Ok, Look at this picture. What stands out? The rose, right? It is pretty obvious that is the artist’s point, to highlight the rose. What does that have to do with the costume choices for ACM Kid? I think the costumes are like this painting. Well, I had never noticed this before when watching this episode, but then I had never really paid attention. I wonder if the costume people did this on purpose? But then you all know how my SMK mind works . Lets see if I can get you to see it too?
At first look, what is with all the brown? It is like it is a uniform. Lee is in brown, the driver (is that Go?) is in brown, the bean dip is brown. The KGB bad guys are in brown, Alexi’s father is wearing brown and even the dead contact, Clemens, is in brown.
How did Lee know her number in order to be able to call her from a telephone booth? Maybe he has her number written down (in one of his black books?). I am sure her number is on file at the Agency, but does he carry it with him? He didn’t know he was going to need ( or want) to call her this time, he didn’t know there was a young boy hiding in that closet that he would need her help with. Maybe he has memorized her number already. Hmm that would be an interesting thing to ponder.
Francine is looking very much like a school teacher from the early 1900’s. Even her line to Alexi, “okay now, lets start from the beginning again,” sounds like a teacher. I expected her to lead him through his times tables or something.
And Billy, too, is wearing brown. The only color that sticks out to me so far is that lollipop. And while Billy and Francine are totally inept at getting anything from Alexi, Lee is acting like he is in total cahoots with “the young Dillinger.”
Even Lee’s bathrobe is brown! But Amanda is still in white and soft pink. According to my notes on the psychology of colors white is color at its most complete and pure, the color of perfection. The color meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. Now that, I think, is interesting; wholeness and completion. And pink? Unconditional love and nurturing, hmm? I don’t think we have seen Amanda so thrilled as she is here when she arrives at Lee’s apartment. She is in her element, as she says, she “loves kids.” I wonder if that isn’t the gist of all this brown. If brown points to security and protection, maybe the significance is that these agents all around Alexi (and Lee) are there to protect, but not nurture, not to love him (and Lee, too). Francine looks like the old fashioned school teacher, she has no clue, and all Billy can think of is the outrageous candy. But Amanda? Amanda knows and she is equipped to meet Alexi’s needs (and maybe Lee’s too?). I love this conversation in the kitchen (another kitchen conversation?) It is so revealing. Lee kind of makes himself known there, by stating what he thinks a kid needs, ”attention, someone to talk to.” I do think he is speaking for himself here. Somehow he has become vulnerable again in front of Amanda, does she know it?
And here is something that we don’t see often, Amanda is in RED! That is the first strong color in this episode (other than the lollipop). Red indicates a preparedness to take action or the feeling of passion.
This scene with Alexi and Amanda is interesting. She is using children’s stories to try to communicate with Alexi and he calls her on it, so she gets straight with him, she takes action and she speaks passionately to him about her convictions about how things are done in her home under her care.” As long as you’re in my house I am going to treat you like a friend and I expect the same from you.” Can you hear her saying that to Lee, “you are in my life and as long as you are in my life I am going to treat you like a friend and I expect the same from you.” Loud and clear! And, you know, when Alexi tells her that she is tougher than the fed with the moldy cheese, I think Amanda basks in that affirmation.
But she changes clothes to talk to Lee in the Lug Wrench Bar. She changes into… another sweater vest! Maybe she does knit. This looks like the exact same pattern as the other two, just a different type of yarn. Well, if that is the case she is a multi talented woman, as a sewer myself, I respect that. This one is green which can represent balance and growth as well as self-reliance as a positive or possessiveness as a negative.
And now the scene in Lee’s apartment with the panda, swamp humanoids and the Tibetan Ram’s Horn. Lee is in… you guessed it, brown and Amanda has changed again, into white, relaxed and bringing wholeness and completion. Hmm. This scene with Lee coming home, asking how the day was, talking about the kid… seems very much like a picture of a complete family. Or, as she describes how she is warming to Alexi, is Lee hearing how she is warming to a person with a background like his? Could this be bringing wholeness and completion. Or too much order and cleanliness. Lee seems rather double minded here, I think. Maybe he thinks Amanda is taking the sabotage book too seriously.
But, Amanda has on a RED sweatshirt. And this one has a bit of attitude. I like it on her. We don’t see her often in a neckline like this, it even slips off of one shoulder a bit. I think she is feeling a bit emboldened by her new work and the people she is being exposed to. She is bright and animated.
So why is Amanda highlighted in color in this episode? I wonder first of all if Amanda isn’t impassioned by her involvement with the agency,and so the red. It has given her some meaning, some purpose, some excitement. Isn’t that kind of what Lee says to her in the kitchen? “Excitement, danger, intrigue.” It also highlights her special skill set as a mother, and it is useful to the agency people. But also, it is useful to Lee as an agent, as a person and as a man. I think at some level he recognizes this, and to me that is what motivated the gift of the panda. In the first episode Amanda goes into the world of the agency, in the second Lee takes a foray into suburbia, Amanda’s world. In this episode Lee has need of Amanda’s mothering and Amanda enters Lee’s personal world and I think Amanda’s special qualification for this job is highlighted by her being the only one in color. A rose among the colorless brown.