14/15 Season Three, Episode 15: The Pharoah’s Engineer-Scarecrow and Mrs King

On to Birchwood where Amanda is ‘picking the residents brains’. Sounds like they’ve had a lot of that lately Smile
We see a lady in yellow patrolling the perimeter. Oh wait.. Is this Ms Walker?!
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We saw her earlier this episode..
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Is Birchwood on her route? or has she since retired?! Winking smile lol.. Maybe it’s Ms Walker’s ‘Aunty’ Winking smile

Oh hey, the scene before this shot was that Sphinx riddle..  remember?
TPE.avi_20151005_193605.307What walks on four legs when it’s young, two when it’s grown and 3 when it’s old?
I think the transition to this shot of Ms Walker with her Walking Walker stick could be a clue- lol I haven’t looked it up and this may be really obvious lol.. and.. probably by the time you read this you will have already sorted this one out in the comments to the previous post. lol.. but I’m only now maybe solving that riddle.. this lady has 3 ‘legs’ and is old! Me thinks the answer is People. Am I right? Maybe I’m not because I don’t get how this is a riddle about the sphinx. My head hurts. moving on! Winking smile
Okaaaay moving on.
We find Amanda interviewing Glynnis.
Glynnis:  I supervised the menus for a 24 hour work cycle.  Non-stop, go, go, go.

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Amanda:  OK, Miss Mendelssohn, I have that.
Glynnis:  Protein, energy food, that’s the main thing.  No junk.  You can’t expect your people to give you their best on potato chips.  [hallelujah!]
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Amanda:  Miss Mendelssohn, do you know where they used your menus?
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[Hey I just realised.. Amanda is wearing the same clothes from the day before.. and.. Lee in the last scene was too.. sooo they were up all night long and never changed? I would have thought they’d have changed before waking Rupert. I must say – Amanda looks terribly well put together for having been on stake out all night. And Lee? well.. he always looks terribly well put together no? Winking smile ]
Glynnis:  We don’t need to know.  That’s the Agency way.

Amanda:  That’s right!  Well, thank you very much for your help.  I hope maybe someday I can come back and tell you what this is all about, but in the meantime —
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Glynnis
:  Mum’s the word.  Don’t worry dear, we know all about it.

Cut to a drill working it’s way through an ancient Egyptian cement wall Winking smile  A baddie nods at Durran, who nods back. Seems things are going according to plan – so far!
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You know, these baddies have a nerve! don’t they know they’ll be cursed if they break into a pyramid and find the Pharoah’s tomb?! And what I want to know is – which Pharaoh built this Pyramid anyway? Was it King Harry V Thornton?

Back to Billy’s office.. Billy has a clock on his wall..
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Can anyone make out what is the picture under the clock?
Billy turns and says: Keep trying, Amanda.

We see Rupert seated with Amanda..
(Lee is perched on the side of Billy’s desk watching on.)
Amanda:  Yes, sir.  Um, Rupert — Rupert, Mr. Eisenstein supervised the formulation of a high-fiber content weave for a new carpet.  And they produced 11 square acres of it in South Carolina.
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Lee:  Yeah, the carpeting, Rupert.  Tell us what you were going to use the carpet for.
Rupert:  The question was, whether to use carpet at all.  I had to fight that one, I can tell you.
Billy:  I’m sure you did. And you had good reason.
Rupert: I couldn’t make them see that.
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Amanda: Who, Rupert?
Rupert: The bigwigs! The stuffed shirts! The pencil-sharpeners. The guys in the suits. Ah . . .
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…What was the question?

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[love Amanda’s ‘we’re in big trouble’ expression!]
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Billy
: What else, Amanda? Something else you found out might grab him.

Amanda: Uh, Rupert — Mr. Olney designed a ventilation system,..
(We see Rupert snoring- understandable. He didn’t get much sleep the night before!)
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…and he based it on an aircraft carrier with the inflow and the outflow and the residu– Rupert!
Billy: Rupert!
Amanda: Rupert, please!
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(LOL both Billy and Amanda start shaking him. Lee watches on from a distance) [I keep wishing someone would bring Rupert a nice cup of hot tea!]
Billy: Rupert, the air conditioning. This is the design for the Pyramid. Do you recognize it?
Rupert: Air conditioning? What do I know about air conditioning? That was Olney’s baby — ask him.
Billy: More, Amanda — come on, come on.
Amanda: Yes, sir…  (Super upbeat now!) …Rupert –Did you know that Washington sits on an alluvial plain above a granite base…
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…called the Appalachian Spar? Huh?
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Rupert: Hmm . . . Good rock…
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…We had to blast the dickens out of that stuff. But boy, do you get a nice hole in the ground. Solid!

