2/15 Season Three, Episode 8: Reach for the Sky-Scarecrow and Mrs King

With trepidation..Lee enters Billy’s office:  Dr. Smyth?
[with a y? and an e?]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000437504Dr. Smyth:  Billy’s gone rogue.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000444044LOL He doesn’t mince words he gets straight into it!!

Lee:  Huh? …
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000444310
…What are you talking about?… [something tells me Dr Smyth is not one for jokes]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000446312
  …He’s been pushing this desk too long.
Dr. Smyth:  He’s a rogue elephant, Stetson.  He’s out there right now thrashing about…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000452719
…He asked me last night if he could go back into the field…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000455055
…I told him no.  N double O no.
[I do love Dr Smyth’s turn of phrase! How about you??]
Lee:  What is this about?
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000460060Dr. Smyth:  About 48 hours before the end of his career…

3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000462062
[Aha!!! The clock is ticking!!!]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000465065…He’s trying to prove somebody killed a banker friend of his, Allan Aghaney…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000468068
  ..Not our business.

Lee:  Allan Aghaney…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000470070
  …Yeah, I’ve heard Billy mention that name before… 
[whahahaha!!! Of course you have!!! Lee just knows everyone!] …The International Bank of New Hebron, right?
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000474074(Dr Smyth lights his cigarette.. hmm obviously not a medical doctor!)
Dr. Smyth:  The same.  Suicide last night.  3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000477077Now here’s my point.  Aghaney’s bank is, was, one of our credit banks.  We use it to move operational funds abroad – small stuff, but covert.  Delicate.  Now the bank president kills himself.  As long as it’s 3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000487087a police matter it’s not our concern.  But we can’t get caught up in it when the bank examiners descend.
Lee:  You said murder before.
Dr. Smyth:  Billy said murder.  He doubts that a man of Aghaney’s character would embezzle funds from a bank he started.
Lee:  What’s the main issue here?  Murder, embezzlement or Billy?

3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000509109[I would have thought the issue is – is it Agency business? I don’t see what the big deal is- the bank was used by the agency, if something is wrong it could be related to the Agency.. then again I’d probably be a lousy agency boss Winking smile]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000510110Dr. Smyth:  Secrets!  Secrets are always the main issue.  I pulled our funds out of that bank this morning.  I’m satisfied we’re not compromised.  That’s it, fini.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000521121Lee:  No!  No, not for Billy.  Not for a friend.
[whooo now this is interesting!! friendship..]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000526126Dr. Smyth:  He let his personal feelings get in front of the Agency’s safety…  [how exactly? How does Billy investigating his friend’s death put agency safety second??]
…The worst thing for a man who knows as many of our secrets as Melrose.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000532532
[Whoa.. on the intensity scale of 0-10 Lee is an 11!!! – Mmmm on the hunky scale too.. but that’s beside the point! focus Iwsod! the clock is ticking!!]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000532932(Dr Smyth heads for the door)
… Can’t let a rogue go long.  He’ll trash everything.
[Is it just me or is this all a little ridiculous?? A bit excessive.. but then they had to justify the set up of this episode somehow.. whatev! Maybe we are to take away that Dr Smyth has extremely low tolerance at the whiff of going rogue Winking smile  ]
Lee:  Well how long will you give him?
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000540140[Ummm he already said Lee 48 hours before the end of his career no?! let me guess- 48 hours?!]
Dr. Smyth:  The book says to do it now.  I should know.  I wrote it…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000547147
[Cue Lee’s ‘you are scum’ look!!! Lee!! Lee!!! this is THE boss.. you don’t want to make it too obvious!! You are actually negotiating for him to show a bit of leniency toward your friend!]
…But I won’t get officially on top of it for 2 days.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000550150So Dr Smyth is actually giving a tiny bit here.. he’s all heart.. not! but 48 hours is better than nothing..
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000551151Lee:
  2 days?  And this is unofficial, no help.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000558158Dr. Smyth:  Don’t involve the Agency.  And we never had this conversation.
Lee:  We never do,
(he quietly adds)
..sir.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000561161
Something tells me Dr Smyth has dealt with far too many cocky young agents with attitude to care what Lee thinks.. Infact, I think he kind of enjoys it when his underlings loathe him! Check out the grin he gives in response.. and a wink!!!
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000562162

So Dr Smyth wrote the book huh.. did he write the book Amanda was studying a moment earlier?? What was it the manual said about disobeying a superior’s order?!  I don’t remember it saying you’ve got 48 hours to explain yourself Winking smile

Dr Smyth winking? Oh Please, don’t ever do that again- only Lee Stetson winks allowed!!
Hmm I would have liked for Mr steering wheel blue leader give Lee this assignment! Oh well.. we do love to hate Dr Smyth.. if he could just not wink anymore, I think I’ll cope!

