12/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

Francine and Amanda arrive at Columbus meats- I guess they weren’t following them? Francine would have known where Columbus’s HQ is anyway I guess..
Amanda: Now what, Francine?
As Amanda says this, we can just make out Francine pulling up her skirt and taking a gun out of her garter belt!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002347047
Wow.. these days that sort of thing would be front, centre and in close up – whereas in smk.. you can only just make it out! [I love this about smk!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002348048
I think I’ve never noticed it before – La Femme Nikita!! Winking smile
Francine: I want you to take the van. Go find a phone. Get some help over here.
Amanda: Right. Where will you be?
2.16 LOTP.avi_002353053
Francine: I’ll be in there. There may be no time to wait. [Little do you know Francine, Amanda has loads of experience talking Lee out of going into places alone and talking herself into the middle of an operation Winking smile Francine doesn’t stand a chance!! Smile ]
Amanda: Francine, you can’t go in there alone.
Francine: I have got no choice.
2.16 LOTP.avi_0023560562.16 LOTP.avi_002357057
Amanda: I’ll go with you. Francine: No.
Amanda: Yes. Francine: No!
[Francine it’s just a toilet! Oh wait.. no that’s not right! Winking smile ]
2.16 LOTP.avi_0023600602.16 LOTP.avi_002363063
Amanda: I’m going with you…
2.16 LOTP.avi_002364064
Morley were you asking if these matchy matchy earrings are clip ons?? looks like they are to me! Francine lets out a big sigh- deal with it Francine! Winking smile Hey is it just me or is Amanda’s eye make up a little evening??
Amanda continues:  Francine, I might be able to help…
2.16 LOTP.avi_002366066
[I can imagine Francine thinks that’s unlikely! Winking smile Francine gives Amanda a look like- yeah 2.16 LOTP.avi_002367067right!] Amanda looks wistfully at the door.. She really wants to go in-awh!!! Try another tactic Amanda! Smile LOL – Selling your ‘contribution’ to Francine isn’t going to work!
…Lee’s done an awful lot for me, and… if there’s a chance that I can help him, then I wanna do it.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002368068

Aha!!! that Lee deserves Amanda to want to help? that’s a good argument! Smile I think Amanda’s  explanation of why she wants to help is sweet..  (and the perfect thing to say to convince Francine to let her come)
This is a fascinating moment here- a wonderful insight into Amanda and her feelings for Lee huh!
On hearing this from Amanda, Francine is stunned.. she silently stares at Amanda a moment – what do you think she is thinking here???
2.16 LOTP.avi_002372072
Amanda silently waits for an answer…. her eyes pleading with Francine to ‘let me go in and help Lee’!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002373073
Francine: ha. you know.. just when I think there’s no more surprises about you.…
2.16 LOTP.avi_002381081
2.16 LOTP.avi_002388088.. All right. Okay, we go in together. But you gotta listen to me: when the going gets 2.16 LOTP.avi_002391091rough, you get going… [ Is that suppose to be when the going gets rough, the rough get going? rofl!! ]

At this, Amanda silently nods.. LOL I suspect Amanda wouldn’t go when things got rough!
Francine:  You ready?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on what’s happening with Francine here- I’ll have a go sharing my thoughts on this.. as usual.. but I bet you guys will be able to help my understanding!

I think Francine’s comment about ‘just when I think there’s no more surprises about you’ is telling.. I think Amanda is ‘surprising’ because Francine’s had a wrong view of her since she met her! She put Amanda in a box.. prejudged her and never saw the evidence that Amanda was much much more than an ordinary housewife with delusions of being a spy!

Yeah, I do think there were times when Francine could have seen that there was more to Amanda than a frumpy housewife! You guys want to have a go thinking of what Francine has seen of Amanda up to this point?? Surely Francine must have heard about some of the things Amanda did!! Even if she wasn’t actually there – just for operational reasons..but I think she would have been denying any good points about Amanda up to this point! [and we’ll see if this episode changes her view permanently!]

