4/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

Soooooo the Lisbon variation is still ringing in my ears.. when we cut to the Q bureau.. where Amanda is waiting for some answers!
Amanda (very professional): The Lisbon variation to the peacock dance; what is that?
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[I don’t think I want to know!!!]
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(Lee seems awfully interested in that paperwork as he responds!)
Lee: Uh, the dance is pretty straight forward… Um…  an agent initiates or encourages contact with a target of the opposite sex, in order to establish a relationship in which intelligence is taken or given.
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[LOL at how Lee tries to be so businesslike but casual here. So interesting that they have this conversation with two desks between them! it’s like it puts them firmly in work mode here.]
Amanda: Does that mean what I think it means?
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[Finally we get a close up!]
Lee: Probably.  Just business.Stem I.avi_000508508
[Oh boy.. it may be ‘just business’ but it’s not in most jobs!
‘just business’- interesting… reminds me of early Lee! … but then why was Lee so uncomfortable in the last scene?! It may be business, but there is some ‘personal’ involved too..]
Amanda: Oh, yeah.  Okay….
[Amanda doesn’t seem phased by this at all. Or is it just me?]
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…That’s the dance; what’s the variation?Stem I.avi_000511511
[oh dear.. Lee doesn’t look thrilled with the variation! but IMHO tries to cover it up. What do you see? ]Stem I.avi_000511711
Lee: Hah. In the Lisbon, you and I pretend to be lovers…Stem I.avi_000515115
(Lee can’t seem to meet Amanda’s eyes here!
We cut back to Amanda)
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Amanda (quick and deadpan) responds: I can make that adjustment.  [awesome line!!! with awesome delivery!] Stem I.avi_000516816
[Lee gets more awkward.. and doesn’t respond to Amanda’s quip. it was a good one. He must really be worried! Smile ]Stem I.avi_000517017
Lee: But I’m getting restless…Stem I.avi_000519819
[LOL at how he screws up his face here!]
  … and the relationship’s deteriorating…
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..which sets me up for the third person—Sonja.Stem I.avi_000526326
(We cut to Amanda. Now-Not enjoying this!!)
[but lol being Amanda she smiles at first!]
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[the smile disappears quickly!]Stem I.avi_000527827
….and makes my attraction logical, believable…Stem I.avi_000528328
Amanda (
as Lee continues): I hate it.Stem I.avi_000529029
Lee: … and statistically valid for an American male my age.
(Lee looks at Amanda directly, trying to reason with her. ) [Hmm now she hates it he seems less worried! what’s going on here?!]
…Amanda…
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…Russians are suckers for statistics. Stem I.avi_000536336
[Lee looks so pleased with himself and how clever they are to know this about Russians. He’s way too confident! Winking smile Hmm and maybe they know that you know that! It also sounds to me like Americans love statistics about Russians loving statistics Winking smile aie. My head hurts]
(Lee smiles and chuckles at Amanda)
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(she’s still not happy)Stem I.avi_000537837
This wipes away that smile of his! Stem I.avi_000539439
Lee: But of course, if you don’t wanna do this…Stem I.avi_000541041
Amanda (suddenly more upbeat): No, no. No…
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…I’m a pro. I can do this; when do we start?Stem I.avi_000543543
Lee (less certain): Tonight?Stem I.avi_000544244
Amanda nods.. Stem I.avi_000546046
Amanda: Right.
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I think this final smile is plastered on.. she’s not feelin it on the inside! Winking smile
The scene ends here.

Oh I cannot wait to hear from you guys!!!!!

I say good on Amanda for not pretending she is happy with this assignment! I don’t think Lee is either, but I appreciate that Amanda was honest with Lee about it,  she seems to have decided to get on with the job at hand- after all, she’s a pro! She certainly isn’t blaming Lee for it either.
I guess Lee may be trying to pretend like it will be okay as it’s not his first time, but it is hers  – maybe he is motivated by trying to help her feel better about it, rather than covering up his own feelings.. Hmm.. I cannot wait to hear what you all think!!!!!!!
I think the part about him getting restless was the part he found hardest. Hmm.. I wonder why?! Anyone else notice this? What do you think?

