The Rockford Files (1977) – The Mayor’s Committee from Deer Lick Falls & Hotel of Fear

 

This week finds Jim (James Garner) in all kinds of trouble as he gets caught up in a murder scheme, and Angel (Stuart Margolin) becomes a target of a hitman!

First up is The Mayor’s Committee from Dee Lick Falls, which aired 25 November, 1977, and was written by William R. Stratton. The phone gag this time out features a rather irate female friend of Jim who is made he has the answering machine on at night, because she has insomnia and likes to talk to him,

Helping four men (including familiar face Jerry Hardin) from Deer Lick pick up a used fire truck for their town’s fire house seems like an easy couple days for Jim, but when one of them, Everet (Edward Binns), approaches Jim on behalf of the others to commit murder, Jim turns to Becker (Joe Santos) for help.

But the four men from Deer Lick make their own complaint, and Jim’s licence is hanging in the balance as he tries to find their target, Laura Ingeborg (Priscilla Barnes), and why they want her dead. It seems these four representatives of the Mayor’s committee in the tiny town of Deer Lick Falls of Michigan have been putting one over on the public, inflating costs, using cheaper materials, and lying about their revenue. Laura caught on to this, and was Jim convinces her that she needs to get her story on the record with the IRS as a form of protection.

But after one attempt on her life, the foursome up the ante and focus their sights on taking Jim out as well!

A fun episode and it was cool seeing both Barnes and Hardin in this one!

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The second episode Hotel of Fear, sees Angel in some serious trouble. This one aired 2 December, 1977 and was written by Juanita Bartlett. The phone message this time around featured a phone call from a local bar checking with Jim if it was ok to put Angel on his tab.

Jim and Angel’s relationship becomes strained when Angel witnesses a hitman kill one of his neighbors, and then take shots at him. Jim convinces him to go to the cops, and Angel agrees to testify, but only if the police foot the bill and put him up in an expensive hotel. He’s not even safe there, and when the hitman is released because there isn’t enough evidence to hold him, both Angel and Jim find themselves in the crosshairs, and they have to figure a way out.

I personally liked the last act, when Angel tries to convince Jim he’ll be safe at a friend’s house, and Jim ‘falls for it’ only to follow Angel, and end up saving his hapless, conniving friend.

I do like that it really strained their friendship as well, especially when Angel tries to convince the hitman that he was all about keeping mum, but Jim wanted him to testify. It’s a wonder Jim didn’t slug him one, right then and there.

It was also very cool to see Gerald McRaney back AGAIN, this time as a D.A.!

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