Remington Steele (1982) s04e18 Episode Script

Steele at Your Service

I will now prove that Hastings's death was not an accident but murder.
Butlers don't get murdered.
They commit murder.
- Everyone knows that.
- Now who's being absurd? Right there will be fine.
I'll see to it you never work as a butler again.
Oh, please, I beg of you.
Anything but that, sir.
All right, Ruggles, you'd better have a good explanation, or you're one dead butler.
I tell you, Wellington Petroleum is not going to be taken over by anyone.
Oh, come on.
Mention your name on Wall Street these days, and everybody laughs.
How dare you talk to your father that way! Yes, Harold.
Father's still chairman of the board.
That's right, you little nerd.
Nose up to him as usual.
Do you hear that hostility? Don't worry, Father.
I'll never vote to sell the family holdings like Harold.
Right, honey? Isn't that what you keep telling me? Honestly, Albert, sometimes you really make me want to puke.
Maria, more coffee, please.
Yes, madam.
Pardon me, sir.
A phone call.
Thank you, Hastings.
I'll take it in the parlor.
Please be kind enough to draw my bath.
If you malcontents would be kind enough to excuse me I'll say good night.
Phone call indeed! You were meeting Maria, weren't you? - Really, Katherine! - Oh, drop the act, Charles.
You can't perform for me but for that little tart of a chambermaid- Good grief, Katherine! Can't I at least take a bath without having a major scene? What- - Oh, my God.
! - Hastings! In the bathtub! Ah, conspicuous consumption, huh? Talk about the sweet smell of success, Laura.
- The Wellingtons absolutely reek of it.
- I suppose.
I wonder what this appointment is all about, eh? Likely some multimillion-dollar problem Wellington Petroleum wants discretely cleared up, eh? A feather in our cap, wouldn't you say? - I suppose.
- Well, contain your excitement, Laura.
- I was just thinking of my college days.
- Oh, yeah? What about them? - Tear gas.
- Oh, yeah, of course.
Courtesy of Wellington Petroleum.
A group of us had joined hands in front of a Wellington refinery to protest some off-shore oil spill, which they had caused.
Charles Wellington had us gassed and arrested.
Oh, come now, Laura.
That was an obligatory part of the curriculum when you were at college, wasn't it? Wellington Petroleum is an irresponsible, polluting colossus.
One oil spill, Laura.
Anyone can make a mistake.
They think they're above the law.
Yes, well, let's not let petty grievances interfere with business, shall we, eh? - Remington Steele.
My associate, Laura- - Around back! Glorious day.
Wellington might be doing some paperwork outside.
A confab by the poolside, perhaps, eh? Something like that? Maybe he's in the game room stuffing a seagull.
Laura, be serious.
This is the '80s.
We're talking serious money here.
Heavy-duty fees.
He's, uh, probably repainting the foyer.
- I am sorry about the back door, but we have to be careful.
- "We"? Ja.
This is Vincenzo, the Wellington chauffeur.
And Pierre, the chef.
Maria, the downstairs maid.
Kuromatsu, the gardener, und I am Greta Swenson, the housekeeper.
Ah, yes, and a handsome group you are too.
But we're here to see Mr.
I'm afraid I deceived you on the phone, Mr.
- We are the ones who need your help.
- What? - Ja.
We want to hire you.
- Why? - Somebody killed our "bootler.
" - What? Butler.
Poor, dear, sweet Hastings.
They found his body in the master's bathtub.
The police said it was an accident that he drowned after he slipped and hit his head.
Yes, well, that seems perfectly clear to me.
Miss Holt, shall we- Monsieur Wellington- He has the gendarme in his pocket.
- Laura, come on.
- Wait a minute.
Are you implying one of the Wellingtons murdered this man Hastings? - Correct.
- Fascinating.
Fascinating stuff indeed.
Let's go, Laura.
This is preposterous.
Come on.
Why? Just because it doesn't involve heavy-duty fees? Were there any witnesses? Any hard evidence? No, but the night Hastings died, I was outside.
I saw a- a light in the upstairs window and heard two men arguing.
While I emptied the trash, I hear loud banging sound upstairs.
- Where were the rest of you? - Downstairs.
But the Wellingtons were all unaccounted for.
Ah, look, look, look.
