Back to IFF, and wow.. Ms Walker is still wandering the streets! twice in one episode?! Billy asks Francine for an update on the info she is getting from Rollo.. it’s a boat, maybe a ship, maybe a yacht.. it was called moonbeam.. in other words.. not much! Francine isn’t really trying very hard to get info from Rollo..Given the hours are ticking on tripod I’m surprised Francine is so seemingly relaxed here.. and Billy is concerned now about Lee and Amanda – Francine says Scarecrow isn’t answering his remote – he has a remote? I guess that is like a beeper or something?
Billy: argh we’re chasing a boat that changes it’s name and location as often as I change my socks!
Francine: Hey! maybe we’ve got something there! how often is that?
Billy stonefaced: not funny. [Agreed! Even for Francine that seems cold!]
Wow.. Billy and Francine have a little heated moment when she makes a bad joke at a really bad time..
Francine: Just a little levity!
Billy: we’ve got three lives at stake here ( actually it’s many more than that! ) Francine and the clock is ticking.
Francine: I’m sorry.
Billy: Accepted. [awh!! good for you Billy! ]
try to get something more from Rollo,
many lives depend on it. Including Lee and Amanda’s. [Oh good.. Billy remembers them! ] ok?
Time to step up Francine!!! what you got huh??!!!
We see the boat is now called Nightwing.. although I could have sworn it was called that at the start of the episode! whatever.. We find out Sinclair runs this err ‘enterprise’ and he has decided he wants some ewww time with Amanda for himself, before he sells her.. Can he be any more awful??
Pearce objects (he doesn’t want to risk a reduction in her asking price.. eww!!) and Sinclair shoots him with a poison dart.
Wha?? that’s it??!!! I am very disappointed the poison was ‘fast acting’??- I was hoping for sloooow and paaaainful for Pearce’s demise!!
Amanda is shown in as Pearce is dragged out. Poor Amanda! Yep, they’re really going to sell you ..[I find it hard to believe too! I mean.. this is SMK!! Not SVU!!] eww ewww..
Sinclair: I prefer to look at myself as someone who err provides a delicate service for certain lonely, but very wealthy ( and very SICK in the head!!!) men.
Don’t touch her cheek you creep! Lee and Amanda (!!) are going to get you !!! Amanda is coping pretty well, considering- She keeps her composure, keeps smiling, not provoking Sinclair -what a PRO she is!! Sinclair says to blindfold Amanda and take her down to her friend. He doesn’t want her knowing her way around the ship.. All that training in helping Blind people is going to come in handy! how ironic!
Ohhhhhh Noooooo!!!! could this episode get anymore gross??!!!! Quick! I need a paper bag!! but do I vomit in it?? or use it to stop hyperventilating?? Yes.. here comes the infamous scene of Francine ‘seducing’ Rollo to get information..
which is possibly even less believable than selling Amanda..Just wrong.. soo very wrong.. [I see they got Rollo a new t-shirt without the Lee scrunchy style ]
Francine herself said to Lee earlier that it was better for her to interrogate him, as he won’t know what’s coming.. well he has been interrogated by her now.. and she goes in a second time using a different tactic? I mean she was all aggressive and angry last time – how dumb does she think Rollo is?? or how utterly fabulous and irresistible does Francine think she is? Rofl! There is something wonderfully (and perversely ) satisfying about Francine having to try really hard to get this scuzzball to actual take an interest in her! But really.. who was going to buy the talk now play later line?? He’s already seen how you guys play – you cheat!
I think Billy should have questioned him. Please! anything but this! I can only watch this scene once.. don’t ask me for dialogue – please!!!
Sooo how can I make sense of this? hmm.. Francine’s perm chemicals fried her brain… and well she was absolutely desperate to try anything to save all the lives on the line! ( how sweet that one of those lives is Amanda.. she kisses Rollo to save Amanda!!! teee heeee – but don’t forget – eventually Francine takes a bullet to save Amanda Rofl!!! how sweet is that!!! haaaa!!! )
He looks terrified! Yep.. kissing Francine is scary!!
Soooo wrong just soo wrong.. sets women back IMHO..
Ok.. seriously guys.. this scene contributes nothing to the overall plot- does it? [I don’t think she gets any info from him!!] why is it here?? It’s in the script too.. Hmm.. could it be another nod to the idea that Brunettes Are In? That Francine the blonde can’t get the info using her feminine wiles? We just left Sinclair wanting to exploit Amanda to get what he wants.. so what do you think of how this fits?? Francine seems to exploit herself as a woman to get what she wants..?? Or.. is she trying to exploit Rollo the man?? One kiss and he is utterly helpless? ugh!!! Is it turning the tables on men?.. the whole male/ female battle seems to be front and centre in this episode.. Rollo likes the kiss, once he realises she isn’t going to snap his neck! lol!
