6/15 Season Two, Episode 21: Burn Out-Scarecrow and Mrs King

Hiya! Back for the big moment!!!! FYI -This post is extra large  – I couldn’t split THE scene!!!
Back to Nedlindger’s and Jack Harris is on the phone to his mystery boss..
Jack: I tell you, this guy’s a promising candidate. … I 2.21 BURN OUT.avi_000981047met him earlier. His name’s Stetson. …I understand. Don’t worry, I brought in the other three, didn’t I? [you know, Lee never introduced himself – so how does he know Lee’s full name? I guess Ned must have filled Jack in. ]
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We see Lee enters and knocks a chair a lady is sitting in because he can’t walk straight.. In other words, he is already drunk.. and back to finish himself off.. or what was it? – slide down the drain!
Do you think Lee is pretending to be drunk? I think he exaggerates so people will notice – but I believe he is at least partly drunk. He’s had a lot to drink that day already he had 3 or 4 drinks in the previous scene earlier that day [and probably a few before we joined Lee in the first Ned scene, as Ned says Lee should slow down at the start of that scene]. I think the booze he is drinking is real..and the effect is going to be real.. Anyway, Lee apologises to the lady and makes a beeline straight for the drain errr I mean bar.
Jack sees Lee arrive, so cuts his phone call short, telling
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_000989856his boss:   He just walked in. I’ll set it up.

Harris makes a beeline straight for Lee!

Lee: Hey, Ned, come here.
Lee sees Harris approaching.
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Lee: Yo, Jack! Hey, how you doing?
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Jack: Good, real good.  Looks like you’re not feeling any pain yourself.
Lee: Ah, why.. me? Heh, only problem I’ve got is, uh, taking a chance of getting canned from the company I’ve worked for ten years.
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Jack: Still on you, huh?
Lee: They’re ragging me every minute.
Ned brings Harris and Lee their drinks.
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wait a minute – did I just see Lee wink at Ned when he ordered that drink?? !!! You know.. this scruffy Lee is kinda cute!! Hoo haaa.. but wait.. no no!!! focus iwsod..
Jack gives Lee his pitch..
Jack: You know, you film guys work under a lot of pressure. Seems to me the company ought to be more understanding. Take better care of you.
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[There Harris goes again- he actually says something about the agency that is (IMHO) true.. The agency is not taking care of Lee by asking him/ allowing him to be in this situation. I think the risk of danger for Lee is too high but that’s just my opinion.. !]
Lee: IFF? Are you kidding me?  All they know is 2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001023490work you to death, suck you dry, and then hire some new young hotshot and start all over again.
[Maybe this description is not completely far from the truth?!]

Jack:
You got that right.
Lee: Mmm.
Jack: It happens that way in all big businesses. It happened to me in insurance. I worked for these guys for seven years, and then I lost a couple of accounts. You know, the ladies.

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(The way Lee and Harris share a nudge and wink here is typical! ugh.. so glad I am certain Lee is ‘acting’ here!) …And maybe a little bit too much of this (holding up his drink). Next thing you know, I was gone.
Lee: Yeah. Well, I told you, you don’t look too bad for being dumped
.
Jack: Ah, well, I met someone. He had faith in me. Gave me a new start. Now I’m doing really well.
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001060326Lee: Yeah? Well, what’s this, ahemmm, fairy godfather of yours do?
[I think it’s a big hairy godfather!]
Jack: Import/Export. Some personnel work. Lots of other things. Hey, you know, uh, I think maybe you ought to talk to him.
Lee: What for?
[Lee’s sounding drunker and drunker]
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001080347Jack: For a job.
Lee: Come on! What?
Jack: I’m serious.
Lee: Aw, come on.
Jack: Look, he took a chance on me when I was where you are right now. I’m
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001085151telling you, the guy has got an eye for people. I think you could work something out. What do you say?
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001093159Lee: Eh, why not? Hmm. B-haaa.. beats sittin’ around here waitin’ to get fired.
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001099566[Lee does a good job of not sounding too keen here! ]
Jack: I’ll get a hold of him and we can set something up right away.

Jack sees Amanda coming through the door..
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001102769Jack: Uh oh, looks like you got company. Let’s talk about this later.
Lee stands and turns to greet Amanda. Interesting that he chose to continue to stand next to Harris as he interacts with Amanda here – Harris had said a farewell of sorts with his ‘talk later suggestion’ – seems to me like Lee is wanting to use Amanda’s arrival here to sell his cover some more.
Amanda could get in the way of his plans here – only, I think Lee could have known this was a distinct possibility – that Amanda could show up and would continue to ‘help’ him after what happened in Saviour.  I think Lee feels confident he has this under control and he can use it, maybe he even wants to use it!! uh oh..
Lee: Ohhhh Sad smile Uh, Amanda.
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Amanda: Hi.
Lee: Hi. I want you to mee-…
(Lee knocks over the glasses on the bar, – do you think that was deliberate? It certainly didn’t look it.)
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…Oh, heh heh. I want you to meet a friend of mine.
[I find when Lee says this- he could be telling Jack to meet his friend Amanda, or he could be telling Amanda to meet his friend Jack. It’s ambiguous to me]
Jack: Hi.
Lee: Err ohhh ahh.. this is Jack Harris. Jack, this is Amanda.

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Amanda: Hello.
Amanda quickly turns back to address Lee:
I came to talk to you about that report for Mr Melrose.
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_0011230892.21 BURN OUT.avi_001124090Lee: Yeah, well I’ll do it later.
[why doesn’t Lee just turn his back on her or something? I think this is all for Harris’ benefit..to sell the cover, while he also uses this exchange to sort of convince Amanda to back off..thoughts?]
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001125191Amanda: No, you really need to do it now…
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…It has to be turned in on time…2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001127894

…You know- [As Amanda says this she glances a couple of times at Harris. I think she is trying to figure out what’s going on here because this is such an alternate universe situation! Amanda things are about to get weirder! Winking smile]
Lee: Time?!!
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…Time?!!!
[It cuts here to Harris watching Lee very closely]
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…Ha ha ha…
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…Amanda…
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…I have got…
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… nooooothing…
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[Here Lee glances quickly to check Harris is watching: He sure is!]
… but…
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[Lee gives Amanda a few quick light pats on the cheek.]
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… time.  [Whack!!!]
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The fourth slap is a big Whack!!!!
Well that’s it for this post. I better finish up here!!!
Sorry? there will be a revolt if I stop here? I agree – I’d protest against iwsod if she did that too! Winking smile don’t worry.
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If you slow it down, you can see right before it cuts to Amanda’s reaction- Lee seems to say to himself ‘whoa!!!!’ reacting to what he just did.. (I think he is as surprised as Amanda.. )
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Silence.. Amanda is very still..
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We cut back to Lee.. I think the all important cover in this moment is completely forgotten by Lee. He silently looks at her and it’s all there on his face.. such an amazingly awful moment..
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Shock  [notice Ned in the background taking it all in..]…Disgust
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Worry…Regret…
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and concern.. It’s all there – before Lee even says a word
[Kudos to BB!!]
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Lee reaches out to Amanda here with both arms grasping her upper arms – as he so often does when it is so important she listens to him- and which always works up till now..
Lee: 
I’m sorry.
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001141107It cuts back to Jack Harris, who is watching them both intently taking this all in…we’ll get back to that!


Amanda sadly: That’s okay.
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Lee at same time: nooo
Amanda at same time:
It didn’t hurt.
Lee: No, I’m sorry.
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Amanda looking down at his hand on her arm: You can move your hand.
Lee doesn’t do as she asked.
Lee: Amanda.
So Amanda reaches with her own hand and removes his hand from her arm. Whoa.. this time, grasping her arms is rebuffed.. this is a first for them no? so sad!!
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2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001144711Amanda half smiles at Harris to say goodbye and nods.. 2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001145311gives Lee a final look.. and turns to head for the door.
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I think it’s a what the heck is going on here look.. I am guessing her brain and her emotions are in total overdrive here and she just wants to get away to process it all.
Lee: No, Ama-
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Lee reaches out to her as she walks away..(awh!)
Lee:  Amanda!
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Lee turns back to Jack (so the cover is not completely forgotten!):  Look, Jack, I’ll talk to you about your friend later.
[Love how Lee gives Jack some rough pats on the chest- Jack seems a bit- whoa is he going to punch me?! tee heee.. he is quite shell-shocked by all this too it seems.]
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Jack: I’ll stop by later.
Lee:  Amanda.
Lee heads after Amanda and catches up with her at the door.
Lee:  No. No.  [He holds on to the door stopping her from opening it. I would have thought he’d want to have this discussion outside away from Harris’ view- interesting.. is this Lee having momentarily forgotten his cover?  or is he still using it?? ]
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Amanda: That’s all right. It didn’t hurt.
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[Amanda sounds exhausted and almost resigned here-maybe? how would you describe it?]
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Lee: I hit you…
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…You’ve just gotta stay away from me…
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…You’ve seen what I’ve been doing lately. I’m…
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…You see what I’ve been going through. I am poison at the agency.
[I think for Lee using Amanda to sell his cover is well and truly over for him from this moment on- no more! He is not able to control himself and Amanda.. and he has gone and accidentally hurt her in the most awful way. I think the final hard slap was much harder than he had been intending.
For me, now is the moment Lee is truly pushing Amanda away. There’s a lot we can unpack in this dialogue of Lee’s!!! ]
Amanda: I was just trying to help you.
Lee
talks over Amanda:
Then let me make it easier for you…
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…Just don’t help.
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Don’t help.. Hmm.. Lee thinks Amanda can’t help..and shouldn’t help. Mr ‘I work alone’ is well and truly back..
They share a silent look.
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Then Lee heads back to the bar [though he had told Jack he’d see him later – I take this to be Lee utterly confused in these moments here.. very shaken up and so he contradicts himself.]
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001174741They are both devastated here aren’t they- I think walking away from Amanda here- Lee has never looked more lost and alone..
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Amanda is also devastated. She takes a huge 2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001179145breath and seems torn here as she pauses at the door and watches him walk back to the bar.
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You know, for a second I think she looks scared for Lee.. then.. she seems to 2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001180146wonder- do I leave him alone like he said? She wants to help him.
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For now, Amanda decides to leave..
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what she’ll do next, if anything, we are left to wonder..
2.21 BURN OUT.avi_001184751The scene ends here- with a closed door. Nice touch – but- Ouch!! Almost like there is  a big barrier between Lee and Amanda now..and they are both alone.. sooo sad!

Wow Wow!!! So powerful this scene!!! I’ve shared a few of my thoughts briefly.  I’ll open this up for discussion now and share my thoughts more in the next post – can’t wait to hear from you all on what we’ve seen up to this point!! What do you make of all this? what’s going on with Lee?? Why did he slap her? What’s going on with Amanda?? what’s Jack going to make of all this?? Hope you cope okay with this big post – my next will be in two or three days again.. so plenty of time to revisit this a few times as we absorb everything that’s going on here! Okay byeee for now!!

