5/14 Season Three, Episode 05: Welcome to America Mr Brand- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Blog order- Episode 01)

The meeting continues.. James finally coming to the part about what Dobbs has been up to since his arrival in the U. S.
WTAMB.avi_000678345James: and what’s he doing skulking about outside the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in the middle of the night.
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Rofl.. I’m pretty sure that’s not the photo that James took! Winking smile
Lee picks up the first photo again:
Hmm better get an ID on this guy…
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…I’ll see if I can run a quick D-20 photo match.
WTAMB.avi_000687354Amanda: Ahhh actually, we’ve already done that.

WTAMB.avi_000688855WTAMB.avi_000690357Lee looks at Amanda..
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He’s stunned by this! Stunned silent!!!
WTAMB.avi_000692359Amanda clears her throat and looks down at her papers.. tee hee.. she just WTAMB.avi_000695362acts like it’s normal and sticks to the job at hand. haa
Amanda: Name is Munson, Edward J. Lives in D.C. Previous record, forgery.
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Lee silently picks up the folder WTAMB.avi_000697864[what’s he thinking here everyone??!!! ]and he looks at Amanda.
WTAMB.avi_000698365
WTAMB.avi_000700367Amanda: well, you know, you were so busy with the earl, we just …
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[rofl. love it!! he had been moaning a lot about how busy he was haaa] Whooo Amanda does some hand flapping here to finish her explanation and chuckles a bit.. haaaaa.. nice try Amanda!
Lee gives her ‘a look’ hmm..
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WTAMB.avi_000703370come on!!! what’s going on here guys?!!!
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Lee simply says: Hmm.
Lee is very careful with his reaction here IMHO.. interesting!
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Lee looks over to James, who hides his smile from Lee.. WTAMB.avi_000704871
WTAMB.avi_000705672Lee: Well, why don’t we see if Mr Eddie Munson plans on coming out of retirement?
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Lee seems to have gotten his head around what’s going on here.. and doesn’t seem cranky,  businesslike maybe?
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Lee begins to rise out of his chair. Do you think Lee’s convinced?
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Out in the IFF corridor, we see a short Chinese man (as the script describes him) walking down the corridor towards Amanda and James, who are joined by Lee and magically appearing Francine.
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Stanley: Oh, Mr Stetson, I look forward to seeing you soon.
WTAMB.avi_000717884He bows to Lee and Lee reciprocates chuckling nervously in response.
WTAMB.avi_000720887Amanda takes this all in.. haaa.. what is going on here?!
WTAMB.avi_000721388The man then turns to Amanda and James to bow to them also. They reciprocate..
WTAMB.avi_000722889Love Lee’s little side glance at them.. he doesn’t want to have to explain what that was all about!
The short man leaves.
Amanda: Oh Lee, who is that nice man?
WTAMB.avi_000727394Lee: that nice man is Dr Stanley Chow.

WTAMB.avi_000730397All four of them start walking down the corridor.. Lee is very unenthusiastic about Stanley.. Francine on the other hand is gleeful!
Francine volunteers:
That’s our martial arts master.
WTAMB.avi_000731898Lee: uh huh.
Francine: and Lee, aren’t you about due for your annual check up?
WTAMB.avi_000733400Lee: yeah no sweat! ..
(to Amanda) …uh once a year, we have to visit Stanley and re-qualify in hand-to-hand…
WTAMB.avi_000736903…It’s nothing.
Amanda: oh, you have to fight with that nice little Mr Chow?
(Francine finds this super funny! Winking smile )
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… Oh Lee be very careful with him.
WTAMB.avi_000745412[Lee just half laughs at this.. lovely that Amanda thinks Lee so tough and strong.. but she doesn’t know Stanley!]
WTAMB.avi_000747414James: Looks are deceiving Amanda. Those chaps can handle themselves.
WTAMB.avi_000748415[ see comments below]
I think Amanda missed the part about Stanley being a martial arts Master! Winking smile
Francine with a big smile: We call him Dr Pain.
WTAMB.avi_000752419lol.. Lee is really not a fan of Dr Pain! Francine walks off and Lee wordlessly does too..probably preoccupied with thoughts of Dr Pain!  WTAMB.avi_000754921
Amanda and James share a look. maybe a -‘hmm!…
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…glad I don’t have to see Dr Pain!’ Winking smile being an agent does have it’s down sides I guess Smile
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The scene ends here.. 

