Case #5.05: "Poison"

Sadly, I don't think the episode title is referring to the hair metal band. A woman, Tracy, is dressed like she stepped out of one of their videos. She seems to be in a warehouse or storage shed. A mulleted man, Chuckie, leers and says she oughta to wear shorter skirts to show off her legs. Tracy tells Chuckie she's not there for compliments. Chuckie's been cooking up some drugs and wants to split a syringe-ful with her. Tracy shakes her head.

Chuckie grabs her by the arm and backs her into some shelving, accusing her of being a cop. Tracy says he can frisk her for a wire if he wants. Chuckie changes his mind about forcing the syringe on her and hands her a bag of drugs. Two scruffy cops kick the door in and arrest Tracy and Chuckie. When Chuckie is loaded in the paddy wagon, Cap'n Rufus cuts Tracy loose. She asks who he is. "I'm your new boss," Rufus replies. Theme song.

Case briefing time! A kid named Howard, street name Jam, is selling heroin to his high school classmates. He's smart and patient enough not to get busted. Tracy is going undercover in the school; she's one of the city's top narcotics officer. Doug smiles when he's told he will be Tracy's primary backup. I smile too. I love a good Doug-centric episode. 

Tracy announces she doesn't want to wear a wire: "You'll hear me if anything goes down." Doug reminds her it's procedure. Tracy threatens to walk away from the case if she has to wear a wire. After a long beat, Cap'n Rufus reluctantly agrees. He asks Tracy for a minute to speak privately with his team. Judy immediately jumps in that Cap'n Rufus would never accept that kind of ultimatum from any of them. Rufus tells them to cut their new partner the same slack they cut each other.

Tracy acts very standoffish to Doug in the squadroom. Doug, poor thing, is going to the school under the guise of the new chemistry teacher. That'll work about as well as Channing Tatum trying to learn chemistry in the movie version. Tracy being kind of a bitch doesn't stop Doug from flirting with her.

At the high school, a black kid who vaguely resembles Lionel Richie watches Tracy struggle to dislodge a candy bar from the stubborn vending machine. He makes the same remark as Chuckie did about Tracy's legs. The boy smacks the side of the vending machine and the candy bar lands in the tray. He introduces himself as Jam. He initially refuses to sell drugs to someone he doesn't know, but then tells Tracy to meet him after school with $40. He knows a junkie when he sees one.

Tracy goes to a diner, presumably after her meeting with Jam, and sits with Doug and Mac. She doesn't trust Fuller's intelligence but doesn't go into why; she just feels it in her heart. Doug usually feels his intuition a little lower. Mac snorts with laughter. Doug glares at him: "I meant my stomach. Of which there's a lot less lately." He brags that he's recently lost a lot of weight. Mac makes a few fat jokes.

Doug grabs Mac by his letterman jacket and drags him over to the counter. He wants Mac to leave. Mac knows what Doug is thinking about Tracy: "She isn't the girl you wanna get up tangled with." Tracy sees them bickering and says she just wants to do her job and get out alive. She tells Doug they have to leave; she's meeting Jam in 15 minutes.

It's not Jam who shows up on the corner, though, it's a redheaded girl. She tells Tracy the price has gone up to $50 and shows her a bag of pills. Tracy tells Ginger that's not the deal she had. Ginger was told Tracy asked for something, but Jam didn't say what. Tracy pays up. Next time, she wants heroin and she wants to buy it from Jam.

At the Chapel, Doug logs the bag of pills into evidence. When she signs the report, Doug sees her name is really Hilda. Tracy explains she was named after her grandmother and yearned for a normal name, hence Tracy. They flirt. Doug invites Tracy to come to dinner with him and Clavo. Tracy says yes. I wouldn't turn down the invitation myself.

Doug tucks Clavo in and tells him about meeting Tracy. Clavo giggles that Doug likes her. Very perceptive, kid. Meanwhile at the motel where Tracy is staying, the female cop mixes herself a syringe full of drugs. She shoots up in her thigh so the track marks won't show; this also explains why she doesn't wear short skirts.

The next morning, Judy and Tracy primp themselves in the Chapel's women's room. Judy notices her fellow cop's tired expression. Tracy says she's okay. Judy asks for help fastening the clasp on her bracelet; Tracy's hands are shaky so it takes a while. Tracy lies that her hands always shake before she has her morning coffee.

That night, Tracy comes over to Casa de Penhall for dinner. Clavo is impressed that she speaks Spanish. Tracy and Doug talk nonstop over dinner. He tells her that his father died when he was a teenager and describes his brother as "a real punk." Doug even tells her about his brief marriage to Marta. He tries to kiss Tracy, but she doesn't think it's a good idea to get romantic while they're working the same case.

Doug is dismissive when Judy voices her suspicions about Tracy's drug habit. I've seen this episode before, except it was Miami Vice. Don Johnson's playboy character Sonny fell deeply in love with a doctor played by Helena Bonham-Carter; unbeknownst to Sonny, she was stealing narcotics from the hospital where she worked.

At school, Jam gives Tracy an address of where to meet him for their next deal. When she meets up with Doug later, she puts an unusually high amount of sugar in her coffee, another mark of the TV junkie. Tracy says she's just trying to get an adrenaline rush before the bust. Doug thinks they should date after the case is over. Tracy tells him her life is too complicated. Doug just wants to hang out a few times to see if there's any potential for romance there. Tracy starts to shiver and Doug puts his coat over her shoulders.

At the stash house, Jam wants Tracy to shoot up in front of him: "I know you're a junkie, but I wanna make sure you ain't no cop." When Tracy sits down, Jam notices the track marks. Tracy wants to put together a large order; she has some friends from her old halfway house coming to visit soon. Jam will see what he can do. Tracy wags her fingers, asking for the syringe.

