4/15 Season Three, Episode 15: The Pharoah’s Engineer-Scarecrow and Mrs King

Lee, Amanda, Glynis and Lois are joined by an elderly man who inserts himself into the conversation.
Apparently Lee is a nephew.. Amanda is a niece and…
Rupert: And I’m an uncle.
Lee: Hello, Rupert.
[Oh no.. I’m beginning to worry that the agency is secretly really the mafia!!!]
Rupert: Lee, I need to talk to you, son.
Lee: Uh, certainly, sir. Um –oh, I’d like you to meet Amanda King. Amanda, this is Rupert Simpson…
…She’s my partner, Rupert.

[Simpson??!!!!! this was the cover surname Lee used in the beginning of Playing for Keeps!!!
Oh and how swoony to hear Lee introduce Amanda as his partner – say.. he has called her his partner before – but has he ever actually introduced her to anyone as his partner???!!!!! Anyone??]
Amanda: Hello.
: Nice to meet you. It’s serious this time, Lee.

Lee: Yes, I know, Rupert. It always is.
[Uh oh.. seems this is the smk episode which revisits the story of the uncle who cried wolf!]
Lois: Hold on, Rupert. He’s visiting us, now.
Rupert: He’s gonna get his bread. I’ve got to have a talk —
Lee: Ah, hold on, Rupert, you’re going to start a war here….
…I’ll tell you what — you get started with Amanda, I’ll visit with Lois and Glynis here, and I’ll catch up to you later. OK? I can’t stay here very long, anyway.
Glynis: We could have guessed.
Amanda: I’m a pretty good listener.
Lois (short sister!): Watch it, Amanda. Rupert is our resident Lothario. He has eyes for anything that wears a skirt!
[Oh purlease.. that old comedy chestnut of the frisky senior.. ugh.. while I’m loving seeing Lee and Amanda – this scene seems to have every cliché in the book (except the book cliché!) I’m so glad we didn’t get one of those – ‘whoooo this is the Amanda you’ve been telling us about whooooo’ – that would have been just too much!!]
Rupert: No, this is business, Lee. I’m not kidding!
Lee: I told you, Rupert, she’s my partner.
Rupert: Well, alright, come on. [Nothing gets between Lee and Banana Bread!]
Amanda: Thank you.
Rupert takes Amanda by the arm.

We see Lee all excited to have the ladies to himself and all those baked goodies! rofl!!
You can see Amanda laughing at Lee as she walks off with Rupert. LOL!
Lee: Ladies? Shall we? Huh? Haaa, haaa haaa! Oh, look at all these goodies!… [grrrr Lee’s excited!]
  …Oh, Lois, what did you bake for me here? Oh, look at this. Look at this: Chocolate covered [cherries]!
[Does Lee say Cherries? I can’t catch it.. but I’ll go with what Happycamper heard!]

Lee drives off on the buggy toward a massive dose of sugary bliss! rofl.. so how did Lois and Glynis know Lee would be there? I guess they drive out to meet Lee every week at 1pm with all those baked goodies and if he doesn’t come they eat it. lol.. Or.. They are former agents – they have their ways of knowing if Lee is coming or not Winking smile

Soooo what do you all make of this Niece, Nephew, Uncle thing going on here?? I think it’s suppose to hint that Lee feels like he has a family here?? maybe??
Feel freee to disagree, I suspect people will… for me it is a bit ridiculous to suggest agency is a family ‘she’s one of us’ – everything I’ve learned about the agency up to this point would suggest that thinking of the agency as a family is dangerous!! The agency looks after it’s staff?!! It’s one big family?!!!! Ugh.. spare me!!! Gives Family a bad name! I think it was over doing it to take it this far – it was enough that Lee was close with them.. but the family thing – gets my goat!

One last comment on this scene.. So did you guys recognise where we’ve seen Glynis before?? (the tall sister)
Here’s a clue:
Does this expression jog your memory??!!
[Melissa R’s memory didn’t need jogging in comments of the previous post! 🙂 ]

Well I think I can guess what was one of Glynis’ last jobs with the agency – she infiltrated the Ladies Auxiliary of the Cosmic Cabal –they meet on Wednesdays to ‘play poker, and to commune with the spirits of the departed rock and rollers’.