Also, maybe Francine can finally see here – Amanda cares a lot about Lee and wants to help him..putting herself in danger if need be! Francine sees how serious and determined Amanda is.. and how strong her bond with Lee is too- Maybe?? What do you think? I bet you guys have a much better idea than me!

Francine and Amanda exit the van.. and we cut back to the drama inside.. We find Frankie is looking at Billy and Lee’s IDs..
Frankie: You got some kinda names, huh? Melrose. Stetson. [He throws the ID’s onto the knife cart. I always thought the name ‘Stetson’ was a doozie.. sounds made up to my aussie ears!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002398098
…You’re some kind of heat, but you’re not cops. Feds maybe? [Frankie, we don’t really even know what they are! so you are unlikely to find out! LOL!! Actually I don’t know why Lee doesn’t tell Frankie about Nightsucker: Dracula of the Dark!! It’s absolutely riveting!!! Smile with a name like that.. I think Frankie could be interested Winking smile
2.16 LOTP.avi_002406106

Billy: I think we’re important enough for you to think twice before starting any rough stuff with us. [See Billy makes a good point! his tactic is much better than Lee’s! but.. Uh oh.. too late! Lee looks to already be in lots of pain hanging like that]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002410110
2.16 LOTP.avi_002412112Frankie: Ohhhhhh!!, you’re scaring an old man, Mr Melrose.

Of course Paulie finds this joke of Frankie’s hilarious! Winking smile haa! Quite the Bromance here!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002414114
oh LOL!!! watch Paulie – He picks up the wallet that Frankie just threw down.. and takes the cash out of it –
2.16 LOTP.avi_002415115
Hilarious!! I love it!!! So true to character. and I’ve never noticed it before!
Lee: We’ve already seen the Salinas papers, Columbus. Right after the Burlings put them back. So did a lot of other people. You might just try giving that some thought, huh?
2.16 LOTP.avi_002417117
Yep.. Paulie just put the cash in his pocket as Lee said that last line!! ROFL!!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002419119
Yeah! you tell him Lee!!! Err give him even more reason to want you dead?!

Uh oh.. Now Frankie is mad.. Lee’s got a lot of guts or is real stupid?? Right now I’m going with real stupid!!  Carrying his knife, Frankie moves closer to Lee and grabs him by his jacket..
2.16 LOTP.avi_002432132
Frankie: Salinas is dead. He had a real bad accident. [he accidentally, brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while combing his hair- yes that is a quote from Black Adder!!! Smile ]
…Now, without Johnny to swear to that testimony, you got nothing. Now, I’m not worried.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002442142
Hmm yeah.. that line of logic really isn’t workin for ya Lee!
Francine and Amanda enter and hide.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002445145

Frankie continues: … After 30 years of blood feuds, territory wars, and dodging creeps like you, I don’t tend to worry much about anything. But I do get curious.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002455155
Suddenly, Frankie proves this is no bendy knife!! uh oh!!! He slashes Lee across the chest.. wow.. Frankie’s talented.. cuts his shirt and his tie.. but not a scratch on Lee – genius! Oh and thanks Frankie for kindly not scratching lovely Lee!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002457157
[LOL KC I’ll be very surprised if we see this tie ever again! Winking smile ]

