Tempered Steele – 2

We’re back in the busy office corridor. But wait!

peevishsteele postman

This isn’t the same corridor that we saw before. Either the place has been redecorated since we last saw it, or there’s a back way into the offices of the Remington Steele Agency.

Anyway, we see Mr. Steele and, rather weirdly, a lady with a dog, exit the elevator. Mr. Steele is playing it cool, but we know better. He’s thinking Miss Holt is a lot like that lady’s dog – assuming said dog is female … if you catch my drift.


He rubs his nose as he arrives at the office. We’ve seen him do this before – a nervous gesture? Uh, oh. The website “The Art of Mentalism,” (whatever that is) has this to say about nose touching:

The reason that people may touch their nose when lying is because when we lie we begin to feel more stressed, particularly if that person is lying to get themselves out of trouble. This causes blood pressure to rise which can cause the nerves in the nose to tingle.

Oh, dear. Do you think Mr. Steele is feeling stressed? Just because he’s impersonating a brilliant detective who doesn’t actually exist? I wonder if he was this twitchy when he was running cons. I believe this is what is known as a “tell,” Mr. Steele. You should perhaps avoid any high-stakes poker games until you resolve this little tic.

thelobby  losttree

Mr. Steele enters the office. It looks like business has improved! But wait a second: what happened to the other tree? And the tree we have left looks a little anemic. And Bernice has a new phone! And there’s different furniture in the lobby!  Even the walls and flooring are different. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? No wonder Mr. Steele seems uneasy!


Bernice is correcting something she’s typing. Somehow I don’t think she was hired for her administrative skills.

“Mr. Steele!” she exclaims with surprise.

“Miss Wolfe,” he answers with indifference.


“Miss Foxe,” she corrects, with irritation. Steele doesn’t care.


He heads across the waiting room, pursued by a fawning client.

“Mr. Steele,” the man gushes. “It’s a pleasure to meet you!”


“I’m Liebowicz!” In a hushed tone, he reminds Steele that he’s come about “the Morton matter.”


“Ah, yes,” Steele bluffs. “A very complex situation.”

resolved situation

“But it’s been resolved!” Leibowicz informs him, bewildered.


“Complex … but easily resolved!” Steele says before dashing away to the safety of …

file room

… the file room? Murphy’s office? Laura’s office? Anyway, it’s not his ultimate destination. Pursued by Miss Wolfe Foxe, who threatens to tell Laura he’s hanging around the office if he doesn’t get her name right, Mr. Steele dashes into …


… somewhere else …


… and back again …


… and through yet another door …

(The configuration of this office space is a little confusing!

Artist’s rendering of Remington Steele Agency floorplan.)


… and finally into “his” executive office. He wants to know where Laura is! Bernice says that’s not for publication. Steele ain’t buyin’ it. Bernice doesn’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation!


“She has closed my checking account!” He’s on the brink of financial, not to mention physical, oblivion!


She’ll give Laura the message … maybe.


Steele’s not having any of her lip! He tells Miss Whatever that he’s prepared to handle “each and every one of those cases out there personally!”


Miss Whatever is aghast. “You wouldn’t!”


Oh, I think he would.

Beaten, Bernice confesses that Laura is “at a motel on Pekoe.” I wonder what she’s doing there? Let’s find out!

We find Laura giggly and disrobing …


“This is a first for me!” she tee-hees. Wonder what’s got her so giddy?



Unclad stranger tells her she’ll learn to love it. Laura doesn’t seem so sure.


“If mah husband eveh found out about this, he’d kill us both!” she says in an unfamiliar, Southern drawl.


NakedGuy says he won’t tell.

Meanwhile …


… Murphy and a Mustachio’dGuy are somewhere nearby, listening in. Kinky! Murph declares NakedGuy a “smooth talkin’ creep!”


