A quick recap of Over the Limit..before or after Wizard??

Hiya my wonderful fellow smk fans!!
As promised.. time to discuss the episode order of We’re off to see the Wizard (Wizard) and Over the Limit (OTL)..
*All opinions are welcome!!*
This is a safe place to think what you like without someone telling you your wrong!! There is no wrong.. we just disagree..that’s okay! We can still enjoy smk together!!
So.. bring it on!!!!
To start us off…
1)I’ll give a quick recap of the events in Over the Limit- without interpreting.
2) Happy Camper has compiled a summary of ideas about the ep order mentioned on JWWM so far (Huge thank you to Happy Camper!!).

Note-  JWWM blogged the first 5 episodes of season 3 in an order suggested by Morley, due to the fact that there is an obvious problem with the Q bureau episode order, and I didn’t want to watch the episodes before blogging them. So we may or may not agree with the order the eps were blogged in on JWWM. Let’s see!! [but thanks again Morley for sharing your order with us!!]  I tend to think it’s better to stick with the airing order, if there is no good reason to change it..(In the original airing order, Wizard aired before OTL).

So, here’s the OTL recap of Lee and Amanda moments:
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000279946Post 1– Amanda discovers Dotty looking at the Rebecca’s fantasies catalogue.
Post 2– AT IFF, Billy is conducting a meeting in
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000394060the bullpen for everyone- allocating spring cleaning jobs and Lee walks into the 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000397063bullpen meeting late, and looking a little unkept.
Billy signs up Amanda for gun training.
Francine assumes he is a ‘midnight rambler’ and a woman has been keeping him up.
Lee says it’s insomnia.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000448114Billy notes the insomnia is chronic, and has been happening the last 4 days. He assumes it’s a woman.
what does Amanda think? this is unclear..
Billy wants Lee to accompany Amanda on spring cleaning, but Lee thinks she can handle it fine alone. Billy orders him to. The scene ends with Lee looking at ‘enthused’ Amanda..
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000451117
A little sad and thoughtful as Billy tells Lee to ‘take care of Amanda’
Post 3– Amanda and Lee visit the Oddball
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000586252women’s auxiliary.. After, Lee is distracted.. Amanda asks if Lee has a date. Lee denies this saying he’s just preoccupied. Lee reminds Amanda of a new year’s eve party they attended together at the 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000634300soviet embassy,
Lee got drunk and went for a swim in the borscht, but… Lee also remembers Amanda looked ‘beautiful’ that night. Amanda smiles and thanks Lee for the compliment. Lee reminds Amanda of how they danced..
Post 4– continuing.. Lee reminds Amanda of the 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000643309fabulous dress’ she was wearing that night.. Amanda smiles..
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000652318
Lee gets a bit of a description of the dress from Amanda.. remarks it was 3-03-over-the-limit-avi_000653687_th‘gorgeous’ and asks where Amanda bought it. But, she made it. Lee remarks ‘it’s one of a kind?’ disappointed, because he has a ‘friend’ he wants 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_000667334to buy a present for.. and ‘she would look you know..grrr.. Great!’ in that dress..
02imagining his friend in Amanda’s dress doesn’t realise Amanda is not happy with this 03comment.
Amanda walks off and leaves Lee. Lee is left confused at what just happened.
Post 5– Amanda meets the guru and save the bay.. and heads to the rally.  We later learn Lee is off at this point buying a dress for his ‘friend’.  The bomb goes off and Secretary Rawlings is murdered at the rally.

Post 6-Lee is distressed about the bombing and searching for Amanda. Unsure if she is safe. He finds her standing at a distance. Runs to her, comforts her and they hug.
Lee doesn’t hold back here in showing his caring for her, nor does Amanda hold back in seeking comfort. There’s no hint of awkwardness.
They are interrupted by the policeman and Amanda takes note of Lee here –how? you can decide for yourselves Winking smile
The post ends with Elizabeth Sullivan being arrested, and Amanda’s not happy about it.
post 7– At IFF, no one is interested in helping Elizabeth Sullivan, or in hearing what Amanda saw at the rally. Amanda decides regardless, she will help Elizabeth and storms off.
post 8– Lee chases after her, to stop her – 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001117784Amanda says:
with the sleep you’ve been missing and a new girlfriend and all, I’m
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001120787surprised you noticed’
Amanda leaves Lee and
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001126793he calls after her:  ‘who says I have a new girlfriend?!
At the police station, Amanda tries to help Elizabeth and her family. Lee comes too and gets Elizabeth released on bail. He has helped out too and looks on the family with real affection (IMHO? anyone not see this?)

Amanda is still cool with Lee, though 3-03-over-the-limit-avi_001191891acknowledges what he has done for her and the Sullivans.. and he responds shyly.

3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001225892Post 9– Lee and Amanda hear the Sullivan’s story.. and looks like Lee is ‘on board’ with helping this 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001490156family stay together too.
Post 10– Dotty’s package arrives! hoo haaa
Post 11– Amanda has her gun lesson with Leatherneck.. Lee gives Amanda
3-03-over-the-limit-avi_0016138471the bad news- Elizabeth Sullivan is back in jail because they’ve found more evidence implicating her.
Post 12– Lee and Amanda head to the rest home to chat with an old lady.. and figure out Transoceanic has the lady’s car. Lee challenges Amanda – is she up to trying to get into transoceanic?
Amanda responds she can still flirt- if she wants to.
She hands Lee the red rose she was holding and he smiles at her cheekiness.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_001873187
He reaches out to take the red Rose from Amanda.
Post 13– Amanda gets into transoceanic.. in a
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002042709round about way. Lee approaches O’Keefe saying he and Amanda are blackmailing him and he is to call them and pay up. the leave. Together they head back to Lee’s to wait for his call.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002111778
They are both complimenting each other’s work and enjoying working together.  They find someone is in Lee’s apartment..
post 14– Lee’s new ‘friend’ is revealed for the first time.  3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002135802
Lee hides his gun from Leslie.
Leslie has surprised Lee with dinner.. and is making herself at home. Amanda is shocked when she sees Leslie.
Amanda meets Leslie for the first time.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002152862Leslie is portrayed as a professional woman, who is no Randy, Betsy, Debbie or Pamela. She is dressed modestly.
Lee does not look thrilled to have the two women in his life meet!
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002224231Leslie reveals to Amanda that Lee has bought her a dress for a soviet 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002225589embassy party they are attending the next night.
Leslie is portrayed as a normal woman, looking for a real relationship, though they are dating long distance.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002272522

Post 15– Amanda is shocked that Leslie is 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002281695normal – this is not Lee’s type. She’s even a bit cranky and jealous at this discovery. She tells Lee a normal person would never understand him or what he does.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002290387Lee counters: …She has a top security clearance from the UN as a diplomatic translator……She’s been to Moscow for the start talks. …she can guess what I do.… that’s why it works out so….. perfect!
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002302194Lee’s definition of ‘perfect’ has changed. And it is all a complete shock to Amanda. And she’s mad!!!
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002307216Lee sends Amanda home.. and she’s really mad.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002326208Lee offers to replace Amanda with Francine for the op.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002349478
Oh boy.. This really really really makes Amanda mad!

