From: "RG Naylor"
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1999 16:42:43 -0700

Well, fellow Rockford fans, here we are with the second part to This Case Is Closed. As many of you already know, Jim ended the first part at his trailer. He was set to meet his client, Warner Jameson at "Trattoria's Steak House" near the airport in 20 minutes, and Rocky had agreed to clean up the trailer.

At the beginning of the second part, ambulances, fire trucks, and police are all bee-lining it for Mark Chalmer's restaurant, where an apparent gang murder has taken place. Then they show Jimbo leaving his trailer to meet Mr. Jameson.

On the way to the restaurant, it becomes clear (to the viewer) that someone is following Jim.

At the restaurant, Jim notices the shabby location of their table, and quips: "Couldn't you get a table in the kitchen?" Jameson tells Jim he's terminating their arrangement, and Jim asks: "...Now you can take me off the case, but who's gonna take those other guys off me?" Rockford again threatens to talk to Jameson's daughter about the case, and Jameson jumps up three inches out of his seat and says: "I told you the truth. And I'm not used to taking cheap shots from people like you." Rockford: "Cheap shots? That kills me." Jameson then tells Jim that Mark Chalmers approached him and told him he was aware that Jim was investigating him, and that he would leave Susan Jameson if her father took Jim off the case. Rockford then asks: "Then it doesn't bother you that I'm left with a, a "kick me" sign, huh?..." He's also apparently left with the tab.

As JIm leaves the restaurant, the car that's following him leaves too. Jim becomes aware of this, and stops at a gas station to survey the situation. The tail is on the curb, waiting for him, and so he puts his seatbelt on, drops the transmission into low, and takes off out the other end of the station. It's clear that the other vehicle is having a hard time with the corners by the sound of screeching of tires. Jim ducks into an alley, catching the purs0uers by surprise. A couple of motorcycle cops join the chase, one of them leaning so far over on a turn that sparks fly from his footpeg. Then Jim turns a corner, and turns around, flipping his lights off so that the tail and the cops miss him completely. The cops end up pulling over the tail.

Jim makes it safely home, and the next morning, someone knocks on the trailer, and Jim picks up the ashtray to prepare for the worst, but it turns out to be Rocky. Jim thanks Rocky for cleaning up, and Rocky says, "...Forget it, no charge." Then Rocky waves the want ads at Jim. Jim says: "Rocky, sometimes you make me feel like a piece of meat in the desert." Rocky says: ", uh, you, you gotta get yourself a nice office job like, you know. Leastways till you stop bleeding internally." LOL! Then Jim says: "I can't...I'm allergic to fluorescent lighting." Jim looks in the fridge and finds out that Rocky ate his steak, eggs and finished a bottle of his scotch, so the cleaning job was not a freebee after all. Good ol' Rocky, always leaching off his offspring.

After Jim's little tirade over the food issue, Susan Jameson knocks on his trailer door, and Jim angrily yanks the ashtray from Rockie's hand just in case. They go to "a real nice place;" the taco stand, to eat and discuss business. Susan wants to hire Jim to find out why her fiancÈe has left her. Jim realizes there could be a conflict of interest, but also thinks it might be a good idea to have someone paying the tab while he resolves the problem this case has created for him. In any event, if Jameson has terminated their arrangement, then he may not be obligated by ethics to turn down the Sue's offer. Jim tells her he'll get back to her.

When Jim goes back to enter his trailer, a gun is leveled at his face by a surly type. Another one searches him, and Jim notices that Rocky is bound and gagged on the couch. Outside, a Cadillac pulls up, and off they go for a long ride. Jim tries to talk his way out of the situation, to no avail. The guy next to him says: " Listen, pal. You got big, big trouble. You're about to go see one of the most important men in the outfit. You try this cheap song and dance with him, you know what happens....he tells me and Mort to take you out somewhere and bury you up to your ears in cement." So they drive out to a location that looks like the San Bernardino foothills, and meet with another limo in a dirt field. Jim gets tired of being told to "shut up," and shoots an angry reply: "Who's doing your material, it's really monotonous." Mobster: "Who's doing yours?" Jimbo: "I am." Mobster: "Ah, It shows." Next, they order him to get out of the car, and not to look back. Jim realizes all too clearly how close he came to death, and takes a deep breath. He walks to a phone booth, and calls a cab for the Federal Bldg.

He pays off the cabbie to go out and untie Rocky, and it is later learned that the cabbie shakes Rocky down for a tip in addition to what Jim tipped him. Inside the Federal Building, the agent in charge is taking an inordinate amount of time, and Jim suspects it's to give the Marshall's process server time to get over there to serve Jim a subpoena. Jim tells the agent about the kidnapping, and the agent says: "Now don't you come down here to bleed on me..." It is here that it is revealed that the tail Rockford shook earlier with the help of the local police were Feds. The agent finally agrees to tell Jim what the whole case was about. It turns out that it was Mark Chalmers who was shot dead in his club the night before, which was illustrated at the beginning of part II. He was in the witness protection program as a former mobster (Fred Willow) who turned state's evidence, sending the heads of the five families back to college. The mob supposedly found out where he was in part because of his high profile nightclub. Now Jim has an idea, and asks: "What if it wasn't the mob that killed him?" The deal was that the agent would fill Jim in on what was happening, and then Jim would agree to testify. But Jim isn't convinced that it was a mob killing, and he isn't convinced that the Feds can protect him: "...Come on. Come on, they kill people." Fed: "We'll protect you." Rockford: " Oh, what did you say Chalmer's real name was? Fred Willow? He was a nice fellow." On the way out, he spots the U.S. Marshall's process server, and steers him in the direction of the office he just left.

Jim goes back to the trailer, and finds out from Rocky that the taxi driver was tipped twice. Jim calls Jameson, and tells him he thinks Jameson's daughter killed Chalmers. They decide to meet at Jameson's country house. Jim suspects trouble, and stops short of the estate to check things out. At the top of a hill near some trees, he is shot at by Jameson, and he misses. As was noted earlier, Jameson doesn't appear to be a very good shot. Jim gets back into his car and drives erratically to avoid the gunfire. He stops at a barn, and hides inside. Jameson follows him in, and searches for him. Then, from behind a tall gate, Rockford crashes through it like it gave birth to him, and tackles Jameson. The gun is thrown clear, and Jameson gives up. He then confesses, and Jim tells him he knew he'd killed Willow, and made up the part about suspecting his daughter. Jameson tells Rockford that his daughter and Chalmers were going to run away together, and he "simply couldn't allow it."

Later, Jim is on a date with Sue Jameson, and she tells of the lawyer she got for her father. Jim asks her where she wants to eat, and she says: "Oh, somewhere where they don't sell tacos." As they proceed, Jim notices another car following them. We start to think that the case isn't over yet, and Jimmie stops to confront the tail. It turns out to be the Marshall's office with a subpoena, and around the corner, a black Cadillac filled with hoods stops and looks. Jim says: "Aw, come on you guys, give me a break, will ya?" End of story.

I haven't been giving the episodes the ratings like I discussed, so here's this week's rating. I give this episode 3.5 stars. The lines were written and played well, and Joseph Cotton adds a special touch to the episode. Until next time, keep on Rockin'.