Remington Steele:  Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist


SOTW: Episode #87- Bonds Of Steele
by everglade68    (June 20, 2008)
WOW!!! I can't believe it, we have reached the end of Season Four. "Bonds of Steele" aired on May 10, 1986 and would have been the last episode of the series. The out cry of fans and the network's interest in the new James Bond brought back the show for Season Five. 

"Bonds of Steele" is interesting in that most fans tend to feel very strongly about this episode. Therefore, I am hoping EVERYONE takes the time to post their comments. 

Isabel 

by dtalley
Every time I think of "Bonds of Steele", I feel heartsick. It’s not an episode I dwell on. The idea of impending deportation could have been a wonderful vehicle for making Remington and Laura face their true feelings and taking a positive step towards a mutual heartfelt commitment. Like I said, it *could* have been... 

There were some good moments in the episode, but the best thing about "Bonds" was that the non-explanations in 5th season allowed us to put our own spin on the wedding. It allowed us to speculate to our heart's content and then interpret/explain the bizarre events by writing our own fanfic. "Steeling a New Life" was my attempt to explain away the inconsistencies. Since writing that, I've been able to 'let it go' and focus on the good - and yes, there was some good in it. Since I wrote my fanfic in 1988, many other RS fans have written their versions of ‘what happened next’. And the DVD releases has brought a whole new crop of this type of fanfic. I think the unhappy reception of “Bonds” and the following 6 hrs. directly led to the massive amounts of fanfic. Therefore, that episode spurred RS fandom on to good things. 

But as frustrating as "Bonds" was to me, it could have been worse. They could have killed off Laura or Remington or both of them. Just look at the last season of "Beauty and the Beast" - Catherine was kidnapped, gave birth alone while in captivity and was then murdered. Then Vincent spent most of that season searching for his newborn son, who was being raised by Catherine's murderer. At leas,t Michael Gleason didn't do that to us! At least, he left us hope. 

I don't think it was in character for Remington to pull a scam like marrying Clarissa. It might have been in character for an early 1st season Remington, but I'm not even sure about that. At that point, I think he would probably just have left. Remington and Laura had achieved a wonderful intimacy and honesty by 4th season that foreshadowed a promising future for them as a couple. The only explanation I can accept for R's behavior in "Bonds" is that he was so distraught at the thought of losing Laura through deportation that he went berserk. 

I can't imagine Remington or Laura either one 'using' this 'marriage' in a flippant way. I hate the comments they make about 'getting a divorce in 2 years'- I think that's the last thing either of them really wanted, but they were both too fearful/skittish/proud to admit it. 

If the show had never been cancelled after “Bonds”, I don't think we would have seen Clarissa again because I don't think RS ever intended to go through with that 'marriage' in the first place. (But then again, she would have been preferable to TonytheRat.) 

Debra

by everglade68 
Oh Debra, thank you for your excellent comments about "Bonds of Steele". I am going to rewatch and post today. 

You are so right about the events of "Beauty and the Beast". I just loved that show and what they did in the last season was dreadful. I remember it well and could not believe that a network would put a pregnant character (and also an actress as Linda Hamilton was pregnant at the time and that is why she asked to leave the show) through all the torture, etc. It was appalling. So, I guess in comparison to that, this episode is not as bad. 

More later, 
Isabel

by sugarjilly
Debra and Isabel, 
I was a fan of Beauty and The Beast too and felt the same thing about the ending of the character Katherine. 

Really liked your post Debra. 

As for Bonds of Steele...when I watch this episode, I either feel really really awful about it or I can sit and laugh at it. Tonight when I watched, I must have been in a funny mood cause it seemed funny to me. 

