16/19 Season Three, Episode 20: Dead Men Leave No Trails–Scarecrow and Mrs King

So where were we.. light bulbs.. lots of light bulbs.. light bulbs blow.. light bulbs being collected.. Amanda staring at the blown light bulbs and Van Kleef collecting light bulbs from the cupboard (Sallee’s new secretly upgraded light bulbs), to replace the blown ones in the reception room.

We see an exterior shot of the Hotel Monroe.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002335101
We see the bulbs are back in the chandelier..
Francine: Well, everything is set. Guests are arriving, we’re only about, uh, twenty-five minutes behind schedule.
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Lee: Good. [I’m confused. why is everything suddenly okay re Sallee? Why are they suddenly more upbeat?]
Van Kleef descends the ladder.. steps.. or whatever- good job! lol. Amanda is off to the side.. still nutting out these bulbs.
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Van Kleef (holding out a box): Andrew… take these. I have to get my champagne fountain out of the walk-in.
[Didn’t we already see him do that?! guess he has another one!]
Van Kleef hands over the box to Andrew of the old blown out bulbs he replaced. Amanda suddenly grabs one of them. Deep in thought.
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Uh oh. that bulb looks awfully familiar!
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Amanda stands there another moment thinking about the blown bulb and the bulbs in the chandelier.
She absently calls Lee over. I think her light bulb is on!
Amanda: Lee?
Lee: Yeah?
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Lee sees the bulb Amanda is holding.
Amanda: Is it possible to make a bomb out of a light bulb?
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(Lee silently looks up at the chandelier.) [His light bulb has gone on too!! He’s seen the light! (oh boy)]3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002365265
Lee: Francine!3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002368868
 …
The bulbs, did you check the bulbs?
Francine: Yes. The bulbs, the sockets, the wiring, the fixtures, the crystals, the-
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Amanda: What about the new ones that they just put in?
Francine: Well, I checked all the spares. Yesterday.
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Lee: If he packed those bulbs with plastique, the glass from those chandeliers’ll cut everyone in this room to ribbons.
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Billy jumps into action: Alright, clear the ballroom! 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002384484
Everyone, let’s move it…
[I love how all these people who have no idea who Billy is do as he tells them to. rofl. He did say it with great authority and confidence!]
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Scarecrow, find out where the main power trunk enters the hotel.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002391891
Lee: You got it!
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[Lee is on a mission! Love how he grips Amanda by the arms as he leaves and gives her a squeeze – we’re gonna stop Sallee!!! It’s kinda blurry..3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002393493
….but go look! ]
Billy: Nesheim [Duffy], get the bomb squad down here ASAP. 
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Amanda?
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Amanda: Yes, Sir?
Billy: Get yourself to the command center van outside.
Amanda: I’m on the way.
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Billy: Go, go. Francine, come with me.
[Poor Francine she seems a bit stunned by it all]
Back to Sallee downstairs.. and now he is setting the timer- to activate the rheostat I guess…[see my comment re rheostat for post 15- I’m no electricity expert..]
Five minutes!
Lee enters the downstairs area, gun drawn.
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Lee, the superspy,  trips on an object and makes a noise tipping off Sallee that he’s there! 😉3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002424724
Sallee climbs a ladder.. gets his garrotte out and waits to surprise Lee. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002441941
Stunt Lee enters.. Stunt Sallee jumps down and tackles stunt Lee.. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002449949

On the ground, Stunt Lee loses his gun, but grabs a pipe.. just as Stunt Sallee tries to put the garrotte in place.

We cut to Lee and Sallee up close.. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002453553
Lee has the garrotte wire blocked from choking him by the pipe.. It’s actually a little tricky to see the wire and what’s going on. they struggle.. Lee pulls the wire up and away from his neck. 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002455755
Lee shoves Sallee away.. but toward the pipe on the ground. Sallee gives Lee a whack (don’t worry, it’s stunt Lee Winking smile ) Sallee picks up Lee’s gun and runs.

[umm is this Sallee the ruthless assassin? Why did he take the gun but not shoot Lee? err not that I don’t mind Winking smile just wondering..  Hmmm oh maybe it was because the shot would have alerted people. but.. why not give Lee a few more whacks with the pipe? oh dear.. what am I saying?!!] Sallee is panicked and runs.. that will do!! Smile 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002463763
No time to lose!

