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The Rockford Files: The Dog and Pony Show

Angel gets Jim in trouble again – this time, Angel hides some stolen silverware in Jim's trunk, and the pair of them wind up with mandated psychiatric counseling. There Jim meets a woman named Mary Jo, who believes someone is always watching her. She tries to hire Jim – but is she really being hounded, or is it all in her mind? Jim's not sure. Then Mary Jo returns home to discover a burglar going through her bedroom. He escapes, but the incident convinces Jim there might be more to her story than imagination. Digging, he turns up a man who might be a government agent, imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital, and a number of shady characters who want that man kept incommunicado. Has Mary Jo stumbled onto the wreckage of a failed intelligence operation?

Episode Info  

Episode number: 4x5
Production Number: 47502
Airdate: Friday October 21st, 1977

Director: Reza Badiyi
Writer: David Chase

Guest Stars
Al RuscioAl Ruscio
As Vic Cassell
Bill Quinn (1)Bill Quinn (1)
As Judge Raymond Ordonez
Gary CrosbyGary Crosby
As Beau
George LorosGeorge Loros
As Tommy Lorentz
Howard HonigHoward Honig
As Dr. Alan J. Adler
Louisa MoritzLouisa Moritz
As Helen
Michael Bell (1)Michael Bell (1)
As NIA Agent Krasny
Stuart MargolinStuart Margolin
As Evelyn "Angel" Martin
Walter BrookeWalter Brooke
As NIA Agent Bill Simonds
Ed LauterEd Lauter
As Joseph Bloomberg
Joanne NailJoanne Nail
As Mary Jo Flynn
Episode Quotes
Answering Machine: Jimmy? Lou. You owe me five bucks – Mataras's average in the '68 series was .310, not .315. Oh, and, uh... Fran and I are getting divorced!

Jim: Why would someone be watching you?
Mary Jo: I don't know. (sighs) I know what you're thinking. Okay, I've had some emotional problems, uh, persecution things, but I've worked on them. And I've licked them. And I want to know what's going on with me.
Jim: It's not that I don't want the job, Mary Jo, but I'm a little over committed right. I mean, I've got a couple of insurance cases and...
Mary Jo: Yeah, sure... I understand.

Mary Jo: Last year, at the art school in Santa Barbara, I had a love affair with a man. Didn't work out too well. I felt the world was against me. But I came out of it.

Girl: You say it's different. But to me, it sounds like the same kind of thing that landed you in that psychiatric hospital.
Jim: Wha... wha... wait a second! Mary Jo, were you hospitalized?
Dr. Adler: You didn't tell him, Mary Jo?

Jim: I saw a visitor's parking sticker on their car from Las Brisas Hospital. Can you think of anything stemming from your little say in that place that might account for all the harassment you've been getting?

Jim: That guy in the alley had a hogleg that big (spreads hands about a foot wide) and he used it! I'm scared for her. I'm scared for me!

Bill Simonds: I want a report on Rockford. I want him wired, I want him covered!

Jim: You heard us talking about Joseph Bloomberg. Now, why didn't you say anything?!?
Angel: That didn't mean nothing to me. I always heard the name Joey B... or Joey the B. 'Bout a year ago he disappeared. Word on the street was he'd died – he'd gone to Israel to plant some trees and the helicopter crashed.

Jim: Joey B is connected! He's an insider! He must be privy to all kinds of top level syndicate business. A guy like that blows his lid, he becomes a threat. No telling what he's going to say, to who and when.
Angel: Yeah, but they ain't going to hide him in a hospital. They'd just kill him. You know how they are.

Jim: First thing we're going to do is Mary Jo and you and I are going to make out a will.
Angel: A what?
Jim: Will. As in “last will and testament.”

Tommy Lorentz: You died the moment you walked into this house. Now, I don't like that. This whole thing has been unfortunate, but you have to take the pipe. And before you do, you're going to let me know where Martin and the girl are. You see, I swore to my sister Barbara that I'd let no harm come to her Joey.

Tommy Lorentz: Do you know what we mean when we say buckwheats?
Jim: Yeah. A slow beating. Broken bones.

Tommy Lorentz: (enraged) Do you know where you are, mister?!? Do you know who you're talking to, that you can make threats and give ultimatums?!?

Jim: The Agency made a lot of threatening noises about this and that, but they didn't have anything to back it up.

Cultural References
The National Intelligence Agency, or NIA, who become peripherally involved in this case, are clearly meant to suggest the Central Intelligence Agency, the chief Foreign Intelligence Service of the United States. Like the fictional NIA, the CIA is (theoretically, at least) not permitted to operate domestically.

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