We left Mr. Steele wondering what kind of U&D plan they were planning.
And now we know: “Unexpected and Daring.”
Murphy still doesn’t approve.
“Of this … or me?” the always perceptive Steele inquires.
Murph’s not going there.
“Don’t ask me questions like that, okay?”
Could it be our Murphy is feeling a little conflicted about his old nemesis?
Mr. Steele persists. “You know, it’s not that I don’t enjoy our frequent altercations, but since we’re stuck with each other, we might try some activity to close the gap.”
Again we see that Steele is uncomfortable being disliked by anyone, even Murphy.
Murphy isn’t interested in making new friends. “We don’t have very much in common.”
“There must be something,” Steele prods. “What is it you like to do on a brisk Sunday afternoon?”
Murphy looks slightly uneasy about what Mr. Steele is intimating.
More of this, perhaps?
Now Murphy seems intrigued, in a creepy sort of way.
“Sure. I can just see you slapping on some cut offs and shooting some hoops.”
“There? You see? I love the hunt,” protests Steele. “But I don’t recall ever shooting a hoop before. Is it a very large animal?”
Now, I don’t for a minute believe Mr. Steele thought Murphy was talking about a shooting sport. Is he making a joke here, or trying to emphasize that he’s an upper crust type, worthy of the identity of the urbane Remington Steele?
It doesn’t matter. Murph’s done having this conversation.
“Come on,” he says. “It’s time.”
We cut to a random guy smoking a cigarette. Smoking Man? Nope. Just a poser.
Suddenly we see Mr. Steele running down the alley toward him. My, he’s a lithe fellow, isn’t he. Of course, black is very slimming.
“Thank God you’re here,” our hero gasps. “I thought I’d never get away in time.”
“Oh, I couldn’t agree more. But he’s the one to reckon with.”
POW! It’s Murphy’s fist of
I have to say, Murphy is a stealthy devil to be able to creep up on the baddie from the side without him noticing.
“Nice shot, old chap!” Steele says. Again with the British stereotypical talk? I expect he’ll suggest crumpets at tea time next, eh what?
Jolly good show, old boy!
Steele turns to initiate Phase 2 of Plan U&D.
Wait a second: The black leather jacket. he slicked back hair. The arrogant pose. What does he remind me of?
I believe this episode has officially jumped the shark.
Steele is met by a mysterious figure in a big, red cape. Well, THAT won’t attract attention.
“You’ll see he’s well secured?” he hisses to Murphy.
“Don’t worry,” Murphy answers. Looks like our boy is getting left out of the action again.
Mr. Steele guides his companion up the stairs. That hand on her back looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t it?
We next see Steele creeping into a narrow passageway. We know it’s in a theatre, because of the film cans stacked up on the random crates.
Oh, look. Mr. Steele’s friend is with him. Steele crouches next to a rice paper panel.
We can tell by his sneaky look that Mr. Steele is up to something.
Oh, looks like he’s just going to scribble some graffiti on Tenaka’s wall. That’ll teach him!
He made a hole! Tagging is one thing, Mr. Steele, but this is malicious vandalism!
Mr. Steele looks through the peephole he’s made.
Not much going on there … he moves on to the next panel, makes another hole.
Random guys raucously playing a game while a traditionally dressed lady plays some stringed instrument. Nothing unusual about that.
Try again, Mr. Steele.
Next panel. Well, lookee here. More random guys playing raucous games. What kind of theatre is this? But there’s our man Mike, looking
This is the place! Mr. Steele offers a series of elaborate hand signals to the geisha down the hall.
Look who’s back!
The geisha slips around the corner and takes off the cape.
She finds the tea set.
Wait a second. That’s no geisha! That sly look gives it away. It’s our Laura.
She knees and reaches into the pocket of her kimono. (Who knew kimonos had pockets?)
She drops some powder into the tea. Probably some of that leftover stuff that Mrs. Dillon used to kill Mr. Steele’s pal in “Tempered Steele.” Turnabout is fair play, I guess.
Meanwhile, Steele is still peeping.
Laura brings her tray into the room with the good old boys. Mike Ito makes a conveniently passive prisoner, don’t you think?
She sets the tea down near Mike, who reaches for a cup of poisoned tea. Didn’t they tell you, prisoners don’t get tea?
Laura takes the cup away from him.
He snatches it again. Let him drink it, Laura. Please. Let.Him.Drink.It.
Finally Laura gives her client a meaningful look.
He responds with his typical subtlety.
Laura encourages Mike to keep his mouth shut.
She casts a wily eye at the men playing the game. Fortunately, nobody notices this weird little Kabuki scene going on in the back of the room.
Except for Steele.
Laura serves the tea to the guys.
One of the guys turns and snarls something at her.
Laura bows respectfully.
Bad Guy begins to be suspicious. He shouts some more. She bows again.
Sensing this may not end well, Mr. Steele prepares to act.
Suddenly Mike springs into action, more or less. “Get moving! I want some sake, too! What are you, deaf?”
Fortunately, the bad guys seem to accept that the geisha lady in the traditional garb understands English, even spoken in as garbled a tone as Mike’s, and that prisoners typically demand to be treated like their captors. They laugh hysterically and inexplicably.
Mr. Steele seems to find this all as implausible as I do.
Mike seems happy, at least. Nothing suspicious about the prisoner grinning from ear to ear.
Laura makes her exit and breathes a sigh of relief.
Some time passes, it seems. Looks like someone doesn’t care for Laura’s blend of tea.
Two of the guys seem a little bored with the game.
Oopsie daisy. They all fell down. Except the guy who didn’t drink the tea.
He positions himself conveniently close to the rice paper panel and sniffs the tea.
Suddenly a pair of arms bursts through the panel and begin to throttle him!
It’s Mr. Steele, managing to subdue the baddie without even being able to see him.
I hope Tenaka had plans to redecorate.
Displaying the keen focus and catlike reflexes that have been his hallmark, Mike Ito finally notices what is going on.
He joins the fray. I guess. It’s really hard to see what he’s doing.
And here comes Laura with a lethal teapot in hand!
Crash! Add “priceless Ming tea service” to the list of expenses on this case. Hope Mike’s Sushi restaurant has a high profit margin. Laura’s going to be passing along these costs.
Bad guy go boom.
Steele invites Laura and Mike to join him in the passageway.
They make their way back from whence they came.
Out the door and down the stairs.
Here comes Murph in the Rabbit! He’s got the top done. Must have been cruising for chicks while Laura and Steele were on the case.
They clamber into the getaway car … and get away.
Mr. Steele seems to be the point man in this operation. He sets up the distraction that allows Murphy to cold cock the guard, he orders Murphy to “secure” the baddie, he leads the way in the passageway and does all the peeping. I have to wonder if it were Steele who came up with the particulars of this gambit – the disguises, the knock out powder, the sneaky creeping around behind the scenes. Steele is in his element in this situation. He feels confident and in charge. This episode, lame as it is, does have some interesting points to make about issues of control and teamwork.