The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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Mad Men S3E6: Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency


"Enjoy the liquor and delicatessen."

Last night's episode was so big, so jaw-dropping, that we sat through it three times in order to pull this post together and even then, we're not sure if we have a handle on it. Sometimes though, you just have to stop looking for the ponderous themes of a show, sit back, and let it wash over you. Sometimes, you've just got to enjoy the liquor and delicatessen. Such was the case with this episode, our favorite of the season so far and one that may just wind up as a favorite of all time. Oh sure, there were underlying themes of fear and anxiety, with a snake imagery motif to tie the two together, but this was also a great episode for just moving the various players around the chess board to see how they all react. Except they didn't so much move around as they had the chess board blown up from underneath them. And the beauty of it all is that by the end, very little has changed.

The big bosses from London are coming to Sterling Cooper and once again, the office is thrown into a tizzy. We can't decide if the date of the inspection, the day before Independence Day, was heavy handed on the part of the writers or on the part of the characters. We're leaning toward characters, since Don voiced what we were thinking: "Subtle." Bert and Roger sit Don down and in a manner slightly uncharacteristic of them, fill his head with a lot of ideas about a coming promotion for him via London. Don, also uncharacteristically, allows his true feelings to be known about that: he's practically salivating at the prospect. Bert, like a jedi master of the business world, senses the tension in the Don/Roger relationship and in pure corporate 1963 style, orders them both to the barber to hash it out. They do so in a manly-man style, all aftershave and allusions. That's about as far as either of these characters go in an emotional confrontation. Their problems with each other are about as solved as they're going to get. At least for now. Roger, in a typical attempt to steer the conversation with smartassery and tall tales, tells the story of his de-limbed father in the coffin, which of course didn't occur to us until the third viewing as some fairly hardcore foreshadowing of what was about to happen.

Meanwhile the Sterling Cooper secretarial pool is annoyed because their plans for sending departing office manager Joan Holloway off to her wifely reward are being compromised by the coming inspection. In a lot of ways, this was Joan's episode and we were really treated to all the different sides of her. We got to see her in a variety of situations and in all of them, she was in control and had the upper hand at all times. Snotty Mr. Hooker tries to go head to tits with her and she manages to cut him down by embarrasing his very British-ness with her acid reference to the Profumo scandal. She makes sure the office is a buzz of activity when the British officers of the company arrive and she turns on the Holloway charm to greet them with restaurant reservations and tickets to a Broadway show. She even managed a sisterly moment with Peggy where we got to see two characters lay it a little bare for each other, with affection and mutual respect. Of course, this all pales before her triage skills, but we'll get to that in a minute. Let's talk about her marriage first.

One of the things the show really gets is that people aren't always consistent or easily pegged. By all our modern and yes, advanced standards, most of the marriages on this show are awful. But when you surrender the modern standards and view them by the standards of the day, there are times when you can see how, bad as some of these marriages are, there's a certain functionality to them. In such a world of tight conformity and high pressure, they do manage to create a space where two people can let the mask slip just a little bit when they need to.

Don and Betty may have more than their share of problems and obstacles, and sure, they're both hopelessly miserable most of the time, but that doesn't mean they can't enjoy a passing moment where they're both at ease with each other over a wine and a beer and a little chicken salad; where they're both easy, relaxed, and not putting up any walls. It's what happens when two people whose day to day lives are practically defined by hopelessness allow themselves the feeling of anticipation. What if we lived in London? What kind of people would we be then? It was a nice little scene.

Greg and Joan on the other hand are dealing with a major setback in their lifeplans. Christina Hendricks is on fire in this scene and not just because of her hypnotic boobs in a nightgown. She confronts him openly and with little drama, bats away his attempts to lie, pushes to get as much information as she can out of him (and course corrects every time she pushes too far), offers possible solutions and a general optimistic resolve (if only for a moment), and then ties it up with some mothering by offering to undress him and tuck him in. You can see Joan is devastated, but only after she goes to "close the light" and allows herself a moment of fear in the darkness, her face toward the wall. She wouldn't ever show that fear to anyone else, not even her husband. She is as capable a wife as she is an office manager. Unfortunately, she's no longer an office manager and what she's going to do about that is driving us crazy with anticipation.

The Brits arrive and they're all condescending and horrible. The appropriately named Guy MacKendrick bulldozes his way into Sterling Cooper with a smile, a handshake, and nothing but empty words. Don and Lane are deeply disappointed to hear that PPL doesn't value them nearly as much as they thought or hoped. Don's job remains exactly the same and Lane gets shuffled off to an India assignment. It surprised us, but we were initially quite disappointed with the prospect of no more Lane on the show. We didn't realize how much we liked the character.

Don, because he's Don, turns a moment of adversity into a triumph, when in the midst of downing his bitter champagne, he gets invited to meet Conrad Hilton, sweeps out of the office, and winds up with the best opportunity he's had in a long time. It's interesting to note - and we don't think this escaped Don's notice - was that he got Hilton's attention not by being Don Draper, but by being Dick Whitman. He tends to let strangers in more and he had no expectation of ever seeing Connie again, so he told him a story about pissing in the trunks of rich people's cars. Just his luck, it happened to be the right story to tell and the right person to tell it to.

And then of course, there's The Incident. Sure to go down as one of, if not THE all time shocking moments on Mad Men. One thing about this show, when they turn it on, it goes up to eleven. It's all quiet scenes of lighting cigarettes and long pauses and then without any warning, someone's foot gets cut off right in front of you. Is it bad that we first greeted it with laughter? Especially when Lois drove right through the glass panels of Pete's office? Sure, we could say it was nervous laughter brought on by shock, but really, it's because the whole thing suddenly veered into a twisted sitcom. Whacky antics, except with blood splattering everyone. Once again, it's Joan Holloway (she'll always be Holloway, dammit) to the rescue, swiftly assessing the situation and immediately responding with appropriate action. There was also a nice split-second moment between Pete and Peggy. She fainted at the site of blood and he quickly caught her.

So for all the anticipation of this episode, it all turned out to be over nothing. See Sally? It really is just a baby. See, Don? You can be a pretty good Dad when you need to be. See, Sterling Cooper? You're right back to where you were yesterday. Now squeegee that blood off the windows and get back to your jobs. The two people who benefited most from the events were Roger (who got some killer lines off) and Lane, both of whom realized that they have some work to do if they want to stay where they are.

And then, in one of our favorite scenes ever, we get Joan and Don, having a perfect moment. It's not so much that these two have an attraction to each other (although on some level they simply have to because they wouldn't be them if they didn't feel that attraction); it was more about two supremely smart, controlled, and ridiculously attractive people knowing each other well enough to see how similar they really are. Have you ever seen Don laugh like that? Even more notably, he laughed like that with a woman. Normally when dealing with women, he's always way too caught up in playing Don than being genuine. They were respectful of each other, but just affectionate enough because they've known each other a long time and they're saying goodbye. And she called him Don and kissed him on the cheek. It was sweet. We honestly don't see even the hint of any romantic feelings between them, but for a split second we got the impression that if these two people had made different choices and wound up together, they probably could have ruled the world.




[Screencaps: Projectrungay.blogspot.com]



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134 comments:

Ack - was out cold on TheraFlu by 8:30 AM. Ed knew I was really sick when I said I knew I was missing Mad Men but was going to bed.

Going to hopefully stay up late for the rebroadcast Tues or Wed AM. Yeesh - I need Tivo.


You really have to hand it to the actress who plays Lois - what a great "I got it, no I don't got it, wait I think I - oh shit" bit of physical acting on her part. Not sure what to make of the whole Sally thing, seemed a little out of place - although it was interesting to see Don admit that he hated Gene and vice versa. I thought they would ask Joan back and was sorely disappionted they didn't do that at the end of the episode.


It is my greatest hope that the British office manager gets the axe, as someone has to fired for the INCIDENT. That way, they can pull Joan back in.


