Case #4.16: "2245"

Nope, that isn't a typo. It's really the episode title. In a prison cell, a young white man with long black hair stuffs a rolled-up towel in his mouth,gets a knife from his bunk, and stabs his leg deep enough to draw blood. He bites down on the towel so he won't scream. He rubs the blood on his wrists.

The inmate's moans attract the attention of a guard. The guard gestures for someone to open the cell, thinking the prisoner has slit his wrists. The inmate surprises the guard with an uppercut, then rams his head into the wall. The guard manning the control room sees nothing until the inmate leaps through the glass at him.

The inmate creeps through some sort of utility corridor in the prison. He overpowers a guard who's armed with a rifle, then leaps off the cellhouse roof. He falls in slow motion. We see him land on his back in a hotel bed. There's a woman in black lingerie lying next to him. "I knew you'd be here," the inmate says. Lingerie Girl replies, "I'm always with you."

Before anything else can happen, the inmate is woken by someone tapping on the bars of his cell. "You got a visitor," says a guard. The inmate rolls over and sees Tom. Theme song.

"Why me?" the inmate asks Tom. In fake ghetto-patois, he adds, "There's plenty of other nasty criminals around to make fools of theyselves." Tom explains that other teens in the inmate's former neighborhood of Piedmont idolize him; half will die of drug overdoses and the other half will end up in prison. Tom hopes he can save other kids. "By making a videotape?" the inmate scoffs.

Inmate wonders how he's supposed to explain a sudden change of heart, "that I found Jesus." He gets angry and throws a roll of toilet paper at Tom. It bounces harmlessly off the bars. "It probably just warms your heart, the thought of them pumping me fulla poison," says Inmate. Tom leaves.

Through a flashback, we learn the inmate's name is Ronnie, a teenage crack dealer who was last seen in the two-part episode "Besieged." Ronnie is having a party. Judy watches from the corner as Ronnie threatens another young dealer trying to muscle in on his turf. When guns come out, Judy suggests Ronnie deal with business during business hours. Ronnie threatens to kill his rival and offers up a weasel-like grin.

Ronnie sits on a porch waiting for someone. A car pulls up. A feisty Hispanic girl gets out and yells at the driver that she'll kick him in personal places if he touches her again. Ronnie smiles admiringly. The girl asks Ronnie what he's looking at. "The stars," Ronnie lies. The Spanish girl tells him it's smog.

"So you had a bad date," Ronnie guesses. The girl corrects him that it wasn't a date; "it was me getting mauled by some slime named Vic." Ronnie tells her Vic is a creep. Spanish Girl (IMDB tells me her name is Rosie) sits next to Ronnie and asks if he's really looking at stars. "Yeah, I do that," says Ronnie. Rosie smiles, "Me too." I suddenly realize why she sounds so familiar; she voiced Chel in the DreamWorks animated classic The Road to El Dorado. Ronnie introduces himself to Rosie and kisses the back of her hand. "Oh God, just what I need, a Romeo," she chuckles.

At the Chapel, Judy talks to Ronnie's rival Darry, who is actually another undercover cop. She scolds him for being too aggressive and warns him that he could get his head blown off. Darry promises to pull back a little. Tom asks how the case is going. Darry says that Ronnie is now his supplier. Tom tells Darry, a recent academy graduate, that it's okay to be scared and he has to be careful. Ronnie has a lot to lose. "Not for long," says Darry confidently.

Ronnie, wearing a blue towel around his shoulders, stands while Rosie combs his hair. He says it looks like she cut off an inch-and-a-half and he only wanted an inch. He's picky about his hair. "It's nice," says Rosie. Ronnie counters, "You're nice" and kisses the back of her hand again.

Darry enters, greeting, "What's up, homies?" "Didn't anyone ever teach you peasants to knock?" Ronnie sniffs disdainfully. Darry asks to buy a few ounces. Ronnie tells him it's after business hours. Darry insists he needs it that night and he won't go until he gets some. He won't go until he gets some, so bring it right here!

"This is my house and you deal with me on my time," says Ronnie. He takes off the towel, revealing a gun tucked in his waistband. Darry reaches under his coat for his own gun, but Ronnie is quicker and shoots Darry in the chest. Cut to a hospital room where a nurse turns off the flat-lining heart monitor, disconnects Darry's ventilator, and pulls the sheet over his head. And now we know how Ronnie ended up facing the death penalty. 

Cap'n Rufus looks down at the bed and promises his fallen officer, "We're gonna sweep the Piedmont. Double shifts, inch by inch. We'll find him." "Then what?" Tom asks. Rufus gives him a hard look. 

Back in prison, Ronnie's cell door opens. Three guards are standing on the other side. He asks if he's getting a better TV because "MTV sucks in black and white." Ronnie gathers up his few belongings: a toothbrush, toothpaste, a couple of paperbacks, and an orange ball. The guards escort Ronnie to his new cell on Death Row. 

"So how much time do I got, anyway?" asks Ronnie. The guard checks his watch and replies, "18 hours, more or less." Ronnie sits down on his bed, runs his thumb over the teeth of his comb, and hums tunelessly to himself.

The principal from Kidz in the Wood, playing some sort of prison official, asks if Ronnie wants a spiritual advisor. "You mean like a psychic?" says Ronnie. The prison official means a priest or minister. Ronnie doesn't want a clergyman and asks where his TV is. The prison official asks if Ronnie wants anything special for his last meal. Ronnie orders fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a beer.

"Your mother's passed away," the prison official solemnly intones, "You'll have to decide on the arrangements." Ronnie wants Sean Penn to play him if they ever make a movie about his life. The prison official asks where Ronnie wants to be buried.

Flashback to Ronnie and Rosie walking through the cemetery in the rain. Ronnie doesn't seem to feel bad about killing Darry. Rosie notices a headstone with a name and LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER on one half and the other half left blank. She wonders what it's all about. Ronnie explains the wife is probably still alive and wants to be buried next to him. Rosie thinks it's beautiful: "they made a plan and they stuck to it."

"Unless she changes her mind before she dies," Ronnie says cynically. Rosie wants to get out of the rain. Ronnie knows of a place they can go, but doesn't want Rosie to get the wrong idea. "Don't act like you don't do it all the time with other girls," says Rosie. Ronnie says, "Maybe you're different."

In a hotel room, a shirtless Ronnie drinks a glass of water by the window. Rosie talks about the problems in Piedmont: "If it isn't somebody getting killed, then it's some stupid bitch getting pregnant by someone else's husband." Ronnie joins Rosie in bed and tells her it's like that everywhere. 

Rosie cuddles up to him, asking when they'll go back to Ronnie's place. Ronnie wants to give things a few days to cool off. Rosie is tired but afraid that Darry's crew will find them if they both fall asleep. Ronnie tells her that he can stay awake for days by tapping his thumb to a song in his head. Rosie falls asleep.

