A.J. goes under cover at a high school to help keep an eye on the daughter of an old family friend. Drugs are involved and things get weird when A.J. is slipped a drug in order to free the girl from his custody.

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(created by) (as Philip DeGuere),
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Phoebe Glass
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Randall Deeds
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Jennifer
Anthony James ...
Donovan
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Mr. Matt Glass (as Robert Walker)
Jane Hallaren ...
Mrs. Glass
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Police Sgt. Spencer
Michael Wyle ...
Bobby
Juliette Cummins ...
Sophie
Vincent Barbour ...
Rob
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Punk Boy (as James LeGros)
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A.J. goes under cover at a high school to help keep an eye on the daughter of an old family friend. Drugs are involved and things get weird when A.J. is slipped a drug in order to free the girl from his custody.

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Action | Mystery | Drama

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7 February 1985 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A.J. uses a bit of angel dust with his cream and sugar
18 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the 80s TV networks liked to broadcast what they called after school specials. Usually an issue affecting young people would be dramatized in the hopes of reaching audience members. It was a form of do-good entertainment, and while they were often heavy-handed and preachy, the stories probably were beneficial to teenagers watching them. This episode of 'Simon & Simon' feels that way and was probably designed for the same altruistic reasons.

Despite the well-meaning intentions, some of what we see here doesn't quite work. We have a plot involving a girl who's trying to kick a drug habit but gets set up and goes on the run. It's never explained why the other girl (who breaks into her locker with a knife thick enough to cut a steak) wants to frame her, nor is it explained how kids can bring pills and weapons into the school so easily-- especially when Town gives an anti-drug lecture in the auditorium telling the teens that he has undercover agents working on the premises. Also, A.J. is working at the site as a substitute gym teacher while being employed by the girl's parents to keep an eye on her. I sincerely doubt a school district would allow that.

Since Gerald McRaney is directing this particular show, he doesn't appear until almost the 13- minute mark. After a short scene, he goes missing again for the next few minutes. Even when Rick does come into the story more, when he and A.J. try to find the girl on the streets, a lot of the main action is handed over to A.J. There is a notable scene where they've found the girl but then someone puts angel dust in A.J.'s coffee at a restaurant. While A.J. goes haywire and and threatens people with a plastic utensil, Rick tries to get him under control and the girl takes off again. That part was rather predictable, how she slips through their fingers, but Jameson Parker does seem to be having fun jumping up in the booth and claiming he can see bones through flesh. You have to see it to believe it.

The follow-up scene was very unrealistic. Nobody in the restaurant wanted charges brought against A.J. for disorderly conduct or for disturbing the peace. Plus we're given a pat explanation that some doctor checked A.J.'s brainwaves and he doesn't actually appear to have been affected by the angel dust. This allows the boys up to get back out on the streets to find the young girl; she is still missing and she has parents that are still worried about her.

Again, while the subject matter of runaway adolescents seems written and filmed with the best of intentions, it just comes across too unrealistically. The best part was the final sequence where the girl is safely back home and we have a lengthy shot of some other nameless teen along the freeway being picked up by a stranger in a van. This did make me reflect for a moment on the chances those kinds of kids are even still alive today.


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