Monthly Archives: February 2014

Just a Note …

I’m under several pressing deadlines in the real world this week, so won’t be able to post a new update for a few days. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves!

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 10

Our scene continues, and the following is some of the funniest in the whole series, imo. Let’s go!

When last we left Laura Holt …

sheexpects

… she had just expressed some frustration with how her reunion with mom was going.

“Try to be patient, Laura,” Steele counsels. “It’s hardly what she expects from a dental assistant.”

whatthehey

“What?”

Just then the doorbell rings, and Laura hurries to answer it, followed by Steele.

keepthechange

“Here,” she says, pushing a wad of bills into the cab driver’s hand. “Keep the change.”

Mr. Steele wants to know what’s going on.

areyouallright

“You’ve had some kind of mishap. Are you all right?”

iwaskidnapped

“I was kidnapped by someone named Guffman coming out of your apartment!” Laura explains while Steele inexplicably boops himself.

boop

Boop!

knewweshould

“I knew we shouldn’t have accepted this case,” Steele I-told-you-sos her.

whatdoyouknow

“What do you know about this?” she presses (literally).

Thanks to Elise for sharing this little nugget of script, which illustrates the next bit of business in which they talk/shout over each other:

scripting

Steele and Laura begin to argue – it is an epic battle of wills!

briefvacation

HE: We could still drop it off and take off for a brief vacation. New Zealand, perhaps.
SHE: I ASKED YOU A QUESTION.
hastyconclusions

HE: Laura, it’s important you not jump to any hasty conclusions.
SHE: Who is this Guffman and what does he know about this woman Felicia?

mutualtrust

HE: This is a dangerous situation and mutual trust is absolutely essential if we’re all to survive it in one piece.
SHE: I nearly got my neck broken tonight and don’t think you can get out of here without giving me some answers!

Just then, the doorbell rings again!

specialguest

It’s Kahlil Ahmed! He looks relaxed.

itsthecurse

“It’s … the … curse …” he wheezes as he falls.

oopscorpse

Well. That was unexpected!

Just then …

abigailasks

“Laura!” Abigail calls from the guest bedroom.

anightmare

Laura’s evening isn’t getting any better.

“Oh, God! This isn’t happening! My mother is NOT going to find a dead body in my house!”

holdingthepot

She races off, leaving Steele holding the bag … er … pot.

wrongtosayso

In the bedroom, Abigail is … apologetic?

“I’m sorry I lost my head a moment ago. Not that I forgive your behavior, but it was wrong of me to say so in front of your employer.”

allrightmom

“That’s all right, mother.”

Abigail knows it’s all right (because she hasn’t done anything wrong!), but she feels she owes Mr. Steele an apology.

“It really isn’t necessary,” Laura assures her.

ithinkitis

I think it is.” (Mother knows best.)

127c6be8d6cb6067_Mommie-Dearest

NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!

droppedin

Laura explains that Mr. Steele is with a client. In her living room. At this hour of the night. He just dropped in.

takeamoment

“It’ll only take a moment.”

laurafreaks

“Mother!”

fascinatingachmed

Laura follows her mom to the doorway of the living room. They hear Mr. Steele discussing the case with his client:

“Fascinating bit of evidence, Achmed, mmm?”

ahabigail

“Ah, Abigail!” Steele greets her. Uh, oh. I smell trouble: Laura would never allow anybody to smoke in her house!

justapologize

Abigail makes her apologies.

barelyremember

“Barely remembered it,” he assuages her.

caretojoinus

“Would you care to join us?”

notjoinus

Laura doesn’t seem to think that’s a good idea. And as it happens, neither does Abigail. She’s tired and wants to go to bed. Finally the two Holt women agree on something!

goodnightmother

Aw. What a touching reconciliation. Abigail bids a final farewell to Mr…

khalilhesupplies

“Khalil,” Steele supplies helpfully.

Abigail trundles off to bed.

laurarelieved

Laura is relieved.

Achmed is … still dead.

slysteeleissly

Mr. Steele is … pleased with himself.

I enjoyed this opportunity for Stephanie Zimbalist to show her comedy chops – frazzled Laura is a hoot! We see how evenly matched Laura and Steele are; I’m willing to bet Murphy wouldn’t have gone toe-to-toe with her like Steele did. We also see just what a risk taker Mr. Steele is. He was definitely tempting fate to invite Abigail to join them. Seems like it would have been less chancy to simply drag Khalil out the door and deposit him into the bushes for safekeeping, but what fun would that be?

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 9

We get one of those arty fades that they did in the first season …

fadeintoLauras

Here we are back at Laura’s house.

teawithabigail

Abigail is home, and she’s serving tea! As she brings in the kettle, she’s sharing her family problems: “Laura has always been a very sensitive girl. My middle one.”

oopssmileyAnd here is our second continuity error! SPOILER ALERT: We know that Laura has one sister, but no other sibling is ever mentioned over the course of the series. So how can she be the “middle” child? This has vexed fans for a long time.

fightincar

Abigail tells Steele that she and Laura fought in the car on the way over, and that’s why she ran off.

outofsortswithme

Unlike Mommy Dearest, Mr. Steele has the grace to feel a little guilty about his own interaction with Laura. “I’m afraid she was out of sorts with me as well.”

Abigail shares a memory of Laura’s childhood, when they thought she had run away. But she was found – in the laundry hamper.

laundryhamper

Mr. Steele appears to be contemplating a search party, starting in the laundry room. But Abigail has already checked.

lotsaleg

Abigail gets comfortable, and shows a perhaps inappropriate amount of leg to her daughter’s boss.

nicegamsBev

Well, the gal’s always had good gams.