The next morning, Ronnie brings a box of donuts and a jug of orange juice into the room. Rosie looks at the newspaper; the front page headline is OFFICER SLAIN IN THE LINE OF DUTY. "Oh my God," she says, realizing it's Darry. Ronnie says they don't have to worry about vengeful homies because Darry's a cop and he's used to hiding from cops. Rosie suggests they not go back to the 'hood.

Ronnie explains that all his money is tied up in drug deals back in Piedmont. Rosie tells him they can get money other ways. Ronnie mocks the idea of working at Burger Village. "We can get money," Rosie repeats, "It's not like we're gonna hurt anybody." She wants to be with Ronnie.

"So we're just gonna do one thing and never go back?" asks Ronnie. Rosie nods. That night, Ronnie parks his car in an alley. He and Rosie get out. He hands her a gun, telling her to flash it when he gives the signal: "I'm the guy, so they'll think I have one too."

Rosie is scared. Ronnie tells her it'll be easy. They cross the street and enter a small grocery store. The clerk spots the couple via a wall-mounted mirror and hits the silent alarm. Ronnie stuffs his hand in his jacket pocket so it looks like a gun. Ironically, his T-shirt reads SOMETHING TO PROVE.

"You don't make this any tougher than it has to be and you help us out. Give us all the money in the register," Ronnie tells the clerk. Rosie draws her gun. The clerk freezes in fear. Ronnie goes behind the counter but can't get the register open. The clerk reaches under the counter for the register key, but Rosie thinks he's going for a gun. She shoots the clerk.

"Oh my God, oh my God," Rosie whimpers, horrified by what she's done. Police sirens can be heard in the distance. Ronnie hops the counter and grabs the gun from Rosie. He takes her hand and they try to run out the back of the store. A police officer kicks open the back door while another comes in through the front. Ronnie and Rosie are trapped.

Back in prison, a guard takes measurements for Ronnie's funeral suit, which he wants to be Italian-cut sharkskin. "Blue or brown?" asks the prison official. Ronnie jokes that he wouldn't be caught dead in those colors. 

Ronnie checks the clock; it's almost 6:00 PM. He tells a guard who could be Jerry Orbach's stunt double that he wants to write a letter. The guard offers to write it for him. "I spent 2 years in this dump learning how to write. I wanna write it myself," says Ronnie. The guard can't allow that because a pencil is considered a sharp object.

Ronnie agrees to dictate it, but tells CO Not-Orbach not to pay attention because the letter is personal. Not-Orbach grabs a pad of paper. "Hey, Rosie, what up?" Ronnie begins, "I know you got out a couple months ago and I figured you haven't come by because some lawyer told you not to. It's okay. I'm waiting for a stay and it's getting pretty tight this time. If those dogs do this to me, would you please be there if that happens? Anyway, I miss you. Stay out of trouble. Ronnie." 

In a visitors' room at the women's prison, Rosie tells Judy that she won't flip on Ronnie. Judy asks if Rosie wants to go down with him. Tom asks if Ronnie is worth spending the rest of her life in jail. Judy wants to know what happened when Darry was killed. Tom inquires about the convenience store clerk, if Ronnie shot him too.

Judy tells Rosie that Ronnie would turn her in to save his own ass. Rosie won't talk because Ronnie is trying to save her ass. "Save your ass from what?" says Tom, "Did you kill that guy?" Even though she pulled the trigger, Ronnie is still guilty. It's called the felony murder rule; if death occurs during the commission of a felony, any accomplice present is automatically charged with first-degree murder.

Rosie admits that she shot the clerk. She insists they didn't plan on actually using the gun for anything other than a scare tactic. Rosie panicked when the clerk put his hand under the counter: "I didn't mean to hurt nobody."

The DA tells Tom and Doug that he can probably get Ronnie and Rosie tried as adults. Rosie doesn't have a criminal record, so she'll be out of prison in 3 years or so. Ronnie is screwed because they have him on special circumstances felony murder. He will get the death penalty for the store clerk, but the evidence in Darry's death is all circumstantial. Justice will be served.

Tom thinks it's possible that Ronnie shot Darry in self-defense. The DA says that's unlikely. Doug reminds his partner that they've been trying to lock up Ronnie for years; the kid has about a dozen arrests but no convictions.

Flashback to the trial. The judge sentences Ronnie to death. Ronnie calmly puts on a pair of what are probably expensive sunglasses. Rosie goes back to Ronnie's place and finds a new pack of dealers has moved in. She learns that Ronnie is "on The Row now."

In prison, Ronnie is upset because the TV they gave him only shows static. He flips a few channels and gets a picture. It's a documentary about the Galileo space project. "You like this stuff?" Not-Orbach is surprised. Ronnie tells Not-Orbach that he looks at stars; so does Not-Orbach's grandson, who wants to be an astronaut.

The documentary narrator says Galileo won't reach Jupiter until 1995, 5 years from now. Not-Orbach's grandson will be 12 then and will "probably be into cars. Girls too, the way kids are today." Ronnie blinks away a tear.

Not-Orbach opens the door to Death Row. Tom greets Ronnie. Ronnie still refuses to do the tape. "Is there any way I can change your mind?" asks Tom. There isn't. He's fine with kids in Piedmont thinking of him as a hero. Ronnie asks Tom to witness his execution. Tom agrees and Ronnie thanks him.

Rosie comes home to her mother and a houseful of much-younger siblings. In Spanish, Rosie's mother tells the girl that an important letter came for her. She doesn't know what it's about because Rosie is the only one in the family who can read. Rosie reads the letter from Ronnie, folds it up, and stuffs it into her purse.

Back on Death Row, Ronnie tells Not-Orbach things he learned from astronomy documentaries. Not-Orbach asks if Ronnie is sure he doesn't want to see a chaplain. The balding prison official brings a tray with Ronnie's last meal on it. Ronnie nervously asks if the lethal injection will make him throw up. The prison official tells him no.

Outside the prison, Tom checks his watch. Cut to Rosie's apartment. She packs a bag and tenderly runs her fingers over a framed photo of her and Ronnie. She checks her watch. 

Tom watches a hearse pull through the prison gates. Orderlies file through the back door. Tom hesitantly follows. The orderlies hang 3 bags of fluid, which compose the lethal injection cocktail. Ronnie sits in his cell with his head in his hands. It's close to midnight.

Not-Orbach opens the cell door. The prison official tells Ronnie that a phone line has been opened in case the state decides to stay the execution. "We have to go into the other room now," he says as gently as possible. Two guards lead Ronnie to the gurney and restrain him. 

A different prison official opens a different door. Tom and the rest of the witnesses file in. A guard pulls back the curtain. A tech clad all in white starts IVs in both of Ronnie's arms. The balding prison official reads Ronnie's death warrant and asks if he would like to say any last words. Ronnie doesn't. The lethal injection is started. Tom can hardly bear to watch.

At home, Rosie cries and walks out her front door. Back at the prison, Ronnie is pronounced dead and wheeled away. Tom looks shell-shocked. Cut to Rosie walking down the street with her suitcase. End of episode.

