Back at the office and Billy, Lee and Francine are searching the files for who could be their leak-(So funny they have actual folders with everyone’s personnel information? errr in 7 episode’s time- You only die Twice- personnel files are kept on computer discs!! weird maybe this case inspired them to upgrade their records 😉 )
Uh oh.. Larson arrives..
Larner: How’s it going Billy? [‘Billy’? hmm that’s interesting.. the first meeting he was ‘Mr Melrose’ –twice! Now all of a sudden they are friends?..I guess Mr Melrose is for when Billy is in trouble? As in Mr William Melrose! You get in here!! )
Billy: well so far we’ve come up empty but we’re gonna stay on it.
Larner: Don’t bother. Margaret!
ROFL!!!! It’s like he is saying it’s Margaret- the leak!! Margaret hands him a folder.. yep.. he needed his secretary to carry 1 puny little folder!
[Okay- another excuse to let the baddie pass by all the top agents!]
Larner points to his heavy folder: Here, right here is your security leak. Right here! I didn’t think you’d mind if I put my own team on this.
Billy: you found the leak.
[Interesting: Billy has reading glasses on his desk.. do we ever see him actually wear them?]
Larner: I did- Amanda King!
Immediately it cuts to Francine and Lee.. wow… their reactions are fascinating!!
Lee is immediately on his feet.
Francine is laughing: You’ve got to be kidding!!! ( realising herself!)
… err… sir.
Billy sits stunned!
Larner: No, I’m not kidding Miss Desmond.
Lee looks around mouth open in shock!
Billy: wo woooo wait a minute, are you saying that Amanda King is a double agent???
Lee: that’s impossible! She’s not an agent at all, she isn’t even a trainee in the strict sense of the word. She just helps us out.
Yeah.. just helps out Lee and saves his life all the time between doing the filing. Love it! [Wait a minute… I agree with Larner- Amanda is a trixie double agent! nahh.. just kidding]
It’s interesting how Lee describes Amanda here to Larner.. is that really the way he sees her now?
[I’m thinking she is more than that to him, but he knows she is seen that way by the agency]
Larner: and because she just helps us out she was never given an all out security check!
In response to this- Billy gives an ‘ ohhh boy’ look here, Like: what have we gotten Amanda into here IMHO
[I’ve always had issues with this.. In Photo Finish- Season 4, **Look away if you don’t want to be spoiled!**
When the IR people are looking into Amanda..
Amanda says she has had two full scale security background checks : ‘one when Mr Stetson recruited me and then there was another one about a year ago.’
Lee backs this up saying: yes, I ran my own field checks, when we started working together errr habits, haunts, the usual.
Amanda answers: you did??!
And the IR lady says: it’s all here in the record.
I can’t make sense out of this.. unless they count her being recruited as when she became a trainee agent.. but they make it sound like it was when he first met her, and it would only be a year or two maximum since she offically becamea trainee.. that’s too soon for all the checks ( Lee says he has one every 3 years) Oh ! and.. Amanda’s family tree was being checked for security reasons in there goes the neighbourhood! I can only put this down to a contrivance needed for the plot to work.. Okay I’ll just go with it!
Francine: they never would have found anything anyway. Her life has got to be one big yawn..
Yeah real professional Francine..(not to mention judgemental!)
Lee: Look! Sir! You don’t know Amanda King. We do! She simply doesn’t qualify, I don’t care what you’ve got in that folder!
She.. she didn’t even apply for a job at the agencyyyy..
[BB does a fantastic job here… you can just tell Lee is thinking back to the ‘Just walk with me’ moment awh!!]
…her working with us came about from an accident.. errr..
Lee seems to be barely hanging on to control of his emotions here as he defends Amanda ( bless him), not only is Lee confronted with this shocking idea, but he is also confronted by his sudden intense emotional reaction to this idea – he seems a little lost in this moment.
Larner: accidents can be arranged! (Francine laughs at this) Oh?! You don’t think that that’s a very real possibility Miss Desmond?
Francine: well! sir! Actually, I think that would make Amanda King a lot smarter than I think she is…
[I love to watch Lee’s reaction to this declaration!! Lee knows better than that now!! ]
….I mean okay, maaaaybe she could tell you how to starch your socks with egg whites but ah haa I really don’t see her dealing with classified information. Besides, she doesn’t know anything about Spiderweb. [ yeah one for the sisterhood Francine..not.. sometimes she is simply awful – Although, it is sweet justice in a way **season 4 spoiler warning**
– when you remember that in Suitable for Framing, Season 4 – just such an ‘accident’ is arranged and Francine walks right into it! rofl!! suffer Francine!!