Post 16– Lee returns to 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002365237the apartment for dinner with Leslie. Lee has a slip of the tongue- and calls Leslie ‘Amanda’. 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002367008
Lee  sees Leslie in the dress…
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002370501
seeing the dress on Leslie was not as Grrrrr 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002372627Great as he thought it would be earlier.. Leslie tells Lee Amanda is very nice and he is lucky to 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002379045have her, Lee agrees: yes, Amanda is very special.

They go to kiss but are 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002464894interrupted by O’Keefe (Bless him) wanting to meet. Lee and Francine show up to meet O’Keefe, it’s a set up, and Amanda saves both their butts (and the corvette) from being blown up.
Post 17– Lee and Francine held at gunpoint are
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002610657again saved by Amanda.. and Lee is cranky with Amanda for not shooting O’Keefe.

Post 18– The next day, Lee and Amanda see the Sullivans.. wish them well.. and Lee invites 3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002766433Amanda out for dinner tonight. ‘you know just the two of us.. err alone..
Amanda asks about Leslie.. because Lee was suppose to attend the Russian embassy party with Leslie in that dress that night.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002760427Lee brushes it off.. saying Leslie will be fine. There is no indication Lee has broken things off permanently with Leslie, only that he won’t be attending the party with her.

Lee is quite subdued, a little nervous in asking Amanda to dinner here.. Lee:…No I thought err maybe err you know a nice steak errr……a bottle of red wine..a baked potato on the side……no shop talk for a change?……you know we……errr we…don’t do enough of that…Do we.?’
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002772439Amanda smiles and agrees: Not by half.
3.03 OVER THE LIMIT.avi_002775442And the episode ends there..
So there you have it!
Now.. on with Happy Camper’s notes…
[Which are not Happy Camper’s thoughts- rather Happy Camper has simply compiled different ideas mentioned on JWWM already!]
Starting point:  we know that Wizard is out of place in the airing order, because it includes the Q-bureau, which is introduced in Weasel, aired later. [iwsod adds-or Weasel is out of order] There is no Q bureau in OTL. Its absence doesn’t exactly prove anything, but it would be interesting to know how many other episodes don’t show the Q Bureau after it is introduced. Also, if Wizard comes before, then Weasel has to as well.

Points based on the storyline:
*The Cut Leslie Scene
In Wizard- there was a scene with Leslie in the script, but it was cut.  I think it doesn’t exactly read like an introduction. Why was the scene cut? Because they didn’t think it was a good introduction for Leslie, or because they had already introduced her and decided not to take that storyline any further? The deleted scene has her sneak into Lee’s apartment and surprise him, just like in OTL. That seems redundant, especially when she goes to lengths to explain that she got the doorman to let her in. Maybe when the scene was cut they reused the idea, which argues for Wizard first. It also seems a little odd to me, if Wizard came after OTL, that there was no attempt made to warn Leslie. On the other hand, the deleted scene addressed just that, so Wizard could have come after, and that plot point simply got forgotten when the scene was dropped. Maybe the powers that be decided that it detracted too much from Lee’s concern for Amanda to have to have him concerned for Leslie.

*Similar dialogue
There is a similarity in the words Lee uses to Amanda in OTL and Wizard:  Go home, I’m not going to fight about this. The difference is that in OTL he uses those words when he’s not thinking about Amanda’s well-being, while in Wizard that’s exactly what he’s thinking about. Perhaps this is an intentional contrast by the writers, but is it intended to highlight an improvement in Lee’s relationship with Amanda, or a deterioration?

*The Smell of Roses
Lee can’t stand the smell of roses (they make him sick) in Wizard, but Lee seems to have laid it to rest by the end of that episode. In OTL, Amanda gives him a rose and there is no mention that it makes him sick. [iwsod adds-and no adverse reaction from Lee to the rose]

Points based on Amanda’s character development:
*Amanda Jealousy/Black Books
Amanda’s reaction to Lee’s black books includes basically no jealousy. But her reaction to Leslie is very different. If Wizard came first, we can think that she hadn’t yet reached the point of being jealous, but maybe the events in Wizard gave her a new sense of her specialness to Lee which she felt was threatened by Leslie. If OTL came first, we might think that Amanda had her bout of jealousy but by the end he became closer to her than before, so that she was not threatened by the revelation of how many other “friends” he had. If Wizard came first, it might also explain some of Lee’s surprise at her jealousy about Leslie. However, if OTL came first, it might explain Lee’s eyes pleading for understanding when Amanda finds out about his 4 books.

Points based on Lee’s character development:
*In Wizard, Lee really has to come to grips with his “harmless” dating habits, although he sometimes seems to act as though he has regretted it for a while. I think we agree that his attempt at a serious relationship with Leslie springs from at least a subconscious rejection of his previous lifestyle, but if this happened after Wizard, it would likely be much more deliberate, a conscious choice to seek a more permanent kind of relationship. Or do we think that after the events in Wizard, Lee wouldn’t be so quick to get into another relationship? (although according to the script he’s already in it).  Either the events in Wizard make Lee uncomfortable enough with his dating habits to try something new (Leslie), or he has independently become dissatisfied with the kind of relationships he is used to. Is Leslie “perfect” because he’s just revisited his black books of all the women who could never really know him? But if he’s after a relationship where he can be himself, why not tell Leslie, especially if she can guess?  Wouldn’t he be sick of a cover?

Points based on the relationship:
What clues about episode order can we get from Lee and Amanda’s relationship?
There is Lee’s reaction to Amanda’s danger in both Wizard and OTL. Wizard doesn’t have the same hug and gladness at seeing she is alive.
-Also in Wizard, Amanda seems surprised that Lee cares.  She seems less surprised in OTL. But, we could argue that the circumstances are quite different (Amanda is still in danger in Wizard), and there are other things that could have caused Amanda’s surprised reaction.
-Lee’s “I need to talk”, and the way he confides in Amanda about Dorothy-  does it seem more likely after the re-establishment of communication between them in OTL, or before the interruption of it?
It may be difficult to see Amanda giving Lee that little peck on the cheek before the step he takes in OTL; it seems like something she would not do for fear he might misunderstand.  On the other hand, it could show she was beginning to entertain at least a momentary thought about a relationship, which would explain some her jealousy when she finds out Lee is looking to someone else.
Lee’s treatment of Amanda in OTL is definitely worse than his behaviour to her in Wizard. I’m not thinking about a romantic relationship here, just the way Lee’s character and his appreciation of Amanda grows. It might be difficult to believe his treatment of her takes such a nosedive. However, there are many signs of closeness in OTL as well, even though they have such a huge difference of opinion. The “eyespeak” in Wizard is a beautiful moment.  But an equally beautiful and caring moment can be found in OTL, when Lee secures Elizabeth’s release from jail because he knows Amanda is concerned, but he won’t come right out and admit it.  I think he is talking with his eyes there, too — Amanda is about to go out the door, but he looks at her and she comes over to him. 

-There is more appearance of trust, openness, and closeness between Lee and Amanda in Wizard than there is in most of OTL. Some people see this closeness as a sign that the rough patch of OTL is behind them, and they are closer than before. However, it is possible that this very closeness is what sent Lee looking for a different relationship, and caused some of Amanda’s anger and turmoil.

Iwsod: I’ll just add one more thing- Please stick to discussing the order of Wizard and OTL only. We’ll discuss the order of the first five episodes in Season 3 once we’ve walked through A Lovely Little Affair – coming up next! 🙂
Looking forward to interesting discussion!!!
Smile  byee!!!
[Thanks again Happy Camper for your help!]