I hate to perforate your little fantasy here but why would one of the Wellingtons, in heaven's name deign to kill their poor butler, eh? Because they are pigs.
Hastings was going to retire the next day.
He was writing his memoirs about the Wellingtons and hoped to sell them.
Big bucks.
So you think one of the family killed Hastings to keep the memoirs from being published.
- Correct.
- Hastings's room was ransacked after the murder.
Sounds like the killer was looking for the memoirs.
You will take the case, won't you? Miss Holt- A moment, please.
Laura, you have oil spills on the brain.
These people have nowhere else to turn.
The Wellingtons have obviously paid for a cover-up.
Don't be absurd, Laura! This case flies in the face of all tradition.
Butlers don't get murdered.
They commit murder.
Everyone knows that.
Now who's being absurd? We have motive, means and opportunity.
All we have to do is figure out which one of the Wellingtons has a secret awful enough to kill for.
How to you propose we go about investigating one of the most exclusive families in the country on their own turf? No.
No, no, no.
Hold on just a minute, Laura.
Don't do that.
Stop it.
Rupert Ruggles to see the madam about position of butler.
Oh, ja.
Uh, right this way.
Excuse me, madam.
The butler I told you about- Mr.
Oh, yes.
How do you do? My pleasure, madam.
Swenson tells me you have impeccable references.
Thank you, madam.
I try to do my best.
- I bet you do.
- Oh, come on, Father.
Give me a break.
I beat you fair and square.
- You won because I didn't have my good racket.
- Tell him who won, Albert.
Father didn't have his good racket.
- Oh, bull! - Boys! I can still beat your backside, and don't you forget it.
On or off the court! - Charles, Albert, stop it! - Harold started it.
- Oh, shut up! - I'm sorry you had to hear that, Ruggles.
- Hear what, madam? - Hmm.
I like you already.
Everybody, I'd like you to meet Ruggles, Hastings's replacement.
- Oh, poor Hastings.
- Mmm, what a tragedy.
He was like one of the family.
I'm sure we'll be in splendid hands with Ruggles.
Swenson, show Ruggles to his quarters.
Oh, and prepare two guest rooms in the east wing, please.
- We're expecting company.
- Yes, madam.
Welcome aboard, pal.
Here's hoping that you're a better swimmer than Hastings.
This is your room.
Good luck.
Thank you very much.
What is it? Well, it- It's just that we're on a rather limited budget.
You will hurry, won't you? Brilliance can't be rushed, Mrs.
Swenson but I'll try and do my best.
Steele! It's me! - Maria? - What happened? Oh.
I mean, I come in here, and I find you like this.
Oh, yeah, you just happened to be in the neighborhood? Oh, Mr.
Steele, you must help me.
I'm in danger.
Yeah, well, courage, Maria.
Courage, hmm? But you don't understand.
Hastings- He was blackmailing the Wellingtons.
- Blackmailing? - Yes.
How do you know this? Because, the night he was murdered, Hastings and I- We were going to run off together to Acapulco.
- You and that old man? - It was my chance for the big time.
Hastings- He makes a lot of money.
But now, if the Wellingtons find out I was involved with him they will kill me too! - Oh, Mr.
Steele! - Calm down, Maria.
Just calm down now.
There, there.
Just tell me where Hastings hid the memoirs.
I promise- But I don't know where they are.
You must help me.
Oh, Mr.
Steele, you must help me, please.
- Sure.
- I will do anything you want.
- Mmm, yes.
- Anything.
There, there, there.
There, there, there.
I repaired your trophy, sir.
I hope you like it.
Thank you, Vincenzo.
Gosh, it's almost as good as new.
Oh, Albert! Don't you think it's about time you threw that piece of junk in the garbage? Well? Huh? What do you think? Huh? What do you think? - Scrumptious, isn't it, Ruggles? - Stunning, madam.
Steele, how's it, uh, going? A bit too soon to tell, Vincenzo.
Ah, well, step on it.
We are not made of money.
Laura Giles of West Coast Living magazine.
Mildred Krebs, photographer's assistant.
- We're expected.
- Who is it, Ruggles? A pair of journalists, I'm afraid, madam.
Oh, wonderful.
Show them in.
This way, please.
Don't forget the luggage.
Very well, madam.
I'm so glad you called.