I would never have turned on Mad Men without reading your amazing post (aptly titled "If You're Not Watching Mad Men, You're Crazy), and if I weren't watching Mad Men, I would have missed out on this incredible episode and the amazement that is this entire show.

As a child of the 90s I cannot even begin to understand what the 60s were like, especially with parents that came of age in the 80s. I like the reminder that some of the advancements I enjoy as a woman were brought about by the women who made choices that no one realized they had. Even in fictionalized drama, that kernel of truth sticks with me, and I thank you for encouraging your readers to watch this show!

And I will never be able to hear the term "foot in the door" without giggling ever again!


The Incident surely will be what we remember from this episode, but there were so many other great story lines and performances. I too loved the scene with Joan and Don in the hospital. His laugh with her, as we laughed as home, was so natural.

I laughed when Sally woke up screaming to see the Barbie she threw into the bushes staring fiendishly at her from the dresser.

I loved it when Betty was telling Sally that fairies can bring gifts from baby brothers to big sisters, while 12 hours later Don was telling Sally that there's no such thing as ghosts.

A very rich episode.

--Itsjustme


I love you guys! I agree that Roger had the best lines, but note that he is definitely getting pushed out. He was left out of the "chain of command" overhead, and ignored when they met in Bert's office and asked how their trip/flight was.
I loved the end with daddy Don, baby Gene and Sally.


Don't worry..the hubs & I laughed too at the lawnmower incident!! lol
I immediately turned to him and said..I can't WAIT to c what my TLo boys will say about this!! And u never dissapoint!!!!


My fantasy about Joan's return is that Peggy brings her in as some sort of assistant or product consultant, as with the TV script reading and the lipstick sampling and such that we've seen her do before. Unlikely, but wouldn't that be faboo? Just to see Paul's reaction would be wonderful.


My husband fell off the couch (literally) doubled over in laughter at "the incident" to the extent that he woke up our two year old. Handled differently, this is a jump the shark moment. Here - it worked brilliantly. And it was really bloody funny (pun intended.)

My favorite line (slight paraphrase) "He won't be able to play golf." You have no foot, but we're really concerened that your golf game will suffer. Cold. So much for my Max Sheffield crush.

I'm rather surprised that for the last two weeks, Peggy has seemed rather ineffective - with the unsuccessful raise reques, the fainting and the social ineptness regarding the roommate. The "We all can't be you" line to Joan was so very telling.


Ms_flyover (who can't remember her stupid blogger login.)


one of the all time best episodes ever.

I think that matt weiner is going through different movie genres this season. the "derby day" episode was a musical, betty's labor in the last episode was all 60s trippy drug induced movie fare, and between the snake, haunted baby, mysteriously reappearing barbie doll, multiple references to light and dark, and of course some good old fashioned blood spilling - this episode sits squarely in the horror movie genre.


The scene with Don and Joan made me think the exact same thing - there's definte chemistry here and there would be no stopping them if they were together.

Marty the Wizard


also, i love the reference to disability rights in the end with Guy losing his job along with his leg. also loved Don's reaction of "he can still work" - just illustrates the disability attitudes from across the pond...


I think my favorite exchange in the episode was when the British came to the waiting room and started talking to Don and Joan as though Guy McKendrick had died, not just lost a foot. And then when Don expressed surprise that Guy's career was apparently over, one of the British wistfully explained "he'll never golf again".


C'est moi, c'est moi Lola

TLo,

You were not the only ones who greeted The Incident with laughter - we did too. It was the way the blood spatter hit the guys and everything happened so fast that they couldn't react until it was too damn late. Plus, using the squeegee on the frosted glass for clean up just made us titter even more. Schadenfreude!

Christina Hendricks rocked this episode. Did I care what happened to Mr. McKittrick, Don, or even Sally and her fear of Barbie? No. Dammit, I wanted to know what happened to Joan, and am VERY impatient when it comes to waiting for next weeks episode.

I did pay attention to the interaction of Betty & Sally. Sally, hon, you just remember what Grandpa Gene said, and don't let your mom turn you into a basketcase.

Loved the meal Don had with chicken salad, bud, and Ritz crackers. I'll try that sometime.

'One minute you're on top of the world, the next some secretary is running over your foot with a lawnmower.' That's the next 'inspirational' poster that's going up in my office....


Wonderful capture of the threads in this episode, gentlemen, many thanks. I, of course, Portia that I am, was immediately thinking Lawsuit City after THE INCIDENT and parsing through the defendants and liabilities.

I was worrying about that machine the minute it made its intial entrance.

A rich, rich episode, indeed.

The Vietnam reference was a bit clunky, but the declaration that one wanted to be drafted... yikes. I don't remember that being a preference even back then, a few years before the war really cranked up.

As always, you make me think, and now I want to view the episode again, but... I have business entertaining to do tonight. Not quite ala Sterling Cooper, but close enough.

All the best,

NDC


This episode RULED. I didn't even think that the tractor was going to be "the gun in the first act", hahaha.

Something tells me that Cosgrove is going to get it for bringing in the damn tractor (and that damn annoying secretary is going to be fired, FINALLY), and Mr. FussyBudget (Lane) is going to ban the booze from now on. Ooooh, such delicious drama to come, methinks.

This show is like cocaine - as addictive as crack, but classier and more expensive to produce. ;D


I agree with Anonymous at 3:45. This episode has numerous horror movie devices. Even the camera angle when the riding mower was moving toward us was right out of a horror flick.

And as another poster said a week or so ago, I feel so uncomfortable watching each episode of this season.

And it's rather delicious.

--Itsjustme


I think I'll remember this episode for the annoyingly obvious product placement more than *the incident* though.


When Don returned the doll to Sally's room as she slept, I remarked to my partner that Sally was about to experience a Twilight Zone moment (a show she surely watched). A moment later, and we had the payoff.


I was initially shocked by Lane's ceremonious "auf"-ing, because, damn it, you don't cast Embeth Davitz as his wife in one small restaurant scene early on in the season without having plans for these characters as that season progresses - at least, I didn't think you would! That said, seems like he'll be around for awhile.

Ah, and what a British Invasion it turned out to be! One of the all-time best MM eps ever, too much, WAAAAY to much to gush (sorry, bad choice of words) over, so some random raves:

1. "...delicatessen...": Priceless.
2. Guy can no longer walk into an advertising agency: Shocking and sadly hilarious.
3. Don and Joan at the hospital: Almost anachronistic in its warm informality and camraderie. A pleasure to watch.
4. Don and Sally. Finally, Sally's getting some light.
5. "He won't be able to play golf!"

CCGuy, I believe they didn't ask Joan back at the end of the episode because she never told them she wanted to stay. Recalling her competence working with Harry in the Television Department, my guess is she'll ultimately end up there and end up running the joint...around 1970.


Loved this episode!! I too kept waiting for Joan to come up with some excuse to stay "with my husband's residency I'll just sit at home and go crazy!" She was superb during the incident- I got the distinct impression hubby wouldn't have been as good. Guy losing his job, because he can't play golf was also great. Got to watch January Jones and Jon Hamm on Oprah now!


Am I the only one who thinks the Dylan song that *should* have been played at the end is "Simple Twist of Fate?" How will I ever look at my brother's John Deere riding mower and not laugh so hard I get the hiccups?

This episode was about winners and losers and how one thing can move you to one category or the other. Loved that Joan, even at the end of the day, considered herself a winner. She squared her shoulders and moved on. Kind of like I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I met the man who had no feet....or at least not all of them.

Thanks TLo, but sweetie, darlings, could you post sooner on Monday? I've carpel tunnel from refreshing my screen. You're worth the wait. I too am a Mad Men convert because I read about it on your blog. Thanks!


To the swift demise of a corporate career...
"The doctors said he'll never... golf again."