43 responses to “A quick recap of Over the Limit..before or after Wizard??

  1. I just realized the rose thing might be a moot point. When Lee arrives functioning on lack of sleep, he arrives in the bullpen.

    I’m pretty sure that there is at least one ep in the post Q Bureau era where we see Lee and/or Lee and Amanda arrive at the beginning of the day and they go straight for the stairs to go up without stopping by Billy’s office first.

    Now it’s possible Billy had told Mrs. Martston to send him down because he wanted to talk to him but I don’t remember Lee saying that and Francine doesn’t seem surprised. Plus Billy says he wants to talk to him and doesn’t sound like he expects that Lee got that message already.

    So to me that implies Lee is still working in the bullpen at this point and not the Q Bureau. And since We’re Off To See The Wizard is definitely post Lee’s transfer to the Q Bureau, that means that Over The Limit definitely takes place first and the rose scene is either a screwup or Lee is doing a good job at holding it together in front of Amanda.


  2. I feel like some of the different ways Lee and Amanda act towards each other in OTL are also them both realizing for the first time what a romantic relationship with someone else would do to affect their friendship. In Amanda’s case, her traditional values have taught that a male/female friendship when the man is in a romantic relationship with another woman can lead to a risk of emotional unfaithfulness. So she knows that the right thing to do for the sake of the other woman — even though she doesn’t know it’s Leslie immediately — is to step back and give the relationship every chance to succeed, even though it’s hard on her. And she wants to encourage Lee in this new leaf he’s turning over and not be an extra emotional temptation.

    For Lee’s part, he’s realizing that if he wants to have an honorable, committed relationship with Leslie, that will affect his best friend relationship with Amanda and he’s conflicted about that. This isn’t like when he was dating the bimbos with no commitment. So they’re both trying to do the right thing even though it’s killing both of them.

    And I think that’s what really plays a big part in Lee dumping Leslie — not just that he mistook her for Amanda but also he realizes that dating another woman will change his friendship with her and he cares too much about her to let that happen. So not only does he ultimatelu choose his friendship over the romance, but that’s also a wakeup call that if the friendship means more to him then maybe she should be more than just a friend.


    • I really like what you’ve said here. I’ve never thought of it this way before, but it makes a lot of sense.


      • Hi Mommynificent, your comment went into moderation as you used a different handle – and different email address to sign in.
        I edited your handle so it’s the same as the other times you’ve commented and just ‘Mommynificent’ – hope that’s okay. If not, I can edit it back if you prefer just let me know. But if you change the handle, it will go into moderation in future again, just so you know.
        Hope you are well and great to see you stop by!!


  3. I’m in the OTL before Wizard camp and won’t rehash all the reasons you’ve all so eloquently stated. Just thought I’d share my take on the rose issue because apparently it’s unique (I know I’m weird, but we’re going with unique today!) I actually put them in this order BECAUSE of the roses rather than despite them.

    When Lee told Amanda in the cafe that the smell of roses made him sick, I always assumed that was something no one else ever knew about him because as a spy, he would have had to train himself to ignore the smell when undercover. I can’t imagine a spy wouldn’t come across roses fairly often with all the parties and wining and dining of women he did, but he couldn’t allow himself to react. So I thought of it as a similar process to how he learned to withstand torture – he had had to train himself to be around roses without reacting. Hence no visible reaction in SOS and OTL because Amanda didn’t know. I would imagine if we went hunting through episodes with parties they’ve gone to, there are roses in many of them. So for me, his revealing his dislike of them to Amanda was actually very significant in this episode.

    I actually think it’s more weird that he gives them to her in the tag of Wizard than anything else. Catching the traitor, while nice for closure, doesn’t change anything about the horrific nature of Dorothy’s death. I can’t actually imagine that he would all of a sudden be ok with the smell. I certainly wouldn’t be. So while it was sweet and made for a swoony tag, that is the part I have the hardest time believing rather than him not visibly reacting to them in OTL.

    But what convinces me that OTL has to have come before Wizard is that I can’t even fathom Amanda waving a rose in his face in OTL right after finding this out in Wizard. Even if he did seem to be ok with them in this tag, that was his initiative. After going through this with him, I sure wouldn’t be putting one in his face, and Amanda is far more caring and nurturing than me 😬😁. It’s one thing for him to give them to her, but I just can’t see her doing that after she had learned about Dorothy’s death.

    I know – I’m totally weird. But you guys are so nice, and it’s lovely to have a place where sharing these thoughts won’t get me sent to the loony bin as every other circle I’m in would be thinking, “who thinks that much about a show from the 80s?” Uh…well… That would be us over here at JWWM. 🙋🏻‍♀️🤣 I love reading all your thoughts and opinions even/especially when I disagree. It makes me think things through more deeply and ask why I think the way I do which is so cool! You guys are the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Omg🥰🥰🥰👌👌👌i have totally agree with you. My thoughts exactly. I have been pondering on this for a while and decided it should be OTL before WIZARD..
      Why? Well,the Rose in OTL didn’t really mean anything to me…but in Wizard,Lee actually giving Amanda the Roses meant that he was putting the past behind..or rather coming to terms with it and moving forward..He was ready to move on😊. In OTL ,i felt the hug lee gave Amanda was more of a “caring,i am glad you are okay” hug rather than LOVE. In OTL,i think both of them were actually standing on this very thin line deciding if they should cross it. By the end of S2,i think it is safe to say that they do care abt each other alot…still unsure of what those feelings meant but the caring and concern was there..Lee had always been very careful abt not letting his guard down when real feelings were concerned.The typical spy. But he was always there with his arms around her to make Amanda feel very secure😊
      I honestly found the whole drama between Leslie and Amanda very silly coz it was totally out of character for Amanda but i just told myself that Amanda was not having such a good day..so the drama was justified….However,Lee not complimenting Leslie on the dress..which he had thought would look great..and Lee calling out Amanda instead of Leslie, shows me that he was unsure if a relationship with leslie is what he wanted🤔so,in the last scene,when he asked Amanda out,it was to see if he wanted to cross the thin line between frienship and something more than friendship.
      Hence ,in Wizard..he is more open with Amanda and the whole cafe scene shows they have got past the JUST A COUPLE OF FRIENDS zone ..so the last scene in wizard totally makes sense..for both of them…He getting over his past and taking a step forward and she totally welcomes the idea to explore that idea.
      So sorry abt this very long comment..😟

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my goodness — that makes so much sense. On the one hand I could see OTL as a reminder of “Look how far your healing has come” because I’m going through something similar with a different trigger so in a way that makes the scene more poignant.

      But when you point out that they would have encountered roses before, that brings up this image of Lee trying to smile and be happy by the gesture while at the same time having to hold his natural reaction back and that brings a totally different poignancy to the scene too.

      Hmm, now I’m really conflicted!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Exploring the Episode Order of Season Three | "Just walk with me.."