Tracy hands Doug a baggie of drugs she bought. In a stoned voice, she tells him the deal was smooth sailing. Doug notices Tracy's pinpoint pupils, a classic sign of opiate use. He asks how she could be using and if she gets high at work. Tracy claims she shoots through the vein into tissue to fake getting high and sometimes it gets in her system. Doug wants to tell Cap'n Rufus. Tracy begs him not to cost her job.

Cap'n Rufus tells Doug that narcotics officers are poison. Doug is sure it was a mistake. Rufus guesses she gave Doug the standard "occupational hazard" speech that all dirty narcotics officers give. If it happens again, Tracy will be busted and sent to detox. From now on, Tracy will also wear a wire.

In the school hallway, Tracy gets angry about having to wear a wire. Doug pulls her into a classroom because she's so loud. She goes on and on about not knowing what's real because she spends so much time undercover. Eventually, she calms down and promises Doug she'll make changes. Doug tells her that he believes in her. Meanwhile, Jam is asking guidance counselor Judy about Ivy League colleges.

The moment is cut short by a loud scream that brings Doug and Tracy out of the classroom and Judy out of the guidance office. They find Lisa, Jam's right hand woman, lying on the hallway floor bleeding. She's been stabbed.

Judy tells Cap'n Rufus she thinks that Jam came into her office to alibi himself for Lisa's stabbing. She doesn't think Jam made her. Lisa had been skimming money from Jam's drug business. Mac thinks a kid named Davy actually stabbed Lisa; he left school right after the incident. Tracy promises she can nail Jam; they just have to show up.

Tracy gets out of the surveillance van after they finish adjusting her wire. She knocks on Jam's door, calling, "Trick or treat!" Doug and Cap'n Rufus listen in. They bolt from the van when Jam says, "I don't think you got no friends from Minneapolis." Jam hasn't made her; he just thinks she's a rival dealer trying to steal his customers. Jam hits her and pulls a knife. Then he decides to sell her what she asked for. Doug and Rufus arrive to arrest Jam.

Doug advises Tracy to take her phone off the hook and get some sleep. He and Clavo will stop by her place later with a pizza. Back at the Chapel, Mac still hasn't managed to find Davy. Doug gets worried because Davy does all of Jam's dirty work and will likely blame Tracy for the bust. He tries to call her. "Damn, it's busy," Doug says, evidently forgetting he told Tracy to take the phone off the hook. He races out of the squadroom.

When Doug arrives at Tracy's motel room, he finds her with a belt around her leg and a syringe in hand. The phone receiver is in the nightstand drawer. Doug asks if Tracy refuses to wear a wire to hide that she steals evidence from every bust. "Not every bust. I need it, I need it," Tracy whines. She slaps Doug in the face when he takes the syringe away. Cap'n Rufus calls the room to let them know he found Davy. 

"I thought I knew you, I thought I actually found somebody," Doug says when he hangs up. Tracy whimpers that he did. She promises to quit after she does one last dose. Doug arrests Tracy for narcotics possession and reads her the Miranda Rights.

At Casa de Penhall, Doug can't sleep and is channel surfing. Clavo comes out of the bedroom because he had a nightmare. Doug has Clavo sit next to him on the couch. It must be a few weeks down the road, as Clavo inquires why Tracy doesn't visit anymore. Doug explains that work took Tracy away. "Why does God take people away?" Clavo wonders, "Will Tracy ever come back?" Doug doesn't know. The two of them prepare to go to sleep on the couch. End of episode.

Case #5.04: "The Buddy System"

You will not be seeing Dean and Katie in this recap or any other. Did they die tragically in the line of duty? Did they elope to Mexico? I have no idea and I don't particularly care. I'm currently on fall break, so expect lots of bloggy goodness this week.

Mournful piano music plays over a clip of students filing out of a school. A kid with curly red hair talks to his curly-haired mulleted friend about music as they walk through the woods. Beethoven put Mullet to sleep. Curly offers him another classical tape. Mullet tells Curly he'll be back after Curly sets up their hideout. It's obvious Curly is socially awkward, so I have a feeling that Curly is about to be the victim of a very mean prank. Kind of timely that I'm reviewing this during Disability Awareness Month.

A police officer or security guard (I don't know which but the dude has a badge), Mr. Cousins, asks if Mullet has his money. Mullet swears Mr. Cousins will get it. The situation gets more hostile; Mr. Cousins starts punching the kid in the face. After the second hit, Mullet doesn't get up. Curly, hiding behind some trees, has witnessed the whole thing. He falls down a hill into view. Mr. Cousins chases him, but Curly gets away. Theme song. The opening credits reveal a new star has been added: Michael Bendetti. IMDB reveals 11 credits to his name, mostly guest spots on shows like Doogie Howser.

Next we see of Michael Bendetti, he's setting up his desk in the Chapel. Judy and Doug wonder who the new guy is. His desk, it transpires, will be next to Judy's. The officers introduce themselves; Michael's character is named McCann. Sidebar: That was last name of one of my favorite baseball players right up until he left Atlanta for the Yankees. McCann says he's from "here and there." When Judy asks about specifics, he responds, "Here, there, and everywhere." Wow, this guy's friendly...

Cap'n Rufus summons everyone to his office for a briefing. The only lead on Mullet's murder is Curly. Curly is mentally handicapped and part of a mainstreaming program called The Buddy System in which handicapped teens are paired with underprivileged ones. The goal, according to Rufus, is to give the underprivileged kids "a sense of responsibility and the mentally challenged one a sense of fitting in." The victim was Curly's Buddy.

Curly was noted as being terrified in the the interviewing officer's notes. He claimed he didn't see anything, but Cap'n Rufus thinks he did. In a rude tone, McCann guesses he's supposed to be Curly's new Buddy. Doug suggests he or Judy could do it. "No offense, but aren't you guy getting a little too old for that?" asks McCann and remarks Judy hasn't seen 10th grade in a while. I officially don't like this character anymore than Booker. Judy offers McCann some Buddy System brochures; McCann says he doesn't need them. He claims in a monotone that he's thrilled to be on Jump Street. Judy thinks McCann is prickly. "That's almost the exact same word I was thinking of!" says Doug. You and me both.