Iwsod’s comments:
– ‘Amanda: Ahhh actually, we’ve already done that.’
I can’t wait to hear what you all think of this moment!

It seems clear to me that Lee did not expect Amanda would have done her own investigating.  He thought she had simply gone straight to him Smile This  is a first for Amanda isn’t it?? that she has proactively gone and found something out about a case like this??

The script has mention of a needed security clearance to do this check – and Amanda uses Lee’s without him knowing.. LOL.. no mention of it here though, so I guess part time secretaries are able to do D-20 checks?

So, Amanda has taken a step forward here in her work at the agency. this is new and quite a step for Amanda! I think Amanda knows this too  – because of the way she delivers this information- she really isn’t sure how Lee is going to take it. Now that is interesting!

Lee? He is stunned that she has known to do it, known how to do it and that she has actually gone and done it. Lee IMHO is taken by surprise here because he didn’t think she had the knowledge to do it – he’s underestimated her. As he seems to have been since this episode began. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure Lee knows Amanda is very valuable to him and a huge help but this is different isn’t it.. Amanda has just spread her wings and done something only agents do- and she’s not an agent. Things are slowly changing here… a good thing too! This reminds me of Brunettes are In, though they have advanced greatly since then, these issues still remain (and will do for the whole season probably).  Lee is the senior agent, but Lee needs to accept that Amanda can be an agent and do it well.. just because she isn’t a top agent or as experienced as him doesn’t mean she can’t contribute or be listened to .

Maybe Lee is shocked at her autonomy here? (with presenting this case, and with the D-20 check)
Because Amanda sides with James, this episode for once sees Lee and Amanda at first on opposite teams (foreshadowing of Wrong Number maybe.. haven’t seen that in sooo long!! but I just remember there is conflict there.. like here-will definitely come back to this episode often as we progress through season 3 I think!) Lee and Amanda are not partners here-  in a way James is her partner here.. and it is like they are going to the boss, Lee, to see if they can take it further.. does that make sense? Lee really is not use to Amanda working with anyone else!! Nor with doing things off her own bat like this at the agency.. All a bit of a shock to Lee no? Lee’s look to James at the end there seems to have a ‘hmm.. Amanda and James seem to be partners in crime’ kind of vibe Winking smile
What do you all think is going on here? btw- maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sensing any jealousy from Lee here.. James is not threat 😉 even if he is surprised.. but just IMHO!

-Do you think Lee thinks they are on to something?
I’m thinking he is not convinced.. but at this stage, there is no harm in checking things out some more. And the KGB agent got him slightly on board..  I think this is because it is James who came up with this information. Had it been someone else- an agent- he would be much more convinced at this stage than he is IMHO.

-Stanley Chow is interesting.. the script says he is Chinese.. and it sounds like a Chinese surname.. but.. he looks Japanese to me.. and I think the inclusion of this character is another allusion to the film ‘You only Live Twice’ set in Japan… with plenty of martial arts.. I don’t think SMK really cared about getting Asian cultures correct, but to me Stanley bows a Japanese bow – from the waist- this is not a Chinese bow.. so he is a totally bizarre mish mash to me!
ROTP.avi_000210084Ahhh plus this actor, Keone Young, also played Jay Nigeta/Nageta (not sure how to spell it)  in Remembrance of things past where he is definitely Japanese. Nageta is Japanese… We saw him at Monks.

-Great contrast between Francine and Amanda over Lee’s discomfort at having to be re-certified.. Francine takes great delight in explaining he is affectionately called ‘ Dr Pain’ ..  Francine sniffed out an opportunity to rub it in to Lee…  Whereas Amanda is great for Lee’s ego ‘ Oh Lee be very gentle on that little man!!’ – like she thinks he will beat Dr Pain to within an inch of his life because well Lee is so big and strong and courageous!! swoon… err and he is! Winking smile 

-‘James: Looks are deceiving Amanda. Those chaps can handle themselves.’
I love this line!!!! why?? because it sums up this episode!!! Amanda is underestimating Stanley because he looks like a nice little man – and..as we’ve seen in this episode, Amanda and James are being underestimated by others too- because IMHO their appearances don’t sell their competence! Interesting that it is James who points this out to Amanda.. James doesn’t seem to judge anyone based on their superficial appearance.. except himself (but that plays into the James Bond thing so we’ll come back to that!).

