There is a theory that is used in counseling to explain why one person is often drawn to a certain personality type in relationships. This theory states that our first experiences with love come from our family of origin and so we identify “love” with that type of personality or relationship. This can be a positive or a negative pattern. For instance a woman who had an alcoholic father may be drawn to men who have alcoholic tendencies because she identifies that type of behavior as “love.” Or a man may be drawn to a dominant, controlling woman because his mother ruled the house. These would be examples of a negative pattern. On the flip side, a man or woman who experienced a loving and nurturing home and relationship between his/her parents would more likely be drawn to a person who would love them that way.
Ok. Well how would this theory be used to explain Lee Stetson and his many blonde “kid” like women? Or how would it be used to describe his falling in love with Eva? Could it even be used to help us understand his hot and cold response to Amanda? I think so.
First I think we need to take a tour of the women we were introduced to on the show. Hang in there, I know this could be uncomfortable. We don’t like these ladies because we are protective of Amanda, but I think Amanda took them in stride, so we can too.
First there was the flirtatious brunette at the costume party. Lee gave her a passing glance, although I wonder at her forwardness. She must have known him and he her. Maybe they dated, maybe they were aware of one another’s reputation. I guess we are supposed to think that Lee is admired and feels free to admire women. Amanda was just annoyed by this, I think she is getting a pretty clear picture of this man who has just inserted himself in her life. This brunette doesn’t get a name and we don’t learn any history of a relationship.
Then there is Celeste, Celeste van Cresswinkle. What a “costume” huh? I agree that she has a rather masculine feel about her. But she approaches Lee in a very alluring manner. He seems friendly with her, but he doesn’t seem flirtatious. I wonder if that is because Amanda just gave him a hard time because of the brunette or if it is because he has already had his fun with Celeste and has moved on.
We don’t really hear or see about any other women until Sudden Death. Here we have the blonde cheerleader. Lee certainly gives her some attention, although I think he may be putting it on so that he can get his attention off of Amanda, he needs to move on after the shock of that kiss. Yup, right, Amanda is NOT your type, Lee. She is not a flirtatious, alluring, fluff kind of girl and that seems to be the kind of woman that gets Lee’s attention at this stage.
The next episode in which we meet another one of Lee’s women is Remembrance of Things Past. I know this one give some of us hives… The backgammon discussion. Yup, Francine. I actually captured this picture right at the time that Lee was making his comment about it having been a while since he and Francine had played backgammon. She does not seem thrilled here. Actually, as I think about it, most of these women that we meet through out the show are not very thrilled with Lee at that moment, are they? But we know Francine and she is a professional and a friend to Lee at some level. Some how he hasn’t burned all his bridges with her.
And right after we learn about Francine, we meet Eva. She is the hardest for me (and I would assume most of you) I think because Lee acknowledges that there were some emotions invested here. I don’t think he was invested in any of the others we have met yet, but he tells Amanda that he would have asked her to marry him if she hadn’t accepted Angelo first. That tells me that Lee could conceive of marriage at one stage in his life, but also that he wasn’t very good at really getting to know someone (or he would have had an inkling at least of her duplicity) and he also isn’t good at communicating feelings (she didn’t know he cared that much, or her KGB assignment was Angelo first then Lee?) Any way that didn’t end too well Or maybe it did end well? Because Lee learned the truth about Eva, about what love isn’t, about true friendship and even more about Amanda?
The next woman we meet is… um… yes that is it… Phyllis? Phyllis Pratt. Why can’t he remember her name? She said he “usually” sends flowers, right? So he must have seen her more than once. And he must have gone out with her fairly recently, or at least right before she left for Gstaad. Maybe he has been too distracted by everything that went down with Eva and enjoying the growing friendship with Amanda in light of that, he just put Phyllis Platt and flowers out of his mind?
We actually don’t meet another woman of Lee’s until the later half of season 2. We hear about Gillian and Margot, but all we know about them is that they weren’t around very long. Gillian didn’t last much longer after the botched Pocono weekend (Lee spent it in the Alps with Amanda instead), and Margot “took off” with a pilot (I think?). The next woman we meet is Randi Baby… And I don’t get the impression that he is very into her, even though he is trying… And I don’t think she is very impressed with him by the end of the episode. I think her exact words were, “That’s it!” I wonder what Lee was telling people because Francine makes a comment in DOA about Lee dating a girl named Randi. I can’t imagine him chasing that woman down to continue a relationship with her, maybe he dropped her name every once in a while as the latest (last) person he had dated so that people wouldn’t think he wasn’t loosing his touch. After all I don’t think he was dating too much at this point, he was probably “too busy with work” (in other words: enjoying Amanda’s company).
