Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist


SOTW: Episode #78-Suburban_Steele
by Xenos1981    (April 18, 2008)
Ladies, ladies...Lovely ladies! Tonight's episode is "Suburban Steele"! Mr. Steele with children!!! *sigh* 
 

Xenos 

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

by MickeyBoggs 
I like lots of things about this episode. Not a lot of romance (AGAIN) but it's fun to see our favorite duo placed in suburbia. Just reaffirms to me that a Steele-Holt household would be anything but traditional! 
 

Memorable Stuff 

- Laura getting frustrated by all of Frances' phone calls over the past few weeks (who wouldn't be) and Mr. Steele - the man without a family (related by blood, anyway) being much more calm about the whole situation. 
- So nice to see Donald & Frances get some "alone time". She's worried about the kids and the maternal instincts just don't quit, but Donald manages to win her over 
- Special spaghetti. Holy pete! 
- Nice job of including the Japanese guys. The "Hibachi brothers" indeed! 
- Mr. Steele opening Ted Warner's safe and pulling out those old 5.25" disks. Haven't seen those in awhile! These days it'd be flash drives. Nice touches by PB to have Mr. Steele talk to himself about "slipping" when he forgets to put the lock back on the safe before he covers it up. 
- Laura's embarrassment and Frances' fervor at the Bright Age meeting 
- Nice visual effect of Mr. Steele walking upright through the warehouse as the Japanese investigators skulk 
- Frances apologizing to the Bright Age ladies for "the mess" in her home. Gee, wish my home was always that "messy"! 
- Donald and Mr. Steele opening every single box in the Bright Age truck 
- Nice to see Mildred enjoying her old friend Bumpers. Cute to see him flirting with her. 
- Mr. Steele, lounging in the living room, manning the command post at the Piper house 
- Vince Del Gado claiming with pride that he's a professional who takes pride in his work 
- The Lavender Ladies not getting upset they're laundering money for the mob - but they DO get upset that Ted was sleeping with more than one of them 

Character Development 

- Love, love the scene of Mr. Steele crawling around the reception area, carrying Laurie Beth on his back, tackling Danny. So sweet. Despite what he said in "Knuckles" we all knew he WOULD make a great father! 
- Love the unspoken teamwork as Laura dishes out the spaghetti and Mr. Steele dishes out the sauce 
- Mr. Steele can certainly charm all the Holt women, but Frances has his number too, when she asks him to "be an angel" and pick Donald up at the university. Fun to see Laura play off that. 
- The mutual admiration society between Donald and Mr. Steele. Not surprising to hear Donald wish he had Mr. Steele's "glamorous" life (little does he know). Very sweet to hear that Mr. Steele admires Donald for the choices he's made. 
- Donald taking on some of that "glamour" by telling everyone (before they'd know to ask) that he was fine, it was just a simple kidnapping. 
- Laura admitting she'd like a family of her own one day. I remember this surprising me the first time I saw it. I never had any problem picturing Laura married, but - even before this episode - I never could picture her with kids. 
- Frances wanting to go back to school and expan her horizons. Love Donald's reaction! More telling, though, is her statement "we can work together, Donald, just like Laura and Mr. Steele". She's already figured out they're a couple and assumes they'll be together for the long term. 
 

Favorite lines 

Frances: Housewives in Connecticut don't sell cosmetics. We give bridge parties. 
Bumpers (deadpan): Uh huh. (I chuckle at that every time!) 
--------------- 
Mr. Steele telling Donald to "act natural" when they get off the truck 
--------------- 
Bumpers: (That's) Alan Haxton. Number one money man for the mob - out here. 
M: You're kidding. 
L: The Mob? 
Frances: In Tarzana?! 
 

Hair & Clothing 

- Not everyone could wear that white suit & matching fedora as well as our Miss Holt does 
- That green dress looks good on Mildred 
- Nice skirt & blouse Laura wears to Frances' party. Her hair looks great here and throughout the episode. 
- I don't care for the jacket Mr. Steele wears in the tag scene 
 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc 

