Grab a cuppa and relax…this post is extra long –there was (surprisingly!) a lot more interesting and positive things to say about this episode, – and I really want to finish up this episode!! so 3000 words it is! ie. three posts! 😉
So, on to Dodge City!! [Has anyone seen the Errol Flynn movie? any references to the original movie in this next sequence? do tell! The movie ‘Dodge City’ was written by Robert Buckner- any relation to Brad Buckner?? one of the smk creators? ]
Dodge City is oohhh so dangerous! There’s a sign that says so! Oh yeah.. err and a dead guy at the gate!
You know, I abandoned hope for loving this episode at the point where Amanda said.. ‘but I wasn’t raised in California, I was raised in Virginia!’ Not at this point- like the sign tells ye to!
Lee does a heroic looking close up for his reload.. I enjoy Lee’s dramatically intense reloads!
You know what’s funny- every time one of those people pop up Lee thinks it is a baddie- Lee, when real baddies pop up, they don’t squeek! It makes sense when you are differentiating between good pop ups and bad.. but Lee isn’t! it’s so weird!! haaa!
Eventually, after lots of cat and mouse with Vardosk, Lee enters the red ox saloon (do they serve Red Bull there?!). He very carefully walks down a dark hallway (does this remind anyone else of that moment in The first time- where Lee, the peach puff, gets clocked on the head?!) Only, he’s looking much more worried these days- which I think is a good thing!!
Lee reacts to another squeeky baddie.. and then cautiously enters the saloon- to find it’s filled with Dummies!!.. no, not calling drinkers and gamblers dummies, they really are dummies!!
Vardosk finds Lee in there and shoots at him.. but misses..
Lee does a fancy dive over the bar, and overturns a table to use for cover..
Check out the dummy in the foreground as Lee dives- he can’t hold his liquor!!! rofl!!! No really! He can’t hold it! Look at his fingers!!
Lee hears a noise coming from a different direction than Vardosk was shooting from.. he slowly makes his way over there..
When he is hanging on to that bar stool here and he pauses for a moment –that muscle in his jaw is flexing.. I could swear he is really worried.. and thinking: I am so stupid!! thinking I could do this alone was so dumb!! I need back up!!
I get the sense Lee is regretting his wish to work alone… anyone else getting that vibe?
Still, it is what it is.. and Lee can’t give up now.. so he continues on towards the noise..
He jumps into the hallway and scares the living daylights out of Amanda and almost shoots her! 😆
She jumps sky high and drops her handbag!
and then Amanda does Marcel Marceau’s ‘The Wall’ Mime! 😆
Lee’s really mad (and rightly so!): You almost got yourself killed do you realise that?
…now what the hell are you doing here?
Amanda: it’s Peggy it’s Peggy!
[and after all her accusations.. I can’t blame him for being fed up] but.. we get to hear about bean sprouts and gurus again.. blah blah.. he sees she may be right – and suddenly- he isn’t mad at her anymore LOL! so weird!! It actually doesn’t end up really making a difference now that Lee knows it’s Peggy does it!
Lee wants Amanda out of here fast.. but hey! Amanda is one very lucky bunny! how she could have gotten into Dodge City and found Lee without being killed [In a Bright Red Jacket!!] is beyond ridiculous- after all, they are looking for her- not Lee! Amanda picks up her handbag, Lee leads her back into the saloon, warning her to avoid a switch of some kind in the floor..
They peek in to the saloon- love the look on Amanda’s face.. so funny!!
yes Amanda with all the dummies it’s creepy!
They try to go out a backdoor but Vardosk starts shooting again…
Awh! Swoony! Lee immediately puts his arms over Amanda to protect her! It really is worth hanging in there a bit longer with this episode!! [to watch Amanda ‘ hang on’ with Lee! 😉 ]
Lee tells Amanda to stay there.. Hmm Stay in the Saloon! that’s a new one! 😆
Lee takes off after Vardosk leaving Amanda behind. What’s with the little note on the box there- is that for the actors to tell them to turn right there?!
Lee catches Vardosk, they fight.. Man, these fights are getting much more brutal aren’t they?!! (Lee actually gets whacked in the stomach with a shovel! wow!!)
It’s funny, but usually this is the part of the episode where I doze off.. but not this episode! how ironic! I’m actually enjoying the action finale.. and I had just about given up on this ep! but.. I’m enjoying it again!! Hooray!!
Lee wins.. and picks up Vardosk by the scruff and slams him against the wall.. boy, he’s been doing this a lot more lately!
Lee growls: Get up!
Vardosk: You’re good Mr Stetson [I guess he knows who Lee is because Pavlova pointed him out?], almost as good as the King woman.
Lee grabs him by the scruff and jolts him a bit, snarling: What are you talking about?…
…It’s Amanda you’re after?…
…You think she is our top agent? [Shades of Saved by the bells- don’t you think? Only.. then it was played for laughs] Lee is incredulous.. how could she have possibly been mistaken for a top agent?? More on this at the end of the ep.. but hey – there it is again ‘ Top Agent’ ?? now Lee is thinking they hunt only top agents?? Oohhh boy, I think this top agent thing got a re-write, but they didn’t correct all the dialogue!
Vardosk, now smug ( though a tad squished!): Was!!!
I would suspect it’s too late to help her now!!
Lee mumbles something sounding like a PG rated curse,
and throws Vardosk against the opposite wall of the alley – let me guess this is assassin’s alley?! – ouchie!! Vardosk hits the wall pretty hard, and he slumps to the ground unconscious.. Lee rushes back to Amanda.
Back to Amanda! – it seems she has decided she will indeed ‘stay in the saloon’ Tanya Pavlovich reveals herself to Amanda..
Amanda bumbles her way through her confrontation with Tanya.. What does Tanya say tripped Amanda up?? her ‘performance on the life slide’? so it has a third name? does it?.. Anyway, Peggy errr I mean Pavlova has pulled a gun on Amanda.. and is about to shoot when up pops one of those pop up people and knocks the gun out of Peggy’s hand.
Whoo hand to hand combat time! It looks like Pavlova has been to that training where you learn how to morph into a man for fighting! LOL! And sooo kicks in the clown music! yes! clown music! LOL! Only in SMK.. I don’t have a problem with them making Amanda look ridiculous when it comes to hand to hand combat- do you??
