16/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

Lee has phoned Billy, and Francine is off enthusiastically running a trace on it.
….Lee! Where are you?Stem-I.avi_001933433_thumb_thumb …Well, that’s exactly where we’ve been try- Stem-I.avi_001935235_thumb_thumb
…Yes, she’s right here. …Sure. Hold on….
Billy picks up a second phone and says to Amanda: …He wants to talk to you… Stem-I.avi_001941941_thumb_thumb
…Now, talk him in…
…because we need him here to find out what’s been going on!Stem-I.avi_001947947_thumb_thumb
[Sure right. like all this has given Amanda any confidence that the agency actually wants to hear their side of the story and look for an alternate explanation? I mean – they are the president’s dogs to kick! Oh Billy! If Amanda believed that she’d be a dumb dumb! ]
Amanda: Hello?Stem-I.avi_001952752_thumb_thumb
Lee: Hi, Amanda; are you all right?Stem-I.avi_001955255_thumb_thumb
[What a sweetie! With everything going on – that’s the first thing he asks?!!! sigh Though lol I notice he cleaned up before he called her Winking smile whahahahaa!!]
Amanda: Yes, I’m all right. But I’m scared to death, and I’m worried about you.
Lee: I’m okay. They zapped me with something, but I’ve finally shaken it out of my head.Stem-I.avi_001961261_thumb
[Oh my. He’s now lookin good!]
Amanda: Stemwinder’s a mess; Phillip Dart’s dead, and they think we killed him for the secret radio frequencies; Dr. Smyth called us both traitors; they’ve been grilling me for hours.Stem-I.avi_001968168_thumb
[I think we could maybe call this an Amandaramble! she doesn’t pause for a breath! An excellent super quick summary! Hey she’s actually using this skill of hers now in a professional capacity!]Stem-I.avi_001969269_thumb
Lee: Hold on a second…
(we see a wide shot. Seems Lee is in a much nicer part of town for this phone call…like he’s right out the front of IFF?!
We see Lee feels around all over himself.. searching for something…he checks under his right shoe heel then checks under the left one; he starts pulling off some tape holding a small object to the sole of the shoe.)
Lee: Amanda, it’s a setup. [no kidding! 😉 ]Stem-I.avi_001994494_thumb
Lee: It’s a crazy… tutti frutti business, Amanda.Stem-I.avi_001997597_thumb
(Lee sticks the tape, with the attached object, to the side of the payphone.)
Lee: I gotta go.
(Lee hangs up and rushes off.)
[So did you all get the coded message in there just for Amanda when you first saw this? I confess, I had already heard about it before I finally saw the ep, so I’ll never know if I would have!]
(We see Alexi fold up his newspaper and slowly come out.)
[LOL Looked like Lee was in a nice part of town, and Alexi was in a dirty trash filled part of town! We don’t see what Alexi does.. He could have been watching Lee from a very far distance 😉 you know… from across town!]

(We cut back to Billy’s office.
Francine is all smiles that she got the trace.) [Ugh. Maybe Lee wanted you to. Ugh.]
Billy: Good, Amanda.  We got a trace.Stem-I.avi_002008108_thumb
(Amanda lets out a big sigh)
[– relieved? or worried?! Is she thinking IFF could help?! Or feeling like – uh oh I kinda helped them track down Lee? thoughts everyone?]
(Billy speaks via the intercom..)
Male agent voice: Yes, sir?Stem-I.avi_002013613_thumb
Billy: We have to throw a net around Scarecrow,..
[Whoa! See Amanda’s reaction to this?!!!]Stem-I.avi_002014414_thumb
…and get me a couple of trappers in case he turns into a runner.
Male agent voice: Who?
(sounding more cranky) :
You heard me—Scarecrow!
…Priority one! Do it!
(Billy rushes out of the office to address the bullpen, paying no mind to Amanda)
… All right, people. Listen up….
(Billy’s voice fades as the door closes.

Left alone in Billy’s office.. Stem-I.avi_002030330_thumb
Amanda watches the flurry of activity outside to bring down the net around scarecrow!)

