8/14 Season Three, Episode 05: Welcome to America Mr Brand- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Blog order- Episode 01)

Amanda and James make it to the party without the Aston Martin setting off a canon! whoo hoo!!! So far so good Winking smile
Deja vu Amanda?? The estate Dobbs is staying at was the Cumberland resort in Weekend!!! rofl!!!  I wonder how Amanda would cope with a ‘Weekend’ now!!!
Does Dobbs know James? James has been chasing him seven years.. Hmm I’ll keep watching and try to figure this out!

Dobbs is warning his security to keep an eye on some guests.. does he point to James? I can’t quite tell.. but we find Amanda and James joining the party. Amanda finds Lee amongst the guests.
Lee finishes his conversation, the guy shakes his hand and walks off slapping Lee on the shoulder while he’s at it haaaaa…
LOL.. Lee waves his own hand around trying to stop the WTAMB.avi_001239906pain of the handshake and limps off…. LOL maybe his WTAMB.avi_001240907hand was hurting too from his visit with Dr Pain- I think everywhere is hurting Winking smile  Surely Lee should get WTAMB.avi_001242909the afternoon off?! Winking smile
As he limps away Amanda joins him..

Amanda grabs Lee (gently!) by the arm: Whoooohhhhhh!!!!
WTAMB.avi_001243910Lee’s confused.. : what?
WTAMB.avi_001244411Amanda: poor Lee!!!
[Amanda gives Lee a look up and down to make sure everything is ahem still there Winking smile ]
WTAMB.avi_001246413WTAMB.avi_001245412Lee: what? [lol Lee isn’t use to this someone caring thing!]
Amanda: how was Dr Pain?
takes a deep breath and rubs his hand some more:
WTAMB.avi_001247914WTAMB.avi_001247414Amanda: Sorry.
Lee: Very! (the edit here is very quick. like they cut off Lee from saying the next line.. Instead.. Lee moves on to the case.) Oh Amanda this party is a gold mine I was just talking to a guy who was in Beirut  in 75 during the scandal that nearly destroyed the bank of Great Britain?
guess who was sitting on the board of overseers.
WTAMB.avi_001259426Amanda smiles:
WTAMB.avi_001260927Lee: right.
Amanda: Yeah!!!

[There’s real excitement here – what Lee isn’t saying is that he is more and more convinced that James and Amanda were on to something.. and now.. he’s believing it too! Smile ]
Lee: and that little tidbit could just be the tip of the iceberg.
…Francine and I are gonna work the crowd…
Would you please!…
They look over to James..
to see him standing on a lady’s Sari, and making a nuisance of himself. Hey Columbo does that move too! Standing on outfits! Winking smile
Back to Lee and Amanda.. Amanda has her eyes closed.. WTAMB.avi_001273940she knows what’s coming.
WTAMB.avi_001274441Lee: …Keep Brand out of trouble?
WTAMB.avi_001275442Lee: Alright let’s face it Amanda…
…the guy is…
…a little..
[Lee shakes his head and searches for the word!]
.strange huh.
[Lee calls a spade a spade here.. he is a bit strange! Winking smile Amanda knows this.. ]
Amanda: awh Lee, I…
( she shrugs) … I like him.
Lee: of course you do and…WTAMB.avi_001284451

…he’s an okay guy…
in limited doses..but err..
(coming around to liking James is going to take a little longer Winking smile )
Lee finishes by whispering: ….
Keep him out of trouble.
Amanda: I will.

[I think this would be a fab picture to have fun with for a meme!!! anyone??!!! Winking smile ]
WTAMB.avi_001291958Francine interrupts them and says sweetly, too sweetly:
Amanda!!! what a lovely outfit!!!!
WTAMB.avi_001292258Amanda: Hello Francine. Thank you.
WTAMB.avi_001293460WTAMB.avi_001294260WTAMB.avi_001296463Francine: My mother has the same thing in Fuchsia! 
[Let me guess, she sleeps in it.. in her bed..]
Lee doesn’t react to Francine’s remark.
We see Amanda’s face just drop.. poor Amanda!
Francine doesn’t wait for a response. she really isn’t interested in talking to Amanda anyway.
WTAMB.avi_001299966Francine to Lee:  Hey Lee would you join me for a drink? the Egyptian minister of finance and I have been err.. (here Amanda lets out a very audible breath to control her temper – Francine gives her a quick side glance but all attention is back on Lee)
…dishing the dirt about Mr Clayton-Dobbs.
WTAMB.avi_001302969Lee: hmm!

