Discussion: Which do you prefer? 1) Unfinished Business then Stemwinders? Or 2) Stemwinders then Unfinished Business?

Hi all! Have we all recovered sufficiently from that swoony goodness that closed out the Stemwinder 2 parter??!!!
Just in case.. here ya go: Breathe deeply smk fans!!!

We’ve just finished walking through Unfinished Business and then the two Stemwinder episodes.. The original airing order had the two Stemwinders first, and then Unfinished Business. Now we’ve finished walking through these first three episodes of season 4 – what do you think? which order do you prefer? and why?

To get the discussion started.. for anyone who is interested.. I’ll share my opinion… but – it’s just an opinion! I’m no authority here.. we can think what we like!

I prefer the I love yous in Stemwinder come after Unfinished Business.

The My Amanda moment while Lee is drugged, and Amanda wanting to ask a question but stopping herself?

I think she would have not been tempted to probe after Stemwinders. She’s secure, has heard the words.. and is content with the way things are..

Also the impact of ‘my Amanda’ is diminished when he has already said he loves her!

I also like the idea that Lee lets down those walls and shares this very person aspect of himself with Amanda in Unfinished Business, before he has said the words ‘I love you’ I don’t know why just seems more powerful – maybe that it screams he loves her.. but he hasn’t said the words yet. And it screams how much trust they have in each other that they can conduct themselves as they do in Unfinished Business but the words haven’t been spoken yet. Know what I mean?

I think either order can work at this point, I just share my preference.. but – maybe there is a reason why a certain order must be the way it is??

Do you think Billy would be so quick to disregard Lee in UB after what happened in Stemwinder?

Okay all.. what do you think? Reasons for and against changing the original airing order are very welcome!!!

13 responses to “Discussion: Which do you prefer? 1) Unfinished Business then Stemwinders? Or 2) Stemwinders then Unfinished Business?

  1. hi all!!
    I’ve been loving reading your thoughts! will get back here soon as I can to reply..
    any smk time I’ve had I’ve been using to write blog posts so I can keep the walk going..
    Hope you are all well..

    Like

  2. Melissa Robertson

    I think Unfinished Business comes before the Stemwinders.

    Their relationship in UB seems like the pick up from season 3. The atmosphere just doesn’t feel right if it comes after the Stemwinders because they have become so close! In UB when Lee asks Amanda how she got in and she said picked the lock, he replied I need to change that. Now although I believe he was saying that about keeping enemies out, I think that after the Stemwinders, Amanda was given a key to his apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree, Melissa. I think that after the Stemwinders, there would have been practical changes to their relationship which mirrored the emotional progress they had made (eg, Amanda having a key to the apartment). I also don’t see Lee fiddling around with CIA old files on his parents on the quiet, after just going through the agency dramas of being a suspected Russian agent/source. Even though he had been proven innocent, I suspect he would want to “lie low” for a file. Plus I don’t see Amanda sneaking around when she’d finally been offered a job as a full-time agent. She wouldn’t risk having to go back to a guest badge 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Do you have time for one more question?” Never mind, Ill just start talking. 😀

    Another thought about the order: this conversation when she wakes him up the first time:
    “This is something that’s very personal. Can’t you just leave it at that?
    Amanda: No, because when somebody that I care about hurts, I hurt too.
    Lee: I’ve never told anyone. I never leaned on anybody, even when I needed to.

    and his comment in the park when he asks if she wants to help him and then says: “Then you’re really…gonna have to trust me.”

    These make virtually no sense if they come after everything they just went through together in Stemwinder – an episode almost entirely about them leaning on each other to get through it because they only had each other and the trust to get through that whole he’s a traitor/no he’s not nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve wondered a couple things. The badge that we don’t see in the Stems, but appears in UB. Is she an agent in UB, but not full-time??? But Lee initially pushing her away in UB seems like they’re not quite to the Stems stage (i.e., the ‘I love yous.’) And like Cindy points out, Lee could still be running hot and cold (just a little). It could also be that regardless of how he feels about Amanda, having to revisit what happened to his parents is just ‘too much.’ Amanda doesn’t back down and that’s because she already loves him.

