CHiPs – Down Time
I am now over half way through the second season. The first season was quite entertaining but this second season has been disappointing, badly written and just not as exciting or ridiculous as the first. So I have not been interested in writing about the episodes recently.
But this episode is a little better than usual. First though, there are a couple of changes in the series I will mention. First of all, Jon changed rides between seasons. As you may remember, Jon had a groovy Mini in series one, a unique yellow and brown thing. Now he has a great big He-Man pickup thing, much more suitable to his active lifestyle you see. I think though that the Mini suited him better, he seemed more of a sensitive-type dude in that car.
The He-Man mobile.
Ponch now actually has a ride, or at least did until this episode. In episode 5 of season 2, he went to an altercation between a guy who owned a broken-down Pontiac Firebird and a tow truck guy who had to tow the car away because it was not properly registered. A neighbour must have called the Chippies and Jon and Ponch turned up. The car owner gets really pissed at the tow-truck guy and in frustration gets a can of petrol and sets the car alight. Jon and Ponch arrive soon after and Ponch quickly grabs an extinguisher from the tow-truck and puts the fire out. The Firebird guy says he doesn’t want the damn car anymore so the tow-truck guy offers to buy it from him for $50. Ponch then bids a higher price and a mini auction begins. Finally, Ponch wins and gets the car for $83 although he has to borrow some money from Jon. We don’t see the car again until episode 12 where you can see Ponch has been fixing the car up.
So this episode starts with Ponch inside Chippie HQ leading a bunch of Chippies along the hallway and takes them outside to see his completely restored Firebird. It looks far out too, in a kind of bronze-gold colour. Ponch is chuffed and the other Chippies are impressed. The Sarge comes along and says ‘Hey, stop lollygagging around and hit the bricks!’. He is grumpy but lovable!
The next scene is Ponch driving back to his apartment at the Marina and parking his ride. As he gets out of the car a blonde chick gets out of her car also and Ponch of course introduces himself to her as she is new in the apartment building. After Ponch finishes his smooth talk they both leave and we fade to a scene in the same location some time after. Two more blonde chicks on a motorcycle arrive, one gets off the bike, skillfully breaks into Ponch’s ride, and nicks off with it! Dang! She drives the car to a used car lot, gets out of the car and nods to a carsalesman who quickly puts a ‘Sold’ sign on the car. The blonde chick then gets into a car and the driver is…Kim, the first blonde chick! She asks ‘All set?’ and the other blonde replies ‘Piece of cake!’ and they drive off laughing!
In the next scene while parked on their bikes on the side of a road, Ponch is talking to Jon about his Firebird and how great it is, not realising it has been pilfered yet. Along the road comes a speeding Corvette, swerving through the traffic. But that is not the reason they give chase, Jon notices it has ‘old plates’. So they start chasing it and inside, unbeknownst to Ponch is the chick that nicked his car, and yet another blonde chick. They drive like crazy and eventually lose Jon and Ponch when they almost run over a guy in a wheelchair, with Ponch falling off his bike trying to avoid the wheelchair dude. Ponch hurt his left pinky finger. The Corvette went to the same car sales lot.
Next we are back at Chippie HQ and there is a lot of activity going on, people moving boxes around and construction guys carrying ladders. Turns out a women’s locker room is being built…weird. The Sarge calls Ponch to his office which is in disarray because of the construction. He asks about Ponch’s pinky and says Ponch will have to do desk work for a week while his pinky mends. Ponch is bummed and then the Sarge has a great idea. Ponch has five days holiday he must use up soon so happily orders him to take a five day vacation. Ponch is chuffed and decides to use the time to do a road trip up to San Francisco in his Firebird. The scene ends with Jon and Ponch leaving the office and the Sarge’s phone ringing. Because of the all of the boxes on his desk we see him frustrated as he tries to find the phone…some light comic relief!
Sarge looking for the phone.
Later we find Jon looking through his locker for his wallet which seems to have disappeared but he can’t find it. In the next scene Jon gives Ponch a lift home in his He-Man mobile and asks if he can check Ponch’s patio for his wallet, he was there recently helping Ponch move the patio furniture. No luck but he did see Kim on her patio with large binoculars, wondering what she is doing. Ponch says ‘Come on Jon, shape up this is a whole new age, women have their rights too now you know!’. It turns out later she was scoping for cars to nick.
