car is driving through the LA streets to a spot on the coast
highway, where it pulls over. The driver, obviously a woman,
is shown to have a bottle of wine in the seat beside her. When
she stops, she pulls a bottle of poison and syringe from a bag
and injects some of the poison into the bottle of wine through
the cork. We see that the bottle has a card attached with the
words, "To Malcolm Marcall, Esq." Then, putting the
poison and syringe back into the bag, she tosses them over the
edge of the road, where the bottle shatters against the rocks
Laura and Steele are on a golf course, walking, carrying their
golf bags.. Steele looks uncomfortable as Laura instructs him,
"Now whatever happens, it is imperative that you and I stay
Steele is muttering to himself, obviously displeased. He turns
to Laura, "Peppler? Bob and Judy Peppler?"
- "What's the
matter with Bob and Judy Peppler" asks Laura, not sure what
he is upset about.
- "I'm sorry.
It's bad enough being asked to be a *Bob* but to add insult to
injury with *Peppler*" explains Steele before grunting in
- "It's too late.
Malcolm Marcall is one of the most famous divorce attorneys in
the country, and he's expecting Pepplers. Married ones."
Steele glances down at the checked pants he's wearing. "Besides,
there's nothing wrong with it. I'm a Peppler, she's a Peppler,
we're a Peppler, they're a Peppler, wouldn't you like to be a
Peppler too?" she asks. Steele doesn't react to her little
joke. "Come on. Where's your sense of humor?"
"I'm wearing it," he says in a deadpan voice. "Must
one truly parade around in loud pants to play this game?"
"Wouldn't want anybody to mistake you for a tree, now, would
we?" she asks.
Steele grimaces, not appreciating the humor at all. "Oh,
ho, ho ho."
Laura lifts a club in greeting. "Malcolm!" she calls.
Malcolm Marcall is standing with a woman. "Judy," he
says, greeting her with a handshake, then turns to Steele. "Bob."
He looks at the other woman. "My wife, Loretta."
"Hello," Loretta says.
"This is Bob and Judy Peppler - the couple I told you about?"
"Oh, not you too," Loretta moans. "You're not
really considering divorce, are you?" she asks.
Malcolm turns to her. "Now, Retta, we're here to play golf,"
he reminds her.
"I know that," she replies as they head for the first
Laura goes first, and Malcolm is impressed. "Handsome shot,
Mrs. Peppler." Retta's horrible slice gets no comment from
anyone, and Malcolm simply looks disgusted. Steele, however plays
rather well. "Nice shot, Peppler," he says.
"Beginner's luck," Steele tells him.
"I have the feeling that you and I are going to have to
play through." He leaves the women to join Steele.
Retta puts her arm around Laura. "I'm sure Judy won't mind
sticking with me," she says, not seeing Laura's dissatisfied
As they walk toward the golf cart, Malcolm tells Steele, "I
appreciate your going through with this charade, Steele. The
main thing is that Retta not know."
"Oh, of course," Steele says.
Malcolm gets into the cart. "I need your help. Someone is
trying to kill me."
Laura is watching as Loretta is trying to get out of a sand trap.
"How many strokes is that this hole? Twenty two?" Loretta
"Twenty three. If we don't count the times you missed the
ball," she says, handing Loretta a rake. "And we won't."
"Four days ago," Malcolm tells Steele as they sit in
the clubhouse, "somebody tried to run me off the road. And
then yesterday morning, I discovered that my car's exhaust system
had jury rigged back into the passenger compartment." He
picks up a glass of milk.
"Sounds thrilling," Steele comments.
"Yes, indeedy." He touches glasses with Steele. "To
thrilling lives." He looks around. "Listen, if you
see my wife, let me know. Dinner parties are one of her small
pleasures in life. I'm not particularly anxious for her to know
about my stomach trouble." Steele nods. Malcolm laughs.
"Did you read where some scientist says that milk is now
bad for your ulcer? I got this fantasy where the same fella discovers
booze is the only cure."
"Here comes Mrs. Marcall," Steele says quietly, and
Malcolm quickly switches drinks with Steele.
"Did it," she tells him proudly. "Broke one fifty."
"Ah, that's my girl," he says as Laura looks up at
"And how did you do, dear?" she asks.
"Just peachy, darling."
"Oh, I can't wait to hear all about it," she assures
As they head for the rabbit, Laura says, "Who would want
to kill Malcolm Marcall? How about half the women in Los Angeles?"
"He suspects it might be one of the four women he's currently
battling in court," Steele tells her.
"He DOES, does he?"
"Yes," Steele says, putting his clubs into the car.
"He does. Laura, I think we're about to have our first fight."
"Yes," she agrees, "I think so. I didn't spend
all this time setting this case up just so you could waltz in
and pretend to be a DETECTIVE!" she rants.
Steele, at the same time, says, "I will not allow myself
to live in fear that everytime I'm alone with a client, you're
off somewhere, stewing!"
They pause, aware that it arguing in public might not be a good
idea. The Marcalls are leaving the club, and Loretta tells her
husband, "Such a shame about them."
Laura takes a deep breath. "About the case. Perhaps Malcolm
does have a point. Those four women certainly have the most immediate
motive. You give me their names, and I'll have Murphy interview
He gets behind the steering wheel. "Interview them? Oh,
but that's so--"
"Oh, really? And do YOU have a better idea?" she asks
snidely, getting into the car herself.
"As a matter of fact I DO. Something more dramatic. Something
to get their attention."
In front of the courthouse, Malcolm Marcall looks on as his newest
"client", Bob Peppler, is accosted by his soon to be
"ex-wife", Judy. "I don't care WHO your lawyer
is, that house is MINE!" She takes a swing at him, clipping
him on the chin. "You're right," she tells him through
gritted teeth, "This is a WONDERFUL idea."
"You think so, eh?" Steele asks as he watches her,
nursing his sore jaw.
"You wanna play dirty, Bob?!" she yells. "All
right, we'll play dirty!" Another slap on the chin. "How
was that one?" she asks. "Did that look real?"