117 responses to “6/15 Season Two, Episode 21: Burn Out-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I rerally dont have anything to add, other than this is one of my fave eps, mostly for the performances of BB and KJ, they are just … so so good how they convey everything their characters are feeling with just a facial expression! not an easy thing to do for an actor!

    I dont care how many times I see this episode, this part, especially where he slaps her, and her face after, and when it tells her “just dont help” both get me right in the feels, every time!

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  2. Pingback: 11/ Season Three, Episode 01: A Lovely Little Affair- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Morley’s order: Episode 05) | "Just walk with me.."

  3. Oh my gosh….where to begin. This scene is so revealing about emotions on so many levels…so here is my thought process of what I felt might have taken place in Lee’s mind.
    .There’s Lee in the bar workin Jack when ….oh crap here comes Amanda and I really need her out of here…i think he is frustrated by her interference and thinks she’s going to ruin his opportunity with Jack….so when she insisted that he come back to IFF his frustration took over and in an effort to keep up his cover for Jack, he did the unthinkable…..he hit her harder than he intended. He was immediately remorseful when he realized what he did…..but he was conflicted trying not to break cover……he did apologize, but he still needed her out of the way so he just tells her to stay away from him….his behavior was out of fear I believe…he was afraid to let his guard down because what he really wanted to do was take her in his arms and beg her forgiveness….but he kept up the cover because he knew Jack was taking it all in.
    Poor Amanda….she looked so betrayed like she just lost her best friend and I guess she thought she had…Lee was acting so out of character and when he slapped her she was in shock…..probably not really believing what happened, but then she was so hurt. When she asked him to remove his hand, I think she was so very sad at the way Lee was acting . I have watched this scene at the door over and over and I swear I see tears in her eyes as she takes that last look at Lee before she turns to go out the door…….can anyone else confirm this?
    The emotions I see are: fear, frustration, remorse,anxiety, confusion, hurt and loss……would love any comments .

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  4. Wow!! It has been a bit since I checked here and there is so much to catch up on. I feel like I missed a whole week. I have not read everyone’s comments yet and can’t wait to do so in another day or two. We are in the midst of preparing for our school’s annual Christmas program and the kids are bouncing off the walls and the teachers are on edge. Additionally we got slammed with a good bit of snow this past weekend and things have been a bit crazed.

    I did want to say something about the alcohol situation and whether or not Lee is drunk, etc. That is a really tough call. I know that several theories have been posed as to whether he is or isn’t and whether or not Ned is in on it and possibly diluting the drinks. I know several of us have probably dealt with or seen issues of people who are intoxicated or beyond that point. From my own personal experiences I have seen what heavy drinking can do to someone. People reactions to alcohol vary with the person just as our responses on this journey vary based on our opinions of what we see. I know of someone who would only drink on Fridays and Saturdays. They would go and go until the bottle was empty or until they passed out, but come Sunday it was business as usual. As time went on that person only had to have one sip and they had slurred speech and couldn’t function. Another person I know would drink daily and seemingly not be affected at all. They could carry on a conversation and walk around with no visible impairment. It is quite possible that along with reading a book on stress and work related burn out that Lee also read something from Alcoholics Anonymous to help him play the role of a drunk. At this point everything is just supposition as we are not given that info.

    However, whether he was drunk or not his behavior towards Amanda has been questionable. I think most agree that he was trying to keep Amanda away from the situation and trying to keep his cover at the same time. His spur of the moment decision to touch Amanda in the way that he did has led to some interesting consequences. He has never put his hands on her face before in that way. All of his touches have been fairly gentle. We do get to see so much of Lee’s journey and see his progression, but we don’t get to see much of Amanda’s.

    I mentioned that Amanda began to see some fallibilities in Lee at this point. In the previous episodes Amanda and Lee had become closer and closer. His boorish behavior towards her was supposedly something in the past and they were supposedly moving forward. Now he seems to take this big step backwards. We don’t, at this point, know exactly what Amanda had to deal with in her relationship to her ex-husband. Amanda is good at letting other people slide and quickly forgiving them and where did it get her with Joe? She gets exasperated with Francine, but still tends to be polite to her. She denies that the slap hurt. In Spider Web when Lee sneaks up on her she screams, but says she wasn’t scared. She is so good, sometimes annoyingly so, at letting people down easy. Because of how things have been going with Lee she may have higher expectations. While Lee has been a pain, tried to get rid of her, tried to avoid working with her, and even suggested she resign he has still been there for her. He hasn’t left her to fend for herself. He was so grateful for her help and support in LOTP and now he wants her to back off. This slap may have her rethinking what she was starting to think and what she was starting to feel.

    I apologize if I have repeated what anyone else has already said. I can’t wait to sit and just read all of this. As it is I need to get some sleep because tomorrow is the big program day. Almost there…

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  5. I just watched the scene in slow-motion a couple times (is that cheating? Ha ha!) and you can see every nuanced expression and the torrent of emotions revealed. It’s amazing how much BB and KJ are able to convey in a brief time. Bravo!
    And every comment here makes me examine the scene in a new way. You folks deserve a bravo too! 🙂

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    • I just noticed how long Lee and Amanda hold that last look at the door. Seems significant to me, don’t know why, just does.

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      • How do you watch them in slo mo, I would love to do that.
        I wouldn’t doubt that they are trying to communicate volumes to each other with that last look. Things like Lee trying to tell Amanda that this is a cover and that he is sorrier that he has even been before. Amanda trying to ask him if this is for real. I don’t know what else Amanda would be communicating, can she believe what she really knows about him? Is he okay, can she really not help, does he really mean it, can she just walk away?

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        • I do it on my blu ray by pressing pause and then holding down the forward button. Can’t do it on the computer or iPad but would love to know how. I keep obsessively watching this scene over and over in every way possible because there is so much going on. LOL my husband thinks I’m nuts! (he’s correct *evil smile*)

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    • It’s good isn’t it Jule! I do this myself going through the caps to choose for posts – it’s amazing how dense this sweet little 80s show is with goodness and meaning! 🙂

      I’ll second Jule’s bravos! Bravo to BB and KJ and to everyone who has shared their thoughts on this episode!
      I’m about to work on the next post- I imagine it would be published within the next 5 hours or so..

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  6. I cant believe that the one day I can’t get to the blog it explodes! What fun. I thought that I would sit down and read the comments and then respond, but the first few I read just got me totally thinking and I guess I should just write my own comment first. I have no idea what everyone has said already and if I repeat, I am sorry. This may be more an unorganized stream of thought, but here goes.

    The first thing I thought about was the concept of interdependence. We are not lone wolves, none of us whether we want to be or not. We live in a world with others, work with others and are at many levels interdependent with others. I don’t think Lee has ever really grasped that, even in his work, in which he must rely on and work as a team with. But he has become interdependent with Amanda and I think he is in denial, whether it is because he doesn’t want to acknowledge it or he doesn’t recognize it and here in this moment after he hits her it becomes starkly clear what interdependence feels like. I think this catapults Lee into a journey of understanding how and what interdependency is and how he can live with it.

    The other thing that I was thinking about is redemptive love. That is one of the themes that I love in this show. And while I don’t really think any one of us imperfect people can really be the perfect example (or should be) of redemptive love, I do think Amanda has that sort of love for Lee. Even here at this stage. She has often had a choice as regards to Lee and how to react to him and his rougher sedges and she has chosen a stead fast love. But she hasn’t invested her all in him. She continues to have other areas of her life that she focuses on. Yes, she and Lee are becoming good friends, but it is still very work related, even though I think she is starting to think that a friendship outside of work is a possibility. But here I do think she has doubts about how far even that can go. And she should have those doubts.

    I think I was the one who began the thought of Lee coming off of the pedestal she had placed him on. But I do agree that she has also always had a realistic view of Lee the man. I guess as I try to make these two things coincide I am thinking that a lot of the gist of this episode and this theme is the ability of the two of them to transition between a work relationship and a personal relationship. So Amanda has gotten to know Lee as an agent and a partner who is her friend, but is Lee a candidate for a real friendship, what kind of a man is he. And I kind of think that here she is closing herself off to this (at this moment by the door) The way she choses to help Lee after this scene is to help him with his office work, She takes a step away from the personal relationship. I think the coming scenes help to direct her next steps. But the rest of their interaction is due to circumstances outside their control, not because of choices they make initially.

    But back to redemptive love. I think because Amanda is seeing more of the real Lee she is better equipped to love him honestly and somehow her love for him calls the real Lee out to be freed. Kind of makes me think of Katy Perry’s song “Unconditionally.”

    The other thing I was wondering about was what would have happened if it was Francine who had come to Ned’s that second time? Would he have hit her? If he had how would he have felt? What would have been Francine’s reaction? Would it have brought about the changes in Lee that he experiences after the same incident with Amanda. I know that some of the answers are obvious because of the relationship growing between Lee and Amanda, but it was interesting to think about.

    I was also thinking about that first scene with Lee and Billy. In that one Lee had almost struck Billy. It made me wonder about Lee’s anger, impulses, etc especially when he isn’t under his usual “impeccable” control. Just another thought.
    Sorry if these things aren’t fully developed or contradictory. There are a lot of distractions around me this morning. Now I can read what everyone wrote.

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  7. I’m with BJo and KC here — when I watched this episode recently, for the first time, I never thought Lee was much under the influence of alcohol. He’s expecting a fish to rise to his bait; it just seems out of the question for him to distort his senses too much. Also, when in Billy’s office he acts pretty normal, then immediately afterward goes back to tripping over things. That being said, I don’t know how he managed to hide away all those shots he ordered, although he does wink at Ned in the beginning of this scene when Ned brings his drink. Maybe there’s something to the theory that Ned is serving him weak shots.

    I don’t think I want to let Lee off the hook too easily for slapping Amanda by putting it down to the influence of alcohol. I think he got carried away by his cover. Just like kissing Amanda in Sudden Death, he gets caught up in playing the role, but the outcome is not what he expected. He considers “lying and sneaking” to be a normal part of working for the government; interpersonal relations are to be sacrificed when there’s a job at hand, so it’s completely possible that he’s acting on a sudden impulse (not thought out) that this would be a good way to advance the credibility of his burnout. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but he was appalled by the results. I don’t think he meant to hit her that hard; he was distracted by trying to engineer how it would look to Harris; but I consider even the little slaps he was doing to be out of line. It was a bad idea from beginning to end. Although it is an interesting idea someone put forward, that the hard slap was completely deliberate, and the small ones either his attempt to psych himself up to it or trying to prepare Amanda for what was coming. Cover or no cover, once he did it, saw her face, and realized what he had just done he would have given anything to go back and undo it. That look on his face of stunned shock and disbelief says so much. Great acting!

