The Rockford Files (1975) – Chicken Little is a Little Chicken & 2 Into 5.56 Won’t Go

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Private Investigator Jim Rockford (James Garner) remains easygoing and fun in this week’s installment, despite the trouble he finds himself in.

The first episode, which aired 14 November, 1975, was written by Cannell and features a phone gag that is actually referenced through the course of the episode, Beth (Gretchen Corbett) leaves a message about Jim looking after her cat.

Angel (Stuart Margolin) is front and center in this week’s episode as he comes to Jim begging for his help, after he hid $30,000 in the door of Rockford’s car. Agreeing to a cut, Rockford soon finds himself in over his head, when Angel’s actions bring down two criminal syndicates down on him because Angel hasn’t been completely honest with him… surprise, surprise.

It seems he’s involved in a counterfeiting scheme, and Jim has to think quick to stay ahead of the game, including faking Angel’s death.

Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.) warns Jim about getting involved at all, but Angel reminds him that they are friends, they served time together, and hopefully they walk away clean and alive…

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There are some great moments, and this episode pushes Jim and Angel’s friendship right to the breaking point, as Jim is angry, hurt, chased by criminals, and just wants to be shot of the whole thing, but in the end, he helps Angel out, though everything doesn’t work out as well as they planned.

Charles Napier guest stars in the second episode, alongside Mitchell Ryan. The phone gag this time around is a dry cleaners calling to inquire about a yellow dress in with all of Jim’s clothes…

Airing 21 November, 1975 and written by Cannell, this one gives us a brief glimpse of military life, something Jim isn’t keen on revisiting, when an army colonel he served with in Korea ends up murdered after calling the private investigator urging him to get in touch.

Pairing up with the colonel’s daughter, Shana (Jesse Welles), he starts running down leads, coming up against the local sherriff (Napier) who is working for some of the military officers who were involved.

Of the two episodes, the Chicken Little one was the more enjoyable episode, because it gave Angel a lot of screen time, and you got to see a lot of the interplay between him and Rockford, and the things they put one another through. In fact I quite liked the ending of Chicken Little, it sees Jim in a place we as viewers haven’t really seen him before…

More next week, stay tuned!!

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