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David T. Cole

Season Two: Partners, Like it or Not

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I think this season had some of my best episodes. The BEST being "Odds On a Dead Pigeon" where Kate proved how really a great actress she is--playing an assassin pretending to be Amanda.  Then there's "Burnout", "DOA: Delirious On Arrival", "Brunettes Are In", The Europe episodes...

 

Though to this day I still want to know what possessed Kate Jackson to hack off her gorgeous hair and give us that horrid Annie do in the last eight episodes.  It seemed cutting off her hair, turned her into the more competent agent, if you will. She was still bumbling, an embarrassment to Lee, which made no sense in "A Class Act", and I love "Ship of Spies." So much goodness in season two!

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When I was watching it in the 80's (ack), I thought season 3 was my favorite, but as I rewatch them over the years I think I prefer season 2. Great chemistry but still interesting plots....

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Just started watching this season last night, and "Charity Begins at Home" is here, and just from Lee's hair style, it's clear to me that this was probably supposed to be the season one finale.  Bastet, do you know if that's true?

 

Also, for the life of me, I could have sworn all the European episodes had been aired one after the other, instead of airing other episodes in between.

 

And oh damn, "Brunettes are in" is on, and damned if Lee isn't an outright ASSHOLE to Amanda. Just like in "The Artful Dodger."

 

And I will comment on my thoughts tomorrow, as this show needs my FULL attention!

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GHSR - are you watching on DVD / streaming or is it airing somewhere?

 

I'm watching it on my dvds...I know before all the seasons were available, that you could watch it for free on Amazon instant video if you were a prime member. But now you have to pay which sucks.

 

I wish MeTV would start airing this. or Cozi.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule

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I love season two. I really do.  You can see the attraction that both Lee and Amanda feel for each other, in the way they look at each other, and they way they touch each other. Actually, Lee is always touching Amanda this season. Be it a hand on her arm, elbow, against her back.  And that moment in "Affair at Bromfield Hall", when Amanda is telling Lee she doesn't think Lady Bromfield loves Lord Bromfield...they way she goes on about how people who care about each other, touch each other and proceeds to demonstrate...I admit, my inner teen/tween just squees.

 

And you can see that Amanda is still quite naïve, and sometimes, Lee appreciates her, other times he's rolling his eyes and acts as if he doesn't want to be saddled with her...yet, it's after that horrid, horrid haircut, that snap! It seems Amanda got surge in self-confidence and is considered real agent material. It's quite a disconnect for me because they aren't aired in fucking order! We have about two or three of Amanda with her longish hair, thrown in after that fugly cut, as well as Lee's shifting attitude toward Amanda.

 

We see that Francine finally appreciates and sees Amanda as someone who could be a good agent in "Life of the Party", but then the show regresses in that fast food episode, where she and Amanda are locked in a freezer and one would think it's season one, and how this supposedly crack agent, goes off on a rant about "people leaving" instead of using her brain to try and get out is definitely a head scratcher for me.

 

And don't get me started on "A Class Act", which undoes(?) the ability Amanda has from Season 1's "The Magic Bus." WHERE, Amanda was NOT out of shape, how she was able to aggressively drive that RV and keep the military from stopping her. Lee had to correct Francine's assumption that it was Lee driving; it was actually Amanda. But here, in "A Class Act", Amanda is all ascairt in the driving obstacle course, and keeps slamming on the emergency brake...keeps bumbling and fumbling.  It's infuriating.

 

I'm midway to Season 3 now, and will post my thoughts there later.

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I have to say that "Odds on a Dead Pigeon" and "Burnout" have to be my top two favorite episodes in this season. The first because Kate is just fanfuckingtastinlyamazing as Karen. I mean Kate playing Karen, pretending to be Amanda...just wow. I mean the way her face transformed from Amanda (even if we all knew it WASN'T/couldn't BE Amanda with Kradle?Dradle?, with all that kissing...and then after shooting him, how her face just turned...cold, with that flat dead eyes look. Gave me, and still gives me the shivers. Kate's talent is just so unappreciated.  This episode also told me that Lee at least, by this point, know Amanda the best, as something was just off, when he was talking to her before she revealed herself as Karen.

