Tag Archives: Murphy

Steeling the Show – 2

After the feisty old lady disappears into the night, the next thing we see is …

fromthesoundofit

… a feisty young lady: Laura, looking crisply professional as always. She is speaking to someone in Steele’s office. “From the sound of it, Miss Kirk, she hasn’t been gone very long.”

contactingthepolice

Laura rounds the desk, where Mr. Steele is NOT sitting, and faces her presumed client (and Murphy, looking casual-Fridays as always). Laura wants to know if Miss Kirk has contacted the police. I want to know why Miss Kirk is dressed like Mary Poppins.

tequila

Miss Kirk explains she was hoping to avoid drawing attention to her mother’s “medical problem.”  That problem being tequila. And besides, that fact that “she’s been virtual shut-in for the past 30 years has given rise to – frequent lapses in memory, bouts of senility, and even paranoid delusions. For the past two months, my mother’s been convinced that someone’s trying to kill her.”

andtheres

Murphy gives her a look.

willis

I believe it’s THIS look.

Murph wants to know if dear, old mom’s fears are warranted.

nobadhat

“No!” she insists. “Not if we’re talking reality.”

itssafe

Needing clarification, Laura tries to put it delicately: “So it’s safe to say we’re talking about-”

afull

“A four-star loon.” And yet you’re the one wearing that hat, Miss Kirk. Who’s the loon NOW?

randomalertThe loon is the state bird of my home state, Minnesota. Here’s what it looks and sounds like!

 

Meanwhile, in the lobby …

rolodex

Bernice is idly thumbing through her Rolodex. Perhaps she is checking her contacts for a more rewarding job (I suspect Janet DeMay was doing much the same by this point in the season.)

steeleenters

In waltzes a happy-go-lucky Mr. Steele. He looks well turned out (and really thin; Pierce’s second wife will feed him better). Bernice hurries to intercept him.

thisisnew

“Look at you!” she gushes.  “This is new, isn’t it? What a fabulous color for you!”

Um, Bernice? You haven’t said a civil word to the man since he started working here. You think he’s going to buy this?

letmeguess

Nevertheless, Steele’s instantly erect … newspaper suggests he’s flattered. But not fooled.

“Let me guess, Miss Wolf. Laura is in my interviewing a prospective client and you’ve been posted here to prevent me from joining them.”

withatrowel

Bernice concedes she laid it on a bit thick. “With a trowel,” he agrees.”

justthisonce

“Look,” she cajoles. “Just this once, couldn’t you let me win?”  Clearly still turned on by this repartee, Mr. Steele responds, “What? And ruin our perfect record?” Is that a trowel in your pocket, Mr. Steele, or are you just yada yada yada.

perfectrecord

Steele leaves Bernice with a puckish smirk and playful tap with his newspaper in the vicinity of her backside. Bernice mentally prepares her sexual harassment filing.

couldhandlethis

Back in the office, Mr. Steele arrives just in time to hear Miss Poppins say,  “I was hoping your agency could handle this with the right sort of discretion.”

Good news! Discretion is Mr. Steele’s middle name!

goodsense

Steele pronounces himself pleased that his minions went ahead and started without him.  But now he’s here, and ready to take charge.

mayorsoffice

Laura says she thought he was still busy … “At the mayor’s office?” he says. “What’s the point? My views on crime are public knowledge.” (I’m guessing his view is that crime is bad – if he’s not the one committing it.) Steele prefers to be here, where the action is. Where he can really make a difference. “Eh, Mr. Michaels?”

ehmrmichaels

“You certainly do make a difference, sir,” Murphy retorts, using that razor-keen wit for which he is famed.

howcanwebeofservice

“Now, how can we be of service?” Steele asks. Ordinarily, any woman would be happy to be service by Mr. Steele. But Miss Kirk seems unaffected by his charm. On the other hand, Laura seems VERY affected.

JenniferKirk

The new client is identified as Jennifer Kirk.

motherismissing

“Seems her mother, Veronica, is missing,” Laura grudgingly explains.

kirkhesays

This piques Mr. Steele’s interest. “Kirk?”

chooseyourkirk

Which Kirk is Steele a fan of?

