3/16 Season Three, Episode 9: J.Edgar’s Ghost-Scarecrow and Mrs King

Still at IFF, and following Lee’s first meeting as the new Q bureau chief..
Francine: That’s a true leader, uh, yeah. He always saves the tough jobs for himself.
IMHO Francine has some Sour Grapes!!! Sour that she didn’t get the Q bureau.. sour that she isn’t the new chief and that here Lee seems to be her superior and giving her orders. Maybe also sour that Lee is choosing to take along Amanda as his partner too!
At Francine’s critique of Lee’s leadership, Amanda is unimpressed. Lee seems to be grind his teeth – yes BJo Cheeky Lee here!!! Winking smile

Hmm I wonder if that’s why Francine was being so catty earlier, because as our fellow smk fan Cindy likes to put it – it seems like someone has err done something to Francine’s cornflakes this morning! Winking smile 

I think Billy, Lee and Amanda have all had as much of Francine as they want to..
Billy: All right, give it [the gin mills on M street that is]
…the once-over Scarecrow, then move on because we don’t have enough time for you spending it all on a barstool.
Amanda: Yes, Sir.
Lee: Well, that’s why I’m taking Amanda.

JEG.avi_000489522Francine joins them. Oh joy.. more digs, jibes and nastiness.. Francine you are so unprofessional so far I think you need a talking to!
Francine: Well … you’d better get hazardous duty pay, Amanda,…
…because M Street is kind of a combination of, uh,…
…tag-team wrestling and full contact karate.
[Interesting, we didn’t see Agnes leave the room- what would she make of Francine’s remarks about the gin mills on M street?!]
JEG.avi_000496429Watch Billy and Lee here start squirming- oh enough Francine!! Lee again seems to go all ‘Cheeky’ – as in clenching his jaw cheeky yeah?!
Oh how little Francine knows Amanda – if Lee is there, Amanda won’t be worried.
JEG.avi_000498832Amanda (deadpan, without looking up) responds to Francine:
Do you know that first hand?…
…I’m just kidding, Francine.
JEG.avi_000500333I think Billy, Lee and Amanda were happy for that zinger!!! whwhahahaa..
Amanda (continues): I’m sorry… I never should’ve opened my mouth;

[Oh nooo! but.. drat.. Amanda backs down!!! Don’t back down Amanda!!!]
…I know you’ll get me back.

[Amanda has a go at you anyway… so what difference does it make???!! Go for it! ha!!
oh noooooo I always want to stop Amanda here.. I wish she didn’t try and take it back! Does anyone think this?? what do you all make of it??
Oh and anyone else thinking this works better before RFTSky? when Amanda gets the better of Francine? Or can it work after anyway??
Lee and Billy’s reactions are interesting. Lee seems to not want to get involved or make eye contact.. but Billy? He seems to love it even more when Amanda says she knows Francine will get back at her! wahhhaah
You’re right.
JEG.avi_000504237[I do like though that this is the best Francine can do!!! and I comfort myself that Amanda got the dig in at all.. and Billy seem to love it haaaaa! I like to think Lee likes it too but doesn’t want to add fuel to Francine’s fire! Billy? he can do what he wants Winking smile ]

Francine walks out.. her dignity in tatters.. whahahahaaa…Actually now that I think about it..  it’s ironic that Amanda’s pleas to Francine to not get her back – actually just make Francine look really thin skinned and immature!!! well.. IMHO!!! [This thought makes me feel better that Amanda tried to take it back! Winking smile ]
I only noticed this choosing the photo.. but as Francine heads for the door, Amanda is trying to suppress a grin!
And then.. not really suppressing! Haaa.. I’m liking this more and more!!! Amanda seems to be taking it back.. but not really meaning it haaaa Winking smile yep.. I don’t really mind it anymore! Smile
Amanda: I really am sorry.
[me thinks the lady doth protest too much! Winking smile  ]
Lee: Huh.
JEG.avi_000507540Amanda: I couldn’t help it.
I have that Fergie song in my head.. you know.. ‘can’t help it.. the girl can’t help it!’
enjoy it! Winking smile because I really think Francine needed to put a sock in it!
The scene ends with Billy still loving Amanda’s dig at Francine.. even if Amanda half heartedly tried to take it back Winking smile
Lee seems preoccupied with the case.. and he’s just staying out of it..