Abigail admits to Mr. Steele that she can’t bring herself to tell Laura’s Nana what she does for a living.

whatshedoes

Steele is curious: What does Abigail tell gran Laura’s profession is?

dentalassistant

“Dental assistant,” she confesses. “With great prospects of marriage.”

spoileralert emoticonDentistry will come up again in reference to one of Abigail’s daughters.

Abigail asks Steele if she’s awful for creating a complete fiction about someone.

familytrait

“Sounds more like a family trait.”

huhabigail

Abigail doesn’t get the joke.

huhkitty

Huh?

Just then …

lauaenters

… Laura bursts in the front door.

Ididit

She seems happy to be home! “I did it!” she exults. “I got away!”

startledabigail

In the living room, Abigail and Steele are startled by the outburst.

dropscoat

Laura dashes about the entryway. She pulls off her coat and drops it on the floor. (Maybe Abigail was right to criticize her housekeeping.)

paycabbie

Laura picks up a coffee pot (she seems to collect them) and starts rummaging; she’s got to pay the cabbie. But Miss Holt seems to have forgotten she has house guests.

mother

“Mother!” Her ebullience fades a bit. “Mr. Steele.”

funnyfaces

One of these people seems happier to see her than the other. (Hint: It’s not the one who gave birth to her.)

“Laura, look at you!” Abigail blusters. (I have to wonder if Laura was supposed to look more disheveled than she actually does here. She looks pretty good as far as I can tell. Shrug.)

CRIMEOFFASHIONI’m not sure about Mr. Steele’s look – a little … preppy? for him. The knitted tie seems to go in and out of fashion with some regularity. Here are some famous guys sporting knit ties:

famousknitties

Profuomo Magazine (whatever that is) has this to say about knit ties:

Formal but unconventional

A formal outfit has various gradations, so “suit up” is thus a broad concept. Even though on some occasions you can’t do otherwise than appear in a two- or three piece suit, for other occasions you can include a certain amount of frivolity in the accessories. The tie is a great accessory that offers you the ability to give your outfit a casual character. A knitted tie is a real eye catcher in this case. Stars like Paul Newman, James Dean, the Beatles and Sean Connery didn’t wear a “knitted tie” with gusto for nothing. With its straight edge, the so called “bobtail,” the knitted tie gives your outfit a personal and unconventional allure.

Okay.

iwasbrilliant

Understandably, Laura wants to share her triumph with mom. “I was brilliant!” she tells her.

lookinglikethis

Abigail doesn’t seem to agree. “Mr. Steele was kind enough to ask us to dinner, you disappear for over two hours, show up looking like this and call it brilliant?”

notbrilliant

“Well I certainly DON’T!”

angrytroll

Now we know where Laura gets her nice, even temperament. Speaking of which …

laurahitsoutdamn

“Damn!” [WHACK]

Laura seems disappointed in her mother’s lack of approval.

I’ll stop here, because the second half of this scene is a whopper. We do get some interesting bits here. We learn that Laura has always been “sensitive.” This seems at odds with the cool, confident woman we’ve come to know thus far. She also has a history of running away/hiding from difficult situations. Hm. I think Mr. Steele’s impassive response to Abigail’s chatter indicates he’s gaining some insight into Laura and why she behaves the way she does sometimes. He is cordial to Abigail, but not overly friendly; I think Abigail’s criticism of Laura and outright embarrassment about her career, irks Steele. He thinks any woman should be proud to have a daughter like Laura!

It does surprise me a bit that neither Abigail nor Steele seem particularly worried about Laura, who after all just disappeared. She didn’t take her car, Abigail didn’t see her come out of the building, so where did she go?

Laura’s exhilaration at her escape is more evidence to me that the nature of her work has grown more exciting since Mr. Steele came on the scene. I don’t think she’s had a lot of experience escaping abductors (her panicky response to being followed in “Signed, Steeled & Delivered” reinforces this.) I like the little nuggets of Laura’s life we see in this scene – she keeps spare cash in a coffee pot, she doesn’t bother to hang up her coat.  Here again we see the little girl inside Laura desperate for her mom’s approval – and not getting it. Sad.

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 8

Meanwhile, back in the barrel …

unloadbarrel

Elevator Guy is unloading the barrel inside what looks to be a garage. Let the bad lighting commence!

wellfelicia

Elevator Guy is with another guy, better dressed. Guffman, I presume?

“Well, Felicia, you disappoint me,” Presumably Guffman sighs.

guffman

“First you fail to deliver the painting on time, then you go running to a famous detective.”

tada

Elevator Guy flips his lid, giving Presumably Guffman a peek at what’s inside the barrel.

youfool

“You fool!” He snarls at Elevator Guy.  “This is not her!”

yellowteeth

Elevator Guy tells Guffman he ain’t gettin’ out of payin’ him this time.(If he’s screwed you before, why are you working for him again? I don’t think Elevator Guy is the brains of this outfit.)

tipoverbarrel

Elevator Guy says he was told to snatch the woman in Steele’s apartment, and that’s what he did. He pushes over the barrel.

spilledlaura

Hey! That’s no industrial slime! It’s Laura. She looks a little dazed.

pumpsiron

Guffman says he should know better than to hire a man who pumps iron for a living.

arnold-schwarzenegger-chest-workout-routine

Are you listening, California voters?

mybodytemple

Elevator Guy isn’t concerned. His body is his temple. (Apparently “body” doesn’t include hair, because what’s up with that?)

mightknow

Laura craws shakily to the van. Guffman decides that she might know something, even if she isn’t Felicia. He wants Elevator Guy to make her talk.

costyouextra

“That’ll cost you extra.” (Not much extra, I bet. He looks very keen.)

