21 Jump Street: "Gotta Finish The Riff"
…Wait, it's already the episode where Jenko gets killed? But he's my favorite character! I ask you: who among us will honor his memory by cutting the rebop? Not this episode, which, although it contains both a school-wide hostage situation and Blair Underwood in a beret, is relatively boring — except when Hanson is an asshole, which is not so much "interesting" as "super-annoying." And "fucking constant." Shut up, Hanson.
"Shut Up, Penhall" count: SHUT UP, HANSON!
Penhall rides his motorcycle in a suit and tie and makes over-the-top Brando grief faces.
Hoffs visits the orcas at the aquarium, wears black, and cries.
Hanson, standing at a scenic river overlook, gazes at Jenko's badge and broods, then hucks the badge into the water. Jenko doesn't have a family that might want that?
Ioki, all in white, practices tai chi. Sad tai chi.
Graveside, where a department higher-up — the same guy who assigned Hanson to Jump Street in the pilot, I believe — gives a weird eulogy that starts out along the lines of "becoming a cop is likely to get you killed," then heads into "I remember every single cop funeral I've attended," before concluding with a tearful and blamey rant about how it's a damn shame Jenko didn't die in the line of duty, "like a man, like a good cop." Apparently, it's a drunk driver who's actually responsible for Jenko's demise. As Penhall crams sunglasses on to hide his tears (or, more likely, Peter DeLuise's inability to produce any on cue), I head to Google to refresh my memory on why Frederic Forrest left the show. I seem to recall that he'd only initially agreed to a few episodes and made sure his contract let him get killed off, but the consensus is that audiences didn't like him, so the producers replaced him.
The captain continues the bitter commentary for a moment before calming himself down, saying he knows that Jenko wouldn't have wanted them to get angry about his death, and himself would have "rapped" to them about balance in the cosmos "and some nonsense about karma." True. The remark gets a chuckle out of Hoffs, but when the captain starts quavery-voicing about moving on, she breaks down. "But there's no one here that will ever forget him," the captain adds. "No one." Hoffs places a red rose on Jenko's casket, and we go to credits, which introduce Steven Williams as Captain Adam Fuller.
Hoffs, in patrol gear, comes into the Jump Street station. Apparently PD command dismantled the team after Jenko's death, because much of the furniture is covered in sheets and, to Hoffs's dismay, the coffee pot contains a pudding-y sludge. Hanson, also in uniform, comes in, and they share a warm hug (a little too warm on Hanson's side, if you ask me); Hoffs says she's doing better with everything, and they compare notes on their temporary assignments over the last month. Hoffs has been freezing her ass off in hooker-wear for Vice, while Hanson got stuck behind a desk at headquarters. Ioki comes in to complain that he's had to write about a jillion parking tickets, and a crash outside heralds the arrival of Penhall, who lumbers in to bitch at Ioki for putting trash cans in his parking spot. Shut up, Penhall. The kahuna from the funeral mercifully enters at that point and calls the meeting to order.
Everyone sits down, and Captain Kahuna explains that, because the Jump Street program was Jenko's idea, everyone agreed to end it after his death and mainstream the team into the department, because it wouldn't be as effective under new leadership. Hanson snappishly seconds that (possibly because Frederic Forrest's involvement is what convinced Johnny Depp to sign on with the show in the first place). But the mayor has reviewed the program, and he likes the idea now. "Must be an election year," Hoffs eye-rolls. Captain Kahuna admits that that motivation might explain the mayor's enthusiasm, but regardless, they're all talented rookies, and the decision from upstairs is to reinstate the program. Hanson is having exactly none of this, bitching that Jump Street worked because of Jenko and that, without him, it'll be "nothing but Charlie's Angels." Kahuna is like, what's your problem — it beats a desk at HQ. Hanson continues to insist that it won't work with someone else in charge: "I mean, who's gonna run it, you?" This whole exchange does feel like a sop to Depp's unhappiness with the casting change, but it's not like giving stroppy lip to superiors is out of character for Hanson, who is rapidly becoming the Dawson of the series for me. Kahuna briefs them on Captain Fuller — worked undercover for 11 years, former NYPD, and so on. Ioki makes a Serpico crack and sighs that, with all due respect, nobody can replace Jenko.
