Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist
SOTW: Episode #21- Sting Of Steele
by MickeyBoggs    (Fri Mar 16 2007 09:12:35 )
Since Xenos has been under the weather I thought I'd go ahead and get the thread started.

It's the episode where we first meet Daniel Chalmers and "Johnny Todd".

Post away!

by TeenSteele    (Sat Mar 17 2007 02:18:04 )
OH NO! What's wrong with Xenos?!?!??!?!

And yes, I have been quite the erratic (NOT erotic) poster lately but I've been quite busy with my "busy" teen life. Havent been watching much television lately, let alone Steele. I'm so busy getting ready for grad and shtuff. But I shall most definitely make a conscience effort to contribute at least weekly for the betterment of all us steele fans :)
Anyways, I'm going to be enjoying a well deserved spring break, so perhaps I will catch up on some viewings of season one...

"You lived with a man who wears white belts? Am I disappointed"
BoaW 08/07

by DCZinger     (Sat Mar 17 2007 08:50:26 )
Xenos is FINE TeenSteele...just a wee bout with the flu. She's on the mend and catching up with many, many emails. She'll be joining our midst soon!


"It takes two to bicker, Laura. A daddy-bickerer and a mummy-bickerer."

by MickeyBoggs    (Sat Mar 17 2007 15:24:11 )
Ah, the return of Abigail and the first appearances of Daniel Chalmers and "Johnny Todd"! These last few eps of S1 were on a nice little roll...

Memorable Stuff

- Laura's facial expression upon learning Abigail was in the reception area
- Abigail's wailing as Laura escorts her into Steele's office (and continues on...and on...and on...)
- Abigail accompanying Laura as she breaks into "Daniel's room" and actually finding a clue (even if it was planted)
- Abigail falling for a handsome con man....hmm...sounds like a familiar pattern for the Holt women
- The look on Laura's face when she find Abigail with Daniel at Steele's apartment
- The delightful dance scene with Laura and Daniel with him revealing just about all we ever learn of Steele's early years (pre- and early-teens)
- Murphy as Remington Steele - what a hoot! The first anti-Steele? Though I kinda think Laura thought Murphy took the chauvenistic bit a little too far...
- The Daniel-Steele scenes are just so well done. They really feel as if they're two old friends reunited.
- Laura's expression when she realizes how her mother was in on the Sting
- Sadly, the last appearance of Abigail. I hate that NBC couldn't "borrow" Beverly from CBS for an ep or two each season. It would have been interesting to see Abigail's reaction to Laura dating Mr. Steele, pushing him away in S3 and then getting back together in S4. I'd really have loved to seen her reaction to the tuna wedding!
- Efrem is just so wonderful as Daniel. You can see how he could have easily been the charming con man who trained "Harry" to the best of his ability. Glad he got to come back for more.

Character Development

- Laura having to give herself a pep talk to deal with her mother
- Our first glimpse into the father-son relationship of Daniel & Remington
- Murphy feels "slimey" breaking into Steele's apartment, but it doesn't bother Laura at all
- We see Steele's aversion to guns for the first time
- When Laura asks Steele about the attention Daniel's paying to Abigail, his speech about deep & passionate feelings makes her do a double-take when she realizes he's not just speaking of Daniel.
- Steele chewing on his thumbnail - is this the first time we see him doing that?

