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The Rockford Files: To Protect and Serve Part II

Jim has got himself in the middle of an attempt by mobsters to find Patsy Fossler, whom they believe knows far too much about their activities. They’ve sent one of their own, Michael Kelly, and a couple of goons out to look. Fossler turned around and hired Jim, who didn’t know what he was buying. The New York Police have contacted the Los Angeles Police because anything Michael Kelly does interests them both – Kelly’s client is Joseph Minnet, a powerful New York crime boss. And police groupie Lianne Sweeny continues to insert herself into the middle of it, causing trouble and endangering lives.

Episode Info


Episode number: 3x20
Production Number: 45029
Airdate: Friday March 18th, 1977

Director: William Wiard
Writer: David Chase


Guest Stars
Joyce Van PattenJoyce Van Patten
As Lianne Sweeny
Recurring
James LuisiJames Luisi
As Lt. Doug Chapman
Recurring
Leslie CharlesonLeslie Charleson
As Patsy Fossler
Recurring
Jon CypherJon Cypher
As Michael Kelly
Recurring
George LorosGeorge Loros
As 'Anthony Boy' Gagglio
Recurring
Lou FrizzellLou Frizzell
As Mr. Wesley

Co-Guest Stars
Luke AndreasLuke Andreas
As Syl
Recurring
Angus DuncanAngus Duncan
As John Fossler
Recurring
Bucklind BeeryBucklind Beery
As Officer Mazursky
Recurring
Douglas Ryan (2)Douglas Ryan (2)
As Deputy
Recurring
Nick DimitriNick Dimitri
As Dorsey
Recurring
Charles BatemanCharles Bateman
As 1st Detective
Jack LucarelliJack Lucarelli
As Bowling Alley Customer
Episode Quotes
Answering Machine Message: This is incredible! Do you know last night I had one of my dreams? I dreamed that if I called you, you wouldn’t be home. And you’re not...

Patsy Fossler: How are you going to move around back in Los Angeles without those men finding you?
Jim: I want them to find me.
Patsy Fossler: What?!?
Jim: Well, yeah – at the right time, when I’m properly prepared. Look, I’m in this thing up to my chin. They’re never going to stop looking for you, so they’re going to keep dogging me until they get what they want. If I plan to live any kind of a normal life, I’m going to have to blow them off.
Patsy Fossler: Well, how are you going to do that?
Jim: Well, the last time they saw us I was driving you off in my car. Now, they know that I was hired to deliver you to Michael. So, I just have to convince them that that’s exactly what I did. From then on, they’re Michael’s problem.

(After Patsy suggests that she should return to Michael Kelly.)
Jim: Michael strikes me as a guy with a few bigger problems than just a rocky love life. I mean, he made a big mistake with you. If he plans to set it right, he’s going to have to reprove himself to Minnet... clean up the mess he made. No, the way I read Michael and the situation – if he gets you back, he plans to kill you.

Michael Kelly: You know, Rockford, you didn’t do what I told you to do. You failed!
Jim: Hey, you think I wanted to come back here and report this to you? You explained very well what was going to happen to me if I didn’t find your girlfriend. You had me very well motivated. But, I got there a few minutes too late. I don’t know how they found her.

Michael Kelly: I think we’re going to have to have a little fact finding session.

Jim: Now it’s payday. You owe me $600 for three days work plus $400 for expenses and aggravation.
Michael Kelly: Will you take a personal check?
Jim: I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re making a little joke just to ease the tension.

Jim: How much do you know about your sister’s personal life for the past few years? I’m referring to Michael Kelly.
John Fossler: Yes, she wrote me all about him. I know that they’ve been living together, if that’s what you mean. I think he’s an attorney for the ACLU, right?
Jim: Mr. Fossler, if you’re liquor cabinet is handy, I suggest that you pour yourself a drink.

Patsy Fossler: Maybe it was just my fantasy. Maybe I just thought Michael would... would come after me and beg me to come back. He came after me – to kill me. I don’t believe it.

