Case #3.17: "Blinded By the Thousand Points of Light"

In a rough section of town at night, someone is spray painting a wall with the slogan WE SOLD OUR LOVE HERE. Several unkempt teens fish through a trashcan. One boy is smoking a cigarette. Another boy wearing a dirty white parka is standing on the corner like he's waiting for someone. A black BMW with limo-tinted windows pulls next to the curb. From inside, a man says, "I haven't seen you before." White Parka explains, "I'm kinda new." Beemer Guy asks about the rate for a "kinda new boy".

Aaron, the boy who'd been smoking, shoulders White Parka AKA Skid and tells the man, "You haven't got it." Beemer Guy asks how old Aaron is. Aaron says, "I'm a baby." Beemer Guy ratchets up the perv factor: "You'll do. You look just like my son." 

Aaron sets a price of $100, which Beemer Guy thinks is a bit expensive. Aaron tilts his head toward the group of kids by the trashcan and explains, "I got a lotta mouths to feed." Beemer Guy unlocks the doors and Aaron gets in. The BMW stops in an alley; the driver pushes Aaron out. His face is bloody and bruised. He can't stand up, can barely crawl.

Outside the East Side Bank the next, two of the kids who saw Aaron get into the BMW are panhandling: a girl in a quilted black jacket (Bonzo) and a boy in a torn denim jacket (Joey). Joey asks a well-dressed woman for spare change. She ignores him. The teens approach a guy who just left an ATM. The ATM guy only has $20s. Joey assures him, "We accept those."

Doug, wearing his trenchcoat, approaches a middle-aged guy in a suit with this pitch: "I've been tryin' to change my life. I only need 2 more bucks to buy the Donald Trump book." The older man smiles and gives Doug "a buck for the effort." Doug calls, "Thank you very much, sir! Won't forget you when I'm at the top." Bonzo tells Doug that's Aaron's line. Joey didn't think anyone else could pull it off. Please, kid, you can pull off just about anything with a New York accent.

Skid joins the group as they head down the sidewalk. Doug explains that a guy named Kevin from a shelter told him about Aaron. Bonzo asks if Doug has seen Aaron. Doug hasn't. 

At a rundown diner, a teenage girl in an old blazer drinks the last few drops from her Coke cup. She goes up to the counter and asks for a free refill. The worker ignores her. "Come on, man, I need the sugar," Blazer Girl pleads, "If you wanna say no, say no. You don't have to ignore me." Judy, in a Red Sox cap and varsity-style jacket, lays some money on the counter. Blazer Girl tells Judy she doesn't have to. Judy says it's no problem and holds up a large wallet. "I always feel generous when I find money," says Blazer Girl. The cashier refills Blazer Girl's drink.

Breeze, a weasel-like boy in a do-rag and black leather jacket, approaches the girls. "MoHo," he greets. MoHo tells Breeze to leave her alone. "I just scored me some China White and the clinic gave me a coupla rigs. Let's get it on and I'll share the wealth," Breeze invites. MoHo tells Breeze that Aaron would kick his ass if he was here. Breeze's tone becomes predatory: "Nobody's seen that dude for days, babe. You're on your own now." Judy throws a Coke in Breeze's face. She and MoHo run out of the diner.

"Bastard," MoHo pants when they're a safe distance away, "He knows I don't do that anymore." Judy asks MoHo if Breeze is her pimp. MoHo replies that she's not a whore: "Did it for drugs, never for money." Judy says she just ran away from her pimp and introduces herself. "You go by your real name?" asks the teen. MoHo hates her real name, but she hates being called MoHo too. Judy asks who Aaron is. "He's a god," MoHo replies with a faraway look on her face, "I gotta find him."

We go to an alley the teens seem to be living in. Skid suggests they go to the police. Bonzo says, "They don't care. They'll just lecture us to go home." Joey thinks Aaron will be back the next day. Skid worries that the john who picked Aaron up was a cop. MoHo scoffs, "Like a cop could really afford a bitchin' black Beemer with tinted windows." Doug asks if anyone saw the license plate because undercover cars have a special mark on them. Joey wonders how Doug knows that. Doug shrugs, "Live and learn, man."

Bonzo asks softly, "You think that shelter guy Kevin was right? Aaron got beat up?" MoHo is sure Aaron can take care of himself. Joey thinks Kevin is trying to scare them into getting off the streets. Judy suggests that Aaron went home. MoHo says, "No freakin' way." Bonzo reminds her that Aaron has before. "But he always told us," argues MoHo, "made sure none of us turned tricks." 

Judy asks if Aaron was mad at them. "He was always mad, but not at us," Bonzo says. Joey speculates, "He's in tight with that BMW guy." His tone is confident as he goes on: "Aaron's up in some house in the hills, kickin' back a couple cool ones. Big TV, hot tub. He's just milkin' the dude." Aaron always comes back. "Man, I'm starvin'," Skid gripes. Bonzo suggests they hang out behind a pizza parlor and wait for them to throw some away.

The kids head out of the alley with the Jump Street cops trailing behind. Doug hopes they find Aaron soon; he still hasn't found a new apartment. "If I don't, I'm gonna be out here livin' for real," Doug worries. Judy knows he'll find a place. "I don't want a place. I want a home," he says, "Fireplace, Jacuzzi, nice little alcove where I can sit and count my blessings." Judy just wants a hot bath and her loofah.

At nightfall, we see Tom hanging out in front of a store advertising adult videos. Harry is further down the block. On a different street, Booker is approached by Cap'n Rufus and a middle-aged white man who introduces himself as Kevin Jordan from Second Home. Both wear sweatshirts with the shelter's logo on it. They walk away with Booker. Rufus asks how it's going.

