19/21 Season Four, Episode One: Stemwinder I

IFF is in hot pursuit of Lee in a grocery store, and he evades them. We cut to the suburbs. Seems Amanda did what Lee said and went home! (The looooong way!) Stem-I.avi_002405205_thumb
Jamie: Hi, Mom!
Amanda : Hi, sweetheart!
(We see Amanda rush into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Dotty is busy baking something)
Dotty: Ah, I almost thought you forgot, tonight is my Eastern Star installation ball…
[No idea what an eastern star installation ball is.. anyone?]
…These all-night work sessions are becoming chronic with you, Amanda. I mean, if it is work.
[Interesting comment by Dotty!! – also said without any sting. Very interesting!!]
(Jamie is helping Dotty with the cookies.)
Amanda: Listen, did anybody call me while I was gone?
Dotty: No.
Amanda: Anybody drop by?
Dotty: Nope.
Amanda: Anything weird happen in the neighbourhood?
Jamie: Yeah.
Amanda: What, sweetheart?
Jamie: Well, Andy Kaskill swallowed a live toad and blacked out. Phillip’s over there now.
[LOL at the expression on Amanda’s face!]
Dotty: Wait’ll you see my outfit… it’s gonna make my date black out with sheer animal lust.
[Great to hear Dotty is dating..and- I’ve missed this side of Dotty! ]
Amanda: Mother-
Dotty: Listen, I have about five or six different kinds of earrings. Now, I want you to pick for me, because I can’t-
Amanda: Okay, wait! Hold it. Wait. Hold it, please.  I’m sorry. Let’s just have a family meeting, okay? Drop everything, will ya?…
…Put everything down, just for a second. Just gotta’ talk to you, all right?
Dotty: Okay.
(Dotty and Jamie do as Amanda ask)
[Oh my.. what is Amanda going to reveal?!]
Amanda: Now, look. Uhh… a man that I work with is, uh, having some problems… all right? Now, his name is Stetson—Lee Stetson…
…You’ve talked to him on the phone before, Mother.
Dotty: Steadman. I thought it was Steadman.
[LOL I love it! at a moment like this we have a little gag about all of Lee’s names! 🙂 ]
Amanda: No, it’s Stetson, Mother.
Dotty: Oh.
Amanda: At any rate… there may be some people who come by to talk to us, and they’ll be Federal Agents… Stem-I.avi_002465432_thumb
[whoa this gets Dotty’s attention!]Stem-I.avi_002466433_thumb
…Ah, they may wanna ask us a few questions…
(Jamie nods. Bless him. He listens and tries to take it all in his stride. LOL I’m kinda glad Phillip isn’t around for this rather tense and important moment! How do you think he would have reacted?)
…And, ah, well, they think that Mr. Stetson may have… given away a few things that he shouldn’t have.
Jamie: What?!!Stem-I.avi_002475942_thumb
Amanda: Secrets, sweetheart.Stem-I.avi_002477243_thumb
Dotty: Amanda—aren’t you being just a little melodramatic? Stem-I.avi_002478244_thumb
[oh if only she knew!]
Amanda: Mother, I’m exhausted. I work for IFF. IFF works for the government. The government has secrets. Okay?Stem-I.avi_002482649_thumb
[Whoa!!!! That’s quite an admission!! ‘not exactly’ spilling the beans.. but she’s certainly making it easy to guess.]
Jamie: Like, what kinda secrets?
Amanda: Nice try, Sherlock. A secret’s a secret. Look—why don’t you just give your brother a call and ask him to come home? Would you do that for me?Stem-I.avi_002490156_thumb
Jamie: Okay.
Amanda: Thank you.
(Jamie leaves to fetch Phillip)
Dotty: Amanda?
Amanda: Yes, Mother?
Dotty: Ah, you’re, ah…  You’re not mixed up with any of these federal agents, are you?Stem-I.avi_002498765_thumb
Amanda: Hah, Mother…Muah!
[LOL I guess that’s technically not a lie! Smile  No mother I’m not mixed up with them- I am one of them! 😉 ]Stem-I.avi_002500266_thumb
Amanda laughs, and kisses her mother’s hand. Stem-I.avi_002501968_thumb
Then she quickly turns to leave – the smile gone!Stem-I.avi_002502469_thumb
She looks really worried! while Dotty is all smiles.

Oh boy! Things are really closing in on Amanda too!!! I’ll pause here.. what do you all think?

