The episode opens in an operating room, where a team of doctors is working on a patient.
A doctor X-rays the patient's skull, and we're shown the close ups of the X-rays.
Cut to a doctor's office, where a doctor is looking at a medical file and talking to a patient who head is bandaged, and who's in a hospital gown. The doctor tells the patient, 'The tests show no sign of the tumor whatsoever. No damaged tissue. No loss of motor skills or mental capacity.'
The patient replies, 'So? Cut through the mumbo jumbo Doc.'
'By all rights you should be dead. Or at the very least brain damaged. As I told you before, in an operation as radical as this, considering the experimental techniques we used . . .'
'Doc, you mean to tell me that . . .'
'That's right, Vinnie, you're going to live.'
'What do you mean I'm going to live!' Vinnie goes crazy, jumps out of the wheelchair he was sitting in, and attacks the doctor, choking him and knocking him to the floor. They are interrupted by a knock on the door. Vinnie gets up and grabs the phone receiver, hides behind the door as it opens, and hits the security guard as he opens the door, knocking him out.
Vinnie runs to the window and opens it as if he's thinking of escaping through the window. He hesitates, and then starts to unravel the bandages on his head. He then notices the security guard's gun, still on the guard's belt in the holster.
Cut to Laura Holt's loft, where we see some birds in a cage, a hamster, and a turtle. Remington Steele is examining a snake that he's holding. He places it back in the glass enclosure, closing the top, looking at it in disgust. He makes a little noise at the birds in the cage.
Laura explains. 'My sister wanted me to take care of the children's pets while they were on vacation . . .'
Remington replies, 'Uh, huh.' He watches as she examines the fish food, trying to figure out how much to feed the fish. 'Charming collection.'
'Well, I just hope none of them dies on me.' Laura obviously puts way too much food in the fish bowl. 'Frances would have a fit.'
Remington watches her feeding the fish. 'Hmm, mmm. Uh, I suggest you cut back on those flakes unless you want to see a goldfish explode . . .'
Just then, someone comes crashing though the loft window in the kitchen As he gets up, we see it's the same man who was talking to the doctor earlier, still in his hospital gown.
'Sorry about your window, I, uh, tripped,' he tells a shocked Laura and Remington.
'What were you doing out there?' Laura asks him, as Remington watches the exchange.
Vinnie hears a noise on the floor, bends down and picks up a turtle, handing it to Laura. 'You dropped your turtle.'
Laura takes the turtle, and asks in an exasperated tone, 'Who are you?!'
'Vinnie Dowd. I'm in trouble, and I need your help.'
Remington tells him, 'Wouldn't it have been easier to use the door?'
Laura recognizes the name. 'Wait a minute, Vincent Dowd, the LeBlanc kidnapping?'
'Yeah, only I didn't do it. You gotta believe me!' Vinnie looks desperate.
Remington recognizes the name as well. 'I thought you were convicted of murder, life imprisonment.'
'Yeah, but I was framed.'
'Me!' Vinnie looks rather pleased with himself at this.
Remington and Laura look doubtfully at him. Laura asks, 'You framed yourself?'
'Did a humdinger of a job, huh?'
Remington and Laura look at each other, then turn and start walking away from Vinnie. He pulls a gun out of his coat as Laura goes to pick up the phone. He tells them, 'Hey, wait a minute!' He stutters a bit. 'This is just going to take a minute.'
Remington holds up his hands. 'Okay, alright, well, since you put it like that, we'll just sit down, okay?' Laura puts down the phone, and Vinnie keeps the gun pointed at them as they walk with their hands in the air to the couch.
'Yeah, take a load off, huh?' Vinnie looks nervous.
Remington tells him, 'Alright, don't worry,' and sits down with Laura on the couch.
Vinnie starts explaining. 'I'm a school bus driver, right? I've never been sick a day in my life, and then one day - Bang! I black out. My doctor says I've got some kind of terminal brain disease.'
Remington looks up at him. 'So far I'm not surprised.'
Vinnie continues. 'Anyway, you know, that's the breaks. But at least Nedra, that's my wife, gets my insurance money. Only we check the policy, and it doesn't cover that sort of thing. How about that?' He's getting more agitated as he talks.
Laura tells him angrily, 'We're listening, Mr. Dowd.'
'Yeah, well anyway, then this famous guy, this exercise guy, Lance LeBlanc, gets kidnapped. A couple of days pass and they find the body. So his wife offers this huge reward.'
Laura says, '$250,000.00, wasn't it?'
'Yeah, in cash! And I think to myself, Holy Magnolia, what if I become the kidnap killer and Nedra collects the reward!'
Remington interrupts. "Wait a minute, the police would see through that in a minute considering your medical condition.'
Vinnie agrees. 'That's right, so I devised this plan. I plant evidence against myself, and then I tip the cops with an anonymous letter claiming to be my accomplice!'
Laura tells him, 'I remember now. The accomplice was never found, but somehow he got away, with the reward money too?'
Vinnie sits down on the sofa with them. Remington and Laura keep an eye on the gun he keeps waving as he's talking, and inch away from him as best they can on the sofa. 'Pretty smart, huh? Then the cops bust me. And they stake out the P.O. box where I set up the ransom.' Vinnie looks pleased with himself, and continues. 'Only they don't know I've already arranged to have the mail forwarded to another box in a different town.' He laughs to himself.
Laura looks at him as if he's mad. Remington smiles as he says, 'Where your wife picked it up.'
