Etched in Steele – 2

Meanwhile, at Mr. Steele’s well-appointed condo …


Dostoevsky Mr. Steele is dictating his memoirs while plagiarizing Dickens: “Chapter One: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It’s interesting that Mr. Steele is apparently familiar with A Tale of Two Cities, the novel from which this line is derived. Of course, he’s probably quoting one of the many movie versions.

CRIMEOFFASHION Not exactly a crime of fashion, perhaps, but Mr. Steele’s smoking jacket seems a bit over he top. In the Victorian era, such jackets were donned to protect a gentleman’s clothes from cigar smoke.  They have become a symbol of a kind of decadent smarminess.


Here are some other smoking jacket aficionados.


The woman recording these utterances suggests an amendment: “”Shouldn’t that be, it was both the best and the worst of times?”

behindthescenes The transcriptionist is played by someone named Linda Caputo. This was her second – and last – screen credit. Linda, we hardly knew ye.


Steele agrees that is more economical language. Just then there is a knock on the door.


Why, it’s Laura! She doesn’t seem happy. “How dare you!” she snaps.


Sensing Laura’s mood, Mr. Steele hastens to shoo the stenographer out the door, telling her he feels his creative juices ebbing.


Once she’s gone, Laura starts in again. Who is Russell Forsyth? she wants to know. (Um, I believe he’s the same guy you were reading about in the paper, Laura. Have you forgotten?)


Steele fills her in anyway. “A most successful publisher, a man of great taste. He’s asked me to write a book.”


“Remington Steele’s Ten Most Famous Cases!”

Laura is not impressed.


“Planning a career in fiction, are we?”

Oh, Laura. It’s almost like you want to make Mr. Steele see you as a beyatch difficult woman.


Well, that’s a bit harsh.


Mr. Steele is unruffled. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Miss Holt, but I sense a certain lack of enthusiasm on your behalf.”


Laura peevishly reminds him that not only has he not had ten famous cases, he hasn’t even had ten cases.


Steele parries by wiggling his fingers at her. “Really, Laura, your preoccupation with details …”

He’s a Big Idea man, Laura!


“I’m going to tell you something,” Laura says. “Listen to it. Digest it. Try to remember it.” She’s on a roll now! “You are NOT Remington Steele. I made him up. You are playing a part! For me! I want you to pick up that phone, call Russell Forsyth, and tell him you’ve had a change of heart.”


Mr. Steele appears to consider her suggestion seriously.


“Or shall I?” Laura threatens.


That’s right, Laura. Show him who’s boss.

Still, Remington isn’t ready to just sit down and … er … explode.


“A book by and about Remington Steele could create a demand for the Agency’s services where people have never even heard of us before,” he suggests.


“Imagine! Branches in New York, Paris, London!”

I call this expression Pierce Brosnan’s Fred McMurray look.



Steele continues his pitch.


“Why, we could end up in shopping malls! Think of it, Laura.”


I don’t think she’s buyin’ what you’re sellin,’ Rem.


“Whole families going to the mall, buying sneakers, picking up snow tires, leaving clues?”

Snow tires? In Los Angeles? You’re reaching, Mr. Steele.

Laura is unmoved.




Mr. Steele mentions that Forsyth has invited him to a party. He hates to spoil the soiree with business talk, but if he must …


He must.


Then: “What time are you picking me up?”

Well, that was unexpected.


Mr. Steele seems to think so, too.

 Laura seems to be continuing the peevish theme we saw in the last episode. Is she merely jealous of the attention Steele is getting? Does she believe acting prickly and irritable is how one creates sexual tension? Or is she, as I suggested earlier, subconsciously trying to push Mr. Steele away? Is she frightened by his attraction to her, and hers to him? Let me know your thoughts!






Filed under Season 1

24 responses to “Etched in Steele – 2

  1. eaz35173

    Oh, Laura’s definitely afraid of her attraction to Steele and vice versa! I do think that subconsciously she is trying to drive him away, but at the same time she is holding on to him. Confusing, if you ask me.

    Steele does have a good point about the book bringing publicity to the agency … although I think he thought of that on the spur of the moment to placate Laura, and not when the offer came in from Forsyth.

    “Planning a career in fiction?” – LOL! Does Laura even know how true that statement is … for BOTH of them??

    Fred MacMurry look – LOL!!

    And (spoiler alert) did the writers of season 4 just finish viewing this episode to get ideas for a Mulch plot???

  2. daphgg

    I agree she is terrified of the feelings she is experiencing.

    I also think she is carrying some resentment which puts a little bit of sharpness in her sarcasm. I think she still maybe peeved about him asking others to a date but not her. After all she did bare her emotions when she said ‘you bought this for me’ in the last episode (when he presented her with the car keys). I guess she had to stuff those pesky emotions of hers back into the box she keeps them in. She really jumped at the chance to invite herself as his date. Miixing a little pleasure with your business, Laura?

  3. Luann

    This scene always makes me wonder, though – was he really trying to write a book? Hook up with the steno? Or did he know Laura was coming over and set the scene just to get her attention?

