On to the Q bureau.. the script had them walk past Mrs Marsden.. hmm budget cuts!
Lee unlocks the door and all three of them enter. It’s looking a little different to last week no?
A different picture on the wall behind Lee too.. Napoleon?
Lee: Now, different relationships require different covers. Okay?…
It looks like Lee unlocks the top drawer of his desk to get out his black books (why didn’t Crawford lock his top drawer?!)
Watch Francine.. she smirks and shakes her head as Lee gets them out..
… Here. (he hands out a black book each to Amanda and Francine)
……Now, IFF by the name means International Fed Film, M for Military and PI for Private Investigator.
[as Lee explains he points them out for Amanda.. whereas Francine seems to be flicking pretty quickly through the book she’s been handed.. lol it’s like she’s super keen to find out who is in Lee’s little black book!]
Amanda: mm hmm What about these little moons.
(Lee hesitates and grimaces)
…they think I’m an astronaut.
Amanda doesn’t react.. but Francine does with a chuckle and Amanda turns to look at Francine.
Lee is smiling but he doesn’t look happy or proud, I think he is trying to make light of his covers here.
I find ‘astronaut’ an interesting cover – ‘Astronaut’ is like the biiggg occupation women are suppose to swoon over.. you know that and fireman (apparently) – you guys see the aftershave ad where the gorgeous girl swoons for a fireman until the astronaut shows up? Anyway, Lee chose a cover that helped him pick up IMHO – it’s not just that he can’t be himself.. he chooses someone ‘better’ for picking up women!
Also, it reminds me of the movie where Ewan McGregor pretends to be an Astronaut to impress a girl… only saw it not long ago.. think I can remember the name?! ugh..
Francine looks up at Lee with a chuckle..
Lee smiles back..sorta..
He doesn’t hold it for long.. I’m thinking he isn’t finding this funny.. what do you think?
Isn’t this an eye opener about how Lee has been conducting his love life up till now!! Paints a very sad picture for me. All these women, all these lies.. and none of them ever really knew Lee, or could have known Lee. Though, I imagine with the women at the agency Lee dated, they would have known what he did- but I’m guessing he dated them, was pretty superficial with them and then moved on – keeping things light and fun.. and reassuring himself he promised these women nothing and didn’t mislead them.. so no problem right?
I guess Lee can’t kid himself about him not causing harm to anyone anymore, if it is true that Serdeych is targeting Lee’s former flames.. that’s totally his fault in a way! and.. none of these women ‘knew the risk’.
Did Lee know the risk of conducting his love life in a way that filled 4 black books? I think he thought all the risk was in falling in love.. he would have figured 4 full black books would have been less risky than that. Turns out.. there is no escaping the risks… Which I think is kinda cool because I don’t think you can be such a player without breaking a few hearts – even if you made it clear from the start you weren’t seriously looking for love- the heart gets involved.. women do get their hearts broken.. but the guy can reassure himself that he made no promises!! and that lets him off the hook. Play the game, and there is always a risk of someone’s heart getting broken. we are not flipping machines.. so I find this whole idea interesting!
I look forward to hearing what you all make of this story!
I hope you don’t mind me pondering as I go with this ep- feel like I’m figuring out what this all means still.. but I hope that’s not too confusing for everyone. If you read this post well after we’ve finished our walk through – I’d recommend you read all the posts of my episode recaps for an episode – because sometimes my views form as the episode progresses.. things become clearer..and this is part of the journey- because I don’t jump ahead when watching when I recap- so please just keep this in mind..
There’s an interesting few lines in the script at this moment- where we actually see Amanda respond to the symbols… As soon as Lee explains the little moons it follows..
“ AMANDA: An astronaut? It must be horrible .. .never being able to be yourself.
FRANCINE: Occupational hazard, Amanda. It comes with the territory.”
[Interesting huh!! Seems the writers were going for the ‘no one can really know you’ angle of what it means to be an agent.. I kind of wish they’d left it in.. but I guess the way they filmed it, it’s all in the subtext and they knew smk fans were super intelligent and motivated right? ]
Back to the episode.. We don’t really see Amanda respond to any of this, other than with curiosity at what the moons mean.. Hmm why do I feel ripped off by that? I’d like to have seen Amanda react to it!
Francine turns to Amanda,
Francine: Well, we’d better get started. Why don’t you take all of the ex-Agency employees, Okay? Their addresses are in Data. Now just in case any of them are classified you can use my Clearance Card but with discretion of course.
[wow.. this is a huge show of trust on Francine’s behalf no? she’s usually so proper- you know.. it’s not home ec! ]
Amanda: Oh, absolutely Francine.
[whooo this is interesting! given the part in Mr Brand where Amanda uses Francine’s clearance to check up on a baddie got cut- guess they have transferred this idea to this ep? we’ll see what Amanda gets up to with it ]
Francine: Good. That will get you anything through to a Green-13.
Francine: You keep that book, I’ll keep this one. And do you think you can handle those two?
Lee says he can.
Lee flips through the black book he’s holding.. it’s clear he is pensive about the books and the people in them..
They say their goodbyes..