    Then, Lee goes after Amanda to catch her and apologize before she can get out the door. I think that for a second, he doesn’t care about his cover. More than anything, he wants to fix this before she can get away. “I hit you. . .” He’s still in total disbelief that he could do such a thing. But I think he remembers his cover almost immediately, and is still playing this one up for Harris, making it fit in with the out of control spiral he’s trying to portray. Harris might not have bought it if Lee had acted so hardened he wasn’t sorry. So, by the end of Lee’s “apology”, he’s telling her roughly to stay away from him.

    Amanda totally retreats within herself. She’s on autopilot, with only one thought: to get out of there as soon as possible. At the same time, she sends the message loud and clear: this is NOT OK (which contradicts her actual words). Touch communicates so much between these two, and she won’t let him touch her — that says worlds. But I think, that after she’s had time to process it, is when she begins to decide that it’s a cover. She has faith in Lee, remember; and I see this as a parallel to Lee’s faith in Amanda in Spiderweb. She decides that this is so unlike Lee, he MUST be acting a cover. That’s another reason I’m not so sure that he’s really much affected by alcohol: because Amanda decides it’s an act, and she knows him better than anyone.

    The script has a key difference in this moment: Lee strikes Amanda completely by accident while making a gesture with his hands. IMO the way they filmed it makes the emotion of the moment much more raw, and the entire episode deeper and more psychologically complicated.

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    • Hi happycamper0 – it was me who suggested the idea that the last hard slap was deliberate after the first few lighter ones. I dont’ think he’d been sitting there hoping someone would come in so he could hit them in front of Jack – it wasn’t pre-meditated, but in that moment where he’s caught up in the role play (really like that what you said about that) he’s trying to think of something awful he can do and this slap is what he comes up with. Why else would he do it? Since I believe he’s faking the drunkenness, it has to be deliberate – albeit at the spur of the moment. Usually when you slap someone across the face it’s because of their saying something to you that is so horribly offensive that you lash out at the offending instrument – the mouth. But Amanda does nothing of the sort – at least in my opinion, so the slap makes no logical sense here. I wonder if he’s not wishing he’d just manhandled her to the door and shoved her out instead of hitting her after the fact. I like how you say he was appalled by the results – like that more than devastated.

      And I agree 100% – the script version is soo weak by comparison – this is so much more emotionally get-wrenching. It allows for much greater growth in both of their characters.

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    • Happycampero, I really like what you say about Amanda here. Good analysis of Amanda’s thought process. And retreating from Lee’s touch is the most telling action for her, not her words, and it is a huge moment.

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    • happycampero, I think this is the first argument I’ve heard that actually convinces me that alcohol may really not have played a role in the slap. I never thought Lee was actually drunk but I always thought his reflexes were more off than he realized from the alcohol, but you made a good point that he was fine in Billy’s office and then suddenly not at the bar. Good insight that Lee maybe just improvising in the moment without really thinking about the consequences just like he did when he kissed Amanda in sudden death. I still don’t think Lee meant to hit Amanda as hard as he did, but from what you said I can see it all from being totally caught up in the role. While I always did think the slap was deliberate, I think it was a heat of the moment decision Lee made to get Amanda to go away and as soon as he crossed that line, even before he saw her reaction, Lee regretted it. But he does tend to get completely engrossed in doing the job. So maybe it wasn’t the alcohol that made him hit harder than he meant to maybe it was because his attention was a lot more on Harris at that point.

      I can see what you are saying that Lee doesn’t like to be out of control, and probably wouldn’t have dumbed down his senses during a mission. Hadn’t really thought about while watching the episode. But Lee does like to always be in control, hard to believe he’s willingly give up any. And thank you for pointing out even the little slaps were not okay. I said myself that even thought Lee didn’t really intend to hurt Amanda when he hit her, being hit is still demeaning and humiliating. The way he was acting was not okay, period. Glad he realized it so quickly. I can forgive him because it was in the name of the job, and it is not exactly like he is a mailman. Sometimes Lee crosses lines when he is wrapped up in doing the job, but with his job lives are at stake. I can see how it might be hard under those circumstances not to blur boundaries. But amanda really does teach him a lot about still being human while doing the job. Anyway, thanks because even though I’ve seen this episode more than once you actually did change the way I view a little bit.

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    • Hi Everybody – gotta be brief here as I’m rushing out the door but just wanted to comment on a couple of things.

      Happycamper, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I see Misty is a convert! 😉 haaa.. isn’t it fantastic when discussing with others opens our eyes to new possibilities?!
      Alas, for me – I’ve interpreting Lee’s actions the same way I was but wonder if I was not clear in what I was saying…Happycamper since I am someone who has said they think alcohol was an influence – I’ll just clarify my view- I don’t see it as a choice of ‘either/ or’ – for me it’s not a choice between Lee being deliberate and Lee being under the influence of alcohol – I go with both elements combined and given my mood – to varying degrees! [not even I am that pedantic! 😉 ]

      Lee was definitely aware Harris was watching [that glance at Harris right before the big slap says it all! ] he was selling the cover and using Amanda. But for me, I add in the influence of the alcohol on Lee’s decision making here, and his slapping Amanda harder than he intended. He fully intended to slap her.. I also think he slapped her just that little harder to sell it to Harris.. but for me, without the alcohol I am not sure Lee would have chosen to do it [drink in face? a fantastic idea!! who said that??!!!! Love it!!! reminds me of ricky joe and sex always being a major disappointment!!!!!] .
      Just my personal view.. but I am not saying Lee was completely drunk and under the complete control of the alcohol.
      Also, just to be clear- Lee being influenced by the alcohol is in no way for me letting Lee off the hook. He’s totally responsible. He should have known better – thinking he could drink that much.. deal with that pressure – he is not super human!

      I like the alcohol idea because it plays into the whole idea of Lee having made a mistake in thinking he could do this cover alone. A very bad idea!
      Hope I’m making sense!

      Morley I have loved reading your ideas!!!! Yeah! Lee is shaken up.. and while Lee was talking about losing his self-respect as a joke through the drink – in a way, the reality for Lee’s character is what this job asks of him at times does mean loses some of his self-respect- this comes back to my thoughts on setting limits – and Lee and Billy’s miscalculation with this whole plan. I think Lee is shaken up by what he has done, what the job has demanded of him, and what he has given of himself to the job – he just lost something very important to himself. In a way, he gave over to the job more than he had consciously chosen to – which is a great big red flag- and again- raises the possibility this burn out could become real!
      Oh and Happycamper – I 100% agree with you regarding the link between this episode and Spiderweb – you read my mind!!! I was going to raise this in the next post – which will have much more about Amanda – but I love that you see this connection!! The question of whether Amanda doubts Lee is a good man in this episode is similar to the question of whether Lee doubted Amanda was a good woman in Spiderweb. LOL.. I didn’t think Lee did.. how about you?
      But.. whether Amanda doubts Lee will be coming up in the next post later day 🙂
      I’ll hold off discussing Amanda till the next post but thanks for replying BJo ! – I think Amanda can be confused and want space and question what is going on – without doubting that Lee is a good man. I think the next post will cover this well – so I’m about to head out but later in the day I’ll get the pics into that post and then publish it..
      Gah!! I’m late!!! this episode and all your amazing comments and insights have me so absorbed!! I hope this makes sense as I’m in a bit of a hurry! I’ll fix any typos when I get back. haaaa!

      Hope you are all well and thoroughly enjoying exploring this episode, this moment and these characters! byeeee!

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      • Oopsie! Maybe I’ll cut and paste what I said about Amanda to my comment in the next post – we’ll see! I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say. I think my tendency to see things as black and white and some of my own personal history is definitely framing my perspective on it!

        Also, I’ve been meaning to ask – in all the times I’ve watched this episode, I don’t think it ever even occurred to me to think that Lee was really at risk of burning out – at least not any time soon. I’m still not sure, even after reading all the comments, if I would think that. Logically it makes sense and I can see why people would say it, but maybe I’ve got Lee on my own little pedestal myself and don’t see that ever happening to him. So what I’ve been meaning to ask is what do you mean by it? That if he keeps this cover up too long he might in reality become a burnout now? Or just in the future some time as a possibility because of the stresses of the job? I think there were others who also mentioned this – sorry I don’t remember who – but please feel free to chime in.

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        • BJo, I think I was one of the people who thought that Lee might be at risk for burn out. I am not sure if I am seeing the same thing as Iwsod though, maybe, I just don’t know. I guess I am thinking that anyone who has built up the defense mechanisms that Lee has and does the work that Lee does will eventually burn out. It can not be healthy emotionally to live like that and I can imagine that at anytime something could send him over the edge, especially if he is subjected to an assignment like this. I think I could add to the equation that he has only began to touch on an emotional and relational reality that could bring great healing, but if it was interrupted it could cause great set backs for him and that could cause some serious burn out. One really can only live the loner, self protective, destructive life style for so long. We were made to love and be loved. To begin to taste it especially after the trauma he has suffered in his life could be a precarious thing. And then you add his job as an agent and the way he pushes himself and others push him. Like Pfaff say, it is a time bomb. you never know what might make it go off, but one day boom!

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          • Thanks, Morley – I have a better understanding now of where you’re coming from on this. I always used to think of burn out as mainly physical and mental fatigue…now I know better.

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        • A great question BJo! we could be defining it differently!
          Burn out is defined in the episode a few times – let’s recap!
          While Amanda explains to Dotty : ‘it’s mental fatigue caused by stress, work-related problems, things like that’
          Amanda citing Ballarde’s manual tells Lee: he may need a vacation.. when you’re feeling very stressed can help to relieve it.
          Francine describes it to Amanda listing the classic symptoms: erosion of skills, lack of confidence, depression, defensiveness, alcohol over consumption. Francine also says of all the agents she knows of who have ‘hit the wall’ ie. Burned out- she’s never seen anyone who has made a recovery. – ouch!
          have I missed anything?
          I went looking for an article on it.. and psychology today has a good blurb on it which describes well what could be at risk of happening to Lee here, it says:
          ‘Burnout is not a simple result of long hours. The cynicism, depression, and lethargy of burnout can occur when you’re not in control of how you carry out your job, when you’re working toward goals that don’t resonate with you, and when you lack social support. If you don’t tailor your responsibilities to match your true calling, or at least take a break once in a while, you could face a mountain of mental and physical health problems.’
          Here is the link: http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/burnout
          It has lots of links to info about it..
          Firstly, I think any agent is at risk of Burn Out – because it is a stressful and dangerous job for any agent which can make huge demands with undercover work – agents are not super human. It’s why the agency has a dr pfaff on staff!

