License to Steele – 13

We rejoin Laura arriving to see Gordon Hunter at the scene of his triumph (?)


… but it seems the gala is over!


“Welcome to the party,” a morose Hunter tells Laura.


She informs him there may be an attempt to steal the gems – tonight!

Gordon doesn’t seem to care … he’s got bigger problems.


“I completely retooled an abandoned tire factory in Toledo, hired 800 people to turn out a car nobody wants.”


“Dreams aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, Miss Holt.”


She can relate!  (It must surely be a measure of how off-kilter the evening has been for Laura that she’s drinking out of this guy’s glass. Ew. But I suppose once you’ve found a body hanging in a closet, one doesn’t worry so much about kooties.)

Meanwhile, somewhere else, we see someone studying architectural drawings and taking notes.


Who can it be?


Why, it’s Douglas Quintain-Michael-O’Leary-John-Morrell-Paul-Fabrini-Richard Blaine, that’s who! Uh, oh! Someone’s at the door! DQMOJMPFRB (whew!) gathers up his papers and dashes into the bedroom.


He stashes the paperwork under the bed. I wonder who is at the door?


Someone with a long, slender arm, it seems. Murphy?


Nope. It’s Laura.  He wants to know how she found him here.


“Since you seem to have developed a taste for masquerading as Remington Steele, it was a logical place to look.”

Laura brings up his brother, the dead courier.

“Devastating loss,” he says with surprising cheerfulness.

“He was 63 years old,” she informs him.


“My older brother,” he explains, apparently hoping she doesn’t remember that he previously described him as younger. Just when this banter is beginning to get sexy, there’s an interruption.


It’s good ol’ Murph, striking a macho pose. “Laura, just get it over with and turn him in,” Murphy tells his boss.


No need for that, the con man says. He’s ready to confess! (Is it me, or does Laura look a little peeved that Murphy interrupted their tete-a-tete?)

Con man tells the real detective, Miss Holt, that her intuition was right: He is here for the gems. But not for himself! No!


Cut-Rate-Con-Man Selfless Do-gooder only wants to return them to their rightful owner, the South African government!

Laura ain’t buyin’ it. “You’re a thief!” she declares.


Au contraire! “Kessler and Neef (back to Neef? What happened to Neff?) are thieves. I am an artist!”

Murphy ain’t buyin’ it.


“You’re a murderer!” Murphy snarls, giving Selfless Do-gooder a sharp rap on the shoulder with his symbolic rod! He means business, pal! Murphy tells Selfless Do-gooder what he should already know: “The real agent Ben Pearson is hanging from a coat hook in your room!”


Selfless Do-gooder seems genuinely surprised!


“Ah, those filthy …” he mutters.


“Who?” Laura prods.

Selfless Do-gooder is happy to name the real culprits:


“Kessler and his ape, Neef!”

He recites the modus operandi of the killers: Pearson was killed with a knife, a 6-inch blade, incision and thrust upward just below the third vertebrae.


“Helluvan accurate description for an innocent man,” Murphy notes. Selfless Do-gooder explains he’s been chasing these two men halfway across Europe (Huh? I thought they were chasing him!); he knows their methods.


He tells Laura and Murphy that they’ll have to move fast to catch them – they’ll go for the gems tonight.


“What makes you so certain?” Laura wants to know (while Murphy glowers beside her).


“I would,” he concedes.

Laura wants to know if he still intends to.


“The thought had crossed my mind.”


“Then I’d have to stop you.”

“If you could.”

“Easy. I’d call the police.”


“Why haven’t you already? Why aren’t they here now? Because you don’t believe I killed Ben Pearson.”


“I do,” says Murphy, who has retreated to the far side of the room, leaving his boss to deal with the suspected, and presumably armed and dangerous, murderer.


“You don’t count.” (Has he seen your tiny rod, Murph?)

He asks Laura what Remington Steele would do in this situation.


“Call the police!” snarls Murphy Michaels Not-Even-Remotely-Remington-Steele.


Not-Even-Remotely-Steele heads for the phone …


While Selfless Do-gooder seemingly tries to distract him by launching into a chicken dance!


Selfless Do-gooder asks Murphy if he’s squeamish; the private dick sidekick (sidedick?) retorts that he isn’t around HIM.