Her cover name? Jenny Weeks! Winking smile tee hee.. Glynis and Lee give nothing away here huh! Winking smile [maybe she’s forgotten about the people’s encyclopaedia..but umm I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t forget Lee!] Maybe this is how Lee first came to start visiting at Birchwood??!!
teee hee.. okay okay.. maybe it’s just the same actress.. because oh yeah.. these people aren’t actually real!
I’ll keep it short and yep.. this post is super sweet – so much so I think I’m off to brush my teeth –  I can feel the cavities forming as I type Winking smile tee hee… soooo What do you all think? Do tell!!

32 responses to “4/15 Season Three, Episode 15: The Pharoah’s Engineer-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I think it’s awesome that this facility lets them bake. I always felt bad for the residents in the lodge where my grandmother lived. They weren’t allowed to cook and that was such a big part of her identity. (She actually cooked on the oil rigs for a while). I can see not making it compulsory for people who just want to be retired and obviously there are some who wouldn’t be safe in the kitchen, but I wish they’d allow an option for those who would still want to. I can’t imagine not being able to bake at Christmas!

    As far as the goodies are concerned when Lee doesn’t show up — I had a step-aunt who baked so often we couldn’t keep up. I assume if Lee doesn’t enjoy the baking they just find someone else to spoil rotten with it.


  2. Very cute – these three fighting over Lee. But I really don’t like Glynis’ comment, “We could have guessed.” Nice…show some appreciation here! You know what he does for a living. It’s not like he has a 9-5 job and you know it! Agree, iwsod, there are lots of stereotypes/clichés here.

    I just noticed a quick goof. If you watch closely, when Amanda leaves Lee’s side to go with Rupert, we see a shot of her without her coat on. Then when she’s walking with Rupert, her coat is magically back on! I guess she has a magic jacket to go along with her magic purse!

    The “family” thing never bugged me about Birchwood, but then again I generally stop at the surface with my thoughts if the simple explanation works. I just assumed that the whole niece/nephew/aunt/uncle thing was the cover everyone used if they had to explain who or why they needed to go visit someone at the old folks’ home. I didn’t take it to mean that there were any string attached to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great to hear your thoughts BJo! you go as deep as you want!
      yeah I guess the ‘we could have guessed’ gripe was suppose to show that they miss Lee and wished they could spend more time with him..

      I don’t mind Lee making connections here that are like family.. but yeah the agency/family concept bugs me.. I don’t like it as a cover either!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Melissa Robertson

      Interesting that she now has that blazer on instead of the pink sweater she had on in the Q Bureau.


      • Hiya Melissa! I was wondering about this too.. I figured she had it on under the jacket?

        whoo this reminds me.. I mean’t to come back to BJo’s missing jacket moment! got to find that comment again!


    • I just noticed a quick goof. If you watch closely, when Amanda leaves Lee’s side to go with Rupert, we see a shot of her without her coat on. Then when she’s walking with Rupert, her coat is magically back on! I guess she has a magic jacket to go along with her magic purse!

      Phew.. almost forgot to look for this!
      Here’s an image of the super quick goof BJo found:

      Whooo hooo! great catch BJo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the way Lee called Amanda his partner and then acted on it. I know he doesn’t think it would amount to much with Rupert. But when I hear him saying let Amanda listen, it was almost as if he is saying that he and Amanda are equals, telling her is just the same as telling Lee. And I think that pleases Amanda very much.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. When I would visit my grandmother’s senior home, I was always amazed and amused by the amount of flirting that went on! My grandmother would get so worked up about the women that would throw themselves in front of the men (so to speak), but she would smile like a bride when a man turned his attention to her. Because of this, I am more tolerant of Rupert now versus when I first saw this, but I agree with you, iwsod, that they really went OTT with the stereotyping in this scene. Even making one lady a volleyball captain in a way feels like a cliche just as much as the bread-baking … not that women that age usually play volleyball but it seems quite cliche for a tv show to give an elderly character an outrageous hobby. Not sure I could have done it better, but how it was done leaves me feeling squirmy. (Mentally noting another scene in this episode that leaves me similarly squirmy. We’ll see if I remember it when we get there.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, I love the actor, Ian Wolfe, who plays Rupert in this episode. I’m a fan of musicals and he played the father of one of the kidnapped brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He also played Mr. Atoz, the librarian in a Star Trek episode.

