14/19 Season Three, Episode 20: Dead Men Leave No Trails–Scarecrow and Mrs King

Picking up right where we left things.. Francine is certain Sallee is long gone and has no chance of doing any damage.. 3.20-DEAD-MEN-LEAVE-NO-TRAILS.avi_00[41]
[Mr Red Carnation approaches.. lol Francine lets out a massive sigh and refuses to turn and look at him!]
Van Kleef: Miss Desmond…
I refuse to let my staff…
(Francine rolls her eyes and looks at Lee while Van Kleef the red Carnation guy prattles on..) [ as if to say, ‘look what I’ve been putting up with here!’]
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…bring a single tray of food into this room…
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…as long as those dogs are present…
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…And we’re already seven minutes behind schedule-3.20-DEAD-MEN-LEAVE-NO-TRAILS.avi_00[99]
 Francine: Mr. Van Kleef, not now!
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…okay?!
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[Francine’s had it. enough!]
(Amanda tries to calm the situation and intervenes..)
Amanda: Maybe Mr. Van Kleef can help us, Francine…
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[Francine seems perplexed by that possibility-lol, but I do appreciate how she lets Amanda speak.]3.20-DEAD-MEN-LEAVE-NO-TRAILS.avi_00[50]
…Mr. Van Kleef, could you take a look at that picture…
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[Francine begrudgingly hands it to him.. lol… Martha Smith is brilliant here!!!]
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…and tell us if you’ve ever seen that man before?
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[Love Francine’s ‘oh this is so lame’ look she gives Lee. Right before the red carnation answers]3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002092659
Van Kleef : Yes.  The point is, I have…
[Not knowing there is a terrorist on the lose nor the significance of this photo, Van Kleef continues on with his job at hand. lol. too funny.]
Everyone is taken aback- stunned while Van Kleef continues on. rofl! It’s Amanda who recovers first.
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Amanda loudly (cutting off Van Kleef): Yes!? 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002094294
Lee (over Van Kleef): Wait a minute, wait…
Van Kleef: … two hundred Viking spears on ice… 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002094694
Francine (over Van Kleef): Wait! Wait! Wait!
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..Hold it a minute. (Francine calmly continues) .. What are you talking about? 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002097797
Van Kleef: Viking spears. Crab claws on ice-
[rofl. I’m glad he clarified that! I was wondering what a viking spear was! 🙂 teee heee..]3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002098398
[Lee and Amanda speak at the same time.. forget the crab claws! Smile ]
Lee: No, no, no, no. The picture.
Amanda: No, wait. The picture. The picture.
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Lee: You’ve seen this man in the hotel?3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002103303
Van Kleef: He works here. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002104204
Francine raises her voice: That cannot be, he is not on the security check list…
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[LOL it can’t be that the security check list was incorrect! She should be asking how can that be, rather then declaring it can’t be. He just told you it is! Poor Francine.. she needs some time to let this one sink in. ]  …(Francine turns back to Lee)
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…Now I saw every employee that worked here, no matter how insignificant they might be.
[Aie, shut up and listen Francine! This is becoming shrill and.. dare I say it again, unprofessional. Calm down Francine- you can do it! 🙂  ]
Lee: Francine.
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(Lee calmly but firmly stops Francine from continuing)
[this is not about Francine. This is about stopping an assassin! Button it Francine. Poor Francine!] 
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Van Kleef: Miss Desmond, he’s not an employee of the hotel.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002113013
Francine: Wh-? 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002113613
Van Kleef: He’s on the night cleaning crew… 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002115415
[Ohhh one of those little people you don’t notice!]
…It’s a contract deal. If you want to know more, talk to plant maintenance. I’m banquets, and I’m about to be out of a job.  Can we move along?3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002122122
[All things considered I think Van Kleef is quite measured with Francine. I don’t get the vibe that he is personally attacking her. He’s not interested in scoring any points, he just wants to get on with his job. which lol was what I was saying Francine should have been doing earlier (IMHO of course). Ah the poetry.. ]
Amanda: This couldn’t be more important. Could you tell us if there is any chance that he could be here now?
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Van Kleef: I said he’s night crew… starts at 7:30. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002131431
Amanda (firmly but calmly): Is there a chance?
Van Kleef: Well, he could be here…
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[Uh oh!]
But not on the clock.
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Lee: Do you have an employee’s locker room? 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002137437
Van Kleef: Of course. [LOL when are they going to let VK in on how serious this is?! I guess it’s need to know Winking smile ]
Lee: Alright, then, we have to see his locker…
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…Amanda, follow up this lead with plant maintenance.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002141441
Amanda: Right.
(Francine hands Amanda the photo)
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Lee: See what they know, okay?
Amanda: Right. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002144244
Lee: Come on. Show me.
They all head off.. not sure what Francine is doing.. but at least she isn’t protesting anymore. The scene ends there.

