Tag Archives: James Read

Steele Trap – 25

Apparently it’s Monday morning. We see Steele and Laura on the way to the office together.


“Nothing like a weekend away from the pressures of work to  rest the body and renew the spirit,” Steele is saying.


“Just one thing before we leave the Devil’s Playground behind us for good.”


“What exactly was in that hypodermic needle?”

Laura, who apparently has had hours to do research in the library since they made it off the island, has the answer:


“Something called digitalis leaf.  The right dose slows down the pulse and heart rate to the point where only a doctor- ”


“- a REAL doctor, can tell you’re not dead.”


FYI. (Don’t say you never learned anything from this blog.)


“Um. I never told you about the walnuts and honey, did I?” says Steele, who is apparently turned on by pharmaceutical talk.


Meanwhile, in the office Bernice and Murph are looking grim. Presumably they’re beginning to sense that their increasingly limited airtime doesn’t bode well for their longevity on the show.


Laura seems very cheerful as they enter. Apparently Mr. Steele has just shared a joke: “Two walnuts and a jar of honey walk into a bar …”


Murphy wants to know how the weekend went. Apparently the island full of corpses didn’t make the news.

Steele fills him in: “”Incredible. Fantastic. Couldn’t have been a more rewarding experience.”


“We started to get to know one another quite well,” Laura adds.


“You did?” Bernice asks as Steele and Laura exchange a meaningful look.


“Our leader was getting very heavy into the truth game,” says Laura.

Wait. I thought LAURA was the leader.

Murphy seems dubious “Really?”


“Absolutely,” Steele confirms.


“Honesty is the new watchword around here now.”

Laura is pleased by this news.


“Good. Then we’ll start with your name. Your REAL name.”


The support staff wait expectantly.


“My name …” Steele hedges. “As William Shakespeare so aptly put it, a rose by any other name-”


“Still has thorns,” says Murphy.


You’re quite a wit, Murph!


Upbeat music plays as the screen freezes on Laura and Steele’s amused delighted interested bored expressions.

Well, what a rollicking ride that was, eh? Happily, though we leave the episode with the stage covered in corpses like the final scene of Hamlet, none of those people were very likable.

On to Steeling the Show!


Filed under Season 1

Steele Trap – 2


Our next scene opens on Murphy, who seems to have stepped up his wardrobe. Trying to be more like a certain smooth operator you claim to despise, Murph?


Bernice (long time no see, Miss … Wolf? Fox? OMG, even I can’t remember any more!) directs the associate investigator into the executive office.


Finances must be tight this month, as we find Laura and Mr. S doing some light housekeeping. They’re dusting the many photos of the illustrious detective with his grateful admirers. Murphy, having just come from the coroner’s office, natch, has some information for them:


“I’ve got a preliminary background check on our … almost client.”

See? This is why you get a credit card number before you start the work so you can at least recoup the cost of the drive across town. You kids need a good financial manager


spoileralert emoticonMildredKrebs


Murphy makes a rather startling (to any classic TV fan) announcement: “Arthur Bellows was a cosmetic surgeon.


You’re slipping Murphy. I’m pretty sure Dr. Bellows was an Air Force psychiatrist.

But apparently he relocated from Cape Canaveral to LA and began a new practice.


“You know, lift this, tuck that.”


Guess I missed that season.

Sounds like Dr. Bellows was as lousy a cosmetic surgeon as he was a shrink; Murphy reports he’s recently lost three malpractice suits and drinks like a fish.


Laura wants to know if Murphy’s found out what this Devil’s Playground is.

“Some kind of resort. It’s on an island off of Baja California.”

Hm. This is the only island I found off Baja, California: Isla San Martin. Looks a little bleak for a resort.


“Resort?” Steele asks, suddenly attentive. “On an island? How intriguing.”

Sorry, Mr. Steele. It’s not this island.


Murphy’s done wasting time on this. “Forget it, Laura. The guy killed himself. The reasons aren’t important.”

Mr. Steele is offended by Murphy’s callous disregard for the late Dr. Bellows. “How cold, Murphy. How callous. Perhaps you’ve been at this too long.”


