7/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

On to Senator Wrightwood’s place to clean 2.16 LOTP.avi_001386086before the party! We find Amanda and her Nike shoes diligently polishing furniture in the hallway.. LOL it looks like Francine  is still moaning and complaining.. Francine arrives carrying a vacuum cleaner and a bad attitude Winking smile  Francine’s not happy and so everyone needs to know about it?! Come on Princess!! 1Emoticon cheekywinkToughen up!!
Francine: Silly me…
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[I love how Francine says this with a smile.. maybe she’s learning the whole suburban ‘must be nice and smile even when cross’ habit!]
…After all these years, I thought the vacuum was a labour saving device.
[You mean Francine actually knew vacuum cleaners existed??!!]
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[Is it just me or does it look here like Amanda  smiles at Francine’s misery here while Francine’s back is turned?! 1Emoticon cheekywink ]
Amanda: It’s hard work, Francine. I’ll tell you what, if you want me to, I’ll do the downstairs vacuuming.
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Francine collapses into the chair: Oh, bless you…
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…You know what that slave driver Mrs Flannigan wants me to do later on?  Clean the kitchen.
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Amanda: No problem.
Francine: Oh, “no problem.” That’s easy for you to say.

[no I don’t think it is! Even with a lot of ‘stamina’ I think anyone would think this is hard work.. which is why I like the part in the script that was removed-where Amanda acknowledged spring cleaning her house wasn’t so fun! Sorry.. I digress..]
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Francine continues: …Amanda, I am an expert at hand-to-hand combat (err her body 2.16 LOTP.avi_001415115double is she means.. isn’t this one of those episodes where Mr Francine does the fighting??),
small arms weaponry, wealthy 2.16 LOTP.avi_001416349men between 30 and 40 but… definitely not a kitchen person.
[whoo hoo! there’s a little more info for Francine’s post! Smile]
Right along with the audience, Amanda is running out of patience with Francine’s moaning.. She offers to vacuum the downstairs for her, but still Francine complains about having to clean the kitchen… boo hooo.. It’s time for Amanda to stop the sympathy Smile
2.16 LOTP.avi_001419119Amanda: Look, Francine, you gotta do it, okay?..
2.16 LOTP.avi_001421121Now, you know how to cook, don’t you? [Mrs Welch anyone??!!Francine goes in a kitchen and has Post 2.16 LOTP.avi_001423123Traumatic Stress Syndrome!]
Francine: I know how to *hire* a cook.
2.16 LOTP.avi_001425492Amanda: Francine, just go down in the kitchen, do the best you can, and then fake it.
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I love this! Goooo Amanda!!!! 2applause-appl Although, I hereby declare this episode has the worst case of matchy matchy earrings I’ve ever seen!!!!!
2.16 LOTP.avi_001432132Francine: Okay, fine. So, at least we’re done up here.
I just love KJ’s delivery here.. without directly referring to it, she holds up the bucket with… the brush!!!
Amanda: Almost.
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Francine: Oh, haa err  no, wait a minute-
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Amanda: Yes Francine. 1ha haaaaaaa
Francine: Ah No-
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Amanda: Yes, Francine. Guest bathroom.
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Francine:
But– But I don’t–

2.16 LOTP.avi_001438271Amanda: Francine, you just take a few of these crystals.
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You pour them in. They’ll start to foam and bubble, and then you take the brush–

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Francine: The brush. The brush…1ha haaaaaaa
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… This is the part I’ve been waiting for. The brush…
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[I love how Francine can’t even look at it!!!]
…This is where I have to get down on my knees, right?
2.16 LOTP.avi_001448381Francine is too funny here..1HaHaHa it’s all pretty undignified stuff! I love how firm and direct Amanda is with her here.. she isn’t budging.. way to go Amanda!!
Amanda: No, you don’t have to get on your-
Francine: Bye
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Amanda: Francine. [I love it, it’s like the tone she uses with the boys!]
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Francine: Amanda…
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…Now, you seem like an enterprising young woman to me.…
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… How would you like to make an easy $10?
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[Hey! I am sure even in the 80s that was a lousy offer!]1rofl
Amanda: Francine.
Francine: Fifteen.
2.16 LOTP.avi_0014594922.16 LOTP.avi_0014602931rofl
Amanda is unmoved..
Amanda: It’s just a toilet. 1ha haaaaaaa
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2.16 LOTP.avi_0014636972.16 LOTP.avi_001464097Francine: What are you gonna be doing?
2.16 LOTP.avi_001465899Amanda: The master suite.
2.16 LOTP.avi_001467167Francine: Oh, well the master-
2.16 LOTP.avi_001468101Amanda: Francine, Mrs Flannigan gave very specific orders that I was to do the master suite…
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You will do the guest bathroom.
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Francine silently stares at the bucket.
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Then looks up to meet Amanda’s eyes – and Amanda gives her a quiet smile.. gotta do it! Smile This scene ends here.. I guess the first time I saw this, I would have been left wondering if Francine managed to do it?? but.. then again, Amanda was determined to do as Mrs Flannigan had asked- good thing too.. Little do they know this is the key to solving the case! If Amanda didn’t clean the master suite.. then the next scene would not have been possible!

