Oh, dear. It looks like some buddy is having another very bad day.
The jail cell clangs shut again on a very disappointed Buddy Shapiro.
“Why do I keep listening to you?” he demands of Steele. “Before I was only looking at five years. Now, it’s murder!”
Just then Hunky Barry’s chin arrives, a full three seconds before the rest of him. The attorney tells his client that the gun that killed Rubio was traced back to him.
Buddy insists he only keeps the gun for protection, and hasn’t seen it for weeks. Laura has bad news: Buddy’s fingerprints were the only ones on the gun.
Buddy, perhaps hoping to beat the death penalty by dying of cancer first, lights up a ciggie. Pretty sure they don’t let you do that any more.
Mr. Steele commiserates with Buddy’s position, which is clearly disquieting. Meanwhile, Hunky Barry and Laura grab 40 winks. Too much excitement at the arcade last night?
Mr. Steele promises Buddy that he’ll do everything in this power-
“Please, no more help! I don’t think I could survive it.”
Chastened, the detectives and the lawyer take their leave.
The scene cuts back to the Steele offices …
.. where a casually dressed Murphy slouches in the doorway of the executive office. He knocks on the open door.
Mr. Steele is at his desk … working? He certainly seems absorbed in some kind of paperwork.
The detective’s shirt is open partway, revealing his hairy chest and a flash of gold.
Have I already mentioned in this blog that the disk Steele wears around his neck is actually the back of a wristwatch that belonged to Pierce Brosnan’s grandmother? It is his only memento of the woman who raised him for several years when his mother went to London to study nursing.
Mr. Steele gets to his feet and performs an action that many fangirls might wish to emulate. “I appreciate your timely response, Murphy,” he says.
Murphy explains that he’s willing to run a few red lights for the satisfaction of hearing Steele ask for his help.
Note that both men have their hands in their pockets here. What do you suppose THAT is about?
Steele pours them both a cup of coffee from an apparently cordless coffee maker on the coffee table.
It seems the former con man is in a confessional mood: “I realize we haven’t exactly been best of chums since I arrived on the scene,” he notes. “You’ve been rather mistrustful of me. Perhaps with some justification. I’ll admit that my past is a little obscure, and there have been times when I’ve taken advantage of my situation here, overspent some of the agency’s funds on occasion, intruded in areas where I didn’t belong on others.”
Murphy takes a seat.
Steele displays his seat. (You’re welcome.)
“Is that a-fair recital of my deficiencies?”
Murphy couldn’t have said it better himself … though he’s tried a few times.
Steele is delighted by Murphy’s witty banter. He points out that he and Murph have one small point of common ground:
“Laura,” Steele says. “We both care very deeply for her.”
“She’s a very special lady,” Murph agrees.
“And neither one of us wants to see her hurt or misused.”
Murphy says the only person he’s worried about on that score is Steele himself.
“Are you aware that she’s involved with Creighton Phillips?” Steele asks.
“Am I ever.”
Steele wants Murphy’s assessment of Hunky Barry.
“He seems like an all right guy,” Mr. Michaels responds, not very convincingly.
“I took the liberty of doing some checking on Mr. Phillips. Did you know that he and James Rubio were classmates at Harvard, until Rubio was expelled for cheating?
Murphy makes a little steeple of his fingers. This signals that he is intrigued!
Steele continues: “And that rather than turning down a partnership in his law firm he was passed over for one?”
Oh, ho! It appears that Mr. Phillips has not been entirely honest. Oh, Hunky Barry. I’m disappointed.
“Perhaps that’s why he’s starting his own practice,” Murph suggests.
Steele seems pained at the thought. He does some quick calculations. “In a suite of offices that go for twenty four dollars a square foot? Which runs out to $240,000 a year in rent alone?” He notes that doesn’t square with Hunky Barry’s professed concern for the poor and oppressed.
“So he’s not what he appears to be,” Murphy says coyly. He’s familiar with the type. He doesn’t see what this has to do with Laura getting hurt.
“Whoever set Buddy up with those stolen coins wanted him returned to prison badly enough to kill the two people that could prove he was innocent.”
Murph isn’t tracking why HB would want his own client locked up in the pen.
“The motive eludes me at the moment. But the thought of Laura cheek to jowl with a possible murderer gives me the chills.”
Murph still isn’t on board. “No motive, no witnesses, no hard evidence. You’ve got a hell of a case.”
“I have a plan.”
Now MURPHY has the chills!
This scene of male bonding between rivals is an interesting contrast to the previous scene between Steele and Phillips. For all their needling of one another, both Steele and Murphy recognize that each truly cares about Laura, and they can unite – albeit briefly – in protecting her. I was startled by Steele’s admission that he “cares very deeply” for Laura. That suggests a stronger investment in their relationship than he has previously been willing to concede. Your thoughts?