Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist
SOTW: Episode #46- Maltese Steele
by Xenos1981    (Sep 7 2007)
It's that time again...Maltese Steele is our next SOTW. Enjoy and post...
 

Xenos

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

by MickeyBoggs  (Sep 7 2007)
The first of two episodes shot on Malta - which is pretty scenic from what I can see. I believe this is also the episode that won Doris her Emmy nomination (even if she did have to deal with bugs flying everywhere!)
 

Memorable Stuff

- Susan Penhaligon (Margaret Cable) is very memorable for all the wrong reasons. Is she this dreadful in all her other roles?
- Love Mr. Borg-Ward's filing system!
- Mr. Steele maneuvering Laura's flashlight-holding arm was cute
- Professionally, they're still right in sync as she introduces him as Mr. St. Albans of the British Museum and he jumps right on that.
- Shouldn't be too hard to follow a bird? Who is Mr. Steele kidding?! But fun watching them interrupt the bocce games, riding through the market and down the stairs
 

Character Development

- Mr. Steele clarifying the "rules of engagement" with Laura on the cart ride through town.
- Laura coming into the bar and seeing Mr. Steele & Mildred each paired up and realizing she's on her own. Having second thoughts about the agreement perhaps? (I hope, I hope, I hope)
- Mr. Steele's irritation at Laura putting the kibosh on moonlight gondola rides.
- Love how Laura can guess where Mr. Steele is going with the reference to The Third Man.
- Bravo Mr. Steele for trying to get Laura to come to your room...but I wish he hadn't looked so pleased to see Margaret at his door.
- Love how Laura gets so upset when he fibs and tells her he was in bed when she screamed. A large part of her is regretting that agreement
- Love how Laura's almost as excited as Mr. Steele to find the treasure
 

Favorite lines

Margaret: You saved my life
R: Yes, well, accidents will happen
 

Hair & Clothing

- The suit Mr. Steele wears to the funeral home looks fantastic on him (of course, so do most of his clothes!)
- Love the outfit and the hat Laura's wearing as they clear customs in Malta.
- Mr. Steele in a dinner jacket....does it get any better?
- Laura's smashing gold top & white pants outfit. And her hair looks wonderful too. If for one day I could look half that good....
- Love how they brought break-in clothes all the way to Malta!
- Laura's hair looks great in the nightgown scene and that nightgown is better than most of her others we've seen
- Don't like Laura's red jumpsuit. Looks like one of those suits people wear to try to sweat off weight very quickly.
- Did they actually pack the pith helmets or buy them there?
 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc

- Shouldn't that coffin be better sealed as it travels from the US to Malta?
- Mr. Steele's wearing that yucky medallion when they clear customs, but it's missing as they drive the horse & cart through town.
- Laura should NOT have put her fingerprints on that gun of Jensen's

Another of SueJue's PAXed scenes:
http://krebsfiles.com/maltesescrap.html

by auroracat-1  (Sep 8 2007)
Will post more on the episode later - but just want to point out that the yucky medallion is actually PB's and it is a watch back that belonged to his grandmother. As I understand it, PB wore it all the time and the costume people left it in as part of his character. Actually all the jewelry he wears is PB's. The only jewelry he takes off for shooting is his wedding ring - that wouldn't work well with the character LOL!. But even then it is on in a few scenes, Grappling Steele and Steele Your Heart Away come to mind. Also he keeps it on in the Peppler episode and Sensitive Steele when they are posing as a married couple. SZ's band comes off much more frequently in these episodes.
by MickeyBoggs (Sep 8 2007)
Yes I know that medallion was the back of his grandmother's watch and I appreciate that it means something to him. It just looks so 70s and I personally don't care for it.
by dlxauburn  (Sep 8 2007)
Random observations about this episode....

I loved the banter curbside at the airport, while standing next to their luggage and a coffin, like it was just an extra carry on piece! BWAHHH!!!

