15/ Season Three, Episode 11: Wrong Way Home:Scarecrow and Mrs King

So Lee pours Amanda another glass of beer and casually (tentatively?) mentions: Amanda,…
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…um,…
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…you never did finish telling me why you got divorced.

TWWH.avi_001542108[I love that he asks this without accusation or demand..]
Amanda: You really want to know, huh?
(Amanda gives a little smile)
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(Lee pours himself a drink)
Lee: Well
(Lee tries to sound casual .. but.. yeah!)
[I actually kinda like it that Amanda doesn’t give away information about herself and things that are so important to her so easily.. Lee has to work for it Smile ]
Amanda: You’re pretty nosey, aren’t ya.
TWWH.avi_001546312[aha! here’s that line that got cut from the Q bureau.. only here – it is not accusatory.. it’s teasing Lee and making light of things, I don’ t think Amanda really means it – Lee is curious.. but he isn’t putting pressure on her so IMHO he isn’t nosey! Though I understand YMMV!]
At this moment both Lee and Amanda share a proper laugh together.. sweet!
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Amanda continues: …Okay,…
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…well it’s no big secret…
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[doesn’t make it easy to talk about!]
…Um,…
[Amanda looks off into the distance.. going back in her mind to those days.]
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…well, when Joe got out of Law School he was interested in the Emergency Aid Organisation,…
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…and that meant constant travel…
(Lee is seen taking a swig of his beer here.. but he’s still absolutely riveted by Amanda’s story she’s sharing..
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He nods his head silently, encouraging her to continue)
TWWH.avi_001562128 …I just, ah,…
[While Amanda searches for the words, we are still on Lee- we see his jaw grinding away here as he listens intently.. maybe a little worried about what she’s about to say? what do you all think?!!! ]
TWWH.avi_001563430 …I just didn’t think that would be good for the boys….
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[I’m being very careful to match the pics with the words – because BB knocks it out of the park here as he wordlessly takes in what Amanda is sharing.. as she shares that the travel wasn’t good for the boys – it’s like Lee’s love for Amanda comes out! I think Lee loves how good a mum Amanda is and how she has looked after them so well – Lee would appreciate how important a parent is to a young boy. Whoa.. also interesting to note that Lee ended up travelling an awful lot because of his uncle when he was growing up – and he had found it difficult – or at least that was my impression.. so this would really resonate with Mr diaper duty err Lee! ]
They were too little, you know…
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…Six months here, six months there….
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…I really thought it would be better if we were all settled.

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Lee: You wanted to be a housewife.
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Amanda:
Well I wanted a home…
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…I wanted.. for all of us to have a home…
TWWH.avi_001576343[the ‘all of us’ part here is interesting]
…But, ah,..
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…Joe felt that he— he really… [Amanda chooses her words very carefully here]
had something to give so he went ahead and took the job…
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…and I stayed in Arlington….
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…I guess we were really sort of separated for a couple of
years, and then we finally admitted that it—
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[Amanda looks so sad here.. KJ does an amazing job here.. so subtle.. she conveys Amanda’s sadness, but also her private nature. I think for Amanda’s character, having to put into words what happened is quite a cathartic, helpful experience – which IMHO will help her to heal her past hurts and move forward (with a certain swoony spy!) What do you think?]
…it just wasn’t going to work….
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(We cut back to Lee..
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he was leaning forward and now shifts back a little.. I get the impression he is unimpressed by Joe and his choices..)
TWWH.avi_001599265 Lee grinds his jaw some more (or as BJo would say – he does his cheeky Lee thing!)
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Amanda continues: So,…
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…life’s turned out okay.

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[I think Amanda tries to lighten things a little.. there was so much that she didn’t say.. but if you read between the lines it seems Amanda was not treated well  – the phrase ‘Joe felt he had a lot to give’ is especially poignant – as it seems to me he chose not to ‘give’ to his family!!! grrrr..
I can’t wait to hear what you all make of it exactly! but..  Amanda is very brave here]
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[Get your swoon helmets ready ladies! Winking smile ]
Lee chooses to stay in serious mode just a moment longer. There’s something he wants Amanda to know..
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Lee (softly): Yeah, but “okay”…
TWWH.avi_001604771
TWWH.avi_001605271 (Lee shakes his head)
…isn’t good enough for you.
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[Lee is looking a bit teary here no?? I guess he feels for Amanda, but also – he feels deeply the pain of having a father not be with his family no? what do you all think? ]
Amanda smiles in response to this –
TWWH.avi_001607974I think for such a swoony remark, so full of meaning – Amanda copes very well with it. I  think Lee means to say Amanda deserve better than that, and what happened wasn’t right.
I don’t think Lee is talking about himself here, I think all his thoughts are with Amanda and what is best for her – not with himself. But this in itself says a lot doesn’t it?! I think this is the most direct thing Lee has ever said about what he thinks of Amanda as a romantic partner no? His comment implies that she is very special, and worthy of better than ‘okay’ . This is huge!!!

But.. Amanda appreciates this remark by Lee but I don’t think she grasps the full meaning of it – I think she’s too caught up in her sadness at how things turned out – not the way she had hoped or planned.. So the magnitude of what Lee just admitted is a little lost on her. She doesn’t even seem to notice the love in his eyes here.. or is it just me thinking this?? She doesn’t really hold his eyes for long here.. (but gotta stop here for the moment).

Amanda lets out a chuckle of sorts at Lee’s remark and turns to look around the bar..it’s a very fleeting smile as she turns and is distracted by the happenings that are ahead – which I’ll get to in the next post.

Is it lost on Lee? does he realise what he just said? I think he’s so caught up in comforting Amanda he doesn’t think about it in this moment..but it’s got to dawn on him what he just said and how he feels about her at some point.. and when he does.. he’ll need to ask himself – do I deserve her???!!!

I better pause here for the moment! This post is getting big.. I really can’t wait to hear what you all think of this scene.. and just savour it!! 

I will give us plenty of time to discuss this post before moving on to the next I think.

There is more to add to this with the next moment but I’ll have to wait till the next post to cover it. I also haven’t said much about what I think Amanda is saying when you read between the lines here – I’ll leave that for comments and discussions.. I suspect one of you will put my thoughts into words perfectly!
As you often do! Bye for now.

65 responses to “15/ Season Three, Episode 11: Wrong Way Home:Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. First of all, hello Ladies, this is my first comment on this site, and first I’d like to mention how much I love this blog, you gals are doing such a great job and I’m in awe of the dedication you put into this. I stumbled upon SMK by accident while the show is being rerun on German TV recently, and while searching for some info I discovered this blog. And what a revelation it was and still is. While BB and KJ’s on-screen chemistry sold me on the show, this site definitely helped me getting obsessed with it, and I love reading your comments and opinions. I wish I had found this site a lot earlier, so I could have shared in the on-going conversations though… oh well, better late than never, I guess 😉

    The reason I chose this particular scene as my first post is, because I find it interesting how differently I see some of the scenes and the way the characters are being portrayed as opposed to the majority on here, and it also happens to be the latest episode I watched on my brand-new DVD set, lol.