Amanda leaves enthusiastic to get on with the job and help Lee!
Amanda is looking up all the ex-agents in that one black book? So the books contain agents, ex agents and non agents? I figure they contain anyone he’s dated..or whose number he got because he wanted to date them.. because they are called ‘black books’ and that’s the meaning isn’t it.. of a man’s little black book? A book of phone numbers of conquests?
Ohhhh I just had to share this one- in honour of Cindy Dee!!!! Cindy you got a mention in the script! we have an extra scene in the script that didn’t make it into the episode:
At a car rental place..
“Something called ‘U-Drive-It’. Gaudy colours, gaudy decorations. And a girl behind a counter, wearing a suitable gaudy dress. A couple of customers are waiting in line behind Lee, who’s bent over the counter, trying to talk to the girl whose name is Candy.
CANDY: I knew it! I’ve only dated one other ‘insurance adjuster’ before you, and he turned out to be a hit man for some gangster…
The other customers are staring curiously at Lee. He reaches out for Cindy’s hand.
LEE: Look, Cindy- [Cindy Dee??!!]
CANDY: It’s Candy, you creep your hands off me.
Before Lee can react, Candy lands a pretty terrific right hook up along side Lee’s head.”
End of script.
I would have liked to see Lee approaching a former flame to warn them in the episode, would have been interesting to see how he dealt with it, and them..
At the end of this scene in the Q bureau, we are left with Lee looking sadly at his black book.. So sad! [is that a sandy newcombe football behind Lee?]
Lastly, all this talk of covers, and dating people who think you are someone else?? never being able to be who you really are?? For those of you interested in ep order: How do you think this fits in with Lee and Leslie in Over the Limit?
Remember what Lee said about Leslie- “she can guess what I do… that’s why it works out so….. perfect!”
Does Lee’s declaration that it is perfect that Leslie can guess what he does, fit better before or after wizard?
The vibe I have right now is- his declaration fits better after- here in this ep- Lee sees the enormity- 4 books worth of women and many didn’t know who he really was.. and we see him take a hard look at himself. Hmm.. I am not saying I definitely vote for wizard before OTL, I am just exploring this as we progress.. and opening it up for discussion..
I can see there are reasons it could work before.. after all in the airing order- Wizard came just before OTL.. it would maybe change the meaning of some things.. but I know I won’t be able to fully explore all this until the end of this walk through.. so just throwing this out there to ponder as we go! 🙂
Well.. moving on.. and whooo hooo!!! time for a bit of levity!
It’s Jane Fonda time! Francine’s visiting an aerobics class.. seems Lee dated the instructor. lol these extras are hilarious, looking up at the camera at all the wrong moments.. too funny!
The girl up the back doesn’t seem to want to bend over she seems to look straight at the camera and giggle! I think the girl next to her is mucking up to! haaa!
Love how the script describes it: “Where a buxom beauty named Kris is talking to Francine, while conducting an aerobics exercise class. A compliment of beauties keeps time to her moves, as they talk. Francine’s not at all comfortable here.” Buxom and beauty is in Lee’s dating history in spades…
Francine: He told you he was a cellist? Ohhh, that explains these little notes here…
[wait a minute! Is Francine suppose to be revealing Lee didn’t tell the truth to these women?!]
Oh dear!!! the err view here is umm.. not very PG no?! I’m guessing this is about when that John Travolta/ Jamie Lee Curtis movie came out- where they tried to make Aerobics sexy?! [ohh hoo!!! checked IMDB…yep!!! 1985!!! and it was called ‘Perfect’ I’ll spare you guys a pic of the hip thrusting aerobics moves eww!]
Back to Francine: ……Anyway, there’s been some trouble…
……You see some of Lee’s, uh, friends have been bothered recently… [there’s ‘friends’ again!]
Kris: (aerobics instructor) You mean the phone calls, the heavy breathing? That’s Lee?…
(So funny how she smiles at hearing this! Hooray! Lee has been prank calling me!)
…I knew I recognised that whisper.
Francine: No, no, no, no – we’re not talking about obscene phone calls here.
[lol! like it’s not as bad as that!]
Kris: What are we talking about?
Francine: Uh, murder.
Kris stops her aerobics moves.. and falls to the ground in a faint..
the class following her moves tries out the new falling to the ground in a faint move! Err sorta!
A moment of lightness in a pretty heavy episode!! and pretty dark humour at that!
lol watch the extras as they lay on the mat – they don’t keep their eyes closed, and look around wondering how long they have to lay there! ha!!
The blond in blue on the right even turns her head to look at Francine! Haaa!
Okay well I better finish up here for the moment!
All this has made me wonder.. I was thinking up to now that Lee went for dumb blondes and that was his type.. but how does dating so many women at the agency, that he works with, fit into this?? They are not dumb. Lee seemed happy to date women who were smart professionals (and now they are being killed left right and centre too). Hmm.. though.. maybe it was clear the dating was very non-serious.. thoughts? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the episode so far!!
I can’t believe I missed the Cindy/Candy shout out from the deleted scene. Though I would like to think my ensembles are more classic than gaudy. 🙂
haaaaaa!!! that’s what you comment on? rofl.. you punched Lee! tee hee..