Then the taxi driver in the mini seriously wondering whether they needed a lift.

And then there's the ever helpful people of Malta. Are you new in town and driving a wagon with a coffin while taking touristy pictures? Well you must be hungry. Here have some bread and cheese and salami. Oh and did the horse get loose from the wagon? Well let's just chase that horse down and get you back put together so you can resume your tour of our fair city. The extra's must have all been employed by the Tourism Board!

Other fun bits include Remington's glee in comforting Miss (Yuck) Cable, right in front of Laura, to try and get a rise out of her. Mildred getting picked up in the hotel bar by Eddie, oops Edvard. You go girl!!! Mr. Borg-Ward trying to use this incident to up sell Laura and Remington a higher priced model. The fish that gets in Laura's pocket during their scooter ride.
Now for Xenos-sque: PB shirtless!!! Yummy! Although I noticed he's wearing the black knit shirt with jacket to go grave robbing. But it makes a reappearance the very next day! Does the hotel have overnight laundry? Does he have two identical shirts? Just please tell me he didn't get all sweaty digging then wear it again the next day!!!!! Although maybe Xenos stole the sweaty one as a souvenior!!!! Pierce in his white dinner jacket, WOWSEY!! And PB shirtless, or did I already mention that?
I agree with Lea, Steph looked like perfection in the hotel bar. Nice hairstyle, tan and incredibly fit, and the outfit just highlighted it all very nicely.

I noticed though that they never do find Caryle's body. I guess we can assume that Miss Cable spilled her guts after Remington accidentally saves her from Edvard. And does anyone else think that Edvard is what Remington would have become without meeting Laura? Edvard is an aging playboy conman looking for easy money. I only thought of this after seeing Edvard's wearing a small pinky ring which looked like one Remington sometimes wore.
Despite the apalling lack of romance and mystery, it wasn't too bad of an episode. 

by edr1109 (Sep 8 2007)
There is so much in this episode even though it's not a favorite of mine.

Laura and Remington work beautifully together despite being on hold romantically. Even though they are not "together", this episode and some of the ones following it show how their connection and attunement can be so strong. Laura's decision to bring along Mildred seems more related to her struggle with her own lust rather than fear for RS imposing himself on her.
I think RS gets that too. She can be so transparent in a appealing way sometimes.

This may be the closest we have seen RS get to sex so far-- unfortunatley the lucky almost-winner was a 2x murderer. I wish he didn't relish Margaret's presence in his room so much but he is a man who has abstained for quite a while after all.

Both SZ and PB show how incredibly athletic and agile they are. I doubt that many actors nowadays would choose to do many of the stunts these two did in nearly every episode. Most insurance companies probably wouldn't allow it nowadays either.

In terms of fashion, both RS and LH look gorgeous in nearly every scene. Laura's outfit in the lobby bar doesn't get a second look from RS which always surprises me, especially after he so obviously lusts for her even when she is wearing frumpy duds. This may be Laura's best look in the whole series IMHO. It's funny that one of the times she goes for a really sexy look, she doesn't get the attention she may be hoping for.

And don't get me started on the black Polo shirt on RS. So simple and yet smoking hot.

The only fashion question mark is Laura's red jumpsuit. Yikes. (Stop- Hammertime!)
 

 And does anyone else think that Edvard is what Remington would have become without meeting Laura? Edvard is an aging playboy conman looking for easy money. 


I love this observation and hadn't really thought about it. I'm sure there will be many people who object and disagree. Perhaps RS would turn into Edvard or worse, (ha, ha) a "Dirty Rotten Scandals" type (Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Orion Pictures, 1988) without the influence of Laura. Probably not but who knows? Daniel was certainly that type. That's what I love about this show-- it is about redemption as well as being simply about love and mystery.
 

by picac  (Sep 8 2007)
Daniel wasn't like Edvard. Edvard was violent and willing to kidnap and kill to get his job done. Nothing Daniel ever did on screen hinted at that at all, quite the contrary - he was adverse to violence. And there's nothing in Steele to show him becoming like Edvard either. He's too innately kind, not to mention too smart to have to be violent to profit and he's too good to wind up one of those Dirty Rotten Scoundrel losers (though I prefer the original with Niven and Brando - Bedtime Story/Universal/1964).

