Steele On The Air
From the episode written by
Kerry Lenhart and John J. Sakmar

The episode opens at a small airport, as a pilot approaches a small aircraft with the markings "1400 KROT AM RADIO" on the side. He unties the plane, removes the wheel chocks and gives the control tower a thumbs up signal before getting into the plane and starting the engine.

Switch to a clock, revealing that the time is 5:56, and a sign that says, "Tyler and Austin Time". A man enters the studio, turning on the light and shaking his head. He flips various switches, then grabs a record and places it on a turntable, glancing once more at the clock before setting the tone arm on the record. Grabbing some tapes, he puts them into the slot and then sits before the microphone, nervously glancing once more at the clock.

The airplane takes off.

At one minute till six, the man looks out of the studio door, then goes back inside, closing the door behind him and lowering the shade on the window into the hallway. He sits down, puts on the headset, looking again at the clock before cueing the promo for Tyler and Austin.

A clock radio, flipping to 6:00, coming on to the sound of the promo. Laura comes from beneath the covers as a DJ says in a bright voice, "Good morning, Los Angeles. Norman Austin here."

"Along with Bud Tyler, with this piece of advice:" Laura is reaching, trying to turn the radio off.

"Shut this damn thing off and get back to sleep."

"And if you're already up," Bud adds, "find a bed. Any bed, and get back in it. Cause that's where the real fun is." The promo starts again, and Laura sits up, then lays back down. She laughs at the jingle, opening one eye. The sound of a spring and girls giggling comes on. "Norman, do you want to put that damn thing away before you hurt somebody?"

"In just a minute, we'll be joining Doug West high in the sky for a look at Los Angeles traffic," Norman announces.

The airplane flies over the LA freeways as a bugle blows and Laura gets out of bed and goes to her closet. "All right, slug a beds," Bud says. "Up and at `em!"

"Seriously, you're not gonna want to miss this one. The start of another beautiful week. We've got 65 degrees at 6:01. Expect highs in the upper seventies."

Cut to Bud, saying, "And a gorgeous sunrise out the KROT window. Blue skies and a few low morning clouds that should lift off before long." He scoots to the other side of the mike, pushing a switch that sounds like a rocket firing. His voice changes, sounding like Norman. "Awesome sight, those clouds lifting off like that." Back to the other side, as himself. "And speaking of clouds, let's go up to the West Nest for a look at early morning traffic. Doug, how do things look from up there?"

"Well, it's still early," Doug says, but we see the airplane now in a field, a jeep parked nearby. "But traffic's still building at the downtown four level," he says, as the pilot of the plane drags a man's body toward it from the jeep. "Clear sailing on the Santa Ana and Santa Monica routes. Hey, if you're traveling on the eastbound Ventura, watch out. I've got a report of an overturned truck near the Hollywood transition, blocking the numbers two and three lanes. Well, that's how it looks for now from my perch high in the West Nest. KROT Traffic."

"Thanks, Doug," Bud says in his own voice. "Now, let's keep things moving with a little music."


Later, Laura is driving down the freeway, singing along with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".

Bud comes on after the song. "You know, Norm, I was just sitting here looking out our window while the song was playing and I was struck by a frightening realization."

"And I think we all know how that can hurt," Norm says. "Did you know that if it hadn't been for the man who invented venetian blinds, it would be curtains for all of us?" Laura rolls her eyes at the bad joke. "Just a brief historical note. Okay, it's 7:05 here at the big carrot, and," Bud says, still pretending to be Norm, "it's time to play `Pick A Hit'. Your chance to decide whether a new song will be a hit or a miss."

He switches again. "We'll take caller number fourteen," he announces. "Call 555-KROT."

"And keep in mind that I'll be the one to determine whether or not you are right," he says as Norm.

"Why you?" Bud asks.

"Because I'm the one with the trained ear."

"Trained ear?"

"Yeah. Watch:" He whistles as if summoning a dog. "Here ear, here ear!" He makes the sound of something running across the control panel, and laughs. "Ah, sit, Van Gogh. Sit." He pants. "Good ear."

Bud laughs. "No doubt about it, Norm, that is a well trained ear. Seven oh six now. So let's take a quick check with Doug West up in his West Nest and see how traffic is shaping up."

The unconscious man is in the airplane, while the other man has the hood open, as we hear Doug's voice. "Looks like easy going for everyone traveling the Pacific Coast Highway, Bud. There's a sig alert reported on the southbound 405. I've got the West Nest KROT plane headed over the Malibu canyons now to check it out." Laura, driving the Malibu highway, looks up, trying to see the plane. "Orange County reporting moderate to heavy traffic on all freeways," Doug says. Suddenly we hear the sound of the airplane engine having problems.

"Doug?" Bud asks. "Is everything okay?"

"A little engine trouble," Doug responds as the man pulls the airplane into position. "Can't seem to fix. Losing power," he says. Laura is concerned, looking around for the airplane. "Altitude dropping. Malibu Canyon, clearing," he says as the man starts the airplane with the unconscious man inside and lets it start taxiing. "Try to bring it down. The man runs back to his jeep and gets inside. "Bringing it down now, Bud. No control," Doug says, the sound of the wind rushing past the airplane as he comes in.

"Doug? Are you there? Doug?" Bud asks again and is answered by the sound of an explosion. Laura jumps, upset. The airplane, without a pilot, crashes, and Laura hears the explosion and sees the smoke from over a hill. She stops her car and rushes to see if she can do anything to help- but the airplane is engulfed in flames. Laura closes her eyes and looks away.


