Outside a bus station, a black man stands in the dark of night, finishing his cigarette. Once done, he takes a key for a bus locker from his suit pocket and looks at it. The number is 444 TransWay.
The man enters the station and goes to the lockers, finding number 444. He opens the locker and removes a box and an envelope. After checking the money in the envelope, he puts the envelope into his pocket, and places the box into locker number 445. Putting the key into an envelope, he seals it and goes outside to drop it into a mail box.
The man takes out another cigarette and lights it, crossing the street. Farther down the street, a car's headlights suddenly come on, and the car begins to move. The man looks up, startled- as the car hits him.
The door to Steele's office opens. Laura and Mildred are bent down, peering seriously at Steele, who is sitting at his desk, coffee tray before him, feet up, newspaper open. He looks up, sensing that he's being watched. They quickly close the door and he returns to his paper.
The door opens a 2nd time and once again Laura and Mildred peer at him. He looks at them again and lowers his paper, knowing something is going on. Laura motions with her index finger that he should join them. The motion becomes faster, and Steele sort of growls and exhales loudly, causing the hair to ruffle on his forehead. Then he slowly rises, folding his paper with a worried look of impending doom. Laura looks a bit scared at his reaction, but Mildred grins.
The Rabbit heads down the I-5 toward San Diego. There, in the morgue, a black woman pulls the body of the man hit in front of the bus terminal out for Laura, Steele, and Mildred to look at. Laura is watching Steele closely.
Steele looks at the dead man, then tells Laura, "Call me an optimist, but I would have thought an impulsive jaunt to San Diego would lead to a somewhat more, kind of- lively tourist attraction?"
"Then- you don't recognize this man?" Laura asks him.
Steele peers at the man again. "Should I?"
Laura asks the attendant, "Would you mind telling my friend here exactly what you told me on the phone?"
"All I said was we had a hit and run victim," the woman says.
"And what did you say the victim's name was?"
The woman consults her clip board. "Steele. Remington Steele."
Steele starts to laugh, then shrugs as he realizes no one else is laughing. "Well, distant cousin, perhaps," he says, "But I'm afraid I'd have to deny any closer relationship than that."
Laura looks at him. "All levity aside, Mr. Steele, this could be a serious matter."
"Just ask him," Mildred suggests, meaning the body.
"Laura, speaking as the deceased in question here, I think it's fair to chalk this one up as- mere coincidence?" Steele suggests.
"Call me a pessimist, but he could have been impersonating you."
Steele glances at the dead man again, then straightens his shoulder. "Highly unlikely," he tells her.
"Were there any other identifying effects with the body?" Laura asks the attendant. "Credit cards, pictures, business cards, anything?"
"Just an address on a piece of paper that his name was on." She consults her clip board again. "Uh, the Bay Building, Suite 101."
Mildred looks surprised and begins to cough. Laura rushes over to her. "Mildred! Are you okay?"
"You alright, Mildred?" She waves them away. "You sure?" Steele asks. "You look a bit pale, there, darling. Come sit down." He pulls her toward a chair, where she sits.
"Where exactly is the Bay Building?" Laura asks the woman.
"Mission Bay," she tells her. "About fifteen, twenty minutes, tops."
Mildred moans, putting a hand to her face.
"No pun intended, Laura," Steele suggests, "but let's- let sleeping dogs lie, shall we?"
Laura bends to Mildred, "Mildred, I'm sure fresh air will make you feel much better."
"No," Mildred says. "I really should stay here for awhile. Go on. You kids go ahead."
"We're not leaving you," Laura insists. "Not *here*, certainly."
"No, really, I'm okay. Go."
Steele looks at her questioningly as Laura says, "All right, all right. We'll be back as soon as we can."
Steele gives her a pat on the back, then asks the woman, "What time do you close here?"
"We service the community twenty four hours a day, seven days a week," she informs him with a smile. "Just like Seven-Eleven."
Steele's smile fades, and Laura gives him a look, then waves at Mildred as they leave. "Okay, see you later," Steele tells Mildred.
Once they're gone, a fully recovered Mildred jumps up and asks the attendant, "You got a back door outa here?"
"Sure. Over there."
Mildred takes off.
At an out door café, Mildred looks at the diners, searching for someone. Suddenly she spots George Mulch sitting at a table with three other men, talking to a waiter. With a look of consternation, she heads toward them.
"Oysters baked, oysters on the half-shell, and oysters Rockefeller," George tells the waiter. Some of the Dom Peregreen and just a smidge of your finest caviar."
One of the men is pleased with the choices. "All right," he says. George puts an unlit cigar into his mouth.
Mildred comes up behind them. "George Mulch!" she says angrily.
George looks, and stands up. "Mildred! What're you doin' down here?" he asks her. He turns to the men. "Gentlemen, *this* is Mildred Krebs." She tries to stop him. "This is the lady that I was tellin' you about. The HUB of the organization! The foundation of the struc- The backbone of the-skeleton. Mildred, may I introduce- Dallas-"
Dallas stands up, as do the other two men. "How do ya do, ma'am," he says. "I'm charmed to meet ya."
"Detroit," George says, indicating a shorter, dark haired man.
"And San Francisco," he says about an Oriental man.
"Pleasure to meet you, gentlemen," Mildred tells them. "Mr. Mulch, might I confer with you in private, please?"
"Conferences, conferences," George tells the others, laughing. Mildred grabs his sleeve. "Hold my oysters Rockefeller for the nonce," he tells the waiter. "Bless you."
Mildred pulls him aside forcefully, furious. He looks at her. "Mildred, why such a long face on such a happy occasion?" he asks.
She grabs his lapels and pulls him closer. "How *could* you?" she asks.
"Something's the matter?" George asks as she finally gets through to him.
Back at the morgue, the attendant pulls out the body again, this time for Mildred and George. When he sees the body, George is shocked. "Larry? Larry, Larry, Larry," he sighs.
"I think we've established his name," Mildred tells him. "Who is he?"
"He was a- a business associate of mine," George tells her, obviously upset. "He was- superb at getting exactly what anybody wanted. He got me some-" he hesitates, "some office furniture. Although-" he points chastisingly at the body, "-I think the pieces were a tad warm- if you catch my meaning," he tells Mildred.
"Well, what is he doing here registered under the name of Remington Steele?" Mildred asks.
George is surprised by the news. "He is?"
