Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist

SOTW: Episode #65- Steele of Approval
by Xenos1981    (Jan 18, 2008)
Break out the Kleenex box, ladies...Steele Of Approval is tonight's episode. *sniffle* (Sorry, I'm getting all emotional and I haven't even watched it yet!) And please note...I want more discussion than the measly six posts we got on the wonderful Steele Trying (which I'm hoping will still get more comments)!!! 


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

by everglade68  
How did we get to this episode after "Steele Trying"? It makes no sense to me whatsoever, so glad that this is the end of Season Three (the Yo-Yo season). 

First of all, let me make Xenos happy. PB looked so great here, loved his 
longer hair and his smile. I am sure that there was NO ONE as good looking 
as him in television during this time. 

Though I like "Steele of Approval" I have some problems with it. How is it 
possible that after three years, Laura is still keeping Remington in the dark about cases. Also how can you ONLY have one case? There is no way that 
financially they can maintain the agency with one case, but heck it is a television show so I can ignore this. 

However, here is my REAL problem. They lose their license and Laura is thinking that maybe it is not so bad as it will give them time to know: 

1. if the agency is all they have in common and 
2. how they feel about each other 

HELLO, she has had THREE years to figure this out, how much more time does 
she need? 

At the end of the episode, Laura tells William Westfield: "I think he cares for me". No kidding, Steele has been showing her for three freakin years that he cares about her. No wonder he leaves, it was a wise move. 


by MickeyBoggs
The end of Season Three already! Doesn't seem we've been doing this for 65 weeks. This episode is just more proof of how someone screwed around with the airing of the episodes and completely screwed up the continuity of Season Three. Last week our favorite duo is more together than perhaps they've ever been (remember "The most romantic thing anyone's ever done for me!"?) and this week we get "Is the agency what's holding us together?". Bah! Somebody please get their act together! 

Memorable Stuff 

- Guest star David White as JW Kendall. He'll always be Bewitched's "Larry Tate" to me. 
- Mr. Steele bluffing his way through the initial part of the meeting with Erhart. Wonder where he was planning to go when Erhart arrived? 
- I crack up at Erhart's delivery of the "Gap? What sort of a gap?" line. I don't know what is so funny about the way he says it, but I find it amusing. 
- William Westfield is just sooo nice you can't help but like him. Really, I think he's too nice to be a politician! 
- Remington stealing Sheldon Quarry's dress code and Norman Keyes' name! 
- I hate, hate, hate the scene in Mr. Steele's apartment. (It's well-played, that's not the issue) What is Laura thinking?! I wanted to smack her upside the head. Didn't they have enough time apart during "the freeze"? I don't understand why she thinks they need more time now. 
- The tag scene is so well done, both the acting and the music. Hopeful, wistful, mild panic, abandonment in a oh-what-have-I-done kind of way, and virtually without words. The last shot as the camera pulls back from the close-up on Laura to the wide shot of her looking very small in the big bedroom, you can just feel what's going on inside her. 

Character Development 

- Nice to see that Mr. Steele is concerned he didn't realize what case the agency had. Very nice of him to compliment her on her work too. 
- Role reversal: Laura with a vague description of the gunman's car and Mr. Steele pressing her for details and chastising her when she doesn't have them. 
- Though of course I don't REALLY want to see Laura with anyone other than Mr. Steele, it's nice to see her intrigued by a genuinely nice guy instead of the neanderthal-types who usually pique her interest. 
- Mr. Steele slipping and referring to Laura and "her agency". Mildred noticing the slip and asking about it. Setting the scene for Season Four. 
- Laura's Spanish has improved since Steele Away With Me, but Westfield's is much better. 
- Kudos to Mr. Steele for taking matters into his own hands and going after Bergman. 
- At the end it seems Laura has FINALLY gotten it straight in her head that she and Mr. Steele belong together. But, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, he's gone when she returns. 

Favorite lines 

R: That's what I love about you, Laura, you're so thorough. thorough. 
L: All right, I'll handle the Bureau when I get back. 
M: Where are you going? 
L: Mexico City. 
M: But what about Mr. Steele? 
L: I'll handle him when I get back too. (No, Xenos, she doesn't mean like THAT!) 