"Are you kidding?" he asks, a hand to his jaw again.
"What do you think -one more to sell it," she says.
He shakes his head tightly. "Sure, why not?" She takes
her purse and swings. "ANIMAL!"
Both men duck and she misses them before stalking off in a huff.
Steele turns to Malcolm. "Very good," he says about
"Had a lot of practice," Malcolm assures him.
"Ahh." Steele puts a hand to his jaw again.
Laura is walking down the sidewalk when a woman approaches her.
"Hold it, dear." Laura turns to face the tall blonde.
"Janet. Janet Kimmell. Welcome to the club."
"You don't know, do you? You've just joined a very exclusive
sorority. It isn't every woman that has the opportunity to get
worked over in court by Malcolm Marcall."
Steele and Malcolm are walking, and Malcolm says, "Wanna
hear something funny? I HATE what I do for a living."
"Not so funny."
"You didn't spend three years going to law school. I just
hate divorce. I'm good at it, but- well, the whole business makes
me feel a bit like a carpet bagger. I bought some land in the
desert a year and a half ago. Next month, Loretta and I are gonna
call it a day with the law and Beverly Hills and- " he glances
up at Steele. "You think I'm full of it, don't you, Steele?"
They start across the street, and Steele barely pulls Malcolm
back as Janet's car whizzes past.
Laura turns to Janet. "You just missed him!" she exclaims.
"I know, dammit! One of these days, he's gonna zig, and
then I'M gonna zig and we're BOTH gonna make headlines."
Laura is looking behind them. "How do you feel about Mexican?"
she asks. Laura looks at her, confused.
Over a table at a Mexican restaurant, Laura is sitting with four
other women, drinking margaritas. One of the women, a bleach
blonde, says, "The problem, it seems to me, is that when
you're 23, you marry this guy who's 26. And a year goes by, he's
27 and you're 24, and it just keeps going on that way, until
one day, you wake up and you say, 'Hey, who's this 35 year old
guy with the big gut who's lying next to me?' And he wakes up
and says, 'Hey, who's this 32 year old babe with the dark roots
and droopy everythings that's lying next to me?'" Laura
takes a drink, obviously it's not her first.
"Of course," Janet says, "in Angela's case,"
she tells Laura, "She just when out and bought herself another
bottle of peroxide, and got herself another 26 year old."
Angela laughs. "Yeah. Until that scum Marcall found out.
Now my ex husband, the liquor store magnate is dragging me back
into court. I could KILL that Marcall. I really could."
"Easy, Angela," Janet says. "It could be worse.
You could be Megan." Megan is a twenty something blonde
with a somber expression.
The fourth woman tells Laura, "Megan lived with Anthony
Paruchi- the race car driver? Marcall drew up this cohabitation
contract. So that whenever the relationship turned sour, Megan
left with what she came in with. Ask what she came in with."
Laura asks. "What did she come in with?"
"A bathing suit," Janet responds. "A very SMALL
bathing suit." Angela laughs. "Tell her what you do
now, Megan," Janet says.
"For a living?" Megan asks, revealing that she's not
the brightest in the bunch. "Aerobics," she tells Laura,
smiling. "I teach aerobic dancing." Laura nods. "At
a gym on 5th Street. You know, if Anthony would have had any
other lawyer, I'd have a condo on Wilshire, I'd be driving a
real nice car- Instead, I'm 28 years old and I touch my toes
for a living. Damn that Marcall. I wish he were dead."
"Speak of the devil," Angela says, and they all turn
to see Marcall and Steele coming into the restaurant.
"Oh my goodness," Megan sighs. "What's with him
and is it taken yet?"
"That's R-" Laura begins in a strange voice, then stops
herself. "-bert," she manages. "Robert. My ex.
My ex to be. He's mine, you can't have him," she says as
Steele and Marcall see them as they're being shown to a table
and decide to leave. "Not yet."
The fourth woman is amazed. "You're divorcing HIM?"
Janet picks up her drink. "I think Judy's ready for something
in the vodka family," she decides.
Later that night, in Steele's office, Steele, Murphy and Bernice
- fidgeting with her hands - are all waiting worriedly for Laura.
- "Where do you
suppose she is?" Bernice asks.
- Murphy raises his
hands from behind his head, looking at his watch. "We just
have to keep reminding ourselves she's a big girl."
- Steele is tapping
on his desk, but stops and looks up when he hears Laura's voice,
singing off key to the Rolling Stones 'Satisfaction.'
- "When I'm watchin'
my tv...and that man comes on to tell me..." Laura opens
the office door and staggers in. They all look unsure what to
do but then slowly rise to walk through to the reception area.
- Laura removes her
purse from her shoulder and tosses it into the chair, still singing.
"Well he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same
cigarette as me." She crawls on top of the desk to lie down.
"Can't get no..." Then noticing the stares, she asks,
"What's everybody looking at?" She slides from the
desk, unsteady on her feet. "Come on. What are you guys
staring at?" she asks a surprised Bernice, Steele, and Murphy.
"Two drinks, twenty seven years - that's not bad."
Steele tells Murphy and Bernice, "You two take off."
He goes toward Laura. "I'll have the limo drop her."
Murphy pushes past him, to grab her arm. "Leave her like
that with you?"
Steele takes her other arm. "She's a big girl, remember,
"Come on, Laura, I'm taking you home," Murphy says,
as they both start out of the office with her between them.
"Laura," Steele assures her, "I've called Fred
and the car is on its way as we speak-"
Laura pulls away from them and turns back toward Bernice. "Men!
Men, MEN!" She almost falls, but catches herself on the
"What does that mean, 'Men'?" Steele questions Murphy.
He hasn't a clue, but Murphy is shaking his head.
"He wants to know what that means," Laura tells Bernice,
pointing at Steele. "You wanna know what that means? I just
spent an afternoon listening to the most HORRIFYING stories.
You're all alike. Your hearts are in your pants and your brains
are in your heads!" Murphy is having trouble not laughing
as he and Steele meet each other's eyes.
"You take her arms," Steele tells him, "I'll take
her legs." They pick her up as Bernice tries to stop them.
