1/3 Season 1, Episode 6: Always look a gift horse in the mouth

1This episode opens with Ms Walker! (thanks Petra! great name!)Yes, the lady with the red handbag- patrolling the perimeter!

We join Lee, Billy and (ugh) Francine for a little slideshow narrated by Lee.. the history of the prince and princess of Zahir.. the prince married an American.. lots of protests..blah blah.. uh oh.. I’m bored in the first minute! 

Francine: I could have married royalty. You know, a prince actually proposed to me once.
Billy: Why didn’t you accept?
Francine: His country was too small.

 2Love how Lee doesn’t respond to it, other than to roll his eyes.. Can I just say -Francine: the country is very happy that it was too small for you!! (not to mention the Prince- who probably vowed to never drink so much again in all his life Winking smile) I am surprised Billy asked why not though.. I guess he couldn’t help himself.. masochist!

The princess wants to do a tour of a local school.. and she doesn’t like being guarded.. she wants to be shown around by an average PTA Mum..

Francine: Well I suppose I could frump it up a bit and play the part.

– frump? grrrr.. just because a woman is a mother doesn’t mean she is frump. Would you have described your mother as a frump Francine? Moooo!

3Well.. Lee seems to agree with Billy to use Amanda.. however the “I think Billy has someone a little frumpier in mind ” comment?.. I could do without…
You just wait till next week Pal! he is going to eat those words.. At least he smiles in anticipation of using Amanda here.. ok ok I am clutching at straws!!

4Amanda wants to discuss the assignment first.. Francine complains that Amanda is getting picky and should basically be thankful she is allowed to work at all for the agency.. Billy tells her to be nice…

Billy opens the door for Amanda.. and ohhh dear.. you know I kind of agree that the outfit she is wearing is kind of frumpy! ( I think it looks like the frumpy outfit Maria wears in the sound of music.. you know the one that the poor didn’t even want?!)
That cow Francine seems to ignore Amanda as she arrives.. classy Francine- not! You are soooo not well mannered enough to be royalty!

7Amanda was demonstrating the hook slide and hurt her ankle? hmmm.. I just love this scene

Francine says “was it terribly terribly painful ” cracks me up.. she is such a cow.. Lee stands behind her and rolls his eyes at her (now that I like!)- she still hasn’t grasped how ugly snobbery and cattiness can make a person!

Amanda: Oh, oh, yes sir, oh, sure, yes sir, I — Well, I want you to know how proud I am to work for the Agency. I think out of my entire graduating class, I am the only one of us to go on and become a spy.
Of course, I suppose if there were any others, I wouldn’t know about it, but. . . .
Well, at any rate, sir, um. . . . Well, I’m not sure that — that you realize it, but sometimes these cases that I’m sent on . . . well, they get a little dangerous, and . . . well, I was just wondering . . . shouldn’t I know how to hit?
Billy: Excuse me?
 12 whahahaa!!!
Amanda: Well, shouldn’t I have certain skills, you know, like self-defence, maybe know a few codes —
13Billy: Amanda, surely you realize that your value to us is that of a civilian. I don’t need another agent.
Francine: Were you to become a known operative, your usefulness would be over.
: Yeah, it’s great you don’t anything. The enemy could torture you for weeks and not get a thing!
15 Amanda seems to be thinking: I’m in a room full of crazy people!!!.. she takes a moment to find the right words to respond..
16Amanda: Oh, well, I appreciate that… But I — I don’t think staying alive would compromise my usefulness too much. Do you?  

This scene is soo funny!!! Amanda starts off saying something silly about her classmates but ends showing them she’s smarter than they are! Good on Amanda for sticking up for herself here! They’re being stupid! It is so funny when Lee looks all happy and excited that the enemy could torture Amanda for hours and not get anything.. Oooooh yes Lee you have certainly thought this one through haven’t you.. what a cunning plan.. You shouldn’t look so happy when speaking of Amanda being tortured!! Billy is talking to Amanda in such a condescending way he doesn’t take her seriously at all.. oh dear..