So when previously have we seen an unofficial investigation? The Mole does immediately come  mind.. and Lee could only rely on Amanda because she wasn’t agency.. that would be the same now wouldn’t it?
When else.. Umm.. Ship of Spies was unofficial- Lee took time off to do his own investigation.. and in Over the Limit Amanda refuses to the police conduct their investigation and she helps Elizabeth Sullivan – why didn’t Billy say Amanda’s gone Rogue??!! whwhhaaa that would have been hilarious Winking smile but then.. I guess part of the issue here is that Billy is such a high up position at the agency – he knows stuff it’s more dangerous that he go rogue? thoughts?
Friendship??? Hmm.. I’ll come back to that later in the episode.

Moving on, here comes Francine..
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000567167Francine:  Ooh!
Whoaa.. Francine is a whirl of activity. Shes attempts to enter the bullpen with a load of
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000569169files-  and drops them.  lol I think she drops them because the cute guard opens the door for her and she’s trying a June Phelps! [I mean that little move of June’s almost got Amanda killed! so if it worked for June maybe Francine will be lucky?! tee heee kidding!!]
Amanda happens along and goes to help.
Amanda:  Here you go Francine, let me give you a hand.
Francine:  No, no, Amanda, please that’s classified information.

3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000571171Amanda:  Francine, I’m not looking at it!
[Francine if they are classified then you shouldn’t have dropped them! Winking smile ]
Francine:  Amanda….
Amanda:  Here you go.

[Francine has no argument.. she’s just trying to put Amanda in her place IMHO- I wonder.. could it be that Francine is embarrassed at having dropped the files like that?!]
Francine:  I am in charge of departmental administration while Billy is out.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000579179Amanda:  Ohhhh.
Francine:  Are you here to sign it?
[I think Francine says ‘are you here on Assignment’- but there’s lots of noise.. what do you all think? I went with BJo’s call]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000580180[rofl all of a sudden Francine is all official and narky.. she suddenly thinks she can lay down the law with Amanda]
Amanda:  Yeah, well Mr. Melrose is going to give me my – where is Mr. Melrose?
Francine:  That is on a need to know basis.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000582182Amanda:  I need to know.
Francine:  Well I don’t need to tell you.
Amanda: Francine.

Francine:  Why he encourages this spy fantasy of yours I really will never fathom…
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000586553(you can see in response to this little zinger Amanda just laughs at her then lets out a big sigh..)
… Look Amanda, why don’t you just check out because we don’t need any superfluous bodies around here now.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000594194[Spy Fantasy?? Superfluous bodies?
whoaaaa here I was thinking this kind of nastiness from Francine was history – okay they are not best buddies.. but I thought Francine was at least accepting of Amanda’s presence.. seems deep down she is not – she just hasn’t expressed it in  while.. Whahahaa!!  Now she has the authority, she’s wanting to push Amanda out and put her back in her place.. I felt she was doing that in Mr Brand – I guess since Mr Brand not that much has happened that Francine would have seen- that could have changed her mind..]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000595195Amanda:  Well….Uh…Hm!
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000596162(Amanda shakes her head and sighs at Francine’s nasty attitude.. she did the same thing in Mr Brand didn’t she?? at the garden party? )
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000599199[Seems to me Amanda finds her so irritating it’s amusing.. does that make sense? She knows  better than to challenge Francine.]

