Tempered Steele -11

Our next scene opens on a very dated issue of GQ Quarterly (February 1972, to be exact):


“Fashion Handbook: A Comprehensive Advisor for Year Round Wardrobe Guidance.”  This is a very cleverly framed shot, no?


Astonishingly, Pierce Brosnan had to wait until November 2000 to make the cover of GQ, and then he had to share it with Matthew Perry and … is that Shaquille O’Neal? Excuse me … DAVID SCHWIMMER gets his own cover, and Pierce Brosnan has to share one? Does.Not.Compute. In fact, I’m so incensed by this that I feel compelled to share a sampling of other “celebrities” who were deemed more worthy to have their own covers.


Billy Crystal? David Caruso? Huey Lewis? Mike Myers? John Goodman? Johnny Knoxville?!!!

But I digress.


The fashion-conscious reader lowers the magazine to reveal our own Mr. Steele! He’s looking at Laura …


… who seems to be giving him the finger. Well, a finger, anyway. She points in the direction of …


… Meecham! Mr. Big Ass(ets) doesn’t notice Steele.


But Steele sees him!

drooling emoticon(Okay, I only included this image because … um … hubba hubba.)


Anyway … Steele leaves as Meecham sits down for a little chat with Laura.


We see Mr. Steele enter … someplace. His shirt is unbuttoned to a provocative degree!


Steele tries the knob on an impressively secured door. Locked!


Steele lets his magic fingers do the walking.


Oops! Steele’s busted by a couple of other hotel guests.


Steele concocts a cover story: “What was that, dear? No, no, no, no … it’s all right. I’ll wait for you out here.” Oh, yeah. THAT was convincing.


Meanwhile, Meecham is reminding Laura that “without the research, all you got’s a dead thief.” His shirt is also unbuttoned, but somehow it’s less alluring.


“Or a murder victim,” Laura counters. (That color is gorgeous on her, BTW.) She tells Meecham they’re waiting for the autopsy report.


Steele has gained entry. Whose room is this?

CRIMEOFFASHIONOh, dear. I’d deem those jeans unbecomingly high-waisted. And that belt! Perhaps you shouldn’t take fashion advice from a 10-year-old magazine, Mr. Steele.


Steele searches the room.


Back in the lounge, Meecham has fingered his suspect: “Six-two-and even (?), Dylan is the one who’s stealing our research,” he declares. He informs Laura that the only reason he got his cleats into the company was because Dylan ran it into the ground. Oh, Meecham. Mixed metaphors make me sad.


“He’s a rookie with a penchant for polo ponies, blackjack tables and little pieces of fluff that collect expensive pieces of jewelry.”


Cut to Laura, who gives Meecham an enigmatic smile. What is she thinking? My guess: “You’re a sexist pig.”


Back in the hotel room, Mr. Steele is getting serious about this search.


Oh ho! A briefcase!


And another lock.


Fortunately, Mr. Steele has mad lock-picking skills (and apparently very acute hearing)!


Well, perhaps not so acute after all. Mr. Steele resorts to brute force (or at least a letter opener) to get the job done.


Back in the lounge, Meecham takes his leave. He’s got his lawyer coming over with the papers for his lawsuit against the Steele Agency.


Steele has discovered some kind of schematics. Could they be the security plans for protecting the Royal Lavulite? Oops. Wrong episode.


Just then the phone rings. Steele almost answers it!


Laura is praying he does!


Steele hears Meecham coming back and makes like a hatstand.


As Meecham dashes for the phone, Steele dashes for the door.


Laura seems unsettled.


Perhaps because she was forced to call Mr. Steele on the Bat Phone!


Miss Holt has to think fast: “Who’s this?” she asks in a gruff tone (if it’s an Adam West impression, it’s not a very good one).


“Who’s this?” Meecham counters.


Sadly, Laura seems to be less adept at concocting plausible cover stories than even her partner.


Oh, to hell with it. Laura hangs up.

And that’s the end of the scene. In contrast to the previous scene, where Mr. Steele seemed a bit clueless in his investigative technique, here we see him in his element. He’s able to break into the hotel room and the brief case with relative ease. It’s Laura who struggles a bit this time: she’s unable to keep schmoozing Meecham long enough for Steele to get clean away, and panics when it’s Meecham, not Steele, who picks up the phone. I think this scene is a nice counterpoint to the previous one, showing how their skills complement and balance each other. What do you think?




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21 responses to “Tempered Steele -11

  1. steeleinterested

    For tonight, I can’t get past the whole GQ issue. Unbelievable! It’s just wrong!

  2. eaz35173

    That GQ shot is one of my favorite shot compositions in the series! Actually, Pierce did get his own GQ cover in 2012 … http://img5.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/w/b/wb9mxcbk0j3ss3k.jpg?skj2io4l

    What the heck kind of lock is that on that hotel door? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like that before! I think the producers were trying to tell us that he can do more than pick locks with a set of picks – that he is able to crack safes, too.

