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The Rockford Files: The Becker Connection

Dennis finds himself called back to the station after a long work day. There he discovers that heroin has disappeared from the evidence room. Some has found its way into Dennis’ spare tire. Money is tight for Becker so the internal affairs detectives have a motive. Dennis persuades Jim to take a look, and Jim uncovers Mickey Golden and Willie Hatton. Jim finds Becker moonlighting at Century Cab and runs the names. Becker hares off after Willie Hatton; Jim can’t follow right away. When he finds Willie, “The Hat” is face down in the bathtub. Then someone smashes a chair over Jim’s head, and when Jim comes to, there’s a matchbook from Century Cab on the floor near him. Someone’s building a frame around Dennis, and maybe around Jim at the same time.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x16
Production Number: 45028
Airdate: Friday February 11th, 1977

Special Guest Stars
Jack KellyJack Kelly
As Alex Kasajian

Guest Stars
Bert KramerBert Kramer
As Capt. O'Reilly
William JordanWilliam Jordan
As Detective Andrew Dolan
Pat FinleyPat Finley
As Peggy Becker
Stuart MargolinStuart Margolin
As Evelyn "Angel" Martin
Jack CarterJack Carter
As Marty Golden

Co-Guest Stars
James SikkingJames Sikking
As John Hicklin
Luis DelgadoLuis Delgado
As Officer Billings
Bucklind BeeryBucklind Beery
As Officer Al Mazursky
Lal BaumLal Baum
As Joey Holbrook
Rita GeorgeRita George
As Officer Hasty
Helen SchustackHelen Schustack
As Meter Maid
Warren MunsonWarren Munson
As Hotel Clerk
Main Cast
James GarnerJames Garner
As Jim Rockford
Noah Beery, Jr.Noah Beery, Jr.
As Joseph "Rocky" Rockford
Joe SantosJoe Santos
As Det. Dennis Becker
Episode Notes
This episode marks a reunion between James Garner and Jack Kelly who had previously co-starred together in the 1957-62 ABC series Maverick.

Angel tries his hand at stand-up comedy in this episode.

Episode Quotes
Answering Machine Message: Hi... um, I’m confused... is this Dial-A-Prayer? Well, should I call back when the reverend’s in the office, or what?

Alex Kasajian: Marty, I told you once... I’m gonna give you a real big break, I’m gonna tell you twice... you never come around here, never, unless you have an official invite. I got a lot of things going, I don’t like to get my action mixed.
Marty Golden: I just wanted to tell you I was doing like you asked.
Alex Kasajian: See, that’s why I bought you. That’s why I bought the cop. Now, when you don’t do what I ask, that’s when we got something to talk about. Now you clear out of here.

Dennis Becker: Lieutenant, am I being charged with something?
John Hicklin: What? What could you possibly be charged with?

John Hicklin: Narco busts its collective butt to keep the streets clean. We have the French connection, the Chinese connection, the Mexican connection, and now all of a sudden we’ve got another connection. Smack, that is supposed to be locked up in the police property room ends up in somebody’s arm, and in your spare tire!
Dennis Becker: In my spare tire? That’s a lie!!
John Hicklin: We found it, Sergeant. We got tipped, we looked, and we found it.

(Dennis has been nasty to his wife, the friends who planned his surprise birthday party, and Jim.)
Jim: You’ve got a problem? You’re the only person in the world with a problem... I hope it’s a beaut!!
Dennis: It is. I’ll give you a few yuks: I’ve just been suspended...

Dennis: Someone turned over a rock and out I crawled. You shoulda heard some of the things I told Peggy. You know, I’ve been working double shifts and I could barely cut it. I get suspended and I got zip coming in.
Jim: Dennis, it’s... uh... none of my business, but what exactly did they beef you with?
Dennis: Well, haven’t you heard? You’re looking at the new kingpin of the underworld. Big heroin dealer.
Jim: You’ve got to be kidding!
Dennis: Wish I was. The property room at narco got knocked over. Now, somebody fingered me for the job, and they planted some of the stuff in the spare tire of my car.

Jim: Hey, Dennis... if you’re a little short...
Dennis: Short?!?
Jim: Yeah. well, I could scrape together a few hundred... four, maybe. Dennis, I wouldn’t offer it unless I wanted you to take it.
Dennis: I know.

Dennis: A lawyer? That’s the kiss of death. You get a lawyer and they figure you gotta be dirty.

Jim: I’m not getting’ involved, Dennis. Internal affairs is all over your case. They catch me messin’ around with that... You don’t need that kind of trouble, Dennis.
Dennis: (bitterly) Just thinking of me, huh, buddy?
Jim: Okay, I don’t need that kind of trouble, either.
Dennis: You think I’d ask you if there was any other way?
Jim: I don’t know what your problem is, Dennis. You’re clean. They’re cops, you’re a cop. They’re not about to frame you.
Dennis: You don’t know them like I do. There are hard-nosed guys. They don’t move up in the department without busting cops. They’re out to nail me! I can smell it!!

Jim: I hit on a couple of names. They may be the two guys that set you up. Marty Golden?
Dennis: No.
Jim: How about Willie Hatton?
Dennis: Willie the Hat?
Jim: You know him...
Dennis: He’s a cockroach. I busted him about a week and a half ago trying to unload some Mexican mud over a schoolyard fence.

John Hicklin: Mr. Rockford. You’ve cooperated, and we appreciate that. And we wouldn’t want to file formal charges. But we can.

Captain O’Reilly: (irate) Progress?!? What progress? We got Heroin B hitting the streets right out of narco property. We got a police informant drowned in his own bathtub. We got a cop who looks better for it than anybody in town. And you know what I got? Breakfast with the chief tomorrow, so I can brief him on what he don’t read in the paper or catch on the eleven o’clock news.

Lieutenant Chapman: (to Rockford) You can leave. But you’re out of this. I mean that – if I catch you mousing around the edges I’ll slap you with charges they don’t even have on the books, yet. Now, get out of here!

Jim: Kasajian put you two out on the street to say that Dennis Becker was dirty. You delivered the message. You really think that he wants you running around loose to identify the sender?
Marty Golden: How many ways I gotta tell you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Jim: Okay, Marty, whatever you say. Hey, you want me to give you a life back to the club? Those two mastodons ought to be dried off and heading for home soon. They saw us together. Buuuut, you know, you can tell ‘em you played it cool, you didn’t tell me a thing. They’ll go for your story.
Marty Golden: You creep. They’ll kill me. I mean, if I talk I’m dead, and if I don’t talk I’m dead.

Jim: Dennis...
Dennis: Yeah, I know, you told me not to get involved.
Jim: Thanks for ignoring me.

Cultural References
Inside joke: Alex Kasajian calls Jim Rockford "Slick" which was also Jack Kelly's nickname in real life for James Garner.

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