Moving on to a high rise building.. hmm.. are they always baddie hang outs in smk? Especially black ones!! whoooo Darth Vader would love it!!! whooo!!  I can’t remember any friendly high rise buildings can you?! Okay.. it’s an evil high rise!
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000604204[hmm we can see it is ‘broadway plaza’ is there a broadway plaza in DC?]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_0006072073.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000613213
We find a very black and flash looking boardroom.. and a guy talking on the phone.
Love the chunky white laptop!
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000614214
Caanan:  I’m telling you what you did wrong, Zorbel.  You acted very foolishly and impetuously… (who talks like that?!) …No, no we have no confidence in you at all.  You could have handled this in any number of ways.  Death always raises the most annoying questions… [Most annoying! though not as annoying as this guy’s dialogue!]
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000636236
…Enough!  This is an open line.  Come over.  I don’t intend for you to jeopardize the whole operation.
He hangs up on Zorbel and tosses the die with only 1’s on every side down on to his table..
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_000644244His name is Canaan? BJo has looked it up-thanks BJo!  Interesting.. Canaan and New Hebron.. hmmm..
Please tell me that is not suppose to be an Australian accent!!!At times it sounds cockney..  it’s weird!

What do you think of Canaan’s accent? Okay everyone.. I shall stop here for the moment.. What do you think of Francine?? Had you been lulled into a false sense of security like me? Do you think Amanda had?? haaaaa! And what do you think of Dr Smyth’s introduction?! Can’t wait to hear from you.. byee!

52 responses to “2/15 Season Three, Episode 8: Reach for the Sky-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. For some reason, I remember my thoughts here in RFTS as Mr. Smyth is first seen. First thought – there’s something about this guy I don’t like – especially since he makes Lee so uncomfortable. Lee is rushing Amanda out as if he doesn’t want them to connect or as if this guy is trouble. Second thought – how dare he get mad at Billy. Third thought – okay, so he’s giving Lee some time to help Billy. Is that good or bad? Could be good – he’s willing to help Billy by letting Lee help. Maybe he actually likes Billy and wants him to have a chance to work this out. Could be bad – he doesn’t like Billy and is planning for Lee to take Billy out if he doesn’t work this out.

    Francine loves being “large and in charge.” It’s not so much that she still doesn’t like Amanda, but that she would never have come so far if Francine had been in charge to start with – Francine would never encourage a “civilian” to get so involved. Francine is still a little frustrated that she had to work so hard to get where she is now, and Amanda has basically eased in to the Agency. (I see Francine as having not had the support system Amanda has had, and is a little envious in that.)

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  2. Of all the new characters that have been introduced this season, besides Buck, Dr. Smyth seems to have generated the most discussion. I agree with some comments that there needed to be some new blood in the mix to sort of change the balance and the status quo. I think that his presence lends itself to reviewing the development of the established characters and where we see them and where they are going.

    There are a few little things we see or learn about Dr. Smyth in just the way that he surreptitiously appears and in Lee’s reaction to him. I mentioned that I thought he was smarmy, but I also think that he is a bit enigmatic. Either he has keys or he picked the locked door to Billy’s office. I wonder if he possibly started as an agent himself. We know that Billy did and so did Harry. He’s obviously has quite a bit of power in that he was able to move the Agency’s financial assets from the bank. He wrote the book, enforces it, and can dictate how it’s followed. Smyth and Lee have obviously had other interactions with one another. Dr. Smyth seems to be someone you don’t take very lightly. Sorry if I’ve repeated anything anyone else has said.

    It would be interesting to eventually do a comparison of the leadership styles of Billy, Smyth, Dirk, and any others we’ve seen throughout this series.

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  3. “…I told him no. N double O no.”
    So he told him noo, rhymes with moo (Dr Smyth being so poetical and rhymey)???

    “… Can’t let a rogue go long.”
    If the rogue (elephant) is going long, does that mean that the elephant is playing (American) football or is he playing the stock/trading markets??? Either way, it’s not very elephant-ish…

    “The book says to do it now. I should know. I wrote it…”
    If he writes the way he speaks, I pity the trainee agents having to wade through The Book… 😦

    Meh–Francine put on her size 50 b*tchy pants while filling in for Billy. Moo!!! Who’s the rogue elephant now, trying to kick Amanda out?

    My two cents re: Canaan’s accent? He’s all over the place; a Cockney Aussie South African. :p

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    • stock/money markets…

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    • what did Dr Smyth mean by letting Billy go.. I mean what would they do to Billy after 48 hours? ‘the end of his career’ hmmm – whoooo does that mean he’d get a burn notice?!

