Mad Men: Waterloo
May 25, 2014 8:14 PM - Season 7, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Don receives a troubling letter; Pete butts heads with Cutler; Roger gets an unexpected phone call; and a risky venture entails a new future for Peggy.
posted by Sweetie Darling (750 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Um, what the hell was that??
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:15 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Huh! Kellie Martin!
posted by ApathyGirl at 8:15 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


OK, I forgot it was Sunday and missed the first ten minutes! Can someone fill me in? I came in when Betty (in an AMAZING dress) was in some kitchen talking to Kellie Martin (I think).
posted by leesh at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2014


BERT YEAS
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anywya: amazing ep!! I cried at the Bert Cooper farewell musical number. Nice callback to Robert Morse's early career. And PEGGY. WOW. And Roger! I loved this episode!!
posted by leesh at 8:16 PM on May 25, 2014 [6 favorites]


Surprised the monsters who write summaries for the cable company didn't slip "Bert changes his tune" or something in there.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:17 PM on May 25, 2014 [17 favorites]


This episode was finally just plain fanfiction.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 PM on May 25, 2014 [11 favorites]


I don't know if I'm weepy because of Bert and his socks, or because Roger seems like his old self, or because of Peggy ascendant, or because I have to wait a whole stupid year for the rest of this season.

Actually, that's a lie.

It's totally because of Peggy.
posted by rewil at 8:18 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


The last bit with Bert wasn't a precursor to this all being a dream/hallucination of Dick Whitman in a VA hospital, is it? Cuz I will cut a bitch if that happens.
posted by sfkiddo at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2014 [19 favorites]


Now I really wonder what the next chunk of eps will be like, if we're hitting a triumphant moment at this point in the season. I guess we'll see why Don was resisting going to McCann for so long.
posted by leesh at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Everything just worked out great because we actually went to the fucking moon. We really fucking did it. So fuck it why can't we just make shit happen right?

Then: darkness. Woe. Woe unto thee, last 7 episodes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Bert number at the end wrecked me. It's 6 or 7 or 8 years or whatever and we never see him outside the office and then there he is on his couch watching the moon landing and then the number at the end and maybe it's just my life right now but I actually literally wept.
posted by dyobmit at 8:20 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also I called it last week with the Oedipal comment Roger made to the Mcann guy. #calledit
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:21 PM on May 25, 2014


I don't know if I got more teary at Don solidly supporting Peggy throughout the Burger Chef pitch or Bert in his socks ascending to heaven with an escort of secretary angels. But I got teary.
posted by PussKillian at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2014 [6 favorites]


finally, finally I got to yell at the TV:

PEGGY YES

Little birdie has spread her wings and is ready to fly. Have you ever seen Don look that proud? She rocked that pitch and I think it's going to be Everything's Coming Up Peggy for a while.

I also loved that someone finally called Cutler on his shit, stuck him in a position where he had to say yes to the buyout. And it means the final 7 eps will be SCBLARGH as it always was (minus Bert. Sadface.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't necessarily think this episode was written to be triumphant, though. It was written as a finale (of the first half-season) which, in Weinerworld, means the definitive end of some things and the ambiguous beginnings of other things.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2014


I'm going to be very unsurprised to see a wide range of emotions about that dance number. From love to disdain to confusion. But it really did fit in well with the episode, and in the end was Matt W/ Dons tribute to Robert Morse as an actor as much as the character.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:24 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh and watching Cutler and Avery's ignominious departures will be pure schadenfreude but WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR THE NEXT TEN MONTHS

The musical number took me by surprise, because the show has never really done anything like that.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:25 PM on May 25, 2014


Megan: "Maybe you should move on. Aren't you tired of fighting?"

IT HAS TWO MEANINGS YOU GUYS
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:25 PM on May 25, 2014 [13 favorites]


EVERY EPISODE IN THE NEXT HALF SEASON SHOULD END WITH A MUSICAL NUMBER.

I feel like they've earned this level of indulgence, just go nuts, make it live action fanfic, have a an animated interlude, spend time in an alternate reality where MAd Men is just a TV show, dooooo iiiittt.

You don't spend more than half a decade on restrained complex drama without earning a batshit pass or twenty.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 PM on May 25, 2014 [13 favorites]


(and I've always wanted to see Don tapdance his way down those stairs, but Bert's stockinged feet were good enough I guess)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:26 PM on May 25, 2014


Well, maybe "triumphant" wasn't the right word, but there's certainly a lot of positive energy between the moon landing, Peggy's awesome and successful pitch, and Roger saving Don's job and making everyone a lot of money. I did also say that we'd probably see the downside of being part of McCann.
posted by leesh at 8:27 PM on May 25, 2014


This is my question, which I think is the fundamental question of this show: is Peggy's pitch, which called back so many themes from throughout the show and was delivered brilliantly, a lie or a truth?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:27 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also, the first part of the episode with Hunky footballer and Hunky worker guy I just..wondered aloud if the male gaze of the show got inverted.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Eh, Don's whole deal is that ads play with lies that are based in truth.
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2014


(I like how no one on twitter cared about Ted's crazy plane-stopping self-destruction. You're a muppet Ted.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I missed hunky guys????
posted by leesh at 8:28 PM on May 25, 2014


(oh oh oh I have such a Mad Men thing to SHOW you guys next week oh)
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


leesh: The first scene was Ted in his plane with the Sunkist guys (and a TERRIBLE green screen). He turned off the engine mid-flight and was suicidally ideating. Then Betty's houseguests had hunky football son and nerdy telescope son. And Peggy had a hunky guy putting a terrible drop ceiling in her apartment. She quickly clarified that Julio was *not* her son and he gave her his #.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is my question, which I think is the fundamental question of this show: is Peggy's pitch, which called back so many themes from throughout the show and was delivered brilliantly, a lie or a truth?

In what sense? She is going to go home and find a 10 year old on her sofa watching TV. Can you be more clear?

Also, the first part of the episode with Hunky footballer

And why the hell did Sally kiss his much younger brother, when Hunky footballer is a) legal, b) HOT AS SHIT, c) obviously the guy she's been making puppy eyes at since he hit the screen. Was it really just thanking some nerdy 13 year old for showing her something new? Cause it didn't look like it. And she's been hanging on HF since he walked through the door.

MADE NO SENSE
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


but then she cleverly INSINUATED he was her son for the pitch, so she seemed maternal and the voice of experience.

Wow she really is Don.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


Thanks, Sweetie Darling!
posted by leesh at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2014


Sally's going for both, some strange incestuous three-way plot in her Nancy Sinatra hair head.

OH GOD SALLY IS TEENAGE CHERYL TUNT
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 PM on May 25, 2014 [10 favorites]


leesh: The first scene was Ted in his plane with the Sunkist guys (and a TERRIBLE green screen). He turned off the engine mid-flight and was suicidally ideating.

I actually turned to my neighbour and said "Are they really going to go there?"

Wow she really is Don.

Learned from the master. But she's Don with a heart and a soul not filled to the brim with secrets and lies.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:34 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


And why the hell did Sally kiss his much younger brother, when Hunky footballer is a) legal, b) HOT AS SHIT, c) obviously the guy she's been making puppy eyes at since he hit the screen. Was it really just thanking some nerdy 13 year old for showing her something new? Cause it didn't look like it. And she's been hanging on HF since he walked through the door.

That guy was way older than her! And she realized she was parroting his dopey views just b/c he was cute. The other guy was secretly cooler b/c he was enthusiastic about stars.
posted by leesh at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2014 [39 favorites]


I mean, what kind of 17-18 year old is gonna make out with a 13-14 year old (how old is Sally now?). She was the same age as the other brother.
posted by leesh at 8:36 PM on May 25, 2014


Loved that Roger was watching the moon landing with Mona, Brooks and the grandson whose name I can't remember.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:36 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not way older. She's at least 16, probably 17 by this point. He's getting university scholarship offers, meaning he's only 18.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:37 PM on May 25, 2014


That leadup to the pitch was so stressful! And then I was so proud of Peggy, I was practically jumping up in my seat.
posted by lunasol at 8:38 PM on May 25, 2014


Im sayin, when she said a 10 year old boy was waiting for her, she meant the real boy who loved her, the neighbor. But Pete and Don jolted, thinking of the kid she gave up, thinking she was lying. The execs thought she meant her son. And the decade itself is ten years old, and about to die. Where is the truth? All of those things. And that is beautiful and terrible. The computer just finds better ways to distribute the pleasure lies. Most of the time they just hurt you and steal from you. But sometimes they show you a person walking on the moon, or a makeshift family that displays real love for each other. But they are still lies. We never actually landed on the moon.

More after this next break on the Ginsberg Variety Hour.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:38 PM on May 25, 2014 [34 favorites]


What, she's not 17!
posted by leesh at 8:38 PM on May 25, 2014


Sally's 15. Born in '54.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


EVERY EPISODE IN THE NEXT HALF SEASON SHOULD END WITH A MUSICAL NUMBER.

"They got the mustard oooouuuuuuut!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 PM on May 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


PEGGY NO NOT A DROP-TILE CEILING WHAT THE HELL
posted by palomar at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014 [40 favorites]


Thanks again, Sweetie Darling. :)
posted by leesh at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014


So...who gets Bert's abstract expressionist collection?
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Sally is just barely 15.

Kiernan Shipka is 14.
posted by ApathyGirl at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014


Yeah, Sally is 16. For me, it was the ultimate "Sally is her mother's daughter" scene. It's exactly the kind of thing Betty would have done.

Also, it sort of makes sense when you consider where Sally is, development-wise: the older guy is hot but intimidating. She knows the younger guy will be blown away by the fact that she even considered kissing him.
posted by lunasol at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Rich Sommer can sing Mr. Cellophane.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:40 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


PEGGY NO NOT A DROP-TILE CEILING WHAT THE HELL

Ugh it's gonna cost a fortune to rip that out in 30 years, if it survived. This is literally the most horrifying thing I've seen on this show.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 PM on May 25, 2014 [30 favorites]


The musical number was great. It fit with the Mad Men trope of playing with weird, experimental ideas and plotting in the seventh episode of a season (think The Crash, Seven Twenty Three, The Suitcase, etc.). at the same time, Don clearly experienced something there and it's probably going to be a major thing in the next half season. What an interesting scene to create.
posted by JimBennett at 8:41 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, Betty was making eyes at that shirtless dude when I tuned in, if I'm not mistaken.
posted by leesh at 8:41 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Huh, I always thought Sally was 7 when the show started. Oh well, I still think it's a Betty-in-training move.
posted by lunasol at 8:41 PM on May 25, 2014


and the grandson whose name I can't remember.

Ellery, cause dear god he is in the only social mileu where he could get away with that name.
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thank you. I was thinking Avery.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:43 PM on May 25, 2014


Loved that Roger was watching the moon landing with Mona, Brooks and the grandson whose name I can't remember.

That's what worried me about the phone ringing. I thought Margaret was dead--and they played it that way on purpose I think, down to the bead curtains in Bert's office before you realize where Roger really was.

Sally's 15. Born in '54.

15 and 17/18 is hardly an unheard of phenomenon. The younger brother was like 12 or 13, which is a bit... off.

So...who gets Bert's abstract expressionist collection?

I'm rather more interested in who gets Bert's shares in the company. Could change the calculus a bit.

I mean, Betty was making eyes at that shirtless dude when I tuned in, if I'm not mistaken.

"Good morning Mrs Francis."
*makes fuck-me eyes* "Betty."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:43 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Oh, and can we talk about how great that scene with Peggy and the hunky guy was? I loved how she announced so proudly that she owned the place, and he was so impressed. This was a power-episode for Peggy!
posted by lunasol at 8:43 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


MADE NO SENSE

Let's be honest with ourselves for a minute here: at that age, the single overriding factor is "availability".

Other thoughts in no particular order:
That tragic whimper of an end to the Megan-Don relationship was really sad, even if it's been coming forever.

It is weirdly uncomfortable to watch both Betty and Sally Draper ogle the same hot guy.

I'm gonna miss Burt Cooper, but man oh man did he get an exit. I'm gonna be singing "the best things in life are free" all damn week, just you watch.

Does the McCann deal mean no partnership for Harry?
posted by mstokes650 at 8:43 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sally is intrigued by the hunky asshole but her dad's riposte of his cheap cynicism made her realize that wonder and hope is way more desirable than sneering bullshit. At least for a moment and when it has its glasses off.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:43 PM on May 25, 2014 [36 favorites]


Does the McCann deal mean no partnership for Harry?

Yep. lol.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2014 [15 favorites]


Callback to Miss Blankenship. Bert is an astronaut too.

Thoughts on the meaning of his ghost's choice of song? Don feels he didn't deserve his success? Ghost-bert considers it a final gift (after all, he was the one who got Roger's ass in gear with his sly insult)? None of this matters, including advertising?

The super is SO Peggy's new boyfriend. Nice Italian Catholic guy. Ma will be happy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:46 PM on May 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


So, is the deal with McCann a good idea? It saves Don and everybody gets rich, but the bad juju is all still in play.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:46 PM on May 25, 2014


I DID miss the beginning so have no context for the boys, but the younger one seemed 14ish to me, ie more or less Sally's age. Of course I have no idea really.
posted by leesh at 8:47 PM on May 25, 2014


"I don't even own a television." SF Draper, NYU MFA '78
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:47 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


Oh also that scene with Peggy and the suits and Julio was totally a Mad Style shout-out, right?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:47 PM on May 25, 2014 [10 favorites]


(Oh, leesh, also Lou had a little tantrum in Cutler's office about how Don ruined their chances with Phillip Morris.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:48 PM on May 25, 2014


I hope so, and I'm sad the technology for txting a picture of both outfits to Joan is 40 years off.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Harry hadn't signed the partnership agreement before the meeting went down. So he wasn't a partner for that meeting, and gets zilch.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:49 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


The deal is seemingly great cause Don and everyone gets really stinking rich, then a promise that Ted can do pure creative and Don can "do work, not business" (I laughed) right before a song on how the best things in life are free.

Meaningful creative work is more important than money.

Of course only people with LOTS OF MONEY can say that.


I mean, Betty was making eyes at that shirtless dude when I tuned in, if I'm not mistaken.

"Good morning Mrs Francis."
*makes fuck-me eyes* "Betty."


Um..certain catty people in this apartment did say "Mrs. Francis are you trying to seduce me?" at that scene.
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 PM on May 25, 2014 [15 favorites]


Lou had a little tantrum in Cutler's office

I actually forgot Lou existed until I read this!
posted by leesh at 8:50 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


So, which Mad Men Character sings what from the Great American Songbook go.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, is the deal with McCann a good idea? It saves Don and everybody gets rich, but the bad juju is all still in play.

Well 1. Roger is now in charge. Nobody owns anything so it's just Roger running the show (and Don presumably by his side).

2. Teds coming back to NY. Does Peggy have to go? Would Don do that to her to save the sale? Might be a red herring but it could be an issue. Or Peggy could be all "meh screw this burnout I'm the boss now".
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:51 PM on May 25, 2014


The whole partnership missed opportunity with Harry was so mean and I admit freely that I laughed very loudly when I realized what had happened.
posted by PussKillian at 8:52 PM on May 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


Immediately preceding this viewing, we were watching a movie to gratuitously make the most of our new TV. Then Ted Chaough went for his little plane ride and he looked like fucking Team America: World Police.

I do love a man in argyle socks.
posted by Madamina at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also the old "Betty is sad in a quiet empty house in Ossining" theme playing again after who knows how long while Sally smokes alone in the Francis backyard looking at the night sky, that killed me too.
posted by dyobmit at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like Peggy feels awesome enough about her life right now that Ted coming back is a minor blip and not a catastrophe. Plus he's such a sad sack, not the charming guy who left her.
posted by leesh at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


The scene with Peggy and Julio broke my heart on so many levels. For both of them.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


There are so many possibilities in a young girl's life she could turn into her mother or into what her mother always feared she would end up turning into. That's it those are the choices.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:55 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


Biggest laugh line

"I don't want to go to Newark!"

"Ugh, no one does."
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2014 [15 favorites]


Oh god Peggy and Julio were just.. too much. I couldn't handle it. He's become her surrogate son (and her, his surrogate mother), and the only family she really has around on a regular basis.

She is going to fuck the living daylights out of Maintenance Guy though.

Also I'd say she's over Ted. Because now, she's the one who has choices. Ted got bullied into coming back and voting for the sale. He's out of choices, while all hers are laid out before her after that triumphant pitch.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:57 PM on May 25, 2014


Sally smoked EXACTLY like her mother. Elbow prop and everything. But just this once, she bypassed the BMOC for the nerd, for whatever reason.
posted by Madamina at 8:57 PM on May 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


Notice that Julio asks for a Popsicle. I can't stop seeing connections in this show it's making me paranoid.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:58 PM on May 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


I dunno, I feel like Sally is into quirkier guys. I mean, good lord, her first sort-of-weird-romance-thing was with GLENN.
posted by leesh at 8:58 PM on May 25, 2014 [9 favorites]


Does Peggy get free popsicles b/c of that ad campaign?
posted by leesh at 8:59 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


And we also got a precious "Oh, Meredith" moment. I love that little dimwit.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:59 PM on May 25, 2014 [13 favorites]


All Popsicles are free. If you share em.

*ascends to Nirvana*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:00 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wait, so is Bert's sister still alive?
posted by brina at 9:01 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


she could turn into her mother or into what her mother always feared she would end up turning into

That's exactly how I see Sally's behavior lately, trying on different personalities to see how they fit. She's been rebelling against Betty for awhile, but she's also seen how Betty behaves around men. Cue the hot guy, cue the big hair and big earrings. But by the end, it's Don's influence that wins. I have such hope for Sally!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 9:01 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


It was interesting that Don mentioned her, but I think she was bought out by the Brits. Unless he thought she would inherit Bert's shares.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:02 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I look forward to Whelky releasing The Annotated Mad Men With helpful colour illustrations &c in about two years.

I dunno, I feel like Sally is into quirkier guys. I mean, good lord, her first sort-of-weird-romance-thing was with GLENN.

I never read her relationship with Glenn as anything other than pure friendship. Also, he is coming back at some point right?

and oh god Meredith.

Wait, so is Bert's sister still alive?

My guess is the first ep of next season is going to be the reading of his will. Applecarts will be upset.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:02 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bert's sendoff had everyone in this house going "whaaa?". Still don't know what to make of it but what a lovely way to go out.
posted by thereemix at 9:04 PM on May 25, 2014


"The entire estate goes to the Ayn Rand Foundation, also I want my ashes scattered into the faces of some parasite communist kids."
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2014 [28 favorites]


I'm starting to think that by explicitly making an episode that caters so pointedly to the desires of his fans (the client) Weiner is making some kind of Meta statement about the validity of television shows as art. That they are more like an industrial art than a fictive art. More like cooking than like movies. They are beholden, like a restaurant, to the desires of the customer on a daily, weekly basis. And if they want McRibs by golly every once in a while you give it to them and the FDA critics can go fuck themselves.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


wait for next week feckless waaaaaait
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Before we were interrupted by Bert singing, I was so hoping for Don to walk up to Lou and say, "Get the hell out of my office."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:07 PM on May 25, 2014 [11 favorites]


Yeah, there's nothing wrong with a little fanservice once in a while.

Lou gets shit on!
Peggy aces the pitch!
Don saves his bacon and makes everyone rich, so he will be beloved again!
Ted...well, Ted will be less mopey for a while!
Man walks on the moon!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:08 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


I guess Jennifer can call that divorce attorney now.
posted by rewil at 9:10 PM on May 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


The cast of Mad Men SINGS the work of Rogers and Hammerstein!
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on May 25, 2014


The gifs have started. Missed Ken completely in this scene.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:11 PM on May 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


Jennifer is more of an abstract concept anyway
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


I did catch the brief second of MALICIOUS KEN GLEE
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


Sally singing "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" but only if she sings Rolf's part.
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 PM on May 25, 2014 [4 favorites]


I just don't even know what to say about this episode. I laughed. I cried. It became a part of me.