[Lee looks away again.. looking at James? or the finance minister?? or Dobbs- we don’t know]
Francine: Okay?!
WTAMB.avi_001305472Francine walks off.. giving Lee a pat on the arm.

Not really waiting for Lee’s answer either haa.. So interesting.. Lee is a man of no words here once Francine joins in.. all his communication is non verbal! [thus plenty of pics.. you don’t mind do you? didn’t think so! Winking smile ]
We’ll stay out of trouble…
…Have a nice time with Francine.

WTAMB.avi_001307073WTAMB.avi_001307974The moment Lee leaves
Amanda’s smile falls.. WTAMB.avi_001309976

WTAMB.avi_001310276WTAMB.avi_001310677she gives herself a shakeWTAMB.avi_001310977
and moans: Hmph!!
But she lifts her head, takes a breath, gathers herself
heads back to James. 

I’ll stop here for us to explore this scene as there is lots going on here that‘s interesting!!! We will pick up where we left off next time.

I’ve shared my thoughts below.. 

Iwsod’s comments

There is so much going on in this scene for all characters.. I barely know where to start!
– ‘Poor Lee!’
Sweet! Amanda is there to offer some comfort after Lee’s visit with Dr Pain!! Lee doesn’t seem to mind now does he? Smile I love how Amanda showing she cares is not rebuffed by Lee at all. While he doesn’t want to dwell on the pain, I think he feels better knowing Amanda understands he’s in pain Smile and she sympathises. Can anyone think of earlier times when Amanda has tried to comfort Lee when he is in pain? I have the impression that early Lee would have said he was fine! but what it’s based on I don’t know Winking smile 

Again, it’s a total contrast between how Amanda treats Lee and how Francine treats Lee huh.. Francine couldn’t give a hoot that Lee is in pain.. actually she kind of enjoys it maybe Winking smile ugh! Deep down, Lee is a big lovely softie who needs the nurturing that Amanda offers.. awh!!! Smile 

-A unique situation.
Amanda and Lee are working together at this party. But.. no..not really! Amanda is just window shopping or dressing or whatever Winking smile Why Billy was okay with Amanda doing the rounds in Life of the Party and not here is maybe an interesting thing to ponder.. Is this down to his annoyance with Brand and Amanda getting him involved? Billy certainly felt he wanted to put James in his place.. and at this party – he put Amanda in her place too.. because she is just ‘window shopping’.

This is a new situation because the typical set up is Lee needs to keep an eye on Amanda and keep her out of trouble . At this party? Lee isn’t worried about Amanda getting into trouble at all (yippee!!) He’s worried about James. Not just that – he actually relies on Amanda to look after James and keep him out of trouble!! well .. in a way that is a vote of confidence from Lee isn’t it?!!

Plus when was the last time we saw Francine and Lee working on a case without Amanda?? it’s been a while.. because the end of season 2 involved Amanda a lot- but not through any agency work. Here they are working on a case. That is why Amanda is there.. When was the last time we saw this? Life of the party?? Any episode since if Amanda has been on a case – Francine has not been involved. or.. Amanda has been the case Winking smile
OOADP wasn’t agency work.
DOA- Amanda was poisoned because of Lee so was involved in the case.
YODT- an agency computer error mean’t Amanda became the case
BO- Lee was the case.. Amanda got involved just because of her friendship with him. Francine was not involved.
MBF- Amanda changed jobs and again.. became the case.
VM- Amanda partnered with Lee to work on the case in the suburbs.. and Francine had noooo involvement with them.
So this is an interesting scene for that reason alone. Lee and Amanda have progressed so much.. and now, once again after so long, Francine is working on a case with Lee and Amanda is on the outer! This brings me to my next thought.

-Francine’s happy!!
In this scene, Francine has an agenda.. I think Francine is gleeful to once again be out in the field working as Lee’s partner at this garden party full of important people. This is where Francine really wants to be. But that darn Amanda keeps getting in her way – the little upstart!

Notice as Francine insults Amanda, how close Francine stands to Lee, like Francine and Lee are together and Amanda is on the outer. (she wishes) Francine is trying to reclaim some territory here me thinks Winking smile [don’t get me wrong there’s nothing romantic about Lee and Francine.. this is about work partnership.. and well Amanda needing taking down a peg Winking smile ]

Remember Life of the Party was a humiliating experience for Francine – where Amanda was at her best, and Francine was at her worst! Now, this is Francine’s opportunity to put Amanda in her place.
Notice a pattern here?? There seems to be a lot of that going on this week – to me this echoes Billy’s quip to James that he’s an accountant. (not an agent!)