When McCann's gone, Judy wonders where Cap'n Rufus finds these people. Doug has a theory: "You look young enough to get carded, you get tagged for Jump Street." He jokingly asks how long it's been since Judy was in 10th grade. "About as long as you've got to live," she jokes back, tossing an apple at him. Doug easily dodges it.

At the high school, McCann gets interviewed by Ms. Kline, the Buddy System's coordinator. In my head, she has a son named Kevin. Curly AKA Christopher comes in. Ms. Kline introduces McCann as Christopher's new Buddy. McCann offers his hand, but Christopher doesn't shake it. He doesn't want a new Buddy. Judy enters, posing as Ms. Kline's T.A.

McCann runs downstairs and tries to talk to Christopher. Christopher doesn't hear him because he's listening to his Walkman. McCann tells him they're assigned Buddies, like it or not, so "why don't you try to like it?" Bullying the handicapped, lovely. Christopher gets upset about being called Chris; he wants to be called by his full name. McCann apologizes; he knows how Christopher feels because he likes Mac better than anyone.

Ms. Kline walks Judy to her car; the older woman doesn't feel safe on campus since the murder. Mullet AKA Gavin wasn't gang affiliated, wasn't part of any cliques really. She's grateful for the presence of the school's security guard Robert. He's instantly recognizable as Gavin's murderer Mr. Cousins.

Robert walks into the empty guidance office. He puts a tape that Christopher dropped in the woods into a tape player. Unsurprisingly, it's classical. 

Cap'n Rufus asks Mac how the case is going. Mac wants to know what the rush is; he's known Christopher for 2 days. Rufus is concerned that the killer may know there was a witness. Mac's strategy with Christopher will be turning up the charm. Doug laughs sarcastically. Rufus thinks they should talk to Christopher's parents; they're divorced and Christopher lives with his mom. Mac will talk to her under the Buddy guise. 

Judy suggests letting Doug do it. Mac wants to handle it; he knows the kid (yeah, after 2 days) and the mom might give up a clue that means nothing to someone who's never met Christopher. Doug promises to take detailed notes. Mac gets territorial; it's his case. Fuller tells the rookie they work as a team.

Doug and Judy want to know more about Mac's background. Mac was a beat cop in "New York, New Jersey, someplace like that." Doug thinks the boss is stonewalling them. Fuller tells them to go back to work. Doug wants to go back to the Chapel later and find out what Fuller seemingly doesn't want them to know.

Christopher admires some girls in the hallway. He knows their names are Claire and Tanya. Mac thinks Christopher should talk to them; knowing their names is a good start. Christopher says he gets nervous talking to girls. Mac has an idea: asking Claire and Tanya on a double date. Yeah, that oughta work. They catch up with the girls. It turns out they're both in the Buddy System too. Miraculously, they want to double date. Christopher looks like he doesn't know what to do now that they've said yes. He tells the girls he changed his mind and runs outside. Mac follows him.

Christopher is clearly upset and asks, "Why does everyone think I can't like regular girls?" Mac gets it; Christopher was more interested in Claire. Christopher describes Claire as prettier, nicer, and more fun. Problem is now she likes Mac.

Doug and Judy talk to Christopher's mom in the guidance office. They want to know how Christopher is doing at home after the shock of Gavin's death. Christopher's mom says he's been moody and withdrawn; Christopher really liked Gavin. She thought of Gavin as a good kid. He helped Christopher increase his mental age from 8 to 10. Christopher hasn't said anything about Gavin's death and stopped wanting to visit his friends at the school for "exceptional children" he used to attend. Mom asks Doug if Christopher will be safe. Doug says they'll keep an eye on him.

Robert goes to the music room where Claire and Tonya are doing homework. He asks if they know who the Beethoven tape he found belongs to. They don't, but will send the person to Robert if they find them.

At the Chapel that night, Doug and Judy tell Cap'n Rufus they're staying late to catch up on paperwork. Once the boss is gone, Doug picks the lock on the file cabinet in his office and gets out McCann's file. Judy opens the folder and finds blank paper. Doug wonders why Fuller had Mac's records sent elsewhere. Just then, Mac comes in to look at the report on Gavin's death again. He sees his coworkers looking at a file with his name on it. 

Judy swears they didn't mean anything by it. Doug thinks they're entitled to know who they're working with. Mac says they're only entitled to know if he's a good cop. Doug wonders why it's so hard for Mac to befriend one kid and wants him off the case. Mac, of course, refuses.

The next day, Doug and Judy find Mac shooting hoops in a park. Doug tells Mac he thinks that they both said things they didn't mean. Mac challenges him to one-on-one. Doug's playing style is a wee bit too aggressive. He starts throwing hip and body checks. By the end of the game, Mac has a ripped shirt and a bloody nose. He says he hasn't been beaten up like that by anyone sense his older brother. Doug hasn't dished out that kind of beating since his younger brother. This is only the second time in 5 seasons that Doug's ever mentioned having a sibling. Doug adds that he doesn't talk to his brother anymore.

The two sit down and discuss their jock pasts. Mac's game, of course, was basketball; he made the All-City Honorable Mention list his senior year, which doesn't say a lot about his talent. Doug, as long-time readers know, played football. He tried to play basketball but fouled out all the time. 

Mac opens up about his law enforcement career. He was a beat cop in the notoriously safe (read: crime-infested hellhole) of Newark, NJ. He got assigned to a precinct full of cops on the take who didn't appreciate having an honest rookie in the station house. Mac was the first one through the door at a domestic disturbance call that turned out to be a setup and "took 3 hits." Doug is stunned: "They tried to kill you." Are we sure Mac was a cop in Newark and not Farmington? Mac couldn't even bring charges because he didn't see who shot him. That prompted him to move and not trust anyone but himself, both of which are understandable.

