Remington Steele (1982) s03e18 Episode Script

Now You Steele It, Now You Don't

- I don't like being blackmailed.
- Blackmailed? You could use some R and R.
I mean, we all could, couldn't we? He's dead, Miss Holt.
He's dead because of you.
- Mrs.
Sterling's pregnant? - Three months.
Check all flight and hotel accommodations to Cabo San Lucas, Rio deJaneiro, Hawaii.
- I think your husband was murdered.
- Oh, my God, I can't take it.
A man supposedly killed himself because of me and you're prescribing a vacation? Have you ever been to the Fiji Islands? Miss Kelton, nice to see you again.
Nice to see you, Mr.
Majak.
What is that? Ah, this little gem is a 12th-century temple figure.
It's beautiful.
How much is it? $10,000.
Excuse me.
Could you tell me something about these? Oh, certainly.
Excuse me.
Nothing else I can help you with? Oh, no, not today.
Thank you.
- Don't lose her.
- Don't worry.
- Grace Kelton? - Yes.
My name is Laura Holt.
I'm a private investigator.
May I have a word with you? I'm so embarrassed.
I mean, I don't really even know how it got into my purse.
I- I must have been daydreaming or something.
Miss Kelton this is a list of the items that were taken from Majak's in the last few months.
I'm afraid you're the prime suspect.
You make it sound like I'm a thief or something.
Well, go ahead.
Look around if you don't believe me.
- Suppose I start with this cabinet here.
- No.
Oh, I-I mean, why would I steal a bunch of antiques and toss them into a cabinet? Don't you think I'd wanna sell them or at least display them? May I look into this cabinet? I'm sorry.
I- I don't even know why I do it.
I just can't help myself.
Does Whit know about this? I mean, you don't have to tell Whit, do you? Please? I mean, please don't tell him.
I'm afraid I have to.
- I'm Whit Sterling.
- Laura Holt.
- I'm sorry to interrupt you during dinner, Mr.
Sterling.
- Don't you worry about that.
I needed a break anyway.
I'm oozing so much charm in there my shirt's beginning to get damp.
- Please.
- I'm afraid, uh- I have some rather unpleasant news, Mr.
Sterling.
Grace Kelton is a kleptomaniac.
I'm sure her mother is very disappointed.
She has stolen over fifty thousand dollars' worth of antiques from my client.
I've recovered most of the items.
However- Pardon my ignorance, Miss Holt, but I don't know what you're talking about.
I've never heard of this Grace, um, uh- What was her name? Kelton.
- Who the hell is she to me? - Your mistress.
My mistress? Excuse me.
If you only knew how funny that is.
Miss Holt, I'm a happily married man.
Mm.
Mr.
Sterling, please.
We've been very discreet.
There has been no police involvement as yet, and my client assures me there won't be, as long as you make restitution for the missing items.
Where did you get this? I told you, from Grace Kelton.
And your client sent you here with it? That's right.
Now, you tell him I understand.
I understand what he wants.
And you tell him I'm the poorest sport in the world.
And as soon as I find a way to cover my butt, he's going to pay.
- I don't like being blackmailed.
- Blackmailed? Now you get out of here before I do something I'll regret in the morning.
- Leave that.
- Whit? Oh, darling.
Darling, our surprise guest was just leaving.
Those were the only ones she had.
I checked off the items she admitted taking.
And Mr.
Sterling, how did he react? Not very well.
What did he say exactly? That he understood what you wanted.
Good.
He also said, uh, he would get even.
Impetuous man, our Mr.
Sterling.
Cash? Well, a most discreet handling of a most delicate situation.
I thank you.
- Hello? - What did you say to my husband last night? Who is this? He's dead, Miss Holt.
He's dead because of you.
I told her husband exactly what I just told you.
I know he was upset, but hardly suicidal.
All I know is I had a perfect life until you introduced yourself to Whit last night and now he's- he's, uh- My husband never had a mistress.
Lie! That's a lie! - Claudia! Claudia, get a hold of yourself! - You're a liar! Go upstairs.
