3/3 Season Four:Episode Twenty–Suitable for Framing –Scarecrow and Mrs King

Next up we see Lee is meeting with McCaslin.. not sure what the point of this scene is really! Only thing interesting here as far as I can tell is – Lee finds out there’s video evidence, and that the Press are going to make the story public the day after tomorrow or sooner.

Soooo you know Lee, no pressure!

Back to the agency, and Lee has a little present for his friend ‘Stamps’.

He joins her at her desk…

Let’s go to peacockdancer’s transcription for this scene!

Stamps (smiling): If you’re gonna bribe somebody, I say do it up right. Bondelli truffles… It must be Scarecrow.
Lee (leaning down close to her, smiling back): That’s no bribe, Stamps. Just old times.
Stamps: Yeah, I’ve heard the bad word. It’s true, huh?
Lee: Yeah, too true… I’ll just bet the lock-out order is somewhere…
(he lays his finger on a huge pile of folders on the corner of her desk) … right in here.

Stamps: I always said, didn’t I, you were too cute for your britches?
(Lee starts rifling through the folders at the top of the pile. Stamps looks at him fondly.) I’m gonna miss ya. Is it too late for a mad indiscretion?

Lee (playfully): Oh, I don’t know…
(He checks his watch.)

…It’s after nine… You tell me.

Stamps (laughing affectionately): Give me that. [Stamps has the best smile err okay maybe second to Lee’s 😉 !]
(She takes the folder Lee is holding, opens it, and starts reading. Her expression turns serious.)

…Oh, Lee… (Lee reads over her shoulder, concerned.)

…They’re wiping you clean, son, the full ride…
(She flips pages in the file.) You and Desmond are zipped out of the security web from Delta Green to your parking passes. (Lee looks up, thinking.)

[Good thing the establishing shot showed Lee’s corvette was parked out front on the street!] …Better get up to Supply and grab all the paper clips and ballpoints you want before I punch this into the system… (She shakes her head and closes the folder.) Because when I do… (She hands the folder back to Lee and looks at him.) You can forget the words “top secret” for good.
Lee (disconsolately): Hmm. Thanks a lot, Stamps. (He looks at her for a beat, then leans down next to her flirtatiously.) What d’ya say, can I have a semi-sweet?

Stamps (smiling warmly): Hey!
Lee: Yeah?

(Stamps puts a chocolate in her mouth and holds it in her teeth.)

Stamps: Last one!
Lee: Hmmm…

(He leans down as if to eat the chocolate out of her mouth, but at the last second, kisses her on the forehead instead.

Stamps laughs, and Lee laughs back.

He stands up straight again, and while still looking at her, slips the folder back into the huge pile – but somewhere in the middle this time.

Lee starts backing away as Stamps spins slowly in her chair. She knows what he has done, and smiles at him.)
Stamps (affectionately): I sure am gonna miss you, toots.

Lee (turning the doorknob, smiling): Yeah? I’ll miss you too.

(They blow kisses at each other.. and Lee leaves.)

[LOL I used to eye roll at this scene and found the addition of a frisky granny to be cringe.. but today watching this? My reaction is completely different!! I’m enjoying Lee and Stamps hamming it up!!  and I like Stamps! Go Her!! haaaaa..
I don’t know why lol. I guess humour is mood dependent. Hey I’m allowed to be inconsistent with a tv show am I right?! 

How are you guys experiencing this scene?
It’s quite bittersweet (semi sweet?!). You can tell Stamps has a genuine affection for Lee and there is a backstory here… and I appreciate how Lee doesn’t guilt her or ask her to do anything that might compromise her own position. really sweet (not semi sweet!)! I wonder if this also suggests this right here might be one of the reasons Lee will do the right thing by the agency- because of friends like Stamps he has made over the years.. I still don’t want him to though lol. I want him to leave 😉 

Anyway, I can’t help but wonder what Ephraim Beaman would do with Stamps! I think he might have an aneurysm! He would have been verklempt – is that right Clagjanet? haaaaa]

Back at Lee’s place.. he’s getting ready for something that’s risky… Francine is getting ready in his living room, while Lee calls Amanda.

Lee (into phone, firmly): You’re not going.

Amanda’s voice (frustrated and upset): I just wish that there was some way I could help you and Francine…
Lee (impatiently, checking his watch): Amanda, I don’t have time to argue. McCaslin’s office is in the Alexandria Station, they’ve got full security there and I may be locked out of the web in less than an hour.
(…Francine is around the corner, in Lee’s dining room, wearing a powder-blue suit. She can easily hear everything Lee is saying…

And he surely realizes this, as she is only a few yards away from him. Francine is carrying a black briefcase (the proverbial “black bag”?). As the next bit of dialogue takes place, the camera remains on Francine.)
Lee’s voice: Now please – stay put?..
(Francine sets the briefcase on the dining room table and looks up, slightly surprised, listening – perhaps reluctantly. She opens the briefcase and pulls out some kind of electronic device. Lee’s voice becomes more serious.)

..You know, Amanda, I may be ending both our careers here, but I’m not sorry – not sorry one bit.
(Francine takes a breath and concentrates on calibrating the device she is holding.)
…Especially for the last four years.
Amanda’s voice: You don’t have to tell me all this stuff.
[lol Amanda if he wants to talk let him talk. haaaa she’s certainly grasped the need to know concept at this point 😉 ]
Lee (soberly): You know, I was thinking … no matter how this turns out… This may be something that we both need. A reason to live like normal people.
[Lee! I think you already have a reason! You don’t need another at this point]
(The camera is back on Francine, who reacts to this by closing the briefcase loudly – perhaps to make sure that Lee realizes she is standing right there.)

Lee: Bye.
(Lee hangs up the phone and looks at Francine, who is walking out of the dining room carrying the briefcase.)
Francine (businesslike): Traffic in Alexandria can get pretty heavy if there’s a game in Georgetown, maybe we should, uh, head out?
Lee: Yeah. Listen, Francine, I’m asking you to do a hell of a favor for me.

[Whaaaa?? Hold that thought.] (Francine scoffs at this.)
…You can tell me to go jump in the lake if you want to.

Francine (lifting a hand to cut him off): If I don’t help you, your chance of success is less than half. If you blow it, we’re out on our ears! And, like you said … you just might have to live like a “normal person.”
(She shakes her head.)

…I can’t let you be “normal,” Stetson.

(She lets out a small laugh.)

…Not you and Amanda both.

(Francine walks toward the door and Lee can’t help smiling. He shakes his head slightly and turns to follow her out.)
I can’t wait to hear what you all make of this!!! I’m glad we got some kind of inclusion of Amanda. A voice on the phone.. I won’t turn that down. 
At the same time – this is like they are re-doing the conversation in the Q bureau where Amanda agreed to stay out of it, which was supposedly earlier the same day. The more I think about it the more it feels to me like that Q bureau scene between Lee and Amanda was inserted as an afterthought. Maybe to give KJ a scene sitting down but still being involved. We really didn’t need to have that scene but of course I can’t say no to an actual Lee and Amanda shared scene! 

