Case #3.08: "The Blue Flu"

At a municipal building, large signs bear slogans such as "HAVE YOU PAID YOUR UNION DUES?" People are dropping ballots into boxes. Doug asks, "Wouldn't you love to see a thug get dropped in this mob and everybody clawin' over who gets the collar?" Cap'n Rufus has never seen turnout this big for the police union. The Jump Street cops discuss the issue they've been voting on, which is a new union contract.

The debate continues at a bar. Judy has voted in favor of a strike, not a popular decision. A newscaster comes on the bar TV to announce that 93% of the police officers voted to reject the new union contract terms offered by the city: "Officials call it an insult to the brotherhood of police." Harry doesn't like the idea of going on strike. Judy tells him not to worry; the city will make new offers and they'll be back to work in 3 days. I'm dreading this recap because a strike means no crimes to solve.

Cap'n Rufus stays at the Chapel doing paperwork because he's considered management and isn't allowed to go on strike. 

Doug, wearing teddy bear PJs, rolls over in bed to get the phone. "Did you just wake up? Doug, it's 10:00!" Dorothy yells. "No, I'm up," he yawns. She is upset about the strike and nags that they can't live on her salary alone. She left Doug a honey-do list on the kitchen table. He goes in to unfold it and it's at least as long as a yardstick. Doug pouts.

Harry and Judy are hanging out at his place and he's going crazy being on strike. 

Doug hurts his finger fixing the sink and he lets Booker talk him into going to the batting cages instead of finishing his chores. Booker's not at all worried about the strike because he saved up 79 sick days.

At a Japanese restaurant, Jackie schools Tom on how negotiators operate. 

Booker talks to an old-timer who tells him he quit striking because of the true spirit of Christmas, I mean, of being a cop.

Blowfish reads an article that says the city has stopped trying to negotiate. All sick pay will be rolled over to the next year to force the officers back to work. Cadets have been rushed through the academy so they can start patrols.

Dorothy calls Doug to tell him she got offered a sales job at her office. She's excited about getting more money from commissions. "You could also make less," Doug points out as he unpacks the groceries. Dorothy complains, "I hate my job. It's stupid. I hate answering phones." "Do you want the whole office to hear you yelling?" he asks. Dorothy hears clucking in the background and wonders what's going on. For whatever reason, Doug's brought home two live chickens. They've been invited to her boss's house for dinner. Doug is interviewing for a security guard job just in case but learns they filled their last spot with Judy.

Dinner with Dorothy's boss doesn't go quite as planned. Doug highlights the qualities that would make her a fit for sales. He and the boss go to the den for beers. Dorothy's boss pulls out a tray and snorts a couple lines of cocaine, then offers Doug some. Doug shows the boss his badge.

Cap'n Rufus gets off a patrol shift to find that someone has slashed his tires and spray-painted SCAB on his windshield.

Dorothy ends up getting a sales job after all. Cap'n Rufus finds out that his new rookie partner Gary flunked out of the academy three times before this time. Dorothy is upset that Doug didn't look the other way about her boss doing blow in front of him. Sarge, Booker's old-timer buddy, gets demoted and loses his pension for vandalizing Rufus's car. Booker thinks Sarge is innocent.

The city can't afford what the striking officers want and will be firing all officers who don't report to work the next morning. Harry plans on going back to work. Booker tells him, "No one forgets a scab." I think I know who slashed Cap'n Rufus's tires...

For some reason, Dorothy turns down the sales job. The city offers a better contract and the strike is over. Booker confesses to slashing the tires so Sarge can get his pension back. End of episode. 

Case #3.07: "The Dragon and the Angel"

Harry goes into his apartment with a bag of groceries. He unpacks a frozen dinner and puts it in the microwave. He checks his answering machine, but has no messages. The microwave beeps. Harry takes one bite of the TV dinner and decides he doesn't like it. He puts his jacket on again and leaves.