    While I haven’t read every comment, there seems to be a definite negative view on Joe and his choices in a whole and I’m a little surprised by the magnitude, cause I never did see him as the “bad guy” in their marriage or simply as the selfish guy, funny enough especially after this scene. To me they both are to blame for the situation they found themselves in and I can’t really feel too sorry for Amanda. When she says “I really thought it would be better if we were all settled…” it bugged me a little, cause she only “thought” so, but she didn’t “know”. You can’t know what’s better if you haven’t at least tried, and it’s obvious that she said no to what Joe wanted right away. Don’t get me wrong, I understand her concerns, but she isn’t very open to a different idea either. So while, yes, he chose to take the job, she didn’t compromise either. She could have at least tried, especially when the kids were so young that school wasn’t even an issue, and she could have still gone back if it hadn’t turned out to be good. But apparently for Amanda “home” only consists of a certain place, while I’m sure that many people would argue that “home” is where the people you love are and not a specific place or house. So her saying she wanted all of them together makes me frown a little, cause they could’ve been a “home” even with Joe taking the job, but that wasn’t even an option – therefore she was selfish too, IMO.

    I guess, the reason why feel the need to defend Joe here a bit, is because I have colleague whose parents are doing a lot of charity work and have been since they were young which also consisted of a lot travelling (to African countries mostly). My colleague, the youngest of three girls, was even born in Tonga because of her parent’s work.

    What I’m trying to say is that her parents are still happily married and they have a great family life despite not exactly having what a lot pf people refer to as a “stable home” and having to travel to different countries. While Amanda chose to do what she thought was right, Joe did the same, unfortunately those were different things, but I don’t see it as fair of Amanda to shut down Joe and his dreams either. In the end their “compromise” was doing what they both thought was best and trying to lead a family life this way…and it didn’t work out – happens. But to me neither here is the good or bad guy. It comes down to “if you really want something to work, you can make it work”.

    I’m with those who say their problem was that they were too young and had children too early, before they really knew what each wanted from life. Hence what happened once they had to make this life changing decision. I actually like this about SMK and how they wrote this divorced couple, it seemed genuine and mature and not like a made up drama to make the guy look as the typical bad man while on the other hand we have the “will they or won’t they couple”. It was just two people wanting different things from life and it didn’t work out between them.
    Which is why I also love that Amanda and Joe still get along and that there’s no bad blood. It could have easily been written that way, and frankly, it would have been lame. It also makes the episode more interesting as Lee must be wondering how Amanda still feels about Joe. The fact that there is no animosity between the ex-spouses makes the Lee/Amanda relationship way better, imo.

    Really love that SMK went that route and not the so typical “boooh, bad spouse”-routine that a lot of modern shows take to make the love interest look better. My parents, for example, were married for 21 years, broke up and only got divorced 12 years later as they still got along (and still do) and neither planned on marrying again. It doesn’t always end in arguments and fights and when children are involved it shouldn’t which is another reason I love how they wrote Amanda and Joe as a whole, also in later episodes – I might be jumping the shark here a little, as I realize you only do posts per scene, but since it’s been a while, I hope you don’t mind this little hint at a specific scene in S4.

    Having said all that, I also wonder if Amanda understands Joe better now, after all, she chose to take this job with the Agency and she is constantly in dangerous situations (more so than Joe probably ever was), she could be killed any time because of this, and yet she stays…now I could mention a scene from a few eps down on why she is doing that and how that’s interesting with her saying “Joe felt that he— he really…had something to give so he went ahead and took the job”, but I won’t 😉, anyway, Amanda is doing now what Joe did back then in a way, imo. Oh my gosh, I could go on an Amandaramble with this topic it seems, so I better stop now, it’s already massively long, rofl.

    Don’t think I have to mention that I loved Lee in this scene, it also confirmed my take on the Q-office scene and that his primary goal (if mostly subconsciously) was to glean an inside into Amanda’s current feelings about Joe (which I don’t mind) and not mainly for the case. 😊

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    • Welcome to JWWM Huginacup!! So glad you’ve joined the fun and said hello!
      I’ll try and get back here to reply to your comments properly soon.
      So glad you’ve found us!! 🙂

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    • Welcome Huginacup! I love your insights here and am also a Joe defender. I remember the huge impact this episode had on me when I first watch it as a teen because here was an ex that came back into the picture and NO ONE WAS THE BAD GUY. And like you have mentioned, so very different to what was portrayed on every other show and book at the time and even now. Here was a potential triangle, all with good people and someone was going to be end up being hurt and it was no one’s fault. Very powerful.

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      • Hi huginacup! I’m with both of you. Marriage is a complicated thing and I’ve seen many diverse ways couple stay together and break up. It’s nice to have something portrayed that’s not stereotypical. Life is full of shades of gray. Cindy, love the way you put it, it is powerful to see. (Wait, where’s your Umbridge avatar Cindy? Loved it! I’m presently listening to Wizard Rock and miss your Delores….)

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        • LOL – I still have it as my FB profile picture, maybe it’s not showing up because I am posting here from a different computer.

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        • Thank you all for the warm welcome 🙂

          Still need to get a handle on how this thing with the comments works, so I won’t miss a reply though.

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          • hiya huginacup, just make sure you select the option to be notified of follow up comments when yu comment and you should get it. Hope that helps. Hopefully you have or lol you may not get this reply! 🙂
            I’m sorry I’ve not responded specifically to your comments but I’ve been really enjoying being reminded of Wrong way home and flight to freedom 🙂 I can see us doing another walk through when the walk is done – once the posts are written there is no reason why we can’t just repost and start again. and that way we can go faster without having to wait for iwsod slow coach to get the posts written! Regardless though, I love to hear comments when people have watched an earlier ep – do be encouraged to keep on sharing!!!
            Bye!

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  2. ScarecrowsAngel

    The soft lighting really makes for gorgeous pictures of this swooooooonworthy scene. Quite a bit of insight into Amanda’s character, too. Very interesting!

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  3. It’s interesting to go back to this after having seen Wizard. Lee and Amanda had another heart to heart then, but with Lee having to deal with his past reemerging. Here they are drinking beer, in Wizard it’s wine. Maybe some sort of alcohol loosens the tongue. What’s interesting is that while Lee has to dig quite a bit to get the true story from Amanda, Amanda has done her own research to get the low down on Lee. In both instances they are very supportive of the other and both end up showing more of their feelings for the other. Also, in both instances, the heart to heart seems to bring them closer together. Lee tells Amanda she deserved better. Amanda basically tells Lee he’s a good man. Still love this scene and Lee’s support of Amanda.

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    • In both instances they are very supportive of the other and both end up showing more of their feelings for the other. Also, in both instances, the heart to heart seems to bring them closer together. Lee tells Amanda she deserved better. Amanda basically tells Lee he’s a good man. Still love this scene and Lee’s support of Amanda.

      Beautiful Valerie! 🙂
      It’s a special scene… so glad this one came up as a random post!

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  4. I agree, iwsod, I don’t think Amanda fully appreciates what Lee says here about okay not being good enough for her.

    Amanda really has a hard time making eye contact with Lee in this scene. I think that is one of the reasons why (coupled with her reluctance to talk about it) I think her divorce feels like a failure to her.