Glad you found this little Cindy shout out 🙂
Lee: They think I’m an astronaut.
Jestress: Probably because they’re space cadets.
Why do I always think of these things much later?
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Yeah I know what you mean Jestress..
LOL I love it!!!! 🙂 Great Joke! 🙂
Hey that’s one of the joys of JWWM. These conversations never have to end 🙂
It doesn’t really bother me that Lee would use covers like astronaut to pick up women. His real life job is spy, which would actually be pretty exciting to most women if he could tell them. Since he can’t it doesn’t make sense why he would dull down what he does. Especially since he has a taste for the finer things in life, what’s he suppose to say he’s a garbage man. I have always also thought that Lee let himself believe what he was doing okay by letting women know up front he was not looking for anything serious and that he made no promises. However, Lee is not nieve enough not to know that just because you are honest that you aren’t looking for anything serious, that no one will get hurt. It seems to me he’s been hurt a time or two himself, in relationships, that probably started out the same way so he knows better.
I will have to wait until the end of the episode before discussing the episode order, but IMO these two are actually the most difficult to figure out which came before/after.
I’m confused by the need to look up info on the ex-agency employees; seems like that would have been in the books. And I thought they were going to call all these women, not track them down in person? I’m with those who commented that the books probably contain all the women Lee has been in contact with, not just girlfriends. Often maybe the best way for him to get information is to take someone out to dinner.
Hey Happy Camper!
I feel the same way. It’s going to be difficult to figure out these two! I’ll try and not get bogged down in discussing it and taking away from enjoying the episode. I can see some of us have settled it in their own minds – but that is not me. I want to see both sides of the argument.. so for now.. I’ll just agree with you Happy Camper – it’s a difficult one! And I’ll look forward to discussing it fully at the end of the episode. Sorry if I’ve led the discussion of track..
I am thinking the books were a bit of a mixture of contacts – but mostly women who were conquests.. because the point of it all was that Lee had four, he needed four and that he was a player – there isn’t any question about whether or not this was true – Lee seems to confirm it too.. we seem to be (me included) trying to reduce the size of the err playing 😉 tee hee..
Lee was suppose to see Pamela that first night for dinner.. Lee does dinner a lot I guess!!
Doing dinner is kind of an unattached, bachelor thing to do. No family or close friends to be with in the evenings, No home life or families that he would be included in their home lives. I suppose some dinners are dates, some are work related and some are just set up to fill the void.
We are wanting to make the playing smaller. The great thing is that Lee isn’t doing that here. He is regretful, but not denying or diminishing it here.
So true Morley, it’s great Lee doesn’t diminish things – which is maybe why Amanda doesn’t react.. she can see he is already contrite.
Do you all think that Francine sees the contriteness?
I am thinking she can see he is unimpressed by being so busted and all, but I’m not sure she sees Lee as regretting his behaviour – probably because I see Francine as being most comfortable when Lee is a rampant player – maybe because of her own ‘backgammon’ history with him ( I have vague recollections that this comes up again in season 4 but don’t want to touch it and don’t remember what she says – thank goodness! but I can see up till now Francine is gleeful about teasing Lee and his exploits.. remember the start of DOA and her swipe at Lee and Randy making an audio tape or something?!)
Yeah, I always to assume because of the conotation of little black book that the 4 black books were women Lee had dated. However, the last time I watched this episode he said the woman that was murdered was someone he had just worked with a few times. I am thinking there probably were a lot of women in those books he was involved with and that would also be why there are so many because men seem to keep the info about women they dated for years like some kind of trophy, but I bet a lot of the women were just friends or professional contacts that didn’t actually work for the agency. I know Lee is a playboy but he is only 34 and as much as he likes the ladies work is pretty much his life, how many girlfriends could there possibly be. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were in the triple digits, but I seriously doubt he has 4 black books of women he is sleeping with. In fact when he is on a case he seems to be 100 percent dedicated to the job I am sure he has gone long periods without being with a woman at all.
An astronaut? This seems a bit odd of a cover. It’s not exactly a low profile occupation, especially in the early 80’s when the space shuttle was a big deal here in the US. I’m guessing those women who fell for that cover had a lot of space between their ears, hence the cover? Ok, that wasn’t nice….maybe they really didn’t care what Lee did as long as he took them to them moon? Ok, that wasn’t any better….I’ll stop now 😉 But maybe that’s why Francine’s laughing? I find it a bit laughable too. I think Amanda is really trying hard here to give Lee the benefit of the doubt and hope that some of these women in here are work related only. Actually, I think she’s just trying to be very professional and not tease Lee here in this uncomfortable and sad situation. Francine’s behavior actually fits very well with her character – she just can’t help react the way she does, but at least she comes around and stops it before the scene is over. And I think Lee expects Francine to react in this way – he’s probably just glad she’s not enjoying more than she is.
