What is Johnny Kitties? See Johnny Kitties: Celebrating Johnny Depp for all the details.
A little older and wiser...
Things changed in Season 3 of 21 Jump Street. Everyone seemed older. They all grew out their hair (except for Holly Robinson, who cut all of hers off). Peter Deluise’s Penhall stopped acting like the class clown, got a new job over the summer as an intelligence officer, grew a beard, and looked like a mountain man for the first few episodes. In his place, a new officer, Dennis Booker (Richard Grieco), was introduced as Hanson’s partner.
I never liked Dennis Booker. I admit, it was an instantaneous, irrational reaction. Fox advertised their new co-star with pulsating flashes of competing last names: DEPP! GRIECO! DEPP! GRIECO! DEPP! GRIECO! The in-your-face repetitive ads were shown so often that Saturday Night Live even made fun of them. I found them irritating for other reasons: Who is this guy? How dare he even try to be as cool as Johnny?! How do they compare?!
For Johnny Kitties, I decided to wipe the slate clean and give Booker another chance. Watching these episodes again now, I found that--to my surprise--Hanson couldn't stand Booker either! I have no memory of that being the case in the '80s, but Hanson’s lack of endorsement must have solidified my opinion of his new partner. Booker was a wiseguy; Hanson didn't trust him. At the end of his first episode, Booker takes him to a seedy bar for a beer. “I’ve got a question for you, Booker.” Hanson says. “Do you act like a creep because you really are a creep or it’s just fun to act like one?” He never gets a straight answer.
I learned recently that Richard Grieco was brought into the cast because of Johnny's increasing frustrations with the show. (Fascinating!) Johnny started refusing to participate in episodes that he felt didn't adequately cover topics or had story lines that he was against. Some cases Booker took on involved the killing of an innocent teen and hate crimes. Okay, the addition of Dennis Booker may have had a legitimate purpose, but I will never forgive him for getting Hanson arrested for murder by the end of the season. Thanks for ruining my summer!
Season 3 of 21 Jump Street continued to tackle such subjects as racism, gangs, and drug use. But many of the episodes delved into the personal lives of the main characters. Aside from Hanson's little legal problem, Penhall struggles with his new job, Blowfish cheats on his wife, Hoffs becomes a victim of sexual harassment, and Ioki is shot while undercover.
This season's guest stars included Dom and Michael Deluise, Bridget Fonda, Peri Gilpin, Kelly Hu, Christopher Titus, and Russell Wong.
- Episode 36. Fun with Animals: The first episode of the season reveals a noticeably aged cast. Maybe the stress of having Hanson's new partner Dennis Booker around caused this change.
- Episode 37. Slippin' into Darkness: In this episode, Hoffs and Ioki join a gang of vigilantes dedicated to keeping the streets crime-free. Check out Ioki's cool moves here! This show also marks the first of many times that Captain Fuller gets in on the action. From now on, he becomes much more involved in all of the cases, checking in on his officers, making arrests, and generally helping to save the day.
- Episode 38. The Currency We Trade In: Aside from an annoying new partner, Hanson also gets a new girlfriend this season. Jackie (Yvette Nipar) and Tom hate each other at first, but then they decided to go for it. Jackie, who works in the DA office, lasts for quite a few episodes, and I even started to like her. But then, she shared some private information from Tom with her co-workers. While her intensions were good, she gets Captain Fuller in trouble, and Tom can't forgive her for that. They break up.
- Episode 41. Hell Week: This episode, in which Hanson and Ioki go undercover on a college campus to investigate a fraternity, is one I remember very clearly. During initiation into this fraternity, Hanson is forced to eat several raw eggs, drink excessively while climbing a ladder (and carrying the drunk guy who passed out before him), and slide into a pool--blindfolded with his hands and feet bound. He ends up saving someone from drowning after that. No wonder I never joined a sorority.
- Episode 44. Swallowed Alive: In one of my favorites, Hanson is left undercover in juvenile lock-up and begins to question what good he's doing by sending teen offenders there.
- Episode 45. What About Love?: While Hoffs deals with the serious problem of an angry ex-boyfriend, the comic relief in this episode came from Penhall and Ioki. Recently kicked to the curb by his girlfriend Dorothy, Penhall has been crashing on Ioki's couch. A real odd couple, the arguments are on the rise. Undercover here to catch a flasher, Penhall asks for Ioki's forgiveness for his latest batch of messes.
- Episode 46. Wooly Bullies: In another favorite episode, everyone recounts their worst case of school bullying. In fourth grade, little Tommy Hanson was tortured by the taller and meaner Maureen Moroney. Despite being rejected during dance practice, as pictured, he wins her over in the end. Did you ever doubt it?
- Episode 51. High High: The best scene in this drug-related episode is the morning Hanson reports to work in a disheveled suit with his hair pointing in every direction, kind of like Beethoven after a rough night. His reasons remain a mystery.
- Episode 52. Blinded by the Thousand Points of Light: This story follows a group of teenage runaways, one of whom goes missing. He meets an disturbing end. The good that came out of it is that his girlfriend--played by Bridget Fonda--decides to go back home. Here, she and Hoffs muse about the stars in her backyard.
- Episode 54. Partners, Part 2: In an ongoing story, Booker wrongly arrests Hanson for murdering another police officer while investigating gang shootings--during one of which Ioki is critically injured. In his last episode for the season, Hanson is convicted and sent behind bars. Oh the horror!
If you have a favorite episode from Season 3, please share!
So, will Hanson ever get out of jail? Will Johnny ever get off this show? To find out, tune in next month for highlights from Season 4 of 21 Jump Street!