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 …


… 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.”



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


“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.


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


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




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


“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:


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


HE: We could still drop it off and take off for a brief vacation. New Zealand, perhaps.

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?


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!


It’s Kahlil Ahmed! He looks relaxed.


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


Well. That was unexpected!

Just then …


“Laura!” Abigail calls from the guest bedroom.


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!”


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


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.”


“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.


I think it is.” (Mother knows best.)




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


“It’ll only take a moment.”




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?”


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


Abigail makes her apologies.


“Barely remembered it,” he assuages her.


“Would you care to join us?”


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!


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


“Khalil,” Steele supplies helpfully.

Abigail trundles off to bed.


Laura is relieved.

Achmed is … still dead.


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?


Filed under Season 1

8 responses to “Thou Shalt Not Steele – 10

  1. This is one of the best comedy scenes. I laughed so hard when I first saw it. I love your post

    Laura just wanted to pass out when her mother walked in on Acmed’s dead body. Steele is in rare form this night. He didn’t really have time to drag the body outside and dump it. Plus someone could have seen him. It is not very late in LA her, maybe around 11 so he could have been seen by a neighbor. Besides it would not have been as fun.

    Steele has every reason to be proud of himself – he acted brilliantly. Although Laura looked like she was going to wet herself at several points, she loves the adventure that Steele brings. Steele wants to be her equal, her partner not a Murphy-errand boy. She isn’t use to that. Steele will tell her what is going on but what is he waiting for?

  2. Luann

    This is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series, too. It’s the first time we get the screwball-comedy overlapping dialogue, which they are both so great at, and the sparks fly. And the bit with Achmed is classic, I still hold my breath when he invites Abigail to join them. He knows how to sell a con.

    • daph

      He sure does. I can’t help remembering in the first episode when Laura described to Murphy how brilliantly “Ben Pearson” handled the two desperados tailing them in the limo. His brilliance is showing again.

  3. eaz35173

    I agree, Steele’s move to prop Achmed up with a cigarette was brilliant!! He sure does know how to run a con!! I’m sure he was banking on Abigail not wanting to intrude on a business matter. Laura’s face is priceless in this whole scene!

    And I love the overlapping dialogue, a la “His Girl Friday” – Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Columbia Pictures, 1940. SZ & PB are so great at delivering that kind of scene!

  4. It sure does illustrate that Steele is quick on his feet and that he know how to read people. From what he already knew of Abigail, he anticipated that she would decline his offer to join them. Hence his prowess of being suburb at running a con!

  5. There is a funny echo of the “dental hygienist” idea in “Steele Sweet On You”, at end of the show when Laura’s sister, Francis, tells her husband Donald that she wants to become a dental assistant!

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