Yep, very sad picture for Lee and his love life. On the other hand, he has lived the life of a dangerous, world traveling super-hot intelligence agent. Sooo, it is kind of hard to have both. Not to sound too much like Paul, but I have a feeling Lee knew what HE was getting into when he signed on at the Agency. I don’t think he ever thought that it would result in women getting kileed. I would think that for someone like Lee, that to have women killed because of their relationship with him has got to be about the worst thing that could happen to him – almost tortuous.
Hmmm, Francine giving Amanda her clearance card seems off character to me. Francine is the ultimate rule and procedure follower. It does show a great deal of trust on her part – perhaps Francine did take to heart LOTP? Seems weak. Then again this whole plot line is weak.
LOL – a Sandy Newcombe football! I guess Lee took one for himself and one for Amanda! Cute!
Ahhh, the dreaded episode order question…. I can’t say anything really with any kind of definition because we’ve not finished Wizard. But I will say that nothing seems out of place with the order of OTL before Wizard so far. Based on this comment of Lee’s though, I think I would conclude the opposite, iwsod. If OTL is after this episode, I would think Lee would strongly consider who he dates and perhaps cluing them in that dating him could be hazardous to their health. If these women are being killed because they worked with or dated Lee, and Lee really is interested in a “real” relationship with Leslie, then I would think he’d have shared a bit more, or been a bit hesitant to enter into a relationship with her so quick on the heels of this episode. I don’t get that feeling in OTL.
Oh gosh, the aerobics scene…is it just me or does the instructor remind you of Marcia Brady from The Brady Bunch? Gotta love that 80’s fashion!!! Thank goodness that is all over. And I really don’t see the point of leg warmers. Does only the calf get cold? It’s funny because the women in the screen cap all have them at different heights? I wonder if they got lined up before filming? LOL.
In my SMK world Wizard comes before OTL, but most of my reasons can’t be discussed yet because we haven’t gotten there in the episode yet.
Hey Melissa – great to hear from you! so not just me huh! I’m struggling with this too.. so much to say.. but not quite there yet! 🙂
I’ll look forward to hearing your thinking when we get there!
OMG, I hope there is a double page for one friend.
You can tear of the pages, does that mean there where many more friends? Oh my I have to stop …
For the astronaut I thought the cover where for the girl’s : hey I’m an awesome astronaut but you never see me again.
It feels like Amanda is holding her breath the whole episode. She want to help Lee and don’t want to think/talk about how many friends are in this books. Ok friends sounds lighter 😉
Puh, I have to cool down we already have 89,6F
So many good comments already. Ahhh, 80s workouts, the music, the attire…I must admit I was part of that craze, even got up early for the 20 minute workout show. Also did one of the Jane Fonda workouts with some women at one of the schools were I taught. Glad that’s over.
I agree, Jule, those are some pretty large little black books. Maybe better to see when filming. Maybe Amanda’s non-reaction is because of Francine’s reaction. Amanda can sense and see all that Lee is going through in dealing with all this. She also knows and is seeing how Francine is taking this and giving some attitude, somewhat restrained for Francine, but still being Francine. Amanda seems to just be taking all this in and filing it away. She’s already shown that she is wanting to help and is refraining from showing any adverse reactions to this further information. I think she is just focused on trying to get this done and move on.
At this point I’m still okay with OTL before Wizard. I think that after all of this Lee would be a little more forthcoming about what he actually does and not really hold back. Even though he states that Leslie could guess what he does, why not just tell her anyway? Why keep her in the dark as he kept some of these other women in the dark? That would mean he hadn’t learned anything from this situation and is still putting someone at risk. The implications from what has been going on here would just be too great. I would think Lee would be a little skittish about the whole cover situation after this.
While the bit about Amanda saying it being horrible to not be able to be yourself was left out of the script, didn’t she bring something up about this in an earlier episode? It was something about how a person could become lost at the Agency. I think we also talked once about all these covers and sometimes starting to believe it or getting lost in it. Lee had certainly gotten wrapped up in his covers and the Scarecrow lifestyle. But he has not had a clear picture of what all of that meant until now.
As far as the contents of the black books I’m not sure if I think they were all just dates. In some ways he probably used the covers as a way to gain information. The IFF cover is a given, but I don’t see how being a PI is going to get you a date, that is, unless your Magnum….okay, never mind that train of thought.
I have finished reading the Wizard of Oz, which has some weird stuff in it that I had no clue about. I’ve seen the movie a million times, but will peruse it again. Still holding off until the end of this ep to draw some parallels.
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Valerie, I like this. Especially your episode order comments. I think that is what I was trying to say a few minutes ago with my order comments. You said it more clearly. Thanks.
I am the lone voice in the wilderness.. gosh I thought there might be one or two people who could see wizard before OTL, especially given it aired first in the airing order..
Alas.. I’ll continue on – maybe something I am seeing differently is over the Limit too..
An interesting idea Valerie!
I’d agree with this if I thought Lee had been dating Leslie quite a while.. but I didn’t think he had been seeing her for very long.
