Friday, February 5, 2016

Doug Penhall's Last Stand

Another post from my sister blog chronicling the departure of Peter DeLuise from 21 Jump Street.

In a small room in the courthouse, Doug loads his gun's magazine. He and an older man (presumably another cop) dress a ponytailed male witness in a bulletproof vest. Ponytail says he isn't scared of mobsters; Doug thinks the guy should be. They all go out in the hall to wait for the elevator. It's taking too long to arrive, so they walk to the other end of the hall.

Doug advises Ponytail to stay behind him with his head down when they get off the elevator. They're immediately swarmed by reporters shouting questions about the payola trial involving mobsters. "GUN!" Doug shouts as a suspicious man emerges from the crowd. The shooter fires and takes off with bailiffs close behind him. The older cop bends over Doug, who's lying motionless on the floor. Uh-oh...

Next we see of Doug, he's sitting against the wall, holding a handkerchief to his bleeding forehead. Cap'n Rufus firmly tells him to get that taken care of and helps Doug to his feet. "Just winged, I'm all right," Doug says a bit woozily. Cap'n Rufus tells Doug to go home for the day and spend some time with Clavo. Doug asks Rufus to forget his name the next time the state police want volunteers for special assignments. A blurb on the screen tells us this episode was directed by the man himself Peter DeLuise.

Doug, sitting in his truck outside, sees a strange woman walking up the street. She's holding Clavo's hand. "But I want my Uncle Doug," the kid protests, "He told me to never go anywhere with people I don't know." The woman reassures Clavo by saying she's a social worker. Doug approaches the woman, asking, "What's going on? That's my kid." The social worker doesn't acknowledge that he's even there. Given the odd haze around everything, I bet Doug is having an out-of-body experience, Bruce Willis style. Clavo pipes up from the backseat that he wants Uncle Doug. 

I'm right. Doug is in the hospital hooked to a ventilator. Joey and Clavo are standing by his bedside. Clavo asks what people think about when they're in a coma; Joey doesn't know, but maybe Doug is dreaming. Clavo wonders when he'll wake up. A female doctor comes in the room and asks to speak to Joey in private. Clavo holds Doug's hand.

In the hallway, the doctor asks Joey, "Mr. Penhall, can your parents be reached?" Joey tells her that they're orphans. The doctor explains that Doug's brain is swelling dangerously, which could kill him; there's a possibility he'll die during the surgery needed to relieve the pressure. Joey looks scared: "You're saying that either way he could die, that I have to decide?" The doctor says yes; Joey is, after all, next of kin.

Joey wants time to think about it. The doctor wants to do the operation within the next 24 hours if that's the option Joey chooses.

In Cap'n Rufus's office, Judy asks what happened to the DJ who witnessed Doug getting shot. The DJ went home and is now refusing to testified. In fact, no radio station employee in the area acknowledges the payola allegations. Mac is angry that Doug is in the hospital after trying to protect the DJ. Rufus will be sending Mac and Judy to a college radio station for a sting, even though it's not their jurisdiction. The case is now Extremely Personal.

Joey goes to see a priest. "I've never made an important decision in my life," he tells the man, "I always buy things in plaid 'cause I can never decide on one color." Doug always ran the house. Joey wishes he could talk to their father again despite the fact that Old Man Penhall was "usually so sauced he didn't even know who I was." He's afraid that if he makes the wrong decision "Doug will beat the crap outta me in hell."

The priest asks why Joey assumes he and his brother are both going to hell. Joey asks if the priest ever actually hears God; if he sits in the church long enough, will Joey know what to do about Doug? The priest advises Joey to listen to his heart. "I'd rather listen to God," says Joey, "I came all the way over here in crosstown traffic." "God speaks to us through our hearts," the priest explains.

At the college radio station, Mac is DJing and Judy is posing as the station manager. A guy comes in asking for the manager, saying he's an independent promoter. Judy claims the flowers in the office are from a record label in New York, attempted bribery to get their songs played. Mr. Wells the promoter chuckles that some people have no sense of professionalism. He has a tape by a band called X Ray Gorillas. Judy doesn't think much of the band and won't play it. 

Mr. Wells offers to buy her dinner. Judy says no. Mr. Wells changes his tactic: "Play this tape if you wanna stay healthy." Judy orders him out of the office.

