9/15 Season Two, Episode 21: Burn Out-Scarecrow and Mrs King

We pick up right where we left off in the last post!
Lee’s glad Amanda knows the truth about his cover..
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Lee’s expression changes.. things aren’t fully resolved between them, and it’s troubling Lee. Lee takes a deep breath here..
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Lee:
Amanda…
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…There’s something else I’ve gotta talk to you about.

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[What a good man for bringing this up, not avoiding it and dealing with it- Lee is growing in his maturity in relationships would you say?]
Amanda:  No. That’s all right.
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[ugh! Amanda!!! shush!!]
Lee: No no, no, no.
[Lee sounds so gentle with Amanda here – awh!!]
Amanda: No, no, really.
Why do you think Amanda tries to stop Lee from talking about the slap?
I’m thinking she’ already forgiven him, and.. she can see how it upsets him so wants to help him by giving him an out. so glad he doesn’t take it though. He hurts, but he simply must apologise IMHO! Smile sooo glad he does!! Smile
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Lee:
No, listen. There’s some things that I…
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…Back there at Nedlindger’s, what I did and,…
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…you know, what I said, it was just to, to keep you away from me, that’s all.
[It’s like Lee can’t bring himself to say the words again ‘I hit you’ -it’s so awful. Interesting to remember that in Savior Lee
says some unkind things to Amanda [Such as ‘go on home run a couple of loads through the spin dry, I’m expecting someone.’ and denying they are friends ‘we’re business associates. Former business associates’]

– but when his cover is revealed- he didn’t apologise for them or make it clear to Amanda I didn’t mean it- he just accidentally says they are friends! An interesting difference which shows the growth in Lee and his relationship with Amanda- now he feels he must not leave this unsaid Smile awh!!! ]
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Amanda: It’s all right. I understand.
[whoo Amanda licks her lips here.. Winking smile ]
Lee softly: No, it’s not.
[Good man! Lee can see now, regardless of it being part of the job- it was not okay for him to slap Amanda.. awh!! ]

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… Amanda…

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[Lee calls to her here- asking her to look up at him. Amanda raises her head and meets his eyes]
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… I really am sorry.
Amanda: That’s okay…
[I think she had forgiven him already-when she did the report for him and spoke to Billy.. just my opinion. Thoughts?]
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…I really do understand.
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Wow Wow Wow…
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Would you check out this reaction from Lee!  sooo many pics.. sooo little time.. and soooo many close ups of gorgeous Lee looking as gorgeous as he ever has – because he is being soooo lovely to Amanda!  hoohaa!
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Lee shakes his head and smiles in amazement at this woman sitting in front of him. I think it positively beams from Lee here – how flippin lucky he knows he is to have the trust, loyalty and acceptance of this amazing woman!!!!  Hmm though, they still haven’t touched each other!…

I love that Lee takes a stand- hitting Amanda is not okay and never will be okay. He could have brushed it off as part of the job- that isn’t quite right, it’s not the response of a good man – and Lee is a good man!!! It is so wonderful how careful and clear he is in his apology- it is extremely important to him that Amanda see how sorry he is and accept his apology.
Glad to also see Lee didn’t fall into a heap of self-recriminations, was able to ask for forgiveness- and he was able to accept it Smile I think he’s going to be okay! Winking smile tee hee.. This is a very positive sign for Lee and his future. The guy is actually being quite healthy here – and I think it’s in no small part thanks to the support and encouragement of Amanda. Lee’s trust in her makes it possible for him to grow, and to be confident that she accepts his apology and knows he is a good man.
Yep, no burn out for Lee quite yet haaaaaa.. now.. about this case he is on.. Lee isn’t quite out of the woods yet in this episode.. Smile we’ll get to that next post!

Close relationships create challenges for an agent, but they are a blessing, they are rewarding and they are worth dealing with a few extra challenges, plus – we need them!  I think the slap gives Lee food for thought – this job, being an agent, asked him to do something he should never have done to Amanda [in a way, the slap damaged both Amanda and Lee]. Lee needs to set some limits in his work – and gain control over his life, who he is, who he wants to be – and stop giving this over to the job. The job is not everything! He is just a number at the agency, and they are not going to take care of him – he needs to take better care of himself and set some limits- or he risks real burn out [This element of the episode is fascinating to me Smile ]

With support from Amanda- Lee can be a better agent, and a better man. Lee has gone from completely alone and undercover, without Amanda, to knowing he has her full trust in a way he never could have known before the slap. Lee screwed up sooo badly- but Amanda is still here and she forgives him – that kind of acceptance, reassurance and security is not something Lee has had with very many people in his life since his parents died..

Also, wow wow wow at how strong Amanda is- though also vulnerable.. sweet! She really has grown up in her agency work huh… She understands… Lee is very lucky! But.. he knows it! I also think there is a wordless agreement here between them- that this sort of thing would never happen again!!
Do you see Amanda learning through all this? What? do tell! Smile
I think Amanda’s growth as an agent, is huge in this episode. While Lee should not have slapped her, I don’t see Amanda accepting that behaviour with regularity – IMHO she figured it was to do with the case, and could see Lee regretted it- she trusted Lee and forgave him for it.. From a spy perspective – she’s an absolute trooper! It’s like she is growing to be a little more detached from what the spy biz entails. LOL Lee seems to be experiencing growth in the opposite direction! His eyes are widening to see the full ramifications of his actions.. and that ‘the personal’ matters.. I guess Lee and Amanda are great for each other with this- and eventually they meet in  the middle.. I think I mentioned something like this in Spiderweb- again that episode comes up!!!  Smile What do you all think?

What do you make of Lee’s explanation that it was ‘all to keep her away from him (what he did and what he said)? I think there was more to it than that.. but maybe it was the final factor that tipped his hand? I mean I don’t think Lee would be intentionally lying to Amanda here in this apology-it’s got to be the real deal! [maybe real but not the whole picture??Maybe Lee is lying a little to himself about all his motives for the slap] What do you make of it?? thoughts??

I think we could discuss this scene for a whole week! LOL!! .. we can if we want to! If you don’t have time to discuss this now – do feel free to come back anytime and share your thoughts on this!!  byeeee

 

46 responses to “9/15 Season Two, Episode 21: Burn Out-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I don’t know where else to put this comment, but I guess it’s most appropriate here. I knew this was a fan favorite episode, and there’s some definite fan servicing in here (almost like the writers had a meeting and said “time to escalate the romance NOW”), but I didn’t like it at all.

    One, I think this episode took the show from dramance (? drama/romance) and dropped it straight into romance until S4, when it went back to drama/thriller and (best I can tell) had the most continuity errors. Not that late S2 to S4 was “bad”, not by any means, but that the writers so obviously shifted genres with this episode. I wonder if that was obvious on live watch?

    And two, Lee was written WAY over-the-top “burn out”. It’s literally cringey how bad the writing for his character is here! Seriously the stupidest mole-recruiter on the planet would have recognized Lee’s cringey over-acting (Lee’s, not BB’s) and stayed AWAY. Lee did NOT come off as a subtle agent at all, from the first moment, and that’s sad because for an 80s-era show, he was pulling off a believable, clever “spook” until this circus of an episode.

    I can’t put #3 up here because it spoils the ending, but really, the bad guy simply wasn’t WORTH all this idiocy. I can link it, I think: https://justwalkwithme.com/2014/01/01/10-season-two-episode-21-burn-out-scarecrow-and-mrs-king/ <— See? This WHOLE episode required far too much suspension of disbelief, due to who the bad guy was. He simply wasn’t WORTH it! They actually keep eyes on former agents (and for good reason — THIS reason, in fact!)

    I couldn’t go further into this episode without dropping this comment in here. By this point, Lee has looked like an idiot drunk schizo in his own local stomping ground (both work and Ned’s watering hole); Amanda has had her few “she should run the Agency” moments (disarming middleman with a stick, which was amazing btw); and Lee/Billy have had their “laughs” about what a “good job” Lee’s done fooling people. Except no: no, Billy you looked like a weak leader and Lee looked like he needed a straitjacket! And worst of all, it was all just for a simple job that would have been handled better by local cops, and apparently so Lee could have a moment where he’s slapped Amanda and dropped his cover.