  5. Pingback: Episode Order of the First Five Episodes of Season 3 discussion | "Just walk with me.."

  6. LOL! I was avidly reading this post and the responses and suddenly realized how insanely funny (or maybe just insane) this must be to anyone who happens upon this blog and obviously isn’t an inhabitant of this wonderful and very deep rabbit hole. I am glad to dwell there with you all! Chocolate and fuzzy robes anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know what I am going to do. Instead of going over all the great points made in this post and write a lengthy post reiterating how I see the character development and relationship arc, I think I will just wait and you all can read how I think it goes in my stories. The writers and actors of this show created something so great that we can all interpret it the way we think is should go, and I do think it works any way. It is up to the viewer to include their own preferences and bits of their own personalities and life experience. I think that is part of why we see things differently. I do agree that the writers switched course somewhere in the beginning of season 3, especially with the inclusion and then exclusion of Leslie and that did make a difference. Maybe I have created something other than what the writers were thinking, but I think it works well with the overall flow of the characters and story (but that is me putting my own self into how I view the characters according to my preferences and life experiences).

    Alright, bring on ALLA!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Everyone! Sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond today to anyone, I’ve been in a first aid course all day and my brain is tired out!

    Given I appear to be in the minority by seeing Wizard first (well hooray Melissa R sees Wizard first?! Go Melissa!! ) Are we wanting to discuss this more? Help me out here.. I’ve read lots of explanation for why OTL is first.. because so many people see it as first.. so I’m not sure I have any questions about how you interpret certain scenes and circumstances- combined you’ve covered a lot of it.

    Do I give some answers for how I see some of the things mentioned? I don’t expect to be able to convince anyone that sticking with the airing order here is the way to go.. I don’t want to seem defensive – I’ve said how I see the story unfolding, but I haven’t addressed any of the nitty gritty.. should I?

    If there’s no appetite for it, admittedly then I have zero motivation to do so!

    Maybe I can answer Happy Camper’s points very briefly tomorrow when my brain is working and I’ll leave it at that- LOL I see an answer to counter anything anyone has said to argue OTL is first- but I think I could get tiresome -especially if I am arguing the point alone. 😦 that’s not so much fun..

    I think either point of view has answers for how they interpret everything in the two episodes which can work if they want it to- [except- 1 thing does not work if OTL is first no matter how anyone explains it IMHO]

    I love that you all express your opinions freely, I admit.. I am surprised many have already firmly decided that OTL is first. I was guessing it would be more 50/50..LOL.. given the blog walked through Morley’s order OTL/Wizard I thought maybe people would want to discuss what the walk would have been like if we had walked through in airing order.. and all that entails.. but .. guess not?

    I am now inclined in future to keep to the airing order – then we can discuss what order we’d have preferred… I suspect it makes for more discussion.

    rah rah.. the brain has gone!..I’m scarecrow! I’m scarecrow!!
    I hope I’ve made some sense.. You’ve all expressed yourselves beautifully – your love for the show really shines through.. and you’ve all been wonderfully respectful of others- thank you for that!
    I don’t think I would do any of your comments justice by responding now and I’m a little confused about where to from here for this thread- apologies! I’ll be back tomorrow.. goodnight! (or have a great day!)


    • I am sorry that I haven’t gotten to participate yet. I really want to. We just got a bunch of baby chicks and they are keeping me busy.
      I’ll get here eventually, but don’t wait for me.
      The only thing I keep thinking about the order and the progression of the characters is that if Wizard came first it feels to me that it would make Lee’s progression rather sudden. When I think about it (I know that I am not open minded here, I tried, I really did sorry) it seems to me that Lee’s progression is very slow and gradual.It starts in SOS for me. ALSALS is a huge one too. (someone pointed that out I think) I like the way Wizard is a culmination and the fact that the huge wall of defense that is the Dorothy experience is finally opened up and cleared out and now Lee can see Amanda. I can explain more later.

      Ok… I have to go, I can do this later, I hope.

      Iwsod, airing order would probably be more objective, even though it too is confusing. We will get mileage out of whatever way you walk us through them. You should do it however you think best for your walking purposes. All we care is that we get to walk and talk with you. .


    • I haven’t really commented because I’ve been indecisive. From the way the scripts were written, it sounds like Wizard was supposed to be first, setting us up for Amanda meeting Leslie because Lee had already apparently been seeing her before Over the Limit began, but looking at the relationship progression, I like having Over the Limit first because the ending sets it up nicely for Lee to be more open with Amanda in Wizard. Really, I could see it going either way.

      I think, like others have said, that the feeling of confusion about which is first is because the writers kind of switched directions on Lee and Amanda’s relationship at the last minute. I’ve had the feeling that the writers wanted to add other people for Lee and Amanda to date so that they could spin out the development of their relationship for an extra season and make the show run longer overall, kind of like they did with Castle (first Kate was annoyed by Castle, then she liked him, then they were seeing other people, then they were seeing each other but had to keep it secret, etc.). It’s a good thing that they ended up not doing all that with SMK (at least not to the extent that they’ve done it with Castle) because otherwise they might have run out of time to resolve things when Kate Jackson got sick and they had to end the show, and we might not have gotten to see just how far the relationship would progress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you’ve pretty well summed up my feelings, Jestress. I don’t really know which one is first because of factors that seem to be pointing in opposite directions — as you mentioned, the story seems to favor Wizard first, while the relationship progression seems to favor OTL first. I think I’m just going to decide I like OTL first — just because I like it that way! Story-wise, I think it makes more sense that the events in Wizard were the last straw that made Lee want to try a more permanent relationship, paving the way for OTL. But relationship-wise, I just like the forward progression provided by the OTL–Wizard order. But it was great fun to consider it from all angles with all of you!


      • It’s so funny Jestress,when I first saw Castle (which I totally love!), I commented to my husband that it’s a modern-day version of SMK. Well I’ve never pretended to be impartial about which one comes first because it fits my SMK world reality for OTL to come before Wizard. I’m stubborn that way sometimes 🙂


        • There are a lot of similarities between the two. I think that if SMK had continued longer, they would have followed the same pattern of relationship development, with each stage taking up about a season, but I’m kind of glad that SMK didn’t try that. I have a whole list of things in my mind that they would have gone through if the series had continued longer, but I don’t want to say much about it here. I figure that there will be a thread on that over at Ned’s, especially when we start getting into season 4.


      • Castle? argh!!! ugh.. don’t get me started! Is there a thread on this at Neds? there should be! 🙂

        yeah Jestress I agree it is very confusing for the reasons you state – Well put!!
        I agree.. they made lots of changes in the events of the first five episodes – it’s a challenge!

        Sorry if you’ve felt a pressure to make a decision – there is value in holding off making a decision.. and seeing how things go..whatever works for you! 🙂 I sometimes do that with different things too!
        I see everyone who has made a choice has gone with the story which they prefer- why not!
        But if you are unsure.. or don’t want to make up your mind about it – I guess you could choose to go with the majority or you can choose to stick with the original airing order or.. choose ‘TBA’ (To be advised!! or decision pending! 😉 ) I chose to go with the original airing order when I find it impossible to choose 🙂

        But in this instance I’ve gone with wizard/ Otl – I like the other changes to the order with it and I’ll look forward to discussing all the first 5 episodes order soon.

        Okay, so there doesn’t seem to be an appetite to explore this anymore – all good! Though correct me if I’m wrong.. and feel free to come back to this thread anytime.. we don’t have to quit discussing this once alla starts (I’ll publish the first post today).