Doug reminds him that dirty cops are the exception, not the rule. Mac asks Doug for advice about getting Christopher to talk. Doug tells him not to push the issue. He shouldn't act like he's on a case and instead should "just treat people like...people."

Through the music room door, Mac watches Christopher play the piano; the kid is listening to his Walkman at the same time. Christopher thinks Mac is hassling him and explains he's allowed to be in the music room during his free period. Mac is amazed that Christopher knows how to play songs just by hearing them. The two decide to take turns playing the piano. Think HORSE but with music. Pretty soon, they're both having fun.

Judy goes to the park with three mentally challenged boys who are in the Buddy System. They ask her a lot of questions about what it's like to be a cop so she obviously told them what she does for a living. She wants to know if Christopher's told them anything interesting lately. They haven't seen Christopher in a while; they met him in the woods behind his school near some boulders and he seemed sad. Judy offers them a tour of a police station on Monday. They eagerly accept, though a boy named Brian seems upset that he can't be a policeman.

Robert takes a break from patrolling the halls of Patrick Henry High to watch Christopher playing the piano by himself in the music room. After school, Patrick enthuses about a tape Mac gave him to listen to; he could play the songs while Mac sings them. Christopher thinks Mac isn't such a bad Buddy after all. Mac says Christopher must miss Gavin. Christopher does and supposes "Gavin must've got in really bad trouble with that policeman." He saw Gavin fight with a policeman and that's who killed him.

Unbeknownst to them, Robert's car is parked nearby and he hears everything they're saying. Christopher doesn't want to tell Mac the name of Gavin's murderer and darts away. Robert tries to run Christopher over with his car. Mac attempts to shoot out the tires and misses. Christopher has escaped injury and keeps running. Robert stops his car and chases Christopher into the woods. Doug happens to arrive with his truck and Mac gets in.

Doug parks his truck when Mac points out Robert's abandoned car. The cops run toward the woods. Christopher has hidden himself in what looks like a duck blind. Roberts calls for him, promising not to hurt the kid. "Stop! Police!" Doug and Mac shout. Mac trips and falls, then tells Doug to go on chasing Robert. Doug stops Robert with a flying tackle. Doug takes Robert's gun and sits on the ground trying to catch his breath.

Further in the woods, Mac clutches his hurt leg. He gets up and limps toward Christopher. He tells the kid it's safe to come out and that he didn't lie to him for a bad reason. Gavin's killer wasn't a cop; he was a security guard and "real cops are supposed to help people." Mac asks Christopher to trust him. He know what it's like to be scared, but Christopher shouldn't be scared of trusting Mac. Christopher comes out of hiding and takes Mac's hand. End of episode.

I'm still not sure if I like Mac, but he did kind of redeeming himself by being genuinely nice to Christopher. I work part-time with the disabled and I'm familiar with the challenges it presents. However, it's all worth it knowing that the person you work with has at least one person they can depend on for friendship and kindness. 

It's also disappointing that they didn't reveal what Gavin owed Robert money for. Drugs? Gambling? Bootleg Beethoven tapes? The world will never know.

Case #5.03: "Back to School"

There's a pointless flashback to Katy's first day of school. Katy hasn't even been yet and tells her mom she hates it. Dean tells on a classmate who's looking up a girl's dress. Middle school Katie gets bullied by some girl's on Valentine's Day. Jump ahead several years. Katie watches through the auditorium door as the class of 1986, presumably her senior class, graduates without her.

In the Chapel, Fuller assigns Dean and Katie to Roosevelt High (FDR, not Teddy). Dean is insulted because his undercover persona has a C- average; Katie's has all A's and B's. The opening credits reveal that the actors playing Katie and Dean have not received star billing. They're being sent to Roosevelt to investigate a drug ring Tom and Doug thought they shut down. Katie and Dean will be posing as brother and sister.

Dean dumps a stack of school supplies on Katie's desk. She gets irritated, saying she's not trying to make up for everything she didn't learn in high school the first time. I'm pretty sure this show was mandated to have at least one montage per season; this one is boring and consists of Dean and Katie getting ready for school. 

Katie stands in her living room, clearly dreading the day ahead. I don't think she should've volunteered for an undercover unit specializing in posing as high school kids. An unidentified man is sleeping on her sofa bed. Dean arrives to pick Katie up, but she won't let him in the apartment. Dean has gotten into his role as a barely average student by not having any school supplies except for a pencil in his back pocket. Most of the hardcore slackers I knew in high school didn't even carry that.

Dean has rented a Trans Am instead of taking his classic car to Roosevelt. He never had a car in high school, so it's a fantasy for him. In English class, Dean makes up crazy occupations for their fictional parents: Dad runs the light boards at Bon Jovi and Springsteen concerts, Mom is a journalist who just got back from an assignment in Europe. The students are given a project: Each student has to find a poem they like and recite it in class.

At Katie's place, she reminds her partner they're supposed to be keeping a low profile, which is hard to do when your parents supposedly interview heads of state and tour with major bands. Dean asks if the shaving kit on the coffee table belongs to Katie's boyfriend. She dodges the question.

Dean doesn't get why she's acting like high school is the last place she wants to be, even though it's literally her job. He tells her to look on the bright side. The worst part of high school was homework and now they aren't expected to turn it in. Dean is excited about partying and is thinking about trying out for basketball. Katie tells Dean she's a dropout.

Meanwhile, Judy has been looking at her dream house. Her eyes pop out of her head when the loan officer at the bank shows her what the mortgage payment would be. The loan officer explains "boo-boos" on her credit report, namely a student loan payment that was made 2 days late...2 years ago. The bank will need a letter from the loan company explaining the delinquency. Judy can't believe this. I know how she feels. Last year, I got the runaround trying to get a car loan while having no credit history whatsoever.

Katie makes a friend on the quad: Lena, a nerdy girl who describes her brother Alan as "the biggest wastoid on campus." Katie asks Lena if she knows where Alex gets his drugs, but Lena has no idea. She suggests to Dean that he get close to Lena to find out more about Alex. Really? After the fit she pitched about using the prostitutes from last episodes for information? Dean thinks Katie should be friendly with Lena; girls tell the girlfriends more than they tell their boyfriends. Katie points out that she's not the one Lena has a crush on.