I realise I didn’t get back to that earlier blog post to respond to comments about Francine and Carnation guy earlier. I’m glad you all discussed it together though!
If I’ve remembered correctly, the vibe was many commenters felt Francine was justified in her handling of Van Kleef and didn’t take issue with it like I did. Fair enough.

I’m all for girl power! 🙂 For me, a girl power moment isn’t someone’s ego running riot when they are on the job, which is how I saw that earlier scene unfolding. I won’t go on about it here, I’ll try and get back to the other post to respond fully over the holidays.

Here, Francine IMHO is reaping what she sowed – her squashing of Van Kleef closed the door on his being of assistance, instead of recruiting him to the cause she alienated him. I don’t know if VK would have told Francine about the existence of contractors, but his being squashed put a stop to any creative thinking on his part to support Francine’s work. So to speak..

In this scene Amanda does exactly what I thought Francine should have done to start with  – she was patient, firm and persistent with Van Kleef. She was respectful, and she engaged his assistance and valued his input (even if VK didn’t know how valuable it was). She didn’t discount him, she utilised him.  Reminds me of Emily chiding Lee in 3 faces of Emily when Lee was grumbling that Amanda was getting in the way – Emily corrected Lee that Amanda could be quite useful and he needed to learn to improvise! Smile 

Anyway, I also feel for Francine – I don’t doubt it’s tough to pave the way as a woman in this business. She’s been working hard under pressure (wasn’t there a last minute change of location?) to make the place secure only to find that she’s made a big mistake here.. I think humility makes someone truly powerful. Pride or arrogance makes people weak. Maybe now Francine’s approach will be tempered by some humility (?), her work IMHO will be the better for it.

And so, I’ll leave things here for the moment and I’ll look forward to hearing your take on this scene.. or the ep so far.. or on anything else you like (just not what’s ahead Smile ) bye! 

15 responses to “14/19 Season Three, Episode 20: Dead Men Leave No Trails–Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. Something else I liked about this scene is that, instead of Lee telling Amanda to go make herself scarce because there’s danger afoot, he gives her a very real and important assignment to do while he goes to search the employee locker room. I am sure the assignment was genuine (in contrast to something like the Bromfield Hall assignment of doing research in the library). And Amanda doesn’t argue — she knows that she has her place and Lee has his, and her best contribution is doing exactly what he just suggested.

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  2. Francine is all about control. She needs to be able to control whatever environment she’s in and I think it’s a defense mechanism. Throughout the series she had very specific ideas about people and tends to pigeonhole those who are not worthy of being in her orbit. I kind of balked at her statement when she referred to some of the employees as insignificant. She has repeatedly treated Amanda the same way.

    There are very few people that she will let herself be vulnerable with. I think that Lee is in that category which is why he could get her to stand down from her tirade. When she was trapped with Amanda she let her guard down and immediately regretted it. I think it’s because she is still a bit unsure of Amanda along with being a bit jealous. She is grudgingly accepting her, but Francine still as a long way to go.

    Sometimes watching how Francine handles things and people and how Lee and Amanda do it is like a textbook example of what not to do and what to do.

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  3. About Francine’s fashion choices (not just in this episode but in others): LOL at the outfits, the 80’s were … well … quite “frumpy” haha as far as formal and office attire was concerned. Fashion is what it is, and I think that was the reason for many of Francine’s outfits in this show, her character was (in my observation at least) supposedly very “fashion forward” so to speak, it wasnt entirely her fault that the 80’s also just werent a very good era for business, formal and “professional” fashion for the most part LOL.

    On Francine’s attitude in general, I think it was a combination of stress (since this, to me seemed to be the first time she has been solely in charge of a shindig like this one) and her upbringing (since she grew up “rich” it’s just her default to treat people like Mr Van Kleef as “servants” so to speak. I also think that while Amanda was talking to Van Kleef, Francine realized that she had made a mistake in treating him the way that she did because she did effectively alienate him. I also agree that she could have been more sensitive to his feelings, and his concerns, after all he did have a job to do, too and superiors to answer to as well.

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  4. I love the contrast between Amanda & Francine in this scene. And I think you’re on to something with your “little people you don’t notice” observation, iswod. To someone like Francine, a clean space just happens like magic. And in her world if he was not on the security check list, he does not exist. I’m all for girl power too, but there is a difference between confidence (Amanda) & arrogance (Francine). Amanda has all the girl power here!!!

