Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist
SOTW: Episode #19- Vintage Steele
by Xenos1981   (Thu Mar 1 2007 13:58:08 )
Woo-Hoo!!! VINTAGE STEELE, ladies!!! One of my Top Ten Episodes! [[loves]]  (Gotta love the kiss!!!) Post away...


Pierce Brosnan...Proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!

by pianoRose    (Thu Mar 1 2007 14:08:13 )
Hadn't seen this one before I watched it a few weeks ago! LOVE IT!

Don't have time to sort out my thoughts right now. Look forward to reading everyone's comments!

by lissa_erin14  (Fri Mar 2 2007 15:41:08 )
We're here already?! My Fav!!

Well if that's true...than Harry was the Abbott of Costello
He He

"Mom, usually your hair looks sort of frazzled."

by everglade68      (Fri Mar 2 2007 16:13:12 )
After watching this episode again last night, it is now my second favorite episode. I just really loved viewing Vintage Steele, it is probably the funniest show of the series and it is the most I have laughed while watching RS.

I loved so many things in this episode, let me just mention a few. It's so interesting to find out about Laura's past relationship with Wilson. Wilson describes a very different Laura for us, one that we actually get to see when she tries to distract the bankers from the body. This was a fantastic role for Stephanie and you can sense how much she is enjoying playing this part.

The body "Harry" going missing so many times is just really funny. For a dead guy, Harry certainly had a main role in the episode.

Laura and Remington in their monk outfits are soooooooo cute. The charades scene was hilarious.

The best part, of course, was the kiss. Not only does Laura initiates it,
but it is probably their longest kiss in the whole series.

Ah, and a sign of a good show must be this one. I couldn't believe how quickly the show ended, and had to look at the clock to be sure this episode was as long as other episodes.


by MickeyBoggs  (Fri Mar 2 2007 20:13:08 )
Perhaps the best episodes of the season! Susan Baskin's wonderful script and Larry Elikann's great direction leave us with some of the most memorable scenes in the whole series.

Memorable Stuff

- The descriptions of the wine: a leggy, full-bodied wine with a marvelous nose, a rich, ruby robe, an almost transcendental finish
- In the office, Steele is baffled as to why Wilson wants Laura instead of himself
- Laura's reaction to seeing Wilson and Steele's trying to puzzle out just who Wilson is to Laura.
- Laura & Wilson's initial conversation; they truly jump in just like two folks who parted on bad terms and are (at least in her initial perception) picking up right where they left off
- The actor playing the monk is very expressive, even though he has no lines.
- Laura's "exuberant" driving and Steele constantly falling back
- The first appearance of Nigel Lindsey-Woolsey (aka Lentil) - and trying to keep Harcourt away from the wrong cask of wine by talking about the fungus it may have. Nigel will re-appear in High Flying Steele.
- Stuffing the body into the barrel, except for the one arm
- Williams Hootkins is just hilarious as Harcourt
- The whole Acapulco! strip tease/mad chase sequence: from kicking the shoe, Harcourt getting stuck between the brewing vats, running into the monk, and Laura having a lot of fun with the whole thing
- R&L dressing in the monk's robes and shuffling around the monestary
- Charades with the monk and the "Abbot of Costello"
- Steele & Wilson's scene together at night where they toast Laura. I'd like to think Steele & Wilson could have been friends and it would have been great to have had Wilson return in another episode.
- The very sweet closing scene: we end on a good note with Wilson and, for the moment, all is right with R & L

Character Development

- For once it's Laura's past coming back to haunt her - Wilson, Acapulco, fan dance
- Wilson's description of the "old" Laura as impulsive, uninhibited, absurdly passionate - so different from the Laura we've seen to date
- Steele comes to the sudden realization that he's not the only one with secrets and you can see the wheels turning in his head wondering if he *really* wants to know about L's past
- Laura & Wilson's "I also loved you" scene, followed by her discovery of Steele unintentionally eavesdropping
- L's confession of how much of her was in the strip tease and R's beginning to understand the buried side of her
- Laura & Wilson's discussion in the Rabbit; finally working things out and realizing how much they've learned from each other
- The "too much, too soon" kiss. Yowza! Not only is it Laura-initiated, but it's far more, um, intense than any kiss before

