Billy’s words that Lee is on special assignment to help figure out what’s going on with Joe.. and that it is a high level are still ringing in our ears when we see the door to IFF open and Lee carrying some ridiculous looking luggage. ‘Special assignment’ huh!
Love all the grunts from Lee here as he struggles with the luggage and awkwardly plonks it all down in front of Mrs Marsden.
We hear a cheerful voice off camera: Hello!…
We see it came from this man.. and he continues to address Mrs Marsden flapping his arms around for some reason..: …. May all your wives be pregnant.
[Umm does this guy believe Mrs Marsden is a homosexual polygamist?! Is his English really terrible? or.. is he suspiciously laying it all on a bit thick so we don’t take him seriously?!]
Mrs Marsden: What did you say?
Shamba: Oh, ah, a traditional greeting at home. It’s totally out of date of course.
(he laughs and we see Lee politely smiling at Shamba )
[Given how ridiculous Shamba is.. I think this shows real maturity on Lee’s part. Can you imagine how season 1 Lee would have dealt with this guy?! I like to think this is one of the things Amanda has taught him – that you can’t learn at the agency Plus, Lee is currently a very upset man on the inside! But he finds the grace and maturity here to humour Ridicu-Shamba! Even if he suspected the guy, he wouldn’t have to let him he likes him.. would he? Hmm maybe it is wise spycraft too?? and Lee has grown in this aspect also? Funny.. I don’t tend to think of Lee becoming a better agent as the show progresses.. but maybe he does?! ]
… We have too many people as it is.
Lee laughs at Ridicu-Shamba’s attempt at a joke..
Mrs Marsden gives Shamba a warm smile..
Both Lee and Mrs Marsden at least seem to accept Shamba’s cheerfulness good naturedly..
for the sake of being polite!
Mrs Marsden glances at Lee.. revealing she isn’t really charmed by being called polygowhatever.
[Aie! What an introduction! Does anyone laugh out loud at this guy? I don’t.. but then humour is a variable thing – I find him amusing, but wouldn’t laugh at it.. too over the top for me.. err if that makes sense If anything I’d laugh at the luggage and Lee’s having to carry it all
I guess the audience recognises this man as the drapey guy in the opening scene… a good guy? a bad guy? we don’t know!!]
Lee clears his throat and gets down to business..
Lee: Mrs Marsden, I’d like to introduce Asam Ali Shamba,…
…Inspector General of the Royal Estoccian Police Force…
In the wide shot, we see Shamba grab the hand of astonished Mrs Marsden to give it a kiss! eek!!
… He’s gonna be with us for a few (looong) days – special assignment.
[A VEEEERY special assignment!!!]
Mrs Marsden: Well, it’s nice to have you with us…
..Yes, of course— Here you are.
(Mrs Marsden hands Shamba a guest pass which he looks to Lee to explain.)
Lee: Ah, yah, you put that up on your lapel there…
Shamba gives an exaggerated response..
he’s either a total ditz or pretending to be.. but given it is so over the top, and he is the Inspector General of a Police force – why would anyone buy it?!
[Unless he is attempting to play up to some stereotype that the likes of Auggie would have held about people in Africa? (remember that cringeworthy line to President Nabuti ?! whoo another reference to that episode!)
Lee had done ‘gardening’ in Angola – he knows African nations are not full of dimwits.]
As Shamba puts on his guest pass Lee directs him over to the elevator.
(Lee takes his own ID badge from Mrs Marsden)
He heads for the elevator and corrects Shamba who is beginning to head up the stairs.
…Oh Inspector – Agency’s downstairs…
Lee opens the door.. and understandably Shamba is a little surprised to find a closet inside.. whahahahaa!
Mrs Marston: Ah, Mr Stetson.
Mrs Marsden: This is my office. Not your closet. Your luggage please.
whahahaaa! I think this is pretty funny- given Shamba just found out the elevator is a closet! Heck.. maybe the office is too?!
Lee: Oh, I’m sorry… (Lee tries to laugh it off)
…I’m sorry about that…
Lee proceeds to pick up all the zebra luggage and his grunts recommence!
…I don’t do this normally.
Dig the kooky, playful music as Lee heads for the closet elevator!
[This is fascinating!!! Such a little moment, which seems a bit random with this strange humour and all – but I love what it says about Lee. the only reason Lee is stumbling around with this luggage and this ridiculous man, and doing something he doesn’t ‘normally do’ is for Amanda. And for her family. Lee could have gotten someone else to pick up this guy.. but because Joe is involved he is doing it himself. I love this.]