In fact the last woman we meet during season 2 is Betsy Jordan and Lee is not interested. Amanda is amused and comes to the conclusion that Lee must not be feeling well. This flirtatious piece of blonde fluff is not grabbing his attention. Hmm? Maybe Lee’s taste in women has changed a bit?
So, to recap, here are the women we believe Lee has dated or shown interest in, that we have met so far… Other than the first one at the party and Evil Eva, I see a pattern, don’t you?
So back to my first comment about relationship choices and family of origin experiences. We know about Lee’s early childhood loss from ACM Kid, but I don’t know if Amanda does, and so far we haven’t seen any pictures of Lee’s mother. But even from here I would hazard to say that Lee is not spending his time with women who would be good wife or mother material and the one woman that we do know of up to this point that he picks to invest his heart into turns out to be using him in the spy game. I wonder what this experience with Eva did to Lee though? I wonder if it didn’t reinforce some deep seated belief that Lee was not worthy to be really loved, or that if he did open his heart to love it would be torn from him in one way or another based on his experience with his family of origin? It might have convinced him at some level that blonde, frivolous, fluff type women would be safer for him.
There is one other important woman in Lee’s life that we have met though, and I want to place her in this post because I think her presence in Lee’s life matters. Lady Emily Farnsworth, I think, is important to who Lee is. He could have been trained by anyone, but his first superior was a woman who was brought into espionage the same way that Amanda was. She is a normal woman living in an extraordinary world and managing just fine and Lee respects her and, I believe, loves her. That is a good role model for motherless Lee.
So as we go into season 3 (and the arrival and quick departure of Leslie) it will be interesting to keep these thoughts in mind… I love this stuff!!! Thanks for joining in the walk, it is so much fun to stroll together
I am not so much struck by the blondness of the women as I am by the type of women they are. Though he is very charming Lee never really struck me as a smooth talker. I doubt he’s the kind of man that promises a woman the moon. I think at his core he’s quite honest and not interested in taking the time for pretense, so he’s probably quite honest with women that he’s not looking for anything serious. Probably why he acts like he is so above men that act sincere with dozens of women, even though Lee goes through them just as fast. This being the case Lee is left with the type of woman who will go along with just being a fling. They don’t always have the most self respect and often think sex is all they’re good for. At the same time some of seem to get the impression that they are so hot that even though Lee is honest that he’s not interest in anything lasting he’ll want to keep sharing their bed. Delusional. I think the fact that Lee is open about the fact that he isn’t looking for a real reletionship makes him better than a womanizer who leads women on, but still not very respectful. Whatever, he is a completely different man when he is in love.
He may not have promised them the moon, but I think he told a few of them he’d *been* to the moon! Cheeky devil.
, LOL. Very cute observation, but he can’t just come out and say he’s a spy. Guess astronaut is the next best thing. Who buys that line anyway? You’d think most women wouldn’t. Ironic that his real job is even more exciting when I am an astronaut sounds like such a line. I don’t mean to sound stupid but are astronauts even stationed in D.C.? I thought it was mostly Florida and Texas. Anyway when I said he doesn’t promise them the moon I just meant that he doesn’t lead them on and let them think he is serious about them. But you probably got that. This is beginning to sound like an Amandarable I’m on so I’m going to quit.
LOL – Misty I’m not so sure that some of the women he dated gave much thought to where astronauts might live!!!
Lee might also have promised to *take* them to the moon! Hahaha!
whahahahhaaaaaa kgmohror that is too funny!
Although Lee seems to prefer blondes (what man doesn’t?), I think the women we see him with has more to do with the kind of women available to him than a particular predilection. There was a certain sort of woman who traveled in political/government circles and who knew the “rules,” as it were, for interactions with politicos, agents, etc. Think Donna Rice, Monica Lewinsky, JFK’s babes, etc. These ladies and the men they “date” understand that these encounters are going to be casual and transient. Lee moves in this world and plays the game like the rest of them. I’m reminded of his remark in “Odds on a Dead Pigeon (spoiler alert!) that the married, dead agent didn’t play around “any more than any other guy.” Yuck!