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

  1. Amanda: Mother, I’m exhausted…

    Can I say how proud I am that she can just say that out loud to someone? Goodness. When is the last time she was even home?? Before she and Lee went to Sonjas? Maybe. Maybe not since she had gone to work that previous day, we don’t really know. But what all has transpired in her life since!!! I mean, just since last night – while Dotty and Jamie were sleeping, Amanda had to endure another recording session at Sonja’s, lost Lee, spent the night hooked up to a polygraph machine, has been accused of possible treason by Dr. Smyth, had to deal with all things Francine, watched the agency start a manhunt for Lee, and heard “I love you” from Lee for the first time. Wow, “Mother, I’m exhausted” does not even scratch the surface!

    In light of the exhaustion, physical and emotional, I give her mad props for how beautifully she handles herself with Dotty and Jamie. I would have totally snapped at both of them. Instead she keeps her cool and explains the situation so tactfully – I love how someone called it the “anti-Amandaramble” in a comment. 😊

    And her expression at the end of the scene after she kisses Dotty’s hand and turns away is pure gold from KJ!!!

    [iwsod edited typo]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Finally get to see Amanda at home with her family again. Jamie is growing so. I was fine with Philip not being in this scene. For some reason I think it would have played a little differently.

    Dotty was okay with Amanda being out all night and working and seems to have stopped giving her some grief, that is until she mentions federal agents. Great deflection by Amanda.

    I find it interesting that in the view shown of Amanda’s house we see that white picket fence. It harks back to a time where people looked forward to what was referred to as the American dream of a family with a nice house and a white picket fence. I’m going back to the “regulars” comment from Norm.


  3. Hi everyone!
    Sorry I’m not around much – but soooo glad to see the conversation is continuing regardless!

    thought I’d share this meme I made gosh, maybe years ago now.
    I believe it’s a direct quote of Dotty’s….

    Just what are all of Dotty’s theories.. and.. is one of them on the mark?!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dotty’s Agatha Christie comment was in the Dead Ringer episode. In researching some Dotty-isms, I discovered Learjet’s delightful 2-part extra called “Dauntless Dotty.” It was great fun reading Dotty’s “S&MK biography” and wanted to give many job-well-done compliments to Learjet for creating such a comprehensive source for … all things Dotty.


    • Oops! My subconscious mind sure niggled when I wrote this in response to 2Goldens earlier: “The other possibility is that Dotty and, perhaps, her husband were into reading espionage fiction, which was extremely popular in the 1950s & 1960s.”

      It just took iwsod posting her meme to clear away the pesky cobwebs in my mind: Dotty, at the tag end of Dead Ringer, told Amanda she has 6 theories (about what happened to the car while driving Magda via the back roads to Dulles). Then substantiates it with her comment about reading Agatha Christie novels for 30 years, which would be since the 1950s. Whew! Glad to clear that up!

      After re-visiting that Dotty had 6 theories in Dead Ringer, I find it curious that Dotty now wants Amanda to choose from her 5 or 6 earrings. What if “earrings” is now Dotty’s code word for “theories”? Just some silly speculating!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the way that Amanda steps up to the plate with the line, “I work for IFF; IFF works for the Government; the Government has secrets.” I think Dotty does twig and her head in the clouds behaviour is not to worry her daughter. (PS Sorry not to be around have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so most days it’s a struggle to get around.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Anchoret! So wonderful to hear from you. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis.
      You are always welcome here and we’ll always be glad to see you – contribute what you like as you like 🙂

      Yes I agree with you all that there is more to Dotty than first appears! [lol that could be quite a good trait in a spy 😉 ]


    • That line is a favorite of mine also. Its completely true & summarizes the whole thing so succinctly its like the anti-Amanda-ramble. (Hope you are doing ok today anchoret)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love the way that Amanda steps up to the plate with the line, “I work for IFF; IFF works for the Government; the Government has secrets.”

      Agreed! Especially since Amanda’s carrying so much from the last few days (Lee/Sonja, Interrogation at the agency, Lee on the run, Lee’s “I love you”…). Like I thought before, those words from Lee probably keeps her spirits up.

      Sorry to hear of your diagnosis too. Hope you have more easy days than difficult ones.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It makes perfect sense that Dotty would act rather blithely and go about in her rattlepated way to relieve Amanda, who appears worried. Parents do it all the time.
      Anchoret, so sorry you are dealing with Fibromyalgia- I fully understand having ME/CFS myself. Hope tomorrow’s is a brighter day!


  5. This is one of my favorite scenes in the episode. I love how Dotty doesn’t miss a beat from the ‘swallowed a toad & blacked out’ & segwayed right into making her date ”black out with sheer animal lust”.

