Case #5.15: "Film At Eleven"

In a newsroom, Mickey the anchorwoman reads off a report about a group of local parents protesting against the possibility of year-round school. She closes the broadcast by saying her own daughter has been missing for 48 hours. There were no signs of violence and no ransom demand has been made. She calls out the local police force as incompetent.

"What is she doing?" asks one of the producers. The other producer shrugs. They can't cut her off or she'll have them fired. Mickey promises to bring viewers daily updates on an investigation she calls a farce. Theme songs.

"Why us?" Mac pouts. "If it wasn't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all." A civilian named Mr. Walters arrives. Cap'n Rufus introduces him to Mac. Mr. Walters want to talk to the person who's going to solve the case. Cap'n Rufus explains that Mac is assigned. "He's just a kid," Mr. Walters says disdainfully. Cap'n Rufus explains that Mickey's daughter is 16 and Jump Street specializes in cases involving juveniles. Mac keeps sassing away when Walters puts him down. Cap'n Rufus puts an end to it.

Mac goes to another precinct. A detective named Brian is unwilling to be helpful. The brass decided that "whoever the dragon lady got assigned to this case was persona non grata." Mac tells Brian to be reasonable. Over the past two days, Brian has talked to the missing girl's friends and teachers and sent her description to bus stations and the airport. Nothing has turned up.

The lieutenant, Donnelly, summons Mac into his office, grumbling, "I knew it'd be one of you Jump Streets taking this case." Mac tells Donnelly that the more time passes, the less chance they have of finding the missing teen. "Are they gonna send you back to Newark if you don't find her?" Donnelly asks rudely.

Mac goes to Mickey's house. Dragon Lady invites him in and makes him a sandwich. Mickey and her daughter Sharon recently moved back to the area. Sharon seemed to be adjusting well: good grades, friends, and no problems with drugs or boys. The day Sharon disappeared, Mickey gave her daughter her weekly $20 allowance. She couldn't get anywhere with that.

Mac asks to see Sharon's room and a picture of her. Mickey takes what looks like a yearbook photo off Sharon's bulletin board. Mac inspects Sharon's stereo and notices a mixtape inside labeled "My Sad Songs". He turns the stereo on as he walk around the room, looking for anything out of place. Mac finds a package of birth control pills hidden on a shelf behind some dolls. It's unlikely that Sharon would've willingly left without them. Posters around the room indicate she has a crush on Sting.

Mac goes to a movie theater advertising a Sting film festival. He buys a ticket and creeps through the darkened auditorium. Why didn't he just, I don't know, show Sharon's picture to the woman in the ticket booth? He finds Sharon sitting alone, curled into a ball. There's a tub of popcorn and a large drink on the seat beside her.

"I'm Anthony McCann, I'm a police officer," he says. "Have you been here the whole time?" Sharon doesn't respond. He bets the popcorn sucks and the teen finally says, "So do the hot dogs." Mac thinks it's a shame Sting's movies ended up being shown here. "Better here than nowhere," says Sharon. Mac asks if Sharon is ready to leave. Sharon nods. Mac, ever the gentleman, loans the teen his jacket.

Mac enters the living room where Mickey is drinking in front of the fireplace. "Oh my god, you did it! You found her!" Mickey cries, hugging Sharon. "McCann, is she all right?" Mac thinks she seems to be. Mickey sends Sharon upstairs to change her clothes and shower; she'll get dinner started. Sharon returns Mac's jacket. Mickey walks Mac out and thanks him.

Sharon appears at the top of the stairs, wearing a fuzzy pink bathrobe. Mickey asks what she wants for dinner. "I know," Sharon replies cryptically. Mickey is puzzled. "I know," Sharon repeats.

The next day, Joey gives Mac his cut of the office pool. The rest of the squad had bets that Mac wouldn't find Sharon. How sweet. Mac won't accept the money: "You guys go have a pizza on me." Sharon arrives at the Chapel and asks to see Mac. She thanks him for being so nice and offers to buy him lunch: "I have a credit card for emergencies."

They end up at a crappy cafeteria-style restaurant. "You said anywhere I wanted," Mac reminds her. Sharon asks if Mac told Mickey what he found in Sharon's room. "Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for anybody is not tell them the truth," says Mac. Sharon knows what he means. She grew up believing her father died in a car accident. When she was 12, her mom told her the truth: that Sharon was illegitimate. It was nice that her mom thought she was mature enough to know. Sharon asks to borrow Mac's coat again.

