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Revision as of 10:32, 21 October 2014

Cry Wolf
Episode # 118
Air Date February 16, 1978
Briefing The new task force
Title screen

Brief Plot

Hurry up and wait! Bogus accident calls have the CHP spinning its wheels.


While Ponch and Jon try to get some fast food, someone on the San Diego Freeway calls in a gas truck rollover. Although he's calling from callbox "SD 283", he gives the CHP callbox number "SD 285". Ponch, Jon, Baricza, and fire trucks respond. As Jon is on his way to box "SD 285", a woman skids in the water and causes Jon to fall off his motorcycle. Luckily, he's only scraped.

At the reported location of the accident, emergency response units are standing by. Grossman tells Getraer there's nothing for miles. They give up and start to head out.

As Ponch and Jon check over Jon's motor, the nurse from the car suggests that Jon get his elbow X-rayed in case it's chipped. Ponch encourages it just to get Jon to spend time with the good looking nurse, but Jon turns down the offer.

Finally arriving at the reported location of the accident, Ponch and Jon are told that Getraer wants to see them all back at Central. After they arrive, Getraer, leads a task force and goes over tactics to catch the guy phoning in the fake accidents. They have help from someone from the phone company. Getraer notices Jon's elbow and asks him to have it checked out.

Elsewhere, we see the guy who called in the false alarm in his bedroom and learn his name is Walt. His sister comes to the door and he lies about having a job interview and yells at her. She encourages him to do something with his life. He heads out and calls in a fake brush fire from box "SD 424" as "SD 426". Once again, emergency units respond. Baricza arrives first and finds nothing there.

Back at Central, Getraer tells Jon that the phone company's equipment will be ready at 8am the next morning.

Helicopter crash

That morning, the phone company has tracing equipment ready. When a possible false alarm of a helicopter crash comes in from box "SD 248", everyone responds. They find out it's real when Ponch and Jon arrive first on the scene. After getting everyone to safety, the two officers grab a box of rare blood just before the helicopter explodes. They then race to Valley General Hospital with the blood. They get there just in time and are rudely greeted by a doctor. Seconds later, the doctor comes out and apologizes.

While they're there, Jon has his scraped elbow X-rayed by the nurse he met earlier on the highway. In the process, they discover they're both from the same region and are both familiar with Bear Lake in Idaho. Ponch helps to hook him up with Karen by having flowers delivered on Jon's behalf.

Back at Central, Ponch informs him that he and his girlfriend Ruth will be joining him and Karen for dinner.

At dinner, Ponch and Jon are annoyed that another party was seated before they were and convince the maître d' to seat them right away. Unfortunately, they have no idea what they're ordering since everything on the menu is in French. They order escargot not realizing that they're snails. When they get their entrees of quails, they joke about the small size.

After dinner, Jon drops off Karen and kisses her goodnight.

The next day, Ponch and Jon come across a damaged Mustang in the middle of the road. After Ponch moves it, he sees a snake grab his ankle and realizes the door won't open. He honks the horn to get Jon's attention. Jon pulls him out as the kid comes along to get his snake.

Later, Walt calls in another false alarm about a Greyhound bus accident claiming it's at "SD 255". The call is traced to "SD 253" and Ponch and Jon go after the him. He threatens to jump off a bridge. As he slips off the edge, Ponch grabs him at the last second.

That night, Ponch and Jon double date at a nice restaurant again. Ponch orders cheeseburgers and fries for everyone. Although everyone seems to enjoy it, the waiter looks annoyed. Ponch surely makes it worse when he asks for ketchup.