So, what do you think of Lee’s speech to Amanda on the phone??
“..You know, Amanda, I may be ending both our careers here, but I’m not sorry – not sorry one bit.”
ummm how is Lee putting Amanda’s career at risk with what he’s about to do?
This sounds like he is trying to fix a problem Amanda and he are in trouble for.
I’m left confused, then Lee goes and adds in something super romantic and I’m distracted from my confusion for a moment awhhh swwoooooon awwhhh haaaaaa… 
My confusion returns 2 seconds later though when Lee decides to thank Francine for the favour of helping him. When she’s the reason for the problem and really he is helping her and his career is down the drain too now thanks to her and her actions. She should have said that line! Ugh. 

It seems like this scene was written when Amanda was sidelined after handing over secrets to a random dude like Lee once did to her, and now Francine is taking a risk to help them. Like one of those moments we’ve had a few times now- where Lee is in trouble and Francine steps in to help as a favour!!

The line from Francine about not letting him be normal? haaaa it’s funny and all.. and a lovely Francine dig! I enjoy those references back to the whole normal joke. But.. It makes no sense to make that joke when Lee is helping Francine with a problem she created. Aie. I’m so confused by this all that I can’t laugh, I’m just scratching my head thinking: what the heck?! 

Oh well… I’ll try and hang in there and keep going… 
Lee and Francine head to McCaslin’s office.. I’m going to save you the details..
They break in, (McCaslin seems to be a modern art fan!),

They find a hidden tape in McCaslin’s office, which is him and Sergei talking and great proof that McCaslin is McDodgy and the Russians have set them up. 
Lee and Francine take the tape, go to leave and are intercepted by security. So Francine throws the tape into a nearby pot plant to stop it’s discovery, aiming to come back later.

I like to think  Francine has learned her lesson – stop with the handing stuff over to random people in the public. Hand over to random plants in pots instead. That’s better! 😉 haaaaaaa. (They don’t sleep in on Sundays and they don’t create fake histories to cover their status as Russian spies. Am I right?!)

Before we move on one final thought. The timeline is all wrong in this episode. All in the one day: We see a daytime IFF establishing shot, Billy and Lee met with Dr Smyth, daytime establishing shot of state department, Billy and Dr Smyth attended the state department hearing, daytime shot of IFF exterior, Billy and Lee met in his office in the dark with few people around (Lee adjusting the blinds, a cleaner cart out in the bullpen cleaning), daytime shot of IFF exterior and Lee met with Amanda in the Q bureau, Lee met with McCaslin, then, Lee stopped off at the chocolate shop, returned to the agency that night (we see a night time exterior shot) to meet with Stamps  and then went back to his place that evening. He met Francine there (for the first time that day), then Lee and Francine drove to McCaslin’s office… and got arrested. All in one day. 
So how was the office so dark with Billy? 
The Billy and Lee scene could have been first thing in the morning  – except they already did 2 meetings in 2 different locations before that scene on the same day.
Moving on! 

Next, back to Billy’s office the next morning, he bailed them out. Mr hey Dr Smyth wants your resignation now and I can’t help you. Whatever.
Billy is in huff and puff mode.

Billy: Oh, I’m a great bailer… [Agreed! Billy is bailing on Lee and Francine!] Sometimes, we forget what else I do around here.  I’m the boss! I okay the plan! And your job is to DO WHAT I SAY!
[This is gold… and about 80 episodes too late in the saying haaaaaa]
Lee: She was just giving me an extra pair of eyes, Billy.
[Wha?? It was Francine’s case, she’s the agent of record!!!]
Billy: Dr. Smyth cut your eyes out last night, Scarecrow, you don’t work here anymore!
[So then you can’t call him Scarecrow anymore!] And I spent a considerable amount of time tap dancing around that particular fact with the security guard who caught you!
[-Ummm I continue to be pretty confused… to the point of discombobulation!  Shouldn’t Billy be saying you both don’t work here anymore? eh? Why is it only Lee?! Maybe it’s ‘you’ plural.. Hmmm but this is petty confusing.. like the script was only partially re-written!]
The scene goes on to outline that the source of the leak of the European Roster is a European agent Carla Price…and she is linked to McCaslin.

Billy (still furious): Damn it, Scarecrow! Dr. Smyth buried you and Francine with a bulldozer.  Your resignation is only the beginning of his scramble to show the Russians that we’re doing something! He can’t back up! And I can’t even get you into a latrine in a post office!
[Ah. so we are back to it being Lee and Francine? I’m so confused. I should stop trying to make sense of this. I should have stopped that about 10 scenes ago right?!] 

Time for a baddie catch up.. Sergei and McCaslin meet in a park. Seems McCaslin murdered Carla Price because she was a link to him and could point him out.
Sergei pulls a gun on him, because McCaslin is a link to him and can point him out too.

but! McCaslin has an insurance policy.. his audio tape..
McCaslin admits Lee has stolen it from his office, but he’s hidden it somewhere as it wasn’t on him when he was arrested. So Sergei should help McCaslin get it back and they can save each other. Me thinks Sergei will try to get it and kill McCaslin lol. Why would’t he? I have no sympathy for the guy!  

Time for a good guys catch up! This time, it’s TP and Lee down by the water on a houseboat..

what? TP is not eating? well this is unusual..

TP does have the compulsory quirky prop though with the remote control ship. Whatever.

Anyway, Lee asks for TP’s help getting into the CIA.
Lee: I’m running out of doors to open. Carla Price has disappeared. The Agency’s closing files faster than the White House shredded the Watergate files. McCaslin?  He’s getting away with political murder. 

[Literal Murder too!]
TP has an in…
..he can get Lee a cover with the government maintenance workers. Sold.

Next thing, Lee Mr Maintenance Worker drives a van to the CIA office building.

He gets past the gate and heads to the pot plant.
[Good to see Lee has already moved into new employment after leaving the agency. So quickly! He’s getting the hang of this being normal thing already.] 
The security at the gate has phoned to say Lee is there.
Soooo uh oh. they knew Lee was coming.. and boooo – Lee hasn’t decided to embrace life after the agency taking up a new career in overalls? double booo!!

Maintenance Worker Lee heads straight to the pot plant to tie his shoe lace/pick up the tape,

and then heads straight back to his van to leave.
Quickly, he finds he’s being followed, and a tracker has been placed on his van. Seems Lee has fallen yet again into one of their traps. Muahahahahaaha.

Lee drives around being followed and chased,

[Where did those mountains come from in DC? Anyone see the Hollywood sign?! I’m running out of episodes to find it!!! gah!!!]
Lee ends up driving into a warehouse. He abandons the van..

