The Rockford Files (1974) s05e15 Episode Script

Guilt

(GUN FIRES) Well, there's nothing to indicate it was more than an isolated, impersonal How can you call attempted murder impersonal, Dennis? You keep acting as if this is the best of all possible worlds.
You told me yourself, your life is a soap opera.
Miss Ludwig, I thought you were on your way back to San Diego.
Well, I just stayed in town one night.
To change your name.
He's gonna kill us.
Looks like the idea.
(PHONE RINGING) ROCKFORD ON ANSWERING MACHINE: This is Jim Rockford.
At the tone, leave your name and message.
I'll get back to you.
(BEEPS) Jimmy, Angel.
Listen, Eddie Talafero, just gave me a hot tip on a class filly in the eighth out at Hollypark.
The only trouble is I need $20.
(BARKING) (GUN FIRING) No! Please, no! Sam.
(DOG WHIMPERING) I don't care what you say, they don't make paint the way they used to.
Well, I told you it'd take two coats.
Yeah, but ten years ago.
It would still take two coats.
Well, they don't make nothing the way they used to.
Will you stop grousing, Rocky? You got your living room painted, didn't you? Yeah.
Leave the door.
Hey, listen, uh, why don't you start with the chili and I'll call Dennis and Coop and see if they can make it.
Yeah, tell them about 7:00.
That's when L.
J.
's coming.
That'll make a really good game, you know? Yeah.
(ANSWERING MACHINE TAPE REWINDING) (DIAL TONE) (BEEP) ANGEL: Jimmy, it's the voice of prosperity calling again.
Don't go inviting him.
Listen, turkey, you didn't return my call.
I told you I got this hot tip on that Hollypark filly.
Like I said.
$500 guaranteed.
He cheats! So call old Angel.
(BEEP) I can make us rich.
(DIAL TONE) The last horse he gave me could've used a skateboard.
(BEEP) VALERIE: Jim, it's Val.
I'm sorry to bother you, but I just don't know where to turn.
What'd you turn that off for? Oh, well, it's probably nothing.
Now, you want me to give you a hand with the chili? No, sir.
When I'm cooking I don't want no one in the kitchen with me.
Val Pointer.
(CHUCKLING) It's funny.
I was thinking about her just the other day.
Would you look at all this stuff? I mean, it's nothing but bills and throwaways.
You know how come I was thinking about her the other day? Because I run into all them records she give me.
Hey.
Do you remember, Jimmy? They got a great sale down at Red's Lumber Shack.
Want me to hold this for you? You know, I'll never get over that.
I happened to just casual mention I liked the voice of Vaughn Monroe, and here she come and give me every one of that man's records.
Oh, hearing her voice now sure brings back memories, don't it, Jim? Yeah.
Oh, boy, and it seems like yesterday.
Say, do you remember little Nancy? You remember? She couldn't have been more than a couple of years old then.
She was three, Dad.
Yeah, three.
Boy, she sure did like you though.
I never saw a kid so crazy about a man in all my life.
She wouldn't leave you alone.
Oh, Jim, do you remember how you use to let her stand on your feet, and you'd waltz around the room? You two made quite a picture.
Yes, sir.
And Valerie, she was always trying to get Nancy to call me Grandpa.
All she could call me was Gamps.
She couldn't say Grandpa.
Which worked out fine, since you weren't.
Well, I could have been.
I come close.
Dad, that's just about as far down memory lane as I care to go.
I don't see nothing wrong about talking about Nancy.
You're not talking about Nancy, you're talking about Val.
And that's over.
It was over a long time ago.
So stop fanning the embers.
They are stone cold.
I wonder what she wanted.
VALERIE ON ANSWERING MACHINE: Jim, I need you.
Somebody shot Sam.
Shot? VALERIE: It's as if I stepped into a nightmare.
Mrs.
Pointer has already stated that her assailant was unknown to her.
She had never seen the man before.
I haven't had any arguments with anybody, not even any minor disagreements.
Well, there's nothing to indicate it was more than an isolated, impersonal How can you call attempted murder impersonal, Dennis? I could call it anything I want.
Mrs.
Pointer, I have your description.
I'll try to run down the suspect.
Why bother? Brown on brown, no distinguishing marks or characteristics.
That fits half the male population of L.
A.
If it makes you feel any better, if you could have a friend, your son-in-law, someone to stay here with you for the next few days.
No, I've been enough trouble already.
Thank you for your concern, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
I'll be in touch.
Uh, listen, Val, the Goldstones are due at 10:00.
