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The Rockford Files: The Battle of Canoga Park

On the way to the ball game, Jim's day goes real bad when two squad cars full of policemen arrive at his trailer, to arrest him. And he has no idea what he's supposed to have done. Lieutenant Diehl is determined to bring him down this time – for the murder of Robert Reidy, committed with Jim's own gun! Did his new cleaning woman steal the gun? Jim begins to snoop around Reidy's part of town, and someone drops a hand grenade into his trailer! He gets the license number from the bomber's van, but it leads to a harmless old lady. He finds a connection to a man who owns a motorcycle dealership, and that man gets blown up! With his leads running out, Jim faces prison unless he can figure out who took his gun, and why the thief killed Reidy.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x3
Production Number: 47505
Airdate: Friday September 30th, 1977

Director: Ivan Dixon
Writer: Juanita Bartlett

Guest Stars
John Dennis JohnstonJohn Dennis Johnston
As Henry Schlager
Nora MarloweNora Marlowe
As Viola Wenke
Adrienne MardenAdrienne Marden
As Lee Ronstadt

Co-Guest Stars
Ted GehringTed Gehring
As Walt Chalco
Bruce TuthillBruce Tuthill
As Bomb Squad Officer
Luis DelgadoLuis Delgado
As Officer Billings
Elliott StreetElliott Street
As Leonard Wenke
John PerakJohn Perak
As Pete Semple
Brion JamesBrion James
As Clamshell
James R. ParkesJames R. Parkes
As Records Clerk (as James Parkes)
Art K. KoustikArt K. Koustik
As 2nd Officer (as Art Koustik)
Episode Quotes
Answering Machine: It's Betty from up the street. I'm calling all the neighbors because Spotty is loose! If you see him, call me. Oh, don't wear musk cologne – leopards have a thing about that.

Rocky: Viola ain't hiding things. She's just tidying up, and you ain't used to that!
Jim: And I'll never get used to it, either!

Lt. Diehl: We want to hear about last night, Rockford.
Jim: I know this will come as a blow to your ego, Lieutenant, but I don't care what you want to hear about. I have nothing to say 'til my lawyer gets here.

Lt. Diehl: (holding up a revolver in an evidence bag) You recognize that, Rockford?
Beth Davenport: Don't answer that.
Lt. Diehl: He doesn't have to. It's the murder weapon used to kill Robert Reidy in his gas station last night. We traced it to Mr. Rockford. It's got his fingerprints all over it. I'd call that probable cause, Miss Davenport!

Rocky: Jimmy didn't kill nobody!
Jim: Jimmy's gun did...

Viola: I've got no intention of letting you stand there saying that me and Leonard killed some man we never heard of with a gun we've never even seen!
Jim: Well, you must have seen it when you were cleaning. I keep it right in the co...
Viola: (cutting him off) I told you I never seen it and I never! I wouldn't have no cause to see it. You ask anybody that knows me, I never at a store bought cookie in my whole life!
Jim: Well, now, strange you should say that, Viola, 'cause that's just where I keep my gun – in with the store bought cookies!

Dennis Becker: Do yourself a favor – stay out of it.
Jim: First I have to get out of it!

Walt Chalco: Redeye Leader? This is Redeye One. Uncle Julius just picked up the Christmas tree.

Rocky: They can't put you in jail for something you didn't do.
Jim: Isn't that what you said just before I spent those fun-filled years in Quentin?

Jim: What's normal about a grenade in your bedroom?!?

Jim: (about Reidy and Ronstadt) I'm telling you, Dennis, those people are connected somehow. And if you don't prove it, I will!!

Dennis: Why didn't you tell me you were in the same outfit with Reidy in Korea?
Jim: How'd you find that out?
Dennis: I didn't. Diehl found out – gave it to the D.A.
Jim: Dennis, there are three thousand men in a battalion.
Dennis: It's close enough for Diehl.

Lee: Reidy was weak.
Pete: He was smart enough not to go around killing people with a gun belongs to a private detective!

Lee: Give 'em your name, that's all!
Diehl: What international law?
Jim: I think she's talking about “name, rank, and serial number.”
Diehl: This isn't Anzio, it's Canoga Park!

Lee: We was ready! We was prepared!!

It's rather silly of the men who follow Jim late in the story to do so in such a distinctive vehicle – an old Cadillac with mismatched parts. Even an amateur would likely notice such a car following him! And sure enough, Jim spots them, and the chase he leads them eventually attracts the attention of the police – the third in a series of bad decisions that eventually reveals the perpetrators and unrolls their whole operation.

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