Lee, Billy and Francine are left stunned silent by Larner’s demand to remove Amanda from IFF immediately!.. and the new evidence that they have on her.. whoa.. this is scary serious!
Billy throws it out there: who wants to tell her?
Francine looks away, there’s no way she’s going to (and thank goodness for that! ugh!!).
Lee steps up
Lee: I will
Hmm! almost sound a bit like a errr wedding vow!
Oh Lee what a good man he is growing into! (what was it you said about Lee being a teenager about to grow up Raffie?! Good Call!)
Lee sounds very emotional as he volunteers to tell Amanda. He wants to tell her and look after her..
Interesting that Billy nudged Lee to tell her, rather than himself- you know.. Billy the boss?
Billy must look at Lee’s care for Amanda and think: my goodness how far we have come!! Remember this attitude towards Amanda??!!!
My my.. Lee has come a long way
But there will be times to celebrate that ahead! For now, the mood is sombre.
Billy looks sympathetically at Lee as he turns to go talk to Amanda.. and Francine stares at the ground..
my goodness the interplay between these three is very telling this week too!! Everything seems to be loaded with meaning!! Billy and Francine seem to just let things happen here, IMHO while they don’t really suspect her – they aren’t fighting for her.. Billy seems resigned.. and Francine isn’t even there for Lee here when he needs a little support from a friend: she won’t even make eye contact with him!
Lee heads out to Amanda in the bullpen and simply says he thinks she should go now- knowing that really that is all he needs to say to her for now, and she’ll do it simply because he asked her to- Awhhh!!! Lee repeats that he thinks she should go now again and Amanda is confused, but eventually she notices Lee’s distress and says “oh. alright“.
Whooo I love how Amanda responds to Lee’s asking if she has plans for that night by asking: Do you need me?
Full of subtext.. he’s distressed right now, because Amanda is in trouble: Yes, he does need her!
Lee asks her to stay home tonight..[the defection is scheduled for tonight and he doesn’t want her turning up!]
She agrees to stay home and asks if anything is wrong.. he guides her out of the bullpen, and gives her some little pats on the back (awh..encouraging? comforting? reassuring?)
Lee says under his breath “not here. Not now ”
Amanda turns suddenly and sees his face..
She takes his lead, and gives him a quick cover smile and bids friendly farewell..
Well done Amanda.!!! I think Lee doesn’t want to talk there because he wants to tell her why she has to leave – and he is actually probably not suppose to tell her that information- but he wants to anyway.
Moving on.. and…It’s defection time!!
whooo hooo! got your popcorn? Ugh.. is it just me or is this whole sequence well- lame?!
Billy is over by a news stand calling the shots.. I wonder if Lee got him that scarf for christmas one year?
[LOL.. do you think that is KJ on the cover of that People magazine to the left of Billy’s left hip?]
EDITED TO ADD:Okay-this was bugging me!!! so I found the People Magazine cover!!! LOL!!!! It’s the October 1984 issue – and it’s Sally Field on the cover! 🙂 Interesting! that’s Farrah Fawcett in the top left hand corner! 😉
Francine’s in position one..selling tickets at the theatre.. Lee is in position two
and Weaver is in position three!
wait a minute.. I thought Lee was stagecoach 1 and Weaver was stagecoach 2.. so Lee is stagecoach one in position 2? confusing!!
So Lee and Weaver are ready, each in their own taxi cab.. How sad.. after all that hard work and training.. they both end up driving cabs to make a living!!
Errr and where is Dawson?? Who was mentioned in Billy’s office as being positioned on the roof? He’s hit the editing floor! LOL!!! In the script he is indeed on the roof and gets taken out by Julian the old baddie as the defection is about to take place.. Julian takes the walkie talkie and pretends to be Dawson.. Okay-cut the character.. it doesn’t make a difference if there is no guy on the roof – the taxi swapping deal is lame enough – but why would you leave in the earlier dialogue then? rofl! someone has made a boo booo!!!
Haaaa.. and did you guys notice – we finally get to see Lee driving a cab :in an episode?! Like Lee driving a taxi in the opening credits: the little sequence filmed only for the credits!
Love it!!! (nice toothpick in the mouth. I would not have believed he was a taxi cab driver without it! )
I wouldn’t have minded one bit being in that taxi with the meter running when the bomb went off!!!