Favorite lines

R: Because he stole a body.
L: You stole a body?
Wilson: Well, I took a body. I mean, I have a body!
L: What do you mean you have a body? We ALL have a body, Wilson!
W: Mine's in the trunk of the car!
R: Well, you certainly taught that road a lesson it won't soon forget!
Claude: You recognize him? (the body)
Wilson: Oh, just from the trunk of my car - but how did he get back here?
L: I want you to forget the next five minutes of your life.
R: Laura, I've been thinking about this fan dance you did in Acapulco. I mean, just how "fanny" was it?

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc

- R & L roll the barrel into the shed and "park" it there. As they're walking away, you can see the hand of someone hiding behind the boxes in the shed reach out to steady the barrel.
- David Huffman was also in "In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan" with SZ

by everglade68    (Fri Mar 2 2007 20:59:16 )
Awesome post, Mick. You covered EVERYTHING. I agree that this was such a
good episode, it's too bad we didn't get more like this one.


by DCZinger  (Sat Mar 3 2007 07:48:34 )
Excellent Mick!

I have to add my favorite, favorite little bit in this episode....Laura's beginning her striptease and tosses her shoe, which effortlessly lands in Remington's hands. His FACE (shock, befuddlement, confusion) is priceless.

With this episode, you have a wonderful blending of fine writing, fine direction, excellent acting by the principles, excellent supporting acting by guests and the secondary characters...a first rate episode.

I too would have loved to have seen Wilson again.

We don't see Laura's wild side come out again until the craps table in Las Vegas ( Sleep is for Cowards!). I would have liked to have seen her let loose more often.


Steele Fan since October 1, 1982.

by dlxauburn   (Sat Mar 3 2007 18:21:41 )
Vintage Steele is the absolute best episode of the entire series! Sorry all you "Red Holt Steele" zealots! And like it's title gets more of my appreciation each time I watch. This is the quintessential example of a Remington Steele episode by which all others should be judged. Every single ingredient is well balanced and apportioned with the others resulting in a well paced story that never disappoints.

Susan Baskin's script was hands down the best crafted of the bunch and true to the series. Everything in the script had a purpose and furthered the story with an economy of perfectly chosen words. I can only wonder what she might have done in the ill fated season five. She borrowed Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry" and repaided it with more comedy than the orginal. Additionally, she added character development in a new and fresh direction by peaking into Laura's past with Wilson. As a result we see the attraction between Steele and Laura is now grounded in mystery, curiousity and surprisingly similiarty. Lastly, her version of the dinner party to reveal the killer is refreshingly new. No dinner jackets, ball gowns and candlelight. Instead we get eerily funny, flashlights and pocket snifters with vintage wine. She also probably set some kind of record for the most screen time for two characters who don't say a word with the dead abbott and the monk.

The romance was also great. I believe they had to up the chapstick budget for this episode based on all the kissing Laura got to do. But quantity alone wasn't the deciding factor, quality of the smooching was terrific! The close encounter of the cellar kind is easily top in it's own right for Laura's initiative, Steele's stunned initial reaction and just plain yummy factor.

Wilson's revealation's to Steele about Laura's true nature, just increase his desire for her. Then their "wine" discussion at the end, serves as a respectful way to salute Laura's allure to both of them without comparing notes about her specifically. "Young, impudient, brash....others never lose their mystery."

The physical comedy and the humor in the dialogue was just sensational. Here by episode 19, Stephanie and Pierce's timing is dead on and very quick paced.

The best example of all this is the charade scene. Here we see the blend of great physical comedy with the idea of interrogating a monk via charades and the patience of the most obvious pun in the world "then that makes Harry the Abbott of Costello". Laying the clues for it, and keeping the pace of the dialogue fast enough not to let the audience leap there ahead of time made it even funnier. I still laugh outrageously aloud at it! Other comedic touches I enjoyed:

The monk conga-like line following Laura and Steele in the monastary. The panic-ridden, giggle inducing Acapulco fan dance revealation and ensuing strip/chase distraction.

