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!

23 Comments

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23 responses to “BONUS POST: When Did Steele Fall?

  1. eaz35173

    Great question! For me, I think it was quite clear in Steele in Circulation (01×22) when he told Laura that he wasn’t quite ready to lose her yet.

    But there were inklings and hints about it even earlier in the season. The drunken confession, “What’s the point of being drunk if you can’t say the things you’d never say if you were sober?” and “I rather enjoyed being a Peppler”, from Hearts of Steele (01×14) were very honest and telling in regard to his feelings about Laura.

    Even Felicia notices the difference in him in Thou Shalt Not Steele (01×05). While it seems clear to Felicia, I don’t think it was solidified in Steele’s brain yet during that episode. But her words my have given him a push to think about what he wanted from Laura and the status of their “relationship”.

    I have no doubt, however, that by Red Holt Steele (02×02), he was in it for the long term. I’m interested to hear what others think in regard to this.

    • I think a case can be made for love at first sight for Mr. Steele. Already in “Tempered Steele,” as you previously pointed out, Mr. Steele tells the head waiter guy that he might only be giving out more brass nameplate. And even “License to Steele,” at his regretful parting from Laura, he says he “might relish the role on a more permanent basis.” That doesn’t necessary mean because of her, but I think a strong attraction to Laura was one of the things that made him decide to adopt Steele’s persona.

      • eaz35173

        No doubt she captivated him from the start and that’s why he stayed initially! But being captivated and interested and wanting to get to know someone better, or even wanting to sleep with someone, is different from knowing they were the “one” (or at least admitting it to yourself).

    • steeleinterested

      Yes, Hearts of Steele does give me the idea that he is already a goner but in such a way that I am left wondering just how far gone and how much he has admitted that to himself.

      And by Red Holt Steele, we all know it.

      Tangent alert– While I love the episode and the title, it has always annoyed me that they essentially ‘married’ them by title here if they weren’t going to follow up until the series concluded. It’s like they got way ahead of themselves. As I see it, in terms of relationship arc and titles, this is the climax. So you have one season (I count 01×01 as exposition) 01×02-02×01 of rising action, then four plus a bit of falling action before the 2 hour finale provides the denouement. Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer a more even arc.

      • eaz35173

        Until you mentioned the married thing, it had never occurred to me to read the title as Red “Holt-Steele”! Wow, the things these conversations bring up!!

      • Inés

        Wow!! I’ve never discovered that! But now it sounds perfect!
        But pay attention to the red light…

  2. Daph

    In Tempered Steele, the waiter told Steele that his stash of expensive, solid brass name plates were running low. The waiter said that Laura was the finest lady in Steele’s array and also asked if Steele was going to give a name plate to Laura. Steele said that Laura may very well be the last lady he bestows a name plate upon. To me, this said volumes.

    I think that Steele had already made a decision that Laura was keeper and although he said ‘may very well be’, this doesn’t take away from the fact that he wanted to and would work toward having a permanent-type of relationship with Laura. To me, his cautionary statement only reflected that there were things beyond his control such as Laura herself who is frightened to have a relationship with him or his past catching up with him.

    In Tempered Steele, Steele’s confessional to the sleeping Sheldon clearly shows again that he has given serious thought to finding a life partner. Sheldon’s description of married life with his fiance really touched Steele and allowed Steele access to his deeply buried needs. I think Steele is so good at playing a role to others that he seldom addresses his needs beyond food, clothing, shelter, sex, and luxury items. Sheldon unknowingly forced Steele to readdress why he became RS in the first place. What started as a new con soon became more: a desire for a respectable life and Laura.

    In four short episodes, Steele has gone from a con man with a sweet deal to striving to be her partner and the kind of man she wants. So I think that Steele decided that Laura was “the one” during his confession to Sheldon. I think he only realized the consequences of this decision when Laura told him she could get hurt if she got in too deep.

    Love to read what episodes and scenes you all think is a pivotal point when Steele decides that Laura is a keeper.

  3. I think Laura’s unpredictability is a huge attraction for Steele. He made his living being able to figure people out, and how to manipulate them based on that. But Laura surprises him again and again. What is that he tells Daniel a few episodes from now? He’s drawn to her uniqueness. I think he was set back on his heels when she told him she’d love to sleep with him – but she’s not going to, because it wouldn’t be good for business. Talk about throwing down the gauntlet to a man who loves impossible challenges!

    The fact that Laura has had cause to kick him to the curb (or even turn him in to the police), but hasn’t done so, has affected him powerfully as well. Despite her vehement declarations to the contrary, Steele recognizes that Laura trusts him at some deep level. I suspect he hasn’t experienced that much in his lifetime.

    • steeleinterested

      Absolutely agree that her complexity and/or uniqueness is a draw for him. She almost never responds the way he expects, at least in the beginning.

    • eaz35173

      Daph, I agree that he was showing signs as early as Tempered. But for me, I’m not sure that he knew that Laura was THE ONE by that conversation with Sheldon. I think both Laura and Sheldon gave him some very heavy things to think about in relation to his life – how he’s lived it this far and what he might like it to look like in the future (farther in the future than he’s probably ever thought about before).

      We see in Steel Trap (01×10) when Laura again talks about a relationship with him in terms of knowing that it would mean something to HIM and being “a commitment of sorts”, that it gives him pause to think about that in relation to Laura again. It’s this conversation, that I think really gets him thinking profoundly about how he sees Laura in his life.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that he would like to pursue a relationship with Laura, but I think he still is not sure where he wants it to go until they are pretending to be married in Hearts. For me, that’s the earliest that I can see him feeling (and openly admitting) THAT type of commitment to Laura. As a side note, it bugs me that they brought out the I-can’t-remember-anything-I-say-when-I’m-drunk trope, so that only Laura knows what he said to her. But I think that was a bit of a turning point for Laura, as well, to know how he feels about her.

