Case #5.18: "Under the Influence"

From the title, this will be another chapter in the "Drugs and underage drinking are bad" book. The episode opens at a homeless encampment. One of the homeless men hears a cat's screeching meow, followed by a thud. He heads to the darkened alley to investigate. Clearly he never saw a horror movie in his more fortunate days.

Several guys in black ski masks suddenly appear and force the homeless man to the ground. A girl in a ski mask uses the tip of a knife to trace a circle around the dogpile. She watches the boys hit the homeless man with a disturbing smile on her face and chants, "666." Of course! In the era of the McMartin Preschool trial, no cop show would be complete without an episode about Satanism.

Anyway, a second homeless man with a ginger cat stumbles onto the scene. He's horrified by what is happening. The teens force up their victim's shirt and spraypaint a pentagram on his back. The second homeless man goes to the encampment for reinforcements. One of the men shouts "Hey!" and the teens disperse. Their victim, nicknamed Sports, is unconscious. A homeless man who looks suspiciously like Captain Rufus tries to go into the nearby Hope Mission for help, but the door is locked. I guess it's the captain's turn to see how the other half lives. Sports' friend is holding him in a semi-sitting position. Rufus steadies him and finds the pentagram. Theme song.

Thunder rumbles ominously as Mac and Rufus enter the Chapel. Sports is not the first homeless person to have been attacked by this gang. All the prior victims reported the gang comes out of nowhere, the members don't say a word, and then they disappear. Mac makes a spooky noise. "Is that your professional opinion, Officer McCann?" asks Cap'n Rufus, "I don't care if they dress up in black robes and run around reciting incantations. They're attacking people." He reminds Mac that the homeless population makes for perfect victims; nobody to notice they're missing, much less report it.

Mac will be going undercover at Douglas High, which runs an outreach program that provides teen volunteers for Hope Mission. Maybe the junior Satanists have a key to the shelter or they're just using their volunteer work to look for victims. Cap'n Rufus tells Mac to be subtle about his interest in devil worship. Mac has a plan: During the first assembly he has to attend, "I'll fall to my knees and proclaim I'm Satan's child." "Excellent," Cap'n Rufus whispers sarcastically.

At Douglas High, a jock named Alan presents a girl with an illustration he mounted on cardboard using a glue stick. It depicts Priscilla James, a witch who lived in Boston during the 17th century. Is he sure he doesn't mean Salem? Alan asks if he can come to that night's meeting. "I said I'd think about it," says the girl. Alan reminds her that he did a big favor by getting her the key to the mission. She agrees to give him a chance. The unnamed girl is pretty average looking and not wearing over-the-top Goth fashion. Not even black lipstick. Alan throws away the Priscilla James picture.

In English class, the teacher discusses how the themes in Paradise Lost mimic those found in the original Star Wars trilogy. You'll have to draw your own conclusions about that; I've never read the book nor seen any of the Star Wars saga. The book, according to the teacher, features the Devil trying to get "back into Heaven, just like the rest of us." Mac disagrees, "The Devil doesn't wanna get back into Heaven; he's got the whole damn world in his hands." He lays out his proof that the devil's having fun in the 1990s: drive-by shooting, babies with AIDS, crack, and "worse, fat chicks in tank tops."

Mac's classmates snicker. Mac speculates that the Devil doesn't have horns or is actually female. The unnamed Satanist girl from earlier watches him interestedly. "I don't why anyone's planning for tomorrow when they can party today," Mac concludes. A few kids clap. The bell rings. Satanist Girl follows Mac to her locker and introduces herself as Stephanie AKA Stevie. Given that my Big in my sorority was named Stevie, this girl will be known as Stephanie in this recap. She invites him to come to an abandoned warehouse on 5th Street that night. Stephanie guarantees Mac the time of his life.

Alan asks if Mac has a crush on Stephanie. Mac likes them "a little less man-eater." Who can blame him after the crazy chick? Alan thinks Stephanie is perfect and asks if Mac was invited to the meeting. Mac wants to know what goes on at them. Alan has no idea; tonight will be his first time. 

At Hope Mission, Cap'n Rufus sits down to dinner with Sports' friend Paulie and the ginger cat. Creatively, its name is Cat. Alan comes in and greets his mother, who's serving food. He asks for an advance on his allowance; his mom gave it to him 2 days ago. Alan cryptically tells her he had surprise expenses. She agrees to give him $20. Alan tells his mom he'll be out late with friends.