Peggy's pitch was really something. I suppose one would still call it "Draper-esque," but it wasn't just something Don would say coming out of Peggy's mouth.

I was very glad to see Cutler get his comeuppance. I hope he, Lou, Harry, and the IBM 360 are very happy together. We'll see if Roger's newly inspired vision, viz. take care of everybody, manages to work out, but it's nice to see him take responsibility. It was very interesting to see everyone reveal their inner desires in that meeting.

I think Sally was initially interested in Football Hunk, but realized that a) that's exactly what her mother would do, and b) he reminded her way too much of her father. (Which, that's what Cutler accuses Don of, being a "football player in a suit.")


P.S. MEREDITH NO!
posted by ob1quixote at 9:15 PM on May 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


The final partner's meeting was great. Pete's typical tone-deafness ("and I'll make twice as much as that!"), Roger's contempt for Harry ('buzz off") and Cutler's final shrug ("What? It's a LOT of money.")
posted by Chrysostom at 9:17 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


MEREDITH YES! She's literally a cartoon princess. I keep expecting bluebirds to appear to help with her hair and ribbons.

Now with all that talk last week about Joan's modest unchanging apartment, I think she's going to put all that money away for Kevin and then get into a Mildred-Pierce-like set up with her son growing up in the very tony world of Manhattan Millionaires and turning into an utter monster.

18 years down the line cue a desperate Uncle Bob, well dressed, charming, friend of the family...and utterly down on his luck.

let me keep my horrible soap opera dreams.
posted by The Whelk at 9:19 PM on May 25, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm so full of feels right now I can't even read the thread yet, I just have to sit here for a second and flap my hands at my face.

Right now my heart is singing Peggy's name and firing a glitter cannon in the air. Get it, girl.
posted by palomar at 9:25 PM on May 25, 2014 [10 favorites]




Biggest laugh line
"I don't want to go to Newark!"
"Ugh, no one does."


That was funny, but at our viewing we had to rewind to hear the dialogue that came after "Benedict Joan." People were howling.
posted by torticat at 9:45 PM on May 25, 2014


Well, I am glad this is here, because The Last Ever Mad Men Before TWoP Closes seems to have broken TWoP.
posted by jgirl at 9:52 PM on May 25, 2014


Cutler: Mack the Knife - The Threepenny Opera
Peggy: Wouldn't it be Loverly - My Fair Lady
Ken: The Impossible Dream - Man of La Mancha
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:53 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sepinwall.

I'd forgotten the line about Mrs. Blankenship.
posted by rewil at 9:55 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don's face when Meredith laid that kiss on him? I DIED. "...You can get my attorney on the phone." Still dying. Oh, Meredith, you sweet sweet goon.
posted by palomar at 9:55 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


Meredith - I'm just a girl who can't say no.

Bob - Money Money Money

Joan - I Am My Own Best Friend.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


I like Sepinwall for many reasons, but his speed in posting his recaps is near the top. Maybe he gets screeners?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2014


Whenever I think of Miss Blankenship, I think of this.
posted by palomar at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


What will become of Anna's ring?
posted by jgirl at 9:56 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Harry - Mister Cellophane

Megan - I Hope I Get It

Betty - After You Get What You Want You Don't Want It
posted by The Whelk at 9:58 PM on May 25, 2014


Ted: I'll Never Fall in Love Again - Promises Promises
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:00 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was some heartwarming shit; I was moderately sure I was watching the wrong show, but my cockles enjoyed it. However, if at any point Don breaks into "Being Alive," I'm going to swallow my tongue.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:01 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Don needs to sing something super sad and boozy possibly from "Company"
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


(or keeping in the Sinatra Vein "That's Life")
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Is That All There Is?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:04 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Roger of course needs "All I Care About Is Love"
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bobby Draper gets that Robin The Frog "This is the step I sit" song.
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ginsberg of course, the extended version of "The Meek Will Inherit"
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


What will become of Anna's ring?

I feel like Megan would return it, but not right away. She knows it's important to Don because it belonged to Anna and it seems to represent something true and serious and real to him (and not the stuff guys like him invented to sell nylons), but she knows it would be too hurtful (possibly for both of them) to give it back right away.
posted by palomar at 10:14 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


She damned well better give the ring back because she absconded with the fondue pot.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:19 PM on May 25, 2014 [14 favorites]


The dancing secretaries - were any of them real cast? Was that Shirley and possibly Scarlett in the back?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:19 PM on May 25, 2014


Peggy's pitch was really something. I suppose one would still call it "Draper-esque," but it wasn't just something Don would say coming out of Peggy's mouth.

I loved that Don said "I've overheard things" when Peggy mentioned he'd never seen her give a pitch.
posted by torticat at 10:26 PM on May 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


cause

you know

HEINZ
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


BEAN BALLET
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:32 PM on May 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I came in when Betty (in an AMAZING dress)

That dress seemed to me like something Ann-Margret would have worn in 1964... didn't seem right for 1969.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:17 PM on May 25, 2014


The dancing secretaries looked like extras to me, not regular cast. That one girl really did look like Scarlett, though.
posted by palomar at 11:36 PM on May 25, 2014 [1 favorite]




I have just stopped crying after ten minutes, so yay me.

Sooo...

My thinking is that Sally picked younger son over hunky older son because hunky older son is the embodiment of Don Draper (a football player in a suit, wasn't that what Jim called him?). She is rejecting the idea of having a Betty/Don relationship by kissing younger son (whose name was Neil? How perfect).

I had a wee moment of glee as one of the people who picked the end of Don/Megan last week with the curtains closing. It was too obvious, obvious enough to be a red herring, but it wasn't. And that moment of silence on the phone? He *knew* instantly. He had seen it coming for a long time.

Also Don and Peggy's hotel rooms, after Bert passed, had Asian motifs. I know it was trendy at the time, but it was too obvious a call to Bert's orientalism. If I went back and rewatched, I wonder if Peggy and Don would be in their socks/stockings (Peggy definitely, she was in that cute housecoat/robe thing).

And it WAS Kellie Martin! I thought so but missed the credits, and IMDb had nothing.

This could so easily have been the end of the show forever, like many of the season finales. I kind of wish it were.

And Joan, oh I hope she buries the hatchet with Don now. SO MUCH.
posted by tracicle at 12:27 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


PS: Play "Count the Telescopes" in this episode. Even Jim has a fake brass one on his desk.
posted by tracicle at 1:07 AM on May 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


You kissed me on a whim. What do I do now, forever?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:08 AM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised at how surprised everyone is that Sally kissed the younger son. Their moment at the telescope was really sweet. Back when I was that age, I would have been *wishing* that *he* would kiss me after showing me the stars, but Sally's a badass and just went for it herself! More power to her!
posted by rue72 at 2:01 AM on May 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


What's the Napoleon trope about here? Who is Napoleon in this final battle? Didn't Don succeed despite what Bert said about comebacks? Or is this sale actually a huge failure of the company as an independent venture? 5 years from now, there will be no more SCDPCABCDEFG even as a subsidiary.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:00 AM on May 26, 2014


I think Sally decided to kiss the nerd after he told her cigarettes cause cancer, out of pure joy at hearing a bold unvarnished fact especially suited her for her Betty hate.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:03 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Harry hadn't signed the partnership agreement before the meeting went down. So he wasn't a partner for that meeting, and gets zilch.

Don told Harry to not negotiate and just take the deal.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:21 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


As someone with a fifteen year old girl in the house, I can tell you that Sally's kiss means she's going to be alright.

I'd much rather have a fifteen year old girl have the upper hand in a relationship than the boy (an older boy) have the upper hand. That way lies not just heartache, but real danger.

Sally's going to be alright.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:25 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought Jim's description of his vision was super interesting -- the idea of using the computer to make targeted ad buys, outsourcing that as a service to other agencies...look, he's not wrong! That is, in fact, a big piece of the future! It's totally soulless, of course, and even Roger can't stomach being in the ad business without creative. I wonder how much of that conflict we will see in the last half of the season, as SC&P tries to operate an ad agency built on a totally different premise -- the human touch -- as the world moves into the next decade.
posted by devinemissk at 4:43 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe Cutler is supposed to be Napoleon. The office, from our perspective, is dominated by the old Sterling Cooper guard. Don is the one who returns for his "hundred days" but he's really a key part of the old establishment. Cutler is the one who's had a coup of sorts, represents the revolutionaries and tries to make radical changes to the agency.

And he loses and will probably get an exile of sorts in the new subsidiary. And this makes Roger into Wellington. Roger, with his old-ish money and upper crust connections, makes sense as the monarchist leader victorious against the republican upstart.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:54 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


What are we to think of a Randian singing "the best things in life are free"?
posted by crossoverman at 5:00 AM on May 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


That little astronaut helmet on Ellery was adorbs.
posted by hush at 5:00 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


I had a good feeling that they were going to kill-off Bert. The character had been conspicuously featured throughout this half-season, with the scenes primarily showing how upset he was with the direction his agency was heading (remember his line about how he didn't like how the agency was being spoken of?) Plus, with the squabbling amongst the partners and Don's precarious return, it seemed to make sense that Bert should die and leave the question of what happens to his shares up in the air.

Of course, by the time the show returns next year (@%$*!!!???!) all that will have been determined, and we'll see the agency several months down the road from this. Though Bert openly asserts that Don is a pain in the ass, might he also understand that Don embodies the kind of work that he felt his agency stood for, and bequeath his shares to Don? I don't think Bert was evolved enough to recognize Peggy's vital place in the agency and give her shares.

Oh, and, I just want to say, this episode brought back some wonderful memories of that summer for me, watching that moon walk all night. It's pretty powerful when you get to witness some actual fucking story-of-mankind-level history.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:06 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


What a fantastic ep - puts paid to my theory about Draper, Campbell, Olsen, etc. I think I read that they won't be fast-forwarding time in the latter half of this season, but I'm still wondering if they'd attempt a '5 years later' at some point...
posted by adrianhon at 5:49 AM on May 26, 2014


I had a wee moment of glee as one of the people who picked the end of Don/Megan last week with the curtains closing.

It was obvious all last week, esp. when she was cleaning out the closet. "I miss my things" = "I might as well take all my crap since this marriage is over." Pro-tip: if your squeeze says nonchalantly, "Oh, hey, while I'm here, I'll just take home those three books I loaned you," they're going to dump your ass imminently.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:10 AM on May 26, 2014 [10 favorites]


As someone with a fifteen year old girl in the house, I can tell you that Sally's kiss means she's going to be alright.

Amen. The moment felt completely correct to me: in 1969, 14/15 would be just about the age to start experimenting with sex, and she started with the more emotionally accessible, less-obnoxiously-alpha brother. Wish I'd been that smart.

And younger brother looks like he's positioned to be a nerd who inherits the earth. Nice choice, Sally: contrast with Betty's emotionally closed-off "Ty Power" choice of first husband. It's doubtful that Sally will continue anything with the kid but the impulse bodes well for her.

Speaking of guys and their gear, interesting that Megan had a telescope on her porch. I don't think she was the purchaser of said telescope, not that no woman in 1969 had a telescope of her own, but she's not the type. I think she'd already started moving on to greener pastures by the time she and Don wrapped it up.

Finally: "I should have known it was coming. When an old man starts talking about Napoleon, you know he's a goner." I'll cast that as my vote for best Roger Sterling quote ever.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:17 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


"The clients want to live, too, Ted!"
posted by hush at 6:29 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


As far as I understand it, next season's premiere will fit chronologically right after this season. So the first will be a week or possibly as much as a month after this finale episode.

I think it'll be less time rather than more, because they have to a) set up the final arc of the story, b) read Bert's will (seriously, calling it now: his distribution of his shares will Change Everything), and c) show Peggy reaping the rewards of a successful pitch--it was sort of brushed off in this episode--only Don knows she's won the business so far.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:36 AM on May 26, 2014


All the feels for Peggy & Julio down by the school yard.

Looking at the links here - Robert Morse reminds me of a short Jim Carey.

So when Don saw the writing on the wAll, he fought but provided for Megan, paved a path for Peggy, & let Meredith down easy.

Roger stole Jim's vision to hook McCann.

Looks like Joan is having regrets for such a hard lining up with Cutler .... Sorta. :/
posted by tilde at 6:38 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, I wouldn't go with Oriental theme on the Hotel rooms. Funky period stuff yes.

Commander cigarettes + Scout's Honor = precursor to Joe Camel pitch?
posted by tilde at 6:41 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Um, what the hell was that??

I said the same thing on Twitter afterwards and a quick search of the #madmen hashtag showed I wasn't the only one. I don't mean it in a negative way. I was impressed with the symbolism of the musical number. I just figured it would end with Don having suffered a seizure or stroke or something.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:41 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Looks like Joan is having regrets for such a hard lining up with Cutler .... Sorta. :/

She was angry with Don because he cost her a whole lotta money when he kiboshed the original sale deal.

She is now less angry with Don because he, specifically, is integral to the new deal which will actually net her more money. Joan's a mercenary, we've always known that I think.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:45 AM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I don't think Bert can leave his shares to anyone; his is absorbed & bought out to his heirs.

If his sister hasn't survived him, I think he left something to Joan (bit of $$) & the Ayn Randians or Art Society or something.
posted by tilde at 6:47 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


There was some talk earlier in the season about taking a financial hit from paying out Gleason's shares, so I think you're right, tilde.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:48 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why can't he? The shares are his property to bequeath as he wishes. Bert was far too much a strategist to hamstring himself and hand control over the agency to god knows who when he kicked the bucket.

I think the thing about Gleason's shares was just that they wanted them absorbed back into the company, not that they were required to buy back.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:51 AM on May 26, 2014


Gleason died, have to buy him out. Lane suicided, not sure it they had to buy him out, though Don unilaterally paid baxk Lanes capital payment out of his death insurance. Lane had shares, but not sure if they bought him out. Eventually, yes. But that right away is the death payout.

Lol I've got a tween praising Peggy's speech over my shoulder here. :p

Okay really watched Don & Petes faces this time at the 10yr old in front of my TV line. Whoa. Nice.
posted by tilde at 7:05 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm not crazy. The caption writers got Don & Dawn mixed up. :P
posted by tilde at 7:11 AM on May 26, 2014


Captions Apple TV - Only on Joan's speaking of her. Other than that, Don & Dawn are fine.

The consensus around here was Don stroking out too, but Bert was nearly a father figure to him & he had just saved his job and company.
posted by tilde at 7:19 AM on May 26, 2014


I think Bert's sister will choose not to be such a 'silent' partner now that she no longer has a relative on the inside that could watch over her interests.

From the Season 2, Episode 12 synopsis:
Bert Cooper’s sister Alice arrives. He inquires about her “companion” Florence. She refuse to take off her shoes. They eat lunch and discuss the merger. Bert has misgivings, Alice is in favor. Bert muses about his love of cows.
This could be interesting. The second half of this season will start with the funeral or just post funeral, I bet.
posted by readery at 7:21 AM on May 26, 2014


Don's face when Meredith laid that kiss on him? I DIED. "...You can get my attorney on the phone." Still dying. Oh, Meredith, you sweet sweet goon.

That scene gave me life. I don't which was better, Don telling Meredith to get his attorney on the phone or Littlefinger last week saying to Lysa, "Your sister."

She is now less angry with Don because he, specifically, is integral to the new deal which will actually net her more money.

So maybe now she can climb off Don's ass.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:34 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


What are we to think of a Randian singing "the best things in life are free"?

Well, it's a song from the twenties, around the time Bert founded the company. So it's period-correct, at least.

I think it's best not to dwell too much on that titular line. "The moon belongs to everyone...the stars all shine for everyone..." -- those are the almost-too-on-the-nose thematic lines. "The best things in life are free," is pretty ironic when the actual price of the experience they'd all just shared was stated outright -- and also, because the song is obviously really about love, and "marriage is a racket."

But, remember, this was Don's fantasy. I think he really just needed to feel okay about feeling more happiness about the deal (or, perhaps more importantly, simply not being thrown out on his ass) than grief about Bert's death, so his brain had Bert give him permission.

On a totally different topic: Did Cutler say he participated in the bombing of Dresden?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes he did.

Seems to fit the character.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:46 AM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


Did Cutler say he participated in the bombing of Dresden?
Yup. Kind of apropos, donchathink?

Also...Am I wrong in recalling that Don didn't have a single drink in this episode? Even when he poured Roger a stiff one?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:46 AM on May 26, 2014


Ted: "You've flown, haven't you ever felt like that?"
Cutler: "Over Dresden? I wanted to live!"

And no, I don't think we saw Don drink at all, but I need to do a rewatch.

The year-long wait for new episodes might kill me, you guys.
posted by palomar at 7:54 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don wasn't drinking and there were bottles near him all the time. All thru the awkward pauses with Megan, he was framed with a bottle of scotch(?) nearby.

And I was relieved when Peggy announced that Indiana was dry, so there was nothing but a couple of bottles of beer.
posted by readery at 7:57 AM on May 26, 2014


FanFare series rewatch, palomar! Maybe starting as soon as next Sunday!
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:00 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jon Hamm's face at the end of Cooper's song registers so many different emotions - he really is good at that. (And my mom and I joke that the vein on his forehead ought to be nominated for an Emmy.)

I hope he has a successful career after this.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:02 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Don was drinking beer with Peggy but maybe that doesn't count.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:04 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


THIS IS JON HAM FOR MERCEDES BENZ IM SHOUTING AND I DONT KNOW WHY
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 AM on May 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


THE TIMBRE OF MY VOICE IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE CONTENT
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:06 AM on May 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


THE WORD "WORK" HAS AT LEAST 2 SYLLABLES

LEASE A HYBRID YOU BETA PUTZ
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:09 AM on May 26, 2014


The radio commercials are the shoutiest.

But there's one recent MB commercial where Hamm is like, Barry White, smooth and it's just so sexy. It's got a lady driver and it talks about things like aromatherapy. There's nothing accidental about any of it.

Also interesting that Slattery didn't stay on as Lincoln's pitchman.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:09 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


And I was relieved when Peggy announced that Indiana was dry, so there was nothing but a couple of bottles of beer.

Indiana, in 1969, was most assuredly not dry. We did have Sunday laws which forbid alcohol sales on Sunday, even in restaurants, so that's probably what she was referring to. Later in the 70's, the laws were changed to allow businesses that also served food to sell booze on Sunday. Still no retail package sales on Sunday, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah it was "Indiana is dry on Sundays" not "Indiana is dry."
posted by ambrosia at 8:12 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I took Bert's song as Don being hit with the reality that he's not free anymore because he just agreed to a five year contract. Old Don had major issues being stuck anyplace, and the one time he did sign a contract, he had to come up with an elaborate plan to get his whole agency fired to get out of it.
posted by almostmanda at 8:29 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


And, I suppose, the contract he recently agreed to. The one that Cutler was trying to use to oust him.
posted by almostmanda at 8:30 AM on May 26, 2014


I feel like they've earned this level of indulgence, just go nuts, make it live action fanfic, have a an animated interlude, spend time in an alternate reality where MAd Men is just a TV show, dooooo iiiittt.

Well, Pete did turn into Abed for a minute there ("The Don Draper show is back from its unscheduled hiatus!"), so it only makes sense that Mad Men will go full-on Community for the last half season.
posted by arto at 8:35 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I agree that Don's agreeing to a five year contract seems like a good route to unhappiness for him, but let's not forget why he agreed to it in the first place:
Don: Roger, I just want to do my work. I don't want to deal with business any more.