Case #4.15: "Back From the Future"

The episode begins in a futuristic looking police station. Think Tomorrowland at a Disney park having a baby with Back to the Future: Part II. A young officer, John Cogan, gripes to himself about how boring desk duty is. A video screen comes to life, featuring Cap'n Rufus in a Star Trek-esque uniform. "Sorry, kid, your request is denied," he says, even though Cogan didn't ask anything. 

Cogan wants to appeal. "You know department policy. The decision is final," Rufus chirps robotically. Cogan says they can't keep him off the streets just because of how he looks, which in his case means very young.

Cogan's the same age as all the other recent academy graduates and was top of his class: "You put me on desk duty, we both lose." "Did I ever tell you about my granddad?" Video Screen Rufus asks in the same monotone. 50 years ago, Grandpa Rufus knew a young cop who had the same problem as Cogan. Hanson, the officer in question, was sent to Jump Street. Video Screen Rufus describes it as "a chameleon operation for young-looking officers. Granddad ran it out of a church." Cogan may have heard of some of the Jump Street officers.

"Where can I apply?" asks Cogan. Rufus tells him, "You don't. They dismantled the program a long time ago." Rufus has never met any of the old Jump Street officers, but heard they were good cops. The screen blips to black.

Cogan walks along a hallway wearing what looks like a visored motorcycle helmet with a flashlight mounted on top. He uses his hand to unlock a door labeled Cubicle 6.520; inside, an old man Cogan addresses as Mr. Hanson is ranting and raving in high, reedy voice about music and his hatred of Tiffany. "Mr. Hanson, I'm not here about that. Tell me about Jump Street." We finally get a clear shot of Johnny Depp, barely recognizable in the old man makeup. "You want us to talk in the hallway like two bums or something? Get in here," says Old Man Hanson. Theme song.

Old Man Hanson wheezes, "It was the best of was the worst of times." Flashbacks show the Jump Street secret handshake and Amy's murder. "It was the age of was the age of foolishness." Flashback of Tom and the loathsome Russell Buckins almost hitting a cow with a Jeep. Old Man Hanson informs Hogan he just quoted the first sentences of A Tale of Two Cities. Cogan is impressed that Tom still remembers it. "Well, I oughta!" snaps Old Man Hanson, "Every school we worked in read it!" 

Harry, now sporting a long gray wig, looks up from his tea to ask what Cogan thinks he'll get out of a "bunch of old-timers." Cogan just wants to know how it was done back then. The opening credits reveal this episode was directed by Peter DeLuise, a well-known scifi buff. This should be interesting.

Flashback to the pilot episode when the captain offers Tom a job with Jump Street and Tom dismisses the program as "Fast Times At Bust-Your-Buddy High." Flashback Captain gives Tom the ultimatum of Jump Street or desk duty until Tom looks old enough to be a cop. 

"Mr. Holier-Than-Thou, that's who I was in those days. And how 'bout that haircut?" Old Man Hanson says. Peter DeLuise in a bald cap and turtleneck sweater chimes in that the haircut was the first thing he noticed about Tom: "Of course, anyone would've looked square next to our commanding officer Richard Jenko, Captain Richard Jenko."

Flashback to Jenko's grand fire pole entrance in the pilot. "They called us kiddie cops, but he was the biggest kid of them all," says Old Doug. Flashback to Jenko's '60s throwback office and his funeral. Old Doug exposits that Jenko was killed by a drunk driver.

Looking closer, Old Doug's outfit looks less like a turtleneck and more like a weird knockoff of a monk's robe, complete with a cross on a long chain. Cap'n Rufus appears from the corner driving a motorized wheelchair, an oxygen mask around his neck. "When I walked into that place, I could tell what those kids expected was a junior version of Rich Jenko," Old Rufus says in a deep, raspy voice, "What they got was something different."

Flashback to the first time Cap'n Rufus met his team, saying he doesn't intend to replace Jenko. Old Man Hanson says Rufus never took crap from anyone. Old Doug adds Rufus didn't give it either. Old Judy, in a stereotypical older black woman's tribal print dress and head wrap, remembers Rufus's shirts the most: "That man had style. Of course, [Rufus] wasn't the only fine-lookin' man on the force. All three of the guys I worked with were pretty gorgeous." But it never interfered with the job, not even the one time she almost got involved with a coworker.

Flashback to Doug and Judy kissing. "I can't believe I'm kissing Doug Penhall," Young Judy says shyly. Old Judy was worried about how Doug would take her not wanting a relationship with him, but he was a gentlemen. "A total chump, that's what I was," Old Doug disagrees. Both do agree that giving up on romance didn't mean losing their special friendship. However, Old Doug regrets not trying again to be more than friends with Judy.

Old Doug says, "Next to Tom Hanson, Abe Lincoln looked corrupt..and modest." Old Man Hanson was just doing his job, but admits to taking himself seriously. "He had a sense of humor, but he kept it hid," adds Old Fuller. Old Judy speculates that Tom's attitude had to do with his father.

Flashback to Tom Senior's murder during a botched robbery; Tom and his date to the Valentine's Day dance are picked up by a grim-looking uniformed officer and a detective. 

Old Rufus says Tom kept his emotions buried, much like his sense of humor. Old Doug describes Tom as having "a basic Puritan ethic: Whatever else is going on, work comes first." Old Man Hanson still feels the same. Old Doug adds, "If he tells you he had no personal life, don't believe it. He was fightin' 'em off in the 4th grade."

Flashback to 9-year-old Tom dancing at a cotillion with a girl who bullied him. Old Doug says, "As he got older, they got more aggressive." Flashback to one of Tom's encounters with Jackie the D.A., a romantic pairing I loathed even more than Tom and Amy. Flashback to Tom and the drug dealer's moll. Old Man Hanson disagrees with Old Doug's assessment that he was good with women. Flashback to 9-year-old Tom's dance class. Another flashback of Jackie being a bitch.

Old Doug understands why Cogan is so interested in ancient history and offers the rookie some advice: "When our dreams go, the best part of us goes with 'em." Old Doug doesn't have a favorite case, but there were some he really got into.

Flashback to Doug being conscripted to act on the movie set. Old Doug proudly recalls that the director said he was a natural actor. Old Man Hanson cackles, "A ham is more like it. Doug always did love the limelight." For some reason, it now flashes back to Tom slam-dancing at a punk concert. Old Man Hanson says, "All I kept thinking through this whole ordeal was 'Penhall would love this.'"

Old Judy describes Doug as the class clown. Flashback to Judy as Officer Milk Carton stopping a robber. Old Fuller says Doug always threw himself into his work. That, combined with Doug's personality, sometimes made him too gung-ho.

Flashback to when Doug accidentally shot Tom in the ass and giving Tom an inflatable seat cushion. Old Man Hanson cackles again, this time about how Doug can be a pain in the ass. "Hanson's been usin' that line for 50 years," says Old Doug. Tom says Doug shouldn't feel guilty about shooting him because worse things have happened.