Laura says 'Suddenly has a quarter of a million dollars.'
Vinnie looks unhappy. 'Everything was going perfect, then a couple of months ago I was strolling around the prison yard and started to feel dizzy. And my head feels like it's gonna spit my eyeballs out or something, and then BANG! I hit the deck, thinking Nedra, this is it baby, I'm history.'
Laura crosses her arms. 'And . . .'
'And then I wake up in the prison ward of a hospital. It turns out, some young brilliant doctor used me as a guinea pig, and I'm cured. I'm gonna live. Behind bars for the rest of my life for something I never did!'
Remington says, 'So you took a hike.'
Laura says in disbelief, 'This is the most preposterous story I have ever heard,' and gets up.
Vinnie hands her the gun. 'Now look, if you don't believe me, take it, go on.' She takes the gun carefully. 'I'm putting my fate in your hands. You're my only hope! You gotta find out who killed Lance LeBlanc and get me off the hook!'
He grabs the gun back from Laura when he hears a knock on the door, and 'Police! Open Up!'
'Maybe I'd better keep my fate in my own hands for a while, huh?' Vinnie climbs out the window, saying 'We'll keep in touch.'
Laura and Remington get up as he goes out the window. There's another knock on the door, and Laura opens it, and finds a detective at the door. 'Hi, Laura.'
'Detective . . .'
'Sorry to bother you. There's an escaped con in the neighborhood. Guys are going door to door. You haven't seen anything suspicious, have you?'
Remington comes up behind Laura, as she tells him 'Well, as a matter of fact . . .' Remington interrupts her. 'We were just wondering what, uh, all the commotion was about, really.' He smiles.
Laura tells Remington, 'You remember, Mr. Steele, Detective Zweigenhower.'
The detective corrects here. "Zweigenhoff. We met on the Buxton Sears case about a year ago?'
'Buxton Sears . . .' He finally recognizes him. 'Oh yes, of course, how are you doing?'
'Ah, fine. I'm fine, thank you.' He notices the mess in the kitchen, and glances past them, asking 'What's that?'
Remington tells him 'Ah, it's just a little accident. It's a miracle no one was hurt, really.' Laura tries to look innocent and agrees. They hear a noise outside the window, and the detective rushes past them into the kitchen, looking outside. He talks into the handset. 'He's in the alley!' He rushes back out as we hear a crunch. 'Sorry about the turtle.'
Laura cringes at the sound, and Remington puts his arm around her shoulders.
Cut to the office, where a video showing a well built, muscular man and woman working out with dumbbells is showing on the monitor that Remington and Mildred are watching.
Mildred remarks, 'Oh, Boy.'
Remington tells her with amusement, 'Down, Mildred,' as Laura comes in carrying a cardboard container. Remington turns the video off with the remote.
Mildred remarks, 'What a waste.'
Laura asks, 'Lance LeBlanc?'
Remington gestures toward the container Laura is carrying. 'Lunch?'
'A replacement for Phyllis.'
Mildred asks, 'Who's Phyllis?'
Remington is reading at his desk. 'Fill you in later, Mildred. Now Laura, about this case,'
Laura interrupts him, surprised. 'Don't tell me you believe that story we heard last night!'
'Well, actually, Mildred and I have been going over the case and I think . . .'
'Mr. Steele, the man is a condemned murderer. Condemned men will go to great lengths to escape their fate.'
'Laura, Laura, you just saw Lance on the video just now. Do you honestly believe that Vinnie killed him? With a blow to the head with a blunt object?' He looks at her incredulously.
Mildred tells her, 'Lance would have pulverized him just by
flexing Miss Holt!' Laura starts to disagree, but is interrupted
'Laura, Laura, Laura. The man has gone to a lot of trouble to see us. Now, what if we go over to see Vinnie's wife. If she doesn't confirm the story, then we drop the whole thing, eh?' He finishes with a smile.
Laura hands the turtle to Mildred. 'See that Phyllis has enough water, Mildred.'
Remington and Laura leave as Mildred peers into the container with disgust.
Cut to an apartment, where Remington and Laura are talking with Nedra, Vinnie's wife.
'He told you he was cured?!'
Laura tells her, 'Mrs. Dowd, we'd like to know if your husband is telling the truth.' As she finishes, there's a crash as Vinnie falls from the skylight, behind the sofa where she and Remington are sitting.
Nedra rushes over to Vinnie. 'Vinnie!' She helps him up, then hugs and kisses him as Remington and Laura try to avert their eyes, apparently forgotten for the moment.
'Nedra! New skylight, huh?' Vinnie looks up, and says 'Caught me by surprise!'
'Is it true, you're really cured?'
'It's true!' He hugs her again. 'So, what, did you put this in yourself?'
Nedra looks a little uncomfortable. 'I had it done.'
'The place looks great. It must have cost a fortune.'
'Well . . .'
Vinnie finally notices that Remington and Laura are there. Remington waves. 'We've decided to take the case, Vinnie.'
Vinnie goes and shakes his hand. 'Oh great!'
Laura pulls Remington off to the side of the room. 'Would you excuse us just a moment . . .' She tells Remington, 'Are you aware of the ramifications of aiding and abetting an escaped felon!?'
'Well, unless someone aids and abets him quickly, Laura, he's going to slice himself to death by falling through windows.' We see Vinnie and Nedra hugging in the background as they speak.
Laura is exasperated. 'Why are you so determined to help this man?'
'Well, let's just say he reminds me of a young man I once knew who was in trouble and on the run, eh?'