Mr. Steele, having learned a thing or two about how to pique Laura’s interest, continues: “You’re asking yourself – could that invitation have triggered his death?”


“And you know- the only place to find the answer is in the Devil’s Playground.” He heads for the door.


Mr. Steele briskly commands Bernice to “run out and get me one of those little black bags Robert Young used to carry around.”

Jim Anderson

Wait. I thought Jim Anderson was an insurance salesman?


Oh, THIS Robert Young. Steele also wants medical paraphernalia.

Laura declares herself clueless. “Appropriate props are the key to any convincing characterization,” the master of disguise explains.


Murphy is all appalled again. “You’re going to IMPERSONATE Dr. Bellows?”


Steele declares this is the only way to get to the bottom of the tragedy. A man of compassion, is our Mr. Steele.


“Laura, it’s getting away from us again,” Murphy warns.


“Laura, you’re as curious about this as I am,” Steele persists.


“He has us there, Murph,” she admits.

Steele-1, Murphy-0. Par for the course, I’d say. Poor Murphy.


“Give me an hour to pack,” Miss Holt says, with a fair amount of enthusiasm.

Oh, ho! Laura is going to accompany him to this sordid soiree? I didn’t think she was the type!


Perhaps sensing Murphy’s disapproval, Laura explains. “If I allow him to go out there on his own, impersonating Remington Steele IMPERSONATING Arthur Bellows, can you imagine the outcome? Give me twenty minutes,” she explains.


Steele is pleased. Murphy is NOT.


“I know why you’re so hot to pursue this nonexistent mystery,” Mr. Michaels accuses.


“You want to get Laura alone on that island, don’t you?”


“You know what I most admire about you, Murphy?” Steele says.


Is it possible for Mr. Steele to be any more smug? Yes! It is!


“Your perception.”

Oh, Murphy. You can dress like the master, but that doesn’t make you the master.


Murphy throws down his coroner’s report in disgust.


Game, set and match to Steele!

And STILL no opening credits …


Filed under Season 1

In the Steele of the Night – 10

Back to Carl’s bedroom, where Murphy seems to have been directed to “assume the position.”


(Now bend over and cough?)

“No gun,” he declares.


Uh, oh. The room looks like it’s been trashed by a 70s rock band.


randomalertRock bands used to trash hotel rooms, you know. http://www.rockworldmagazine.com/history-of-hotel-room-trashing/


“Must’ve stashed it somewhere else in the house,” Donald deduces.

Just when it looks like the mystery will never be solved, here comes their fearless leader. “The scene of the crime!” Steele pronounces.

(Huh? I thought the elevator was the scene of the crime, Mr. Steele.)
Steele explains. “I have no need to tell you people that the scene of the crime is often the best single source of conclusive evidence.”

If nothing else, Mr. Steele has an excellent memory for lines. Maybe he should become an actor.

“Boy, he IS good!” Sandy whispers to Murphy. Not sure Mr. Michaels agrees.

“You mean the elevator?” Aha! Carl remembers where the murder took place. There’s those killer instincts again


“Precisely.” Not to mention indubitably, unequivocally, and incontrovertibly.


Everybody’s ready to check it out. Steele knows where this headed, and heads them off with a brisk whistle.



“We’ll ALL check it, hmm?”


A moment later …


Gee, it gets a bit crowded when the whole gang crams into an elevator. And for their next trick:



Each master detective pursues the investigation in his or her unique way.


Which is to say, they all look around randomly. Carl is getting uncomfortably up close and personal with Laura, while Murphy seems to have formed an inappropriate relationship with one wall of the car. Don wants to know what he’s up to.
“Dusting for prints,” the well-equipped Mr. Michales responds.

Oh, dear. Now you’ve set Carl off again. “He’s dusting for prints? Why is HE dusting for prints?”
“‘Cause it’s MY dusting kit,” Murphy explains.

Honestly, the sexual tension between these two  is palpable, isn’t it?

Murphy isn’t about to share his toys, by the way. So:

“No arguing with that,” Steele says, because it would be a stupid thing to argue about.