Flashback to Tom in drag, grousing, "They don't pay me enough for this." Old Rufus thinks Tom looked good in a dress and laughs so hard he has to take a few puffs off his oxygen mask. He remembers Harry in the same situation. Flashback to Harry in drag. Old Harry sips his tea and says, "I was one ugly woman." Old Doug says it was all in good fun, but some cases were no laughing matter.

Flashback to a sexually abused teen offering Tom $1,700 to kill her father. Old Man Hanson is teary remembering that. Flashback to Tom flipping out on Judy after Amy died. Old Man Hanson says, "No matter how good I got, there were still times I thought my heart would break." Flashback to a group of angry parents chanting: "NO AIDS IN SCHOOL!" and Tom befriending the AIDS victim who later tried to commit suicide. Old Man Hanson states the obvious: Cogan is too young to remember the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Old Harry reflects on his days with Jump Street: "I had just come to this country, so in a sense, it was the beginning of my life." After Jump Street, Harry started a karate school, married 4 times, and did PR consulting work for Immigration and Naturalization. Flashback to Fuller learning that Harry is really Vietnamese, not Japanese as he'd claimed. Flashback to Harry fleeing Vietnam as a teen.

Old Rufus doesn't blame Harry for being bitter. In this future, movies are all in Japanese and dubbed over in English, which explains the Asian lettering on Cogan's desk nameplate. Old Doug took a similar path after Jump Street: "Harry had lost loved ones and so had I." Flashback montage of Doug and his wife Marta who was deported back to El Salvador. No mention of his father being an abusive alcoholic or his mother's suicide? I'm surprised.

Old Doug says he'd found something to fight for and believe in again. Old Man Hanson says, "If someone said Penhall would become a reverend and the head of the most prominent human rights organization in the world, I woulda busted 'em for possession." The reverend thing is less of a shock to me; Doug mentioned that his father was once a priest. It also explains Old Doug's outfit.

Old Judy remembers Doug cornering her about human rights bills during her days as a politician. Old Doug recalls Judy having the softest touch of all the senators because she trusted him. She says fondly, "Today, 'ethics' is an SAT word. But for Doug Penhall, it's a way of life."

Blowfish sits in a chair flanked by two muscular men in shiny gold tank tops and black sunglasses. He's wearing rings on almost every finger: "Look at what Penhall's clean conscience got him: a single room in a golden-era rest home and a rubber-chicken tribute dinner twice a year." Old Blowfish invites Old Doug to dinner, but Old Doug gets lost in the house. "By the time the butler finds him, he's so confused he thinks we're in a hotel," Old Blowfish laughs. He concedes that it's an easy mistake in a house with 72 rooms.

Old Doug explains that Blowfish got rich after founding his own company: Star Maintenance. Old Blowfish says the Jump Street crew was always like family and he lost count of his great-grandchildren after 50. He takes out a device that looks like a cell phone and shows Cogan a video from the last Banducci family reunion.

Old Man Hanson is happy for Blowfish's success because Blowfish is a family man. Cogan asks Tom if he's a family man too. Old Man Hanson angrily tells Cogan that what he did off-duty was nobody's business. I'm guessing he never got married or had kids. Cogan apologizes. Old Man Hanson apologizes for biting the rookie's head off. He's glad Cogan came to visit him and talk about the old days: "When all is said and done, we really did have some good times together."

Cogan leads Old Doug and Old Man Hanson up the stairs of a building. He tells them excitedly that Future Fuller thinks starting up Jump Street again is a good idea. The two bicker about where exactly the Chapel was. "At least I don't get lost going to a shuffleboard game," Old Man Hanson tells Old Doug. The episode ends with the old men bantering while the rookie walks alongside them.

Case #4.14: "A Change of Heart"

At a meeting, a woman passionately tells the crowd that 60 tons of toxic waste are dumped daily into the bay. "I know that all of us together have the power to make it stop," she says, "I know that it's late and that some of you have a history test tomorrow. My students are my biggest supporters." The teenagers in the back of the room clap and cheer. The woman concludes the meeting by asking the audience to sign up for her cause and make a difference.

Afterward, the woman has a drink by herself at a bar and starts to walk home. It's raining and ominous music plays. The woman suddenly turns and asks, "What are you doing here?" There's a loud scream. Footsteps hurry away from the scene. We see the woman lying on her back in an alley; her throat has been cut. Theme song.

In Cap'n Rufus's office, we learn the murdered woman's name was Evelyn Marks. She was last seen at a meeting of Save the Bay. The coroner guesses she died around midnight. A security guard saw a blond high-school age boy running from the alley around midnight, but didn't get a good look at the kid's face. Judy asks if there are any other suspects. "That's what we're gonna find out," says Rufus. He gestures to the books all over his desk: "The entire library shelf on modern European history. You're looking at the new teacher." 

Tom knocks on the door and asks if Cap'n Rufus has made up his mind; he and Harry still have an extra ticket to the 10,000 Maniacs concert. Ah, the band best known for "These Are Days" and just about nothing else. Rufus has dinner plans "with a certain lady friend." Harry says, "Make us proud." Judy decides to go to the concert with them and teases, "Tell her to go easy on you, Captain. You've got class tomorrow." 

The next morning in a classroom, Judy tells a blond girl that she was assistant newspaper editor at her old school. The blond girl is depressed because the late Miss Marks was the newspaper advisor. Judy's sorry to hear about it. The blond girl tells Judy that she'll probably just be pitching in wherever she's needed for the time being. 

Elsewhere in the school, Cap'n Rufus is assigned a student teacher, a young, pretty black woman named Denise. The principal looks at the books he's carrying and says, "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich? I doubt you'll need that for your first class." She doesn't explain why. 

The students give "Mr. Fischer" a hard time. He's talking about menstrual cycles, which doesn't make sense because I thought he was teaching history. However, according to the blackboard, the subject here is Social Living. A boy named Vinny asks crude questions about how you can tell if a girl is a virgin. 

In the yearbook office, Judy looks through the glass into Miss Marks' former office. The blond girl is arguing with a male student: "You wouldn't get a job at the Enquirer because their standards are too high!" "Look, if you don't like it don't read it!" shouts the boy. The blond girl says, "I have to proofread this, Kevin! It's tabloid trash!" Kevin tells her his story will sell papers and that she better not change a word. 

Martin, another newspaper staffer, tells Judy that Blond Girl (Meg) and Kevin have this same fight every week. Very effective management skills the late Miss Marks had if they're so obviously at each other's throats in class regularly. The blond shouts that she refuses to print a rumor about Miss Marks. Another boy tells Meg not to let Kevin get to her.

After class, Judy catches up with Kevin. She thinks Meg was too harsh: "At my last school, the gossip column was the first thing everybody read." "That's what Megan doesn't get," says Kevin, "People always want to assume the worst about other people. It makes them feel better. Why not cash in on that?" Jerry Springer and Maury Povich would agree.

Everyone thinks Miss Marks was a candidate for sainthood, but Kevin has dirt on her: "Evelyn was an attractive single woman who was cozy with her students. Some say very cozy." "No," Judy gasps. Kevin could never prove it, but rumor had it she was sleeping with one of the seniors; Meg made him pull the story. Shortly afterward, someone broke Miss Marks' windshield while he car was in the school parking lot. Kevin doesn't think it was simple vandalism.