“Then you won’t mind bringing Pearson’s body up here.”  Hm. Surely Selfless Do-gooder isn’t suggesting tampering with a crime scene? That would be wrong!

Side note: I didn’t get the impression that the room where con man was staying before movin’ on up to Steele’s penthouse in the sky was at the Huntington Sheraton. So Murphy is going to have to return to that hotel, bundle up the corpse, sneak it out of the hostelry, tote it to the Huntington Sheraton and smuggle it up to the penthouse. Well, that sounds … erm … plausible.

Selfless Do-gooder departs to do battle with his foes, while Murphy makes a call.


Too many digits for 9-1-1. Is Murph calling out for pizza?

We segue into our con man in the lobby.


He’s also making a call. He wants somebody paged in the lobby. I wonder who?


Well, hello, Rockette! Still looking for Remington Steele, I see.


Selfless Do-gooder Claims-To-Be-Steele presents himself to Rockette, who shows him to the house phone. But wait! Who is that lurking behind that newspaper? It almost looks like Mustache … but it can’t be. No hat!


Good heavens! It IS Mustache … and that fellow next to him must be Switchblade! These two are cunning, all right. They’re almost unrecognizable without their fedoras.


Sound the alarm!


They-Know-He’s-Not-Steele suggests that Mustache and Switchblade accompany him upstairs to Steele’s suite to retrieve the specifications. Apparently that large bundle of drawings he was perusing upstairs were those specs. What kind of a safe is that, anyway?

rube goldberg

Must be one of those new-fangled Rube Goldberg models!


Mustache wants to know where the specifications are. They-Know-He’s-Not-Steele points them toward the closet.


“Holy–“ Switchblade’s tool springs erect at the sight of dead Pearson. A Nogoodnik AND a pervert, Switchblade? You bounder!


“We left ‘im in ‘is room!” Switchblade exclaims Cockneyingly. Before he can follow up by asking Professor ‘iggins for lessons on how to “walk and talk and dress like a regular Lie-dee!” the Man-Who-Could-Be-Steele fingers his suspects!


“So you did, gentlemen!”


Here come the coppers!


The Nogoodniks are quickly taken into custody. The-Man-Who-Could-Be-Steele hands over Switchblade’s knife, suggesting the fuzz have it examined in their “la-BORE-a-tory.”


High tech!


“Who ARE you?” Mustache gasps.

Random police detective has the answer: “Are you kidding? He’s Remington Steele!”


You’re as good as they say you are!”


“The Remington Steele Agency is far more than one man, officer. On their behalf, I thank you.”


Laura seems … impressed?


Murphy follows the cops out, pausing to give The-Man-Who-Could-Be-Steele the evil eye.


“Will you be all right?” he asks Laura.


Laura nods her assent.


The-Unlikely-Hero poses alluringly in the doorway.


Laura likes what she sees!


The feeling is mutual!

Somewhat sadly, Unlikely Hero says it’s time he leaves her lovely city.


“Where will you go?”

PDVD_065 carol burnett

Inexplicably, Unlikely Hero pauses to silently wish Carol Burnett’s grandmother goodnight before continuing.


“Wherever the gems travel next.” San Francisco, he believes. But Laura needn’t worry.


He gives her his word: “I won’t try to liberate the gems until they’re safely out of your jurisdiction.”


Laura seems to have forgotten she’s mad at him. “All things considered, you made a delightful Remington Steele.”

I think she’s going to miss him, don’t you?


He also seems regretful. “If the press of other commitments wasn’t so severe, I might relish the role on a permanent basis.”




“After all … I’m a man who enjoys impossible challenges.”

And then …


… he’s gone.

On that melancholy note, I’ll stop. Do you think our con man was genuinely tempted to stay? If so, why? What is Laura feeling as she watches him walk out that door? And will Mustache and Switchblade ever get their hats back? Share your thoughts!


Filed under Season 1, Uncategorized

20 responses to “License to Steele – 13

  1. eaz35173

    Holy acronyms, Batman – I can’t keep up!! Too funny on the Carol Burnett shout out!

    I also thought “cooties” when Laura drank out of Hunter’s glass! That’s usually done with someone you know more intimately. But I guess the alcohol would kill off the cooties.