 

I've always wondered if that slap that Lee gave Amanda was scripted or if he accidentally did slap her. God, I cringe whenever I see that scene and my insides literally curdle. But the story was stupid. And by that, I mean, stupid Braden? He'll always be douchey Mark Graison to me (Dallas), idea was to recruit burned out agents and then kill them after each op, instead of keeping them until they were beyond useless. I mean, assuming that Lee was actually burned out, he could have used him for more than just one job. And cheaper too. But other than that, I don't dwell on it.

 

And the funniest episode, which really should have me rolling my eyes is "DOA: Delirious on Arrival" has me laughing. Again, it's all due to Kate. I especially love this exchange after Lee brings Amanda back to the office after she ruins his meet with that one guy with a beard about Striker 1, where Amanda was picking through his lunch and eating the asparagus:

 

Lee: "You remember...the chicken sandwich?"

Amanda: "Oh, I'd like a sandwich. Heheheheh!"

Lee: "Oh Amanda."

 

And of course, the show's take on Casablanca, with Lee talking about the world being filled with chicken sandwiches doesn't measure up to...whatever. I'll have to find it and post it in the quote thread.

 

And then where she thinks Jamie, Phillip and Dotty are spies too:

 

"Why didn't you tell your mother you were spies?!"

 

Jamie: "It was a need to know, mother..."

 

I'm just amazed that I didn't explode after seeing so much chemistry between Bruce and Kate, that they finally got together a year later. Who knew I had so much patience?

 

For the bad:

 

I know I mentioned "A Class Act", but there's another that just bugged. Or maybe it's a continuity thing.  When Amanda is finally told in "Ship of Spies" by Lee that it's a honeymoon cruise and that they may have to get "married", she turns right around and says she can't do it. Since when? They've pretended to be married already in two previous episodes. The first time in the first season, and the second time, earlier in this season. And then there's the line about how Amanda feels about marriage.

 

Huh?

 

And don't get me started on whoever did the make-up for Bruce for this episode; specifically the "wedding" scene. Dude looked like he had dark brown eye shadow over his right eyes, which continues to distract me from the moment, it's so horrid. And why? WHY did they put it on him?

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Just started watching this season last night, and "Charity Begins at Home" is here, and just from Lee's hair style, it's clear to me that this was probably supposed to be the season one finale.  Bastet, do you know if that's true?

 

Is that the one where the Porsche is subjected to a long, drawn-out demise?  I remember that the protracted death of the Porsche was an inside joke, because that car was forever breaking down and delaying production and that's why they opted to give Lee a new car.  But I don't remember if it was one of the many re-ordered episodes.

 

And that moment in "Affair at Bromfield Hall", when Amanda is telling Lee she doesn't think Lady Bromfield loves Lord Bromfield...they way she goes on about how people who care about each other, touch each other and proceeds to demonstrate...I admit, my inner teen/tween just squees.

 

I just sit there and roll my eyes, because not everyone is touchy-feely (I'm certainly not; in fact, one of the easiest ways to bug me is to be touching me for no reason), so the absence of such things isn't automatically a relationship indicator.  Amanda is right in this instance, but not in her blanket statement, so I just kind of sit there and say, "No, Amanda, that's not what people do, that's what some people do."

 

The first because Kate is just fanfuckingtastinlyamazing as Karen. I mean Kate playing Karen, pretending to be Amanda...just wow. I mean the way her face transformed from Amanda (even if we all knew it WASN'T/couldn't BE Amanda with Kradle?Dradle?, with all that kissing...and then after shooting him, how her face just turned...cold, with that flat dead eyes look. Gave me, and still gives me the shivers. Kate's talent is just so unappreciated.