[The music here is quite sad (IMHO)… Awh!!!]
(Amanda takes a deep breath.)
[I think the message here is Amanda is realising- you and Lee are on your own. Don’t count on Billy to help… or IFF for that matter.Stem-I.avi_002038538_thumb
This feels to me like a biiiig moment for Amanda – where she is truly understanding the nature of IFF and what she is now involved in!
So what’s she gonna do? resign herself to the will of IFF? Seems not..]
(Amanda gets up and peeks out the window as Billy speaks to the group.)
…This net is gonna be top priority….Francine will brief you in my office, ASAP…Right; Peterson, Clark—you’re gonna be in charge in the field. Stem-I.avi_002049049_thumb
..Keep your eyes open, and use one band… one band, only. Understood?
(Amanda manages to sneak out of the bullpen)
[rofl. Right when Billy says ‘keep your eyes open’ is when Amanda sneaks past while staying close to the wall.. whahahaaaa!
So is this an smk thing where it shouldn’t happen but it does because it’s smk? or did Billy just make it suuuper easy for her to sneak out on purpose? I don’t know! Is anyone else really flying blind with the walk here as we move into season 4?!
I do wonder if Billy is doing this whole thing on purpose…. It’s like he wanted Amanda to know he wasn’t going to go easy… Up till now I thought Billy was not writing off Lee and Amanda – but he can’t act like there is no evidence against them either. I guess I’ll have to watch and see what’s his plan here..
We’ve heard of agent Peterson before.. have we heard of agent ‘Clark’? ]

(As Amanda anxiously waits for the elevator the music is full on dramatic/epic! Screaming at us this is a big moment. [Like she just became an adult in the spy biz or something..]
Amanda gets in the coat elevator… and the camera pans back to the bullpen. Billy and Francine look down the corridor with a knowing look. Stem-I.avi_002076443_thumbBilly: You think we can stick with her?
[Ohhh lol! I really was flying blind! and.. I just got my answer 🙂 don’t mind me! I kinda wish I was still flying ‘blind’ though, Francine’s top is hideous!]
: We’ve got two helicopters, two vans, two motorcycles, four on foot, NSA electronic intercept backup

[Yet again, Francine’s looking too pleased. lol. I guess this could be pleased they are going to nab Lee so they can help him. ahem. Does anyone think that’s at least possible? I think there could be a tiny corner of Francine’s mind thinking that.. I think Billy looks not pleased things are the way they are Sad smile
Francine doesn’t think Amanda is capable of getting away or much of anything. Maybe that’s why she can easily believe the frame up. Which, if it were true, would make Amanda super dumb dumb. – Cindy you’ll note I’ve taken on your phrase ‘dumb dumb’ I love the way it reads! Smile this might explain how she believes Amanda could be guilty. But what about Lee? Is it his ‘scarecrow’ code name fooling her?! Smile Then again, I come back to that idea that maybe she doesn’t really believe it all deep down, but is believing the worst to be ready for anything.. thoughts everyone? ]

…Ah, if Lee so much as tries to signal her with mirrors or toss her a paper airplane, we’ll catch it.
[Whooo they’re gonna stick to Amanda like a 10 week tan! whahahaha!
And rofl- The signal has already been sent.. and they’ve missed it 😉 ]
Billy: Go!

Hmm so this means Francine is leading the follow Amanda operation. this must be some kind of wish fulfillment for Francine! 😉

Well, I guess my question is answered.. Freak out Amanda, let her escape, follow her to Lee. 

Looks like the show went to a commercial break, for us all to ponder Billy’s machinations..Francine’s neckline on her top,  and will Amanda lead them to Lee?! Thoughts anyone? 🙂 

31 responses to “16/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

  1. I was confused about the tracking device on his shoe. Was that planted by the agency? or the Russians? When did it get there? This episode is more complicated than most, but still one of my very favorites.


    • I think it must have been planted by Alexi when he had Lee unconscious back at Sonja’s place. Alexi seems to have had no trouble following Lee to this phone booth, while the Agency is still desperately trying to trace phone calls and follow Amanda to figure out where he is.

