- Altared Steele
- From the episode
- Jeff Melvoin
- Thanks, Jan, for the
We open the episode
in the midst of a nightmare. Lightening, a bell, waves crashing
violently, a clock, and a hatchet.
A man wakes up in a motel room, fully dressed, looks outside,
then goes to the phone. "May I help you?" the operator
"Yes. This is uh--"
"Yes? Sir, You'll have to speak up."
"Uh, I'm sorry, this is- this is room- 12-" he bends
to look at the number, and an arrow flies through the window,
hitting the wall just over his head. He turns around to the window,
then at the arrow in the wall.
"Sir? Mr. Dannon?" Dannon breaks off the end of the
arrow. "I can't hear you, sir. Mr. Dannon?" He's dropped
he phone. "Sir, can I help you?" Dannon leaves the
room, terrified. "Mr. Dannon?" the operator asks again.
Laura and Mildred are carrying files out of Laura's office, and
putting them on Mildred's desk. Laura looks as if she'd rather
be *anywhere* other than where she is. Mildred, however, is in
her element. "Ready for the next batch?" she asks.
"Your enthusiasm for this kind of work amazes me, Mil-"
Her stack of files slides over onto the floor.
"Oh. Are you kidding? This is fun. I've been reading through
these cases, and the intrigue, and the romance, and the- ooh,
the adventure-" Laura follows her back into the office,
glancing at Steele's door on the way. "It's so dangerous."
They each grab another pile. "Sometimes I think that our
boss is too good to be true."
"Speaking of the heroic Mr. Steele, wasn't he supposed to
join us about an hour ago?"
"Oh, well, he has so much work to do, that I told him that
we girls could handle this by ourselves." Laura glares.
Steele enters the office. "Ahh, good morning, ladies, good
morning!" He throws them a kiss.
"Oh, good morning, sir. You have several phone calls, but
nothing urgent." Laura stands, waiting for Mildred to stop
fawning. "Coffee this morning?"
"Uh, tea, actually, Mildred."
She taps his arm. "You got it, boss."
Steele laughs, delighted to be so spoiled. He turns back to Laura,
who is not happy. "Ohh, remarkable woman, ey? Filled with
spirit, consumed with dedication-" Laura faces him.
"This has got to stop."
Steele looks at the files on Mildred's desk. "Oh, a couple
more hours should do it, I'd think, don't you?"
"I mean you and our Miss Krebbs are going to have a little
His face falls, like a little boy who's told he can't stay in
the candy store. "Really? What about, I wonder?" He
turns toward his office, and Laura follows.
She turns him back to the desk. "About who *really* runs
this agency. If I want a file, she asks you first. If I want
a paperclip, she asks you *first*."
"Well, you must admire the woman's consistancy."
"I don't care how you do it or which method you choose,
but somehow you're going to convince her that we are a least
equals," she says, holding out her hand.
He takes it, holding it. "Ah, but Laura, think how it would
shatter the perfect harmony of that woman's universe-" Dannon
walks into the office. "I think in situations like this,
the truth is always more trouble than it's worth. Don't you?"
Laura doesn't buy it for a second.
Dannon clears his throat. "Pardon me, but, I'm looking for
Steele hurries to him, finally releasing Laura's hand. "Yes.
At your service, Mr -"
"Oh. Dannon. Well, Frank Dannon."
Steele turns to Laura as she approaches. "And my loyal associate,
Laura Holt." She and Dannon shake hands. "What can
we do for you, Mr. Dannon?"
"Well, I need you to find someone."
Steele looks at Laura.
In Steele's office, Laura asks Dannon, "And you can't remember
anything about yourself?"
"Not a thing, Miss Holt."
"No memories at all," Steele asks. "Family, friends-"
"Well, I didn't even know my name until that motel operator
told it to me, and the next thing I knew, someone was shooting
arrows at me-"
"Arrows?" Laura questions.
"Boy that's strange, huh?" Dannon says.
Steele approaches Dannon. "It's abundantly clear that we're
dealing with a classic case of amnesia, of which there are two
characteristic types." He studies Dannon. "Traumatic
and hysterical." He grabs Frank's head as Laura flinches.
"In the absence of any bumps, bruises, or other obvious
injuries to the skull, I think we're safe in concluding that
this man is suffering from the hysterical form of the condition."
"What does that mean?" Frank asks.
"Someone or something recently scared the living daylights
out of you."
"Oh," Frank says, smiling. He sees the bell from his
nightmare again,the clock the hatchet, and he's backing away,
"Wait a minute." He closes his eyes, frightened, sees
himself on the floor, trying to escape the hatchet. He looks
up a Steele. "Someone tried to kill me."
"With a hatchet," he says.
"A hatchet?" Laura repeats. "Would you excuse
us for a moment, please," she says, pulling Steele toward
her office. Inside, she says, "An arrow? A hatchet? This
man doesn't need a detective, he needs a psychiatrist."
"I must admit that it's not the most plausible story. It's
obvious that the man has been on the receiving end of some terrible
psychological blow. After all, Laura, even paranoids have enemies."
"Then we'll refer him to a good counseling service where
he can get the kind of help he needs. By the way, where'd you
get this stuff on amnesia?"
"Spellbound?" Steele asks.
"Yes, I was, actually."
"Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, Selznick International, 1945."
"Why do I ask?" she wonders aloud as he goes to the
door. He opens it. Laura rubs her hands together and begins.
"After careful consideration to your plight, Mr. Steele
has decided-" she stops as she sees the end of an arrow
in Frank's hands. "Spellbound?"
