Monday, December 22, 2008

Steele Belted – Remington Steele Episode Summary 1.6

Remington Steele, Laura Holt, Murphy Michaels find James Rubio's corpseSynopsis: Remington Steele’s apartment has been ransacked by an intruder looking for information related to the case Laura Holt and Murphy Michaels are working on. The man is looking for a bill of sale that would prove their client’s innocence. Upon learning that Ms. Holt has become involved with their client’s lawyer, Mr. Steele makes him his prime suspect, and sets out to prove him so.

Episode Summary: A scruffy, bearded man ransacks the house of Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan) just before he arrives home with his date. Their cheerful laughter signaled their arrival, giving the intruder enough time to escape. Mr. Steele opens the door of his apartment to find his house in complete disarray. Interestingly, his date does not appear troubled despite the disconcerting appearance of his apartment. As Mr. Steele tries to see if the intruder is still in the premises, the woman tries her best to salvage the evening with an insinuation that they ignore the mess, and continue with what they intended to do that night. However, Mr. Steele wants to get to the bottom of things especially after seeing a man by the lamppost waving at him. Quickly, he runs downstairs to where the man is standing, but finds him no longer there. The man had left after seeing the intruder escape through the fire escape.   Continue reading...

The following morning, Mr. Steele wastes no time to talk to Ms. Holt, but is met by a mob of clients. With a quick statement of him attending to their needs, he manages to usher them to his office, while he has a little chat with Ms. Holt. Mr. Steele finds her in her office on the phone with Murphy discussing a case. Impatient, he tries to distract the woman with his whistling, and was successful. As soon as Ms. Holt hangs up the phone, he informs her of the ransacking of his apartment. Learning that the intruder did not steal any of his possessions, he was sure that the man only wanted a piece of information he thought he has. Laura dismisses Mr. Steele’s supposition, thinking that it could not have anything to do with a case they are working on, and that it might only be someone from his past or even just a jealous husband. Ms. Holt leaves Mr. Steele to meet with a client.

Mr. Steele returns to his office forgetting that the mob of clients is in there waiting for him. With a quick excuse of him being summoned by the police commissioner, the clients leave. Still convinced that the intruder is after a file Laura has, he tries to trick Ms. Foxe to give him a spare key to the case file cabinets attesting that he had misplaced his. Knowing full well that he is merely a figurehead, she dismisses his request, and instead urges him to take the phone call from a man who insists on only speaking to Remington Steele. He takes the call, and Ms. Foxe leaves him be. The man on the other line is Waldo Church, the one who was standing by the lamppost. Mr. Steele learns that Rubio, the man who ransacked his apartment, was after the bill of sale that would prove that a man named Shapiro is innocent. What Rubio just found at is that Waldo Church still has the bill of sale, which only means that Waldo Church’s life is in danger. Mr. Steele agrees to meet him at Hotel Saracen in Eagle Rock.

Meanwhile, Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) arrives at the hotel where her client, Buddy Shapiro is hiding. Unable to get his client’s room number from the concierge, Ms. Holt decides to send flowers to him. She follows the delivery boy to his room. Surprised, Mr. Shapiro is left with no other choice, but to receive the eager private investigator. There she learns that he has decided to leave for Rio de Janeiro with consent from his lawyer. In utter disbelief, Laura Holt tries to put some sense to the man, but fails. Buddy Shapiro having spent eighteen months in jail has no plans in going back to prison. Although he attests his innocence, he believes that having already been convicted of stock manipulation, he is as good as guilty for dealing stolen coins. His only chance of proving his innocence is finding James Rubio, the man who sold the coins to him. It is for that reason that he has hired the Remington Steele detective agency. Unfortunately, after three weeks of working on the case Laura and Murphy still hasn’t found the man. This gives Mr. Shapiro very little hope, which only gives more justification to his plan of leaving the country.

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As agreed, Remington Steele goes to meet Waldo Church at the sleazy hotel. He makes his way to the man’s room unaware that James Rubio is right behind him. Waldo Church who saw both men make their way to his room just hides, and watches. Finding that Mr. Church’s room is unlocked, he enters it, and takes a look around. Soon after, with his back turned, a man hits his head with a lamp.