Mildred grabs him again. "Come on, Mulch," she says, heading toward the door.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute! Where're we goin' now?"
She faces him. "Bay Building, Suite 101?"
"Oh," he says, then realizes what she's telling him. "Oh."
Mildred nods. "Oh." She grabs his hand and pulls him after her.
Laura pulls the Rabbit to a stop in the Bay Building parking lot as Remington looks at a map/brochure There is a marina in the background.
"This must be it," Laura says.
"Uh, Laura," Steele says, consulting his map as they get out of the car. "What do you say once we nip your suspicions in the bud here, we take in some of the sights, eh? Pearl diving at the Zoo, water skiing in the Bay...might even pop down to Tiajuana, get the Rabbit reupolstered, heh?
"Need I remind you, Mr. Steele, that you may have been murdered last night."
"That shouldn't impede us from having a good time," he points out as they arrive at the front door to the Bay Building. Then still referring to his map of local attractions, he asks, "Ever been kissed by a sperm whale?"
Laura, suddenly sporting a huge grin, says jauntily, "Not without protection." She then walks inside the building alone, leaving him standing outside alone to get her joke, which he eventually does.
A few moments later, they are walking down the main corridor in the Bay Building. "Suite 100," Laura reads. "Here it is, Suite 101." She knocks, then tries the door. It's not locked, so she opens it.
Inside, she and Steele stop and stare, stunned as they find themselves in an exact duplicate of their own offices. "Why do I get the uneasy feeling Rod Serling is behind one of those doors?" Laura asks.
"I'd rather find him there than another Remington Steele," Steele comments, reaching behind them to close the door. "Shall we?" he asks. They move through the reception area, slowly approaching the doors that normally lead to their offices.
Laura opens the door and finds herself in what appears to be her office, complete with her beloved Correa lamp on the desk. She touches it to make sure it's real, then gets a set look on her face as she opens the connecting door and stands there, looking at Steele admiring the view from the window in what looks like HIS office.
"At least the view's different," he tells her.
Laura moves toward him, arms folded. "All right, let's have it."
He turns to look at her. "Have what?" he asks, without a clue.
"Don't try to play innocent with me. *This* is right up your alley."
"Laura, I swear to you, I'm as much in the dark about this as you are," he insists quietly, coming toward her.
"I stood behind you when you thought you were being framed for murder. I appreciated the circumstances involved when you lost our investigator's license. I even believed you when it appeared as though you gambled away the Agency in a poker game. But THIS!- Not this."
"Laura, I'm as innocent about this as-" they hear a door close and look up to see a blonde young man entering the office.
"Remington Steele?" he asks.
"Uh, yes?" Remington answers, only to get himself punched in the face for his trouble. Laura cries out, and the man pulls a gun on them.
The man pulls Steele in front of him, grasping his neck and menacing him with the gun. "You've got exactly one hour to come up with some answers, or you're a dead man."
"Your last name wouldn't happen to be Serling, would it?" Steele asks.
"Move," the gunman tells them, motioning Laura toward the door with the gun as he releases his hold on Steele.
Laura joins Steele in the doorway. He looks at her, touching his cheek. "He hit me, Laura."
In the back seat of a limo, Laura and
Steele sit close together, not speaking, nervous. The blond man,
Sean, is sitting across from them with a gun. The black limo enters
a gated estate, pulling
up to let Steele, Laura, and the gunman out.
They enter the house and are met by an elderly woman in a wheelchair. There is a young, sad faced woman pushing the chair, and the old woman says to her, "Ah, Vicki, dear, see to your studies. Mummy has some business to attend to."
"Yes, Mummy," Vicki replies, leaving them alone.
"Sit down," Sean tells Steele and Laura. As they do, he turns the woman's chair around to face them.
"Let's get right to the point, Mr. Steele."
"By all means, Mrs.-" Steele prompts, fishing.
"Underwood," she tells him. "A name that historically has not taken kindly to betrayal."
"Who does?" Steele asks as Laura looks uncertain.
"When I hired you," Mrs. Underwood begins, but Steele stops her.
"When you hired *me*?"
"When I talked to you," she amends.
"We spoke on the phone," Steele says.
"Are you trying to play games with me?" the old woman asks, becoming angry.
"No, no. Absolutely not," Steele assures her, smiling.
"Pardon me, Mrs. Underwood, I'm Laura Holt, Mr. Steele's associate. Obviously, he hasn't had the opportunity to fill me in. What exactly did you hire him to do?"
"To pick up a package for me," Mrs. Underwood tells her.
"What was in the package?" Steele questions.
"Never mind what was in the package. I told you on the phone that that wasn't any of your business."
"Uh, yes, yes. My apologies," Steele tells her. "Sometimes our caseload can be somewhat overwhelming."
"Why do you think Mr. Steele betrayed you?" Laura asks.
"I paid him five thousand dollars," Mrs. Underwood explains. "To pick up the package for me at a locker. He took the money, but he did *not* deliver. I will not tolerate being blackmailed for more money," she tells Steele. "You will not leave this house until I get that package!" she declares.
"That sounds very much like a threat," Steele notes. Sean takes out his weapon as he stands protectively behind Mrs. Underwood. "And a pretty good one, at that," Steele adds. "Um, Miss Holt, any thoughts?"
Laura sits forward. "Uh, just one." She looks at the woman. "Forgive me, Mrs. Underwood."
Laura stands suddenly, pushing Mrs. Underwood's chair back into Sean, causing him to fall backward. Steele and Laura make their escape as the gun goes off. Mrs. Underwood tells the gunman, "Not in the house, dammit!"
Sean comes after Steele and Laura, shooting at them. The gardener's vintage blue pick up truck is sitting in the drive, the bed filled with gardening implements. "Come on!" Laura says, jumping into the passenger seat. Steele gets behind the wheel and starts the truck, pealing out. Several items fall from the bed onto the drive as they leave. Sean empties his weapon firing at them, as the frightened gardener stands nearby, hands in the air.
At the Bay Building, George proudly shows Mildred into the look-a-like offices. She's aghast at what he's done. "Takes your breath away, don't it?" he asks as they stand inside the open doorway.
"How in the world could you *do* something like this?" Mildred asks.
"That's the beauty part," George informs her excitedly. "NONE of this cost us a penny. I sold some venture capitalists on the idea, and BOOM! Prototype money up front!"