Steele says, "Or Robin Hood."
Laura looks at the mark on the arrow, a white circle with a W
in crosshairs. They are at a store with that symbol on it, "Weapon
World." The store is doing a booming business, families,
little old ladies -
"Everything for the Modern Survivalist," Steele reads
as they watch a family come out with a machine gun and ammo,
the little boy carrying a GI Joe doll. All three are shocked.
They go inside to find a little old lady going through a bin
of hand grenades as if they were fruit.
"This is kind of a longshot, isn't it?" Frank asks.
Steele watches the old lady. "Interesting choice of words."
"Until we can generate some information on who you are,"
Laura tells him, "This arrow is all we have to go on."
The lady moves her cart.
We see someone putting on a pair of gloves.
Laura approaches the counter. "You the store manager?"
"Affirmative." He sees the arrow. "Say, little
lady, you're not gonna stop too many commies with one of those.
What you need is our basic Armegeddon package for self defense."
"We're not interested in purchasing anything," Steele
"Hey. Think of it as an investment. Believe me, when the
Red Army appears outside your door, you're gonna thank the good
Lord you've got the firepower to protect your own perimeter."
"No, you don't understand-" She indicates the arrow.
"If price is a problem, we got installment plans that will
just blow you away."
The gloved hand, a bracelet with a bell on the wrist, loads a
row of machine guns in the center of the store. The manager is
still trying. "Now, you just can't improve on the government
issue colt. Automatic, dependable, lethal."
Laura's had enough. "Tent HUT! We're private investigators,"
she tells him, holding out the arrow. "We need to know who
purchased this particular arrow. Do you keep records on that?"
"What are you? One of those flaming liberals who wants to
take arrows out of the hands of decent, law abiding citizens?
The woman wearing the gloves, pushes the switch for the machine
guns. They start firing, and everyone drops. Finally, Steele
raises up and grabs a hand grenade from the bin. "What are
you doing?" Laura yells.
"Sands of Iwo Jima. John Wayne, Republic, 1949!" he
tells her, tossing the grenade at the guns. It works, and they
lift their heads. "Everybody all right?" he asks.
"I think so!"
The manager comes up with a pistol. "Come on, ya heathens.
We're ready for ya."
Laura turns where Frank is laying. "Frank?" He doesn't
The next scene is in a cemetary, where a coffin is ready to be
lowered into the ground. Nearby, out of sight, Laura looks at
a newpaper, with the headline "Mystery Man Dies", and
a picture of Frank.
"Tragic," Steele comments.
"But effective," Laura points out.
"Let's not forget who came up with the idea," he says.
Laura glances sideways at him.
Frank calls from behind the tree. "Hey, what's going on?
I can't see anything." Steele reaches over and pushes a
shrub out of his view.
"Much. Are you sure this'll work, Mr. Steele?"
"At the very least we'll know more about you when we see
who shows up," Laura assures him.
"My experience with the criminal element leaves no doubt
in my mind that whoever's trying to kill you, Frank, will appear
here out of some kind of perverse sense of symmetry." Laura
gives him a look of disbelief. "A certain psychotic compulsion
to confirm the ultimate resolution of the crime."
Frank speaks from his hiding place. "Yeah, but- what if
you're wrong, Mr. Steele?"
"Wrong?" He turns to look at Frank. "Remington
Steele?" Laura rolls her eyes heavenward. A limo pulls up.
"Seems to be working," Frank comments.
Mildred has a camera, starts to take a picture, then realizes
the lens cover is still in place, and quickly removes it, hoping
no one notices. A beautiful dark haired woman gets out of the
"Wonder who she is, anyway?" Frank asks.
"We were hoping you could tell us," Laura says.
"A sister, maybe?" Frank speculates.
Another limo arrives, deposting a a blonde, then a third, with
another brunette, and then a fourth, with a tearful blonde, then
a fifth limo arrives, this time with a buxom red head. "I
must come from a large family," Frank says.
"Dearly beloved," the minister begins. "Let us
begin. Will the wife of the deceased please step forward?"
All five women step forward, glaring at each other. Laura and
Steele turn to look at Frank, who faints.
At the office, all four of them go over the slides that Mildred
took of the wives. The teary eyed one was first. "Terry
Lowell Dannon, according to the funeral home register,"
Laura says. "Ring any bells?" she asks Frank.
"Total stranger," he says.
Next slide. "Widow number 2," Steele says. "Barbara
"Nancy Stinson Dannon," Laura says about the third
one, the beautiful brunette who arrived at the cemetary first.
"Is this doing anything for you?" He shakes his head.
The red head was next. "Stella Martino Dannon," Steele
"She's not my type," Frank says.
"Everyone appears to be your type," Mildred comments.
Laura shoots her a look, and Mildred backtracks. "I mean
you, seem to have such a democratic taste with women, Mr. Dannon."
Laura looks up. "Next slide, please, Mildred."
The other blonde. "Oh, I wish I remembered her," he
"Mary Howell Dannon," Laura tells him. "That's
"Five wives at the same time?" Mildred says. "Oh,
Frank's hand is to his head again. "I have five wives,"
he recalls, his eyes going back into his head as he starts to
zone out again, reliving the nightmare.
Steele taps his face. "Come on. Stay with us. Stay with
us-" All three of them huddle around Frank. His head comes
"Are you all right?" Laura asks.