Roger: And what about everyone else? We all send out resumes? Cutler's not going to stop until the firm's just Harry and the computer. That means everybody goes...

Don: [stricken look]

Roger: ...and you know it.
Given the circumstances it's a very responsible move by Don. He knows he can go anywhere and still be well-off; in fact I think at this point in the ep he's almost resigned himself to moving on. But he does feel a responsibility to the people in SC&P and Roger's plan - with Don's sacrifice of tying himself into a contract - saves them.
posted by adrianhon at 8:43 AM on May 26, 2014 [14 favorites]


That's insightful, adrianhon. I think when it comes down to it, Don is really really concerned about Peggy (and the other creatives, too). Even people like Meredith. It's the biggest distinction between his leadership style and Lou's. Remember when he first came back to work and everyone wanted to show him baby pictures and schmooze with him? They're a family.

OMG the family table. Man, this show is so well-written.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:46 AM on May 26, 2014 [10 favorites]


Yeah, a lot of self-sacrifice from Don this week.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 AM on May 26, 2014


There was this great ...expression when Culter says "you're a bully, a football player in a suit." that's half "you have no idea what the hell you're talking about" and half " what personal de,on did I just walk into and how can I get out."
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on May 26, 2014


No drinking (one beer, not Don-drinking), turns down the cute blonde receptionist, takes a backseat to Peggy's (brilliant) pitch...

If Weiner really is trying to ask the question "Can people change?" it's starting to look like the answer is yes, at least for Don.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:50 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


turns down the cute blonde receptionist,

Don would always have turned her down. The only surprise here is that he didn't snap at her (e.g. Peggy's clumsy move in Season 1: "I'm not your boyfriend'), and that's a combination of the letter being the important thing just then and her being too silly to even engage with.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:00 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


I hate to admit it but I am going to miss watching Lou Avery and Cutler. Such a pair of weasels. Did anyone notice how you could see Lou's undershirt through his short-sleeve dress shirt? Ugh.
posted by ambrosia at 9:05 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


There was this great ...expression when Culter says "you're a bully, a football player in a suit." that's half "you have no idea what the hell you're talking about" and half " what personal de,on did I just walk into and how can I get out."

This is close to what Betty said upon discovering Don's real identity--that she thought he was a football player who hated his father.

None of these people know him. They're all totally shallow in their assumptions about him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 AM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


...when Culter says "you're a bully, a football player in a suit."

Which, in my experience, is exactly how numbers-driven marketing guys tend to see creatives who fight for their ideas. There's really no room for creatives in Cutler's world, except as trained monkeys to bat-out whatever the numbers say to do.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:13 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meredith's kiss was great, but I also love the way she sits down on the couch first and somberly pats the cushion next to her. She comforts adults like an elementary school guidance counselor would. It's only after THAT doesn't work that she goes in for the kiss.
posted by almostmanda at 9:17 AM on May 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


I agree that Don's agreeing to a five year contract seems like a good route to unhappiness for him

Agree with all your comment, adrianhon, except maybe this. Don's running away from his problems has NEVER worked out well. His agreeing to a contract may well be the very best route to happiness for him.

Also I think I disagree with TLo (not that anyone here is arguing this) that Don's giving up the pitch to Peggy was the most self-sacrificial thing he's ever done. I think giving up the CA gig to Ted was on par. He really wanted to get out, start over (as usual for Don), and also he had to know that choice was going to land him in a world of trouble with Megan. (Looking back now, it may well have cost him the marriage.)
posted by torticat at 9:22 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's going to be funny to watch her over the next 7 eps. Remember, she didn't say "You're right" when Don turned her down, she said "you're right, not now."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:22 AM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I hate to admit it but I am going to miss watching Lou Avery and Cutler

Lou Avery's gone, gone. But Cutler? He'll still be around won't he?
posted by torticat at 9:23 AM on May 26, 2014


He really wanted to get out, start over (as usual for Don), and also he had to know that choice was going to land him in a world of trouble with Megan. (Looking back now, it may well have cost him the marriage.)

Don's conscious mind is the last part of him to realize what he wants. This is probably the most realistic thing about the show, and that's saying something. Y'know those brain monitoring experiments that seem to clearly indicate that we "decide" to do a thing after we've already started doing it? Don is that writ large.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:31 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh no. Cutler's uppance will come. He'll take the money, obviously.

My hope is that he'll come in, go sit in his office, and have Ken or Pete walk in and say "The fuck are you doing in my office? Get out of here."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:31 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


But Cutler? He'll still be around won't he?

I got the impression from Roger's discussion with the guy from McCann, that Cutler, Lou and everyone else from their former agency (except Ted) would be gone.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


torticat: True; Don's tried running an agency for the past few years and it didn't work out terribly well for him personally (except for the millions of dollars he made, I guess). Perhaps being a minion at McCann will make his life a little easier and less complicated.

I wonder what this move will mean for Peggy. We - and Don, and Pete - know that she's got game, but will Sterling and McCann know that and give her corresponding power? I wouldn't be surprised to see Peggy head off into the sunset to become a Creative Director elsewhere. It'd be a sensible move for her, and of course she doesn't have a five year contract.
posted by adrianhon at 9:35 AM on May 26, 2014


Just to add, one of the reasons I've been so interested in Don's motivation is because I also used to be chief creative at a bigger (games design) company and then left it to co-found a new company. For the first three years I really didn't want to have anything to do with the business end until I realised that in order to do the best work, you need to get involved.

I became CEO a few years ago - while still wearing the chief creative hat - and while I love the autonomy and independence we have, I occasionally think along the same lines as Don, about just doing the work. Matthew Weiner captures that conflict incredibly well given that it's probably not something that is very common. Certainly these last couple of seasons have gotten me thinking about my own position in a way that no other piece of writing or drama has.
posted by adrianhon at 9:41 AM on May 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


I occasionally think along the same lines as Don, about just doing the work. Matthew Weiner captures that conflict incredibly well given that it's probably not something that is very common.

Actually, it's extremely common amongst creatives working in advertising/marketing. In my years in the business, I can maybe think of one or two creatives who actually liked doing the business side, too. "I just want to do my work" is almost a universal theme among creatives in that field.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not even in marketing anymore, and I totally understand the "just want to do the work" mindset. I don't want to give a fuck about profit margins or labour costs; I just want to cook and cook and cook. I think this is a pretty standard mindset amongst creative people generally, not just in ad agencies.

All the creative people I know just want to do the work. They don't want to be bothered by taxes or whatever, they just want to do what they do and let the bean counters count the beans.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:53 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


>Thorzdad: Also...Am I wrong in recalling that Don didn't have a single drink in this episode? Even when he poured Roger a stiff one?

He and Peggy were drinking Old Style from cans that Peggy got from the night clerk. Certainly not up to Don's normal standards of boozing, though.
posted by schnee at 9:57 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


More of Burt's wonderful singing in Before They Were On Mad Men (excuse the Buzzfeed!)
posted by ellieBOA at 9:57 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wonder what this move will mean for Peggy. We - and Don, and Pete - know that she's got game, but will Sterling and McCann know that and give her corresponding power?

Has Peggy been training/groomed for an obsolete role, though? She's great at creative at this point, but...creative is being valued less and less, so maybe that won't be enough?
posted by rue72 at 9:58 AM on May 26, 2014


But that's the point; they've driven out the soulless automatons (Cutler, Avery) who DGAF about creative.

Creative's back, baby. Series ends with Peggy sliding her name into Don's doorplate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:00 AM on May 26, 2014


I'd forgotten that when Anna died, Don "saw" her in his office. The important people to Don are sort of like dead jedi knights.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:02 AM on May 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


Yup. The creative is what won Burger Shack.
posted by adrianhon at 10:03 AM on May 26, 2014


She's great at creative at this point, but...creative is being valued less and less, so maybe that won't be enough?

Don't confuse Cutler's dream with the larger world of advertising. Certainly, a methodical, numbers-centered service such as he described is absolutely on the rise (in '69) and will come to be a major force. That said, the big agencies (like McCann, JWT, etc.) understand that creative is paramount to their service.

Think of it this way, Cutler's vision is somewhat akin to skating to where the puck was, as far as creative goes. Cutler's dream service will almost certainly "borrow" concepts already done by the McCanns of the world. The McCanns are not only skating to where the puck will be, often they already have the puck.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:04 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah. The most targeted ad buys on TV or in magazines, billboards, experiential marketing--all of it--will do absolutely nothing for you if you don't have solid Creative to back you up.

Cutler wanted to excise Creative entirely and just do consulting work, essentially, for the rest of the agencies on Madison Avenue. Basically he wanted to turn an advertising agency into a market research company--which is exactly the sort of thing a bean-counting little grey man would love, because it's all just numbers.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:07 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just watched. Will actually dive into conversation momentarily but


WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT MUSICAL NUMBER
posted by Sara C. at 11:02 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


It was fucking fantastic is what it was.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:08 AM on May 26, 2014 [20 favorites]


1. I liked Sally and the nerdy younger brother. Who I don't think is ~13 but more her age. Remember Sally won't turn 16 until sometime in the spring of 1970. My read on going for him over the older brother is that the older brother represents cynicism, while the younger brother represents idealism. You can be the cliche bubbly blond teen with big hair and a crush on the hunky football player (insert vision of the future, knocked up Sally gets an abortion, it's all very Go Ask Alice On The Hudson), or you can be your own person, looking up into the stars with someone who is your equal and who actually respects you. I like that the show lets Sally pick the latter. Also I'm pretty sure that scene predicts what I've thought for a while will be Sally's future, as a scientist or similar brand of STEM-inflected wonk. She's neither a hippie nor a preppy, she's just herself.

2. The entire episode I just kept hoping Ted wouldn't kill himself. More for Peggy's sake than anything else. I don't think she can afford to lose another prominent male figure in her life to the anomie of the times. Also last week sweetkid and I were privately figuring out how the show was going to let Peggy get her groove back, and what they ultimately did is exactly in line with what I'd hoped. (Let some random dude demonstrate that she's fuckable, but not let it be a marriage prospect.) I am sad that she's doing every terrible aesthetic choice ever done in a gorgeous pre-war brownstone, though. You are just going to tear all this drop ceiling nonsense out when you finally hire a decorator in 1974, Pegs.

3. Ellery is the kid who has all the toys but his parents don't give a shit about him.
posted by Sara C. at 11:23 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm also imagining an embarrassing scene where Sally shows up to the town pool as proto-Pam Anderson, some dumbass kid falls in, and she has to jump in and save him, destroying her makeup and Nancy Sinatra hair and forcing her to remember who the fuck she is.
posted by Sara C. at 11:24 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


So...who gets Bert's abstract expressionist collection?

No lie, my first thought in this episode was BURT COOPER HAS A POLLOCK OVER THE COUCH BE STILL MY HEART
posted by Sara C. at 11:26 AM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wish all dead people on TV sang songs before they took their final bow.

All I can keep thinking is, it's astonishing what polar opposites Mad Men and Breaking Bad became. It feels like every creative choice that each show made is the foil to what the other one had in its head. Despite being alliterative shows about alliterative men struggling with genius and constructed notions of masculinity simultaneously, the approach each has to using its cast and constructing its plot is about as far apart from the other as you can get.

(There is a STEM vs. humanities joke to be made somewhere here, but I'll let somebody else make it.)

I am so deeply grateful that Matt Weiner isn't as focused on symbolism and theme-driven character criticism as many of this show's fans seem to be. Every discussion I've heard about this show for years has been "Don's gonna kill himself" and "watch as society crushes the old generation" and gloom and darkness and humbug and blah. Weiner, on the other hand, has always voiced sympathy for his characters, and admitted that they represent personal demons as much as anything. I was delighted, at the end of the last season, to see the show finally end a year in something resembling sunlight and hope rather than Greek fatalism, and this season has largely continued along the same path. It's been lovely to see a show make the shocking point that people are capable of change despite the enormous difficulty involved, and I'm going to hope that the next semi-season is just as realistically non-fatalistic as this semi-season was.

Tremendous episode all around, really. Was the show always this good? I don't remember enjoying it nearly this much for the first, like, five and a half seasons. But every episode this year has been a major treasure.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:33 AM on May 26, 2014 [20 favorites]


Meredith's kiss was great, but I also love the way she sits down on the couch first and somberly pats the cushion next to her.

Deliberate reference to: Shut the door. Have a seat.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:34 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ahhhhhhhhh RORY YESSSS.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:35 AM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Glad you're back partner. I'd absolutely love it if the show ended in hope and friendship. But the 70s were hardly that kind of time for everyone.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:36 AM on May 26, 2014


I thought the 70s was a time of disco, magic, and drugs leading up to the horrible collapse of modern society initiated by the 80s. Jesus, did we not have ONE decade where everything was perfect and people just wore tacky shirts all the time?
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:40 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Tremendous episode all around, really. Was the show always this good?

At its best points, yes. And I'd say about 85% of episodes since S1E01 are Mad Men's best points.

For me at least it is very easily in the top 5, if not 3, best television shows ever made. I truly hope for a few things for its ending:

1) Weiner doesn't tie everything up in a pretty red bow, but
2) Doesn't leave enough ambiguity for some network asshole to
3) Make a goddamn stupid spinoff.

also, 4) that in a couple years there is a full boxed set of all seven seasons, packed to the gunwales with extras and commentaries and bloopers and behind the scenes stuff and maybe a 'follow the white rabbit' type feature like The Matrix did--every so often a something appears onscreen, you hit a button on your DVD remote, and then you're taken to a little mini-feature that explores the callbacks in that particular scene, or the costuming choices and how they reflect X from something two seasons ago or whatever. I want commentaries by the entire cast, although for my tastes personally I want one cast member at a time commenting on an episode, then do another recording session with all the cast members.

OKAY I WANT A LOT OF THINGS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:41 AM on May 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


50s. Cf Everything's been downhill since.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:42 AM on May 26, 2014


And that moment of silence on the phone? He *knew* instantly. He had seen it coming for a long time.

Well, that and when you tell your wife you're finally coming to live with her after a long absence, and she doesn't say "YESSSSSSS!!!! BABY I MISSED YOU SOOOOOOO MUCCCHHHHHHHH When can you get here? Tomorrow? Tonight? Should I make dinner reservations?", that's a big clue.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2014


Which she would have done, like, a month earlier. Not that it would have worked but still. Don missed his chance to save this marriage (or give it a stay of execution).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah it was that

"...
...
...
...Don..."

that broke my heart. That godawful silence which neither of you wants to break because no matter what either one of you says, it's over and it's irrevocable.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 AM on May 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


She lit a cigarette I believe. Going to be a hell of a moment in a cigarette-lighting supercut some day.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:47 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Does this mean that maybe Neve Campbell comes back in the second half of the season? Or was "Lee Cabot" truly a one-time-only appearance?
posted by ambrosia at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2014


And he loses and will probably get an exile of sorts in the new subsidiary. And this makes Roger into Wellington.

So would that make Ken Cosgrove Lord Nelson?*

I'm going to hell now.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:50 AM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I hope "Lee Cabot" was just a one-off. That airplane "connection" was the most awkward scene in the (half-)season.
posted by rue72 at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm in love with the idea that Meredith is under the impression that Don is, like, a magical secretary-elevating sex unicorn. She was around to see him marry Megan, and there have been rumors for years that Peggy slept her way into a copywriter job.

Even Dawn is now office manager/head of personnel, though I don't think you can connect that to a sexual relationship with Don Draper even if you add heavy innuendo to the mix.

This is just what happens when you're Don Draper's girl, in Meredith's mind. You sleep with him and then magic and you come out the other end Somebody.
posted by Sara C. at 11:55 AM on May 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


1. Become Don Draper's secretary.
2. Sleep with Don Draper.
3. ?????
4. PROFIT
posted by Sara C. at 11:56 AM on May 26, 2014 [18 favorites]


I didn't like Lee Cabot much either but that may be because of my negative feelings about Neve Cambell. Lack of celebrity cameos (of both Historical Figures and modern Famous Actors) is one of my favorite things about Mad Men.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:58 AM on May 26, 2014


Actually, it's extremely common amongst creatives working in advertising/marketing.

In any field really, for people who move from "doing the work" to management. It's something my wife the veterinary technician has really struggled with, for example.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:00 PM on May 26, 2014


I know I shouldn't hate on Joan being so dinero-driven, but damn, girl. Also, Harry is due to jump off of a building now, I'd say. Always the bridesmaid.
posted by mynameisluka at 12:00 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


"watch as society crushes the old generation"

I don't know, I think the whole question of this episode is "Is Don Irrelevant?"

His marriage dies the same day he realizes that Cutler intends to drum him out of his own company. He's passed the creative baton to Peggy, the next generation.

In the end, though, there is at least someone out there who thinks Don is the opposite of irrelevant, he's the only thing worth poaching (note that McCann is really just bringing all of SC&P along for the ride so as to get Don and, nominally, the other man made irrelevant this season, Ted). It's interesting that this is a deal worked out by the older generation. What does that mean for the ultimate answer to that question? This week, we're left with "You're not irrelevant to other old white guys, though!" Which gets you how far, exactly?

Interesting that McCann's five year contract gets you through Watergate. Who's more relevant, Don Draper or Gerald Ford? I feel like I need to read Nixonland in order to understand the next half-season.
posted by Sara C. at 12:05 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


[Sally's] neither a hippie nor a preppy, she's just herself.

It's both hilarious and sweet that Margaret, rather than Sally, ends up being the one who drops out and absconds to a stoner commune. Pretty good multi-season legerdemain on Weiner's part.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


His own fault though for not signing the agreement in time.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like seeing Don's relationships with women (because I think the way he handles friendship with women is pretty interesting, even his friendship with Sally or Betty or his former-mistress-turned-drug-addict), but Don-in-a-romance is always so emotionally shut-down and dull.

So a loooooong scene with a dead-eyed Neve Campbell and Don in his dead-eyed romance mode in a dark, cheap-o-looking plane just didn't work for me. I doubt it would work better outside of a plane.
posted by rue72 at 12:07 PM on May 26, 2014


Yeah, Harry was enjoying being belle of the ball too much. Tut tut.
posted by rue72 at 12:07 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Which she would have done, like, a month earlier. Not that it would have worked but still. Don missed his chance to save this marriage (or give it a stay of execution).

C'mon, it was all over at the freakin' Howard Johnson's.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:08 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


50s. Cf Everything's been downhill since.

One thing I thought about a lot while watching this is how much the moon landing was kind of America blowing its wad, in terms of modernism and progress.

But none of these people know that. Which is very interesting. I'm a little sad that, by the end of the series, still, nobody is going to be anticipating how complicated things are going to get. I don't know that I'd want the show to run forever and end on Reagan's "Bring Down This Wall!" or anything, but it would be kind of neat to get a fast-forward montage or a coda of some kind, not unlike the famous Six Feet Under ending. But not exactly like that. I just want, like, Fourth Of July Weekend, 1976.
posted by Sara C. at 12:11 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I thought the marriage was over when he put her in the elevator after she quit her job. Remember he then almost walks into the elevator shaft?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I want the CW to do a Sally Draper spin off.

Mad Men could be the most beautiful and endless backdoor pilot ever.
posted by rue72 at 12:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sara C., one of the recappers mentioned the end of China Beach, which focused on each of the main characters in the future. That would be pretty cool.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


One of the recappers mentioned the end of China Beach, which focused on each of the main characters in the future.

That was one of the most (beautifully) depressing seasons of TV ever, and it's not like the preceding seasons were a pony party.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:18 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


But I think that's been done. And isn't really Mad Men's style. Then again I didn't think Bert Cooper's song and dance routine was Med Men's style. But at least that hasn't been done before on another show.