If you've never seen RS before and you were just tuning in because of all the hype about the wedding, then you might not have been disappointed....I don't know. I mean look at it this way, it was pretty funny if you were just watching for the first time. On the other hand, if you were a faithful watcher and fan of the series, you were probably highly disappointed as I was the first time I watched this episode. (I mean when I got the DVD's as I missed this episode when it aired on TV I believe.) I was shocked at how Steele treated Laura. I started to feel this way when Laura was found by Steele in the air speed test room....that's when it all started. I could even take it a little farther and put up with the phone call to Steele from Clarissa!! Up to that point, everything was pretty good. I mean there's nothing wrong with Laura thinking Steele was up to something cause he usually was....LOL so, when Laura is concerned about Steele's medical tests, I think she knows he's up to something and then it's confirmed right after that when Laura sees Steele get into the car and kiss Clarissa!!!! Steele just acts like someone different...For example, he just sits and watches Laura get beat up by this guy in a mud pool!!! Come on!!!! that's not Steele!! So, I have to just sit back and laugh at it like I don't even know who Steele or Laura is for that matter! It takes on new meaning in that light...it becomes funny, well, to me anyhow. 

Some of my favorite lines... 
this is with mildred and Alexandra after the cops leave and mildred sees Mr. Barnet haning on the door... 
A: "You want some water?" 
M: "Nah, I see these things all the time." and then she gets weak in the legs. 

Another really good scene is between Laura and Alexandra. We're shown how Laura really feels about seeing Steele leave with Clairssa... 
A: "Where's Mr. Steele?" 
L: "Like Mr. Barnet, in another place." 
and not long after this, Laura says something about making people believe in a man that's not really there for four years and that Alexandra can make people believe that Mr. Barnet is still alive for 2 more hours!!! haha! I don't know...that line seems symbolic in some way. I mean it's the last show of the whole series (well...we all thought at the time.). It's how it all started. I don't know anyone have any thoughts on this line? 

I really think Laura was disappointed when Steele said to her that he wouldn't have asked her to marry him and I think Laura was lying to herself when she said she wouldn't have married Steele. She was scared...never worked through those problems!! Although, she definitely was trying in Sensitive Steele!! 

The very last scene starts with Laura..."I've loved him from the first time I met him...." Well, there ya have it!!! She admitted it!! haha!! She loved him from the very first time she saw him!! LOL (Don't I wish she really meant it! I'm sure we all longed to hear those three little words.) 
I just wish this whole scene could have been just a little bit different. Maybe more belieable that they were actually in love with each other!!! I didn't get that feeling at all. If there was any time to show that...this was it. HELLO!!! Last episode!!! 

Maybe if this was made into a 2-hour finale, the writers could have done more with it....maybe connected the relationship between Laura and Remington more. Show that they really loved each other. If there was that part put in this episode, I wouldn't have minded the other goofy stuff from Steele so much. It would have been just like one of the earlier episodes from S1 or S2 when Laura knew he was up to something and this would have made sense for Steele to act this way towards his deportation situation...so maybe the 2-hour episode would have worked better with these thoughts in mind. What does everyone think about that idea? 

One last thought...If you noticed the music in the beginning when the clock turns to 9:00 a.m., there's music that starts to play also. It sounds a lot like a take-off of the ending of Laura's Theme. The chord progressions sound the same a little. 

This episode is not the worst episode for me. In fact it's not even in my bottom 10!! It may fit into the top 10 and close to it depending on how I feel at the time. If it makes me laugh, then yes, it would be close to the top 10. If it doesn't make me laugh, then it probably won't be close at all. Tonight, however, it makes it near the top 10 as I had mentioned early, it made me laugh. Sometimes, you just have to get past what didn't happen in this episode and just laugh and make light of it...like it was the first time you've see this TV show and maybe, just maybe, think of it as the start of a new series. I think it would be rather interesting to see how they'd do married to each other and not really wanting to be!! I mean who could resist Gorgeous, dark hair, blue eyes!!!! OH MY!!! 

Jilly

by everglade68 
I just re-watched "Bonds of Steele" and it is official, I hate this episode. How could Jeff Melvoin who was involved with over 40 episodes of RS, write such a bad episode. I have no idea when this episode was filmed, but I have to assume that it was meant to be the final episode of the Season. I can only hope that Mr. Melvoin and others did not know that the show was cancelled and that "Bonds" might have been the finally episode. But, even if they did not know, there was just no excuse for giving us a Laura and Remington that we hardly knew, AND AFTER FOUR LONG YEARS!!!!! It ALMOST makes me grateful for Season Five, at least we get an ending with a glimpse of the magic we had in Season One and Two. 

