Hustle

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Hustle
Episode # 109
Air Date Nov 24, 1977
Briefing The motorcycle-riding thieves
Title screen

Brief Plot

License, please. The duo pulls over Broderick Crawford (Highway Patrol). Bikers go on a heist spree.

Plot

After getting lunch at a place advertising "FISH CHIPs", Ponch tries to talk Jon into joining a CHP bowling tournament and call comes in about a robbery. While riding down the Ventura Freeway, Ponch gets a cigarette flicked on him. It burns a hole in his pants. Jon spots motorcycle riders fitting the description and they pull them over. They realize they're the wrong people when they find out they're women. While the women laugh about Ponch's burned pants, Getraer arrives.

After the theme, Ponch and Jon head to the County of Los Angeles Municipal Traffic Court. Brouillette is there and loses his case when the evidence shows his motorcycle must have been traveling at 175 mph. Ponch is up next and presents his case to Judge Linda Lindheim against Mr. Engelhart, who crossed Ponch's flare line. Mr. Engelhart has a poor presentation and then asks for (and gets) a 48 hour continuance to gather more evidence.

Out on the highway, Ponch is complaining about Mr. Engelhart when he notices a car fail to stop at a stop sign. When they pull the car over, Ponch is excited about meeting Broderick Crawford. Soon, Mr. Engelhart shows up and Ponch makes him leave. When Ponch returns to Jon and Broderick Crawford, Jon lets him go. Ponch is upset he didn't get an autograph...but Jon had him sign a warning and offers Ponch a Xerox copy.

Later, Ponch and Jon are at the bowling alley. Ponch hits on two women to try to get them to bowl against him and Jon. When Jon and Ponch break up some trouble at the register, the women are suddenly attracted to them. After renting shoes, Ponch tries to give tips and then only knocks down one pin. Jon gets two strikes and confesses to once being a bowling instructor.

The next day, Ponch and Jon encounter two women arguing on the highway after one of them hit the other at 25 mph (rather than pushing her up to 25 mph). Meanwhile, the motorcycle-riding thieves rob what appears to be the same grocery store a second time. After passing Woodworth Street, they are chased by the LAPD.

Our heroes return to Central and enter the briefing room. Ponch makes a bet on the bowling tournament with Baricza and Fritz. After Getraer arrives, he informs Jon that Broderick Crawford wants his pen back. Getraer continues the briefing and discusses the motorcycle robbers. When an accident report comes in during the briefing, Getraer sends out Ponch and Jon.

They arrive at the accident scene to find a car has struck an electric pole and a water line. Someone runs up to help and gets shocked when he steps on the wet pavement. After removing an electric shock victim, Ponch removes electric lines from the car while Jon jumps on the car to keep the woman inside until it's safe.

While Ponch heads to court, Jon finds a car with only three wheels and pulls it over. Jon is having a hard time with the car's French speaking driver. Luckily Shain shows up and Jon has him take over.

In court, Mr. Engelhart has pictures of Ponch in some questionable situations. Ponch has an explanation for each one and Mr. Engelhart is found guilty. Ponch asks for copies of the photo with Broderick Crawford, but Mr. Engelhart refuses.

After leaving Winchell's Donuts, Ponch and Jon respond to a call about the motorcycle-riding thieves. The thieves ride through the Travel Town theme park and Ponch and Jon follow. As Jon turns near a chain link fence, he hits his right hand. Ponch and Jon finally corner the thieves at Griffith Observatory and arrest them.

At the next day's briefing, Jon reveals that he hurt his hand during the chase after Ponch had just doubled all the bowling bets.

Great Quote

"You know, I was making those Highway Patrol shows long before you guys were born."
"Yeah, they don't make TV shows like that anymore."
"Yeah, that's right. They don't, do they?"
-Broderick Crawford and Jon (poking fun at "CHiPs")
"See the little tire? Auto. Auto. Your auto only has 1, 2, 3 tires. See all, see all, see all these cars have four tires."
-Jon Baker

Also starring

Guest Stars

Crew

Fun Facts

  • The court house, located at 1945 S. Hill Street, is the same building used in the scene, but Google Street View of the address shows new changes such as windows have been removed from the building, shrubs are gone, there are now doors added to the left front of the building, the flag pole is gone and there is no longer a wall running along the building.
  • The baby removed from the car covered in electrical lines is in the same type of car seat that's used for the robot "Gypsy" in Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • The tunnel Jon rides through in the final chase appears to be the same tunnel from Back to the Future: Part II.

Mistakes

  • In the first scene, the voices of Ponch and Jon were obviously dubbed in later.
  • While chasing the women on motorcycles, Jon reports their location as "Ventura and Reseda". It is safe to assume that he is referring to the Ventura Freeway and Reseda Blvd. However, the intersection of those two roads is an urban section of Tarzana, California and very different from the rural hills they are passing through.
  • When the female motor riders are pulled over you can see numerous times the casting lighting shining in the sun glasses and helmets.
  • Ponch's burned pants were previously mentioned during Taking Its Toll. That episode appears to be set after this episode even though it aired before.
  • Ponch says, "Yes sir, your honor", when clearly the judge is a female.
  • When Jon bowls, he gets two strikes in a row. Assuming they are actually playing, it should be someone else's turn after he gets the first strike.
  • The second clip of the motorcycle robbers walking into the grocery store is identical to the first including the woman with the shopping cart. They also robbed the exact same store that they did in the opening scene.
  • When the woman in the car that struck the electrical pole comes to, look at her baby. Not only is the baby's car seat in the front seat and not secured, but the baby's not secured into the seat either. While baby car seats may not have been up to today's standards in 1977, this seems like complete negligence.
  • When Mr. Engelhart presents his photos in court, one is of Ponch and Jon laughing with Broderick Crawford. The shot is of the side of the car. Mr. Engelhart's truck was parked behind the motorcycles. (Also, the position Ponch and Jon are in never happened. Jon was always standing up straight and Ponch never leaned in that close with his back to the window.) The photo was used as a publicity photo.
  • During the final chase, Ponch and Jon are on the highway. It's not long until the chase is off the highway, but we never see anyone take an exit ramp.
  • In the first close-up of Jon after he hits his hand on the gate, he's wearing black gloves. In the next shot, as he enters a tunnel, the gloves are tan.

Buy this episode


Preceded by:
"Green Thumb Burglar"
Hustle
109
Followed by:
"Highway Robbery"