      For me, when someone decides that someone else is THE ONE, there is some sort of commitment to make it work (not necessarily marriage). I still see Steele’s presence as an adventure, a puzzle solving mission, a game of sorts until at least Steele Trap’s conversation.

      • steeleinterested

        So my iPad ate my homework 😦

        Condensed version– I think we have to get to Vintage Steele 1×19 , where he sees the ‘other’ Laura before he is a goner. He needs to know she can understand that side, maybe even empathize with it. Now they are equals, and possibly the other side of the same coin.

      • eaz35173

        Which goes to my original point of it being Circulation (01×22) that it is clear to him that he wants Laura in his life. I think that the scare of her almost falling to her death from that girder, made things crystal clear to him.

        BTW, Vintage is my favorite episode (if I was forced at gunpoint to pick only one 😉 ).

      • Daph

        Steele definitely has made a commitment already to make it work with Laura. He has totally left behind his old life, crimes, and friends to be what she needs and with her. His sacrifice to abandon a carefree style (working only sometimes and relaxing between heists) is much different than 9 to 5. He has already demonstrated that he will stay by her side, become a detective and make himself indispensable to her, protect her, and have a 1-on-1 relationship with her. In RS land they have only been together a couple of months and already he is bending over backwards to please her and to meet her expectations at every turn. Even with his ocassional side antics he is pleasing her. He may not be able to admit it fully to himself but he has decided to keep Laura for the long haul. Adding all this up, I think he has made a tremendous commitment to her.

        And yes, I needed more of an even arc in the episodes in 4-5 too. I am loving all these comments and great ideas. FANTASTIC.

    • Inés

      I think different here. Laura is very predictable. He tries to run her sideways, but he can’t. He is surprised because he can’t move her from her goal: success at work, and nothing personal with him.
      About Laura turning him to the Pólice, he knows she can do that! He knows her secret too!! 1 x 1

  4. Just to put a bow on this before we move on to the exciting conclusion of “Signed, Steeled & Delivered,” where do you think Steele is at this moment in terms of his feelings toward Laura? Where is Laura, toward Steele? This is such a great topic; we’ll revisit it again periodically as we go through the series.

  5. steeleinterested

    For Laura, she is interested but he scares her to death. That other Laura would like to throw caution to the wind and get her teeth rattled, at least. But he poses way too big a risk to her career and her heart and so far the possible reward is either not big enough or way too unlikely to tempt her to give in, yet.

    If I could only pick one season, I’d have to go with Season 1. I don’t know if I could pick a single episode, but at gun point I’d probably default to Red Holt Steele or maybe Threads.

  6. Inés

    Late better than never…
    Keri: your question says “When did he decide she was “the one” for him – more than just a challenge to his libido?” I’ll try to give my opinión without Reading yours, at first.

    I think that at the beginning, he didn’t decide about that. The decision arrived later. The first decision he took, was to stay, and to leave his full life behind. It was a step towards something unknown for him: a relationship.

    I don’t believe in he phrase “love at first sight”. So, I can’t apply that to him.
    I think a relationship starts always sometimes, with some attraction at first sight, and that’s what happened with Steele and Laura. But after that start, the process follows resolving some intrigue, the crucial need to know more about the other, about feelings, behaviors, and about reactions. I think Steele is undoubtely very attracted phisically and intellectually to Laura, and he spent a study period of her during the first season. He let himself put down some barriers slowly in that time, but not all together. The adrenaline brought by some exact facts, made him realize that there was something about them that was beyond his control. He wasn’t used to feel that way, he lived a different annd risky life, but with everything under control. So, that feeling was new for him. He had to learn to live with it, and that took him some time. But once he realized that he wanted to be always with her, that was a real clue for him that he was entangled in something deepest.

    Steele Trap, and their chat at the end of the chapter is a clue that he is opening his heart to her. They are in danger, and he wants her knowing more about him. He wanted to clear some intrigues she has about him. he wanted them having a deepest knowledge about the other. he needed her knowing more about his past.

    The respect he shows for her, trying to follow her in her timing about going to bed with him, that shows A LOT!!!! I think at the end of Steele Trap, he is accepting that idea, and is starting to see the game as a different one.
    In the following chapters, he caught different glimpses about Laura, each and every one leading him to the same feeling. He wanted to be beside her everytime.

    Vintage is another turning point. He saw the delicious free Laura, and he was lost with that. I noticed there, that even he was delighted with the perspective of Laura playing her fan dance at the winnery, he was very tortured at the same time, because he didn’t want her doing those things with all those men surrounding her. He cared about her. And having an idea about Laura and Wilson relationship… that closed the circle in some way. He wanted that, he wanted that with her, and he was ready to make it work.

  7. Inés

    Better late than ever…

  8. Inés

    Better late than never!!!!!

    Sorry…Friday night!

  9. I think, like most of you, that the relationship was definitely not an aha! moment for Steele, but a gradual seasoning over time. That is why I was so disappointed with season 5. Instead of a natural progression of the love, respect, and friendship they had built; it seemed to take them back to the very beginning—less in fact, because the intrigue was gone.

  10. Daph

    You asked when Laura knew that Steele was the one for her. I think from the very first episode she knew she wanted him to be the one but she was frightened. And who wouldn’t be? After all he makes his living by larceny. She also knew from the beginning that she did not want a casual relationship with him. She knew she would get in too deep because she is already in too deep. That is why Murphy is so worried about her. He is smelling those roses.

    She did tell Berniece that she couldn’t keep him inline now let alone if she slept with him. That by itself is very telling.

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