    About Joe feeling like he had a lot to give…I feel for Amanda and the boys, but it doesn’t bother me so much. I don’t know why. I sort of think that he and Amanda got married too young and had kids before either of them knew who they were and what they wanted out of life. That had to be a hard position for both her and Joe. I don’t think Amanda really blames him for it either. I think she understands. I think she also wanted to give more too, hence her sticking with the Agency job despite the lies and danger. She is now certainly giving up her fair share of time with the boys. She’s lucky she has her mother to be there for them.

    Now onto reading what everyone else said…

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  5. So many fabulous comments 🙂 so little time!! 😦

    I find Amanda hard to pin down here.. I’m thinking as the episode progresses my picture of Amanda will become clearer.. and certainly hearing all your thoughts has helped too!

    raffie wrote:

    He would have loved to protect Amanda from the hurt, and he understands that accepting “okay” is not in her nature, a proverbial bitter pill to swallow……
    and
    She is not one to settle or compromise. She is optimistic and enthusiastic and outspoken and brave and unsinkable, qualities that I believe Lee has seen and loved in Amanda right from the get-go.

    Raffie this was an interesting idea.. I hadn’t ever thought about this before.. you made me ponder! 🙂
    Okay is not in Amanda’s nature.. I agree with you – that she aims to do whatever she does well.
    The difference with a marriage though is you can’t control what the other person does. What Amanda could control is what she brought to the marriage.. to her family.. and to dealing with Joe’s choices.
    I think Amanda did put her family first – she put her trust in Joe and IMHO he let her and their family down.

    Maybe Amanda settling for okay would have been following Joe to Estoccia, while not believing it was best for the boys, and not wanting to do it. Does that make sense?

    I think in this situation, she hasn’t chosen to be a single mother – but she’s taken it on in her usual enthusiastic way, and done her best for her children (brave and unsinkable were great descriptors raffie!). It would have been better if her family could have stayed together, but Joe made choices where that was no longer possible.

    Forgive me for not referring to your comments directly, I’ll share a few random thoughts in response to comments..
    – I think a few of you have mentioned that given how much Amanda values family and wanted to have a home – at this point it does raise the question of whether she would be open to Joe returning to their family and that home that she wanted for them all…
    I think this scene with Lee leaves this possibility wide open – (there you go 2goldens.. I don’t think you are being naughty at all!) I think the writers want this to be open. At this point in the episode we’ve just learned something about Amanda.. she chose to put her boys first above her marriage (I don’t assume this- there are plenty of women who put there husbands before their children). But how does Amanda feel about Joe now?? The way she recounted events to Lee, she has not IMHO revealed how she feels about Joe. ugh!!!
    We know she is sad that her marriage didn’t last, and that her family isn’t together – so would being together again be what she wants??!!!
    Maybe this is the question Amanda is in the process of asking herself 🙂

    -The housewife comment didn’t bug me.. because I see it as in the smk context – and Lee is not derogatory of it.. as someone (sorry!) said, that Lee uses it with warmth shows real progress for him – and that he embraces the mother side of Amanda’s life.. huge!!!! so I loved that!!

    I liked that she clarified that it wasn’t that she wanted to ‘be a housewife’ she ‘wanted a home’ –it was the whole package, not just her role that she wanted. I see Amanda as loving her boys and wanting to raise them well and in a healthy environment, but I don’t see her as cut out to stay at home for ever.. ugh.. I think having a career and outside interests has made Amanda blossom- wanting to be a housewife to me implies being dedicated solely to her family or role as mother – and without a career. Soooo I liked that she expanded on that.. She is a mother.. but she has other roles not directly related to her children now.

    So far, I’m still not a fan of Joe and the choice that he made.. he wanted his family to go to a country full of famine, disease and social unrest?!! Well that or live without him..
    I think that’s irresponsible – especially when his wife was not on board with it.
    When you have a family it’s a commitment (not only when you choose to have a family – if the whole unplanned babies idea is followed through).
    – sure he had something to give- but the boys were not going to be young forever. It could have waited a few years. He could have ‘given’ in other ways.. he could have given to his family for a time.. shocking!
    Nope, there really is no way for me to look at what Joe did and see it as the right thing to do.
    I’m curious to see what smk does with this – because they seem to be trying to paint Joe as a good guy.. Hmm!

    I don’t really get how Amanda can not be angry with him -unless she has already worked through the anger phase! Either way, it’s absence makes me wonder if she still has feelings for him.
    (Hold this thought though.. this is a work in progress for me.. well – it all is!!)

    What would Lee make of this? well.. I think the next post adds to this so I’ll hold off on that.

    Have really enjoyed reading all your thoughts everyone!!! it’s been such a joy to read all your descriptions of how Lee’s feelings for Amanda seem to have blossomed here. and I cannot wait to take this further as we continue with this episode! okay okay.. I’ll publish the next post now! byeeee!

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    • I was thinking about what you said about Amanda being angry, and I remembered back in season 1 when she was angry with Magda for what she said to Philip about his science project. Magda noticed that Amanda was angry even though she hadn’t said so explicitly, and Amanda admitted that she was angry and said “I’m sorry.” I’m not sure, but I think that Amanda has the idea that it’s wrong to be angry with people, even when they’ve done something to deserve it. I guess it’s good that she moves on with life and doesn’t hold grudges, but I don’t think she should feel guilty about being angry with people sometimes.

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    • I don’t think it’s neccessarily that Amanda chose her kids over her marriage. I think marriage was taken a lot more seriously back then which is why some women did put their husbands above their children. I think Amanda tried to protect her family as a whole, which is what I think you are suppose to do. Joe chose himself over his family. I agree with IWSOD that if Joe really had something to offer the world, he could have waited. His sons weren’t going to be young forever.

      The reason Amanda wasn’t angry with Joe is probably because she probably took a lot of the responsibility on herself. She probably thought by not caving in, Joe would come home and her family would be together. When that didn’t happen she probably questioned if she had done the right thing by not going with him and allowing her family to be broken. I imagine as a woman no matter how irrational it was Amanda must have also felt like she wasn’t enough to make Joe stay.

      As I’ve already said I can see the argument on both sides as far as the marriage goes, but because Joe did run out on his kids I don’t know how SMK can make him a good guy. Personally, I don’t always see Amanda put her kids first either. You can’t in that kind of job, but her kids are older now than they were when Joe pursued a career that meant he wouldn’t always be able to put his family first.

      I’m old fashion, I think you should do whatever it takes to make your marriage work, and I understand that some jobs just don’t always allow family to come first and we need people to do those jobs. However, life is all about making priorities, and give me a break, it sounds like their kids were just babies when Joe did that. That’s a point when the kids do need to come first and a husband and wife are suppose to parent as a team so Joe should have been on Amanda’s side in deciding that. Joe is very selfish.

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      • There are so many great ideas coming out of this discussion. Creaturecuddler, I really liked the way you pointed out that Amanda may have felt that she was not enough to make Joe stay.
        A while ago I mentioned a book that I had read about the three cries of a woman’s heart. Here is a blurb from the book about those three desires, “Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story.” I can see so clearly how each one of those desires got crushed by Joe leaving and choosing his work in foreign countries over his wife and children. It doesn’t appear as though Amanda had a chance to really grieve (with all of its stages) over the loss of her marriage and her dream. At first she tried to make it work and then the effects of the distance set in and rationalization probably over shadowed raw emotion and they made a rational decision to divorce. And life went on, she was going t make the best of it especially for her kids etc. etc.

