13/19 Season Four Episode Two: Stemwinder Part 2

We cut to a busy, wet DC street.
The limo pulls up in front of Sonja who was waiting by the side of the road.
She gets in, it’s Rostov’s limo!
[Ugh. she must use the same hairdresser as Lee – how can she look that put together in all that rain – I’d look like a drowned rat! ]
Sonja: I can’t change his mind.
Rostov: I thought not…
[Then why not drug him with more than just cough medicine and ship him off somewhere?! Some of those magical crystals you snap under someone’s nose perhaps?!]
…No matter. It’s set for tomorrow morning. I’ve made the arrangements.
[So, Rostov is still trying to be King and cry ‘checkmate!’ huh.. he’s going to deal with Alexi and get Stetson?]
Sonja: Stetson’s not stupid. He could be springing a trap on us.
Rostov: He would, if he could. But because of the stupidity of the Agency and Dr. Smyth, he can’t.Stem-II.avi_001868535_thumb_thumb_thumb
[I’m quite pleased that the Russians are mocking the agency because the agency believe Lee is guilty! Poetic Justice!
I guess Sonja and Rostov don’t know about Amanda?? Strange that Sonja doesn’t – because Alexi knows about her – he had her file at the start of stem I. Sonja saw her too. I guess they underestimate Lee and Amanda’s connection/loyalty..]
(Rostov hands Sonja a piece of paper)
Rostov: Here are the arrangements. Scarecrow wants Alexi…
…and we want him. And it will all work out, Sonja…Stem-II.avi_001882849_thumb_thumb_thumb
…You just be pretty and let me worry for both of us.
[If looks could Kill!!!
Rostov would be dead!!!]Stem-II.avi_001886853_thumb_thumb_thumb
Staring contest! Staring Contest!!
Rostov loses!]
The scene ends here.

[Phew.. it’s all happening now! Danger! Excitement!!
Cough medicine!!! Winking smile
I’m still not sure what to make of Sonja. Is she standing by her uncle? Or Rostov? Or Neither?
22 years old, what a life! Ugh!!!!!!!! I think Sonja should defect and leave all these men who order her around.. all she does is have men use her! I think I said that in part 1 at some point.. this parting encouragement from Rostov sums it up pretty much!]

Back at IFF, Billy is dozing on his sofa in his office…He seems to have a file for a teddy bear Winking smile
His phone rings..
Billy: Melrose.
Lee : Mind your manners, Billy.
Billy: Lee. They set me up.
Lee: You get a chance to prove it…
(As we hear Lee over the phone, the shot cuts to someone listening in..
Uh oh. It’s Dr Smyth listening in..Stem-II.avi_001905238_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb
he nods to another agent who is also listening in and taking notes)Stem-II.avi_001906740_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb
Lee: … but mind your manners and grab a pencil.
[Love the mind your manners reference.. good to see some continuity with this phrase from back in Reach for the sky. Hmm.. how interesting, an episode where Billy was out in the cold, Dr Smyth was looming.. and Lee and Amanda went above and beyond and helped him. And here? Billy is doing this for Lee and Amanda now. I wonder if this tie in was deliberate.. given the at times massive boo boos in this show, I’d like to think it was so we can balance things a bit! Smile  Sorry I digress, back to the call.]
(The agent nods back at Dr Smyth.. he’s got his pencil too! Winking smile )
Lee: Five number groups: 8311064822.Stem-II.avi_001910443_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb
(We see the agent writing down numbers.. Dr Smyth gives him a nod.)
[lol like- oh good. I picked a clever agent to take notes for me- this one can write down numbers!]
The scene ends there.
Oh nooo! Have Lee and Billy just been busted again??!!

This two parter is very ambitious and involved.. and kudos to smk for giving it a red hot go! I’m enjoying Stemwinders.. the multiple twists and turns are interesting..(is the title a reference to this? among other things?)
Though the premise of anyone believing Lee would leave finger prints lying around after he murdered someone is laughable.. and why go ahead with war games… Meh… that part is not worth focusing on.. but all the machinations and not knowing who will do what is fun! [at least I’m hoping you find it so.. I know I do..] I hope Sonja sells up and moves to Montevideo and opens up her own business – cooking gourmet food or something. Then she can get away from all these men who want to use her!!
Are you enjoying this ep? 