"Not those awful people I saw you with at school?" asks Mom. Alan tells her about his new friend Tony AKA Mac. Mom wants the new friend to come over. "So you can pass judgment on him?" asks Alan. Mom won't give him $20 until Alan agrees to bring his friend over, so he caves.

At the abandoned warehouse, the meeting begins with the teens sharing the worst thing they've heard or done that week. A girl gleefully describes a case of a mother running over her own baby with a car. A boy told his father about his mother having an affair. Another girl happily chirps that she read about a girl who died in a drive-by at her own 4th birthday party. It's Mac's turn: "In the last 5 minutes, there's been a rape, a murder, and a drunk driving violation." Not sure if those are daily time-based stats or what he heard on the police scanner driving over. Stephanie wants it to be more personal. Mac changes the story so that he was the one who committed rape/murder and a DUI.

Stephanie tells him that's not funny. Nothing anyone else said at the meeting has been remotely funny, so what's the big deal? Mac assures her he wants to be at the meeting.

Moving right along, it's time for old business. Nice to know that even Satanists follow Robert's Rules of Order. Stephanie reminds the group that their last spell was interrupted. The Stanford Admissions Committee is meeting this week, so their next mission has to be soon "or else I won't get into Stanford early." Mac asks if he'll be on the call list. "Such an eager little beaver," Stephanie says creepily. Mac and Alan can't go because they haven't been initiated yet. Both boys request to be initiated that night. 

Everyone has to cut their finger with a ceremonial dagger while chanting "666." The dagger blade is run through a candle flame in between members. Mac looks deeply weirded out by the whole business and I don't blame him. Mac is second to last. Instead of cutting himself, Alan opts to burn his hand on a lightbulb. Mac knocks Alan's arm away. "Hey, I decide when it's enough!" says Stephanie, kissing Alan's burnt palm.

In Cap'n Rufus' office, Mac tells him these kids are sick, not to mention stupid. He can't understand what makes people do things like that. "A cult wants to mark you, make you do something you can't take back," says Cap'n Rufus, adding more grey to his beard for his undercover work. Mac says that papercuts heal. Rufus recognizes Alan's name. His mom volunteers at Hope Mission, so she must have a key. He tells Mac to get close to Alan and Stephanie. Mac doesn't want to get that close to her. 

Mac parks his Jeep in front of Alan's house. From outside, he can hear Alan's mom, Mrs. Michaels, screaming at her son. It's not too much to ask that she knows where he is and when he's coming home. Alan argues back that he's a grown-ass man. Mrs. Michaels confronts him about the burn. Alan wishes his dad had better taste in women. Mrs. Michaels slaps him.

The doorbell rings. Mrs. Michaels lets Mac in and tells him, "Alan doesn't think it's appropriate that I meet his friend." Mac wishes his parents were like that and instantly wins Mrs. Michaels' approval. She leaves. What the hell was the point of making him come over if she's not gonna stay?

Alan gripes about his mom. She got a kit from "the tough love people" that supposedly allows parents to dust their kids' things for drug residue. She even wanted him to do a drug test last month. She also went through his tape collection. Mac suggests Alan let his mom in on some things to build trust. They leave for school.

Alan shares another story about his mom. During freshman year, he had a friend named Clay. Hopefully his last name wasn't Morrow. Alan and Clay were inseparable until the day Mrs. Michaels called Clay's parents and told them Clay was a bad influence. Clay's parents told him to stop hanging out with Alan because his mom was crazy. Clay told everyone why he wasn't allowed to hang out with Alan anymore.

Alan has a reoccurring nightmare about his mother following him everywhere until she's the only person who'll have anything to do with him. "She at it again?" Stephanie has joined the conversation. She says Alan's mom doesn't love him, just wants to dominate him. Alan agrees with Stephanie. Stephanie says Alan needs to take his power back and "the group can help you if you help the group. We need a sacrifice." They'll do it tonight at the warehouse.

Mac thinks what he said in English class is a long way from getting involved in a blood sacrifice. Stephanie tells him that he'll be at the warehouse or he'll have to quit the group. She also warns, "Don't keep Alan from attaining what he wants." 

Stephanie finds Alan moping by himself in the English classroom. She acknowledges that what she's asking him to do is scary. Sacrifices gets easier, she promises. Alan will have to do the sacrifice himself. She says it's no different than swatting a mosquito. Alan can have anything he wants. She kisses him.