(Billy seems to be thinking there’s no use..)
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Lee: Digging!
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Billy: Basements.
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Lee: The White House War Room, the new facility was built in the 60’s.
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Right on cue in comes Francine and some annoying dude who interrupts: Sixty-eight!
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[LOL what a dude.. Francine hasn’t even introduced him yet]
All: Shhhh!
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[LOL!] Francine is a bit shocked at their combined reflexive Shhhh!!! But hey.. you didn’t even tell them you were there!
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Seaforth dude
: We put a “G” model in there.
[They seem to realise who this guy is.. and suddenly Billy is addressing him rather than shushing him. Weird edit here.]
Billy: You ID’d the blueprint?
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Lewis: We were up all night with the microfilms.
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Francine: This is Doug Lewis with Seaforth Alarms — he just got in on a flight from Tulsa.
Lewis: Studied all the Seaforth 900’s in the country. Sixty-three to the present. Model A to the latest — the T. It’s not there. No match.
TPE.avi_20151005_194027.952[He flew in to tell them no match?!]
Lee: Wait, it’s gotta be. It said “Seaforth 900” as plain as could be.
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Rupert
: Best damn alarm money could buy. More transistors than Carter has pills. Ha! A beauty.

Amanda: Oh, I’m sure it is, Rupert! Why don’t you tell us about it?
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Rupert
: Eleven levels of sensors. Closed-loop system. Indestructible. Cost six million to develop. But I said, it’s worth it. You don’t go to all this trouble to hide things, and not be secure.

Amanda: Oh, you sure don’t! But why did it cost so much money, Rupert?
Rupert: It was the prototype! The first one! Serial number, ought, ought, ought!
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[I think Rupert does a good job here of divulging but still being under the influence!]
Lewis: My —, the prototype. I never thought of the prototype. Who would? I only looked for the production series!

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Billy: Think, man — where is it?
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[Okay, is it just me or.. when you get over how swoony Lee looks here.. does this shot look really ridiculous??!!!! Captain America and his super short but plucky side kick? kinda ridiculous? ]
Lewis: You’re standing on it.
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Whoa… everyone takes a second to compute this..
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Amanda (to Rupert): Pyramid is the Agency?
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Rupert nods..
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He looks exhausted.. if he weren’t on drugs about now he’d be thinking – now I understand why they use to bury the Pharaoh’s engineer with him when the Pyramid was sealed!! [or lol is that just a myth?] TPE.avi_20151005_194209.185
Amanda nods back.. and KJ does one of those expressions she’s so good at.. you know.. oh boy what are we into.. what’s going to happen.. and they cut to commercial or another scene.. I think KJ is expert at these!

I’ll pause here.. and look forward to hearing your thoughts everyone! I think I’ll be able to finish this ep in the next post… that or I’m going to start behaving like Rupert on these drugs.. 

24 responses to “14/15 Season Three, Episode 15: The Pharoah’s Engineer-Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. The thing that has left me the most puzzled about the giant plot-holes in this one is that we have no idea WHY Durran is doing any of this. TP described him as Mr Murder for Hire, and he said in Post 1 he wants everyone dead, but has someone hired him or is he just a bitter ex-employee? I don’t think we ever find out the ‘why’ behind this extraordinarily complicated and expensive plan Durran has.

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  2. Regarding fresh-faced Doug Lewis flying all the way from Tulsa just to tell them that there’s no match — in the last post, Billy said “get that clown from Seaforth in here”, so I guess they took him literally. When Billy gets in one of his moods, everyone better jump or he’ll be demanding they write reports, right?

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  3. here is something in that “need to know” or not needing to. Not knowing and knowing are very key ideas in SMK, whether personal or professional. The Birchwood residents unquestioning submission to it is noteworthy.

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  4. That photo below the clock looks like someone being strangled by another person with gorilla-length arms. Agree that swoony Lee posed with Billy looks very contrived and movie-poster-style. But I manage to blank Billy out the screen cap 😉

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  5. I have to admit that I didn’t know what Rupert was talking about when he mentioned Carter’s pills. At first, I thought it was some kind of reference to Jimmy Carter until my mother told me what it really was. The reference was a little before my time and older than Jimmy Carter’s presidency:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter's_Little_Liver_Pills

    Also, I just have to say that this interrogation of Rupert would have been much more interesting if Raffie and I had our way and had Amanda’s kids working on projects inspired by Rupert. Instead of just asking him about the building stats, Amanda could have brought up stuff that he told Philip and Jamie about his life and about pyramids to spark his memory. 😉

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    • Speaking about Jamie, does anyone else think that Doug the annoying guy looks like Jamie might look like in his 20s? Except Jamie wouldn’t be annoying but bright and very helpful 🙂 I’m missing Jamie, Dotty and even Phillip….

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    • Ah, yes, to quote Janet H from a previous post in this ep, “Sigh. It’s the little things that make you feel old.” I knew exactly what Rupert was referring to.