Sharon starts to something else, but has second thoughts, even after Mac promises to keep it between them. Sharon alludes to being afraid of something and won't say what. Mac drops Sharon off at home. When Sharon unlocks the door, Mickey is standing on the other side of it, holding a glass of booze. "I'm sorry," Sharon squeaks, running out of sight. Mickey thinks Sharon's behavior is due to the move. She also thinks Mac upset Sharon and doesn't want him to see her again. Mac finds an address in his coat pocket.

Mac goes to the address Sharon gave him and knocks on the door. He tries the doorknob and finds the apartment is unlocked. The place is empty...except for the corpse in the living room. 

More cops descend on the apartment, including Donnelly. He asks to talk to the first officer on the scene. Mac waves at him from the kitchen. He guesses the corpse, Richard, has been there 3-4 days: "Cause of death is that paperweight over there. Crushed his head like an egg." Donnelly asks why Mac was at the apartment. Mac doesn't answer, just gives a dumb speech about hard work and teamwork.

Mac goes to Sharon's school to deliver a message to her. The secretary stares at Mac's ass as he walks away. Brandon, a guy in a letterman jacket, aggressively approaches Mac. Brandon warns Mac to stay away from his girlfriend Sharon. He says some old guy came to school and hassled her.

Sharon just happens to walk their way. Mac asks why she gave him that address and tells her about finding the dead body. Sharon plays dumb. She tells Mac that he'll only make things worse. Mickey arrives to say whatever trouble Sharon is in, they can handle it themselves. She threatens to call a lawyer.

Back at the Chapel, Cap'n Rufus tells Mac that Mickey has been calling nonstop and claiming that he's harassing Sharon. Mac explains about Sharon giving her the address of the murder scene. A wifebeater-clad Joey has some background on the late Richard. Richard had been a minor city official who was forced to resign 14 years prior due to an unspecified scandal. Mac might be able to find details in the library. "He's not going to the library, right, McCann?" asks Cap'n Rufus, "I don't want anymore calls from downtown. Is that understood?"

Mac returns to the crime scene. Does he think the dead guy kept a scrapbook about his downfall? He does, however, find a woman's designer jacket on a chair. Someone sneaks up behind Mac and pushes him onto the dead guy's bed. After dodging cars and running through people's backyards, Mac catches the perp: Brandon. He asks why Brandon was there. Mickey gave Brandon $100 to break in and steal an envelope. The envelope contains news clippings and what looks like a photo from a swingers' party. A younger Mickey appears in both.

Mac visits an old man, Mr. Sellers, in a nursing home. The oldster is a former city councilman. He talks about the late Richard convincing him and some other councilmen to use city money to pay for call girls. Mac shows the old man the photo Brandon gave him. The old man remembers those days fondly. Mr. Sellers reveals that Mickey was the reporter who broke the story.

Mac goes to visit Mickey in the newsroom. Frank, one of her producers, used to be the editor of the city paper. Mac asks what made Frank so sure that Mickey's information back then was correct. 

Mac goes to Mickey's house again. She invites him in for drinks. Surprise, surprise, Mickey wasn't a trained reporter! She was an escort back in the day. When Sharon was 2, Mickey was on the verge of being cut from the newspaper staff until she brought in the story about the councilmen. Nobody ever figured it out until Richard saw the newspaper article about Mickey becoming newsanchor.

Richard threatened to blackmail her, so Mickey went to the apartment and killed him with a paperweight. Mac says that's not true; Mickey's prints weren't on the murder weapon. He found Sharon's leather jacket, however.

"Don't say anything," hisses Mickey. Richard told Sharon he was an old friend of Mickey's; he knew enough about her to convince Sharon. Richard showed Sharon the pictures and talked about the sexual things he used to do with Mickey. When Sharon tried to leave, Richard started touching her inappropriately, so she hit him with the paperweight. Mac thinks Sharon should turn herself in. It's a clear case of self-defense. Mac leaves.

An unknown amount of time later, there's a newspaper headline about Sharon turning herself in. Donnelly took credit for getting her to come forward. The DA is probably going to give Sharon a deal for involuntary manslaughter. Mac wishes he had someone like Mickey in his corner. Cap'n Rufus is optimistic that Mac will. End of episode.