Do you want me to cancel or what? Oh, no, I forgot all about the Goldstones.
Give me ten minutes and we'll ride in together.
You're not up to working today.
I'm fine.
All right, I'm not fine.
But I'll be better off at work than I will be sitting around here.
Just, ah, you call ahead and tell them I'll be a few minutes late.
Ever try arguing with her? Thank you for coming, Jim.
You never let me down.
Oh, I can think of a couple of times.
Don't.
Val.
Hmm? Val, I really don't want to shake your faith in the system, but I really don't think Dennis is gonna come up with a whole lot.
Well maybe it was one of those freak things.
I'd like to think so.
Well, what else could it be? Well, would you like me to nose around a little? You still trying to be Mickey Spillane? You still want to be Suzy Parker? We have nothing more to discuss.
Get that stuff out of the house by noon tomorrow, or you're gonna be picking it up off the front lawn.
You're going to throw the 18th century onto your front lawn? That's criminal.
What's criminal is the mess we walked into.
My wife's so upset she can't even talk about it.
She's sitting out in the car now feeling miserable.
Mr.
Zakarian, your wife approved every piece of furniture, every bibelot.
ZAKARIAN: She hates it.
NORMAN: Does that tell you something about Madame's taste? Norman, please.
Mr.
Zakarian, Mr.
Singleton's upset.
Why don't we discuss this privately? Whose side are you on? Well, it isn't a question of taking sides, Norman.
Look, why don't we go back into my office? I'm sure we can straighten this out.
Or, perhaps, I could talk with your wife.
The Chippendale gilt consoles? Well, Mrs.
Zakarian selected those herself.
You remember that when you're tossing them into the begonias, because you're going to have to pay for them.
Not only am I not going to pay for them, I'm taking you both into court.
To court? Yes, for misrepresentation.
Well, you can't mean that.
For I think Mrs.
Pointer's had about enough for today.
Who the hell invited your opinion? I did.
Thank you, Jim.
Mr.
Rockford's a friend of mine.
I called him this morning when somebody tried to shoot me.
What? What do you mean, "somebody"? Well, we don't know who it is.
That's what Jim's trying to find out.
He's a private investigator.
Well, at least you won't have to waste your time investigating her client list.
They're only interested in killing him.
My attorneys will be in touch.
Well, I can't wait for the rest of the day.
ROCKFORD: You were complaining you didn't have anything to go on.
Now you got something.
The entire membership roster of the Brentair Yacht Club? Hey, how about a little gratitude? You know what it took me to con the management out of that? I don't want to hear.
Ackerman, Alden, Anderson, Anderson.
How do you want me to handle this? Bring them in one at a time or maybe rent the Sons of Yugoslavia hall and question all Dennis, the guy was parked in the parking lot of the Brentair Yacht Club.
Now, the only way in or out of that lot is with a key card issued to the members by the club.
So you wanted a lead? You got a lead.
You talk to Mrs.
Pointer about this? Well, she looked at the roster.
She recognized, oh, probably ten percent of the names.
Ten percent? She a member of the club? Yeah, but she doesn't use the facilities that often, because of her work.
And, she's on good terms with everyone there.
Valerie Pointer.
You know, when that call came in, that name sounded familiar.
Yeah, well, she has a fairly well-known decorating business.
No, no, it wasn't that.
It was something that Rocky said.
Was she Look, Dennis, there are two leads that you can really follow through on here.
One, the guy was parked in the club lot.
He was driving a white Peugeot.
So, if I were you, I'd check to see if any of the members have a white Peugeot.
If not, check the members' known associates.
You're talking about 300 people.
You want me to check the known associates of 300 people? Did anyone ever tell you police work was gonna be easy? Hey! What are you gonna be doing? Waiting for your report.
Ah, bull! ROCKY: Well, Coop can't make it.
He's researching a case or something.
L.
J.
Said he'd be here about 7:00.
I haven't heard a word about Dennis.
Hmm, hmm.
I wouldn't count on him, Rocky.
I think he's gonna be tied up for a while.
Hold on.
Well, what do you think you're doing? Well, it doesn't have any bite.
Well, leave it alone.
It'll have bite by 7:00.
God, if Dennis don't come, that's only gonna leave three of us.
What kind of a poker game is that? Yeah, well, I think it's gonna be more like checkers.
I can't make it, either.
Oh, well, now, that does it.
I've been standing here sweating all day.
Over a hot stove all day I know, Dad, and I'm sorry.
But, uh, you know, Val's had a pretty rough time of it herself.