"Where do you get off opening up a branch office of Remington Steele Investigations?" Mildred wants to know.
"Mildred, I must say I'm surprised at your reaction. You're the one that okayed the franchise idea, remember?"
"You showed me some renderings. You asked me about the Bay Building in San Diego. I said it sounded interesting. That's all. I didn't say to *do* it!"
"Mildred," George tells her, laughing. "I can't entice outside investors with renderings alone. They don't give up the green until they see it in 3-D." He puts an arm around her shoulders. "Mildred, listen to me. We are dancin' on the edge of greatness here. Think about it. Where would Big Mac be today, if he stayed in that same corner burger stand where he started? The answer? Nowhere. Where is he today? *Everywhere*! Detective agencies, hamburgers, its all the same thing. We could be in every city in the entire US of A in neon lights," he declares. "Remington Steele Investigations, Inc. Millions of clients served."
"You've cracked," Mildred tells him, hands to her face. She turns to survey the reception area. "You've gone over. You've lost your marbles. How are you *ever* going to explain this to Mr. Steele- let alone Miss Holt?"
"A picture is worth a thousand words," George says, still smiling.
"That guy in the morgue probably got himself killed because of all this, you know."
George nods regretfully. "Yeah. Poor Larry. He would play any angle to turn a fast buck. But- he did a beautiful job with the furniture, don't you think?"
Mildred looks around again as the postman enters the office. "Hey. How about that? Finally caught somebody here." He hands her a slip of paper.
"What's this?" Mildred asks.
"Postage due. Normally, I just would have left it for you with a little envelope to pay me later for it. But, uh, seein' as how you're new and all here,- well, uh, anyway, you can claim it at the local post office. Just bring some pocket change," he tells them, leaving and closing the door behind him.
George takes the paper from Mildred. "That's a clue!"
"What's a clue?" Mildred asks.
"The Maltese Falcon," George tells her. "Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, um," he gestures, "you know, all those other guys. Bogey got the Bird. BUT- to protect himself, he put it in the mail- THIS could be the same thing, don't you see?"
"See what?" she asks, confused.
"Come on," he says, starting to open the door as the three men from the restaurant enter.
"There you are, you sly dog," San Francisco says with a smile. "Did you forget about us at the restaurant, George?"
Dallas takes Mildred's hand. "We hardly even had a chance to say howdy to Miss Krebs," he says, kissing her hand.
"Detroit, right?" she says.
"No, ma'am. Dallas."
Mildred looks at the Oriental. "Then you're Detroit?"
"San Francisco," he corrects, and Mildred points to the third man.
He nods, grinning. "Detroit."
"Geography was never my strong suit," she tells them.
"Gentlemen, I think," George begins, but Detroit moves into the room.
"So this is what our branch offices are gonna look like, huh? This is impressive."
"Art deco," San Francisco notes. "Classy touch."
"It's nice, George," Dallas agrees. "I like this a lot."
"Gents, I wish we had more time to discuss the ambiance. Unfortunately, Miss Krebs and I have to attend to an urgent private eye type of situation at the moment. I'm sure you understand."
"Can you tell us something about the case?" Detroit asks breathlessly.
Mildred frowns. George asks, "Did you ever see the Maltese Falcon?"
"No," Detroit tells him.
"See it," George says. "Without delay." He takes Detroit and guides him toward the door, along with the other two. He closes the door after them.
"Mulch, this franchise bird is never gonna fly," Mildred informs him. "I guarantee it. You should tell them that, now."
"Aw, why burst their bubble? Besides, we got a clue!" he reminds her, holding up the paper. They leave the office. George locks the door behind them, then takes Mildred's hand and they leave.
Unknown to either of them, a white haired man comes around the corner and follows them.
As Laura and Steele drive down the road in the smoking pick up truck, there's a police car following them. Steele glances in the mirror. "Oh, splendid. Just splendid!" he moans. "We cap a perfect morning by getting arrested for driving a stolen lawn mower."
Laura glances back at the police car. "Just drive slowly. I'm sure there's nothing to worry about," she assures him.
"Oh, nothing to worry about. I've been impersonated, assaulted, kidnapped, shot at, murdered-" he glances at his watch. "It's not even noon yet. San Diego's quickly losing its appeal for me."
"At least we have something to work with," Laura reminds him. "We know Mrs. Underwood desperately wants some sort of package, and we know she hired you- I mean the imposter- to retrieve it for her."
Steele groans. "Obviously she never saw the fraud face to face," Steele notes, constantly glancing in his mirror.
"The imposter must have answered the phone when she called this bogus office. He took the hire, but was killed before he could deliver."
"So now Mrs. Underwood and her enchanting shadow believe that I have her precious package," he says, smiling brightly at the patrol car as it passes alongside them. He waves. "Hello."
The patrol car speeds up and passes them. Steele and Laura both sigh deeply in relief.
"I think the first order of the day is to find that package," Laura tells him.
"Well, perhaps our imposter might be able to shed some light on the subject."
"Good idea. I think we'd better check on Mildred, too."
Mildred is at the Post Office Terminal Annex with George. They approach the desk, and the clerk asks, "May I help you?"
George hands her the paper, and she moves away. Mildred tells him, "You can run but you can't hide, Mulch. Sooner or later you're gonna have to explain this whole thing to Mr. Steele and Miss Holt."
"Mildred, you don't understand. THIS could be the clue to Larry's murder. What better way of smoothing things over with Miss Holt and Mr. Steele than by solving the crime?"
The woman returns with an envelope. "This is addressed to a Remington Steele. Are you Steele?" she asks George.
"Um, in the flesh."
"There's twenty-two cents postage due," the clerk informs him.
George digs into his pockets and drops a quarter onto the counter as the white haired man that followed them comes up behind them and sticks a gun into George's ribs. "You're slippery, Steele. You thought you could pull a fast one. Now, back up. Real slowly. You too," he tells Mildred. They start backing up
"Don't you want your change?" the clerk asks them.
George tries to find some way to let her know they're in trouble, then says, "Keep it."
Mildred rushes forward, grabs the change and the letter, stuffing them into her purse, before rejoining George and the man, who leads them out.
The attendant tells Steele and Laura, "You guys are becoming regulars around here, aren't you?"
"Where's Mildred?" Laura asks as she sits down to look at her paperwork.
"What's the last name?"
