Original Air Date: March 7, 1975
Synopsis. An insurance company hires Jim to deliver a $10,000 check to Nancy Wade, the sole beneficiary of her late mother’s policy. Rockford travels to Las Vegas, where Nancy works as a lounge singer. There, Jim discovers that Nancy’s manager, Tom Robertson, who has been using her money to fund business ventures owned and operated by the syndicate. After he is attacked and robbed of the check by some of Robertson’s men, Rockford schemes to turn the tables on the slick operator. Aiding him in the cause is Japanese electronics executive Kenneth Mamato, another victim of Robertson’s maneuvers. Filmed partly on location in Las Vegas, “Roundabout” features one of the slowest chases in the history of prime time television (and quite possibly, in all of film). In Act IV, Rockford is wired for sound when he meets Robertson outside Hoover Dam. As soon as Rockford says the code word (“Geronimo!”), FBI Agent Hanzer and the rest of the police are supposed to converge on the scene. But Robertson panics and dashes inside, forcing Rockford to chase him on foot throughout the entire Hoover Dam building and grounds.
Because Rockford, unlike most private eyes, is a little out of shape, it doesn’t take long for him to become winded. However, Robertson is not in great condition, either—in fact, both men are gasping and chugging by the time Rockford finally catches up to Robertson and tags him (“I got you!”). As the two men both sit down and catch their breath, the camera pulls away, enabling the viewer to see that Rockford had chased Robertson to the bottom of the dam.
Lou Antonio, who directed this episode, took us behind the scenes of “Roundabout” in a 2018 interview on TV Confidential.
LEARN MORE about this episode in the revised third edition of 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES, featuring more than sixty new pages of never before published information about both the original Rockford Files and the CBS reunion movies, including twenty new interviews and six new appendices. 25 percent of the net proceeds from the sales of 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES will be donated to The James Garner Animal Rescue Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds to help rescue organizations, shelters, individuals, fosters, and veterans with emergencies, evacuations, medical care, adoptions, training, pet supplies, shelter, rehabilitation, boarding, transportation, food, and other pressing needs. JGARF is one way for Garner fans to honor Jim’s memory and extend his legacy. Plus… if you order 45 YEARS OF THE ROCKFORD FILES directly from Black Pawn Press, you will receive an exclusive bonus gift. Go to Rockford45.com for more details.