So I thought I'd take her to dinner.
Val? You and Val? Oh, well, why didn't you say so? Well, L.
J.
's a good enough checkers partner and I can freeze all the chili.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Look, take her to one of them little French restaurants.
Val always liked fancy food.
Hmm.
Yes? Mr.
Rockford? I'm Jean Ludwig.
I have to talk to you.
Oh, come in.
Uh, this is my dad, Joseph Rockford.
Would you care to sit down? Yeah.
We were, uh, getting ready to have a little snack.
Excuse me.
If I'm a little awkward, forgive me.
I've never done this before.
I want to hire you, Mr.
Rockford.
You see, it's my sister.
Is she missing? No.
What made you say that? Uh See, we just moved to San Diego about four months ago and we didn't know anybody down there.
Then, Lynn met this man and it's gotten to the point where they're talking about marriage.
What about Val? Uh, Jimmy's working on a case now, Miss.
He's really got all he can handle.
How much do you charge? $200 a day, plus expenses.
But I Okay, I'll double it.
In fact, I'll make it $500 a day.
Then that's more than twice your going rate.
Mr.
Rockford, I don't think this man is who he says he is at all.
I think he's after my sister's money.
Now, he could be dangerous.
Well, if you'd like me to recommend someone, I'd be No.
I wasted enough time selecting you.
I love my sister, Mr.
Rockford.
I don't want her to make a tragic mistake.
Well, I understand, and I'm sorry.
Believe me, I'm sorry.
I don't get offers like that every day.
But I just can't help you.
(SIGHS) Well, thank you for your time.
I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.
I guess I'll have to make some other arrangements.
Yeah.
Bye.
Hey, you done the right thing, sonny.
Sure hard passing up that kind of money, huh? $500 a day.
ROCKFORD: I see she's driving that black Porsche over by the Sand Castle.
Ah, there's no front license plate.
What do you care? She gave you her name.
Yeah.
Maybe, but $500 a day on an out-of-town job? Well, maybe she's worried about her sister.
(CAR ENGINE STARTING) Or maybe somebody's worried about me.
(CAR DRIVING OFF) They don't want me working for Val.
Jim.
(ENGINE STARTING) Come on, get out of the way.
(HONKING) Come on.
Move it, move it.
(TIRES SCREECHING) Come on.
Damn.
(HORN HONKING) I don't suppose there's no way you could take some of this chili over to Val's? She was always real partial to it.
You're not using those ice-cream cartons, are you? Oh, yeah.
They're made for freezing.
They work real good.
Yeah, that's what you said last time.
But your chili had a very distinctive (KNOCKING ON DOOR) Butter-pecan aftertaste.
Yeah, come in.
Rocky.
L.
J.
Hey, hiya, Jimmy.
How you doing? Fine, how you, L.
J.
Good to see you.
Fine.
I think I must have got my dates wrong.
I could have swore Rocky said we was playing poker tonight.
Oh, no, no, no.
You're right.
Well, you may not be playing poker.
You want a beer? Yeah, thank you.
See Dennis is working and Coop's working.
You and me's still on.
Jimmy here, he's got a date.
What do you mean, "a date"? I'm taking an old friend out to dinner.
An old sweetheart, he means.
They come just that close to getting married.
No kidding.
Yeah, it was 20 years ago.
We decided against it.
Nah, you decided against it.
I gotta get out of here.
Hey, where you taking her, sonny? We got reservations at the Cocked Hat.
The Cocked Hat? Well, now, don't give me that.
Hey, they got the best ribs in town.
And the best cottage fries.
You mean to tell me you're taking a lady like Valerie Pointer to a steakhouse? Well, I asked her where she wanted to go.
She picked the place, I didn't.
Yeah, because it's one of your favorites.
That's the way she is, you know, L.
J.
She's always thinking of the other fella.
Never of herself.
Yeah.
What are you saying, Dad? That I'm selfish? Oh, I didn't say that, sonny.
Then what? Well, you know how Valerie is.
Always tippy-toeing round, never coming right out and saying what she'd like.
Yeah, which makes it hard not to be wrong most of the time.
Ah, well, look, I haven't seen Valerie for a lot of years.
She might have changed.
A steakhouse could be the very place to take her.
This is really charming.
Not very.
Oh, I wish I had gotten that license plate.
Jim, I don't know who that girl was in the Porsche and I don't know who the guy was in the Peugeot.
But can't we forget it? Just for tonight? Yeah, sure.
