Etched in Steele – 4

We left Laura hot and bothered and Steele bemused on their way to the publishing party.


And they’ve arrived! As they’re shown in, we see Gomez at the bar, apparently getting sloshed and smoked next to a statue of a naked guy. In the background is a lady with feathers on her bodice and a ruffle at the bottom of her skirt. Really? Too much.


As Steele is divested of his jacket by a gloved butler (hot-blooded Laura apparently didn’t wear a coat), Laura pats her tummy. Hungry, or nervous? Her outfit is sparkly … but is it zipless?


Laura wants to know if Steele sees Forsythe; she’s anxious to get this over with.

“Laura, I do think we should wait for an opportune moment,” Steele stalls.

Miss Holt ain’t buyin’ it. “I just don’t want you beating around the bush.”

Steele is affronted. “Bush beating? ME?!”

Just then Mr. Forsythe calls to them. As he approaches, Steele reminds Laura that these people think SHE works for HIM.


“I see you took me up on my invitation,” Forsythe says. Does this mean you’re serious about my proposition?”


Steele makes the introductions: “Russell Forsyth, Laura Holt, my most valued associate AND an integral part of whatever arrangement we finally agree to.”

Agree to? Laura doesn’t know anything about “agree to.” It doesn’t matter; Forsythe isn’t here to talk business. He advises them to eat and get drunk so he can take advantage of them in later negotiations. Sounds reasonable to me.

Laura figures she’d better take matters in hand, and turns to follow Forsythe. Just then …


Tipsy Gomez appears, bumping rudely into Laura. That’s no way to treat a lady!


Gomez introduces himself to Steele, noting what a treat it is to meet them man his wife Charlotte reads about all the time.


“Are you married to Charlotte Knight?” Laura asks. Suddenly this party is looking more interesting!


“The man behind the woman,” Gomez announces. Not what you expected, huh?” 

Before Laura has to respond to this awkward remark, Steele steps in.


He introduces Laura as his associate, very much the woman behind the man.”

Laura is giddy with this brush with greatness. It’s a real pleasure, I’ve read all of -“




“Really?” Steele needles.


Gomez tells Laura not to be embarrassed. Nobody admits to reading Charlotte’s books, but they sell 3 million copies.”


Steele and Laura aren’t quite sure what to make of this guy.


Mysteriously, Gomez invites the detectives out onto the balcony with him.




Gomez is persistent in his request.


Laura and Steele follow, though Mr. Steele isn’t too excited about it.


Laura very much appreciates the view from 35 floors up, but Steele seems less impressed. Gomez isn’t excited about it, either.


“Idiotic, living 35 floors up in Los Angeles, but Charlotte adores it,” he declares. (Why is it idiotic to live in a high rise in LA? Smog?)

The trio looks back at the party inside …


… where Charlotte has made her appearance.


She’s inspirational, isn’t she?” Gomez breathes. Sometimes I sit for hours just watching her move, the way her body rises and falls when she breathes, the way it glistens when she perspires.”  Oh, yeah. Sweat is sexy.




We see Charlotte greeting a guest … warmly.


“The man with her is Tony, our gardener,” Gomez explains. “Can’t let the lawn go when you’re 35 floors up!”

“Heh, heh, heh,” Steele and Laura respond uncomfortably.


Good thing I’m not the jealous type, huh?” Gomez remarks. He adds that he doesn’t think Charlotte’s new manuscript is up to snuff. 


Gomez finally gets to the point: He’s brought them out here to share some interesting information.

“As you know, my wife is a famous author with a reputation for writing, shall we say, provocative literature. My wife’s first book,Twice Nightly. A work of fiction? Hardly. The first four years of our marriage.” 


“My wife’s second book, Bated Breath? The second four years of our marriage.” Laura seems curiously affected by his words.


Is it getting warm in here?


Gomez reveals that Char’s newest masterpiece is an erotic thriller, Prone Positions. It’s about a woman who kills her husband.


“Erotic thriller. Husband murdered. May I ask how?”


“He’s thrown off a 35th floor balcony.”


“Magnificent. Can we go in now?” Steele responds. I think he doesn’t like getting tangled up in domestic disputes!

Gomez knows they think he’s just soused, but he insists he’s seen it with his own bloodshot eyes, in black and white!


Laura adopts a reasonable tone. “Mr. Knight, if you’re truly afraid your wife is planning to murder you -” 


Leave Charlotte? I couldn’t do that. I can’t leave her and she can’t leave me. We’re supposed to be a team, you know.”


“Then how can we help you?”


Gomez seems a little crestfallen. Maybe this is premature. Well, I’m sorry to have bothered you. I do hope you enjoy the party. I suspect it may prove to be quite revealing.”


They return to the party. What an odd little man,” Steele whispers.


“Hard to believe he is married to her,” Laura adds, while Charlotte pointedly notices the handsome Mr. Steele as they pass.