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  5. All I thought of as I read this post is that difference between how each is perceiving the situation based n where their identity is coming from. Francine’s identity is still very wrapped up in her performance on the job and how other’s view her professionally. Maybe Van Kleef is in a similar situation? Maybe not – he just doesn’t know what everyone is concerned with, he is focused on his job. But Lee and Amanda are also focused on the job, but they are able to hear others and think outside of their own box. They both are able to take each person into consideration and so they can consider Van Kleef and ask questions. I could imagine Lee having the same attitude as Francine if this scene took place in season one. I guess that is what I am noticing. This maturation and growth on Lee’s part makes this moment of this episode happen a bit more easily than it would have if this had happened in season one. Back then Amanda would have had to spend more time trying to get both Lee and Francine to listen to her, I bet she would have ended up helping Mr Van Kleef with his viking spears and getting into all sorts of trouble before the real spies would have put two and two together.

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  6. I’m going to be a bit harsh (no surprises there 😉 ) and suggest it was a huuuuge oversight on Francine’s part not to ask or find out if there were contractors working on site. I think it was fairly common-place even in the 1980’s for large businesses to contract out certain types of jobs/work.
    Sometimes I think Francine just tries to hard, and in doing so she leaves herself open to missing the obvious.
    Having said that, in a mans world I can understand why she thinks she has to be twice as competent as her male colleagues in order to be seen to be as competent as they are.

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    • So true. And I wonder if Mr. Van Kleef is normally obtuse (most of us would include contractors when asked which employees have access to the ballroom, especially for such an important reason) or just decided to follow the ‘letter of the law’ so precisely because he does not get along with Francine. I would like to think it is the former.

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      • Or maybe it’s fun to think a little of both! I agree, I definitely see him as a person with a job to do and he does it well, in spite of all the interference that no doubt he has to painstakingly endure time and time again from numerous sources at each event. It is important that he do his job right, and dog hair in the VP’s, or worse yet, foreign dignitaries crab claws would not be acceptable and would no doubt cost him his job. No one has been blown up on his watch so far, and therefore he certainly doesn’t believe there is any serious risk of that happening here. So yes, I do believe he is naturally obtuse, or at least has entertaining/service so high on the priority list that nothing else is visible to him. Individuals like this have an amazing ability to be brilliantly passive-aggressive, and Van Kleef does not appear to be an exception! He is a rule follower and by-golly, he followed them. I also like how his professional training give him such a pompous air of restraint. He does not get loud and shrill like Francine, which probably is even more annoying and confusing for her!

        I think Van Kleef’s character is awesome. I agree with kiwismh that Francine has made a BIG oversight. I also agree with iwsod that MS plays this role beautifully from beginning to end. The scripting is good too. The scene stays humorous in spite of the rising seriousness of the situation and Francine’s aggressive behavior.

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        • Yeah! I thought Van Kleef was funny!!!! Very true – the scripting is great in this scene!

          And when I slowed down the scene and just focused on Francine, I thought she was funny too! MS did such a great job with the dramatic reaction Francine has to Van Kleef 🙂

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  7. Well, I think Van Kleef and Francine both take great pride in their work and I certainly feel for her, I admit that there have been times when I’ve inwardly cried “NOOOOOOO, I worked so hard on that! How can it possibly fall apart?!” Which is what Francine is outwardly doing here. Poor woman, she takes herself so seriously.

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  8. OMH I love Van Kleef here! Absolutely brilliant. I howl every time I see the scene. No one can claim the man is not focused on his job.

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  9. Again, I recognise myself in Francine’s behaviour {blush}. She’s stressed out and she’s trying to control everything by keeping everyone on a tight leash and cutting any opposition at source. I think it may be “that time of the month” (I can say that because I’m a woman; no man could get away with this observation!)

    Is she dressed as a mermaid?? (The skirt looks like it’s narrowing to a tail. How does she walk in that?) Or as a peacock? The colour is lovely on her – she makes Lee and Amanda look like peahens – downright dowdy in comparison.

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    • Oh I got a big LOL out of this one, learjet! I do make that assessment myself when female TV characters get out of control. (And there was once a GREAT line in the show Murphy Brown directly related to this — what a great show that was!) And it reminds me of that look of dismissal that my husband would give me during an argument, to which I would have to rant that I was justifiably upset, so don’t dare dismiss it as a hormone-induced temporary rage! I’ve mellowed over the years thanks to the job, church, and motherhood, but I too recognize that method of control from younger days. I remember it not being terribly effective!

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