I think if there's any kind of flash forward coda, it would be one scene that features multiple characters and/or gives us an inkling of the future of various characters. It won't be "and here's a snippet for Joan, and one for Harry, and one for Bobby, and one for Dawn, etc." I think it would be more like the time Don ran into Rachel and her new husband.

Like, Peggy, Pete, and Don are interviewing accounts men for their new agency, and newly out and fabulous Bob walks in.
posted by Sara C. at 12:20 PM on May 26, 2014


at least that hasn't been done before on another show.

I liked that scene in context. But at the same time it was pretty goddamn Ally McBeal.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:22 PM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I would hope if there's going to be some kind of wrap-up, it's Don giving an interview or something. "When Roger died I took over the agency, Peggy blahblah, Joan blahblah," like the final scene of Slings & Arrows. Summarize, but quickly, and make it resonate emotionally. Montages never do.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:25 PM on May 26, 2014


I wish we could catch up with Rachel, Midge, Miss Farrell, etc. They were way more interesting than Don. Poor Midge, though, probably isn't doing great.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:26 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know, people kick heroin. It can be done. And she has the benefit of doing it in the era before the crack epidemic changed everything about how institutions relate to drug addicts.

The real problem is, Midge kicks heroin and then, what? She's like shadow Joan, 40 years old and with nothing to show for it. In a context (bohemian life) that values youth even more than mainstream society does. What happened to all the old beatniks in the 60s and 70s? Did they just dry up and go straight? Did none of them make it? (Not counting Allen Ginsberg since he was such a fixture of the 60s counterculture.)

Actually I think my ideal wrap-up for Don is that he and Midge run into each other in rehab and ultimately find a kind of peace with each other. Also, Betty would have a fucking field day.
posted by Sara C. at 12:37 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Angry Don calls Roger out of his office (and then all the other partners) after getting the letter, Harry comes out of Roger's office too. I wonder if he was negotiating, or worse, about to sign the contract. If so, that's horribly bad luck for Harry!
posted by tracicle at 12:37 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Roger's joy in booting him out of every partner meeting implies that he didn't exactly have the pen in his hand.
posted by Sara C. at 12:38 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's more likely that if he sat down with any one partner, it would be Cutler. But more funny (painfully) to think he was on the verge of signing.
posted by tracicle at 12:39 PM on May 26, 2014


Why do they hate Harry so much? I've never understood that. I love that they shit on him but I don't really get it.
posted by vbfg at 12:42 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Because he's a climber and doesn't pretend he isn't; he doesn't know his place.

That's my theory anyway.

And Joan takes a great deal of joy in booting him out too.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:45 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Right now, "our team" (to use Bert's parlance) hates Harry because Harry is Cutler's man.

I think over the course of the series, Harry is just one of the show's comedic punching bags. I'm also fairly sure that he's Matt Weiner's whipping boy and stand-in for the fabled Network Exec. Even though I call Matt Weiner's entire Creatives vs. Suits narrative into question and think even he can't possibly believe that.

The interesting thing is that the show isn't terribly consistent with how it uses Harry. Sometimes he's a Suit stand-in, but a lot of the rest of the time, he's an audience stand-in/Greek Chorus kind of character, and sometimes we're meant to sympathize with him. (For example his entire Season 1 story arc is actually pretty sweet and sympathetic.)
posted by Sara C. at 12:47 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's because Harry's a buffoon. He isn't even a sexy buffoon the way Roger is, or a bitter, amoral buffoon the way Pete is. He's just a fool bumbling about trying to be more respectable than he is, even though nothing he's done personally or professionally deserves much respect at all.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:50 PM on May 26, 2014


In re-watching Season 1 -- and especially the pilot -- in light of my thing last week about how minorities are portrayed on the show, I think Mad Men would be infinitely better if they'd made Harry a non-WASP. It would make a lot more sense and add some cohesion to the way he's characterized.

Harry definitely could have been the "we dug up a Jewish person in the media department" character in the pilot, which would have worked as perfect justification for every character development that follows. Make that a glimpse at a brass ring he always assumed wasn't for people like him. Harry Crane, the outsider who was told he could be an insider, and he had no idea it was all a big joke.

As it is, with Harry really no different from any of the other privileged junior execs, his characterization is kind of a mess.
posted by Sara C. at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2014


Uh actually I think Rich Sommers would make an excellent wintertime teddy bear, with a little more muscle maybe.

So count me in on team Harry Is A Sexy Buffoon.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:54 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Rich Sommer:

DAT DIMPLE THO
posted by Sara C. at 12:56 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


If any of you Mad Men fans sew or are even just particularly into the sixties fashions, Vogue Patterns' Facebook page posted a really great album of vintage Vogue patterns for each of the main female characters and talked about what kind of a sewer each would be. Whoever wrote these things brought considerable wit and depth of Mad Men knowledge to the job. It's like fan fiction for sewers and it damn near made me faint for joy.
posted by orange swan at 12:59 PM on May 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


I joked to my boyfriend recently that Matthew Weiner should make the Mad Men finale a musical and break the internet. I kind of got my wish.
posted by fozzie_bear at 1:00 PM on May 26, 2014


As it is, with Harry really no different from any of the other privileged junior execs, his characterization is kind of a mess.

See, but I disagree with this. I liked Matt Weiner's extensive interview in The Paris Review where he talked about how fond he is of episodic storytelling, versus stories where every piece clicks perfectly in place. Harry is a perfectly believable character to me, and I think he's a pretty great one, in that he's served as villain and bumpkin, aide to the "good guys" and complete ineffectual roadblock. He can be hilarious and tragisympathetic and completely awful as the story demands.

I think that this is the thing which makes Mad Men stand out as a show more than everything. For all that it is super high-concept and touches upon a lot of issues, it completely resists the urge to act as a gestalt, where every plotline has a clear start and finish, every character serves a purpose, and every action has a clear and fatalist consequence.

It lets the show be about its characters, in a way that other shows claim to be but aren't (hi, LOST!), and in a way that lets the show be consistently and repeatedly surprising, in ways that are super-satisfying and far more emotional than I ever expect them to be. Like, I can't predict in my head what this show could do to make me feel feels, and I also can't predict it at all. Which is why every time something happens I get far more choked up than I expected to, and which is also a super surprising and delightful thing for a TV show to be/do. It's a slice of life show in a way that dramas rarely let themselves be, and it's goddamn brilliant at doing it.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:09 PM on May 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


Also, can we talk about Peggy's dress during the presentation? THAT GREEN. Peggy has been knocking it out of the park with some of her recent choices IMO, and after a couple years of frequently-awful decisions, I was thrilled at how perfect that choice was for that occasion.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:11 PM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


No, I'm OK that Harry is portrayed in shades of grey, so sometimes he's a buffoon or a roadblock, and sometimes a sympathetic dude.

The problem is that this isn't consistent within his actual character. There's never any rhyme or reason for how he's going to behave and whether it's going to be seen as good or bad. So, like, Joan. Sometimes she's going to be a bitch, and sometimes you're going to feel for her. Compare for instance her behavior just this season, where on the one hand she shows incredible kindness to Bob, and on the other hand she's on Team Cutler. But it's not random. She's not sometimes awesome and sometimes the worst. There's a thread running through her character, so that we know why she does what she does even though it's drastically more complicated than Joan Is A Good Guy or Joan Is A Bad Guy.

But with Harry, we don't get that thread of why he's doing what he's doing, even when we disagree with it. There's really nothing there. It's a testament to Rich Sommer's talent as an actor that we even kind of give a shit -- he's like the anti Jessica Pare.
posted by Sara C. at 1:17 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


And Joan takes a great deal of joy in booting him out too.

Remember when Harry used her to read scripts, and then once he could show the bosses that this was a valuable role, he didn't even consider hiring her, but brought a bunch of guys in to interview? She's disliked him since, and for good reason. Yeah, you could say it was the times, but Don was smart enough to promote Peggy.

Rory, one of the things I love about Mad Men is that it's one of the few shows where I often find myself having absolutely no idea what's going to happen next, because the plotting really is pretty truly character-driven. Most shows, even really great shows, succumb to the temptation to have characters do things purely to forward the plot, but Mad Men is about putting all these complex, imperfect people together and seeing what happens. And since they are complex, that makes plot developments relatively unpredictable.
posted by lunasol at 1:20 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Most shows, even really great shows, succumb to the temptation to have characters do things purely to forward the plot

Mad Men actually did this right in this very episode, in the scene with Bert's speech about voting to keep Don because Don is on "my team", and being against Cutler because Cutler isn't. You can see the writers trying and failing to come up with a reason for Burt to be on Don's side, so they cheat by having Bert just do what the plot needs him to do, but in a self-aware sort of way.
posted by Sara C. at 1:24 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, I disagree, Sara C. I think Harry is kinda the show's version of a "Nice Guy." He seems like someone who was raised with a fairly strong ethical core, but he's also really ambitious. He's often torn between the ethical side and the ambitious sides of himself, but he's one of those people who thinks that just the fact that he thinks about right and wrong make him a Good Person, and deserving of success. This has made him really bitter, as he watches others become a lot more successful than him, simply because they're more charismatic or have better family connections. It's this weird mix of morality, entitlement and bitterness that drives him.

Oh, and he's a buffoon just because he seriously has no social skills.
posted by lunasol at 1:26 PM on May 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


The same with Ted deciding to take the five year contract, too, actually. They sort of sidestep why the fuck he would do that. Don is just like, "Trust me, you can't quit," and Ted is maybe kind of buying it, and then the show just sort of shakes a toy birdie in our faces and moves onto the next thing.

I adore Mad Men, it's literally my favorite television show, and I fucking love me some television shows. But if you start looking, you absolutely can see the seams. They're there. Matt Weiner isn't god.
posted by Sara C. at 1:26 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


To clarify, Sara C. I was referring to this comment. :)
posted by lunasol at 1:27 PM on May 26, 2014


Oh yeah, I'm sure I overstated my case about plot vs. character. I guess it's more that I appreciate Mad Men because it allows character to drive plot more than most other shows, rather than it never allowing plot to drive character.
posted by lunasol at 1:29 PM on May 26, 2014


Was that cheating though? If memory serves, Bert has alluded to fighting in at least two wars; the concepts of 'my team' and 'your team' would be pretty well embedded in his character, along with the ideas of loyalty and leadership. I thought that was actually a very unguarded and honest moment from Bert.

I thought Don and Ted were actually having a really really high-level meta-discussion in that short exchange. They know each other; they're the same kind of guy: driven by their passions. So Don and Ted were talking about their passion--the creative work--and Don sold him on staying.

Remember, also, that Don is (legendarily) the best pitch man there is... and he just pitched Ted, mostly because it fucked Cutler. I didn't see a toy birdie there anywhere; I saw the double whammy of two people understanding each other, and Ted at his nadir being sold by the best man in the business.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:30 PM on May 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


Mad Men actually did this right in this very episode, in the scene with Bert's speech about voting to keep Don because Don is on "my team", and being against Cutler because Cutler isn't. You can see the writers trying and failing to come up with a reason for Burt to be on Don's side, so they cheat by having Bert just do what the plot needs him to do, but in a self-aware sort of way.

OBJECTION

I actually think that that's a beautifully Bert moment. He's kind of senile and racist and silly or whatever but he has these deep Objectivist notions of what it means for Man To Achieve etc, he's supported Don and recognized his brilliance from season one, and while Roger's been the amoral savvy guy whose personal life has gotten shittier and shittier and kept him away from giving a damn about the company as time's gone on, Bert pretty much has nothing besides the company, which is his baby through and through despite his never seemingly having the force of will to make an impact on it whatsoever.

I loved his supporting Don out of loyalty, I loved his chastising Roger for not being the leader he ought to be, and I LOVED that his death is what prompts Roger to start thinking about preserving the company, because suddenly inertia is not enough and This Shit Matters (or at least, it mattered to Bert).
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:35 PM on May 26, 2014 [13 favorites]


Also Ted doesn't hate advertising, he hates California, and the reason he comes back is No More Cali. The theme of "god fucking damn it we all hate California" was probably the bluntest of the themes this season.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:36 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Re Don and Ted being the same kind of person, there's a picture from last night's episode of Ted right after he hangs up with Cutler and Pete. He's sitting in his office, liquor bottle next to him, feet up, watching TV. It's exactly Don in episode 2, except there aren't any Ritz crackers.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:36 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I dunno I'm clearly going to be on Harry Watch for the whole re-watch. Maybe there's something there I can't see.

Was that cheating though?

Absolutely. Every other character had an immediately obvious reason why they would or would not vote to keep Don, based on specific things they've previously said or done. Except for Bert. Now, Burt's choice to fight for Don out of loyalty is fine. It's not against anything we know of his character. But there's no obvious reason for Burt to be on Don's side, a lot of reasons for Burt to vote against Don, and the writers obviously have nothing, so "I voted for him because I hate Cutler" is what they went with. Which is perfectly OK. But there's definitely some late night cram session "oh I don't know just put something down" sleight of hand going on.
posted by Sara C. at 1:36 PM on May 26, 2014


Rory, yay!

Something I've been thinking about: did they say last night that Bert "has" clients? In what sense?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:39 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


he's supported Don and recognized his brilliance from season one

Just a few episodes ago wasn't he deeply suspicious of Don coming back? He was more for it than Cutler and Lou, but IIRC he was definitely OK with all the petty contractual bullshit that gets us to the conflict of this episode. He certainly hasn't seemed too glad to have Don back.
posted by Sara C. at 1:40 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also Ted doesn't hate advertising, he hates California, and the reason he comes back is No More Cali.

That's where the "shake the birdie in our face" moment happens. Everything Ted has said in this episode implies that he wants to quit advertising. Now he's faced with signing a five year contract. The obvious answer is not just no but Hell No, because we already know he wants to quit advertising. (Notice Ted doesn't ask Cutler to transfer him back to the home office, he tells Cutler he wants to quit the business entirely.)

Don says like three words and Ted still looks doubtful, and then somehow we magically get to Ted actually being OK with it as long as he can come back to New York. Which wasn't even part of the conversation -- Ted could always have come back to New York, and nothing in this deal has anything to do with the LA office.

It's not terrible, but it's not great. It gets the job done in service to the plot.
posted by Sara C. at 1:45 PM on May 26, 2014


Actually, thinking over the whole "conflicts over what it means to be a man" thing, Bert Cooper is kind of awesome in the sense that he has no, none, zero conflicts over his ideals. To him, manliness is all aspiration and genius and conquering the world, and this business is his collection of all the best people who reflect that. He's savvy, and that means he's wary of Don after Don's very non-Randian meltdown last season, but if Don's back and doing what he's supposed to do, then you stick with him, because Don in many ways is the idealization of Cooper's dreams — except for the whole messy being a human being part. Would that he could be a serial killer like that one dude Ayn was in love with.

It's a neat trick: Cooper strikes me as a typical Objectivist in that he personally is not the brilliance which he aspires to be, but he has enough money that it doesn't matter and he chooses to use it to support his delusions of grandeur. It's obviously ridiculous, and at times he's been a clown around the office, but he's still presented as a man who sticks to his guns, and gets to go out watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon and saying "Bravo."

Maybe I only like it because I have a certain fondness for parts of Rand's writing, certain ideas within Objectivism that get clouded over by horrible shit-shit, but Cooper's exit — supporting Don included — struck me as a beautiful end to a person who was problematic along beautifully straight lines. Ending on his singing a song even feels like the Randian send-off, like Atlas Shrugged's playwright who rewrites the story of Icarus and Daedalus so that Daedalus reigns triumphant. In Mad Men, that triumph is interlaced with a good dollop of irony, but it's ironic in a way that's as affectionate as it is maybe cruel. Lovely. If I haven't made it clear this is one of my favorite season finales of anything ever, and in some ways it was all about Bert Cooper and Bert Cooper's big dreams, idealistic and foolish and still wonderful in a problematic way.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:46 PM on May 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


Bert might have been ok with the petty contractual bullshit they foisted on Don, but I think Cutler wildly overstepped by sending out that letter firing Don without discussing it with the partnership, and from that point Bert Cooper clearly viewed himself as opposed to Cutler, which I don't think had ever been framed quite so clearly. Mostly I think he was offended that Cutler would make that kind of move unilaterally.
posted by ambrosia at 1:47 PM on May 26, 2014 [20 favorites]


Good job Ted was in NY for the partners' meeting, otherwise there's no way Don could've convinced Ted so quickly; 60s phone quality just wasn't good enough to convey the exact timbre of his voice...
posted by adrianhon at 1:47 PM on May 26, 2014


Don says like three words and Ted still looks doubtful, and then somehow we magically get to Ted actually being OK with it as long as he can come back to New York.

Ted's not okay with it, he's super doubtful and Roger forces his hand. Because Roger's a bastard, and Don is seductive, and there is almost no way that Ted starts off happy next season but who cares, for now it's Don and Roger reigning triumphant!
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:48 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


And another ode to Bert.... when I saw Pete giving his pep talk to Don on the plane to Indiana in this episode, I flashed back to Bert Cooper telling Don after the whole Pete trying to blackmail Don over his desertion incident, "Don, you can fire him if you want, but you never know what roots loyalty will grow from", or something to that effect. Did Bert call that? Pete LOVES Don now. Dance on in your argyle socks up there with Lane Pryce, Bert.
posted by orange swan at 1:50 PM on May 26, 2014 [23 favorites]


I think Pete's transformation is actually one of the best things the series has ever done. I love that bastard now, something I never would've expected when I started watching. I think it's a combination of his consistently progressive politics and his massive amount of amazing one-liners in the last few seasons. Despite his inherent douchebaggery and posturing, he's someone who is generally fighting for things we support (Don, the company, social justice), and it's a remarkable thing.

I hope he comes back to New York, he always loved the city more blatantly than anyone else on the show, it feels weird to me, him in California.
posted by JimBennett at 1:59 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pete loves California too. The only place he hated was suburbia. Pete's a guy who needs stimulation.
posted by orange swan at 2:29 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also Ted doesn't hate advertising, he hates California, and the reason he comes back is No More Cali. The theme of "god fucking damn it we all hate California" was probably the bluntest of the themes this season.

They've been pointing out in really subtle ways that Ted was homesick, like the episode where he's back in the New York office for a day or two to deal with clients or something and his secretary walks in with a boatload of bagels for him to take back on the plane. Cutler's all like, "Aha! You miss New York!" but Ted goes "No way broseph, these are for Pete, I don't even," and then later we see him back in California and there's a bagel on a plate on his desk. Little tiny things like that.

Also, the only time his face wasn't full of misery in that partner meeting is when he asked, "So I'd move back to the city?". I saw a glimmer of hope in those giant Muppet eyes.

The company hasn't been the entity requiring Ted to stay in California. Ted's been doing that to himself. It was his self-imposed exile to get away from Peggy and save his marriage, and the misery he's going through isn't because he hates his job, it's because he essentially walked away from the best and most interesting parts of his job when he left New York. He has no creative team in California to bounce ideas off of, to be inspired by... he just sits around, moping, with his thumb up his ass, missing his old life. And I think he's punishing himself by making himself stay out there, so it makes sense to me that the only way he'd return to New York for good is if he was "forced" to do so.
posted by palomar at 2:34 PM on May 26, 2014 [12 favorites]


Despite his inherent douchebaggery and posturing, he's someone who is generally fighting for things we support (Don, the company, social justice), and it's a remarkable thing.

A thing like that!
posted by lunasol at 2:38 PM on May 26, 2014 [16 favorites]


Don did what all the good advertisers do: created a need, showed Ted how to assuage that need, and gave him permission to do it with the fig leaf of being 'forced' into the decision.

