9/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

Gus looks up at the next arrival.. [whooo massive clock! Could it be the time means something? yes? no? I have no memory of this plot- so don’t tell me! Smile ]
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(Lee and Amanda are quickly followed by… the sorcerer!!!!!! whoooooo Mr Alexi Makarov himself!)
[Followed so quickly, it makes me think he was following them].
Alexi: My name is Kurtz. I’m here to see Admiral Benton.
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Gus: What’d you say your name was?Stem I.avi_001038638
Alexi: Kurtz. I’m sure it’s there.
(I’ll go with KC’s description of what happens next!:
Alexi moves closer to Gus then holds a hand up to Gus’ face and breaks a capsule under his nose.
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Alexi turns his head and coughs into a handkerchief. [love the little ‘smk tingle’ we hear that tells us something evil and magical just happened Winking smile ] Stem I.avi_001043343
He looks back at Gus, who looks woozy and blinks his eyes Stem I.avi_001045045
[rofl. Poor Gus.. but.. this looks hilarious!]
He then starts to collapse on the desk.
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Alexi looks at the top page of the sign-in book, which lists Lee Stetson to see Mr. Dart at 2:00 (am!) on 9/4 (4 Sept), Stem I.avi_001049549
and places a piece of clear tape over the sign out time slot beside Lee’s name.
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He then takes Gus’ clipboard, which lists appointments. [– seems today is appointments for men only day! Okay maybe ‘Sydney’ is a woman!Oh and rofl at General Bond! First name James? ]
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The appointment book shows Lee Stetson penned in the 1400 slot, Alexi pens in C. Kurtz in the 1430 slot.) [Ah Lee’s appointment was for 2pm? that’s suspicious! Lee arrived 12 hours early haaaa! and.. is it just me or is it really weird that all the people who have appointments that day can only have one appointment at a time between them? they are all on one appointment page – and it’s at least ten staff in this building from the looks of these pages. rofl! Are you starting to feel like someone snapped a capsule under your nose?!]Stem I.avi_001056956
We cut to another guard giving directions to another visitor elsewhere in the foyer. [Someone sack that guard!]
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Brackman: Yeah—take the elevator to the fourth floor.
Alexi: Guard!…
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…This man needs assistance…
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(we see Gus still looking rather loopy)
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…I think he’s fainting.
The Police guard rushes over..
Brackman: Bryan! Are you all right? Here—loosen your tie…  Stem I.avi_001068868
[LOL what a dummie! Not a hint of suspicion that this guy could have done something! This can’t be the state department! maybe it’s the shoe department! ]
(Poor Gus Bryan is unable to speak..)
…Who are you here to see?
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Alexi: Admiral Benton. My name is Kurtz.
(Dummy Brackman sees Kurtz on the appointment list, that Alexi just wrote.) [This is some top security! Whoa! they don’t even need to show identification to show they are who they say they are!!!]
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Brackman: All right. Sign in, please, and take a badge… Stem I.avi_001077477
[Are we sure that one of the ways Dart’s team is providing a ‘window’  into the war games results is not through providing the dumbest security ever so the Russians can just break in and steal it?????! rofl!!!! this is really quite ludicrous giving the lengths IFF is going to in order to leak this information without seeming they are leaking it!]
(Brackman gets onto his walkie talkie)
…This is Brackman; send up a medic, quick.Stem I.avi_001080380
Next thing we are out in a hallway listening to Dart who must be yelling at Lee and Amanda while having a conversation! LOL! Such thin walls!
[What is Dart’s title? Strategic Simulations Coordinator? its very small…]
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: … and those are the Stemwinder frequencies we want the Russians to have.Stem I.avi_001087487
(the door opens.. Lee carrying the frequencies. whoooo)
Lee: Thank you, sir. This should do it. Give the Soviets a good show, huh?
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Dart: We intend to. Thanks for making the trip over. Good luck.Stem I.avi_001094794
(Lee and Dart shake hands.)Stem I.avi_001092492
[Hmm apparently Amanda doesn’t warrant a professional handshake. Just a warm smile.. ugh. I guess Lee did all the dancing 😉 ]Stem I.avi_001093993
Amanda: Thank you, sir.
Lee and Amanda walk off.

