Episode Number: 4, according to broadcast order, and 1 according to production order.
Production Nº: PA-336-868.
Airdate: Saturday, October 13, 1984. This pilot episode was in fact originally shown fourth in order.
Writer: Jeffrey Lane. Directors: Harry Falk, Leonard B. Stern.
Guest Cast: Julie Sommars [Nola Clemens] / Steve Levitt [Michael] / John Schuck [Gilbert Pierce] / John Beck [Eric Leggett] / Patricia Elliott [Phyllis Hopper] / Sally Kellerman [Melody Cronin] / Kim Miyori [Teresa Lee] / J.E. Freeman [Garrett Sirk].
Other Titles: In German: "Raymonds letzter Wille" ("Raymond's Last Will").
Private investigator Raymond Dashiel Caulfield awakes from a nightmare in his San Francisco mansion on Nob Hill. He goes to his office, on the second floor of his mansion, and while checking his files, he is shot to death. His mother Jeanine, who owns a mystery bookstore called “Partners In Crime”, contacts his two former wives. One of them, Sydney Kovack, a stunning buxom blonde, is a San Francisco street-smart professional bass fiddle player on a cruise liner. The other, Carol Stanwyck, a beautiful blue-eyed brunette, is a former heiress, now broke, and a photographer who spends her time taking photos of whatever event she can be hired for, and house sitting for her friends in New York City. Both receive the telegram telling of Ray’s death and asking them to return for the reading of the will, and both are stunned and saddened.
While Sydney is disembarking from the cruise liner, she is approached by a woman, who brusquely demands that she give “it” to her. While Sydney is explaining that she doesn’t know what “it” is, her bags and bass are taken by a man. Sydney gives chase, and recovers them, but the woman is gone. She goes to “Partners In Crime” and meets Jeanine, who is still recovering from her son’s death. There Sydney learns that “the other one,” Carol, will be there for the will reading too. The two women have never met, and don’t know if they really want to. Jeanine reassures Sydney that Carol is a wonderful person, and that the two will get along for the brief time that they are together.
Michael, Ray’s assistant, has been sent to New York to find Carol and give her airline tickets to San Francisco. He locates her, but while they board a bus to go to lunch, he sees a familiar but menacing man get on the bus, and he pushes Carol off, to her surprise. They manage to escape the man, but Carol is unaware that they are doing so. In a restaurant, Michael gives Carol the ticket, but she tells him that she can travel free while being a member of a courier service. Carol is living very frugally and exchanges the ticket for a cash refund to help her expenses.
When Carol flies into San Francisco, she is met by a man in a courier outfit who has her name on a small sign. It is the same man who tried to steal Sydney's bass and bags, but Carol of course doesn’t know that, and she gives him her baggage claims and the package she is carrying as a courier while she goes to the powder room. When she returns, the man is gone and her bags and the package also, and another man with a sign, the real courier service pickup, accuses her of theft. Carol winds up in the police station, where she calls Sydney when she can’t reach Jeanine at her bookstore. Sydney bails her out, and takes her to her apartment. Both women are wary, but try to get along. When they go to bed, the man who was following Michael and Carol in New York breaks into the apartment and tries to steal Sydney’s bass. Carol’s screams scare him off, and both women realize that they are back in Ray’s life again
The next morning Carol and Sydney go to Ray’s mansion. They are surprised to see that it looks better than they last saw it, but when they try the doorknocker it comes off in Carol’s hand. Harvey Shane opens the door, and tells them that the house is really in need of repairs. He is the caretaker and helped on cases for Ray. They also meet Nora, Ray’s secretary, and catered waiters with trays of food. Jeanine is there, and greets Carol. When Shane tells her that he found her luggage outside that morning, Carol is very surprised and runs to check them. Everything is there, including the courier package, which she thought would be gone. Phyllis Hopper, Raymond’s lawyer, tells everyone that the will is about to be read, which included everyone there and the catered dinner, but to their surprise, they all to get into limosines and drive to the Top of the Mark Hotel. Carol is asked to read Ray’s remarks about her. She is very hesitant, because they are very personal, but she struggles through. In the remarks, Ray tells how he arranged a fake New Year’s Eve party so that he could meet her, a former teabag heiress, whose family fortune was lost by her father, and that he fell in love with her before the New Year arrived. Carol, upset by having her life described, but also very touched at Raymond’s words of love to her, realizes her loss is final. Next everyone goes to a boxing gym, where Sydney is asked to read that Ray fell in love with her, a woman raised on the seamier streets of San Francisco, at the trial of her murdered boyfriend which he investigated. Sydney too is upset, and when everyone returns to the mansion for the final part of the will, both women begin to leave together, but not before they hear that Ray deeded over his mansion and his private investigator business to the both of them so that they can better their lives. Carol and Sydney leave, angry at what Ray has done.
