Steele Trap – 18

We left Laura in temporarily eternal repose.

lauraoutofposition

However, it appears she has forgotten that corpses don’t move.

zombies

I stand corrected. Anyway … we hear Madge at the piano as Laura dozes.

turningdoorknob

Suddenly we see the handle of the door turning. Could it be Mr. Steele, sneaking in for a tryst?

blinksawake

Laura stirs. Presumably she also assumes it’s Mr. Steele, as she makes not move to resume her funereal pose.

dooropening

The door opens a crack …

buttofagun

Is that a gun, Mr. Steele, or are you just glad to see her?

idontgetit

Sorry, Bruce. It was a lame joke.

fasternthanaspeedingbullet

Laura is aroused (tee hee) by the sight of the long barrel of the gun.

anothershot

She rolls out of the way just as a shot rings out!

deadpillow

And the killer claims another victim.  RIP, satin pillow.

sadkitty

So.Much.Sad.

steeletotherescue

Hearing the shot, Steele races to the rescue.

reunion

He meets an undead Laura in the hallway. “Somebody else saw the movie!” she informs him.

didIhearashot

“Did I hear a shot?” Steele wants to know.

Either that, or that franks and beans dinner has affected someone’s digestive system in a big way.

stinkysmell

Hey. It’s perfectly natural. But that’s not it.

sizeofDetroit

“I hope so,” Laura says, “because there’s a bullet hole in my pillow the size of Detroit.”
yournotdead
Just then Randi appears, dressed for action.

personalhygiene

She’s joined by Dominic, who is surprisingly fastidious about his hygiene for a pornographer.”Miss Groggins!” Randi says. “You’re not dead!”

nomissgrogginsisnot

Mr. Steele concedes the lady is very much alive. Then he drops a bombshell: “In fact, Miss Groggins is not Miss Groggins.”

alsonotmissgroggins

“She’s Laura Holt, my most able assistant, from the detective agency which bears my name:”

bearsmyname

“Remington Steele.”

perhapsyouveheardofme

“Perhaps you’ve heard of me.”

noey

Nope.

awkwardspock

Oh, dear.

abitfarsouth

“Oh. Well, it is a bit far south for us.”

Iheardashot

Just then, our hero Feldman appears, coyly revealing a hint of his brawny chest in a plunging bathrobe. What a man!

“I heard a shot!” the amateur sleuth declares. Then he spots another clue: NotDeadNotMyrtle!

wthisgoingonhere

“What the HELL’S going on here?” he demands.

privatedetectives

Laura’s got this. “We’re private detectives, Mr. Feldman, investigating the death of our client, Dr. Arthur Bellows.”

wellthatsasurprise

Surprise!

Ibaredmysoul

“You mean I bared my soul to a … peeper?” Randi exclaims.

milhouseeyebrows

Oh, is that what the kids are calling it these days?

adelightfulsoul

“And a delightful soul it was, Miss Russell,” Steele smirks. “Surgically speaking.” I expect the pepper is rather delightful in its own way as well.

ohbehave

Oh, behave!

pervertisaspervertdoes

“Pervert!”

Hey! I resemble that remark.

blockstheshot

She raises a hand (rather languidly, actually) to strike Steele. But he parries the blow.

justaminutemissrussell

“Just a moment, Miss Russell,” he says sternly.

attemptedtokillmissholt

“Someone attempted to kill Miss Holt just now.”

searchevetyonesroom

He suggests it’s time to search everybody’s room for a weapon. Randi and Feldi seem … open to the idea.

But Laura can save them all some time.

showushisfriend

“Unless Mr. Dominic cares to show us his friend.”

(How grim Mr. Steele looks here! I think he doesn’t take kindly to anyone trying to hurt his inamorata.)

notshowing

Dominic plays dummy. He don’t know nothing about no gun.

“The one you carry in your inside coat pocket,” she reminds him.

steelebegstodiffer

“I’m not showing you anything, lady.”

You won’t make it very far in the pornography game with that kind of attitude, Silent Partner. In any case, Steele begs to differ. He makes a grab for the man in white.

holdit

“Hold it!” Dominic says.

Now THAT’S more like I would expect from a porn king.

beavisbutthead

Heh.

buyacheapwatch

Apparently eager to prove his XXX movie cred, Dominic begins to disrobe.

“Where is it?” Laura asks.

You’re even more innocent than I thought, Miss Holt!

youllneverfindit

“Where you’ll never find it,” he says.

I should think not. She’s a nice girl.

steelewillfindit

Steele’s had enough of my sophomoric humor. “I’ll find it.”

churchlady

Oh, now you’re just egging me on.

wheresmadeline

Just then, Randi remembers that someone is missing. Our gal Madge.

