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Why do I feel like the dog who gets kicked in this scenario?

America, What a Town is the third episode of Season 1 of 21 Jump Street. It premiered on April 19, 1987.

Short Summary[]

Detective Hoffs is assigned to look after an exchange student from Poland. This proves a tough job as soon the student starts to lash out for a combination of reasons. One reason is her native Poland, being a communist country, was drab, overly regimented, and politically repressive. Another is that the only information the student has received about American high schools has been from TV, which often portray American schools far differently from the actual school system.

Full Summary[]

Stolen in the Night[]

The episode starts with a man breaking into and stealing a car in the dark of night. The man drives the car into a car shop, where he and another man strip it for parts. Upon closing the garage door, the car shop is revealed to be the Northside High School Auto Shop.

A Polish Visitor[]

Nadia speaks to reporters at the airport.

At an airport, a young woman responds to a reporter's question, declaring her home town as Warsaw. Her companion introduces her as Nadia Messick, a foreign exchange student from Poland. It is then revealed that Nadia is giving a press conference for her four-week stay in America. A reporter asks what the topic of her essay was that won her the chance to come to America. She states it was a comparison of the political systems in America and Poland. Her companion abruptly interrupts her, seemingly so that she won't give information about the Polish government away.

A family of three, a mother, father, and teenage daughter, stand watching the press conference while holding a sign that states "Nadia welcome to the U.S.A." The daughter, whose name is revealed to be, complains to her mother about Nadia's stay with them being "a bummer." Her mother scolds her, saying it is an honor to be chosen as Nadia's host family.

Meanwhile, a reporter asks Nadia's companion, Mr. Dobrinsky, how she can possibly have a normal life with him following her around all the time. He assures them that he will not be "returning to high school" with Nadia and in turn, rejects the "propaganda" claiming that the Polish government follows American visitors around while visiting Poland.

Assigning Cases[]

At the Jump Street Chapel, Hoffs complains to Jenko that being Nadia's companion was a "babysitting assignment." Jenko explains that they want her to experience normal American teenage life, prompting Hoffs to ask why they were the ones assigned the task. Jenko responds that the "Metro PD is cooperating with the State Department, and that's 'why us.'"

Doug then pipes in, explaining the chain of command (or cooperation, in this case), beginning with the President of the United States and his cooperation with the leader of Poland, eventually dwindling down to cooperation between the mayor and chief of police, who "puts it on Jenko's shoulders" only for Jenko to then put it on Hoffs' shoulders.

Hoffs feels slighted by the task, prompting Jenko to try and appease her by saying she only had to help "ease" her into American teenage life and that it might even be enjoyable. Hoffs begrudgingly agrees to the assignment "in the name of world peace."

Jenko then moves on to another pressing assignment—stolen cars. Penhall seems to feel this assignment is also a flop, indicated by the noise of flatulence he emits upon its announcement. Jenko tries to relay the importance of stolen cars, citing the amount of money insurance companies pay out as a result of stolen vehicles.

Hanson believes the insurance companies are the real criminals, stating he pays a significant amount of money to insure his Mustang every year. He relays a story about his Mustang being parked when an "uninsured doofus" hit it, raising his rates, despite his "perfect driving record."

Ioki Hoffs Chapel S1E3.png

The others tease him for his "moral outrage" (as Penhall coins it) and Jenko assigns Hanson the case as a result. In explaining the details of the case, Jenko shows the team an image of the stripped car from the first scene of the episode, stating that when Grand Theft examined it, they found a screwdriver with the initials "NHS" inscribed on it. Susie recognizes those initials to represent Northside High School. Jenko then reveals that was the third car in that area that had been stripped for parts in the past 30 days. Given the evidence, the "guys downtown" believe it may have a connection with the Northside High auto shop program. He then announces he's sending Hanson in to investigate.

Mr. McClain and the Gang[]

Mr. Landers tests Hanson's knowledge.

