12/12 Season Three, Episode 6: Sour Grapes-Scarecrow and Mrs King

It’s tag time!!! We find Dotty and Amanda are playing a game at home while loud party sounds and laughter can be heard outside.. guess it’s time for Buck’s party! (That or a prison riot 😉 )

You know, given we just saw Amanda rushing to the White House and all that excitement..I can kind of understand why she’d be tempted to stay home and relax.. but.. what’s Dotty’s excuse?! Winking smile
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Dotty: What is Edna Gilstrap doing?
Amanda gives a light laugh.
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Dotty:
I’ve never heard her laugh like that. Actually, I’ve never heard her laugh.
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Amanda:
You know, you really gotta give Buck credit. He got ‘em out of their rocking chairs.
[It’s true.. okay.. Buck is not all bad! Plus.. I do like how he calls Dotty ‘Dot’! ]
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Dotty:
Huh, sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
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Amanda:
You wanna go see?
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Dotty:
Alright!
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…except … let’s swallow our pride and do this with class….
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…I’ve got a slinky black dress that’ll put Mae West to shame. [Go Dotty!!! Love it!!!]
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Amanda:
Yes, W.C. Fields will be very happy.
Dotty: I’ll be back in 10 minutes.
Amanda: I’ll just clean these up. (sigh)
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Amanda hears a noise at the window..
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…Okay, Buck.
[I think she should have known it’s not Buck.. he never knocks! He just comes in!! haaa!!]
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3.06-SOUR-GRAPES.avi_002729500_thumb(opens door with a sigh) …You win.
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(Lee raises his mask)
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Lee: Ah. Ha, ha, ha!!
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Amanda:
What did you do? Go to that crazy party?
[How cute are they here giggling over Lee tricking her??!!!]
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Lee:
Well, it was the only way I could get in. This place is surrounded… (the place is surrounded??!!! tee heee.. only this tine- it’s true!! haaa!!)  ….by crazy people, huh? I’ve been to calmer parties during the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.
Amanda: Ha, ha.
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Lee adjusts his belt!! hoo haaa..
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And I think Amanda notices.. double hoo haa hoo haa!
[why hoo haa?? because body language experts think this gesture of Lee’s means: Hey gurrrl! I’m really into you!! 😉 ]
Lee:
I borrowed this mask from a guy who was bobbing for apples in a hot tub.
[Love how Lee says he ‘borrowed it’ I mean.. I don’t think he could really give it back do you?!]
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Amanda:
Oh, see now, that would be Buck.
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Lee:
Buck?
(Amanda nods) …Oh, Buck, huh?
[what do you make of how Lee repeats his name?]
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…Well, anyway, uh, the reason I came over here is, uh, I just dropped in to see Penny and she’s doing fine.
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Amanda:
Oh, good.
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Lee:
She’s going back to school [at the Dowdy Academy!] and…
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…she asked me to give you something. Personally…
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(Lee pauses a second..)
…She made me promise.
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We cut to Amanda.. smiling.. I think she looks like she knows what Lee has promised to deliver personally.. maybe it was in his eyes in the wideshot? (and thus we can’t see it. boo the low lighting!).. feels like I missed the conversation where Amanda and Penny talked about kissing.. hmm…

Then we cut to Lee.. who seems to be looking intently at Amanda
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– wondering if it’s a yes or a no from Amanda with the kiss??
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Lee takes a step closer. (Literally and figuratively!)
At this moment.. Dotty opens the back door and interrupts Lee attempting to fulfilling the promise!
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Dotty:
(opens door) Amanda, have you seen-
Dotty stops short when she realises what she’s looking at!
(A two faced man about to kiss Amanda?! freaky! Anyone else reminded of the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy?!)
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Okay this was the closest I could capture a picture of..(blurry or not – they move fast here) but certainly looked like Lee was going in for a kiss! Smile  You know, from the looks of Amanda’s arms.. she was welcoming this kiss!!!!
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Lee scrambles to put down his WC fields mask.
Amanda scrambles with her own mask – covering up her shock (and disappointment?! at not getting the kiss?!)
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 Dotty is almost speechless: Amanda?!?
3.06-SOUR-GRAPES.avi_002772444_thumb[Yes not quite speechless! Winking smile this is Dotty after all!]
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She sounds to me shocked and a little ummm..disapproving? maybe?? I can only guess Dotty thinks this is Buck Amanda was going in for a kiss with! (ewww!) Boy when Amanda says let’s join the party she means it huh Dotty?! 😆

AWKWARD!!!