noitwont

“No, it won’t,” woozy Laura mutters. “I’ll just call a cab or something.” She starts to wander away.

handsofflaura

But Elevator Guy blocks her path. Suddenly …

laurachoking

… Laura begins gasping for breath!

quickthinking

She looks like she’s fainting! The bad guys are alarmed. Guffman tells Elevator Guy to go get some water for their prisoner.

asthmaattack

Laura, wheezing, sits on the back end of the van. She motions for Guffman to get something out of her purse. He bends to do so, and …

whackguffman

Whack! She hits him with the van door.

guffmanthrown

She hits him so hard he is knocked clear across the garage, into another truck. Given his position when she struck him, this seems hugely unlikely. Oh, well.

lauraescaping

Laura makes a break for it.

guffmanismad

Guffman is mad, and who can blame him? He was trying to help the lady!

thugstopping

Elevator Guy tries in vain to stop the van, but Laura shakes him off.

crashdoor

She crashes the van through the garage door!

escapetruck

She exits the truck!

runningheels

She runs off on her high heels!

badguyimpressed

Elevator Guy can only watch her receding figure (why?). He seems impressed by her pluck. I think he’s in love!

Here we see Laura’s quick thinking in a very precarious situation. She has to be completely disoriented, having no idea who these guys are or why they abducted her. She’s never heard of Felicia … but the word “painting” must have caught her ear. The phony asthma attack ties back to her conversation with her mother earlier that evening. I wonder if that will come up again? 😉

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 7

Laura has been abducted! Meanwhile, back in Steele’s apartment …

formidableentrance

“Formidable entrance, Felicia,” Steele grouses as she makes herself (even more) at home. I’m not sure he’s glad to see her! Steele wants to know if the front door was too traditional for her.

desperatemen

“Too dangerous,” she explains. “There are some desperate men looking for me right now.” Desperate men? Do they hang out in elevators? Oh, dear!

soyouthought

“So you thought you’d pop in and tell me all about it.” Mr. Steele is genuinely cranky! I guess he really, really wanted to have dinner with … Abigail.

welltheevening

“The evening does seem to be ours now,” Felicia smirks. Ooh! Hate that Felicia. Hate her!

felicialaying

She lolls back on Mr. Steele’s bed.

sexystephen

Sexy!

Meanwhile, down in the parking lot …

abigailenough

Abigail has had enough! She decides to see what’s keeping Laura and that nice, eligible Mr. Fish Steele!

abigailholdsdoor

En route, she helpfully holds the door for a gentleman toting a barrel. Nothing out of the ordinary here, ma’am. Just removing a barrel of toxic waste from a luxury apartment. Happens every day in L.A.

isthatyourcar

The guy (Hey! He looks familiar!) wants to know if that’s Abigail’s car in the drive; it’s blocking his toxic waste disposal truck.

illmoveit

Sighing at being so put upon by her daughter, Abigail tells the nice man she’ll move the car.

Back upstairs …

steelegettingredy

Mr. Steele is getting dressed. Is he still planning to have dinner with the Holt ladies?

“So …,” Steele says in a fairly obvious redubbing, “You swindled a fortune from this Guffman character, is that it?”

randomalertWaiting_for_Guffman“Waiting for Guffman,” a mockumentary from the team that made “First in Show” and “A Mighty Wind,” is one of my favorite movies. Here’s a clip! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0zGgkRKbVo

skinnysteele

Felicia says she had every intention of paying him back with interest. (Wow. Pierce Brosnan was a tall, thin drink of water in those days!)

funfacticonAccording to his idmb entry, Pierce Brosnan holds the title of both lightest Bond (164 lbs. in “GoldenEye”) and heaviest Bond (211 lbs. in “Die Another Day.”) In an entirely unrelated note, PB is on the record as saying his wife Keely is an excellent cook.

squats

Felicia says she was threatened with some “rather grisly results” if she didn’t make amends.

“Why do it with the Five Nudes of Cairo?” Steele wants to know. He notes that the insurance company they recovered it for showed their gratitude by not paying them.

(Ah. So that previous heist was a Good Deed in the service of the rightful owners, eh, Steele? Kind of like stealing the Royal Lavulite was on behalf of the South African government. You are a good citizen, Mr. Steele.)

sentimentalreasons

“Sentimental reasons.” She happened upon a photograph of the famous Remington Steele, and when the painting happened to be in the same city …

kismethesays

“Kismet,” Steele notes.

funfacticonKismet is the Islamic concept of fate or destiny. It’s also a not-very-good 1955 movie musical starring Howard Keel and Ann Blyth. Is this our movie reference for the episode?

Kismet_Movie_Marlene_Dietrich_Gwen_Stephani

letmeundressyou

Miss Thing undresses Mr. Steele as fast as he dresses himself. She knows he’d be only too willing to help her steal the painting – and by the way, must he get dressed?

(Is it me, or did Cassandra Harris have enormous hands?)

slapshands

Steele slaps away her roaming hands (good on you, Steele!).  He thinks her proposal sounds like blackmail!

blackmailistacky

She thinks blackmail is a tacky term. (How about sexual harassment, Felicia? That sit better with you?) She suggests they steal the painting together, steal away to someplace decadent and brush up on their “Bacchanalian whirl.”

allwhirledout

Sorry, Felicia. He’s all whirled out.

thatmuchfun

Felicia is miffed! “Surely being Remington Steele can’t be all that much fun!”

youdbesurprised

“You’d be surprised.”

wontbecrushed

Felicia says she’d hate to expose him as a fraud. It would be such an awful flap! “And that associate of yours … won’t she be crushed when she finds out you’re not really Remington Steele?”

