Synopsis: Laura Holt has landed the Remington Steele detective agency its most important assignment to date. They are to protect the rare gems – Royal Lavulite. A seemingly simple task becomes complicated upon the arrival of a dashing stranger who claims to be a special agent from South Africa who has come to help them protect the gems when in fact his real intention is stealing the precious stones. Moreover, the charlatan in his attempt to escape his own demise inadvertently assumes the identity of Remington Steele.
Episode Summary: Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) has a deep, dark secret, her boss Remington Steele does not exist. He is only a figment of her imagination. Working in a man’s world as a female private detective, Laura was forced to concoct a brilliant scheme of creating a decidedly masculine imaginary boss. So far, her rather devious plan has not failed, since business is still booming. In fact, they might have just landed the highest paying client to date.
Laura and her client Gordon Hunter watch as armed men from a security service receive a locked box that was delivered via helicopter. They follow the armored car, while a seemingly inconspicuous van from a laundry service arrives. Moments later, the armored car reaches its destination, and not far behind it is the laundry service van. Right across the street a man pretending to be a tourist taking pictures of locals observes the situation. The predator becomes the prey as two goons watch and observe his every action.
Inside an office, one of the armed security service men unlocks the box to reveal its contents – blocks of bricks. Laura’s client, Mr. Hunter, is less than pleased with the rehearsal stating that he did not hire the Remington Steele detective agency to provide him with just an armed car service. However, Laura divulges the real genius behind their seemingly simple plan. Apparently, the real plot is to have a decoy. Her associate, Murphy Michaels (James Read) disguised, as a laundry service employee would use the service entrance to deliver the precious stones unnoticed, since they would be neatly tucked away in a linen cart. Although Mr. Hunter is pleased with the plan, his delight is short-lived, this after learning that Mr. Steele will not be supervising the operation. Given the amount of money involved, he demands that he be there, and threatens to pull out of their contract if he is not. Murphy was quick to send their client the bill for services incurred, but Laura is not yet ready to throw in the towel.
Knowing full well that Remington Steele does not exist, Laura’s staff, Murphy and Bernice Foxe (Janet DeMay), are a tad curious and anxious as to what their real boss is up to. Apparently, Laura had already thought of another devious plan, and that is to manufacture Remington Steele’s presence for a few hours enough to convince Mr. Hunter that their supposed boss is actually supervising the operation.
Watch License To Steele Full Episode
The appearance of the handsome stranger, the man from across the street, disrupted their conversation. He introduces himself as the South African Special Agent Ben Pearson sent to ensure the safety of the controversial Royal Lavulite – the gems the Remington Steele Investigations are guarding. Apparently, ownership of those rare gems that the South African government claims to have been stolen from their country is still under litigation. Despite this, his government desires the safety of the gems. In order to succeed in his mission, Ben Pearson intends to collaborate with the Remington Steele detective agency, and requests that he be briefed on their security measures. Already suspicious with the man’s sudden arrival, Murphy immediately runs a background check on Ben Pearson.
Murphy has every right to be suspicious, since the man they met is not who he pretends to be. Moreover, two goons are already on his tail. They too claim ownership on the Royal Lavulite; in view of the fact that the courier who smuggled the rare gems out of South Africa was one of them only he did not deliver, because he sold the jewels instead. The man who claims to be Ben Pearson, a thief himself, suggests of joining forces with the two thugs who had been after him ever since learning that he too covets the precious stones.
Meanwhile, Laura meets with Mr. Hunter to tell him the good news. Her client is very pleased to learn that Mr. Steele has agreed to directly supervise the operation. It was only fitting given that he had put a lot at stake for the show that he is about to put on – using the rare gems to present a rare automobile that he made. Truth is Mr. Hunter had sweat blood and tears for this dream to come true, which explains why he expects nothing less from the Remington Steele detective agency on ensuring that nothing will hinder his dream from coming true. Laura knows exactly how he feels as she too has aspirations not far from his. Unfortunately, the charlatan and the goons are about to make her job more complicated.
