1/12 Season Two, Episode 9: A Class Act-Scarecrow and Mrs King

I have only seen this episode once with my clear DVDs a year or two ago- so I am excited to revisit it with fresh eyes!  I am loving having the official DVDS!! thanks Warners!!

The episode opens at IFF, with Lee and Billy having a discussion! ( what’s with the empty corridor behind them? weird! Is everyone already at Station 1? Winking smile  Is this a new set? I don’t think I’ve seen this before??have I?? or maybe people are practicing for operation possum! 😉 )
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Lee is complaining that he was about to go to the Riviera.. Seems Billy is actually doing something boss like- and giving Lee orders to do something else ( shocking!).. and Lee is trying to wiggle out of them! Nice try with the field reports catch up Lee.. but I don’t think Billy is that dumb! 
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Just when Lee thought things couldn’t get worse, along comes Francine Winking smile haaaa.. Ohhh dear.. what is she wearing! Ahh Francine you don’t disappoint!

Francine guesses what Lee is about though: offering anything to not have to do what Billy is telling him to do..Comedy routine? LOL! In desperation he acquiesces.. too funny.. he says it like he is doing them a favour.. and then complains he is going to be bored to death – but.. he’ll go.. Oh Lee! There’s Mr patience and control in action Smile He deserves a bit of ribbing from Francine here Smile
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Francine says going to station one is an obligation of all agents – quoting paragraphs, sub paragraphs etc. Being extra annoying- just because she can Winking smile Whooo Lee goes to Station one to participate in the screening and training of new recruits huh.. well.. that doesn’t sound too bad.. every agent should do their bit!
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LOL love Lee’s comeback (deadpan!): Thank you Miss Field Manual! [ why, your welcome Mr Field Reports!]
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A refresher course for retaining his cover? his cover? I don’t really get it..

Tee hee err I mean.. uh oh.. it sounds like things just got worse – Lee will be posing as a trainee haaaaa!
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Love how Billy and Francine playfully have a dig at Lee here! He deserves it Winking smile 
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Lee: Oh Noo!!
Billy: Oh yes! I’m going to be training officer, Francine will be my assistant and you will be [tee hee]
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2.09 A CLASS ACT.avi_000183683Lee: The Ringer! This is turning into a nightmare!
Billy: you stand there belly-aching while I have here ten, count them! Ten requests from a civilian for formal training
[Francine’s smile just got a little bigger! Winking smile ] I have just authorised that training!
Lee: Ohhh!
[ saracastic Lee? ohhh dear.. now you asked for it!! ]
2.09 A CLASS ACT.avi_000194694Francine, with glee: Hmm yes, she’s very enthusiastic!
Lee: She?
Francine: Mmm Hmmm a housewife!
2.09 A CLASS ACT.avi_000198698Lee: A housewife???!!!
Francine: Mother of two. From Virginia!

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Lee ( ominously quiet!): Billllllllyyyyyyyy.. Billllyyyy????
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Billy to Francine: ahh Francine? [Billy and Francine start moving away].. we have some work over here!
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Rofl! They scurry away smirking!!!!
Lee continues with his growling, now he is getting really mad!: Billlyyy!!!! Billy! tell me your not letting me go to station one with-
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And the scene cuts immediately to Amanda’s home and Dotty saying: Amanda!  😆

LOL! what a start to the episode.. Lee is acting like a five year old! I am surprised he didn’t stomp his foot and yell ‘ I won’t I won’t I won’t!’ Winking smile  and run off with his ears covered 3_ImNotListening

Is it just me or is this scene reminiscent of the ending of The First Time?? [In Billly’s office?? ‘I’d button it loose lips! ‘ ]

This isn’t a good start! Winking smile It seems this episode opens with my current gripe: – Lee’s refusal to accept Amanda! Gah!! why is Lee so furious about going to station 1 with Amanda? I realise Lee was suppose to be on holiday, but he seemed particularly annoyed that Amanda would be there. When first watching this episode, I thought Lee  would have been relieved that she would be getting training finally – and would be out of his hair, not such a burden.. you know? What do you all think?