Hair & Clothing 

- I like Laura's gold turtleneck and the plaid jacket. Her hair looks great too. 
- Prince's shiny black jogging suit - bleh! 
- Mr. Steele's white jogging suit makes a reappearance. But I can no longer watch that scene without thinking of Annabel! 
- Laura's blue dress is just lovely. 
- I like Laura's palm tree sweater 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc 

- Let me get this straight. Someone's shooting at Laura and she thinks she'll be safer in the mud on the street than hiding behind the car? I don't get it. 
- We know Bergman is persecuting the agency on orders from Kendall, so why didn't he also go after Mr. Steele for not having an investigator's license? 
- Why did Mr. Steele need to take ALL his clothes if he was just going to find out his name? 
- SueJue sheds some light on why Mr. Steele was unaware of the Erhart case:

by edr1109 
Though I like "Steele of Approval" I have some problems with it. How is it possible that after three years, Laura is still keeping Remington in the dark about cases. 

When Laura is covered with mud in the office and telling Steele about being shot at, she refers to the fact that she did tell him about this case and he fell asleep while she was talking. I don't think she was purposely keeping him in the dark.

by everglade68
Maybe she told him about the case, but the impression I got was that she wanted to handle it by herself. 


by merryl
I watched this on Saturday morning (we're probably 6 - 8 hours ahead of the US here in South Africa). I must say I really like the concept of the SOTW and "sharing" the viewing experience with others - makes me feel less isolated. 

I really didn't like this episode - definitely in my bottom 10... (Had to watch "Steel Searching" on the Season 4 DVD last night because I was so depressed by "Steele of Approval" - ended up watching the whole DVD and felt much better :-) 

I haven't read the other comments yet - just some random thoughts from me... 

Couldn't understand how much the relationship between RS and Laura had deteriorated so much since the previous episode! (Even the previous 2 seasons!!!) Since when did they decide that Laura would do all the work again - I thought this was supposed to be a partnership since season 2???!!!! Even if he did fall asleep in the briefing session, they would usually do things together, wouldn't they? 

Why was Laura so nasty towards Remington? I really didn't like her attitude towards him, even in her interactions with other people (Mildred and William Westfield). It wasn't his fault they lost their license! I felt really sorry for him and it was fantastic what great detecting he managed to do on his own (and it was legwork too :-) And then he doesn't even get a "Well done" from Laura when he actually solves the case... Too much anger from her - where did that all come from? 

What was with Laura and her "attraction" to William Westfield? She seems to be really attracted to men with dubious pasts :-) 

Loved Remington's anger and passion when he gets the guy to reinstate their license - whew... he looked GREAT! 

There were a lot of wide, panned shots in this episode. Especially the one where Laura walks into Remington's apartment at the end - quite liked that - we saw angles and views we've never seen before. It seemed to emphasize the emptiness of the apartment (and of her life) without Remington. 

How could she even contemplate going off with Westfield to Mexico? Uggghhh!!!! It actually served her right that Remington left after the way she treated him in this episode. 

by edr1109
I remember seeing this episode when it was first broadcast and being shocked by the end. When Steele tells Fred to take him home and Laura is headed there too, I was sure that they would confess their feelings to each other finally. But how else could the writers end this Yo-Yo season, especially in the age of TV cliffhangers? 

I will probably be the only one to try to defend Laura, as usual, but here it goes. This episode was strangely reminiscent of Season 1 as Steele tries to avoid the client, hadn’t been paying attention when Laura told him about the case, barely backed Laura up in front the client, and then was pretty flippant about the fact she was shot at. How about a simple “are you ok?”. A man who really loves a woman might try to show her a little concern. This is not the Steele we have come to know over the last two seasons. Believe me, I know he’s a dream, but he can also be pretty insensitive at times (Bonds of Steele, anyone?) 

Laura is definitely not innocent in this episode. Yes, she gets way too heated about all this and sulky and when she gets sulky she shuts him out. She should be used to the differences in their styles of communicating and detecting by now and she should give him the credit he deserves. But their relationship really isn’t going anywhere in Season 3. She knows what he wants and he knows what she wants and they are not willing to do what it takes to really be together. 

In Steele’s apartment, I think Laura really believes that she is doing the right thing by breaking up with him. SZ does a nice job of showing Laura’s sincerity even though it's misguided. But Steele barely says a word when she breaks it off. What’s that all about? 

I get ticked off too that Laura intends to go off with Westfield at the end. He is really nice but so boring and she is taking the easy way out by breaking it off with Steele. But essentially this is Laura—- safe and cautious to a fault. Nearly fearless as a detective but not so much in her personal life. This can be endearing and completely irritating at the same time! 