Great episode, and great recap! My friend and I saw the overriding theme as "fear of the uncertain future," flanked by Sally's fear of the dark in the first scene, and Don's explaining how wonderful it was that baby Gene could become anyone at the end. And of course, at this point NO ONE seems to know what their futures hold in store.

Also as others have mentioned, I adore that the show took on disability rights! My jaw was on the ground when they fired Guy for losing his foot - ON THE JOB.


I found this really to be such a wonderful piece to show how incredible Joan is. Every little scene showed how talented, smart and invaluable of an asset she was. She comforts her unworthy husband, she's vastly superior to Moneypenny and does her job right up to the end, we see the influence she has on Peggy and Peggy reveals her envy and admiration and of course her response during the incident. The final touch was Don's acknowledgement. That speaks more then the rest combined.

In the modern world, the company would have fought like crazy to keep Joan around. Twit Moneypenny doesn't have the depth, perception or talent to equal Joan. That blatant ruining of her suprise party is proof of that.

In fact, it seems like lack of appreciation for real merit and talent was a major theme played out. The owners not appreciating that Don deserves to be promoted and better exploited followed by his meeting with Hilton. Or for that matter the bosses not even giving Lane a real reward for his hard work.

Things are a blazing. BTW speaking of Christina's hypnotic rack. How about Neil Patrick Harris' opening Emmy number where he procalimed she could turn a gay man straight---then practically squealed "oooh there's Jon Hamm!" lol

Frank


Every week I say OMG that was the best Mad Men ever. But last night *was*.

I loved the just-when-you-think-you-know-what-you're-doing-WHAM aspect of this show. Because that mirrors my life.

And I loved seeing everyone's reactions to "the incident." Peggy fainting into Pete's arms, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee getting spattered by blood and standing frozen with shock. Roger's fabulous line "I'm sure somewhere in this business . . ." Joan as Joan the rescuer. And loved the scene between Don and Joan.

JOAN - she cannot leave.


I found it fascinating that the previously absent father Don is now more nurturing than Betty is. It's like she's decided that she's going to let him do all the work now. I don't entirely blame her for that - I would go insane if the only people I ever got to hang out with were young children and my snotty neighbor too - but it definitely suggested something feminist to me.


Loved this episode, frankly, I'd been finding the season a bit slow and too much about nuances--but this one, wow, go right for the carnage. I'm not sure I've ever seen a funnier allusion to the Kennedy asassination and the carnage of the Vietnam war. As I recall, John Deere's lawn mowers were adapted by use by the military. (Go Lois!).

They're certainly making it clear that Joan would make a better copywriter, account executive AND doctor than the men she supports. Actually, she's so capable that I'm kind of hoping she succeeds in spite of herself. She's got her pride and I don't think she plans on ever living in Alabama.

It's interesting, Don's Dick-Whitman side is where his talent lies--he intuits what people want and why they want it because Dick Whitman hungered for everything and has relied on his ability to read people's fantasies to succeed.

I think we're getting a hint that the Dick Whitman self will be attuned to the 60s, but the Don Draper self won't.

And they may be dinosaurs, but I do love Bert and Roger--those two actors can toss off lines like no one's business. Robert Morse may be my all-time favorite bit of stunt casting.


This episode was absolutely amazing and definitely one of my all-time faves. I had to watch it twice last night just to make certain I hadn't imagined the severed foot by tractor scene.

I agree with the poster who described this season as somewhat of a compilation or homage to great films of that period. Sans the severed foot, Peggy's goodbye party scene reminded me a lot of the office Christmans party in Billy Wilders' "The Apartment" (with Jack Lemmon & Shirley McClaine). Loved the scenes with Don and Sally and enjoyed Roger's great lines throughout the episode.

I, too, am dying to know what our girl Joan has on the horizon (please don't let them reduce her to a selling Avon products until her husband lands another position). I'm still sorting through and trying to interpret everything that happened. This episode will certainly require multiple viewings because of the many hidden subtleties and nuances of all of the characters at their absolute best.


The moment when the blood spattered everywhere reminded me of the feeling when, on LA Law, Rosalynn walked into the open elevator shaft. "Holy crap, did they really just do that?!" followed by hysterical laughter. And then the squeegee. So awesome.


Another thought about Joan. She was thanked for her 10 years of service at Sterling Cooper at her Bon Voyage party. I believe she was hiding her age in an earlier episode . . . she's in her early 30s now if I recall correctly.

Can you imagine Joan going to work at SC as a 23-year-old, in 1953, with Roger Sterling in his prime? Think of how she rose from being the new bombshell secretary to the woman running the secretarial pool, (still a bombshell), and she's smarter than most of the executives. What a backstory for her character.

--Itsjustme


Glammy - I agree with you. Robert Morse is brilliant. I would love to see him and Bryan Batt both nominated for Emmys or Globes next year.

Ms_flyover


BTW last night before we went to bed my husband and I were saying that we felt sorry for Tom and Lorenzo - having to deconstruct that episode by morning.

You guys are amazing - magical elves couldn't do better.


It is always risky to try to predict what will happen on "Mad Men," but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Joan will be hired by the newly-promoted Harry to work in the new media department, and not as a secretary.

Christina Hendricks was just brilliant last night. I especially loved the momentary slipping of the mask, when she teared up about leaving SC.

I can't believe the season is almost half over. :(

Wonderful recap, as always, fabulous gentlemen!


I realte this episode tothe one little parable Don was telling Conrad Hilton, about how you achieve your goals and conquests little by little, not with one huge gulp, or like the snake, you choke and die, here are my examples

1. Betty forcing and thrusting the baby upon Sally to love with presents and fairy tales, while Don with simple gestures and a simple story is bringing Sally around

2. The British come with flair and style and fancy words, and winds up losing a foot and a career. While Don remains his usual restrained self or just plain farmboy Dick Whitman and he is landing one of his biggeset accounts.

3. Joan married(or like the snake in the fable, swallowed) her doctor, and he is nothing but trouble, disrespect and disappointments. She is choking, let's just see now if she can save herself.

just my opinion........


Your last line, guys...in a different time, in a different life - for me watching Don and Joan was seeing Justinian and Theodora. So that's who they were and how they ruled the world.


We all spend lots of time parsing, parsing and re-parsing these episodes. Here's my take. I know the show is sponsored by Clorox. They could have used Swiffer as a sponsor as well.

- Sally cleaned her room

- Bert orders Don and Roger to get a shave and a haircut

- The Brits attempted to clean house

- Don cleans up Conrad Hilton's "mousey" ad campaign.

- The secretaries had to clean up after Guy's unfortunate accident

- The Brits offer to dry-clean Joan's dress

- Don tells Sally babies are born with a clean slate


I'm full of it after this episode.

What if Peggy goes to work for Duck, and she takes Joan with her?

--Itsjustme


Ms_flyover,

What I love about Morse is that he does so much with so little. He only gets a few lines per episode and he doesn't have much of his own story line, but whatever lines he has, he nails 'em.

Whenever I see Bert and Roger together, I just know it's going to be funny.

Bryan Batt is terrific, but in some ways his performance is a little harder for me to judge because his character broadcasts gay to the modern viewer and not to his contemporaries. Was he or wasn't he over the top in the Bye Bye Birdie bit?

Funny, they did their musical number episode--and didn't even use all the talent they had--a sock-footed shuffle by Bert maybe? And Elisabeth Moss seems like she's had dance training. Even the girl playing Sally takes a ton of ballet. Mad Men, the Musical just isn't a stretch.

Meanwhile, Joan, Joan, wherefore art thou Joan? Recruited by Duck to run Grey? Finally buying media? Making a killing selling Avon? Cheating your way into a better marriage?

They're still at a real period of serious discrimination against women, but ad agencies were one of the first places where women broke through.

Is Peggy enough of a trailblazer and Joan disillusioned enough for Joan to break through the status quo?


Last night was AMAZING. Just when I was thinking the episode was relatively low-key compared to last week's, the Incident occured!