    I like your observation about how dottie commented on Amanda’s late nights ‘without any sting’. I’ve been on the end of enough mom comments to appreciate that! I think Dotty is such a romantic that in her mind she goes right to the explanation of a mysterious man & an affair, as opposed to Amanda being a spy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi all! I’m enjoying this discussion about Dotty!
      I really wish I could sink my teeth into this but.. no time.. someone else can run with it if they like.
      I have vague memories of us discussing this not long ago.. but where.. umm maybe in One bear dances one bear doesn’t?

      If anyone wanted to do research on what Dotty has seen, been told and learned up till now I think that would be a fascinating read! I can publish it as a post if anyone is interesting in writing it up.

      Hi Xiolaperry, yeah I find the attitude the comment is made with provides plenty of information about where Dotty and Amanda are at.. Mums have no trouble conveying when they disapprove! what was that line about how that’s what mothers do?!


  6. Melissa Robertson

    This is a nice scene with Amanda and her family. Dotty and her dates…haha!! I love that Jamie is soaking this all up, I think he’s tucking this information away for later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah! I wonder if Jamie is thinking of that time that random guy came to school and tried to kidnap him and Phillip in the gym… and then.. Amanda randomly comes running in.. so does their dad.. and it’s like they knew this guy was going to do this random thing and like then.. then this super heroic guy comes in and totally kicks the bad guy’s butt!

      Then maybe Jamie’s thoughts could be:
      Oh wait. That is the same guy I saw Amanda standing next to on stage (holding hands with for the curtain call), when we saw that cool french farce with all the violence and that same super heroic guy kicked that old dude with the gun…
      Hmmmm…. could that guy and Lee Sampson Steadman Stetson know each other? Could he be that super heroic guy?!!!
      Is that a secret?!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I just love it when Amanda’s mother asks her if shes mixed up with the federal agents and she laughs it off and turns around and the look on her face was like, “Oh Boy, I lied again and this time I’m in trouble and theirs no way out”. Sometimes I just can’t believe that Dotty can be so oblivious to Amanda’s “real” occupation. Coming home at all hours of the night, off the grid for days with no communication, having to leave at the spur of the moment to run to IFF, always running outside to the back yard. I just don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to figure that one out! LOL

    Liked by 3 people

    • Except that for Dotty to figure out Amanda’s profession, she would first have to have the idea that the correct answer is one of the options. And I’m pretty sure that connection has just never occurred to her. I mean, the correct answer was actually handed to her on a silver platter back in Double Agent, and the only person she could think of was Gwen Dorset! Yes, she definitely knows something’s up a lot of the time, but she would have to attribute that to something she sees as a realistic possibility, and Amanda being a government agent just isn’t it. Plus, I think she rather likes attributing everything to a man (men?) so she probably rarely even tries to think any farther than that 😁


  8. I can imagine that Amanda must feel like she’s landed on another planet as she re-enters her home. “Wait’ll you see my outfit… it’s gonna make my date black out with sheer animal lust.” Not sure how Jamie misses that one!! I’m profoundly grateful that my mother doesn’t make comments like that around the minijets. I can imagine having to answer some awkward questions 😀
    Love the sweetness and thoughfulness of Jamie, and how it contrasts to the craziness of Dotty here. And KJ and BG do a great job here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As much as I love the slow pace of our walk for its insights, there are times like this where we miss the slapstick speed of how this all happened – Dotty and Amanda together are like a fast tennis match here, it’s one of my favourite scenes – and I love that Jamie gets that little side bit really makes it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL indeed. there are positives and negatives to both walking through an ep and watching it as intended… [on tv in less than an hour].
      I guess we can always enjoy the show is to watch it normally, and then share your insights here when it’s the right time in the walk. This way we get the both worlds? maybe?
      Always great to be reminded of how the episode would unfold on tv as a whole episode and get that ‘real time’ vibe!


  10. iwsod asked: “[No idea what an eastern star installation ball is.. anyone?]”

    From the website: http://www.easternstar.org
    Our founder was a well-known Master Mason and he wanted the Female Relatives of Master Masons to have a fraternal organization that they could belong to and that the Master Masons could belong to also. The members of the Order of the Eastern Star are dedicated women and men who sincerely reflect the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good. It gives them the opportunity to give a part of their time to many projects that benefit mankind.

    Dotty says, “… tonight is my Eastern Star installation ball … ”

    Dotty calling it “my” infers she is being installed as a new member tonight. However, for that to be true from what I read on their website: (1) the “installation” occurs at a local meeting (no mention of any installation ball; only a nationwide gathering every 3 years, which probably includes a fancy dinner-dance), (2) her date must be a Master Mason in the Order of Freemasons and (3) Dotty must be the widow or daughter of a Master Mason. As an offshoot of the Freemasons, this is a controversial fraternal order, which makes no sense in Dotty’s storyline thus far.