I’m glad Season 3 is over. It was like the writers were making this season up as they went along. To top it off, the out-of-sequence episodes just make the ups and down of their relationship more confusing and the cliffhanger, disappointing, IMHO. Bring on Season 4!! 

by everglade68

I liked your post on "Steele of Approval". I too had problems with it. 

Too much anger from her - where did that all come from? 

Interesting that you picked up on Laura's anger, something I missed. But 
you are right, the anger feeling is there throughout the episode and I am 
not quite sure why. There does seem to be some tension between Laura and 
Remington in this last episode and maybe that is what the script called for. 

I think it was a proper ending to a very mess-up Season Three. 

I am glad that you enjoy SOTW Merryl. Thanks for participating. 


by everglade68
Edr, great post on "Steele of Approval" I can feel your disappointment in not only this episode but also for most of Season Three. 

I will probably be the only one to try to defend Laura, as usual, but here it goes

I like how you see the faults of both characters. I think that most of us do, but I agree that Laura can be very irritating at times. 

I think the problem with Season Three is that we were so spoiled by Season One 
and Two and had high expectations for Season Three. Instead we get what you are writing about Edr, episodes that not only are out-of-sequence, but also made little sense when it came to what we loved best, "their relationship". 


by Xenos1981
Such great posts!!! I will post more of my thoughts later, but I just have to address a few comments now... 

I think the problem with Season Three is that we were so spoiled by Season One and Two and had high expectations for Season Three. Instead we get what you are writing about Edr, episodes that not only are out-of-sequence, but also made little sense when it came to what we loved best, "their relationship".

Absolutely!!! WHY did NBC screw with the episodes and air them out of sequence?!?! What was the purpose?!?! SERIOUSLY!!! I think Laura sums their relationship up perfectly (and Season Three in general) when she says, "Oh, who knows anymore? I mean, one minute there is, the next there isn't. Up and down, up and down, up and down. You need a bloody elevator to keep track of all the ups and downs." Amen! 

To be perfectly honest (and I might get my head lopped off, but here goes), I think the main difference between the perfect Season One and Two and the less-than-perfect-but-still-better-than-anything-else Seasons Three and Four is the writing...though some of my Top Ten episodes are from Seasons Three and Four. I think the writers were simply too young and inexperienced and were unable to turn out the quality of earlier scripts. Combine that with the unrealistic task of keeping up the "we're-not-sleeping-together-but-we-want-to" storyline going and... 

More later, 

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

by dtalley   
I have to defend my favorite season here - 4th season, the "Mr. and Mrs. Steele" season, is by far my favorite. I loved season 1 and 2, but season 4 is by far my favorite because of the closeness between R and L. 


by Xenos1981
Wow! This thread really got out of sequence. Sorry. Debra...You call Season Four the "Mr. and Mrs. Steele Season?" Curious! On to the episode... 

Ah, yes…Steele Of Approval…One of those episodes that I love to hate and hate to love. So many mixed emotions about this one…Though it never ever ceases to make me cry every freakin’ time I watch it!!! OMG!!! That heart-wrenching look that Mr. Steele gives Laura when she questions him about why they’re together. Wait…Give me a minute…I’m getting verclempt. *regaining my composure* OK…I’ll try to go on. *sniffle* Let me start over… 

First…Yes, Isabel, Pierce looked…Well, let’s be honest…There are no words to adequately describe the beauty that is Pierce Brosnan. Many have tried – myself included – but, alas, we’ve always come up hopelessly short. But what’s with this statement, girlfriend?! 

I am sure that there was NO ONE as good looking as him in television during this time.

Understatement of the century!!! No one as good-looking period...Before, during or after!!! God’s Most Beautiful Creature, my dear!!!  Some scenes of particular note: When Remington is waiting for the hit man to come back to his room…Ooo-la-la!!! Come to Mamma!!! And then – even better – when he goes back to the office with his tie off and shirt unbuttoned!!! Holy crap!!! It was -20 degrees outside (with the windchill) and 62 degrees inside when I watched that scene, but it suddenly got very, very warm!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!! Also, as mentioned above, the scene where Laura is questioning him about why they’re together. Then there’s the scene where he’s scaring the living daylights out of that smarmy Mr. Bergman from the Licensing Board. *fanning myself wildly* And lest we forget about the wonderful “bouncing willy” scene!!! OMG, OMG, O…M…G!!! 'Nuff said. And his final scene where he’s debating about mailing the license…*SOBBING*!!! SO, so beautiful!!! 

