Steele Belted – 5

We’re back at what may or may not be the Beverly Garland Hotel, circa 1982.


Laura and a now-nattily-dressed Mr. Steele arrive. Look! They’re wearing matching outfits!

BeardedSMiley Hm. Here’s what one psychotherapist says about couples who dress alike: “When couples dress similarly, it’s often because one of them has less confidence than the other. They fall into a copycat look which excuses them from finding their own identity.”  Do you think this applies to Laura and Mr. Steele? Is Mr. Steele following Laura’s lead as a way of cementing his new identity?


The two detectives enter the building via a door that, strangely, isn’t locked this time.


They find their client counting his money. For a paranoid fugitive, he seems oddly unconcerned that his hotel door is standing wide open. The roses Laura gave him have opened up nicely.


“Mr. Shapiro, let me present Remington Steele,” Laura says. Shapiro seems unimpressed.


“Gornisht nit helfn.”

randomalert As Elise predicted, it appears it might be helpful to have a working knowledge of conversational Yiddish to fully appreciate this episode. Here’s a site with some instruction, for us goyim. Learn Yiddish Slang.


Based on their expressions, I think we can assume Laura and Steele are also goyim.


“It means, ‘nothing will help,'” Lawyer Phillips helpfully translates.


While Laura explains that Waldo Church contacted Mr. Steele, Mr. Steele is preoccupied with  watching Barry. He is a fine specimen, Mr. Steele.

Here’s another gratuitous beefcake shot.


(Try not to drool too much over Dick Van Patten. That neckerchief is some kind of sexy.)


Shapiro wants to know if Steele’s got the bill of sale.


“Not quite,” he admits.

Shapiro wants one good reason why he shouldn’t hit the road to Rio.

funfacticonroadtorio The Road to Rio. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Paramount Pictures, 1947. Two inept vaudevillians stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter.


“Go on, sir,” Laura prompts. “Tell Mr. Shapiro why you urge him not to go to Brazil.”


“For one … the language barrier,” Steele suggests, no doubt wondering (as we all are) why Laura chose THIS moment to let him be the spokesman.


Shapiro says he’ll stop at Berlitz.

funfacticon The Berlitz Corporation, founded in 1848, offers immersion-centered language instruction. It has centers of study around the world.

Steele tries again.


“A stagnant economy. Double-digit inflation.”


“So long as they can’t extradite me, I’ll make do.”

He’s a tough nut to crack, this Shapiro. One might even call him a farbissener. Oy!  (I’m likely to get myself in trouble here …)


“Not worth the price,” Steele says, a little half-heartedly. Still, Laura declares he’s making a great deal of sense!

But Steele has an even better idea:


“On the other hand, a place like the Bahamas seems ideally suited for your needs,” Steele advises. I’m not sure Laura is on board with this idea!

Steele continues his pitch: “They speak the Queen’s English, there are a million tax shelters, all sorts of dummy corporations …”


Laura’s expression suggests there’s at least one dummy right here.

Steele backtracks. “On the other hand, you’d be admitting your guilt, be a fugitive for the rest of your life.”


“Of course, in the Bahamas, even a fugitive can live quite comfortably.” (Speaking from experience, Mr. Steele?)


Hunky Barry points out that Steele seems a little ambivalent here. Laura seems impressed by his insight!


There’s Mr. Steele, admiring Hunky Barry’s … exit … again. Meanwhile, Laura is still trying to save the case.

“What Mr. Steele means is, no matter how well you live, you can never be truly free,” she says.


Her impassioned plea has an effect. “I don’t know!” he kvetches. He abruptly walks out, followed – after a nudge from Laura – by Mr. Steele.


Now it’s Hunky Barry’s turn to ogle Steele. What’s going on here? Faygeleh? (Keri! Just.Stop.)


After Steele and Shapiro leave, Hunky Barry has a quiet word with Laura.

“Whether he stays or not, we’d better plan our next move.”

Hmmmm. This is curious; almost seems like Laura and Hunky Barry are in cahoots (a French, not a Yiddish term) about something.

Hunky Barry (HB) suggests they regroup over dinner. Somehow I don’t think he’s including Steele in this tete-a-tete (also French!).


Laura seems … interested. Nevertheless, she makes it a rule never to go out with clients.


HB points out he’s not a client. His client’s a client.


“An office seems more appropriate,” Laura purrs.


