Tag Archives: Murphy

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.

uncomfortableLaura

Laura does NOT think that is a good idea. “Alan, Mr. Steele’s been traveling all day.”

polarflights

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.

Lauraneedsadrink

Oh, dear. Laura seems a little unsettled (or thirsty).

yeswell

“A murder. Yes … well …”

thinkingaboutamurder

“So many to choose from.”

tapdancingpenguin

Keep tap dancing, Mr. Steele!

brightsmileLaura

“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.

nonsensedear

“Nonsense, dear. Nonsense,” Mr. Steele pooh-poohs again.

pooh

Hello, Pooh!

quitedead

“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.

ladyinred

We see Steele’s audience listening intently as he continues: “She met me at the front door of the residence …”

scowlingCarl

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.”
disappointedalan

Alan seems disappointed. “THAT is your best murder?”

Hey, pal. Give him credit for guessing what this game is even about.
certainlyis
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.

 

pathofthebullet

“It certainly is,” Steele continues.

insidehischest

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.”

fromhisinsides
NOW Alan is impressed. “The bullet travelled from his insides-out?”

precisely
“Precisely.”

firedthefatalshot

“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 …”

toomuchtodrink

Laura is feeling woozy. “I think I’ve had too much to drink.”

bestmurder

“Yes, I would call that a best murder,” the detective concludes.

notenoughtodrink
Murphy doesn’t think he’s had ENOUGH to drink.

murphyglass

Easily remedied, Murph!
thatsincredible
“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.
catatecanary

“The answer …”

Yes, Mr. Steele?

whatstheanswer

“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?

taketheweekend

“Take the night – or the weekend for that matter.”

invadeyourdreams

“Allow it to sink into your thoughts, invade your dreams. Consider it. Ponder it.”

ponderit

“And then, if the answer is not obvious to you …”

notobvious

He trails off and sits down next to Laura.

veryglad
“I’m very glad you came, Mr. Steele,” Alan smiles. “You’re going to add a great deal to this weekend.”
lifeoftheparty

“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.

propreitarySteele

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”?

untilthemorning

Alan’s suddenly ready to go to bed and “ponder” (Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

thegrouprises

He and the crowd get up to leave.

Laurahasheadache

Mr. Steele sticks close to Laura. Perhaps he figures they’ll bunk together?

carlandalanlinger

Strangely, Carl and Alan linger behind. I thought you were tired, Alan.

steelecasing
Laura and Steele also dawdle. Mr. Steele seems to be casing the joint. The delay allows Laura to make a move on her boss.

steelecollared

She grabs him and pushes him up against a pillar. To ravish him? He seems amenable.

lauraleaningin

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

“Fascinating, isn’t it?”

mrspockgif

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!
wouldIembarrassyou
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-”
madeitup
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.
youmakepromises
“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!

restofthegang

The rest of the Scooby gang has reassembled at the top of the stairs to watch the show.

spongebobpopcorn

Everybody loves a good drama.

eyesup

Laura and Steele eyeball the crowd. Isn’t it cute how they act in unison? Meanwhile, at the bottom of the stairs…

dontpushme

“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.

allknowingalan

Well. That went well, don’t you think?

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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 …

brandysnifter

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

mangetsonelevator

“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.

basilrathbone

At last! The game is afoot!

funeralspray

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.

Nope.

urns

“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.

Ood

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

hasntstopped
Sandy asks, “It hasn’t stopped?”
Negatory.

poisoned
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?”
notpoisoned
Nopey. “Not poisoned.”

hewasmurdered
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.

thenameofthegame

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

whosthatknocking

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?”

highkickLaura
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?)

alancomeon

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.”
littleselfcontrol
“A little self control, Sandy,” he says. “I promise I won’t let you go home without the answer.”

laurapauses
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.

hopenotlate

Oh, dear. “Hope I’m not late,” says the late Mr. Steele.
sheslamsit
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.

reopensit

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

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

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

welcomemrsteele

“Where did you get that?” Laura asks peevishly.
nottheonlysleuth
“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?)

confusedkitty

A little confused, now.

wastebasket

Despite her apparent irritation, she gamely takes his arm.