    Maybe the use of Aunt, Uncle, Niece, Nephew is a tribute to some of the throwback spy shows. There was The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which had a connection to Uncle Sam and the U.N. and in the Avengers with Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel the male leader was referred to as Mother and I think the female leader was referred to as Father. Maybe they were giving those a shout-out. The only way to know the true reference or how it’s being used would have been to see an agent other than Lee or Amanda interacting with the retirees. They do say someone is “a” niece or nephew not “my” niece or nephew. It could be just a term used to differentiate between current and retired agents.

    Loving the screen caps of Lee and Amanda. They look so happy and so connected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup, you’re right. In The Avengers (the British spy show), during the Tara King era (post-Mrs. Peel), Steed and Miss King had a boss called Mother, a guy in a wheelchair. In one episode, Father showed up – a very tall, thin woman if I remember correctly. And I agree, niece and nephew might just be “code” for “still active agents” whereas uncle and aunt means “retired”.


  6. In referring to Rupert as their “resident Lothario” supposed to be a throw back to Lee’s past ways, and a vision of how he might have ended up – an old man chasing skirt around the retirement village?! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. From their use of the terms “aunt” and “uncle” as code names for people who retired from the Agency, it sounds like maybe Lee’s not the only current employee from the Agency who comes out to talk to the retirees. It sounds like they use family terms as a cover for those who visit the retirees on a regular basis (“nieces” and “nephews”), like maybe some of the retirees like to keep their hand in the business or maybe act as mentors or career advisers to younger agents or maybe the Agency has some kind of program where current employees look after older agents who have no other family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Like this Jestress. It all sounds logical and believable.


      • Hiya all!

        How do you guys see this view of the agency fitting in with what we’ve learned of the agency so far?

        I shared my thoughts on this.. I’m curious to hear what you all make of it..

        I agree Kiwismh, Jestress your thoughts on the role of aunts and uncles sounded very possible.

        At the same time, if smk were trying to show a softer side of Lee here.. by then portraying it as an across the board thing undermines that. I’m thinking former agents are aunts and uncles.. current agents are nieces and nephews.. they may have mentoring programs, but I don’t think stopping by every week is typical.. because I want to see what Lee is doing as special 😉 am I making sense? Just thinking this through as I write. very dangerous 😉

        the family idea bugs me.. but I could have much more readily accepted that they are a fraternity…. but that Lee has a special bond with these three agents and thus they are like family.

        I like to keep family and agency very far apart in my thinking 😉 There’s nothing unconditional and accepting about the agency. But.. there is an element of that in a few individuals…

        Okay I gotta get on with my work day here bye all!! Lovely as always to hear your thoughts on our fave 80’s show 🙂


        • It could be that Lee is doing more with these particular retirees than other agents do and therefore has a closer, more family-like relationship with them than others who might come out to talk to them for various reasons. Like Valerie said, the family-themed code-names might be general terms for retirees vs. active agents, but Lee could be taking those family terms to heart and treating them like real family, more so than other agents who might visit from time to time, which is why they look forward to him coming.

          Since Lee grew up without much family, I think that he’s kind of assembled one from a select few he’s worked with and trusted, and these retirees help fill a role, like the sweet aunts who spoil him rotten with treats. Rupert is the eccentric uncle who tells the unbelievable stories.

          In return, Lee might help fill a role for them, giving them attention (especially those that might not have any living relatives or none that live close) and keeping them a little more in the loop with their former profession (although there are a lot of things that he probably can’t tell them about current cases).

          Not sure whether the Agency as an organization checks up on retirees, but it’s possible that a few individual agents do. Organizations are often impersonal (especially one that’s in a business where people don’t trust each other easily), but there still might be individuals in the organization that feel some kinship with people they’ve worked with or who helped train them who have retired. They might check up on them sometimes, introduce younger agents to them, etc., and that might have been how Lee met these people.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Well, the Agency isn’t “family” – not in the sense I’d define it. Like, one wrong move and you’re out. Unfortunately, there really ARE families that are like that. Not everyone’s as lucky as I’m with my family … some families, you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

          However, I can see that when you’re working for the Agency and are that kind of “lone wolf” Lee or Francine are, you start to see some of the people you’re working with as “family”. You don’t have anyone else after all (or feel like you don’t). Lee imho would definitely consider Francine and Billy “family” – the obnoxious little sister and the favourite uncle or something like that. More members of Lee’s “family” would be T.P. and Amanda, of course (who’s most special to him of all of them).