Dean asks Lena to the homecoming formal and she agrees. A cuter girl, Brooke, calls Dean over and asks him to homecoming. Dean turns her down. Lena says she'll talk to him about coordinating outfits after she finishes volunteering at the animal shelter. Brooke is stunned.

Katie's still unnamed couch surfer mocks her for studying: "I thought you said the only classes that ever taught you anything were driver's ed and sex education. I thought that's why you dropped out in the first place." Kinda reminds me of The Outsiders; Sodapop quit school because he was only passing auto shop and gym. Couch Surfer asks if Katie got pregnant in high school. Katie explains she dropped out because a creepy teacher hit on her. If this detail is supposed to make her character more sympathetic, the actress didn't do a good job delivering the lines or the writer did a bad job on the script or both.

For the English project, Dean recites "Casey at the Bat" and Katie reads one of Shakespeare's sonnets. We jump to Dean looking at a photo of himself, his parents, and a girl who's probably his sister. He told Katie he was an only child! Dean answers the door to find his estranged brother on the other side. I'm officially confused.

Dean asks his brother how he found him, what he did, and who he's running from. In Supernatural, this conversation is usually the other way around. This scene teaches us nothing of importance, not even the brother's name. God, the writing has gone downhill.

Judy is told by Blowfish that the house needs a new roof. She can't believe the house costs $250,000 if it's in that kind of shape. I agree with her. 

Dean visits Lena at the animal shelter. He wants to get to know Alex better since he's taking Lena to homecoming. "You don't have to get in good with him to get to me," says Lena, "My brother's a jerk." He's also a major dealer at Roosevelt. Dean adopts a ginger kitten, names him Iron Mike, and gives him to Katie. Katie is irritated; her last cat almost got her evicted.

Dean asks about Katie's parents. When he was getting his paperwork together to start the police academy, Dean found out he was adopted. He spent a 6-week leave after graduation looking for his birth parents. Dean loves his adoptive parents but wanted to find out where he came from. During his leave of absence, Dean found out his birth father had died and his birth mother had disappeared. He learned he had a brother. "There's a lot of hate about him and there's a lot of hate about me," Dean sums up. Katie agrees to keep the cat, renaming him Cyrano. I liked Iron Mike better.

In the boys' room at Roosevelt, Dean asks to buy some drugs from Alex. Alex thinks Dean is only buying to look cool. I recognize Alex from the episode "Swallowed Alive" as one of the inmates who asked The Hammer to intercede with a problem.

The English teacher asks Katie to stop by his classroom after school. He wants to give Katie a reward for doing so well...when everyone's gone. Yuck!

Dean's brother, who has experience with drug dealers, offers to help Dean catch the dealer by giving Dean pointers on how to act.

Katie barges into the boys' bathroom and tells Alex not to sell anymore drugs to Dean. Their mom spent a lot of money putting Dean in rehab. She goes out to the hall and quietly asks Dean how he came up with the idea to say that. 

Dean thanks his brother for his good advice, then goes to Judy's housewarming party. Her furniture hasn't arrived yet, so she sits on a picnic blanket in the living room with Katie, Fuller, Dean, and Blowfish. Dean pours champagne. They tease Dean about having to wear powder blue to homecoming so he'll match Lena. Fuller hated school dances, Judy loved them, and Emo Katie never went to them. They're busting Alex the next day, Katie will be Dean's backup.

Katie stays at Judy's after everyone else goes home. She tells Judy about the creepy English teacher from Roosevelt and the one who victimized her in high school. Katie wants to bust the teacher too; she's waited a long time to set karma right.

After school, the English teacher's surprise is totally innocent. He presents Katie with a thick volume of Shakespeare.

Katie's couch surfer leaves, apparently for good. Elsewhere, Lena breaks up with Dean for buying drugs from Alex. She hopes she didn't hurt his feelings and still wants to be friends.

When Dean arrives at the abandoned school, Katie is kneeling next to a semiconscious Alex. Somebody beat him up and the kid described his attacker as looking like Dean. This is why you don't tell your ne'er-do-well brother about sensitive police operations...

At home, Dean confronts his brother about beating up and robbing Alex. It seems our young dealer always carries decoy bags of baking soda. Dean dumps out his brother's backpack and white powder flies. Dean's brother pulls a gun: "Baking soda or not, just let me leave." He didn't want to rob anybody, but Dean gave him an easy opportunity. Dean's brother can't believe Dean is picking his job over family. "We may be blood, but we ain't family," says Dean.

The two briefly struggle for the gun. Dean's brother proposes a deal: he stays out of Dean's way as long as Dean stays out of his. Dean's brother hurries out of the apartment and runs right into Katie, armed with a gun of her own.

Katie comes out of her room wearing a strapless, floor-length powder blue dress. She calls through the apartment door, telling Dean not to laugh. When she opens the door, Katie laughs hysterically at Dean's powder blue tuxedo. It looks a lot like the one my dad wore to Mom's senior prom, except this one doesn't have a ruffled shirt. Dean even has a corsage. Katie jokes that he looks like a backup singer for Wayne Newton.

"I did this 5 years ago and I still feel stupid," says Dean. Katie says it's not too late to forget the dance. Dean insists on going because Katie never went to her own homecoming. "So the idea is to let me feel stupid?" Katie wants to know. Dean smiles: "Wait 'til we go bowling after the formal." As they leave, he calls, "See ya, Iron Mike!" End of episode. 

Case #5.02: "Tunnel of Love"

Gina, a prostitute in a leopard-print minidress, returns from a restaurant to the "massage parlor" where she works. A middle-aged client is waiting for her. Gina looks miserable as she rubs him with massage oil. The next time we see Gina, she's in the massage parlor lobby selling drugs to one of the other girls. Judy, also in hooker wear, watches as she folds towels.

