We see Lee and Amanda meet up again..
It seems Amanda was walking out (to get away from Craiger and men hassling her) and then happens to come across Lee.. Lee seems ready to leave and no longer playing his cover (that cover of pretending he’s not with Amanda ).
Oh wow.. we actually see one of those women Lee said hello to earlier walk past Lee and Amanda as they rejoin each other
– and Lee?? Only has eyes for Amanda.. doesn’t even notice the woman walks past.
[What if she’s a baddie?! Lee doesn’t care ]
[Okay it could be because she is now just a random extra.. but I prefer to think it is meaningful- Lee prefers Amanda Am I deluded? quite possibly! do I mind? nope.. quite happy with it.. and my smile is probably quite scary.. if you know what I’m saying ]
Amanda: Oh.. Ohhhh…
(she seems to let out a sigh as she finds Lee.. relief maybe?)
Lee: What’s wrong?
[Amanda turns back to look at Craiger- I guess she’s thinking about the dating game on M street..
Seems Amanda has chosen not to tell Lee about Craiger.. why do you think that is? ]
Lee: Amanda, you have got to relax.
[I can just make out that Lee touches Amanda’s arm-those darn extras keep walking in front of them again! To comfort Amanda because he can see she’s stressing?? or maybe to get her attention focused back on what he’s saying… I love that Amanda is smiling here but Lee knows she’s stressing anyway – awh..]
Amanda: I know,…
…I feel kind of like a piece of bait on a hook.
[I like that Amanda is honest with Lee here.. I do think this is what’s going on with her.. she’s feeling uncomfortable with being the bait on the hook. Lee seems to smile a little.. I think he likes this about her too! what do you think??!!]
Lee seems to suddenly remember they are suppose to be playing a cover (oh yeah- bait on a hook!).. and looks up and smiles at the room as he responds: Well, that’s what you are, remember?
[Lee doesn’t sugar coat it.. lol.. I think this is not about Lee here, it’s about Amanda needing to get use to this part of the job.]
Amanda: Well, I know, but it’s just, it’s a funny feeling… it’s not something that I’m really- (Amanda notices something on the other side of the room that catches her attention.. so she stops mid sentence)
– I’ll pause here briefly before we continue. I can’t see anything here that indicates a problem between Lee and Amanda – how about you? I think if Amanda was not happy about Lee smiling and enjoying himself that this is not something that has really upset Amanda.. but I do think she has noted it – and has taken something away from this observation.. what? I’ll share this when I think it is revealed
The whole talking up of M street for me in this day and age seems silly – I know.. I gotta remember this is the 80s.. but even in the 80s I don’t think we see anything terrible happen on M street that we didn’t already see at an embassy party – maybe the pick up lines were slightly more classy – that Amanda reminds him of a portrait! gosh. what episode was that? Umm was it Dead Ringer?
I think this episode implicitly says M street is suppose to be a place where ‘good girls’ don’t go.. It’s where men and women go to hook up.. (or as Francine says do Karate!) but while Craiger wasn’t a charmer, I don’t think he was being offensive – not like men in this day and age who in meat markets can be very offensive (IMHO). It’s not edifying, so I won’t go there.. but I think I would have been okay with M street in the 80s.. but the version of M street of today kinda turns my stomach.. Maybe it’s just me..
I can see though that 80s M street is not something Amanda is use to. She is use to attention from men.. but for some reason this full on dating game on M streets makes her uncomfortable. Maybe because it is more of a hooking up vibe than a dating vibe?
I wonder if we have the same vocab here – to me hooking up is basically finding someone to ‘play backgammon with’ and then say bye bye! Dating can be that too.. but with more of an intention (or pretence of an intention!) that there could be a longer term relationship in the works! lol hope that makes sense.
Okay, back to the episode.. so Amanda suddenly stops mid sentence as she notices something on the other side of the room.
She keeps looking a moment.. then gets Lee’s attention..
Amanda: – Oh, look at that.
We see Agnes is standing across the room, with Nick. She gives Amanda a little wave..
Amanda: Look at- There’s Agnes.
We cut back to Lee trying to look without looking like he is looking.. but Amanda just full on looks and points! whwhahahaaa..
Lee quickly grabs Amanda’s arm to stop her pointing.
[now that looks suspicious! ]
Lee (quietly): Shhh…
Why can’t Amanda point- Agnes just waved to her.. ugh! Lee is talking all quiet and trying to act cool.. my goodness Lee- Agnes just waved at you in front of Nick Cross… I think it’s more suspicious to pretend like you don’t know Agnes lol!!! Oi! don’t shush Amanda!
Lee: That’s Nick Cross…
(too late Lee! Agnes has brought attention to you. Gee if Lee had said that name back at the meeting.. this episode could have ended much sooner 😉 )
… The guy my editor friend told me about. (Well gee, then why have you been standing there for 2 hours?! Go find Nick Cross already!)