Booker reports, "These kids don't wanna talk. The only ones ready to make friends are the johns." Kevin isn't surprised: "Hustlers barely acknowledge AIDS, let alone some psycho who's gonna bring police sweeps in the area." Cap'n Rufus tells Booker that Aaron was last seen getting into a black BMW with tinted windows. Kevin got the same description from the other 7 assault victims. Booker asks why nobody has identified the driver.

Kevin explains that the hustlers have no ties and a circuit of cities they use if "something goes wrong at a place or they lose their appeal." Aaron is currently the only person they know of who could pick the driver out of a lineup. Nobody's seen Aaron in at least 2 days. Booker suggests Aaron went on the circuit. Kevin doesn't think so because Aaron acts as a father figure to a group of fellow runaways; he wouldn't skip town without them. Cap'n Rufus wants Harry, Tom, and Booker to keep working this end of town in case the black BMW shows up.

Elsewhere, it's pouring rain. Kevin holds open a door while teens run into the Second Home Youth Shelter. They take a freight elevator up to a lounge area. Kevin's arms are loaded with grocery bags. Aaron's friends are already upstairs. Joey asks if Kevin has seen Aaron; Kevin says no. 

Kevin sets down the bags. Joey goes through them while Judy plays with an Etch-A-Sketch. MoHo says, "This is our friend Judy, only I'm calling her Sodapop 'cause she's so bubbly. There's another guy we're hanging out with too." Skid looks around and asks, "Where's Trump?" Doug comes down the hall. He accidentally bumps into a long-haired resident, who gives him an evil look. Doug shakes Kevin's hand. Bonzo asks Doug to go to the bathroom with her. "I just went," he says. MoHo warns her to be careful.

Bonzo walks down the hallway. Some male residents watch her pass. The one Doug bumped into nudges his friend; they follow Bonzo. A volunteer offers a tray of sandwiches to the kids in the lounge. Judy asks if they have tuna on sourdough. The volunteer says the choice are PB&J or bologna. Doug asks, "Any PBJs on bologna?" 

Doug realizes that the guys from earlier are gone and so is Bonzo. He puts his sandwich back on the tray and sets off to find her, calling her name as he walks through the shelter. Doug hears something and pushes open a door. He sees a homeless boy, probably no older than 12, sitting in a bare room by himself and coughing violently. 

Doug calls for Bonzo again. He sees the two boys running out of the bathroom. "If you hurt her, I'll kill you!" he threatens. Doug goes into the bathroom and finds Bonzo sitting on the floor, hurriedly re-buttoning her jeans. "Oh no," he says softly. He drops to his knees near her, asking if she's hurt.

Bonzo lashes out, pushing Doug away and hitting him in the arms a few times. She says miserably, "I'm sick of this. I'm so sick of this crap. Why can't I just die?" Bonzo begins sobbing. Doug wraps his arms around her. Bonzo chokes out: "This never would've happened if Aaron was here." Doug gently rocks on the dirty bathroom floor as he hugs the scared teenager. Kevin, Judy, and the rest watch from the doorway.

In the alley, Judy helps MoHo put the finishing touch on a graffiti message that reads AARON, PLEASE COME BACK TO ME and pats the girl's shoulder. Joey mentions that they need to scrounge up some food. Skid offers to get a 5-finger discount at the A & P. From under a makeshift shelter, Doug says, "No, you'd never get enough for all of us." Through gritted teeth, he adds, "My stomach is constantly grumbling." "I know," Joey agrees, rubbing the front of his sweatshirt, "Hearin' your stomach is makin' me hungry."

Skid says, "MoHo said she'd trick for some drugs, then we could sell 'em." Doug doesn't like that idea one bit: "It's up to us to get the money." ("Us" presumably means the menfolk). "No one's gonna hire us," Skid points out. Joey suggests breaking into apartments, which Doug dismisses as too risky. Joey's next plan involves stealing a roll of lottery tickets from a nearby liquor store: "That's 200 cards. We could easily hit $25 grand." Skid likes the sound of that; the kids could find a hotel and order room service.

Doug wants to know what Aaron would do to help his friends. There's a beat before Joey replies, "He'd do for us what he wouldn't let Skid do to himself." Skid shifts uncomfortably. Needing to further gain the kids' trust to solve the case, Doug says, "Tell me what it is. I'll do it."

On a street corner after dark, Doug's expression shows he's realizing exactly what he's gotten himself into. He asks, "What am I supposed to say to the guy?" Skid says the johns do the talking. Joey tells Doug he'll make $100 for 10 minutes of work, then they can get high so he can forget about it. Wait, I thought the point of this was getting food money. Doug sighs and leans into the window of a car that has parked at the curb. He's clearly dreading having to get in.

A middle-aged creep in glasses drives down the road, bragging to Doug about an important business deal he closed that day. Some guys celebrate with steak dinners, this one rewards himself by picking up who he thinks is an underage male prostitute. Patting Doug on the shoulder, he says in a greasy voice, "You're a very big boy...Trump." Doug looks ready to rip the guy's arm off and beat him with it.

"Where should we have our" asks the pervert. Doug starts giving him directions, then tells the man to pull over. Pervert looks at the sign overhead. In a confused tone, he says, "This is a police station." Doug pulls a Chris Hansen, flashing his badge and saying, "Yeah. I'm the police." The pervert sighs defeatedly.

Doug stops at an ATM so he won't go back to the kids empty-handed. The scene switches to Tom in front of the same video store, then to Harry and Booker. Harry talks about how Jack the Ripper is one of the most famous serial killers in history, but he only killed 7 people. Booker says, "Today, that wouldn't even earn him a psychotic starter kit." Harry can't imagine what it'll be like in 50 years. 

