Monthly Archives: January 2014

BONUS POST: When Did Steele Fall?

Thanks to Daph’s excellent suggestion that we take some time to hash over Steele’s feelings toward Laura. When did he decide she was “the one” for him – more than just a challenge to his libido? Share your thoughts!

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered -13

Where can poor Sheldon be? I’m just frantic with worr-

cake

Ooh, cake!

lotsofguests

And lots of well-dressed, random people. Looks like an outdoor wedding. It must have warmed up considerably since Mr. Steele had to put on his overcoat an hour ago.

excitredguy

Must be an open bar – looks like the crowd is getting rowdy already. Apparently the Sewards have celebrity pals.

doritosguy

The Doritos pitchman came to the wedding!

fatherinlaw

We see the genial father-in-law to be, in an ill-fitting tuxedo.

oldguymakingout

And an old guy making out with some chick. Or maybe he’s a vampire?

ladyorganist

And, behind the big lion statue, a nice, older woman playing the organ. What a gala affair!

bitchybride

Next we see Lucille sharing a tender moment with her father.

havetowaitinhere

She seems a little unsettled. Is he explaining about the wedding night?

prettybride

Such a sweet little thing. I’m sure Sheldon will be very, very happy.

dorkysteele

Mr. Seward goes to meet the minister, but encounters a vaguely familiar, geekish type instead. Dorky stranger announces he’s Simon Courtney, Sheldon’s best man.

randomalertHey! Simon Courtney is a real person, with a Pinterest board. He likes motorcycles. And cars. And something called “Butchered and Burnt.” Perhaps I don’t need to know any more about Simon.

 

twohottiesintuxes

So much hotness in one place. Be still my heart!

Mr. Seward tells “Simon” that the groom is behind the trellis in the backyard.

dashingsteele

Ah, Mr. Steele. Even as a dork you cut a dashing figure.

sewardispuzzled

Mr. Seward is so OVER this wedding.

dontmindtheglasses

We see the best man glad-handing the guests (and addressing some of them by name?). Blond gal doesn’t seem to mind the glasses and overbite.

groomsheldon

We see Sheldon looking  … dapper? So if this is his hair after dyeing it, what color was it before?

blondsheldon

Hm. You may have made the right choice, Shelly.

naughtynaughty

Simon Steele confronts the groom. “Naughty! Naughty!” He’s spent a day and a night trying to keep Sheldon alive, and he sneaks away without telling him?

Steele’s glasses are far down on his nose in the universal sign for stern disapproval:

stern old lady

You are in so much trouble, young man!

whatonearth

“What are you doing here?” Sheldon asks.

iamyourbestman

“I am your best man, Simon Courtney!”

whataretheydoinghere

“What are they doing here?” Sheldon wants to know now.

Without turning to see who it is, Mr. Steele nevertheless identifies: “This is Mr. Price, from the CIA, which is not trying to kill you.” (Surely Sheldon would recognize his own boss.) “And of course you know Laura.”

Lauravampiretoo

Oh, my God! Laura is a vampire, too!

scarylaura

Suddenly I’m a little worried about that nerdy guy who drove Laura home from the supermarket. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?

seeheryet

Laura asks Steele if he’s seen her yet. Steele says no, but he hasn’t checked the house yet.

“Seen who?” Sheldon asks as Laura and Price skedaddle.

steelegivesadvice

“Sheldon,” Steele asks, in stern grandpa mode again. “Did a blonde woman take a shot at you yesterday?”

yeahsayssheldon

Aw. Sheldon feels bad for holding out on Steele.

guiltydog

openmouthedsteele

Steele is truly pained by Sheldon’s lack of faith! He tells him the blonde, who isn’t CIA, is going to try to kill him again. That’s why he can’t allow Sheldon to appear for his wedding.

herecomesthebride

Uh, oh. Someone forgot to tell the organist. The wedding march commences!

I’ll stop at this dramatic moment! What do you think about Steele’s disguise? Laura’s hat? Bridezilla’s dress? Was Sheldon brave or foolish to slip away from the detectives to go to his wedding? And with their client apparently no longer interested in their help, why did Steele and Laura choose to continue protecting him? So many questions!

 

 

 

 

 

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 12

Our new scene opens back up on the third floor.