    I know SMK is not supposed to be a “really serious” spy show like NCIS, but even compared to the obviously-campy and enjoyable DOA a few episodes earlier, the backstory here was just putrid. They should have toned Lee’s burn out down a few hundred notches, dropped us in the middle of a long-running con he’d been pulling that kept the character’s integrity in check, and have had the bad guys be just A TAD more sophisticated.

    Oh, and for the slap, maybe it’s because I can’t suspend my disbelief with this episode, but the read I got was similar to their little fight in Brunettes: some truth comes out when you’re angry? Not that Lee wanted to hit Amanda, but that she was ruining his stupid, OTT “con” job and, yeah, he got mad and hit her to shake her loose. The worst thing is, it could have worked had Osama Bin Laden-type been the big game Lee was shooting for, but ROLLO from Brunettes was a worse “bad guy” than [SPOILER]. So I just don’t think the slap was okay. This just wasn’t that high-level of a sting operation. I have to “erase” this mess from my head-canon when thinking about S2 (which I generally enjoy), because it makes the leads look AWFUL. Lee the woman hitter over-acting over-the-hill agent, Billy the silly cow enjoying pranking people to get “a bad guy”, and Amanda the willing punching bag.

    Oh, writers… what were you THINKING?! 😩

    [edited to remove reference to future baddie- we’ll get there! 🙂 iwsod ]

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    • Phew Trebuchette! Feel better? 🙂
      Sounds like this really pressed your buttons!
      I love how this show presses buttons for us over different things.. and we can then head here and share it! I’m glad you shared your buttons that were pressed!! 🙂

      Your thoughts here Trebuchette got me thinking.. This didn’t press my buttons. I wonder why not?
      I think I was absorbed in the Lee/Amanda developments so much that I bought it 🙂 [BB & KJ’s acting overcame!]

      And.. regarding burnout- in the 80’s it was thought of as pop psychology and it was not taken very seriously or well understood, so it didn’t surprise me to have this version of burnout played for full dramatic effect… If I stop and think about it too much, yeah this would bug me too. Maybe ‘Complete Utter Breakdown!’ would have been a better label than ‘Burnout’? 🙂 – you make a good point!

      and rofl that Brackin wasn’t worth it all haaaaaa.. you are probably right, I figured they had been trying to identify the baddie with no luck, they knew it was an inside job targeting vulnerable agents, so they didn’t want to hand it over to the police, but they wanted to catch the badguy and protect their agents from being exploited when vulnerable.
      So…. how’s this: Blue Leader contacted Billy’s steering wheel and ordered Billy to get to the bottom of it. Billy contacted Lee (not his steering wheel 😉 ).. Lee played the role – and voila! Lee’s reputation is in tatters, but hey they caught a bank robber! 😉 whahahahaaaaa… How is that Trebuchette? 🙂

      Oh and sorry, had to remove your reference to a season 4 baddie as we are not there yet..JWWM doesn’t jump ahead of the walk (we are currently starting Stemwinder) but your sentence still makes perfect sense.. and your point is well made 🙂

      What were the writers thinking?
      ‘Whooo Lee with a three day growth? scruffy hair? Me like! yeah let’s whack that in there!!!’
      [the writers were women and gay men 😉 me thinks.. haaaaa]
      I don’t really know! 🙂 but hopefully hearing what others thought along the walk has made the ep a little more enjoyable!
      Wonderful to hear from you Trebuchette! bye!

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    • I’ve done similar rants to the gawd awful “Artful Dodger” which featured a sucky whiny baby someone-peed-in-his-cornflakes Lee and a supplicant, obsequious Amanda. It turns my stomach even thinking about that episode.
      I do agree with you, his burnout would have been much more believable if this was a several episode arc and and Lee had the sting going on for awhile. Alas, SMK was not known for it subtlety.

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  2. Pingback: 7/ Season Three, Episode 02: We’re Off to See the Wizard- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Morley’s order: Episode 04) | "Just walk with me.."

  3. Wow so I came back and tried to read all the insights on this scene now, and I’m getting a little bit of a headache. I think Morley sums it all up best for me as I am one of those that is always seeing what is below the surface. I really get what she is saying about how Lee has always compartamentalized women and that starting to change now as he sees Amanda, his friend, in a different light. His definate first taste of that was the kiss in SOS. I think that is the first time in a long time that for Lee a physical act and intimate act were mixing. The compartementalizing was coming undone. And in this scene to me Lee is now looking at Amanda as a woman he could really feel something for, and that is a huge step because now the compartementalizing is shattering.

    In the past, though, I think he always had feelings for Amanda, Lee was able to keep them at bay even rationalize them because he compartementalized so well. Amanda was an associate and later on he would admit his friend but she was not like the women he romanced. Amanda was not Lee’s type. She was just his friend and up until now friendship and romance did not mix. Though, i am sure in Lee’s past there were times friendship and romance did mix, I think this is what Lee told himself to rationalize what he felt for Amanda.

    I agree with Morley that Lee was always drawn to Amanda but had too many walls up to fall in love. I don’t think I could have said it better. To me those walls slowly started coming down through out the two seasons and this is the point where most of them fell and only a few remained. Though to me this is the moment when Lee really went from having feelings for Amanda to it really being love, I don’t think Lee recognizes it as love yet because the few walls that remain standing won’t let him.

    I am sure the whole process of coming to realize his love for Amanda was terrifying for Lee. Here he not only is starting to love someone for the first time in so long, but for the first time in so long someone really loves him, and if he takes a chance on it and he screws it up he loses the one person in his life that he has really come to count on. I think Lee was going to make darn sure he could have a reletionship with Amanda and not screw it up before he crossed that line. That is why he spent so much time feeling it out in season 3. It’s not that Lee is unsure of Amanda, it is that he is unsure of himself. Frankly I’ve never seen a character with so much insecurity and so much ego all rolled into one person. The beauty of the character for me is that I find it believable.

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    • Misty, you put into words, and so very fluently, what I have been thinking! Good job! 😉 What you said reminds me of a fan fiction called Whenever You Come Around by LeeB. Lee’s inner turmoil comes to the surface and Burn Out to me represents the heart of the matter.

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    • Yet again, I gotta say – I’m totally on board with what Misty says here! 🙂
      though I’ll reserve the right to reconsider as we get into season 3 – though generally this my memory of their progression too.

      Headache? oh dear.. we can’t have that! Yes don’t get too deep there Misty 😉 I tend to vacillate myself..
      Hows a bit of Travis?? He has me in Hysterics! 😉 Hope you enjoy post 13!

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  4. I’ve been away from the blog for a few days with traveling to visit family and then busy taking down all the Christmas decorations and such. There has been so much traffic between this post and the next two that I’ve got lots to catch up on! Before I move on though, I want to get some thoughts down on this.

    I think I see this a little differently with respect to looking back and them realizing or thinking they were in love at this point. I’ve never really thought this before and even though I comprehend what others are saying it doesn’t completely fit with my view of SMK or how I define love and such.

    Part of the difference may be that I don’t spend too much time on the unconscious thoughts of Lee and Amanda. I tend to focus on what’s in front of my eyes to see and hear versus what I think is going on in their subconscious. I’m just too practical and literal a person to factor that into my thought process on my own.

    For me, at this point, this is where Lee truly sees Amanda King for the amazing woman that she is. He has new eyes for her and a new appreciation for her and at this point she ceases just being a normal, subruban housewife with two kids, a mortgage and a mother. I think Lee truly sees her as a woman, a partner at work and oh my gosh, a potential partner in life. I don’t mean that he’s wanting to marry her or anything like that at this point, but that this ‘new Amanda type’ may be what he wants instead of the Randi’s. In 14/15 OOADP post I commented that I thought Lee’s light bulb dimmer was turned up and that he was realizing just how important Amanda was in his life and that he valued her friendship and was beginning to see the value in her but would continue to date the Randi’s. Here I think that he has fully realized this and there is no going back for him. Going forward he will not want that ‘Randi’ type of woman, but rather this new Amanda type, but not yet Amanda. That moment hasn’t happened for me yet. For me, this part of his journey, his consciously falling in love with her IMHO, starts here.

