Rewatching 21 Jump Street! It’s season two, episode five: “After School Special.” With a title like that, I think we know what we’re in for.
What’s goin’ down: After a teacher is shot by a student, Captain Fuller gets in on the undercover fun by taking over the man’s class, with Hoffs as one of his students.
Here’s Hanson: Hanson gets to know his mom’s new boyfriend, a car salesman named Bob, and then learns Mom’s moving in with him. Drama!
Penhall’s prerogatives: Penhall gets roped into helping Hanson’s mom move into her boyfriend’s place, for some comedy shtick. He also wears some truly epic Hawaiian shirts.
Undercover blues: We get a look at a different aspect of high school life, this time from the teachers’ perspectives. Fuller’s sense of justice conflicts with the faculty’s cynical apathy. When the teachers start packing heat as well as the students, Fuller and Hoffs make arrests on both sides in order to keep the peace.
Goin’ to the chapel: Hanson has a pet guinea pig for some reason, which he’s training to race against the janitor Blowfish’s guinea pig. The other cops are placing bets on which little rodent will win. Sadly, we never get to see the race.
Torn from today’s headlines: This one’s somewhat prescient, sadly, with its theme of weapons in school, as there’s a lot of paranoia about students roaming the hallways with guns. A later scene has the school installing a (phony-looking) metal detector. Then things get tear-jerky when it’s revealed that one of the tough kids never learned how to read.
Trivia time: Hanson’s love of bowling, established in last season’s “The Worst Night of Your Life,” is heavily referenced in this episode. Bowling is something he and his new stepdad-to-be has in common, giving them a chance to talk things out.
Jumpin’ or not? We’ve finally reached the point where we have to stop and ask, “How big is Jump Street’s jurisdiction?” By my count, this is the fourth time our heroes have gone undercover at the really bad school, only it’s a different school each time. Suspension of disbelief notwithstanding, this is a good episode, with some nice twists and turns, and a great turn by Fuller doing the teacher thing. It’s jumpin’!
Next week: She’s having a baby!
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.