Synopsis: A Japanese young man enlists the help of the Remington Steele detective agency to search for his missing brother. Unfortunately, Laura Holt learns that he had already died due to a fatal car accident. To appease the bereaved young man who is unconvinced of his brother’s unexpected death, Remington Steele agrees to dig deeper into the case. Their investigation leads them in a web of deception that involves the Yakuza.
Episode Summary: Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist) accompanies a young Japanese gentleman at a funeral of his departed elderly brother. Soon after, Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan) arrives to console Laura, thinking that she was the one who lost a loved one. Truth of the matter is the young Japanese gentleman, Mike Ito had sought the help of the detective agency to look for his missing brother. Apparently, the now departed brother, Kenji Ito, had called the young man to announce his arrival at the airport. However, when Mike came to pick him up, he had already gone missing. Laura’s investigation led her to the Japanese temple where the man’s funeral was already underway. According to the police report, the man did not wait for the pedestrian light, ran across traffic on busy Temple Street where he was then hit by a car, which caused his demise. Grieving Mike Ito could not believe the unexpected death of his brother, and has convinced himself that what happened to him was no accident despite not having anything that would suggest otherwise.
Remington Steele, to appease the distraught young man, had promised him that they would further investigate. The figurehead’s rather unsolicited involvement on the case he knows very little about angers Laura Holt, and their dispute reaches the office. The arrival of Murphy Michaels who had brought a copy of the police report on Kenji Ito’s accident disrupts their quarreling. However, it was only a temporary distraction. Mr. Steele pulls Laura to his office where they continue their argument. The man who had assumed the identity of Remington Steele was already feeling useless, and growing weary of being told that he only functions best in a purely advisory capacity. Much to Laura’s surprise, the man instead of just running out on the agency actually wants to be part of it, but now as a real detective. Seeing Mr. Steele’s genuine intentions, Laura Holt agrees to train the man who calls himself Remington Steele.
The accidental death or murder of Kenji Ito becomes his first case. Having agreed to dig deeper in the case despite her belief that there was no foul play, Laura Holt with Mr. Steele further investigates. For his first lesson, the two go over the facts to find out anything amiss. Laura points out several. Knowing that Mike Ito is the only relative of Kenji in Los Angeles, she begins to wonder who might have claimed the body from the authorities given that Mike only knew of his brother’s death the day of the funeral. Other troubling questions would be who had arranged the funeral, who are three people who had come to pay their respects to the deceased, and how are they connected to Kenji Ito.
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In the hopes of finding answers, the two visit the driver who had accidentally run over the Japanese gentleman. Unfortunately, the man had also gone missing, and his neighbors are too afraid to be involved. However, Ms. Holt had tricked a Japanese woman into spending a few moments of her time to talk to her only the woman does not speak a word of English. While she struggles to question her, Remington Steele notices an elderly Japanese man calling for him. The student becomes the teacher when Laura Holt ends up with nothing from the old woman, and Mr. Steele learns important facts from the old man who was more than willing to shed some light.
Swallowing her embarrassment, Laura goes with Mr. Steele to the morgue where Mr. Hamada’s body rests. Like Kenji Ito, his death was also ruled accidental despite the suspicious manner that had caused it. The coroner’s office reported a broken neck brought upon by a refrigerator door. As the two dig deeper into the case, the more and more their discoveries reinforce Mike Ito’s claim of murder. However, seeing that the young man is still upset at his brother’s unfortunate fate, Laura found it best not to support his belief just yet. Instead, they present him with a file they put together on his brother. This upsets the young man even more.
In an attempt to learn the purpose of Kenji Ito’s visit, Laura decided to contact his printing company. What she found was that it does not exist. Mike Ito is in disbelief at what she had uncovered upon learning that his brother who funded the Japanese restaurant he now owns had been using money from questionable sources. His anger comes from having the investigation turn into uncovering dirt on his brother whom he holds in high regard than finding the man’s killer. Given the disconcerting new facts they discovered, Laura worries that their client might be withholding information. The routine investigation soon turns sour when one of the men in Kenji Ito’s funeral turns up, and threatens Ms. Holt. She manages to put on a brave face despite the threats that Major Winslow Craddock had slung at her. From what she could gather from the rather hazy conversation she had with the man, Major Winslow Craddock is using Kenji Ito to lead him to the Palace of Heaven.
