Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist
SOTW: Episode #25- Altared Steele
by Xenos1981   (Fri Apr 13 2007 16:24:37 )
It's Friday, ladies! (Thanks for reminding me, Mick!) Tonight's episode is "Altared Steele". (Our favorite couple's first uninterrupted kiss takes place in this one!) Post away...
 

Xenos

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

by MickeyBoggs  (Sat Apr 14 2007 16:12:16 )
I didn't wanna be first AGAIN, but since nobody else is posting, I will.
 

This is second of two Steele eps nominated for an Edgar (the first was In the Steele of the Night).

Memorable Stuff

- Mildred's puppy-like devotion, especially at the beginning of the episode
- Steele's diagnosis of "hysterical amnesia"
- The whole concept of Weapons World just cracks me up every time I see it - especially the happy family loading their purchases into the car, and the granny calmly loading her cart with hand grenades!
- For some reason the colors in the funeral scene are just very vivid and it is very visually appealing to me
- Mildred's "mean streets" speech to Frank and her trying on of the fedora
- Nancy (Delta Burke) cornering Steele at the loft and Laura's little display of jealousy (though I'm sure she'd have denied it!)
- Stella choking Frank as he entered the loft
- The walk by the fountain and finally a kiss not interrupted by Mildred, monks, the phone or themselves
- Steele accidentally knocking out Mary as she tried to escape

Character Development

- We're starting to see Mildred develop, both with funny lines and her desire to dig into the "detecting" side of the business
- Steele & Frank's chat about not being like other men & commitments
- Laura & Barbara's chat about a life buried in work
- Laura & Stella's chat about love not working on demand
- Steele's "fraud" talk with Mildred - which only serves to further her devotion to him, much to Laura's chagrin
 

Favorite lines

WW Mgr: What are you, one of those flaming liberals who wants to take arrows out of the hands of decent, law-abiding citizens?
--------------
Frank: What if you're wrong, Mr. Steele?
R: Wrong? Remington Steele?
--------------
Stella: Can a man who has that many surprises up his sleeve be worth the effort?
L: I think so.
--------------

Hair & Clothing

- Like the clothes they each wear to the funeral. Of course he always looks great in dark suits, and while I'm not crazy about the neckline on her blouse, I do like the color on her as well as that suit.
- Laura's dress for the wake looks great on her and her hair looks very nice too
- That blue shirt he wears looks great on him, whether alone, with the suit jacket or the black leather jacket
 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc

- Steph's cuckoo clock makes its first appearance
- Why were they all so surprised to find out Frank had a wife at all? Did none of them notice he was wearing a wedding ring?
- After seeing the car driven by the person who took a shot at them, shouldn't they have tried to figure out which wife had a car like that?
- The actresses who play the wives are all very good
- I find it very hard to believe they (and Laura especially) hadn't looked inside the bell charm to see if there was an inscription 

by Xenos1981   (Sat Apr 14 2007 18:39:40 )
Ah, Mick! Wonderful post, my dear! So thorough...so tediously thorough! LOL! (You know I'm kidding, of course!) Totally agree with your assessment. Here are my thoughts (which kind of mirror yours, but oh well)...

Again, I have to say that I SO wanted to hate Mildred! I loved Murph and Bernice and was VERY upset when they weren't on anymore. But Mildred (Doris), God bless her, is a gem...An absolute gem! Her attachment to Remington is so cute. "Puppy-like devotion" is the perfect way to describe it, Mick! And her "the boss doesn't like us carryin'" scene never fails to make me laugh. I assume that's Laura's fedora she puts on as I don't remember ever seeing her wear one. And it certainly wasn't Mr. Steele's. Remington's "confession" scene with Mildred is just perfect, too. Both Pierce and Doris were EXCELLENT!!! It always elicits an "aaaawwwwwwww" from me. And her snide comments to Frank were delivered with such STYLE! Hee-heeeeee!!! Yep, by this episode, I DEFINITELY liked Mildred and was glad she was there.

