And at last we come to the tag of what has come to seem like a very long episode. When last we saw our dynamic duo, Mr. Steele had just surmised he’d broken his hand when he knocked out Hunky Barry.
Looks like he was right again! Mr. Steele is definitely on a roll. He seems pretty pleased with how things turned out. “I’m beginning to see why you chose this line of work, Laura,” he says. “Exhilarating experience, helping the innocent and apprehending the guilty.”
It’s interesting how they are positioned here, with Steele standing higher than Laura. A symbol that he got one up on her in this case, perhaps?
Laura’s still not ready to give him his due. “Except for the way you did it. James Rubio wasn’t clutching anything in his hand.” (Side note: Laura’s back to the schoolmarm hair, but the periwinkle suit is pretty.)
Yes, and Mr. Steele is a little peeved about that. “Well, he should have been. How else are we supposed to catch the bad guys if they don’t leave any clues?”
Perfectly logical question. However, Laura has something else on her mind.
“Tell me something. And I want you to be honest. As honest as you can ever be.”
I don’t blame you for your reaction to that, Mr. Steele. I stuck my tongue out at her, too.
“If I hadn’t been involved with Creighton Phillips, would you have gone after him?”
Was Laura really involved with Hunky Barry? One cone of cotton candy does not a relationship make, Miss Holt.
Steele affects nonchalance. Or nausea. It’s hard to tell.
“A good investigator never allows his personal feelings to get in the way of a case.”
“However, it did distress me to find you fooling around on the bed with a murderer.”
Looks like you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do, Laura.
Go ahead and collect your thoughts. Mr. Steele will wait.
Oh, look. It’s our buddy, Buddy. And the little ex-missus! Buddy is happy with Steele’s work: “They reinstated my parole, thanks to you, you son of a gun!”
“All part of the job, Buddy,” Steele demurs.
Laura looks … proud?
It turns out that all the fuss brought Buddy and Ivy back together.
I think Steele is prepared to take credit for this development, too.
The soon-to-be-renewlyweds get into the Agency limo. Because they also run a taxi service on the side, I guess.
Mr. Steele gives them a little wave as they pull away. Laura seems to be in a better mood now, too.
Laura wonders where the Shapiros are headed (in the agency’s limo).
“Las Vegas. Ivy has a brand new trousseau, reservations in the honeymoon suite, and ringside for Sinatra,” Steele explains. “What better way to renew a relationship?” Mr. Steele seems to have spent some time helping the couple plan their getaway. Does Steele Investigations offer travel agent services as well?
Laura seems pleased by the romance in the air … but it does occur to her to wonder how they’re supposed to get back to the office. Mr. Steele has a surprise for her!
“I purchased Ivy’s car. At a substantial savings.”
That is a cool car.
Laura seems impressed, too! Steele hands her the keys.
“For me? That?” she gasps. She seems tickled that Steele would present her such a lavish gift.
“You deserve it.” What a gallant gesture, Mr. Steele!
Steele is, however, going to have the trunk re-carpeted. Because …
Oh, there’s just one thing.
“Ivy would appreciate a check as soon as possible.”
Oh, Mr. Steele!
Since we never see that car again, presumably Laura didn’t send that check. I do like the teasing look between them at the end, though. I have to wonder if Steele’s comment, “You deserve it,” has a double meaning here. He’s gone ahead and made a deal for this car without consulting Laura – kind of like Laura tried to work the case without involving him, though he had a strong stake in the situation (they broke into his house – twice – and left a body in his bedroom!). I feel like Laura was in a state of ambivalence through this episode. She’s “itchy,” knows she’s attracted to Steele, but still unwilling to have a fling with him. Did she think Creighton was a better bet for a long-term relationship? Was she, consciously or unconsciously, trying to make Steele jealous? The fact that she calls him on his motivation for solving the case suggests she was at least aware of that possibility.
Laura is not entirely sympathetic in this episode, but I think Steele has her off balance … and that’s somewhere Laura HATES to be. She needs to feel in control and on top of things, and wants to keep the assigned roles very clear: she is the real detective, and Steele is the window dressing. As Steele becomes more and more involved in the agency’s work, and shows himself to have a genuine knack for it, Laura feels the stable worldview she’s created eroding under her feet. It scares her, and she becomes prickly in response. It will be interesting to see if this push him-pull him behavior will continue as the season wears on.