Rewatching 21 Jump Street!Talk about perfect timing: This week is Valentine’s Day, and I’m watching the Valentine’s episode. I swear to Cannell that I didn’t plan it this way. It’s season two, episode fourteen, “Chapel of Love.”
What’s goin’ down: It’s Valentine’s Day, and Hanson, Penhall, Ioki, Fuller, and janitor Blowfish don’t have dates. So they hang out at the station after closing for some poker and flashbacks to the worst Valentine’s dates they’ve ever had.
Here’s Hanson: After an episode full of comedy, it ends on Hanson’s flashback, with his cop dad escorting him and his date to a school dance. It’s all fun and kissing, but while at the prom, Hanson’s father is shot and killed while foiling a robbery. He’s never been able to enjoy Valentine’s Day since.
Penhall’s Prerogatives: Penhall’s flashback involves a mistaken identity snafu with a pair of identical twins. He asked out one sister, but unknowingly ended up on the date with the other.
Undercover blues: No cop stuff this week. Blowfish talks about his first date with his future wife, and getting caught by her parents. Fuller’s tale is a flashback to the ‘70s, with him in full-on Shaft regalia. Hoffs joins in the fun after her own V-Day date turns out to be a total nerd. Ioki claims he’s never played poker before, only to win. Bluffing, or not?
Goin’ to the chapel: Different angles around the poker table give us a better look around the Jump Street chapel, revealing a pinball machine and a jukebox in one corner. Another angle reveals a mannequin with sunglasses, a cigarette and a huge novelty hat. Also, this is a full-on poker table, green felt and little slots to hold chips. Not sure what that’s doing in either a church or a police station, but there it is.
Trivia time: This episode aired on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 1988. Mindy Cohn of The Facts of Life returns for another cameo as Blowfish’s wife, Rosa. Hanson has broken up with his girlfriend Amy, last seen two episodes ago. The always-great Don Davis of Twin Peaks and Stargate SG-1 appears for about two seconds as a guy in a diner.
Jumpin’ or not? What an oddball episode. This would never fly on TV today, as there are no dramatic stakes and nothing adds to any ongoing arcs. It’s just a group of friends sitting around swapping stories for an hour. Some of the reminisces are silly and some get more dramatic, but that makes the episode unpredictable. It’s the first of many “look at how experimental we can be” episodes throughout the show’s run. It’s jumpin’!
Next: Get fab in rehab.
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