Dr.
Romsen will be here soon.
I'll finish up with Miss Holt.
I'll never forgive you as long as I live.
Obviously, she's in shock.
We had to break the door down.
We found him.
I can't believe I'm responsible for his death.
Of course you're not.
The only one around here with blood on his hands is Whit.
He pulled the trigger.
I don't know why.
You worked with him, Mr.
Bigelow.
Did you know he had a mistress? Miss Holt, with all due respect, I don't think now is the time- With all due respect, Mr.
Bigelow I have just been accused of driving a man to suicide.
I think I have a right to ask a few questions.
Yeah.
All right.
As far as I know, Whit and Claudia had a perfect marriage.
There was no one else.
What about Leopold Majak? What was Mr.
Sterling's relationship with him? - I don't know.
He never mentioned him.
- Doesn't your company do business with Majak Antiques? Well, not that I'm aware of.
Ah, Dr.
Romsen, thank you for coming.
- Where is she? - I sent her back upstairs.
What was she doing down here in the first place? - I told you to keep her in bed.
- Easier said than done.
I realize Whit's death is a tragedy, but she still has the baby to think of.
Unless she follows my instructions, she risks losing it.
Mrs.
Sterling's pregnant? Three months.
First child.
She's not a young woman anymore, and this may be her last opportunity to have one.
They were both incredibly excited about it.
I must say, Laura I can't understand why you didn't involve me in this initially, you know? I thought it was just a routine tail.
And you're hardly one to relish routine.
Or did you just want to prove that you could do it without me? - I don't have to prove anything.
- Oh, of course not.
At least not to me.
As far as I'm concerned, you're the perfect subordinate.
I would like to speak with Leopold Majak.
Yes? - Well? - I am Leopold Majak.
Are there any other Leopold Majaks connected with this enterprise? Absolutely not.
Only me.
My name is Laura Holt.
From Remington Steele Investigations.
A Leopold Majak hired me to- I am Leopold Majak.
Then a man, claiming to be you hired me to stake out this store to catch a kleptomaniac who- - Kleptomaniac? - Yes.
Yesterday, I was here.
A woman came in.
I followed her.
I returned- I returned with some stolen items.
Madame, please, I must insist, perhaps you have the wrong store.
No.
No, I was here.
Impossible.
We're never open on Mondays.
Never? Never.
Would you care to do the honors, Mr.
Steele? Oh, please, Miss Holt, please.
This is your case.
Carry on.
Carry on.
Not much of a housekeeper, your kleptomaniac.
The stolen antiques were right here in this cabinet.
Don't move! I'm new on the job and just as scared as you.
- Please.
- Don't do it.
I'm warning you.
We're private investigators.
This is my associate and she's merely trying to show you her identification.
- Please, Laura, will you? - What are you doing in here? I was here yesterday.
I came back to see Grace Kelton.
Who? This is Grace Kelton's apartment.
No, ma'am.
This is the Diaz apartment.
They've been in the Philippines for three weeks.
No Grace Kelton ever lived here.
If what you say is true, um someone's gone to a great deal of trouble to set you up, Laura.
If what I say is true? Does that bit of phrasing suggest you don't believe me? Look, Laura, we've all had our shoulders to the wheel lately.
Um, you obviously more than me, of course.
Uh, but you could use some R and R.
I mean, we all could.
Couldn't we, Mildred? - Hmm? - Hear! Hear! Mr.
Steele, my client has disappeared.
I've got a kleptomaniac who doesn't even exist.
A man supposedly killed himself because of me.
And you're prescribing a vacation? Well, when in doubt, relax.
- Where you going? - To change clothes.
We have to make a house call this evening.
- Hmm.
This is a priority situation, Mildred.
- You're telling me.
In order to get Miss Holt out of this nasty predicament I think we're gonna have to do a little information gathering ourselves.
- Where do we start, chief? - Hmm? Check all flight and hotel accommodations to Cabo San Lucas Rio deJaneiro, Hawaii.
