3/13 Season Three, Episode 14: Playing for Keeps-Scarecrow and Mrs King

So.. we left Lee about to approach Tina the Tennis Brat, with Francine watching on hoping he’ll fail..
Lee: Tina Thomerson – Lee Stanton, Pro-Lines Sports Management.
Tina: Am I supposed to know you?
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Lee: Wh—What, my office didn’t contact you?…
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…Oh wow, is my face red or what? Huh?…
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[Oh my gosh.. I just did a meme not that long ago about Lee’s embarrassment at mistaking the real cops for fake cops in OBDOBD- Lee asked if his face was red!!]
…Well, you–you know all about Pro-Line Sports Management…
(Tina looks at Donna as Lee continues his spiel)
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…We are management, marketing, videos – the whole ball of wax really. I believe that we—
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Tina: Six-Two, neat as a pin, uncomfortable playing a sleaze-ball manager.
Lee: Sleaze-ball?
Tina: You look like another one of Uncle Sam’s boys in blue.
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[Love ya Lee.. but I have to agree with Tina.. it was obvious he was playing a cover.. and he looks like an agent.. they should have sent in Billy Winking smile he would have been fun to play a sleaze-ball agent.. but.. what’s with the choice of sleaze ball manager anyway?? He could have played a journalist doing a cover story or something! thoughts everyone?]
Lee: Uncle Sam’s b—
Tina: Get rid of this bozo.
Lee: Bozo?
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Donna pulls out a gun from her purse.
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– Is it just me or is this weird? I mean.. if he is an agent – why would showing him a gun make him leave?
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Whooo a gun.. so what.. Lee should arrest Donna Winking smile It doesn’t make him leave!
And Donna gives him a bit of a glare..  PFK.avi_20150823_135951.364
[Actually forget arresting Donna for the gun.. Arrest Donna for that outfit!!! yeee haaaa!!]
Along comes Francine.. to back up Lee? or .. to sabotage him??
Francine: Excuse me, Sir. Excuse me, but didn’t I see you come in in a silver sports car?
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Lee
: What?
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Francine does some eye talk here.. but.. IMHO it’s obvious these two know each other.. and it’s right in front of Tina.
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Francine
: Because I think somebody hit your bumper. Your car alarm is going off.
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[Aie.. these two are acting like Amateurs! Amanda’s more convincing than this!]
Lee: Oh—Oh, yes, thank you, thank you very much – um, look, maybe we can talk later, huh?
Tina: I doubt it.
Lee: Maybe drink – uh, lunch maybe?…
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…Uh, I’ll see you courtside okay? Courtside.
[Love Lee’s salesman hand gestures here.. he leaves- it’s like Francine forced him to.. Hmm is Lee going to be okay with this? Maybe they are figuring Lee couldn’t salvage things once Donna showed her gun Winking smile ]
Francine: I’m really sorry but I’ve been seeing Mr Promotion hit up on every female player that has come through that lobby.
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Tina: Thanks. Have we met?
Francine: No, I’m just an avid fan – Francine Dutton.
Tina: Oh, nice to meet you. Do you play?
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Francine: Uh, off the courts only. I would love to watch you practice if I could, and I could probably pick up a few things.
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[MS does a great job here of showing us Francine smiling sweetly.. sooo not how Francine usually smiles! Smile ]
Tina: Oh, well feel free.
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Francine: Thank you.
Tina: Bye-bye.
Francine: Good. PFK.avi_20150823_140037.308
Tina and Donna leave. Francine turns around looking very pleased with herself..
Whoop dee dooo.. Tina is not going to stop Francine from watching her practice! It’s like Francine is really enjoying her time in the field.. good for her.. But I don’t like how difficult she is to work with!
I don’t really understand why Lee changed into a cover wardrobe but Francine didn’t.. if she’s a tennis fan why is she dressed like she’s going to the office?

Here comes polyester Lee walking back into the foyer..
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Francine walks up to Lee and joins him in the middle of the foyer – lol 2 seconds ago they were pretending they didn’t know each other reading magazines..
Lee: How’d you do?
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Francine
: Not bad at all. She said I could watch her practice.
Lee: Oh.
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Francine: Mmm hmm. How’d you like the car alarm bit?
Lee: What gave you that idea, huh?
Francine: Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you in the field but I – er, I could be wrong, but it looked to me like you were kind’ve tripping over your own cover-story.
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[This is sounding to me like this comes before FFFT!!!!!]
Lee: Oh you wish!
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Francine: Whoa! Touchy, touchy…
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[wow.. seems my first impression was on the right track in the last post- Francine loves to get a reaction. And seizes on Lee showing his annoyance with her – she’s enjoying this..]
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…Guess Amanda doesn’t point these things out to you.PFK.avi_20150823_140109.738
[Oh Francine, honey.. you are shooting yourself in the foot here! Is this suppose to endear you to Lee as a superior partner to Amanda? or Diminish Lee as an agent? Either way: you lose!!! She’s making Amanda look better and better all the time.. Sorry those of you who love Francine – right now I’m not liking her at all!]
Lee: The point is, she brought your cover, right?PFK.avi_20150823_140112.442
[Now Lee is the grown up.. he overlooks Francine’s nastiness –yes I think she’s nasty here- and he overlooks her gloating over how she’s been ‘successful’ where he hasn’t been – with Tina. Lee doesn’t diminish Francine in response, he just moves on]
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…Now you keep an eye on her while I get the registration list and sweep her room. Go on. PFK.avi_20150823_140120.548
Francine: Mmm hmm.
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Love the glare Lee gives the back of Francine!
Lee: Show off.