"I- I just keep having these flashes, like in a dream. No,
more like a nightmare, really. And nothing makes sense until
the end when someone tries to kill me with a hatchet."
"Who's trying to kill you?" Laura asks.
"Well, I can't see who!" Frank insists, seeing his
nightmare again, seeing the arm with the bell bracelet lift the
hatchet. "But I know it's a woman."
"What a surprise," Mildred comments.
Steele is thoughtful. Suddenly, he says, "I've got it."
"You do?" Mildred asks.
" 'Mirage'. " He starts to rise. "Gregory Peck,
Walter Matthau, Universal, 1965."
"I don't remember that one," Frank says, as Laura gives
Steele that "not again" look.
"I'm not surprised. Peck plays a man with amnesia who's
in great danger. He has these recurring flashbacks that unravels
the entire mystery."
Mildred's eyes are huge as she finally gets a chance to watch
the great detective at work. "Frank's dream is the key?"
"Oh, that's wonderful, Mr. Steele. Oh, that's-" She
laughs. "Isn't it amazing how our boss uses even old movies
to get to the heart of things?"
Laura looks at Steele. "Stupifying," she says, as Steele
basks in the glow of Mildred's adoration.
"Yeah," Frank tells them, "But I don't remember
much about it. Except for the hatchet."
"Relax," Steele tells him. "Peck couldn't figure
it out until he was staring death in the face."
"Oh, terrific," Laura says, "do you think we might
get there a little earlier?"
"Well, at least we have solid suspects."
"Five, to be exact," Mildred points out.
"Mildred," Laura warns.
"Oh, but who's counting?" Mildred adds.
"My wives?" Frank asks.
"Maybe one of them tried to give you a quickie divorce,"
"How do we find out which one, Mr. Steele?"
Laura looks at Steele expectantly. "Excellent question.
Miss Holt, why don't you run Frank through that plan I've been
"Yes," Laura says, totally off guard. "Well. Since
it was Mr. Steele's idea to stage a funeral- What goes better
with a funeral than-"
"A wake?" Mildred says. Steele is watching Laura work
the room now, amazed as Mildred had been earlier.
"Of sorts. A little get together, where the widows can drink
to the dear departed."
"And while you have all the suspects gathered under one
roof, you smoke out the killer," she says, looking at Steele.
But it's Laura who answers. "Exactly."
Mildred is beside herself. "Ohh. Absolutely brilliant, Mr.
Steele." She reaches out, then grabs her cheeks and pinches
them. "Oh, it's just brilliant."
Steele shrugs, basking again. "Well, one does what one can,
Mildred" he tells her, as Laura silently fumes at his taking
credit for her idea. "I'll handle the cold cuts," he
At her loft, a veritible feast is laid out. Steele places a record
on the machine, only to have the "Wedding March" issue
forth. Laura comes in with some hor derves. "Wrong side,"
she tells him.
"Obviously." He turns it over to a death march. "That's
more like it."
The doorbell rings. Laura twirls. "How do I look?"
She's dressed in black, with an engagement ring on her left hand.
"A bit more distraught would help," he comments, and
she begins to weep softly, grabbing his black handkerchief from
his pocket as he goes to the door. "Portrait of grief,"
he tells her on the way.
Barbara is the first to arrive, passing Steele and going straight
to Laura. "Laura. I'm Barbara."
"I'm so glad you could come." They shake hands. "Oh,
this is my friend and attorney, Sterling Gillette." Steele
gives her a look for that one.
"I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Mrs. Dannon," he tells
Barbara. "So tragic-"
"And curious. I came tonight because I want to know how
five of us ended up in black."
Laura looks at the ring on her left hand. "We were supposed
to be married next week. I was out of town, when- and then I
heard at the funeral-" She starts crying again. Barbara
takes her into her arms.
"Oh, baby." Steele is amazed at the female bonding
ritual. " It's alright. I know how you feel."
The bell rings again, and Steele lets Terry and Stella in. Again,
neither acknowledges him, as Stella is saying, "Gentle?
Frank? You're joking, right?"
"No," Terry insists. "My Frank was soda sweet."
Steele follows them.
"The man was an animal. Pure carnivore," Stella insists.
"Didn't he ever-" She looks at Steele. "Hey, pal,
this is girl talk. Why don't you go pour us a couple of shots,
Steele nods, moving away, muttering,"Why don't you come
At Steele's apartment, Mildred double checks the terrace doors.
"I don't think anyone's tampered with those in the past
ten minutes," Frank tells her.
"Look, buster, those are mean streets out there. Where a
man's life can be bought for bus fare. And a woman's virtue's
as- thin as the paint on her face."
"Oh, Miss Krebbs. You don't really think any of those nice
women would try to kill me, do you?"
"All I can say is, I wish I was packin a rod."
"A gat. A roscoe. An equalizer. Artillery. But the boss
doesn't like us carryin'. I'm gonna have to talk to him about
Frank puts aside the art magazine he was looking at. "Look,
if so many women married me, I must be a loveable guy, right?"
"If only I could talk to them. I'm sure I could straighten
things out. Because obviously, there's been some kind of misunderstanding."
"You're dead, mister. And as far as I'm concerned, you're
gonna stay dead so no one can kill ya."
Frank gets up. "All right, Miss Krebbs. I know when I'm
licked. I think I'll - just take a shower and call it a night."
Mildred nods, watching him into the bedroom.
Once the door closes, Mildred smiles, pleased with herself. She
picks up a hat from near the door, and puts it on, going to the
mirror. In her best Bogart voice, she says, "I'm sending
ya over, angel."