- Why is Frances having so much trouble adapting to Southern California? She grew up there. She's been gone about 10 years - not enough to mistake sparrows for vampire bats! 
- Lot of stereotype jokes with the Japanese guys. Don't think that would go over so well today. 
- The last few lines were different in an earlier version of the script: 
L: I don't get it 
R: I thought we wrapped that one up rather nicely. 
L: I mean you. The Remington Steele that walked into my life three years ago wouldn't have cared a fig what happened to my family. 
R: That Remington Steele is gone, Laura. I lost him in the mists of London this year when I went searching for my family. Ever since then, I've been thinking...I may never find my family, my given family, anyway. So perhaps it's time, finally time, to reach out to those who've treated me as family. 
L: Mr. Steele, you sound positively domesticated. 
R (pulling her to him): Don't count on it. 
- So glad SueJue uncovered this missing scene: http://krebsfiles.com/suburbanscrap.html 

Guest Cast Trivia 

- Judith Barsi (Laurie Beth Piper) was murdered by her father (who also killed her mother and then himself) in 1988. She was 10 years old. 
- Maryedith Burrell (Frances) was one of the cast members on Fridays (a 1980s sketch comedy series airing late on Friday nights) along with Brandis Kemp (Madeline Vickers from Steele Trap), Michael "Kramer" Richards and Larry David 
- Laurie Burton (Terry Goldblume) is on the faculty at USC, teaching directors how to work with actors and founded Image Devlopment, a company that helps people learn to communicate more effectively. http://www.imdev.com/lb_and_id.html 
- Noble Willingham (Bumpers) died in 2004 of natural causes 
 

by Xenos1981  
I’m shaking as I type this…FOUR WEEKS OF NO REMINGTON AND LAURA ROMANCE…I’m going through withdrawal!!! Thank goodness for “Live Wire” (Scene 17…Unrated version…Widescreen edition), “The Thomas Crown Affair” (Scene 24 – “Do you want to dance…Or do you want to dance?” – thru Scene 25 – the stairs, the marble floor, the desk…), “The Heist” (Scene 6 – “Wager The Lady”), “Dante’s Peak” (No, you’re right…No nudie-patudie love scenes in this one…But I do like to lay down under the TV screen when Pierce is doing all those push-ups!!! Oh-ho-ho, yeh-heh-hes!!! If only!!! *sigh*), etc… My Pierce DVDs have been getting quite the work-out lately!!! 

So…“Suburban Steele”, eh? Really not a bad episode!!! (Except for the horrible and unforgivable lack of romance!!! I mean, come on! This episode was wide open for cute innuendo from Mr. Steele about “playing house” with Laura…wide open!!! I’m sensing a pattern here with Robin Bernheim’s scripts. PLEASE let there be romance next week!!! PLEASE!!!) 

Every episode (or movie) that Pierce does which involves children is an absolute joy to watch!!! It just boggles my mind that a man who looks like that has such a great rapport and affinity with children!!! Sexy, sexy, SEXXXXXXY!!! This episode is doubly cute because it’s Laura’s family that Remington has endeared himself to and taken such a shine to. Every scene is perfect…Especially when he’s playing with the kids in the office. I freakin’ LOVE that scene!!! OMG, OMG, OMG, O…M…G!!! The rough-housing with Danny and letting little Laurie Beth ride him like a horsie…Brings a tear to my eye! And the way he maneuvers LB around in his arms and holds her instead of putting her down is sooooooo sweet! No wonder she puts her arms around his neck like little girls do with their daddies! Good gawd!!! Laura should’ve taken Mr. Steele into her office and tried to make a baby of their own right then and there!!! 

Always love it when Laura’s family makes an appearance! Donald and Frances are great characters! (Abigail, too! Too bad she never made another appearance! What a hoot it would’ve been to see Frances, Abigail and Laura together! Oh, those Holt women! LOL!) I must admit, Frances really has her act together as far as getting the kids (and Donald) ready in the morning! I SO envy her!!! And her house is so freakin’ clean!!! What the heck?!?! Man, I suck at that stuff!!! (But that’s not the reason the XenosHubby married me, so I guess it really doesn’t matter all that much, eh?) HOWEVER, I don’t think I’m quite as neurotic and Frances, so that’s a plus. 

So funny that Frances calls Laura all the time with her “problems”! (Steph and Maryedith Burrell have such a great “sister” vibe going on…It’s scary!!! Kudos, ladies, for such a great portrayal!!! Makes you wonder about their off-screen relationship.) And it’s funny how Mr. Steele tries to smooth things over and make things right when Laura doesn’t want to deal with Frances anymore. But you know Laura is gonna come through in the end…Even if she has to “play house” in the process. 

