The Costumes of Magic Bus

Before I get started with the costumes I have to share my first picture.

deep river

That’s my home town, Deep River. They are stealing my water!!!

This episode confused me at first. I am looking for deep meaningful costume scenarios and all I see is:

huh

I love that frame. No other episode has that slapstick type of filming. There are some funny scenes, but I don’t remember any that are that deliberate. Do you?

But actually thinking about why they filmed it like that, with the water guy looking right into the camera with that kind of “huh?” expression got me thinking. And I think I have something. So bear with me while we look at the costuming for Magic Bus.

First we are going to look at Billy and Francine.

He is looking pretty well put together at the beginning of this episode.Billy in a three piece He is in a black three piece suit. He is the boss and he has brought his two best agents to take care of this weapon of mass destruction. No worries, William Melrose and his field unit are on the job.top three Francine is still looking  “artsy boutique.” I like the fact that even here she is looking very feminine. So far I haven’t minded Francine’s outfits, so far…

We get a tour of the Vigilant and we meet John Paul Jones.jOHN pAUL jONES I looked him up on Wikipedia. He was the father of the American Navy, ended up sailing ships for the Russians and died pretty well unknown in France (I think).  His remains were later buried at the Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Next we see Amanda at home (yes I am ignoring everything pertaining to Lee at the moment, this is very hard to do).

Has anyone ever read Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Somehow this first pic at Amanda’s reminded me of that bookalexander and the shoes Something about the shoes in different colors. Alexander and his brothers were “normal” people, just like Amanda and her boys. They have bad days, even in Australia. (I have completely lost you if you haven’t read this great children’s book. Actually, I might have lost you a few posts ago with the Mr. Rogers reference, uh oh.  Iwsod, enjoy the Australia reference, there are bad days in Australia too aren’t there?)

Amanda is having a busy real moment in her kitchen, jeans, dirty pants etc. Real people live there, doing real things.busy kitchenAnd that is exactly what she tells Lee, “you can’t call here, real people live here”real people live here She then runs outside to do what? Tell them to get the “not real” RV out of her driveway? But she is not wearing the same shirt.that is not the same shirt It is a great picture of Amanda, but even I can’t explain this away. That is a blue striped shirt with a white collar and moments before she was in an all white shirt.

I love it that she is in the same nightgown packing Scarecrow’s lunch as she was at the train station, and that” yummy” blue bathrobe.nightgown again She is packing a picnic lunch for a spy who would never appreciate it, but she really needs to get ready to save him from bullets. Wake up, Amanda!!

The next scene takes place in Billy’s office after they found out that the Vigilant has been stolen. Billy is in a cardigan again. francine and a classic car Francine reminds me of a woman from the Twenties in an advertisement for the car in the picture behind her.1929%20Franklin%20Ad-01essexcarsmccapril1928

And Amanda is wearing one of those cardigans again, the purple one from There Goes the Neighborhood.what is with that woman I love the way that she is looking at the baddie here. It’s as though she is the one on the outside ( which she is) but she has got his number already. cardigan again She is just a “real” person worried about her son and his goldfish. I love everyone’s reaction to herthe million dollar question.

Remember  these reactions to Amanda, “what is with that woman?” “The million dollar question?” answers Francine.

Billy and Francine continue to wear their typical clothing. Billy in various cardigans and Francine in her usual interesting outfits. Check out the zebra striped earrings, are those animal prints on the stripes of her shirt?zebrasThe red and black get up in the final scenes looks very” sci fi” to me, she is playing a high tech role here.star trekThese are the clothes that she and Billy wear when they leave the agency to look for Amanda and Lee.are you ok This black jumper is also what Francine is wearing the first time she meets Amanda in The First Time but with  a different blouse.today's woman

Now I can bring up Lee.

I thought this episode was just a plain old episode, but in every screen cap I took of Lee early on he was making a funny face. I started to think about the significance of an RV being a weapon of mass destruction. It made me think about a housewife being an agent. And then KC made this comment on the costume post for There Goes the Neighborhood and it clicked.

KC wrote:

We have Lee Stetson or, rather, Scarecrow–the fashion plate dressed-to-kill spiffy ladies man. Usually not a hair out of place, seems to frown on disorder. Then, on the other hand, we have Lee Stetson’s apartment which–as we see in Saved by the Bells–is quite a pigsty. :D

I wrap my poor grey matter around it by thinking of Scarecrow and his spiffiness as the mask–the suit of armour and super hero–and Lee and his messiness as the wounded little boy lost man. But it’s quite the dichotomy, no?

Even though this episode doesn’t show Lee’s messy apartment. I think we can take the same journey through this episode with his clothes.