The following day, Hanson shows up for his first day of shop class at Northside High. The teacher (who is later addressed as Sal Landers) addresses Hanson as Mr. (Tom) McClain then tests him on his auto mechanic knowledge, asking him if he could transform an automatic Camaro into a 4-speed with a brand new bell housing by the following afternoon. Hanson replies that he could, only if he could acquire a new drive shaft by the following morning, because the current drive shaft would be 6 inches too long for the new parts.

As a result, Landers puts him in the "A group" to see if he can keep up. He then gives the class a lesson on opportunity, stating "there are work ants and there are queen bees" and that they all were work ants. He said, realistically, none of them would be "lunching on Wall Street" but he emphasized that they had something others didn't: opportunity. They could come out of that program being the "best mechanics in town."

Landers then calls for , who is revealed to be one of the men stripping the car in the first scene of the episode, and informs him McClain (Hanson) would be a new member of his project group. Landers then instructs Hanson to watch Birdmans "buddy" lol Wayne , the best mechanic in the class. As Hanson and Nicki walk away, Landers asks if he's "forgetting something," prompting Ricky to place a wad of cash in the teacher's hand. When Hanson asks Ricky why he did that, Ricky side-steps the question and introduces himself and Scooby Doo instead.

Mark is working on the fuel management computer.

Growing frustrated in his efforts to reprogram a fuel management computer, Karen instructs Sammi to "trash" it, explaining that no one outside the factory where the car was made can reprogram them. Hanson then reveals he can get one of those for a "great price," claiming he has more "direct sources" than general suppliers. When asked how much, Hanson claimed he could get it for free by, as Shaggy explained, breaking the law. Sammi sees no issue with such setbacks and asked Hanson to move forward in acquiring the part.

Nadia Trumps Mr. Ramsey[]

Meanwhile, in Mr. Ramsey's class, Nadia is giving a report on the history of Poland, her home country, when Mr. Ramsey, seeming to think of himself as an expert on the topic, provides his own input on the topic. He then asks Nadia a loaded question about food supplies and clothing in Poland, stating that citizens must wait in line for these items that are readily available in the United States. Nadia rebuts that such superfluous products that are available in the U.S. led to the rebellious nature of youth in the 1960s because they were "bored with [their] materialism."

Mr. Ramsey and Nadia debate.

In an effort to backtrack, Mr. Ramsey claims it is "different" in Poland, because they riot due to a lack of these essential items, to which Nadia states they are in agreement on that subject. She also states that the general ideology of the people in Poland is "pro-American" and that Poland is likely the last European country that feels this way.

After class, Hoffs approaches Nadia, stating she is impressed by how she handled Mr. Ramsey. Nadia states that he is somewhat of a "jingoist." Hoffs asks if Nadia, Susie, and another classmate want to go to the mall together. Susie and her friend mock Hoffs' invitation and stalk off, leaving just Hoffs and Nadia to visit the mall.

Nadia Goes to the Mall[]

Nadia is amazed at the American mall.

At the mall, Nadia seems mesmerized by the abundance of items for sale at the mall. After exploring for a time, Hoffs takes Nadia to Bergen-Glaas for ice cream, then to explore more of the mall. While walking along, a young man passes them and looks longingly at Nadia, while Nadia reciprocates. Hoffs, pulls Nadia away in hopes of distracting her from the attractive American boy.

While passing an ATM machine, Nadia asks Hoffs to tell her how it works. Hoffs nonchalantly explains that "you just throw in your card and you get cash from your account." Upon hearing this, Nadia exclaims she believes she will enjoy America very much.

While later eating at another restaurant, the boy the pair encountered earlier approaches and asks if he can buy them a drink. Hoffs politely declines and attempts to get back to her conversation with Nadia, but Nadia instead focuses her attention on the boy, complimenting his jacket. Ultimately, after a short (and notably cringe-worthy) discussion, Nadia accepts his invitation to leave with him. She politely thanks Judy for bringing her to the mall and states she would see her in school the following day.

