Following Laura’s cryptic remark about Wallace turning up …
We find ourselves in a morgue, where an attendant opens a body locker.
Steele and Laura are present, looking grim. Laura wants to know, “Where did they find him?”
“Where they find most of ’em,” notes the not-very-sympathetic morgue attendant. “On Main Street. Needle still in his arm, five grand in his sock. He must have been celebrating his good fortune.”
Steele ain’t buyin’ it.
“He wasn’t an addict,” he says, looking down at his dead friend. The morgue attendant disagrees, suggesting “you could run the Southern Pacific on those tracks.”
Steele insists the needle marks are at least three years old.
“When is the autopsy?” Laura wants to know. The morgue attendant asks her if she’s ever heard of Proposition 13.
California Proposition 13, passed in 1978, limited real estate taxes in the state. Among its effects were loss of revenue to cities, resulting in budget cuts for public services, such as those provided by the county morgue.
“We don’t have the budget to cut up every junkie who pigs out on smack.”
He tells Steele and Laura that if they want an autopsy, they’ll need to “get this stiff to their own pathologist.”
Mr. Steele takes exception to his attitude!
“That stiff once made 27 straight passes in a crap game. He had a daughter he put through college, he liked to fish off King’s Point and he read the Wizard of Id.”
“That stiff was my friend.”
The morgue attendant appears chastened.
Don Dolan, who played the morgue attendant, had minor supporting roles in many television series between 1975-1994. He often played policemen or other law enforcement types. He was another of many Remington Steele guest stars who also played roles on “Scarecrow & Mrs. King.”
Laura watches a furious Steele stalk away. What do you think she’s thinking?
Next we see the limo speeding down a highway.
We see (barely; the lighting is terrible) Steele and Laura in the backseat of the limo.
“Harry,” Laura remarks suddenly. “Tonight you look like a Harry.”
Mr. Steele is feeling guilty. “He didn’t want to do this job. I soaped him into it.”
Laura reassures him that Wallace’s death wasn’t his fault. Steele insists that someone planted the money on Wallace to make it appear he stole the papers, then killed him.
“I’m gonna find that someone.”
“Well do it together,” Laura says gently.
Steele looks at Laura …
… then places his own hand over hers on his shoulder.
That’s the end of this segment. We see a different side of Steele here, and of Laura. The heretofore calm, cool and collected Mr. Steele is shown to be capable of great passion – even violence. And Laura shows a tender, nurturing side. She doesn’t question Steele about his association with a former heroin addict. She doesn’t argue with his conviction that Wallace has been set up. She is just there for him. I think it’s an important moment! Your thoughts?