I also think it’s natural Amanda would need a moment to get her professional act together here! After all there are real feelings involved. Kudos to Amanda for being professional!!!! can you imagine season 1 Amanda being faced with this at all? much less with her lover involved?! [Wasn’t there a script floating around for an early episode where Lee has to romance someone for a case? and this comes up? ‘Pillow Patter’ was the name, but I have no memory of what ep it turned out to be or if it was ever filmed. anyone?

All this sets up a bit of an ‘uh oh’ sense for what’s ahead in this ep… this scenario they are going to need to play out is not going to be easy! Lee didn’t want it. Amanda didn’t want it.
If this were the first ep of season 4 I’d be feeling quite lost.  I guess we did have the earlier scene at Emelios.. but it doesn’t seem like much. In Unfinished business – we didn’t see them working together in that episode at the agency really.. (it was more that they were working on a personal issue of Lee’s together). I would have liked to see an episode of them working on a case together before they face this scenario.. but.. don’t mind me!

Hmmmm maybe this all adds to the tension, because we are not sure how these two are making the ‘adjustment’ to being lovers and working together! Is this Peacock Dance with a lisbon variation about to put a stop to this relationship before we even really get to see it?! Will it be one of those annoying road blocks that pulls apart the couple for a while? if not forever? eek!!! It’s going to be quite a test of this relationship!!!

Something tells me that many questions I have are going to be answered!

I think the Peacock Dance reference intuitively makes sense… Lee showing off his plumage to attract a mate. LOL.. but…. Anyone have any ideas about why it’s the ‘Lisbon’ variation when an older man gets dissatisfied and hooks up with a so called Honey Pot knowingly? (and passing himself off as a ‘pea brain!’ ) Is this a reference to something in history? curious..

I’m going to pause here before we watch Lee commence the peacock dance with the Lisbon variation so I can prepare myself for this shock!! Can’t wait to hear from you guys!!!

42 responses to “4/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

  1. I love all these comments about where Lee and Amanda are and how uncomfortable this situation is for them for so many reasons and on so many levels.

    The developing of their relationship has been a simmering one and it was a simmer that was at times frustrating, but ultimately satisfying to see them together. After all the near miss kisses from S3 and that anticipatory ending of ATWAS it is difficult to come to S4 and feel as if we have missed out on some aspects of the beginning of their relationship as a couple.

    Maybe we are meant to be left a bit off balance about this early part of their relationship to better understand how uneasy this case will be. Not a fan though of having the powers that be have this kind of scenario so early on.

    I think that Lee is trying to focus on being professional for Amanda’s benefit. I wonder what would have been the option if Amanda had said she didn’t want to do it.

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  2. I think Lee’s reluctance to use the Lisbon variation, on top of his reluctance to do the Peacock Dance at all, stems from what they’re going to be play-acting. First of all, they’re going to pretend to be lovers. Why is this all of a sudden a problem? They’ve pretended to be married, before. I think it’s because they’re so much closer to that ground now, but not quite treading on it. It looks from these reactions that they’re taking their time with this relationship, not quite ready to come out and admit, even to or between themselves, that it’s there. The reactions of the two of them to being called “regulars” seems to have a double meaning: besides being regular customers at Emilio’s, they’re becoming regulars in the sense of “going steady”. Amanda’s reaction, especially: she wishes that they really were “regular”, but what she’s talking about is their relationship.

    Next, they’re supposed to pretend their relationship is on the rocks. I don’t think Lee even wants to SAY that he might be restless and looking to move on, much less pretend it. Somehow, I think he feels that pretending it might be damaging to their relationship, and he doesn’t want to even suggest the possibility that he’s tired of her or she’s not good enough. And the real clincher — He’ll be going after a younger woman! As if anyone ever felt good with even the suggestion they were too old! I think both Lee and Amanda’s reactions show that they don’t want to walk through the steps of him leaving her for a younger woman. Lee’s desperate appeal to statistics seems to me to be trying to establish that the believably of this maneuver does not have its root in their own relationship. He doesn’t want this to say to Amanda, “This is going to be convincing because it’s so you! Just the kind of person a guy would get sick of and leave!”