Mrs Marsden: Thank you.
What do you make of Shamba not helping? It made me wonder if he was really a member of the Royal family of Estoccia – use to having people wait on him.. but maybe Lee, in the interests of treating his guest with honour, offered to carry it all.. Hmm.. who knows..
So what do you all make of Shamba?? do you remember what you thought of him the first time you saw this?? before you knew the events of the episode?? What do you think of Lee and Mrs Marsden here? Okay- bye for now!
Iwsod said: “This is fascinating!!! Such a little moment, which seems a bit random with this strange humour and all – but I love what it says about Lee. the only reason Lee is stumbling around with this luggage and this ridiculous man, and doing something he doesn’t ‘normally do’ is for Amanda. And for her family. Lee could have gotten someone else to pick up this guy.. but because Joe is involved he is doing it himself. I love this.”
I love how no matter how many times we watch an episode, something new may stick out each time in a way we never saw it before. When I watched it yesterday, I totally was struck by Lee saying, “I don’t do this normally.” He is all-in here in every capacity – big ways, small ways…to me his level of thoughtfulness is off the charts!
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I recently watched this episode for the first time in years. I had seen where everyone was talking about it coming up, but I couldn’t remember what happened except I did remember that it involved Joe. I do remember seeing this scene before, but I had never thought about the fact that Lee was going through all this for Amanda. I remember always feeling bad for Lee carrying all that mess by himself. I appreciate Iwsod and others on this walk always bringing new perspectives to this show that we all love.
What gets me laughing in this scene is watching Mrs. Marston. She gets such a kick out of watching our debonair top Agent jump to her command to clear the luggage … only to see Lee thoroughly overwhelmed by what appears to be a herd of zebras clinging to him.
This scene makes me absolutely think that Shamba is something more (or less) than he appears. I agree about the stereotyping, but I wonder if it is SMK doing the stereotype, or Shamba himself. LOL at Lee carrying all the luggage; he takes it well, but you can see he still isn’t used to it because he almost forgets to take it with.
Wow! 6 posts in and Amanda and Lee has not been together yet! And this is an episode that almost everyone likes! I do like taking this episode at this pace, because I am seeing things that I didn’t notice at “regular speed.” I agree about seeing a lot of Mr. Brand in this episode. I think that episode showed us not to take anyone for granted and not to judge a book by its cover. I think that applies not only to Shamba (as brought up already by many), but also Joe and Amanda. When Preston is questioning Amanda, Amanda makes a comment that she is confused how Joe could be in any trouble because he is a lawyer. He might be just a lawyer, but he has gotten himself into quite a bit of trouble. We obviously know by now that Amanda is not just a housewife.
Of course we like it! Quality instead of quantity, right? Soooo many swoony scenes, even with Joe in the picture.
I’m with everyone else about the humor in this scene. This scene sort of reaffirmed what I was thinking when I first saw that it was Garrett Morris from Saturday Night Live. I kept thinking that this guy is a comedian, is he going to play this straight or not? One of the things that I liked about him on SNL is that while some of his characters were over the top, the way he portrayed them wasn’t. There was some subtlety in the humor and he was immersed in that character. That’s some of what I’m seeing here. It makes you wary of this Shamba character, but you’re not sure of just how wary to be. I think Lee is feeling the same way.
I agree also that you can see more of those subtle changes in Lee here as well. While he credits Emily with having taught him patience and control, I think it is Amanda that has truly brought it out of him. The fact that this whole situation is about Amanda has brought that out even more. He knows he needs to deal with Shamba, so he is trying the honey as opposed to vinegar route.
I like Mrs. Marsden’s character. I’m glad that they were consistent with her and didn’t change whoever was sitting there.
I remember being amused by Shamba, but not really laughing out loud. I also assumed Lee was carrying the luggage because Shamba was some “uppity-up” from Estocia who was needed to help the investigation. I honestly don’t remember if I caught that he had been in the first scene, but I do remember thinking he was overdoing it a bit, though not in a bad way.
I do find Ali Shamba laugh out loud funny! I don’t think I did when I first watched this, but I do remember enough of the episode to find him very funny now. I won’t say more tho….