      It’s one of my favorites, too 😊


  2. I don’t know who Billy was talking to on the intercom, but I think I like him already!
    Yes, exactly! It was totally an oxymoron of a command, and as such SHOULD be questioned! 😁


  3. LeeLovesAmanda

    Ever notice when Amanda gets in the elevator, she always spreads them out evenly behind her???


  4. “I kinda wish I was still flying ‘blind’ though, Francine’s top is hideous!” – Iwsod, you actually made me snort with this one. The only thing that could make her blouse worse is if she paired it with a totally clashing color skirt and attached her ID badge in a really awkward way that made it look completely inappropriate. Oh, wait… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is another difficult moment for me to watch, but not in a nauseating way, rather, more in an I-know-I-just-saw-something-sadly-huge-happen kind of way. I feel like in a way, Amanda loses a bit of her innocence, if you will, at the moment she sees and hears the discussion in the bullpen to search for Lee. She has to be scared to death. And I think her ramble to Lee is perfect, IMHO, because she updates him as quickly as possible from a personal standpoint (“I’m scared to death and worried about you”) and professional standpoint (to the point about Dart & Stemwinder). When she gets up to leave Billy’s office and waits at the elevator, I’m reminded somewhat of the moment in SBTB when Lee decides to take [that] Rostov to trade for Amanda, committing treason to do so. That would be a pretty weighty decision to make in a hurry. (And this is why I tell myself she doesn’t go out the other door in Billy’s office instead of sneaking out of the bullpen in front of everyone.)

    I also love BJo’s thoughts on Billy:
    I see Billy as wearing two hats here – he is the boss and has to bring Scarecrow in so he can give his beating heart to Dr. Smyth. But on a personal level, keeping emotions aside, I think Billy wants to believe Lee is innocent/being set up, and in his mind he thinks the best way to prove that is to find Lee and bring him in so he can get information and help Lee clear himself.

    Love the way you said this, BJo, and I agree!

    Also, the way Lee starts with asking Amanda if she’s ok – this ties in with a thought I had when he came to in the alley earlier and called her name immediately. I think both moments he wanted to make sure she was ok (if she had been with him, which he didn’t know or remember yet). He had no way of knowing what had happened to her since he had left her in the Vette. He is again selflessly expressing his love for her and concern for her here, I think, like he did so beautifully in WWH. I imagine he was as eager to hear her voice as she was his.

    Ooh, sorry! One more thing! Iwsod, I am glad you brought up the music here. I am a musician, and I have meant to address the music of SMK a million times, and always forget!!! But I think the music of SMK is always so intelligently done, IMHO. It has always been one of my favorite parts of the show, from the theme song to interludes like we have here to emphasize the significance of this “Amanda growing up” moment. I think there is great significance in the music choices of SMK, whether we are hearing an interlude for the first time or if it’s recurring. Unique themes, like ones during TPE, or the Amanda and Joe theme of WWH, or my fave which is in Nightcrawler, which is a variation of Lee’s theme and Amanda’s theme from the actual theme song, add such a deeper compelling element to this show…I think the use of music and the quality of what is used (even if it’s a little kooky like in DOA when Amanda is hypnotized or oddly 80s-ish like in BO when Lee botches the drop with Francine) sets the show apart. (Can I use “theme” a few more times? Can you sense a theme here in what I’m saying?)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a couple of thoughts to add. I see Billy as wearing two hats here – he is the boss and has to bring Scarecrow in so he can give his beating heart to Dr. Smyth. But on a personal level, keeping emotions aside, I think Billy wants to believe Lee is innocent/being set up, and in his mind he thinks the best way to prove that is to find Lee and bring him in so he can get information and help Lee clear himself. I think the longer Lee stays away from the Agency/Billy, the longer Billy goes without information, and the less likely Lee’s innocence. Billy can’t help Lee if he has no contact with him. So yes, iwsod, I do think it’s possible that Billy thinks he can help Lee more if he knows what’s going on and where Lee is. It’s like a reverse situation of RFTSky, where Lee and Amanda had to find Billy. Lee wanted Billy to come in to help him, but Billy insisted on solving the problem on his own. Dr. Smyth was involved in that case too. At least I hope I am remembering correctly. Billy also knows what will happen wrt the hunt for Lee if it goes on too long. We don’t know, but I suspect the longer Lee is out there, the harder it will be to bring him in and the longer the time period Lee will have to account for.

