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2/5 The Third “Annual” Golden Teacup Awards TM -Silver Teaspoon TM edition By CindyDee


LEGAL DISCLAIMER AND PREAMBLE – aka BLAH BLAH BLAH aka Does anyone even pay attention to this part?

The following Golden Teacup/Silver Teaspoon Awards posts are written by a guest author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of IWSOD or the blog Justwalkwithme.com. IWSOD and JWWM are not responsible for any disagreements, arguments or legal action that may ensue.

It is further acknowledged that the scoring for the Golden Teacups and Silver Teaspoons aren’t really based on any rubric or other detailed analysis or scoring criteria, it is more how CindyDee was feeling at the moment these were written.

If for any reason any of the Golden Teacup winners are disqualified, the Silver Teaspoon recipient with the highest overall score will move into 5th place and the other Goldies will be shifted accordingly.

And now on to the rest of the post.

Welcome to the Third “Annual” Golden TeacupTM Awards.  Again, I am your host Cindy Dee.

We see many of the plots of Season Three fall into two main categories – personal betrayal (“All the World’s a Stage”, “Fast Food for Thought”, “Dead Men Leave No Trails”, “J. Edgar’s Ghost”, “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, and “The Eyes Have It”) and/or personal vendettas against the Agency (“We’re Off to See the Wizard”, “Tail of the Dancing Weasel”, “The Eyes Have It”, “Wrong Number”, and “The Pharaoh’s/Pharoah’s Engineer”). By creating stories that make the viewer feel personally invested, the writers hope the villains will invoke stronger emotions and be more threatening and compelling.

Another trend in Season Three is more interesting female Baddies in either a main or supporting role –even if we ignore Francine and her snark (and her fashion). Female villains are featured in 7 of 22 episodes – “Welcome to America, Mr. Brand”, “Sour Grapes”, “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, “Playing for Keeps”, “Fast Food for Thought”, “Reach for the Sky” and “Triumvirate” (actually 8 if you count Leslie O’Connor in “Over the Limit” – Smile ) which is up from four in Season One and tied with seven in Season Two. (I am ignoring the insipid Gwyneth in “Affair at Bromfield Hall” because she is a twit.) Whether the increased representation will translate to more awards remains to be seen

We have tweaked the format of the show this year and are starting with the Silver TeaspoonTM Awards.  The Silver Teaspoon is awarded to Baddies that were interesting or good (I mean bad) enough to deserve an award but didn’t quite make the cut for a coveted Golden TeacupTM.  Consider the Silver Teaspoon a step up from a participation ribbon – the STA is an honorable mention or the equivalent of an award given in the untelevised portion of the OscarsTM.

And , without further ado, the Silver Teaspoon recipients are :

5. Donna Clayton (Playing for Keeps)

“Playing for Keeps” is an uneven episode partly due to the sudden rewrite to deal with Kate Jackson’s absence when her father died. (And I am still bitter we didn’t get the slow dance scene that was in the script. I had hoped they would have found an excuse to stick it in a different episode.)

Ms Clayton is introduced as a hyper competent body guard – one who is a weapons expert, with a military flying background and has a black belt. (I am assuming it has something to do with her achievement in a martial arts discipline rather than fashion because I am sure her all belts are tan.)

I am not sure if I am more impressed with Donna taking charge and taking out assassin/saboteur Steckler (if that is even his real name coughRostovcough!) or her matchy match hair/neckerchief/lipstick/jacket. (Why the script insists that Donna is in western wear, I guess we’ll never know. Maybe it was to hide a certain tattoo on her arm? Or a hickey on her neck? Another unsolved SMK mystery. And the purse! Oh My Heck, SMK, it always cracks me up when you have the female agents or bodyguards running around in the field carrying big clunky purses. I know it was the 1980s, but surely there had to be a better way!)

What I also love about Donna is this gal takes no flack from anyone. Even though I believe she was going to get rid of Steckler from the beginning and take the credit and the money from the kill, it must have been satisfying to blow him up after he was such a condescending jerk and proclaimed he was running the show.

4. Fast Food for Thought – Carla

Ahhh, Carla. She is immediately suspicious of Lee and Amanda when they flubbed how they heard about the convention — Wow, just think Lee, if you had discussed the details of the case during the car ride or even in the parking lot like Amanda SUGGESTED, ASKED, BEGGED this wouldn’t have happened. But I can see how you were caught unaware, because off the top of my head, I can list FOUR other times you leaving Amanda out of the loop almost blew your cover. I hate to break this to you Lee, even pigeons learn from negative reinforcement, (or is an example of positive punishment?)

