Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Brothers DeLuise on 21 Jump Street

Posting this recap because family is such an important part of Thanksgiving. Hope everyone enjoys their day of eating turkey and being together!

In the Chapel squadroom, Peter DeLuise's real younger brother Michael, sporting almost-shoulder-length hair and old clothes, is sound asleep (and snoring). His feet are propped on Doug's desk. Judy pokes him in the shoulder a few times, but he doesn't move. McCann rouses their guest and asks what he's doing there. Michael rubs his eyes and gives the obvious answer, "Sleeping." McCann tells him he can't do that in the Chapel. "Why not?" asks Michael, "This seems as good as place as any."

Judy tells Michael there's a homeless shelter down the street with "clean beds and everything." Michael says he belongs here. Judy and McCann exchange a what-the-hell-is-this-guy-on look. McCann tells him the Chapel is only for cops and criminals. Michael flashes his badge and explains he was told to report to the Chapel. Judy is embarrassed and apologizes. Michael shrugs, "No apologies needed, I like churches." He introduces himself as Joey Penhall. Given this episode's title, there's no way that's a coincidence.

Judy says they already have a Penhall on staff. When Joey explains that he's Doug's brother, Judy's expression shows she's never heard of him before. She asks if he's joking. Joey says earnestly, "No, I don't think so. Unless my dad lied." Brains clearly do not run in the Penhall family, even though looks certainly do.

Fuller comes in and shakes the hand of Jump Street's latest addition. Doug arrives and wants to know what everyone's looking at. "Hey, big brother, long time, no see," Joey greets. Doug shocks everyone present by punching Joey square in the face. Fuller catches the rookie before he hits the floor. Theme song.

At Casa de Penhall, Doug is cooking dinner and Clavo is coloring at the kitchen table when they hear a knock. Doug opens the door. Joey has a nice bruise on his jawline and admits he had "a knuckle tattoo coming." Doug wonders what Joey could possibly want; Joey wants to catch up. 

Clavo appears and asks who Joey is. Joey eyes the kid and asks if his brother has "a wife or two." "Not anymore," says Doug. Joey introduces himself to Clavo, shakes his hand, and asks what his name means. "It means...nail," Clavo says slowly, still unsure of his English. 

Joey's eyebrows almost disappear into his bangs: "Ya named yer kid Nail?" Doug shortly explains Clavo is his nephew. Joey asks, "Who named him Nail?" His mother did, obviously. Doug demands to know what the hell Joey is doing at his house.

Joey ignores him and keeps talking to Clavo. He asks what being Doug's brother makes him, relative wise. "It makes you nothin'," Doug says angrily. Joey asks to come in. "Like I got a choice," Doug responds. Joey steps inside. Doug gives Joey he has 5 minutes. Joey isn't sure he can fill his brother in on 5 years in that amount of time.

"Why don't you start with yesterday and work backwards?" Doug suggests. Joey recently graduated the police academy and requested Jump Street because Doug is the only family he has left. And let's be honest, with his baby face, Joey would've ended up there anyway. Doug understands, "All the bad stuff is over, [so] you wanna be brothers again...Pop was dyin' and you just left.

Joey protests that he didn't know how to handle it; he was 15 at the time, just a kid. Doug fires back that he was 17, AKA not much older. He grew up fast being left behind to watch their father die of alcoholism. Doug didn't know how to handle the situation either, but he didn't run away. Joey agrees that he was always the troublemaker, but he changed; he's a cop, fer cryin' out loud. Doug reminds him that a lot of cops aren't great at being people. Joey repeats that he wants to be back in his brother's life.

Doug sighs and delivers a nice monologue about how he's waited a long time for Joey to come back and tap his special knock on the door. After Joey ran off, Doug hardly left the house because he was afraid of missing it; he used to think about what kind of speech he'd give, then he decided he couldn't forgive Joey. He never wanted to hear his brother's special knock again. "You shoulda put in a doorbell," Joey sasses. Doug growls, "You're a riot. Get out."

As Joey is bodily pushed out of the apartment, he begs for another chance. He has nobody except for Doug. "You got no brother," Doug says before slamming the door in his face.

In Fuller's office, the captain meets with a worried father, Mr. Morgan. His teenage daughter Stephanie is missing and apparently "got sucked in with a group of crazies called Heaven's Family." Fuller understands they're a religious group. "They're a damn cult is what they are," says Mr. Morgan. Fuller explains that cults are protected under the law as religious organizations. Mr. Morgan asks if that rule applies when the group is involved in things like drug trafficking.