"Put her down!" she says, but they don't listen.
"The way you use us!" Laura says. "And then discard
us. As though we're nothing more than mere objects."
"Umm huh," Murphy says.
"Created for your pleasure," Laura says, continuing
her lecture. She turns in their arms. "Nothing more than
mere afterthoughts. Playthings for your amusement." Bernice
watches them , shaking her head, as Laura continues her tirade,
"Nothing more than mere trappings, as if .." Steele
uses the heel of her shoe to hit the lift button, "..God
himself had looked down upon the garden of Eden and said nothing
- "Spare ribs?"
Steele suggests to Murphy who laughs as he nods in agreement,
"Right." Laura moans in agreement. Steele continues,
"We'll *all* go in the limo." They carry her into the
- Laura continues
until she the lift door closes, "*Trophies* to display on
your mantelpiece. Collect 'em, trade 'em ..."
The same car that we saw in the opening sequence pulls up to
a house and the driver gets out, takes the wine to the door,
then leaves it there.
The next day, Laura gets into the passenger side of the rabbit
wincing as Steele slams her door, closing her eyes and rubbing
her forehead as Steele gets into the drivers seat. He slams the
door, and Laura jumps, wincing.
"Not your usual chipper self this morning," Steele
"Must you gloat so loudly?" she asks. He revs the engine.
"Sorry," he apologizes, and they set off.
They arrive at the gates to a house, and Steele parks the car
and gets out. Laura remains in the car until he taps the hood
to get her attention. The house is on the beach, and Steele has
to keep waiting for Laura to catch up. As they approach the house-
the same house at which the wine was left, they hear dogs barking.
Steele knocks, and the door opens.
Two vicious, barking Doberman dogs are there, and Malcolm is
trying his best to control them. "Down! Quiet! Sit!"
He pushes them into the house. "Retta's the only one they
listen to, and she took a drive into town," he explains,
closing the door. "I heard these sounds last night,"
he tells them.
They go to where his car, a red Jaguar, is parked. "Sounds?"
"Yeah, like the car hood being raised," he explains.
"Must have been around-three in the morning. I was in bed-
I suppose I could have been dreaming -" He looks at the
car. "No. I don't believe that. I heard what I heard. Somebody
down here, doing something to my car."
"Perhaps we should alert the local police," Laura suggests,
"And they could send the bomb squad." She looks at
Steele. "Wouldn't you agree, sir?" He nods.
"I was hoping to avoid the police," Malcolm points
out. "And the attendant publicity. I also would rather Loretta
didn't know." He shakes his head. "I guess I'm being
naive. I mean, you ARE Remington Steele. I just assumed-"
"You assumed quite rightly," Steele tells him. Laura
looks at him, confused. He walks a little away, taking off his
jacket as she comes over to him.
"What are you doing?" she asks.
"The man's paying for Remington Steele," he says, rolling
up his shirt sleeves, "he has a right to get what he paid
for. Besides, it's only a problem if there really IS a bomb in
the car. Excuse me." Laura looks as if she's worried that
he's starting to believe that he really IS Remington Steele.
Later, Steele wipes his hand. "I think I can say, without
fear of repudiation- that this car is free of any and all explosive
devices." He closes the hood and goes to the door, tapping
the roof. Malcolm holds up his hand.
"Thank you, but-"
"Would you prefer if I-?"
Malcolm looks from him to Laura. "Would you?" he asks,
handing Steele the key.
Steele takes them. "Be delighted." He gingerly gets
into the low slung sports car as Malcolm draws Laura a distance
away. He looks at the key, then turns to look behind him, before
leaning out of the window. "I wonder if I might have a word
with Miss Holt for a moment?" he asks.
Laura looks at Malcolm. "Excuse me." He nods as she
moves toward the car and kneels.
"Give me a prayer."
"My mind keeps going blank. I mean, all I can think of is
"Now I lay me down to sleep," and that's not the one
I want in this particular situation."
Laura looks at Malcolm. "You mean, you're not sure there
isn't-" He places a hand over her mouth.
"It has nothing to do with being sure. It has to do with
being prepared for any contingency." He takes his hand away.
"Now. Give me a prayer."
"The Lord is my shepard," she starts. He stops her
"Got it. Isn't it funny how you can never think of those
things when you really need them?" He waves at Malcolm,
and turns back into the car. Laura gets shakily to her feet and
Steele closes his eyes and puts the key into the ignition, then
turns it over, relaxing and smiling as the car doesn't explode.
Malcolm and Laura return to the car. "Good show," Malcolm
"You don't know the half of it," Laura says.
Steele looks at them. "Beautiful machine. Do you mind if
I throw her in gear and take her for a spin?" he asks Malcolm.
"Ciao," he says, then puts the car into reverse. As
he steps on the gas, the car shoots forward instead, launching
itself over the embankment, exploding as it hits the ground.
Laura and Malcolm rush to the edge to see Steele below them.
He looks up. "Those people could certainly learn a thing
or two from Detroit," he says, coughing.
On the beach, Murphy tells Laura, Steele, and Malcolm, "Whoever
did it knew exactly what they were doing. Completely regeared
the car so that when you threw it into reverse, you were actually
going into first."
"Megan lived with Anthony Paruchi, the race car driver,"
Laura recalls. "She probably knew a lot of people who could
pull off a trick like that." She and Murphy and Steele join
"Which one was Megan?" Steele asks.
"I hardly begin to know how to describe her," Laura
"The short one with the big rack?" he asks as Murphy
grins. "I learned that from Murphy." Laura looks up
"When did you ever hear me say the short one with the big-"
"Yes," Laura says. "The short one with the big
rack." She looks at Murphy again as Steele grins. "Anything
else happen that I should know about?"
"You got a call from a Janet Kimmell," Murphy tells
Laura looks worried. "Did she leave a message?"
"She wanted to know if you like Italian," he says.
Laura pinches her face. "OOOH," and rests her head
on his shoulder.