At Hope Mission, Paulie is worried because Cat is missing. Oh God no. Cap'n Rufus thinks "she probably found some tom to make whoopie with." If only. After dinner, Cap'n Rufus will help Paulie look for Cat.

As a cat lover, I can't bring myself to transcribe what will probably happen next. The cat scratches Mac when he takes it out of the pillowcase and runs away, escaping with her life. "Damn you, damn you to hell!" Stephanie screeches at Mac. But to you people, isn't hell a good thing? 

At school the next day, Alan apologizes about the cat. Stephanie doesn't want to hear it; she got wait-listed by Stanford. If the sacrifice had happened, she would've gotten an acceptance letter. Stephanie needs someone she can count on. "You can count on me," says Alan. Mac tries to apologize about the cat; he didn't want Alan doing someone he didn't want to. Alan argues that he wanted to do it.

Chapel. Cap'n Rufus hopes the case will be over soon; he can't stand how bad his clothes smell. Mac suggests Judy can fill in after her vacation. Rufus doesn't plan on being on the streets that long. Mac tells the captain he's trying to keep Alan from being sucked any further into the cult. Cap'n Rufus reminds him that he's not a psychiatrist or a social worker. Juvie will see he gets the mental health help he desperately needs.

Stephanie is what's luring Alan into the cult and Mac is "afraid she's offering something I can't." Cap'n Rufus has a way around that: get Stephanie to offer herself to Mac. "She's a high school kid," Mac protests. Cap'n Rufus never said he had to accept the offer. After all, he's not running a stud farm.

At school, Mac tries to get Stephanie to give him another chance in the group. "That's the difference between leaders and sheep. I do what the others won't," says Stephanie. She doesn't want to end up like her parents. Her mom and dad both work hard, go to church, and are model citizens, but they aren't rich or powerful: "It's boring. It's like being with the living dead." Stephanie doesn't want to wait to get to Heaven to be rewarded; she wants an Oompa-Loompah now, Daddy, now!

Stephanie tells Mac he has to decide what he wants. Mac wants her. She'll meet him at the warehouse tonight, just the two of them. What a romantic date!

Mac drops by Alan's house. Mrs. Michaels answers the door and greets him pleasantly. Mac asks if Alan is around. Mrs. Michaels hasn't seen him all day and asks if something is wrong. She tells him that he's moody and distracted. She's glad he has a friend like Mac.

At the warehouse, Stephanie pours something flammable in a circle around where she and Mac are standing and drops a match. She tells him to take off his shirt, then traces one of her long red nails down his torso, stopping at his belt buckle. Stephanie wants Mac to take his pants off. Mac hesitates, but eventually does. "I'm in control. Are you?" Stephanie asks creepily. She shrugs off her long black robe. She's naked underneath. Stephanie wraps her arms around him. Unseen by both of them, Alan has come to the warehouse and caught them together.

Mac fills Cap'n Rufus in on the night's events, calling it "a valentine from Dracula." When he gets to the disrobing, Rufus asks, "I'm not gonna have to arrest you for statutory rape, am I?" Mac says no. Rufus tells him to stick with it; sooner or later, she'll do something illegal. 

At Mac's locker, Stephanie asks if he dreamed about her. Mac did. In the dream, they were married with kids and a station wagon; Stephanie was PTA president. To her, that sounds like a nightmare. She kisses him. There's another meeting tonight. Mac tries to talk to Alan. Alan insists there's no hard feelings and will see him at the meeting.

Alan goes outside and tells Stephanie he wants to do something different, something nobody in the group has done before. Stephanie purrs that she underestimated him.

Paulie and Cap'n Rufus eat at Hope Mission. Paulie is overjoyed that he found Cat.

Alan is absent from the warehouse meeting. Stephanie explains that he's on his own special mission tonight. I've got a bad feeling about this. So does Mac. They all don black gloves and ski masks. The teens head to the alley to beat up another homeless person. They're surprised when their intended victim pulls a gun; it's Cap'n Rufus. Mac takes off his own ski mask, then Stephanie's: "Looks like you're not going to Stanford. Looks like you're going to jail." 

Stephanie is angry about the betrayal. Mac asks where Alan is. Stephanie laughs maniacally: "Who does he hate? Who does he want to harm?" Mac races to Alan's house and gets out of the Jeep with his gun drawn. Mac has to force the door.

Inside, Alan is sitting next to the fireplace, holding a revolver. Alan can't decide what's a greater evil: committing murder or suicide. Alan is leaning toward killing himself; he doesn't want to go to prison or see a shrink. He wanted to show Stephanie how much he loves her. Alan considered killing Mac, then switched to his mother. But he decided "acting like a mom" wasn't enough to die for.