Out come the guns.. foot chase, bullet chase, insults chase… a dodgy stunt double thrown in for Sergei to do the physical stuff…  blah blah.. time for the baddie to mouth off!
Lee (shouting back at him): You set us up, Sergei!

Of course I did!  I had to fight like hell to get the sweatsuit! [I don’t even know what this means?!]  … There will be other games. My country would love new players.  Why don’t you consider Moscow?  We would be worthy allies…

The scene ends up with Lee being held at gunpoint, and having to hand over the tape and gun to the baddie driver, who hands the tape to Sergei.

Uh oh McCaslin. you lost your insurance!
Sergei: Get his gun. (The driver takes McCaslin’s gun, as Sergei starts pulling something out of his pocket. ) I’m afraid your conversation with me concerning “Trojan Horse” … never took place. (Sergei sprinkles some lighter fluid on the tape.) Your “insurance policy” … (Sergei pulls out a matchbook) … is terminated.
Sergei burns the tape.
I think McCaslin’s feelings are hurt. haaaaaa..
Lee watches on seemingly unfazed..
Sergei mouths off and spells out the plot here.

He’s so clever! he’s got to brag about it!!! blah blah. I won’t include his brag. It’s really just a summing up of the most basic part of the plot without adding anything new! 

Sergei is about to shoot McCaslin when Billy arrives with back up…

and Francine seems to have been positioned to get a great camera angle with audio!

How smart!!!! soooo it all was a set up!!!!! Lee handed over fake tape. hoorah the real one is safe and sound. Lee put it in his shoe when he was tying his shoelace I guess..

Oh and that stupid scene with Lee and Billy earlier, where Billy tells him I can’t help you – that was there to fool the audience? Really he was on Lee’s side the whole time?? There was no other reason for them to be saying what they said they were alone. This is truly lame, and really unfair to the audience who have just been plain tricked!!
I don’t think we are supposed to be tricked with people like with objects. Unless that cranky Billy earlier was a different Billy who was put in Lee’s top pocket to fool us but really helpful Billy was hiding in his shoe all along. Errr Something’s not right here. rofl. 
I think my experience of this episode is just ongoing confusion with no real pay off and I’m starting to feel gaslighted. Almost finished! Gosh it might be another 6 years before I watch this episode again!!! 

So we have the tag back at the Q bureau, and Amanda is still nowhere to be seen.
Let’s go with peacockdancer’s transcription to finish up..
Smyth: Time off?
Francine and Lee are standing next to each other in front of Lee’s desk.

Francine (diplomatically): It has been a very stressful couple of days, sir. I think a little R&R is in order.
(Dr. Smyth pauses a few feet away, his back to them. He looks a bit troubled.)
Smyth: But you will be returning to the Agency, I’ve torn up your resignations.
Lee: Now wait a second, we never submitted our resignations. You fired us, remember?

[Ohhh is this Lee just making this the new reality here like a let’s just say you fired us and not talk about the resignations kinda deal? 
The episode has been so confusing at times I question everything at this point. Aie. It’s the biggest mystery of all  – why am I still trying to figure out this episode??!!! gahh!!!]
Francine: Of course, if this means that you’re re-hiring us…
Smyth (shrewdly): Week’s vacation enough?

(There is a momentary pause as Lee glances at Francine, then back toward Dr. Smyth.)
Lee: A month.
Smyth (turning to face them): Two weeks.
(Dr. Smyth exhales some smoke and takes a step toward them.)
All right? I expect to see you in about two weeks.
(He turns toward the door.)
Lee: Uh, one moment, sir.

(Dr. Smyth turns back to face him. Smiling, Lee tosses a chess pawn to Smyth, who catches it reflexively. Lee and Francine look pleased with themselves.)
Lee (to Smyth): Checkmate?

(Dr. Smyth looks at the pawn with mild surprise,

Lee looks pretty pleased with himself.. 

Dr Smyth nods in acknowledgment, and exits the office.

Billy follows and turns to wink at Lee and Francine as he closes the door behind him.
Lee and Francine look at each other with big grins on their faces.)

The episode ends there.. hoorahhhhhhhhh.

Before I go on to share my thoughts now the episode is over – have you guessed how long Amanda is in this episode for? and/or how long we see Amanda for??
I’ve added it up… have a guess.. I’ll share my thoughts then come back to the answer!!!!

So the episode ends with Lee having a little dig at Dr Smyth giving him a pawn back. Who is a fan of this?
I don’t know what I thought of this the first time I see it, but I find it kind of petty. Stooping to Dr Smyth’s level!  I don’t want to see Lee doing anything Dr Smyth would do.
I think I would have enjoyed it more if Dr Smyth accidentally burnt himself with his cigarette trying to catch it. haaaaa.
Or if he caught it and then tried to take a puff from the pawn. Whahahaaaaa. 

Two weeks? Personally, I think Lee should have said:
I want time off – forever. Now my reputation is cleared, I want out. I’m tired of being a pawn you can just use up and spit out, and having to put my life on the line for what? To have the agency turn it’s back on me whenever convenient? forget it!!
Hmmmm maybe I could convince myself it’s 2 weeks to line up what’s next while on vacation. So he can return to work and RESIGN! Yes yes that must be it. cough. 

I would have liked to see Mischa in the finale, there is zero mention of him once he is revealed. I would have liked to see Francine fool him too!!! I still don’t understand how Mr Andropoulos’ call could have come from the agency or the USA, that just got dropped but I thought maybe Andropoulos implicated Amanda because she took his call and transferred it.

Well, I was hoping that I would find with Suitable for Framing that walking through it I found my memory of the episode was maybe a little too harsh, and there were some gems in here that I had forgotten. Umm I guess the whole call with Amanda as he prepared to go and ruin his career was meaningful but bittersweet because we can’t see Amanda..
I think my fave part of this episode is Stamps!! What do you think? 
As always though, walking through the episode with others helps me to find it more interesting and enjoyable so I’m looking forward to hearing from people who’d like to share their thoughts. 

If you really like this episode, I’m especially curious to hear more about how you see this episode! 

To finish up here – Let’s take a look at Amanda’s presence in this episode..
Given she is on the phone twice..
I’m weird, so while I was walking through this episode… I added up the time for Amanda in person or on the phone (3 minutes, 22 seconds)
or Amanda in person only (1 minute 51 seconds).
She was talked about a few times, but wasn’t there at all 😦
So, it’s even less than the previous episode.
No wonder she was sooooo missed!!! Thanks KJ for the time we did see you though!!! What’s up next? A Matter of Choice! Will we find a Hollywood sign in this episode??!!! 
86 episodes down… and 2 to go!!