Amanda may be the first woman Lee has known that isn’t part of this game. She is a “regular” or “normal” person who expects to have genuine relationships, not flings. At first he finds her perspective puzzling, then, as he gets to know her better, he begins to see the appeal of forming a more durable connection. Amanda is his teacher in how to have a real relationship – I see no evidence that he’s ever been in a lasting relationship, even with Eva (which has more of a flavor of infatuation than love).
Morley–I don’t have anything intelligent to add… everybody else has already done such a good job… but I wanted to say thank you for bringing us such an awesome post. 🙂
Actually, I was thinking about this a bit more today, and want to add: We don’t know at this point that Lee’s mother was a brunette, but we do find that out in season 4. Amanda’s a terrific mother to her boys, and very nurturing/mothering in general… –> not only is she not a blonde bimbo, she’s maybe a bit too reminiscent to season 1/2 Lee of his mum? –> Extra reason to not consider her as dating material, maybe?
On a different note, I was listening to this song again today at work (it’s on my phone playlist), and suddenly thought–OMG–Playboy Lee (season 1, early season 2 Lee) theme song: Just a Gigolo – David Lee Roth version. For anyone who doesn’t know it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPM7jdE7gWs (Fast forward to about 1m 30s for the song–gotta love the 80s!) I’m not implying that Lee is actually a gigolo, just that the lyrics seem to me to be a pretty good fit–sad and lonely etc = Lee, and paid for every dance/selling each romance = Scarecrow working. 🙂 (Or maybe I’m off on a tangent again and it doesn’t fit at all.)
KC, I like your thinking there… I wonder if Lee would have been aware of the similarities and how it affected him? or would it have been a subconscious thing?
A couple of more thoughts ran through my head as I was washing dishes. Maybe I was hoping Lee would pop up in my kitchen window. Sigh…Anyway, I was noticing how many of these women seem to be more the aggressive type. They seem to approach Lee as opposed to vice versa. He seems to be okay with it as it probably strokes his ego somewhat, but Amanda is different. You don’t ever see her trying to make a play for him. Even when Lee says some things to either goad her or deflect what he’s feeling at the time she never takes the bait. Occasionally when he is in case mode he says something that she misinterprets, but she checks herself and moves on.
In fact he gets upset when she minimalizes some things such as his legs, or the fact they don’t have fun, or when she doesn’t find him funny. She tries to address his rudeness in how he deals with her at times. The compliments she gives him is not based on how he looks but who for he is and what he does. I think he enjoys the challenge of her trying to make him a normal person.
It was Lee who sought out Amanda and he keeps seeking her. All these other women sort of eventually fade into the background, yet Amanda remains. When I was in college there was a saying about some of the guys…”they want to date the sinners but then marry the saints”. I went to a parochial college. In any case during senior year many of the saints got engaged while the sinners were left confused. Some of these girls that barely got any attention for three years walked away with the star athletes, scholars, etc. Amanda is the patiently waiting saint.
And I know we don’t like Randi-baby, but Randi was actually a little different than some of the other women. They all seemed to brush Amanda off and sort of ignore her, including Francine. Randi actually saw Amanda as competition or at the very least saw her as someone that Lee was also seeing or making time with. She was threatened by Amanda’s presence.
I think Emily was good for Lee in that she showed him how a man and a woman can be friends and not be involved. They can work together and be supportive of one another. Okay, that’s enough…my mind is wondering.
Ha ha ha – Valerie, I often wish Lee would pop by the window when I am washing dishes. Unfortunately, a) my window above the sink doesn’t open and b) we are in a raised bungalow so any intelligence agent would have to bring a step ladder. 🙂
He’d need a step ladder to pop up by my kitchen window too, Cindy. Damn! Maybe I’ll just start storing ours out there. 😉
At least you ladies *have* kitchen windows by your sinks… mine’s over the stove, and has a two-storey drop below it. 😀 My only hope would be Birdman Lee!
Me neither KC.. My kitchen sink is in the middle of the room! Sooooo I’ve taken to hanging out at the local train station in my pyjamas.. you never know.. it’s worth a try 😉
Birdman Lee.. ahhhh the irony!! nothing like a good scarecrow birdman! 🙂
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I shouldn’t read these while eating! That about made me spit my food out laughing, iswod! 🤣🤣🤣
You will find that to be the case in many pages of this blog. Some of us have also learned the hard way. 😉
Ahh Morley.. what an enjoyable romp through Lee’s psyche! 🙂 What a lovely way to start the day as I sit here drinking my coffee before getting on with the day’s work!