Ewwwww!!! In response to this bit of knife action- Paulie licks his lips – reminds me of  Hannibal Lecter and his fava beans!! [ I think he’s admiring his bosses knife skills!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002458024
Frankie slams his knife into the side of beef.. no .. not Lee.. the side of beef.. the real side of beef – very ominous!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002459459
[Hey is that BB’s microphone we can see in his back pocket?! yeah.. okay I was looking there.. like I could not! Winking smile don’t tell me you weren’t looking too!! Winking smile ]
Frankie continues:
…. Now, I want some answers! Who wants to talk first?
2.16 LOTP.avi_002461594
We cut back to Francine and Amanda,  watching from their hiding place- how awful!! I mean Lee could get scratched, okay, stabbed at any moment!! what are  you waiting for- do something!!!!  As Amanda and Francine talk quietly behind the woodpile, Frankie continues in the background with his threats.
Amanda can’t wait any longer!
Amanda: Francine, except for Lee and Mr Melrose, everybody down there thinks that I’m a thief who works for the Burlings.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002471171
[Do you think Amanda had worked this out in the car already before she came in? If she had suggested this out in the car, do you think Francine would have let her come in?? I think if Amanda had suggested being this involved straight up Francine would have said no!!!! .. I don’t know if Amanda planned this- but it’s interesting to ponder..]
Francine: What are you getting at?
Amanda: Well, I think I could walk out there and create a distraction for you.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002479179
is silent a beat: Okay. Alright, Amanda, look.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002484184
Amanda: Yes?
Francine: We’ve done a pretty good job on this case together so far.
[LOL Amanda’s done a great job! Francine??!!! what’s she done?? still.. notice Amanda’s little smile at this?? Francine HAS just paid Amanda a compliment.. whether she realises it or not!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002486186
Amanda: Yeah.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002487187Francine: Now I admit, I’m not much of a housekeeper—
[you know I think that is the
2.16 LOTP.avi_002488188first time I’ve ever heard Francine admit she isn’t fabulous at everything!!! Even previous attempts to frump it up have been Francine being the best at it!]
Amanda: Well
Amanda shrugs here..Smile no
2.16 LOTP.avi_002489189arguments from Amanda! [LOL what do you say to that?!!]
Francine: –And you are not an agent, okay? [I guess Francine can
2.16 LOTP.avi_002490190admit she’s not perfect if she reminds Amanda that she’s not an agent! ]
Amanda: No.
Francine: Alright, now, I don’t want you getting hurt out there. Do you understand?
  [Well that’s kinda sweet.. that Francine does actually care!]
2.16 LOTP.avi_002493193
Amanda: Yes.
Francine: You talk only to Columbus.
Amanda: Which one is Columbus?
Francine: Grey hair there.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002497197
Amanda: Right.
Francine: I’m gonna be covering the other two. Now when I say go, you jump for cover.
Amanda: I will.
Francine: Good luck.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002504204
Amanda: Thank you, Francine. I’m gonna need it.
2.16 LOTP.avi_002506206
Goooo the women!!!! I love it.. the women have come to rescue the men! Smile
Amanda quietly shuffles to the side of the
2.16 LOTP.avi_002513213woodpile and peeks around the corner.. we hear Frankie’s voice is getting a little louder in the distance, yelling: I’ve broken tougher guys that you!!!!

It’s clear that Amanda is really scared!!! Which makes what she is about to do so much more Brave and wonderful!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002514214
Amanda pauses for a moment.. takes a fortifying breath
2.16 LOTP.avi_002515215
She’s ready!
2.16 LOTP.avi_002516216
– Amanda then stands up to present herself to Mr Columbus.. 2.16 LOTP.avi_002518218

You know what this moment reminds me of??
This moment from
The First Time:
Amanda is crouched behind the car with the melon..
1.01 The First Time.wmv_002241138
she braces herself.. Lee is in trouble and only she can help him!!! Amanda says to herself: I hope someday I’ll look back on this an2Womand laugh [a favourite line of mine!]
1.01 The First Time.wmv_002246477
1.01 The First Time.wmv_002247145
With determination, Amanda stands tall
1.01 The First Time.wmv_002249280
and courageously approaches danger pretending like all is normal – all for the sake of saving Lee’s life.

This moment in Life of the Party is sooo similar, I can’t help but wonder if the show has done this on purpose..2Woman It’s such a huge moment for Amanda in her growth – with herself, but also with how Lee, Billy and Francine will see her.