The Mustachio’dGuy  with Murphy wants to know why they don’t just bust the guy. “We already know he’s behind it!” (This gets kinkier by the second!) Murphy says they’ve got to hear him ask Laura to steal the information from Mustachio’dGuy’s company.


Back in the hotel room, Laura shrugs off her jeans and suggests that she might take the rest of the day off. Since the clock in Steele’s office read 4:00 pm, it doesn’t seem like that big a deal.


NakedGuy demurs. She can’t be shirking her job, because it’s “going to make us a lot of money!”


Murphy seems pleased!


NakedGuy carries Laura to bed

But I digress.


Just when things are looking dire for Laura … rescue is at hand!


“You’ve got a lot of explaining to do!” Steele shouts, whipping off his shades for emphasis.




Steele is here to defend Laura’s honor, right? Um …

“You closed my checking account!” he bellows!


“We’ll talk about it later,” Laura replies, calmly.


Wait a minute! NakedGuy recognizes AngryGuy!


“That’s Remington Steele!”


“It’s a set up!”

Side note: This actor, whose name seems to be Stan Sells, gives a rich, nuanced performance here, no? His skills were perhaps honed in classic films like “Her Life as a Man” (1984) and “Bar Girls” (1990). Alas, he passed away in 2004. RIP, Stan.


NakedGuy beats a hasty retreat …


… pursued by Murphy and a lightly clad Laura!


Murph engages the villain in fisticuffs!


But he is outmaneuvered.


Mustachio’dMan wants to know what’s happening!


Laura informed Mustachio’dMan Mr. Dillon that there has been a change in plans. He should just go back to his office and wait to hear from them.


Dillon is at least reassured that Mr. Steele is personally involved!


Laura is disappointed. “Three weeks playing secretary for nothing!” (WHACK!)


Steele points out that if he knew what case he was working on, he wouldn’t find himself in these embarrassing situations.’

“You’re not working on ANY case!” she informs him.


Steele is miffed! This is how she repays him, after all he’s done for her? Cutting off his credit!


Laura reminds him he spent $22,000 in a single month!


“You asked me to keep Nadine occupied!”

Laura ain’t buyin’ it.


“Long-stemmed roses, $200 an ounce perfume, designer gowns!”


“Perhaps I did go a bit overboard,” Steele concedes. “But it’s for the good of the agency.”


Laura suggests that for the good of the agency, from now on they discuss all expenditures in advance.



But he’s written checks to people who don’t even take checks! They have names like Bruno and Guido –


“… and they do some of their best work in cement.”

It seems he’s “invested” in Danny’s Dessert, “some of the finest horseflesh ever to grace a quarter-mile turn.”


“Spare me!”


The horse came up lame, Bruno et al wanted to divest themselves of it, so Mr. Steele put together a group of investors to purchase the pony to put out to stud.


Aha! The lost has been found. Guess he’s a better detective than you thought, eh, Laura?


Laura will try to convince Dillon that his barging in was “another brilliant Remington Steele tactic.” As for poor Danny’s Dessert …


“Buy him some BenGay!”

Whew! That was a long one. But some interesting stuff here. Steele has clearly been out of the loop for some time, as Laura has been undercover for three weeks and he didn’t know anything about it. And apparently he’s only allowed in the office under close supervision. Despite the apparent friction between them, note that Laura and Steele are curiously touchy-feely in this last segment. Could it be they’re not as antagonistic toward one another as they like to pretend?
















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9 responses to “Tempered Steele – 2

  1. eaz35173

    Good catch on the office corridor! I never noticed it wasn’t shot in the same place. And why would there be what looks like an Afghan Hound in the Century Tower office building? Perhaps there is a vet on that floor? Too funny with the reference to the female dog, tho – LOL!!

