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.
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?”
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 …
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!