Amanda is brilliant… she can never be less useless than when she is dead! boy.. and it takes 17a moment for the penny to drop.. Billy’s smile drops.. he turns around to look at Francine, smile gone.. and then 18Francine turns to look at lee smile gone..and well.. we don’t need to see Lee’s face to know his smile is gone!

Then Bam! In the next moment, we see Lee’s reaction.. 19Oh my.. he looks gorgeous.. even if he is teasing Amanda and pretending she doesn’t have a point! ha haa.. yeah gorgeous Lee..

20Lee and Amanda are waiting for the Princess to arrive..  Amanda points out that Billy saw the point and agreed to some courses.. and Lee doesn’t say anything else about it. Bad Lee! and good on Amanda! I find his reaction soooo unrealistic ( guess he is in denial)- this is the woman who has actually managed to save his life a number of times already… and you don’t want her to get more training?? you dill!

21Amanda: Listen, I’m a little nervous. I didn’t really have much time to prepare for a princess.
22Lee: You’ll do just fine. For this you don’t have to know how to hit.
23Amanda: Oh, please.

Arghhh Lee!!! stop this teasing!!! Lee likes to tease Amanda to cover up that she was right, or to even the balance… not so Mr confident with Amanda are ya.. and he just couldn’t resist one more little dig at her..

You know.. I think when Amanda(I mean KJ) has her back 24to camera- that is not Amanda! and when Penny takes her arm and leads her off you can’t see her face at all- it’s weird!! (maybe something to do with the foot injury.. poor KJ!)

Ahh we meet the baddie.. with a really big gun..a big moustache and a bigger scowl!

haa!! We see Amanda and the princess exiting the school from a distance and we hear Amanda commend the princess’ eating the cafeteria food.. and as we get closer, Amanda puts her back to camera.. totally not Amanda here either!
very weird..  I guess that day KJ couldn’t walk at all.. or they got started on the scene and she filled in later? hmm.. it must have been a pretty bad injury to go to this trouble.. 

The princess goes into the ladies room, everyone is waiting outside.. and Lee realises someone has to go in a guard her.. gee Lee.. now who could do that huh?? not Amanda surely? but I thought she didn’t need to know how to Hit?! I think this realisation dawns on him.. Amanda gives him a glare!!

Poor Penny it must be a huge shock to come home after so many years, and deal with how things have changed..how homesick she has been.. She is lucky to have Amanda to talk to..

Did Amanda just say her feet hurt from wearing high heels all day too? wow.. she wears them a lot.. (even when one leg is in a cast- now that is really weird!) right to the end of the show.. (although I always found it so convenient that when she had to run or do something physical she just happened to be wearing her sneakers that day..) – I wouldn’t put up with the pain.. I’d just wear flats. I don’t get this at all! hehehe

27Lee: Uh . . . your highness? You’re being given a baby buffalo at four o’clock.

Now that is a line I never thought I would hear Lee say! hehehee.. and what is Penny to do with a baby buffalo?

Penelope says: Do you have any idea what it is like knowing that there are men with machine guns standing outside your door when you get into bed with your husband?

Amanda’s facial expressions here are great.. you see all the awkwardness.. and realisation all there.. ahhhh… I can see how that would be hard on a marriage! But KJ still manages to make it very funny..

I don’t see why Lee has to burst into the ladies 30room, gun drawn like that… Why not ask Amanda if all is ok through the door? none of this makes sense.. but I like the pay off- Lee’s confused expression and Amanda’s girl talk question that looks to Lee like it could be a completely alien language.. Serves you right Lee.. you shouldn’t invade the inner sanctum of the ladies room unless you can talk the talk! hehehee..

Amanda: Well, do you happen to have any orange lip gloss?

Lee: What?  (no lip gloss.. but I am sure Lee has eyeliner 😉 )

As Lee is looking up, we cut immediately to 34Dotty talking down to Amanda from the second level of their home.. hmm Nice touch! Love how Amanda is annoyed the princess invited her… the neighbourhood play is more important to her. good for you Amanda!