(TANGENT ALERT) Maybe IWSOD wants to chime in as I am flashing back to my introductory university psych course and not sure I have this completely correct. My simplified layman’s understanding of operant conditioning is that reinforcement refers to initial behavior increasing in frequency due to the interaction and punishment is decreasing the initial behavior. Positive refers to something being added as a consequence and negative means something taken away.

(from http://kristinhricko.weebly.com/operant-conditioning.html)

In this case, Lee does not tell Amanda cover, cover is almost blown and Amanda is ticked at him. So I guess since one would assume this should decrease his behavior of not telling Amanda their cover, this dynamic falls in the positive punishment category. However, Lee should make the connection that if he lets Amanda in on the ‘need-to-know’ – especially when she does need to know, this will decrease their cover being blown (which is bad) and Amanda being ticked at him (even more bad) — this would put it in the negative reinforcement realm. Ack! My poor head. But, no matter how you classify it, Lee is not learning from his mistakes and pigeons and lab rats do (heck, even single celled paramecia show learned behaviours!1 ) –so I think it is safe to guess how Scarecrow got his nickname. (end TANGENT)

So the evil Carla gets points for sleeping with Marvelous Marvin and leveraging a promotion from secretary to being in charge food processing.  I can’t give her too much credit for getting her hooks into Marvin – he is a very lonely man and naïve when it comes love (unless it involves his cheeseburgers) but then again, she had to fake being overjoyed sleeping in a bed with Marvelous MarvinTM bedsheets no matter what the thread count. So kudos to her for that – I am not sure how many people could make that sacrifice. She lost BadGal cred for getting involved with Eddie Le Grande–regional sales manager or not – girl, keep your eye on the prize! Eddie wasn’t even that good looking! Unless she somehow needed Eddie’s connections to find out the chief chemist’s Cecil’s background in chemical weapons, but I think I am over reaching.

I guess she had to get involved with Barry “Dumb –Dumb” Metz to execute her plan because he was in charge of food distribution but ‘dating’ father then son (especially this father/son duo) — oh ICK! There are absolutely no redeeming factors here. You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty low, impressive, but low. Hey, if this extortion business doesn’t work out, I bet you can get a guest spot on Jerry Springer!

She lost major baddie points for arguing in front of Lee’s open window considering she knew Eddie was a former agent and she was already suspicious of Lee and Amanda.

Do you think Carla’s fatal flaw might have something to do with her hotheadedness and impatient and impulsive nature?

But Marvin is not completely blameless in this outing. You know, if your head chemist is so angry he’s going to poison your customers, your son hates your guts and your former lover cheats on you with your son and tries to ruin you and your company, maybe it’s you. And Marvin spilling his guts to Amanda? –it certainly is not a way to promote company unity to a potential franchise owner. How horrible to tell complete strangers what a disappointment your son is – I bet Barry has heard that all his life.

Marvin’s rant ”So, uh, maybe it’s time for this old buzzard to kick Carla and Barry out of the nest and ….see if they can fly by themselves” also really bugs me. Maybe Barry is a putz, but Dude – in case you haven’t noticed, Carla is now in charge, you are just a figure head. Yes, Barry is a freeloader, but Carla is actually in the background running your company very efficiently. No wonder she gets ticked that you are going to toss her to the curb. She is working her buns (no pun intended) off and this is how you thank her?

Maybe in the beginning, Carla got involved with Marvin so he could be her sugar daddy, or she would marry and then divorce him for a huge settlement. Or she figured she would get close to him to embezzle funds from the company (despite her impulsiveness, I do believe she is smart enough to pull it off), but being with Marvin made her vicious enough to want to stick it to him where it hurts (in the double cheese burger with secret sauce) despite the huge risks in her plan.

She does get a little murdery in the end, but I figure by this time she is so annoyed with all the loser Metzes she’s had to put up and wasting years of her life smelling greasy cheeseburgers and secret sauce and wearing stupid company clothes with creepy anthropomorphic hamburgers on them are enough to put anyone over the edge.

3. The Third Silver Teaspoon goes to Looks at teleprompter, hisses at producer to come over. “Really?!?, You’ve got to be kidding me! Do I have to? Fine! But I am not happy about this!”