Oh well, since I will probably NEVER see "Bonds of Steele" again, here are some thoughts about the episode. 

Laura mentions Phil Donahue towards the beginning of the episode. The Phil Donahue Show was probably the most popular talk show during the run of RS. I don't think either PB or SZ were on his show, I wonder why? 

Mr. Steele said that he had to go back to the doctor because his tests came back negative. That would be a good thing, if this was supposed to be funny, it wasn't. 

Once Mr. Steele leaves for the doctor's office, Laura goes to her office and 
for no reason whatsoever, looks out her window. Oh wait, sorry, it was written in the script. 

There was actually some lines that I liked: 

Mildred: "Somebody called the cops on Alessandra. But it's okay. I put the body where it'll be lost for hours, if not days." 

Laura: "Where's that?" 

Mildred: "Priority Mail." 

The boat captain, Juan, was very good and his Spanish wedding ceremony was well done. Juan's singing of "Feelings" WAS about the only funny thing 
in the whole episode. 

And lastly, maybe Stephanie was happy to be filming the last episode of RS, 
but she would have been found "not guilty" for killing whoever was responsible 
for her HAIR. 

Isabel 
 

by Neneithel
I wasn't going to attempt to comment on this, because I get tired of being hated for liking all of Remington Steele, but no-one else is going to stand up for this work of art, are they? 

Let's get the big thing out of the way now. No, it wasn't out of character for Steele to behave as he did, it was perfectly in character. Nor was it stupid. Nor was he planning to keep the marriage a secret from Laura forever. 

Steele was taught by Daniel. Daniel was a consummate conman who enjoyed doing things with style (observe how he arranged his funerals!) and would have laughed as Steele explained his daring plan to avoid deportation. He expected the same response from Laura, delight at his resourcefulness, not irrational jealousy. After all, he's marrying Clarissa so he can stay with Laura. To him, that seems like a romantic sacrifice, not infidelity. 

Yes, I hear the screams of "Why didn't he ask Laura?" 

Fine. I'll play. Here's him asking Laura. 

Scenario 1. He tells her why. 

Steele: Laura, they're going to deport me. I need to marry an American citizen. Will you marry me? 

Laura: You want to marry me just to stay in the country? 

Steele: You're not going to marry me? 

Laura: You're damn right I'm not going to marry you! Have a nice trip! 

Scenario 2. He doesn't tell her why. 

Laura: I, Laura Elizabeth Holt ... wait a minute! Who's that? 

Steele: I'll explain later. Let's get on with the wedding. 

Laura: Explain now. 

Steele: Well, although, obviously, I did want to marry you, there was also a little irregularity about my immigration status which, by coincidence, will be sorted out by this romantic little wedding. 

Laura: You lying snake! You never loved me at all! 

See? It doesn't work either way and all the romantic dreams of the fans are shattered forever. So he decides, rather nobly, in his opinion, to marry a fille de joie and then go right back to Laura and say, "Hey, a little immigration problem came up, but I dealt with it and here's how!" Laura would, of course, not react as Daniel did, but it's hardly the first time Steele has misread Laura. 

I know the fight in the mud annoys people too. Odd, when some of them are the very people who most loathe Laura and accuse her of infidelity, manipulation and a thousand other sins. However, Laura keeps telling Steele she doesn't need his protection so neither she nor anyone else can possibly object if he stays out of the fight. 

They get married. Permit me to repeat that, loudly. THEY GET MARRIED! Isn't that what everyone wanted? And did any of us really want a series that had never drawn from the treacle well to let Steele propose in some sugary way and have Laura swoon at his feet? Their wedding was romantic, funny and in character and yes, her hair was a mess and her clothes were filthy and she did a lot of scowling, but she was still the most beautiful bride I've ever seen and that was the most romantic TV wedding ever. 