Pavlova (suddenly wearing a really bad wig), highkicks a pop up.
I find this hilarious!!! Just look at the huge stand in the middle of the floor the pop up is attached to?? and that is suppose to surprise someone? rofl!! so funny!! and.. when Lee jumped over the bar earlier, and hid behind that table that Amanda is now standing behind- that pop up was nowhere in sight!
(see Lee crouching behind the table? about to toss it over?) Hilarious! there is no missing it!!!
Amanda starts swinging her handbag around and throws it at Pavlova
– ahh bless her! she isn’t giving up!!
It’s at this point, just after Amanda swings her handbag at Tanya- where we see the blooper of the Magic Arm! this blooper is not present on the official dvds – I guess because of the aspect the dvds are formatted in? but.. this is what we see with the official dvds:
You can’t see the crew member’s arm at all- the arm you see in the bottom right corner is one of the dummies..but you can see that the pop up at the front of the shot moves in this moment.. when the hand comes out you can’t see the pop up at all.. I think for a split second you can just see the tip of the hand..but I can’t get a shot of it. and you would have no idea what it is without having seen the original wideshot..
But! Thanks to my old anniversary dvd set ( taped off tv) you can see just what is moving that front pop up!! Hooray!! I have access to this blooper!! I love this about smk- these random bloopers.. makes me ROFL every time!!
It looks like the pop up malfunctions and doesn’t collapse properly, it kind of teeters… so eventually we see a mysterious hand enter the picture, grab the cut out person and pull it back down again. Whaaaahahahahhaaaaa! you can even see the crew member’s face! Here it is in a gif so it’s easy to see (bottom right corner):
Every time I see this I laugh and laugh!
I guess it says something that for me.. this is the highlight of the episode!!! Thank goodness I could still access this gem!
Well, you guessed it – Amanda’s luck saves the day Yup.. Amanda clumsily falls over a cut out person and Tanya gets knocked out by one popping down from the ceiling..
Take that! It’s great that this is the only pop up we saw come down from the ceiling – I don’t think I expected it!! I love that it is a policewoman holding out a badge to make an arrest- almost like she is protecting Amanda who has fallen behind her! Thanks Officer Pop up! Ahhhh.. in smk land good people have good luck! and baddies have bad luck! I wish I inhabited that world!!
Amanda scrambles up off the floor to find she has taken out Pavlova without realising it Lee rushes into the room to find Amanda has taken care of the Pavlova herself.. he can’t believe it!
Ohhhhh I love how Amanda acts all knowing and confident here that she has things under control at this end! whahahaaaaa!!
Amanda brushes off her hands and responds jokingly: noo.. it’s alright! ha!…
… I guess she just forgot to ah expect the unexpected! Haaaaa!
Hey – I wonder if Lee told ANYONE that the baddies had really thought it was Amanda who was the ringer?! Orrr do you think he kept that one to himself? haaaa!
Call me crazy, but this whole sequence at Dodge city feels like old SMK to me – ie. normal SMK not the rubbish lame out of character smk we had been dished up in this episode up to that point ( okay okay – I love the rope/ almost everything gag!!) For me.. everything in Dodge city was great! And felt like it fit beautifully with the characters.. Did anyone else notice this? Maybe they filmed the Dodge City part at a different time, with a different director??
Anyway.. It’s Tag time! This tag is one of my all time least favourites.. ending the episode on such a bad note is kind of fitting I suppose! The less that’s said about this tag the better! But there is a little worth mentioning here so I can’t skip it! Instead, I’ll keep it as brief as I can!
Back at IFF… Amanda is working on the computer in the bullpen, while Lee, Francine and Billy discuss the training camp in Billy’s office.
Francine: What a class! Eight wash outs, 3 KGB agents ha and Amanda King.
[ This doesn’t add up at all! I thought there were 15 people in the class plus Lee.. and Francine is talking about Vardosk, Gregorian and Pavlova isn’t she?? so that should be 13 wash outs, 3 kgb agents, and Amanda King.. Love how Amanda gets a special mention ]
Billy: you know, it’s too bad we don’t have anyone to send through.
Lee: Now wait a second, you’re not seriously thinking of sending on Amanda are you?
Billy: Of course not. ( thoughtful)..still..
Lee: ah ha forget it Billy!
Billy: yeah maybe you’re right Scarecrow. But she really is something isn’t she!
Lee gives an ironic sounding chuckle.. and an alarm goes off.. they all rush out to the bullpen, to find Amanda pressed the ERA button..
( the agony isn’t quite over yet..) .. Amanda thought it was the erase button.. but instead it’s the ‘ Entering Restricted Area’ button.. Aie.. now that is lame!! Right up there with bean sprouts and gurus..
lots of ‘Oh Amanda’ looks.. and Lee ends the episode saying: You were right Billy, she really is something!
They finish up making Amanda look like a complete idiot! Ugh! and Amanda sits there and smiles like she is completely clueless??!!! noooooo!!!! Not laughing guys not funny!
Whoooo Lee just winked at Billy.. not sure I noticed that before…for that alone the tag is worth watching!!
I suspect had this been the tag to a different episode, it may not have been so grating – but this episode is so full of lame Amanda moments- it well and truly tips this episode over the edge.. It’s just not funny.. Plus Amanda is sitting right there, and can hear what Lee said.. How humiliating.. ugh..
What follows is some random thoughts of mine raised by this episode.. I’d love to hear what you think!!
I sometimes suspect that Lee is not very forthcoming with others at the agency, about what Amanda accomplishes out in the field with him – I think this is Lee at this point minimising Amanda’s contributions.. he certainly isn’t going to brag about her to anyone.. The tag has no mention of the fact that Amanda managed to nab a KGB agent at Dodge city all by herself! [Don’t forget I see this as before Brunettes.. it’s not until Brunettes that Lee actually is proud of how Amanda fought the guy with the lamp- and Francine is shocked to hear it, like she has never heard of Amanda doing anything.. Just a theory of mine.. ]
I think this episode had lots of high hopes to live up to- we, along with Amanda, had been looking forward to her going off for training..it’s a milestone.. and well.. it didn’t live up to the hopes I had that’s for sure. It is a bad idea to have all the dumbing down and mischaracterisation of Amanda – in this much anticipated milestone episode. Very very naughty indeed!
