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.

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