The Rockford Files (1979) – Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs: Part 2 and Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Will Never Die: Part 1

 

Jim Rockford (James Garner) is in it deep this week as the two-parters continue.

Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs: Part 2 originally aired on October 12, 1979 in conjunction with part 1, both of which were written by Juanita Bartlett. The phone message this time around is from a lady friend who can’t make their date, as she’s flying out, but could he look after her Great Dane, who apparently loves Jim.

Kendall (Lauren Bacall) is still in some serious trouble, while the chemistry between she and Garner continues. The duo, working together, are still trying to figure out who could possibly want her dead and why. The trail leads to Manette (Carmine Caridi), a mafia don, who seems to be involved somehow, and requests a sit down with Jim. Which doesn’t go very well.

When Manette is killed, Jim starts to think Gus (Michael Lombard) may be involved, as he definitely has opportunity and motive, but what if he’s actually working for someone else? Someone even closer to Jim?

Rocky (Noah Beery Jr.), loves the idea of a romance between Jim and Kendall and continues to drop some not so subtle hints, much to Jim’s annoyance.

Despite the hint of Angel (Stuart Margolin) wanting to meet the princess in the first part of the episode, there was no real pay off for that story thread, but I got all caught up in the Garner/Bacall chemistry I barely noticed.

This may be the series last season, but they are definitely going out on a high note!!

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The second episode, Only Rock’n’Roll Will Never Die, which is the first of a two-part story, aired 19 October, 1979. David Chase wrote this one, and it’s phone gag features a call from a bunch of drunken friends calling from a bar and singing into the phone for Jim.

There are some great moments between Jim and Rocky early in this episode as they are watching the news together, including some strong opinions on divorce and alimony. The jovial nature doesn’t last long when Jim is approached by an old friend, Eddie (George Loros) to take a look into a missing persons case. Eddie has vouched for Jim with his boss, rock star Tim Ritchie (Kristoffer Tabori), who has asked Eddie to find someone to help out.

Its seems Ritchie’s producer, and former band mate and occasional junkie, Brian has disappeared.

Jim is pulled into a world that he seems to care for even less than the rich one he spent the last story in. In fact the further he digs, the less he likes what he finds, even when he comes up against a lovely reporter working on a three part interview, Whitney Cox (Marcia Strassman, who will always be Mrs. Kotter to me) and a lovely Japanese country-western singer.

Eddie ends up being less than useful, as he seems to be completely lovesick over the charming Whitney, and when Jim walks away from the job, Eddie gets fired.

The episode reaches its cliffhanger climax with some unknown party taking shots at Jim and Eddie, who has come to plead with the private investigator to stay on the case, outside Jim’s trailer!

We’ll find out next week who was pulling the trigger!!!

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