"Beemer," Harry says. He and Booker rush over to the car. Booker pushes the teen standing next to the BMW aside. "Hey, man, you're messin' with my livelihood," says the teen. Booker says, "Hey, he gets two pros for the price of one, pal." They start shoving each other. When Harry and Booker turn around, the BMW is gone.

Judy huddles under a blanket that's full of holes. She steps carefully over a large form, presumably Doug, and out of the lean-to. MoHo is already awake, sitting against a nearby Dumpster. Judy gives MoHo the blanket. MoHo thinks Aaron might have gone home after all. Judy asks if she can find out by calling his family. MoHo can get his number, but that means doing something hard: going home. Judy wants to help her. 

MoHo and Judy sit in donation chairs at a blood bank. MoHo and Aaron have both gone home before, but called each other every night: "Our moms freaked out when they got the phone bill." She can't remember his phone number and didn't want to carry it with her on the streets. Judy wonders if $20 for their blood will be enough for a bus ticket. MoHo knows of a bus line that gives runaways free tickets home. Judy asks why they're donating blood. MoHo wants new clothes so her mom will recognize her. Judy doesn't think she can buy a whole new outfit for $20. The teen gives Judy a hard look and says, "Sodapop, there's a lot harder ways to lose your blood."

In a thrift store, MoHo giggles at some of the items: "This is the kinda thing my brother wore in the disco days." MoHo gives Judy some more background on her life. She has a lot of half-siblings: "My mom and dad were married and divorced to everyone on the planet." She's the only child they have together and "all their other kids hate them for who they married at one time or another." "Do you hate them?" asks Judy.

MoHo explains that she ran away because her parents weren't getting along and she felt she'd be doing them a favor by not being around to distract them. She asks Judy about her family. Judy doesn't think her mom knows she's even gone and asks MoHo when she took off. MoHo thinks it was a year ago: "I was on this cool drill team and we came down for a competition. I got off the bus and I never got back on." Stellar supervision on the part of the drill coach. Judy looks sad.

We see an express bus driving at night. The girls get off it; Judy is now in a pink sweater and hideous plaid pants and MoHo is in red pants, a denim shirt, and a dark-colored cardigan. The girls walk up to MoHo's house, which is medium-sized and in a decent neighborhood. They go inside. MoHo hears someone moving around and almost bolts. 

A brunette woman comes out of the kitchen; she looks like she can't believe her eyes. MoHo introduces Judy and asks if she can use the phone. "Of course," the woman says. I'm surprised she hasn't fainted from relief that her daughter is alive.

MoHo rifles through dresser drawers until she finds her address book. Judy asks what Aaron's last name is. MoHo just wrote his number under "Aaron." She dials the phone. Moho tells the woman on the other end that she's a friend of Aaron's and asks if he's home. "Aaron? As far as his family's concerned, Aaron is dead," the woman says coldly before hanging up. MoHo is on the verge of tears.

At the same diner seen earlier, Doug uses the payphone in back to call about an apartment ad. The landlord is going out of town and asks if Doug can come by in an hour. "That's gonna be a little tough for me," says Doug, chewing nervously on a straw and looking around the corner. He promises to put down a deposit on the spot if he likes the place. The landlord tells him that the key is under the mat and "if ya like it, call me before noon tomorrow." Doug thanks him and hangs up.

Doug goes over to a booth where Bonzo, Skid, and Joey are sitting with mostly-empty plates in front of them. "Trump, what you did for us, man--" Joey starts. Bonzo tells him that Aaron never wanted to talk about it. Doug doesn't mind. Joey reminisces about the first time he went off with a john and chuckles, "God, that's the last time I remember crying." Skid glumly admits he's the only virgin. Joey nods, "And Trump here's gonna make sure it stays that way." "Hustlin'," Doug says, the word clearly leaving a bad taste in his mouth. He asks if prostitution is really preferable to going home.

Bonzo hasn't had a home since the foundry where her dad used to work was shut down. The rest of her family is in Arizona "livin' in a tent behind some church. I thought I could make it better on my own." Skid's stepfather used to spank his bare backside with Christmas wrapping tubes. Doug stares at the tabletop. "Memories too painful, Trump?" asks Skid. Doug gnaws on the straw some more.

Joey would love to go home because he misses his mom. Doug asks why he hasn't gone back. Joey hesitantly begins his story: "This one time--It was a buncha times, but this one..." When his aunt died, Joey's mom went out of town for the funeral. Joey was left at home with his mother's boyfriend. While Mom was away, the boyfriend put a knife to Joey's throat and told him to take his clothes off. Doug looks sick to his stomach.

Joey goes on to talk about something that happened a few months prior. He got high on crack and wanted to jump off a freeway overpass. Kevin stopped him, talked to Joey for hours, and convinced him that he should go home. Joey gave Kevin his phone number: "So it was like 4:00 in the morning and he calls. I was so excited and so was Kevin...He says, 'Mrs. Taylor, this is Kevin from Second Home. I have your son Joey here and he'd like to come home.' She hung up."

Skid asks, "What about you, Trump? You ever wanna talk to your mom?" Doug answers earnestly that he'd like that more than anything. He excuses himself and heads off to the men's room, most likely to have a private cry about the abuse the kids suffered at home and are still suffering on the streets. Breeze enters the diner and tells the kids he heard a rumor that Aaron's been "partying with the corner boys down on 5th and Madison." Bonzo says Aaron wouldn't do that because he hates those guys. 

Breeze calls them 'tards. Bonzo spits at him. Breeze call her a whore. "Up yours," she says coolly. Breeze says the two of them "could do some parallel parking for a bag of crack." He takes a step toward Bonzo. Joey gets between them. Doug comes out of the bathroom and tells Breeze to leave them alone. 