As if to highlight this- Amanda and James are seen in a closer two shot as James talks about appearances being deceiving – and we can see Amanda, like James, has on- a GUEST PASS!

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts everyone!! byeee for now!

54 responses to “5/14 Season Three, Episode 05: Welcome to America Mr Brand- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Blog order- Episode 01)

  1. I’m not so sure Amanda wouldn’t have had enough clearance at this point to check this much out on her own. As I see it, she’s been asked to do enough of this type research, she can probably do it without worrying about her security level on this pretty-basic information. I think Lee’s surprise here is that she was comfortable and convinced enough to do it without being asked. She’s stepped up her game and is becoming more and more comfortable with her growing role at the agency. She knows Lee won’t listen to her and James unless they have enough info to make this interesting or relevant. She’s not waiting on his instructions anymore, she’s taking charge. He’s impressed. For her to move forward on her own says a lot, and Lee takes a moment to acknowledge this.

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  2. When Amanda is first getting Brand to tell Lee about the Earl and when Brand is doing his presentation Lee and Amanda are standing or sitting right next to each other. When they are going to see Munson you see Amanda has driven with Lee. So while they may have been on opposite sides of the situation to begin with they are still on the same side ultimately.

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  3. I was thinking about James’s vacation photo earlier, and I suddenly remembered that there’s an episode of Get Smart where Max does the same thing, accidentally including a photo of a girl in a bikini in a presentation he was making. Except in Get Smart, Max claims that the girl in the bikini was actually a very clearly disguised male KAOS agent. Of course, he saw through the disguise immediately . . . well, almost immediately . . . well, would you believe he saw through it by their fourth date?

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  4. Melissa Robertson

    I always had assumed that some growth had taken place between the two characters off screen that we the audience didn’t see. I assumed that Lee had probably had Amanda help him with D-20s while he watched over her shoulder telling her work faster 😉 I also assumed that she would have needed his signature or security clearance to get the information. So I think that he is stunned silent that she felt comfortable enough and confident to handle this part on her own. IMHO I think he doesn’t know what to say, but is realizing how valuable and time saving a partner is!

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  5. I really like what everyone has said here. I do think Lee is impressed with Amanda, and surprised. I agree with who ever said that blinders have been lifted. It has happened before in bits and starts, but I think here it is the beginning of a very bright sunrise for Lee. The way he looks at her reminds me of other openly admiring looks that he gives her coming up in the next 2 seasons. He is seeing her as a person operating separate from himself as one of you pointed out, she was a bit devious in her actions because she had to found a way to get around the clearance thing, she is following her own intuition and using his training. All of this is both very attractive and very nerve wrecking for him. Amanda unleashed, haha.
    I find it interesting that in the next moment we see Lee discomfited by an element of his professionalism. Has any aspect of being a well trained spy ever given Lee this kind of nervousness? Maybe just the physical in ITCK? Lee is truly nervous about Dr. Pain, someone could best him? I think that is part of Amanda’s lines to Lee here, Oh me nice to that little man. She can only imagine Lee as top man. It is kind of like everything is getting turned on its head here. Amanda is surprising Lee and Amanda would be surprised to see Stanley throw Lee for a loop in hand to hand. Yup, appearances can be deceiving. Thank goodness the lid comes off of all those deceptive appearances and Lee and Amanda just see each, just like Lee’s open admiration here.

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    • “All of this is both very attractive and very nerve wrecking for him. Amanda unleashed, haha.” Indeed! I can’t help but believe that underneath that restrained reaction, Lee’s subconscious is screaming at him: “What a woman!!!!”