"She means the lady who wasn't feeling very well," Steele clarifies. "Remember? We left her here, earlier?"
"Oh, right. She's come and gone a coupla times herself."
Laura gives Steele a confused look. "She has?"
"Whatever turns you on, I guess," the attendant says.
"Do you mind if we have another look at the body again, please?" Steele asks her.
She smiles. "You too, huh? What was the name on that again?"
"Remington Steele," he tells her though clenched teeth.
"Oh, he's gone," she informs them.
"Gone?" Steele repeats.
"Somebody claimed him," the woman says.
"Who?" Steele asks.
She consults her clip board. "Oh, his widow. Mrs. Steele."
Laura folds her arms. "Congratulations. Who's the lucky lady?"
Steele looks at her, totally confused.
As they climb over the gate at the Underwood estate, Steele asks, "Laura, how can we be certain that it was Vicki Underwood that claimed the body? Ah," he cries out as he straddles the iron gate.
"Do you know anybody else who fits the morgue attendant's description?" she asks.
"Nope," he admits. "But then, I'm new in town."
They drop to the pavement on the other side of the gate. "What's puzzling me is why Vicki claimed your body," she muses.
Steele, straightening his tie, looks at her. "I hate it when you put it that way. I hate it." They turn toward the house.
The black Mercedes that hit Larry is sitting before the house, a dented grille telling its tale. Steele kneels to inspect the damage. "Well, one thing's certain. The murderer is undoubtedly an Underwood."
Laura nods in agreement. They hear voices raised in anger from inside the house, and go to an open window to watch as Vicki screams at her mother. Mrs. Underwood slaps the hysterical woman. "Trouble in paradise," Steele tells Laura. They duck behind some bushes as Sean leaves the house, carrying something wrapped in black plastic and tied with ropes. It's obviously a body, which he places into the trunk of the damaged car. He then gets into the car and drives it away.
Laura and Steele take off after the car, running down the drive, trying to beat the gate before it closes. Laura begins to scale the gate, and Steele runs back to the sensor, stomping on it to open the gate again. She's reached the top as he tells her, "Don't dawdle, Laura, we don't want to lose our quarry," running through the opening and laughing.
At Channel 53, a sign on the building announces, "REV. RANDY RAWLINSON, PRAISES THE LORD, FRI. 3-6 PM SAT. NOON"
Inside, a white suited man with a graying beard is standing before a microphone. "Faith! Let's talk about faith!" he exhorts. Mildred and George are shown into the room by their kidnapper. "Brothers and sisters, the Bible says show God you love Him, and HE will show you the way!" Rawlinson surreptitiously motions for his man to take Mildred and George on in. A television camera is capturing Rawlinson's sermon. "Faith is love! And love is hope! And hope is belief and Belief is the very faith He asks of you!" The gunman takes Mildred and George around the back of the room, which we now see is filled with people sitting, listening. A red-robed choir waits nearby. "So dig deep into your pockets for the Lord, and show Him-" Mildred and George are shoved into a make up room, where three men are waiting. Two of them are sitting in barber's chairs.
"Take five, brothers," the gunman tells the men in the chairs. They leave. The gunman tells the third man, "Don't let anyone in- unless I tell ya." The man goes out of the room. "When I return with the Reverend, Steele," he tells George, "you'd better have come up with some answers, or you better say your prayers."
"You don't understand," George tries to say as the man turns to leave them, "I'm not- Yeow!" he yelps as Mildred kicks his shin. The gunman leaves, and George turns to Mildred. "What're you doin'?" he asks.
"Saving our hides," she tells him.
"Are you crazy, Mildred? That man wants to kill me because he thinks *I'm* Remington Steele! If you'd only let me explain-"
"He would have blown both our heads off," Mildred finishes. "Don't you see? The only reason he hasn't bumped us off yet is because he *thinks* you're the Boss!" George is confused. "If he wanted us out of the picture, he would have done it by now. He wants something from Mr. Steele. And I, for one, would hate to disappoint the man. He seems a little edgy."
"Oh, oh, great," George says, sitting down in one of the chairs. "That's - Now, how do I get into these situations here?" he asks. Mildred wrings her hands as she watches the door and him. "All I ever wanted was fame and fortune. Is that too much to ask?"
Mildred goes over to him. "Come on, pick yourself up, Mulch. After all, you're the one who said we would solve this problem ourselves, remember?"
"Yeah. That's before there were guns involved," he points out, playing with the end of his tie.
"Oh, look. If this man wants to think that you're Remington Steele, then by God, you're gonna *be* Remington Steele."
"But I can't-"
"Nah, uh, uh, uh. No buts. Just- look good. Take the bows. But let me do all the work." George is thoughtful. "You function best in an advisory capacity. You got that, Mr. Steele?"
George steeples his fingers and scrunches up his face. "Absolutely, Miss Holt," he tells her in a terrible English accent.
In Laura's car, Steele's fingers are steepled as he and Laura watch Sean dump his package in a ravine. "This murder's turning into a family affair," Laura tells Steele.
Steele exercises his fingers. "Kinda makes you feel warm all over, doesn't it?" he asks as Sean runs back to his car and leaves.
Laura and Steele get out of the Rabbit and run to the woods, where they find Larry's partially covered body laying in the ravine. His arm is sticking out of the plastic. "I'd recognize Remington Steele's arm anywhere," Steele comments. Laura turns and starts back up the hill. "Where are you going?" he asks.
"To get the Rabbit."
"So you can bring the body back up the ravine so we can return it to its rightful murderer. Then we can bring the police in on this." She nods and continues away.
Steele looks a bit put out, then bends down and grabs Larry's hand. "Come here," he says, pulling. "Come here."
As Steele struggles with the body, we hear the choir singing at Rawlinson's meeting. "He's got the whole world, in His hands, He's got the whole world, in His hands . . ."
As they sing, Rawlinson and the gunman leave the room to join a nervous George and Mildred in the make up room. "All right, Mr. Steele," Rawlinson begins as Mildred comes to stand beside George. "I don't have the time or the patience to play games with you. Now where's the package?"
"The, um, um, package," George repeats nervously.
"Icy calm, Mr. Steele," Mildred tells him. "Icy calm."
"Who are you?" Rawlinson asks her.
"I'm Laura Holt, Mr. Steele's associate. I handle most of the nuts and bolts, while Mr. Steele functions best in an advisory capacity." George nods, agreeing with her.