        Over the time that she has met Lee and begun work at the Agency at least the desire to be a part of a grand adventure is being met. Is she being swept up in a romance in which she is the beauty? Maybe she was wondering if she was beginning to, but could she really trust Lee? He doesn’t have a great track record even if she does care for him a great deal. And it is my experience that if you haven’t really looked honestly at the pain it is hard to move forward. But I wonder if she never really had the chance to because of how things dissolved with Joe. Maybe Joe coming back at this point, especially at this point in her relationship with Lee, is a good thing. It could bring some clarity about where she really is and what her desires really are and who really is answering those cries of her heart.
        She may be a bit concerned that she will feel strong emotions and I am beginning to think that Amanda doesn’t like strong emotions just as much as Lee, or she may realize that she really has more finished chapters of her old story than she had thought…

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  6. OK-something else I noticed and it is not about their interaction. Back in ROTP, Lee is all about his expensive wine and exotic meals. Even the apology dinner in Artful Dodger is at an expensive restaurant. They never got to share their “normal” dinner of hamburgers and wine. Now they are having pizza and beer together like a couple of normal people. Even in this regard, they have come a long way.

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    • So true! Made me think that up until now, Lee has been a single malt whisk(e)y, expensive champagne or red wine kind of guy – and now he’s drinking beer, which is somehow a more “relaxed” kind of drink (was it a “craft” beer though, I wonder? 😀 )

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  7. I love this scene because it is so simple yet so powerful. Especially the simple statement Lee made to Amanda about how okay is not good enough for her. I think he made that statement without any agenda or intent. I don’t believe he was trying to tell Amanda here that he would treat her better if she gave him the chance. I think Lee was simply making a heartfelt observation. I do think making that simple statement probably does make Lee realize to himself that he does want that chance, but I think it was born out of nothing but concern for Amanda here. I actually love how selfless Lee acts throughout this entire episode. Normally we would see Lee act pretty jealous at Amanda’s attention and concern being so focused on another man, but in this episode Lee doesn’t show anything but concern for Amanda and what she’s going through.

    I also love this scene because I totally agree with IWSOD that Lee’s love for Amanda shines in his eyes throughout this scene. I think it’s the first time we’ve really gotten to see that for more than just a moment. In the past I think Lee’s always been so careful and so guarded, that if he did let his guard down for a moment and let show whatever it was he was feeling for Amanda, he quickly composed himself and we didn’t see it long. I think there are many moments like that but here Lee just lets his love for Amanda show.

    I am probably in the minority here, but I don’t completely blame Joe for what went wrong in the marriage. Knowing what we know now about Amanda she obviously craves adventure and wants to make a difference as much as Joe does, and I think maybe that is a dream Joe and Amanda once shared. They probably hadn’t planned on having children so early on and Amanda probably never realized how hard it would be to realize that dream with such a young family. I don’t blame Amanda because under the circumstances I couldn’t have done what Joe was asking her to do living 6 months here and 6 months there with no real support system either. However, I can also see why Joe felt like he shouldn’t have to give up on what he wanted out of life either. As far as the marriage goes I can see the argument on both sides. However, whether Joe thought Amanda should give in or not, when it became clear she wasn’t going to, Joe should have realized that his first responsibility at that point in his life was to his children. Phillip and Jaime were the only ones that truly didn’t have a say in the matter and Joe had a duty to be there for them.

    I think I am also in the minority that I think I agree with what 2Goldens said about Amanda here. It honestly never occurred to me that maybe a small part of Amanda had always held on to the dream that someday Joe would come back and they’d be a family, but it makes sense. Flashing back to the first episode, even before Amanda met Lee she expressed concern about letting things get to serious with Dean. And it would explain why there still seems to be such a closeness between Amanda and Joe after so many years a part and why Amanda still seems devoted to Joe. I have always believed that from the first time Amanda met Lee her life and priorities changed and always believed that Amanda loved Lee to different degrees throughout the show, but that doesn’t mean a small part of Amanda wasn’t still holding on to that idea and she just never had to deal with it. Now for the first time Amanda is confronted with that idea, and without giving anything away I think Amanda already realizes by the end of the episode it’s not what she really wants anymore. However, maybe it’s a good thing it happened. Maybe it’s something Amanda had to realize before she would completely be able to commit to Lee.

    Just some of my thoughts at this point during SKM. I haven’t been to message board in some time, but lately I had gotten back into watching season 3 and just had to come back.

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    • Creaturecuddler, I really like the way you summarized Lee’s emotions toward Amanda through the course of this episode so far. Even though given several opportunities for jealousy, frustration, even anger, he has instead responded with gentleness, patience, and empathy. So sweet.

      I actually think Golden’s theory is very reasonable, especially for the 80’s viewer who has been living week to week praying for the first real kiss, the first real confession of devotion-to-the-death love. Now enter Joe (at which point we devoted female viewers all likely threw our dial-up phones, VCR remotes, and toe socks at the TV screen!), and here Amanda is getting all tentative with Lee. It’s entirely plausible that Amanda had held onto the fantasy that she and Joe might one day again form a family, and with the phone call from Joe at the start of the episode, she suddenly has to confront how she truly feels about this fantasy. (I guess Amanda has had some practice in how to come to terms with fantasies.) More kudos here for Lee’s behavior, as a bad performance could have devastating effect here when Amanda is on the fence sorting through her feelings.

      (Gee it’s hard not to look ahead!!)

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    • I agree with you creaturecuddler on what you say about not completely blaming Joe. So if it’s a minority, it’s a minority of two – although I haven’t gotten to the rest of the comments below yet. I think because Amanda apparently does not hold a grudge here, I think she understands why Joe made the choice he made. And maybe it was initially just a two year commitment. People in the corporate world that I know who take international assignments usually do so for a limited time – 2 to three years. Sure, they can end up staying longer, but it’s not expected to be a permanent change most of the time. Maybe once Joe got there and saw all of what the EAO was doing to help the people of Estoccia he felt like he couldn’t walk away? I think that’s a bit myopic, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in the job and feel like you’re irreplaceable. Maybe Joe was dealing with that?

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  8. Lee’s naked emotion when he says “Okay isn’t good enough for you” is just so beautiful, it gives me a lump in my throat everytime I see it. Those eyes showing that emotion. The level of honesty. He might as well say “Not even the best is good enough for you”, because that’s what he means. {Where’s the hartshorn when I need it???}

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  9. Yes, it’s a beautiful scene, and beautifully acted by BB and KJ.

    (Some of you may want to stop reading here. My rebellious streak is about to show.)