At the restaurant, Laura is asked, "So how long until it
- "To be perfectly
honest, we're trying to work it out." Her wedding ring is
on the bread-stick she is holding between her two hands.
- All four women look
at each other knowingly. Janet appears to be speaking for all
of them, "You've already started seeing lawyers, it's too
she pauses as she glances shyly around the table, "Mr Marcall
is trying to help us." Laura twirls the bread-stick around.
- The four women sigh.
Janet starts again, "Beth, tell her how Mr Marcall helped
- "I didn't even
want a divorce," the fourth woman tells her. "I don't
think Roger did either."
- Laura looks puzzled.
"But that doesn't make any sense, nobody *forced* you."
- Beth answers, "What
I mean is I don't know why I got a divorce. I don't know why
anyone gets a divorce. I mean, in my mother's day a woman would
cheat on her husband, a husband would cheat on his wife. But
this is the eighties, we have no vices. We've given them all
away, left them to our children. I just don't know *why* I got
- "Sure you do,
you were bored, or disappointed" observes Angela.. "I
mean you're married for a while and believe it or not divorce
seems kind of, ah, romantic" she laughs at how silly her
comments sounds. "At least it's new. And the GROUPS. You
get to join so many groups. 'Parents without Partners', 'Singles
Anonymous'. You start going back to school. Make women friends.
Look at us. I mean, three weekends ago, we took our kids to Disneyland,"
she tells Laura. "Together. But it's- hard. And it stinks.
And I hate it."
"Understand something, Judy," Janet says, "A good
lawyer is good closer. You may not go in there thinking about
a divorce- but by the time you walk out, the sale is made."
"Janet owns her own business," Angela says. "Floral
shops? And about once a week you can count on her for a speech.
Makes her feel like a captain of industry."
Janet rolls her eyes. "I'm not the captain of anything,"
she says. "Except my own destiny. And that's not all it's
cracked up to be."
"But that's why we have each other," Megan says, smiling.
"For help, advice, friends." She touches Laura's hand.
"Which reminds me," she says, "Maybe one of you
could help me. Does anybody here know anything about-" she
looks at Megan, "cars?"
Megan quickly takes a sip of her drink as the other three exchange
Laura approaches glass doors to the offices of "Marcall,
Prescott & Davidson, Attorneys At Law, Suite 307". She's
none to steady on her feet, obviously she's been drinking again.
She sees Malcolm come from his office with a folder and points
in his direction before pushing open the door. Malcolm sees her
and turns to smile.
"Well. Thank you. Thank you very much," he tells her
as she smiles a silly smile. "I suppose there's some solace,
knowing that, although the Remington Steele Agency seems incapable
of safeguarding their clients against foul play, they do come
promptly when you call them," he says, turning toward his
"Mr. Malcolm," Laura says, taking an unsteady step
toward him. "I washh- just paged at the restaurant- and
given a meshage to come here. I don't know what you're so upset-"
He takes off his glasses and looks at her more closely. "You've
"What?" She laughs. "Oh, sipping, maybe, but certainly
"Last night, my wife Loretta- she was alone at home and
someone set FIRE to the premises," he tells her. Laura takes
a deep breath as Steele enters the office. "I don't believe
this," he says, turning away.
"Mrs. Marcall," Steele says, catching Laura as she
turns toward him and almost falls, "is resting quite comfortably,
just a slight case of hysteria." He keeps his arm around
Laura to support her.
"It's nice to know that- all you have to do is almost lose
your life to get the head of the agency to actually work your
case," Malcolm says. "You're fired." He starts
to turn away again.
Laura reaches out. "Mr. Farkle-!" she says, as Steele
grabs her and Malcolm turns back.
"Young lady, your agency has just been fired. Steele, you
might tell your help that it reflects badly on your whole operation
when they show up for work-" he pauses before entering his
office, "smelling like a vineyard!"
"Now what?" Laura whispers.
Without looking at her, Steele pulls out a box of breath mints,
flips the top open. "Chew," he says, dropping one into
She looks at it as we hear Malcolm telling someone, "To
be perfectly honest, I didn't know which way the court was going
to go, and I knew the suspense was killing you-" He comes
back to the door, still talking. "So as soon as the decree
came, I called, and what it amounts to is that" he sees
Laura and Steele still standing there. "she owes YOU money."
His secretary comes up to him, and he hands her the file he's
holding. "Take out that bottle of St. Jacques du Par and
some glasses," he tells her. He's about to speak to them
when the client comes out.
"I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. You're a miracle
worker, Malcolm." He sees Steele and Laura. "Oh, sorry,"
he says, lifting his hand. Laura tries to return the wave, but
Steele stops her. "I didn't realize there were other people
"They were just going," Malcolm says pointedly.
"Well why don't you stay," the client suggests, "and
join us for a toast?"
Laura looks as if she's willing, but Steele refuses. "Uh,
the truth is, ummm-"
"Hey, I just lost my wife, half my friends, the house, the
dog, the record collection- You can't say no to me. I'm on a
roll." The secretary gives the client and Laura a glass
"Be delighted," Laura says, lifting her glass.
Steele pulls her hand down. "Let's not and say we did,"
he tells her. Malcolm returns with a cigar.
"To community property," the client toasts. Laura tries
to take a drink, Steele pulls the glass away again.
"Lau-ra," Steele cautions.
"Here's how." He drinks as Laura steps on Steele's
"OOOOO," Steele cries out.
The client gets a strange look on his face. "AUGH!!"
Suddenly he falls to the floor. Laura stares at him.
Steele kneels to feel for a pulse. "Somebody call his ex
wife- tell her she's a widow."
Loretta is lying in a hospital bed, watching TV when Laura enters
the room. "Mrs. Marcall?"
"Judy," Loretta says, smiling.
"I came by as soon as I heard," Laura says, handing
her a basket of flowers.
"Oh, well, aren't you wonderful." Laura puts them on
"So. How do you feel?"
"Me? I feel fantastic, actually," Loretta assures her,
smiling. "Aren't hospitals wonderful places? They let you
sleep all day, and they bring you your meals, and if you don't
want to answer the phone, you don't have to. If you just want
to stop, and - think-. Too bad you have to be sick to get in."
