12/15 Season Three, Episode 8: Reach for the Sky-Scarecrow and Mrs King

The sun is still shining.. it looks like Lee, Billy and Amanda have left the evil high rise and Amanda is talking to Dotty on a public phone outside the high rise.
Amanda:  No, mother, we’ve been working all night and we’re only halfway through the editing.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002310577
(in the background we can see Lee and Billy talking)
Dotty:  Do you know what time it is, Amanda?  It’s morning. [me confused..Umm.. So it’s morning.. Are we in the arctic circle where the sun never sets??!!? I’ve not seen the sun set.. Have you??  and I don’t think Lee and Amanda were on the hidden floor for that long!]
Amanda:  Are you kidding?  Is it already light outside?
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002311911
(We see Lee here turn to look at Amanda)
[I think this is Amanda trying to sell that she is in the office hard at work. Do you think this is right?
Whereas me?? I’m totally surprised to hear it’s morning.. because I didn’t know it was night time yet!]
Dotty:  What are you doing?  Standing on a street corner?
Amanda:  Uh, no mother, that’s not traffic.  Those are sounds effects.

[Go Amanda!! while it’s a little sad to see that Amanda has to lie to Dotty, it’s progress to see that Amanda has accepted this  professional reality – she is going to have to lie to her family sometimes. And.. she manages to pull it off]
Dotty:  Well what about the play?
[That blasted play.. enough already! Winking smile ]
Amanda: Yes, mo –
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002317517Dotty:  Do you have any idea about the play?
Amanda:  No, mother, Jamie’s play isn’t until tonight.  I’m not going to miss it.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002319386[Yes- based on the last phone conversation – even if there has indeed been a night that has passed, the play should be tonight!]
Dotty:  Amanda (exasperated),
the play was last night.  Beard and all.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002323123[This makes no sense to me.. and never has.. In the first phone conversation which was supposedly yesterday Amanda said on the phone to Dotty: ‘Yes, I’m going to work late tonight and then I won’t have to work late tomorrow night.’-  and Dotty didn’t say noooo you can’t work late tonight because the play is tonight. Dotty didn’t say anything when Amanda said this!! So for me this doesn’t make sense twice!]
If what Amanda said in the first conversation was correct, there’s been two nights that have passed.. lol..
Oh wait!! Noooo I get it!!! that mysterious hidden floor was actually a rip in the time/space continuum!!! They’ve jumped ahead two days!! Winking smile Yep.. that’s it!]
Amanda:  I missed Rip Van Winkle?
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002326593Dotty:  Yes, you did.  Where have you been?  When are you coming home?
Amanda:  Oh, mother, please tell Jamie I’m so sor- listen, never mind.  I’ll tell him when I get home.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002331398
[Heck yeah.. you can speak for yourself you certainly don’t want Dotty speaking for you]
Dotty:  You better.  He’s not going to like it.
[‘You better’?! That sort of talk makes me mad. How dare Dotty talk to Amanda like that.]
Amanda:  Yes, mother.  It won’t be too much longer.
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002332732Dotty:  I hope not. 
[or you are a baaaad mother!]
Amanda:  Alright, mother.  I love you too.  Bye bye. (Amanda hangs up and lets out a big sigh)
3.08 REACH FOR THE SKY.avi_002340206Hmm well at least Dotty said I love you. I guess!
I can see that the writers are trying to make some kind of a point here about Amanda and the sacrifices she will make in her life to pursue this career- and the sacrifice she has made here specifically out of loyalty to her friend Billy, and to help her friend Lee also. (IMHO) I really like the idea.. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this everyone!

I think the motherhood/sacrifice idea is a very interesting area of Amanda’s life which seems to have been forgotten since season two (maybe even season one- Dotty was pretty easy going in season two no?). It was only natural that Amanda would struggle to balance the needs of her family with the demands of her work – and her own needs. It also seems appropriate that now Amanda is truly owning her professional life this would come up.

But for me- I have issues with how this is portrayed.
At the end of Utopia Now.. Dotty’s fussing and worrying over Amanda and now this it all seems a big mess and to me this story has not been told well. Even if I switch the order of the episodes I still can’t hear Dotty talking to Amanda the way she does here. ‘you better!’ eh?!  It makes Dotty suddenly a nasty character – and this has never been Dotty’s approach to her daughter..

I wondered if there were some last minute re-writes here because it seems we only get Dotty on the phone in this episode – we never see her or the boys. Was there a scene in the script which makes better sense of all this?? Dotty’s attitude?? the timing of the play and finding Billy? of when night falls?? For me it’s all a big dog’s breakfast. So I don’t tend to focus on this element of the story in this or Utopia Now.. for me it doesn’t work. It could have been great..but this is probably one of the main reasons I’ve never really warmed to this episode as a whole – it doesn’t fit together and is a mess!

