Every walk needs a rest stop (even a walk through SMK).. so I thought it was a good time to pause and ponder the development of the Lee Stetson character up to mid season 2..
I’m just a fellow fan.. who’s sharing their thoughts – so while I hope you will be open to hearing them- I hope you will also feel free to agree, disagree, and share some ideas of your own- if you like! As always- If you’re a regular visitor here and would love to write a blog post of your own – I would be honoured to publish it for you just email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Would someone like to have a go at Amanda’s journey?? It doesn’t always have to be my opinion you hear!
This is not comprehensive, but I’ve tried to form a coherent story.. and stick to the main points – so if there’s anything you’d like to add that was significant to you- please share it!! Hopefully these thoughts are not too rambling.. Here’s my thoughts on Lee’s journey up to Spiderweb.. (Season 2, episode 13)
As I mentioned in Ship of Spies – For me, Lee’s progress towards a loving relationship with Amanda has multiple facets which he works through over time..
1)- How Lee views Amanda,
2)- How Lee views himself,
3)- How Lee views marriage, relationships and family.
Let’s start with Lee’s background.. The show starts with Lee very much the lone wolf. His parents died when he was four and he was raised by an emotionally distant and somewhat dysfunctional uncle (A Relative Situation) who shifted him from army base to army base- making it very difficult for Lee to have a home and make connections.. Lee was also thrown out of many colleges, Francine says in Sudden Death.. Lee was always on the move! [Just like a rolling stone!!- haaa had to squeeze in a Bob Dylan reference somewhere 😉 ]
We learn in ACM Kid while Lee is talking to the annoying Alexi, that Lee was only a pretend tough guy..
Lee: Yeah, well, I was a tough guy too. I had to be tough, so no one would know that I was really scared…. I lost my parents when I was four and got raised in a hundred different army bases by an uncle that didn’t even like me…
It seems Lee had loving parents, but since their death in his early childhood, Lee hasn’t experienced what it is like to be known well, truly accepted and liked -loved even- for who he is: Lee has trouble forming permanent, intimate attachments.
He works alone.. he plays the field with women.. He doesn’t want to go to Amanda’s for thanksgiving! (the first time) And.. he probably does go to bars to pick up women- precisely because you won’t meet a nice girl there!(the first time) He has spent years filling up those little black books with girl’s names – none of whom know the real Lee (many think he is an astronaut ) as we learn in We’re off to see the Wizard.
Lee has a deep need to connect with someone, and to have that unconditional love and acceptance… only he can’t trust anyone.. and no one seems to know him.. Lee is a little lost!
His attachment issues are combined with a romantic, passionate personality. We learn in Lost and Found, that Lee had wanted to marry Eva when he was younger.. it had been a whirlwind romantic relationship- though I hesitate to call it ‘love’ he surely thought that was what it was..though IMHO till he meets Amanda- he doesn’t really know what that is!! He and Eva waltzed together on the banks of the canals in Venice, in the rain! ugh..! Lee thought it was forever. But.. he got his heart broken when she married someone else- so he put those fantasies and his romantic nature behind him, and took on the persona of a plaayboy – playing the field and protecting his heart.. [Not sure about Dorothy, but we’ll get to her in We’re off to see the wizard! ] I wonder if Scarecrow the superspy is just another version of this same persona.. unflinching.. tough.. untouchable..
When we met Lee, he was lonely, troubled and his heart was dormant- almost extinct! Then…. along came Amanda – and slowly: his heart begins to stir back to life again!
So moving on to.. How Lee views Amanda…
In the First time, Amanda was useful to him- he was desperate!!!
(‘Just walk with me’!)
To him she ‘was the case’! [as he says in There goes the Neighbourhood!],
then.. she was useful for his work… [There goes the Neighbourhood, Magic Bus, ACM Kid..] and Lee begrudgingly noticed her.. but his early view of Amanda was dominated by her role of being a housewife, the mother of two small boys with a station wagon. Plus maybe a quiet enjoyment of the hero worship Amanda tended towards in the early episodes good for Lee’s ego! but.. not a potential romantic partner at all!
He had a moment of temporary insanity when he enjoyed kissing her [Sudden Death] which was rattling, but he was able to put it out of his mind fine. [No need to clarify what that kiss meant in the tag! ]
Then, Lee started to see Amanda as a person, not just someone who can help him on a case in Service Above and Beyond and Saved by the bells.