(Going with KC’s description again as she’s written it for Operation Sandstorm- but if you’ve been writing dialogue for JWWM, don’t feel any pressure to include descriptions!]
The door opens [room 158 with no name!];
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Alexi peeks out, looks in the direction of the hallway that Lee and Amanda left by,Stem I.avi_001108742 looks in the opposite direction, then pulls back into the office. He puts a leather glove on his left hand, with fingerprints glued to the fingertips,
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He then blows on the fingers… He pulls a stunner device [do you all call this a taser?] out of his pocket and activates it; there is a crackling noise and electricity is seen arcing between the probes.
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He puts the stunner back into his pocket and pulls a short lock pick out of his hair from above his ear.
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[He need not have concealed it, it’s not like that dumb guard was checking him!] He walks diagonally across the hallway and looks around, approaches Dart’s door, kneels down and looks around then picks the lock. Stem I.avi_001141474
[Dart seems to have used a super simple lock to help the Russians steal the frequencies whahahahaaaaa!!!]
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He uses the gloved hand to hold the doorknob and turn it and takes the stunner device out of his pocket. He opens the door, enters the office, and closes the door behind him.)
[Isn’t Dart in there? why did he not notice his door being opened??!! when it had been locked??!!! This all feels too easy to me!]
[thanks for the description KC!!]

Back down in the foyer, Alexi strolls to the guard to sign out.
Brackman : Would you sign out, please?
Alexi: Of course. How is your colleague?
Brackman: Not good. He’s at the hospital.
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(Alexi puts his visitor pass in the box with the others,
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and then basically shoves the box of visitor passes on to the floor.) [Whooooo what a sorcerer! He can shove boxes! 😉 Well.. one of those guest passes will have Alexi Makarov’s fingerprints on them no? If not the counter, the sign in sheet etc. etc.!]Stem I.avi_001159025
[Again – it all looks too easy! when things are being made easy for a reason or hard for a reason, this really does complicate things! What was it Rostov said? ‘In this game, we are like mirrors on mirrors. One never knows what is real, and what is not.’ – Hmm when things are so lame, I’m not sure if it’s real or not! lol!
Also, it looks like Alexi was up there for nearly 2 hours!! Whoa!]
Alexi: How clumsy of me. Let me help you.
Brackman: Oh, no—that’s all right. I’ll get it.
Alexi: Thanks.
(Again using KC’s description:
Alexi looks at the sign-in sheet and scans across to Lee’s penned-in sign-out time
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[2:33]. Stem I.avi_001167634
[Look at that tape!!!! And Lee didn’t notice??!!!!! Aie.. Lee deserves to be set up Winking smile ]
Alexi looks up at the clock,
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removes the tape—and the penned-in time—then pens in 4:10 for Lee’s sign-out time. Stem I.avi_001175141
Alexi raises a hand and starts to walk away.)
Alexi: Thank you.Stem I.avi_001177844
[The Guard is still fiddling with those visitor passes.. ugh!]
He gets away!  The scene finishes there.

[Uh oh! what has he done to Lee??!!
So what’s going on with this visitor’s list anyway?
first time we see it:
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second time we see it:
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I think that Alexi has been in there for ten days!!!! Lee signed in first with the date 9/4. but the second time we see this list Lee is signed in 9/14! rofl!!
I’m not even going to touch if any of these names mean anything – feel free to if you like.. but I did noticed Peter Daniels seems to have a 4 (am as it’s in the am column!) appointment with a general (we saw this when Alexi arrives), but has actually signed himself in as visiting at 3:15. When, it’s only 2:10 when Lee signs in after him! Work that one out. How did Daniels sign in before Lee at a time that hadn’t happened yet? Smile Oh my.. now I’m wondering who put that glass capsule under my nose and snapped it!!!!! 

