- Tempered Steele
- From the episode
- Michael Gleason
We see someone signing a credit card ticket with the name "Remington
Steele" as the episode opens, then cut to a mailman delivering
the mail to Remington Steele Investigations.
Bernice waves at him. "Thanks!"
She takes the mail in to Laura, who is working on the computer.
"Thanks," she says as Bernice returns to the front
office just in time to see Murphy enter carrying two Styrofoam
She takes one and opens it, as Murphy does the same and says,
"Avocado on 7 grain with alfalfa sprouts -MMM, must be yours."
"Corned beef and pastrami on a kaiser roll with horseradish
and sauerkraut. MMMMM, must you YOURS."
They exchange plates when they hear Laura. "OOOOHHH!"
They both run to her office to find her looking at a pile of
credit card receipts. "You all right?" Murphy asks.
"What is it?"
"HIM! LOOK at those bills!" she says, tossing them
into the air before picking one up again. "One round trip
charted jet to Las Vegas- $2000. One evening gown by Louie of
Beverly Hills- $6000. You know he's bought her enough flowers
to open a botanical garden?!"
"Who?" Murphy asks.
"HER!!" She stalks over to a bulletin board on the
wall, pointing to the photo of a woman with her mouth open. "NADINE!
The peroxide piranha!"
Bernice looks confused. "But I thought that was his assignment:
Keep her out of the way until you settled the Randall case."
Murphy nods. "I hate to admit it, but he seems to be doing
an excellent job. I mean, we haven't seen Nadine in-- weeks."
"We haven't seen MR. STEELE, either. And the case has been
CLOSED for three days!"
Bernice starts picking up the tickets. "I guess he got a
little carried away."
"We may NEVER see him. Unless his CREDIT or his STAMINA
Bernice looks at a ticket. "Well, we know he was in San
Francisco two days ago."
"How do we know?" Laura asks, still angry.
She holds up the ticket. "We just got a bill from Ernie's."
Murphy tries to calm her. "Hold it, Laura. Calm down, huh?"
"We've GOT to do something to get his attention!" she
declares. She picks up a dart from the desk and tosses it at
the picture of Nadine, hitting her squarely in the open mouth.
That same mouth is about to munch down on caviar on cracker as
we hear Steele admonish-
"Uh -uh, Nadine. Never bite. Always nibble." She takes
a small bite. "More champagne?" He asks.
- She shakes her head. "Anything?"
"Just a cozy place to do some serious nibbling," she
Steele smiles, raises his hand to call the waiter.
"Yes, Mr. Steele?"
The waiter puts the check down, but grabs the pen before Steele
can get it. "Sorry, Mr. Steele. But I'm afraid your account
has been closed-"
"Yes sir." Steele gives him an angry look, hands him
a credit card. "Thank you, sir." He leaves again.
Steele takes Nadine's hand. "You have made this evening
so- extraordinarily special. I'm going to do something I've never
Nadine smiles. "OH, I HOPE so."
He picks up the brass name plate from the table, hands it to
her. "A forget-me-not."
"Oh, Remington," she breathes.
The waiter returns, obviously uncomfortable. "I'm sorry,
Mr. Steele, but- I have orders to confiscate your credit card."
"I don't know anything about it, sir. All THEY said was
that I had to confiscate the card."
"Then how am I supposed to settle this?"
"You COULD try cash, sir."
"Cash? I ever carry cash. It's so bulky-"
Nadine picks up her purse. "I have some money-" She
looks at the check. "WOW."
Steele glares at the poor waiter. "Now you've upset the
"If I weren't so annoyed, I'd be embarrassed." He puts
Nadine's wrap on her shoulders. "Allow me to repay you over
breakfast, my dear."
The waiter is even more embarrassed, takes the money and leaves.
Steele and Nadine start for the door, only to see the maitre'd
approaching. Steele takes her arm. "Uh- Claude will have
to be taken care of, too," he tells her softly.
She pulls a bill from her purse. "Is this all right?"
"More than adequate," he assures her.
She slips the money to Claude, who smiles. "Thank you, Mr.
Outside, as they wait in the rain, the valet goes to get the
car. Nadine looks up at Steele. "Should I-?"
"Just a few dollars," he tells her.
She slips the man the money as she gets into the limo. "Thank
you, Mr. Steele," he said. Steele nods, angry and embarrassed.
The next morning, Steele enters the office. There are several
people there, and Bernice is terrified when she sees him. "Mr.