          Lee has basically had to let go of his own life, his own reputation for the last two weeks to play the role of burn out – he is working towards a goal that is resonating with him for sure. But the way they are going about it is placing huge, stressful demands on Lee – he has lost his social support, he has had to consume a lot of alcohol.. he is at risk of losing himself in this cover – worst of all Lee has had to cut off Amanda – who aside from Billy is Lee’s one true support -Lee learns a thing or two in this ep -but I don’t want to jump ahead!
          Suffice to say, Lee has huge stresses placed on him, and pretty much all of his coping strategies have been taken away. He has no work/life balance. no way of letting off steam (okay maybe a bit with Billy). Worse, he doesn’t acknowledge these increased demands and assumes he will be able to maintain control of himself and the situation. And Billy agrees with him. Mistake!
          With this slap- we begin to see that this job is asking of Lee more than he should have agreed to give to be healthy – and when Lee slapped Amanda- I think he realised that was wrong, and he is not in control of this situation, and not in control of what he will do to work this case(no limits).
          Like I said before- Lee is standing on a precipice here – with how he views himself, Amanda, and his work. Burn Out is a result of not having limits in your work – and depleting all your resources till there is nothing left.
          The agency IMHO would take from Lee until he has nothing more to give – all for a good cause no doubt- but at the end of the day, Lee has to make decisions about his life, and decide what he can live with or not. I think he learns a thing or two about this in this episode!
          Does that help answer your question BJo? We can expand further on how this plays out as we continue walking through this episode! 🙂 sorry if I’ve rambled on too long here! BTW there is also info on Burn Out in good old Wikipedia! This link has a really interesting break down of the phases of Burn out – but.. I don’t want to get to psych on ya so I’ll finish up here..
          byee!

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          • Ditto to what I said to Morley, iwsod. And thank you for such a thorough response! I know understand where you’re coming from on this. It also helps me to understand better why you think what you think about this episode and Lee’s actions. Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out throughout the rest of the episode.

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      • Thanks for the clarification iwsod and Morley. It makes sense that Lee is at risk for burning out. Hah, I know he’ll be saved by Amanda so I can handle the suspense but enjoy the ride, and very much more so with fellow travelers!

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  8. Hiya Everyone! I have seen a few comments about Amanda and her view of Lee as a result of this scene – this is an interesting subject! Apologies for not addressing people specifically, I can’t find all the comments now.. and there are so many!

    Some of you have mentioned Amanda having a moment of doubt here.. about whether Lee is the man she thinks he is.. Also, some have mentioned Amanda having Lee on a pedestal, and in this moment, Lee is knocked off.

    I’d love to hear more of all your thoughts on this – I haven’t seen it that way.. and am not sure this is what’s happening – I don’t know! Maybe you can change my mind! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking that Amanda has pretty much always seen the man under the scarecrow persona.. and I was thinking up till this point that Amanda had seen many of Lee’s flaws and dealt with them. She has seen him lose his temper, act like a petulant little boy, Artful Dodger anyone?!and what about A relative Situation?? she was fully aware of Lee’s flaws in that episode – and supported him anyway (I talked about Amanda’s full acceptance of Lee in that episode’s posts).
    Amanda has borne the brunt of some pretty bad attitude from Lee sometimes, some dismissiveness, well I don’t think I need to elaborate on Lee’s treatment of Amanda– Amanda has seen plenty of evidence that Lee is no perfect angel. My understanding was that Amanda accepted Lee for who he was – and that acceptance was extremely life transforming for Lee. I think we’ve seen this acceptance of Lee and his flaws before this episode and I’ve mentioned it before.
    So for me- in Burn Out – this concept is taken to it’s extreme, but it was already there between them.

    I was wondering if maybe Amanda didn’t see Lee the man as perfect, but Scarecrow the agent as perfect – but then.. I thought of all the times Amanda has saved Scarecrow’s butt!! I mean even in the first episode Amanda was rescuing him from his mistake 😉 Lost and Found anyone??!! At the same time though, Amanda does have huge respect for Lee and his skills as an agent – no question! But after everything they’ve been through – can she still have him on a pedestal??
    Or maybe Lee just thinks she does.. but in reality – she has seen through and accepted Lee and scarecrow from the start – and it isn’t until Burn Out that Lee can see so blatantly her acceptance of him flaws and all?

    I’m open to ideas here – but I am thinking Amanda already knew Lee had some fallibilities. She wasn’t thinking he was a drunk who hits women though.. that’s for sure! ugh!!

    Do you think Amanda doubts Lee? I think it’s clear she is confused and shocked by the slap – but even standing at the door – she contemplated going back to him. I am not sure she was doubting him. She didn’t understand or like what was going on – but to me that is not the same.
    To me, doubt is to be unsure. But I don’t think Amanda is unsure of Lee. She is sure he is a good man – but at the same time, she is confused about what he has just done. I was thinking we are left to wonder whether Amanda would doubt Lee or not.. I wasn’t thinking that was what she was doing.
    Maybe this is semantics – but for me, I find the idea that Amanda is doubting Lee to be an important one. The next scene with Amanda will maybe inform this also.. okay that’s it from me for now! byeee!!

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    • Ahhh, iwsod – excellent musing here! Great questions – you have really made me think again about my comment. Here is what I initially said, “Oh dear – Amanda’s just had the shock of her life. I think she is beginning to wonder if she may not know Lee as well as she thought she did and may be in over her head in trying to help him. I think this is where this episode differs from Savior – Amanda is having a moment of doubt where Lee is concerned. I think that is why Lee’s arm grasp doesn’t work. She needs to get away from him right now before she completely loses her faith in him or respect for him.” I also went on to say that I thought this doubt went along with the idea of Lee falling off a pedestal (Morley) or him being more fallible (Valerie).

      I did not italicize moment of doubt in my initial comment, but I do so here because I do think it is an in the moment thought or wondering (is that a word?) for Amanda. I don’t think it lasts, but this slap here by Lee has crossed a line and is not as easily excused as all his other flawed behavior that you mention. I think you are right to say that she accepts Lee flaws and all, but in this moment I do think the slap has in some way jarred her ‘Lee as a good man tupperware’ so to speak and she needs some time away from Lee to get it back in order. Lee knows it is a cover and just wants her to stay away from him and this case, but Amanda does not yet know and so has to wonder if Lee’s slide down the drain is causing her to doubt if Lee the man is still worth her unending loyalty and devotion.

      All the things Billy accuses Lee of losing (self-respect, what else?) in his office are ‘new’ flaws in Lee/Scarecrow. So in this sense I also think that these may have been flaws that Amanda could not accept and therefore I can see the idea of falling off a pedestal or being more fallible applicable. I don’t think in the long run Amanda could respect and have faith in Lee if he lost his own self-respect. Think that would be a deal breaker to her. But I’m curious to hear Morley and Valerie’s thoughts on this.

      Gotta go – got to get the kids to school!

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      • I mentioned this in my comment just now. I guess I think this is a moment where Amanda may be deciding whether this growing friendship has hit its plateau. They have been on this growing intimacy in their friendship. I guess maybe Amanda is saying, ok this far, but no further. I am not convinced of this but it is an idea. It would be more clear if we could have seen how Amanda would have handled the next few steps with Lee without circumstance beyond her control (ie Harris) calling the shots (ha, I made a pun)

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    • Wow! So many wonderful insights. This scene obviously is key to so much between Lee and Amanda. I’m enjoying reading all the posts and reliving such a pivotal moment with all of you.

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    • I accept that Amanda realises Lee has flaws but much of his flaws have been verbal/bad attitude. What makes BO different is things just got physical and that takes it (for me anyway) to a whole new level. I can just imagine Amanda freezing (it’s part of the fight or flight response) before scrambling her thoughts of disbelief and maybe even looking at Lee as though she doesn’t recognise the man in front of her. I think her inner turmoil is reflected in her removing his hands from her arms. She needs some physical distance between them. It’s clear in Lee’s face he doesn’t intend to hit her again so. I wouldn’t put it down to fearing for her safety. She needs to get away from him to get her head together and regroup.
      I still think there is a tiny part of Amanda that might just doubt that this is all a misunderstanding. She’s been very vocal about sticking up for Lee, defending him and his actions but after the slap nothing. Nada. Not a peep from her. That would suggest to me that her convictions of earlier have been shaken a little. Not collapsed completely as the pause at the door would suggest she’s still not prepared to walk away but I definitely think there are some hairline cracks appearing.

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    • Melissa Robertson

      I have always felt that both Lee and Amanda never tried to change each other, but have accepted the other for who they are. But, as a result of being with each other they grow and change IMO for the better. They are good for each other. So I agree that Amanda already new the faults of Lee and Scarecrow. I agree that she looks like she wants to go back, I think she knows that sometimes in a relationship you have to give space at times. Amanda’s smart she’s seen Lee with this Harris guy now twice and maybe the reason she leaves is because she is starting to wonder (or more likely hope) if he is on an assignment.

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      • I like what you say Melissa. One of the things that I really like about Lee and Amanda’s relationship is that they don’t try to change each other. They don’t manipulate one another to make the other become what they want or think they need. They also don’t try to force the other to confess feelings or try to get the relationship to go the way they want it to. Amanda especially waits patiently for Lee to figure things out on his own, she never pushes. It takes great strength and trust to wait like that. Here I see her using those muscles of waiting and watching. She is a strong woman in a way. I like it.

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      • I totally agree with you guys. One of the things I always found so beautiful about Lee and Amanda’s reletionship was that they accepted each other exactly like they were and never tried to change each other. But at the same time they were both changed by real love. I always respected Amanda in how graceful and wise she was when it came to Lee. Even when she could see Lee was developing real feelings for her she never forced the issue. Instead she let Lee come to her. Lee is not a man who can be pushed in matters of the heart. I think a lot of women could learn from Amanda. It is possible to be strong and soft at the same time.

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        • Hear Hear Misty! I love that aspect too! In the Lee’s journey post I wrote eons ago – I wrote about Lee’s yearning for acceptance – and how he never got it once his parents died.. this aspect of smk has always resonated very much with me- I love it tooo.. oh heck, if only I had paid attention to Amanda – I may not have gotten my heart broken! grrr.. 😉

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          • Another hear hear! Isn’t it terrific that although this is a discussion of a TV show, it’s really a conversation about real life, our hopes and dreams, and a reflection of how we handle life’s trials. Often it’s through difficult or failed relationships, romantic and otherwise, that we learn the strength to be patient. And when this show was on, I was in the midst of a chaotic relationship and breakup and did I follow Amanda’s example? Did I use patience and acceptance of other people like Amanda does? Did I use those muscles Morley speaks so eloquently about?! Rhetorical question obviously coz the answer is a resounding No! Still learning….

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  9. Hi Everyone! Wow.. well it is clear this scene is a huge moment in Lee and Amanda’s story! over 40 comments already?! You know this site went crazy yesterday once this scene was posted – you know how many views the blog got yesterday? 538! [I usually average about 300] – can you imagine if everyone commented? LOL.. I’d love to have that problem! 🙂

    Anyway, so wonderful to enjoy this journey with you all.. this is not an intrinsically enjoyable scene, but sooo full of meaning and so special.. that I love it!! and it seems I’m not alone 🙂

    I’ll share a few more of my thoughts, though I’ll try not to recover the same ground as others – and I’ll reply to other’s comments instead.