“She was downstairs playing,” Feldman reminds them.

rightbeforetheshot

“But she stopped,” Steele remarks, “right before the shot.”

thatdippybroad

That’s all the info Silent Partner needs to solve the case. “It was here. That dippy broad always hated Ambrose. She’s probably downstairs, waiting to pop us off, one by one.”

popusoff

He leads the group off to get popped.

offtheygo

Away they go again!

lauraleadsagain

Once again Laura is in the lead as they arrive at the darkened living room.

runningindark

Apparently possessing keen night vision, Laura rushes toward something she sees across the room.

madgeisdead

Looks like we won’t be hearing any more piano music his episode.

killedbyivory

Mr. Steele, who isn’t interested in things like “contaminating the crime scene” or “fingerprints on the murder weapon,” Steele picks up a long, cylindrical object next to Madeline. (You may insert your own dirty joke here.)

“Ivory,” he declares. “For someone who tickled the ivories. Another grim piece of poetry.”

I think that’s a bit of a stretch, Mr. Steele. It doesn’t even rhyme.

fourvictimsonemurderer

“Well,” Laura points out. “We’re down to four possible victims, … and one definite murderer.”

But who can it be?

dudpiciousHOmer

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Steele Trap – 17

In response to the bloodcurdling cry …

almosteverybodyleaves

… everyone hurries to see what’s going on.

randibentover

They find Randi upstairs.

areyouallright

Feldman is the first to reach her. “Are you all right, Randi?” he asks.
Sorry, Feldie. You’re not the droid she’s looking for,

Iwalkedin
She races into Steele’s arms.

clammygrabbedme

“I walked in, and something clammy grabbed me!”

You mean THIS clammy?

wetnylons

They hurray into Steele’s room. Apparently Laura left some of her lingerie on the line. My, what long legs you have, Nurse Groggins!

Safety tip: Nylon is highly flammable. Watch where you’re waving that candelabra, Feldman!

He’s not worried.

oddplace

“Ugh,” he says. “They’re wet.”

“Odd place for Miss Groggins to hang her laundry,” Steele comments.

whoputthemthere

Fortunately, Detective Feldman has taken the lead on this investigation: “Yes. If she’s the one who put them there.”
Silent Partner suggests they ask Myrt – er, Laura.

But wait! Something is wrong here!

whereisshe

“Where is she?”
thoughtshewasbehind
Madeline says she thought Laura was right behind her. Nope.
feldmantakesthelead
The group heads out to try to find the missing nurse. Naturally, heroic Feldman is in the lead.

ohdearlauracorpse

Oh, dear. Lying down on the job, Laura?

standback

Dr. Bellows tells everybody to stand back.

letaprofessional
After all, he’s the medical professional here.

musthavefallen

“She must have fallen in the commotion,” Detective Feldman surmises.

orwaspushed

Randi thinks maybe she was pushed.

checkherpulse

Steele places his fingers on Laura’s delicate neck. Bad news.

myrtlelauragroggins

“I’m afraid we shall never know. Myrtle Laura Groggins is … dead.”

stoopstopickherup

Mr. Steele gallantly picks up the corpse.

carriesherupstairs

He carries her upstairs …

thatlooksuncomfortrable

… into his bedroom … (Note: I’d think that pose would be hard on Stephanie Zimbalist’s neck.)

groanswitheffort

.. lays her gently on the bed …

puttingonweight

… and quietly insults her.  “Putting on a little weight, aren’t we?”

glare

Oh, you’ll pay for that one, Mr. Steele.

hopeyouarethelastvictim

Tenderly, he arranges a pillow underneath her head. “I certainly hope you’re the last victim,” he whispers. “We’re beginning to run out of rooms.”

patsherhand

He arranges her arms over her chest and, solemnly, leaves the room.

sadGlenn

Aw. So sad.

 

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Steele Trap – 16

Just then,

bringcandles

Laura and the boys return bearing candelabras.

turnoffgenerator

As the lights flicker again, Silent Partner pronounces, “I’m gonna turn off the generator.”

Feldman asks if Dominic wants company on his journey. Nope.

broughtafriend

He’s brought a friend. (and a cummerbund!) Meanwhile, back on the dance floor …

continueourgyrations

Steele has an indecent proposal for Randi: “Why don’t we continue our gyrations up in my room? You slip away now, and I join you at the propitious moment?”
propitiousmoment

I’m going to assume Randi thinks “propitious” is something kinky.

honeyinthekitchen
Yep. “You didn’t happen to notice if there was any honey in the kitchen, did you?”