A red mustang arrives at the KROT studios, and a man gets out, looking around warily before entering the building. Inside, he hides from a security guard, then enters the studio. Bud is angry, but relieved to see him. As Norm, Bud says into the mike, "Still no details on the plane crash involving KROT's own Doug West. But we'll be sure to let you have whatever we have as soon as we have it." Norm puts a record on the turntable, dons his headsets.

"Right now," Bud says, "it's eight oh five. If you're supposed to be at work at eight, and ain't- you're late." Norm rolls his eyes. "Well, what have we got for a temperature, Norm?" he asks.

"It's seventy degrees here at the big carrot, the only station in LA guaranteed to improve your eyesight.," Norm says. The REAL Norm this time.

"And now," Bud says, "Back to the music." Norm starts the record. Bud removes his headset. "Norman."

"All right, spare me the sermon, Bud. I know I'm late."

"Today, of all days."

"It's the last time," Norm says, listening to the headphone. "I promise you."

Bud looks worried.


Mildred is at her desk, trying to pick a lock using a lockpick. When she sees Steele come in, she tries to hide what she's doing. "Morning," he says. "Morning, morning, morning."

"Morning, Chief," she says. He grins at what's in her hand.

"Getting a little practice, are we, Mildred?"

"You always make it look so easy."

"Years of experiences," he reminds her. "Uh, Miss Holt back from Malibu yet?"

"Not yet," she tells him, still trying to pick the lock.

Steele claps his hands, obviously pleased about something. "Excellent. Must be going well. Better than I imagined." He takes the lock and pick from her and starts working, not even paying full attention.

"What's that?"

"All in due course," he assures her as the lock opens. Mildred is amazed. "All in the wrist," he tells her, dropping the lock and pick onto her desk. She picks them up and starts practicing again.


At the crash site, Laura asks a policeman, "Why didn't I see the plane? It should have flown right over me."

"Pardon me, ma'am. Weren't you in your car at the time?"

"I had my top down," she tells him.

"Maybe the sun got in your eyes."

"The SUN was behind me. And what about the explosions? Why did I hear the plane explode on the radio BEFORE I heard the plane explode here?"

"Echo in the canyon," he suggests, obviously trying to dismiss her. "I don't know." He turns away.

Laura approaches the NTSB investigator as he's looking at the remains of the aircraft. "You the eyewitness?" he asks. She nods. "Near as I can figure, the magneto came loose. No way he could maintain power." Laura looks up at the cliff that the plane apparently flew off of.

"What about the tracks up above?"

"Probably tried to make a forced landing."

"Why didn't he just stop the plane? Or jump out?"

"Ma'am, I'm still investigating," he reminds her. Laura moves away as a blonde man approaches and watches her walk off. He looks up at the smoking hulk of wreckage.


Laura goes up to the cliff, finding an oil spot in the grass. The blonde man approaches her. "Yo! Rick Badham," he says, introducing himself, shaking her hand. "I couldn't help but tune in to what you were saying."

"Rick `Bad Man' Badham?" Laura questions.

"Bingo!" he says.

"I listen to your station all the time," she says. "In fact, I was tuned into KROT when this all happened."

"Doug and I were pretty tight," he tells her. "I can't believe he augurs in after fifteen years without a scratch."

"I can't quite believe it, either," Laura agrees. "Based on the evidence."

"You mean everything isn't copasetic?"

"I'm a private investigator. I'm trained to look for clues." She points at the oil spot. "This is one. A car was parked here this morning. From the looks of the terrain, probably a four wheel drive vehicle." She moves toward another area. "And these marks. It looks as though someone were dragging something."

"Whoa!" Rick says, holding up his hands. "What are you saying?"

"I'm not sure. Yet."

The policeman comes up. "Miss Holt? I thought you'd be interested to know Miss Holt. The coroner just called. They took a .38 slug out of Doug West's skull." Rick looks upset, Laura looks vindicated.


At the studio, a funeral dirge is playing softly, and Bud is staring into space as Norm says, "He was a good pilot. A good friend. A good man."

"Doug, old buddy, we know you're still flying. Just a little higher now, that's all."

"So from all of us down here who are going to miss you, Doug, this one's for you." He turns on the record player, and the sound of "Leavin' On A Jet Plane" fills the booth.

A tearful woman comes to the window, and looks inside. Bud sees her. She comes in, crying, and looks at Norm. Norm is upset as she comes and throws herself into his arms. Bud closes the blinds on the window. The woman starts kissing Norman. "Would you get her out of here?" Bud asks.

"He's right, Marsha," Norm tells the woman. "This doesn't look too good."

"But, but, but-"

"Well put, and I understand completely," Norm tells her, backing her toward the door. "We'll catch up later, all right?" She nods, and they go into a clinch. When they part, he says, "I'll see you tonight," and opens the door for her to leave.

Bud stands there, furious. "Norman, are you crazy? Her husband's still smoldering and you're hugging and kissing the grieving widow!"

"Come on, Bud. Will you relax? What? Are people are going to think that *I* killed Doug West? I was on the air at the time, remember? Thanks to you." He leaves the room.


Steele is sitting on his desk, talking into the telephone. "Intolerable. . .Yeah. . .Understandable." Laura comes into the office, thoughtful after what she's been through. She listens. "Inexcusable. . .Unintentional, and-" he pulls the phone way, looking at it ruefully. "Good day," he says.

"Man of few words," she comments.

"The gentleman on the other end had quite a few," he says, hanging up the phone. "That was Leon. Leon Pulver? The press agent? Your eight o'clock appointment?"

Laura's eyes widen. "I forgot all about it," she says.

"Forgot? Laura, I've been building you up to Leon for weeks now. The man was dying to meet you. Three hours ago."

"Something came up," she explains.

"What could possibly be more important than meeting the man who's going to put us in People magazine?" he asks.