      Whahahahaah Francine the rogue elephant.. genius!!

      I agree KC, the accent is all over the place.. I read on IMDB the actor is cockney.. maybe he’s well travelled 😉

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    • Okay, I had to check out the actor who played Canaan. Seems he is one MIchael Preston was born in 1938 in Hackney, London, England. His accent is unusual – not like the sort of cockney accents of Arthur Daley or Terry in Minder. Anyone from the UK want to clarify for us?
      So… not an Aussie… darn…. I guess I need to eat some humble pie Iwsod. 😳 But… I can still easily imagine him as an Aussie, so I will. >:D (Sorry Iwsod)
      We didn’t get to see many (any?) Aussies in SMK so I like for my imagination to add some variety to the characters we see.

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    • So Canaan’s not a Kiwi American 😉 It seems that KC’s ear for detail is as good as her eye for detail. As I’ve lived in all 3 countries that you mentioned, KC, I listened carefully and the conclusion is mainly Cockney, but some words sound Aussie and there’s a bizarre occasional twinge of Afrikaans South African.
      And to add to kiwismh’s comments: I see that, although Michael Preston was born in Hackney, he emigrated to Australia – I think in the 1960s to Victoria. So this probably explains his not-quite-right accent.

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      • I agree he does at moments sound Australian.. and then suddenly he doesn’t! I was thinking south African and cockney.. and maybe a bit of a Bostonian accent sometimes- which with some words sounds very similar to Australian.
        Now I think about it, it’s kinda cool we can’t pinpoint where Canaan is from.. he is an international baddie of mystery 😉

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  4. I’m with you, Valerie. Smarmy is an apt description. Even though he seems to be on Billy’s side, he still gives me the creeps.

    Ah, Francine…still holding a grudge against Amanda for the weight you gained after you snarfed down that box of chocolates she gave you, huh? Let it go, dear. Just put on those little running shoes of yours and it will be off in a flash. 😉

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    • Hey 2goldens.. I don’t know anything about a box of chocolates.. hmm.. This might be a spoiler – eek!!! don’t tell me anymore!!!
      Guess I have this to look forward to – I don’t watch ahead of where I am blogging so I can keep straight in my head where we are up to in the story and forget about what’s ahead – or I’d be jumbling up everything!

      I think a few people here have chosen to do this (or sort of do this). Am I right about this?? or mistaken?

      I agree 2 goldens and Valerie – Smarmy is the perfect word for Dr Smyth.. I don’t think he is on Billy’s side.. it wouldn’t take much to turn him against you I think..

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      • I agree, it wouldn’t take much for Smyth to turn against you, he has no attachments or sentimentality. He is an Agency machine, he is The Agency machine, he wrote the book after all..

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        • For some reason Dr. Smyth just seems more evil or dark than his predecessors, Dirk and the other one in TLCEve. I think it’s his use of hyperbole perhaps? It’s funny on one hand, but on the other it’s quite annoying. I like for people to say what they mean and mean what they say. Lee seems to be used to it and has some familiarity with Dr. Smyth though. I always thought Dr. Smyth was levels above or maybe just more powerful than the other big bosses we’ve seen – except perhaps for Blue Leader. Although maybe Blue Leader is gone and Smyth is his replacement?

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          • I agree BJo, Dr Smyth does have a more dark feel that the other bosses you mentioned..
            I think it’s because of the way Lee reacted to discovering his presence – Lee was freaking out!!! This guy is serious business.. we’ve seen Lee come up against very scary people – and he hasn’t shown the kind of fear he showed when he was surprised by Dr Smyth in the bullpen! 🙂
            A clever way for the writers to set the scene – I’m convinced just by Lee’s reaction – Dr Smyth is scary!! Friend or Foe?? He’s agency and typically a friend.. but.. I am thinking he is more of a Foe!
            I always wondered why Harry V Thornton was not involved in this at all.. and what does he make of Dr Smyth? seems he disappears until he is next on scene.. hmm maybe he is busy behind the iron curtain!!!
            Okay now I’m rambling.. bye!

