Episode Guide: Season 1: Undertow
102 - Undertow

Original Airdate: 22-Sep-1977

Plot: A tow truck driver robs a woman whose car broke down. While responding to an accident, Ponch breathes an unknown gas (which Fritz tells Brouillette (Mary 5) is nitrous oxide). Upon returning to central, Ponch begins acting loopy. (The viewers also learn he's seeing double.) He dances around a bit, acts buddy-buddy with Getraer, and makes a personal phone call. Out on the highway, Jon and Loopy pull over Jim Bakus. Ponch tries to give him a sobriety test but can't do it himself. When Ponch hears a dispatch on the tow truck robber, he speeds off with Jon chasing him. Jon pulls over Ponch (in a classic "CHiPs" moment!) Jon tells him, "The party's over, Hot Dog." Meanwhile, the tow truck shows up at the woman's location. Later, on the basketball court, the "CHiPs" team loses without Ponch. After the game, Jon goes out to his crappy car and beats up a guy who refused to get off of it. While Jon visits Ponch, in his first of many hospital stays of the series, a nasty nurse takes his Ding Dong and gives him a shot in his rear. He decides to stay for the sponge bath from the sexy nurse. The next day, while discussing "sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows," a bird craps on Ponch's windshield. Stopping at a gas station, they realize it's being robbed. Jon chases the robber who ends up crashing into a tree. Jon gives him medical attention and psychiatric counseling. Ponch shows up to the briefing with a doctor's note. After the briefing, Jon gives a speeding ticket to a guy and his bird and notices a tow truck "assisting" a woman. Ponch and Jon chase him north on the Golden State Freeway (approaching the Ventura interchange). The car in tow breaks loose and flips over. Ponch apprehends the driver when he runs into a dead end. (Ponch mentions his sister for the first time here.) During the "CHiPs" vs. "RAMS" basketball game, the "CHiPs" are down 6 points with 54 seconds left. Ponch manages to score the winning shot in the final second. There is much rejoicing.

Briefing: Tow truck driver robbing women

Guest Stars: Barney McFadden (as DeVito), Dolores Mann (as Jag Lady), Doreen Long (as Nurse Kremen), Reb Brown (as Brouillette), Jim Bakus (Mr. Howell from Gilligan's Island as Weitzman), Paul Brinecar (as Old Surfer), William Espy (as Vinnie), Bettye Ackerman (as Mrs. Burgess)
Written by: Larry Alexander
Directed by: Christian I. Nyby, II

Fun Fact:

  • This episode has an unusually high number of Ponch close-ups.
  • This episode marks Ponch's first visit to the hospital.
  • At the basketball game, they showed the clock which said there were 33 seconds left. After we see Ponch making a basket, the clock said 34.

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