"Mr. Steele, your partner in crime stumbled across the most-" she pauses, and Steele swings his legs around to the front of the desk to listen. "-bizarre murder case in years. It's - totally baffling."

"Really? Bizarre? Baffling?" he picks up the phone. "Mildred? Get me Leon Pulver, will you? Thank you. Thank you very much indeed." He hangs up. Getting off the desk, he smiles, putting an arm around her. "I can see the headlines now, Laura. Excellent work." Laura is totally confused.


As Laura and Steele enter the lobby of 14-KROT, the letters in neon on the back wall, we hear a woman on the radio, saying, "Hello, Doctor. Uh, last week, you referred to the use of vegetables."

Steele notices the neon lettering. "Fourteen krot?" he questions.

"K.R.O.T," Laura says. "Fourteen Karat?"

"Ah ha," Steele nods, understanding as Laura starts to listen to a woman on the radio, a smile beginning.

"It's not important which vegetables you use. Carrots, corn on the cob, zucchini, they're all terrific!" Laura laughs softly.

"A radio cooking show?" Steele asks as they move across the lobby.

"That's Dr. Pam," she tells him. "The phone in sex therapist."

Steele is stunned, and nods. "Let me know when you get the recipe book," he says, stopping at the desk.

Rick calls out. "Laura! What's the haps?" he asks, shaking her hand.

"Rick Badham, Remington Steele," she says.

"Dyno," Rick says. "What say we barge in on the boss?" he asks, leading them toward a door as it opens. "Frank," he begins, but another man is already there, a guitar slung across his back. When Frank comes from his office, the guitar man objects.

"No, no, I got to him first." He holds up a recorder. "Now Frank, how about THIS?" he asks, then turns on the recorder and starts singing with a tape. "Don't wanna go where there's no fourteen karat. Don't wanna go where I can't hear the hits." Frank frowns. "Don't wanna go, uh uh! where there's no fourteen karat." Steele looks at Laura, who's looking a bit embarrassed. "Don't wanna go where I can't hear the hits. I really wouldn't tear it, doubt that I could bear it. Hear it. Share it. Fourteen karat! Fourteen karat gold." He jams with the music as it ends, then turns it off.

"Lymon," Frank says, "That is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard."

"Does that mean no, Frank?" Lymon asks.

Rick jumps in. "Frank, these are the detectives I was telling you about."

Frank is upset. "And I told you, too expensive!" he moves away across the lobby as Rick follows.

Lymon turns to Steele and Laura. "Hi. Jack Lymon. `Rhymin' Lymon', Jingles Incorporated," he explains. "You need a snappy promo?" he asks.

Steele is tempted. "Uh,- actually, I was thinking . . ." he begins.

"No," Laura answers, as she turns to join Frank and Rick.

"No," Steele repeats. "Forget it." He follows Laura, as does Lymon.

Rick is trying to convince Frank. "Frank. Thank about Doug."

"Oh, Doug was an idiot. He flew a plane and looked at traffic. Is that a job for a grown man?"

A woman enters the lobby. "Dix!" she yells.

Frank looks around. "Uh, oh. Have sex, will travel." He tries to get away, Rick follows.

"Vegetable lady?" Steele asks Laura. Laura nods.

Dr. Pam catches up with Frank as he's taking a pill, waving a paper. "This is the last straw, Dix! I have done everything you've asked to promote this miserable station! I gave free advice at Folsom Prison. I got in the ring to rap with professional wrestlers, but I have to draw the line somewhere!"

"You got a point, Doc?" Frank asks.

"I am a professional. An eminent psychologist. I DO NOT DO demolition derbys!"

"Oh, you deal with anger and frustration. Demolition derbys deal with anger and frustration. What's the problem?"

Lymon jumps in with his guitar and sings, "Daddy is a sicko, Mama is one too. You got a social problem and you don't know what to do. You turn to fourteen karat, when you're really in a jam. Oh! Well it's Wham! Bam! Thank you, Dr. Pam."

Dr. Pam stares at him, then says, "I quit! I am going to cable!" she declares as she departs the lobby.

Lymon strikes a chord. "Well you can take this job and shove it!" he sings.

"Good riddance!" Frank yells after her. "And take your vegetables with you!" He starts back toward his office, only to be confronted by Laura. "I told you no."

"As a devoted listener," Laura says, "Mr. Steele is willing to wave all fees unless we catch the killer." Steele looks at Laura as though he doesn't quite believe he hears correctly.

Frank's interest level goes up, and he smiles. "Well. A true humanitarian." The two men shake hands. "Good hunting, Mr. Steele," he says before he leaves them.

"Man really warms up when he gets something for nothing, doesn't he?" Steele points out.

Rick comes up. "You wanted to meet Tyler and Austin?" he asks.

"They were the last ones to speak with Doug West," Laura says.

He points down a hall. "They're right down here. Studio C." He looks at his watch. "Hey. I gotta run. Good luck. I'll catch you on the `B' side."

He goes to the studio, where the news reader Melody is saying, "And on a lighter note, they're developing an edible greeting card. The card is said to provide good wishes, and a free lunch. So when you care enough to send the very best," Rick puts on his headsets. "Now, back to more of your music with Rick Badham. Rick?"

"Thanks, Melody. This is Rick `the badman' Badham. You know I'm bad, and that's good. And how about this good news? Famed LA detective Remington Steele," he says as Steele and Laura pass the window, "has just agreed to find the killer of KROT's own Doug West. Bad news for the bad guys. GOOD news for the rest of us. And now let's get to some really bad sounds that I know you're just gonna love, cause the Badman knows what's good for you."

Laura and Steele approach Studio C, as she says, "So much for our cover."