Alan mopes that Stephanie is "just like all the other organized religions. She makes promises but never delivers." He asks why Mac has a gun. Mac explains that he's a cop. Alan wants to know if Stephanie was arrested. Mac confirms. Alan drops his gun. Mac tells the teen that he didn't have to prove anything to Stephanie; she used him. 

Mac turns in the paperwork on the case to Cap'n Rufus. Rufus asks if Mac wants to join him for pizza and beer. Mac would rather see a movie, escape from reality and all the demented things he witnessed. Cap'n Rufus asks what movie Mac is planning to see. "Triple feature. Nightmare on Elm Street 1-3," Mac says. Ironic because Johnny Depp was in the first one. Cap'n Rufus is up for it. When they open the Chapel doors, they're blasted by wind and blowing leaves. Spooky organ music ends the episode.

Case #5.17: "Copping Out"

If this is another Mac-centered bore fest, I may scream. You've got great characters in Judy and Joey, yet they keep throwing him at us. The episode opens with Cap'n Rufus and a woman (presumably his girlfriend) doing a little shopping at the supermarket. His girlfriend kind of looks like Oprah. Cap'n Rufus makes a remark about the amount of junk food in his girlfriend's cart. The girlfriend says it's not for her; it's for her 17-year-old son.

The woman introduces herself as Adrienne Wallace, so I was wrong about them knowing each other. She's in a hurry to get out of the store because she's double-parked. Cap'n Rufus tells her that's against the law. She challenges him to arrest her. "Okey-dokey," says Cap'n Rufus, flashing his police ID. Adrienne laughs and says it was nice to meet him. Cap'n Rufus agrees. Adrienne quickly corrects him when Rufus refers to her as "Mrs. Wallace." 

The cashier sees the coupons Rufus is carrying. Cap'n Rufus doesn't want to slow down paying for his groceries, so he says he'll use them another time. He wants to catch up with Adrienne. "Oh no, oh no," groans Adrienne, seeing a tow truck pulling away with her car attached to it. Cap'n Rufus gallantly offers her a ride. Theme song.

In the squadroom, Joey and Mac look at photos of houses that have been trashed. A lot of elderly people live in the neighborhood that's been targeted. What's more, all 4 of the vandalized houses are owned by people over the age of 70. Joey wonders if it's some sick new sport for bored, mean spirited kids. A tool with the initials CH on it was found at the latest crime scene; it was stolen from the metal shop at Carver High. 2 or 3 kids were seen running from the house. One wore a Carver High letterman's jacket.

Cap'n Rufus asks Mac to canvass the neighborhood for witnesses. Joey will be going to the metal shop class at Carver. Joey protests that he hates shop and is no good with his hands: "I'm more of a cerebral person." The fact he used that word correctly is jarring. "I like to brood," Joey goes on. Cap'n Rufus is unmoved.

Mac notices the dry cleaning bag on the captain's coat rack and guesses there's a woman involved. He wants to hear all about her. Rufus will only say he met her at the supermarket. Mac starts telling a story about meeting a girl at the laundromat, then having sex with her in the parking lot of said laundromat. Classy guy. Cap'n Rufus says it's not the same situation. Adrienne's car got towed, he drove her to the impound lot, they had coffee, and they're going out tonight.

In the Carver High metal shop, Joey comes very close to shredding his hand with some type of saw. Another student, Bob, pulls Joey's hand away. Bob shows Joey a project he's been working on in class and at home. Joey is surprised the teacher lets them take stuff home. Charles, a guy in a letter jacket, has a brief argument with a student who claims he left his hammer at home. The conflict gets violent.

By the end of the fight, Charles' nose is bleeding. The teacher, who didn't even try to break up the fight, says everyone will lose 5 points off their final grade if there's another fight.

Mac interviews Mrs. Dixon, an elderly lady who kicks off the conversation with, "You don't look old enough to be a policeman." He asks if she heard anything the night the Rosenbergs' house was broken into. The old dear can't hear very well these days. However, she did see the three kids running away. Mrs. Dixon elaborates that the same three kids have been roaming the neighborhood pressuring the residents to give them money. They took her wicker porch chair because she didn't give them cash. But Mrs. Dixon doesn't know the kids' names. She's afraid they'll be back.