Now I find I have mellowed about this opening since I last visited this episode! (shocking!)  We learn more of Lee’s motivations in Brunettes (and I’ve decided A Class Act should come before Brunettes), so I think Lee doesn’t want Amanda to get training because he doesn’t want her to be in the spy biz-  it is too dangerous for her and he has a very strong emotional reaction to Amanda’s being given training!!! (or being in danger huh!) He doesn’t want Amanda to get into the agency officially..[she can just do a little window dressing when he needs her Winking smile] It’s the whole he wants her around, but doesn’t want her around thing..he’s a confused man!  In Brunettes, we find out this is what was going on with him- fear-and it hasn’t yet been dealt with in this ep. And yes- Sorry to harp on- but I view this episode as being before Brunettes are In and so this influences how I interpret this episode [ if you see things differently do share!! )  Hmm..It makes sense to send Amanda on a mid level courier job after a visit to station 1.. even if she didn’t complete it!  [Cindy I wrote this last night, and then I think you mentioned this today on the blog in response to the production order post- cool! we both came to the same conclusion independently! Smile]

Ok, here’s a good place to finish up for the moment.. Any thoughts on this part of the episode? How do you take Lee and his response?? were you mad at him? or were you mad at him but.. got over it tee heee like me! or.. did you agree with him? come on!! do share what you think when you are able! Anyone count this episode as a favourite? Byeee for now! thanks for reading!!!

19 responses to “1/12 Season Two, Episode 9: A Class Act-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. As usual, Iwsod, thank you for your brillant way of presenting and telling the episode through out all its scenes! 🙂

    I’ve always loved watching this episode since I first watched it when I was a young girl. And, today, through my adult eyes, I appreciate it even more.

    I agree with you, Jenbo and raffie5, when you say that Lee is “predictable” and in character when he answers Billy (he wouldn’t have accepted happily and immediately to go to Station1 and furthermore with Amanda).

    And again I agree with you, raffie5, when you say that “Lee is not yet in touch with his feelings”. However, I don’t think that here Lee is worried about Amanda’s going to Station 1 and her “getting hurt in the field.” I rather think that Lee rejects going to Station1 with Amanda because he isn’t still able to admit himself enjoying Amanda’s company (as a co-worker, friend and something more). This explains his defensive reactions to strong emotions (joy/love) by denying them before himself and Billy.

    I like to think indeed that Billy realised from the very “First Time” that Lee could be ‘trained’ by Amanda in many fields, especially in the field of emotions: to help him to unlock his feelings and accept them. That’s why I think that Billy is sure that Amanda is the perfect partner (co-worker/friend and romantic partner) for Lee, and also that Lee loves Amanda, even if Lee cannot admit it yet to himself and to Billy.

    Apart from his feelings of enjoying Amanda’s company, in the next episodes, we’ll see that Lee can’t admit other feelings to himself such as his fear towards his uncle. In “A Relative situation”, for example, at the very beginning of the episode, Lee is scared of his uncle even if he is only talking to him on the phone and not seeing him in the flesh: once Lee recognises his uncle’s voice, he snaps to attention by removing his hand out of his pocket; then he tries to avoid his uncle’s invitation at first and then surrenders and doesn’t manage not to obey his uncle’s words (to go out with him taking ‘his’ date).

    In other words, I like to think that, if Amanda hadn’t been one of the recruits for Station1, Billy wouldn’t have ordered Lee to go to Station1 😉 and would have let him go on holiday to Riviera ;-)!

    Now I’ll go and read the second part+comments of this episode! Thanks again Iwsod and all of you for your comments!

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    • Oh my Gosh!!!!!

      I’m so excited to see the wonderful Pallina stopping by!!!!! I’ve missed you!!!!!

      Love your insights on Lee and his denial – re station 1 -sounds good to me! 🙂

      whoooo hope you enjoy the next part 🙂 let us know your thoughts! byeeee

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of my favorites, and is actually of the episodes I remember from when I was little ( just checked the date & I would have been 8). The scene with Amanda & the driving course stuck with me.

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    • Someone who loves this episode!! I think a lot of us don’t so it will be good to hear the bits you enjoy, Xiola 🙂

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    • This is one of my favourites too! I was 11 at the time and this was my first episode of SMK. After that I was smitten and never looked back. I laughed so hard at the antics of Lee and Amanda back then and all these many many years later admire the comedy timing and chemistry of BB and KJ. Love it!

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  3. I remember thinking that Lee’s reactions during this episode seemed to be more embarrassment than anything else – both for Amanda, who didn’t exactly come off like a shining star or talent, and also maybe a Lille bit for himself? I remember wondering if he d thought her performance was a reflection on him, in the sense that she has worked exclusively with him, so maybe she should have picked up more or he should have taught her better?

    As I said I haven’t seen these episodes in years, so I will be interested in seeing how this sense plays out… Or if it does at all… As iwsod walks me through.

