2/3 Season One, Episode 10: The Long Christmas Eve

Billy is meeting with someone.. Someone a bit 50menacing.. someone who would have been even more menacing had he not been drinking out of his christmas mug! Smile Wha??? Lee and a naval attaché’s jaguar .. and 51his daughter? don’t want to know about it!!!! la la laa… Soooo who is this guy? He has shades of Dr Smyth in his manner.. and where is Dirk? the stress of working with Lee Stetson and his unorthodox methods finally got to him? Anyway, the agency is considering another solution to this Rudolph mess if Lee doesn’t come through soon..

Sooo back to Lee and Amanda.. Lee is storming along.. think he wants to get out of this job as quickly as Amanda wants to? I think all this sentimental christmas stuff is waaaaay out of his comfort zone! Whoops there goes the orange hats bobbing away .. and Lee tackles Amanda!

52Amanda: Lee! isn’t this a little sudden? I mean shouldn’t we talk about this, this would 53compromise our whole professional relationship!

[what’s with the annoying branch in the way!! Prop people!!!!!]
54Lee: Amanda will you shut up! Please! (love
55how he says shut up.. and then please! hehehehee)
57Lee works out they have the all clear:
Alright, they’re gone.
56Amanda: whose gone? 

Lee: I saw two men over there with rifles. They’re probably just hunters. come on.

He helps Amanda up and they brush themselves off..
58Amanda says: so that’s what you were doing, you were protecting me. 59
Amanda seems to be rubbing all the grass off herself extra roughly as if she is punishing herself for what she was thinking!!
60Lee: sure,
what else would I have been doing?
61Amanda: Nothing.. (Amanda’s recovery here is really funny!!!)
Amanda: that was very gallant of you. thank you.
Lee doesn’t look back at her or make eye contact he just nods, is back to business (Oh Lee!) and says they’ll take a short cut.. boy.. he reeeeaaally really wants out of there now! hehehehee…

Ok guys, soooo how much of what Amanda said do you all think Lee heard? did he not hear it? or is he just going to act like he didn’t?? Oooohhh I hope he didn’t.. It is too funny that Amanda thinks Lee tackling her and sending her flying is how he would make a pass at her- just what does she think of him??!!! .. hehehe.. come on Amanda.. remember Lee in episode 1?? he uses the charming, tuxedo wearing approach!  

It’s also very interesting to me, that her objection or questioning of his actions was about their professional relationship being compromised!!! IMO I think this means Amanda finds Lee attractive, but has put him in the ‘we work together and that’s all it will be’ basket.. and hey it’s also interesting that there is no mention of feeling guilty and what about Dean and having a you know.. thing!! Winking smile 

Whooo I didn’t see those 2 russian baddies there 64in the bushes.. they are sooo well hidden.. ahem.. I mean ok I understand they are pretending to be hunters.. but hunters following Lee and Amanda would be kind of suspicious too no? LOL..

Love Lee being the leader with the map.. He is certain he knows where he is going.. well he is bluffing that he is certain!

He doesn’t like Amanda checking the moss for which way is north.. oh looky.. we just happen to be standing next to a tree with moss..

65Lee: Amanda! do you really think that some mickey mouse spy 66course your taking can replace actual experience in the field
67(what’s with the sudden shadow over Lee’s face that comes from nowhere? The sound equipment make a shadow? It’s weird!!)68Amanda: this isn’t from one of my courses this is from the cub scout handbook!
69Lee: argh!
70Amanda: say what you will about the 71scouts but they certainly can




 find their way out of the woods! North is that way!

Love the dirty look Lee gives the moss as he walks away following Amanda..I think Lee hates moss now.. hehehehe.. go Amanda!

74 locationFinally.. they arrive at Rudolph’s cabin.. Rudolph is on edge, Lee seems poised to tackle Amanda to the ground again( oh yes please!!)  if Rudolph doesn’t buy her being his daughter… He snaps at Lee for calling him Janus, and to call him Rudolph.. I imagine it would get a bit like that being underground for so long. poor guy! Lee and Amanda slowly approach him, from behind- they are holding hands.. from the front, Lee has his hand on her arm.. Hmmm I know which one I prefer!!

Rudolph and Amanda (pretending to be his daughter Karen Rudolph) sit at the table and  discuss how things have been since her mother died and has she been lonely.. Lee is on edge wondering if Amanda is going to pull this off.. he gets a lot more than he bargained for.. and I love it!!!!This is such clever writing- kudos Scarecrow and Mrs King!!!! 

77Rudolph: well still it must be very difficult around christmas. 78Amanda: oh well I just try to treat christmas 79like any other day 24 80hours long, the sun rises the sun sets. (love Lee’s reaction here!!take a good look at yourself Lee!!)

81 82

83Rudolph: what do you usually do? (ohhh I just bet Lee knows what her answer to this is going to be!!! )

84Amanda: Nothing much umm I just stay at home open a nice bottle of champagne, watch a football game..make a guacamole dip.  Whaaaahhhaaaa haaaa

Ooops.. Amanda almost blows it saying it must be awful to be alone at christmas. oh yeah.. that’s Karen Rudolph’s christmas! She recovers quickly though.. Rudolph sent her presents for years? awhhhh.. I hope things work out for him!87 Rudolph is really sweet here, he explains to Amanda how he needs to go away for a year and establish a new identity but once that is done he would like to try and be a good dad for her.. and spend time with her.. The looks Lee and Amanda share during this moment are interesting! A touching moment.. It’s bittersweet what they are doing to Rudolph.. but it is really lovely what he says. I feel bad for the guy don’t you? I think Amanda handles it really well..knowing that she is giving him what he needs to get through the next year.. 