The episode begins with Lee dressed all spiffy. Double breasted dark grey pinstriped suit, gray silk tie, gold tie bar.  I love the way he nods as he hears Billy tell everyone how qualified he is to drive the Vigilant. Record holder at both Lemans and Monaco, what would the Top Gear guys say about that?Lee top agentAnd the look of bored impatience as they get ready to reveal the Vigilantnot impressed with vigilantbecomes one of shocked incredulousness when he realizes that it is an RV!it is a RVHas he ever made that face concerning Amanda? I wouldn’t be surprised if he has. He recovers and is the consummate professional and gentleman as he enters the vigilant for the tour letting Francine go in before him.ladies firstBut he looses that professional edge as Billy explains his plan for the Vigilant.youre hiding it where And then the spiffy professional look goes…gradually less spiffy. Maybe he begins to go from  spiffy Scarecrow mode gradually into Lee mode… as he tries to recover the weapon of mass destruction/RV with Amanda housewife/spy in training/ soul mate? (even though they don’t know it yet?)

Here, in the office, he is one of the least spiffy (other than Billy) of the people there in a blazer and plaid shirt. First he learns that all the trouble is because of a couple called “The Stewed Tomato Two”not impressed with the stewed tomatoe two Come on?! And then Amanda shows up and Lee is the only one that understands what she is saying? Even if he doesn’t like it.alrightHe exchanges the camel blazer for a soft yellow sweater when he goes to Amanda’s to ask for her help. Yellow is the color of the mind or intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However it can also suggest impatience, criticism and cowardice. Interesting?just kiddingI know this next outfit is a golfer’s costume, but the “matchy-matchy” patterns are almost as bad as Amanda’s “matchy-matchy” earrings in late season 2.ugh AmandaThe expression on his face is a reaction to Amanda’s comment about the comedian, It looks like his expression when Billy said they would hide the Vigilant at Amanda’s.youre hiding it where

Amanda has on another homemade sweater, I had one like this back then with the puffy sleeves thatanother homemade sweater someone had made for me. I noticed that none of the sweaters so far have buttons, Amanda is a very open person.

the weazle faced manshe is goingI love all the faces Lee makes in this episode. I wonder if he thinks the whole thing ( the Vigilant/ RV and working with Amanda/ housewife/ trainee spy) is absurd.

And now they go on to the Survivors Weekend. They are both wearing casual active wear which is appropriate for that kind of weekend. But the differentiation between agent Scarecrow and housewife Amanda King is visually gone.

pretty good shapetrying to understandwhat do you want to knowdrive it to Arizonacare to change your opinion

And by the end Lee is no longer spiffy looking, he is sweaty and dirty and his pants are torn.

He has gone from thisLee top agentto thisnot so spiffy nowSomehow throughout this episode Amanda has experienced a journey through the dichotomy of Scarecrow into Lee Stetson. Something about a housewife/trainee spy driving a RV/weapon of mass destruction had begun the process of removing the armor from the Scarecrow/ Lee Stetson.

It really is fun to see what can be found when you look closely at a particular aspect of each episode. I hope you guys liked it too.

31 responses to “The Costumes of Magic Bus

  1. I love your reference to Amanda’s house reminding you of that wonderful children’s book “Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Seems totally apropos to me 😉 . There is a very funny fanfiction about Lee and a bad day, here’s the link ( which is only funny if you’ve read the delightful Alexander’s Day book): http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1494267/1/Lee-Stetson-and-the-Terrible-Horrible-No-Good-V
    I agree, Lee in his tux/suit is a protective layer. Amanda is vey good at striping away and cutting to the heart of people. Love the whole look at the clothes throughout!

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    • Jule, I am so glad someone knew that reference. When I looked at the picture I realized that Philip had the blue sneakers with the white stripe and Jamie had the white sneakers with the red stripe. I could hear the whole book in my head.
      Thanks for the link to the fan fic, I don’t think I have read that one.

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  2. I love the pic of the water guy… I actually have that one queued up in my memes folder, waiting for inspiration. There’ve been other moments, but not like this where they actually acknowledge the camera (kind of reminiscent of Ferris Bueller’s day off or LadyHawke where Matthew Broderick talks to the audience)…
    Yep–Billy’s spiffy at the start… in the early episodes he seems to make an effort if he has a big meeting, otherwise he’s got his cardies on for fingerpainting with the kids… 😀
    Francine’s eye makeup is starting to calm down a bit in this episode… in the previous ones it was hideous (whenever I use that word now I think of the insurance ad–“She’s hideous! Well, she’s a guy.”–LOL.)
    Hah! Shirt blooper!
    “…are those animal prints on the stripes of her shirt?” It’s a knitted sweater and the colouration is from that bobbly multi-coloured yarn…
    I’m with Iwsod–to me, a jumper is a sweater. 😉
    OMG–I actually said something vaguely intelligent/quotable? 😀
    Hey–you missed the bit outside the Vigilant where Lee knocks Francine’s bag strap off her arm and she just continues like nothing happened, then it’s magically back on her shoulder again… ROFL!
    “Something about a housewife/trainee spy driving a RV/weapon of mass destruction had begun the process of removing the armor from the Scarecrow/ Lee Stetson.” Love it… and I love this post of yours. Nice job, Morley!

