The Rookies (1972)

Season 1 Episode 5

The Commitment

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 02, 1972 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Commitment
After umpiring a kids' baseball game, Officer Gillis and Mrs. Gibson, the concessionaire, are robbed by two masked men. When Willie tries to intervene, he is shot by a bullet which lodges near his spinal cord and leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. While Officers Webster and Danko pursue the investigation, Willie must decide whether or not to enter into a dangerous surgical procedure to remove the bullet. In addition, his fiancée Nancy struggles with her commitment not only to a man who may be paralyzed, but also to the sacrifices required of a police officer's wife.moreless

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  • Action Television's first IMPACT shot?

    Great episode. Full of action and REALISTIC VIOLENCE. An actual Television history milestone. Prior to THE ROOKIES, tv series NEVER showed a gun BLOOD IMPACT SHOT. It just was not shown. The Rookies, was the first TV series to ever show a Blood impact shot making it extremely violent and also realistic. In this episode, Willie is shot in the back by robbers after a softball game, sending hi mt othe hospital to fight for his life. The 'bad guys" are a couple of horror film fanatics who shop around town for oddball antiques. When they are finally captured, it sends Terry onto the (no joke) 20th Century Fox studio mock up train tracks (they were there in the early 70's and used on a few TV series, including SWAT). From this episode on, til lthe end of the entire series, they tried to show realistic gunshots and blood. When the series was SYNDICATED in the 70's they cut out all the gun impact shots making it impossible to watch or make sense of. Unfortuantely the series is still not shown on televisio nor available on DVD(except for Season one). Season 2 , 3.4, in uncut format are RARE as hell.moreless
Darleen Carr

Darleen Carr

Nancy Leigh

Guest Star

Bo Svenson

Bo Svenson

Bud Reeves

Guest Star

Dal Jenkins

Dal Jenkins

Vester Benson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Danko and Webster's police car's code is Ludlow 7.

    • Gus T. Caldwell lives in the Bay Apartments at 1483 Bay Street. He drives a Ford LTD, which is the car that was stolen and used in the commission of the robbery. As a point of interest, the end credits of all shows say that Chrysler Corporation provides the cars.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Young Boy: You're a policeman, aren't you?
      Lt. Ryker: Huh? Yes, I am. Something I can do for you, young man?
      Young Boy: Well, I was wondering.
      Lt. Ryker: Wondering what?
      Young Boy: Mr. Gillis going to be OK?
      Lt. Ryker: Well, we hope so; he's young and he's strong.
      Young Boy: Young? He's 22!
      Lt. Ryker: Well, strong then. I think we can agree on that, eh?
      Young Boy: (nods)
      Lt. Ryker: Something else you're wondering about?
      Young Boy: How come people hurt people?
      Lt. Ryker: Well, sir, I don't believe there's a policeman in the history of the world who hasn't wondered about that very same thing. I'm afraid none of us has come up with a very good answer.
      (boy walks away)

    • (To Jill and Mike Danko)
      Nancy: The whole four years at school, that wasn't any doubt in anyone's mind that Willie and I were going to get married. He was going in to business, and I was going to teach art; just as square and dull as you can imagine. And then this man from the Police Department came on to campus, talking about the program being started. Made it sound like being a cop was a combination of Sir Galahad and Captains Courageous, and Willie bought it all. I wonder how he feels about it now. I know how I feel about it.

    • Danko: Well, you always said at the Academy that tenacity is an important weapon to any police officer; that sometimes an item or a piece of information must be checked and checked again.
      Lt. Ryker: I said that?
      Webster: Yes, sir, you did.
      Lt. Ryker: Well, then, stop quoting me and go do something about it.

    • Nancy: How long will he be in there?
      Jill: Oh, I don't know. That kind of operation, it can take quite a while. We can wait in the cafeteria.
      Nancy: That's a lot your life, isn't it - waiting?
      Jill: No, when you're a nurse you really don't have too much time to wait around.
      Nancy: I didn't mean being a nurse; I meant being a cop's wife.

    • (after Webster and Gillis ruin a stakeout while wearing civilian clothes)
      Lt. Ryker: The problem gentlemen, is one of defining terms. See that man walking by? Notice he's wearing a plain, ordinary, every day suit of clothes. We call him a plainclothes man because he wears plain clothes when on duty. We call you two gentlemen uniformed officers because you wear uniforms when on duty. Am I going too fast for you to grasp any of this?

  • NOTES (1)


    • 63 yard field goal by a man with half a foot
      Officer Gillis is referring to Thomas John (Tom) Dempsey (b.1947), a former National Football League (NFL) placekicker. He was born without toes on his right foot and is best remembered for kicking an NFL record 63-yard field goal in the final two seconds of a game to give the New Orleans Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions. The November 8, 1970 kick has remained a record through the end of the 2007 season. In order to compensate for not having any toes, Dempsey wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe surface.

    • Sir Galahad
      Refers to one of the knights of King Arthur's Round Table. He is one of the three knights who achieved the Holy Grail and is especially known for his gallantry and purity.

      Captains Courageous
      Captains Courageous was originally a novel - written by Rudyard Kipling in 1897 - that follows the adventures of 15-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr. It was made into a movie and 1937 starring Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney, and John Carradine. Tracy won the Best Actor Academy Award for his work. Two more made-for-TV movies of Captains Courageous followed. The first was in 1977 and starred Karl Malden, Ricardo Montalbán, Fritz Weaver, Fred Gwynne and Neville Brand. The second was in 1996 and starred Robert Urich, Kenny Vadas, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Sandra Nelson and Colin Cunningham. Lastly, the novel was also made into an Off Broadway production in 1999. It played at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
      As an aside, Robert Urich starred in S.W.A.T., which was a Rookies spinoff.