J Edgar’s Ghost – Nick “Ewwwwww!” Cross

What a skeezy creep.   Nicky’s M.O. is trolling Gin joints on M Street, picking up lonely women and using them for their contacts and access to classified information. Poor stereotypical clichéd librarian Agnes is no match for his slimy ways. Somehow Nicky knew to target Agnes out of all the single women working at the agency (or did he string dozens of women along and do the same thing to them? – busy guy!), he romanced her for months while drugging her and going through her files so he could blackmail Very Important People in the government, military and corporate world. She so wants to believe in him and that he loves her, he is able to convince her to give him another chance after he ran away from Lee in the bar (not suspicious at all!) and bugged her purse (just means he cares, right? BARF!).   To add insult to injury, he cuffs Agnes to a pipe, sets off a smoke bomb, leaves her to die, threatens to shoot her and then uses her as a hostage. And to top it all off yells at her when she is driving…

Nope – sorry folks I just can’t do it ! I just can’t reward the sleazoid Nick Cross yanks earpiece out of ear, storms off stage.

Sorry about that folks, we’ve had a slight miscalculation. The only reason Tricky Nicky was successful was due to plot holes the size of Wisconsin – (come on writers! You can do better!!) and Lee making mistakes that a rookie would be ashamed to admit. As an honorary G.o.L.D. (Guardian of Lee’s Dignity) associate, I object to Nicky being here. So Nick Cross is getting CROSSED off this list.  You don’t deserve a Spoonie.  Jerk!

I checked with our lawyers (well, the imaginary lawyer that lives in my head) not only can I do whatever I want in these award shows, there is precedence. She who-must-not-be-named in “Lost and Found” did not get an shout out in season one for the simple reason I hate her guts (and not in a good way) and the truly awful Sinclair in “Brunettes Are In” did not make the cut because he is so distasteful it makes the episode un-rewatchable for me. So I have decided that Nick Cross will join them in the persona non grata category.

My first attempt to rescind the Nicky’s silver spoon was labelled ‘juvenile and petty’ by my 13 year old. I will let you decide which one you prefer.

No matter which way you slice it, he ain’t getting an award so let’s move on.

The third Silver Teaspoon instead goes to

3. Welcome to America, Mr. Brand – Kenneth Clayton-Dobbs, the Seventh Earl of Tuickensham and Chairman of the International Conference on Economic Progress.

Actually, I am glad Nick Cross was so revolting, it made me carefully consider the other baddies and I realized I had overlooked this gem in this less-than-favourite episode. Let’s take a closer look at Kenneth Clayton-(no relation to Donna) Dobb’s CV (compiled by James Brand, Francine and T.P. Aquinas)

KCD was born in 1934 to a poor coal miner’s family and hated being poor and hated ‘the bloody aristocrats who exploited his family’. There are obviously some good genetics going on here because Kenneth does not look 50 to me. Maybe coal dust is good for the complexion.

Anyhow, he cheated on his entrance exams (ummm, how is this common knowledge? But whatever!) and

got into Cambridge where he hobnobbed with the upper crust, lied about his background, joined the right snooty pretentious clubs and convinced his fellow students he was an Earl.

After Cambridge, the ‘Earl’ started causing mayhem at the tender age of 22. (but I will entertain the notion that James got his decades mixed up. )

He caused turmoil in the Suez in ’56, the Congo in ’60, Rhodesia in ’65, and in Beirut in ’75 (at the age of 41) he, orchestrated the scandal that nearly destroyed the Bank of Great Britain. 1983-ish, he practiced his magic in Luxembourg and caused the default on the World Bank Loan.

But this is only a partial list of his accomplishments. Sometime before 1984 he hung a ton of paper in Beirut (I had to look that phrase up, apparently it means writing bad checks. LOL – seems kind of tame in comparison to the other trouble he’s mucked up – what his cheques to BlockBusterTM bounced? But, wait a sec – Block Buster went bankrupt. Oooooh – he is good!), was involved in extortion in Athens, phony gold certificates in Johannesburg and became a special consultant to the Secretary of the Treasury with priority clearance which allows him access to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving.

He is also besties with Charles and Di.

The guy has been BUSY! I feel like such an underachiever. Sad smile

He even has an M.O. when he wants to dispatch someone or blow things up– how cool is that? I want an M.O. (but probably not to kill people or cause explosions!) Though it does limit his targets to those who have gas stoves and full sacks of sugar, but I guess Kenneth could bring the sugar along with him.

The mystery deepens because apparently the real Earl died in a bizarre bordello accident in 1957, years after Kenneth started his impersonation. Lucky break, or either TP or James got their dates a little mixed up. But hey, it’s only numbers, it’s not like an accountant at MI6 or someone working at the Library of Congress would have to be precise with facts. But then again, maybe KCD murdered the real Earl and the bizarre bordello accident involved gas and a bag of sugar. Now THAT is an impressive attention to detail!

2. Pharaoh’s engineer – Frank Duran

Speaking of grudges, our next villain has been plotting his revenge for 20 years which means he had it in for the agency since the tender age of 18 or 19. I am not sure what the reason was, maybe he was ticked his carpet pattern wasn’t chosen for the agency hallways or maybe it was simply the challenge of destroying something that was deemed to be indestructible.