I see two writers worked on this episode.. neither of which ever wrote another smk episode.. Hmm.. I think something very strange was going on!
Maybe in future episodes they’ll develop this story of Amanda spending more time at work and less with family better and further..? I hope so.. we’ll see..
Sorry if you are enjoying this subplot of Dotty and family in this ep just ignore me if you are! Feel free to tell us all how you enjoy it Smile I mean I know I’ve had a few gripes about this show I love in the last few posts! eek!! My vague recollection of season 3 is this ep was a bit of a low point..

Sooo  – what do you make of this whole scene?? Am I completely mistaken about the timing?? me confused!!
How do you find Dotty on the phone in this episode? Any one got insights from the script? byeee for now!!!

25 responses to “12/15 Season Three, Episode 8: Reach for the Sky-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Aie.. just clicking on the link and finding this is the random post??!!! gives me a headache..

    I must say that these days,now we have moved beyond this stage of the show – I agree much more with BJo than I did initially.. I now see this phone conversation as a bit of a last straw for Dotty.. so no wonder it’s not in character..

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  2. Pingback: Just Walk With Me- through a Random Blog Post! | "Just walk with me.."

  3. I haven’t read anybody else’s comments yet, so hopefully I’m not repeating here. But I must say that this scene is one of the reasons why I like this episode. I love that Amanda misses her son’s play that she made the costume for, and she doesn’t even realize it until after the fact. I think this has never happened before and Dotty is pretty unhappy about it. Something like this had to happen sometime. We’ve really only seen funny bits about Dotty not believing Amanda or accusing her of lying, but nothing like this.

    There were discussions on previous posts in this episode that talked about how we never really see anything too gruesome in terms of blood (with a couple of rare exceptions – falling burning body parts in OTL comes to mind) and how Lee’s butt-whooping from Daisy was pretty silly. But here, we get to see a big dose of reality for Amanda.

    I don’t remember seeing this for the first time when I was a teenager, and I’m sure that even if I did, I wouldn’t have thought much of this scene except to be confused by the timeline. But as an adult mom, I love and appreciate Amanda’s situation here. She has forgotten Jamie’s play. She was so wrapped up in her work that she forgot. This has got to devastate her. She doesn’t dwell on it in this scene, all she does is give herself a silent reprimand, but you know at some point she had a good talk with herself and with Jamie. I also wonder if and for how long Dotty was “frosty” with her when she got home.

    This is reality and I think a necessary component of the show as Amanda progresses in her professional role. She has to grapple with the work/life balance just like all of us do, whether we have kids or not. I’m glad we don’t see a lot of this in the show, it isn’t the focus, but I especially like that we see a little of it.

    Because I love this little side-plot, I can gloss over the whole timeline thing not working. That’s far less important to me. I also don’t mind Dotty getting a bit ticked with Amanda on the phone here. Dotty had to have been pretty worried when Amanda didn’t show up for the play. She obviously had no way of getting hold of her. After her “disappearance” in UN, Dotty’s got to be pretty frustrated with her daughter. She’s got to be wondering what the heck is going on. Now that I think about it, Dotty is almost too nice with her. I might have had a few choice words for Amanda myself if I were in Dotty’s shoes. My guess is that after Amanda had her little talk with Jamie, Dotty and Amanda had a little talk as well.

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  4. I got so confused by the whole timeframe of things when I first watched this. IF the writers are trying to make some deep, profound, moving point about the conflicts and sacrifices in Amanda’s life, the effect would have been much better if it had been attached to something that made sense.

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  5. I agree with both Learjet and Morley … to miss a kid’s school play is totally out of character for Amanda, and it could only have happened if something incredibly important to Amanda had gotten in the way. I like the observation about how Lee is watching Amanda and trying to read her body language. I can only hope that, in having this happen, the writers are setting us up for a touching closing moment where Amanda confides in Lee her grief and guilt over missing Jamie’s play, and Lee consoles her gently and sincerely and affectionately. Since I don’t remember the tag for this one, I couldn’t jump ahead even if I wanted to, but the fact that the tag is unmemorable for me is probably telling in itself.

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  6. This scene is completely confusing, even I can not do enough stretching and mental gymnastics to make it work. The script is helpful in terms of figuring out what they were trying to do. I could see Amanda missing that her boys were in at this point in her career and relationships if she got caught up in an intense moment. I could see this circumstance with Billy that way. I don’t see something like that as neglectful if it happened once. I think it is a symptom of all of the different aspects that a woman operates in. As much as we would want to be on the ball in every different capacity, sometimes there isn’t enough time in a day or memory space in a brain. It just happens.
    What I do see, though, whenever I hear these conversations is that Buck’s comments to Dotty in UN have gotten under her skin. Dotty is aggravated with Amanda. Maybe it is because Amanda isn’t being honest, maybe she is starting to question if she knows Amanda the way she thinks she does. Doubt can creep into any relationship. I am not sure if this is ever resolved or developed. But that is what I think about when I hear these telephone conversations.
    I like the way Lee looks at her as she is on the phone. He is paying attention to her as well as Billy and the case, and I bet he is reading her body language here

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    • All sounds great to me.. I’ve discussed a bit of Dotty in SG/UN and now here in the final post – so I’ll hold off adding to this for now..