Besides redemption for charming con men and jewel/art thieves is overrated and not that much fun. I prefer to think of Steele having fun on another slightly less shady path (and more stability). After all The Remington Steele agency is just one big con (and look at all those laws they're always breaking) masterminded by the unredeemed Laura. ;-)

Laura's white pants gold top is easily her best and sexiest evening wear ever on this show. It emphasizes and flatters her lean lines, it's understated and elegant. It feels obvious to me that Laura didn't just dress up to dress up in that outfit-- it was partially for Steele, especially considering how she reacts to seeing him with someone else. Steele though doesn't notice and since he's with another woman he's actually right not to notice (at least so that we'd notice); that's the gentlemanly thing to do.

The "pinky" ring Steele wears is as said like all the other jewelry he wears, his own. It's a Russian wedding ring he wore in place of his own wedding ring that he could obviously not wear when playing Steele. I like all his jewelry, yes even the watch back pendant - he wears it all well.

I can't blame Steele at all for a liking the idea of a woman actually wanting to have sex with him. Though once again it's some woman using him and not for his body -- and who doesn't even mind seeing him dead. How unbelievable is that!? Feh. It's a very ominous pattern. At least here he didn't get any legs broken.

Laura not only brings along Mildred, she dons the sheet nightgown and locks the connecting door. I guess she really doesn't trust herself. Of course it almost gets her killed. See -- not sleeping with Mr Steele is dangerous to her health. ;)
 

by everglade68  (Sep 8 2007)
Enjoyed your post edr. I have not seen this ep in a while, but do remember thinking, at the time that I saw it, that Laura didn't trust herself alone with Remington. I think it is interesting that it comes up at this time, right after Cannes.

I would never expect Remington to become another Edvard. I think that when he left his old life style and settled in LA it was because he was ready for a change. Of course, Laura and the RS agency made it easier for him, but it was his desire for a more stable life that made him stay.

Isabel 

by edr1109  (Sep 8 2007)
My comments re: Edvard/Steele/Daniel and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" reference was tongue-in cheek hence the ha, ha remark.
by everglade68  (Sep 8 2007)
Ace, what do you mean by "the unredeemed Laura", surely you are not implying that she is unworthy of Mr. Steele.
 
    See -- not sleeping with Mr Steele is dangerous to her health. ;)


Oh, I have to agree with you there. Too bad it takes her soooooooo long to finally see it.

Isabel 

by picac (Sep 8 2007)
Unredeemed in that she perpetrates a major con and never ever changes her wicked ways or even thinks anything she's done is illegal, unethical or wrong. She finds it inconvenient at times in that her fraud came to delicious life and took away more credit from her and was hard to control, she worries she'll be exposed and lose her license, but not wrong. In fact she perpetrates other crimes in the pursuit of being a detective (breaking and entering, tampering with evidence etc) as all good TV detectives do but would get their license revoked in real life. ;) She takes umbrage when Daniel calls her on her con but that's what she is - a con woman as regards her agency. She may wag her finger and shake her head at Steele's previous exploits or larcenous nature but she's hardly standing on firm moral high ground.

I do think she does good with her career and means well for the clients she helps but she's not Miss Squeaky Clean and it amuses me when she's made into some moral arbiter and some standard to which Mr. Steele should aspire to and become more worthy of.  Especially when I think her pulling this huge con is part of what attracted Steele to her - they're kindred souls in that regards. Making new truths and lives to get what they want and maybe what they think society has unfairly denied them. Her because of sexism and him because of abandonment and poverty. Now are there shades of gray in criminality? Of course. Just as Steele is not a murderer but a charming con man thief, Laura is not a thief but someone that's committing a con and fraud for her own personal/professional gain. It's a con though that has positive results for clients and does offer a far more stable, secure and respected life than what Steele was doing.