    I do know in my mind for sure (for me at least) when the process is done and Lee is fully cooked and knows that he knows that Amanda is it for him and he loves her and wants to share his life with her. But we are no where near that part yet, so I’ll keep my lips sealed until then.

    As for Amanda, I need to think on that some more. I’m not sure with her. I agree wit what Misty said on post 11 of this episode, that Lee was more affected by all this than Amanda was. And I agree with Morley in that Amanda is keeping things professional at this point. She has yet to see all that is changing inside Lee. I don’t think that anything in the ‘love’ category has changed here for Amanda. Lee is still Lee for her for a while IMHO and she is focusing her energy more on her growth as a professional versus upping her relationship with Lee.

    There are so many episodes and so much SMK goodness that it’s hard to keep it all in line! I need to go back and see what else I’ve said in comments on the blog to see if I’ve contradicted myslef – tee hee. Looking at Lee too much will do that to me – scramble my brain so I can’t think straight! 😀

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    • BJo I love that you look at things differently! you know.. I think Lee would say the same thing as you LOL! He would be practical and literal too! 😉 We actually don’t sound too far apart.. at least I don’t think so.. you just don’t really go for the whole idea of speculating about what’s below the surface – if I’ve understood you correctly. That’s cool! and that means you offer a unique perspective on things! which I really enjoy.. even if we don’t agree, it opens up a new way of thinking about things – which can inform my own thoughts.

      I’d say your thoughts on Lee and Amanda and love at this point are not too far from my own. I don’t think either is in full blown love or anything.. but we saw Lee take a huge step in this ep..
      Does anyone think Lee is now in full blown love now?
      If I’m understanding correctly, I think most of us err on the – he’s not ready to fully love but he is starting to love kind of thing – which sounds a bit like a contradiction! 😉 LOL maybe we should just do a post on LOVE! so we can all sort out what we are all thinking now about their love journey! 😉 anyone like to write it?? I’m not as wise about these things as some of you – seriously, if someone would like to write it? I will publish it!!! (and put pics in it if you like)

      Hey – this is a question for BJo but also for anyone else to answer.
      IMHO for Lee there was:
      A moment of revelation in SOS – with the wedding kiss..
      A moment of revelation in LOTP – where he acknowledged Amanda’s bravery and her saving his life
      A moment of revelation here in BO at Chez Nouvelle –

      What were these revelations Lee experienced?? How is his revelation here in Burn out different to that in Life of the party?
      I think there are slight, progressive differences.. but curious to hear how you all put this together!
      Anyone?? Yes BJo I agree, it can be very tricky to keep it all in mind and in order.. LOL> but don’t worry I don’t think anyone will hold you to anything- I can barely keep straight what I think much less what anyone else thinks 😉 I mean I try- but I know I won’t be able to keep it all straight for everyone 🙂

      Which is why I love a comment like Debilyn’s today where she went right through and updated us on her thoughts on Lee and Amanda and there progression – it was really interesting (It was in comments of post 9 🙂 )

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      • I think you captured it correctly, iwsod. I am not one for speculating. I get into trouble when I do that 🙂 However, that being said, I do LOVE to read other’s speculations. After reading them, I can even enjoy jumping in and having a go myself. But for such a serious and meaningful scene, I need to stick with what I can see and hear.

        Great question, iwsod! Hmmm, let’s see if I can give a good, intelligible answer here. It’s late and I’m getting tired.

        SOS revelation – I think it is such a sweet and tender kiss, I mean kisses, and Lee really likes it. I think that really shocks him. She’s not his type. I think she’s wanted to kiss him before SOS too so it probably is apparent to him that she is willingly kissing him, unlike the SDeath cover kiss. I think Lee is feeling like this is a real kiss and not like a cover kiss – for both of them. Oh gosh – am gonna have to go watch that scene now. Sigh. You know, I also wonder if he got lost a bit in the moment and was kind of thinking ‘what if’ in his mind. How many times before SOS had he seen her with her kids through her back window or in Germany or wherever and wondered what it would be like to be married to someone like that and be ‘normal.’ Maybe he had a bit of a vision of the future in that split second and it zapped him? See, this is why I stay away from speculation….

        LOTP revelation – this one for me is all about Amanda’s bravery and growth as a professional. I think Lee is stunned to realize that Amanda does have some smarts and ability and can act without Lee telling her what to do. She outdid Francine, the professional, and saved Lee’s life in the process.

        BO revelation – while I would characterize SOS’s revelation as personal in nature and LOTP’s as professional, BO’s revelation is a bit of both – or maybe about Amanda as a whole person. Things are starting to come together in a way. At the risk of being too repetitive, I think Amanda’s professional growth is key for how Lee views her and more importantly trusts her – as we’ve all discussed this episode. I think without her professional growth, he doesn’t fully fall in love with her. So while the professional growth on it’s own does not cause Lee to love her more, he cannot grow in his love for her without her growing professionally. IMHO. So her ability to figure out the he’s under cover and to accept Lee’s apology and forgive him for crossing the line and say she understands is huge. He really can put his trust in her. The damn duck case was not a fluke.

        Does that answer your questions? I’ll have to check out debilyn’s comment you mention tomorrow – I need to go to bed!

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        • I have been itching to have a go on those three revelations… So great that we see things so differently. I am always amazed at how many different ways there are to perceive something. I have no clue about any perceptions other than mine because I am so used to my way of thinking, so I love it when BJo and other explain theirs, because it adds so much more depth for me. And of course I doubt that Lee perceives things like me 😉 I bet he is more literal like you guys, so when BJo and others go in to detail about the way they think I get to know Lee better too, added bonus 🙂

          But I can’t help but speculate. For me there is so much under the surface, kind of like an ice berg. And to me that is the bigger part of the story that I enjoy so much. It is fine if you don’t see it or even need to see it. I can’t help seeing it. My son told me about a t-shirt that his friend had, it said “It is not that deep” Maybe that is something I should hang up when so I can see it when I think about SMK, but I have a funny feeling it wouldn’t help.

          I can’t help looking at Lee’s compartmentalization and self protective mechanisms and how they slowly come off as he gets to know Amanda better. I do think he has been drawn to her from the beginning and I guess I think if he didn’t have all of those walls he would have fallen in love with her sooner. I agree that Amanda’s growth in her work as an agent also had a lot to do with the timing, but I don’t think it played as much of a role in the removal of his denial. Maybe the whole relationship would have been like a season 3? I don’t know, just thinking as I write there.

          But Lee’s interaction with Amanda was allowing a deep caring for another individual to grow in Lee. It kind of crept in and I think that was due to who Amanda was. But there in that kiss in SOS it was probably the first time in a long time, if ever that Lee had mixed an intimate physical act and the caring that had become resident in him. And a little bit of that huge dam broke and the two things mixed. A bit of the compartmentalism was destroyed. And I think Lee recognized it, this kiss was different than others because it was charged with caring, tenderness and emotion towards Amanda… and it felt good.

          I agree that the revelation in LOTP was because of Amanda’s bravery, her ability to act in a professional and effective way apart from him. He recognized her not as an extension of himself (which is rather self centered and egotistical, but it is the way immaturity thinks) but as a separate and amazing individual. Add that revelation to the tender, caring and emotional response he had to an act of romantic intimacy and we may have another bit of that dam crumbling.

          And here in BO I think Lee is adding to these two the revelation that Amanda’s qualities, these things that he is beginning to allow himself to respond to subjectively instead of walling them off are actually there for him. He has experienced her caring for him and for others, her bravery on the job professionally. He is attracted to her, but he has in the past kept himself objective, he hasn’t required Amanda to apply these things specifically to him, he may have taken that for granted at times, but here he is going out on a limb (because I think to ask for forgiveness and have it be profound, you must realize that it may not be granted, there is a knowledge of undeservingness of your condition, does that make sense?) and asking Amanda to forgive him and she does willingly and completely. And in this moment I think Lee recognizes that all that Amanda is and he has come to admire and care for could be, and in fact is accessible for him. In saying that I don’t think he takes it as a declaration of love from Amanda or even an invitation to initiate a relationship. I just mean that where Lee has always kept close relationships at an arms length I think here he has realized that he can and probably already has let down his arm or at least let the elbow unlock so it can be bent and not so stiff armed( sorry that is the dancer in me speaking…) Another bit of the dam…

          But still Lee does not let the flood waters out? And I think that is what confuses us and keeps us from declaring it love. Maybe it is because the water behind the dam is frozen???? “It is not that deep” I see the t-shirt talking to me…. I think I could go on forever, oh boy.