The only bad thing about the episode is that it didn't show how Estelle Becker was persuaded to support a second wedding, but naturally, Steele, Laura and Mildred would find it easy to persuade her. They have persuaded people to believe far less likely things than that they are in love and, after all, it's the truth. 

Mildred is great throughout. I love the part where she tells Keyes to play in the traffic and she's adorable at the wedding. 

I am truly baffled by how anyone can fail to love this episode. It's well-written, perfectly acted and utterly original. It's quintessential Remington Steele and may even be the best episode (well, until Steeled With a Kiss, anyway).

by everglade68 

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but she was still the most beautiful bride I've ever seen and that was the most romantic TV wedding ever.
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YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!! 

Isabel 

by trailgrrl
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I remember when I first watched this episode as it aired I was very very upset and disapointed because it seemed to be written for laughs. And at that time I so wanted Steele and Laura to finally become honest and declare their love etc... 

Now when I watch this episode I do watch it FOR the laughs. Knowing it would not come close to what I had hoped. So.... so many scenes are hysterical and I imagine Pierce and Stephanie might have thought so too. This episode is definately a showcase for comedy and the acting was awesome. 

I've really enjoyed all the other posts, which I both agree and disagree! 

C. 
 

by MickeyBoggs
This is the episode where Mr. Steele suddenly forgets all the progress he and Laura have made over the past 4 years and reverts to the Mr. Steele of Season 1. As I recall, in the commentary the writers were laughing over the whole marry-a-hooker scenario and while I do see some humor in it, the more I watch it the more his behavior disturbs me. I think Melvoin & Co. did a bit of character assassination on Mr. Steele here. 

Memorable Stuff 

- The missing room within Unidac and the hunt to figure out what's going on in there. 
- Mr. Steele keeping a HUGE secret from Laura 
- Laura letting her personal & professional lives overlap by first calling Alessandra "Clarissa" and then telling her she can keep people believing in a man who isn't really there. 
- Nice recovery by Laura when caught by the personnel supervisor - she fakes being part of a security audit! 
- The wind tunnel is very memorable. I'm sure it's not as dangerous as they made it look, but I kept wondering why there wasn't any kind of mesh covering over the fan blade. I know they needed that way for story purposes but it seems dangerous for Steph - unless there was some kind of safety harness tying her to the model airplane. Love how Mr. Steele nonchalantly opens the door while looking for her. 
- Kudos to Estelle for standing up to and telling Keyes off. 
- Love Mildred hiding Burnett's body in the US Mail. Shades of Indiana Jones hiding the Arc of the Covenant in a government warehouse. 
- HOORAY for Laura, busting in to interrupt the wedding. Jeers to Mr. Steele for trying to go through with the wedding. 
- Love the call girls booing Keyes 
- Good bit of work with the map while on the electric scooter. May have been ad-libbed as it's not in the script. 
- The whole tuna boat scene. Nice job by SZ of playing up the comic elements. 
 

Character Development 

- Short of leaving without a word, I can't immediately think of anything else Mr. Steele could have done that would hurt Laura more. They'd made such progress this season, true partners in almost every sense of the word. Then he pulls a stunt like this. I've read the fanfic explanations and there is a certain amount of logic in his keeping the truth from her, but how after all they've been through, how can he not trust her to help him get out of this situation? 
- I do see the humor in the scene where Laura tackles Andrews into the mud puddle and Mr. Steele just watches so as not to mess up his suit. (What an awfully messy day for SZ! Bonus points to her for that.) However, this is another minor character assassination by Melvoin as we all know Mr. Steele loves Laura and, even though she can take care of herself most of the time, it's just wrong of him to sit by and watch until she asks for help. 
- Another jeer to Mr. Steele for implying it was Laura's fault that he's in trouble with the INS because she got him a US passport in the name of RS. 
 

Favorite lines 

R: Clarissa, look, if Death can take a holiday why can't you? 
 

Hair & Clothing 

- I like Laura's gray suit and her hair looks good but I don't get the pink hair clip. 
 