I’m a little worried about this building and that drug.. I think it’s effects may be wider reaching than we first imagined! And.. before I fall deeper into the rabbit hole, I’m not going to look at the dates, times names of the visitor list or appointment list any closer! put the lists away iwsod! gah!! haaaa.. But feel free to go for it if you wish! Smile )
Something tells me we aren’t in Kansas anymore! I better take a break and get some fresh air before we continue!!! Thoughts everyone??

19 responses to “9/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

  1. I always thought it was more of a thick clear gummy-type adhesive glue thingy (that was a great description) than tape. Lee probably should’ve noticed, nonetheless. But I think this whole mission amidst his relationship with Amanda has thrown him a little off balance.

    Also, Alexi has absolutely no emotion in anything he says here. He’s such an eerie baddie!

    Iwsod, I looked at the image of Gus after the snappy capsule and cackled for some time! 😂😂😂 You are a riot!


  2. This scene was quite messily done. Too many holes in it and too much to have to ignore to make the plot work. The piece of tape Alexi used would have to be so small and so precisely placed for it to work properly. And depending on how long the tape was adhered to the paper, it might tear the paper when pulled away. Not a fan of this scene.


    • I remember seeing it for the first time, without pausing on screen grabs – and I had a vague sense Alexi was up to no good.. and had somehow dropped Lee in it- but not a clear idea of how.
      I think it worked better when it was more vague and I couldn’t see the tape/times and all the details that went into this. Alexi is a ….. Sorcerer!!! Whoooooo!!!


  3. Look at that tape!!!! And Lee didn’t notice??!!!!!

    It’s because he forgot his glasses this time 😀


  4. This entire scene has always bugged me…the total lack of security measures in a supposed government building????? Alexi deliberately shoved the box of badges at that dumb guard and he doesn’t immediately realize that Alexi is up to no good, really????
    Why didn’t any of them have to show identification?
    Why didn’t super spy Lee, notice that piece of correction tape over the page when he signed out??? I would think it would have felt different as the pen rolled over it….
    Why didn’t Dart hear someone rattling his door knob in an effort to break in???
    Why did Alexi blow on the fingertips, were they still wet with glue (surely not), or was he blowing off any potential dust, making sure the prints were clean ? I hate that particular scene, it’s just dumb.
    Why, why, why, too many for my brain 🙂 ????


  5. Sorry for the absenteeism Iwsod! I’ve been travelling all week and only having my phone was not conducive to enjoying the screen grabs.

    Can I just send a huge thank you and shout out to KC for transcribing this episode in such glorious detail? It’s seeing it at this slow pace that I’m finally making sense of some of the things I glossed over in previous viewings. I’m sort of torn on this one – the writers really sank their teeth into a good detailed plot of espionage but my gosh, it’s taking on all the signs of a French farce with people popping in and out of doors, people thinking other characters are someone other than who they are, gloves with fingerprints, altered logbooks – all very tutti-frutti indeed. Like all good farces, the first act when everything is getting set up can be a bit dull and heavy on details, but I do find myself thinking “Yeah, yeah, yeah, Sorceror bad… can we get back to Lee and Amanda now?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hiya Clagjanet!
      Ohhh it’s still holidays in many parts of the world isn’t it!
      I wondered if also people were feeling really over Russia – and I wondered if the timing is pretty unfortunate given recent political events and investigations – whether you support trump or not (and I don’t want to go there on the blog – let’s keep him out of it 😉 ) there has been so much talk of Russia, how they operate.. etc etc.. that this plot is either brilliant timing or very unfortunate!

      Also, we have been slowly progressing through the part of the ep where Lee and Amanda are going through a tough time.. hoping we get a pay off soon!
      but.. anyway.. really wonderful to hear from you!

      Can I just send a huge thank you and shout out to KC for transcribing this episode in such glorious detail?

      I’ll second that!!!! We miss you KC!!!

      I glossed over in previous viewings. I’m sort of torn on this one – the writers really sank their teeth into a good detailed plot of espionage but my gosh, it’s taking on all the signs of a French farce with people popping in and out of doors, people thinking other characters are someone other than who they are, gloves with fingerprints, altered logbooks – all very tutti-frutti indeed.

