Steele Belted – 14

Apologies for the delay in posting this; it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Anyway, when last we left our detectives, Mr. Steele had just secured a few locks of Hunky Barry’s hair, presumably for the locket he wears around his neck. He’s a sentimental guy, our Rem. The next scene opens …


… back in Mr. Steele’s office, where Laura, Murphy, Hunky Barry and their client, Buddy Shapiro, are discussing the case. HB is outlining his courtroom strategy: if necessary, he’ll ask for a change of venue. (Because Buddy is super famous, like OJ Simpson, I guess.) There seems to be one party missing from this tete-a-tete. Whither Mr. Steele?


Ah. Here he comes. He seems brisk and confident, albeit a bit miffed:


“Sorry I’m late,” he explains. “No one informed me of the meeting. An oversight, no doubt.”  It does seem a bit unfair that Mr. Steele, who after all has been pretty involved in this case, was purposely left out of this meeting. Murphy and Steele were working together just a scene or two ago; wouldn’t he have known Steele should be present? But perhaps it was Murphy who tipped Steele off to this meeting. In any case …


… as Steele divests himself of his trench coat, HB explains that they were going over the plan for Buddy’s preliminary hearing.


Mr. Steele suggests it might be more profitable to try to identify the real guilty party.


Just then Bernice arrives, showing a surprising amount of leg for an office environment. Presumably she spied Hunky Barry and paused to unbutton her skirt before she entered.


Mr. Steele takes a large notepad and pencil from Bernice (as we know, he doesn’t keep office supplies in his own desk), and offers them to Laura. “Would you be good enough to jot down some thoughts, Miss Holt?”

She protests, but he will not be gainsaid.

randomalert gainsay: to contradict,” c.1300, lit. “say against,” from O.E. gegn- “against” + say. “Solitary survival of a once common prefix” [Weekley], which was used to form such now-obsolete compounds as gain-taking “taking back again,” gainclap “a counterstroke,” gainbuy “redeem,” and gainstand “to oppose.”

Sorry for the detour. I’m a logophile (lover of words).


Mr. Steele is insistent. “Jot.”

Bernice, apparently miffed at the fake boss’s treatment of the real boss, stomps out.


Mr. Steele goes into full Sherlock mode. The game is afoot! “Now. The first requisite for our killer is, of course, a relationship with James Rubio.”


HB points out that Ivy Shapiro qualifies.


Steele agrees that’s an excellent choice!


“Are you saying Ivy killed Rubio?”  Buddy doesn’t seem convinced.

Hm. It appears Mr. Shapiro is wearing a gray flannel suit identical to Mr. Steele’s.

funfacticongreyflannelsuit The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, Twentieth Century Fox, 1956) was a film based on a popular novel, and depicted a businessman’s search for meaning in the dog-eat-dog world of business. It has nothing to do with this episode.


Laura is also doubtful. “She was planning to marry him,” she notes. “That’s hardly an ideal motive for murder …”


“…SIR.” Oh, Laura. So smug and condescending. I wonder if you’ll be sorry.



Mr. Steele reacts to Laura’s snarkiness with an enigmatic smile. I think he may have something up his sleeve!

Creighton, meanwhile, suggests that Ivy and Rubio may have had a falling out. HB seems all on board with this theory!


But it turns out Ivy was a red herring. (Funny, I would have called her a ham. Well, herring at least is kosher.) Steele explains, “We need someone who knew Rubio a long time ago. So there was no visible connection.”


“…  An old college classmate, for instance.”

Oh, ho!


Inexplicably, Creighton suddenly turns on his own client. “What about the murder weapon? It’s Buddy’s.”.

randomalert “My Buddy” is a 1922 song by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn, considered an American standard. It became especially popular during World War II. Here’s Doris Day singing it!


Mr. Steele affects a pose of … insouciance? Confusion? Intestinal upset? “That only means our killer was somebody Buddy trusted. Someone with unquestioned entrée to his home,” he insists.


Mr. Steele pauses to make sure he’s not moving too fast for Miss Holt.


“Well, you could slow down JUST a bit, sir,” she answers. Hm. Is she finally beginning to see that Steele is on to something?


“Wouldn’t want you to get lost.”

Guess not.


Mr. Steele appreciates her support.

Creighton points out that Buddy’s fingerprints were the only ones on the gun. (Gee, with advocates like this, who needs enemies?)


Murphy finally speaks up. “Plastic gloves would have taken care of that.”

Why plastic gloves?


Don’t killers usually wear black leather gloves?


Hunky Barry wants to know what this “mythical killer’s” motive is.


“Money’s usually at the bottom of these things,” Steele shrugs.