Your magazine did such a lovely layout on the Vanderhoff home- sprawling little pseudo-Normandy farmhouse that it is.
I'm sure we'll get a lot more out of our stay here.
Ruggles, please show Miss Giles and Miss Krebs to their rooms.
After you've freshened up, I'll introduce you to the rest of the family.
Oh, splendid.
This way, ladies.
Straight ahead.
Thank you.
So this is how the other half lives.
Right there will be fine.
Laura, next time choose a cover with fewer accessories.
This seemed the perfect way to play up to the massive Wellington ego.
Oh, now I know what you're talking about, Miss Holt.
They must have used every duck on the West Coast to stuff these comforters.
- Oh, hi, chief.
- Hi.
- How are things going down in the trenches? - All too well, Mildred.
- Much to my dismay.
- You've got a lead? Several.
For one thing, I checked the murder scene.
Hastings would have had to be a contortionist to accidentally hit his head and drown.
- Then it is murder.
- A little less zeal, Laura.
So far I've taken a blow to the head, had my room trashed enjoyed a cozy tête-à-tête with Maria, the maid who was gonna run off with the late, great Hastings.
You're joking.
The man had unexpected vigor in several areas.
He was also blackmailing the Wellingtons.
The motive gets better and better.
I looked into Wellington Petroleum.
The company is in deep trouble, vulnerable to a hostile takeover.
It's a real mess.
Virtually none of the members of the family will vote together.
I did background checks on the whole family.
Nothing unusual, except for Cindy Wellington.
She doesn't show up on the computer at all prior to marrying Albert.
A woman without a past, eh? I'll lift a set of her fingerprints and try to put a trace on them.
As much as I'd love to chat, ladies, I have duties to attend to.
Run along, Ruggles.
This enterprising reporter has plans ofher own.
You're right.
It's a gorgeous view.
From where I'm sitting, it's even prettier.
I heard about your butler dying.
How awful.
C'est la vie.
From what I understand, he hit his head while drawing your bath.
That's right.
Clumsy oaf.
- I wonder who turned off the water.
- What? Your wife told me that water wasn't running when you found Hastings.
- So? - So I wonder who turned off the water.
Obviously, he was through with the bath when he slipped.
Silly question, I guess.
That will be all, Ruggles.
Yes, madam.
- Oh! - Watch where you're going, you fool! I'm sorry, sir.
Terribly sorry.
I'm so sorry.
It won't happen again.
- See that it doesn't.
- Yes.
Monsieur Steele! Monsieur Steele! Comment ça va? Monsieur Steele! I thought you had bought the vineyards, so to speak.
Merely a down payment.
What do you want? I wanted to know- How goes the private dicking? - What? - Your work- the private dicking.
We are paying you good money, monsieur but here I find you flat on your back.
- Well, that's because somebody hit me, Pierre.
- But that is your fault.
Not Pierre's, n'est-ce pas? We should get credit on our bill for your time off, no? - Out.
- Monsieur, I'm only being reasonable.
- Ahh! Out! - All right, I'll go.
Madam told me to tell you we are having a Texas barbecue this afternoon.
Thank you very much.
Your room is a sty.
Ketchup, pickles, Handi Wipes? Love the hat.
I'm not in the mood, Laura.
- Where's Mildred? - Checking the report on Cindy.
Duty calls.
Wellington's number one racket.
Found it in the trash this morning.
Good clue, huh? Uh-huh.
Either that or Wellington has a wicked backhand.
- Hang on to that.
- Right.
! Yee-haw.
! Pile it on, boy.
You're gonna love it.
Fingerprints on Cindy? Rap sheet city, honey.
Former Vegas call girl with a record a mile long.
Albert married an ex-hooker? An ex-hooker who seems to be on better terms with Albert's brother than with Albert.
I bet Hastings put that in the memoirs.
From Charles Wellington's reaction this afternoon I'm certain he had something to do with the murder.
Kuromatsu found Charles's battered tennis racket in the trash.
But it also appears Katherine Wellington enjoys her chauffeur's company more than her husband's.
Katherine and Vincenzo? Oh, that's disgusting.
Everybody has some deep, dark secret.
I love it.
- Uh, will that be all, miss? Yes? - Yes, thank you.
What do you think, Miss Giles? Perhaps a picture of our Texas friends taken from up on the hay wagon? Uh, good idea.
