Case #2.15: "I'm OK, You Need Work"

In an English class, the teacher likens Beat poetry to Run-DMC ("only  quieter"). He passes out poems for the students to read during class. A boy clad in a leather jacket sits at the back of the room, ignoring the teacher and listening to his Walkman.

A secretary comes into the classroom and talks to the teacher. The teacher then approaches Leather Jacket's desk. "Kenny," he says gently, "your father's waiting for you in front of school. Your sister's been in an accident." 

At the hospital, Kenny asks his dad if his sister will be okay. Dad doesn't know. A man in a suit, presumably a doctor, stops them in the hallway to tell them that Noreen will be fine. Kenny and Noreen, huh? Looks like we're revisiting the Weckerle family from the pilot

Kenny's dad gives him a handful of change and requests a diet soda. While Kenny's at the Coke machine, the doctor asks Kenny to come with him. He'll take Kenny down the hall to his Noreen's room while their dad stays behind to fill out some forms. 

Suddenly, the ward's doors close and lock behind Kenny. He demands to know what's going on. The doctor advises Kenny of his rights as a patient of the Weller Center for Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Kenny looks horrified. He tries to run away down the hall, but is quickly tackled by an orderly. Kenny shouts angrily as he's dragged backwards away from his father and sister watching through the glass door. 

Tom's Mustang pulls into the alley behind Jump Street Chapel. Noreen is waiting for him. Doug climbs out of the passenger side of the car, saying, "Admit it, you spent $1,200 on a ski trip because Amy went to Hawaii without you...She won a trip for 2 and you're here. Who'd she take instead?" Tom reports that Amy took her sister; he even dropped them both off at the airport." "You fell for that?!" Doug cries.

Noreen emerges from hiding. "What're you doin' here?" asks Tom. She says it's Tom's fault that Kenny got busted for drugs, but "you can't leave him there; they're hurting him." She hands Tom a letter.

"I thought I told you to stay the hell out of it," the captain tells Tom, "Drying out's not supposed to be fun." Tom feels responsible for Kenny. Cap'n Rufus says the case isn't their jurisdiction. Tom wants to talk to Kenny's parents. Rufus tells him to drop it, finish his shift, and go skiing.

"How dare you come into this house?" Mr. W rages at Tom, "That kid tore this family apart!" The family tried counseling, but Kenny refused to go. Mr. W blames Kenny for Mrs. W leaving him, then sends Noreen to her room. Tom isn't trying to cause more grief, but Kenny's letters have raised concerns about abuse. Mr. W tells Tom to mind his own business.

Outside, Tom gets in his car and finds Noreen hiding in the backseat. "Drive," she directs. As they drive, Noreen complains that her dad is crazy. Tom tells her this isn't a police matter. Noreen rolls her eyes. She hands Tom a card with Kenny's rights as a rehab patient, all of which have apparently been violated. "That's a police matter, isn't it?" she asks.

At the rehab center, Kenny is cursing and struggling with the orderlies marching him down the hallway. They throw him bodily into a room, where one orderly forces pills into Kenny's mouth. The doctor says it's for his own good and leaves. Kenny kicks the closed door. The doctor opens it again to say, "That's 2 demerits." We see that Kenny's nose is bleeding.

Outside, we see a girl with bleach-blond hair drinking from a water fountain. She watches the doctor and the orderlies leave Kenny's room. Blondie enters his room and, I'll be damned, it's a young Christina Applegate! She introduces herself as Tina. Kenny's heard she likes older guys "like that 40-year-old boyfriend of yours you keep tryin' to run away with." "Older guys, younger guys," she says, trailing a finger down Kenny's chest.

The doctor barges in. "Mr. Rafferty, he pulled me in here," Tina lies. The orderly removes Kenny from the room; Kenny argues that Tina came to his room on her own. "Lying? That's 5 demerits," says Mr. Rafferty. He tells the orderly to take Kenny to isolation.