I love how we have the usual room full of agents, but only Lee, Amanda or Francine actually get a job to do.. the rest of them just leave-okay they handed out folders.. but… so what?! I guess Lee did say he wanted reports.. but we all know they don’t actually do anything.. they just head off to goofy golf!!

Oh and before we say bye to this scene.. what’s with the baddie hierarchy on the chalk board?? Is that some top secret info from a previous meeting? too funny!! [this image from earlier in the scene shows some of the names.]
JEG.avi_000449883the top name seems to be J. KAGANOF
do you think? what does it say in brackets under this name? anyone? another baddie on the left is S.MOLINSKI – what’s that all about?! anyone recognising the names? are these a play on well known names? anyone known by the name of J. Kagan that they’d want to spoof? weird.. Is this the first baddie hierarchy we’ve seen so far? lol I’m assuming they are baddies because they are Russian sounding names..

Moving on, we see the IFF building, and then…
It pans in like this window is the Q bureau- I was thinking the Q bureau was above the garage entrance?
anyone?  kiwismh, you are the expert on interior spaces/layouts.. what do you think?! Or open question for anyone??
My goodness- when was the last time we saw the Q bureau? ALLA? [err that’s with my order sorry.. not airing order – last time we saw it with airing order was wizard I think]
Inside, we cut straight to this guy.
Has Lee suddenly grown old overnight with the pressures of his new leadership position?! Nah! Winking smile
Ronson: The unnamed midshipmen in this Ledger article … I was one. (Ronson starts walking and talking..) …Nine months after that night, I was the father of a baby girl out of wedlock. Her name is Mary Austin. She’s never heard about me. She has a normal life… a man she thinks is her father.
(Oh phew.. we see Lee and he still looks like Lee.. for a second there I thought the older man looked like Lee!!! Does anyone else see a resemblance?!)
JEG.avi_000534868[What’s normal about thinking one man is your father, when really your father is someone else?! ]

Oh hang on.. so let me get this straight. Lee just had a meeting where he told Francine to go find out about this naked sailing photo..and here now in the next scene is one of those naked sailors? Why didn’t Lee go straight to M street? I wonder if this scene order is the same in the script ?? anyone?? Ohhh JWWM script consultants??? Winking smile [sorry guys I’d look but I can’t give smk that much time anymore!! but hey- no reason any of you can check it out and let us know if you happen to have the time at the moment! ]
Lee: Does your wife know?
Ronson: Sure. Evelyn knows all about it. I’ve done everything I can to take care of my child. My responsibility, short of telling her….
…But if this ever gets back to Mary
…Why screw up her life?
JEG.avi_000553787Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect this is one of those plots that just doesn’t translate to this day and age. I can’t really get the logic of Ronson never being honest with his daughter. I understand maybe in the 60’s in the upper ranks or those looking to progress, that a child out of wedlock may have been seen as a sign of bad character back then. I guess? At least this is what smk seems to imply – that it was something that had to be hushed up… and Mary Austin would forever carry that stigma of being born out of wedlock.. but..with today’s eyes.. this seems very backward to me. It means I can’t really feel great admiration for this Ronson, because all I can see is he has lied to his daughter to save his butt.. Yeah he told his wife.. oh he is a good responsible guy.. ugh!! meh!!!
I guess because I don’t connect with that time- I just see Ronson as making excuses to justify his response to the out of wedlock pregnancy. okay.. I won’t ramble on anymore!!!!
I’m going to stop here for the moment.. before we get on to Lee’s questioning about leaks.. Anything you’d like to share on this section? or the episode so far? do tell!!! Again – huge thanks to KC for completing the transcription of this episode for Operation Sandstorm!!! Smile
byee for now!!!

39 responses to “3/16 Season Three, Episode 9: J.Edgar’s Ghost-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. This is the most decent character I’ve seen the actor playing Ronson portray to date — and that isn’t a good recommendation. (I’ve also seen him on CSI and Cool Runnings).