Breeze shoves Joey, causing him to land in an unoccupied booth. He pulls a switchblade; Doug expertly dodges the knife, dumps a container of straws over Breeze's head, and bites Breeze's wrist to make him drop the blade. Doug bends the kid over the counter and hits him a couple of times with a metal napkin dispenser. Breeze collapses to the floor. Doug asks Joey if he's hurt and practically skips out the door with the kids following him. Bonzo laughs at Breeze's misery.

Tom and Harry are on a different street. Tom informs his friend that an outfielder from Harry's least favorite team tried to pick him up for sex. "I knew he was a bum," says Harry. Booker apparently got the guy's autograph. Still no leads on the black BMW. The young hustlers know the guy has been prowling their neighborhood, but they go out anyway because they need money for food and/or their drug habits. "God, I hate this assignment," says Harry. Tom agrees, "I hate feeling like a piece of meat." Ironic coming from People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive 2003 and 2009.

In MoHo's backyard, the girls sit on a swingset. MoHo tells Judy that Aaron would take the gang to an observatory and they'd sneak into the planetarium shows. They saw one about constellations. The names of them didn't mean anything to Aaron, so he made up his own "after anything that kept him from killing himself." She points out a few--cheesecake, baseball, and Bruce Springsteen.

MoHo's mom comes out of the house. She says that she made a bed on the couch for Judy and reveals that MoHo's real name is Molly, which I will use for the rest of the recap. Molly's mom suggests they have a mother/daughter breakfast. "We can go to the bay and--" "Talk?" Molly says angrily. Molly's mom asks, "Is that so awful?" Judy leaves to give them privacy. Molly's mom wants her daughter to stay, but doesn't know how to say it. How about telling her how worried you've been for the last year? Molly agrees. Her mom goes back inside and tells Judy good night.

Doug, Bonzo, Skid, and Joey file into a darkened apartment. Bonzo exclaims, "Trump! This is so cool!" There's a fireplace in the living room. Joey asks how Doug found the apartment. "Keep your ear to the ground, man," says Doug, "Anybody wanna take a bath?" Skid and Doug look around the bathroom, but there's no soap. "I found some!" Bonzo calls. She tosses Doug a bottle of what looks like dish soap. Skid takes off his parka while Doug liberally pours soap in the tub.

Later, the kids dance around the living room to some loud music. Everyone's hair is wet. Doug sits next to the fireplace with a bucket of KFC, happy to see them free to act like normal teenagers. Cut to him polishing off the last of the chicken; there's bones all over the floor. "Well, I could get used to this. How 'bout you guys?" Doug asks. Joey would make it look "like something out of the homes section in the Sunday paper" and keep his door open. "No junkies, no johns, no damn cops, just a place to crash," says Bonzo.

Doug asks if they think Breeze was lying about where Aaron is. Joey has a feeling that Aaron is where Breeze suggested they look. The door opens and everyone's heads whip around. "What the hell?" asks Mr. Landlord. He orders them to get out before he calls the cops. Doug hands over the key and inquires, "How much to move into this place?" "Your liver!" replies Mr. Landlord.

Molly, dressed in her old blazer again, creeps through her living room. She shakes Judy awake and tells her she's going back to the streets. She has to find Aaron. Judy thinks Molly is running away from talking to her mom. "It's better to deal with what you're running from than what you're running to," Judy advises, "You owe that not only to your mother, but to yourself." Judy promises to find Aaron and bring him to Molly's. Molly insists that she's leaving; Judy doesn't have to come. Judy gets up.

Downtown by the adult video store, Tom is alone. A black BMW pulls up. Tom goes to the passenger window and guesses the driver is looking for more than directions. Beemer Guy unlocks the doors and drives off with Tom. He's now alone with a violent perp and no backup. What could go wrong?

The two go up to a room at a no-tell motel. For the first time, we get a good look at Beemer Guy: white, in his 40's or 50's, gray hair, decent suit, clean-cut. He's also wearing leather gloves. "You look just like my son," he says to Tom. He tells him to turn around. "I don't turn my back on nobody," says Tom. He then does just that to look out the window. In the tiny bathroom, Beemer Guy takes a small billyclub out of his waistband and kisses it lovingly.

Tom turns back around as Beemer Guy enters the room and cocks his revolver. "Drop the stick," Tom orders. He shows Beemer Guy his badge. "You're under arrest." The billyclub clatters to the floor as Beemer Guy mutters, "No. God, no." He handcuffs Beemer Guy and asks him where Aaron is. Beemer Guy tells Tom that he doesn't want to know their names "not before, not afterwards." 

On a downtown sidewalk, Cap'n Rufus meets up with Harry, Booker, Doug, and Judy. He tells them Tom arrested a suspect who gave a full confession; they're all free to go home. Booker and Harry leave. Doug asks about Aaron. Rufus says that Beemer Guy dropped off a kid matching Aaron's description at 7th and 24th. He was still alive then, but who knows if he is now or if he's still in the area.

"The department says we've got greater priorities than a lost runaway," Rufus adds. Doug protests, "But, Captain, these kids, they need someone to pull 'em through." "These kids were here before this case. Unfortunately, they'll be here long after," says Rufus. They can't solve the problem themselves because it's too big. He knows the case has been tough on them and suggests Doug and Judy take a couple of days off. Of course, Doug doesn't exactly have a home to go back to. 

Doug and Judy find Skid and friends panhandling again. Bonzo demands to know where they've been all day. Judy asks if there are any hangouts for the homeless on 7th and 24th. "Hotel Hell," says Joey. They go to 7th and 24th. Doug slips through the chainlink fence, but the kids don't follow him. Aaron told them never to go there; it's just junkies and sick people. "Severely haunted," adds Joey. Bonzo and Skid refuse to go in. "After all he did for you, that's all you got for him?" Doug asks. Molly goes through the fence, then Judy. Joey, Skid, and Bonzo join them.