    I always notice the different carpet in this episode. In some scenes it’s a solid and in others it’s got a red criss-cross pattern in it. My understanding is that because this was the original pilot episode that NBC ordered, it was only about half an hour long. When the series got picked up, they needed a full 48 min episode, so they had to add new material to what was already shot over 6 months prior. Hence the differences in the set. If you notice, in the office lobby shot with the criss-cross carpet and lacking one ficus, you will see that the man is sitting on what looks like part of the couch that will be in Steele’s office beginning in the next episode.

    Love how focused Steele is on his anger and his checking account/credit problem to even notice that Laura is half dressed. And notice how comfortable Laura seems to be parading around the parking lot in her undies and then getting dressed in front of Mr. Steele. They do seem rather comfortable with each other as he just helps her find her clothing. And ever the gentleman, helps her on with her coat and pulls her hair out of the way of it, too. I always liked that gesture. His anger is not getting in the way of his manners.

    And whew, what a temper the both have!! Until you mentioned it in the last post, I never linked their tempers with the title of this episode. I always thought of it in the process of making steel(e) harder and stronger.

    As always, looking forward to everyone’s comments and more on the episode!!

    • I never noticed the discrepancies in the corridor and office décor. Very interesting!

    • I also think the interaction in the hotel room is important. As you note, they already seem entirely in sync, as both of them start searching for her shoe without a word exchanged between them about it. And the way Steele helps her on with her jacket and lifts her hair out of the way has a real intimacy about it. I can’t picture Murphy doing that. One screen shot I failed to include was Steele’s expression after Laura says she’ll cover for him with the client. He has kind of a half smile, as if thinking, “She’s a sparkplug, this one!” I think Steele is intrigued and turned on by Laura’s feistiness.

  2. Inés

    Laura, never complain about his credit card expenses! The man is spending your money (ejem…the Agency’s money, sorry) leaving a trace behind him! If he change his modus operandi, and start to pay everything in cash, you’ll never find his mischiefs!
    About the different hall, what a pleasure is to be talking with people with a trained skill in productions. I’d never arrive to those conclusions. Too fast for my eyes.
    Laura had must been suffering a lot playing secretary for that long time. Maybe that’s why she is so tense. Wait Laura! Ask for patience! There is a whole life for you trying to convince everybody that you’re not the secretary!
    About the touchy-feely thing, I think they are both inmersed in their frustrations at the moment. When people let the anger sprout, the true feelings come out. They are comfortable with each other in every way. They can play hard since the beginning.

    • Good point about the paper trail, Ines! We learn in this scene that Steele has some “shady dealings” on the side, and that this isn’t the first time Laura has caught him at it. (Wonder who these “investors” are that he’s tangled up with in the purchase of the lame race horse?) Is Steele using agency funds for his “extracurricular” activities?

  3. Melissa

    Nice write-up! No pics of Laura going over the car lightly-clad? She’s got more spunk than me! I wouldn’t have left the hotel room without pants. I’m actually kinda shocked NBC let this scene air as is.

    Let’s talley the ep’s Lost Tempers, so far:
    Laura: 2
    Remington: 1
    (Laura, the trick is to have a lower number, not the highest!)

    I’m glad to see Remington’s manners don’t go to the wayside just because he’s angry with Laura. Although, He did admit to going a tad overboard with the expenditures, so maybe he’s trying to get back in Laura’s good graces.

    Poor Miss Wolfe! She’ll have to get used to that!

    • Ha! If I had a bod like Stephanie Zimbalist’s, I’d prance around in my underpants every chance I got.

      It will be interesting to compare PB’s performance in this episode with “License to Steele” and subsequent episodes. Per things he’s said in interviews, I have the impression that he was playing Steele with more seriousness and intensity in this pilot; then his wife suggested he lighten up a bit. I don’t find Steele as “Cary Grantish” in this episode as he is the rest of the series.

  4. Luann

    Hi there – I’m late to the party and still catching up. I love, love, love what you are doing here!
    Two things – the name of the street the motel is on is Pico. Second, it looks to me like Laura is wearing panty hose, so not quite as scantily clad as it seems.
    Can’t wait to read more!

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