From: "RG Naylor"
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 01:49:46 -0700

Greetings fans. It's time again to reminisce about the days of old; back in the good ol' seventies. We have another episode for you; it's called Find Me If You Can, starring Joan Van Ark as Barbara Kelbaker and Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky and Hutch) as Ralph Correll. It originally aired November 1, 1974. This promises to be an intriguing episode, so get your coffee brewing, your Kielbasa roasting, and your favorite chair positioned. Oh, yeah, if you are fortunate enough to have this on tape, slip it in and read while you watch.

29 Cove Road, Malibu. At sometime in the early evening, a stray dog slinks by, and a taxi pulls up carrying an attractive blonde lady calling herself Florence Baker. Inside the trailer, James Rockford is on the phone with his friendly neighborhood bank, trying to get a teller to lose the rubber check he wrote until he can cover it. She makes a sarcastic remark about his credit rating, which causes Jim to angrily respond, "EVERYBODY'S got a credit rating." So what's established here is that Jim needs money badly. In walks Ms. Kelbaker. She tells Jim she wants him to find her. He thinks she's putting him on, but she isn't. She tells him Florence Baker is not her real name, and that she wants to know if she can be found. "You see, I don't want your job to be difficult, I want it to be impossible." The first thing Jim does is pour her a drink in a tall glass, and then later, he brings it down to Becker at the Hollywood station.

Dennis Becker has the results from the prints the lab lifted, but Jim's going to have to pay a price; his L.A. Laker tickets. You see, Dennis wants to bring Rockie along. Dennis gives Jim his client's name, Barbara Kelbaker, and all the usual info you get from a license, including her last known address.

Jim is now entering a church, and inside is his client. Jim tells her never to call him up and tell him to meet her somewhere, and then hang up. He reveals that her name is Barbara Kelbaker from Pacific Grove, and other related stuff. She is visibly upset at this. Jim wants to know what is going on. She doesn't want to tell him. She still wants him to try and find her. He agrees, against his better judgement.

Pacific Grove, California. Jim is at the police station, talking to an officer who went to school with Ms. Kelbaker. Jim plays a trick on the officer, and manages to get a name that otherwise would be next to impossible. Ralph Correll from Denver, Colorado, who played in the Pro-Am Golf Tourney in Monterrey. Jim tells him he's never heard of him, and as Jim leaves, the guy realizes he's been scammed, and gives a look of incredulity.

Denver, Colorado. Jim's at Correll's penthouse office, a building in downtown Denver, and tells the receptionist he met Ralph in the Pro-Am, but Wyatt the receptionist isn't fooled. Wyatt seems an unlikely type to be working for the likes of Ralph Correll. After checking with Correll, Wyatt calls "Vinny" to be sure that Rockford finds his way out of the office. As Jim leaves, he shoots a sheepish look back at Vinny. Down at the first floor lobby, Jim notices an elevator that serves the penthouse only. He calls up to Correll's office, impersonating building security, claiming there's a report of a gas leak, and that they will have evacuate the building. The official sounding tone he uses is perfect, and hilarious. He somehow gets a jacket with a name tag on it, and goes up to the penthouse via the elevator. When Correll enters the elevator, he shoves the goons that are following him back, and closes the door, so he and Correll can be alone. Paul Michael Glaser does an excellent job here as a gangster. Jim drops Kelbaker's name, and tries to get some info on her, with no luck. Correll threatens Jim as he leaves the elevator. Jim does not seem frightened. He makes it safely out of the building.

29 Cove Road. Jim's client calls, and he tells her he's been in Denver, seeing Correll, and that Correll is mobbed up. She says she didn't know that when she first met him, and Jim says she knew it when she hired him. Jim reads her the riot act because she put him in danger unnecessarily. He offers to send her the remaining money she gave him, and not only does she refuse to clue him in, she tells him he's still working for her, and then hangs up again. Jimmie is mad, and slams the phone down.

Later on, while Jim is on his way back from the market, a couple of guys in a Ford LTD pull up and stake his trailer out. When he comes back, they identify themselves as F.B.I. agents, and Jim spots them as phonies right away. This is a good fight scene. He doesn't let on, and asks one of them to hold his groceries while he opens the trailer door. Then he sucker punches the guy, and immediately gets punched in the solar plexus by the other guy. They end up against the car, where Jim is punched again, and then Jim reverses and punches the goon. Just when you think Jim's going to win, the other guy has gotten up off the ground and he hits Jim over the head with his gun.