At a bar, a bunch of Asian men, including Harry, play pool. Harry clears the table all night, defeating the bar's former champion Sang. Sang now owes Harry $50, but claims he doesn't have it. Like a scene from a bad kung-fu movie, Sang challenges, "You want the money so bad, try and take it." Harry drops him with a single roundhouse kick, Chuck Norris style. Loc, one of the other Asian men, thinks Harry either has "a lot of guts or a lot of friends." "I don't need any friends," says Harry. Loc offers him a cigarette. 

At the Chapel, Judy thinks local store owners should learn to keep their money in a bank. "Vietnamese don't trust banks," says Harry. Cap'n Rufus adds they don't trust the police either. A Vietnamese gang has apparently been extorting the small business owners. Harry has an open invitation to the Pi Gao house, which sounds almost like the fraternity from my last recap. However, Pi Gao is a Chinese game similar to blackjack. Not sure why a Vietnamese gang would name themselves after a Chinese pastime, but whatever. Pi Gao members have a distinctive tattoo depicting a dragon and an angel. "Legend has it the Vietnamese are descended from the two," Harry explains. 

The men at the Pi Gao house sit down to a game of poker. There's a Bruce Lee poster in the background. Loc introduces Harry around. Not everyone there is Pi Gao, some are just kids who want to hang out or ones who have nowhere else to go. Harry thinks the rent must be high. "This is America," says Loc, "You work hard, you buy. Rent only makes the other guy rich."

Loc dials the phone, tells Harry to ask for Kim, and say he's coming to pick her up. "She's my girl, but her old man hates my guts," Loc explains. I'm sure the whole gangster thing has nothing to do with that. 

Harry takes it a step further, going to Kim's house and speaking Vietnamese to one of her relatives. Her father is impressed that he still knows the language: "As a new friend of Kim's, my wife will insist on you coming to dinner sometime soon." He tells Harry to bring Kim home by 11. "Midnight," she counters.

Harry and Kim meet up with Loc downtown. They sit under an umbrella, eating hot dogs from a vendor and people watching. Harry says there's no way the girl in the blue dress is really a man. "10 bucks says he is," Sang says. Harry wants to make it $20. "Her legs are bigger than Brian Bosworth's," Sang points out. Kim laughs so hard she drops her hot dog on the ground. She kisses Loc. 

Kim tells Loc that her dad invited Harry to dinner. "Tell him you're gonna be an assistant manager for IBM when you graduate," Loc advises, "he loves that crap." Asians working in technology? Oh, that isn't a tiny bit racist. Kim argues her father is just traditional. 

Later, Kim wants to get mocha chip ice cream. Harry wants to go to a club, then checks his watch: "Oh no! Your dad!" Sang promises to take it from here. "It's just getting out that's the hard part," says Kim. So her very traditional father won't notice if his daughter goes out on a date with a guy and doesn't come home? Yeah right. Kim and Loc leave.

Harry goes home. Once again, he has no messages. He leans back on his bed and sighs. 

The next day, Harry is hanging out on the porch of the Pi Gao house when Loc invites Harry to join. There's another gang in Little Saigon that Sang wants gone so the Pi Gaos can take over. Harry promises to do whatever it takes to become Pi Gao. "It takes trust, commitment, a bond between the brothers." Now Loc sounds like a fraternity's pledgemaster. There's, of course, a catch: Harry can't be a member until he commits a crime.

Doug and Tom stake out a grocery store parking lot. Doug decides now is a good time to tell Tom that Chinese food makes him gassy. "You oughta try chewin'. Ya might be able to taste it," says Tom. Doug argues that he knows what it tastes like. He finishes whatever he's eating and tosses the empty carton in the backseat of the Mustang.

Doug suddenly notices the garbage bag on the floorboard, but throws his napkin over his shoulder anyway. "Two seconds," Tom warns, "Either the garbage is gone or you are." Doug taps Tom to get him to look at Harry walking toward the store.