LOL! Lee gets in one little dig.. but I’m thinking it was not one for Francine’s ears – it was more to help Lee feel better because Francine’s being a pain in the butt.

I do love though that, while she’s gloating that she’s got the upper hand.. Lee actually bosses her around and tells her what’s going to happen next – ha!
I can’t wait to hear what everyone makes of these two here.. and this mention of Amanda is rather interesting too!!
Francine thinks Lee’s skills in the field are slipping because he doesn’t have a partner to point out when he’s stuffing up huh..
Francine wants to tear Lee down. Amanda builds Lee up! Amanda wants to work as a team- Francine IMHO wants to be the star.
On a purely professional level – I think Amanda wins hands down. This may help Lee to explicitly identify that Amanda can’t be replaced so easily, I think he already knew this.. but I’m looking forward to what this situation brings out of Lee.

Maybe Francine will learn a thing or two this episode? I don’t know.. we’ll see…. But her comment that it’s been a while since she saw Lee in the field is very interesting – Ep order alert! this makes better sense IMHO before FFFT, where Francine helps out on the case. Which opens up some very interesting ideas for Lee and Amanda. which I’ll ponder for now and come back to later – I don’t know if they play out at all in this episode, because I can’t remember!

That’s it for now! Please share your thoughts with us! Do you agree? disagree? don’t know? Smile we’d love to hear your thinking! byeee for now!

67 responses to “3/13 Season Three, Episode 14: Playing for Keeps-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Popping in again and catching up some more. I love the episode order discussions, mostly because it’s an opportunity to go back and re-watch episodes in varying orders. Never anything wrong with that.

    I’m wondering sometimes if Francine’s comments to Lee are her way of trying to tell him what she is really feeling, that she is questioning what she sees happening, mostly with their connection. She is not the type to have a heart to heart chat or openly admit to what she is feeling. She most likely doesn’t know how to do so. The last time she seemed to really open up to Lee was during “The Mole” when she ‘fessed up about her mother. She sees the changes and knows it has affected Lee and in turn it has affected her friendship and working relationship with Lee. Her snarkiness is her go to reaction, but maybe also a way to find out exactly where she still stands with Lee.

    Love reading all the comments. Missing you guys!

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  2. I normally watch each scene for the post when I write my comments, but this scene here is just too hard to watch. I don’t mind that Francine bests a man, even Lee for that matter, but this is just such an epic fail on Lee’s part that I don’t like to watch it. Lee definitely chose the wrong cover – but I think he did it on purpose. I bet this is the cover he would have used if Amanda were with him. No chance of having to play “smooth” with another lady in front of Amanda. And something tells me that Tina is just a bit too young for Lee to even consider trying to use his charm on her.

    This is the monochromatic outfit episode. First Dottie, now Donna, even Francine with the white shirt, earrings, and light hair. Even the top half of Lee here is fairly monochrome. Minus the awful hair. Were the regular wardrobe people on strike?

    You need permission to watch someone practice?

    I agree – this if Francine at her worst – petty and not nice about Amanda. Get over it, Francine!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there’s a little bit of guy-bashing going on in this scene. Tina has a reputation for being a pain in the posterior. However, as we meet her we see that she is clearly a sharp and perceptive young woman who doesn’t fall for Lee’s line at all. I suspect the many (male) agents that have preceded Lee as Tina’s protection have similarly underestimated the little lady. How often does it happen that women who are clever and stick up for themselves get labeled as trouble-makers? Tina is a cool customer and I’m sure the biggest damage she does to male agents is to their egos. I’d say that in PFK, the first set goes to the ladies!

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    • Raffie I loved loved loved this!

      I suspect the many (male) agents that have preceded Lee as Tina’s protection have similarly underestimated the little lady. How often does it happen that women who are clever and stick up for themselves get labeled as trouble-makers? Tina is a cool customer and I’m sure the biggest damage she does to male agents is to their egos. I’d say that in PFK, the first set goes to the ladies!

      I totally agree!!! A number of times since I read this I’ve thought whoooo I really need to get back to that comment to say how much I enjoyed it! 🙂
      I think Tina doesn’t like being patronised.. and I think Lee’s lame approach didn’t give her much credit -if he thought that was going to work. But why go for the annoying salesman dude cover when you want to be close to the mark? why chose a cover you can predict will repel rather than attract?!

      There seems to be a women centric theme going on in this ep.. would have been fabulous had Amanda been in the mix as she was originally suppose to be.. but oh well we got what we got and we can still see some themes coming out in relation to women.
      I’ll say more on this as we progress… I can’t blame Tina being sick of all these men trying to tell her what to do.. meh.. (maybe daddy included 😉 ) bye!