And the Fiji Islands.
Huh? - Start looking.
- For what? The reason Sterling was murdered.
Murdered? How did we get to murder? Well, if he didn't kill himself, and he didn't die of natural causes it's the only logical conclusion.
Laura, the man sat at this very desk put a gun to his head and a bullet in his brain.
So it appears.
The door was locked from the inside.
Suppose the murderer locked the door from the outside.
During the commotion raised by the discovery of the body put the key back on the inside keyhole.
The door locks from the inside only with a bolt, not a key.
How hard would it be to take the door off the hinges lock it from the inside and rehang it? These hinges are covered in paint, Laura.
They haven't been tampered with for years.
Maybe there's a hidden panel.
Well, let's hope it leads directly to Rio deJaneiro- Copacabana Beach, "The Girl from Ipanema.
" Laura, will you listen to me? You're not responsible for Whit Sterling's death.
The man committed suicide.
The fact that you came into contact with him the night he decided to do it is an unfortunate, unfortunate coincidence.
Don't berate yourself over the fact, okay? See what you can do with that, Mr.
Steele.
Why do I get the feeling you haven't been listening to a word I've said? - I have.
- You have? "The Girl from Ipanema.
" Look- Never mind.
Ah! This is like the figure Grace Kelton stole from Majak's.
A Purple Heart.
Seems your Mr.
Sterling was a Korean War hero.
Great.
He survived the Korean War but not me.
Go! I'll find out where this came from.
You follow up on Marla Rakubian.
From now on, I suggest we stick together.
If we stick together, it'll take twice as long.
- We'll run the risk of losing him.
- Who? The murderer.
Laura, can I ask you one question? - What? - Have you ever been to the Fiji Islands? Oh, please, leave me alone.
I am still Leopold Majak.
- Do you recognize this? - Are you insane? Get that away from me.
Why? What is this thing? - Ten to 20, that's what it is.
- I beg your pardon? This temple figure would cost you a quarter of a million dollars.
Minimum.
That is if you could get it.
Which you can't, because it's of museum quality and found only in the Beijing Museum in China.
- You mean it's stolen? - Undoubtedly.
Worse.
It's major contraband.
You could go to prison just for having it in your possession.
I hate to think what would happen if you were caught smuggling it into the country.
The figure Grace Kelton allegedly stole from this store was just like this.
That, young lady, did not come from this store.
I believe you, Mr.
Majak.
Hmm.
Thank God.
Now I can die happy.
- What do you want? - Mr.
Bigelow, may I have a word with you, please? Fred, don't talk to her.
Get out of here before I call the police.
Mrs.
Sterling, please.
I think your husband was murdered.
Oh, my God, I can't take it.
I can't stand any more harassment.
- Yes, get me Security, please.
- I'll handle it, Claudia.
Okay? Here's your boots, Mr.
Bigelow.
Cleaned up real nice.
Oh.
Uh, Claudia, would you take care of this? She'll take care of it.
Just thank you.
I'm telling you the truth.
I had no idea Whit was smuggling anything.
I find that difficult to believe.
You were his partner.
Oh, in name only.
Whit, he was the one with all the contacts.
Uh, he did all the importing.
- And you? - Oh, I do the selling.
Jocularity and tolerance are my two biggest assets, Miss Holt.
Whit needed somebody who could endure those endless lunches at the Polo Lounge and still look good in a three-piece suit.
He paid me very well.
Of course my salary was nothing compared to what he made.
Still, it beats selling computer chips.
- How is your merchandise brought into the country? - By boat.
We have a warehouse in Hong Kong.
Everything is shipped from there into Long Beach.
Does the name Marla Rakubian mean anything to you? Why? I think your boss may have been having an affair with her.
- Harrington, Customs.
- Just a minute.
Why aren't you in uniform? D.
C.
office.
Checking on my boys.
They're not harassing you too much, are they? No? Splendid.
Good man.
Carry on.
Lose somethin'? Good afternoon, gentlemen.
The name's Harrington.