Steelethrilled

As Laura tries to explain the particulars of the case, Mr. Steele is agog. “Veronica? Veronica Kirk?”

camilleofgowergulch

“Not THE Veronica Kirk? Death’s darling? The Camille of Gower Gulch?”
fangirling

Squeeeeeee!

afraidso

Miss Poppins isn’t impressed. “I’m afraid so,” she says.

youknew

Laura, who apparently wasn’t paying attention to all those hundreds of times Mr. Steele has demonstrated his encyclopedic knowledge of film, inquires, “You knew Veronica Kirk was an actress?”

youdidnt

“You didn’t?”

touche

Well played, Mr. Steele.

hasntmadeapicture

“Oh, it’s true she hasn’t made a picture in- must be nearly three decades-” he admits.

couldbe4

“Could be four, unless Phil Haver has his way.”

whosephilhaver

“Who’s Phil Haver?” Steele asks excitedly. (Perhaps Mr. Brosnan, already tired of this gig, is looking for new representation.)

aproducer

Sorry, Pierce. “He’s a producer urging Veronica to make a comeback.” Thanks for the exposition, Murph!

ohagoodidea

Steele thinks that’s a WONDERFUL idea!

aparasite

Miss Poppins doesn’t. “Phil Haver is a parasite who bleeds pathetic old women of their trust funds.”

awkwardspock

Oops.

awordinprivate

Laura decides she’d better remove Mr. Steele from the premises. “Might I have a word in private with you, Mr. Steele?”

lauraglowers

Outside the office, Laura gives Steele the stink eye.

sensitivenerve

Mr. Steele intuits that he might have hit a nerve.

“Several,” Laura confirms.

thoughtofbeing

Steele is only a little sorry. “The thought of being a mere relative away from Veronica Kirk, a veritable legend of the silver screen-”

derangedanddrunken

“A deranged and drunken woman.”

somean

Yikes. Nasty much, Laura?

thefactremains

Mr. Steele, apparently intimidated by Laura’s contempt, says maybe calling Veronica Kirk a legend is a bit of an overstatement. Nevertheless, “The fact remains- Veronica Kirk WAS the queen of the Bs.”

I believe you’re mistaken, Mr. Steele. According to Wikipedia,  this woman is known as the “Queen of the B Movie”

Lucille_Ball_1944crop

Who knew?

buzzbuzz

Laura, who apparently has never seen a movie, and despite living her whole live in the motion picture capital of the world doesn’t know what a B movie is, responds, “Buzz Buzz?”

secondfeature

Steele has to explain: “B movies. Second feature in a double bill. They were made on a shoestring, no budget, no stars, just good acting, great scenarios, and plethora of inventiveness.”

containyour

Laura has no patience for what will undoubtedly prove to be knowledge essential to solving the case. “If you can contain your thrill-”

thrillLaura

Mr. Steele is affronted to hear his adulation trivialized. “Thrill? Laura, Veronica Kirk was one of the GREATEST femme fatales of the cinema.”

diedinmorefilms

“She died in more films than any other actress around- and better, too.”

betterthanGarbo

“Better than Davis, better than Crawford, and for my money, better than Garbo.”

CAMILLE-20

Garbo, dying. (In Camille. 1936. MGM)

mayoutdo

Laura worries that if Veronica isn’t found soon, she might outdo herself in the death scene department.

timetoreminisce

“You’re right. Time to reminisce once we are sure that she’s safe.”

whatmakesyouthink

“What makes you think that the mayor can spare you?”  Laura snarks.

youcantbeserious

“Laura. You can’t be so cruel as to come between a man of my cinematic expertise and a star like Veronica Kirk?”

cinematicexpertise

“Can you?”

canyou

Pretty sure she can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steele Trap – 25

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

aweekendaway

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

justonething

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

inthehypo

“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:

digitalisleaf

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

arealdoctor

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

cardiac-medications-16-728

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

walntsandhoney

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

hardatwork

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.

theylookhappy

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 …”

incrediblefantastic

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.”

quitewell

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

meaningfullook

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

truthgame

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

Wait. I thought LAURA was the leader.

Murphy seems dubious “Really?”

newwatchword

“Absolutely,” Steele confirms.

aroundherenow

“Honesty is the new watchword around here now.”

Laura is pleased by this news.

yourrealname

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

theywait

The support staff wait expectantly.

williamshakespeare

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

stillhasthorns

“Still has thorns,” says Murphy.

muppetslaughing

You’re quite a wit, Murph!

theend

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!