“The secrets that bind two people together … what a confounding mystery,” Steele agrees. (Gosh, do you think Mr. Steele is only talking about Charlotte and Gomez?)


Laura tells Steele she doesn’t like this place or these people. She wants to find Forsythe, tell him the sad tale of his abortive literary career, and skedaddle.


Suddenly there is a shout! And a scream! Steele and Laura race mosey to the balcony to see what’s going on.


They discover a crowd on the balcony, but someone seems to be missing. Where’s Gomez?


Oh. THERE he is. Wow. This power couple go above and beyond to drum up interest in their books.


Laura is distressed by the untimely, but predicted, demise of Gomez. Or maybe she’s just glad of a chance to get up close and personal with Mr. Steele?

I don’t think this is the opportune moment to discuss business,” Mr. Steele decides.

 This scene presents two couples: Steele & Laura, and Charlotte & Gomez. Both are supposed to be teams, but in each case we see that the woman takes the dominant role. In the case of Mr. & Mrs. Knight, this seems to have broken the man’s spirit. He is dependent on his wife and feels himself being more and more marginalized. On the other hand, Mr. Steele seems not at all threatened by Laura’s strength. Indeed, he goes out of his way to point out that she is the “woman behind the man.” It is Laura who appears insecure, needing to assert her power and keep Mr. Steele in his proper place. Yet when confronted with the horror of Gomez’s death, she turns immediately to Steele for comfort and protection. Is the spectre of Mr. & Mrs. Knight a warning to Laura and Steele of what can happen when a team is out of balance?











Filed under Season 1

11 responses to “Etched in Steele – 4

  1. eaz35173

    Love Laura’s little fan girl moment when meeting Mitchell/Gomez and then being busted by Steele for actually admitting to reading those books! I also love that Steele gives Laura the credit of being the “woman behind the man”. I think his praise is genuine, and while those he is speaking with may not buy it, it is for Laura’s ears that he says it. I do think that they both see themselves in the ruse that is the Knights, not necessarily the relationship that they have, tho.

    I’ve wondered why Laura went for the comfort of Steele’s embrace after seeing Mitchell’s body below. Is she playing the part of one of the heroines in Charlotte’s novels because of the crowd? Is she truly upset about seeing the body? You would think in her line of work, she’s seen her share of them. She did this in an earlier episode, too (except it was with Murphy in License when they found Pearson in the closet). Perhaps in moments of real tragedy/horror, she lets her guard down and lets her emotions get the better of her logical behavior?

    BTW, I love the way Laura looks in this outfit!

  2. Trudy

    As this blog has pointed out, RS always seems to take the side of the underdog. Why does he not extend his usual empathy and compassion to Mr. Knight?

    • Excellent question! Perhaps because he’s disgusted by Mitchell’s dependence on his wife. Steele acknowledges Laura’s authority in terms of business, but on a personal level, he treats them as equals.

  3. daphgg

    K, your couples’ analogy is perfect. Laura, like Charlotte Knight is the dominant partner but Laura is definitely insecure about her role. Can’t help but wonder how much of a role Laura is playing. She is a strong business woman but seems fragile or vulnerable enough to be upset over a man’s violent death. Is the strong business woman must a role she plays? Is her real personality so different from her professional one that they clash from time to time? No wonder Steele is so taken with her. She’s an enigmawho he intends to solve. He amazes me in how patient he is with Laura’s insecurities and his confidence in letting her have control.

    Is anyone as pleased as I am that Steele isn’t even mildly attracted to Charlotte Knight? Sigh, my hero.

    • eaz35173

      I’m also glad he’s not attracted to Charlotte. I’ve gotten the impression (throughout the series) that he’s not the type of man to go after a married woman unless a con includes that in the plan.

      Laura is definitely an enigma – that impossible challenge he can’t resist!

      • Mr. Steele seems oddly put off by this whole situation. Although Laura says she doesn’t like the place or the people, that distaste seems more evident in Steele’s behavior. Strange … it would seem to be his customary milieu, among the glittering people.

      • eaz35173

        Perhaps, since he tends to run cons involving those “glittering people”, he can see thru those that are just playing their own game. There’s nothing for him in this “game”, especially since Laura wants him out of this game. And it seems to be growing stranger the longer he stays.

  4. Ines

    I really like this introduction into the chapter. Very funny!
    Laura’s little fan’s girl moment is priceless.
    And her elegant outfit is one of my favorites along the series. I can even think someone wearing something like that now, and I would love it.

    • One of the fascinating aspects of Laura is her capacity to surprise with unexpected reactions. She is a character with many layers, and perhaps some secrets, that we are only just beginning to discover.

  5. Luann

    Her clinging to Mr. Steele in this scene never fit for me. She’s not hard-hearted, but she’s been to the morgue before – it just seems out of character for a professional. But then again, she was just talking to the guy, and they were somewhat rolliing their eyes about his concerns.

    • I agree, Laura’s reaction here is strange. I suppose it’s reaching to speculate she just wanted an excuse to throw herself into Steele’s arms?

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