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  4. I know this episode is slated a lot but I quite like it 😀

    Hmmm Francine….nice cotton reel necklace you got there. Did a child make it for you?! 😉
    I can kinda see Lee’s point, he was supposed to be having a holiday and Billy has just scuppered those plans. I reckon I’d be a bit cranky if my boss did the same to me.
    I like Francine/Billy tag team, it just goes to show how predictable Lee is.
    I never really paid much attention to the order of episodes but I can see where you’re coming from now IWSOD. Either this is before Brunettes or Lee is just exceptionally cranky and taking it out on Amanda……

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    • Hiya Jenbo ahhh yes I must put together a post on the episode order up to the short hair episodes.. It’s on my list! 🙂 I’m always looking to hear other’s perspectives on the episode order so feel free to let me know your thoughts as you go through this episode! [I have been LOVING your sharing with us your thoughts as you walk through these!!! :)] I am especially struggling with the order of 3 faces of Emily and A Class Act.. Hmmm.. maybe I should just get the post up and then we can all share ideas on it! Well.. byeee for now!

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  5. Pingback: SEASON 2 Quick Links | "Just walk with me..."

  6. LOL, I agree with you Julia, Amanda must be part financial magician. Nonetheless I will be devil’s advocate just to play along 🙂

    We know from The Mole that she gets child support (but not alimony!). We know from The First Time that she has only been divorced a year, so I guess hubby’s paycheck handled the mortgage and so forth up until that point. Maybe Dotty’s husband left her a bundle in life insurance, or at least a decent pension. Houses cost significantly less in the 80’s. (Although a nice home in Arlington must have cost a pretty penny even then … perhaps hubby made a hefty downpayment? He is a lawyer (am I remembering that right?), so hopefully brought in a decent income while they were married.) And while we know Amanda was out of a job at the time she started working for IFF, I’m not sure the show ever states that Amanda didn’t have a job prior to that. Perhaps she earned a little bit with her typing and shorthand skills at a small business that unfortunately folded.

    As for the childcare arrangements, I was about to say that I wish that I had the perfect convenience that Amanda has, but in thinking it through, living with a mother or mother-in-law can prove challenging, and I think Amanda at times had the patience of a saint!

    So I’ve suspended reality for a brief period of time. Lifting that suspension and recalling real “working mom life” in the ’80s, my kids sometimes went to bed in tomorrow’s clothes to save 10 minutes in the morning; kisses from kids as they ran to the bus stop were generally reserved for the dogs, not me; a clean house meant company was coming. I was no Amanda but the kids have turned out all right; one of them even watches SMK with me 😉

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    • The kids have turned out all right, one of them even watches SMK with me. Love that!!!!

      I have a long way to go to achieve this, we have no TV licence and recently a got a call from school, because my daughter did not want to watch any kind of movie or clip in school. Tsss, all this talk about overexposure of the kids to TV, and if you do the opposite, you get called…

      About living with a mother or a mother in law, I agree about Amanda being saint like, I know, that I often was upset about mothers in school, who could not follow my problems about cancelled school lessons and the such because they lived this way, but hard as it is, I know I could not have done the 3 generation modell myself while still clinging to my sanity. So I myself tend to reserve my saintlike behaviour for people doing this modell. (I once was asked by somebody like that, if I did not have any kind of social network, at that time I was struggling, because I lived in an area being the only one with the other modell, eventually I moved away, since networking with them proved fruitless, they never needed any favours).

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  7. This is class act??? The feared episode, I can not believe it!!! I know only the german name Überlebenstraining.

    It is one of the two episodes I remember watching back “then”. The other one being the one with the atomic bomb. And as such I adore this episode.

    Maybe growing up with two housewifes in the house where a 4 hours job in the library equalled revolution against ones place in life has to do with it?

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  8. I think this opening is a lot of fun! Billy and Francine have obviously savored the anticipation of breaking this to Lee and he doesn’t disappoint. The scenes where Lee is being tag-teamed like this seem to work out pretty well … while he maintains a good stolid agent persona in the field, his friends know his true personality, good and bad, so they know how to push his buttons with playful little pokes. I get a smile, but at the same time I do keep an eye on these things as a self-appointed GOLD (Guardian of Lee’s Dignity) team member. There are occasions when the show comes close to dumbing down Lee (especially with cheesy lines) and I’m always grateful that they sprinkle scenes like this one around sparingly, then balance it with “recovery scenes” that show Lee in a more favorable light.

