Monthly Archives: April 2015

In the Steele of the Night – 8

We left Laura and Mr. Steele about to have a palaver about the current situation.


Mr. Steele professes to be disgruntled. “I HATE working on the weekends.” (As if you ever have, Mr. Steele!). “But if I must, I must.” He shakes out a silk handkerchief and pops it in his breast pocket.

Laura pulls it out again. “I didn’t ask you to come up here!” Then, inexplicably, she puts the handkerchief back. Trying to show who’s boss, Laura? Or do you just want an excuse to feel up his bod?


“They’re your friends,” Steele notes.

“Do me a favor and keep that in mind.”

Laura seems to imply he’s not worth of her friends. I’m pretty sure if I brought someone like Mr. Steele to my reunion, I wouldn’t feel embarrassed. In fact, I think I’d be all …


Neener neener.


Steele is (justifiably) wounded. “You’re absolutely convinced that I’m going to go out there and make a fool of you.”

“Every one of those people out there is a TRAINED investigator!”


So was this guy. What’s your point?
“Laura, I understand your squeamishness, but the fact remains that they’ve asked me to oversee this investigation, and oversee it I must,” Steele tut-tuts. “It’s only until nightfall. And I have to believe that TWO bright people like us can fool even the finest investigators for that amount of time.”


That wink, tho!


Laura eloquently expresses her opinion of his assessment.


“Of course we can,” Steele continues.  “Just one question.”

He’s got yet another handkerchief. The man must have a separate bag for his accessories.


“Where should I begin?”


“What?”  He’s asking for your advice, Laura. You’re the true brains of this outfit, remember? At least, you’re always telling him that.


“It’s a simple question. Where should I begin? A starting point. Something to get the ball moving. Something to kind of keep them busy, impress them with my keen mind.”


“Ohhhhhhh.” Something tells me Laura has doubts about his keen mind. Either that, or she is about to sing the song of her people.




“Start with the last person to see the victim alive,” Laura advises.

Steele urges her to expound.

“The basic rule of detection. The last person to see the victim alive is either a superb witness or an excellent suspect.”


“Ohh. I like that.” (And I like that little smile, Mr. Steele.)


“You do, huh?” Laura parries. Steele turns away, ready to begin his mission!


Oh, dear. I think Laura may be feeling a little stressed.


Take a deep yoga breath, Laura.

I love Steele’s confidence as well as his acknowledgement that he’ll need her help here. He is sure he can bluff the group into believing he’s Sherlock Holmes, yet doesn’t expect to be able to actually solve the case on his own. I think he’s also looking forward to the opportunity to partner with Laura in this. And Laura is slightly amused by his chutzpah, despite herself.


Filed under Season 1

In the Steele of the Night – 7

We left Laura staring in shock at the corpse of the weekend’s host, lodged in his own elevator.



Looks like the rest of the Scooby gang is finally up and at ‘em.

“It’s a joke, right?” Sandy (who DOESN’T wear a robe) asks.


Yes, just the kind of whimsical office prank that makes working for a living worthwhile. Or not.

“His neck was broken,” says OOD.

“How poetic,” notes Carl. How so? OOD’s line didn’t even rhyme!

“Snapped in two,” Laura agrees. I wonder how she determined that. Did she jiggle his head from side to side?


Sandy is relieved to hear this. She points out that delicate little gals like herself and Laura aren’t the neck-snapping type.
OOD’s not buyin’ it. “Even a ninety pound weakling can break somebody’s neck if they know how.” Speaking from experience, Donald?

 randomalert Donald’s mention of a “97-lb. weakling” is a reference to the famous Charles Atlas comic book ads of the 1940s, in which the weakling in question gets sand kicked in his face at the beach, then uses Charles Atlas’s fitness regimen to become a REAL man.

Here’s the famous ad: Charles Atlas


Murphy takes his turn to fondle examine the body. His old buddy Killer Instinct Carl objects.
“What do you think you’re doing?”

Killer instincts maybe, Carl, But smarts? Not so much.

“I’m moving the body out of the elevator,” Murphy explains.
“You’re tampering with physical evidence,” Carl points out.
“I’m NOT tampering with it. I’m MOVING it.”
“Yeah? Well, I wish you wouldn’t.”
“Well, we can’t very well leave the body where it is, can we?”


Now, boys. Can’t we all be nice? There’s enough body here for everybody to play with!

Carl’s not into sharing.


“MURPHY! All of you. There’s been a murder committed here. Apparently by one of us. That body just might be our biggest and best clue. I for one think it’s bad form to have your best piece of evidence moved by a potential suspect.”