Fuller comes in from the hallway and booms that he has no intention of taking Jenko's place. I guess his late-era-DeBarge attire is supposed to convince the Jump Streeters that he's cool; in any case, they all stare at him as he looms over them. Kahuna excuses himself. Fuller removes his sunglasses, returns the stares, and says he understands that Jenko ruled, but "good cops move on to the next case," so if they want to sulk, they can leave. Nobody moves or speaks. Fuller starts to say that, though he didn't know Jenko, he's sure Jenko was a good guy. Hanson interrupts, "He was a great guy." Fuller's like, great guy or not, he sucked at administration and interior design, and you guys can do what you want with the space out here, "but that's my office now." Hanson fumes. The door's always open to them, Fuller adds, but "knock first." "Any other changes, sir?" Hoffs snits. Fuller pleasantly reminds her that he's not in uniform and she doesn't have to call him "sir," but Hanson tramples that olive branch by blaring, "Are there any other changes?" Instead of announcing his intention to "change" Hanson's nose to a flatter and more broken shape if he doesn't show his superiors some goddamn respect, Fuller says yes, he does see room for improvement in some areas. He levels a "shut up, Hanson" stare at Hanson, and he is far from the only one. Cut the rebop, Hanson.
Cut to a very crowded Jump Street station, crammed with desks and personnel. Hanson and Penhall weave through the crowd and complain about all the changes Fuller is making, then complain some more when Ioki reminds Penhall to file some form or another. Fuller bellows for Hanson and Hoffs. As they reluctantly head for Fuller's office, Penhall reminds Hanson that Fuller is his boss and can make all their lives hell if Hanson doesn't rein in the attitude. Word, Penhall. "I'm getting behavioral advice from you?" Hanson asks. Valid point, but: still. Then Penhall gets into an argument with some rando who allegedly stole a yo-yo from Penhall's desk.
Fuller gives Hanson and Hoffs their brief: the school board at Grant High promoted a Joe-Clark-type principal, hoping he'd make a dent in the school's tough reputation. Instead, Principal Madigan made the mistake of slapping the "president" of a Blood gang in front of the whole school and kicking him off school grounds. (I know I wondered this in the pilot recap, but why does a dude like that still go to school? Furthermore: the "president"? Do the writers think gangs function like extracurricular clubs?) The kid's name is Reggie Brooks, and in order to save face, he's now trying to kill Madigan, as are his fellow gang members. Fuller adds that Reggie has a lengthy juvie record, but turned 18 last week and is now on the hook for adult punishment should he commit a felony. Again: not understanding why a gang leader who's attained his majority is bothering with a high-school diploma, much less with killing a principal for showing him up. Madigan has refused police protection, because he's just as proud as Brooks and doesn't want to seem intimidated; he doesn't know Jump Street is sending undercover officers in, and if he finds out, he'll blow their cover.
Hoffs isn't sure how Fuller expects them to get close to Madigan and ID various gang members. Fuller shrugs that they're undercover cops; they can figure it out. He adds that he's sending them in armed. Hanson isn't crazy about that idea and says Jenko never did that, but Fuller's like, a Blood is trying to kill a principal, so get over it.
Hoffs sighs and leaves. Hanson stays behind to mention that he usually works with Penhall on this type of assignment. Fuller asks if he's dating Hoffs, which prompts Hanson to kvetch that Fuller's made it clear he's the boss and he's sorry he said anything. Fuller explains, more patiently than Hanson's "YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD" bitchface warrants, that Brooks likes the ladies, so Hoffs is more useful to them in that regard than "Penhall in a wig." Fuller pointedly adds that he's not a bad guy. "Neither am I," Hanson moroses. Well, "bad" is a little strong. "Bratty" would do it. Fuller says he knows that.
School. The Bloods disembark from their low-rider. Almost all of them have kind of a lot of blue on, under the circumstances; the red bandannas they have tied around various extremities wouldn't seem to cancel that out, but maybe there isn't a Crip presence at the school? …What do I know, most of what I "know" about gangs is shit I heard on NPR. The Bloods take about five hours to walk up the front steps and push a few nerds out of the way to make sure we know that they're dicks.