Adrienne and Cap'n Rufus go to a nice restaurant for dinner. Adrienne works as an editor. Her ex-husband is a lawyer who moved to Atlanta but still calls their son. She warns Rufus that her son Charles has never liked any of the men she's dated since the divorce. They kiss in front of her house when Cap'n Rufus drops her off. Charles comes out onto the porch. Adrienne introduces him to Cap'n Rufus. The teenager isn't friendly.

Cap'n Rufus guesses he should go. "Uh-huh, you should," says Charles. Adrienne sternly says, "Charles Winston Wallace!" Rufus tells her good night. Mother and son go back in the house.

At the Chapel, Joey asks Mac if Mrs. Dixon reported a watch stolen. A kid in metal shop had an old-fashioned pocketwatch. Joey reports about the fight he broke up; one of the kids involved was wearing a letter jacket with a football patch. Cap'n Rufus suggests that Mac get a football team photo from Carver; showing it to Mrs. Dixon might jog her memory.

Joey and Mac speculate about whether or not Cap'n Rufus "got lucky" the night before. Adrienne interrupts their conversation, asking where she can find Rufus. The boys point her in the direction of his office. Adrienne goes inside. 

Cap'n Rufus smiles at Adrienne and tells her that he's been thinking about her all night. Adrienne apologizes for the way Charles acted. She invites him to come over for dinner that night. Cap'n Rufus offers to cook.

Mac knocks on Mrs. Dixon's door, but she doesn't answer. He peeks in the window and sees Mrs. Dixon sitting on the floor of her ransacked living room. Mac goes in the house. He offers to help her to a chair. "Don't you touch me!" shouts Mrs. Dixon, "I'll call the police, I will!" Mac picks up Mrs. Dixon's glasses and helps her put them on. "I am the police, remember?" he says gently. 

Mrs. Dixon keeps repeating that the burglars broke her mirror. Mac uses a lace doily to pick up a shard of glass, hoping they can get a fingerprint off it. Mrs. Dixon's arm is cut and she's wrapped a towel around it. Mac offers to call an ambulance. Mrs. Dixon says her niece is coming to drive her to a doctor.

Mac helps the lady into a chair and asks who hurt her. She whimpers that she couldn't call 911 because it happened too fast. He shows Mrs. Dixon a photo of the Carver High football team. She doesn't want to identify anyone, afraid the kids will follow her to her niece's house. "I want peace. I want to feel safe again," she cries.

In metal shop, Joey watches as Bob counts out a wad of money, which is handed to Charles. Back at the Chapel, Joey asks for time off to visit Doug. Cap'n Rufus promises he can go on vacation after the burglary case is closed. He asks Mac if he got a Carver football photo to show their witness. Mac reports that Mrs. Dixon was roughed up; she's physically okay aside from the gash on her arm and scared out of her mind. He doesn't know if anything was stolen.

Joey tells Cap'n Rufus about the pile of money being flashed during shop. He tells them about Charles and how it "looked like he was getting the cut of some deal." Rufus asks if Joey is sure the boy's name was Charles Wallace. He gets edgy when Joey says yes.

After dinner, Fuller casually asks Charles about himself. Where does he go to school? Charles says he's the starting fullback at Carver. Cap'n Rufus played quarterback; he suggests the two of them get together and toss the ball around on Saturday morning. Charles agrees and seems to have warmed up to Rufus too well. Charles leaves, saying he's going out with some friends. Adrienne informs Rufus that Charles has a 12:30 curfew.

After having sex, both parties talk about how long it's been since they've done that. Adrienne never expected to meet another man until after Charles graduated college. They had such a nice family dinner together and now Adrienne is afraid of ruining a good thing. Cap'n Rufus agrees that good things, like their connection, are rare. Adrienne thinks he better get dressed and leave before Charles comes home.

Cap'n Rufus asks what's become of his jacket. Adrienne tells him it's in the front closet and asks for a glass of water. Cap'n Rufus finds Charles' letterman jacket on the closet floor, which is really just a wardrobe. As he starts to hang it up, he notices a smear of blood on the cuff. Adrienne comes out of the bedroom wrapped in her robe and notices her son's bloody jacket. She thinks he must've gotten hurt roughhousing after practice. Cap'n Rufus isn't so sure.

Fade to Saturday morning. Cap'n Rufus and Charles play a little football. "If you think us playin' ball is gonna make it okay for you to see my mom, you're trippin'," says Charles. Cap'n Rufus tells Charles that he's not trying to replace Charles' dad and he really likes Adrienne. Rufus conversationally tells Charles that he didn't play football consistently enough to earn his varsity letter until senior year.