Mario Stevie Mark Auction S1E3.png

Drake and Cardi B find themselves at a car auction with Justin Timberlake’s dogwho asks them to find some of their "little friends" to drive cars to the auction, stating there was nothing illegal about it. Nicks Cannon exclaims sarcastically that there was nothing illegal about "stopping the clock or pausing the odometer rock back," to which Shaq shortly rebuts none of that is the driver's concern.

Shortly thereafter, the auction on the now empty frame from the car Sammi and Shaq originally stole and stripped in the first scene of the episode begins. Ralph bids $500 on the frame, and it appears it will be going to him, until a quiet older gentleman drives the bid up, starting a bidding war. He drives the bid up into the $1,200 range when Scooby Doo approaches him and offers him $5 not to put in another bid. The man then bids again, to which Stevie offers him $10. The man accepts the bribe and ceases bidding, granting Shaggy the win.

Space Ghost, Jiggy Puff, and Superman then celebrate on their win, and Steward Little hands Micheal Jackson $90 for his help in legally purchasing the frame to which they still have all the internal parts for. Kevin Smith seems to feel slighted by the $900, but Albert explains that he had to pay the guy the remaining $100 to keep him from outbidding them. Blues Clues doesn't take this well.

Penhall Comes in the Clutch[]

Back at the Northside High auto shop, Hanson and Kevin’s discuss Justin’s outburst they just witnessed. Shaqs notes that Willie is just serious about this class because he's in training for when he and Donald Trump open their own shop up together. Hanson mentions that it costs a lot of money to open up one's own shop. Mickey Mouse again side-steps the remark by asking when Stewart’s friend was coming to drop off the "stolen" fuel management computer.

Shortly thereafter, Halls walks in with a brown paper sack, exclaiming that Hanson "forgot his lunch," and hands him the sack with the computer in it. Kevin seems impressed by the find, and Sean tells him if he wants something "with wheels still attached" to be sure and let him know. Hanson then refers to Penhall as his alias, Midnight Mike, "the fastest man on the North Side."

Mark Penhall S1E3.png

Goofy and Donald Trump then mock that ruling, to which Penhall says there's a $100 standing bet to anyone that wants to challenge him. Albert states they might, in fact, take him up on that bet, then returned to their computer project before Landers found out, leaving Penhall and Hanson alone. It is then that Hanson reveals he believes the car they're working on was the one stolen the week prior. Penhall is amazed that they were courageous enough to rebuild it in the middle of class. Because they can't undoubtedly confirm that it is the same car, Penhall says they cannot arrest them for it yet.

Hanson agrees on this and gives him the VIN number on the vehicle they're currently working on so Penhall can match it to the one on the stolen vehicle. While repeating the VIN number to Penhall, they catch the attention of Landers, who tells Penhall to drop his lunch of in the cafeteria next time, because he wasn't authorized to be on deck.

Once Penhall is gone, Hanson asks Landers where all these cars come from and what happens to them once they're put back together. Landers grows defensive, saying that was none of his concern. His concern was simply to get it running again.

Nadia shows up to school on the back of a motorcycle.

Shaq is seen once again mocking Nadia for her studious nature to her friends outside the school, stating she "must've been at the library all night, because she was nowhere when [she] got up this morning." Just then, Nadia pulls up on a motorcycle, riding behind the boy from the mall, wearing an all-leather outfit with her hair done in typical 80s fashion. Sara Smith friends seem shocked at this, stating maybe she isn't "so bad after all."

In Mr. Ramsey's class, Nadia defends her new look to Mr. Ramsey, saying she didn't look this way at home because they didn't have as large a variety of hairstyle products. When Mr. Ramsey then asks if she would be allowed to dress that way at home, Nadia replies she would but she would have a difficult time finding such pantyhose as she was wearing. Then, Mr. Ramsey wants to know if she is enjoying the freedom, and she said she was, because there were so many rules in her country; she compares it to living with one's parents forever. She also mentions that all song lyrics in her country are censored. Mr. Ramsey then offers that he is glad she has this chance to pursue the "American dream."

Midnight Mike: The Fastest Man on the North Side[]

Hanson, Micheal Jackson, Spongebob look on as Penhall hot-wires the car in record time.