He starts looking through the messages. "Miss Wolfe."
"Foxe!" she hisses.
He turns toward Laura's office as a man approaches. "Mr.
Steele. It's a pleasure, sir." At Steele's blank expression,
he prompts, "I'm Leibowitz. You know-" he lowers his
voice. "The Morton matter."
Steele nods, trying to look professional. "Yes. A very-
"But it's been resolved," Liebowitz tells him.
Steele glances at Bernice, who nods. "Complex, but easily
resolved." He goes into Laura's office, Bernice right behind.
"What?" He looks in Murphy's office.
"I'm a Foxe, not a Wolfe. Bernice Foxe. You call me Wolfe
one more time and I'll tell Laura you're hanging around the office."
She follows him into his office.
"Where is she?"
"I can see that. Where?"
"That's not for publication," she tells him in a haughty
"You don't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. She
has CLOSED my checking account. I am on the brink of financial,
not to mention PHYSICAL oblivion."
"I'll give her the message."
He starts for the door. "Very well, Miss Whatever. How would
you like me to handle EACH and EVERY one of the those cases out
He turns. "Where is she?"
"At a motel on Pico," she tells him.
At the motel, Laura is with a scarcely clad man in a room. She
giggles, removing her jacket. "This is a first for me,"
she tells him in with a country accented voice.
"Well, you're going to learn to love it," he tells
"If my husband ever found out about this, he'd kill us both."
"Well, I won't tell him if you won't."
In another room, Murphy is listening to them, making notes. "Smooth
talking creep," he mutters as the man with him, Roger Dillon,
"What is he saying?" he asks, getting Murphy's attention.
"Look, we already know he's behind it. Why can't we just
call the police?"
"He's gotta ASK her to steal the information from your company.
The minute he does, we'll grab him."
Laura slips out of the jeans. "Maybe I'll just take the
rest of the days off."
"No, baby," he says, standing up. "Because your
job is gonna make us both a LOT of money." He kisses her.
Murphy smiles and gives Dillon the "thumbs up" sign.
The man picks Laura up. "What do you mean?" She asks
him as he sits down on the bed.
"Well, you see, it's like this. You get me some material-"
Suddenly Steele bursts into the room. The man jumps toward the
corner, fumbling for his clothes as Steele says to a stunned
Laura, "You've got a lot of explaining to do!"
"What are YOU doing here?"
"You her husband, fella?"
"You CLOSED my checking account!"
She tries to push him toward the door, but he doesn't budge.
"We'll -talk - about it -LATER!"
"Wait, wait a minute!" the man says. "I KNOW that
"No. No, you don't," Laura insists, hoping to salvage
"Yeah, I do, that's Remington Steele!"
"Remington Steele? No-"
He looks at her. "It's a set up!"
Dillon sees the expression on Murphy's face. "What's going
on in there?"
Murphy takes off the headset and rushes toward the door. "Don't
He gets outside the room as the man rushes out, still trying
to get dressed. He's followed by Laura, clad only in her blouse
and panties- and Steele. "Grab him, Murphy!" she yells.
Murphy chases the man, as does Dillon, who runs into a car and
hurts his leg.
Behind Laura, Steele says, "I'm not finished-"
The man gets away, only to be chased by Murphy. Laura stands
there, furious, as Dillon asks, "Would somebody PLEASE tell
me what's happening?!"
"Slight change in plans, Mr. Dillon. Why don't you go back
to you office and I will give you complete update in about an
Dillon looks at Steele. "Well, at least it's reassuring
that Mr. Steele's personally involved." He limps away.
Laura fumes. "Three weeks of playing secretary for NOTHING!"
she says, hitting him on the arm as she turns back toward the
"Well, if you'd tell me what cases I'm supposed to be working
on, I wouldn't have found myself in this embarrassing situation!"
"You're not working on ANY cases- anymore!"
"Apparently gratitude's not one of your strong suits, Laura,"
says, following her into the room. "After all I've done
for you, THIS is how you repay me? Cutting off my credit? Closing
my checking account?"
Laura puts on her jeans. "You spent $22,000 dollars in a
single month. A month that doesn't even have 31 days in it."
"You asked me to keep Nadine occupied," he reminded
"Long stemmed roses," Laura said. "$200 an ounce
perfume. Designer gowns!"
"Perhaps I DID go a bit overboard, BUT it's for the good
of the agency-"
"Well, for the good of the Agency, from now on, we discuss
all expenditures in ADVANCE!"