Illcheck
Artie promises he’ll check. Randi heads off for the rendezvous.

lightsout

Laura and Feldman are still putting finishing touches on the mood lighting.

steeleobserves

Steele appears to ponder a moment, then moves to join Laura.

finishthisdance

“Care to finish this dance, Myrtle?” Oops. Try again, Mr. Steele.

ecusemelaura

“Excuse me. Laura.”

ketchup

As they prepare to trip the faltering light fantastic, Steele is apparently pondering how condiments other than honey can be sexy. “Is the ketchup still on the dining room table?”
littlelessphony
Laura is fretful “I wish we could find something a little less phony.” Is she referring to the ketchup, or her dancing partner?
nooneabletotell
“No one will be able to tell.” Something tells me he’s done something like this before.

Just then the lights go out.

darkpianist

Good thing Madge plays by ear. The sudden darkness is accompanied by a piercing scream.

anotherscreamagain

Here we go again!

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Steele Trap – 15

After Laura leaves with the guys, Mr. Steele’s sexual frustration reaches a point of desperation …

readytodoit

“Ready to do it, Miss Russell?”
whatsheasks
Even Mrs. Roper seems taken aback by his boldness.”What?”

“Dance.”
alotmorethanthat
Randy Randi says she’s ready to do a lot more than that, “…but if it gets the ball rolling”
There’s that ball again. Who knew Mr. Steele was so athletic!

thatstheidea
“That’s the idea,” he answers. Randi seems very tickled.

docandIwanttoance
They approach poor wallflower Madeline, still making love to her piano.
somethingwecangropeto

“The doc and I want to dance. Play something we can grope to,” Randi demands.

The lady reminds them she doesn’t take requests.
especiallyforoldtimesake
“Not even for old times’ sake?” Randi asks.
“Especially for old times sake.”
donttakeitoutonme
“Hey, don’t take it out on me,” Randi smirks. “I’m not the one who shafted you. You wanna get even with someone, go shove some more garbage down Ambrose’s throat. That is, if you didn’t do it the first time.”
lookwhostalking
“Look who’s talking,” Madeline counters.
Oh, boy …

catfight

Cat fight!

werentonthebestofterms
“I take it you and Mr. Blinn weren’t on the best of terms,” Steele observes.

hewasalowlife
“He was a lowlife. A sick growth.”
whyacceptinvitation
Mr. Steele wants to know why she accepted the playboy’s invitation, then.

heowedme
“He owed me.”

Randi’s had enough of the chitchat.

yoursadstory

“Artie doesn’t wanna hear your sad story, Madeline.”

Wrong again, Randi!

onthecontrary

“On the contrary,” Steele mutters. “Artie’s fascinated.”
Beats having to bump and grind with Randi, I guess.

whatabore

Randi is a little disappointed at this news. Madeline launches into her exposition sob story.

soldtherecordcompany

“Two years ago, Ambrose formed a record company. Just for me. Six months later, he folded it. Said he couldn’t GIVE my albums away.”

sleazylittleclubs
” I was reduced to playing sleezy little clubs in the Valley.”

youhadyourshot

“You had your shot, Madeline,” Randi taunts. (Let’s hope it was a shot of penicillin.) “More than most.”
wantedanother
“I wanted another. Besides, he owed me, after all I did for him.”
Again with the “owed” bit. Gonna spill, Madge?

doforhim
“What did you do for him, Madeline?” Steele asks.
howthis
“How’s this?” she answers, and begins playing a familiar tune.

strokethoseabs
Getting the hint, Art and Randi hit the dance floor. Something tells me Randi is into dirty dancing.

whatdidmadeline

“What DID Madeline do for Ambrose?” Steele asks as Randi pulls him into a clinch.
randisings
Bizarrely, Randi begins singing the words to the song Madeline is playing: “It’s the wrong time, and the wrong place.”

behindthescenes“It’s All Right With Me,” written by Cole Porter for the 1953 musical, “Can-Can,” was later used in the musical, “High Society,” where it was sung by the character – wait for it – Tracy Lord.

 

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Steele Trap – 14

Later, presumably after Mr. Steele has strangled Laura with her pantyhose …

chandelier

… we hear Madeline noodling on the piano as the lights begin to flicker.

dimminglights

Silent Partner is on the couch again. Isn’t it nice that, in this day and age when one finds corpses laying all over the house and grounds, people still bother to dress for dinner? Now THAT’S gracious living.

scratchyMaggie

More or less.

generatorrunninglow

Feldman appears with information: “Generator’s running low. If we don’t conserve energy, we won’t last the night. Come on, help me get some candles.”
Silent Partner ain’t buyin’ it.

notgoinganywhere
“I’m not going anywhere alone with you.”
myrtlewillyoujoinus
Feldman can solve that problem. “Myrtle, would you please join us?”
sheponders
Oh. She’s not dead, then. But hold the phone: Laura has something to say.

