The Rockford Files (1974) s05e18 Episode Script

The Return of the Black Shadow

Relax, mama, you're gonna dig it.
(TIRES SCREECHING) (ALL WHOOPING) It'd be a shame to see the whole Cooper family wiped out by one gang.
Is that what an ex-motorcycle gang member does when his sister gets raped? I'm with the Rattlers, Jimmy.
Now, you gotta take a look and see if these bums are the ones.
All right, burn them up.
At the tone, leave your name and message.
I'll get back to you.
(BEEPS) Jim, this is Florence Boyle.
You worked for my husband last month in Glendale.
You were so helpful then and Well, I have a problem of my own I'd like to discuss, confidentially, of course.
(MEN CLAMORING) MAN: I got a nose like a bloodhound.
This is really nice of you, I mean, asking me out.
Hey, it's okay, I wanted to.
Hey, you don't have to say that, Mr.
I know Johnny made you do it.
He says I never date, but I do.
I mean, not a lot because there's so much extra cataloguing at the university.
We're completely redesigning the entire physics research catalogue.
That must be something.
Well, it is sort of interesting, because physics is basically a quantitative science.
It used to be that it was just called natural physics.
But, more recently, they've broken it down into a lot of different classifications, like mechanics and heat and thermodynamics and optics.
And then, of course, are the more highly developed classifications like geophysics and astrophysics.
Those, too, huh? Absolutely.
Most people think that those fields are astrological designations, but they're really physics.
Pure and simple.
Pure and simple.
You and Johnny must really be great friends.
Well, yeah, we share a certain resentment for the establishment.
What made you say that? Well, I mean for you to agree to take me out and everything.
Gail, I wanted to.
No, I bet he made you do it, but I don't mind.
I've never been deep-sea fishing, so I'm really looking forward to it.
Me, too.
and then there's plasma physics and low-temperature physics.
They're really interesting because they both stem in part from the quantum theory, or the theory of relativity.
You must know about that one.
Yeah, Einstein? (GIGGLES) No, silly, the theory of relativity is all about in-laws.
Oh, that's an old physics joke.
And a good one, too.
Hey, dude, you trying to hog all the road to yourself? You can't drive it, citizen, you park it, you hear? Saddle up back there.
Hey, who's that mama you've got in there with you, boy? Come on.
Hey, mama, can't you speak to nobody? (ROCKFORD HONKING) Let's go.
Bunch of It's okay.
They've gone.
(SIGHS) You won't believe this, but Johnny used to be like them.
Who, those bikers? After our parents were killed, he went kind of crazy.
He had a bike and friends like that, it lasted almost two years.
Didn't he ever show you his tattoo? Tattoo? Yes, he was in a club.
And they all had to wear tattoos.
They called themselves The Vincent Black Shadow.
Oh, yeah, after the old classic motorcycle.
Yeah, I guess so.
You know, when Johnny finally became an attorney, it was, for me, the biggest moment of my life.
When he stepped up and got that certificate, I cried, I couldn't stop.
People were looking.
You're all right, Gail.
Oh, you're just saying that.
That's right, but I mean it, too.
Your horn works.
Try the lights.
Hey, Animal, try his lights.
Hey, mama.
Hey, his lights work.
How about if I just rev it up a little bit? MAN: Hey, all right! Okay, the fun's over, all right? No, it ain't.
Hey, we're gonna give your wheels a little test and you turn into Tarzan! Trouble, Willie.
Hey, you got a problem, citizen? No, sir.
'Cause if you was to have a problem, I wish you'd let me know about it.
I got no problem.
Except you're a geek, right? Yes, sir.
How about you? You got a problem? Hey, horn-blower, you got a problem? He doesn't want no problem.
Then you won't mind if I borrow your wheels.
Hey, please, man, leave us alone.
I ain't hurting anybody Am I hurting somebody? No, sir.
Then I'm gonna take your mama and your wheels.
Is that okay with you, Tarzan? Hey, please don't How's that again? I said (ROCKFORD GROANING) Okay, then, so it works for Tarzan, so it works for me.
You honk your horn at a Rattler, and that's how it goes, you eat it, Jack.
Animal? ANIMAL: Yo.
WILLIE: This horn-honker's mama's gonna pull a train.
(ALL WHOOPING) Let's take her up to the canyon.