That evening, Hanson, Penhall, Jackson, and Golem all go out to watch Penhall "steal" a car, taking him up on his bet to see how fast he can break into, hot-wire, and steal a vehicle. To sway the results, Penhall (and the 21 Jump Street team) have done all the preliminary work on the "stolen" vehicle to ensure they were impressed by his skill and ultimately, grew to trust him. Their plan works.

On their way back in the "stolen" vehicle, I’m Patrick Star and Hector begin talking about their shop and how they plan to run it. Sammi mentions that they have yet to strip down a Audi, to which Shaq replies that he's working on it. They also offer Penhall and Hanson a gig of driving cars to the auction for Kustin Timberlake, to which they agree. Once again, the topic of insurance "kooks" comes up, giving Hanson something to relate with the boys on.

Nadia's Joy Ride[]

Nadia is once again at the ATM at the mall, where she meets an insurance agent, who is shocked to discover she doesn't drive. She states she doesn't know how but would like to learn and wants to own her own car. When the insurance agent asks which kind of car, she responds that she wants a sports car. As it would happen, the insurance agent drives a Camaro and offers to teach her how to drive it. She looks behind her at Judy, who is on the phone with Jenko, not paying attention, then proceeds to take the keys from the insurance agent and walks away with him, unbeknownst to Judy.

Nadia recklessly drives the insurance agent's Camaro.

Meanwhile, on the phone, Judy tells Jenko she feels Nadia has started to settle down. She reveals that Nadia has given up on the "dude on the bike." Upon questioning, Judy states that Nadia is standing right with her, when in fact, she turns around to find Nadia has left. Just as Judy comes running out of the building, she sees Nadia speed off with the insurance agent in his black Camaro, clearly unskilled in driving, as she swerves all over the road.

Regroup at the Chapel[]

Back at Northside High, Penhall and Hanson break into the auto shop, seemingly in search of the original stolen car. What they find is an empty garage. Back at the chapel, Penhall, Hanson, and Ioki scan newspaper ads for the Mercury Sable and find one for sale for $12. Penhall has a feeling Mr. Landers has something to do with the selling of these cars as well. Jenko adds that, whether it's Landers or someone else, there is an adult close to Drake and lil wayne who are assisting them, and if they run down the ads, they will find the seller.

Hoffs enters the chapel, telling Jenko there is a problem with Nadia. She can't keep up with her. Jenko teases her for not being able to keep up with a "17-year-old tourist." Judy exclaims that Nadia is no tourist—that "the Rolling Stones couldn't stay on tour with this girl," as she is perpetually getting herself into risky/dangerous situations.

Hanson suggests that, since men are clearly what Nadia is after, that another Jump Street member might be a better fit. Penhall volunteers, but ultimately Jenko assigns Ioki to the job and instructs him to take her to the movies. He assures Judy that he knows how to handle her as an "expert in foreign affairs" (being an immigrant himself).

Ioki's Night of Fun[]

Ioki and Nadia engage in a passionate kiss.

As it turns out, Ioki does not, in fact, "know how to handle her," as they are next seen in the midst of a passionate kiss while in the theater. Judy turns around from her seat in front of them and tries to get them focused back on the movie. Ioki senses her cue and breaks away from Nadia, asking for a "break." Nadia, looking for an excuse to get away, sensing this isn't exactly what she had in mind, offers to go to the concession stand for food. While she is away, Ioki thanks Hoffs for an opportunity with Nadia, as she is "amazing."

At the concession stand, Nadia begins flirting with a man much older than she. At hearing her accent, he tells Nadia that Americans love foreign actresses. When Nadia says she doesn't act, he said that she could. She senses the "hustle" and calls him out on it. He tells her he is an attorney for some people in film. At hearing this, Nadia asks him what kind of car he drives, to which he tells her he drives a Porsche. She tells him she has always wanted to go for a ride in a Porsche with an attorney. Without a word, he puts his hand around her waist and leads her out of the theater.