(You know, it never seems to dawn on Amanda that her boys rarely get to see their father – I don’t really know why that is!)

Amanda says her and Mr Stetson (!!) should be leaving.. but.. uh oh.. Lee spots the baddies in the bushes! (How? they were so well camouflaged!!! ahem..)  they’re not hunters!!! 89and Lee immediately loads his gun.. he is gonna eat these baddies for Breakfast!! Smile

88Scarecrow and Janus assess the situation.. Suddenly Lee’s gun is back in his hip holster, so he again takes it out and loads it! haaaa..

They’re up against bigger guns so Lee’s gotta come up with a plan fast!

Francine the ‘flagship’ is calling Lee on his radio in his car.. The nameless christmas mug guy tells Francine and Billy the agency is sending out commandos (with orders to shoot to kill) if Scarecrow isn’t back with Rudolph by 7pm ( oh, so Lee was suppose to bring in Rudolph?) This awful man doesn’t care about Lee and Amanda at all – they knew the risks – ugh!! Then to top 91it off he invites Francine down to a christmas party on the 4th floor.. Francine declines and 92the guy actually winks at her and tells her the ‘ deputy director will be disappointed’ ewwww! I feel a bit sorry for Francine here!! I don’t want to know who this guy is frankly, I just want him GONE!!!

 93Lee goes through the plan of action.. Amanda suggests they try and call for a truce.

94Lee: they’ll never go for it.

Amanda tries one more time, saying it’s christmas and they’re people.. but because they are KGB, Lee is sure they won’t go for it.. Rudolph agrees with Lee, and tells ‘ Karen’ she doesn’t know these people the way they do.. Oh dear.. Lee and Rudloph have lost any hope that their oponents would show some humanity.. it’s pretty sad.. (not that there was any chance Amanda’s plan would have worked if no one had gotten hurt.. )

Lee and Rudolph head off while Amanda takes cover.. LOL.. we get to see Lee do his cock the 95gun and look like you are ready to eat the baddies for breakfast look again!! Man.. I think the Gun is well and truly ready for action Lee! ( third time lucky!Winking smile ) Still.. I don’t mind seeing determined Lee again and again.. and again..! 

ra ra action. ra ra.. Lee gets shot in his right shoulder, one of the baddies gets shot in the leg…

97Rudolph asks Lee if he’s alright.. uh oh..
98Lee says: Yeah… maybe not
– it’s got to be bad for Lee to admit it isn’t ok..Uh oh-Blood!! (and boy does Amanda move fast!!)

100Oh my.. Amanda is not acting like she just met Mr Stetson… she is acting like she cares 101about this man.. I just love the way she cares for him here when he is 102hurt.. and how he turns his head in her direction.. looking for 03her to help him.. comfort him maybe.. . Love how Amanda 104strokes his hair.. when she first sits Lee down.. ahhhh… Lucky for Lee, Amanda is at her best, 105her most courageous and resourceful when people that she cares about are in trouble.. and she cares about him. He is one lucky guy..!!!! I could just watch this scene over and over.. and over.

As they try and stop Lee’s bleeding Amanda says there is a medical kit in the car, but Rudolph says it’s three hours round trip – if you could get past the baddies.. so forgetaboutit! Lee finally passes out, Amanda 106rests her forehead on his holding his head up looking at him and  cradling his face gently with her hand…. awwwhhhh..

Checking in with the russian HQ.. Ivan is wounded, and there are two american agents with Rudolph ( hmmm they don’t think she is his daughter?? why not?? weird.. ) The head 108baddie tells the russian commandos (I can only assume they are extra dangerous and scary because they are dressed head to toe in black!) it would be inconvenient if the americans got out alive.. ie.. Kill them. ( revenge for the bad tea!)

Back to the cabin, and Amanda is still stroking Lee’s hair as he lays unconscious by the fire. ahhhh….. it seems Amanda has made a brave decision.. she’s going to try and call a truce.. love it when she is arguing with Janus..

Amanda: I don’t care about national security! All I know is I don’t want him to die.

110Yep time to come clean there Amanda.. poor Rudolph.. the first time he tries to put his foot down with his daughter.. she disowns him! (err well she reveals she is not his daughter after all.. ) poor guy, but he didn’t really give them any other choice did he.. and it is nice to think he meets his real daughter later..

She took a risk didn’t she.. in revealing this to Rudolph.. he could have turned on the agency too for all she knew after tricking him so badly.. she tells him, and then leaves him to care for Lee.. Luckily, he isn’t so burned out he looses it… phew! Amanda is very sympathetic to Rudolph and when she touches his chest, she seems to say I’m sorry.. awh..
Well done Amanda.. she makes her plea waving her white flag, scared and completely unsure if this is going to work.. but it does hurray!! The 112explosive russian Santa, Dimitri, brings wounded  Ivan inside with Amanda’s help. Then Dimitri goes for the medical kit.. hurray for Amanda!

Francine and Billy are staying back at the agency worrying..
Francine: they’ll be ok Billy.
Francine is always the one to say things like that.. when you have no way of knowing they will be ok! but hey, isn’t it nice to see she didn’t say “He will be ok” it has registered with
113Francine that Amanda is out there in danger too!!! oh my!! Billy has Jeanie and his kids at home? Hmm I thought they would be older..

Uh oh.. the next instant we find the army showing up at the forest and one soldier conveniently reminds the other that their orders are shoot to kill. good thing.. he may have forgotten that trivial bit of information! uh oh.. the danger music here cracks me up..