        I will just add my thoughts on one element everyone has already mentioned – The Red Roses.
        The one area which I don’t think works with either order.
        In Wizard, the Red Roses are a very significant plot device – the Roses are a symptom of how trapped by the past Lee is, what a hold it still has on him, and how he isn’t free.
        When Lee gives Amanda Red Roses in the tag- it’s full of deep meaning for his character and very important to the overall plot of Wizard and Lee’s journey.
        Therefore I can’t dismiss the issues with OTL being before wizard- where Amanda handed Lee a red rose and he accepted it with a smile – but we learn the very next episode he has a physical reaction to their smell because of trauma.
        I can accept a continuity boo boo when Lee wears a red rose in Ship of spies..mid season 2.. but when it is the episode right before wizard? and the red roses are soooo pivotal?? and the scripts are being written at the same time? different writers don’t matter- the producers would have been all over it, and so would KJ and BB – because it’s soooo significant.

        Could Lee be suppressing his reaction to the rose in OTL?? and then Amanda learns of the reaction in Wizard?
        Not in my book sorry! From my understanding, Trauma doesn’t work that way – you can’t control your immediate reaction to a trigger – you’ve reacted to it before you’ve even realised. It’s like a reflex and you have no control over it. Lee had no control over how the smell made him feel sick. So he couldn’t suppress his reaction. That Lee could have felt sick and then covered it with a story about his reaction being about something else could make much more sense (oh gosh shouldn’t have eaten that pizza this morning! 😉 ) but Lee reacts by being charmed by Amanda, smiles and actually reaches out to take the rose from her.

        Secondly- the argument that there were many roses around Dorothy and Amanda had a single rose? Again, sorry I can’t get on board with this- Lee says the smell makes him feel sick. One rose or many there will be a smell… If there needs to be many roses for Lee to react how many roses would there need to be? would 1 and a half be enough? 3? 5? This doesn’t make sense to me sorry! Especially when the rose is such a powerful smell for Lee – linked to a traumatic prior event.

        Thirdly -the argument that the single rose doesn’t smell? lol.. this is a very creative idea! 🙂 A very valiant effort 🙂 You need a way to make otl before wizard.. so you gotta explain it somehow!
        I’d say the rose Mrs Carswell gives to Amanda would smell much stronger than one of the professional roses at the airport – home grown varieties have a much stronger scent than your industry produced roses (which when in large numbers like Lee experienced would manage to have a smell if the numbers are large enough!).

        For me, I’m happy to make Wizard before OTL work – I don’t see OTL as a relationship back step at all.. they are close throughout – but there is also conflict between them (but tellingly it doesn’t cause a rupture between them)- In OTL both of them have reached their ‘Limit’ – Lee’s trying ‘normal’ but his insomnia just won’t quit.. it’s not working! He’s reached his limit – he’s going to finally have to begin exploring just what he feels for Amanda.. and whether he can have that kind of relationship.. I think the tag of OTL is the first step in this new journey for Lee – where he makes a choice to be with Amanda (for now in a close friendship..but for how long will it stay like that?? not long I’m guessing 😉 We’ll see!)

        Before Wizard.. Lee wasn’t free to make choices.. I see Lee as trapped by his past – dating on auto pilot and not really thinking about what he is doing..(and trying not to) Those Red roses and the freedom they represent are hugely important. Well, IMHO!


        • Although I’ve argued for Wizard pre OTL, I do think the rose issue is so important ( for the reasons Iwsod so eloquently argues), that this alone might persuade me to put Wizard first.
          But, on with the show! Bring on ALLA


        • I agree it would be hard but as someone who has had to try to stifle traumatic reactions I don’t know that it would be impossible. I was triggered for a long time by the sound of fire alarms and when lights are slowly dimmed and would get pretty nauseated with both of those. But I always felt like I had to hide my reaction so I got good at gritting my teeth and staying quiet. And I don’t have the training in being a secret agent that Lee has. He’s also been taught to withstand torture. I also heard on a CSI that smiling helps supress a gag reflex. So it’s possible what we’re seeing is Lee trying to appear normal so as not to tip her off — especially since we cut away from that scene pretty fast. I could see it leading into him saying “Uh will you excuse me for a second” and quickly making a break for the washroom.

          Oh the possibilities for fanfic with this…


    • Iwsod, I walked through in the airing order in the 1980’s and it was pfaffing frustrating. 😕 When originally aired, parts of S2 and the first quarter of S3 seemed very random to me. After that first part of S3 the episodes did seem to settle into a more natural progression with just a few minor hiccups the rest of the way.
      Even though Morley’s order was also a bit of a challenge to me initially I have now come to see it makes much more sense.
      PS. Yes, aside from referencing an annoying new SMK character, pfaffing stands for a much more robust word I am wont to use more often than is lady-like, but I’m keeping it PG for JWWM. 😉


      • Pfaffing is a good word. Someone I know likes to use “smurf,” but this one works so well with SMK. 🙂

        Iwsod, I’d be okay with either order (airing or Morley’s), although Morley’s has some extra advantages to it when it comes to clearing up some inconsistencies. For instance, I was glad that you put Dancing Weasel before Wizard because I thought it was odd that, in the airing order, Wizard referred to Lee having the Q Bureau before he was assigned to it in Dancing Weasel. I can’t remember off hand if there were other odd inconsistencies that bothered me like that, but that was a good place to switch the order. I’d be okay with airing order, though. Either works for me. 🙂


        • I stick with airing order for Wizard/OTL. but that doesn’t mean I stick with it for the rest of the first 5 eps- In my smk world.. weasel can come before wizard and otl. but.. I didn’t raise it because we can discuss all the first 5 episodes after alla – I’ll be keeping it all in mind as we walk through alla! 🙂


      • I love that Pfaff is a swear word 😉 tee heee..


  9. Melissa Robertson

    I don’t know if I am duplicating anyone else’s thought since I haven’t read any but here is a rough idea of my thoughts for why Wizard comes before OTL.

    I have always felt that the deleted scene came before OTL and they cut it because they weren’t ready to introduce Leslie. Plus I like to think that Leslie is history after OTL because I couldn’t imagine dating someone who calls me by the wrong name, but then again I’m old school because my husband is the only man that I dated, held hands with, kissed, etc. I can’t imagine her sticking around after he didn’t take her to the party after buying her a dress to wear!

    IMHO I don’t think he could have accepted the rose in OTL with a smile, even from Amanda, if he hadn’t worked through the trauma of Dorothy’s death.

    The big reason for me that makes Wizard comes before OTL is the cafe scene. IMHO Amanda is exposing some of her feelings here. She tells Lee, “You think you are a superman, but your just a man. But a very special man!” I take that as she is telling him that he is special to her and he responds, “It means a lot that you care.” Then he offers her the rose as a thank you for helping him past Dorothy’s death. So IMHO that is why she is jealous and down right mad that Lee is seeing someone else,especially after she finally sees it is someone a lot like herself, because she has already shared some feelings for him and shared a small some what side of the mouth kiss and Amanda doesn’t do that with just anyone!