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Steele Trap – 24

We are approaching the exciting climax of the episode! Oh, dear. Did I say climax?

okonemore

We see Steele and Laura racing toward the sound of the giggling.

snoopyiskiller

Here they come.

itsmemorex

As they arrive back in the drawing room, they are shocked to see …

skinnychick

Miss May, cavorting on tape.

wtf

This, it seems, is an unexpected development.

wtfcartoon

I thought Laura had this all figured out?

its9pm

Laura hits the pause button, and we note that it’s 9:08 pm. Does Mr. Steele get overtime for these long hours? Just then ..

comeout

Steele and Laura whirl at the sound of a voice behind them: “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

Um. I’m pretty sure they’re right there. Not hiding or anything.

abondgirl

Look! It’s Mrs. Roper, dressed like a Bond girl. Or a janitor.

quiteasurprise

Steele keeps his cool.  “Miss Russell. I must admit, this is quite a surprise.”

Is that your hands in your pockets, Mr. Steele, or are you just glad – nope. Just his hands in his pockets.
toodumb
Mrs. Roper has a gun trained on them, and now she’s insulted. You may wish to work on your people skills, Mr. S.

“Why? Because you thought I was too dumb to plan this weekend?” she says.

nooffense

“No offense,” Steele assuages her.

comfortablewithcartoons

“… but you do give the impression of someone more comfortable with cartoons than Kafka.”

Well, that should smooth things over.

shameonyou

“Shame on you, Mr. Steele,” she answers, leaning provocatively against the wall. ” You’re just like everybody else. When you have a face and a body, that’s all people figure you have.”

faceandabody

Something tells me Mr. Steele’s not so sure about the whole “face and body” rationale.

goodatsomething

“Devil magazine was going to be my chance to prove I was good at something besides showing myself,” she continues.

whatscomingtome

” Only, Ambrose didn’t give me what was coming to me.”

sohegotit

“So he got what was coming to him,” Steele says.

tapethatgreeting

Steele seems to appreciate the symmetry of her solution, but Laura wants answers. “How’d you get him to tape that greeting?” Laura asks.

sneakthruthekitchen

“He LOVED to prove how clever he was. When everyone was in watching him on television, he was going to sneak through the kitchen and be waiting at the dinner table when you came back.”

whatever

Can we just get on with the take-down?

Nope.

didntfoolyou

“I didn’t fool you for a moment with my impersonation of Dr. Bellows, did I?” Steele makes chit-chat.

took2years

“No, Mr. Steele. Not when it took two years in Switzerland to put me back together after that drunken butcher cut me up.”

waitwhat

Is there any point in us knowing this backstory?

askingallthese

“How did Dominic get in the house?” Laura wants to know.

“I hope you don’t mind us asking all these questions,” Steele adds.

quitetaken

“But we’re really quite taken with your creativeness.”

Are we?

unlockedthereardoor

“I unlocked the rear door. Didn’t want the poor man to catch his death outside.”

So … Randi killed Feldman, then ran back to the house, hid someplace while Steele & Laura locked all the doors, then unlocked the back door when they were elsewhere, then waited for Dominic to come back to his room and managed to get a noose around his neck and hang him (she’s stronger than she looks!), then got back downstairs ahead of Steele & Laura and turned on the VCR, then hid again until they came downstairs and confronted them instead of just shooting them dead when she saw them.

seemslegit2

If you say so.

intendtoleave

“Obviously you intend to leave this island before tomorrow morning,” Laura surmises. Meanwhile Mr. Steele, like the rest of us, seems on the verge of dozing off.

aboatmoored
“There’s a boat moored on the next island, just two point six miles with the current.”

2point6miles

” I swim every day to keep in shape.” Plus, she has a pair of flotation devices supplied by Dr. Bellows!

behindthescenesAccording to Wikipedia, “The Mae West was a common nickname for the first inflatable life preserver, which was invented in 1928 by Peter Markus (1885–1974) (US Patent 1694714), with his subsequent improvements in 1930 and 1931.[4] The nickname originated because someone wearing the inflated life preserver often appeared to be as physically endowed as the actress.”

170px-Mae_West_life_preservermae-west1

The Mae West life preserver; the Mae West

Isaluteyou

Steele seems delighted by the plan. “I, for one, salute you, Miss Russell.”

hitthebutton

Meanwhile, Laura steps back, pushing the resume button on the VCR.

contortions,

Cindi starts giggling again.

surpriseboom

Randi is demented distracted.

shallwedance

Steele makes his move!

finallygetshim

See, Laura? This is what happens when you turn Mr. Steele down too often. He lowers his standards.

likedyouasbellows

Randi, in her most familiar position (on her back) has the last word: “You know, I liked you a hell of a lot better when you were Dr. Bellows.”

badumsss

So now they just have to sit on her for another 12 hours in a house full of corpses, wait for the helicopter to come back, contact the authorities and explain what happened and undergo questioning at the police station for a few more hours. Sounds simple enough.

survivorphilippineslogo

And now we know where they got the idea for that reality show …

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Steele Trap – 6

We left Mr. Steele cooling his heels …

steelesurveys

Maybe he sees a spider on the ceiling? Just then, another unwelcome creature scuttles in:

mrsroeperreturns

Hello again, Mrs. Roper! “Yoo hoo!” she calls. (Yoo-hoo? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

umnose

Steele seems a little unnerved. Perhaps he’s discerned that Miss Holt won’t be up for a menage a’ trois this weekend.

faceisfamiliar

“You don’t remember me, do you?” she asks.