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      • I like it Raffie and Morley!!! 🙂

        Not long now and we’ll be at OTL.. seems everything builds to that episode doesn’t it.. I’d rush the posts a bit more so we could get to it but I don’t have much time to write at the moment. and well.. I guess WTAMB deserves a bit of love and attention no? or we would be skipping over little moments like this one of Lee being surprised and amazed at Amanda 🙂

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        • Oh, no, don’t rush! I love OTL (top 10!) but I want to be able to keep up. And I do enjoy WTAMB. Already with all the great discussion here I’m thinking it doesn’t always get the respect it deserves 🙂 And yep, I definitely prefer it as the S3 opener.

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          • Raffie, okay I promise I won’t! I’ll wait two days before publishing post 7.. it’s usually a little quieter on the weekends.. Glad you are enjoying this episode as season opener better – me too!

            To Everyone
            I’m wondering if it would be okay with you guys if I go back to my old style of commenting as I go with episodes.. I haven’t heard any feedback on the new format …what do you think? is me commenting at the end of my posts annoying? Is anyone reading them? I mean I would like to be part of the discussion rather than just the recap writer.. if that makes sense..
            I’m a little confused about what’s best at the moment-and don’t want to make you guys confused also! lol!!
            I guess if people are happy with the old way I did things and don’t mind, I’ll go back to the old way- it’s easier to write. But.. if people prefer the new way, I will happily stick to the new way.
            Some feedback would be really helpful.. as the author of the posts, I don’t know what it’s like to be you- the reader of the posts 🙂
            What do you all think? So glad we are on this journey together 🙂

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            • I do like the old way better, but will happily adapt to whatever works better for you.

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            • I like the old style better. Sorry we haven’t given any feedback on this to this point – I think we were all enjoying too much SMK goodness.
              Don’t rush through too fast. We will get to OTL soon enough, and I think we will set some new records on comments when we do get there! 😉

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            • Melissa Robertson

              Liked it when you were part of the discussion 🙂

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            • So sorry Iwsod for no feedback. I’m too busy enjoying it all, but do agree that I loved your old style best, with all the pity and witty commentary and opinions built in to the post.

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              • Ohhh thanks so much Morley, Cindy, kiwismh, Melissa R, and Jule for sharing with me your feedback and being honest about it-
                Ohhh myy!! I’m so glad I checked again and shared that I was preferring to write the old way!!! I would have happily kept writing the new way for you all and wondered why things felt a bit different.. now I know! lol!!

                Okay! I’ll go back to the old JWWM groove with Over the Limit 🙂 we’ve reached our limit with the new format experiment 😉

                I won’t go and change WTAMB – I’ve written this episode up in the old format.. and don’t have time to go through and alter them..

                Oh phew Melissa R – glad to hear you prefer I’m part of the discussion! 😉

                Thanks for the encouragement Jule, I love how your love of smk shines in everything you write!

                Thanks for promising to be good Morley It’s worth it!! 🙂 All the best with your performances!!

                Thanks for offering to be flexible Cindy! 🙂

                Great to hear your feedback kiwismh – it seems to be unanimous! lol!! Okay I promise I won’t rush! whooo new records with OTL? that would be fabulous!! lots of smk goodness!!!

                sorry you’ll need to hang in there with the old format for Mr Brand.. but hopefully the episode will survive.. I suspect we are all approaching the episode a little differently than previous viewings because of the episode order anyway – maybe that will work to our advantage and mean enjoyment is not diminished by post format.. as it’s compensated for with new discoveries in this episode and a new appreciation – it worked that way for me! 😉

                bye and thanks again!

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                • Hey, Iwsod, I like the old way, too. New way works fine, but your comments throughout were fun and thoughtful. Sorry to be late in responding, I’ve been out of touch for a bit.

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    • It has happened before in bits and starts, but I think here it is the beginning of a very bright sunrise for Lee.