  2. I’m not sure that I think Francine has sour grapes about not getting the QBureau chief job. She is Billy’s second in command and the QBureau is for the oddball cases and is up away from the action. I think she’s sour on the fact that Lee is taking Amanda with him to the gin mills and not her. She is picking up on their closeness in their working relationship and probably doesn’t like feeling that Amanda may now be closer to Lee than she is.

    Cheeky Lee, indeed!!!

    And I wish Amanda hadn’t apologize for her zinger!! Francine totally walked into that one and deserved it! Love Billy’s grin too – he knows Francine deserved it. I think he is mentally giving Amanda a high five.

    but we all know they don’t actually do anything.. they just head off to goofy golf!!


    I think the QBureau window is over the door to the right of the main IFF entrance. Then again, I don’t remember if there is just one window or two in the QBureau. If only one, then this makes no sense. Actually, it can’t be because there is no window in the hallway at the top of the stairs to get to the QBureau. Oh, nevermind…it’s a set anway and not filmed in this building!

    I know why Ronson doesn’t want his daughter to know he’s her father. She is Steve Austin’s son. Yup, that one, the six-million-dollar man. Ronson doesn’t want him to come beat him up. 😉


  3. Melissa Robertson

    I think back in the day having a child out of wedlock was way looked down on…at one time I think they would have shipped the pregnant girl off to some relative in another state until the baby was born and then a lot of times put up for adoption. Lot more accepted now days…actually when my husband & I were going to adopt 13 years ago we could only do open adoption so that the child had contact with their birth parents.

    IMHO I think it would be better off to be honest with your child from the beginning otherwise I think there could be a lot of hurt and resentment later on if they find out!


    • Hello Melissa, and 2 Goldens – thanks for the background info.. the actions of Ronson do make sense given what you’ve said and the times in which the surprise baby occurred..

      I figured there were very different morals and responses at that time.. but like I said – I struggle a little to connect with this character and his suffering watching the show now… (if anyone doesn’t – please feel free to share your insights!!)
      Even if I get the logic of it all.. emotionally, I don’t connect with his struggle.. I am able to connect more with Agnes’ struggle.. I think it is a little less time/place/era dependent – the idea of a bad man using a good women who she has fallen in love with is well… (to steal the words of Sam Axe in Burn Notice) – it’s as old as the pyramids! 😉

      I’ll try and go with it I promise.. but.. I doubt I’ll succeed 😉


      • I alway felt that Ronson’s motives in the present were altruistic, concerned less about himself and more about his daughter, for exactly the reason stated above: ” I think there could be a lot of hurt and resentment later on if they find out.” As far as the altruism of his actions (or inactions) back in the 60’s, perhaps silence seems cowardly, but on the other hand, he was protecting the honor of the lady involved, and probably her marriage as well.(And divorce in the 60’s still had a strong stigma attached to it.) This is one of those cases where there is no perfect solution, but I have always felt that Ronson’s actions were more selfless than selfish.. He took responsibility for the child’s upbringing, he did not try to hide the skeleton from his wife, and for all we know, he lived in regret of the sacrifice he’d made of not being able to watch his daughter grow up (at least not to the degree that a parent would like).

        Liked by 2 people

      • I am glad to hear your perspective on this plot, Iwsod. It would have never occurred to me that it may not translate well into our current time. It is quite a lesson in sociology to realize how mores have changed so significantly in such a short time (my lifetime!) and to think about all of the things that have influenced this particular change…the Pill, feminism, media and entertainment, and genetic research come immediately to mind. Whoda thunk SMK would have led us to this discussion? 😉


        • hey 2 Goldens- thanks. Yes some things have changed a lot since the 80s.. some things have changed for the better.. and others… not better!

          Hi Raffie, I thought you’d be able to offer an 80s view of things.. 2Goldens, Raffie is also great at giving us the view of how things were in the 80s, maybe you’ve noticed this..
          oh and ‘GOLD’ stands for Guardian of Lee’s dignity – is that correct Raffie?

          I look forward to hearing what you guys think of Ronson and his actions as we continue.. I can totally see that the writers were aiming to have Ronson be a good guy. Just for me personally, it hasn’t worked..
          but maybe this time with you guys giving his point of view, I’ll be able to empathise with him more!