So Francine approaches to interrupt Lee and Amanda’s conversation, and draw Lee back into work with her.. and cuts down Amanda with her remark about her mother having the same outfit. This remark was a way to tell Amanda:  you aren’t of our league.. so let Lee and I get on with it.. you are not an agent and need to be reminded of your place.

I think Francine feels the need to because this whole case was brought to their attention by James and Amanda in the first place.. I’m sure Francine’s not thrilled with that. 

By the way – Francine’s blue outfit is lovely.. but because she is so nasty to Amanda.. I don’t want to talk about it okay!!! Winking smile worst of all.. Amanda’s pyjamas are awful- though the colour is lovely on her.. yes focus on the colour iwsod!

What’s going on with Lee here? Firstly- He is looking super gorgeous in the great outdoors with his tan.. and light coloured suit.. me like.. a lot!! Even if he has a different pattern Jacket, shirt and tie – pattern overload.. but no matter I was already overloaded by how gorgeous Lee looked Winking smile
I think Lee’s physically in pain…. but excited to be making progress on the case – yet again- thanks to Amanda’s involvement.
He seems to be on board with the case now, though not on board with liking ‘Brand’! He’s too much of a nuisance for Lee to get past that right now.. but.. we’ll see how that goes! Smile So Lee doesn’t seem to have a chip on his shoulder about James and Amanda being the ones to uncover this case. Lee sees there is something to it, so he gets on with  it – it doesn’t seem to matter to him who discovered it. Which shows growth I think. I think in this area, Amanda has already taught him a thing or two.. to be less judgemental.. so he quickly comes around to it and moves on.

I enjoyed his remark that of course Amanda likes James – I think this is one of Amanda’s qualities that Lee likes most Winking smile She sees the good in people and is a nurturer and encourager. She doesn’t cut people down or put them in their place.. Lee is always going to be safe with Amanda.. even when he acts strange himself Winking smile so this is a very reassuring quality Smile when you have a very sensitive heart.. and trust issues.. Yep.. Amanda is ideal for ya Lee!!! Smile

As for Francine.. I think Lee’s oblivious here to her insult. I think he heard the first line about Amanda having a nice outfit.. and he smiled at this and (call me crazy) he seemed to look and maybe think the same thing to himself Winking smile though he doesn’t verbalise it.. he notices Amanda here.. and then turns away..  He’s too preoccupied with the case and what James is up to.. and uninterested in Francine Winking smile to pay attention to the second part about Francine’s mother! Winking smile Just my thoughts.. love to hear yours too!

-Amanda’s not happy!!!
Lee is making lots of progress, and Amanda is stuck in the wings babysitting James. But good on Amanda, she doesn’t take this out on James – and stands by the fact that she likes him. She continues to be his friend.

I think Francine joining them and rubbing in how Amanda is not involved here was the last straw for Amanda. Up to that point I think she was frustrated by it and wishing for more – but she had a good handle on this – this is not a new thing for Amanda to be undervalued and overlooked! but.. she’s beginning to tire of this. (hooray! So am I Amanda!) Francine’s dig reveals for us the level of frustration that Amanda is actually experiencing now with her work situation (which plays beautifully into next week!).

This case was her baby- her chance to show she has progressed in her work. Amanda chose to champion for James who no one wanted to listen to.. and it’s because of Amanda that they are investigating Dobbs. So for this? She gets to babysit James, and have her outfit insulted by Francine.

Worst of all, she gets to watch Lee head off with Francine to do the work Amanda wants to be doing with Lee. This is what Amanda wants – to be working with Lee on meaningful work. At the moment, she is being frustrated every way she turns. [Don’t get me wrong I don’t think Amanda is jealous of Francine spending time with Lee – but I do think Amanda could be jealous that she is not partnering Lee on this job – because she has earned it and she frankly should be IMHO ] Amanda is well aware Lee is with Francine and not her – thus the final line to have fun with Francine Winking smile  Watch Amanda’s hands during this scene.. she’s internally struggling me thinks..

Think of other times when Francine has stood in for Amanda – usually it’s when its a dangerous situation that requires agent training (Mancine!) but here? It’s a garden party and asking questions. Amanda can do this – and she’s been relegated to playing babysitter. She was already frustrated by being tricked into the first meeting with James by Lee remember- so I think this is a big moment for Amanda.

