3/19 Season Three, Episode 13: One Bear Dances, One Bear Doesn’t – Scarecrow and Mrs King

Moving on to Amanda’s..
Phillip: Mom do we have to take that goofy picnic basket?
Amanda: Sweetheart this is a nice picnic basket….
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[I think Phillip should have said goofy welcome basket – check it out!!! ribbons? guides to Arlington?!  Goofy would be spot on! I love that smk inserts little comments like this.. it’s almost like it knows it’s going over the top with the whole homey suburban welcome thing!  Smile]
…Mother, could you hand me the marshmallows please…
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It’s official: SMK is proudly sponsored by: marshmallows! Ugh..
…Mother?
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Dotty seems to be standing in the kitchen, absorbed in her book.. ‘Full Moon Over Moscow’ whoooo that is the second reference to ‘moon’ this episode.. does it mean anything??
Also interesting that the last time we saw this jumper, Dotty snuck up on Amanda learning Russian from her agency tapes in We’re off to see the Wizard  – is this intentional? What do you make of it?? Is it a hint that maybe Dotty is not so Dotty after all? or lol.. that she really is a bit dotty?! I’ll be looking forward to seeing what she gets up to in this ep.. maybe we’ll have some more clues!

Slowly, Dotty reaches for the marshmallows..
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I don’t know about you all.. but me? I regularly stand in the middle of a kitchen reading a book for enjoyment….. not!
(Doorbell rings)
Phillip: I’ll get it
Jamie: It’s probably Linda, selling more of those Blue Jay candies
[Blue Jays huh.. not trailblazers?! Is this the same Linda that Phillip was on the phone with in A Lovely Little Affair?! ]
Amanda: Sweetheart, we don’t need any more Blue Jay candy!.. [you never needed Blue Jay Candy!]
(to Dotty) …
Boy that must be some book!
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Dotty: Oh it’s wonderful. It’s about a Russian scientist who escapes from the USSR with a secret formula…
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.. But then the KGB, that’s the Russian secret police…
[ROFL!!! Oh the irony!] …they follow him and he goes to America, and he meets this wonderful girl….she’s a tight rope walker in the circus…. and then-
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Amanda: Mother, isn’t that a little far fetched?
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[No more than a housewife from Arlington partnering with the Agency’s top spy.. who is ironically code named scarecrow! whahahaaha. I think smk is having a laugh at itself here! Smile Or.. if it’s not.. it should! 🙂 ]
Dotty: Amanda, you have no imagination.
Amanda: Ohhh!
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Dotty:
  Of course that is not really your fault. Because around here everything is so ordinary. Don’t you wish sometimes that life was just a little bit exciting?
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What do you all make of this??
I think Dotty here is like Amanda when we first met her – Dotty would never have settled for boring Dean in this mood.. and Amanda was looking for an adventure.. Just like Dotty here too! Maybe Dotty and Amanda are more similar than I first thought? Hmm.. thoughts?
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In response to Dotty’s question – Amanda just quietly smiles.. A knowing smile Smile
‘Ordinary’ is an interesting choice of words too.. we are again back to that idea of average/ ordinary.. like Billy hinted at back in the office.. and which we heard quite often during season 1 and less so of late.. would you agree? disagree? what do you think this all means? Or lol maybe it’s too soon to say?!
(We hear a door close off camera.)
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Jamie: I told you that was Linda…that’s the fifth box he’s bought from her! [Ah love!]
Amanda: Oh Phillip.
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Phillip:
Why don’t you just shut up!

Amanda: Hey! Don’t tell your brother to shut up, and Jamie it would help if you didn’t tease Phillip ok?
[I may be in the minority here, but I think Phillip needs a kick up the pants..In 3 years we’ve gone from don’t hit your brother in the head with trash to don’t call your bother bozo to don’t tell your brother to shut up.. lol..  ‘nuff said from me on that subject.. Except, I’m secretly glad Jamie is giving as good as he gets now Winking smile ]
…Here why don’t you take this outside and wait for Mr. Doyle and give me that you’re already sweet enough already you don’t need any more candy…
(the boys head off carting the goofy basket)
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[Sweet enough?.. he was just yelling shut up at his brother?! grrrr..oh and he gets a kiss?! Maybe he is sweet because he’s buying candy to make Linda happy.. yes I’ll go with that..]
…Now go on… Well OK Mother, I’m going to go to the
market, and then I’m going to make a Welcome Neighbour visit…
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[Who is Mr Doyle? seems the goofy basket was for the boys to take with Mr Doyle. okay!]
…There’s a Dr. Zernoff whose just moved
into one the uh, unfurnished houses for rent on Magnolia.
[So the extra goofy basket is for Zernoff. Why oh why does Amanda mention his name.. his Russian name.. to a woman just longing for some excitement and fascinated with Russia??!!!!! What do you all make of this? I’m not sure yet.. help me? Smile ]
Dotty: Zernoff, that’s a Russian name!
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Amanda: I guess so.