    Love how the man-of-many-monikers swats at Laura’s arm while she is trying to unlock the chain! You mentioned that you thought Playing-Steele was at a different hotel. I never got that impression. I always thought that he was staying at the same hotel as the gems. It never occurred to me that someone else would perceive it differently. So I never had a problem with the body being moved by Murphy (except for that little matter of disturbing of the evidence) because I thought it was a few floors below. I wonder if Murphy used his handy-dandy laundry cart to transport the body?

    I do love that shot of Murphy and Playing-Steele in the doorway. Something about the composition of the shot always catches my eye – perhaps it’s 2 handsome gentlemen in tuxedos?!

    HA – the swoon gif – perfect!! The fact that he doesn’t take his eyes off of her while taking and kissing her hand – sparks!! He also does that while telling Murphy that Murphy didn’t count – never took his eyes off Laura.

    I think Laura’s anger is gone because the threat to the jewels is mostly gone, and her Remington Steele is not tarnished, and her agency just got a big pat on the back from the police. She must be very relieved. And, Playing-Steele was telling the truth about not being a murderer. Another reason to not be so angry with him (her instincts were correct).

    I think at the point of the goodbye, each is realizing that they really don’t want the other to go. They pretty much say so in a backhanded way to each other. I love that he pauses at the door on the way out, but doesn’t look back. Not sure why, but I like that he didn’t take another look at her.

    Wow, my response is almost as long as your commentary! I’ll stop now.

    • Daph

      I agree with you on every point. They did not want to leave each other; they were smitten and knew it. They even acted like they already have a long standing relationship. I mean who smacks your hand except someone who you are good friends or emotionally involved with? That act alone spoke volumes. Plus the look on their faces when Murphy appeared was priceless. They were on the same page: Murphy, this is between US. Love the swoon – hilarious! And so understandable. I have swooned inside lots of times. Plus Laura likes how Would-Be-RS handles himself in a clinch. He performed perfectly: caught the killers in a confessing moment, praised the agency publicly, gave her credit when she hadn’t done anything this time -all with elegance and class – just like her vision of Remington Steele. Yes she was smiling and not angry any more. She had to compliment him.

      • eaz35173

        Yes, that hand smacking is a bit on the playful/intimate side, isn’t it? He does is again in Thou Shalt Not Steele, but with someone else (don’t want to give away any spoilers), and it has the same feel to it, but for more obvious reasons.

  2. Never apologize for sharing your thoughts – that’s the whole point of this blog! I guess, upon reflection, it does make sense that Con Man would be staying at the same hotel as the gems – duh! Still, I would have liked to have seen the scene of Murphy muscling the dead guy into the elevator, trying to look nonchalant. The laundry cart makes sense. You should be a detective! 😉

    I also love that moment when Soon-to-Be-Steele tells Murphy he doesn’t count, while never taking his eyes off Laura. Burn, Murph! And he creates even more intimacy by calling her Laura, not Miss Holt.

    Yes, that slight hesitation at the door – as though he has to force himself not to look back, because if he does … (Although it’s an entirely different context, that moment reminds me a bit of the scene in “Love Is All You Need” where PB’s character has a split second of hesitation about entering the villa where he and his late wife had been so happy together; a tiny, but very telling, action.)

    While she loudly proclaimed that Con Man wasn’t ANYTHING like her Mr. Steele, I have to wonder how closely, in the end, he matched Laura’s image of what her Steele would be like. It calls to mind that fan video (one of yours, perhaps?) featuring a song with the lyrics, “I think I loved you before I knew you; I think I dreamed you into life.” Perhaps, at the moment when Laura saw him walking out of her life, she might have had a fleeting thought along those lines (not that she was in love with him yet, but a feeling of “what might have been.”)

  3. eaz35173

    One of the things I really like about Pierce as an actor is his body language. He tends to convey subtle character clues and emotions by the way he moves. There’s also another shot in LIAYN of him closing a door and leaving that reminds me of the scene here.

    Yes, that was my vid (shameless plug, for those that want to watch it … ). Also, there are several great fanfics out there that have Laura meeting “mystery man” at some point prior to her opening the agency – thereby explaining the picture she conjured in her mind of her Mr. Steele.