Lots of feelings she tries to keep in check have bubbled to the surface here.. and we can see just how angry she is with this situation. She’s so angry there’s no joy in the vote of confidence that Lee gives her in asking her to take care of James…
Still trooper that Amanda is.. she takes a deep breath and does the next thing – she goes to keep an eye on James and try to look after him.

Soooo I’ve prattled on long enough about some of my ideas of what is going on here for the characters and what it all means.. I’m looking forward to hearing what you got out of this scene and if you’d like like to discuss my thoughts I’d be happy to hear your feedback..
byeeee for now!

35 responses to “8/14 Season Three, Episode 05: Welcome to America Mr Brand- Scarecrow and Mrs King (Blog order- Episode 01)

  1. Pingback: 2/13 Season Four Episode Four: No Thanks for the Memory–Scarecrow and Mrs King | "Just walk with me.."

  2. Oh dear it appears Mr Brand and I have something in common…..I trod on the train of someone’s wedding dress at the reception as she tried to walk away!! James ands I are kindred clumsy spirits clearly 😉

    I do wonder why, if Lee was so busy, they schedule a visit to Dr Pain. Surely they could have done when his work load was less hectic…..
    Nice to see him no longer brushing off Amanda’s concern 🙂
    Of course Amanda likes James. Aside from the ridiculous clown act he represents similar situation….overlooked, ignored, fobbed off just because he’s not a trained agent.

    Tsk tsk Francine did no one ever tell you if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Francine appears to be getting a bit territorial……is she smarting I wonder at the fact that the “unqualified” security staff (aka Amanda and James) have be the reason for this investigation at the party rather than trained agents like herself. Jealousy is not a good look Francine.


  3. This is the scene I have been looking forward to all episode! I don’t know why it resonates so much with me, but when Lee says “of course you do” in response to Amanda saying she likes James, my heart goes ka-thump, ka-thump. There is so much packed into this understanding of Lee’s, so much acknowledgement of Amanda’s generosity of spirit, and it shows Lee’s acquired respect for this attirbute of hers. Not just respect — it feels like he values this characteristic … such an evolution to see Lee valuing the emotional over the practical. I love Lee in all seasons for various reasons, but Lee is so sweet in S3. It really does continue that feel that I’ve mentioned many times before that emotionally we have seen Lee evolve from childlike Lee in S1 to adolescent Lee in S2, and now young adult Lee in S3.

    I really enjoy Francine in this scene as well. This friction is actually a very enjoyable dynamic, watching Francine trump Amanda, Amanda try not to show Francine has gotten to her, Francine knowing she has succeeded, and then the coup of walking off with Lee. Great tension, and well played all the way around! I love how Lee doesn’t react to Francine’s barbs — I really don’t think he notices that Francine is being catty (although you might think he would come to expect it, but he’s a guy! And I am very glad for that 😉 ).

    Before I say my next piece, which will show my devil’s advocacy coming through again, I think I should explain that in my job, I do software troubleshooting for problems experienced by customers. This means that for every explanation i give the customer, i have to consider their point of view and how they are going to react. I find myself doing that as I read the blog, and I can’t help myself, and I only hope it isn’t too annoying!

    So having said that, I see the issue of Amanda’s entitlement to partner with Lee very differently. I think this whole unfolding of events should be the kick in the pants to Amanda that I think it is … she is not a trained agent, she should not be doing agent thngs, her lack of training presents a risk, she should not expect to be able to do anything Francine does, she does not have the experience or training to take the lead on a case. In her defense, we know she has been wanting training since she first bumped into Lee, but wanting it and having it are two different things. (And we think back to Billy’s demeanor a couple posts ago.) So I think this putting Amanda back in her place by Francine, is significant in more ways than just the femaile catty-ness. It serves as a wake up call.

    And stirring the pot just a bit more, or perhaps reinforcing the overall point of Amanda’s jealousy but from a different angle…. I’m going to change a few words from one of your paragraphs, iwsod:

    “Worst of all, Franicine gets to watch Lee head off with Amanda to do the work Francine wants to be doing with Lee. This is what Francine wants – to be working with Lee on meaningful work. At the moment, she is being frustrated every way she turns. [Don’t get me wrong I don’t think Francine is jealous of Amanda spending time with Lee (RAFFIE’s NOTE: well, I think Francine has been jealous) – but I do think Francine could be jealous that she is not partnering Lee on this job – because she has earned it and she frankly should be IMHO ] Francine is well aware Lee is with Amanda and not her.”