    • Thanks Nancy.. err I’m just gonna pretend I didn’t hear it 😉 Dotty said something about a ball.. tee hee..


      • I was shocked when I researched it, iwsod, because it doesn’t really relate to anything else in the episode. Unless perhaps … ESIB is a secret code like SLYMPH XLGF ZBN (when Amanda got amnesia). After all, Dotty does say she’s going to make her date “black out …”

        Liked by 1 person

        • The out-of-left-field reference by Dottie to the Eastern Star installation ball reminds me so much of the various weird excuses Amanda has used over the years to cover her spy activities. It makes me wonder again about the secret life of Dottie and whether mother and daughter are really more alike than we think. Sometimes I question if Dottie is truly as naive and clueless as she appears, or if it’s a cover for a shrewd and knowing mind, who is kind of amused at Amanda’s struggles with her own dual life. I kind of like to think so; it would add a great layer to the SMK world!

          Liked by 2 people

          • “… the secret life of Dottie …. I kind of like to think so; it would add a great layer to the SMK world!”

            Oh! I like your interpretation best of all. Every so often she says something that makes me absolutely certain she is on to her daughter. I suspect that, on the many occasions when Dotty acts “clueless” and lets Amanda’s “weird excuses” slide, it’s because she is just so happy to see her daughter finally find a fulfilling life beyond the boys’ activities and homemaking. That Amanda also blames herself for the divorce must break Dotty’s heart.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Actually my pondering goes a bit further than that. I wonder, not only if Dottie knows, but if she knows because she herself has some personal experience in the spy business. Maybe even a family history. Remember the stories about Amanda’s grandmother and Uncle (Iggy, was it?)?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Intriguing theory, 2Goldens. Well, in order for Dotty to have personally experienced espionage, don’t you think we better look closer to home? Her husband would be the most obvious since he died prematurely and don’t recall anything about his work. IMO, Uncle Iggy training to be a wizard in Topeka, Kansas is too far away from the D.C. area to be a part of the Oz Network. Besides, Paul Barnes was code named The Wizard.

                The other possibility is that Dotty and, perhaps, her husband were into reading espionage fiction, which was extremely popular in the 1950s & 1960s. Many novels were adapted to the silver screen, too. After her husband died, she turned to romance novels to assuage her loneliness.

                I don’t recall the stories about Amanda’s grandmother. Do you recall the episode(s) where she was mentioned?


          • I often thought this as well.


          • Love it 2Goldens!!! 🙂


  11. “Dotty: Ah, you’re, ah… You’re not mixed up with any of these federal agents, are you?”

    Over the years, Lee and Francine would remind Amanda that she’s not an agent … she’s a trainee … she’s just a civilian … a suburban housewife, etc. It’s refreshing to see Dotty willing to explore that possibility with her daughter versus saying, “Don’t tell me you’re mixed up with …”

    If Amanda did admit to being “mixed up with” them, I wonder if Dotty would immediately start in on her matchmaking ramble? Or would she state it’s way too dangerous?

    I’m also impressed, since I worked mostly in male-dominated careers myself, that Amanda knew to use “would” rather than “could” when she asked Jamie, “Would you do that for me?” In the case of most males, I discovered there’s a distinction between “could (can) you do this?” versus “would (will) you do this?” I learned quickly to say “will you” or “would you” because, when they answered “yes,” that meant it got done promptly. They often answered “yeah” or “sure” to being asked “can you” or “could you” and that translated to getting it done eventually or never. Once I discovered this nuance and was employing it successfully, I asked a man friend about it since I noticed most women used can/could when asking them to do something. His response? There’s a difference between being asked if he is capable of doing something versus being asked his willingness to actually do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We haven’t seen much of Amanda’s family during this episode, but this is a cute scene. I think Phillip would have chimed in about the ‘secrets’ too. Probably got in a couple of pokes at his brother as usual. I love that Dotty’s getting ready for her date, who must be worthy of the efforts she’s putting in. Six different pairs of earrings? That might be all the pairs I own. Is it wrong that, even with all the excitement right now, I’d still like to know more about her date?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I agree, I am glad this scene is Philipless and it was wonderful to see Dotty her wonderful zesty self. It makes a nice counterpoint to what a serious situation Amanda and Lee are in and how her two worlds can come crashing together at any moment. KJ’s delivery of her last line was briliiant.

    Liked by 2 people

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