Amanda walks into the dining room to meet Mr Bean err I mean Brand –
Amanda: Hello. I’m Amanda King.
Brand: AH! Brand. James Brand [ Bond, James Bond he wishes ]
He proceeds to get up and shake her hand.. but the table cloth is tucked into his pants. Oh dear..
Amanda: how do you do – Ohhh!!
Brand doesn’t seem to care.. he just takes it in his stride and motions for her to join him at the table. If it had been me? I would have hidden under the table after doing that
James asks: Something to drink?
while he motions to the waiter to take an order..
Amanda: ahh please. uh, maybe a glass of white wine.
James: Yes and ah, I’ll have a martini, vodka.
(at this he starts absently struggling to get his cigarette case open) …very cold, uh stirred not shaken, with a twist.
[ Okay LOL.. so I think he’s try to order James Bond’s drink here.. I’ll add some comments to this below] Is it just me or does the waiter respond to the order: jolly good Sir! ??
Amanda notices he is fiddling with his cigarette case unsuccessfully.. and I think she takes note of the choice of drink
Amanda: It’s funny, you know, you seem awfully familiar. Have we met?
[nah.. it’s all those Bond movies Amanda! do you think she immediately wonders if he is trying to emulate him?]
At this, Brand’s cigarette case suddenly opens and all his cigarettes fly out.
He doesn’t miss a beat. James points to them asking: cigarette?
Amanda: uh no, thank you. Don’t smoke.
James: uh, London? (Amanda shakes her head making noises that isn’t it.. though come on Amanda – you did go to London twice!) … Monte Carlo!
Amanda: uh I don’t think so, heh..
[whoooo I think this is some fabulous foreshadowing for a scene in an upcoming episode.. we’ll get back to this!]
Amanda: no I really doubt it.
As Amanda replies Brand lights his cigarette and makes the mistake of actually inhaling
Tee hee.. Amanda is very kind and offers him a drink of water.. eventually his lungs stop screaming that they don’t want to act like James Bond..
I’m surprised Amanda didn’t offer to take Brand out on the balcony and teach him how to breathe (I guess after Whitsett in 3 Faces of Emily she’s inclined not to! )
LOL.. as Brand drinks and coughs, Amanda actually picks up his cigarette and stubs it out – rofl!! I never saw that before!! Amanda adds: You probably shouldn’t smoke either.
LOL there is the nurturer we know and love
Next thing.. we hear Brand chuckling and see him stubbing out another cigarette in a tray already containing many cigarettes.. seems there has been quite a passage of time while these two talked.. and LOL Brand never finishes a cigarette! he just likes to light them, look like he smokes them and then stub them out. tee hee.. [so he isn’t really smoking them ]
James: Ohh!! yes!!! Mother. Housewife. And Agent.
That’s absolutely marvellous, it’s it!
Amanda: well I’m not really a real agent. I mean, I don’t even own a trench coat.
Amanda and James laugh at her joke.. but James is also looking around the restaurant suspiciously..
[What do you make of Amanda’s expression here in response to this?]
.. I think you have what it takes.
James: can I trust you?
Amanda: Well, I guess you probably can, yes.
[lol James checks the little lamp on the table for bugs!]
James: well, for the last seven years I’ve been following a soviet agent who’s penetrated the highest echelon of the British government.
Amanda: Uh excuse me. Mr Brand. Um aren’t you in the money? I mean, pensions?
James: ah yes, pensions.. ha ha haaa!
[James laughs and winks.. I love how he says this like- yeah! that’s where the action is!!! or.. is this him hinting that maybe he isn’t in pensions? I prefer the former..but I don’t know!]
… Anyway, this um dodgy scoundrel.. he’s he’s here now in Washington and he’s up to something very big. [ oh gee.. it’s not the guy Lee is checking into is it?! Clayton-Dobbs?! lol!!]
.. it’s a perfect opportunity to catch him in the act.
James fiddles with his briefcase.. and then warns Amanda: Um you’d better duck, just in case.
Amanda: I better duck?
James: Yes, it’s armed with a tear gas canister if it’s not opened correctly.
Amanda is happy to duck
LOL James looks around once Amanda has ducked.. I think he might be believing it as much as Amanda is..