"Not much you can do once a parent signs their kid away to one of these places," a social worker says to Tom while digging through her file cabinet: "Average stay: 8 months. Average bill: $280,000. Magically, most kids are cured about the time their insurance runs out." Something called the Roger S. Amendment would require a hearing in front of a neutral third party before a juvenile can be incarcerated. Roger S. can't help Kenny, though, because it's still just a bill. Tom asks if there's some way to help Kenny. "Not legally," answers the social worker. 

In group therapy, Kenny is in a heated argument with soon-to-be-released Wayne. Kenny says rehab hasn't helped Wayne; he saw Mr. Goody Two-Shoes swapping meds with another patient. "He's only getting outta here because his insurance ran out," Kenny goes on. Jeffrey, a boy in a striped blue bathrobe, nods in agreement. Then Kenny unfairly got in trouble for Tina walking into his room. Jeffrey shoots Tina a look, "I thought you liked older guys." "Yeah, older than 10," says Kenny.

The therapist says Kenny should admit to his problems. Kenny doesn't have one; he quit doing drugs, but his parents don't believe him. He starts to storm out of group therapy and is stopped by Mr. Rafferty, who gives Kenny 2 more demerits for acting out. Kenny puckers his lips and says, "Kiss me twice." Never heard that expression before but I assume it's probably rude. Mr. Rafferty sends Kenny to isolation again: "no food, no visitors."

Back at the Chapel, Cap'n Rufus asks Tom why he's getting calls from Mr. Weckerle. Doug leaves his partner to his reaming. Tom is ready to go on vacation. Rufus tells him to have fun skiing. 

At the rehab center, we see Tom, dressed in ratty clothes, struggles with the orderlies. The social worker from earlier, posing as Tom's mother, watches with a pained look on her face. Mr. Rafferty tells "Mrs. Henderson" to be strong: "Your son is in very, very good hands." The orderlies carry Tom off.

Tom is sitting on the floor in his room the next day when Mr. Rafferty enters. "1,200 bucks a day, don't I get a bed?" asks Tom. In the hall, Mr. Rafferty gives him a manila envelope and explains the schedule. Tom will go to school in the morning and therapy in the afternoon. 

Mr. Rafferty explains that Tom will earn privileges like a bed by accumulating points for good behavior. Tom asks when breakfast is. Mr. Rafferty is a little too cheerful as he responds, "Oh, you missed breakfast." Tina moves from the water fountain so Tom can get a drink, trailing her hand over his butt. Mr. Rafferty admonishes her. "But, Mr. Rafferty, I'm still thirsty," she says innocently. Thirsty is right...

Mr. Rafferty warns Tom to stay away from Tina because she has trouble saying "no." He seems pretty possessive of her, which makes me think he's probably the 40-year-old boyfriend Kenny mentioned. He tells Tom his room number is 133.

Tom goes to the receptionist, asking if 133 is his room because Kenny says it's his. The receptionist says Kenny is in 148. In Kenny's room, him and Jeffrey are playing Monopoly. Tom knocks and Kenny excitedly lets him in, shouting, "You got my letters! My sister came through!" Tom tries to shush Kenny, worried that Jeffrey might figure out what's going on.

Kenny tells Tom not to worry because Jeffrey "has the chromosome count of a gnat." Yeah, drugs and/or drinking can do that to you. "His old man put him in here because he's embarrassing," Kenny goes on. He tells Jeffrey, "You forgot you had to go to the bathroom." Jeffrey grins and shuffles off.

Kenny cheers that he's as good as home now that Tom's here. However, Tom has to see what the rehab center is like for himself before Kenny starts packing. Kenny shows Tom his wrists, which are scraped from restraints, causing him to be unable to wear his watch. He promises Tom whatever evidence he needs if Tom will just bust him out.