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  3. I love the fact that Lee doesn’t want to be assigned to Sonja but I did have three thoughts on that.
    Is it because:
    1. Sonja is young and attractive and since she has already hit on him, he’s not sure he can trust himself to behave with her?
    2. The new Lee has no desire to participate in this type of assignment because now he has Amanda and his life has made a huge change from the reckless super spy of the past.
    3. He’s just afraid Amanda will get ticked off when she finds out what the job assignment entails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope to 1, partly 2 and 3. I think he is worried Amanda is going to be hurt. No matter if it is a necessary evil, or just part of the job, I know I would think it would suck big time if my SO had to play kissy face with someone else even though I trust him 100% and we have a solid relationship.

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    • Definitely not #1 – he’s many things but he’s always been a guy who thinks with his head and his heart first and rarely lower down the body than that. The closest we ever got to seeing him consider something like it was Eva, and he ‘d been truly in love with her. (And I don’t think he did with her even when presented with the apple, to be honest)

      I agree with Cindy that it’s a combo of #2 and 3. He knows she’s not going to like it and he’s going to like it even less, knowing she’s probably going to be part of the surveillance, and it hasn’t been that long since he said in ATWAS “Just be thankful we’re not under the bed.” He knows what this is going to entail and… yuck. Even if they weren’t dating yet, I think he would have been feeling the ick factor at Amanda being aware of what was going on because he likes that she respects him.

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      • All sounds good to me!
        I’d only add that for me I wouldn’t say: ‘Definitely not #1’
        I’d say ‘probably not #1’ – and if Lee is smart, he’ll never underestimate temptation! He’s a healthy male 😉 and it’s always IMHO a factor.. even if it’s not very likely.. and I agree clagjanet that Lee is good at keeping his head around beautiful women!

        He knows she’s not going to like it and he’s going to like it even less, knowing she’s probably going to be part of the surveillance, and it hasn’t been that long since he said in ATWAS “Just be thankful we’re not under the bed.” He knows what this is going to entail and… yuck. Even if they weren’t dating yet, I think he would have been feeling the ick factor at Amanda being aware of what was going on because he likes that she respects him.

        Love this! Oh yeah that was just an episode before (or two) – there is that ick side to the spy bizz again.. smk getting into the more seedy/ gritty side of the spy bizz.. it is early days yet – but it seems smk is moving in that direction…
        I’m reminded of SAAB – and Amanda for a few moments there developing real feelings for ‘Jim’ – and Lee having to help her work through this side of the spy bizz.. and his sadness at seeing Amanda realise that this is not a fairytale and losing her innocence (which deep down I think Lee would have initially liked to protect).
        But then, at the end of SAAB when Lee says ‘ I carried you’ – it’s like the message is: the fairytale could still exist! Just.. not in relationships that are not real and are part of a job maybe! But between Lee and Amanda – as this story unfolds, there is a real connection.
        Here at this point, they are actually experiencing that earlier hinted at fairytale between them – and… then along comes this assignment that could potentially not end with a happy ending….

        Sorry.. iwsod ramble!

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    • Hi GruvyGranny, I updated your name for you – not sure why it was a different name.. is your handle linked to your wordpress account GruvyGranny? the first time it worked. the other two times it didn’t. weird! Let me know how you go and if it continues to be an issue 🙂

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    • I love love love this GruvyGranny!!!

      All fantastic and quite realistic options IMHO!!!

      I’ll add a fourth… Lee could be worried that their new romantic partnership is going to be put through a serious test by undertaking this assignment together.
      Any relationship would be challenged to do this!!! and.. it’s all so new and important to Lee – maybe he is afraid it will permanently alter or damage their relationship?
      Thoughts everyone?

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      • “I’ll add a fourth… Lee could be worried that their new romantic partnership is going to be put through a serious test by undertaking this assignment together. Any relationship would be challenged to do this!!! and.. it’s all so new and important to Lee – maybe he is afraid it will permanently alter or damage their relationship? Thoughts everyone?”