"Fine. But I've written checks to people who don't even
TAKE checks. They have names like Bruno and Guido, and they do
some of their best work in cement."
Laura looks at him. "What kind of shady enterprise are you
involved in this time?"
"Danny's Dessert," he tells her. She kneels beside
the bed to find her other shoe. "Some of the finest horseflesh
ever to grace a quarter mile track."
He kneels on the other side of the bed, reaching beneath it.
"The horse comes up lame, Bruno and his boys want to unload
him," he finds her shoe, taps her arm with it. "So
I put together a group of investors to turn him out to stud."
She puts on her shoe. "Thank you." He helps her put
on her jacket. "I'll try to convince Mr. Dillon that your
barging in here was another brilliant Remington Steele tactic-"
She starts for the door.
"What about Danny's Dessert?" he asks.
"Buy him some Ben Gay," she suggests, leaving.
In his office later, Steele is watching the light flashing on
his telephone, not really wanting to answer the call. He finally
picks it up. "Bruno," he says nervously. "Just
as I suspected. Bookkeeping boggle-"
Bernice follows a man into the room. He holds out his hand to
Steele. "Good to see you, Mr. Steele. I'm-"
"Interrupting," Steele says, then turns his attention
back to Bruno.
Bernice says, "I told him that you -" Steele points
toward the door, and she flounces out.
Rising, Steele says into the phone, "Do I detect a note
of disbelief in your voice? Stiff? In what context are you using
that word, Bruno?" he asks, then laughs really nervously.
"Ah, that context."
- The man goes to the wall across
the room, looking at the photos of Steele, smiling as Steele
continues. "Noon tomorrow? I'm not sure that my bank can
transfer the funds by then-" he frowns as the line goes
dead and hangs up.
The man crosses back to him, hand extended. "Jim Meecham.
Meecham Exploration and Development. Let's huddle."
Steele doesn't look up. "See Miss Holt. She huddles."
He's checking various notes.
"I never stoop to a second stringer," he says as he
sits down. My play book looks like this. I'm in oil and natural
gas, based out of Oklahoma City, and my accountant says to diversify,
so I bought into Dillon Electronics. But it seems ever since
I've been on that team, it's been third and long. SOMEbody's
been red dogging us."
"We don't handle animal cases."
"You're already handling this one. Dillon Jr. hired you
folks to find out who's stealing our research. You were just
about to sack the guy in a motel when some air head busted up
Steele smiles. "Competent help is hard to find in any profession."
"That's why I want you quarterbacking this operation, Mr.
Steele. It's time to stop pussyfootin' around motels and get
to the bottom of this."
Steele picks up the phone. "I never involve myself directly
in a case. I function best in an advisory capacity," he
tells Meecham, then turns the chair away.
Meecham stands. "I subscribe to the George Steinbrenner
philosophy of life. If you want a piece of talent, you buy it."
He holds out a piece of paper. "Twenty five thousand dollar
cashier's check. Made payable to YOU."
Steele turns, smiles and presses a button. "Miss Wolfe-
hold my calls. I'll be in conference. Thank you."
Laura arrives, only to have Bernice thrust a steno pad into her
hands and say, "Mayday."
Eyes wide, Laura goes to Steele's office door, giving Bernice
a perky look before entering to find Steele and Meecham sitting
in the conference area, drinking and laughing like old pals.
"Excuse me, Mr. Steele."
"Ah, come in, Miss Holt! Come in. Meech was just telling
me about the time he wildcatted up Alaska way." He stands,
as does Meecham. "Jim Meecham, Laura Holt."
Meecham shakes her hand. "The tanglefoot from the motel-"
"Now, Meech, let's not blitz her buns. Miss Holt is one
of my finest operatives."
Laura smiles sweetly. TOO sweetly. "You're TOO kind, Mr.
Steele." They sit down as Laura says, "We're watching
the young man's apartment in case he shows up."
"That's fine for the taxi squad. But the coach here had
just convinced me that the ONLY way to stop all these thefts
is to install a complete security system."
Laura looks at Steele, who takes another drink and smiles. "We
start first thing in the morning."
"May I RESPECTFULLY remind you, Mr. Steele, that your ENORMOUS
responsibilities preclude any personal involvement-"
Meecham interrupts her. "Now, little lady, when I buy seats
on the fifty yard line, I expect to see the FIRST team play.
Now, you let the coach do what he does best, and you- well, you
just do whatever it is you do around here." He grabs the
bottle. "I'll just doggie bag this. See you later, Steele."