Priceheadinghome

Our old pal Eugene is locking up for the day. These CIA guys sure work hard!

herecomesangrysteele

Here comes Mr. Steele. He looks a little put out.

hesreallyticked

Make that VERY put out.

intimidationtime

He grabs Smarmy CIA Guy and gets his attention fast.

idontknowyou

“Don’t bull a bull artist,” Steele reminds Price. “You don’t know me, and I don’t know you.” He wants Price to tell him why his Agency guys are trying to kill Sheldon Quarry.

priceistwitchy

“They’re not!” an intimidated Price burbles.

tellthattowebb

“Tell that to Charles Webb,” Steele growls as Laura appears. “He just got splashed all over the carpark trying to bomb our car!” (Trying? I’d say he succeeded admirably, Mr. Steele!)

randomalertWikipedia has bios on a number of Charles Webbs, including a novelist, an architect, a cricketer, two footballers, two poets, a couple of politicians, a baseball player and a journalist. Pretty sure our guy isn’t any of these.

tryingtodefuseit

“He wasn’t trying to bomb it; he was probably trying to defuse one,” Price insists.

youdirtyrat

“What?” Laura asks.

toughguys

Gotta say, Mr. Steele is doing an creditable Cagney impression here. “You dirty rat!”

getyourinformation

Price wants to know if Webb is dead; Laura confirms. How about Shelly? Laura tells him Sheldon is safe, hiding in the stairway. Now it’s Mr. Price’s turn to be indignant.

noonewantstokill

“Look: I don’t know where you people get your information, but get it straight. No one here is trying to kill Sheldon.” He informs them that they’ve been following Shelly to try to figure out what’s going on. They’ve had two agents blown up. Know how that looks? Price will tell you how that looks!

sheldongotsomethinggoing

“It looks ROTTEN. It looks like little Sheldon had something going – a covert operation even the Operations Director didn’t know about.” People are dying, and Price wants to know why!

youdonknowwhy

“You really don’t know why?” Laura asks. Uh, oh. It’s beginning to look like our crack detectives have been hoodwinked by a client again.

nevertrustageek

Is Sheldon another Albie Fervitz? Say it isn’t so!

theblonde

Price says they’ve been tailing Sheldon since Wednesday, and the only thing they’re sure about is the blonde.

theplotthickens

What blonde?

Price brings them back into his office and produces a photo of the suspect:

herestheblonde

Evil Marta Kristen!

workingasanurse

Laura recognizes her as the nurse working at the Seward mansion. She thinks it’s time to bring Sheldon in on this!

whothehellareyou

After she leaves, Price confronts Steele. He’s done a lot of research.

“Mister, who the hell are you?”

rainyseasonagain

Steele reminds him about Danang and the rainy season, and flashes that adorable, slightly crooked smile of his. Let’s take a moment to contemplate that smile, shall we?

sexiestsmileever

Aaarrrghhh ….. drooling emoticon

hesgoneshesays

Laura’s back. Without Sheldon. “He’s gone.”

lauraaskstime

“What time is it?” she asks. Steele supplies the time:

145

“1:45.”

oopssmileyWait. So it took 45 minutes for them to leave Price’s office, go to the parking garage, witness the explosion and come back up here? Time works differently in SteeleWorld.

thinkhejustleft

Laura doesn’t think anybody snatched Sheldon. “I think he just left,” she says.

togowhere

“Left us? To go where?” Steele inquires.

lauraleadstheway

Laura knows.

Here we see the “passionate” side of Steele again. Normally so controlled (as in the office scene previously), he can be moved to violence at times – usually when he feels someone is being wronged or denigrated. It’s interesting that Laura makes no move to try to calm him or get him to let go of Price.  Would she have let Steele beat the hell out of Price if he hadn’t convinced them he wasn’t the bad guy?

Our heroes discover that their client has been keeping secrets; why didn’t he mention the blonde who shot at him? We learn the CIA has nothing to do with Sheldon’s problems … but that at least one of the baddies has infiltrated the home of Sheldon’s future father-in-law. Hm.

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 11

We find ourselves …
CIAsign

… in the lobby of some government building, where the top secret organizations’ branch offices are neatly enumerated. Steele seems surprised, but Laura tells him he shouldn’t be:

fixyourtie

“They’re listed in the phone book; why shouldn’t they have a sign in the lobby?” (I actually did a bit of Googling to try to find the LA branch office of the CIA, but kept ending up on the CIA website and decided my blog wasn’t worth attracting the attention of this government agency.)