I think this is when the sleeping dragon awoke. Lee began to feel intense protectiveness towards Amanda.. IMHO this can partly be put down to the fact that she is the mother of two small boys – something that touches Lee very personally- given his history. It gets through his emotional defences: the last thing he wants is another little boy orphaned. Yeaaaahhhhh…
That.. and I think from the start Lee was attracted to her but he could not recognise this in himself and it kept growing! He didn’t have to close his eyes as he danced with Amanda 😉
In service above and beyond – he sounded jealous – but he genuinely believed he wasn’t!! Same with the Mole. He didn’t want to sound like he was jealous because in his opinion: he wasn’t! (of course we know better – he was! but he was so oblivious- poor Lee!)
Amanda is not suppose to have affairs! She’s the mother of two small boys! Men aren’t suppose to find her attractive- and neither is Lee! [Volkenauer in Our man in Tegernsee was not suppose to ask Amanda out!]
And now, let’s consider how Lee has viewed Marriage and relationships (We’ll come back to his view of Amanda!). Normal, family relationships are completely foreign to Lee, Remembrance of things past mentions this! Amanda comments on Lee pretending to be dead and not being able to go out to nightclubs..
Amanda: this is probably very healthy for you. Yep no really! Real people do not go to restaurants and nightclubs every night. They stay home and make hamburgers and watch television.
Lee:Amaaaannnndaaa… are you going to try and make me into a real person again?! [Interesting that Lee says a ‘real person’ rather than ‘normal’ Lee you have been faking for years!! ]
Amanda: No, but the exposure certainly couldn’t do you any harm. [ He thinks it might I suspect ]
A normal family life is scary for Lee – the idea of being a bombers father is too much for him to think about! LOL.. he tells himself it’s a world he knows nothing about, and wants to know nothing about! – IMHO because he has never had it.. and doesn’t want to admit to himself or anyone else that he feels lost and without an anchor in life – he has no home… and hasn’t had since his parents died.
In the Long Christmas Eve, talking about Rudolph’s daughter growing up without a father hits close to home for Lee..
Amanda: Gee that’s sad… growing up without a
Lee: Some people manage to do very well without a father
Amanda: oh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to get personal.
Lee: I wasn’t speaking personally.
[Of course he was! Lee wants the world to think he is just fine.. ]
What about his very lonely Christmas which Lee describes here too?! Amanda calls him out on it- telling him it sounds lonely- but his mask is firmly in place and he seems determined not to show he cares.
Later, when Amanda ‘samples’ what Lee’s Christmas is like when talking to Rudolph – Lee gets to see what he looks like: A pretty sad picture.. and you can see him inwardly groaning at the way this has held a mirror up to his life- Poor Lee!..It’s a moment which is both poignant- and funny!!!
For me, this loneliness of Lee’s is one of the reasons the tag of Santa’s Got a New Bag is so touching.. Lee’s little panic at being at the family Christmas gathering and fitting in.. only to find it is wonderful to be amongst Amanda’s family, and in her arms is beautifully done! ohhh sorry I am getting ahead of myself!! stay focused Iwsod!! you can do it
Getting back to Lee’s relationship with Amanda, throughout season one and the first half of season two, Lee’s feelings are confusing.. and he at times lashes out in anger, or is abrupt and insensitive to Amanda.. but most of the time he eventually apologises or tries to make it up to her.. He has lots of mood swings and intense emotions when it comes to Amanda! Lee doesn’t like to feel such confusion or lack of control- and with Amanda he is perpetually off balance!
Overtime, Amanda manages to get past his defences- She proves to him time and again that she can be trusted – trusted with his heart, right from the beginning he was safe with her.
I’ll quote here what BJo wrote in 3/3 If Thoughts Could Kill comments: “I also love the end where Amanda saves the day. The looks on Lee and Amanda’s faces say so much. Shock, thanks, relief, happiness…what the heck just happened?!?!? And I love it for a second or two right after he runs his hand through his hair…he is looking toward the door like he is looking for Amanda and thinking about what she just did and then he almost smiles. She stopped him from shooting Billy!! And then she leaves the scene choosing to embarrass herself instead of Lee. What a gal!”
Right from the start, Amanda is Lee’s safe haven- Only, Lee takes time to realise what he unconsciously knows to be true
Slowly, Lee begins to see Amanda as his friend, and accept her into his life on that basis.. she is a good person, and she believes in him.. Also, I think from the start, she gives him just what he has been needing in life! Her faith in him, in Saviour meant a lot to him- even when he was behaving like he was someone else- she knew him and put her faith in him.. this to him was huge.. Remember this little exchange:
Amanda: He (the baddie) lied to me and I believed him. I am really foolish
Lee: Hold it, hold it. You believed in me. Huh? You did what you did because you trusted me. Now, I don’t know anybody who would go that far out on a limb for a friend.