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          • Well said, Morley. I often wonder if I overanalyse things but there are so few shows that grab me like SMK. Considering we have to overlook plotholes (schmot holes), I wonder who is responsible for the gentle, subtle, beautiful relationship arc we get. The writers? producers, the actors themselves? How much of it is a conscious decision?
            (And one of the many reasons I love this group so much, is even though we will ‘tongue-in-cheek’ come up with fantastical ways to reason away the plot holes and continuity errors we are willing to admit the writers/editors, etc. goofed. I’ve almost been run off the rails in other groups for another show for suggesting that we don’t need to make sense of glaring contradictions between what is happening now and a what was revealed a few seasons ago — the writers made a mistake or chose to conveniently ignore the history. Heavens, you would have thought I had insulted a major religion or said I hate puppies for the reaction I got :-).)

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            • That is a good question Cindy. I ask myself the same thing, and then I stop because I am afraid the answer wouldn’t be as much fun. Sometimes I think it must all be in my head, but then that is what a show is for, entertainment, right and if I can create so much entertainment for myself out of it then it was pretty good.
              I guess I tend to think it must be the actors. With all the plot holes schmot holes and continuity errors I can’t imagine the writers or producers thinking through all the nuances of characters and giving such amazing direction to the actors. They must have really thought through their character’s backstories and come up with mannerisms and even emotional characteristics for them that were pretty complete. The story arc really is great and it is wonderful to scroll back through the different episodes here on the blog and be able to see the changes even in facial expressions as the characters progress. I think KJ and BB really did a very thorough and complete job on this series. At least they gave me a lot to play with.

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              • Wow.. did I mention lately you guys rock? 🙂 Would it be helpful to create a post and a specific place to comment on what we think are the big moments? the firsts? the revelations?? would that help? LOL.. I don’t want to go create it and then have no one comment on it.. and I know we’ve already started this discussion here.. can I maybe copy and paste Mine, BJo’s, Morley’s and Cindy’s comments on this into a post?
                I’d be interested to hear of other’s views of what are the big moments to date – and what took place in those big moments..
                Is this a good idea??? or is what we are doing now good enough? Let me know! We don’t have to do it.

                Loved reading your thoughts on the SOS/LOTP/BO big moments BJo! I think when we look at prior big moments, in the light of new big moments- we can understand the previous and new ‘big moments’ better. It gives it all context and helps us to thrash out a clearer understanding for ourselves – I do think there is no one right answer though. Because for every person who loves smk there is a different experience of the show and a different story they are seeing unfolding – sometimes the differences are miniscule 🙂 sometimes.. they are more bold..but either way – it is certainly interesting! And as Morley says: FUN!!!

                Yeah Cindy your comments about the plot holes on this show and the wonderful characters is spot on. The plot holes could lead us to question how much care was taken with the characters by writers.. and are we reading more into things than we should?
                I’ve put it down to the characters being the true heart of the show, the true story – the rest is all just window dressing, the scaffolding on which the Lee and Amanda Love Story is built. Which is why the characters are so top quality, but the rest.. hmmm sometimes.. not so much 😉 this is just my own explanation.. feel free to come up with none or one of your own 😉

                This all raises that old chestnut of – how much of the story did the writer’s intend to tell? or.. do we read into the story and see what isn’t there or what the writer didn’t intend? What do you all think?

                For me, the writer and the actors.. well okay let’s call it ‘the show’ may have an intention of what they want to convey – but each viewer will experience the show slightly differently. I think the audience is free to interpret the show in as much or as little detail as they wish. Want to understand the journey in a more concrete way? at face value? go for it! Want to understand the deeeeeep journey of the characters and come up with your own understandings of the characters and their motivations? go for it! Want to vacillate between the two?? feel free!! 🙂
                They are all, in my book, equally valid. Unless something is directly contradicted by concrete events later in the show, there is a huge scope for people to experience the journey.. I think that’s half the fun.. Maybe it’s a bit like a choose your own adventure – remember those books?? We are given the episodes, but we choose what we do with them and how we understand it.

                Where am I going with all this? Just wanted to say – There is the show the writers or actors wanted to make, and then there is the show us in the audience experience – and to me, they are both equally valid. I don’t think it is possible to read more into a character or story than the writer’s want- because we are collaborators in the journey… though, I do try and look at the story as a whole and keep things consistent if that makes sense.

                BJo you did really well considering how late it was for you! LOL! 🙂
                Hmm interesting! You think Lee noticed Amanda was getting into the kiss? ahhh Lee such an ego.. he would put that down to her enjoying HIS kiss – and not that it was a cover and she was suppose to want to kiss her new ‘husband’ 😉 Did you go watch it? I liked your speculation! If you want to do more go for it 😉 see what you would call a ‘zap’ I’d call a twinge in his unconscious or something! haaaa!
                yeah whoopsie. I should not have said what the LOTP revelation was. sorry! maybe it was more than what I wrote.. I was just jogging your memory to which part of LOTP I was referring to as a revelation.

                Looks like both BJo and Morley see LOTP revelation as a professional one?

                BO was both personal and professional? BJo I like that!!! that’s very interesting! I had said in the post that ‘Amanda was the whole package’ that ties in with this idea of yours 🙂

                Hi Morley! Really enjoyed your thoughts on this! Yeah I agree the progressive revelations do seem to be Lee slowing breaking down those walls which compartmentalise his life, his relationships and which block out the world and it’s hurts and vulnerabilities.
                I agree – hearing other’s thoughts, whether I agree completely, partly or not at all – helps me to understand my own better.

                I like the idea that the SOS kiss was a mixing of the sexual with the emotional- it was not a kiss full of passion alone. I think part of the revelation was Lee’s realisation that Marriage is maybe something he is not as opposed to as he thought. It woke him up about marriage and relationships in general and gave him pause to wonder how he really feels about it- Because Lee is changing on the inside.. it’s like he got a little hint of the way he is changing at the SOS wedding.. then – add Amanda to the mix for more revelations! So I think the revelation was to do with Amanda – but it was not only about Amanda. it was about Lee.

                In a way, all three of the revelations I mentioned have been about a change in Lee.

                I think Lee had thought he was going to die hanging from a meat hook in LOTP – he certainly had no idea Amanda was following.. this added to his revelation here – I’m alive!!! It’s like he has been given a second chance – thanks to Amanda..[see a metaphor in that?!]
                Isn’t it the first time Lee acknowledges Amanda saved his life and thanks her??

                I think the Revelation in BO is the same as in LOTP – he is amazed at Amanda’s bravery in the face of physical danger.. but in BO Lee additionally is amazed at Amanda’s forgiveness and acceptance of him – and how she has taken the slap in stride and accepted his apology.
                A first for Lee? to have received this unconditional acceptance from someone? It really does look to me like Lee has been set free here!

                LOL I am sure there are a dozen different things going on in these big moments – for me there usually is a number of things taken place simultaneously! LOL.. wait till you read what I wrote about the Burn Out Tag! 😉
                Okay I have jabbered on here long enough..oopsie.. byee all!

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            • Hey Cindy! I think the spirit of smk is a bit tongue in cheek.. The show is all about playing on the spy genre.. so that helps..
              but I agree with you- I can still love a show and not see it as perfect!!! Finding the goofs, and coming up with explanations is lots of fun!

              Like Claudia’s explanation that Amanda’s ear buttons were not on so she could hear the baddie’s cunning plan! muahaha! tee hee!

              You’ll see I’ve responded in my previous comment to your questions about how much is a conscious decision 🙂

              Byeee!

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  5. This whole apology scene is a big moment for both Amanda and Lee. So many of you have said this so well, but I just feel the need to put this out there.