And did it all in about 90 seconds. Because Don's just that good.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:39 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ted's not okay with it, he's super doubtful and Roger forces his hand. ... there is almost no way that Ted starts off happy next season but who cares

Yeah, that's the birdie that got shaken in our face during that scene. You can see the writers saying, "Oh god, guys, who cares about Ted, just get him to yes and let's move on."

Again, this doesn't mean Mad Men is a bad show or anything, but a lot of the McCann buyout stuff was rushed and not really earned at all. It's all "Let's do blah." "No, I don't want to." "But foo!" "Oh, OK."

Then again, the weakest part of Mad Men has always been the stuff about how business actually works, so OK, sure, that's very obviously not why we're here. And I think it would be a weaker show if it did get bogged down in making the merger happen, or trying to do really smart justifications for why characters we rarely see would decide one way or another. The sloppy stuff is expendable, and that's fine. At the end of the day, we're really just worried about Peggy's terrible renovations anyway.
posted by Sara C. at 3:36 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


You are just going to tear all this drop ceiling nonsense out when you finally hire a decorator in 1974, Pegs.

Ha, not necessarily. We tore those ceilings out of our pre-1900 house in NYC when we moved into it in 2001.
posted by torticat at 3:43 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a revoltingly stained drop ceiling in my kitchen. It's totally going when I eventually get enough money together to renovate it.
posted by orange swan at 3:45 PM on May 26, 2014


Flash forward series finale: Peggy rips out the drop ceilings and puts in textured Sheetrock & popcorn ceilings.
posted by tilde at 3:47 PM on May 26, 2014 [11 favorites]


You can see the writers saying, "Oh god, guys, who cares about Ted, just get him to yes and let's move on."

Like I said, I see the writers writing what Don does best: sell shit. He sold Ted on signing a 5 year contract. That's how much Ted is at his nadir; he didn't even realize he was being pitched.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:47 PM on May 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


Flash forward series finale: Peggy rips out the drop ceilings and puts in textured Sheetrock & popcorn ceilings.

I've got those too, but I can live with them.
posted by orange swan at 3:50 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


This says Alice Cooper (that always made me laugh) is no longer a partner.
posted by tilde at 3:51 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but I lived with them with a Smoker Gah.

I felt the drop ceiling was too industrial or office like though; we had those, installed around then, at home. They were almost like tongue and groove panels & a pain in the ass when they had to be built around or reset.
posted by tilde at 3:55 PM on May 26, 2014


Gonna keep agreeing with FFFM here: I don't see anything rushed about that final scene with the partners. That was masterfully set up and masterfully executed, and it revolved around a double climax of Don disorienting Ted and Roger knocking him down. With a nice denouement of Cutler giving in once the tides turn against him, because hey, this isn't personal for him. He's just got an idea for a company is all.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:01 PM on May 26, 2014


I don't think that was really a pitch, though. It was like two thirds of a sentence. Roger didn't even let the conversation happen, which I think was actually a really smart way to just get the scene done.

I am, however, enjoying fantasizing about Don and Ted going out to lunch and talking about their feelings, as sort of a bizarro world counterpoint to their initial relationship as rivals. Now they're like the male equivalent of Peggy and Joan.
posted by Sara C. at 4:03 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno. Just a special dislike for popcorn ceilings and how dingily unrepaintable they were.

Here are a more modern version of the tiles we had, looks like ours were nailed straight to the joists every other row & the rest held in place by hope.
posted by tilde at 4:05 PM on May 26, 2014


I predict one episode next season involving Don and Ted fully collaborating 50/50 on some huge account and knocking it out of the fucking park, with Peggy doing the actual pitch.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:05 PM on May 26, 2014


PLOT TWIST: Don and Ted wind up together
PLOT TWIST: Peggy adopts Julio. Looks deep into his sobbing joyful eyes and says, "It will shock you how much this......... HAPPENED"
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:07 PM on May 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


PLOT TWIST: Roger and Joan adopt Bob Benson
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:08 PM on May 26, 2014 [11 favorites]


Nah, Don and Ted are both obviously tops. Would never work.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:08 PM on May 26, 2014


PLOT TWIST: They both get to Top Ken DURING Stonewall.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:10 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Don getting slapped by the hooker, Don waiting for the threesome to happen, Don can bottom as needed.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:10 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ted? A top?

I mean I have no top experience but I can totally project seeing Ted as a bottom. Could be my naïveté talking, though.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:11 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't see anything rushed about that final scene with the partners.

I'm not talking about the scene as a whole, which I think was great*. I'm talking about Ted's vote. And even so, I don't think anything wrong happened in the writing. It's just that his vote in favor is unearned. (Which, as I said, ultimately doesn't matter since Ted doesn't really matter.) In real life, he'd at least want to sleep on it. It would probably take lunch or drinks or a shvitz with Roger or Don to ultimately get him to yes.

My favorite part about how the merger went down was that I was almost sure that the solution to the Don And Ted problem was that Ted was going to have killed himself, thus making his need to be part of the deal moot and one less vote for Team Cutler.

*I especially love Joan and Pete's newbish whooping about how much money they get.
posted by Sara C. at 4:11 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is a fun detour.
posted by The Whelk at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lane didn't visit Don like Cooper & Anna (& that dead PFC from Hawaii in California when he went in the pool) but his Mets pennant did.

The Pfc might count more like his flash backs to Archie, Adam, Abigale & Uncle Mac... Not at death but long long after they died.
posted by tilde at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had no idea those drop tile ceilings or whatever they were called were even in residential buildings! I associate them with offices.

Flash forward series finale: Peggy rips out the drop ceilings and puts in textured Sheetrock & popcorn ceilings.

I've got those too, but I can live with them.

Yeah, but I lived with them with a Smoker Gah.


Oh god, I once moved into an apartment with textured drywall after a smoker and that smell just stayed. Leaving the windows open for several days helped, but I swear, whenever I stood near one of the walls, the smoke smell just radiated off of them. That place was ruined for a non-smoker.
posted by lunasol at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


PLOT TWIST: Sal Romano is the new CEO of McCann-Erickson
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [17 favorites]


I'm still dying for a scene of someone (hopefully Peggy?) on the set of a commercial shoot. Being introduced to the director. Who is... SAL, HUNTY.
posted by Sara C. at 4:15 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


And, yes, that is the only time I'm ever going to use the term "hunty".
posted by Sara C. at 4:15 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Joan takes a great deal of joy in booting [Harry] out too.

Hells yes, she does! Loooong time coming.

Harry made an eternal enemy of Joan back in S6 ("To Have and To Hold"), when he burst into the partners' meeting (after Joan had fired his secretary) and publicly called Joan out for sleeping with Jaguar Herb: "I'm sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight and I can't be given the same rewards."

THAT SHIT RIGHT THERE is why everyone hates Harry Crane.
posted by hush at 4:17 PM on May 26, 2014 [41 favorites]


Sal isn't coming back, but if he does ( and he won't) I will take Rory out to lunch at the NYC establishment of his choice.
posted by The Whelk at 4:21 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


Daniels it is
posted by PinkMoose at 4:22 PM on May 26, 2014


but you do that already, Whelk
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:23 PM on May 26, 2014


Really? I'd go for Ma Peche or Per Se or 11MP or Smith & Wollensky's for the biggest fattest bloodiest steak evar.

Also, Sal really has to come back. Even if it's just a chance meeting somewhere... so many people adored Sal, and I'm sure Weiner knows this, that he's going to have to give everyone a moment to say goodbye. He's been doing it steadily through this season (bye Trudy, bye Megan, bye Henry possibly, a couple others who I'm missing I'm sure), and I'm sure it'll continue through all seven episodes of the next. He's incurred an enormous narrative debt, and the fanservice in this episode points at him making sure he still gets to tell his story, but makes sure fans get what they want.

but you do that already, Whelk

If I posted my initial mental reaction to this I suspect my comment would be baleeted ;)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:27 PM on May 26, 2014


No no no we have lunch at the place of MY choice I don't trust you enough to let you choose.
posted by The Whelk at 4:28 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The first time I was watching this a perfectly relevant set of lyrics from song song appeared in my head but now it's gone.. GONE because of Cooper's song.
posted by bleep at 4:31 PM on May 26, 2014


I wish I knew where people got the video from to make gifs out of.
posted by bleep at 4:32 PM on May 26, 2014


You guys have been lunching without me and this is how I find out. Just for that you're both out of the special agency I'm starting. Creeps.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:32 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


No no no we have lunch at the place of MY choice I don't trust you enough to let you choose.

Applebee's it is. Potomac you can join us if you let me into your agency, pretty please.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:35 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Daniels it is

Daniels doesn't do Lunch but Bar Boloud does. The goat with goat chesse spartezzzle is good.
posted by The Whelk at 4:37 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the second thread where I've been threatened with eating at times square.
posted by The Whelk at 4:38 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Potomac, I wouldn't make you suffer through the places I take Rory too. I know you're used to finer things.
posted by The Whelk at 4:39 PM on May 26, 2014


Screw that I'm taking Paul Kinsey, Dawn, Joe Camel, and that Washington Post reporter that wrote that dumb article about Metafilter. And we're going to smoke pipes in the office and eat shrimp at Jewish department stores and you'll be sorry.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:39 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I see somebody's still mad that I made fun of his suits on Twitter.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:40 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


The hot new New York Times Style Section Fad, eating at things.
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Do we know if Bert was an accounts man or a creative man? Do we know what he did? I know he says he wasn't Harry. What does that mean? It really bothers me that I have watched the show 4 times and still don't know this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:43 PM on May 26, 2014


Bert was money and client wooing and Rogers Dad was ..


I actually have no idea.

( spin off, the very first Sterling Cooper! Yet more retro!)
posted by The Whelk at 4:45 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Unless I'm misreading it, the Mad Men Wiki seems to have no goddamn idea.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:45 PM on May 26, 2014


Turns out the Coppers are actually spooky Lovecraftian horrors explaining why he can appear having having "died."
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I got the sense that Cooper was the creative guy. He seemed to be Don's supervisor/manager/mentor, when it wasn't Roger telling him to settle down.
posted by bleep at 4:48 PM on May 26, 2014


I honestly don't think the show has thought that far ahead, considering that they said in the pilot episode that the media department was where 90% of the actual money part of advertising went, and, thereafter, every other time it was mentioned for the next umpteen years, it was under the assumption that Harry Crane was not only the entire department, but that he himself was the only person on the planet who ever had the idea to pursue such a thing. And "media is where your money goes" was entirely forgotten until Joan brought it up to that upstart client dude earlier this season.

I'm 100% positive that between writing the pilot episode and somewhere around Season 5, Matt Weiner thought not a whit about anything to do with the advertising industry. For example half the first season involves Pete trying to steal Don's job, which makes no fucking sense.

My take was always that Bert was more accounts oriented than creative. He certainly seems to have a business/management/corporate mentality, which seems kind of odd for a writer type.

Wait a second what if Bert Cooper is Ken Cosgrove?
posted by Sara C. at 5:22 PM on May 26, 2014


Something I've been thinking about: did they say last night that Bert "has" clients? In what sense?

PhoB, I think they were going to call "the" clients, not Bert's clients. When one of your founding partners dies, you call everybody (I presume).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:37 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it also happened when Roger had a heart attack in Season 1. In fact this scene reminded me a lot of that scene, except with dumb Cutler getting in the way.
posted by Sara C. at 5:38 PM on May 26, 2014


You call every client when someone partner level dies, has a heart attack, etc.
posted by tilde at 5:40 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why do they hate Harry so much? I've never understood that.

Waaay behind here... but. One reason Joan hates Harry is that he's been a complete and utter dick, openly in front of everyone, about how she got her partnership.
posted by torticat at 6:01 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


for example half the first season involves Pete trying to steal Don's job

He flat out says that he wants to be a creative, but he never tries to become creative director, at least as far I remember. He does try to blackmail Don to be head of accounts, though.
posted by spaltavian at 6:10 PM on May 26, 2014


I didn't watch the episode until tonight, and I had seen people freaking out about it online (in retrospect I guess about the musical number), so I was assuming all hour that something totally fucking nuts was going to happen. My best guess was that we were going to split off into an alternate history in which the moon landing was a disaster and everyone died. I'm a little disappointed now.
posted by dfan at 6:44 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


No, Don says a bunch of things like "there's this kid who comes by to look at my office, figure out where he's going to put his plants."

It gets a little better over time, but there's never been much attention to verisimilitude and the ad industry. By the time the specific blackmail plot happens, the writers at least have done their research enough to know that Pete can't specifically have Don's actual job, and turn his desire to be a copywriter into a more latent "OMG guise I came up with Teh Best tagline!" kind of thing.
posted by Sara C. at 6:45 PM on May 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


dfan, the OMG WHAT stuff paired with the sentence in the iTunes synopsis about a "risky venture" creating a "new future" for Peggy made me think she would end up leaving SC&P again, or maybe that she would get Lou's job.

For that matter, I'm still not sure what that sentence refers to, since Peggy's risky venture amounted to doing a thing she was originally supposed to do until Pete said he wanted Don to do it last episode. She's nervous about the pitch since it gets sprung on her the night before, but it's very obvious that the stakes are fairly low. Even calling it a "venture" is a bit much.
posted by Sara C. at 6:48 PM on May 26, 2014


Maybe it was referring to her drop ceiling installation.
posted by almostmanda at 6:54 PM on May 26, 2014 [22 favorites]


It's been a while since I watched Season 1 obviously but Pete chasing after Don's job despite not being able to do it (or even having any idea what doing Don's job actually involves) seemed perfectly in character for Pete. It was a shiny, ergo Pete felt it should be his shiny. Everybody loved and respected Don, and Pete wanted everyone to love and respect him, ergo, he needed to be Don. That involves actually doing stuff? Who cares! That's not the point, Trudy.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:33 PM on May 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


I was so floored by Bert's number that I couldn't even wait for the credits to roll before Googling Morse's songs in "How to Succeed" to show my BF. I will miss Cooper.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:51 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]




I never saw the last season of China Beach and had no idea that's how it played out.

There's part of me that would love to see that in the last seven episodes, leaping forward into the 70s and 80s and 90s. But I don't think it will happen. Perhaps a coda with Don, trying to pitch his story to someone - and it's a rose-coloured view of the show we've been watching.
posted by crossoverman at 8:03 PM on May 26, 2014


I love that Robert Morse kept going to the set and attending the readings after this episode was shot - mostly because that meant Weiner got to keep Cooper's passing a secret.
posted by crossoverman at 8:07 PM on May 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


I thought that was great, too, crossoverman - and Morse even kept it a secret from his wife!
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:09 PM on May 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


the misery he's going through isn't because he hates his job, it's because he essentially walked away from the best and most interesting parts of his job when he left New York

I agree with this... if anything was unexpected in that last episode, it was Ted's work burnout. We hadn't really had an explanation for his general malaise... mostly it seemed like he was maybe pining for Peggy at first/unhappy in his marriage/homesick for NYC.

I think the idea that he was misattributing his unhappiness to burnout is probably right. In which case he didn't really need to be persuaded all that much--just tipped over the edge, which isn't implausible for someone so adrift.

In addition to Don's pitch, there was also the (hilarious) dual attack by Joan and Pete, which surely wasn't nothing to Ted. He'd already acknowledged that he didn't want to cost all of them millions by bailing. All Don really had to do was point out to him that 1) he would be able to carry on doing only what he liked and 2) quitting work would not solve his unhappiness, but make it worse. Both true, and Ted was obviously open to persuasion.

Unspoken in that scene was that Don had made a big sacrifice, himself, to allow Ted to go to California, so there may have been a little calling in of that debt as well.
posted by torticat at 8:14 PM on May 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


That doesn't make much sense, since the cast and crew would have access to the scripts (and thus know his character had died), and he wouldn't appear on call sheets and Day-Out-Of-Days documents if he's not acting in the episode in question.

I mean it's sweet that he likes the show so much that he wanted to keep showing up, but it certainly wouldn't have been to throw anyone off the scent of plot developments. All the ways I can come up with for paparazzi to figure out that he was no longer on the show are things that have nothing to do with whether he attends read-throughs or visits the set.
posted by Sara C. at 8:15 PM on May 26, 2014


All this Harry Crane talk gives me the opportunity to (once again) pimp for my favorite podcast, Never Not Funny. Here's Rich Sommer's episode from March of this year, which you can listen to for free right at the link. Rich is so funny. I always look forward to his Never Not Funny episodes.
posted by The Deej at 8:18 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


From the interview:
Actually, I’ve been going down to visit the set because Matt said, “Please do. You’re going to get a script every week. You’re going to keep coming to the readings.”
OK, that makes a little more sense. It's not that he kept showing up to keep people off the scent, it's that he was invited to come back anytime. Which is par for the course. It would be mega-weird to have a sort of "cast member emeritus" who became persona non grata on set and at read-throughs after their character passed away just a few weeks before the series wrapped.

Also I'm sure he kept getting scripts because the writers' PA was too busy to remove him from all the various distro schemes.
posted by Sara C. at 8:20 PM on May 26, 2014 [3 favorites]




What a lovely interview. He seems like a very nice man.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:12 PM on May 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm sure the last thing Matt Weiner wants to do next is another period piece, but he could do worse than to sit down with Robert Morse and listen to a bunch of his stories and do a "Broadway behind the scenes" show set in the 60s/70s.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:47 AM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


[x] Co-signed
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:09 AM on May 27, 2014


Y'all I cannot wait for these rewatch threads. I just watched the first 3 eps again last night and they are JAMPACKED with foreshadowing. Maybe MW didn't know for sure where he was going with the characters, but there is so much attention to detail, even in this first couple of eps, that it made writing a full decade of life for, say, Roger's daughter Margaret, flow out naturally from those seeds in the beginning. There really never has been another show like this one, imho.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:12 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sara C a "risky venture" creating a "new future" for Peggy made me think she would end up leaving SC&P again, or maybe that she would get Lou's job.

[...] She's nervous about the pitch since it gets sprung on her the night before, but it's very obvious that the stakes are fairly low. Even calling it a "venture" is a bit much.
If she pitches and bumbles it, it's not low stakes, it's Burger Chef gone. If she pitches and does okay and they don't go with it, she gets blamed.

She nailed it, Burger Chef went wild for it (she landed Popsicle and Topaz on her own but she was pinch hitting on girly products and/or Don wasn't otherwise in the stream as available, instead of sitting right there and pregnant Pete had asked for him specifically to pitch.
almostmanda Maybe it was referring to her drop ceiling installation.
I actually thought based solely on the synopsis that the "risky venture" would be having to do with her building; maybe the cute guy was going to move in to one of the soon to be vacant apartments with doing fixes in exchange for rent.
posted by tilde at 6:00 AM on May 27, 2014




I loved this episode as much as I loved "Shut the Door, Have a Seat." I had such a big smile on my face because we have been bleakened to death with so much sadness, and here we have a chance to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I think Don is such a genius at advertising because he understands want. He wanted SO MUCH as a child and he connects with the desires of most consumers. Everyone wants that idyllic family and NOBODY has it. For the first part of the series he chases those dreams, perfect wife, house, kids and money enough to make it all happen. Only he's not happy. His wife isn't happy, his kids aren't happy.

Everything he knows is wrong. But he doesn't know what's right. So he marries again, drives his career, chases power and THAT isn't the right answer for him either.

It's no coincidence that as Stonewall took place where people decided that they wanted to be exactly who they were, and didn't want to be closeted anymore, that Don too, gets to be honest about who he is and what he wants.

So now he's discovered what makes him happy, he loves his creative work. His creative work can take place anywhere, even as he reports to Peggy. He loves his kids. He loves Roger and the people he works with at SC&P. (well, most of them.)