Knowing that Laura's angry, Steele gets up.
"Are you CRAZY?" She asks.
"He insisted I handle the case."
"Security system my foot! You couldn't even install a light
"Piece of cake."
"You know, you are beginning to believe your own publicity.
You are NOT Remington Steele. I invented Remington Steele. He's
a figment of MY imagination!"
Bernice moves to the door to listen to them as Steele says, "It's
my face on your figment. Do you have any idea how draining it
is to BE Remington Steele?"
"Oh, this is AGONY, living out a part I've only seen in
"We make such a winning combination-"
"We have a deal-"
"Let's enjoy our success-"
"I do the work, and you take the bows-"
"Let our passions erupt into something outrageously fulfilling-"
Laura goes still. "You mean hop in the sack?"
"Little crude, but- to the point."
"But I can't." She runs a finger around her collar
as if it's suddenly too tight - or the room is too warm.
- "Why not?"
- "It's tough enough pulling
off this kind of charade without THAT kind of complication."
She gives him his sunglasses. "As long as we're IN business,
let's keep it business-like. Tell OLD Meech that the press of
other commitments forces you to turn Dillon Electronics over
to Murphy and me."
"Love to, but I can't," he says, using her words against
He picks up his glass. "I gave him my word. And everyone
knows that Remington Steele's word is his bond." He finishes
his drink and turns for the door, leaving Laura fuming.
Bernice scurries to a corner, pretends interest in a file as
he comes out. "Carry on, Miss Wolfe." She glowers after
The limo delivers Steele to the Lost and Found Mission on Main.
It's immediately surrounded by winos and addicts looking to make
a quick buck by washing the car. He enters the building to watch
a man as he talks to those sitting before him. "And that's
the worst part of it, feeling sorry ourselves. Nobody loves me,
nobody cares about me, except my bottle or my needle. Oh, yeah,
I know what I'm talking about, because, I know it's gonna be
hard to believe, but I used to be just like you. Shootin up all
day and pukin up all night. Then I got the message. There IS
and WAS somebody who cared about me. The Big C. Jesus Christ
himself. I mean, you're looking at a living, breathing testimony
to the powers of the Big Fella. I mean to tell you, if He can
keep ME straight for three years, he sure as hell can do the
same for you bunch of bums." He sees Steele there, smiling,
nodding. "Why don't you all get yourself something eat?"
He approaches Steele, smiling widely. "Well. It it ain't
my old friend-"
"Shh," Steele warns, pulling out a card.
"Remington Steele Detective Agency? How did YOU end up detecting?"
"I had the face for it."
"Sure not like the old days, huh, J-" Steele clears
his throat, taps card. "Uh, Remington. Sorry. What a moniker."
"I am in desperate need of your services, Wallace."
"I'm not in that line of endeavor anymore. The Big Guy frowns
on it. I-"
"Nothing REMOTELY tainted, I assure you. Since you've circumvented
so many burglar alarms, I thought you'd be just the chap to install
one- sort of -poetic justice."
"I don't know. If I'm not around here, this place turns
into a shooting gallery-"
"A few days work for say- ten thousand dollars?"
"Ten THOUSAND? What I could do for these bums with ten grand."
Steele writes on a card. "My tailor. Have him whip you up
something conservative, yet - dernier cri. Charge it to
Wallace smiles. "New name or not, you're still the same
old high flyer."
Steele shakes his hand twice before leaving.
Laura is looking at a photo of Steele when Bernice returns, carrying
several files and something to eat. "I'm back! Home work!"
she says. "Surveillance on Marlene York, Insurance description
of the Regatsi jewelry, the wrap up on the Morton case -"
Laura puts the photo down. "Don't you get enough of the
real thing?" Bernice asks, handing her a plate.
"What?" Bernice glances at the photo. "Oh, I happened
to come across it on my desk."
"Hey, this is ME, remember? The Belle of the Ball? The life
of the party? I've seen that look before. I've even had it a
time or two myself."
Laura picks up the photo again. "Who is he? What was he
before he was Remington Steele?"
"Who cares? He's here, you're here, go for it."
"And then what?"
Bernice shrugs. "Depends on what you're looking for. Me?
I'm all partied out. What I want is slightly dull, filthy rich
husband. But I were in the market for a heart stopping, teeth
rattling, eye rolling fling-" she takes aim at the picture.
Laura smiles. "You know, it's not just the free ride that
keeps this clown around. It's the challenge. I'm probably the
only woman he's ever met who didn't tumble right into bed with
"Not a bad way to break the ice," Bernice points out.
