As Laura is stewing over Steele, the man himself is in a phone booth.
Steele is evidently on the phone with LAPD. He tells them to proceed at once to the address he gave them to find the murderer of Ahmed Khalil. The killer’s name is Gutman. His car is a silver four-door of the German persuasion. When they search the car, they’ll find Khalil’s personal effects, and perhaps the murder weapon.
Leaving the phone booth Steele proceeds to Das Auto, conveniently parked across the street from the phone booth. He starts to plant the evidence (which seems to be Khalil’s purse?) …
… when he is rudely interrupted by a man with a gun and rather fetching gold bracelet. Steele plays dumb: he says he thought it was his car.
Hey, look! It’s Elevator Guy. The credits identify him as “Stakovsky.” Anyway, he ain’t buyin’ Steele’s story.
Just then his boss Gutman appears. He reminds Steele that he (Steele) called him (Gutman) and promised to give him the painting, but Gutman has been to Steele’s apartment and didn’t find the painting there. What gives?
Hm. I’m not sure I’m following this. So sometime during the night Steele phone Gutman (presumably having gotten his phone number/address from Felicia) and told him to meet him at his apartment, where he’d turn over the painting. But instead he came to Gutman’s place and waited until morning to try to plant the evidence in Gutman’s car? Whatever.
Gutman tells Steele they’re going to have a chat in a quieter place. He asks the detective to drive.
Steele would rather walk, but he’s flexible. Meanwhile …
… Laura and her mother have returned to the office. Abigail is worried about what Mr. Steele will think of his employee being a jailbird.
Laura’s gone into “ignore mom” mode. She asks Bernice if Murph is still out looking for Steele. Yep. And there’s someone from the museum here to see Laura.
She seems delighted!
Bernice is on her way to Steele’s apartment to see if he’s there. Laura tells her to check in every hour. Bernice can read the handwriting on the wall.
“If we don’t find him, that’s it for us, isn’t it?”
“You think he’s gone for good too?” Bernice says she’s not worried about herself – she only has a job to lose … the clear implication is that Laura stands to lose a lot more. Meanwhile, in Mr. Steele’s office …
… Felicia is drinking Kool-Aid? Sherry? Cranberry juice? Anyway, she’s tippling.
“Miss Simone!” Laura says. “Or should I call you Felicia?”
Felicia notes that Steele has obviously told Laura everything.
Laura concedes that Mr. Steele hasn’t told her EVERYTHING.
Felicia says she was looking for a blue ribbon cat fight, “but now there hardly seems much point in all that scratching and spitting.”
I don’t know … I’d kind of like to see it.
Felicia says she only blackmailed Steele because she needed his help to steal the painting; she would never have exposed him.
Let me take care of that for you, Felicia.
“You mean as Michael O’Leary,” Laura says.
“Oh, that’s not his REAL name,” Felicia teases.
Laura seems … interested in this information. “You know what it is?”
Nope. Apparently nobody does. “But if across some satin pillow he should tell you, I’ll expect a telegram. That much you can let me have,” Felicia says. (Not clear why Laura’s under any obligation to give this chick anything.)
“I don’t think you understand,” Laura demurs. “Ours is a pure-“
Felicia ain’t buyin’ it. “He stood me up to steal the painting with you.” Felicia is surprised; Laura doesn’t strike her as the guy’s type.”
“Me neither,” Laura acknowledges. Is she disappointed?
Meanwhile, back in the lobby …
… Abigail is making herself useful by manning the phones.
Mr. Steele on line 1! He seems … a bit turned around.
You might want to suggest Stakovsky keep his distance, Mr. Steele.
Mr. Steele is just hanging around, hoping to talk to Laura. Abigail tells him she’s in a meeting.
“Interrupt her.” (Kudos to Brosnan for this scene, which must have been genuinely uncomfortable.)
Abigail takes this opportunity to try to explain about Laura being in jail. She meant well! Mrs. Holt hopes Laura’s boss won’t be upset.
I’m afraid he’s already upset, Abigail. Mrs. Holt asks Steele if he knows how to work the phone system; what button should she push?
Gutman has had enough of the chitchat. He tells Steele to tell Abigail to bring the painting to 7249 Hammond Street.
Here is Hammond Street in Los Angeles!
Abigail is confused. Steele tries to tell her to warn Laura …
“You’ve already been clever enough for one day, Steele,” Gutman says. “Or are you in a rush to join Achmed Khalil?” He explains that Khalil had discovered Felicia wasn’t who she said she was and threatened to report her to the authorities. They couldn’t let him do that. (I wonder if Felicia knew about Khalil’s murder?)
Steele would love to continue this conversation … right side up.
For me, the most interesting part of this segment is the interaction between Laura and Felicia. They certainly played up the difference between them here: Laura is still relatively makeup free, looking very natural and a little vulnerable, while Felicia is made up to the gills and projects an attitude of casual insouciance. I wonder if she really is as indifferent to “Michael’s” relationship with Laura as she appears? It’s interesting that Steele has been operating solo since last night, trying to engineer the capture of Gutman on his own. Is it because he wants to prove to Laura he can do it – and that he was working in the service of the agency all along? Or is he reluctant to further involve her in a situation that is growing more dangerous by the minute?