I think Frank owes a huge debt of gratitude to Kate Jackson. She directed this episode and the lighting, camera angles and suspenseful music in the opening set the tone for him snagging the award.  But what really cinched his spot for a spoonie is this shot.

I imagine if he were really mad, smoke would also come out of his ears. Yes, this is totally arbitrary and capricious, but for some this reason impressed the heck out of me and Frank now has a Spoonie.

Frank is a contradiction. He doesn’t kill Rupert, just scrambles his brains for a week or so, but has no compunction about killing Leo, or potentially killing thousands of people at the Agency and putting a serious dent in America’s intelligence community. Maybe he has a soft spot for older people (do you think back in the old days Lois and Glynis used to ply him with baked goods?) and he certainly knows that just because people are senior citizens and have retired doesn’t mean they can’t be incredibly useful .

But alas and alack, his cheapskate nature did him in. He really should have paid the extra few bucks for the unbreakable safety glass on his gas mask.

And our Number One Spoonie is:

All the World’s a Stage – Krutiov

Sorry to burst your bubble, Comrade!, but you don’t even crack the top 5 baddies this season no matter what voodoo Jedi mind tricks you are trying — and yes, I do always put my left hand in my pocket!  Maybe because Ted Glazer came before you and was more ‘hands on’ and used stupid duck props, this manipulating people from a distance is a big yawn fest in the drama department.  Though you do get points for finesse – if for some reason this had worked, Maria and the United States government would not realize she had been compromised (I assume you would have Tony ‘taken care of’ to tie up any loose ends).   And of course you get extra points for setting up the ‘rehearsal’ scene in the Q Bureau but promptly lost them for subjecting us to Tony’s absurd play (Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!).  But don’t despair, you came really close to getting a Golden Teacup Award until someone else vaulted above you several places.  So go ahead, practice your ‘precise psychological equation’ mumbo jumbo on me to get that last coveted spot.

The anticipation is growing. Who will get the coveted Golden Teacup Award for season three? Who will be crowned Top Baddie? Will the Laser Shark Awardtm be given out this year or will it be retired with the kooky Gordon Redding? (Stayed tuned to the next post coming up soon!)

1. see Ginsburg, Simona; Jablonka, Eva (2009). “Epigenetic learning in non-neural organisms”. Journal of Biosciences. 34 (4): 633–646. .)

1/5 The Third “Annual” Golden Teacup Awards TM -Preshow By CindyDee

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The anticipation hangs in the air as people get ready for the number one ranked awards show dealing exclusively with the Villains of Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
I am your host, Cindy Dee.

Wow, how time flies, it’s only been three years since the last GTAs. 😉  — NOTE TO SELF: remember to insert lame and slightly inappropriate joke about sticking to Lee Stetson like a 10 week old tan (what the heck does that even mean!?!) and wait for polite nervous laughter from the audience.

Like any other prestigious awards gala, we have decided to   s–t–r–e–t–c–h   the proceedings to boost ratings and add a pre-show.   Whoops! Strike that. I mean to say I am paying homage to IWSOD’S trend of breaking down each episode to an increasing number of sections (which I heartedly approve – can you believe “The First Time” had only ONE post?), by splitting this awards extravaganza into three parts (or maybe four. We’ll see how it goes).

I am sure by the time the season 4 GTAs roll around, we will have a pre-preshow , the preshow a recap of all the previous season award winners

SEGUE ALERT: Speaking of recaps, let’s take a moment to revisit our honoured past recipients.

Season One

I must admit I was a little nervous because I couldn’t find the link and thought for sure I had done a baddies list for season one.  Then I figured an AU me must have not done so in an alternate universe and somehow we got swapped.  Hey – it happens a lot more than people think! (Just check out Star Trek: Deep Space Nine if you don’t believe me.) Then I remembered the first awards were not formally called the Golden Teacups and I was able to track them down. Needless to say I am relieved that the cosmic strings separating our universes are relatively stable and I am not totally losing my nut (at least not about this).
Visit the Season One Awards HERE.

Season Two

Visit the Season Two Awards Part One HERE

Visit the Season Two Awards Part Two HERE

Season Three

Season Three saw many changes in the progression of Lee and Amanda’s relationship (about TIME!) but we also see an evolution in the baddies.  They have become more menacing and believable and less fanciful — I fear the days of the delightful Zinieov (“Saved by the Bells”) are no more. Even though the BaddiephoneTM and Teadrinking Villians still make the occasional appearance, the only BadlydressedbadguyTM we see in Season Three is Francine Desmond.  