This is one of Francine’s funniest, best SMK moments!! Francine is hilarious!!! MS does a fantastic job! This has got to be a career low for Francine (and an acting career high for MS!).. Francine is really not at her best here is she! She is lucky that she is with Amanda. While Amanda might have a quiet smile about it, Amanda is gracious, and she doesn’t use this situation to score points or seek revenge on Francine. Amanda is a classy woman Smile – she keeps her mind on the job.. and goes easy on Francine’s ego – does this remind anyone else of how Amanda use to deal with Lee when he was having his little boy temper tantrums and was yet to accept her in his life??

Both Lee and Francine have been lucky to have Amanda there when they have had moments where they are not at their finest.. moments that in future would have been used against them by others. (whooo the tag plays into this!! but.. I’ll get to it!) Just wanted to add that Amanda is a good person to Francine here! and.. an absolute professional! Smile Amanda’s graciousness is one of my favourite things about her! Smile

Francine on the other hand..hmm! I find this very curious behaviour from someone whose professional identity is very important to her.. you’d think she’d be less whiny! Doesn’t she take a chance talking about her hand to hand combat experience – what if someone else had heard?! If Francine has had to fight so much as a woman to be a top agent and be taken seriously, I would have thought she wouldn’t be complaining about being asked to do her job (even if it is a stereotypically female, low status menial job).. this is part of her job! Francine’s such a contradiction at times!

Plus, I also see Francine as having a strong need for external validation, she wants lots of acknowledgement when she does a great job.. [Dead Ringer]- or when she suffers a bit – she also wants to be somebody.. she wants to be noticed [He’s still crazy about me Winking smile!] However, I would have thought that those qualities would not make her a top agent – at least not in the field.. A top agent would be like Amanda – she’ll get the job done and won’t expect lots of praise, and she is perfectly happy to not get attention! Hmmm.. maybe this is why in the show, things seem to evolve into Francine being queen of IFF HQ and Amanda being fabulous out in the field? This is a bit of foreshadowing perhaps.. Hmm.. what do you all think?

I’m really enjoying this chance to get to know Francine better! Though, I am missing Lee! Winking smile If Lee was around though? the dynamic would have been completely different – so while I miss him, this is a unique opportunity to see a new side of Francine.. and maybe Amanda too! Smile

Well I shall finish up there for now.. hope you’ve enjoyed this scene as much as I have!! I’d love to hear what you think! Smile

10 responses to “7/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Way to go Amanda – show Francine “the generosity and stamina of the American Housewife”!! And that you aren’t a push over!!!

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  2. Mr Francine *snigger*
    I am really not sure of Francine whines because she’s fought hard to get ahead in a mans world or whether she’s just a whiner. My gut says the latter given her overall attitude to things. I definitely agree with debilyn that she’s a very negative individual. Which is a shame because I think with slight attitude adjustment she would be far more likeable. We see a flash of this in the closing scene before the tag. I do think MS does a wonderful job in this scene, especially with the offer of bribery and the brush?! One hazmat suit for Ms Desmond please LOL
    I really enjoy how Amanda takes charge here. It’s true to say that she’s got much more experience in cleaning than Francine but she’s also much more professional. I love the “mom” look she gives Francine about taking the bucket and cleaning the toilet. Brilliant, works on the boys it will work on Francine too 😉
    As much as I could watch Lee all day I do like this bit of character development between Francine and Amanda. It makes a nice change to see girls together 😉

    Matchy matchy earrings?! You’re trying too hard Amanda….

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    • Yes, the “mom” look! Funny! How much older than Francine is Amanda? Which makes the “enterprising young woman” line kind of condescending.

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  3. I am sure Francine had to struggle to be taking seriously as she was rising through the ranks and was often mistaken for a secretary or other clerical support. I think part of her not suffering well in silence is partly driven by an irrational need to make sure she doesn’t get demoted to doing to menial, typically ‘female’ jobs.

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    • I can see that, Cindy.

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    • yeah that rings true Cindy 🙂

      I found an interview with Martha Smith last night.. you guys have probably all read it.. but I found it interesting to read it now as we look at LOTP.. here is the link:

      http://www.martha-smith.net/24019/14301.html

      Her comments explaining why Francine is the way she is are very much inline with some of our theories.. her seriousness.. her insecurity and ambition..

      Also, her comments about how she got along with KJ are interesting.. she [KJ] ‘felt it was too hard on Amanda sometimes. ‘ – I think Francine is as nasty as she could get in her treatment of Amanda, without me starting to dislike her through and through.. you know?? so I’m really glad that KJ pulled things back a little.. good for her! I think the balance overall is good -Amanda is not a damaged victim of workplace bullying.. but you know Francine doesn’t like her.. and there is room for a truce of sorts to be declared between Francine and Amanda.. well I won’t get into it more than that other than to say this interview was great with some cool insights and worth a read!

      I love to hate Francine.. and we just know there is a part of her that is capable of decency and human! 🙂 I’m going to enjoy finding out what things are like for Francine and Amanda after this episode!