I love this idea of going through all we know about Lee and his relationships with women up to this current episode (LOTParty)!
I think the writers did a fabulous job of just weaving into the fabric of the show little insights into Lee and his relationship with women.. and also Amanda and her relationships with men (but that’s another post 😉 ) Often it is just a line here or there.. but very telling! and yes.. we have a few Big Lee & Women moments!
Yes I agree that our formative years lay the groundwork for future attitudes, values, expectations etc. I did talk about this in my Lee’s journey post –[I’ll update with links later] though I didn’t focus just on his relationships with women.. but I did include some of the formative relationships – His mother, Eva, Dorothy we aren’t there yet LOL!..
The writers and BB I would presume, did a fabulous job of being true to his childhood experiences, and his story of finding his way back to his real self and his real relationships in this unreal spy world with real Amanda is genius!
LOL you included that brunette in The first time? I’d forgotten about her! That moment looked so staged to me and ridiculous I put her out of my mind! she’s nobody! 😉 tee hee.. I don’t know what she is.. but she demonstrated that women are pretty direct with Lee- even when he is with someone already! LOL Morley, I don’t presume that Lee knew her just because she was forward! 😉 She could just be a really assertive floozie! 🙂 Or Psychotic!
I thought Celeste was all about letting Amanda know she is not of the same class as the rest of the guests.. but maybe it’s just me. I should watch that again!
The blonde cheerleader is a toughie.. I can’t shake the idea that the same blonde is in another episode somewhere! grrrr it bugs me! It’s a toughie because in this scene Lee is playing a cover.. Sandy Newcombe the ‘player’ – I am more interested in how flirty he is with Amanda before the blonde shows up and he is himself!
yeah!!! Francine belongs on this list! Though I would have put her in from their moment in the first time.. I think in the pilot they were going to have Lee and Francine be little more flirty – like Francine was more of a love rival.. but thank goodness they canned that idea! I’m thinking of the moment where Francine says something about working unorthodox and munich or something when defending Lee?? and Lee says he owes her dinner.. gag!!
Eva? Nasty woman!!! She broke through his defences… I’ve already shared my thinking on her enough for everyone (see Lee’s journey or the Lost and Found posts) I’m agreeing with everything you say here Morley!
Oopsie.. sorry I included Phyllis in my LOTP post! hope that wasn’t doubling up… I was really reminded of that scene!
Wow.. I thought you were going to say more about Lee and how he reacts to Phyllis! Hmm I’ll have to go back and read that episode again too.. but I remember thinking haaa he’s not as smooth with the ladies as he likes to portray! 😉 and cracks start to show a bit..
Ahhh GIllian and Margot.. love that they don’t get airtime.. they don’t need to! 🙂
I love love love that you included Emily!!!! 🙂
There is more to the women in Lee’s life than just romance..[it is a little less explicit though – which I am guessing Morley that you would enjoy sinking your teeth into!!] One aspect of Lee and women that we haven’t discussed – maybe dispersed here and there- is his view of women in general. Not just who he dates.. I’d love to hear people’s views on that as well as the romantic history.. [ not wanting to hijack your post here Morley!] but it is all part of the picture of Lee’s character and his journey.
Women are not just lovers, but they are also mothers, colleagues, and friends, and baddies!.. what’s Lee’s view of them? [wasn’t there something in Brunettes about that? and of course- ALSALS!]
I’ll think on this one – and maybe share some thoughts later today if I can get back.. but between ep 1 and LOTP- does Lee see women as his equal? Does he compartmentalise them?? I think his relationship with Francine tells us oodles here..
Also, I haven’t thought long about it.. so maybe others can add more – but there a few tidbits of info we have gotten about Lee and women which are not in Morley’s post..
There’s a few in If thoughts could kill [ that thank you card from Debbie] and the nosey neighbour paints a picture of Lee’s behaviour with women.. ahem…
What else.. ummm.. oh yeah and there is Lee’s little girlfriend that the colonel tells Amanda about –Alice – whom Lee gets in a fight protecting!!! remember??
Well I really must run.. I have really enjoyed your collating all of Lee’s women together Morley.. there definitely is a pattern going on!
Oh and 100% absolutely everything that Valerie said!!!- Fab Reply Valerie!!!!!!!
Yes Cindy.. nearly there.. hang in there!!! 🙂
Yeah BJo- Amanda is the woman in Lee’s life who is at the centre of him changing his romantic ways with women!! [and maybe with women in general???]
