In the Steele of the Night – 2

We left Mr. Steele standing alone in the lobby of Steele Investigations. Wherever can Laura and Murphy be?

LauraMurphydriving

Sitting in a stationary car in front of a green screen projection, it seems. A (virtual) drive in the country. Laura looks a little tense, but Murphy seems very relaxed. Quality time with Laura!

“You know, I think they’re going to be pretty disappointed when we show up empty handed,” Murphy comments. What, you’re not bringing a hotdish, or even a jello salad? Remind me not to invite you to my next reunion potluck.

“Reunions are supposed to be about catching up with old friends, seeing how everyone is doing, finding out who put on weight. If they want to meet Remington Steele, let them drop by the office,” Laura responds.

4yearssince

“What has it been? Four years since we left Havenhurst Detective Agency. Boy, it doesn’t seem that long, does it?”

Thanks for the exposition, Murphy!

But Laura’s mind isn’t on the good old days.

hahaha

“Imagine him, in a room full of detectives,” she chortles. “Ha! They’d be waiting all weekend for him to slip up – and when he did, they’d eat him alive.”

We learn some things here: Laura seems oddly fixated on Mr. Steele, considering she left him behind; the “old friends” they are going to see are apparently stab-you-in-the-back types; Laura’s “humor” seems a little forced. Is it possible she’s not as excited to see the old gang as she puts on?

someswankestate

The Rabbit arrives at the imposing gate to a huge estate.

Murphy is impressed. “Oh dear GOD,” he exclaims.

somebodyisrich

They turn on to the long, long driveway. An imposing edifice looms ahead.

“Sure does look like old Alan is doing well for himself,” Laura remarks.

“Oh dear God,” repeats Murphy, who apparently has never, ever been exposed to the lifestyles of the rich and famous before, despite living and working with upscale clients in L.A.

So whoever “Alan” is, apparently his fortunes have come up in the world over the past four years?

beardedguy

The scene cuts to some guy with a lot of hair. Alan, I presume? We’re now inside the mansion, I presume?

“No Remington Steele?” he presumes.

couldntbehelped

Laura, looking a little schoolgirlish in her A-line skirt and sweater, has his answer. “Couldn’t be helped. Last-minute thing in Marseille.”

The painting behind Laura is interesting. Lovers embracing? Could this be a clue to Laura’s former relationship with this Alan guy?

Alan’s not buying it.

marseilles

“Marseille? Come on, Laura; this is Alan. You remember me?”

Quite the ornate decorating scheme. Is that a Samurai on the landing above him?

fellawhotaughtyou

“I’m the fella that YOU to lie like that,” points out the fella who taught Laura to lie like that.

awkwardembrace

He draws Laura into what can only be described as an uncomfortable embrace.

awkwardembrace

Here’s a re-enactment. Awkward!

fessup

Alan demands that Laura ‘fess up: “He couldn’t come because the little missus put her foot down, am I right?”

Little missus? Really?

Raise your hand if you think this Alan is delightful.

bueller

Anyone?

thereisnomrs

“Actually, there is no Mrs. Steele,” Laura clarifies.

notyet

“You mean … not YET.”

You’re a funny guy, Alan. Is it just me, or is this guy leering at our Laura? Where’s Murphy, by the way?

ohyou

“Ohhhh ….” Something tells me Laura ISN’T charmed by this banter.

bodylanguagesaysno

Alan puts an arm around Laura. Laura visible recoils.

They seem … close, don’t you think?

“So tell me how good I look,” Alan prods.

“You do. You look wonderful,” she responds dutifully.

He tells her he’s lost 30 lbs.

killtolose

“Oh, I’d kill to lose five,” Laura answers, looking away from him. He’s giving her quite the lookee-loo, though.

“Where?” he wants to know.

placesyouhaventseen

“Places YOU haven’t seen,” she says. Something tells me he never will.

reunionsbegun

Suddenly the elevator disgorges a little crowd, including Murphy, two other guys and a blonde.

“Well obviously, the reunion’s already begun,” Murphy remarks. I get the impression he doesn’t like how cozy Alan has made himself with Laura’s physique.

anelevator

One of the other men – let’s call him the Obligatory Office Dork (OOD) – is astonished by the fact that Alan has an elevator in his home.

noticemyseville

The blonde chick – let’s call her the Obligatory Office Bimbo (OOB) – starts to say something, but is interrupted by the Obligatory Office Gasbag (OOG). “Did anyone happen to notice my Seville when you pulled in? Just got it.” As the rest of the crowd ignores him and begins to shuffle off, OOB adds, “Very happy with it, actually. I recommend them.”
herecommendsit

Murphy, taking pity, puts an arm around OOG. “Good, Carl.”
theofficenerd

Meanwhile, OOD – who apparently arrived at reunion from his home in the 14th century – is pinned in place by his astonishment over the magical technology. “Alan has an ELEVATOR in his house.”

casualmurphy

Later, Murphy appears in someone else’s room. “Carl?” he calls.  Ooh! Is it a secret romantic rendezvous?
isCarlhisroomie

Apparently OOG is in the bathroom. He appears, foaming at the mouth (perhaps because his old pals weren’t impressed enough with his Seville). “Yeah?”
Murphy forgot a tie. I’m going to go ahead and assume casual Mr. Michaels just doesn’t OWN a tie. Let’s call him Obligatory Office Slouch (OOS).

“Alan’s gonna hate that,” OOG clucks. “He said formal.”

Murphy knows.

OOG’s got more to say. “You see all that help in the kitchen?” (Trying to hustle a sandwich, Carl?) “Reunion my Aunt Fanny. You know what this is?”

Nope, Murphy doesn’t know. But I bet OOG will tell him.

“The Alan Greavey Show,” OOG tells him. He suggests Murphy check through his suitcase for a spare tie.
That seems like rather intimate offer, rummaging through somebody else’s tighty-whiteys. Do you think OOG and Murphy were a couple? (Mash up name: MOOG.)
selectingneckwear
Murphy starts rummaging. OOG keeps yammering. “Some things never change. Alan Greavey was a snake at the Havenhurst Agency, and he’s still shedding skin.”

alloverLaura

“You see him all over Laura?”

Oh, Murphy saw.

More exposition from OOG: “Havenhurst was such a zoo. Seventy detectives. I’m glad we all got out.”

So Havenhurst was quite a large agency – with an apparently high turnover rate.

Murphy puts on the least interesting of OOG’s ties. Meanwhile, OOG continues. “Everybody was always tripping over everybody else-“

murphfindsgun

Hello, what’s this? Ace detective Murphy discovers the gun in the suitcase. So now we know whose beat-up bureau that was in the opening. Looks like OOG isn’t doing as well as he’d like everyone to believe.

“Too big. Guys like me and you, they need some visibility.” Hm. I wouldn’t say Murphy is getting a lot of attention in his current gig, either. He’s pretty much invisible at the Steele Agency (at least since Steele arrived). Do you think OOG’s remark might give Murph something to think about?

thatcleftchintho

Murphy, who knows that the proper place to keep a gun is in a shoebox on a shelf in a closet, is unnerved by his discovery.

“Expecting a little trouble over dinner?”
Carl looks out. “Huh?”

Murphissuspicious

“A .38’s pretty serious baggage for a weekend in the country, isn’t it?”

Iwouldntknow

“I wouldn’t know. Never use one.”