Charles got his letter as a junior. Cap'n Rufus remarks that he's never seen Charles wear his letter jacket. Dude, of course not, you've known the kid for like a week. Charles says his jacket is dirty and asks if Rufus is checking him out as a cop.

Later, Cap'n Rufus gets a backrub from Adrienne. He notices the nice silver necklace she's wearing. Adrienne brags that Charles gave it to her and it wasn't even her birthday, Mother's Day, or Christmas. It looks expensive to Rufus. Adrienne says Charles saved up for it by doing odd jobs around the neighborhood. "Most kids can't earn this kinda money," says Rufus. 

Adrienne chuckles and asks if Charles is suspected of something. "Everyone at his school is a suspect," says Rufus. She asks what they should do. Cap'n Rufus suggests they take a break from seeing each other until the case is over. Adrienne is okay with it. Cap'n Rufus asks her not to tell Charles about the investigation.

At the Chapel, Mac tells his boss that the only thing stolen from Mrs. Dixon was a sterling silver locket. "Oh man," Cap'n Rufus groans. The fingerprints from the mirror shard match a kid who was arrested last year. What kid, you ask? Why, Charles Wallace, of course. "Damn!" Fuller blurts out, "Charles Wallace is Adrienne's son. He gave his mom a silver locket this weekend." It's Mac's to groan: "Oh, ouch."

Fuller tells them about finding the bloody jacket. Joey reasons the blood could've come from the fight during metal shop. Mac wonders about the guys Charles hangs out with. "We don't have enough on either of them to do jack," says Joey. Cap'n Rufus wants them to stick to Charles and Company. Mac asks if they have enough evidence to bring Charles in. "Fingerprint, locket, jacket," Cap'n Rufus pronounces as though it's the Holy Trinity. He'll handle this himself.

At Adrienne's, Charles tells his mom that he doesn't like Rufus. Adrienne asks Charles to accept Rufus if they start seeing each other again. The doorbell rings. Adrienne is surprised to see Cap'n Rufus. He arrests Charles and advises Adrienne to get her son a very good attorney. 

In the interrogation room, Charles isn't talking. Cap'n Rufus tells the teenager that his fingerprint was found in Mrs. Dixon's house. Charles claims he occasionally mows her lawn and cleans her house. He insists he didn't hurt her. Cap'n Rufus brings up the locket. Charles says Mrs. Dixon gave it to him because he cleaned her attic. 

Charles accuses Rufus of jamming him up because Charles doesn't like the captain seeing Adrienne. Cap'n Rufus asks about the blood on Charles' jacket sleeve. Charles hid it because his mom doesn't like him fighting. 

When Cap'n Rufus emerges, Mac lets him know that Adrienne is waiting in the office. Once their boss is out of earshot, Joey asks, "Think we should hold off on that wedding present?" Cap'n Rufus tells Adrienne that he's releasing Charles into her custody. Adrienne insists her son is innocent. "You never told me he had a record," says Rufus. Adrienne says it was petty; he broke a few windows because he was angry about the divorce. She accuses Rufus of thinking she's a bad mother and storms out.

Joey and Mac cautiously stick their heads in. Mac tells Cap'n Rufus, "You didn't have any choice but to arrest her son." Joey saw Bobby and Davey sneak tools out of metal shop. The boys must be low on cash and off to rob some more senior citizens. 

The three go to the neighborhood and park on the street. They see Bobby and Davey hanging around like they're waiting for someone. Charles arrives. The trio knocks on the nearest door. "If they go inside or start to do anything to the outside, we move," says Cap'n Rufus. The teens push their way into the house. The cops get out of their undercover car.

In the living room, the boys threaten an elderly couple. Cap'n Rufus orders the teens against the wall. Charles makes a break and Rufus follows him. Cap'n Rufus warns that running will only make the penalty worse. Charles is young and can fix his mistakes. Rufus gets a good look at the kid and realizes it's a different black football player. This episode's title is certainly accurate. What a copout!

Case #5.16: "In the Name of Love"

An older man who's probably a gangster meets a younger, geeky man in a warehouse basement. Probable Gangster asks Geek for his pass key and office key, but doesn't say why he needs them. He tells Geek that his contract is being terminated. It seems Geek has made several calls recently to Agent Plum of the FBI. Geek blubbers that it's all a mistake. Probable Gangster tells his goons to make sure no one finds Geek's body. Gangster goes home and sits down to a nice dinner with his teenage daughter and their Golden Retriever. 