Steele and Laura proceed to the elevator. Steele has a bit of unfinished business to discuss.

tellmeaboutthisfella

“Tell me about this fella you lived with.”

lauragrins

Oh, I think Laura is enjoying this side of Steele.

steelegrinstoo

He seems mildly amused himself!

cleaninglady

They exit the elevator onto the third floor, where a random cleaning woman is somewhat overdressed for her job. (What’s the point of this cleaning lady, BTW?)

eugenepriceops

They arrive at the glass-enclosed offices of Eugene Price, Operations Director. (I guess this is what they mean by “transparency” in government operations.) A male voice calls to them, inviting them into the office. They enter through the door, which is standing ajar. High security at this security organization!

comeonin

They are greeted by a very tan, casually dressed guy with a large golfing trophy on his desk. (What is it with trophies on this show? Must be an in-joke.)

awkwardreunion

He seems glad to see his old pal Steele!

howlonghasitbeen

“How long has it been?” he queries, then answers himself: “Danang! The rainy season!”

funfacticonDanang is a port city in South Vietnam. Its rainy seasons is September-March.   Well, that’s not really much of a FUN fact. But it’s a fact. Price seems to be insinuating that he and Steele were covert operatives during the Vietnam War.

handsyonsteele

“Good to see you, too,” Steele says. (Love the look on Laura’s face here: What planet are we on?)

welltannedsmarm

“Sit! Sit!” invites Smarmy CIA Guy.  “You and … uh….”

youandlaura

“Laura.”

sothisislaura

“So this is Laura!” Price says, as if he’s heard all about her. “Your … secretary?”

assistantassociate

“Assistant,” says Steele.

“Associate,” says Laura.

whatever

“Whatever,” says Price. He invites them again to sit down. They don’t.

beenreading

“I’ve been reading about you,” Smarmy CIA Guy says, beginning to pace. “Scoring all those big bucks in the private sector.”

adequateliving

“It’s an adequate living,” Steele concedes coolly. He is not pacing.

donbullartist

“Remington,” he says, calling him by his first name because they’re such good, long-standing friends. “Don’t bull a bull artist.” So THAT’S the key to getting ahead in the CIA? Mr. Steele could have a brilliant career here.

ishepaying

“Is he paying you enough?” Price suddenly asks Laura, randomly.

payingyouenough

“Because if he gives you any trouble, you tell me,” Price continues. “I’ll have him audited.” They all enjoy a little chuckle at this implied threat.

spoileralert emoticonLaura might do well to ponder the implications of Mr. Steele being audited.

sosheprompts

“So,” Laura prompts, moving closer to her well-paying boss.

Price wants to know what brings Steele to his office on a Saturday.

goodolddays

“Nothing in particular,” Steele hedges. “Just thinking about the good, old days. Danang, the rainy season …”

Laura gives him a rather obtrusive unobtrusive nudge.

ohand

“Oh, and … um … who did I run into the other day?”

pricedoesnknow

“Who?” Smarmy CIA Guy doesn’t seem quite so friendly any more. I wonder why?

shellyquarry

“Shelly Quarry,” Steele says, springing the trap. “You remember Shelly Quarry? Information retrieval?”

nope

“Nope.”

theanswermanhesays

“Of course you do,” Steele persists. “The Answer Man?”

whattimeisit

Smarmy CIA Guy’s never heard of him! By the way, what time is it?

itsonepm

“A little after one,” Laura supplies.

oopssmileyIt was 9:00 am when they were at the gas station. What have they been doing for the past four hours?

nicemeetingyoulaura

Suddenly, Price has to leave. He promised to take his kid go-kart racing. “Nice seeing you again, Steele. Nice meeting you, too, Laurie!”

thatLaurasmarmy

“Laura,” she corrects him.

whateveragain

“Whatever.”

He shows them to the door.

welluhhesayts

“Well … uh …” Price says.

buhbyethen

“Well … uh …” Laura says.

noseandhair

Well … uh … that was a productive use of their time!

BeardedSMiley More body language! We see Mr. Steele’s familiar nose touching, which has already been discussed. But here we see one of Laura’s more common gestures: running her hand through her hair. This can mean either flirtation or – far more likely here – vexation. Interestingly, she also did it on their way in to the office, just after their banter in the elevator:

flirtatioushair

Pretty sure it fits the first category in this case!

handonbackalmost

The detectives head back to the elevator. Steele has thrown his coat over his shoulder and is making a kind of guiding gesture toward Laura. Not sure what the body language experts would say about this, but to me it feels protective.

whoskiddingwho

Back on the elevator, they’re trying to work out what just happened. “Who’s kidding who?” Steele wonders.

The elevator deposits them in what seems to be an underground parking garage.

signaltoSheldon

Laura gives a little thump on a door …

sheldonemerges

… and Sheldon emerges from hiding. Steele is putting on his overcoat. What, Laura and Sheldon don’t get cold?

straightenitout

Sheldon wants to know if Steele got everything straightened out. Laura tells him it’s all very confusing. The Answer Man doesn’t agree!