GASP! Oooh yes! I just did go there! Controversy already – the GTA preshow just got POLITICAL! – I know some of us are loyal Francine fans, but seriously, just the number of times she got in the way of Lee and Amanda’s relationship developing to the next level (Francine – just GO AWAY ALREADY!!)  and the catty comments to Amanda deserves a mention on this page.  Remember when she made fun of Amanda’s quilted satin pajamas in “Welcome to America, Mr. Brand”?  Hmmmm.  Do you remember? Here is the outfit to refresh your memory.

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Okay, to be honest, Amanda actually deserved to be razzed for that outfit.  It was pretty awful. 

It’s Interactive Quiz Time: Let’s play – Can You Spot the Real Amanda King? (aka Who Wore it Better?)

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No cheating! I’ve upped the difficulty level and given them both guest passes. Answer is at the end of this post.

Despite Amanda’s unfortunate outfit (which was thankfully ruined), Francine should not be so quick to throw stones.

Keeping in the tradition of the pre-awards show focusing on fashion (or lack thereof), I present just a small sample of Francine’s ensembles from season three (thank-you IWSOD for the use of your wonderful screen caps)

From “Utopia Now”
I call this lovely entry “All Hail, the Paramecium Queen. Bow Down to your Paramecium Queen” clip_image008

Here is a close up so you can truly appreciate the cilia. And the earrings (though we have figured Francine’s earrings are actually high tech miniaturized weapons so I can give those a pass).clip_image010

From “Tail of the Dancing Weasel”clip_image012And here you thought a black and white outfit couldn’t clash. That, my friends, takes talent!

Francine is truly fashion forward and ahead of her time because I am sure her sleeves are made up of QR codes. What secrets are encrypted on that dress? Points to Beaman for not being distracted by the pattern mishmash.

Speaking of Beaman – have you checked out his IMDB profile page?  How can you go from this:clip_image013to this clip_image014!?!
Wait! Wha!?! How is this even possible? I would love to see a fanfic when Francine bumps into Beaman after all these years. I guess the Francine/Beaman shippers were onto something.

Our Francine is certainly not afraid of colour. Here is a couple from her Mellow Yellow Phase.
“A Lovely Little Affair”
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and “All the World’s a Stage”
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Though technically I am not sure the second outfit is yellow. It actually defies description.

Francine.  No.  Just no. I call this one “Measles on a Muppet” (J. Edgar’s Ghost).clip_image020

And it just keeps getting better…
From “The Boy Who Would Be King”
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This outfit shows off Francine’s competitive streak. Not only is her ensemble really handy when she has to do surveillance in plain sight on a 1970s couch, she is giving T.P. “Fashion Plate” Aquinus a run for his money for “Worst Outfit of the Day”. Gotta keep her unbeaten streak alive! At least when Lee wore Dan’s, I mean Dean’s plaid jacket, he knew he looked stupid.

Oh my heck, this photo still cracks me up!

Another entry in the “I got this in the upholstery department” :clip_image026
Guess what? – Those aren’t your grandmother’s curtains, that isn’t even a skirt. Those are pants, people!
(“Flight to Freedom” – there were a LOT of fashion crimes going on in that episode. )

And finally from our favourite “Meh” episode of the season, “Three Little Spies”clip_image027clip_image028

I call this outfit “HuntsTM Tomato Paste Goes Out to Sea.”  It appears to be made of sweater type material. I am seriously crying right now, I am laughing so hard. And what is even more impressive she was even able to find shiny matchy match lipstick.  This doesn’t happen by accident — this outfit took some careful planning. (And the pearls to class it up. Crying folks! I am crying!)

And finally…

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This lovely look is also from “Three Little Spies” Do you Martha Smith must have really ticked off the wardrobe department that week? Well, at least the stripes are straight.   (From a sewing perspective, that is actually hard to do.) 

But, believe it or not, this isn’t a post about Francine’s Fashion Faux Pas.  Well, I guess maybe it is. How did I even get here? Oh, I was talking about Badlydressedbadguys. Right… Hmmmm, my family may be onto something when they claim I am easily distracted and often go off on tangents.

Ooh, I am being told by my producer that we are ready to start the show!

I hope you enjoyed the preshow, are there any Francine favourite (or not-so favourite) looks that I missed? How about from other cast members? Stay tuned for the Silver Teaspoon Awards coming up.