 

Yeah, I don't think Kate is any great thespian, but she's a solid actor and she's really good in that episode, playing three roles - Amanda, Karen, and Karen-as-Amanda - differently.  I really, really wish that episode was not filmed during the Haircut From Hell period; it would be even more watchable.

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Is that the one where the Porsche is subjected to a long, drawn-out demise?  I remember that the protracted death of the Porsche was an inside joke, because that car was forever breaking down and delaying production and that's why they opted to give Lee a new car.  But I don't remember if it was one of the many re-ordered episodes.

Yep, that's the one. It teetered on the edge of the cliff while Lee was fighting with the killer. Then did a slow roll, turning over and over until it broke into a million pieces...before it exploded. And then Billy shows up and tells Lee he was due for a new car anyway, shrugs and walks away. The look of pain on Lee's face is just priceless.

 

 

I just sit there and roll my eyes, because not everyone is touchy-feely (I'm certainly not; in fact, one of the easiest ways to bug me is to be touching me for no reason), so the absence of such things isn't automatically a relationship indicator.  Amanda is right in this instance, but not in her blanket statement, so I just kind of sit there and say, "No, Amanda, that's not what people do, that's what some people do."

I know, but it was just the way Amanda was trying not to actually touch Lee, but ended up touching him to show him what she meant, and the look on his face, her face, when she realized what she was doing before pulling away. What can I say? I was 13.

 

 

Yeah, I don't think Kate is any great thespian, but she's a solid actor and she's really good in that episode, playing three roles - Amanda, Karen, and Karen-as-Amanda - differently.  I really, really wish that episode was not filmed during the Haircut From Hell period; it would be even more watchable.

I wish I knew why she hacked off all that lovely hair. And it makes no sense, or rather, drives me batty, that they throw in two episodes pre-horrid hair cut among the last 8 or 9 episodes of the season after she hacked it off. I remember you mentioning seeing Kate jogging and her hair had grown back out (over on TWoP), and I remember asking you if you ever asked he why she did it. But she was too far away or something.

Just started the last season last night and "Stemwinder" continues to be the best, along with "Night Crawler."

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Heh; it's not something I'd have asked her about, but yes, I passed her on a hiking trail and was ridiculously relieved to see her hair had grown out. 

 

I don't know why that haircut bothers me so much; I don't like Amanda's normal hairstyle, and bad hair abounded in the '80s, but for some reason I find that cut so awful on her it actually lessens my enjoyment of the episodes.

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Heh; it's not something I'd have asked her about, but yes, I passed her on a hiking trail and was ridiculously relieved to see her hair had grown out. 

 

I don't know why that haircut bothers me so much; I don't like Amanda's normal hairstyle, and bad hair abounded in the '80s, but for some reason I find that cut so awful on her it actually lessens my enjoyment of the episodes.

 

Right, hiking trail.

 

You're not the only one it bothers. I can't stand it, and  the only episode that I can enjoy is "Burnout" and "DOA: Delirious on Arrival" because of the plot. I try not to pay too much attention to her hair.

 

I think it's totally unfair that Bruce had great hair throughout the run of the show.

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I really love some of the European episodes especially The first one and the Affair at Bromfield Hall. I love how Amanda shrugs Lee off after giving him the explanation about love and touching each other. IIRC, as they walk away, he tried to put his hand on her as usual, but she isn't having it. I enjoy these little moments where she tries to establish that they are not involved. Because they are contradicted by so so many other moments!

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Second season viewing is a bit better. Though there are episodes where Lee is a complete ass.  "Brunettes are In" comes to mind, when he's at Amanda's going through her laundry for the microdot and and throws Amanda's Hot Mama t-shirt across the room and throws Amanda's apology back in her face. Again.

 

But it was in "The Three Faces of Emily" that I could see that Amanda does have feelings for Lee--when he comes to her asking her out on a "date" and she asks him about Margo, while fixing a magnet on the fridge before looking back at him; and the way he's trying to explain why he's not seeing her anymore.