    I am relieved that Lee seems to immediately know the slap was not okay, and never will be okay [even when Amanda tries to brush it off]. I think in this moment Lee must suspect he has just crossed a line which Amanda will not forgive him for crossing or that he can’t forgive himself for. Surely she can’t forgive this?? and stand by him after this??

    Lee’s immediate reaction to his slap is to forget the cover and physically reach out to Amanda – to gently apologise and want to touch her. When Amanda tells him to move his hand and walks away.. Lee physically reaches out to Amanda with his arms. Wishing her back and wanting to maintain that connection with her…
    But.. then he seems to remember what he’s doing, he addresses Jack sort of (yes I agree Kgmohror- Lee accidentally drops his cover here forgetting how drunk he was suppose to be acting). When Lee gets to the door- he seems to have decided it’s best for Amanda she leave him alone and they disconnect from one another.
    Tellingly for Lee and Amanda- at the door, Lee doesn’t touch Amanda once. He is ensuring there is a big distance between them now and he is trying to break their connection. [btw- I think he fails miserably here! 🙂 but we’ll get to that]

    Lee has to hurt Amanda some more, in order to prevent her from being hurt further – ouch for Lee! A tough situation.. I guess again Lee would see this as a necessary evil. Though, I question this- is it necessary? was all this necessary? It didn’t have to be this way- did it?? Or did Lee have a choice here?? [we’ll explore all this throughout the rest of the episode!] Can Lee be a top spy and set some limits?!!

    I think right now, Lee has lost himself in this job, this case momentarily.. But I don’t think he is completely lost- to me Lee is standing on a precipice right now..[as is Lee and Amanda’s relationship!] – it could go either way.. Lee’s burn out could become real.. is starting to creep into Lee’s reality..[the slap could have a role to play in this!] is he too far gone now? will he recover from this? or will the slap lead to a further decline with self-recriminations?? We shall see!

    Oh and welcome to the blog totolee!!!! Great to have you join us!!! I agree with you.. the slap demonstrated Lee had gotten in too deep with this cover! Oh yeah!!! Lee’s reaction was amazing! so amazing. I do believe I posted the same pic twice there! rofl!!! tee heee.. [I’ll delete the duplicate] *ahem* it was a test! to see if anyone would notice.. or if we were all totally absorbed in Lee and Amanda here – I failed miserably 😉 haaa!!

    Anyway – Welcome welcome totolee!! Thanks for the encouragement about the blog – I’m chuffed! 🙂 Byeeee! Iwsod

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    • “Though, I question this- is it necessary? was all this necessary? It didn’t have to be this way- did it?? Or did Lee have a choice here?? [we’ll explore all this throughout the rest of the episode!] Can Lee be a top spy and set some limits?!!”

      I’ll bring this up again later as we progress through the episode, but I also see BO as a bit of a coming of age for Amanda professionally. This is the big league, Barry, errr, Amanda. If this were Francine here instead of Amanda, I see him slapping her too. And I think he’d feel badlly about it as well, but not nearly as badly as he feels because it is Amanda. Lee is treating Amanda here as if she is a hardened professional IMHO.

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      • I agree BJo – I think Burn Out is a coming of age for both Lee and Amanda in different ways.. whoooo this ep is so good!

        Yeah I agree this whole spy/agency angle to their relationship changes the parameters of what’s possible – and what Amanda has to take on..
        Maybe she would have been okay with Lee’s conduct if she had been fully in on it – and had consented to participate in this big scene.. as it is.. she’s not playing a role here – for her it’s real.. and that stinks IMHO! Yeah you are right BJo, Amanda is not yet a hardened professional – sooo to do this to her was pretty unfair, a big mistake – and I think Lee would see it that way too now after that slap! Thus he pushes her away..
        But, Amanda not knowing it’s a cover opens a whole range of possibilities for Lee and Amanda – a groovy plot device!

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        • I do think that here Amanda is going to decide to keep their friendship business. It is a grow up moment and I think Amanda does the growing. It is Lee that takes the relationship back down into the depths of personal. But we aren’t there yet.
          BJo, I see you brought up the what if it was Francine as well.
          I love watching Lee’s reaction after the actaul moment that he hits her (that I don’t like to watch) but the look on his face, he way he reaches for her, the sound of his voice.
          I still think that there is a part of Lee that is speaking as he hurts her again with what he said at the door that comes from that raw gut level self protective part of him that is yelling at him saying, “see, never let anyone close, they always get hurt because of you, and then they leave.” I think that voice often is behind a lot of what Lee does during stressful relational situations and even though this may be part of the cover, something influences the lines he speaks, does that make sense?

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    • When Amanda asks Lee to remove his hand it is completely heart wrenching and in some ways the saddest moment for me. I think Lee runs after Amanda for several reasons. He looks as though he is panicked and needs to know that he hasn’t driven her away forever. And I see Lee as being angry and appalled at himself for his behavior and begging Amanda with his eyes to understand that he didn’t mean it. At the same time he’s pushing her away for her own good and to be able to do his job. So many heightened and agonizing emotions going on and so poignant to see.
      I agree Iwsod, Lee is standing on a precipice in so many ways, as an agent, a man, finding his heart’s desire or losing everything.
      Must go watch it again!

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    • “I think in this moment Lee must suspect he has just crossed a line which Amanda will not forgive him for crossing or that he can’t forgive himself for. Surely she can’t forgive this?? and stand by him after this?? ”
      This is the most beautiful thing, this is what takes it down to that deeper level, this is what opens Lee up to a new world, this is what shows who Amanda is to him, this is what allows that redemptive love to do it’s work. Realizing the breakdown in relationship, the awful, ugly, truth of who we are and how badly we can hurt someone we care deeply for, and then yearn and hope and need forgiveness without a guarantee that is could be given, and then…oh, but we haven’t gotten there yet.
      I still wonder if Lee thinks there is a possibility that he may be poison to Amanda at some level. I can’t stop the thoughts that whether he was under the influence of alcohol a lot, or a little, there is a reason that he did what he did and said what he said. He could have done anything or said anything to get Amanda to leave. I mean he could have thrown his drink at her and she would have had to leave to change her clothes. But he use aggression and violence. That has got to shake him up (and her). He used it towards Amanda. You know I forget often that Lee is a killer, he is, he uses violence all the time… why should he not revert to it instinctually? Did that shake him up, that he might use violence so easily against someone he cared for. Does Lee harbor anger towards a person who might be an object of affection ( I know that sounds really darjk and scary, it is, but I was just wondering that because of his background and his training, could that be something buried in there) I am sure that would freak him out. But I don’t know he is so tender usually (towards Amanda at least) Someone mentioned the fact that it is part of the job and maybe Amanda is trying to view it that way in some respect. I think there is something to that as well.

      There is something incomplete in all my thoughts, maybe that is because the episode isn’t over yet… can’t wait to get to the café scene…. that ought to help me a bit. I just feel like there is something that I am just about to put my finger on and then it slips away. So I leave you with more ramblings…oh well.

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      • Morley – I’ve started to write two replies to this comment and deleted them both. What you say here is very thought provoking. I’m not sure what I think or what I really want to say – perhaps the cafe scene will help gel everything together. The poison part, his choice to use violence, the fact that he is a killer and the thought that Lee might harbor anger towards a person who might be an object of affection are all the things that make me sit back and wonder. I think I commented on the poison thing before – I’m not sure that Lee is mentally there yet – S4 is a more obvious place for that for me – or perhaps latter half of S3? I’ll try to think on this more and remember to comment on it later because I think they’re all very interesting things to think about!

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        • I am glad you think they are interesting, and not totally off the wall. I sure hope the café scene completes these thoughts, because otherwise I have just put some rather off the wall thoughts out there to hang, haven’t I?

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          • hiya! Off the wall ideas are totally welcome 🙂 They may come to fruition or they may not.. but they spur ideas and open up new possibilities!

            I’m going to ponder on that one Morley – your idea of Lee his violence.. It’s a really interesting question. My immediate response is that Lee compartmentalises his violence – he isn’t indiscriminant.. He is all about good and bad, right and wrong – and seeking justice – Lee has very clear values when it comes to violence (this is all just my view) – his military upbringing would contribute to that. He doesn’t love violence – he loves catching bad guys- that thrills him. Sooo Lee and his violence being poison is not intuitively a link I make.

            If you were to link anger and love – there may be something there.. he has lots to work through our Lee! I think some of these things come up in later episodes.. man so tempting! but I don’t see this factoring into what transpires in this episode – so I’ll come back to it in future 🙂

            Oh how do I watch in slow motion? I have all the episodes burned to my computer so I can take the photos using the GOM player. The Gom Player also allows you to slow down the playback- with slowed audio also. very helpful for when things are going just a bit too fast and you don’t want to miss anything! 🙂

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      • Wow really good insight. I hadn’t thought about it that way before,but you are right, Lee is a killer. He has to be. It’s the world he lives in. Being able to use a gun and his fists had to become second nature to him as a way of survival. So it would make sense that with his back to the wall and not having anytime to consider what to do Lee would resort to second nature. I use to think it went against everything in him to hit Amanda but maybe not. At least not entirely. I do think it goes against everything Lee thinks and feels to hurt Amanda. After all he usually sees it as his calling to protect her. But in a desperate situation when he just wanted to get Amanda away from him it doesn’t seem so out of character that his first impulse would be to resort to his second nature when you look at it that way.

        You often see Lee struggle to control his temper with Amanda and with others, not that I think he goes around normally wanting to hit her, I am sure it’s never even crossed his mind, but Lee is a fighter and someone who likes to be in control. I am sure it just frustrates Lee to know end that Amanda won’t back off when he needs her too. Desperation and frustration and in part fear probably led Lee to do the only thing he felt he could do. It would never occur to him to throw a drink at someone, it’s his nature to fight. And I don’t think that would have been enough to get Amanda to back off, the slap was barely enough.

        I do think that slapped shook Lee up so much that his nature changed a little bit though. He may be use to a world of violence, but he just crossed a line he didn’t think he was capable of . And maybe he learned he couldn’t always come out fighting. I always thought Lee had learned a lot more temperance with the people he cared about in season 3. I use to think it was just because he was really starting to realize he loved Amanda at that point and Love softened him a little but may be it also had to do with learning something in this episode.

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  10. Based on what I read on post 5, I think I’m in the minority here with this comment, but that’s ok. I think Lee is big time faking being drunk. I think his drinks are watered down. Based on how quickly his behavior changes in these last few scenes, I just don’t see how it could happen like that. At most I’m willing to say he has a buzz, meaning he’s feeling good, but not out of control. I just don’t see Lee being willing to get out of control on a mission of this importance. Can I just say that I don’t enjoy Lee being drunk? Fake or not. I like him much better focused and in control.

    Hairy godfather – ROFL!!! 😀 Good one!