  10. I didn’t read others responses before writing mine……I’m in the OTL before Wizard camp.
    I think there are 3 episodes that are meant to be back to back to back and they are VM, Brand, and OTL. There are 2 explosions in VM (the car and the volcano), one in Brand (Munsen’s apartment), and 2 in OTL (at the rally and at TOI). I think this is supposed to represent volatility and change. There is change in both Lee and Amanda personally and professionally especially in the beginning of season 3. Lee gets the Q room and Amanda starts more training and getting assignments (Shooting a gun, learning Russian). And we can see how their personal relationship is changing.
    Second is timing. In Wizard, Lee and Amanda have known each other for 25 months and 2 weeks. It appears that TFT would be late September/early October and that would put Wizard in November. Billy comes in OTL talking about how wonderful the weather is outside (spring cleaning). So if OTL is after Wizard, it would have to be in April which would mean there is a large gap of time between Wizard and OTL. (and the rest of season 3 would have to occur in a short time-frame). I’m still using the spring cleaning more as an expression, but it is happening in the fall. Maybe September when the weather is still nice.
    I am also one that believes that Wizard and the discovery of the 4 black books is not what changed Lee’s dating habits. That goes back to ALSALS and the tag scene. When Randi baby left, he invited Amanda in. I think that was the start of Lee realizing that he wanted something more. He wanted a relationship, he wanted to get to know someone. It may have taken him sometime to meet the someone (Leslie), because he would not be looking in his typical spots. I think Amanda is jealous of Leslie because of the type of relationship this appears to be (a more normal one for Lee). I don’t think she is jealous of the black books because she has seen some of his dating habits first hand and has never been jealous. I think there is a moment of a twinge of jealousy when Dorothy is discussed, but it is fleeting. I think Lee is embarrassed by the black books because now Amanda is seeing the total breadth of his dating life and he is past it. I think the progression of their relationship is more natural that they start spending more time outside of work after OTL and then Lee feels comfortable to discuss the very personal aspects of his life with Amanda in Wizard. He is more likely to have this gradual progression.
    I know the rose thing is confusing, but I’ll say that the tag that was aired in Wizard fits it being later, but the one that was written would have made more sense earlier in the season.


  11. I’m generally not an “episode order” person. I’ve seen relationships go through roller-coaster rides, even been in one. (He’s now my hubby.) However, since following this blog and reading through posts here, on yuku and Ned’s, I’ve decided to join in the discussion just a bit. (Ah, the influence of JWWM. 🙂 )

    If I’m looking at episode order for S3, I’ve got to go back to how I see the end of S2. In Burn Out and Murder Between Friends, Lee has begun to realize two things: that Amanda is more than he originally thought, and that her continued presence in his life is becoming more important to him. (I think that part of why he doesn’t like her leaving the Agency in MBF is the fact that, deep down, he knows he won’t see her on a daily basis anymore.) Carrying that forward into S3 – he has become more consciously aware of the fact that he wants a more steady relationship with one woman – someone like Amanda who can be a friend. He meets Leslie – she seems like someone he could be open with. He begins exploring that relationship. Unfortunately, his mind won’t let him rest because he’s beginning to realize that, rather than someone like Amanda, he might just want Amanda herself – hence the insomnia. At the end of OTL, he is ready to gently, carefully, cautiously move toward a more personal relationship with Amanda. They have a date or two with “no shop talk for a change.” (The rose is insignificant. He’s responding to Amanda’s flirtatious moment in OTL, not the rose. He disposes of it on their way to Transoceanic.) Then comes Wizard. Lee is confronted with his black books in addition to his unresolved feelings over Dorothy. His pensive face while he’s looking at the black books he will follow up with tell me that he’s not really paid much attention to them lately (yay) and he has to prepare himself for the inevitable conversations that may arise from some of those calls. The roses in the tag I mentioned in that post, so I won’t repeat myself here. I’ll just state that I see the Wizard as after OTL because I see Lee’s discussion with Amanda at the Cafe as a progression of their relationship after a few “no-shop-talk” dates. I’m thinking that the significance of his noting how long they’d known each other (he remembers the exact date) is his acknowledgement that this relationship is precious and dear – something he couldn’t fully acknowledge until he accepted, at least tentatively, his deep feelings for Amanda. I realize he has often lamented “giving her that package” when he is worried about her safety, but it was always in a general way – no specifics. This discussion gets specific and he acknowledges her caring in a special way – with a touch. (In ROTP, it was simply vocal – despite the hug. His joy there was simple appreciation that someone cares. His look here recognizes that Amanda herself is significant.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t wait to get to this… but I have to wait. I want to respond to each of Happy Campers observations and write a little synopsis of how I see the story unfold, like Iwsod did, just in the opposite order. But I have a ton to do first. Hopefully I can this evening….But I like the way everyne has put down their thoughts, from either perspective. Very clarifying. This was a great idea. Thanks Iwsod and happy camper.


  13. Sheesh this is quite overwhelming trying to put all thoughts together on this huh!
    I’ll share how I see the story generally unfolding -to share a point of view which prefers Wizard going first (I can discuss the finer details later if you wish..)
    If it’s just me who feels this way? Oh well.. C’est la vie…. I actually have a preference this time and I am going to go with it for my own order. 🙂

    Here goes..
    Wizard starts with Lee and Amanda as good friends… With all the murders, Lee is forced to confront just how many women he has dated, what a player he has been and to reveal this to others – he finds he is ashamed (thus the 4 black books eye speak) – I see this as a big revelation for Lee- it’s where he consciously begins to realise that he is not proud of this way of living.. and maybe there is a better way.. maybe he is missing out.. maybe he wants more?? [For me – this started in Ship of spies, but he totally buried it] Lee’s denial begins to fade away here due to the episode’s events.

    He confides in Amanda, and their relationship grows even stronger – Lee finds being able to share your troubles with someone special is a relief. It is freeing – Lee begins to wonder if all those relationships where he had to keep his cover (or wanted to) were causing him to miss out – sure they protected him from being hurt, but he was missing out on the freedom of being truly known, accepted and supported by someone.

    With everything going on in wizard I can happily accept that Lee is not wanting to see that Amanda is the person he can find this type of real relationship with. He doesn’t yet realise what makes a relationship so special.

    So Wizard ends with Lee having kept his pledge to Dorothy, overcome his past trauma (as evidence by no longer being affected by the rose smell) – and telling Amanda this by thanking her for her support with red roses.
    I see the tag of wizard as being all about their friendship, there is a real genuine warmth, trust and acceptance there. Amanda offers Lee a kiss on the cheek (I think a close friend can do that without romance), and Lee happily offers her his cheek when he realises what she is doing (he juts his chin out and doesn’t turn his face).

    I see Wizard ending with Lee putting the past behind him – his future is now open. Lee’s realisation he is no longer proud of being a player, and his dissatisfaction with never being known give us clues – he might be close to being ready for a real relationship!!! But.. a real relationship with Amanda specifically? Nope.. not ready for that. (IMHO! as all this is!) ‘there’s no place like home?!’ isn’t that theme of the wizard of oz? Lee now wants a home…

    At end of Wizard, Amanda can have no idea Lee has made a decision to change his ways and start to pursue a real relationship with a normal person. She accepts him for who he is.. doesn’t see anything romantic in Lee’s gesture, and nor is there any jealousy in Wizard- she doesn’t expect that he wants a real relationship. So doesn’t think it is possible.