      Lastly, I forgot to add that in the script the final line of ‘the brush’ scene is Francine looking at the brush and saying to herself: ‘Hello Porcelain, goodbye dignity!!’ Too funny!!! In my eyes.. the complaining over the brush is much less dignified that cleaning a toilet! LOL! but hey.. it’s probably just me..
      Byeeee for now!

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  4. Francine does tend to be a negative person. Not sure if this is a by-product of her fight to make it in a man’s world, or not, but she definitely doesn’t have a positive outlook on life. She complains, she enjoys watching others struggle, maybe she takes comfort that their lives aren’t all rosy either. In addition, Francine is working with someone on this assignment that she undervalues, so this could add to her complaining here.

    I agree, Valerie, that Amanda sees Francine for who she is. Amanda, I think, sees everyone at the Agency pretty clearly. She’s also accepting of pretty much everyone, which is part of why she’s often in trouble. She’s not a pushover here, though. She stands firm with Francine. She’s gaining confidence from Billy’s support in addition to Lee’s growing support. You go, Amanda!

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  5. Goodie, goodie gum drops! We’re here! LOL, iwsod, I’m not surprised that Francine knew there were vacuum cleaners, just that she knew how to use one! I wonder how many pieces of that expensive looking wood furniture she nicked with the vacuum canister! And yes, Amanda does look like she is enjoying Francine’s pain with that little wicked grin on her face. Payback time!

    Love Francine’s list of what she is an expert at. I would add sobbery to her list  And I wonder just how much of what she learned from Mrs. Welch she still remembers. I would think she would try to forget all about that. 😉 PTSS indeed! Love how she tells Francine to get over it and just go do the job and fake it if she doesn’t know what she’s doing. Amanda is an expert at that! Chalk up another point for Amanda!

    The brush, the brush, the brush!!! Great job, iwsod! Love all the perfectly captured screen caps! At what point do you think Amanda would have said yes? $50? $100? I could have been bought for the right price if I were Amanda.

    I agree – this is one of Francine’s funniest, best SMK moments. She’s funny here but not at Amanda’s expense. And Amanda is a much better woman than me – I surely would have brought this up again at some point to tease Francine…it would be too tempting not to! It does remind me of how she treated Lee and his tantrums (guess top agents, male or female, have to have big egos to make it in that world), but I don’t want it to. I want that behavior to be solely for Lee. We can discuss this when we get there, but can you imagine how the tag might have been different had Lee been on this assignment with Francine? And would he wear matchy matchy earrings? 

    Even though Francine is a top agent, I think she is a complainer. So it doesn’t surprise me that she is complaining here. She complains in the series quite a bit, I think. And at this low point in her career 😉 I am not surprised to hear her doing it again. I agree with what you say about those qualities not making her a top agent in the field. No wonder Billy likes having Amanda around to use on assignments. Francine is high maintenance and Amanda is not!

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  6. This is an interesting scene and I like the dynamic it presents between Amanda and Francine. From the time Amanda met Francine she was not so much intimidated by her, but mostly frustrated with her attitude and I think sometimes uncomfortable around her. As she has gotten to know Francine and come to know what to expect with her attitude Amanda sort of puts up with it and deals with it. I think she sees Francine as clearly as she sees Lee. Working closely with Francine on this case has given Amanda an even clearer picture of who Francine is and is allowing her to relax a bit more around Francine. She has no trouble in being forceful with Francine and doesn’t back down an inch. Dealing with Francine in this way, I think, is giving Amanda more confidence in herself.

    I actually like that Amanda and Lee are not together in this. I agree that it would change the dynamic of the assignment and I think Amanda and Francine would not be able to experience some of the growth that is taking place. I think it also sets up some things that happen later on in this episode and down the road.

    It’s funny about the vacuuming. I stayed on campus for two summers in college and actually worked housekeeping. We did all sorts of things with cleaning the dorm rooms, and other various areas around campus and some dorms were even used for overnight stays like a hotel and I worked the linen crew. But my favorite thing to do was vacuum in the large community center we had. It was three floors and took up a good chunk of the day. For some reason it was cathartic. I could sort shut down or even daydream and just be in my own little world. I still like to vacuum.

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  7. It is good to see Amanda doing her job without Lee beside her. It highlights the fact that Amanda has chosen this wholeheartedly and she is good at it. She is not just Scarecrow’s prodigy.
    The comments that you made about Francine’s whiney behavior versus her top agent status made me think of other professionals I have come across and some behavior I have witnessed outside of their work environment. I have know some top people in the humanitarian aide field, due to my sister’s involvement. They are people who will march into a war zone in the worst conditions and do what must be done to get water and medicine in there. They work with warring factions of governments to end conflicts, Stellar people really. But in their personal life (these are individual people, I am not painting a broad stroke view of every humanitarian worker) they are the most unreasonable, selfish people I have ever met and their personal lives are rife with conflict. Go figure. Like the builder whose own home is always unfinished? Is Francine like that? A consummate professional at work, a whiner about everyday life?

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