      “Here comes the sun…here comes the sun…and I say, it’s alright…” Think Lee has a Beatles album in his record collection? Maybe he should get it out and play it 😀

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  6. Ive been thinking about Lee’s progression through this episode quite a bit, I can appreciate Lee’s initial demeanor towards James up til this point. As we see in upcoming OTL, the Agency has its share of “crackpots” to keep an eye on, and even if James comes with accountant credentials from English intelligence, that does ot qualify him as an agent. I’m sure the Agency runs into its fair share of conspiracy theorists and James Bond-wanna-bes, which of course is what James is! How’s Lee to know that there is substance underneath the argyle socks? He’s a busy guy and has little time for distractions. How is he to believe that I guy who is too disorganized to dress himself in matching socks and too clumsy to hold a newspaper can do reliable stealth activities and put together an organized case of what is going on. While I give Amanda credit for seeing past this in James, she did have the advantage of a forced evening with him to see his commitment and his evidence. I actually give Lee a lot of credit for trusting Amanda enough to hear her out and give her that hour of his time in a busy schedule.

    Which brings me back to the early scene between Amanda and Lee. (And I’m sorry if this is repeating previous comments — I did not get a chance to go through all of them if I was going to catch up!) I always felt Lee’s misportrayal of James was one of omission, not out and out lying. I can picture him getting her all excited about this evening with an Englishman (a la Bromfield Hall, as someone previously pointed out — perhaps Lee even alluded to it!) and omitting the small print. I love the banter as he tells her the whole story, his back-pedalling, his quick reassurance that he had not betrayed her with another grabber, her spunk, and the threat that “you’re going to pay for this, Stetson!” I always took Lee’s smirk at the end to be a new-found appreciation of her spunk, and some amusement as to how he might have to pay fo this, i.e. he’s looking forward to the next chapter of this little sequence. Could Lee have trusted Amanda and been more upfront with her? Sure, but he has come a long way already, and will come a lot farther by the end of S3. The old Lee isn’t gone, but it is being molded and shaped, and I love seeing the conflict between the old and the new in that lovely scene.

    So bottom line, I can totally relate to where Lee was coming from and where he has now ended up out of respect for Amanda. Perhaps, in the new episode order, it is this evolution of Lee’s outlook towards James, as directed by Amanda, which strengthens his conviction in her instincts, even blinded in a snowstorm. Thanks, SMK, for keeping Lee so human and true to himself. I actually sorta miss the old Lee in S4 🙂 … but I keep jumping ahead of myself.

    So just wanted to stick up for Lee and his coming around in this scene with Amanda and James! I think he and I are kindred spirits in the “acquired sensitivity” rather than “hative sensitivity” department!

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  7. I am glad the script said something about Amanda needing security clearance because that was my thought when watching this scene. I didn’t think Lee would be surprised that Amanda had gone ahead and worked things herself. I think Lee knows full well Amanda can and will take off on her own to get things done. He has not always considered it a good thing. Here he seems concerned about it, but I think he let’s it go because Amanda is fine and Lee really is busy so he is grateful to not have to do all the leg work for a case he isn’t entirely convinced by yet. And it’s not the last time the situation arises where Amanda use Lee’s security clearance or someone else’s on her own in this season and Lee will be annoyed but let it go every time. I think it actually shows progress. Lee doesn’t really like Amanda doing that, but does not chew her out like I think he would in the past. I actually think Lee let’s Amanda get a way with more than he probably technically should in season 3

    And I agree I don’t think Lee is entirely convinced of Brand’s story yet while if this was an agent with the same story and the same evidence it would be full steam ahead. Lee has a biased. I already said what I think of his attitude about so called pencil pushers. Despite that attitude though, I do think Lee is interested enough to look into it.

    Good ole Doctor Pain. I like him, and I think it’s probably good that there is some around to keep Mr. tough guy Lee a little humble. Francine doesn’t have to laugh, though. I wonder how she would react if Lee was making fun of her when it is her turn. Can’t see that going over too well. Good thing Amanda is always there to stroke Lee’s ego.

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  8. Oh my heck! That’s what Lee is thinking! I think he’s so impressed with Amanda’s initiative that he doesn’t even take more than a second to be annoyed that she went ahead and did that without him telling her to. I think he’s very impressed with Amanda here, but I do think his is annoyed, but only for a brief second and good for him for letting it go so quickly. You’ve trained her well, Lee. I think he is wondering just what else she and James might have been up to, especially since she only gets a guest pass. Actually, the fact that she does just have a guest pass must make him concerned a little bit. Just how did she get access to that photo match database thingamabobber? Maybe Amanda is a bit more sly than he ever thought she could be? Or more of a charmer? I think he’s wondering how she pulled it off.

