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

Van Kleef takes Lee and Francine down to the staff locker room..
Van Kleef: It used to be so easy to do a lovely party. Consult with the chef about the menu, call the florist, organise the staff…
Security was a few agents, in formal attire, discreetly sprinkled among the guests…
(They reach Sallee’s locker and Van Kleef opens the door.)
[lol how did he know which locker was a certain contractor’s he’s in banquets! Winking smile ]
(The locker is empty.)
Van Kleef: But now…
[Yes those good old days are long gone! Don’t forget Van Kleef, Francine told you about that event in Beirut with the exploding glass! lol..hint hint.. I figure that is somehow involved with all these flippin light bulbs ]
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Lee: I’d be willing to bet there aren’t any prints. I think we’d better call Billy.
They all start walking out. Van Kleef keeps quiet. I guess from all this he is guessing there’s a big security problem now.
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Francine: Lee, look, I’m telling you I have got a security net pulled so tight over that ballroom that no one, not even Sallee, could breach it.  [Francine, let it go! you can still fix this!!
I love how Lee doesn’t really respond to her or let her words change his course of action. ]
Lee: Come on.
[Very tough to get a shot of them. lots of doors and backs to the camera as they navigate the downstairs area]
Francine: It is possible you and Amanda really did scare him off this morning.
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[this sounds like wishful thinking. But.. Francine is only human, and I can see why she’d be struggling to accept her error. But, as a professional, she needs to cover all contingencies]
Lee: It’s possible. Anything is possible.
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As Lee says this, we see Sallee is down stairs, and heard their conversation. Hiding until they’d left. Aie… why not search downstairs for him before heading back up?? I guess they had to all go and call Billy! Not time for a confrontation yet! 🙂
Sallee walks to a circuit box, removes the cover, takes a knife out of his pocket, and strips a wire,
3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002201434 and connects something to the wire.
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He then kneels down and sets a timer. What a fascinating hobby! Winking smile 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002217450
Uh oh.. looks like the trap is set! The scene ends here.

Moving on… we see a daytime exterior of Hotel Monroe. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002222671

Inside, we find Duffy err I mean Bachman and Neisheim checking the guest list and ID’s before letting guests into the reception. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002228995

Van Kleef is seen pushing a champagne fountain past them and we follow him with it into the reception. I have no idea if this fountain is at all relevant! 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002236002
We find Billy, Lee and Francine conferencing. Lee is looking suspiciously at everything. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002241207

Billy: We have a thirty minute window and that’s as long as I can stall the Vice President in his limo outside before we call off this entire shooting match.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002244210
Lee: That’s a bad choice of words.
Billy: More to the point, how sure are we?
Francine: Look, Billy, I’ve been on this for weeks, alright? We’ve covered all the bases, we are secure.
3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002250216[this is beginning to look ridiculous and beyond understandable. She didn’t know a leading assassin had been working in the room! And.. how could she have been on it for weeks? the venue was changed at short notice wasn’t it? or am I wrong? quite possible! Still I think Francine can’t at this stage guarantee all bases are covered!]
Lee: Secure?
Francine: Yeah!
Lee: Francine, the guy was here. He’s been here for the last three months. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002254421
[go Lee!!! He read my thoughts!]
(Amanda joins them)
Francine: Well he’s not here now—he’s gone, and even his timecard is missing.
[rofl what does that prove, the guy is a criminal and isn’t going to sign on when he knows they’re after him now!]
Lee (to Amanda): What’d you find out?
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Amanda: Talked to plant maintenance—they recognize him, but they don’t know where he is.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002259826
Billy: Do we have any proof that he was in the hotel today?
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Amanda: Sir, he was a few blocks away this morning. [Go Amanda!]
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[with the Beirut story of planting exploding windows, why is the assumption that Sallee must be in the room to do any damage now?]
Francine: Well, we know he’s not on this floor now,…
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…he’s not on the floor above us, he’s not on the floor below us…3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002268234
(We cut to Lee and Amanda reacting to Francine.) 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002268635
… and there is no way he can get anywhere near this ballroom. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002270036
Lee and Amanda look up, as the chandelier,  dims and brightens.
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Billy and Francine turn to notice it also.
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We cut to Sallee’s hands turning a dial. He seems to be making it happen.. sooo I guess this wasn’t a timer.. whatever.  3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002274240
Back to the chandelier, brighter and brighter it goes..
3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_0022754423.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002276242