Fuller assembles the officers in the squadroom. He needs a volunteer because the cult assignment will be a 24-hour-a-day role. Whoever goes undercover will have to completely give up their personal life. Joey offers to take the case, "seein' as how I got no pending engagements with relatives or friends." It's an obvious jab, but nobody comments. Fuller tells the rest of the team they'll be researching background information on Heaven's Family.

Joey enters the Heaven's Family house and is greeted by a brunette named Rachel, who looks a lot like the missing girl Stephanie. Joey explains that he saw the EVERYONE WELCOME sign. Rachel offers him a glass of punch and they go in another room to drink it. Did nobody ever teach Joey what can happen if you drink the literal Kool-Aid?

Rachel asks if Joey is from the area. "Sorta...If you call sleepin' in a doorway down the street livin' around here," says Joey. Rachel asks if Joey has any family. He honestly replies, "None that wants anything to do with me." Rachel understands and invites him to stay for dinner. Joey thinks she's asking him out and agrees.

Later, everyone sits in the living room eating fried chicken and mashed potatoes off paper plates. Rachel explains the Heaven's Family philosophy: replacing all the hate in the world with love. In their society, there's no hate, greed, or loneliness and "we give our love freely." Free love, huh? I'm getting a very Charles Manson vibe.

The next day, Joey calls Fuller from a phone booth to say he's going to the Heaven's Family camp for a weekend retreat. Fuller doesn't think it's a good idea; nobody told Joey where the camp is. Fuller points out that's because they don't want anyone to go looking for him. Joey's no sucker and dismisses the Family's beliefs as "hocus-pocus, lovey-dovey crap." Fuller tells him anyone can get lured in by a cult.

Joey reminds the captain he can't follow the narcotics lead if he doesn't go. Rachel comes over to say the bus is leaving. Joey quickly pretends he's talking to his Aunt Anne, hanging up with a sweet "Don't cry on the phone, it makes me ill." Like Rachel won't be suspicious after Joey told her that he's estranged from his whole family.

A school bus bumps its way down a country road, stopping at what looks like a sleepaway camp. A crowd of people swarm the bus and hug the passengers as they disembark.

In a dining room filled with long picnic tables, Heaven's Family chows down on rolls and salad. Joey asks, "When's the protein comin' out?" Rachel explains that they're vegetarians and grow their own organic produce. Is that what they call marijuana these days? Joey wants to know how the compound is paid for. Rachel says they sell flowers, arts and crafts, and clothes. A man named Joshua calls for attention and welcomes everyone on behalf of their spiritual leader David. Can anybody say "Waco"?

"It's hard to be a young person in this world today," he starts, "How many of our guests today can honestly say, 'I have love in my life?' I mean real love, pure love." Nobody raises their hand. "That's what I thought," says Joshua, adding that society and the planet cannot survive if people don't accept love and reject hatred.

At the Chapel, Mac brings Fuller a computer records check on Heaven's Family. They're clean, except for one thing. It seems that Mr. Morgan filed a report at another precinct about the group running a prostitution ring. The investigation was dropped for lack of evidence. Fuller wants to talk to Mr. Morgan again. 

In the dining hall, the Heaven's Family members put their arms around each other and sway to religious music. Joey breaks away and sits down, fanning himself. He checks his watch. Rachel comes over to get him back in the circle. "It's 3 AM. Don't you people ever sleep?" Joey asks. Rachel chuckles that Joey's cute, kisses him, and pulls him to his feet.

Joshua enters the mens' cabin, singsonging, "Morning brings a new day! A new day brings more love!" The others join in as they wake up. Joshua tries to get Joey out of bed. "It's 5 AM!" Joey bellows at him. Joshua tells him that an hour spent sleeping is an hour wasted. "If you don't mind, I'd like to waste about 8 more hours," says Joey. Joshua practically dumps Joey out of his bunk bed.

Joey joins the rest of the cult on the lawn, where they're doing jumping jacks. Joey wears out faster than a recent police academy grad should, but I'll chalk that up to lack of sleep. There's a montage of them singing more hymns, playing Red Rover, and making wreaths.