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

knowthattrick

“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.

heartburnlaura

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

 

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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?

murphsmakingtime

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

angrybuffy

Just like a man.

youfinallymarried

“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.

leanin
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.

buymewithdinner

“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?).

ohsnap

Oh, snap!

“Love is strange,” Sandy says.

So is this scene. What’s the point?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch on the veranda …

high-neckedLaura

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

casualwear

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

seesthecouple

She observes Murphy and OOH. Is she jealous?

OOGiswatching

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?

beenalongday

“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.
playdetective
“It’s been a long day, Carl. I’m tired – I don’t wanna play detective.”

missedopportunities

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.

laurayawns

Laura is fascinated by his insight.

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

pitythefool

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

 

wasalan

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.”

saysomethingholt

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

 

winkingMiley

… or someone else?

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

Pretty sure she’s not, really.

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

ohshemurmurs

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

Fluke Man!

somethingbetter
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?

killerinstinct

“Killer instinct.”

BA BA BUM!

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?

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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?

LauraMurphydriving

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.

4yearssince

“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.

hahaha

“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?

someswankestate

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

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

somebodyisrich

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?

beardedguy

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.

couldntbehelped

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.

marseilles

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

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

fellawhotaughtyou

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

awkwardembrace

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

awkwardembrace

Here’s a re-enactment. Awkward!

fessup

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.

bueller

Anyone?

thereisnomrs

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

notyet

“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?

ohyou

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

bodylanguagesaysno

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.

killtolose

“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.

placesyouhaventseen

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

reunionsbegun

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.

anelevator

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.

noticemyseville

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.”
herecommendsit

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

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.”

casualmurphy

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

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.)
selectingneckwear
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.”

alloverLaura

“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-“

murphfindsgun

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?

thatcleftchintho

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?”

Murphissuspicious

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

Iwouldntknow

“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.

 

 

 

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In the Steele of the Night – 1

And on we go to our next episode!

beatupdresser

Our episode opens on a close up of a battered bureau, with a silver tray on top.

paperclips

As a gloved hand pulls open the bureau drawer, and we see the title of the episode.

behindthescenes“In the Still of the Night” may refer to an American jazz Standard composed by Cole Porter. It was introduced by Nelson Eddy in 1937’s “Rosalie.” It could also reference a song of the same title recorded by the Five Satins in 1956. A film titled “Still of the Night,” starring Roy Scheider and Meryl Streep, was released by MGM in 1982. Does the title relate to any of these? Perhaps we’ll find out!

But wait! There’s something wrong here. Who keeps paperclips in the same drawer as their gun? Suspicious.

The Gloved One …

notthatone

Nope, not THAT Gloved One.

removesthegun.jp

THIS Gloved One withdraws the firearm from the drawer.

bulletsintrinketbox

Then he opens the little wooden box to reveal it’s full of bullets. Hm. I would have expected rubber bands.

pleatedtrousers

The camera pulls back to reveal that the Gloved One is wearing a cozy sort of sweater. My God! I know who the murderer is!

fred-rogers-lg

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood … TO BE DEAD! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

carlenewatkins

Our first guest star is revealed.

 

behindthescenesCarlene Watkins seems to have specialized in sitcoms, appearing in “Best of the West,” “Taxi,” “Mary,” “The Tortellis,” “Dear John,” “Bob,” “Frazier” and “Home Improvement.” Several of these series were produced by her husband, Ed. Weinberger, but I’m sure that’s simply a coincidence.

 killerisMrRogers

Gun in hand, Mr. Rogers proceeds … somewhere.

JeffPomerantz

And here’s our next guest star!