Hoffs joins the third-year French class, making sure to give the teacher attitude so the other kids know what her deal is. The teacher prims that perhaps Hoffs's French isn't up to third-year standards; Hoffs responds, in French, that her French is fine, but clearly the teacher just wants to show off in front of the class. The teacher's like, I'll let that go, but don't try that shit with Madigan.
Cut to Madigan himself, complimenting Hanson on his refreshing attitude. This is how you can tell Hanson is undercover. Heh. Also, he's wearing owlish glasses, a nerdigan, and an actual pocket protector jammed with pens. Hanson's undercover persona dorks out about "a computer facility with mainframe access" (drink) while Madigan praises his transcript, which is printed on dot-matrix paper with holes punched in the side (drink). Hanson pretends to worry about rumors of a "disciplinary problem" at the school, but Madigan assures him it's under control.
Outside, Reggie "Blair Underwood" Brooks gets out of a cab, dressed in the fugly oversized trench coat Dylan McKay wore to his father's funeral and carrying a briefcase.
Hanson asks for a hall pass. Headed to his first class, he runs into Brooks, who asks if Madigan is in. Hanson says he's in the office, and adds that he's "a swell guy." Brooks is like, riiiight, and heads into the office, and of course Hanson doesn't recognize him from his mug shot because he's…wearing eyeglasses here? Nice police work, twerp. Hanson does look back at him, but keeps walking.
Brooks barges past the receptionist and into Madigan's office. He points a gun at Madigan and says that he pushed the wrong guy around this time.
Hanson makes his way to class.
Brooks lurches out of the office, holding Madigan as a hostage, and shoots into the air to scare everyone.
Hanson hears the gunshot, dumps his bookbag in a trash can, and takes off running towards the office.
Brooks herds everyone into the middle of the room.
Brooks will shoot Madigan if anyone in the room tries anything. Why doesn't he just kill him? You take a hostage to get something else, to have leverage. Brooks just wants everyone to know he's not a punk. Why not just shoot him and leave? Or stop coming to school?
Hanson peeks around some lockers and assesses the situation.
Repeated shots of the time approaching 9 AM finally pay off as Brooks's henchmen burst into various classrooms and menace them with guns. Again, not seeing the plan here; if you want to control a class of 30 people with a six-shot pistol, you'd better hope nobody decides to rush you and take their chances with your target accuracy. But it seems to work; the students cower, except for Hanson, freaking out in the hallway, and Hoffs, staring somewhat provocatively at French III's designated captor. He stares back like she's the $1.99 buffet.
In the hall, Hanson lurks as a Blood chains up the doors of the school. Another Blood catches sight of him, but Hanson fells him with a girly roundhouse and flees up the stairs. The Blood gives chase and tackles Hanson, and Hanson manages to get free and put a gun on the guy — but then another Blood rushes up behind Hanson and puts a gun on him.
In the office, Brooks is ordering a secretary to call Channel 11 and boasting that the Frazier bloods "are the homeboys that do more than mad, we get even." Then Brooks dons a beret so we'll know he means business. Madigan stupidly tells him he'll do a lot of time for this, but Brooks is like, you're the one in jail right now, and whaps him in the face. We get a shot of a cowed Madigan still managing to glare at Brooks through the "blood" from his face wound. (It looks like someone stuck a melted Colorform to his eyebrow.)
Hanson is frog-marched in. After some more chest-thumping, Brooks pretends he's going to kill Hanson, then says it's just a joke. Hanson takes advantage of a brief distraction and takes cover behind the front desk, and IDs himself as a police officer while aiming his gun at Brooks. Brooks puts his own gun to Madigan's head; the henchmen cock theirs and aim at Hanson. It seems like killing Madigan isn't really an option for Brooks if he wants to control the situation, and Hanson should probably know that, but Hanson puts down his gun anyway.
Hoffs's classroom. Madigan comes over the PA to ask everyone to remain calm as Hoffs tries to reach into her purse for her sidearm. She manages to sneak the gun into the purse of the girl in front of her; her shushing the girl catches the attention of the designated henchman, who approaches Hoffs to sleaze, "You're very pretty, aren't you?" Hoffs smiles flirtatiously.