We, the audience, have seen Amanda walk into danger like this sort of- she did in the first time, but then.. was it so obviously dangerous then?? .. Lee wasn’t a witness to it in the First time.. and while Amanda has been in many dangerous situations with Lee, she’s hasn’t walked straight into danger like this- with no protection.. [and without Lee]

I mean usually Amanda is hiding behind something Winking smile or.. she is in danger and it wasn’t her choice – or she’s not in the centre of the action- you know?? [Even in A Relative Situation it wasn’t her choice- where for years I thought Amanda had come to rescue Lee and his uncle- only to find that nooo she was kidnapped and brought there! This moment now makes more sense to me!]  Here Amanda has a choice- and she chooses to confront this very dangerous situation for Lee.. She’s seen Frankie with his knife, heard Frankie with his threats..she’s knows he’s anger is increasing..  a mafia guy and meat hooks.. Plus she saw first hand how Frankie is a killer-when she found Malcolm dead!!! She knows Frankie did it!!! and.. she knows he isn’t playing games!!! [Makes Amanda’s comment in Billy’s office,  after finding Malcolm very significant. she comments that it was just an awful way to die.- here she risks dying at the same hands-for Lee!]

Amanda stepping up like this is a hugely heroic thing to do!!! 2Woman Amanda is going to Crash the Party!!!! Amanda- the Party Crasher!!!!! Smile 

Before we get on to what happens next though, I need to finish up here..this post is huge!  I’ll be back with what happens next soon.. Had anyone else noticed this connection with the First Time??? I find it quite touching for Amanda’s character!! byeee for now!! 

36 responses to “12/14 Season Two, Episode 16: The Life of the Party-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I can’t figure out if Francine is impressed by Amanda or if she thought Amanda was hinting something had happened with her and Lee romantically and that was what shocked Francine into silence. Maybe I’m just too cynical with Francine!

    For a long time I thought it was just Lee’s shirt that had been slashed, but the more I rewatch I’m not so sure. I thought I spotted a red line in a couple of shots across his chest/abdomen, although this is SMK so we never see much. Plus the way Lee cried out sounded like pain to me, as though the knife made contact.


  2. #2019rewatch
    What Lee’s learned about Amanda, but Francine doesn’t have a clue …

    If Francine told Amanda to find a phone and call for backup, would she think to ask Amanda if she has coins?

    If Francine said no to Amanda’s offer of help, does anyone honestly believe she’d stay put?


  3. Amandarambler

    Iwsod, I love your commentary and the images you use to compare this beautifully brave moment in LOTP with the melon moment in TFT. Such a cool comparison. Yes, there are many similarities. I love seeing the development of each of the characters, and how Amanda is the same woman, yet with a new-found confidence in her abilities and value to the agency.


  4. I looooove these exchanges between Francine and Amanda. They are both being a little transparent with each other for the sake of saving Lee and Billy and getting the bad guys. Yes, I agree, this is such a beautifully brave moment of Amanda’s. In fact, I feel that these exceptionally willful brave acts are becoming more and more frequent at the end of Season 2, and enhance the bond and level of trust between her and Lee. She knows he would risk his life for her, but here he (and Billy & Francine) gets to see her wilfully choose to put her life at risk for his. Lots you can learn by “hanging around” Amanda, eh, Lee? 🤣🤣🤣 Sorry, I’ve been trying to find a way to work that pun in since the last post….😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LOL about Paulie removing the money from tFrankie’s wallet, Iwsod … nice catch! SMK tucks so many little gems into their scenes. I wonder what other goodies we’re missing? To still be catching new stuff like this after seeing it so many times just goes to show how rich the show is! I wonder if that was scripted or ad libbed?


  6. Anyone else loving the long flowing locks on Amanda in the pics from TFT??? You can’t tell me you didn’t notice!


    • I was going with the stick-my-fingers-in-my-ears equivalent for my eyes ‘cos the contrast with the LOtP trainwreck of a ‘do is too harrowing for words…


      • Hi BJo and KC! Yeah I know what you guys mean!

        I noticed it.. but didn’t linger on that thought! 😕 In the first time her hair is much longer and straighter.. with almost a flick rather than curly all over..

        But.. as Amanda says ‘ I hope I can look back on this someday and laugh!’ – I imagine her character saying that to herself as all her locks got the chop between Spiderweb and ALSALS!!!

        To be honest, I feel like after ALSALS – the worst is behind us! From now on.. the Hair don’t looks better and better… and the fashion choices are less and less jarring 🙂 and I don’t notice it as much 🙂

        But.. feel free to share your frustrations here 🙂 Bye!