Jeffrey exits the bathroom. His shirt is pulled up and he's rubbing at his stomach. Tom asks if Jeffrey needs a doctor. "He doesn't need a doctor; he needs a vet," Kenny scoffs. Jeffrey, still poking at his stomach, says, "I got mice." All righty then. Long-term effect of unneeded tranquilizers? Kenny raises an eyebrow.

In group therapy, Tom says he steals money from his mom's purse to buy drugs. "How come he gets away with lying and I can't?" asks Kenny, obviously hinting at Tom's true identity. You probably shouldn't say anything about the illegal undercover operation if you want to get busted out of rehab. Just saying. Kenny protests that everyone's parents lied to get them admitted.

Tina agrees. Her parents brought her to the hospital under the guise of getting her some shots before they went on a family trip to Europe. Her parents, by the way, are currently in Greece. Kenny says adults are the biggest liars of all. The therapist admonishes Kenny for trying to stir up aggression and manipulate the group; he calls for someone else to talk. 

"You're just mad because I'm telling the truth," says Kenny. An orderly arrives to drag Kenny off. The therapist says, "This is what happens when we act out on our impulses." 

When the kids take their meds, a nurse checks their mouths to make sure they actually swallowed the pills. Tom cheeks his, then goes outside and spits them in the fountain. Tina tells him to save the pills because Diazepam sells. Note: the drug actually is used to treat withdrawal from alcohol, opiates, and benzodiazepines. Tom asks what the orderly did to Kenny. "It's called behavior mod and I'd get used to it," says Tina, "Everybody spends time in isolation."

That night, Tom creeps around the ward, eventually finding Kenny restrained in a chair. Kenny begs Tom to help him escape before bed checks; there's only one nurse on duty right now. Tom promises to check himself out in the morning and go talk to Fuller. He agrees to loosen Kenny's restraints and lay him on the floor so the kid can get some sleep. 

Tom goes back to his own room. He takes off his flannel shirt and jeans. When he starts to lie down, he realizes someone is in his bed. He startles and turns on the light. Tina pulls back the covers and smiles. "Hi," she says. Tom hastily put his jeans back on. He tells her, "You gotta learn to curb your feelings. Please get out of my bed."

She does, wearing nothing but an oversized James Dean T-shirt. Orderlies come down the hall, pounding on doors. "I missed bed check," says Tina. Tom hides her in his closet. Tina protests that she's claustrophobic. "It's all in your head," says Tom as he closes the door. He then decides the bathroom is a better hiding place. Before he can get Tina there, an orderly jerks open the door to Tom's room. "Out," he orders.

Tom and Tina step out in the hallway. "You were warned about this," Mr. Rafferty says to Tom. "Where's the other one?" "Still looking," the orderly reports. It looks like Kenny got himself the rest of the way out of his restraints and escaped. Mr. Rafferty tells the orderly, "You know what to do with this one."

Tom is taken to another isolation room. The orderlies force him onto the bed facedown. A nurse gives him a shot in the ass. Probably good old-fashioned Valium. The orderlies flip Tom to his back and strap him to the bed. Tom struggles and fights them, but eventually goes still.

In the Chapel squadroom, Cap'n Rufus calls Doug over. A court date has been moved and they need Tom to testify. Rufus asks Doug for ski resort's phone number so he can call Tom. Doug offers to make the call himself. He's acting shifty and clearly knows Tom isn't skiing. Cap'n Rufus asks if Doug likes being called when he's on vacation. Doug shakes his head. Rufus hands over the subpoena and instructs, "Just send it overnight."

Jeffrey comes to visit Tom in isolation. He asks if Tom wonders how mice are living in Jeffrey's stomach. Probably because you're 8 kinds of crazy? He asks why islands don't float away. Jeffrey states that there were 2 big fires at the rehab center in the middle of the night; no one could get out and the center had to be rebuilt.

"When'd this happen?" asks Tom. Crazy Jeff says, "Yesterday, I think." Tom asks Jeffrey to undo his restraints. Jeffrey can't because it's against the rules. He starts punching himself in the stomach, presumably because the mice are acting up in there. Jeffrey doesn't think Tom belongs in rehab. As an afterthought, he says, "They think you helped Kenny escape."

