced rookie, passes Doug, playing with a yo-yo he found. It transpires he found it in Doug's desk. Doug threatens to twist Ace's head off if Ace goes in his desk again. Well, looks like everyone's adjusting quite nicely to their new coworkers.

In Cap'n Rufus's office, he briefs Tom and Judy on a situation. Grant High, the toughest school in the district, just got a new principal. Principal Madigan is something of a dinosaur; apparently, he still thinks juvenile delinquents sniff glue and steal hubcaps. The previous week, Madigan smacked around Reggie Brooks, the leader of the local Bloods. Madigan then expelled Reggie. A few days ago, a pipe bomb blew off the hood of Madigan's car. 

Cap'n Rufus thinks the Bloods that haven't dropped out yet may be waiting for Reggie's word to kill the principal. Madigan doesn't know that Tom and Judy are being sent to Grant; Rufus warns that Madigan would blow their covers on purpose to get them out of the school. Cap'n Rufus will be sending them in armed, something to which Tom loudly objects. 

Judy leaves, then Tom is alone with Cap'n Rufus. Tom lets the new captain know he usually works with Doug. "Are you guys dating?" asks Rufus. Tom laughs and says it's clear that Rufus is in charge and doesn't want to listen to their input. Cap'n Rufus explains that Reggie's biggest weakness is a pretty girl and "I don't think he's gonna go for Penhall in a wig." A disturbing image of Peter DeLuise in drag comes into my brain.

At Grant High, a car parks in the fire lane in front of the school. Several Bloods get out, all sporting red bandannas. 
In the principal's office, Tom sits across from Madigan in full dork-wear (thick glasses, sweater over a collared shirt, and a pocket protector). He's concerned about rumors of Grant High's discipline problems. 

A black boy in a crisp suit exits a cab and goes into the outer office, where Tom is now waiting for a hall pass. He asks Tom if Mr. Madigan is in. The boy in the suit kicks in the principal's door, pulls a gun, and announces, "I'm back." It's Reggie. He forces the principal into the outer office and herds the rest of the office staff into the middle of the room.

Tom, halfway up the stairs, hears the commotion and goes back down to investigate. Through a window in the office door, he sees Reggie holding the principal at gunpoint. Meanwhile, fellow Bloods take classrooms across the school hostage, including Judy's, and chain all the exits shut.

Reggie tells the secretary to call Channel 11 and pistol-whips Madigan. The Bloods drag in Tom, who pulls his own gun and yells, "POLICE!" Madigan informs the students of the hostage situation over the intercom. In French class, Judy moves her gun to a more accessible place in her purse; one of the Bloods tells her that she's pretty.

Outside, marked cars and SWAT vans surround the school. The rest of the Jump Street team arrives with Cap'n Rufus. They're shown the wallet containing Tom's badge, which someone threw out a window.

Judy is brought into the office and there's a bit of a goof in the script. She tells Reggie she's a transfer from Jefferson; she told her French teacher that she used to go to Riverside. Bloods search Judy's purse while Reggie takes entirely too much pleasure in patting her down. Satisfied she's clean, he forces her to hold  Madigan and then Tom at gunpoint; he wraps her finger around the trigger, causing her to fire a shot into the ceiling.

Back at the command post, Doug and Harry are getting antsy to do something to help rescue their friends.

The Bloods shepherd terrified students and teachers into the auditorium, which looks more like a major university's lecture hall. I went to a small high school, but there was still no way we could've fit the entire student body into the auditorium. Onstage, Reggie announces that he's acting principal and exposes Tom as a cop. Principal Madigan is bound and gagged in a chair.

Later that night, Reggie makes his first demand: 20 pizzas and 20 cases of beer. Cap'n Rufus wants to know what they're worth. Reggie asks for suggestions; Judy comes up with the sophomore class and Reggie agrees. Rufus will send for pizza, but there's no way Reggie is getting beer. Reggie orders, "10 with sausage, 10 with pepperoni, and no anchovies. I see one anchovy and I kill the librarian!" Way to break up the drama of the scene.

The sophomore class is released from the auditorium just as a Tony's Pizza delivery van arrives. It looks like the product of an unfortunate one-night stand between an old-fashioned ice cream truck and a hearse. Doug is behind the wheel. He gets out and carries the stack of pizza boxes as far as the front steps.

Two members of the Bloods exit the school to pick up the pizza. Doug lets them know they can go hungry if they don't have the $160 they owe. The Bloods try to grab the pizzas from him. Doug pulls them back and says "Fuhget it!" The Bloods try a different tactic: threatening him with their guns. Doug calmly says, "Might as well shoot me 'cause Tony will if I don't come back with the dough." One of the Bloods grabs Doug by the back of his striped pizza uniform shirt and shoves him up the stairs.