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  4. I can remember watching this episode back in the 80’s and not liking it much as it was L/A lite (things were really hotting up between them and the lack of development in the relationship department (IMO) was extremely frustrating to my young uber romanatic self.
    I never really was a Francine fan (apologies to all those who appreciate her more) but even so, I do think some of the writers portray her a little harshly. In some episodes she is very professional, a little cold, perhaps, but hard working and fair (even if its grudging). In other episodes, she is so childish, small minded and nasty, that it is hard to believe she could hold a responsible job. Its like the writers have to emphasise Amanda’s superiority to her by making Francine increasingly unlikeable or alternatively as if they think that is how ‘career’ woman are. Anyway, Francine is not at her best in this scene. Actually, I can hear Amanda saying her lines about the car and imagine that they were written for Amanda. The aftermath- not so much! However, had it been Amanda who had come up with the crashed car line and who had befriended Tina, she would have got nothing but praise and gratitude from Lee! He doesn’t give Francine any credit for her intervention,even before she got obnoxious. They seem very competitive with each other.
    I am interested in the possibility that this should come before FFFT. I think it could make a lot of sense and look forward to the development of the discussion on this aspect.

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    • Hi Michele – a really interesting overview of how you see Francine… I gotta say – I agree with you!
      I would add it’s not just Francine who is patchy.. Lee and Amanda as individual characters have tended to be that way too at times – though now we are in season 3 I find this less so.

      Very respectful to think of those of us who love Francine’s character Michele 🙂 good for you! I think there is plenty of room for fans who love her, and fans who love to hate her. Me? I love to hate her! 🙂

      I agree with you Michele, I found Francine petty and nasty here – not very professional..

      Very true – I can hear Amanda saying Francine’s lines approaching Tina also – maybe it’s because it is a ‘protective’ type of cover – this guy is hassling you? I’m looking out for you! 🙂
      With Francine, nurturing protectiveness doesn’t work as well. IMHO of course.. but kudos to MS for her big non Francine smile.. she does a great job!

      I agree with the whole competitive sibling rivalry thing – remember the scene in Brunettes are In where Lee and Francine are bickering over interrogating Rollo? And papa Billy splits them up?!.. lol..
      this is not new behaviour between these two, I agree with commenters who’ve raised this.

      At the same time, there is an added nastiness/sting to Francine’s comments toward Lee that wasn’t there before. She enjoys hitting a nerve just that much more than previously – I think it’s changed in tone and it’s escalated. Before, their narky comments and competitiveness were agent humour.. but now I sense there’s a great deal of anger underlying Francine’s comments toward Lee.
      This feels new to me.. and… I am getting the sense that there are very strong emotions Francine is trying to keep a lid on with her nastiness.. [I’d call this Maladaptive!!]
      I think Francine’s outburst in the freezer in FFFT would be the lid coming off of her tight control over her emotions, her big issue comes out – abandonment 😦 Poor Francine!
      [I won’t even get into whether the anger is justified in a way it’s not relevant to how I view Francine]

      I’m keeping an open mind about the whole ep order thing..I love to play around with it with you all! [and I know it makes BJo dizzy.. so BJo you can skip it haaa]
      I know that if you guys prefer to have FFFT before PFK there is nothing I will say that will change your mind.. and I wouldn’t try to – go with what you prefer 🙂
      Sometimes I decide what I prefer and stick with it too..
      Sometimes I don’t know what I prefer and want to discuss all the options- because I need to walk through the episode first to know.. This is the situation here for me – but so far, FFFT after this ep is feeling like a good fit to me.

      Lastly – I will just add that I understand Francine has issues, and there’s a reason why she is the way she is. I look forward to discovering more about her character in this episode!! 🙂
      However, just because she has issues doesn’t make her behaviour or attitude okay, it’s still nastiness to me… I don’t like her attitude and treatment of Lee and Amanda.

      I’ve said this before – if she has issues with Amanda or Lee.. she shouldn’t take it out on Amanda or Lee.. She should talk to her boss about it. Or she should rise above it and focus on the end goal.. or get therapy..
      or if she can’t resolve this – she should move on.
      But childish resentment and plain nastiness is pretty ugly.. and IMHO in this job it could be dangerous.
      I’m hopeful that this is the journey that Francine is in the middle of now.. but if I find her comments and behaviour nasty – I’ll say so.

      I love that Francine is a part of the show – she adds a fantastic element which the show needs – and I’m enjoying this chance to see Lee and Francine interact without Amanda around!

      Oh dear.. I have gone and rambled on.. I best get the next post published and then I need to get on with my deadlines here..
      Hope you are all well – and bye for now!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh boy, your episode order stuff really messed me up there for a moment. At first I agreed with you about PFK coming before FFFT and the big stickler for me was that I had already started writing the FFFT stories before PFK. So I had to really think about it for a moment. It wasn’t too late to rewrite. But I am thinking I will still go with my order because of something we can’t discuss yet although I bet you could make PFK going first work for you anyway.
        Maybe SMK is like one of those choose your own ending novels, remember those?

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        • “listening to iwsod can really mess me up?” I get that a lot 😉 whahahahaha

          Does this mean once the story is written Morley’s viewpoint is fixed? This does raise some interesting challenges.. I know you can’t put off writing stories.. but it sounds like the story being written may have unintended consequences?

          Whooooo I’ve been wanting to get back to this ‘right order’ discussion you guys were having the last few days – I believe there is no one right order. And I wouldn’t advertise any order I come up with as ‘the one right order’.