        Hi iwsod! Glad to see you’ve got a bit of time for binging. I see it a bit differently because Lee and Amanda have worked together for 3 years now. She is very aware of his past relationships and not just the many no-strings-attached one-night stands or weekend flings. Amanda knows about his 2 previous serious longer relationships (Eva in S1’s Lost and Found & Dorothy in S3’s We’re Off to See the Wizard). She witnessed his suffering over them and helped him heal. She also blindly, doggedly stuck with Lee and endured what I consider to be an even rougher time, during S2’s Burn Out, when Lee seemed to be rejecting her. So yes, this PD-LV Russian gig is no honeymoon, but Amanda knows up-front (a) what’s coming, (b) that it’s just an act and (c) Lee’s strong feelings for her and their relationship. Amanda and Lee will come through this because she has trusted him before, with less to go on! Plus, they’re in this rotten assignment together … from the beginning.

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        • PS: I feel rock-solid on Amanda’s true love and trust in Lee and his love and trust in her. That being said, it bothers me NOT one teensy-weensy little bit that Lee is extremely uncomfortable about this assignment — he should be! … Amanda is one wise woman to let him squirm … it’s a reminder to Lee that she cares.

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        • Hi Nancy!
          You say you see it a bit differently to me – I’m thinking I agree with everything you wrote! All sounds good to me!
          I don’t think we seeing their relationship differently..
          Maybe where we are different is in this:

          If I’m understanding you correctly, your thinking because of the qualify of their relationship at this point, there is no point in really asking the question – because of all the reasons you state, it’s a given they will get through this.

          My take on it is – I think the question still needs to be asked, and because of the reasons you state (and many more) it’s very likely the answer is going to be they will get through this.

          Only a subtle difference.. I think it’s a worthwhile and valid question to ask at this point of the episode even though I think the answer will be that they will be just fine.
          Why is the question worth asking?
          1)because in romantic relationships where there have been no i love yous and no i dos – I would not assume the answer. This is not just business, this is also personal.

          2)both Lee and Amanda are still individuals who make their own choices – to be committed to each other is a choice, a day to day choice.. an on going choice – and an extremely valuable one. If I don’t acknowledge that there is a choice, I feel don’t acknowledge the value of their commitment to each other. [I totally get that not everyone will see it this way just speaking for me]… so at this point, I think it’s fair and valid to ask what they will do with this situation as a couple..

          3) what they are facing as a couple here is new, and so I can’t assume how things will go.. they’ve never faced this kind of situation before. This dilemma has a unique quality i find fascinating – it combines so many question marks and awkward truths and tosses it all up in the air for these two to deal with together.

          4) Any couple facing this situation will be facing a challenge to their relationship IMHO. No matter how great or strong the relationship is. [though I agree Lee and Amanda’s is strong 🙂 ] What is being asked of them is extremely challenging. What is going to be interesting is watching how they deal with this challenge.. but.. no more on that for now!
          Given their history, if any couple could do it – these two probably can!
          Their commitment and faith in each other is well established – no arguments!
          But.. I think there is still a journey for the two of them to make together here as a couple navigating this tricky situation that the spy bizz and a secret relationship calls for.. I see this as a test of their relationship and commitment to each other. One they are likely to meet given their history, but I do wish to explore the test! 🙂

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          • “3) what they are facing as a couple here is new, and so I can’t assume how things will go.. they’ve never faced this kind of situation before. This dilemma has a unique quality i find fascinating – it combines so many question marks and awkward truths and tosses it all up in the air for these two to deal with together.”

            They did face something like this early on in S1’s Service Above & Beyond where the roles were reversed. Amanda play acted as Victoria Greenwich and Lee was listening in on the man they targeted.