Goofs, Headscratchers & Misc 

- I think that's PB's stand-in on the car phone in the first scene. 
- How handy that Unidac happens to have a printed book with its computer access codes! Yeah, right.... 
- When Laura and Andrews are driving along the coast, supposedly to the president's house, they must be going north, since we can see the ocean when the camera is at Laura's POV looking at Andrews. But when Laura jumps from the car, she's suddenly, miraculously on the side with the ocean. Neat trick, that! 
- When Laura exits the elevator with one shoe on, she snarls at a businessman who stares at her attire. That guy is one of the often-used extras who's been in many episodes dating as far back as License to Steele, in which he's a workman delivering a clipboard to Gordon Hunter. 
- Why does Laura stack the furniture to look out through the transom? Why doesn't she just move the furniture and open the door?! 
- Why does Mr. Steele have the boat wait until Keyes arrives at the dock to cast off? They appear to have been ready before that. 
 

Guest Cast Trivia 

- John Hostetter (Minister) was a regular on Murphy Brown 
- Diane Lander (Payroll Supervisor) was once married to Neil Simon 
- This is the first of Bert Rosario's (Juan) two appearances. We'll see him again in The Steele That Wouldn't Die. 
- Rebecca Street (Alessandra) also played Jeanette in Love Among The Steele 
- Mary Ellen Trainor (who we'll also see again in the next episode) was married to director Robert Zemeckis for 20 years. She appeared in four of his films while they were married, including Romancing the Stone and Back to the Future Part II. She also appeared in all four Lethal Weapon films as a police psychiatrist. 
- Terry Wills (Personnel Supervisor) is a founding member of the Magic Theater of San Francisco. 
 

by Neneithel
Not kidding in the least. You know I'm not. I said the same in chat last night. You might have preferred her dressed up like a meringue and gazing at him with idiotic devotion, I prefer something more in keeping with their characters.
by everglade68
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I agree with you, Mickey, I can't see the humor because I have a hard time believing that Mr. Steele would behave in such a way. 

Actually, this episode reminds me of "Steele in the Chips" which I also disliked. If both episodes had used characters, other than Laura and Remington, they would have been funny. 

Isabel

by Neneithel
Everyone who dislikes this one says it's out of character for Steele. How exactly? He always keeps huge secrets from Laura and it's clear in this case that he's only doing so temporarily and because she will be against the idea. 

Let's ignore the first two seasons and go for the later stuff. 

"Laura, I wanted to include you but I couldn't because I knew damn well how you'd react. My friend needed help and he needed it fast." - Steele At It (Season 3) 

"I really should go to him. You know, keep the vigil. You know how excruciatingly lonely those remaining hours can be." - Blue Blooded Steele (Season 3) 
 

Mulch: The extra cash we got for selling Buckner's car. 

Laura: Is there something that you haven't told me? 

Steele: Dinner's served! - Have I Got A Steele For You (Season 3) 

"I was already an unwitting accessory after the fact. I saw no point, no point whatsoever, in getting you incriminated as well. It's as simple as that." - Steele in the Family (Season 3) 

Laura: The FBI came to our office and you didn't tell me? You came down here to this studio and didn't tell me? 

Steele: I would have, but I was too busy trying to figure out what it was that you weren't telling me!" - Steele Blushing (Season 4) 

Dwight: Mr. Steele! You've got a phone call. Some guy from Los Angeles named Marty. Wants to know if you still want that boat or not! 

Laura: What boat? - Corn Fed Steele (Season 4) 

Steele: Mildred, you have just won yourself a free trip to Twin Pines. Oh, you devil, you! 

Mildred: Oh, oh, oh! What about Miss Holt and that red headed bombshell? 

