Rewatching 21 Jump Street! This week it’s season two, episode seven, “Don’t Stretch the Rainbow,” in which we learn that racism is a bad thing.
What’s goin’ down: At the ironically-named Lincoln High School, racial tensions are on the rise, as cops fear a full-blown riot could break out at any minute. Caught in the middle are a white kid and a black girl – the principal’s daughter, no less – who have fallen in love.
Here’s Hanson: Hanson tries to talk some sense into his racist classmates as he befriends his lab partner, a black kid.
Penhall’s prerogatives: Penhall decides to try his hand at being a stand-up comedian, which doesn’t go well. He spends the rest of the episode asking everyone, “Am I funny?”
Undercover blues: While Hanson and Ioki stake out the principal’s house, shots are fired, forcing Hanson to confront the chase the shooter and confront him in a boiler room. Why, yes, I was hoping Depp would reunite with Freddy Krueger.
Goin’ to the chapel: The racially diverse characters all get a chance to opine on race issues, one by one, during a meeting in the captain’s office. Later, Blowfish, Jump Street’s janitor, gives Penhall advice on what is and isn’t comedy.
Trivia time: We learn more about the characters’ back stories. Hoffs was raised in a well-to-do family with a dentist father, while Fuller grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.
Jumpin’ or not? This is a real Jekyll and Hyde episode, with some of the racial content being forced and unintentionally uncomfortable, but in other cases handled well, most notably a powerful speech delivered by the principal. Jumpin’ but just barely.
Next week: Honor society.
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