Remington Steele: Season 1, Episode 16

Steele Crazy After All These Years (18 Feb. 1983)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Comedy | Crime
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 52 users  
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A woman from Mr. Michaels college days seeks help solving the mystery disappearance of a mutual friend. It appears an poltergeist is murdering former members of her 1960's anti-war group.

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Title: Steele Crazy After All These Years (18 Feb 1983)

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Janet DeMay ...
Bernice Foxe (as Janet Demay) (credit only)
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Annie Carpenter
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Nat Shavers
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Lynette Mercer
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Hector Sanchez
John C. Becher ...
Dean Percy Winfield
Mark King ...
Tom Donovan
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Dan Kowalski
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Roger Hampton ...
Charlie
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A woman from Mr. Michaels college days seeks help solving the mystery disappearance of a mutual friend. It appears an poltergeist is murdering former members of her 1960's anti-war group.

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18 February 1983 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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References The Uninvited (1944) See more »

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An eerie outing of Remington Steele with a group of former hippies
25 December 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In this episode, Annie Carpenter seeks former classmate Michael Murphy's help when her close friend Dan Kowalski fails to show up at their 10 year anniversary college graduation reunion at night. Annie claims she heard Dan calling out to her in a panic but when she looked at the campus from her room, she saw no one. So, she and Murphy decide to look into Dan's room...and find his body hanging from the flagpole in front of the campus ROTC building.

Murphy enlists Holt's help but Steele tags along much to Murphy's annoyance. Steele decides to investigate separately from Holt and Murphy in the college campus. When Murphy asks for Annie's help in his and Holt's investigation of the murder, Annie sets out the basic story. Basically, 10 years ago--in 1973--Annie, Dan, Tom Donovan, Nat Shavers, Hector Sanchez and Lynette Mercer were a group of six anti-war protesters/hippies who planned to set off fireworks on the roof of the campus ROTC building. Only something went wrong, the roof exploded and Tom was killed while Lynette warned Hector and Nat to leave the ROTC building just before the explosion. Annie was on the street acting as the group's lookout in case campus security came. Annie also points to her picture portrait showing Dan with his sister. Holt/Murphy later meet with Hector in the campus library who tells them the same basic story (he only wanted to vandalize the ROTC building with spray paint graffiti) but Holt and Murphy were distracted by what appears to be the appearance of an apparition of Tom Donovan's ghost in a separate area of the library. When they return to their rendezvous, they see Hector gone...and soon Hector's body is also hanging dead atop the flagpole in front of the campus ROTC building. The campus killer has struck again.

Meanwhile, Steele investigates Dan's room only to find doors slamming shut, a mirror exploding in front of his face and the bathtub apparently releasing blood...and becomes terrified that the killer is a ghost. Holt and Murphy are unconvinced of Steele's story naturally and remain determined to discover the truth. Holt catches Nat Shavers breaking into her VW buggy and he tells his surviving group members and Murphy/Holt the same basic story of what happened in 1973 in the botched ROTC building break-in: only that Lynette told him that Tom could not get the 'fireworks' set while campus security had detected their presence in the building, so they had to leave quickly. Nat was only interested in retrieving some embarrassing office files in the ROTC building.

The masked killer soon breaks into Annie's room at night while Annie and Holt are there; when Holt confronts the intruder, the killer escapes into the dark outdoor campus. Holt teams up with Steele and pursues the masked killer into a series of underground tunnels but the killer escapes. However, they fortuitously catch the final member of the Group of 6 in the tunnel: Lynette Mercer. Lynette admits to Steele, Holt, Murphy and her surviving group members that she knocked Tom out with a blow to his head in 1973 when she discovered that he had really brought a bomb in the ROTC break-in and planned to destroy the entire roof of the building and make martyrs of the rest of the group for 'the revolution.' She realized "how stupid" she had been about Dan and how radical he had become with each break-in they had staged. She then reset the bomb's timer to 5 minutes and got her group members out of the building--with a story she made up just before the bomb blew the building's roof out. When Steele accuses her of also killing Dan and Hector, she denies it and says she hid in the tunnels below the campus because she had heard about Dan's murder. Holt agrees with Lynette that she is not the killer--to Steele's surprise--since there are 'no holes' in her story. As Holt reasons, prior to Lynette's admission, no one knew that she had killed Tom ten years ago.

Stumped, Holt and Murphy go through Annie's picture album once again to thrash out who had the motive and access on the college campus to carry out the two murders. Holt soon has an idea about the identity of the killer and runs into her storage area, with Murphy, and finds there an identical picture of Tom Donovan with his sister--that they had seen in Annie's picture album. They realize that this lady must be Tom's unknown sister. (At the episode's conclusion, it is revealed that she waited for the 10 year anniversary of the graduation to avenge her brother's death by killing all the other members of Tom's original group) Steele also deduces the killer's identity since he discovered a unique earring of the killer which Murphy had uncovered in Dan's room after further investigation. The killer had booby trapped Dan's room with hidden wires designed to automatically trigger open and shut doors when Steele was there thereby giving the appearance of a paranormal presence. The earring matched a piece of jewellery the killer wore which was displayed on various campus pictures.

In reality, clues about the killer's identity were obvious in this episode as Steele, Holt and Murphy could hardly walk around campus without seeing a picture of her. There was also Lynette's underplayed comment before Steele that Tom had once "told his kid sister about discovering the tunnels" below the college campus which was another clue as to the killer's identity. Only Lynette and the killer knew about the tunnels. This episode might be a great Halloween themed show with its references to ghosts and Poltergeist--which was the book Steele first picked up in Dan's room when all the special effects began. If I had a choice, I would have rated this episode at 8.4 out of 10.


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