In the bedroom, Frank turns on the shower, then sneaks out the
bedroom window and trips.
At the party, the widows are getting to know each other. Mary
asks Nancy, "But my dear, how could you be married to the
man, and not know that he was an aerospace engineer?"
"Because, my dear, the man I married was a neuro surgeon,"
Nancy tells her as Laura comes up to offer them something to
Terry gasps. "That explains it." They look at her.
"My Frank was a- history professor. But one night, when
we were in the middle of- " she stops, shy. "You know.
He started shouting. 'Clamp it! Clamp it!' Laura moves off, and
"More champagne, ladies?" he asks. Nancy's attention
"Please," Mary says.
"Oh, hi, blue eyes. I could use a refill. Say, you're a
lawyer, right, honey?" She takes his arm, and pulls him
aside. "I just find the law so- stimulatin'."
"Yes," he agrees. "Corpus delecti, ipso facto,
rigor mortis. Endless fascination, Mrs. Dannon."
Nancy traces his lapels.
Barbara tells Stella, "And he told me that he had to be
away a lot, in order to acquire antiques for his shop."
She pulls out a cigarette from a case.
"The truck drivin' man I married wouldn't know an antique
from a crankshaft." Laura brings some food over. As Barbara
is putting the cigarettes up, Laura sees a small handgun in the
"Cold cuts, anyone?"
Barbara shakes her head as Stella grabs a handful. "No thanks."
Laura moves away.
Stella stares after her. "I wonder what Frank saw in a little
thing like that." Barbara turns and looks at her.
Across the room, Nancy is still tracing. "Terrible thing
about your husband," Steele says.
"Why talk about him," she pouts. "You know, that
adorable little Laura says you're handlin' Frank's will-"
He's surprised, but says, "Yes. That's right."
Nancy smiles. "That's just wonderful. Why don't you just-
tell me all about it? You know, like- how do much do I get? I
can keep a secret."
Laura calls. "Mr. Gillette." Steele doesn't hear her.
"Ah, Miss Holt. I'm just going over the finer points of-"
"I can see the points you were going over. May I speak with
you a moment?" she asks, smiling at Nancy.
Steele looks at Nancy. "Certainly. Certainly." He tells
Nancy, "I'm sure you'll get over your greif in time. Excuse
me, please." He and Laura move off, as Laura gives Nancy
a very catty look.
"I spotted a gun in Barbara's purse," she tells him.
"Ummm. And our raven haired Yum-Yum over there has been
plying me with questions about inheritance. What are you getting
from the others?"
"A fascinating portrait of the energetic Mr. Dannon. Apparently
he was all things to all women."
"You're beginning to sound like a jealous fiance."
Laura laughs. "Let's just put it this way: if his case went
to trial tomorrow, I'd have a hard time knowing which side to
"I'm certainly glad Frank isn't around to hear that."
The door bell goes, and Stella manages to pull herself away from
the cold cuts. "I got it, honey," she calls, sliding
the door open.
Frank is there, holding two arm fulls of rose, smiling. "Hi,
Mary faints, Nancy, Terry and Barbara are shocked, and Stella
attacks him, knocking him to the ground and trying to strangle
- Steele tries to
herd the five 'widows' out of Laura's apartment, yelling to be
heard over the din of their raised voices, "All perfectly
legitmiate questions which I'm sure will all be answered in good
time. HOWEVER, Mr Dannon is incapacitated for the time being
.." pointing to Frank lying on the bed. Laura is sitting
beside him with her back to the women pushing Frank onto the
bed with a wash cloth covering his mouth indicating to him that
he is to remain where he is. ".. so I suggest that we ALL
go home," the doorbell rings, "relax, and I will contact
you in ..."
- Nancy breaks away
from Steele's outstretched arms as Steele rushes to open the
door. He manages to grab Nancy as she reaches the steps while
Laura is still gagging Frank and holding him down. "Oh Nancy,
please, please don't go up there," Steele turns her around
"Okay ladies, he's very, very ill isn't he?"
- He turns around
to Laura who nods in agreement while mouthing a silent "Thank
- "Yes, yes,
well here's the doctor," Steele continues yelling to be
heard. A very upset Mildred walks into the fray. Steele sees
Mildred and yells out, "Ah, Doctor Krebbs!" The women
all stop talking.
- "Oh, I'm so
sorry Mr. .." starts Mildred.
- Steele cuts her
off before she says his 'real' name, "Ah, don't be sorry
doctor, you've arrived in
- record time."
- "Oh, but I
blew it," continues a distraught Mildred.
- "I know you
need some place private to do your work so go right ahead doctor,"
he points in Frank's direction, " Go on, go ahead doctor,
don't let us disturb you." Steele turns his attention back
to the five women yelling to be heard over them because they
have all started talking again.
ladies! Goodnight Mrs Dannon, Goodnight Mrs Dannon, Goodnight
Mrs Dannon, Goodnight all, Goodnight Mrs Dannon, Goodnight, Goodnight
to you!" Finally he is able to shut the door and silence
descends upon the loft. Laura stands up, letting out a sigh of
relief while throwing the wash cloth at Frank.
- Steele runs across
to the bedroom as Mildred starts apologizing again, "Oh,
Oh I'm sorry it's all my fault."
- Steele reaches the
bed and puts out a hand to Mildred saying rather breathlessly,
"It can wait Mildred, it can wait."
- Laura admonishes
Frank, "I *hope* you understand how badly you've complicated
things by showing up here tonight, Frank."