Outside the school, SWAT has arrived. A TV reporter is doing a stand-up amongst the police cars as Fuller, Ioki, and Penhall arrive to get the brief from Buckley, the hostage negotiator (played by Robert Picardo, who's probably best known as The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager). Buckley says Brooks is kind of all over the place, screaming at them on the phone "every five minutes"; Buckley isn't sure what Brooks wants — "his own talk show, maybe?" — but he does know Brooks has made Hanson. The Jump Streeters look anxious, but Fuller tries to sound hopeful when he says that at least they haven't found Hoffs yet.
Well, they have, in a way; cut to a Blood dragging Hoffs into the principal's office as a prize for Brooks."Not bad," Brooks says, and wants to know why he hasn't met her before.She snots that he must have been too busy getting knocked out by the principal, which she heard about "way over at Jefferson." The Blood is suspicious that she's the second new student to transfer in that day, and wants to check her out — and with good reason; when she first came in, Hoffs said she transferred from Riverside, not Jefferson — but Brooks says he'll do it himself, and makes with the grabby while frisking her. The Blood looks through her bag. Hoffs tries not to barf while delivering the line, "Let me know if you find something you like." A sweaty Hanson broods.
Her story checks out, and she and Brooks trade single entendres for a few minutes; then Hoffs, in the guise of flirting, tries to ascertain what Brooks wants out of the hostage situation. Brooks doesn't reveal anything, but falls for her "player" act, saying he's a player too, and stroking her face. He puts his arms around her and his hands over hers on the gun, asking if she's ever shot anyone. Nobody who didn't deserve it, she says bravely. Brooks aims Hoffs's hands at Hanson's head, asking if she's ever killed a cop. "This isn't funny, you're scaring me," she says, meaning it, so he says he's only kidding and shoots the ceiling instead. Everyone flinches. "I thought you were a player," Brooks says, disappointed. Hoffs says she's not a killer, and Hanson butts in that Brooks isn't either — he didn't think "this thing" through and has no plan. That hits a nerve; Brooks says unconvincingly that maybe he plans on killing Madigan for humiliating him. "Oh, I guess I was wrong — that's a great plan, Reggie!" Hanson snaps. And Hanson's plan to snot off to a guy who has a gun on him is so awesome? Hanson snarks something else about the "gangland Hall of Fame" before saying more seriously that, if Brooks kills Madigan, his life is over. Brooks grits that his life ended long ago. Wonder what the backstory is on that remark? Yeah, me too. Don't hold your breath waiting for it.
Outside, Ioki and Penhall pester Fuller to let them do something. He reminds them that he cares about Hoffs and Hanson too, but until they know what Brooks wants, or can find an entrance or exit the gang hasn't sealed off, there's nothing to do.
Inside, the gang herds the captives into the auditorium. Brooks has changed clothes; he stands on the stage, surveying the crowd, and the Bloods fire shots over their heads to get their attention. Brooks introduces himself as the "acting principal" (heh) and recaps the situation for the audience while another Blood, Hoffs, and a gagged Madigan sit uncomfortably onstage. Pan over to Hanson, also gagged (Brooks for president!), as Brooks introduces him as a cop, then tries to foment anti-undercover-cop sentiment. "With students like you, we need cops on campus!" yells one teacher. A Blood subdues him, but not before the teacher Shatners, "What in God's name do you want?"
Outside, Buckley hands Fuller the phone, saying Brooks has a demand. Uh, aren't you the negotiator? Brooks, who has changed clothes yet again, asks for 20 pizzas and 20 cases of beer. Brooks for president! Fuller asks what they get in return, so Brooks asks Hoffs, perched on his lap, what he should offer. She suggests the sophomore class, as they're "wimps anyway." Fuller agrees, but won't okay the beer; Brooks blows right past this to order half the pies with sausage, half with pepperoni, and no anchovies: "I see one anchovy, I kill the librarian." Cute line, but not exactly in character.
