Add this episode to your Netflix Que, freethinkers and skeptics: Rockford Files, season 4, episode is “Quickie Nirvana.”
I was never much of a fan of the Rockford Files when I was a kid and the series was constantly in reruns so I kept avoiding it, but after watching the first season on Netflix I was hooked. RF is a better than average detective series because of the scripts and James Garner’s characterization of Jim Rockford, a private eye who knows when to punch, when to back off and when to fake-out.
In “Quickie Nirvana” we’re treated to the brutal reality of a new ager calling herself Sky Aquarian who is clueless and irresponsible, but she thinks she knows it all and makes judgments on those who are not enlightened. Rockford, in one beautiful scene, lays it on her that she’s a flake who follows any path but her own and mooches off others because she doesn’t hold down a job. It’s an indictment of insincere, gullible new-agers who think religion and spirituality are all are one truth and that every schmuck calling him or herself a guru is worthy of following.
There’s plenty of humor from Rockford’s smart remarks as he tolerates Sky–even shows a fondness for her–and helps her out on a case involving stolen money. However, the episode is rather dark in its sarcasm. I was a bit shocked to see Rockford holding a guru( he just caught for stealing money) around the neck and Sky tells the guru how disappointed she is. Whap! The guru slaps her hard. Then Rockford says, “That’s the sound of one hand clapping,” a reference to an earlier “wise saying” by Sky. The slapping scene is wake-up call to the new-ager on how gullible she has been and is the kind of metaphorical slap we wish we could lay on some people who have given their minds over to nonsense. Unfortunately, Sky is found 6 months later to not have learned her lesson and we end the episode on a sour note shaking our heads.
Also be sure to catch Sky’s reference to a certain Robert Heinlein novel which I’m sure has been used by new-agers in the past with a straight face. I laughed out loud.