“Unless it’s a crime of passion, in the case of extreme, unendurable jealousy brought on by an unfaithful partner.”


Well played, Mr. Steele.


“I think we can rule that out, sir,” Laura responds.


Steele hopes so!

(The subtext in this exchange is interesting, no? Steele seems to be implying that Laura becoming romantically involved with someone else would constitute a betrayal of her relationship with him. And Laura makes a point of indicating that’s not the case.)

Incidentally, we are given a nice view of Mr. Steele’s chin dimple here.


“You know, Ivy Shapiro stood to lose a great deal of alimony money when she married Rubio,” Creighton interjects.


Well, he’s just like a dog with a bone, isn’t he?


But Shapiro ain’t buyin’ it. “Would you stop trying to pin this on my ex wife? She’s a little flaky, maybe. Rotten taste in men, but she really wasn’t a bad broad.”


“And certainly not a killer,” Steele agrees. There’s that dimple again!

Buddy wants to know who’s left on the suspect list.


“A very frustrated and disappointed fellow. You see, he counted on being made a partner in his law firm.”


I think Laura is beginning to catch on!


Not to mention Murph! (I just noticed that Murphy, like Laura, is wearing red. I wonder what that means? Is Murphy trying to align himself as Laura’s partner by mirroring her attire?)


Looks like Buddy’s getting a clue, too.


Steele continues his spiel.

funfacticon Our Yiddish education continues! Spiel: A long, involved sales pitch, as in, “I had to listen to his whole spiel before I found out what he really wanted.” From the German word for play.

“When that didn’t come to pass, he decided to strike out on his own,” Steele says. “But where would he get the capital to lease offices, hire a staff, purchase a suitable residence in which to impress potential clients?”


“Wait a minute. I gave him my power of attorney before I was set up,” Buddy makes the connection.


Hunky Barry turns a sinister eye on his client.


Buddy rises slowly to his feet. “You were stealing me blind, weren’t you?”


He lunges at his attorney (who seems curiously unconcerned).


Murphy, earning his salary as the “muscle” of the agency, drags Shapiro off HB.


“You thought I’d serve the whole five years, didn’t you? But I only did eighteen months. And you didn’t want me to look at my books. Is that why you were so hot to get me back inside? Huh?”


Laura’s mind = blown.


A still-unruffled Creighton gets to his feet. “Won’t wash, Steele,” he smirks. “Nothing ties me to those murders.”

Hey, look! Hunky Barry has a chin dimple, too. Battling dimples!


Here are some more!


Mr. Steele and his dimple advance on his opponent. “You know one of the first things I noticed about you, Creighton? May I call you Creighton?”


“No.” Hunky Barry wields his dimple vehemently.


“Your hair. Thick, lustrous, incredibly healthy.”

Takes one to know one, Mr. Steele.


The detective produces a little baggie. “I’m sure the lab will have no problem matching these strands with your own.”


Barry seems to believe he’s busted.  “Where did you get those?” 


 “The victim will often clutch a piece of evidence that ultimately traps the murderer.”

Wait a sec … I thought the only thing in Rubio’s cold, dead hand was his long lifeline! Surely Mr. Steele isn’t .. bluffing!


Even Barry seems impressed with Steele’s investigative brilliance. Or is he?


He begins to turn away, then …


… he swings!


Steele has no idea what’s coming … or does he?


Steele dodges the swing!


And retaliates, more successfully than his foe.


Hunky Barry goes reeling!


He’s down for the count! Fortunately he didn’t knock the coffee cup off the table; that carpet is hell to clean.


Laura scrambles out of the way of Hunky Barry’s flying carcass. Something tells me they won’t have a second date, even to a cotton candy factory.


“That was most rewarding. Except for one thing,” a slightly disheveled Steele says.


Laura looks at Mr. Steele with a combination of shock, awe and … admiration? “What?” she asks him.


“I think I broke my hand.”

spoileralert emoticon Okay, this scene-closing gag always irked me, even before a later episode revealed Mr. Steele’s pugilistic experience. After solving the case, it seems a shame that Mr. Steele’s triumph is blunted by this suggestion that he’s a bit of a wussy.

This episode is notable for me because Mr. Steele essentially solves the case entirely on his own, based on his instincts. There is no indication that Laura or Murphy suspected Hunky Barry. I do wonder if Steele would have discovered Creighton’s dirty dealings if he hadn’t been interested in Laura. Mr. Steele certainly WANTED to find some skeleton in HB’s closet to discredit him with Laura. Perhaps it was just his luck that his rival turned out to be the villain. Still, good for Mr. Steele for putting the puzzle pieces together. It shows that when he is very motivated – in this case by jealousy over Laura – his sharp mind is a force to be reckoned with.