    I do like how you mentioned that this scene shows Laura out of her element and Steele in his. Yes, they really do compliment each other’s skill sets. Wonder if they compliment each other in other ways as well, hmmm?

    The Bat Phone – LOL!!!

  3. One thing that strikes me about this scene is its implication that Laura and Steele had a conversation in which it was agreed that Laura would distract Meecham while Steele broke into his hotel room and searched the place. It shows that Laura is perfectly willing to resort to sketchy – even illegal – methods. Thus the seeming contrast between them: she’s the straight-arrow, he’s the rule breaker, isn’t quite so clear as Laura might perhaps wish it to be perceived.

    • steeleinterested

      I guess my high school psych teacher had a point about ethics and the slippery slope. If you can ‘mislead’ clients about the qualifications umm existence of the head of your agency, it is apparently a slide to more? sketchy activities like B&E… I’m trying to imagine what that conversation must have gone like. Hmm I see a writing prompt here 🙂

      • I wonder if Murphy is aware of what they are doing. For some reason, I can picture Laura keeping that information from him – in part because it would give him another reason to grouse about Steele, but also because I suspect he would NOT approve. Murphy is a straight arrow all the way.

  4. steeleinterested

    Had to take a phone call before I got done with my thought there but you picked it right up for me. I am certain Murphy would have used “that” tone when he said “Laura.” if she had even started with him.

    And I can’t help but wonder who is running the more successful con on Laura, ‘Steele’ or herself? We have every reason to believe that he is making it up as he goes along but she doesn’t seem to be too comfortable in her own skin either.

  5. I have always loved that GQ cover shot and had wondered whether or not that was a prop created just for the show. If not, who is that supposed to be in 1972? Yes. Pierce Brosnan should have had his own cover WAY before 2012!

    • It is a real cover, yecats! I don’t think it’s supposed to be anyone in particular – it appears that until the early 80s or so, the magazine used anonymous models or illustrations more often than recognizable celebrities on their cover. I actually think it looks a fair bit like Mr. Steele – so let’s give RS his well-deserved cover 40 years early!

      • Debilyn

        I just have to note that the head appearing above the cover almost fits perfectly. I had to look twice when I first saw it. 🙂

  6. Daph

    I can’t believe that PB got his own GQ cover in 2012. What were they thinking? Really I can not think of a man who dresses better than PB and no one, absolutely no one looks better than he does in a suit. I won’t even mention how he looks in a tux. Mercy, mercy me (Marvin Gaye said that right.)

    Yes Laura is clearly out of her element. I wonder if she was uncomfortable talking to Meecham because he was suing her. Plus I guess we have to remember that Meecham was Steele’s client not hers. She had not previously established a relationship with him and it showed. To her credit, she got the more difficult assignment and handled it the best she could. I also think Meecham doesn’t work well with second stringers especially when they are females.

    The team approach used by Laura and Steele was great. They work well together. In the previous scene Steele saved Laura and was genuinely concerned about her. Now she is concerned about him. Good role reversible and an especially good emotional role reversible.

    I also have never seen a hotel door with that type of lock.

    • Is it possible PB was approached for a cover before and turned it down? He was a little sensitive, back in the day, to being labeled a pretty boy/model type.

      I do think Laura shows remarkable professionalism in her conversation with Meecham, considering his condescension toward her when they first met back at the Agency. And Laura must be feeling rather desperate at this moment, facing a lawsuit that could ruin her beloved agency. It speaks to her feelings for/trust in Mr. Steele, even at this early date, that she has put aside her anger and blaming of Steele for their current situation and is working with him (not Murphy) to resolve the crisis.

  7. >Debilyn
    November 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm (Edit)
    I just have to note that the head appearing above the cover almost fits perfectly. I had to look twice when I first saw it. <

    I'm picturing that day on set: "Hold the magazine just a little higher, Pierce. No, too high! Down a titch. Now a bit to the left. Bit more. Too much! Hold it level now … just a hair lower, please. Now: Hold that position! What? Your arms are getting tired? I can't imagine why."

    • eaz35173

      This is why it’s one of my favorite shots of the series, because the technicality of getting the shot must have been just as you described. But the payoff is a great scene!

  8. eaz35173

    Hey, I found another GQ cover!! This one was from 2002!! It was one of 4 special covers for that month … http://pbfiles.net/interviews/GQ.2002.Cover.jpg

  9. eaz35173

    Oh, and another one from 2005 (sharing again) … http://pbfiles.net/interviews/GQ-2005-cover.jpg

  10. Aw, I get an error when I try to follow your links. You tease!

  11. Pingback: Steele Waters Run Deep – 15 | Steele Away With Me

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