Inside, Harry grabs a bottle of liquor and brings it to the counter. Cap'n Rufus, sporting a Little Richard-esque haircut, is the decoy store clerk. The Vietnamese guy with Harry is suspicious about what happened to the other clerk. "He quit," Rufus answers easily. Harry and the unnamed Vietnamese man pull their guns and demand money. Rufus opens the register. The other Vietnamese man shoots a champagne bottle to make Rufus hurry. Doug and Tom get out of the car. Harry and the other man leave with the bag of money.

"Freeze! Police!" Tom yells once the two Asians are outside. Doug is on the other side of the Mustang with his gun drawn. The other Vietnamese man shoots at them. "I'll cut him off. Go," Tom says, peeling away in the car. Doug chases them down an alley. Tom blocks off the other end with the car. Doug and the other man exchange gun fire. Tom gets out of the car. The Vietnamese man shoots again. Something that I couldn't quite see because they shot the scene so damn dark happens.

The next thing I can see is Tom lying on his back atop a pile of garbage bags. "Doug!" he calls. Doug shouts that the perp is getting away. "I'm hit, man, I think I'm hit," says Tom, words similar to those he spoke as "Gator" Lerner in Oliver Stone's masterpiece Platoon. Doug stops in his tracks and helps Tom up.

At the gang house, Sang announces that Harry will be made an official member of Pi Gao, under one condition: "No tattoo. We're gonna keep this boy clean." He gives Harry a lit cigarette to put out on his own palm. Once Harry has done that, Loc says, "From now on, you'll never be alone."

Doug and Cap'n Rufus are in a hospital room. "Forget about Harry's cover," Doug says, "The guy shot Hanson and I want him now." They can't shut down the investigation because nobody else has gotten this close to Loc. Tom's voice comes from below them: "Can somebody hand me that juice thing over there?" Doug positions a sports bottle with an extra-long straw near Tom's mouth. Tom is lying on his stomach in bed and can't reach. 

Doug comes around the other side of the bed. He promises Tom that they'll get the guy who put a bullet in his right butt cheek: "A guy who shoots a cop is the lowest scum o' the earth." 

Blowfish comes in with a ballistics report. He's acting as courier because nobody else was at the Chapel and also because he wanted to check on Tom. Cap'n Rufus opens the folder: "Doug, the bullet that shot Hanson...came from your gun." Doug's hand tightens around the bottle, spraying juice everywhere. Tom lifts his head to look at his partner. 

Harry plays poker with the rest of Pi Gao and leaves early to go to dinner at Kim's. At Kim's house, Kim's dad talks about how he misses dinners with the whole family back in the old country. Harry looks glum. He tells about how his grandma would buy him Chiclets as a treat. 

Kim's dad asks about Harry's family. "My parents are gone," Harry says sadly, "Grandma Lei wouldn't leave Vietnam." He used to write to Grandma Lei when he first came to the States, but she never answered. Harry thinks she's dead. Kim's dad tells Harry not to assume that if he doesn't know for sure: "I've been able to find lots of families left behind." He's even sent money to some. He adds that he's willing to help Harry find Grandma Lei.

Harry goes to the bar and joins Loc. He thinks Kim's family is nice, especially her dad. He tells Loc about the offer to look for Grandma Lei. Loc says heatedly, "[Kim's dad] told you that? Do you have any idea what Van Lui does?" Van Lui publishes a Communist newspaper and distributes it in Vietnamese neighborhoods. "But he was there," says Harry, "He saw what they did to our country, our people." "You don't need that bastard, man," Loc tells him, "You got Pi Gao now." Harry looks sad again; Loc reminds him of his best friend Tai from back home. Loc offers to make Tai a Pi Gao if he comes to America. Harry tells him Tai was killed.

It's Tom's first day back on the job and Doug has some surprises, like a beer can full of daisies on Tom's desk. Doug asks if Tom wants lunch, but Tom doesn't want anything. Doug apologizes for what is probably the hundredth time: "I cannot believe that I blew a hole in your ass." "Forget it," Tom says tightly, lowering himself into his chair. Doug gives him the puppy eyes: "You don't have to be so cool about it. If there was anything that you needed, anything..." Doug drops his voice, "If I could kiss it and make it feel better, I would." He gives Tom the Boy Scout salute.

