CHiPs (1983)

Season 5 Episode 21

The Game of War

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 14, 1982 on NBC

Episode Recap

It's the red team versus the blue team. Groups of war game enthusiasts go up against each other using dye-filled balloons. They get a little carried away, and take the game onto the city streets. A member of the blue team throws a dye balloon at a civilian vehicle, causing an accident.


Jon and Ponch arrive to take a statement from the woman that was hit. Across town at the county jail, retired Sgt. Stoler, commander of the blue team during the war game, is visiting retired Maj. Rascoe. They rehash an old war grudge, Rascoe's ripping off an aerospace firm, and the delivery of a jetpack. Later, Stoler is testing the jetpack on a building rooftop while Bates, commander of the red team, looks on.

The next day, a woman pulls into a construction zone and fakes breaking down. One of the men helps her out. It turns out that she works as a legal processor, and serves the man a summons. Ponch and Jon arrive as the man explodes. They defuse the situation, and the woman, Darla, gets a little comeuppance when Ponch realizes she's parked in a tow away zone and gives her a ticket.

At a war museum, Stoler is briefing his men, and gives a light warning about gaming on city streets. Back at Central, there's a chess tournament going on, and it is now Ponch against Grossman. However, Ponch puts off his turn to play to fill out paperwork. Getraer comes in and informs the crew that Rascoe is being extradited to Arizona to serve time there for his infractions against the aerospace firm that designed the jetpack.

At Ponch's marina apartment, the gang is continuing their tournament – Getraer versus Harlan. While Getraer sweats it out, Harlan nonchalantly plays along. Grossie sees an ad in a magazine that reveals the location of the museum that could give Ponch and Jon a lead on the war game enthusiasts. They visit the museum, and Stoler and Bates gives them a smoke screen.

Back at the jail, Rascoe is panicked because his extradition was moved up, and pressures Stoler to get ready. We're now seeing that the war games being played are actually diversionary tactics that will distract the police as they extradite Rascoe. Rascoe is expecting Stoler to receive him when he escapes in the jetpack.

Out on the street, Stoler is in the back of a van timing himself while suiting up in the jetpack, while Bates drives. He speeds past Bonnie, who's hidden behind some shrubs, and she pulls him over. As Bonnie asks for Bates' information, Stoler flies out the top of the van in the jetpack. Flustered, Bonnie calls in a man flying away in a space suit, then pursues on foot. She loses him.

In another part of town, and old lady tries to cross the street as a limo drives by, and hits it. It turns out it's Darla, using another creative way to serve her summons. She gets her coat caught in the limo door, and when the limo drives away, she's forced to hop aboard for dear life. Jon and Ponch spot the incident and rush to help. They're annoyed to discover it's Darla when she removes her disguise.

Back at Central, Harlan and Grossie are the final two players in the chess tournament. Grossie loses when he knocks the board over from overexcitement about his winning move. At briefing, Getraer gives everyone the rundown about Rascoe's extradition route. At the war museum, Darla spots Bates and decides to follow him inside to serve him papers. After sneaking in, she overhears Bates and Stoler discussing the plan to pick up Rascoe during the extradition. She gives herself away and they decide to put her under wraps.

Turner picks up Rascoe from county jail and the convoy takes off. Meanwhile, Stoler leaves Darla tied up in van in an open field. She sees Jon and Ponch stop a block away to help a stranded motorist. Unable to get their attention, she thrashes about in frustration and uncovers a box of canned smoke. She tosses it out the window to get their attention.

Out on the street, the red and blue teams create a diversion to get Rascoe. Bates takes off with Rascoe aboard; Turner gives chase. After helping the motorist, Ponch and Jon are leaving until Ponch sees the smoke coming from the van. They find Darla and she tells them about Stoler's plan. Turner continues chasing the van until it stops in a traffic jam. Then, Rascoe takes off in the jetpack. Stoler picks him up when he lands, and they take off. Jon and Ponch approach head on and they go down a one-way street, forcing them to stop against oncoming traffic. Stoler and Rascoe are arrested.

Back at Central, the rest of the blue and red teams are led to the booking area. Rascoe and Stoler are placed in the report room, where they argue once again. In Getraer's office, Darla is talking with Jon, Ponch, and Getraer. The episode ends with freeze frames of their reactions when Darla herself is served with a summons after scratching the limo earlier in the episode.