    Moving on to OTL… How much time has passed? no idea.. but I think Lee is trying out this new type of relationship with Leslie. She’s a safe way to try it. She’s long distance.. and they haven’t been dating long enough for Lee to have told her what he does – though he kids himself she can guess what he does. Lee wants a real, honest relationship but he isn’t quite following through. Why? For me, OTL is about how it’s not coming together for Lee because it’s the wrong woman- the right woman is already in the picture..[and IMHO this is what causes Lee’s insomnia]

    At the end of OTL, Lee might want to begin to explore how who that relationship is with matters – and he sees how valuable Amanda is to him- but he’s not going to act quickly and bumble things – Amanda is too important to him for that. And this is all very new to Lee – he needs time to figure things out.. work through things.. So being careful, he takes the next step in their friendship and suggests a dinner with no shop talk – their relationship is expanding, becoming more honest, more real- as it is no longer pretending to be just work related.

    I see Lee as having given up trying to create that special feeling with Leslie.. in that dress.. trying to recreate the magical night with Amanda – because he knows it’s no use. Amanda is one of a kind..
    With this dinner invite, he is slowly beginning to explore this… But- I still don’t see them as dating at the end of OTL. It’s still only a wonderful friendship… when the added dimension enters the picture? we shall see..

    Amanda in OTL, is jealous and angry with Lee when she finds out about Leslie.. Shocked that Lee now thinks normal and being known are sooo ‘perfect’! After everything that happened in Wizard, Lee tried a new way of doing relationships.. and he kept it a secret..(which is hardly surprising given he wasn’t confident of what he was doing) and hmm this is threatening to Amanda.. learning normal is ‘perfect’ challenges how she has managed to keep her feelings for Lee in check.

    In the tag of OTL, I see Amanda as beginning to wonder if Leslie is still in the picture.. she can’t know yet.. How serious is Lee about wanting normal really? Amanda is going to be watching to see what Lee does now. Time will tell.. For now, Amanda accepts his offer of opening up their friendship even more (which started in Wizard with Lee confiding in Amanda)– but Amanda is not jumping to any conclusions..

    I love the idea that Lee realises after Wizard he wants to try and figure out how to do a normal relationship, and it makes sense to me that he would have a false start and have a go trying to do normal with someone not Amanda (the stakes with Amanda were just too high for him to even consider it). Lee and Amanda didn’t have that kind of relationship yet.. no promises were broken.. Do I wish Lee hadn’t?! sure!!! but it makes sense to me that he would try something, and learn from it.. By the end of OTL, Lee sees Amanda is truly special, and he’d rather have a night with his friend Amanda than a night with his date Leslie..
    For me, things are well and truly in place now for their romantic love and trust to really grow! Or what was it we were saying earlier?? Time for Love to truly begin to blossom? 🙂
    Would love to hear what you think.. how you see the story everyone! Sorry this is so long -say as much or as little as you like! byeeeee

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have done a Wizard then OTL then Wizard run-through today. My overall feeling is that OTL belongs before Wizard.
    Lee and Amanda seem closer in Wizard; their friendship seems to have moved to a deeper level. Lee feels that he can trust Amanda more. The eye-talk that we see in Wizard, re the 4 black books, look like, as his close friend, he felt he should have divulged that kind of information to her as his close friend. I see this closeness as have developed from the tag in OTL and the resulting steak dinner (maybe dinners) spent not talking shop. The tag of OTL feels like making a dinner arrangement between friends. The tag in Wizard – I’m not so sure that it is totally platonic (I know most people disagree with this though). What I noticed when I watched Wizard this morning was the music in the tag – it actually “feels” romantic in mood – I feel music editors were certainly trying to portray that. The way they touch in Wizard definitely feels more intimate and further down the line – the contrast between the rather awkward hug in OTL after the bombing (I rewatched it a few times, Amanda looks uncomfortable although there are other possible reasons for this eg Lee’s faux pas about the dress), and the comfortable sitting on the Lee’s desk and the kiss on the cheek at the end of Wizard.

    I’ll address each comment from Happy Camper individually from my perspective (thanks Happy Camper for your hard work!)

    *The Cut Leslie Scene
    Definitely shows Wizard as after OTL. She is more well-established in his life. I don’t like it and I think it would have just muddled an already complicated episode (and I didn’t want to see Leslie again!)

    *Similar dialogue
    “Go home, I’m not going to fight about this”. In OTL, he’s in a bit of a temper and off-balance; in Wizard he’s actually tearful and scared for Amanda. I don’t see any significance in the lines being repeated. I think Lee is just an autocrat (one of his less endearing characteristic IMO!) and uses those kind of short, snappy, somewhat tactless phrases to Amanda (and Billy).

    *The Smell of Roses
    This is the biggest stumbling block for me for the OTL/Wizard order. It just does not make sense. I have to go with the ingenious suggestion of someone (sorry, can’t remember who) who suggested that the crushed roses around Dorothy smelt more strongly than the single uncrushed red rose.

    Points based on Amanda’s character development:
    *Amanda Jealousy/Black Books
    I see the jealousy re Leslie vs no jealousy re black books differently. Leslie is concrete and in the present; the black books women are not in Amanda’s face as Leslie is. They potentially represent Lee’s past, not his present. I see his (?shame), regret in the scene revealing the black books as a sign that Amanda and his relationship has become closer (with the steak dinner post-OTL) and so he has invested more in not wanting her to despise him and doesn’t want to hurt her – so OTL then Wizard again

    Points based on Lee’s character development:
    I can see Leslie as another relationship, or a conscious attempt at a more mature relationship. Either works for me.

    Points based on the relationship:
    I think Lee is so stressed out in Wizard (and downright irrational at times) that it is hard to judge his physical responses to Amanda except in the tag. But again, they seem closer in Wizard, more in tune when they talk, e.g. the flasher and other aspects of that lovely chat in the cafe, “It’s important to me that you care” – I think he feels free to say this since their relationship and friendship has gone beyond just work (back to the steak dinner yet again)

    I think Lee is certainly supremely tactless about the dress and Leslie in OTL but we have to consider: a) he is a man, and b) his personality (see Neds for Myers Briggs thread!). I don’t think he deliberately treats her badly – he is just clueless (bless).

    One final thought about the much-debated insomnia in OTL. I see his insomnia as an indication of his state of mind and not being at peace within himself (about his relationship with Leslie). He is discomposed and conflicted (indicated by calling Leslie by Amanda’s name, and wanting to dress Leslie like Amanda). I see this kind of discomposure as having resolved by the end of the tag – he is much more at peace with himself and in his relationships. I can’t see OTL after this, because he has resolved this stress and therefore wouldn’t have insomnia

    So my (very personal) verdict is – leave the roses out of it: OTL first, Wizard second.


    • Like your comments LearJet. Like you I see a comfort and ease with each other in Wizard that is on a whole deeper level than throughout OTL. I feel that there have been at least a couple more “no shop talk dinners” which will naturally have deepened their personal connection.
      That poignant eye talk, Lee purposefully seeking counsel from Amanda, and Amanda’s more demonstrative affection towards Lee flow naturally from the events in OTL through the intervening time to the events of Wizard. For me, the best “Lee and Amanda moments” of Wizard would be significantly diminished and cheapened if they occurred before OTL.


