The third season of The Rockford Files got underway on 24 September, 1976, with The Fourth Man written by Juanita Bartlett.
The phone gag features someone calling him about his found address book, not to worry, it’s in the mail, but one of the girls he has in it, he should be careful about.
Everyone makes an appearance in this episode as a friend of Jim’s (James Garner), Lori Jenivan (Sharon Gless) finds herself in some serious trouble. Angel (Stuart Margolin), Becker (Joe Santos), Beth (Gretchen Corbett) and Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.) all make welcome appearances.
Lori is an airline reservation agent, and when she recognizes one of her regular clients disembarking, he says she’s mistaken. If he’d left it at that, it would probably have been forgotten, but, unfortunately, he’s hiding a deadly secret, and he can’t afford for anyone to recognize him, so he decides to pursue and remove Lori from the picture.
Enter Rockford, who helps out as best he can, and starts to puzzle out what is really going on, and why this man, Timson Farrell (John McMartin) is traveling as much as he is, and why he wants Lori dead.
It’s a fun episode, Angel gets some great cowardly moments, and Becker seems to be playing the hard-ass card, while Beth seems a little upset by the fact that it seems Jim may have a relationship with Lori.
While it may not have the punch of modern-day season premieres, it was a lot of fun to see the entire cast, main and supporting (well, Diel is missing) out in force for the episode.
The second episode, The Oracle Wore a Cashmere Suit was a lot of fun! It originally screened 1 October, 1976, and was written by Roy Huggins.
The gag this time around featured a landscaping service calling to let Jim know he’s won a free year-long gardening service. Hilarious when you consider where Jim lives…
Disturbed from the off, by a police investigation, Jim finds himself wading through trouble when a ‘psychic,’ Roman Clementi (Robert Webber) claims that Jim has a connection to a murder and a missing bundle of cash… $80,000 to be exact.
Jim starts getting unwanted attention due to Clementi’s claims, including a thug played by Pepe Serna, who will always be Reno, a member of Buckaroo Banzai’s Hong Kong Cavaliers.
The angry sparks and pointed remarks fly between Clementi and Rockford, as the oracle seems to be constantly one step ahead of Jim with information, and while Jim doesn’t believe the man is gifted, he does think he’s got an inside source somewhere.
The two of them end up resolving the case together, but, because Clementi keeps getting under his skin, Jim gets the last word in, when it comes to the psychic’s new book.
This one ended up being a lot of fun, and watching Webber and Garner play off one another was a lot of fun. It was also a fun and engaging mystery.
So far season 3 is off to a great start!