We see Lee get up. Lookin good! and.. determined! 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002468768
A shame he didn’t take a quick look around to see what Sallee had been up to Winking smile he could have stopped the timer! It’s not hidden..
Lee runs after Sallee.  Sallee fires at Lee and misses (ahem.. probably why he prefers the la touche de la whatsie!)
Sallee continues running.. and Lee continues his chasing…

We find  Sallee running up stairs. These look familiar!
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We see a man appear at the end of the hallway. Sallee turns and runs, punching a man who he happened across [lol like we needed a little reminder that this man is ruthless and violent!!!]. Maybe these men were agents.
Sallee continues running back down the stairs and then away.
Lee is right behind him..

Oh.. by the way, I found where I’ve seen this stairway.

This is Jepard running away from Lee in the chase in The Triumvirate! And… this is where Francine got shot!

[Good to be reminded of one of Francine’s more professional brave moments!!]

Get ready! I sense a set up! We see Sallee running toward  an old guy pushing the champagne fountain.3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002508808
We cut to a close up of Van Kleef. rofl. that guy in the wide shot was suppose to be Van Kleef? [Must be Stunt Van Kleef- I wonder if he also changed the light bulbs?! 😉 ]
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Van Kleef is not having a good night!
Sallee runs into him and the fountain and sends them flying. There’s a loud crash and Lee now knows where Sallee is.
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Lee runs in that direction.
Sallee, collides with Francine and takes her hostage. Francine is not having a good night!!! 
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Sallee: Alright. Hold it! Hold it! Right there!
Billy: Hold your fire! Hold your fire!
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Lee rounds the corner..
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[I see Nesheim is right behind Sallee, but he does nothing.. I guess Billy did say hold your fire.. ]
Sallee: You too, hotshot!  
Sallee points the gun at him. whoa.. Lee’s gun being pointed at Lee. that’s gotta stink!
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Sallee drags Francine toward the ballroom doors.
Sallee: Just stay there! Stay! 3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002523156
We see there are quite a few male agents standing around watching Sallee take Francine. I don’t know if I’ve seen any of these agents before.. have you? I mean other than Neshiem/Duffy, Lee and Billy!3.20 DEAD MEN LEAVE NO TRAILS.avi_002523356
Billy: Hold your fire!
Sallee: Stay! Stay!
Francine: Oh!
(Sallee and Francine enter the reception room – ballroom? while all the agents around don’t move..) [Why would Sallee go in there?? he knows the timer/bombs are about to go off in there? maybe he thinks he can use the upcoming explosion as a way to get away..]
Lee: Easy. Easy, everybody.
Lee and the other agents slowly approach the glass doors to the reception and look through. 
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Uh oh..
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time’s run out!
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Will Francine survive???!!!  Will she try one of her famous moves??
In Fearless Dotty she said: I was outside the airport making a surveillance pass and all of a sudden I felt this big arm lock around my neck from behind….(Amanda asks ‘what did you do?’ )  …Oh, I spiked his instep with my heel, thumbed his eye- sockets, pressed my forearm against his larynx, and then brought up my knee in a lifting motion.

I think Francine could use a little confidence boosting self-defence right now… we’ll see is she uses it!!! Mancine! Mancine! Mancine!

I’ll pause here- yep- right where time seems to have run out! Seems appropriate Winking smile Anything you’d like to share about this part of the ep or the ep so far guys? Back with more soon!


46 responses to “16/19 Season Three, Episode 20: Dead Men Leave No Trails–Scarecrow and Mrs King

  1. I guess one of the things I can take away from this walk through of this episode is a bit of sympathy for Francine or at least the way her character has been written. Considering all that she has had to deal with and now being taken hostage by the same guy she was protesting was even around is just beyond ridiculous. Her stress levels within the last few minutes have most likely skyrocketed. Her last few forays into the field have not worked out for her. How much time has she really had to regroup and readjust before being sent back out into the field? Her reaction time has possibly slowed. And how do we know that what she told Amanda about what she did in Fearless Dotty was actually true? She has made herself seem more than what she actually is before, especially to Amanda.

    Still loving the dynamic between Lee and Amanda…love the light bulb puns.