    I don’t remember what I thought the first time I watched this, when I watch now, I do think Billy knew Amada would go try to find Lee – he probably figures tutti-frutti was some sort of attempt at a clue for amanda – and left her in his office alone so she could leave the Agency to go help Lee. I’m not surprised to see him and Francine standing there discussing all the ways they’ve got her covered in case she does lead them to Lee. I think they are not worried about Amanda’s abilities, but they are worried about Lee’s and what he could have set up to stay hidden. He has his Barnstorm network and tons of loyal contacts he could use to help him and Amanda. He is the top spy after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not liking the fact that I’ve focused a bit more on Francine in this episode than I’d like to. It’s interesting to go through this walk and see what direction you actually head in. I’m beginning to think that it’s always been more about Amanda than Amanda and Lee as far as Francine is concerned. I think I now see Francine’s relationship with Lee as just based on the fact that they are both agents. We have seen some competitiveness from them like in Playing for Keeps and we’ve seen some mutual respect. I think that Francine accepted that Lee was the better agent a long time ago. I think that it’s easy for her to accept that Lee might be a traitor because of what she thinks about the whole business of being an agent and the fact that she has assumed that they are much alike in how they think regarding the same. What she can’t accept is this housewife coming in and working with the best agent and achieving all that she has without all the training and hoops that Francine may have had to jump through. Francine has taken delight in trying to one up Amanda and this is another example. Billy’s question is about keeping up with Amanda and so is Francine’s response. They can’t find Lee on their own so they figure Amanda would be inept enough to lead them to him.

    How this scene ends makes me feel as if they had this all planned in case Lee did call for Amanda. Pretty shady on their part, but good on Amanda for realizing that she can’t trust the Agency at the moment. She and Lee are on their own in this situation.

    Great that Lee knows exactly what to say to Amanda. It’s their own special code. I love that he asks right away how she is doing. Their whole exchange once again shows just how much their partnership has grown and how well they work together. Lee has no doubt that Amanda knows exactly what he’s saying to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love how the “tutti frutti” code works! It reminds me of a game I enjoy, where you try to get your team members to guess a word on a card by giving verbal clues, but without saying any part of the word or any part of 4-5 other related words listed on the card. It works well with people you know well and have lots of shared experiences with (actually, siblings are best) because you can say things nowhere near the forbidden words, but that suggest the right answer to them based on shared experiences.

    I was also intrigued by the fact that Lee obviously took the time to clean up. I’m going to go with two reasons: a) it was kind of instinctive, something he did while still a bit fuzzy and trying to sort out what had happened, and b) he needed to look normal. You attract too much unwanted attention by being unduly scruffy-looking, but can blend in with a crowd if nothing in your appearance stands out. The think that’s weird to think about, though, is that Lee can’t really know he’s in trouble with the Agency yet? So Amanda shows she doesn’t trust what’s going on at the Agency, and completely disregards Billy’s instructions to “talk him in”, by giving him the information he needs to know he’s got to stay away! If she had just said, “I’m glad you’re OK, I’ll come get you and we can talk about it back at the Agency,” he probably would have come. She obviously thinks that he’s safer on the run; that coming in won’t do much to establish his good faith in the eyes of those who suspect the worst already.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. The look on Amanda’s face when Billy is putting out the order to put a net over Lee is pure fear. She knows this time it’s serious and she’s feeling like she needs to do something quick to get to Lee, she is determined to find Lee before the agency can get to him.
    I love her determination and the disregarding of agency protocol….she’s going after her man whatever, however.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Pure fear” is IMHO spot on GruvyGranny!

      I love her determination and the disregarding of agency protocol….she’s going after her man whatever, however.

      whoooooo I love it! This situation is really testing everyone to see what they are made of, where their priorities lay – Amanda chooses her man!