Amanda: You’re kidding.
Lee: Shh. Stay right here, hmm?
(Nick is looking at them still and increasingly worried.)
[ but why? does he know Lee? ahhh I guess Agnes said- whooo there are my coworkers at the agency!]
Lee tries to play it cool.. smiling, he starts to walk slowly toward Agnes and Nick..
But.. Nick isn’t fooled!
He starts bolting for the door..
Lee bolts after him, pushing a woman out of the way (sort of) and almost knocking over a tray of drinks.. Lee tries for speed.. but seems to also be careful of those around him.
Agnes watches after bolting Nick and chasing Lee.. surely she would be starting to question what’s up. she knows Lee is working on these leaks, she knows he was headed to M street with Amanda.. where the leaker usually hangs out.. and when Nick saw Lee? He bolted!!! hello??!!!! (Poor Agnes)
We cut to Lee out in the alley.. searching for Nick.. but he has nicked off!
The scene ends there.
I shall too!!! Looking forward to hearing from you all! Sorry I’m not around much at the moment.. I’m loving your comments and hearing from you all! byeeeeee!
Love everyone’s thoughts here on M street. I would just add that despite Amanda’s presence in more formal embassy party situations, this is way out of her comfort level, perhaps because of her stage in life. She has been married and is a mother of two children. Being thrust back into this social scene is mentally a jolt. She was a Kappa in college. So she must’ve been in the party scene some as a sorority girl. And Joe went to Georgetown. She’s been in this scene as a younger person and is over it, I’m sure. I would think DC was full of young, well-educated professionals who were completely immersed in their work, but wanted to come “troll” around for awhile in this scene like an extension of a college fraternity or sorority party. Does this make sense? I think even though she gets that this is part of her job, it is such a foreign place emotionally and such a mental shift for her since the last time she was in a social setting like this (embassy parties just didn’t seem this hook-uppy). Just as a mom, I would think it would be weird to wall back in to a scene that felt like college again. Especially mentally where she’s been as a wife and now with her level of emotional investment in Lee.
I just said a lot of the same things again in 2020 on a previous post that I said here in 2018, but way less coherently this go-round. 🤣🤣🤣 Oh, well!!! Sorry all for the redundancy!!!
Something to be said for consistency!
I agree with you, iwsod, these types of places were more about hooking up for one night of backgammon and that’s it – no strings. I think until the AIDS epidemic really came into the mainstream in the US in the 80s this was common. I also think that is why Amanda is not interested and is there purely for business reasons. As you and others have mentioned, Amanda needs to be able to do this kind of work if she’s going to be an effective spy. She’s certainly got the looks and Lee knows it.
I do think this type of work though is harder for Amanda than being kidnapped by baddies or being shot at. I think she has certain standards for herself and this type of place and type of behavior does not even come close to meeting them.
I’m not educated in the bar scene either, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were such a thing as upscale “professional” bars where both singles and couples go to network in various ways. Perhaps that’s part of what Francine was referring to when she said the folks there move in faster circles — perhaps they are members of more high profile social and political circles, the Washington fast track. Since Nick’s motive was not Agnes but rather information, I can see him wanting to frequent this kind of bar, and maybe even better with a female (a female who has connections/friends in the Agency, no less) in tow because it lets him focus on meeting and striking up conversations with anyone rather than having to build his information-gathering around pick-up lines.
Hey Raffie! Well that all sounds very good and reasonable! Though so far, I’m not seeing the episode portray this.. maybe this will be revealed as we progress..
Maybe we should have seen Nick being introduced to others at M street by Agnes.. but.. we saw the two of them tucked to the side and not talking to anyone.. I think they could have shown Nick trying to spread his net wider, but well.. I guess so far, I see Nick as having Agnes as his target – because he has discovered these documents she brings home are a very special source of info for him…and she’s buying his line well and truly… Nick has hit the jackpot with Agnes.. poor Agnes!
Hope you are well! Sorry going to be another day before I get a post published 😦 I miss JWWM and my little smk escape!
fingers crossed I’ll get a post written to publish tomorrow.. byeeee!
No problem, Iwsod — you know i have trouble keeping up myself!!
I didn’t mean to suggest Agnes was not Nick’s current primary focus, but rather that old habits are hard to break, and Nick would not want to stop networking just because he seems to have Agnes on the hook. If he is truly using her, as the opening scene suggests, she is a short-timer and he will need to have the next victim in his sights in the not-too-distant future. We’ve already noted that Nick reminds us of Castille in VMothers, who we saw was a serial victimizer. (And people like that tend to be in it for the thrill as much if not more than for the money. That’s why I don’t consider this scene a stretch or improbable .. perhaps less probable is that L&A appear to have gotten a nibble on the very first cast of the line on M Street!
