|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Rockford Files" really hit its stride with this two-part episode.
Jim's trailer is parked where we'll see the rest of its seasons, the
relationships with Rocky, Beth and Dennis are all clarified and
solidified, Jim gets beat up and arrested, and doesn't even know what's
The episode begins with Ned Beatty as Leon Fielder, the head of Fiscal Dynamics in a setting very much like the one he was in in "Network". He's very effective as the head of a powerful corporation.
Rockford gets involved when the computer programmer from Fiscal Dynamics comes to him for help. Jim's in the midst of trying to fix his garbage disposal, which seems like a little bit on inconsequential funny business, but in the end turns out to have a key role in the story.
The man who came to him is suddenly taken by force and Jim is beat up and left unconscious. Rocky finds him and we have a key scene that completes the transition of the Rocky character from grifter (as he was written in the pilot and several first season episodes) to mother hen and concerned dad. He's upset, concerned and angry with Jim and Noah Berry plays it very well.
Rockford's in for a surprise when he reports the man kidnapped. The man shows up unharmed and denies the whole story. Fiscal Dynamics presses the police to come down hard on Rockford and nail him for filing a false report. Jim goes to work to find out what in the world he's suddenly involved in.
Among the highlights is the scene between Beatty and Garner in which Fielder tries to intimidate Rockford with his powerful handshake, which Rockford later gets even. Dennis is still a police lieutenant in this episode, and Beth makes a brief appearance getting Jim out of jail. Gretchen Davenport looks sexier and more fetching than ever. A side note--Tracy Bogart, who appears in this episode, also appeared on Garner's previous series, "Nichols".
There's a good mix of mystery, action and humor in this episode that makes watching it again a pleasure.
This was the first "two-parter" of the great series, and while it was a very solid entry, I did detect some flaws that prevented it from becoming a terrific segment. This was still an episode I'd recommend, and while I don't particularly like many episodes from the first season, I'd have no trouble recommending this one. There were many familiar faces which included Michael Lerner, Val Bisoglio, Ned Beatty, a mediocre Sharon Spelman, and the first appearance of Rocky's friend L.J., played by Al Stevenson; Beth and Dennis had a scene or two, and there was several scenes with Rocky, which is always good. There was also several great shots of the Firebird, the beach, the trailer, and even the rare shot of Rockford with his fishing gear. Even more rare is the introduction of part 2 with narration by James Garner himself, which I didn't really expect. There were some aspects that didn't hold up for me, especially how/why Mr. and Mrs. Morris were absent for the entire latter segment, considering they were the ones who asked for Rockford's help in the first place. I also thought Rockford and Doris were acting way too cool when the police were chasing them after a building's alarm went off, and I found it odd that Doris kisses Rocky in the jail at the end of the episode, as she didn't even meet him until then. Don't let my negative comments outweigh what was otherwise a very good episode, with solid writing also.
An officer of Ned Beatty's company Fiscal Dynamics comes to the
Rockford Trailer and is looking to hire James Garner. But Garner can't
get any information out of him, not even his real name. But John Carter
has good reason to be scared and Garner sees that well enough when two
thugs come into his trailer, knock him out and spirit Carter away.
Others might forget and certainly Garner has no reason to pursue this case, but getting beat up by a pair of thugs will tend to set some people off. He finds out about Fiscal Dynamics and its president Ned Beatty a most paranoid individual.
But he gains another client in Sharon Spelman and there's a murder of a man who owned a printing shop Val Bisoglio that Spelman swears is connected to the goings on at Beatty's company. Her own husband was killed in an automobile crash that she says was suspicious.
The two part story leaves off with a tentative alliance with Spelman and Garner.
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