“Mortally, I’m sure.”

reachedanunderstanding

Felicia is glad they’ve reached an understanding. Steele looks a little tense here, no?

choicesjust

Still, Mr. Steele never turns down a smooch.

youknowdarling

Felicia isn’t satisfied with his response – or lack thereof. “You know darling, if I didn’t know better, I’d say some woman’s finally caught you by the heart.”

Steele wants to know what makes her say such a ridiculous thing! Well, the fact that he’d firmly turned down a cheap sexual encounter with her, for one thing. Felicia says there’s a new feel about him (she’d know, I guess; she certainly was feeling him up). It’s as if he’d been … “smitten.” Aw.

excuseme

Before he can refute her ridiculous assertion, the doorbell buzzes.

sweater

Steele goes to answer the door, wrestling with a sweater on the way. Looks like he was planning on a casual evening. Maybe he was taking Laura and her mother to Denny’s?

abigailhesays

Speaking of Laura’s mother … here she is!

apatientperson

Mrs. Holt is steamed. She considers herself a patient person …

leavemesitting

… but if Laura thinks she can just leave her sitting down there by herself-

ntwithyou

“You mean she’s not with you?”

Dum dum DUM!

This scene offers some tantalizing peeks into who Steele used to be … and who he is becoming. I’m not sure Felicia views his transformation as a positive thing! I think Steele had every intention of getting dressed and following Laura and her mother to whatever restaurant they had planned on. He certainly was NOT interested in a tete-a-tete with his former lover. Interestingly, Laura already thinks he’d have sex with Felicia, so one might expect him to indulge himself, since he’s earned Laura’s disapproval anyway. But he doesn’t.  Is this because of his feelings for Laura, his sincere desire to be someone other than who he has been, or both?

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 6

We left Laura on her way up to Steele’s apartment to fetch him for their three-way dinner date with Laura’s mom. Meanwhile …steeledressing

… Mr. Steele is getting ready for his dates! The doorbell buzzes, and he goes to answer it.

prowler

Outside his bedroom window, something suspicious is afoot!

isntabigail

It’s Laura at the door – but where is Abigail? Laura explains her mother is downstairs in the car. Steele apologizes for not being dressed yet.

pleasant reunion

“Pleasant reunion?” he asks.

“Just peachy,” she answers. “Do you have any aspirin?”

bangmyhead

You’ve got to stop letting your mother get to you like this, Laura!

sneakyfelicia

Back in the bedroom, the sneak is sneaking in!

closethedoor

The masked figure crosses he room and closes the door, then turns …

unmasked

… and reveals her secret identity. Katherine!Felicia!

justcurious

Back in the living room, Laura is pressing Steele for an explanation of why he didn’t want to take the nekkid ladies case. (Apparently they don’t care that Abigail is sitting in the car, thumbs twiddling.)

thecurseofcourse

“Why, the curse, of course,” he answers. Laura didn’t think he was the superstitious type.

“A minor flaw in an otherwise stainless Steele.”

laughingminions

Oh, Mr. Steele. You are a wit!

Meanwhile, back in the bedroom …

toomuchskin

The lady who wants to steal the nekked ladies is getting nekkid herself.

In the other room, we hear Mr. Steele is enumerating other people’s phobias: “For some it’s walking under ladders, black cats, opening umbrellas indoors …”

paintingswithcurses

“For you it just happens to be paintings with curses.”

funfacticonApparently cursed paintings are fairly common. Want to know more? Here’s a website: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/curse_that_painting

particularlythose

“Particularly those with a track record.”

howdoyoufeel

“Tell me: How do you feel about Irish names? Any favorites?”

favoriteIrish

“Irish names … Hm. I once knew an O’Casey I was rather fond of.” Mr. Steele develops a sudden, passionate interest in the inventory of his liquor tray.

howaboutoleary

“How about an O’Leary?” Laura asks.

Just then …

feliciarobe

KatherineFelicia appears in the bedroom doorway, casually dressed. (You vixen!)

“I’m sorry, darling,” she purr. “I didn’t know you were expecting someone else.”

steeleflummoxed

“I’m a touch surprised myself.”

thisisreallyawkward

Well. This is awkward.

wickedFelicia

“Miss … Bolt, isn’t it?”

missholt

“Holt.”

somethingwicked

“Is she here on business, or did you have something wicked in mind?”

Oh, YOU’RE the wicked one, Felicia.

witch

WICKED! WICKED!

soundslikefun

Laura plays it cool; she won’t have this icy bedroom blonde thinking she’s a prude. “Sounds like fun, but I have my mother downstairs.”

tookinky

“Ooh, that’s too kinky for my blood!” Felicia smirks (somehow I doubt it). Mr. Steele seems to find this repartee rather painful.

wontholdupaction

“I won’t hold up the action any longer. I’ll give mother your apologies, Mr. Steele.” She turns to leave.

laurawait

“Laura! Wait!”

noideahow

“Laura, would you believe me if I said I have absolutely no idea how that woman got into my bedroom or my bathrobe?”

“Not a chance.”

stubbedtoe

She jerks the door open, apparently hitting Mr. Steele’s bare toe on the way out.

steeleknees

“Just thought I’d ask,” he grimaces as she departs.

Lauraissad

Outside the apartment, Laura leans against the wall. She is sad.