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    • Like what you say here, Morley. I can’t fully explain why without getting ahead of our walk, hopefully I’ll remember to comment more in the future on this topic! But as someone who tends to worry a little when people are late and don’t let you know, and as someone who has a bit of a temper, I can relate to Dotty here. I think her behavior here may seem out of character to some, but I don’t wonder if she has finally blown a gasket here and it took Amanda doing something so incredibly un-Amanda like to get her to reach this point.

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      • Hey Bjo, did you eventually explain yourself?! 🙂 do you even remember what this was about? lol!

        I think her behavior here may seem out of character to some, but I don’t wonder if she has finally blown a gasket here and it took Amanda doing something so incredibly un-Amanda like to get her to reach this point.

        At this point [now I’ve walked through all the eps up to Wrong Number] – I’m agreeing with you now! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahaha – I don’t think I did! And I don’t really remember what I was even thinking when I typed that comment. But I like that you’re agreeing with me 😉

          My life has been hijacked by the crazy train again, and I don’t see much let up for the next month or so. I hope to pop on to the blog here and there to comment, but can’t say I’ll be around with any regularity 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  7. More out of character silliness, like A Class Act–but not so egregious. Too bad Princess Penny wasn’t around to whisk Amanda out of there to see Rip van Winkle…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a couple of problems with this: firstly the concert last night/tomorrow night issue, and secondly I don’t think it’s in Amanda’s personality to ever miss her child’s concert, unless she and Lee were captured. She just wouldn’t get that kind of detail wrong.
    I think SMK actually was the kind of show that had the capacity to explore the working mother issue in depth (especially the part-term worker trying to still be a full-time mother conflict). Evidently, the writers are trying to use Dotty to not-very-subtly bring this issue to the fore. But the Dotty device doesn’t work and the Amanda-not-being-true-to-her-character doesn’t work either.

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  9. Here is the scripted version which might explain some of the day/night weirdness that’s going on here.
    I wish in this case they had stuck with the scripted version – hey, at least we know (or can guess) where Amanda spent the night…
    Here’s the scripted version. Location is Lee’s apartment, at night.
    Wh-hoooo! 😀 Oh, no, Billy’s there too – way to kill the mood Billy. :/
    FADE IN
    LEE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
    INT. APARTMENT
    Billy and Lee are in a hushed discussion over a group of pictures at the dining room table. Lee is making some sketches on an art board. Amanda’s on the phone.
    AMANDA (into phone) ; That’s right, Mother… we’ve only finished half of the editing
    (beat)
    I know it’s two in the morning but it’s got to be finished. That’s how show biz…
    (beat)
    Mother, Jamie’s play is tomorrow night, I’ll be there.
    (beat)
    No, no, don’t wait up. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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  10. I like your theory about the rip in the fabric of space/time because otherwise this makes no sense to me either. I wonder if the reference to Rip Van Winkle was deliberate — I don’t know much about the story other than Rip slept for a very long time and awoke to find he had miss a bunch of life while he was out.

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    • did he??!!!! that might explain a lot about the upcoming action finale!! 🙂

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    • I had my 7th and 8th graders read this for Literature class when we also read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Rip Van Winkle starts before the Revolutionary War. Rip is liked by the people in the village in which he lives and he is well-like by the children as he tells them stories and gives them toys. However, he does not take care of his own home and it falls into disrepair. His wife nags him about his idleness. To avoid her one day he wanders into the area mountains, meets some men playing a game and drinks what they offer him. He falls asleep for 20 years and when he awakes the war has occurred and Washington is president. His wife has died and his children are grown. Life has changed and he must adapt to that change.

      The nagging makes me think of Dotty in this instance. She has really been giving Amanda the flux. Poor Amanda has to be feeling pulled in several directions. I hate to think they were trying to say Amanda was like Rip in neglecting his home and family duties. I agree that the timing is just way off in this. When I first saw it I kept trying to reconcile everything based on what was said and it just wouldn’t work. The writers for this ep didn’t seem to know the characters very well and maybe that’s why KJ and BB added the ad libs they did. It may also be why they didn’t write any more episodes. As always just grateful for the moments that we get between Lee and Amanda.

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      • oh my.. Amanda is like Rip van winkle?? that would be soooo wrong!!! I agree with you Valerie!
        Thanks for sharing the background on this..
        Maybe Amanda is in contrast to Rip van Winkle? she makes choices about how she spends her time based on how much she values her family.. unlike Rip who doesn’t value you them and makes choices in line with this also?
        Hmm I think I’m reaching here!
        for an issue that is so important and central to the Amanda King character – the writers do a lousy job with it. Not happy! [rofl.. yeah I’ll imagine them getting the sack for this! and don’t come back!!]

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