The thing with Lee in over the limit (for me) was that Lee was trying something new with Leslie – he was trying normal.. but he was only in the early stages of this journey – Lee had the intention to be more open and less compartmentalised.. it’s why he thought dating Leslie would be ‘perfect’ but he didn’t have the follow through on that- Why? Because Leslie wasn’t Amanda.. and I’m thinking that’s the point of the episode.. at the end of it, Lee realises the replacement Amanda won’t do.. he wants the real Amanda..who already knows him so well..
Anyone interested in watching the two episodes in both orders and reporting back? I cant until I’ve finished writing wizard posts…
Hmmm. So you think Lee was aware that he really wanted Amanda by the end of OTL? Would that have made their dinner a date? 😉 I guess I am not quite there with him at that point. I do think that by the end of OTL Lee knows that his world is topsy turvey if he and Amanda are not OK. That friendship is important, very important. But I don’t think he has it all clear yet by the tag. I think this episode brings a bit more clarity to him. I agree that he was trying normal with Leslie, because he knew something needed to change, because something was stirring in him. The anger that he spoke to Amanda with during that shooting scene at the end of OTL was a bit too much for me to believe that he could easily transition from Leslie to Amanda. It makes me think that emotions are still buried under a few layers. There is so much more depth to Lee in Weasel and so far in Wizard and that makes me feel like only now is he going to be able to begin to recognize what is really stirring inside of him.
ps.. I still think Lee hasn’t officially broken things off with Leslie even at this point in Wizard. 😉
Oh hi Morley!
I think at the end of OTL, we the audience can see that Lee really wants the real Amanda 🙂
I don’t see Lee as having fully realised this though.. but he would have made a choice there and then between party and dress with Leslie or casual dinner with Amanda.. and he chose Amanda.
I am not there with him yet either – lol – but it is a step closer.. even after wizard I don’t see Lee jumping into being madly in love with Amanda and fully knowing it, accepting it and welcoming it… but we’ll get to that stage soon 🙂 I agree the emotions are still buried. with you there!
“We don’t really see Amanda respond to any of this, other than with curiosity at what the moons mean.. Hmm why do I feel ripped off by that? I’d like to have seen Amanda react to it!”
I think that is because Amanda is being the best friend she can be. I do think she may have put any inclination of her heart to want something more than friendship with Lee back under lock and key here. She is that wonderful person who can be a friend and love at all times. I will put this episode after OTL. She had her little unsettled jealous moment then, They had a dinner together (maybe more since then ) affirming their friendship. And Amanda (at this stage) is ok with that, because she cares about Lee, knows he values her friendship and she also knows that he is not what she needs in her life. So she will put all her energy into being his friend. Right now that is what he needs more than anything. She will care about him with fortitude, but she will continue to guard her heart for now.
Yeah.. I’m thinking either way it can work.. it might come down to what we personally prefer. but drat. I can’t discuss this fully in terms of overall arcs of stories until the end of this walk – sorry morley! I’ll keep looking as we go through.. but I won’t be able to look at the big picture till the end.. gah!
you know why I felt ripped off? I wanted to see Amanda react- even if it was by being a good friend.. we didn’t even see that (unlike the 4 books scene – we saw her react and be a good friend in that). I wanted to see something from Amanda.. oh well.. nevermind.. 🙂
Yeah.. your view of OTL is one way of looking at it.. I challenge you Morley!
Between now and the end of our walk through Wizard: if we assume Wizard is before OTL, how does the story unfold??
I’ve looked at how the story unfolds with OTL first.. by virtue of the order we are walking through..
I’d like to look at the other order and compare..and I am trying to as I walk through this ep..
You don’t have to if you don’t want to. but it could be interesting to play what if.. It could be argued the airing order changed the production order for a reason,..
Can anyone see merit in Wizard before OTL so far?? Or do you prefer to wait till the story has unfolded to discuss?
I remember feeling this way about Brunettes are In and Car Wars.. I could see lots of reasons for either order.. but I think in the end I went with the majority view – because I didn’t mind either way.. but so far here?
I’m really not sure… I’m still thinking!
Maybe after she had initial little reaction out there on the street she steeled herself because she could see how it was affecting Lee?
But I will accept you challenge, Iwsod.
If OTL came after this episode, it would mean that it would have to come after Weasel as well. And to me that pushes it way too far into the season. Lee’s behavior at the beginning of OTL is so much like his season 2 behavior. I don’t see any of that openness that we see in Weasel. None of the easy pleasure on his face just to see Amanda, like he shows when he meets her in the Georgetown Lobby, or the line “whenever I want to get good and steamed, you go and do something that makes me grateful.” To me, those kind of things can happen because that barrier of secrecy about his private life and the little “off gassing” of Amanda’s Tupperware (who said that about her jealous anger outside the apartment in OTL, I liked that) had opened that transparency up more. I think that dinner invite of Lee’s at the end of OTL made what we are seeing now possible.
If Wizard was before OTL, it would seem to me that Lee had gone backwards into denial. I cannot imagine him not being open with Amanda about Leslie. I know Lee is a hard nut to crack and he is a bit dense, but I guess I don’t think he is that dense once Amanda has gotten through his defenses.
II guess I will have to keep the order commentary running as we continue to walk through this episode.