At the Chapel, Cap'n Rufus' dart game against Mac is interrupted by the arrival of Agent Plum. The three go to Rufus' office. Gangster's name is Burnback and he's a major crack supplier. Burnback's organization is tightly knit so they can't get anyone undercover. Their only insider has disappeared. The only option left is to get at Burnback through his daughter Lisa. Plum thinks it'll be easy for Mac to win over Lisa. Hold up. Jump Street has two genuine Italian Stallions, but Mac is who they're going with?

"You want me to seduce this girl?" asks Mac, looking uncomfortable. Plum hastily points out that he never used those words. "I am not running a stud farm here," says Cap'n Rufus. With Big Penhall and Little Penhall on staff? I beg to differ. "Didn't you say your orders were to give me whatever I wanted?" asks Plum the weasel. He tells both Cap'n Rufus and Mac the importance of keeping this operation a total secret. 

In a high school cafeteria, Mac quickly spots Lisa. She's a mousy blond in a white blouse and a yellow cardigan. He invites himself to sit with her. We learn her nickname is Mrs. Wizard after Mr. Wizard the TV science expert. She's embarrassed about rambling on about something so boring that it isn't worth repeating, hastily gathers her books, and leaves Mac sitting by himself.

Later that night on the street, Mac breaks up a dispute between a woman and a cabbie. The woman must know him because she calls him Mackie. He doesn't look happy to see her. Strangely, he still offers to let her stay in his apartment rather than a hotel. The yet to be named woman is having none of it. Mac asks if he can call her and take her to dinner while she's in town. She declines.

Mac thought he and the woman were friends. The woman reminds Mac that he dumped her. Mac argues that she dumped him. Mac suggests she leave her job as an ad agent for a food company in Newark and move here. It's safer than Newark and less expensive. This whole setup is confusing and ridiculous. The woman, Samantha, goes to the desk to check in. The clerk apologizes; conveniently, they don't have a room for her because she missed the check-in time and her room was given to someone else. There's an electronics convention in town so all the area hotels have no vacancies.

Mac takes Samantha to his tiny, messy apartment. He makes a lame joke about how the maid hasn't stopped by yet. Mac volunteers to sleep on the floor and let Samantha have the bed. Yet another in a long line of forced romantic interests...

Rufus gets phone call and has a cryptic one-sided conversation about Burnback. That night, Samantha comes out of the bathroom wearing a sports jersey belonging to Mac that she inexplicably still owns.

At school, Mac accidentally spills the spaghetti from his lunch tray all over Lisa's off-white blouse. He apologizes profusely and offers her his flannel shirt to wear. At the Chapel, Plum hears about the spaghetti incident and think Mac is trying to sabotage the investigation. He threatens to have Mac put back in a patrol uniform.

At home, Mac is going a few rounds with a punching bag wearing a wifebeater when Samantha comes home. Samantha needs to change out of her business suit and tells him not to turn around. What's wrong with, gee, I don't know, changing clothes in the bathroom? Mac vents his frustrations about Plum. When he turns around, Samantha is wearing a very short silky bathrobe. Mac goes on about missing this woman and the deep love he still has for her, both of which he has literally never mentioned up until this episode.

They both open their hearts about how meaningless big promotions and successful careers are without someone to share them with. They have the classic "we should stop" conversation which of course devolves into making out. Later, while in search of a midnight snack, Samantha finds Lisa's stained blouse in a bag on the kitchen counter.

Cue the freakout. She wakes Mac up by pulling his hair and yelling at him. He needs to just kick this crazy, abusive bitch out of his apartment. He tells Samantha that he's not allowed to talk about the details of the case, but the blouse is work-related. Mac reveals that they used to be engaged. He wants to take her out for a nice seafood dinner the next night, even though she's clearly fricking nuts.

At school, Mac gives Lisa her clean blouse. Lisa returns his flannel. Mac wants to make up for the spilled food by taking her out for dinner. Lisa can't because her family eats dinner every night at 6:30 together. She invites him to come over for dinner that night.

Back at his apartment, Mac dresses in a shirt and tie. He apologizes to Samantha for not being able to take her out. He now has to have dinner with a suspect. "Must be a very pretty suspect," Samantha snipes. Seriously, what is wrong with her? First she didn't want anything to do with him, then they have sex, and now she's incredibly jealous. Run, Mac, run! Mac promises to take her out the next night. Psycho Samantha wants to cook for him instead.