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  3. Morley love the water truck! Sounds like you have a personal stake in this episode huh! 😉 They’re stealing my water??!!! haaaa!!

    I agree.. love that guy’s expression!!

    ROFL it is very hard to ignore Lee it’s true Morley! 🙂

    Bad days in Australia? LOL!!! Love the Aussie reference! thanks!! err yes there are bad days in Australia!

    Francine’s striped top- I think it is a knitted fabric with speckled black and white.. maybe? but whoa.. when I did a close up I was horrified at her earrings!!!! Zebra stripes is right! They are some weird ear buttons right there! Good call Morley.. please arrest her!

    Jumper sounds funny to me.. that’s a sweater in Australia.. that Black ‘jumper’ is truly bizarre!

    Yeah I’m onboard with the idea that Lee’s wardrobe is a suit of armour! A persona.. sounds good!!

    eh? sorry? you lost me Morley.. Lee is looking miiiighty fine..

    *slap*

    Okay I’m back! sorry I’ll just try not to look at the pics so much!

    Billy switched from his cardy ensemble to a three piece suit for that meeting – it was a very important one!

    Ahhh the stewed tomato two! I miss that humour!!

    Amanda wears those cardigans a lot huh.. well to start with.. it’s interesting to see them get less frequent.. She has this one in white too doesn’t she? rofl love the look on Amanda’s face when Billy tells Lee she’s going too! great pic Morley!

    whooo I love it.. on the weekend – even in the fashion stakes, they are much more equals! I love that idea!!! and all Lee’s defensive armour is gone! haaa I love it! yes Lee is in tatters! rofl!!! and.. his opinions of Amanda are in tatters.. all his preconceptions.. tatters!! He’s going to have to work hard to put them all back in some order by the next episode!!

    Indeed it is fun Morley! Thanks so much!!!! I really enjoyed this post!

    Here here Cindy! so over the top it worked – absolutely agree!

    ROFL BJo that is spot on- that jumper is on backwards!!! 😉 Oh my.. I almost sprayed my coffee when I scrolled down to see that expression on Lee’s face BJo!! so funny!

    What about saved by the bells?? and.. (we are about to start it..) DOA?

    What a great way to start the day huh!! Is there more of these posts coming Morley?? [no pressure!! ] I love to discover what you’ve seen in an episode!
    byeeee!

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    • Yes! After re reading my post I got all excited about costume posts again. But, Iwsod, I am afraid the next one doesn’t help Lee with his tatters, he is in a hospital gown during most of it, you know the kind, with the drafty back? I am wondering what you are referring to in your comments about Saved by the Bells and DOA. I think I missed something? And I wish I was staring my day… this long one is ending… but my kitchen is clean, yay!!!

      BJo, is a fascinating mind the same as a dizzying intellect? I don’t know if that is a good thing?

      And Cindy, I am so sorry about your retinas, but I am sure you can find some other images to wash them with:)

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      • Hiya Morley, your post asked if smk had done anything so funny or slapstick- that’s what I was referring to with SBTB and DOA 🙂

        Which season has Lee at his most gorgeous? hmmm.. I’ll have to think on that one.. but a lovely thing to contemplate no?!

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        • I get it now!! Can’t wait for DOA. And I love the humor in SBTB. Humor during such a meaningful episode is great, isn’t it? I suspect DOA may be the same, funny but meaningful.

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      • “But, Iwsod, I am afraid the next one doesn’t help Lee with his tatters, he is in a hospital gown during most of it, you know the kind, with the drafty back?”
        We’re going backwards, right? –> Next episode = ITCK? That does have Lee in tatters, near the start of the episode where he tackles Walt through the office window… makes a bit of a mess of his spiffy three-piece… and when he pulls the trousers out of the hospital cupboard and tries to put them on, they’re all in ribbons. 😀

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        • See, you’re helping me again, KC. Yes. But I need to hold my proverbial tongue. Now I know exactly where to go in my next post. Maybe we should collaborate, ties are part of the costuming department, right?

