Steele Belted – 1

Buckle up for our next exciting adventure, Steele Belted!

funfacticon Steel-belted tires have a steel wire mesh between the tread and body ply of a tire. They are more durable, but offer a rougher ride, than tires without this feature. It will be interesting to see how the title of this episode relates!

glovedhand

We open on a close up of a gloved hand/ID braceleted wrist/leather-clad arm doing bad things to the back of a painting.

beltedtitlecard

Behind the episode’s title card, we see that much damage is being done. Tell me it’s not the Five Nudes of Cairo again!

suedehat

We finally see the perpetrator: a bearded fellow wearing a suede hat – it features a jaunty little green feather in the band. I guess that’s what all the best-dressed cat burglars were wearing in 1982!

andrewbloch

It becomes apparent that we are in Mr. Steele’s swank penthouse (that chandelier gives it away). While Bad Guy starts destroying the best china, we discover that Andrew Bloch is a guest star on tonight’s episode.

behindthescenesandybloch Andrew Bloch has had a long career as a character actor, guest starring in series ranging from MASH to Barney Miller to Designing Women. According to imdb, he is best known for his work in “Jason Goes to Hell.” He continues to act and is also an acting coach in Los Angeles.

barryvandyke

Bad guy has just about emptied Mr. Steele’s armoire. Meanwhile, we’re informed of another guest star.

behindthescenesThe ruggedly handsome son of icon Dick Van Dyke, Barry has often worked with his Dad, most notably on the long-running series Diagnosis: Murder. In 1986, Stephanie Zimbalist guest-starred on that show (along with Philip Casnoff, our old pal Ben Pearson from “License to Steele.” What a small world Hollywood is!)

brosnanvandykeLast summer Pierce Brosnan was photographed chatting with Barry at an exhibition of Barry’s son’s art in Malibu. Perhaps they were reminiscing about this episode?

raymondsinger

Meanwhile, the agency limo pulls up outside Steele’s apartment. And Raymond Singer is another guest star.

ilenegraf

Steele and a woman get out of the limo, which Steele waves away; we see that Ilene Graff, best known as the mom on Mr. Belvedere, is also in this episode.

steelepointing

En route to the apartment, Steele pauses to point something out to his companion. I wonder what?

ransacking

Back in Steele’s apartment, it’s becoming apparent that this fellow isn’t part of the housekeeping staff.

saturdayeveningpost

He picks up some light reading from Steele’s coffee table. It seems our detective subscribes to The Saturday Evening Post!

funfacticon The Saturday Evening Post was founded in 1821 and was once the most widely circulated magazine in America. It’s particularly known for the cover illustrations by Norman Rockwell. The magazine ceased publication in 1969, but was revived in early 1982. This is the May 1982 issue, which featured an article titled, “Tom Selleck: Modest Man of Magnum.”

heretheycome

Just then bad guy hears laughter in the hallway. Someone’s coming!

outthebaclonydoor

He makes a quick getaway out the door to the balcony.

lousyhousekeeper

Mr. Steele and his date enter. Oh, ficus plant. You’ll come to be a beloved member of the cast.

“Did they take anything?” the woman asks.

“How can you tell?” responds a perturbed Mr. Steele.

wreckedpainting

The lady isn’t bothered by the mess. “We musn’t let this put a damper on the evening,” she insists.

damperonevening

Steele seems to have lost interest.

checkthebedroom

“Why don’t we check the bedroom?” The lady is persistent!

stealthysteele

Mr. Steele puts his sleuthing skills to use as he peers around the balcony door.

guyoutside

What’s this? Someone loitering down on the street!

alittlewave

He sees Steele looking at him and gives a little wave.

steelebemused

“I can see all this has made you a little tense,” the lady says. By the way, she’s a little tense herself!

untense

“Why don’t just untense one another,” she suggests. (Have a little self respect, girl! Haven’t you ever heard of playing hard to get?)

steeleruns

Steele is in a hurry – and not to get to the bedroom!

The lady isn’t going to let him get away without a fight: “Then, we’re all relaxed, we can view this in a calm and rational …”

calmrational

(Steele returns and gives her the old “just a sec” sign)

“… way,” the lady says, as the door slams behind Steele.

firescape

Meanwhile, we see someone shimmying down the fire escape.

uneasyguy

The loitering guy sees him.

badguycomin

More shimmying.

runner

Loitering Guy decides discretion is the better part of valor and hits the road.

pursuingbadguy

He is pursued by Shimmying Man, looking dapper (?) in his leather jacket and suede hat.

steeleentry

Steele appears in the doorway, his hair billowing. We see that the name of his building appears to be the Savoy Plaza.

supersteele

Steele strikes his favorite heroic pose. But it’s too late; the bad guy and loitering man have vanished.

comepray

The scene ends, inexplicably, on a shot of the sign for the Christian Science Center. Are they this week’s sponsor?

Well, quite an action-packed opening, no? There is some seriously disturbing stuff here – and by that I mean, who is this chick Steele is bringing back to his place for nookie instead of Laura? She certainly is direct in what she wants, perhaps a refreshing change for Steele from Laura’s ambivalence. Still, one can’t help but be a little disappointed. You’ll never win Laura’s heart that way, Mr. Steele! I’m not sure the Bad Guy is an experienced cat burglar; he doesn’t really dress the part. What do you suppose he was looking for in Steele’s apartment? And who’s going to pick up that mess? Stay tuned!

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Steele Belted – 1

  1. eaz35173

    Yes, she certainly is direct in what she wants! Again, RS is playing with stereotypes. It’s perfectly ok for a man to express what he wants from his date, but it seems shocking to see a woman with the same behavior. Similarly shocking when we heard Laura tell Bernice that Steele made her “itchy” back in the 2nd episode. Whew, thankfully there was an interruptions to stop any behavior we didn’t want to see 😉 I wonder if there will ever be any interruptions to behavior we DO want to see?! 😉

    The certainly do pull you right into the mystery in this episode, tho!

  2. daphgg

    I love this opening scene; so full of mystery and intrigue. It might be the most mysterous scene in the whole series. Ransacked apartment and some guy waving at him. Really great.

    I really hated seeing Steele and that woman together. But with Laura’s edict of professional relationship, it leaves him with little choice but to date others. Still don’t like it. Though it makes me feel good that he’s clearly not into her.

    • Melissa

      Hmmm. I don’t get the impression that Remington wasn’t interested in Ms Taplinger. After all, he did invite her up to his apartment. However, The intruder has taken his mind off of any romantic inclinations.

      • eaz35173

        And clearly, the intruder has NOT taken her mind off of those same inclinations 😉

      • But do you think Steele was interested in Miss Taplinger for anything other than a quickie? She doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, and my sense is that Steele is attracted to smart, independent women. I think Miss Taplinger’s main attraction was her … eagerness.

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