What always makes me wonder about this scene is how bright and cheery this bar scene looks. Being a non-drinker, I haven’t spent a lot of time in bars, but the ones I’ve been in look more like the bar Lee was hanging out in in The ACM Kid: dark colors, dark wood paneling, dim lighting, windows kind of shaded no matter what time of day it is, etc. This supposedly seedy hook-up spot has white wood paneling and big windows with those filmy drapes to let in sunlight. It makes me think more of a pleasant, old-fashioned tea room than a bar. It might be just my naivete showing, but the decor just isn’t what I would have expected.
I also find this bar a bit genteel – Almacks rather than gaming hell.
In the ACM, you can almost smell the beer just by looking at the Lug Wrench Bar sign 😀
Well put Learjet! You a big regency period reader? I am so jumped when I saw Almacks 🙂
I’m into genteel Regency rather than racy Regency (which probably explains why I like SMK rather than more modern TV 🙂 )
Exactly! So many similarities between SMK and Austen/Heyer, etc. Here, I just started a link at Neds: http://nedlindgers.proboards.com/thread/125/regency-period-books-film
Good one Jule! 🙂
Hi Jestress! wonderful to see you stop by! sorry I’m not around much at the moment been moving house and crazy!
old fashioned tea room? haaa! true!!!
I know nothing about M street type establishments or “the single scene”. I have always been very thankful that I met my husband young and we got married right after I graduated from college because I don’t think I would have been able to handle ” the single scene.” And the only reason that I mention that is because I see Amanda reacting like I think I would react, and I think that may be the point of this little scene in terms of the development of the characters.
Amanda feels like a piece of meat. I take that as Amanda preferring to be known for who she is initially instead of choosing a companion based on some pick up lines in a noisy crowded bar. I know she has fallen for some rather absurd lines in the past, but I guess I will chalk that up to her naivete in earlier seasons. I do think that lee is enjoying experiencing Amanda in this situation, I think he knows perfectly well that she is comfortable there but is doing it for the sake of the job. I think he also knows this is the kind of atmosphere that he would have made the acquaintances that he used to enjoy. I do think that M street isn’t a seedy place. It is probably full of govt types, white collar, social ladder climbers. But remember Rita Holden was one of those too.
This is an atmosphere that Lee used to be comfortable in, but I think he doesn’t feel like it is where he wants to be now except that Amanda is there with him. And I think that may be the point of this here. They are both transitioning from where they used to call “home.” PTA meetings are not the place for Amanda anymore and M Street is not where Lee is among his peers.
The interesting thing is that Agnes (the librarian) is there and with Nick Cross (the womanizing bad guy)… Here again is another one of those “who would have thought that kind of woman would be here with that type of man?” Is that kind of a comparison for Lee and Amanda being there and how they are transitioning. Who would have thought Amanda would be in a bar on M street and who would have thought that Lee would be there with eyes only for her?
On a shallower note, I love Lee’s smile, especially because it is all because of and directed at Amanda. It is such a wonderful and new expression on his face. And I am thinking that there could be some interesting memes for that picture above the “shh” of Lee’s after Amanda notices Agnes… just sayin’ 😉
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I’m interested in your thoughts about Agnes, the SMK ‘stereotypical’ librarian, her presence in M street and with the ‘bad guy’, Morley. I find the story of Agnes poignant and I think later parts of the episode explain why she made these choices. I’ll be good and not go into my thoughts at this stage of the episode, except to say that what’s between Amanda and Lee is real although they are theoretically playing covers, while what is between Agnes and Nick is an illusion,
Hey Learjet! I am looking forward to hearing what you and Morley think of Agnes.
I too find myself constantly saying poor Agnes throughout this ep..
I’m reminded of Jean in Vigilante Mothers.. but.. we’ll get to that! 🙂
Interesting that you mentioned Jean. I just finished writing the stories for Vigilante Mothers and I spent some time having Amanda reflecting on Jean and her choices and Amanda and her experiences in the spy business and with Lee. I wonder if this episode would build on that?
ah! I’ve gotta get back to your wonderful stories! Looking forward to reading your take on Jean.. poor Jean!! I really felt for her!
True, Learjet. I know Lee and Amanda are aware that something real is developing between them. But I wonder if they ever find themselves questioning how far it could go or if the other one is experiencing the same thing and if they are tracking with each other. Are they sure of one another? I think they must continually be happily surprised that they seem to be moving along the same road toward each other, but isn’t part of the excitement of this stage of a relationship the insecurity that it may not be what you hope it is and then the discovery that in that moment it appears to be exactly what you have dreamed it would be? Does that make sense? Can this apply to both Lee and Amanda and Agnes as well?
very interesting ideas here Morley on that stage of insecurity.. very true.. that is a scary wonderful stage!