Ahhh next we have Amanda giving Lee some water to drink as he lays in bed now drifting in 114and out of consciousness.  Lots more hair stroking  I think Lee kinda likes it.. hehehee.. He asks what’s happening and Amanda says nothing and that everything’s alright. He readily 115accepts this and drifts back off.. He seems to trust Amanda when his defences are down doesn’t he??!!! He does know she is a very good bluebell Winking smile Hmm I feel like taking a photo of everytime Lee and Amanda talk.. with all this care and hair stroking.. ahh….

Rudolph watches Amanda help Lee and then Ivan.. he seems to be seeing this is a remarkable 116woman! The conversation Amanda has next with Rudolph while the two injured men sleep is sweet.. I think it is great that Amanda knew they tried to find his daughter.. (although how she knew that I don’t know.. guess Lee thought she had a need to know??!!) and.. love how he compliments her… and.. then he asks her how she got mixed 117up in this business.. to hear Amanda speak about it is unusual as she usually doesn’t have anyone she can talk to about it..Love how she says she was taking a friend to the train station.. not boyfriend!

119Amanda: This Fella came up to me in a waiter’s suit and said give this to the man in the red hat and I did.

(well she didn’t..but we understand.. funny that she calls Lee this ‘fella’.. that is close to Big fella isn’t it! )

Also love that Rudolph asks her “but Why?” ahhhh we have all wanted to hear Amanda speak of this!

Amanda: I really don’t know, I’ve said to 118myself Amanda why are you in the spy business? I have 2 perfectly nice children, 2 of them 2 boys, my mother, I’ve got a nice house, I’ve got a man who cares about me…” and she shrugs.. ( An interesting insight isn’t this.. she doesn’t know why.. but from what she says – we know what she has is not enough.. Some may say she is in the spy biz for Lee.. but I don’t immediately draw that conclusion – I think the work inspires Amanda.. part of that is working with Lee sure , but I don’t think it is just about her and Lee- this is why Brunettes are In is one of my favourites- it deals with this well! but.. I’ll comment on that when we get to that icky but fabulous episode!)

So why do you think Amanda is in the Spy Business ????!!!!!

Whoa… Dimitri returns with the medical kit and Amanda puts her foot down with no guns in the cabin.. go Amanda!! Isn’t she especially brave and wonderful in this episode??!!!

uh oh.. Russians in black jumpsuits running around in the dark.. it is time to officially freak out… the US army have orders to shoot to kill, and the Russian army guys are wearing scary black jumpsuits and ready to kill..everybody is out to kill!

By the way, Rudolph’s cabin? I think it is the same location they use in Mission of gold for that guy’s cabin on the lake.. I’ll take some pics when we have official season 4 dvds! My copy of mission of gold is so bad it’s not worth the bother!

With that, I’ll leave the fab four cosy in their gun free cabin till the next installment!

Thanks for reading! Smile Love to hear your thoughts!!

19 responses to “2/3 Season One, Episode 10: The Long Christmas Eve

  1. I love Amanda’s brave white-flag speech. KJ has a way of cracking her voice when she speaks with emotion that I find so endearing.


  2. #2018 rewatch
    I feel bad that I haven’t been keeping up with the rewatch on this one because it’s such a favourite episode. 😦

    Re Iwsod’s Billy’s “Jeanie and the kids” comment, I know that I am guilty of still calling my twenty-somethings “the kids” so Billy probably does the same – and maybe they are all at home with grandkids because Billy is certainly old enough to have at least one, by now.

    I do love the recurring theme in the series that Lee has a terrible sense of direction and poor map reading skills. That probably explains why he so often shows up in Arlington when he should be at home.


    • #2018rewatch
      Clagjanet wrote:
      I do love the recurring theme in the series that Lee has a terrible sense of direction and poor map reading skills. That probably explains why he so often shows up in Arlington when he should be at home.

      😂😂😂😂😂😂 Brilliant, Clagjanet! Maybe also why Lee was so sympathetic in an episode entitled “The Wrong Way Home”? 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  3. #2018rewatch
    Amanda: Lee! isn’t this a little sudden? I mean shouldn’t we talk about this, this would compromise our whole professional relationship!

    Ok, just coming off of our rewalk through Gift Horse, this has me thinking. Amanda seems to respond pretty quickly with these comments, doesn’t she? I have never studied Amanda’s journey of her feelings for Lee as in-depth as Lee’s for her. But this moment + her comment in Gift Horse to Penny about dangerous being dangerous…maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I see these comments as evidence if of a pretty major internal struggle and conversations with herself regarding her feelings for Lee (she even admits later to Rudolph she asks herself why she’s in the biz, so we know she talks to herself about that much). I love that in the woods she doesn’t just flat out say something like “Lee get off of me!”, it’s instead, “shouldn’t we talk about this first“. Just makes me thinks she is pretty into this man and is perhaps feeling like her fantasy about spies is about to come to fruition? Or at least she is feeling like she would be willing to discuss the possibility?

    Did that make any sense whatsoever???

    Iwsod said: Love how Amanda strokes his hair.. when she first sits Lee down.. ahhhh… Lucky for Lee, Amanda is at her best, her most courageous and resourceful when people that she cares about are in trouble.. and she cares about him. He is one lucky guy..!!!! I could just watch this scene over and over.. and over.