2/2 Discussion of Lee and Amanda’s Love Story

Hello my fellow smk fans!

JWWM typically focuses on following the journey, sticking with the story as an episode unfolds and staying in the moment with the characters… However, if we don’t step back and look at the big picture we can miss out on some great discussions…insights and fun!! The big picture does come up during episode discussions.. but I thought it could be handy to provide one place to place these thoughts if anyone is so inclined to share- at any time!

It’s come to my attention that 1/2 (1/2 Discussion of Lee and Amanda’s Love Story) needs a 2/2 lol! Sooo here it is! Smile As I publish this post, the walk has finished season 3, and moved on to early season 4 – so it’s a good time to ponder the journey up till this point and call out to all smk fans who stop by JWWM and ask:

How do you see Lee and Amanda’s love story so far? What phases do you see this story moving through?
What individual phases do they undergo that impact the love story?

What were the big milestone episodes for you and why?
When we say ‘love’ does this mean different things at different points in the story for you?

Don’t feel restricted to addressing these questions.. roam and explore the overall love story however you like. Just please remember to not refer to anything that hasn’t been covered in the walk yet… thanks guys! 🙂 I fully expect we will see different things.. honestly, there is no one right way to see things.. I love to hear others thoughts and ideas – they help me to explore and expand my own too.

A great discussion in post 10/19 Season Four Episode Two: Stemwinder Part II prompted this focus on the big picture..
In this post, Amanda says:
We have each other; that’s something.
[No I will not post another image of those hideous sunglasses of doom]
Lee responds:
Yeah. It’s more than most people in this business will ever have. I didn’t think we’d have to go through anything like this to find out that we’ve got it.

Okay safe to share this image Winking smile
Lee and Amanda have come so far!!!
From this in TFT:
[‘Just walk with me’!]
To this in the Stemwinders:

[Just run away with me?! Winking smile ]
There is so much to talk about.. if you feel like putting your thoughts together and sharing your take on the development of their love story please share with us here.. All views are very welcome – and no one is going to tell you that you are wrong here!!!
As Amanda says: When you’re talking about love you have to be patient Smile
We may disagree on a few bits.. but that’s cool no one’s thoughts are more valuable or accurate than any others in my book!! Smile [Except maybe Francine’s and Dr Smyth’s!!! I draw the line there!!! Smile ] If you would like to put together a blog post on your thoughts- rather than comment on this blog post to share them? I’d be very happy to publish it for you too!!

I look forward to hearing people’s take on this wonderful love story!
[keep the smelling salts handy!]

12/19 Season Four Episode Two: Stemwinder Part 2

Back to Chez Van Der Hoosen.
Amanda: Okay. How is this? Can you hear me?
We hear Lee over the mike: Loud and clear.
Stem-II.avi_001690523_thumb_thumb(We see dreamy t-shirt clad Lee enter from another room..)
Lee: Save it.
Amanda: Right.
Lee: What’s the range?
(Lee joins Amanda at the table)
Amanda: Up to half a mile.
Lee: Ah, that’s optimum. We won’t need more than… 200 yards.Stem-II.avi_001708641_thumb_thumb
Well, here we are… this quiet dinner in our cozy hideout, cleaning our guns. Another typical evening with the spy family. [who it just called them a  family Smile nice!]
Amanda: I don’t know how you can be in such a good mood.Stem-II.avi_001710343_thumb_thumb
(Amanda’s working at something as she says this)Stem-II.avi_001711444_thumb_thumb
(so is Lee)
[bit weird how neither is looking up. Not sure I like it.. Even if Lee does look super gorgeous in that t-shirt! Ugh.. maybe Amanda should put those massive fugly sunglasses back on again!!!]
Lee: Well, I’m not. Just the way I handle my nerves before a big operation. Believe me—tomorrow’s as big as they come.
Amanda: If Alexi shows.Stem-II.avi_001718852_thumb_thumb
[well well. finally someone looks up!]
Lee: Well, Rostov sighted him near the Soviet embassy today…
…He’s watching…
[whoooo it’s jaw clenching time! In that t-shirt? double swoony! or maybe I should say it’s pearls clenching time!]
…He’ll be there.
(we hear some clicks.. like Lee and Amanda have been cleaning their guns during this conversation)Stem-II.avi_001726059_thumb_thumb
[Okay, I can get the idea of wanting to portray them getting ready and all but would have been better had we seen them actually dealing with the guns, and had them look up from time to time. This feels unusual to me – I notice this as writing the walk I’m regularly looking at screen caps – it’s very rare to have such a conversation with so little eye contact..]
Amanda: I hope I don’t have to use this.Stem-II.avi_001729062_thumb_thumb
(Lee looks up) [hoorah!]Stem-II.avi_001730363_thumb_thumb
Amanda: I’m not very good at 50 feet; at 75, forget it. Stem-II.avi_001732565_thumb_thumb
[lol I love that she’s so honest.. and that they haven’t tried to have Amanda be suddenly expert 🙂 ]
Lee: Well, if you need it, it’ll be a lot closer.Stem-II.avi_001734768_thumb_thumb
[Lee is also honest and realistic Smile And.. just lookin mighty fine – so glad he’s taking the time to fix his hair. When you look good: you feel good! – lol why can I hear Dotty’s voice saying that??!!!]
(Amanda reacts silently)
[looks like an ‘eek!’ facial expression!]
Lee (gently): I hope you don’t either.
(Lee finishes with a sad little smile..)
(Amanda again reacts silently..)Stem-II.avi_001738071_thumb_thumb
[I’m really pleased there is no apologies talk or regret talk or anything like that.. they are just focused on what they need to do.. There is no babying Amanda going on! Smile Stem-II.avi_001740373_thumb_thumb
Maybe it’s just me but it seems strange to have no had a wider shot of the two of them in the same shot – Not a fan of it.]
The scene ends here.