"When did the fire start?"
"I don't know. Suddenly I turned around, and there was all
this smoke. Not much damage, though, and- we were gonna move,
anyway, so I guess we'll just- knock a little off the price."
"Nothing. I mean, it's just so silly...You work like hell
for a house in Malibu- you work like hell to be a lawyer. I love
that house. I really thought he did too. I loved having parties
that used to spill out into the beach- And I like going to legal
conventions, being Mrs. Malcolm Marcall, Esquire. I loved our
friends, I love the clubs, and I love playing golf on Sundays.
Seems like it's that way with so many things in life. Jobs, people.
You want something- or someone, and then you get it- them. Then
you realize- maybe you were wrong." She realizes that Laura's
watching her closely. "But, thank god for that, huh? Otherwise,
there wouldn't be any expensive divorces, right?"
"I guess so," Laura says.
Loretta frowns. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. How are things
with you and Bob?"
In the office, Steele is sitting at his desk as Laura and Murphy
are perusing the paper. "I don't see a thing," Murphy
"Umm. So we're safe for the moment." Steele is watching
and listening. "Marcall was able to keep it out of the papers."
"I delivered a sample of wine to the lab so we should know
just what the poison was by the end of the day," Murphy
"And the coding on the bottle should give us a clue as to
where it was purchased," Laura tells him.
"Forgive me for butting in," Steele begins, but they
"We know the bottle was sent to the house," Laura tells
Murphy, "By a supposedly greatful client."
"Yeah, and that Malcolm brought it from the house to the
office," Murphy continues.
"May I say something?" Steele asks, only to be ignored
"You know, in all probability, it came from one of our four
suspects," Laura says.
"Now, I'm no detective," Steele begins, "but it
seems to me simply-"
"Murphy," Laura says, turning to Steele, "I think
I'm hearing things-"
"It seems to me," Steele continues now that he has
their attention, "simply a matter of rounding up the suspects,
presenting them with the wine in question, and then seeing who
"Go back to the part where you're not a detective,"
Laura suggests, looking at the paper again. Steele doesn't like
being brushed off.
"Yes," he says, getting up. "Why don't I run along,
then? Let you honest to goodness detectives get down to the business
at hand." He goes to the door, pausing there. "What
was the name of that wine again?"
"St. Jacques du Par, 78," Murphy tells him, sitting
on the edge of the desk as Steele nods and closes the door behind
Laura frowns. "Oh, I did it again, didn't I, Murph?"
"I came down on him a bit hard. Don't you think?"
"You're asking me, Laura? I'm one of those people who believe
with all my heart you can't be too rich, you can't be too thin,
and you just can't come down too hard on that guy." Laura
turns back to the paper as Murphy continues to look at the door.
"But uh yeah, I think you did."
Steele is in the limo, and beside him are four brand new bottles
of St. Jacques du Par, 78. Fred pulls the limo to a stop before
a house. Steele picks up a bottle, then leans forward. "If
Miss Holt calls, Fred, ummm-"
"Lie, sir?" Fred asks.
"Well put," Steele says. Fred smiles. "Treat yourself
to an oil and grease job, Fred, and keep up the good work,"
he says, getting out of the car. Fred nods and then turns slowly
In the house, Megan is doing exercises when there's a knock on
her door. She gets up and peers through the glass. "Yes?"
Steele looks back at her. "Megan? Megan O'Toole?"
She smiles, and opens the door, leaving the chain on. "Hi.
I know you."
He puts his face in the door, looking suddenly uncertain. "I'm
sorry. This is all wrong. I'm sorry I bothered you." He
Megan quickly unfastens the chain and comes out, following him
down the walk. "Mr. Peppler! Bob! Hey, Bob! Is something
the matter?" she asks as he sits on a wall.
"Oh, this is so unfair. You don't even know me. I'm the
husband of a friend, you're a kind looking lady I happened to
see in a restaurant- Oh. Of all the gin joints in all the towns
in all the world. Hmm. Never mind."
"Did you want to tell me about it?" she asks.
"Oh, what's to tell? Judy filed the papers today. My son
won't speak to me. The dog ate my slippers-"
"Oh, I'm sorry," she sympathizes, she pulls his jacket
from his shoulders and begins to massage them. Steele smiles
"You're so tight," she complains.
"Speaking of which," he says, "I've got something
here. Sort of a - friendship offering? A gift," he says,
holding up the bottle. "This bottle of wine. From my attorney,
"Boy, I thought you were talking something really romantic,"
she says, continuing to massage his shoulders. "You know,
like, candles, and lotions goodstuff-"
"Next time, maybe. May I pour you some?" he asks.
She comes closer. "I don't really think we need that kind
of stuff," she tells him, kissing the side of his neck.
"We don't?" She shakes her head, continuing to kiss
him as he asks, "What's the matter? The vintage?" She
keeps kissing his neck and jaw, moving closer and closer to his
lips. "The bottler." She gives him a BIG kiss.
"See, I don't - how do you say?- don't imbibe. You know,
no meats, no cigarettes, no-" She moves away.
"St. Jacques du Par 78?"
"Definitely not that," she tells him.
He looks at her. "Then there's absolutely no way I can possibly
persuade you to share a drop with me?" he asks. She shakes
her head, smiling. "What if I threatened to-" She looks
a bit alarmed, until he grabs her. "Ravish you?"
"The corkscrew is in my kitchen," she tells him.
Later, Steele staggers back to the limo, and Fred starts the
car. As Steele gets in, Fred asks, "On to- Janet Kimmell,
Steele nods. "That will be fine, Fred," he says, his
speech slurred, almost asleep.
"Certainly, sir." Fred turns around and puts the car
into gear, throwing Steele's head back. He winces.
Laura is in Steele's office, legs on the desk, talking to Murphy
on the phone. "A herbicide?. . .Injected through the cork-
not bad for a night's work, Murph. . . Uh huh. So what have we
got? We've got Megan- who lived with a man who raced cars- perfect
for the first three murder attempts- We've got Janet, who owns
a floral business- perfect connection for the herbicide. Yeah.
