Rewatching 21 Jump Street! We’re nearing the end, people. I have to admit, I’m feeling Jump Street fatigue. Just like viewers in 1991, I’m ready for the show to be over so I can move on to other things. Unless there’s a huge outcry from you, the readers, I’ll probably skip season five. For now, though, we’re hitting the ball field for season four, episode twenty-four, “Rounding Third.”
What’s goin’ down: Janitor Blowfish is fed up with his son’s incompetent little league coach, so he enlists Penhall to be the new coach. While Penhall attempts to turn this bunch of hapless losers into a bona fide team, the pastime becomes a cop case when he spots one of the kids on a “missing” notice on the side of a milk carton.
Here’s Hanson: We’re told that Hanson is working undercover in the same “district” as the little league, so he can’t get involved.
Penhall’s prerogatives: Penhall agrees to the coaching gig to cheer up his adopted son Clavo, and spend more time with the kid. Clavo has been making these drawings that (somewhat hilariously) show how depressed he is:
Undercover blues: Turns out the kid was taken by his biological father, away from the mother and stepfather, turning the whole thing into a custody issue. Then the kids win their big game thanks to teamwork and self-confidence and all that.
Goin’ to the chapel: When Blowfish answers the phone at the Jump Street chapel, he says he works for “RocketDyne,” where he works on space probes. Fuller catches him doing this, and Blowfish admits it’s because he doesn’t want his son to find out he’s a lowly janitor.
Trivia time: Little Clavo is played by Tony Dakota, who would later go down in infamy as Georgie, the kid who gets his arm ripped off in the gruesome and/or campy opening scene in the Stephen King’s It miniseries. Oh, yes, they float down here. They all float.
Torn from today’s headlines: The practice of putting missing children’s photos on milk cartons began in the 1970s, and was popularized in the early ‘80s. The missing kids also appeared on pizza boxes, junk mail envelopes, and grocery bags. History is really sketchy on how this began, with several different companies claiming to be the first to come up with the idea. Statistics about how effective the pictures were are also sketchy, with no consistent hard data. In the late ‘80s, years before this episode aired, the practice had stopped, because experts argued the pictures were doing more harm than good.
Jumpin’ or not? Basically an hour-long remake of The Bad News Bears, this episode isn’t anything original, but it’s not awful, either. Purely middle-of-the-road television. So… jumpin’ I guess.
Next week: The real Gotham.
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