“It’s very simple: They’re trying to kill me!”

manbent

Mr. Steele points out that someone seems to be a man bent over their rental car.

fixintoblowup

Yep! There he is!

whosisthat

But who is it?

thatscharliewebb

“That’s Charlie Webb!” Sheldon informs them. He starts toward the man.

shellynohewarns

Charlie warns him off: “Shelly, no!” Suddenly …

firstexplosion explosion1 guythrown

Goodbye, Charlie.

ducking

The explosion is powerful. Steele pushes Sheldon to the ground.

steeledetermined

As the dust begins to settle, Mr. Steele rises to survey the carnage.

didnthurttoolbox

Nobody’s going to be driving that car again soon. (But at least the toolbox seems to be okay!)

disheveledshelly

As the scene fades to black, we see Laura and Sheldon shell-shocked.

This is another one of those “turn on a dime” scenes. We begin in a light-hearted vein and some flirtatious banter between Laura and Mr. Steele. Then there is the surreal semi-comedy of the office scene – and the scene concludes in a shocking fashion.

The initial elevator scene, with Steele oh-so-subtly trying to draw Laura out about her former live-in, is cute. Laura likes having a secret from Mr. Steele for a change. He’s not the only one with a mysterious past!

The dynamic between Steele and Laura is interesting during the office scene. Both Steele and Laura are clearly puzzled by what’s going on, but Steele is much better at hiding his confusion. He is in his element here, dueling with Price in this subtle battle of intimidation. I think Laura might not have been fully cognizant of the game Steele was playing – she nudges him to get to the point of their visit, but Steele knows what he’s doing. He plays it very cool, and Price is clearly unnerved.

I’m interested in others’ perspective on the final frames of the scene: Steele getting to his feet to look at the aftermath of the explosion, while Laura and Sheldon stay in hiding. The image of Steele standing there creates a heroic, alpha male feeling. Is this the first instance of what I call the “Bondification” of Steele?

Share your thoughts!

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 10

Our scene shifts to …

gaststation

… a gas station. Note the pump: Not self serve!

laurasinks

The undercover car screeches up, braking so suddenly that poor Laura, riding shotgun, actually slides off the seat!

footvisible

That’s her foot you see through the windshield. Maybe next time you’ll wear your seatbelt, Laura. Safety first!

funfacticonCalifornia passed its mandatory seatbelt law in 1986. Enjoy your free ride while you can, Laura; in a few years you’ll be fined $88 for not wearing it!

Beatlesteele

Steele strides purposefully from the car. Does this pose remind you of anything?

Steelo.jpg

John, Paul, George and Steelo.

wowsayssheldon

Laura and Sheldon watch him go. “Wow, is he a man of action or what?” Sheldon gushes.

“I’m not sure I have an answer for that question,” a worried-looking Laura responds.

steelephoning

We find Steele on the phone, looking grim (and slightly disheveled; things must be SERIOUS!)

randomalertIf you’re fascinated by collar bars like the one seen dangling here (and who isn’t?), there is an astonishingly long discussion of them on a web forum called “Andy’s Fashion Forum.” Guess who gets a shout out? Our man Steele! http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?110547-Collar-pins-and-translations

notdrivingincircles

“I’m not driving in circles, trying to elude people I don’t know …”

reasons

“… who want to kill a nice, little nebbish for reasons I don’t even understand.”

funfacticonNebbish: noun Slang.  A pitifully ineffectual, luckless, and timid person. Origin: 1890–95;  < Yiddish nebekh  poor, unfortunate. Thanks, Dictionary.com!

georgewashingtonruth

Steele is ESPECIALLY not going to “sit in that car doing nothing while Sheldon looks at me like I’m Babe Ruth and George Washington all rolled into …”

lauraisimpressed

As Steele asks the operator for the number of the Central Intelligence Agency (“No, that’s not a residence!”), Laura looks on with, I think, amused affection. She likes this Steele who is worried about a “nice, little nebbish.”

mrssheldon

Laura returns to the car, where she finds Sheldon feeling sorry for himself. It’s 9 am – in another seven hours, Lucille was supposed to become Mrs. Sheldon Quarry.

sevenhouseisalongtime

“Seven hours is a long time,” Laura reassures him. Besides, Mr. Steele is on the case – talking to the CIA at this very moment!

heathisisremington

Sheldon goes all fanboy squee again. “Boy, would I love to see their faces when they pick up the phone and hear, ‘This is Remington Steele.'”

So would Laura!

foreigneditions

Sheldon is confident that Steele can fix everything. The great detective is even more amazing than Sheldon’s future father-in-law. He’s into selling foreign-language editions of American literary classics to China.

funfacticonChina’s “Open Door” policy toward western trade began in 1978, under the government of Deng Xiaoping.

howboutthatrhett

Laura is amused at the thought of people discussing Rhett Butler in China. Funny! (Funny?)

cantwaittoseeme

Steele returns to the car. Good news! “They can’t wait to see me again. It will be just like old times.”

laurasayswha

Hm. Something tells me Laura’s not so sure about that!