Petulant Carl has had enough. He leaves the little huddle in the elevator.
“Mr. Steele? Got a minute?” he inquires.


Apparently he does.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch in the elevator, where Donald’s pose suggests the collective body odor may be growing intolerable, OOD declares, “This is ridiculous.”


He suggests to Laura that they get some coffee. (Yet another man trying to get close to Miss Holt?)

This leaves only Murph and Sandy in the elevator. Miss Thing checks out Murphy’s material assets,


leans over and presses the door close button.


“Hey!” Murphy finally notices. “Sandy, I need the light.”

Oh-ho! What’s this? Looks like Sandy would like to have some quality time with Mr. Michaels in the elevator. She wants a ride. Up and down.
“Murphy, listen,” she insists. “Forget about the dusting for a minute. I need your help.”
“What are you talking about?” See, here’s the thing. Murph just doesn’t have those killer instincts.

Sandy presses … her case. “I didn’t kill Alan. But I just know that any time now, somebody’s going to find something that makes it look like I did.”


Murphy is perplexed stunned indifferent. Good heavens, Murphy. What large hands you have. No wonder Sandy wants some alone time …



Filed under Season 1

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

In the Steele of the Night – 2

We left Mr. Steele standing alone in the lobby of Steele Investigations. Wherever can Laura and Murphy be?


Sitting in a stationary car in front of a green screen projection, it seems. A (virtual) drive in the country. Laura looks a little tense, but Murphy seems very relaxed. Quality time with Laura!

“You know, I think they’re going to be pretty disappointed when we show up empty handed,” Murphy comments. What, you’re not bringing a hotdish, or even a jello salad? Remind me not to invite you to my next reunion potluck.

“Reunions are supposed to be about catching up with old friends, seeing how everyone is doing, finding out who put on weight. If they want to meet Remington Steele, let them drop by the office,” Laura responds.


“What has it been? Four years since we left Havenhurst Detective Agency. Boy, it doesn’t seem that long, does it?”

Thanks for the exposition, Murphy!

But Laura’s mind isn’t on the good old days.


“Imagine him, in a room full of detectives,” she chortles. “Ha! They’d be waiting all weekend for him to slip up – and when he did, they’d eat him alive.”

We learn some things here: Laura seems oddly fixated on Mr. Steele, considering she left him behind; the “old friends” they are going to see are apparently stab-you-in-the-back types; Laura’s “humor” seems a little forced. Is it possible she’s not as excited to see the old gang as she puts on?


The Rabbit arrives at the imposing gate to a huge estate.

Murphy is impressed. “Oh dear GOD,” he exclaims.


They turn on to the long, long driveway. An imposing edifice looms ahead.

“Sure does look like old Alan is doing well for himself,” Laura remarks.

“Oh dear God,” repeats Murphy, who apparently has never, ever been exposed to the lifestyles of the rich and famous before, despite living and working with upscale clients in L.A.

So whoever “Alan” is, apparently his fortunes have come up in the world over the past four years?


The scene cuts to some guy with a lot of hair. Alan, I presume? We’re now inside the mansion, I presume?

“No Remington Steele?” he presumes.


Laura, looking a little schoolgirlish in her A-line skirt and sweater, has his answer. “Couldn’t be helped. Last-minute thing in Marseille.”

The painting behind Laura is interesting. Lovers embracing? Could this be a clue to Laura’s former relationship with this Alan guy?

Alan’s not buying it.


“Marseille? Come on, Laura; this is Alan. You remember me?”

Quite the ornate decorating scheme. Is that a Samurai on the landing above him?


“I’m the fella that YOU to lie like that,” points out the fella who taught Laura to lie like that.


He draws Laura into what can only be described as an uncomfortable embrace.


Here’s a re-enactment. Awkward!


Alan demands that Laura ‘fess up: “He couldn’t come because the little missus put her foot down, am I right?”

Little missus? Really?

Raise your hand if you think this Alan is delightful.




“Actually, there is no Mrs. Steele,” Laura clarifies.


“You mean … not YET.”

You’re a funny guy, Alan. Is it just me, or is this guy leering at our Laura? Where’s Murphy, by the way?