    Amanda has been thinking over this from the start. She’s been trying to understand what is going on with Lee, especially with this “un-Lee-like” behavior. She had to have at least considered the possibility that this is a case, even though it may have seemed unlikely at the time – rather like a lifeline to hold onto. When Lee confirms this for her, it’s like everything settles into place. She still doesn’t have time to process it all, but she has some measure of peace. She senses Lee’s reluctance to bring up the slap, his hurt at what he’s done, so she tries to ease his pain. She’s not trying to let him off, she just sees the pain in his eyes and doesn’t want him to hurt anymore. She’s already forgiven him. The fact that she knows it’s a case clinches that, though I do believe she forgave him in a “he-doesn’t-know-what-he’s-doing” kind of way earlier.

    Lee is still in work mode, thinking about the case, but he can’t go any longer without apologizing for what happened. Amanda’s friendship means too much to him not to apologize. He understands that sooner-rather-than-later is important to that friendship. I’m sure they both had a longer discussion later after the debrief. I do enjoy his hesitation during this scene (reminds of the outside-the-casino moment in Ship of Spies). The “public displays of affection” term wasn’t really in vogue at the time, so I don’t know if Lee was thinking that or just thinking about her protective, mothering instincts here. He does acknowledge and recognize her importance to him in this speech.

    Speaking of which, I do see this as the beginnings of love for Lee. Early stages, but he’s beginning to see the whole package of Amanda, and he is smitten. She’s smart, supportive, caring. She’s a benefit professionally and personally. His eyes are opening to the possibilities, which lead to the hurt in the next episode. On the other hand, Amanda’s already seen the whole package of Lee – she’s been bringing it out slowly and hanging on to each piece. When he’s ready, she hands it back to him whole, which is when he is finally able to say out loud that he loves her. But that’s a story for another episode.

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  6. All these comments to catch up on! I feel like a kid in the candy store! 🙂 Forgive me if this is long.. there is just soooo much goodness here in all your thoughts! I will reply in one big comment so I don’t take up the whole sidebar with all my comments to everyone! hope this isn’t too confusing.

    Hey Valerie, thanks for responding! Hey you’ve done well given you didn’t have time to think about it! 🙂 Feel free to come back and add more if anything comes to mind as you ponder..
    Valerie love how you raised Lee’s attempt at an apology to Amanda in Odds on a dead pigeon – that he ended up delivering to Karen!! Hear hear.. I agree soul searching was definitely in order after all this!
    Valerie I really like your explanation for how Lee explains his actions to Amanda – that rings true for me.. I agree he was truly sorry and being honest – he needed time to process it all.. good call!

    Hi Kgmohror! LOL.. yes a man who admits he is wrong? awesome!!! I think he is helped in this because Amanda is gracious and supports him in this in general – Lee has learned he is safe with Amanda- and can admit to mistakes and she will still think highly of him, accept him and value him.
    You were disappointed Lee glossed over the slap? what did you think of Valerie’s explanation? I was thinking he confronted it sincerely, though maybe imperfectly – I was thinking it was more than enough. A wonderful first step for Lee in becoming a better man here..

    Hey Paula! Hope you are well.. Lee and Amanda in retrospect would say they are in love here? I am totally on board with that. It certainly looks like love 🙂 Lee’s ‘unveiled fascination’? I love that! Yes in this moment, a part of Lee falls for Amanda even more.. I think they are well on their way toward love 🙂
    Oh yeah.. I hear ya.. and that close up of that expression?? swoony!! Was it Morley who described it as not being in full bloom this love-a while ago?? well I think the flower just opened up a little more 😉

    KC, I love what you said “Amanda is such a caring individual – huge heart, deep trust” – I agree!!! and for me, it’s what makes Amanda so very brave!!
    Hear Hear.. Lee is damaged but has a strong foundation of honour and integrity.. justice too..
    He “manned up” – KC love that he sure did!!! Amanda is good at encouraging Lee to do just that, without nagging.. she encourages, welcomes.. and doesn’t have expectations.. she’s a great character!
    Yep I agree if it had ever happened again- it would be a completely different situation.
    I agree!!! Very significant they are not touching at all in this scene.. this plays out beautifully in this episode!

    Maybe, when Amanda tries to shush his apology that Lee needed to say- this is an example of Lee also accepting Amanda for who and how she is. He is gentle with her.. and while it would have been better of her to let him speak without trying to stop him- he doesn’t let it get in the way of what he needed to say- for both their sakes.. I think Lee in a way is looking after Amanda here- by not letting her brush it off, and by helping her gently confront this. Amanda has her own foibles – and Lee accepts her and works with them. 🙂

    Agreed KC, Lee and Amanda are taken to a whole new level here – just when I thought it wasn’t possible to take things up a notch without them become a couple or declaring romantic feelings or anything.. I was so wrong! 🙂 Lee now knows what I’ve always known – Amanda completely accepts him the way he is and values him- an amazing, empowering gift to give someone!!!!

    Jenbo interesting thought – what was Lee’s body language like in the apology? I was figuring he was not waving his arms around – he does that when he is a little lost for words and searching.. here with the apology- he seems to know what to say – and is focused on Amanda.. and really wants her to meet his eyes and see that he is genuine… then, he lets her see in his eyes how Amazing she is 🙂 Noooo I don’t think you can read too much into it! I love it! go for it!!

    KC well said! Lee can’t recognise his feelings as Love- as you say. Amanda is the best friend Lee’s every had! Gosh I can understand how it would all be very confusing for Lee.. He is use to compartmentalising women.. they are for fun and sex, they aren’t for support, acceptance.. or forgiving? whoa!!! this really could shake up his view of women and relationships.. and the scope of what it can bring to him and his life.

    I feel that from Ship of Spies, Lee is in denial about wanting to be a husband, wanting to have a spouse and be a spouse. and he is in denial that Amanda would be a wonderful wife.. in this moment – I don’t see any denial or defences here in Lee’s demeanour.. maybe it’s because they are not talking directly of Love and Marriage – they are discussing trust and forgiveness – maybe Lee doesn’t yet realise that this is a perfect thing to bring into a marriage, and he is compartmentalising Amanda’s qualities.. – What do you all think??

    Morley I agree, Lee chose to take it beyond work here – such a great insight!!! Yes.. earlier Lee would have left it there at the cover explanation. This Lee has grown soo much, in his respect and trust of Amanda that he chooses to go there.. Maybe it’s also about how Lee is growing more in asserting himself in relationships – rebuilding trust here..
    Holey Morley eerrr I mean Moley! 😉 There is just soo much goodness here to unpack Morley! 🙂
    Lee has ventured into the personal, so their trust can be healed. oh yeah- the events coming up really do speak to all this don’t they!
    Yep.. agreed! Lee doesn’t recognise this as love..sooooo true! Yes it does work out well for them in the long run. Their love story is very much about Patience.
    Morley ”Lee has never considered his right to touch Amanda” – wow!!!!! Love this!!! and he has never really had to miss it or go without.. she’s never told him to take his hand off her..[okay-except in weekend! but he had been all over her due to the cover so slightly different] I find this theme in Burn Out to be very powerful!
    Is there another time besides filming raul and AABH they question the touching? I just mentioned Weekend.. where Amanda slaps Lee’s hand away [whoooo another slap?!] and Lee looks quite hurt by it – fleetingly of course- oh and.. umm.. what about ACM Kid:‘don’t bite me’! 😉 ohhh and ‘Watch your hand please!’ when Lee is trying to undo their ropes tied to the jeep! 😉 tee heee.. that’s all I’ve got! 🙂

    Morley- agreed!!! Lee is learning interdependence.. he learns how blessed he is to have Amanda with him. I agree, it will be interesting to see how this episode impacts future episodes.. I think it’s interesting Murder Between Friends is next – I think it will be great to keep in mind the events of this episode very much as we explore that episode.. oh hear hear Morley! The job isn’t everything!!! Did I say that in my post? LOL I can’t remember what I said now! but I agree with you Morley! For so long, Lee’s life and identity have been caught up in his work – Lee begins to question this in this episode I think – because of what the job demands of him.. time to set some limits buddy!