            You’re so right that something unexpected can derail a relationship. Lee’s weakness is that he is slow to say the loving words, because he’s not comfortable with it since he had a loving family for such a short time in his life. However, by his actions, it is clear that he is head over heels in love and committed to their relationship. Amanda finds the affectionate words easier, but she’s vulnerable to her powerful need for a day-to-day close “regular” committed relationship that was sorely lacking with Joe King. We all know that Lee’s upbringing was not a normal, stable one and we saw Amanda get frustrated with him over that issue in the 2/17 blog when the bartender calls them regulars. We shall see …

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            • Sort of wondering (without thinking ahead) what it might be like for them to face this situation later on. Or what if it had happened sooner? We can always come back to this point in the blog to reflect. I don’t think it changes when two people are in love, as you said, but sometimes recent events make the situation different. You mentioned SAAB… What if she then had to do this Peacock/Lisbon dance immediately after? I wonder if Lee would be reflecting on his own jealousy. Or what if it had happened just after TWWH? We can only speculate. 😉

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              • whoooo I love to speculate Sara! I’ll speculate with ya!

                Along the walk I’ve observed – some readers have found it hard to speculate and not jump ahead – because they know what is ahead! I’m lucky that I’m pretty clueless!! 🙂

                I love this – yes Nancy mentioned the SAAB scenario was similar to this peacock Dance..
                What do you think?
                I think it is and it isn’t.. and this is a great way to explore the show and the characters’ journeys!

                I don’t think it changes when two people are in love, as you said, but sometimes recent events make the situation different.

                I think it’s a good call.. an action of some kind at the wrong time can snuff out a growing relationship.. or if they’re in love and have advanced enough, at least change it – sometimes for the better, sometimes not..
                I look forward to experiencing what this scenario is going to do for their relationship! 🙂

                Do you think Lee and Amanda were in love back in SAAB? Sara? Everyone?

                For me, I don’t think they were, but I think they had a connection for sure.. but it’s not the same as being in love.
                Here, they are in love, and okay they haven’t said the words yet, but they’ve said it so many other ways – there is much invested in this relationship now for them both – for that reason the risk is rated more highly in my view.. there is so much at stake, and to have the relationship fail now would cost them both massively..

                Conversely, because so much is at stake, and they’ve invested so much – this can mean they are well placed to get through this – if any couple can! 🙂

                What if it had happened right after TWWH? Great question!! I keep thinking to myself oh they wouldn’t give Amanda a peahen dance back then because she was not yet an agent. but.. we had SAAB! lol.. but.. was SAAB a peahen dance?

                I think in SAAB it was to get Jim out of the house for a few hours and that’s it. Then, it was to get an invite to a party and that’s it (Amanda wasn’t being asked to do kissy face with Jim, that was her mixed up real emotions at work there).
                Whereas in Stemwinder, the objective is to establish a relationship – building on an existing romantic relationship pretending to fail (which the agency doesn’t realise)… the peacock dance is more elaborate lol.. corresponding to those fabulous feathers 😉

                Lastly, I think the lisbon variation is that extra element that really ups the tension and potential for hurt here!

                So I’m thinking SAAB and Stem were quite different.. but for sure i can see similarities too and can see why it would draw comparisons.

                Uh oh.. I’m rambling again. sorry! Where is everyone? Hope everyone is well!! What does everyone think? any thoughts you’d like to share?

                bye!

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                • Okay, I’ll give it a try. In SAAB, I think Lee may have realized feelings were possible. Meaning, he felt something in the moment during SAAB. That ‘denial’ stage just lasts for a while. He likes being with her or near her but can’t admit why. He’ll also dismiss it in his own mind (“Me and Amanda? That could never happen.”). And yet he’s happiest when he’s with her. We know there’s more ahead for him to have to go through in order to see it for what it ‘really’ is. Also, in SAAB there’s both jealousy and fear. Fear when he finds her after the drug is in her system. Once all the jealousy and fear is no longer at the forefront, Lee goes back to business as usual (Season 1 and 2). But the seed has been planted. Each time he experiences fear and jealousy where she’s concerned, it builds. Episodes like Burnout where he knows he caused the hurt are big. Soon he can’t deny what he’s feeling. The more I think about it, the more I think you’re right, Iwsod. When he’s out of the denial stage, it’s easier for him to sympathize with how she’s feeling here (i.e., Stem, Lisbon, Peacock). At what point he actually left the denial stage, I’m not sure.