And the bulbs blow.
Van Kleef: Miss Desmond! We’ve got another emergency. A dozen or more light bulbs in the chandelier just blew. It’s a power surge, I suspect… 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002285452
…It’s the power company— they’ve been driving us crazy for months-
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[I wonder if this is part of Sallee’s preparations.. creating power company problems..?]
(Amanda seems to listen intently to this news of light bulbs.)
Francine: Mr. Van Kleef, will you just try to get through this crisis without me? Okay? [I’m pretty sure he’d like to do it without you Francine haaa]
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Billy, Lee and Amanda watch on.. Amanda’s brain appears to be frantically trying to make sense of these events unfolding in front of her. (hope the light bulb comes on soon!)
Van Kleef: Miss Desmond, no-one from the maintenance department is cleared to come into the ballroom.
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I can see the team have more important things on their mind that light bulbs. It does seem a bit silly to tell Francine, but then this is a unique and strange situation for Van Kleef. I can also see why Van Kleef had to bring this to their attention, he’s being blocked from getting his job done and isn’t sure what he can do. He could have just gone off and done his own thing but he tries to work within the security demands here.
Francine: Well, then, you’d better just change them yourself.
[Ahhhh I see the superior attitude hasn’t diminished.. Telling an older gentleman to climb that ladder seems rather harsh. but it’s all a bit ludicrous because surely there are other younger staff around Van Kleef could get to change bulbs.
Oh well.. our attention  and Lee, Amanda, Francine and Billy’s attentions have all been drawn to these bulbs being changed!]

3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002301468Van Kleef walks away..
Amanda’s still trying to figure things out as he leaves..
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She’s focused on the light bulbs.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002304471
Van Kleef heads down to the famous and oh so familiar light bulb cupboard! 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002317484
He takes the light bulbs and the box of bulbs, then walks back through the double doors and heads back upstairs.

I’ll pause here for the moment.. looking forward to hearing from ya!

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

  1. I’m back for some more SMK binging. I’m liking all the comments about Francine. I agree that the script writers did a poor job with her character in these last scenes. For the most part, in the beginning she was being typical Francine or at least the Francine you would expect, especially since she has this massively important job to do. But near the end here it’s almost as if she has gone off the rails.

    Usually some of the persnickety-ness of Francine’s character is directed at Amanda. In this instance she has no issue with Amanda and seems to have channeled her issue back within herself. More than ever (probably because of Amanda’s success) she has to work harder to prove herself. However, I don’t think it would cause her to be as unprofessional as they have written this. I wonder if Martha Smith had anything to say about how particular episode was written regarding Francine.

    I do like how they show the alignment of these characters with Lee firmly planted at Amanda’s side and Billy in the middle. It’s almost as if to say that a transition has occurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally got around to reading post 1 again and dutifully paying attention to Jamie’s little lesson in electricity.
    he says:
    Jamie: Electricity is like a river. It flows through the wires and drives the windmill….The rheostat is like a dam—it can let in a little power or more power…The fuses, here, protects the motor…

    I don’t know much about electricity. So I’m just thinking through what Sallee has done so far. I’m thinking the wires/clips Sallee attaches are bypassing the fuses. And the rheostat was used by Sallee to blow these light bulbs.
    Have I understood correctly? So far? bye!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, nice thought, Iwsod. I knew that the intro was a cute link to the main plot, but I never considered that it was prophetically educating us on what Sallee was actually doing with the lights.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a drive by to say, those are some immense shoulder pads! Help, I think they are growing! waves hi and runs back down the rabbit hole

