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The Rockford Files

Season 2 Episode 19

The Italian Bird Fiasco

Aired Unknown Feb 13, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Italian Bird Fiasco
In London, Edward Barrows has his suitcase put on his plane, contacts a man in LA, but is chased by two men, and forced off the roof of a building and left for dead. Jim is hired by Thomas Caine, an Antiques Dealer, to act as his agent at an auction for a replica of a Cormorant Italian Golden Bird. Jim is successful in bidding for it, but attracts the attention of Evelyn Stoneman, who is desperate for the bird. Jim says he will give her name to his client. Outside two men jump Jim and try to steal the bird, but in the scuffle, it is destroyed. Jim goes to report to Caine at his hotel, but he has gone and the manager denies anyone stayed in the room. Stoneman has followed Jim, surprised to learn that Jim works for Caine. Jim goes to his friend Ted Haller at “The Upstairs Gallery” to have the broken Cormorant put through the spectral dating process. Jim finds Caine very much at home in his trailer sitting at his desk making long distance telephone calls. Caine threatens to tell Jim’s bonding company about the damage in order to force him to bid for the second Cormorant at auction. Jim is successful and passes the prize to Caine, who quietly goes and breaks the bird and leaves the pieces in the bin. Jim goes to Dennis to learn more about Caine, and finds out he is crooked, and currently wanted by the London Police for questioning in the murder of Barrows, an agent of Lloyds of London. Jim has dinner with Evelyn Stoneman who confirms the existence of a third bird. Ted Haller and informs Jim the two birds are the originals, not replicas and are therefore priceless. Caine contacts Jim, as expected to bid for the third bird, and Jim blackmails Caine to take the bird to Ted Haller, who confirms they are original. Stoneman – or rather the woman who has been impersonating Stoneman, then appears with her goons Jeffers and Stack (who attacked Jim previously) and takes the third bird. Jim goes after them, following them to the airport. Piecing everything together, Jim goes to the baggage claim and takes the suitcase belonging to Barrows…moreless

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  • A mysterious artefact provides a headache or three for Rockford.

    Fists fights a plenty as Jim tries to decipher why there is such an intense scramble for a seemingly drab antique. One of the most underrated episodes of the entire run, the viewer is offered all the hallmarks that made the show such a success, Jimbo gets seven shades kicked out of him after a nocturnal visit to an office, William Daniels is his wonderful sleazy self as a character naturally not all he's cracked up to be, and Rocky as ever badgers Jim about the pros and cons of his trade after beating #8,787. Season 2 could have been make or break for the show, but confident episodes like this made The Rockford Files a leader in its field, with gritty storylines counter balanced by warm humour and top class guest stars. Fits nicely into the top 20 best stories.moreless

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