LOL Morley… you have accepted my challenge and then mostly defending OTL before Wizard! I don’t think you accepted my challenge 😉
I can see no reason why we can’t do Mr Brand, Weasel, Wizard, OTL, ALLA at this point.. 3rd or 4th episode I don’t think is a huge difference.. I know people like to get Leslie over and done with though 😉
to respond to your points briefly:
We don’t see openness in Wizard from Lee, because before Amanda has even seen Lee this episode he has been hit with 9 women who were associated with him in one way or another being murdered.. it’s a tense episode from the get go – so this doesn’t discount Wizard coming first for me.
If wizard is before OTL, it wouldn’t seem like denial to me – Leslie is new, as in – Lee hasn’t been dating her long, and she is the first women he is attempting to have a normal/real relationship with (where he isn’t hiding behind a cover – he hasn’t come fully clean about what he does with Leslie, but nor has he told her he is an astronaut 😉 ) – and Lee is struggling mentally with it all- it’s causing him insomnia!.. and in OTL, he does give hints to Amanda that there is someone in his life who is different.. so while he hasn’t told Amanda everything, I don’t see Lee as ‘not open’.. it’s all new for him and a bit scary.. I think it’s understandable why he would not have immediately told Amanda.. so again.. this doesn’t rule out wizard coming first for me.
Amanda was jealous in OTL and not wizard.. in either order that works – I’m not sure why it could only work if OTL is first. Amanda was thinking Lee was not looking for ‘normal’.. and didn’t think so until she met Leslie.. sooo it makes sense Amanda would not be jealous in wizard, even if it was before OTL.
I can see you’ve thought this through and put the narrative into a great order in your own thinking – but I can also see a narrative that fits for wizard first. This is why I challenged you to tell the story if wizard was first – I am still considering both options, but maybe either works- and it will come down to personal preference- which story you prefer to see being told.
I can’t fully explain the story if Wizard/OTL yet though – got to hold off till ‘the wizard walk’ is done!
Either way.. Wizard is a fabulous episode full of meaning!!! In any episode order!!!
You are right. That is exactly what I did… oops. 🙂 I. Just. can’t. do. it.
But as I read what you wrote, I can understand what you are seeing…but…You know what pops into my mind first? That beautiful eye speak! It would be missing something if OTL came after this. Sorry, Iwsod. I will try to listen with an open mind. But I guess I do have the story settled in my own mind this way. But hey, that is the beauty of SMK isn’t it? They really told it with so many different open ended options for each of us. Maybe they did this production order vs airing order on purpose, for all of us 30 years later to have so much to discuss??? Oh, why not?
It’s a conspiracy!!
Well, if it is, it was pretty clever of them. I think I should send them a thank you note 😉
Agree Morley. Even when I first saw this episode almost 30 years ago that “eye talk” moment bowled me over. There is a quality to that moment that just doesn’t fit before the events of OTL.
When I watched the series all those years ago I was aware of a lack of consistency from week to week (in the original airing order) but just assumed that was something that was bound to happen with each episode being written by different people. I did not assume that there was any in depth attention to character development, more just an overall “We’ve got to get these characters from this way of being to that way of being while the show’s still rating. How do we do that?”
You know, I still wonder if that character development was even intended by the writers. Maybe I put it all there. But when I rediscovered the show a couple of years ago I started to notice little things. Then I started playing around with the episode order and paid some attention to the production order. I think I have come to the conclusion that maybe the writer’s didn’t know what they were doing. But KJ and BB sure did. I live with a couple of actors and I know what they put into their character development. I think it is one of the things that has encouraged me to look a little deeper into the characters. Boy, have I found a lot (maybe I am creating a lot of it, but it is working for me 😉 )
I guess I see that eye speak as openness.
And there is something else coming up that I think shows progression from OTL… I hope I remember to comment when we get there. Actually putting that out there to help me remember, not to hold out a carrot. Sorry, just ask me after each post if that is the scene I was mentioning. My brain can be a sieve.
As to the episode order iwsod, I tend to think you are right in putting OTL before Wizard. Amanda was showing definite signs of being jealous in OTL, even if she might have been jealous of the time he was spending with Leslie and not necessarily jealousy in the romantic sense. Here she is confronted by his black books and there is not a hint of jealousy. One could argue that she hasn’t reached the point of being jealous if OTL was after this but I don’t think so. Saying anything more would be getting ahead of where we are in this episode.
Maybe over the weeks between OTL and now and the dinner with Lee she is more confident in the strength of their friendship. You only see her wanting to help Lee. Plus, Lee is showing a lot more consideration with her in his eye talk than he did in his attitude during OTL, which is a sign that their relationship has progressed.
You mentioned wanting more of a response from Amanda over seeing the black books. Amanda is likely one of those people who believe that if you have nothing good to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. She can’t very well show Lee the support she showed him in the street scene and follow it up with something derogatory. In this case, silence is golden. Amanda is very good at hiding her feelings when she wants to.
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In Defense of the Extras: I don’t think they’re looking at the camera — I think they’re looking at themselves in that big mirror! That seems to be perfectly in character (“Are my leg-warmers slipping?”). Please tell me I’m not the only one whose been known to smile at herself in random mirrors.