So, how they choose an agent is an interesting idea isn’t it.. Especially when Amanda comments what do they need blonde models from New York for.. and Lee says what about housewives kind of thing – as I quoted earlier. And it says a lot that no one from the class was good enough to progress to the next stage- Not even Brad (fab race car driver with international connections) nor Dr Floyd (Mr photographic memory)? nor Russian speaking Lyla? None of them made the cut. This seems to confirm the whole unpredictable nature of who would make a good agent and the very high standards required.
I am left with the impression that to be an agent, is to be the best of the best.. and from the way Amanda behaved at station 1, being so dim and inept, she has zero chance.. Then again, it’s ironic that this episode includes Amanda saving Peggy’s life, finding evidence of the russian plant ( the bolt), surviving nearly being blown up, figuring out who is the russian plant, navigating Dodge City all by herself to get to Lee- and then single handedly nabbing the russian plant – a lot of this is down to luck- but on paper, it does kind of look like Amanda deserves to go to the next stage! 😉 they did say you need to do Dodge City to go through to the next stage – well! Amanda did it!! and nabbed a real life KGB assassin 😉 ha!
Okay, realistically though, from the way Amanda is normally characterised at this point, I wonder if she is not yet ready to take on training as an agent. Maybe in that Lee is right. Amanda is not hard enough yet to begin learning about how to shoot, and to fight..[Emily at MI6 doesn’t seem to have this requirement!] But.. I don’t agree with Lee’s view that Amanda can’t be a good agent – she can.. she has lots to offer and as Billy says in Brunettes, she ‘has good common sense’ -she just isn’t quite ready yet.
With a bit more time and with Amanda making the all important decision that she wants to be an agent for herself (which she makes in Brunettes) – she is going to move closer to being ready! It is interesting to note that Amanda’s response to Lee asking if she wanted to do Dodge City, was to say she didn’t want to let Billy down.. I think for Amanda to progress, she needs to answer that: yes! It is what she wants to do!! Not to please Billy but to please herself.. and be proud of herself.. interesting..( and this is dealt with in you guessed it- Brunettes!)
It is fun to be along for the ride.. I think at this stage, Lee sees Amanda as helping him out on little side jobs, maybe being a low level courier – but never an agent..(too dangerous!) .. BUT! I hasten to add that deep down- I suspect Lee actually sees flashes of Brilliance in Amanda, that no one else sees.. not even Billy maybe.. ( talking normal Amanda not A class Act Amanda! or ACA Amanda! or ACAmanda! duh duh duhhhh!!!! ) Remember in the back of the ambulance in Service Above and Beyond?? Lee was very raw.. and without his usual mental defenses – he tells unconscious Amanda that…
‘you just might even make a decent agent someday’
Remember that??? so .. this is how I see it at the moment..
Also, it is interesting to note that once again the baddies mistook Amanda for a top agent – they see something in her that those close to her refuse to see maybe..
So there you have it, Amanda isn’t ready to be trained as an agent. but she has the makings of a great agent.. and very soon.. this progresses even more. ( thinking Life of the party – lots of progress there! but we’ll come to that!)
In terms of A class Act, I don’t trust it to inform my view of Lee and Amanda’s overall relationship.. but it gives a few sweet moments, and very funny moments.. though not enough to compensate for the missteps.. The episode offers an insight into what it takes to be an agent..and I enjoyed the Dodge City sequence.. though – I think it will be quite a while before I watch this episode again.. I’d rather watch Lost and Found! ( and that’s saying something!)
Sooo thanks for reading this epic post..[there was no way I was going to do two more posts on this episode!! I’m done!!] Thanks for sticking with me through a sometimes tough episode to watch.. I hope you have found analysing it enjoyable – if not the experience of watching the actual episode.. I confess I have found it more enjoyable this way but.. I am not sad to say goodbye to A Class Act and move on to Playing Possum!! Thanks sooo much for walking with me and stopping by!
And a special thanks to those of you who walk and talk with me!! I could not do this without you!! byeeee and look forward to hearing your thoughts!!!
Something else that occurred to me with this ep is I’m wondering if they’ve kind of written Amanda like a bit of an Anne Of Green Gables. They both love to talk LOL and they have a way of getting into scrapes and messing up, even though they’re both very smart, intelligent people.
What I do love with this tag is the difference in Lee’s reaction. In Season 1 he’d have been completely fed up with her. Here he actually has a bit of fondness in his voice the way he says “She’s something” and winks, like he’s even starting to love these quirks of hers.
And it might also be trying to find a writing balance between giving her skills and keeping her relatable. It’s not her expert training or experience that makes her such a good partner — it’s her different set of skills that she brings to the team to balance things out. Personally I like when they keep her little foibles and knack for getting into trouble in, because I feel like I’ve been there a lot! Case in point: I used to do data entry for our local RCMP detachment and at one point I looked up to find that the network drive — where you can access all the forms everyone uses from any terminal or any access ID — was completely gone. I just about died and was SOOO terrified to confess to my supervisor. It turned out I’d bumped the cord slightly and our outlet was completely messed up — if the cord slipped even a bit, we’d lose the drives. All we had to do was plug the cord back in and all was well. In fact, this happened so often we got fed up and duct taped the thing to the wall!
So I like that they keep her so relatable with that and how even if she is getting better at spy skills, she’s still the same Amanda in a lot of ways and it’s encouraging for the rest of us.
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Uhhhhhh🙄just rewatched A CLASS ACT.. among the 4 seasons,i think S2 is the only season i watched the episodes only ONCE ,except SHIP OF SPIES and the EUROPEAN episodes. My husband was watching The Sapranos yeaterday and i thought i would give S2 another shot.🤯🤯Oh God. I still cannot bring myself to like A CLASS ACT. I hated ARTFUL DODGER but this is just the worst. I admit i had some issues of Amanda’s window waving scenes in MAGIC BUS and LAST CHRISTMAS EVE but overall they were still good to watch if i fast forward those scenes. And S1 we can actually sense lots of emotions between Lee and Amanda. But A CLASS ACT gave me a total headache.They should have named the episode “LET’S MAKE AMANDA SILLIER”. I really hate it when writers make the character totally nonsencical.