In the hall, the principal reminisces to Cap'n Rufus about her own days teaching Social Living; a student once left a water-filled condom on her chair. Rufus tells the principal he'd like to look over Miss Marks' lesson plan, but the cabinet in her classroom is locked. He wonders if the principal knows where the key might be. The principal doesn't know, but tells Rufus not to worry about it: "Denise says you're already a pro."

At the Coke machine, Denise tells Cap'n Rufus that his lecture on proper hygiene was riveting. She offers to give Rufus a tour of the school. He agrees. Denise says one of the varsity teams almost made the finals but lost in the semis. "Heartbreaker, huh?" asks Rufus. Denise breathily says, "I'm still getting over it." She's starting to remind me of the oldest Murtaugh daughter in Lethal Weapon. Rufus thinks they should get back to the classroom. Denise says it's a pity because she was enjoying the scenery, namely Rufus.

That night, Judy goes to the newspaper room and finds Meg in Miss Marks' office. Meg asks why Judy is there. Judy explains that she wanted to finish the layout early to make a good impression. "Oh...great," Meg says distantly. She claims she was looking for a picture of Miss Marks for the memorial story the paper is printing. She lock the office again and wishes Judy good night.

Judy speculates that maybe Miss Marks wasn't killed by a man. Their witness never saw the attacker's face because it was dark. It could've been a love triangle: Meg's boyfriend was sleeping with Miss Marks and Meg got jealous and killed her teacher. She can't think of any other reason why Meg would've been in the deceased's office so late at night. Cap'n Rufus tells her to get close to Meg and her boyfriend.

Outside the high school, students gather to watch a tree being planted in memory of Miss Marks. Meg is distraught and leaves; Judy follows her. The principal invites the kids to a memorial gathering at her house. Judy finds Meg sitting by herself on a bench. She tells the teen how sad the tree planting made her. "You didn't even know Evelyn," says Meg. Judy felt everyone at the ceremony was trying to cheer each other up but they were all dying on the inside. She knows what that's like because she's had a friend on life support. Meg goes in the school and lets herself in a door marked CHARLES CRAIG GUIDANCE COUNSELOR. 

In the social living classroom, Denise catches Cap'n Rufus picking the lock on a cabinet. Rufus makes the lame excuse that he was only trying to find Miss Marks' class notes and lesson plans. Denise tells him to have faith in his own teaching ability. She offers to lead the boys in a discussion over the puberty chapter while Rufus talks to the girls. "When you were a teenager, weren't you just dying to hear the other side's version of all of this?" Denise asks. Rufus doesn't remember.

Cap'n Rufus tells Denise that she's a nice girl, but the flirting makes him uncomfortable. Denise responds to this by saying she finds Rufus attractive and wants to hang out with him outside of work. "Unless you're not attracted to me," she finishes. Cap'n Rufus stutters, "No, yes, no." Denise wants to go to dinner with him and assures him there's no rule against fraternizing with faculty.

Rufus asks Denise if she remembers where she was when MLK was shot. Denise doesn't see what that has to do with anything. "Let's just say I wasn't in diapers," says Rufus. Denise sighs and says all she wants is to get to know him. Yeah right...

In the newspaper office, Meg asks Judy if she's found the drill team pictures yet. Judy holds up a stack. Meg apologizes for being rude earlier. Judy asks if Meg is going to Miss Marks' wake. Meg doesn't think she can stand "everybody being phony, telling funny stories." Judy wonders where Meg's boyfriend is. "We're not exactly lovebirds lately," says Meg.

Meg wants to know what happened to Judy's friend who was on life support. Judy says that her friend recovered. We learn Meg dislikes gossip columnist Kevin so much that she fantasizes about tying him naked to the school flagpole, then she would wrap him in paper mache using his own column. 

Speak of the devil and he appears. Kevin is dropping off this week's gossip column. Meg doesn't want to read it. Kevin offers to read it to her. Meg leads Judy out of the office, saying, "We'll be late for the party."

At the principal's house, soft piano music is playing. People are milling around eating finger foods. Judy asks if Meg wants to go back to the newspaper office; she's sure Kevin is gone. Meg doesn't respond. "You look kind of wasted," says Judy. Meg holds up a bottle of liquor she used to spike her cup of punch: "You want some?" Judy declines and doesn't think Meg looks like "the boozer type." Meg smiles strangely and says she's trying new hobbies.

The principal approaches Meg and Judy, asking if Judy knew Miss Marks. "She's new," Meg supplies. The principal then inquires if Meg has been drinking. Meg lies that she hasn't. "I think you better give me the cup," says the principal. The two briefly tug the cup back and forth between them; punch splashes on Meg's shirt. The principal apologizes. "Save it," Meg says menacingly.

In the bathroom, Judy watches Meg try to get the stain out with a wet washcloth. Meg is upset because it's one of her favorite shirts. Judy suggests taking it to the dry cleaners. It turns out the shirt isn't what's really upsetting Meg. The two girls sit on the edge of the bathtub. Judy asks what's really bothering the teen.

"I can't," Meg gasps, "I'm so scared. Everything is so horrible." Judy says Meg can tell her. Meg puts a hand on Judy's cheek, leans in, and kisses her on the lips. Judy is too shocked to react. Meg senses Judy is uncomfortable, starts to cry, and quickly leaves the bathroom.

Judy tells Cap'n Rufus that Meg tried to kiss her. Tried? I think she succeeded. Judy suggests that Meg was attracted to her teacher; when Miss Marks didn't feel the same way, Meg killed her. Rufus shows Judy an unsigned romantic letter he found in the back of Miss Marks' cabinet. Judy thinks Meg knows something but is too scared to talk.

"If this kid has real feelings for you, you're gonna have to handle it very delicately," Cap'n Rufus says. Judy will explain to Meg that she's straight and go from there. Rufus stuns Judy by asking if she would go out with him. "What is it with everybody?" she asks, "First I get hit on by a high school girl and now my boss is asking me out on a date." Don't forget about the brief thing you had for Doug...

Cap'n Rufus explains that he's not asking Judy out; he just wants to know if she'd date someone like him...someone older. Judy asks if he's going through a midlife crisis. Rufus denies it. "Would I want to go out with a 45-year-old man?" Judy asks aloud. Cap'n Rufus gets defensive: "43, dammit! 43!" Judy would date an older man if their personalities were compatible.

In the newspaper room, Meg compliments Judy on her layout. Judy asks to talk when Meg takes a break. Meg won't be taking a break until the paper comes out that afternoon. "Last night..." Judy starts. Meg butts in: "Last night, I was tanked and probably obnoxious." She gives a blanket apology for any rudeness, then tells Judy she can't chat.