 

I really used to love "Ship of Spies" but I swear, ever since I noticed the horrific job the make-up people did on Bruce, I can't enjoy it, because I am so distracted by the eye shadow they put on him. All I can think is: WHY? I see it when they're talking outside of their room once they're on the ship; and I found myself asking if he was wearing it throughout the whole episode and it was so obvious during the wedding scene.

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I'm really enjoying this season.  And despite Kate Jackson's horrid hair cut, you can see there is a change in the relationship between Lee and Amanda; it's more...equal and less, awkwardness between them. She's even more competent.

 

And I know I've stated how much I love Kate's portrayal of Karen playing Amanda here, what I'm really enjoying this time around is watching Kate as a villain, and how very good she is.

 

And since they aired episodes out of order, (because after two episodes with the short hair, we get one pre-cut) since "Car Wars" aired after "Odds on a Dead Pigeon", and you can see that Lee and Amanda are still at the stage where they are uncomfortable letting each other know, that they care for each other more than just partners.  There's that moment, when the smugglers steal the Stratford again and when Lee comes to pick Amanda up.  Her arms are loaded with her dry cleaning and some blue package, and they're falling to the ground, Lee is picking them up and then he tells her that he's glad she's okay and takes her hand. And then there's this awkward pause as they both realize he's gotten personal. Of course the giveaway is the music in the background, which is supposed to tell the viewer, who if they are an idiot, that this is supposed to be a romantic moment.

 

I find it sweet.

 

And I guess this part falls under the cheesy category? That would be Francine's attitude and lack of knowledge in how to go about cleaning. I mean, what? Was she born an adult? Or the fact that when she was supposed to be under cover and filling out that application, she acted as if she were some high society model or rich woman, who didn't want to reveal her age, weight, etc. As if it would be publicized for all to see? Good Grief.

 

What I did find funny was how eager Amanda was to help Lee after she and Dottie had just finished Spring Cleaning--making it sound it was nothing at all, because she so wanted to work with Lee again, only to have that smile freeze on her face when he told her: "I want you to be a maid."

 

I DIED.

 

Next: "DOA: Delirious on Arrival"!!!

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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Yes, "D.O.A.: Delirious On Arrival" was hilarious and fun. I'm still trying to figure out how Amanda got her hair dryer to run without it being plugged into an outlet!

 

The last batch of this season were really good. I think "Burn Out" is among my top four favorites. I mean, I've seen it so many times, but that scene where Lee is telling Amanda that there's nothing wrong with him and pats her cheek which ends up in a slap, continues to shock and make my insides curl, and not in a good way.

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I hate how they try to paper over that at the end, but the slap scene itself is very well done, and we have Kate to thank for it as it's all in body language and vocal tone.  It's been a while since I've seen it, so I can't remember every nuance, but the plethora of emotions evinced by her reaction, and the order in which they manifest, are perfect for the character and the situation.  There's shock, then the attempt to make it look okay, and then finally a firm gathering of herself and getting the hell out of there. 

 

We saw Amanda putting batteries in the hair dryer, right?  (Isn't that what she was putting batteries into when she asked, "Is this thing loaded?")  I cannot imagine running something with both a motor and a heating element on AA batteries, but apparently it exists.

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I hate how they try to paper over that at the end, but the slap scene itself is very well done, and we have Kate to thank for it as it's all in body language and vocal tone.  It's been a while since I've seen it, so I can't remember every nuance, but the plethora of emotions evinced by her reaction, and the order in which they manifest, are perfect for the character and the situation.  There's shock, then the attempt to make it look okay, and then finally a firm gathering of herself and getting the hell out of there. 

 

We saw Amanda putting batteries in the hair dryer, right?  (Isn't that what she was putting batteries into when she asked, "Is this thing loaded?")  I cannot imagine running something with both a motor and a heating element on AA batteries, but apparently it exists.

