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21 Jump Street – Summer DVD Review – Mean Streets and Pastel Houses

photo: FOX
photo: fox

21 Jump Street
Mean Streets and Pastel Houses

Guest Star: Jason Priestley
Season 1, episode 12

Valeria – Sr. Reviewer

There were two things about this episode that distracted me from the general plot. The first one being that Jason Priestley, has basically 5 lines in the whole episode. The second one being that Johnny Depp is absolutely delicious in late 80’s punk attire (studded leather jacket, hair product, plaid pants, etc).

Here’s the deal for our latest episode (also happens to the be finale for the first season), upper-middle-class kids from the suburbs desire to rebel against the life plan laid out for them by joining a punk subculture of vandalism, mosh-pits, concerts, and eventual possible felonies. At the heart of the story is a Mr. Brian Gans, second-in-command of the KKK (that’s for Klean Kut Kids, not the other KKK), a group of teenage boys that make causing “trouble” their business. It’s simple things that cause trouble, like tagging, and noise-making, and curfew breaking. It’s kid stuff basically, but for some odd reason, this excessively bothers some of the police. It bothers them to the point where they’re willing to pull out intense rifles and riot gear in order to deal with a group of bored white kids.

But, perhaps the police are on to something, after all, the guy that leads the gang, is, first of all, not in high school, and he’s got a police record. Lancer is his name, and he’s also got a personality that feeds on being deity-like. Doug and Tom (as per usual) are the ones sent to go undercover on this case. I do sense a bit of jealousy on the part of Doug. He was already to stage dive, and mosh, and wear leather, and cause general mayham, but Capt. Fuller thinks it’s best to give that job to Tom (after all, these are just bored middle class kids, and Doug is decidedly working-class). It was a smart move, because Tom easily befriends Brian and starts to sense that this kid has aspirations bigger than the KKK. There’s one moment when Tom goes over to Brian’s house to spend the night, and it’s roughly 3am, but Brian asks him if it bothers Tom if the lights stay on so he can study. Tom, being the do-gooder that we love, encourages this type of behavior, by backing up Brian’s urges for a game of touch football and literature.

Lancer, on the other hand, will have none of it. Long story short, Lancer gets arrested, the KKK vow to avenge this cruel and unusual punishment, and then get themselves arrested. They all manage to post bail. But their one night in jail has fueled their appetite for “destruction,” and with the help of Lancer, they can take their kiddie krimes to the next level. A massive destruction of police headquarters, setting it aflame. But Tom is there to back up Brian as he confronts Lancer and tell him that he doesn’t want to go through with it, and his friends, if they really think about it, don’t want to either.

Everyone backs away from life in and out of jail with Lancer, and Brian is relieved when he finds out that Tom is actually a cop, and that Lancer is going away to jail. Now he can go to college and live the life he actually wants after his teenage rebellion is over. But, the story ends on a bittersweet note. In the beginning of the episode, Brian ran over with his car (semi-accidentally) someone from a rival gang, and now that person is dead from a blood-clot to the brain (side note: Brian was the one that brought him to the hospital). Tom has to arrest Brian. They both sit together, late into the night outside of a diner as the camera pans away.

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I’m a bit saddened that Jason Priestley is irrelevant in this episode. On the other hand, please more Johnny Depp dressing like Sid Vicious.

Next Episode: Pauly Shore in “Two For The Road,” Season 2, Episode 4

Also, if you can think of a celebrity guest star that I’m blanking on, please contact me and let me know!

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