          SMK episode order is a mix – some orders are plain wrong, and it’s a unanimous conclusion.
          Some orders can work either way, and are a matter of personal preference..
          some orders we differ on – some of us view it as a personal preference, while others may view it as a factual judgement not a personal preference..

          I’ve concluded that I won’t tell others what order to watch in..
          I’ll just share my own views and have fun exploring and figuring it out.. if people agree – that’s cool.. if people disagree– that’s cool too.
          I don’t even promise to never change my mind.. I reserve this right! 🙂 If a better idea comes along that I like, I want to be open to hearing it 🙂

          However, I also don’t assume others approach this the same way I do.. some are very happy to have figured it out and then discuss their point of view with no interest in changing their mind.. they’re happy with the story as they have it.. and that’s cool too..
          There is plenty of room not only for different views, but for different ways of coming up with these views.
          At the end of the day – this is a tv show and we love these characters and we want to have FUN with them.. we are all in agreement about this… FFFT first or second? it’s not a deal breaker 🙂

          Oh and re your choose your own ending novel reference Morley? I’d say that’s what fan fic is!!!! Literally – it seems smk fans have carried on the story and in a way, chosen their own adventure. Which is fabulous.. and I’m amazed at the talent out there.
          I’ve read a couple over the years, but I decided to hold off on reading more.. except for occasionally reading your stories (and I definitely wouldn’t read ahead of the walk). This is one reason why JWWM is not the place for discussing fan fics..
          I don’t want fanfic to influence how I view my walk through.
          For now, I want to form my views based on the show – I see fan fic as a big box of goodies waiting for me to explore once the walk is done!!

          man.. am I procrastinating on getting back to my work here.. that’s enough iwsod philosophy for a year.. be careful iwsod will mess you up! haaaaa!! errr Muahahahaaahahahaa!
          bye for now 🙂

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          • “Does this mean once the story is written Morley’s viewpoint is fixed? This does raise some interesting challenges.. I know you can’t put off writing stories.. but it sounds like the story being written may have unintended consequences?”

            No worries there, Iwsod. All that it means is that once the story for the episode is written, its written and I am not going to rewrite it at this point in order to change the order. It also means that later on I may have to rewrite the rest of the season based on the rest of our walk here. Maybe when we get through the second half of season three and all of four and our discussion makes me see things differently I will have to publish a revised version? Who knows.

            You are so right. SMK is a TV show and it is so much fun to play with it and discuss views. Maybe that is one of the reasons we like it so much. They left room for us to fill in blanks and even personalize it a bit.

            Mess with my ideas all you want. I love it!

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      • As for episode order – well, only from looking at Francine I could see it both ways. Maybe PFK comes before FFFT. In that case, Francine’s maybe been feeling kinda angry (or maybe sad – I’d totally see her as someone who’d try to cover that by transforming sadness into anger and being extra nasty) for a while. It shows in PFK and finally comes out in FFFT (maybe she’s feeling like Lee’s abandoning her, too, in favour of Amanda – not that she’d ever admit it).

        Or it could be that she’s trying to “backpedal” about what she let on in FFFT. Something like an “it never happened” reaction and she’s trying to confirm that by being extra nasty. For me it would work both ways. Cos I also see Francine as someone who, when she’s accidentally admitted a weakness, would try to appear all the “stronger” afterwards.

        The other thing is that of course it’s not beneficial to the job to be nasty or angry or childish – but it’s kinda realistic. People behave like that from time to time. They do things against better judgement and behave in ways they shouldn’t.

        I think Francine’s maybe going through a difficult phase right now. So many things about her world are changing. She has to admit to herself that
        a) Lee’s changed
        b) Amanda’s a better agent than she thought (maybe even a better agent than she herself)
        c) Amanda’s actually really nice (and reliable)
        d) Lee likes working with Amanda more than he likes working with her
        e) Lee and Amanda are probably better friends by now than Lee and she are (which might lead her to feeling like she’s losing Lee)
        And on top of all, Billy’s always full of praise about Amanda, too, and does his best to send her on assignments together with Lee.
        So – not exactly professional behaviour on her part but I find it quite realistic, actually. Not that that’s an excuse. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Honestly, I find Amanda’s behavior so far more annoying than Francine’s. I know, Lee really messed up trying to downplay how “fun” the assignment would be, but that wasn’t any reason to hang up on him, and it doesn’t fit with the vibe we’ve been getting from these two lately. And her “have a good time” is SO insincere! I excuse her because she’s sick 🙂 Francine, on the other hand, is bubbling over with good spirits. She does try to help Lee salvage his cover, and I don’t see anything she says as particularly nasty; her attempts at humor are a bit heavy-handed, and she’s way too self satisfied to perceive that they aren’t going over well with Lee, who is probably out of sorts about Amanda, and off-balance because she isn’t around. Poor Lee is catching it from all sorts of women in these first scenes! He has Amanda upset with him, a rare thing these days, Francine’s jabs which he’s not in the mood for, completely deflated by Tina, and threatened by Donna. Not a good day so far.

