California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers, Ponch (Erik Estrada) and Jon (Larry Wilcox), can always be counted on to keep citizens safe. flirt with pretty girls, solve a few mysteries, and get into a variety of hairy situations. It’s stunning the number of random mishaps that unfold right in front of them. Basically Ponch and Jon don’t even need to be called to the scene of an accident or crime – they can be chatting by the side of the road and trouble will find them. Their exciting saga continues in CHiPs Season 4.
Whether it’s speeding go-carts or wayward wind skaters, Ponch and Jon have seen it all. Sometimes a stray lug nut will fly off of someone’s truck like a bullet and it’s up to you to chase them down and let them know…preferably before their fruit truck topples onto its side and skids into traffic. Sometimes your colleague starts behaving erratically, alternately yelling, crying and then laughing way too hard. In that case it’s your responsibility to speak to his doctor, who will freely admit that your friend has terminal brain cancer. Perhaps not all of these scenarios make total sense, but isn’t going above and beyond the call of duty what being a public servant is all about?
Season 4 of CHiPs also includes awesome two-part episodes like The Great 5K Star Race and Boulder Wrap Party (though nothing will ever be as good as Season 3’s “Roller Disco”) and amazing guest stars like Sonny Bono, Danny Bonaduce, and Kari Michaelson (a who’s who of late ’70s television). As comeuppance for his maverick ways, Ponch is assigned to train the department’s first female motorcycle officers in the epic “Ponch’s Angels”. He quickly learns how difficult it can be working with officers who don’t go by the book, but this doesn’t stop him from inviting one of them into his bed. Though the episode attempts to be progressive, it’s a tedious reflection of gender stereotypes, with girls doing slow loops on motorcycles while tossing their hair and solving crimes based on their sophisticated knowledge of perfume. It’s a relief to see the Angels move on to permanent positions elsewhere at the end of their training. Regardless of any shortcomings, the tone and quality of CHiPs Season 4 is consistent with the previous episodes and a welcome continuation of a beloved show.