I guess these writers thought that making Amanda silly was funny or putting Amanda down was funny.. wonder where they got their sense of humour from🤔After giving Lee and Amanda such good relationship arc in S1, i suppose the writers simply had WRITERS BLOCK.
Totally agree. Like was mentioned before in Magic Bus Amanda was amazing at driving the RV, could go on a multi mile run and had no problems doing a zip line. In The Mole, she was able to execute a perfect bootlegger turn. What the heck happened (other than lazy writers) for her to be so incompetent in Class Act?
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I thought I would leave this comment to the end of the episode, because I can’t tell you how much I hated it. I hated the fact that Amanda was made to appear to be ‘The Load, that she basically got everything wrong, that she couldn’t complete anything. Yes, she’s lucky, but she also has a skillset that adds an extra dimension to the spycraft game and it’s completely disregarded almost to make fun of her. Maybe it can be salvaged – there’s the dream sequence – but that always seemed a bit lame to me. I hate these episodes where Amanda is put in situations to make her appear foolish, and the Tag – please! Let’s all have a good laugh at the housewife! The Artful Dodger and A Class Act are the two episodes I hate the most. At least in Lost and Found she has some good, snarky remarks and in Burn Out when Harris is holding a gun on her when he’s distracted she thumps him. Sorry, I don’t mean to vent but this episode brings out the worst in me. It’s the only one I would copy and then cut out all the awful bits to leave the ones of BB & KJ hugging. It’s such bad writing considering they could have done so much better…..
Welcome to the club! I cannot begin to describe how much I HATE this episode and Artful Dodger – wait – looking at the number of comments I have made to this effect for both episodes, I guess I have at least tried. 🙂
I’m with iswod, I absolutely loathed this episode – as I knew that Amanda was conscietious, capable and brilliant and this episode made her look a complete fool. And Lee’s sympathy and supposed ‘caring’ came across as pitying rather than sympathetic in the end. I have real problems reconciling this episode with the remainder of the series.
I think its a relief to find I’m not the only one who loves this show to bits, but overall reaaally dislikes this episode!! [artless dodger to!]
I love that we can express that and it’s okay. WE still love the show :0 and those who enjoy A Class Act and the Artful Dodger don’t let our dislike spoil their own enjoyment 🙂
I have zero evidence to support this.. lol.. but heck, I’ll say it anyway 😉 I see A class act as the straw that broke Kate Jackson’s back – when it came to the dumbing down of Amanda. After seeing the finished product KJ saw that it wasn’t working, a line had been crossed and she needed to fight for the character’s growth and dignity. yep.. that’s how I’ll make sense of all this! 🙂
I’m certainly in the minority for liking this episode! The one part I did hate was the clown music over Amanda’s fight scene. It just bugged me since I liked the whole Dodge City part, and Amanda gets to kick someones butt (accidentally ☺ but it still counts for me) and then they put cheesy circus music over it!
I do love the part with the cop. Her telling Lee that he overreacted is great.
OK, there’s not much to say about this episode, but I just watched it, and you know in that scene where Lee is edging around the boxes, just before What’s-his-name hits him in the stomach with the shovel? (Ooh, ouch!). There’s someone who goes past in the window behind Lee, and it’s not his reflection.
Hmmm… I’ll try for a chicken salad interpretation here… And as an extra challenge, I’ll see if I can get it to work after BAI.
I think Lee hates the idea of going to Station One because it’s like getting stuck with lunch duty at camp while everyone else gets to go to the lake. We’ve already seen how little patience Lee has with the more mundane aspects of the job… expense reports, having to check in with doctors etc… So this is no big surprise. Does he actually say doesn’t think Amanda is ready for the training? I looked back at the first post and didn’t see it. I just thought his extra annoyance came more from his knowing how Amanda manages to throw everything into chaos and projecting what trouble she could find at a seemingly straight forward training session.
As a bit of a digression, I always got the sense that Amanda wanted training as much to be able to protect herself better and maybe to better be able to protect her partner… And so she can be less of the liability Lee seems to think she is, more than that she’s looking to become a full fledged agent (at least at this point).
Anyway, I think there’s some irony in all this because the ways in which Amanda breaks open cases usually has nothing to do with shooting and other “agent job skills,” LOL. And when she actually tries to act like a professional agent, she doesn’t do it very we’ll (snooping etc). So why train her to act like every other agent you’ve already got out there?
Amanda is one of those people who raise their game when the stakes are the highest. She always out performs her abilities when it’s needed most and that’s never going to be measured at a training camp. I kinda think Lee probably knows all that since he’s been in the field with her… Which maybe is why he is so unusually “nice” to her… Lee’s behavior can kind of be considered encouraging here, or at least not terribly discouraging. I think he doesn’t bother getting angry at her because he knows that how well she performs here is pretty much irrelevant to how they work together except insomuch as she disappoints herself and I think he’d like to see her at least show competence if not excellence. And I think he knows she’s going to be upset by her performance and he hates it when she’s unhappy.
Maybe that’s why the Dodge City sequence seems more acceptable, because she’s doing what she does best, as is he, and they’ve got their rhythm going, and it’s that whole being more than the sum of the parts that makes them partners. Hate the tag though.
Last digression… I’ll be looking to see how things go once you arrive at season 4, but if memory serves, Lee and Amanda’s professional partnership lost a bit of its sparkle once Amanda went into agent training. Even towards the end of season 3, the most charming moments were reserved more for their personal relationship than their moments on the job. Again, my memory may be totally off base here…
Looked at in this light… I could see this episode coming after Brunettes. But i like the thought that Brunettes marks the end of Lee running so hot and cold with Amanda… So, either way. :-). Still, this episode is “meh,” not one of my favorites.
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Hate the tag? me too!!! I can’t remember what I said about Lee now.. I just remember he wasn’t happy to be going and especially going with Amanda – then he got there and was Mr Congeniality! Just weird writing this ep.. (IMHO of course!)
Hey Karen.. I didn’t read the part you wrote about what’s ahead for Lee and Amanda in season 3 and 4.. the eyes just glaze over.. la laa laaaaaa!!!
Please try and keep those thoughts for later – you can share them as things unfold..