Steph gets extra kudos this week for such a great performance! Watching Laura try to cope with the day-to-day family thing (even if it is short-lived) is hysterical! (Unfortunately, I see a lot of myself in Laura…Bad cook…Overwhelmed…Frazzled… Fortunately, I’m not like that all the time…Just 99%! The other 1% of the time – I ROCK, BABY!!!) 

Actually, there’s a lot to love about this episode…Loved the mystery in this one!!! Loved how freakin’ hot Mr. Steele looked!!! Loved “Holy Pete!”!!! *snicker* Loved each and every co-star!!! (Mildred’s pal from the IRS Fraud Squad co-starred with Pierce in “The Heist”…As did the “My body is my temple” guy from “Thou Shalt Not Steele”. Small world.) Loved the relationship between Laura and Frances and between Remington and Donald!!! (The scene with Laura and Frances at the Bright Age Cosmetics rally was hysterical! And the “admiration” scene between Mr. Steele and Donald always warms the cockles of my heart!) Loved watching the Japanese detectives in action with Mr. Steele!!! LOVED the honest talk between Laura and Frances in Laura’s loft!!! (Great writing…Great acting!) Loved, loved, LOVED the end scene with Laura confronting Mr. Steele about caring for her family!!! And loved and his response – “Miss Holt…What’s life without a little mystery, eh?” Good Lord, ladies!!! That look he gives her!!! Lightening in a bottle, baby!!! THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! 

One thing I really didn’t care for regarding the later episodes of “Remington Steele”…The movie quotes got to be too “current”. This one quoted “Beverly Hills Cop”. YUCK!!! Not that the movie itself was so horrible… I just can’t see our suave, sophisticated Mr. Steele referencing that movie. I much prefer it when he quotes old movies. That is part of his allure and sophistication. It was like when he quoted “Romancing The Stone”…LOVE that movie…But it just doesn’t seem to fit the Remington Steele we’ve come to know and love. I chalk it up to the fact that the later writers were too young and tried a tad too hard to be hip…And because they probably weren’t familiar enough with the classics. 

Interesting Side Note: I looked up Robin Bernheim on IMDb…It only lists her as the writer for two episodes of “Remington Steele” – “Coffee, Tea or Steele” and “Steele In The Chips”. Now, granted, I understand that she’d rather not be recognized for writing that horrible fifth season…But “Suburban Steele” is really rather good!!! She should take credit for it!!! 

All in all, a very good episode…Despite the deplorable lack of romance!!! Off to watch Scene 17 now. Gotta get my fix somehow!!! 
 

Xenos 

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

by dtalley
"Suburban St" is one of my Top 15 favorites. And like so many 4th season episodes, this one is bursting with the "Mr. and Mrs. Steele" feel. That electric vibe provides its own brand of romance! 

Going from memory, here are some things I love... 

-Remington and Donald's brotherly relationship. I love watching them together. Donald admires Remington's James Bond image and life of excitement, but Remington admires even more the devotion and comittment Donald has for his wife and children. 

-Remington playing with the Piper kids. He never had a real childhood, so he throws himself whole heartedly into playing with/entertaining the kids. He gets on the floor in his suit and tie and plays horsie for Laurie Beth, he makes airplane sounds with Danny, he lets Mindy draw his picture and tape it to the reception wall. He even picks up and carries Laurie Beth! 

-Remington volunteering himself and Laura to spend the night with the Piper kids in order to give Donald and Frances time alone. Remington knows Frances is overwrought and unhappy with their recent move and he's always had a special place in his heart for the underdog. And not only is Frances needy, she's Laura's sister...Undoubtably, he hopes she'll become his sister one day. She's become family to him already, as has Donald. 

-Remington's immeadiate desire to help Frances when she calls the Agency in distress. He never had a sister, but if he did, he'd do whatever he could to help her...even if she *did* see flying saucers and dead bodies on the kitchen floor. He could just go off on his own to help her, but he wants Laura to be involved. He wants Laura to feel closer to her sister...to her whole family. I also love the way he doesn't tell her she's crazy when she relates her tale and they can't find the body. He doesn't make her feel like she's crazy. 

-Remington and Donald's escape from the kidnappers and their wonderful brotherly talk in the back of the truck about freeway exits and comittment and heroes. 

-the 3 Oriental gentlemen - aren't they wonderful?! I love the way they throw themselves into the case at hand. 

-Laura and Frances' sisterly talk, about neither of them having it 'made'. Very nice. 