    So it’s interesting (well, to me at least) to see the contrast in characters, how in light of similar internal conflicts, Francine lashes out and Amanda internalizes. (Although, stay tuned for S3, right?) Their contrasting reactions I think are influenced almost as much by their positions at the agency (agent vs civilian “fill-in”) as they are by their respective personalities. Again the incentive for Amanda to become the real thing.


    • I really like this post! I’ve been fascinated by Amanda’s evolution between season 2 and 3 (as are many other people I think — hence all the fan fiction written in this time frame), what was the event (events) that finally served as a wakeup call to Amanda to be more assertive and regain the spunk and confidence she had in the earliest episodes.


    • Melissa Robertson

      I agree 100% with everything you have said here Raffie. Glad you had the boldness to voice it 🙂


    • Thanks, Cindy and Melissa! And n re-reading the post, I guess I should have noted that my “revised paragraph” was meant to reflect Francine’s feelings throughout S1 and S2, not her particular position just now.


    • Like this Raffie. Good analysis and it all rings true.


    • Hey Raffie! gosh no need to worry – analysing and discussing these characters is never annoying! 🙂 All opinions really are welcome here [if they aren’t tell me- cos I want them to be 🙂 ] bring on that fabulous professional, analytical mind of yours!!! 🙂

      Everything you say sounds good to me.. Amanda isn’t an agent.. it is the reality..

      the only bit I wonder about is: Is Francine Jealous that Amanda spends time with Lee in a personal sense? well, I am only going by what I have seen up to this point, but I don’t see Francine as having romantic jealousy – this may change in future I guess.. anything can 🙂 but I think Francine just wants to always be superior to Amanda- in everything!

      I agree Raffie, it is all a kick in the pants for Amanda. I think Billy’s reactions in this episode are also. While I think he is reacting personally to James (and by association Amanda), at the same time I think professionally being cautious with James is justified.. may sound like I’m thinking two contradictory things but it’s a balance of the two truths at the same time. Same with Francine – I think Amanda could have handled talking to some people at a party without anymore agency training, at the same time, there is no argument here that Francine is the agent at this stage, not Amanda!

      I like the idea of a kick in the pyjama pants for Amanda Raffie.. very cool – I think this whole episode is in a way..one reason why I love it! I think I’ve said it earlier: Maybe James and his story came along at just the right time for Amanda – it woke her up, challenged her and gave her an opportunity to progress professionally..

      This is a great episode isn’t it!


      • Yes, I like this episode! 🙂 No worries, Iwsod. I always feel that my opinion is welcomed! I just am afraid I may seem a bit schizo because I have a habit of defending the opposite perspective, no matter what it is. (It really drives my husband quite crazy!)


    • Great comment, raffie! I especially like how you describe Francine’s put down of Amanda as a kick-in-the-pants. While I’m glad Amanda was irritated and I do think that she is capable of mingling and talking with the party guests here to get information – at this point she presumably knows more than Francine about James’ research – I completely understand what you’re saying about Francine being a trained agent and Amanda not being a trained agent despite wanting training and working with Lee on so many cases. Just like I understand the decision to have Francine throw the cassette out the window in FRaul even though it doesn’t take any special training at all.

      I am a Francine fan in general and often find her put downs of Amanda to be funny and sometimes even deserved. Francine is a trained and hardened professional agent, something that Amanda is unlikely to ever be. We know that Amanda doesn’t is not a fan of using a gun. And her performance at Station 1 was so unimpressive that there was no question of her going forward for the next round of training. As much as I love Amanda, she is not, nor will she ever be a Francine. There is no way on earth Amanda would ever have done with Rahlo in BAIn what Francine did. Yeah, yeah, I know Amanda could have gotten the information in another way in SMK Land, but that disgusting scene just was one more way in which we see how far Francine would go and in a way Amanda would never go. I wish Francine had been given more opportunities to be a stronger or agent – more Lee than Billy – in the series.

      As you say, we see Lee becoming soft in S3 but we see Amanda becoming harder. I’m working on a post of Amanda’s professional growth for S1 and 2 (plus WTAMB and OTL) and it is interesting to see her growth there, but it will be nothing compared to what we’ll witness and discuss in S3 and 4 over the next year or two.


    • I like this Raffie. First of all I like the way you said that Lee now can value the emotional over the practical. I have recently written my stories for AABH and I took notice of Lee’s use of the word practical when he was talking about noticing when people are in love. He immediately switched to talking about practicality. And here he respects Amanda’s liking of James. I like how you called it an acquired respect. It is such a marked change for him and I love that they point it out so subtly. This is what I love about this episode. It is not because Lee is besotted with love for Amanda that he changes, it happens now, before they recognize how they really feel for each other, they are both being changed and growing in their capacity as people. It is awesome to watch.