Ihaveaconfession

Steele appears in the doorway as Laura adds, “Before we go anywhere, I have a confession to make.”

So Laura’s the killer? Well, that’s unexpected. Case closed, then.

itsnotthat

“Oh, no. It’s not that!” Laura reassures me.
hatethenameMyrte

“I hate the name Myrtle.”

shockedwoman

Okay, that was a little anticlimactic.

callmelaura

“My middle name is Laura. Please. Please, call me Laura.”

Hm. Does Laura really hate Myrtle that bad, or is she afraid she’ll forget to answer to Myrtle some time?

thatsyourconfession
The three men respond as one might expect to Laura’s startling announcement: Who cares?

disappointacrowd

As she passes Steele on the way after SP and Feldman, he chides her quietly,”Tsk, tsk, tsk. You really know how to disappoint a crowd.”
gettheballrolling
Laura doesn’t respond well to teasing. “Just get the ball rolling, will you?”

Oh, if there’s one thing Steele knows about, it’s balls. Or rolling. Or something.

 

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Steele Trap – 13

 

Some time later …

itsobvious

Mr. Steele and his inamorata are getting dressed (after an off-screen quickie? Alas, no.)

Steele says, “Well, it’s obvious that we can’t keep our eye on everyone.”

baggedhislimit
Laura, wearing some kind of harem costume, suggests, “Maybe our killer has bagged his limit. There won’t be anymore victims.”

Okay, then. Let’s just put all this unpleasantness behind us an enjoy the rest of the weekend. But Steele is not convinced.

atleastonemore

“There should be at least one more.”

Laura wants to know how he’s so certain.
whoitshouldbe
“Because I know who it should be.”
illbite
“Al’ right, I’ll bite.” Oh, NOW she’s in the mood? That’s a little kinky, Laura. Turns out she only wants to know who he’s talking about.

younext
“You.”

andthentherewerenone

Well, then. Just because she won’t sleep with you is no reason to want her dead, Steele. Don’t be petty.

barryfitzgeraland

Steele explains himself. “And Then There Were None.”

freetosearch

“Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston faked Fitzgerald’s death. With everyone believing that he was just another victim, he was free to search for the killer.”

If Laura expects Steele to bone up on detective techniques, she might at least familiarize herself with HIS area of expertise. Fair is fair.

believemelaura

But Laura doesn’t seem to see the point.  “Believe me, Laura, it will work” Steele calls after her.

pronouncesyoudead

“When Dr. Arthur Bellows pronounces you dead, who’ll question it?”

whowillquestion

“With everyone downstairs, you’ll be free to go through their rooms and search for evidence.”

peekingagain

Not getting a response, he stoops to peeping. Oh, Mr. Steele.

DisappointedIAm

Disappointed, I am.

caughtpeeping

“You’ll be able to- watch their every move without them knowing it,” he as, just as she opens the door.
losesomething
“Lose something?” she asks.

Yes. I believe that would be his dignity.

cufflink

“Uh … cufflink,” he confabulates. (You can usually come up with something better than that, Mr. Steele!)  Oh, here it is.” Fortunately, Detective Steele doesn’t want to see evidence. Is she slipping, or feeling magnanimous. The latter, apparently.
planisbrilliant
“Your plan is brilliant,” she concedes.
itsfromamovie
“Of course it is. It’s from movie.”
DoctorDuh

Duh.

oneflaw
“Except for one flaw.”
If you mean that you can’t be killed again, since you’re already a fashion fatality, I’m inclined to agree, Laura.

whatflaw
“Flaw?”
killerwillknow
“The killer will know he or she didn’t kill me.”
Look at that bouncy hair.

wowhair

Just look at it!

thatswhyitworked
“Hmm. THAT’S why it worked in the movie,” Steele remembers. “Barry Fitzgerald was the killer.”
Wait.

going-my-way-fitzgerald

Father FitzGibbon from “Going My Way” is a killer? Does Bing Crosby know?

unless
However, Laura has a refinement to the plan. “Unless-”
deathisanaccident
“… my death is an accident.”
youvedoneitagain
Mr. Steele is impressed with her ingenuity. At least, I think it’s her ingenuity he’s impressed by.

savedtheday

“Laura, you’ve done it again,” he gushes.

inspired

“Saved the day with your analytical approach …”

inventiveness

“…  your inspired inventiveness…”

whatsaywee

Apparently Mr. Steele’s admiration for Laura has exhausted him.

takealittlerest
“What say we take a little rest before we launch into this strenuous plan of yours?”