Amanda has recovered her composure.. guess she’s thinking oh well! Mother’s going to think I was going to kiss Buck! I’ll get over it! [Getting over her interrupting Lee Stetson’s kiss?!!! that’s another story altogether!!! argh!!!!]
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Lee gives Dotty a WC Fields style hand wave..
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His identity remains intact for now – interesting, Lee is willing to consider crossing the line with Amanda and giving her a kiss, but he’s not ready to meet Dotty and get involved in Amanda’s real life.. small steps!
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Amanda gives Lee a sideways glance when he does the hand wave. LOL!3.06-SOUR-GRAPES.avi_002776330_thumb

Lee and Amanda still stand there very close to each other.. oh well it all ties things up nicely for the final frame!

Soooo I can’t wait to hear what you make of this tag! If you can’t discuss it without discussing Utopia Now, then just say so – no prob! I know where you are coming from.
When I first discussed this episode years ago, not knowing the order of the episodes could be different I wrote that: while I loved the near miss kiss, and the thought that Lee was gonna go for it (Under the guise of keeping his promise), I felt it was too sudden. Coming right after the first five episodes of season 3, it felt sudden!! I still feel this way.. This is the first time Lee has ever gone in for a kiss willingly or not as part of a cover – how did Amanda seem to be so knowing about what he was after?? It feels like something’s missing! Even after ALLA – it seems sudden.. Does anyone see this differently?
If I stick with this order, then I guess I can just conclude that after the growth in ALLA, that was enough to get to this point.. but.. Hmm.. I’ll come back to this after Utopia Now.. and I’ll be looking forward to hearing other’s take on this!

I always wondered if Penny really did make Lee promise. Or if he came up with that excuse all by himself. What do you think? It didn’t seem to me that Penny had a clue that Lee and Amanda were teetering on something romantic happening between them – not from what we saw in the episode- all we saw was frazzled, distraught grieving daughter get sent flying onto her face by a baddie.. rofl! Is there anything in the script that enlightens us here guys? Being short on time, I haven’t checked the script at all!!

Ahhh maybe Penny McNeil is not the ‘Penny’ Lee is referring to?! Maybe all this time Princess Penny has been in touch with Amanda.. and occasionally Lee to give them a little hand in err getting together?! tee hee.. I think there’s a fan fic in there- if someone was inspired! Kick Penny McNeil out of this ‘promise’ and make it Princess Penny Winking smile
ALAGHITM.avi_002726878_thumb1Princess Penny did ask Amanda to write, and did say she was ‘dying to find out how things go with Mr Stetson’!!!!!
ALAGHITM.avi_002709218_thumb1I think this way is much more fun!
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Lastly, I like how Lee is wearing a mask in the tag – all very symbolic as he lifts it, and makes his approach toward Amanda.. but.. because of Dotty – the mask is put back firmly in place- for Now! All laden with subtext for me!! what do you think?
Do tell!! (As much as you are able to without addressing a certain upcoming ep!!)
Oh by the way – am I the only one who finds the mask kinda creepy??!!!
Can’t wait to hear from ya my little chickadees!!!
Okay, byeee for now!!

23 responses to “12/12 Season Three, Episode 6: Sour Grapes-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Okay, I’ve watched nicer copies of these earlier-S3 episodes now, though not all of them.. some I’m going off the blog posts to jog my memory. With that disclaimer, I agree this tag WAS awkward, but not due to bad writing or continuity: I think the progression was intended, AND regression. I think there were two stories going on: (1) Lee’s progression, and that mask was BAD but really just a gag from the show (he was going to make his move, with or without the block party/mask); and (2) Amanda hitting the brakes a bit.