BA-BA-BUM! The plot thickens. Now if we could just figure out what the plot is …

This is shaping up to be a weekend of deceptions, with everyone pretending to be someone other than who they are. Well, it’s just as well Mr. Steele wasn’t invited. He wouldn’t fit into THAT sort of environment at all.

 

 

 

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In the Steele of the Night – 1

And on we go to our next episode!

beatupdresser

Our episode opens on a close up of a battered bureau, with a silver tray on top.

paperclips

As a gloved hand pulls open the bureau drawer, and we see the title of the episode.

behindthescenes“In the Still of the Night” may refer to an American jazz Standard composed by Cole Porter. It was introduced by Nelson Eddy in 1937’s “Rosalie.” It could also reference a song of the same title recorded by the Five Satins in 1956. A film titled “Still of the Night,” starring Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep, was released by MGM in 1982. Does the title relate to any of these? Perhaps we’ll find out!

But wait! There’s something wrong here. Who keeps paperclips in the same drawer as their gun? Suspicious.

The Gloved One …

notthatone

Nope, not THAT Gloved One.

removesthegun.jp

THIS Gloved One withdraws the firearm from the drawer.

bulletsintrinketbox

Then he opens the little wooden box to reveal it’s full of bullets. Hm. I would have expected rubber bands.

pleatedtrousers

The camera pulls back to reveal that the Gloved One is wearing a cozy sort of sweater. My God! I know who the murderer is!

fred-rogers-lg

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood … TO BE DEAD! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

carlenewatkins

Our first guest star is revealed.

 

behindthescenesCarlene Watkins seems to have specialized in sitcoms, appearing in “Best of the West,” “Taxi,” “Mary,” “The Tortellis,” “Dear John,” “Bob,” “Frazier” and “Home Improvement.” Several of these series were produced by her husband, Ed. Weinberger, but I’m sure that’s simply a coincidence.

 killerisMrRogers

Gun in hand, Mr. Rogers proceeds … somewhere.

JeffPomerantz

And here’s our next guest star!

 

behindthescenesJeff Pomerantz has had a long career, dating from an appearance in “Combat!” In 1966 to an episode of “Modern Family” in 2013. He’s done a lot of soap work, including “One Life to Live,” “Santa Barbara,” “General Hospital,” “The Secret Storm” and “Search for Tomorrow.”

 philipcharlesmackenzie

behindthescenesPhilip Charles MacKenzie is best known for a role on the first made-for-cable sitcom, Brothers. He also has extensive acting and directing credits up until 2006.

ArthurRosenberg

Mr. Rogers creeps into some room … Is it Arthur Rosenberg’s room?

behindthescenesArthur Rosenberg has had a long career as a “working actor,” guesting on many popular series since 1976. His most active period was the 1980s, and his most recent role was an episode of “JAG” in 2004.

 

shirtinsuitcase

Ah! Mr. Rogers has gone into a bedroom where there is an open suitcase waiting.

placesgunin

He tucks the gun under a men’s shirt. Hope he’s not planning on traveling very far. Pretty sure that won’t make it through airport security.

writtenbyjoelsteiger

behindthescenesWriter Joel Steiger has had a long career in television writing and producing, specializing in mysteries. He’s written for Matlock, Diagnosis Murder, Perry Mason, Jake & the Fatman, and Father Dowling Mysteries, among his other credits. This is his only episode of Remington Steele.

 This is all very mysterious, isn’t it. Perhaps the greatest puzzle: who packs their socks like that?

lettertosteele

The scene cuts to another drawer opening. Inside we see an envelope addressed to Remington Steele Investigations, in a flowing, feminine-looking hand. A clue! To what? Beats me!

cordiallyinvited

It evolves that we are in the executive office of Remington Steele himself. Our hero turns over the envelope to reveal an invitation …

reunion

Oh, a reunion! EVERYONE loves those!

dyingtomeethim

Looks like Mr. Steele does, anyway. If I didn’t know our boy, I’d think that was a vaguely calculating look. Nah.

anemptydesk

It seems Mr. Steele is characteristically busy today. Can he make time in his schedule to attend this function?

MissWolfe

He proceeds to the lobby, perhaps to offer Laura a ride to this special event. How strange! The place seems to be empty!

“Laura? Murphy? Miss Wolf?” he calls. “Anyone?”

Well! Based on this opening, I don’t know whether this will be a better episode than the last one (but I bet it is). However, we can say for sure that Mr. Steele is very well dressed. And that’s something, isn’t it?

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You’re Steele the One for Me – Tag

We’ve finally reached the end of this episode, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. And by that, I mean:

weareboredA

Sigh.

We last left Laura and her protégé reflecting on the sad denouement of this case. Faced with such tragedy, what else is there to do?

abrickwall

Beat one’s head against a brick wall? Nope. That’s for US, the viewing public, to do to try to pound this episode’s lameness right out of our memories. What our intrepid detectives do is …

lauralovessushi

… eat raw fish. Well, Laura does. Steele seems a bit uncertain – though it’s possible his look of disapproval is actually for the ruffled neckline on Laura’s blouse.

CRIMEOFFASHION I’m ashamed to admit I had a blouse very much like this one in the mid 1980s. Actually, it was even worse. It looked like this: 80sfashionhorror

Go ahead and judge me. I deserve it.

theyakuzawasburied

Steele wants to know who was buried in Kenji’s place. Laura explains.

“The Yakuza that Tenaka said was missing.”

Iseehesays

“I see,” Steele says.

butdoeshe

But I’m not sure he does.

.But Mr. Steele has even more questions. Isn’t he hungry?

“And Hamata? The driver of the car that hit him?”

craddockkilledhim

“Craddock killed him. He was the big man with white hair that the old woman described to us when we went to see Hamata. Craddock thought he was Yakuza as well.”

So this U.S. military guy just randomly killed some guy because he assumed he was part of the Japanese mafia? I think you overstepped your authority, colonel.

horrifiedbysushi

Steele is horrified. Not by the senseless death of a blameless citizen, but by what Laura is putting into her mouth. Still, the apprentice detective is not without some compassion for the dead man.

caughtintheweb

“Another poor unfortunate, caught in the web of deception.”

Laura, on the other hand, is apparently entirely unmoved by the senseless death. She has more important matters to concern her.

youknowyou

“You know, you promised me you’d try at least one.”

hopedshewouldntremember

Steele had hoped she wouldn’t remember that.

Laura informs him it’s all part of the training program. Really? I didn’t see that on the syllabus, Laura.

Steele is thinking of dropping out of detective school. “Actually, I’ve been feeling the urge to become a flashy front man again.”

Laura won’t take no for an answer: “It’s good for you,” she insists. “Pure protein. There’s tuna, sea bass, yellow tail -“

seabass

Steele steels himself.

“I suppose this doesn’t look too difficult,” he concedes. “What is it?”

whatisitheasks

“Octopus.”  Oh, Laura. You led him to believe it was sea bass. That’s called bait and switch. Or in this case, bait and … bait.

bleah

Steele is disappointed in this phase of his education.

passthesake

A bit of sake to wash it down (or in this case, out) with?

finishthecatstory

Mr. Steele decides to put into play one of the new detective-type methods he’s learned: diversion.