The blond madam, Katie, shuts off the boombox because it's spoiling the mood for the clients. She orders Judy to vacuum the waiting room after closing: "The new girl always vacuums." When Katie leaves, Judy wonders if the madam ever lightens up. Gina thinks Katie's okay once you get to know her. Judy asks if there's a house supply of condoms. Nobody answers, so I'm guessing there isn't.

Cap'n Rufus gets coffee with Judy at a food truck. He thinks they have enough to nail the massage parlor's owner Lamoca for prostituting minors. Judy's never seen the owner, just Katie. It'll be a long time before the prostitutes trust her. Fuller suggests busting one of them for solicitation and using that to get to Katie. Maybe Katie will roll over on Lamoca to save herself.

Dean, from the episode "Every Day Is Christmas," pays a visit to the massage parlor and asks for Gina. He's heard she's really good. "You want a half hour or an hour?" asks the gum-cracking receptionist. It's $80 for a half hour, $120 for an hour. Actually, that's not a bad deal...if only they were really just offering massages.

The receptionist hands Dean a pair of boxer shorts. There's a room down the hall where he has to strip and shower before his "massage." The shorts are to wear between the shower room and Gina's "massage room." She also hands Dean a form to sign; it reads that none of the girls offered him anything illegal. Katie buzzes Dean through the door that opens into a hallway where the shower room is.

Katie asks if Gina's refilled her prescription for headache medicine recently. Gina says no, it's $40 a bottle. Katie gives Gina money to go to the pharmacy. Gina can't leave; she has a customer. Katie tells Gina that Dean got spooked and left. Gina heads to the drug store.

Katie goes into Gina's usual room and finds Dean sitting on the massage table. She lies and says she's Gina. She asks Dean to lie down on his stomach and he does.

In Judy's assigned room, she helps Cap'n Rufus with a crossword puzzle. His "massage time" is up and he gets ready to leave. The captain informs Judy her next faux john will be Doug. "Doug again?" she asks, "You know he actually has me do his feet when he comes in here?" Rufus jokes, "Maybe you got a knack for this." Judy throws a newspaper at him.

Dean, trying to find out if Katie is underage, asks how long she's been giving massages and if her mom knows where she works. Katie's mom kicked her out at the ripe old age of 14. When Katie found her way back to the old neighborhood, Mommie Dearest had moved. Dean thinks that's terrible, which I'm sure he actually does. Katie dismissively says 14 was a long time ago. She flirts: "It seems to me a nice TV repairman shouldn't have to pay for it." Dean plays dumb: "Pay for what?" Katie quickly says she meant a backrub.

Dean rolls over on his back, not-so-subtly hinting at his suspicions about the massage parlor. Dean asks if she ever dates clients. Blondie tells him his half hour is up. "So that's it?" Dean asks. He thinks he'll come back. 

In the Chapel, Dean tells Judy the bad news: he wasn't offered anything other than a massage. He couldn't ask her because it would've been entrapment. Judy thinks maybe Gina acts like a legitimate massage therapist with first-timers. She reminds Dean it's not the girls they're after. Dean says they'll end up using them anyway. Dean thought the massage parlor would be sexy, but it just made him sad. He promises to go back until she offers sex and wishes he didn't have to.

Katie goes to her apartment and calls the massage parlor. She suspects a cop stopped by and asks what she should do about it.

Dean returns to the massage parlor. He's surprised when brunette Gina walks into the room and not blond Katie. He thinks there must be two Ginas.

Judy sneaks into the office and acts casual when Katie enters with Mr. Lamoca. Judy is introduced to the big boss man. Pointless scene. 

Dean thinks Gina looks the same age as his 16-year-old little sister but guesses Gina is older. Gina stops the massage and says defensively, "Why do you ask?" Dean shrugs. His massage time is up and Gina has another customer. Outside, Dean sees Katie putting laundry in her car and tells her how good he slept after her massage. Katie invites him for a drink when she finishes the laundry. Dean offers to go to the laundromat with her. He needs to tone it way down or he'll get himself killed.

At the laundromat while folding lingerie, Katie asks if Dean is a cop. He chuckles nervously and wonders why she'd ask that. Dean just wants to help her. Katie gives him the old "nobody does something for nothing" speech. It's fine if Dean wants to do it with her, but that'll be $200. Katie gathers up the laundry basket and says she has to see another customer. Before leaving, she says her real name is Katie.

Dean tells Judy that Katie offered him sex in exchange for $200. Judy is worried; Katie never works with the customers so she must've made Dean as a cop. Ray Charles could see Dean's fishing for information. Katie's probably going to tell Lamoca what she knows about Dean.

Dean and Judy raid the massage parlor and find Katie sitting in the office. Katie remarks on how fast they figured out the girls were giving more than massage. Judy tells the other woman she's under arrest. Katie pulls something totally unexpected out of her purse: a badge of her own.

In Rufus's office, Judy and Dean learn that Katie is a DEA agent. Katie tells her handler that the lack of progress isn't her fault; Lamoca doesn't deal drugs on the premises. Cap'n Rufus suggests finding out who's dealing on the inside. Katie's handler actually wants her to cooperate with Jump Street's investigation into the underage prostitutes.

Katie, Judy, and Dean play pool. Katie says Dean's walk gave him away and thanks them for helping her make her case. She's surprised by how much less money she makes than the locals. Totally unrealistic. Katie advises Dean to let Gina do all the talking next trip to the massage parlor. Questions make the girls nervous.

On the next trip, it's Gina who asks if Dean is a cop. He says no. Gina tells him that it's $300 if he wants to "go all the way." Dean politely asks for his pants. Gina starts to take her dress off just as Dean shows her his badge. He promises not to bust her if she helps him.

Katie comes home to find the door to her apartment forced open and her cat Bugsy missing. She goes down the hall and angrily confronts her landlady Mrs. Lakes. In an earlier throwaway scene, Mrs. Lakes had threatened to evict Katie because the building doesn't allow pets. Mrs. Lakes insists she doesn't know what happened to Bugsy. She shuts the door in Katie's face. Katie pounds on it and cries.