Both women go to a bar, where they talk about Raymond and the terms of the will. Neither want the mansion or business, but can’t decide if they should leave. While Sydney is called to the phone, where a harsh male voice demands “it,” Carol is approached by a handsome man who compliments her on her beauty. Sydney interrupts the two and drags Carol outside, where they are met by the woman who asked Sydney about “it” at the dock the day before. She tells them she is Melody Cronin, as if it means something to the women. Neither are impressed, and as they talk a car tries to run Carol and Sydney down, but they are pushed out of the way by the man from the bar. When they get up, both the Melody Cronin and the man have disappeared!
Back at the mansion, both women are upset at being attacked, and they ask Michael, Shane and Nola about Raymond and his cases. They are told that he was acting very strange, and would not tell them, but joked about finding the Golden Gate Bridge, and seemed to want to make things better around the mansion, where if more that 2 lights are turned on, a fuse is blown and the lights go out. Carol and Sydney are persuaded to stay at the mansion in case they are attacked again. But neither can rest, and later that night Sydney goes to Raymond’s office, where she finds Carol trying to open the safe and get out Raymond’s case book. They examine it for clues, and find his “spectre of death list,” a list of people in Raymond’s cases who threatened him with death. But the last case is described as his own case, with the list including “my client, the owners’ beloved niece and my wife!” Both of them are shocked and burn the pages with the names. They look around the office, where Raymond’s models of famous cityscapes are gathering dust.
Suddenly the lights go out, and Carol and Sydney cautiously go out into the hall, where they see a strange man with a flashlight. They chase him down the stairs, where Shane knocks him down and sits on him. Both Sydney and Carol recognize the man as their bass and luggage thief. He is a private investigator named Gilbert Pierce, and to their surprise he offers them $20,000 for the Golden Gate Bridge. He says that his client is Eric Leggett, who wants the model of the bridge that was built by the uncle of Melody Cronin, who they realize is the “owners’ beloved niece” in Ray’s casebook. The model was built back in the 1920’s, and is the object that everyone is after. Carol and Sydney go to Leggett’s house but are refused entrance, but they find out there is to be a party that night. They slip into the party, where they meet Leggett, who is the man who saved their lived outside the bar. He tells them that the bridge is solid gold, and has been searched for by many people, and thinks that a member of Raymond’s family found it before he died. He also tells Carol that he has fired Pierce, and wants to see her again. Carol is flattered, but Sydney is suspicious and when they go to leave, sees Pierce talking to Leggett. He leaves, and they follow him, but lose him when Sydney’s car has a flat tire. They go to the bookstore to talk to Jeannine, whom they suspect may have found the bridge, where they find Michael, and Pierce dead of a knife wound.
When the police come to investigate the murder, Carol and Sydney meet Lt. Veronsky, a loud-mouthed detective, who is interested in Sydney, but she brushes him off. When Carol and Sydney question Michael as to why he was at the bookstore Michael tells them that Ray was last client was Eric Leggett, who fired Ray when he thought Ray double-crossed him and went after the bridge himself. When they refuse to believe him, Michael says that Raymond wasn’t himself during his last days, and had many secrets.