So Durak exits the theatre, gets in Lee’s taxi, and then a moment later, Weaver’s taxi pulls up and Durak swaps taxis with another guy..
[Looks like Weaver’s tail light is out! ]
So Durak is driven off by Agent Weaver, and Lee gets to give ‘Teddy’ a ride instead.. Agent Teddy. I bet his codename is Bear..
I don’t get what good switching taxi’s is when it is in plain view of everyone..they’re right out the front of the theatre and everything! Yes no one would notice that.. it looks so normal! but okkkk….
Agent Weaver drives off with Durak, reassuring him that he can relax now ( Uh oh.. surely that is the smk kiss of death!)
I don’t understand why Billy would say: Okay, take it easy, let them think everything is under control. We’ll make good time on the side streets
– err let who think everything is under control? At this point isn’t it?? it’s like they’ve had trouble no?? maybe this is another remnant of the epic demise of Agent Dawson? (and they discovered Dawson was dead.. but let Weaver think everything was okay? Oh boy!) Was it some kind of trouble that sent Weaver down the side street into the trap?
So Weaver’s taxi turns down a side street and come across an ambush down a laneway.. Blue Van alert!! Did anyone else think that in the middle of a defection- if you turned down a blocked alley – you would reverse it quick smart and got out of there???!!!
The moment we saw the defector was driving off in the taxi Lee was not driving – it was curtains for the defector and Agent Weaver.. If it had been Lee driving- there would have been no bazooka!! Surely all agents are trained to know that any blue van with no windows in this town is a baddie? I swear!!! (Saved by the Bells, Fearless Dotty!- others?)
Oh and too funny! If I saw a bazooka, I wouldn’t be ducking, I’d be running.. but hey that’s just me. What do I know? I haven’t had agency training 😉 whahahahaaaaa!
Next thing, we’re back at IFF, and hear Billy’s voice as we see the IFF exterior.
Billy: Weaver and Durak never had a chance Mitch!
This new night shot of IFF, now that it is autumn (fall)/ winter time?? It really does look like that is a house with people living in it! I bet people live there in RL! Like how real people live in Amanda’s house! Also, it’s interesting that we see Lee’s inconspicuous vette parked out front- but the first scene Lee isn’t even there! [The script had a little scene here of Lee and Francine worrying about Billy getting in trouble from Mitch.. but I think good decision to cut it!]]
We find newly revealed best buddies Billy and Mitch discussing things over a bit of booze… Seems Billy and Mitch have chosen to keep their close friendship under wraps at the agency.. Friendship seems to be taboo there! Larner: Sure you won’t join me?
Billy: Why not! But that’s a bad idea for you Mitch. Your ulcer’s going to give you hell for it.
Larner looks at the glass he holds and rubs his stomach.
Larner: Ouwwww.. maybe you’re right! You know how long I’ve had this thing? [with the way you moan? everyone knows how long you’ve had this thing! ]
Billy: To the month and day. You sprouted it as soon as you got bumped upstairs.
Larner: ha you’re right!
Billy is looking very casual sitting on the chair like that! I didn’t know he was that agile!
Larner picks up a bottle of antacid tables, LOL and finds once again they are empty! Where’s Margaret?? why isn’t she interrupting and listening in?!!
Larner: Billy, Billy! How could this be happening in your unit? Your unit has always been the best.
Billy: I don’t know. I’m stumped on this one. We know it’s a high security leak… But, I can’t hang a name on it.
[LOL does that make Amanda ‘high level?!’]
Larner: You’re not going to believe this, but err, for a while… just a little while — right after the first incident– I thought it might be you.
Billy: ha I can believe that. You were my top candidate for, maybe, a half hour.
How sad is this??!!! Not only did they suspect each other – but they are not even shocked by that thought! I’ll expand on this at the end.. but yes the mark of a close friendship is: I only suspected you for half an hour! 😆 They share a laugh. Soo funny- not!
Billy: Trouble is… we know each other too well.
[yeah.. that’s the ‘trouble’ with friendship!]
Larner: Yeah…. Kuragin. He’s due in when?
Billy: Some time in the next twenty -four to forty-eight hours.
Larner: Ohhhh.. we can’t afford to lose this one!