Second…Yes, Pierce looked FREAKIN’ HOT in this episode…But let’s not forget about Steph. My goodness!!! Other than that horrid '80s jacket she was wearing in the beginning (which should be burned), this was a really, REALLY great episode for her. Steph’s hair was FABULOUS!!! And I absolutely LOVED her blue dress and pink palm tree outfit!!! (And I’m not really a pink person.) Just beautiful!!! 

On to the story now…As I said, I love to hate this episode and hate to love it, too. It’s an interesting premise and well laid out story. But there are things that I just don’t understand. Mainly (and I hate to say this), Laura. Why is she working alone?!?! How can she be so mad at Remington when the Licensing Bureau is questioning him about cases he wasn’t involved in?!?! Why is she questioning how he feels about her?!?! What makes her think that the agency is the only thing keeping them together?!?! And why on earth is she ready to go away on a romantic weekend with William Westfield after only knowing him for a few days when she won’t even go away with the uber-perfect Mr. Steele whom she’s known for three freakin’ years?!?! (But, hey…Like Mick pointed out…At least William was a nice guy – like Wilson – instead of the usual trash she’s attracted to!) 

Now that that’s out of the way, I also have a problem with how Remington acts towards Laura when she comes into the office looking all muddy and disheveled. She says she’s been shot at, but he hardly reacts!!! And when it comes to the point where Mr. Steele must either support Earhardt or Laura, he falters!!! What he heck?!?! Seriously!!! Tsk-tsk, Mr. Steele!!! So out of character! (I must interject a non-related comment here though, because it happened during this scene…Mr. Steele did a really great bit with punting and schmoozing when Mr. Earhardt came into the office. “May I call you Horton?” LOL!!!) 

OK, this is getting way too long. Briefly now…Other things of note: Mr. Steele as Norman Keyes looking…YIKES!!! Heh-heh-heh!!! Mildred: "Oh Miss Holt, thank God you're here." Laura: "Mildred what's the matter?" Mildred: "He grilled me like an animal!" Hee-heeeeeee!!! Laura making William Westfield act like a dog. Shades of Season One when Murphy hauled a rabid Mr. Steele into the psych ward and gave him a bone to keep him quiet! Remington slipping and calling it “HER agency”! Whoopsie! I actually had to consult the RS Episode Guide to find out what was said during the “bouncing willy” scene. I had never actually heard it. Too distracted for some reason. But it makes a lot of sense now!!! The scene at Mr. Steele’s apartment is one of the saddest – if not the saddest – scene in the entire series. The pain that both portray is enough to tear your heart out! Though the two final scenes are also in the running…Mr. Steele mailing the license to Laura, and Laura realizing what a horrible mistake she had made and sitting alone on his bed. OMG, OMG, O…M…G!!! (When this first aired, I remember totally freaking out and calling my friends. It was the first time that I wished summer would pass by quickly so I could see what happened to Laura and Remington!) 

As always, thanks for reading! 

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

by everglade68
Xenos, thank you for that great essay on "Steele of Approval". 

I know that you found the apt scene sad, and maybe I did to the first time I saw it, but after that it was mainly anger that I felt. I thought how can they both be so darn stupid, how can we possibly go back to the beginning of the Season? Did we just spend a whole year in limbo? I guess so. 


by sugarjilly

I would have to agree with both you and Xenos on your opinions of the apartment scene. I agree with Xenos about crying everytime I see that scene and the only way I will feel like that is if I think of that as one episode and not the end of the yo-yo season 3. That's where I would agree with you Isabel, if I put Steele of Approval in context with the whole season, then yes, I would have to ask the same questions as you..."How can we possibly go back to the beginning of the season? and Did we just spend the whole year in limbo?" 

I hope that all made sense. I'm really enjoying everyone's posts and just love being a part of this board. Hopefully, I will be able to post on SOTW soon. 


by TeenSteele
I will be posting on this either tomorrow or thursday!!! 

And, if anyone cares to know, im extremely excited because I just got my grad pics... you think Steele looks good, man, I look uber nice in these lol. 

This ep made me so sad when i watched it... damn season cliffhangers, gotta toy with our emotions. But anyways i'll save this for my post. 

Until then! 

"Who watches the watchmen?" 

by merryl  
The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that there was something "else" going on here. I'm sure there was some kind of friction going on behind the scenes. Maybe, since it was the last episode, PB and SZ were just fed up and needed a break. It shouldn't be that difficult to show sympathy/empathy for each other (even though the words may not have been in the script). The whole episode just felt "off" to me... (got the same feeling from the season 5 episodes).

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