Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist

SOTW: Episode #84- Steele Running
by everglade68 (May 30, 2008)
Well, it is Friday again so it's time for another SOTW. This week's episode is "Steele in the Running". 


by dtalley 
"Running" is another excellent example of the much beloved "Mr. and Mrs. Steele" genre. Watching this episode, I can easily imagine Remington and Laura being married. Some of my favorite moments are: 

-- Alison La Placa. This was the first time I'd ever seen Alison on anything, but I've seen her on a lot of shows since "Running". She really *does* look like Laura. I've always wondered if the writers saw Alison somewhere, noticed the resemblence, and wrote the mistaken identity episode to take advantage of it. 

--Laura trusting Remington enough to leave the Agency in his hands while she goes behind his back and practices for the triathlon and Remington throwing himself into the task, in spite of the fact that he hates every minute of it. 

--Remington's fear that Laura had found another man ("Look, ah, look, Laura, if - if there's another man…") and his absolute relief when he learned that she hadn't. That thought probably had already flitted across his mind, but he'd dismissed it. But when Mildred said, "You better tell him, Hon" and then "Sisterhood is powerful, Chief", he was afraid it just might be true after all. He still doesn't understand it, but he's *so* relieved when Laura confesses the true reason behind her bizarre behavior. 

Classic lines from this scene: 

Remington: "What's going on, Laura? Hmm? I mean, for two weeks now you come in late, taken two hours for lunch, and left at four. I can't reach you when I need you. I've had to make excuses for you. Juggled the clients, handled the paperwork. I can't reach you when I need to . . ." 
Laura: "The shoe seems to be on the other foot." 
Remington: "Yes, it has and it's an excruciatingly tight fit. I mean, you're acting more like me, dammit, and there's only room for one of me in this office!" 


Remington: "I…I…I wasn't born for desk work, Laura. I mean, my fingers are shredded with paper cuts. My skin is turning a florescent green. Maitre'ds are beginning to forget my face. Whatever you're doing, Laura, it's destroying me!" 


Laura: "If I were a man would you question it if I told you I was going to enter the Boston Marathon?" 
R: "I would question why anyone would want to run 26 miles without being chased." 


R: "I'm all for women's rights - - - especially their right to work." 


L: "Registration begins at seven. So if you come at six, that should leave plenty of margin." 
R: "Six? In the morning?" 

--Remington's support of Laura's participation in the triathlon. She's really surprised when he says he'll pick her up and attend with her. Of course, she doesn't expect him to pick her up in the limo and to sleep in the back seat between his condo and her loft, and then to tempt her with a breakfast spread of powdered donuts and gooey pastries, but she was still thrilled that he was going along to offer his support. I think the fact that he has no interest in the event other than Laura's participation makes his attendance that much more meaningful. 

--Remington running alongside and shadowing Laura during the running event, in spite of the fact that he hates to run and he's not dressed for it. ( "Oh, Laura, I'm ruining my shoes…not to mention my feet…my lungs…my heart.") He hates it, but he does it to protect the woman he loves. 

--Remington eventually getting his rhythm and throwing himself into the running event. Amazing how much energy he got when he unbuttoned his shirt, wasn't it? ("Oh, come now, Laura. No time to rest. We've got a race to finish. Come on." ) 

--Remington's shallow attempt to make it appear his interest in protecting Laura was purely professional. I don't think Sandra believed it for a moment. 

Sandra: "She's your girlfriend?" 
R: "She works for Remington Steele Investigations." 
S: "I see, and you're her boss?" 
R: "Something like that." 

--the "Mr. and Mrs. Steele" conversation R and L have in R's office while L holds the icebag on R's head. Just like a wife, she scolds him and just like a husband, he resents it. 

L: "What did you hope to accomplish by confronting two men, alone, in an alley?" 
R: "You're a remarkable source of comfort at times like these, Laura." 
L: "Just being honest. We're obviously dealing with desperate people here." 
R: "What was I supposed to do, invite the man to dinner?" 
L: "No need to get testy." 
R: "Laura, how is it that whenever you lose your temper, it's being honest and when I lose my temper, it's being testy." 

Having no retort to his profound observation, she puts the ice bag down and walks away, thus effectively changing the subject. 