'You really believe he's telling the truth, don't you?'
'Yes, yes I do.'
Laura realizes that he's being serious. 'Alright.' She turns to Vinnie and Nedra. 'We'll take the case.'
Vinnie is happy. 'Great!'
'On one condition. He's got to turn himself in.'
Vinnie disagrees. 'Oh no, I can't do that!'
Nedra tells them, 'Oh, please, don't make him go back.'
Vinnie pleads with them. 'Yeah, listen, I can help! Who knows more about LeBlanc's kidnapping than me?'
Remington tells him, 'Presumably the kidnapper.'
Remington looks a little distracted. 'He has a point Laura.'
'What are we going to do with him?'
'Well, he can stay at my place.'
Vinnie says 'Great!', then runs into the next room.
Laura tells Remington, 'I don't like this . . .'
Vinnie comes back out, confused, and asks Nedra, 'Hey, where's my clothes?'
Nedra looks uncomfortable. 'I didn't think you were coming back.'
Vinnie looks hurt. 'So you got rid of all my stuff? Nedra nods. 'My bowling ball?' She nods again. Vinnie sighs, and looks at himself, still in the hospital gown and doctor's coat. 'Well, I guess I can go like this.'
Nedra tells him, 'The bag of clothes for the thrift store, maybe there's something in there!' They run into the next room together, as Laura and Remington watch them, amused.
Cut to Laura's Rabbit, with Laura driving with Remington in the passenger seat. Laura tells Remington, 'Lance LeBlanc was murdered over a year ago. We have no clues and a cold trail.'
'Laura, we don't have to solve Lance LeBlanc's kidnapping, all we have to prove is that Vinnie didn't do it.'
'Too bad he doesn't have an alibi.'
Vinnie pops up from the back seat, where he was hiding on the floor. 'Wait a minute, I do.'
Remington repeats, 'You do?'
'Yeah. The night LeBlanc was kidnapped, I was bowling with a guy I used to work with.'
Remington motions to Vinnie. 'Get down, Vinnie, will you?' Vinnie ducks back down out of sight.
Laura asks, 'What guy?'
'Frank Dunn. Dunn said that I supposed to meet him bowling that night, but I never showed up.'
Remington pushes him down out of sight again. 'Get down.'
Laura asks incredulously, 'He perjured himself for you?'
'Well, what the heck, I gave the guy a grand.'
Remington asks, 'Where does he live?'
Cut to Frank Dunn's apartment, where Laura and Remington climb up the stairs. Laura tells Remington, 'I hope Mildred is taking good care of Phyllis, you have no idea what I went through to find that particular turtle.'
'Well, you've seen one, you've seen them all.'
'Not if you're a six year old '
Cut back to Laura's Rabbit parked on the curb, where a police car pulls up behind. The officer gets out of the car, and walks up to the Rabbit, and notices that Vinnie is crouched down on the floor in the back seat. He asks Vinnie, 'Are you okay?'
'Oh, me, yeah, I uh, I can't find my car keys.' The officer motions to the ignition, where the keys are hanging. 'Ah, '
The policeman looks at him suspiciously. 'Do you have a drivers' license?'
'Yes, yeah, not on me. But I do have one.'
Cut to Frank Dunn's apartment, where Laura and Remington are opening the door. They notice a man lying on the couch. They enter cautiously, and notice that there's a bullet hole in his shirt, and he's dead.
Remington mutters, 'Oh, Frank '
Cut back to the curb, where the police officer is looking at a piece of paper. 'I thought you said your name is Remington Steele.'
Vinnie replies, 'Yeah, I said that.'
'The registration says this car belongs to Laura Holt. Who's she?'
'I don't think so.'
Vinnie continues to try to get out of it. 'My aunt.'
'Out of the car.'
Vinnie starts the car and takes off around the corner. The policeman turns on the siren and chases after him. Laura and Remington rush out to see them both gone, and Remington says, 'Vinnie, Vinnie.'
Laura and Remington are removing a pile of debris from the Rabbit, which looks like it's been trashed. Detective Zweigenhoff is there watching. 'I'm starting last night was no coincidence. Then I say to myself, why would the city's prettiest P.I., a woman who's good enough to run her own shop, be working for a guy like Dowd?'
Remington tells him, 'We're not working for Dowd.'
'Come on, the guy in the car matches the description. Or what, maybe you just lent him the car.'
Laura tells him, 'The car was stolen. It happens in the city.'
'The question is, what happened to you? You never would have pulled a stunt like this at Havenhurst.'
Remington gets in the car, and takes off his sunglasses and cleans them. 'Something tells me you've got a point, Zweigenheel.'
'Zweigenheel, hey, I like that. Hoff. Zweigenhoff. And I do have a point. Somebody offed that guy in the apartment back there. I think it was Dowd. I think maybe you know where he is.'
Laura and Remington remain silent in the car. 'Harboring a fugitive is a felony in this state.'
Remington looks at him and replies, 'We're aware of that.'
'Three years is a long time to be away.' The detective continues to be threatening. 'Not too good for business, either.'
Laura starts to pull out. 'Thanks for the reminder.'
'I'm a friendly guy, Laura.' As she pulls out, the right fender falls off the Rabbit. Remington gets out of the car and puts the fender in the back seat, and they take off as the detective watches them drive away.
Cut back to the offices. Laura and Remington come in, and Mildred tells them, 'We've got trouble.' They walk in to find Vinnie reading the newspaper.
