This is no ordinary episode guide, it contains a synopsis of each episode but also critiques and other unique observations and designations. 


Season 4










66    Steele Searching (1)     4x1    9/25/85                 Writer: Michael Gleason
Traveling to London Laura races to locate Steele before Scotland Yard, who are investigating a string of murders while Steele is back on the trail of his mysterious past. 

Critique: This may be THE BEST episode of the series, wonderfully written.  A+ 

Ridiculous Moment: "who are you?"  "who are you?" That refrain echoing in the opening dream sequence is the stuff of cliché bad 80's TV.
The last time we saw Felicia she just killed someone and tried to murder Steele as well, and Laura took her away at did she get out of that?
Pierce Brosnan is looking RIDICULOUSLY fine!  I think it's the stubble, he may have bulked up slightly as well.  Damn!  Where has that guy been for 3 seasons. 

Alias: Douglas Quintain, Harry, Michael (O'Leary)

Back Story: The mysterious watch, probably stolen by Steele's father, pointed to an Earl and his illegitimate son who wasn't Steele.

(fence)        < What are these things??.

67    Steele Searching (2)    4x2    10/1/85                 Writer: Michael Gleason
Steele masquerades as an assassin hired by Daniel Chalmers to kill the Earl of Claridge. 

Critique: This one isn't quite as good as it's first part, I think it suffers from the separate storyline of Steele and Laura, and it doesn't have as much depth as part one either.   Every time I see them give him that passport I clap, then I rewind it, watch the scene again, and clap again, like a dork, I can't help myself it's so good!    A

Ridiculous Moment: He did kind of rob a bank, what's up with the punishment for that?

Alias: Harry, Michael (O'Leary)

S(shot at)

68    Steele Blushing    4x3    10/22/85                 
Writer: John Wirth
Laura protects a photographer and his files from angry clients and the FBI, although begrudgingly, after her doctored photo appears in a porno magazine. 

Critique: This is truly funny stuff.    A-

Ridiculous Moment: Laura takes out a shooter with a ridiculously well placed golf ball hit on the mini golf course, he was reloading, why not just run up and hit him with the club?

(shot at)

69    Grappling Steele    4x4    10/29/85                    
Writer: Rick Mittleman
Mildred gets the agency to take the case of a wrestler who keeps having attempts made on his life.

Critique: I was having flashbacks of the boxing episode but thank goodness this wasn't nearly as bad, but still not great.    C

Ridiculous Moment: The red glasses return in an attempt to make Laura look like an intern; not working.

(intern)(Mildred x2!)


70    Forged Steele    4x5    11/12/85                
Writer: Rick Mittleman
An elaborate con is set in action when Steele awakens from a 36-hour blackout to find that he has apparently gambled away the agency. 

Critique: Another great episode, Steele's character has so much depth there are plenty of options for great stories, of course it's starting to make Laura seem kind of trivial.      A

Ridiculous Moment: Still having Laura think he was possibly pulling a double con.  Once he turned down the huge money inheritance from that con in England in episode #48, it should prove he has changed.  

71    Corn Fed Steele    4x6    11/19/85               
Writer: Pamela Norris
After Mildred invests the agencies money in prized breeding pigs, Laura and Steele must investigate the pigs disappearance from an experimental farm in Iowa.

Critique: Laura and Steele only prosper out of their own environs when it's an international setting, Iowa, the desert, or small towns don't really work as well.    C

Ridiculous Moment:Seriously Mildred, another bad investment, and she doesn't even consult the owner of the agency first? What does she have to do to get fired?!
It's not necessary to add ridiculous names as alias' to blend into a rural community, that's actually an insulting cliché Ms. Big City Writer.

Alias: Laura Lou Holt, Jed Steele

(shot at, grain)(sneeze)

72    Premium Steele    4x7    12/3/85                
Writer: Gerald Sanoff
A man hires the agency to find out why he's dead, or at least is dead according to phony death certificates related to a defunct mortuary.

Critique: That explosion was kind of awesome along with the suspense of Laura at her door.    B

Ridiculous Moment: Monroe's accent, was there supposed to be one, it fluttered in and out.  The red glasses return again, they are just so awful I can't get past it.

Back Story: Barbados with Monroe

Alias: Benson Whitely, London Coroner's Office

80's Flashback: That awesome VCR.

(explosion) (hippie, delivery girl)

73    Coffee, Tea, or Steele    4x8    12/10/85                
Writer: Robin Bernheim
Laura and Steele fly the unfriendly skies to learn why the body of a hired killer turned up on the baggage carrousel of a luxury airline. 

Critique: Laura as a stewardess is worth the price of admission.    B

Ridiculous Moment: Wouldn't it have been better to have Steele undercover in the baggage area?  Of course then you don't get the excellent banter with Laura the stew.
So Mildred blows their cover and damages the agencies reputation by talking to a reporter, then she turns it around and manipulates them into thinking they are doing her wrong? 