There'd be a wonderful neatness to it all if we could prove that
the wine came from one of Angela's stores-Right. A wealth of
riches. Three. Count em. Three perfectly good suspects - for
a case -" she frowns, "we've been fired from."
She laughs. "Let's use just one and save the other two for
the next time we've got a case we can't solve. . . Okay. Night,
Murph. Get some rest." She hangs up the phone. Her eyes
widen as she hears Steele's voice from the doorway.
"WOMEN!" he declares. "Women!" He makes his
way unsteadily across to stand before the desk.
"What about them?"
"What about them?" he repeats. "What about them?
I've known FISH who were more faithful." Laura smiles, laughs,
as she takes out the breath mints and shakes some onto the desk.
"Smells like you've had a busy day," she comments.
He studies the mints. "All in the line of duty, my dear,"
he informs her, tossing a mint toward his mouth. It misses, as
does the second. "All in the line of duty."
"Uh, if you don't mind my suggesting-, you might want to
SIT down before you FALL down."
He looks at her. "It's surprisingly dizzy up here,"
he admits, then makes as if to sit down- only there's no chair
and he winds up flat on his back on the floor.
Alarmed, Laura jumps up. "Oh, no," she says, coming
around to him.
Steele smiles up at her. "You know, you look just lovely
this evening," he tells her.
Laura bends over him, "Did you hurt yourself?" she
He tugs on her slacks. "What are you doing all the way up
there?" he asks, and she sits on the floor, putting her
legs beneath his head. "Oooh. That's better. You know- you
look just as lovely upside down."
Laura laughs, smooths his hair. "All the drunks say that."
"Only because it's true," he assures her. "May
I ask you something? You've been at this private eye thing awhile
now, right?" She nods. "Then explain this to me. I
go to each of these ladies with a bottle of wine that matches
the one that was poisoned. Now. The theory here is: the guilty
party will absolutely refuse to touch a drop. Good idea, wouldn't
"Very good," Laura agrees, finally understanding where
he's been all afternoon.
"That's what I thought. Hell, it had to be good. Claudes
Rains did it in 'Notorious'." They both laugh. "Anyway,
that's what I've been doing all after noon."
"Not one of them would touch a drop," he tells her.
"I had to drink all by myself."
She's running her fingers through is hair. "Tough way to
make a living," she commiserates.
"A man's got to do what a man's go to do. If I tell you
something, will you promise never to repeat it? Never, never,
NEVER remind me I said it?"
"What are you talking about?" she wants to know.
"Oh," he says, running his hands over his face, "what's
the point of being drunk if you can't say the things you'd never
say if you were sober?" Laura looks at him expectantly.
"I rather enjoyed being a Peppler," he admits, looking
her in the eyes. "Shame about the divorce. They were so
good together, those two."
Laura smiles. "They are. Aren't they?"
"Yes." She bends over, and is about to kiss him, when
the phone rings and she jumps up to answer it. Steele's head
hits the floor. "Oooh, Laura!" he cries out as she
picks up the phone. "Don't leave me on the floor like this!"
She puts her hand over the receiver. "SHH! Remington Steele
Investigations-" She hears gunshots and a frantic Malcolm
is on the phone.
"I'm under siege here! There's a sniper outside my house
firing at me!" he yells, hiding beneath a sink. "Help
me! Please! Help me!"
"We'll be right there," Laura assures him, hanging
up as Steele moans on the floor. She starts for the door, then
runs back to help him up. "Come on!" She says. "We
have to get to the Marcall's."
"Malcy-Marcall's, yes," he says. Laura almost falls
as she helps him to his feet. "Never could skate,"
he tells her. "Weak ankles." He rests his arm behind
her neck. "Rather wonderful, the way I snuck my arm round,
eh?" he asks.
"Oh," she says, turning them toward the door. "I
can't leave you alone like this. You're coming with me. But stay
in the car." She closes the door behind them.
At the Marcall house, Laura is worried when she sees the ambulance
at the gate. She turns to Steele, who's asleep, and reaches over
to pull his jacket over him. "The great Remington Steele,"
she says, smiling. After smoothing his hair, she gets out of
the car and goes to the house.
The dogs are barking as she knocks, and the door is opened by
Loretta. "Heel!" she orders the animals, letting a
paramedic out of the house.
"I made them bring me home the moment I heard about the
attempt on Malcolm's life, Miss- Holt. It IS Miss Holt, isn't
it?" Laura looks surprised. "My husband's told me everything."
"I'm sure you've heard we've had quite an evening here,"
Loretta says. Why don't you come through the house? He's waiting
for you down below for you on the beach."
"Thank you." Laura enters the house and Loretta closes
In the rabbit, Steele is awakened by the sound of the ambulance
starting. He looks around, getting his bearings. Getting out
of the car, he fights getting his jacket back on as he searches
the fence for the gate into the yard. The ambulance drives off.
The dogs are at the door, barking, and Loretta comes up, calling
their names. "Lie down!" she orders. They go to the
side, still barking, and she tells them, "STAY!" and
opens the door to a smiling, swaying Steele.
"Steele here," he says. "Oops. Pardon me. Peppler.
I'm a Peppler."
Loretta looks at him strangely. "Won't you come in, Mr.
Steele? My husband has been expecting you. It's- straight through
to the back."
On the beach, Malcolm tells Laura, "I've already made the
necessary phone calls. Depending on the availabilities of the
moving men, we could be out of Los Angeles by Wednesday."
"Mr. Marcall," Laura says, confused.
"I'm sorry about that little- scene in my office, Miss Holt.
This is all- very new to me."
"Mr. Marcall, I assure you, death threats are hardly run
of the mill for anyone."
"I don't mean that. I mean- fear. Huddled under that sink
there, I knew, for the first time in my entire life, that someone
wanted me dead. Pinned there tonight, I could - I could FEEL
the hate." He pulls something from his pocket. "This
should cover your fees and expenses." He gives her the check.
Steele stumbles up. "Am I interrupting something?"