Hot-blooded Murphy isn’t going to take that kneeling down! He lunges for Carl, perhaps to demonstrate that even though he’s no 97-pound weakling, he still knows how to break a(nother) neck.


Donald intervenes. “How about if I move the body?” he suggests.

“Don’t you get it, Sherlock? We’re ALL suspects,” says Carl with a snarl.


Carl with a snarl. Now THAT’s poetry.

“I think that’s for the police to decide, don’t you?” Laura suggests.


Uh, oh. Don doesn’t dig that idea.

“Don’t you think you’re being a bit precipitous, Laura?” Donald asks.

“Precipitous?” Murphy repeats, probably not having any idea what that word means and assuming Donald has just impugned Laura’s virtue. “The man’s DEAD!”

Donald points out that the police will want to question all of them as suspects in the murder. Laura doesn’t care. “That’s only a problem if you’re guilty.”

“Oh, that’s a lot of garbage,” Donald counters. He reminds them that a detective being a suspect in a murder is bad for business.

Sandy’s got other concerns.


“Robin and the kids don’t know where I am. I didn’t tell them I was coming here.” It’s a “marital thing,” she says, and she’s not eager to phone hubby from the police station.

Fortunately, Donald has a plan!

“What I’d like to propose is that WE investigate the murder.” He suggests a time limit: until nightfall.

The others detect a potential problem here. “US investigate US? That’s NEVER gonna work!” Murphy blusters.


“Murphy’s right,” Laura agrees. “We can’t even decide who’s going to move the body! How are we going to investigate a murder with the murderer still running around, probably planting false clues, destroying evidence?”

Well, there is ONE possibility …


“Now, the only way this would ever work would be if there was somebody on the outside, somebody with no axe to grind. Didn’t know Alan, somebody we could trust. Somebody …”

Murphy, sensing where she’s going with this, isn’t pleased.


Oops. “Forget that last thought-.” Laura backtracks.

“Please,” Murphy begs.

“Mr. Steele?” Sandy suggests.




Murphy and Laura are doubtful, but the rest of the gang seems to think that’s a fine idea!


Well, speak of the devil! You’re looking particularly natty this morning, Mr. Steele.
“Morning! Morning, morning, morning!” Perhaps assuming everyone has been waiting for him to go down to breakfast, Mr. S heads for the elevator. “My goodness, did I sleep soundly,” he blathers. “Country air, I’ll wager. Sound sleep like that always makes me feel hungry. You know what I could go for? Large country breakfast. Hot cakes, sausages …”


What’s this? It seems the elevator car is already occupied.


Steele takes a closer look.


“The man has been murdered,” Laura explains.
Even an apprentice master detective can see that. And a good con man knows when to put distance between himself and the scene of the crime.


“I think I’ll take the stairs.”

Laura grabs his arm. “Mr. Steele. Sir, sir, SIR.” (Oh, that must have hurt.) “May I have a word with you?”
They sidle away …

I wonder why everyone assumes Mr. Steele can’t be the murderer? As an “outsider,” one might think he’d be the most suspicious. However, Laura’s comment about Alan’s former coworkers having axes to grind suggests it isn’t only Carl who had a beef with the dead man. I wonder what the others’ complaints are against good ‘ol Alan?


Filed under Season 1

In the Steele of the Night – 6

Note: Sorry for the infrequency of posts this week. I’m dog-sitting away from home and don’t have my computer with me. D’oh! Anyway …


It’s morning at Alan’s palatial estate. Do you suppose the phallic evergreens are supposed to be some kind of metaphor? Or have I just gone too long without a date? But I digress.


Laura is asleep in a fairly ornate bed. Alone. Guess Steele had to find his own digs for the night.


Our detective’s blissful slumber is interrupted by a persistent whooshing sound. She tries to muffle it with a pillow. Or maybe she just needs something to hug. Mr. Steele would be happy to help you out with that, Laura.


Laura is wearing a pretty satin nightie, by the way. With lace! Not the sporty pajama set I would have expected from her.


Finally she gives up trying to sleep. Rising from her bed with perfect hair, she pauses to put on her robe.

randomalert People in movies/TV shows always have a conveniently located robe to slip into. Grace Kelly complained, while filming “Dial M for Murder” that no woman who heard an intruder in her home would stop to put on a robe before investigating. I’m inclined to concur.


Laura opens the door and takes a listen. Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

Whatever can it be?


She slowly makes her way into the hall to investigate, passing an image of her fabulous self in a mirror. This must be significant. But I don’t know why.


She rounds a corner and observes …


… something that causes her to look puzzled. In a beautiful, slightly tousled sort of way.


Oh, it’s just that fancy-schmancy elevator that OOD was so impressed by. Guess it’s stuck or something. I wonder why?