Billy: I don’t intend to lose it. We’ll find the leak…. Your money’s still on Amanda King isn’t it. (File for bankruptcy then Larner!!).
Larner: Well she’s the only one with smudge marks on her. You yourself admitted she had a chance to see the Durak plan…
…Come on, Billy. You’ve been in this business too long to let friendship get in the way.
Billy: I’m not letting friendship get in the way. [I believe him to be speaking the truth here- he certainly is not fighting for Amanda!]..Okay. So maybe it is Amanda. I don’t know anymore.
[no one is above suspicion not even his buddy Larner]
Larner: Right. Now this is how we’re going to play this.
The scene ends here and cuts to the next scene where we learn what Larner has ordered- but I will stop here for now- and discuss this last scene.. I think it’s important!
This sudden close friendship at first seemed a little confusing, and I wondered what purpose this scene served for a while… I think I may have come up with a story the writers were wanting to tell here –about friendships at the agency, suspicions, and Lee and Amanda.
I think the purpose of this scene is to juxtapose Mitch and Billy’s secretly close friendship with Lee’s relationship with Amanda. These two old buddies thought it natural to suspect the other – well.. for half an hour.. They know each other well – so they didn’t suspect each other for too long! LOL! To them, no one is above suspicion and Francine has this same attitude. This is normal at the agency.
What I take away from this scene, and from this episode, is that at this point already: Lee and Amanda’s relationship is unique, very rare in this business, and very precious.. [this is starting to look a lot like love to me!! ] With Lee and Amanda, their relationship is completely different to the others, who all naturally suspect each other and think anything is possible, (even if unlikely) – Lee does not doubt Amanda or suspect her for a moment. IMHO I think he is baffled, confused and distressed.. but he was adamant that she could not be a double agent and he would never believe it – and Lee says this knowing personally what it’s like to experience hurtful betrayal at the hands of those he has trusted – Just look at Evil Eva- so Lee’s faith in Amanda means a lot!!
We’ve seen Amanda’s natural loyalty towards Lee before.. but we don’t get to see Lee’s loyalty to Amanda as often so far – so this episode is for me – a big advance for their relationship.
Also, I’m thinking this episode gives us a great insight into where Billy and Francine are at. I think that over the four seasons Lee and Amanda’s faith in each other rubs off on them and they begin to see the value in good friends having your back!
Billy sometimes comes off like a Teddy Bear (no not agent Teddy!) – and a matchmaker- but he does not have unswerving faith and trust in Lee or Amanda.. he does not always stand up for them.. even if at times he is their champion.. to me he is not a black and white character – and I like that.
As you can see- I find this episode to reveal a lot about our little gang’s interpersonal relationships at this stage of the game I should revisit this when we get to season 4! I’ll finish there for now.. I’d love to hear what you think!! Hope everyone’s keeping well!!! Thanks for reading!
I’m not sure how widely understood this is, but the Agency in real life is not one big building. It is three residential row houses in Georgetown (and a fourth house to the right is the Agency “parking garage”). Their front facades are connected, but there is actually a foot or two-wide space between each of the houses. It always bugged me on SMK that the trim on the middle house was cream-colored, while the other two had white trim – it looked so sloppy! The three houses all have the same color trim now, with mature trees as well, and they look much nicer. People absolutely live in these houses and the one on the right (with the Q-Bureau upstairs) was up for rent in 2020. In real life, those Q-Bureau windows are a bedroom and a bathroom.
My secret dream/fantasy for retirement is to buy one of those houses and live there with my husband. And since Halloween is approaching, I will share my second secret dream, which is to “decorate” the middle house as International Federal Film for Halloween by putting a sign outside like the one used on the show! If I knew the people who lived there, I would totally propose it to them (and even supply the sign!). And yes, hardly anyone would understand what the heck it was all about, but those of us in the know would enjoy it. 🙂
I can’t recall what I’ve heard about the agency in real life, but thanks for the refresher. I’ll have to drive through Georgetown sometime. I always thought that since it looked like townhouses people live in, none of the baddies would go there. This was my teenage logic back in the day. Paint colors didn’t cross my mind, but you’re right, it would look nicer. If I can afford it, I’ll get one of the other townhouses when I retire and chip in for the IFF sign. Maybe add a scarecrow for Halloween? Or would that be too much? 😄
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Hahahaha. I should have put “Agency” or “real life” in quotes. I really do know that the Agency is not a real thing, I promise!