You picked this place because you, uh, thought I'd like it here, didn't you? Are you gonna tell me you haven't been salivating over the prospect of those ribs? Yeah, they're good, but, uh, you know, a reservation isn't a contract.
We could go someplace else.
I'm here with you and I'm happy.
I thought a lot about us today, Jim.
You know, we were pretty good together.
Hmm.
But not great? Oh, I didn't say that.
Oh, yes, you did.
You know, that was 20 years ago.
Oh, you said it.
Very tenderly, very gently.
"Let's not rush into this, Val.
"Let's, uh Let's think about it a little longer.
" We were awfully young, Val, even though you had been married.
Disastrously, of course.
Then there was Nancy, not much more than a baby then.
You know, I didn't even think of her when I tried to kill myself.
All I could think of was how much I loved you and that you didn't want me.
Valerie.
Oh, I'm sorry.
It's always "Valerie" when I've upset you.
I didn't mean to bring all that up.
I guess it's just today.
You know Well, coming close to death again, it brought it all back.
It's silly.
Let's just forget it.
Oh, it was never your fault.
Well, you know I never held you responsible.
I know that.
You want to order? Order? Oh, sure.
Oh, well, we know it's ribs for you and, uh, potatoes, right? Yeah, cottage fries.
If you're not interested in the ribs, the steak's good, or the lobster.
I'll have the dinner salad.
I told you we didn't have to stay here.
We could go someplace else.
That's all I really want.
Honestly.
Nothing for me.
Jim.
Two orders of ribs, two orders of cottage fries.
I don't want you to eat something you don't want.
You don't want me to eat something I do want.
Dinner salad for the lady.
Ribs, fries for me.
(SIGHS) You know, when we're not fighting, we really get along just fine.
Did you notice that? I noticed that.
Thanks for tonight, Jim.
It really helped a lot.
Sometimes my life seems like such a soap opera.
(GUN FIRING) (WOMAN CHATTERING ON POLICE RADIO) BECKER: I'm supposed to find a potential killer and what've I got? The membership of the Brentair Yacht Club, at last count, some dame who drives a Turbo Carrera, whose name may or may not be Jean Ludwig.
Well, what are you complaining about? That gives you Yeah, now all I gotta do is hope the guy doesn't make another move till I sort through them all.
Yeah, well, what about the guy on the beach this morning? It was broad daylight and he didn't bother to cover his face.
But at night, when it's dark, he was wearing a ski mask.
That tell you anything? Yeah.
It could be something simple, like he's stupid.
Or, it could be something simple like he wasn't wearing a mask because he knew Valerie wouldn't recognize him.
Contract killer, maybe? A contract killer? Jim, that's absurd.
No, no.
It's a possibility.
But who? Who hates me that much? Well, if you could give me the answer to that, you'd make my job a lot easier and your life a lot safer.
I honestly can't think of anybody.
Well, I guess that's it.
Hey, do you think you could leave a couple of men here just to keep an eye on things? Sure.
No problem.
Lieutenant, I really appreciate Oh boy, I feel funny.
What's the matter, Val? What's the matter? You all right? I don't know.
I think it's all beginning to hit me.
Jim, there's some brandy in the study.
Would you mind? Yes, yes, sure, sure.
Thank you.
Ooh.
Well, if there isn't anything further, Mrs.
Pointer, I'll see that the men are stationed outside.
Oh, Lieutenant, no, no, no.
Really, that won't be necessary.
Mr.
Rockford will be spending the night here.
Yeah, but he said Well, actually, it upsets me to have strangers around anyway.
I'll be perfectly safe with Jim here.
Good night, Lieutenant.
Thank you for everything.
Uh, yeah.
Good night.
Oh, uh, Lieutenant Becker said he had to get back to the station.
Yeah, well, what about the men? Dennis said he was gonna leave a couple of guys here to keep an eye on things.
Oh, thank you, I told him not to bother.
Well, you know how having people I don't know around kind of makes me nervous.
That's the last thing I need tonight.
But Valerie, you can't stay here alone.
It's not safe.
Well, whatever you say, Jim.
Well, I'll make up the guest room for you, if you like.
Oh, now, come on, Val.
I really hadn't planned to stay all night.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I must have misunderstood.
Of course, you probably have plans.
No, I don't have any plans.
It's just, well, where I sleep is something I like to decide for myself.
Well, there's no reason to be upset.
I'm fine, really.
No, you do whatever you think is best.
I'll check on the doors and windows.
ROCKY: You're always losing things and always crawling all over me like it was my fault or something.