She’s not tired, though.

nottired
“Perfect. Neither am I.”
Side note: Another sign of how things have changed in the 30-odd years since Steele aired. I’m pretty sure this little comedy bit of Mr. Steele trying to coerce Laura into having sex with him wouldn’t fly in 2015.

Turns out, it doesn’t fly (with Laura, at least) in 1983, either.

lauraescapes
“We’ll need some kind of diversion,” she diverts him.

wearingpantyhose

A clearly frustrated Mr. Streele starts spouting nonsense. “Are you wearing pantyhose, by any chance?”

She is. Steele has a suggestion.

strip

“Strip.”

quitetheproposition

!

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Steele Trap – 12

Back from vacation! Meanwhile, Mr. Steele and Laura’s not-s0-romantic getaway seems to go on and on …

steelefilming

We see Mr. Steele manning a video camera. What kinky business is this, sir?

crimescene

The camera pans back to reveal Laura’s reflection in the mirror, rifling a closet.  The trail of feathers reveals that they are in the late Miss May’s room. Wait. Was the camera there when they discovered the body? If so, might they not check the video footage to see if the murder was recorded?

Steele is musing on the case.  “More than one killer. “Do you think that’s possible?” he asks.

poeticbent

“Whoever it is has a certain poetic bent,” Laura responds. Steele doesn’t get it; Laura expounds.

irritatingpropensity

“Well, Ambrose Blinn was accused of publishing garbage, and he was choked to death with it,” Laura explained.

“And Cindi Sykes, who had an irritating propensity for giggling…” Steele jumps in, catching the drift.

“…giggled herself to death,” Laura concludes.

anycandidates

“Any candidates?” Steele inquires.

Laura notes that none of the guests seem overly fond of their host.

fartoovaculous

“That might account for Blinn’s death, but what about Cindi?” Steele asks. “I hate to speak ill of the dead, but she seemed far too vacuous to do anything that might drive someone to murder.”

Laura has an answer for that.

didreplacerandi

“She did replace Randi in Blinn’s affections.”

Steele isn’t convinced.

echanginganecdotes

“Yes, but you should have heard the two of them over dinner, exchanging anecdotes over Blinn’s sexual preferences like so many recipes,” Steele says with a tone of distaste.

Hm. It seems a life of hedonism isn’t as appealing to Mr. Steele as he perhaps anticipated.

honeything

“Are you familiar with the honey thing?” he asks Laura.

honeyawkward

At Laura’s blank look, he elaborates.

heatabowl

“Apparently you heat a bowl of honey …”

walnuts

“… then take half a pound of shredded walnuts…”

anotherscream

Steele’s recipe recitation is interrupted by a piercing scream.

investigating

The detectives race from the scene of one crime to what is presumably the scene of another …

thatbreckbounceagain

As they race toward the piercing shriek, we again observe the Breck bounce in Laura’s luscious tresses.

randomalertbreckbounce. The Breck Bounce was supposedly caused by a mysterious substance called Sartron that made Breck conditioner extraordinary. Strangely, I can’t find evidence of any ingredient called Sartron in a Google search. Hmmmm.

laurainthelead

Although Steele was in the lead in the previous frame, we find Laura well ahead of him on the way down the stairs. We hear shouting and shrieking in the background.

whenrandiattacks

At last they come upon the scene, finding Silent Partner and Mrs. Roper assaulting each other with blunt objects.

“Help me! He’s trying to kill me!” Randi is screaming.  “He came at me with that pool cue!”

Silent Partner says she’s crazy. He claims she came at HIM with a poker.

liar

“LIAR!”
slut
“Slut!”

Yes, but how do you REALLY feel?

pornographer
Randi prepares to deal a death blow. “Pornographer!”
biggeststar
“You should know. You were my biggest star.”

Well! Things grow more sordid by the minute!

warmforafire

Laura’s had enough.  She wrestles the weapon away from Randi. Look how lush and shiny Laura’s hair is. That Sartron stuff really works!

“A little warm for a fire, Miss Russell,” she quips.

askhim

“Ask him what he was doing in here, going through Ambrose’s desk,” Randi suggests.

lookatthebooks

“I wanted a look at the books,” Dominic says.
why
“Why?” Steele wants to know.

forgothowtoadd

Silent Partner explains that he put up the green to back these clubs (you mean there’s more than one?). “We were supposed to be partners, 50-50. Only Ambrose forgot how to add when it came to my share! So I wanted to see just how much he snookered me out of!”