Lauraismad

Then she’s MAD.

callselevator

She goes to the elevator and presses the button.

badguyelevator

The car is previously occupied, by some guy who is looking curiously relaxed as he lounges against the back.

herehecomes

When he sees her, he springs!

chloroform

He covers her face with a rag. Presumably it’s soaked with chloroform.

funfacticonApparently chloroform is fairly easy to make; you can find recipes on the Internet. (Don’t do it!). According to some website that apparently promotes the legalization of drugs, the effects of chloroform are as follows: ” First your extremeties begin to go numb; next your vision and hearing begin to  fail. Complete unconsciousness sets in a few seconds later, provided you keep  breathing. Recovery generally occurs as soon as the chloroform is removed, though it may be a few minutes before the user feels completely normal.” Okay, then.

unconsciousLaura

That certainly seems to be the effect it’s had on Laura as the elevator door closes. What a cliffhanger!

This scene contains both comedy and pathos. I have to feel for Laura, who has had a bad day already. She’s no doubt worried about how the dinner with Steele and her mother will go, Murphy’s insinuations are weighing heavily on her … and now she’s humiliated by Steele’s bedroom bunny. She must wonder how he acted fast enough to seduce the woman from the museum, who looks a lot less nerdy out of her lab coat and glasses. And who’s this guy in the elevator?

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 5

The scene opens with Laura …

dressingfordinner

… getting ready for her dinner with mom and Steele. Her dress is very 80s, with the tie neck and ruffled sleeves, but it’s a pretty color for her.

photograph

She heads toward the bathroom. We see a photograph on a small bureau – it looks like a man with a little girl on his lap. Could be young Laura and her dad?

scrubbingbubbles

Turns out the bathroom is already occupied – by Abigail, leaning over the tub and scrubbing furiously.

cleanmybathroom

Laura is embarrassed. “Mother, you don’t have to clean my bathroom. It’ll aggravate your asthma.”

aggravateasthma

“You know how I hate mess,” her mother responds. Funny, I would have pegged Laura as a neat freak – she’s so precise in everything she does. And her house looks immaculate to me. Could it be that mama is finding fault where there is none to be found?

Abigail wants to know if Laura has spoken to Frances lately.

calledFrancis

“I called her on her birthday.”

verywellforherself

“Your sister has done very well for herself, Laura. You could take a lesson from her.” She informs Laura that Frances’ husband Donald’s company now owns 12 athletic footwear stores. She asks Laura if she knows how far the jogging shoe has come in the last five years?

spoileralert emoticonHere is the first of two statements Abigail makes in this episode that will be problematic, continuity-wise, in the future. This one will be given an explanation (albeit kind of a lame one) in a future episode.

doornow

Laura is saved from having to answer by the doorbell. “I have to go answer the door now, mother,” she says, a little peevishly.

alwaysrunning

“Always running somewhere,” Abigail mutters. One senses that there may have been many such scenes in these two women’s history together. Is it possible that our strong, independent Laura has felt the need to run away from her mother’s disapproval?

hellopartner

It’s Murphy at the door. “Hello, partner,” he says, rather overstepping his bounds again. He’s got the background information on that painting that Laura asked for.

wheresyourmom

“So where’s your mother?”

“Cleaning the bathroom.”

“You made your mother clean the bathroom?”

Laura doesn’t find this funny.

beenthruhands

She and Murphy sit on the couch and get down to business (Not the same sort of business she and Steele would get down to on a couch, I’ll warrant.)

Murphy reports that the Five Nudes of Cairo have been through a lot of hands, and most of them are not around to talk about it.

sixyearsago

“But get this,” he says, a little gleam beginning to appear in his eyes. “Six years ago the painting was stolen from a private collector by a woman and a guy calling himself Michael O’Leary.”

ringanybells

“Ring any bells?” Oh, you’re just a little too smug, Murphy.

smugSheldon

michaeloleary

At first Laura can’t place the name. Then it dawns on her: It was one of the aliases in the five passports they discovered among “Remington Steele’s” belongings, way back in episode 1!

“But you’re not seriously suggesting-“ she protests.

thinkaboutit

Oh yes he is! “Think about it: If he really is a thief, what better place for him to watch for a big score to come along than in a detective agency.”

didntwantcase

Laura reminds Murphy that Steele didn’t even want to take the museum case.

hesbeenwaiting

“Less interference that way,” Murphy gloats. He tells Laura he’s sure Steele has been waiting for an opportunity like this, and there’s nothing to keep him from stealing the painting and leaving “OUR agency to take the rap for it. He’s stolen it once already.”

OUR agency, Murphy? I don’t think so. Mr. Michaels seems very determined to position himself as Laura’s equal in their work and the business.

jumpingtoconclusions

Laura thinks he’s jumping to conclusions. “I know him better than that.”

“No, you don’t.”

checkemployees

Laura says they both need to keep open minds. She orders Murphy to run a check on the museum’s employees (sounds like an equal partnership there, Murph.)

Murphy urges her to call him if she needs him. (Hm. Bit of foreshadowing here, perhaps?)

ismomreally

At the door, he cracks wise again: “Is your mother really in there cleaning the bathroom?”

notamused

Laura is not amused.

thrivingbus

The scene shifts abruptly to Laura’s cute little car pulling into the drive in front of Steele’s apartment building. We hear Laura and her mother discussing Frances’ wonderful life in voiceover.

whysoawful

Except as they pull up, we can clearly see that neither woman’s mouth is moving, even though we hear Abigail say, “Why is it so awful to settle down with someone like Donald?” (Perhaps mother and daughter have a telepathic bond?)

spooky

Spoooooky!

marrygymshoes

Laura informs her mother (using her vocal cords) that she doesn’t want to marry a pair of jogging shoes.

takemrsteele

Abigail doesn’t like your attitude, missy! She tells Laura she’s not asking her to marry footwear; there are other alternatives. Laura can’t believe what she’s hearing. Then she can.

mrsteeleisacatch

“Take your Mr. Steele, for instance. I bet THERE’S a catch and a half.” (I can’t say I disagree, Mrs. Holt.)

hookabigone

Laura breaks the painful news: “Mother, men aren’t fish any more, and my line isn’t out there to hook a big one and reel him in.”

lineshouldbesomewhere

“Well, your line has to be somewhere,” Abigail snaps.

imlicensedPI

“I’m a licensed private investigator.”

