"...---... (S.O.S.)" marked the final episode of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY, and storywise treads the same turf as "Not with My Sister You Don't!" only with Shirley rather than Laurie. Actually, we get to hear a great deal of background on the mysterious Mrs. Partridge, particularly her 'sordid past,' as old high school beau Chuck Corwin (George Chakiris) reappears in her life, now a successful Navy captain. Problems arise when Danny and Keith eavesdrop on his phone conversation about some female in San Francisco, and how he intends to dump another woman that's 'too old,' so they naturally follow their mother and her beau (in the bus!) all the way over to Muldune's Point (just as they followed Laurie in the earlier entry). Big brother Keith shows Danny how his hurt feelings about possibly losing 'his girl' might really be jealousy, and his mother reciprocates in kind, reminding him that some future female will make her feel the same way. It's all the more poignant knowing that this was the series finale, not exactly as planned, unlike THE BRADY BUNCH, wisely going out with the high school graduation of Greg Brady. David Cassidy, citing burnout, simply decided to quit, and while the producers considered continuing, the network solved the problem by canceling the show due to falling ratings. Actor/dancer George Chakiris, Oscar winner for 1961's "West Side Story," makes for a handsome Captain, easily the best fit for Shirley Partridge during the show's four year run (forget about Bert Convy). The final song on this final episode was the opening track on BULLETIN BOARD, the hard rocking "Roller Coaster" (already heard in "A Day of Honesty"), composed by Mark James, one of David Cassidy's strongest vocals, leaving the viewer dizzy by song's end.
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