- "Well, I just
- Laura continues,
"Not only have you destroyed all our painstaking work we've
done thus far but now everyone knows you're alive."
- Steele comments,
"But looking on the brighter side, Frank, we've learned
that you're no run of the mill bigamist. Do you realise you've
posed as an antique dealer, a truck driver, a neurosurgeon, a
college professor and an aerospace engineer while simultaneously
maintaining five households?"
a disapproving Mildred offers her view.
cautions Laura, "we're professionals. We've been hired to
protect Mr Dannon .." she gives him a sickly smile while
moving around the bed to stand next to Mildred, ".. to the
best of our abilities and we will do so regardless of our personal
feelings- whatever they might be." Laura looks at a chastised
Mildred before turning to Frank and muttering, "You *swine*,"
as Mildred's eyes open wide.
- Frank puts on his
'little boy' look and covers his face with the wash cloth.
Outside Laura's apartment, Laura, Steele, Mildred and Frank come
outside. "You'll be safer at my apartment," Steele
"You really think I'm still in danger?"
"Frank, please. A few minutes ago, one of your spouses tried
to use your head as a basketball."
"I think you're making too much of this. I can't believe
one of my wives would actually-" Someone fires two shots,
and they drop to the pavement.
Laura looks at him. "You were saying?" Steele tries
to see the license number on the car, but it's gone too quickly.
"Are you all right?" she asks Mildred and Frank.
"They were over there," Steele tells her, leading the
way across the street to where the car was parked. His foot hits
something. "What was that?" He searches for it. "Where
is it?" Picking it up, he shows Laura the tiny bell. "Well
Laura takes it. "Perhaps one of our ladies dropped this.
You get Frank to bed, and I'll see if a certain gun's been fired
in say the last five minutes."
At Steele's apartment, Steele unlocks the door, and ushers Frank
in. "In we go. There we go. How about a drink, ey?"
he asks, removing his jacket, then starting to open the waiting
bottle of champagne.
"Oh, I'd love one," Frank says, sitting on the couch
while Steele takes the chair. "You know, it's just like
Stella to try and choke me. She's so impulsive."
They both laugh. "That's right."
"Ah, well, this calls for toast."
Frank sits forward, no longer smiling. "Now if only I could
remember who came at me with that hatchet."
"Uh uh, don't push it. Let's just be thankful your memory's
returning. However slowly. There we go. Viola." He lifts
his glass. "To uh- to happy memories. And what makes them."
They clink glasses. "To Mary. I'll never forget that week
in Cape Cod." Steele starts to drink, but Frank says, "And
to Terry.Those long nights with Dickens," Again Steele tries
to drink. "And to Stella, too. You know, a man couldn't
ask for a better bowling partner." This time, Steele waits,
watching. "And to Barbara's - style. To those nights with
Nancy. On that bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. She rubbed-"
"I'll drink to that," Steele says quickly. They click
glasses again, and they finally drink. Steele turns to sit down.
"How did I ever get into this mess?" Frank asks.
"I'm afraid you're the only one who can answer that, Frank,"
he says, putting his feet up, loosening his tie.
"I remember it was fun, most of the time. Always something
to look forward to. New job, new romance."
"Can you recall how it all started?"
"In college, I was always switching majors, then I dropped
out,- then I joined the Navy. Yeah, that's right. I enlisted.
Medical orderly. We were somewhere in the China Sea. Took on
some wounded. And one of the doctors collapsed. The patient was
dying, blood- was everywhere. So I just- picked up some instruments--
I mean, I'd seen plenty of operations--and, uh, I saved that
man's life." He sits down.
"Did you tell anyone?"
"In the Navy? Oh, yeah. That would have landed me in the
brig. But it was that experience that made me realize - I had
a gift. I could watch somebody do something and pick it up-"
he snaps his fingers "-right away."
"Suddenly you saw you life was different from that of most
men. You didn't have to be trapped in a single identity."
He speaks as if he's not talking about Frank, but about himself.
"No one could tell you what to do."
"That's right," Frank says. "You really understand,
Steele laughs. "Tell me though, how do the women figure
in all this?"
"Oh, as I recall, it just happened. I fell in love, got
married -Then I fell in love with someone else-"
"And married her, too."
Frank laughs, embarrassed. "I guess I'm just an old fashoined
"Yes. But did you ever consider how *they* might feel about
"No, I guess not. Maybe it's too bad that hatchet missed."
"Listen, Frank, I think that's bein' a bit extreme. I mean,
look at it this way: at least you're capable of making a committment."
"Now, what kind of committments did I make, Mr. Steele?
I was playing roles. Imagining I was putting something over on
life, when in fact, I was only fooling myself." They look
at each other. "I guess I was too scared to make a real
"It's not an uncommon failing, Frank. Hey, listen, it's
been a long day. A tough day. I've got the couch, you take the
bedroom, okay?" Frank gets up and goes to the bedroom. "Goodnight,
In the bedroom, Frank closes the door behind him, and takes off
his jacket, not seeing Nancy come from behind the drapes and
move toward him.
Barbara lets Laura into her house. "What are you doing here?"
"Somebody took some shots tonight at Frank after you left-"
"Oh, no. Is he alright?"
Barbara takes a few deep breaths. "I'm sorry. Uh, let's
move into the study. This is quite a shock, but I don't understand
why you came here-"
"I saw the gun in your purse tonight, Barbara."
Barbara turns to face her. "I see. And you suspected that
"You had the means, the motive, and the opportunity."