    I agree, iwsod, this is the first time Amanda does some investigating on her own like this at the Agency – it seems more official somehow since it involves a database search. But in ACA and SOS, Amanda does do some investigating on her own – it’s just not at the Agency or with databases. In ACA she goes into Lila Adams’ cabin to investigate and in SOS she goes to check out lifeboat C seat 24.

    And what you said about Amanda partnering with James here and taking what they’ve found to Lee for next steps makes sense. I think Amanda knew not to go check out Mr. Munson’s place with just James. If she and James had, I think Lee would have been ticked and rightly so. She is not qualified to do that.
    I do not see any jealousy from Lee here either, he is all business. Amanda’s pleading got him to give James an hour to listen to his presentation. The photo of KCD with Krulnikov and KCD outside the BOE&P combined with the fact that KCD is Lee’s actual assignment got him to look further into Mr. Munson.

    LOL – Dr. Pain. Very funny. But I do wish that Amanda wasn’t so naïve here. This is a bit too dingy for me. If she would just use that logical brain of hers she would realize that the Agency would only use an expert in hand-to-hand training. Duuuh.

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  9. I agree that Lee seems to be thinking of James and Amanda as “Partners in Crime.” To me, it looks like Lee’s thinking that, on the one hand, both James and Amanda have overstepped their authority on this but that he’s actually kind of pleased that they did. Even though they didn’t mention Amanda needing Lee’s authorization to proceed with their investigation, I think Lee’s expression kind of hints that they did and that he knows that Amanda used his clearance to get the job done because he was too busy to help. On the other hand, though, I think that they’ve convinced him that the situation is worth looking into, and I think he might even be a little proud/amused that Amanda was gutsy enough to pursue the investigation. I notice that he never complains about Amanda moving forward on this without him, and it might be my imagination, but I thought it looked like Lee might be holding back a smile when he found out what Amanda had been up to with James. He might be thinking some combination of “Look how well I’ve taught her that she can do this” and “I’ve got to keep her on a shorter leash from now on.”

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    • I completely agree, Jestress. I think Lee is secretly amused and pleased that Amanda has been a rule-breaker. This little act of rebellion raises her up a notch or two in his estimation!

      Amanda’s discomfiture at James’s bumbling during the slide show reminds me very much of Lee at the end of TFTime where Amanda is rambling on and on in front of Francine and Billy, and Lee is cringing and trying to rush her out of the office. Personal credibility is at stake in both cases, and the loss of credibility will mean teasing or some other form of penitence-inducing behavior.

      Interesting observation, iwsod, that Brand stuck the picture in on purpose to enhance his Bond image. Makes perfect sense!

      And I love your observation about Stanley Chow’s character reinforcing the underlying theme that appearances can be deceiving, as well as not to underestimate others. SMK is great about injecting subplots that complement the main plot, but I’m not always so great on picking up on these until they are waved in my face :-/

      Is it just me, or do the guys’ faces look a little rugged in contract to their spiffy suits? Seems like these scenes may have been shot at the back end of a long day on the set!

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      • raffie, I agree with how you say Lee is secretly amused and pleased that Amanda actually breaks a rule here! I think you are right when you say it raises her up a bit in his estimation. Too bad he’s not in the hospital now – I bet she’d bring him that scotch and cheesecake. But still not a woman – don’t think he’d ask for that now anyway!

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    • I like how you sum this up, Jestress. I agree and like the overstepping her boundaries phrase. I hadn’t read the bottom of the post before writing my comment, so I didn’t know the part about Amanda using Lee’s clearance without his approval was in there. But reading it after the fact and your comment makes it all make even more sense.

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    • Yes, I think Lee is looking at Amanda with not a little admiration here. Okay, she’s still a civilian and she used his security clearance, but who’s the Agency’s #1 rule breaker and risk taker? Lee Stetson. Maybe he’s remembering that old adage – people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But I think the most significant thing that’s happening here is that he’s admiring not just her professionalism and initiative, but deep down he’s letting himself just admire her. We see him doing this more and more throughout S3. 😉

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      • Yeah.. I see Lee as being a little conflicted here.. it’s great.. but it’s not great Lol.. he doesn’t quite know what to do with it- it’s new! but.. he manages to stay cool and go with it – which is real progress IMHO 🙂

        Oh yeah! Love to see Lee admire Amanda! 🙂

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      • I like this kiwismh.