The storyline was really good...Though I must admit, I found "Weapon World" to be a mixed bag for me. The concept was funny, but Remington throwing a grenade made me roll my eyes. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this seemingly average guy turn out to be a bigamist. The funeral scene was SO very funny! "Wrong? Remington Steele?" The look on Laura's face was priceless! LOL!

The wake...Too funny! Laura looked beautiful in that black dress. Damn, girl! The Wedding March. Ha! Meeting Frank's women...So great. Favorite moments: Laura crying to Barbara. Remington looks so funny...Like he's buying Laura's act hook, line and sinker. Terri and Stella comparing notes. Stella: "Hey, pal, this is girl talk. Why don't you go pour us a couple of shots, huh?" Maybe I'm ignorant here, but anybody know what the deal is with the "revolving lights"? Is she talkin' strobe lights?! I might want to try that! (That and the honey and shredded walnuts thing!) Nancy making the moves on Sterling Gillette. "I just find the law so -- stimulatin'." "Yes...Corpus delecti, ipso facto, rigor mortis. Endless fascination, Mrs. Dannon." And Laura being jealous!

Love the parallels between the case and Remington's and Laura's relationship. ALWAYS love those scenes. (See "Steele Among The Living" among others.) Remington's discussion with Frank in his apartment was great! Commitment...Not an uncommon failing. Laura with Barbara was equally great! "I had no time for running anything but my own business. Frank showed me how hollow that life was. Without someone to share it with - my success meant nothing. Frank Dannon saved me from becoming a very cold, hard woman. He taught me how to love again." *sigh* Laura with Stella...Stellar! "But can a man who has that many surprises up his sleeve be worth all the effort?" "I think so." *double sigh*

Then there was the fountain scene!!! Mmmmmm-mmmm-mmmmm-mmmm-mmmmmm!!!! Yeah, baby! That's what I'm talkin' about! "You know, you're rapidly becoming the man I envisioned when I created Remington Steele. Honest, courageous, caring, good humored...Sexy." (Understatement, but true...Oh, so very true!) Yummy!!!! And an UNINTERRUPTED kiss!!! Yay!!!

The little competition between Laura and Remington as to who is the killer...So typical! And when they go to see Terri -- "Now, remember, this is a vicious killer, who's tried bullets, arrows, hatchets. Don't let appearances deceive you. She's capable of anything." LOL! Mary has an accent? Hmmmm...Didn't notice that. But wow! What a cold-blooded killer! The only thing...Were those the only clothes she owned? She was wearing the exact same outfit when she tried to kill Frank. And, come to think of it, he was wearing the same clothes, too! WARDROBE?!?!

The end scene was really wonderful, too. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think Mr. Steele would go to such lengths to try and keep me here. I mean, do you know that he actually tried to convince me that *you* invented him? Anybody who can come up with a story like that has my undying devotion." Poor Laura!!!

Oh, and lest I forget...Pierce looked delectably scrupmtious in this episode! Just wanted to eat him up!!!

Another headscratcher to add to Mickey's list: When the arrow misses Frank in the first scene, the pointy part is barely sticking in the wall. Yet when he breaks it off, it's clearly embedded very deeply. Hmmmmm...

Thanks for reading! Now let's get some more posts!
 

Xenos

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

by everglade68   (Sat Apr 14 2007 22:55:57 ) 
I thought that any episode following RHS had to be a letdown for me, but I was wrong. "Altared Steele" is a very good episode. It gave us not only insight into the characters' personalities but also more than a glimpse into their relationships with each other.

I like the way that Laura is so honest and understanding with both Barbara and Stella. As Barbara tells her story, you can almost sense Laura's realization that, she too, is in the same situation. The scene with Stella is different in
that it is Laura who is explaining "how loves works". It is nice to see Laura being comforting and nurturing, a part of her character not often seen in most episodes.