By changing his life to become Mr. Steele he does in fact change though I'd hardly refer to it as redemption. I don't think Steele feels at all guilty for the previous life he led. He doesn't lose sleep over the paintings and jewels he "retrieved" or the greedy people he conned. He gleefully reminiscences about all his past adventures with Daniel and Laura when he has the opportunity. He just finds his current life more to his liking because it has more security and it has Laura. He likes helping people also (which feeds into his existing nature) and enjoys his job (it utilizes a lot of his hard earned skills) so maybe he also feels more fulfilled that way. But I don't think his moral compass has been altered so much as his circumstances and what he wants from life.

Oh and of course Laura is unworthy of Mr. Steele - we're all unworthy of Mr. Steele. ;)

In Lofty, Laura refuses Mr. Steele's offer to stay and protect her and she gets drugged, kidnapped and taken to the loony bin. And here in the next episode she locks the connecting door, choosing instead Mildred for her roommate and almost gets strangled to death. So far that Cannes agreement is not working out very well for her physical well being.
 

by everglade68 (Sep 8 2007)
Okay, granted Laura isn't "Miss Squeaky Clean" but I don't think she ever says that she is. I think she feels that her behavior is minor stuff compare to the cons of Steele and Daniel, and you have to admit that is true.

Ah come on, we all can't be unworthy of Mr. Steele. If that is the case, he will be all alone all his life.

Isabel 

by picac (Sep 9 2007)
No it just means he has to settle for less. Poor lad. ;)

Laura doesn't even like to admit what she's doing is a con though, note how she bristles with Daniel when he calls her on it. She's not in their league as far as criminal activity but she's certainly more sanctimonious about it. But I wasn't really referring to Laura holding herself out as holier than though, though she sometimes does, but to the not uncommon idea that Steele has to redeem himself to be worthy of Laura to which I say piffle. ;)
 

by everglade68  (Sep 9 2007)
 but to the not uncommon idea that Steele has to redeem himself to be worthy of Laura to which I say piffle. ;)


Oh, in this I am in complete agreement with you Ace.

Isabel 

by edr1109  (Sep 9 2007)
But I wasn't really referring to Laura holding herself out as holier than though, though she sometimes does, but to the not uncommon idea that Steele has to redeem himself to be worthy of Laura to which I say piffle.
Personally when I think about this show being about redemption, it is for all of the main characters. Each character brings out the some of the best hidden attributes of the other and they change each other. Laura helps Steele feel better about himself and his past by showing him a different way to use his talents. She provides more structure and security than he has ever had. In turn he helps Laura be more spontaneous, see the gray matter, have more fun and appreciate the little things in life. She becomes less closed off from her feelings. As for Mildred, Laura and Steele give her a family, friends, excitement and a feeling of purpose she wasn't getting at the IRS.

I like how Brian Allen Lane says in a commentary that Laura and Steele were meant to be together but that they had to earn the right to be together. IMHO, of course Laura deserves Steele. Steele is a wonderful man with faults. I like to think we all deserve him.

by everglade68   (Sep 9 2007)
Nice post edr. I have always felt that there are people in our lives that
bring out the best in us and others that bring the worse in us. It is wonderful when your family and friends bring out the good part in you.

"I like to think we all deserve him". Absolutely, we ALL do.

Thanks for your comments.

