Case #2.04: "Two for the Road"

Posting this recap as kind of a PSA. If you're planning on a having a drink (or several) to ring in 2013, make sure you have someone sober take you home. Don't become a DUI injury, death, or arrest statistic. Also, don't buy alcohol for anybody who's not old enough to drink or drink if you're underage. Sermon over.

The episode opens with a shot of a field of yellow roses. I have a soft spot for those since they're my sorority's flower. Some little boys can be seen riding bikes on a path and a couple is taking a walk, meaning this must be a park. 

A teen boy pushes another in a wheelchair and carries on a one-sided conversation. The boy in the wheelchair has braces on his neck and back, is on oxygen, and isn't responding. It's not clear whether he's grumpy or has lost the ability to speak. The boy pushing the wheelchair tells his companion that he passed off one of the latter's school essays as his own. What a charming friend.

Wheelchair Pusher puts Walkman headphones over his friend's ears. He takes the wheelchair deeper into the park and stops on a bridge to smoke a cigarette. We see and hear a huge splash as something heavy lands in the water. The Walkman is thrown off the bridge. And Wheelchair Pusher is now officially the worst friend ever! 

At a liquor store, a teenage Pauly Shore adds a six-pack to the two cases he's balancing on his arms. He goes up to the counter, where even more beer is sitting. The store owner asks for ID and Pauly obliges with a card from his wallet. The owner says it has to be a photo ID. Pauly holds up his driver's license.

We see a lawn jockey sitting in someone's front yard. Judging by the toilet paper in the trees and cars jammed in a driveway, it's either Mischief Night or someone's having a party.  Of course, it's the latter. Inside the house is what appears to be the entire student body of a high school, drinking, making out on sofas, and carrying on. One guy is zoned out and watching MTV.

A boy goes into the kitchen to grab another beer from the cooler, but finds only ice and an empty can. Luckily for him, Pauly arrives just then with more. Pauly's friend assures him nobody's broken anything in the house yet. Pauly staggers off down the hall and high-fives Doug, who's sitting against a wall. 

Doug watches Pauly chug a beer and is impressed. He asks where all the beer came from. Pauly doesn't answer except to grab onto Doug and whisper, "I have to urinate." Doug pushes him away a little and says "Oh man," presumably because Pauly's breath reeks. The doorbell rings. Pauly shouts that the door is open. As he walks off, we can tell Doug's sitting with his legs stretched completely out and touching the opposite wall. Very tiny hallway.

Pauly opens the door to find 2 police officers on the doorstep: one with a Tom Selleck mustache and one who bears a striking resemblance to Christopher Walken. The cops check IDs; it seems everyone is 16 or 17. Officer Walken asks Pauly's character (Ryan) where he got the beer. Ryan claims it was just lying around the house. Officer Walken tells the guests that the party is over and takes Ryan into custody.

At the Chapel, Doug is running the guests' IDs through the computer. Cap'n Rufus asks if Doug's cover is still intact. "Hey, a Penhall cover comes with a lifetime guarantee," he says. Plus, given the events of the flight attendant episode, it's clear the big guy parties hard anyway.

Rufus predictably ignores Doug's joke. There's been a rash of fake IDs turning up that are all coming from the same shop. Tom expresses the opinion that 4 people on a fake ID case is excessive, which Cap'n Rufus
 doesn't appreciate. 

Rufus takes a phone call. A different phone rings and Doug picks up; it's a woman named Rhonda who wants to talk to Rufus. Tom jumps up to listen in. Doug tells Rhonda that Rufus is cute for an old man and that he's nice. Rufus glares at him as he gets off the other call. Doug hands over the phone. Rufus has a brief conversation with Rhonda and hangs up.

The captain asks Doug what he was thinking. Doug was just laying groundwork. Cap'n Rufus wants to know which bars are allowing kids to use fake IDs. Tom thinks they're being too hard on the kids. Rufus educates Tom on what it's like to knock on a door at 4 AM to tell parents their child died in a drunk driving accident. 

