Back in the drawing room (or perhaps the mortuary waiting room, given the floral sprays and urns decorating the place) …
Alan welcomes his new guest with a challenge: “Mr. Steele. We were just playing best murder. It would be an honor if you’d contribute one.”
What’s up with his hand on Laura’s shoulder? I think Laura looks uncomfortable.
Laura does NOT think that is a good idea. “Alan, Mr. Steele’s been traveling all day.”
Hm. Looks fresh as a daisy to me.
“Nonsense! Polar flights are second nature to me,” Steele pooh-poohs. Polar? Guess global warming hadn’t made it to Marseille by 1982. Either that, or Laura didn’t have time to brief Mr. Steele on where he’s supposed to have been.
“Good. Then it’s your murder,” Alan prompts.
Oh, dear. Laura seems a little unsettled (or thirsty).
“A murder. Yes … well …”
“So many to choose from.”
Keep tap dancing, Mr. Steele!
“In the morning,” Laura exclaims … exuberantly. “When your head is clear and I’ve had a chance to brief you on the business of the day–”
Based on the private eye code we learned in the last episode, Mr. Steele, I believe this is a K.Y.D.M.S. situation: Keep Your Damned Mouth Shut.
“Nonsense, dear. Nonsense,” Mr. Steele pooh-poohs again.
“Ah, yes. Here’s one. It was a hot day in July. I was called to the house of a wealthy industrialist by his wife.
We see Steele’s audience listening intently as he continues: “She met me at the front door of the residence …”
Hm. Carl doesn’t seem so impressed. Steel continues. “She escorted me into the study. And there, lying on the floor, was her husband. Quite dead. Shot, actually.”
Alan seems disappointed. “THAT is your best murder?”
Hey, pal. Give him credit for guessing what this game is even about.
Laura is kind of throwing the booze back at this point.
Spoiler alert: In the not distant future, we’ll hear Laura aver that she’s only had two drinks in 27 years. Well, I suppose this qualifies as one BIG drink.
“It certainly is,” Steele continues.
Your colleagues don’t remember that case, Mr. Steele. He presses on: “For ballistic tests conducted several days later proved that the path of the bullet began INSIDE the industrialist’s chest and traveled outwards.”
NOW Alan is impressed. “The bullet travelled from his insides-out?”
“And since it is essential that a suspect be placed at the scene of the crime, and since it is difficult if not impossible to prove that someone fired the fatal shot from INSIDE the man’s chest …”
Laura is feeling woozy. “I think I’ve had too much to drink.”
“Yes, I would call that a best murder,” the detective concludes.
Murphy doesn’t think he’s had ENOUGH to drink.
Easily remedied, Murph!
“That is incredible,” Alan says.
“That’s Incredible!” was a 1980 “reality” series hosted by John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby and Fran Tarkenton (!). It was a spin-off from “Real People.”
Now Alan wants the answer to this perplexing case.
“The answer …”
Yes, Mr. Steele?
“The answer. Well, it seems to me that a great murder, like a great wine, should be savored.”
Uh-huh. Some wines take decades to mature into “great.” Is this like one of those, Mr. Steele?
“Take the night – or the weekend for that matter.”
“Allow it to sink into your thoughts, invade your dreams. Consider it. Ponder it.”
“And then, if the answer is not obvious to you …”
He trails off and sits down next to Laura.
“I’m very glad you came, Mr. Steele,” Alan smiles. “You’re going to add a great deal to this weekend.”
“That’s our Mr. Steele. The life of the party.” Have you ever partied with Mr. Steele, Laura? Have you ever partied with anyone?
Yes. She has.
Steele gives her an affectionate pat on the back. A little proprietary, sir. Much like Alan earlier. Is this shaping up to be a macho contest, with Laura as the “prize”?
Alan’s suddenly ready to go to bed and “ponder” (Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)
He and the crowd get up to leave.
Mr. Steele sticks close to Laura. Perhaps he figures they’ll bunk together?
Strangely, Carl and Alan linger behind. I thought you were tired, Alan.
Laura and Steele also dawdle. Mr. Steele seems to be casing the joint. The delay allows Laura to make a move on her boss.
She grabs him and pushes him up against a pillar. To ravish him? He seems amenable.
Alas, no. To snarl at him. “The bullet traveled from INSIDE his body OUT?”
I don’t think she buys your story, Mr. S!
“Fascinating, isn’t it?”
This guy seems to think so.
“What movie is it from?” Laura demands. Oh, she knows you so well. Or at least she thinks she does!
Steele is wounded. “Laura. Do you I’d risk embarrassing you in front of all your friends by stealing a murder from a movie? What if someone else had seen it?”
Yep. He made it up.
Before Laura can congratulate him on his cleverness tell him what a fool he is, an argument breaks out downstairs.
“It’s a question of honor, Alan,” OOG is growling at their host. “You made promises. You didn’t keep them!”
“Carl, you were MEANT to be used. You ask for it. You’d be disappointed if someone like me DIDN’T take advantage of you.”
Well, gee. That’s not very nice. Apparently Alan doesn’t know about Carl’s killer instincts!
The rest of the Scooby gang has reassembled at the top of the stairs to watch the show.
Everybody loves a good drama.
Laura and Steele eyeball the crowd. Isn’t it cute how they act in unison? Meanwhile, at the bottom of the stairs…
“Four years is a lot of time to wait for restitution, Alan. A lot of anger builds up. So don’t push me!” Carl heads for the stairs.
Well. That went well, don’t you think?