Presumably she means THIS office.

HB is disappointed that Laura doesn’t mix her business with a smidgen of pleasure.


“When I’m in the market for pleasure, Mr. Phillips, I want a lot more than a smidgen.”


Oh, behave!


Hunky Barry seems down wid it.


Just then Steele and Shapiro return. Shapiro’s decided the Steele Agency is too high class for this job. Steele looks like a trust fund guy. “Bed warmers, nannies, summers in the Alps.”


Steele wants to know if Shapiro is familiar with Brixton, in London. It’s the worst part of town. “Three quid gets you a night’s lodging and your throat cut. No jobs, no prospects, no hopes. Only two ways out: Get sent to the nick, or snuff it.”

Shapiro is impressed.


“I think I could love this man.” He agrees to give Steele a few days to produce the bill of sale; if he doesn’t, Steele promises to personally help him escape to the Bahamas.


“We all have special feelings for Mr. Steele,” Laura murmurs.


They share a Meaningful Look. (I’m verklempt!)

Shapiro offers to buy Steele a drink; they depart. Hunky Barry asks Laura if that stuff about Brixton was for real.


“I wish I could tell you.”

Wow, lots going on in this scene! We see Steele and Laura seemingly working as partners, but she inexplicably throws him under the bus by making him come up with reasons why Shapiro shouldn’t leave. What was her reasoning behind that? Did she really think he was glib enough to come up with a compelling argument? Or was she for some reason trying to put him in his place? There is certainly a heavy flirtation going on between Laura and Phillips, something Steele picks up on immediately. Steele seems to be sizing Phillips up – is it only because he sees him as a potential rival for Laura? Miss Holt seems VERY interested by the lawyer, which calls into question her attachment to Mr. Steele (and perhaps is another clue to where this episode should fit in the season). Is Laura really interested in Phillips? Is she trying to deny/distract herself from her attraction to Steele? Does she want to make Steele jealous? Let me know your thoghts!











Filed under Season 1, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Steele Belted – 5

  1. eaz35173

    Keri, you are hilarious!!! That comment about Steele and Laura being goyim had me rolling!! You must have gone to the Berlitz school for Yiddish in the past few hours!! Well done!! I’m kvelling!!

    I truly think that Laura thought that Steele could talk Shapiro out of fleeing because he would be talking criminal to criminal. Clearly she had not thought thru her idea, and by the look on her face you can tell this is not going how she planned. Love the look she shoots Steele to reel him back in and think like her – almost a look that married folks give each other to help straighten out a kid’s behavior. And I also like the look they give each other after Laura says that they all have special feelings for Mr. Steele – it seemed like the gaze had an extra beat or 2 to it, like they were acknowledging something between them.

    Yes, HB and Steele are definitely sizing each other up. Laura seems a little too taken with HB. Just like I didn’t like seeing Steele with Miss Taplinger the other night, I don’t like Laura flirting with HB. And that line about wanting more than a smidgen – WOW – seeing a bit of the “itchy” Laura there. At least she gives HB the party line about mixing biz with pleasure, but she couldn’t argue with his point about being her client’s client. I’m not sure she is intentionally trying to make Steele jealous, because she had this conversation with HB after Steele and Shapiro had left the room. I have to admit, Laura’s behavior here confuses me a little.

  2. Luann

    I love the Brixton bit, it’s truly the first glimpse we get of the darker side of RS’s past. And yes, Laura seems mighty itchy!

  3. Ines

    Keri, you deserve a standing ovation in this entry! It’s brillant!!!

    I really would love to try with some Yiddish vocabulary, but I’m sure you have enough with me struggling with this language 😉

    I think Laura push Steele to the front of the situation, because she supposes he would be more familiar with Shapiro’s “issues” than she, so he would be able to suggest a more accurate advise to him. Once Steele is on the front, she realizes that Steele doesn’t have the slightest idea about what is in her mind, and then they got tangled in their own net.

    Maybe Laura follows HB flirtation, because she doesn’t have a clue about how to get away from the whole situation. Steele was already tangled with Shapiro. The last thing she had in mind was to get tangled with HB as well. He was Shapiro’s lawyer after all…

    About the boldt Laura redoubling the bet against HB, I think some of her old self is out there and free, helping the businness Miss Holt to push the whole situation. I am sure that this is the true Laura, only that she is trying to maintain another profile just for business time.

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