The next morning Sydney tells Carol that her agent has arranged an audition, and tells her that if it works out she plans to leave and abandon the investigation. Carol is upset at her attitude, but Sydney says she wants out of Raymond’s life forever. When Sydney goes to the concert hall, she finds it dark, and is threatened by a man who again demands that she give him the bridge. He begins to cut up her bass strings, and Sydney flees the building, to run into Carol outside, who apologizes to her for the argument, and the women get away. Sydney, upset that she was attacked, tells Carol that she wants back into the case. They decide to meet with Eric Leggett, and at lunch Sydney picks his pocket, where they find Pierce’s notes on the case. They say that he was shadowing Sydney, Carol, and another woman, Teresa Lee. Carol pretends to be ill and leaves the luncheon to search for the Lee woman, while Sydney keeps Leggett occupied. Carol finds that Lee is an Asian-American fancy antique store owner, and Lee tells her she was in love with Raymond and that he proposed to her. Carol contacts Sydney, and all three women go to where Teresa last saw Ray before he was killed, an office building in downtown San Francisco. Overcome with emotion, Teresa leaves the two women to investigate the address. They find that it is an office of Phyllis Hopper, Ray’s lawyer. She tells them that this second office is where clients can come who don’t wish to be noticed. She also confesses that Ray had found the bridge, and she was acting as a go-between in selling it, but she doesn’t know who the buyer was.
Sydney and Carol realize that the bridge is one of the models in Ray’s office, and they search for it, but Michael tells them that some of the models were lent to a toy exhibition. Nola, upset by all of the events, starts to cry about being the office where Ray’s worst dream came true, and Carol and Sydney comfort her before they and Michael go to the exhibition. When they arrive, it is closing, but they manage to find the bridge. Suddenly the lights go out, and Carol and Sydney cry out that something is wrong. Michael finds the bridge, but the man who tried to steal Sydney’s bass from her apartment and attacked Carol now attacks him with a knife.
Carol comes to help Michael by flashing her camera in the attackers face, and the man grabs a metal rod from a nearby exhibit, and starts to beat Michael, but he hits an overhead string of lights and is electrocuted. When the light come on, shut off by the man, the bridge is missing. Lt. Veronsky comes to investigate, and says that he doesn’t believe that there was a bridge, but Carol says that she took pictures of it as the fight began. When they are developed, the last one shows Eric Leggett reaching for it as Michael and the other man fight in the foreground. They all go to Leggett’s house, where they find him sitting with the bridge broken into pieces. He says that it isn’t gold, just lead, and lets Lt. Veronsky arrest him. Before he leaves, Veronsky tells them that the dead man was Garrett Sirk, who was from Leverton Missouri. Carol remembers that Raymond was stationed there in the military, and Veronsky says that Sirk was dishonorably discharged for criminal acts while in the military, but he was not the murderer of Raymond, having come to town the day after Raymond was killed to find Laura, his widow and Sirk’s sister. The girls realize that the phrase in Raymond’s case book of “my wife” is whom that refers to. They are stunned to learn that Raymond was married to Laura Sirk in Leverton Mo. before either of them and before the marriage was annulled he was Sirk’s accomplice. So Raymond and Garrett and Laura Sirk are connected with his last case. Laura and her brother were blackmailing him, and Raymond was trying to get the bridge to raise enough money to pay them off.
In the park, Carol and Sydney and Michael begin to talk about how all the excitement over the bridge wasn’t worth Ray’s life, and Carol and Sydney talk about Ray’s death dream. Suddenly they stop and stare at each other, realizing that someone else has mentioned the dream who shouldn’t have known.
Back at the mansion, they set up an elaborate party to expose the murderer, but tell all that it is a memorial party for Raymond, inviting all of the staff, Teresa, Jeanine and Melody Cronin and Lt. Veronsky. As a hired band plays and a singer sings the words to the song, “Laura,” Both Carol and Sydney circle Nola, and accuse her of being Raymond’s wife too, since only his wives knew of his nightmare, of being murdered in his own office by someone holding his own revolver. Nola turns on a light to blow the fuse, and in the dark escapes upstairs, where Carol and Sydney find her in Raymond’s office holding Raymond’s gun to her head. She says that she still loved him, and would have stopped the blackmail, but he said that he was going to marry Teresa, and she shot him in a fit of jealous rage. Carol and Sydney persuade her that he did really love her, and takes the gun away from her.
The case solved, the girls decide to give up the business and go back to their separate lives, but when they part, each realizes that they have grown to like and trust each other, and that the detective agency and the mansion is the only real job and home that offers any security, so they both decide to take Raymond’s advice and become the new owners of the Raymond Dashiell Caulfield Detective Agency.
All "Partners In Crime" episode synopsis are © 2003 by Mia - Wonderland.
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