Laura's initial reaction of throwing up the mail to Bernice over the fact that Steele is seeing a client without her.
The fact that Arnold the horse was not only named after Alexis' husband, but the horse was a mare, very telling bit of unintentional comedy!

Did anyone else think that Alexis Vandemeer looked an awful lot like Jane Wyman from Falcon Crest? Intentional dig at their competing "grape show"?

The mystery was also good. Well, enough for the speed of the dialogue and the breaks between the comedy and the romance to distract you from the "I'm running out of suspects" ending. Classic misdirection creating wonderful screen magic!

The only "icebox" question I had was that there seemed to be a scene missing from when Laura is outside in her teddy and Harry has gone missing again after the infamous chase when suddenly it's the next morning. A commercial break here would actually make this a better transtion, than the dvd version.

Off to watch it just once more..... need to check out the stage hands' hand that Mickey spotted...... 

by everglade68    (Sat Mar 3 2007 22:09:24 )
Wow dlxauburn, that post of yours is absolutely great. As much as I love
Vintage Steele, RHS, still has a special place in my heart.

Yet, you are right, Vintage Steele, like wine, just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for pointing out all its wonderful qualities.


by brenda_grace2u     (Sun Mar 4 2007 08:02:05 )
Much of what I wanted to say has already been splendidly discussed, so I hope you will all indulge me as I repeat. LOL

Can I just say...Susan Baskin ROCKS! I love her writing and storytelling!! It is almost always through her that we get to delve into Laura's past. And what a fun and interesting past it was!

My re-cap will go chronologically from my notes (in case you were wondering =) )

I enjoyed the fact that Steele could "smell" the Caborney on Wilson. Not just liquor, but the exact type of liquor.

Laura's reaction to seeing Wilson again was priceless, culminating in the "We all have a body" line. The emotions involved in seeing her old love in the same room as her new love was perfecly caputred. I could actually feel the tension on my skin.

Steele's reaction was equally magnificant. The looks on his face, the rambling off of possible ways they could know each other, and his general body language were all terrific.

As a banker myself...I can, without hesitation, confirm that bankers do indeed do it with interest!! Although I have never owned a white belt myself, I'm certain that male bankers of that era would have. And while were on the subject, I couldn't help noticing that all the loan officers were male. Boy if thats not a sign of the times!!

Here is a line I don't think anyone has mentioned yet. When Wilson is describing the Laura that he knew to Steele, his response is.."Are you talking about this Laura here?" The layers of Laura's onion are coming off, and Steele can't help but wonder if it could possibly be the same woman he is falling in love with.

I thought Laura's driving was a wonerful tool to show a bit of her wild side.

I have a big goof question. Why weren't Harry's clothes stained purple from being in the vat of wine? And additionally how did the trunk of Wilson's car remain so clean after carrying around a dead guy who had been in a vat of wine. Anyone who has dealt with a wine spill knows it makes a big mess that is not easily cleaned.

What else can be said of the infamous "body in the barrel, one arm around Laura's waist" scene? It was absolute perfection!!

Side note - I finally remembered where I knew Momma Vandermier from. She was on Guilding Light a million years ago. And yes, I do think she looked a lot like Jane Wyman.

The only thing I have to add to the "Acapulco" thing is this...."Anything you keep!" I did notice that Steele KEPT that shoe he caught through the whole scene.

The entire Monistary scene was flaless!! From shuffeling Monks, to the kiss, to the game of charades. This was "Remington Steele" at absolute perfection!!

Another great line I don't believe has been mentioned...."Claude, just as I, I never suspected him at all." Just another example of exceptional writing!!