Or you can always head over to Nedlindger’s and discuss what’s ahead there..[have you found your ay to that forum yet? It’s better designed for people to start new topics and discuss what they like without following the journey like JWWM does.. – JWWM doesn’t look ahead in the story- hope you find it enjoyable!!! 🙂
I’ve been thinking Karen, you must have had a really unique experience reading all the posts together like you have – very different to my experience! It’s taken me what three years? to get this far into the show.. and many moments, insights or theories I had early on have faded from memory – and I may not have ever gone back to address them as new parts of the journey are uncovered.. I guess if anyone reads through they can see we are doing that, it’s the nature of the beast, and can remind us of those ideas that can now be dealt with based on where we are in the walk. Hmm interesting!!
Makes me wonder if it’s worth walking through a second time.. only next time opening up discussion of the whole show.. hmm.. well I imagine it will be another 2 years before we get to the end at the rate we are going!
Oh well- for now, I’m enjoying discovering things as I go.. and when I have time (I can dream!) I can go back read again – maybe I’ll retouch on some earlier ideas that have since been dealt with – my little brain can’t remember it all 🙂
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Re: Amanda is one of those people who raise their game when the stakes are the highest. She always out performs her abilities when it’s needed most and that’s never going to be measured at a training camp. I kinda think Lee probably knows all that since he’s been in the field with her… Which maybe is why he is so unusually “nice” to her… Lee’s behavior can kind of be considered encouraging here, or at least not terribly discouraging. I think he doesn’t bother getting angry at her because he knows that how well she performs here is pretty much irrelevant to how they work together except insomuch as she disappoints herself and I think he’d like to see her at least show competence if not excellence. And I think he knows she’s going to be upset by her performance and he hates it when she’s unhappy.
Like what I read about Olympic gymnast Kim Zmeskal. She would mess up in workouts, but then just NAIL it and be the most consistent gymnast you could imagine in competition.
Plus Amanda’s strengths always seem to come from thinking “outside the box” and this training course is very much an “inside the box” kind of thing.
That is an interesting point. I try not to watch Class Act much but if I have to, I will try to keep this in mind.
Well I think this is my least favourite tag – poor Amanda – anyone could have made the computer mistake (I probably would have!) but they didn’t have to make her look so stupid!! I have to say that the first few episodes of season two (revised order) don’t really work for me. Yes the scenery (geographic and human) is amazing, there are some sweet moments and a few good comic scenes (and flashes back to season one one-liners), but I feel like Amanda doesn’t really move forward as a character, and we are back to the huffing and puffing from Lee at the beginning of each episode which I thought we had left behind in the latter part of season one. Yes, he seems to know her better and is more tolerant of her, but he is so patronising in places, and I feel that he doesn’t yet respect her. Looking forward to moving into the meat of season two again. Not sure I’ll be watching this episode again…
Oh and big thanks to iwsod for my avatar!
My pleasure learjet.. no really.. lookin at Lee in a tux? swoony!!!!
Great choice!!! Now we all get to enjoy Lee, the tux, the hair and the dimple every time you comment 🙂 I am sure we will be hoping you comment lots!!! whwhahahaaa!!!
Hear Hear Learjet! the character progression is a little disappointing in early season 2.. like they pressed the reset button sometimes!
But.. Lee and that haircut? hooo haaaa!!!!! As your choice of Avatar reveals Learjet – me thinks you like the early season 2 eps for his hair 🙂 tee heee..
I think it is Lee at his most handsome (superfically speaking of course because at times he was childish and infuriating and not good to Amanda!)
A class Act?! well I am guessing you’ve read somewhere by now how I find this episode so out of character it makes me cringe – so I wrote a tag tag lol.. to try and pretend it never really happened.. made me feel better!
Oh but I loved the prop guy’s hand in the saloon so that makes the episode worthwhile.. oh and a hug.. but errr.. yeah.. otherwise- meh!! I’d put it in least fave category with artful dodger so far..
Great to hear your thoughts on it learjet! look forward to hearing what you think of the next episode if you like! byee
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Okay, it may seem a little late to the game to be commenting on this episode, but I avoided this episode when I read the post the first time through because I hate hate hate it so much! I don’t like Amanda and I don’t like Lee and the cute little moments between them do not make up for it.
For starters whether this episode is pre brunettes or not, it never made sense to me that Lee was being quite such a jerk about having to spend time with Amanda at this point. It’s like a throw back to season one and discounts all the progress Lee and Amanda have made as friends to this point. After all Lee already seemed fine with spending time with Amanda toward the end of season one in The Weekend. In to Catch a Mongoose Lee seems a little annoyed by Amanda showing up but not stomp his feet annoyed like he seems in this episode and over all it seemed like Lee and Amanda enjoyed each other’s company in the European episodes. Even after Brunettes I never expected Lee’s annoyance at Amanda to just magically go way. As much as Lee can be a jerk sometimes, Amanda can be exasperating, and the fear Lee expressed about Amanda’s safety being involved in the agency wasn’t just gonna go away. Plus I always thought way back to season one a big part of the reason Lee didn’t want Amanda around was because it forced him to face his feelings, but this this is just too over the top. Hey maybe Lee felt guilty because he had planned on going to the Riviera and I am sure hook up with beautiful women, but now instead he is spending time with a woman he has real feelings for.(That’s probably over thinking it) Nothing so deep in this episode going on.
Then the whole Amanda is an idiot at training doesn’t wash. Granted Amanda is still pretty green and unskilled in spy world, but this is not spy world. This is training. For God sake the woman has had over a year in field experience and actual life and death situations, but it does not show at all. C’mon. And what was Amanda doing sticking her nose into the files anyway. Even if it is her own file I am sure it is still classified. But neither Billy nor Lee get too upset with Amanda for that, they just try to placate her when she flips out over something silly. And by the way I don’t think it is a very good reflection on Lee either that after all this time of working under his direction that Amanda comes off looking like such an idiot during training so maybe Lee should just can it with those ah Amanda moments.
And speaking of Lee, what’s with him being so nice all of sudden as Amanda makes a fool out herself when he didn’t even want her around in the beginning. And for someone he didn’t want around as soon as there is work to be done, Lee just automatically looks to Amanda for help even though it’s taking away from her training. Maybe egomainiac I work alone Lee should admit Amanda should have some training because Lee obviously does count on her, but in this episode I certainly don’t see why.