'Sorry about the car. I panicked.'
'The car can be fixed, Vinnie,' Remington tells him. 'It's your alibi that needs tending to, mate.'
Vinnie looks surprised. 'What? Frank didn't vouch for me?'
Laura tells him, 'Frank won't be vouching for anyone anymore.' Remington adds, 'Frank was murdered.'
Vinnie looks shocked. 'Holy Magnolia!' Nedra comes in.
'Frank Dunn is dead.' She looks very upset.
Vinnie gives her a kiss, and tells her, 'I know.'
Nedra tells him, 'The police came to the house. They think you killed Frank.'
Remington says, 'Somehow, proving Vinnie didn't kidnap LeBlanc no longer seems a viable solution, Miss Holt.'
Mildred tells him, 'You kids have got your work cut out for you.'
'Us kids? What happened to that team spirit, Mildred?' Remington asks.
She replies, 'It waned.'
Laura states, 'Well, whatever we do, it won't be easy with Zweigenhoffer breathing down our necks.'
Remington corrects her. 'Hoff, Hoff.' 'I suggest we sequester Vinnie before he causes any more mayhem. The question is, where?'
Laura tells him, 'I think I'm going to regret this, but my sister is away on vacation with her family, and her place is empty.'
Vinnie holds Nedra's hand. 'Great! Ned and I will camp out there.'
'Nedra is going home.'
She asks, 'But why?'
Remington tells her, 'Well, it's likely the police are still watching your place, Nedra. It will only arouse suspicion if you disappear now.'
Vinnie asks, 'So who's gonna stick with me?'
Remington turns on the charm. 'Mildred, Mildred. Welcome back to the team.' He gives her a big hug.
Cut to a gym. Remington and Laura enter, where there are several women working out.
Remington interrupts. 'Excuse me. Mrs. LeBlanc? Remington Steele, and this is Laura Holt.' They shake hands.
Laura tells her, 'We'd like to ask you a few questions.'
Mrs. LeBlanc misunderstands why they've come. 'Sure, no problem. Are you interested in bulking up, or just redefining what you've got?'
Remington laughs. She tells Laura, 'You look like you're in pretty good shape, a little more bulk wouldn't hurt, but <referring to Remington> you, you on the other hand could definitely use a little more bulk.'
Remington glances down at himself, opening his jacket a little. 'Oh, I prefer the lean look. It's easier on my tailor.'
Laura explains. 'Mrs. LeBlanc, we're private investigators, looking into your husband's murder.'
She starts to walk away, upset. 'The police told me that animal had escaped.'
Laura continues. 'Mrs. LeBlanc, as impossible as it sounds, it's quite possible that 'animal' was falsely convicted.'
Mrs. LeBlanc puts her hands on her hips. 'I don't believe that.'
Remington tries to tell here, 'Mrs. LeBlanc, at the risk of sounding impertinent, the man who was convicted of kidnapping your husband, if he were innocent, is there anyone you can think of who would bear a grudge against Lance?'
'Look, I am supposed to be talking to you? Maybe I should call my attorney.' She starts to walk to another part of the gym.
Laura and Remington follow. Laura tells her, 'Mrs. LeBlanc, it's important, you see, a man's life may be at stake here.'
'Okay. No, it's inconceivable that anyone could have had a grudge against Lance. He was a star. Everybody loved him. The only thing that I can think of is that some sicko got it into his head that he could get rich quick by kidnapping my husband.'
Laura asks her, 'Can you think of anything that happened, either before or after the kidnapping, that you neglected to tell the police?'
'No, not really.'
'Well, if you do, we'd appreciate it if you'd call us at this number.' Laura hands her a card, and she and Remington leave. As they do, Remington picks up two hand weights and starts to pump quickly, but one of the weights flies out of his hand and goes flying. He puts the other back on the rack, looking sheepish. Laura looks unimpressed.
Mrs. LeBlanc goes to the phone hanging on the wall as they leave. She dials a number, and tells whoever is on the line, 'We've got trouble.'
Cut to the agency limo, where Remington is telling Laura, 'Well, according the newspaper accounts, the last person to see Lance LeBlanc was a fellow by the name of Tony Petz.'
'Nice name. Who is he?'
'He used to work for the LeBlancs. He's about to open his own gym.'
'Just what this city needs, another health club.'
They pull up to the Aerobitorium, where Tony is on a rowing machine, surrounded by lush surroundings. 'Okay, I'm rowing, right, just like I can do at any other health club in town. Now, check this out.' He reaches over to hit a switch on a control box. Jungle sounds start over the speakers. 'I still got a few bugs, but that's the general idea. Total environmental experience. Working out becomes an adventure, a fantasy.' He walks over to another area. 'But if you don't like the jungle, we've got space.' There is a space themed workout area here. Laura and Remington follow him. 'And if space isn't your cup of tea, we've got Hawaii.'
'But that's not all. By this time next month, our circle vision pool will be completed, and you can swim anywhere in the world without leaving this club. Pretty wild, huh?'
Laura remarks, 'Mr. Petz, exactly what does all this have to do with exercise?'
'Exercise? We're not selling exercise here, we're selling lifestyle. You want exercise, drop down and give me 30 pushups.'
'But if you want to be part of what's happening, you gotta to join the Aerobitorium. As soon as this place catches on, I'm gonna make millions.'
Remington tells him, 'Let's hope you've put a little something away until then, eh?'
Tony looks angry. 'That's not funny. This place has gotta make it.'