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Dotty: Amanda, I haven’t made a Welcome Neighbour call in a.. and I-
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Amanda talks over Dotty cutting her off:  No Mother, Mother please listen…
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…He’s just moved to this county and he’s probably very shy and we don’t want to overwhelm him…
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…Besides, somebody’s gotta wait with the boys for Mr. Doyle…
[Umm Amanda you are the boys’ mother.. why don’t you wait with them and let Dotty go if she wants to?! And Amanda seems to talk to Dotty here like she is a child! uh oh!!! ]
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[The far off look here from Dotty is classic.. it’s like she’s chained to the house and can’t escape.. but she is soo close to something exciting and exotic!!!]
…OK? Alright I’d better get going. I’ll see you later. Bye Bye
[Amanda seems like such a fuddy duddy here..
Why is it less overwhelming for Amanda to call rather than Dotty? As far as Dotty is concerned, I would think she would find Amanda here quite strange.. especially if Amanda is trying to control who Dotty does and doesn’t talk to. The Dotty of Over the Limit would not stand for that! Being so adamant Dotty not go could have the opposite effect.. and make Dotty even more determined! What do you all make of this?]
Amanda reaches over to give Dotty a peck on the cheek..
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Dotty: Bye.
Amanda leaves and Dotty goes to read her book again but stops.. Why read a book about Russians when you can go meet one who is maybe lonely and new to town.. whooo and a doctor no less!!! Winking smile tee hee..
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Dotty has already made up her own mind as to what she will and won’t do.. and bad idea to try and control her like this Amanda.. she never should have mentioned the name in the first place.

I can’t wait to hear what you all make of this.. Is it just me.. or have we’ve seen very little of Dotty lately?- much less than in previous seasons? I’m glad to see her again! LOL maybe BG was two timing at this stage with Remington Steele Winking smile tee hee! After all she wants excitement! err no wait.. something’s not right here.. Dotty isn’t real.. BG was real! Remington Steele is real though right?1confusion  Okay bye for now!

20 responses to “3/19 Season Three, Episode 13: One Bear Dances, One Bear Doesn’t – Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I remember Welcome Baskets from neighbors in the 80’s, they had stuff just like that in them. And I,too, have been know to do many things with my nose in a good book and when I get into a plot I can’t extract myself at all. I assume that is what is happening with Dotty. All of a sudden her whole world is being compared to the plot in that book and so the things that were ordinary and fine yesterday are now dull and she is longing for some Russian influenced excitement. I do love the way Dotty is describing the life Amanda is leading and Amanda responds that it sounds far fetched. I wonder if there is still a part of Amanda that thinks it is far fetched, especially the part about the Russian man falling for the circus girl, does she think the spy falling for the housewife is far fetched?
    Philip is a pain and unruly and rude, but his behavior is so typical of a young teenage boy. I have noticed that my sons have been sweet children until the age of 12 and then some rude obnoxious body snatcher takes over their personalities until they are 14 or 15. At that point this wonderful young man shows up and re-inhabits their bodies and everyone lets out the breath they have been holding. Philip’s behavior reminds me of that.

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    • Talking about doing stuff with a nose in a book – through a lot of practice at live-roleplays, I can now not only read when walking but also write when walking (well, jot down notes – provided there’s enough light for me to do so) and knit when walking. Without walking into people or lampposts. 😉

      Yah, I remember my sister’s and my teenage years. There were a few years – we’re five years apart, she was just entering puberty as I was leaving – where we hardly exchanged one single normal word. It was sniping and snarking at each other from dawn to dusk. 🙂 We finally started to get along better when I moved out to start studying and was only home on weekends. I think the distance might have helped. 😀

      Amanda should know better than thinking the Russian spy and the circus girl are far-fetched. Wasn’t there something about Lee and some circus artist(s)?