    I don’t feel like I’m saying this very well. Let me try a different tack. When delivered in small doses, playing on the character’s faults is humorous and affectionate. Lee has his share, so does Francine, so does Amanda. Here in Class Act, the show gently picks on Lee and his aversion to anything that is not hard-core in-the-field type of work and then it moves on. However, the writers then proceed to pick on a vulnerability of Amanda’s, namely her inexperience with the physical side of agent work, and then play on it for the whole rest of the episode. And (I am jumping the gun but I’m rolling here) we will see that they even cross that line by making her look dumb in an area where we have seen she has great prowess — logical and organized thinking.

    That said, there are actually a number of tender Lee moments in this episode. Not out and out romantic stuff, of course, but moments of friendship and respect and sensitivity (present scene excepted 🙂 ). I enjoy those parts very much.

    One last thought about this particular scene … I’m not sure how it would play out with an accepting Lee. “Oh, gee, Billy and Francine. Training camp with Amanda! I can’t wait!” I just can’t see it. So I do like the explanation that this predates Brunettes and Lee still is very concerned about Amanda being a liability rather than an asset. We know that Lee is not yet enough in touch with his feelings to recognize the reasons behind his concern, or to express it as concern (such as saying something like “I just worry about Amanda getting hurt in the field, that would kill me” ..). so instead he expresses it as frustration and annoyance.

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    • Yes, Lee is not one to talk about his feelings and emotions, he generally acts them out and yells frustratedly while doing so. 😉

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      • Hello! Ahhh Raffie! I was sitting here reading your comment- thinking: that is exactly it!!!! and.. then you said ‘ I don’t feel like I’m saying this very well’ lol! I thought it was genius!!! your explanation of how they play with Lee’s character.. and the balance he needs to be given so he isn’t too much of an ogre – well I won’t say it again, you already said it perfectly – but I will only add that I love it, an 100% agree with you.
        GOLD ( Guardian of Lee’s dignity?!) rofl!!!! That is GOLD!! 😉 Only.. with Amanda it’s GOAD! that doesn’t work so well.. tee heee we’ll have to come up with an acronym for Amanda! What about GOAT? Guardian of Amanda’s Talents?? teeee heee.. it gives new meaning to something getting my goat 😉

        Anyway, I think that was one of my issues with Artful Dodger, for both characters, the balance was just really off.. and in Affair at Bromfield Hall? I felt Lee overall was too distant… too dismissive all that was needed was a comment like in To Catch a Mongoose – attentive Lee just asking ‘ what’s the matter? your feet hurt?’ noticing Amanda. but not doting does that make sense?

        Now I am more excited than ever, with a new perspective, to walk through this episode..
        Agreed!! there are a couple of real gems ahead. [and we can moan about the annoying bits and comfort each other 😉 )

        Ohhh Raffie, yes I think most people will know the moment you mean – just sooooo wrong!! doing that to our Amanda!!! Did I say this already? but I felt they were trying to do an episode of Amanda doing ‘I love Lucy’ – some bits work great.. others not so much.. but we can compare notes – maybe some of us like different bits! Raffie, if I could rate comments.. I’d give yours a 10 out of 10! you nailed a few things that have been on my mind!! 🙂

        Hi Julia.. wow.. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of this episode as we go through it!! yes our life experiences would influence greatly our point of view no question! 🙂 a 4 hour job in a library was a revolution? wow.. I owe alot to the women who came before me!!! what champions!!!! No wonder Amanda is such a hero!

        Hi Debilyn! yes.. it’s amazing how Lee can be such a cranky pants.. but still be funny! he manages that here in the opening scene..

        Francine and Billy were fabulous huh! 🙂 I loved how they scurried away together and Billy mumbled ‘ we have work errr … over here!’ teee heee! You get the sense they think this will be the best trip to station 1 ever!! 🙂
        byeeee

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        • Yes, our experiences make us experience things differentliy, but even though it was quite unthinkable for my mother or grandmother to work even at a very small scale, I have nearly always worked quite a lot, although not full time any more, after the kids were born. I nearly earned the same as my husband before I had the kids, now he earns three times more than me, so I guess, there is still some way ahead of us, to make life easier for our daughters.

          By the way, Amanda’s financial situation makes my head spin, she is on good terms with her ex, does he pay enough for the kids? She lives with her mother, how much does her mother contribute. She has a mortgage, how could she geht one without a proper job. The house she lives in is rather nice, how can she afford it, being divorced…. She needs her paycheck to pay for groceries, how did she manage before?

          But this is nothing compared to her child care arrangements. Even with her mother in the house, this simply is not plausible.

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