    The thing that Amanda was considering asking while he was on that heavy drug (UB)… Yes, it could have been, “Do you love me?” But it could have been anything. Could have been, “When am I getting a key to your place?” I can see what you all see about UB coming first. I like what Janet points out about Lee getting closure with his parents first, before telling Amanda how he feels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sara, hi everyone!
      Seems overall most have identified their reasons why they prefer UB first.
      Here, Sara you’ve given a shot at considering the alternative.. Kudos! 🙂

      Yeah seems you can be a provisional agent without being full-time. The whole idea is ludicrous after the big cases and time she has spent on cases – seeing her as part time is a joke! [ And they don’t even pay overtime so Amanda use to say! I miss that fiesty Amanda 😉 ]

      Yes I’ve heard some fans (sorry I can’t specfic who) say it is realistic that it would be 2 steps forward and 1 step back in the development of their relationship sometimes. What you say makes sense Sara.. and..
      Revisiting his parent’s deaths could indeed be ‘too much’ – even after the I love yous and events of the stemwinders…

      I think there is another argument for why stems should be first and then UB – and I’ve used this logic myself from time to time.
      This logic being- the order of the episodes should not change, and should stick to the airing order as much as possible, unless there is a good reason to change it that is solid and can only be considered an error..

      But, there is also the logic – go with what you like best and what flows for you..

      I think either logic is fine! I’ve switched between these two lines of logical reasoning over the years.. and have walked through the blog overall mainly following airing order – [early season 3 was an experiment]
      but! for UB I switched them because there was so much consensus.. However – I don’t think I’ve heard a reason why they MUST be switched and UB must come first. It’s possible to watch stems first and then make UB work as the third ep.

      But- for me, I like UB first… so much so, unless there is a reason they can’t be swapped, I consider them permanently swapped in my own head from pretty much now on.. lol.

      I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and throwing this out there to hear if anyone has any reasons why certain orders must be correct.. but my overall conclusion at this point is – there is no ‘correct’ order.. and I’m going with UB first 🙂

      Still open to hearing a reason why a certain order can’t work though- so if anyone comes up with anything please share!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can only make sense of their relationship by having UB come first. It was so incredibly jarring to end with that cuddle and That Kiss™ at the end of Stemwinder one week and then open up to an episode where they barely touch each other, even when he’s pouring his heart out during that walk in the park.

    I absolutely agree that if they had already exchanged the I love you’s the whole hypnosis conversation loses all its emotional punch and humor. She would already know she was his ‘Manda’ (single pullout bed in that flophouse, anyone? 😀) and she really wouldn’t have “one more thing” to ask.

    All of that aside, I think that Lee getting that closure about his parents really made it possible for him to tell Amanda he loved her. Whether he was aware of it or not, learning that your parents were good, decent people and that he once had a warm loving family like Amanda’s made it easier for him both to accept that he was lovable (which I think he doubted) and also able to love Amanda properly (which he definitely doubted, thus the “long, long time” of denial.)

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with everything you wrote, clagjanet, Just want to add some of my additional thoughts to your last sentence:

      “… Whether he was aware of it or not, learning that your parents were good, decent people and that he once had a warm loving family like Amanda’s made it easier for him both to accept that he was lovable (which I think he doubted) and also able to love Amanda properly (which he definitely doubted, thus the “long, long time” of denial.)”

      Lee’s choice to date “no strings attached” girls for so many years is a reflection of his own perception that he was unlovable and even “lacked pedigree.” Then Amanda comes along and, as much as Lee is fascinated and steadily drawn to her, with backyard visits no less (first half of S1 “Sudden Death” & SBTB); it is her gentle guidance and love for him that matures him into knowing he is worthy of love (her loving forgiveness in “Burn Out” for example). Learning the truth of his early childhood family restored his pedigree (or sense of self-worth) and, having observed Amanda’s loving family, in “Unfinished Business” he finally realizes he can have that. Simultaneously, Lee has been (dual meaning here) critical in Amanda’s maturation as an intelligence operative and the poised woman Joe King no longer recognizes. I love that this hasn’t been a one way street; Lee and Amanda each had something vital to offer that facilitated the other’s growth as a human being. In the process, a business partnership grew into a loving personal friendship, which is blossoming into a “the two shall become one” type of everlasting love. Their honest, uneven progression from strangers to lovers is what keeps S&MK’s underlying theme timeless — for me, anyway!

      Liked by 4 people

      • So beautifully stated Nancy and clagjanet! I’ve always watched UB first, even back in the day of rewatching worn out tapes because it was the only way the story made sense.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Don’t have clagjanet’s expertise to use the “Liked by” jule, so I will reply here with a big thank you for your kind words. Also agree that it makes the most sense with UB viewed first.

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  6. The thing that really bugged me about season 3 and 4 as originally aired was Lee was running so hot and cold (cue Katy Perry song) and that drove me nuts. There is no way I could get close to someone that was all over the place emotionally – way too exhausting, and it doesn’t matter how good looking he was. Having Unfinished Business coming before Stemwinders is just so much better. it was such a let down the other way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Having Unfinished Business coming before Stemwinders is just so much better. it was such a let down the other way.”

      I agree, Cindy!

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