    My sentiments EXACTLY. You said it better and more succinctly than I could’ve (or am), Iwsod. 😁

    Also, Amanda in this truce speech…it’s probably one of my absolute top Amanda moments of the series. What a courageous yet compassionate person to do something like that. And with no Lee to keep her safe (I guess there’s Rudolph, but he just got some stunning news that she’s really not his daughter so he’s probably still a bit in shock). She is really so bravely, boldly putting herself at risk for Lee. It’s really such a beautiful moment to me, particularly when she gets choked up…”so that I can help him…so…”😢 and again as she talks about Christmas Eve…ah, so precious. I think this defining moment propels her into realizing what she can contribute as herself to the Agency.

    I’m sorry for this long post. Just floodgates here.

    Rudolph watching Amanda when she is serving Lee and Ivan is really sweet. He seems to get a glimpse of her bravery and compassion that really no one else at the Agency really gets to see to such levels: Amanda’s grace and courage and nurturing and professionalism all at work at once. Wonder what he says about her to the Agency when they get out of there.

    Looking forward to hearing from y’all!


  4. First of all, I made that Mission of Gold connection when I watched it the other day also. No spoiler alert, but I am really looking forward to sharing my thoughts of how these two episodes relate to each other when we get to that episode. If I remember. (Remember, me, remember!)

    Secondly, why Amanda loves this spy biz…is it for Lee? I think no. And yes. I am a stay-at-home mother of four kids. I love them. And love being this person. But I do know there are parts of me that are just not being utilized during this season. And I think Amanda loved being a housewife, and so much of that remains in her always, even as she develops professionally at the agency. But I also think what started when Lee met her at the train station sparked such an exciting part of her that maybe she had never even tapped into, that it was just something she wanted to do more and more and get better at as much as possible. It ebbed and flowed, as any job does. But here’s where I say it does also have to do with Lee: her work is so tied to Lee, to the missions they carry out together as a team, and although she does well on her own (as seen so clearly here with the truce she beautifully manages to make happen), there is something about Lee AND her together…it’s like a current of electricity that goes back and forth to spur the other on to excellence [though usually in an unorthodox way]. Even at this point in the series. They have solved some pretty amazing cases and saved each other’s lives several times now. That connection is important, I think, to how Amanda sees herself in that spy biz. Not so much solely why she does it, but I think would’ve been totally different if Francine or Fred Fielder had handed her that package at the train station. As someone else mentioned, she may have worked her way through the agency via a different path. But Amanda and Lee are just a doggone great team. Professionally and personally.

    Now that was a ramble! Sorry! Hope it made sense!

    I love this episode. I love Christmas, so I think that may have some to do with it. But just love Lee and Amanda in this episode so much!


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  6. Glad Iswod that you brought up the fact that Amanda is not just in the spy business for Lee. My mom who I started watching this show with always thought she was just doing it for a man. I totally disagree. While I think she is totally devoted to Lee as a partner and a friend and probably wouldn’t be able to handle the spy business so much in the beginning if she didn’t feel she had someone she trusted so much looking out for her, she didn’t do it just for him. I think she did it because it made her feel important. At this point in her life she had a husband who left her, 2 kids who were getting older and didn’t need her the way they use to, and a boyfriend who left her feeling tepid at best.

    I think she saw the agency as a real way to make a difference in people’s lives. In that way she was needed. She certainly didn’t do it because Lee needed her because back then he denied that tooth and nail, though intuition may have told her otherwise. When Lee did start to realize he needed her it just meant all the more that she was important to someone she really cared about for the first time in a long time in her life.

    And maybe just maybe she didn’t like always just being seen as a frumpy housewife. Everyone understands when men need excitement and adventure in their lives, but guess what women can need that too.


  7. Yowza! Lee–that’s no way to treat your packhorse… throwing her to the ground like that. (Did you even check for poison ivy/oak/sumac?) I know you were just trying to save her from the sneaky guys in the orange hats, but come on, man.
    Hmmmmm… is it just me, or does the baddie/hunter with the big sunglasses look like Bernie (from Weekend at Bernie’s) in Iwsod’s screencap? (Again with a Bernie lookalike!)
    Ooops! I had an inverted hemisphere brainfart here with the moss scene. I was thinking to myself, noooooooooo–they got it wrong–moss grows on the SOUTH side. (Yep–I learned that in school.) 😀 Good thing I haven’t got myself lost in the woods here the USA yet… AND I just love that they found the one tree that had a large, very neatly shaped, patch of “moss” (it looks like someone got it from a bag at Home Depot or stole it from a floral arrangement and super-glued it to the tree)…. :p And what is wrong with Lee? He points to where west is, then points in the opposite direction to that and says that’s where they need to go, but he’s already said that they need to be “north by northwest” from there… which would be less than 90 degrees from west whether it meant north by west or northwest by north… not 180 degrees from west. (North by northwest is not an actual direction–just a Hitchcock movie… I wonder if this was a BB flub? http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/macslog/BoxingtheCompas.html ) I think that lying on top of Amanda scrambled Lee’s brains!
    Ah, yes–the joys of hands being not where they’re supposed to be in the front shot vs the back shot. They never did manage to fix that… it kills me when even in seasons 3 and 4–when Amanda has her hands on Lee’s lapels when… well, you know… (awwwww…) we see her hands go up to his shoulders in his front shot, but in his back shot, her hands/fingers are nowhere to be seen. Gah!!! C-o-n-t-i-n-u-i-t-y, people, please!
    Yikes. The evil creepy man has moments when he actually sounds like Dr Smyth! Ugh!
    Iwsod–I think you’re right about the cabin. They’ve added shrubs and made some decorations to the outside in MoG, but the front of the roof is pretty distinctive.
    Loving this episode–Amanda is awesome! 🙂


    • … what is wrong with Lee? He points to where west is, then points in the opposite direction to that and says that’s where they need to go, but he’s already said that they need to be “north by northwest” from there… which would be less than 90 degrees from west whether it meant north by west or northwest by north… not 180 degrees from west. (North by northwest is not an actual direction–just a Hitchcock movie… I wonder if this was a BB flub?)