Van Lui is in a basement or warehouse somewhere overseeing the printing of his newspaper. Harry comes in: "When you told me you could find my grandmother, you forgot to mention you were a Coummunist." Van Lui tells Harry that's "a label without meaning." "Not to me it isn't!" Harry says, tossing down the paper, "America is the greatest country in the world. I'm the perfect example that anybody can make a good life here. Nobody promised you anything here except freedom." 

"By the way," Van Lui starts, "I did find your grandmother. She was quite easy to locate. However, knowing how you feel, I'm sure me sending her some money would be in direct conflict to your principles. You have a lot to learn, young man. I'm just sorry it had to at your grandmother's expense." Van slams his fist on the counter as Harry leaves.

Loc and Harry walk through Little Saigon. Loc admires a Mercedes parked at the curb. He tosses Harry an apple from a display outside a store. The owner watches Loc stuff more apples in a produce bag. Loc tells Harry to "see what that old guy wants." The store owner probably just wants to know if these kids are planning on paying for the fruit. 

Harry says something to the vendor in Vietnamese and the man hands him an envelope of money. Harry gives the envelope to Loc, who explains, "Guy just owes me a favor." He walks away with the bag of apples.

Harry tells Loc that he had a blowup with Van Lui. "Oh man, did he tell you you can't see Kim anymore?" Loc sounds pretty concerned, thinking he won't be able to date Kim either until he finds another decoy. Harry says Van Lui supposedly found his grandma. Loc warns Harry about listening to Van Lui. 

Harry goes on that Grandma Lei is family; he's thought for 15 years that he's the only person left in the Van Tranh clan. "Well, you probably are," says Loc, "Van Lui is just yankin' your chain." Loc and Harry collect another envelope from a woman who runs a dry cleaner's. Loc doesn't think Van Lui could find Grandma Lei even if she lived in Little Saigon. 

Later, Harry meets up with Kim. Somehow it comes up that Harry is single. "I see," says Kim, "You're the traditional Vietnamese boy who worships from afar." Harry's just waiting for the right girl. "I know you want me, Harry," Kim guesses correctly, "I feel the same about you." Harry tells Kim it wouldn't be right because Loc loves her. Kim says Harry has too much honor. 

Kim hands Harry a folded piece of paper, which he opens. Written on it is his aunt's address in Vietnam. Harry's grandmother lives there now. "My father may be a lot of things, but he's not a liar," says Kim, "If he says he'll send money to your grandmother, it'll happen." Harry looks torn.

Doug, carrying a big box, yells across the squadroom, "I got a present for you! I hope you don't have one already." Tom opens the gift and finds an inflatable pillow with a hole in the middle. "Where's the rest of it?" he asks. Doug chirps, "Oh, it's supposed to be like that. It's for guys who have...hemorrhoids." Tom doesn't want the pillow. 

Doug looks like a kicked puppy again: "I feel stupid. You have no idea how sorry I am." "Doug, I know how sorry you are. You know how I know? You apologized 430 times," Tom rants, "You cleaned my desk, you washed my car, you brought a whoopee cushion. You sharpened all my pencils."

"Shooting your own partner is a very stupid thing to do." says Doug. Yes indeed, Dougie. "You gotta be a-a little mad at me." Doug tells Tom it's not healthy to bottle up anger. 

"No one sharpens my pencils but me," says Tom. Doug grins triumphantly; this means Tom is mad at him. "Of course I'm mad! You shot me in the ass!" Tom yells, "And I'll never forgive you for that, okay?" "One little mistake and you're gonna hold a grudge against me for the rest of my life?!" Doug yelps. 