Now he can be useful to people. He can help Peggy blossom, he can work with Ted to develop the ads he knows he can make.

So the next part of the series will either be Don accepting this new reality and being comfortable with it, or it will be him destroying himself and those he loves because he can get what he wants and he doesn't know what he wants.

The seventies, they were very weird.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:03 AM on May 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Thanks for the reminder that Don sometimes sees dead people - it puts Bert's ghost dance in a little context. My initial reaction was "Is Don having a stroke?"

(sorry, just catching up)

From Sepinwall's review: and he was so busy worrying about his job that he didn't see Megan's decision coming, even as he understood it the moment it happened

I strongly disagree. The look on Don's face as he watches Megan go through the closet for the fondue part is of complete resignation. That's when he knows Megan's decided and that the fight to save the marriage is over.

I'd like to see Don's follow-up phone call to Megan after this episode:

DON: Hi Megan, it's me.

MEGAN: "Don [long pause] how..how are you doing?"

DON: I'm...ok. Remember last week when I told you I was going to be fired? It turns out I'm not fired, I made about fifteen million dollars in one afternoon and you'll get half of that in the divorce.

MEGAN: What.
posted by mikepop at 8:06 AM on May 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


mikepop, thanks for reminding me ....

He set up trusts for his kids a while back, some of that would feed into there as well.

If Henry dies (my current prediction - with Betty stepping into his seat), she's got money coming from both husbands (she doesn't get alimony from Don but she must be aware of the trusts for the kids, she is Henry's heir).

But Megan's never been a gold digger though she doesn't mind that she's not a broke waitress. She took up secretarying as acting wasn't panning out IIRC.

I know someone said upthread (can't find it now) that Bert would never lock up his shares that he couldn't leave to someone or do with what he wishes. I can't see that. He's been around enough that he'd sign a reasonable contract, and buying out at full price is reasonable, liquidatable based on the date of the death. Makes no sense to allow heirs to come in and muddle stuff up. (I am not an Ojbectivist but read one or two of the Ayn Rand books at the behest of one lover or another.)
posted by tilde at 8:23 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


If she pitches and bumbles it, it's not low stakes, it's Burger Chef gone.

Peggy is unlikely to mess up this pitch. For one thing, as of a few weeks ago, she was preparing to make the presentation without Don. For another thing, this is her baby and she did all the legwork, anyhow. There's no real way she's going to mess this up, short of stroking out mid presentation. That's what "stakes" means: how much actual risk we're talking about.

Low risk situations (well-prepared person gives presentation) have low stakes. High risk situations (checked out fuckup stages a coup to sell a company that isn't entirely his to sell, assuming two people who may not want to help are willing to be involved) have high stakes. Roger very easily could have got his ass handed to him. Peggy would be highly unlikely to flub the Burger Chef presentation.

Also, in a lot of ways stakes has more to do with what we as the viewers understand to be true, not just what the characters know. In that sense, Peggy's presentation has even lower stakes, because we know she will triumph. There is basically no way the show builds this particular Burger Chef storyline, and then Peggy gets the flu and they lose the whole thing. We knew as soon as Peggy started talking about complicated modern families last week that this was her moment, and that her campaign would win Burger Chef over.

So, no, not really a "risky venture" at all.
posted by Sara C. at 8:38 AM on May 27, 2014


Roger's estimate of the partner share values was based on McCann buying 51% interest in SC&P. They would all receive cash buyouts for their respective 51% shares sold, but would remain partners with equity.
posted by rocket88 at 8:41 AM on May 27, 2014


I think (and sure, it could be wishful thinking) that a big part of what drew Peggy to Ted was her general dissatisfaction with everything else that was going on in her life. Now that she’s turning the world on with her smile maybe she’ll be over him and they’ll be able to work together and be friends.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:41 AM on May 27, 2014


So were those percentages thrown out in the McCaan meeting based on post-Bert figures? I've tried to work out the various stakes in the company, but the numbers are muddled. (I know they may not meant to actually add up, but I find the excercise interesting.)

For example, Roger uses Joan's 5% ownership to demonstrate the payouts. That 5% is what Joan got for landing Jaguar. (Assuming she asked for exactly what Lane told her to.) But that doesn't actually work, as her 5% is pre-merger. She had 5% of SCDP, not SC&P. For sake of argument, let's say SCDP and CGC were valued equally; her ownership stake in the combined firm should be 2.5%. So, how does she have 5% now? Bert doesn't own half the SC&P, so even if that figure is based on his death, she shouldn't jump up that much.

Ted has a fifth of the company. Either that's a post-Bert figure, or one of the senior partners doesn't have an equal stake. Ted, Don, Jim, Bert and Roger couldn't have each had 20%, or there would be nothing for Pete and Joan.

If it's without Bert, that would give Ted, Don, Jim and Roger collectively 80% of the firm. (Again assuming equal shares.) Pete has 10%, Joan has 5%. Who has the other 5%? Maybe Bert's sister came along for the SCDP ride afterall?
posted by spaltavian at 8:41 AM on May 27, 2014


DON: I'm...ok. Remember last week when I told you I was going to be fired? It turns out I'm not fired, I made about fifteen million dollars in one afternoon and you'll get half of that in the divorce.

MEGAN: Well, I just got cast on a hot new TV show. It's written by this guy named Paul Kinsey, and directed by a really nice man named Salvatore Romano...
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:45 AM on May 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


Just popping back in to say how very grateful I am for these discussions... I love my friends who watch Mad Men and I enjoy the conversations I have with them about the show, but we never really talk much about anything beyond the surface. Last night my best friend came over to watch the show, and she didn't grasp that Bert had died until she heard Cutler say "my condolences" and even then I still had to explain what had happened. Today on Facebook, she and some other friends are all like, "OMG, what was up with that ending, it was so weird, I don't get it, it made no sense and it was just weird, it was weird, it was weird." Ugh. How disappointing. Thank the FSM for you fine folks.
posted by palomar at 8:45 AM on May 27, 2014 [12 favorites]


FWIW because the show didn't actually depict Bert being dead onscreen, I was confused, myself, and had to rewind and watch his scene in front of the TV again. More because I thought I may have looked away for a second and missed Bert Cooper dying, than because I was confused about what was actually transpiring, though.

I will also say that, because the show didn't show us dead Bert Cooper, there was a tiny part of me that believed Don wasn't seeing a ghost until Bert broke into song.

There's a sappy part of me that is really glad Bert got to see humans walk on the moon before he died. Because he was born in, what, 1880?
posted by Sara C. at 8:55 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the song-and-dance ending is going to be polarizing even for the die-hard fans (although it seems a lot of the reviewers liked it).
posted by mikepop at 8:56 AM on May 27, 2014


My favourite part of the episode was that giant plate of fried eggs Betty puts out for breakfast. So many eggs! How can you cook two dozen eggs at once? Who is going to eat them all? Why draw attention to this mass of eggs? Is there an egg-based supercut from previous egg sightings? So many questions.

I also enjoyed how Don starts up his classic delivery technique during the Burger Chef dry run, and then gets cut short by Pete. Much like a previous episode where his delivery technique is pointed out and his reply is something like "I do that?" For such a crucial element of his and the firm's success at winning pitches, I find it amusing how unaware Don is of it and also how ultimately the others view it as just part of the process. "Did we bring the story boards? Business cards? Don's deep and moving intensity? All right, let's do this!"
posted by Paid In Full at 8:58 AM on May 27, 2014 [16 favorites]


My favourite part of the episode was that giant plate of fried eggs Betty puts out for breakfast. So many eggs! How can you cook two dozen eggs at once? Who is going to eat them all? Why draw attention to this mass of eggs? Is there an egg-based supercut from previous egg sightings? So many questions.

I loved that those eggs were probably cooked by Betty and her friend while lit cigarettes dangled in their mouths. Mmmmm-MMMM!! Fried eggs and smokes!
posted by palomar at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


When he told Don that Bert had died, Roger lamented that "the last thing I said to him was a line from an old song"

Let's Have Another Cup O' Coffee

[Verse:]
Why worry when skies are gray
Why should we complain
Let's laugh at the cloudy day
Let's sing in the rain
Songwriters say the storm quickly passes
That's their philosophy
They see the world through rose-colored glasses
Why shouldn't we?

[Refrain:]
Just around the corner
There's a rainbow in the sky
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie!

Trouble's just a bubble
And the clouds will soon roll by
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie

Let a smile be your umbrella
For it's just an April show'r
Even John D. Rockefeller
Is looking for the silver lining

Mister Herbert Hoover
Says that now's the time to buy
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie!

[Alternate Lines:]
Things that really matter
Are the things that gold can't buy

posted by rocket88 at 9:09 AM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Cooper was the media buyer back when he first started in the biz as a young man. Harry used to meet with him at the old SC company to discuss the media budget. That's why when Harry says to Cooper "you WERE me" to justify a partnership last season Cooper says "I was unlike you in every way.". Cooper did not respect Harry bc of his tantrums and entitlement.
posted by thereemix at 9:12 AM on May 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Fried eggs and smokes!

There's a screen cap from this week (which I can't find) where the platter o' eggs is right next to a full ashtray. Delightful!

Also can't find the great scene from Sixteen Candles where Sam's mom chases her mother-in-law around the kitchen, trying to catch her cig ash on a spatula. But you remember it. I lived it with my own MIL until the arrival of grandkids compelled her to smoke outside.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:17 AM on May 27, 2014


For some weird technical reason, Sweetie Darling, you show up with a line next (ala ask metafilter) to your comments ... but only until someone else comments. Fascinating.

I think Joan's 5% is just TV 5% because it's a number everyone will remember. And/or Don pushed for it. I thought CGC was 33.3% 33.33% 33.3%.
posted by tilde at 9:23 AM on May 27, 2014


Don and Bert: Loyalty locks them together.

He takes care of his kids

- financial trusts Betty can access if Henry throws her out)

- money or whatever for his niece Stephanie

He takes care of his wives

- bought the house for Anna* and provided in other ways potentially, being a "man in a room with a checkbook"

- had no problem with giving Betty what she wanted/needed

- just told Megan she'd be taken care of.

I just rewatched The Strategy over lunch, and during the discussion to bring Harry in as a partner he commented on Harry's loyalty (hasn't left though he's made no bones about looking around and wanting to leave). Harry is the one who let him know about the Commander Cigs meeting.

He's starting to grow some loyalty/show some loyalty in the shape of something beyond himself. And its shown more in having Peggy do the pitch, even with or because of Bert dying. Bert's dead, the presumption is that he (Don) is gone, so there's nothing to be gained by taking Burger Chef away from Peggy. Especially since she didn't fare so well with him and Ted gone (supplanted by Lou - she never did manage to grow that penis).

Though I've got to say, with everything going on in The Strategy, in coming up with the new strategy, I really thought they'd push to have her do it. I was surprised Don was still doing it. But I'm also a modern kid, with the benefits of Title IX.

When Bert blew up at Cutler for the letter (Joan says Cutler should not have done "that" - presumably the letter) - it was that he was signed to it without his consent. Bert earlier blew up at Don for the cigarette letter for not putting their names on it. Loyalty lesson for Don ...
posted by tilde at 9:56 AM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]




*Anna - I forgot to digress. A man in a room with a checkbook. We know we bought her the house, presumably gives her some money (have to rewatch the series but I think they had a joint account at the bank he put money into?). Maybe pays for more of her treatments?

The sister we meet, is that the one the Original Don was supposed to marry but didn't? Or did Anna also have a twin? I can't imagine an alternate timeline where Stephanie is his "daughter" after sis hunts him down post-Korea.
posted by tilde at 10:04 AM on May 27, 2014


So, I can't help but notice that the way the timing is shaking out, the next episode is likely to be timed concurrently with Woodstock.

Thoughts?

I'd love it if they did a Stonewall-esque shoutout where, like, Henry and Betty are on a campaign stop in Tivoli a week or two before the festival, and Betty meets some establishment types who talk about how much dropping acid has helped their marriage.
posted by Sara C. at 10:06 AM on May 27, 2014


- financial trusts Betty can access if Henry throws her out)

When did that happen?
posted by jgirl at 10:07 AM on May 27, 2014


Don sets up trusts right around the time he gets on the radar of the Department Of Defense for a background check for North American Aviation at the end of S4. Megan as secretary fills out the form, Don signs it without reading, it's shipped off, Betty gets a 45 min visit from DOD or FBI or someone. Accountant suggests he doesn't need Betty access it and can't figure out when or why she'd need to (he asks why, and Don says that if she has to, she'll know why - presumably because he'd disappear again).
posted by tilde at 10:09 AM on May 27, 2014


If I recall correctly, it was when the security clearnce for North American Aviation almost exposed Don, and he spoke to his (lawyer? accountant?) to set up accounts Betty can access.
posted by spaltavian at 10:11 AM on May 27, 2014


spaltavian - You're right, he might be a lawyer as well (Lou, I think his name was?) but the advice he was giving sounded just like the guy I use for my limited financial holdings, and he's a CPA. :P
posted by tilde at 10:14 AM on May 27, 2014


The sister we meet, is that the one the Original Don was supposed to marry but didn't?

Yes.
posted by thereemix at 10:20 AM on May 27, 2014


Was this really Cutler's Waterloo?
posted by drezdn at 10:56 AM on May 27, 2014


If anyone's career is like Napoleon's, it is Don's. Napoleon:

- came out of humble beginnings
- once he got into a large organization rose quickly due to his innate abilities
- became part of the leadership
- was dethroned, due in part to his self-sabotaging qualities
- was exiled
- returned to his organization
- led a brief renaissance that seemed to embody his original brilliance
- was again dethroned and exiled for good

If I were Don, that last one would worry me.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:20 AM on May 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


Cutler got destroyed in this episode. Unless they decide to make it happen offstage, we'll be seeing him pack up his office in S7BE01. He's as done as done can be. All of his plans have been squashed. And part of the deal is the only person kept from the former CGC is Chaough.

Cutler's gone. Avery is so gone he needs a new word for gone, but I would really love to see Don not only say "GTFO my office" but also tear Avery down to size.

I'm somewhat curious to see what they do with Harry. He backed a losing horse. Roger probably won't take that lightly.

(Also yeah the valuations discussion made no sense. Roger posited a $65M valuation of the company--but if McCann is only buying 51%, that means the partners would only be getting ~$32M divided between all of them. In 1969 terms it's a huge windfall but still they kinda glossed over something there.)

I honestly wonder if Joan's going to take that money, buy herself a classic six on the Park, and essentially retire from the business. She'd still have tons of money to invest and shop and send iforgetherkid'sname to some tony private school, as well as annual income from whatever the new company is going to be called. Sterling Draper Chaough maybe.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:21 AM on May 27, 2014


$65M in 1969 is approximately $420M today, fwiw.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:29 AM on May 27, 2014




Okay so I revise what I said above about Joan to a classic six on the park and a house in the Hamptons.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:39 AM on May 27, 2014


Meant to add, one secondary meaning (or are we at terts or quats?) to Cooper's song was to tie in the Moon Rush of the sixties - "The Moon Belongs To Everyone" is a line in that song. I've heard that time described as national (if not mild international) pride to have gotten there and walked on the moon.

It came to me because this song is referenced in some of the early RAH stories - DD Harriman trying to get that song repopularized as he pushes a private ship to be first to land on the moon.
posted by tilde at 11:47 AM on May 27, 2014


I wonder if they're just go back to Sterling Cooper for the name, or go in some BOLD NEW Direction like "Innocyte" or "*just the sound of clapping*"
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Vulture talks to Mad Men's Allen Havey about stuff

You know what? I don't like Lou, but I really like Allen Havey a whole lot. He seems like a really sweet guy, and I'm sorry his wife won't let him wear cardigans in public anymore.
posted by palomar at 11:50 AM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wonder if they're just go back to Sterling Cooper for the name, or go in some BOLD NEW Direction like "Innocyte" or "*just the sound of clapping*"

Froghammer.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:54 AM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


My wrapup of the half-season, with my take on the song and dance number:

With the midseason finale, which ended with a song and dance number from Bert Cooper, the show finally admitted what I have long suspected: It is secretly a sequel to the 1961 Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” That production told the story of an unscrupulous businessman with a questionable path who rises through a thicket of office politics but is eventually humanized by love, which would be the “Mad Men” story, except that Don Draper, the main character of “Mad Men,” isn’t all that good at love. “How to Succeed” starred Robert Morse, the actor who played Bert Cooper, and the whole song and dance number was very Fosse.

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:57 AM on May 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


Don is Joe Gideon?
posted by palomar at 11:57 AM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


tilde: "It came to me because this song is referenced in some of the early RAH stories - DD Harriman trying to get that song repopularized as he pushes a private ship to be first to land on the moon."

Man, this is the third separate thread to mention "The Man Who Sold the Moon" in the last week or so.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:02 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don is Joe Gideon?

It's SHOWTIME!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:03 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Vulture talks to Robert Morse:

I cannot tell you how it helped that Jon Hamm was there when I sang the song. Many people in shows that are stars might not have shown up for that. They would have sent an extra. He was there for me. He was there for the show. He was there for himself.

I love, love, love Jon Hamm. He just seems like the nicest guy. And I find it interesting how he doesn't really even look like himself when he's Don.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:11 PM on May 27, 2014 [17 favorites]


That whole Vulture/Bobby Morse interview is just adorable. From "I'm a Vulture! Haha" when they call him, to his Cooper sock collection, to his shout out to his dance teacher Mr. Luigi, to his family's reaction to Cooper's death, and yes, to Jon Hamm standing there for seven hours while they filmed the dance.

That kind of gives an alternate meaning to Don leaning exhausted on that desk corner in the end.
posted by sweetkid at 12:18 PM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


My wrapup of the half-season, with my take on the song and dance number:

I enjoyed your wrapup a bunch, but I do have one quibble: this season was solidly 1969, not '68. Not that this undoes anything you say, but it might be worth a correction.
posted by COBRA! at 12:20 PM on May 27, 2014


All the Vulture coverage of Bobby Morse today is really warming my heart... what a delightful man he is.

It's SHOWTIME!

It's eye drops and jazz hands all the way down, isn't it.
posted by palomar at 12:22 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


this season was solidly 1969

Good catch! Corrected.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:25 PM on May 27, 2014


Why draw attention to this mass of eggs?

It's a display of female fecundity for the young stud, of course.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:32 PM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


AV Club on the amount of $$$ in question.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:34 PM on May 27, 2014


was again dethroned and exiled for good

Well, yeah. It's 1969 and Don is Greatest Generation. And he's in advertising, which is all about youth, especially right now. He's lucky, in that he's in on the ground floor as partner and thus will always be materially provided for. However, right now it seems like the show is laying a lot of ground about how it's not about the money, it's about the creative power. Which is about to be wrested away from Don for good.

Retirement is his Elba.
posted by Sara C. at 12:38 PM on May 27, 2014


Don isn't Greatest Generation, Roger Sterling is. RS was in WWII, Don was in Korea.
posted by tilde at 12:40 PM on May 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


Why draw attention to this mass of eggs?


Didn't they look yummy though?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:40 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Um no nothing about that dance number was Fosse, at all.
posted by Sara C. at 12:41 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love, love, love Jon Hamm. He just seems like the nicest guy. And I find it interesting how he doesn't really even look like himself when he's Don.

Hamm sat in as a guest on ESPN's Baseball Tonight live pre-game show a week or so ago. I think it was before a Reds/Cardinals game. Apparently Jon is a big Cards fan. He was really good. Knew his stuff, was funny and lively. It was really fun to watch.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:42 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sorry, maybe I meant Silent Generation.