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          • I think in an odd way this part of the story and maybe even this episode is the climax in the change of relationship for Amanda. I see the first part of season three as the place of intese tension for Lee in terms of him being able to embrace his feelings for Amanda. I sort of see this episode as that time for Amanda. And that is weird because she really isn’t in it. I think as much as she has cared about Lee and been invested in him as a whole person, and even attracted to him and maybe even starting to love him. she hasn’t allowed herself to “fall into love with him.” She has always kept up a bit of resistance. I think his comments about Ok not being good enough for her and the way he looked at her in the gym and in the tag began to allow herself to think further about Lee that a flirtatious undefinable whatever they had. But I think she must be a bit insecure. She gave him her cheek in the tag of OBDOBD, but she had a kind of “oh, how nice” look on her face. She wasn’t swooning. And then (because I put FFFT first) she seemed to be allowing her question of his motives dictate her responses in FFFT. Even there at the elevator when he invited her for dinner she had a non-impressed “Oh, you do? Do you” response to his dinner invite. I kind of take that as if she is wondering if he said that to all of the women. And I yell at her and say, “don’t all these episodes of the two of you sharing deeply tell you anything, Amanda!”
            But I think she has a barrier that needs to come down. He attitude on the phone in the beginning of this one makes me think that the barrier is up and in full protection mode even though she is feeling disappointed she is saying to herself, “see Amanda, things haven’t really changed, everything is as it always was and will be.” And in that light I can understand her curtness in hanging up the phone. Will that barrier come down? Because in all honesty, I think lee has been lovely lately and she really needs to give he guy a break and wake up a smell the coffee.

            Oh boy. that was a long ramble. So sorry. Its Saturday morning and I don’t have to rush anywhere. Best Saturday morning!!!

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          • Yep! It’s not normal for Amanda to behave this way.. what’s going on with her??!!! something! something is going on!!!
            I think this reaction is very significant..
            If this ep is before FFFT and OBDOBD, her reaction IMHO makes more sense..

            We’ll agree to disagree on labelling Francine Nasty. We have more Francine ahead of us to mess with 🙂

            Yeah true, if it had been Amanda I would have thought she was salvaging Lee’s cover.. but for Francine – I’m not sure she has Lee’s best interests at heart.. certainly not over her own.. soo my doubts are (at least to me) informative 🙂

            Love your observation happycamper that Lee is surrounded by women giving him a hard time!!!! 🙂 genius!!
            This episode really is not operation normal – strange things are happening!!!!
            What’s Lee going to make of it all? I look forward to finding out! 🙂

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        • I really like having another time to consider Francine. Looking closely at her helps me to see how much really has changed, especially in Lee. I have always thought that Francine must have thought of Lee as an ally. Not only professionally but also in an approach to life and how to deal with her own personal realities. She knew to some degree about the personal difficulties in his life, if not his parents than at least the fact that a partner could at any moment be gunned down. So in both of their lives there is loss of some sort and a need to keep themselves strong. And when we first meet them they are similar in their approaches to these challenges and I think knowing that there is someone else with a similar experience and a similar response is a comfort of some sort. But now Lee is changing and I think she can see it. And I think to Francine his changes are completely out of the character that she thought was Lee. A close friendship with some amateur spy who is really a suburban mother?
          I think part of her response isn’t really about Amanda, I think her rubric for dealing with life is being shaken because her ally in “hardened, guard your heart and be the lone wolf professional agent” is changing his approach. That might possibly shake her comfort zone. And that can make a person angry before they allow themselves to re look at their own responses (if they ever do). And it isn’t to difficult to expect that anger to be directed at the ones whose changing is doing the shaken, ie Lee and Amanda.

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          • I think she knows something is going on with Lee, but maybe doesn’t think he’s truly changing? I think that is why she keeps making comments such as, You’re type, to him. She isn’t changing, and I bet she thinks Lee can’t really change, and she’s just waiting to say I told you so to him and Amanda.

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            • I’m seeing Francine’s view of Lee similarly to you BJo – because I’m not assuming this episode is after FFFT or OBDOBD – in FFFT we had Francine taking lots of notes on how Lee had changed.. she even says he has changed. Here in this ep?
              She seems to be not acknowledging the change.. but.. of course there is much more ahead of us to come on this! 🙂
              I like your idea that Francine is waiting to say – see! you haven’t changed I knew it.. you can’t change! and if you think you can then you’re kidding yourself and I’ll show you!

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              • I think I read in one of your comments that you were going to profile Francine? This comment here made me wonder if Francine is viewing Lee as not being able to change because of how Francine views herself. Maybe she feels like she can’t change? Her profile would influence my thoughts on this. I think she has worked hard and succeeded in a largely man’s world but has had to pay a huge price in her personal life. I wonder if she ever does look at Amanda in a positive light and wishes she were married or had kids instead of having chose the path she chose. We don’t know a lot of Francine’s backstory yet, so it’s hard to say. But sometimes I wonder if she is a little jealous of Amanda herself – even though she would never admit it. And if she thinks Lee might be changing and leaving her behind, her lonely life may be starting to feel even lonelier and she may be fighting to hold on to it.

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        • Hiya Knell,

          At this point, I’d say I agree with everything you’ve said..

          Though I would say such nastiness is not realistic for most adults – but it is realistic for Francine 🙂
          Yes I agree adults make mistakes and behave in ways they shouldn’t from time to time.. but Francine is a cut above the rest in the nastiness/catty department.. and she knows it. it’s a normal part of how she relates to others – and it’s a way she keeps people at arms length..
          For me.. it’s an enduring pattern – not a one off mistake.. but.. I’m suspecting this episode may be an important start of a process here for Francine.. but.. grrr I can’t talk about it yet… hold that thought.