2/3 Season Four:Episode Twenty–Suitable for Framing –Scarecrow and Mrs King

Let’s keep going!
In Billy’s office, Lee and Billy discuss the case..
Lee: Why’d those guys in the station wagon chase us the first time, then not even go after us at the University? There’s something … very weird going on here.
[Agreed! Is ‘chase us the first time’ referring to how they chased Francine out of L’etoile? because they didn’t chase her once she handed over the papers to ‘Brian’! So while it’s great Lee is asking questions.. none of it makes sense.]

Billy: What about Benedict? [What a name. SMK does love to give clues with names.. Benedict the famous traitor.]
Lee: Francine convinced him to let her take him to a safe house…
(Billy is cranky this valuable information is floating around out there.. and Lee agrees it stinks.) 
Billy: From what Francine told me, it looks like those papers are somehow connected to Chernev’s “Trojan Horse.” It would be safe to assume, then, that the Russians want them back!
Lee: Any luck with Andropolous?
Billy: Yes. All bad. He crossed the border from Greece into Bulgaria four weeks ago and no one’s seen or heard of him since.
Lee: Well, where was he calling from, some small village in the Balkans?
Billy: Hardly. According to the computer log, the call was placed … here.
[lol I think the dialogue in this scene is full of hints of what’s really happening here.. Remember, it’s operation ‘Trojan Horse’! why would the Russians want Trojan horse back? putting it out there was key to the deception.
Then, they throw in a couple of Greek references. aie. Just when I think SMK is phoning it in, they go and deliver dialogue like this. very clever IMHO!!!]

Francine turns up… with a new theory from Brian for them to follow up…
Francine:  Benedict thinks his girlfriend may have the papers. They were in a drawer with some dissertation notes that she was typing for him.
Great. Great! Let’s send a team to pick ‘em up.
Francine: We’re it. He wants you to meet him at his girlfriend’s rooming house. Here.
(She hands Lee the message.)
[Ohhhh Brian gets to dictate where they go next yet again. Now he gets to dictate who also?]
Lee (to Billy, skeptically): We are letting him walk away from the safe house?

Billy: We have no authority to limit his movement. He’s not under arrest. However, there’s no reason we couldn’t send someone … with him, to keep an eye on him?
(He looks at Francine pointedly.)
Francine (smiling): Already taken care of.

[She looks way too happy given the situation lol. I figure this is  Francine on the verge of panic!]
Billy: Good.

Lee and Francine head over to Brian’s girlfriend’s place.. like good obedient little spies. There is this little gem of an exchange as Francine and Lee arrive there.. Francine: Lee, listen.
Lee: Hmm?
Francine: I’ve thought this over … and over in my mind, and I really don’t know what I could have done differently.
Lee: Probably nothing! Don’t worry about it …

…relax, huh? You probably got as lucky with this guy as I did with Amanda.

[Love how he tugs up his pants as he says this like: yaaaassss I am the man!]
Francine (glancing at him skeptically): Oh, no way, he’s not my type.
[lol. he’s kinda young for Francine.. and way too poor.
BTW it’s a little ironic because way back, both Francine and Lee would have sworn Amanda was not at all Lee’s type! 😉 ]

Lee (exhaling): Oh, come on. (He gestures toward the building they are headed for.) Let’s close this case, huh?

[It’s lovely to see Lee be so supportive of Francine, when he could have turned on her. At the same time, I’m not as forgiving as Lee haaaaa.
Share your thoughts – what could Francine have done differently?
I’ll play armchair spy here and suggest.. the dumb drop at L’etoile was flawed from the start. Francine had zero back up [edited to add: Or did she?? If that one guy was back up he was lousy back up!]
Francine should have had a team supporting her, especially as the information was potentially priority 1. This would have prevented the need to hide the papers in the first place.

Of course, this would mean we have no episode.. so come on Iwsod play along here… I do love that it is highlighting how Lee and Amanda started being Lee and Amanda/ Scarecrow and Mrs King!]

It’s time for the Trojan Horse to be revealed for what it is!! I’ll rely on peacockdancer’s description here..
McCaslin: Hold it folks. (He reaches into his lapel and pulls out an ID). Dan McCaslin, CIA.
(Lee pulls out his Agency badge and shows it to McCaslin. Francine does the same.)
Francine (confused, shaking her head): CIA? We didn’t request inter-agency backup.
The door to the house opens again. Two men in suits are forcefully escorting the guy we know as “Brian Benedict” out of the house against his will.

Francine (flabbergasted): Why are you arresting Brian?

NotBrian (now speaking with a heavy Russian accent, pointing furiously at Francine): She’s the one! She has tricked me! You have tried to implicate me in illegal activities!

[NotBrian? haaaaa good one peacockdancer!]
(Francine’s jaw drops in astonishment. Lee looks grim.)
Francine: Me! You’re crazy!

(Lee and Francine watch as the CIA agents force NotBrian into a car.)
[I don’t think I’ve ever seen Francine more shocked and confused as this!!)
NotBrian (protesting angrily): This is ridiculous, I know nothing, I…
Lee: What the hell is going on here, McCaslin?
McCaslin: Well, your “Brian” is really Mischa Dubinski. A Soviet student from Kiev…
[Which btw is no longer Russia! Go Ukraine!]
We caught him with highly sensitive documents detailing our agency operations in Eastern Europe…

…Which he claims you (points at Francine) planted on him.
(Francine gives Lee a “can you believe this?” look. McCaslin and the other CIA agent walk away. Lee realizes that this is some kind of setup.)
Lee (aggrieved, shaking his head): Oh, no.

[Yeahhhhhh Uh Oh-ski!!! They are in big trouble-ski!!!
Yeah Lee’s been in this position before: set up by the Russians. Ugghhhh]

Next, we see the IFF coffee room. Guarded by errrr a guard with a machine gun?! oh rofl. Oh I see Dr Smyth is in there, maybe the guard follows him around from room to room.
Seems it’s time for the bad news..
Lee, Billy and Dr Smyth discuss recent events… why Francine is not there I have nooooo idea. She’s at the heart of everything that has happened, she should be there for this conversation. Hmmm.
Lee: They planted the kid, they gave him a cover, then they tricked Francine into recruiting him. It’s all supposed to look like they’re the victims.
(Dr. Smyth is playing idly with a chess set, cigarette holder in hand.)

Smyth (coolly): Certainly! And young Dubinski – née Benedict – is our “Trojan Horse.” Delivered by your source, Andropolous. It’s a classic. “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”
So it’s now the time in the episode where Dr Smyth plays chess, while delivering brutal pragmatics and throwing his agents under the bus. I find this scene really heavy handed. The dialogue is just dumb. Mr Smyth is tedious here to me.

My take away? Lee and Francine make the agency look bad, so let’s cut our loses. Lee and Francine have to tender their resignations in 36 hours, and no Lee you don’t get a chance to fight for your job (yet again).

The scene ends with a clunky reference to losing some pawns.
When Dr Smyth threw the pawn to Lee as he made his dramatic exit?? My eyes were rolling so hard, I’m afraid they won’t roll back into place again.

