We’ve finally reached the end of this episode, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. And by that, I mean:
We last left Laura and her protégé reflecting on the sad denouement of this case. Faced with such tragedy, what else is there to do?
Beat one’s head against a brick wall? Nope. That’s for US, the viewing public, to do to try to pound this episode’s lameness right out of our memories. What our intrepid detectives do is …
… eat raw fish. Well, Laura does. Steele seems a bit uncertain – though it’s possible his look of disapproval is actually for the ruffled neckline on Laura’s blouse.
Go ahead and judge me. I deserve it.
Steele wants to know who was buried in Kenji’s place. Laura explains.
“The Yakuza that Tenaka said was missing.”
“I see,” Steele says.
But I’m not sure he does.
.But Mr. Steele has even more questions. Isn’t he hungry?
“And Hamata? The driver of the car that hit him?”
“Craddock killed him. He was the big man with white hair that the old woman described to us when we went to see Hamata. Craddock thought he was Yakuza as well.”
So this U.S. military guy just randomly killed some guy because he assumed he was part of the Japanese mafia? I think you overstepped your authority, colonel.
Steele is horrified. Not by the senseless death of a blameless citizen, but by what Laura is putting into her mouth. Still, the apprentice detective is not without some compassion for the dead man.
“Another poor unfortunate, caught in the web of deception.”
Laura, on the other hand, is apparently entirely unmoved by the senseless death. She has more important matters to concern her.
“You know, you promised me you’d try at least one.”
Steele had hoped she wouldn’t remember that.
Laura informs him it’s all part of the training program. Really? I didn’t see that on the syllabus, Laura.
Steele is thinking of dropping out of detective school. “Actually, I’ve been feeling the urge to become a flashy front man again.”
Laura won’t take no for an answer: “It’s good for you,” she insists. “Pure protein. There’s tuna, sea bass, yellow tail -“
Steele steels himself.
“I suppose this doesn’t look too difficult,” he concedes. “What is it?”
“Octopus.” Oh, Laura. You led him to believe it was sea bass. That’s called bait and switch. Or in this case, bait and … bait.
Steele is disappointed in this phase of his education.
A bit of sake to wash it down (or in this case, out) with?
Mr. Steele decides to put into play one of the new detective-type methods he’s learned: diversion.
“I never finished telling you about the cat on the roof, did I?”
“You see, there were these two brothers, one of whom had a cat that he loved very much …”
Laura seems to think this is very funny.
A man left his cat with his brother while he went on vacation for a week. When he came back, he called his brother to see when he could pick the cat up. The brother hesitated, then said, “I’m so sorry, but while you were away, the cat died.”
The man was very upset and yelled, “You know, you could have broken the news to me better than that. When I called today, you could have said he was on the roof and wouldn’t come down. Then when I called the next day, you could have said that he had fallen off and the vet was working on patching him up. Then when I called the third day, you could have said he had passed away.”
The brother thought about it and apologized.
“So how’s Mom?” asked the man.
“She’s on the roof and won’t come down.”
Well, kids, that’s about it. I wish I could be more positive about this episode, but it stank from beginning to end. The interaction between Laura and Steele in this tag was cute, I guess, but it’s hard to believe that an epicure like Steele (spoiler alert!) is so repulsed by sushi. I’m sure he’s eaten a lot weirder things. It is pleasing that they are sharing this light-hearted moment together, though, even if the stage around them is littered with bodies. Questions remain: How much did they have to pay Keye Luke for two scenes? Was it so much that they couldn’t afford to pay any other actual Asian actors, so they had to pick people off the street to fill key roles in this production? What of the secret code? Did the detectives turn it over to the authorities? If so, what does that mean for Mike’s security? If not, what does that say about the Steele Agency’s integrity? One might expect the death of a high-ranking military official who apparently murdered an innocent citizen might attract some publicity. Will the agency be swept up in that scandal? Since the funds Mike has been relying on to start and keep his business going are dirty money, is he going to have to forfeit/pay it back? Was there any point/relevance to the episode title beyond that rather clunky scene of the Japanese guy reading the note into the phone? And finally, did Dickerson ever get his autograph?
The mind boggles.
In the end, I think we can agree that the following sums up “You’re Steele the One for Me”
Next up: In the Steele of the Night.