When a show runs as long as this one has, I suppose it becomes a challenge to present new scenarios that will keep things fresh. In the case of this episode, the writers have managed to come up with a different and highly entertaining situation. They've sent A.J. off on a fake vacation to the Bahamas (he's really just spending ten glorious days at home enjoying some peace and quiet); while Rick holds down the fort at the office. Soon Rick gets involved in the messy divorce case of a friend (Michael Constantine)-- a decent but down-on-his-luck bloke who's about to lose everything he holds near and dear, including a rather expensive boat.
While Rick tries to help, the plot thickens and some thugs show up, which leads to a murder. But what makes the story fairly unique and generates plenty of laughs is how Rick must team up with two other detectives hired by the friend's estranged wife. They are forced to work together to solve the murder and get the divorce back on track. Of course, we know the divorce probably won't take place and the couple will in all likelihood reconcile, but until then, there's a reason the other two P.I.'s must cooperate with Rick while A.J. remains unavailable.
It's fun to see Rick interact with the other two, particularly when they seem to be so ethically challenged. One of them is portrayed by Universal contract player John Schuck. He appeared in an earlier episode during the sixth season as the same character. When Schuck and his female partner go undercover with Rick to trap the killer, we're treated to some very over- the-top scenes with the three of them in a ritzy hotel suite-- which climaxes when the culprit shows up and learns their real identities. McRaney seems to be having a lot of fun with the story which deftly combines action with satire. His flair for comedy undoubtedly helped pave the way for his later sitcom 'Major Dad.' This episode is a major blast.
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