By the time we get to Amanda sneaking into Lee’s cabin his patience and niceness is just to much to bear. And what was she doing in there anyway? I actually can see Amanda going into Lee’s cabin and to his bed if she really believes he’s in danger, but why was she doing it? Because she heard a little noise. I don’t care if there does turn out to be danger, that’s stupid. That’ll make a fine agent, oh I’m scared because I heard a little noise. If this episode was my first experience with Amanda KIng I would have told her to go home and fold nappies.
But Lee now is an endless well of patience. Doesn’t fit into character at this point. I think season 2 Lee had learned a lot of patience over season 1 Lee, but season 2 Lee still had a breaking point when it came to Amanda. Like you say iwsod, this is season 3 Lee talking. But season 3 Lee had accepted and come to embrace Amanda as having a place in his life and in his world. It is clear by Lee’s actions at the beginning of this episode that at this point Lee had not done that yet. And besides that season 3 Amanda did not act so incompetent.
Not only is Amanda incompetent in the training, but now all of a sudden Amanda is incompetent on the job. When Lee pulls her into the search for the killer, Amanda is all over the place on who it could be, when the one thing Amanda has always had going for her were her instincts. Ugh, go home an fold nappies, woman. You are useless. And Francine being around to patronize her does not make up for Amanda’s ineptness. Not everyone is going to like you in the real world.
Furthermore, as much as I usually would swoon over Lee being nice to Amanda in this episode it just starts to rub me the wrong way. With Amanda being so inept, Lee being that nice almost comes off as being condesending and pitying even. Even in season one I didn’t think Lee was like that. I almost get the impression that Lee somehow feels like he can relax because Amanda has proven him right about not being ready to even have training as an agent not alone be one. Lee has less faith in Amanda then he did is season one, and that’s pretty crappy as they are suppose to be friends at this point. I mean really the woman has saved your life how many times, Lee, and she doesn’t deserve at least a shot at training. At first I think he’s an egotistical jerk, but it’s even worse when he turns out to be right.
Then Amanda almost redeems herself by accidentally taking out the bad guy but then at the end she is a moron again. Couldn’t just let her have a little taste of redemption and let it be. NO. I think whoever is responsible for this episode does not like Amanda very much. Amanda is made out to be such a moron, while Lee is supposedly so nice and patient making Lee wonderful by comparison. In my opinion he did not come out so shiny either. Hard to like a show when you can’t stand either of the two main characters.
Whatever, I’ve always hate this episode, and I just had to get it out.
Oh GAWD Misty, I really, really DETEST this episode so much. I only tolerate it by believing ISWOD’s explanation that this was only a really bad dream/hallucination brought on by Amanda’s head band being too tight. (or my theory that this comes after DOA and Amanda is still feeling the effects of the sandwich and Lee is so nice to her because he feels guilty)
A definite low point of Amanda’s character and considering the script had huge errors (Amanda’s birthplace as Alabama, her extreme physical decline from Magic Bus, etc), it is obvious the writer was not well acquainted with the series or the characters.
Ahhhhhhhh Misty I feel your pain! I really do!!!!
Ah yes Cindy really helped me to get through A Class Act 🙂
I found blogging it cathartic.. I found the bits to like in the episode, had my little vent about Amanda’s character Assassination and then went slightly bonkers creating an alternate interpretation.. yep.. thanks for reminding me about that Cindy – the too tight headband was to blame for everything! 🙂
I hope your rant here has been cathartic for you too Misty 🙂 I actually really enjoyed reading it- I was nodding and saying ‘Yes!!’ to myself the whole way through haaaa!
I love this show.. but I 100% agree with your views here Misty (and Cindy!)
As Travis the Trucker would say: when I covered this episode I wanted to ‘Kick some butt and take some names’! 😉
I like the DOA explanation. Amanda being such a moron could only be explained by the effects of some drug. Doesn’t explain Lee being such a jerk in the beginning though because by the time DOA episode arrives Lee doesn’t act like that. Hey, maybe Lee accidentally ate a little of that sandwich too and it just never showed because unlike Amanda it was only a biet and Lee is just so fly that drugs don’t effect him as much. Haa.
Hmmm, how about he was still concerned about Amanda but didn’t want to let Billy and Francine know how much he cared because his fragile male ego couldn’t handle the teasing? This is assuming DOA came earlier and I am ignoring the ‘orrible ‘aircut.
It’s kinda disappointing that they didn’t have any female stunt actors to do the scene in the bar. It’s so lame that its clearly a bloke (nice roundhouse by the way) in drag. Still thankfully times have moved on.
Ah Lee protecting Amanda *swoon* makes this mismatch episode worthwhile after all 🙂
Ugh this episode really gets me worked up. Hate the dumbing of Amanda. As a kid I never liked dodge city. I think I was just wierded out by the dummies and pop ups. 🙂 There is something to be said for a “Lee is worried about Amanda” moment though. Swoon!! Just watched bits of Artful dodger. Only + moment there was when Lee looks right at Amanda and says honestly, “I am sorry”. Course he kinda ruins it later in the car. So much for sorry.
ok hmm fav funny moments.
1) NOT THIS TIME BUSTER!!!! Hahaha Love it!
2)A-“Call me a cab.” L-“You’re a cab.”
3)The chocolate scene. “once on the lips, forever on the hips”.
Yes many more funnies but those are my favs of what i could remember.
PS I don’t mind Lost and Found. I love the conflict, the inner turmoil. And I love that Eva is exposed for the viscous life sucking baddie that she is. Lee is free!!
Yea, It’s over and we all made it 🙂 Thank you iwsod!!!
Top 3 funniest scenes: ooh that could be hard.
1- the interrogation scene in ‘To Catch a Mongoose’
2- In ‘Service Above & Beyond’ the scene where the lady walks in on Lee in the woman’s restroom and he says, “This isn’t the kitchen, I’ve been dooped. I demand to see the chef!” Cracks me up no matter how many times I see it!!!
3- Is a toss up between: ‘Magic Bus’ where L & A are in the flower garden discussing the weasel faced man and Lee finally says through gritted teeth, “I’ll get to the weasel faced man.” And ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ where the pretend to be arguing like a married couple and Amanda sprays the guy with hairspray and the bad guy hisses, “I hate women!”