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            • Smyth is Head of Covert Operations. It’s not surprising he is more “dark” than some others who we have seen in authority.
              I get the feeling that Blue Leader is the highest in the chain of command, and closely linked with the President. Maybe BL is the VP? Or someone else very closely connected with the White House, who is the direct link between the Agency hierarchy and the WH.

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              • I agree kiwismh.. Dr Smyth is use to living in the shadows.. or make that the smoke from his cigarettes 😉

                having a blank moment.. BL? who is BL? oh wait.. it finally clicked Blue Leader! tee heee.. Blue leader could be defence secretary..maybe? or.. the head of Fox news or CNN.. whhahahaah take your pic 😉

                I am not thinking at all of future episodes – are you guys finding this easy to do? I’ve completely blanked on what we might learn about DR Smyth in future..Now I am glad I haven’t watched season 3 or 4 episodes in years – so I can just relish them now all fresh and interesting as we walk through them!
                Who here thinks I am nuts?! (in general?! tee hee.. or with walking through and forgetting what’s ahead 😉 )
                Who here is also now holding off watching season 3 at least?? now we are up to Reach for the sky?
                Anyone not doing this and thinking of starting?

                I don’t think I could write the walk and keep it all straight in my head if I hadn’t stopped watching it! lol..
                I’m looking forward to trying to figure out this Dr Smyth mystery with you all!
                guess I better get the next post finished.. byee!

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                • Dr. Smyth seems intended to be an ambiguous character — I’m not sure whether to think he has a heart, or not. He definitely has a somewhat repulsive manner, but why did he tell Lee about Billy at all? There was no need. As the conversation progresses, it seems that he is giving Lee the opportunity — knowing he’ll take it — to do something about saving Billy’s career. Or maybe he’s just taking advantage of Lee’s concern for Billy to try to get Billy back before he has the chance to give away any secrets. But surely, in that case he wouldn’t hesitate to scuttle Billy’s career immediately.

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                  • I commented in reply to raffie about these sorts of questions happycamper,I was pondering this too….( see further down on same page) – I wondered if it was because it would be hard to replace Billy – lots of paperwork..haaa so give him 48 hours -at no great cost to Dr Smyth because Lee will do all the work..that’s what I’ve settled on as an understanding of Dr Smyth here.

                    I don’t think 48 hours is a big deal- Billy is trying to solve a friend’s murder, not selling secrets to the soviets.. well this is just my ideas – but I see no harm in giving Lee 48 hours to save Billy.. and plenty of advantages for Dr Smyth to hold off in ending Billy’s career- I tend not to put it down to Dr Smyth caring at all for Billy – holding off for 48 hours IMHO was pure pragmatism.

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                • It will be interesting to see what sort of person Smyth turns out to be. The cigarette gadget appears to be suggest he might be someone who could be vain or perhaps a bit eccentric? I seem to remember this was a popular gadget for women but not so much for men – does this suggest something else about Smyth?
                  His phraseology is also slightly odd – perhaps another pointer to eccentricity. Or maybe typical of someone who’s been immersed in the rarefied atmosphere of the spy business and covert operations for just too long and just doesn’t know how to communicate normally any more.

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                  • You know kiwismh I fleetingly had that thought too..but it was the way he winked that made me wonder… lol!
                    How did 80s television hint at someone’s sexual orientation?? I was young back then and it all went over my head!
                    err not that I’m saying Dr Smyth is anything other than an asexual humanoid.. whahaahhaaa..
                    But it’s fun to explore this.. Maybe this is part of the suspense they are trying to create – Dr Smyth is very ‘ambiguous’- in many ways!!!

                    I’ll looking forward to discovering him again. Can’t remember much about him!

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            • I wonder if part of Lee’s freak out was that his presence in the bullpen would indicate that something pretty serious was going on, Billy’s absence must have a greater significance if Smyth showed up and in such a covert manner. Until Lee knows what is going on he would want to protect Amanda from that.
              I agree Smyth is darker

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      • Iwsod, that came from the little-known second season SMK/Forrest Gump crossover episode. 2Goldens pathetic attempt to save face after her major DOH! moment.

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  5. Billy’s gone rogue! Whahahaha! That just cracks me up! But only Dr. Smyth(e) 😉 could say it seriously.
    And he’s a thrashing rogue elephant?? Just what does that look like? How does an elephant thrash? Ahhh, ya gotta love Dr. Smyth. And I do! Except of course when I hate him.

