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.

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