Alias: Trevor Keach

Casting: Hey it's that guy Locke from Lost.


74    Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Steele    4x9    12/17/85                  
Writer:Gerald Sanoff
The agency Christmas party is interrupted by three gun-wielding Santas who take everyone hostage and threaten to blow up the building. 

Critique: This is a good idea but 50 minutes in the office is too long.  Then the guest characters have these revelations about their lives and yet Laura and Steele who have these wonderful,  Christmas past stories, needed a nice Christmas moment for them at the end for a little resolution of that storyline.     B-

Ridiculous Moments: You can't watch this episode and not think about how badly the movie Die Hard ripped off this plot.
Laura jumping from one motorcycle to the back of another, ridiculous, nice stunt, but ridiculous.

75    Steele on the Air    4x10     1/7/86                
Writer: Kerry Lenhart, John J. Sakmar
A traffic reporter dies while aloft in a helicopter and the two prime suspects are the disc jockeys, who were on the air at the time.

Critique: Ug, morning radio is as hard to listen to as this one is hard to watch.  In fairness it is supposed to be a cheesy send up of radio but still.  It does have it's moments, the prize truck trying to give Laura's bumper stickered car it's "sticker giveaway" and Steele's line "We don't want any stickers" makes me laugh hysterically.        C-

Ridiculous Moments: Oh the tragedy! That gorgeous head of hair wasted with a bad, big eighties hairdo.  I thought Steele's hair cut in the first 2 seasons was bad but Laura's helmet head in this one is the worst!
That fake 80's music is horrible, they can go to Europe for shows but they can't could afford some decent music licensing?

(shot at)


76    Steele, Inc.    4x11        1/14/86                 Writer: Brad Kern
Mulch's latest brainstorm to franchise the agency gets an unfortunate investigator killed by an angry client.  

Critique: I have to admit it was all I could do to even half way pay attention to this one, I was bored senseless.      C-

Ridiculous Moment: What's up with that montage of San Diego, we get it, you're going to San Diego, just saying it is sufficient.

(shot at)

77    Steele Spawning    4x12         1/28/86                
Writer: John Wirth
Laura and Steele are hired by the spoiled son of a caviar importer to find a missing shipment before daddy returns home.

Critique: Louie Anderson does make this boring story half way entertaining.    C+

Ridiculous Moment: Oh man, the bad hair is back, I was hoping it was just a one episode thing but it looks like it's returned.

Alias: Trevor Keach

(shot at)(cop)(door x2)

78    Suburban Steele    4x13        2/11/86                
Writer: Robin Bernheim
Laura's sister is having a hard time adjusting to her families move to California, and after she finds a body in her kitchen, Laura and Steele investigate and try to ease her transition by babysitting. 

Critique: The great female dilemma of the ages, work vs. family is nicely contrasted with Laura and her sister.    B

Ridiculous Moment: While it's great Steele brings up the obvious question for Laura at the end about having a family with such a ridiculous job she never really answers the question, I hate when they have unresolved story points.  

79    Santa Claus is Coming to Steele    4x14     2/18/86                
Writer: Michael Gleason
One of the phony Santas from the ill-fated Christmas party returns to persuade witness not to testify against him, meanwhile Laura has another secret admirer.

Critique: Creepiest....episode....ever.  But a well done idea for the misdirect of who's after them.    A-

Ridiculous Moment: Those pictures were from all over her apartment, how did he get such great angles from out the window?
Testify? They caught him in the building, dressed as Santa with a gun, that's pretty good evidence as to his participation and he was wearing a beard how much identifying can they do anyway? 
Did they really need the mother cut up bit?  It seemed kind of excessive and too much for an 8 month psych stay in a hospital.

80's Flashback: Wow that is the world's biggest side pony tail and combined with that workout spandex and leg warmers Laura could not get any more 80's.  

(elevator shaft)

80    Steele Blue Yonder    4x15         2/22/86                
Writer: Brad Kern
An elderly man's daughter is suspicious of his actions and hire the agency to investigate his seemingly bizarre activities to see if he may have dementia symptoms.

Critique: So boring.    D+

Ridiculous Moment: Nice big ol' car chase, was I supposed to be impressed?  I guess maybe in 1986 I might have been but I think not. 
Again Laura's hair is awful, is the hairdresser drunk? I know they are going for 1940's but it looks like a female mullet.

80's Flashback: That Venice Beach boardwalk is a real tribute to the 80's, I thought I was watching Xanadu for a minute.

81    Sensitive Steele    4x16        3/1/86                   
Writer: Rick Mittleman
Laura and Steele go undercover at a self-improvement spa to find out why the spa has had a series of mysterious accidents. 