Customs.
D.
C.
office.
We got a tip to check this ship for contraband.
Chester says let me see that I.
D.
Oh, yeah.
That's what I call unfair home field advantage.
Chester says you're dead.
Isn't that nice? Excuse me.
I understand this ship's already been off-loaded.
- That's right, lady.
- Any idea where the cargo went? Check with the manifest officer.
They usually take everything over to C.
F.
S.
for Customs.
You haven't seen a tall, dark-haired man around here, have you? English accent? Uh, a bit overdressed? Nope.
What were you doing on the Rakubian? Who sent you? What's your real name? What were you looking for? Why are you staying around? Who are you working for? - Do you really care for me? - How much do you know? - Do you know that I love you? - Uh, no.
No, what? Do you love me? I think so.
You think what? I- I love you.
- Aw.
- Oof! - Anything? - Yeah, he loves me.
Chester will make him talk.
Chester, dead men don't talk.
When he comes to, try again.
Chester says a winner.
! Six is the point.
Six is the point.
Glad that you chaps are having a good time.
You know, Mildred, it must be that the phony Majak found out Sterling was smuggling antiques into the country and was blackmailing him.
That's a sharp piece of deduction, Miss Holt.
And I'm the last person in the world to throw any cold water on it, but- - But what, Mildred? - Well, if that's true why would the phony Majak kill Sterling? Isn't that kind of biting the hand that feeds you? I'll admit it's a little murky at the moment.
Now, I know we ruled out suicide, but- - But what, Mildred? - Maybe there's something we don't know about.
I mean, maybe Sterling was sick.
Maybe he didn't have much time left and decided to end it all before the goop hit the fan.
- It was murder, Mildred.
- I know.
I know, but- - But what? - If it was suicide then we could mark the case closed and move on to something else.
Such as? Cabo San Lucas? Rio deJaneiro.
Hawaii.
The Fiji Islands? Now, I know the boss is really concerned about your emotional and physical well-being.
Not to mention his tan.
Oh, please, please, Miss Holt.
Let me just check on Sterling's medical report.
Just to be safe.
The hotels on Fiji have a hot tub in every room.
All right, Mildred.
I- I suppose it couldn't hurt.
Oh, easy for you to say.
What have you been doing? Well, let's see.
So far I've been beaten to a pulp crammed into a steamer trunk, locked away in an abandoned warehouse, drugged, tortured.
But, well, otherwise, shown a raucous good time.
All because of this? I thought something like it might have been smuggled in on that shipment last night but it cleared Customs without a hitch.
Then why was someone so determined to stop me from getting a look at it, eh? I think that cargo bears closer scrutiny, Mr.
Steele.
You remember how frustrated we were when you couldn't figure out who killed Myron Flowers - the breath spray king? - Mm-hmm.
I believe I referred to it at one point as, uh Steele's last case.
Well, this just might be Holt's last case.
I can't figure out what's going on.
I have a hatful of clues, and I have nothing to string them together with.
Well, you know, Laura we've, uh been so caught up in our cases lately I wonder if they aren't the only things stringing us together.
Nobody said you had to stick around.
Well, uh, in a few days, I'll be gone, with a bit of luck.
Oh? Reclining on a beach somewhere azure seas a long, cool piña colada and a wonderful young lady by my side.
Anyone I know? - That much of a letdown? - This paper- What about the paper? It's not the same paper I saw on board ship.
- How do you know? - Close your eyes.
- This is hardly the time- - Just close your eyes.
Okay? Hold out your hands.
Which one is the dollar bill? - What is this, a trick question? - Which one's the dollar bill? Well, unless they're different denominations, they both are.
Open your eyes.
Are you telling me these antiques were wrapped in paper just like this aboard ship? Yes.
So that's why we couldn't figure it out.
It wasn't antiques they were smuggling.
It was the paper.
It appears we're dealing with international counterfeiters here, Mr.
Steele.
What a wonderfully bizarre twist.
Let's see what we've got.
The phony Majak was using Sterling's shipments to smuggle in counterfeit paper.