“Ohhhh ….” Something tells me Laura ISN’T charmed by this banter.


Alan puts an arm around Laura. Laura visible recoils.

They seem … close, don’t you think?

“So tell me how good I look,” Alan prods.

“You do. You look wonderful,” she responds dutifully.

He tells her he’s lost 30 lbs.


“Oh, I’d kill to lose five,” Laura answers, looking away from him. He’s giving her quite the lookee-loo, though.

“Where?” he wants to know.


“Places YOU haven’t seen,” she says. Something tells me he never will.


Suddenly the elevator disgorges a little crowd, including Murphy, two other guys and a blonde.

“Well obviously, the reunion’s already begun,” Murphy remarks. I get the impression he doesn’t like how cozy Alan has made himself with Laura’s physique.


One of the other men – let’s call him the Obligatory Office Dork (OOD) – is astonished by the fact that Alan has an elevator in his home.


The blonde chick – let’s call her the Obligatory Office Bimbo (OOB) – starts to say something, but is interrupted by the Obligatory Office Gasbag (OOG). “Did anyone happen to notice my Seville when you pulled in? Just got it.” As the rest of the crowd ignores him and begins to shuffle off, OOB adds, “Very happy with it, actually. I recommend them.”

Murphy, taking pity, puts an arm around OOG. “Good, Carl.”

Meanwhile, OOD – who apparently arrived at reunion from his home in the 14th century – is pinned in place by his astonishment over the magical technology. “Alan has an ELEVATOR in his house.”


Later, Murphy appears in someone else’s room. “Carl?” he calls.  Ooh! Is it a secret romantic rendezvous?

Apparently OOG is in the bathroom. He appears, foaming at the mouth (perhaps because his old pals weren’t impressed enough with his Seville). “Yeah?”
Murphy forgot a tie. I’m going to go ahead and assume casual Mr. Michaels just doesn’t OWN a tie. Let’s call him Obligatory Office Slouch (OOS).

“Alan’s gonna hate that,” OOG clucks. “He said formal.”

Murphy knows.

OOG’s got more to say. “You see all that help in the kitchen?” (Trying to hustle a sandwich, Carl?) “Reunion my Aunt Fanny. You know what this is?”

Nope, Murphy doesn’t know. But I bet OOG will tell him.

“The Alan Greavey Show,” OOG tells him. He suggests Murphy check through his suitcase for a spare tie.
That seems like rather intimate offer, rummaging through somebody else’s tighty-whiteys. Do you think OOG and Murphy were a couple? (Mash up name: MOOG.)
Murphy starts rummaging. OOG keeps yammering. “Some things never change. Alan Greavey was a snake at the Havenhurst Agency, and he’s still shedding skin.”


“You see him all over Laura?”

Oh, Murphy saw.

More exposition from OOG: “Havenhurst was such a zoo. Seventy detectives. I’m glad we all got out.”

So Havenhurst was quite a large agency – with an apparently high turnover rate.

Murphy puts on the least interesting of OOG’s ties. Meanwhile, OOG continues. “Everybody was always tripping over everybody else-“


Hello, what’s this? Ace detective Murphy discovers the gun in the suitcase. So now we know whose beat-up bureau that was in the opening. Looks like OOG isn’t doing as well as he’d like everyone to believe.

“Too big. Guys like me and you, they need some visibility.” Hm. I wouldn’t say Murphy is getting a lot of attention in his current gig, either. He’s pretty much invisible at the Steele Agency (at least since Steele arrived). Do you think OOG’s remark might give Murph something to think about?


Murphy, who knows that the proper place to keep a gun is in a shoebox on a shelf in a closet, is unnerved by his discovery.

“Expecting a little trouble over dinner?”
Carl looks out. “Huh?”


“A .38’s pretty serious baggage for a weekend in the country, isn’t it?”


“I wouldn’t know. Never use one.”

BA-BA-BUM! The plot thickens. Now if we could just figure out what the plot is …

This is shaping up to be a weekend of deceptions, with everyone pretending to be someone other than who they are. Well, it’s just as well Mr. Steele wasn’t invited. He wouldn’t fit into THAT sort of environment at all.





