21 Jump Street rewatch: “In the Custody of a Clown”

Rewatching 21 Jump Street! Season two begins with an episode called “In the Custody of a Clown.” Lest you think that’s a metaphor, the action begins with a guy in a clown mask abducting a kid.


What’s going down: The Jump Street cops are in crisis mode in their search for the missing kid, only to find that his feuding parents aren’t as wealthy as they appeared. Then, plot twist! Turns out the kid’s grandfather is the culprit, and the kid is in on it. It’s all a scam to get back at the kid’s jerk parents.

Nightmare fuel.

Nightmare fuel.

Here’s Hanson: Things go from serious to silly when, hoping that grandpa’s eyesight isn’t what it once was, Hanson disguises himself as the kid’s mom. Yes, Johnny Depp is in drag as a suburban housewife.

Tom Hanson: Soccer mom

Tom Hanson: Soccer mom

Penhall’s prerogatives: When Fuller asks whether Penhall tampered with evidence, Penhall responds, “Hey, it worked for the president.” Kind of funny/sad how that joke has become timeless.

Undercover blues: First, a ransom dropoff leads to a bomb threat, then there’s a car chase, and, finally it goes all Law and Order with a courtroom scene at the end where grandpa defends himself for some reason. Busy episode!

Tamper with evidence? These guys?

Tamper with evidence? These guys?

Goin’ to the chapel: If this one weren’t packed enough, there’s also a subplot where Hoffs is distraught to learn her parents are divorcing. Why she brings her mom to the Jump Street chapel during the kidnapping crisis is anyone’s guess.

Trivia time: Barney Martin, who played Hanson’s cop partner in the pilot, returns in this episode as a different character, the kid’s grandfather. Kurtwood Smith returns as FBI Agent Phillips, the same character he played in the episode “Low and Away.” Veteran actor Ray Walston plays the judge in the courtroom scene, where he apparently thinks he’s in a sitcom instead of a cop show.

Still my favorite Martian.

Still my favorite Martian.

The show’s theme song has undergone a few tweaks, a few of the lyrics have been cut and replaced with just instrumental bits and some new clips from this season have been added.

Jumpin’ or not? What a crazy episode, constantly ping-ponging back and forth from outrageous comedy to dark family drama. All the surprise twists made it a fun, fast-paced watch. It’s jumpin’!

Next week: Under siege!


Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.


About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH. amazon.com/dp/B00859NDJ8
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