21 Jump Street rewatch: “The Best Years of Your Life”

Rewatching 21 Jump Street! In season two, episode twenty, “The Best Years of Your Life,” the Jump Street cops face a deep, emotional crisis in which… wait, is that Brad Pitt?


What’s goin’ down: Hanson and Penhall are investigating a series of cat burglaries, believing a local teen is the culprit. When a suspect is caught and arrested, he doesn’t seem like the criminal type. He then commits suicide, leading the Jump Street gang to wonder if something more is going on.

Deep cover.

Deep cover.

Here’s Hanson: Hanson blames himself, fearing that his actions led to the kid’s suicide. Also, he’s seen sporting two earrings in one ear. Maybe this has been in previous episodes, but you can see them in a lot of close-ups here, furthering Hanson’s series-long progression from “straight-laced cop” to “rebellious bad boy.”

Penhall’s prerogatives: Penhall appears to be in denial about the suicide, hanging out at home instead of going to the funeral, and cracking wise during otherwise serious conversations. He later breaks down, revealing how much this bothers him. Penhall is still dating Dorothy the marine biologist, his love interest from the episode “A Big Disease With A Little Name.” She’ll continue to appear in upcoming episodes.

Stress case.

Stress case.

Undercover blues: Hanson and Penhall crash a teen party, where everyone talks suicide and high school angst. Turns out there’s been a whole series of suicides in school, and no one wants to talk about them.

Torn from today’s headlines: You’ve probably guessed that this one’s about suicide. The drama is all about the aftermath of a person’s suicide, and everyone not understanding why it happened.

Hittin' the gym.

Hittin’ the gym.

Goin’ to the chapel: Some new background details in the Jump Street chapel. The upstairs part, where the lockers are, also has a small workout area. (A weightlifting bench, basically.)

Trivia time: Holy crap, it’s Brad Pitt!!! He plays the cool kid in school, and friend of the suicide victim. His hair is ridiculous, but he shows a lot of the charisma and energy that made him a star.

"Just wait 'til you guys hear my Irish accent. You're going to LOVE it!"

“Just wait ’til you guys hear my Irish accent. You’re going to LOVE it!”

Jumpin’ or not? 21 Jump Street is kind of schizophrenic when it comes dealing with important social issues. Sometimes they’re handled with care and sensitivity, and other times they’re used for shock value. They do the latter with this one, going way overboard with the speechifying and high drama. Not jumpin’.

Next: It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well…


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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