There is a part of me that respects Francine’s dedication here… but it quickly disappears when nothing comes of her efforts- and it is just plain icky2watch.. Soooo does Francine get anything useful from him? What do you think of her tactics? Do you agree with them? Is it ok if you get the info you need?
I can’t believe Amanda would ever go to these lengths.. I can’t shake the thought that she would use her mind to come up with another way.. I don’t know what I base that on- wishful thinking? or just overall character traits of Amanda? What do you make of all this? help??!!
In all this male/female battling Lee and Amanda’s relationship is the beacon which gives us hope I think! such genuine care and loyalty for each other..
Ugh.. It’s all so gross.. Quick!!!! Look at this:
and look at this!!
Feel Better? I do!!! Francine? Rollo? Never heard of ‘em!
Anyway.. err yeah.. Brunettes Are in.. errr .. next thing we see is Amanda being led down to the bottom of the boat, into a room where Lee is tied to a pipe and Gail is out to it..
Aaaaand I will leave it there for now guys! Back with more soon!! comments are very very welcome!!!
Bless you iwsod for the tux and dimple pictures. You know how to save the day!
Oh barf-a-roni Francine! Ugh! I remember watching this scene when it was first aired and just couldn’t wrap my mind around its ickiness and how demeaning it felt way back then. Love passionate Lee! Thanks for the tux photos. A definite palate cleanser after the barfiness of Francine’s role playing. I must admit what a great job Eugene Butler who played Rollo did. In a less than humorous episode he played his part perfectly.
By the way, this has always been one of my favorite episodes because of the development for Lee and Amanda’s relationship. Always thought it was terribly important in the story arc in spite of the nasty background plotline and Francine’s hair and barf inducing scene (I do sound like a 12 year old here, but no other words will do!).
I wonder if a subtext in the Francine scene is to suggest that the Agency’s work is in some ways almost as dirty and distasteful as the flesh trafficking biz. Francine demonstrates that she understands the expectation and is willing to use her sexuality as part of her job. It’s surely not on a par with being a sex slave, but I do think Francine felt some pressure from Billy to do whatever was necessary to get Rollo to crack.
On the other hand, spies using sex as a tool has a long history in popular culture … James Bond, anyone? I wonder how we’d feel if it were a male agent putting the moves on a female suspect? I think we’d still be disgusted, but in Francine’s case it feels degrading, while if it were a male, it would just feel manipulative, IMO.
Damn with Francine coming onto him like a barracuda I am surprised Rollo didn’t crack sooner 😉
Ah the tux pic……now I feel loads better 🙂
I don’t like Francine/Rollo’s scene either, but I thank you Iwsod for asking me to watch it carefully. I think I find something there or, at least, that’s my opinion. I’ll cite just few lines from Francine’s dialogue (but that doesn’t mean that I’ll watch that scene again and again in the future…;-)).
As you already said, Iwsod, I think that this episode helps us to compare the two Agency’s agent women: the blonde one (Francine) and the ‘brunette’ one (Amanda). It’s interesting that before Rollo’s scene, there are other two linked scenes: the first one, with Lee’s and Amanda’s discussing in Amanda’s den and the next one with Francine’s and Lee’s discussing again the skills/tactics of being a “good” agent. In both scenes, indeed, Lee is criticizing two agents and their moves: he criticizes both Amanda because she had chosen to hide the microdot in her purse instead of the laundry as she was told by Lee or Billy (or both), and Francine because he thinks that she wouldn’t get any useful information from Rollo with her “hot” tactics or, at least, not that time with Rollo.
Another interesting link I think between Amanda’s den scene and Francine/Rollo’s scene is that in the first one, there’s the famous “Hot-mama” T-shirt scene and, by chance…., in the latter, Francine repeats twice the word “hot” (actually, 3 times, because in “Must be me” it’s implicit). She says, “Is it hot in here?” and few lines later, “Must be me, I guess. I’m just really hot” (which of course has a double meaning).
I think that the first message from both scenes can be that Amanda and Francine are both agents and that they are both hot, but in the case of Amanda, it’s somebody else (her children) who say/wrote she is “hot” and the baddies (she was chosen indeed to be sold); while, in the second scene, it’s Francine who said it to herself, which is not exactly the same. Yet, while on the one side it’s not that good to be conceited (as Lee seems to be in this episode and in others such as in “There goes the neighborhood”), on the other, it’s important that people (Amanda and Francine) are proud of their jobs and of their skills and self-confident. And indeed both Francine and Amanda in this episode will show their pride and also their courage to tell Lee what they think about their role in the Agency: Francine when she discusses with Lee before the scene with Rollo, and then in the Rollo’s scene (“Must be me. I’m just really hot), and Amanda in the tag-scene with Lee when she says she is proud of her skills and the way she is an agent.