AHA!!!! LASinLA’s early career has been uncovered!!!! LASinLA was the blonde up the back leaning against the wall giggling!!!! 😉
Hey LASinLA, were you telling your friend next to you: ‘ Hey look at me! I’m Jamie Lee Curtis! whoo hooo! ‘ and your friend replied ‘so what am I John Travolta?!!’
🙂 🙂 HA! But that’s not my claim to fame. I don’t go to exercise classes. I’m allergic. 🙂
Oh my, LAS inLA, you should see the ballerinas I dance with. They are glued to looking in the mirrors. When we finally move to the stage to rehearse, they are momentarily lost because there are no mirrors. Mirrors do funny things to people,
I think the fact that one book held ex-agency employees shows that Lee had them categorized by whether or not they knew his job rather than oldest book to newest book. As I mentioned in one of previous posts, some of them might have been kept as contacts.
I’m a little embarrassed to say that I had a Jane Fonda workout video and a set of tights and leg warmers although I just wore them with shorts and a T-shirt. I also did the disco thing in high school and early on in college. Honestly, it was fun and much better to dance to than the earlier music of the 70’s.
oh? you think the black books were split up by how he knew them? I didn’t get that impression.. but I could be wrong. quite possible! I thought Amanda was asked to contact the women in the blackbook she was holding, and that some of them were agents or ex agents who didn’t make the meeting and so she needed clearance to get their details and contact them. [I guess Lee didn’t put addresses in the books? only phone numbers?]
Ahh haaaa Jane Fonda was great! good for her I say!! I’d rather disco than some of the misogynist crap that is called music these days.. (oh dear.. how old do I sound?!)
Wow, those are rather large little black books! Seriously, that made the whole thing worse. Well, hopefully there’s only one name per page. And many were just contacts, right, not more of the kids?! Actually, in truth, I had always assumed a lot of the women in books were contacts or persons of interest he needed to get close to for work without revealing his occupation (okay, not that close alllll the time hopefully). And I even thought maybe some were men since the word “contacts” is used so much. See, I can be a delusional person. And function quite nicely. Hee hee laughs maniacally and heads back down the rabbit hole with chocolate and helmet in hand! Always prepared!
I remember when Perfect came out. I didn’t go to see it. John Travolta was considered a bit uncool by then (no one wanted to admit they had been into disco music, Saturday Night Fever, etc, by the mid-80’s). Movies like Perfect certainly didn’t help his image at that point.
So far I’m content for this episode to come after OTL. Lee is keeping the Black Books in his top drawer – close at hand, which on the face of it could suggest he might still be referring to them. But then again, I think these are not just books of hot women he wants to get it on with, they contain the names and contact details of many woman who he may need to contact or might come in useful in the course of Agency business, so it is not surprising that he keeps the books in the office (or has he just brought them into the office for the purposes of this exercise?) Regardless of whether he keeps them in the office or at home, it doesn’t really alter my theory.
I know in my business I keep all my old databases of contacts (both at the office and at home) as every now and then it comes in really handy when you need to contact someone you haven’t dealt with for ages. The notes kept at the time can be handy too. By the way, those details can come in handy when you want to avoid certain people too (some old boyfriends can be a little stalky stalky). 😯
Anyway, I think this is why Lee has these books at the office. I’m thinking also from his “eye talk” conversation with Amanda previously that it may have been a little while since he used these books for dating purposes. He had already come to the realisation that the black books were not something to be proud of and seemed somewhat ashamed and regretful – I don’t think he would have had such reaction (especially the regret) if he was still using the black books for dating purposes.
I think by the time he started seeing Leslie he had realised the black books were not how he wanted to conduct his dating life going forward. So with her he thought he had the problem solved by simply not talking about his job – although one imagines Leslie must’ve asked him about it or at least been curious. That’s another thing that makes me think they had only been seeing each other or a brief period – you can’t go too long seeing someone without finding out that basic info. It seems like Lee was going to handle it by hoping that Leslie, with all her UN/diplomatic experience, would just catch on that a guy in DC who’s not forthcoming about his job probably is in intelligence or some such related, necessarily secret, job.
So far in this episode I think the “eye talk” and the obvious signs of close friendship and support Lee and Amanda are displaying towards each other fits well after OTL.
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Yep, all good points as usual Kiwismh!
I am with you on this, kiwismh. The line from OTL that you mention Iwosd, works just fine before all the events in this episode. I think that OTL and Lee’s decision to start something with Leslie was the last vestiges of compartmentalization. I think the happenings in this episode are a complete death blow to that old habit of compartmentalizing. I think in this continued eye talk with Amanda, he may be desiring to be known as Lee. I don’t think he was quite there yet in OTL. The progression is working beautifully for me.
Putting a late dinner on the table. I bet I will be back with more later 😉
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My take on the covers Lee chose – film, military, PI, Astronaut, even cellist (travelling with an orchestra) – are that those are occupations where unexplained or frequent absences, or keeping odd hours, are to be expected and would not have to be explained. They help keep the relationships distant – figuratively and literally. I don’t think he was using them to “help him pick up” – I don’t think our boy needs any help “picking up” just being himself, i.e. Scarecrow/Lee (with more Scarecrow than Lee in the mix). 😉
What does everyone else think about his use of these covers?