"Mrs. Underwood hired you to handle the simple task of delivering a package from me to her. Now, until she receives that package, my church cannot reap its just rewards. Repent your sins, my children, before Brother Nick here banishes you both to eternity!"
"Amen," Nick says, stepping closer and unbuttoning his jacket.
"Um, exactly what package are you referring to?" Mildred asks.
Nick rams his gun into George's side. "Oh, that package! I- remember now. Don't you, Miss Holt?"
"Of course. Who could forget that package?"
The other man enters the room. "Thirty seconds, Reverend," he tells Rawlinson.
Rawlinson glares at George. "Where is it?"
"I tell you, Reverend," George begins hesitantly. "Ordinarily, I function in a- uh, advisory capacity. But I think I could make an exception in your case."
Mildred places a hand on his shoulder. "Give us an hour. Two tops. And I can assure you without a doubt, that you will have what you're looking for."
"Or my name isn't Remington Steele," George adds.
"May the Lord be with you," Rawlinson says. "As well as Brother Nick." He follows the other man out.
"Amen," Mildred and George say quietly.
As he leaves the room, Rawlinson tells the crowd, "Come up, brothers and sisters. Come up and let the Lord see us together!"
Nick follows Mildred and George around the back of the room, leaving the way they came in. Rawlinson lays his hand on the head of a man carrying a cane. "Praise the Lord, you're healed!" he pronounces.
Mildred grabs a pair of crutches as Rawlinson tells the crowd, "Everybody come and be healed!"
She tosses the crutches away and screams, getting everyone's attention. "I can walk! I can hear! I can see!" The crowd gathers round her and George, separating them from Nick. They escape the studio, laughing.
"Mildred, we were great!" he tells her as they head toward George's car. "If only Miss Holt and Mr. Steele could have seen us in action!" he declares, getting into the car. They take off.
Mildred picks up the envelope they picked up at the post office and opens it to pull out the key. "A locker key?" she says. This one as 445 on it.
"Is this exciting or what?" George asks. "Mildred, I told you the franchise was a brilliant idea! I bet I could run the whole branch office myself!"
"Shut up and drive!" Mildred tells him, looking behind them.
Nick comes out of the studio, gun in hand, to watch George's Pacer turn the corner. He runs toward his own car.
After dark, the Rabbit comes to a stop before the gate to the Underwood estate. "Okay," Steele tells her, opening his door. "I'll - trip the sensor." He gets out of the car and climbs the gate. He's straddling it when it begins to open. "Ah!" he yells.
Laura looks alarmed. "Get down!" she yells at him.
"Laura," Steele calls softly, riding the gate back into the trees and shrubs. "Laura!"
Laura backs the Rabbit out of the drive and into the dark shade of the trees. The Underwood's black Mercedes barrels out of the gate, tires screeching as the driver turns onto the street. Laura pulls the Rabbit back into the light, and calls. "Mr. Steele? Mr. Steele?!"
The gate slowly begins to close, revealing a scratched and shaken Steele. "Wait, wait, wait!" he calls back to her. He has tree branches sticking from his clothing. "What about the body?" he asks, trying to dismount the gate.
Laura looks into the back seat, where Larry's body is once again encased in the plastic. "He won't mind. Hurry up, Mr. Steele. Don't dawdle," she tells him, getting her own back for his earlier admonishment. Steele has a difficult time getting down. "Come on," she tells him.
"Don't worry, Miss Holt, I'm fairly sure nothing is broken," he tells her, finally reaching the pavement and heading toward the car, shaking leaves and branches off as he goes. "Thanks for asking. Really." He opens the door and gets inside. "Thank you." Laura takes off before he's got the door closed, and he cries out.
At the bus terminal where Larry was killed, Mildred and George are looking at the lockers. "What number we lookin' for?" George asks her.
"Four forty five," she tells him. "Are you sure no one followed us?"
"Are you kidding? We were a memory before he even got in his car."
"Here it is!" she says, bending to the locker to place the key into the lock. "Keep your fingers crossed!" She opens the locker and takes out the package.
"Bingo!" George says, smiling as he and Mildred embrace.
Nick takes the package from Mildred's hand, sticking the gun into George's back again. "I'll take that," he says.
George moves away, standing beside Mildred. "Oh!" he says. "How did you find us?"
"The Lord works in mysterious ways," Nick tells them, putting his gun away and leaving them.
"Just a memory, huh?" Mildred asks George, then follows Nick.
Outside, the Underwood Mercedes is parked, as it was the night Larry was killed, with its lights off, as if watching for something.
A distance away, Laura and Steele are in the Rabbit, watching the Mercedes. "Who do you suppose is in there," Laura asks.
Steele rubs his shoulder. "Sean. Vicki."
Nick comes from the station, package in hand. The Mercedes headlights come on. Laura notices and sits up straight. Nick turns to look at the oncoming car and is hit by it. The package is knocked from his hands.
As Laura and Steele get out of the Rabbit, the driver of the Mercedes brakes sharply, backs up, and the driver door opens. A woman's hand reaches down and grabs the package, the door closes, and the car speeds away.
As Laura and Steele reach Nick's body, Mildred and George run up. "Mildred?!"
"Mulch?!" Steele says.
"Hit and run! Murder!" someone in the quickly gathering crowd begins to yell. "Somebody call the police!"
Laura is nervous, and looks up at Steele as he says, "Laura, I don't mean to sound paranoid, but we do have a murder victim of our own in the car."
"Good point," Laura agrees.
"Let's go," Steele tells her, already turning toward the Rabbit. "Quick! Come on, come on!"
Mildred and George exchange confused glances, then clasp hands to step over Nick's body to follow their lead.
The next morning, at the Bay Building office of Steele, Inc, Mildred and George enter, heading toward Steele's office. Laura comes from the coffee room with two cups of coffee. "Mildred!" she says.
"Where have you been?" Laura asks.
"We found a motel just down the road," Mildred begins. "And-"
"Never mind the motel, I want an explanation," Laura says as a groggy, bleary-eyed Steele comes from his office sans jacket, his shirt collar unbuttoned and tie loosened.
He takes the cup she offers him gratefully. "We want an explanation," he adds. His jacket is over his arm.
"Well you certainly don't think that *I* had anything to do with *this*," she tells them, indicating the offices.