      And Amanda, I like the idea of a kick in the pants. So in VM Lee called her partner and asked her to make a distraction… here she now realizes she needs to fight to be treated as a partner by the whole Agency, it isn’t just the way Lee views her. She cannot settle. And I love the rest of the message to Amanda that comes through James as we progress through this episode. As I watched it the other day, I really was amazed at how subtle, but thorough the writers were at the character development. Episodes like this, even though they aren’t heavy on the relationship, really can highlight how carefully they showed the depth of change in these characters.


      • whoooo fabulous insights there Morley! building on Raffie’s equally cool insights! 🙂

        I especially loved this part of what you wrote:

        This is what I love about this episode. It is not because Lee is besotted with love for Amanda that he changes, it happens now, before they recognize how they really feel for each other, they are both being changed and growing in their capacity as people. It is awesome to watch.

        preach it sister!!! 😉 I too love that they are not motivated by strong feelings for each other – although that is there.. IMHO this kind of journey towards love is even better than that – their love story is not the cause of their changes, but the result of it. It’s the reward for their faithfulness towards each other, their loyalty and courage.. it’s a rare thing to see in storytelling on tv nowadays.. everything is: oh I have the hots for that person so I want to change this or that.. all good and fine.. but Lee and Amanda’s story goes deeper..
        Oh gosh. I hope some of what I just wrote makes sense.. I just had a strong coffee and am bouncing around all over the place! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Boing! Reminds me of another song. The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tigger’s a wonderful thing…. Yep, iwsod, that’s you – bouncy, flouncy and fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!


          • ROFL!!! So much so that my kids came running to see what was so funny…


          • I confess, Iwsod, that I have envisioned you as Tigger in the past! Such a wonderful, boundless energy and good humor — I can’t imagine you needing a cup of coffee 🙂

            I too cherish how SMK has taken the time to develop the friendship before the relationship. Thanks for pointing that out, morley. What a great message. That indeed makes SMK unique, and I think it is my very favorite thing about the show. (Except for Lee’s dimples … Oh! where did that shallow thought just come from? I blame it on all those screencaps from Iwsod’s recent post of mighty-fine Lee and pajama-clad Amanda.)


  4. Melissa Robertson

    I finally have gotten caught up on JWWM 🙂 We are getting another snow storm (go figure it was 50 degrees F yesterday and 25 degrees F today with another 8″ of snow forecasted) at the moment here in NW OH and I’ve given my kids a rare 2nd snow day for the winter…and life has been a little rough at the moment, but this to shall pass 🙂

    I really like this episode as the season opener; it really does seem to flow nicer. Lee is such a sweety in the last scene with wanting to include Amanda espically. It was funny to watch their reaction to James’ ‘cobra death grip’ on himself. Does make you wonder what they did with him (fanfic idea anyone!) since Lee had a meeting, did that leave Amanda to take care of him?

    I do like Francine’s dress and never really cared for Amanda’s, but still I find Francine’s comment annoying. Really her off handed comments leave her sounding childish and not professional at all IMO.

    Baawhaaa Lee telling Amanda to keep James out of trouble 😉 Sure thing!! I always thought that was like the blind leading the blind!


    • Hey Melissa, right there with you on this crazy weather. I’m in SE MI and we got hit with the same storm. It came awfully late but we have a snow day today as well. I and some of my fellow teachers were actually hoping for it as it has been rather hectic of late. Stay warm and take it slow and easy.


    • These pink pyjamas of Amanda’s – I think at the time they were thought to be fashionable. Why? I vaguely remember KJ wearing this outfit to an awards night – like for real – in public!! I could be remembering wrong, quite possible!! but if she wore it to an awards night, that tells me it was thought to be fashionable at the time, and therefore any contrast between Amanda’s outfit (which we now find ugh!) and Francine’s in this scene is not intended to contrast fashionable with unfashionable.. just my 2 cents 🙂

      I agree Melissa, when Francine makes these quips she doesn’t look her professional best. I did notice she didn’t make any comments after the bomb blast, and after Lee suggested Amanda and James come to the garden party – she just followed billy’s order to come with him, be Lee’s back up and that was that.. so I guess maybe when Francine is professional I may not notice it as much as when she makes childish quips like this one! 😉