Then she decides to give away *his* seats for the San Francisco game, but he's not letting them go without a fight: 

L: "Well, offer him Mr. Steele's seats for the San Francisco game." 
R: "Laura, this case is getting very costly. Don't you think?" 
Laura: "Oh, come on Mr. Steele, you still don't know the difference between a double reverse and a double scotch." 

Love the baseball motions he makes at that point, almost like he's *still* trying to figure out the difference. 

I don't think he's disappointed about missing the seats because he enjoys the games; rather, he's disappointed cause he enjoys spending the time with Laura, doing something with her that she enjoys doing. Sort of like when Laura studies her "Great American Movie Book"- she does it so she can share an activity with R that he enjoys. 

Then when she's run out of ideas, she throws it back into his court: 

L:" I've made my breakthrough for the day, Mr. Steele. I'm waiting for you to make a brilliant suggestion." 
R: "How about lunch? Hmm?" 
L: "Not exactly what I had in mind." 

Notice how she goes along with it? She's perfectly contented to give the case a break for a little while. After all, she knows that sometimes she needs to coddle her partner. 

--the way Remington kept taking off his jackets and dropping them when he got hot while chasing after folks ( "Ohh, this is becoming an expensive habit.)." 

--the understanding way Remington assures Joan that he's there to help her. He knew how scared she was and he did his best to calm her - and he even threw in a bit of humor, to make her feel even more at ease. ("All right, all right. Then we'll just - We'll just stay here until you get comfortable. You're safe. No one's going to harm you - and besides I don't think I could run another step.") 

--Laura's obvious concern about R's safety after he's been missing for 4 hrs. I love the way she quickly grabs the phone on the first ring, hoping that it's him calling. 

--the way Remington calls Laura just as soon as he regains consciousness. He knows how concerned she probably is and wants to set her mind at ease. Love the way he uses humor to reassure her: 

R: "Bet you thought I'd run off with another woman, eh?" 
L: "Thank God you're all right. Where are you? What happened?" 
R: "I caught up with Joan Kendall, everything was fine until those two lovely chaps I met before appeared. We played Red Rover. I lost." 


R: "You better come down here and help me try and find her. I'm on the corner of 17th and Sheraton - oh, and bring a jacket, will you?" 
L: "We're on our way. And don't do anything reckless, in the mean time." 
R: "I might, just to annoy you." 

-the loving, affectionate way she rubs his arms when she finally sees him and gives him his jacket and their conversation. L: "Best I could do on short notice. Ah...what am I going to do with you?" 

Sandra and Allen both look a bit embarassed to be intruding on R and L's touching reunion. It's obvious to them that Laura and Remington are not merely employer and employee. Then a bit later, R again expresses his concern about Laura putting herself in danger. 

R: "You're going out as a decoy?" 
L: "It's a good idea. It worked once. We can do it again." 

R (taking her arm, he pulls her several steps away from the others so they can talk privately.): "Laura, how is it when I do something dangerous, it's reckless, but when you do something suicidal, it's a good idea?" 
L: "Mr. Steele, this is no time to argue semantics." 
Totally ignoring his concern, she turns away and takes off at a slow jog. 

Allen: "Strong woman." 
R (fastensing his cuffs): "Head-strong is what comes to mind. Head-strong." 

--the trusting way Laura depended on Remington to protect her while she acted as decoy. Her comment when he rescues her says it all: "What took you so long?" She never doubted he'd be there. Also, love the way he hugs her after he helps her up. 

--Laura giving him the running shoes and trying to prod him into exercising with her. The healthier he is, the longer he'll be around for her to depend on, right? Also, I love the way he throws them over his shoulder and says, "Thanks, but pursuing you is all the exercise I need." Wish the freeze frame had been of them kissing instead of the shoes, however. 

I've always loved this episode because of the delicious spousal-like banter between Remington and Laura, but I hadn't realized how *much* of it there really was! This show is loaded with that wonderful rapport! Perhaps "Steele in the Running" deserves the honor of being RS's "Most Married Episode". 

Okay, these are my thoughts. What thoughts do y'all have about this episode? 


by sugarjilly
Steele In The Running....Well, from the title you'd get the impression that there is going to be a lot of running, and there was, but I never thought it would be by Steele!!! HAHA!!! PB definitely got a workout in this episode with those shoes and suit running in CA in the heat!! YIKES!! Hope those scenes were only one take!! 

