It looks like Waldo isn’t the only one having a lousy evening.
Buddy Shapiro has been nicked, to use Mr. Steele’s parlance. He wants to know what went wrong!
“Somebody tipped the D.A.’s office that you tried to leave the country,” says Hunky Barry, whose chin is nearly sharp enough to saw through the bars and spring his client.
Notice Mr. Steele rubbing the back of his neck behind HB? Body language experts call this a “pacifying gesture” in response to stress. A moment later, Steele slides his hand around to his face while looking at Barry:
This gesture can be interpreted as suspicion. Isn’t science astounding?
Shapiro doesn’t care about body language. He’s IRKED. “If I hadn’t listened to you, I’d be in Brazil now,” he says to Steele.
Laura starts to respond, But Steele beats her to the punch. “I guarantee your exoneration on all charges, Buddy,” Steele assures him. (Note the upward pointed finger: that denotes authority.) “Or my name isn’t Remington Steele.”
“Your name ISN’T Remington Steele,” Laura notes peevishly as they return to the office. Incidentally, Steele’s hand in his pocket here may denote that he’s feeling insecure about his image or is hoping to avoid a situation. Which do you think it is?
“Merely a technicality,” Steele retorts. Their body language here is very tense, no?
Back in the office, it’s Laura’s turn to use her finger. She points it in an authoritative way as they tells Bernice that the minute Murphy calls, she should “shoot him through.” Using the word “shoot” here, in combination with her gun-like hand position, suggests Miss Holt is in a fightin’ mood.
Laura goes to her office and pulls out the photo Rubio and friend. They look like a happy couple!
Steele enters and plucks the photo from her hands. “Is this our quarry?” he asks in a congenial, almost conciliatory tone.
Laura rather brusquely snatches it back. “From here on out, let the pros handle things.”
Laura tosses aside the photo and opens a file drawer, without any clear reason for doing so. Steele follows her, now as cranky as she is. “A man expired in my bedroom. Don’t you think that gives me a vested interest in what happens?”
I can’t say I disagree with him here. And by the way, how is ANYTHING that’s happened so far Mr. Steele’s fault?
Steele adds that he’s grown rather fond of Buddy.
“Which is more than I can say about your Mr. Phillips!”
“MY Mr. Phillips?” Laura responds.
“I don’t trust him,” Steele says.
“That’s EXACTLY what he said about you,” Laura notes.
“Takes one to know one.” Interesting that Steele is willing to acknowledge his own history of questionable trustworthiness here.
Laura begins to rhapsodize on the merits of Hunky Barry: “He’s an extraordinary human being. Warm, caring, committed …”
I don’t think Mr. Steele is impressed by this litany of the saint.
Mr. Steele develops a curious interest in his loafer as Laura continues to relate how awesome HB is. “He’s turning down a partnership in a law firm so he can help those people who can’t afford those fat legal fees?”
Mr. Steele, who seems a bit pained by all this, asks if St. Barry also runs a home for unwed mothers …
“… or perhaps an orphanage where he personally bathes the grimy little tykes.”
Does ANYBODY think this “discussion” is something other than a thinly veiled lovers’ quarrel?
I didn’t think so.
Laura affects an air of blase amusement. “Hahaha. You’re wonderfully twisted …”
“… magnificently bent.” This whole exchange plays like a scene from some sophisticated comedy written by Noel Coward. Seriously, Laura. Nobody’s buying this “I don’t care” pose.
“Just because YOU think the shortest distance between two points is an angle, doesn’t mean everybody operates that way.”
“Sounds like you’ve developed an overpowering lust for cotton candy,” Steele dishes back.
Laura drops the disinterested act. “You certainly don’t expect me to sit at home while you-”
“While I what?” Steele says, loudly. He’s had enough of this little drawing room scene.
“Never mind,” Laura sighs. (Still in melodramatic mode here, oddly enough.)
Steele, the bigger man, extends his apologies. “Whom you choose to become involved with is none of my business.”
“I have no claim on your personal life.” Steele looks rather sad here, no?
“I didn’t think you were interested in one.”
“Well, it’s your rule. Never mix business with …”
Steele seems a little embarrassed. Is he thinking back to his proposition of Laura in her office in “Tempered Steele”?
“Well … yes … I suppose …” He sighs.
“Well, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule,” Laura wavers.
Mr. Steele lets that sink in.
Just then …
Bad timing, Bernice! Also, bad outfit! “Creighton Phillips on one,” she informs them.
Laura moves to the couch to take the call. “Thanks.”
“It’s for HIM.”
Mr. Steele reaches across to claim the receiver.
“Steele here.” Is it me, or is that a smouldering gaze the two are sharing here?
Lots of interesting stuff beneath the surface here! I think it’s becoming more difficult for Laura and Steele to maintain the status quo, as their mutual attraction continues to heat up. Laura’s jealousy over Miss Taplinger provokes her to try to turn the tables with Steele, throwing the “superior” attributes of Hunky Barry in his face. I think Steele could easily shrug off her touting the lawyer’s warmth and caring – Steele’s shown he also has those qualities in spades. But her insinuation that Phillips’ honesty and willingness to commit make him the more attractive fellow must have stung. Steele well knows that Laura’s ideal man is the quintessential Good Guy, and that she feels he doesn’t qualify. Laura tries hard — TOO hard — to play up Steele’s deficiencies. She accuses him of being “twisted” and “bent” in an exaggerated, almost desperate way, as though she were trying to convince herself.
Then, miracle of miracles, a moment of truth: Laura admits she might be open to exploring a business AND pleasure relationship with Mr. Steele. It’s a big concession for her, as she’s always stood firm on her principles (and pride). What might have happened had Bernice not appeared in the doorway?