    Jule you put it so beautifully! “I think Lee will always look back at this as a defining moment in his life. It makes sense that he will reevaluate his behavior throughout his life and as a consequence of this experience. Perhaps as if it were a prism, filtering all his conceptions of love and friendship and breaking them into the multitude of colors he previously couldn’t imagine. And Amanda has grown into a more rounded and complete person here. She’s lovely inside and out. Oh heck, I know what I mean but my brain can’t convey it well. Morley, you did a beautiful job of explaining the human heart and the value of reciprocal connectedness.”
    -love the idea of Lee seeing new colours that were there the whole time, only he couldn’t see them as they were mixed in with the white light.. A defining moment in Lee’s life?? Good call!!! I’m on board with that! you conveyed it beautifully Jule!

    ROFL Melissa R – I loved that Amanda had a need to know and Francine didn’t too haaaaa.. Yes good relationships take conscious effort. they are a choice. and in this scene – Lee chooses well 🙂

    Hey LASinLA– yeah Morley’s idea of Amanda staying professional is interesting! I agree too.. Amanda is trying hard to look after herself here – she can’t go falling for Lee – she thinks he isn’t ready for a real relationship – and she’s got to guard her thoughts so they can continue to be close and work together without her losing her heart completely!! A really tough call.. Poor Amanda! 😉 Though, Amanda is still Amanda – and she didn’t mind that Lee noticed her caring towards him 🙂 she was completely unfazed by that.. but Lee apologising?? and being such a good man?? that is a powerful force that must be very difficult to resist!! 🙂

    Hiya BJo! indeed.. what plot holes? 😉 Season 1? I think Saviour shows us that Season 1 Lee never would have started the conversation in the first place!
    “Knee Buckler” ???? BJo I love that!!

    I think Amanda has forgiven Lee before he apologised. but that’s just my view… It’s great he apologised – but I think she wouldn’t wait for it to forgive.
    Why does Amanda look away from Lee after the apology? whoooo what a great question BJo!!!
    I’ll watch that moment again hang on..
    Oh my.. just watched at again.. It had been a few days since I saw it.. too swoony!!!
    Okay here’s my opinion. Amanda can see the hurt in Lee’s eyes.. and she feels bad for him. Also, as he feels better – I think the intensity of all this personal stuff is a little overwhelming for Amanda here – she’s had a crazy day or two emotionally- and now? Lee goes and acts soooo swoony and gentlemanly with her?? How is a girl to cope with all this??
    Amanda is still very much surprised by Lee’s growing closeness to her – whenever he shows it [Like in Odds on a Dead Pigeon when he asked her to go to the hospital for HIS peace of mind ] – this has stunned Amanda, that Lee would care so much. So now being gazed at by Lee with that open admiration and amazement is a little overwhelming. Amanda was not prepared for this conversation or this moment. I’d be on the floor out cold I think.. she copes well all things considered!
    Lee is paying her a compliment with that final look of his – and Amanda has always been quite humble.. especially when it comes to her work at the agency – and compliments from Lee like this are pretty rare so this is all new territory for Amanda.
    So yes, as usual Iwsod doesn’t come up with one answer, she comes up with a bunch all happening together! 😉
    This is just my guess..
    Oh wow.. BJo you made my day –responding to my comments at the end of the post – glad it made some sense! 🙂 Thanks!
    BJo wrote: “Wow – just read everyone’s comments and like what everyone has to say! Even if I disagree – is that possible? I don’t think I have ever thought that here is where they both are in love – even if they don’t realize it. I like what I read for this idea but then I like what I read for those who aren’t in the exact same camp. I’m not sure where I am on it. I can see both sides.
    I think for me, just truly loving someone is different than loving them and pursuing that relationship toward a marriage. For me, I think I tend to define love as the latter – requiring action or movement. Sort of along the lines of faith without works is dead – is that how that goes? But, at the same time, it has to start somewhere before there can be any action. So I think that’s why I think I can see both sides and agree with both even though I may disagree. Does that make any sense? Maybe I can have it both ways? LOL”

    You don’t think the characters looking back on this moment could see they were in love?
    I would say Love is a combination of those things and has different facets.. and there can be action and movement without the romantic element yet being an acknowledged part of their relationship.. Both Lee’s and Amanda’s actions in this episode seem to me to be declaring that many of the ingredients of Love are here.. just waiting to fully blossom 🙂
    Come on guys.. you are better at describing this love stuff than I – how would you answer BJo’s comment?
    Ahh Morley, I see you’ve responded to BJo, fab! I agree with your thoughts Morley.. Amanda is not considering falling in love with Lee Stetson to be an option right here and now in the show.. and Lee? He’s not ready- he’s got some work to do!
    Morley said: “ I do think they could be falling in love and that very reality would cause them to fortify their response of inaction. Does that make sense?”
    Sure does make sense to me!!!!!

    Morley I like your reply to BJo about why Amanda looks down after the apology – ‘the gaze is a game changer’ – Oh yeah!!! too right!! I really like this.. Lee gets some clarity.. but for Amanda.. this stirs up a bunch of unsettling emotions she is going to need to work through ( I think it carries over into the happenings of Murder Between Friends).

    Hey Kgmohror, and Morley – the idea of Amanda having a self-esteem issue is interesting! My guess would be she has fabulous self-esteem in everyday life.. and knows she is loved and valued by many.. [think of all those flowers in YODT! 😉 ] but.. when it comes to her work at the agency- Amanda has always been very self-depreciating.. and has had little encouragement to be otherwise, when she is naturally a modest person. I’d say she is confident that she can work at the agency, but not comfortable with having that acknowledged – yet. Only natural I think given how much Lee didn’t want her around season 1, Francine’s regular sniping and how Amanda hasn’t even had any training, and everytime she has to go to the agency she has to wear a flippin ‘Guest Pass’???!!! and June Phelps gets a real one?? pha!!! Don’t get me started 😉 Amanda knows she doesn’t fit the agency mould – it’s what makes her so great.. but it’s also what means she gets under valued and under estimated.. just my 2 cents..
    Okay I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you all and better sign off or this will truly turn into War and Peace. 🙂
    Byeeeeee!

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  7. Happy New Year, iwsod and everyone! Hope your January 1 is better than Dotty’s (I Am Not Now . . .)! And blessings on your upcoming year. 🙂

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  8. Wow – just read everyone’s comments and like what everyone has to say! Even if I disagree – is that possible? I don’t think I have ever thought that here is where they both are in love – even if they don’t realize it. I like what I read for this idea but then I like what I read for those who aren’t in the exact same camp. I’m not sure where I am on it. I can see both sides.

    I think for me, just truly loving someone is different than loving them and pursuing that relationship toward a marriage. For me, I think I tend to define love as the latter – requiring action or movement. Sort of along the lines of faith without works is dead – is that how that goes? But, at the same time, it has to start somewhere before there can be any action. So I think that’s why I think I can see both sides and agree with both even though I may disagree. Does that make any sense? Maybe I can have it both ways? LOL

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    • I think, for Lee at least, that the action he would take as he recognizes strong emotions for Amanda (I won’t say he recognizes love because I just don’t think he can until he hears the word, then he can put a name to it) would be to be studiously inactive. I think his gut level response to strong personal emotions for another is to protect himself and them from those emotions. And I think Amanda won’t even dream of going there until Lee gives her very strong indication that a love relationship is even possible. I do think they could be falling in love and that very reality would cause them to fortify their response of inaction. Does that make sense?

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  9. Ahhh, love this scene. This is such a key moment in their relationship. Makes one really care less about any plot holes or even if there was a plot. LOL.

    Lee has definitely grown in his maturity in relationships. How do you think this conversation would have gone had it happened in S1? Ugh – don’t even want to think about that – other than to say it would not have gone like this. Although…perhaps feisty S1 Amanda would have slapped him back!

    Why do I think Amanda tried to stop Lee from apologizing? Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I tend to do stuff like this myself, but I don’t know why either. I guess I don’t want the other person to think they’ve done anything they need to apologize for or for them to feel bad on my account or that in some way what they did was my fault. But I don’t think Amanda would really think any of these things about being slapped – that’s just too wrong of a thing to do – even in the line of duty. They only way I could go along with this being okay is that if I had discussed it with my partner and knew it was coming and agreed to it only a means of an undercover thing. Is there any way Amanda is a little afraid of what Lee might say to her? Is she afraid that he might giver he a crappy or ‘wrong’ apology? I don’t really think that either. I guess I think she just doesn’t want to revisit the slap since it was so awful. Good for Lee he doesn’t back down or give a crappy apology. He really nails it. This may be the biggest knee-buckler of the series for me.