Critique: Laura and Steele's relationship is finally given almost "A" story status while they kept the "B" story mystery simple enough to carry through but not muddle the real focus.  Bonus points for the scene with Steele confronting the cheating guy, it wasn't until the second viewing (and actually paying attention) I realized the correlation with Steele's own situation.  Excellent writing.    A+

Ridiculous Moment: I'm looking the other way on the silly dummy in the hot tub murder attempt and how it would be impossible to swap in the dummy without her seeing, it would have been more believable if they didn't have Steele dressed as the guy, I'm just not getting how they did it.

Alias: Laura and Richard Blaine



82    Steele in the Spotlight    4x17         3/8/86                     Writer: Kerry Lenhart, John J. Sakmar
Laura lets a news team follow her as they search for a star from the fifties, the extra publicity creates tension between Laura and Steele and leads to deadly consequences for their case.

Critique: A nice attempt to knock Laura's giant chip off her shoulder with the added attention is a nice twist.    B-

Ridiculous Moment: So Laura and Steele chased a guy to death, real nice.
WTF is up with that giant white fur coat Laura is in at the end?  Number one, it's too big for her frame, maybe just too big period.  Number 2, it's totally out of character unless maybe they are on their way to some formal function, which they clearly were not.  It looks a little Maddie Hays.

Casting: Hey it's Sally from the Dick Van Dyke Show.

(shot at)

83    Steele at Your Service    4x18        3/15/86                
Writer: Lee H. Grant
The servants of the wealthy Wellingtons hire Laura and Steele to find out who killed the former butler, and why.

Critique: This had potential but they spent way to long on the Remington Roundup, it's like they were just killing time for lack of story.    C-

Ridiculous Moment: The cliché rich people are a bit much as are the servants from every country.

Alias: Laura Giles, Rupert Ruggles

x3(runaway horse and wagon)

84    Steele in the Running    4x19         3/22/86                
Writer: Susan Woollen
It's a case of mistaken identity as Laura is assaulted while running in a triathlon, the agency searches for the woman on the run, who the thugs were really after.

Critique: This one gets boring pretty quickly after the race is over, it seemed like this would be a great story for Laura but Steele seems to be doing all the heavy lifting.    C-

Ridiculous Moment: Another Laura bad hair moment at the end of this one, the 80's were so cruel, at least they held out until 1986 before it became an issue.

85    Beg, Borrow, or Steele    4x20        3/29/86                
Writer: Brad Kern
Laura and Steele return from a trip to find reports of their murder on the news, they try to solve it before the murderer discovers they are still alive.

Critique: Holes, holes, holes! But I appreciate the effort and the idea so if you let the holes go (see Ridiculous Moments below) then it's a pretty good effort.  Plus it has my favorite line of the series: "Stop that nun!"       B+
Ridiculous Moments: Why not just sleep in their own apartments? Maybe in the daytime the cops would be back but overnight they should have been fine, especially at Laura's, it's not a crime scene since no one died there and why would the killer return since he would think they are already dead. 
They also could have slept at Mildred's by picking her lock.  
What office doesn't have petty cash?  
Where is Laura's ever-present purse?  
Wouldn't Laura's sister or mother be a beneficiary of her life insurance (not Mildred)?  
I love Laura's glamour shot news photo.
Just adding stubble to Steele doesn't make him look worse, only better, but I get it's a difficult challenge to make him look bad.

86    Steele Alive and Kicking    4x21        5/3/86                    
Writer: John Wirth
A man who framed himself so his wife could collect the reward learns he isn't terminally ill and wants Laura and Steele to clear him.

Critique: This one seems like another Louis Anderson episode, it's only missing Louis Anderson, otherwise kind of unremarkable.    C

Ridiculous Moment:  He dropped through the skylight? Really? Why was he on the roof?  Wouldn't the door be easier?

(shot at)

87    Bonds of Steele    4x22        5/10/86                
Writer: Jeff Melvoin
Laura has her hands full trying to discover why an accountant at a huge corporation was killed while Steele is on a mysterious mission of his own.

Critique: Melvoin has really done some great writing on this series and this is his greatest achievement. It's a hilarious journey brilliant from concept through the final kiss, with Zimbalist giving her best performance as well.  They probably should have just ended the series here since "season 5" is a salute to mediocre crap.    A+

Ridiculous Moment: Technically he and the hooker just needed to sign the marriage license, which he could have taken to the jail, but then that wouldn't have been as fun.
Mildred moves the body, hello! You can't do that crap!
Laura and her red glasses are back! Damn it, I think I'm just more mad that I didn't realize how often they show up so I didn't do an icon. (now I'm too lazy by this point)

(wind tunnel, jumping from moving car)Slab employee

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