    Iwsod…you and those d%#* clock puns! LOL!

    Lee’s calling Billy a friend doesn’t stick out to me. I don’t know why. It just seems like it’s right. I think Doc Smyth thinks that if Billy wasn’t friends with Allan he wouldn’t have gone thrashing about like a rogue elephant. That he’d be there giving Amanda her test. Because Billy is an Agency boss (apparently he knows more secrets than Lee because Lee can go out and about) he shouldn’t be out there without protection or back-up to prevent getting captured and tortured for information maybe?

    Okay, question for you smokers or relative of smokers out there – just what exactly is that thing called that Doc Smyth has his cigarette in? And why would one use one? It is an uppity thing? Like something Francine would use if she smoked? That bugs me the most so far about Doc Smyth.

    Dr. Smyth must be Billy’s boss then I take it. Or a boss’ boss? I get the feeling that he’s in a powerful enough position to make up his own rules and not get in trouble as long as nobody important gets hurt or the country isn’t too embarrassed. Is that hubris? He certainly thinks Lee is a lowly agent – a highly trained grunt.

    Oops, apparently I transcribed incorrectly? What I typed makes no sense – what you think Francine says makes much more sense, iwsod! I’d check but I don’t have time right now. I wonder why I thought Francine said that? Doh!

    Well, Francine sure is in a snit this morning! She hasn’t been this witchy to Amanda’s face in a while hasn’t she? I’m guessing she’s not liking Amanda’s professional trajectory and would probably just love to quash Amanda’s path since Billy’s not around. Francine must be pretty stressed. Has she been in charge before when Billy was out or is this the first time? I think Amanda’s reaction is like yours…I think she’s thinking that she thought she was past those types of remarks from Francine.

    Broadway Plaza in DC? I don’t think so, but I didn’t check. Maybe in Virginia. And that building looks too tall to be in DC. Pretty sure there’s still nothing like that within D.C.

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    • I have this weird image in my head of Billy ‘thrashing’ his way through a dense African forest, cutting away the bush with a panga in his trunk…Apparently a rogue elephant is an actual phrase: “a vicious elephant that separates from the herd and roams alone” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I thought the writers just slapped two words together. I wouldn’t have called Billy “vicious” even on a bad day…

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      • Actually, I gather a rogue elephant can be very destructive and dangerous. It is usually a young male elephant that has left the herd. For some reason the male elephants need to be lead by an older male or be part of a herd of females. A male elephant on his own is a terrifying thing.
        Hmm… Billy is the least rogue male character in the series, I think. So this is misplaced. But Lee or Dr. Smyth? There is a power struggle there, I think.

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        • Aye! I figured the rogue elephant thing was just some sort of mumbo jumbo and not necessarily a real thing! Thanks, morley and learjet for looking it up. Whodathunkit?

          I think what we’ve seen of Billy so far does give the impression he is Mr. Bythebook. But I do think he has his limits. He also gives Lee a pretty long leash, I think, and is willing to do things a little unconventionally in the right circumstances (like giving assignments to untrained part-time civilian housewives as long as they are working with Lee).

          I think Billy takes things in, thinks about things, considers his options, then formulates a plan. That is his job. He is quiet and pretty steady about it – and doesn’t flap too easily. When do we ever see him lose his cool? Have we? He let a lot of emotion show in CWars w/regard to the Swedish Meatball. It was all for show in BOut. He did get miffed at Lee in WOTSTW, but that was appropriate for the boss. When it comes to Billy, I tend to think of the idea that it’s the quiet ones you need to worry about.

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        • I think “rogue elephant” is very telling of Dr. Smyth’s view of the Agency. He wants all his men (and, probably grudgingly, women) to be an organized herd, marching in step, following the leader, strong, obedient, predictable, all for one and one for all. For Billy to take matters into his own hands makes him dangerous to the Agency. It’s actually a lovely and ironic description, isn’t it, because it seems so inappropriate applied to Billy, yet portrays a great image of how Dr. Smyth’s mind is working.

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      • Thanks learjet that adds new meaning to the language here.. I love it!