Finally, Murphy Michaels (James Read) returns from San Francisco with news that they were only led on a wild goose chase. Murphy believes that James Rubio was not even there. He did, however, find another clue that might lead them to him – a picture of James Rubio with Buddy Shapiro’s ex-wife. As Laura and Murphy plan their next steps, Remington Steele arrives at the office looking more like a homeless person than his usual dashing appearance. Laura still believes that whoever attacked him is not related to the case. However, Mr. Steele’s story immediately invalidates her theory. With some impatient urging, Laura and Murphy finally divulge to him the details of the case. Their client, Buddy Shapiro was accused of stealing two hundred dollars worth of antique coin collection. One that he claims to have bought from a man named James Rubio, and the sale of which was notarized by Waldo Church. To prove his innocence, Mr. Shapiro hired the Remington Steele detective agency to find Rubio. Having heard the details of their case, Mr. Steele immediately ties it to the classic film D.O.A. where Edmond O’Brian notarized a bill of sale that could prove a man’s innocence, but was later murdered for it. Later, Laura and Murphy learn that the notary Waldo Church had earlier called Mr. Steele to hand over the bill of sale. Murphy makes his way to Hotel Saracen, as Laura forces Mr. Steele to come with her to Mr. Shapiro’s hotel, and tell him exactly what he had told them.

Laura Holt and Remington Steele arrive at Buddy Shapiro’s hotel room to find him getting ready for his escape. Laura tries to dissuade him from skipping town with the new development of Waldo Church’s intention of handing over the bill of sale to Mr. Steele. With Laura’s direction, Remington Steele tries to urge their client not to fly off to Brazil, but for the wrong reasons. Moreover, he inadvertently suggests that he should escape to the Bahamas instead. Laura tries to steer back to the point they intended to make, and that is once he becomes a fugitive, he can never be truly free. Mr. Shapiro becomes unsure of his previous plan, and upon learning that Mr. Steele, despite his polished appearance is truly a man of the street just like him, Buddy Shapiro changes his mind, and temporarily foregoes his plan of flying off to Brazil.

Later, Ms. Holt joins Murphy at the Hotel Saracen in the hopes of finding Waldo Church. However, Laura’s mind is still preoccupied with Mr. Steele’s charming, and impressive persuasion that convinced their client not to skip town. Jealous, Murphy tries to make Laura to stop talking about him, but she seems to have turned a deaf ear on him. However, for a moment it appeared that she did hear him. Laura Holt gives Murphy Michaels a quick kiss, and tells him that whatever he said is absolutely right. Pleased, a smile creeps up his face, but this is soon wiped off when Laura calls Creighton Phillips, their client’s lawyer to accept the dinner date he had proposed earlier that day.

Laura Holt spends her evening with Mr. Phillips at the last place she’d think he would bring her – an amusement park. Despite the unusual venue, Laura seems to be enjoying the evening, and her present company. However, Mr. Phillips could not help, but ask her if there is something going on with her, and Mr. Steele. There is no denying that Laura looks at her boss a certain way, and him the same. In fact, Mr. Phillips noticed that Mr. Steele looks at Laura erotically, and this made her blush. Despite the obvious attraction they seem to share, Laura Holt insists that their relationship is strictly professional. However, Creighton Phillips (Barry Van Dyke) declares his distrust towards her boss. He feels that Remington Steele is not what he appears to be. Knowing this to be true, Laura tries to steer the conversation away from Mr. Steele.

Like Laura, Mr. Steele also spent his evening with a date. Surprisingly, to the same woman he had brought home the night his apartment got ransacked. Mr. Steele and the woman arrive at his apartment, and both are happy to find it the way he had left it. Remington Steele points the more than willing woman to his room, while he builds fire in the fireplace. Not too soon, the woman walks out of his bedroom in shock. Mr. Steele turns the light on in his bedroom only to find the dead body of Waldo Church lying on his bed with a bullet through his chest.

Laura Holt arrives with Creighton Phillips in tow. She wastes no time to confirm that the corpse belongs to Waldo Church. Given their predicament, the two are left with no choice, but to end their dates to work on the case. As soon as their dates leave, Laura wastes no time to make sense of the events, while Mr. Steele voices out his displeasure at learning that she had gone off with Mr. Phillips on a date. Seeing that Mr. Steele is more interested with how she spent her evening than the case, Laura quickly directs them back to the problem at hand, and calls the police.