This scene gives us a glimpse into Mr. Steele’s marshmallow heart. After the awkwardness of the previous scene, I think Laura is touched to have reassurance that this man she’s losing her own heart to isn’t cold-blooded. We’ve seen before that Mr. Steele tends to champion the underdog (to unfortunate results, in their last case). I think this one might work out better.

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 9

Morning finds our heroes camped out …

dawnbylake

… in a scenic locale, if not a very stylish ride.

cozyscene

Inside the car, a cozy scene: Laura and Steele side by side in repose. But there’s an intruder on the scene:

mosquitobite

An invisible mosquito disturbs the great detective’s slumber.

opensoneeye

He begins to waken. Opens one eye to see Laura beside him. A happy circumstance!

happydreams

Laura shifts in her sleep, smiling. Having a happy dream? Steele steals a look into the backseat.

sleepysheldon

Junior Sheldon is snoozing, too.

laurahewhispers

“Laura,” Steele whispers.

She stirs, slightly. “Mmph?”

finallywesleeping

“Finally.” Dramatic pause. “We’re sleeping together.”

slowtakeLaura

Laura gives him a slo-mo reaction.

chucklesteele

He waggles his eyebrows suggestively and chuckles. She doesn’t seem to mind.

pointtotellMurphy

“I must make it a point to tell Murphy,” he says.

“You would, too,” she responds, still amused.

“Damn right.”

facescratchingagain

Steele chuckles again, but simultaneously touches his face. Uh oh!

BeardedSMiley Psychologists tell us face touching can be a sign of discomfort, of being deceptive or of arousal. Which one is Mr. Steele experiencing here?

itsnotyou

Steele notes that Murphy still doesn’t trust him, but Laura explains, “It’s not you. It’s me.”

(Is she trying to break up with him?)

heworriesaboutme

“He worries about me,” Laura says softly.

intoodeep

“Worries … I’ll get in too deep.”

andyoullbegone

“And you’ll be gone …”

andillbeleft

“… and I’ll be left …”

toodeepredux

“… in too deep.”

murphythinksthat

“Murphy thinks that?”

heisnttheonlyone

“He isn’t the only one.”

steeleshakenbythis

“Oh.”

purselipssteele

Steele is uncomfortable with the direction this has taken.

stretchmylegs

“I think I’ll stretch my legs.” He flees the car, leaving Laura alone.

tearyeyeddamn1damnitshesaysdamnit3
“Damn it.”

steelewalksaway

And we see that Steele, too, is alone with his thoughts … whatever they may be.

This is my favorite scene of this episode; it’s so rich and multi-layered. We begin in a warm and even humorous mood. Steele and Laura are together in a pseudo-intimate setting. And they are clearly comfortable and glad to be together. Laura appreciates Steele’s suggestive humor and tacit acknowledgement that their relationship goes beyond the strictly professional. Then the scene turns, as Laura confesses her deep fears. We rarely see Laura this open and vulnerable. Steele is shaken by her words – because he’s afraid she’s too serious, or afraid he might indeed leave her alone, in too deep. Perhaps Steele has his own fears about getting close to someone, and the possibility of being left behind, in too deep. There is such deep poignancy in Laura’s reaction to his desertion. She knows she has over-shared, shown Mr. Steele her “weakness,” and – as expected – he left her.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this pivotal little scene!

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 8

Some time later, back at Laura’s place …

steelesnoozing

… Mr. Steele, apparently spent from baring his soul to Sheldon, is dozing on Laura’s couch.

theyreontous

His partner bursts in, with disturbing news: “They’re on to us!”

gottogetout

 “We’ve got to get out of here!”

But Mr. Steele has more important matters on his mind – disturbing news of his own!

mensclothes

“There are men’s clothes in your closet!”

menstoiletries

“Men’s toiletries in your bathroom!”

Laura doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s happy to enlighten her:

bikiniunderwear

He’s talking about men’s bikini underwear!

doitwithinterest

He’s talking about a T-shirt that says “Bankers Do It With Interest” Yuck!

Laura can’t believe it.

shecantbelieveit

She’s been chased through the canyons by Mario Andretti …

gallopinggourmet

… had to fight off the Galloping Gourmet to get a ride home …

funfacticonThe Galloping Gourmet is celebrity chef Graham Kerr, who had a TV show of that name from 1969-1971.  He was famous for drinking wine while cooking on the show, often appearing to be a bit tipsy by the time the credits rolled.