Unknown Warehouse. Jim awakens to the mugs of these two goons who visited his trailer...and Ralph Correll. They pick him up off the ground, and Jim says, pointing to one of the goons: "Does that talk, or just hit?" Correll starts making threats. Rockford then explains how he knew they weren't Feds. They weren't wearing narrow ties. Correll wants to know who hired Jim. Jim tells him. Correll gets angry, stating that Barbara Kelbaker stole $50 grand from him. They think he knows where she is, and he convinces them he doesn't. Correll says: "I'm through with him." and Jimmie looks at the two goons, who move threateningly, and says: "That's just a figure of speech." LOL.

29 Cove Road. Jim returns to find Rocky's truck there. Rocky unlocks the door for him, and they talk about the spare ribs, which Rocky threw out. Jim then complains about the cost. One of many comments in the series about the cost of food. Inside, Jim tries to ward off any lectures about his chosen profession while he washes up. This is a good scene. Jim's trying to get some attention over his head wound, and Rocky's ignoring that and talking about an old friend's business proposition. Rocky's about to leave, so Jim says: "What's a matter with you Rocky? The two gorilla's beat me into the ground, and all you can talk about is hardware." Rocky slowly looks up at Jim with a hard stare in his eyes, and says: "Because I am tired a talkin' to you. You don't listen to nothin' I say anyway. Look at your face. Look at that eye. Two inches to the right, and you'd be missin' that eye!" Jim quips: "Ah, yeah, but look at it this way; two inches to the left, he'd a missed me completely." Rocky then storms out of the trailer slamming the door.

Moments later, Barbara Kelbaker calls, and Jim tells her to call him at the payphone at the Sand Castle. Jim tells her he was picked up by Correll's goons. He tells her that Correll knows she's hiding in L.A. She wants Jim to have the remainder of the retainer she gave him, but Jim objects, his inherent curiosity manifesting itself. Jim asks her about the $50 grand, and she says it wasn't theft, she was just "reclaiming" herself. Then she says a few more words before hanging up. Barbara starts crying as the scene fades to commercial.

Paradise Cove Beach. Jim's out after dark walking along the beach. He seems to do this whenever someone he cares for is in trouble, and there seems to be nothing he can do about it. The next day, Barbara calls, and Jim tells her to call the Sand Castle again. Barbara tells him she's got to see him. She tells him to meet her at a hotel, and then hangs up on Jim. That's gotta irk him something fierce.

Highway One South. Jim's moving right along, and then notices he's got a tail on him. So he pulls off the highway, drives into a tunnel under the road, and tells a man in a truck on the other side that there is an accident on the other side, he'll get an ambulance if the guy will go back to see to the accident. This effectively blocks the tunnel, leaving Jim on one side, and the goons on the other. Smart thinking! As soon as Jim's sure he shook them, he smiles, and drives on.

Somewhere outside of San Diego. They're at a restaurant by the sea, and they go for a walk. She tells him she saw Ralph Correll kill a man name Saul Mantee. She tells him the details. She became worried that Ralph would get suspicious about whether she heard anything that night, so she started giving him ultimatums about marriage, using it as an excuse to leave. She asks him if he knew who Saul Mantee was, saying: "Well, aren't you supposed to know about things like that?...Who's who in crime, that sort of thing?" Jim shoots back in a dry tone, loaded with poise: "Oh, yeah, well I go down to the post office every few days, and catch up on the wanted posters." LOL. The catalyst for the murder of Mantee turns out to be a territorial dispute. Mantee wanted to move in on Correll's action, so Correll killed him. Jim tells her that by hiring him to go looking for her, he acted inadvertently as a messenger that Correll had something to worry about. Jim tells her she needs to tell her story to the Denver D. A., because it's her only chance. Then she conveys that she will need him to help her get to Denver to tell her story. Jim balks at first, but then that familiar music plays, the same music that played during the touching scenes in other episodes (like Aura Lee Farewell, with Lindsay Wagner). Barbara says: "Well....Jim, you..." and Jim says: "I have to help you... You need me... I'm the only one you can trust." He then sits back in his chair for some good old fashioned soul searching. Both touching and humorous. It's scenes like these that made the series.

Denver, CO. At the office of D.A. Morgan Tallman, Jim has been waiting a long time. The receptionist is acting indifferent, so Jim starts to complain. But when she takes her glasses off, and gives Jim a "you're really starting to get on my nerves" look, Jim backs off. I always thought she was way out of line there, and that Jim shouldn't have backed down. At ten minutes to six, the D.A. finally comes out of his office. Jim tells him he's got an eyewitness to the Mantee killing, and the D.A. says he's got a signed confession that a small time hood did the killing, and Jim gives a look of surprise.

Motel in Denver. Jim drives his rental car to the motel, but Barbara isn't there.

