The Rockford Files (1977) – Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones But Waterbury Will Bury You & The Trees, the Bees, and T.T. Flowers Part I

 

It’s a lot of fun with Jim Rockford (James Garner) this week as he finds himself in more trouble than usual!

First up we have Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones But Waterbury Will Bury You, which originally aired 14 January, 1977, and was written by David Chase. The phone gag this time out features the military calling Jim about not having his returned his service pistol when he left the Army.

Jim takes on an unusual group of clients this week, when he finds himself hired by some fellow private investigators, including Blazing Saddles’ Cleavon Little. It seems the case each of them was working on ended up costing them their private investigator licence!

Jim decides to be a little more cautious, and learns that the culprit behind everything is a security firm that is looking for a larger share of the market. And it doesn’t seem to matter how they go about getting it, murdering the competition isn’t off the table.

So Jim, and his fellow investigators, have to find a way to take them down, and hopefully hold onto their licences (or get them back) while they do.

This was a very entertaining episode, and it was great to see Little! He and Garner have a really good chemistry together, it’s too bad this is his only appearance on the show. I wish they had brought him back a couple of times as a fellow investigator.

Oh well. It was a lot of fun, and I loved how they took down the security firm.

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The second episode is the first part of a two-parter, The Trees, The Bees, and T.T. Flowers Part I. This originally screened 21 January, 1977 and was written by Gordon T. Dawson.

The phone gag this time around featured Angel (Stuart Margolin) calling to let Jim know that he’s using his one phone call by calling him.

Rocky”s (Noah Beery Jr.) friend, T.T. Flowers (Strother Martin), lives on his own, grows his own food, and raises his own animals. But it seems his daughter, Cathy (Karen Machon) is being manipulated by her husband, Sherman (Alex Rocco) and poor T.T. is being taken to a rest home, where by being fed a cocktail of drugs, will be seen as incompetent by the judge, and remanded permanently to the home’s care, overseen by Dr. Benjamin Crist (Richard Venture).

Crist is in cahoots with a land developer, Muellard (Scott Brady, who was already a baddie in the earlier episode Gearjammers). Crist has older land owners put into his home, and working with Muellard, snaps up the land to make a bundle.

Jim, after much persuasion from Rocky, agrees to help out, and decides that the best plan, right before the episode ends, is to break T.T. out, and they are on their way out, when the cops show up.

It’s a fun, tumultuous episode, but it also starts with T.T.’s memorial service, so we’ll have to see how that plays out next week in part two!

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