Steele: Leave 'em to me, don't worry. Ah, Miss Holt, as you're leading this investigation, it seems only fair that you should be interviewed in my office. - Steele in the Spotlight. (Season 4) 

So, if it is truly out of character, his character must have shifted very suddenly in the final few episodes of Season 4. Do those three episodes between Spotlight and Bonds really show Steele suddenly becoming the kind of man who tells all, openly and honestly? I don't see it myself. Even if it did, that would be the out of character stuff, with four seasons of precedents, Steele's established character is one that, under the circumstances, would conceal the facts from Laura. It's fair to say that you don't like it, but not that it is out of character. 
 

by MickeyBoggs
Ah, but in the last two examples, what he was hiding had nothing to do with their personal relationship. I'd like to think he was growing, even if he did slip up as in Blushing when he didn't mention the "FBI" visit (which he should have done). Buying a boat on the sly or leaving Laura with Windsor to go investigate a lead is not even in the same league as marrying a hooker or failing to to tell your partner (even if it was only a business partner) that you're about to be deported. 

And Laura's character gets assassinated in S5 so maybe that was the writers' attempt to make up for Mr. Steele's behavior in Bonds. Sometimes I think we'd have been better off if Beg, Borrow or Steele had been the last episode.

by Neneithel
To Steele, the marriage was merely a way to deal with an administrative problem and I'm certain he intended to tell Laura as soon as it was done (he couldn't tell her before, because she would have considered the idea too dangerous and dishonest and would have refused to cooperate - very like his reasons for not telling her in Steele At It). Lying about buying a boat with agency funds was far worse. 

I don't think Laura's character was assassinated either. She was perfectly within her established character throughout season 5. I think a lot of people translate, "I wouldn't do that" to "Laura wouldn't do that" but there's not one thing she does in Season 5 that doesn't match the person she has been shown to be.

by auroracat-1 
Mickey: I have to say I agree with you. I just can't see Mr. Steele keeping this from Laura especially since it involves their personal relationship and the agency. Also, there is no way Mr. Steele can honestly think that even a temporary marriage to a hooker would buy him time with the INS. 

You would think the way Laura stood by him in Forged Steele and knowing how much the agency means to Laura would be all the "proof" that Mr. Steele would need to go to Laura with the INS problem and know that she would help him for both reasons. Afterall, her biggest fear in Forged was that he might leave her. More personal than professional, not to say she wasn't concerned about the agency too!. 

I guess this character assignation of Mr. Steele is made up by Laura's character assignation in the Mexico episodes.

by everglade68

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but there's not one thing she does in Season 5 that doesn't match the person she has been shown to be.
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OMG, you mean I watched 86 episodes of RS and did not noticed that Laura was 
a real bitch in S5. How very stupid of me. 

Isabel

by auroracat-1 
I believe it is revealed in Judith's wonderful book that Jeff Melovin (Sp?) admitted that the writers turned Laura into a real witch (which was a nice way of saying bitch) in season 5. 
by merryl
Really, really hate this episode!!! I can't even appreciate the humour - I think it betrays us, the loyal fans and it betrays the characters, especially that of Mr Steele. The writers took us through ups and downs throughout the series, but we'd all fallen in love with the premise of the show, it's wonderful actors and the fantastically human characters they portrayed and we trusted that the relationship would be resolved in some interesting way. We believed in the show. How could we forget the poignant Red Holt Steele or the surprising revelations of Laura's past and hilarious consequences in Vintage Steele? We expected to be treated with respect - after all, the show was successful because of us, the viewers. 

We reveled in the amazing chemistry between two of the most physically attractive leads on TV at that time (and subsequently, IMHO). We watched the characters grow into "real people", who were much more than the usual 2-dimensional perfect, invincible "pretend people" that were the standard TV fare at the time. Little by little we came to understand their history, their motivations, their aspirations, their fears. We cringed during Sensitive Steele when each said things that should have been said, but caused pain for the other. We bled with them. We liked them. We could identify with them. We were rooting for them. 

And what was our reward? We were expected to believe that a man who had totally changed his ways from vagabond and thief to become a well-respected, talented and intuitive private detective would betray the woman who had caused the turnaround? The woman he had spent 4 years "wooing" and trying to impress? The woman he so obviously loved? The woman who had learned, sometimes painfully to trust him and actually believed in him? 

I don't think so.... 