(Not surprising; “The Ropers” only lasted two seasons.)
Steele plays it diplomatic: “The face is somewhat familiar.”
ataloss.jpog
“It’s not the face you were familiar with,” oozes.

Mr. Steele confesses himself at a loss.

maybethis

“Well, maybe this’ll get the old crank turning,” (Crank turning? Oh, THAT’S what the kids are calling it these days.)

sheflasheshim

Mrs. Roper opens her caftan. Is she going to try to sell him a stolen watch?

 

surprise

“Miss Russell!”

behindthescenesI have to wonder if Randi’s last name is a sly nod to Jane Russell, the buxom actress. I recall Carol Burnett once commenting, “In 1943, Howard Hughes discovered two of his greatest assets: Jane Russell.” Hughes even designed a special bra to emphasize her bountiful bosom. Jane_Russell_in_The_Outlaw
The more famous Ms. Russell, displaying her talents in “The Outlaw.”

furtherdisrobes

“They’re YOURS,” Jane Junior purrs.

theyremine

“Mine?” (What gentleman could resist such an invitation?)

telleveryone

“I tell everyone they’re a work of art.”

lookingforLaura

Despite being a connoisseur of fine art, Mr. Steele is unimpressed terrified. “Um, could you put them away now?” He glances toward the bathroom, where …

ahMyrtle

… Miss Groggins, who is dressed rather more formally than their visitor, has emerged.

justgoingover

“Ah, Myrtle, uh, so glad you could join us,” Steele stammers. “That is, we were just going over her … er …”
bodybybellows
“Isn’t it GREAT having a body by Bellows?” Randi interjects.

shewouldntknow

Laura snipes that she wouldn’t know.

steelenapoleon

“You oughta try it,” Randi suggests. “It really gives you a LIFT.” Judging from the level of her gaze, she thinks Miss Holt’s tuckus could use a little work, too.

givesyoualife

Perhaps sensing that Laura isn’t prepared to receive guests, Jane Junior decides to withdraw. “We’ll be seeing more of each other over dinner.”
steeleexplains
“How much more can there BE?” Laura grows after she departs.

“It’s all right,” Steele reassures her. “I’m a doctor.”

noyournot

Laura reminds him, emphatically, that he is NOT. She grabs some gear from her bag and heads back to the bath. Is she going to sleep in the tub?

renovatedher

“Well, as a matter of fact, she thinks I… uh … renovated her,” Steele persists.

shewasapatient

Laura quickly spots a hole in this explanation. “She was a patient of Arthur Bellows? And she doesn’t know you’re a fraud?”

throwninalobotomy

“They must have thrown in a lobotomy at no extra charge.”

thatwentwell
Oh, dear. Isn’t this where we came in?

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Steele Trap – 2

murphsdressingbetter

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?

fingerpointing

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

dustingthegallery

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:

arthurbellows

“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

baseballguys

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

Dr-Bellows-i-dream-of-jeannie-6921734-720-576

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.

drunkkenness

“You know, lift this, tuck that.”

Niptuck_season_2

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.

whatsdevilsplayground

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.”
StMartin

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

steeleisinterested

“Resort?” Steele asks, suddenly attentive. “On an island? How intriguing.”
7-1-fantasy-island-Facebook

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

guykilledhimself

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

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.”

atthistoolong

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?”

skinnysteele

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

littleblackbags

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?

marcuswelby

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.

murphyiobjects

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

steeleprotests

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

gettingawayfromus

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

justascurious

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

hasustheremurph

“He has us there, Murph,” she admits.

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

anhourtopack

“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!

impersonatingsteele

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.

steeleissmug

Steele is pleased. Murphy is NOT.

murphsontohim

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

perishthethought

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

quickeyebrow

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

“What?”

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

steeletriumphant

“Your perception.”

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

murphdefeated

Murphy throws down his coroner’s report in disgust.

reluctantadmiration

Game, set and match to Steele!

