The Rockford Files

Season 1 Episode 3

The Dark and Bloody Ground

Aired Unknown Sep 20, 1974 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
29 votes
  • Jim's attorney friend Beth persuades him to look into the case of a woman who is convinced for the murder of her lover. But when someone tries to run Jim off of the road, it seems that there may indeed be a case to investigate. A decent episode...

    As the second regular hour-long episode of the series, 'The Dark and Bloody Ground' does well enough, offering up a reasonably interesting story.

    This episode is most notable for having the first appearance of Gretchen Corbett as attorney Beth Davenport, who would make many appearances in the series (until a contract dispute saw her not return for the fifth season). Jim and Beth's rapport works well, and really brings the episode to life.

    The sequence with the trucker trying to run Jim off of the road is executed well, though as with many car stunts in the series, I can never fully take to it when it's not Jim's own classic Pontiac (I love that car!). In this case, he was in Arizona, so it was logical that he would've been in a rented car, but you get my point...

    But on that point of the trucker (possibly) trying to kill Jim, I found this element of the story a bit blurry – at one point (with Rocky's deduction, in a great scene), it was suggested that whoever it was only trying to scare Jim; yet later they try to kill him again, and it is made clear that the person behind it all is not beyond bumping anyone off. This was only a relatively minor point, but I did feel that it could have been made clearer.

    'The Dark and Bloody Ground' is a decent enough episode, though not an example that I always rush back to watch. I probably enjoyed watching it on DVD to review more than I did when I recorded it off-air a few years back. The story is a bit splashy – it verges on a 9 at some points, then lulls back to a (still reasonable) 8 at others. So I guess it would seem logical that I would make my final score the average of the two, 8.5.