35Dotty: It is incredible to me how you can be so blasé about hobnobbing with crowned heads. I mean, out of 200 women, your PTA chose you! Come on, let’s look alive, Missy! Now what about this blue taffeta?
36Amanda: Oh, Mother, I hate the blue taffeta!
Dotty: Well, I never should have gotten it for you.

Well.. the PTA didn’t choose Amanda.. which explains the lack of excitement huh… oops and then Amanda goes and insults Dotty’s gift of Blue Taffeta… and.. she is so stressed out.. she doesn’t even notice!

Jamie,the tree says : How about the low-cut black dress?

What child talks like that?????? This must be a future Yves Saint Laurent in the making!


Hey everyone- it’s hug a tree day!!!(I love that Amanda has a tree branch flapping in her face)

I love how when Amanda decides on the low cut black dress, Dotty runs to find a shawl or something for Amanda to ‘cover up’. LOL.. she’s worried Amanda will be too racy for royalty- makes you wonder how err Frumpy the blue Taffeta is!!!

That’s it for now.. Thanks for reading!!!! Please share your thoughts with us if you like – I’ll be back with more soon Smile 


30 responses to “1/3 Season 1, Episode 6: Always look a gift horse in the mouth

  1. #2018rewatch

    I forgot how many funny moments were in this episode, and I forgot how much I loved all the mooing at Francine in these early recaps. Martha Smith was really great at playing a foil and this is the episode where they lay out her motivation for disliking Amanda so much.


  2. #2018 rewatch

    The “Shouldn’t I know how to hit” but always reminds me of the book “The Paper Bag Princess” where the Princess is the one to rescue the prince from the dragon, only to have him insult her about her outfit. She tells him he’s a toad and goes off with her friends to have adventures on her own. Amanda is very much the princess in a bad outfit, determined to have her own adventures and protect herself – which I guess makes Francine the idiot prince who only sees the surface and is always left behind at the castle.

    And Lee? Well, he can be my dragon and burn my clothes off me anytime.

    Wow, I always forget how comfortable this gutter is…


  3. #2018rewatch (eek! That’s so exciting to type!!!) 🤗🤗🤗 Here we go!!

    In revised order, this falls after Sudden Death, so for research sake, I took one for the team [pun intended – ha!] and watched it first. 😁 I think it flows so beautifully having that ep just before this one…their flirty banter (imho) is kinda building off of all that transpired in SD (that kiss! And the flirty tag!! 😍). I’m thankful they worked KJ’s foot injury into the storyline in Gift Horse, so she can actually move around and not be stationary (like in SD), though we still see fill-in Amandas at the school scene.

    Might we be seeing a Lee already getting more pleasantly comfortable with the idea of Billy suggesting Amanda? I think he progresses quickly in his comfort level with her on season 1, but then screeches to a halt before his much slower and lasting emotional journey that spans much of the series. I don’t feel the “frumpier” comment was really a dig towards Amanda, but more just him carrying on the conversation using the same term Francine just used in kind of a “yeah, you’re not going to be happy with who Billy really meant, haha” kind of way. I love Amanda in that whole opening office scene and Billy, Lee & Francine’s reactions to her are hilarious! We typically are more useful alive!! 😂 “Shouldn’t I know how to hit?” It makes me giggle every time with her delivery!! When it cuts to the school scene, it for the first time struck me that Lee isn’t really supposed to act like he knows her even here – he is standing behind her here as he does later in the ep at the party – and yet he is so obviously beaming about introducing Amanda to Princess Penny – not sure which one he’s prouder to introduce to the other…😉

    Also, Penelope is just beauty and grace from the get go. She’s one of my favorite series guest characters for sure. She’s a lovely female character – a woman stepping out from her familiar world and into another that suits her well, but also is full of new challenges and monumental responsibilities…a little interesting for Amanda to see, no? Given her recent introduction into a new, exciting, challenging world that is going to transform her life also?

    Iwsod, Frauline Maria!!! Hilarious!!! It does look like that outfit! It would’ve been hilarious and just like Francine to have set a toad or a pine cone on the seat for Amanda first…🤣 (I love The Sound of Music!!!)