Oh, that’s a SNOOKER cue, not a pool cue.

howsthatforamotive
“How’s that for a motive?” Randi suggests.

fineformbrose

“It’s fine for Ambrose,” Laura tells her. “But it still leaves Cindi.”

Mrs. Roper has an answer for that one, too.
cominontoher
“All last night, he was comin on to her, tryin’ to get her to go upstairs with him.”

uglyface

“She just looked in his ugly face and said if she wanted an animal, she’d go to the zoo!”

hurthisfeelings

Aw. Now you’ve hurt his feelings.

SilentAttack

He makes a lunch toward Randi. Unfortunately, Laura and Steele get between the combatants and keep them from murdering each other.

whataboutyou

“What about you? What about you?” Silent Partner protests. “Ambrose kicked you out on your kazoo!”

toadface

“Don’t be too sure, toad face,” Randi sneers, making a toadish face of her own.

realwoman

“I got invited here, didn’t I?! Maybe Ambrose missed a REAL woman.”

Laura looks dubious at this suggestion.

aintmorethan10percent

“There ain’t more than ten percent of you that’s real.”

Touche!

peoipleplease

Randi tries to muscle out of Laura’s grasp. Mr. Steele has had enough. “People, PLEASE!” Steele demands.

morecivilized

“Let’s confine ourselves to name calling! It’s far more civilized.”

So presumably this chaotic scene is meant to make us believe that either Randi or Dominic is the murderer. What do you think?

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Steele Trap – 11

 

 

It seems fun-and-games time is over. The late Ambrose Blinn’s guests reconvene in the mansion.

ambroseflynn

Steele is laying out the facts of the case. Strangely, Randi seems to find him less alluring in this mode.
chokedtodeath

“Ambrose Blinn was choked to death,” Steele pronounces.

thoughtitwaspertinent

Feldman wants to know how it was done.  “Rope? Wire? Strangled?”
garbage
“Garbage,” Steele retorts.

madeyourpoint

Feldman is offended. “I’m sorry, sir. I thought it was a pertinent question.”

“Garbage,” Steele reiterates.

literallychoked

“Okay, okay, doctor. You’ve made your point.”

Steele clarifies: “Ambrose Blinn was literally choked to death with garbage. You know: pork rinds, lettuce stems, potato peels.”

Ha! I knew vegetables were bad for you!
areyousure
Madeline has her doubts. She also has her booze. “Are you sure?”
saladofdeath
“I saw it with my own eyes,” Steele assures her.  “The man’s mouth was a veritible salad of death. Believe me, it wasn’t a very appetizing sight.”
fruitsaladofdeath

Watch for the exciting Kickstarter campaign for next year’s most terrifying thriller, “Fruit Salad of Death!”

deadforseveraldays
Laura adds some grisly details: “And from the appearance of the body, he’d been dead several days.”
couldnthavegreetedus

“Then he couldn’t have greeted us last night from his bedroom, could he?” Feldman points out.

thetapeagain

Laura goes to the surprisingly futuristic big-screen TV and turns Mr. Flinn on.

babyeyes

Oh, stop. You know what I meant.

itwasontape

“It was on tape,” she explains.

pressplay

“All anyone had to do was press the ‘Play’ button, and Ambrose magically appeared on the screen …”

upstairs

“…allowing everyone to think he was upstairs.”

But wait!

allinthediningroom

“We were all in the dining room when he started talking,” Randi astutely (!) notes.

allexcept

“All except …” Feldman gives Madeline a meaningful glance.

playingpiano

“I was playing the piano,” Madeline protests, using an uncommon euphemism for “drinking like a fish.” She says she was as surprised as anybody when Flinn popped up.

outurnedtapeon
“It’s obvious you turned the tape on,” Feldman persists.

But Laura has another explanation.

couldhavesetit

“There’s a timer on this machine. Any one of us could have set it and been safely in the dining room surrounded by witnesses.”

Pretty smart for an inamorata!

Madeline, who is not an inamorata, is confused. “Which means?”

oneofus

“Which means,” Steele fills her in, “One of US is the murderer.”
timetocallauthorities

Laura thinks it’s time to call the authorities. Good idea! Except …

nophones.jpgf

“No phones,” (no longer)Silent Partner pipes up. “They won’t be hooked up until the official opening next week.”

Wait. I was under the impression this den of iniquity was a going concern.

stylishshrug

Whatev.

evenelectricity
Steele is nonplused. “No phones?”
“No nothin’,” NonSilent Partner elaborates.  “No radio, no TV, no shortwave, even the electricity’s runnin on the emergency generator.”