Filed under Season 1

You’re Steele the One for Me – 16

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.


Smoking Man.


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.”

JAPANESEw!” the guy replies, more or less.


“Oh, I couldn’t agree more. But he’s the one to reckon with.”

He who?


POW! It’s Murphy’s fist of Steele steel!

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?


Oh, dear.

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 terrified blank.


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.

This, I think: “JAPANESEw



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.







Filed under Season 1

You’re Steele the One for Me – 15

We left our heroes on a cliffhanger, with a sword at Laura’s throat.


How will they escape their terrible peril?

We’ll never know. Because …


… the next scene opens on a pretty sunset skyline. Look! There’s the Century Building.


Shadowy figures are entering someplace. Who could it be?


Oh. It’s just Laura, Steele and, from out of nowhere, Murphy. Mr. Steele seems to have a headache.

 “Samurai swords? This guy must put on a hell of a show,” Murphy comments. I KNEW he was interested in show business!
“Hmm,” Steele agrees. “Terribly convincing.”

“His place must be above that movie theatre,” Laura explains. (Considering she and Steele must have had to climb a staircase or ridden in an elevator while blindfolded to get to Tenaka’s quarters, that’s hardly a brilliant deduction.)

BeardedSMileyAccording to the website Changing Minds, “Slowly rubbing the forehead can indicate deep thinking, as if the person was massaging their brain to get it going.” Looks like Mr. Steele has some powerful pondering to do! Meanwhile, the site Study Body Language interprets Laura’s gesture thusly: “The “Fig Leaf” Position: Another interesting posture is when the hands are crossed over the genitals – also called the “fig leaf” position by experts. It’s a self comfort gesture that reveals vulnerability, as it protects another sensitive part of our body – our genitals. It’s often seen in funerals or other somber events, when people feel uneasy.  Hmmm. Hard to see why Laura would be protecting her genitals; let’s go with “uneasy.” And Murphy with his jacket slung over his shoulder? Who knows!


“That would explain where the girl disappeared to this afternoon,” Steele says. He seems overcome by it all, leaning against the desk and loosening his tie. What can it mean?

BeardedSMileyWell, Sexy Body Language Tips for First Dates.com suggests it means Mr. Steele is becoming sexually aroused. Really? Then I don’t even want to know what leaning over the desk like that represents.

Murphy’s had enough.


Turning his well-toned glutes to the “fourth wall,” (I believe in the simian world this is known as “presenting”), he suggests they go to the police. Laura disagrees!


“No. We send the police in there, and Mike would get killed before we even got close.”

“Poor chap,” Steele agrees, reminding everyone he’s a Veddy Proper Englishman.

“He didn’t even know Kenji was leading a double life,” Laura points out.
“And now he’s smack dab in the worst of it, without a clue,” Steele adds.


“I can empathize,” Murph grouses.


Oh, snap! You’re letting your bitter show, Murphy.


“Any chance we can work a trade?” Steele suggests.


“With what?” Laura argues. “We still don’t know what the Palace of Heaven is.”

Steele points out that Tenaka thinks they DO know what the Palace of Heaven is.


“You mean set up a swap? And grab Mike before Tenaka realizes we’ve handed him a bag of hot air?”

Well, that was an intuitive leap, Murphy. How did he get that from Steele’s comment? Oh, and by the way, Murphy’s crossed arms indicate he is feeling defensive and resistant. Let it go, Murph. Just let it go.


“Too risky,” Laura says, running her hand through her hair (The gesture indicates exasperation or upset. Or, again, sexual arousal. This is getting to be a rather naughty post!). “We don’t even know how much hot air to put in the bag. And there’s no guarantee he’ll let Mike go no matter what we give him.”


Doesn’t give us much room to maneuver,” says Steele.

Aha! His words spark an idea in Laura.


“Unless we start thinking in terms of U and D!”

snarkwarningI don’t know about you, but I’m getting I and B (irked and bored) by this detective lingo – which we’ll never hear again after this episode, as far as I recall.


Murphy thinks Laura’s  U and D suggestion is S and W (stupid and wrong).

