The Rockford Files

Season 2 Episode 2

The Farnsworth Stratagem

1
Aired Unknown Sep 19, 1975 on NBC
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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The Farnsworth Stratagem
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Jim goes with Dennis and Peggy Becker to the new hotel they have invested in for the weekend. The hotel manger explains they have no rooms, because the residents live in condominiums, and that the Becker’s in fact own part of the lobby and the car park. Realising he has been swindled by Bradley Investments Limited, Dennis asks Jim for help. Jim is reluctant, but agrees when Audrey Wyatt, a children’s author, visits asking to be a part of the investigation as she invested too. Although she tries to convince Jim there is nothing that can be done, and upon learning Lieutenant Diehl’s wife has also invested Jim has no choice but to help when the bank threaten to foreclose on his mortgage. Beth reads the contract, and Jim requests that all the investors transfer the mineral rights in the lobby and the car park to him. Next day Jim poses as ‘James W. Farnsworth’ and with the help of Audrey, Rocky, Angel and some others constructs a massive oil-drilling rig in the hotel car park. Angel begins breaking the ground with a jackhammer while the residents protest. Two of the residents threaten Jim, but eventually Jim draws Simon Lloyd, the head of Bradley Investments, out into the open. Meanwhile Jim discovers that Audrey is not an author but was in fact the ‘roper of the marks’ for the con – but she has turned, because Jim’s scam is so much better. Jim vows to keep the relationship professional. Dennis visits informing Jim that the residents of the hotel are all members of organised crime. Jim meets with Lloyd who offers to buy him out because Audrey leaked the results of the soil samples. Jim refuses, but Louis Christian, a resident gangster persuades Jim, who confesses the whole thing is a scam – but no one believes him, so Jim sells out. Suddenly the rig strikes – and water begins to pour out…moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Too many drilling scenes!

    5.0
    What is fundamentally a great story for the series (Dennis needs to rely on Jim's abilities as a con man to get even with some crooks) is ultimately ruined by extensive padding and redundant montages of the drilling crews at work on the parking lot.



    It's a shame, because all of the pieces are there to make this a classic "Rockford," but this episode at times seems like one from early in the first season, where padding was a much bigger problem. Linda Evans shows up as the con woman who is swayed to Rockford's side and she's great. You gotta envy Garner...every day he got to go to the set and drive a great car and have love scenes with all of these actresses.



    By the time the payoff comes at the end of the episode, it's lacking because we've had to sit through what seems like an hour's worth of footage of drills.



    File this one as a missed opportunity.moreless
  • Jimbo assists Dennis and Peggy after a nasty case of shystering.

    8.0
    One of the many episodes where Jim poses as a wiley Southern type in order to redress a nasty case of double crossing. While the critiques of this episode are perefectly justifiable, it is at the same time, interesting to note the dynamism of the cast as they handle perfectly a rather muddled and over-adventerous plot line. The script writers threw in quite a few of these teasers, particularly in the latter seasons, but "The Farnsworth Strategem" manages to emmerge from the confusion with its head held high, again lagely due to a superb ensemble performance, especially Rocky who perfoms at his most "Cootish". Taxing, but worth sticking with.moreless
  • Too many drilling scenes!

    5.0
    What is fundamentally a great story for the series (Dennis needs to rely on Jim's abilities as a con man to get even with some crooks) is ultimately ruined by extensive padding and redundant montages of the drilling crews at work on the parking lot.



    It's a shame, because all of the pieces are there to make this a classic "Rockford," but this episode at times seems like one from early in the first season, where padding was a much bigger problem. Linda Evans shows up as the con woman who is swayed to Rockford's side and she's great. You gotta envy Garner...every day he got to go to the set and drive a great car and have love scenes with all of these actresses.



    By the time the payoff comes at the end of the episode, it's lacking because we've had to sit through what seems like an hour's worth of footage of drills.



    File this one as a missed opportunity.moreless
Gerald McRaney

Gerald McRaney

Manager

Guest Star

Linda Evans

Linda Evans

Audrey Wyatt

Guest Star

H.M. Wynant

H.M. Wynant

Danzil

Guest Star

Pat Finley

Pat Finley

Peggy Becker

Recurring Role

Gretchen Corbett

Gretchen Corbett

Beth Davenport

Recurring Role

Stuart Margolin

Stuart Margolin

Angel Martin

Recurring Role

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