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        • Hey Knell, maybe when this latest assessment I have hanging over my head is done – I can find a personality scale to test Francine and let you know about it over on Neds! lol..
          If I can find one that’s available to the public I’ll let you know.. Would that be fun? Or am I strange? – I’m guessing it’s fun and I am strange.. but there you go! 🙂
          [lol my current assignment has me scoping for assessments for a particular diagnosis so I’m in that headspace 😉 don’t mind me!]

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          • Oh, that would be so much fun! I like looking up stuff for my favourite characters like meaning of names or trying to figure out their zodiac signs. As for Francine – well, in Western zodiac I’d consider her a Scorpio. That seems to fit with her personality just fine. Chinese zodiac – well, if we go with my preferred year of birth (1954, two years younger than Martha Smith – I did that for fanfiction purposes to make the age difference with Beaman smaller, whom I made two years older than the actor) it’s Horse, which imho fits with Francine just fine, too. I love that kind of stuff!

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            • lol you lost me at western zodiac… why haven’t you started a thread over at Ned’s for Francine yet Knell??!!! 🙂
              I’ll try and get over there when I can.. 🙂

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              • Oh, there is one. 🙂 It’s just kinda “not in use” right now. There’s only so much you can discuss about Francine if you want to stick to facts – stuff given in the show – and not get totally lost in speculation.

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  5. I apologize if this was already discussed in the earlier thread, but has anyone put together a list of the episodes in S3 in an order that makes more sense than the way they originally aired. I’ve seen the discussions about Episodes 1-3 and the one about Sour Grapes and Utopia Now. I’m thinking this was a problem through out the season – frankly, I find it obvious and distracting. I wish that the episodes would have been reorder for the DVD release (I bought my copies via Amazon and they are by air date so I guess it is possible that they are reordered for the DVD). The development of Amanda and Lee’s personal relationship is such a strong thread through the season – it feels like a real deficit that the episodes are obviously out of order. I do feel strongly that they are out of order. As much as there was resistance (at least on Lee’s part) to acknowledge the relationship and it was super slow going, it seems out of character that he would move backwards – dating Leslie after the tag in ALLA, and trying to brush off the kiss in UN after openly trying to kiss Amanda in the tag of SG. Sorry if this is the wrong place or everyone is sick of talking about this.

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    • I’ll second what Gail is requesting (a list of season 3 episodes in the correct order). It’s funny, but when I first watched the show I vaguely remember a little confusion, but it never crossed my mind that there was a correct order somewhere. By the way, thanks for mentioning it, Gail. 🙂

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      • I don’t have time to find the link, but this blog did early season three in the ‘correct’ order (which was done by comparing the production order and excellent detective work by our very dedicated ladies). We all agreed the first episode of Season Three should have been Welcome to America, Mr. Brand. I believe we changed the order of the ‘hair don’t’ episodes near the end of season 2 and tweaked some of season one as well. And I am assuming/hoping we do the same to season 4. I must admit, my enjoyment of the series and the relationship arc improved so much when the proper order was followed (I was not a fan of the hot/cold Lee either)

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        • Sounds great, I can work with that. I did look back at a few episodes (just Google searched) but didn’t notice that the order was corrected here. This one is the first episode for me. Anyway, thanks for helping out a newbie! 🙂

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          • Also if you go further up in the right hand side bar there is a drop down categories section and there is a thread for episode order here on JWWM. At the top of the page there are tabs for links to the seasons we have covered and I think the first five of season three may have something about alternative order in the posts titles. Iwsod agreed to walk through them according to an order I had suggested (because I spend way too much time rearranging the order of the show) but after doing so she created an order that she thought suited her better. Both are different than the airing order. From now on, I think we have agreed to walk through the shows as they have aired and discuss order after the fact.

            See! This is why I love it when new people join us on the blog!!! What fun!

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    • It would be fun to have a revised list for the entire 88 episodes. When I’m done rewatching in the broadcast order, I would like to go around again in the “correct” order.

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      • Oh boy! This discussion is killing me only because I love episode order ;)!!! There is a discussion of episode order at Ned’s where we have discussed this including minute details like what chair was in Billy’s office.
        I am working on math with my little kids, but I cannot wait to wade in here with you guys… although I think we could discuss even more at Ned’s.
        The only other thing I can add right now is that I have rearranged the episode order for the stories I have been writing and it makes a much more compelling story to me. You can check out that order on Fanfic and in the discussion at Ned’s I think we pretty much outlined a couple of orders for the first five episodes of season three. I would love to go into this in more depth but my kids brains are about to explode. Got to go!

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        • I’m sorry, but what is “Ned’s?”