I had my card case with me when I was here painting yesterday.
Now, you sure you didn't pick it up and put it someplace for safekeeping? You've got a habit of doing that.
If I said I didn't see it, I didn't see it.
What's the matter with you anyway? You come in here meaner than a darn old grizzly bear.
I didn't sleep too well last night.
I ended up at Val's.
Oh.
In the guest room.
Becker was gonna keep a couple of men on her house to keep an eye on it and the minute I was out of the room, she sent them all home.
I didn't have any choice.
Think she was planning it that way.
Huh! Some people got a mighty high idea of themselves.
Yeah.
Maybe.
She said she wasn't thinking.
Ah, well, she shouldn't have to.
She's a lady.
Rocky, did you hear what you just said? Here's a woman who has a grown daughter.
She also has a very successful decorating business.
What do you mean she doesn't have to think? That's right.
She is a woman, a beautiful, delicate, sensitive woman and she ought to have a good man taking care of her.
Well, don't rush out and post the banns.
Jim, you know I always been proud of you.
You give me a lot of enjoyment in my life.
Never any disappointments or nothing like most families except Dad, Dad, it just didn't work out with Val and me.
Okay? I know that, sonny.
I know that, I just I don't understand why.
'Cause, man, she really loved you.
Who do you know that ever loved some other person more than their own life, huh? Now, no, no, no, don't take that wrong, I ain't saying that that pill-taking was your fault.
Well, thanks.
And I ain't saying that it's your fault that in her grief she turned to that young Dr.
Pointer, you know.
Who'd know what a monster he was gonna turn out to be after they was married? And the time you was supposed to join them for dinner and you couldn't go.
I ain't saying that if you had been there, you'd have stopped him from getting a snootful and getting in that car and driving off and killing himself, and darn-near killing her too.
But if I'd have done the right thing, none of it would have ever happened.
Right? Did I say that? Now, don't you put words in my mouth.
Valerie herself said it was not your fault.
She told me so a hundred or more times.
Well, she must have told me a couple of thousand times.
It's kept me on the string for 20 years and I'm gonna tell you something else, Dad.
I'm getting tired of getting phone calls at 3:00 in the morning every time she's having trouble with her latest romance.
I'm getting tired of spending my Saturday mornings fixing her garage door or her front gate or T.
V.
Antenna.
Jim, she considers you her friend.
I am her friend, Dad.
A very good friend.
I have nothing to feel guilty about.
That's what I just said.
That's my personal stuff in there.
Where you going now? Well, just as a parting gesture, I'd like to find out who it is that's trying to kill Val, so I don't have to feel guilty for another 20 years.
I'm sure I know exactly what you want.
Luxury without ostentation.
I don't want a bunch of furniture I can't sit on.
Ah, none of those spindly little chairs.
Comfort, of course.
Hello, Jim.
Val, I'd like to talk to you.
It's important.
But Mr.
And Mrs.
Goldstone It can't wait.
Oh, I'll just be a minute.
Jim, those people are very important clients.
What can you do for them dead? You found out something? No.
I realized something.
It's time for both of us to stop being polite.
I want to know what axes you've been grinding, and where.
Honestly, we've been through all this.
We've been through it, but not honestly.
Ah, would you excuse me a minute? Something's come up.
My associate will be right with you.
Good God, when Val told me what happened last night, I Eric, the Goldstones are outside holding down the pavement.
Would you go over to their house with them and keep them busy till I can get there? I have an 11:00 appointment, Val.
So, you'll be late.
If you can't help me when I need you, Eric All right, Val.
I'll take care of it.
See you later, Jim.
Oh, I never snap at him like that.
Well, it was my fault.
Well, I didn't say it was your fault.
But when you come here and accuse me of being dishonest Val, Val, you keep acting as if this is the best of all possible worlds.
You told me yourself, your life is a soap opera.
You take Eric, for example.
Well, he's my right arm.
He's also your ex-son-in-law.
Nancy's in Arizona with the kids and he's here working with you.
I tried to keep them together.
No, I did everything I could.
Oh, but that divorce was about as bad as you could get.
Charges, counter-charges.
I mean, a real mess.
What is he doing here? Well, Nancy resented what she called my interference and when the judge awarded custody to Eric of the children, why Well, she developed a rather serious drinking problem.
She took the children and just left the state.
Well, Eric was devastated.
Those children mean everything to him.
I figured if I kept him around here somehow it would all work out.
It's a soap opera.
But it has nothing to do with being shot at.
Val, don't you see? You have these little dramas swirling around you.