    Because imagine this tag but without the block party/mask: would Lee have dived into the bushes head-first to avoid Dotty? I think he would have, and maybe AMANDA wondered why she would put up with this silliness. My copy cuts off real fast at the end, and I can’t tell if that was intended or not (I would guess that’s how it originally aired), but I think I see some fake-smiling going on there, and maybe NOT because Dotty thought A was about to kiss Buck.

    Lee’s gone through the fake-mentoring stage (ALLA), and the “fake-Amanda” (lol) stage (OTL), and I had assumed they were seeing each other socially, if covertly, by this episode. But if a guy in his 30s is still hiding like a kid from her immediate family, at Amanda’s own home, from her own mother, wouldn’t that have been a bit offensive?

    (I’m not a single mother, and know very few to be honest, but I think it would offend ME.)

    And Lee/family gets dealt with later on, but let’s be real: Amanda’s family could probably put the Agency to shame — they’re not stupid! And it’s not like they’re going to talk to the KGB; and this isn’t even a work matter (wouldn’t A/L have to keep that hidden from work?) — this is entirely “personal”.

    Maybe Amanda realized Lee had no interest in “coming out,”
    even to her family, and that’s why things cooled off a bit this early. She might still have flirted with the idea (especially in life-or-death situations), but maybe the “cooling off” wasn’t a Lee thing, but more of an Amanda thing. —And not because she thinks “less” of him, but because she has to decide if “going there” is a good move for her family.

    After all, a secret “job” she can be proud of is a paycheck; but maybe Amanda wondered if, cute or not, a guy who didn’t really want to be part of her home life (heh, at least not until TWWH) might need some reconsideration.

    Amanda has been coming into her own in early S3, too, and I think that progresses decently well through the season (a few stupid set-backs which were supposed to be gags, I think), seeming to cause some angsty times (and other spoilers I won’t mention), but I now doubt that all the “angst” was Lee-only. (In fact, I think once he dumped that fake-Amanda in OTL, he was full-steam ahead—though without a roadmap of how to move forward.) So what if Amanda started pulling back around this timeframe (I love it: “It was that mask!”) and SHE wasn’t really sure how to turn a potential trainwreck around. (Again, imagine… let’s call her “present-day Amanda”: “if he don’t like my mama and my babies, ain’t nobody got time for that!” <— I’m being silly, but you get the idea.)

    And thus the more angsty stuff that’s coming up, including times she could have had things her way and stopped short, but maybe played around with the idea. That would cause some legit angst, I suppose. (I’m going to watch the next episodes with this thought in mind!)

    Or this was just a poorly written tag 😂 But the more I think about it, the more I like the thought of S3 “weirdness” being TWO stories (Lee ready to progress; Amanda hitting the brakes) until TWWH (when the ex really isn’t a consideration, though I do think he’s adorable 💞 —as an ex!!!)

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    • Hiya Trebuchette your comment went into moderation for some reason..but posted now! I’ll look forward to getting back here and enjoying hearing your thoughts when I can 🙂

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  2. I actually don’t think this episode is out of order. Here Lee obviously wants to kiss Amanda, but he is still wrapping it up in pretense, even going as far to make almost seem like part of the job as have been the kisses they shared before.

    During the almost kiss in Utopia there is no pretense, at least not in the moment. They are both feeling cold and scared and drop their guard and give into what they are feeling. Only later on does Lee wrap it up in pretense again. I think the fact that was no pretense originally allowed Lee to feel what he was really feeling and he was a bit overwhelmed by just how strong that feeling was which is why he had to wrap it up in pretense again. I think Amanda’s admission that it was more probably scared him even more. That is why we see Lee back off for a little while in being physical with Amanda again.

    I think Lee started to admit to himself in OTL that his feelings for Amanda were stronger than friendship, but hadn’t yet admitted just how strong those feelings were. That’s why I think there are a couple times as he starts feel those feelings out that he seems a bit overwhelmed. For instance if you think of ALLA being after OTL, which I do, Lee seems taken back by his feelings for Amanda in her bedroom when he is holding her hand.