-Laura and Remington 'playing house' with the Piper kids. Remington feels much more comfortable with it than Laura does, but she's learning. He doesn't just sit back and let Laura tend her nephew and nieces - he really throws himself into it. I love how doesn't mind looking silly by wearing fake teeth, how he disciplines Danny ("Danny, put your sister dow -Put your sister down!"), how he throws himself into helping Laura serve the food, how he slurps a hunk of spaghetti in an effort to convince Laurie Beth how delicious it is, and then how he caves and says he'll order pizza. Then there's the breakfast scene, which I adore. Poor Laura...she's really trying to be a good aunt, but she hasn't had a lot of practice yet. (I loved these two scenes so much that I put Laura and Remington in a similiar situation in my fanfic 'Steele in the Mood".) 

-Laura and Remington's discussion about the daddy chores and the mummy chores. I just love watching him take out the trash in his suit and then using Danny's favorite expression ("Holy Pete") when he sees the alleged body. 

-Remington searching for the safe in the suspect's office always cracks me up - "You're slipping..." 

-Laura blaming Remington for finding the body and saying, "I leave you alone for five minutes, and look what happens." And even funnier is Remington silent nodding. Very Mr. and Mrs. Steele-ish! 

-Laura flirtingly telling Remington, "Be an angel," when she asks him to pick up Donald at the college. 

-Laura and Remington looking at each other, laughing, and saying "Awwww!" when Frances says their working relationship has inspired her to go to college, become a dental hygenist, and work with Donald (though I suspect Donald will have plenty to say about that!). 

-Remington drawing Laura close after Donald and Frances leave his office. They seem so together here. It's not often either of them chooses to talk about their personal relationship, so the rare times they do are extra special. This is one of my favorite tags. 

-Laura attending the Bright Age function with her sister, although I could have done without all that singing. 

Debra 
 

by Neneithel
No romance? Xenos, did you have your radar switched off or something? He tells her she's changed him. He helps her serve up that disgusting slop. He wears fake fangs for her! He tells Donald he envies him. He tries to help her family. The man is virtually auditioning for married life. Plus, he makes eye contact over a cup of tea in a very appealing way. 

Even if none of that comes within your definition of romance, surely the bit where he pulls her close at the end does! 

To me, this is one of the most romantic episodes. It's one of the many times Steele says, "I love you" without using the actual words.

by Xenos1981
Debra...Do you have all the episodes ranked? COOL!!! "Suburban Steele" is in the Top 15, eh? I don't think I could rank them all...I had a hard enough time listing my Top Ten and Bottom Ten. And they change depending on what kind of mood I'm in. 

Helen...I totally understand what you're saying about this being a romantic episode. And I agree. But it's not the romance I'm longing for after three romance-free episodes. Like I said, I really like this episode! Just like I really like "Steele, Inc."! It's immensely fun watching Remington "audition" (as you said) for the part of Laura's husband! How freakin' hot is that?!?! *sigh* And, yes, the end scene was wonderful...I said that. 

To try to clarify (though maybe I'll make it more confusing, I don't know)...I equate this episode to a bunch of Jimmy Buffett songs (like "When The Coast Is Clear" or "One Particular Harbor"). Yes, folks...I'm a Parrot Head!!! Fins up!!! ANYWAY...If you ever really listen to Jimmy's songs (and I'm not talking about the funny, tongue-in-cheek songs like "Fruitcakes" or "Why Don't We Get Drunk And *beep*") -- and I highly recommend that you do -- they're terribly romantic...Just like "Suburban Steele". But they're not romantic romantic...as in overtly romantic...Which is what I need to see right now since Laura and Remington haven't had a sexy moment (ala the "I'm learning, Mr. Steele" kiss over the desk) or a loving moment (ala the "They've got picture...And sound" moment) or an "I want you moment" (ala the push Mr. Steele to the floor and go full-body on top of him kissing scene) or even a really touching, trusting moment (ala the Courthouse scene) in FOUR WEEKS!!! I mean...COME ON!!! 

Did that make sense?! 
 

Xenos...who's going to watch "Love Among The Steele" tonight just because she needs to see some Laura and Remington passion after such a dry spell!!! 

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

by auroracat-1 
Helen: You forgot to mention - The scene in the office where they are leaving for the conference and Francis calls. As Laura is walking out Mr. Steele tries to "stop" her and catches her with a hand to the mid section. This action always struck me as very intimate and couple like. One of those "Mr. & Mrs. Steele" moments. 

