Rewatching 21 Jump Street! One thing that’s great about this show is how it would often do these quirky, experimental episodes, breaking the usual “cop show” thing. This episode is one of those, season four episode ten, “Mike’s P.O.V.”
What’s goin’ down: As the title suggests, we get the whole episode from the point of view of the suspect, a troubled teen named Mike, who shoots his teacher’s wife in the head while on the way to school one morning. The rest of the episode follows the ups and downs of Mike’s daily life, not realizing that the two new kids in school are really Hanson and Penhall.
Here’s Hanson: Hanson is mostly in the background in this episode, lurking about and watching Mike from a distance. Someone who’s never heard of this show before and is watching it for the first time might mistake him for the villain at first.
Penhall’s prerogatives: Penhall is undercover not as a student, but as a substitute coach. This is another sign of the show’s producers wising up to the fact that the actors are getting older.
Undercover blues: The big plot twist is that the teacher actually paid off Mike to kill his wife. Even though Mike is now rich (by teen standards), keeping the secret weighs heavily on him. This makes him doubly suspicious of new kid Hanson following him around.
Torn from today’s headlines: Ninja Turtle cereal!
Trivia time: Lots of famous to semi-famous faces in this one. Mike is played by Donovan Leitch Jr. of the glam rock band Nancy Boy. Robin Lively, fresh of the success (?) of Teen Witch, plays the girl Mike is crushing on, and an unrecognizably young Vince Vaughn plays one of Mike’s classmates.
Jumpin’ or not? This is a fun episode that keeps you guessing. Not because of whodunit, but because we know it’s only a matter of time before the noose tightens around Mike. It’s a “ticking clock” story, and it’s played in just enough of a low-key, slice-of-life way to make it an engaging watch. It’s jumpin’!
Next week: Crisis on infinite Jump Streets.
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