    I agree with what you say that Lee probably isn’t surprised that Amanda has shown up at the bar and was probably thinking of a way to use it to confirm to Harris his cover. I think the quick side glance at Harris right before he hits Amanda is to make sure Harris sees what Lee is about to do. If Harris had walked away or had his back turned and not looking, then I don’t think Lee hits Amanda. I think those few little pats before the one that hurts are Lee being tentative, really thinking to himself that he can’t believe he’s about to slap Amanda on the face. They’re hesitation slaps – he’s unsure. He’s even gritting his teeth – like he’s trying to psych himself up to do this. I’ve heard of hesitation cuts on TV crime shows (assuming that’s a real thing and not just a tv thing) WRT suicide. I think the concept applies here to Lee. It may also be a way of him signaling to Amanda – hold on! This isn’t going to feel good. iwsod, I agree – don’t think Lee meant to hit her that hard.

    Oh! To stop there – now THAT would be a tease!

    Oh dear – Amanda’s just had the shock of her life. I think she is beginning to wonder if she may not know Lee as well as she thought she did and may be in over her head in trying to help him. I think this is where this episode differs from Savior – Amanda is having a moment of doubt where Lee is concerned. I think that is why Lee’s arm grasp doesn’t work. She needs to get away from him right now before she completely loses her faith in him or respect for him.

    I think Lee is panicking here a bit himself – he just did a terrible, awful thing to his one true friend and he can’t let her go without saying something. I think this is why he has this conversation inside and not outside – his world’s been rocked a little too and he momentarily is putting his relationship with Amanda before the job. I don’t hear exhaustion or resignation in Lee’s voice. I hear frustration. I think he just wants her to stay out of this assignment – only she doesn’t know it’s an assignment and Lee can’t tell her so he’s had to resort to this terrible awful thing. His tone isn’t so awful at the beginning of this post slap conversation, but then he gets mean again – another metaphorical slap in the face for Amanda. He is really trying to push her away.

    As Lee turns and walks back to the bar I wonder if he is berating himself and Billy silently in his head for not including Amanda on the fact that Lee is undercover. How could he have underestimated again her friendship and devotion toward him? He obviously didn’t want to slap her and feels horribly – but I think he felt like he had to do something so terribly awful to nail his cover in front of Jack and at the same time send a message to Amanda. STAY AWAY!!!

    I think Amanda is really at a loss here as to what to do for Lee. I agree with all of what you say Amanda is going through, iwsod. She needs to go think about this one. Veeeery sad indeed!!!

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    • I also hate a drunk Lee – but for me it’s preferable to the idea that he could hit Amanda while entirely in control of his faculties. I suspect Mr. Stetson has a fairly high tolerance for alcohol (we see him drinking a LOT), so he likely *felt* well in control of himself here … only to discover that his reflexes were indeed affected. He wouldn’t know it, but his mental faculties were also affected, giving him a false sense of confidence that he’s in control of the situation.

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      • Totally agree. Lee was not as drunk as he was pretending to be but no one can consume that amount of alcohol and not be effected. But Lee does have a high tolerance and doesn’t ever see himself as being out of control. Guess Amanda isn’t the only one who gets to see Lee is more fallible than she thought, Lee gets to see it too.

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        • Ooooh – like the idea that Lee might see that he is infallible – it’s good to be reminded of that every once in a while.

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        • Yes, I think that is how I want to view it. He isn’t as drunk as he want Harris to think, but the sharp edge is probably off of his decision making and control. And impulse may have a little bit of a louder voice than it should. I think alcohol also opens the door for hidden influences to speak up more so then when one is not under any influence.

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      • LOL, kgmohror! I just responded to your initial comment from the other day – down at the bottom.

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  11. I knew this scene would lend itself to many comments. It is quite an emotional scene not just for Lee and Amanda but for us as well. I remember when I first watched this how shocked I was by the slap. Since then when I get to this episode I watch that scene in particular several times. Both Lee and Amanda’s reactions to the slap are so amazing. So many emotions on display. The look in Amanda’s eyes is so devastating. Lee is so distraught by what he has done. That slap caused so many things to change between them. Amanda realizes that Lee does have some fallibilities. Lee realizes he has gone way too far and I think he can see how he has lost a bit of Amanda there.

    This was a little hard to watch as when growing up we were taught that males did not hit females. My brother always got that little lecture from my parents and I know that he wanted to deck me on several occasions, but knew the consequences if he did. Males were supposed to respect females and treat them kindly. Part of that was their southern upbringing and they passed that on to us. I remember in some older movies how it was okay for a man to hit a woman.

    I think it was discussed before about how Lee is sometimes like a southern gentleman in how he treats Amanda. This has got to be wreaking havoc on Lee’s feelings of protectiveness towards Amanda. He has always been the one to take care of her and keep her from harm and now he’s the one causing the harm. Recriminations and remorse are going to eat away at him. Like the scene for what it brings out emotionally for them, but don’t like what happened to cause it.

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    • The Southern gentleman analogy is interesting! In a similar vein, it seems to me that Amanda has brought out the “White Knight” in Lee. It’s not clear to me that he has treated other women as well/respectfully as he does Amanda, perhaps because the sort of women he associated with didn’t expect that kind of treatment. There is that famous line from the film As Good As It Gets: “You make me want to be a better man.” I think Amanda does that for Lee.

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    • Hi Valerie, you put your toughts so well into words. Same goes here.

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    • “That slap caused so many things to change between them. Amanda realizes that Lee does have some fallibilities. Lee realizes he has gone way too far and I think he can see how he has lost a bit of Amanda there.”

      Love how you put this, Valerie – I wrote that I thought Amanda may be having doubts about Lee – but I think how you put it may be more accurate.

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  12. I don’t feel Lee is drunk, this is all just part of the act. Even knocking over the glasses I think is part of the overacting. He switches too easily between slurring and sobering up in an instant. He quite convincing as the clumsy boozer.
    Ah the hit. I wonder why he utters the words about time through such gritted teeth. And that look to Jack, to see if he’s watching……and then that horribly ill judged smack 😦 the look of horror; BB does such a fantastic job of showing the different feelings running through his head. I love the idea of Amanda having Lee on a bit of a pedestal. He’s well and truly fallen off it now. Poor Amanda, her shock at being slapped by someone she has entrusted her life (and the safety of her family at times) to can treat her this way. I can just imagine her being split in two, desperate to not believe what she’s seeing. Trying to reconcile the Lee she knew to the man standing before her.
    When Lee is pushing her away at the door he sounds so angry. Probably with himself but possibly angry at Amanda for her inability to take no for an answer. If she had just left him alone like everyone else he wouldn’t have been forced to do what he did.

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  13. I think Lee really did intend to hit Amanda somewhat hard to keep up the show. I don’t think he intended to hit her hard enough to really hurt her and is immediately shocked and remorseful that he did. Also I don’t think Lee grasped the fact that wether he really hurt her or not just how humiliating it would be to Amanda to be slapped by him Then when he sees her response it sinks in.and he is truly ashamed. I don’t think he has ever looked as ashamed as he did in that moment.

    As far as not worrying about how the whole burn out act would effect Amanda before I really don’t think Lee gave it too much thought. He was in full work mode here and only concentrating on getting the bad guy. I think there are a number of times we see Lee completely wrapped up in the job and not really giving any thought to how his actions effect Amanda until she is in danger and that jolts him out of it. Brunettes are in is a good example of this.

    This time however, it is seeing Amanda emotionally at risk rather than physically at risk that jolts Lee here. Until now I don’t think Lee really considered just what it would mean to lose Amanda’s faith in him. He goes on and on about how the price of the job is worth it and he’d do it for two years if he had to, but he hadn’t really been confronted with the emotional toll on his reletionship with Amanda.

    I don’t think it was until Lee went to far and hit amanda harder than he intended that he realized he wasn’t as in control as he thought, and the fall out of the whole thing made him realize he had a lot more to lose than he considered.

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  14. I read the comments and keep nodding and saying to myself, oh so true! Everyone’s perspective gives me new insights into this scene. Amanda and Lee share a belief in each other that far surpasses Lees expectations of people in general. He’s shaken by how much he needs Amanda’s support and lashes out. He is torn between his need to do his job and his desire to protect Amanda and ends up hurting her in a way thats unthinkable to both of them. Misty said so perfectly, ” I think in that moment it may be the first time Lee really comprehends just how close he has allowed Amanda to get and how that is compromised by doing the job”. He is a man at war with himself.

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  15. This is actually one of my favorite Amanda episodes. To me, it always feels like we’re seeing Amanda from the outside. Maybe it’s just the way KJ portrayed her, but with Lee, we get inside his head quite a lot. With Amanda, I always feel like I’m inferring her feelings based on either her actions or her interactions. This is a favorite scene (and into the next one) because here, we do see her devastated. I think she loves Lee dearly by now, as a friend, certainly, and maybe more. She has inwardly decided she will save him, even from himself if necessary. At the end of this scene, I was always left to wonder, is this it? Will she give up on him now? Maybe it’s because I probably would hve backed off and let him fall for a while before I tried to interfere again. Maybe Amanda has more co-dependent tendencies than I do.

    It’s actually the next scene that I have always found so incredibly emotional. Amanda and Billy, knowing what Billy knows and how Amanda is acting with him. Her loyalty toward Lee is fierce, unfailing, and utterly blind. And Billy now knows that, even more than Lee does at the moment….er….wait, I should have posted this one next time. Alright, so I get a little excited.

    Anyway, yes, I do believe Lee’s slap was unintentionally hard and influenced by the alcohol he couldn’t help consuming for the sake of his cover.

    Ah, nuts, more to say but my own little Lee (the baby) is fussing for me. Great episode, though. One of the best!

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  16. I love this blog! SMK has always been one of my favorite shows. Have been following for a few weeks now. Very insightful and outright hilarious at times (I especially love all the blooper catches). The slap scene is quite possibly my favorite scene of the whole series. Bruce and Kate both showed their acting chops on this one. The look of shock on Lee’s face is so well acted that I am always moved by it, and Amanda is completely stunned and hurt as much emotionally as she is physically; I don’t think either of these two ever got the recognition they deserved for their acting. Anyway, I think the slap shows just how deep in to his “cover” Lee is, that he would hit Amanda so hard without even seeming aware of what he is about to do. But wow, the emotion once he hits her seem so “real”. He has crossed a line that he can’t forgive himself for, cover or not. Nothing too insightful on my part; just wanted to share how much I love this blog. Thanks so much for creating it.

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    • Welcome, totolee! Glad you jumped in the conversation! And you found the blog at a great time – at one of the best episodes! Your comment went into moderation because it was your first one. If you comment again, it should get posted right away – unless you try to link something.

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    • Welcome, totolee! Glad to have you join us. It’s always nice to have another voice join us on our journey.

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    • Oh boy, more lovely people to meet here! I discovered this blog just a few months back and it has been an exceptionally thought provoking and fun experience. Welcome totalee!