And STILL no opening credits …

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Steele Trap – 1

And we’re back! Hope everyone had a great summer. Now, on to the business of Steele.

OpenDoor

Our episode opens on a nattily dressed couple entering an office. They’re starting to dress alike. It must be love!

anicecouple

Laura starts to introduce themselves to the receptionist, and Mr. Steele chimes in. “We have an appointment,” they say in unison.

Steele finishes the thought: “To see Dr. Bellows.”

financialstatement

The receptionist (nurse?) is the no-nonsense type. “Will you fill out this financial statement,” she begins briskly, handing them a bit of paperwork.

“I’m Remington Steele-” Remington Steele protests.

scaryreceptionist

“And also these waivers of liability,” says receptionurse.

fasttalking

“Waiver of liability, eh?” Steele says. Laura seems content to let him take the lead. Or, based on the look on her face, she’s waiting for him to mess this up. Oh, Laura.

Receptionurse explains that it’s a standard form that releases the doctor from responsibility if they croak on the operating table.

helooksather

Laura decides to step in. “You don’t understand …”

(Side note: How fabulous does Laura look in that fedora? And how obvious is Mr. Steele’s admiration for Laura here? The boy is smitten!)

bumsrush

Receptionurse isn’t interested in understanding. She wants cash on the barrelhead. “It’s customary to pay for medical services in advance.”

The detectives make an end run for the goal line.

weredonehere

“The fee for consultation is seventy five dollars,” the scary lady persists, moving to intercept them. And by the way, they don’t take personal checks.

The presumed patient’s patience has been expended.

nurseratchet

“Nurse Ratched,” Mr. Steele interjects. “We are private investigators, summoned by Dr. Bellows.”

funfacticon Steele references “Nurse Ratched,” a character from the 1975 film, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Louise Fletcher won an Academy Award for the role.

 

steelewins

Receptionurse Ratched wants to know why he didn’t just say so in the first place. She goes to call her boss.

agunshot

Suddenly there is a sound of a gunshot from inside the office, to which Nurse Ratched reacts rather belatedly and with some indifference.

theyburstin

Steele and Laura, however, race into the office.

callthepolice

Oh, look. A corpse. Laura checks to make sure Dr. Bellows is dead.

Turns out he is.

 

samanthaspade

As Receptionurse Ratched goes to call the police, Laura notices dead man is clutching something in his cold, dead fist.

devilsplaygroundinvite

It’s a not-very-elegant invitation: “You are cordially invited to spend the weekend in the Devil’s Playground.”

Well! An intriguing start to the episode, eh? Perhaps most mysterious, we have so far seen no credits. Where is the list of guest stars? Who wrote the script? When do our pals James Read and Janet DeMay get their due? So many mysteries already!

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In the Steele of the Night – 16

Kind of a short one this time. Too many irons in the fire!

steelerunsupstairs

We find Steele still on a mission! When his Laura is in trouble, he can jog those stairs pretty quickly.

looksaround

He’s in one of the rooms – Alan’s?

openscloset

… and starts rummaging through his drawers (that joke just never gets old).

heremurphyagain

Well, look! Murphy has followed him. Going to apologize, Mr. Michaels? Beg for your job back?

murphwatchessteele

Nope. He’s just going to slouch and pout. Meanwhile, Mr. Steele is getting impatient.

staringusintheface

“It’s staring us in the face, damn it!” he growls.

Murphy remains impassive. “Do you know what you’re looking for?”

noidea

“I’ve no idea.” Refreshing honesty, Mr. Steele. “Something. Anything that seems out of place. Alan’s room is the only one we haven’t been through. Closet, closet, closet.”

closetcloset

Murphy points toward the closet. Have you been here before, Murph?

opensclothescloset

“The man had excellent taste,” he notes. “A little conservative. Someone should have told him that herringbone is out.”

 funfacticonInterested in learning more about herringbone? Well, who wouldn’t be! Here’s GQ with all the need-to-know info: http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/11/dropping-knowledge-herringbone.html

lauraarrives

Murphy sits down, apparently to weep (my guess is he has a closet full of herringbone at home). Laura comes in. Steele continues his sartorial lecture.

actuallymurphy

“Houndstooth is au courant. Actually, Murphy, a trained eye can learn a great deal from a man’s clothes. We dress for what we are.”

orwhatwepretendtobe
“Or what we pretend to be.”

snappysnap

Oh, snap!

sparednoexpense
Steele will not be baited, sir! “Now what we have here is a man who spared no expense on himself,” Steele remarks. He goes and gets more suits.

custommade

“Silk suits, custom made, and by and large, always in style.”

embarrassing

Well, except for that appalling herringbone blunder.

lostagreatdealofweight

Laura seems to be getting a migraine as Steele continues to make observations about Alan’s sense of style. “A man who lost a great deal of weight, I would think.”