—Answer to “It’s Interactive Quiz Time: Let’s play – Can You Spot the Real Amanda King aka Who Wore it Better?” is B. Amanda is on the right —

SMK How to Be A Spy Part two by Jestress: Your Fellow Agents

(Note about the Notes: These are meant to be notes for a beginning spy to introduce certain concepts of espionage. Since they are based mostly on the world of SMK, do not expect these rules to be useful in real life. They apply only to the Agency. Jestress will not be responsible for any consequences that make occur should any of you try to incorporate these concepts into your daily life. On the other hand, it could be entertaining, and if you’re successful, the CIA, NSA, FBI, MI-5, MI-6, or any number of other fun and interesting organizations or individuals may want to speak to you. But, on your own head be it.)

How to Be a Spy: A special introductory guide for new agents.
Information supplied by Field Section of the Agency.
Contributing Agents:
William Melrose (Head of Field Section, “Lancer”)
Francine Desmond
Lee Stetson (“Scarecrow”)
Amanda King

Part 2
Your Fellow Agents
Support Your Fellow Spies!
Espionage is a business where trust, or the lack of it, is everything. We expect loyalty from our agents – loyalty to our country, loyalty to the Agency, and loyalty to your fellow agents. You need to be able to rely on your co-workers to get the job done, and they need to be able to rely on you. When facing dangerous situations, your second greatest resource, after your own mind and abilities, is your fellow agents.

Working with a Partner
Most of you will eventually be working in a partnership with a fellow agent. Some agents prefer to be “lone wolves” and work by themselves, but there are benefits to having a partner. A partner can back you up in dangerous situations and help make a cover story more convincing. Workloads feel less heavy when they’re divided between two people instead of one person bearing the burden all by himself.

Not only can a partner provided needed help in handling the workload of a case, but they can also provide personal support. Espionage is often a lonely, stressful business. Agents cannot discuss their work with any unauthorized person, even with their families, and having a partner gives you someone to confide in about your missions, work related issues, and even personal feelings about the job, which can help relieve the stress.

Dividing Up the Workload
“We’ve got to divide the work.”
— Lee Stetson, Reach for the Sky

Partners share equal responsibility for the success of their missions. How you divide the workload between the two of you will depend upon each partner’s strengths and weaknesses and the tasks that you need to accomplish. One of the advantages of working with another person is that partners can complement each other. One partner may be a particularly good speaker, someone who is skilled in languages or at playing certain roles. The other partner may be more skilled with weapons, tailing suspects, or interrogation. Together, the two of them can do more than either of them could do alone.

When you are paired with another agent, speak openly about your skills and ask them about theirs. Admitting to weak points needn’t be cause for embarrassment. While you may be less skilled at certain tasks than you would like, your partner will also have weaknesses. It’s best in the long run if partners are weak and strong in different areas so the partnership can have a greater range of skills. Partners who are strong in the same areas have little need of each other, and the other person simply becomes redundant.

Appreciate your partner’s skills and hard work! Remember that when you work as a team, your partner’s accomplishments add to your own. Do everything you can to support your partner’s efforts and add to the success of your team.

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Partners and Cover Stories
“Well, it’ll look stupid, me going bowling alone.”
— Lee Stetson, Playing Possum

There are certain types of cover stories that it is impossible to pull off with one person alone. A lone, strange guest at a party would stand out like a sore thumb amid groups of friends and couples. Any cover story involving married couples or romantic partners is absolutely impossible without an appropriate partner. A regular partner can help you with any cover that involves a group activity. Because agents are forbidden to use spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, family, and friends from outside the Agency as part of their cover for a mission, you will need someone you can count on at the Agency to reliably play the part.

Bowling 

SOSWedding2 

LeeAmandaNeighborhood 

When you work with the same partner over a long period, you begin to get to know the other persons habits, their mannerisms, and the way they think. All of these things can help you when you are forced to ad-lib while playing a cover. Partners who understand each other can communicate information subtly to each other, which can be a great advantage.

Of course, there may be times when you will have to recruit a temporary partner for a cover instead of your regular partner. For example, a partnership of two men wouldn’t be able to pose as a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. Although you may be accustomed to working with your usual partner and feel comfortable because you know the other person’s skills and habits, working with a temporary partner can be a refreshing change and offer you the chance to develop some flexibility in your own skills.

Providing Backup
“An agent never makes a move without a backup.”
— Lee Stetson, One Bear Dances, One Bear Doesn’t

In this line of work, you will frequently find yourself in dangerous situations, and there are few things more reassuring than knowing that there’s someone trustworthy with you who can watch your back. Partners can watch each other’s backs literally by providing each other with protection and assistance in combat situations.

When providing backup for your partner, communication is key. Ideally, partners should stay together, literally watching each other’s backs. They should discuss their movements ahead of time, as much as possible, so that each of them understands what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. They should also have an emergency plan for if the worst happens and they either have to fight it out or make a run for it. If a situation turns bad, there might not be time to communicate much to your partner, so it’s best if the partners each understand their roles before the mission begins.