      We know KJ usually has yellow flowers on set as a nod to her mother. It’s very possible BB gave a nod to a renowned film director as his character trudged through the woods, being given directions by his Cub Scout Handbook wielding wannabe partner. In Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” (1959), a civilian is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

      There is precedence because the “Service Above and Beyond” episode was clearly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946). The scene with Lee carrying a deathly-drugged Amanda down an elegant staircase mimics Cary Grant carrying Ingrid Bergman.


  8. So super organised Lee didn’t even pack a rucksack?! His uncle would be sooooo disappointed. Repeat after me Lee, Amanda is NOT a packhorse.
    Love his tackle on Amanda and her little spiel about affecting their professional relationship. My feeling is he wasn’t really paying too much attention. Given previous interactions Lee isn’t above curling his lip and moaning at her so I suspect he’s too preoccupied about who those men were. Perhaps he’s started to learn to switch off from Amandarambles 😉
    I think yet again Amanda does rather well pretending and lying through her teeth to be someone else. Her downfall tends to be she speaks from the heart.
    So Lee the susperspy disarms one Russian but happily walks around with his back to where the other one is likely to be hiding. Hmmm with moves like that no wonder he got shot!
    Ah thank goodness a bullet hole has ruined that awful jumper and shirt. Lets see the silver linings in everything shall we 😉 Amanda sounds so worried, scared and desperate to help poor Lee it’s rather touching. BB does a good job of grimacing in all the right places. I have to say they are the cleanest, whitest rags I’ve ever seen 😉
    I love KJ’s acting in her truce speech. Loaded with emotion who could fail to be moved by it 🙂
    Lastly why is Amanda in the spy biz? I am not sure there is one single reason but many, she devoted herself to raising her boys and looming after a husband who ultimately decided she wasn’t enough. Maybe TFT gave her the idea of doing something for herself, not related to the boys interests or the PTA. And she feels she is contributing, even if its in a small way. All pretty noble reasons on top of being able to work with Lee. Even if he is a cranky pants 😉


  9. I just love that question: Why is Amanda in the spy biz? I cannot resist.

    I agree that Amanda, given her ever-helpful, hands-on nature, would have done that little favor at the train station for pretty much any person who had asked so adamently, but that doesn’t explain why she continued involving herself in the business beyond episode 1. Early on, both she and Lee seemed pretty comfortable assuming each time they worked together might very well be the last. So what happened…?

    First, I look at that snapshot of the life of Amanda King we saw when she was introduced in TFT. She was “frazzled”, burned out on living a perfectly-ordered, perfectly-decent life that collapsed on itself dispite her best effort to preserve it. I think she was ripe for a radical change in her life. She was tired of sleepwalking through it, settling for whatever came at her (e.g. Dean) that fit the mold she had set for herself. It’s interesting to consider that the cookie-cutter life of the suburban homemaker Francine so liked to mock really didn’t suit Amanda either. That’s the paradox. Amanda was living a lie when she was conforming herself to the expectations of others, like her mother and her neighbors. As we get to know Amanda through the seasons, it’s clear she’s got nerve, and drive, and a bohemian spirit that will do what makes sense to her regardless of what makes sense to just about anyone else. Her only downfall, if you want to call it that, is a sincere desire to please and not disappoint the people she cares about. Whether she’s living the Arlington dream or going 007 on it, she’s not going to show her inner disposition to anyone whom it might scandalize.

    Secondly, beginning with TFT, Amanda experienced some pretty heady gratification doing something enormously out of her ilk. She not only can hold her own as a wannabe spy, she excels. She can run with the best of them. Every mission only proves again, to her if not to Lee, that she was made for something more challenging and more far-reaching than bake sales and little league. And after a few experiences of putting her life on the line, I think she was invested in that venture.

    Lastly, Lee. He was such a departure from any man she had been with, and certainly from Dean. He probably wasn’t the driving force in continuing her work with IFF initially, but she had a soft spot for that man from day 1. He was so full of contradictions: self-sufficient yet begging her to help him; ladies’ man yet alone at the holidays; works alone yet mourning a fallen partner; larger than life and so adorably flawed! You know when I think she was gone on him? If Thoughts Could Kill. He was such an ornery little nincompoop and she wasn’t going to give up on him for anything. After all that, I think she must have known NO ONE could possibly care for that man except her.


    • Love it!! you make some really good points!! I think this show gets underestimated in terms of it’s depth – and you bring up some fantastic points.. It is a great irony – the life of the American housewife was not what Amanda was looking for..

      She’s pretty darn good at it though hey! 🙂 She ticks all the boxes, and prides herself on that role – but she wanted to be more than just that..

      Ornery nincompoop? tee hee!!! I always thought she put up with him being so awful in if thoughts could kill because he was not being himself – and she knew it…

      Your post was such a lovely read.. quite poetic! thanks for sharing your thoughts Paula! 🙂


    • Melissa Robertson

      Great insights and thoughts on why Amanda stays in the spy biz!!!