          Liked by 1 person

          • Brilliant question, Sara! We have all realized that discussing SMK episodes opens doors for even more topics to discuss and we were quickly filling up he comment section with literature quotes and othe funny anecdotes that had nothing really to do with the episode discussion. This made it hard for Iwsod, among others to follow and comment on the original thread of the discussion and so Jenbo (I believe) opened a new forum called Ned’s afer the bar Nedlingder’s (I think I spelled that wrong) in season one of SMK.
            It is another fun place in this SMK rabbit hole that we all love to live in. You can find a link to it in the side bar on the right. Hope to see you there.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Gail and Sara – the direct link to the first JWWM post discussing episode order for S3 is here
      And the Neds thread discussing episode order (for all 3 seasons) is here
      Please join in the discussion there!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Agreeing with all… There’s very little cohesiveness between these two, obviously. We already know Francine thinks there’s an “I” in “TEAM.” Lee definitely has a more relaxed approach with Amanda. He thinks on his feet better (no reddened face, or at least, he’d be ready for such an occasion). Just further proof that Lee and Amanda work best together, which the writers/directors may have been going for here since we didn’t have KJ.

    Either they (Lee and Francine) completely misread Donna and Tina or they just didn’t come up with a good cover. They’ve worked together before, but maybe it was rocky and that’s why Lee worked solo. Billy might have pulled it off (i.e., same role that Lee tried), but to me, he looks more like a cop. Amanda would have been the best one for this, hands down! Lee actually acted like a lone wolf here (Morley eluded to that). Maybe Lee could have hung back and observed while Francine tried the reporter approach? Then have Lee jump in later as a big fan?

    Like others have said, I did like Francine’s comment “tripping over your own cover story” was quickly followed up by Lee putting her in her place without the nastiness, then directing her back to the job. Probably Lee’s best step.

    Iwsod… I agree about the “Looking forward to what this situation brings out of Lee.” Same!

    Have to say that I like Tina’s jacket. I’d buy something like that.

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    • Oops, that’s Donna with a jacket not Tina. My mistake.

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    • Hm, we do know that Lee and Francine did some “backgammon” together at some point. Maybe that’s why their working together got rocky? Personal relationships (no matter if they do or don’t work out) can mess up work relationships …

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      • There is truth in that Khell. I wonder if Lee and Amanda are considering that as well…
        On only a slightly different note, I noticed that Francine pointed out to Tina that Lee (As his cover) was hitting on all the women in the lobby. There is another little bit of this coming up that I will point out later. It makes me think about all of the changes that are happening to the characters and how Francine especially may be viewing them.

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      • True. I had a thought that if there was “backgammon” it was probably a very short game. Not that those can’t be just as messy. Neither one wanted to attach themselves to anyone (well…until Amanda came along). But by ‘rocky’ I was also talking about personality conflicts as much as any personal “backgammon” between them. There are very few moments when these two appear to be in sync at all. I can only come up with one at the moment, and we haven’t got there yet.

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  7. Random observation –
    Tina : “Do you play?”
    Francine : “Uh, off the courts only.”
    I just realised the meaning of that dialogue. Ewww! Is Francine admitting to being a “player”? That’s not very classy.

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  8. I rather like Donna – and the way she gets the best of Lee here 🙂 . She also has the look of Molly Ringwald which makes me feel nostalgic. Also prefer her outfit to either Lee’s or Francine’s

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  9. I wonder how much this script was tweaked to have Francine play Amanda’s part? I guess they would only have had a day or two’s notice..so these lines may have belonged to Amanda?

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  10. Whoa – Hope I can get past the graph paper inspired shirt/tie ensemble (can you tell I’ve been shopping for back to school supplies? —> mini rant – I need to buy metric mm ruled graph paper – we are in a metric country after all — and most stores only carry Lee Shirt graph paper. And when I do find the mm graph paper it is 10 x the price of the other GRRRR!).
    I am not sure what gun laws are in the D.C. area, but I am not sure if Lee would have the authority to arrest Donna (other than for her outfit) for simply carrying a gun. I wonder if Donna keeps anything else in that handbag?
    I do like that Francine tried to give legitimacy to Lee’s cover by saying she saw him hit on every player that was previously in the lobby.
    I don’t mind Francine here and it may be due to me reading the “Francine Files” by Khell (who is brilliant at casting Francine in a more sympathetic light). I can still see this coming after FFFT – she must still be smarting she was caught and almost flash frozen and will take great delight in getting the jabs in when she can. And I don’t see the banter between them as much different than in The First Time.

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    • But what to make of her line that it had been awhile since she’s seen Lee in the field is problematic. I will attribute that to a) a very hasty/sloppy rewrite because of KJ’s absence b) ammnesia from undetected brain freeze damage from FFFT or c) brain damage from the sugar coma caused by the Ecstacy assortment of chocolates in the same episode.

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      • My thought on that one is that it has been a while since they have really worked a cover and a case together. In FFFT Francine was doing her own thing while Lee and Amanda were working together. So it really has been a while since Lee and Francine have been out in the field together as partners. How is that for mental gymnastics?

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    • I agree, the banter is the same, at least on Francine’s side. Lee doesn’t quite give it back like he did way back then. Like Iwsod says, he is being the grown up (except when Francine turns her back and walks away)
      Obviously I like this episode right after FFFT. I think Francine smarting is a great illustration. But I will add to the freezer and being caught that she was also stuck with a woman who sure knows how to get self protective, hardened, lone wolf spies to open up. I think that shook Francine up a bit. And I think whoever mentioned that Francine is protective of Lee (as she knew him) is right. I think she would like to protect Lee from fully falling into the white knight syndrome with a silly housewife spy want to be who thinks that team work is the way to live. Only thing is, I think she is a bit jealous of Lee and Amanda too at a deeper level just because of what she is beginning to suspect they have built in their friendship. And I think Lee knows all to well what he has gained in his partnership and friendship with Amanda. He isn’t going to be shaken by Francine’s barbs. I bet they are only going to make the gift more dear to him

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    • Hahaha! Your “Lee shirt graph paper” comment made me laugh! Good luck with the school supplies.