And I love Mrs. Marsden here – she cracks me up too! I wonder if she has ever seen the inside of Lee’s closet – black undies in an ice bucket anyone?? Or black sock to those of you who don’t easily slip into the gutter. Not that I’m insinuating anything has ever gone on with Lee and Mrs. M., just that she’s heard all the rumors.
Unfortunately I do think SMK is trying to play up an Auggie-inspired stereotype here – zebra print luggage, Shamba acting like he’s never put a badge on his lapel before, etc.
Iswod sends a “hiya” to you all. Her computer is playing up, so I think she will be watching our comments from the (dis)comfort of her phone.
The next post may be delayed because of this
Get well soon, Iswod’s computer! 🙂
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Well, I don’t really “like” it. But I am glad learjet can let us know and I second the “get well soon” for Iwsod’s computer!
Hope your computer gets well soon, Iwsod. Bad computer, bad.
Sometimes technology can be such a pain. Sorry to hear about Iwsod’s computer. Hope it’s better soon!
Iwsod’s computer certainly doesn’t appreciate the essential service she provides to all of us here in the rabbit hole.
May all your circuit boards be pregnant, Iwsod! Or something like that. Hope you’re back soon.
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ROFL!! That is hysterical, 2Goldens! And of course you were swirling your arms and hands around as you typed it, right?
Why, of course, how else? Darn lucky I have a wireless keyboard, Could have been nasty otherwise.
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I love this scene. It’s great to see Mrs Marsden having some extra quality on screen time, and to see BB playing comedy. Having seen this character leaving the building in Estoccia and not knowing whether he is good guy or bad guy at this point, I think we are meant to get that Shamba is hamming it up a little. By the same token “May all your wives by pregnant” may well be a legitimate greeting or blessing in his culture. Whilst I’m entirely repulsed by polygamy or patriarchal cultures, they have existed for thousands of years and exist now in possibly a worse manifestation than ever. We can’t judge history and other cultures by our own modern western sensibilities. Shamba’s words and then his seeming realisation that his greeting may not have been entirely appropriate seems to paint him as a benign character, or at least someone who is acting benign and harmless. The writer obviously wanted the audience to be in two minds about what this man represents at this point.
It’s all good entertainment. I chuckle every time I watch this scene. 😀
I’ll just echo what everyone has already said here — I like the comic relief Shamba and Mrs. Marsten provide. I remember thinking at this point that is was going to be a heavy episode.
Shamba is so over the top, but I think it is funny. Without it this episode would be so heavy and I like that SMK can do both at the same time. And I love what this scene tells us about Lee and how much he has moved past his complete egocentric way of doing things. He would not have carried luggage at least not without grousing about it. And I also find it interesting that he had to pick this guy up and even remind calm and patient about it when I bet he is itching to get to Amanda as soon as possible.
And that line about Mrs Marsden’s office not being Lee’s closet… I use that all the time with my family.
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I love what you point out about Lee, Morley. We notice how he’s different around Amanda, but it’s great to see that this extends to other people as well. I think he’s grown since he had to cope with Mr Brand just a few episodes ago 🙂
I was wondering earlier if Lee was having flashbacks to Mr. Brand while carting around the zebra-striped luggage. Bet he’s wishing he had Mr. Brand now because at least he never made them carry his bags.
I was also thinking that this scene would be good for the caption, “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it sure does help!”
Actually, I think Lee’s expression was saying “Am I in some weird alternate universe? A bellboy? Carrying zebras?”
I like this scene, too, Learjet. I confess I have a soft spot for these random little goofy scenes in SMK. I just think they add so much to the charm of the show and remind us not to take all of this too seriously.
Of all the recurring characters on SMK, I think Mrs. Marston is just about my favorite. I really wish we could have seen a little more of her. I liked (back in Season 1, I think) when Amanda made the comment that she thought she couldn’t remember the passwords because Mrs. Marston intimidated her and Lee replied that that was what she was paid to do.
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Oh, yeah, this is classic SMK in this scene! I love it, usually rewind it. Stereotypes and caricatures, bring them on! Sure looks to me like they are trying to ham up Shamba’s character. Given the heavy moments we’ve seen so far, I’m glad for a little comic relief here, even if it is OTT, or maybe especially because it is OTT. We see SMK use the same device in Burn Out with Travis Wayne (one of KJ’s finest comedic scenes, in my opinion).