In the guidance office, Judy fears that she's a lesbian. Charles the counselor says, "Every teen gets confused, especially when it comes to sexuality." I don't believe that; I never went through a lesbian phase in high school or college. Judy tells Charles about Meg kissing her. He asks the classic therapy question: "How did it make you feel?" "It felt like a kiss," Judy replies, "Almost normal. Kind of innocent." She didn't turn her head when Meg got closer.

"Sometimes our unconscious mind tells us to do things and then it makes our conscious mind believe that it was the other person's fault," says Charles, "You thought you might be a gay, so you kissed your girlfriend. You got confused. It's okay. The important thing is to recognize this behavior in the future and not give in to it."

Montage of several students, including Judy, reading aloud the gossip column. The gist of it was that Miss Marks liked to take her female students to a lesbian bar called Rain. Kevin looks pleased with himself about this news.

Outside the school, Cap'n Rufus shares his umbrella with Denise as they walk to their cars. He asks her out to dinner. Denise already has plans for that night, but they can talk tomorrow. Another black man with an umbrella approaches, calling Denise's name. Rufus thought Denise was single. Denise introduces the man as her father.

That night, Judy goes into Rain. It looks less like a bar and more like a very old, very nice house on the inside. There's only a simple neon sign in the front window. Judy goes upstairs.

That cuts right to Judy and Meg also sharing an umbrella. Judy talked to the bartender and knows that Meg was at Rain with Miss Marks the night of the teacher's murder. Meg is upset that everyone loved Miss Marks when she was alive, but now everyone calls her lesbian slurs. 

Meg denies having a relationship with Miss Marks but admits to following her to Rain. She needed someone to talk to and had found out by accident that Miss Marks was a fellow lesbian. Miss Marks got upset about underage Meg being at a bar. They went across the street to a diner and Meg told her teacher that she wanted to hang out with her. Miss Marks told her it was inappropriate. 

The two women argued and went out to the alley. Meg left, then came back and saw a man in a long coat stabbing Miss Marks. Judy wants Meg to come to the police station and make an official statement. "If I do that, everyone will know I was there," Meg sobs, "They'll think I'm gay." Meg claims she isn't a lesbian, just confused, and doesn't want to be labeled a lesbian. Meg walks away.

Judy and Cap'n Rufus go to a diner for ice cream cones. Rufus says they could subpoena Meg to get her to talk: "An uncooperative witness can be worse than no witness at all." Judy thinks she can find another way. Rufus ran the fingerprints from the letter and they aren't in the system. Judy talks about a friend she had freshman year of high school who had a crush on another girl but turned out to be straight. She tells him what the counselor said: "He basically slapped my hand and told me not to like girls anymore."

Cap'n Rufus doesn't think Meg chose to be a lesbian anymore than he and Judy chose to be straight. He informs Judy that he's out of his midlife crisis and orders two more ice cream cones for them.

Judy goes back to Rain. A redhead buys her a drink. She notices how uncomfortable Judy looks and admits she doesn't like the bar scene either, but "how else are we supposed to find each other?" Judy asks if Redhead knows Miss Marks; she does but hasn't seen her in a while. Redhead tells Judy that Miss Marks had a lover, but the woman never came to Rain with her.

In the girls' bathroom at school, Judy asks Meg if she knows who Miss Marks' lover was: "This woman may know something, something that will help me find the murderer. Are you really gonna let someone get away with this?" Megan leaves, apparently ready to let just that happen.

In the teacher's lounge, Denise gives Cap'n Rufus roses and invites her to come sailing with her over the weekend. Rufus appreciates the offer, but he can't go out with her because he's old enough to be her father. Denise is still in college and he's starting to think about where his son will go to school. Denise brightly offers to help Rufus's son fill out college applications and knows that Rufus finds her attractive.

"This can't be about our ages," she says. Um, yes, it is; that's exactly what he told you. Fuller says they have nothing in common. "You know something, maybe you are a lot older than I thought," says Denise. Not sure how that was supposed to be insulting. Denise stomps out of the room, flowers in hand. 

Outside the high school, a blond man in a Jeep drives up to the door with an elementary school aged boy in the passenger seat. He gets out, hugs the boy as he runs past, and the boy heads straight into the arms of the principal. Over by the bike rack, Denise covers her mouth with her hand. It's not clear yet why this sight disturbs her. Judy sees this unfold from an upstairs window.

Meg barges into the principal's office and announces, "Your husband killed Evelyn. I saw him." The principal says that's impossible and adds that she no longer lives with her husband. "First, he bashed in Evelyn's windshield and when that didn't scare her, he killed her because he found out that you two were lovers," the teen continues.

The principal can't prove that her husband killed Miss Marks. She urges Meg to tell the police what she saw. "Your entire future isn't on the line," says Meg. In a way, it is; the principal worries about being fired if anyone finds out she's a lesbian. She has a son to think about it. The principal only told her husband that she slept with Miss Marks to make him angry. "That's sick!" says Meg.

Meg goes to the Chapel and tells Judy that she saw the principal's husband kill Miss Marks. Cut to Meg, Judy, and Cap'n Rufus walking on the high school campus. Meg will be testifying soon and Fuller gave Judy the day off to provide moral support. Meg tells them that she made Kevin's gossip column and her boyfriend dumped her. Rufus sees Denise again.

Cap'n Rufus and Judy share a banana split. Rufus confesses that being attracted to Denise made him feel like a dirty old man. He was worried about not being able to keep up with her and that he'd look like a fool.

Back on campus, Cap'n Rufus gives Denise a bouquet and asks for a second chance. He invites her to come to his place for homemade marinated chicken. Denise smiles. The two head down the sidewalk arm-in-arm. End of episode.

Case #4.13: "Research and Destroy"

In a dingy alley, a young, probably homeless man stands against a brick wall, coughing harshly and sweating. An unseen man says, "You don't look so good." The redhead pulls out of a wad of money, but the other man has questions for him. The redhead gripes that the guy never had questions before. The unseen man asks, "What's your normal dose of street-grade heroin? When did you last eat?" Ginger Junkie doesn't know his usual dose and thinks he last ate the night before.

The unseen man scribbles his answers down on a pocket notepad. Ginger Junkie leaves the alley and sits in an unlocked car parked nearby. He locks the passenger door. A fellow junkie rattles the handle, angry that Ginger is holding out. Ginger Junkie shoots up. His breathing quickly becomes labored and he slumps back, dead or unconscious.

A cop rifles through Ginger Junkie's things. A paramedic takes Ginger's pulse and informs him that Ginger isn't dead. The cop finds a bunch of printed slips of paper that all read PFISTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. I highly doubt Ginger is a student there. Theme song.

At the Pfister Institute of Technology, a group of students has gathered on the quad to watch other students toss objects off the roof of a nearby building. I gather it's some type of physics project/competition. A young Hodges from CSI Vegas sneers that a fellow student's project won't protect the egg inside from cracking when he drops it from the roof. What a dick! "As God is my witness, this egg will survive," says the other nerd.