Meanwhile, resident ninja Harry is scaling a wall and ends up on the school roof. Cap'n Rufus, looking at school blueprints, gives Harry directions on how to get to the outer office via the ventilation system.

In the office, the Bloods explain Doug wants to be paid for the pizzas. Reggie wants Doug patted down in case; the other Bloods are doubtful that Doug is smart enough to be a cop. Proving their point, Doug starts using some of the hip-hop slang he picked up watching MTV, which is hilarious because of his thick New York accent. Reggie tells Doug to shut up and grab a slice. That's an order Doug won't have any trouble following!

Judy goes over to a cabinet and pulls out Reggie's file. Why would the school still have it if he was expelled? Oh well, the point is Reggie scored high on the SAT and got an A in English. Tom wants to know how a smart guy could be dumb enough to get mixed up with a gang, but Reggie doesn't give us an answer for that. Doug's happily chowing down at someone's desk.

The phone rings again. It's Cap'n Rufus, asking for more demands. Reggie polls the group. Doug, through a mouthful of pizza, says he wants his $160. Reggie has other ideas, namely a black Trans Am with a CD player, phone, and tinted windows; $10,000, and an interstate map. Harry, who was still in the vents, suddenly falls through the ceiling a la Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club. He lands on a table and crushes the rest of the pizzas.

Reggie is sweating now and getting angrier. A horn honks from outside. The Trans Am has arrived. Reggie is leaving the other Bloods to take the rap but promises to come back for them. He takes Judy out to the car, pushes her into the passenger seat, and drives away.

The remaining Bloods can't believe Reggie left them. Doug, Tom, and Harry sense weakness and take their chance to start fighting the gang members.

In the Trans Am, Reggie asks Judy if she's ever been to Indiana and gropes her leg. She punches him, says he's under arrest, and draws her gun. By the time Rufus arrives with the rest of the crew in tow, the Trans Am is idling on the street. Judy is holding her gun on Reggie as she reads the Miranda rights. Tom seems especially relieved that she's okay.

Marked police cars arrive as back-up. Cap'n Rufus makes a suggestion: the uniforms can take Reggie to jail while the Jump Street division goes out for pizza. Harry, Judy, and Tom look incredulous. Doug looks downright sick. Cap'n Rufus grins and says it was just a joke. End of episode.

Case #1.06: "The Worst Night of Your Life"

(I apologize for the delay in posting. Classes are killing me this semester, so I don't have as much blogging time as I'd like).

At a Catholic school, two girls, a thin blond and a heavyset brunette, are creep through the hallways, whispering about a prank they're getting ready to pull. Jane (the blond) is holding a videotape and giggling. Margie (the brunette) looks nervous and thinks they shouldn't do whatever Jane is plotting.

Mother Superior is presiding over a health class. It becomes clear that Sacred Heart is an all-girls school. There's a videocassette resting on Mother Superior's podium; today's topic is sex education via a film provided by the archdiocese entitled "The Miracle of Marriage." She trusts that the seniors will be mature during the showing. Once the video is inserted, cheesy porn music plays and the word "Insatiable" flashes across the screen. There are some PG-13 shots of a moaning woman in lacy lingerie. The girls begin to giggle, but for some reason the nuns don't immediately shut off the tape. Mother Superior must not have taken VCR 101.

Elsewhere in the school, a locker explodes, setting off the fire alarm. The nuns evacuate the classroom and the girls run screaming through the smoky hallway.

At the Chapel, Tom and Doug grab Cokes from the soda machine, which is really an old gas pump. Doug is trying to convince Tom to go to a bar with him to pick up women; Tom turns him down because it's his bowling night. Doug and Harry both think he's lame. Tom says the team can't do without him and asks if they want to know what his handicap is. "Bowling," Doug replies. I can't really make fun of Tom much for that hobby. I'm a second-generation bowler and captained a teen league team to victory in high school. I'm not just one nerd either; College Night is a big deal at my local bowling alley.

Tom promises to go with Doug another night. Doug doesn't want his partner "spending the night in the gutter" and he needs a wingman. Harry refuses to assume the role of wingman because of what happened last time he went bar-hopping with Doug. "She wasn't that ugly," Doug protests.

Judy arrives in her Catholic schoolgirl uniform. She never thought of these girls as arsonists and figured their idea of a good time would be bingo. There we go again with the Catholic bingo jokes. Having been raised Catholic, though, I must admit the stereotype is true. 