Malcolm stares at him. "I was just explaining to your asso-"
He frowns. "This man is- polluted."
Laura tells him, "I'm not cashing this check, sir. Not yet.
Not until we discover who it is that's stalking you."
Malcolm is still staring at Steele. "You people should seek
professional help. This is- apparently- an agency wide problem."
Steele gives him a silly grin as Laura says, "Good night,
Mr. Marcall," and turns Steele away.
"G'night, Malcolm," Steele says.
Malcolm shakes his head.
Early the next morning, Steele is in the bathroom attached to
his office. He takes a swig of mouthwash, as an antacid bubbles
in another glass. Placing drops in his eyes, he says, "Oh,
bliss, bliss, bliss." Taking a drink of the antacid, he
looks at the mirror. "Oh, what a relief it is," he
says, still VERY hung over.
"Yoo Hoo!" Laura calls out brightly.
"Morning! Morning, morning, morning, morning," he calls
back as she joins him.
"Do you have any idea of the price one pays for abusing
alcohol the way I did last night?"
"No." She comes closer. "What is the price one
pays for abusing alcohol the way you did last night?"
He picks up a store receipt. "Uh, ten seventy seven. But
then again, I didn't shop around. Probably could have done better
on the mouthwash." He finishes the antacid. "I have
a confession to make. I don't like drinking. I don't like what
it does to me," he tells her, turning her toward the office
"What does it do to you?" she asks.
"Well, for one thing- last night."
"I remember it well," Laura tells him.
"I don't," he says. "Not a lick of it. What happened?"
he asks, buttoning his vest.
"Oh, I couldn't possibly tell you without blushing,"
Laura says. "But suffice it to say we both ended up on the
floor," she tells him, pointing to the floor.
He looks surprised. "Really?"
"Damn." He looks as if he's not sure whether or not
she's putting him on.
"I, too, have a confession to make. I swore it off."
He's tightening his tie. "What? The floor?"
"Alcohol. Never again." She salutes. "Not even
in the line of duty."
"Oh, speaking of duty, I knew there was a reason I asked
you here. I've cracked the case."
Laura looks totally surprised.
Murphy, cup of coffee and newspaper in hand, enters the offices
to find Bernice, still in her coat, half asleep over the typewriter
as she reads a paper. "You mean he called you too?"
he asks her.
"Emergency meeting. Get to the Agency as soon as possible.
Pick up pastries on the way." She points. "They're
in there waiting for you."
Murphy enters Steele's office. Steele sees him and rises from
the chair. "Murphy. Murphy, Murphy. Do come in, sit down,
make yourself at home," he says, going to close the door
Murphy sits down near Laura, who's reclining on the sofa. "Give
me a hint," he tells her.
"He has a theory," she says.
"About what?" Murphy asks her.
Steele sits down. "About the Marcall case. I was having
trouble sleeping last night. Nasty hangover." Laura examines
her nails, Murphy tries not to look TOO bored. "So I pulled
myself out of bed and turned on the television set. "And
there it was."
Murphy looks at Laura. She returns the look. "Why don't
"There WHAT was?" Murphy asks.
"The solution to this mystery. Right there on Channel Six
in glorious color. Paramount, 1974. A veritable cavalcade of
stars. 'Murder On The Orient Express'." Murphy just looks
at him before rising.
He turns to Laura. "I'm gonna get some more coffee,"
he tells her. "Want some?"
"I'll go with you," she decides, also getting up.
Steele heads them off. "Murder on the Orient Express,"
he insists. "Didn't you see it? Albert Finney, WONDERFUL
actor- funny accent." Murphy and Laura sit back down. "Plays
master detective Hercule Poirot. He's a passenger on board that
famous European train, the Orient Express." Laura watches
him. "Early in the trip, Richard Widmark is killed. Murdered."
Murphy yawns. "And now it's up to Hercule to find out Who
Done It? Was it Lauren Bacall? Vanessa Redgrave? Could it have
been Michael York? Ingrid Bergman. Pretty Jacqueline Bisset?"
Laura is starting to frown, thoughtful. "Dastardly Antony
Perkins? Who, who WHO?!"
Murphy looks at Laura. "Want some Danish with that coffee?"
"They all did," Steele tells them. "They all knew
that if they worked together, no single person could be implicated."
Laura is still looking thoughtful, Murphy looks ill.
"Any special kind of Danish?" he asks her again.
"So you're saying-" she says to Steele.
"Exactly!" he answers.
Laura looks at Murphy. "Murphy, it doesn't go past this
room - but I think he makes a lot of sense." Murphy winces.
Steele taps him on the arm. "Hey. It's the best theory we've
got. I say--we run with it."
"RUN with it?" Murphy questions.
"He's been watching football again," Laura explains.
Murphy looks at Steele, who's smiling, and shakes his head doubtfully.
At the Marcall house, Steele is explaining his theory to Marcall
and Loretta. "Could it have been Michael York? Ingrid Bergman?
Pretty Jacqueline Bisset? Dastardly Antony Perkins? Who, who,
who?" Steele looks into his glass of wine.
Laura jumps in. "Mr. Marcall, we invited all four women
"Oh, my," Loretta worries.
"Under the guise that you would be leaving town and that
your clients might wish to discuss settlements- out of court
prior to your retirement." The dogs start barking.
"What's that going to prove?" Malcolm asks.
The doorbell rings, and Laura tells Steele, "I believe our
first guest has just arrived?"
Steele goes to the door as Loretta orders the dogs, "Heel!"
They move back with her.
Steele opens the door to find Megan there. "Bobby."
"Megan, darling." He takes her hand, kissing it as
he draws her into the house and into the living room. "Do
you know everyone?" he asks. "Does everyone know you?
Megan O'Toole. Former live in lover of Antony Paruchi. Her job?
Jerry rig Malcom's exhaust system. And, when that failed, regear
his transmission." Megan looks shocked. "Isn't that
"What?" she asks.
The dogs start to bark again, running to the door as the bell
rings. Loretta tells them once again to heel, leading them back
into the living room with her, as Steele opens the door.