Isabel

by Xenos1981    (Sep 10 2007)
Boy, oh, boy! You go away for two days and BAMMO – you miss a great discussion! I’m with Ace on the whole “we’re all unworthy of Mr. Steele”…Though I’d try my darnedest to prove that I am. Oh, Mr. Steele… (LOL!) And as far as Laura being “perfect” and something Mr. Steele should aspire to be – HA!!! (And I say that lovingly…You all know I love Laura!) What makes Laura and Remington work is that they’re both flawed individuals. (Hell, we’re ALL flawed! Human nature.) Besides, “perfect” characters in TV shows, movies or books are really dull and boring. Who wants to see that?! The thing that makes Remington and Laura work so well together is that they each bring out the best in each other, as was pointed out. In a nutshell, she makes him “honest” and he “softens” her. And for the most part, it was written very well…With the exception of the lack of sex.

Guess I’ll move on to the episode now…

Maltese Steele…Or as I like to call it, “The Case of Steele’s Disappearing and Reappearing Medallion”. Every single time I watch this episode, I can't help but notice how it’s there and then it’s not. (Guess you know where I’m looking! But come on…Whenever Pierce has his shirt unbuttoned, it’s hard to look anywhere else! All that great chest hair! Mmmmmmmmm!!!) And, sorry, Mick…I LIKE that medallion. Although, I must admit that it used to bug me when I watched it when RS was first broadcast. Actually, ALL the jewelry he wore used to bug me. (Maybe because no men/boys I knew wore any.) But now? Grrrrrrrrrr! LOVE the medallion, his Russian wedding ring and especially that ID bracelet. Though very few men can actually pull it off…Including the XenosHubby. I’d bust a gut if he wore any of that stuff!

OMG! I have to begin by saying how incredible both Pierce and Steph looked in this episode. (LOVED the length of Pierce’s hair, too! Yeah, baby!!!) Mr. Steele’s clothes were merely impeccable! The black break-in clothes?!?! OMG!!! Is it getting hot in here?! The simple black polo shirt and khakis?!?! OMG, OMG, OMG!!! The white dinner jacket?!?! Freakin’ delectable!!! Oh-ho-ho, yeh-heh-hes!!! *Steelegasm* The black pants sans shirt with just a towel around his neck?!?! [[explode]] (Insert a ton of “OMG”s here in bold, italics, all different colors and flashing wildly!!!) God’s Most Beautiful Creature. ‘Nuff said. Stephanie looked exquisite in her black break-in clothes (as usual)…And that sexy outfit she wore to dinner?!?! WOW!!! The XenosHubby always says, “Why don’t you get an outfit like that?” whenever it’s on. (Hope Steph kept that one and wore it often.) Laura sure as heck wouldn’t have been alone very long had she not been meeting Mr. Steele and Mildred. All the men in that restaurant would have been on her like white on rice.

Loved the opening scene with the thief ingesting a fake death capsule only to have Margaret shoot him after he was so pleased with himself that he fooled the security guard. Nice set-up. Also nice set-up having Mr. Steele and Laura being hired to find the missing nephew. Well written.

Loved (and absolutely hated) that Laura felt the need to bring Mildred along to act as a buffer between our duo. Not so easy staying away from the delicious Mr. Steele, eh, Miss Holt?! And what a better place to end that stupid Cannes agreement than on a balmy Mediterranean island, caressed by breezes?! Oh-ho-ho, yeh-heh-hes!!! I was glad that she became testy when Remington said he was “in bed” when he came into her room. And good for him for not telling her the whole truth…She deserved to think he was “with” Margaret. Best line: "Are you always this grumpy at night?" HA! Actually, the whole temperamental exchange between the two leading up to that line was a delight. One thing, though…You’d think it’d be OBVIOUS to them that Margaret was the killer when she didn’t take Mr. Steele up on his offer to spend the night. Seriously! Nine out of ten women would JUMP at the chance. (The tenth woman being Laura, of course…And that will forever boggle the mind!) And I LOVE that Mr. Steele always has a bottle of Dom Perignon chilling in his hotel refrigerator!!! Hee-heeeeeee!!! [[winkgrin]] Did I mention how “delicktable” Remington looked in his black pants and towel?!?! Good Lord!!!

