Tempered Steele – 13

We get a screen wipe into the next scene, where we find Mr. Meecham, Steele’s #1 suspect, about to mount his favorite pony!


“I hope you’ve got major medical,” he snipes.


Mr. Steele, who seems to have been swayed by Murphy’s collar-up fashion statement after all, reminds Meech that “polo is a contest where gentlemen exhibit the finest qualities of horsemanship and fair play.”


“Blow it out your ear.” Meecham seems cranky!


Wait a second! Do my eyes deceive me, or is Dillon wearing Steele’s shirt from the last scene? Perhaps there was a sale on at J.C. Penneys.


Steele salutes his opponents in the time-honored fashion.


Steele, dressed in white, prepares to get on a white horse. (Hm. I wonder who is the hero of this story?)

Laura expresses surprise that Steele plays polo. Her knight in white responds that he used to play with Charles whenever he was in London.


“Charles?” (Can I just say that Laura looks adorable as a stable boy?)

Steele tells Laura that he and Charles don’t play as often now that he’s married.

funfacticon Charles and Diana were married in 1981, so they were relative newlyweds when this episode aired.


Charles and Di, in happier times.


Mrs. Dillon approaches. “I like your boss,” she tells Laura.



Mrs. Cougar Dillon tells Laura that Steele has the same type of flair Packy had. “A little reckless, maybe, but lots of sauce.”

Laura seems a bit confused …


“Why do you say that?”

Mrs. Dillon explains that Rodger is a world-class player. Laura notes that “it’s only a game.”


“Not for 25,000 bucks, it ain’t.” Turns out, that’s what Steele bet Rodger and Meecham!


I’m not sure Laura was aware of that part of the game plan!


“Twenty-five thousand?!”




Cut to the game, where Mr. Steele is in the thick of it. (That actually looks like Pierce Brosnan to me.) Meanwhile …


… Laura slips off to the stables to do a little snooping!

And back on the polo ground …

kiss ponies

… the battle rages! Just then, Meecham gets off a vicious shot!


… and Steele is nearly beaned by the ball! At least, I think it was the ball. No?


These guys play rough!

Back in the stables …


… Laura is searching. And, um … snacking on a piece of paper? They must not have a concession stand at the polo ground.


Laura discovers a pharmaceutical bottle. What’s this? Orphenadrine Citrate! And the prescription is in Rodger Dillon’s name!

garbage mulch

She also finds a syringe and what looks like … mulch? in the trash.


Laura huffs the stuff.


Looks like she didn’t get the buzz she was hoping for.


Having gathered the evidence she needed, Laura high tails it outta there!

randomalertHIGHTAIL — a slang expression meaning ‘to leave in a great hurry,’ is a Western expression and was originally used to describe the way a herd of mustangs will break and race away when ‘spooked’ or frightened by the approach of cowboys.” From “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).


On her way out, she sees a car with a familiar license plate …


Laura rejoins Mrs. Dillon, who is watching the match intently.


Two men walk into the scene behind them. Do we know these guys? They’re obviously bad news, because ominous music plays as they move through the frame.


Let’s call the little one with the greasy hair Slick, and the big guy in plaid, Stocky. (We won’t call the guy in the corduroy jacket anything.)


 Is it just me, or do two these two lack the charisma of our friends Mustache and Switchblade from “License to Steele”?


Slick, who at closer glance appears to be Asian, gives a polite little bow to …


… Mrs. Dillon, who doesn’t seem glad to see him!


Laura notices the two baddies. Does Stocky seem vaguely familiar? Laura asks Mrs. Dillon if the new guys are friends of hers. Mrs. D replies that they are Rodger’s new partners – not in the electronics business, but “some new venture.” Laura can’t help noticing that Mrs. Dillon doesn’t seem too pleased about it.


Back in the game, the ponies are maintaining a furious pace!


Well, except for Steele and Meecham, who seem to have stalled. Steele executes a cunning maneuver (he rides his horse away).


Rodger crashes into Meecham!

down1 down2 ouch

And … alley oop! That’s gotta hurt!


Mr. Steele, whose trousers are pleasingly tight here, pauses to survey the damage.


“Shall we count this as a time out, gentlemen?”



So we learn here that Mr. Steele has a good seat – on a horse, that is. He seems very proficient at the sport of aristocrats. We also learn that he hasn’t shared everything with Miss Holt – specifically, the HUGE bet (which the agency would surely have to cover) he’s made on the game. Laura gives a good demonstration of her powers of observation here, picking up several subtle clues in Mrs. Dillon’s behavior and the stuff she finds in the barn. And Murphy … apparently has the day off.


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8 responses to “Tempered Steele – 13

  1. eaz35173

    If I recall correctly, the upturned collar on the polo shirt was all the rage back in the early 80’s – and if you layered it under a crisply pressed long sleeve button down shirt, you were really stylin’!!

    I do believe that Mr. Brosnan actually does know how to play polo in real life and was a pretty good horseman, I understand. So that was probably really him on that horse.

    Yes, Laura does make a cute stable boy! She sure does wear a hat very well!!

    Slick & Stocky – LOL!!

    I wonder if the $25K was the original $25K Meech offered Steele in the beginning? Still, where is he going to get an additional $25K for Rodger? He sure is keeping Laura on her toes!! No wonder there are trust issues!

  2. Ines

    About Mr. Steele’s polo abilities, I think he knows how to pose as a good player, just as he always know how to pose for everything. I disagree in one fact (I’m not looking at the episode right now, just to the pictures).In polo, the hit is correct with power and precision, when the swing is done with the whole body. The brace can only be achieved when the rider stands on the stirrups, unloading weight on them. In the pictures, he is sat on the saddle.
    And I think the hold in the reins a bit loose.(I have a little knowledge about that sport, because Argentina is the best player in the world. I dated a polo player ages before, as a matter of fact… and I’ve watched a few polo matches when I was young).

    About the bet, I think he really knew that he was going to win. Just remember the song “The gambler” (K. Rogers), the explanation is there…

    Laura shows here her great ability to look for evidence. She can find a needle in a heystack.

    • eaz35173

      Very cool – we have a polo expert in our midst!! I defer to your knowledge in this area!! And probably true about him knowing that he would win and comparing it to the Kenny Rogers song. I love that song, btw. He’s one of my favorite singers!

      • Ines

        Not an expert!!! A simple observer!!!
        But as an observer and as a good sportman Mr. Steele is, I know he would learn fast.
        About the song, it’s a perfect explanation of a gambler behavior. Ilove K.R. too!!!

  3. steeleinterested

    KR is great and so is this commentary 🙂 Love the song reference. Perfect.

    Agree with the turned up collar being cool. Pretty sure my yearbook photos are full of them, with and without the button downs. Add creased khakis and boat shoes, wardrobe complete. lol

  4. I like this scene with Steele playing polo and Laura doing some sleuthing. Many good observations on her part. I love the reference to Charles and Di–once again, she gets that look on her face, “Who ARE you?” Also the reference to the drive by fruiting—too funny! Loved PB in “Mrs.Doubtfire.” I still think one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen in the movies is when PB and Robin Williams are in the restaurant trying to get Mrs. Doubtfire’s teeth out of the cup!!!!! Makes me laugh just thinking about it now!

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