Dean, Katie, and Judy talk to Gina in a restaurant. They want to know where Gina gets the cocaine she sells at the massage parlor. Gina says she just passes it around because Lamoca makes her. Lamoca met Gina at a party when she was in high school, got her addicted to cocaine, and turned her out. Gina is upset with Katie for using her. She doesn't want to be an informant. That's fine, they'll just arrest her. Gina puts her hands on the table, waiting for the cuffs. After some more bickering with Katie, Gina agrees to cooperate.

Gina goes to the massage parlor office and tells Lamoca she's leaving for a while to do some modeling. She thought Judy could take over her drug business. Lamoca tells them to come back the next night. The next time we see Gina, she's lying in a Dumpster, her face a bloody mess. I have a feeling who put her there.

At the diner, Dean, Katie, and Judy worry that they can't get a hold of Gina. Judy thinks they should meet Lamoca as scheduled. Katie agrees. They might not get another shot at Lamoca otherwise.

Dean blames Katie for Gina's disappearance. He calls her a user and a liar. Katie says Dean doesn't know anything about her; she had a bad upbringing and could've ended up working in a massage parlor for real. She beat the odds. That doesn't change the fact she should've told Dean she was DEA when she figured out he was a cop.

Dean and Katie overhear Judy's conversation with Lamoca via her wire. Lamoca sounds remarkably unconcerned about Gina's absence because of course he's the one who killed her. He wants to take Judy to dinner. Katie calls someone on her cell phone, asking them to canvass the hospitals and the morgue.

During dinner, Judy slips into the ladies' room and hides her wire in a stall. She's worried the handsy pimp will find it on her. Judy and Lamoca leave the club and get in a limo. Dean and Katie are worried. They follow her in Dean's car, which, sadly is not a midnight black 1967 Chevy Impala.

The limo driver drops Judy and Lamoca off at Lamoca's house. Lamoca tells him to leave. Dean parks on the street and confesses he really does like Katie. Katie's phone rings. A girl matching Gina's description was just brought into a local ER; she might not make it. Dean worries what could happen to Judy and gets out of the car.

We see Judy and Lamoca in shadow reflected on a curtain. They're kissing and suddenly the lights go out. Katie exits the car. Dean creeps through Lamoca's yard; Katie goes in the house through an unlocked sliding glass door. She finds one of Gina's dresses on the kitchen table.

Judy and Lamoca are sitting on the edge of his very small indoor pool when Katie finds them. Dean is close behind. Lamoca knocks him into the pool. Dean hauls the drug dealing pimp out of the water after a brief struggle and reads him his rights.

Judy is disgusted because Lamoca didn't say anything incriminating and upset that the other two barged in. Katie thought Judy was in trouble. That's what cops assume when someone's wire goes dead all of a sudden.

We end in the Chapel, where Katie has had a sudden change of heart career-wise. She wants a job on Jump Street, which Cap'n Rufus happily gives her. Upstairs, Dean spots Katie struggling with her new locker and opens it for her. Gina lived and will be testifying in court that Lamoca tried to kill her. It seems Katie now conveniently has a crush on Dean. End of episode.

Case #5.01: "Business as Usual (Blackout)"

As I begin recapping this final season, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone out there who's been reading and enjoying this blog. You all are the reason I do this!

A woman carrying a gym bag gets into her BMW. Elsewhere, a rowdy group of teenage boys outside a convenience store packs way too many of them into a truck bed. They're carrying paper bags that undoubtedly contain cases of beer. Cut to the woman backing her Beemer out of the driveway and driving through town.

The boys in the pickup truck's bed toss an empty beer can over the side. We see a swingset and a sign that reads BROOKSIDE PARK--HOURS 6 AM TO SUNDOWN. It's definitely after hours, but the Beemer parks there anyway. The boys in the pickup stop on a nearby hill and get out. They crack open more beers and head into the park.

The woman, stretching by her car, doesn't notice them. She starts jogging through the park. The boys stop hooting and wrestling in the grass as they see her. I don't like where this is going. The woman jogs past the picnic table strewn with beer. One of the boys chases her. She runs faster. The other boys join the pursuit, driving her deeper into the wooded area. One tackles the woman to the ground. Another boy steals her jewelry and a third hits her in the head with a rock. Intense opening scene that seems like it belongs on a grittier show, such as Law & Order: SVU. Theme song.

Just outside the Lincoln High School gym, a group of boys who appear to be basketball players warn their friend/teammate Marty to keep his mouth shut about what happened in the park. There's a throwaway scene showing Doug is undercover as a gym teacher and another involving a teacher admonished for missing his first-period class. It's not like there's a torrential downpour or anything. Doug announces the parking lot is flooded. A lot of teachers couldn't get to school because the storm closed roads. The principal refuses to dismiss early.

In the halls, Judy and Tom think the Lincoln High kids all seem too normal to have been involved in the park incident. Marty argues with his girlfriend Allison about how much time he spends with his friends. He recently broke a date to hang out with a kid named Rob. Marty says all they did was hang out at another kid's house and rent movies. He sometimes has trouble saying no to them. Allison wants to break up. Marty swears he didn't even really want to hang out with Rob.

Marty produces a gift from his shirt pocket: the same charm bracelet the woman in the park was wearing. He lies that it belonged to his mom. They head down the hallway hand in hand.

In one of the classrooms, a teacher is conducting a recreation of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment to teach the kids about peer pressure. Allison shows off her new charm bracelet to Judy. 

In wood shop, the students cheer as a lightning strike knocks out the school's electricity. Doug brings a small generator to the office so they can use it to power the PA system. The principal contacted the bus garage and was told it'll take 3 hours to find enough drivers. Doug has bad news; the generator is out of gas. Another teacher (Mr. Gibbert) gives Doug his keys and tells him to siphon the gas out of his car. The other teacher recommends keeping the students in their current classrooms instead of dismissing them to the next period.