Joey drops Clavo off at school. The kid is upset about being late; Doug always gets him there on time. Joey apologizes. He didn't know it was so hard to make a left turn near the school. "Doug always takes the back way," says Clavo. This is starting to remind of the Two and a Half Men episode where Alan and Charlie were left in charge of Jake for a week. Clavo wants to go to the hospital. Joey promises to come pick the kid up if Doug has an operation.

Joey starts to walk to the truck. Clavo calls after him that Doug always watches until Clavo gets up the school steps, then they wave at each other and Doug leaves. Joey is sorry. He should've stayed anyway because there aren't any teachers outside. Joey doesn't know about the routines Clavo and Doug have; he wishes he did. If something happens to Doug, Clavo will have to be more patient with him. "Okay," Clavo agrees.

In his coma dream, Doug is wearing his suit from court. He gets out of his bed, which is in the middle of a golf course for some reason. Cap'n Rufus is there. Doug is glad to see him. "Everyone always says that," Rufus says serenely. Doug thinks he was more than just winged and wonders where he is. Rufus tells Doug to relax and enjoy the club, then he claims to be Saint Peter. Doug asks if he's on Candid Camera.

Rufus tells Doug he'll be in the clubhouse when Doug finishes walking the grounds. At the closest hole, Doug sees an older man unsuccessfully attempting to whack a ball out of a sandtrap; the last person he saw golf so badly was his father. "What the hell?" asks Doug, realizing it is his dad. Papa Penhall corrects that they're in purgatory.

"How can you be talkin' to me? You're dead!" Doug cries. Papa Penhall grouches, "Don't rub it in." Doug asks if he's dead and in purgatory too. "I got my own problems," says Papa Penhall, who clearly subscribed to the John Winchester method of parenting. Doug says, "Just like when you were alive."

Papa Penhall tells Doug to let his selfishness be a lesson. Doug doesn't think his old man is in any position to give advice on fatherhood. 

A horn honks in the distance. It's Doug's dead wife Marta, driving a golf cart. Doug kisses Marta, telling her how he much he's missed her. He gets in the golf cart and says, "You look good for havin' been dead 2 years." Marta ignores this: "You were supposed to be taking care of Clavo. This is what will become of him." Clavo is playing on a tire swing when a social worker and an INS agent arrive. "You can't take him back to El Salvador!" Doug shouts desperately, "His aunt's an enemy of the government! They killed her 2 years ago!"

Doug's headache gets so bad that he collapses on the ground. Marta holds him.

Joey and Clavo come to the hospital to say goodbye before Doug's surgery. Clavo kisses his fingertips and gently touches them to Doug's forehead. Joey leans down and says, "I was just getting to know you again." Doug is wheeled into the operating room.

At the radio station, Mr. Wells successfully bribes Mac into playing the X Ray Gorillas tape. Mac will see him when the promoter has the rest of the money. Mr. Wells leaves. Mac asks Judy how Doug is, but she doesn't know. Doug not being around is hard on her because they've known each other and worked together for 5 years.

In the waiting room, Clavo tugs on Joey's shirt. He's tired and wants to go home. "But Doug might wake up," Joey tells him. He promises to see what he can do.

Back at Club Coma, Cap'n Rufus waylays Doug at the clubhouse entrance and says he can't let Doug in. Doug explains that he needs to use the phone; INS has Clavo. Rufus still refuses. Doug isn't on the list of new members; he needs to walk the grounds some more. Rufus cautions that some people never get into the clubhouse. Doug asks if he's going to hell. "You're asking all the wrong questions," says Cap'n Rufus. Doug pleads that Clavo needs him. "All the more reason to remember everything you see here," says Rufus before disappearing.

Doug spots a woman gardening at the 18th hole. "Douglas James," she greets. It's Mama Penhall. Doug asks if having to keep the grounds with a pair of cuticle scissors is Mama Penhall's punishment for committing suicide when he and Joey were kids. "The hell was being away from you boys," she corrects.

Mama Penhall remarks that Doug has gotten mouthy. Doug tells her it was the only way he could keep Papa Penhall from walking on him. She tenderly reaches for her son's forehead, asking, "Did you hurt yourself?" Doug wishes she'd stuck around. "Just don't make the same mistake with your boy," says Mama Penhall. She places her hands on Doug's head. When she lets go, the bandage is no longer there. Doug floats away.

