Private Eye Jim Rockford (James Garner) has his hands full in this week’s installment of The Rockford Files. The first episode, The Deep Blue Sleep was written by Juanita Bartlett from a story by Roy Huggins, and aired 10 October, 1975.
It has a great phone gag with a young lady calling to agree to a date with Jim, but do they have to go to the taco stand for dinner?
When a friend of Beth’s (Gretchen Corbett) calls Jim in the middle of the night, waking him just long enough to identify herself and then hang up, he goes back to sleep, until Beth calls minutes later to ask if he’s heard from her.
Agreeing to hire Jim, he sets off to the woman’s apartment to investigate, only to get clobbered and Becker (Joe Santos) and company get called in to help.
Once on the case, Jim eventually finds her, dead, and despite it being an open case, Beth encourages him to pursue it, which leads him to a fashion company, run by Adrienne Clarke (Janet MacLachlan) and Bob Coleman (Robert Webber).
The more Jim digs though, the less good things he learns, including the existence of an extravagant, long-term, money laundering scheme, that led to the death of Beth’s friend.
A little darker fare compared to the past couple of lighter episodes, but still had some nice moments, though Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.) is sadly missing from this week.
The second episode this week, The Great Blue Lake Land and Development Company, aired 17 October, 1975, and was written by Juanita Bartlett.
The phone gag this time around is a little different, it’s the answering machine of the director of the episode, Lawrence Doheny, calling Jim’s machine…
Rockford is returning to town with a $10,000 cash bond to get an employer out of jail, but on the way, his car has some trouble and he’s forced to stay overnight in a desert town that is working on selling land and lake front property. Stowing the money in the land office for the night, Jim is shocked to find that the money is gone the following morning, and that the man he gave the money to is dead.
The local sheriff, Mitchell (MacGyver’s Dana Elcar), thinks Rockford is guilty, but as Jim digs a little deeper, with Rocky’s help, he realizes there is a lot more going on here than what he thought at first glance.
This one was more fun than the first, and features a big desert chase with a helicopter, that put me in mind of a sequence in Lethal Weapon.
Jim, happily, comes out ahead, and saves the day again, by sorting out what really is going on, and by making a mysterious jailbreak.
This series continues to entertain, and engage, and I love the evenings when I can settle in and check out another case.