Lee in season one is very confused by Amanda – she is unlike anyone he has ever known..and there is always an attraction towards her simmering away beneath his level of consciousness. Amanda is a puzzle- he is completely baffled by her behaviour in Weekend!
In Weekend, Lee learns he needs to be more considerate of Amanda and throughout the end of season one, and the start of season two – their friendship grows a little more… I think Lee begins to enjoy and appreciate Amanda’s caring ways – he hasn’t had someone to care for him and want to protect him in a very long time.. so he takes time to accept it and grow comfortable with it!
In Affair at Bromfield Hall? Lee is terrified at a fleeting thought that maybe there is more between Lee and Amanda than a friendship and somewhat functional work relationship! Nooo a relationship with Amanda would be a real one!! eek!! and he isn’t the marrying kind!! Nooo!! He doesn’t see himself doing that!!
Lee the plaayboy is not happy with other plaayboys making a play for Amanda! He disapproves.. Service above and beyond, and Times they are a Changin] I think this shows – he doesn’t believe himself to be good enough for Amanda either.. they are in different romantic dimensions!
We come to the biggie, the brilliant: Brunettes are in, and Lee is forced to choose whether or not to have Amanda in his life – Does he want to work with her?? Does he want to trust her more? Does he want to respect her?? – a big turning point!!! He chooses yes yes and yes! but a romantic relationship with Amanda? nooo!! Lee is still completely unaware of himself and any growing romantic feelings he has for Amanda.
And we learn in 3 faces of Emily that Lee has been dating Margot the flight attendant..
booooo But Lee takes Amanda to the embassy party.. and they seem to have a great time together..
In Ship of Spies, Lee’s changed in all three areas! How he views himself, Amanda, and marriage! 🙂 In this episode, Lee and Amanda’s growing friendship, professional partnership, mutual trust and loyalty are on display…Lee enjoys Amanda’s company (and IMHO seeks her out to come with him on the cruise because he wants to go with her!) he is starting to respect her more, and trust her more..and value her more ( his excitement over how thoughtful he was with booking two rooms springs to mind! ) and then.. the wedding! The wedding changes Lee – it is a moment of realisation for him – maybe marriage isn’t so bad.. maybe I do want to be a gulp husband?? Maybe I need this.. maybe I could do this- with Amanda?? wait- this is something I want?? – It’s a moment of self revelation: where he finally realises what has been going on from the start – he does have growing feelings for Amanda! And Ohhh boy!!!! there is some serious chemistry between them!! Amanda is one hot mama!
Yes.. any excuse to post this gif again
However, I don’t think Lee at this point thinks it is love. He is not open to it yet. In the Tag, Lee retreats to safer ground- and tries to distance himself from what happened – it wasn’t him.. it was his cover – Noooooo! Though from all the events of the episode, it is clear this realisation of Lee’s has not been forgotten. At the same time, Lee has a lot to work through – he is not yet ready to explore his growing feelings for Amanda! Lee enters his next stage: Denial! ‘We were just…you know playing our covers … Nothing more to it.
Finally, we come to Spiderweb, where we (and Lee) see the full extent of Lee’s trust and faith in Amanda! The thought of Amanda being a double agent completely knocks Lee of balance- just the thought of it! Lee gets emotional with his boss, defending Amanda and remembering how he first met her.. awh!! Even though he doesn’t buy it for a moment.
Also, Lee’s jealousy at ‘the Polo player’ pops up – and Amanda notices!! (and wisely says nothing!)
Lee is so caught up in all the drama that’s going on he can’t hide it! and I think Lee knows he is sounding jealous too!! I think that’s a first for Lee in that scene!! whoo hooo!
I think from now, Lee and Amanda’s close friendship deepens further – with Amanda not madly in love with Lee at his point – I think Lee is free to grow comfortable with his friendship with Amanda – comfortable with showing he cares. Remember in Lost and Found?? He confesses to Amanda he is bad at relationships!! Lee is vulnerable here.. but he now knows he doesn’t need to be afraid –with Amanda: Lee is always safe!
This is all new ground for Lee.. and so it is ideal that they take their time.. Lee’s heart has the room, the security and the freedom to begin to heal and grow.. Lee can begin to work through his issues with marriage and intimate relationships…
So I will finish there for now. Hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk down memory lane – and how far we have come on our Journey with Lee!!! I shall put one together of Amanda when I have time.. Unless someone else would like to? [Go for it!!] byeeee and as always – I’d love to hear your thoughts!!