(ALL WHOOPING) Relax, mama, you're gonna dig it.
Hey, you okay? (GROANING) Hey, buddy, you got a car? You're not going after them, fella.
You might have a broken rib.
That guy kicked you real hard.
Let's just call the cops.
Is that your truck? Look, let's just call the sheriff.
Give me the keys! Just give me the keys! Now, go on, you call the cops and tell them to look in the canyon.
Go on! Come on, where is she, huh? Okay, you.
Just come on.
You're so tough, you wanna eat some iron? Come on.
I'd love to stuff this thing down your throat.
Tough guy, you wanna eat some iron? Come on.
Come on, come on, all of you! (ALL WHOOPING) MAN: Get away.
ROCKFORD: Stop it! Stop it! (POLICE SIREN BLARING) Let's get out of here! Cops! Come on! What should I do with her? Dump her.
Gail? Gail? OFFICER: You better get an ambulance up here.
OFFICER 2: Okay, looks like she's in bad shape.
Elliot to CCU.
I'm John Cooper.
I understand my sister Gail and a friend of mine, Jim Rockford, were brought in here a while ago.
Can I see them? You'll have to talk to the doctor.
Cooper? WOMAN O VER PA: Dr.
Conrad, you're needed in OR.
I'm Dr.
Yeah, how is she? The nurse said she was unconscious.
She's been sexually assaulted more than once.
Physically, she's all right, but, mentally, she is in a deep emotional trauma.
Well, just what the hell does that mean, Doctor? She's in an emotional shock.
She can open her eyes, but she doesn't hear or respond to anything.
Right now she's in PIC.
They're looking her over.
PIC? Psychological Intensive Care.
We'll know more about her condition in a few hours.
Russell, please call Radiology.
Raped? My God.
Where is Rockford? Can I see him? I think so.
The police are finished talking to him.
But, Mr.
Cooper, please don't be too long.
He's in no great shape, either.
He has a rib that's punctured his lung.
Which room? He's on the fourth floor, Well, I heard you tried to take on 20 guys.
What are you, nuts? I'm sorry, John.
Hey, it's not your fault.
How're you feeling? Terrible.
How's Gail? Well, they got her in PIC.
They wouldn't let me see her.
PIC? Yeah, it's a It's a A head ward.
(STAMMERING) I guess she blanked out or something.
Those guys, they They took her up in the hills I know, Coop.
(SNIFFS) You talked to the cops? Uh-huh.
And? Now, listen, John And? They're working on it.
Oh, that's good.
What'd you tell them? Leave it alone, Coop.
The cops will turn something.
Dennis Dennis Becker took this case right off of Chapman's desk.
Jim, suppose that's Rocky lying in there, and they got him looking at little boxes and triangles, and he's staring right past them at a wall.
You're gonna let the cops handle it? I don't know, Coop.
You never lied to me, Jim, what would you do? All right, all right.
Suppose you catch up with them, what then? I turn them over to the cops.
Is that what an ex-motorcycle gang member does when his sister gets raped? She told you about that, huh? Yeah.
Well, I'm not a Black Shadow anymore, Jim.
I'm a graduate of West Virginia Law School.
I don't go around hitting guys with sprocket chains, at least not anymore.
I'll put it to you this way.
I'm going after them.
Now, you can tell me what you know, or you can hold onto it.
It doesn't change my course.
It just maybe keeps me from walking into a windmill.
It'd be a shame to see the whole Cooper family wiped out by one gang.
Or one friend.
Hey, that's not your fault.
But what happens to me, could be.
(SIGHS) They were called the Rattlers.
There were 15, 20 of them.
They were one-percenters.
I figured that.
What else? I got one license plate, Any names? Yeah, one.
There's Animal.
Who was on the point? Oh, he was a pretty good-size guy with dirty blonde hair.
He was 39, 40 years old, he was older than the rest of them.
They were in their mid-twenties as far as I could tell.
It's not much except for the plate, it's almost nothing.
Coop, tell Gail I'm sorry, man.
Hey, you rest easy.
Thanks, Jim.
What do you mean, it makes no sense? I know you're upset, John.
Look, Rockford saw the plates, and Rockford doesn't make mistakes.
Rockford makes mistakes all the time.
He got busted up pretty bad, he misread the plates.
Pure and simple.