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    • Yes Welcome! The more the merrier!

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  17. I’ve been noodling on this some more … we’ve discussed how strange it seemed that Billy and especially Lee didn’t seem that worried about how Amanda would react to his burn out cover. In light of this scene, I think perhaps both men were so caught up in their little “game” that its possible consequences didn’t occur to them. Lee was in the midst of the chase, going after the bad guys (and I think getting a kick out of pulling the wool over his colleagues’ eyes). He could see the endgame: Scarecrow comes out the hero again! He might even have imagined how proud Amanda would be of him for pulling it off. He wasn’t worried about his own reputation, which he knew would be restored once he “won” the game. What he missed in this scenario was the potential collateral damage that could occur along the way – specifically, to his relationship with Amanda.

    In this light, it’s possible that Lee really did intend to hit Amanda a bit hard (though not as hard as he actually did, I think) – it was all part of his act. It wasn’t “real,” so it didn’t matter … except, her response to the slap jarred him right out of that fantasy world. He realized instantly that his game of pretend could – and did – hurt someone who means very much to him. He should have understood this from the outset, but was blinded by his obsessive focus on winning the game.

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  18. Lee hit her harder that he intended (yes, the alcohol plays a part in this). He’s devastated by her response and his actions. Though he really gives no thought to Jack here as he brushes him off to speak to Amanda, he actually helps his case, I think. Jack would see this as confirmation of the burnout. Lee’s reaction would say, “I’m not in control. I lashed out at a friend and need to apologize.” If Jack overheard the apology, that would also be a confirmation. “I don’t want your help.”

    It’s more devastating to Amanda because he’s totally in full Scarecrow mode here, and Lee is nowhere to be found. It’s Lee who follows her to the door, but it’s Scarecrow/Lee warring within each other who says “Don’t help. I’m poison.” Ultimately, Scarecrow wins this round because there is still a job to complete. This is, I think, the only time we see Amanda deal with a total Scarecrow persona. (I’ll have to do some more thinking on that point, but I can’t remember a full Scarecrow act with Amanda anywhere else.) She’s torn. She really wants to believe in Lee, here, but is confused by everything she’s seen. This is nothing like the person she’s used to seeing, so she’s struggling with her emotions, too.

    Back to this before YODT – IMHO, It works better after because of Lee’s response to the slap. He almost lost Amanda physically once before, and it surprised him how much it hurt. At that moment – the slap – he realizes he can’t lose her emotionally, either. She’s become a very personal friend to him. He literally hurts to see her reaction to him. This is why he follows her and eventually ends up giving her details later. She’s become his support, his cheerleader, his confidant, his best friend. He doesn’t think it can be more than that because he knows Amanda brings family (kids!) into the relationship, and he isn’t ready for that. He really isn’t. It takes time for him to realize that he’s already a part of that life, in a sense – “outside looking in.” Once he admits to himself that he cares about them, as well, he can move forward with Amanda with his full heart.

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    • On a lighter note – this episode showcases the great acting ability of both BB and KJ, BB especially. This is a favorite episode in many ways, despite the tragedy of this scene. Such growth and potential in this relationship. Another reason I keep coming back to SMK again and again.

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      • I agree debilyn – terrific acting by BB and KJ. I would have said so in my comment above, but didn’t want to keep going on and on. I also like how you say it literally hurts Lee to see Amanda’s reaction to him. I think that is a new thing for him and he probably wasn’t expecting just how much it would hurt and how badly he would feel afterward.

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      • *LIKE* The performances are riveting and flawless! I agree with you that the growth and possibilities in their relationship are what keeps us all coming back 30 years on.

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  19. Melissa Robertson

    This is one of my favorite scenes. The look of shock on Lee’s face. He has been telling himself and Billy that he is incontrol, but in this scene I think he sees that the alcohol is more incontrol than he thought.

    Very telling for Amanda to tell Lee to remove his hand and then for her to remove it herself~I don’t think she is going to allow any man to physically harm her (kudos~I detest a drunk/ my grandpa was an alcoholic and my uncle was taken away by the state and my mom worked for many years to get custody and he finally came to live with us when I was 8. Alcohol is too damaging to families!!!) Sorry to digress.

    This is such a powerful scene all the hurt, confusion, and loneliness for both of them. IMO the way Lee tells Amanda~’Let me make this easier on you and just don’t help’ and the look afterwards is the old Lee and that leaves Amanda even more hurt and confused because I think she thought they had progressed past that type of treatment.

    I think for Lee know he is only thinking of Amanda’s protection from Harris and the effects that the alcohol is having on him!

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  20. The second experience my husband had with SMK after that Damned Duck Episode was coming home after work and walking in during this scene. I am sure he wondered why I was watching this with our young daughters, but he sat and watched the rest of the show with us and admitted (with surprise) that BB “could actually really act.”
    And of course the girls got a lecture on what to do if anyone ever hit or tried to hit them.

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  21. I’m still not convinced all the booze is real… I still think that either he has an Agency antidote (LOL) or–more likely–Ned is in on it, and helping to keep his cover by making remarks like he needs to slow down. The wink from Lee to Ned could be ‘cos he’s in on it (or it could just be good ol’ boy Scarecrow)… *shrug*

    I find it interesting when Lee introduces Jack and Amanda, that he uses Jack’s full name “Jack Harris” but only uses Amanda’s given name “Amanda”. It could be seen as derogatory/belittling, like he’s trying to show Jack that Amanda’s not a problem, or–what I prefer to believe–he’s trying to protect Amanda from someone he thinks is the baddie he’s after by keeping her more anonymous.

    At the door, I think Amanda sounds–more than anything–hurt. And I think she’s fighting tears–she doesn’t want Scarecrow to see her cry. Overlaid on that, though, is the concern for Lee and the confusion. She knows her friend is in trouble, but I think she knows that she needs to walk away right now to think about how to help. Emotions are too high at this moment.

    The wide-eyed look of shock/disbelief that Amanda gives Lee after the slap I’m sure would haunt him for a looooong time! And yeah–the only time I can think of her spurning his touch before was in Weekend, when she shrugged him off in the hallway and then slapped him with her purse in the room.

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    • I know what else I meant to say… like what Morley says about Lee being knocked off the pedestal that Amanda had him on… it’s apparent to her now that he’s “just a man” (a la We’re Off To See The Wizard), not a superhero.

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      • Gah! KC the same scene came to my mind also – but I am trying really hard to resist referring to later episodes and staying in this moment with the characters – try to resist if you can 🙂 and when we get to WOTSTwizard we can bring to mind this episode and explore that some more 🙂 can’t wait to get there.. but.. am also enjoying the journey- and don’t want to rush it! 🙂

        Ohhh you guys I think I pretty much agree with almost everything! LOL! Some fantastic insights! I’ll try and come back later and respond more specifically to comments that really resonated with me, and I think I’ll just put in comments my expanded thoughts on this big moment – so in the next post, in a few days time, we can head straight into the next part of the episode…

        Love to hear you talk to your girls about anyone hitting them Cindy.. kudos to you – you are a fab mum equipping your girls well! 🙂

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  22. This scene for some reason I love. To me this is the turning point for amanda. How far will she go to trust lee? At this point she is still torn. Does she trust her heart and pray that lee is undercover or does she side with francine and believe lee is truely gone off the deep end. Evidence tells her that lee would never hurt a woman, after all reita did pose that question to lee. Also no matter how mad or frustrated lee is, he only raises his voice not his fist. Plus the look in his eyes from lee (bravo bb) will probably cause her to think that the old lee is somewhere in there.

    As for lee, he is devistated. Here his uncle taught him to never hurt a woman and he has done it. Now lee just wants amanda to be away from him because he doesn’t know what else this cover will require him to do. So for now he will push amanda to the side and concentrate on the job until he can properly explain to amanda what is going on.

    Okay my amandaramble is done. 😉

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  23. One more observation: It seems to me that Lee drops his cover for just a minute when Amanda heads for the door. His comment to Harris, “Look, Jack, I’ll talk to you about your friend later, huh?” isn’t slurred like the rest of his speech has been. I think he was so desperate to get to Amanda that he forgot how drunk he was supposed to be.

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    • I think Lee was so shaken to his core by what he had just done and all the resulting emotion that he didn’t have the composure to completely keep up the cover.

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  24. All the emotion in this scene makes it heart wrenching to watch. I can just imagine the pain they would both be in right now. Lee has always been so protective of Amanda. Even when he didn’t appreciate having her around he was protective of her and has only become all the more protective of her now that they had gotten so close. To now be the one hurting her I think is truly devastating for him. I think his line about being poison is actually true to him at that moment. I think in that moment it may be the first time Lee really comprehends just how close he has allowed Amanda to get and how that is compromised by doing the job. The lone wolf is back and I think for a moment Lee actually regrets ever letting Amanda get so close. Now it is hurting her, it is compromising the job, and it is hurting him. I think part of him really wants her to stay away, but at the same time if she does stay away he’ll be losing the one and only person IMO who has shown she really cares.

    Though she hides it better I really feel Amanda’s pain here too. Lee has always been her hero. Unfortunately, Amanda is not the first woman to be hit but when it comes from a man she idealized and who is probably the person she feels safest with in the world it has to feel like another level of betrayal. The ways she pulls herself together so quick almost makes me wonder if it’s not the first time she’s been slapped,and if that’s the case coming from a man she so completely trusts must just be devastating. But then maybe I am completely reaching here. There is nothing to suggest the character has been slapped in a past reletionship. Just the way she goes from shock to recovery so fast hints to me at someone whose had experience having to do that. Either way it’s just heartwrenching.

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    • I’ve wondered about Amanda’s reaction to the slap too. She say’s it’s okay and it didn’t hurt. Like she’s trying to pass it off as unimportant and it doesn’t matter. But it DOES. Is she trying to hide her hurt from Lee? That seems a little un-Amanda like to me. Maybe she just can’t believe it so she’s telling herself these things to downplay it? Instant denial? Help iwsod and Dr. Pfaff!

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      • I think two of Amanda’s coping mechanisms are denial and downplaying. I wondered when I saw this for the first time (and again when I saw it again) if these characteristics played into her marriage breaking up (not that I think Joe ever slapped her) — I can see her not wanting to deal with problems that arose, to deny and minimize until they became so big they couldn’t be ignored or lived with. We see this behaviour again in the apology scene and she even alluded to it in ‘Gift Horse” when she told Penny about using a sexy nightgown when her and Joe were not getting along.

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        • Oh I agree Cindy!
          I do see Amanda as an emotionally intelligent person – but at the same time, she has her moments 😉 I agree, she does tend to minimise things at times – I agree this is part of Amanda’s journey that she learns to be more assertive with her own thoughts and feelings with others.

          I agree- that comment about using the sexy nightgown to resolve things was a bit of a red flag for me too!