Either way, he's the establishment. The ship of him being in any way creatively relevant sailed the minute he put on that Beatles record and didn't get it.
posted by Sara C. at 12:43 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


it's about the creative power. Which is about to be wrested away from Don for good.

Uh, that was a typo? One of the conditions of the sale was that a) Don stay on in Creative, and b) New Agency X is an independent subsidiary. I really don't see how you get to Don losing creative power from there.

And yeah. Fosse was all slithery slinky movements and sex and stuff. I have no idea what choreographer (if any) they were referencing there. (Though I was vaguely surprised there wasn't a top-shot of Bert dancing in a circle of laying down secretraries moving their legs around, it's such a common trope in musical movies).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:44 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don isn't Greatest Generation, Roger Sterling is.

As is, apparently, Jim Cutler. Do we know what Roger did in WWII? At least we know Cutler was in a bomber crew.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:44 PM on May 27, 2014


In come the nattering nabobs of negativity. You make one Fosse joke and it's all "No, I know Fosse, and that was no Fosse."

It was Fosse enough for my purposes. Pander your prescriptivism elsewhere.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:45 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Over Dresden for God's sake.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:46 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Roger was in the Navy, was at Okinawa.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:47 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]



it's about the creative power. Which is about to be wrested away from Don for good.

Uh, that was a typo? One of the conditions of the sale was that a) Don stay on in Creative, and b) New Agency X is an independent subsidiary. I really don't see how you get to Don losing creative power from there.


Is what a typo?
posted by sweetkid at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2014


I recall Roger talking about Pearl Harbor ... I assumed not just because how bad it was but because he was stationed there in the South Pacific theatre. He was Navy (Cutler Air Force). Oh, yeah, links confirm it. They paid more attention than me!
posted by tilde at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do we know what Roger did in WWII? At least we know Cutler was in a bomber crew.

He was in the Navy in the Pacific. I know that for sure; I think I remember him saying at one point that he was on a destroyer, but I'm a lot less sure of that.
posted by COBRA! at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2014


Uh, that was a typo?

No. Don is old. He may be vibing on the idea of "getting back to just doing the work", but that's not real. There's a reason the creative reins were handed over to Peggy in this episode.

Right now Don is in a similar boat to where Freddy Rumsen has been over the life of the series (remember the time he pitched Talulah Bankhead as the youthful face of Pond's cold cream for a new generation?). He's lucky in that he's a genius and also very wealthy (so it doesn't matter if anyone actually uses his ideas or not). But the idea that he's going to be sitting in the creative bullpen shooting the shit with 1975's crop of 22 year olds is misguided at best.
posted by Sara C. at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2014


Over Dresden for God's sake.

As were hundreds of other flyers following orders. I suspect he was on a lot of other missions, too. But, yeah, bombing Dresden isn't something you'd put on your resume today. Back in '69, though, I dunno.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:50 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Roger was in the Navy. Pacific theater. Hence his hatred of Japanese people.
posted by thereemix at 12:51 PM on May 27, 2014


Whoops didn't preview. What Chrysostom, tilde, and COBRA! said.
posted by thereemix at 12:52 PM on May 27, 2014


Didn't they look yummy though?

I've cut my lip on softer looking eggs than those.
posted by vbfg at 12:54 PM on May 27, 2014


Minor pedantry: we don't know that Cutler *bombed* Dresden. Those missions also featured fighter escorts.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:56 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's how my mom fried eggs...super-crisp on the edges. Fried 'em using bacon grease from the can she kept on the stove.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:58 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


(Also yeah the valuations discussion made no sense. Roger posited a $65M valuation of the company--but if McCann is only buying 51%, that means the partners would only be getting ~$32M divided between all of them. In 1969 terms it's a huge windfall but still they kinda glossed over something there.)

No, they actually did that part right. Joan for example, 5% of 65 million is 3.25 million, and Roger said she would make about 1.5 million. Ted's 20% gets him 6 million. (A fifth of 65 is 13, Ted is getting half of that.) They took that into account. It's just the individual stakes that don't add up.

Cutler Air Force).

Minor point: He would have been Army, there was no Air Force in WW2. He might have been Army Air Corps/Army Air Forces, which was the forefunner of the Air Force.
posted by spaltavian at 12:59 PM on May 27, 2014


Uh, that was a typo?

No. Don is old


He's 43. Don is not done; and the "reigns" were certainly not handed over to Peggy. Peggy came into her own, but she did not display creative dominance over Don. She came to her own strategy pitch with Don's help to begin with. I think we're supposed to see that Peggy has the same innate talent of Don, but she's not the sensei yet.

Advertising is all about selling youth. That's not the same as being young. I've never gotten the weird desire to see Don become obsolete, but even if Weiner chooses to tell that story, there's nothing inevitable about it. Weiner is 48. Do you think he's too old to be creative? Do you think he's writing a story that says you've can't creatively reach people after 40?
posted by spaltavian at 1:07 PM on May 27, 2014 [15 favorites]


FWIW, in 1980, when I left college and entered the design field, creative directors were generally in their 40's and 50's. So, in 1969, Don is pretty much hitting prime time, if not being a little young.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:12 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Minor pedantry: we don't know that Cutler *bombed* Dresden. Those missions also featured fighter escorts.

I had the same thought, but I'm guessing that they mentioned Dresden specifically to make people think of bombers or some Vonnegut is coming up in the last seven episodes.
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or it ties Cutler in with Dresden, IBM's connection to the Holocaust, the coldness of number-crunching and even Ginsberg's breakdown.
posted by drezdn at 1:16 PM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Related to earlier conversations about Bob Benson, Sal, Stonewall, etc: HBO Developing 1960s Gay-Rights Drama From Adam Shankman
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:17 PM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


the "reigns" were certainly not handed over to Peggy.

Also, Roger told Don "you can have your job back. Your real job."

And Sara C, I don't think Don was "vibing on the idea of 'getting back to just doing the work'" as far as he himself was concerned. He was making that offer to Ted.
posted by torticat at 1:17 PM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Or it ties Cutler in with Dresden, IBM's connection to the Holocaust, the coldness of number-crunching and even Ginsberg's breakdown.
posted by drezdn


There already was someone - I think it was Cutler, but can't remember 100% for sure - standing in front of the IBM mainframe talking about a final solution a few episodes ago. So this wouldn't be the first trip to that particular well.
posted by COBRA! at 1:18 PM on May 27, 2014


Going to Wikipedia, they mention Ted's connection to the Air National Guard (to prevent Mitchell from being drafted by getting stateside service) but I coulda sworn he said Air Force. I'd have to rewatch but I defer to your knowledge, spaltavian. Grew up around Army, AF, and Naval folks but didn't catch the founding of AF.

Harry was the one talking to Don at the bar after they escaped Megan's party about the computer being the final solution, COBRA! in the context of kicking out Don and good creatives and basically tanking anyone who came from SCDP.
posted by tilde at 1:22 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aha, that's right.
posted by COBRA! at 1:23 PM on May 27, 2014


Roger told Don "you can have your job back. Your real job."

Yeah, no, I get that. And, yes, Don is 43 right now, and in the short term it's all going to be OK.

But it goes right back to the Napoleon thing. Sure, he's back. For now. In another few years, he is just not going to be able to win that land war with Russia/the youth. The writing is on the wall.

By 50 Don is going to be in exile.
posted by Sara C. at 1:29 PM on May 27, 2014


Going to Wikipedia, they mention Ted's connection to the Air National Guard (to prevent Mitchell from being drafted by getting stateside service) but I coulda sworn he said Air Force. I'd have to rewatch but I defer to your knowledge, spaltavian. Grew up around Army, AF, and Naval folks but didn't catch the founding of AF.

There was an Air Force in the 60s, just not in World War II. It was founded in 1947, IIRC. I only know because I got curious after remembering that by grandfather served on planes in the Italian theater in WWII but was Army, not Air Force.
posted by spaltavian at 1:30 PM on May 27, 2014


By 50 Don is going to be in exile.

Why?
posted by spaltavian at 1:32 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


In another few years, he is just not going to be able to win that land war with Russia/the youth. The writing is on the wall.

Don will have to segue into the true creative director's job...Marshaling and guiding the younger talent. You saw that happen in Peggy's office, guiding her through the creative process. You saw it again when he handed the Burger Chef presentation to her. This will be his job now...creating creatives.

Don's in transition. And, by the looks of things, he's found some level of peace and center through the process.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:34 PM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Well, obviously we can extend the Napoleon thing too far, but if it's to be paralleled, Don will be out quickly. The period from Napoleon's escape from Elba to his defeat at Waterloo is called The Hundred Days. The Russia campaign was long over.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:36 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don may not be coming up with The Pepsi Generation, you can bet your ass he knows talent when he sees it though. I see him in more of a mentor role going forward, and I think he's discovered that it's okay to let someone else shine.

What I HOPE is that Don finds his warm fuzzies from helping the young 'uns be creative and wonderful and to know that he doesn't have to have a monument to his genius, so much as a new generation to carry it forward.

Or...he invents the maxi pad. I dunno.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:38 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or it ties Cutler in with Dresden, IBM's connection to the Holocaust, the coldness of number-crunching and even Ginsberg's breakdown.

Ginsberg himself accused Cutler of being a fascist and Nazi in "Tale of Two Cities."
posted by sallybrown at 1:41 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but Ginsberg is, how you say, a special case.
posted by Madamina at 1:43 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


There was something slightly off in the way Roger presented the $65 million valuation. He didn't say "This company is valued at $65 million" -- he framed it as a hypothetical, something like "Let's say that the value is $65 million, and you own 5%...." Maybe it's just my paranoia, but it did leave me wondering if the offer from McCann was far lower than that.
posted by sallybrown at 1:44 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whatever age he is, Don can do a better job than Lou ever did.
posted by adrianhon at 1:52 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just rewatched that scene, and sallybrown is correct: Roger says "Let's say they value the agency at $65 million."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:54 PM on May 27, 2014


n.b. handing over the reins

Yeah, I conflated the Facist bit with Cutler's later comments (I thought he said something at the GM dinner) ... Officially USAAF. Might have been a side comment of Ted Chaough instead when they were trying to solve the Mitchell problem.
posted by tilde at 1:56 PM on May 27, 2014


In another few years, he is just not going to be able to win that land war with Russia/the youth. The writing is on the wall.

Don will have to segue into the true creative director's job...Marshaling and guiding the younger talent. You saw that happen in Peggy's office, guiding her through the creative process. You saw it again when he handed the Burger Chef presentation to her. This will be his job now...creating creatives.


I agree with this to some degree...Don isn't old (at 43? as a partner? nope) but no, he's not going to be hanging out with the creatives in the bullpen.

He's still got the Don Draper mojo though. Like Roger said, Don could work anywhere. He's stlll that guy. He just seems to have learned he's not always going to be the star. At heart he loves the work and knows what the work needs isn't always going to be him at the middle pitching carousel. It might be him behind the scenes pitching Ted on the new merger.

I feel like every time the show does these merger/big business moves type things it's not very well realized or explained and definitely isn't realistic, though I let the realism slide a lot of the time. The bit with Ted wanting to quit advertising seemed to come out of nowhere (or barely anywhere, we can imagine that he's been feeling out of his element/depressed/out of steam) and was

I felt like Don agreeing to the deal with McCann was him taking a step forward from old Don, who Joan railed at last year for his selfishness ("We're all on the sidelines rooting for you") and realizing he needed to do the best thing for his colleagues and the company. Cutler's "vision" is ridiculous - his isn't the "agency of the future," it's just a media buying agency that has a computer. That's the future for media buying, but creative is still around and as I've said a lot of times in Mad Men discussions, works almost exactly the same way today as it does on the show. The way they depict the creative process and the Account/Creative tension is great (although I doubt they would call Peggy to tell her they got Burger Chef, I know she said they couldn't find anyone, but they'd wait for Pete).

Creative is still the most important least important thing. I spend a lot of my time every day trying not to rattle the precious horseflesh.
posted by sweetkid at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


A few touches I really liked:

- Telescope behind Megan as she talked to Don on the phone
- The way Megan and Don's "Move On/Stop Fighting" dialogue equally applied to their relationship and Don's relationship with SCPETC
- Harry grumbling that Peggy didn't get him a beer in the hotel
- The way they could hear shouts from other hotel rooms when the moon landing actually happened.
- Don saying in the pitch exactly the words Peggy said she'd say in the practice session when she was introducing him.
- Everything Meredith
- Roger sliding Bert's nameplate out of its slot. And of course if Bert were there he would have been the first one who wanted to get the word out to clients.
- The "family meeting" feeling of when Don stormed around the office with the letter. Everyone coming out of their offices knowing or not knowing what the hell was going on (and Don's sharp snipe to Joan, "Why did you say you didn't know what's going on?"

I thought the Bobby Morse song and dance at the end was absolutely just a tribute to the actor and his many skills. In a way, it reminded me of the Oscar death montages where they put up the name of an old, Golden Age of Hollywood star and then show them at their height of beauty/talent/vigor, and there's this pang about how temporary all of that is - beauty fades, what's hot and cool and now quickly becomes the past, and we all lose our youth and health and decline, even the rich, famous, successful, beautiful and talented.
posted by sweetkid at 2:20 PM on May 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


The way they could hear shouts from other hotel rooms when the moon landing actually happened.

I love love LOVED this, every time I watch the episode it gives me a little thrill to hear those off-screen muffled shouts.
posted by palomar at 2:25 PM on May 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


But it goes right back to the Napoleon thing. Sure, he's back. For now.

and

Well, obviously we can extend the Napoleon thing too far, but if it's to be paralleled, Don will be out quickly. The period from Napoleon's escape from Elba to his defeat at Waterloo is called The Hundred Days.

Honestly I don't think "Waterloo" applies to Don at all. Why would they title the episode with a word synonymous with "defeat," for some unknown defeat coming at some indeterminate time in the future?

I wouldn't look for a lot of extended parallels for Waterloo... it's just about the death of Bert, the final "defeat" of a powerhouse. Probably coming straight from Roger's comment, "When an old man starts talking about Napoleon, you know he's in trouble" (owtte).

No one else met their waterloo this episode, least of all Don. Well, Lou and Cutler did of course--but the episode wouldn't be named for that.
posted by torticat at 2:50 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


oh god Roger taking down Bert's nameplate absolutely destroyed me. The minute he reached for it I turned to my husband and said "omg Bert Cooper died!"

and I agree sweetkid, I loved the song and dance routine as both a lovely contextual tribute to Morse's brilliant Broadway career and a touching reminder that Mad Men often shows Don's... not really "hallucinations" so much as internal visions / internal monologues / the internal complexities that makes him such a Great Creative - he has such a rich imagination! How could he NOT "see dead people"?

Not to mention it's a somewhat less heavy handed method of providing both exposition and in a way breaking the 4th wall a bit and providing insight into the inner Don Draper. It's also a kinder, gentler callback to his vision when Anna died, not to mention the flashbacks he's had to growing up in the Depression.
posted by lonefrontranger at 2:55 PM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


The minute he reached for it I turned to my husband and said "omg Bert Cooper died!"

I knew Bert Cooper died as soon as I saw Roger's expression and his "oh shit." I don't think anything else would have that affect on him. Some people said they thought it was Margaret/Marigold, that someone had found her dead somewhere or something, but in that case Brooks would have gotten the call. It had to be Bert, and it had to be death, from that expression.
posted by sweetkid at 2:58 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


By 50 Don is going to be in exile.

The Creative Director where I used to work, who has won Clios and Lions (and got us shortlisted for one while I was there, on a pitch I did most of the gruntwork on), and basically every single ad award it's possible to win, was in his very late 50's when I was working with him.

Sorry, Sara, but age is not really a factor in Creative; you have the talent or you don't.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:02 PM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


No one else met their waterloo this episode, least of all Don. Well, Lou and Cutler did of course--but the episode wouldn't be named for that.

"Waterloo" is probably just referring to a final, decisive battle here. Don won the battle over Cutler, but also over himself here. I think taking the Napoleon thing further than that is a stretch.
posted by spaltavian at 3:20 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Age is definitely a factor. You can't start out in your 50s. And by the time you're in your 50s you need to have put up some really successful and/or award winning work or you'll be writing coupons forever.
posted by sweetkid at 3:22 PM on May 27, 2014


yea tbh I initially thought it was Margaret myself but then when he took down Bert's nameplate it was OH GOD ALL THE FEELS. Bert could certainly be a backwards old crank at times but he always meant well and by jove if you did right by him he'd be sure to return the favor. He will be greatly missed. also I hate to be That Person but I have been dreading / anticipating this moment for awhile as I somehow knew Bert was going to a) never retire and basically die in the saddle and b) it was going to happen sometime in the final season.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:22 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


not really "hallucinations" so much as internal visions / internal monologues / the internal complexities that makes him such a Great Creative - he has such a rich imagination! How could he NOT "see dead people"?

I know he had a fever at the time, but the one that still gets me is that time he imagined he killed Andrea and stuffed her body under his bed. Seriously compared to that I feel like hallucinating Bert Cooper doing a song and dance routine is nothing.
posted by mstokes650 at 3:42 PM on May 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Age is definitely a factor. You can't start out in your 50s. And by the time you're in your 50s you need to have put up some really successful and/or award winning work or you'll be writing coupons forever.

Yes, clearly age is a factor in the advertising world. After 20 years in the biz, I'm (unfortunately) confronting it now. But that's not what this is about. Don is not just starting out. Along with the Chevy/Buick business, he's the main reason ME is willing to shell out big bucks to buy the firm.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 3:45 PM on May 27, 2014


"Waterloo" is probably just referring to a final, decisive battle here. Don won the battle over Cutler, but also over himself here.

I hear you, but Waterloo is also never about the victor, it's always about the person defeated.

Everyone we care about on the show is on the ascendant in this finale. Except Bert.

The episode wouldn't be named for losers Cutler or Avery. It very likely would be named for Bert, for whom the whole thing functioned as an homage. (And of course the direct Napoleon references in the show had to do with Bert and the one from Roger had directly to do with his death.)
posted by torticat at 3:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now that the first half of season 7 is done, we can discuss Don's dark secret. Don Draper is clearly a secret merling. Let's look at the facts...

-Don is at his most confident and comfortable when swimming laps.
-Don drinks alot. Some might even describe it as "like a fish"
-Don mentors Peggy. Peggy was raised a Catholic. One of the symbols of the religion is... a fish.
-Don's idea for the Hawaii ad campaign was originally thought as suicidal, but wouldn't a merling look forward to dropping their man disguise and return to the waters?
posted by drezdn at 4:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [17 favorites]


I hear you, but Waterloo is also never about the victor, it's always about the person defeated.

Wellington is *fairly* well remembered....
posted by Chrysostom at 5:16 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Age is definitely a factor. You can't start out in your 50s. And by the time you're in your 50s you need to have put up some really successful and/or award winning work or you'll be writing coupons forever.

Yes, clearly age is a factor in the advertising world. After 20 years in the biz, I'm (unfortunately) confronting it now. But that's not what this is about. Don is not just starting out. Along with the Chevy/Buick business, he's the main reason ME is willing to shell out big bucks to buy the firm.


I didn't say that's what we were talking about, I was responding to someone saying "either you have talent or you don't, age isn't a factor." I'm agreeing with you, but you're responding to an out of context cut and paste.
posted by sweetkid at 5:30 PM on May 27, 2014


Just started rewatching S07E01, and all of a sudden, I'm sad that Megan is gone. I haven't liked her at all this season (and in general I'm pretty meh about her, although I like Jessica Pare just fine), but I wanted to see more of the world she was moving into. And I know that's not a great storyline for a show ostensibly about advertising, so I guess... I don't know. Would I watch a spinoff show about Megan's adventures on the casting couch? Probably not, but a well-done series about the scene in L.A. during the New Hollywood/American New Wave era? I could watch the hell out of that.
posted by palomar at 5:46 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey, now I wish Don and Megan had done a song and dance as well, a duet to end their divorce - maybe "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" by Leonard Cohen?