Well, what's his name? I wanna talk to him.
What's his name? The plate is registered to a guy by the name of Robert Greis.
He's a 40-year-old food dealer.
He's got these little trucks that go around and sell to factories on their coffee breaks.
We had him in for questioning.
He wears a three-piece suit.
The Rattlers were a club 10 years ago.
According to our gang squad, they've been disbanded, at least, as far as we can tell.
Maybe these guys came from up north.
Now, what about the bike the plate was traced to? It's a dirt bike, registered to his catering company.
A dirt bike? A dirt bike.
So, maybe he switched the plates.
Or maybe Rockford was wrong.
Hey, hold it.
Listen, John.
Me and you have had no run-ins.
I'd like to keep it that way.
Me, too.
I know you're upset about your sister, anybody would be.
But it's more the reason why you stay out of this.
I mean, really.
I'm out.
Okay? Okay.
BOB: It just doesn't make much sense to me to have a meeting without Billy being here.
I don't know, Bob.
Maybe he's the one guy that shouldn't be here.
He still scares us all, right? Hey, nobody ever said that.
Come on now, let's own up to at least that much.
He scared us 10 years ago and he still does.
The only reason he's in for 30% is we were too scared of him then to offer him any less.
Look, that wasn't the situation then and you know it! Now, wait a minute, wait a minute, hold on.
Now, look, we got a good thing going here, right? I just went over the third quarter with Harry.
Rolling Catering stock is up 25%.
Weddings and Picnics, 22.
The Danish shop on Crenshaw is turning the corner, plus.
Dave and Milt tell me we can franchise the donut business.
And we got "Whispering Willie" Green.
Still running citizens off the road.
Taking some broad up in the hills and making her pull a train.
He's got Bob's plate on his bike.
He's hired a bunch of punks from up north to work on the trucks.
He's forming the club back up and making runs.
And now Bob gets pulled in and questioned.
Now, just suppose somebody starts digging in your old file, Bob? And just suppose they find out that this whole company was put together by us.
What then? (SIGHS) Hey, Bob, he's right.
Someone's got to stop him.
Somebody's got to wise him up.
Okay, I'll do it.
I'll tell him, he gets out of town and he stops making runs or we feed him his spurs.
Agreed? Yeah, yeah, it's agreed, it's agreed.
You wanna keep your hands off that bike there, sonny? Tough guy, huh? Who knows? I sure don't.
But you keep smarting off, citizen, you might find out.
It's just I haven't seen one of those for 10 years.
That is the finest bike ever built.
You seen a guy named Animal? Well, he's a Rattler I met up on the Porterville run.
How many Animals you heard of, huh? Personally, I know six guys that answer to that handle.
There's this bar down near the Coast.
The guys have been hanging around there.
The citizens don't mind if we hang around.
It's called Kilroy's.
Kilroy's? You trying to be funny or something? I'm not kidding you.
I think the guy that owns it is named Kilroy.
You kidding me? You don't think I can? Hey, cowboy, I got 10 bucks right there says you can't.
(LAUGHING) You pull that on me every week, man, I'm sick of it.
I just wish I had me a citizen's head to break it over.
Hey, talking about citizens.
Hey, you guys here selling donuts? Hello, Willie.
You guys wouldn't know it, but you know, there was a time when these two and me, we take a broad so bad, she didn't know where she was for a week.
You wanna hold it down, Willie? No, Jack, I don't wanna hold it down! Hey, Willie, we gotta talk to you.
It's important.
Oh, it must be for you guys to be taking a chance to come down here and have them fancy suits flashed on.
Hey, Willie, it's private.
Come here.
Yeah? You still collecting on that dumb bet? Hey, if you don't like it, you know what you can do with it, Jack.
Okay, Willie, I'll give it to you straight.
You're causing too much trouble.
Hey, are you the same Phil Dankus who used to be called "Zorro"? The same guy that took a couple of kids back into the Redlands But that was when you was interested in the Rattlers, wasn't it, instead of ham and cheese on rye? Okay, pal.
We had a board meeting, and we all agreed that you get out of town.
And if you're not gone in one day, or less, Bob and the rest of us are gonna see to it personally that you leave town feet first.
And if you don't think we're up to it, just play back a few Everybody sit, now! What are you doing? You guys shot me.