Pickles, anybody? Handi Wipes? Okay, everybody, say "pork and beans"! Pork and beans! Whoa.
Laura! Laura, Laura! Come on.
Oh, dear God.
Oh, come on.
Get up.
Get up.
Are you okay? Thank you, Ruggles.
That'll be all.
All right, Ruggles.
I'll take over from here.
Call the paramedics! No! Please don't bother.
I'll be fine.
What do you think? I think someone wants us dead.
- Hey! Hey! - Come here! Why don't you and I have a little talk, mate, eh? My associate almost took her last hayride today, thanks to you! - You're crazy! - How's Mrs.
Wellington lately, eh? Huh? Huh? You told her who we were, didn't you? Huh? We were trying to scare you off.
That is all.
We did not want you to find out about us.
Oh, like Hastings did? Yes, that and- That-That and what? I could build a convincing case against you right now, Vincenzo! Harold is my son.
What? All these years no one knows except Hastings.
But I did not kill him.
I promise.
I swear I did not.
Hastings promised that he tells no one.
Well, he won't now, will he? You and Katherine keep your lips sealed until we're through.
And stay away from Miss Holt, mate.
Come on! Get- - Albert.
! - Ruggles, you attacked me! I beg your pardon, sir, but I believe you attacked me first.
Um, what, may I ask, was the master doing in my quarters? - I was looking for something.
- Hastings's memoirs? Boy, you butlers are all alike.
You know everything.
So, I'm gay.
So I paid Cindy to marry me to keep up a front.
So what are you going to do about it? Very little at the moment.
You didn't happen to find Hastings's memoirs, did you, sir? No.
And if you breathe a word about this to anyone I'll see to it you never work as a butler again.
Oh, please, sir, I beg of you.
Anything but that, sir.
Thank you, sir.
Good day, sir.
Oh, dear, dear, dear, dear, dear, dear.
Hmm? What is this? Laura? Laura! Oh, no.
Are you okay, boss? - Mildred? - Yeah.
- Why don't you get a towel and some ice.
- All right.
Just sit down.
Sit down.
Did you see who it was? No, but that's not unusual.
Oh, what a mess.
Anything missing? I think one of the camera bags.
It was probably Vincenzo trying to cover up his affair with Katherine.
I doubt that.
I had a little chat with Vincenzo, and Albert too.
Hastings knew that Albert married Cindy to cover up the fact that he wasn't you know, the marrying kind.
So that's why Cindy can't keep her hands off Harold.
Who, incidentally- and Vincenzo admits this himself- is really his son, not Charles's.
What a family! What were you doing here? Oh, hey, I, uh- I think I found where Hastings hid the memoirs.
- Of course.
- Hey? - The household computer.
- Now we're talking my territory.
Mmm, shame about your camera, Laura.
The film would've come in handy.
Thank you, Mildred.
It's okay.
An ounce of prevention.
I think I'll visit a photographer I know.
Ah, okay.
I think I'm gonna pay a visit to a certain wall safe I know.
Take care, Ruggles.
With any luck I'll see to it that you're fired tomorrow.
Couldn't this wait until morning, Laura? I mean, not that I'm complaining, but it was only five months ago that I asked you out and waited until 12:23 tonight to hear back.
No, it's not one of your better shots, I must say.
David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave.
MGM, 1967.
- Or was it 1966? - What are you mumbling about? A certain friend of mine would be very proud of me right now.
- Bernie.
- Yes? I'm going to need blowups.
Mademoiselle! You, too, cannot sleep? C'est dommage.
You are famished, and I will make you something fantastique.
No, no, no, no.
That's not necessary.
I insist.
For so lovely a vision, I will make something light.
Something delicious.
A Dagwood! I'll help.
We need bread and mayonnaise, mustard and- Ooh, ham, salami, lettuce.
That and, um, tomatoes, pickles.
What's that? Oh, peanut butter.
I love peanut butter.
What's this? Tuna fish.
Oh, I love tuna fish.
This is gonna be one hell of a sandwich.
Suddenly I am very sleepy.
All right, Ruggles you'd better have a good explanation, or you're one dead butler.
He has an excellent explanation.
His real name is Remington Steele.
Private investigator extraordinaire.
And he is about to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of you murdered Hastings.