They walk around to the back of the building. Doug forces a door open. Hotel Hell is right; it's dark, full of rotting furniture and piles of garbage. Doug shines a flashlight around, asking if anyone has seen a kid named Aaron. Nobody responds; they all look unconscious or dead. Undaunted, Doug continues giving Aaron's physical description and says he disappeared last week. "Yeah, that dude got dragged in. He was hurt," says a homeless man. A homeless woman tells them, "By the honeymoon suite down the hall."

They walk further into the building. Molly calls Aaron's name. Doug kicks open another door and immediately says, "Oh, dammit." Aaron is lying motionless in an old bathtub. Molly gasps and whimpers. Skid tries to go in. Doug says gently, "He's dead." Molly clutches onto Judy, sobbing and wailing. Joey asks how long Aaron's been dead. Doug can't tell. Bonzo asks what they're supposed to do now. Doug is clearly affected by this case and stammers sadly, "Find a...find a home."

In Molly's backyard at night, her mom comes to sit on the swingset with her. Molly's eyes are fixed overhead. Mom asks what her daughter is looking at. "Baseball," Molly replies. Her mom doesn't seem to quite understand. Downtown, a city worker rolls black paint over Molly's graffiti message to Aaron. And so ends one of the strongest episodes of the series. 

Case #3.16: "High High"

This episode opens with a montage of students practicing ballet, guitar, cello, modern dance, and drama. In between expressing themselves, they're buying, selling, and using drugs. 

At the Chapel, Cap'n Rufus passes out undercover identities and inquires if anyone has heard of Creative Arts High School. "Like the one in Fame?" asks Judy. "Oh no, somebody's not stealing tights, are they?" asks Doug. Rufus explains that the school has a severe drug problem. The city is threatening to pull the school's funding unless that's addressed.

Normally, admission to Creative Arts is strictly by audition. Cap'n Rufus is bypassing that using the school's affirmative action policy for low-income students. Harry asks what programs they're all being put in.

Harry is the latest addition to a modern dance class. He's horribly out of step during the routine they're practicing. The teacher pulls him aside to ask how many years of dance training he's had and if there's a routine he's good at. Harry tells her yes. The other students snicker as Harry demonstrates the limbo. "Try the film department," the teacher suggests.

The film teacher is a black guy with dreadlocks, a Rastafarian accent, and John Lennon glasses. He tells Harry that making a movie is like demonstrating how you see life. He asks Harry to define what art is. Harry lists singing, dancing, and acting. "They're all visions of life," says the film teacher, "Art is life seen through the artist's eyes." He gives Harry a video camera and assigns him to spend the day shooting. The next day, he'll be taught how to edit the movie and put it to music.

Doug and Judy are in a drama class. The teacher has the students lying on the floor doing breathing exercises. Then they stand up, roll their tongues, and scream on cue. The teacher tells them to remember their anger and let it out. Doug screams as loudly as possible, but he's the only one. 

The teacher asks stiffly what Doug was feeling. Doug answers, "Anger. Anger at all this bull! When are we gonna act?!" "When you get in touch with your feelings," the teacher replies. Doug argues, "I am in touch with my feelings. They left a message." The teacher snaps, "I know you are new to this class, but you must connect your heart with your head if you have any hope of being an actor!" 

After class, Doug is approached by a kid wearing what looks like a black leather fez or yarmulke. "You wanna get in touch with your feelings?" says Black Hat, "I got anything you need, man. You wanna go up, down, sideways?" This is almost too easy. Doug asks Judy if she has money; she does. "Then let's talk," he says to Black Hat.

Tom joins a class where the students play in a rock band. He tells the teacher, Mr. Sharp, he plays guitar and saxophone. Mr. Sharp explains the class is about music theory, discovering new music, and of course playing music. He asks Tom about his opinion on new music. Tom claims not to have one. 

Mr. Sharp tries to spark a class discussion by stating, "Rock and roll is dead, a wrinkled old prune of a whore that has no business being kissed by a young man." Tom loves rock and roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby. The teacher wonders why kids don't get their own music that people over their own music that nobody over age 25 understands. "'Cause art is dead," says Tom. Mr. Sharp praises his answer.

Now they're ready to play some music. Mr. Sharp assigns Tom to the drums. Tom doesn't know how to play them. Mr. Sharp says Tom can't be a "real" musician if he can't play the drums. The kids start playing.  A kid wanders in midway through the piece and picks up his guitar. He plays a pretty decent solo.

Booker is in an auditorium with two older teachers, a man and a woman. The man asks if Booker's ready to choose a specialty. "I'd like to try that dance class," says Booker, eyeing the girl spinning onstage. The woman asks, "Any particular reason?" "I think I'd look good in those leotards," Booker replies, "There's a lotta women in this class and I get along good with women." "Those are hardly reasons," scoffs the female teacher.

Booker notices a group of kids who are wrapped in plastic and doing some kind of skit. "Performance art," the male teacher explains. He goes on that the goal of the medium is "to blend art with life until art is indistinguishable from life." "That's why I do!" Booker says, "I'm a freeform, poetic kind of performance artist." 

The performance art teacher, Mr. Thurmer, scolds his students. "Your piece is strange, but where's the truth? Green Acres is strange, but is there truth?" "Of course there is," says Booker. Mr. Thurmer asks Booker to describe his work. Booker uses two words that don't go together at all: S&M haiku.