Early in the morning, Buddy Shapiro’s worst fear comes true. He is sent to jail after the police learned that he was planning on leaving the country. Laura and Mr. Steele arrive at the office, and have a similar conversation as the previous night. He makes it known of his distrust towards Mr. Phillips, and she tells him that he thinks the same way of him. Laura Holt speaks in defense of Creighton Phillips whom she says had turned down a partnership in a law firm to do pro bono work. Annoyed at seeing that Laura had already developed feelings for the man, Mr. Steele inadvertently provokes Ms. Holt into almost admitting that she too has feelings for him, but the woman catches herself mid-sentence. She did, however, make it known that her rule of not mixing business with pleasure is not a hard and fast rule. Their heated conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Creighton Phillips.

Remington Steele arrives at the police station to meet with him, and Buddy Shapiro whom he managed to get released in his custody. Amusingly, their conversation leads to Laura Holt where Mr. Steele warns him of the possible consequences of hurting Laura. With Mr. Shapiro in their custody, Mr. Steele with Laura and Murphy track down Buddy Shapiro’s ex-wife. They find her splurging in Rodeo Drive, but the woman quickly goes in a frantic rage upon meeting Remington Steele. Laura did, however, managed to calm her down enough to learn that her new lover, James Rubio is innocent, and that she believes that her ex-husband only intends to ruin her life. Ms. Holt explains that James Rubio, like her ex-husband, is running away from the police, and that she might be able to help the both of them prove their innocence. Nothing that Laura had said seem to have gotten through the stubborn woman, but it took her no time to lead them to Rubio. The former Mrs. Buddy Shapiro finds her lover James Rubio dead in their flashy car’s trunk. Mr. Steele notices that the man’s hand is clenched in a fist, and believes that the man had probably clutched a piece of evidence identifying his killer before he died. However, he was wrong. The fist turned up empty.

The police arrest Buddy Shapiro after they discover that the gun that killed James Rubio belonged to him. Moreover, the only fingerprints on the gun are his. With him in the slammer for murder, Mr. Shapiro has lost all his trust on the Remington Steele detective agency, but this does not stop them from finishing their job. Having grown fond of Buddy Shapiro, but more so for feeling the need to protect Laura Holt, Mr. Steele enlists the help of an unlikely person – Murphy Michaels. It is obvious that the two do not get along well, but their concern for Laura has brought them together. After doing a background check, Mr. Steele learned that the man she is currently involved with has secrets of his own. Creighton Phillips, and James Rubio were classmates at Harvard until Rubio was expelled for cheating. Moreover, the story of Mr. Phillips turning down a partnership in his law firm is a lie, since the fact is he was passed over. In addition, he had rented a rather luxurious office for a practice he claims to be for the less fortunate. Although all these information barely support Mr. Steele’s hypothesis that Creighton Phillips is responsible for the framing of Buddy Shapiro, and the murders of two people who could prove him to be innocent, the mere thought of Mr. Phillips having relations with Ms. Holt is enough cause for him to further investigate.

Despite not having a motive, witnesses, and hard evidence, somehow Murphy helps Mr. Steele with his plan. Later that night, the two tamper with the telephone lines in Creighton Phillips’ compound. Murphy calls the guard by the gate pretending to be Mr. Phillips announcing the arrival of his guest, Remington Steele. They arrive at the gate, and since they have already been cleared thanks to a personal call from the supposed Creighton Phillips, the two enter the compound without any hassle. Mr. Steele climbs up the balcony of Mr. Phillips’ townhouse, and finds him with Laura Holt reviewing the case. With the two up to their neck with the upcoming trial, Mr. Steele successfully enters the man’s bedroom unnoticed. All is well not until he steps on his cat, and it screeches loud enough to call the attention of the two. Mr. Phillips makes his way up his bedroom to check on his cat, while Laura follows him. Mr. Steele hides under the bed, and comes face-to-face with the angry cat. Creighton tries to look under the bed, but quickly Mr. Steele throws the cat, and it goes running outside the room. With the cat found, Mr. Phillips foregoes searching underneath his bed. Unfortunately, he still has some other ideas up his sleeve. The trouble with the cat seemed to have given him the chance to lure Laura to his bed. Mortified, Mr. Steele could not do anything, but keep quiet and listen to the man as he makes a pass at Laura. Fortunately, strong-willed Ms. Holt breaks free, and successfully convinces the man to get back to business. With them out of sight, Mr. Steele resumes to the job he snuck in there for. That is, take a sample of Creighton Phillips hair from his brush.