44to38

“He went from a size 44 to a 38 – with no stops in between. Hmm.”

Laura seems a little more interested, now.

eurekaLaura murphygetsittoo

Laura and Murphy exchange looks. “He’s done it again, hasn’t he?” Murphy asks.

didwhat

“Hmm?” Mr. Steele has no time for Murphy’s blathering. “Did what?”

ofcourseshesays
“Of course!” Laura exclaims.

allwrong

“We’ve gone about this thing all wrong!

dissectedeveryone

We’ve dissected everyone …

fromthestart

… but the one person we should have been looking at from the start!”
murphgetsinexercise
Murphy finds her performance gripping. “Alan!”
dontbeabsurd
“Alan?” Mr. Steele tries to be patient with dunderheaded Murphy. “Don’t be absurd. The man’s dead.”
gettingreadytoleave
“The others are calling the police,” Laura tells Murphy. “Getting ready to leave. We have to stop them!”

To the Batcave!
havetostopthem
Steele watches them go, then continues examining the suits. “Ha!”

tryingonforsize

Looks like Steele may beef up his own wardrobe. Well, at least he’ll get something out of the weekend.

examiningquality

“Well, maybe not.”

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In the Steele of the Night – 15

After a slightly confusing cut …

steeledozing

… we find our Mr. Steele twiddling and dozing in the dining room.

columbomoment

A bit of aimless wandering. It seems to have gotten dark. Wonder what they all have done for the past four and a half hours since Donald protested his innocence. How long does it take Murphy to process fingerprints? And how does he even do it? Does he just eyeball ‘em?

bidingtheirtime

All the suspects, sans Murphy, seem to have gathered in the dining room. Perhaps to gnaw on the floral centerpiece, since besides Mr. Steele’s magical breakfast, I don’t think any of them have eaten anything since they got here.

murphinsilhouette

Speaking of Murph … here he comes! He makes a slightly ominous silhouette.

whatdidyoufindmurph
“Ah, Murphy,” Steele announces. “There you are. Did you make a match? No disputing fingerprints. Finest crime fighting tool ever invented.”

lotofpartials

Well, he looks glum. Perhaps he found his OWN prints at the crime scene. He launches into his scientific dissertation on forensic technique.

“There were a lot of partials in the elevator. Many were unusable. Of the identifiable prints, most were Alan’s and there were a few I couldn’t match up.”
glassesonKent

Donald puts on his glasses, the better to see Murphy’s grim visage.

increduloussteele
Steele’s had enough of the stalling. “Murphy, the sun has set. The suspense is building!”

onward

“Onward!”

oneverygoodprint

“There was one very good print on the STOP button. It was a perfect match,” Murphy continues.

Not sure why a fingerprint on the stop button is definitive proof of the murderer’s identity … maybe if the print were on Alan’s dead neck.

 

seinfeldshrug

Whatever.

thenwehaveit

Steele is delighted! “Then we have it. Our murderer. A fingerprint is a good as a signed confession.”

irrefutableevidence

“Caught in the vise of irrefutable evidence!”

Oh, he’s getting wound up now.

sandywondersabouthim

Sandy seems to be wondering if he’s going off the rails.

counteraccusations

Steele continues, driving the point home. “No denials …”

asgoodasaconfession

“… no counter accusations will set this killer free!”

lauralooks

Laura begins to wonder when Mr. Steele is going to conclude this soliloquoy.

tellus

Perhaps sensing he’s losing his audience, Steele wraps it up. “So. Please, Murphy. Tell us: Whose print is it?”

laurasprint
“Laura’s.”
awkward

Well! That’s an unexpected twist.

wellthatsunexpected

Wait. What?

looksdownatlaura

Steele looks down at Laura. “Laura?”

ohdearLaura

Laura looks stunned mildly interested.

fadeout

The scene fades to black ….

defensiveLaura

And we’re back! Laura looks a little peeved. Being accused of murder by your business partner will do that for you.

steeleisthereforher

Mr. Steele offers his associate silent support.

ImsorryLaura

‘”I’m sorry,” says Murph.

neverinthatelevator

Laura is shaken, but unbowed. “I was never in that elevator.”

Aw, look at Mr. Steele being all protective.

twothingstosay

“I have only two things to say,” Steele begins authoritatively.

