The Game of War

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The Game of War
Episode # 521
Air Date Mar 14, 1982
Briefing Rascoe is going to be released from prison
Title screen

Brief Plot

Ponch and Jon have to deal with a bunch of soldiers whose war games get out of hand.


Two teams are playing some sort of army game and firing colored water balloons at each other. It gets out of hand and they leave the field and take it to the streets. They end up causing a major accident and drive off. That night, a former military guy demonstrates his jet pack on the roof of an L.A. building.

The next day, a woman fakes car trouble to serve a construction worker with a summons. That night, the CHP holds a chess tournament.

The next day, Ponch and Jon go to the local military store when they hear about their game. They deny using colored water balloons and tank insignias.

Later, the military rocketeer's van is pulled over by Bonnie for speeding. While he jets out the top, his driver speeds off in the van.

Later, an old woman intentionally gets hit by a limo. When she gets up, she serves the passenger. Upset, the limo drives off while her coat is stuck in the door. Ponch and Jon come to her rescue, find out it's Darla, and take her to lunch.

Back at HQ, Harlan beats Grossie after their all-night chess game...because Grossie knocks over the chess board as he's about to make the winning move.

When attempting to serve Ron Bates with a summons, Darla is caught listening to plans to free Rascoe. As the prisoner transfer is in progress, the military guys create a smoke screen around Turner's cruiser and take Rascoe.

Meanwhile, Ponch and Jon notice smoke coming from a van and find the Darla inside. While being chased, Rascoe escapes the van in a jet pack and lands in the head military guy's car. Ponch and Jon show up to arrest them both.

Back at HQ, Darla ends up being served by the limo owner, claiming she scratched her limo.

Guest Stars




Fun Facts

The changing Downtown skyline
  • After the opening credits, watch for Danny's Tow Truck from Tow Truck Lady.
  • When Jon and Ponch are on the 3rd Street bridge over the Harbor Freeway discussing chess, there are a couple skyscrapers under construction in the background. The one in the middle is the Mellon Bank Center (formerly known as the O'Melveny & Myers Building), completed in 1982, and the one on the left is the KPMG Tower, completed in 1983.
  • Bonnie stops the black van on North Hill Street. The guy with the jet pack flies over the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial. View in Google Maps
  • Darla stages the old lady/limo accident on South Beaudry Avenue. There is now a gate for the entrance to the Los Angeles Center Studios at the exact location. It's the same place that Barney was pulled over in The Sheik back in season 2.
  • Darla is left in the van just off of East Cesar E Chavez Avenue near the Los Angeles River. The area has now been redeveloped, and the ramp used by Jon and Ponch disappeared years ago, but the building on the other side of the road hasn't changed much. View in Google Maps
  • There were a couple of war museums in Anaheim around this time, but the one used for filming was at 649 North Euclid Street. Apparently it closed around 1991 and the inventory was auctioned off in 2006 after an ownership dispute was settled.


  • According to the signs, Stoler visits Rascoe twice at the "County of Los Angeles Central Jail", but Turner escorts him from the "Central City Jail".
  • During the test flight with the jet pack it's clearly stated that the maximum flying time is 20 seconds, yet Rascoe uses it for 36 seconds during his escape.

Preceded by:
"Flare Up"
The Game of War
Followed by:
"A Threat of War"