When Doug opens his eyes, the first thing he sees is Joey napping in a chair by his bed. "Joey," he murmurs. His brother can't hear him because Joey is asleep and snoring; he also has a stethoscope in his ears for some reason. Doug says, "Thanks for waiting up for me," then he loudly calls, "Joey!" Joey looks over. "Hey, ya little runt," says Doug.

Joey is ecstatic. Doug asks about Clavo. Joey assures him that Clavo is home with the babysitter. "No, no, something's wrong," Doug insists, "He would be here. You were never good at lying to me." Joey explains that Clavo is scared that Doug will die. He doesn't want to see Doug, even if Doug lives.

"He saw an ad on TV for foster parents," Joey hesitantly goes on, "He wants me to find him a new home." The big guy is close to tears. And so am I! What an episode!

Later, with the aid of a gait belt and a walker, Joey gets Doug into a chair. Doug asks him to send Clavo in. When the kid arrives, Doug asks how he's doing. Clavo shrugs. Doug is glad Clavo came to see him; Clavo must be angry with him. "I'm not," says Clavo, "Everybody at school says that you're a hero."

Doug modestly says he's not a hero. He admits he would've been angry if his own dad's job had involved being shot at. Clavo walks up to the chair and confesses to being real mad at his uncle. Doug sits Clavo on his lap and says he has news: "I think it's better for both of us if..."

Joey is in the hall drinking a soda and wanders past Doug's room. He catches the tail end of the conversation, Doug promising to do what he has to in order to make Clavo happy. "Things sure look a lot better since I left," Joey remarks. He asks if this story will end happily ever after. Doug thinks so.

Mr. Wells comes to the radio station with more bribe money. Mac and Judy reveal that they're cops. They have the payola conversation on tape. Judy and Mac have a good cop/bad cop conversation. Mac wants 5 minutes alone with Mr. Wells. Judy says that if Mr. Wells gets disabled, she wants her name off the arrest report. Mac promises not to do permanent damage. Mr. Wells agrees to give up the shooter. It was a guy from Miami named Levinson. When the squad car arrives, Mac laughs triumphantly.

The Jump Street team, minus Joey, gathers in Cap'n Rufus's office. Doug thanks them for finding the guy who shot him. He has something to say before their morning meeting. Doug is taking early retirement. He turns in his badge and gun, saying it's been an honor to serve with everyone. Nobody knows what to say.

Cap'n Rufus breaks the silence by saying he has a rule against saying goodbye and is leaving for an early lunch. Doug shakes his hand. Mac wishes he could've worked with Doug longer. Doug already has a new job, partial ownership of a bowling alley with an academy buddy. They do a complicated handshake. Mac leaves.

Doug is now alone in the office with Judy. He tells her they've been through a lot together, personally and professionally. They joke about how Doug still can't program his VCR, even though Judy showed him how and even drew a diagram. "On my worst day, you can still make me laugh," she says, "I really hate you for leaving. I hate you." "I hate you too," Doug says softly.

At this point, you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. They share a platonic hug. Judy cries.

Up in the locker room, Joey practically tosses a duffel bag loaded with Doug's locker contents at him. "You always said that I ran out, that I quit. Look at you," Joey snots. Doug reminds him that it's not just about him anymore; he has to look after Clavo. Joey says the two of them would've been fine together. 

"I love you, Joey, but you could barely keep the two o' you in clean socks," Doug disagrees. Joey pouts: "You can't leave. You're my brother." Doug tells Joey to man up. He adds that Joey can "drive down on weekends between commendations." Joey feels like he was just getting to know Doug again after 5 years apart. "I'm always gonna be your brother," Doug tells him.

"Uncle Doug!" Clavo chirps, running in. Doug picks up Clavo so he can kiss Joey on the cheek. "I have to kiss you now?" Joey sasses his brother. Doug takes off his St. Michael medal and gives it to Joey. Joey tries to decline the gift; Doug was almost never without it. "It's good luck. Mom would've wanted you to have it," Doug insists. End of episode, end of an era for the show. I'm gonna miss Doug!

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