So, another one of those.. you are discredited and the agency is letting you go because it’s the easy thing to do for them even if it is unjust and not true. The agency chews up it’s agents and spits them out. They are disposable… This time – Dr Smyth literally refers to them as pawns. So now, it’s time to fight for your job with everything against you and the clock ticking.
You can only play this chess move so many times before the audience starts to think: Hmmm you know Lee, maybe you are better off not being with the agency??
You start to question- is it all worth it??
Especially when there are lots of sacrifices that mean missing out on weekends and hot Beef Wellington…. with his wife! you know?
I think the writers at this point in the show have overplayed this one.
My dream end to the show is Lee and Amanda saying so long to the agency. Seriously.
Anyway sorry getting sidetracked here..
Oh noooo will Francine and Lee be able to redeem themselves? Get their super fantastic jobs back and win back the trust of the wonderful agency?

The next scene is at the state department, where there’s a hearing with crowds watching on (including McCaskin, Billy and Dr Smyth).

Sergei outlines how poor Mischa was approached by the US government to entice him to spy on his own government and have documents planted on him.

It’s a secret ‘protest’ and not public knowledge, but it’s being threatened that they might release the knowledge to the public.
Sergei has visual aids!!

How convenient to have captured all this!!!

What luck! They managed to capture when Francine framed him!

And… with close ups!

It’s weird how Sergei says Mischa was approached ‘several weeks ago’, and then ‘a week ago’ they approached him again – the time she met him with Lee.
Not sure why they changed the time frames, maybe because they portrayed the first meeting as the second meeting. Not sure, but this way, the story they are putting forward for why Mischa was being filmed sort of makes sense to me. lol. But even then, this is so convoluted I’m not confident I’ve understood it, or that it can be understood! haaaaa.

Sergei says Mischa reported to the Russian embassy he had been approached.. sooo this was the Russians entrapping the Americans lol. oh sorry no it’s ‘an opportunity to document the US policy of harassment and entrapment of Soviet citizens’’. Riiiight. 

Aie anyone want to walk us through this logic? Please. go right ahead. 

Hearing all this, Dr Smyth tells Billy he wants their resignations immediately.

Lee and Francine resigning only plays into the propaganda and makes the Soviet story more convincing, I’m really not following why that would be a good idea just on a pragmatic basis alone!

The next scene is between Lee and Billy… it’s late, dark and they are alone in Billy’s office. Billy expresses regrets at how it all has to end… they are friends, but he can’t help Lee and Francine. yada yada. Resignations are wanted now, and Lee and Francine have 24 hours to clean out their desks.

Lee gets angry.. tells Billy to straighten his badge, and then leaves.

I see they have thrown in a little ‘The First Time’ reference here.. nice try, but I don’t see the connection. Okay, this might have made more sense if it was Amanda who handed over the papers maybe. I don’t remember Lee being asked for his resignation in TFT? There’s anger here, but not nearly enough for what is actually supposed to be going on here. I think this scene has a bit of a weird vibe.

Next up.. it’s 25 minutes into this episode and we fiiiiiiinally get a scene with Lee and Amanda together!!!!! so of course I’m going to include peacockdancer’s transcription of the whole scene.. I’ll take what I can get!

Lee opens the door to the Q-Bureau and walks in, a piece of paper in his hand. Amanda is seated at her desk. 
Lee: Hi.
Amanda: Hi.
(Lee closes the door. He looks at the paper, then hands it to Amanda wordlessly. He paces back and forth in front of Amanda as she reads it.)

Amanda (reading, while Lee paces): “I, Lee Stetson, am responsible for my actions and absolve the Agency from any blame or wrongdoing resulting—” I can’t believe you’re gonna lie like this!
Lee (fatalistically): At the Battle of Bull Run, the Saratoga Light Cavalry faced five hundred Southern cannon. An order to charge had come… It had been delayed, but foot soldiers didn’t question their orders, they charged. (He glances at Amanda, then continues pacing.) Astonished Southern gunners mowed ‘em down, all three thousand men. That was their war … this is ours. (Peacockdancer Observation: Lee needs to seriously brush up on his Civil War history.)

[Is ‘ours’ referring to him and Francine? My reaction to this little speech was- huh? what is he on about? I think this is supposed to be super dramatic, Lee falling on his sword, but I just find it a lot of words and blah blah blah.. Peacockdancer is this story not even accurate?!]
Amanda (incredulous): I can’t believe you’re gonna equate this to something like that!
Lee: I know, but we can reason why all we want. The point is, when the time runs out, we are gonna both do what’s best for the Agency, right?

[Uh, is he expecting that Amanda is just going to resign too?? Apparently!
Who is ‘we’??? I’m so confused.. 
Edited to add: The impression I got from the previous Lee/Billy scene was late at night and most people had gone home?? now Lee heads straight to the Q bureau and Amanda is still there? and it’s still daylight out?
Ohhhh kaaaaaay…]

Amanda (businesslike, picking up a piece of paper): All right, look. I checked the Eastern European roster they say we planted on Dubinski. (She hands the paper to Lee, who looks at it.) It’s current.

Lee: This thing is updated every two weeks, maybe we’ll be able to find out who leaked it to the Soviets...How many requests were there?
Amanda: Sixty-one, all legitimate. I’m already checking ‘em out.
[edited to add: If you haven’t checked them out yet, how can you say they are all legitimate?]

Lee: Good. Another thing we can try to run down is who tipped McCaslin at CIA … about Dubinski?

Amanda (shaking her head): You know, ah, you can tiptoe around McCaslin forever and you’re never gonna find anything out.

Lee: Well, I wasn’t thinking “tiptoe.” I was thinking “black bag”…

…and don’t get any ideas… You’re not going.
Amanda (indignantly): Why not, I passed my Agency infiltration test!

[Awh!!!! I miss all this Amanda learning to be an agent stuff!!!]
Lee: I know, but Francine is the agent of record, and for once, I just want you out of the line of fire. (He looks truly concerned about her.) Please, Amanda?

(Touched, Amanda gives him a small smile of acquiescence.)

What do you make of Amanda’s outfit? She does look great in the bright colours, however the brightness just makes the shoulders look even bigger! It’s a lovely colour on her… 
Thoughts so far? Anyone else as confused as I am? 
Looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts! 

1/3 Season Four:Episode Twenty–Suitable for Framing –Scarecrow and Mrs King

Ready for another episode? Three more episodes (including this one!) till we’ve finished the walk through all episodes!!!!

Apologies in the delays… Let’s do this!!!

This wouldn’t have been possible without the transcribers who have supported JWWM and Operation Sandstorm!!! 
So a special thanks again to all who have contributed!

Thanks to peacockdancer for transcribing this episode for Operation Sandstorm, and sharing it with us all. I hope you enjoyed it!