    • Plus for a long time the military had a charge (they might still) called “Conduct Unbecoming” where you could be in trouble if you were found to be having an illicit affair. It comes up sometimes on JAG, which started in 1995 and they had it come up as a case at least as late as S4 so 1998 or 1999. And that same season, a main character faced disciplinary action for having a secret marriage she’d never disclosed. (They separated and never divorced — I can’t remember why). If you’d catch it for that, I can only imagine the ruckus ten years earlier if you’d fathered a kid and never discosed it.


  4. What do you all think about Lee’s comment about taking Amanda to M street so that he won’t have to spend a lot of time there. It doesn’t seem like any of the characters take it as a dig.
    I like the way Amanda sends a zinger at Francine like that. And I also like the way she tries to take it back, but not really. Her feigned retraction keeps her from sinking to Francine’s level and yet still lets Francine know that she has her number. I love the way Billy smiles. Men see the female cattiness so differently than the women feel it. I think Billy knows that Amanda is a match for Francine. He has noticed how Amanda has won Lee over, I bet he is expecting Amanda to do great things for Francine too.

    Ronson. He does look like Lee. Is that on purpose? Could he be a bit of a foil for how Lee’s life could have gone? There is that “normal life” concept and the fruit of a reckless life now that Ronson has settled down and married. I wonder what Lee thinks about this conversation now at this stage of his life? If this case had happened in season 1 or the first half of season 2, would Lee’s response had been different?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting ideas here Morley!!!!

      I’ve explored this a little once they get to M street so I shall hold off for now in responding (sorry!).. I am wondering if all this stuff is being raised implicitly myself!!!! I’ll try to remember to come back to this.. but if I forget please remind me!


  5. As I am a product of 1960s Midwestern U.S. conservatism, the way the issues of the naked sail, Ronson and Mary Austin are handled in the script never seemed at all unrealistic to me.

    I’m certainly no expert on this subject (so everyone else, please correct me if I’m wrong) but I do think that it’s possible Ronson could have been court-martialed and expelled from the Academy had his involvement in the naked sail and the subsequent pregnancy been made known at the time. There is currently, and I assume there was at the time, an article in the U.S. Code of Military Justice that allows for court-marshal of a midshipman or cadet for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (thank you, Wikipedia). I’m guessing this behavior may have qualified for “conduct unbecoming” especially if it had publicly embarrassed the Academy or the Navy.

    As far as the mother and child were concerned, I believe both would have been severely stigmatized in the mid-60s. Society, and many families, at that time were not at all sympathetic to unwed mothers and their children. (Diana Ross and the Supremes 1968 song “Love Child” comes to mind.)

    Without defending Ronson’s original conduct, it seems like the situation probably turned out in the best way it could for all involved given the time and place.


  6. We know how timing is always an issue with these scripts. I did assume though that this Ronson had seen the paper and knew he could have some fallout to deal with. Wondering how the other midshipmen reacted when they saw the picture.

    When I first saw Amanda backpedal on her comment to Francine I thought she shouldn’t have and needed to stick to her guns. But even here Amanda is very smart in how she handles Francine. Francine will look small should she choose retaliate, so she won’t. Also, In order to retaliate it would mean admitting that Amanda bested her, so again she won’t. Billy and Lee usually choose the path of least resistance when dealing with Francine. It’s usually saying her name in annoyance or telling her to button it. They would probably have to deal with more from her if they tried it Amanda’s way.

    There is more that I wanted to say but I have lost my train of thought. I’ll just have come back when I remember what I was going to say.


  7. One of the things that cracks me up about the Q Bureau in this episode (and at least one later one–FFFT, which I’ve also transcribed), are the toy robots.
    You can see one of them clearly in the second-to last pic of Lee and Ronson (the one above the text [What’s normal about thinking one man is your father, when really your father is someone else?! ]). That one is a 1980s toy called “Magic Mike”. 😀
    There’s also another one, beside Magic Mike that we’ll see later–red and white, and looks like a Transformer or Gobot.
    I’m left wondering who put them there? Was it the prop crew having a laugh again (like Lee’s ties strewn around his apartment in Season 1) or was it BB or KJ? They’re kind of out of place amongst the B&W photos and trophies and southwestern style bits and bobs…


    • Well. maybe not so much southwestern visible here, but the prop elves did manage some nautically-themed touches, which do fit the episode! 🙂