In Mr. Rafferty's office, Mr. Weckerle is demanding to know how Kenny escaped. Mr. Rafferty says they're doing everything possible to find Kenny. "You could go to the police...again," he suggests. He tells Mr. W to change his locks in case Kenny decides to go home and steal things to pawn for money to get out of town. Mr. W should call the rehab center immediately if Kenny shows up. "You just find my son," orders Mr. W.

Mr. Rafferty goes to isolation to check on Tom's, who's been in restraints for 8 hours. Tom informs him that according to the law, 4 hours is the maximum. He asks if Tom helped Kenny escape, then tightens the restraints. Tom tells him what he's doing is illegal. "I'm a cop," Tom says, "I'm an undercover cop." Mr. Rafferty chuckles, "Well, that's ridiculous." Mr. Rafferty is paged via intercom.

Elsewhere in the hospital, two maintenance workers pull Kenny's limp body out of an air shaft. He got stuck and suffocated. That night in Mr. Rafferty's office, he tries to persuade a doctor to alter his report so that it doesn't look like the hospital was negligent. The doctor doesn't like lying; he doesn't want to send Tom to be warehoused at State Hospital. Mr. Rafferty orders him to sign Tom over and fix the Weckerle report.

A sedated Tom is strapped to a gurney. Paramedics load him into an ambulance. 

Judy has called Amy; Amy doesn't know where Tom is and Widow Hanson doesn't either. Doug found out Tom never checked into the ski resort. Judy worries that Tom might've had an accident on the icy roads. She reveals that Tom's been missing for 3 days. The cops all exchange thoughtful looks.

Kenny's sister Noreen lets Judy and Cap'n Rufus in. Mr. W appears. Judy wonders if he knows anything about Tom going missing. Mr. W admits to throwing Tom out of the house. He tells them of Tom's concerns about abuse and that Kenny is now dead.

In Rafferty's office, he gives Judy and Cap'n Rufus the standard "Nothing like this has ever happened before" speech. Rufus explains Tom was doing unauthorized undercover work. Judy wants to look around; Mr. Rafferty says not without a warrant. Judy produces one.

In the dayroom, Mr. Rafferty asks Jeffrey if anyone has said they were a police officer. Jeffrey says, "There's 2 cops and a racecar driver and a guy who can fly." Okay, explain how Tom warrants a psych ward and a kid with mice in his stomach doesn't. In the girls' wing, Judy watches a nurse break up 2 patients fighting over a hairbrush. She's approached by Tina, who mistakes Judy for a patient. Judy asks if Tina has seen Tom. Tina says Tom was transferred to State Hospital.

At State Hospital, Judy and Cap'n Rufus talk to an older nurse in pink scrubs. "Oh, I can't remember everyone." the nurse says, "Look, on a night like this, we could get a dozen guys like you've described." Rufus elaborates on the description: 5'10", 165 pounds. "Dark hair," adds Judy. The nurse says to check with admitting because there might not be a permanent bed yet. 

Judy and Cap'n Rufus head upstairs. It sounds like everyone's worst nightmare of a mental hospital, all screams, crazed laughter, and moans. They think about splitting up; Rufus reconsiders that when Judy is startled by a patient. In a ward with beds, they find Tom under the blankets. Cap'n Rufus helps him sit up. He and Judy half-drag, half-walk Tom out of the ward.

At police headquarters, Tom is in the midst of a disciplinary hearing for a laundry list of charges. Mr. Rafferty has been fired from the rehab center until there's a thorough investigation of what Tom discovered. The hospital offers to drop all lawsuits against Tom if he doesn't speak in favor of the Roger S. bill at the legislature. Tom refuses and says, "Sue me." "You heard the man," says Cap'n Rufus. End of episode.