Laura sits at the hotel’s restaurant waiting for the planned arrival of Remington Steele. The entrance of the fraud Ben Pearson interrupts her anxious waiting. Somehow she ends up telling Mr. Pearson how her love for excitement had led her to the male dominated career of private investigation. Alas their conversation moves on to the impending security of the Royal Lavulite, but before any more details about the operation are divulged Laura leaves to receive her boss Remington Steele. Well, not exactly, since the man does not exist. Apparently, Laura had arranged a show that only implies his arrival, and even booked the penthouse suite for her famous elusive boss to make his stay official.
It seems as though the goons had accepted the impostor’s offer, and had agreed to join forces with him. Following his suggestion, the thugs follow him with his car as he hitches a ride with Laura Holt. Mr. Pearson then continues with his little charade. He tells Laura that the goons who are right behind them were the ones who murdered the courier who smuggled the gems out of South Africa. His attempt at terrifying Laura succeeds without flaw. Moreover, his theory that the Remington Steele Investigations will be using a decoy in transporting the gems is confirmed. In addition, it seems like he managed to make Laura become smitten with him despite his previous slightly chauvinistic behavior of quickly assuming that she was only a secretary.
Murphy disapproves of his boss’ rather unusual behavior. It is unlike Laura to be too trusting especially to a man whose identity they have yet to confirm. For some reason, the dashing Mr. Pearson makes Murphy’s skin crawl, and he secretly hopes to find the worst about him. Unlucky for him, the identity checked out, but there is something that still bothers him - a trivial detail that keeps his suspicion intact, and that is, Ben Pearson arrived a day earlier than expected. However, the photo that would prove or disprove the man’s identity has yet to arrive.
The impostor returns to the hotel where the furious goons he tricked the other night meet him. His previous stunt of getting them to use his car then informing the police that it had been stolen was more than enough to force them to take drastic actions. However, just before he meets his demise he finds a way out. As per Laura’s instruction, Bernice pages Remington Steele as part of their own charade of making it known that their non-existent boss is at the hotel. The impostor seizes the chance to escape the thugs, and he receives the call pretending to be the great detective Remington Steele. As luck would have it, Mr. Hunter sees him, and he was left with no other choice, but to continue assuming Remington Steele’s identity.
Mr. Hunter inadvertently saves his life as he ushers him away from the goons determined to kill him. Moreover, he gets help from an unexpected person – the real Special Agent Ben Pearson who like he said before to Laura and her staff was there to assist the Remington Steele detective agency on their mission to protect the Royal Lavulite. The real Mr. Pearson is well aware of the presence of the two thugs, Kessler and Neff, and the yet to be identified impostor. What he does not know is that the person in front of him is the man he is after. Assuming the identity of Remington Steele is more than what the charlatan asked for. Not only did he take care of the goons thanks to Ben Pearson who accepted the task of detaining them, he managed to get away with impersonating a special agent.
The only problem now is Laura Holt who learns from Mr. Hunter that Remington Steele is with them in the flesh. Unaware that the gorgeous man who hitched a ride with her last night is the impostor, Laura mistakes the real Ben Pearson as the man claiming to be Remington Steele. To add to her blunder, she confides to the fake Remington Steele of her confused discovery that the man who truly is Special Agent Ben Pearson had assumed Remington Steele’s identity.
The gems arrive, and their operation goes as planned with the exception of course of the presence of the ersatz Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan). As Laura makes final checks on the gems, Mr. Hunter unconsciously feeds the phony Mr. Steele information about the person he is impersonating. According to him, if not for his recent emergence it was easy to assume that the great detective did not exist. It is a theory he confirms for himself after seeing the real Remington Steele’s suite. The supposed head private investigator has clothes and shoes unused, even his brush has not one hair on it.
Unaware that the man she is with is the impostor that she swears to nail to the very wall, Laura Holt accompanies the charlatan at unveiling Mr. Hunter’s dream – the Hunter Jetstar 6000. Gracious Mr. Hunter takes the opportunity of making his gratitude to the Remington Steele detective agency known. Laura sits and waits as she comes closer and closer to reaching her dream of being applauded for the marvelous job she had done, and to finally have her talent as a private investigator recognized. Laura prepares to take the stage as Mr. Hunter so graciously introduces to everybody the astounding person responsible for the safety of the Royal Lavulite. To her utter disbelief he calls on Remington Steele, and the man she knew as Ben Pearson stands up and takes the bows. As a consolation, the fraud Remington Steele urges everybody to applaud the woman behind the man – Laura Holt. The unveiling of the rare automobile is nothing compared to the unmasking of the impostor Remington Steele.