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I agree that having these “mask” protects him from showing the real Lee to the women. But there is something v romantic and exciting about an astronaut (fireman less so for me)
yeah learjet that is my understanding of the ‘reputation’ in general.. if I were to apply this concept to all of Lee’s covers – it could be argued Lee chose covers that were going to work for the girl he was giving the cover to. Maybe Kris (krissy?!) was really into refined cellists.. ahem..
But.. he wasn’t telling these women he worked for the IRS you dig?? Or that he was a vacuum salesman.. Just sayin… Francine seemed to find the covers funny, and for me the implications seemed to be understood by Francine’s sniggering and Lee’s not terribly happy.. quiet.. pensive response.. yep.. it’s time for the big fella to do some hard thinking!!!
I just watched LOTP. Francine did the same thing. remember when she saw that guy she used to date when she was serving at that party. She told Amanda that she had told him she was a model. Amanda’s response, “well, since then you have become a maid.” Francine didn’t like that cover. A model is much more attractive to a guy than dating a maid.
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Yes, good point. I suppose Lee could choose any cover that could provide a reason for being “distant” in every sense of the word (including hiding the real Lee Stetson, eh, Iwsod) but I guess he’d be more likely to choose covers that he liked and knew a bit about, and maybe there’s a bit of ego thrown in there as well. Perhaps also the ordinary everyday jobs like salesperson are harder for him to fake than the extraordinary ones because of the unreal (i.e. not normal) world he lived in for so many years.
Hmmm, how does that explain cellist? Oh well, guess there’s no reason you can’t appreciate the Stones and Classical music. I do, and I know a lot of other people who have quite eclectic tastes too.
And I guess he didn’t have to go into too much detail with his women about the details of his cover “jobs”. I imagine he would be pretty good at directing the conversation, ahem, shall we say… elsewhere. 😉
How to explain the cellist? There’s some fodder for a fanfic! I don’t see Lee picking that as a cover unless he was caught with a cello in hand. Perhaps he was on a case in and had some secret docs or spy apparatus or something hidden inside a cello in a case so that he could travel with it. But yeah, a cellist is not very hero-like, whereas all the other covers are or could be.
Oh, I like that. It would be a fun fanfic.
Ohhhh good catch!!
I was watching a doco the other day called ‘modern spies’ – BBC – and the spies were saying that only their immediate family knew the truth – and for others.. they tried to make their government department job sound as dull as possible – that way no one is interested and they don’t get asked questions about it! 😉
That guy in True Lies comes to mind.. lol another Jamie Lee Curtis movie.. where he bores her with computer problems or something but really he’s off saving the world!
Kind of like Clark Kent and Superman, huh? But Lee is no Superman 😉 And when he wears glasses he looks like Harry Potter and we know he isn’t the Wizard.
Oh enough, somebody stop me. Time to sew doll clothes.
oopsie.. see my reply to learjet about this.
we may not think Lee needed a hand.. but deep down I don’t think Lee is very confident or use to being himself.. I think part of the story is that Lee wasn’t being himself with any of these women. He was being inauthentic. no?
Okay byeeee! gotta run!
Oh yes, definitely not being himself was part of it. But I just think there was also a more practical explanation for the exceptional cover jobs and that was about being able to keep these women at a distance by having watertight, uncheckable excuses for not being around or contacting them – no awkward explanations to have to make up. “Hey baby, I was orbiting the earth, travelling with the orchestra, investigating a case…” Makes avoidance much easier. No good saying you’re a librarian and never being at the library, is it? Or worse, having one of the girlfriends drop in to see you at work – but of course you won’t be there, so go back to my previous sentence. Tricky, tricky. Yup, the amazing jobs certainly make it all a lot more manageable. 😀
Travelling vacuum cleaner salesman have to travel to Topeka all the time don’t they?! oh wait.. no that was a brush sales man.. oh whatever! 🙂
Plenty of jobs require travel.. but for me – I think ‘Astronaut’ is a bit of a dream chick magnet job..and it’s why Francine sniggers- even though covers are normal for agents…but don’t mind me this was just a fleeting thought.. the main point of it all I guess is that Lee was not known by the women he dated.. and that he had not been able to be authentic. ? [something he seemed to be trying to pursue with Leslie though.. or at least I thought that’s what that was]
I think there is merit to both ideas. Both/ and. Has anyone ever wondered how Lee explained the scars on his body? There has to be one on his shoulder from The Long Christmas Eve and I assume one on the back of his leg from Magic Bus. Also the vent from the bendy knife in ROTP. And that was just the first year. If he is pursuing trysts, I am assuming some of these girls would be privy to the scars. Did he spend time with them only in very dark rooms? I am not trying to be R rated here, but it “sheds light” (a pun, I guess) on how not known Lee really has been. I would think that has to ache after a while.
Good point, Morley…didn’t every really think about that. Thank goodness he never had any facial injuries…ahem.