Laura remarks, 'Mr. Petz, about Lance LeBlanc '
'He gave me my start. I was a 98 pound weakling until I met
Lance.' He walks over to another
workout machine and continues. 'Actually, he was the first bodybuilder to break away from the all brawn, no brain syndrome. Chicks loved the guy.'
Remington remarks, 'Well, according to his wife, everybody loved the guy.' He tries to do the same pull up move on the equipment as Tony, but he can't, to Laura's amusement.
'That's just the kind of guy he was.'
Laura tells him, 'Now, you were the last person to see Lance on the night that he was kidnapped.'
Remington asks, 'What happened?'
'I was working for him at the time. It was about 5 o'clock in the evening. The gym was closed. He went out. I guess the poor guy never made it to his car.'
Laura asks, 'Did you see or hear anything unusual?'
'No, he went out and I went in and took a shower.' They continue into Tony's office. 'After you.'
'Can you think of anyone, Mr. Petz, who may have had a reason to kidnap Lance?'
'Nah, are you kidding? Lance was a great guy.' He picks up a mirror that's leaning against the desk. 'With a killer body. I think it was just one of those freak things, you know?' He starts admiring himself in the mirror after straightening it up.
Remington tells him, 'That seems to be the common presumption in this case.'
They go to leave. 'Well, thank you Mr. Petz.' Laura leaves, and Remington stays behind a second to ask a question.
'Tony, just a thought. If I were to bulk up a bit, do you suppose I might make out better with the chicks?'
'Are you kidding? Guaranteed!'
'You guys do pretty well, eh?'
'That's the understatement of the year. Do you think money is the only reason I'm in this business?' He continues to preen in front of the mirror as he's talking to Remington.
'I guess. Lance didn't know what he was missing then, eh?'
'What do you mean?'
'Well, marriage, being tied down, all that kind of thing '
Tony laughs. 'I'll let you in on a little secret. Do you know where Lance was supposed to go the night he was snatched? Tuttles.'
'Tuttles. The restaurant?'
'A mansion. A Beverly Hills mansion. And I don't think he was ordering off of the menu. If you know what I mean.'
Laura comes back in. 'Mr. Steele.'
Remington shakes Tony's hand as he leaves. 'Yes, Miss Holt, coming.'
'Hey, next time you want to work up an appetite '
Remington says, 'Gotcha!' and leaves.
Tony picks up the phone, and dials. 'We got trouble.'
Cut to Francis' house, where Mildred and Vinnie are in the kitchen, and he's cooking and singing to himself. 'Spaghetti for two!'
Mildred asks him, 'How can you be jolly in the jam you're in?!'
'You gotta remember, I'm supposed to be dead.'
'At this point you're not much better off.
'At least there's hope.' He hands Mildred the spoon that he's been stirring the tomato sauce with for her to taste.
She makes a face as she tastes it; 'It needs salt.'
'Salt?' He tastes it. 'Oregano, maybe, but salt, no. Voila! At least that spices things up a bit, huh?'
At that moment, shots are fired through the window, and they both duck for cover behind the island in the kitchen. Mildred yells, 'Hit the deck!' as they go down. The kitchen is getting shot up, with glasses breaking. They cautiously look up over the counter as they watch a hand breaking through the kitchen door.
'Vinnie, run!' They run out of the kitchen as the unknown person breaks in.
Cut to the garage, where Francis' station wagon is backing out of the garage in a hurry, taking out half of the garage door with it. It speeds away, as the man who was breaking in the house runs out with a gun in his hand. He runs back into the house and makes a phone call, saying 'We've got trouble.'
Cut to the limo, which is driving up to Francis' house. Fred opens the limo door for Laura, who looks at the chaos, with the broken garage door lying in the street, and police cars in the driveway, along with the neighbors. Remington follows her out of the limo, as Laura exclaims, 'Good Lord! Wait 'til Francis sees this '
'Never mind Francis, what about Mildred and Vinnie?' Remington and Laura rush into the house. The police are digging bullets out of the walls, and Detective Zweigenhoff is eating something out of the pan on the stove. 'We have to stop meeting like this,' he jokes with Laura, who is surveying the damage to her sister's house.
'Very funny,' she says sarcastically.
'Somebody was working on a delicious meal. It's a shame it had to go to waste.' He lifts the lid off one of the pots. 'Steele. There were no bodies here, nobody was killed.' He eats something else that was cooking on the stove. 'In fact, there was nobody here at all by the time we got here.'
'So you just let yourself in?'
'The key was under the mat. Looks like they had one hell of a party, Huh? The neighbors weren't too happy about it. They didn't mind the singing, it was the gunshots that bothered them.' He reads off his notepad. 'Donald Piper, Dentist. Wife, the former Francis Holt. That would make her, what, your sister?'
Remington continues to look around the room as they're talking.
Laura hears a crash as the police are examining the house, and rushes over to the dining table. 'Would you please be careful?'
Remington tells her, 'It's a little late for that, Laura.'
The detective sarcastically says, 'Things aren't adding up too well for you and Mr. GQ here. I know you're working for Dowd, I know Dowd was here.' They listen to him, unimpressed as he continues. 'I suspect your sister's not going to be too happy with the way he left the place.'
Laura retorts, 'Your boys aren't doing much better.'
'What I don't understand is why, why are you working for this guy? You know how I feel about him.'