IhaveknownLaura

“I have known Laura Holt …”

houseOops

… erm …

erm

“I don’t what even to think how long I’ve known Laura Holt.”

clapping

Nice save, Mr. Steele!

Icansay

And I can say, without fear of repudiation…”

Repudiation? You’re going to have Murphy running for his dictionary again.

isincapable

“…that this woman is incapable of any foul play against Alan Grievey or anyone else.”

asupportivelook

Right, Mr. Steele!

Right, Mr. Steele?

arentyou

“Aren’t you?”

youhavetoask

Now is NOT the time to waver, mister.

rhetoricalqustion

“Rhetorical question.”

tapdancing

Keep dancing, Mr. Steele!

conferswithMurphy

Steele’s going to get to the bottom of this, by God! He will exonerate his Laura!

He pauses at the door to exchange a quiet word with Murph.

yourfired

“I also want to say …”

lauraisamazed

Laura looks puzzled …

thatsneertho

… then weirded out.  Is it because of Steele’s presumption at firing Murphy … or is she touched that he’s so adamant in her defense?

wellthisisawkward

An uncomfortable silence falls over the room. Alan throws a fun party!

grandexit

Murphy turns and follows Remington out the door …

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In the Steele of the Night – 10

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

assumethepositionMurphy

(Now bend over and cough?)

“No gun,” he declares.

whatamess

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/

steeleassess

“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.)
noneedtotellyou
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.

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

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

precisely

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

wevolunteer

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

 

wellallgo

“We’ll ALL check it, hmm?”

awaytheygoagain

Okay!
A moment later …

sixinanelevator

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

crowded-phone-booth

 

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

excusemeplease

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.
whatsmurphdoing
“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?”
dustingforprints
“‘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:


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

carlshadenough

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

offtheygothen

Apparently he does.
lauraobserves
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.”

wantsomecoffee

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

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

sandyhitsbutton

leans over and presses the door close button.

Ineedthelight

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

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.”
IdidntkillAlan
“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.”

murphyhasbighands

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

 

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In the Steele of the Night – 9

Breakfast time!

steeletucksin

Nothing like the sight of a fresh corpse to work up a good appetite, eh, Mr. Steele?

noappetite

The others don’t seem to be hungry. I wonder why? (Since no one else even has a plate, can we assume Mr. Steele rustled up his own breakfast? He sets an elegant table!)

ravenous

“Forgive me. Ravenous,” he explains.

behindthescenesravenousposterRavenous. Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette. 20th Century Fox, 1999. During the Spanish-American War, the leader of a partying journeying west resort to cannibalism and finds he likes it. Oh, dear. Is the plot of this episode about to take a very surprising twist? (Nope. It’s unlikely Mr. Steele was referencing this film, which was released 17 years after this episode aired.)

dyedinthewool

Steele begins to dazzle his audience with his investigative acumen: “Now then. Let’s begin at the beginning. Being dyed in the wool professionals…”

asuperbwitness

“… we all know that the last person to see the victim alive is either a superb witness-”

heknowshislines

Hm. It seems like Laura’s heard this song before, as she mouths the words as he says them: “… or an excellent suspect,” Steele (and Laura) conclude.

hesverygood
“He’s very good,” Sandy whispers. Does Laura agree? If so … what is it he’s very good at?

questionIputtoyou
The Great Detective takes up his cuppa. “So then: The question I put to all of you is quite simple:”

whowaslastperson
“Who was the last person to see Alan Grievey alive?”

carlsfinger

“The murderer.” There’s that killer instinct again. He’s one sharp cookie, our Carl.

headsswivel

His colleagues turn to look at him … accusingly? He apparently thinks so.

asetup

“What is this? A set up?” He gets to his feet and begins to pace the room. “I know you all heard me and Alan last night. But I wasn’t the last one with him, and I didn’t kill him!”
So how do you know who was the last one with Alan, Carl?

youhatedalan
“You HATED Alan,” Sandy insists.

waltercronkite

“Well listen to Walter Cronkite here with the latest breaking news,” Carl says.

funfacticonWalter Cronkite was the anchor of the CBS news broadcast for nearly 20 years (1962-81) and was known as “the most trusted man in America.” Here’s his famous sign-off:

sureIhatedAlan

“Sure, I hated Alan,” Carl continues, pacing. “You know how the Alan Grievey Agency got so big so fast?”