The following day, all except Mr. Steele are in his office discussing the strategy for the preliminary hearing. He interrupts the meeting to insist that what they should be doing is to find the person responsible for all the crime Buddy Shapiro is accused of. He explains that the guilty party must be someone who has a relationship with James Rubio at which point Creighton Phillips puts Ivy Shapiro, Buddy’s ex-wife as the only person to fit that angle. Ms. Holt argues that Ivy has no reason to commit the murder, but Mr. Phillips disputes that the two might have had a falling out. Mr. Steele agrees with Ms. Holt, and further explains that the person must have known Rubio a long time ago such that their connection could hardly be tracked. He makes a case that the killer might be an old college classmate of Rubio, and also a person whom Buddy Shapiro trusts, and has access to his house. Feeling that Mr. Steele is painting an arrow that point to him, Mr. Phillips continues to argue that Ivy Shapiro could be their prime suspect. Buddy has had enough of his lawyer’s argument, and comes to the defense of his ex-wife. Having struck out Ivy as their suspect, Mr. Steele lays out the true murderer’s motive. According to him, the killer is someone who is so desperate, and disappointed after being passed over for a partnership at his law firm that he decides to start his own practice. The only problem is he has no money to use as capital. Buddy Shapiro puts two and two together especially after remembering that he had given Creighton Phillips power of attorney before he was imprisoned. Laura Holt is filled with incredulity at the unmasking of the real murderer. In spite of the detailed explanation that reveals him as the murderer, Mr. Phillips is not moved, since Mr. Steele has not presented a single evidence to tie him to the murders. His smug grin is washed off when Mr. Steele produces a small plastic bag filled with strands of his hair he claims to have gotten from the clenched fist of James Rubio’s corpse. Guilty, and pinned to the wall, the only thing Mr. Phillips could do is strike a punch at the man who has uncovered his crimes – Remington Steele. Mr. Steele manages to dodge the punch, and lays one on Creighton Phillips angry face, but not without breaking his hand.

While Laura Holt and Remington Steele wait outside the courthouse for Buddy Shapiro, he tells her how he has found new zeal for her profession. Him almost single-handedly solving the case that apprehended the guilty made it an exhilarating experience. Laura, however, warns him that his methods are troublesome especially when he introduced a false piece of evidence. Having been with him when they unclenched the dead man’s fist, she is sure of the fact that the proof he presented that sent Creighton Phillips to act as the guilty party is fabricated. It, nevertheless, did its job. However, Laura wonders whether Mr. Steele would have pursued the case if she had not been involved with his prime suspect. Mr. Steele does not admit the obvious, but he does make it known that he knows that she had been fooling around with him on his bed. Buddy Shapiro arrives before Laura Holt even learns how Mr. Steele knew of that embarrassing detail. With the real killer caught, Buddy Shapiro is cleared of all the crimes he was accused of, and his parole has been reinstated, but more importantly he and his ex-wife Ivy Shapiro are back together.

Previous Remington Steele Episode Summary: Thou Shall Not Steele
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3 Pennies for your thoughts:

banini said...

Calling all Remington Steele fans! What is your favorite scene in this episode? Mine is the scene right after Creighton Phillips and Mr. Steele's date leave Laura Holt and Remington Steele in his apartment. The part when Mr. Steele displays his jealousy by voicing out his displeasure at learning that Laura had gone out with Creighton

I'm curious what other fans'favorite scene is.

Wes Heald said...

My favourite was when Mr. Steele convinces Mr. Shapiro to stay by telling him about the Brixton area of London. I remember that scene when I first saw the show 30 years ago.

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

Thank you for sharing your favorite, Wes. It is refreshing to hear from a fellow Remington Steele fan. Mr. Steele and Ms. Holt are perfect together.