 

behindthescenesJeff Pomerantz has had a long career, dating from an appearance in “Combat!” In 1966 to an episode of “Modern Family” in 2013. He’s done a lot of soap work, including “One Life to Live,” “Santa Barbara,” “General Hospital,” “The Secret Storm” and “Search for Tomorrow.”

 philipcharlesmackenzie

behindthescenesPhilip Charles MacKenzie is best known for a role on the first made-for-cable sitcom, Brothers. He also has extensive acting and directing credits up until 2006.

ArthurRosenberg

Mr. Rogers creeps into some room … Is it Arthur Rosenberg’s room?

behindthescenesArthur Rosenberg has had a long career as a “working actor,” guesting on many popular series since 1976. His most active period was the 1980s, and his most recent role was an episode of “JAG” in 2004.

 

shirtinsuitcase

Ah! Mr. Rogers has gone into a bedroom where there is an open suitcase waiting.

placesgunin

He tucks the gun under a men’s shirt. Hope he’s not planning on traveling very far. Pretty sure that won’t make it through airport security.

writtenbyjoelsteiger

behindthescenesWriter Joel Steiger has had a long career in television writing and producing, specializing in mysteries. He’s written for Matlock, Diagnosis Murder, Perry Mason, Jake & the Fatman, and Father Dowling Mysteries, among his other credits. This is his only episode of Remington Steele.

 This is all very mysterious, isn’t it. Perhaps the greatest puzzle: who packs their socks like that?

lettertosteele

The scene cuts to another drawer opening. Inside we see an envelope addressed to Remington Steele Investigations, in a flowing, feminine-looking hand. A clue! To what? Beats me!

cordiallyinvited

It evolves that we are in the executive office of Remington Steele himself. Our hero turns over the envelope to reveal an invitation …

reunion

Oh, a reunion! EVERYONE loves those!

dyingtomeethim

Looks like Mr. Steele does, anyway. If I didn’t know our boy, I’d think that was a vaguely calculating look. Nah.

anemptydesk

It seems Mr. Steele is characteristically busy today. Can he make time in his schedule to attend this function?

MissWolfe

He proceeds to the lobby, perhaps to offer Laura a ride to this special event. How strange! The place seems to be empty!

“Laura? Murphy? Miss Wolf?” he calls. “Anyone?”

Well! Based on this opening, I don’t know whether this will be a better episode than the last one (but I bet it is). However, we can say for sure that Mr. Steele is very well dressed. And that’s something, isn’t it?

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 18

Good news! We’ve finally reached the exciting climax of this action-packed episode!

catyawning

templateagain

Here we are at the Japanese temple. Wait a second. Isn’t this where we came in? That can only mean …

groundhogday

NOOOOOOOO!

backatthetemple

Murphy’s at the wheel. “Think he could be here?” we hear him say as the car pulls up.

“If he staged his own death, he’d have to know who turned up for the funeral,” Laura’s voiceover replies.

confusion

Um … what? I’m not really following this, but apparently Laura knows what’s going on.

Murphy adds that they’ve already been everywhere else. What a long, long episode night this has been for everyone!

leapingsteele

Everybody but Murphy exits the car. Mr. Steele shows his Action Man persona by leaping energetically out of the backseat.

dontworrysaysmurphy

He pauses to give Murph his orders. “Oh, Murphy, would you-“

Murphy’s way ahead of him: “Don’t you worry. I’ll shoot any wild hoops that happen along.”

titters

Okay. Maybe it’s not THAT funny.

 

anothernoserub

Everybody but Murphy enters the temple. Steele is picking his nose again.

craddockishere

Oh, look. Craddock is already here … praying? (Must be a convert.)

Mr. Steele decides to interrogate him.

buhbyeCraddock

“Pardon me, I don’t mean to disrupt your reverie, but have you seen by chance-“

thud

Thud.

checkthepulse

Mr. Steele checks his pulse. He’s still quite rosy-hued, not the sickening gray pallor of most corpses. Can he still be saved?

Nope.

thiscantbe

Steele wonders if the dead man is Mike’s much older, much less Japanese brother.

“I don’t know who it is,” Mike assures him.