      Yes, that gun should have been taken, but I suppose Lee was waiting/planning for the bigger score? I’m still trying to remember this episode. Anyway, just my thoughts. If he had enough evidence, he could have taken her in for the gun and interrogated her (yes…big L&O fan as well).

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      • Donna seems to be a professional bodyguard/security person, so probably the gun is perfectly legal even if it wouldn’t be for an average citizen. Also, Lee still seems to be trying to hang onto his cover and deny that he’s an agent, so making any kind of official move like that would definitely blow it. And why should he? He and Donna are on the same side, aren’t they? Both trying to protect Tina? The real head-scratcher for me (and there are plenty in this episode) is, why is Donna trying to threaten a government agent off with a gun? She and Tina apparently believe that’s what Lee is. So, a) she can hardly expect him to be scared of a gun, and b) he knows she knows he doesn’t want to hurt Tina, so it’s a pretty empty threat. You can possibly say, “don’t hurt us or I’ll shoot you,” but you can’t possibly say “quit talking to us or I’ll shoot you”.

        I don’t usually find Francine terribly nasty. Here, she seems in almost giddy high spirits. I’ll have to have a look at the episode order with FFFT when we’re done with this one, because to me that does seem to fit the idea that she hasn’t been in the field for a while, and is tickled pink to get out there and do her stuff. Maybe, like Amanda at the beginning of the episode, she’s been feeling a little insecure about being “replaced”.

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        • Yep, that was an obvious miss on my part. Sorry. I don’t know why I was thinking it was an illegal gun. Too many things on my mind, I guess. I need to go back and watch this one.

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          • Hi Sara, Hi guys..

            Life’s gotten super busy.. I’ll try and get back here to respond more fully in the next few days.. but just wanted to add that – the gun could have been illegal.. maybe, we don’t know.. 🙂
            even if the gun was legal Lee could have had some fun with it.. yelled gun! gun!!! or something.. lol to me it just seemed a bit random.. but it’s really not something that I pondered for long. LOL..

            But.. Francine etc. I’ve been pondering plenty. I’ve gotta run.. but I’ll try and get back here soon.

            So glad you guys are able to just discuss away and help each other out – you guys rock!! 🙂 byeeee!

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            • Thanks, Iwsod! Yeah, but I kinda jumped the gun (haha.. ) Sometimes I think I need to read more than comment. I’m just too eager. Anyway, it would have been great if this were Lee and Amanda, then I think we would have seen Lee’s creative side like you said. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Francine. 🙂

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        • I figured showing the gun was just Donna’s way of covering her bases no matter who they think Lee might be.
          If he’s a sleaze-ball sports management agent, then showing the gun I guess is intended to scare him off by showing that Tina has a serious Minder who might just mistake him next time for someone intending to harm Tina. “Hey, if I happen to shoot you next time you bother this lady, it will be in the line of duty.”
          And, if they think Lee is Policeman or Agent, Donna’s little gun show is more of an “I’ve got this covered buddy, we don’t need your help.”
          BTW, I would book Donna for fashion felonies on that jacket and necktie thing, and gratuitous use of coloured lip-gloss, but I’m a afraid she might shoot me. 😯

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    • Aw, thanks, Cindy. blush I sure do like Francine a lot. XD

      My two cents on what’s going on in this episode: Well, of course Francine is jealous that Amanda gets to work with Lee all the time now. I imagine that before Amanda showed up Francine worked with Lee much more often and judging from the first few episodes in the first season they got along great. Now there’s the “new girl” snatching Francine’s best friend and getting lots of cool assignments. I would be jealous, too. Of course, Francine would sooner die than admit it … In addition to that – Lee’s changed and no mater how much Francine might want to close her eyes to that, there’s gonna be some point sooner or later where she won’t be able to deny it any longer. She’s probably also trying to find out how much of the “old” Lee is still there.

      As for working with Lee here, I can see two things happening. First, Francine’s probably trying to get back to the “good old days” when she and Lee used to work together more often and probably also got along better. Second – competition. Some kind of “sibling rivalry” – they ARE two of the Agency’s best agents and we’ve seen that kind of behavior from them before, especially from Francine. Maybe kinda like “Anything you can do I can do better” on Francine’s side. (For me, that’s an indicator that she might have had a longer break from working in the field until recently – she’s trying to show Lee she still can do it and even can do it better than he. But that’s just me, of course. ;)) Lee, on the other hand, just wants to get the job done without “fooling around” so that he can get back home and be with Amanda.

      Right now, the score’s:
      Francine: 1 – Lee: 0
      😉

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      • I like the ideas of Francine’s “sibling rivalry” and wanting Lee to be the “old Lee”. Change is very difficult.

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      • Love this Khell – think you’re spot on. I also think that it really galls Francine that Amanda seems to always play an integral role in the success of her cases because she has no training, etc. And it all started out with Amanda besting Francine in TFT! The horror of that for Francine – and it just keeps repeating itself over and over.

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