        • I think of all of Amanda’s hair styles I liked the one from The First Time best. I did have a moment of thinking “why?” when I saw the pictures. But then I was really aware of how she had grown since then. I am so glad you pointed that out, Iwsod, it is such a great milestone marker. And that is so much of what this part of season 2 is about, isn’t it?
          I have to agree that the short hair doesn’t bother me as much as the rest of the season goes on. It gets softer and her clothes become more like the Amanda we have known from the beginning. She is figuring it out, isn’t she?


          • Sweet!!! 🙂 I’m enjoying exploring Life of the Party – I’m finding it is full of quite special moments of which the significance had previously gone right over my head 😉


    • I did notice. Gosh she looked so much younger with long hair!


  7. I have no idea what Francine is thinking after Amanda says she wants to help Lee. Her reply to Amanda has always puzzled me. No more surprises about Amanda? I’d love to know how she has surprised Francine before. Maybe she’s talking about how Amanda told her to ‘do the best you can and then fake it’ when cleaning the kitchen. Or possibly her comment to Francine about going from being a model to being a maid and just getting on with it. Up until this point, I can’t recall other times when Amanda has surprised Francine. I think you’re right, iwsod, Francine has already judged Amanda and keeps her in the suburban housewife box.

    As far as what we’ve seen before of Francine seeing Amanda, I can only think of one positive scene in Brunettes when Lee tells Francine that Amanda took one of the baddies out with the lamp. A negative scene that springs to mind was when Francine describes how she would have defended herself and then attacked the attacker whereas Amanda admitted that she just screamed (can’t think of the ep – Fearless Dotty maybe?). There’s also the cheap perfume bit in ARS.

    As far as Francine seeing the Lee/Amanda bond, I’m not sure that I’m seeing it. Up to this point I don’t think we’ve ever seen Lee talking to Francine about his relationship with Amanda, have we? I don’t know what to make of it other than to take it at face value – Amanda says that she is willing to put herself in potential life-threatening danger to help Lee. And while certain personality types (i.e. soliders, firemen, policemen, spies or parents with their children) put their lives on the line for freedom or strangers, I think Francine sees that it is more than this with Amanda for Lee.

    Ewwww, Paulie, lip-licking, Hannibal Lecter and fave beans…..I wish I knew how to spell that sound that Hannibal makes (to Clarice in SOTLambs?). What a good movie though!!

    ROFL iwsod!! Microphone in Lee’s back pocket…sure! I think you should keep your own stat on Lee’s other cheek muscles, ahem.


  8. I do hope they all had stools to stand on inbetween takes. Hanging from your wrists seems mighty uncomfortable!
    I confess I did wince and then see whether they had decided to draw a little cut on Lee but seemingly Frankie really is that good with a knife 😉
    I loved the exchange between Amanda and Francine. I agree with KC, Francine I think always felt people exaggerated Amanda’s attributes or successes (probably down to her own insecurity and bit of envy that a housewife could be THAT good) and here she is not running away, insisting on sticking her neck on the line for Lee (and Billy). Holds a lot of weight with Francine clearly. It does make me squee a little bit when Amanda talks about Lee, yeah yeah they’re just friends but those little shoots are just waiting for a sprinkle of water 😉


  9. The back and forth yes and no with Francine and Amanda is so like the back and forth with Lee and Amanda. Francine, I think is surprised at Amanda because maybe she (Francine) is not used to others showing such gratitude for being saved. Maybe Francine sees all the rescuing as just something done in the line of duty even though you’re risking your life to do it. Also, Francine may think that Amanda doesn’t realize the lengths that others, Lee specifically, have gone through for her. While Amanda is very self-aware, Francine may not see her that way. Francine may also be surprised that Amanda has lasted this long without being seriously injured. I think that Amanda’s determination also surprises Francine.

    I think that deep down Francine does really care about Amanda. If she didn’t she would just completely ignore Amanda. There would be no digs at all. I think she does know the extent of the contributions Amanda has made to solving the cases. I think the digs are just a way for Francine to make herself feel better maybe for caring about Amanda. Maybe she’s deflecting like Lee is, but just in a different way.