"You sound just like a policeman."
"I am. The private kind. Frank's my client."
"Oh. I see. Well, I may have had the means to shoot Frank,
but you are wrong about the motive. I owe that man more than
I could ever possibly repay. When I first met Frank, I was an
ambitious dress designer." She goes to a drafting table.
"I had no time for running anything but my own business.
Frank showed me how hollow that life was. Without someone to
share it with - my success meant nothing. Frank Dannon saved
me from becoming a very cold, hard woman. He taught me how to
"I'd still like to see that gun," Laura says.
"Of course." She reaches for the purse.
"May I?" Laura asks.
"Certainly." Laura opens the purse. The gun's not there.
She gives it to Barbara. "It's gone."
In Steele's bedroom, Frank and Nancy are on the bed. Nancy's
kissing him. "Oh, Frank."
"Nancy-" He shushes her.
"Whaddaya say we run away tonight, huh?"
"We'll rent a room with one of those beds like we had that
weekend in Pittsburgh."
"Do it all over again, huh?"
"Oh, Nancy, I don't-"
She covers his lips. "Now hush. I don't care about those
other girls. I know you couldn't care for them the way you care
about me, could you? We'll just pretend like- nothing ever happened."
She kisses him.
The door opens, the lights come up, and Steele walks in. "Come
into my parlour, said the spider to the fly."
"What?" Nancy asks.
"What's to stop her from taking you to some nice,secluded
spot and slitting your throat, Frank?" he asks Frank.
"Why would I do that?" Nancy asks.
"Inheritance, Nancy. The only subject on your mind from
earlier this evening."
"Well, I thought he was dead," she said, trying to
justify her questions. "I just wanted to see what was coming
"Same old cash problems, huh, Nance?"
"Well, now, hon, I'm just a little bit overextended, but
you know how picky those credit card people can be." She
pulls Frank to her chest. "But I wouldn't hurt a hair on
my Frank's head," she tells Steele. Frank manages a satisfied
smile. "This is the only man who's ever respected me for
more than just my body."
"Isn't she something?" Frank asks.
"Oh, yes, Frank," he agrees. "She's definately
something. Definately." He turns and leaves the room.
Laura returns to her loft, only to find herself confronted by
Stella- and Barbara's gun. "Alright, honey. Where is he?"
Laura tells Stella that Frank's on his way, and sits, and Stella
begins to pace. Stella finally looks at her. "You said he'd
be here ten minutes ago. So where is he?"
"Stella, why don't you sit down-" She stands, only
to stop as the gun comes up again.
"I can't sit down. This is my life we're talking about,
"I thought Frank's life was the issue here."
"Frank? Frank's got it made. He's got the pick of the litter.
Where is he, anyway?"
"Come on, Stella. You think I'd let him walk into a bullet?
You missed once. I wasn't going to give you a second chance."
"What are you talking about? Me, shoot Frank? You're joking,
"Somehow you'd be more convincing without the gun."
"You wouldn't understand. I'll never find a man to replace
Frank. Look at me, honey. This isn't exactly a body that men
lust after. But I'll tell you something. Frank made me feel like
a queen. Roses, candle light dinners, the works. Obviously, things
can't go back to the way they were before-so, who is he gonna
choose? You think a hundred and forty pounds of cellulite can
compete with- you, or any of those other broads? Fat chance."
"Stella, come here. Come here. Sit down." Stella does.
"Trying to force ourselves on him is only going to make
things worse. He's got to want to come to us. Without that, it
doesn't matter how much we feel for him. We'll only drive him
away. Love doesn't work on demand."
"You've been through this before, huh, honey? But can a
man who has that many surprises up his sleeve be worth all the
Laura smiles. "I think so."
"I hope you're right."
"Maybe I'd better hang onto that, huh?" Laura asks
about the gun.
Stella looks at it. "This? Sure." She hands to to Laura,
pointing it at her.
Laura gingerly takes it, smells to see if it has been fired.
She looks at Stella, surprised.
In his office, Steele places a coat over a sleeping Frank as
the man lay on the couch, then goes out into the reception area,
where he finds Mildred waiting. "Ah, Mildred. Thanks for
coming. I thought it best somebody spend the night with Frank-"
Mildred looks upset. "What's left of it, anyway. This is
the last safe place we can keep him." He puts his coat on.
"Why don't you bed down in Miss Holt's office for the evening?"
Mildred doesn't look him in the eyes. "I can't do that,
"Well, then, uh, use the couch out here."
"Sir, I- I came to tender my resignation."
"Oh, Mildred. I'm stunned."
"I failed you, sir," she tells him tearfully. "And
on my first major assignment, too."
"You're referring to Frank's untimely ressurection."
"It was a sucker play, and I fell for it, just like a schoolgirl.
I don't deserve the confidence you placed in me."
"Mildred, we all make mistakes."
"No," she says, still tearful. "Not you, sir.
No, I can't continue here, feeling like a fraud." He puts
an arm around her shoulders. "I'm just a washed up bureaucrat
and I should be home knitting, instead of trying to be something
that I'm not."
"Come on, Mildred. Sit down."
"Oh, sir." He leads her to the couch, where they sit.
"Perhaps you don't realize this, Mildred, but you are tremendous
asset to this agency. You're intensely loyal, a dedicated worker,
one who relishes those dreary assignments that most people detest-"
"You're just being kind," Mildred says.
"Then let's talk about frauds," he says. "Mildred,
you are looking at one of the biggest frauds you've ever seen.