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    • Agreed Jestress! Lee has competing thoughts in this moment I think 🙂 poor guy! It’s a bit of a shock! 🙂 haaa

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  10. Stereotypes are shattered in this episode. Amanda is not just a housewife (and we’ll see in the future that Dotty doesn’t follow the grandmother stereotype). She’s a bit flirty in this episode (you owe me Stetson) and proactive. Lee didn’t need to deceive Amanda to get her to go to lunch with Brand, but Amanda did need to be very careful on how things were presented to Lee to get him to go along with investigating. I think this also makes Lee think about if he wants to continue to be the Bond stereotype himself. I also agree that the episode only works as the season opener, otherwise it just puts the brakes on the progress of L+A during this season. This was an episode that I didn’t immediately like, but it has grown on me, more because of Amanda’s progression. Funny, that I really liked Life of the Party that also showed Amanda’ growth and really focused on her.
    I also noticed something watching this episode. These two have been very touchy from the beginning. I see that Amanda touches Lee during this episode, but he doesn’t touch her. I wonder if that was intentional by the writers and if so what it means. Was he backing off because things were progressing too far to fast? Was he feeling too much and just couldn’t handle it? Was he pulling back because Amanda was partnered with someone else? Any thoughts?

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    • Very interesting observation, LAAL! I’m so far away from doing stats on this episode that I hadn’t noticed the touching or lack thereof on Lee’s part in this episode. I’m going to have to go back and rewatch what we’ve already covered and come back to comment. Tough work, I know!

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    • I love Amanda’s progression too LAAL! and I also enjoyed LOTP for this same reason 🙂 we are going to enjoy BJo’s career progression post when it is eventually published! 🙂 and yes Amanda’s progression in this episode is one of the reasons I now enjoy it too!

      they haven’t touched? I guess they haven’t been together very much or they are in a professional setting no? hmm.. we’ll have to keep an eye out for this! good thought LAAL!

      I just wrote in a post for Over the Limit last night a general thought that had occurred to me- that SMK loves to either play up stereotypes or completely subvert them.. what you say here fits well with this! [sorry you will hear this idea again from me in future..]
      bye!

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    • I like the idea that Lee would be backing off because he was feeling too much. I think this behavior from Lee is a perfect set up for OTL. In my SMK world Lee is just about to start something with Leslie if he hasn’t already. I think all of their touching was such a subconscious thing, which is what made that conversation on the bridge in AABH such an intense moment because it brought it out where they were both aware of it. But now that emotions are moving closer to the surface I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an effort to control the touching a bit (which makes me think of a certain moment in OTL when Lee doesn’t control his need to have physical contact with Amanda, patience and control, Morley).

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      • Interesting train of thought Morley. Like!

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      • Yep, I agree Morley. I think Lee must be already seeing Leslie at this point because she seems pretty comfortable with him in OTL, and I can’t see her being that way easily with him like another one of his conquests. Might explains some of the distance between him and Amanda at this point too if Lee is having feeling for Amanda but trying to make another relationship work.

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      • Leslie.. yeaaaah.. there is lots of foreshadowing of OTL in this episode.. but if we can hold off discussing the specifics of this foreshadowing until over the limit it would be better – when discussing over the limit we can look back and see the full picture and then put those pieces together.

        I’m so tempted to rush WTAMB and get to OTL.. I think in the past this has reduced my enjoyment of WTAMB. I hope you guys are enjoying WTAMB, maybe even a little more now? I know I am!

        ROFL.. yes patience and control Morley- hang in there!! we are so close! Have you had your performances yet? guessing you are about to – all the best for the weekend!!

        If anyone is really interested in foreshadowing and would like to go back and look at specifics leading up to Over the Limit I’d happily publish a post about it if you’d like to write one! [published after we’ve walked through OTL of course 😉 ]
        Okay byeee for now!