"The price of fame," he tells her. They stop at a speaker on the wall, with the sign above it, "Please listen before entering studio."

"Shall we?" she asks, pointing to the speaker . Steele turns it on.

"I know who did it," a high pitched voice says, "But you'll never get it out of me." Laura and Steele listen, confused.

"They'll tell me," another voice says.

"She'll talk when I get through with her."

"Help! Help!" They open the door to find Bud laying across the desk, pretending someone is choking him as Norm sits at a console, reading is script. "AUGHH! Help!"

"Just when it looked like it was the end for Pauline," Norm reads. Bud gets up. "Rex Righteous, Local Hero, burst through the door," Bud sees Steele and Laura.

"Rex Righteous?" he asks.

"Remington Steele, actually," Steele says.

Norm turns to Bud. "Bud, you wanna stick to the script?" Bud taps him on the shoulder and points to Laura and Steele. Laura's beaming.

"Addlepated Theater," she says. "One of my favorites."

Steele joins her laughter. "Well, I won't tell anyone," he promises.

"Remington Steele, meet . . ." she pauses, then points. "Bud Tyler."

"Hello, Bud," Remington says, shaking his hand.

"And Norman Austin." They shake as well.

"Hello, Norman."

"And you are?" Norm asks.

"Laura Holt. I listen to you every morning."

Norm turns to Bud. "Quick. Get Frank. Tell him we found our audience."

"What can we do for you?" Bud asks.

Steele points at Laura to explain. "Well, we're private investigators hired by the station to find Doug West's killer."

Bud looks worried, Norm pretends sorrow. "Yeah. It's a real tragedy. I never heard an unkind word about Doug."

"He was a happily married man," Bud interjects. "Doug and Marsha were a happy couple. Very happy. Blissful," he says, as Norm sends him a look.

"Evidence suggests," Laura tells them, "that Doug's body was placed in the plane after it landed and then it was deliberately crashed."

"But Doug was on the radio this morning," Norm told them.

"You spoke with him?" Steele asks.

Norm looks at a concerned Bud, then says, "Yeah."

"Is it possible someone cut into your broadcast?" Laura wonders.

"Oh, I'm afraid that's a," Norm begins, but Bud nervously jumps in again.

"No, it's possible. I mean, someone could patch in through another studio, or even set up some sort of remote intercept," he says.

"Sounds like science fiction to me," Norm insists.

Steele looks at Laura. "Are you suggesting that someone was impersonating Doug West?"

"Well, someone could have put on tapes of Doug's voice," she says. "Thank you, gentlemen. I think you've narrowed our search to someone familiar with the station," Laura tells them, shaking their hands.

"G-Glad to be of help," Bud tells her. But his smile vanishes quickly.


In his office, Laura is going over something on the desk while Steele paces. "I've been giving this second thoughts, Laura. Bizarre and baffling though it may be, is this really the appropriate time to be tackling a case like this? I mean, if we flop- we flop in front of a very large audience."

"Think of the publicity if we crack it."

"Thank of the publicity if we DON'T crack it's more the point," her returns as the door opens and Mildred chases a man into the office.

"He wouldn't wait, Boss!" she says.

"Ah, Leon!" Steele says.

"Steele! Is my guy brilliant, or what?" he asks. "Announcing a major case on the radio. Chills, Steele. It gave me chills. Why does the man need me, I ask myself?"

"Good question," Laura says.

"Listen, baby," Leon says to Steele. "I just got off the car phone with the West Coast Bureau Chief of People. Flipped over this latest case of yours. I mean, a guy crashes an airplane with a bullet in his head? It's new, it's different. And it played to their demographics."

"They liked it?" Steele asks, a bit nervously.

"What like? We're talking animal passion here! Solve this one, the cover's yours. Gotta fly." He turns toward the door. "Keep me informed." Stopping, he says, "Try to solve it before Thursday so we can meet their deadline." He leaves.

"People magazine?" Mildred asks.

"It's, uh, it's to- promote the agency, Mildred," Steele tells her.

"I didn't hear my name mentioned," Mildred says.

Steele grabs Laura's hand. "Come on, Miss Holt, let's get cracking on the Doug West case," says, trying to get out.

But Mildred stops them. "Whoa. I've been thinking."

"Yes," Steele says, taking off his jacket.

"Our culprit has to be involved in the radio station, right?"

"OUR culprit?" he asks, loosening his tie.

"Am I or am I not in training?" she wants to know.

"Proceed, Mildred," Laura says.

"Okay." Steele rolls up his cuffs. "Logically, someone has to go undercover at the radio station. Someone crafty. Someone who could blend in."

Laura looks depressed. "Scratch that. Mr. Steele and I have already been seen by everyone there."

Mildred points to herself. Steele puts his arm around her shoulders. "Miss Holt, I think we have created a monster here." Mildred smiles, delighted.

"I give you full credit, Mr. Steele," Laura tells him. He doesn't look at all pleased by the turn of events.

At KROT, Mildred is in a studio, wearing headphones, using her best Bronx accent. "Dr. Krebs, you're on the air."

"It's my husband. He's playing around."

"How long you been married?"

"Twenty eight years."



"He's a louse. Soak him for everything he's got." She flips a switch as Frank walks up to the window, smiling. "Dr. Krebs, you're on the air."

"My boyfriend likes me to sing his college fight songs when we make love."

"He's sick. Dump him." She flips the switch again. "Dr. Krebs, you're on the air."

At the office, Steele is watching as Laura sits at the computer. He turns off the radio on the desk. "I'm going blind, and she's playing Sigmund Freud, PI."

"Well, you're the one who encouraged her to spread her wings," Laura reminds him.