Laura lowers her gaze slightly …


Good heavens! She sees something that alarms her. In an eyebrows-perfectly-plucked sort of way.


Yikes! There’s an arm sticking out of the elevator door. In a perfectly manicured sort of way. Whose arm is it?


It’s Alan! And he seems to be dead! In a crunched-up-in-the-elevator sort of way.

Well! Finally a crime to solve. What happened to Alan? Why was Laura the only one disturbed by the whooshing elevator? And how does Miss Holt keep her complexion so nice when she wears make up to bed?



Filed under Uncategorized

In the Steele of the Night – 5

Back in the drawing room (or perhaps the mortuary waiting room, given the floral sprays and urns decorating the place) …

propreitary alan

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.


Hello, Pooh!


“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.


spoileralert emoticonSpoiler 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.


randomalertThat_s_incredible_1980-show “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?

spoileralert emoticonYes. 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?”

“You mean-”
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?


Filed under Season 1

In the Steele of the Night – 4

We left Carl OOG reminding (warning?) Laura of his killer instinct – something that he averred she shares.

Some time later, presumably …


Alan fills an enormous brandy snifter that he’s about to … snift? He poses a challenge to his former colleagues.


“Best murder. A man gets on the elevator on the tenth floor. He’s all alone. It’s an express. The elevator doesn’t stop again until the third floor. When the doors open, he’s dead. What happened?”

Well! This is indeed a puzzle.


At last! The game is afoot!


OOG begins the interrogation. (Is that a funeral spray in back of Alan?)

“It didn’t go down to the basement and then back up to the third floor?” Carl asks.



“There was no one else on the elevator?” OOD, whose name is apparently Donald. Which still makes him OOD – Obligatory Office Donald. (Now Alan is standing between what appears to be two funeral urns. Whatever can it mean?)

“No,” says Alan.


This, by the way, is an actual OOD. They are servile and irritating … and can be treacherous. Hm. Like another OOD we know?

Sandy asks, “It hasn’t stopped?”

Murphy, a methodical sort, reviews the salient details before offering his solution. “It went from the tenth floor to the third floor, no stops, no people. Was he poisoned?”
Nopey. “Not poisoned.”

Laura snaps her fingers. By George, I think she’s got it!

“But he WAS murdered.”

Um … that’s not really a solution, Laura. We already knew that part. Try to keep up.


“THAT is the name of the game,” Alan says, looking a little creepy.


Okay, a LOT creepy.

Suddenly – actually, not suddenly enough; it looks like the sound effect was slightly off – there’s a knock at the door. “Would someone get that, please?”

Laura, perhaps contemplating a new career as a high-kicking Radio City Music Hall dancer (the girl is nimble!) springs into action, ready to serve. (Interesting how she adopts this role, essentially obeying Alan’s orders … perhaps unconsciously trying to “look good” in his eyes?)


Sandy’s not interested in Alan’s good opinion of her. “Alan, come on. That’s not fair,” she whines. “Now you’re supposed to tell us how the murder was committed.”
“A little self control, Sandy,” he says. “I promise I won’t let you go home without the answer.”

We cut to Laura arriving at the imposing wooden door. Hard knocks are heard from the other side. Oh, look! There’s a tiny little door inside the big door. Laura, apparently fearing a vacuum salesman or Jehovah’s Witness has come to call, decides to take a little peek first.


Oh, dear. “Hope I’m not late,” says the late Mr. Steele.
I’m not sure Laura is happy to see him!

But she knows he’ll just stand there, with his nose pressed up against the window like a puppy, if she doesn’t shoo him away.


She opens the little door again. “What are you doing here?” she demands.

He waves the envelope in her direction. “I was invited.”

Can’t argue with that. Laura lets him in.


“Where did you get that?” Laura asks peevishly.
“You’re not the only sleuth around here, you know.” Mr. Steele tugs at his cuffs – a nervous gesture? Or a cocky one?

I think Laura would argue that she IS the only sleuth around here – the only one standing in the foyer, anyway.

“My wastebasket,” she deduces. (Wait. Didn’t we see Mr. Steele pull it out of his desk drawer?)


A little confused, now.


Despite her apparent irritation, she gamely takes his arm.

We hear Alan from the other room: “Laura, who is it?”


“So you know that trick as well, do you?” Mr. Steele goads. Is he reminding her that she is, in her way, as big a con artist as he is? He steps away from her and heads in the direction from whence Alan’s voice came.


Buckle your seatbelt, Laura. It’s going to be a bumpy night!