The Heaven's Family kids sit in a circle on the grass and talk about their lives. Rachel's father never loved her, just his job. When her best friend died of a crack overdose, Rachel's dad said he didn't have time to help her deal with her grief. 

The others' stories are similar. A black boy describes being beaten by a gang. A redhaired boy with glasses was beaten by his father. A girl was sexually abused by her father.

Joey isn't sure he wants to unpack his emotional baggage just yet, but eventually starts talking: "My old lady died when I was 4, actually, she killed herself. Starting when I was about 6, my pop, he started drinkin'...boozin', uh, a lot. By the time I was 15, he was really sick. The doctor said it was too late; his liver was almost gone. Me and my brother, we didn't know what to do." No teenager would. Hell, sometimes people's adult children don't know how to cope. Joey ran away right after that.

Joshua asks if that's what led Joey to Heaven's Family. Joey goes on that he's been living in hotels or on the streets for the last 5 years, moving around a lot. He came back home, got a job, and tried to reconnect with his brother. The reunion didn't go as planned, which I'm sure they can tell by the nice bruise. Joey thought Doug would welcome him with open arms "instead of a clenched fist."

Joey wraps up, "When I was a kid, I thought the only thing family was for was to share pain. That was the only thing I knew growin' up. 5 years on the street changed my mind about that; 5 minutes with my brother changed it right back." Rachel comforts him that Joey has a new family now.

In Fuller's office, the captain questions Mr. Morgan about the false prostitution report. Mr. Morgan asks them to understand. Doug understands that he lied again to get Heaven's Family investigated. Mr. Morgan is upset because, "They took my little girl away." Fuller is sympathetic, but, legally, there's nothing he can do.

Mr. Morgan blames himself: "All I was givin' her were material things. I wasn't givin' her love; no one was." Yeah, Rachel is definitely really Stephanie Doug asks what that has to do with anything. Mr. Morgan explains how cults "find some kid who isn't getting any love from her own family and then they take the place of the family." The significance of this statement is not lost on Doug, who immediately looks guilty. Fuller is concerned too and orders, "Pull Joey outta there."

Back at the compound, Joshua initiates new members into Heaven's Family. They repeat after him that will symbolize their acceptance of love and rejection of hate by rejecting their old names. Rachel kisses Joey and says, "Welcome to Heaven's Family...Abel."

Doug and Judy arrive at the camp; Judy found the address by looking up the land deed. Doug tells Joshua they're looking for Joey Penhall. Joshua assures them they don't know anyone by that name. Doug asks if he has to tear apart all 20 acres to find Joey. Joshua says they're welcome to do so if they have a warrant; Heaven's Family isn't involved in anything illegal. He's sorry they wasted their time and wishes them a peaceful trip home.

Doug grabs Joshua and says they're not leaving without Joey. "What if I don't wanna leave?" Joey asks, appearing suddenly. He informs them his name is Abel now. Doug tells Joey to drop the act; these people aren't dealing drugs like they thought. Joey knew that from the start. He wants to stay there because he feels loved. Doug tells Joey they can still fix their relationship and tries to drag him to the truck. Joshua shouts that trying to kidnap Joey is a felony. Judy herds Doug back into the driver's seat.

Around the table in the Chapel, Doug asks if anyone has any ideas about getting Joey out of the cult. Judy asks how deprogramming works. Fuller tells her the cult member is kidnapped and locked in a room with someone trying to get through to them. But kidnapping is still a felony and "we stop kidnappings; we don't do 'em." Mac asks what Fuller would do if it was Kip. "Whatever you do, I don't wanna know about it," says Fuller.

Doug tells Fuller he needs the interrogation room over the weekend to talk to a suspect. Judy already cancelled her weekend plans.

The next morning, Doug and Rachel stand in front of an office building trying to sell flowers to passersby. Joey's sales pitch needs a lot of work. Suddenly, a champagne colored panel van makes a screeching U-turn. Doug jumps out of the passenger. Joey tries to run to Rachel, who's on the next corner. Doug and Mac tackle Joey. Joey swings at them a few times before Mac can handcuff him. 

Rachel drops her bundle of flowers when she hears the commotion, crying, "Abel! Call the police! They're kidnapping him!" Mac and Doug toss the still struggling Joey into the van. Rachel puts her hands over her mouth in horror.

