We left Mr. Steele apparently discovering an Important Clue.
Looks like the Clue is in black and white.
We’re in a theatre (Don’t tell me: it’s the Palace of Heaven), where the latest Japanese blockbuster is not playing. Instead, it’s some movie hardly anybody wants to see. Someone who DOES is the woman we last saw at Kenji Ito’s funeral.
We see someone sidle in after the opening credits. Why, it’s Mr. Steele!
He settles himself and has a look around. Looks like the floor may be sticky. Perhaps it’s a Japanese porn theatre?
We see the mystery lady looking around. Is she waiting for someone? Or just embarrassed to be in this seedy theatre?
Mystery Lady gets out and exited, followed by someone else …
… followed by Mr. Steele.
The Super Sleuth is hot on the trail of his quarry. But the quarry seems to be on to him.
Wait a second. That quarry looks vaguely familiar.
Perhaps inspired by their surroundings, the two men fall natural into a sumo wrestling hold.
As Steele’s assailant muscles him into the wall, recognition dawns.
“YOU!” (Interesting that Murph refuses to call him Mr. Steele.)
YOU! suggests that they let go of each other.
Not so fast. Murphy wants to know what Steele is doing there.
“Working on the case!”
Murphy ain’t buyin’ it.
“I mean the REAL reason.”
Mr. Steele gives his colleague a big ‘ol shove. He’s had enough!
“Well, it certainly wasn’t to be pummeled about the head and shoulders by you!”
“Somebody followed me down here,” Murphy explains, though he wasn’t asked.
“It looked the other way round from where I sat.”
“I got a good description of the girl from the funeral from Laura. I caught up with her an hour ago and I followed her here!” Murphy is still snapping and snarling.
Steele is skeptical.
“You located an Oriental girl down here from only Laura’s description?” Steele is also VERY VEHEMENT.
“You know, some of us do this for a living!” Murph growls.
“I’ll try and remember that,” Steele exclaims. “As it happened, I also remembered that the name of this theatre was called the Palace of Heaven.”
“Kenji Ito was murdered for something called the ‘Palace of Heaven’.”
Okay, guys. I think somebody put testosterone in your cornflakes this morning.
“Since when has this meant so much to you?” Murphy’s belligerent chin wants to know.
“Since I assumed the mantle of Remington Steele.”
“The mantle of Remington Steele?”
I begin to think Murphy is hoping to break into the kung-fu movie industry.
Steele launches into a motivational speech: “I’ve realized he’s more than one man, Murphy. He’s a team. You, Laura, Bernice, and me, of course. We’re all part of that team. We’re *all* Remington Steele. Together, who could stop us?”
Now, I say, we go after that girl- and see what she can tell us.”
Also, win one for the Gipper!
Murphy seems stunned by Steele’s eloquence. “I don’t know. She’s long gone. I think I’ll … call in.”
He pauses at the … curtain. “You know, for just a moment there, I had the feeling that we- ”
“Oh, no.” Murphy leaves.
Well, that was the most romantic moment I’ve seen all season.
After Murphy leaves, Mr. Steele rearranges his coif.
He finds a back door and exits …
… only to find himself cornered by his quarry. His real quarry this time. “I can’t run any more,” she says with very nearly as much inflection as our friend Mike – which is to say, none at all.
“I’m a little short of breath myself,” Steele remarks, eyeing the gun.
The girl says she knows he’s been following her, and advises him not to deny it.
“I know I am a dead woman. My mother told me, To love a Yakuza is to wish for an early grave.”
What? I thought you only risked your fingers by hangin’ with these guys. And unless you make your living as a concert pianist, that wouldn’t seem to be a death sentence.
“So it’s true. Kenji WAS Yakuza.”
“Don’t come any closer!”
“Look, with all respect to your mother, I’m not trying to harm you. Kenji’s death was a complete surprise to me. Caught his brother off guard as well.”
Mystery Lady don’t know nothin’ about no brother!
“His name’s Mike. Owns a restaurant on Tower Street.”
Oh, yeah. THAT brother.
“At the funeral. The man who came and sat in the back row,” she deduces.
Mr. Steele is surprisingly surprised to learn she was at the funeral, too. (Pretty sure Murphy already told you that, Steele. Pay attention.)
Mystery Lady says she arranged the funeral.
“I see. So you must have claimed the body too.”
Mr. Steele is pleased with himself.
“I really think we’re making progress here!”
Encouraged, Mr. Steele decides to pursue this line of questioning. “Now, tell me. This Palace of Heaven -”
Oh, dear. It seems that was the wrong thing to say.
The “Palace of Heaven’? I knew it. You are no different than the rest. Get back.”
Mystery Lady keeps Steele covered as she sidles toward the door …
… and is gone, leaving Mr. Steele to try to decipher the Japanese graffiti.
Well, this scene provides some exposition, or at least confirmation that Kenji was some kind of gangsta. It also provides some interesting interaction between Steele and Murphy. But frankly, I’m so put off by the bad acting all around (The actress is painful enough, but Pierce! James! Really!) that I don’t know what to say. Just .. ugh. I guess we do see that Mr. Steele has really come to see himself as part of something larger than himself – the Steele Agency and all it represents.