Episode Number: 5 according to broadcast order, and 7 to production order.
Production Nº: 780-08. Airdate: Saturday, October 20, 1984. Writer: Harold Livingston. Director: Lee Katzin.
Guest Cast: Cameron Mitchell [Duke Kovack] / Nancy Kwan [Anna Chen] / James Sloyan [Leo Gorin] / Randy Stumpf [Jimmy Lain] / Dennis Dun [Jimmy’s Pal].
Other Titles: In German: "Gauner mit Stil" ("A Rogue With Style").
While Sydney and Jeanine and Shane are seeing Carol off at the airport to go to Washington DC for a criminal investigation conference, Sydney is shocked to see two men, one she knows very well, passing them off to one side of the airport. Suddenly, with no explanation, she takes off after the men. Carol, Jeanine and Shane run after her, and follow her in a cab to the Mark Hopkins Hotel. There they catch up with Sydney and find out that the man is Duke Kovack, Sydney’s father, and that the other man is Larry Goldin, a man who has hired Duke to fix a small problem. While Carol is charmed, Sydney is suspicious of her father, knowing that he is up to some scheme to make money by a nefarious scam.
The story that Duke tells them is that he has been hired to locate a small bronze dog that was stolen from Goldin’s family, who were later killed in an accident. He tells them that he has located the dog at an antique store run by a woman named Anna Chen, and sees Goldin out of the room, but not before he tells Goldin, who is really an ex-con named Leo, that the made up the story was to fool Sydney and Carol. Duke promises to meet him later after the women leave.
Syndey now know that something is really up, because Anna Chen runs the biggest professional poker game in San Fransisco’s Chinatown. She swipes a champagne glass from the room that was handled by Leo, and plans to give it to Lt. Veronsky to check the fingerprints. She tells Carol that she doesn’t trust her father, and will follow him after she has seen Carol off at the airport. Duke goes to Chinatown, but doesn’t see Leo following him. Sydney also follows Duke, and sees him being admitted into Anna Chen’s house, where he is welcomed into the marathon, high stakes poker game. When Sydney, an old friend of Anna’s, is let in, she confronts Duke about the deception, and says that he is involved in some kind of a scheme. Duke shows her the bronze dog in a glass case, and leaves a surprised Sydney to return to the game. She takes the dog out of the case, opens it and finds a key, which she puts in her purse. Suddenly, two masked men break in the house and steal the dog, but outside Leo sees the men leave and separate. He follows the man with the dog to a run-down hotel, and pulls a gun and confronts the man over the dog. Leo shoots the man, and opens the dog, but finds it empty. Frustrated, he leaves. Duke, having left the game and an upset Sydney behind, also goes to the hotel room, but finds his friend and partner Jimmy, who was part of Duke’s scheme, dead on the floor, and the dog gone.
Sydney meets Lt. Veronsky, who tells her that the prints on the champagne glass are of a ex-con named Leo Gorin, then he leaves to investigate a murder in Chinatown. Suspicious, Sydney goes back to the mansion, where she finds Duke waiting for her outside. He admits that he is really in trouble. She tells him that she knows about Leo Gorin, and that he is a bigger conman than Duke, having stole a million dollars some time ago that was never found. Duke realizes that it is he that was swindled and set up for murder rap by Leo, and asks for Sydney’s help. She shows him the key that she took out of the dog before it was stolen, and he congratulates her for her forethought. Sydney tells her father that she and Shane and Jeanine will set up their own scam to get Leo to come after the dog and the key, which is probably to the safe deposit box where the million dollars is kept.
Sydney has Shane take pictures of the dog to place in an antiques magazine that they will leave in Duke’s hotel room to mislead him into thinking that there is more than one bronze dog. Sydney contacts Leo, still pretending that she thinks he is Larry Goldin, and says that Duke is in some kind of trouble, and ask to meet with him at Duke’s hotel room, which she has Shane mess up as if Duke left in a hurry. When Leo goes to the misarranged room, he finds the magazine and the photo of the dog, with an address purporting to be the antique magazine California address, but is really the Caulfield mansion. Shane pretend to be working as an archivist there when Leo comes to the door, asking about the dog, and Shane helps him locate the supposed owner, who is Jeanine, posing as a rich antiques collector. Leo goes to her home, and with offers her $100,000 for it. She agrees, and he leaves and goes to the bank.
But Lt. Veronsky has tracked down Duke, who was seen outside the hotel room of the murdered man in Chinatown, and comes to arrest him. Sydney tells Veronsky that Duke was set up, and tells him of the scheme to clear Duke. They set out for the bank, and capture Leo as he tries to get away. A triumphant Sydney tells her father that his scheme was successful after all.
Sydney goes to the airport to meet Carol and to see her father off on another of his schemes, and is saddened by his leaving her again. He tells her that she is the best thing in his life,
but he still has to go after that one great scam again and again, and he leaves her, sad but understanding him better.
All "Partners In Crime" episode synopsis are © 2003 by Mia - Wonderland.
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