      Haaa! It is interesting Lee expects Amanda to keep James out of trouble! tee heee


      • Iwsod, I wasn’t really serious in suggesting Amanda’s outfit was deliberately intended to be unfashionable versus Francine’s classically stylish look. It just struck me as an amusing take on the outfits. 🙂
        I don’t think any of the writers and others behind the scenes with the show were getting down to that sort of subtlety, which most viewers at the time would have missed anyway. It’s just because we can now pore over every frame of the show in minute detail that we can start to read so much subtlety and nuance into it – I’m sure some of it is just our imaginations rather than the deliberate design of the writers. But it’s all good fun. Having said that, I think the actors in this show, particularly BB and KJ, often inserted some subtleties that the writers hadn’t thought of (or, in some instances, the censors wouldn’t have approved of if it had been more out there). Whooo haaa, as Princess Penny would say 😀


        • lol! well I thought your remark was worth considering anyway! I thought about it 🙂

          probably because I think early on there were wardrobe differences between Amanda and Francine which I think could be argued to be deliberate.. so I thought you raised an interesting idea – LOl even in jest 😉 tee hee.

          whoo haaaa indeed!

          Oh I agree.. BB and KJ add lovely depth to the story telling so true kiwismh!

          pour over frame by frame?? eh?? who me?? 😉 Yep.. proud of it! though I do hope I don’t loose sight of the big picture.. though if I do I’m sure my lovely fellow smk fans will help me find my way back ha!


  5. Great catch, iwsod! I never would have noticed that this is the Cumberland! And I love Francine’s outfit here. This is quite possibly the only SMK outfit I would actually buy and wear today. Minus the hideous pin thing she’s wearing with it. Francine’s comment doesn’t really even register with me here because she is just being her usual b%@$^y self.

    Boy, Lee is really being nice here with what he says about James. He has certainly come a long way since TFT. Amanda has certainly rubbed off on him.

    The “Hmph!” – I love that Amanda does that. She is really getting sick and tired of Francine’s snarky comments and of being ditched because she isn’t an agent. Especially since her job is keeping James out of trouble – c’mon! Lee and Amanda both seem a bit out of character here – Lee is being nicer than usual and Amanda is showing very visible irritation. She wants to be working with Lee not babysitting James here. I think she’s earned it and she possibly would be working with Lee instead of Francine if not for James.

    Poor Lee – In SDeath Amanda has tried to comfort Lee a little and tried to help him with his shoulder pads, I think. How about TLCE? Initially Lee tries to say he’s fine but quickly changes his tune. AABH after the urn almost hits Lee?

    In TLOTP Billy had assigned Amanda to be a maid – LOL, something in her purview that she had training for. Here, she is at this party as an Agency person – did she even have a cover or was she just an IFF employee? I think here there wasn’t anything specific that Billy wanted Amanda to do, Lee just wanted her and James there. In LOTP, Amanda had a very specific assignment that everyone knew about in advance. I think Billy is okay with Amanda in a controlled situation but not in a free-form environment.

    I like all of what you say in your comment about Francine – it ties in with what I was saying about Amanda being very irritated by this. As you’ve pointed out Francine hasn’t been in the picture lately and Amanda’s had a chance to really grow closer to Lee both professionally and personally. Here I think Amanda is feeling left out and that maybe she’s taken several steps back to Francine’s benefit.

    Not sure that I agree totally with Lee not seeming to care who discovered this case as showing growth. I don’t think Lee’s character has even been one to be concerned with getting credit. Volkenaur calls him modest in OMIT and in AABH Lee tells Pridemore that he thinks it would be better if there was no leak at all (vs. blaming the Brits). I think there are other examples (TMole possibly), but these two pop into my head.

    I too like Lee’s comment about “of course” Amanda likes James. I like the fact that he isn’t saying it like it’s a bad thing. I like that he recognizes that it is a good thing to not be judgemental. I think this behavior shows his growth in that area IMHO.

    Oh dear…also not sure I can get on board with Lee possible liking Amanda’s outfit. Unless he is liking the idea of her being in her pajamas… 😉


  6. I first watched this when I was in college in the early 90’s, and at the time I don’t remember being really put-off by Amanda’s outfit. I wished she had worn a nice dress, though. I would’ve. I loved Francine’s dress. And I thought the put-down by Francine was even lower by indicating her mother’s suit was fuchsia (ha! I had to google the spelling), which is a bolder color than Amanda’s cotton-candy pink. It was like calling her both “frumpy” and “less fashion-forward than even my mom” all in one breath, and with such a sweet smile! My favorite Francine is feisty, rude Francine. What a great foil for Amanda. It almost reminds me of Cinderella and the step-sisters.