“I never finished telling you about the cat on the roof, did I?”

twonbrothers

“You see, there were these two brothers, one of whom had a cat that he loved very much …”

laurathinksitsfunny

Laura seems to think this is very funny.

randomalertIn case you don’t actually know this old chestnut, here it is, courtesy of the Top Jokes Blog:

A man left his cat with his brother while he went on vacation for a week. When he came back, he called his brother to see when he could pick the cat up. The brother hesitated, then said, “I’m so sorry, but while you were away, the cat died.”

The man was very upset and yelled, “You know, you could have broken the news to me better than that. When I called today, you could have said he was on the roof and wouldn’t come down. Then when I called the next day, you could have said that he had fallen off and the vet was working on patching him up. Then when I called the third day, you could have said he had passed away.”

The brother thought about it and apologized.

“So how’s Mom?” asked the man.

“She’s on the roof and won’t come down.”

sheldonlaugh

Hilarious!

Well, kids, that’s about it. I wish I could be more positive about this episode, but it stank from beginning to end. The interaction between Laura and Steele in this tag was cute, I guess, but it’s hard to believe that an epicure like Steele (spoiler alert!) is so repulsed by sushi. I’m sure he’s eaten a lot weirder things. It is pleasing that they are sharing this light-hearted moment together, though, even if the stage around them is littered with bodies. Questions remain: How much did they have to pay Keye Luke for two scenes? Was it so much that they couldn’t afford to pay any other actual Asian actors, so they had to pick people off the street to fill key roles in this production? What of the secret code? Did the detectives turn it over to the authorities? If so, what does that mean for Mike’s security? If not, what does that say about the Steele Agency’s integrity? One might expect the death of a high-ranking military official who apparently murdered an innocent citizen might attract some publicity. Will the agency be swept up in that scandal? Since the funds Mike has been relying on to start and keep his business going are dirty money, is he going to have to forfeit/pay it back? Was there any point/relevance to the episode title beyond that rather clunky scene of the Japanese guy reading the note into the phone? And finally, did Dickerson ever get his autograph?

The mind boggles.

In the end, I think we can agree that the following sums up “You’re Steele the One for Me”

Bleah

Next up: In the Steele of the Night.

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 18

Good news! We’ve finally reached the exciting climax of this action-packed episode!

catyawning

templateagain

Here we are at the Japanese temple. Wait a second. Isn’t this where we came in? That can only mean …

groundhogday

NOOOOOOOO!

backatthetemple

Murphy’s at the wheel. “Think he could be here?” we hear him say as the car pulls up.

“If he staged his own death, he’d have to know who turned up for the funeral,” Laura’s voiceover replies.

confusion

Um … what? I’m not really following this, but apparently Laura knows what’s going on.

Murphy adds that they’ve already been everywhere else. What a long, long episode night this has been for everyone!

leapingsteele

Everybody but Murphy exits the car. Mr. Steele shows his Action Man persona by leaping energetically out of the backseat.

dontworrysaysmurphy

He pauses to give Murph his orders. “Oh, Murphy, would you-“

Murphy’s way ahead of him: “Don’t you worry. I’ll shoot any wild hoops that happen along.”

titters

Okay. Maybe it’s not THAT funny.

 

anothernoserub

Everybody but Murphy enters the temple. Steele is picking his nose again.

craddockishere

Oh, look. Craddock is already here … praying? (Must be a convert.)

Mr. Steele decides to interrogate him.

buhbyeCraddock

“Pardon me, I don’t mean to disrupt your reverie, but have you seen by chance-“

thud

Thud.

checkthepulse

Mr. Steele checks his pulse. He’s still quite rosy-hued, not the sickening gray pallor of most corpses. Can he still be saved?

Nope.

thiscantbe

Steele wonders if the dead man is Mike’s much older, much less Japanese brother.

“I don’t know who it is,” Mike assures him.

Laura fills in the blanks. “It’s Major Craddock,.” She asks for confirmation of the obvious. “I take it he’s …”

dickersonnotdisappointed

“Let’s just say that Dickerson won’t be disappointed,” Steele quips.

BeardedSMiley Sigmund Freud in his 1927 essay Humour (Der Humor) puts forth the following theory of gallows humor: “The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.”  Okkaaaaay …. I guess that’s as reasonable an explanation as any for this lame joke.

shouldnthavecome

Suddenly there is a voice from the gallery.

muppetguys

Is it these guys? Sadly, no.

myownfault

Kenji Ito, I presume. “You shouldn’t have come,” he says. (I know, but we’re practically at the end. Too late to bail out now.)

He displays the same curious absence of expression and tonal inflection that characterizes his younger brother.

I begin to think we’re in the wrong movie again, Laura. It’s not the Third Man after all.

night3

These guys are zombies!

couldnoteasilyaccept

In slow, ponderous tones, Kenji begins to unspool his tale. “It’s really my fault. I worked so hard all those years to earn your respect. I should have known you could not easily accept my death.”

youryakuza

“You’ve been … Yakuza- all this time?” Mike asks.

carrymyshame

“I saw no reason for you to carry my shame. Away from me, in this country, you could have a decent life. A life with honor.” Ah, I was wondering when they were going to trot out that old “honor” stereotype. Let me guess: Kenji didn’t want his brother to “lose face.” Right?

neverknowthetruth

“And I would never know the truth.” Mike is clearly devastated by his brother’s betrayal.

Itoldhimnothing

Kenji explains that Craddock caught him, then released him, then spread the word that he had talked.

Whatever. Apparently Kenji stole some kind of computer code that details the Yakuza’s operation in Japan.

idontgetit

Does anyone?

palaceisacode

Laura does! She deduces that the computer code is the mysterious “Palace of Heaven.”

Yeah, that makes sense.

rumpledito

Kenji reaches into his inside pocket. OMG! Does he have a gun?

Nope.

doesntlooklikeapalace

It’s just a little book. “Doesn’t look like a ‘Palace of Heaven’, does it? I thought maybe I could trade it in for my freedom. But when I called you at the airport, I spotted one of Tenaka’s men following me and ran.”

caughtupwithhim

“But he caught up with you,” Laura surmises.

westruggled

“We struggled. I pushed him in front of a car.” It’s clear how deeply affected Kenji was by this horrific incident. I think his eyebrows even moved a little!

gavehimyourID

“So you gave him your identification and staged your own funeral,” Steele deduces. Brilliant! Can we go home now?

Nope.

nobodyhunts

“Nobody hunts for a dead man,” Kenji intones. “Nobody, that is, except Remington Steele.”

steeleisbored

Unfortunately, Mr. Steele is unable to appreciate this bit of praise, having dozed off. You and me both, Steele.

At Laura’s prodding, Kenji readily admits to having murdered Craddock. Bored him to death, presumably, since there wasn’t a mark on the body.

Ididnotbwetrayhim

“He left me no choice. This way, Tenaka will know that I did not betray him and would not seek revenge on Mike.”

Whatever. OMG, can we just get on with it?

youstillhavecodes

“But you still have the codes,” Steele points out.

keepitnow

“You will keep it now,” Kenji says, handing over the book. “To ensure my brother’s continued safety. Tenaka knows that you are a man of honor.”