After another warning shot, the Blood from French class asks the sophomores to raise their hands, then yells, "Sophomores, go home." Heh. Nobody moves, so he has to scream at them to get moving. The Bloods don't seem to have a system for checking IDs, so I don't understand why students from other grades don't pretend they're sophomores and leave too, but whatever.
SWAT perimeter. TV reporters note the release of the tenth grade as the pizza-delivery van shows up and toots its novelty horn. The camera follows it right up to the door, and makes a big show of keeping the delivery guy's face out of frame, but we can tell from the thunder thighs on the guy that it's Penhall. A Blood is sent out to take delivery, which Penhall refuses to complete until he gets paid for the pizzas (for the record, he's only holding eight boxes). The Blood is confused at his gun's failure to illuminate the situation for Penhall, and when his compadre comes over to try to hustle Penhall along, Penhall's like, go ahead and shoot me, because if I come back without the money, my boss is going to do it for you. The Bloods give up on reasoning with him and herd him inside.
Elsewhere, Ioki is parkouring up the side of the building to the roof with a headset on. Fuller walks him through the process of climbing into the heating unit and shimmying through the vents to the outer office. He's got five minutes; then Fuller will get Brooks on the phone.
Brooks orders Penhall patted down, despite his henchman's assertion that he's too "thick" to be a cop. Penhall just wants to get paid and get back to his truck. Hoffs fondles Brooks's bicep as Brooks tells Penhall to "shut up and have some pizza."
Aoki crawls through the heating ducts.
Hoffs has unearthed Brooks's file, including his SAT scores. Turns out Brooks is a good student; he even got an A in English. "Hey Reggie, if you're so smart, how come you're so dumb?" Hanson bleats. Your mother, Hanson, Jesus Christ — SHUT UP! Brooks levels his gun at Hanson's throat and says he's sick of Hanson telling him he doesn't know what he's doing. "What are you doing?" Penhall asks through a mouthful of pizza. Hoffs chimes in that this has been fun, but she's not planning to live there. Brooks is about to spazz out on her when the phone rings; it's Fuller, who's like, we're over it out here so tell us what you want already. "What you got?" Brooks stalls. Fuller says they'll talk to the judge and work something out, but first Brooks has to tell them what he's after. Brooks isn't psyched that he has to come up with something on the spot, especially not in front of his henchmen and hostages, who will then know he's flying by the seat of his pants, but he bluffs, asking if anyone wants anything. Penhall wants his pizza money; Hoffs wants to pee. Har. Brooks ignores this to order a black T-top Trans Am with "a compact-disc sound system and a phone" (drink), and pinstripes. Hoffs says pinstripes will look cheap, so he says to forget the pinstripes. He also wants one thousand dollars cash, but changes his mind to ten thousand. Hoffs nods approvingly. He's in over his head, we get it, cut the rebop.
Ioki continues through the ducts.
Brooks winds up his pitiable demand list with "and an interstate map, that's what I want." Fuller says fine: they get him that stuff, he releases everyone inside. Brooks will think about it, and asks how he can trust Fuller. As Fuller is reassuring him, naturally Ioki falls through the ceiling onto the pizza table at that exact moment. Brooks hauls him up out of the pile of debris and mozzarella to say, "You better not be another cop."
Outside, Fuller pulls the Trans Am up to the school entrance.
Inside, Brooks ties Ioki up while Penhall rambles on about quitting school, and offers Madigan some pizza: "Better hurry, only 147 slices left." Ioki chuckles, and Brooks backhands him: "You think that's funny, cop?" Apparently he did; thus the chuckle. God, Brooks, take your Guido car and leave already. Brooks rants about not trusting Fuller and waves the gun around; he's clearly losing it as he says that the whole thing's getting too complicated. Madigan asks what Brooks expected Fuller to do and adds that Brooks is smarter than this, which occasions another rant from Brooks, this one on the subject of adults telling him he's smart but does dumb things, or something. Wait, so…this is why Brooks became "president" of a gang? The inconsistent criticisms of adults…unsettled him? I don't get it. He blames Madigan for his problems some more and tells everyone to shut up so he can think. Ioki takes a page from Hanson's book of recklessly rude interaction with kidnappers by telling Brooks to give it up, there's no way out. Brooks evenly tells him that he'd better hope there is. Brooks contemplates while Hoffs watches uneasily.
