We’re back at what may or may not be the Beverly Garland Hotel, circa 1982.
Laura and a now-nattily-dressed Mr. Steele arrive. Look! They’re wearing matching outfits!
Hm. Here’s what one psychotherapist says about couples who dress alike: “When couples dress similarly, it’s often because one of them has less confidence than the other. They fall into a copycat look which excuses them from finding their own identity.” Do you think this applies to Laura and Mr. Steele? Is Mr. Steele following Laura’s lead as a way of cementing his new identity?
The two detectives enter the building via a door that, strangely, isn’t locked this time.
They find their client counting his money. For a paranoid fugitive, he seems oddly unconcerned that his hotel door is standing wide open. The roses Laura gave him have opened up nicely.
“Mr. Shapiro, let me present Remington Steele,” Laura says. Shapiro seems unimpressed.
“Gornisht nit helfn.”
As Elise predicted, it appears it might be helpful to have a working knowledge of conversational Yiddish to fully appreciate this episode. Here’s a site with some instruction, for us goyim. Learn Yiddish Slang.
Based on their expressions, I think we can assume Laura and Steele are also goyim.
“It means, ‘nothing will help,'” Lawyer Phillips helpfully translates.
While Laura explains that Waldo Church contacted Mr. Steele, Mr. Steele is preoccupied with watching Barry. He is a fine specimen, Mr. Steele.
Here’s another gratuitous beefcake shot.
(Try not to drool too much over Dick Van Patten. That neckerchief is some kind of sexy.)
Shapiro wants to know if Steele’s got the bill of sale.
“Not quite,” he admits.
Shapiro wants one good reason why he shouldn’t hit the road to Rio.
The Road to Rio. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Paramount Pictures, 1947. Two inept vaudevillians stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter.
“Go on, sir,” Laura prompts. “Tell Mr. Shapiro why you urge him not to go to Brazil.”
“For one … the language barrier,” Steele suggests, no doubt wondering (as we all are) why Laura chose THIS moment to let him be the spokesman.
Shapiro says he’ll stop at Berlitz.
Steele tries again.
“A stagnant economy. Double-digit inflation.”
“So long as they can’t extradite me, I’ll make do.”
He’s a tough nut to crack, this Shapiro. One might even call him a farbissener. Oy! (I’m likely to get myself in trouble here …)
“Not worth the price,” Steele says, a little half-heartedly. Still, Laura declares he’s making a great deal of sense!
But Steele has an even better idea:
“On the other hand, a place like the Bahamas seems ideally suited for your needs,” Steele advises. I’m not sure Laura is on board with this idea!
Steele continues his pitch: “They speak the Queen’s English, there are a million tax shelters, all sorts of dummy corporations …”
Laura’s expression suggests there’s at least one dummy right here.
Steele backtracks. “On the other hand, you’d be admitting your guilt, be a fugitive for the rest of your life.”
“Of course, in the Bahamas, even a fugitive can live quite comfortably.” (Speaking from experience, Mr. Steele?)
Hunky Barry points out that Steele seems a little ambivalent here. Laura seems impressed by his insight!
There’s Mr. Steele, admiring Hunky Barry’s … exit … again. Meanwhile, Laura is still trying to save the case.
“What Mr. Steele means is, no matter how well you live, you can never be truly free,” she says.
Her impassioned plea has an effect. “I don’t know!” he kvetches. He abruptly walks out, followed – after a nudge from Laura – by Mr. Steele.
Now it’s Hunky Barry’s turn to ogle Steele. What’s going on here? Faygeleh? (Keri! Just.Stop.)
After Steele and Shapiro leave, Hunky Barry has a quiet word with Laura.
“Whether he stays or not, we’d better plan our next move.”
Hmmmm. This is curious; almost seems like Laura and Hunky Barry are in cahoots (a French, not a Yiddish term) about something.
Hunky Barry (HB) suggests they regroup over dinner. Somehow I don’t think he’s including Steele in this tete-a-tete (also French!).
Laura seems … interested. Nevertheless, she makes it a rule never to go out with clients.
HB points out he’s not a client. His client’s a client.
“An office seems more appropriate,” Laura purrs.
Presumably she means THIS office.
HB is disappointed that Laura doesn’t mix her business with a smidgen of pleasure.
“When I’m in the market for pleasure, Mr. Phillips, I want a lot more than a smidgen.”
Hunky Barry seems down wid it.
Just then Steele and Shapiro return. Shapiro’s decided the Steele Agency is too high class for this job. Steele looks like a trust fund guy. “Bed warmers, nannies, summers in the Alps.”
Steele wants to know if Shapiro is familiar with Brixton, in London. It’s the worst part of town. “Three quid gets you a night’s lodging and your throat cut. No jobs, no prospects, no hopes. Only two ways out: Get sent to the nick, or snuff it.”
Shapiro is impressed.
“I think I could love this man.” He agrees to give Steele a few days to produce the bill of sale; if he doesn’t, Steele promises to personally help him escape to the Bahamas.
“We all have special feelings for Mr. Steele,” Laura murmurs.
They share a Meaningful Look. (I’m verklempt!)
Shapiro offers to buy Steele a drink; they depart. Hunky Barry asks Laura if that stuff about Brixton was for real.
“I wish I could tell you.”
Wow, lots going on in this scene! We see Steele and Laura seemingly working as partners, but she inexplicably throws him under the bus by making him come up with reasons why Shapiro shouldn’t leave. What was her reasoning behind that? Did she really think he was glib enough to come up with a compelling argument? Or was she for some reason trying to put him in his place? There is certainly a heavy flirtation going on between Laura and Phillips, something Steele picks up on immediately. Steele seems to be sizing Phillips up – is it only because he sees him as a potential rival for Laura? Miss Holt seems VERY interested by the lawyer, which calls into question her attachment to Mr. Steele (and perhaps is another clue to where this episode should fit in the season). Is Laura really interested in Phillips? Is she trying to deny/distract herself from her attraction to Steele? Does she want to make Steele jealous? Let me know your thoghts!