That’s really interesting that you thought the Agency was purposefully trying to look like residential townhouses. I had always thought they were portraying it as one big office building, the IFF building. I first came to DC in 1993 for college, and for years, whenever I was in Georgetown or a similar-looking neighborhood, part of me would keep an eye out on the chance that I would find the building that they used in the show. We didn’t have the internet back then to help with such things! When I finally did learn where it was (around 2000 — thank you Pax message board!), I was so surprised to see that it was three houses rather than one building, and especially by how tiny those houses look in real life! I probably walked or drove right by them on more than one occasion and never noticed.
It would be very cool if you could be my neighbor in my fantasy retirement plan! Your scarecrow decoration would be a wonderful addition to the Halloween decor.
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I still haven’t forgiven them for not giving us that adorable taxi scene. Why did they just make it a promo?
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“Surely all agents are trained to know that any blue van with no windows in this town is a baddie? I swear!!! (Saved by the Bells, Fearless Dotty!- others?)”
Yes, but the Agency also uses that exact same blue van (ROFL!) in The ACM Kid and Lost And Found… so maybe Weaver thinks it’s Agency backup? 😀
Oh, and double ROFL! – the license plate on the white broken down car has been used on other (different) vehicles in at least three other episodes (that I’ve seen so far), and even also earlier in this one (remember the black classic car sitting outside Chez Tayir when Lee runs out into the street?!?!?)!!! 😀
I like your description of the growing relationship with Amanda and Lee. I think during “Ship of Spies” they connected in a special way, and not just because of that kiss. I have some ideas about that which I will have to put into a fanfic one day. I suspect since they could only rely on themselves and didn’t have quick contact with the agency, their partnership and friendship grew a little deeper. This would rather put icing on the cake of the mission adventures in Europe, as they had to rely heavily on each other there, too. As a result of all this, Lee definitely felt compelled to assert that Amanda was no double agent, as he has come to know her in ways he hasn’t known anyone else at the agency. (Except maybe his former partner. I think he had a very close relationship with him, but not quite the same as Amanda, I’m sure. lol)
Hi Everyone! So wonderful to hear from you all!!
Morley I loved your comment about how Lee can trust Amanda with topics he holds close – indeed!!! she is true lady! 🙂 I agree too that these lessons come hard and fast for Lee at this stage of season two!! I’m looking forward to A relative situation and his family issues!
Hi Melissa R – yeah! good insights! I agree with you.. love your reminder about ‘Mr Meadows’ 🙂
I agree.. Amanda showed Lee a better way of living.. she gave him a true gift didn’t she.. She took the first step- and bravely trusted in Lee and eventually, Lee was able to reciprocate. Sounds like you too are enjoying the more open and accepting Lee of this stage in season two.. I tell ya – around bromfield hall and 3 faces – I was ready to move onward and upward!
Whooo look forward to hearing your husband’s insights on the episode ‘ A little sex a little scandal! ‘ – Loved you being chatty Melissa R! 🙂
Hello Raffie! very true.. Amanda shows love what love is – ahhh foreigner!! what a fabulous song! I agree with you Raffie.. he is on that path- but he doesn’t quite realise yet the changes that have and are taking place in him [but, to clarify: I do think in ship of spies he realised he has feelings for Amanda – but not necessarily that it is love..]
I guess we could say compared to previous Lee behaviour he is a little more self aware nowdays.. Ohhh yeah!!! burn out is fabulous fabulous!!! Awhhhhh!!! You’ve done well Raffie that you can send your teens out to live their lives!! I imagine after so long it would take time to get your head around this new way of being!
Awhhh Morley that moment you mentioned of Lee being left alone in the bullpen, having sent Amanda away is very sad!!!! Thanks for sharing that with us!
Yeah I agree Raffie.. BB is very nuanced – fabulous way of putting it.. you’ll have to discuss that with him at the reunion.. surely he must have had his own mental picture of where Lee was at.. in his relationship with Amanda and in his own journey. it would be interesting to see if BB could remember something about how he prepared himself for such scenes.. I don’t think anyone can fluke that many nuanced performances over 4 seasons – he has to have put lots of thought into his character’s journey.