Next up, the tag.































Filed under Season 1

7 responses to “Steele Belted – 14

  1. eaz35173

    I absolutely agree here that Steele solved this whole case. He was left out of it from the very beginning, and with very little information to go on, was able to piece it together. I have to say, that I do love that he knocks Laura down a peg or two with having her take notes at the meeting. She has not listened to him for most of this case, and he is in effect, making her listen to his every word by having her write them down.

    Early on in the episode, both HB and Steele mention that they don’t trust the other. Steele even says, “It takes one to know one.” I think this is one of the big reasons he is able to crack the case – thinking like the criminal. I also think it’s why he and Buddy strike up such a liking to each other. I think in the beginning, it’s Steele’s affinity for Buddy that gets him drawn into the case, but it’s his jealousy and mistrust of HB that really has him “investigating”.

    I don’t have a problem with the hurting hand thing. I imagine even professional fighters hurt their hands without the proper equipment on them for fighting. I think it shows that he’s not used to using his fists to solve problems (and he’s probably out of practice a bit), even tho there does seem to be a lot of fists flying during the run of the series. And to illustrate this, here’s a shameless plug for my “Kung Fu Fighting” vid …

    Funny about those chin dimples!! They can be quite attractive! PB’s dimple seems to come and go for some reason. Hmmmmm.

  2. daphgg

    I don’t have a problem with the broken hand gag either. It is very easy to break your hand when hitting someone; it depends on how your hand is fisted, where and what you hit, and how hard. Considering that Steele felled and knocked out Hunky Boy with one swing, not surprised Steele broke his hand. Spoiler alert: this is first of a few times where he broke his hand.

    I don’t get Laura in this scene at all. Why is she being so mean and disrespectful to him? He has done nothing wrong. She’s acting like she is angry with him about something. Is she that angry about him dating other women or has she been waiting for him to ask her out and he hasn’t? Is the latter reason why she called Creighton to accept his dinner invitation? Did she decide not to wait any longer and to take the dating bull by the horns so to speak? Was she trying to make him jealous? If she wants to con everyone in believing that he is her boss then she needs to be more respectful to him.

    I love how he solved the case on his own. I think he did it to remove Laura from evil man’s clutches.

    • eaz35173

      I think the big reason that Laura is acting the way she is in this scene is because Steele, in front of the client, the client’s lawyer, Murphy, and Bernice just reduced Laura to “secretary” by having her take notes and basically showing everyone he was in charge. Then she has to eat a little crow when she realizes that Steele actually knows what he’s talking about and is exposing the real killer – someone SHE never suspected. We all know how competitive Laura can be and how she hates to lose and Steele just trumped her in a big way.

      I’m still not really sure what drove Laura to HB in the first place. I think she was still feeling a bit itchy, he asked, and she had imposed a “no biz with pleasure” rule, so she took him up on the offer. I think her real motive was to make Steele jealous – it worked, AND ended up the reason he solved the case!

      I agree, Daph, that if Laura wants to continue to con the public that Steele is the boss, she needs to act the part better in this instance.

  3. daphgg

    I agree with you, Elise, that Laura was being mean because he reduced her to being a secretary and a jotting one at that in front of everyone. But why didn’t she invite him to the meeting? She had been letting him tag along the entire episode now suddenly she ices him again. Think she was trying to play the making him jealous again? Poor Steele, he must be as confused as I am.

    • eaz35173

      I agree, he should have been at that meeting, especially since he and Murphy were working as a “team” the night before. I think that Steele has had to fight for being included every step of the way in this case. He only figured out he was being left out because his apartment was ransacked and then he was contacted by Waldo. Laura has been trying to keep him in the dark for most of the case. Again, not sure why. I don’t think it was jealousy in this instance, but perhaps she felt she had things back under control and he was unnecessary once again? After all, he did stop Buddy from leaving the country. Laura can be a bit inconsistent at times – I think it may be that it’s so early in their “arrangement” that she doesn’t really know how best to use him in the agency yet?

      • daphgg

        You are so right. She doesn’t know how to use him yet. All she knows is she has to keep him under control and she is barely is doing that. I am remembering her words to Berniece just before her itchy comment.

        Just realized how badly Steele must have felt when he found Waldo dead in his apartment and Laura waltzes in with another man’s jacket around her and hugging and accepting support from that man. Steele handled that well, considering.

  4. Ines

    Great entry Keri!!!

    “Well, you could slow down JUST a bit, sir,” she answers. “Wouldn’t want you to get lost.” I love those words coming from Laura’s mouth. I bet she’d want to strangle him at that moment…

    I ‘ve been enjoying all the comments, and learning a LOT!!!

    Well done everybody!!!!

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