          This moment in Spiderweb comes to mind: Where Amanda finds Lee in her house and she has the baseball bat in the kitchen? He says sorry for scaring her and she immediately responds ‘ you didn’t scare me’ – when it’s flippin obvious he scared the daylights out of her! [https://justwalkwithme.com/2013/03/21/9-season-two-episode-13-spiderweb-scarecrow-and-mrs-king/] Amanda at times denies what is completely obvious – it’s almost like a reflex – because she is ‘nice’ and doesn’t want to be a bother maybe, or denies things to downplay other’s distress.. but this is an area where Amanda grows throughout the show and thanks to her job and relationship with Lee.

          Hey- thanks for the ‘like’ BJo! I just got an email telling me you’d liked this post – LOL! I keep forgetting that it is possible to like posts! Oops.. I should go back and ‘like’ all your stats posts!! 🙂

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          • LOL – the funny thing is, I hit the like button by accident! So then I hit it again and it ‘unliked!’ I’ll go back and like it – didn’t know you got emails about that…. 😉 I DO really like your post! The richness of this episode is overshadowing it, but you’re doing a fabulous job of asking very thought provoking questions!

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            • Awh!!! thank you BJo!!! you just made my day! 🙂 I have great material to work with.. and super clever people to pose these questions to! 🙂

              haaa you unliked me? too funny! Yes please go for it.. like away.. you liked me by accident? did you touch the button softly and then accidentally hit the button harder that you intended? Have you had a few BJo? [LOL.. sorry I’m just kidding.. so focused on Lee, and that darn slap! 😉 ] Yeah – I didn’t know I got emails for that either !haaaaaa.. cos no one ever ‘likes’ posts! I think people don’t realise the option is there – and frankly I’d forgotten too! tee hee!

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              • ROFL!! I have NOT had a few – just a little slap happy 😉 And nope, the first accidental like was cuz I hit the button too hard the first time! 😀

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          • I agree Cindy, that Amanda uses denial and downplaying as coping mechanisms. I wonder how much of a personality vs generational thing this is. I grew up in the same time period in which minimizing yourself and your pain and feeling was reflexive. It was especially true if you were the “good girl” or peacemaker. It was a time of transition between deferring and downplaying your true self in a men’s world and learning to step outside of your comfort zone and speak up. Women we’re not as routinely assertive as we teach girls to be nowadays. So yeah! for fearless modern girls! Okay, that was a long winded way to say, Amanda is a product of the times and her upbringing. It’s especially wonderful in this context to see how she grows and changes.

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  25. This scene is the reason I have to believe Lee really has been knocking back the booze – it’s the only way I can come to terms with him using violence against Amanda. Granted, in the 80s we were less sensitive to this issue (there is a really ghastly scene in Remington Steele where the “hero” punches Doris Roberts in the jaw, knocking her unconscious – for comedic effect!). But in 2013, I need to believe that Lee’s hard slap was accidental, that he misjudged his force because the alcohol had impaired his reflexes. I do think that moment shakes Lee to the core, though I’m not sure he has an opportunity, in the moment, to fully understand the ramifications of what he’s just done. He certainly does know that Amanda has never looked at him that way before … and that loss of trust in him is gutting.

    As for Amanda, I think she must be wondering if, despite how much she cares for the man, she should distance herself from him. At least, I *hope* that’s what she’s thinking. I would hate to think of Amanda being willing to be mistreated by any man (though, given her nature, it’s not out of the realm of possibility).

    I also hope that once this case is over, and things are back to “normal” between them, Lee does reflect on the incident and perhaps make some changes about his lifestyle, what he’s willing to do for his job, and how he relates to Amanda.

    (Oh, and I think tipping over the glass was accidental on BB’s part, but they went with it because it actually added to the scene – similar to his tripping over his line, “Beats sitting here waiting to get fired.”)

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    • Yeah, I’m thinking alcohol definately played a part here. Lee seems taken aback himself by the force he uses when he slaps Amanda like he really didn’t mean to hit her that hard. I can’t see him doing that for any other reason. No matter how mad he’s gotten with her in the past he’s never done anything to indicate that he would like to hit her. And maybe that kind of thing wasn’t taken as seriously in the 80s but Lee’s character is written to be a character women swoon over and women have never swooned over that.

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    • You say to-may-toe, I say to-mah-toe 🙂 Funny how it happens, but this scene hits me the other way. The fact that he hit her the way he does says to me that he isn’t drunk but that he’s faking. Maybe I just don’t want to believe that Lee would hit anyone because of drinking, especially Amanda. I tend to believe our true natures come out when we’re a little uninhibited from too much alcohol. I’d much rather this be a calculated decision, one that he thinks he can somehow atone for later. He does it for a good reason (and out of desperation?) and maybe he’s just telling himself that the ends justify the means? But he totally underestimates the devastating emotional consequences for both him and Amanda.

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      • I understand what you are saying. I actually really would hate to think of Lee as some mean drunk that hauls off and hits women after having a few too many. I don’t actually think Lee was drunk, I just think his reflexes were a little more off than he thought when he slapped her due to the alcohol(that’s why he slapped her a little harder than intended). I don’t think the alcohol was the reason he slapped her. I think the slap was calculated out of desperation. He wanted to do his job and he wanted her out of the way. I actually wouldn’t care to think that the alcohol was the cause of the slap. Some people might prefer that, but I actually would have lost a lot more respect for him.

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        • I am with you here Misty and BJo. Having experience with ugly alcoholics, I prefer the slap to be calculated not caused by alcohol.
          I can barely keep up with y’all! Every time I go to post a thought, someone else brings up a new point to consider. Gotta read faster…..

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          • hiya! I think most of us have experience with alcohol and it’s ugly downside 😦 Yes alcohol can bring out a person’s hidden side.. but I also think it warps reality a bit.. and can turn someone into someone they are not. I can see both sides of that argument. I’m agreeing with kgmohror and Misty with the alcohol affecting Lee – it doesn’t bring out the true Lee.. it causes the true Lee to have poor judgement – and I think ordinarily Lee would be a light drinker because he likes to be in control and keep his senses sharp- this is for me part of the real danger of this undercover assignment – it put Lee in a very dangerous situation where he was not at his best.. a bit like a burned out agent! Maybe the episode isn’t trying to make this point- but this really resonates with me.
            Alcohol is not inert. When people drink alcohol they are no longer as self- aware as they usually are – which is how Lee lost control.. it’s the psychologist in me that I see alcohol consumption as reducing the brain and nervous system’s effectiveness.. even if Lee had a high tolerance, he would be affected.
            It’s kind of like those experiments where people who have had 3 or 4 drinks and feel fine and normal- then do a driving simulation test and fail miserably and are shocked at their performance – it’s because alcohol affects you and you can be unaware of it – this is why we have alcohol limits when driving.

            Lee is as human as the next person[lol okay he is fictional! but.. I mean his character is suppose to be a human being haa!], and alcohol does to Lee’s brain what it does to other brains – so I don’t see it in anyway as speaking to Lee’s character here. now.. if it was ongoing and became habitual- that would be a different matter.. sooo kgmohror’s comment that the alcohol playing a role in the slap sounds along the same lines as my own thinking – Lee’s slap is easier for me to understand when alcohol is in the picture.

            I agree Jule.. whoa!! so many comments! so little time! but hey.. keep them coming anyway! 🙂

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      • I agree, I would be much more uncomfortable if I thought Lee was a little bit drunk (or even a lot) and hit Amanda.

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        • It’s interesting.. some of us are polar opposites on this one aspect of the alcohol and the slap!
          and whether the influence of alcohol makes us either more or less comfortable!
          In a way, I am uncomfortable with either sober Lee or alcohol affected Lee slapping Amanda. It’s just plain uncomfortable, and it’s just plain wrong to slap Amanda.
          But – a completely sober Lee slapping Amanda is for me the most unappealing idea! 🙂 YMMV 🙂

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          • Yup – and for me the thought of a drunk of slightly drunk Lee a little bit out of control hitting Amanda is worse for me! Love that we can watch the same scene and see it totally differently. That’s what makes this part of the blog fun. We all come at it from our own unique perspective, which makes each of our own opinions valid – IMHO 🙂 Remind me what YMMV means? Please.

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  26. One more thought… do you think Lee really thinks he is poison? As if he is wondering if that is really who he might be, or have the potential of being, a burned out poisoness man, who hits a woman that he cares about and has spent many hours protecting.

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    • I wanted to address this, because I think it’s an interesting question. I’m not sure Lee has time to think about it in depth at the time the incident happened, but I can absolutely see him stewing about it afterward. Ironically, I don’t think Lee would have fretted about becoming a poisoned apple before he met Amanda, though I think he was probably headed down that path. It’s his relationship with Amanda that makes him aware of the potential for his life to go off track, and perhaps instills in him a fear that it might.

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    • I think Lee thinks that burnt out Lee undercover is poison for Amanda. It’s a bit of a stretch for me to think he might possibly consider this to be true at this point of the series. I maybe could be convinced otherwise though – what do you think, Morley?

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  27. “Jack: Ah, well, I met someone. He had faith in me. Gave me a new start. Now I’m doing really well.” When I read this tonight, I though to myself that soon Lee would be able to say that about Amanda. But I don’t think he thinks he will be able to say that now. I think he knows he blew it. And I never saw what you pointed out, how much Lee is speaking from raw emotion trying to push Amanda away there at the door. Is it because he has hurt her and now she too appears to be rejecting him. She removed his hand, she asked him to remove his hand. She brushed off an apology. Lee is probably running and ducking behind every defense mechanism wall that he can find and he has probably not realized until now how much of those walls have already been removed.
    He had old Billy that he would maintain this cover for two years more if he had to. I don’t think he is thinking that now.
    And Amanda poor Amanda. But she grows here doesn’t she. Maybe she did have Lee on some sort of pedestal, and he just fell off of it. But it is much better if we learn to care for people on the ground just like us.
    This could go so many ways from here. I love they way they walk this out.

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    • Love what you say about Lee falling off a pedestal for Amanda. It goes right along with Valerie’s comment about Amanda seeing that Lee is not infallible and with what I said about her having doubts. At least I think they all go together! It is good for Lee to fall off that pedestal though – better this way than with something more permanent like her dying or being critically injured. Amanda does grow in this episode – personally and professionally.

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  28. Lee looks so devastated and wretched when he realizes what he has done. It is heart wrenching to watch. The pain in his eyes is profound and real. When he apoligizes you can see him begging with his eyes for understanding. He looks so vulnerable. In some ways I think that even though Lee knows he’s playing a role, it surprises him that no one at the agency but Amanda bothers to help him. If it were me I would begin to wonder if everyone already perceived me as on the road to losing it. And to really lose control with Amanda and potentially suffer the loss of her is devastating to Lee. For the first time I think he realizes what he has put on the line here and risked forfeiting. You can see it all in his face, so many emotions is just a few seconds. Both KJ and BB do such a wonderful job with this scene, I am totally caught up in it each time I see it.

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