    However, in the context of the episode I’m having a big problem with Amanda’s story and the way she tells it to Lee. Despite a slight look of wistful sadness in her eyes, her depiction of her marriage and divorce is very sanitized, very factual. Given that she and Lee are sitting in a public place on “stakeout” I understand a certain amount of emotional restraint, but she doesn’t give any voice to her feelings, either at the time or now. She could almost be talking about a pair of shoes that she bought, brought home, then realized they didn’t quite go with the outfit she had and so had to take back. Yep, disappointed, but hey, life’s OK, right? It’s only Lee’s knowledge of her and her values, his love for her, and his own childhood hurts that enable him to empathize so well with her. Good for Lee! You’ve come a long way, baby!! 🙂

    Amanda’s apparent denial of her feelings is what’s really bothering me here. Either that, or she’s one heck of a better woman than I could ever aspire to be. Had my husband left me with two small children because he was a lawyer with “something to give” I’m pretty sure my relationship with him afterwards would be far from amicable, especially to the extent we’re seeing (…and will see, but I’m trying not to prompt Iwsod send me to the Naughty Chair so I won’t say any more about that right now 😉 )

    I guess I’m still sticking with my theory that deep inside Amanda still maintains the hope of reconciliation with Joe and that they all will someday have a home together.

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    • loving all your comments! will try and reply when I can – just wanted to say 2goldens I love that you’ve got a different viewpoint here – so glad you shared it! 🙂

      Naughty corner?! what for?! It’s all good! (just don’t jump ahead 🙂 )

      itching to get back and discuss!! argh!!!!

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    • I’m not sure if Amanda is denying her feelings so much as blocking them out completely. I totally agree, 2Goldens, I can’t imagine maintaining an amicable relationship with my ex after he did left me and the kids to save the world. I think his first loyalty should have been to them, and it should have been something that both he and Amanda wanted to do. I guess it highlights that Amanda and I are really very different people. My reflex response is to feel she’s being too nice, when she’s just different to me.

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      • I agree with you guys. Amanda’s being very controlled and subdued about something that must have been terribly painful for her. The fact that she’s been trying so hard not to talk about it up to now says that it still hurts or that she’s afraid of bringing up the hurt again.

        Going off to travel and support a good cause could have been something that both Joe and Amanda wanted to do at some point, but when they had the boys, Amanda realized that such a thing would be too difficult and maybe even dangerous for them. In that case, Joe would be the one “resistant to change,” unable to give up their original plan for the sake of the kids. Although, Amanda actually has found a job that involves adventure, occasional travel, and a noble cause without giving up the home they created for the boys (with her mother’s help 😉 ).

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        • Good point, Jestress. Ironically, Amanda is also “saving the world”, but in a different way to Joe.

          I have to mention that I found Lee’s comment: “You wanted to be a housewife”, although it was kindly and tenderly said, irritates me a bit. I don’t think that Amanda wanted to not go with Joe because she wanted to “be a housewife” – I think she wanted to provide a safe and stable environment for her sons.

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          • Agree Learjet about the “You wanted to be a housewife” comment. I’m usually not one to get irked by those sorts of sentiments but that one irks me I think because it seems clunky and not quite right coming from Lee to Amanda at this stage of their friendship/relationship.
            Every time I watch this scene I imagine Lee is the one to say, “You wanted a home” (instead of “You wanted to be a housewife”). I think it would have worked better that way as it seems to me a more natural and thoughtful thing for Lee to say.
            At that point the dialog would then continue with Amanda’s line, “I wanted all of us to have a home….” and continue with the rest of the scene.

            I’m late to the party on this post and most of my thoughts have been expressed better by everyone else. Love all the comments. 😀

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            • Maybe it’s also the link with the old “housewife from Arlington with a morgage and two boys” stereotype from the earier seasons which I, for one, was happy to leave behind 😦 !

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            • It always irked me when they called Amanda a housewife. She is not a wife at all. The term would be homemaker, which there’s absolutely nothing wrong with. However, Amanda has a job outside of the home so I don’t believe that term applies either in the truest sense. I don’t think Lee thinks anything about it, Housewife is just a term he’s gotten use to using in reference to Amanda and it doesn’t mean anything, but I am glad Amanda corrected him. There is a difference in wanting a home and being a housewife.

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            • Actually, in a way, I kind of like the “housewife” comment, although it sounds a little weird coming from Lee at this stage. The one reason I like it is because this little exchange kind of highlights that there’s kind of a happy medium that both Lee and Amanda have been looking for: Amanda at the beginning of the show was a housewife who was looking for something more in her life (definitely a job, maybe some excitement and a higher purpose), and Lee (although I don’t think he realized it then) needed someone in his life he could count on and be close to, a replacement for his former partner who would be permanent (and maybe a sense of stability). Amanda’s life was stable to the point of stagnant, and Lee’s was chaotic with an ever-changing parade of girlfriends. By this point, they’ve evened out more.

              Amanda has branched out more and her life is much more exciting than it used to be, but she hasn’t completely given up stability because she still has her home and family. That sense of home and family has always been important to her and always will be, and Lee appreciates that because it’s something that he’s been lacking. To me, the “housewife” exchange is meant to highlight the fact that everyone needs that sense of home, no matter how exciting or purposeful their work is, whether they’re housewives or spies or lawyers who travel the world looking for adventure, and that what makes it more meaningful is having someone to come home to. Amanda has known that all along, Lee’s figured it out by now, and now maybe Joe is starting to realize it, too.

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              • I like the “housewife” comment as well. Somewhere in this thread someone mentioned that it calls us back to the way Lee and Francine have used the term in the past. In those situations it was derisive. But here I see Lee conveying to Amanda that he gets it and he values her decision. Instead of deriding her choice, he admires it, affirms it and puts it in a place of specialness. It is as if he is redefining it for future use of the term in their relationship. I appreciate that Amanda can take the meaning of that term down to its foundational level, “making a home.” I think Lee can immediately identify with this desire and continue to admire and understand Amanda. This little bit of this conversation is like the flip side f the coin from the exchange that Francine and Amanda have in The First Time when Amanda says, “I do a lot of things actually.”

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          • But it’s important to remember that in the early 80’s, “being a housewife” did not have the same negative connotation that it does today. In fact quite the opposite — those young mothers who balanced a job and a home were often looked upon as people with grossly misplaced priorities. It is only as women stepped out into the work force in greater numbers (as started happening in the early 80’s) that suddenly housewives were left in a defensive position of redefining their identity. The term then became associated with someone anitquated or perhaps even unambitious rather than someone loving, caring, nurturing, self-sacrificing, and the backbone of a strong family.

            I have to say that I never saw myself as part of a trend-setting movement, but I do enjoy seeing SMK work within the context of what indeed was a critical cultural shift. I don’t think I ever consciously appreciated it at the time. However, I don’t think it’s coincidence that I would come home from work, fix dinner, play and read with the baby, get the baby to bed, then sit down to get my Monday night fix of SMK! .

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            • Perfectly stated Raffie! “Career-woman” and “single” were the more pejorative terms, “housewife” had not begun to carry the same weight as it does today. I was unmarried at 30 and rather invested in my work, thus was mercilessly hammered by many (and my poor mother who wanted more grandkids LOL) and considered the odd duck. It’s great that nowadays, women can take many paths!

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            • I remember when the term “housewife” was undergoing its shift from a positive to a pejorative one. There weren’t at first the negative connotations that pop into our heads these days. Now, if someone says “housewife”, it’s usually used in a belittling sense, but that wasn’t the case 30 years ago. Then the women themselves began preferring the term “homemaker”. Amanda doesn’t use it, but she fits in with the general mentality as she corrects Lee’s “house” to “home”.