A formatting reminder as we get started:
peacockdancer’s descriptions are in this format- (xxx)
My descriptions are in this format- xxx
My comments are in this format- [xxx]
peacockdancer’s comments-(Peacockdancer- XXX)

Same as the previous episode, I won’t be watching this fresh as I write it up, I’m finding it’s too time consuming when I’m not as engaged with the full content of these final few episodes! The walk will be briefer and less detailed as I don’t think there is much to be gained by delving in great detail – other than with Lee and Amanda scenes of course..
However – if you love this episode, or a particular scene and you would like to discuss it in more detail than what I’ve covered in the walk, go for it and share in comments your thoughts please.

The episode starts with.. a Russian location…

A meeting of Russian men…. speaking in Russian and English randomly.. Hmmmm… Oh SMK, how to make actors look like Russians?

No smiling allowed (unless evil!).. large old fashioned glasses, dark suits.. no women attend meetings…. where is the fish in the newspaper and black bread guys? Mmm a bust of Lenin, and a picture of Mikhail Gorbachev in the back ground.. Interesting as this episode aired in 1987, right at the start of the Glasnost era… What year did the Berlin Wall fall? Hmm I shall leave that to someone else to go into if they want. It is rather awkward for me to be writing up SMK Russians when the world is the way it is at the moment… still smk is for fun, so I’m going to put all that out of my mind! 

But what’s most interesting is – Dr Glasner (If Thoughts Could Kill) seems to have moved to Russia! Seems he broke out of prison to move to Russia to continue his vendetta against the agency with a new name and identify. This Sergei seems to have skipped the I’ll get myself a new face with plastic surgery step though… this is smk so he can get away with it!

This Chernev guy who seems in charge seems to be a big deal.. he’s feeling a bit hurt by world press coverage of the USSR, so wants to fight back.. but how?

Sergei has a suggestion!

…something called ‘The Trojan Horse’. 

[Since when is any Russian plan simple!]

Uh oh. The plan seems to have Francine at the centre of it, but we don’t find out anything about it. [But lol you can see the whole plan fits on one page with just a few sentences when Chernev looks it and knows the whole plan within 2 seconds haaaa.. soooo it’s apparently not a super complicated plan. Hmm we’ll see! 

Hey, is this an episode where they had originally had Amanda centre stage but it got moved to Francine because she was recovering?
The photo of Francine Desmond, is from SMK Season 4 It’s in the water! This was when she was wearing a hideous salmon-and-pink outfit with white tennis shoes and banana-clipped hair, posing undercover as a student at Georgetown University. Haaaaaaa..
Whoa. they’ve had their eye on Francine for a while!!!]

Back to IFF, and Billy has called a meeting to start working on ‘Trojan Horse’ – a leak from a Bulgarian source has told them about the plan.
Lee (whistles): Chernev is the best agitprop agent the KGB has got. He springs an average of one major propaganda embarrassment on us every year. This one must be an A-1 priority action.

[Propaganda huh. Maybe a plan named Trojan horse isn’t the actual plan, but a plan hiding the real plan. rofl. We just need a character named Troy here.]

Lee is not happy to have to cancel his evening’s plans with Amanda…
I’ve edited this post to add in this line of dialogue from Billy…
Billy:  There was a time when I couldn’t keep you out of New York.  What were their names, the Orgalovsky sisters? 
Another one of those references to Lee’s….. adventurous past love life!
Billy is ordering him to accompany him to NY for a short notice visit..

This shot of Lee watching Billy walk away reminds me of a few times Amanda did that to him…

and made her exit with him being left speechless… Not Exactly!! 

Lee arrives home calling out for Amanda.. I’m going to include this full scene – of course!!- and thanks to peacockdancer, here’s the transcription.

(Lee is disappointed to find that Amanda is not there. He turns and sees his dining room table set for a romantic dinner for two, with roses, crystal wine glasses and a candle. The lights are off and the candle is unlit.)

[Lee looks around all forlorn.]

(Resting against the candle is a handwritten note that reads, “Lee, Call me at my house. Amanda.” Lee walks over and picks up the note, sighs, and then walks to the phone in his living room and dials. The phone rings and we hear Amanda)
Amanda is off camera for the whole conversation.
Amanda’s voice: Hello?
Lee (into phone, happy to be talking with her): Amanda, it’s me.

Amanda’s voice (cheerfully): Hi, you home? 
[I like that Amanda says home.. like it’s their home, and she referred on the note to ‘my house’ not my home!] 
Lee: Yeah, I just got in.
Amanda’s voice: Good, I’ll feed the boys and I’ll be right over.
Lee: Uh, Amanda, listen… (He is very sorry about what he is about to tell her.)
Amanda’s voice: Everything’s on low in the oven. Beef Wellington—
Lee (interrupting): Amanda, stop. (He pauses.) I have to fly to New York … with Billy tonight, for 36 hours of Q&A with the FBI and a gaggle of Soviet shadows.
Amanda’s voice: Sounds pretty important…
Lee: Yeah, it could be… Sascha Chernev’s got something cooking on the stove, something code-named “Trojan Horse.”… [Need to know Lee!!!]
(He sighs and closes his eyes regretfully.)
…Oh, and I love Beef Wellington, too.

Amanda’s voice (disappointed, but trying to console him): Don’t worry… It’s good cold too.
Lee (his voice rising): I don’t want it cold, I want it hot. Tonight. With my wife. (Lee is upset)
(Peacockdancer- and he is very clearly NOT talking about beef anymore.)
[Grrrrr! I remember I heard about this line many times before I ever got to see this episode, as I didn’t watch this episode till 2008 when I got hold of the dvds. I was shocked to find out Lee was discussing Beef Wellington. Haaaaa… It’s pretty funny how he wants it hot, tonight with his wife!!! hehehee.. Originally I was thinking no way did they mean that as a euphemism, but now I wonder – given how they tried to sex it up in All that Glitters – it would have been an awesome line to include in the tv commercial! haaaaaa.. Now I lean toward peacockdancer’s take. He ain’t talkin about food!]
…Damn it, Amanda, we have not had an uninterrupted weekend since we’ve been married! We are lucky to get a night now and then! 
Amanda’s voice: Well, we knew it would be hard for a while, and we do spend a lot of time together … at work.
Lee (quieter now):Yeah, but work is torture…
(He pauses, then continues more softly.)
…You know what it’s like … watching you across the room, when all I really want to do is—
[If this were not a PG rated blog, I’d ask you to complete this sentence haaaaa. what Lee? What do you want to do??? hooooo haaaaaaa..]
Amanda’s voice (interrupting): When do you leave?
Lee (sighing regretfully): An hour.
Amanda’s voice: I’ll be over there in ten minutes, the evening won’t be a complete loss.
(Lee smiles with surprise and gratitude.)
[Thanks for transcribing peacockdancer you have a very strong constitution. When Lee started talking about how he likes his beef wellington I wouldn’t have been able to transcribe anything but gibberish! 
The boys can feed themselves lol. I think Amanda likes it hot too -cough cough! Good for her!