Outside, Fuller tensely honks the horn.
Penhall doofs, "Hey man, cheer up — your ride's here!" Brooks and Hoffs inspect the car from the window; Brooks grumps that it had better have a phone. Hanson points out that the cops have come through on their end of the deal, and asks what Brooks is going to do for them, and whether he's going to leave his boys to take the fall. I probably don't need to mention that he does it in the same suicidally entitled tone he's used all episode. Brooks smugly responds that the henchmen will only do six months because they're under 18; as the Jump Streeters listen with worried looks and Madigan dozes (heh), Brooks gives a speech about brotherhood and how he's going to disappear into the night or some horseshit, and the Latino henchman doesn't like the sound of that, asking if Brooks is just going to bail on them. Brooks BSes that he'll come back for them, and orders Hoffs to come with him. She's like, hell to the no, but gives in when he yells at her. Latino Henchman continues to protest, but Brooks says this is best, as even Hanson would agree. A ringing endorsement, to be sure. Brooks grabs Hoffs and heads for the door.
Outside, Buckley has bad news for Fuller, introducing him to the girl into whose purse Hoffs snuck her badge and gun. Just then, Brooks bursts out the front door with a gun on Hoffs. Everyone watches, breath held, as Brooks stuffs Hoffs into the front seat, then clambers in and peels out. Fuller tells Buckley to warn dispatch that Hoffs is a hostage.
Everyone is still just sitting around the office. The Bloods don't know what to do; one of them notes aloud that he can't believe Brooks ditched them. "You think he cares about you?" Hanson blares obnoxiously. "He's a Blood, he cares," one of them protests, but doesn't sound like he believes it himself. Latino Henchman says they can use the cops they have as leverage to get out of there, so another Blood begins to untie Hanson and Ioki in preparation for moving out. Hanson and Penhall exchange a plan-ful glance/nod, which Penhall passes on to Ioki, and then: elbows, guns misfiring, karate and fisticuffs. Madigan: baffled. Bloods: arrested.
Brooks speeds towards…Indiana. I don't know. Hoffs keeps playing along as Brooks drives with one hand and twirls the gun with the other. She adjusts her already very short skirt up an inch or two to give Brooks a good look at the gams, which prompts him finally to put the gun on the dash so he can reach over and try to get to third base. Then the coolant and fuel lights go on, and while he's distracted by that, Hoffs elbows him in the face, grabs the gun, and informs him that he's not going to Indiana and if he moves, she'll blow a hole in his head.
The rest of the Jump Street team is in the car, trying to meet up with Brooks's car. Hanson hopes Hoffs is okay, which of course means a cut to…
…Hoffs, reading Brooks his rights and totally in control of the sitch. Hanson barges out of the car and overzealously cuffs Brooks while Hoffs is like, nice of you guys to show up, and thanks Fuller for thinking to deliver the car nearly empty of gas. He asks if she read Brooks his rights. "You're not the only good cop in this department, sir," Hoffs says, and Fuller reminds her again that he's not in uniform. "Cops like you are always in uniform," Hanson snots. That's rich coming from the biggest tight-ass in the division, and also, don't talk to your boss like that, buttmunch! He didn't kill Jenko, and you're a rookie — lose the fucking attitude! Hoffs assures Hanson that she's okay, and they head for the car without even saying goodbye to Fuller. Fuller, for his part, fails to call Hanson out on either his crappy handling of the hostage situation or his even crappier tone of voice. Instead, he shouts after them that they can let the uniforms process Brooks, and invites the team out for pizza. They stares at him like he's wearing a hat made of shit until he says it's a joke. And…scene? Seriously? Nobody's going to kick Hanson in the nuts?
Tags: 21 Jump Street bitchin' Camaro Blair Underwood Charlie's Angels Colorforms Dawson Leery DeBarge Dylan McKay Frederic Forrest hey cut the rebop! Joe Clark Marlon Brando nerdery please welcome the vice president of the drama club Serpico shut up Hanson snottery Star Trek: Voyager TAKING IT PERSONALLY TV William Shatner