It was actually painful for me to watch this episode, so I thought I'd watch the commentary version. What a mistake!!!! I got really irritated with all the self-congratulatory back-slapping that went on!!! The writers seemed to be totally, blissfully unaware of what they'd done to the show! Uggghhhhhh!!!! 

Even running with the premise of this episode, did they have to have Mr Steele give Clarissa a lingering kiss in the car? Did Laura have to say "This is the worse day of my life." Would it have been too much to put in a few meaningful looks between Laura and Mr Steele, in the midst of all the farce? They could have ended it with "real kiss" and we would have probably been reasonably satisfied... 

And, no I don't think that fans were dying to see them married, white wedding, etc, etc. I think that insults our intelligence. We just wanted some resolution to the 4 years of "foreplay" as Stephanie put it in one of the DVD interviews. Was that too much to ask? Obviously... 

by Neneithel
Isabel, Laura isn't a bitch anywhere in Season 5. I don't think you've watched it enough. 

You think Steele betrayed Laura? 

We clearly watched very different versions. I saw no betrayal. 

by everglade68
Wonderful post, Merryl. Thank you very much for expressing my exact thoughts so well. 

Isabel

by dtalley
I've never forced myself to watch the "Bonds" commentary and from comments I've read today, I made the correct decision. 

My hope for this discussion is that we can post our opinions and respect the opinions of others. I believe that's a goal worth striving for. 

Debra

by sugarjilly
wow Merryl!!! very nice post!!! 

I too thought the same thing about the ending. Should have been something more to make us believe that they truely meant it...I mean resolved the whole "foreplay" thing as you put it! 

I didn't care for the commentary either. The writers really thought that they did this series justice by presenting the fans with this finale episode! Great point Merryl!!! 

Unlike you, the only way I deal with this episode is what i had posted earlier, I think of it as a pilot episode or don't even think about who L and R were and I tend to find the episode funny! I know, I know, you can't....beleive me, I totally understand. 

I've really appreciated your comments. Thanks for posting merryl. 

Jilly

by edr1109
This is my least favorite episode because I do see it as a really huge betrayal on Steele's part. It may have been in character early on, but Season 4 showed how much trust they had developed in each other over the years. If Laura acted like a witch in any way in Season 5, she had reason to. Imagine if your partner/boyfriend of 4 years tried to pull a stunt like that? I would be devastasted, royally ticked off and I might never forgive him for it. 

On top of it all, did Laura have to look like such a mess (except for comic relief)? Why couldn't she have looked radiant in this episode, especially when the boat scene may have been the very last time we saw either of these characters? 
 

by judithmoose-2
Actually, Jeff Melvoin was already working for another series when Season Five rolled around. It was Brad Kern that filled in the blanks. Just so the story is straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak), the majority of 'Laura' in Season Five was written by Robin Bernheim, but Brad did volunteer to take responsibility for the way the show ended. They were hoping that NBC would have picked up a few more hours and as everyone knows, they didn't. 

Personally speaking, I didn't exactly enjoy "Bonds" but I didn't completely hate it either. Season Five's biggest problem was reverting back to the triangle plan of Season One and the introduction of Tony the rat. Believe me, Michael Gleason knows that most people hated Season Five. I'm not one of those people though because as I stated above, the only part that I didn't like was Jack Scalia joining the cast and that was done because it was the only way NBC would agree to bring the show back for the fifth season. In some ways, it would have been better to have let it fade into the sunset with "Bonds" but NBC already had Jack under contract for another show that ended up being pulled and couldn't not cast him in something, so he was used as a bargaining chip to put "Remington" back on the air. 

Considering the events of the prior season finale and their "wedding," Laura behaved like most other women would have. The object of her affection doesn't tell her that he's being deported (which he'd known about for weeks), he tries to marry a hooker (again without mentioning anything) and then fails to mention that they're going to have to pull off the married facade for two years. If he and Clarissa had gotten married, do you really think Laura wouldn't have found out and have been just as angry as she was? If anything was out of character for her, it would have been the moment she decided to let the chips fall where they may after they arrived at the Hotel Del Amor. 