Ralph Correll's Pad. Correll heads up stairs to his bedroom with a "piece", and enters his walk in closet, and is surprised with a choke hold from Jimmie boy. Jim says:" see you can't yell with a busted windpipe, you just kinda whistle." Correll's face is orange/red. Before Jim lets him go, he tells him it won't bother him "one bit" if he has to shoot him in the back. As soon as Correll gets his breath, he tells Jim that "Broder" is gonna "break" him. The next line is delivered well:"Well, Broder's not here. There's just you and me and your gun." Jim demands to know where Barbara is, and points the gun. Correll says: "You're not gonna shoot. Bluffing only works when you got the other guy scared...." Jim replies: "You don't have to work so hard, Correll. I've been lookin' for a reason to pump one into you...." This is one of those times in the series when Jim's tone is dead dog serious. A brief staring contest ensues, and then Correll says: "You'd do it, wouldn't ya?" Jim says: "You bet." Jim surprised me in this scene. He was really prepared to kill the guy. Correll smirks, as if he's laughing at the low value placed on his life. Jim explains that in order to avoid the goons downstairs, they're gonna wait up there until everyone's asleep, and then walk out the front door. He sits down, and tells Correll to stand where he's at. Jim handles this perfectly.

Later on, they pull out of Correll's property, Jim is in the passenger seat with the gat on Correll. Then, as they move down the street, there's the sound of a car starting, and we see it pulling out of another driveway, following Jim and Correll. Correll pulls into a warehouse marked "Correll Trucking." Jim holds Correll at gun point, and Correll bangs on the door to the warehouse and yells inside to "open up." When the thug opens up, he sees Jim, and tries for his gun, but Correll tells him to give up the gun. Now Jim's got them both at gunpoint. Jim brings them over to where Barbara is sitting, and asks her if she's all right. She turns her face toward Jim, and there's tears in her eyes, and bruises on her face. Correll says: "You've got it all wrapped up, eh?" Jim says: "Looks that way." Correll quips: "Not from where I'm standing, buddy." He's alluding to the fact that "Howard" has a gun on Barbara from up in a loft. Jim calls his bluff, and then hears Howard say: "No, you knock it off." before the sound of the gun's hammer clicks. Jim tries to maintain his position by pointing the gun in Correll's face, and clicking back the hammer. Correll doesn't back down, and Jim takes a look over his right shoulder at Howard before giving up the gun. Jim says to him: "You always cover yourself?" and Correll says: "Always." Jim starts to get on Correll's nerves, and Correll says: "I'm gonna take care of you myself, and I'm really going to enjoy it." Jim says: "Who's gonna take care of Barbara?"--a real gentleman to the end.

Correll orders everybody outside, and then grabs Barbara by the lapels, and tells her he's sorry, and asks her why she didn't keep running. You can tell that Barbara is still in love with the guy by the look in her eyes. Love is blind. Just then, a police loudspeaker yells out "freeze, police!" Correll pushes Barbara out of the way, and points his gun at the cops, and Jim punches the guy next to him, grabs his gun, and points it at Correll. Jim motions with his hand for Correll to give up his gun, or is he challenging him to shoot? Correll says: "You keep yourself covered too....Nice." Here he's showing a bit of admiration for his nemesis. Jim tells Barbara he got in touch with the D.A. when he found her missing, and the cops were following him when he came to Correll's house. She asks Jim: "What'll they do to him?" Jim half chuckles and says: "Do you care?" and she says: "I care." Again with the music, at just the right moment. As she walks away from Jim, Jim looks at her and half shakes his head.

Taco Stand. I guess this is the one right there in Paradise Cove. They're eating tacos, and Barbara has had enough. Jim asks her: "Barbara, how did you ever get mixed up with a guy like Ralph Correll?" She starts explaining, but Jimmy starts to interrupt her with the fact that the guy was a killer, so she ends the discussion of Ralph Correll. Well, good, then Jimmie can bring out his bill for his services. But, there, uh seems to be a bit of a problem. You see, Barbara wants to return the money she stole from Ralph, so she won't be able to pay Jim right now. She says: "....But you're an honest man. You wouldn't want that kind of money." Jim starts to look away from her, and she says: "Jim? Would you?" Jim looks at her and says: "Yeah, I would." indignantly, and they cut to a freeze frame of the both of them walking away, while Barbara is giving Jim the "oh, you rascal" smile.

I give this episode a 4.0. The acting was excellent. I hope y'all enjoyed this review. Next week, we'll be covering the 9th regular season episode, In Pursuit of Carol Thorne. Until then, keep on Rockin'.