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      • Learjet5’s definition got me to thinking today … maybe the “rogue elephant” comment was to give us some insight into Billy the field agent – who he was and how he handled himself, and the job, as a young, energetic, enthusiastic agent; before he was saddled with the desk and the responsibilities that come with it. He is always the level-headed, rational one, but was he always like that or is the reason he understands Scarecrow so well is because he use to be him???

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    • Reading this comment about Francine made me think. In many episodes, especially recent ones, SG the most recent, Francine has been overlooked in deference to Amanda. Yet she is the trained operative, is she Billy’s assistant? It appears here that she is next in line for department head if Billy is unable to do his job. I think here, in this scene, she is finally feeling as though her worth is justified. Amanda is properly being put in her place, as far as Francine is concerned. We will see what happens…. Fantasy? How much of this in Amanda’s life is still in the realm of fantasy, I wonder?

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    • It is a cigarette holder and it is to stop you from getting tar stains on your hands and lips. And it is an uppity thing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_holder

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  6. I love how they’ve introduced the Dr. Smyth character here. Earlier it was noted that he speaks ambiguously but that extends to his whole character. Just when you want to hate him, you realize he’s being a good guy. I wonder if you can reach the highest positions in the Agency only if you are covert and ambiguous and … well, basically it seems he has incorporated the unpleasant job requirements of being an agent into his entire personality.

    I definitely agree with the previous comments about Francine, especially the point that stress is likely honing her present contempt towards amateur Amanda. I’ll add that her behavior made me think of two siblings. They behave themselves when dad is around, but when the naughty one is in trouble and dad isn’t around, the other gets picked on. I;m glad Amanda didn’t engage! (I’ll note that the naughty kid can be perfectly kind and civil and even loving and supportive when there is nothing to compete over. Common family dynamic!)

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    • Same here Raffie! Dr Smyth adds a bit of suspense and drama.. he is a good guy – but his idea of good may not agree with ours or Lee’s or Amanda’s.. Dr Smyth won’t hesitate to throw his book at Billy in 48 hours – he is ruthless. I think he’s given Lee the 48 hours to avoid the paperwork and hassle of finding a new section chief whahaahhaah!!! Rather than any loyalty or care for Billy..

      They needed to introduce someone like this into the show now – because Francine (while at times narky) is no threat to Amanda – not with Lee and Billy so on board with Amanda nowadays.. What would dr Smyth think of Amanda? nada!!!! He even thinks that Lee is a lowlife.. what would he make of an untrained housewife?!!! less than nada! 😉

      It adds some tension to the storyline – which would have been completely lacking without him.
      I think he adds a lot!

      rofl.. Francine the naughty kid- I love it!!! Family dynamic is so true.. and papa bear has gone rogue!!!

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    • There’s something compelling about Dr Smyth – he’s both repellant, but also pulls you in.I’m wondering if, now that Lee has ‘grown up’ a bit, and Billy is showing his loyal side (the rogue elephant rushing to aid of a friend), even Francine is showing her human side more often, if Dr Smyth has been introduced so we have a ‘nasty’ good guy to ‘hate’?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Melissa Robertson

    Haha…I finally get your ? of Smyth with a y and e…ROTP when Amanda told the night clerk that it was Smith with a y and an e…it takes me a while 😉

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  8. “He’s a rogue elephant, Stetson. He’s out there right now thrashing about…”. 🙄
    Do they think about what they’re saying??

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  9. Francine’s behavior here is something I’ve seen many times — it’s what happens when a person finds themself in an authority position. As Melissa said, it’s going to her head. Being in a position of authority is a make-or-break for most people. Either they develop true leadership qualities, or they try to look like leaders by lording it over their subordinates.

    I was intrigued by Lee’s remark in response to Dr. Smythe’s “We never had this conversation”. “We never do — sir”. That makes it seem like similar things have happened before. Besides that, it was a great comeback. Speaking of comebacks, the exchange between Francine and Amanda is pretty good too: “I need to know” “I don’t need to tell you”.

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    • My take on Francine’s snarkiness is that not only has the temporary (we hope) promotion made her less careful and caring of her comments to Amanda, I think it also stems from jealousy. She knows that Amanda is quite competent and is advancing rapidly in terms of her abilities and professionalism. I think Francine is feeling a wee bit threatened by the “frumpy housewife”.