                  As far as TWWH. She wasn’t an agent, but I think she could have assisted, couldn’t she? I’m trying not to move ahead, but all he’s described here in this post is them acting as a couple. She’s done that before (SoS). Now in TWWH, I think Lee is coming out of the denial stage, if not already out. He knows he has feelings and won’t chalk it up to something else. Might be thinking he wants to have a relationship with her, but isn’t sure how to approach it. So even if they’re not in a relationship yet, it still sort of puts them in a fragile place. He’ll be hesitant and nervous about what sort of impression he gives. I would expect a lot of excuse-making to account for feelings. Recall in Utopia Now, he tried to explain away their moment as, “Just two cold people seeking a little warmth.” She knew that wasn’t the case, (“Not exactly.”) Rather than downplaying an almost kiss, we could see more emotions, jealousy, awkward conversations if we had Stemwinder after TWWH. Perhaps Lee might have tried to talk Billy out of giving him Sonja. I like how we got this, but I would be very interested in seeing how this might have played out in Season 3 after TWWH.

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              • “We can only speculate. 😉”

                You betcha and speculating is absolutely vital for S&MK viewers, isn’t it? Since the S&MK storyline often leaves us with gaping holes, it’s basically required-imagination (LOL that’s akin to required-reading!) for us to fill in those empty, unexplored spaces. Heck, the blogs and fan fiction stories, still active 3 decades later, goes to show just how effective S&MK writers and actors were at inspiring so many imaginations!

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            • I tell ya… I cannot wait for Lee to say the words!! 🙂

              However, by his actions, it is clear that he is head over heels in love and committed to their relationship.

              So true! those actions do speak volumes!I think Lee’s character has preferred to act and show his feelings rather than say the words.. (like leaving a Panda on Amanda’s door step 😉 ) but.. sometimes the girl’s gotta hear the words! 🙂
              At this point in their relationship it feels to me to be the big moment that is yet to happen.. and ‘my Amanda’ in the last ep really ramped up the suspense! [Will be interesting to go back to that after walking through the stems to compare the orders!]

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              • “I tell ya… I cannot wait for Lee to say the words!! 🙂”

                Me too iwsod and, when he does, they will be exponentially meaningful for having waited so long. In some ways, this is a frustrating sequel to us waiting a n d waiting for that first not-a-cover kiss!

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  4. I really hate the whole idea of a peacock dance and despise the Lisbon variation ( an insult to a beautiful city, ).
    I accept spies probably do these kind of things but I always thought they hit on unsuspecting civilians with access to useful information. For a spy to try and romance another spy, each knowing that the other is likely putting on an act and neither trusting the other seems pointless imho. Plus I think the Lisbon variation is really insulting to Amanda. I wish Lee had just the gumption to say no to Billy-I wish it each time I watch this episode. I was actually quite shocked the first time I saw it that he didn’t even try with any energy to get out of it.
    Completely off the point, I have had several friends who have kept peacocks, they are very sweet birds but get very vulnerable to foxes when their tails grow long

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    • “For a spy to try and romance another spy, each knowing that the other is likely putting on an act and neither trusting the other seems pointless imho. Plus I think the Lisbon variation is really insulting to Amanda. I wish Lee had
      just the gumption to say no to Billy-I wish it each time I watch this episode. I was actually quite shocked the first time I saw it that he didn’t even try with any energy to get out of it.”

      It’s not as pointless as it seems because the whole point was to disclose a piece of the USA’s new Stemwinder technology to the Soviets in order to circumvent a disclosure of the whole. So the issue of trust was, honestly, never an issue. It’s a delicate balance to protect a nation’s military secrets; knowing that enemies of your country will go to great lengths to uncover them. By the USA intentionally leaking a piece to the KGB, the Soviets themselves will then fend off any other enemies going after this new technology. I hope my somewhat clumsy explanation makes sense to you.