    I think the saying is..when the going gets tough, the tough get going. A stetson is a type of cowboy hat. Many a hero has worn those hats. I guess Lee Stetson is a cowboy kind of hero. It is so funny how in The FIrst Time Amanda thought that Lee might be in the mob and now she really is dealing with the mob.

    I agree about Amanda’s growth and bravery. I think that at this point knowing and feeling that she can help Lee is what’s giving her the courage to do this. There is a recently created SMK video on youtube with this whole concept of Amanda’s bravery and it uses Josh Groban’s Brave as the song. It’s an awesome video.


    • Argh!!!! Valerie!!! Now I have that Billy Ocean song in my head!!! yeah I know the saying ‘when the going gets tough..’ I should have explained.. that was why I thought it was funny that if you drew a line between the saying and what Francine said, then Amanda was ‘rough’ 🙂 but .. nevermind!

      Also, I only ever knew a Stetson as a hat – that’s why it sounds made up! 🙂 Very interesting.. son of Stephen eh.. that’s cool! Thanks for sharing that Happy Camper!

      I agree that Francine has been in denial about Amanda and her contributions (and wasn’t Lee??? – right up to Brunettes are in – after everything they’d been through!)
      I was hoping you guys might be interested in looking back at this point on what Francine does know – Without thinking too hard: I am reminded of the Tag of Magic Bus – where Francine complimented Lee’s great driving- Only to be told it was actually Amanda driving! Eat Crow Francine!! 🙂
      I think Francine is in denial – and given what she manages to diminish about Amanda -she’s very talented at it! Then again she is heavily invested in keeping Amanda’s contributions minimal- for the sake of her own professionalism.. if all you need is to have driven through the Macy’s thanksgiving parade to drive like that – then all of Francine’s training was for nothing 😉 Infuriating I imagine! ha!

      I agree KC it’s much easier to downplay something when you didn’t witness something for yourself!

      Also, I like Happy Camper’s point of view on this – it explains why Francine is the way she is.. Is there anyone at this point he cannot stand Francine and has no sympathy for her at all as a character? I’m curious!!!

      Thanks guys.. I feel hearing all this input has expanded my understanding very nicely! 🙂

      Very true Valerie – I agree there is a part of Francine that would protect Amanda as much as any other citizen.. but asking Francine to accept Amanda as having something to contribute?? up to this point – a big N-O! Remember Francine’s laughter at the suggestion that Amanda was a double agent??LOL!
      Very true.. Francine is never a best buddies gushing person- even with someone she is friends with! .. and if she ever was I’d freak out! I think Francine is a fantastic foil for Amanda’s extremely sunny and sweet disposition! without her sour attitude we wouldn’t have fab lines like ‘Obvious suicide!’ 🙂

      You can’t watch this ep Happy Camper? Oh no!!! Well I’ll try and get back with the next part asap!

      Hi Jenbo– congrats on finally being moved!!!! It all gets easier from here on out!!! 🙂 Vertically challenged Billy?? ROFL!!!!!! I love it!!!
      Yeah good point KC and Jenbo about Francine thinking others have exaggerated.. doubting Thomas eh!

      I don’t think this has been mentioned yet – but I was reminded of the tag of Savior – in Billy’s office- and Amanda didn’t run when the bomb was armed.. she stuck by Lee – but how does she explain it in Billy’s office to Billy and Francine?? Ohhh she didn’t know that it was actually about to go off!!!!! That kind of self effacing, downplaying of what she did would also contribute to Francine’s ability to deny that Amanda has made any contribution as a ‘non agent’ – other than being able to be tortured for hours and admit nothing 😉 Ie. At times, Amanda hasn’t helped her own case!