Laura fills in the blanks. “It’s Major Craddock,.” She asks for confirmation of the obvious. “I take it he’s …”

dickersonnotdisappointed

“Let’s just say that Dickerson won’t be disappointed,” Steele quips.

BeardedSMiley Sigmund Freud in his 1927 essay Humour (Der Humor) puts forth the following theory of gallows humor: “The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.”  Okkaaaaay …. I guess that’s as reasonable an explanation as any for this lame joke.

shouldnthavecome

Suddenly there is a voice from the gallery.

muppetguys

Is it these guys? Sadly, no.

myownfault

Kenji Ito, I presume. “You shouldn’t have come,” he says. (I know, but we’re practically at the end. Too late to bail out now.)

He displays the same curious absence of expression and tonal inflection that characterizes his younger brother.

I begin to think we’re in the wrong movie again, Laura. It’s not the Third Man after all.

night3

These guys are zombies!

couldnoteasilyaccept

In slow, ponderous tones, Kenji begins to unspool his tale. “It’s really my fault. I worked so hard all those years to earn your respect. I should have known you could not easily accept my death.”

youryakuza

“You’ve been … Yakuza- all this time?” Mike asks.

carrymyshame

“I saw no reason for you to carry my shame. Away from me, in this country, you could have a decent life. A life with honor.” Ah, I was wondering when they were going to trot out that old “honor” stereotype. Let me guess: Kenji didn’t want his brother to “lose face.” Right?

neverknowthetruth

“And I would never know the truth.” Mike is clearly devastated by his brother’s betrayal.

Itoldhimnothing

Kenji explains that Craddock caught him, then released him, then spread the word that he had talked.

Whatever. Apparently Kenji stole some kind of computer code that details the Yakuza’s operation in Japan.

idontgetit

Does anyone?

palaceisacode

Laura does! She deduces that the computer code is the mysterious “Palace of Heaven.”

Yeah, that makes sense.

rumpledito

Kenji reaches into his inside pocket. OMG! Does he have a gun?

Nope.

doesntlooklikeapalace

It’s just a little book. “Doesn’t look like a ‘Palace of Heaven’, does it? I thought maybe I could trade it in for my freedom. But when I called you at the airport, I spotted one of Tenaka’s men following me and ran.”

caughtupwithhim

“But he caught up with you,” Laura surmises.

westruggled

“We struggled. I pushed him in front of a car.” It’s clear how deeply affected Kenji was by this horrific incident. I think his eyebrows even moved a little!

gavehimyourID

“So you gave him your identification and staged your own funeral,” Steele deduces. Brilliant! Can we go home now?

Nope.

nobodyhunts

“Nobody hunts for a dead man,” Kenji intones. “Nobody, that is, except Remington Steele.”

steeleisbored

Unfortunately, Mr. Steele is unable to appreciate this bit of praise, having dozed off. You and me both, Steele.

At Laura’s prodding, Kenji readily admits to having murdered Craddock. Bored him to death, presumably, since there wasn’t a mark on the body.

Ididnotbwetrayhim

“He left me no choice. This way, Tenaka will know that I did not betray him and would not seek revenge on Mike.”

Whatever. OMG, can we just get on with it?

youstillhavecodes

“But you still have the codes,” Steele points out.

keepitnow

“You will keep it now,” Kenji says, handing over the book. “To ensure my brother’s continued safety. Tenaka knows that you are a man of honor.”

So the detectives are just supposed to keep this book of codes detailing heinous crimes locked up in their file cabinet, thus allowing the Yakuza to continue their nefarious ways unimpeded and waiting for Tenaka’s thugs to break into the office to kill them and take back the codes?

legit

Okay.

steelenotsosure

Laura explains that they still have to call the police. Because of, you know, that whole murder in the temple thing.

fewminutes

This prompts Kenji to launch into another long soliloquoy. Or maybe it just SEEMS long because he says his lines so.damned.slowly. “You know, Mike, I dreamed, one day, to leave the Yakuza, and join you in business. The dream now has only a few remaining minutes of freedom. Now that you know the truth …”

No worries, Kenji.

mikeisdevastated

Mike isn’t upset. Or maybe he is. Who can tell?