So the detectives are just supposed to keep this book of codes detailing heinous crimes locked up in their file cabinet, thus allowing the Yakuza to continue their nefarious ways unimpeded and waiting for Tenaka’s thugs to break into the office to kill them and take back the codes?

legit

Okay.

steelenotsosure

Laura explains that they still have to call the police. Because of, you know, that whole murder in the temple thing.

fewminutes

This prompts Kenji to launch into another long soliloquoy. Or maybe it just SEEMS long because he says his lines so.damned.slowly. “You know, Mike, I dreamed, one day, to leave the Yakuza, and join you in business. The dream now has only a few remaining minutes of freedom. Now that you know the truth …”

No worries, Kenji.

mikeisdevastated

Mike isn’t upset. Or maybe he is. Who can tell?

The two brothers go off together someplace. Are they escaping? Going to commit ritual suicide? Running out for sushi?

We’ll never know.

sadwaytoend

 “You know, this is really a very sad way for things to end,” Laura comments.

If you are referring to the lethargic and pointless denouement of this episode, I agree!

Steele doesn’t.

killedorson

“Not really. In ‘The Third Man’, Joseph Cotten killed Orson Welles.”

Surely death would have been kind for all of us, Mr. Steele.

Well, this is one of my favorite segments, only because it finally brings us the end of this lame-o mystery. I have to wonder how Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan felt when reading this script and playing these scenes. This may have been the time Miss Zimbalist referred to in an early interview when she described the two of them going off to a bar over the lunch hour to wallow in their mutual fear of failure. Fortunately, this episode marks the low point of season 1 and is a strong contender for worst episode of them all. Cheer up, Laura and Rem – things are about to get better!

Next, the tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 17

When last we saw our detectives, they had rescued Mike Ito.

nightinthecity

Looks like it’s still night time.

raucouslaughter

We hear laughter approaching the door to Steele Investigations. It’s our intrepid trio, plus one. Laura has a serious case of wig head.

inthefridge

They decide a celebration is in order. Laura remembers there’s still something in the refrigerator. But first she has to change.

wishIknewhowtosayit

Laura goes off to change, and Murphy goes off to … well, who knows. Maybe the men’s room. Anyway, Steele and Mike Ito are left behind.

“I wish I knew how to say it,” Mike says. (So does your acting coach.)  “What you guys did for me today, that was really …”

uandDhesays.jp

“U and D,” says Steele. (Uninteresting and Dumb?) Ito doesn’t know what his savior is talking about.

justalittlejargon

“Just a little jargon we detectives employ to simplify communications.”

He leads Mike into his office.

allinanightswork

“Whatever you call it, thanks,” says Mike.

Steele is diffident. “Ah, all in a night’s work, eh?”

seemmoregrateful

“Sorry if I don’t seem more grateful,” Mike apologizes. Not to worry, Mr. Ito. We’re all used to your lack of emotional affect by now.

yourbrother

Steele is compassionate. See him express more with his expression than Mike Ito does with his dialogue? That’s called ACTING.

“Yes, of course. Your brother.”

onlyyousteele

“It was tough enough finding out he was dead … with all this Yakuza stuff.”

Mike confesses that at the moment, the only thing that seems real to him is Mr. Steele.

wideeyedsteele

Well, that’s ironic. See Mr. Steele’s eyebrows? Even THEY are better actors than Mike Ito.

“Yes, well, we’re still trying to fit the last pieces into place ourselves,” Steele deflects.

Just then Laura arrives.

caughtinasqueeze

Her hair has recovered amazingly. But what the hell is she wearing? A monk’s robe?

Mike asks just how bad his brother was.

“We only know he was caught in a squeeze between Tenaka and a Major Craddock of army intelligence about something called the ‘Palace of Heaven,'” Laura explains. “Does that mean anything to you?”

Nope.

whatshouldwdrinkto

Murph has appeared out of nowhere (again), with filled glasses. He hands them round.

“Well, what shall we drink to, then, eh?” Steele wants to know.

murphyshesays

“Murphy?” Laura suggests. Well, that seems a little unfair. He hasn’t even been very involved in this case.

teamworkhesays

Turns out, Laura wasn’t suggesting they drink to Murphy. She was asking Murphy what they should drink to. Wonder why she offered that honor to Mr. Michaels. Does she perhaps sense he’s feeling alienated? With a side eye to Steele, Murphy offers, “Teamwork?”

Aw, happy ending. Hurray!

Wait. You mean it’s NOT over? Longest.Episode.Ever.

soundofdoor

The group hears something in the lobby.

anyonelockthedoor

“Did anyone lock the front door?” Steele wonders.

quickthelights

“Quick! The lights!” Laura hisses. How many detectives does it take to turn off a light switch?

Three, it would seem.

assumethepositions

They take up ambush positions.

someguyinasuit

The door opens, revealing a guy in a suit.

steelepounces

Steele grabs the intruder by the lapels!

musclehimtothegtround

The manly men of Steele Investigations muscle him to the ground, while Laura hits the lights.

“All right, I want to know who you are and what you’re doing here. And be quick about it,” Steele demands.

dickersonfromthemorgue

“I’m Dickerson from the morgue. You asked me to come,” the guy gasps.

Oops. But to be fair, who walks into an apparently dark office in the middle of the night without at least announcing his presence?

bigpuffyhair

They help him up. I’m going to go ahead and assume they seriously messed up his hair when they tackled him, because if that’s what it’s supposed to look like, I’m just really, really sad.

“I work the night shift,” says a surprisingly forgiving Dickerson. “I came over as soon as I got off.”

He of course assumed that a place of business would still be open at 3 am.

steelesfanboy

Ah, now we know the reason Dickerson wasn’t miffed by being manhandled. He’s a fanboy! “Wow. Fact is, I am one of your biggest fans.”

steelelikesfanboys

Mr. Steele likes fanboys!

smootheshislapel

Fanboy Dickerson continues to gush, while Murphy looks on, disgusted. “I follow all your cases,” morgue man says.  “Well, I can’t really help it, you know. You’re a source.”

You mean of – bodies?” Murphy asks.

Yep.

“Hey, when Remington Steele gets going, then I know it’s time for me to clear the tables and tell my wife not to wait up.”

Yuk yuk yuk. You’d think if he’d worked so many of Steele’s corpses cases, they’d know who he is already. Murphy seems to spend a lot of time picking up autopsy reports.

thisismrito

Laura introduces Dickerson to Mike Ito. “He isn’t the man who claimed the body, is he?” she wants to know.

Nope. Dickerson has never seen the kid before. “What was the name of the deceased again?” he asks. (Hey, the man works with a lot of bodies. He can’t be expected to remember ALL of them.)

pictureofkenji

“Mike, do you have a picture of Kenji?”

needsspecs

Dickerson gets out his specs. This whole exchange seems to be upsetting Murphy’s stomach. I can’t say I disagree, Murph.

deadIto

Mike produces a photo of his dead bro.

“Yes, that’s the guy,” Dickerson pronounces.

youmeanthedeceased

“You mean the deceased?” Steele inquires.

Nope.

guythatclaimedhim

“No, no. The guy that claimed him. The deceased was all torn up from the accident.”

areyousuresheasks

“Are you sure this is the man who signed for him?” Laura asks.

Note Mike Ito’s reaction to hearing his brother may not really be dead. A subtle, nuanced performance indeed!

steelegrabsLaura

Steele suddenly busts a rather awkward dance move.

wereinthewrongmovie

He pulls Laura aside. “Laura, I’m afraid to admit it so far along, but I’m afraid we’re in the wrong movie.”

She wants to know what he’s talking about.

orientalangle

“The Oriental angle threw us right off,” he explains.

