The debonair ex-con-man and strait-laced detective return in the second season of "Remington Steele." This smart, funny detective series was one of the last of its kind, wonderfully odd and full of sometimes all-too-realistic crimes to be solved. The second season is, if anything, more polished than the first.
Things have changed a lot since Laura Holt's (Stephanie Zimbalist) fictional boss came to life, in the form of a nameless thief with a taste for the good life (Pierce Brosnan, pre-Bond). Now the wild detective cases continue, with a new ally: Mildred Krebs (Doris Roberts), an IRS agent who decides to join in on the thrilling ride. Too bad she doesn't know the truth about Steele.
The agency deals with a bunch of new, strange crimes: An amnesiac bigamist who is about to be murdered, international art thieves, mystery weekends, poisoned TV dinners, babies and boxers, aging jewel thieves, tracking down the jewels that Steele once tried to steal, and criminals in the circus.
Sure, there's comedy -- Laura and Steele have to deal with Laura's sister's marital problems at a dental convention, where someone is trying to steal a set of false teeth. But more dangerous cases abound -- Laura's house is bombed, and Steele is stalked by a mysterious enemy who is determined to see him dead... except that he never offended this man.
Time polished the rough edges of "Remington Steele" -- the second season flows more gracefully than the first did. Things have settled into their necessary grooves; don't expect as much "what's your name" demands and inter-office bickering. Just more character devopment and wild cases.
The most notable change is that Bernice and Murphy are no more. In their place is computer-savvy Mildred, an endearing older woman who still doesn't know that Steele is a fake. Mildred's kindness and guts are somewhat overshadowed by a desire "to be special," and her almost maternal caring for Steele and Laura.
More of Steele's past is revealed -- an old girlfriend who broke his heart shows up, and Laura finds out little tidbits here and there. Pierce Brosnan plays these scenes with raw feeling that is truly moving to watch, as well as Steele's funnier moments. Zimbalist shows off some of Laura's softer spots, as well as some very funny comic moments (wearing a giant tooth costume).
"Remington Steele Season Two" is even more funny and tense than the first season was, and introduces viewers to the indefatigable Mildred. A delightfully escapist detective show.