We see an establishing shot of some big, old building.
Anybody know what building this is?
Ah, we’re in the museum. Mr. Steele is investigating the security system. But his mind is not on his work.
“Do you mean to tell me you haven’t spent any time with your mother in nearly three years?”
“We don’t communicate very well,” Laura answers.
Laura points out how the would-be thief got into the museum – through the skylight.
“But she gave you life!” Steele remarks. (He’s not one to let things go, is he.) “Nurtured you from infancy!”
“Can we just drop it?”
Steele apologizes; he didn’t realize Mama Holt was such a jolt to Laura’s equilibrium.
Peeved, Laura stomps off, declaring there’s nothing wrong with her equi-
– and stumbles into the arms of our old friend Achmed. Way to take advantage of a lady’s lack of equilibrium, pal.
Achmed presents Steele with the radio control vehicle left at the scene of the crime, then leads the detectives to see the painting in the … er … flesh.
We see a random guy unpacking Egyptiany statuettes.
Achmed and the detectives join a blonde, already in progress. We know she’s a scientist (or something) because she’s wearing a lab coat and glasses. Achmed introduces her as Katherine Simone, his assistant.
Achmed tells Laura and Steele that it was Katherine who recommended the Steele Agency. I wonder how she knows about them?
Mr. Steele seems quite taken with Ms. Simone. (He does have a weakness for blondes.) Frankly, I don’t trust her. What kind of scientist has a name like Katherine Simone? Sounds like a Bond girl. Wait a minute …
Mr. Steele asks what kind of security system the museum is using, but Achmed says the insurance company forbids him from sharing that information. Because why would the agency you’re paying to protect your painting need to know something like that?
Laura and BondGirl move closer to the painting, and blondie provides some art history: the nekkid ladies’ religion forbids them from being seen, well, nekkid. But the sneaky artist somehow got them to get nekkid for him. So, “The reigning Pasha got wind of this so he tried to have the picture destroyed, but it was smuggled out of the country, so he placed a curse on any one who dared to possess it.”
Laura, a sensible gal who doesn’t believe in such nonsense, says it sounds bizarre.
“Not to the last five owners, they were all killed,” BondGirl says. “Accidentally, of course.”
Meanwhile, Achmed sidles up to Steele with a proposition: “I need to see you tonight. Alone.”
Hm. It’s beginning to look like his flirting with Laura was a smokescreen. It’s hottie Steele he has eyes for!
Achmed leads the group out of the gallery. Steele brings up the rear. Once outside, BondGirl snags the detective and …
Hey! HEY! Nerdy scientist girls aren’t supposed to act this way!
“Katherine, wasn’t it?” Steele says, when he comes up for air. “And I always thought Felicia suited you so much better.”
“You’re hardly one to talk of names, Mr. Steele. Have you missed me?”
“Whenever possible.” (Oh, that sassy banter, Mr. Steele!)
“Poetic that the ‘Nudes’ should bring us back together again, isn’t?” Bond girl notes. So they’ve handled these nudes before!
“Don’t tell me, let me guess: You’re here to steal it,” he intuits.
“No, darling,” she breathes into his face. “YOU are.”
You vixen! Leading our Mr. Steele astray!
Just then Miss Holt notices that her associate is associating with someone else!
“Care to join us, Mr. Steele?” she inquires.
“Remarkable sculptor, that Rodin,” Steele assesses, wiping the lipstick from his mouth. (Smooth, Mr. Steele.)
“It’s a Catelli,” Laura schools him.
“Still love it,” Mr. Steele insists as he and Laura take their leave.
Well! Something is indeed afoot here. Maybe I’m judging hastily, but something tells me that Miss Simone – er, Felicia – isn’t a nice, wholesome girl. Even if she does wear glasses. She and Mr. Steele obviously have a past, and likely a torrid and sordid one. Tsk. Just when I was beginning to think you’d mended your wicked, wicked ways, Mr. Steele. But will Steele return to a life of crime and steal the nekkid ladies for Felicia? Worse, will he get nekkid with blondie? I shudder to think of it …