Byeee everyone!! Darn work.. wish I could write more! byeee
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Good grief!! I have written my response 2 times and both have been lost. I am going to give this one last try and then I am going to presume that I am not to respond.
First let me say that you should fell completely free to hijack away!!! I can’t believe that I forgot the women , the many, many, many women in If Thoughts Could Kill! And Alice!!!! How could I forget Alice??!! There is so much significance in Alice, I know it!!! And I would love to hear your thoughts about what we could learn from Lee’s relationship with Francine.
I remember someone bringing up how Amanda’s use of the term “women’s intuition” and the “Hot Mama” shirt would have rattled Lee because of how he viewed women. It would be interesting to put that in this discussion wouldn’t it?
I do think Lee compartmentalized women. He did not have much exposure to them, I think. He grew up on Military bases in the what? the 50’s and 60’s? How much exposure to women would he have had? His uncle does not seem to have pursued a long term relationship with a woman. I guess Lee would only have been exposed to teachers and the girls at school who were attracted to him. He might have done just fine with Dorothy. But her death probably only reinforced the expectation that he had buried in his heart that real loving, nurturing relationships would be torn from him. I found it interesting that it is Amanda who is there with him during the resolution of each of these traumas. First Eva, then Dorothy, then his parents. (I know that is convenient of the writers, but I like it :)) He really had a sensitive heart that longed for real love, he was just protecting it to his own detriment. And patient, faithful, loving Amanda, who just happened to be a spy and a mother and a wounded heart was there to help bring the healing (ah but I race ahead). So go ahead and hijack!!!
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Oohh, Alice – I never saw her as a blonde. I always pictured her as a brunette little girl – funny, huh?
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Of course, she had to be a brunette 🙂
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Could the blonde cheerleader be Bruce Boxleitner’s wife at that time, Kitty Holcomb, in an uncredited walk-on part?
This is awesome Morley. It really got me to thinking, especially about family of origin, love, and personalities that we are drawn to. In looking at Lee, his memories of family have been buried within himself. He had a loving home, but he was so young when he lost his parents he does not remember it all. What he remembers is his relationship with his uncle which was lacking in caring, understanding, and attention. Lee traveled from place to place, never really settling down.
So it stands to reason that he flits from partner to partner and never truly settling down. These relationships aren’t ones where there has been a whole lot of caring and very little attention is given to them. Lee is used to moving on. He is not used to someone as strong and steady as Amanda. I think that innately he gravitates towards her because of the early repressed childhood memories. She is slowly reminding him of what it is like to truly be loved and part of a family.
He eventually flits less and less, and ends up hanging around her house more. It’s interesting to note that once he breaks through to those memories in Unfinished Business and receives that letter and diary from his mother it all seems to come flooding back to him and in the very next episode he finally tells Amanda that he loves her.
Yes, Valerie! Yes! Yes! Yes! He is used to moving on. My mother was raised in a family of a business man that moved every few years. She has shared with me her difficulty in being at peace in long term friendships because she never had them as a child. Of course Lee would not know how to have a long term relationship, would he? Thank goodness Amanda is a tenacious friend!! ( even as I wrote that it makes me wonder how that aspect of Amanda’s personality would translate over on the Amanda’s journey thread?)
I love how Lee watches the home life that Amanda has with her boys and mother, through the window and then eventually he is welcomed in by the end.
And I watch those first episodes of season 4 in that order too. I think it is very poignant that way!!!
I agree with everything you said!!!
Trying not to get ahead of myself, but there is a scene in Murder Between Friends which is very telling to me about Lee’s emotional growth.
Oooo, I am intrigued!! I don’t know what you are referring to. Something to look forward too or maybe I will watch that episode until I have figures it out.
Great post, Morley!! I love how you talk about all of Lee’s “women” and love that you put Francine in the same category as the Celestes and Randis. I am really intrigued by this family of origin theory. The one thing that always comes to my mind when I think about Lee and his choice in women/relationships/life is that he’d rather keep other people at arm’s length. When you don’t truly let people in, it hurts far less when they leave or die. I think Lee must have had a lot of pain in his life growing up and with the death of his partner that he doesn’t want to risk it anymore. Until, Amanda, anyway.
I think you are right BJo. Self protection can cause a lot of pain, can’t it?
Yes, a lot of pain. As well as a lot of missed happiness.