Sterling was smuggling Chinese artifacts.
He found out what the phony Majak was up to and threatened to blow the whistle.
Majak hired you to blackmail Sterling into silence.
Only the game got a little dirtier than Majak expected.
- And Sterling ended up dead.
- Murdered.
That remains to be proved, Miss Holt.
- Weasel? - Steele, Steele, Steele.
Who's the Catholic schoolgirl? This is my associate, Laura Holt.
If I'd known we would meet in such illustrious surroundings, I would have dressed for the part.
Well, hey, it isn't just anybody I invite into my home.
You, um, live here? Yes, I do.
I even have a summer home.
It's the third Cadillac from the left.
Oh, the El Dorado.
Yeah, well, that's the only one to have, isn't it? Right.
Come on, lay it on me.
Oh.
I've seen better paper on the newsstands.
Hey, if it was perfect, it would be real.
Now all we need is a hearty soul to pass it.
I can't do it.
I just can't do it.
Of course you can, Mildred.
A little dab of eau de carp, and the disguise is complete.
Eww! Can't I just do a computer check? You're the only one of us nobody's seen.
You've gotta do it, Mildred.
It's gotta be you.
T- Men, Mildred.
- Dennis O'Keefe, Alfred Ryder.
Eagle-Lion, 1948.
- Oh! O'Keefe and Ryder set up their own push in order to smoke out a ring of counterfeiters.
Ooh! Okay.
All right.
All right.
If it's good enough for Dennis O'Keefe, it's good enough for me.
- Good.
There you go.
- Ooh! Just remember, Mildred's cover was your idea.
Oh, pungently put.
All right, there he is.
Okay, Mildred, in you go.
Go on.
Go.
Oh.
Phew! Ooh.
Maybe we should go to Plan "B," boss.
We don't have a Plan "B," Mildred.
I could come up with one fast.
Nonsense, Mildred.
We'll be right behind you.
Just don't get downwind of her, Laura.
That's all I can say.
All right, get those bets down.
Shooter is hot.
Shooter's comin'out.
Eight.
Eight.
Keep those dice hot.
Keep those dice hot.
Here we go.
Come on, big eight.
- Oh, six.
- All right, six.
- Who's the shooter? - Him.
Don't pass.
I'll take that.
What's the matter? Don't like big bills? Not much I don't.
Come on, big eight.
Seven.
A loser.
All right, gimme them cubes.
Let's see your stuff.
Come on.
Six.
Six is the point.
Uh, hold it.
We got a wiseacre in here.
Somebody's passing funny money.
Oh, like hell, man.
We're all pals here.
Come on.
Are we? Whoo-hoo! Oh! Oh! Chester says come with me.
What is that stench? Her.
She smells like tuna fish.
Chester hates tuna fish.
Once again, where did you get the money? I told you, this guy give it to me.
Told me to spread it around.
- What guy? - Him! - Easy, Chester.
- Oh, very clever.
Very clever indeed.
There must be, what, 5,000 workers within a half a mile radius of here who can't wait to cash their paychecks on a Friday afternoon? - My, my, my.
- Counterfeit cash.
You must admit it was a well-devised plan.
Yes, yes, it did have its subtleties.
I must admit.
Your admiration is gratifying, Mr.
Steele.
- Thank you.
- Whit Sterling is dead, Majak.
No one admires a murderer.
I had no reason to kill Mr.
Sterling.
You saw to that.
She did a fine job of blackmailing him for us.
However, I can see that blackmail is not going to work with Mr.
Steele.
Now, Chester.
Uh, Chester, I wouldn't do that if I were you, mate.
And why shouldn't Chester? You haven't got enough ammunition.
We took the liberty of calling the Treasury Department this afternoon.
Eh, just a moment, gentlemen, please.
I wanna have a little word with Chester.
Steele hit Chester.
Chester hit floor.
Ah! Well, uh, ahem, so much for the window seats, eh? Oh, come now, Laura.
They can't all be killers.