Laura is apparently as impatient for this episode to be over as we are.

“What are you TALKING about?”

thethirdman

“‘The Third Man. Orson Welles plays a ruthless dealer in the black market who fakes his own death in order to avoid pursuit by the police. Only his good friend, Joseph Cotton, doesn’t believe it was an accident and begins digging to find out why Orson was killed.”

behindthescenesThe Third Man. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard. British Lion Film Corporation, 1949.

gottofindhim

At that moment, Mike Ito approaches. “If Kenji’s alive, I’ve got to find him,” he expresses half-heartedly.

Like the rest of us, Mr. Steele seems unimpressed by his client’s performance.

theychaseMike

Mike runs out, tailed by Laura and Murphy. Steele moves to follow …

reallybadtime

… only to be collared by Mr. Dickerson, who wants an autograph on a death certificate. (Don’t do it, Steele! He only wants it to sell on eBay!)

“Just something simple, like ‘To my good friend, Dickie'” the guy suggests.

tomygoodfrienddickie

Steele’s got no time for groupies. He shoves the certificate back into Dickerson’s hands and sets off in pursuit of his colleagues.

Big mistake, Steele. Dickerson is going to smear you all over the internet for this.

Well, I don’t have much to say about this sequence. Does anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 16

We left Mr. Steele wondering what kind of U&D plan they were planning.

unexpectedanddaring

And now we know: “Unexpected and Daring.”

Murphy still doesn’t approve.

thisorme

“Of this … or me?” the always perceptive Steele inquires.

Murph’s not going there.

dontaskme

“Don’t ask me questions like that, okay?”

Could it be our Murphy is feeling a little conflicted about his old nemesis?

frequentaltercations

Mr. Steele persists. “You know, it’s not that I don’t enjoy our frequent altercations, but since we’re stuck with each other, we might try some activity to close the gap.”

Again we see that Steele is uncomfortable being disliked by anyone, even Murphy.

shootinghoops

Murphy isn’t interested in making new friends. “We don’t have very much in common.”
“There must be something,” Steele prods. “What is it you like to do on a brisk Sunday afternoon?”

Murphy looks slightly uneasy about what Mr. Steele is intimating.

sumowrestlers

More of this, perhaps?

wellthatscreepy

Now Murphy seems intrigued, in a creepy sort of way.

“Sure. I can just see you slapping on some cut offs and shooting some hoops.”

Ilovethehunt

“There? You see? I love the hunt,” protests Steele.  “But I don’t recall ever shooting a hoop before. Is it a very large animal?”

Now, I don’t for a minute believe Mr. Steele thought Murphy was talking about a shooting sport. Is he making a joke here, or trying to emphasize that he’s an upper crust type, worthy of the identity of the urbane Remington Steele?

It doesn’t matter. Murph’s done having this conversation.

murphysdonetalking

“Come on,” he says. “It’s time.”

smokingman

We cut to a random guy smoking a cigarette. Smoking Man? Nope. Just a poser.

smokingmanxfiles

Smoking Man.

actionSteele

Suddenly we see Mr. Steele running down the alley toward him. My, he’s a lithe fellow, isn’t he. Of course, black is very slimming.

awayintime

“Thank God you’re here,” our hero gasps. “I thought I’d never get away in time.”

JAPANESEw!” the guy replies, more or less.

hestheone

“Oh, I couldn’t agree more. But he’s the one to reckon with.”

He who?

murphythrowsapunch

POW! It’s Murphy’s fist of Steele steel!

I have to say, Murphy is a stealthy devil to be able to creep up on the baddie from the side without him noticing.

niceshotoldchap

“Nice shot, old chap!” Steele says. Again with the British stereotypical talk? I expect he’ll suggest crumpets at tea time next, eh what?

jollygoodshow

Jolly good show, old boy!

steeleturnsaway

Steele turns to initiate Phase 2 of Plan U&D.

geaturesforLaura

Wait a second: The black leather jacket. he slicked back hair. The arrogant pose. What does he remind me of?

thefonz

Oh, dear.

I believe this episode has officially jumped the shark.

ladyinred

Steele is met by a mysterious figure in a big, red cape. Well, THAT won’t attract attention.

wellsecured

“You’ll see he’s well secured?” he hisses to Murphy.

dontworry

“Don’t worry,” Murphy answers. Looks like our boy is getting left out of the action again.

afamiliarhandontheback

Mr. Steele guides his companion up the stairs. That hand on her back looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t it?

theatrebackhall

We next see Steele creeping into a narrow passageway. We know it’s in a theatre, because of the film cans stacked up on the random crates.

twoshadowyfigures

Oh, look. Mr. Steele’s friend is with him. Steele crouches next to a rice paper panel.

steelehasatool

We can tell by his sneaky look that Mr. Steele is up to something.

tinypen

Oh, looks like he’s just going to scribble some graffiti on Tenaka’s wall. That’ll teach him!

madeahole

He made a hole! Tagging is one thing, Mr. Steele, but this is malicious vandalism!

tsk

Tsk.

whospeeping

Mr. Steele looks through the peephole he’s made.

setupfortea

Not much going on there … he moves on to the next panel, makes another hole.

boysclub

Random guys raucously playing a game while a traditionally dressed lady plays some stringed instrument. Nothing unusual about that.

creepingman

Try again, Mr. Steele.

somekindofgame

Next panel. Well, lookee here. More random guys playing raucous games. What kind of theatre is this? But there’s our man Mike, looking terrified blank.

thatstheone

This is the place! Mr. Steele offers a series of elaborate hand signals to the geisha down the hall.

itsago

Look who’s back!

w8tpGoKiRLeO5vpMgubm_The_Fonz

Ayyyyyyyyy!

whosunderthecape

The geisha slips around the corner and takes off the cape.

shefoundsometea

She finds the tea set.

aslylook

Wait a second. That’s no geisha! That sly look gives it away. It’s our Laura.

somethinginherpocket

She knees and reaches into the pocket of her kimono. (Who knew kimonos had pockets?)

poursintea

She drops some powder into the tea. Probably some of that leftover stuff that Mrs. Dillon used to kill Mr. Steele’s pal in “Tempered Steele.” Turnabout is fair play, I guess.

steelestillwatching

Meanwhile, Steele is still peeping.

herecomeslaura

Laura brings her tray into the room with the good old boys. Mike Ito makes a conveniently passive prisoner, don’t you think?

droptheteaMike

She sets the tea down near Mike, who reaches for a cup of poisoned tea. Didn’t they tell you, prisoners don’t get tea?

Laura takes the cup away from him.

snatchesitagain

He snatches it again. Let him drink it, Laura. Please. Let.Him.Drink.It.

mikeisanidiot

Finally Laura gives her client a meaningful look.

anuancedperformance

He responds with his typical subtlety.

shutupagainmike

Laura encourages Mike to keep his mouth shut.

gracefullook

She casts a wily eye at the men playing the game. Fortunately, nobody notices this weird little Kabuki scene going on in the back of the room.

exceptforSteele

Except for Steele.

nocomprende

Laura serves the tea to the guys.

One of the guys turns and snarls something at her.

This, I think: “JAPANESEw

 

respectfulbow

Laura bows respectfully.

gettingticked

Bad Guy begins to be suspicious. He shouts some more. She bows again.

Sigh.

steeleprepares

Sensing this may not end well, Mr. Steele prepares to act.