I was struggling to find an overarching theme for this episode as well,but then my brilliant boyfriend made this brilliant observation:

The incident with Guy McKendrick is foreshadowing Kennedy's assassination!!

Everyone in the office is swept away by his good looks, charm, and confidence. But just like that, he loses an appendage, rendering him as good as dead to everyone who admired him. Joan even says, "I bet he felt great when he got up this morning."

If the SC and PPL clientele react this way to Guy's incident, I can only imagine what they'll do when Kennedy is killed a few months from now.

Oh, and also, i gotta pat myself on the back for suggesting last week that Gene's presence would begin to haunt the members of the Draper household.

GAHilovethisshow!!


CarlyZ,

Both the assasination--Joan's dress--and Vietnam--John Deere makes military vehicles.


Jesus. H. Christ.
That episode left me utterly SPEECHLESS. I wholly agree when you guys say that this epsiode may be one of, if not the, GREATEST epsiodes of Mad Men yet.

Funny thing is, other than The Incident, the moment where Pete catches a fainting Peggy really made my heart jump. It just confirmed for me that I am a true supporter of Pete and Peggy. I really hope they stop hating each other and at least get along.

But of course, this is MAD MEN we're talking about...

Damn, my heart is still racing... I gotta watch it again!


Could not help but think of Jackie Kennedy's suit when I saw Joan in the waiting room. I lived this era and I love your "take" on the show every Monday. Your blog is wonderful.


Exactly! It was Vietnam and Kennedy all in that single moment. The SC office turned into a gruesome warzone, and with Guy, the man that everyone thought had such a spark, out of the picture, everything seemed like it was over before it even started.


Anyone notice the bearded wonder sitting on his desk playing guitar as the Brits came in? WTF was that? lol


Sally stole my play clothes!
I was about her age in 1962 and hadn't thought of my red crop top and short shorts in many years. Or the gathered neck peasant blouse worn with shorts.
All heavy cotton and neatly ironed. Always ironed, often starched. Wash and Wear wasn't common then, neither were knits. Mothers ironed everything.
Watching her in them I could feel them and smell that fresh ironed smell and summer days.
Great episode all around. So many main characters are being forced into major changes. Will be interesting to see what happens.


Betty-- I like your analysis.

For me, it was the contrast between Greg, who put all his eggs in the surgeon's basket and now that his aspirations are dashed, cannot begin to forge an alternate path

vs.

Don, who decides to digest his success one small bite at a time. Of course, that is after he indulges in the fantasy of what it would be like to be blessed with instant success.

We don't know what Greg's influences are, but we can't help but wonder if Don learned a little something from how the British treated Lane as nothing more than a pawn and completely ignored Roger altogether.

I think the story with Sally is a good foil, but I get the feeling it's far from resolved.


I've been struck by all the clues that several people may be leaving Sterling Cooper. There's Joan, of course, Peggy and Pete were propositioned by Duck, and now Conrad Hilton has told Don to think bigger. Don got half a mil from the sale of the agency, right? So why wouldn't/couldn't he start his own agency with Hilton as his first account? Peggy, Pete & Joan could join him. I hope so... but I'd miss Tweedledum and Tweedledee.


Don't you think the main metaphor of last night's episode was Darkness and Light? There were many references to it: Sally's fear of the dark, Don turning the light on in her room, Betty getting Sally a nightlight, the light on the overhead projector during the conference room presentation, Joan staying behind to, "...close the light," after the bad news, Sally to Don, "...I know, you're not Thomas Edison.", Don in bed staring at the ceiling light fixture, etc.

I thought the whole episode was a play on fears versus expectations (or, dark and light). Kind of, everything seems dark, but look, it's going to be alright in the light of day.

Ben


Oh--and did anyone think Joan's blood-spattered dress foreshadowed Jackie Kennedy's dress in a few months?


Oops--you guys are too fast for me.


I would be very surprised, and not entirely convinced, if Peggy did anything to help Joan in any way. Even though WE know that Joan could do damn near anything, I think her bombshell persona hides that from everyone else in the office, even Peggy. And I have just known too many women in the '90s and '00s who see their own success as exemplary and threatened by any other woman to think that it would be any different in the '60s.


The overarching theme was blood. This was foreshadowed in the episode while Betty is giving birth. We see her father mopping the floor with blood, and then the dead body of a black man. This represents the blood that will be spilled in the civil rights movement.

But the blood last night was the blood of Kennedy and the blood of Vietnam. The sixties was an incredibly violent decade, and for the first time in history the violence was played out in front of a TV audience. Remember when the guy with the glasses who is in charge of TV for Sterling Cooper is given the biggest promotion? That is why.

Violence has begun. The young man who lost his foot was both Kennedy and a wounded Vietnam soldier. Last week they mopped the floor with blood, but last tonight they sprayed the walls with it.


Also, Veriance, I wondered about that too. I knew they were purposely putting on a show for the Brits but playing guitar on the edge of your desk??


mll (another lulu)

I've been online waaay too much today, what with the emmys and MM. But for me, it has become a ritual after the show to read your MM recap, Alan Sepinwall, and Mo Ryan AND as many comments as possible. This is such an intelligent, nuanced show that I guess I'm trying to increase my brain cells by digesting what everyone has to say. There is always someone who has a take on something in a way I hadn't thought of, and it is delicious to share the moments where I felt the same way, as I can't drag my husband away from football to share this show with me. His loss.

Thanks to the comments that had me googling. Schadenfreude (dammit, I had a year of college
German); and Justinian and Theodora (fascinating, don't recall them at all). This show ought to go into the annals of those which are studied in college, with all the rich sociological and historical meat contained within.

So I'll just add a couple of tiny observations. Bobby with his dirty shirt in the scene with Betty and baby Gene. We know she has no housekeeper, and her perfection in appearances is slipping with this tiny moment. Sally's Barbie gift was wrapped in the comic pages, a long-time ritual done in my family too. Joan rules! I hopes she returns in an amazing, unexpected way, very soon. And I loved Don and Sally and baby Gene, and the love and warmth from their scene. Don may just save that little girl yet, Bobby, he's slipping through the cracks.

Love you guys!


Guitar player--that was Paul, wasn't it? Early folk protester on the sidelines of the action. Followed by Bob Dylan over the credits.

The MM team had fun with this episode. It was gutsy in all meanings of the word.


Just have to throw in one more favorite line and scene: Bert and Roger in Bert's office. Bert says (in answer to "what is being an account man about?) . . .

"It's about letting things go so that you can get what you want."

That fits so many characters in this show. (Don gave up Dick Whitman, Peggy - her baby and Pete, Roger -Mona, etc.)

Also - I never tire of seeing everybody have to take their shoes off to enter the sanctum of Bert's office!


RE: what's Joan going to do now?

A poster on another site commented that she had dated a resident doctor in 1964-- he and several others went straight into the military (Vietnam) after residency. Stating that, obviously, wars need MANY doctors.

Could we be so lucky that Dr. Greg-the-Loser, who has no brains in his fingers, might see the military as an option to Alabama? (No way in hell is Joanie moving to the sticks)

Of course the bonus would be Joan could, honorably (in her mind), request to return to Sterling with her husband in service --- AND extra bonus when the the rat-bastard meets his maker in Nam.

So many possibilities ~

Austin Sally


Veriance said...
Anyone notice the bearded wonder sitting on his desk playing guitar as the Brits came in? WTF was that? lol

9/21/09 5:11 PM

================
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


Another things, Harry also stood to benefit from the reorganization, but didn't realize it. Talk about right place at the right time- that guy has no foresight except getting into that job.


A world run by Don Draper and Joan Holloway? Well, I think that just might have been paradise. You know, if you ignore the rampant communicable diseases and various forms of cancer brought on by chain smoking and downing scotch after scotch.


I loved how Don had to watch Joan leave one last time -Gary


Austin Sally, I think you nailed it. Greg will go to VietNam as a doctor, giving Joan the perfect way back into the working world.