In other words, the message seems to be that it’s important that people (Francine and Amanda) have their own opinions about themselves (about their qualities) but it’s also important to find the courage to tell people even if there is somebody among them, even a close one, (Lee), who doesn’t approve or can’t see the skills of the others or is too proud and too shy to admit it (Lee grew up alone and at the same time with his uncle’s criticism. That’s why he’s ‘good’ at criticizing everyone and is not good at putting his feelings into words, especially the good ones such as love, gratitude, and so on).
Another message conveyed by both Amanda’s den scene and Rollo’s scene seems to be that Amanda is natural, the way she is; she doesn’t pretend to be a different person and, indeed, she is chosen by the baddies to be sold even if she hadn’t done anything special or any hot scenes to capture the baddies’ attention and she was chosen by Billy because she is the way we know Amanda. On the contrary, Francine, in Rollo’s scene pretends to be hot; she is not as natural and naïve as Amanda is (even if Francine is pretending with Rollo to get information).
Thirdly, the Hot-mama T-shirt reminds us that Amanda is a mum, a sweet mum and a sweet agent too; while Francine is neither a mother nor that sweet most of the times. That also made me think that it’s not just a coincidence that Amanda is a mother of two boys and not of two girls.
Finally, I think that this episode tells us that agents ( as well as ordinary people) may fail and that nobody is perfect ( Lee, the one who criticized Amanda and Francine, fails too when he is caught by the baddies). It also tells that even if you fail once or twice, you are still a good agent (and in general a good person or good at work) and that sometimes that what you thought was wrong at the beginning (or a bad move) may revealed itself to be a good thing or at least not that bad (Amanda found her purse at last; Francine, even if she didn’t get information from Rollo, is still a good agent; Lee, after being caught, rescued Amanda and her friend).
In conclusion, even if I don’t like Rollo’s and Francine’s scene, it helps us to find similarities and differences with Amanda.
Hello Pallina! Thanks so much for revisiting that scene!
I know it couldn’t have been easy! 🙂
Though, I find it easier when I look at it in the context of the broader themes or story of the episode.. Hearing your thoughts on this helps alot! it is great to hear another person’s take on this.. I love that analytical mind of yours Pallina 🙂 You bring a unique take on the show to things! It is wonderful to hear from you!
You point out the use of the word ‘hot’ in this episode.. that’s very interesting! As I have been playing around with the idea that Lee has particular issues with seeing Amanda as ‘hot’ – at this point of the show – but they are not fully formed.. so I’ll see if it plays out as we walk further through the episodes..
I like that the show was trying to write about the role of women at the agency.. and yeah maybe the episode was in addition, broadly about Lee’s attitude towards women at the agency, not just Amanda ( though she is unique!) it’s interesting to ponder.. that scene in the hallway does IMO demonstrate this whole subplot with Francine is suppose to be of significance..
I think it could have worked too.. if only we had actually seen Francine get some information out of Rollo! 😉 I mean if she had done her whole seduction thing, and then managed to get the name of the boat for example? it would have made more sense as a whole.. sooo while you bring up great points about what the writers were trying to do here – and I agree with you, I think my conclusion is that it doesn’t quite work! Though, I enjoy trying to analyse what the writers were trying to achieve.. the story they were trying to tell!
There is sooo much in this episode – it is full to the brim with meaning – for all the characters.. It’s a very special, unique episode! [though at times hard to watch!]
Thanks for sharing your fantastic insights Pallina!! Hope you are well 🙂
Fraaaany what are you doing??? Aaargh… Rollo wants his Lee-scrunchy-style t- shirt back!
Thanks, this two pictures make me feel better 🙂
HAAAA!! Hey Charley, Claudia and Cindy! Glad Lee in a tux was able to offer you some distraction from the ickiness that is Francine and Rollo!
Anyone have any thoughts about why this scene was in the episode? I find it interesting to analyze what the writers were trying to do here.. ( even if it didn’t work 😉 )
Cindy, I have always been grateful to you for standing in solidarity with me through lost and found.. I could have just stopped blogging there and then.. honestly I really struggled!! without you following along with me I may have given up.. ( and I would have regretted it! ) you don’t have to watch Francine and Rollo again. I watched it once more- only once.. and took the photos via automatic software so I didn’t have to sit here and freeze frame this and that and watch it 10 times like I would with other scenes! LOL.. yeah it just wasn’t in me!
Claudia you made me LOL! Rollo wants the Lee scruncy style t-shirt back?! tee hee!! hang in there! back to europe next episode!!! 🙂
Thanks for the Lee in tux photo. I was able to stand in solidarity with you and watch the Eva episode and even Artful Dodger, but I haven’t been able to watch the Francine and Rollo scene again (gag). Honestly, let’s just rewrite this episode, and pretend the icky parts never happened. OK?
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*looking at the picture of Lee*
Yeah… definetely feeling better now… O:-)