  10. Hi again!

    My, how many superiors Billy’s section has… And how stone cold most of them are! They care about national interests and classified information only. Agents do not seem to count at all: They are not people but consumable material to them. All those Dirks and Dr. Smythes seem to meet in this point. Don’t you think? Anyway I love how Billy stands up for Lee and declares he has complete faith in his top man. You can tell from Billie’s face he understands the graveness of the situation. Yet he backs up Lee and tries to resolve all doubt. Bless him!

    Meanwhile Lee storms through the woods. Amanda follows him a few metres behind, panting and finally calling for “a little breather”. Oh my, Lee is still in his military mode: “You’re the one who wanted to be back by five o’clock…” Alright Lee, I think everybody got it. Give us a break. Looks like he really wants to get done with this assignment a.s.a.p. He seems to be way out of his comfort zone, probably because all this Christmas stuff gets to him. I think he regrets the things he told Amanda in the car… After all telling someone how you usually spend Christmas and how you used to spend Christmas as a child is pretty personal stuff, isn’t it? That’s why he tries to button up again and be nothing but the cold professional he was trained to be.

    Well, at least he shows a little mercy when he consents to a little stop. He spots the two Russian red hatters and – wheeeeeeee! Lee tackles Amanda! It is sooooooooo funny how she reacts to that. She never fails to crack me up with her “shouldn’t we talk about this” speech. What was she thinking? That the super spy was suddenly so overcome by lust that he couldn’t restrain himself?? Hilarious!!!! (ROFL)

    With the good sound quality of the DVDs I can now hear Lee gives a little grunt too when they both crush down on the ground. I believe he understands perfectly well what she is talking about. He even looks at her face briefly (it is oh sooooo near!). But he is determined not to pay heed to her words. All he wants is to check the situation and see if there is any danger. Then he stops her from rambling on by putting his hand over her mouth. I love how he says the words “shut up” and pauses a little before he adds “please!” For one or two seconds they silently look into each other’s eyes, with him lying on top of her. Wow, is it hot in those woods or what? ;-P

    Welllllll, the moment is over very soon. Lee helps Amanda to get up. Amanda brushes grass and leaves from her parka violently. Maybe to cover up she feels embarrassed by her complete misperception. Lee was only trying to protect her! Lee underlines this by asking her “What else would I be doing?” Too funny how she clears her throat and tries to blow something invisible away from her face (maybe a hair or a cobweb). She is priceless! Of course Lee switches back to military mode immediately and rushes forth. His behaviour is really rather reserved, challenging, almost aggressive. Can you see how Amanda grits her teeth to that?

    Although I am a little incredulous that Lee should be unable to find his way through the woods, I am happy the next point is Amandas. Especially because Lee mocks her for the “Micky-Mouse spy course” and all. Not nice, Lee! It serves you right that Amanda and the Cub-Scout handbook prove to be right in the end. But I like that dirty look he gives the moss. Haaaaaaaa!

    My, that cabin in the woods looks rather ramshackle, doesn’t it? We meet Janus (Mr. Rudolph) as he oils and cleans his rifle. Probably the right ouverture to the drama that will soon take place… Teheeee, I think it is funny how the grey socks Lee gave Amanda earlier now hang from one pocket of her parka as they approach. It is so sad to see how suspicious Mr. Rudolph already is when he meets Lee and Amanda… and then they betray him in this coldly calculating way. I know they are only following agency orders, but isn’t it just awful what they do to this man? Oh errr, wait… hold on a sec. Are Lee and Amanda really holding hands as they approach Mr. Rudolph? The are, aren’t they?? Alright alright, that makes up for almost everything… =))

    Poor Mr. Rudolph. He really believes that Amanda was his daughter Karen. Look how confused and deeply touched he is. And look how keenly Lee observes the fake “reunion”… Poor man! (To answer your question Iwsod: As I got quite attached to my handle it feels a little weird now to hear them speak about Karen…).

    I simply adore the following scene. Lee follows every single word that is being exchanged between “Karen” and Ted Rudolph. You can tell he would almost want to prompt the lines Amanda’s supposed to say! Of course he fears Amanda might risk her neck by careless talk and ruin the whole setup. Instead, Amanda gives him a good look into the mirror by repeating his own little speech about Christmas. 24 hours long, the sun rises, sun sets…. Bwahaaaahaaaaaa! Look at Lee’s reaction! Gosh, I think I know this feeling myself. It can be embarrassing at times to hear someone else repeat your own beliefs and convictions. It can end up in making you realize how much rubbish you’ve been talking… ;-P I like how he silently smiles to himself when Amanda rambles on about the guacamole dip and the bottle of champagne. He’s taking it pretty well I think 😉

    Whoa, Amanda almost blows it! She says she doesn’t know what it is like to spend Christmas without your loved ones. Lee lifts his head to that with a warning expression in his eyes… Uh oh… Beware, Amanda! Whew, she catches herself just in time. Lee says they should be getting back to Washington, but Rudolph has some more urgent things to tell Karen. He explains to her why he has to leave her one more time to get a new identity and establish a new life. I think Amanda does not know how to react to that. The look she gives Lee is almost calling for help. And what do you think of the knowing look and the silent smile Lee gives to himself here? How would you interpret that? I tend to think he knows so well what Rudolph is talking about that he feels touched… He knows that this is standard procedure in his line of work. He knows all the consequences of an agent’s life. I think he feels very related to Rudolph here. And although Lee hates to speak about emotions, he really understands Rudolph well. What do you think?