  7. Ok, so I just finished watching this episode. I have been so focused on season one and now where I am in the stories with season 2 that I hadn’t seen this one in almost a year. I didn’t mind it the last time I watched it even though it seems to not be heavy on the relationship because I watched it as the season opener. But since then we have walked through so much of the character’s development and now I loved all of the nuggets in this one. It really is full of good stuff. Can’t wait to walk through the second half of it with all of you. he he 😉


  8. Meanwhile, Francine’s outfit – gorgeous! Does anyone think this was deliberate to make Francine look superficially awesome but to show she is ultimately lacking in inner awesomeness, and to make Amanda’s outfit on this occasion cheap and tacky looking to highlight her inner beauty – and believe me her inner beauty is truly awesome to literally outshine this fluorescent fashion nightmare! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, interesting point. It is certanly true that Francine’s outfit is lovely and Amanda’s, um, isn’t. I like theidea that it may very well have been deliberate scripting/costuming.


    • Like this idea!


    • I love Francine’s dress! I agree, I would totally wear that today.
      I don’t know that Francine lacks “inner awesomeness” (love that phrasing!) but I think she’s an interesting foil for Lee – with Francine, we get to see what Lee would have been if he hadn’t met Amanda and started to evolve. Outwardly at least, Francine is brash and superficial, and she definitely buries any softer qualities under sarcasm and flirtation. But I actually find her a fascinating character, especially as we get to know her a bit better later on in S3 and S4 [which I won’t get into now!]

      @Morley: “It is not because Lee is besotted with love for Amanda that he changes, it happens now, before they recognize how they really feel for each other, they are both being changed and growing in their capacity as people. It is awesome to watch.”
      Beautifully put! This, in a nutshell, is why I get obsessed with ALL the shows I end up loving. Including SMK, obviously.


  9. The guy in the background while Lee is shaking hands is giving Officer and A Gentleman a bad name. That uniform is a bit on the slouchy side.

    Lee is looking so luscious in this light-colored suit he’s wearing. It’s a great distraction from what Amanda is wearing. Lee looks and sounds like he’s about to go in ballistic mode when he first starts to ask Amanda about keeping an eye out for James. But then he eases off. I like all of what has been said about how Lee and Amanda have become so comfortable with one another and how accepting Lee has become of Amanda’s concern for his welfare.

    Amanda’s saying “Poor Lee” here is why I didn’t think much of Lee’s “Poor thing” in regards to Amanda in Burn Out.

    I think that Lee has grudgingly put up with Amanda’s concern in the past. In Sudden Death he didn’t want her help after he was banged up at practice. I would have to check for others, my mind is drawing a blank right now.

    Francine is always Francine, although I agree with her about this pink travesty Amanda is wearing. Lee tends to zone out on Francine a bit more these days. He used to pay her more attention (and even joined in), but that is reserved for Amanda now. He is used to Francine’s little barbs at Amanda and I think has chosen not to participate in what she is saying. I think Lee is back in case mode as Francine snipes at Amanda.

    Like all of what you say, iwsod!!


  10. I really like what you wrote in your comments, Iwsod. Especially the part about Amanda and her response in this scene.

    I love the way Lee is comfortable with Amanda’s personal care for him, it is natural between them now, like you mentioned. And he is willing to be open about the pain. He would have in the past just brushed it off as he would try to brush off her caring, but here he doesn’t and he even responds. And there is that wonderful quality in his eyes as he talks to her, the wonderful one that you would just see glimpses of before it would disappear behind the Scarecrow mask. I did a quick scroll through your screen shots and as Amanda and Lee are talking they are leaning in towards each other. As Francine enters they straighten and it is Francine that is teetering between them. She leaves and they lean again. They have built that comfort level with one another.

    I am so glad that Amanda changed out of her neutral plaids before Lee put his on, otherwise that scene would have been too much to watch. And Amanda did look pretty there, if she didn’t have the quilted acetate on. That pink shift would have looked pretty with a different jacket over it.


  11. I am absolutely loving that Amanda is getting seriously ticked off and is starting to stand up for herself (hooray!).
    And I honestly didn’t noticed all the patterns Lee was wearing. Once I scrolled so I couldn’t see his face, I get what you mean. (I am always amazed you notice these things when BB is in the shot.)


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