      It does seem the writers are pulling out the big guns in the plot department and being very ambitious! I’m the first to laugh at smk and it’s simplicity at times.. but.. I can also booo being overly complex – I’m very hard to please and I know it 😉
      So don’t mind me!

      Like all good farces, the first act when everything is getting set up can be a bit dull and heavy on details, but I do find myself thinking “Yeah, yeah, yeah, Sorceror bad… can we get back to Lee and Amanda now?”

      I love farce – if it’s funny.. but.. this doesn’t seem to be aiming for funny.. but then.. I’ll keep on watching and we’ll see how this all pans out. You make a good point clagjanet this is all plot set up – and we have to hang in there and just go with the flow as the plot unfolds… I’ll just have to trust there’s a fabulous pay off 🙂

      As we continue and can dig further into this plot maze, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


  6. Agreed, Iwsod. The appointment log with the half-hour time blocks makes me think of hair appointments. If you need coloring, better block off two hours. 😉


  7. Okay, I’m out of practice working for the government and I know white out is used, but if that log is a legal record (stands up in court) should white-ing something out be allowed? Yes, obviously Alexi wouldn’t know this and we know he’s up to no good. I work in environmental science and in our field sheets, we have to cross out any errors (line through once) and write the corrected measurement, time, etc. above it. No pencil allowed. Anyway, if the page is held up to the light, anyone can see the white tape.


    • It is good to hear what you say. When I watch this I am always amazed at the casual security. I supposed that the 80’s were more trusting times and maybe that is why there is little or no attention to security. I was also surprised that Mr Dart does not have a secretary or assistant. The place seems strangely empty.
      Having said all that, Alexi’s plot is quite clever. (even depending as it does on chance to a large extent).
      I am also somewhat ashamed to admit that until I saw this frame by frame post, I had never realised that Alexi had put a phial of poison (0r whatever) in front of the first guard’s nose. I had always thought he had used some kind of weird hypnosis (perhaps a soviet gulag thing- I always found it quite creepy, unnecessarily so, it now appears :-)).

      Liked by 3 people

      • I was working a summer job in Washington in the summer of 1986 and had to once deliver stuff to the US Capitol building. Outside of a brief walk through a metal detector and signing into a log book of some kind, much like Lee and Amanda do here, I recall that I wandered a fair number of hallways with little supervision, even finding myself outside Senator Ted Kennedy’s office at one point and wishing I had a camera to take a photo of the nameplate. They were indeed more innocent times.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. The guard Brackman lets himself be distracted and doesn’t see Alexi Makarov add his alias to the scheduled appointments. Later, Alexi Makarov distracts that same guard with his sleight of hand to alter Lee Stetson’s departure time. Meanwhile, I see no evidence of Makarov writing in the departure time for his alias C Kurtz, who he listed as having an appointment with Admiral Benton. So the guard Brackman fails to execute his job properly again and again and AGAIN! This bureaucratic incompetence is quite disturbing. What brand of trouble is “The Sorcerer” up to with the fingerprint acquisition help of his very own “Sorcerer’s apprentice”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor incompetent guards. I guess we’ll just have to assume that “The Sorcerer” cast a spell on them. That’s really the only way they can retain any shred of dignity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! I’ve concluded this is key! 🙂

        I mean whatever Alexi is up to here, he seems to be setting up Lee for something.. but what would he have done if Lee and Amanda hadn’t personally gone to pick up the frequencies?!
        I guess Alexi is sooooooo clever he would have had a plan for every contingency!


    • whooooo okay! we’ll put it all down to Alexi’s sorcerer talents! 🙂


  9. Hi Everyone!
    Just wanted to say I’ll try and stop in over the weekend to reply to comments..
    Wonderful as always to hear from you!!!

    I’m missing hearing from a number of ‘JWWM locals’ – if you are out there you know who you are 🙂
    say hi when you can- Miss you!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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