Even if that isn't the right storyline, it will keep my mind at peace for the week ahead, until next Sunday's episode. I can't stand the thought of Joan being gone.

--Itsjustme


THIS IS NO WAY TO SELL A LAWNMOWER!


What a great episode! So have all the bare feet in the previous episodes (not to mention everyone removing their shoes in Bert's office) simply been foreshadowing? ;)

Roger had SO many great lines last night, but "just when he got his foot in the door" was spit-take worthy.


I didn't laugh at the lawnmower accident - probably because the second that freaking Chekov's Gun reappeared on screen, my hands were in front of my face. I missed Peggy fainting too.

My feet are still cringing.


Don + Joan = Don + The Real Mrs. Draper, back in California. Relaxed, smiling, an obvious connection but no sex for a change. They could handle each other; instead Don gets the infantile and possibly insane ("fairies") Betty, and Joan gets the clueless Greg.

So who was the guy face down on the floor in the preview of the next episode? Don? or Greg? Does Joan knock him off?

Does Sally sneak into Gene's room and smother him? I think she's going to; that Sally is one messed up little girl, and a couple of minutes with Silent Don sitting with her isn't going to be enough.


i'm not dorothy gale

"And the guest director this week - Quentin Tarantino!"

I can understand how you two have watched the episode repeatedly. I can't wait to see it again. With all the episodes with barefooted people...someone loses their foot. Damned if I know what it all means (I was passionate about "Twin Peaks", that murky David Lynch show) but it is fascinating. There are layers upon layers upon layers.

Best of all, though, was switching over to the Emmy awards at the conclusion and seeing the show win Best Drama. Amen to that!


Austin Sally,

Yes, send Dr. Rapist to Vietnam. We know he doesn't have money.


havent read throught he comments yet & i need a 2nd viewing, but i think it's rather a good touch the way the younger guys were just talking about vietnam & suddenly a guy gets his foot torn off, with joan acting like the perfect doctor her husband will never be.

god, i hope that bastard gets drafted & she becomes a widow before year's end.

(it's been a dose of the real world in every episode so far this season. we're in for a real shake up. also - bob dylan song at the end was a great touch.)

the writers have to find a way to bring joan back before the end of next episode. a mad men without joan is no mad men at all.


Oh, and another thing -- if you think these clueless Brits are over the top, you should read some histories of Britain in this time period. History abhors a vacuum, and one of the reasons the Swinging Sixties and the concomitant ascendancy of louts and pop stars in every field was the absurdity and incompetency of the old ruling classes of Britain. In the US, after WWII, business was taken over by hyper-competent if regimented classless war veterans, but these people didn't stand a chance in Britain. You should read what they did to the British car industry. It doesn't surprise me at all to see them do it in advertising. St. John and friends are every bit as dinosaurish as Coop and Rog. I think they're going to destroy this company in the process.


Julie T was the only one to mention Joan's tears during the party. That was a pretty big moment for her, ever the calm, collected and respectable woman.

I gasped at the lawnmower scene, it was priceless!!

Toward the end I kept finding myself saying out loud "Just ask for your job back, Joan!! Agghhh!" when she was in perfectly suitable moments to do so.

I noticed immediately how relaxed Don is around her when he genuinely laughed at her joke. That was such a warm moment, and just great to see him laugh. I know we'll be seeing more of our beloved Joanie.

Re: Pete & Peggy--I have a love/hate thing with Pete. He's obviously bullheaded, cocky and childish, but there's a part of me that wants to see him and Peggy give it a go. He already knows she could give him a child, which his wife can't seem to do. (not that Peggy's planning on it) Maybe it's just seeing Peggy win over that little snake that's kinda keeping my interest. Who knows. Perhaps he's soften a little with a woman that truly makes him happy?

Can't wait for next Sunday. Thanks TLo! You guys are awesome!

-Jess


I love the reference to Justinian and Theodora, Dave. I was wondering if anyone knows a couple from the Mad Men time period who were both high powered, brilliant and pulling together like an equal team?


One more thing: am I the only person who watched Sally rip open that bubble-cut Barbie and scream, "don't, don't, do you know what that's going to be worth MIB in forty years?"


Fantastic episode. Fantastic post as always.

It seemed to me that this episode was also about luck.

Ken, who always has good luck, closed a major account the day of the British invasion. And the bad luck to provide the foot eating machine. (Though I doubt they'll be repercussions. A generation that grew up listening to war news on the radio every night would view Guy's fate as bad luck, not something to sue about. And Ken always seems to skate above it all.)

Harry had the good luck to be in the right place at the right time with television, but may lose the promotion due to Guy's bad luck.

Roger and Lane were on their way out, but had the good luck to be saved by Guy's accident.

Don had the bad luck to be disappointed by the re-org, and the good luck to have met Conrad Hilton in a deserted barroom at a country club.

Guy had the bad luck to get his foot mowed over, and the good luck to have Joan around when it happened.

Joan had the bad luck to marry a very small man. I wonder when her luck will turn?


A couple of random asides:

Sally's summer pajamas were also terribly familiar; I have vivid memories of awaking to red elastic marks around my thighs, often made worse by mosquito bites. Betty may buy her own clothes and the kids' dress-up clothes at upper-tier shops, but Sally's and Bobby's play clothes and nightwear are J.C. Penney's all the way.

And I'm finding endless amusement comparing the British Ad agency Dorothy L. Sayers wrote about in the early 1930s with the behavior of both the SC creative people and secretaries (who fit right in) and the management types (who seem to be stuffier in 1963 than their 1930's equivalents).


Don coming to the rescue for his daughter seems to be exactly the right note. Because Sally is so innocent and open -- but really only to Don -- she manages to extract the best of her father, proving to them both that he's a hero. Don's always played at that role, but with Sally, he really is the hero he's never felt he was.

The moment(s) with Joan and Don reveal how unguarded moments are rare for either of them (just as with Don/Connie).

By the way, I think Joan's last name -- Holloway to Harris -- is intentional. When you don't have to change your monogram, marriage and divorce are "so much easier" (in a world where hankies and towels matter).

Best line of the whole episode, though, was about the snake who waits so long to eat.


You've know I've never watched this show and I finally said "Okay, I'm gonna watch to see if the characters interest me enough to Netflix the first 2 seasons.

And damn, if I wasn't hooked right away.

Now, I know I don't know the characters, but it seems to me that perhaps the British guys will love Joan for being sooo efficient that SHE gets to go to London!

And no comment for the "well, he's no good on the golf course" remark that just cut Guy dead in the terms of the show? How cruel and fabulous was that?


Using the Dylan song at the ending credits was a stroke of Genius and totally helped me decode what Don means when he says We don't know who the baby is yet, or who he will be - and that's a good thing. Followed immediately by Dylan talking about the Crazy new world that is just being born. Baby Gene is a metaphor for the birth of a completely new era that will begin in the next episode. We don't yet know what this new world is, or what it will be - and that's a good thing. wow.


I was thinking that maybe a unifying theme for the show is sibling rivalry. At the office we have the blended intercontinental family. And at home we have new baby threatening Sally's status. Just sayin...


Haven't read through all the comments, but this episode definitely carries the feet theme through. Also saw lights this time: dim lights, lights making things less or more scary. Feet and lights this season.


Kudos to the show for giving Betty an after-baby belly. I have never seen that come out of Hollywood.


When they finally get rid of Joan's pitiful little husband (thru Vietnam or his eventual suicide - maybe next week?), Joan will need a place to live. She's probably too worldly and proud to move in with Peggy but they definitely complement each other. At some point I think they're going to use each other to get what they want/need.

Someone in the thread noted how Joan started crying at her party. I didn't get the impression that she cried because she was so moved. I thought she was crying because she knew she was stuck. The presentation of the cake sealed off any opportunity that she might have taken to stay at Sterling Cooper. Everyone was congratulating her on her good fortune and only she knows the truth.