The two brothers go off together someplace. Are they escaping? Going to commit ritual suicide? Running out for sushi?

We’ll never know.

sadwaytoend

 “You know, this is really a very sad way for things to end,” Laura comments.

If you are referring to the lethargic and pointless denouement of this episode, I agree!

Steele doesn’t.

killedorson

“Not really. In ‘The Third Man’, Joseph Cotten killed Orson Welles.”

Surely death would have been kind for all of us, Mr. Steele.

Well, this is one of my favorite segments, only because it finally brings us the end of this lame-o mystery. I have to wonder how Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan felt when reading this script and playing these scenes. This may have been the time Miss Zimbalist referred to in an early interview when she described the two of them going off to a bar over the lunch hour to wallow in their mutual fear of failure. Fortunately, this episode marks the low point of season 1 and is a strong contender for worst episode of them all. Cheer up, Laura and Rem – things are about to get better!

Next, the tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 17

When last we saw our detectives, they had rescued Mike Ito.

nightinthecity

Looks like it’s still night time.

raucouslaughter

We hear laughter approaching the door to Steele Investigations. It’s our intrepid trio, plus one. Laura has a serious case of wig head.

inthefridge

They decide a celebration is in order. Laura remembers there’s still something in the refrigerator. But first she has to change.

wishIknewhowtosayit

Laura goes off to change, and Murphy goes off to … well, who knows. Maybe the men’s room. Anyway, Steele and Mike Ito are left behind.

“I wish I knew how to say it,” Mike says. (So does your acting coach.)  “What you guys did for me today, that was really …”

uandDhesays.jp

“U and D,” says Steele. (Uninteresting and Dumb?) Ito doesn’t know what his savior is talking about.

justalittlejargon

“Just a little jargon we detectives employ to simplify communications.”

He leads Mike into his office.

allinanightswork

“Whatever you call it, thanks,” says Mike.

Steele is diffident. “Ah, all in a night’s work, eh?”

seemmoregrateful

“Sorry if I don’t seem more grateful,” Mike apologizes. Not to worry, Mr. Ito. We’re all used to your lack of emotional affect by now.

yourbrother

Steele is compassionate. See him express more with his expression than Mike Ito does with his dialogue? That’s called ACTING.

“Yes, of course. Your brother.”

onlyyousteele

“It was tough enough finding out he was dead … with all this Yakuza stuff.”

Mike confesses that at the moment, the only thing that seems real to him is Mr. Steele.

wideeyedsteele

Well, that’s ironic. See Mr. Steele’s eyebrows? Even THEY are better actors than Mike Ito.

“Yes, well, we’re still trying to fit the last pieces into place ourselves,” Steele deflects.

Just then Laura arrives.

caughtinasqueeze

Her hair has recovered amazingly. But what the hell is she wearing? A monk’s robe?

Mike asks just how bad his brother was.

“We only know he was caught in a squeeze between Tenaka and a Major Craddock of army intelligence about something called the ‘Palace of Heaven,'” Laura explains. “Does that mean anything to you?”

Nope.

whatshouldwdrinkto

Murph has appeared out of nowhere (again), with filled glasses. He hands them round.

“Well, what shall we drink to, then, eh?” Steele wants to know.

murphyshesays

“Murphy?” Laura suggests. Well, that seems a little unfair. He hasn’t even been very involved in this case.

teamworkhesays

Turns out, Laura wasn’t suggesting they drink to Murphy. She was asking Murphy what they should drink to. Wonder why she offered that honor to Mr. Michaels. Does she perhaps sense he’s feeling alienated? With a side eye to Steele, Murphy offers, “Teamwork?”

Aw, happy ending. Hurray!

Wait. You mean it’s NOT over? Longest.Episode.Ever.

soundofdoor

The group hears something in the lobby.

anyonelockthedoor

“Did anyone lock the front door?” Steele wonders.

quickthelights

“Quick! The lights!” Laura hisses. How many detectives does it take to turn off a light switch?