Booker demonstrates by getting onstage and putting his arm around a plastic-covered mannequin. "My friends always ask me, why don't you watch TV?" he starts, "I tell them: Because it gives me..." He puts on a pair of sunglasses, drawing from the David Caruso School of Acting. "A headache." Booker pushes over the mannequin and breaks a couple of nearby TVs with a sledgehammer. The three teachers look either stunned by Booker's stupidity or impressed.

The drama teacher gives the students the odds that only one person will go on to make a living as an actor. He assigns the class to pick an inanimate object to become. One girl wants to be a tree; Judy chooses a pencil. Doug snorts with laughter. "What would you like to be?" the teacher asks him. Doug wisecracks, "A piece of paper so [Judy] can write all over me."

The teacher questions Doug about the reading assignment, which mentioned Spencer Tracy. Doug says that Tracy said acting comes down to remembering your lines and not bumping into the furniture. Doug has a special assignment for the next class: do a 2-minute scene from any well-known play. 

In the student lounge/cafeteria, Tom talks to a kid named Jimmy from Mr. Sharp's music class with. Jimmy assures him that Mr. Sharp picks on all the new kids. He offers to teach Tom some tricks to play better.

In performance art class, a boy in a trenchcoat recites some terrible spoken-word poetry while standing in front of a pile of garbage. Booker tells the kid he liked the poetry. The kid saw Booker's audition and says, "That's the great thing about art. Sometimes you can't tell the difference between art and bullcrap." The kid starts to like Booker after Booker is able to finish a poem he's reciting. He asks if Booker likes to get high or play hoops. Booker likes both.

On the basketball court, Trenchcoat (Dave) takes a kid named Rupert aside, buys a baggie of drugs from him, and gives it to Booker. Dave suggests Booker get high behind the building before the game. Booker says he'll get high afterward.

Montage! Harry is in the dance studio, filming girls stretching out for ballet. Tom is in the music room playing guitar. Booker is hanging out with the performance art kids. Dave invites him to drink wine and recite poetry. That night, they sit in a heavily spray painted car with some other performance art kids having the kind of discussion that makes sense only to hipsters. A choice quote is "Fear strangles the sweet breath of living." Dave tells Booker to get high before the next basketball game. Booker protests that he'd be too messed up to play. 

The Jump Street cops all turn in the drugs they managed to buy. Tom thinks they found the source: the entire school. Fuller whistles. Blowfish doesn't understand how there could be such a huge amount of drug use in such a small school. "Pressure to perform," Fuller guesses. Judy theorizes that location could be a factor; Creative Arts isn't in the best neighborhood. Booker is uncharacteristically insightful: "These kids feel life so intensely it's gotta be scary. Maybe this is the only way to deal with the pain."

Jimmy shows Tom some different ways to use his fingers on the guitar. He tells Tom he listens to everything, even opera, because you can't learn unless you listen. Tom, for some reason, seems surprised to hear that the music teacher at a performing arts school also plays an instrument. Mr. Sharp is in a band that performs at a club called The Lizard. And how terrible of a pun is it that the music teacher is named Sharp? 

Tom invites Jimmy to score drugs with him. Jimmy doesn't do drugs; "that's what keeps you from making great music." Tell that to Motley Crue, Aerosmith, and Jimi Hendrix. 

In the drama classroom, Doug and Judy have a disagreement while rehearsing. She leaves, saying she's not embarrassing herself by being his scene partner. "One of these days, Alice," Doug mutters, "One of these days." Black Hat comes in. He sits in the auditorium by himself all the time because "an empty theater, it's a trip." He waxes poetic about the thrills of acting: "You can go anywhere, you can be anything. What could be better?" As a former drama/musical theater geek, I have to agree. Sadly, I only had one major speaking part in my career: Queen Antonia in The Tempest

In a bathroom just off the basketball court, Rupert passes out drugs to Dave, Booker, and the rest of the team. Again, Booker says he'll do it after the game. "Just try it once, man," says Dave as he snorts a line off the filthy sink. Third montage of the episode: Booker's basketball game is intercut with Tom and the band playing their music. Harry tapes the game from outside the fence. Despite being high as hell, the art students manage to defeat the neighborhood kids.

Blowfish has calculated what the cops have scored from Creative Arts High: 123 grams of cocaine, 3 1/2 pounds of marijuana, smack, a tube of glue, and over 1,000 pills of various kinds. Cap'n Rufus asks the janitor how he's so up on drug terms. "Dragnet reruns every night at 8:00," Blowfish says. Harry doesn't understand why kids with so much potential are doing all these drugs.

At The Lizard, a few music students and Tom have some beers while watching Mr. Sharp play saxophone with his jazz band. Jimmy is onstage too, playing guitar. One of the music students tells Tom that Jimmy is the biggest drug dealer in school.

The next day, Tom joins Jimmy in the music room for more guitar tutoring. He compliments Jimmy on the good weed he sold him, then asks why Jimmy deals even though he doesn't use. Jimmy needs the money; he's getting out of the business once he finishes recording his music. Tom suggests that he take over the business and give Jimmy a cut of the profits. Jimmy says no.

In drama class, Doug and Tom start to do a scene The Honeymooners. The teacher cuts them off, reminding Doug that he was supposed to do a scene from a play. "Anyone can clown, anyone can mimic, that's not acting," says the teacher. He tells Doug what elements made Jackie Gleason's performance on the show so memorable and gives him a scene from a different episode to do. Doug gestures to Tom, "He doesn't know the lines." The teacher tells him to do it anyway and to lose the ridiculous golf hat and sweater. 

"I want to hear you do this character with your voice," the teacher instructs, "I want to see a little man who's never realized his dreams." Doug turns in a much more subtle performance this time, telling his wife Alice that he failed some sort of test again. The teacher jumps in to play Alice's part. The rest of the class applauds as they end the scene with a hug. 