It's like when I came in here yesterday.
There was some kind of beef going on in here.
Those two guys looked like they wanted to take a poke at you.
Oh, Norman's volatile.
That's his nature.
Yeah, well, what about the irate customer? Joe? Oh, believe me, attempted murder's the last thing he needs.
Joe? Yeah, Joe Zakarian.
He married Cynthia Germaine about eight months ago and all his dreams came true.
Oil wells, supertankers, the right resorts and never an off-season.
Everything he ever wanted.
Well, it didn't happen overnight.
He was hustling for quarters out in Gardena when he was 14.
But Joe's got the sweet life now.
Boy, oh boy.
Mmm-hmm.
From soap opera to Harold Robbins.
Why didn't you tell me about this before? Well, tell you what? You and Joe Zakarian.
You had an affair, didn't you? Well, what happened? He break it off and you threatened to tell Cynthia? I didn't.
I'd never do a thing like that.
Oh, of course you wouldn't.
But you'd say it.
Yeah, in a triangle that's breaking up, those things always get said.
You really should've told me about it, Valerie.
Jim.
What's his address? Uh, Ambazac Way in Bel-Air.
It's 22515.
But Joe wouldn't hurt me.
Val, he came in here yesterday with a great show of outrage threatening a lawsuit.
Now you should be the last person in the world that Joe Zakarian would want to antagonize.
Right? But that was quite a scene.
Why? It doesn't make sense.
Of course it does.
He was trying to protect himself.
Look, if you got to Cynthia before he got to you, he'd just claim that your story of an affair was revenge for being fired.
He could lie to his wife and make her believe it.
Or, if he managed to kill you, who'd accuse him? He was the guy who was gonna take you to court.
If I can place him in front of your house last night, Val, I've got the motive and I got the man.
(DOORBELL RINGING) I'll get it.
What? Mrs.
Zakarian, I'd like to talk to you, if I may.
You want to talk to me enough to carry some bags downstairs? Sure, why not? Ordinarily, I don't lift anything heavier than a coke spoon, but I'm so damned mad, I can't wait to get the hell out of this dump.
Oh, the rest of the luggage is upstairs.
All right, what is it? Oh, my name is Rudy Crandall.
I'm with Pointer Interiors.
Terrific.
Just what I need in my life.
Someone else from Pointer Interiors.
Valerian Rybar is out there somewhere, but who'd know it.
Yeah, well, Mrs.
Zakarian, I realize there's been some problem about the decorum.
But nevertheless, the fabric on the couches downstairs was supplied by our company.
The furnishings, the draperies I'm really not interested in hearing your inventory.
Well, there's a bill outstanding, an extremely large bill.
If you could just give me some idea when we might expect payment.
Whistle for it.
Now, Mrs.
Zakarian, I realize that you're a little short of patience, but then so am I.
You see, your husband was supposed to meet me at a restaurant last night at 8:00.
We were gonna discuss this very matter, but then he never showed up.
He left me sitting there, looking at some cheap art.
Hmm.
Well, if you want to know where my husband was last night, ask Valerie Pointer.
I guess you could say we were both stood up.
My husband and I went to a party last night.
(SCOFFS) People are still celebrating our idyllic marriage.
He spent the first part of the evening trying to reach somebody by phone.
Then he left.
I followed him.
I found him parked across the street from Valerie Pointer's, waiting for her to come home.
Well, what time was that? ZAKARIAN: Cynthia.
Well, you still gonna help me carry my bags? Well, I think Mr.
Zakarian has something else in mind.
Cynthia, go to your room.
Close the door.
Go to my room? What do you think I am? Ten years old? Move.
You've got a hell of a nerve ordering me around.
This is my house.
Move! Damn you! You're not thinking this through, Zakarian.
It's only attempted murder now.
Cynthia knows you were there.
The marriage is over.
What happened? Oh, my God! ROCKFORD: Looks like we finally nailed the guy trying to kill Val.
BECKER: But I'd like to get Zakarian talking for himself.
You're not gonna get anything out of him, Dennis.
The doctor said he had a severe concussion.
Well, he said something sounded like "ox blood.
" It's a color.
They're decorating their house.
Or they were.
Get somebody over here to get his statement when he comes to.
Yes, sir.
What'd he say? Well, nothing.
He's unconscious.
But his wife puts him in front of your house a half-hour before the shooting and we do have motive.
He was trying to keep your affair quiet.
I guess that's that.
Yeah, well, you're still gonna have to live through the newspaper stories and the trial and none of that's gonna be very pleasant.