Convinced that the real Remington Steele does not exist, the fraud boldly confronts the furious Laura Holt. Suave and charming, he manages to have her dancing with him. Moreover, he successfully makes it known to her of his discovery that the great detective is only her invention. Concocting another lie, he vows of keeping her deep, dark secret given that his only mission is take revenge on the two goons who took his younger brother’s life. Murphy and Bernice arrive to confirm what Laura already knows that the man is a charlatan and that he again has lied. The younger brother whose death he claims to avenge was already in his sixties.
Laura and Murphy rummage through the con’s things as Bernice keeps an eye on him. In their search they unearth five passports all of which bear a character Humphrey Bogart played in his movies. Moreover, they find the lifeless body of the real Special Agent Ben Pearson hanging in his closet. Murphy immediately dials for the police, but Laura stops him. To clear the Remington Steele detective agency off the messy debacle, she plans on turning the fraud over herself. However, Murphy is concerned that her good friend and boss has become drawn to the mysterious stranger, and that her plan is merely to protect the very man who conned her.
Laura finds Mr. Hunter sitting desolately at the empty ballroom. She informs him of the possible attempt at stealing the gems, but the man has other things in his mind. His dream fell short, nobody bought the car he painstakingly built and marketed. Laura is painfully reminded of her own disappointment adding more fuel to her determination to nail the impostor who is now a murder suspect. Fittingly so, they find him in Remington Steele’s suite. He confesses to planning on stealing the gems, but vows innocence on the murder of Special Agent Ben Pearson. Much to Murphy’s annoyance, Laura though not admittedly seems to believe the con artist.
Murphy calls the police, and this time Laura does not stop him. Though both of them did not make any attempt at detaining the impostor who seems to have a plan of his own. Down at the lobby, he has Remington Steele paged knowing that Kessler and Neff will waste no time to accost him as soon as he steps up on the plate. There is no doubt that the man is a terrific con artist. He succeeds on convincing them that the real Remington Steele has the combination to the safe. They follow him up to the suite where Murphy as per his instruction had relocated Ben Pearson’s dead body. Surprised at finding the corpse in Remington Steele’s closet, Neff blurts to having killed the man and left it in the charlatan’s closet. The police arrest Kessler and Neff, and the impostor successfully clears his name. Pleased to learn that the man is no murderer, Laura seems to be more forgiving, and even delighted at his impersonation of the great detective Remington Steele. The man relinquishes his Remington Steele identity to resume his mission of going after the Royal Lavulite, but vows to only steal the gems when they are safely out of Laura Holt’s jurisdiction.
Relieved that he kept his word of only stealing the precious stones when her job is done, Laura Holt sits inside the limo to watch the mysterious stranger take a cab to the airport. Her delight is cut-short when Murphy arrives with news of being blindsided causing him to lose the gems. They follow the thief to the airport only to learn that he did not steal the gems. It was Mr. Hunter who after hearing Laura call out for the thief tried to escape inadvertently exposing his crime. Apparently, Gordon Hunter who had invested everything on the automobile no one intended to buy was forced to the edge to commit the crime he would otherwise not perpetrate. He was to use the gems to build himself another automobile. His arrest made the headlines with the great detective Remington Steele again taking much of the credit. Despite this Laura Holt half-heartedly wishes of hearing from the fake Remington Steele, and is happily surprised to find him sitting in his office.
Next Remington Steele Episode Summary: Tempered Steele
More Remington Steele Episode Summaries
- Downton Abbey
- House of Cards
- Mad Men
- McLeod's Daughters
- Mr. Selfridge
- Orphan Black
- Pushing Daisies
- Remington Steele
- The Tudors
- Three's Company
- White Collar
- Wild Card
- Canceled TV Show
- TV Show Trivia
- TV Show News
- TV Quotes
- Watch Full Episodes