I'm not Remington Steele."
"Not the Remington Steele *you* think I am. Oh, I know,
I appear to be the super sleuth, with all the answers, dapper,
debonair, worldly--but it's all an act. One conceived by Miss
Holt that I work very hard to maintain in order to support this
agency's image. She's the real detective. If I'm anything more
than a figurehead, I owe it to her. I've made more mistakes since
I've been with Laura than I care to remember, but I'm still here,
Mildred. So we'll have no more talk about resigning. We'll find
our way together, ey?" She's teary again, and nods. "Until
the morning, then," he says, and leaves her sitting, crying.
Downstairs, before the fountain, Steele and Laura are enjoying
a few moments alone. "Where's Frank?" she asks.
"Upstairs, asleep at last, with Mildred at the drawbridge.
Incidently, I had a word with our Miss Krebbs."
"Did you tell her?"
"Everything?" Laura wants to know.
"How did she take it?"
"It was a bit of a shock, but, she'll get over it."
"It must have been difficult for you."
"Telling the truth is something I've always worked hard
"Past tense?" Laura asks, stopping before him.
"Increasingly so, I'm afraid," Steele admits.
"You know, you're rapidly becoming the man I envisioned
when I created Remington Steele. Honest, courageous, caring,
good humored-" She kisses him. He smiles. "Sexy."
They kiss again, pull apart, and then kiss again.
"I must say," Steele tells her between kisses, "it's
satisfying being able to do this without Mildred interrupting,-"
another kiss, "- phones going, -" and another, "-bullets
"I agree," Laura says. They kiss deeply.
In the office the next day, the four of them are going over a
bulletin board with the photos of the wives. "I think we
can eliminate Barbara as a suspect," Laura tells them.
"That's one," Mildred says, pulling the photo down.
"And Nancy didn't harm Frank when she had the opportunity
to in my bedroom," Steele points out. "Shouldn't that
"Two down," Mildred says, pulling Nancy's picture.
"Stella took Barbara's gun, which means she had the means
to shoot Frank, but it was never fired. Besides, I don't think
an imaginative killer like the one we're after, would try to
choke Frank to death in a room full of witnesses."
"Three oout," Mildred says. "Any more?"
"I think that's it for now," Laura decides.
"That leaves Terry, and Mary. Terry's the least likely suspect
of them all. Shy, sweet, a college professor whose only excitement
in life is provided by Victorian novels. Which means its definately
Laura looks at him. "How did you arrive at that?"
"It's always the least likely suspect you've got to watch,
Laura. And at the moment, the only one I could suspect more would
be the butler- if there was one."
Laura frowns. "Mary had a violent reaction to Frank's reappearance.
It was more than sudden shock that made her faint. It was the
horror of seeing the man she murdered coming back from the grave.
Besides, she has an accent. Always a dead giveaway."
Steele looks upset. "Hardly conclusive evidence, Laura,"
he insists. "Some of the nicest people I know have accents."
"Oh, please, people," Frank says. "This isn't
getting us anywhere."
Laura holds up the bell. "Well maybe this will."
Frank is stunned. "I gave that charm to Terry," he
says, and Steele smiles, his suspicions apparently confirmed.
"But, I also gave one to Mary," he admits.
Laura turns to Steele. "Aha."
"Why did you do that?" Steele asks.
"Well, I gave one to each of my wives," he tells them.
Mildred just *has* to join in. "Aha." They look at
her, she shrinks slightly.
"It was kind of a trademark," Frank explains.
Laura nods. Steele says, "Well, then, our job is simple.
Find out which of our prime suspects is missing that trinket."
"Should work like a charm," Laura says, tossing the
bell up and catching it.
Mary is digging in her flower garden when Laura, Steele, and
Frank arrive. She sees him and runs to him. "Frank!"
"Mary," he says, kissing her.
"What are you doing here?" she asks.
"It seemed only fair to share him with everyone," Laura
Steele holds out his hand. "You remember me, umm-"
"Sterling Gillette," Laura supplies.
Mary shakes his hand. "Of course."
He notices her bracelet. "Oh, what a lovely bracelet. And
what a lovely charm," he enthuses, showing the bell to Laura.
"ey, Miss Holt?"
"Lovely," Laura agrees.
Mary smiles brightly. "Thank you. I always wear it. Frank
gave it to me. Didn't you, dear?" She kisses him again.
Frank turns to Steele and Laura. "Alright, let's go."
He tells Mary, "We got a job to do."
"But you just got here," she pouts.
"Frank," Laura says, still put out that Mary isn't
the killer. "Why don't you stay awhile with Mary? I'm sure
Mr. Gillette and I can handle everything to your satisfaction."
"It'll be better for all concerned, Frank," Steele
assures him. "Trust me, ey?" they move off, Steele
giving Mary a final once over as he follows Laura.
Mary takes Frank's arm. "Honey."
At the college, Steele tells Laura, "I must say, Laura,
I think you're taking Mary's innocence quite well."
"No I'm not."
"Now, remember, this is a vicious killer, who's tried bullets,
arrows, hatchets. Don't let appearances deceive you. She's capable
They find Terry, crying her eyes out, her left hand in her pocket.
Laura sits beside her, placing the box of tissues out of her
reach. "I haven't been able to stop crying since last night,"
"It's been hard on all of us," Laura tells her, taking
a tissue out.
"I- I can't believe it. You see, Frank is such a good man."
Steele isn't taken in. "The best."
"He's kind," Terry says. "Funny."
