The Rockford Files

Season 5 Episode 18

The Return of the Black Shadow

Aired Unknown Feb 17, 1979 on NBC

Episode Recap

Jim is taking Gail Cooper on a date; deep sea fishing, when they encounter a motorcycle gang who get annoyed when Jim sounds his car horn at them. When they stop at a gas station, the Rattlers motorcycle gang come back and beat Jim up and then take the Firebird – with Gail in it – and into the hills. Jim chases them in the gas station truck and finds Gail beaten and raped. Jim takes on the twenty-strong gang and loses…
John Cooper rushes to the hospital to see his sister Gail and friend Jim. Gail is in psychological trauma while Jim has broken ribs. Coop vows revenge and obtains information about the gang from Jim and Lieutenant Dennis Becker. Coop then digs out his old motorcycle from his days as a member of the Vincent Black Shadow Gang and meets up with the Rattlers who include Animal, and their leader Whispering Willie Green. Coop learns the gang are going to destroy the staff picnic of the 'Billybob' Catering Company – a company ran by retired Rattlers, all of whom know Willie Green. Cooper calls Jim at the hospital late at night to tell him, but Animal catches him on the payphone, even though he doesn't know Coop is talking to Rockford about this, and punches Coop and rips out the receiver. Feeling guilty, Jim leaves the hospital to help his friend and they catch the gang, and the ringleader Willie Green – and John gets the chance to extract his revenge by hitting Willie, but also gets justice as Dennis Becker arrests Willie and the Rattlers.