We’re back at Remington Steele Investigations, watching Laura stride into her domain with a self-assured air.
She encounters another woman in the lobby and gestures toward one of the office doors. “He in?” “Waiting for you,” the woman replies.
Laura enters one of the offices. We can see that this must be an upscale, cutting edge agency, because her office contains a very high tech piece of equipment …for 1982 . Remember when we were wowed by futuristic stuff like this?
She knocks on another door, and Murphy opens it. He’s checking his watch … worried about having to work overtime, Murph? Hot date? Or maybe he just wants Laura to admire his manly, albeit slightly limp, wrist.
None of the above! He merely wanted to remind her, in a snarky tone, that it’s 5:05 – has she heard from “Mr. Steele” yet? Seems like Mr. Michaels has a bit of an attitude here, don’t you think? Well, just wait, Murphy. Pretty soon you’ll REALLY have something to grouse about!
Laura shows him who’s in charge as she sits down behind the executive desk, kicks off her shoes and props up her tired gams. I have to wonder if this moment is a sly homage to “Peter Gunn,” the noirish early detective series in which the hard-boiled detective’s secretary (played by Mary Tyler Moore) is shown only in the form of her shapely legs.
The Lady In Blue delivers beverages!
Meanwhile, Murphy reminds Laura that they made a deal: if anybody insisted on meeting the “boss,” they’ll take a pass.
But Laura has dollar signs and media spotlights in her eyes. Doesn’t Murphy realize the PR coup this case will be for the agency? It’s the whole reason she invented Remington Steele in the first place (Thanks for the exposition, Laura!) She proposes a little smoke and mirrors.
They’ll tell client Gordon Hunter that Steele is on the case … but inaccessible. “Wherever Hunter is, Steele will always be somewhere else!” Well, when she puts it that way, it all sounds so simple! What could possibly go wrong?
Knock! Knock! (Avon calling? I don’t think so!)
Hello, it’s Embroidered Man! But he’s ditched his pretty blouse. What is he wearing this time? Um …
In the commentary for this episode, I believe Pierce Brosnan calls this a “safari jacket.” Okay. Are those typically worn with a tie? And where’s his pith helmet?
Aha! THERE it is!
Okay, he may not be a sartorial superman. Never mind. Laura seems impressed anyway.
Embroidered Man Gunga Din immediately introduces himself to “Mr. Steele.”
Laura is miffed! On the other hand, Murphy is …
… puzzled? Irritated? Turned on? A man of many moods, is our Murphy.
Gunga thinks Murphy looks vaguely familiar, but the cagey Mr. Michaels assures him he just “has that kind of face.”
Hm. The stylin’ safari man seems distracted. Perhaps by the lovely lady behind the desk?
Laura rises to introduce herself …
… but Lady Blue beats her to the punch!
She’s Bernice Foxe, tall, dark, handsome, oddly dressed stranger! PLEASED to meet you! Gunga Din is impressed by how many secretaries the office employs. Oops again.
Laura tersely informs him that she is “licensed private investigator, Mr-”
Ah, it seems I am mistaken. This is not Cary Grant without his pith helmet. It’s Ben Pearson, special agent – “for wont of a better title” – for the South African government! We know he’s legit, because he uses high-falutin’ words like “wont.”
Agent Pearson explains he’s here on a “rather delicate mission.” He needs their assistance!
Even if they can’t verify his story, surely that eyebrow is sincere. I trust him!
He informs Laura and Murphy that the gems they’ve been paid to guard are stolen, smuggled out of South Africa and sold to a private museum.
Laura points out that this is a legal matter. Why doesn’t he go to the police? Murphy, for his part, seems still to be pondering Bernice’s promise to “make fresh water.”
Agent Pearson mutters something about the gems being tied up in litigation, yada yada. He reveals that the gems are Royal Lavulite – more precious than diamonds, because there are so few of them. Surprise! Lavulite is really a thing! Here’s a chunk of it in its raw state:
And here’s quite a large piece of it that you can get on SALE! on Ebay.
Pretty sure a diamond that size would cost a little more. It seems the gems market fluctuates wildly!
Back to the case! Agent Pearson thinks it best if he’s “fully apprised” of their security measures.
Double eyebrows this time. Now we KNOW he’s genuine!
Yet Murphy is wary. He says they need to check Agent Pearson’s credentials first. Pearson agrees – he’d be disappointed if they didn’t! He fixes Laura with a smoldering, yet integrity-filled look. I trust him, don’t you?
Pearson makes his exit just as Bernice returns from “making fresh water.” Looks like she made it in a pot!
“Delightful aroma!” Pearson declares, rather bizarrely.
Well, Laura seems to think SOMETHING around here it delightful! (But I sense Murphy is not smitten.)
I’ll leave it here for now. Comments? Observations? Do you think Laura is taken in by “Agent Pearson?” It’s interesting how ready Miss Holt is to pull the wool over her client’s eyes. Do you think she would have played it the same if the agency’s survival weren’t at stake?