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.

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