"We still don't know what *this* is!" Laura tells them. Steele takes a drink of his coffee, blinking furiously, obviously having just woken up.
Rawlinson's voice calls from the door as he enters, and everyone looks at him. "Steele?" He comes to a stop, looking at George. "We have unfinished business, Steele," he declares angrily. His other bodyguard is with him.
"Who are you?" Steele asks.
George moves forward, toward Steele's office door. "Um, perhaps we should step into my office," he suggests, as Steele and Laura look on, confused.
Rawlinson nods. "You, too, Miss Holt," he says, pointing at Mildred.
Mildred sucks in her lower lip and risks a glance at her employers before following George into the office, followed by the Reverend and his man.
Before Steele or Laura can react or question what just happened, George's "investors" enter the office. "Well, hell's bells," Dallas says. "If it isn't the boss man hisself." He shakes Steele's hand vigorously. "Good to meet you, Steele." Steele acknowledges the greeting with a confused smile. "Pleasure to be on your team, son."
"My team?" Steele questions.
"I'm Detroit," the little man says, laughing again.
"I'm San Francisco."
"I'm Dallas. Well, you prob'ly figured that already."
"Well," Steele begins, then takes a sip of coffee.
"The National Football League?" Laura asks them.
The men exchange uncertain looks as Sean pushes Mrs. Underwood into the office. "Steele, your time's up!" she declares. "Where's my package?!" she yells.
Steele takes another drink, wincing. "Ah, yes, uh- Why don't you gentlemen come in here?" he suggests, pointing the investors into Laura's office. "You'll be much more comfortable. There we go," he says as they file past him. "There we go. Miss Holt and I will take care of the whole thing, alright?"
A heavyset man enters the office, carrying a ladder, paints and stencils. "This Remington Steele Investigations?" he asks.
"Who are you?" Laura wants to know.
He smiles. "Sign painter," he tells them.
Steele looks at Mrs. Underwood and Sean. "I think we'll be more comfortable in here," he says, handing Laura his cup. "Miss Holt, would you hold my coffee, please?" He moves to push the wheelchair toward the coffee room. "Here we go. Yes. Here we go."
The sign painter shrugs and starts to work.
In the coffee room, Sean pulls his gun, pointing it at Steele. "Uh, do you think you could lower that a tad, Sean?" he asks, putting on his jacket.
"No more screwing around, Steele," Mrs. Underwood says. "Where is it?!"
Steele glances at Laura, who's still holding the coffee cups. "Well, I'm afraid we've run into a little snag," he tells the old woman.
The door connecting to Laura's office opens, and Detroit appears. "I'm sorry. Am I intruding? I just wanted some coffee."
"Oh, no, no, not at all," Steele tells him. Sean's gun is hidden behind Steele's back. "Come in, Dallas."
"Yes, of course you are. Here, let me help you-" Sean's gun jabs him, stopping his movement toward the man. "Uh, Miss Holt- you can help- Detroit."
"Yes," Laura agrees. "Yes. Wouldn't want the coffee to get cold, now, would we?" she asks, smiling as she carries their two cups into the other office as Detroit picks up a cup from the counter. The door closes abruptly behind her. She takes the cups to the other men.
"That's very kind of you, Miss Holt," Dallas says. "I appreciate that alot."
"You're welcome." She starts to pass between Dallas
and San Francisco. "Excuse me."
"You have any saccharine?" San Francisco asks her, stopping her.
In Steele's office, George is telling Rawlinson, "Rest assured now, Reverend Rawlinson, this situation is completely in control. I can explain about brother Nick-"
"Forget about Brother Nick!" Rawlinson yells as the connecting door opens and Laura comes into the room. "What happened to the -" he sees Laura and stops. "Who is she?" he asks about Laura.
"Uh," George says, looking at Mildred for guidance.
"Mildred Krebs," Mildred says. "One of the top secretary/receptionists in the business!" she declares as Laura looks furious. "Soon to be a private eye in her own right."
Laura pastes a smile on her face. "Could I see you a moment, Miss Holt?" she asks, moving toward Mildred and pushing/pulling her toward the door into the reception area. Once they're alone, she asks, "What are you and Mulch *doing*?!" in a quietly desperate voice.
"It's not our fault, honest, Miss Holt. The Reverend Rawlinson-"
"WHO's the Reverend Rawlinson?"
"The guy in the white suit. His mistook Mulch for the Boss when we found the key to the package."
"You know about the package?" Laura asks her, putting her hands on Mildred's arms.
"We had it in our hands," Mildred tells her, "before Brother Nick took it."
"Who's Brother Nick?"
"The guy that got nailed at the bus station," Mildred explains.
The coffee room door opens, and Steele appears, looking troubled. "Miss Holt-"
Both Mildred and Laura answer. "Yes?"
Laura glares at Mildred as George sticks his head out of Steele's office. "Miss Holt?"
"Yes?" they both answer again.
George indicates that he needs Mildred to rejoin him as Steele motions to Laura with a finger. Mildred goes to George, and they return to Steele's office. Steele tells Laura, "Take over," and starts toward his office door.
Laura enters the coffee room.
The sign painter has gotten REMING finished.
Steele enters his office, furious. "Mulch!" he says.
George tries to cover. "Oh, uh, this is my- associate, George Edward Mulch," he tells Rawlinson and his bodyguard as Steele looks at Mildred. "Mr. Mulch, you saw what happened to the package. Would you mind, ah, sharing that with the Reverend?" he asks.
Steele is watching George, and doesn't look away. "Give me one good reason, *Mr.* Steele?" he asks angrily.
"Uh, because Brother Curt here," George says, pointing to the man with Rawlinson, "is holding divine intervention in his hand, Mr Mulch." Steele sees the gun in Curt's hand.
Steele shrugs. "No harm in asking."
In the coffee room, Laura says, "We know you're protecting your daughter, Mrs. Underwood."
"Why would I protect Vicki?"
"Because she ran down someone named Brother Nick at the bus station last night."
"That's preposterous. Vicki was in the house all evening, and I'll swear to it in court."
"Will you also swear you know nothing of Sean dumping that other body in the ravine?" Laura asks her.
Mrs. Underwood looks at Sean, and he looks at her.
