This review contains spoilers.
'Caledonia – It's Worth a Fortune!' is another fun, likable first season 'Rockford' episode. The first few episodes were watchable but felt to be finding their footing, but by this point, things seemed to have found their niche much more.
This is the first of a number of episodes to be directed by Stuart Margolin, who had appeared as the shady, untrustworthy Angel in the Pilot, and would resume his role later in the season (quickly becoming a popular semi-regular character). As a director, Margolin handles the tale well, with some well staged shots, and I particularly enjoyed the several car chases, which play out great.
I love the first ten minutes or so of this story, with Jolene (the pretty young Shelley Fabares) getting some cryptic clue about "Caledonia" from her critically ill convict husband, sending Rockford and herself off to investigate, and running into the obligatory crooked Sheriff (a nice turn, if not really doing anything new to the well-trodden character concept, by Ramon Bieri).
After that, when Jolene and Rockford return home, the pace does dip a little in places, such as Jolene and her husband's ex-cellmate Len reuniting and going out to dinner, but it is necessary in order to advance the plot, so I can pretty much forgive this.
This is another of those 'Rockford' tales with twist and turn after twist and turn, leaving the viewer unsure who is telling the full truth, and who to trust. There aren't any of Rockford's trademark cons or scams in this story, but this is more than made up for by the sheer number of twists and turns that the plot takes.
The idea that it is not stolen money, but rather, missing rare stamps, that is the loot everyone is searching for, is an unusual turn, and gets points for being original if nothing else.
The twist ending, that there isn't in fact any hidden loot (at least, not that anyone knows about), but instead a note by Jolene's husband, revealing that he knew about Jolene and Len's romantic fling, and that he can now be satisfied that, at the end of this escapade, they now hate each other, is really unexpected, and a great ending to an already unpredictable tale.
All-in-all, I *really* enjoyed this story. It kept me hooked and guessing throughout, and just as I thought I had things worked out, the whole thing changed again. Personally I like this episode enough to give it a 10/10 rating.