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    • I’ve been pondering the boys and these bratty moments..
      Phillip is becoming a teen – and as you say Morley, it can be a time of challenging parenting!
      However.. Phillip has been portrayed this way from the first episode (hitting his brother in the head with trash) when he was not a teenager..
      Made me wonder why smk has chosen to write the boys as fighting like this – why not have a less bratty exchange?
      most sitcoms would have the boys say yes mum bye – and that’s it! Unless the fighting was an actual part of the plot.. but not smk. they insert these little ‘realistic’ moments here and there – and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for a plot reason!
      If a show had the boys fighting usually it would be required by the plot.. or the main plot in some family show – but this isn’t smk..
      This made me wonder – why are little moments like that there?
      I prefer this to the typical portrayal of idealised children that are all cutesie or something.. and I think I wouldn’t mind bratty Phillip if I got to see Amanda put her foot down a bit more! you know?

      Phillip buying candy because he likes Linda is one thing- showing Phillip is growing up and starting to like girls.. rah rah..
      but why then have Phillip and Jamie have this little exchange? what’s the story they’re trying to tell here?
      Anyone?
      [Or am I making no sense at all? 🙂 ]

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      • Hmmm, I don’t know if the bits with the boys are about the boys and the episodes they’re in so much as they might be about showing how Amanda’s home life is changing and the challenges she faces as a single mom are changing. As the boys get older, surely that must add a little bit to her desire to find a man in the woodwork?

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        • So true. There is nothing like a male voice to stop a teenage boy in his tracks.
          I agree Iwsod, Philip has been like this as long as we have known him. I could delve into some ideas about what it does to a boy when their father walks out and how it can affect his view of himself and even his view of his mother. Whatever it is, or if it is just his personality, it appears that Philip can be a hard one to parent sometimes.
          I wish we had gotten to see them interact with Lee a bit more in the series. Maybe if there had been a season 5?

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  2. I wonder if Phillip’s behavior in school is similar to what happens at home. If he acted that way in my classroom Amanda and I would have to have some serious parent-teacher conferences. Very bratty, indeed.

    I’m with BJo about the reading anywhere. I tend to take a book with me wherever I go now, just in case. Waiting in line can be rather annoying with nothing to do.

    Dotty has already shown that she has an adventurous spirit in some earlier episodes. I’m sure that is a trait that she passed on to Amanda. I think Amanda knows that she shares that trait with Dotty but tries to downplay it while trying to keep the Agency side of her under wraps. With Phillip and Jamie getting older and being more self-sufficient Dotty no longer needs to be tied down at that house anymore. And with Amanda flitting in and out she probably gets lonely herself. She was pretty ripe for an adventure.

    I agree with others that Amanda just opened a can of worms and piqued Dotty’s curiosity even more. She definitely has that look in her eye that she is going to do something.

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  3. Oooh, how I wish Beverly Garland was used more in SMK. The way she explains what the KGB is to Amanda is hilarious. 🙂

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  4. I agree with kiwismh, Amanda does look lovely here. Give the make-up/wardrobe people a raise! And fire Dotty’s. Gotta love Dotty though.

    And, actually, iwsod, I do find myself standing in my kitchen regularly reading a book for enjoyment! LOL, it’s usually while I’m waiting for my tea to steep, my breakfast to toast, or my dinner to cook. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, so I take it in mini-chunks when I can! In fact, just this morning I was reading a nice piece of fanfiction while waiting for my tea.

    I agree – Dotty and Amanda are alike in many ways. They both have a sense of adventure and a willingness to try new things. They don’t seem to think about things too much, rather they jump in with both feet! They’re both also positive people, IMO.

    Three cheers for Jamie! Philip is turning into quite the brat. I think Jamie is the sweet one, not Phillip. Smarter too – he knows not to get involved with girls. Tee hee.