Filed under Season 1

In the Steele of the Night – 3

We left Murphy frowning in OOG’s room, wondering what good ‘ol Carl was doing with a gun in his suitcase. Presumably he will rush to tell Laura of his find and they’ll investigate further, right?


Guess not. Seems our Murphy has been making time with another girl – the blonde from earlier, who appears slightly damp. Oh, fickle Murphy.


Just like a man.


“So how are you doin’, Murphy?” OOB asks.

“Fair to middlin’,” he admits. (Not exactly bursting with joy about his life, is he?) “And you?”

“Okay. I’m married, kids … you know”

“Yeah,” he says. “Did I ever meet the guy you finally married?”
So Murphy knows what this chick has been up to, but had no idea that Alan was super-rich? “Finally married” suggests that our girl OOB was a playah back in the day.

OOB discloses that Murphy is the one who introduced her to hubby. He IS surprised at this. Murphy seems to be leaning into OOB’s personal space here. Is he making his move?

“Yeah. You were working at the agency … I don’t know …maybe a year?” she explains.  “You pulled a divorce case. A Mrs. Robin Maxwell. Convinced her husband was doing the dirty deed outside of marriage. He WAS guilty; you did catch him.”

I hate to stereotype, but this gal doesn’t strike me as the detective type. Was the she receptionist?

“Anyway, the next day, he came to the office,” OOB continues. “Pleaded with us not to give our information to his wife. You were working on something else, so I took the meeting. I told this guy my hands were tied. He tried to buy me with dinner that night.”

Murphy wonders so what. So do I.


“It worked,” she tells him.

“Ah, Sandy.” Turns out Sandy was not the receptionist, but rather the Obligatory Office Gold-digger. Sorry, Sandy. We already have an OOG. Maybe the OOH? (Obligatory Office ‘Ho?).


Oh, snap!

“Love is strange,” Sandy says.

So is this scene. What’s the point?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch on the veranda …


… Laura has changed into a high-necked blouse and pinned her hair up. It’s 19th century chic!


And here she is in casual wear, for hanging around the pool. (Is that Fred?)


She observes Murphy and OOH. Is she jealous?


Doesn’t seem like it. Maybe she’s happy that her good pal Murph is likely to get some this weekend.

Wait, what’s this? It’s OOG – sneaking up on our Laura?


“What do you think they’re talking about?” OOG inquires. Laura is only a little startled.

But Laura’s not even a little interested in guessing games.
“It’s been a long day, Carl. I’m tired – I don’t wanna play detective.”


Turns out she doesn’t have to. Carl has all the answers already.

“They’re talking about missed opportunities. That’s what reunions are about, right? What if I had worked harder, what if I had been a little nicer – what if I, what if I, what if I. Right about now they’re saying, ‘What if I had noticed you when we were working together at Havenhurst?'”

Well, actually they’re not saying any of these things. But good try, Carl.


Laura is fascinated by his insight.

Carl doesn’t take the hint. “Fools like that never remember.”


Wait. Is he calling Murphy a fool? Guess that makes Mr. Michaels the OOF.



OOG continues: “He never looked at her because he was always looking at you. And she never gave him the time of day. The only guy she wanted to know about was Alan.”

Laura’s still looking toward her colleague and his new squeeze. She doesn’t seem to react to Carl’s revelation that Murphy was interested in her all the way back to Havenhurst. Is it because she already knows? Is Carl trying to subtly suggest that Laura wasn’t very observant while back at Havenhurst, either?

Anyway, Carl’s tired of carrying this conversation by himself.

“Say something, Holt.”


“Huh?” She seems to be thinking about something else. I wonder what? Murphy … Alan …



… or someone else?

“You never talked to me. Never. Not back at Havenhurst. Not now.” Oh, dear. Something tells me Carl would designate Laura the OOB(eyatch).
“I’m sorry.”

Pretty sure she’s not, really.

“You know, we’re a lot alike,” Carl persists.


Laura seems skeptical. Or about to suck out Carl’s liver. She reminds me of one of my favorite X File creatures here:


Fluke Man!

Carl isn’t scared. “Sure. Alan’s got a big house, Sandy’s got a rich husband, but you and me, we got something better.”

And what is that, Carl?


“Killer instinct.”


Oooh, Carl is starting to look suspicious, isn’t he. But perhaps he’s a red herring. Of course, there hasn’t actually been a crime. The contrast between Sandy and Laura is interesting: Sandy is almost bare (and reveals much about herself to Murphy), while Laura is covered up, both physically and emotionally. Something tells me Laura is uncomfortable being among these colleagues again. Perhaps the energetic, confident Laura we know finds herself slipping back into an old, mousey, subordinate role she played at Havenhurst?


Filed under Season 1