      Thanks for the encouragement Happy Camper and Morley! I found this moment of Amanda’s very touching!!! 🙂

      Lastly, Happy Camper, I think you are right – this is pretty gritty stuff for SMK! [Don’t worry things are about to get better 🙂 ]
      .. the meathooks.. the knife.. the mob… I think Lee is truly thinking this is the end of the line 😦 I don’t mind it though, because I think the moment has to be gritty for Amanda’s courage and growth to be truly demonstrated in this moment- where she rises up from her hiding place to try and save Lee and Billy (okay, and Vic! )..

      Cindy- I feel your pain!!!!! man you are having some awful luck!!! I miss hearing from you more often!!! Time to buy a new computer??

      Well.. I really need to get on with my work for the day – bye everyone!!!


      • Iwsod, what you wrote here, about Francine needing to keep her perspective of Amanda’s contributions minimal for the sake of her own professionalism, is so spot on. How threatening for Francine to have someone like Amanda show up and accomplish what she has chosen as a career and sacrificed any hopes she had for love or relationship in order to achieve. I do think there is jealousy there. Francine too has the 3 needs of a woman; to be part of a grand adventure, to be beautiful and to be romanced. She has the first in spades, but only by her own hard work. She may have the second, but she may be aware that it isn’t at a deep level that anyone has commended her beauty, but only in a superficial manner. And she has yet to be truly romanced. And here she probably suspects that all of these are happening for Amanda. Although she is pursuing the path of denial, because it protects her own view of her self worth.
        But that is what makes this moment so special. She puts all that self protection aside, here in the van, and just appreciates Amanda for who she is and what she is doing. And in that moment Francine doesn’t need to protect herself. And in that moment we are impressed by Francine.


      • Melissa Robertson

        Just looked in my phonebook and we have one family in there with the last name of Stetson. Maybe it’s not a common name, but then we have a small community.


    • Thanks for the thoughts about Francine. I do like her, even though she’s sarcastic and prickly. I think she really needs a friend, but has had many disappointments in love and friendship and has her guard up. She can’t risk a friendship with Amanda, though she does eventually begin to open up to her, maybe starting here?


      • “I think she really needs a friend, but has had many disappointments in love and friendship and has her guard up.”
        The female Lee… and yes, I think this was the tiniest creaking open of a door between Francine and Amanda. Baby steps… even smaller than with Lee (but Amanda didn’t spend anywhere near as much time with Francine as with Lee–can you imagine the riots if they had?)


      • “I think Francine is a fantastic foil for Amanda’s extremely sunny and sweet disposition! without her sour attitude we wouldn’t have fab lines like ‘Obvious suicide!’” I so agree iwsod! I’ve always had a sneaking admiration for Francine. In a time when women were few in the male dominated world of, well, eveeeeerything, espionage particularly, I bet she would have started a gentler person but come out with the “tough as nails” persona. Once you get past her hard exterior, she has depth and does care, but is really reluctant to let her guard down enough to see it. The interaction between the two women here beautifully demonstrates some growth for both of them. And you gotta admit, Francine does get some of the best lines, “Obvious suicide!” ROFL!


        • Hi Jule! thanks so much for the women in the CIA article.. fabulous!!

          I’ve created a thread over on Ned’s dedicated to women in the workforce and posted a link to the article over there if others would like to discuss it – as you may have guessed -its a topic I love so rather than discussing it here and losing the discussion, maybe we can head over to Neds to discuss it further?

          Here is the link: http://nedlindgers.proboards.com/thread/59/women-workforce-society?page=1&scrollTo=1101
          You’ll need to be logged in to be allowed access..

          I agree Francine as a character has really grown on me over the years – she is so much more than the superficial nasty contrast.. and it is a credit to Martha Smith and the writers that Francine’s character conveys this kind of depth. I also think credit should go to KJ whom I’ve read often toned down Francine’s nastiness to Amanda – I’m glad she did.. because if it had been tooo nasty I would have not seen the good in the character. LOL yes Francine gets fab lines!!! 🙂


  10. I wonder if the thought “Lee’s going to kill me if I let anything happen to Amanda” ever crossed Francine’s mind.


    • Melissa Robertson

      I’ve thought that too!!


      • Good idea Cindy! I like it!!! Though I don’t think Lee would have been around to do Francine any harm 😉 ouchie! but I like that idea!!!