I know, but what matters now is it's over.
Thank you for everything, Lieutenant.
Yeah, thanks a lot, Dennis.
Yeah, I'll keep in touch.
I'd never have told Cynthia about our relationship.
Joe should have known that.
Val, how did he happen to hire you to do the house? Well, when I heard he'd bought the place in Bel-Air, I told him I'd like him to consider my company for the job.
It didn't occur to you that he might take that as an ultimatum, as a pay-off for your silence? Of course not.
He was always doing little favors for me.
Just the other day my car wouldn't start and I was late for an appointment so I called Joe and he came right over.
I'll bet he did.
Now, what's that supposed to mean? A married man, with a wife who's known for her jealousy, and he just drops everything and comes running when you call? Now, come on, Val, doesn't that sound a little more like guilt than friendship? Oh, no, Jim.
You don't understand the kind of relationship we had.
Oh, I think I do.
But don't worry about it.
It's all over now.
(GUN FIRES) (GUN FIRES) Jim! Jim, you all right? That wasn't no backfire.
Oh, yes it was.
I thought I had this whole thing all wrapped up.
I want you to go inside, call Dennis, tell him what happened.
Tell him it was the guy on the beach, the one who took the first shot at Valerie, and he'd better get some protection on her quick.
Are you going over to her place? No, I'm gonna go see if I can get a line on that lady in the Porsche.
That's about all we got left.
(ENGINE STARTING) Ah, some life you live, coming home, getting shot at, getting in your car and tearing off.
Some life, I say.
Some life.
Oh, hey, I'm really glad to see they're springing for some posters.
You know, the last rally was a joke.
The thing was over before anybody knew about it.
You go all the way down there, you'd like to see a little competition, you know? Yeah.
Is there, uh, something I can do for you? Well, yeah.
Oh, this is not my car.
It's a loaner, you know.
My Targa's in the shop.
The, uh, Deutsche Craftwork.
You know the place? Over on Lancashire? Yeah, yeah.
Well, you know just as I was, uh, pulling in there, the girl driving out.
She was driving a black Turbo Carrera with all the options.
I figure anybody that's got a car like that and keeps it waxed the way she does, she'd be a member of the car club.
We don't give out any information on our members.
Well, she was a stone fox, pal, but it's not what you think.
Uh, do you think I could speak to you just confidentially, you know? That, uh, depends on what you got to say.
Yeah.
As I was puling in, she was pulling out.
Now, this mechanic, he is screaming, he's going tapioca, you know? But Otto, the manager, he's saying, "Forget it.
"Let it go.
Just forget it.
" But I think it's dangerous.
I'm not following you at all.
Well, look, she brought her car in here to get work done.
They popped the heads on the thing just to see if the valves were sealing right.
And of course, they were up to factory specs, so he puts the head back on, then he goes to lunch.
He never torqued the head bolts down.
But if she drives it that way for any length of time She's gonna have pistons up in the seat with her.
But before Otto is ever gonna admit that he made a mistake, he's gonna let her blow that engine all over the road.
Well, that's criminal.
That's Otto.
Well, he ought to be reported.
Yeah, that's why I came in here.
I figured maybe you could help me find her and I could warn her.
She's a brunette, about 20.
I did a little eavesdropping but I didn't quite get the name.
You know it sounded like, uh, Ludwig.
The incompetence! You wouldn't believe the horror stories I've heard.
Oh, boy.
Boy, that's a good-Iooking car.
Yeah.
Do you think you could take a look at that membership roster? Don't have to.
Sounds like Sandy Ludner to me.
Look, you hang on a minute, I'll get you her address.
Miss Ludwig? I thought you were on your way back to San Diego.
I was.
I mean, I am.
Well, I just stayed in town long enough to To change your name? Get out of my way.
Now, wait a minute.
I've been shot at today and, quite frankly, I'm not in a very good mood.
So, I'm gonna be a little blunt about this.
Right now, you're an accessory to an attempted murder.
If you don't give me the answers I need, you're liable to end up an accessory to the real thing.
I'm not an accessory.
You're working for whoever's trying to kill Mrs.
Pointer.
No! You tried to hire me off the case so whoever it is could work without any interference.
No.
That's not the way it was at all.
Look, I'm an actress.
I didn't even get paid for this gig.
I did it as a favor.
Who was the favor for? He told me that you were working for his ex-wife and she was trying to make some trouble for him.
He said that if I could get you out of town Look, I didn't know anything about trying to kill people.