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone and a BLESSED NEW YEAR!!!
Oh, those are all great ones too, Melissa! Such great writing and such great acting … makes it impossible to narrow the list down to just 3!
I agree it is hard to narrow down to just 3!!
There Goes the Neighborhood is one of my favourites! How bout when Lee burst through the door during Amanda’s creepy interview exclaiming that the triplets Timmy, Tammy and Tommy needed to be fed? Or “Do I look like I sell?” Cracks me up every time.
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Arggh! Francine’s comment “Do I look like I sell?” I must need more caffeine.
Oh the triplet scene is good too!!
OK, top 3 funny scenes … I thought about this as I drove home from work yesterday. I know these would change daily, and I do *love* the Mongoose interrogation, but I will also nominate:
1) The whole Remembrance of Things Past hotel sequence. (In fact, once you get past the creepiness of that episode, the whole thing is hysterical. A sword fight, really?? “A man who knows a man who knows a man ….” Great SMK satire of drama and intrigue there!)
2) The moment in Billy’s office in One Bear Dances, the Other Bear Doesn’t where L&A are all squirmy and Billy is barely controlling himself after their Bonnie & Clyde routine.
3) (And here I won’t go into much detail since it is S4) That wonderful Nightcrawler scene with Edna D’Angelo (I think that’s her name) from HR in L&A’s office. The acting by all 3 actors here is delightfully subtle and comedic, a very hard combination to pull off, and they did it brilliantly!
I haven’t seen season 3 or 4 since it aired. Hoping to get S3 for Christmas and then I will watch for that scene 🙂
Yes Raffie! Remembrance of things past is hilarious!!! I love that moment where Amanda tells Billy the baddie must have dropped the ticket while he was choking her. Billy smiles and says ‘ Excellent!’ and Amanda just looks at him like huh???!!!!
I notice there are lots of early smk funny moments.. I am curious to see as we continue our walk through if there are lots more funny moments ahead – that just don’t come to mind as easily.. I did think of one other I love that is a season 3 moment. I love Lee’s reaction to Dr Pain! The look on his face as he pretends to laugh with him and then the moment Dr Pain’s back is turned Lee is looking like he could murder him! I rofl everytime I see it! 🙂
speaking of not easily coming to mind.. I don’t remember the one bear dances moment you mentioned Raffie, but I am really looking forward to getting there!!! 🙂 I don’t really remember Edna very well either – I’ve forgotten lots of great later smk moments.. looking forward to refreshing my memory!!! 🙂
You are right though.. choosing 3?? just too hard!!
Other Julia here! 😀
I’ve been too busy to comment lately but the posts are just great. 😀 Keep ’em coming!
I had to stop and say I love the idea of Lee seeing “flashes of brilliance” in Amanda that nobody else sees – even if he doesn’t admit it to anybody, even himself. Awesome. 😀
Yes Paula and Cindy, That ad lib of Kate’s was fabulous… and BB managed to stay in character and add
‘Ham!’ genius!!! The powers that be must have been gleeful at the talent they had put together in this show… then.. things went a little weird here and there.. but that chemistry remains – and it’s the glue that keeps the show together even with missteps like a class act! 🙂
Haaa Cindy! The writer’s of early season 1 were Amazing? The ricky joe line was an ad-lib! 🙂 so it’s to Kj’s credit! but.. I do agree with you.. season 1 fiesty Amanda and challenged, cheeky Lee are very entertaining!
Debilyn, thanks for sharing your thoughts about Amanda.. you’ve given me real (fast)food for thought! I had not taken into consideration Billy.. It’s true.. he does believe in her! It’s my impression though that Billy hasn’t seen Amanda in action first hand so far (he does in playing possum!)– so he hears snippets from Lee..( but surely not ravings about how great she is) – I think from the start Billy believed in her ( a true equal opportunity employer!!! ) he wants to believe in her – from the first time.. he sees ‘ she is something’ ( LOL couldn’t resist!) – she is something special.. and he would like to support her in helping out at the agency. Does Billy think Amanda is Agent material? I don’t know.. what do you think? You’re right Debilyn, Billy gives Amanda more credit than anyone – I am speaking of up to this point in the show.. not ahead..
I am thinking Billy brought Amanda on board because she had potential to help the agency – and to teach Lee a lesson.. to be more careful.. then it turned out she managed to bring out the best in Lee and his work and keep him out of trouble..
What do you make of Billy’s comments in the tag of this ep? He is teetering.. should he send her on?? Or not?? Although, he did send her on the first round of training, it was only the preliminary – ‘could you be trained to be an agent?’ level of selection..
Gosh sorry if I am rambling, but your comments have raised some really interesting ideas Debilyn!
I think Billy believes Amanda has something to contribute.. but it is not until Brunettes Are in that Billy gives Amanda a little opportunity to move forward with the mid level courier job – being a housewife. So as Billy puts it- it’s perfect for her.. I don’t think Billy thought Amanda would become an agent from the start.. but he always believed in her and her talent and her ability to contribute with her work. Does that make sense? Are there any holes in that logic? What do you think?
Debilyn, I love how you have described Francine!!.. there is a little scene in the script of Remembrance of things past – at the drive in- which was cut.. I think I mentioned it in that thread, but in it, Francine basically tells Amanda she is a little upstart! Yes.. it must be galling that Francine has put years into getting where she is.. and Amanda thinks she can just do agent stuff with skills she learned by being the mother of two little boys? 😉 The Francine/ Amanda/ Women dynamic is genius.. I think the show would be poorer without it..uh oh.. that could send me off on another ramble! Stop Iwsod!! 😉
Finally, Debilyn – I love your observation about this episode coming right before Brunettes – I think you are on to something! Yeah it does make sense Amanda would doubt herself… I agree with you and think this is a great idea!
Haaa yeah the idea of this being why Amanda is so dumb and out of character in this ep- isn’t quite going to explain it haaaa! 😉 Oh well.. it’s a blip on the radar!
I did watch ahead a little the other night, I needed to see SMK beyond ‘A Class Act’- it was depressing me!.. and I could see Three faces of Emily has Amanda being rather errr ‘lucky’ again and she is very much the bystander! But good news: Lee in a Tux again!!! 😉
I think once I get past that ep, I will go watch the first half of the season –in the production order and see if that fits.. Double agent is the tricky one to place though.. because of the tricksy car replacement..but I am thinking it might go straight after Europe and I’ll just have to ignore the logic with the car.. any ideas?