Remington says, 'Convicted. John Ford, Broderick Crawford, Columbia, 1950. Ford plays an innocent man convicted to life imprisonment for a crime he didn't commit.' He turns as one of the policemen comments, 'Ruth Roman played the dame, right?'
Remington corrects him. 'Dorothy Malone, actually.'
'Oh yeah, yeah. I was in love with her too.'
The detective interrupts them. 'Mapes I take it you guys think Dowd is innocent?'
Laura tells him, 'It's possible '
'Why don't you come down to the station, I'll show you the case file. I think I'll change your mind.'
She turns him down. 'Some other time.' She and Remington turn to go, as he tells her, 'I hope I catch up to him before you do. I wouldn't want to be the guy who put you out of business.' They leave as he tells them, 'I like you too much.'
Remington tells him, 'Lock up when you leave' as they go.
Cut to the limo, where Laura is telling Remington, 'Someone must have followed Mildred and Vinnie from the office.'
'The question is, where are they right now?' The phone in the limo rings, and Remington answers it. 'Mildred?' 'Oh, Francis!' Laura motions that she's not there. 'Yes, she's right here.' Laura gives him a dirty look as she takes the phone.
'Hello, Francis? Francis, stay calm. Francis You got a call from a neighbor? Yes, well, no, no, no, it's not that bad. Couple thousand, maybe Five at the most. Look, Francis, I can't talk right now, I have to keep this line open.' She hangs up the phone.
She goes to give Remington hell, as the phone rings again. She answers it. 'Francis? Mildred? Mildred? Where are you? Where?'
The limo pulls into a parking area, where Laura sees Francis' station wagon being towed away. Remington tells her, 'Unless I'm mistaken, that hunk of scrap metal was your sister's car.'
Laura's visibly upset. 'We'd better solve this case before our one man wrecking crew gets his hands on anything else.'
Laura and Remington get out of the limo, and look around, when they hear a whistle and notice Mildred and Vinnie hiding amongst school buses. They go over as Vinnie apologizes. 'I'm sorry about your sister's car '
'You panicked,' Remington guesses
'Yeah, how did you know?'
'Gut instincts,' Laura tells him. 'What happened, Mildred?'
'Some guy tried to put our lights out!' She's obviously at a loss to explain it.
Remington continues to question what happened. 'Did you get a look at him?'
'Are you kidding?' Vinnie pipes in. 'We were running for our lives!' They duck back in hiding as Detective Zweigenhoff pulls his car up and sees Fred in the limo. He gets out and starts looking around.
Laura says, 'Terrific,' as Vinnie starts to panic. 'What do we do now?'
The detective peers in the limo looking for them. Vinnie repeats, 'So, what do we do?'
Cut to a school bus coming down the street. A young girl is staring at Remington, who's staring right back. We see all of them sitting amongst the chaos of young children on the bus. Laura is trying to make sense of everything. 'I've been thinking, this whole thing just doesn't add up. Lance LeBlanc is kidnapped, broad daylight, from in front of his own gym, and there are no witnesses? Two days later his wife receives a note demanding the ransom be dropped in a phone booth at a busy intersection?'
Remington and the girl are still in a staring contest. He remarks, 'Where it's never picked up.'
'Meanwhile, no one hears from the kidnappers again.'
Mildred has been listening. 'Now that you mention it, according to the newspaper, the coroner determined that Lance was already dead by the time the ransom note was delivered.'
Remington asks the young girl who he's been having the staring contest with, 'What do you think?' She doesn't answer.
Laura says, 'Could it be that Lance was murdered, and his kidnapping was a ruse to hide the murderer's real motive?'
Vinnie pipes in, 'Holy Magnolia! You mean I framed myself for a kidnapping that never happened?'
The little girl finally speaks. 'What an idiot!' The bus pulls up to the stop, and they all get off the bus, the children and Vinnie, Laura, Remington and Mildred.
Vinnie says, 'So, then, whoever did it must have thought they had it made in the shade when I confessed.'
Mildred tells him, 'Oh, he's probably quaking in his boots until you get back behind bars.'
Remington agrees, and adds, 'Or dead.'
Laura tries to tell him, 'Don't panic, Vinnie, we may not have much to go on but we're ahead of the game. Mildred, go back to the office and check Lance's insurance records. Someone must have benefited from his untimely demise.'
She asks them, 'What are you gonna do?'
Remington tells her, 'Pay a visit on one of Lance's closest friends.'
Cut to a rather fancy house, where Mrs. Tuttle is walking on a treadmill in some sort of training suit that makes her look fat. She's telling Laura and Remington, 'I don't know how I can be of any help. Lance LeBlanc was my coach, that's all. I really didn't know him that well.' Vinnie, wearing sunglasses, and a loud print shirt, is standing in the background.
Remington explains. 'Mrs. Tuttle, according to our sources, Lance was more than just your coach.'
She stops the treadmill and gets off to talk to him. 'Unzip me.' He does, as she climbs out of the suit to reveal a very lean and in shape body. 'I don't have to talk to you people.'
He tells her, 'But you are. Why is that, I wonder '
Laura pipes in. 'Perhaps we should speak to your husband about it.'
She relents. 'No! I always heard private detectives were sleazy.'
Remington replies, 'Well, come now Mrs. Tuttle, our distinguished colleague Mr. Enrique is from South of the Border. He has an impeccable reputation.' He's referring to Vinnie.
Laura says, 'But it's not his reputation that's on the line now, is it? You were with Lance on the night he disappeared, weren't you Mrs. Tuttle?'
She walks to her purse, and asks them, 'How much do you want?'