Sometimes it is necessary for partners to separate temporarily on a mission. When this happens, communication is even more important. Each partner should understand what they will be doing and what their partner will be doing while they are apart and at what point they will meet up again. If possible, they should also find a way to communicate their status to each other in case of emergency, although that may not be feasible under all circumstances.

If you’re separated from your partner with no opportunity to communicate with them ahead of time, try to leave them a message about what you are doing or where to find you.

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Benefits of Teamwork
Francine Desmond: “I like to think of us as one big happy team around here. Sharing in the pain, sharing in the heartache.”
Lee Stetson: “Sharing the credit.”
Saved by the Bells

Partnerships are an extension of the teamwork that is integral to your work at the Agency. Each mission we accomplish is the product of the hard work of many people in different departments throughout the Agency. Field agents depend on Ciphers and Scenarios for cover stories, Cryptology for codes, Research and Development for the equipment we use, and Accounting for management of funds (as well as individual paychecks). Within the department, individual field agents rely on each other for intelligence and support. Most of the time, agents and their partners work in teams with other agents or partnerships of agents, all providing assistance and backup. An individual partnership is much the same, but when you work with one individual for an extended period of time, you come to know the person better than you will know any of your other co-workers.

LeeAmandaFFFT 

Your partner may turn out to be the best friend you’ve ever had. They can not only provide backup in dangerous situations but in a more routine way by shouldering their part of the workload, adding credence to their partner’s cover story on a mission, helping their partner to make crucial decisions in difficult situations, and even keeping an eye on their partner’s mental and physical health. As mentioned before, espionage is a stressful occupation. Having someone to share the mental as well as the physical burdens of the job can be a real life saver. Agents who have a reliable partner are less likely to burn out than those who try to go it alone.

Some partners becomes so close that they are almost a second family. In this business, that can be both a strength and a liability. It is a strength in that partners who are close work extremely smoothly together, practically predicting each other’s moves before they make them, and providing emotional support in difficult times, both personally and professionally. However, it can also be a liability because change is a constant in this business. You may not be able to work with the same partner for every mission, and the demands of the job may place you with a different partner. Even worse is the possibility that one of you may not survive a mission. In such cases, the remaining partner feels extreme guilt, even though the loss of their partner was not their fault.

We all know the risks of our profession, and we accept them because we believe that the service we provide for our country is worth the risks. Know that your partner understands the risks as well as you do and accepts them. The purpose of your partnership is to perform your jobs well and to serve your country. Whatever else happens, as long as you both do your jobs to the best of your ability and support each other’s efforts as well as you can, you can consider your partnership successful.

A partner’s a guy who laughs at your jokes, he loans you his socks, and one day, he takes a bullet through the head for you.”
— Lee Stetson, The First Time

Disloyalty and Moles
In a profession where the ability to trust your associates is paramount, there are naturally heavy penalties for disloyalty. Having seen the benefits of working in teams and with partners, you can understand why there is extreme hatred for anyone who would intentionally harm their fellow agents and destroy their work. Dante said that traitors were destined for the lowest circle of hell, and most of your fellow agents would agree with him.

When it appears that someone within your circle of associates is leaking information or actively sabotaging missions, fingers of blame will be pointed in all directions until the traitor is found.

Although anyone could potentially turn into a traitor if offered the right bribe or pressured with the right threats, there are certain characteristics that an inside informant would be more likely to have. We’ll cover two of the most common types:

The “Faithful Servant” Type
The textbook tells us, in situations like this, it’s always someone obscure. . . . Dealing with unimportant information. Always there, but not really doing very much. Pleasant, unassuming, easy to overlook. Loyal, faithful.”
— Francine Desmond, Spiderweb
Like your dog . . .”
— Amanda King, Spiderweb

On the surface, a traitor will act friendly and helpful to gain your trust, but when you consider what they really do and their personal interests, you begin to look at the person behind the façade. They will do their work well enough to remain in good standing with the Agency, but will work on few things of real importance. Mostly, they’re hanging around in the hope of gathering helpful information for the people who are paying them.

They might genuinely believe in the ideals of the people who employ them, or they might be in it just for the money. To find out which it is, you’ll have to take a look both at their bank accounts and expenditures (which may be much higher than they should be for their salary) and at their associates and where they spend their time outside of work.

Part of the difficulty in catching this type of traitor is that they can blend in very well with their surroundings, fitting in with the regular personnel at the Agency. People trust them and often like them, although if you talk to their co-workers, they often know very little about the person’s personal life. This type of traitor is often identified both by the type of job they perform and by their activities outside of the Agency. Often, they clash.