      It was Billy who ordered Lee to do a Peacock Dance with Sonja and Lee did indeed protest it — vehemently!! He clearly did NOT want to be assigned to Sonja; however, the difference-in age-argument Lee used had unfortunate consequences. Dr. Quidd then jumped in to tell Lee about the benefits of a mature man (agent) PD-ing with a young woman like Sonja (basically just out of university, a newcomer to the USA and relatively new to espionage) and, to counteract Lee’s argument against it because of the age difference, Dr. Quidd told Lee to use the Lisbon Variation.

      That stopped Lee’s argument dead-in-its-tracks because he suspected both Billy and the local KGB were well aware of the time he and Amanda were spending together outside work. Lee (& Billy) were aware that the D.C. KGB would not fall for the peacock dance between Lee & Sonja alone. Lee also knew that he was not yet ready to bring Billy in, officially, on his romantic relationship with his partner. Whatever Billy suspected or knew outright, Lee was certain he would keep it to himself until Lee opened that Pandora’s box. Like driving a herd into a box canyon, Lee was proverbially stuck between a rock and a hard place. He chose the risk of working the LV with Amanda over officially disclosing their private relationship.

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      • Lee was proverbially stuck between a rock and a hard place. He chose the risk of working the LV with Amanda over officially disclosing their private relationship.

        Yeah I think so far this is a key theme of the ep – that frustration at having to keep the relationship secret, and not being ‘regular’…

        When we know why Lee doesn’t want to do the peacock dance, but Lee can’t tell Billy and Quidd.. we feel this frustration along with Lee – it’s a great plot device.. and adds nicely to this building tension that I’m seeing right from the start of this episode.. it’s all building up – what’s going to happen??!!! and.. when it’s all said and done, what state will Lee and Amanda’s relationship be in???!!!!
        I think we are suppose to wonder.. or at least, that is the way I’m experiencing the story so far.. even if it’s not intended 😉

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    • Hi Michele,
      I agree it’s all pretty seedy… not a reflection on the more enjoyable aspects of humanity!

      I accept spies probably do these kind of things but I always thought they hit on unsuspecting civilians with access to useful information.

      I agree that it’s a part of the job.. and I accept that as realistic – but I don’t like it! I’m more comfortable with these games being played with fellow spies than with civilians… and.. I don’t feel any sympathy for Sonja!

      Plus I think the Lisbon variation is really insulting to Amanda.

      Yes I think it’s implications are too – see my reply to Sara if you get a chance.

      I wish Lee had just the gumption to say no to Billy-I wish it each time I watch this episode.

      I wish this too!! but.. at the same time, Lee’s hands are tied because he can’t disclose his true relationship with Amanda! So while I wish he could have gotten out of it, I understand the set up here and that they are aiming for a subtle, believable handing over of intel that the Russians believe they’ve worked hard for and thus readily accept.

      Oh there is so much ahead for us with this plot! I’m so glad we are finally walking through it together!

      Thanks for the peacock info – I think they are beautiful!!!!

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  5. I think the part about him getting restless was the part he found hardest. Hmm.. I wonder why?! Anyone else notice this? What do you think?

    I think Lee sees most of this peacock dance as just an act. Just business. It’s when he thinks about it as something that could hurt Amanda (even unintentionally) that the words start bothering him. The words mean more as they’re brought to the surface, so-to-speak.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Enjoyed this Sara, glad you responded to this.. I find this particularly interesting to ponder and hear what everyone thinks about this!

      The cliche of a man getting bored and unhappy and turning to a younger woman could be a bit of a slap for the older woman who is boring and gets dumped. It’s not a happy statistic this one.. and for the Russians to have measured this and found this to be a realistic situation is not a happy reflection on romantic relationships in the USA that Lee would be particularly happy with.. and given their new status, comfortable with!

      Really the point he is making here (IMHO) is: Hey! It’s believable I’d dump you for a younger model! and Russians love these statistics!!!

      Oh dear.. Yes I can see now why Lee would have been careful in how he presented this little factoid 😉

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    • The other aspect of why he’d be uncomfortable with that “getting restless” thing is that it describes his old life to a ‘T’ (at least we hope it’s his old life) and he knows it and, worse, he knows Amanda knows it. So he is trying hard – probably way too hard – to make it sound all very businesslike and statistical and getting more and more nervous as she is obviously buying not one iota of it.