              Speaking of how things change over time, I think Amanda’s whole goal would be looked down on a bit now. At least by the people I come into contact with. The whole idea that children should stay in one place just isn’t there anymore. A job that requires living in one foreign country and then another would be looked on as a great opportunity for the children to experience different cultures firsthand. Nowadays, a broad outlook and understanding of different people is valued, and the idea that stability can only be gained by staying in one location would probably be denied. That’s not better or worse; just different. It also seems that Amanda chose locational stability over relational stability: she was willing to let their familial structure and the boys’ relationship with their father change, rather than letting their physical location change. I think, although opening up this much is obviously difficult, that there’s still more she hasn’t told us about the relationship with Joe. It sounds like his decision to take the EOA job and her decision not to move was the effect, not the cause, of some problems in their relationship.

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              • I forgot to mention this before, but there is something else that I thought was weird. I’ve been kind of assuming that what Joe signed up for is basically like the Peace Corps, except that they probably don’t want to refer to it as the Peace Corps in the show. However, the real Peace Corps specifically refuses to allow people to bring children with them because of the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions that workers live under. They turn down people with families because they can’t bring their children and it would require long periods away. Of course, this is kind of a plot device for the show, but I’m just saying that in real life, I don’t think Joe would even have the option to bring his family on this type of assignment.

                Also, I don’t know how Joe has been paying child support because Peace Corps volunteers only get a stipend for living expenses, and even this Peace Corps look-alike organization doesn’t sound like it would be giving him much for the same kind of work. That may be one of the reasons why Amanda never took alimony and why she still finds it difficult to make ends meet even with child support payments to help with the kids’ expenses. I guess he’s still working in some capacity as a lawyer because he mentions doing legal paperwork for them, but I doubt that he’d be making what he could make a lawyer in the U.S.

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                • It could be the Peace Core, but it could also be one of numerous NGOs (non governmental organizations). My sister and her first husband have worked for a few, doing much of the same kind of things that Joe appears to be doing. The pay would be a bit more than the Peace Core and could lead an employee into the paths of dignitaries. My ex brother in law now works fr the world bank and my sister also worked for the UN. I guess that is how I view Joe’s work.

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            • Thanks for the perspective from someone who experienced that cultural shift, raffie. It’s interesting, even in 2015 I regularly encounter people where working is regarded as “indulgent” unless you’re a single mother, and other circles where staying at home is regarded as unambitious etc. The difference is that these days people generally don’t say it overtly.

              My other issue with the use of the word “housewife” relates to how Lee (in earlier seasons) and Francine (throughout the series) use the term. It feels like it has certain connotations which don’t fit well with the rest of what Lee is saying here.

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          • Yep, that comment always rubbed me the wrong way too, but Amanda’s response to him was PERFECT..

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        • I get the feeling that Amanda is picking her words carefully and her hesitancy in some parts makes me think she is editing out some detail too – perhaps she and Joe had some tense discussions (arguments?) around that time.
          Amanda wants to be open with Lee about this but it seems like the hurt and probably her sense of failure are still making it a difficult conversation for her to have. I get the feeling Amanda has seriously avoided thinking or dwelling on that time in her and Joe’s relationship. Now she has no choice but to face it – good! Is this off-limits piece of her past what has been holding her back from throwing herself whole-heartedly into any relationship since? I think someone else mentioned her lukewarm relationships with Dean, Alan Chamberlain, and Byron Jordan.
          Nothing about her relationship with Lee has ever been lukewarm! 😉

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        • I have been waiting for 24 hours to respond to these, Almost did me in. It has been a very busy weekend! But finally, I have a moment.

          I think we are learning a lot about Amanda here, so is Lee. She is being subdued and controlled. I think Lee can see that. And I agree, I think she is because this is how she has coped with the pain and this is how she handled the feelings of rejection. She blocked them and she also painted a picture for herself That was a s positive as possible and I don’t think she let herself stray from that picture. She told herself that Joe needed to be free to be himself and she could still provide the home for her children that she wanted to, that it would be for the best. And I bet she didn’t let herself have too many moments of self doubt.

          I do think she wanted to have something meaningful to do with her life. Some “grand adventure” and I think she wanted to have a partner in that. I wouldn’t be surprised if she and Joe had talked about that and then having the boys changed her thoughts, or at least her ideas of timing for this adventure. I think that is one of the redeeming things that is so interesting about her being able to work for the Agency and with Lee.

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      • I think Amanda is okay with Joe prioritizing saving the world or Estoccia over her and the kids. Is that utilitarianism from an ethics standpoint? I’m too lazy to get out my textbook.

        Here’s a devil’s advocate question…if Joe turns down the job and stays in DC and stays married to Amanda, what does she do when Lee hands her the package and tells her to walk with me? Does she say no and walk away or does she still take it and have an adventure? I think she thinks she has a lot to give too. Then again, she wouldn’t have been at the train station dropping off her boyfriend had she still been married to Joe. At least I don’t think so 😉 But she could have been dropping Joe off, no?

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        • BJo, have you had a chance to read the original script from the pilot? I was playing with writing an article comparing the pilot with what we saw as the first episode.

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          • Hi Cindy, I have not read the original script, but I do recall reading somewhere on the blog you mentioning it and maybe writing something about it. It certainly would have made for a very different beginning had Amanda been married in TFT. I think your article idea is a great one!

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    • Interesting theory 2Goldens. I like your last paragraph about Amanda still maintaining a hope of reconciliation with Joe. Is it because she still thinks she loves him or out of a sense of “it’s the right thing to do for us to be together and be a family again.”
      Which in turn makes me wonder if her growing friendship with Lee over the last couple of years has added a layer of bewilderment and guilt to her noble sense of hope, as somewhere deep inside something urges her towards Lee, not back to Joe.
      The late night musings of Kiwismh that may or may not make sense in the morning… 😉

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      • Late night or not, Kiwismh, your musings make perfect sense to me!

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        • I agree, they make sense. I don’t think it is because she pines for Joe though. I think it is more to do with her strong feelings about marriage. I keep hearing Lee’s comment in SOS about knowing how strongly Amanda feels about marriage. I can only imagine for a woman who holds thoughts like that strongly enough for Lee to be so aware of them, a divorce must be a very difficult thing to recover from and move on from.

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    • Different people can react to the same situation in different ways, especially a traumatic one. While i can see her emotions at battle here I can also see why she comes across as showing some emotional restraint. She has worked hard to move on from what happened and over time has been able to let herself get on with her life. For her it may keep her from dredging up the hurt to describe it as if it was something that happened to someone else or wasn’t that big of a deal.

      More and more we get to see more commonalities between Lee and Amanda than what we saw originally. They both have emotional issues that have been buried and not shared with anyone. While Lee labels a lot of people as friends you don’t see him spending a lot of time with them. While Amanda indicates that she knew she was well-liked you don’t see her hanging out with a lot of friends. When we’ve seen Dotty going out of town with the boys, Amanda stays at home to do some painting or working a charity event. She’s not having a girls night out. So Amanda may not have had anyone to share with about what she was going through with her divorce other than her mother. She may not have ever truly grieved for what she lost, just repressed it and tried to do what needed to be done for her family.

      The fact that there has been continued communication between Amanda and Joe may have led Amanda to think that at some point Joe would change his mind and come back to his family. And that may have led to her holding some of her suitors at arms length and possibly tamping down what she was beginning to feel for Lee. But now this fantasy is meeting reality and she is at a crossroads here.