Today's locker explosion, Jenko informs them, was the third fire at Sacred Heart in the last 2 weeks. Harry suggests running all the students through the computer system for priors. Doug chimes in with his own Catholic joke: "Yeah, maybe last Mardi Gras, one of 'em gave up chocolate for Lent and went psycho on a Mars Bar." Tom has already done the computer work-up; Jane has a juvenile record for starting a fire in her garage. Judy doubts it could be Jane, who's head of the prom committee. Jenko tells her to join it.

At the bowling alley, Tom is wearing a VERY tacky red bowling shirt with "Kingpins" on the back. He's dragged Doug along. Doug's in the seating area with a beer and a girl. He lies and tells her that he's Tom's coach but gave up his own bowling career to drive a race car. The girl isn't impressed. 

Doug hisses to Tom that he wants to leave before someone sees him. Tom's response is basically don't-knock-it-'til-you-try-it. Doug vaults over the railing into Tom's lane. He picks up two bowling balls at the same time (16-pounders by the look of things) and rolls a strike. He repeats the move and is going for a third when the manager throws them out.

Tom yells at Doug out in the parking lot about how he had a high score until Doug ruined the game. Doug asks: "What do you want me to do? Kill myself?" Tom shouts "YES!" Shocked, Doug says, "Really?" He drags Tom over to 2 strange women in the lot and asks them if they'd like to buy dinner for him and Tom. 

Point #1: I'm a little old-fashioned. I think the guy should pay for at least the first several dates. Point #2: I seriously doubt the girls could afford to feed Doug.

One of the women asks what they'll get in return. Doug coolly replies, "Breakfast." Not surprisingly, the women tell Doug and Tom to get lost.

At the Sacred Heart gym, the day's topic of discussion for the prom committee is the theme. Judy says that it seems like everyone spends forever waiting for prom and it turns out to be the worst night of your life. "The worst night of your life," one girl repeats. She thinks it's an excellent idea for a theme.

Meanwhile, a trashcan fire in the bathroom sets off the sprinklers but somehow not the fire alarm. Weird. From what little I know, the sprinkler and fire alarm systems are usually interlinked. If one goes off, the other does.

Mother Superior meets with Jane in her office. She tells Jane that unless Jane's grades improve, she won't be going to the prom. She asks if Jane knows anything about the rash of fires; Jane denies that she does. Mother Superior informs Jane that her parents know about the porno prank and will be coming by in the morning to pick up the offending videotape.

Doug shows up for work in a mustard-yellow bowling shirt with "Suave Bowlers" written on the back. The garment does absolutely nothing good for Peter DeLuise's figure. Doug recounts his disastrous night out with Tom; it ended with them eating breakfast at IHOP by themselves at 3 AM. Doug is going solo to the bar next time.

Judy shows up right on cue. Doug's glad she's okay so that she won't miss Sacred Heart's prom. Tom asks if Doug went to his. Doug brags that he went to his first prom when he was 11 years old. Harry never went to his prom.

Judy goes to an office with Jenko. She talks to a psychiatrist about the female arsonist's pathology. Jenko wants to put a man on the inside during the night when school is closed. Judy thinks the prom would make a better target.

At a dance club, Doug unsuccessfully flirts with a woman. She begins to warm up to him when he lies about joining the Merchant Marines at the age of 17 because he didn't like medical school. Doug manages to charm her into leaving with him. Once they're outside, the woman's boyfriend wraps an arm around Doug's neck in a headlock and puts a gun to his temple. Doug chokes out that he's a cop, but the woman doesn't buy it. She waltzes off with Doug's wallet and her boyfriend lets go.

Meanwhile, Jane has gotten caught breaking into Mother Superior's office at Sacred Heart.

The next morning, Doug finds a picture of the woman who stole his wallet in a mugshot book. Jenko suggests that nobody should travel alone even off-duty and that Doug should run the woman's name past Vice in case she's a prostitute. He also informs them that Sacred Heart's prom is being canceled. Judy can't believe that Jane might be the arsonist; Tom thinks they should fix Jane up with Doug. Doug is not amused and says he just hit a slump. Personally, I'd call what happened at the dance club more of a serious lapse in judgement than a slump. Judy wants to go visit Jane in jail, even though it'll blow her cover.