After school, Doug talks to Judy about how drama class made him look at The Honeymooners in a whole new light. He can relate to Ralph feeling like a failure because of what's happened in his past. "And that's what made you so good," says Judy, "You made me think of times I let myself down." Doug thinks it must be hell for the kids to drum up their emotions like that and relive it every day. Judy says, "They want to feel it and express it so we can feel it too." 

Tom sits in on one of Jimmy's recording sessions. He's amazed by the kid's talent. So am I if the actor is really playing guitar that well.

The auditorium is set up for some kind of talent show. Harry is acting as MC. The first part of the show will be "a video presentation while Dennis Buckwell (Booker) reads his poem 'Oblivion.'" The students are impressed by Booker's writing. Booker goes on, "The second part of our piece is this: As nearly every student in this room has either possessed illegal narcotics or sold them to undercover officers, you're all busted." Harry and Booker flash their badges. Uniformed officers enter. 

The final portion of the "show" involves a local judge stepping out onto the stage. His performance piece is called Due Process. The students will be bussed to the courthouse, booked, and arraigned. The school itself has been placed on probation and will be permanently closed if the drug trade continues at these levels. "That's all, folks," the judge concludes.

Jimmy has evidently been sentenced to community service, an obligation he's fulfilling by teaching kids to play the guitar. Tom stops by to see how things are going and is glad Jimmy hasn't violated his probation.

Booker goes to the basketball court. He nearly catches Dave shooting up in the bathroom. Booker heard Dave dropped out of Creative Arts. Dave did: "too many cops." He accuses Booker of being a hypocrite because he saw Booker snort heroin with them. Booker explains that he faked it. 

However, Booker didn't fake his apparent high: "I'm 22 years old. I'm in the moment every second of every day. I feel things and taste things that can never see through your wall of dope." Dave rolls his eyes: "Save your preach, cop. I reject everything." Booker leaves. End of episode.

Case #3.15: "Father and Sons"

At a school after dark, Tom and a group of boys are in the principal's office doing drugs and watching hockey on TV. The phone rings. The boys learn that their friend Alan is bringing a new client, Doug Norberg, over. 

When a boy in a turquoise shirt arrives, another boy announces that a player nicknamed Iceman just scored another goal. Turquoise Shirt is pleased: "I oughta tell my dad to pay him more." Doug Norberg/Penhall asks, "Your dad owns that team?" Turquoise Shirt introduces Doug to the rest of the group: Tom, Tad, and Troy. Doug wants to buy a half pound of cocaine.

Troy switches the TV to Channel 11 news. Something called Proposition 58 has passed. The boys boo because Prop 58 relates to substance abuse. The infamous Councilman Davis is projected to win the mayoral election again. The boys cheer and chant "4 more years!" Tad snorts another line and says, "This one's for you, Dad." Tom and Doug exchange looks; this case will be a political powderkeg.

Harry pours himself a cup of coffee in the squadroom and states that life would be better if everyone took more time to appreciate its bounties. "Date went well last night, huh?" Cap'n Rufus guesses. The captain tastes the coffee and makes a face. 

Tom informs his boss that the mayor's son is a major drug dealer. Cap'n Rufus says, "We bust the mayor's son, the first word outta his mouth will be 'entrapment.'" He tells Tom to make sure the investigation is run by the book. He also warns him to stay away from Tad's house because Councilman Davis has met Tom and Doug.

At Tom's apartment, he and Jackie play some kind of board game. He confides in her about the case. Tom wants to prove to Tad that he isn't above the law.

In the school gym after hours, Doug and Tad play some variation of hockey involving brooms, a large dodgeball, and electric carts they probably stole from the school fieldhouse. They end up crashing the carts into each other. The janitor catches them and turns off the lights. Tad scolds the janitor, "Don't ever do that again!" The janitor leaves and Tad turns the lights back on. He tells Doug he'll have half a pound of cocaine by the next afternoon.

Harry announces to the rest of Jump Street (minus Judy and Booker) that he's in love. He and his new girlfriend "fit together like hand and glove." Doug remarks, "That sounds kinda sexual." Tom says, "That's disgusting." The girl stimulates Harry intellectually. "All night?" asks Rufus. Way to discourage their behavior, Cap.

Harry's girl Bobbie appears. She's pretty and wearing a tight hot-pink shirt and equally tight black skirt. Bobbie invites him to a showing of a French movie at the arthouse theater, cocktails provided, then excuses herself to the ladies' room. "Can I get some fries with that shake?" Doug mutters as she walks away. "A large order," Cap'n Rufus adds. Harry is disgusted with his coworkers: "Just because a woman is shapely, you assume she's not good for anything but sex." I have to agree with him on that point; men have been genuinely surprised that I'm both a size 6 and intelligent.

In class the next day, Tom arranges to make the deal at Tad's car after school. Tom is pulled out of class and into the principal's office. A suit named Chief Deputy Mason tells him that the investigation of Tad has been terminated. 

Cap'n Rufus is not happy about the mayor's office intruding on Jump Street's work. Mason assures him that closing the case was not politically motivated. Yeah right. He advises Fuller to let it go. 

Cap'n Rufus meets Tom and Doug at a bar. All three are angry about what's happened. Rufus has an idea. They'll use Tad to find out who his street connection is and "if he gets swept up with the rest of the garbage, it's his own fault."

Doug pulls into the school parking lot driving a borrowed red convertible. He asks Tom what happened to the deal. Tom makes an excuse that he was pulled out of school because his mom was sick. Doug now wants a pound of coke. Tad says, "Lemme talk to a guy."