      Not the same situation, but I have a friend who had dated someone off and on since high school. And he was always the one to end it and move on. This went on for about 15 years or so. In the latter part of these 15 years he moved in with her for six months. She agreed to it because there was the promise of a marriage in the future. He dumped her again and left town. I thought that would be the end of it as she was so distraught and so done with him. About a year later she came and told me she was engaged to this same guy. He had shown up over the weekend with all kinds of apologies, talked with her family and got engaged immediately. I was flabbergasted and didn’t believe it was true, not after the way he had been treating her all these years. They got married within a few months and several years later they are still married.

      While many don’t like it I do understand the friendliness between Joe and Amanda or at least I can see it because I keep seeing it with others in real life.

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  10. Love love love this scene! It’s so vey lovely and beautifully acted. Bravo to KJ a and BB and thanks to you Iwsod for the swoony pics!I have always thought this was a wonderful defining moment. Oh and doesn’t Amanda look particularly beautiful here? Jule runs back down the rabbit hole, helmet and chocolate in hand

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  11. I have been so anxious to comment since I read this post early this morning. Of course today was one of those days at school. So I’m going to get this out of my system before I forget it and please forgive if I repeat anything as I have yet to read any other posts.

    This post alone is one of the prime reasons I love this show and love this blog. One of the reasons I’ve usually liked or disliked an episode is because I’ve taken it as a whole. But being able to take it apart you get to see all the goodness inside with all the subtle nuances to the characters. I end up seeing things or characters in a new light. It’s scenes like this that make continuity and other issues seem small and insignificant.

    KJ and BB do so much and say so much with very little dialog. And what dialog there is speaks volumes itself. Their expressions and intensity say so much. They play off one another so well.

    From what Amanda says and intimates it seems that she and Joe weren’t on the same page pretty early on as to what it means to have and be a family. Amanda seems to have focused on them as a family when she says “us” whereas Joe seemed to have been focused only on himself. He decided to take the job anyway. It sounds as if he was unwilling to compromise, yet Amanda was the one accused of being stubborn or resistant to change. She was resistant to the upheaval to her family.

    I love how Lee understands and lets Amanda know that he sees what’s good and not good enough for her and what she deserves out of life. In watching Amanda in this you get the impression that she possibly saw herself as only deserving an okay life. And for a while she accepted that, that is right up until she met Lee. We talked before that her wearing that nightgown to the train station may have indicated how she was sleeping through life and just going through the motions. It was just okay and what was expected of her.

    I think Amanda had refused to allow herself to think that she deserved more out of life, lest she be disappointed or hurt again. When she was first getting to know Lee she put that crush aside because she could see where that would get her if she allowed it to go too far. She was very blasé’ about Bryce Topping and even Byron. I think she kept them at arms length because of what she went through with Joe. You can see in her eyes that there was some tremendous hurt in that situation.

    I also think that because of her hurt and keeping herself emotionally distant she may not have readily noticed all of the changes that have taken place within Lee and his outward expressions of that.

    Lee is so awesome here and takes his swoon-worthiness to a whole new level. He is so focused and attuned to Amanda here. He has always held her in regard as a mother and what she has done and sacrificed for her boys. I think he sees that even moreso now and sees just how much she has hidden the pain of what she has gone through. He is very gentle and tender with her here.

    Amanda and Lee seem to have both wanted the same things, a home and a family. I think that their true desires are now coming to the surface more and more and they are coming to see that what they really want is what the other can give to them.

    Okay, sorry for the diatribe, but I just had to get it out. Now to read other comments.

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  12. I cannot add anymore than what was already said here, but I must say again — what a BRILLIANT job by KJ and BB. During the time I was watching SMK, I was also watching some of the soap operas and this scene would have been ruined by the overacting if it was on another show. What we get here is much more heart breaking and beautiful in its subtly.

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  13. I think you guys are right about how Amanda’s concerns that moving around too much would be too difficult for small children have really touched Lee, who never really had a settled life as a child. Even though Lee is in a job where he’s had to travel around the world, he still keeps an apartment in Georgetown, a place to return home to after his missions. As much as Lee likes adventure, I think that he appreciates having a stable home and friends as constants in his life.

    Joe, on the other hand, grew up in a more conventional household, and I think that he was craving adventure. He and Amanda were fairly young when they married, just out of college or toward the end of college, and they had kids pretty quickly. My dad said once that it used to be a thing for college kids to take a year off after graduation and travel, but Joe couldn’t really do that because he had a young family to support. I think that Joe felt that he was missing out on his chance for adventure, and that the EAO was his opportunity to reclaim that. But, you can’t choose one path without giving up on another, and I’m not sure that Joe completely understood what he was sacrificing at the time. Lee has had years of adventure and living an unsettled life, and I think he has a deeper understanding of the difference, especially now that he’s seen the stable family life that Amanda has been providing for her kids.

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    • Really like this, Jestress. I got married and had kids after I’d graduated college and worked for 10 years, so I had a chance to have some adventures before marriage and kids. My oldest sister has the opposite experience. But she’s young enough still to have adventures now that her kids are grown and flown because she got started so young. It’s not a right/wrong thing, it’s just a different perspective thing. Knowing myself, had I gotten married to my college boyfriend and had kids right away, I am fairly certain that relationship would have ended in divorce and I’d have truly regretted it. But that is me. My sister is still happily married and never once has regretted her choice to get married and start a family right away. We’re all so different, but this episode makes me thing that Joe (at least) wasn’t really ready for marriage and a family right away.

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  14. It is just like when Amanda says “You’re talking about love and when you are talking about love you have to be patient.” When Amanda says it, she is just talking about Agnes. But once they both have a few seconds to think about what is said, the line takes on a whole new meaning. Same thing here. I think Lee is trying to say that Amanda deserves every happiness in life. But once it is out, it means so much more. It means that he would do whatever he could to make her happy. It is ironic, because not long ago, Lee was not good enough for Amanda. Once he started to fall for her, he had to make a conscious decision to change his life. To stop womanizing, be be more open and caring, and to start letting someone in.

    I also don’t think that Amanda really thinks her life is “just OK”. She has a nice home, 2 wonderful sons, and a loving mother helping her out. Her life isn’t where she imagined it to be. But I think her life now has another purpose with her working for the agency. Joe thought he had something to give by his work and Amanda had to make all of the sacrifices. But now Amanda is doing something to help make the world a better place. I think Amanda thinks of her divorce as a failure and Amanda does not fail when she sets out to do something. I’m sure she also doesn’t want to think about the rough times and remember the heartbreak.

    I do also love the way Lee listens and takes it all in. He’s now realizing that she’s be raising the kids by herself much longer than the divorce. She’s been doing it on her own almost the whole time.

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  15. Ok, this is going to be a novel… sorry.