Isn't that right, Mr.
Steele? - I'm calling the police.
- Not so fast, Wellington.
By the time I get through, you may not want to make that phone call.
Yes, I will now prove that Hastings's death was not an accident but murder.
Not so.
- That's preposterous.
- So it seems to the untrained eye.
- But to a private investigator- - Who killed him? A fair question, Pierre.
But before I answer that, let's first ask the question: How was Hastings killed? Must we? Winston Hastings, beloved butler to some insidious blackmailer to his employers.
He had written memoirs that cut to the quick of each and every Wellington.
Memoirs that reveal secrets so dark, so evil so heinous that one of you was driven to murder Hastings! You have these memoirs? Hmm? Another interesting question.
And I shall produce these memoirs in a moment.
If you're bluffing, Steele, I'll have your license.
- And we'll sue.
- Boss, I found it.
- And we'll sue.
- Boss, I found it.
Ah, my assistant, Mildred Krebs just as I expected, has the memoirs.
I found it.
Oh, boss, you don't know what I had to go through- recipes, wine lists, guest lists- - The memoirs, Mildred.
The memoirs.
- Here.
"My Life With the Wellingtons.
" - Catchy little title, isn't it? - Mm-hmm.
"The life of a butler is-" - Well, go on, Mr.
- That's it? That's only half a line.
"The life of a butler is-" Hastings must have had writer's block.
- Well, Steele, huh? - Ah, the solution is at hand but before I reveal the murderer let's go back to the night of the murder.
- You are bluffing.
- Am I? I have been told that you, Charles Wellington, received a message at dinner supposedly from a business associate.
But the truth is Hastings was arranging a meeting with you, wasn't he? It's true.
I saw the note.
Oh, shut up, you pip-squeak.
Exhibit "A"- a cashier's check for a hundred thousand dollars written out to one Winston Hastings dated the day of the murder.
Charles received a note from Hastings requesting a meeting.
He asked Hastings to draw his bath- a clever excuse to meet- then said he was going to take the phone call.
But, in fact, he went to get the cashier's check for Hastings.
Meanwhile, Hastings waited in the bedroom for Charles counting down the hours until he'd be on his way to fun-filled Acapulco with beautiful Maria and spending his misbegotten fortune.
But Hastings didn't have the memoirs.
They argued.
Hastings refused Charles's demands.
But no one refuses Charles Wellington.
He grabbed his favorite tennis racket.
He snuck up behind Hastings and delivered a smashing- No.
! That's not the way it happened.
Yes, I went to meet Hastings that night.
But when I got to my room, I found him on the floor beside my tennis racket.
I'd been set up.
I had to act fast.
I threw the racket into the trash dumped Hastings's body into the tub and waited for my wife to turn up to provide an alibi for me.
That's the truth.
I swear.
Which brings us to the next important question: Who framed you? Boss, what are you doing? I believe it's known as winging it, Mildred.
On the night of Hastings's death who was the one other person who saw Hastings's note to Charles? Hmm? Hmm? You, Albert.
By your own admission.
And you framed your father.
You knew Hastings was gonna meet with your father.
It was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one racket- Hastings, because he was blackmailing you, and your father, whose contempt and domination you could no longer abide.
You made sure your father was in the parlor so you could get to Hastings first.
You went to your father's room, grabbed his tennis racket slipped up to Hastings to deliver a crushing- No.
! Wait.
! It's true Hastings was blackmailing me but I didn't kill him.
I wanted to.
In fact, when I left the table knowing Hastings was upstairs all alone I went to get my gun.
But when I entered my room, Hastings was dead on the floor with my broken debating trophy lying next to him.
Someone was trying to frame me.
I thought it was Father who's never wanted me for his son.
So I dragged Hastings into Father's room smashed his racket against the floor and tossed it next to the body.
You ruined a perfectly good racket.
Which would explain the banging noise Pierre heard the night of the murder.
Yes, but who is the killer? - We want to know now.
- Yes, now.
Go on, Monsieur.
Maybe we should call for a cab.
That's worth considering.
A murder case is like an onion.
To solve the solution, one has to peel away the endless layers of contradiction and confusion.
And so the process of elimination brings us to the two people who would stand to gain the most by killing Hastings and framing Albert.
Cindy- - And Harold.