Galloping-Gourmet-Cookbook

livedwithaman

Steele can’t believe Laura didn’t tell him she lives with a man! She tersely informs him that she doesn’t live with a man.

notanymore

“Not anymore.”

mommydaddyfighting

Little Sheldon hears Mummy and Daddy fighting and is worried. “What’s going on?” he asks.

laurahelpshimdress

Mummy Laura helps Little Sheldon finish dressing, informing him that “they know you’re with us.”

rentacar

She tells him their only chance is to keep going. They’ll rent a car. (Where’s the limo?) Steele wants to know where Laura’s car is. She tells him it’s at the supermarket. Mr. Steele isn’t finished with her yet!

whitebelts

“You lived with a man who wears white belts?”

disappointedsteele

“Am I disappointed,” he sniffs.

jumpsuit

Hey … don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, Mr. Steele. Smokin’!

lauraisamused

Laura seems mildly amused by Steele’s reaction.

The main interest in this scene is obviously Steele’s fixation on Laura’s love life. He seems surprised that she had lived with a man (does he think she’s “not that kind of girl”?) and channels his jealousy into childish taunting, disparaging the kind of man his left-behind belongings suggest. Steele seems uninterested – even oblivious – to the real danger Laura was in.

Laura is well-prepared for an emergency, efficiently moving to pack some food, flashlight and, inexplicably, what look like highway flares (or sticks of dynamite).

We also see Laura and Steele in kind of a parenting mode here (especially Laura, who seems very intent on taking care of Sheldon). What’s your take on this segment?

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 7

We’re back at the Seward mansion …

goingtohaveawedding

Mr. Seward wants to know if there’s going to be a wedding Saturday or not!

martanurse

Just then a health care professional appears. Wait a second! That’s no health care professional – it’s evil Marta Kristen! Well, THAT can’t be good. She tells Lucille it’s time for her shot.

shesgotagun

This kind of shot?

tellhimwhatItoldyou

Lucille asks Laura to tell Sheldon what she said. (What did she say?)

mydaughterloveshim

Mr. Seward still isn’t happy about this whole wedding thing, but his daughter loves Sheldon, so what can he do?

We cut abruptly to …

drivinehomeward

… headlights speeding toward us.

laurabehindthewheel

It’s Laura’s car (but is that Laura behind the wheel?).

laurainhercar

Laura seems a little uneasy … maybe it’s that uber-dramatic, strings-heavy music playing! Try another radio station, Laura; sounds like NPR is featuring “ominous movie suspense themes” this evening.

headlightsinrearview

She glances in the rearview mirror – someone’s behind her.

headlights closer

Getting closer!

nighttimechase

We know something’s afoot, because there are only two cars on the road (they roll the sidewalks up early in L.A.; it’s a quiet town).

laurapullsover

Laura pulls over, giving us a nice side view of her zooty little car. I SO wanted this car when I was 18.

breezesbyher

Laura’s tailgater breezes by. Whew!

takesoffagain

Laura pulls out again. I wouldn’t feel too relieved, Laura. That music is still playing.

herewegoagain

Sure enough …

tensedriving

Laura shifts into evasive maneuver mode.

pullsintoparkinglot

She pulls into a parking lot.

squealingtires

Uh oh! Squealing brakes behind her. Laura exits her car.

hotpursuit

Her pursuer is hot on her heels flats! Run, Laura! Run! (We get a nice demonstration of Stephanie Zimbalist’s athleticism here; more to come!)

intogrocerystore

Laura runs into what turns out to be a grocery store.

supermarketsweep

She grabs a cart – might as well pick up a few staples while she’s here, right?

sweep1

And she’s in training for Supermarket Sweep!

helloproductplacement

Why hello, prominent product placement!

dudewithcart

Laura checks out the hot guys – grocery stores are such meat markets! This one’s a real hottie: headband, shades … dirty blond hair. Is that Owen Wilson?

lauratakenwithhim

Laura seems quite taken with him!

moresnacks

Gotta pick up some salty snacks to go with that soda. It’s never too early to stock up for the Super Bowl party!

strawhatsweetsuit

It’s another sexy beast! (Is Laura shopping at WalMart?) I’m not digging the sweat suit jacket, but Laura likes hats. Maybe this could work.

anotherheadbandguy

Hey! This place is a veritable smorgasbord of irresistible manhood! And speaking of manhood, those jeans might be just a little too snug, dude. Nice headband, though. (I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do with those Wet Wipes.)

cartcrash

Things are looking up! Laura crashes into a guy in a suit jacket (Also, JiffyPop is on sale!).

excusemeshesays

“Excuse me,” she tells the man she assaulted with her cart. Time to ditch this popstand!

runningoutofstore

Laura makes a run for the exit …

noexitthroughcashier

She’s got no time to go through a cashier line. Up and over!

trenchcoatdude

Yikes! Guy in fedora and long coat loitering around her car. What’s his deal?

flasher

Better hang out in the store a bit longer, Laura.

latenightpickup

Laura gets in line behind a relatively normal-looking guy.

steakwineheartsofpalm

Well … relatively normal looking.

appreciatesfinerthings

Flirty Laura notes the contents of his basket: Steak, wine, hearts of palm. Obviously he appreciates the finer things!

noonetoshareitwith

“Of course, what’s the point of buying it if you have no one to share it with?” Smooth, Laura.

ewcreepy

Uh … what I said before about normal?

batescreepy

I take it back.

pickupaccomplished

Still, Laura seems pleased with her conquest!