Doug fireman-carries Joey into the Chapel's interrogation room. Judy handcuffs the younger Penhall to the radiator. Doug requests that his coworkers go next door and get Joey a cheeseburger. Judy and Mac leave. Doug asks Joey if he's hurt. 

"Joshua warned me about you. He said you'd try to do this," says Joey, "He said you'd try to get me to reject David's teachings." "He's right," Doug says, "You're my brother, Joey." Joey retorts that his name is Abel and stares at the wall. "That's so intelligent," says Doug, "I say something you don't wanna hear and you just clam up and don't listen." Doug throws a chair against the wall, smashing it. 

His voice gets louder, "You are gonna listen to me. You are gonna talk to me!" Doug slaps his baby brother in the face. That'll get him to see reason, all right. Mac comes in just as Doug gets ready to hit Joey again; he tells Doug to take it easy. Doug gripes that he might as well be talking to the wall. Mac gives Doug a paper bag and suggests, "See if he's hungry. Give him somethin' to eat." He asks if Doug wants him to stay, but Doug says he'll be fine. 

Doug unwraps the cheeseburger and offers it to his brother: "Come on, I read about this stuff. That's how they weaken your mind; they deprive you of protein." Joey keeps looking the other way. Doug puts the burger back in the bag and leaves it in case Joey changes his mind.

In the squadroom, Judy and Mac play Go Fish. Fuller tells them that Heaven's Family has reported a missing boy whose description matches Joey. Mac hasn't seen Joey for a week. "Um...neither have I, I guess," mumbles Fuller. Much like Art on Justified, he's probably wondering how he keeps getting himself in these situations.

Meanwhile, Doug tries another tactic, "You get sucked into that b.s. cult, it's just like runnin' away. You ran away from Mom's suicide, Pop's drinking, from me, from life. You're a coward." Joey glares at him and says, "I didn't run from anything; I ran to something. I ran to a better way of life. I ran to people who are capable of loving me." Also, to be fair, Doug also ran away for brief periods after their mom's suicide.

Doug asks who gets the money from the flowers Heaven's Family sells. Joey tells him it goes to the Heaven's Family Foundation to support its 5,000 worldwide members. Doug wants to know how many flowers they sell a day. Joey tells him most people sell 5 at $5 each. Doug does the math: 5,000 kids times $25 a day equals $125,000 a day (tax-free). Joey doesn't have to listen to this. "Not again," Doug mutters.

Joey is sleeping on the concrete floor and wakes up when the door opens. "Now that you got some sleep, you feel like eatin' somethin'?" Doug asks. He put the cheeseburger in the microwave and "it's better than fresh." He begs Joey to just have a little, kneeling down to his brother's level. Doug can't believe he's doing this.

"You know, Ma used to do this when you were a little punk just outta diapers," Doug tells him, "If it weren't for [Ma] force-feeding ya, you'd-a died of self-starvation by the age of 3." Doug jams the cheeseburger in Joey's mouth. Joey takes a bite but spits it right back out.

Doug sits next to Joey and decides to take a more sensitive approach. He tells him about what happened one morning all those years ago. Their father called Doug over to his bed, "tells me he loves me. That scared the hell outta me, Pop usin' the 'L' word. Then he calls me over closer, says, 'Where's Joey?' 'I dunno, Pop.' There's a long silence...just sittin' there...just him and me. 'You tell Joey, no matter where he is, I love him.' Those were his last words." Doug adds that he lost Joey once and doesn't want to lose him again: "I need my brother."

Joey finally speaks, "What was Ma like?" Doug tells him she was the best. Joey hardly remembers her, not surprising because she died when he was pretty young. He asks, "You bury Pop next to her?" Doug did. Joey wants to go visit their graves sometime. "Whenever you like, Joey," says Doug. Joey starts eating the burger.

This scene was absolutely beautiful. It has a lot of raw emotional impact. The love that Peter DeLuise has for little brother Michael really comes across. No high drama or hysterics, just slow realization on Joey's part that Doug really just wants the best for him. And Doug has realized how much he still loves Joey and needs to fix the situation so they can be a family again.

Joey makes a trip to the Heaven's Family house and sees the group leaving on another retreat. Rachel walks over to Joey and says she misses him. She invites him to go to the camp for the weekend. Joey suggests she stay in town with him, but Rachel says she can't. They share what will probably be their last kiss and Rachel hurries to join the rest of the cult. Joey watches sadly as the bus drives away. End of episode.

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