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  2. I think that in this episode/scenes the authors wanted to compare the two female “agents” of the IFF: for the first time, we see a top agent (Francine) who behaves like a civilian or at least not as a top agent, and a civilian (Amanda) behaving as a top agent. They’re compared in terms of their skills, namely their scrupulous attention to detail (the one, Francine, less scrupulous; the second, much more) and of their attitude at work: Francine is an arrogant person, while Amanda is humble when she tries to explain what she’s looking for.

    Furthemore, after Billy orders people to clear the room, Amanda doesn’t say something rude to Francine or laughs at her ironically, showing how she was not that ‘professional’. If it had been the other way round, with Amanda checking the security in the hotel and Francine reading Mallicent’s diary, I’m pretty sure that Francine would have criticized openly Amanda in front of Billy and Lee so as to humiliate her.

    Then, after the scene where Sallee takes Francine hostage, the two IFF female agents are compared again. Amanda is far more alert than Francine: Amanda goes out of the hotel, while Francine seems almost in a trance. This way I think that the authors also wanted to show Francines’ vulnerability. She is arrogant (as is Lee sometimes) but she is a ‘human’ being. She can make mistakes, feel embarrassed and be less lucid sometimes. So can Amanda and Lee.

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    • Very interesting interpretation. If this is what the writers were going for, I wish they had been more subtle rather than hitting us over the head with it.

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    • So Pallina, why do you think they were portraying this contrast? what was the point of it all?

      I can get on board with the contrast between Francine and Amanda dealing with Van Kleef – it works with what we know of the characters that Amanda is better with people.. But – what was the point of making Francine suddenly dopey?? I’d love to think there’s a method to this madness.. but … I suspect it’s just writing madness 😉

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      • Maybe they are trying to show how much of an asset interpersonal and emotional intelligence really is. You know, Lee was really messing it up in The First Time as was Francine. Now Lee is on top of his gig because of Amanda – because he has grown as a human. Could that be what they are after? I doubt tptb noticed that, but I can pretend thy did 😉

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      • As I said, I think that the authors wanted to focus the whole episode on the two female ‘agents’ and characters of their TV series. And, indeed, in my opinion, the whole episode as well as the baddie’s defeat (in this episode) is all in Amanda’s and Francine’s hands. Billy and Lee don’t do anything in this episode. Yes, Lee chases Sallee but that’s it. He doesn’t manage to arrest or to kill him.

        We then can see a perfect Amanda versus an imperfect Francine. Usually, it’s the other way round. This way, Francine appears more ‘human’ as I said in my previous post.

        I can only think of this ‘logic’ behind this episode.

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        • PS. I don’t know why, but my last post on the 23rd at 5:18 didn’t appear among the “recent posts” on the column on the right of the page.
          Just to let you know…

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        • Hiya Pallina, thanks for expanding a little..
          Thanks for sharing your search for logic! 🙂 sorry missed the bit where you said Francine was to appear more human. You may be right, that may be what they were aiming for..

          Regardless of weird over the top dumbing down of Francine – I like this episode 🙂 However, this action finale? IMHO was one of the lamest! Great for a change.. and good to see them shaking things up a bit.. but.. overall – I found Francine’s role in all this confusing and not consistent with what I know of her. I like the idea of Francine being more human – but IMHO it all went too far and she became pretty incompetent. Ah well. I’ll be interested to see what Francine is like in the next ep..
          but.. I’m more interested in Lee and Amanda anyway so can happily move on tee hee..

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  3. I like Lee’s little squeeze for Amanda as he leaves the ball room. I have never seen it as if he was excited that they were finally going to get Sallee. I could see it that way too. But I have always thought it had to do with them being separated during a dangerous moment. Not fear, but reassurance. Maybe its a bit of both? But what is so nice is that connection between the two of them. It has to be communicated and here it was in front of a whole team of agents, not just Francine and Billy.

    I have also always felt like Lee was in a bit more danger during this little action scene. I don’t know why. I usually don’t care about the action sequences, I know Le will be fine and I just gloss over them, but this one always makes me nervous ( and how many times have I watched this episode?) Why does it make me so nervous? Why do I care more what happens to Lee during this one than others?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like Lee’s little squeeze for Amanda as he leaves the ball room. I have never seen it as if he was excited that they were finally going to get Sallee. I could see it that way too. But I have always thought it had to do with them being separated during a dangerous moment. Not fear, but reassurance. Maybe its a bit of both?