Great Quote

"Names, ah, Jon Baker. You know yours?"
"Uh huh. Officer Egg-in-the-face."
-Jon and Ponch at the hospital

Also starring

Guest Stars



Fun Facts

  • When we see the fire engine respond to the first false alarm, it has a number "51" on it. Engine 51 was made famous in the Los Angeles-based series Emergency!.
  • The following text appears on the dispatcher's screen when the second false alarm is called in:
San Diego Freeway 426
Emergency All Vehicles
Mulholland Fire Station Truck 26
Einhorn Tow
Schaeffer Ambulance Service
Paramedics Station 42
  • During the second false alarm, the fire truck (seen after the Ghostbusters-style ambulance) is also from Station 51.
  • Station 127, which is called Station 51 in this episode, is located at 2049 E. 223rd St. in Carson, CA just south of the San Diego Freeway (405). View in Google Maps
  • The third call (with the helicopter crash) has the following text on the dispatcher's screen:
San Diego Freeway 248
Emergency All Vehicles
Verdugo Fire Station Truck 5
Einhorn Tow
Schaeffer Ambulance Service
Paramedics Station 42
  • The helicopter crash was filmed on the link road between the Glendale Freeway and the westbound Foothill Freeway. The actual number of the call box there is "2 228TA". View in Google Maps
  • In this episode we see the return of the revolving license plate. Jon's license plate reads "J A B" this episode.
  • When Ponch is trapped in the Mustang, he honks Morse code for "SOS".
  • The waiter presents the cheeseburgers as “boeuf haché au fromage américain, et pommes de terre frites”
  • On some copies of this episode, the footage shown under the closing credits is from the first restaurant scene. When the episode originally aired, the comedic footage under the closing credits showed Jon and Ponch biting into their hamburgers and grimacing in disgust at what they thought would taste good. The comedic irony was that the strange looking French cuisine in the first scene tasted good and the great looking American cuisine in the last scene tasted terrible.
  • Alyscia Maxwell also appears in the episodes "Return of the Turks", "High Octane", "Nightingale", and "Crash Course".


  • When Ponch and Jon are going through the drive through, the speaker is on Jon's side. If a car was going through this drive through, they would have to order out the passenger window instead of the driver's side window. However, the pickup window is on the correct side.
  • When Jon and Ponch respond to the opening false alarm they are seen joining the Hollywood Freeway at Argyle (the Hollywood Tower apartments can be seen behind them). This won't help them get to the San Diego Freeway, and it's completely the wrong direction to get to the actual location in Long Beach. View in Google Maps
  • In the opening sequence, Jon skids off his bike on Shoreline Drive, just across the road from where all the other emergency vehicles are supposed to be (none are visible). A few shots earlier, Jon, Ponch, and the girl in the blue car are all seen heading in the opposite direction in Shoreline Drive. They must have driven past the reported incident location.
  • The fire engine that arrives on the scene for the first false alarm is completely different than the one we saw leave the fire station moments earlier. It is also number "519" and the one that left the station was "51".
  • Grossie doesn't know his directions. Grossie reports there's nothing southbound. Getraer tells him to go north to Mulholland. After the theme, the first words we hear are "Not even a fender-bender south of us." I guess he went south again, huh?
  • When the guy calls in the brush fire, it's night time around the phone but daytime everywhere else. The same happens for the guy's final call.
  • Baricza arrives at the reported location of the brush fire first. It looks identical to the location of the first false alarm even though the call box numbers aren't close to each other.
  • The guy gives the location of the gas tanker incident as the San Diego Freeway. He's actually on Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.
  • The location where the emergency vehicles arrive for the first false alarm (SD 285) is only about 50 to 100 yards from where the phone call was made (SD 283). Several of the same buildings can be seen in the background.
Hollywood Tower apartments
  • The guy who's been making the phony calls reverses back off Shoreline Drive and abandons his car at the spot where Ponch comes off his bike in Sick Leave in season 4. He runs onto the Golden Shore bridge over Shoreline, but the shots from below show a completely different parapet. The below shots were actually filmed on a link road to the Glendale Freeway, very close to the helicopter crash. View on Google Maps
  • When Jon reveals he is from Rawlins, Wyoming, Karen reacts like she's from the same place. She's not even from the same state. Soda Springs, Idaho is a four hour and 20 minute drive from Rawlins, Wyoming. They're about 300 miles apart. Directions on Google Maps

Buy this episode

Preceded by:
"Hitch-Hiking Hitch"
Cry Wolf
Followed by:
"Crash Diet"