Remington answers, 'Just the truth.'
'Alright. Yes, I was with Lance that night, but I didn't have anything to do with his murder.'
Laura asks her, 'Did your husband realize the extent to which you and Lance were 'working out'?'
'Of course not. Lance and I were . . . Look, it was just a fling, for both of us. He was never going to leave his wife.'
Remington asks, 'How do you know that?'
'Because she was the brains behind his business. He wanted out, but he said he couldn't afford it.'
Laura asks, 'Where was Lance going when he left you?'
'I don't know. He just said he had a problem to take care of.'
Remington replies, 'I think it might be prudent if we had another talk with Heather LeBlanc. Don't you agree, Mr. Enrique?'
Vinnie looks up and replies, 'Si.'
Cut to LeBlanc's Gym, at night. Vinnie asks Remington, 'Can you teach me how to pick a lock like that?'
Laura hushes him as they enter the gym in darkness. She exclaims, 'Oh, my!,' as they find Heather's body underneath a heavy barbell lying on her throat.
'Holy Magnolia,' Vinnie exclaims, as he realizes another person is dead.
Detective Zweigenhoff arrives, pointing a gun. 'Don't say I didn't warn you.' Vinnie starts to run, and he fires, but misses. Remington goes to kick the gun out of his hand, forcing his last shot to miss Vinnie. 'Guess what, you're under arrest!'
Cut to the police station, where Remington, Laura and Mildred are leaving. Mildred tells him, 'Boy, Zweigenhoff must really have it in for you guys. Bail was pretty steep!'
Laura asks her, 'Mildred, what did you come up with on Lance?'
'Not much. No life insurance, most of his business holdings was in his wife's name. He had patents on his exercise equipment, copyrights on his diet programs, stuff like that. He had a lot of money, no debts.'
'Great. Two people are dead, we've been arrested, Vinnie's on the loose, and we have no suspects!'
Remington asks, 'Any word from Vinnie?'
'Not a peep. Where do you think he is?'
Cut to Nedra's house, where Vinnie is falling from the ceiling again. Nedra comes out from another room, dressed in a bathrobe. 'Vinnie!'
He tells her, 'Pack up your bags sweetheart!'
'Where are we going?'
'Mexico!' He hugs her and gives her a kiss.
Cut to the limo, which is pulling up to a pool hall. Laura tells Remington, 'We haven't got time for a game of eight ball, Mr. Steele.'
'Laura, Lance LeBlanc wanted out of his marriage, correct?'
'So, he couldn't divorce Heather because the very things that made him rich and famous were in her name.'
'So, Mrs. Tuttle said the night he left her he was going off to solve his problem.'
'I liked it better when you came up with old movie quotes to solve a case. I don't follow you.'
'Laura, look, I may be grasping at straws, but I think maybe Lance hired someone to kill his wife.'
'Then how do you explain the fact that Lance ended up dead?'
'I can't. But if I had the same problem he did I'd know who to talk to.' He gets out of the limo, and goes inside, where Weasel, a friend of Steele's, is shooting pool.
He taps him on the shoulder, and Weasel recognizes him. 'Hey, Steele!' They shake hands. 'How you doing?'
'Good!' Laura joins them.
'You still hanging around with Mary Magdalene here?' He's referring to Laura, who doesn't appreciate the comment.
She waves her hands to dissipate some of the smoke, and tells him, 'Cruella DeVille was busy.'
He laughs. 'That's very amusing. So, what can I do you out of this time, Steele?' He continues to shoot pool as they talk.
'Do you remember a body builder by the name of Lance LeBlanc?'
'Sure, got whacked out about a year ago.'
'I think he may have put a hit out on his wife before he was killed.'
Laura tells him, 'We thought you may have heard something.'
'You must have heard something.'
'Hey lady, it was a long time ago.'
'Hey, what's with you.' He asks Remington, 'Is she always like this?'
'It's part of her charm.' Remington hands him some money.
'Now that you mention it, I do remember something going around about it at the time.'
Laura asks, 'Any names?'
He shakes his head. 'Never are.'
Remington says, 'Six ball, corner pocket.' The man goes to make the shot, and misses.
'However, Lance had this buddy, used to dabble in the area of artificial persuasion. I never heard of him erasing anybody.'
'What's his name?'
'Petz. Tony Petz.'
Laura says, 'Lets go.'
Remington takes the cue stick from the man; 'May I?'
'Yeah, go ahead.'
He chalks the cue stick, and makes the shot, clearing the table. 'Clean living, Weasel, does wonders mate.' He and Laura leave.
Cut to the Aerobitorium. They enter, and find Tony working out.
Remington says, 'Hello Tony.'
Laura continues. 'Let's talk about the contract Lance LeBlanc put out on his wife.'
Tony laughs, then makes a run for it. Just then the lights go out. Someone grabs Remington from behind and throws him into the jungle workout area, where the jungle noises start up as he hits the control panel. A shot rings out as he gets up.
She runs out of the gym, to find a car peeling out. She goes back inside. Remington is standing over Tony's body, which has two bullet holes in it.
Cut to the office, where Mildred is at her desk as the phone rings. She answers, 'Remington Steele Investigations.'
Cut to the bus station, where Vinnie is on the phone. He's wearing a fake mustache, and he's with Nedra. 'Hi, I just called to say goodbye.'
'Goodbye? Wait a minute, where are you going?'
'South of the Border. Nedra says we can live like kings down there.'