    You could make sense of the two episodes in either order, but this just makes more sense to me as Sour Grapes being before Utopia because Amanda does not reject Lee here, it’s obvious he has a chance with her, but you don’t see Lee try and kiss Amanda again for awhile after Utopia.

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  3. When I first watched this episode, by the time we got to the tag I had forgotten who Penny was or why Lee would even visit her. Didn’t make sense. He didn’t seem to connect with her at all for her to pass on this type of message.
    I would have loved to see how Lee got out of this one with Dotty. I think I read a good fanfic about after the tag that had him just waving and running away leaving Amanda to explain but Dotty didn’t believe her.

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  4. I think we need to start an official count of near misses with these 2 trying to share a kiss! I know this isn’t the only time, but I’ve never actually counted.

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  5. When I first watched this episode, it somehow suggested for me that, in order for Lee to give Amanda a kiss from Penny, that Penny had to first give it to him. That thought totally stopped me dead from any enjoyment of the moment. I’m glad most people didn’t see it that way — maybe I can get over it now. Looking forward to the discussion of Utopia Now; I didn’t realize until reading through this episode’s posts that there was a question of order here as well.

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    • whoa.. that’s a tough one to have lived with Happy Camper 😉 sounds like you heard Lee saying he would ‘pass it on’ – luckily.. I always figured he was making it up.. the promise that is.

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    • IDK … I am in the camp that she never said anything like that, that he used that little story as a springboard because he was nervous about attempting to cross that friendship line into relationship town.

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  6. Yes, this is Lee initiating a kiss with an excuse. No, I don’t think it’s out of place in my SMK world. Lee’s on a high with this case resolved, and Amanda was a huge part of that resolution. Penny most likely said, “And please give Amanda my regards. She was so helpful and kind.” Lee took that a step further for his own benefit. However, this close call at being caught by Dotty (not something they’ve ever really faced before) causes him to take a step back for a bit. While he wants to go forward with Amanda, he’s not sure how “public” he’s prepared to be.

    Dotty totally thought it was Buck. She probably says something to Buck later, and he mentions someone stealing his mask. Amanda probably brushed it off as a joke. I’m sure it gave Dotty more to ponder … “I don’t believe it anymore. I just don’t believe it.” 🙂

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    • Debilyn- I think this is the best explanation yet for this tag!

      but.. it still doesn’t feel right.. hmm.. because Amanda is so ‘knowing’ all of a sudden? Hmm. I’m going to stew on this one – maybe this episode is suppose to be in two or three episode’s time?? I’m open to anything as we progress here!
      Hope you are well!

      Hiya everyone! Sorry I’m not around much at the moment.. but I’m loving hearing your thoughts – thanks so much for sharing..!!! 🙂

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      • Melissa Robertson

        I agree iwsod that it seems that this ep. Comes later…I kinda feel like Utopia Now should be before this one, but I’ll wait until we cover it to full decide 🙂

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  7. Oh! I have so much I would like to say about this tag! But I can’t. Episode order issues are too much for me.
    But I do agree this kiss seems abrupt right here, right now. And yes, Lee is hiding behind a request from Penny ( I agree that she would never have told him to give Amanda a kiss, maybe “regards?”). He is trying to communicate something to Amanda, but he isn’t ready to “come through the front door.” And He is hiding behind the mask. I think it is significant that he hides from Dotty. He isn’t ready yet to go completely forward with Amanda at all. I think Amanda knows this, but she also doesn’t want to give him any doubt that she is accepting of where he is either. o me this kiss seems like a continuation of some conversation. It seems sudden, but not a surprise to either of them. And that is all I can say right now.
    I think it is funny that Dotty thinks it is Buck. What does that poor woman think her daughter is up to? And I agree with everyone’s comments that Buck ends up bringing life to the neighborhood. The suburbs are getting more and more exciting.
    I like the Princess Penny idea, but not sure how it would work here. I have read some of those Princess Penny fan fics. There is good material for fun stories there.

