Our next scene opens with the agency limo pulling into a parking lot.
We see arcade games being wheeled around.
When Steele and Laura disembark, it’s evident that their argument has continued from the office.
“I still have my conscience to consider,” Steele declares grandly, “and if you really feel the agency can’t spare 36 hours to help a desperate man, I’ll simply go it alone!”
Laura concedes that the fact that the Arnock security account could pay their costs for the next two years has her preoccupied. But she’s willing to compromise!
“I’ll go in there and listen -“
“-I underline LISTEN, if you promise to go straight to the hotel after that and give Arnock your best shot.”
“I knew we could work together,” Steele responds smugly.
Gentlemanly Steele holds the door for Laura. They do look great together, don’t they? LOVE Laura’s fedora!
Inside, we see someone playing a not-very-sophisticated-looking video game. THIS is worth $350 million?
Albie leads Steele and Laura to George Kaplan’s office, cautioning them that Gruff & Reston musn’t get a whiff of Kaplan’s disappearance.
“Mum’s the word,” Steele agrees. Albie suggests they might find something in Kaplan’s office to tell them what happened to him.
“Or where he ran,” adds an unknown woman who seems to be drinking on the job. Laid back office culture, I guess!
Albie retorts that they have no proof of that, and he refuses to listen to such talk! He introduces the woman as Sheila, the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
“Also known as Mrs. Albie Fervitz,” Sheila clarifies. She tells Steele and Laura that they can’t rule out George running off, “under the circumstances.”
“Circumstances?” Steele inquires. Albie gives Sheila the go-ahead to tell them what’s up.
She explains that after George didn’t show up for work, she ran an audit. “Five million in liquid assets are missing.”
Albie declares that if George took the money, he had to have been forced to. “He must be in trouble!”
“I’m afraid we’re the ones in trouble now, Albie,” says a slightly creepy looking guy who suddenly appeared behind Albie.
Albie introduces the guy as “Izzy Webster, our VP of Development.”
Izzy the developer, who it turns out isn’t creepy but rather seeing impaired, makes his way toward the group. “Honored to meet you, Mr. Steele-“ he says …
… then stumbles and runs into Laura, dragging her down with him. When they recover, Albie resumes the trek toward Kaplan’s office.
We see Izzy slip a note into Laura’s purse.
“Excuse me for saying so, but you don’t feel or smell like a Remington Steele.” Okay, he’s back to creepy again.
Laura introduces herself as Mr. Steele’s associate and leads Izzy into the office. “What can you tell us about George?” she asks.
“There’s not much too tell,” Izzy answers. “George kept pretty much to himself.” Apparently George was a “shy, nerdy type, a slave to his keyboard,” according to Sheila.
“He didn’t have any family and we were his only friends,” Albie says.
“He didn’t even drive,” Sheila adds. “We had to twist his arm to get him to buy a condo in Belvedere Towers.”
Meanwhile, Laura has discovered Kaplan’s desk calendar. The entry for Monday, October 18 reads, “Call B about previous appt.” I wonder if this is a clue!
Mr. and Mrs. Fervitz are bickering. It seems they’re not in agreement on the merger. Sheila calls it a takeover – Gruff & Reston have been trying to gobble them up for six months.
Laura tries to bring the discussion back on track. “You say he disappeared the day before yesterday?” She notes that day is missing from his desk calendar. But wait! Laura has an idea.
She uses a pencil to lightly trace over the next page in the diary, thus revealing what was written on the missing page: LV952.
“Does that mean anything to you?” Steele inquires. The Ratooi tribe says no.
Still, Steele declares it a “compelling lead.” He asks Laura if she agrees. She does!
Mr. Steele informs the clients that Miss Holt will be working very closely with him on the case.
“As closely as possible, Mr. Steele,” she confirms.
I think this scene shows how well Mr. Steele already knows Laura. He was certain that if he got her to the “scene of the crime,” as it were, her curiosity would be piqued and she’d want to take the case. We also find out that the Ratooi crew is not one big, happy family; things definitely seem tense between Albie and Sheila. Perhaps the biggest mystery is how a blind man can develop video games. Presumably we’ll find out more about this later!