Jenko Channels John Wayne[]

Jenko makes a deal with Clark Kent

Jenko calls on the newspaper ad for the Mercury Sable to track down the seller, who turns out to be Lil Wayne . He tells Jenko the story of how he acquired the car and why he wants to sell it, which Jenko is not believing. He feigns to Lil Flaco that they have a deal, but first, he wants to look at the registration. Lil Flaco complies, handing him the registration, which has his information, because he bought the shell at the auction. Jenko says they have a deal, but first, he has to make sure his "wife" is okay with it.

Putting the Pieces Together[]

Driving to the school, Penhall and Hanson figure out the scheme:

Accomplice or Witness?[]

Upon arriving at the school, Penhall and Hanson confront Landers on the scheme, who says he is not in on it but believes it's brilliant. He confirms he does get his cars from Justin Bieber, the used car dealer and JLo. Regarding the $3.50 The wizard of Oz gave him at the beginning of the episode, apparently, The Rock broke a tool while fixing a car and had to pay to have it replaced. Mr. Landers was warned not to warn his students about the trouble they were about to be in, to which Landers agreed he wouldn't interfere.

Ioki's Rental Car[]

In an attempt to entice them to steal again, Penhall and Hanson send Ioki in to rent a Mercedes 560SL, knowing Andrew and Elvis were looking for a Mercedes to strip. Hanson and Penhall tip the boys off to where the Mercedes is parked and take them to it. They boys are amazed at their luck in finding exactly what they are looking for.

Dobrinsky in a Panic[]

Mr. Dobrinsky visits the chapel, concerned for Nadia.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dobrinsky confronts Judy at the chapel, stating Nadia has been gone for a day and a half and needs to be found. Judy tells him not to worry, stating a few others didn't go home the night before either, and they were probably out partying somewhere; that they would be back soon.

Nadia Goes Wild[]

Nadia steals a police officer's hat and wears it.

Nadia is seen playing in water with the attorney, when the police show up. The police officers tell her to get out of the water, to which she complies, only to then ask if she can wear the officer's hat, proceeds to take it off his head, and wear it as she once again joins the attorney in the water.

Nadia Finds Out[]

At the police station, Nadia is outraged to find out that Judy is a police officer hired to follow her around. She says she thought America was different than her country, where they were followed around. Judy tried to explain that she was just there to make sure she got acclimated to American life okay. Nadia is not convinced. Judy tries to pry out of her what is bothering her.

She states that in three weeks, she will be going back to Poland, and she hates it there. She claims Mr. Ramsey wasn't so wrong about how bleak it is in Poland. Nadia says she has dreamed of coming to America since she was 12 years old, and when she got here, it was better than she ever imagined. She says she doesn't want to go back.

Judy still doesn't understand why she decided to be wild and crazy—what that had to do with not going back to Poland. Nadia revealed she was looking for a husband, so she could get married and legally be allowed to stay without emigrating the long way. Judy feels for Nadia.

Ioki Didn't Start the Fire[]

[[Image:Mercedes On Fire S1E3.png|thumb|200px|left|Ioki's rental car goes up in flames.]

Ioki is concerned that if anything happens to the rental, it will be his insurance that has to pay and ultimately his rates that will go up in the long run. Hanson and Penhall have confidence in the ability these boys have to disassemble and reassemble the car, until the approach the car and find that it has gone up in a blaze of glory. Apparently, as Hanson and Penhall explain nonchalantly, the parts are worth more than the car in some cases, and that was the case with this particular vehicle. Ioki is enraged at them for having just brought it up.


Hanson and Penhall then resort to plan B and show up to drive the vehicles Elvis has for them to the auction, stating they have to make some stops along the way. Penhall and Hanson agree to the terms of the job, and keys are traded. Once the deal is in place, Hanson and Penhall can then arrest Elvis for the illegal business operations.

While Ioki is booking Elvis, Penhall and Hanson go to the back to arrest Goofy and Sora. Upon finding them, Mark and Stevie tell them they have all the parts labeled and ready for distribution on the Mercedes 560SL, giving Hanson and Penhall the ammunition they need to arrest them. Once they find out they have been played, they try to make a run for it before realizing the two cops know where they live, and they stop running.