Tell us, Carl!

copiedeveryfile

“Alan had me copy every phone number, every file, and every client who had ever done business with Havenhurst. And you know how he thanked me? He laughed in my face. Said he didn’t have any positions for people who couldn’t be trusted.”

steeleisengrossed

Steele is enjoying the show as much as the breakfast.

goodolddonald

Carl continues. “Then he called good old Donald over here, made sure HE knew what I’d done.”

offmyparkingspace

“By the time I got from Alan’s to Havenhurst, my name was off my parking space. Thanks to good old Alan, no one will touch me.”

And thanks to you, Carl, for the exposition! Sounds like our man Alan was a real nogoodnik!

drovecadillac

Don isn’t very sympathetic. “Don’t anybody get out the violins,” he snarks, in his mild-mannered way. “The man drove up in a Cadillac.”

Yeah, what about THAT, Carl?

thatswhatIdo

“I repossessed it yesterday afternoon. It goes back to the dealer on Monday. That’s what I do for a living now, folks.”

Oops. Awkward. Still, you need killer instincts for that kind of work, right?

catchmeontheweekends

“You should always catch me on the weekends, Laura. That’s when I look good.”

whenIlookgood

Huh? Is all this about Carl trying to make an impression on Laura? Miss Holt seems as puzzled as I am.

weallhatedalan

“Sure I hated Alan,” he concludes. “We ALL hated Alan.”

Did we? Why did we ALL hate Alan?

whataboutthegun
Murphy wants to know about the .38 in OOG’s suitcase.
didntbringagun

Carl doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

carlIsawit

Murphy gets all up in Carl’s biznus. “I saw it!”

Oh, you crazy kids. Why don’t you just admit you’re in love?

checkcarlsroom

Mr. Steele knows how to get to the bottom of this! “Miss Holt, would you be kind enough to check Carl’s room?”
sherises

Laura’s ready to go.

sheworkswithmurphy

Carl’s not having it. “No way! She works with Murphy. How do I know she’s not gonna plant something?”
illgo
Donald says he’ll go. Carl likes that even less.
youno
“YOU?! No!”
thenillgo
Sandy volunteers. Nope.
“Not on your life!” Carl grouses.

Now what, Mr. Steele?

weallgo

“What if we all go?”

takeoffrunningaparadesearchingtheroom

Apparently they’re on board with that idea.

strippingbed
In Carl’s room they start tearing it apart as Steele and Laura watch from the doorway.

Oh, dear. Housekeeping’s not going to like this. (Why does no one think to question the household staff, by the way? And where IS the household staff?)

amusedsmirk
Strangely, Laura doesn’t seem engaged in the hunt. She’s more interested in Mr. Steele. (Can’t say I blame her.) “You wanna tell me about that amused smirk on your face?”

She can tell his smirking without even looking at him. They know each other so well!

leadthem

“You thought I was going to embarrass you,” he answers. “These people need someone to lead them, someone to guide them. Someone to show them how it’s done. And they chose me.”

Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.

dontknowyou

“They don’t KNOW you,” Laura retorts a little sullenly.

theirloss

“Their loss.” I’m not sure Steele is referring to the rest of the group. What do you think?

He makes his exit …

shefollows

… followed by Laura. Look at that Breck bounce in her hair!

stillhunting

They leave the Keystone Kops to finish tossing Carl’s room.

loverspainting

Walking down the hallway, they pass a painting of lovers embracing. Significant?

Around the corner, Mr. Steele has a question for his associate.

lurkingtogether

“What do we do next?”
youreaskingme
“Me? YOU’RE asking ME?” Laura puts that community college theatre minor to good use!

dramaqueen

Drama queen much?
guidethem

“I thought YOU were going to LEAD them, GUIDE them, show them how it’s done.”

Now, Laura. Let’s not be petty.

tellmehowtodoit

Steele seems unaffected by her sarcasm. “And I am. As soon as you tell me how to do it.”
wonderful

Don’t make him grovel, Laura. He hates that. “Oh, come on. Something. Anything. Last person to see the victim alive -”

haveanotherone

“Wonderful! Sounds so … official. Happen to have another one like that?”

thatgrintho

That grin, tho. Laura, you know you can’t resist the man.
sceneofthecrime
“Scene of the crime,” she offers.

Steele needs more.

conclusivephysicalevidence
“Scene of the crime. The best single source for conclusive physical evidence is almost always the scene of the crime.”
thankshesays
“Thanks!” Steele is back on the case, ready to dispense his hard-won wisdom.

silentscream

There’s that look again, Laura. Perhaps you should see your doctor when you get home. I think you’re developing a nasty tic.

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