I’ve written a blog post on Lee’s journey up to the end of spiderweb.. which I was thinking I would post after I’ve done Car Wars and A Relative Situation, [can post it now if you want though it’s ready] it would be interesting to hear from BB if any of it rings true to his own vague recollections of his 4 seasons portraying Lee..
Hi Debilyn! Lovely to hear from you again!! Oh thanks for the kind words.. glad my comments spoke to you.. Yeah Ship of Spies was a game changer!! I agree – great insights.. by now, they’ve shared enough adventures that she has built a reputation with him.. and earned his trust.. Yeah I sometimes wish we learned more about his former partner.. but.. it is what it is I guess..
There is one more part to that scene where Lee escorts Amanda out of the office that really makes me sad. Its the last bit of Lee standing in the doorway of the bullpen after amand has left and he hesitates there and touches the door handle. It is so sad and to me shows how much this is affecting him, how it could affect their friendship etc..
BB is brilliant at expressions like that. I was just watching the part of OTLimit where Billy is telling Lee he needs to accompany Amanda to meet the “crackpot” groups. Billy says “You know her, she gets enthused.” You’d sorta expect a little eyeroll in response, but instead the look Lee gives back as he sorta nods in agreement about this take on Amanda is packed with nuance: with acknowledgment, annoyance, humor, affection, and a little something indescribable. SMK is full of great Lee expressions
like this (Burn Out!!); this just happens to be the one I was marvelling over
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Lee is reminding me of Amanda in ‘Savior’ when she was telling Mr. Meadows(oh, I mean Fielder) that Lee had not sold out. Even then Francine seemed to believe that Lee could do that, so IMHO it should not be a surprise that she would think Amanda could be the leak.
Oh, my yes Lee and Amanda have a very unique relationship. When in the spy business you really can’t trust your own ‘friends’, and I really don’t know how you would make true friends! Lee has learned to trust Amanda by her loyalty to him (could also think back to ‘Savior’ when he even told her that). Amanda is really a genuine person and is true to the core!
So nice to see this side of Lee and I really think it is a side that we see the rest of the season. I love their developing relationship through the end of season 2; IMHO I think they both do love each other, but they are just not sure they want to take that step or if they (especially Lee) even recognize it. IMHO Lee doesn’t even know what Love is. My husband made a good observation in ‘A Little Sex…’, but I will wait till we get there 🙂
Wow was I chatty this morning 🙂
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Funny you say that Lee doesn’t even know what love is …. that’s exactly the song I referred to after the Ship of Spies kiss, expressing where I thought Lee was with his thoughts: “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me….” Not sure it’s entirely conscious yet but I think it’s very close to the surface. He is taking strides in a direction that is very unfamiliar to him, and yes, Iwsod, he is relying on Amanda to be his True North. He’s placing his trust in her and he is valuing her both as an agent and as a person. I guess I’ll rephrase what I said just now … I’m not sure he realizes that this path he is on is the road to true love, but he is allowing himself to be pulled along by a force that he can’t quite define, deny, or control. When will he realize he’s in love? IMO … Burn Out.
Yep, Iwsod, I completely agree … he is especially sweet here in his protection of Amanda. Emotionally teen-aged Lee is definitely starting to grow up. It doesn’t happen all at once. There are regressions. But he is clearly now headed in the right direction. Maybe this is why I love Car Wars so much …. it epitomizes the hard-earned success of this struggle both for Lee and for teenagers. The struggle is not over yet, but it’s clear that victory is in sight. Ah, I guess I’m getting a bit nostalgic. After 14 years of having one or more teens in the house, next week my youngest will turn 20, the end of an era, giving new meaning to the expression “all’s well that ends well”!
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I can’t wait for Burn Out…one of my favorites!!!
I love your take on Mitch and Billy’s relationship vs Lee and Amanda’s. (I would have never thought to compare them :D). Despite the plot holes, there are some wonderful moments in this episode.
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I like what you point out about how this episode highlights the uniqueness of Lee and amanda’s relationship. I think this episode and some of the following ones are like a checklist of qualities that are unique to that relationship, maybe even a check list for Lee. Amanda is trustworthy, even with topics that Lee holds close (like family stuff), Amanda is a lady, she is irreplacable etc. hese things seem to come is such quick sucession Lee doesn’t even have time to mount a defensive denial arguement for them.