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          • Too bad I’m not this on it IRL! 😀 I guess I’ll just have to move in to the rabbit hole… Watch out, Jule–I’m moving my furniture in!
            Yes–ties are part of costuming. And fun… 🙂 If you want to talk you can contact me via Nedlindgers…

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            • Oh boy, company!! Got plenty of chocolate and marshmellows! RL too real?! It’s overrated anyway. Come on down and join the party, fuzzy robes and all!!

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        • Oh–and Internal Affairs Agent Belmont handing Lee the shredded trousers (ribbons) while he’s on the exam table (thermometer in mouth) before handing him the carnation!
          Oops. Distracted. Must look for vehicles, not trouserless legs…

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      • Nothing’s making me dizzy here, Morley! Fascinating is a good thing – means I could sit and ponder it for hours. It’s kind of like taking a trip where the only direction you’re heading is “that way.” You never know where you’ll end up or exactly which roads to take to get there. The best part is all the stuff you get to see and experience along the way!

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        • So true! Just like that Tolkien quote from LOTR, “He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary.” Never knew my journey would take me this way, but am richer for finding the unexpected roads and tributaries. Hmmmm, maybe a side trip to Rivendell or the Shire on the way back down the rabbit hole…..

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          • Tolkien says it so much more eloquently, but back home in NZ we have a name for taking the scenic route: a tiki tour.

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            • Love the sound of it! Makes me want to go again to NZ/Australia. I love it here in the Central Coast of California, beauty and magic abounds, but can’t compare to the rich and raw splendor I was lucky enough to see when visiting a few years back. You must miss it KC. Well, you should escape from LA and head north and play in our version of Lothlorien. (Oh and there are lot of hikes to go on too amid the many wineries!)
              Oops, sorry, hijacked the topic. Bad Jule! I’ll just crawl back down the rabbit hole…..

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    • Ahem, I’m with you iwsod…Lee looks mighty fine in all these pics. There’s only one Lee that really hurts me to look at. Thank goodness it doesn’t come for a couple more seasons.

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    • Melissa Robertson

      Speaking of Amanda and those sweaters, I remember a magazine once had her on the front advertising patterns inside where you could knitt your own. Call it crazy but I remember wanting my mom to make me one, but I’ll chalk it up to that I was 11 at the time 🙂

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      • I knew she must have made those sweaters/jumpers herself. She does “knit or something.” I had the impression that she had the pattern for the cardigan and the sweater vest and made them each in different colors. She has at least 3 in each style. Funny that a knitting company would market Mrs. King’s sweaters. I wonder if there was an evening gown pattern that was a take off from the black gown she wears in Gift Horse and SAAB and the white one from SOS? They look like they were made from the same pattern as well.

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  4. Awesome post! It was an absurd episode with huge plot holes but it was so over the top it somehow worked.
    I will admit, I will need the brain bleach to erase Lee’s plaidy plaidy matchy matchy golf outfit from my retinas. 🙂 (No wonder I dislike golf)

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  5. Removing the armor from Lee? I like that idea. In a way, that’s what Amanda did, isn’t it?

    I’ll echo the “great post” comment from BJo. Morley, your costume comments really give me another way to enjoy this journey. Thanks!

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  6. Nope, don’t remember any other episode being this deliberate with the humor. This guy looks really stumped.

    Good job ignoring Lee…what restraint!

    Haven’t read that book you mentioned, but I do know who Mr. Rogers is! Cos I’m that old. 😉

    I love that scene with the Amanda stare at the baddie followed by the ramble followed by the hilarious Francine line – I don’t even mind her for saying it!!! I want to say it myself! Haaa!

    Oh gosh – zebra striped earrings and animal print stripes on the shirt? Oh puhlease!!! Give me Amanda’s winged shirts and her plain brass ear buttons anyday. Sorry animal print lovers! That red and black get-up on Francine is one of the worst. It looks like it’s trying to squeeze her you know whats out to the side. Is it on backwards? I think we’ve discussed on the episode post how it looks like a Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) outfit from one of those Star Trek series? All that’s missing is the wacky hat. I never noticed it was worn in TFT with a different blouse. What a catch!

    Love how you apply KC’s comment to this episode – it does seem to really work! Is that face on Lee the same face he made on SOS when he realizes that if Amanda stays on the ship they’ll have to get married? I’ll go check….oops, it was when the first discuss that they might have to get married

    Sorry if that took a while…I had to go watch that cover kiss a few times…. Does that look like the same face? I think it does to me, but maybe with a little bit more of a shocked look.

    Hahaha, absurd is a good word for this! There is a lot of absurdity for Lee in this episode. I love it when he gives her the up and down look after golfing when Amanda breaks it to him that she got the intel they were after and not Lee. It just keeps getting worse for him! Tee hee.

    Great post, Morley! You have a most fascinating mind!

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