As Mr. Steele prepares to make his move back at the office, we see Miss Holt doing the legwork on her case …
She strides purposefully into what we soon learn is a hotel.
Looks like a plush place!
At the front desk, Laura asks for the room number of one Buddy Shapiro. (Where have we heard that name before?) The hotel guy says no dice; they don’t hand out that information.
“Then could you get him on the phone?”
Nope. He’s not taking calls.
Laura presents her card. “I represent the Remington Steele Agency.”
“Glad to see you’re keeping busy,” he smirks. What a smug little toad. Mr. Toad tells Laura she can leave a message for her client.
She declines. Time for Plan B.
Laura stops by the in-lobby florist. She’d like to send a bouquet to one of their guests. Clever Laura is clever!
Detective Holt follows a kid in a high school band uniform carrying the box of flowers.
The kid’s a little lax on security, as Laura easily sneaks in the door behind him. Is this the same hotel that Meecham was staying at in “Tempered Steele”?
Hm. The doors are rather distinctive. Anyway …
Laura walks past the kid at the door, then stops and loiters while delivery boy knocks. Seriously, this youngster must be some kind of stoner not to notice her lurking in plain sight. Or more probably, he just doesn’t care.
A kind of skeevy looking guy answers the door. He is wearing a “Kowalski” undershirt.
Here are some other guys who wear this look better:
Laura makes her presence known. “I hope you like them, Mr. Shapiro. They cost the agency $45.” (That does seem high in 1982 dollars.)
“How’d you find me here?” a mystified Shapiro wants to know. Laura reminds him, it’s what she does for a living.
The scene cuts to sharp-chinned Barry Van Dyke, on the phone in the hotel room.
And here he is as a cowboy! Or a member of the Village People. It’s hard to tell. (Note: Barry doesn’t wear an undershirt.)
Laura greets Barry as “Mr. Phillips.” They seem to be acquainted.
Barry tells Shapiro his plane leaves for Rio at 8:15. Laura looks askance at this news.
“You’re his lawyer!” Laura says. “Can’t you talk some sense into him?”
Shapiro’s just spent 18 months in the slammer; he ain’t goin’ back.
Shapiro concedes he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life on the run. He’s got season tickets to the Dodgers. But … “Honey, I’m an ex-con. No matter how rehabilitated I am, when you boil away the chicken fat, that’s what’s left.”
That’s pretty … profound?
Shapiro laments that everybody – the cops, the D.A., even the guy on the street – thinks he’s guilty. (Guilty of WHAT?)
What ootzes (?) Shapiro the most is that anybody would think he’d deal in hot coins, when he was sent up for stock manipulation! (Ah. Now we know what he’s supposedly guilty of.)
“You bought those coins from James Rubio,” Laura reminds him. Once the Steele Agency smokes him out, Shapiro’s in the clear! Apparently Laura and Murph have been working this case for three weeks, and Shapiro’s tired of waiting. “We think he’s in San Francisco,” Laura says.
“Wonderful,” Shapiro notes. “If he shows up, give me a jingle … in Brazil.”
Not much to say about this very exposition-heavy scene. I did enjoy seeing a bit of how Laura works a case, and the tricks of her trade – she is no stranger to sneaky tactics, no matter how she frowns at Mr. Steele’s methods. One also gets the impression that none of the men Laura encounters in this scene have much respect for her; they all just kind of blow her off. Shapiro even calls her “honey.” Miss Holt really does have an uphill battle in a profession dominated by men. Your thoughts?