Keep an eye on your co-workers and report anything suspicious, even if it’s someone you ordinarily like. The idea may make you uncomfortable, but the stakes are too high to risk overlooking a possible threat. National security and the lives of you and your co-workers are in danger if one of our people turn against us or if our enemies manage to slip one of their confederates into our midst.

Amanda King: “Well, I’d just like to go on the record as saying that I regard Lee as a friend. And as such, I’m a little uncomfortable in snitching and spying on a friend.”
Francine Desmond: “Oh, don’t be. That is standard operating procedure around here.”
— If Thoughts Could Kill
MargaretSpiderweb 

The Disgruntled Employees
Former agents who have been dismissed from the Agency and agents who are currently dissatisfied with their jobs are always a risk. Sometimes, they are bitter enough to help our enemies, not just for personal gain but for revenge, hoping to do as much damage to their former co-workers as possible. Inwardly, they tell themselves that the Agency is the true traitor for turning against them. If the other side is willing to pay them for their help, it’s just icing on the cake.
HarryTegernsee

DavidMole

DoubleAgent
Catching this type of traitor involves keeping an eye on current agents whose work as been suffering and have showing signs of emotional disturbance. Sometimes, people who have been reprimanded for performing poorly take it as a personal insult or try to claim that they are being unjustly accused of negligence in their work. These people are vulnerable to outside coercion, and some are angry or unstable enough to seek employment with enemies as revenge for perceived wrongs they’ve suffered at the Agency. They are extremely dangerous because they possess not only inside information about the Agency and it’s mission but because they have direct access to those missions and the agents involved.

The Agency tries to keep track of former agents whose services have already been terminated for the similar reasons, although they no longer have direct access to the Agency or it’s personnel. When they sell their services to an enemy, it’s often their general knowledge of the Agency or the Agency’s personnel that are of interest. Protect yourself and your colleagues by not sharing too much information about your personal life with people who may later turn out to be untrustworthy. Similarly, do not share information about a mission with anyone who is not currently involved with it, especially if that person no longer works for the Agency. Former employment with the Agency and past friendships are not sufficient reasons for putting yourself or your colleagues at risk. Generally, it’s best to spot people who are potential risks early. If you notice unusual behavior from a co-worker or signs of mental instability, report it to your superior as soon as possible.

The Penalties for Disloyalty
Because moles and traitors endanger not only the missions of their co-workers, but their very lives and the safety of their country, the penalties are severe. Sometimes, even the idea of sending these traitors to spend years in prison may seem lenient to the agents who have to ferret them out. Although you may be tempted to take retribution yourself by killing them once you have discovered their identity, we prefer that you apprehend them and/or report them to your superiors. Remember that one of the purposes of the Agency is uphold law and order. We do not condone vigilante justice.

Training New Recruits
It will be the duty of every agent to actively participate on a regular basis in training and screening of new recruits at Station 1.”
— Francine Desmond, quoting from the full field manual, A Class Act

Once you have passed your training and are a full agent, you will be expected to occasionally help train new recruits. It is an opportunity to pass on the skills you have learned and to prepare new agents for the work that lies before them. Their training will be very similar to yours, and you will be expected to give an evaluation of their potential and their progress.

Some of you will be instructors, and some of you will pose as “ringers” – going undercover as trainees in the classes so you can evaluate the real trainees from a different perspective. This is a simple assignment that many regular agents find enjoyable. By posing as a fellow trainee, you can get closer to the trainees, learn more about them on a personal level, and spot potential talents that even their instructors might miss.

By helping to train new recruits, you are helping to shape the Agency’s future and the future of your country!
ClassActTraining2

ClassActTraining1

Outside Confederates
Although most of your work will be done alongside other Agency personnel, there may be times when you will have to work with people outside the Agency. These people may be employees of other government departments or private security firms. You may even find yourself working with agents from other nations allied with ours. The Agency expects all of its personnel to maintain good professional relationship with all of our associates.
EmilyGeisterschloss

MrBrand
Sometimes, you will also be working with people are not security professionals. In this business, you will associate with a wide variety of people, including ordinary civilians in many different professions.

(More about this in Sources of Information – coming soon!)

Special thanks to Learjet for helping me with the posting and to Iwsod for letting me steal borrow her pictures. 😉

Thanks again, Jestress, for sharing this wonderful series of posts with us! Does anyone have any thoughts on fellow agents? Who would you like to work with? Mr Brand or Scarecrow? {Learjet: Scarecrow, Scarecrow!!}We’ll hear more from Jestress soon. Meanwhile, remember to check out the random blog posts which BJo is updating every Tuesday, and comment. Bye!