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    • whooo hang in there Morley! I can see there are some interesting conversations ahead for us 🙂

      sorry my eyes aren’t holding up to much computer time for smk at the moment.. hmm thinking I might go get my eyes checked. I wondered if it was too much staring at Lee Stetson turning on the charm in this tag.. but.. nahhh I don’t think that’s it! 🙂

      LOL I don’t really think Princess Penny is behind it haaa.. I just wished it! yeah could be a fun story – she was a fab character!

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      • I am hanging….”Oh my gosh!!!”

        But really, I usually get such a kick out of this episode and this tag. I am looking forward to making sense out of why it falls so flat placed here. After all the great development we have explored at the beginning of season three it is interesting that this attempted kiss leaves us all scratching our heads when we have it at this point. As playful and sweet as it is, there isn’t enough significance here. Maybe that isn’t the right word? But I have a better response to the kiss in Sudden Death than I do to this one here. I guess it seems like game playing here and I think Lee and Amanda are beyond that now. I agree that Lee is nervous and hiding behind that mask (which I do think is kind of creepy) and Penny’s “request.” But I really do like this episode and I do get the butterflies when I watch this tag. Just got to keep hanging….

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  8. I’m torn about this tag, and the driving force behind it. Was it completely Lee’s idea, and he just dropped Penny’s name as a cover? Did Penny ask him to pay her respects–verbally, or as a hug (I also don’t for a minute think she would have asked for a kiss to be passed on)? (And, while I absolutely love the idea that Princess Penny might’ve come into play, I totally don’t think it’s the case.)

    I’ve always thought along the same lines as Learjet, that Lee used Penny’s request as a cover–a suit of armour, if you will. Putting on a different mask (in this case literally, also, LOL) to protect the very vulnerable in this moment Lee Stetson. He wanted to go there, he just needed the right “safety net”. What’s also interesting is that Amanda was so readily accepting. I think that Amanda is very cognizant of where Lee is at, emotionally, and understood his need for a cover and knew that any signs of non-acceptance on her part would wound Lee… and I’ll cut the rest of that thought right there so as not to tread on Utopia Now territory. 🙂

    Oh, and yes–Dotty totally thinks it’s Buck. (She may have even heard Amanda calling to “Buck” after he tapped on the window while she was putting away the checkers. She might’ve also been a little put out that she essentially asked Amanda to wait the ten minutes and they’d go to the party together, and there was Amanda already enjoying the party…) 😀
    And I also love the way Buck–of all people–gets the neighbourhood together, in a good way. 🙂

    Just my two (NZ) cents… at the current rate of exchange, only worth about 1.63 US cents. :p

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  9. First of all, I think the WC Fields mask is a bit creepy, but I was never a WC fan anyway. Secondly, I agree that Buck seems to have done a good job and I like that Amanda and Dotty recognize it, acknowledge it and decide to participate. It sort of takes his character out of the doghouse a bit.

    I will be one to hold off on episode order discussion until later. But I do like your thoughts, Iwsod. I don’t think Penny would have picked up on anything between Lee and Amanda either. She was going through a grieving process and wouldn’t be focused on that. She never had any direct dealings with Lee specifically and Amanda only mentioned contacting him at one point. At most she might have told Lee to tell Amanda hello or possibly said something to the effect of thanking Amanda for her help. I don’t think she would have even said to send or give Amanda her love. They just didn’t get that close.

    I think Lee used it as an excuse to, as you said, lift that mask a little and make a move forward. They have been easing their way towards one another and maybe he was testing the waters. But I do agree that it’s a bit much and a bit soon. Neither one of them seemed to be at this stage yet, or ready for it yet. I do think Amanda was moving towards Lee in preparation to receive some sort of kiss, light or otherwise.

    Learjet, I understand what you are saying about Lee using someone else as a reason for kissing Amanda, but I still think he wouldn’t have done it unless he knew or felt that she would be accepting of it in some way, so maybe not as big a gamble. He had to know that Amanda would be okay with it. While it’s not a cover kiss in the strictest sense at least he says something up front instead of waiting until after to try to explain it away.

