Tempered Steele – 3

Our scene opens with nervous fingers drumming on a phone set with a prodigious number of lines. One of them is ringing.


Phone number: 202-555-3478.


TwitchyFingers turns out to be our man Steele. He seems reluctant to pick up. I wonder why?


“Bruno!” (Ah! Of the investment firm of Bruno and Guido, Ltd., presumably) Mr. Steele is explaining to Mr. Bruno about the “bookkeeping boggle” that is apparently holding up his payment for Danny’s Dessert, when a rather casually dressed gentleman bursts in.


“Good to see you, Mr. Steele. I’m-“

“-interrupting.” Mr. Steele’s customer service skills could use a bit of honing.


Mr. Steele is preoccupied with his phone conversation. The term “stiff” seems to have been introduced by Bruno. Steele doesn’t appreciate his context! Bruno doesn’t appreciate Mr. Steele’s equivocating. The call ends abruptly. Curiously, though we didn’t hear a trace of Bruno’s voice – one suspects it was raised – during the call, the dial tone comes across loud and clear. Perhaps Mr. Steele accidently hit the speaker button.

Jim Meecham

TrackSuit introduces himself: He’s Jim Meecham, of Meecham Exploration and Development. “Let’s huddle!”


Hm. Not sure football is Mr. Steele’s game.


Perhaps a brisk innings of cricket, eh wot?


“See Miss Holt. She huddles.”

Meecham ain’t buyin’ it.


He doesn’t scrimmage with second-stringers!


Ahem. Time to give that metaphor a decent burial, I think.


Meecham is in oil and gas, based outta Oklahoma City.


Mr. Steele is … erm … captivated. He scrutinizes a tiny tablet.


Meecham’s pencil-pusher told him to diversify, so he bought into Dillon Electronics. (Side note: I believe Mr. Meecham could give Mr. Steele a run for his money in the chest hair department. Or is that a furry cravat he’s sporting under that tracksuit?)

Unfortunately, Meecham explains …


“Ever since I’ve been on that team, it’s been third and long. Somebody’s been red-doggin’ it.”


“We don’t handle animal cases,” Steele retorts. And that includes red dogs AND dead horses!


Meecham informs Steele that he’s ALREADY handling this one: Dillon, Jr. hired the firm to find out who has been stealing their research. “They were just about to sack the guy in a hotel, when some airhead busted up the play.”

Please. Make it stop.

competent help

Mr. Steele notes that “competent help is hard to find in any profession.”

Meecham concurs. That why he wants Steele quarterbacking (sigh) this thing.


“It’s time to stop pussyfooting around hotels and get to the bottom of this thing.”

Hurray! I strongly endorse cat-related metaphors.


Steele explains that he never involves himself directly in a case; he functions best in an advisory capacity.

Meecham ain’t buyin’ it.


“I subscribe to the George Steinbrenner philosophy of life.” (Oh, no! Now we’re on to baseball?)


“You want a piece of talent, you buy it.” Meecham wants a piece of Steele!


“$25,000 cashier’s check, made payable to you.”


Hm. Somehow I get the feeling that Mr. Steele might be persuaded to involve himself directly – just this once.

I’ll stop there. Does anybody else think Mr. Steele is kind of a jerk in this scene? True, Meecham is a blowhard, but since Mr. Steele’s primary responsibility in the agency is to glad-hand the clientele, it seems he might be a little more polite.

Dealing with sketchy characters like Bruno doesn’t seem like Steele’s style – and an investment in a lame race horse isn’t likely to provide the quick pay-off that the con man’s previous operations presumably did. Perhaps Steele decided to, as Meecham put it, “diversify” his interests. Could this investment deal be a new thing for him – and he finds himself over his head?


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9 responses to “Tempered Steele – 3

  1. eaz35173

    Yes, Steele’s customer service definitely needs some work. This may be the first time he’s actually dealing with a client. At least he’s spouting the party line about not involving himself directly in cases and functioning best in an advisory capacity.

    I see he is carrying/using a small notebook. Is this the only time we see him do that? He will be looking for a pencil a bit later in the episode (spoiler alert?), so I wonder where this handy dandy notepad/pencil ensemble disappear to?

    Also, some set/prop notes … Notice the grandfather clock to the left of Steele’s office door. We never see it again after this episode. Also, that picture on the short wall to the right of the office door will change in future episodes. Because the carpet in this office has the red criss cross pattern, we know it’s part of the original pilot. Oh, and the couch in Steele’s office (which I don’t know if it’s in this scene or the next you will do) will be moved to Steele’s apartment.

    Amazing how the talk of a large sum of money got Steele’s attention!

  2. That grandfather clock does seem rather out of place with the décor. Seems more in keeping with Laura’s house. Re the notepad … Steele doesn’t strike me as the note-taking type; in an upcoming episode he will chide Laura for her preoccupation with details. Maybe the notepad happened to be laying on the desk (left by Laura, whom I suspect is an inveterate note taker).

    Interesting point about spouting the party line … we saw in the previous scene that Steele seems to want to be more in the loop on the agency’s business. If he weren’t distracted by his pressing business with Bruno, I wonder if he would have been more interested in Meecham’s story?

  3. Melissa

    Yes, Steele is acting like a tad bit of a jerk, but then the guy did just show up without an appointment. Yes, he is over his head, with the racehorse deal. But, here’s the real question….why the heck is Colonel Clayton undercover as a oil-and-gas guy? Doesn’t he have pilots to command?

  4. Yes, Steele does seem like a jerk in this scene. Probably he is not as invested in the agency at this point as he eventually becomes. There is still a lopsided relationship there. I never noticed about the couch–I’ll have to pay attention next time I see it! I am still enjoying this running commentary, I look forward to logging in every day. —Beating a dead horse—funny!!!!

    • It’s interesting to speculate just what Steele’s role was at the agency during the unseen time between License to Steele and this episode. One gets the impression from this episode that he has been only minimally connected with the office – perhaps trotted out once in a while for a photo op (somehow they got all those pics that hang on his office wall), attending high profile functions (nobody looks better in a tux!) and schmoozing/seducing/distracting clients (?) like Nadine.

      I’ve never been able to figure out what the story is with this Nadine: is she their client, a client’s meddlesome girlfriend/daughter/sister? Why would they need to keep her out of the way?

      • eaz35173

        That’s a good question about Nadine. Since they described her as a peroxide piranha, she must have been trying to prey on someone involved in their case. But, the writers obviously needed her as a plot device 😉 .

        And based on his interaction with Miss Wolfe, it doesn’t seem like he’s been coming to the office very much. They must be keeping him away from then clients. Love all those pix on the office wall, tho! Especially the one of him at the shooting range and the one of him playing on the piano.

  5. Inés

    I feel I’m training to be a detective learning from all of you!!!

    About Bruno, I can speculate, that in his old line of work, his truly friends would be people trying to be as good as he is, but with pretensions that can’t be fullfilled. There should be a lot of Brunos in his past and as he seems to be a good friend, maybe he acompanies them in their primitive cons just to make their friendship go along. He is always eager to help anybody.

    About he being more polite, he is polite. But he is being polite matching his client’s class. The man isn’t sophisticated, is rude. A charming Steele would end with the client out of the office and without the job. He is trying the client just as he wants to be treated. With a rude style.

    About Nadine, is not that they don’t need her out of the way. She is still at the dentist!!!

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