 

 

Agree. The shock in her eyes as she's holding her hand to her cheek, the way she very quietly tells him to let go of her, as he's apologizing, but still trying to maintain his cover. And yes, the very quiet way she says she understands even as she's drawing away from him and then leaves.

 

As for the hair dryer, it looked like she was putting in chalk, not batteries. So that when she turned it on, all that chalk dust came out of the dryer.  I think I've used all kinds of dryers over the years, and I can't ever recall a place where we could install batteries. But again, this is television, so there you go.

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Since this is the show where they had hair dryers that turned into guns, I'll just go with it being a unique specialized dryer.  ;)

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I don't use a hair dryer, but apparently battery-operated ones exist.  I can't imagine them drying a head of hair in under an hour, but there you go.

 

My mind swears she was putting batteries in there, but it's an old memory.  I thought the white stuff was already there (isn't Amanda covered in it?), and the hair dryer was blowing it around.   The hair dryer compartment into which she loaded whatever had to exist for something, and I can't think of what it would have been meant for other than batteries.  And had she put chalk in there, it wouldn't have come out of the dryer when it was turned on. 

 

I have officially thought way too much about this.  I'd watch it to find out, as I like that one, but isn't it from the horrible haircut block of episodes?  Not sure I'm up for that.

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Yes, Bastet, "DOA" is from the bad haircut episodes. I try so very hard to overlook that. And that's saying something since I always end of complaining about it, every time I do a rewatch. I just don't know what she was thinking when she hacked off all that gorgeous hair! So glad that it had grown out by the next season!

 

Yeah, the white stuff was on her face when Resnick knocked her down on the stage. Oh, I see what you mean how the chalk wouldn't have come out. Clearly, I, too, have been thinking too much about this, heh.

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Forgot to mention this the past few times I've rewatched this, but I have serious issues with how the show handled Amanda being nominated for Mother of the Year in "A Little Sex, a Little Scandal."

 

I mean, it was great that her sons nominated her and she made the cut in the finals, but that stupid...board? of "Mothers" who would come in for surprise "check ups" as if to determine whether she actually deserved to be in the running? That old biddy acted as if Amanda should have been a Stepford Wife and that her home should have been in pristine, immaculate order, where no one could touch anything or smudge anything with finger prints, as if it was going to be photographed and published in a high tone magazine and anything not perfect was an insult to them.  I loved Amanda's answers to her, when that Detective Tuggey came to the gym to ask her questions-that she told the harridan, oh yes, that's what mothers do. Tell you what to do.  

 

She should have won.

 

But I did like how from this point on (since it was the first with the horrid hair), you could see that Lee and Amanda were friends now, and that Lee didn't think of her as an irritant. Of course, they backtracked with "Car Wars" stuck in the middle of those episodes.

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Second season viewing is a bit better. Though there are episodes where Lee is a complete ass. "Brunettes are In" comes to mind, when he's at Amanda's going through her laundry for the microdot and and throws Amanda's Hot Mama t-shirt across the room and throws Amanda's apology back in her face. Again.

But it was in "The Three Faces of Emily" that I could see that Amanda does have feelings for Lee--when he comes to her asking her out on a "date" and she asks him about Margo, while fixing a magnet on the fridge before looking back at him; and the way he's trying to explain why he's not seeing her anymore.

I really used to love "Ship of Spies" but I swear, ever since I noticed the horrific job the make-up people did on Bruce, I can't enjoy it, because I am so distracted by the eye shadow they put on him. All I can think is: WHY? I see it when they're talking outside of their room once they're on the ship; and I found myself asking if he was wearing it throughout the whole episode and it was so obvious during the wedding scene.

I think it's pretty dramatic as far back as the grocery store scene. Which I love. For some reason I love when they visit the mundane locales of Amanda's life, especially detailed interiors. I still enjoy Ship of Spies, but I agree the eye shadow is distracting. Every time Lee blinks.

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