Lianne Sweeny: Tell him Lianne Sweeny called. Tell him I have some very important information about... MK. I know why he’s in L.A. It looks like there’s going to be a hit. I don’t have all the pieces, but I’m going to continue to investigate on my own. There may be quite a lot more. I’ll contact him as soon as possible, or he can reach me at home anytime. I have a service.

Patsy Fowler: That was the dog’s name... Psyche. (after a beat) It is a pretty dreadful name, isn’t it?
Jim: Probably the worst name I’ve ever heard for a dog, yeah.

Jim: When I went into prison I was scared to death. So I decided I was going to be the baddest guy in that whole place. So I practiced by bad walk and my bad talk. No sentence was ever more than one syllable. I grunted. I was bad, I was real bad.
Patsy Fossler: You?
Jim: I figured if I was going to survive, I’d have to impress everybody.
Patsy Fossler: So what happened?
Jim: I turned into a jerk. And then that other thing happened. You see, they put a badder guy in C block with me, and he had me for breakfast.

Anthony Boy: Where are they? Where is she?
Lianne Sweeny: Hey, hey, hey, you better be careful with me. Get your hands off of me! I work very closely with the Los Angeles Police Department. I have a special arrangement!
Anthony Boy: I got a special arrangement... for your brains! They’ll be coming out of your ears! Now, where’s the broad?
Lianne Sweeny: Oxnard! Oxnard!

Jim: Did two guys come around here? New York accent, one of ‘em built like a bathtub? Are they the ones that fell on you? This is important! Somebody’s life’s at stake. What did they say? Where did they go?
Lianne Sweeny: How do I know? They beat me up!
Jim: Why did they beat you up? (Lianne turns to leave; Jim grabs her arm.) Lianne, I’m not messing with you! These two guys are professional killers. They want to kill a young lady who never did a thing to them.

Lianne Sweeny: There’s going to be a mob execution.
Dennis Becker: What? Where?!?

Lianne Sweeny: Den... what’s happening?
Dennis Becker: You’re asking me what’s happening. You don’t know? God, you’re a liar. Somebody got killed because you didn’t call the station fast enough. As it was, another man got shot in the leg. And it might not have happened if we had gotten here sooner.
Lianne Sweeny: Doug had been on that case. I just wanted to do what was best for everyone.
Dennis Becker: Lianne. You’re lying again. To me and to yourself. You don’t hate crime, you don’t hate criminals. You hate people. You hate life.



Episode Goofs
Lianne Sweeny denies being Jim’s cleaning lady to thugs Syl and Tony Boy. When they first saw her entered Jim’s trailer, they speculated that she was his cleaning lady while in their car. They never said this to her.

Discussing the procedure for dealing with barricaded hostages, Dennis says, “We give these people what we want” when he actually meant, “We give these people what they want.”



Episode References
Jim briefly talks to Pasty Fossler about his prison experience. During this conversation he mentions that they “put a badder guy in C block with me.” No doubt Jim is referring to Gandolph Fitch, who is portrayed in several episodes by singer Isaac Hayes. Gandy first appeared in “The Hammer of C Block.



Analysis
At the end of the episode, circumstances force Dennis and other police to shoot a suspect. Dennis becomes very angry with Lianne Sweeny, a police groupie whose insertion into the case was partially responsible. Speaking to her, Dennis reveals that it angered and hurt him to shoot that suspect. This scene, coming at the end of the episode, nicely mirrors a similar scene in the first part (the previous episode) where Dennis had to shoot a suspect and it caused him anguish. The best policemen never want to fire their gun in the line of duty, but they do it when they have to, because that’s the duty they took on and the sacrifice they agreed to make for the public good. Mr. Chase does a nice job of conveying this message subtly.

Lianne Sweeny causes a great deal of trouble inserting herself into the investigation. She nearly gets the person Jim is trying to protect killed, and does get a suspect killed. Despite all this, she’s largely portrayed as a harmless enthusiast. It isn’t until the very end that we see how hollow her life is, and how she has chosen to fill it with her enthusiasm for police work. When she’s finally made to see the harm her blundering has caused, and how she has alienated her friends on the force, she is left with nothing but voices on a police scanner.



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