- You're crazy, Steele! Am I? Think about it.
Here was the perfect chance to get rid ofboth Hastings and Albert.
Why? Because Hastings knew about Cindy's past and was threatening to destroy her one ambition: to make it in high society.
And, Harold, Hastings knew your unbridled passion for Cindy if publicized, could ruin your bid to become president of Wellington Petroleum.
Thus the two of you raced upstairs waited for Hastings and ambushed him.
Pulling him into Albert's room, grabbing Albert's debating trophy and waiting for the right moment- You're out of your gourd.
! We didn't kill Hastings.
Well, we were going to with Harold's old army knife, but Hastings was already dead.
In my bedroom.
So we dragged Hastings into Albert's bedroom.
And that's when I broke your stupid trophy and made it look like a murder weapon.
Exactly as I deduced.
Which leaves, uh, just one more suspect: Katherine Wellington.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, Mr.
Steele but at the time of the murder, I was with Mrs.
Swenson planning the barbecue.
- She's right.
- Of course, yes.
Of course indeed.
Which means, uh- The murderer is, um, somebody else.
Let's make a run for it, boss.
Oh, yeah, indeed.
Ah, my associate, Miss Holt! Yes! What's going on? I was just concluding my summation.
- You solved the case? - Ah, yes, in a way.
Um, ahem, I've eliminated all the suspects.
That's it, Steele.
I'm calling the police.
In a minute, Wellington.
! To review the motive for Hastings's murder was- - Stocks.
- Precisely.
Yes, but please don't allow me to hog the limelight.
Carry on.
We all know Wellington Petroleum is in dire financial straits but few of us knew a corporate takeover was in the works engineered by someone on the inside who had access to a vast holding of company shares, which he was willing to sell out.
- You little rat! - It wasn't Albert.
Who is it? I'll kill him! I'm afraid somebody beat you to it.
Hastings? Yes, of course.
Yes, of course.
Please proceed, Miss Holt.
Hastings had amassed a sizable amount of shares over the years using every eavesdropped conversation in the house to his advantage.
- That swine! - In fact, he had accumulated enough shares to give someone in the family decisive control of Wellington Petroleum.
- What are you talking about? - You, Charles.
The night of the murder, you were willing to pay Hastings $100,000 for the privilege of buying back his shares.
That's a lie! I can't see you ever proving I got a single share of stock.
I can't.
Because Sobuku Limited a Japanese firm trying to take over your company had a secret operative among you.
- Who? - Uh, please, Miss Holt.
Let's not keep them in suspense any longer.
An M.
graduate and former securities analyst who, after serving some time for fraud supposedly retired to the contemplative life of an estate gardener.
One Sam Kuromatsu.
Sam? Prove it.
The photograph you thought you'd destroyed.
I don't get it.
What really happened? Let's go back to the night of the murder.
Uh, allow me.
I've had experience with this sort of thing.
Charles receives the note from Hastings.
Albert sees the note.
Charles leaves the room.
Hastings leaves soon to be followed by Albert, Cindy and Harold.
- Where's Kuromatsu? - In the kitchen.
Kuromatsu had made a deal with Hastings to buy his stock but Charles hadjust made him a better offer.
Kuromatsu stops Hastings on his way to Charles's bedroom.
He tells Hastings he wants to make a counteroffer.
Hastings agrees.
Kuromatsu kills Hastings in Harold's room.
That explains the struggle Vincenzo sees from outside.
Kuromatsu then steals the signed stock certificates and rushes off to contact Sobuku Limited.
Simple, isn't it? Now you know why when Harold and Cindy arrived to kill Hastings they found he was already dead.
So they framed Albert.
But Albert, who also wanted to kill Hastings finds the butler's body and summons enough courage to frame his father.
Albert dumps Hastings in Charles's bedroom and smashes Charles's tennis racket to complete the frame.
A moment later, Charles finds the body and realizes he has to do something.
So he dumps Hastings in the tub to make it look like an accident.
- Good work, Mr.
- Hmm.
You too, Miss Holt.
Kuromatsu's flown the coop! Good-bye, Mr.
- My tailor's gonna kill me.
- Let's call the police.
Suddenly I don't feel that eager about going back to the house.
We can't stay here.
Why not? What about him? What will people think? What else? The butler did it.