    • Yeah I saw the robot there KC, I like your theory.. we’ll have to see if the prop people do funny stuff with them!
      I assumed they were robots from films and added to the film library cover (like the film reels do)


      • Seriously KC – only you could have tracked that robot down successfully! [ bows down to the mistress ]

        I’m assuming the robots aren’t in any way a reference to Tron? Because those were computer programs but they did look a bit robot-like. I would have thought they might have enjoyed bringing bits of the actors’ pasts into the background eg the Western stuff might like to BB’s past roles


  8. I’m glad you commented that Ronson looks like Lee. I’ve always thought that too! I guess Lee didn’t go straight to M street because Amanda had to get ready? We’ll have to see if her outfit changes in the next scene.


  9. I think the location of the Q Bureau makes sense – you go in the front door, up the stairs to the left, then I think left again at the top of the stairs down the corridor to the Q which is first on the right. That’s my initial thoughts – I should give it some study but I think our best clues to the location of the Q Bureau might be in future episodes. I should do some episode research some time and see if I can come up with a floor plan.


  10. Then when Agnes leaves Amanda asks Lee who they will be looking for on M Street. Lee produces a pic of Nick (a pic of Nick 😀 wahahahaha) who he refers to as an “ex-agent, now in business for himself. He used to be the lonely hearts patrol.” (off her look) “Cheap margaritas and one night stands. You can sometimes trade a lot of information for a little affection.”
    Amanda : “Lee, it’s only fair to warn you … I don’t have much experience in…well… you know… singles bars.”
    Lee : “All you have to do is stand there and look pretty, and wait for someone to approach you.”
    Amanda : “And then what?”
    Lee : “Then just go with the flow.”
    Amanda : (beat) Oh, sure… just go with the flow.”
    They must walk out of the building towards Amanda’s car because the conversation takes place as they approach her car – Lee explains that they might already have a lead. He’s had a message from an Navy man he knows, who is coming over to the Agency to talk to him (Lee). He then says to Amanda he will meet her at 5.30pm at M Street.
    Amanda starts to get into the wagon.
    Amanda : “May I ask you a professional question?”
    Lee : “Uh huh.”
    Amanda : “How far do you go when you ‘go with the flow’?”

    Lee tells Amanda in a roundabout way here that he thinks she is pretty! 😉
    Iwsod, it looks like some of the connecting dialog and scenes got cut, so that’s what makes it harder to understand things like why suddenly Ronson is talking to Lee.


    • Some of that dialogue actually happens later, at M Street… 😉


      • Yep!!!! Hold that thought Kiwismh! sooooo glad you shared that dialogue with us.. but.. I’ll need to hold off till we get to M street to discuss it! 🙂


        • I haven’t ready ahead in the script or viewed ahead on the DVD. The above dialog occurred earlier in the script, so I didn’t realise I was jumping ahead of the DVD. Sorry.


          • No it’s all good kiwismh! I didn’t think you were jumping ahead at all! I understood you were sharing what the script said at this point of the episode – you weren’t referring to anything coming up 🙂
            I just wrote to let you know I’m really glad you shared it – and that I’ll be wanting to discuss it further on 🙂 even if I can’t just yet (thought I am busting to! must resist!! 🙂 )
            I think it’s really interesting that some of this dialogue has been moved – when we get to it I’m going to have fun discussing these script changes 🙂


  11. Yes, I’ve always thought that Ronson has an uncanny resemblance to Lee. The better role for this actor would have been as Lee’s uncle, or his father in flashbacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. To fill in the reason for the rest of the agents being at the meeting, this is the clunky dialogue that was written in the script :
    “Francine, head out to Annapolis to see if anyone remembers this from 1966. (to others) Let’s squeeze the streets, shake the bushes, find a place for us to stick the crowbar so we can pry something loose…”


    • whwhahahaahahaaa!!! Ohhh I’ve said something about a certain upcoming line that sounds a lot like ‘squeezing the streets’ – my goodness.. I think bits of the script have been dispersed throughtout other parts of the episode..

      Thanks so much for sharing these insights kiwismh.. for me – it really adds to the big picture!


    • Oh, this GOLD member is glad that they didn’t make Lee sound that corny on his first leadership assignment!

      Liked by 1 person

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