The casting of the character Joan Kendall was good. From a distance she looks a lot like LH, but up close, she doesn't. She's a little taller and a little bit more meaty, but in a firm way. I think that's what the casting people were intending anyhow and really all they needed was someone that looked like LH from a distance. 

I loved the whole beginning office scene. Very funny and written well. 

Some things I noticed in this episode: 
-I don't think that the tray of donuts and coffee would have made it the whole way to the race without spilling!! 
-Very funny how Mr. Steele is trying to be excited about the race! HAHA!! 
-Mildred was doing a pretty good job of keeping up with L and R at the beginning of the running part of the race. (Go Mildred!!) 
-I bet that Landlord was a nasty one!!! 
-Loved how PB's blue eyes are coming through in this episode! Who was it that said that the lighting is probably being adjusted to make this happen..along with his clothes...I agree!! I'm glad..I love those blue eyes!! oh yeah!! 
-Oh and I should mention that PB looks awesome running in all that heat!! oh yeah!! He looks really good in those clothes! 
-Can Steele handle people or what? What charm and urgency he portrays when talking with Sandra at the fitness center. She eats it right up! Great job by PB! 
-I didn't notice Steele getting hit on the head when he was in the alley. I did notice that one of the men hit him on his butt, if you will!!! I don't know how that turns out to be his head when he gets back to the office!! 
-Thanks Debra for posting all those quotes. Those are some of the best ones in the episode. 

Before I wrap everthing up I'm going to bore you guys for a little bit and talk about the music!!! oh yeah!!! I just loved the saxophone stuff used at the train station and when searching for steele and Joan in the city!! Wow!! Again, it's off of the RS theme but this person did a really nice job of improving; was even getting some altissimo notes in there (very high notes on saxophone with their own fingering system and difficult to play)!!! I thought this was really cool to add in there. However, I was disappointed in the music at the end when they finally catch the guys. It was all synthesied!!! YUCK!!! It was okay, but that's it. Okay..I'm done about the music now. Couldn't resist!! :) 

Not a bad episode for me, but not a "WOW that was awesome" episode either. I did like the tag scene at the end, but that seems to be the trend now. Nothing really happening in the episodes and then...oh yeah, we have to show the audience that they still are attracted to each other so lets throw in a kiss in the tag scene...only the kiss in this one is not shown!!! We see shoes flying!!! I feel ROBBED!! 


by everglade68
Nice post Jill. You are so right about the trend in Season Four to have them kiss in the tag scene as an after thought. 

Debra, I agree with you that in Season Four Laura and Remington seemed comfortable with each other. The problem is that they are TOO COMFORTABLE. I mean it is not like they have been married for years. It would have been okay 
if we had had a season of passion, but we didn't get that at all. 


by everglade68
I found "Steele in the Running" to be a weak episode, but then again Season 
Four had quite of these. It is great that at least this Season ends with two 
very good episodes. 

I didn't understand how Joan could switch the numbers and not be seen when 
the registration table was so full of people. 

I bet SZ was glad that for a change she got to run in sneakers and PB ran in 
his dress shoes. It is obvious that both Stephanie and Pierce were in great 
physical shape during this Season. And it looks to me that they did several 
of their own stunts in this episode, more so than usual. 

No one died in this episode, right? I don't remember too many episodes in which there was not a murder. 


by sugarjilly

I agree with you about both of them being in the best shape of their life during S4 and for that matter through the whole RS series. I bet they both became more physically fit with each season. 

I think your right about no one dying in this episode. I never gave it a thought about people dying in each episode. That might be a good question to post. Which episodes had no one killed/died? 

I really enjoyed your post Isabel. You brought up some different points. 


by auroracat-1 
For me this was on OK episode. However it felt really out of place. Seems like it should have been much earlier in season 4 or late season 3 to me. Either right before London or right after.
by trailgrrl
This is the one and only episode that Mildred calls Laura by her first name. Well actually shouts out, I forget the exact words but something like "C'mon Laura!"
by sugarjilly
oh wow! Carolyn...I remember that! It's when Laura is doing the swimming section of the triathalon. I never thought to think that this was the only time we hear Mildred call Miss Holt Laura. But I guess it was cause it sounded strange to me when she said it. So much so that when Mildred called Laura by her first name, Remington was calling Laura Miss Holt. It was a bit odd. 


by trailgrrl
> " . . . it felt really out of place. Seems like it should have been much earlier in season 4 or late season 3 to me. Either right before London or right after. 