Abigail professes not to know what that means. What, she didn’t watch The Rockford Files in the 70s? Mannix? Barnaby Jones? Cannon?

comingupstairs

Laura seems discouraged. “Are you coming with me upstairs?” she asks, a little timidly.

collectmyself

Nope. Abigail prefers to wait in the car and “collect” herself.

motherisimpossible

Laura heads off to fetch Mr. Steele. Something tells me there’s a bumpy night ahead!

I’ll stop there. I have to feel for Laura in these scenes. Mom is a piece of work, no? And yet somehow I can’t really dislike Abigail (maybe because I associate her with the much more sympathetic Dotty West.) I believe Abigail really does want the best for her daughter, but her worldview and idea of what constitutes “best” is very different from Laura’s. And on top of the stress with her mom, now Laura has to deal with the possibility that Steele is preparing to betray her. What a lousy day! Do you think Murphy has shaken Laura’s belief in Mr. Steele?

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 4

We see an establishing shot of some big, old building.

museumshot

Anybody know what building this is?

meantotellme

Ah, we’re in the museum. Mr. Steele is investigating the security system. But his mind is not on his work.

“Do you mean to tell me you haven’t spent any time with your mother in nearly three years?”

dontcommunicate

“We don’t communicate very well,” Laura answers.

skylight

Laura points out how the would-be thief got into the museum – through the skylight.

shegavweyoulife

“But she gave you life!” Steele remarks. (He’s not one to let things go, is he.) “Nurtured you from infancy!”

dropitplease

“Can we just drop it?”

thecase

“The case?”

dropmymother

“My mother!”

equilibrium

Steele apologizes; he didn’t realize Mama Holt was such a jolt to Laura’s equilibrium.

Peeved, Laura stomps off, declaring there’s nothing wrong with her equi-

handyachmed

– and stumbles into the arms of our old friend Achmed. Way to take advantage of a lady’s lack of equilibrium, pal.

hereistrhat

Achmed presents Steele with the radio control vehicle left at the scene of the crime, then leads the detectives to see the painting in the … er … flesh.

randommuseumguy

We see a random guy unpacking Egyptiany statuettes.

firstfelicia

Achmed and the detectives join a blonde, already in progress. We know she’s a scientist (or something) because she’s wearing a lab coat and glasses. Achmed introduces her as Katherine Simone, his assistant.

catherinesimone

Achmed tells Laura and Steele that it was Katherine who recommended the Steele Agency. I wonder how she knows about them?

shelooksfamiliar

Mr. Steele seems quite taken with Ms. Simone. (He does have a weakness for blondes.) Frankly, I don’t trust her. What kind of scientist has a name like Katherine Simone? Sounds like a Bond girl. Wait a minute …

bondgirlcassie

OMG!

thecursesaysachmed

Mr. Steele asks what kind of security system the museum is using, but Achmed says the insurance company forbids him from sharing that information. Because why would the agency you’re paying to protect your painting need to know something like that?

somehowfouchard

Laura and BondGirl move closer to the painting, and blondie provides some art history: the nekkid ladies’ religion forbids them from being seen, well, nekkid. But the sneaky artist somehow got them to get nekkid for him. So, “The reigning Pasha got wind of this so he tried to have the picture destroyed, but  it was smuggled out of the country, so he placed a curse on any  one who dared to possess it.”

Laura, a sensible gal who doesn’t believe in such nonsense, says it sounds bizarre.

“Not to the last five owners, they were all killed,” BondGirl says.  “Accidentally,  of course.”

MUAHAHAHA!

scaredspongebob

ineedtoseeyou

Meanwhile, Achmed sidles up to Steele with a proposition: “I need to see you tonight. Alone.”

Hm. It’s beginning to look like his flirting with Laura was a smokescreen. It’s hottie Steele he has eyes for!

proceedthisway

Achmed leads the group out of the gallery. Steele brings up the rear. Once outside, BondGirl snags the detective and …

kissingfelicia

Hey! HEY! Nerdy scientist girls aren’t supposed to act this way!

catherinewasntit

“Katherine, wasn’t  it?” Steele says, when he comes up for air.  “And I always thought Felicia suited you so much better.”

“You’re hardly one to talk of names,  Mr. Steele. Have you missed me?”

“Whenever possible.” (Oh, that sassy banter, Mr. Steele!)

“Poetic that the ‘Nudes’ should bring us back together again,  isn’t?” Bond girl notes. So they’ve handled these nudes before!

“Don’t tell me, let me guess: You’re here to steal it,” he intuits.

nodarling

“No, darling,” she breathes into his face. “YOU are.”

You vixen! Leading our Mr. Steele astray!

MrSteelesmooching

Just then Miss Holt notices that her associate is associating with someone else!

“Care to join us, Mr. Steele?” she inquires.

caretojoinus

“Remarkable sculptor, that Rodin,” Steele assesses, wiping the lipstick from his mouth. (Smooth, Mr. Steele.)

katelli

“It’s a Catelli,” Laura schools him.

buhbyeBondGirl

“Still love it,” Mr. Steele insists as he and Laura take their leave.

