Lionel "Brownshoe" Whitney (Jeff Goldblum) is an accountant who wants something more out of life, and is obsessed with the fictional detectives of the 40s. So much that he decides to learn karate, don a trenchcoat, and style himself as a 40s detective. Through a series of strange circumstances, he ends up partnered with E.L. "Tenspeed" Turner (Ben Vereen), an inveterate conman who needs work to satisfy his parole requirements. Together they start a detective agency and solve crimes in this slick crime-comedy produced by Stephen J. Cannell.
Recaps1x14: Diamonds Aren't Forever recap
: E.L. arrives at the office and discovers that Lionel is repainting and bringing in potted plants. Lionel finally gets around to explaining that his parents will be there the next day on a visit, and he's trying to make the office look better because his father William, the vice president of the Allied Insurance Group, expects penthouse suites. He's worried that the place makes him look unsuccessful, and E.L. offers him a penthouse and a car. When Lionel refuses, E.L. accuses him of not trusting him. Lionel denies it and E.L. tells him he has nothing to worry about... read more.1x13: The Treasure of Sierra Madre Street recap
: At the office, Lionel is reading yet another Mark Savage novel when E.L. tells him that they were underbid on a job by a P.I., Fred Wysocky. E.L. hears the phone call in the lobby and goes to answer it, claiming it's a personal call. He's pretending to be a referral service, and the call is from a teenager who wants to hire them to follow his girlfriend. E.L. refers him to Wysocky and starts to walk away, but gets another call. It's from Grace Ducharme, who wants someone experienced in background investigations. Not surprisingly, E.L. refers her to the Lionel Whitney Agency. When he returns to the office, Ducharme calls Lionel, who is surprised that a referral service recommended him. She wants to meet at somewhere public and Lionel sets up a rendezvous at a bar... read more.1x12: Untitled recap
: E.L. arrives at the agency wearing a fake cast and says he has a broken foot. He claims he broke his foot at a roller derby while dancing with a nun, and he needs to take a leave of absence. E.L. comments that the office is a mess because their cleaning lady, Katie, didn't show up. He then insists he needs to go home, and refuses Lionel's offer to drive him home. Once he's gone, Lionel quickly realizes that E.L. played him and drives off after him... read more.1x11: This One's Gonna Kill Ya recap
: At the office, Lionel is pursuing his hobby and pouring over clippings of the 40-year-old murder case of Sable Hill, a minor actress. E.L. isn't particularly interested. Lionel comes up with a theory and then stops E.L. from betting on the horses. The partners take to the streets and Lionel laments how modern murders are crude compared to the elegance of the Sable Hill murder. A car tries to run E.L. down and then the driver opens fire. E.L. avoids taking any damage, but has to admit he doesn't know anyone trying to kill him at the moment... read more.1x10: Loose Larry's List of Losers recap
: At the office, E.L. is inspecting some stolen watches a friend, Racetrack Richard Rollin, has brought in for him. While Racetrack talks about a crooked horse betting scheme he was involved in, E.L. picks the wristwatch he wants and bargains him down. While Racetrack wraps it and gives him a phony sales slip, E.L. nervously checks the time and looks out the window. Once Racetrack leaves, E.L. puts up a sign and tapes helium balloons to the floor. When Lionel returns from his karate class, he discovers that E.L. has thrown him a one-man birthday surprise party. E.L. gives him the wristwatch as a present. Lionel thinks that it's hot, but E.L. convinces him otherwise with the fake sales slip... read more.