In this scene, we get to see how Laura deals with a dangerous situation. She is clearly alarmed, almost panicky, but she is able to implement strategies to try to get herself out of trouble. This scene highlights the fact that Laura, for all her skills, is at greater risk because she’s a woman. This scenario – alone at night, being pursued by somebody – is a fear every woman has drummed into them from an early age.

She’s got to be wondering at this point whether Mr. Steele was right to suggest giving this case a pass. What’s your reaction to how Laura handles herself here?

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 6

Meanwhile, back at Laura’s place …

steelereading

… we find Steele reading something that seems to amuse him. I looks to me like a high school yearbook. Is he finding out more about Laura by paging through her past?

nekkidsheldon

The detective adopts a curiously put-upon air as Sheldon emerges, half-nekkid. Trying to ward off unwelcome advances, Mr. Steele?

hefoundclothes

Sheldon reports he found some men’s clothing in Laura’s closet. Lucky break!

luckybreakindeed

Steele seems … interested … in this news. “Men’s clothing. Laura’s closet? Lucky break indeed!” he responds dryly.

greattobesteele

Sheldon notes that it must be great to be Remington Steele.

But happily for you, Shelly, it’s also …

hiptobesquare

… hip to be square! (At least according to Huey Lewis). And look what kind of babe he snagged!

hueykeely

Yeah, a gal like that would TOTALLY end up with a guy named Huey. Right?

happyending

Oh.

hasitsmoments

Steele concedes that being him has its moments. Sheldon is nonplused at his ambivalence.

areyouserious

“Are you kidding? I’ve wanted to be you my whole life!”

relaxsheldon

“Relax, Sheldon. Remember – you’re only wearing a towel.”

(That’s a suggestive quip for primetime!)

awkwardsheldon

Sheldon has a seat. He begins to reminisce …

tickertape

“All through school you dream of being a hero. Everybody laughs at you …”

steelelisteningsheldon

Steele seems very attentive to Sheldon’s confessional.

boltofcloth

“You keep telling yourself: Just wait ’til you grow up. They’ll be throwing ticker tape at your parade.” But when you finally grow up, there’s no ticker tape, Sheldon continues, and you realize you’re just not cut out of that particular bolt of cloth.

findanicegirl

“So you find yourself a nice girl …” (Note to Sheldon: Keep looking.)

sundaysyoulook

“On Sundays you look at sensible cars together.”

steeleaffectedbyshlly

Steele’s expression is inscrutable: What do you think he’s thinking here?

As Sheldon continues waxing poetic about getting married and joining the family business, Steele’s demeanor changes slightly …

familybusiness

He looks away from Sheldon, who is laying himself bare emotionally as he is physically undressed. Uncomfortable for Steele? Sheldon interprets his expression as boredom.

youwouldntunderstand

“You wouldn’t understand about that,” Sheldon says. “That’s what happens to the rest of us.” Seemingly embarrassed by his candor, Sheldon excuses himself and leaves the room.

impassivesteele

Steele remains impassive as Sheldon departs.

anothernosetouch

… then touches his nose briefly as he appears to come to some decision.

funfacticonAs has been noted before in this blog, body language experts say that nose touching indicates discomfort with being deceitful. Pierce Brosnan does this with some frequency; do you think he’s aware of this psychology, or is it a natural response?

steeleconfessional

Steele follows Sheldon and stands outside the door. He seems torn.

youhaveitbackwards

“Sheldon, it occurs to me you have that backwards. I mean, I know you think I lead an exciting life … and yes, I suppose I do.”

doesntmakenoise

“But don’t you think it’s rather like the tree falling in the forest? If there’s no one there to hear it, it doesn’t make much of a noise, does it?”

withoutsomeonetoshare

“An exciting life … without someone to share it with?”

illtradeplaces

“What I’m trying to say is, any time you’d like, I’ll trade places with you. What do you say?”

There is no response from within.

lookinginonshelly

Steele takes a peek inside …

sheldonasleep

… and finds Sheldon already asleep in Laura’s bed.

sugaryslop

“If I’m nice enough to say all of this sugary slop, the least you could do is stay awake.”