My favorite scene (other than the one with Mr. Steele in black pants and a towel or the one where he’s in his white dinner jacket) was the grave-robbing scene. Pierce and Steph at their comedic best! She being freaked out by the noises she hears and he with his nervous twitches (which Pierce delightfully reprises in the final segment) make this scene absolutely enchanting. “Spot on”, as Michael Gleason would say! Kudos to both!!!

Also thoroughly enjoyed the Historical Society scene. Laura and Remington in perfect sync! Both such consummate liars! I SO envy that! (That’s wrong, isn’t it?! LOL!) Loved this exchange:
 

    Remington: It's just that archaeology fascinates me.

    Mr. Thackery: Presumably that is why you joined the British Museum sir.

    Remington: Oh, yes of course. Not only that, it delighted my mother.


So funny! So charming!

Poor Mildred. Edvard is such a schmuck!!! "Why didn't you just put a gun to my head Edvard? Why did you have to lead me on like that?" Oh, how sad!!!

All-in-all, a very good episode. Bad thing? NO ROMANCE!!! (Sorry...Mildred doesn't count.) Gotta have my romance!!!
 

Thanks for reading!
Xenos

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

P.S. Glad you’re posting, PW!!! Keep it up!!! 

by dtalley  (Sep 10 2007)
I was depressed for a week when I first saw "Maltese" on NBC. I had been hoping R was right and the week he gave L's Cannes Decision was over. Instead, we got the nadir of their relationship. (I had to look that word up after R said it, but it was definitely the correct word for "Maltese".) I can now watch the episode and enjoy it, but at the time it just brought me to tears.

Loved their entire arrival in Malta, from the airport search to trying to find transportation for a coffin to being given 'souvenirs' from the locals as they rode down the street in their horse drawn hearse wagon. It was good to hear R ask for clarification of the roadblock.

Mr. Borge-Ward was a riot. His "Death is a cruel artist" cracks me up every time. And of course, there's his filing system. I bet L was chomping at the bit to spend a few hours there organizing his papers. I'm sure she fought the urge to say, "Mr. Steele, you take the body, dig up the grave, find the nephew, solve the case, whatever.... I'll just stay here and give Mr. Borge-Ward a hand with his filing."

It was obvious that L brought M along because she didn't trust herself with R. Wonder if M was aware of that? She didn't seem to be. R had to have been blind not to have seen through Margaret. But then, L had blindsided him in Cannes, so I guess that makes sense. I don't think he was trying to make L jealous - he was just loving Margaret's attention.

My vote for worst scene: everyone saying good night to everyone else at the hotel dining room. What was with that? BORING! They could have had L and R argue some more with the time they wasted there! Or maybe even taken a midnight gondola ride!!

Interesting and telling, too, how L and R still made such a good detective team even with the roadblock in effect. Loved the graveyard scene and the bit with the flashlights. (I did an entire music video using various scenes of R and L using flashlights.)

When R runs into the hall after hearing L's scream and then he turns right around to retrieve the cross from under his pillow, he didn't even seem to be in a hurry! L and M both could have been killed while he did that. He could have picked the lock faster than that!

This is one of the few episodes where we see R wearing short sleeves. I read that when PB made "80 Days" in Hong Kong, the ladies would oooh and ahhh over the hairs on his arms. I've always thought that's why R wears long sleeves - ladies oooh and ahhh over his hair and it gets embarrassing for him.

Although I don't for a moment think they could actually have followed a falcon, it was still a fun chase.

It was fun seeing R and L going on a treasure hunt together. So they *can* still have fun together when not on a case!!

Debra 

by auroracat-1  (Sep 10 2007)
I was going to type up a more significant post, but with my crazy schedule this week everyone else pretty much said everything for me.

However, I have to disagree that R was not trying to make L jealous with Margaret. I think he was to the extent that he wanted her to recind the Cannes agreement. A "see what you're missing". I also think that he was so "wrapped up" in trying to get LH to regret her decision that he didn't see what Margaret was up to. JMHO.

Denise

 


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