    • eaz35173

      I think that on some level he was playing the role of the great detective. I imagine he was flattered by the invitation by Forsyth to consider a book deal, figured he could get it past Laura under the guise of biz development (being the public image of RSI) if he needed to convince her, and the steno was a bonus. I’m not sure he would have known when Laura would see the picture and head over to his place. But I bet he thought that he’d at least get a rise out of her once he was in the office. He certainly does know how to push her buttons!

      • Luann

        Good points. Usually there’s an audience when he’s playing The Great Detective, that’s what I can’t figure out. Unless the audience is us, because it’s a TV show. I may have just blown my own mind…

      • eaz35173

        LOL about blowing your mind! I think the audience was Forsyth and his readers. Someone obviously called a photographer to snap that pic. I suspect it was Forsyth’s PR people, because his publishing company was trying to cash in on the fame of RS, as well.

      • Luann

        To clarify, I didn’t mean the audience for RS and Forsythe, I meant for RS and the steno alone in his apartment.

      • eaz35173

        Ahhhh, thanx for the clarification. Now, that does make me wonder, too! Hmmmm.

    • Ines

      I think he thoght he was able to write a book. When I read your comment, the phrase that came to my mind was “God, I’m good!”

  4. Trudy Stein

    I am new to this site and new to Remington Steele having just discovered it on Me-TV but binge watching on It is brilliant! And I am so glad to have discovered this site!!!

    I don’t think this scene has a subtext of sexual tension, but is perfectly fitting with the clever satire of reverse gender roles in the first half of the first season, with LH being the typically male character (intelligent, in charge, often dressing in men’s ties and hats) and RS having more typically female traits (tall and thin, dressed to the nines, beautiful and treated as a sex object, and not very much in his head other than plots of old movies). This scene falls into these stereotypes perfectly, smoking jacket and all. In the beginning, LH is using RS as the “face” of the agency, he is perfect for pictures, which don’t require thinking. But a book! That would require actual knowledge of real things. RS started believing his own fiction, but LH realizes what folly this is, and the potential for disaster in exposing the con.

    • eaz35173

      Welcome, Trudy!!! Glad to have more RS fans participating. And as someone new to the show, it will be great to have your insights! Definitely agree about the whole gender role reversal thing – something RS did very well.

    • Ines

      Great you ‘ve found Remington Steele, and better you’ve found this blog!
      Interesting comment!
      Hope to see you around!

  5. daphgg

    Lol. Definitely food for thought…

  6. daphgg

    Lol. Definitely food for thought…

    I just realized something I missed. Laura said ‘You are playing a part! For me!’ All this time she acts like he is doing this because he likes fame, money, the trappings of RSI. Never has she hinted before now that he is doing anything for anyone but himself. If she can recognize on some level that he is giving up his previous life for her, then she should be able to see how he feels about her.

    That surprised look on his face was because she just fandangled her way into a date with him. She keeps hinting that she wants to date and he maintains her professionalism rule. I think he is trying to make her truly regret her decision before he caves in, don’t you?

    • eaz35173

      That “you are playing a part for me” line is interesting. I never took it as an admission (subconscious or otherwise) of Laura acknowledging him staying around of his own free will … giving up his former life. You would think, as you mentioned, that if she would listen to what she’s saying, a lightbulb should go off and give her a clue!

      I actually read that line as a way for Laura to maintain the upper hand and assert her dominance and control over his life. Which, she clearly does not have 😉

      I love these discussions because I always gain a little more insight!

      • daphgg

        Me too. I think I always thought she said it because although we love her, Laura is a control freak. It wasn’t until Luann’s point as to who Steele is authoring for, that I thought to take a different approach to Laura’s comment.

        And she did get a date out of it too.

    • Ines

      Love this insight!

    • Ines

      Hmmmm. Laura thinks he is playing a part for her, but in that case, I think she is referring to business. They are running a con together. She needs him as the Remington Steele’s Agency face (such a face, by the way), and he needs her as the clever detective to have the work done.
      Just a thought…

      • eaz35173

        You’re right, Ines – they both need each other for this con to work! Although, it is Laura who would probably suffer the greater loss if the con failed or if he decided to not play anymore. He’d probably just move on as he always had. And I suspect that Laura knows this.

      • Ines

        You are totally right. But I don’t know if Laura is aware about her deep feelings at this time of their partnership. For me, her knowledge about Steele being more than a business partner is still hidden. And as she is trying to keep their partnership only in business, not allowing her feelings to play a part in it, the loss would be less intense.

      • eaz35173

        I also agree about the feelings part. I also think that she doesn’t realize how deep she’s already in … but maybe she does, since she mentioned the possibility of it way back during Sheldon’s case. So, yes, her loss would be much greater – both a biz and emotional one. I think that’s why she pushes those feelings to the back and chooses to focus on the biz aspect of their relationship.

      • Ines

        Your words are very accurate. I wasn’t remembering what she said at Sheldon’s case.
        I’ll have to pay more attention 🙂

      • eaz35173

        I think you’re paying fine attention, Ines. It’s the writers that sometimes should have paid better attention. 😉

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