    Uh oh, Ivan and Dmitri show up with their automatic rifles. I guess at this point Amanda’s face starts to show all the feelings that we, the viewers, would probably experience in her place. Concern, fear, even anger because Lee and Rudolph are unwilling to listen to her. They do not want to call for a truce. Looks more like they are preparing for war! Look at Amanda’s face as she watches Lee load his gun… I think she is really concerned and afraid. To make things worse Rudolph says they do not have a chance with a 22 rifle and a handgun against automatic weapons.

    Yep, things are getting pretty serious now. Lukas informs Billy of the “other solution” the Security Committee has decided on… He quotes “the man himself” (puttin on airs, isn’t he??) and is awfully cynical about the whole business. That’s why I too feel sorry for Francine when he winks at her after she rejects his invitation to a party on the 4th floor. Ewwwwww! What a repulsive creep.

    I don’t remember who pointed it out first, but isn’t it really amusing how the men draw a map in order to make a plan? Why can’t they think of a plan without drawing odd symbols on a piece of paper? If it existed those days I bet they would first have made a power point presentation, LOL!

    Okay, stop joking Karen. Lee and Rudolph prepare for combat… And Amanda can’t stop them. Lee is not a man of many words here. He asks Rudolph: “Now are you ready for this? Huh?” And a little later: “Let’s go.” He closes the zipper of his jacket and walks over to the door. This is probably one of my most favourite Lee Stetson hero moments. His face is so grave and yet determined as he cocks his gun! Instead of saying anything else, he just silently nods into Rudolph’s direction and walks out the door. He knows his plan is very dangerous, maybe even madness. Yet he shows no sign of fear and does what needs to be done. Gosh, how brave and tough he is swoon

    As Lee tries to disarm Dmitri Ivan sneaks around them. Watch out Leeeeeeee! If it hadn’t been for Ted Rudolph Lee I think our favourite spy would have died here. But Rudolph is there and shoots Ivan in his leg. Lee makes a desperate jump in his effort to escape. But since Ivan sinks to the ground as he pulls the trigger, one of the bullets hits Lee. Oh no! Didn’t we all feel something bad was likely to happen? Lee struggles to his feet and staggers back to the cabin… I think the way he runs with his body bend forward and the way he literally stumbles into the cabin tells Rudolph he is not okay. Amanda seems to sense this, too! Look how she turns her head to Lee immediately: Her eyes wide open, her eyebrows lifted as if in alarm. She feels something is wrong!

    Rudolph: “Are you all right?”
    Lee: “Yeah…!”
    Why does Lee deny he’s been shot? Does he try to lie to himself? To comfort himself by pretending things are not that bad? Is he still to high on adrenalin to realize he is seriously wounded? These are only a few ideas that come into my head. I would love to know what everybody else is thinking.

    Rudolph continues to watch Lee closely. I think he does not believe him. As if that animated the pain to rage through his body, Lee lifts his right hand to his wounded shoulder… Suddenly he looks like he was ready to collapse. He stops breathing, maybe suppresses a groan… and adds rather miserably:

    “Ohhhhh… Maybe not.”
    I feel so sorry for him here. One moment before he was so fearless and strong… the cunning agent ready to face every danger… And now… :’’(((

    The producers chose a very clever outfit for Lee, didn’t they? 😉 With his dark red parka you can’t really tell how bad the wound is. But when Amanda helps him to sit down on the chair and opens the zipper, I really gasped to see his white pullover soaked with bload – like probably most of you did. I believe I was every bit as shocked as Amanda when I first watched this episode. I repeatedly thought something like: “Oh my God! Oh no! It cannot be!” If you don’t understand what I am trying to say, just take a look at Amanda’s face. It is all there. She is totally shocked… Her voice sounds strangely out of tune and almost shaky when she asks Rudolph for towels.

    Well, I guess I watched the following scenes over and over for reasons you know very well. How Lee turns his head towards Amanda, how she runs her fingers through his hair… How she holds his head as he tries to fight back the pain and finally blacks out… Oh my gosh. I think BB does some fine acting here. I totally believe the shock of the wound and the difficulty of breathing. Can you see how a muscle in his face seems to twitch involuntarily when Amanda opens his parka? Gosh, that really makes me believe he is in pain. Poor Lee! We always suspected you were deeply wounded… And now you really are. There is no doctor who might cure you, no hospital where you might find healing. Talk about drama. O gosh, this episode is sooooooo amazing!

    The Russian general gives orders to a bunch of soldiers… Bla bla… What is it with Lee? Come on! That’s what we want to know! The Russian agents are still out in the cold. Ivan is struggling with his wound. Ahhhhhhhh, Amanda strokes Lee’s hair as he lies unconsciously by the fireplace. What is it with seeing a larger than life man like this? You can tell he is struggling with his wound as well. I wonder how Rudolph and Amanda got him there? Lee is very tall and strong. I can see the white pullover on a stool nearby, so they must have taken it off somehow. I wish I knew.

    I love Amanda for everything she does here. Isn’t it obvious how much she cares for this man? She is really worried about him. How lovingly she caresses his hair, oh swoooooooon! Then she makes a quick decision. She jumps up and puts on her anorak. I love how she fights with Rudolph. “I don’t care about national security! All I know is: I don’t want him to die.” Go, Amanda! Ahhh, she is almost as determined as Lee was before he walked out the door to fight two Russian agents. She does what has to be done! Nothing will stop her! The way she blows her cover really tells you that she doesn’t give a damn about agency business in this situation. But poor Ted Rudolph! That is such a blow to him. He can barely move. Love how you can see and feel Amanda’s compassion… and how she begs him to “take care of Mr. Stetson while I’m gone”. Amanda you are fabulous.