Well! Something is indeed afoot here. Maybe I’m judging hastily, but something tells me that Miss Simone – er, Felicia – isn’t a nice, wholesome girl. Even if she does wear glasses. She and Mr. Steele obviously have a past, and likely a torrid and sordid one. Tsk. Just when I was beginning to think you’d mended your wicked, wicked ways, Mr. Steele. But will Steele return to a life of crime and steal the nekkid ladies for Felicia? Worse, will he get nekkid with blondie? I shudder to think of it … 

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 3

We rejoin Mr. Steele and Laura en route to a testy confrontation in the file room.

steeleintroublea

Mr. Steele looks distinctly uneasy! He fiddles with his jacket button. What does that mean?

BeardedSMiley Body language experts say opening a jacket up is a way of signaling openness and willingness to cooperate. Well, that doesn’t sound like our Mr. Steele at all!

nopartofthisone

Laura can’t believe Steele turned the museum guys down.

“Believe me, Laura, we want no part of this,” Steele insists.

Laura accuses Steele of falling in love with the letterhead again. “Since when do YOU get to decide which cases I’m going to take?”

nastyreputation

“This picture has a very nasty background,” Steele says. “I was only thinking of the agency.”

billstopay

“Well, the agency has bills to pay and a reputation to maintain.”

unsolvedmurder

“Surely then, there’s a missing person we can find.”

fraidnot

“‘Fraid not.”

unsolvedmurder

“An unsolved murder that’s baffled the finest minds in law enforcement?”

freshout

“Fresh out.”

lostcockerspaniel

“A child, weeping for his lost cocker spaniel?”

really

“Really.”

rotflsmiley

simplyasking

Steele decides to take a firm stand: “Laura, I realize we haven’t known each other very long, and that refusing this case may cause the agency a great deal. Nonetheless,  with no questions asked, no explanations demanded, I’m simply asking that you accept my instincts about this on faith and-“

trustme

“-trust me.”

Oh, yeah. THAT’S gonna work.

doublehandshake

Looks like a deal being sealed here, no?

handkissachmed

Hm. Achmed seems a little friendlier than he needs to be.

handkiss

Stealin’ Steele’s move, Achmed? Tacky.

steelejealous

I don’t think Mr. Steele appreciates Achmed’s attention to Laura.

jealousy

reluctantachmed

Coxworth tries to herd Achmed out of the office, but the curator seems reluctant to part from Laura. Dude. Step off.

obligatorymurphy

After the museum guys leave, Laura asks Bernice if Murphy has come up with that museum research she asked for.

bodylanguage

As she strides away, we see Mr. Steele with head slightly bowed, one hand over his stomach and the other in his pocket. WHAT CAN IT MEAN?

BeardedSMiley A hand over one’s stomach is said to indicate anxiety, while a hand in one pocket suggests a man is feeling unsatisfied with his self image. And the lowered head/gaze? Here’s what one website says: Lowering the head also lowers the eyes and hence can be a sign of submission,  effectively saying ‘I dare not even look at you’. The eyes are typically also  lowered here. It can be driven by affection (‘you are so wonderful’) or fear  (‘you might hurt me if I look at you’). I suspect Mr. Steele might be feeling both those things at this moment! For her part, Laura has her hands clenched into fists, which indicates an unyielding mindset. Hm.

doesitstrikeyou

After Laura goes to her office, Steele pumps Bernice for info.

“Miss Wolfe, does it strike you that Laura seems unusually …”

expecting

“Wired? Cranky? Bent out of shape?” Bernice informs Steele that Laura asked her to overload her schedule once before, when she was expecting-

callforthecar

Laura reappears, briskly. “Somebody call for the car.” (Somebody? Laura really is treating her friend Bernice as a nameless employee today.)  Laura wants Bernice to tell Murphy she needs to see him, pronto. Laura then heads for the other office, briskly. (I haven’t quite figured out the layout of these offices. Presumably the one she just came out of was Murphy’s office, and now has gone into her own. Yes?)

whatsup

Steele turns back to Bernice for more info. But her lips are sealed:

donask

Looks like Mr. Steele is going to have to do some legwork of his own!

beenanenormous

He heads for Laura’s office, briskly. “As usual, you’ve been an enormous help, Miss Wolfe.”  You sound so sincere, Mr. Steele!

laurasoffice

Mr. Steele bursts into Laura’s office. He’s agitated!

dontmeantopry

“Laura, I don’t mean to pry. But if something’s happened …”

imfine

“I’m fine, and we’ve got work to do,” Laura answers.

“But you’re …” Steele stammers.

whatyourproblem

“I don’t know what your problem with this case is, but you’re beginning to sound a lot like my -“

herecomesmom

As we hear a female voice call, “Hellooo,”

Laura reacts. Badly.

“Mother,” she squeaks.

mother

“Mother?” Steele is confused.

lauradear

Mother!

momsavamp

Laura goes to greet her mom. Not briskly.

wearhairup

“Still have to wear your hair up, I see,” Mom criticizes notes. Laura weakly protests that she would have picked Mom up at the airport, but Mrs. Holt sniffs that the cab drivers have to get rich off somebody’s money. Laura turns to introduce her mama to her associates.

whomightthisbe

Mr. Steele seems eager to make her acquaintance!

yourlaurasmother

Laura stammers a bit. “This is … uh … Remington Steele.”

“So you’re Laura’s mother!” Steele charms.

atlastwemeet

Mrs. Holt expresses pleasure at meeting Laura’s boss at last.

heardalot

“Heard a lot about me, have you?”

notreally

“Not really.”

rotflsmiley

bernicecanget

Laura apologizes because they have to run out, but tells her Bernice will get her settled at home and they can go out for dinner later.

justtheplace

Mr. Steele thinks that’s an excellent idea! He knows just the place!

illcancelit

Laura reminds Mr. Steele that he has a previous engagement.