"Yes, but not at the expense of the nest, for,-I mean, whatever happened to good old Mildred? Sweet, adoring, servile?"

"She found out her boss is a fraud, remember?" Laura says.

Steele looks at her. "Sometimes the truth can be so . . .unnecessary."

"I don't mean to inconvenience you, Mr. Steele, but could we focus on our background check of Doug West?" He moves closer.


"Sounds like a money grubbing bimbo to me. Dump her," Mildred tells a caller. "Or start talking prenuptial agreement." Melody is in the other studio, looking over news copy. "Dr. Krebs, you're on the air."

"I'm fifty years old," a male caller says, "and own a prosperous line of clothing stores. I was widowed last year. Unfortunately, the only women I find interested in me are young things after my money. Where can I go to find a mature woman, who will look beyond my wealth and social standing?" Mildred smiles, pushing the mike away and picks up a pen.

"Give me your number. I'll get right back to you." She writes it down, then glances at Melody, who gives her a signal. Into the mike, she says, "I see we're ready for a news break. We'll be back in five. And remember: Dr. Krebs is always in for you." She nods at Melody, who begins the news.

"One of LA's largest indoor malls closed its doors today," she says as Mildred sees Norm Austin moving stealthily past the window. She takes off her headphones. "Following a series of bizarre mishaps that ended in the arrest of its owner for murder." Mildred leaves the studio. "The mall, one of the most expensive enclosed shopping areas in Southern California," Mildred goes down the corridor, "was plagued from its inception. A million dollar robbery, followed by several disruptive incidents, created a major scandal from which the project could never recover." Mildred opens a door to find Norm and Marsha West locked in a passionate embrace. Mildred closes the door as he lowers her to the desk. "Turning to sports, in regional basketball action last night, John, `the Slammer' Hensdale, dumped the Titans 127 to 98, hitting from inside. . ." Mildred smiles, delighted to have found a clue. She turns away.


At the office, Mildred enters the office. Laura is sitting at the computer, Steele is standing before the desk. "I think we got this one locked up," she declares. Snapping her fingers, she points toward Steele's office. "Let's huddle." Steele and Laura exchange a look and then move to join her, approaching the office with caution to find her standing before Steele's desk. She claps her hands. "I got our motive."

"Umm, hmm," Steele agrees as he and Laura watch. Mildred goes to sit in Steele's chair.

"Okay. Your typical love triangle. Boy meets girl. Girl is married. Boy kills husband, boy and girl live happily ever after."

Steele sits in the conference area as Laura asks, "Can we assign names to these boys and girls?"

"Norman Austin and Mrs. Doug West," Mildred responds.

Laura is shocked. "You're kidding!"

"I caught them in the middle of a very hot embrace."

"Body Heat," Steele says.

"It certainly was," Mildred agrees.

"Kathleen Turner, William Hurt, Warner Brothers, 1981. A man and woman plot to kill the woman's husband in order to make it look like an accident."

"What did you kids dig up?" Mildred asks.

"Uh, it seems that our Mrs. West is the sole beneficiary of a very large life insurance policy."

"It could be a very nice windfall for a fading disc jockey facing forced retirement," Mildred tells them. "I found out that Tyler and Austin are losing audience."

"Good work, Mildred!" Steele says.

"But you're overlooking the man's alibi," Laura points out. "Norman Austin was on the air when the plane blew up. I heard him."

Steele and Mildred exchange a frustrated look.


Later that night, Steele and Laura are walking before the fountain. "It can't be Norman Austin," Laura insists. "I've listened to him forever. The only thing he's guilty of is making bad jokes."

Steele stops her. "Addlepated Theater," he says.

"What about it?"

"Bud does all those silly voices. It's both of them. Tyler AND Austin."

"Mr. Steele, I think People magazine has turned your mind to mush."

"No, no, no. I really think I have something," he's saying as a car approaches them at high speed, heading right for them, leaving them no choice but to jump into the fountain. The car continues away.

They stand up, dripping wet, and Steele is smiling. "What are you grinning at, Mr. Steele?" Laura demands to know. "Someone just tried to kill us!"

"Precisely, Miss Holt. We must be on the right track," he says, taking his wet handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his face as Laura shakes her head.


The next morning, Norm rushes from his house and gets into his red mustang, only to find that he has a flat tire, while a smiling Mildred watches from the bushes nearby.


As the jingle for "Tyler and Austin" plays, Laura and Remington cross the station lobby. The approach the studio as they hear "Good Morning, Los Angeles, Norman Austin here." The blinds are drawn.

"Along with Bud Tyler and this staggering statistic:"

"Somewhere in this country, there's a woman giving birth every one and a half seconds."

Remington and Laura carefully open the door as Bud says, "Loose woman." BOING! BOING! "You know, Norm, all this talk about sushi, I finally went out and got some last night."

He goes to the other side of the mike. "Did you like it?"

"Well, I didn't know. But I got it home, cooked it up, and it didn't taste half bad." A taped chorus of groans filled the room.

"Slick operation," Steele comments, causing Bud to notice him, his eyes filled with terror.

"You win, Mr. Steele," Laura admitted, closing the door behind them.

"How long have you been here?" Bud asks.

"Long enough," Steele says.

Bud flips a button and speaks into the mike. "For those of you ready to leave for work, let's throw open the KROT window and check out the traffic situation."

"Norm didn't come in yesterday morning, did he?" Steele questions as they hear car horns blaring.

"No," Bud admits.

"You covered for him, right?"

"Yeah." He looks near to breaking. Speaking as Norm, he says, "Not real pretty, is it, Bud?"