  10. [ lol I notice he cleaned up before he called her 😉 whahahahaa!!]

    lol….It’s the phone booth. Changes Clark Kent into Superman and Sloppy, dirty Lee into Super clean Spy. Wouldn’t work on Alexi though. 😉


    • It is odd that Lee takes the time to clean up a bit before phoning Billy (after numerous missed check-ins), because Billy can’t see him in the phone booth — be it SuperSpy clean OR dumped like trash in an alley filthy! Well, it brings to mind the behavior of a boy, who went outside and roughhoused after being told to stay neat, then tries to avoid punishment by cleaning up. That must be an ingrained reaction from his years with the Colonel, don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

    • rofl! It’s okay Alexi has on one of those jackets of Lee’s that you can windex! If I had time I’d go hunt that Jacket down.. I’m sure Lee has worn it! but.. no time at the moment.. one of these days I’ll get back to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “We see Lee feels around all over himself.. searching for something…”

    Darn! I would be willing and able to help him with those feels! Searching requires an extra set of hands, don’t you think? He has so many fans, there would be a very, very long line of us willing helpers.

    “[ … Francine’s top is hideous!] Francine: We’ve got two helicopters, two vans, two motorcycles, four on foot, NSA electronic intercept backup…”

    Speaking of Francine’s top … She exhibits such thoroughness in tracking Amanda; makes me wonder, WHO clipped her Agency ID badge on that hideous top of hers? Unless she’s wearing a padded brassiere, that clip holding it on is in a mighty uncomfortable location … OUCH!

    Liked by 2 people

    • “We see Lee feels around all over himself.. searching for something…”

      Darn! I would be willing and able to help him with those feels! Searching requires an extra set of hands, don’t you think?

      rofl! Didn’t catch this when I was reading. I think you’ve got a point there, Nancy!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Francine got dressed in the dark and possibly with a hangover. That color combo just doesn’t work. I’d like to know what else has happened to her this week for her to be off her game. Yes, my ID would be attached to the top of the skirt, not that spot.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You guys had me sniggering! 😉

      When I typed that line I thought to myself – dang! that sounds racy!! but.. it was what he was doing haaaa.. and so I was a bit cheeky and left it in and didn’t say anything.. I suspected you guys would notice without any encouragment – for once my guess was right 🙂

      We are starved at the moment of some Lee Stetson goodness.. too much tonsil hockey and ickness to glory in the goodness.. but.. the goodness is back!!! 🙂

      Re the clip, I thought it was clipped over the top of her pocket making it look really sloppy and saggy and putting it in a rather unfortunate location 😉
      Indeed the top is hideous!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My attempts at explaining away Francine’s attitude are failing. She just looks way too self-satisfied here. Am starting to wonder if she’s struggling with Amanda’s success and the firm bond between her and Lee and that’s why she’s being nasty and gleeful? Does she catch a hint at how L & A’s personal life is (as “they” say) moved to the next level? She really deserves that blouse 😦

    Billy seems to be less open to Lee’s innocence here. Is this because of pressure from Mr Smyth or is he starting to believe that Lee may really be a traitor? Whichever it is, this make uncomfortable viewing.

    Amanda and Lee are very sweet here. Amanda’s distress is palpable but she managed to fill in Lee remarkably succinctly. Agree with you, Iwsod, that she has almost channelled and refined her rambling into a useful form. Am amazed that she can be that open in front of Billy (given what he’s been saying). Always surprises me that Lee can so quickly identify that ?tap to the sole of the correct shoe so rapidly 😀 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Agree with you, Iwsod, that she has almost channelled and refined her rambling into a useful form.”

      Me, too!

      “Always surprises me that Lee can so quickly identify that ?tap to the sole of the correct shoe so rapidly”

      It’s Amanda’s ramble that alerts Lee to his tenuous situation so he knows (a) he’s been set up and (b) there’s probably a tracking device on his person. We don’t see a screen shot of both shoes, but watching the episode shows what iwsod states: “he checks under his right shoe heel then checks under the left one;”

      Liked by 1 person

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