Still in Steele’s well-appointed apartment, Miss Stimulated is having trouble coping with her disappointment.
Steele prepares to administer a revivifying beverage.
She takes a swig while Steele looks on, seemingly amused.
Steele starts to take the glass back, but she has not yet had enough liquid courage. Just then the door buzzes. Company? At this hour?
Oh, it’s Laura. Guess her date ended early.
Or not. Hunky Barry is persistent! (I can’t bring myself to call him Creighton.)
Laura and HB head for the bedroom to pay their respects to Waldo, and Steele checks back with his make up date.
Yikes! Is there an open bar at this party? The lady seems to be slipping into a fugue state: “Everything was so tidy,” she murmurs. Steele leaves her with a little “buck up, honey” pat on the shoulder.
“Waldo Church, all right,” Laura comments when the trio have assembled beside the corpse. HB looks a bit taller than Steele here, but imdb lists Pierce’s height at 6′ 1 1/2″, Barry at just 6’1″.
Laura looks a bit green around the gills – too much junk food at the arcade? Hunky Barry hastens to provide support. Something tells me Mr. Steele isn’t too keen on HB’s big paws all over Miss Holt. HB wants to know if they’re all through in the bedroom. Interesting that HB is acting like the protective male here, and directs his question to Steele, not Laura.
Laura tells Hunky Barry she and Steele can handle it from here. Miss Stimulated is still clutching her booze.
The two couples bid each other goodnight in the time-honored way. I think Hunky Barry is getting more action than Steele. Kissing on a first date, Laura? Tsk.
Mr. Steele asks Hunky Barry to escort Miss Taplinger (so THAT’S her name) home. She perks up at the prospect of sharing a car seat with Hunky Barry. She decides to leave her mink as a parting gift for Mr. Church. She’s got plenty more at home.
After Thing 1 and Thing 2 leave the apartment, Mr. Steele sheds his jacket, ready to get down to business. Or is he?
“Sorry I had to interrupt your evening,” he says tersely.
Meanwhile, Laura is already in full investigative mode.
“Did you call the police?” (Not yet.) “Rubio obviously found that bill of sale,” she continues.
He: “No doubt you two were discussing the case!”
She: “He’s probably destroyed it by now.”
He: “I know how those business meetings can drag on.”
She: “He sold Buddy those coins, wanting him to get caught.”
He: “I called the office. You weren’t there.”
She: “Why? What’s the motive? What could he possibly gain by having Buddy sent back to prison?”
He: “You weren’t at your apartment, either. I left a distraught message on the damned answering machine of yours.” Steele seems to be getting a little hot under the collar!
It’s fascinating to note how Steele and Laura mirror each other as they pace back and forth. Their thoughts are in different places, but their bodies are in sync.
“Mirror neurons” in the brain are responsible for unconscious copying of the actions of others. These neurons and are located in the part of the brain called Broca’s area, which is also the language center of the brain. This automatic syncing of actions is thought to create rapport between people.
“You really should get one of those little beepers, Laura!” an agitated Steele snaps as Laura continues to yammer on about the case.
His tone captures her attention at last. Laura seems to have some turbulent emotions under her cool exterior. Could it be her rambling dissertation was a way of avoiding having to explain what she was doing with Hunky Barry?
“Where were you all evening?” Steele demands, rather petulantly.
“At an amusement park,” Laura answers, crossing her arms over her chest.
“So it was a social liaison!”
“It’s called a DATE,” Laura articulates crisply. (Or maybe she just wanted Steele to notice she’d had her teeth cleaned.) “It happens quite a lot between men and women.”
“I didn’t think you went in for that sort of thing,” Steele smirks.
Snarkiness does NOT become you, Mr. Steele.
“Dates?” Laura snarks back.
Laura suddenly appears vulnerable. “I like cotton candy,” she says softly.
Steele responds to the sudden shift in mood by taking a step toward her.
“Let’s call the police,” she says abruptly as he draws near.
Her cool, unruffled mask slips back into place as she heads for the phone.
Mr. Steele doesn’t seem to shake off the moment quite as easily.
Laura sighs heavily as she waits for 911 to answer the phone.
I find this a fascinating scene for what it reveals about the developing relationship between Steele. I didn’t see any particular jealousy on Laura’s part at the sight of Miss Taplinger; I suspect she knows Miss T is just another bimbo that Steele plays with and then moves on. But Steele is CLEARLY perturbed about seeing Laura with Hunky Barry. He reacts in a kind of knee-jerk way, behaving almost cruelly in suggesting that Laura isn’t interested in (or perhaps, he implies, isn’t asked out on) dates. Laura is curiously shaken in this scene, and I don’t think it was about Waldo’s demise. Having Hunky Barry act so proprietarily toward her in front of Steele unsettled her. Perhaps she was thinking about HB’s previous suggestion that Steele looks “erotically” at her, and doesn’t want Mr. Steele getting the wrong idea about her and Barry. Laura’s almost tremulous comment about liking cotton candy is interesting – how do you interpret her behavior here? And what was Steele’s intention when he moved toward her? A comforting hug? A passionate kiss? Share your thoughts!