"Take my advice, folks and stay off the freeways and stay in bed, cause here come the hits!" Norm opens the door. "Norman. Norman. I'm glad you're here. What am I gonna do?"

Norm reaches over to the turntable. "Play the record, Bud," he says.

"I didn't want to believe it," Laura says, angry.

"Believe what?"

"We know about you and Mrs. West," Laura tells him.

"What? Adultery's such a killer in this day and age?"

"We know about the life insurance. Very clever. Thousands of people hear you on the radio while you're out there disposing of Doug West's body," Steele tells him.

"And very fortunately, you have a very talented partner with the ability to imitate your voice." Bud looks scared.

"Now wait a minute."

"I confess! I confess!" Bud screams. When they all look at him, he looks at Norm. "HE did it!"


"Norm, I did all I could. She wasn't worth it. She wasn't WORTH it!"

"Bud, you've finally gone crazy," Norm accuses.

"Where were you yesterday morning?" Steele asks Norman.

"I was with Marsha, okay?"

"Did anyone else see you?" Laura questions.

"Of course not. A woman's honor is at stake." Norm goes to the console and sits down, putting on his headset while Bud is looking more and more frantic.

"Can two killers alibi each other?" Steele asks Laura softly.

"I did NOT kill Doug West," Norm insists.

Bud whines. "Oh, Norm."

"Bud, will you stop blubbering?"

"I suppose you're gonna deny running us down last night in your car, yeah?" Steele asks.

"Last night I was at a lodge meeting. You can check that one out!"

Bud stands up. "I drove the car," he confesses.

"What?!" Norm asks.

"I wanted to protect you, Norm. I wanted to scare them off." He sits down as Norm puts his hands over his face. "You should have confided in me, Norm. I'm your partner. I care more about you than- than Marsha West ever could."

"Your compassion is gonna put us both away, you nit-wit," Norm tells him.

Laura puts out her hand. "I don't think you two should say another word until your lawyer is present."

Bud asks, "Can we at least finish our show?"


A camera flash goes off. In Steele's apartment, against the backdrop of his view of LA, Leon and the reporter and photographer are setting up for the interview. Steele is in a tux, Laura and Mildred are dressed to the nines, but Laura seems less than thrilled.

Leon tells the photographer, "Hey, buddy, put it here. Yeah. Super. Okay, Steele. Try a pipe," he says, handing Steele a pipe." Steele puts it into his mouth and Leon smiles. "All right. Now, Miss Holt- could you just slip in over here, please?" Laura doesn't respond, and Mildred looks at her. "Miss Holt?"

Mildred stands. "I'm ready."

"In a minute, sweetheart. In a minute." Disappointed, Mildred sits back down.

The reporter kneels beside Laura, who looks at her. "Miss Holt, I think our readers would like to know what it's like to work with such a sexy, brilliant man as Mr. Steele." Laura looks away, as Remington looks on.

She gets up. "Excuse me," she says, and heads for the bedroom.

"Obviously overcome," Leon tells the reporter, who shrugs.

The phone rings, and Mildred answers. "Remington Steele, soon to be on newsstands everywhere."

Steele goes in to Laura, who's frowning. He closes the door. "Uh, Laura," he begins.

"I just can't believe they did it," she says.

"Uh, Laura, as we found with the `Atomic Man' case, our image of cherished celebrities can be a cruel distortion of the truth."

She looks at him. "Exactly. I thought Tyler and Austin were bright, upbeat guys, but they're just a pair of over the hill disc jockeys."

"Precisely," Steele agrees, about to suggest they rejoin Leon and the others.

"Too worn down, and too dumb to be able to pull off an ingenious crime like the one we're dealing with," she finishes as someone knocks on the door.


Mildred comes in. "Norman Austin on the phone from jail, and he wants to make a full confession," she tells them. Steele smiles as Laura looks surprised.


At the jail, Laura and Steele enter the interrogation room where Norm and Bud are waiting. Bud sees their clothes, the tux and evening dress, and asks, "Is this what you call a formal confession?"

"Shut up, Bud," Norm warns. "You brought us in, I figure you should be the ones to hear the real story."

"Tell `em, Norm," Bud says.

"I will, Bud," he says. "Just- don't worry." He looks at Laura and Steele. "Look, there's no reason to keep Bud here any longer. I killed Doug West by myself."

Laura looks at Steele, then takes a deep breath. "Okay, Norman. You killed Doug. How?"

"Shot him."

"Where?" Steele wants to know.

Norm looks over at Bud, who puts a hand to his head. "In the head. It all happened so fast."

"When you boarded the plane yesterday, did you gesture to the air controller?"

"Yeah. I- saluted."

"No, you didn't, you gave the `thumbs up'," she corrects.

"Right. My famous `thumbs up' gesture."

"Then you flew to Malibu Canyon," Laura says.

"That's right."

"What'd you do there?" Steele asks.

"I bailed out."

"No," Laura says. "You landed."

"But I THOUGHT of bailing out."

"Okay, let's just end this little charade right now, shall we?" Laura suggests. "Neither of you killed Doug West."

Bud sits up. "Does that mean that we can go?"

"I'm afraid not," she tells him. "Why would you try something so foolish as a false confession, Norm?"

"I can take a bum rap," he explains. "I mean, God knows this place isn't much worse than the station. Better hours, too." He looks at Bud. "But look at him. He won't last a month in here. He's my partner. He's been the butt of my jokes for twenty years, he's never complained. He's covered for me more times than I can remember. He wouldn't be in jail if he hadn't tried to protect me. I thought it was time I finally tried to pay him back."

Bud has tears in his eyes. "That was beautiful, Norm."

"Shut up, Bud." Bud smiles sadly.