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve been pondering the writing here and Francine’s being certain that Sallee is no threat. which is a bit ridiculous, and I agree with those who think this is quite out of character for Francine – with maybe a whiff of Francine dumbing down!
    Anyway.. I’ve been pondering.. now Lee is so much on Amanda’s side, there is no longer any real need to convince Lee of what Amanda has figured out.. sooooo how do we keep the suspense here?
    They have to create a new barrier to Amanda and Lee being taken seriously here – and unfortunately for Francine, she’s the barrier.
    I think it’s suppose to add to the suspense and tension the whole time she is counter arguing with Billy about what Lee says… Lee and Amanda are really not sure if Billy will take the threat seriously..
    I think the writers use Francine’s resistance to create tension – otherwise where is the tension? but her professionalism IMHO suffers because of it.
    no wonder I was feeling sorry for Francine 😉

    but it is what we got.. so I”ve got to go with it – but I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with Francine’s character in future and how they are going to manage the dynamics of things with Amanda and Lee now so in sync..
    Just a few random thoughts..

    Oh and lastly – Just so you all know. I’ve just finished writing the blog posts for this episode.. and wouldn’t you know it – we will get to the tag on 25th/26th of December.. a lovely way to celebrate Christmas.. and.. that’s all I’ll say about that for now 🙂
    byeeeee!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting theory about Francine now having to provide roadblocks to Amanda since Lee is on board. Francine can be a formidable obstacle, it is too bad the writers took the easy way out and made Francine an incompetent formidable obstacle. If I had a time machine and could be part of the story boarding process (because the number one priority with a time machine should be to fix SMK plot holes, LOL!), I would not kill off Mr. Hoagie. Millicent’s cold blooded murder is enough to show us that Sallee is a really, really bad guy. And maybe even have Mr. Hoagie not be able to identify Sallee because he just got on shift. With only MIllicent’s murder (in sector 7), it would make the fact that the hotel was the target less obvious to everyone and Amanda would be going on her gut superspy instinct and her interpretation of Millicent’s diary.
      Then, I would say Francine would be more justified dismissing Amanda’s concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your idea sounds better. I was just thinking they could put the blame on Van Kleef. What if he neglected to give her the last of the security clearances on the contracted workers because he was busy fussing about the spots on the dishware. Sorry, he’s less important than Francine. Besides, he’ll probably show up as a baddie in some upcoming episode (I honestly don’t know if that’s true, just making it up).

        Like

        • Oooh- I like this too!

          Like

        • Hey Sara, Love your ideas! lol that Van Kleef could show up maybe as a baddie in a future episode! Thanks for clarifying you are not saying this is ahead – very thoughtful of you!
          I may have been wondering whoooo when am I going to see Van Kleeef again!!! lol!

          I don’t mind that Francine made a mistake overlooking the contractors so much – I think this is not an unforgiveable oversight (and it would be IMHO in character for Francine to overlook the little people 😉 ) everyone makes mistakes – for me, it was the repeated irresponsible and emotional insistence that Salle was no threat (when she couldn’t possibly know that) which I think overall was unfair to Francine’s character as a highly trained spy.. IMHO

          Interesting idea! I think if Francine asked for security clearances and Van Kleef didn’t give them to her- She would still be responsible for not ensuring she got them, but love to hear different ways it could have played out 🙂

          If I understood correctly, I think some of us take issue with Van Kleef and his behaviour/attitude from the start – I didn’t think it was perfect, but I didn’t find it nasty – if they had made Van Kleef a spiteful guy a few days from retirement (whahaha), all this could have made Francine look a whole less to blame! but.. there is more on this little Francine/Van Kleef story arc to come.. Maybe the writes wanted Francine to have a little story here and there’s a purpose to it all for her character’s growth. I’ll pause here. [I’ll just say again: I think Francine has daddy issues!!]

          Liked by 1 person

      • I like the word ‘formidable’ – I think it suits Francine!

        rofl. love your time machine idea. so true – love your idea about letting Mr Hoagie live another day to cook more Philly Hoagies!! Sooooo true!!! Killing Millicent was more than enough.

        Amanda already knew Sallee was doing something in sector 3 because that’s where the Philly Hoagies were, so it was near his work and on his bus route.

