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.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Thou Shalt Not Steele – 9

  1. Luann

    Nice note about the knitted tie. I seem to remember Murphy sporting one now and then.

  2. I love your posts, Keri. I look every day to see if there is a new one with comments by everyone else! I do love Beverly Garland as Laura’s Mother, I wish they would have used her more. She was such a beautiful lady—perfect casting!

  3. Beverly Garland has always been one of my favorites ever since she acted in My Three Sons. She is really good in this part even though I wanted to tell her a few things.

    I agree with Keri’s comments about Laura wanting and not getting her mother’s approval and about Laura’s new exciting life. I thought Laura looked great when she returned from her adventure. No torn clothes, stockings intact, hair was good. I think Mom just likes picking at her youngest because Laura is so unlike her and she doesn’t want to let go of her youngest. It is strange how Mom connected Laura’s disappearance with how she ran away as a child. The script was a little off here too because most mothers would have combed the city trying to find their daughter after she disappeared. After all, did she think Laura was going to walk home? Maybe Mom is used to this kind of flighty behavior from Laura when she blows up and leaves.

    I know one thing for sure, Steele is glad for the Mama drama ’cause it takes him off the hot seat.

  4. Debilyn

    I do feel sorry for Laura when her mother visits. Obviously, we are supposed to see a very exacting mother for whom nothing Laura does is good enough. What is really sad here is that Abigail seems aware of the problem, but does nothing to try to help the situation.

    I like that Steele doesn’t really reply to Abigail’s statements, just makes vague comments. He’s listening, though, and picking up on things that can give him clues to how to deal with Laura.

  5. eaz35173

    I agree that Steele is gaining insight to Laura and her past by listening to Abigail. As a side note, I really like the attention to small details in this scene – that really is hot tea being poured from that pot, as you can see the steam rising from the cup. Too many shows would have had their actors act like it was a hot cup of tea.

    I love the line about creating a personal fiction being a family trait!!

    I think that one of the reasons that Abigail is not running around the city in search of Laura is that Steele doesn’t seem to be too concerned about it (why, I’m not sure – perhaps he’s still not too great at this detecting thing?). They obviously think that waiting for her to return to her home is the best course of action. I also think that Abigail is taking her lead from Steele. She is definitely trying to impress him. And when Laura comes back from her adventure, I think that Abigail is still in that “you will have good manners, young lady, in front of your boss” mode. After all, Abigail seems to think that Steele is a good catch for Laura. In my mind, she needs to rein Laura in, so that she makes a good impression on her boss (which, of course, is a reflection of how Abigail raised her).

    Again, Steele gets to see the mother/daughter relationship in action. No wonder Laura ran away!!

    I also love Laura’s exuberance when she comes in the door, realizing that she did it, that she got away! It’s another side to her that she doesn’t let out too often, and I think Steele is pleased to see this side of her, as well.

    • Ines

      About Steele not running around the city in search of Laura, he would be scared about being physically hurt because of her rage. Remember they were supposed to have dinner together, and then Laura ran away from his apartment in a non pacefully way, leaving him a reminder in his feet. Perhaps he was letting some time pass to see if she was still in a bad mood.
      About Laura being spontaneous, I think this is one of the best scenes in the whole series. She came home after being kidnapped, working to escape from her captors all alone, and just when she gets into her house she is pure joy. She allowed herself to be a bit “Laura” instead of “Miss Holt”. She is finnally at home!

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