In Laura's apartment the next day, Laura is pacing while Steele is on the telephone to Leon. "Leon,- will you calm down, Leon? Look, there's no need to kill yourself. No, there's no need to kill me, either. Look, we can still wrap this whole thing up by Thursday night, okay? Fine." He hangs up. "Get inspired, will you, Laura?"

"This is the tightest frame I've ever encountered. Whoever's behind it had to know that Norm visited Marsha every other morning."

"Now all we need to do is ferret someone out and pin it on them," Steele decides. Laura looks at him. The phone rings, and Steele picks it up, handing it to Laura.


At the station, Mildred takes off her earring, about to speak into the phone, when Lymon comes in, smiling. "Got something for ya, Miss Holt," she says.

"And have I got something for YOU," Lymon tells Mildred. Bringing up his guitar, he sings, "Hey! Got a question? Got a question or dysfunction? Call up Krebs!"

Mildred frowns. "You need help. Buzz off!" He leaves. Into the phone, Mildred says, "I thought you'd be interested in knowing who's moved into Tyler and Austin's drive time slot."

"Who?" Laura asks.

"Rick Badham."

Laura looks at Steele.


Later, Laura and Steele are sitting in the Rabbit outside the studio. "We're clutching at straws, Laura," Steele tells her.

"Want that magazine cover?" she asks him.

"I'm clutching, I'm clutching. Rick was the one who hired us," he points out.

"What better way to deflect suspicion?" she asks.

"If Rick wanted the drive time slot so badly, why not kill Tyler and Austin outright instead of framing them for Doug West's murder?"

"I don't know, Mr. Steele? What do you say we follow our only lead and ask questions later?"

"No need to get so snippy, Miss Holt," he says as Rick comes whizzing past in his Porsche.

Laura smiles. "Okay, Badham. Let's see just how bad you really are." As she drives off to follow him, we see a "14-KROT" bumper sticker on the back of the Rabbit.

They tail him to a warehouse, where he goes inside, then comes back out to get into a black van that is parked nearby. They pick up the tail again, as Steele warns, "Uh, don't get too close, Laura, okay?"

"Relax, will you? You're making me nervous."

A step van pulls up behind Laura and sees the sticker. He honks his horn, turning on the lights atop the van. Laura looks into the mirror and behind her. "Do we know them?"

Steele looks. "I hope not."

"Please pull over," the driver announces over the loudspeaker. "You've just won the KROT sticker give away!"

"Go way!" Steele yells back. "We don't want any stickers!"

"Please pull over!"

Rick hears the ruckus and looks behind him, making the tail as he recognizes Laura's car. He speeds up. Laura follows suit, as does the KROT van.

The van pulls up beside them. "Your bumper sticker. You win!" he tells them.

"We don't wanna win!" Laura yells back.

"We don't listen to you!" Steele tells him.

"It's a trip for two to Hawaii," he says.

Steele looks at Laura as if he's having trouble saying no. "Laura?"

"No." She speeds up.

Rick tries to make a turn, and crashes into a parked car. He gets out of the van and takes off. Laura and Steele arrive too late to catch him, but they go to the van and open the back doors. The boxes inside are filled with albums for a group called "Cool Fire". "Albums?"

"Cool Fire?"

"Miserable group," he tells her.

The van driver comes up with a tape recorder, shoving the mike into their faces. "And what's your favorite radio station?"

Steele looks at Laura. "Couldn't you listen to FM like everyone else?" She hits him with a record.


At Laura's apartment, Laura, Mildred, and Steele are listening to the album they found and one that's marked "For Promotional Use Only". Laura takes the record off and compares the sleeves. "Brilliant work," she says.

"I thought it was awful," Steele says.

"Not the music. The quality of the copy. It's a total counterfeit," she says.

"I checked with that record company," Mildred says, as she hands Steele one of the drinks she made. "And that record isn't due out for another month yet."

"Only a handful of DJs were given promotional copies. Mildred swiped this one from the station. It's a perfect set up. Rick copies promotional albums."

"And when the real album is released, he's ready to flood the market with counterfeits," she explains.

Steele nods. "What a wonderfully ingenious scheme. Low overhead, high return. A youthful market with a disposable income continually looking for a sound that's easy to dance to." Mildred nods. "Man could make millions." Laura hears a hint of admiration in his voice and looks at him. Seeing it, he says, "You're absolutely right, Laura. What's this got to do with Doug West?"

"That's what we're going to find out at the warehouse where Rick Badham picked up these albums," she tells him.


Later, Steele and Laura sneak into the warehouse. Laura finds some books and ledgers-and Doug West's logbook. "I think I got something. From the looks of these entries, Doug was flying a lot more than traffic reports."

"Of course. The plane would expand the distribution and make it almost impossible to trace anything back to the plant."

She pulls out another book. "According to this, everything was being split three ways. We know Doug and Rick, now, all we need is the third man."

"Well, if it isn't Orson Welles, I can't be of any immediate help," Steele tells her. She looks at him. "The Third Man? Joseph Cotton, . . ."

"I got it the first time," she tells him.

They hear someone fighting and move in that direction. They hear someone running, and then the outside door closes. Laura stops beside Rick as he lay on the floor. Steele goes in pursuit of the other man. Kneeling, Laura checks Rick. Steele gets outside in time to see a jeep leaving, turning the corner.

He goes back in. "Rick? Can you hear me?" Laura asks.

"Bad news for the Bad Man," Rick says slowly.

"Rick, why did you kill Doug West?" Steele asks.

He shakes his head. "No. I was in the- studio. Patched in -tapes. Doug- got greedy. Threatened- to go to the police."

"Who killed him, Rick? Who killed Doug West?"

"Who did this to you?" Steele asks.

