CHiPs (1983)

Season 5 Episode 24

Ice Cream Man

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Apr 18, 1982 on NBC

Episode Recap

A stolen flatbed truck speeds down the street and passes Bonnie. She gives chase, but when loose cargo tumbles off the truck onto a car alongside it, an accident occurs. An ice cream man pulls over and sees the incident unfold. When Bonnie arrives, the driver backs into Bonnie's cruiser and leaves the scene. The ice cream man then uses Bonnie's radio to call in the accident, leaving Bonnie confused.

Jon and Ponch arrive on the scene and find out what happened. It turns out that the ice cream man is Tom Cory, former sergeant of Central, who was recently released from prison. At Central, we find that he landed in prison for using his position as sergeant to help an associated gang of thieves, the guys that stole the flatbed, steal trucks and sell the merchandise. Harlan comes in and warns everyone not to go into the garage, as a skunk is hiding out there, but Grossie doesn't heed to the warning.

At a school, Cory is selling ice cream to the kids when Ponch and Jon arrive to get some information. Two kids come ask for ice cream, and one of them tells a story of his father dying in the line of duty. It turns out to be Cory's son, but he doesn't know that the ice cream man is his father. After they leave, Jon and Ponch press Cory further, but he keeps his lips tight. Cory goes to a diner in town to visit his ex-wife, and try to talk her into arranging for him to see his son. She refuses the gesture. That evening, when Cory arrives home to his apartment, he finds Vin, passenger in the stolen flatbed, is there waiting. Cory demands to be taken to the boss, Reno Hale.

In the suite of an office building, Cory goes to see Hale and uses blackmail to convince Hale to give him a job. The next day at Central, the skunk is still running loose, and Ponch's motor happens to be in the garage for maintenance. He hurriedly tries to remove it before the smell sets in. At a loading dock, Cory slips into a loaded 5-ton truck and rolls away. Vin and Marv tail him to be sure that Cory isn't up to anything. Cory is carrying a police scanner, and a call comes out over the radio with the description of the truck he's driving. He gets on the radio and puts out a phony call, sending the police in the wrong direction.

Marv and Vin have to meet Cory at the rendezvous point to keep the truck mobile, so he pulls a reckless U-turn just as Jon and Ponch pull up. They chase the sedan as they cause several near accidents, then hitting a Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle begins to roll down the street, and its owner hops on and tries to steer it. Jon and Ponch catch up and Ponch jumps aboard to get the car stopped. While Ponch thinks that the lady is trying to thank him, she comments on how bad he smells (because of the skunk at Central).

At the rendezvous point, Cory turns the truck over to Vin, while Vin thinks that Cory sent Jon and Ponch after them. Back at Central, Harlan, Grossie, and Turner try to find the skunk, but get scared away. At Cory's apartment, Jon and Ponch visit to try to explain that while he's trying to clear himself and bring down Hale so he can be the father his son deserves, it's not a smart move to do it alone. Cory throws them hidden messages for help, and then tells them to leave. As they leave, Vin and Marv are watching from outside.

Back at Hale's office, Hale is expecting an explanation from Cory. Not taking the wrap for Hale nearly being exposed, Cory outs Vin and Marv for not rendezvousing on time after stealing the truck. Hale sets up another hit for Cory, pays him and promises no more screw-ups from his men. At Central, Bonnie is about to go undercover as they all prepare to help Cory. Meanwhile, Cory is about to steal another truck. Vin jumps in and announces a change of plans. Irritated with the continuing distrust from Hale and his men, Cory jumps out and calls Hale, demanding that he be at the rendezvous point, which is his secret warehouse.

They take off, and Bonnie follows them in an unmarked car. Vin becomes wise and has Cory turn off, to see if they have someone tailing them. Bonnie loses them, but later, with Vin's permission, Cory sends out another phony call over the radio, speaking in code and leading the CHPs in his direction. Cory arrives at the warehouse with Vin and finds Hale. Bonnie passes by just as they seal the building.

Inside, Hale gives Cory the news that he no longer needs him and plans to get rid of him. Marv knocks him unconscious, and just as Vin is about to set the place ablaze with a match, Jon announces police presence outside the warehouse on police P.A. The match burns Vin because of the distraction, dropping it onto the gas that was poured, and the place begins to go up. Vin and Marv jump into the truck and crash through the warehouse door. Bonnie and Baricza take them into custody.

Ponch and Jon go inside and rescue Cory from the fire. As they bring him out, Cory sends them back inside to save Hale. They get him out just before the building explodes, and he's taken away. Back at Central, Bonnie makes Cory's ex-wife face the fact that she's still in love with him. Inside the report room, Cory finally reveals to his son that he's his father. As he leaves to have Harlan show him the motors, Cory, his wife, and Getraer discuss arrangements for assistance to help Cory through the system.

As they all walk down the hall so Getraer can take Cory away, Cory's son comes in after being in the garage. He's excited to tell his father that he chased the skunk away, and Cory hugs him. When he tells Getraer that he's ready to go, Getraer tries to pass off the chore of handling a now smelly Cory to the others. The episode ends with one freeze frame, as Jon, Ponch and Bonnie all refuse, leaving Getraer to deal with it.
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