With no leads to what the Palace of Heaven might be Remington Steele turns to his breadth of knowledge in classic cinema for answers. However, this time the movie that would provide him the clues to solve the murder is yet to be determined, although “The Yakuza” might have been a good guess given that Craddock had referred to the deceased as a gunrunner, and had warned Ms. Holt at losing a finger. Sensing the danger that the supposed accidental case would bring, Bernice pleads her boss to drop the case. Unfortunately, Laura’s dedication to her client cannot be deterred, and she decides to pursue the case even if it means losing a finger.
Sometimes to find the answer all you have to do is ask. This is just what Mr. Steele did, and he found what and where the Palace of Heaven is by merely calling directory assistance. The Palace of Heaven, he found, is a movie theater playing Japanese movies. He arrives at the movie house, and finds the woman who was at Kenji Ito’s funeral. Sensing that she is being followed, the woman leaves. He follows the oriental lady unbeknownst to him that Murphy adhering to Laura’s description of the woman at the funeral had done the same. However, Murphy who was not expecting Mr. Steele thought him to be a stalker. He attacks him, and becomes surprised at learning his identity. Mr. Steele explains his presence as Murphy does the same, but the time they lost doing so had cost them their lead.
Luck just seems to fall on Remington Steele’s lap. Leaving Murphy who had decided to check-in with the office, he exits through the backdoor where the oriental lady points a gun at him. His luck comes with having the opportunity to question the woman despite her aiming to shoot. Truth be told, the woman is more afraid of him than he is with her. She mistakes him to be a Yakuza as Kenji Ito also was. Slowly, Mr. Steele gains the confidence of the terrified woman as he supplies her with bits of information about Kenji with regard to him having a brother, and the woman reciprocates by telling him that it is she who claimed the body, and arranged the funeral of her departed lover. Unfortunately, Remington Steele makes the mistake of mentioning The Palace of Heaven, and this frightens the woman even more causing her to flee. So it appears that there is more to The Palace of Heaven than a mere Asian movie house. What it really is, is yet to be discovered.
It was Laura Holt whom Murphy had called after the incident with Remington Steele. She arrives at the movie theater to meet him, and is met with a barrage of complaints against the figurehead eager to do real detective work. Laura who always had a soft spot for Mr. Steele ignores her associate’s grievances. In fact, she becomes even more impressed at her student when he comes running with news about finding the oriental girl, and her connection to Kenji Ito. His information regarding the woman claiming the body would have amazed Laura even more if not for the contradicting fact she found. According to the coroner, the person who claimed Kenji Ito’s body from the morgue was a Japanese man. Murphy senses that there is something obviously fishy about the real identity of who claimed the body, and Laura learning that Mike Ito was the one who signed the claim form just added more confusion to the already baffling case.
Laura, Mr. Steele and Murphy drive to Mike Ito’s restaurant to straighten out matters with him, but they are too late. They watch as Japanese men take their client by force, and drive away with him. The three return to their office to regroup only to find Bernice aggravated by what seemed to be a prank caller. The man had been calling incessantly, but had only been repeating the same line, “You’re still the one for me”. A few seconds later, the man makes another call, but this time Mr. Steele took it upon himself to handle it. Just as Bernice had said, the man had said the same line only it really was “You’re Steele?”, and as soon as Mr. Steele had confirmed, he says “The one for me.” Apparently, the man who could barely speak English had been instructed to deliver a message only to Remington Steele. It was an address where they expect him to be.
Laura and Mr. Steele make their way to the said address, but are accosted in an alley by the same man who made the call, and the goons who abducted Mike Ito. Blindfolded the men lead the two up a building whose interior is that of a Japanese house. The oriental lady who had pretended to be Kenji Ito’s bereaved lover leads them to Mr. Tenaka. Remington Steele was made a fool, thinking he was getting information from the woman when it was her who was doing the questioning. He regrets having made the mistake that had resulted to Mike’s abduction. And so, Mr. Steele recognizes the wisdom that comes from experience. He believes that Laura Holt would not have made the same mistake.