Three, it would seem.

assumethepositions

They take up ambush positions.

someguyinasuit

The door opens, revealing a guy in a suit.

steelepounces

Steele grabs the intruder by the lapels!

musclehimtothegtround

The manly men of Steele Investigations muscle him to the ground, while Laura hits the lights.

“All right, I want to know who you are and what you’re doing here. And be quick about it,” Steele demands.

dickersonfromthemorgue

“I’m Dickerson from the morgue. You asked me to come,” the guy gasps.

Oops. But to be fair, who walks into an apparently dark office in the middle of the night without at least announcing his presence?

bigpuffyhair

They help him up. I’m going to go ahead and assume they seriously messed up his hair when they tackled him, because if that’s what it’s supposed to look like, I’m just really, really sad.

“I work the night shift,” says a surprisingly forgiving Dickerson. “I came over as soon as I got off.”

He of course assumed that a place of business would still be open at 3 am.

steelesfanboy

Ah, now we know the reason Dickerson wasn’t miffed by being manhandled. He’s a fanboy! “Wow. Fact is, I am one of your biggest fans.”

steelelikesfanboys

Mr. Steele likes fanboys!

smootheshislapel

Fanboy Dickerson continues to gush, while Murphy looks on, disgusted. “I follow all your cases,” morgue man says.  “Well, I can’t really help it, you know. You’re a source.”

You mean of – bodies?” Murphy asks.

Yep.

“Hey, when Remington Steele gets going, then I know it’s time for me to clear the tables and tell my wife not to wait up.”

Yuk yuk yuk. You’d think if he’d worked so many of Steele’s corpses cases, they’d know who he is already. Murphy seems to spend a lot of time picking up autopsy reports.

thisismrito

Laura introduces Dickerson to Mike Ito. “He isn’t the man who claimed the body, is he?” she wants to know.

Nope. Dickerson has never seen the kid before. “What was the name of the deceased again?” he asks. (Hey, the man works with a lot of bodies. He can’t be expected to remember ALL of them.)

pictureofkenji

“Mike, do you have a picture of Kenji?”

needsspecs

Dickerson gets out his specs. This whole exchange seems to be upsetting Murphy’s stomach. I can’t say I disagree, Murph.

deadIto

Mike produces a photo of his dead bro.

“Yes, that’s the guy,” Dickerson pronounces.

youmeanthedeceased

“You mean the deceased?” Steele inquires.

Nope.

guythatclaimedhim

“No, no. The guy that claimed him. The deceased was all torn up from the accident.”

areyousuresheasks

“Are you sure this is the man who signed for him?” Laura asks.

Note Mike Ito’s reaction to hearing his brother may not really be dead. A subtle, nuanced performance indeed!

steelegrabsLaura

Steele suddenly busts a rather awkward dance move.

wereinthewrongmovie

He pulls Laura aside. “Laura, I’m afraid to admit it so far along, but I’m afraid we’re in the wrong movie.”

She wants to know what he’s talking about.

orientalangle

“The Oriental angle threw us right off,” he explains.

Laura is apparently as impatient for this episode to be over as we are.

“What are you TALKING about?”

thethirdman

“‘The Third Man. Orson Welles plays a ruthless dealer in the black market who fakes his own death in order to avoid pursuit by the police. Only his good friend, Joseph Cotton, doesn’t believe it was an accident and begins digging to find out why Orson was killed.”

behindthescenesThe Third Man. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard. British Lion Film Corporation, 1949.

gottofindhim

At that moment, Mike Ito approaches. “If Kenji’s alive, I’ve got to find him,” he expresses half-heartedly.

Like the rest of us, Mr. Steele seems unimpressed by his client’s performance.

theychaseMike

Mike runs out, tailed by Laura and Murphy. Steele moves to follow …

reallybadtime

… only to be collared by Mr. Dickerson, who wants an autograph on a death certificate. (Don’t do it, Steele! He only wants it to sell on eBay!)