Cap'n Rufus asks what the hell is going on. "Nothing," Tom hisses. Rufus asks if they've been to the department psychiatrist yet. "I called, but he's on vacation," says Doug. Rufus tells them to go to the county hospital because evaluation is mandatory for officers involved in a shooting; he will have both their butts if they don't see the shrink. Doug nods like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Cap'n Rufus hopes Harry has good news. Harry explains the extortion ring and wonders, "Would you ever go to the other side if it was for a good reason?" Fuller asks for specifics. Harry explains that Van Lui offered to send money to his grandmother. "That man represents everything you despise. Even if the money got to her, could you live with that?" says Rufus. Harry thinks Rufus knows how he feels because he hates communism too and fought in the war. Cap'n Rufus points out that he didn't lose his home and his family, so he can't know how that part feels: "You gotta decide if that hate in your heart is greater than your love for your grandmother." Harry doesn't want it to be.

Harry knocks on Kim's door and Van Lui answers. Harry apologizes for being disrespectful. Van Lui accepts and notices the manila envelope Harry is holding: "You brought some money to send to your grandmother. That's good." "Is it? Or is it a one-in-a-million chance?" asks Harry. Van Lui says, "All charity is an act of faith" and assures Harry he's doing the right thing.

"Hey!" Loc calls from the street, where he's sitting on his motorcycle. Harry tells Loc he isn't there to see Kim and explains about the money. "I couldn't resist either," says Loc, "He takes everybody." Loc gave Van Lui money for his dad, but never got a letter back because the money never got there. Harry is tearful and pissed in equal measures.

A female psychiatrist asks if there was tension between Tom and Doug before the shooting. They say no. "Sometimes our subconscious has a greater power than we realize," she says, "These...accidents may well be a release of built-up resentments." Tom defends his friend: "He didn't shoot me on purpose, Doc. I know that." 

She asks if they're ever "unduly annoyed" by each other's behavior. Doug says no. Tom wishes Doug wasn't so sloppy and that he'd try to be punctual. He also doesn't think Doug works as hard as he should. They argue and this is starting to remind me of the couples-therapy scene from 22 Jump Street. 

Doug admits calmly, "I did mean to shoot you." Just as calmly, Tom asks, "You did?" Doug claims he did due to pent-up resentments. "A classic case of aggressive transference," the psychiatrist notes. A man in a lab coat walks in and looks at the woman behind the desk: "Vicky? How many times--Just go back to your room." Vicky apologizes. When she gets up, the cops see she's wearing a nightgown and slippers with her lab coat, meaning she's a mental patient herself. 

The real shrink apologizes for being late, sits down, and looks at their file: "Are you familiar with aggressive transference?" Tom irritably says yes and asks Doug how he feels. "Fine," Doug replies. Tom feels fine too. They both stand up and Tom thanks the doctor.

In the Pi Gao basement, Loc makes a speech about the sacrifices their families made so they could have a new beginning: "Unfortunately, there are some in our community who want to poison our new home. Van Lui has set up another money transfer to Vietnam. Tonight, his safe will be loaded. Tonight, we take that traitor for all he's worth." Everybody, including Harry, puts their hands in.

The Pi Gaos go to the newspaper office and smash the computers. Cap'n Rufus yells, "Police! Freeze!" Harry notices that Loc isn't there and asks where he went. A Pi Gao calls Harry a traitor. Judy reports there's no way out except the back. Harry thinks he knows where Loc went. 

Van Lui sits in his house reading a newspaper. He hears something and says, "I thought you were asleep." It's not Kim; it's Loc with a gun. Harry comes in. "You want the honors?" Loc asks. Harry tells Loc he's a cop. Loc tells Harry to leave. Harry cocks his gun: "Don't make me do it, man." "You won't do it," Loc taunts. He moves to shoot Van Lui, but Harry shoots Loc. "Call an ambulance!" Harry yells at Van Lui. 

Harry visits Loc in jail. "You know what it's like to lose everything. How could you do it?" Loc asks. Harry says, "If we don't play by the rules, we get nothing, just like Vietnam." "Next time you wanna come and see me, don't," says Loc bitterly.

Harry goes home and checks his answering machine. This time, he has a message. It's from Van Lui, claiming that he's gotten a letter from Harry' grandmother. End of episode.