In Jenko's van, Judy wishes she could go to Sacred Heart's prom to make up for her own. She saved up for a dress she never even got to show off. Her date, Charles Tyrone Cannon, borrowed his dad's car and it ran out of gas. Charles got drunk and threw up in the backseat, then got lost on the way to prom. Jenko's prom wasn't much better. His date had a 10 PM curfew, so he spent the rest of the night watching Rebel Without a Cause and Naked Alibi at the movies in his pink-and-black tuxedo.

At the jail, Judy tells Jane that she's a cop. Jane is upset because her parents won't bail her out. She insists she's innocent. She only broke into the school to steal back to porn tape. Judy says she'll stay undercover to investigate if Jane promises not tell anyone she's a cop.

Patty, the new head of the prom committee, throws a royal hissy fit in the gym as she reads the prom banner: "Sacred Heart High School presents...The Worst Night of Your Life." She demands that the theme be changed. Another girl says that's the theme the girls voted for. Margie has an alternate suggestion: "Young Love Never Dies," which is cruelly mocked. Margie runs off and Judy finds her crying in the bathroom. Margie is upset about not having a date and doesn't want to go to prom; Judy tries to convince her she should. There's a brief shot of the banner being burned in the gym.

Jenko visits Mother Superior. She refuses to cancel the prom because it's one of the few luxuries the girls are allowed. She ignores Jenko's warning that the prom could turn into a bonfire. She asks him to send officers "dressed in the spirit of the occasion" as a security measure.

Cue prom montage. A hand-painted banner that reads "Young Love Never Dies" is rolled out. Jane and Judy go dress shopping. A sink is filled with gasoline. Doug goes to the florist to pick up a corsage. Paper hearts are dipped into gasoline. Harry shows off his black tuxedo with red-trimmed cape that makes him look like an Asian Dracula. Tom rents a limo.

Judy calls Margie about prom. Like Stephen King's Carrie, Margie is afraid of being laughed at. She asks if the guy Judy is setting her up with is cute. "In a way, I guess," Judy replies. What a ringing endorsement! Margie agrees to go.

On prom night, the men of Jump Street parade down the stairs, Harry in his Dracula suit first. Doug follows, wearing a white tuxedo with matching shoes, a gold hoop earring, a shiny gold bowtie and cummerbund, and a ruffled shirt. Tom's wearing a gray suit and an ascot. Doug is complaining that the rented shoes hurt his feet and he won't be able to dance. He keeps pulling at his bowtie.

Jenko surveys them and utters one of my favorite lines to date: "Far out. We've got a Japanese Elvis Presley, a pimp, and a butler." Tom quips, "With the budget we got, you're lucky we could afford to rent the pants." 

Jenko hollers up the stairs (in the process revealing Judy's middle name is Esther). He threatens to staple Judy's dress on if she doesn't hurry. He tells the guys the fire department is on standby and breaks down the date situation: Harry is with Judy, Tom with Jane, and Doug with Margie. Doug offers to trade dates with Harry. Jenko wouldn't trust Doug with his great-grandmother; Doug looks hurt.

Judy appears, smiling, in a shiny silver strapless dress with a full, floor-length skirt. Jenko puts a corsage on her wrist and requests, "Save the last dance for me, Peaches." Somehow he manages not to come off as an old pervert while delivering this gem. 

At the prom, everyone is dancing except Jane and Tom. Margie hasn't shown up. Doug manages to slow-dance with Judy to what sounds like Michael Bolton. He then stops a junior high kid who's inexplicably at a senior prom from spiking the punch; Doug pockets the bottle for himself. Jane isn't happy that Tom won't dance, but seems to forget all about that when they start talking about bowling.

Suddenly, Margie arrives. Doug introduces himself and she curtsies. There's a strange look in Margie's eyes. Doug reaches for her arm and asks her to dance. She slaps Doug hard in the face and makes a run for the "Young Love Never Dies" display. She sets it on fire with a cigarette lighter. Everyone evacuates to safety.

The gang, except for Margie, goes bowling still dressed in their prom clothes. Judy thinks this prom was even worse than her own. Jane tries to be positive: Who can forget this? Doug somehow has scratch marks on his cheek even though Margie was wearing gloves. "Yeah," he agrees, "I got set up by a lady Dracula." More like Carrie, but whatever. Judy feels bad for Margie.

Harry sets off to buy Doug a beer. He meets the woman from the mugshot in the bar.

Cut back to Doug. Several minutes must've passed because he asks, "Where'd Ioke go for the beer? Tokyo?" Suddenly, he sees Harry with the woman who stole his wallet. Doug sprints across the bowling alley, draws his gun, and yells, "FREEZE!" Episode ends on a still of their shocked faces.