Cap'n Rufus 
hands Tom and Doug some driver's licenses. Doug says it's obvious they're fake. "Somebody wanna get that?" Rufus snaps as the phone rings yet again.

A bearded man in a peach polo shirt (Kirby) picks up a phone. We see Wheelchair Pusher standing in a phone booth. It sounds as if Kirby and Pusher know each other. Pusher tells Kirby something bad has happened. Kirby wants to know what, but Pusher hangs up.

Doug, Pauly, and some friends sit in the school cafeteria talking about Pauly's arrest. Doug must not be hungry today since all he's buying is a carton of chocolate milk. Pauly's parents weren't upset about having to pick him up from jail; they're just glad he wasn't doing drugs. The group joins Tom at a table. Tom gleefully shouts, "Chug-a-Doug!" Doug and Tom shout nonsense at each other and do a weird secret handshake. Ah, boys.

Doug is ecstatic that his old summer camp buddy has transferred to Central with him. He introduces Tom around: Brian (what is it with this show and that name?), Traci, and Kenny Ryan (played by Pauly Shore). Kenny seems to go by his last name, so for simplicity's sake, Pauly Shore's character will henceforth be known as Pauly.

Traci asks about Doug's nickname. Tom brags to the group about how many beers Doug chugged at Tom's nonexistent brother's graduation party. "But I had to give up the sport. Ya know, health reasons and all," says Doug. Tom shoots back, "Yeah, he almost dropped dead." Pauly wants to ditch school and go to a bar. Tom, Doug, Traci, and Brian get up and follow him.

At a bar called the Letterbox Saloon, Angelo the waiter asks for ID. He laughs at Doug and Tom's fake IDs. Pauly says they wouldn't fool Stevie Wonder. He suggests they go someplace where they won't get hassled. 

That place turns out to be the local cemetery. Doug's not a fan of the ambiance and I wouldn't be either. Of course, I never ditched class to drink...never ditched class at all except Senior Skip Day. Pauly asks if Doug has something against dead people. "Of course not, my grandparents are dead," Doug replies. They talk about random things, as people who've been drinking are wont to do. 

In a different part of the cemetery, Pusher sits on a headstone that reads "Johnathan Kelley 1971-1987." Pusher sets off down the hill and stumbles upon Pauly and company. "Yo, T.J.!" Pauly calls to him. 

Traci exposits that T.J.'s best friend died a couple of weeks ago. Pauly explains to T.J. that they're drinking in the cemetery because they got kicked out of The Letterbox; he says Doug and Tom tried to use library cards as ID. T.J. thinks someone should burn The Letterbox down and is angry that they're drinking in the cemetery. This is everyone's cue to exit.

At a party of some sort, there's a jazz band and a banner that says "Good luck, Morty". Cap'n Rufus and his date Rhonda enjoy some wine. Morty is a fellow captain who's leaving the force and this is his retirement party.

At a roadside sobriety checkpoint, the senior officer briefs his rookie partner on signs to look for that someone may be drunk. They're pulling over every 12th car, which happens to be Rufus and Rhonda's. The rookie approaches the window and asks if Cap'n Rufus has been drinking. Rufus says he's coming from dinner and admits to the wine.

The rookie instructs Rufus to step out of the car, but the captain doesn't immediately comply. "Step out of the car, sir," Rookie repeats. Rufus gets out and tells the rookie that he's a police captain. Rookie says that means Rufus is familiar with the field sobriety test. Rufus protests that he only had one drink, even though he initially told the rookie he didn't drink at all. Then he said he had 2 drinks. The rookie has to do a Breathalyzer on Rufus and Rufus's license will be revoked for a year if he doesn't comply.

"This is ridiculous!" Cap'n Rufus shouts. Rookie asks if Rufus is refusing the test. Rufus agrees to be Breathalyzed and blows into the machine. Rookie tells his partner that Rufus blew a .09, which is just over the legal limit. Rufus looks surprised by this news.

At police headquarters, Cap'n Rufus
 is being processed. He's indignant about getting arrested over a few glasses of wine. The officer says Rufus won't be put in the holding cell as a professional courtesy. Rufus will have to go to an Internal Affairs hearing. As he gets coffee from the vending machine, another captain (Briody) tells him that he doesn't look drunk.