Laura is standing before her office door, and is startled when it opens. Dallas comes in, laughing apologetically. "Pardon me. Pardon me." He puts down his cup and picks up another. "My doctor'd skin me alive if he knew I was drinking anything in the world but decaffeinated." He pours a cup of decaf as Laura smiles nervously.
Steele and George enter the reception area. "If we ever get out of this alive, George," Steele says, "I'm gonna kill you."
"That's fair," George agrees sadly.
Laura's office door opens, and San Francisco says, "Mr. Steele?"
Both men answer. "Yes?" Steele glares at George, who backs off.
Laura and Mildred come from their respective rooms. "Mr. Steele," the both call, motioning for Steele and George to join them.
Steele looks from woman to woman. "Uh, -"
"Miss Holt," San Francisco supplies helpfully, thinking that Steele's having trouble with the name as George joins Mildred again.
"I *know* that!" Steele tells San Francisco. He joins Laura and San Francisco looks thoughtful before closing the door.
The sign painter has finished REMINGTON now and is working on the S.
"No more games," Mrs. Underwood tells Steele. "You know what I want, and I want it NOW."
"Or else what?" Laura asks. "Are you going to have Sean kill everyone in this office?"
Sean pulls back the hammer on his pistol. Steele moans. "Oh, I wish you hadn't said that, Laura."
Sean opens the door for them, motioning for them to leave the office after Mrs. Underwood in her chair.
In Steele's office, Rawlinson is telling George, "Time's up, Steele." To Curt, he says, "Let's go." Rawlinson heads for the door, and Curt turns Mildred and George to follow him.
In Laura's office, San Francisco tells the others, "Something fishy's going on around here. I don't like it. I'm pulling out," he decides, putting his cup down on the desk.
The others put their cups on the desk, too, and they all head for the door.
Everyone leaves their offices at the same time. "Rawlinson!" Mrs. Underwood yells.
"Underwood," Rawlinson says, surprised.
Both men draw their guns, and everyone ducks as they start shooting The sign painter is startled and rubs against the fresh paint on his sign, then takes off. Curt shoots Sean in the shoulder, and George grabs Curt's arm, biting his wrist, making him release the gun.
As Curt yelps in pain, George stands there, surprised at what he's just done. He smiles. "I don't believe I did that!" he says, tossing the gun away as if it scares him.
"Wait in line!" Mildred tells him.
Laura is now holding Sean's gun. Detroit has picked up Curt's gun. "Detroit," Laura tells him, "Keep that gun trained on Brother Curt. Mildred, call the police."
"Right," Mildred says, going to the phone.
"Dallas, would you escort this man Sean to the hospital?"
"My first outlaw, you betcha," Dallas says, moving toward Sean.
Laura hands Sean's gun to San Francisco. "San Francisco, keep an eye on Reverend Rawlinson."
Rawlinson stands up. "You can't hold me, I'm a man of the cloth. Besides, Brother Curt acted on his own free will." He leaves the office.
Laura glances at Steele. "Mulch, you and Mildred stay here and keep an eye on Mrs. Underwood that she doesn't get near the phone and call Vicki," Laura orders, already moving toward the doors.
Phone in hand, Mildred asks, "Where are you going?"
Steele pauses beside Mildred, pulling up his tie. "To the only person who still isn't looking for the package," he says, then points toward Laura. "Brilliant."
Mildred silently counts everyone there, then gasps as she figures it out.
At the Underwood mansion, Vicki is putting suitcases into her car. "Going somewhere, Vicki?" Laura asks, causing Vicki to stop in her tracks.
"Somewhere far away, it would appear," Steel comments.
"Please just leave me alone. I gotta get out of here." She puts her cases in the trunk.
"Didn't Mommy ever tell you? Murder's illegal in this state," Steele says.
Vicki turns to look at them. "Murder? You don't think that I-"
"Oh, come now, Vicki," Steele tells her with a knowing smile. "We know what's in the package."
Laura looks sideways at him, moves closer to ask, "We do?"
Steele mutters a reply.
Vicki looks embarrassed. "How did you find out about it?"
"Let's just say it slipped out in a little soiree between your mother and the Reverend Rawlinson," Steele says, moving closer to Vicki.
"That phony," Vicki says. "He video taped me and Nicky in bed just so he could blackmail Mummy. He needed a million dollars for his new church, and he knew how much Mummy would pay to keep me under her thumb. To keep Nicholas away from me," she tells Steele, hugging her purse close to her. "That's why I'm leaving forever."
"Only you didn't want anybody to have that tape, did you, Vicki?" Laura asks. "You found out whom your mother hired to get the package and you killed him. Then, when it wasn't with the effects at the morgue, you went back to the bus station, where you killed Brother Nick, finally getting your hands on the tape."
Steele claps his hands. "Excellent deduction, Miss Holt," he says, joining her to tell Vicki, "We have you dead to rights for double murder, Vicki."
"I don't have the tape," Vicki insists. "And why would I kill Nicholas? I loved Nicky," she tells them tearfully. "We were going away together. Starting fresh. Away from my mother's grasp."
"Alright, we've got you for one murder," Steele says.
"We'll take that."
Laura looks upset with him as Vicki declares, "I didn't kill the first man, either! Mummy did. She didn't want to have to pay the money for the tape. And then, she made ME claim the body," she explains, wiping her nose with her sleeve. "She still couldn't find that tape. Then, when she saw Nicholas-" she takes a deep, sobbing breath. "Oh, Nicky," she cries, and sobs softly.
Steele pulls Laura away. "Mrs. Underwood?" he questions.
"It makes sense," Laura says. "Why would Vicki kill the man she loved? And the woman's hand at the station- Could've been Mrs. Underwood's," she admits.
"All except for one thing," Steele insists.
"How can a person who can't even walk- drive?"
"Unless that person actually CAN walk," Laura tells him.
They look at each other.
Mildred and George run out of the Bay Building as Laura and Steele arrive in the Rabbit. They run around the corner toward the marina side, and are followed by Steele and Laura.
"Mildred," Steele asks," What are you doing out here?" He looks at the window of the building into his office.
"Where's Mrs. Underwood?" Laura asks.
Excited, George begins to explain. "You know how you told us on the phone that all we have to do is prove that the old lady can walk?"
"Right," Steele says.
"We figured out a way how!" George tells them
Laura looks into the window as well. Inside, they see Mrs. Underwood in her wheelchair, rolling through heavy smoke. "By setting fire to the office?!" she asks in disbelief.