"Yeah," Laura agreed, her eyes bright. "But I
can barely keep him in line now. Can you imagine what he'd be
like if we turned THAT corner?"
"Might be fun finding out."
"I've worked too hard to risk everything just to get my
"So where does that leave you?"
Laura considers the question, then smiles. "Itchy."
The next morning, Dillon Electronics vans deliver material to
the Dillon house as the security system is being installed. Murphy
watches the men work, then finds Wallace. "Your men are
"Best in the business."
"Right. Tell me, Wallace, where did you first meet Mr. Steele?"
"Paris, it was," he says, going to the window. "Spring
of '77. Or was it '78? No, no, it was '79. That was a good year."
"Are you sure it wasn't Dennamora or Leavenworth?"
Wallace looks at him. "Rats."
"They've got rats in the Seine -big as Volkswagens,"
he says, then moves away, leaving a confused Murphy.
Laura approaches Steele as he's looking over various plans. "Are
you SURE they know what they're doing?"
"Between them they've over 75 years of experience."
Laura looks at him. "Who are you? Where did you come from?"
Steele smiles slightly. "Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman,
'Casablanca', Warner Brothers, 1942."
"This is no time to be quoting old movies."
"Then stop asking old questions." He moves away as
Anna Dillon comes up with a tea tray.
"Tea time. You want some of this, honey?" she asks
"Thank you, Mrs. Dillon."
"ANNA. What a mess. Packy's probably doin' a three-sixty
in his grave."
"My late husband, Patrick Joseph." She pours the tea.
"We started Dillon Electronics forty years ago making gyroscopes
for the Navy from our basement." Laura drinks, almost chokes
as Mrs. Dillon laughs. "Tastes like raw crude, don't it?
Packy had it special blended. Couldn't stand it myself while
he was alive- but now, it kinda keeps me close to him."
Laura glances to where Roger is laughing with a young woman.
"Well, your son seems to be carrying on the family tradition."
"Roger? He's- carryin' on, alright."
Steele and Meecham are coming downstairs as Meecham asks, "Why
the hell are we cartin' all this stuff up here?"
"Stop and smell the flowers, Meech. Santa Barbara's lovely
this time of year."
"It seems foolish to keep the research in the house."
"Well, he may run the company, but the old lady still runs
him. She thinks it's too risky at the plant."
"Now, Meech, I am PERSONALLY supervising this entire operation.
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?"
Night falls, and three masked burglars break into the house,
heading for the library where the plans are stored. They get
that far, but when they pick up the research, alarms sound, iron
grills block the windows, lights flash, an grilled doors clang
shut at the entrance.
Steele and the others come from the drawing room. He opens the
door, pulls the key from his pocket. "The key!" he
announces, putting it into the control panel with a flourish,
turning it. The alarms silence, the doors open, the lights come
on. "Gentlemen?" Steele smiles at the three men, indicating
that they should remove their masks. It's Wallace and his friends,
and Steele joins them. "If the men who installed the system
cannot breech it, then I'd have to say it's foolproof."
Laura mutters to Murphy as the others congratulate Steele, "You
gotta admit, he pulled it off."
Late that night, Steele is awakened by a knocking at his door.
Opening it, he finds Roger there. "Guess what?"
He follows Roger down to the library, only to find the metal
doors half closed, and the research gone. "Oh, my."
That morning, everyone is pacing the room, when Meecham speaks
up. "Well, don't everyone stand around like it's a time
out- call the police."
Roger freaks. "NO. If this gets out, we'll lose our government
Meecham glares at Laura and Steele. "You install fifty thousand
dollars worth of equipment, somebody just turns off the main
switch and walks out the front door."
Roger says, "You think this was an inside job?"
"You're all-pro material, Dillon," Meecham sneers.
Murphy comes in. "Wallace is gone."
Steele looks at him. "Where?"
Laura tries to clear things up. "Let me assure you, Mr.
"I'm going to sue your agency till it comes up as dry as
my last oil well."
Steele speaks up. "It seems to me-" he pauses, realizing
that everyone is looking at him. "We all got off on the
wrong foot this morning." He smiles.
Later, Steele is in the limo, watching "The Thin Man"
on the TV there. He places a phone call to Laura, who's checking
Wallace out on the computer. "Hello?"
She frowns. "What do YOU want?"
"No. Wallace and I are sitting here making paper airplanes
out of the research he stole."