I have admit, TLO, that I have been focused solely on your PR recaps. I really loved your recap of this episode and the interesting responses after. Way better than the AMC sites chat room, which seems to be full of people wanting MadMen to be more like the Sopranos. They don't get it.

One question for the gang, I seem to recall Duck telling Pete that he'll call and say he's Conrad Hilton as a code, for kicks. Did I miss that? Guess I need to check my on demand.


SusanID said...
I love the reference to Justinian and Theodora, Dave. I was wondering if anyone knows a couple from the Mad Men time period who were both high powered, brilliant and pulling together like an equal team?

9/21/09 7:24 PM


Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward married in 1958.
Another show-biz power couple was Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller.

In business, however, someone like Peggy reminds me of Charlotte Beers, one of the first female CEOs of a major multinational ad firm who later became undersecretary of state under Colin Powell.


Did anyone else note the seeming blood spatter pattern on Sally's bed when she woke from her nightmare?

This was truly an awesome episode and great recap as always!


We had the incident last night but Joan was the star.

I love how she is the most competent. even upping her failed surgeon husband by calling for the tourniquet and knowing how to apply it as others shrieked or froze. Then we see her in the waiting room her dress blood stained looking like a surgeon and completely unplussed. Was she wearing surgical green last night?


I wonder what Matt Weiner had to do to convince the John Deere people to let him showcase one of their mowers lopping off Guy's foot?


To Lazy Mama-- Duck told Pete he'd call and say he was Clorox.


Thanks, suzq. i'll read up on their relationships. I am curious about this. My parents were like Don and Betty. I was wondering today about how a marriage between *equals* might have worked in the 60's( or pre-feminism in general).

You know, we have Bill & Hillary and Barack and Michelle etc. to see men & women who give each other space enough to be accomplished in their own right.

But in 1960? I think it would have taken some major humility on the part of a man to treat a woman equally in marriage. And they would both have to not care what other people would think.

There might be a better movie to illustrate this point, but "A Star is Born," with Judy Garland was released in 1954 - 9 years before this season of Mad Men is set. So Betty and Don would have seen that movie around when they got married - Joan a little after starting work at Sterling Cooper. Can't think of a more stark view of a woman's *role* than in "A Star is Born." Just remember, girls - If you succeed it will destroy the man you love.


My father's parents had a marriage of equal respect and love, as far as I can tell (they're both gone, so I can't ask). They met in a socialist youth theater group in the 30's, and were together from age 17 on. They collected Eames furniture and painted their kitchen to look like a Klee (I think they used a lantern slide projector for this). My grandmother worked for my grandfather - he was a commercial photographer and probably would have enjoyed Mad Men tremendously (or he would absolutely have hated it for not being PBS or tennis, it's hard to tell). She didn't carry through her fondest ambitions, but I don't think that was due to their marriage, I think it had to do with her own issues, which were many. I think their marriage was rare. My grandfather seems to have always respected women, and trained my father to do the same.

My mother's parents were more typical of the generation, but since they were from another country, they were traditional in that way. I don't remember my maternal grandfather ever saying "thank you" to my grandmother. They were kind of a Yiddish Archie and Edith Bunker.

So, there were marriages that might have looked more "modern" to our eyes. Don't forget, this is tv - gotta have the drama and conflict.

Look at Charles and Ray Eames...they must have had a really interesting marriage!


Oh, Leela. Thank you for that great story. What a lovely image - the kitchen painted like a Klee.

Also, I hope you inherited some of the Eames collection.


SusanID: precisely one fiberglass chair. I wish I could have seen that kitchen! I think they did the same to their living room, with Mondrian.

Returning to topic, I'm kind of amazed by Don's turn as Daddy all of a sudden. It makes me wonder, what does that character really have in him? Maybe he really does love his kids. The reason his tactic works with Sally is that he treats her in an age-appropriate way, whereas Betty treats her like she's a few years younger at least. Sally knows bullshit when she hears it.

I had this funny image of Joanie as an army nurse in Vietnam. But I'd rather her horrible husband be the one to go there, while she stays behind and remains fabulous. And: hypnotic boobs! Yes, they certainly were! Yeah, there's not a rat's ass of a chance that she's moving to Alabama with that guy.


Wasn't this episode just like what was said about Oliver!? A tragedy (or several tragedies) with a happy ending.


Why so little speculation on whose body that was on the floor? I thought it was Don at first but now maybe its Dr. McRapey?

I love the idea of Joan and Peggy living together if McRapey offs himself.


Oh JOAN, please come back to Sterling Cooper as a professional! I can't bear the thought that we won't see at least a bit of Joan. (Agree with yawning dog that the Brit office manager just has to go, but I don't think he's going to get fired over The Incident.)

I know, it's too much to dream, but do you know what an asset you would be to Campbell and Cosgrove? Or as a copywriter? Working with Peggy?!?!? PLEASE be more of a success than your husband!!! You deserve it so!


I hate it when I forget something.

Don let his Dick Whitman accent out last night when he rushed in to Sally's room. Breathe, tell me what's goin' on. And I thought there was something in how he tried to create a moment that he wished he'd had (or maybe he did) for Sally - the introduction of the baby brother in a quiet moment, letting her know she's loved, letting her know there's nothing to fear. Not to mention the lighting! made tears come down my face.


Fantastic episode, I can't stop thinking about it. Thanks for the great post, as usual, guys.


I thought it was interesting that Joan played doctor - very competently - in this episode while her husband, who truly is a doctor, can't hack it. I'm not sure what it all means, but I'm going to keep watching to find out!


Wow this thread was going strong into the night. Speaks volumes about the episode

Leela: I can relate about your granparents. My parents were atypical chinese immigrants. Hardworking and quietly demanding as expected from asian parents and seemingly traditional who were born in the 1920s. However in many ways they were very liberal and forward thinking. While expecting marriage and grandchildren, they wanted their boys and their girls to be educated, self-reliant and fulfilled personally. I always attributed that attitude to having lived through the communist takeover. The sudden change made them appreciate life more and how things can turn on a dime

Which leads us back on topic. A radical change like Kennedy's death etc etc should lead to some interesting plot and character devlopments. Yes Roger is likely going to get swept by the wayside but I can imagine Bert is enough of a pragmatist and survivor to possibly adapt.

SusanID: With a Star is Born at least James Mason did value his wife's career enough to kill himself to save it. Of course that's only because he helped make her into a star. I don't think they'd give Joan that kind of out for her to return to SC. It would come out too easily at that office where everyone knows her. JOan is a strong woman but I dont think the writers would be that cruel to make her endure such a scandal and trauma

Frank


They can't get rid of Joan, they have to find a way to keep her in the company. I love her character!


I, too, loved this episode and am dying to find out what Joan will do. Sterling Cooper can't run without her.


Vindaloo said...
Kudos to the show for giving Betty an after-baby belly. I have never seen that come out of Hollywood.

9/21/09 10:25 PM


=============

I agree!

=============

"Marriage of equals"

My parents both worked and I just a tad younger than Baby Gene would be. Mom went back to work about a month after I was born. They both worked blue-collar, manufacturing jobs. I remember, however, that most moms stayed at home or worked part-time. My aunt became a nurse, but didn't work until her kids were all in school.

It was more common to have both parents working if they owned their own business. But in my extended family, I do not recall any women who worked full time except for my mom.


TLo said:

"we were initially quite disappointed with the prospect of no more Lane on the show."

As was I! But once I started thinking about it, the center of their flow chart, Guy, is now out of the picture. Won't the flow chart now have to be reconfigured? We might get to keep Lane after all. :-)

I have a question. The Brits arrived on Wednesday, July 3. I understood that the staff was disappointed because the office had been scheduled to be closed that day. Why would the office have been closed? Would Sterling Cooper really have given their employees TWO paid holiday days, the 3rd and the 4th, only to return for Friday the 5th? Normally one only has the 3rd off if it falls on a Friday.