      Sure! why not!!! Touch can have many meanings! 🙂 sounds good to me!

      I don’t know why it makes you nervous – I was kinda yawning throughout tee hee.. but it’s probably that I wasn’t really in the zone!

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    • I always took it as a silent acknowledgement: “Great job, partner!” But I think there’s an emotional undercurrent for Lee. He has just battled the same garotte that Sallee stalked Amanda with. I guess this ties in with your “dangerous moment” feeling, morley. Having an excuse to reach out and briefly have contact with her is probably both very comforting and very motivating for him just now.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Melissa Robertson

    It’s just Francine’s turn to be dumbed down, heavens know that Amanda has had more than her fair share and even poor Lee. Sometimes even Billy looks a little dim (pun intended). At least the writers aren’t biased, whichever character that needs to be sacrificed to make the show bounce over the plot holes 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! though Francine’s dumbing down seems to be lasting much longer than the usual moments of dumbing down that the plot demands!

      Hey Melissa great to see you stop by! I was just thinking of you yesterday when I realised I had you to thank for transcribing three little spies!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s part and parcel of all the side characters being plot putty. Leatherneck runs the motor pool AND the quartermaster store? Sure! Beaman runs the Fabrications Department, teaches all the rookie classes and is the resident computer genius? Of course he is! Francine is the office assistant, the highly trained spy, the happy hooker and the security expert while being an idiot? Why not?

      (And sorry this is going to come out under my other alias, Iwsod. It all depends what computer I;m on when I post!)

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    • Lee comes off better than the other characters – although that hilarious fight scene with Daisy in Reach for the Sky comes to mind :D.

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  5. My favourite part of this scene is Billy essentially telling Amanda to “get in the car” – and she does! Jokes aside, it’s a sign of how far she’s come as an agent that she recognizes that the best thing she can do now is get out of the way and she obeys the order without question. It reminds me a bit of the scene in Legend of Das Geisterschloss where Lee looks around to make sure she’s going to be safe from the bomb exploding and she’s already hiding behind the piano.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A hilarious write up to a section FULL of plot holes. Maybe the same gas that has affected Francine’s professionalism and competence is now working it’s magic on Sallee. Oh well. At least Francine realized that even though she checked the replacement bulbs (yay Francine! That is probably something I would have missed), she checked them yesterday and they could have been swapped out.

    In an earlier script version, Sallee didn’t grab Francine, he got cornered in the room by himself. I wish they had filmed it this way.

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    • Totally agree, Cindy. I mean – let’s assume for a moment Francine’s not been in the field for a while (and forget about the fact that she WAS basically in the field and acting quite professionally and bravely only three episodes ago, in “The Triumvirate”). Let’s assume her “agent reflexes” aren’t up to par anymore (again, ignoring “The Triumvirate”). Not as fast and as immediate anymore as in the scene iwsod did describe, from “Fearless Dotty”.That still doesn’t explain why she’s acting like a stunned, scared civilian here (doe caught in headlights style) and doesn’t offer the least bit of resistance. Heck, I’m not an agent or even athletic in any sense but even I would struggle, at least as long as that gun’s not pointed at me. That pic where Sallee’s got his arm across her chest? That’s close enough to bite and if not hurt then at least startle him. (Hey, you don’t fight fair when your life’s at stake …)

      Guess the next episode should be called “Who Are You And What Have You Done To Francine Desmond?” – featuring this obviously fake Francine being interrogated by Billy and Lee (and of course, Amanda figuring it all out).

      Any chance Francine didn’t want to do this security assignment and swapped places with Magda Petrak for a week or two? Cos that would go a LONG way to explain her behaviour in this episode …

      Liked by 2 people

      • Nah, I can’t imagine Magda being this passive, but then again, I could say the same about Francine….
        OK, how about this? Francine’s leg is still bothering her from the gunshot wound and she is on some pretty powerful painkillers which impairs her judgement, mood and reaction time.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sounds plausible enough for that scene. However, if the painkillers impair her judgement THAT much – why the blazes is she on this assignment, and in charge of it, too? I mean, it’s not as if the VP’s gonna drop by later … ;P

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          • OK, my last attempt, after that I got nothin’. Francine was off the powerful pain drugs, but the with the weird freak localized rainstorms going on, her leg started aching again so she took another pill not realizing the strong effect it had on her. Either that, or the writers hate her.