If I'd known that, I never would have done it.
Now you've gotta believe me.
I'm not an accessory.
I'm just starting to get featured parts.
Who was the favor for, Sandy? Eric Genther.
Eric? Look, now, I've been absolutely straight with you.
Now, can you keep me out of it? I just got myself a new agent.
He's got a lot of faith in me.
He's pushing me really, really hard.
Now, can you keep me out of it? Things are just starting to happen.
(DIALING) Brian? Brian, it's Sandy.
Well, I just did I just did something really, really dumb.
He scared me, you know? Talking about being an accessory to murder.
Well, if I hadn't have been so hard up for money you know, I never would have gotten into this.
(SIGHS) I copped out about Eric.
What do you mean, you copped out? It was that private detective, um Rockford.
I told him, I said yeah, Eric's trying to kill his mother-in-law.
But listen, I didn't say anything about you.
I never mentioned your name.
Yeah.
You left that to Eric.
Well, it's his word against yours.
Listen, Sandy, Valerie Pointer saw me.
Well Well, maybe Eric won't say anything.
Yeah, he won't if I have a chance to shut him up.
Eric.
Jim.
What are you doing here? I called the showroom.
They told me where to find you.
Yeah.
Weekly lesson.
It's not Val, is it? Nothing's happened to Val? Well, now, that sounds almost like genuine concern.
It is! Eric, I, uh, talked to Sandy Ludner.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Look, I've really got to get back to work.
Eric, there's still time to stop this.
Val's still alive, and so am I.
You? Yeah, whoever you hired made a try for me at my trailer a couple of hours ago.
He came close.
I told him.
He's crazy.
I tried to stop him, Jim.
After that morning on the beach, when I saw what I'd gotten into, I tried to stop him but I couldn't.
He panicked.
He'd been seen.
He was determined to kill Val, then you, after it looked like you were asking the right questions.
I wasn't aware I had asked any.
It was my key card he used to get into the parking lot.
Who is he, Eric? His name's Brian Tegg.
He runs a flight school out at Van Nuys Airport.
I've been taking private lessons from him.
So has Sandy.
Nobody ever quite measures up to Val, do they? We're all a big disappointment to her.
But you watch.
She's gonna smile gamely and go right on.
You blame her for the divorce? She ruined Nancy.
She ruined our marriage.
All I wanted was my kids back.
How was killing Val gonna do that? I wasn't trying to kill her.
I only wanted to scare her.
I thought it would force her back into the state.
Once they were here I could grab the kids and that'd be that.
What happens now? I turn myself in? You don't have any choice.
Come on, my car's outside.
I'll call Dennis and have him meet us at the airport.
My car's out in the street.
(HELICOPTER WHIRRING) Hey, what's that guy in the chopper doing? It's Tegg.
Are you sure? How do you know? I recognize the plane.
That maniac.
He's gonna kill us.
Looks like the idea.
Just hold on.
He's still behind us.
You're pretty good at this.
Where is he now? Yeah, he's behind us.
(BANGING) No, he's gotta be on top.
He is.
He's right above us.
He's still there.
I'm gonna try something.
VALERIE: Thanks for the lift, you guys.
I am really looking forward to that chili, Rocky.
That was so sweet of you and Jim to bring it by.
Well, after all you been through, I figured you wouldn't feel like doing any cooking.
Couldn't we buy you a cup of coffee or something for now? Oh, no, thank you.
I have to get back to the showroom.
Without Eric, it is so hectic.
Have you heard from Nancy? No, but I understand she called Eric.
Oh, she'll be calling.
You know, the shock and all.
I don't know.
Realizing that two people wanted me dead.
Well, that's just plain craziness, that.
Eric thinking he's gonna get his kids back by killing you.
And that other fella.
Joe Zakarian.
Oh, he thought he had the perfect cover after the first attempt.
He was just taking advantage of an opportunity.
Well, it's all over now, and that's what counts.
Thank you.
I suppose it is over.
Thank you, Jim.
Thank you for my life.
You know, I've been having trouble with my car lately.
It's the starter, I think.
Could you stop by and take a look at it? Well, I, uh Whenever you have time.
Okay.
Bye, Val.
Bye.
Now, there goes quite a little lady.
Yeah, she's had a rough life too.
More than enough for any one person.
You know, sonny, seeing her again, well, it It's sort of opened up my eyes.
I mean, well, I never drop her a line on her birthday or pick up the phone to call her at Christmas time, and, well, what I mean is that seeing her again just made me feel kind of Guilty?