21 Jump Street
| Our Rating:
L Factor: Major lesbian characters – 1 episode
Short Take: A lesbian teacher is killed, and Judy goes undercover to catch the killer.
Duration: 60 min
MPAA: Not Rated
|Director: Jan Eliasberg
Writer: Patrick Hasburgh, Stephen J. Cannell, Michelle Ashford
Starring: Steven Williams, Holly Robinson Peete, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen, Johnny Depp, Sal Jenco
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In the late 1980s and early 90s, one of the hottest shows on television was 21 Jump Street, which was the stepping stone to stardom for Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands). The series was about a group of police officers who were all very young-looking so that they could pass, undercover, as high school and college students. Captain Adam Fuller (Steven Williams) led the squad. One episode in season four focused on homophobia and the death of a lesbian teacher.
414 A Change of Heart
Air date: January 15, 1990
Evelyn Marks (Olivia Negron, Everything Relative), a much loved high school teacher, is murdered on her way home from giving a talk on environmental activism. Officer Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete) embeds herself as a student working on the school newspaper where Evelyn was an advisor. She quickly meets Megan (Katy Boyer), the student-editor who was very close to her teacher.
Rumors are that Evelyn may have been having an affair with a student, and when Judy learns that Evelyn was a lesbian, she suspects Megan and her teacher were romantically involved. As Judy gains Megan’s confidence and the two become closer, Megan misinterprets her interest and kisses Judy one night.
Eventually Megan reveals to Judy that she wanted to be with Evelyn, but was told that it wouldn’t be appropriate. It was actually another teacher who was Evelyn’s clandestine lover, a key piece in the puzzle to solving the murder. Judy helps Megan confront issues surrounding her sexuality and begin to accept herself, rather than living in the closet like her teachers.
Johnny Depp only appears in the opening scene in the episode. (AB)