    I’m not sure if I think she’s already forgiven him for the slap or if she’s justified/excused it in her logical brain and moved on. I do think after this apology she’s truly forgiven him. Lordy, if Lee said my name the way he said hers I’d forgive anything too. That is if I could truly hear what he was saying cuz I’d probably be on the floor.

    Lee really looks to be in pain in this scene – as he should. I think he knew as soon as he slapped her that he regretted it and shouldn’t have done it. He really is sorry. He really is a good man. I don’t think there is ever another shred of doubt about Lee for Amanda for the rest of the series after this. Although I know some of you think there never was a shred of doubt 🙂

    Why does Amanda look away from Lee after the apology though? I don’t get that. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with her not being able to handle fully sincere, apologetic and gorgeous Lee. I would think she would be happier than she looks after this apology and let Lee know. He certainly looks happy and is looking at her. Why doesn’t she return it? Is it because it’s very personal for Lee and Amanda is keeping it professional? If that’s it, it’s got to be because she is forcing herself to do it.

    Iwsod, I like what you say at the end of the post, especially the paragraph about close relationships creating challenges for an agent. I think we see Lee actually taking steps to do all those things you mention in that paragraph to prevent burn out but not until S4. He may realize some of it now, but I think it takes a while for him to actually do something about it – cuz it’s all tied up in his relationship to Amanda.

    I commented in an earlier post that this episode is like a ‘coming of age’ for Amanda at the Agency. With the slap, Lee put Amanda in a situation that she was not prepared for or expecting. And then being out with Harris in the bushes (or was it shrubs?) alone and taking him out (I think she was surprised Lee was there) on her own successfully is huge. The best part of her professional growth is yet to come, but so far this has been a very tough episode and she’s not even on an assignment! She should get extra props for that! The fact that she does forgive Lee and understands why he slapped her shows that she has become more accepting of just how bad the spy world can be. People get hurt and she is not immune to it – although you don’t expect to get slapped by your ‘partner’. It really is amazing that she can do what she does with no formal training. I think Lee is finally starting to truly believe in Amanda’s instincts for real and think that she can do some spy things on her own and even take care of herself in certain situations.

    Not sure what you mean, iwsod, about what Lee says not being the whole picture or that Lee is lying to himself about the motives for the slap. Guess that means that I believe his explanation of why he did it.

    I’ll stop there – want to read what everyone else said!

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    • Why does Amanda look down after the apology? That is an awesome question. I think it might have something to do with how personal Lee is being. I think I am like that. I get embarrassed, not like a get me out of here kind of thing, more like this is really heavy and filled with emotion and I almost can’t handle it even if I really have wanted to or needed to hear it, especially if that is so. I also think she may not quite know what to do with a gaze like that from Lee. That gaze is a bit of a game changer as far as their relationship goes and I am not sure if Amanda would know what to do with that or even trust that. There sure is a gamut of different emotions and relational events in this episode for Amanda. Maybe Lee gets some clarity, but Amanda has got to be riding a serious roller coaster. I know if that was me I would want to sit in a room by myself and stare at a blank wall for a long time to sort that out.

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      • We’ve often seen Amanda duck her head shyly when some special attention is paid to her. I think hearing Lee say these things to her, so sincerely and tenderly, activates that automatic response. Is it possible Amanda has a bit of a self-esteem issue? Does she shrug off praise and kindnesses toward her because she doesn’t feel she deserves them? Perhaps one of the ways Lee can help her grow is to show her how special she really is, and helping her accept that truth.

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        • Do you think maybe Lee is noticing that even here, kgmohror? I think he might be. Perhaps he can show her how “special” she really is, maybe he does 😉

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        • Yep–the head duck is a signature Amanda move. 🙂 And yep–it’s often when special attention is paid… I think sometimes also just when she needs a moment to think.
          Interesting, too, that Lee also lowers his head at the start of the apology, then his eyes a couple of times… I think that the emotion/intensity is hard for him, but he keeps going, and gives the apology that he needs to give. (Until the cover part of the discussion, and more prominently the apology, Lee was mostly looking left and right, not down–I think it was the spy watching for watchers.)
          What I like most–or maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see?–is that they are in sync, and mirroring each other. (Or, rather, Amanda is mirroring Lee.) Lee lowers his head then Amanda ducks, Lee shakes his head then Amanda shakes hers, Lee lowers his eyes, then Amanda lowers hers, Lee nods then Amanda nods, Lee breaks eye contact, then Amanda breaks eye contact, … you get the idea. 🙂

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      • Hey Morley – thanks for answering my question. I like what you say here about the look Lee gives Amanda as being a game changer. I agree – this is the first time we’ve seen Lee look at Amanda this way – he is truly seeing her as the amazing woman she is for the first time. I think that is why we get this different look from Lee – was it you who said that?

        There are so many good comments on this and the next two posts and I really need to spend some time trying to wrap my brain around everything and then find the right place to post my thoughts!

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  10. Melissa Robertson

    What an absolutely lovely scene…Lee is sooo swoon worthy and I think Amanda looks pretty here!! I am so glad that Lee feels it is important for Amanda to hear his apology (he won’t let her brush it off. I like what Cindy called it, her denialaviodance mechinisms) What growth here for Lee. He is learning that having relationships are important and healthy for him, but they are work!

    What a special moment they both share. Bonus: Amanda has the Need to Know but not Francine!!! Doing a Happy Dance 🙂

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  11. He could have stopped at the explanation of his cover, earlier season 2 and season 1 Lee would have. But he doesn’t. Amanda is willing to let him stop at the explanation and I think that is why she is attempting to brush it off. One of the ways I see this is that Amanda is willing to let it stay at a professional level, that is where I see her settling herself during this part of season 2 and I think part of her reaction to the slap and the stinging words that Lee last spoke to her in Ned’s was to push aside their growing personal relationship, or maybe even try to close the door on it (like the closed door at Ned’s). But it is Lee who initiates the apology that goes into the personal realm. It is Lee that knocks on the door of their personal relationship and asks Amanda to open it again. I think this may be the first time he has really gone this far into that territory. He did it in Brunettes, but was interrupted by the bad guys/ or her family. And at the dock at the end it wasn’t as complete and clear as it is here. I do believe that Amanda has forgiven him, forgiveness is the most necessary thing, but it is a first step, healing and trust do take time and Lee has just initiated how far he would like that healing to go, he wants it to reach deep into the furthest depths of their friendship and enable them to restore everything. Usually that allows a relationship to go even deeper. I agree Iwsod that being able to ask for and receive forgiveness is a powerful yet difficult thing. All this becomes even more amazing with the events that take place next… but we won’t go there.

    I do think that in retrospect this would be the moment they could both look back on as recognizing they loved each other. I don’t think Lee would recognize love right now if it whacked him upside the head (or sitting across a table smiling at him). And I think Amanda is still not really going to let her heart go there ( even if it tugging at her fiercely). I think these two loved each other truly a long time before they were willing to label it “love.” Actually I think they are kind of wise in that. Often people say they love when they have a little tinge of it, but it is untested and then they hurt each other when they realized it really wasn’t there in the first place. Lee and Amanda wait until it has been tried by fire and very mature before they even utter the words.

    As for them being over the slap, or Lee glossing over it…. I am not sure, I think I need to wait until we get to some later scenes. But the lack of touching is so very poignant. Lee has never considered his right to touch Amanda, he just always has. And Amanda has never really questioned it except in Filming Raul on her patio and after the Bridge discussion in AABH. Is there any other time? But I think here Lee is realizing that he needs permission now, that something he took for granted is something that he needs to gain trust for again, maybe he even needs to symbolize it again. Does that make any sense?

    Iwsod, I like the way you mention the two of them growing in opposite ways, Amanda more detached and Lee more aware of personal things. I think that is really true, they are helping each other to grow and they each can teach the other. To be able to learn like that because of another person is wonderful. And I think Lee is learning interdependency that he has always lacked an awareness of. And it will be interesting to see how Lee approaches his job as an agent after this episode. The job isn’t everything, there are other elements of life that are very important and Lee is finally experiencing them at a deeper level. I wonder how the after affects of this episode affect Amanda?