    Ok, and I just have to say that Jamie here is just THE CUTEST. That sweet little tree hugging moment always melts my heart, and cracks me up when Amanda says, “I’m sorry” at the end with those leaves in her face!

    Nancy, I so much loved your list of things about this episode of thankfulness! It was awesome!!! Especially “Lee is thankful for flighty pigeons,” which we see coming up next.🤣🤣🤣 I will add that Amandarambler is thankful for how KJ & BB are so awesome together in this ep, for SMK as a whole, for JWWM and for this awesome group of rewatchers!!

    Wow, this post covers a lot of the ep, so sorry for the mega long comment! We can linger on this first post for a few days before moving to the next one if you guys want so we can have good time to discuss all the wonderfulness this post covers!!! Yay! Short comment, long comment….Go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • #2018 rewatch

      Lee is so funny telling Amanda, “… the enemy could torture you for weeks and not get a thing.” ….. Nope, not even her poppyseed cake recipe!

      When it cuts to the school scene, it for the first time struck me that Lee isn’t really supposed to act like he knows her even here – he is standing behind her here as he does later in the ep at the party – and yet he is so obviously beaming about introducing Amanda to Princess Penny – not sure which one he’s prouder to introduce to the other…

      My name for this scene with Lee and the Princess? The “Dueling Dimples!”


      • #2018rewatch
        Dueling dimples!!! I love that, Nancy!! 😀

        Also, Amanda gets yet another mark for amazing in my book. I’ve only been involved with plays at church or school or maybe a community center or theater…. But for her to have a production going on in her house!?!?!… that’s impressive. I wish she’d written a guide to organization and time management for moms!!!


    • #2018rewatch

      While I find KJ’s delivery of the lines in Billy’s office really well done, I find myself torn between cringing and laughing. It almost feels that Billy/Lee/Francine are making fun of Amanda until you see the flirting going on between L/A outside of the office.(And if I was to the point where I’d want to write Francine, I so think she needs to fall in love w/ someone from Amanda’s world who has a child. Now wouldn’t that be interesting?) He’s already started his transformation from Billy tossing Amanda at him to him starting to asking for her help.

      And what did KJ do to her foot? While I am one who watched SKM when it originally aired I never followed the actors, their stories, or even spoilers at that time. My how times have changed.

      I think my favorite part in the whole epi is the tag….the back/forth between KJ/BB and his grin is just so oh my….


      • #2018rewatch
        Hey Misty! Others will be much better at providing details or articles than I can, but I believe KJ hurt her foot with a fall (at home I think) one day during season 1 and wears a cast for a few episodes. (I could be confusing that fall with someone else’s, though. After 4 kids, memories run together sometimes…) Anyway, they try to work it into the storyline in this ep, thankfully, versus Sudden Death and other eps where she is still a lot and foot is covered or a double does a lot of her walking (though some in this ep also).


  4. #2018rewatch
    This episode was chosen for its Thanksgiving theme so I looked for characters, who are (or should be) thankful:
    1. Princess Penelope is thankful she’s back in her home country and has found a friend in Amanda.
    2. Lee Stetson is thankful for flighty pigeons.
    3. Amanda King is thankful Lee considers her “one of us.”
    4. Prince Rheza is thankful for an intelligent, outspoken wife.

    Fun aside: Absolutely no one is thankful for Bo Johnson’s chili 😮

    Liked by 4 people

  5. According to Iwsod’s revised viewing order, this episode is 7th. The seventh installment of Scotch Thoughts and Window Reflection have been published on Fanfic.net.
    You can read Lee’s thoughts Here
    and Amanda’s thoughts Here
    and if you want to share your thoughts you can do that here at Ned’s.


  6. “You dill!” re: Lee, the clueless wonder. ROL! One of my favorite sayings! And the Maria comment, I laugh till I cry when reading your comments Iwsod! You are a gifted writer and humorist! Thanks for the cheerful way to start the day.


