Jim Rockford (James Garner) is at it again in this week’s installment.
First up, we have Joey Blue Eyes, written by Walter Dallenbach, which aired 30 January, 1976. The phone gag this time around is actually rather funny, in that it’s a fellow named Stan, who is actually calling for Rocky, letting him know that he’s got a couple of ladies lined up for the two of them at Macy’s Grill.
Beth (Gretchen Corbett) comes to Jim to ask for help for one of her clients. Unfortunately, Jim doesn’t care to take on the case, when he begins to butt heads with Joseph DiMinna (Michael Ansara), an ex-con, and Beth’s client. It seems that someone is putting the lean on him, and his restaurant, and have made it personal, by assaulting his daughter, the level-headed Paulette (Suzanne Charny).
Meeting Paulette in the hospital, Jim agrees to take the case, but warns Joseph that they are going to do it his way, and not Joey’s.
So instead of violence, Jim, with Angel’s (Stuart Margolin) help, sets up Burt Stryker (James Luisi), who is the man trying to elbow Joey out of his business. Jim ends up setting up a huge con, and slowly begins to turn the tables on Styker, and help Joey save his restaurant.
The best bits in this episode are the ones with Jim and the regulars, Angel and Beth, at this point in the series, the characters are firmly established, and the actors seem to get along rather nicely as well.
Next up is In Hazard, written by Juanita Bartlett and aired 6 February, 1976.
This time out the phone gag is from a book club. They are letting Jim know that the book he wanted isn’t available, so they’re sending him one on cooking instead.
While Beth has the A-story this time around, the B-story is a lot more fun, as Rocky (Noah Beery Jr) keeps pestering Jim to go out with him to see a rig before he decides to buy it. It keeps getting pushed off, forgotten about, and Rocky gets more and more upset by it, even when he has to help Jim out by looking after Beth for a while… as it seems someone wants her out-of-the-way.
Beth is in trouble because one of her clients is having some tax problems, and Beth needs to be taken out, so that she won’t be able to cause any problems.
The highlight of the episode, besides any moment with Rocky complaining about going to see the truck, comes at the climax of the episode when a car skims most of the way across a pool, with Rockford inside fighting to stop the baddies.
Even as I was watching it, the first words out of my mouth were, ‘nice stunt.’
The season is just about ready to wrap up, 4 more episodes, and then it will be on to season 3, out of 6… so almost at the halfway mark!