        I mentioned in my post- could it be Francine realising how important Lee is to Amanda?? but.. I’m not really seeing that as being a big part of what’s going on.

        I’m thinking it’s the whole: wha??? YOU are willing to put your life on the line to help Lee?? to help another person?? Only agents do that sort of thing!! Not Amanda!!
        For Francine- this is part of the job description she NEVER would have seen Amanda taking on – having underestimated her completely! 🙂

        I’ve really enjoyed all this discussion.. it’s helped me nut through what’s going on with Francine here.. hope it’s helping you guys too!! byeee!


        • You know, thinking about it, Amanda’s bravery is probably more significant to Francine if she doesn’t understand how close her relationship is to Lee. So if she is in denial or ignorance about that, then she must be even additionally impressed at Amanda’s dedication to the job.


  11. Lovely summary of how Amanda has grown and changed, yet stayed the same Amanda . . . Just for the record, I’ve never really minded Francine so much. She’s not a sympathetic character, and doesn’t have much of a heart, but what she has isn’t really in the wrong place. And she is obviously supposed to be a good agent, just not as good as Lee! She also apparently grew up privileged, and that’s not her fault. It’s to her credit that she takes on jobs in the field at all, and apparently enjoys them . . . I mean, you might break a fingernail doing that kind of thing, you know?

    I haven’t seen this episode, and I’m not sure if I ever will . . . a bit on the gritty side for smk, isn’t it? It looks like Lee yells when Frankie slashes his shirt. If I had watched that thinking for even a second that he was hurt, I think it would have been too much. One random weird thing: years of working in the foodservice industry gave me a reflex reaction to Frankie sticking his knife into the (real) side of meat: “You can’t do that! That’s a contaminated knife!” ROFL

    I googled “Stetson” to see where the name originated. It is an old English surname, thought to be a form of “Stot’s Son” or possibly “Stephen’s Son”. At any rate, it is the name of a famous brand of cowboy hats here in the States, so would have been a familiar name and probably one with connotations of a jaunty swagger 🙂

    Iwsod, you show compostional genious about where to end your posts! Now I will be on the edge of my seat until the next one comes out!


    • Re the name “Stetson.” Character names in the 1980s weren’t very subtle; our heroes had “manly” names like Lee Stetson, Remington Steele, Thomas Magnum and Matt Houston (incidentally, that last name/show would have been a good fit for BB – a cowboy detective!).


  12. Iwsod, I had never put all of that together about Amanda here. I think you are so right, it is a huge step for her and everyone is there to experience it and benefit from it.
    I noticed that in these pictures of Billy he really looks like he is hanging, his elbows are straight. And Lee looks very uncomfortable, his face is all red and puffy.
    KC I think you are right about Francine experiencing Amanda’s bravery first hand.
    I can’t wait for the next part of this scene!


  13. I think the thing with Francine is partly to do with her witnessing it firsthand… it’s one thing for her to have heard through the grapevine–even directly from Lee or Billy–that Amanda’s got guts/smarts/spy talent, so to speak–but it’s completely different for her to experience it like this. And the fact that Amanda wants to go into a potentially dangerous situation to help save Lee, instead of just being the ditzy damsel in distress that Francine thinks she is, is the icing on that cake.

    Iwsod–i’ll have to keep an eye on that tie and see if it was used for any concurrent filming of later eps… if so I can add it to my running Tie Bloopers list. 🙂 And… I know we’re not quite up to it yet–it’ll be in the next installment, probably–but I always ROFL to see the cut part of Lee’s shirt clearly taped to his chest when he’s telling Amanda how great she did (after it gaping wide open just before).

    OK–nitey nite from me! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….


    • 🙂 The old adage: “Seeing is believing.”


    • Hmm, I look forward to seeing that one, KC. I can’t imagine why Lee’s shirt gaping open would be a problem! I say that cheekily, but in a way for real, too — it seems that SMK looked for opportunities to show off Lee’s chest, and this seems like a prime and very plausible one.


So what do you think??? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.