"Hysterical," Laura agrees.
"What a creep!" she says, still crying.
"Pardon me?" Steele questions.
"How could he do this to me?" she wants to know.
"You had no idea that Frank was two timing- I mean, five
timing you?" he asks. She starts crying again, looking for
another tissue. Steele picks up the box. "Here. Take the
whole thing," he offers, tossing it at her. She takes her
hand out of her pocket, revealing a bracelet- complete with bell
"Oh," Laura says, "my, look at this!" She
slides over, and Steele sits.
"Oh," he says.
Terry pulls back, scared. "Oh, I'm sorry," Laura apologizes.
"I was just admiring your bracelet. It's quite an unusual
charm wouldn't you say, Mr. Gillette?"
"Remarkable, yes," he agrees glumly.
Terry smiles. "Frank gave this to me on our wedding day,"
she tells them. She holds up the bell. "You see? There's
our wedding date." Laura and Steele exchange glances, and
Laura gives him the other charm as Terry starts to cry again.
She pulls out her notebook.
"Two. Eleven. Eighty three," Steele reads.
Laura jumps up. "Oh my *God*!" she exclaims, taking
off, Steele right behind her, leaving a confused Terry behind.
At Mary's, she and Frank are having a reunion, kissing each other.
"Oh, Mary," he says. "I had forgotten how much
I enjoy just- being with you."
"Oh, Frank," she sighs. "I'm so glad you explained
everything to me. Makes what happened easier to understand. For
awhile there, I thought I'd lost you. But now you're found- you'll
never leave my side again."
"That's the way I feel," he agrees, kissing her again.
On the coffee table is something that, as it moves in a tilting
motion, looks like ocean waves.
Mary pulls away. "Look at me."
"I'm a mess."
"I wanted to look so special for you."
"You never looked better to me," Frank insists.
"Let me go clean up," she says. "I won't be long."
She gets up, leaving him sitting there, smiling, until he hears
the clock from his dream chiming, and sees the waves crashing
again. He sees the hatchet again, but this time, he sees who's
holding it: Mary, trying to kill him. Frank gets up, realizing
that it was Mary all along, as she enters from outside, smiling.
She brings up a crossbow, pointing it at Frank. "You've
been a tough man to kill," she tells him. "Not like
the others. A real challenge."
Frank's arms are in the air. "But, I don't-"
"But now, it's bye bye." Laura comes into the room
behind Frank, and rushes forward.
"Stop right there, Mrs -" Mary turns the weapon on
her, surprised, and Laura quickly grabs a *very* thick book from
a stand, holding it before her. The arrow is stopped just inches
from Laura by the book. She turns to run out, but Steele rushes
into the room through the doors she's trying to get to, and hits
her in the head.
"Where is she?" he asks, then Mary falls to the floor.
"Oh," he says, "Sorry."
Laura looks at the book and arrow.
The next day, Laura, Steele, Mildred, and Frank are looking at
copies of the LA Tribune, whose headline reads: "Black Widow
Killer Arrested. Murdered 7 husbands, Almost got Eight."
Frank is stunned. "I still can't believe it."
"Yes, well," Steele says, "seven bodies buried
in her rose garden and all for their money. No passion involved
"Well, I loved her," Frank insists.
"If you hadn't, you wouldn't have developed amnesia,"
Laura tells him. "It was the shock of seeing someone you
totally believed in trying to kill you tha snapped your memory."
"Poetic justice," Mildred mumbles. Laura gives her
a chastening look.
"What was that?" she asks.
"I said it was- so nice to see justice done," Mildred
"But, how did you know it was Mary?" Frank asks. "I
mean, after all, she had the charm."
"Yes, but we had the one with the date on it," Steele
tells him, still engrossed in the paper.
"A lady who coolly conceives seven murders was clever enough
to realize that a missing charm might give her trouble, so the
next morning she just went out and bought another."
"Well, I'll tell you one thing," Frank says, and Steele
turns around. "I've learned my lesson. From now on, it's
strictly the straight and narrow. One job, one woman, and one
Mildred pins him. "I hope so."
He nods nervously. "Well, thanks for everything, Mr. Steele,
and Miss Holt. And thank you- Mildred?" he says, with that
little boy charm evident.
Mildred's ice melts. Laura smiles at Steele, then at Mildred.
Frank opens the door, then pauses as he sees his four remaining
wives entering the office.
"We want to talk to you, Frank," Barbara tells him.
"What about?" he asks nervously.
"Your future," Stella tells him. They gather round
him, drawing him to the door.
In the doorway of Steele's office, Laura laughs. Frank looks
back at them over his shoulder, not certain what's going on.
Laura looks at Mildred. "Mildred, I understand you and Mr.
Steele had a very important discussion last night."
"Oh, that we did," Mildred confirms, a wide smile appearing.
"And it certainly was an eye opener for me," she tells
Laura. Steele looks uncomfortable. "Never in my wildest
dreams did I think Mr. Steele would go to such lengths to try
and keep me here." Steele starts looking confused. "I
mean, do you know that he actually tried to convince me that
*you* invented him?" She laughs, as does Steele, only his
laugh is nervous. "Anybody who can come up with a story
like that has my undying devotion," she tells him. Laura
is *not* laughing. "I'll fix you a cup of tea, boss,"
she says, leaving.
"Okay, Mildred, thanks," he says, still laughing. The
laughter stops as Laura looks at him. She points an accusing
finger, and he shrugs, not exactly sure what went wrong.