We left Laura and a young man observing the funeral of … somebody.
Laura still is concerned for the young man. “Mike … if there’s anything else I can do …”
Aha. His name is Mike. That’s a little surprising.
He tells her to wait and goes to the coffin.
Uh, oh. Looks like we have a funeral crasher! (Whoever could it be?)
Why, it’s an impeccably dressed Mr. Steele! He takes Laura’s hand in his. “Laura. What can I say? I came just as soon as I heard. Tell me. What it – someone very close to you?”
Laura looks … happy (?) … to see him. “What are you doing here?” she exclaims.
“A hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, whatever I can give. You mustn’t try and block your feelings,” he declares.
Laura is NOT comforted by his presence. “They’re not my feelings,” she explains, snatching back her hand. (Side note: Reminds me of Eaz’s observation about hand touching in the tag to the previous episode.)
Oh, and by the way, Mr. Seele: “Aren’t you supposed to be at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon right now?”
Turns out, Mr. Steele doesn’t like Chamber of Commerce luncheons. “Man can only doodle on his napkin for so long, Laura. The speeches were beginning to bore me to death.”
Oops. Not the place for gallows humor, Mr. Steele.
“That’s all right,” she reassures him. Anyway, Mr. Steele called Bernice, who mentioned something about a funeral, and naturally he assumed …
“Oh, naturally,” she agrees. Although we can’t see their hands (Hey! Film editor! What’s the dealio?), it appears to me as though Laura pats Steele’s hand at this point. She doesn’t seem irritated any more. Could it be that she realized Mr. Steele is doing a nice thing here? That’s he’s genuinely concerned about her sorrow? Or maybe she’s just sat through too many Chamber of Commerce lunches herself.
Mike is at the coffin. He says … something. Presumably in Japanese.
Laura fills Mr. Steele in on the case. “His brother from Japan called to say he was at the airport. But when Mike went to pick him up, he was gone. I told him I thought the police would probably be his best bet, but he sounded so worried, I thought the least I could do was make a few calls.” Thanks for the exposition, Laura!
“And?” Steele prompts.
“And I found him,” she says, nodding toward the coffin.
“Hit by a car. According to the report, he didn’t wait for the light and tried to run across traffic on Temple Street,” Laura expounds.
“And jaywalking claims another grim prize, eh?”
I’m going to assume Mr. Steele is referring to a local super-villain.
Laura tells Steele that’s all there is to it.
Then Mike returns. He is agitated. “I want to know who murdered my brother!” He dashes off.
Laura follows, giving Steele a chance to check out her caboose.
“But then again, on the other hand, one mustn’t jump to conclusions.”
Mike runs from the temple. That guy sitting at the bottom of the steps looks vaguely familiar …
Laura races after him! Steele races after her! And the sitting man gets up. Hey, it’s Fred the chauffeur. Long time no see, Fred!
The detectives come upon Mike fondling the top of the limo. “Mike, what are you talking about?” Laura asks.
Mike launches into a protracted soliloquoy: “Maybe you don’t have a brother who sent you money ever since you were ten! Who set you up in business! Who would drop his job and come running from Japan whenever you called!”
Actually, Laura may indeed have a brother. Remember when Abigail mentioned that Laura is her middle child?
Laura tries to assuage him. “I know this must be very difficult-“
“He didn’t even tell me he was planning a trip! And then he disappears at the airport. And then he’s dead!” Yada yada yada.
Laura points out that there’s absolutely nothing to suggest he was murdered. That doesn’t sit well with Mike.
“Look! You don’t want to take the case? I’ll find somebody to do it! Or I’ll do it myself!” He starts to stalk off …
… but Steele collars him. “Now just hold on, lad. You’ve just had a terrible shock. You’re hurt, outraged, desperately trying to find a way to fight back. Am I right?” (Sounds like Mr. Steele knows whereof he speaks!)
“Who are you?” Oh, Mike. Now you’ve miffed the famous Mr. Steele.
“Go on, Miss Holt, tell him who I am.”
Laura introduces him as Remington Steele himself!
Mike is not impressed. “So?”
“So, I’m personally going to review all the facts myself. But I won’t get very far with you crashing about now, will I?”
Mike says he just wants to find out what happened to his brother.
“So you shall, so you shall,” Steele assures him. “What say we all go some place quiet where you can give your grief a run for it’s money, eh?” Um, what does that even mean? In the background, Fred is getting bored with all this talk talk talk. (I kinda know the feeling, Fred.)
But Mike would rather be alone right now. Laura tells him to call if he needs anything. As he walks off, Laura’s expression becomes a little grim.
“Well, you did it to me again, didn’t you?”
Mr. Steele seems genuinely surprised. “I did?”
Okay, after an exposition-heavy few minutes, let’s hope the pace picks up a bit. I did enjoy Mr. Steele taking charge. I think he feels a connection with this distressed young man – and a chance to make things better. As he was with nebbishy Sheldon a few cases ago, Mr. Steele likes to be the hero for little guys in trouble. I think under those expensive suits, Mr. Steele, you have a rather soft heart.