Captain Briody is there to give Rufus a lift home. Rufus is upset about getting pulled over; other people at the retirement party had more to drink than he did. I'm no expert, but I'm fairly sure that 2 glasses of wine won't make you blow 0.09, so Rufus likely isn't being honest.

At the Chapel, Judy tells Doug she looked into T.J.'s friend Johnathan. A couple of months ago, the two were in a drunk driving accident and Johnathan's BAC was 2.4. "I'm surprised he could drive," says Doug. I'm more surprised that Johnny was still breathing after the crash. Johnny suffered paralysis from the neck down and severe brain damage; T.J. wasn't hurt at all.

Tom adds that T.J. took the wheelchair for a walk recently and Johnny somehow ended up in the river. T.J. tried to save his friend, but couldn't. Tom thinks The Letterbox is connected because it's known for serving underage kids. If they can prove the bar served Johnny and T.J. that night, they make be able to go after the bar's liquor license.

Cap'n Rufus walks into the loft and all activity stops. Word has already spread through the department grapevine about the DUI arrest. Rufus addresses the room by saying he was only arrested because of an overzealous rookie: "I had a couple of glasses of wine; I wasn't drinking." What? How is that not drinking? Never mind.

Doug tells Rufus that their fake IDs didn't work. Rufus knew they wouldn't; he wants them to talk to Pauly about getting one from his supplier. Judy thinks Rufus is being pretty defensive. No kidding. Tom argues that having a few at a "boredom banquet" doesn't make you a drunk.

At Coastal Psychiatric Hospital & Mental Health Services, a nurse who looks like Jennifer Grey comes into the waiting room, saying they're ready for T.J. Caldwell. T.J. is there, but doesn't get up from the couch.

A driver's license outline is set up in front of a photography screen. Listed on the card are the address, height, weight, and 1964 birthdate of a Douglas Eastwood. Doug pops into view and grins for the camera. He blinks from being temporarily blinded by the flash.

Tom grumpily asks how long they have to wait. The photographer says 10 minutes unless the boys just want to take home the negatives. "Don't mind him." says Doug, "He gets a little cranky when he doesn't nap." The fakes will cost $100. The photographer warns them that the licenses are for amusement only.

At the Letterbox, Tom and Doug present their new IDs to waiter Angelo. They pass muster and Angelo asks them to name their poison. Brian orders a pitcher of beer. Traci is with them because she makes a good barometer; if Brian or Pauly start to hit on her, they know they're too drunk. That's cold. Traci isn't that bad-looking. T.J. comes into the bar, lights a cigarette, and stands by the jukebox.

Doug blows into Tom's ear to get his attention and dips his head in T.J.'s direction. Tom follows T.J. up to the bar, where T.J. is ordering a club soda. Tom apologizes for them drinking in the cemetery and says he heard about Johnny. T.J. gets snotty with Tom and says he can't begin to understand what losing Johnny is like. He asks if Tom ever knew anyone who died. Yeah, I think everyone does.

Internal Affairs visits Rufus's office. IA points out that the Breathalyzer reading is high for 2 glasses of wine. Rufus insists it was calibrated wrong. He admits he wasn't counting his drinks, though. IA asks how he can be sure it was only 2. Cap'n Rufus insists he's not a heavy drinker. IA warns that he's in serious trouble.

At a suburban home, T.J. is on his bedroom phone talking to Kirby again, who's now in a gray cardigan. T.J. says he doesn't know if he can wait to get over what's bothering him. Kirby says, "This is kind of a bogus way out," tipping off the audience that T.J. is a calling a suicide/crisis hotline. Kirby asks about T.J.'s friend. "He's dead," T.J. says before hanging up.

Cap'n Rufus talks to a lawyer who seems to specialize in DUI cases. After work, Rhonda and Rufus go for a walk. He wishes he could do last night over and take a different route home to avoid the roadblock. Nice. Rhonda thinks they should've sat through the speeches so the Breathalyzer reading would've been lower. Rufus asks if Rhonda thinks having any alcohol at all before driving should be a crime. She says that may be a good idea. He goes off on her, saying it's ridiculous.