“Just something simple, like ‘To my good friend, Dickie'” the guy suggests.

tomygoodfrienddickie

Steele’s got no time for groupies. He shoves the certificate back into Dickerson’s hands and sets off in pursuit of his colleagues.

Big mistake, Steele. Dickerson is going to smear you all over the internet for this.

Well, I don’t have much to say about this sequence. Does anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 16

We left Mr. Steele wondering what kind of U&D plan they were planning.

unexpectedanddaring

And now we know: “Unexpected and Daring.”

Murphy still doesn’t approve.

thisorme

“Of this … or me?” the always perceptive Steele inquires.

Murph’s not going there.

dontaskme

“Don’t ask me questions like that, okay?”

Could it be our Murphy is feeling a little conflicted about his old nemesis?

frequentaltercations

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.

shootinghoops

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.

sumowrestlers

More of this, perhaps?

wellthatscreepy

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.”

Ilovethehunt

“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.

murphysdonetalking

“Come on,” he says. “It’s time.”

smokingman

We cut to a random guy smoking a cigarette. Smoking Man? Nope. Just a poser.

smokingmanxfiles

Smoking Man.

actionSteele

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.

awayintime

“Thank God you’re here,” our hero gasps. “I thought I’d never get away in time.”

JAPANESEw!” the guy replies, more or less.

hestheone

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

He who?

murphythrowsapunch

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.

niceshotoldchap

“Nice shot, old chap!” Steele says. Again with the British stereotypical talk? I expect he’ll suggest crumpets at tea time next, eh what?

jollygoodshow

Jolly good show, old boy!

steeleturnsaway

Steele turns to initiate Phase 2 of Plan U&D.

geaturesforLaura

Wait a second: The black leather jacket. he slicked back hair. The arrogant pose. What does he remind me of?

thefonz

Oh, dear.

I believe this episode has officially jumped the shark.

ladyinred

Steele is met by a mysterious figure in a big, red cape. Well, THAT won’t attract attention.

wellsecured

“You’ll see he’s well secured?” he hisses to Murphy.

dontworry

“Don’t worry,” Murphy answers. Looks like our boy is getting left out of the action again.

afamiliarhandontheback

Mr. Steele guides his companion up the stairs. That hand on her back looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t it?

theatrebackhall

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.

twoshadowyfigures

Oh, look. Mr. Steele’s friend is with him. Steele crouches next to a rice paper panel.

steelehasatool

We can tell by his sneaky look that Mr. Steele is up to something.

tinypen

Oh, looks like he’s just going to scribble some graffiti on Tenaka’s wall. That’ll teach him!

madeahole

He made a hole! Tagging is one thing, Mr. Steele, but this is malicious vandalism!

tsk

Tsk.

whospeeping

Mr. Steele looks through the peephole he’s made.

setupfortea

Not much going on there … he moves on to the next panel, makes another hole.

boysclub

Random guys raucously playing a game while a traditionally dressed lady plays some stringed instrument. Nothing unusual about that.

creepingman

Try again, Mr. Steele.

somekindofgame

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.

thatstheone

This is the place! Mr. Steele offers a series of elaborate hand signals to the geisha down the hall.

itsago

Look who’s back!

w8tpGoKiRLeO5vpMgubm_The_Fonz

Ayyyyyyyyy!

whosunderthecape

The geisha slips around the corner and takes off the cape.

shefoundsometea

She finds the tea set.

aslylook

Wait a second. That’s no geisha! That sly look gives it away. It’s our Laura.

somethinginherpocket

She knees and reaches into the pocket of her kimono. (Who knew kimonos had pockets?)

poursintea

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.

steelestillwatching

Meanwhile, Steele is still peeping.

herecomeslaura

Laura brings her tray into the room with the good old boys. Mike Ito makes a conveniently passive prisoner, don’t you think?

droptheteaMike

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.

snatchesitagain

He snatches it again. Let him drink it, Laura. Please. Let.Him.Drink.It.

mikeisanidiot

Finally Laura gives her client a meaningful look.

anuancedperformance

He responds with his typical subtlety.

shutupagainmike

Laura encourages Mike to keep his mouth shut.

gracefullook

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.

exceptforSteele

Except for Steele.

nocomprende

Laura serves the tea to the guys.