Remington is also given the chance with both Mildred and Frank to show off his
all-so-human side. When Mildred wants to quit because of her job performance, he quickly points out his mistakes and credits her achievements. With Frank he is not only understanding but also forgiving.

Mildred, of course, is given the time in this episode to develop into the character we all grew to love. Doris Roberts shines here and we see why she
has won so many Emmys, she is a superb actress, and it is a credit to both
SZ and PB that they can keep up with her.

I love Laura's hair in the opening scene and just have to wonder why they kept on putting her hair up when she looked so good with her long hair down. Was it to make her look older?

One of my favorite lines had to be Mildred's "everyone appears to be your type" when Frank stated that Stella was not his type.

And it was great seeing Remington using a record player. That certainly brought up memories of my teen years.

Oh, and I have to mention the kiss because it was after all thrown in there for the fans. Though I always love the kiss scenes, this one didn't seemed that connected to the story. I mean what were they doing there anyway? By the way, is this the only time Laura refers to Steele as "sexy", I don't remember her saying this in other episodes.

I wish we would have had more episodes like "Altared Steele". It had a nice feeling to it.

Isabel

By Xenos1981  (Sun Apr 15 2007 10:18:01 )
Thanks for your awesome post, Isabel! I'm glad you pointed out what a lovely scene it was between Laura and Stella. Laura was being so sweet and nurturing to poor Stella. (Haven't we all felt like Stella at some point in our lives? And what I wouldn't have given to have Laura's kind words at that time!) Great writing. Great acting.

I LOVE the fountain kiss...and everything that leads up to it!!! Yeah, baby! Is this the only time Laura refers to Mr. Steele as "sexy"? Yes. I believe so. Why didn't she say it again? Well, IMHO, I don't really think she needed to state it at all. I mean, when you look at the sky, do you say "it's blue"?! Nope. It's just a given. [[winkgrin]] (But I AM glad she said it to him...Though how she could just drop it and not sleep with him after that is beyond me.)

Oh yeah, one more thing...If I am to believe my film prof about Freudian symbolism, then Laura and Remington "did it" in this episode. Yeah, right.
 

Xenos

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

by picac    (Wed Apr 18 2007 16:06:09 )

“Spellbound?”

“Or Robin Hood.”

Nice Dali-esque Hitchcockian dream opening and sequences that ties in very well with the Spellbound amnesia connection since the film has a similar sequence done by Dali.

Their expressions pf complete befuddlement and shock at the Weapons/Survivalist place are wonderful.

The attempted murder by multiple machine guns seems very extreme and rather messy for someone that managed to kill without being caught so many times. The hand grenade is again over the top but in that situation what else could you do?

“Wrong? Remington Steele”

His pompous incredulous inflection and Laura’s eye roll are perfectly matched.

“She’s not my type.”

Err. Looking at the rest of the women it seems more that he wouldn’t be their type.

Frank is such a bland looking rather innocuous nebbish that his unabashed quintogamy (what is the word for a bigamist plus three?) and multiple fraudulent careers is

a) hard to believe

and yet

b) easier to believe he could get away with it because who would suspect him?

I wonder if he lied about still having jobs or rather what jobs he was going to. Like he met one wife while playing a professor and by the time he met the next he'd moved on from that job to truck driver and just told wife number 1 he was writing a book or guest lecturing out of town. But realistically no one could juggle that kind of timetable or lifestyle, especially not if he had to contribute to/maintain FIVE households -- though all his wives seemed to have careers and jobs except the Yum Yum (or is it Num Num?) but she seemed expensive.

It's a neat riff though on the Great Pretender, the film the book and the real man -- one many successfully doing high skilled jobs without training or credentials. Tough I don’t believe he did them all that same time or juggled wives.

I LOVE that Mildred adores and worships Mr. Steele. It’s about time someone did on that show. ;-) Though talk about a shock to Laura’s system after Murphy and Bernice had nothing but eye rolling contempt for him – but it’s no wonder Steele laps it up.