Mac is awed by the size of Lisa's house. Lisa says her father is a cotton importer. Burnback approves of the fact that Mac turns down a beer and that Mac doesn't use drugs. Burnback wouldn't like it if a boy involved in illicit things dated Lisa. Har har har.

After dinner, Mac suggests to Lisa that they go to dinner again, this time alone. Lisa's parents are going out the next night and they'd have the whole house to themselves; she offers to cook. Mac agrees to come over.

Psycho Sam gripes that there's no food in Mac's apartment except frozen dinners. Mac advises her to get used to those if she wants to live with him. Psycho Sam reminds him that one of them would have to relocate for that to happen. Mac can't go back to Newark. That's okay, though, Psycho Sam miraculously got an interview with a local ketchup company. They kiss and there's a plate of alfredo in Mac's hand.

Cut to Mac at Lisa's house looking like he feels a bit ill. Lisa wants to take him on the grand tour, starting with the bedroom. Lisa shows him a souvenir of Dad's trip to Africa: a black leopard skin on top of her comforter. "I've always wondered what it would be like to make love on it," Lisa says bluntly, "Actually, I've always wondered what it would be like to make love anywhere." 

Mac wants to see the rest of the house. "Let's stay here," breathes Lisa, putting a hand on his chest. Mac looks desperately uncomfortable. Now might be a good time to puke all over the carpet. Lisa assures him that her parents won't be home for hours. She's been waiting to lose her virginity to someone she's in love with.

Mac goes to Plum and demands to be taken off the case: "I'm messing with this girl's head and it's not right." Plum says that Burnback dealing crack isn't right either. Mac doesn't care whether he loses his job or gets busted back to patrol. Plum points out that Lisa could be involved her father's crack business. Cap'n Rufus says to Plum, "Mac is off the case when I say he's off."

In the office, Mac tells Cap'n Rufus that Lisa asked to have sex with him. Mac got out of it by saying he wasn't feeling well (given how much he ate, that was probably true). He thinks Lisa is a good kid and doesn't want to hurt her. Cap'n Rufus thinks hurting Lisa's feelings is a sacrifice that may need to happen if they want to nail Burnback. However, he will take Mac off the case if that's what Mac wants. Mac agrees to stick it out.

In a restaurant lobby, Psycho Sam tells Mac that miraculously, the job with the ketchup company is hers if she wants it. They kiss. "Tony?" says a voice behind them. It's Lisa and she's with her parents. Lisa gives Mac a hard slap in the face. "I thought I made it clear that nobody hurts my daughter," growls Burnback.

Mac tells Psycho Sam that this isn't what it looks like. Psycho Sam slaps Mac in the face. People waiting for tables audibly gasp. 

Back at the apartment, Psycho Sam throws clothes in her suitcase. Mac explains that Burnback is a drug smuggler he's trying to nail. She accuses Mac of trying to nail Lisa too. Mac didn't ask for the assignment. Lisa was the only way into Burnback's inner circle. He wishes he had more time to explain, but "now I have to deal with an angry drug dealer who probably wants me dead." Mac inexplicably wants Psycho Sam to stay. He leaves. "Be careful," she whispers as the door closes.

Mac tells Cap'n Rufus and Plum that he thinks the case is blown. Mac hasn't seen or heard anything they could use as probable cause to arrest Burnback for drugs or any other crime. Suddenly, Mac gets an idea: "Do you know if the black leopard is an endangered species?" Plum looks pleased; it's illegal to import furs of endangered species.

The police and the FBI raid Burnback's house and business. They confiscate the black leopard skin and a fur coat, but don't find any drugs. Mac doesn't think they should mess up Lisa's life until they have a better reason than furs. They're about to leave the warehouse when Cap'n Rufus finds a big tube of crack hidden inside a bolt of fabric. Cap'n Rufus arrests Burnback. Lisa starts to cry and scream. Shockingly, she lets Mac hold her.

Mac goes back home to Psycho Sam. He tells her that they busted Burnback. He notices Psycho Sam's bags are packed. Mac wonders if she's still upset about Lisa. Psycho Sam doesn't think she can juggle both their careers and their relationship. She can't live with a guy who pretends he's in high school and seduces other women.

Mac points out that he doesn't always have to seduce women or pretend to be a teenager. Psycho Sam can't handle the lifestyle that comes with being a cop. Before she leaves, Psycho Sam says, "I love you, Mackie. I always will." "Me too," he says sadly. End of episode.