I think we all know that when Xenos is referring to romance she is looking for the scene 17 possibilities:) 
 

by sugarjilly
Xenos...I've already fed my romantic needs on Friday morning!!! I watched Red Holt Steele! I have still to get to watching suburban Steele...but I will post something after I do. In the meantime, I'm enjoying everyone's posts!! awesome! 

Jilly

by Neneithel
Very true. The body language is always very romantic. 

I keep trying to think of an episode without romance, and I can't. There are plenty with no sex, but that's not the same thing at all. The entire 5 seasons are without sex, which is why adult songvids have to Steele chunks of scene 17, but the romance is always there.

To be honest, I prefer the emotional intimacy of this episode to the physical intimacy of the ones you mentioned. Maybe it's because he has been physical with other women, but you can bet he never babysat with Felicia or ate catastrophic spaghetti with Shannon. 

He's virtually proposing to Laura in this one and, in the final scene, she virtually accepts. That's why, for me, this is one of the most romantic episodes.

by merryl  
Hmmm... you guys have opened up whole new perspectives on this episode! 

I guess I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight and watching it :-) I know what you mean about the overtly close moments, though, Xenos - we need to see some action and not just the subtle innuendo and verbal clues!!!!!

by sugarjilly
Here's my take on Suburban Steele. 

I really enjoyed this episode? But I would have to agree with Xenos. I wanted to see some more romance in way of a nice kiss somewhere along the way. It's been a few weeks here and nothing as of yet in the way of a kiss! 

HA!! Didn't you just love the beginning of the episode. The music sets up the episode so nicely. The constant quarter beat reminded me of the second hand on that clock they kept showing and how everything was done on a schedule. haha!! LOVED it!! 

Lea I would have to agree with you on the Miss Holt's white suit and Mr. Steele's jacket in the ending tag scene. Loved how L wears the white suite and so disliked Steele's jacket. Didn't like the tie thing! 

I loved the whole conversation about Laura's sister in the very beginning.... 
Mildred: "Have to go with Miss Holt on this one, Frances is a Kook (sp)." 

I really enjoy Frances and Donald. Wish they appeared more often. very enjoyable to watch. 

oh my! those Japan guys! hahah!! Mildred shows them another room..."...water cooler and copy machine. Japan guys...AH!!! Toshiba!!!" Hahaha too funny! 

Did you all look at that stove?!!!!! My mom would have a fit with the sauce everywhere and it was soooo messy!! OH MY WORD!!! 

Ha! The music again starts the morning after!! LOL Doesn't play very long this time..I guess that's telling us something about Laura!! hahaha!! A little off schedule perhaps! Haha!! 

Loved how R picks up the boys saying...."Holy Pete!" 

Liked the storyline with Felix and Mildred! Very nice! 
Mr. Steele gets an "Icy Calm" line in this episode! YEAH!!! 

Do you guys think it was a cover-up with the safe? I mean do you think PB forgot to put the cover back on after the top part of the safe and that was all kept in cause he covered so well? "slipping, slipping." If PB did...very nicely done!! 

I just loved the tag scene. Mr. Steele's a changed man!! 

Jilly 
 

by picac
Collective brain amnesia hits Laura and Steele and the writing staff as they grasp for a hook in the tag. 

"I don't get it." 
"Huh? I thought we wrapped that one up very nicely." 
"I mean you. The Remington Steele that walked into my life three years ago wouldn't care a fig what happened to my family." 
"Oh, that Remington Steele's gone. Past." 

I guess being concerned and interested about Laura and her relationship with her mother in EPISODE #5 in Season 1 doesn't count as giving a fig, though he even invited Abigail to dinner and wore that ugly playing nice for the mom sweater. Maybe all Laura remembers about that is Felicia suggesting a threesome but that adding her mother is a tad too kinky even for her. :D Steele also seems to have cared very much more than fig all those times when Laura was discussing her father/mother/family in the years preceeding and when he's met them on other occasions.

by auroracat-1
Good point - and of course there was "Steele Sweet on You". He certainly seemed concerned about Donald once he realized his life was in danger and that he is Laura's brother-in-law. 

Also, maybe those previous discussions regarding Laura's family were more motivated by how they affected his relationship with Laura and less out of concern for the actual people.

by Neneithel 
The Remington Steele that walked into her life three years ago had already started to change when he met Abigail. That in no way invalidates her comment. The man she first knew as Ben Pearson was very different from 4th season Steele.


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