Judy, Tom, and Harry watch as the egg cradle is dropped. Sadly, Young Hodges' prediction is correct. He suggests the other nerd change his major to liberal arts. On the ground, Judy wonders whatever happened to keg parties. Harry says they're too busy discovering cold fusion. "And synthetic heroin," Tom mutters. A group of guys whisper and stare and point at Judy. There's one woman for every 10 guys at PIT.

Harry and Tom work on something in a chemistry lab. I won't even pretend to know what they're doing. Science montage. Tom double checks something in his lab book and doesn't notice one of his beakers boiling over until it's flooded half his desk. The professor looks up, raises his eyebrows, shakes his head, and goes back to grading papers. Another student listening to a Walkman rolls over on his skateboard to help. He puts on a pair of thick gloves and dumps the beaker's contents down the sink.

Skateboard Boy asks Tom where he transferred from. "MIT," Tom replies. Skateboard Boy thinks that explains everything. He introduces himself as Courtney, adding that everyone calls him Cortex. Another Asian student eyes Harry from across the lab. 

In the PIT cafeteria, Courtney introduces Tom to Young Hodges. Young Hodges buys the day's notes from another guy, then a set of spectrometer results from Courtney. Courtney explains that a 13-year-old genius gets research jobs from companies and he farms out the extra work to them. Young Hodges asks if Tom wants in on the research. "I'm saving myself for Dow Chemical," says Tom. 

A balding man watches the three college kids. Courtney advises Tom to stay away from the guy and describes him as a "major sleaze." Elsewhere, Judy sits down and opens a textbook. 3 guys ask to sit with her. The guy whose egg cradle broke says, "Can't you see the lady's trying to study? Shoo." He sits next to Judy and introduces himself as Elliott. Judy tells him she's not interested. Elliott asks her out to a Gershwin retrospective anyway. He gives her the ticket and says creepily, "Take it home with you. Look at it, touch it, be with it." He winks and leaves. Judy looks unsettled.

Outside, the balding man approaches Tom. "You're new," he says. Tom tells him not to start on the MIT jokes. The balding man says, "You look a lot more adventurous than most of the guys around here, Tom." He knows Tom's name because it's his business to know things. He offers to give Tom some excitement: "I don't have my stuff with me right now, but meet me behind the dorms tomorrow night at 10:00." Tom agrees.

"It's too easy," Tom tells his coworkers at a bar, "It's like the guy had a big flashing ARREST ME sign on his forehead. He asked me if I wanted a little excitement in my life." "Maybe he's with the chess club," Judy suggests. Elliott, smoking a pipe and dressed like a stereotypical college professor, invites himself to join their group. "Judy, it's so good to see you tonight," he says. He asks Harry and Tom to excuse them. Judy looks to them for help. Tom and Harry make up excuses about having to go do homework.

Elliott tells Judy she looks "uncommonly lovely" in her hideous Cosby sweater. Young Hodges is at the bar too but steps outside. Harry goes over to the Asian guy seen earlier who's with his girlfriend. A drunk is calling the Asians names. He pours beer over the Asian man's head. Harry knocks out the drunk. Harry asks if the other man is okay. Unidentified Asian says something to his girlfriend in a foreign language and they leave. 

In the same area of town from the night before, Ginger Junkie's friend wanders the street. It's clear he's jonesing bad. He lights up a cigarette in an alley to calm his nerves. "Are you a smoker?" the same unidentified voice from earlier asks. Junkie's friend asks, "Are you the man?" "Yeah, I'm the man," says the dealer. We see him for the first time and it's none other than Young Hodges, smiling like the bat-weasel he is.

Judy doesn't think the unnamed Asian student fits the profile of a drug dealer. Harry says they're not looking for an ordinary dealer; they're looking for someone with knowledge of chemistry. He thinks the other Asian has made him as a cop. Harry sends Judy into the library with a pack of nerds as a decoy while he breaks into a locker. The other Asian sees Harry and ducks out of sight around a corner. In the locker, Harry finds a newspaper written in an Asian language along with some textbooks. He closes it again.

In a different lab, Courtney gets ready to inject a rat with something. He catches the look on Tom's face and says, "If you found one of these in your dorm room, you'd work it over with a baseball bat." Tom argues that's different. Young Hodges comes in and Courtney tells him that Tom is against animal research. Tom asks what great truth could be worth torturing another living thing. "There is no truth, only knowledge," says Young Hodges. Young Hodges asks when Courtney will finish a project for him. Courtney says the next day. "Just make sure you have it to me before ditch day," says Young Hodges. He invites Tom to lunch but Tom declines.

Tom meets up with the balding dealer behind the dorms that night. Balding Dealer knows Tom wants more than to work for IBM the rest of his life. His enterprise needs people with special technical skills and street smarts. Balding Dealer hands Tom a large envelope and reminds him to be discreet. Tom asks how much he owes. "If this works out, I'll owe you," says Balding Dealer. Tom opens the envelope and finds a CIA recruitment packet inside.

The next day, Harry, Judy, and Tom eat lunch on the quad together. Tom gives them the recruitment spiel, "Travel to exotic places, meet interesting people, and kill them." Later in his career, Johnny Depp would play a CIA agent in Once Upon A Time In Mexico. Tom asks Harry about the Chinese student. Harry thinks he can get the guy to talk if he gets close to him. A car horn startles the trio, but it's only Elliott driving what looks like a vintage Rolls Royce. "If you two leave, I will shoot you," Judy threatens.

Elliott greets Judy warmly. "What did I tell you last night after you tried to shove the gold chain into my purse?" she asks. Elliott wants to know if they should be "airing out our dirty unmentionables in public." Tom and Harry leave. Judy tells Elliott she's not attracted to him; in fact, she finds him repulsive. Elliott wants to take her for a ride and talk it over. Judy groans in frustration. 

At the dorm, Harry knocks on the door of Room 317. Unidentified Asian opens the door and shuts it when he sees who's on the other side. Harry knocks again, calling that he's not leaving. Unidentified Asian opens the door and says, "I know who you are and you can't stop me from doing what I'm doing. You'll have to kill me." Harry is confused. Unidentified Asian says, "Tell them you failed." Harry asks who he's talking about. "Your masters in Beijing," says Unidentified Asian, closing the door again. To quote Samuel L. Jackson's character from Kingsman: "So freaky how there's no recognizable name for the Chinese Secret Service."

Inside Unidentified Asian's room, Harry wonders why UA thought he was from the Chinese Secret Service when Harry isn't Chinese. UA thought that Harry was recruited from a Vietnamese refugee camp in Hong Kong. UA got a threatening letter from the Chinese government after he sent American newspaper articles about Tienanmen Square to his relatives back home. The letter told him to go back to China at the end of the current school year, even though he's not ready to graduate.

Young Hodges is in an alleyway giving a soda to the junkie seen earlier. The junkie reports that he didn't throw up, so "it was a bum high." Young Hodges asks what makes a good high, but the junkie can't explain it. He gives the junkie a vial, "an improved version of what you had before." 

