21 Jump Street rewatch: “Say It Ain’t So, Pete”

Rewatching 21 Jump Street! With all the high drama of the season premiere over, it’s time to get back to undercover cop stuff in season four, episode two, “Say It Ain’t So, Pete.”

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What’s goin’ down: Hanson and Penhall are undercover at a college bar, where some severe beatings have occurred. Penhall is the bouncer, and Hanson is a regular customer. Meanwhile, Ioki returns to Jump Street and everybody’s studying for the upcoming detectives’ exam.

Study buddies.

Study buddies.

Here’s Hanson: Hanson admits he’s thinking of turning in his badge and leaving the police force. He says he doesn’t know what he’ll do next, except that he’ll weigh his options. Penhall wants his buddy to stay, arguing that Hanson was born to be a cop.

Penhall’s prerogatives: Late nights as a bouncer has Penhall sleeping on Fuller’s couch all day. He learns the tricks of the trade, such as using a flashlight to bash skulls, because it’s perfectly legal to carry one around.

A day at the races.

A day at the races.

Undercover blues: The violence at the bar is traced to an illegal gambling ring, where folks are betting big bucks on poker and horse racing, and getting beaten near to death if they can’t pay. Oh, and they also bet on… turtle races!

Donatello, no!

Donatello, no!

Goin’ to the chapel: Ioki shows little interest in passing the detective exam. Whereas he once expressed interest in climbing the police department ladder and eventually becoming a cop psychologist, he know says he’s changed after being shot. Hoffs passes the exam, and Penhall is furious when he doesn’t pass.

Trivia time: Lots of music in this one. The song “Love Shack” by the B-52s is prominently featured on the soundtrack. Because of music rights, YouTube keeps removing the episode, only for others to keep putting it back up. I don’t care, because I got the DVDs! Another song is performed by voice actress and perennial cutie E.G. Daily (Dottie!), who apparently has quite the successful singing career on the side. The producers also throw in the William Tell Overture during one scene.

Ballad of the gamblers.

Ballad of the gamblers.

Jumpin’ or not? The gambling plot is ho-hum, but all the character moments are really great, showing that these people are moving forward with their lives — in one way or another. I’ve often argued that beyond the cheesiness and the ‘80s glitz, what makes 21 Jump Street worth watching are the likable, interesting characters, and that’s the case with this episode. It’s jumpin’!

Next week: The night life.

 ****

Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH. amazon.com/dp/B00859NDJ8
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