Now, you want the rest of it, or are you gonna cut your losses and drift? I'm bleeding here.
I'm really hurt here.
You guys shot me.
You got it, Willie.
Now, you get out of town or the next one's in the middle of your head.
Now, everybody just stay put.
(TIRES SCREECHING) If you don't, I don't.
Now, come on, Willie, give me your keys.
They ain't nothing! Come on, Willie.
You guys just watch.
We're gonna bust those dudes! ANIMAL: Come on.
Come on, Willie.
You going somewhere? Who's that? What's it to you? Nothing.
Ain't nothing to me.
You pulled that shiv out real quick.
Hey, we're the Rattlers.
You pulled the blade on our Number 1.
No kidding.
You mean that guy with the hole in his shoulder? Hey, you got colors? Well, show them.
(BIKER EXCLAIMS) He's been closed out since '62.
Yeah, well, sure changed my mind now.
A Black Shadow, huh? West Virginia, right? No kidding.
That's right, ace, no kidding.
Hey, where's Whispering Willie? He okay? Yeah.
He says we gotta lay low.
Yeah? Yeah, we're gonna make a run tomorrow.
Hey, all right.
Hey, all right.
Who's the stranger? He's all right.
A Black Shadow, huh? Hey, I'm talking to you.
Yeah, I can tell, 'cause your lips are moving.
Now, you wouldn't be looking for more than just kicks, would you? I'm looking for trouble.
Maybe you're it.
Maybe you ain't.
Come on, you're parking in with me.
Okay, come on.
Let's go get wasted.
(MUSIC PLAYING) Break them out, doc.
All right, we're gonna make a run tomorrow! (ALL CHEERING) Gonna trash-can that catering company.
Willie says we take them all.
We party with these guys and nobody walks away.
Hey, I like that.
Then we roll out of there and we take our stuff north.
Okay? (WHOOPING) What is it? Who knows, brother, you either fly or crash.
Hey, hey, Jimmy, it's me.
Yeah, Coop? You got it, pal, it's old Coop.
Coop, you sound funny.
I'm feeling funny.
I'm flying, brother.
Beer, reds.
You're what? No, no, now, listen up, listen up, listen up 'cause 'Cause I'm about to fall down.
Billybob Caterers tomorrow.
The Rattlers is gonna rip the place.
And I need I need Hey, Coop? Oh, boy.
Ah, yeah.
Oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah.
Look, I'm riding with them.
I'm I Listen, I'm I'm I'm with the Rattlers, Jimmy.
Now, you got to take a look, see.
And see if these bums are the ones.
Now, I'm riding with them, see.
And we're gonna make a run tomorrow.
And (COOP CHUCKLES) Hey Hey, Animal! How you doing? Hey, Animal! What you doing down there, ace? (CHUCKLES) Hey, who is this? Who is this? Is this one of them motorcycle Karen, you go back to your room.
motorcycle bums? Who is this? Hey, relax, daddy, or I'll come and relax you.
Listen, you leave my daughter alone, huh? If any of you bums come around here, I got a shotgun.
You hear me, boy? Yeah, I hear you, daddy.
You tell Karen to sleep tight.
We'll be by in the morning.
Yeah, well (DIAL TONE HUMMING) She's so fine.
She's so fine.
She's so fine.
Nobody uses a phone, ace.
Yeah, well, when I get ripped, I need a woman.
You just take yourself a mama.
But you don't seed out.
You got it? Yeah.
Hey, Animal.
Animal, you and me, are we gonna tangle? Yeah, we are sure gonna do that.
How can you even consider such a thing? Dad, I feel responsible.
Responsible for what? 'Cause you drove that little old gal up on a public road? 'Cause you jumped 20 maniacs? 'Cause you got your ribs all busted up? Rocky, Coop somehow or other is hooked up with those guys.
At least, he thinks he has.
And from all I can tell from everybody I've talked to, it has something to do with that catering company, so I'm gonna stake it out.
Oh, boy.
If I'm gonna run a make on those guys, I want Dennis waiting there in the weeds.
I want him there with the Marine Division.
Yeah, you need Dennis all right.
You can't even get on your shoes without help.
Dad, Coop's sister Gail is sitting in a corner in a head ward.
Coop is out there riding with those maniacs.
What am I supposed to do, just sit around and wait to hear it on the news? (PHONE RINGING) Yeah? Jim, what are you doing at home? You're supposed to be I left.