Maybe I misunderstood the situation... any responses?


The scene with Don and Joan was almost like watching a different show. It was a breath of fresh air, and it's weird how a short interchange like that can completely liven up the show.

The tractor bit was just hilarious. I felt suddenly very bad for him when I realized he was losing his foot and his job on the same day...but not as bad as I felt for Lane for being shipped off to India. So...back to equilibrium. Such a weird episode.


According to the writers at SLATE.COM, Paul Kinsey was singing the hymn "Jerusalem" while strumming his guitar as Guy and company walked past his door.

I'll have to catch the repeat to get a better sense of that.

Anyway..."Jerusalem," based on a poem by William Blake and it begins deliciously like this:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills?


This is the dramatic scriptwriting equivalent of an Yves St. Laurent couture dress.


To the person who asked, "I was wondering if anyone knows a couple from the Mad Men time period who were both high powered, brilliant and pulling together like an equal team?" I offer:

Lucy & Desi;
Henry & Clare Booth Luce


TLo you had a totally different perspective on the Betty/Don chicken salad interlude than we did here. We (my husband and I, not the royal we) didn't see it as a sweet moment between two people with an otherwise flawed marriage, we saw it as typical Betty, whose greatest source of joy in life is the size of her husband's ... wallet. Ooh - a promotion? London? A nanny? Come to Mama!

The other side of that equation is how much Don (well, DIck, more accurately) benefited from being able to marry into Betty's white-bread, country club, ex-model cachet. Having her @ his side certainly took him further than if he'd married any of the dark-haired bohemian/JAP/comedian's wives/teacher types he's clearly more attracted to.

I wonder if that's some of the great unspoken that lies between them ... they both made their deal with the devil to get where they are. Betty married "that guy" to piss off her parents and Dick knew he needed entree to a world he could never access on his own.


so poor Bobby is sort of the neglected dog in the family, then he asks if he could "pet" the baby...


Thanks guys for really interesting comments and observations about Mad Men and about *marriages of equals* .

Frank - hell now I'm going to have to rewatch A Star is Born. I always thought James Mason was just incapable of carrying on when his star was waning in relationship to his wife's. Which is less noble than permanently stepping out of the way to facilitate someone else's rise to the top.


Cynic,

It's pretty clear that both Betty and Don materially benefit from their alliance, but the indications are that Betty didn't marry simply out of spite or Don simply for status.

It's been made very clear that Betty was very, very sexually attracted to Don--to the point that her one infidelity was with a Don lookalike.

For the younger Don, Betty was the fulfillment of a dream--the girl who comes literally from the pages of a magazine. Don's not simply a ruthless power-seeker, he's a bit of a dreamer. You see it time and time again--last week with Conrad Hilton, where he doesn't ask for the moon--as the more ambitious Hilton let's him know.

Don's ambitious, yes, but not to the exclusion of everything else.


I have watched each episode, sometimes more than once and this was the first time I can recall Don laughing - smirking, wry smile etc, but this was a genuine laugh he shared with Joan...truer words never spoken - had the two of them initially hooked up, they could've ruled the world! Love this site and love the comments, too.


jeez "in relation' not relationship


another laura

Suzq:

According to the writers at SLATE.COM, Paul Kinsey was singing the hymn "Jerusalem" while strumming his guitar as Guy and company walked past his door.

I'll have to catch the repeat to get a better sense of that.

Anyway..."Jerusalem," based on a poem by William Blake and it begins deliciously like this:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills?

This is the dramatic scriptwriting equivalent of an Yves St. Laurent couture dress.

- - - - - - -

Holy cow, if that's the case, I just had a mental flip to a couple of riotous Monty Python sketches involving that hymn. I'll have to watch again and listen more carefully. At the time I was just thinking "Oh Paul, what the hell?"


another laura - I had the same response to the lyrics! Visions of Eric Idle, gazing meaningfully into the middle distance.


one of the best eps, Roger does get some of the best lines on the show. There was a theme running through it, about I guess how all our fears are realized in the dark and stillness of the night, Sally being afraid of the dark, Joan showing her real feelings once she turned out the light, Don and Sally in the dark, in the closing shot of them with baby Gene and a few more I can't think of right now. What a brilliant show.
I hope we're going to see Joan rise from the ashes, I know women didn't get divorced much back then, but I'd like to see her character do it or at least run him over with that lawnmower!


Wow, I did not know what to make of that party scene. It was so ridiculous that I worried the show was jumping the shark. But then, as Sterling pointed out, I'm sure it's not the first time a new director of an advertising firm has been run over by a lawn-mower at an office party.

I don't know what we did to deserve so much Joan this week but I sure am grateful! Am I a rube for hoping she gets the better job she wants and deserves? Maybe working for Peggy at another firm?


another laura

Leela, that's the one! Eric idle in bed, a lot of people climbing in on top of him, something like that.

There's another MP sketch involving buying a bed, where all the salesmen respond differently to tones of voice, or words, and one of them (maybe Eric Idle again!) has to sing the hymn while standing in a box.

Gonna have to pull out the DVDs


Joan doesn't have to lower herself to ASK for her job back. She needs to just walk in and tell them she's not leaving after all.


First time caller, long time listener. Great blog, please keep up the excellent writing.

I haven't read all the comments, maybe someone else has pointed this out already, but if not...

Reading your post about this episode, it struck me that "the incident" is itself foreshadowing for what's about to happen in American history. The admen were even talking about Vietnam right before it happened. Jackie gets sprayed with blood in a couple of months. So do Martin and Bobby. One of the defining qualities of the 60s was the violence that was brought into everyone's living room by television. So Roger's foreshadowing of the incident actually acts as a clue about how we can see the incident itself. Their whole world is about to fall apart. There won't be any return to normalcy after this one, though.


After watching again, I noticed one more thing: after The Incident, Moneypenny/Hooker runs in all disheveled, like he's been canoodling with the woman in the pink dress... with his hair looking like a Beatles mop. (You can see it in the screen shot above.)

Thanks, TLo & commenters, amazing insights!


The overriding theme for me was getting your hopes up and then having them swiftly dashed (this probably could be more eloquently: Don and Betty's (a new life in London), Guy's (boss man), Pete and Peggy's (recognized for talents, but then revealed to be an empty compliment), Roger's, Joan's, etc. The only one that doesn't fit in is Sally.


Lurker fan here, chiming in. As usual, rungay rocks the review! So worth the wait.

I cannot add much at all to the astute observes already commented on, so I'll just add some thoughts that struck me after watching this episode for the third time.

The writers never stop moving us forward, onward, and foreshadow everything they possibly can in hopes that our subconsciences plug in.

The Dylan song at the closing credits was the segueway to get back on the "awakening and revolution are coming" track.

Don and Betty's kitchen scene was like so many couples dreaming of starting over and perhaps willing themselves to commit that doing so could solve their problems.

Conrad Hilton urges Don to dream bigger, and why would he do this if he wasn't going to offer Don more.

Betty's little parental cliches with Sally are not working on Sally any more. Don confirms Sally's disillusion, but offers her truth and finally a real parent to believe in and be herself with, instead of the mythical daughter Betty desires.

Anyone notice how much older Bobby suddenly got, between Grandpa's helmet scene and the I'm bored scene?

When Peggy fainted in Pete's ready arms, it was only a split second but like the way they sold popcorn in the movies by flashing it during the movie
for a split second. And I agree that Peggy's frame of mind has become someone swept by the tide. This has got to be a set up for something coming up, if only to show us those damn brick walls of conformity back then no matter how hard anyone tried to plow through.

I like Joan very much, but very few here seem to realize she is solely responsible for her situation. I think we do her injustice by painting her as the uber-performing victim. That we see all sides of her as more than competent is great, but she's going to have to see that, too.

Layne and Don began forging some kind of bond over the Dr. Pepper and their being (mis) treated similarly.