Favorite lines

L: Mother, I'm on the edge of my seat here. What in God's name did Harvey Fennerman propose?!
Abigail: That he bring his wife along! That the three of us get to know one another.
L: His *wife*? He's *married*?
A: I just *couldn't* be a good sport about it. Now, they're at the Ramada Inn- and I'm here--with a suitcase- full of- *purple* clothes!!!
L: You know, Mother, I'm really very flattered that you came to me instead of Frances.
A: Oh, I could never tell your sister any of this. She and Donald are so incredibly happy together- she could never relate to a loser in love.
R: Laura, just because a man makes his living on the shady side of the street doesn't mean that he's beyond human emotions- that he can't care very deeply- and very passionately for someone. And he even might- attempt to make a change.
A: You didn't even spell my name right! It's Abigail with an IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!
Hoskins: You ain't very principled, are you?
L: Can't afford to be on what Steele pays me

Hair & Clothing

- Did anybody *really* believe that wig Daniel was wearing in the first scene was his real hair?
- Like Laura's dark suit & dark fedora as well as the silver/gray suit she wears to visit Hoskins in his hotel room (the same one from Hearts)
- Johnny Todd's outfits are appropriately smarmy (can clothes be smarmy?), including those horrible sunglasses and that RED tux shirt!
- I like the white blouse Laura wears while waltzing

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc

- I'm still unclear as to how the radio device could make the roulette ball skip to black 22
- Love the ragtime music reminiscent of "The Sting"
- When the desk clerk checks to see if Daniel's in his room, there's no way Laura could determine "Daniel's" room number from that far away.
- Steele refers to Manchester United as "Man United" aren't they normally known as "Man U"? Or was that simply an extra explanation for us Americans who know nothing about football?
- Was the naming of the supporting character "Bailey" a nod towards Efrem's time on 77 Sunset Strip?
- Why would "Johnny" refer to "soccer games in England"? He'd call it football.
- How did Daniel arrange to have the boat outfitted as a casino? Must have cost quite a bit of money...
- Hoskins placing a bet on "English soccer"? Should be either "soccer" or "English football". 

by Xenos1981    (Sun Mar 18 2007 15:00:07 )
Mick...Thanks for taking over my "duties" and posting our SOTW for me!

TeenSteele...Thanks for your concern! Getting better now.

Zing...LOVE your new tag line. Relatable.

Now, about this episode...

I must admit, this is NOT one of the episodes I watch over and over again. Why? NO ROMANCE!!! Sorry, ladies. Gotta have my romance! However, I must admit that I DID rather enjoy it this time around. (Of course I had to watch Scene 17...Unrated version...Widescreen edition immediately afterwards just for a romance fix.)

Best things about this episode:
1. Johnny Todd. LOL, kids! Pierce does a WONDERFUL job as the slimy Englishman! Makes me want to get greasy! [[winkgrin]]
2. Efrem. Always great to see Daniel make an appearance in Remington's life. They are SO good together. (Pisses me off that they killed him in season five.)
3. Murphy as Steele. What a riot! So un-Murphyish.
4. Abigail. Though I sometimes have a problem with Beverly Garland "over-acting", it's always a joy to see her. (Makes me appreciate my mother even more, LOL!) Poor Laura.
5. Laura's speech to Hoskins: "I do the work, he takes the bows. Why he wouldn't exist without me, I practically *invented* the guy."
6. This little exchange...Daniel says to Remington, "Ah, Miss Holt is quite a bundle isn't she?" "Hmm, yes, yes," Steele agrees. "Intelligent, independent, scrupulously honest. In short *everything* you ordinarily *loathe* in a woman."
7. Abigail's line: "The Colonel is teaching me how to make his souffle rise."
8. And last, but not least, when Remington says: "Laura, just because a man makes his living on the shady side of the street doesn't mean that he's beyond human emotions -- that he can't care very deeply and very passionately for someone. And he even might attempt to make a change." Aaaaaawwwwwwwww! HELLO, LAURA?!?! JUMP ON HIM!!!

I enjoyed the storyline and the guest stars were very, VERY good...But I need my smooching!!! Probably won't watch this episode again for a VERY long time.


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

by everglade68    (Sun Mar 18 2007 17:09:42 )
Mick and Xenos, thanks for your posts. As always they are a pleasure to read and enjoy.