Well, crap. I think we all know what that means.


howdoyouknow
Laura wants to know how NonSilent Partner is so knowledgeable.

ichecked

He says he checked.

How come?
helikestoknow
“I like to know them things.”
firstpriority
Steele sidles over to Laura. “It seems our first priority is to stay alive until the helicopter returns next Monday,” he utters.

Isuggest

“Toward that end, I suggest never being alone with one other person. Always make sure there’s a third party present.”

checkingtheoptions unlikelycouple lonelyguy

Everybody gives each other suspicious, sidelong glances.

knowledgeofcinema

“That way, the killer won’t be able to strike again,” Steele concludes.

“And then there were none?” Laura inquires.

“You must admit, a knowledge of cinema occassionally comes in handy,” he says.

Feeling a little smug, Mr. Steele?

morethanonekiller

Feldman declares that smart advice … “Except for one thing: What if there’s more than one killer?”

reactionshot1 reactionshot2

Yeah. What if there’s more than one killer?

umreactionshot3

Um …

uncomfortablesmile

Keep calm and trust Mr. Steele.

NOTE: I’m going on vacation October 17-24 (woot! woot!), so won’t be posting again until next Sunday or so. In the meantime …

tawkamongtyourselves

Talk amongst yourselves!

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Steele Trap – 10

Back on the island, the Easter egg hunt is in full swing!

Ambrosehecalls

And speaking of swinging, Randi seems eager to swing with Steele. Our detective, however, is all business.

“Ambrose!” Steele shouts.

blindmansbluff

“It’s just like Blind Man’s Bluff,” Randi gushes. Wait. I thought it was an Easter egg hunt.  “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” she calls.
ambroseshecallsagain.jp[g
“Ambrose! Mr. Blinn!” Mr. Steele calls again. He seems a little uneasy at Randi’s talons nails affixed to his sleeve.
ummissrussell

Steele decides it’s time to get up close and personal with his former patient.   “Miss Russell, refresh my memory. When exactly did I …”
refreshmymemory
“… er …

And now they’re playing charades, it seems.

twoyearsago

“Two years ago,” she says. She laughs. “I’m really very naughty.”

stunned

I’m stunned. So is Steele.

personallifeisyourown

“Your personal life is your own,” Mr. Steele assures her.
drharry
“No, no. I mean, Dr. Harvey Bernbaum was supposed to do the operation, but he got in a fender bender
on the way to the hospital.”

sinceIwasprepped

Since I was all prepped and everything, he asked if you could take over for him. So you probably never even knew my name.”

neverknewmyname

Something tells me a lot of the gentlemen Randi interacts with never bother to learn her name.

neveractuallymetbefore

Randi seems to have a special attachment to her doctor. I believe this is called “transference.” Or maybe “promiscuity.”

“So we’ve never actually met before, except in the operating room,” she explains.

behindasurgicalmask

“And me behind a surgical mask.” Randi seems eagers to find out what’s behind Steele’s mask clothing.
whenIcameto
“When I came to, there was Dr. Bernbaum.  And as soon as I got out of the hospital, I went straight to Switzerland …”

thankyouproperly

“… and I never got a chance to thank you properly.”

No problem. He accepts cash, Visa cards and money orders. No personal checks, please.

suddenattack

Oh. She means that kind of thanks. Pretty sure he’d prefer cash.

atackle

I may be wrong, but I don’t think Steele is into her.

abondscene

And now we’re playing … Twister?

thisisfun

“This is FUN!” Randi declares. Steele seems … doubtful.

anothersmooch

Randi attacks again.

manofmedicine
When she comes up for air, Mr. Steele tries desperately to protect his virtue. “Miss Russell, please! I’m a man of medicine”

shedoesntcare

And Randi wants to play doctor.

lookingforescape

Steele writhes … in passion? I don’t think so.  Struggling to escape, he throws out one arm.

wellwornshoes

Hm. It appears Mr. Steele would rather play footsy with someone else. Wait a minute!

missrussell

“Uh, Miss Russell-”

lookoverthere

He gives his discovery a pointed glance. Randi finally notices.

eeeeek

Is this what Randi looks like when she’s aroused?