    Amanda’s comment about being nosy, I think is an attempt at being light hearted, but I think it is also reflective of the fact that Amanda is still questioning Lee’s motives. I don’t think she is really aware of how deeply and selflessly he has grown to care for her. But she embarks on her story none the less. And I do think that articulating this her for her is a first. Especially because it is Lee that she is sharing with, that seems different than sharing with a female friend, or even Dean because at that time she was still reacting to what was happening. Here she is in a very different place in her life and in a relationship that is completely unrelated to he events of the past.
    I think she is trying to be fair to Joe here, which is very reflective of her character and yet there is a deep betrayal here. Joe may not have cheated on her, but I do think he abandoned her. He chose the EAO over his wife and children and Amanda was left alone.
    I think Lee knows Amanda better as a mother than Joe does and I also think that he can identify at a very basic level with the boys needing a family, one that I don’t think he has spent much time exploring but has always been with him. I think he can also identify with a man having a job calling to him like Joe as well as the basic needs of a boy to have a home and Amanda’s need to be loved and not left. I agree, Iwsod, that the idea of the boy’s lives being one that involved moving would reflect his childhood. He wuld recognize that Amanda provided that very life for them that he had never had out of love and sacrifice.
    Amanda’s line about thinking it would be better if they were all settled betrays Amanda’s broken dream of having a family and a home. That is her hearts desire and it got ripped from her because Joe chose the EAO. Lee’s comment about her wanting to be a housewife and the look on his face are so confirming. There is not one iota of derision in choice to use the word housewife. And yet it is Amanda that says she wanted a home. That has got to hit a chord for Lee, don’t you think? Don’t you think at a basic level he has wanted a home too?
    I wonder if in Amanda’s comment about all of us having a home if there is a vestige of a need to still provide a home for Joe too. Is this the beginning of a realization that the home she has created does not include Joe anymore.

    That part where Amanda concedes that Joe felt he really had something to give and so he chose the EAO is so painful. Didn’t he feel he had something to give to his wife and children? That has got to hurt so much. I think Lee feels the pain at this moment for Amanda more than she does. She is being brave and you can see how much energy she has exerted to live this belief out.
    And then Lee’s beautiful face and moist eyes and the softness of his voice. That man might as well be telling her how much he loves her. But I think this is even better because he has become completely empathetic. He is validating her pain and affirming the value of her choice and her desires and giving her such a gift without any strings attached. And I bet he doesn’t even know what he is doing. It just comes right out of him.
    He has finally voiced it and I think from here n ut he will probably chew on those words and the reality will sink in. I don’t think he is saying that Joe wasn’t good enough but he is. I don’t think he is trying to waltz in and give her what she deserves. I think it is the beginning of the truth of this poem becoming very clear to Lee.
    “I love you,
    Not only for what you are,
    But for what I am
    When I am with you.

    I love you,
    Not only for what
    You have made of yourself,
    But for what
    You are making of me.
    I love you
    For the part of me
    That you bring out;
    I love you
    For putting your hand
    Into my heaped-up heart
    And passing over
    All the foolish, weak things
    That you can’t help
    Dimly seeing there,
    And for drawing out
    Into the light
    All the beautiful belongings
    That no one else had looked
    Quite far enough to find.

    I love you because you
    Are helping me to make
    Of the lumber of my life
    Not a tavern
    But a temple;
    Out of the works
    Of my every day
    Not a reproach
    But a song.

    I love you
    Because you have done
    More than any creed
    Could have done
    To make me good
    And more than any fate
    Could have done
    To make me happy.
    You have done it
    Without a touch,
    Without a word,
    Without a sign.
    You have done it
    By being yourself.
    Perhaps that is what
    Being a friend means,
    After all.”

    Roy Croft

    And I don’t think Amanda gets the chance to respond to it. I think there is a part of her that still believes that Lee would never want the life that she needs. As much as she enjoyed his attentions, she hasn’t believed that it could really become something real. I wonder if this little comment of Lee’s is like the drop of soap on the oily water that has kept Amanda’s ability to let herself really fall in love with Lee under wraps?

    Ok… i am done. Phew! Sorry about that. This scene is so amazing and pivotal… among others 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • Morley, I especially loved the poem you included. It truly speaks to Lee and Amanda. I made a similar comment about them both wanting a home. I love so much of what you say. Early on I sort of understood that Joe character, but as I have grown up and watched this situation play out so much in real life and see what it does to families I am less sympathetic to his character and how he disregarded Amanda and abandoned his children. I agree that this is an awesome scene. It is definitely a turning point.

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    • Lovely poem, Morley! Seems like it was written for Lee and Amanda.

      It seems that it has finally sunk in to Scarecrow that he really does want more in his life than just the playboy, hot-shot spy, footloose, and fancy-free lifestyle. He wants a full life – a wife, kids, and a house in the burbs with a white-picket fence. Or if he can’t admit that he fully wants it or that it would ever really work for him, he is beginning to have a desire for it. Like you said, I think he can relate to Joe’s job having a call on him, but with Lee’s childhood experience, I think he is magnetically drawn to Amanda and her desire to provide a home for her boys. His life and Joe’s have had opposite trajectories with respect to having a family.

      And I agree with you on Amanda desiring to have an adventure of her own. In my mind, Philip was probably not planned. But once she was pregnant, everything changed. I wonder if Joe’s international assignment had been to England or Germany if Amanda would have gone. I think she might have tried it because it would have been a world of difference. Amanda graduated college (at least she went to college, I’m assuming she graduated), and based on what we see of her, I think she probably wanted to be a professional working woman for a time before having kids. It didn’t turn out that way and Joe got assigned a dangerous, third-world country, and things just didn’t work out. In all the ways Joe and Amanda were not right for each other, Lee and Amanda are.

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  16. “But ‘okay’ isn’t good enough for you.” Love the line and it’s packed! Yes, it shouts out just how deeply Lee values Amanda. Also, it kindly but clearly says, “I would treat you better (than Joe did).” But I like to think Lee is less focused on his disapproval of Joe’s choices and more focused on wanting nothing but the best for the woman he loves. Lee’s protectiveness is also shining through. He would have loved to protect Amanda from the hurt, and he understands that accepting “okay” is not in her nature, a proverbial bitter pill to swallow. It speaks to his understanding that this must have been a great blow to a mother and wife who has always wanted to put family first. At a time when the definition of Amanda’s life centered squarely on family, hers was falling apart. This scene really brings out Lee’s compassion and the reasons behinds Amanda’s initial reticence. And as you say, Iwsod, brilliantly acted (and NOT overacted — such an easy mistake to make) by both BB and KJ.

    There is something else that always strikes me about that line. It’s not just a commentary on how Lee feels about the circumstances that Amanda had to go through; it’s also an acknowledgement of Amanda’s personality. She is not one to settle or compromise. She is optimistic and enthusiastic and outspoken and brave and unsinkable, qualities that I believe Lee has seen and loved in Amanda right from the get-go. Indeed, she does not settle for “okay”, that’s simply not her style — she puts her whole heart into all that she does.

    So yep, I love that line! I also loved all those bea-u-tiful pics of Lee as he listened — thank you, thank you! And I will add that as Amanda’s told her story of moving every 6 months and so on, I felt more sympathetic to her than I did early on in this episode when I saw her as rebuffing Lee and hurting his feelings. Again I think this is a credit to KJ for being able to make Amanda sad, reflective, forthright, gentle, philosophical, and sharing all in equal doses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Raffie I like what you say about seeing Amanda a little bit differently from earlier on in the episode. I was bothered by the fact that she wouldn’t share with Lee, but you can just see how deeply affected she was by what happened in her divorce.

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