At Harry's apartment, he and Bobbie share a bottle of wine in the candlelight. He starts, "I've never told any woman this before" and is interrupted by Doug's arrival. He's singing opera very poorly at the top of his lungs, which further ruins the moment. Doug apologizes for not realizing it was Tuesday. Bobbie offers to leave so she's not imposing. Doug tells her not to; they can both stay. She and Harry won't even know he's there. Doug soon has the TV blaring and tuned to wrestling, which distracts Bobbie.

Tom and Jackie have breakfast at one of their apartments (can't tell whose). Jackie warns Tom that the mayor will eat him alive if he finds out what's going on.

Meanwhile, Davis is sitting in his home office with the phone off the hook while Tad does some more cocaine in his room. He hides everything when his dad knocks and ditches his shirt. When Tad opens the door, he lies that he was getting ready for bed. Davis knows Tad's school is the target of a drug investigation and the police think Tad's involved. Lying through his teeth like a good politician's kid, Tad swears he doesn't use. Davis tells him good night.

Cap'n Rufus has a review board hearing about why Tad is still under police surveillance. The board finds him guilty of misusing police resources for personal reasons and suspends him without pay for 30 days. Once word gets back to the Chapel, everyone is upset; they know Rufus is taking the heat for them.

Tad and his friends have another nighttime get-together in the principal's office. Tad heard Tom was kicked out of school because he was a narc. He wants to throw a party to celebrate while his parents are out of town. Doug wants to contribute a pound of coke. Tad promises to call his supplier, Jack.

When Doug gets home, Harry is channel surfing. Doug's bags are packed and waiting by the door. Harry is blunt: "If you stay here another night, there's a good chance I might strangle you in your sleep. I don't wanna do that." Doug is hurt but doesn't want to show it. He hands over his key and tells Harry not to worry; he has plenty of places to stay.

Montage time! Doug walks through a downtown neighborhood with his luggage. He sees a hotel advertising rooms for $11/night. I'm sure that was a fleabag rate even in the late '80s. A hooker propositions him on the street. He shakes his head and goes into a bar.

The next morning, Doug wakes up under a black-and-white patterned comforter in an unfamiliar bed. He's startled to hear a man's voice say, "Good morning." A guy in a suit, Randy, is standing next to the bed holding a loaded breakfast tray; there's even a single rose in a vase. Doug scans his surroundings: "This looks like my old place. Is this 1518 Cedar Place?" Randy confirms and adds, "That explains why you were pounding on my door at 3:30 A.M. yelling, 'I'm home.'"

Doug seems to be realizing something and peeks at himself under the covers. He must be naked because he stammers, "Randy, did we--What exactly happened last night?" "Nothing," Randy assures him, "You were such a mess I slept on the couch." He offers coffee and takes a step closer with the tray. Doug likes what Randy's done with his old place. He's still uncomfortable about the situation (as he should be) and asks if they can have breakfast at the table.

Moments later, Doug is eating grapefruit in a bathrobe that presumably belongs to his host. Randy asks Doug how he wound up here. Doug clutches at the neck of the robe and puts on a high-pitched voice: "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." Randy chuckles, "You'd make an interesting Blanche Dubois." Doug explains about his breakup with Dorothy and living on Harry's couch; he misses Dorothy. Randy says, "It sounds like two people who love each other but can't communicate." He suggests that Doug go see Dorothy.

Jackie is upset that Tom didn't come over the night before as planned. Tom tells her about Fuller's suspension and asks if she told anyone about Tad; Jackie admits to telling her boss. Now Tom is upset because she betrayed his confidence. Jackie argues she was trying to keep Tom from ruining his career. Tom won't play political games.

Doug is visibly nervous to be in Tad's house because Davis knows him. He, Tad, Troy, and the other guys go up to Tad's room for some drugs and alcohol. Doug asks for more beer. Tad tells him where the kitchen is and also to bring some sandwich supplies back with him. Downstairs in the kitchen, Davis almost catches Doug raiding his refrigerator; Doug has to hide in the pantry to avoid him. Back in Tad's room, Doug claims that they're out of beer and sandwich stuff and offers to make a food run.

Cap'n Rufus is surprised Doug and Tom are still going after Tad. He wants them to drop the case before their careers are ruined too.

Tad's party is in full swing. A friend goes looking for Tad in the palatial master bedroom/master bath, but doesn't find him. That's because Tad is currently overdosing in a corner of a smaller upstairs bathroom.

Davis drops by Cap'n Rufus's house. Rufus expresses sympathy for the mayor's loss. Davis says, "I want the man who killed my son." Rufus tells him as gently as possible that nobody killed Tad; it was an overdose. Davis can't live with the fact that Tad might still be alive if he had let Jump Street bust him; he wants the dealer caught. Rufus agrees to do all he can. In the school parking lot, Tom and Doug flash their badges at Troy, who claims not to know who Jack is, but eventually cooperates.

Doug and Troy go to a rundown building and get buzzed into the dealer's apartment. Outside, marked police cars park on the street and officers start getting out. Jack's junkie assistant pats Doug down because he doesn't trust anyone under 30; Jack looks like he's on the wrong side of 40 himself. He sells Doug a pound of cocaine. Cap'n Rufus gives the other cops the signal to make the bust and catches Jack before he can escape.

Jackie visits Tom in the squadroom. Tom isn't returning her calls. She knows telling her boss about Tad was wrong and asks for forgiveness. Tom can't. She leaves. Thank goodness. Tom's love interests are always annoying characters; at least Dorothy's fights with Doug were good for some giggles. Fuller enters and Doug starts a round of applause for his return.

Doug rides his motorcycle to the house he'd been living in with Dorothy. When he arrives, there's a large FOR RENT sign on the lawn. He peeks in the living room window and sees that all the furniture is gone. Looks like he won't be making up with Dorothy. End of episode.