    I think Amanda didn’t think her mother would recognize Zernoff as Russian. I think Amanda underestimates her mother, just like she did in OTL (with Rebecca’s Fantasies and the out-of-town over-nighter with Mr. Conrad – that is the right episode, I hope). I think Amanda forgets that her mother has a life of her own and wants to be more than a doting grandmother. I think Dotty is getting a bit jealous of Amanda and all that she does for her work.

    And Dotty doesn’t drive, right? So she can’t go to the market and then go to do the welcome neighbor visit? Dotty, get your license! Did she ever get her license after that fiasco in S1? I don’t remember. WFGodorsky, yes?

    Love the look on Dotty’s face at the end. She is not going to stay put once those boys are gone off to wherever they are off to with that goofy picnic basket!

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    • Dotty must have gotten her license at some point. At the beginning of TWWH she is looking for the car keys and asks Amanda if she’s sure she doesn’t need the car. Amanda tells her she can drop her off and Dotty hopes she doesn’t have to parallel park anywhere. She doesn’t sound very confident about driving, but she must have gotten the license.

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      • Forgot about that scene in TWWH, valeriejw – thanks for the reminder! So, yeah, Dotty could go to the grocery store and then do the welcome visit. Boo, Amanda! But we know it is her patriotic duty, so to speak , so I guess I can’t boo too loudly 😉

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  5. I am not a Phillip fan. And I don’t like the way he treats poor Jamie. But I also am not a huge fan of Amanda’s methods of disciplining him (so easy to judge from the outside though 😀 ) – she seems to call him on the small stuff but overindulge in other ways. I have no doubt that she loves the boys very much, but she comes across as permissive at times and micromanaging at others.

    I love Dotty here – scenes like this are what makes SMK great IMO (other than swoony, transformed Lee and professional, confident Amanda). The way I imagine Dotty, that book is a bodice r**per hiding behind a plain cover. If I’d been told to stay away from the mystery Russian, I’d have raced straight over to meet him – without the corny welcome basket.

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    • A B-R book, I like that, Learjet! I got a kick out of the title: “Full Moon over Moscow” — the SMK writers clearly had fun with that one. I don’t know if it translates or not, but a full moon is of course a full display of one’s back end, which ties in rather nicely with the B-R theory. So I would guess that Dotty’s thoughts and, well, …let’s just say things are in overdrive. I am sure Amanda knows her mother as well as we do, and knows that a Dotty in overdrive is not a good thing to descend on a new neighbor, so she does her best to “mother” Dotty in the same way she has just mothered the boys.

      I never noticed how packed with SMK symbolism this scene was…. marshmallows, the moon motif, the reference to circus people. I especially liked the comment about the wonderful American girl who is a tightrope walker in the circus …. that’s how I picture Amanda’s life much of the time!!

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    • I’ve thought that the way Amanda disciplines the kids seems a little odd, too, although I’m not a parent myself. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she hates to punish or scold them? She said that in the Mongoose episode. Maybe it’s just easier for her to deal with the little things, so she tends to deal with them instead of the bigger ones. The boys might benefit from having a man around (like Lee? 😉 ) who could give them a stronger dose of discipline from time to time, especially Philip because he’s the pushier one.

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      • When I think about Amanda’s style of discipline, I’m led back to Myers Briggs again (yup, Learjet is back on her soapbox!). I agree that Lee would be a lot firmer (and would be good for the boys), but then so would I so I’m not convinced it’s a gender thing.
        I guess maybe her feelings as a single parent may have an influence on her style of parenting. Maybe she is easier on him because his father isn’t around? Lee’s presence, again, would be beneficial 🙂

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  6. Love that blouse and vest combo on Amanda. (I had a vest like that in the 1980’s but my one was green and bit longer than Amanda’s.)
    Maybe things have been a bit boring in Dotty’s world lately and she is looking for some excitement. The novel she is reading has no doubt kicked her imagination into overtime at Amanda’s mention of Dr Zernoff. (Agree Iwsod, it’s a really lame plot device to have Amanda make mention a Russian name to her mother right after Dotty has just given Amanda the details of the book that is enthralling her.)
    Having said that, I’ve always suspected that Dotty’s has her suspicions about what business Amanda is in. Maybe she’s playing a game with Amanda here, trying to tease more information out of her.
    I wish this scene had been written with more subtlety. It does seem very contrived and a bit out of character for Dotty in some respects.

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