    I spend some time this summer reading quite a bit of fan fiction and there were several that included Princess Penny and the continued correspondence between her and Amanda.

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  10. I found the tag VERY odd. We had no build up and Utopia Now does not make sense if it is after this.Also, even if the order is mixed up, it was a long time till we saw such familiarity between the two. This was a step for a couple familiar with each other, not two colleagues with unresolved/not understood feelings.
    Saying all that, it still bothered me no end that they were cut off. That annoyed me on another level.
    I put it down to careless writing more than careless continuity. It was out of place for more than one reason.

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    • I totally agree janetpc! I do like to think this came after Utopia Now and Lee was taking baby steps
      And ISWOD — Brilliant idea swapping dowdy Penny for the Princess! Forever more, I will go with this versions instead.

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    • Hey Jane! So fab to hear from you!!!!

      I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in the upcoming episodes.. maybe things will make more sense huh.??!!

      You know, it bugs me too – a moment I’ve been waiting for between Lee and Amanda for 3 seasons – and when Lee finally goes in for a kiss? I’m confused!!! too confused to enjoy it! eek!!! Talk about ‘always looking a gift horse in the mouth’ right?!!! 😉

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  11. I love the Princess Penny idea, iwsod! Penny “Dowdy Academy” McNeil doesn’t strike me as sending a kiss to Amanda, but whatever…
    I checked the smk-land script (it’s quite a 2nd Rev Shooting Final) . It doesn’t show much additional dialogue with Penny (and none between Penny and Lee) – but in the tag, Lee says that Penny “made me promise. A hug and a kiss“. I prefer the way it’s implied in the filmed version of the tag.

    Thanks for the slowed down moment when Dotty appears, iwsod – I have rewound this over and over (and over and over) and not been able to see anything, so this is a bonus!

    I actually don’t find this as sudden a near kiss as some might. Although it’s not a cover kiss, it is a kiss on behalf of someone else, not one coming from Lee as Lee (if that makes sense). And so I see this is a move onwards from a cover kiss but less of an emotional gamble for Lee than if he was initiating it himself.

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    • sorry I mean’t to come back to this.. yeah Learjet I agree.. in a way Lee is using the promise as a ‘cover’ even though they are not actually undercover.

      I guess this is a continuation of Lee’s tactic at the end of ALLA no? He asked her to the Opera under the guise of it being errr.. training… and here? He tries for a kiss under a different guise.. but at the same time, regardless of where this tag is positioned – I see a knowing between the two of them here.. that they both know what’s really going on.. and they are both going along with the charade..
      There’s something going on.. and Lee is starting to do things to act on it.. but.. he is not yet willing to admit that is what he is doing.
      It’s all part of the little dance they are doing now! [lol I guess we did get to see them dance together again in the show after all! 🙂 ]
      Am I making sense?? I think it started in ALLA.. but I still feel it’s a big step from Lee to make this move- even if it is under the guise of fulfilling a promise.. (because really it’s a very flimsy premise!I don’ think Amanda really thought it was on behalf of someone else. She just knew Lee was pretending it was 😉 well.. that’s my guess anyway!)
      where does this episode fit if it’s too soon for a near miss kiss like this? I guess I’ll see as I watch the next few episodes..
      Okay byeeee!

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      • I love how you put this, Iwsod, especially the part about the knowing. Usually Lee waits until after the kiss to explain what it all meant and how there was nothing to it. In this instance he and Amanda both seem to be aware that there will be no belated explanations as to what is about to happen. What’s great about Amanda is that she just follows his lead and lets him take his time. She doesn’t push him and knows he has to go at his own speed. As in a dance she is letting him take the lead. I think this was mentioned long ago, but this type of behavior is new for Lee. How many times have we seen women just throw themselves at him? He probably hasn’t had to work hard to get what he wanted. He has learned that Amanda does not react or respond in a way that he is used to. But so many things have been changing for him and most likely that includes what exactly he wants. Amanda is patient and allows him to ease his way into this. She’s an awesome woman.

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