Iwantsaketoo

Suddenly Mike springs into action, more or less. “Get moving! I want some sake, too! What are you, deaf?”

hahahsillygeisha

Fortunately, the bad guys seem to accept that the geisha lady in the traditional garb understands English, even spoken in as garbled a tone as Mike’s, and that prisoners typically demand to be treated like their captors. They laugh hysterically and inexplicably.

implausible

Mr. Steele seems to find this all as implausible as I do.

happyito.jpp

Mike seems happy, at least. Nothing suspicious about the prisoner grinning from ear to ear.

whewshesighs

Laura makes her exit and breathes a sigh of relief.

oneteadrinker

Some time passes, it seems. Looks like someone doesn’t care for Laura’s blend of tea.

whatsthedeal

Two of the guys seem a little bored with the game.

allfalldown

Oopsie daisy. They all fell down. Except the guy who didn’t drink the tea.

dontdrinkthetea

He positions himself conveniently close to the rice paper panel and sniffs the tea.

steeleattacks

Suddenly a pair of arms bursts through the panel and begin to throttle him!

awkwardfighting

It’s Mr. Steele, managing to subdue the baddie without even being able to see him.

wreckage

I hope Tenaka had plans to redecorate.

mikeshowshisterror

Displaying the keen focus and catlike reflexes that have been his hallmark, Mike Ito finally notices what is going on.

astruggleensues

He joins the fray. I guess. It’s really hard to see what he’s doing.

wieldingapot

And here comes Laura with a lethal teapot in hand!

brokenchina

Crash! Add “priceless Ming tea service” to the list of expenses on this case. Hope Mike’s Sushi restaurant has a high profit margin. Laura’s going to be passing along these costs.

hesdown

Bad guy go boom.

comeonguys

Steele invites Laura and Mike to join him in the passageway.

offtheygo

They make their way back from whence they came.

outthedoor

Out the door and down the stairs.

Murphwithrabbit

Here comes Murph in the Rabbit! He’s got the top done. Must have been cruising for chicks while Laura and Steele were on the case.

inthecartheygo

They clamber into the getaway car … and get away.

Mr. Steele seems to be the point man in this operation. He sets up the distraction that allows Murphy to cold cock the guard, he orders Murphy to “secure” the baddie, he leads the way in the passageway and does all the peeping. I have to wonder if it were Steele who came up with the particulars of this gambit – the disguises, the knock out powder, the sneaky creeping around behind the scenes. Steele is in his element in this situation. He feels confident and in charge. This episode, lame as it is, does have some interesting points to make about issues of control and teamwork.

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 15

We left our heroes on a cliffhanger, with a sword at Laura’s throat.

terribleperil

How will they escape their terrible peril?

We’ll never know. Because …

prettyskyline

… the next scene opens on a pretty sunset skyline. Look! There’s the Century Building.

enteringsteeles

Shadowy figures are entering someplace. Who could it be?

rubforehead

Oh. It’s just Laura, Steele and, from out of nowhere, Murphy. Mr. Steele seems to have a headache.

 “Samurai swords? This guy must put on a hell of a show,” Murphy comments. I KNEW he was interested in show business!
“Hmm,” Steele agrees. “Terribly convincing.”

“His place must be above that movie theatre,” Laura explains. (Considering she and Steele must have had to climb a staircase or ridden in an elevator while blindfolded to get to Tenaka’s quarters, that’s hardly a brilliant deduction.)

BeardedSMileyAccording to the website Changing Minds, “Slowly rubbing the forehead can indicate deep thinking, as if the person was massaging their brain to get it going.” Looks like Mr. Steele has some powerful pondering to do! Meanwhile, the site Study Body Language interprets Laura’s gesture thusly: “The “Fig Leaf” Position: Another interesting posture is when the hands are crossed over the genitals – also called the “fig leaf” position by experts. It’s a self comfort gesture that reveals vulnerability, as it protects another sensitive part of our body – our genitals. It’s often seen in funerals or other somber events, when people feel uneasy.  Hmmm. Hard to see why Laura would be protecting her genitals; let’s go with “uneasy.” And Murphy with his jacket slung over his shoulder? Who knows!

looseningtie

“That would explain where the girl disappeared to this afternoon,” Steele says. He seems overcome by it all, leaning against the desk and loosening his tie. What can it mean?

BeardedSMileyWell, Sexy Body Language Tips for First Dates.com suggests it means Mr. Steele is becoming sexually aroused. Really? Then I don’t even want to know what leaning over the desk like that represents.

Murphy’s had enough.

murphybutt

Turning his well-toned glutes to the “fourth wall,” (I believe in the simian world this is known as “presenting”), he suggests they go to the police. Laura disagrees!

mightgetkilled

“No. We send the police in there, and Mike would get killed before we even got close.”

“Poor chap,” Steele agrees, reminding everyone he’s a Veddy Proper Englishman.

“He didn’t even know Kenji was leading a double life,” Laura points out.
“And now he’s smack dab in the worst of it, without a clue,” Steele adds.

pullingear

“I can empathize,” Murph grouses.

ohsnap

Oh, snap! You’re letting your bitter show, Murphy.

westilldontknow

“Any chance we can work a trade?” Steele suggests.

Nope.

“With what?” Laura argues. “We still don’t know what the Palace of Heaven is.”

Steele points out that Tenaka thinks they DO know what the Palace of Heaven is.

setupaswap

“You mean set up a swap? And grab Mike before Tenaka realizes we’ve handed him a bag of hot air?”

Well, that was an intuitive leap, Murphy. How did he get that from Steele’s comment? Oh, and by the way, Murphy’s crossed arms indicate he is feeling defensive and resistant. Let it go, Murph. Just let it go.

tooriskyshesays

“Too risky,” Laura says, running her hand through her hair (The gesture indicates exasperation or upset. Or, again, sexual arousal. This is getting to be a rather naughty post!). “We don’t even know how much hot air to put in the bag. And there’s no guarantee he’ll let Mike go no matter what we give him.”

maneuver

Doesn’t give us much room to maneuver,” says Steele.

Aha! His words spark an idea in Laura.

uandD

“Unless we start thinking in terms of U and D!”

snarkwarningI don’t know about you, but I’m getting I and B (irked and bored) by this detective lingo – which we’ll never hear again after this episode, as far as I recall.

saywhat

Murphy thinks Laura’s  U and D suggestion is S and W (stupid and wrong).

Now Steele’s the one without a clue. He hates being left out!

saywhat

“Unique and Different?” he guesses.

“Why not? What other choice do we have?” Laura persists.

whatotherchoice

“Just think of the risks!” Murphy counters.

“Uncomfortable and deadly?” Steele tries again.

whosgonnadoit

“And who’s gonna do it?” Murphy argues, menacing her with his belligerent chin again.

“All of us. Together,” Laura pronounces.

Steele likes that idea!

unifiedanddedicated

“Unified and dedicated!”

Aw, the team is back together.

rahrah

Yay! Rah! Rah! Oops.

hecanbevery

Laura knows Murphy’s not thrilled with the idea, but, “… when it comes to this stuff, he can be very-“

usefulanddiligent

“Useful and diligent?”

eagerdoggy

He’s just so darn eager!

comeupwithplan

“We still need to come up with a plan.”

grumpycat

Murphy is NOT eager.