Why do you think that? 


by MickeyBoggs
For me, this is a middle-of-the pack episode for S4. Not the best or the worst, but it does have some fun moments. Though I'd hoped by this time in S4 we'd have been further along in the romance department.... 

Memorable Stuff 

- Good suspense with the opening sequence. Until the viewer gets a good look at the runner, there's the question of "is that or isn't that Laura". 
- I have to concur with Mr. Steele's assessment of being at Laura's house at 6 am. ESPECIALLY on a Saturday! 
- Love the limo with the bike rack. Laura complains about him bringing, but did she expect him to pick up her AND Mildred AND the bike in the Auburn? 
- Poor Mr. Steele, 3 klonks on the head last week and now beaten up (several times) this episode 
- Sigh. I *do* wish the camera hadn't followed the flight of the shoes in the tag scene! 

Character Development 

- Poor Mr. Steele. Stuck with the paperwork but he follows through with it like a champ. When Laura comes into his office at the beginning of the episode,he's the very picture of a beleaguered corporate executive. Love the way she's been holding out on him and teases him about it. 
- I don't think Mr. Steele *really* thought there was another man but it was kinda cute the way he asked, just to be sure. 
- I chuckle at Laura's minor embarrassment at arriving at the race via chauffeured limo. 
- When Mildred is cheering on a swimming Miss Holt, it's only time I can remember that she calls Laura by her first name. 

Favorite lines 

R: What's going on, Laura? Hmm? I mean for two weeks now you've come in late, taken two hour lunches and left at four. I've had to make excuses for you, juggle the clients, handle the paperwork. I can't reach you when I need you. 
L: Shoe seems to be on the other foot. 
R: Yes, and it's an excruciatingly tight fit. I mean, you're acting more like me, dammit! There's only room for one me in this office. 
L: In ANY office. 
L: If I were a man, would you question it if I entered the Boston Marathon? 
R: I'd question why anyone would run 26 miles without being chased. 
R: Laura, how is it that when I do something dangerous, it's reckless, but when you do something suicidal, it's a good idea? 
L: Mr. Steele, this is no time to argue semantics! 
Kendall: Strong woman. 
R: Headstrong is what comes to mind, headstrong. 

Hair & Clothing 

- Only Mr. Steele would wear a sportcoat and silk shirt to watch a triathlon - and somehow it doesn't seem inappropriate! 
- Oh the 80s hair & workout outfits - yikes! Leg warmers! Don't miss those days at all. 
- Mr. Steele's navy blazer looks perfect, but the pocket hanky looks like it's trying to escape. 
- Don't care for Laura's hair or dress in the tag scene 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc 

- Laura's line about the Boston Marathon made me wonder - was it only open to men, even in the 80s? 
- I still don't get how Joan was able to swap the contents of her packet & Laura's without anyone noticing. 
- Laura takes the pump off her bike and uses it to jam the wheels of one of her would-be attackers, yet when she finishes the biking portion, the pump is back in place on the bike. 

Guest Cast Trivia 

- The brother of Ned Bellamy (Ernie) was the US Ambassador to Kenya, 2003-2006 
- Frederick Coffin (Joe Gullickson) died of lung cancer in 2003 at the age of 60 
- Director Gabrielle Beaumont also directed Illustrated Steele and Premium Steele. She won an Emmy for directing an episode of Hill Street Blues.

by everglade68
Mick, good post as always. 

The Boston Marathon began in 1897 and though several women ran it in the 
60's unofficially, it finally let women enter the competition in 1971. 


by auroracat-1
In Premium Steele Laura says that she is in a committed relationship and in the episode with Wally, Steele practically proposes to Laura and they have the whole discussion about the time spent exploring their personal relationship then all of a sudden Laura is not telling Steele about her training and Steele thinks there might be another man. To me it just dosen't fit in at this point in their relationship.

Hate to be the one to break it to you, Mickey, but the leg warmer fashion is back.................

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