An English teacher tells his class a ghost story. Rob, Allison, and Judy sneak out of a different English class. Allison wants to go to wood shop so she and Marty can ditch class together. Rob mocks her for thinking Marty would rather be hanging out with him. Judy goes with Allison.

Doug and Mr. Gibbert come back into school with the gas can. Doug heard a rumor that the perpetrators of the park incident might be students at Lincoln. The other teacher insists he has no idea of any students who'd be involved in something like that. However, he's concerned the kids will start acting out like people do during major power outages in New York City.

Rob, Allison, and Judy convince the shop teacher that all the students are supposed to go to their next class. Someone throws a trashcan into the hallway and tries to dump its contents on another student. Judy quietly tells Tom that Allison's bracelet matches the one described by the jogger. Mrs. Dawson, an English teacher, hears the commotion in the hall and opens her door. A boy pops his head into the room and makes a scary face. The others outside are kicking lockers for no apparent reason. Let chaos reign!

The principal bitches at someone on the phone. The school buses have been stranded by a mudslide. Everyone is stuck until at least dark. This is starting to remind me of the Hey Arnold! episode when the kids were trapped at school due to a flood. Doug gets the generator working, but it shorts out the PA system. Doug doesn't think it's a problem. They can each take a section of the school and announce what's happening.

Mr. Anderson, the teacher who was telling ghost stories, says there's a kink in that plan: Mrs. Dawson locked her class in and won't open the door. A bunch of kids are "raising hell in the hallway. It's a little frightening." I'd say more like terrifying. Mr. Gibbert suggests putting two teachers in every classroom until the buses arrive. "That's my decision!" barks the principal. He picks up the phone and dials the district office.

After overhearing Rob and friends talking about an out of control party they went to the night before, Tom gets suspicious. He asks Marty about the bracelet. This time, Marty's story is he bought it at "some place on Main Street." He picked out the charms himself. Tom asks about the one that had the initials HK. Marty tells Tom it's personal. For reasons unknown, Rob and friends start chanting "Boom shakalaka." 

Mrs. Dawson's class is getting restless. It's 3:00 and one girl has to go home to babysit her brother. Several kids have after-school jobs. Mrs. Dawson can't let them leave until the bell rings. A boy points out the bell can't ring if there's no power. Mrs. Dawson, calm until now, snaps at them to sit down and shut down.

Rob leads the other kids in a chant of "Boom shakalaka" as they run through the halls. Allison thinks they're lame. Marty promises he'll take her home after he and his friends get revenge on their mean shop teacher Mr. Burke.

The phone goes dead as the principal (Mr. Townsend) calls the district again. The secretary asks how the kids are supposed to get home. Mr. Townsend doesn't answer.

The chant continues in a whisper, freaking out Mr. Anderson, patrolling the school on his own. Allison gripes to Judy about how stupid this whole thing is. Judy asks if Marty was at the park on Saturday night.

Mr. Burke hears the kids approaching. They charge through the shop doors and corner him. The boys grab his shirt and drag him toward the locker room, the chant morphing to "Shower! Shower!" Rob grabs some tools off a bench. Hammers, mostly. Just lovely.

Doug knocks on the door of Mrs. Dawson's classroom. One of the kids lets him in. Mrs. Dawson quietly admits to Doug that the students scare her "after that thing in the park." A boy stops in the doorway and gleefully announces that Mr. Burke is being dragged to the showers. Doug sees one of the boys is armed with a crowbar. Rob has a hammer. Doug orders them to let Mr. Burke go. "He sweats, he showers, your rule," says one of the boys. 

Tom offers to let Doug and Mr. Burke switch places. Doug tries to push Mr. Burke into the safety of Mrs. Dawson's classroom, but she shuts the door and locks it again. In the locker room, Doug and Mr. Burke are locked in one of the storage cages used for equipment. Doug tells the kids it's not to late to stop before someone gets hurt.

Tom thinks the best thing he and Judy can do is split the group up into two factions: Rob and Marty. Tom will try to get to the office to tell Mr. Townsend what's going on. The group stops at the outer office door. Mr. Townsend orders them to leave; the kids are already in enough trouble. "Then we'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow your door down," says Marty. The kids start huffing and puffing, then kicking the door.

Judy tells Allison that the charm bracelet the teen is wearing belonged to the woman who was attacked in the park on Saturday night. "If Marty was one of those kids, then what happened in the park could be happening all over again," says Judy. Allison doesn't believe Marty could hurt anyone.

The kids kick in the office door. Mr. Townsend punches Tom in the face. Congratulations, you just assaulted a police officer! Rob and another boy beat up Mr. Townsend while the others toss things around the office. "POLICE!" Judy cries. Everything comes to a screeching halt. Tom flashes his own badge. The kids scatter and the two cops chase them.

After this episode is over, I never want to hear the words "boom shakalaka" again. Mrs. Dawson lets Tom and Judy into her classroom. When they stupidly stick their heads out, the kids pounce, dragging Tom down the hallway by his legs. Allison takes off her charm bracelet and tosses it to the floor.

In the locker room, Allison pulls Rob and another boy off Judy. Rob pushes her. Allison gives an unrealistic lecture about the mob mentality. Tom and Judy are able to get up. Tom lets Doug and Mr. Anderson out of the equipment cage.

In Brookside Park, Marty tells Allison that although he was in the park that fateful night, he didn't participate in raping the jogger. Allison tells him he's just as bad for not trying to stop it. She leaves. Marty goes to inform Rob and company that Allison won't alibi him. "They'll never get us if we stick together," says Rob. 

Title card time! "Marty Franklin came forward and admitted his part in the brutal rape of Helen Kolata. The others were arrested and although they were juveniles, they were tried as adults. They were sentenced to serve 10 years for rape and attempted murder."

Not sure why there was no sign of Dean from the last recap.