Hi other Julia! LOL! Great to hear from you! Hope you are well.. thanks for popping in and letting me know you haven’t disappeared! Yes I can understand – it’s a very busy time!
I am thinking my posts may slow down a bit over Christmas and new year and early january– so in case you’re wondering, I won’t be keeping up this pace! Things will slow down definitely… when though not sure.. will just take it as it comes and do what I can..byeeee!!
Iswod – It looks like you and I will agree when we get to “3 faces”. I thought I was the only one that felt that way. But, like you said, we get Lee in a tux. SQUEEEEE!
If this episode, this training, came right before Brunettes, I could see Amanda questioning whether she really belongs at the agency or not. But her resolve and the fact that she never gives up, along with some of her “successes” would have caused her to decide to stay. Maybe she was beginning to question herself prior to this training, which would make her act a little hesitantly and a little off-kilter. (but not to this degree)
I’ll say it again. Billy was always the one who really believed Amanda could be an agent. I see many instances where he gave her more credit than anyone. Francine didn’t want Amanda to be good, so she refused to give her credit for anything for a long time. She’d worked really hard to get where she was. She was just starting to get recognized as she wanted, so how dare this upstart housewife just come in and succeed so quickly.
Top three funny favorites, hmmm. Have to think about that one.
Hey, Debilyn, just wanted you to know that I quoted this post of yours over at Ned’s in an episode order discussion we are having there. Feel free to join us.
I think in the script Amanda accidently sets off the first pop up, actively searches for the second, and falls on her keister and activates the one that takes out Peggy.
And Julia, the episode didn’t bother me as much the first time around in 198— Wow, I’m feeling really old! — but back then, I strongly identified with Laura Holt from Remington Steele. 🙂
Favourite comedic episodes
Loved the humor in “Saved by the Bells”. Oh my gosh — so many one-liners!
KJ was brilliant in DOA — “Lee, you missed the cartwheel!” had me howling. Martha Smith playing a psycho with a bread knife in Amanda’s hallucination was great.
The interrogation scene in “Mongoose”, not only for her “good cop” routine but Lee and the inspector leaning closer and closer to the tape recorder as Connie declares his love for Amanda — priceless. Lee chastising Connie for not knowing his left from his right but getting his hands mixed up when he is demonstrating Ha ha ha!
All of the above, Cindy, plus I have a special fondness for ACM Kid, with KJ’s priceless ad lib: “And frankly, Ricky Joe, sex with you was always a maaajor disappointment.”
How could I have missed “Frankly, Ricky Joe…”? Honestly, the writers of early season 1 were amazing.
But would you rather watch this or Artful Dodger? It’s funny, as tough as Lost and Found was to watch at the time and how much I protested at the tme, in comparison to Dodger and Class Act, it really wasn’t that bad.
The final scene bugged me, because Amanda didn’t use any of her common sense house wife skills (belt buckles or hairspray anyone?) to get herself out of the mess, it was her clumsy dumb luck.
The tag would be brutal after any episode (how dumb is it to have an ERA button on a keyboard anyway? It sounds like the set up is even stupider than my husband’s keyboard). Let’s humiliate Amanda even more. BAH!
And Congratulations to you (and us) for making it through!
Thanks Julia.. glad you were able to enjoy the episode.. yeah I think once you decide you don’t like an episode, it can be hard to relax and enjoy it anytime in the future!
Hi Cindy! True.. it would have been better if Amanda had not just been blind lucky in her nabbing of the Pavlova! But.. I was okay with it as a one off – because Amanda had deduced the Pavlova was Peggy ( so some intellect required 😉 ) Plus, I loved that when faced with Peggy – whom she knew was a trained agent, and who had already tossed her across a mat- Amanda didn’t give up!! I loved that she started swinging her handbag and that this showed her tenacity, her never give up attitude – which I think is very admirable..and for me, it fit in the usual smk style.. So for me, that was enough to be okay with the lucky outcome ( though if that was how things were resolved all the time It would bug me!).
You have read the script haven’t you Cindy? There is something in it about Amanda actively searching for the pop up switches, whereas in the episode they just pop up by luck don’t they?? was the pop up that took out Peggy the result of a switch Amanda pulled?
LOL.. yes I said I’d rather watch Lost and Found because – I wouldn’t rather watch Artful Dodger! I think at the moment I would list Artful Dodger as the worst of all, then A Class Act, then Lost and Found – the season 4 eps? I know alot of people dislike the final few where Amanda is barely in them – but I forgive that, as they were trying to work around KJ’s illness.. and I am so grateful they exist I can’t complain if they are not up to the usual standard..
Ohh what a sad list to make.. the worst smk episodes! Oh dear.. and I do love this show – honestly!
Maybe we should balance things out a bit..
Cindy– and anyone else who’d like to- what are your top three funniest SMK episodes???
Or how about.. what are your three funniest SMK Scenes?? maybe that is easier.. ?? Do tell! I’d love everyone to list their top 3 funny scenes – as it’s a great way to get to know how your sense of humour works 🙂 I wonder if we will like the same ones.. or very different moments..
I can think of two for me..
1) the interrogation scene in To Catch a Mongoose! ( would you like me to bring you a pillow???)
2) the whole sequence of Saved by the bells where Lee is putting up with Amanda being admired as the great scarecrow, while at the same time gloating at how good his reputation is..
LOL in both scenes it is Lee that makes me laugh the most! I never would have guessed that! but then again, it is Lee being funny by playing off Amanda!
Oh I know!! An Amanda gag!
3) Amanda being grabbed and kissed by Bela in Sudden death- then busted! ‘ It’s for the sunday supplement!’ whahahahaaa!!!
Oh nooo there are tooo many good ones to pick just three!! but.. they are the first three that came to mind..
Anyone want to share theirs??
byee! Hope the Christmas preparations are coming along nicely!
Well I like the moment, where Lee finds Amanda has handled the situation, but I new agree, the episode has a lot of problems. As I mentioned, back when I watched it the first time, the fact that she got any training at all was enough for me. And those fond memories help me to have a more relaxed view on this episode.