And Steele’s had enough of being left out.

excuseme

“Excuse me!” he interrupts.”What kind of plan are we talking about?”

And the scene ends there.

What? ANOTHER cliffhanger? The suspense is killing me! In this scene we see the shifting roles and alliances in the agency. At first, Laura and Steele seem to be a unit, while Murphy is marginalized. But when they start talking their secret language, Steele is edged aside. Unlike Murphy, who is defensive and tries to knock down all of his rival’s suggestions, Steele makes an effort to understand, to insert himself back into the circle. Is Laura aware of these dynamics, I wonder?

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 14

We left Laura and Mr. Steele being asked to don blindfolds.

blindfolded

It appears they complied. Hey, wait. This is a surprise party, right? It’s Laura’s birthday?

handsonhips

Guess not. The bad guys unblindfold the detectives and, inexplicably, leave them “caged” in a hallway made of rice paper.

“Who even knew this was up here?” Laura asks. Mr. Steele doesn’t care.

Uh, oh. We hear muffled shouts and fighting from the other side of the wall! What could be going on in there?

Maybe this.

Mr. Steele doesn’t think so.

twice

“Sounds like a movie,” he explains. Laura wants to know how he can be so sure.

“I think I paid to see it this afternoon. Twice.”

“Twice?” Laura asks. I think she’s impressed by his dedication! (Though technically, she paid twice, because he’s on her payroll.)

“Yes. When I went back in to look for …”

lookforher

“… her.”

pleasuretoseeyouagain

“Pleasure to see you again, Mr. Steele,” says the Mystery Lady.

Laura has already figured it out. “You mean she was-“

“Kenji’s bereaved lover, wasn’t it?” Steele fills in the blanks. “Remarkable recovery.”

“What is life, Mr. Steele, but the playing of roles?” Mystery Lady says.

Indeed. But some play them better than others.

thenhedisappears

I’m looking at you, Mike.

geishastranger

Mr. Steele wants to know if Mystery Lady’s mother offered her that pearl of wisdom, too. Nope. It was Dad.

Kenjisgirl

“Tenaka-san is most anxious to speak with you. Follow me.”

She slips into another rice paper room, leaving Steele and Laura alone. Steele is disgusted.

bandf

“Is there a B&F in our private lingo?” he mutters.

“What for?” Laura asks. Good try, Laura, but that would be W&F.

“Bloody Fool,” Steele explains. “I didn’t find that girl. She found me. I should have known something was wrong right off.”

“What do you mean?”

“She obviously works for Tenaka. And right after I enlightened her about Mike and his restaurant …”

“-he was kidnapped.” Laura concludes.

These two have developed the habit of finishing each other’s sentences, just like a real couple.

adorablepuppy

Isn’t that adorable?

damn

Mr. Steele is still feeling guilty. “I led the buggers right to him. Damn!”

Instead of berating him, Laura is surprisingly understanding. “There’s no way you could have known.”

Steele won’t be soothed.

goboflines

“I’ve never seen you fall for a gob of lines like that.”

meanthat

Laura seems nonplused by his confession. “You really mean that?”

“Of course I do. Why else do you think I would ask you to teach me?”

Laura’s not buyin’ it.

wintheargument

“To be perfectly honest, I thought you did it to win the argument we were having at the time.” Does Laura give Steele an affectionate little poke in the stomach here? I think she does!

butimlearning

“I did,” he confesses, “but I’m learning.”

Aw. I’m glad Tenaka-san is dawdling long enough for Steele and Laura to have this meaningful exchange.

Just what IS Tenaka-san doing in there, anyway?

Maybe this:

Actually, that’s more interesting than what the aged Asian is actually doing, which is:

ritualtvceremony

… word processing.

ancientcomputer

That’s some high tech gadget you’ve got there, Tenaka-san.

caretotranslate

Anybody care to translate?

weservwethem

The Japanese goddofa-za- (that’s “Godfather” in Japanese; see how educational this blog is?) gets to his feet.

“We build these machines to serve us, and instead we end up serving them.” Tenaka-san thinks that’s profound.

Maybe, but …

Now, THAT’s profound!

profoundenough

I think that ancient wisdom has gone right over our detectives’ heads.

Tenaka tries a different tack.

someteaperhaps

“I always like to begin such encounters with the profound. It tends to keep the conversation … constructive. Some tea, perhaps?”

verycivilized

“How very civilized,” Steele replies. Well, an Englishman WOULD say that.

settlethis

“I’m pleased you accepted my invitation. Now perhaps we can settle this without any further-“

“Need for tea?” Steele finishes for him. Wait. Does this mean he and Tenaka are a couple, too?

Nope.

“Violence,” Tenaka corrects him.

stabatthat

“I’m all for a stab at that,” Steele quips. Oh, you’re a cool customer, Mr. Steele.

“Pity Kenji can no longer agree with you,” Laura adds.

givesSteelealook

She casts a sidelong look at Steele, who has not broken eye contact with Tenaka.

alarmingsituation

“Kenji Ito was what is known in our business as a free agent. While managing a business transaction for us, he was captured by your intelligence. And then, just as suddenly released. A most alarming situation.”

Thanks for the exposition, Tenaka-san!

usheredtonextlife

“So you ushered him into the next life.”

Perish the thought, Mr. Steele!

greatvalue

“No. We merely sought to question him on his extraordinary good fortune. But he fled. Taking with him something of great value to us.”

I think we all know what he’s talking about.

Oh, 1970s and your casual racism – you so crazy!

But Laura does her own laundry, so she has a different guess.

palaceofheavensheguesses

“The Palace of Heaven.”

Wait. I thought that was the name of the theatre.

mostunfortunate

“One of my most trusted men has already disappeared searching for it.”

Boy, life before Google maps was hardcore.

wedonthaveit

“What if I said we don’t have it?” Steele asks.

emphatictenatak

“That would be most unfortunate,” Tenaka replies, apparently stunned by Steele’s chutzpah. (Note: That is NOT a Japanese word.)

nothingtotrade

“Because then you would have nothing to trade.”

“Trade for what?” Laura wants to know.

sorryMike

Oh, that’s right. Mike Ito.

quicklook

The thump of Mike Ito hitting the floor is finally enough to get the detectives’ attention.

wthsteele

“Steele! What the hell is happening? What do they want? What are they talking about?” Mike articulates shouts incoherently.

Honestly, wouldn’t it be better to put him out of his misery? (Better for us, at least.)

shutupmike

These guys with swords seem to agree.

itoisignorant

“Kenji must have passed it on to someone before he was killed. But we are now convinced that Mike Ito is ignorant of Kenji’s circumstances. You, on the other hand, are Remington Steele.”

See, Mr. Steele? SOME people are aware of your reputation. Isn’t that great?

thatsaysalot

“That says a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Steele says.

Volumes. Bring me the Palace of Heaven within 24 hours, and I will release Mike.”

ifyoudont

“And if we don’t?” Um, I don’t think he was talking to you, Laura. Drink your tea quietly like a good geisha professional detective.

seenyakuza

“Have you never seen a film called ‘The Yakuza’?”

Maybe. Have YOU ever heard a joke about a cat on the roof?

notimefordiversions

“I’m afraid I have no time for such diversions,” Steele replies.

somuchkilling

“So much killing in it.”

Everyone’s a critic.

onAmericansoil

Laura’s had enough. “I might remind you, Tenaka-“

lauraisfurious

“-that you’re still on American soil!”