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      • Exactly what I was thinking Ruth!

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        • Yeah, I’m one of the younger ones here. I turned 1 year old around the time SMK originally aired its first episode. If it helps, I did learn to type on a manual, non-electric typewriter before I learned to use a computer, I used to own a wood-surround tv, my brother still owns a working rotary telephone, and both of us felt old when he tried to explain the difference between cds and records to a little cousin (she was impressed by the size of the records and gave us a wide-eyed “Wow!”). Awhile ago, I had to explain the Cold War and the Soviet Union to a friend’s teenage son who had apparently never heard of them. 😛 I can’t say I have many memories of them, but I was alive then. It also indicates that this kid hasn’t watched many old spy movies.

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          • or that he hasn’t read a history book. To quote Professor Digory in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “What do they teach in these schools?”

            Liked by 1 person

            • If his teachers were anything like mine in middle school and high school, they never actually got to the Cold War. In those grade levels, they’d always start at the beginning, at the Revolutionary War for American History and the Sumerians for World History (the whole development of agriculture part always bored me stiff :P), then they’d kind of move leisurely along during the first part of the year, spending extra time on their favorite eras (the Civil War in the case of my high school history teacher who made us watch the entire movie of Gone With the Wind), until they realize that if they don’t hurry up they’ll never make it to WWII. So, my history classes generally ended at the end of WWII. Although, I think that one history teacher in high school managed to squeeze in discussions of the Cold War (I remember her explaining “Duck and Cover”) and the Civil Rights movement. None of the general courses ever got as far as the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you read Dave Barry’s history book, he describes the routine of history classes perfectly.

              Speaking of history, though, did we discuss Rupert’s history? From what he said when they woke him up earlier and he thought that he was “in the wrong barracks,” Rupert was once in the army. From his age, he could have fought in WWII, but he might not have been an ordinary soldier because the army does also employ engineers and technical advisers. In Tail of the Dancing Weasel, they mention that Thornton founded the Agency after the Korean War. Rupert could have been one of the first recruits, chosen for his technical expertise. He was probably picked by Thornton himself because Thornton said that he hired all of the senior people.

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          • I feel oldest when I mention my father fought in the war and have to explain that I mean the 1939-1945 one. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Agreeing with you, Michele about the lacking A & L warmth. Especially after the episodes before it. Anyone thinking that this episode should be in a different order?

    I like the superhero, swoony-Lee capture. I adore Billy, but it would be less superhero and more swoony-Lee, if Billy was off to the side. 🙂

    By the way, Iwsod, I love how your thoughts are interjected in the script at just the right time and the character dialogue just fits here… Almost like Glynnis is answering you instead of Amanda. 😉

    IWSOD: [Hey I just realised.. Amanda is wearing the same clothes from the day before.. and.. Lee in the last scene was too.. sooo they were up all night long and never changed?….(edit)…I must say – Amanda looks terribly well put together for having been on stake out all night. And Lee? well.. he always looks terribly well put together no?]
    GLYNNIS: We don’t need to know. That’s the Agency way.

    Good answer, Glynnis … 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • This episode does feel like it could happen any time from Reach for the Sky onwards in terms of L and A’s relationship. For me, this episode may be more about Amanda’s professional development than personal development….

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just assumed that Lee and Amanda were out all night on stakeout. The establishing shot of the Capitol before they drive back into Birchwood to get Rupert clearly reflects the early morning sun, and the angle of the sun seems right as they do drive into Birchwood. It always bugs me when a scene is shot in an obviously early morning sun angle when it’s supposed to be afternoon, so at least that seems right, here. Wonder what excuse Amanda gave Dotty? Another reason to miss her.

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  7. Another great entry ISWOD. I think Mrs Walker is perhaps security personel endlessly patrolling the exterior of the agency and birchwood and other related buildings- blending in and unnoticed, but deadly:-)
    I think I was a bit surprised by the reveal too,Cindy, (I do think the plot of this episode is potentially good but the whole thing lacks something – perhaps some A and L warmth and humour?) however, I do recall thinking how stupid they were leaving a weak spot. I appreciate that the Egyptians had to but construction has changed a bit over the centuries and it doesn’t seem impossible to have strengthened the exit area.
    Im sorry if I seem overly critical, I am really enjoying this journey through the episode. I especially enjoyed the caption of Superhero Lee with his sidekick. Really funny.

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    • I agree with you about the “weak spot.” Another thought, too, that Rupert can’t be the only person to know where the “weak spot” is. All the construction guys who actually operated the heavy machinery would have to know, too. 😛

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  8. I do remember being gobsmacked when the reveal came (I honestly did not see that coming) and probably that is why I remember the episode so fondly despite all the flaws. It also explains how they fit all those people and rooms in a “two” story building.

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