This time it's Angela. "Robert."
"Angela," he says, taking her hand. "Do come in."
He signals for her to remain quiet and leads her into the other
room. "Now, Angela, tell us how you supplied the wine that
was ultimately poisoned in an attempt to kill Malcolm Marcall,"
he says, as she gives the dogs a wide berth, since they're barking
Angela looks confused. "What are you- I came here to talk
settlement," she insists. Seeing Laura, she says, "Judy?"
Laura waves as Steele glares at Angela.
"Now, Angela, it's true, isn't it?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," she insists.
I would never buy wine for Marcall. For one, I don't LIKE him.
And for two, he doesn't drink." Loretta looks surprised.
"Everybody knows that."
Laura sees Loretta's reaction as the dogs start up again. The
doorbell rings. Loretta chases the dogs once again. "HEEL!"
Malcolm goes to a closet and takes the dogs' leads out.
"Retta," he says, giving her the leads. "Would
you and those beasts come over here?"
Steele opens the door and it's Janet. She smiles. "Well.
Surprise, surprise." She takes his hand and comes in. "Are
you my settlement?" she asks. They enter the living room,
and Janet is surprised to find her friends there. "My goodness,
what have we here?"
"What we have here," Steele tells her, ushering her
further into the room, "is a scenario for murder. A group
of four women, embittered by their various domestic situations.
Due to return to court to face Malcolm Marcall-" the dogs
bark as he gets too close to Marcall, and he moves away. "Each
woman, contributing one part to the murder scheme, so no single
woman could be implicated. "You, Janet, provided the deadly
herbicide that ultimately poisoned the wine."
"Says who?" Janet asks.
"Says anyone with a facility for deductive reasoning. You
spirited your herbicide into this house - where it was injected
into a bottle of-"
"*I* snuck into the house?" Janet questions as the
dogs bark again. "Past those- panthers?" she asks.
Loretta is having some trouble keeping the dogs quiet.
Steele looks put out, and glances at Laura. "Why don't you
take a seat, Janet?" he suggests, then moves to a thoughtful
Laura. "Tell me again how much you admire my theory."
"Love to," she says. "The truth is, I'm developing
one of my own."
"Well, feel free to jump in whenever the urge hits,"
he says, turning away.
Laura watches the dogs barking as Loretta tries vainly to make
them stop. "Loretta-" Loretta turns and looks at her.
"You didn't hear anything? The night someone set fire to
She looks frightened, and it's Malcolm who answers. "What're
you driving at?"
"What about you, Mr. Marcall? The night you heard someone
tampering with your car? What ELSE did you hear?"
"Hear? Uh -Hear? Retta, will you shut the damn dogs up?"
"Heel!" Loretta commands. The dogs are quiet.
"You didn't hear the dogs," Laura says quietly. Malcolm
looks at Loretta, who's looking at Laura.
"Loretta?" Malcolm says. The dogs sense Loretta's fear
and become active again, jumping at Steele.
"Will you HEEL!" she yells. Malcolm is in shock. She
looks at him. "Oh, Malcolm. What did you want me to do?
Take you to divorce court?"
"Mrs. Marcall," Steele begins, but the dogs jump and
begin to bark once again - and this time everyone leaps out of
the way. Steele onto the bar, Angela onto a desk, Janet and Megan
onto chairs, and Laura leaps onto the mantle.
Loretta tells Malcolm, "You selfish, no good son of a -."
Steele tries to get down, but the dogs send him back to his perch,
as he frets about not being able to do anything.
"Now, Loretta," Malcolm says, nervous himself.
"I put you through school, remember? I'm the one who cooked
your meals- washed your clothes and worked as a waitress, getting
her fanny pinched, until you passed your bar exam. Do you remember
"I loved you for doing that," he tells her.
"SURE you loved me. You BETTER love me. I INVESTED in you,
Malcolm. We invested in each other. I worked through my eighth
month of pregnancy for you. And after the baby was born, I kept
on working so you could clerk. And when you started your own
practice, who did the books and answered the phone for the first
year and a half? I thought we were partners."
"We ARE," he says, still without a clue.
"Then who are you to announce that you're quitting law?!
Huh?! Just when my half of the investment was beginning to pay
off? What the hell right have you got to throw in the towel without
asking me, Malcolm?!"
The dogs start growling again, and the doorbell rings, distracting
Loretta, giving Steele the chance to jump down and grab her by
the shoulders, using her as a shield from the dogs. "I believe
the word for tonight is "heel"," he tells her.
"If you would kindly do the honors."
"Heel," she says. Everyone else comes from their perches.
"Man's best friends?" Laura asks Steele.
"Yes," he agrees. "If one leads a truly lonely
life." Megan heads for the door, with Laura and Steele close
behind, leaving Malcolm staring at Loretta in shock.
Megan opens the door, only to find Beth there in the arms of
her husband. Laura and Steele watch from nearby as the couple
finishes kissing. When they part, Beth looks embarrassed. "Oh,
I was just waiting for somebody to answer the door- and - Roger
came up the path, and-" Laura smiles. "There was no
place to go- One thing led to another, and- oh, well," she
takes his arm and they turn and leave together.
Laura rests her head on Steele's shoulder. "Isn't love lovely?"
At the driving range, Laura is practicing her swing while Steele
watches. "Vast improvement," he tells her.
He looks at her. "How did you know?"
"I didn't. Not until you started speaking. And I realized
no one could enter that house without those dogs barking. And
that no one had ever mentioned HEARING them bark. Not Loretta,
not Malcolm, when he heard someone, and not me, the night he
called about the gunshots."
"Loretta always silenced the dogs so as not to give herself
away," Steele says.
"Exactly. That, and - her serving wine- "
"What about the car?" he asks.
"She had it professionally done. Told the mechanic that
she couldn't adjust to the European shifting pattern, and could
he regear it."
She addresses the ball and swings. Steele comes up behind her.
"Handsome shot, Mrs. Peppler," he comments.
Laura looks at him and smiles as he kisses his fingers in salute.