        Why did we have to have that scene of Lee arriving to find Mr Hoagie dead? hmm.. we didn’t learn anything new..
        here’s a few ideas (thoughts?) – it showed Sallee was cleaning shop – and about to make his move.
        Oh and it does increase the tension – another person dead- this killer must be stopped!!!!
        Lastly, we got to meet spiffy Lt. Frisky err I mean Trisky err I mean Trisk!

        boy, you can tell I suddenly have much more time now all of a sudden.
        Night and day compared to the year I’ve had!!! I’m going to try and get ahead with blog post writing while I have the time, so if things get crazy busy again I’m way ahead!!

        Like

      • Its time to build that time machine so we could send you back to fix those plot holes!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh and lastly – Just so you all know. I’ve just finished writing the blog posts for this episode.. and wouldn’t you know it – we will get to the tag on 25th/26th of December.. a lovely way to celebrate Christmas..

      Just my luck. I’ll have no internet access from the 24th until after New Years. The suspense is still worth it. 🙂

      Like

  5. Hi guys! I just realised oh yeah it’s nearly Christmas!!!

    Did we love the JWWM snow? or loathe it? I can’t remember. have activated to get into the Christmas spirit.. but if you can’t stand it let me know and I’ll take it off! 🙂

    Like

  6. Not happy about the dumbing down of Francine here. Looks like the writers are really out to get her (more on that later).

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    • I think you are spot on Cindy – this ep is still pretty fragmented for me, but there was a point where I fleetingly thought the same thing.

      Seems SMK only has room for one strong intelligent woman at a time!!!

      I agree re the dumbing down. Especially given the ep before this one we had Francine getting all dressed up to nab herself a prince with her head in the clouds.

      Like

  7. “We are secure!” -Francine just keeps digging her self deeper & deeper. She always seemed like an intelligent person- is it just that admitting her error would give Amanda too much credit?

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    • Lazy scriptwriting, if you ask me. The writers pulling all stops to make Amanda look – once more – like the great and smart hero who cracks the case because, since it’s “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”, not “Scarecrow and Ms. Desmond” of course it has to be either Scarecrow or, more commonly, Mrs. King who cracks the case – so let’s just make everyone else look particularly stupid (except for Scarecrow, of course, since he’s in the title of the show, too, can’t make him look too stupid).

      Liked by 3 people

      • Totally agree! Where SMK broke new ground by have Joe not an evil psychopath bent on breaking our two favourite lovelies up, they miss the mark and do a grave disservice to Francine’s character with this stupidity. I am assuming that a) Francine is very good at what she does (and maybe even better than most of the men around her) b) she is Billy’s right hand ‘man’ because she is qualified and not because she has been promoted out of day to day field work to minimize the impact of her incompetence. No matter what your personal feelings of Francine are, there is no way an agent with her character flaws shown in this episode would be put in charge of the security of the Vice President. Even if she was 100% positive the VP was safe, she would take the report of this threat seriously and not drag her heels and insist everything is okay.
        Amanda can still be the one to figure the plot out and save the day without making Francine looking like a deluded nitwit with questionable fashion sense.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Oh yes- I agree Knell – I’ve approached this ep having no idea what’s ahead for Francine in it. I don’t want to jump ahead in this ep, so I”ll limit my comment regarding this for now to agreeing with you that resolving the case of the week by making Amanda more professional and using her smarts, does seem to result in making Francine less smart and professional!

        (except for Scarecrow, of course, since he’s in the title of the show, too, can’t make him look too stupid).

        Scarecrow? stupid? Whahahahaaa.. if he only had a brain….

        Like

    • She always seemed like an intelligent person

      I think this is key – something’s gone awry with her character of late..

      Like

  8. Poor Francine, I kind of do feel sorry for her, there are a lot of VIP’s here, I hope that she and Billy arent going to get flack from their superiors.

    I cant help but wonder how this episode would have been different if Amanda had been handling this shindig instead of Francine?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like those last two pics of the four of them together. I think they ill figure out how to all work together… eventually. It took Lee three years to figure things out and he still hasn’t gotten it all straight yet. Francine can’t go un affected by Amanda forever…

      Like

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