Nope. She looks like that when she’s screaming.

heardascream

Meanwhile, Laura and Feldman are beating the bushes. They hear Randi’s scream …

theyruntothescene

… and run to see what’s going on.

examiningthebody

They  find Steele’s bending over the body as Randi stands nearby. “Ambrose,” Feldman identifies.
somuchpathos
“He’s dead,” Randi says, displaying the whole gamut of emotions, from A to B.

lauraglares

Laura, looking grim, joins Steele.

none

“And then there were none,” Steele confides.

whatimafraidof

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” his partner answers.

barryfitzgerald

“No,” Steele corrects her. “The movie.”
comingunhinged
“What movie?”
forgodssakejpg
“Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, June Depree, for God’s sake.”
Laura, who apparently has forgotten Mr. Steele is a film buff, grows impatient.

comingunhinged
“Get a grip on yourself. You’re coming unhinged.”
But Steele persists.

luredtoaremoteisland
“A group of people are lured to a remote island and systematically murdered.”

crazedkiller

“Laura,” he concludes, “We’re trapped on this island with a crazed killer.”

okaythen

Laura ponders his ominous words …

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Steele Trap – 9

NOTE: Sorry my posts have been so sporadic. Technology issues. Anyway, we last left Mr. Steele performing an ad-hoc post-mortem on Miss May, diagnosing a fatal case of the giggles.

sequins

We now join the crowd apparently some time later. Madeline is boozing again. Hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere.

howcananyonebetickledtodeath

She wants to know how someone can be tickled to death.  I want to know why she’s wearing that godawful caftan.

wavethatfeather

Steele, having secured the murder weapon as a fetching accessory to his daytime ensemble,  seems distracted. “Hmm?”

imafraid

“How? How.”

fartootechnical

“I’m afraid the explanation is far too technical for you laymen,” he says.

Ugh. Why do doctors always act like they know everything.

doctorclever

Okay, then.

Nevertheless, our man Feldman isn’t intimidated. He has an explanation of his own!

mybrothertellingme

“I remember my brother telling me that laughter temporarily cuts off the air supply to the lungs,” Feldman offers, as Steele continues his little tap dance.

temporarilycutsoffair.

“Therefore, prolonged laughter could, conceiveably, induce a form of asphixiation.”

substantiallcorrect

“Am I substantially correct, Doctor?”

Idontknow

That’s what I figured.

However, Dr. Bellowsteele is prepared to bluff.

sometimeswish

“I sometimes wish that we gentlemen of the medical profession were half as concise as you gentlemen of the bar.”

Indeed. Lawyers are known for their brevity.

whodaman

Squeee! Feldman got a compliment! Who da man?

youdaman

HE da man!

Meanwhile, back to the crime …

Ialwaysthought
“Tickled to death,” Randi notes. “And I always thought that was just something you said when you were happy.”

happySteele

Steele is curiously amused by this statement.  He begins to explain how he arrived at the death-by-chuckles explanation. “I heard Mr. Blinn and Miss Sikes around three this morning.”

inthethroes

“Found myself in the throes of …” Careful, doc. Nurse Groggins looks a little testy this morning. Presumably because she’s realized how ridiculous her jumpsuit is.

backproblems

“Some back problems.”

wellplayed

Well played, sir.

excruciating

“Attempted to walk off the excruciating pain,” he continues under Laura’s watchful eye.

mountofpain

“Miss Sikes was giggling her way to ecstasy.”

anaccident
“Are you saying it was an accident, doctor?” Feldman asks.

tiredofwaiting

Mr. Steele is prepared to expound on his theory. “In the heat of passion, in the grip of heavenly transport, perhaps Mr. Blinn simply got carried away and didn’t know what he was doing – or when to stop.”

Laura seems a little uncomfortable back there. I wonder why?

ambrosefreak
“Ambrose Blinn is a sadistic FREAK,” Madeline says. Perhaps. But I think we can assume anyone who would wear that outfit is a MASOchistic freak, Madge.

painundertheguise

“Well, he likes to inflict pain under the guise of pleasure,” Feldman agrees.

Um … and you know that how?

justthesortofthing

“This is just the sort of thing he’d come up with,” Randi affirms.

Perhaps because she’s had NO sadistic fun this weekend, Laura has had enough of this guessing game.

findourhost

“I think we should find our host,” she announces.

putthequestion

“Put the question of what happened to him.”

letssplitup

Feldman is eager. “Good. Let’s split up.”

moreefficient

“It’ll be more efficient that way. Some of us search the grounds, others take the house.”

IwantBellows

“I want Dr. Bellows for a partner!” Randi exclaims excitedly. Hurray for murder!

notaneven

Steele seems amenable, but Feldman is irked. “Randi, this is not an Easter egg hunt.”

Well, Laura’s dressed a little like an Easter egg. Close enough.

contest

Randy Randi and Suave Steele exit stage right.

FeldmantakesLaura

Feldman claims Laura.

exitstageright

And Silent Partner, who has been lurking in the background all this time, hurries out a side door, apparently to avoid having to partner with Madeline.

The game is afoot!

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