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        • I promise to be good. I will be patient, I will be controlled, no foreshadowing, all in good time. I do like this episode it has a lot of nuggets in it and we should give it the time it deserves.

          Iwsod, I think we should give your old format a try again and see how it goes. I think I like the old way better. I don’t need to not read what you think in order to have my own ideas and sometimes when I read your thoughts about a scene, it spurs on my own whether I see it like yours or not. ultimately I think you should do what works best and is the most fun for you. We can adjust because all we really want to do is discuss SMK with you either way.

          Show is tomorrow night. Lots of hard work, lots of counting to 8. I couldn’t sleep last night all I did was count to 8 all night. But I do think it will be a good run. Thanks for the well wishes.

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  11. Looks are deceiving never a truer word spoken by James. Like you IWSOD I love this line. Poor James who is judged and derided on his appearance and job description knows that all to well. I hope Lee was taking notes when he heard him say this 😉 Might help him in the long run to stop underestimating Amanda and her abilities.

    Lee is unusually restrained in his reaction to Amanda doing her own investigating. I confess I am having a hard time reading his reaction. Stunned? Somewhat. Incredulous? Maybe. Amanda has been proactive and boy it’s a shock to the system 😉

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    • Although I never much cared for this episode before now, I always thought one of the best lines in it was James’ comment about looks being deceiving. He suddenly sounds like he knows what he’s talking about – it’s the voice of experience.
      I didn’t really appreciate the full implications of that comment in the context of this episode until reading some of the comments. Like Raffie5 I sometimes have to have these things waved in front of my face. 😉
      Doh! I’ve been missing out on sooo much SMK goodness all these years.

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      • Hi Kiwismh and everyone!

        Great to hear that you are getting new ideas and insights from everyone here – we really do learn from each other and it’s wonderful to acknowledge this 🙂

        Keeps us coming back and sharing more when we hear this me thinks (and hopes!).

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      • Does make you wonder if he was saying it not just for the benefit of Amanda but for Lee too 😉

        I need stuff waving in my face too. It was only after I found this blog I got a greater appreciation and enjoyment of SMK 🙂

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        • Sometimes James seems like a delusional dreamer and other times I think he really is insightful and has his finger on the pulse of people and things in the intelligence operative world. I can’t decide.

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          • LOL.. he is an interesting character! I tend to see him as having his finger on the pulse with everyone – except himself. which is going to come up eventually.. so I’ll hold off explaining myself- sorry!

            I do think if an accountant at MI6 has a theory about the chairman of the ICEP, that he is KGB? It shouldn’t be immediately discounted, and heck.. it was easy enough for James to get photos of KCD with a KGB agent.. so while I see it was understandable he wouldn’t be automatically believed, I’d say automatic disbelief was also not appropriate.. but maybe it’s just me.

            Oh and btw I remember now BJo was using ‘JB’ as an abbreviation for James Brand – Just to clarify in my posts I’ve referred to James Brand as ‘James’ and James Bond as ‘JB’ – so hopefully this isn’t going to be confusing for you .. if it is let me know.

            Raffie hope things are going well with your new grandchild! 🙂 hope you saw my congrats comments!

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  12. I love the screen caps you took of Lee as Amanda has revealed how much she and James have done without him. I think he is in shock — blinders have lifted and he is seeing Amanda in an entirely different light. It’s almost like he is realizing that Amanda is separate from him and not merely an extension (even though he has made great strides from the past when he just assumed she would drop everything to help him out). .
    And it’s about time! I’m loving confident Amanda here!

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    • Yes, it really feels like it’s beginning to sink in to Lee’s brain how much value Amanda adds, to his work and of course, his life in general. Lee is a bit thick sometimes and I love it when Amanda makes him do an internal review of his preconceived notions. I am enjoying this episode a lot more this time through with all the commentary. And having it run as the season opener just feels right. I’m with you Cindy, I love how Amanda feels confident and it makes her walk a bit taller here!

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    • I like what you wrote about the blinders being lifted and Lee realizing that Amanda is separate from him and not an extension of himself. What an important step.

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  13. Just wanted to say, that the Amanda flapping her hand picture is brilliant

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