George looks as Mildred as she says, "I'm just an observer here."
"Oh, it's not dangerous," George assures them. "It's just a few rags, that's all."
Mrs. Underwood is trying to get someone on the phone to help her.
"You see," George confides, "I disconnected the phone and bolted the door!"
"What?" Laura asks.
"Are you crazy, Mulch?" Steele asks, terrified as he watches the old woman struggling for air. "The woman's choking to death!" He finds a large rock in the flower bed and picks it up.
"Oh, oh, wait a minute!" George says, pointing. "Look!"
In Steele's office, Mrs. Underwood is raising out of her wheelchair, pushing with her arms.
"So I'm crazy, huh?" George asks, as she stands for a second.
Suddenly Mrs. Underwood collapses to the floor. "Oh!" Laura cries. "Hurry!"
Steele tosses the rock through the plate glass window, shattering it. He pushes it in, and goes into the room, where Mrs. Underwood is whimpering. "There you go. Put your arm around me," he tells her.
Laura grabs the smoking trash can as George helps Mildred into the room through the broken window. Laura waits until they're in, then tosses the can outside.
Steele, carrying Mrs. Underwood, kicks the door to the reception area open and carries her out. "All right, let me just put you down here on the sofa. Here you go, Mrs. Underwood. Here you go. Put your legs up." Mildred and George come in, and Mildred tries to help. "Are you all right, Mrs. Underwood?" Steele asks. "Mulch, get me some water, would you please?" George almost runs over Laura going to get the water. "Mrs. Underwood, say something, please," Steele begs. "Anything. Say something. Come on, dear," he says, raising her to a sitting position.
"Your phone doesn't work," she tells him.
"Yes, well, don't worry," Steele assures her as George returns with the water. "I assure you, we'll take care of that problem." He glares at George.
Mildred takes the glass from George. "You've done enough for one day," she tells him, giving the water to Mrs. Underwood.
"Mrs. Underwood, we're so sorry," Laura apologizes. "Are you sure you're all right?"
The woman smiles at Steele. "You saved my life," she says, putting a hand to his cheek.
Steele takes her hand, nodding as he looks at Laura. "Laura, do you know what this means?"
"We were right in the first place," she realizes. "It's Vicki."
"She went crazy . . .," Mrs. Underwood tells them breathlessly. ". . . when I told her that Nick didn't love her . . . That he did it only to help blackmail me."
Steele looks at her. "Do you know where Vicki was going?"
Mrs. Underwood looks at him.
The Reverend Rawlinson is preaching as a woman in a wheelchair rolls into the auditorium. "Faith," he's saying. "Let's talk about faith. Faith is not something you can buy. Faith is not something you can borrow. Faith is not something you can barter."
The woman in the wheelchair is Vicki, wearing a wrap over her red hair as she rolls ever closer to Rawlinson.
"Faith is something you give to Him unconditionally, in return for which He gives you Love. Love is Faith. Faith is Love. Love is Hope. Hope is Belief," Rawlinson is saying
Steele stands at a corner, watching, looking for Vicki. Laura enters the room.
"And Belief is the very Faith He expects of you!" Rawlinson declares. "Do I hear an Amen?"
"Amen!" several people call out in response.
"Do I hear an Amen?" he asks again, as Vicki slowly raises a gun toward him.
"Amen!" the congregation says again, and Laura rushes toward Vicki.
"Amen!" Rawlinson yells, as Steele rushes over to push him aside, just as Laura grabs Vicki's arm. The gun fires harmlessly into the ceiling, and Laura struggles for the gun. The congregation gasps in horror.
Laura gets the gun and tells Vicki, "This time, you really *do* have something to cry about. First degree murder."
"I could have been killed," Rawlinson says as Steele pulls him to his feet, keeping the Reverend's arm behind his back. "Thank God!"
"I wouldn't be too grateful if I were you, mate," Steele tells him. "He undoubtedly wants you to live to pay for your sins. Come on."
Back at the Bay Building, the sign painter is removing the sign as Steele, Laura, and Mildred say goodbye to the investors. "Take care, now," Steele says. "So long."
"We appreciate your expressing an interest in our business," Laura tells them as a dismayed George sits on the edge of Mildred's desk.
"I think you're making a big mistake," San Francisco tells them.
"Yeah," Detroit agrees. "It was *really* exciting. I'm sorry you changed your minds."
"If you *ever* reconsider," Dallas tells them, "I want you to give me a call, y'hear?"
"We will," Laura promises.
"And I wanna tell ya one other thing," Dallas continues, "Ol' George over there is one HELL of a salesman." George lifts his hands, giving the V for Victory sign.
"Take care," Steele tells them as they leave. He goes to George. "Hey, come on, George, chin up, mate. All is forgiven. Franchising the agency isn't such a bad idea on paper," he agrees.
"But the last thing Mr. Steele and I need getting between us," Laura tells him with a laugh, "is more paperwork."
"I don't know," George sighs. "It just seems like that brass ring is forever beyond my reach. Oh, well, it would probably corrode in my hands, anyway," he says sadly.
"Oh, come on, George," Mildred tells him, squeezing his cheeks. "You fall off a horse, you gotta get right back on." She smacks him playfully on the chin with her fist, then pinches his cheek. "Just don't straddle one of ours next time." She picks up her purse as the phone rings.
"Yeah?" George says as he answers it.
"Well," Laura tells Steele, "We didn't do too badly actually."
"We prevented one murder, solved two others, and rid the religious world of one bad apple," she says.
"Um hmm. Who once said San Diego is a boring city. Come on, let's go." Laura turns toward the door as Steele bends closer to George. "George-" he says.
"Wait a minute," George says into the phone.
George's eyes are alight with prospects. "Steele," he calls out. "Steele." Steele pauses, looks back at George. "It's Dallas," he says, pointing to the phone. "He's calling from a phone booth. He says he'll pay us fifty grand- cash- to reconsider! Cash!"
"Yeah?" Steele asks, smiling and looking very interested.
"Coming, Mr. Steele?" Laura asks brightly as she returns.
Steele's interest fades and he gives George an apologetic look. "Behind you all the way, Miss Holt," he calls, wincing as he notes George's hopeful expression. He puts an arm around Laura, then glances back at George as they go through the door. "George, I'm sorry," he mouths, as Laura smiles.