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    • I think Lee will always look back at this as a defining moment in his life. It makes sense that he will reevaluate his behavior throughout his life and as a consequence of this experience. Perhaps as if it were a prism, filtering all his conceptions of love and friendship and breaking them into the multitude of colors he previously couldn’t imagine. And Amanda has grown into a more rounded and complete person here. She’s lovely inside and out. Oh heck, I know what I mean but my brain can’t convey it well. Morley, you did a beautiful job of explaining the human heart and the value of reciprocal connectedness.

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    • Love your thoughts, Morley!! Awesomely spoken and so true!

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    • “Amanda is willing to let it stay at a professional level, that is where I see her settling herself during this part of season 2 and I think part of her reaction to the slap and the stinging words that Lee last spoke to her in Ned’s was to push aside their growing personal relationship, or maybe even try to close the door on it (like the closed door at Ned’s). ” Agreed. I feel like Amanda is pulling away from the apology because she wants to keep things at the office level and is very hesitant to go into personal territory right now.

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  12. You know if you looked up the definition of “man up” there would be this scene there. Lee realises if his friendship with Amanda is going to move forward there is something he just has to do. I think the reason Lee can’t quite say it out loud and why Amanda tries to cut him off is like Valerie says, the rawness is still there. Lee needs to say sorry and Amanda needs to hear it but ouch it must both hurt to go over that situation in their minds again.
    It’s a pity we can’t see more of Lee’s body language when he’s apologising (but accept the need for gratuitous close ups ;)). Am curious to see if it changed from arms folded infront of him to something more relaxed once he had said his piece. Interesting to note Amanda sits with her hands in the table, palms down, not really a submissive gesture, kind of an awkward way to sit IMO. Maybe I am reading too much into this body language stuff (by no means an expert) but it does make life more interesting 😉
    Love his happy face when he realises everything will be ok. Perhaps right not now but certainly by the end of the episode 😉

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  13. Everyone else has said–or will say–it so much better than I ever could, but just… wow.
    Amanda is such a caring individual–huge heart, deep trust.
    Lee is damaged/stunted, but his honour and integrity is solid.
    He could have brushed the situation under the carpet, but he didn’t. He “manned up” and apologised to Amanda… asked her to listen to him when she was willing to let it slide, having already forgiven him. (Yes, I agree with the idea that she’d already forgiven him. Heaven help him if anything even remotely like that happened again, though.)
    It is very telling that they haven’t had any physical contact since the slap… I think that Amanda is naturally hesitant after the slap, but also understands that he feels devastated by what he did and doesn’t want to push him… content to wait until he reaches out. Lee is still shocked by what he did, is very disappointed with himself and–I think–highly embarrassed. (And not just at the slap and his comments in Ned’s but also by his comments to Billy, prior [the rest home comment]–he now has a better appreciation, and somewhat understanding, of her caring.) It’s so natural for him to touch her, but he’s uncomfortable now and I think he feels that if he touched her now it would be too soon. Even though the apology has been given and accepted, there’s still more processing to be done. Time needed.
    I think Lee really does truly appreciate Amanda here–how she continues to trust him completely and is there for him. It’s a new experience for him, at least as an adult, and he’s a little nonplussed but thankful. Very thankful.
    As traumatic as the situation has been, it has strengthened their bond–or will, once the rawness is gone–and has shifted the curtain over Lee’s eyes a little more.
    I hope that made sense…

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  14. In my mind, this is the episode I can believe both Lee and Amanda would say in retrospect, they were in love. Amanda’s steadfast support of Lee, even in the midst of very bad behavior, not ready to give up on him or leave him to himself. Lee’s unveiled fascination with the magnitude of Amanda’s kindness and mercy toward him, not to mention her ability to hold her own in the field. It’s the mutual admiration society going on, and so much fun to watch! This little segment always got soooo much play on my VCR. What woman wouldn’t want to have that expression of gratitude gazing adoringly at her from across the table?

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    • Where’s that #*}^]! LIKE button when you need it?!?! *LIKE*! *furtively gets out her drool bucket*

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    • In retrospect, yes. 🙂 Or, at least, mostly. I think there’s still some maturing time, or leavening time, needed for it, but it’s definitely the start of love. 🙂
      At the time, though, I don’t think Lee has figured it as love, or at least not as romantic love. He has a deeper respect for her after this but still sees her as a friend. A very, very good friend–better than he’s had before–but he can’t recognise his feelings as love, or understand them as anything more than friendship. He needs some of the things that happen in the future to happen before it becomes clear to him.

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  15. First of all … puppy eyes Lee! Aaaarrggghh. *Thud* Moving on … Lee is that rare sort of man who is willing to admit when he’s wrong. We’ve seen it before (e.g., when he returned to Amanda’s after the Brunettes Are In blow up). I don’t know if it carries through to his relationships with others, but where Amanda is concerned, it’s important to Lee to make things right when they are at odds. Amanda also knows that Lee is a fly-off-the-handle guy – she said so in Affair at Bromfield Hall. He explodes, then is immediately sorry. Part of what Amanda does for Lee is teaching him, through her own patience and acceptance, to manage his response to things that frustrate him.

    I’m slightly disappointed that Lee sort of glosses over the slap; he seems to put more weight on the “what I said” part of the apology. However, I agree that it’s because he is so ashamed of that moment that he can’t face it head on. I suspect part of Amanda’s eagerness to forestall his apology is that she’s not ready to really confront that moment, either. It is tacitly acknowledged and dealt with, but I do believe it will stay with both of them at some level. It’s the sort of thing that I could see coming up years down the line, during a big fight – something filed away, buried deep … but still there.

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  16. Valerie – you said it so well.
    I was a little irked at Amanda trying to cut off Lee’s apology — I put it down to her denialavoidance mechanisms — she would rather forget the whole thing happened, but I am so glad TPTB had Lee push through and apologize to her properly and with great vulnerability.

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  17. Awesome post, Iwsod! So much goodness here. This just popped up as I was reading emails so I’m going to respond probably without too much thought. I think Lee’s explanation of why he hit her and said what he said was probably the best he could do at that moment. Lee probably hasn’t had time to fully process all that has occurred. He’s been trying to get to the bottom of this case and working at it nonstop. He mentions that he didn’t expect to see Harris tailing Amanda and wasn’t really expecting to be able to sit and talk with her, but he probably wanted to take the opportunity to at least make some things right between them and try to make amends. I’m thinking that had he had more time to really think about it all, the apology would have been even more swoony.

    I’m reminded of Dead Pigeon when he tries to apologize to whom he thinks is Amanda. In that instance it wasn’t for what he’d done, but for what someone else had done because of him. He was trying to be very heartfelt in that apology, but ultimately Amanda never got to hear it and Karen kind of brushed him off. Hopefully he rectified it later on.

    I’m sure that once this case was over, Lee ended up doing a lot of soul searching about his life, his job, and his partner. I think Lee was trying to shore up his emotional defenses by what he said. I think he was still thinking that he had more to do on this case and again would deal with the rest of the fall out later. I’m not sure of how focused he would have been if he truly looked at all of the ramifications of his actions. I think he was still in justification mode. But I do think he was truly sorry.

    As has been said, the slap had been a horrendous situation for the both of them and I am thinking that Amanda just wants to move past it as quickly as possible. It was a difficult thing to deal with and she had probably accepted the original quick apology Lee had given at Ned’s. If she hadn’t she wouldn’t have completed the report or spoke up on Lee’s behalf to Billy. She knows full well how emotionally tortured Lee can be and she doesn’t want to contribute to any more wall building, not when she’s worked so hard to tear them down. I think that Amanda has learned to take so much of the Agency stuff in stride.

    I think that some of the rawness of what happened is still present which is why there are none of those comforting touches. But it didn’t take long for those touches to begin, so I don’t think it will take long to get back to them, but they are healing right now.

    Love the deep breath Lee takes before he begins, as he knows this next part is the rough one. Love that he mans up and doesn’t allow her to let him slide without an apology. When he shakes his head at the end I think that that is when he decides that Amanda is just the best there is and there is no one like her. He has never met someone of the the caliber of Amanda.

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