  7. Pingback: 2/2 SMK Stats: Always Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth | "Just walk with me..."

  8. Pingback: 1/2 SMK Stats: Always Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth | "Just walk with me..."

  9. Pingback: SEASON ONE Quick Links | "Just walk with me..."

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  11. ROFL – Amanda’s outfit does look like Fraulein Maria’s….hahahaha! And I’m still laughing about the Lee having eyeliner remark – OMG, I needed that laugh! Thank you, IWSOD!

    I don’t know why, but Lee’s comment about Billy having someone frumpier in mind never bothered me. I think I took it as Lee’s way of sort of teasing Francine versus putting Amanda down. He knows Amanda bugs the heck out of Francine and being the teaser that he is, he doesn’t miss a chance to get in a little dig when he can.


  12. Melissa Robertson

    Isn’t that the same outfit in “There Goes The Neighborhood” that she wore to the typewriter interview. And the guy thought that she looked “delicious” in blue?


    • Yes, Amanda is wearing that same outfit, good catch! The Honeycutt typewriter fella, who was so fixated on Amanda in blue, was way creepier than Lee bursting into the Ladies Room. However, Princess Penelope wins the creepiest award, telling Amanda that “there are men with machine guns standing outside [her and her husband’s bedroom] door.”


  13. Hello!

    So this is the episode where Lee mutates into a total stranger in the middle of a fist fight… and Amanda mutates into another woman when she’s on horseback. Haaaaaa! I still can’t believe how obvious the doubles are!

    It is interesting how Penelope and Rheza, an experienced couple, throw a different light on „our“ lovebirds… Of course Lee and Amanda are still very far from being a couple. But I think to see how these two stand firmly at each others side and respect each other despite of their conflicts is important. It might show Lee and Amanda what commitment really means. I think Princess Penelope is both loveable and intelligent. It adds a lot of charm to this episode that she is on to Amanda and Lee: She senses right away something is going on between them. So this time Amanda is in denial, not Lee! She is very cute when she tries to contradict Penny, isn’t she?

    I kind of like the opening scene with the slide show: It gives me the feeling I was in the same room with Billy, Francine and Lee, staring at the same screen as they do. It makes me feel close to them. And of course I love to scoff at Francine and her absurd snobbishness. Lee rolls his eyes… Which is probably the best answer. Ha!

    Why does Lee look so gorgeous when he says he thinks Billy has someone a little frumpier in mind? Arggggh! That really isn’t nice of you, Lee… I wish I could be more mad at you for that! Instead, in walks Amanda with her cast and makes things even worse. Man, she really makes a fool out of herself here, doesn’t she? I can see that she has good reason to ask her question about self-defence… but the way she gets there is just sooooo ditsy… I am sorry but I can’t take her for serious either. The scene never fails to make me grin like an idiot. Just look at the faces of Billy, Francine and Lee… The looks they exchange… ROFL!

    The next moment, Lee totally teases her for the „Shouldn’t I know how to hit“-question. Wow, he does look gorgeous in that scene. Classy. Poor Amanda, Lee doesn’t let go of the topic. Thank God the Princess arrives. I must say I found her agreeable right away… Quite charismatic as well. She seems to be a nice person.

    Iwsod I think you might be right with your assumption about KJs injury… That’s the only reason I can think of for having a double in the camera-shots you mentioned. Does anyone happen to know more about that? Just curious.

    The sheiks guarding the door look pretty costumed to me… What do you think? They look like… disguised extras, haha! None the less I like Amanda’s and Penny’s little talk in the ladies room. Penny opens up and shows what sacrifice it means to be the princess of a very foreign country. Amanda doesn’t really know how to react I think. Meanwhile Lee reluctently agrees to check if everything is alright with the Princess and Amanda… Why he has to burst in like that, gun drawn, totally eludes me. But I’ll go with it, especially because it leads to Amanda’s funny lip-gloss-remark. Love his reaction! Amazing that you managed to top that with your eyeliner-remark, Iwsod! LOL

    That’s it for now… Thanks for reading.


  14. Love it! Too many funny/brilliant posts to reiterate (or should that be ‘iterate’?) here. “Jamie, the tree” had me giggling for some strange reason. Can’t wait to read the rest.


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