ROOKIES, THE: CONCRETE VALLEY, NEON SKY (TV)

Summary

One in this police drama series about the exploits of three new recruits to the Southern California Police Department. In this episode, Gillis and Webster break up a fight in a dangerous neighborhood, and though Webster knows several of the men involved, including a leader named Truck, it is clear that they do not trust policemen. Back at the station house, Ryker informs them about recent gang activity, including “rumbles” in which people are often hurt or killed, and explains that the gangs have their own cops and are very difficult to contain. Later, Ryker asks Webster’s opinion of a new halfway house in one of the gang neighborhoods, and he calls it an “empty gesture” that does not really help anyone. Ryker asks Webster to use his personal influence to talk to the gangs and decrease the violence, but he refuses to get involved. Willis eagerly offers to help, and Ryker gives him the job, although Webster is doubtful that he will have any effect. Indeed, when he goes to a local gym and attempts to engage some men in a game of basketball, they beat him up, knowing that he is a cop. Danko and Jill tend to his injuries, but he refuses to tell Ryker what happened, determined to try again. Danko criticizes Webster for allowing Willis to get involved, and Webster grudgingly educates him on proper gang decorum. Webster then talks to Ryker, who says that he will not pull Willis from the case. Webster says he will help him only if he is given a “free hand” and can handle matters as he sees fit, and Ryker reminds him of his duties as a cop.

Webster goes back into the neighborhood and arranges another meeting at the gym, and when the gang arrives, he and Willis challenge them to a basketball game. The game gets intense, with Willis and Webster showing off some Globetrotter-like skills, and the gang members are sufficiently humbled. They all go out for a meal afterwards and debate the logistics of gang life, with Willis admitting that they “fascinate” him. They explain the family-like protection one gets in a gang, but the policemen argue that they should be working to improve their dangerous streets rather than making things worse. Just then, a rival gang leader called Eric the Red arrives and invites Truck and the others to a “party” late that night at which his gang, the Blades, intends to take over Truck’s turf. Webster tells Willis that they should not get involved, saying that trust is necessary to their work and the fight will happen regardless, but Willis argues that they should inform Ryker. That night, the gangs meet, and Willis and Webster show up in their midst. Webster boldly challenges them to fight “like men” without weapons, and they put their tools down and begin to brawl. Suddenly, Truck is shot in the back, and the other gang members flee as Webster tends to his former friend. At the hospital, Webster talks about his friendship with Truck’s brother, who was injured in Vietnam, and vents his anger over the pointless gang violence, regretting his involvement. Truck recovers, but Ryker arrives and demands answers, and Webster admits his part in the shooting, but Willis defends him, saying that his interference prevented further violence.

Danko and Ryker take Webster and Willis to the rest of Truck’s gang and tell them they have ten minutes to get answers “their way” before they will call for backup. Inside the gym, they demand answers about the shooting, saying that it came from their side of the fight. No one confesses, and Webster says that they will perform a gunpowder residue test to find the culprit. When one man objects, Webster sternly lectures them on their behavior and urges them to change their ways. Finally, as they begin testing the men’s hands, one member named Benny panics and pulls his gun, admitting that he accidentally shot Truck in his attempts to impress the leader. He fears retribution from the other members, but Webster talks him down and takes him in peacefully. Later, at the stationhouse, Webster and Willis learn that some neighborhood youths are staging a peaceful protest about the city’s shoddy garbage collection, and though Ryker gruffly orders them to go handle it, they are clearly pleased that the gangs have begun cleaning up their streets. Includes commercials.

Details

  • NETWORK: ABC
  • DATE: September 11, 1972 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:00:00
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:13365
  • GENRE: Drama, police/detective
  • SUBJECT HEADING: African-American Collection - Drama
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV series, 1972-1976
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Quaker State motor oil^TV - Commercials - Libby's Fruit Float dessert^TV - Commercials - Lysol disinfectant spray^TV - Commercials - Mop & Glo cleaner^TV - Commercials - Fiat automobiles^TV - Commercials - Lifesavers chewing gum^TV - Commercials - Band-Aid bandages^TV - Commercials - Johnson's baby powder^TV - Commercials - Shake 'n' Bake cooking products^TV - Commercials - Post Raisin Bran cereal^TV - Commercials - Gillette hair products^TV - Promos - "The Streets of San Fransisco"

CREDITS

    • Aaron Spelling … Executive Producer
    • Leonard Goldberg … Executive Producer
    • William Blinn … Producer, Developed by
    • Shelley Hull … Associate Producer
    • Hal Sitowitz … Writer
    • Rita Lakin … Created by
    • Michael Caffey … Director
    • Elmer Bernstein … Music by
    • Georg Stanford Brown … Cast, Officer Terry Webster
    • Sam Melville … Cast, Officer Mike Danko
    • Michael Ontkean … Cast, Officer Willie Gillis
    • Kate Jackson … Cast, Jill Danko
    • Gerald S. O'Loughlin … Cast, Police Lieutenant Ed Ryker
    • Hilly Hicks … Cast, Benny
    • William Elliott … Cast, Truck
    • Shelly Novak … Cast, Cody
    • David Roya … Cast, Ace
    • Ian Sandor … Cast, Eric, the Red
    • Reid Cruickshanks … Cast, Senior Officer
    • Damu King … Cast, Moose
    • Dan Spelling … Cast, Frank
    • Jerry Randall … Cast, Arnie