      It’s also obvious to him that she’s ticked off but he’s off balance because he’s not sure if it’s him she’d mad at. I kind of like that Amanda can tell and is taking full advantage of his misery to make him squirm, 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I like this clagjanet.. all sounds good to me!
        I think it’s healthy and normal that both Lee and Amanda would be feeling uncomfortable in this situation – it is not a comfortable situation.. and it probably shouldn’t be a comfortable situation, or something is not quite right! 😉

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  6. I’m being completely silly here, but I think Francine’s got a better wardrobe for a ‘peacock’ dance. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ooooh – I like how you add the danger to the peacock while he is preening and showing off. Something to keep in mind, Lee! (and hopefully he is smarter than the average male peacock who has been known to spend hours fighting his own reflection in a car’s hubcap.

    Liked by 4 people

    • “… hopefully he is smarter than the average male peacock who has been known to spend hours fighting his own reflection in a car’s hubcap.”

      When I finally stopped laughing at the image you put in my head, two things come to mind. (1) Our perception, during first season’s early episodes at least, that Lee Stetson was a dyed-in-the-wool “ladies’ man” with his perfect hair and special comb. Could easily imagine him checking himself out in a hubcap “mirror.” (2) “Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear, Yogi Bear is always in the ranger’s hair …” remembered from childhood cartoons and us kids singing it while on hikes at Yellowstone … oops … Jellystone!

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  8. “I think the Peacock Dance reference intuitively makes sense… Lee showing off his plumage to attract a mate. LOL.. but…. Anyone have any ideas about why it’s the ‘Lisbon’ variation when an older man gets dissatisfied …”

    When a peacock wants to attract a peahen, he opens his ornate tail feathers like a gigantic fan, but the peahen … yawning … initially strolls away. Ho-hum, she is so markedly un-im-pressed … show me something I haven’t seen, big fella!

    I’ve watched these handsome birds and discovered that the peacock must tread V-E-R-Y carefully. A peacock will purposefully cause his tail to vibrate; but if a sudden gust of wind or his bedroom eyes lock on her causing his plumage to bump against a tree trunk … well it sets those fancy tail feathers all a flutter and they can be difficult to control. Besides the need for prancing or “dancing” s-l-o-w-l-y and de-lib-er-ate-ly while romancing his chosen peahen, another consideration is the complete loss of peripheral vision. The big fella must think twice (or thrice!) before he exposes himself to a dangerous attack that comes without warning.

    Never been to Lisbon, Portugal, but port wine is a great choice while sitting around the campfire sharing stories. A bit of research shows Lisbon has an excellent harbor, which means the locals have quite the busy turnover of sailors and tourists, coming in and out of town … arriving and departing. Hope someone comes up with a better reason. Meanwhile … TREAD CAREFUL — LEE !!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve also asked myself why it means Lisbon variation. I have visited this city 5 times in my vacation, I just fell in love with the city and also country. Here over my desk hangs a canvas with the skyline of Lisabon.
      Probably the variation was executed there for the first time.
      I agree with Amanda, I hate it.
      But It is nice to see that Lee is apparently very uncomfortable.
      I’m sorry for the two of them, his assignment :-(, short
      after they have finally come a long way further in their relationship.
      A pretty hard test for the still fresh relationship

      Liked by 1 person

      • Probably the variation was executed there for the first time.

        I like this idea, Sandra. I also noticed this little tidbit on Wikipedia for what it’s worth, “During World War II, Lisbon was one of the very few neutral, open European Atlantic ports, a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies.” So it appears that your theory on this variation of the Peacock Dance being executed there first could be a strong possibility.

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        • “I like this idea, Sandra.”

          Me, too!

          “.. a major gateway for refugees to the U.S. and a haven for spies.”

          Great research, BJo! I’m on board with this first-time-PD variation happening during WWII in lovely Lisbon … with a fine bottle of port to the jilted mature woman as a consolation prize!

          Liked by 1 person

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