    • I’m back from a camping trip away from the Internet. I don’t have much time to comment at the moment, but I wanted to agree with Learjet too. In many different ways there just seems to be a deeper tone to their relationship in Wizard v.s. OTL. In fact, in OTL I want to whack Lee for how he is treating Amanda where things seem to better between them in Wizard. I had thought of going back and mentioning this in the previous blog entry, but I’ll just add it now. Lee doesn’t react negatively at all to Amanda’s presence at the airport, which I think goes to show that he is beginning to truly accept and appreciate Amanda as his partner and his back-up even if he didn’t let her in on his plan from the start. In OTL he’s outright hostile to her presence, even though she saved his and Francine’s lives.

      I once read a comment from a fanfic writer expressing how she thought viewing the first few episodes of S3 as a schizophrenic experience because of the up and down way Lee treated Amanda. I think that having the episodes in the order that they have been covered in JWWM has relieved some of that confusion. I also remember an interview of BB and KJ on Merv Griffin where they discussed the direction the writers were taking – planning to give Lee and Amanda romantic interests. Both actors were not happy with that concept and wanted to give the fans what they were asking for, namely a romantic relationship between Lee and Amanda. I am sure this resulted in a number of script rewrites. Both scripts are dated only a day apart but were by two different writers. Clearly some similarities needed to change. My thoughts are that OTL was first partly because Leslie is introduced there, but with the influence of KJ and BB, the idea of Lee having a continuing girlfriend was dropped so Leslie was dropped from Wizard. After we cover a few more episodes I’ll be free to discuss a progression that I noticed.

      If I have time I’ll come back and expand on my comment, but it would pretty much shadow what has already been said in favor of OTL being placed before Wizard


    • I have my own explanation for the smell of roses sticking point, if OTL comes first. If a friend holds out a flower to you, you don’t smack it away and say “Aghh! That smell makes me sick!” It’s a gesture of basic politeness for Lee to smile and take the rose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there’s plenty of times in daily life when you have to put up with something you have an aversion to, as it would be impolite or unprofessional to do otherwise.
        The rose in OTL is such a minor thing for me – it could just as easily be a continuity fluff by TPTB. It did occur to me it might’ve even just been a minor ad-lib by KJ to BB as it is just a few moments at the end of a scene.


  15. Oh my! Great work happycamper and iwsod!!! What a post! I’ll admit I lost some steam toward the end – there is a ton to take in here! And it’s midnight my time, and I’m ready for bed.

    I’ll be driving all day tomorrow and Sunday in the car and plan to listen to the episodes. I’ll watch them in the original airing order first and then listen to them in reverse. I’m not sure if just listening to them will make a difference or not. I’m a very visual learner and not an auditory learner at all. If just listening doesn’t give me any clues, I’ll have to watch them, but that may take until the middle of next week.

    I’ll report in with what I find from listening. And I’ll also read this post again. I need a visual!!! And no, I don’t mean a picture of Lee…that would not help! Well, not in the way I need it to. 😉


    • Hi BJo- phew! life sounds busy!

      No pressure to get back here.. I am imagining this post is one we might be referring back to while we move on to walking through ALLA anyway.

      I couldn’t drive and listen to smk.. I’d be too distracted picturing Lee in the scenes I’m listening to.. You are a strong woman!

      Drive Safe! Look forward to hearing from you when you get back.
      Oh and thanks for the compliment! and.. sorry yes it was big wasn’t it- eek!! I figured we wouldn’t want to do it in 2 posts though.. and feel free to address it’s content in little fits and bursts.. or lol don’t address any of it – and just share what you think 🙂


    • BJo, I hope you didn’t close your eyes during the dreamy scenes. 😉 Look forward to hearing your report.


  16. A more frivolous comment in terms of filming order – Lee’s hair seems to me to be shorter in OTL. In Wizard and later episodes it is longer. Does anyone else notice this? Or am I just pining again for the gorgeously handsome European haircut of S2? 😉


    • Hey Kiwismh – I usually take hair and props continuity into consideration when I look at how to order episodes.. but I’ve got to say – this doesn’t seem to be working for me.. thanks to Weasel..

      you may see it differently and want to take those things into consideration, but for me – I find the first 5 eps are all jumbled up together, all written before the first episode was even filmed.. and filmed out of order thanks to Weasel’s late filming – maybe that’s because they decided to change how Q bureau was introduced. I have no idea what they did.

      So I tend to go with how I prefer to see the story unfolding and leave props and hair lengths to one side – just this once 😉

      Oh heck yeah.. love that S2 Lee haircut! swoony!!


    • Lee certainly looks better in OTL – maybe he’s just less tortured? Not sure about the hair. But yes, bring back the season 2 hair. Pity about the early season 2 personality not matching that fabulous head of hair.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is really well compiled Happy Camper.
    To me it seems much more natural for Wizard to come after OTL for all the reasons that have been outlined above but also because the whole feel and flow of characters and events does not feel natural with Wizard before OTL.
    Although he is acting and reacting in a stressed manner to the events of Wizard, when he’s around Amanda he is not afraid to be show his vulnerability, he sheds the Scarecrow persona entirely, he visibly relaxes and his mood brightens, reminiscent of the Lee we see in the tag of OTL.
    Although relationships and mood don’t progress in an orderly manner, there are missteps and miscommunication along the way, it is hard to imagine Lee regressing so considerably from his open and comfortable relationship with Amanda in Wizard to the awkward, embarrassed, irritated and thoughtless way he acted throughout most of OTL. It would be a huge retrograde step out of proportion with the man we see in Wizard.
    I don’t put much weight on the rose Amanda gave Lee in OTL – it could have been scentless or have had little scent, as many modern roses are. But I think it is more likely this was just a continuity boo-boo by TPTB.
    I can’t see the edge of the mouth kiss at the end of Wizard happening prior to OTL. Amanda has been guarding her heart with Lee since Burn Out. After the turmoil of OTL and all she has now learned about Lee in Wizard, this is the type of kiss she would only give if she was fundamentally at ease with her own feelings and the closeness of her friendship with Lee.
    How Amanda acts and reacts is perhaps the best gauge of the progression of their friendship and relationship. Lee is much more tactile. If Amanda is touching and kissing, then there has been a huge progression in their personal relationship and again it says to me that Amanda is fundamentally at ease with Lee – the black books, the normal girlfriend (who for all she knows he could still be seeing), the dead girlfriend – she knows there are no more surprises that will dent their personal friendship.
    I guess everything could be argued either way, except for me the cut scene with Leslie in Wizard. If you had to go on hard evidence alone, the scene with Leslie cut from Wizard is completely at odds with Wizard coming before OTL. The character is already established. i.e. the way it is written indicates that the character is already known about by the watcher. In OTL, Leslie’s character was introduced and the whole scene gave the info we needed about who she was, what she does, the kind of relationship she has with Lee (new and long distance), and so on. The cut scene in Wizard was clearly intended to be a continuation of this intermittent and long distance relationship with a character the viewer already knew.
    When I originally watched SMK in the 80’s in my late teens/early 20’s, I remember being irritated at how the Lee and Amanda characters and their behaviours didn’t necessarily gel from episode to episode in S2 and certainly the first part of S3. It never occurred to me of course that the airing order might be the reason. I just figured with lots of different writers and the need to keep audiences watching, it was bound to be a bit random sometimes. If I had really taken the time to study the episodes, as we are here with Wizard and OTL, I’m sure the tell-tale signs of things being out of order would have become more apparent to me.


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