  4. I’ve added a link to your YouTube channel – highly recommended!

  5. One thing I didn’t mention in this post was that we get our first glimpse (I think) of the chain and pendant PB wears. I believe it is the back of a wristwatch that belonged to his grandmother, correct? The only memento he had of her?

    Also, I think Soon-To-Be-Steele must have gotten rather attached to the ficus plant in the hotel suite – isn’t it the one that turns up later in his apartment? (oops! spoiler alert!)

  6. eaz35173

    Yes, you are correct about the pendant originally being from his grandmother. Not sure about it being the only momento he had from her, tho.

    Necklaces, pinky rings, bracelets – that man was quite accessorized!!

    Ficus plants were very popular decorations in the 80’s – no apartment or hotel suite should have been without them!!

  7. Inés

    Besides your perfect writing style, I have to say that I am enjoying a lot all the comments that follows every entry. I am learning a lot here.
    About your questions:
    I think he was not tempted to stay yet. Maybe he was still inmersed in his new character as a non thief – yes detective (even in fiction), and he was trying to discover the way out of his new fantasy (everyone have always had a fantasy about being a detective or a thief. The thief’s one was his job, but the first one was still a fantasy). I think he didn’t look back when he was at the door, because he was living an unknown situation, and he wasn’t sure to be in total control.
    I think Laura was a bit confused at that point. The turn of the events had been a little unexpected. But I am sure she was in heaven when he kissed her hand. Every woman would love that!!! A real gentleman and in addition the most handsome man in earth kissing your hand…
    About Switchblade and Moustache…who were they? I can’t take out my mind from that hotel room…

    • You raise a point I hadn’t thought of before, Ines: that the detective persona was as much a “fantasy” for Soon-to-Be-Steele as it was for Laura. This was surely fostered by his interest in classic films and admiration for Humphrey Bogart, whose Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe depictions were surely the quintessential movie hard-boiled detectives. I do think it’s interesting that he favored the film noir variety of tough-as-nails “private dick” rather than the more urbane models (Nick Charles, Hercule Poirot).

  8. eaz35173

    Good point, Ines, about the detective being a fantasy for Soon-to-be-Steele. I’m guessing he identified with those noir dicks more because he identified more with their tough-as-nails styles. They all seemed to have come from rough parts of town and made good – probably something the young lad on the streets could identify with.

    • Indeed, he likely would have seen and interacted with the Humphrey Bogart type more often than the Cary Grant type – which begs the question, why did he create a debonair persona for himself instead of becoming a tough guy like his heroes? Simply because the lifestyle was more appealing? Or was it (spoiler alert!) Daniel’s influence?

  9. eaz35173

    I’m pretty sure it was all (spoiler alert) Daniel’s influence. I think Daniel even admits to it in conversation with Laura. And, once introduced to that part of society and the spoils that go with circulating in it, I would certainly choose to stick with Cary Grant style over Bogart style!

  10. And isn’t it interesting that in real life, Bogart came from the upper crust, while “Grant” (Archie Leach) came from the gutter.

    • eaz35173

      Very interesting. I knew about Grant’s background, but not Bogart’s. Brosnan and Grant do seem to have some similar backgrounds.

  11. I am enjoying this running commentary immensely! Once again, I love the comic delivery of the line, “You don’t count!” then PB immediately turns on the charm and romance with “Laura”. Great stuff!

  12. Melissa

    Oh, poor Murphy! He gets the sticky end of the lollipop every time! What’s going through his head, at this point? I’m sure he sees the electricity between these two. Is it business or personal for him? Is he attempting to protect the agency or Laura?

    • Both business and personal, I think. I’m sure Murphy would have LOVED to have come out the hero in this adventure – having his warnings about the con man justified, catching the bad guy – things that he might hope would get Laura to look at him in a different light. Alas, he ended up lying in a pile of Styrofoam peanuts. Murphy interests me; though in many ways he is the stereotypical “macho male,” he seems entirely willing to play a subordinate role to Laura. I think he respects and admires her, but I have to wonder whether, if the two of them had gotten together, he would have been content to play second fiddle indefinitely.

  13. Daph

    You are right. Murphy would not have played second fiddle for very long. He doesn’t seem to be very patient. Plus he is up against RS who likes
    impossible challenges.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s