[although at this stage us the audience could think it’s true also] James pulls out a large and worn looking folder that is full of documents while Amanda sits up again
James: I’m going to need some help on this. Someone with a fresh view of things. Like you.
Amanda: you want my help?
(Amanda quietly laughs and gives one of her head tosses)
James: Because you and I are kindred spirits. We march to the beat of the same drummer.
At this, Amanda reaches for her glass of alcohol.. a quiet look of determination on her face. [‘scotch thoughts’ for Amanda Morley??!!]
Amanda: you know actually, I was told to help you.
Love it!!!! Amanda’s just following orders
Amanda shuffles over to James’ side of the table to look at the folder contents.. ready to do what she can to help.. ahh bless her!
The scene finishes here..
-Welcome to SMK Mr Brand!
Table cloth tucked into his pants… struggling to open his cigarette case.. spilling the cigarettes and then practically choking himself to death on a cigarette? One clumsy moment is enough.. no wonder people get annoyed by Brand! We get that the guy is clumsy.. a bit of overkill here! Move on!
-‘Stirred, not shaken’?
Here we see James Brand trying to order JB’s drink.. but how did it go? I’m pretty sure it’s ‘Shaken, not stirred’ – yep! there’s even a wiki page on it. [lol like Wikipedia is always right! ] haaaa..
So already we can see Brand is trying to be Bond – but he’s sooo not! This wiki page tell us that in You Only Die Twice – James Bond’s host gets it wrong and says he likes it ‘Stirred, not shaken’ – just like Brand says – interesting! Either this is a huge coincidence or someone really is trying to allude to You Only Live Twice in particular. Still I’m pretty sure the twist part is not JB??!]
– ‘You have what it takes’
I use to find this dialogue meh.. now I find it fascinating and loaded with meaning! this to me is more than Brand just trying to sound like he is Bond.. I think there is some truth in what he says here, and in what he sees in Amanda – and this is going to play out throughout this episode.
I know Brand rubs some smk fans the wrong way, but I like him, (in spite of the annoying over the top portrayal of a snooty stereotypical Englishman.. I just try to over look that!) and Amanda likes him too!
Already, we see Brand and Amanda share a special connection. And this gives us some really unique insights into Amanda’s character, her professional choices etc. This in SMK is a rare thing.. so I think this episode is really valuable!
I think James is a good judge of character- he’s on the money with this baddie and with Amanda! [maybe he is agent material after all ] James sees Amanda’s potential and looks beyond the surface.. and I think Amanda does the same with James. Maybe James came along at just the right time for Amanda.. Hmm.. this episode is going to be so interesting to discuss!
–Amanda: Uh excuse me. Mr Brand. Um aren’t you in the money? I mean, pensions?
Amanda is a bit sceptical but she still treats him kindly and hears him out. She doesn’t just automatically discount or disregard him as others do.
Hmm.. how are they kindred spirits? this may not be immediately obvious to us.. or Amanda! .. because she doesn’t know much about James yet. But.. he knows about her.. She’s not really an agent, she’s a mum a housewife, and she is underestimated and overlooked.. Not unlike James.. people judge them both based on their outward appearance – James and his socks, clumsiness and ‘accountant’ status (and bad haircut). Amanda and her life as a mother of two boys, her part time secretary status and well.. in the beginning she was prone to clumsiness and bumbling too.. [A class Act anyone?? ‘ERA’ button anyone??!!] Amanda certainly didn’t come across as professional. So IMHO James and Amanda are similar. Both trying to earn a reputation and be taken more seriously. Amanda doesn’t want to be babysitting an accountant, being tricked into it by Lee (grr) -she wants to be doing meaningful work. (not that I think she would not have done the job had the agency been straight up and asked her)
Ah.. can you see why I enjoy this episode?? I love this aspect of Amanda’s story! [How is your post on Amanda’s professional journey going BJo? – no pressure.. just wondering]
For Amanda.. I think this sets up things really nicely for what’s ahead for her in season 3! Lots of foreshadowing in this episode.. hmm maybe that’s why it could have been written as the original season premiere.. but.. we can come back to this..
I’ll hold off discussing James’ attachment to the James Bond identity until we know his character a little better..
As always, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.. anyone else at first brush over this scene?? and now find it to be full of meaning?? Okay, byeee for now!