Amanda’s voice sounds very tired, do you think? Poor KJ to have put herself through all this for this show. KJ we salute you!!!!!
Lee is complaining about all the interrupted weekends.. yeah maybe it’s time to rethink that dumb secret marriage and his career choices…
I hope I remember to come back to this further in this episode..

Whooo I love to hear Lee talk about the torture of seeing Amanda at work… Whoooooo Haaaaa!!! Bet you can cut the sexual tension with a knife! 😉 ]

On to Amanda at the Q bureau the next morning.  she answers the phone, tells the caller Lee is in NY (Need to know please Amanda!!!!) and passes on the call from Mr Andropoulous to Francine.

A greek name.. hmmm.. and an operation named Trojan Horse.. Hmm..
[Amanda is looking pretty here!] 

Next up, we join Lee and Billy in a super realistic looking drive through New York while they both are on their phones. lol. Anything interesting in this scene? Ummm not really, other than Billy’s line here…
Billy (into phone): Vodka and some decent caviar usually pries something loose…. But 147 dollars for some stale stories about a Hungarian double agent’s sex change operation? Please.
[His delivery is pretty funny!]

[I find the image of them both on their phones so close, talking to different people hilarious. How anyone can make out what anyone is saying is beyond me haaaa] 

Oh and this.. the information will be passed using the ” modified Steinglich Maneuvre. ” love how Lee says that with such authority.. I bet Bruce has no idea what it is!

Lee and Billy’s trip to NY is a bust and they’ll be back in DC that evening. The only other thing we learn is that code name ‘Mr Andropoulous’ has a tip which will be passed on to Francine before he leaves the country that night.

We join Francine undercover as a waitress at L’Etoile.
[No gags here about how Francine doesn’t do domestic work?? 😦 I miss those smk days!

Doesn’t look like there’s a diplomatic party going on there to me. Also doesn’t look french with those busts but.. whatev.
Anyway, seems the maneuver is to drop a whole tray of dishes in the middle of a busy restaurant and then have the other person ‘help ‘ to clean it up while handing over the paper.

Talk about drawing attention to yourselves.. and was there any Beef Wellington on that tray? because if there was Lee will not be happy. That’s about as much as I want to say about this maneuvre..

The two baddies enter the restaurant, see the exchange and follow Francine. 

Francine leaves L’Etoile with the paper, and there’s a guy waiting outside for her looking all threatening.
[edited to add: This might be wrong! I’m rethinking this, as he actually doesn’t look threatening??? the one guy waiting outside may be her agency back up???

, for some reason Francine avoids her agency back up and steers the two bad guys away from him. And…. we never see her agency back up do a thing in this whole scene. Soooo this all still makes zero sense!]
Continuing on.. the two baddies follow her out of the restaurant and she starts trying to evade them… seems she’s located close to Georgetown university..
She stops a guy on the street….

Let’s take up peacockdancer’s transcription here:
Francine (urgently, gripping his arm): Look, I know this is going to going to sound crazy, but this is a matter national security, maybe even life and death, all right? (The student looks around with an expression of disbelief.) My name is Francine Desmond, I’m a government agent. I need you to keep this safe for me. (She shoves the message she is still holding into his white paper bag.) Now, meet me back here tomorrow morning at … nine o’clock, okay?
(The student grins at her, perhaps pleased to have been singled out by this attractive woman.)

Student (seemingly amused): Whatever you say, lady!
(Francine takes a quick look around and sees the two men are still behind her.)
Francine: All right, now get out of here!
(She rushes off.)
Student (calling after her): Hey, I’m not even up at nine o’clock on Sundays!
We see a short distance behind him the two men who were following Francine. They have come to a stop on the sidewalk.

[Why is one of them all beaten up?? Did we miss something? Is there anything in the script on this? anyone?]
They turn to the street and enter a waiting black station wagon. It drives away in the direction opposite Francine’s.)

The black station wagon’s number plate is LBK 192. Why does that sound familiar???!!!! 
A quick search of JWWM and aha! There’s this little gem back in Any Number Can Play!
Here: ….Outside we see Harry in the Bentley drive off.
Lee and Amanda rush out to see him driving off.)
Lee: Did you get the plates?
Amanda: LBK 192.
Amanda pushes Lee towards the Corvette. The window is conveniently open and Lee starts punching a number into his car phone.ANCP.avi_000906706
Lee (into the phone): Yeah, this is Scarecrow. I need a make on a Bentley; DC plates… (looks at Amanda)ANCP.avi_000910910
Amanda: LBK 192.
Lee: LBK 192.
They say the number plate literally 3 times!!! [I confess it is hard to focus with Lee in that tux and all so good thing they said it three times! haaaaa. And yes, it is a good excuse to include a picture of Lee in a tux again.]  Looks like that rich dude Guy Van Hagen has had his number plates stolen by these baddies. Naughty naughty!

Back to this episode!!!
It’s hard to not have how this episode plays out in mind while watching this moment of the handover of the papers.. but I’ll try!
I do find it telling that the moment Francine heads off after passing the papers, the bad guys get in their car and leave. If this were legit they would have followed her further, or they’d nab this student to get the papers. One minute they have her cornered and the gun out, and the next they are just stepping back and letting her hand over the note. Hmmmm..

Anyway, I guess Francine couldn’t know that. She would know they didn’t continue to follow her once she passed on the papers though – so she should be concerned she has gone and put this student in danger at least…. Thoughts?
Me thinks this ‘simple’ Russian plan (oxymoron or what) is not good to look at too closely!

On to the Q bureau for a really cringe exchange – Ephraim Beaman [wearing a lovely cardy!] has done Francine a favour unlocking the Q bureau office door and not reporting the lost keys.. (Is there a reason she has lost her keys? Any clues in the script? anyone?)

… Beaman takes a seat and doesn’t seem to want to let Francine get on with her work! 
I think the taking his glasses off is him trying to be all sexy. ROFL, he hasn’t got moves. 

He starts suggesting she should do a favour in return.

Francine pushes the sexy up to 1000 and Ephraim freaks out and leaves.

[I guess he was after a date, and she was pretending to assume it was a sexual favour of some kind which sent Ephraim straight to confession or whatever it is he does lol.
Was this funny the first time you saw it?
Did anyone see this episode for the first time in the 80s?
In times when women are pressured in the workplace to perform ‘favours’ I find personally this kind of joke turns my stomach. Just not for me.. so moving on! Why has Francine lost her keys? What’s that all about?]

Once Beaman has left, she answers a call on Lee’s phone.
Francine: Hello?
(We see a setting shot of New York City.)
Lee’s voice: Francine, it’s me.
Francine’s voice: Oh hi, Lee. I’m sorry I didn’t call you, I just had to check something out on your computer here first.
(We see Lee sitting on a desk in a New York office, wearing his Agency badge.)