Now Steele’s the one without a clue. He hates being left out!


“Unique and Different?” he guesses.

“Why not? What other choice do we have?” Laura persists.


“Just think of the risks!” Murphy counters.

“Uncomfortable and deadly?” Steele tries again.


“And who’s gonna do it?” Murphy argues, menacing her with his belligerent chin again.

“All of us. Together,” Laura pronounces.

Steele likes that idea!


“Unified and dedicated!”

Aw, the team is back together.


Yay! Rah! Rah! Oops.


Laura knows Murphy’s not thrilled with the idea, but, “… when it comes to this stuff, he can be very-“


“Useful and diligent?”


He’s just so darn eager!


“We still need to come up with a plan.”


Murphy is NOT eager.

And Steele’s had enough of being left out.


“Excuse me!” he interrupts.”What kind of plan are we talking about?”

And the scene ends there.

What? ANOTHER cliffhanger? The suspense is killing me! In this scene we see the shifting roles and alliances in the agency. At first, Laura and Steele seem to be a unit, while Murphy is marginalized. But when they start talking their secret language, Steele is edged aside. Unlike Murphy, who is defensive and tries to knock down all of his rival’s suggestions, Steele makes an effort to understand, to insert himself back into the circle. Is Laura aware of these dynamics, I wonder?


Filed under Season 1

You’re Steele the One for Me – 12

We last left our heroes standing impotently on a sidewalk while their client is kidnapped in Little Tokyo. Seems like a convenient way to close the case, but that’s not Laura’s style.


The scene opens on Bernice. She’s talking to berating someone on the phone. “Who is this? Would you stop saying that? Come on, bub, what is it you really want?”

Better brush up on your phone skills, Bernice. No wonder the waiting room is empty.


“Ooooohhh,” she groans. I’m guessing it must be Steele, finally delivering the punch line to his lame cat-on-the-roof joke.


Nope! Here comes Laura – in the lead, natch – trailed by Murphy and Steele. She wants to know if Dickerson has shown up yet.


Bernice follows Laura to her office, declaring she wants the office phone number changed. THAT should improve business.

“Some creep’s been calling every 10 minutes for the past two hours, and he just won’t quit.”


“Obscene?” Laura asks, a little eagerly. (Her sex life has been a little dry lately.)

Obscene, Bernice can handle. “But no heavy breathing, no lewd suggestions, just one line, over and over,” she explains.

Let me guess: “How would you like to save 20% on your monthly phone bill?”


Damned telemarketers.


Laura wants to know what the line is.

“You’re still the one for me,” Bernice replies. (I had no idea they had that sort of relationship.)


Mr. Steele is touched (and perhaps a little turned on). “It’s really a rather nice sentiment, when you think about it.”


Just then the phone rings again. Mr. Steele reminds Bernice of her duty, while Murphy thumbs through his messages.

Guess who?


Mr. Steele takes charge. “I’ll handle this!”

Our hero!


Wow. Lois Lane has really let herself go. Ah, it’s not Lois. It’s some guy sight-reading from a notebook: “You’re Steele the one for me.”


“Steele here.”


“You’re Steele?”


“That’s right,” Steele answers with grim authority.

Meanwhile, Murphy is still reading his messages. Who are all these messages from? Why does it take him so long to read them? Both are mysteries more compelling than the present case.


“The one for me,” notLois says. “Come to 331 half first street.”


Mr. Steele waves away Bernice’s offer of a pen. “What was that again?”

He pulls out his OWN trust notebook and pen.


“Can you tell me what-“


NotLois is not interested in continuing the conversation.


“Certainly wasn’t a touching sentiment,” Steele reports.


Aaaannnnd … the scene fades.

Well, this bit is at least marginally more interesting than the last one. We see Laura fully in charge here, though seemingly not overly concerned about her missing client. Did they even call the police to report the abduction, I wonder? Murphy seems very passive here. He pays little attention when Steele grabs the phone and seems pretty disengaged from Bernice’s complaints about the mystery caller. Could he be brooding about being so marginalized in this case?









Filed under Season 1