Shamba’s apologetic comment about the saying “May all your wives be pregnant” being totally out of date because “we have too many people as it is” always makes me smile. I love the irony. Shamba could say it’s out of date because women are now liberated and expected to do more than bear lots of children, or because polygamy is not an widely accepted practice in the modern world, or because it assumes the person using and the person hearing this presumably customary Estoccian greeting are men. But no, he just finds it out of date because they don’t need their womenfolk producing anymore babies. And how inappropriate is that he uses in mixed company an expression that wishes the recipient a great deal of sexual escapades as well! I think SMK outdid themselves with this scripting … great lines on so many different levels 🙂
Iwsod, thank you for bringing up that Lee was putting up with all this for Amanda’s sake. I’ve always been so wrapped up in the comedy of this moment that I never appreciated that point, but it’s such a sweet and romantic one. I got a big smile as I read that, and I’ll enjoy the scene even more because of it.
And finally, you gotta love how Lee may pull a lot of weight in “the bullpen”, but in the Georgetown foyer, Mrs. Marston reigns!
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I bet Mrs. Marsden even intimidates Billy and Francine! I wonder how a scene between her and Dr. Smyth would play out tho…
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Ooooo…I’d like to see that one, BJo! But I’ll bet on Mrs Marston’s machine gun over Smyth’s stinky cigarette any day! 🙂
This is actually one of my unexpected favourites scenes in SMK. It’s one of those great little comic scenes which are sadly quite rare in season 3.
I think this may be Mrs Marston’s 2nd finest moment (eclipsed only by the scene when she starts shooting wildly with a machine gun in TOTDW!) – she is just so dry and portrays so much with her expressions. Plus I should add (at least for the benefit of kiwismh 😉 ) that I think this shade of blue is totally her colour. Looks fabulous. I’ll overlook the neck-bow as it was one of the less offensive 80s fashion items (not that i’d be seen dead in one). And Lee should avoid zebra print – it isn’t a good look on him 😀
I adore the OTT zebra print luggage. Once I get over the stereotype (“Shamba” is African, there are zebras in Africa, therefore Shamba has zebra print luggage??), it’s so funny watching Lee lugging the luggage (couldn’t resist 😉 ) around while Shamba does nothing. As for Shamba’s reasons for doing nothing, I think we have to wait until later in the episode to discover those… Anyway, I get the feeling that Lee isn’t usually the “servant” and it’s hilarious watching him doing this, while Mrs Marston “makes sure” he doesn’t shirk his responsibilities.
Agree, learjet!! Love Mrs. M. in Weasel and the uzi! And I’m right there with you on the bow look. I hate bows. Really.
I’m pretty sure I still have a bow blouse in my closet. I wore it to interview for my first job after college. (Actually now that I think about it, I still have the whole ensemble!)
Oh dear…hope I did not offend! Sorry if I did, raffie! Think of me as the resident tom-boy who only wears dresses for weddings (because my husband makes me) and the occasional anniversary dinner with the spouse, but only because we got married in the summer.
🙂 No worries, you did not offend at all, BJo! I think it’s funny to see the reactions to the clothes that I grew up with from someone who did NOT grow up with them. I’m not much of a dress-upper myself … Amanda and I have pretty similar styles in clothing.
At least Shamba will never have trouble finding his luggage at the baggage claim in the airport. Or at least the person he gets to cart his luggage around for him won’t, once they realize what they’re looking for. 😉
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Good point, Jestress. And if Amanda had zebra-stripe luggage she probably wouldn’t have had that embarrassing mix-up that landed her with Miss Trixie Berlinger’s…um…career wear. 😉
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Got my computer back just now.. soooo we’ll see if it behaves itself! At least it has let me publish the next post! I’m going to be a bit behind over the coming days catching up with your thoughts and writing the next post I’ll see how I go. but if there is a bit of a delay in the next post coming – you’ll know why!
I love this ep!!! and can’t wait to get myself back into it! 🙂
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Welcome back, iwsod! So glad your computer is back in your hot little hands!
Yay!!! Welcome back Iwsod!
All the SMK bunnies form a conga line and do a happy dance around the rabbit hole
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Welcome back 🙂 . Hoping the “hospital” bills weren’t prohibitative!
Thanks guys! I’m joining that congo line!! whoo hoo!! So glad to be back!
I’ll writing the next post now 🙂 and then I’ll look forward to reading all your comments properly! 🙂
Ah the doctor wasn’t too $$ Learjet.. hooray!
Come to think of it, maybe Trixie would like animal print luggage . . .