One of the guys turns and snarls something at her.

This, I think: “JAPANESEw

 

respectfulbow

Laura bows respectfully.

gettingticked

Bad Guy begins to be suspicious. He shouts some more. She bows again.

Sigh.

steeleprepares

Sensing this may not end well, Mr. Steele prepares to act.

Iwantsaketoo

Suddenly Mike springs into action, more or less. “Get moving! I want some sake, too! What are you, deaf?”

hahahsillygeisha

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.

implausible

Mr. Steele seems to find this all as implausible as I do.

happyito.jpp

Mike seems happy, at least. Nothing suspicious about the prisoner grinning from ear to ear.

whewshesighs

Laura makes her exit and breathes a sigh of relief.

oneteadrinker

Some time passes, it seems. Looks like someone doesn’t care for Laura’s blend of tea.

whatsthedeal

Two of the guys seem a little bored with the game.

allfalldown

Oopsie daisy. They all fell down. Except the guy who didn’t drink the tea.

dontdrinkthetea

He positions himself conveniently close to the rice paper panel and sniffs the tea.

steeleattacks

Suddenly a pair of arms bursts through the panel and begin to throttle him!

awkwardfighting

It’s Mr. Steele, managing to subdue the baddie without even being able to see him.

wreckage

I hope Tenaka had plans to redecorate.

mikeshowshisterror

Displaying the keen focus and catlike reflexes that have been his hallmark, Mike Ito finally notices what is going on.

astruggleensues

He joins the fray. I guess. It’s really hard to see what he’s doing.

wieldingapot

And here comes Laura with a lethal teapot in hand!

brokenchina

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.

hesdown

Bad guy go boom.

comeonguys

Steele invites Laura and Mike to join him in the passageway.

offtheygo

They make their way back from whence they came.

outthedoor

Out the door and down the stairs.

Murphwithrabbit

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.

inthecartheygo

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Steele the One for Me – 15

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

terribleperil

How will they escape their terrible peril?

We’ll never know. Because …

prettyskyline

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

enteringsteeles

Shadowy figures are entering someplace. Who could it be?

rubforehead

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!

looseningtie

“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.

murphybutt

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!

mightgetkilled

“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.

pullingear

“I can empathize,” Murph grouses.

ohsnap

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

westilldontknow

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

Nope.

“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.

setupaswap

“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.

tooriskyshesays

“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.”

maneuver

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

Aha! His words spark an idea in Laura.

uandD

“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.

saywhat

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!

saywhat

“Unique and Different?” he guesses.

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

whatotherchoice

“Just think of the risks!” Murphy counters.

“Uncomfortable and deadly?” Steele tries again.

whosgonnadoit

“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!

unifiedanddedicated

“Unified and dedicated!”

Aw, the team is back together.

rahrah

Yay! Rah! Rah! Oops.

hecanbevery

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

usefulanddiligent

“Useful and diligent?”

eagerdoggy

He’s just so darn eager!

comeupwithplan

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

grumpycat

Murphy is NOT eager.

And Steele’s had enough of being left out.

excuseme

“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?

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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.

whoisthis

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.

ooooooh

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

dickensonshowupyet

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

changeournumber

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

“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?”

damnedtelemarketers

Damned telemarketers.

whatsthatsheasks

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.)

rathernicesentiment

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

answerthephone

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

Guess who?

illhandlethis

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

Our hero!

sightreading

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.”

steeleherehesays

“Steele here.”

sightreading

“You’re Steele?”

thatsrighthesays

“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.

cometo331

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

whatwasthatagain

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

He pulls out his OWN trust notebook and pen.

canyoutellme

“Can you tell me what-“

enoughofthis

NotLois is not interested in continuing the conversation.

certainlywasnt

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

scenefades

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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