I really like this episode but, like Xenos, I need a little romance thrown in there. I love Beverly Garland, she was just superb as Laura's mother. Mr. Efrem Zimbalist Jr., of course, is just awesome and he does have a great on screen chemistry with Pierce, it must just run in the family.

I got the feeling that Murphy had a great time playing Mr. Steele. Wow, it must have been fun to be on the set on that day.

Liked the music of this episode too. Reminds me so much of "The Sting" and
of course, Redford and Newman, the best looking guys of my generation.

All in all, it was a fun, enjoyable episode. It would have been better if it
had just one romantic scene, but well we can't have everything.


by Xenos1981    (Mon Mar 19 2007 08:32:31 )
Oh, hey! I forgot to mention...This is the first and only (but oh-so-memorable and funny) appearance of "Skeeziks"! Gosh, I love that name! Wonder who came up with that one.


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

by pianoRose    (Tue Mar 20 2007 10:52:04 ) 
I just love the whole scene in Steele's apartment when Laura shows up and her mom's there. And the dance. Lovely. 
by picac    (Tue Mar 20 2007 20:32:14 )
Not Too Deep but Very Wordy Thoughts:

Hoskins? An in joke to mob boss (Long Good Friday) actor extraordinaire Bob Hoskins?

It's kind of odd that this late in the season that Bernice still thinks it's good news that Steele's sick and he can't come in – or rather that Laura would think it was good news and she'd want him out of her hair. Odd because he's been a fixture on so many cases by then – more so than Murphy let alone the all but expendable Bernice that it's obvious Laura likes having him around. I think this disparity in perception points up that Bernice really has lost her usefulness as a character or that they didn't know what to do with her. Even though they actually exchange some words about her mother here, after the first couple of episodes she's not really used as Laura's confident or gal pal like in Tempered but more to roll her eyes at Steele and bring in the coffee another season let alone 3 of that would be very tiresome.

Love that Abigail says she just couldn't be a "good sport” about Harvey and his wife wanting a threesome. LOL! It also shows that Abigail is more than open to having a fling though and buying purple clothes for the occasion – good for her. :D Too bad she waited so long after Laura's father left (more than 10 years) -- no wonder she jumps at the chance of Chalmers – so much better than a dentist and no wife. She's such a great character and her relationship with Laura is such prickly fun that it's a real shame this is her last appearance.

Chalmers whole wig—looks like road kill and I can't believe it fooled anyone. Ditto his "Brit” accent. That scheme where it's always "22” is such an obvious cheat how could they not think they would not be caught? No wonder Chalmers needs Steele.

As said on the commentaries, Pierce seemingly loves nothing more than getting dirty, messy or sleazy and it shows. He always throws himself into these little character roles – and while that fits into Steele's love of role playing it's also obviously fun for Pierce. I still chuckle over Gleason remembering Pierce asking him now that Season 1 was over what did they do next and Gleason said more of the same. 22 episodes is about 4 years worth of then Brit TV series.

I'm surprised Laura allows a client to scream at her the way Hoskins does. It's not as if they need the work and money and nothing says that the fee for this is so extraordinary she can't pass it by. Why would she take such crap? It's one thing for a client to be a chauvinist or even dismissive etc but he's outright belligerent and nasty. After she finds out about the scam it's understandable but before it's unfathomable.

Johnny Todd and Hoskins would NEVER refer to football as soccer – it was evidently only done for a U.S. audience not to be confused since it isn't true to the characters at all.

"Cheat at solitaire until the feeling passes”. I love this little glimpse into Steele's psyche. His restlessness and need for a little walk on the less than straight and narrow even at his most seemingly domesticated is what makes him Steele (his Steele not Laura's cardboard pre fabricated Steele that is). I love that he knows who the local counterfeiter is, who can dispose of a hot luxury car in the area and where a secret high scale gambling club is even after he's spent years as Steele.

"She does have certain…”



LOL!! Not the most flattering term for Laura but maybe the most accurate where Mr. Steele is concerned.