Well! That was a meaty scene, wasn’t it? (And I don’t mean Sheldon’s brawny chest.) Steele seems very affected by Sheldon’s slightly pathetic summation of his life – and uncomfortable, suddenly, with Sheldon’s hero worship of him. I think Sheldon’s admiration reminds Steele that he really is a fraud and he feels guilty being the object of the nerdy little guy’s adulation. It’s hard to know how sincere Steele’s soliliquoy is – perhaps he was indeed just saying all that “sugary slop” to make Sheldon feel better. But I’m inclined to think there was true in his words. Listening to Sheldon describing his ordinary life – what happens to “the rest of us” – reminds Steele of how separate and disconnected he has been from a real life. Perhaps a nice girl, a sensible car and a career don’t sound so bad to a man who has never had anything like those things. I think this speaks to what we were discussing in a previous post, about Steele’s determination to find a date for the evening. He is a man who doesn’t like to be alone … perhaps because he has been that way so much of his life. What’s your take on this segment?

S

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Signed, Steeled & Delivered – 5

A new scene begins with a zooty little car pulling up to a snooty mansion.

laurasrabbit

Is this the first glimpse we’ve had of Laura’s Rabbit? She seems to have a thing for rabbits.

funfacticonThe Volkswagon Rabbit was introduced in 1975 and remained in production until 1984. Laura drives a 1981 model convertible, California license 1ELI525. Happy news! You can purchase a red version of Laura’s car on eBay for just $7,900, if you hurry.

awfullysorry

Laura walks up to an ornate front door and rings the bell. A male voice asks what she wants. She tells him she’s here to see Lucille Steward. He wants to know who is looking for Lucille Seward.

“My name is Laura Holt. I’m a friend of Sheldon Quarry’s.”

friendofsheldon

Well! That produces results!

comeinplease

“Come in!” he welcomes her. Laura seems very impressed with her surroundings. I wonder if she hasn’t spent much time with the super-rich. I suspect that may change, Laura. (Can I just say, I love Laura’s outfit in this scene?)

whereishe

Once Laura is inside, the man’s demeanor becomes less friendly. “Where is he?” he demands.

A still slightly dazed Laura responds, “Pardon me?”

whereissheldon

“You’re pardoned. It’s Sheldon that’s going to get the chair!” the man vows. Does Laura know how many times he’s had to reschedule the wedding rehearsal? Hasn’t Sheldon ever heard of a phone?!

lauratriestospeak

Laura would love to fill him in! But he’s got no time to listen to excuses.

daughterishysterical

For four days, they’ve been worried sick! He’s got a daughter who’s hysterical!

90lbsroastbeef

He’s got 90 lbs. of roast beef in the freezer!

theyreprawns

He’s got 30 lbs. of shrimp – no, PRAWNS (they get you for $1.00 more a pound if they call them prawns) – makes it sound like they all went to college!

uhhuhahaha

“Uh huh … heh heh heh.”

icesculptures

He’s got ice sculptures!

Suddenly, someone new appears:

isSheldonreallyallright

“Forgive him, he’s an ass,” she says. Her father begins to object to her tone …

daddysheyells

“Daddy!” she screeches. Seems like a close-knit family.

isSheldonreallyallright

Lucille wants to know if Sheldon is really all right. Where is he? Sadly, Laura can’t tell her that. But she assures the happy Sewards that errant Sheldon is fine.

supposedtoberesting

Mr. Seward reminds Daughter Dearest that she’s supposed to be resting.

lovesusbestsedated

She doesn’t take his advice well. “Isn’t he a wonderful father? He likes us best when we’re sedated!”

Aw. Lucille is a sweet little thing, isn’t she? I’m sure she and Sheldon will be very happy together. AS LONG AS HE STAYS IN LINE.

notanawfullottotell

Lucille wants to know everything Laura knows. She admits there’s not much to tell.

The scene ends on Laura’s anxious look back at the unhappy father-in-law-to-be.

This was a short scene, but there are some interesting elements, I think. First of all, Laura seems astonished at the opulence of the Steward mansion. As I noted above, it appears she doesn’t have much experience interacting in these circles of society. We also see that she’s not comfortable with Mr. Seward’s overbearing manner; one suspects the glib Mr. Steele would have handled this exchange more smoothly. Laura also seems taken aback at the open hostility between Lucille and her father; we don’t yet know anything about Laura’s relationship with her own parents, but might one surmise that her bond with her own Daddy is different from what she sees here? Although Laura is a strong person, able to stand up for herself, I get the feeling that conflict makes her uncomfortable. What do you think?

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