I could go on, but then there wouldn't be anything to write for the next few weeks SOTW recaps.

by trailgrrl
I totally agree with you Judith regarding the scene that was out of character for Laura. Everytime I see it, it just doesn't ring true. Especially the words "You've convinced me" As much as I want her to be it just didn't fit. In my opinion. 
Carolyn
by btishh
I really didn't realize that people hated Laura. She was never a bitch and to call her that is horrible.
by Neneithel 
I agree. I really don't see where they get that idea, unless it's just envy.
by auroracat-1  
I don't hate Laura - I actually love her. That's why the changes to her character in season 5 bother me so much. At least that's my opinion. And based on other posts and discussion also the opinion of some others on this list. 

NOTE: We are all entitled to our opinion on this based on our own personal intpretations of the shows.!!!!!!!!!!!

by Xenos1981
HOLY CRAP!!! You go away for a few weeks (not voluntarily, believe me) and *BANG* the board goes nuts!!! Well...Isn't this an interesting thread! I'm not gonna give a total review on the episode like I used to do, but I would like to add a few things... 

This is a very strange episode. I actually like it. And I actually hate it. It's very funny...But in a Season One sort of way. When I first got the DVDs, I laughed hysterically at Mr. Steele in the first season. I had forgotten what a hoity-toid snob he was! (Remember how he had breakfast on his balcony wearing a robe and ascot with a flower on the table?! And what about "You lived with a man who wears white belts? Am I disappointed!" Or "Remington Steele never shows up wrinkled." LOL!!!) So seeing an immaculately dressed Mr. Steele watching Laura do her thing and tackle the baddie makes me think of the "old" Mr. Steele. And it really was quite funny and well done. That it came at the end of Season Four, however, is hard to reconcile. 

By the way, Steph deserves a shout-out for A) being such a good sport about the whole mud thing and B) being exceptionally great in this episode. I felt horrible for Laura and all the crap she went through. Steph really conveyed all the angst/hurt/anger/pissiness really well. And I think that's why a lot of us don't like this episode...Because we don't like seeing poor Laura like that. 

As for Mr. Steele's idea of marrying a "love broker"...OK, it's kinda funny. Sorta. But out of character, IMHO...Even for a Season One Mr. Steele. Remington is far too intelligent to come up with such a stupid scam...Even if he was pressed for time. My explanation is that he knew Laura would find out...and he wanted her to find out so they could get married and he could save face. (Hey, the audience knew it would be "real", even if Laura and Remington refused to admit it!) 

And while I'm on the subject of the wedding, I'm sorry, but the whole fishing boat scene is pure Brosnan brilliance!!! When Mr. Steele finally understands that Juan wants him to kiss the bride -- MAGIC!!! He says it all with just a look. And he delivers the line "By being the happiest married couple in America." with such honesty and sincerity that I believe him!!! I truly thought we were gonna get a "married" Mr. and Mrs. Steele in the fifth season...And I was freakin' excited!!! (Damn the writers for giving us the crap they did for Season Five!) 

So it's not a total loss. If you view it as a stand-alone episode (like "Chips"), it's really not that bad. *ducking* 
 

Xenos 

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

by sugarjilly
Xenos!!! You're back!!! 
I agree with a lot of your thoughts on this episode and the general concesus seems to be that we were robbed of a good ending to a wonderful series!!! 

Jilly 
 

by Neneithel 
I don't believe it was you who called Laura a bitch. Personally, I don't think her character changed at all, but that's an unpopular view here. 

Please don't feel attacked just because two people disagree with you. We non-haters of Bonds aren't exactly ganging up on you, are we? I know a lot of people who like it who don't dare post here or at Steele Watchers, because they know how they will be treated. 

If you're honest, you'll admit that everyone is entitled to their opinion except those who like it. We tend to get attacked from all sides. 

Do I dare post anything about the Season 5 episodes? Or should I just do as others have done and keep my head down?

by murtlegroggins
Keep your head down. Please.


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