[Something about that view out the window makes me dizzy, the perspective of it is all wrong!!!] 
Lee (smiling): That’s okay. What about the papers?
[Papers? It didn’t seem that big to me.]
Francine: Well, the quick look I got at them indicated that they had something to do with Agency operations in Eastern Europe. I just confirmed it on your active file… Lee, I had to protect them somehow…

[She had a quick look???? when??? Maybe in the kitchen! ]
Lee: Pretty risky, handing ‘em off like that… (Fondly.) Though I’d have done the same in your place.

Francine (dryly): As I recall, you did do the same thing. About, oh, four years ago…
[Awh… well a reference to how Lee and Amanda met is very welcomed by me here. It feels different though as Lee handed Amanda a sealed box and told her to give it to the man in a red hat. Francine handed papers unsealed to the dude and said see you here tomorrow. The vibe is different to me, regardless of how this turns out.]
Lee (standing up, getting serious): If this has anything to do with “Trojan Horse,” it is imperative that we get those papers back, and fast.
Francine: Yeah, I know, I know. So I’ve got the guy meeting me at nine o’clock. I’ll pick you up at the airport at 10:30?
Lee (smiling): Okay. Bye.

[Why is Amanda not picking up Lee from the airport?
I understand KJ wasn’t able to be in this episode much, but they could have at least come up with a premise for it- like they did in Playing for Keeps.
So far the way it’s handled it’s like: let’s pretend it is normal for the show to hardly include Amanda. Which IMHO is a big mistake as Amanda is key to the show and the audience knows it! I think I would have preferred Amanda took the boys on a camping trip, right after helping Lee with his Beef Wellington. cough. ]

Francine waits for the student.. and he’s a half hour late…

He finally shows up.. I think I won’t include this exchange.. Share your thoughts if you see it playing out differently, or notice anything different or have things you’d like to discuss about this scene.
Basically, the student shows up and is all starry eyed at meeting a spy…

He’s so shook he slept in and only woke 10 minutes ago, he’s ‘late for his make up class’.
[Make up class huh. Today’s class is focused on Guyliner! He can’t miss that!!]
So he rushes off without giving the papers.

[You want the papers Francine? follow him to class… you give up too easy..
Sooo he’s super excited at how serious it all is, but says catch you later I have a class to go to?
I think we are to assume he’s all flustered due to the stress and Iiiiiintrigue!
but.. It really doesn’t add up does it.
Anything else we need to note… Ummm the student says his name is Brian Benedict, and he peeked at the papers… Oh and he’s four months from finishing his degree, in languages. Let me guess – Russian?! haaaaa. 

I confess Francine’s last line in this scene in isolation is pretty funny as she sounds more and more desperate!

I don’t know why but I find this funny!

Maybe because she was playing Beaman like a fiddle, only to have this guy completely have her at a loss a moment later. He’s dictating everything and she’s not even pushing back.]

Francine picks up Lee from the airport, and Lee is starting to get more angry – angry that he is starting to sense there is a real threat here, and yet, Francine is assuming this guy is what he appears, and she is grasping for every bit of information that backs it up. First time I saw this I probably didn’t notice, but now at this point we see Francine being played like a fiddle too!
Francine tells Lee in the car about the student: We have to meet him at noon.
[Why? You know his name, you know he is in class. Go get him. I do not understand why suddenly the schedule is dictated by some kid on a bike when this is national security and urgent. It has red flags all over it doesn’t it.]

We get this little exchange after Francine has listed how ordinary and non suspicious this student’s background is..
Francine: …What more could we ask for?
Lee (skeptically, raising his voice): A better story. (They glance at each other.) In case someone asks what we’re doing passing classified documents to civilians! 

Francine (defensively): Well, I don’t know, it seemed to work out pretty well for you and Amanda.
Lee (heatedly): Well, she’s one in a million!

She is indeed!

The baddies are tailing Lee and Francine as they drive..and get noticed..
[rofl. Lee actually turns around to look at the car following them??!!! He would have told off Amanda for doing that in season 1! did he at some point?!]

Lee urges Francine to keep going.. Seems being followed doesn’t change their plan to head to the university to meet the student at noon.[Must stick to the student’s instructions!]

Next thing we cut to the baddies’ car.

– we see briefly they have a camcorder.

Then, one makes a call reporting Lee and Francine are heading to the University.
A Russian-accented voice on phone responds: Good. We’ll have what we need by this afternoon.

Okay, sooooo it’s now clear to a first time viewer, this is all being orchestrated in some way.. but whether the student is involved is unclear, I guess?

Lee and Francine wait at the spot where Francine meets the student, like good obedient spies.. lol. 

They finally see Brian reading and walking, Francine calls out his name but he doesn’t answer till the second try.
[Hmm actually now I think about it, that’s a sign Brian is not actually his name. lol. I never noticed that before..]

Francine: Brian. Brian!
Brian: Look I, I’m sorry, I had so much on my mind, I, I didn’t see you.
Francine: It’s okay. This is my colleague, Lee Stetson and we really need those papers back now.
Brian (nervously): I can’t.
(Francine is alarmed.) Look, I, I don’t know when, or, or how, but they’ve disappeared.

Brian’s reaction to seeing them is all over the place. Lee grabs Brian, no more Mr Nice Guy!

Lee (angry, shaking Brian): “Disappeared?” Now wait a second, you’ve gotta have those papers, pal, now you tell me right now…

[Pal? oh he’s in trouble now!!!]
At that moment, the bad guys show up..

If you read peacockdancer’s transcript, you’ll find they have been named – Comrade Brownhair and Comrade Mustache, and Comrade Grayhair is the driver. Haaaa I love it!
[Did the two baddies pick up Comrade Mustache along the way? he wasn’t in the care before, and Comrade Brownhair was sitting in the front not the back. Hmmm] 

Comrades Brownhair and Mustache get out of the car, guns drawn, which prompts Lee to shove Brian into the car… and drive off.

Love how the two baddies stand there with their guns out – for all the passers-by to see. Where’s the campus police?!

As Lee drives off- you can see where Lee and Francine were standing is marked with 2 X’s on the sidewalk (footpath) in chalk. haaaaaa.

Sooooo what are we all thinking of this episode so far? Does anyone remember the experience of watching this episode for the first time not knowing anything about what was going to happen? I would LOVE to hear what that was like if you don’t mind sharing!!!!!! 

Anyone around? Sorry for the delay! I’ll be back next weekend to publish part 2! 

[BTW I checked out my thoughts from the first time I wrote up this episode years and years ago, but honestly now I can’t remember how much I drew on those old notes – I wrote this months ago.. anyway if you are familiar with my first posts back on the old forum a few thoughts may sound familiar it’s just me repeating my thoughts lol. ]