I mean, like it or not, some things really are as they appear.
Do you honestly believe Whit Sterling committed suicide? Look, whether I believe it or not is beside the point.
The facts are there.
The phony Majak and his cronies are behind bars and we're gonna miss our plane if we don't get a move on now, hey? - Here's the Sterling autopsy report.
- Great.
It took me a while to get it, but I finally convinced Keyes he owed us one.
- Keyes? Norman Keyes? - Yeah.
Insurance companies can sometimes get their mitts on medical files.
He just pulled a few strings.
Oh, well.
Does that damn woman always have to be so diligent? She just wanted to double-check, see if Sterling had any medical history - which might make suicide more palatable.
- Uh-huh? And? According to this, the official cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, self-inflicted.
Deceased otherwise healthy.
There, you see? It's in black and white.
The man was an absolute paragon of health.
He was a- - The Barefoot Contessa.
- Who? Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner.
United Artists, 1954.
Ava marries an Italian count.
Deliriously happy, she wants to give him an heir.
Unfortunately, the count is impotent, so she has an affair with the chauffeur.
The count shoots them both.
Huh? Odd how life sometimes imitates art.
The parallels between The Barefoot Contessa and your life, Mrs.
Sterling, are uncanny.
You're pregnant.
Yet, according to your husband's autopsy report a 30-year-old war injury had rendered him impotent.
Enter Fred Bigelow- young, virile.
A real comer.
You and he have an affair.
You become pregnant.
And the two of you concoct a plan to murder your husband making it look like suicide.
Giving you the child you always wanted and you the business- all of it.
I liked it better in the movies.
All right.
Fred and I, yes, we're lovers.
I decided the best way to handle it was to tell Whit the truth.
But I was wrong.
He became terribly upset.
He locked himself here in the library.
I felt horrible.
I felt like I was to blame, and I couldn't bear that.
So, I tried to put it off on you, Miss Holt.
Oh, excellent recovery.
Excellent! Very quick thinking on your feet, Mrs.
Sterling.
Very quick indeed.
Only there's a hole in your story.
A very, very tiny hole.
Voilà.
Consider this, Mrs.
Sterling.
You and Bigelow murder your husband carry him into the library, place him at his desk put the gun in his hand so it looks like he shot himself.
Then while Bigelow makes his way outside you tie a string to the bolt with a slipknot run it across the room through a tiny hole in the windowpane to Bigelow who pulls it through.
You leave, closing the door behind you as Bigelow carefully pulls the string until the bolt clicks.
Gives it a jerk slips the knot, and pulls it through the hole in the window making it appear as though your husband had locked himself in and committed suicide.
You've been reading too much Ellery Queen, Miss Holt.
Have I? You have exquisite taste in clothes, Mr.
Bigelow.
I especially admired those Italian boots the shoeshine boy delivered to your store the day I visited you.
So much so, she forced me to break into your apartment.
If you check, I believe you'll find there's a very distinctive pattern in the heel that matches the prints in the mud outside that window.
Where were you at precisely 2:15 a.
m.
the night Sterling was killed? Exactly 15 minutes after the murder.
Exactly the time the sprinklers went off outside muddying the ground where you stood.
I'd say the choice is clear, Bigelow.
You can take the fall alone, or you can name your accomplice.
Hey, I only pulled the string.
She pulled the trigger.
Locked-room murder, Mr.
Steele.
I must admit, Laura, Hawaii was the perfect choice.
- Mm.
- Mmm.
A shame about all those planes being grounded.
- Still, if Mildred ever gets back with the macadamia nuts I suppose this might be the next best thing to being there.
If you close your eyes, it's almost as if we are there.
Hmm.
You seem to be sailing somewhere without me.
You know, Laura when I was being interrogated by that kleptomaniac it was almost as if- Well, in my delirium it was almost as if you were there asking the questions.
What kind of questions? Disturbingly vague now, but I get the uneasy feeling that the answers might frighten both of us.
In that case some questions are best left unanswered.
And some answers best left unquestioned.