    What a great little speech she holds with that broomstick in her hand! She is so honest and sad and a little awkward and touching at the same time. Love how her voice almost cracks and she needs to clear her throat to carry on. That is probably one of the greatest things about SMK: The characters (and the story writers? Producers?) always manage to light up the drama before it becomes overly emotional. Ahhh this is such a great episode. Even Francine displays her best as she tries to comfort Billy. She tries to convince him Lee and Amanda will get out of this mess all right. As much as we all love to hate her, I think she is really okay when things balance on a knife’s edge.

    Awwwwwwwww, another great scene with Lee and Amanda. This time, Lee is awake… at least sort of. She pours a cup of water for him. Oh boy, he seems to be longing for water very much. Look how his eyes are fixed on the cup in Amanda’s hands. He even licks his lips. Awwwww, Amanda still caresses his hair… But Lee is still too woozy to understand what’s going on. His breathing still looks and sounds heavy. He readily accepts Amanda’s confirmation that everything is all right and drifts off again.

    I love how Amanda is gentle and kind to Ivan as well. Bless her! And is sooooo sweet to hear her tell the story of how she met Lee. Look how her eyes shine! Don’t tell me this woman is not in love with that man! I am not sure though why she joined the agency. Is it only for Lee? He may be one important reason, but I think that isn’t all that attracted her. She probably felt she needed a challenge in her life, something that would help her to advance to another level or another intensity of life. But of course this is only my guess.

    Amanda puts her foot down with her rule of “no guns in the cabin”. Yay! Meanwhile units of the Russian army and the U.S. army storm through the woods. I always wondered if that scenario could possibly be realistic… I tend to find it non-credible. What do you think?

    Man, I have been rambling away without end. Hope I did not bore you to death. But I simply couldn’t resist. I love “The Long Christmas Eve” and I am dying to know what you’re thinking.
    Byeeeee! Karen


  11. “So why do you think Amanda is in the Spy Business ????!!!!! ”
    My thoughts on this has changed a bit over the years. At first, I thought she was in it primarily because of Lee, but now I don’t think so. The first question I asked myself was whether Amanda would have helped anyone else at the train station that day. And I think the answer is yes. Amanda is a very caring, open person who feels compelled to help anyone in need (just look at all the voluntering the woman does for the neighborhood, hospital, school, her boys, etc.). So almost any other agent would have been successful passing the package to her. Perhaps she would have started working for the agency, but probably in the steno pool or moving up to doing cypher work or simple courier runs. And I think she would have been (lower case h) happy. She would have a job (which she was actively looking for in ep 1 and 2) in an interesting field and felt like she was making a difference.
    But the man with the amazing eyes passed her the package and the Shriners happened to be in town that day. (ASIDE: I am assuming it was with sober second thought that Amanda surmised that Lee was maybe a drug runner or connected with the mob. Would she risk jail, or worse being a young single mom if she immediately thought that Lee was involved in something illegal? (But then again, she tried to hold up amed bad men with her ‘finger’ gun and almost crashed a helicoptor, so what do I know?) And despite Lee accusing Amanda of being a rule follower in “If Thoughts Could Kill”, she takes some pretty big risks even before they meet at the club. Why didn’t she go to the police or FBI? She sure an amazing confidence in her ability to read people.) I think she was excited to find her niche, to be able to do something for herself rather than everyone else and to have a part of her life that was secret. And she was very good at it in her own unorthodox way. I think working with Lee was a huge plus (and she found him vey attractive), but if he were the only reason she kept coming around, I don’t think she would be as quick to call him on his behaviour in season 1.

    I could blather on and on, but real life keeps intruding. I’ll try to do a drive-by posting later.


    • Looking forward to seeing a drive-by posting Cindy! LOL!

      I agree with you and your take on Amanda.. very well put! yeah.. you are right – right from the start she has an unshakeable belief in Lee and whether he is a good man (deep down, on the surface he appears to be a bit of a bad mannered brat sometimes early on!!) – She trusts her life to this belief in Lee right from the start, and risks her life to protect him. She does read him right doesn’t she.. {saviour is coming soon..that ep touches on all this}

      Yeah, you are right working with Lee was a huge plus ( aside from the gorgeousness) – his presence gave her the reassurance and confidence to give things a go.. and I think early on, his determination to not see her as particularly useful to a spy? Spurred her on to do better and prove to him that he is wrong – which is why it bugs her he doesn’t admit it at the end of Magic Bus!

      Nooooo you are not blathering! I would love to hear all your thoughts! If you have more to share..when you can- do tell! 🙂


  12. The scene of Lee tackling her and her reaction always cracks me up. I love her self confidence (OK, he was so overcome by lust that he couldn’t restrain himself) HA HA HA HA HA! I am trying to figure out if she’s been reading too many of her spy fantasy romance novels, thinking A LOT about the cover kiss or so used to being hit on by various men that this seems par for the course. And yes, poor Dean. Amanda’s reaction to being thrown to the ground and jumped by superhot spy is “this will compromise our professional relationship” – not “Get off me-I have a boyfriend!” . I think it’s even more telling that Dean gets demoted to “friend” when she is talking to Janus. But, all and all, she should be grateful for Dean and his dissolvable car (I am assuming it is soluable because why else would he refuse to drive it to the train station if it might get wet?)


    • Melissa Robertson

      That scene of Lee tackling Amanda cracks me up too!!! About Dean very telling Amanda says to Dotty, “I am fond of him”. Not love, like, but fond of? She seems to be reminding her self of his good qualities when she lists them off to her mom. Funny ‘dissolvable car’ 🙂


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