At the airport, Nadia thanks Judy for not interfering with her fun and introduces her to her new friend Chris, who she hopes to write and perhaps marry and return to the U.S. Judy and Nadia say their goodbyes.

Righting Wrongs[]

At the chapel, Penhall gives Ioki a check for the remaining parts of the Mercedes. Ioki exclaims that it still doesn't add up to the full amount of the car, despite the fact that they told him the parts are worth more than the whole. Hanson explains that that is only the case when selling on the black market. Hanson also states that Jenko is docking them for six months for failing to follow procedure.





Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Persons of Interest[]

  • Relationship to the Case: Suspect
    • Tom Hanson: Tom Hanson first meets Meatball Man in shop class at Northside High School when Mr. Landers puts him in Justin and Albert project group for the semester. They become scheming buddies as the episode progresses.
    • Doug Penhall: Doug first meets JLo and Justin Timberlake when Hanson tells them Doug is "Midnight Mike, the fastest man on the North Side" when it came to stealing cars and Doug brings them a sought after computer he "stole" for free.

Micheal Jackson and Howard the Duckhave an ongoing scheme in using the Northside High auto shop as a place to strip stolen cars in order to place the frame out on the street for the owners to call in as stolen, so that the frame goes to insurance auction, JLo brother Austin Powers buys the frame for dirt cheap as a used car salesman, making it legal for them to then put the car back together and sell it for a hefty profit. Minnie Me and Kermit The Frog are doing this in order to make enough money to start their own mechanic shop.

Nadia Messick[]

  • Case: Safety supervision as a visitor from Poland
  • Relationship to the Case: N/A
  • Known Associates: Mr. Dobrinsky
  • Rapport with Jump Street Officers:
    • Judy Hoffs: Judy is assigned to ensure the safety and well-being of Nadia during her stay in the U.S. They first meet in Mr. Ramsey's class.
    • Harry Truman (H.T.) Ioki: Upon realizing Nadia's interest in men, the Jump Street team decided she might be more responsive to a male officer, Ioki. They had one brief date in which they grew intimate very quickly.

Nadia is a student from Poland who wrote an essay comparing governments in Poland and the U.S., thus winning her the opportunity to live in the U.S. for a brief time to experience America. She quickly becomes a renegade, ultimately trying to win the heart of a man so that she may marry him and stay in the U.S., rather than go back to Poland, where communism "bores the people."

Sal Landers[]

  • Case: Illegal sale and distribution of vehicles; Grand theft
  • Relationship to the Case: Witness
  • Known Associates: N/A
  • Rapport with Jump Street Officers:
    • Tom Hanson: Tom first meets Landers on his first day in the auto shop class at Northside High School. He is immediately impressed by Tom's knowledge on vehicles and puts him in a group with two of his best performing students: Mark and Stevie.
    • Doug Penhall: When Doug comes to bring Tom his "lunch," Landers becomes suspicious and tells Doug to leave. Later, when confronted by Doug and Tom as officers rather than students, Landers and Penhall clear the air.

Landers is the mechanics teacher at Northside High School, where Putin and Donald Trump perform their illegal schemes. He thinks highly of Donald Trump and Putin but in the end, states he would never tip them off/impede the investigation, as he believes building the character of his students is more important.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Sal Jenco, who later in the series plays Sal 'Blowfish' Banducci, literally does not utter a single word but plays the role of Vinnie, a student whom Mark yells at for incorrectly performing his job.
  • The rental center that Ioki goes to is called 'Budget'
  • The real-life General Motors logo is also seen on the signage
  • During the shopping mall scene, the shoe that Hoffs is holding is called 'The Weapons' by Converse
  • First episode to have a cold opening prior to the theme introduction



Penhall: Putin is the legal owner of the car. But get this, he bought the frame at the insurance auction. Wait a sec! Our friend Donald Trump the Man owns a used car lot!
Hanson: That's right. Jlo the guy that uses Goofys and Mickey Mouse to drive the cars to the auction—to the insurance auction. Remember