Are Lee and Amanda at that stage now? Or does their solid friendship maybe lesson the uncertainty.. just a little?
I don’t know.. just throwing it out there.
It’s true that some want to not jump ahead of the other when giving their heart.. I guess some people choose to love with all their heart regardless of where the other person is at – maybe foolishly.. maybe bravely.. I guess it depends? There’s no black and white here for me..
I do think to love someone is very brave.. and to take a chance on someone.. while we can be wise in who we choose to love – we can never be completely certain of who they are and it is always a risk to love – I’m sure I said the same thing with Vigilante Mothers..
After six months of grooming Agnes, Nick has well and truly fooled her.. it’s no over night fling here though IMHO, Agnes sees Nick as the love of her life.. and misses him when he’s gone.
some might call this clingy- but so far, I just see a woman in love, so she wants to be with him..
Is what I’m saying making any sense??
though.. I think when Nick ran out of the bar – that was a huge red flag for Agnes to start considering Nick is not the man she thought he was. I’ll say it again: Poor Agnes!
byee for now.. sorry to ramble on.. not enough brain power to write a blog post.. lol but enough to ramble on about Agnes and Nick rah rahhhh
I miss hearing from you guys! byeeeee
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Loved your thoughts about Amanda and M street Morley.. it is a very foreign world to Amanda..
I think she is still pondering what she learns on M street throughout the ep.. and there is more to come on this.. I’ll look forward to exploring the ep as a whole..
but just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience and your insights into Amanda 🙂
If the M street bar was really just for hook-ups, what in the heck is Agnes and Nick doing there? Reminiscing how they met? IMHO, the whole “bar is where good girls don’t go” is silly and should have been totally scrapped. (And I would have been more sympathetic to Agnes if she hadn’t been with Nicky at this moment, but I’ll get back to that as we get further along).
My thoughts exactly Cindy. I can’t understand why everyone is back at M Street when the “hook up” has already been made.
The place doesn’t look that dangerous, in fact, it looks quite up-market and the people all look reasonably well to-do and normal – I mean, no one’s wearing any particularly daring outfit (showing a bit of skin). Maybe it’s just a place where if you go there alone you are looking for a “hook up” but maybe it is also frequented by couples – who we assume aren’t looking for “hook ups”… 😯 …. in which case maybe this place is seedier than it looks. Maybe that’s why Amanda is so uncomfortable there!
Hey kiwismh and Cindy! I’m rushing and in the middle of moving house.. just wanted to say AGREED!! lol!!
glad it’s not just me..
rofl I think couples can look for hooooook ups.. but.. Agnes is suppose to be a good girl who just got too lonely and so relented and visited M street.. me thinks.. so Umm I don’t think she’d be into 2+.. eeeeek!
Good call Cindy – very strange place to go!
whooo look forward to discussing Agnes further as things unfold!
Hey Kiwismh, very true about the outfits.. they all seem respectable enough.. but.. GAH! scandal!. these people want to meet someone! and.. date!! 😉
Sure Craiger might have been superficial..but he wasn’t disrespectful or sleeeeazy.. and from what the two women said at the start of the scene, the women there might actually have standards (‘no more married men’)..
Might have made more sense if they’d been sharing that they are feeling like finding a married man today.. rof!
But.. not everyone has to agree with us three.. if you see things differently – I’d love to hear your insights too! byee for now.. back to moving house (would rather be on M street than moving house! 😉 )
I agree, these places just seem like the typical after hours work variety bar scene. I laughed at Craiger because the one and only time a friend drag me to a place like this in the 80s the typical line was, “Do you know fill-in-the-blank star?” or “I’m a screenwriter/actor” Lol! Can you tell I’m originally from Los Angeles? I have to admit I actually laughed out loud and insulted some of my would be suitors. I so much would rather be at home reading a book than there. I was a complete failure at the scene. And speaking of Agnes, I just assume Nick asked her to meet him there. I don’t read anything into it.
Hope everybody is well and not too swamped under with holidays (or moving like you Iwsod!) Cheers!
Err, umm, I think the outer packaging may be there for some of these people (i.e. nice clothes, respectable jobs) but I don’t think those types of people have a monopoly on morals or such. I also think the idea of good girls/bad girls or good boys/bad boys fits in with the idea of Ronson fathering a daughter out of wedlock. I think for an 8pm family show these themes fit in with what the networks probably wanted to air perhaps. I do agree with what iwsod said about Agnes just being lonely and so relented to M street; she may be a bit of an aberration. But Nicky seems to be quite slick and is obviously using her for information, so he’s going to play whatever role he has to play to keep a good thing going. This place doesn’t look seedy, but it is in Georgetown, so I’m not sure if there really is anything seedy looking there. It’s not the right place for it. Maybe near the actual campus of Georgetown Uni, but that is not where these professional types would hang out.