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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a very well written episode that was kind of sunk by weak
This time Rockford is the innocent victim of a car accident when a couple of drunks drive into him while he's driving Rocky's truck. While in the hospital, the groggy P.I. sees a Dr. Yost (John Considine) removing the corneas from a donor--only the donor doesn't appear to be dead yet!
Of course, everyone shrugs it off on the fact Rockford was medicated and groggy. But Jim's not convinced, so he decides to investigate Dr. Yost. There's a good scene where Rockford visits the farm where Yost grew up and another where he tries to get info from a V.A. patient.
The humor is there and it is a good mystery, while Considine kind of phones in his part. They needed someone with more presence and a sense of underlying menace (like James Woods or Eric Braeden) to play Dr. Yost. Considine is just bland.
Jesse Wells returns as Yost's secretary. She was in two season one episodes, most notably playing Nancy Wade in "Roundabout". She's good playing the dumb girl who thinks she's smart (though what Rockford sees in her is beyond me!)
You'll notice at the beginning the Firebird is no where to be seen. First Rockford drives Rocky's truck, but then gets a big sedan from the rental company. The reason for this becomes apparent later in the show when they use Universal stock footage of a car going off the road, down a cliff and exploding. If you look closely, you'll notice while the car in the stock footage is a dark sedan, its a Continental with suicide doors, while the car Jim drives is a Ford with doors that open regularly.
This is a terrific episode which ends season 5, as Rockford is sent to the hospital after he was involved in an accident(he was in Rocky's truck)with 2 weirdos, and you'll most likely think that this will be the top story, but it isn't, and that's due to some fine writing. While in the hospital, Rockford witnesses an odd surgery by a very slick "doctor", played smoothly by John Considine(Lee Yost), as the supposed dead patient he's operating on moves his fingers, much to Rockford's surprise. Rocky and Dennis have some nice scenes, and look for familiar faces in Fritzi Burr(Sanford & Son), Reni Santoni(Poppy from Seinfeld), and Jesse Welles(Sorel Henderson), who makes the final of her 3 appearances of this show, and plays a very ditzy woman who works for Yost's firm, which specializes in the black market for human organs. There's a rare scene where we see Jim sleeping in his bed, with a book on his chest and glasses on, when he's awakened by the 2 fools who caused his earlier accident, as they warn him not to take them to court and fire a gun at the trailer; this other plot wasn't brought up again after this scene. Getting back to the real story, Jim figures out that Yost is stealing organs, and as he's attempting to murder Sorel, Jim comes and saves the day with a right cross which knocks out Yost cold, thwarting the evil plan. The weather for the most part was unusually cloudy, which is rare for this show, although the scene where Rockford and Yost share a lunch near the beach is quite nice. This was a fine episode to end the season, as there's one more season to go before Jim says farewell to us all.
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