“Portrait of grief “ - When Laura whips out his handkerchief and Mr. Steele looks to sartorially peeved – she’s just thrown off one the complimenting details of his ensemble. :D

Steele’s expression as he listens to all the Frank talk at the funeral - wonderfully disbelieving deadpan.

Mildred obviously watches the same old 40 noir detective films that Mr. Steele does. But yes where does she get that hat from? Why would Laura leave an extra at his apartment? Is it Mr. Steele’s? Does he put it on when he watches Bogart?

Steele has his handkerchief back where it belongs by the time Nancy is putting the moves on him. I love that it takes Laura repeating herself get his attention with Nancy pressed up against him running her finger down his face – he’s only human after all and seems a trifle out of breath.

Does Mr. Steele always have bottle of champagne chilling? Or did Mildred break that out in his absence?

I love Steele’s expression of rapt attention and innate understanding from personal experience as Frank tells his story about he wasn’t like other men, how he could successfully leave different lives.

Steele saying at least Frank was able to make a commitment - what’s the joke in North By Northwest?

Roger Thornhill: What's wrong with men like me?
Eve Kendall: They don't believe in marriage.
Roger Thornhill: I've been married twice.
Eve Kendall: See what I mean?

Although in this case it's 5 times and all at the same time. :D Not only legally not worth the paper it's written on but all those commitments and attendant I love yous meant pretty much zilch.

The difference between Steele and Frank is that Frank is not only a professional fraud but an emotional and personal one. Steele’s never been that with Laura.

And right after we get the flip side of the relationship with Laura and Barbara about how Frank taught her to love and not just have a career. Oh and what antique shop did they have to raid to furnish Barbara’s house?
 

“Enter my parlor said the spider to the fly”

“Oh yes Frank. She’s definitely something. Definitely”


Excellent line readings.

Steele talking to Mildred – what’s not to love? I adore their relationship and here we see for the first time the real emotional connection (beyond the hero worship which is mostly played for laughs) they have and will grow to have. Steele tells her the truth to comfort (or a facsimile thereof) and assure Mildred and not because Laura wanted something said or to appease Laura.

It rankles that when Mildred later find out he’s not “real” in Season 4 that she doesn’t remember what he told her almost from the beginning. Well that and the fact that Mildred seemingly forgets that she’s seen Steele do much to be admired.

The scene by the fountain is a beautiful setting and hooray for an uninterrupted kiss. I don’t think saying that he’s becoming the Remington Steele that Laura envisioned is the best personal compliment. (though did she really imagine her Mr. Steele to be sexy? In License she talks about his honesty and fastidiousness) It’s a compliment to his role-playing and his new found honesty but was he not kind, courageous, good humored and sexy before he met her? It discounts the man he was before he met Laura and the real man he is.

I think Laura’s “Thank you for being here. For being you” in Premium is a far greater compliment, a far more personally intimate thing to say and is indeed the nicest thing Laura ever said to him.

FASHION:

Gorgeous grey/blue small diamond tie on Mr. Steele in the opening scene that manages not to conflict with the striped shirt but rather pull the outfit navy and grey together. Beautiful dark three piece and red striped tie at the funeral. But the three piece brown/gold ensemble near the end is the piece de resistance – a beautiful combination of textures and shades of color.

Laura’s black dress is simple and lovely and looks better running in it so you can see her great legs. The necklace – yuck – it’s in the same realm (though of course not as legendarily awful) as her King Tut thing - chunky and spangly. Laura’s rich plum dress at the end is a great color for her.

The W-I-D-E shouldered HUGE polka dot draped thing that Barbara is wearing – yee gods. And yet somehow Jane Kaczmarek has the flair and lean style to make it almost work

Delta Burke’s wrap around black mourning dress is gorgeous – very flattering to her hourglass figure. The hat eh… The electric blue dress while form fitting is not nearly as flattering or attractive.
 


[ Remington Steele ]  [ Steele Of The Week ]