Harry wonders what will happen to UA if they don't help him. Judy says it's out of their hands because they don't work for the State Department. Harry suggests UA could marry an American citizen. Judy gives him a look. Harry adds quickly, "I didn't mean you." Judy spots the balding CIA agent playing one of the cafeteria's video games and thinks he might help. A man in a tuxedo comes over to their table with a singing telegram for Judy from Elliott. Unfortunately, we don't get to hear what song it is.

The junkie from earlier, AKA Smoker, is lying in a hospital bed hooked up to life support. Fuller explains to Tom that Smoker has Parkinsonism, which mimics the advanced stages of Parkinson's. He was found with a vial of fentanyl in his pocket. 

In the animal research lab, Tom asks Courtney what he knows about designer drugs. Courtney doesn't know anything about drugs, period. Tom wonders if he would be able to change the chemical makeup of, say, morphine. "You're not trying to get me to do something I shouldn't be doing, are you?" asks Courtney. He thinks it could be done by synthesizing molecules and testing the product by trial-and-error. 

Harry and UA walk around campus. Harry doesn't think UA should worry; getting a letter doesn't mean the Chinese government will send anyone after him. UA has felt a presence recently and thinks they have. UA insists he's not afraid, rather he's aware. UA unlocks his dorm room and finds it's been completely trashed.

At the campus bar, Tom asks what Harry knows about ditch days. It's apparently a PIT tradition where all the seniors leave campus for the day and underclassmen try to break into their rooms by solving riddles. They're waiting for Poole the CIA agent. Poole sits down and says he's disappointed in Tom for not telling him that he was undercover; a relationship has to be built on honesty. "You're a spy," Harry says incredulously. Poole says he'd be the laughingstock of the CIA if they knew he tried to recruit an undercover cop.

Harry asks if Poole can somehow help Unidentified Asian, AKA Sang. Poole says the CIA can protect Sang if he's willing to work for them. Harry gets up to leave. Poole makes a comment about Harry having a chip on his shoulder. He then backpedals and says he can't "officially" help Sang, but he can give Harry and Tom the name of the Asian spy on campus who's been harassing Sang.

In the animal research lab, Courtney hesitantly asks Young Hodges why they can never look at other guys' projects. Young Hodges has power because he's the only one who knows anything and "power rules the regime." Young Hodges is graduating and thinks Courtney could be a suitable replacement. He advises Courtney to get used to being only a small part of the project because that's how it'll be when he starts working for a corporation. Young Hodges wants to finish his work before ditch day tomorrow. He hands Courtney a folder and tells him to have someone run the compounds.

When Courtney leaves, Young Hodges creeps over to one of the desks and opens a drawer. He takes out a length of rubber tubing and a syringe, which he puts in his backpack. Elsewhere in the school, Young Hodges dictates into a tape recorder that all his data so far in anecdotal; in order to complete the research phase, he must "gain some subjective understanding of its consumer appeal." This will be accomplished by shooting himself up with it. Young Hodges prepares to give himself the injection.

The next morning, Elliott parks his classic car and heads for the quad. He bumps into Judy. He tells her that if she successfully breaks into his room, she'll find "a fabulous token of [my] affections with your name engraved on it." Someone in a VW van calls for Elliott to hurry up or they're leaving without him. "Let the games begin," says Judy.

Montage of the underclassmen solving riddles around campus set to Devo's "Whip It." I guess "She Blinded Me With Science" would've been too on-the-nose. Courtney is partnered with Tom. He doesn't think they can get into Young Hodges' room because his riddles are the toughest. "I guess you're right. I mean, after all, you're only 13," says Tom. Courtney challenges, "What's that supposed to mean? You'll never get in without me."

On the steps of a building, Harry runs headlong into Sang's lady friend. He helps her pick up her books and asks what her major is. "Organic chemistry," she replies. Harry asks her to be his partner so he can solve the riddles Sang left. She says she can't because she has something important to do. "More important than ditch day? What are you, a secret agent?" That was subtle, Harry. Asian Girl agrees to be his partner.

The first clue Young Hodges left for Tom and Courtney is a calculus equation. The teenager quickly solves it, which leads them to the location of the next clue: the library. Courtney asks the librarian if Young Hodges left a message for 'To Whom It May Concern.' The librarian hands them an envelope, which contains a floppy disk. Courtney puts the disk in one of the library's computer. The disk contains a video poker game; if they win, they get the next clue. Courtney doesn't know how to play poker, but Tom does.

Outside Elliott's room, Judy's partners tell her it shouldn't take them more than half an hour to solve the equations written all over Elliott's door. Elsewhere, Harry and the Asian girl open the combination lock on Sang's room. She's surprised to find Sang inside and asks him a question in Chinese. "You know what's happening here, Li," says Sang.

Brief inconsequential flash to Tom's computer poker game in the library, then back to Sang's room. Li says Sang is the traitor, not her. Sang asks what the Chinese government offered her if she cooperated: a phone, a car, the apartment of someone she turned in. Li feigns that she doesn't know what he's talking about, then says Sang would have done the same thing.

Harry flashes his badge. He tells Li that he could arrest her for breaking and entering, maybe even a civil rights violation. Her bosses in Beijing probably wouldn't like hearing she got arrested. Harry offers her a Raylan Givens style deal: "Get the hell out of my country...tonight." Li exits. Harry thinks he bought Sang some time.

Back in the library, Tom wins the computer poker game. Their next clue reads: "Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock." This must mean something to them, because they jump to their feet and "Whip It" starts up again in the background. Tom and Courtney stand on the quad with a bunch of ropes and rock-climbing equipment. An envelope is taped about halfway up the clock tower.

Tom rappells down the tower. Courtney shouts that Tom should hurry; the seniors will be back soon. Tom grabs the envelope and rips it open with his teeth. Inside is an index card that reads THE KEY IS UNDER THE MAT. 

Elliott opens his dorm room door. He finds his beloved car has been disassembled and partially reassembled in the middle of the floor. 

Tom and Courtney look under Young Hodges' doormat, but there's no key. Tom tries the knob. The door is unlocked. Courtney sticks his head in the door first and his jaw drops. "God," he says. Young Hodges is sitting motionless in his desk chair, tubing loosely draped over his arm.

An uniformed police officer herds a crowd of curious onlookers away from Young Hodges' room. Cap'n Rufus watches the paramedics wheel Young Hodges out of the room. He's still alive. Tom informs Rufus that Young Hodges is their chemist; he hands the captain a stack of paper that he thinks is the recipe for the synthetic heroin. They didn't find any more of the heroin. Courtney helped make it, but he didn't know what he was doing. Tom tells Rufus about the tape Young Hodges made.

Harry puts Sang's luggage in a taxi. Sang is leaving town to stay with a cousin in some undisclosed location. Harry tells Sang that he might not be able to go home for a long time: "America is a great place to be, but you've gotta let yourself be here. If your head is somewhere else, it can be real lonely." Sang says China will always be his country. He thanks Harry for helping him: "You will always have my friendship." They shake hands. Tom asks Harry if he thinks Sang will be okay. Harry doesn't answer. End of episode and I'm disappointed that we didn't find out what happened to Young Hodges. Recovery? Jail? Life support?