Mr. Tenaka, the head of the Yakuza, meets with them. According to him, Kenji Ito was a free agent working for the Yakuza who was then captured by the US intelligence agency. His sudden release alarmed Mr. Tenaka, and therefore decided to question him on what had transpired. Unfortunately, Kenji Ito escaped before he could even do so, and he took with him The Palace of Heaven. Learning that Mike Ito is ignorant of his brother’s work, and more so of The Palace of Heaven, Tenaka knowing the reputation of the great Remington Steele assigns him the unfortunate task of finding it, and uses Mike as ransom.
Having not a clue of what The Palace of Heaven is much more where to find it, Laura and her team resorts to desperate measures. Their unexpected and daring plan is to infiltrate Tenaka’s headquarters in the hope of successfully escaping with Mike Ito. After Murphy had taken care of the security guard looking after one of the back doors, Mr. Steele and Laura Holt sneak inside the building. Laura Holt dressed as a geisha serves the men who are holding their client hostage with drugged sake. Her cover had almost failed when one of the men had started ordering her in Japanese. Luckily, Mike who had recognized Laura had yelled the same order, but in English just so she would understand. A couple of drinks later, two of the guards had fallen asleep, but one remains awake. Before the last man standing could even suspect what was going on, Remington Steele bursts through the paper walls, and attacks the man. With the help of Mike and Laura who had smashed a pot on the man’s head, the three begin their great escape.
The three returns to the office to celebrate their good fortune, but soon after hears an intruder. Fortunately, it was only the coroner Mr. Dickerson whom they had called to identify Mike as the man who claimed Kenji Ito’s body. Mr. Dickerson declares that the person in front of him is not the one who actually claimed the body, but identifies it to be Kenji. Apparently, the corpse of the man who had the fatal accident was beyond recognition, but the picture of his brother that Mike had with him helped Mr. Dickerson provide a positive ID on the claimant. The added twist could also be the lead that they are hoping to find. Things start to fall into place, and Mr. Steele enlightened with their new discovery had finally found the right movie to help them with the case; it being “The Third Man”.
However, Laura Holt does not need the aid of a classic film to know where Kenji Ito might be hiding. The four rushes to the temple where the supposed funeral for Kenji took place. With Murphy as their lookout, Mr. Steele, Laura and Mike enter the temple only to find the dead body of Major Winslow Craddock. Kenji Ito emerges from the back of the altar. He confesses the shameful truth to his brother that he had all along been living a double life, and his only respite is to provide Mike a life away from him, and free of shame. He did not count on his brother who had revered him to go finding answers given his untimely death. Kenji Ito makes it known of having faked his own death after Major Winslow Craddock released him hoping that he would lead him directly to the Yakuza.
Craddock had spread rumors that Kenji had divulged information about the organization he had been working for to alarm Tenaka whom he knew would surely go after a snitch. With the US intelligence, and the Yakuza after him, he decided to steal the computer code that has all the information on the Yakuza -- The Palace of Heaven. Kenji was to trade The Palace of Heaven for his freedom, but he realized that Tenaka’s men was already on to him as soon as he reached American soil.
However, he found a means to escape. After winning the struggle against one of Tenaka’s men whom he pushed in front of a moving car, Kenji had just found his way out by planting his identification on the body of the man whose face was damaged beyond recognition. Unfortunately, the involvement of the great Remington Steele had stirred up the suspicion of the Yakuza. To ensure his brother’s safety, Kenji hands Mr. Steele The Palace of Heaven. In addition, he had also killed Major Winslow Braddock to ensure Tenaka that he had not talked, and that their organization’s secret is safe.
With the truth out, Kenji Ito spends a few minutes of freedom with his brother before the police arrest him for the murder of Major Winslow Craddock. Then again, some facts still remain a blur with Remington Steele. Leave it to Laura Holt to straighten out the details over sushi, a dish that Mr. Steele has yet to have a taste for. According to her, Kenji Ito used the body of the Yakuza whom he had killed to take his place at the funeral. The driver, Mr. Hamada who had supposedly hit Kenji was only an unfortunate casualty, since Major Craddock had thought him to be a Yakuza as well, and had therefore killed him. With all things now clear as crystal, Laura ends Remington Steele’s training with him eating at least one of the sushi served. Unfortunately, raw octopus is just too much for him to handle, which leads him to resume his role of a mere front man.
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