All right, Dennis, I'm gonna need a stakeout on Billybob Catering tomorrow.
Hey, I told you, forget the caterers.
It's a very reputable company.
You keep bugging them and the Deputy Chief runs me into the wall.
Dennis, Cooper's hooked up with the Rattlers.
Aw, come on, you're joking, right? Hey, you want a joke? You just show up at Billybob's Catering tomorrow morning.
You could die laughing.
Oh, Jim.
He'll show up.
I know Dennis.
He'll show.
You said there was trouble, it's a picnic.
What kind of trouble were you expecting? Maybe they rigged the three-legged race? All I know is Coop said the Rattlers were gonna rip this place.
Maybe they're gonna come in here and trash it after everybody leaves.
I doubt it.
Bikers don't usually rip empty buildings.
Half the fun for jerks like that is scaring the straights.
I don't know all the answers.
You never sat on a deal when you didn't know all the answers? If I did on something, it's usually because it's been cleared by the department.
I'm sorry, Jim, you said Cooper admitted that he was up on something.
Maybe he read it wrong.
I don't think it's worth the time.
Besides, I got a full schedule this morning without this.
And you, I think you ought to check yourself back into the hospital.
Thanks, Dennis.
MAN: Okay, everybody's on the bus.
MAN 2: Yeah, let's get moving.
All right, burn them up.
MAN: Larry, bring me some more charcoal, please.
BOY: Mom, he's spitting at me! (MOTORCYCLE ENGINES ROARING) I don't believe it! Get those kids out of here! Coop! Come on! Let's go! Come on, let's go! Get out of there! MAN: Let's give it to them! Chase them out of here! Hey, get out of here! If we're unlucky enough to catch up with these dudes, you got any brilliant plans on how we should play it? I don't know.
I'll have to give it some thought.
Yeah, please.
Hey, hey, I don't like it.
They're beginning to slow down.
ROCKFORD: Yeah, I don't like it either.
I don't know, Jim.
If they get us stopped, we're in a lot of trouble.
What's he got in his hand? Look out! Look out! It's a rock! I can't see.
Can you see over there? Can't see a thing.
We're gonna have to stop it, Coop, we're gonna have to stop! Here they come.
Here, take this and stay in the truck.
I just want one shot at Willie, that's all, just one! I tried that, it don't work.
Now stay in here! Worse comes to worse, I'll drive right over them.
Hey, scab, come on! ANIMAL: Step out of there, stupid! Come on, scab, come on! Come on out! Roll down the window, at least.
WILLIE: Come on, get out! WILLIE: Come on, man.
Goddamn ROCKFORD: There's the cops.
BECKER: Drop to the ground, or you're dead! All right, Coop.
Coop! Coop, leave him alone! Okay.
Come on.
Okay, now don't hit him, all right? Okay.
Sure? Okay, okay.
Coop! All right.
All right.
Okay, okay, okay.
There's some more down the road, they raided the picnic grounds.
Well, don't worry about it, I got it covered.
For a guy with a busy schedule, you sure get around.
Yeah, well, I went back to the station and I got to worrying, so I ran a deep check on Robert Greis.
He's got a package that goes back about 12 years, wasn't on the computer.
You'll never guess who owns this catering company.
Well, let's see now.
A bunch of retired Rattlers? Right, and all with outstanding criminal charges against them.
I went back to the catering company and they were gone.
I ran into this old man.
He told me where the picnic was.
So I figured, well, I'd better get over here and see what trouble you guys were into.
I I don't feel too good.
Well, you don't look too good, either.
But you never looked better, Lieutenant.
Never better.
That's right, Coop, and don't forget it.
How you doing, honey? I'm better.
Could I have a moment alone with him, Johnny? Well, I guess so.
Thank you.
I heard that you and my brother got them.
Well, with a lot of help from the police, yeah.
I've decided to testify against them.
Johnny says it will be dangerous, but I want them put away.
I'll be right there with you.
Yeah? Do you think I mean, is it okay if I was wondering We never had our date.
Oh, now, that was my line.
You jumped it.
But you probably don't want to go out with me.
I mean, you just did it because Johnny made That was last time.
I got to tell you something.
You're something special.
I'd be so happy to take you out.
You just name it, and out we go.