"Making her giggle like a schoolgirl”

"Perhaps he likes her”


Laura's jaw is clenched so tight here I'm afraid she might have to make a trip to the dentist afterwards. And of course everything said really isn't about Daniel and Abigail but about Steele and Laura. And Laura is just as leery of Steele for herself as she is of Daniel for Abigail.

"The Colonel is teaching me how to make his souffle rise – LOL Wicked indeed

The entire dance around the living room – as said is wonderful. We also get our first large glimpse into Steele's early life and it ties into what is said back in Belted. I wonder if the writers knew then that Chalmers was to be his father just as they knew Harry was his name (or rather the name they used for him in the first script before he became Steele).

Murphy's Steele – the epitome of crass boorish sexist pig - in a great suit -- and he does seem to enjoy muddying up Steele's squeaking clean image.

Laura is once again playing (unconvincingly) tough gal shamus as she enters the casino – similar to her appearance in the pool hall in Gold -- obviously not only Steele has watched too much Bogart. She's much more convincing later as a slightly shady shamus in her later talk with Hoskins about how her boss doesn't appreciate her. I wonder what Laura did with that $5,000. Maybe she knew he wouldn't have time to pay his bill later.

Abigail is very convincing as the hysterical rejected woman. She'd make a great con woman with Daniel. :D

Laura fingering Johnny's hideous gold medallion mid crisis because she just can't believe he's wearing it.

Favorite little bit of new acting in the episode I hadn't appreciated before. Steele answering the phone as Johnny Todd and his intense facial expressions when talking to Hoskins then his quick call to Laura and how his face completely changes – becomes softer and smiling before he even utters a word and you know he's speaking to Laura – from Johnny to Steele is a second.


I like Abigail's purple suit – but more so her blouse with the lace neck – so much more subtle and less constrictive than the tight fussy necked things Laura is prone to wear. Not to crazy about her purple dress with the floppy black bow. The more pink than purple dress with the little rosebud is cute and I like her purple wrap around sweater coat though I wonder what Daniel thinks of all her purple clothes. LOL

Love Laura's black fedora with grey band and her brown scarf though not sure they exactly match. Her black trench coat with the dark beige trim though is wonderful and so much better than all the other trench coats she's been saddled with before. I like her white sweater coat. I'm not crazy about any of her hairstyles in this episode, it seems so stiff swept up and off her forehead and that twisted up and to the side of her head do in the dance scene doesn't work either

Daniel like his protégé is impeccably dressed.

I never would have suspected that Murphy owned such a nice suit. I wonder if her raided Steele's closet along with his cigar case. He looks great with the slicked back hair

Johnny Todd – Steele is actually wearing very good suits (look like his own) as Johnny—he's just accessorized with thick gold chains and rings, polo shirts, garish red tuxedo shirt (where in hell did he find that?!) greased back hair, chewing gum and different body posture.

Love Steele's dark grey shirt at the end – very um tactile. ;) 

by Xenos1981    (Wed Mar 21 2007 09:35:19 )
Favorite little bit of new acting in the episode I hadn't appreciated before. Steele answering the phone as Johnny Todd and his intense facial expressions when talking to Hoskins then his quick call to Laura and how his face completely changes – becomes softer and smiling before he even utters a word and you know he's speaking to Laura – from Johnny to Steele is a second.

Excellent observation, Ace! Pierce is truly a brilliant actor, eh? I know we -- OK, mostly me, but there are a few others out there -- sometimes get caught up in how gorgeously handsome Pierce is and his kick-ass bod (Live Wire...scene 17...unrated version...widescreen edition), but he is an undeniably talented actor! That scene alone proves it. (As does his performance in "The Fourth Protocol". He scared the living crap out of me. Won't ever see it again. And that's saying a lot!!!) So...Tipping my hat to a remarkable actor and a remarkable show.


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

[ Remington Steele ]  [ Steele Of The Week ]