Tempered Steele – 12

After a trill of dramatic music and a fade to black, we’re back! Mr. Steele enters the agency with a cheery greeting for Miss Wolfe. She doesn’t seem glad to see him.


“You’re becoming a regular fixture around here,” she comments drily.


Oh, now … that’s just wrong.


Laura wants to know if Bernice has anything yet on the license plate that Steele trapped in his steel noggin’. She says no, but Murphy is talking t the pathologist. Laura goes off to talk to Murphy …


… and Bernice gives Steele some kind of look. I suspect she’s beginning to get the feeling that Mr. Steele will be around a lot more often from now on – and that there’s more than meets the eye between him and Laura. Does she approve? Meanwhile …


… Murphy is trying to get the hang of this new-fangled invention called a “phone.”  Keep trying, Murph – we believe in you!


The pathologist gives Murphy some Important Information. Murph asks the doc to spell it for him. (It’s really a learning day for Murphy, isn’t it?).

What’s that #1 thing on Mr. Michaels’ desk. A trophy? Number One Second Banana? Oh, Murphy. Sometimes I feel a little sad for you.


Laura and Steele wait for Murphy’s report. They certainly look couple-ish don’t they? And poor Murphy is the odd man out, literally separated by that big honkin’ task light (?) on his desk. Steele looks at Murphy a little disdainfully – probably because the easygoing Mr. Michaels has carelessly left his collar up in the back. That’s NOT in the GQ Guide to Men’s Fashion!

Look! Mr. Steele is wearing one of those Izod alligator shirts that were all the rage in the 80s.


Alas! We’ve just missed our chance to snag a little of Mr. Steele’s cool cred. Sold out!


I can’t quite make out Murphy’s brand. It looks like a little spaceship or something. Anybody?

Anyway, Murphy is a little grumpy. Why?


“Well, what do you know. Looks like he was right.” Wallace didn’t OD on junk.


Try not to look too smug, Mr. Steele.


Murphy explains that Wallace was literally “relaxed to death”: injected with a form of “orphenadrine citrate.”

funfacticonOrphenadrine citrate is a muscle relaxant most often used for treating pain caused by muscle spasms. Thank you, Wikipedia!

According to Murph, this particular form of the drug is the kind used on horses. Well, that seems random … but wait!


“Dillon’s into polo,” Laura remembers. And there are stables behind the house!


Steele is pleased, having cracked the case: “Not only do we know how and where the murder took place, but who committed it!” He fingers Meecham.


“His briefcase is bulging with plans to tear down Dillon Electronics and build an industrial park.” He notes that it’s not a bad strategy to bankrupt a company by stealing its own research.

Laura ain’t buyin’ it.


“Don’t forget Roger Dillon,” she says; according to Meecham, he needed a lot of cash to float his lifestyle.

But Steele remains impressed by his own remarkable insight! “I think I’m getting the hang of this!”

Murph throws another suspect into the mix.


“What about Mrs. Dillon, insisting everything be moved to the house? Made it a helluva lot easier to steal.”


“My money’s on Meecham. Let’s nab him!” Steele declares decisively.


“Let’s nab him?” Laura mouths silently to Murphy. I don’t think Mr. Steele’s theory has her full confidence!


“I told you this was a mistake.” Try not to look too smug, Mr. Michaels.

Laura points out that they need a little thing called evidence … which means that somebody is going to have to get back into that house.


“Leave everything to me,” Steele says, having tied a sweater casually about his shoulders. (GQ Guide to Men’s Fashion, page 19)


“That is a lot more frightening than ‘Let’s nab him,'” Murphy warns.


I think Laura may be seeking heavenly guidance for how to make her two boys get along!

The interpersonal dynamics of this scene are interesting. We have Bernice, who increasingly seems to resent Mr. Steele’s intrusion into their business (worried about Laura?). Steele’s stance next to Bernice in that scene is almost defiant, as though he’s saying with his body language: I’m not going anywhere, lady. Then we see Murphy, sitting at his desk doing the kind of plodding, meticulous “legwork” that is the bedrock of investigative work … but which Laura may no longer see as quite so engaging after the adventures she’s experienced with Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele is trying hard to join Laura and Murphy’s exclusive little club (in fact, he wants to be the president!), but they are dismissive. THEY know what they’re doing, after all. I’m not sure if Mr. Steele is blithely unaware of their condescension, or if he’s determined to prove them wrong. In any case, he’s certainly in take-charge mode here! Your thoughts on this scene?


Filed under Season 1, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Tempered Steele – 12

  1. eaz35173

    I think that Bernice is trying to protect Laura. We all know how important the “gatekeeper” is in an office. I think Bernice had kinda taken on that role where Steele is concerned. She lets him know that she’s not falling for any of his charm and I think that’s her way of letting him know that he needs to be on his toes around her.

    “Let’s nab him!” – Laura and Murphy SHOULD be concerned with Steele’s behavior here! That is a scary thing to think about – Steele calling the shots.

    I think Steele is very aware of Laura and Murphy’s condescension, but is choosing to ignore it – like when a politician is asked a point blank question and answers the questions that he WANTED to be asked. Steele has his own agenda here – to capture Wallace’s killer, not necessarily to solve the case they were hired for.

  2. Good point about Steele wanting most to find out who killed his friend. Do you think he also wants to save the agency for Laura?

  3. eaz35173

    I think he has a code of honor that he lives by, and I think he realizes that he put the agency in jeopardy by his actions (but probably won’t admit it to Laura), and probably wants to correct his mistake and save the agency for Laura. He did it in License by keeping her secret. On some level, he has feelings for her, so if he screws up her agency, he is also out of a “job/con” and out of her life. I don’t think he’s ready for that yet.

  4. Daph

    I think Steele wants to find his friend’s killer and clear his friend’s name. After all Wallace is being blamed for the theft by Meecham. Steele has defended Wallace to everyone with both strong words and actions. He wants to clear his own name too. He wants Laura’s respect and admiration and above all he wants to be part of her team. You know that old saying: best way to man’s heart is through his stomach? Well best way to Laura’s is through her agency.

    • Speaking of strong words and actions, was anyone surprised by Steele’s behavior at the morgue? He certainly showed a side of himself that can be violent – but which he tends to keep tightly controlled.

      • eaz35173

        It was a bit on the violent side, but, to me, it seemed like it was controlled anger. Yes, it was surprising, mainly because we don’t know much about the man. Laura was certainly surprised, but I think in seeing how he handled it, she gained a bit of appreciation for his “human” side. We see this kind of behavior from Steele several times in the series – Red Holt Steele comes to mind immediately. He obviously has his limits and it seems to come out when he is defending someone he cares about. It’s usually not in relation to how HE is being treated.

        Good point, Daph, about the way to Laura being thru her agency!!

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