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      • Maybe I’m feeling charitable today but I see Francine’s response as that of someone who is a bit overwhelmed by sudden new responsibility and is lashing out because she’s feeling a bit out of her depth. Also a common sight in the workplace…

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        • Maybe.. Francine dropping the classified files would not have helped!

          Though really – I think you have all come up with great very possible explanations for Francine..
          Maybe we’ll be able to narrow things down a bit as the episode plays out..

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    • I don’t think we have ever really seen Lee yielding to authority quite like that, except when he was talking to his steering wheel.

      I do find it interesting that they have introduced Smyth at this point in lee’s development. If I apply how I think the title illustrates what Lee is doing personally (surrendering and reaching for a new goal) and think about the Smyth character it become interesting to me. Smyth seems to me to be a backdrop to illustrate the choice Lee is making and how his character would take shape further down the road if he hadn’t made those choices. I do find it interesting that Lee mentions friendship in this conversation. Lee has learned the value of it. Maybe he is applying what he learned from Amanda (UN). I wonder if Dr. Smyth ever had anyone to teach him those lessons?

      Lee’s remark about Amanda acing the test is very different than Francine’s remarks to Amanda here. Amanda doesn’t really react to either rather strongly, does she? She seems to have a pretty good sense of herself now and isn’t too affected by how others view her. Although I would bet she liked Lee’s comments…

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  10. Dr. Smyth…I just don’t know. He seems so smarmy. They always makes these higher ups so annoying. Dirk was no picnic either. At least he’s giving the 48 hours. I’m going to take that as something redeeming about his character. I’m also going to look at it as a good thing that he at least trusts Lee enough to give him this assignment and has some faith in Lee’s capabilities to figure everything out. He’s like a good cop/bad cop all within himself. His by-the-book attitude makes him a definite foil for Lee who takes pride in ignoring the book.

    Francine seems to be her snarkiest with Amanda when neither Lee or Billy are around as a buffer zone. Francine knows quite well by now what Billy thinks of Amanda and I think she’s getting the hint about where Lee’s loyalties are these days. I also think that since she’s got that handful of files she is already in a snit about all the work she’s going to have to do without Billy present. Her hands are literally and figuratively full at the moment and seeing as she is not an Amanda fan she is lashing out at her. This is how I’m going to reconcile it in my head. I’ve been trying to understand Francine and give her the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes she really gets on my nerves.

    I like how Canaan tells Zorbel that he has no confidence in him at all. He’s being pretty frank and pulling no punches. A lackey has got to learn.

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  11. Well, colour me surprised – an Aussie bad guy. Who’d have thunk it. 😉
    (A certain underarm bowling incident in a 1981 NZ v Aussie cricket match comes to mind – I shall post the video somewhere over at Ned’s if anyone wants to see how dastardly an Aussie can be. We shall never forget!)
    Sounds like an Aussie to me Iwsod. 😉
    (All kidding aside, I think this guy is actually an Australian actor.)
    I think baddies with English or Aussie accents seems 10 times as bad as US accented baddies.
    I already think this guy’s headed for the Seriously bad baddie awards at the end of the Season. He sounds like a reasonably intelligent, no nonsense baddie to me so far.

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  12. Melissa Robertson

    Oooooh, Dr. Smyth I really do like his character…he’s the good guy you just have to dislike 🙂 I like it that he just shows up out of the blue and I like his ambiguous way of speaking.

    Francine!!! What can you say, but that she is being Francine. I think that she had toned down her dislike for Amanda because Lee and Billy are really big advocates for her. Now that she is acting administrator she feels that she can really tell Amanda how she feels…Francine is letting the authority go to her head! Superfluous…my daughter has that in vocabulary this week and it made this episode come to mind 🙂

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    • I like Smyths character too. He’s not very likeable in many ways but then he has a job to do and he is accountable. A rogue agent could do considerable damage very quickly, so I understand the need to get rid of such an agent one way or the other as quickly as possible.
      The fact that Smyth is giving Lee a window of 48 hours to see what he can find out shows that Smyth is willing to bend the rule book that he wrote, so that makes him a more interesting character.

      Like

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