“I’ll cancel it, whoever it is,” Steele says. “Until tonight, then … ah …”

itsabigail

“Abigail.”

musntbelate

We musn’t be late, Mr. Steele,” Laura nudges, while Steele looks like the cat that ate the canary. They head for the exit.

longfingernails

“You know, these offices aren’t really bad at all,” Abigail damns her daughter with faint praise.

She’s a delightful woman!

That’s the end of this scene. NOW we know why Laura has been so tense! Something tells me her relationship with mom might be a little strained. Steele seems glad to have the upper hand back, after losing the battle over the museum case. I love the banter between Laura and Steele when arguing about taking the case. Cocker spaniel? Bahahaha. (SPOILER ALERT: In general, the Steele Agency doesn’t handle animal cases.) And how about Steele’s little look of jealousy over Achmed slavering over Laura’s hand? Finally, what do you make of Steele’s misapprehension of Bernice’s words, assuming Laura must be pregnant? He certainly seems genuinely concerned for her. Surprised, but not necessarily shocked. Hm. Your thoughts?

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Thou Shalt Not Steele – 2

We segue from a shot of the five nekkid ladies to …

slideshow

… another shot of the five nekkid ladies, this time on a screen. (Remember slides? How quaint!) We hear Mr. Steele’s voice naming the painting: “The Five Nudes of Cairo.” He knows this from his reading!

fouchardcareer

“Then you are familiar with our painting?” says the guy on the left.

“Only from my reading,” Steele answers.

“Our most important acquisition!” says guy sitting down.

Bearded guy continues our rather boring exposition: “It represents the absolute peak of Fouchard’s career, and it was painted on Egyptian ground, during the-“

suezcanal

“-building of the Suez Canal,” Steele finishes. He seems very engrossed in this painting of five nekkid ladies. Feeling a little … er … frustrated, Mr. Steele?

guffman

“Your reading must be quite extensive,” bearded guy says. Steele notes that the work has a colorful history.

Gray-haired guy says this is what the crooks were after; bearded guy insists they must remove it from the display.

remaininmuseum

Gray-haired guy says they can’t; exhibit is scheduled to open tomorrow, yada yada. Bearded guy is peevish! He tells Steele to tell gray-haired guy that if the painting is stolen, there will be no exhibit. He calls gray-haired guy a Philistine.

funfacticonphilistine The Philistines were among the “Sea Peoples” who appeared in Canaan at the beginning of the Iron Range (circa 1175 BC). They were enemies of the Israelites. In modern parlance, a “Philistine” is a person who is said to be “ignorant, ill-behaved persons lacking in culture or artistic appreciation, and only concerned with materialistic values.” Presumably Bearded Guy is using the term in that sense to describe Gray-Haired Guy, though his bushy mane does look a little like the hat in this heiroglyph.

spareusyourtemper

“Spare us your precious temper, Achmed,” says Philistine (aw, let’s just call him Phil). Phil reminds Achmed that the alarm system worked.

ptooey

“Alarm system,” Achmed sneers. “Ptooey!” Hey! Are you gonna shampoo the rug, expectorating guy?

mutualconcern

The argument seems to be pointless, since Steele informs the men that the Steele Agency can’t help them. Phil thinks it’s because of the money, but Achmed knows better:

thecurse

“It’s because of the curse, isn’t it?”

namelesshorror

Well, THAT’S ominous!

Meanwhile …

matronlylaura

… Laura is having her own horror: dealing with insurance! Apparently she committed a moving violation, created a small dent in this guy’s car, and now has to pay for it. Is that a really, really tan Farrah Fawcett behind them?

brownpantsuit

Laura finally makes it to the office. She’s looking a little … schlumpy. Maybe it’s the polyesterish pantsuit or the schoolmarm hair.

museumpeople

Laura wants to know about her schedule for the week. Bernice starts to tell Laura that the museum guys are already there.

askedaboutmyschedule

“I believe I asked about my schedule,” Laura snarks. Those aren’t polyester pants – they’re crankypants!

ohsnap

Bernice is … taken aback … at her boss’s attitude. She tells Miss Holt that her schedule for the week is light.

bypunchouttime

“Not good enough,” Laura says. “By punch-out time today, I want it wall-to-wall. Understand?”

So Bernice is supposed to go out and murder somebody to generate a case? Hope she gets time-and-a-half for that.

haveaniceday

Bernice weighs her alternative employment options as Laura stalks off.

Back in Steele’s office …

surelymrsteele

… Phil can’t believe Mr. Steele is the superstitious type. Is it just me, or does Phil look like:

exeter

This guy, the alien scientist from “This Island Earth”? Or:

vaal

This guy, from the classic Star Trek episode, “The Apple”?

Maybe I watch too much cheesy TV.

edwardcoxworth

Laura enters the office, and Phil introduces himself as Edward Coxworth. Just when I’d gotten used to calling him Phil!

ourcuratorachmed

Phil Ed introduces his colleague, the curator Achmed Kahlil. They’re disappointed that Steele feels his caseload is too great to take on their account!

bustedsteele

Busted! Laura is surprised to hear of Mr. Steele’s reluctance. He explains.

murphyaffair

“What with the Murphy affair and the Wolfe case …”

somethingurgent

“As a matter of fact, something urgent just has come up,” Laura says.

laurasteelereddoor

She leads an uncomfortable looking Mr. Steele from the room. Given Miss Holt’s current mood, I have a feeling this isn’t going to be pretty! (not unlike her pantsuit)

I’ll leave us here on the cusp of another Holt-Steele confrontation. What is your impression of Mr. Steele’s attitude toward the painting. Does he really believe in a curse? And what’s put Laura in such a snit? The fender-bender, or is there something more? Stay tuned!

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