Rick closes his eyes. He's dead.

The next morning, it SOUNDS as if Rick in on the air. "And, at seven oh two, this is Rick `the badman' Badham. You know I'm bad, and that's bad. No, that's good. And boy, does my head hurt." We see that it's Bud, wearing a blonde wig and one of Rick's trademark blue jackets. "I really got clunked yesterday," he says, looking out the window nervously. "But I'm all right now. I'm good, and I've got quite a bad story to tell ya, but, uh, more about that later." He turns on the music, frowning.

In the lobby, Laura watches as Steele disconnects the speaker on the wall. "No reason we have to listen."

"I hope this works," she tells him.

"Don't worry. When the killer hears Rick, he'll come back to finish what he started, and we'll nail him." He finishes with the speaker and gets off the counter, heading toward the studio. Laura grabs his arm.

"Be careful, Mr. Steele."

He nods, confused by her sudden concern, and then goes to the studio window, where Bud is saying, "For all you Tyler and Austin fans, the Bad Man has it on good authority that your favorite DJs were released last night." Steele taps on the glass, getting his attention. Bud looks at him, then Steele goes on. Bud turns back to the mike, nearly in tears.

Steele goes down the corridor, checking doors. Laura is hiding behind the desk when she hears someone coming. It's Marsha West. "Mrs. West."

"Out of my way."

"But you couldn't have killed your husband. You were with Norman."

Marsha digs in her purse. "Where's Rick Badham?" she asks, pulling out a gun.

"Mrs. West, I'm afraid you don't under . . ."

"He got Doug killed," Marsha says. "And framed my Norman for it!"

"Mrs. West, give me the gun. You're not going to shoot anyone." Marsha fires, missing Laura, who dives behind the desk.

"No one's going to stop me!" she declares, turning toward the studios as Steele returns.

Seeing the gun, he stops. "Mrs. West. You couldn't have killed your husband. You were with Norman!" She fires as he leaps over the sofa.

"Mrs. West, put down that gun!" Laura orders. Marsha points it at her again.

Steele pops up. "I thought she was with Norman!" he says before Marsha fires again.

"She was!" Another shot.

"Then why's she shooting at us?" Another shot.

"She's distraught!" Laura yells, ducking again.

"How many is that?"

"I've been too busy ducking to count!" Laura tells him.

Steele pops up and back down, but this time there's no shot. The gun is empty. She pulls the trigger again, and there's a gunshot, but it's not her gun, although she looks at it. Laura tackles Marsha while Steele takes off for the studio.

In the studio, someone is shooting at Bud, thinking he's Rick, as Bud throws albums at the attacker. Bud's terrified. Steele tackles the killer, hitting him in the jaw. It's Lymon. Laura and Marsha arrive, and both are stunned. "Rhymin' Lymon?" Laura asks.

Marsha looks into the studio at the disheveled, distraught Bud. "Bud?"

He looks out from behind a console, the wig half off. "Norman."


Dr. Krebs is making her farewell speech into the mike. "I want to thank all you fine folks out there at KROT who gave me the chance to talk to all you troubled and perverted souls out there. Though I'm leavin' the airwaves, don't despair. Cause I'm workin' on my own advice book. Candid Krebs. So long." She takes off the headphones.

Bud tells her, "Thanks for stopping by, Doc Krebs."

"Okay," she responds as he sits back down. "You are listening to Tyler and Austin."

"Yes, we're still on the air," Norm says.

"And we want to thank all those listeners who wrote us while we were in jail."

"Bud, I didn't see those letters."

"No? Sorry, I got it right here," he says, rattling the single paper. "And speaking of thanks, this next tune's for two special people out there: Remington Steele and Laura Holt," he says, pointing to the window where Steele and Laura are standing with Frank and Mildred as the song "Thank You For Being A Friend" starts to play.

Mildred waves bye to them as Frank says, "So that little cretin Lymon killed Doug West."

"Lymon was the mastermind behind the counterfeiting operation, only he couldn't hold it together," Laura told him. "Doug West got greedy, so Lymon killed him."

"He forced Rick into helping him cover up the murder, but then Lymon got scared that Rick might talk," Steele adds. "That's what they were fighting about when Rick got killed."

"Too bad about Rick. Wasn't much of a DJ, but he worked cheap," Frank says. "What the hell, the show must go on. Say, you don't think you could lend me Dr. Krebs for a little while, do you?"

Mildred's eyes light up. "What kind of bucks we talking?" she asks. Frank gets a sour expression.

"On the other hand, sex therapists are a dime a dozen." He turns and walks away.

Mildred chases after him. "Wait. I'm easy!"

Leon walks up, long faced. "Hey, Leon," Steele says.

"Storm clouds, baby. The cover's off."


"New York liked it better when the two old DJs did it."

"But this version's stronger," Steele points out. "I mean, it's more convoluted."

"TOO convoluted," Leon insists. "Who can follow it?"

"What about the counterfeit record angle?" Laura asks him.

"They did that story two months ago. Old news." Leon curls his fingers. "We were so close, baby."

"Uh huh," Steele agrees.

"You approached greatness, and then you veered left."

"The truth happened to get in the way," Laura says.

"Well, I hope this has been a lesson to you," Leon says as Laura rolls her eyes. "Ciao," he says, leaving.

Steele is disappointed. "Don't be too hard on yourself, Mr. Steele," Laura says.

"What's a few more million adoring fans more or less, eh?"

Laura looks at him. "Would you settle for just- one?"

"Well, Miss Holt, as they say in the parlance, let's blow this pop stand, shall we, eh?"

Laura looks upward. "I thought you'd NEVER ask."

"Well, let's go," he says, as they leave, arms around each other.

The End