Mildred tries to talk him out of it. 'Vinnie, wait! I don't think you should go anywhere until you talk to Mr. Steele.'
'Sorry, too late, the bus leaves in 20 minutes. Tell him I said nice try, and we'll send him a postcard.' He hangs up the phone.
Mildred is distraught. 'Vinnie, Vinnie?!' She hangs up the receiver in disgust.
Cut to Detective Zweigenhoff's car. 'Det. Zweigenhoff, go ahead.' He's talking into the police radio. The man on the other end tells him, 'The tap on Steele's phone paid off. Dowd is at the bus station. We're on our way.'
He replies, 'I'm right behind you. And Mapes, nobody makes a move until I get there.' He puts the siren on in the car, and speeds up.
Cut back to the Aerobitorium, where Laura and Remington are going through Tony's office. She says, 'If Lance hired Tony to kill his wife, then who killed Lance?'
'The same person who killed Tony Petz?'
'Who killed Frank Dunn.'
'Who killed Heather.' He's going through the cabinets for clues.
She continues to try and figure things out. 'Who's left?' She's going through the desk.
'Vinnie?' He finds something. 'Laura, have a look at this.' He's looking at a photo on the wall, and reads the caption. 'Body builder whips police into shape.'
She reads, 'Detective Steve Zweigenhoff presents certificate of appreciation to Tony Petz.' She's shocked. Zweigenhoff knew Petz?'
'What does that mean?'
'I don't know. But the skin on the back of my neck is beginning to crawl.'
'Something tells me we'd better find Vinnie before Zweingenhoff does.'
Cut to the detective's car with siren blaring, then to the limo. Laura is on the phone. 'Mildred, have you heard from Vinnie? . . . How long ago? . . . Thanks.'
She tells Remington, 'He's at the bus depot.'
He says, 'Fred,' who gets new directions.
Cut to the bus depot, where Detective Zweigenhoff is arriving. An officer tells him, 'He's inside.'
He says, 'I'll handle it.'
The officer asks, 'Alone?'
The Detective tells the other officers, 'The man is armed and dangerous. I don't want a bloodbath in there.' He goes in, looking for Vinnie.
The limo pulls up outside, and Laura and Remington enter. The Detective notices Vinnie and Nedra at a video game, and goes to get them. Nedra moves off. 'Vincent Dowd.' Vinnie turns around as the Detective shows him the gun under his jacket. 'Run!'
Vinnie is confused. 'What?!'
'Run,' he repeats. He pulls out the gun. 'Take off.'
Just then Laura and Remington see them. Remington jumps over the railing trying to get to the Detective. He throws a duffel bag from one of the waiting passengers at Zweigenhoff to stop him from shooting Vinnie, then follows up with kick that knocks him down.
Laura comes up with one of the officers. 'Here's your murderer, Sergeant.'
He's confused. 'The Lieutenant?'
Mildred is surprised. 'Zweigenhoff's the killer?'
Remington says, 'Yes, Mildred, surprised us too.'
'He's not the guy who came at us at your sister's.'
Laura says, 'I thought you said you didn't get a good look at him.'
'A good enough look to know it wasn't him!'
Remington is confused now. 'What?'
'You mean there are two people trying to stop Vinnie?' Laura's confused as well.
A shot rings out, then another. They rush to find out what's going on. They go out to the bus waiting to take off, where they are loading the passengers' luggage. Vinnie runs through the open luggage compartment on the bus, followed by a man with a gun, followed by Remington, then Laura, who has the foresight to run around the front of the bus, and slam the luggage door on the other side onto the head of the man with the gun.
She makes sure Vinnie is okay, as Nedra joins them. A police officer comes around to check on the knocked out man.
Vinnie recognizes him. 'Wolf!'
The police officer says, 'What, you know him?'
'Yeah, it's my downstairs neighbor. What's he ' Something dawns on him. 'Nedra '
She smiles sheepishly. 'I'm sorry Vinnie.'
'You, and Wolf?'
Remington says, 'You knew that if Vinnie cleared himself you'd have to give back the money, didn't you?'
'I figured I could always get another husband. But where could I get another $250,000?'
Vinnie looks dejected. 'She does have a point . . .'
Cut back to the offices, where Laura and Remington are explaining the case to Mildred.
'It's really very simple, Mildred, once you get the players straight.'
Remington agrees. 'Lance LeBlanc hired Tony Petz to kill his wife. Tony took the money, but found he couldn't carry out the deed.'
'Uh, huh . . .' She looks a little distracted.
Laura continues. 'So Tony hired his pal Zweigenhoff to kill Heather, only Zweigenhoff fell in love with her.'
'Uh, huh . . .' Mildred gets up while they're talking, and looks around.
Remington says, 'On the night that Zweigenhoff was going to kill Heather, Lance surprised them by coming home early. There was a fight, and Zweigenhoff killed him.'
'That's when Heather and Zweigenhoff concocted the kidnapping plan to cover up their murder.'
Remington says, 'It would have worked, too, if it hadn't been for Vinnie.'
'Uh, huh . . .'
'Mildred, you don't seem very interested in any of this.' He wonders why she's distracted.
'Oh, I am boss. It's just that, Phyllis went AWOL.'
Laura tells him, 'The turtle.'
Mildred says, 'Maybe I should have gotten her a leash.'
Vinnie comes in the office, and slips on something at the door as we hear a 'crunch'. 'Hey guys, guess what?'
They cringe as they realize that he's slipped on Phyliss' replacement.