Now, what I really think would be cool would be for the season finale to see Hilton offer to bankroll Don in his own agency, and Don convince Peggy, Pete, Sal, Joan, Layne (!) to join him. That's an entire agency if you think about it. Remember, we do not know what all Hilton has to offer, besides hotels and money, now do we? This is a pure what-if guess and it would have to happen this season. Waiting any longer destroys what has been created with all of this forshadowing and forward movement.

Regardless, something huge is going to happen at the end of this season, the Kennedy Assasination not withstanding.

Finally, I love how the writers continually illustrate for us WHY we have made the progressive decisions we have in America since the 60's. Episode 6 treated us to more of why the generation gap and the women's movement came about, and we were also shown just how necessary disability rights are when needed.


Aimeslee, I was glad to see your long post appear. I keep thinking about this episode, too.

On your last point about disabilities:

During Ted Kennedy's funeral, someone commented that of all the Kennedy siblings perhaps Eunice Kennedy will have the most profound and lasting legacy because of her work with the disabled - and the way she changed our perceptions. Seeing the Brits write off poor Guy as tho he were dead was a real jolt and a stark reminder of how much perceptions have changed.

I have wondered, though, how this scene would play in Great Britain. They must have had a bunch of amputees from WW2 (which would only have ended 15 years before 1960). Were they really that intolerant of people with disabilities?

On Joan: One thing that makes her such a compelling figure to me IS the distance between her ability/competence and her own estimation of her career possibilities/life choices. With a different mindset she could not only have continued on reading scripts or become a copy writer - but she could have run the place.

I think Joan's story illustrates how much a person is a product of their time. There are people at Sterling Cooper who break the mold (the guy who announces matter-of-factly that he is gay, Peggy who becomes a copywriter). But, a person who sees herself as being outside the expectations of her environment is the exception rather than the rule. And that applies to us now as much as it did to real life Joans and Peggies. We are all *prisoners* of the expectations our parents/school/culture have of us. It takes great big swinging balls to break out of the mold. So to speak.


This is going to be long and non-sequential, and take up two comment spaces, probably, as I took the time to read your post, T-Lo, and all of the comments first, and I took notes like a total dork. Apologies ahead of time.

###

Moment I loved: The hastily-scribbled "Sterling" on the org chart after Roger made his comment.

Image I found fascinating: Barbie's bright-red misshapen feet sticking out of the bush not long after seeing Guy's bloody and mangled foot.

Did that actually happen?: I could have sworn that Don's face was a little flushed after Joan kissed him on the cheek. Did Don Draper just blush at a chaste kiss? (Well, more like Dick Whitman, considering how genuine he'd been during their scene.) I could be completely wrong, as I've only seen the episode once.

###

I think the laughter at The Incident is due to the hilarious reactions of everyone at SC (excepting, of course, our Joan).

I was terrified they were going to run over Joan, actually, considering the color of her dress.

###

My mother, who lived through the time and constantly verifies the accuracy in her comments to me, hoped, like some other commenters here, that Joan would get hired into the TV department. While that would be perfect, both for Joan and for SC (and for us viewers), like I told Mom, I don't think anything like that would happen until such time as Joan starts seeing herself as something more than a fabulous secretary/office manager or a fabulous wife. She needs to see something more for herself, dream bigger, as Connie Hilton told Don. There was a hint of that in her conversation with Peggy. "You got what you wanted," I think Peggy said to her. And while Peggy learned a lot from Joan, I think Joan could learn something from Peggy's ability to see a different role for herself than the one given her. While someone commenting above didn't think that would be natural for Peggy to be the one offering the help (the foot in the door, ha), I can actually see it coming about quite believably: we're talking about a very different generation than the backstabbers whom you described. Besides which, Peggy did mention she wanted to give Joan a gift, that she owes her. I have a tiny candlelight of hope.


[Part 2]
###

@Aimslee: Yes, I noticed how much older Bobby looked, but it didn't bother me that much, as I've watch my nephews grow up that fast, too. It's amazing how quickly kids grow.

I liked that moment where Bobby kinda called bullshit on Betty for telling him to bang his head against the wall. "Only boring people are bored" made me want to punch Betty. I hate that aphorism so very much.

As for Don's parenting skills, he said last season, when he refused to beat Bobby for some transgression or another, that he didn't want his son to hate him as he'd hated his father. I think he's been growing into the role of father, allowing himself to be more himself as he does it (hence the lapse in speech someone else noted). It's actually been one of the more lovely character development arcs in the series. Also, I think the separation from the kids last season really bothered him. I think he wants more out of being a father. I don't think he knows what, though, but that might be because he's being at least two people, and it's hard to know what you want when who you are changes like that.

I find it fascinating that both Grandpa Gene and Don, though they hated each other, both seem to want much more for Sally than what Betty is pushing her towards. Then again, I think Betty's just sticking her into the mold she was stuck into; I think Sally's experience says more about what the `60s are going to be for America than anything else in the show (witnessing the monk's self-immolation on television, protesting the adults' reactions to Gene's death, no longer swallowing the pretty myth her mother spins for her, etc.).

Bobby's not getting as much attention from Don right now as Sally because Sally is the squeaky wheel. That's just how it is with siblings. Still, having the name he does in the decade he's living has worried me from the get-go.

###

Sorry for the cruddy writing.


Final thought: Why the hell didn't Guy get the out of the way of the John Deere? It's not like the lawn mower was going that quickly, or Lois was being stealthy. I think it was a sign of his complacency and arrogance, and he got cut down to size, as anyone in business will eventually be with that kind of sense of entitlement.

Poor bastard.


When Peggy first met Guy, her secretary's comment about his good looks made me think that he was being set up as a love interest for Peggy, but maybe that would have been too obvious for this show's more subtle style. I suppose the loss of a love interest can be forgiven when in return we get that delightfully shocking Incident, and extraordinary lines like, "the doctors say he'll never golf again."


The name thing came up again, Don saying "this has to stop, this name (Eugene)" I think that is a beautiful way to show the big problem in the marriage. I think it is Betty's way of having control and Don lets her have it until it starts interferring with the kids. Don is much more into the kids than his wife, cares much more about the negative affect the name Eugen has on them (Sally) then his wife's need to keep her father alive. Don has always been drawn to children (thinking of season 1 playhouse for Sally's b-day). So much attention on Sally when last episode "The Fog" we saw how Don admited to the prison guard that he doesn't throw the ball around enough with Bobby. I think Matt Weiner is setting us up for something to come with Bobby...

I think Don is realizing that he is more attaracted to the women that he respects from Rachel Menken, season 1 to JOan Hollaway, successful women who are not the traditional "housewife" This shows the big change in Men that has happened since the 60's... the perfect housewife with the perfect dress and the perfect meal waiting at home isn't appealing anymore, the women with ambitious and goals is getting Don's attention ....another layer to the feminist movement.
-Can't wait for Sunday night!
-Rebekah


Got half way through the billions of comments so apology if this was already posted.

If you want to see Time Magazine Cover from July 1963 with Conrad Hilton on the cover it's here:


Did anyone catch that in the show when Connie says to Don (paraphrase) "makes me look like an A-rab" . . .

The pre PC culture seems so in your face, although of course people today all have the same thoughts, we have just learned to cover our comments better. Back then, there was no need to cover, so people were much more blatant in with their words.


"for a split second we got the impression that if these two people had made different choices and wound up together, they probably could have ruled the world."

My thoughts exactly. Very Middlemarch.


Okay, I'm VERY late onto the bandwagon with this show and probably would never have watched it if it weren't for your jawdropping posts. And for that I'm eternally grateful. I'm absolutely obsessed with this show as I just bought all the episodes from iTunes and watched them over the last 4 days. I can now say that I agree with you 100% that this episode was (and still is) my favorite one of all time. It's not just favorite Mad Men episode, but my favorite episode of TV. Ever.


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