Rewatching 21 Jump Street! Time for a big two-parter with “Besieged” parts one and two.
What’s goin’ down: A kid from a crack-ridden poor neighborhood is found murdered in an expensive car, one he paid for in cash. It’s a full-on murder mystery, and, yes, everyone’s a suspect.
Here’s Hanson: Hanson’s undercover as a tough punk who’s knowledgeable about cars. The bad kids are drug dealers, as is pretty much everyone in this episode. They’ve had him do the “car expert” thing in a number of episodes now, so I guess we can call that a character trait.
Penhall’s prerogatives: To get a better sense of the neighborhood, Penhall must go back into uniform to go on patrol. He’s not cool with the uniform, but he has no problem swilling coffee like a beat cop. He later learns a few hard lessons about how life on the beat is different than what he learned at the academy.
Undercover blues: In the second half of the episode, Hanson is the one that dons his uniform to partner with the beat cop, to prove that the cop isn’t the nice guy he appears. Hoffs befriends the suspect’s girlfriend, only to see her fall deeper and deeper into drug use.
The big news in part two is Penhall and Hoffs gettin’ it on. Yowza! By the end of the episode, they agree just to be friends.
Goin’ to the chapel: A computer glitch erases Ioki from the system, which has him running around grousing, “I don’t exist.” He can’t work the case until the problem is sorted out.
Torn from today’s headlines: Lots of ‘80s moralizing in this one. Let’s all feel bad about the poor, let’s all feel bad about drug addiction, let’s all angrily shake our fists at scumbag drug dealers, etc.
On the lighter side, the high school kids at the inner-city school all carry beepers, with a jerk principal telling them to turn them off. One kid mentions Nancy Reagan’s famous “Just say no” campaign, describing Nancy as “that lady on TV who looks like a mummy.”
Trivia time: We get the first appearance of the Jump Street chapel’s basement, referred to “Blowfish’s room,” a huge space filled with janitor’s closet-type stuff. It makes a nice place for the characters to have a private, off-the-books talk.
Jumpin’ or not? The hour format serves this show much better a two-hour format. Stretching out this to a two-parter means a slower pace and a lot of filler. Bonus points to the creators for trying something a little more ambitious, but this isn’t the show at its best. Not jumpin’.
Next week: Can I see your ID?
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