We get one of those arty fades that they did in the first season …
Here we are back at Laura’s house.
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.”
And 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.
Abigail tells Steele that she and Laura fought in the car on the way over, and that’s why she ran off.
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.
Mr. Steele appears to be contemplating a search party, starting in the laundry room. But Abigail has already checked.
Abigail gets comfortable, and shows a perhaps inappropriate amount of leg to her daughter’s boss.
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.
Steele is curious: What does Abigail tell gran Laura’s profession is?
“Dental assistant,” she confesses. “With great prospects of marriage.”
Abigail asks Steele if she’s awful for creating a complete fiction about someone.
“Sounds more like a family trait.”
Abigail doesn’t get the joke.
Just then …
… Laura bursts in the front door.
She seems happy to be home! “I did it!” she exults. “I got away!”
In the living room, Abigail and Steele are startled by the outburst.
Laura dashes about the entryway. She pulls off her coat and drops it on the floor. (Maybe Abigail was right to criticize her housekeeping.)
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!” Her ebullience fades a bit. “Mr. Steele.”
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.)
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.
Understandably, Laura wants to share her triumph with mom. “I was brilliant!” she tells her.
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?”
“Well I certainly DON’T!”
Now we know where Laura gets her nice, even temperament. Speaking of which …
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.