Amanda: ... you see, sometimes what people don't say is a lot more revealing than what they do say …
(Waiting for Godorsky)


A Lovely Little Affair - Recap and Interpretation


I'm working my way through all the episodes and chose for season 3 to watch them not in the airing order but in that one that someone here posted, the order that referring to the development of Lee's and Amanda's relationship makes more sense.  There for this episode comes for me as the third one. I like it very much, because of all the points that were already mentioned.

But I have some thoughts that I'd like to share:

First of all I'm not as convinced as most oft you seem to be that Amanda had a real crush on Alain. I mean she oviously found him attractive and liked him, but I never saw him as a real option for her. She was flattered and enjoyed his attentions for sure, maybe for the same reason she enjoyed being in Jordan's company in "Murder between friends". Like I pointed out in the thread for that episode, Jordan (and now Alain too) seem to be a kind of man totally different from Lee, especially because they are much easier to handle. They are more open and don't have a problem to talk about their feelings or their admiration for Amanda.

And in some respect Alain reminds me of Joe, Amanda's Ex. Not only his looks, feature by feature - the two men are the same type - but also when it comes to their jobs. Joe chose his job over his family and travels a lot. That's the reason the marriage didn't work and they got divorced. I think Amanda must have had that in mind when Alain told her about his life and job and travelling around, not wanting a woman to live a life out of the suitcase.

To me it seems that Joe (and Jordan) and Alain were the kind of man that Amanda used to fall for in the past, as kind of  pattern: smoothe and gentle man, nice, open, predictable and not playing games. The kind of man who is relatively easy to handle because you always know where you are standing with him. Does that make any sense?

Dean was one of that kind, too. Though he topped the other ones in being the overkill of predictability.

I think Amanda just felt comfortable with Alain because she knew - up to a certain point - what to expect of him. Other than Lee, who is so totally differend, not easy to handle with and everything else but predictable. So she enjoyed that nice little change surely a lot, but not too much I think.

I rewatched the kissing scene several times because I wanted to make sure that I was right with what I saw and that I didn't just saw what I wanted to see.

To me it seems as if Amanda didn't kiss Alain, but she was kissed by him. There's a subtle difference in that. He kissed her and she went with that, but when you watch closely you can see that she does not get into it. She does not return the kiss. Her lips do not move but stay still and calm. And then she pulls away, kind of a little bit embarrased about what she did let happen. But because she likes Alain much she smiles and reassures him that she is okay with the kiss.

BTW I'm pretty sure that she knew exactly that this was not a man for her because she didn't feel a thing more than friendship during this kiss. Not to compare with the two cover-kisses she had with that certain unpredictable spy she works with ...

So she goes on talking to Alain and walking with him through a certainly nice evening. But (!) it seems as if that was the only kiss - it was not repeated or even tried to.
So when Lee asked her at night in her bedroom if anything special happened, she touched her lips with her fingertips, obviously thinking about if she should tell him about the kiss. She decided not to, I think she knew that this would cause trouble in her relationship with Lee which is at this point finally getting onto solid ground.

Yes, the bedroom scene, one of my alltime favourites. It's so hot and adorable! Their reactions when they realize where they are and what they are doing! I think I don't have to say any more, some of you pointed it out so perfectly!

About the use of the term "textbook" several times in this episode, I think that the writers did that to show the audience that from now on Amanda really is a trainee agent and not just only a seasonal help any more.

The scene in the Q bureau with Lee and congresswomn Faber is so much fun to watch. Especially her questions about those expense vouchers for women's underwear. I think at this point Lee is not only tired and grumpy about having to deal with the dragonlady and go through all these reports. I also have the feeling that he might be a little uncomfortable and embarrased (to himself) to be reminded of those "adventures" of his in the past. Maybe he realizes that he has outgrown those "things" (like Amanda would call them) and asks himself how he could ever have enjoyed that kind of life now that he has come to know a totally different alternative ...

An then the tag: so funny and cute!!!

I'm sure Lee planned the whole thing. But what does this tell us about him? He planned it, even made kind of a setup to ask Amanda for that opera date. Can anyone of you imagine that he ever planned something like that for the Randi-Babies in his life? I don't think so. He just aked them out.

But not Amanda. I think he was really nervous to take that step; asking her out would put their relationship to a whole new, personal level. Spending time with each other out of work is quite a statement, isn't it? It is what he absolutely wanted to avoid in the earlier time of their relationship, when everything had to be strictly business.

But even if he got aware that he'd like to spend some private time with Amanda, he was just not ready to admit anything more (to himself) or even that he'd like to date her. So he took the easier and safer way to "teach" her something and make kind of a joke out of it. (Hey toots ...) This way he got what he wanted but in a way that Amanda wouldn't take it too seriously. It is like he wanted to test the ground and see if he was able to walk on it (without giving away too much of himself too soon).

In that respect his last line of his has an interesting subtext: "See how easy that was?"
IMO this does not only refer to the wohle teaching-thing but also to himself. As if he said to himself: See how easy it was to take that step and ask her out? It didn't hurt, nothing bad happened. It's just fine.

... and so am I with this nice episode!

About Amanda’s look during and directly after her kissing Alain:

I think look of betrayal is a little too strong here. I think she thought "What am I doing here?", one the one hand referring to Lee but on the other hand referring to herself. She quickly realized that she felt nothing but friendshipb kissing Alain and maybe a little regret, that she wasn't the woman who was able to give that man what he really needed. I think she was very sorry for Alain and really wanted to help him. But she was only able to do it as a friend and knew, that this might disappoint him at least a little.

We have twice in a row that situation in which is implicated, that Lee always had these "things" going on with women he was assigned to (when the dragon ladiy refers to his adventure with the trapeze artists, twins, and their mother). But also in this scene in ALLA we see him really weary about that and not only embarrassed to be reminded of his past. He seems to be really tired of always being judged the same way (as the "Legend"), especially when the truth looks otherwise. And thinking about it I really can't imagine that he had something going on with two woman (twins) and their mother at the same time. On first sight the circumstances speak against him, and congresswoman Faber jumps to conclusions, but I tend to think that it was not what everyone sees in it.

edited to add:

And not to mess up with the Petrovich twins from the Russian circus (whom Francine refers to in OTL) with whom Lee really had something going on like we hear much later in "Need to know." But only because he did it once it doesn't mean he did it with each and every woman he's ever met. That might have been creepy.

Interesting, that we not only have a similar situation in OTL but also in Utopia Now, when in the beginning Billy, Francine and Lee talk about that agent Hollas (spelling?), who disappeared in Marocco and was found a month later in Tangier living with a ballet dancer. Billy said he had this thing with the ladies and Francine adds: "Sounds like someone else we know."

Lee reacts a little annoyed by saying to her: "Cool it, will you!"

Again he is referred to as a notorious womanizer and he doesn't like it. Especially in this scene, because by now he already has changed his life. Even Leslie is history by now and his focus tends more and more into Amanda's direction.


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Quotes all from the episodes “A Lovely Little Affair” and “Utopia Now”.
Scarecrow & Mrs. King belongs to Warner Bros.