          So maybe he really considers Lois, Gladys and Rupert “family” – in the same sense Francine, Billy, T.P. and Amanda are “family”.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Hi Knell, Hi all!

            Sounds like you guys aren’t bugged by the agency as a family motif like I am.. good to hear your points of view. Sounds like you guys don’t read so much meaning into it as I do..
            I agree that not all families are unconditionally loyal – however, in smk-land family is held up high. Families are not portrayed as perfect, but they are viewed as a connection that is never broken, and they are family whether you like it or not.. this is how I see Lee and his uncle – not the ideal family.. but.. when it all came down to it, they stuck together and they worked on their relationship..
            The agency? IMHO is dog eat dog.
            There are a few individuals in the agency who you could count on – but.. you can only count on them up to a point. I would put Francine and Billy in this category now.
            And, Lee would know their loyalty has limits, and he would not ask them to be different. He doesn’t expect unconditional loyalty.
            As for T.P I don’t know much about him at this point.. does Lee trust T.P? I don’t know.. We’ll see..
            But for me, in SMK that’s what family is- a foundation you can trust in.
            I’ll put this ‘agency/family’ thing down to a tribute to spy shows that have come before – and I won’t look further into it than that.. that way I won’t mind it so much. And it won’t feel to me like the agency is like the mafia – conning agents that they are family as a means of controlling them and gaining their loyalty.. while using them and squeezing them dry!
            It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the rest of the episode..

            I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts! Hope you are well! Gotta run 🙂


            • I am thinking that the Agency is a rather brutal place, and yet in the midst of it there are probably a few that come to eel the need for deeper connections. I would think that finding those deeper connections would be difficult outside the context of other agents, because no matter what as an agent you would have to lie in some capacity to non agent friends. So maybe this “family” connection that Lee has learned to enjoy with retired agents is as close as he is going to get to his own personal family needs. It isn’t a real family, but the fact that Lee has pursued it (which I think he has because he has begun regular visits that all involved count on), shows me that he has realized a need and a value for family connections. I bet as he stood outside Amanda’s windows and watched her interact with her family he began to long for it himself and visiting Birchwood was how he began to cultivate family connections. What a proactive, healthy thing to do.

              Liked by 3 people

            • I like what everyone’s commented about Lee, family, and agency. I really don’t see Lee looking toward the agency or retirees as ‘family.’ He’s used to being alone, he was raised without family. I think he appreciates the kindness and gestures from the group (retirees and active) above all else. And he values his relationships with Billy, Francine and Amanda. I think the meaning of family starts to change for him as he and Amanda get closer.

              When I saw this episode, I briefly wondered if Lois and Glynis ‘adopted’ him as their ‘nephew’ to give him a sense of family, knowing he’s grown up without one. Hey, if I were an old lady, I’d adopt him too. 😉

              I also concur with Valerie that the terms ‘niece’, ‘nephew’, etc., may be applied in the community and that’s what the writers were going for.

              What I love most about this whole scene is Amanda and Lee, and him calling her ‘partner’ (we’ll forget about the whole ‘guest’ badge matter for now). Glad to see the continuity from PFK and the development of their relationship.


    • I wonder if they are trying to link this to the idea of the ‘family’ – those who help out the Agency on an informal basis as civilians? Am I jumping ahead? I’m not sure where this is introduced. If so, apologies!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting! I don’t know. I don’t remember hearing anything about that yet.. maybe it is ahead of us? we’ll keep an eye out for more family references!

        though, when we met Harry in Tail of the Dancing Weasel, there seemed to be a bit of a family vibe between Harry and Lee.. and then, between Harry and Amanda? I’d go back and look to see if there were actual references to family but I haven’t got time.. such is life.. bye guys!!


    • The “family” reference didn’t seem odd to me at all. Yes, the Agency and the Intelligence profession in general is a brutal career choice. Yet, perhaps coping with the stresses and hardships of their work is what tends to bind them together into a “family”. There are few, if any, people besides their coworkers that they can confide in and, although trust is hard to come by, they have to watch others’ backs in dangerous situations and have faith that others are watching theirs in return. I expect that it would not be unusual for Agency people to be unmarried and without close relatives. Thus, even more reason to think of others in the profession as family.


So what do you think??? :)

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