Larner: Never mentioned it? Never asked any questions about it?
Lee: yeah she did.. she mentioned it in passing this afternoon.
I guess Lee was obligated to say huh.. Lee is starting to think like Amanda : tell the truth even when it looks bad!!!!
I don’t think Lee believes it for one second..but.. I’ll expand on that in light of a later scene..Lee looks so confused here trying to make sense of what he’s hearing, he turns to Francine and mouths absently – wha????
Francine isn’t going to help Lee make sense of this… she doesn’t really care! … Poor Lee, it’s so hard to think when your heart is being devastated and you have no idea why!
Larner: and before you say coincidence! She was with Bryce Topping. Who happens to be legal council for about five senators, three cabinet members and a very prominent defence contractor- that is nice cover. Not to mention a rich source of information.
I tell you what..that is ridiculous logic!!! It could work either way – it could mean that Amanda is innocent that she was with a credible guy. Lee might consider this too- if his head wasn’t mush right now – Bring Bryce Topping into things?? and Lee really is in a tizz!! Larner has a bad case of confirmation bias –
[who would have thought smk could help me in my psychology studies?! ]
Amanda asked a question about it? guilty!!!!!
She was at the restaurant with a good guy? guilty!!!
Larner: …Aaaand there’s the matter of where she was from November 1982 to Mid January 1983 – you see there’s a big blank in her record during that period.
Watch Lee here, he keeps going to say something..but he can’t get any words out!
I find it really lame just how easily these top agents can be manipulated! They know they have a leak and it’s someone in the agency – If someone is in the agency- they have access to personnel files! To Amanda’s personnel files!
Would a double agent leave a big gap in their record so that they could get found out like that?? No way.. they’d be sure to have a file that would qualify them for a ‘merit badge’!
It’s ridiculous logic.. but then, I put this down to confirmation bias, exasperated by their desperation to latch on to any hope they can of plugging the leak.. and of course, Margaret has probably been in Larner’s ear (like Grima wormtongue in the Two towers! ) – but still it is a little scary just how easily manipulated they are!
Francine responds: do you think she could have been recruited during that period?
Man.. the sharp look Lee gives her!!
I think Lee preferred it when Francine thought Amanda was dumb at least then she was arguing for Amanda! The music kicks in here.. it’s scary how quickly things can turn ominous!
Larner: possibly, that would help to explain the $10 000 dollar deposit to her bank account in February of 83!
[Ridiculous!! Maybe she won itin the Irish sweepstakes like Agent Go did in The Mole! and why would a double agent deposit money like that where it can be traced and identified???!!!]
Lee: Sir, that is all circumstantial!!!
[Lee is spot on! but how do you tell your boss- ‘your stupid’?! – and ‘go back to Macgyver already’! ]
Larner: as you know, we run periodic spot checks on all personnel. would it interest you to know that we’ve made a check on Mrs King, during the past two weeks.
[my my.. how handy.. what a coincidence! It’s almost like someone went looking for evidence- if you look hard enough and long enough with this logic: you’ll find something!]
Billy: wo wo- hold it Mitch! [first names for him too?!] I can’t believe that anything of an incriminating nature-
Larner: Is it incriminating if she has been seen visiting the czech embassy? A visit which lasted for fourty-two minutes? Mrs King was seen leaving the embassy carrying a large manilla envelope- Contents! Unknown!!!!
*duh duh duhhhhh*
…we have our double agent.
[uh oh.. no investigating required eh.. Larner is a real dummy..no wonder Margaret has been pulling one over on him for years! and no wonder she holds them in such contempt! ]
…we have her- Dead! Bang!!… and you are going to prove it!!!!
Whoa.. we have her- now go ahead and prove it?? what is this the keystone agency??!! Larner needs to go to investigation 101 class..
At this, Larner storms out of the office, leaving Lee, Billy and Francine a bit shell-shocked.. Billy looks worried,
Francine looks thoughtful- yeah! maybe it is Amanda!!! and Lee? looks around at Billy and Francine’s reactions – but IMHO he knows this is not right.. and he sees that with Billy and Francine not fighting for her- Lee’s going to need to battle for Amanda!
I love this scene.. fascinating dialogue.. dense, with lots of different layers.. so I didn’t want to cut any out!
I think the title ‘Spiderweb’ is referring to not only Operation Spiderweb (the operation to bring in three defectors), but also the web the baddies are weaving, and trapping Amanda and the agency in: ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive’ – this quote sums up this episode perfectly! [It’s Sir Walter Scott- I think!]
Any thoughts? ideas or insights you’d like to share about this episode so far?? Thanks for reading – I’ll be back with more when I can!