And last but by no means least, the whole "Maybe someday" exchage at the end. We get so much promise and hope from just a few lines. Laura's laugh seemed so genuine and real. A wonderful ending to an AMAZING episode. In fact the last four episodes of Season 1 are all TOP NOTCH in my opinion.

by Xenos1981    (Sun Mar 4 2007 08:18:41 )
Love, LOVE, LOVE this episode!!! Susan Baskin's writing is absolutely terrific...A perfect combination of romance, mystery and comedy. Pierce and Stephanie are "spot on". David Huffman as Wilson is fantastic. And that kiss is the yummiest of the entire series (and probably the best of Pierce and Stephanie's careers)! Oh-ho-ho, yeh-heh-hes!!!

Everything has already been mentioned by other posters as to what makes this episode so perfect -- a glimpse into Laura's past (thank you, Susan), the kiss, the chance for us to meet "Mr. White Belt", the striptease (the XenosHubby's favorite RS scene ever), the kiss, Harry's/Remington's hand around Laura's waist, "Lentil", Laura being described as "Impulsive. Uninhibited. Absurdly passionate." (and the look on Remington's face when he hears it!), the kiss, "Arnold", the "follow the leader" the monks play (including bumping into Remington and Laura), the toast between Remington and Wilson, did I mention the kiss?

Favorite Stephanie Moment: Definitely when she's trying to piece together who had the body and where they got it from. I laugh out loud every single time! Kudos, Steph!

Favorite Pierce Moment: Aside from the kiss, I think it's just watching his reaction as he learns more and more about Laura...From the first scene in the office when he's trying to figure out how Wilson and Laura know each other, to riding in the car with an exuberant Laura behind the wheel, to the striptease, to overhearing Laura and Wilson's heart-to-heart talk, etc. Pierce is just absolutely wonderful!

Favorite Clothes: Their black "break-in" clothes...Scrumptious!!!

Favorite Lines: (WAY too many to quote, so I'll just list two of my favorite exchanges.)
Laura: It's awfully quiet in here. I've yet to even hear someone talking.

Remington: Well, if I had to wear one of these all the time I wouldn't know what to say either.
Remington: A vow of silence. Oh wonderful, I mean how are we supposed to question him, press him for facts, elicit the information vital to the case, huh?

Laura: I don't know.

Remington: Ah, that's just a clever ploy isn't it? You killed him didn't you?

The monk defiantly shakes his head and points to Remington and Laura.

Laura: Us?! You think we killed him?

Remington: That's a rash statement if ever I heard one.

Question: Is this the first time we hear Remington say, "icy calm"?

OK, I'm done now. Did I mention that I loved the kiss?!?!


Pierce Brosnan...Proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!

by pianoRose    (Sun Mar 4 2007 09:36:04 )
 I loved reading everyone's comments! I'm going to have to watch this again this afternoon. It is so good.
by everglade68    (Sun Mar 4 2007 11:05:16 )
Xenos, I loved your post, but you hardly mentioned "the kiss", can you
maybe write a little more about it?

Brenda, your question re: how hard it is to clean vine up is good. It had escape me and I AM a wine drinker.


by Elinskaja     (Sun Mar 4 2007 13:21:43 )
I just watched this episode with a friend of mine, who likes RS but is not at all into it as I am (that's an achievement only you guys are able to put off... ;) ) and it's so fun to hear the reactions of someone who sees it for the first time! Makes one laugh even more...

This is aboslutley one of my favourite episodes. Steph rocks!
I love all the things already mentioned, but especially I LOVE it when Steele tries to help Laura out in the charade. I LOVE that they call the body "Harry" and I LOVE the expression of Steele's face when he gets Lauras shoe in his hands. It's just the perfect episode!

// Elin

~ ... with a sharp left turn of course, at referential analysis. ~

by Xenos1981  (Tue Mar 6 2007 07:50:01 )
You're right, Elin...This is a perfect episode!

Just a little note to Brenda, Isabel, Zing, Mick and the other SWers...Don't forget to "copy and paste" your posts to the other group! It'd be a shame not to share your thoughts there, too.


Pierce Brosnan...Proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!

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