I think Rhonda's right. Not about criminalizing it, but about not drinking at all if you plan to drive. Personally, I never have more than 1 or 2 drinks but I also never get behind the wheel afterward. Rhonda says her plan not only eliminates the risk of being arrested, but Rufus could've spent the night with her. "Woman's got a point," Rufus acknowledges.

Harry and Judy are at the Alcohol Beverage Control office. They're told it'll be at least 6 months before the Letterbox can be investigated for selling alcohol to minors. The worker explains he has 162 other pending cases of that. Plus there's new fake IDs that are so good, it's hard to tell they're fake. Harry says Jump Street knows who's making the fakes.

The worker tells him about a decoy his office has; the girl looks 14 and her fake ID has gotten her served at 18 out of 21 local bars. Harry asks if the Letterbox can be shut down. The worker says it's just a misdemeanor and the most the owner can get is a fine.

At the Letterbox, Doug and Tom talk at a table, munching on bar pretzels. Tom doesn't think they can get Brian or Traci to help with the investigation because they like the atmosphere too much and they can't connect the bar to the accident.  T.J. staggers in and gets what looks like a shot of whiskey at the bar. Tom offers a ride home.

Doug asks Traci why she hangs out with the guys. It turns out she's "kind of involved" with Brian. If only she'd heard that crack he made about her looks. Tom goes over to the table where Doug and Traci are playing Lincoln Logs with the pretzel sticks. He tells Doug he's giving T.J. a ride home, but T.J. is gone when he looks up.

Tom goes outside to see T.J. driving away. He gets in his Mustang to chase him, popping his Starsky and Hutch issue gumdrop light onto the roof. He honks and yells for T.J. to pull over. T.J. swerves and very nearly causes an accident. He sideswipes 2 parked cars before hitting a tree. Tom goes up to the window. T.J.'s lip and one eyebrow are split but he's otherwise okay. Tom announces that he's a cop.

At the Chapel, Tom stands in the holding cell with T.J. while the teen throws up into the toilet. When he's able to stop, he takes a seat on the cot. Tom wants T.J. to testify that the Letterbox served T.J. and Johnny alcohol on the night of their car accident. T.J. shakes his head. Mr. Caldwell arrives to take T.J. home. They sit down in front of Tom's desk.

Tom explains what T.J. did on their chase. Mr. Caldwell says they should go easy because it's been a rough few months for T.J. Tom says that's no excuse and thinks T.J. has a drinking problem. He gives T.J. his card. 

Judy and Harry go to the photography studio to get fake IDs made. The photographer repeats that the fakes are for amusement only. Judy and Harry flash their badges and police IDs. "Nice job!" the photographer exclaims, "Who'd you go to?" Judy tells him he's under arrest. 

At the Internal Affairs hearing, Cap'n Rufus
's lawyer asks the rookie if Rufus looked drunk when he was arrested. Seeming drunk and being drunk are 2 different things, but I digress. The rookie says Rufus was overly friendly. 

T.J. goes to visit Johnny's grave. He pulls a revolver out of his leather jacket and holds the barrel under his chin.

Tom's phone rings and he promises the caller he'll be right down. He finds T.J. sitting on the jungle gym at the playground. T.J. hands the gun over. He's suicidal because he was driving the night of the accident. T.J. says he wasn't as drunk as Johnny, so he promised to get him home safe. He admits to pushing Johnny's wheelchair into the river as a mercy killing. 

At the Chapel, the guys sit around the table eating pizza. T.J. is facing manslaughter charges. Cap'n Rufus tells the team that IA let him off on the DUI. Doug grins and congratulates his boss. Rufus says not to congratulate him and that he'll think twice before he does something like that again.

End of episode. This is another one I had problems with. Everyone on the Jump Street team was far too forgiving of Cap'n Rufus. Did they all forget that their former boss Jenko was killed by a drunk driver? They all seemed pretty attached to Jenko when he was there. 

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