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            • Love it Cindy haaaaa… I love what you got! 🙂 Your theory is much more fun than the one I just came up with!
              localised rainstorms – maybe it wasn’t sprinklers in that park after all? whahahaahahaaaa…

              while Francine is rather irritiating in this ep, I’m having no trouble overlooking it and just enjoying Lee and Amanda and their progress, and easy working relationship.
              I love that Amanda works it out using her brains, not instinct, not an accident! 🙂

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          • rofl!!!!!
            Francine is on the assignment because she is capable! No question… now it’s those daddy issues of hers that are causing her problems! All the old issues were raised because of her need to deal with Van Kleef, her exhilaration at squashing him etc… after that, her emotions were impeding her work!
            How about that? does that work?

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            • Dunno. I agree that Francine’s got daddy issues. However, I think in Van Kleef’s case it’s more like “How DARE that peasant speak up to me!” To someone like Francine, he’s basically personnel and thus, mostly invisible. One of those persons who’re supposed to just go and do as they’re told.
              Let’s just agree that those scenes are just a few among the many in SMK that simply ought to be re-written. (Just like, for example, more or less the entire “A Class Act”.)

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              • True, my little attempt has many holes! To really bring up daddy issues, the man would need to be in a position of authority I guess!

                One of those persons who’re supposed to just go and do as they’re told.

                Sounds good to me! ‘Peasant’ rofl. I love it!

                Let’s just agree that those scenes are just a few among the many in SMK that simply ought to be re-written. (Just like, for example, more or less the entire “A Class Act”.)

                Yup!

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      • Maybe she is suffering from PTSD after Wrong Number?

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        • Ooooh -that is a possibility.

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        • As a mental health professional I hesitate to put a specific PTSD label on Francine, but I could totally get on board with her generally struggling with issues she needs to work through. She has had a bit of a rough trot of late!
          I think this could have worked and is a great idea Morley. They didn’t IMHO give us any information to support the idea that Francine was working through past traumas..but.. I wish they had. I would have liked that!
          I guess this is where we can just fill in the blanks however we like. Yep Francine is not on her game due to issues she is currently working through as a result of the traumatic experiences in Wrong Number. I like it!

          I also like the idea this is after wrong number – and not before the boy who could be king 😉 tee hee..

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          • Well, you know how I love to fill in the blanks 😉

            Episode order! I haven’t thought of that in a while. I know I have always placed this one second to last. Should we also be paying attention to Amanda’s hair in these last episodes of season three. Her hair seems straighter in this one.

            But maybe Francine gets the King Eddie assignment because she is showing signs of PTSD here?

            Like

    • Hi Cindy, thanks for the kind words! Glad you didn’t snooze through this section and turn your lights out for the night.

      yesterday and they could have been swapped out.
      In an earlier script version, Sallee didn’t grab Francine, he got cornered in the room by himself. I wish they had filmed it this way.

      Yeah it had a feel like it had been changed- because it just didn’t make sense!
      I can see it now: We gotta up that tension some more!!! Let’s have Sallee take Francine hostage with Lee’s gun! whoooooo…
      But won’t Francine fight back?
      well, we can just have Billy yell out to hold your fire or something, and Francine won’t fight back. that’ll do!

      Like

    • Agree Cindy, this scene needs a dose of reality. A desperate Sallee getting cornered in the room by some kick-ass agents (not wearing beige Dad jackets) would have been more believable. Of course, super-spy Lee not tripping over something downstairs and just shooting Sallee right then and there would have been even better. But I guess it would all be over too quick, and of course would leave way too much time for some L&A relationship progress in an extended tag (not looking forward Iswod, it’s just obvious SMK formula – there will be a tag and it will probably involve some relationship progression).

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      • rofl yeah kiwismh Lee tripping and making a noise was a superspy moment! haaaa.. but the plot demanded it.. How can we get around that one?
        Maybe van kleef could have come down at the wrong moment to rant about his being behind schedule?!

        Thanks for your thoughtful reassurance you are commenting on the current vibe – I agree, there is definitely a sense of anticipation in the air and tags tend to bring things back to the relationship. that anticipation is building….When’s the kiss gonna happen??!!!!

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