Technically, Laura, I think you’re all on Tenaka’s bamboo floor mat.

ninja2ninjaguys

Ninja guy with sword deosn’t like Laura’s sassy talk.

Wait a minute. Why is he using a sword? Didn’t we all learn from old commercials (a rich font of wisdom) that …

“In Japan, the hand can be used like a knife!”

lauraindanger

Laura hasn’t seen that commercial. She has no time for such diversions!

embarrassing

“Miss Holt, please. Make no sudden moves,” Tenaka advises. “It would be most embarrassing for you to die at my table.”

Not only that, but those bamboo mats are hell to clean.

noembarrassment

Mr. Steele makes nice. “Well, we certainly don’t want anyone to be embarrassed, do we?”

halfsmilesteele

See? We’re all friends here!

In this segment, we first see Mr. Steele expressing disappointment in himself for trying to do Laura’s job. He recognizes that she has skills in this area that he lacks. Later, in the confrontation with Tenaka, Mr. Steele takes the lead again. We are reminded that dealing with people is perhaps more Mr. Steele’s forte than Laura’s. She tends to be confrontational/blunt, raising hackles and defenses. She is emotional in her interactions, while Mr. Steele has (spoiler alert!) icy calm. I think we’re learning in this episode that both Steele and Laura have unique talents to bring to their partnership. I wonder if Laura will learn this lesson as well?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 13

 

behindthescenesWe left the scene on a fade-out …

scenefades

And begin the next segment in Laura’s car …

backincar

… in front of one of the least-convincing background screens I’ve ever seen.

facepalm

Seriously?

littlecrink

Mr. Steele notes that Laura is worried about the case. How does he know this?

“When you’re worried, you get this little crinkle in your forehead. Right here.”

idoshesays

Laura seems vaguely unsettled by this. Perhaps because it suggests Mr. Steele is more observant than she has given him credit for?

fedorasideeye

That’s right, Laura. He’s watching you. All.The.Time.

youscowl

“You scowl,” she retaliates.

scowlandcrinkle

“Scowl and Crinkle. Makes us sound like a London law firm, doesn’t it?”

That single line ALMOST makes this episode worth it.

Laura says she’s heard there are some good law firms in London. Is she wondering how familiar Mr. Steele is with the legal system in the UK? I suspect she is.

Mr. Steele, who seems to be navigating, agrees that the legal minds in London are unmatched. He also tells her to take the next right.

takearightupthere

Laura, whose little Rabbit is looking a bit boxier and dated than I remembered, does so.

1ststreet

So it appears 311 1/2 First Street …

1ststreetanalley

… is an alley.

alleyparkinglot

This is the closest thing I can find to an alley near 311 1st St. in Los Angeles in 2015.

hotdogstand

As they proceed down the alley, the detectives’ way is blocked by a spectacularly badly located hot dog stand. If that guy sells one hot dog a week from that dirty, isolated alley, I’d be astonished. Rework your business plan, man!

wehavetogetthru

Laura tries to get the unseen proprietor to remove his business from the roadway. No dice.

blockedin

She starts to back up, only to discover the hot dog vendor’s only customer seems to have chosen this very moment to get his fix. What rotten luck! Fortunately, hot dog man backs his cart out of the way.

blockedagain

But his place is taken by another car. What sort of junk food is this guy selling?

herecomebadguys

Hm. This alley has suddenly gotten very popular.

phoneguyagain

Why, hello, notLois!

He snarls something in Japanese. I’m pretty sure it translates as, “You come to Little Tokyo for a hot dog? What kind of crazy are you?”

blindfolds

NotLois hands over a pair of blindfolds. Uh, oh.

tookinky

Looks like things are about to get kinky.

crinkleshowing

Laura wonders if her crinkle is showing.

Here’s an interesting little interaction between Steele and Laura. Steele shows that he knows her very well – even intimately, in one sense of the word, in that he is very aware of her personal habits and unconscious mannerisms. We see that Laura is surprised, but perhaps secretly pleased, by his knowing her so well. She certainly knows now that she is the object of his rapt interest. We see here an instance of Mr. Steele dropping what seems to be a little clue about his past (the reference to London law firms), but smoothly deflecting Laura’s attempts to learn more. And once again, Mr. Michaels is no where in evidence. Something tells me all those messages may be from commercial realtors in Colorado ...

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 12

We last left our heroes standing impotently on a sidewalk while their client is kidnapped in Little Tokyo. Seems like a convenient way to close the case, but that’s not Laura’s style.

whoisthis

The scene opens on Bernice. She’s talking to berating someone on the phone. “Who is this? Would you stop saying that? Come on, bub, what is it you really want?”

Better brush up on your phone skills, Bernice. No wonder the waiting room is empty.

ooooooh

“Ooooohhh,” she groans. I’m guessing it must be Steele, finally delivering the punch line to his lame cat-on-the-roof joke.

dickensonshowupyet

Nope! Here comes Laura – in the lead, natch – trailed by Murphy and Steele. She wants to know if Dickerson has shown up yet.

changeournumber

Bernice follows Laura to her office, declaring she wants the office phone number changed. THAT should improve business.

“Some creep’s been calling every 10 minutes for the past two hours, and he just won’t quit.”

obscene

“Obscene?” Laura asks, a little eagerly. (Her sex life has been a little dry lately.)

Obscene, Bernice can handle. “But no heavy breathing, no lewd suggestions, just one line, over and over,” she explains.

Let me guess: “How would you like to save 20% on your monthly phone bill?”

damnedtelemarketers

Damned telemarketers.

whatsthatsheasks

Laura wants to know what the line is.

“You’re still the one for me,” Bernice replies. (I had no idea they had that sort of relationship.)

rathernicesentiment

Mr. Steele is touched (and perhaps a little turned on). “It’s really a rather nice sentiment, when you think about it.”

answerthephone

Just then the phone rings again. Mr. Steele reminds Bernice of her duty, while Murphy thumbs through his messages.

Guess who?

illhandlethis

Mr. Steele takes charge. “I’ll handle this!”

Our hero!

sightreading

Wow. Lois Lane has really let herself go. Ah, it’s not Lois. It’s some guy sight-reading from a notebook: “You’re Steele the one for me.”

steeleherehesays

“Steele here.”

sightreading

“You’re Steele?”

thatsrighthesays

“That’s right,” Steele answers with grim authority.

Meanwhile, Murphy is still reading his messages. Who are all these messages from? Why does it take him so long to read them? Both are mysteries more compelling than the present case.

cometo331

“The one for me,” notLois says. “Come to 331 half first street.”

whatwasthatagain

Mr. Steele waves away Bernice’s offer of a pen. “What was that again?”

He pulls out his OWN trust notebook and pen.

canyoutellme

“Can you tell me what-“

enoughofthis

NotLois is not interested in continuing the conversation.

certainlywasnt

“Certainly wasn’t a touching sentiment,” Steele reports.

scenefades

Aaaannnnd … the scene fades.

Well, this bit is at least marginally more interesting than the last one. We see Laura fully in charge here, though seemingly not overly concerned about her missing client. Did they even call the police to report the abduction, I wonder? Murphy seems very passive here. He pays little attention when Steele grabs the phone and seems pretty disengaged from Bernice’s complaints about the mystery caller. Could he be brooding about being so marginalized in this case?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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