Finally Ponch is ready to go for his road trip but discovers his car has gone. He goes back to Chippie HQ and tries to get the Sarge to help but he doesn’t seem to care, he is busy organising his office. So Ponch tries Jon but he is busy trying to sort out his missing wallet situation and doesn’t listen at first. Ponch is bummed. Finally Jon comes up to Ponch and says sorry for not listening, then the Sarge comes by and says he will give a special bulletin at the next Chippie briefing about the Firebird. So it turns out Jon and the Sarge are not heartless bums after all! Next, Ponch goes to the auto-theft division to see if he can work for them in finding his car. The auto-theft guy doesn’t want his help but tells him to check on his neighbours in the apartment to see if they saw something.
So Ponch visits Kim who is wearing a leotard and doing a headstand to relax she says. Ponch is impressed with her apartment that has a lot of groovy stuff, not bad for someone who says she is a struggling actress. She replies that she does all kind of work and does alright. Hmm. He explains that his car has gone and if she saw anything but she didn’t. Then he tells her he is a Chippie and she changes mood quickly and says she has to get to a reading for a groovy play she is involved in, bye-bye. So Ponch leaves not suspecting a thing.
Next, Jon and Ponch are at a restaurant talking about Jon’s wallet problem and Kim and the blonde chick that nicked Ponch’s car walk past. Ponch invites them to sit and have a natter but they brush him off saying they have to practice for an acting thing. They then get into a big Lincoln car and drive off. Soon after, Grossman see’s the black Lincoln speeding so gives chase. The chicks can’t lose him so they go to plan B. They go to a pier and drive the car into the sea, escaping a confused Grossie! Man, they are slippery!
Later, back at Chippie HQ the auto-theft guy is looking over the recovered black Lincoln. Ponch drops by and figures out maybe Kim is involved in the car scam. The auto theft guy suggests he try to get fingerprints from her as there are some juicy ones on the rear-view mirror which cannot be matched.
Jon and Ponch arrive at Kim’s apartment with three glasses and a bottle of apple juice, saying it’s Ponch’s birthday and they want to celebrate with her. Kim is upset though, she says her father died back in Minnesota, so they leave and don’t take the glass that Kim was given.
Outside the apartment Jon asks why Ponch didn’t take the glass Kim touched and Ponch says he felt bad about the situation and would get it back later, boy, was he suckered! When they are gone the other blonde chicks come out of another room and applaud Kim’s great acting! Kim figures out Jon and Ponch are onto them so they decide to pull out of L.A.
The auto-theft guy finds out the scam is being run out of the car sales place and calls Ponch, telling him the coppers will go there at 3pm to do a stakeout on the place and asks Ponch to drive by and see if his car is there. Ponch and Jon pile into the He-Man mobile and start driving to the car sales but while this is happening the blonde chicks have loaded up a transporter with the cars they nicked, including the Firebird, and are going to Arizona. While driving to the car sales place Ponch spots his Firebird on the transporter and they give chase. After flagging down Grossie who was on patrol on his bike they briefly lose sight of the transporter but find it on a side street with the chicks unloading two cars, one of them is Ponch’s car. Two of the chicks were quickly busted but Kim gets away in the Firebird with Jon and Ponch in chase.
Busted! Firebird tearing off in the background.
The chase Kim hits a parked car and flips the Firebird onto it’s roof. Jon and Ponch get her out as the car starts to burn. Jon tries to put the fire out with an extinguisher but it runs out and he has to run away just before the car explodes.
Burning Firebird, again.
Ponch asks Kim why did all that crap and she says she is just trying to survive, then she is taken away.
Jon and Ponch get into the He-Man mobile and Jon asks Ponch to pass him his jacket from behind the seat. Inside the pocket Jon finds his wallet! Hurrah! But Jon is not pleased to find it after cancelling his credit card, getting a new driver’s license etc. Laughs ensue in freeze frames as the ending credits roll.
Damn, I found it!
So that was it. Not really an exciting episode but better than most others in season two. I think the first episode was the best of this season. The actress who played Kim would later get a role in the series as ‘Bonnie’ the token lady Chippie.