We cut to Alexi shivering and coughing in a bus shelter.
[Oh goody. He’s not well! the weather is on Lee and Amanda’s side!]
Sonja joins him..
Sonja: Grandfather… drink some of this… It’s all I could get in an American shop without a doctor.
(Alexi drinks up the medicine.)
[LOL no checking the dosage for him- Swig!]
Alexi: Ugh.
(Sonja fusses over him a little stroking his hair.
Alexi motions across the road)Stem-II.avi_001765398_thumb_thumb
Alexi: Rostov has been in the embassy three hours.Stem-II.avi_001768401_thumb_thumb
Sonja: You’re sick and freezing… I can get visas and tickets for you. You can go south. Montevideo is safe.Stem-II.avi_001774207_thumb_thumb
Alexi: No. I have to get Stetson. You have to help me.Stem-II.avi_001780213_thumb_thumb
[I think nothing is more important that ‘getting Stetson’ ]
Sonja: It’s not working.
Alexi: It is working. Rostov is gonna give him to me. I’m gonna kill him.Stem-II.avi_001787520_thumb_thumb
Sonja: When?
[Sonja seems close to tears here.. at her grandfather’s choices?? why exactly? thoughts?]
(Sonja is silent a moment.. trying to get a grip on some suddenly strong emotions. Alexi doesn’t seem to notice.. or care.)
Sonja: I mean, you can’t ask me to keep running with you. An outlaw against my own government?!!..
…I’m 22!!Stem-II.avi_001806573_thumb_thumb
[Okay, Alexi finally notices she isn’t happy!!!]
Sonja: I have my whole life to live…
Alexi: I’m gonna kill him.Stem-II.avi_001812379_thumb_thumb
Sonja silently nods..
[She’s done what she can.. and she has her answer.. he cares more about killing Stetson than about his own granddaughter.
Aie this is one sad and broken man. So selfish, obsessed and does not care what it does to his granddaughter!
Why didn’t he just kill Lee when he had him blacked out? I guess he wanted Lee to suffer? thoughts?]
Alexi points across the road..
Alexi: Rostov.
Sonja: Go on. I’ll track him.Stem-II.avi_001822188_thumb_thumb
(Alexi gives Sonja a stroke of her hair.)
[As if to say ‘good girl let me ruin your life because Stetson has to die!’ ugh..
Sonja seems to have a tough edge here. I’m not sure if she’s going to give up her future for this.. Hmm.. we’ll see! ]Stem-II.avi_001824491_thumb_thumb
They watch Rostov’s limo pull away.. Alexi leaves, and Sonja puts up her umbrella..

This whole two parter is a great big: I don’t know what’s going on.. but I’ll stay tuned to find out! What do you all think? Anything you’d like to share? How do you read Alexi’s and Sonja’s relationship? Do tell!