It's interesting that basically everyone ends this season single. Don and Pete just ended their relationships, Joan turned down Bob, Harry's getting a divorce, Peggy has maybe a hot hookup in her future but is single, Roger's probably just hanging out with exwife and co. for company? Ted...meh?

I think just Kenny and Stan still got something good going, that's about it.
posted by sweetkid at 5:48 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Probably not, but a well-done series about the scene in L.A. during the New Hollywood/American New Wave era? I could watch the hell out of that.

See I was thinking about that when they were showing Megan's LA parties, but I think it would require too many cheesy Dustin Hoffman lookalikes and crap like that.
posted by sweetkid at 5:51 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Just started rewatching S07E01, and all of a sudden, I'm sad that Megan is gone.

I have so much Charles Manson knowledge I will never put to use now! (lol)
posted by sallybrown at 5:55 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's interesting that basically everyone ends this season single.

I hadn't put that together yet, but you're right. Ken's still got Cynthia (and I think they're pretty solid, there's zero hint of womanizing from him) and Stan's got his mysterious baby, but everyone else is single again. I have high hopes for Peg and the handyman, though. Get it, girl. He had nice teeth.

I doubt we have time to see Don in another romantic relationship before the end... poor Meredith. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
posted by palomar at 5:59 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have high hopes for Peg and the handyman, though. Get it, girl. He had nice teeth.

I felt like this was a nice callback to how Don (especially in the past) has had attractive women just tossing themselves at him during perfectly ordinary moments - stewardesses, waitresses etc. Like he'd just be out doing a thing and some sexy lady would make a comment about how she's available later, in town for tonight, or whatever.

This is Peggy's version of that, but of course instead of being flirty back, she doesn't get it at first and barks "I was very clear I wouldn't pay up front!"

And then she's like...durr.
posted by sweetkid at 6:08 PM on May 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


Yeah, sweetkid, obviously you can't start out at 50... but since Don isn't, that's not really relevant.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:34 PM on May 27, 2014


No, but he will eventually age out of the business regardless of talent. As will Peggy and Stan. Just not soon.
posted by sweetkid at 6:38 PM on May 27, 2014


Wellington is *fairly* well remembered....

Oh for heavens sake, I was talking about the expression, not the history.

However this most recent conversation reminds me that Don did have his waterloo moment with Megan. Which is pretty big (I think especially for Weiner)--and kinda funny that it got so upstaged by the other events of the episode that I didn't even remember it.

Anyway I guess I'd say that IMO the episode's titled, in the main and explicitly, for Bert's demise. And that the theme of defeat could also encompass Lou, Cutler, and Don's and Megan's relationship.

It just doesn't have anything to do with Don in his professional life... because Don won in this episode, and shows aren't given titles that predict the future.
posted by torticat at 6:50 PM on May 27, 2014


Metafilter: Too many cheesy Dustin Hoffman lookalikes and crap like that.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:57 PM on May 27, 2014


Robert Morse in How to Succeed... (1967)

Thanks for this link, it's fascinating to compare his performance here with his number from last night. And quite apt too - singing about doing the right thing for the team, a big boss looking to clean house at a company: "I know what's on your mind, you'd like to clear out the whole place from top to bottom..."
posted by mikepop at 7:09 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


torticat: "Oh for heavens sake, I was talking about the expression, not the history. "

Er, I was just joking, didn't mean to cause a fuss.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:12 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


People have been posting Brotherhood of Man all over for How to Succeed in Business...but I always think of I Believe in You as a great example of young Bobby Morse...you can see Bert Cooper here, as well as a bit of Bob Benson and uh...Jim Carrey a little too.
posted by sweetkid at 7:18 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here he is in 1967 on What's My Line as well...being charming and being compared to Bobby Kennedy.

Apparently he was on What's My Line often.
posted by sweetkid at 7:31 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Mad Style for this episode repeats something I've been seeing all over the webs about Sally kissing the younger brother:
And speaking of which, as we said, this is some Betty hair, but she’s making an un-Betty-like choice here; choosing the smart, shy guy over the football player. Betty at 15 would have made fun of this guy. After Don reprimanded her for sounding so cynical, she stomped off, leaving the Don Draper-like alpha male older brother alone and forging her own path.
Doesn't anyone remember the story of Betty's first kiss from "Babylon?" It was with David Rosenberg, the "gloomy" Jewish boy she met at a mixer. They teased her about it on the school bus.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:40 PM on May 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Carrey has two r's? D'oh.

That's the clip that made me think that, sweet kid. This one even more so. :)
posted by tilde at 7:43 PM on May 27, 2014


& on not preview because composing on a mobile is a fools errand, jinx with the What's My Line clip.
posted by tilde at 7:45 PM on May 27, 2014


Age is definitely a factor. You can't start out in your 50s. And by the time you're in your 50s you need to have put up some really successful and/or award winning work or you'll be writing coupons forever.

Yes, clearly age is a factor in the advertising world. After 20 years in the biz, I'm (unfortunately) confronting it now. But that's not what this is about. Don is not just starting out. Along with the Chevy/Buick business, he's the main reason ME is willing to shell out big bucks to buy the firm.

I didn't say that's what we were talking about, I was responding to someone saying "either you have talent or you don't, age isn't a factor." I'm agreeing with you, but you're responding to an out of context cut and paste.


I didn't make or respond to any "out of context cut and paste" - I've read the whole thread including the entirety of your comment that I snipped from initially. Further, if we're not talking about the show, then what is your comment in reference to? I mean, Sara C. made a blanket statement/prediction that Don would soon be irrelevant on this show because he's too old for the advertising game. FFFM disagreed. You then decided to make a blanket statement that had nothing to do with what's actually going on in the show about the relevancy of age in advertising. I simply pointed out that your comment really was not germane to the actual events transpiring in the show (although relevant in different circumstances in real life) So I'm not sure I get your point here.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 7:47 PM on May 27, 2014


Doesn't anyone remember the story of Betty's first kiss from "Babylon?" It was with David Rosenberg, the "gloomy" Jewish boy she met at a mixer. They teased her about it on the school bus.

I do! Sally is her mother's daughter, hence the folded arm smoking HELLO.

I know Don and Sally have a special relationship and that makes a lot of sense, as well as the fact that she has moved from "complicated relationship" to full on hating Betty.

But she is her mother's daughter. The Betty is strong in that one.

One thing I found weird in some of the recaps is that they were insistent that Sally was only "practicing" on the nerd because she's a hot girl and knows she can get the jock, but needs to work up to it.

I guess I don't see that as true at all, but it stings a little extra after the UCSB shootings, even though the connection is likely unintentional on the part of the reviewers. But it reinforces the whole trope of what "pretty blond girls" do with socially awkward nerds and ugh.
posted by sweetkid at 7:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


Sally was only "practicing" on the nerd because she's a hot girl and knows she can get the jock, but needs to work up to it.

I would laugh at the rank dudeliness of that idea if the implications weren't so scary.
posted by Sara C. at 7:53 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


How Betty describes her first kiss - from "Babylon":

Betty: . . . You know, the first boy I ever kissed was Jewish. . . . This boy danced with me all evening. David Rosenberg. He was very good looking, but there was something about him that was gloomy.
Don: Was he a good kisser?
Betty: Let's just say he'd had much more practice than I had.
Don: Yeah, I'm sure he was very disappointed.
Betty: Please, he only picked me because I wasn't part of the synagogue. In fact, the·next day, on the school bus, Beth told everyone I had been necking with David Rosenberg. The looks they gave me. They were all blondes by the next summer.
posted by sallybrown at 7:55 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sally was only "practicing" on the nerd because she's a hot girl and knows she can get the jock, but needs to work up to it. I would laugh at the rank dudeliness of that idea if the implications weren't so scary. Yeah, from Grantland's review:

Sally also got a taste of moon overexcitement, getting so worked up over stargazing with her mom’s friend’s nerdy son that she kissed him instead of the hot son she’d been working up a head full of steam for all week. Sally’s spontaneous choice to pursue the geeky brother seemed like an opportunity to flex her burgeoning sexual power, which is blossoming with the blonde good looks she got from Betty. She’s also inherited Don’s skill at seduction as sport. She’ll probably practice on nerds until she works up the courage to go for hot guys, whose physical beauty and self-confidence currently makes them too intimidating. Given her parents, looks, and age, her days of making flighty destructive decisions for the purpose of experience are probably just beginning.
posted by sweetkid at 7:56 PM on May 27, 2014


Oh, Judas Priest, what a steaming load. The nerd was actually way cuter than the jock, who suffers from the dreaded giant head/tiny facial features issue. Given her parents, she's gonna pick looks? After she watched their Christmas-card-photo marriage implode, saw her dad marry a pretty lady and then cheat on her, and saw her mom marry a nice, kind of boring but upstanding guy who probably nerds out all the time at home over politics? I have no problem believing that she'd go for substance over flash, even at her age.
posted by palomar at 8:03 PM on May 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


dreaded giant head/tiny facial features issue.

HAHAHAHAHA this is so perfect.
posted by sweetkid at 8:05 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, wow, she kissed the nerdier brother after realizing the older hot one was actually a doofus (we LANDED ON THE MOON, that is not a waste of money, it is awesome!). I really feel like she consciously chose to kiss him b/c he was awesome, and wasn't "practicing" on him. Who /does/ that? Do dudes think girls DO that? Who wouldn't kiss a guy who showed her the stars?
posted by leesh at 8:28 PM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


FWIW the Grantland reviewer was a woman (Molly Lambert). I saw it elsewhere as well, "Sally was practicing." Maybe AV Club too?

I'm glad other people saw it as a gross interpretation of what happened.

I really feel like she consciously chose to kiss him b/c he was awesome, and wasn't "practicing" on him.

I agree, but I also think as was said wayyy upthread that she's sort of "trying on" roles right now. "Maybe I parrot what the hot boy thinks?" "Maybe I make a real connection with this smart kid?"

That seems normal though for a girl her age. Hell I still try on personae sometimes.
posted by sweetkid at 8:33 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would totally agree with THAT interpretation. Calling it practice just feels totally gross and cynical to me.

Also, the older dude may have been cute and shirtless, but didn't he seem like a square? It's 1969, man! Sally isn't into squares. Though she (and her mom) can certainly admire them for aesthetic purposes.
posted by leesh at 8:38 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


didn't he seem like a square? It's 1969, man! Sally isn't into squares.

I dunno, he seemed all right. He had a point about the moon landing costing a ton of money.

We were supposed to make a connection between him and Don though, I think, because of Kellie Martin's character's comment about the Rutgers football scholarship and Cutler's comment about Don being a football star in a suit.
posted by sweetkid at 8:42 PM on May 27, 2014


Yeah, I said above something to the effect of "Sally went for the younger brother because he was more accessible and less intimidating," and I stand by that. And why can't there be an element of her practicing on him, experimenting with how she relates to boys? I know that can take a really gross, PUA-ish cast, but I also think that's really normal for kids that age.

That's not to say she wasn't interested in the younger brother on his own merits, but rather that there's so much going on at that age - there's a tendency to look at "young love" and see it as simple, but there are often a lot of complex and contradictory things going on.
posted by lunasol at 8:44 PM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Which is a weird characterization of Don, right? Even from Cutler's point of view.
posted by leesh at 8:45 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm really late to this thread, but I just wanted to say that I loved how Sally's first act of flirtation with Hunky Brother was to brag about her physical strength. She's going to be just fine.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:45 PM on May 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


I really should go back and watch the 7 minutes I missed, huh! Haha, sorry if my theories about football brother are off-base.
posted by leesh at 8:48 PM on May 27, 2014


And her second about the lifeguard job.
posted by tilde at 8:48 PM on May 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


She's going to be just fine.

I feel like this was the theme of the episode: the women of Mad Men are going to be just fine, thank you. Peggy with her pitch and the handyman, Joan with her millions, Megan with her decisiveness, Sally with her confidence. They're all going to be just fine.
posted by lunasol at 8:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [13 favorites]


I think your interpretation is fine, lunasol, it was the direct "she can get someone hotter, she's just triflin here" commentary from Grantland that irked me.

You know, because blond thin women are the pinnacle of beauty in our culture and as such, will always pick the most square jawed football starry man possible, and if she deigns to speak with a "geek" she's messing with him. No other interpretation is possible.

Just gross.
posted by sweetkid at 8:51 PM on May 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Megan with her decisiveness

I didn't think Megan was decisive at all. She'll be fine, but she ummed and mumbled and demurred her way out of that relationship.

I just can't help but compare that to the brawl that was the end of the Betty/Don marriage, with her shoving him and him shoving her back, but the stiffness of her girdle makes her toddle stiffly sideways. But she never loses her flinty glare.

I love those scenes. Sometimes on rewatch I skip those episodes till I've worked up the emotional weight to deal with them.

By contrast the Megan/Don marriage ended not with a bang but a whimper.
posted by sweetkid at 8:54 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I really appreciate that T&Lo acknowledged Peggy's Mad Style moment in the episode, when she's all "grey is a color that men wear" to Julio.
posted by palomar at 8:55 PM on May 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


And a bit on Megan from this week's Mad Style:
It’s more interesting, however, that she’s lounging around in a bikini in the first place. She appears to be doing nothing but living a life of leisure at the moment. All she ever does in L.A. is hang around the house, go shopping, get her nails done or throw parties. We suppose we should give her some credit for breaking up with Don when she could be treating him like a meal ticket in perpetuity, but we wonder what she’s going to do with herself now. She’s almost 30 with a very spotty resume – and Don’s about to make millions of dollars. We wonder if we’re really done with Megan in this story.
posted by palomar at 9:02 PM on May 27, 2014


As much as I hate not having Bert Cooper/Robert Morse on this show, I do appreciate how the death of the character seems to have inspired people to seek out old Bobby Morse appearances across the web. Having this happen at the end of the half season gives us time to pause and think and reflect.

Also here's Bobby Morse and Matthew Broderick introducing Daniel Radcliffe as a nominee for How To Succeed in Business at the Tony's.

The passing of time can be a joy as well as a curse. How marvelous it must have been for Bobby Morse to see his role reprised 50 years later.
posted by sweetkid at 9:23 PM on May 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I dunno if a square would have worn trousers of that level of stripitude. Those pants went ALL the way up. And back down. Them dungarees had some vertical hold, baby.

Which is a weird characterization of Don, right? Even from Cutler's point of view.

Back when they got the Jai Alai account, Don said he had played high school football, and I don't see any reason to doubt him. My grandfather was the town drunk of Backwater, U.S.A., and would probably have placed in the top five in an Archie Whitman impersonation contest, and it didn't stop my Dad from playing high school football.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:45 PM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah but "football guy in a suit" seems to imply that he's an impostor, not really a creative soul, which gets to the heart of what Don doesn't want people to think about him. Given how much we've traveled this road with him it hurts us, too. I thought Cutler's "You wanna take a swing at me?" was perfectly timed because at that point in his little rant i wanted to, too. (And also add one for 'this is for Lily Kane!' but that's another show...)
posted by sweetkid at 9:51 PM on May 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


Yeah, those were some stripey pants. Very... stripey. My my my.

"You wanna take a swing at me?" came right after some excellent face-twitching from Jon Hamm. I don't know if facial tics are a thing that can be taught in acting classes or if the actor is really getting into some Method stuff and mining a rich seam of emotional coal when that happens, but boy, Jon Hamm can really get his face to twitchin' when he's emoting angry or scared or disgusted.

vengeance for Lily Kane! *punchpunchpunch*
posted by palomar at 9:57 PM on May 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


She’s almost 30 with a very spotty resume – and Don’s about to make millions of dollars. We wonder if we’re really done with Megan in this story.

ARRRGGggggghhh. Haven't read Mad Style yet and I suppose I should read this in context but it pisses me off so much. Megan. is. not. a. golddigger. If she fails at acting she'll do something else; we know she's got other talents, and she's ambitious and independent. The whole thing with Megan, in contrast to Betty, the thing that caused a ton of the friction between her and Don, was that Megan had a life of her own and intended to live it.

Plus Don was already super wealthy when Megan tearfully told him "you don't owe me anything." Why would his being even richer make a difference?

The idea that she'd go crawling back to Don for the money flies in the face of everything we know about her.
posted by torticat at 10:14 PM on May 27, 2014 [12 favorites]


Pete's face. Pete's face.
posted by rewil at 10:49 PM on May 27, 2014 [22 favorites]


A thing like that!
posted by palomar at 11:14 PM on May 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I cannot stop giggling like a fourteen year old girl every time I see that picture.

Also, while T&Lo and I have our differences, I'm glad they remembered to point out the Nipple Dress.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 PM on May 27, 2014


Also, my prediction for Megan, assuming her big break doesn't eventually happen: with her ad agency experience, she wouldn't be a bad fit at a studio or maybe one of the big talent agencies (William Morris, Gersh, et al).
posted by Sara C. at 11:18 PM on May 27, 2014


Just continuing my rant--because that was such a shallow characterization of Megan's life

All she ever does in L.A. is hang around the house,
she's an actor, she doesn't have a 9-5

go shopping,
GROCERY shopping

get her nails done
on the weekend? WHAT a princess

or throw parties
One (1) party.

lounging around in a bikini
with scripts and a phone on the table next to her.

Plus there was a dinner with that agent-dude. Anyway we were never going to follow Megan to auditions or what-all in CA, when her relationship with Don was the thing still tying her to the story.

Unrelated... yeah, oh god the nipples on that dress! Do not understand.
posted by torticat at 11:28 PM on May 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Which is a weird characterization of Don, right? Even from Cutler's point of view.

Yeah, that's incredibly wrong. But I'm not sure Culter can be blamed for being wrong. It's one of the few times Don has encountered the the possibility that he's projecting an image that he really doesn't want to; bad branding in other words.

Don wants to be an all-American James Bond, but the last 2 years of over-drinking and dickish behavior has tipped him over the edge into "embarrassing business guy". It's a thin line between the confident man's man of seasons 1-3 and the induglent boor of seasons 5-6.

Don cultivated himself into being confident and forceful to escape his past and the weak person his past made him. But the difficulty and disappointments of life made him escape again, into a caricature of himself. He became trapped again, in a different prison than rural proverty, but trapped none the less.

That's why he was so angry with Culter. Not that Culter was right about Don's true nature- he wasn't- but because Don saw he was trapped in a prison of his own making, that people weren't seeing him how we wanted to be seen. Don won't go back to the original prison of Dick Whitman, to escape, but he does have to be less afraid of it so he can go back to his authentic self: an independent, confident, creative person without the posturing.
posted by spaltavian at 5:58 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


From Mad Style - not finished reading it yet, but I found something kind of interesting (that doesn't aggravate me) for the first time in a long time:

It’s interesting to note also that this is a pretty flirty and feminine look for a pitch. Peggy tends to dress more business-like than this for her pitches, as she herself told Julio. We’ve never seen her in that much makeup with her hair done up that much at any other time in the show. She never looked better or more grownup than she does in this scene.

Reminds me of Bobbie Barrett's advice to her long long ago in Season 2:

"You're never gonna get that corner office until you start treating Don as an equal. And no one will tell you this, but you can't be a man. Don't even try. Be a woman. It's powerful business, when done correctly."
posted by thereemix at 6:04 AM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


She brought an outfit expecting to represent Moms, though. Not to be the key note speaker. It's feminine and trendy (for Peggy) but if she had known in advance that she would be the main presenter I bet she would have gone for the grey.
posted by tracicle at 6:21 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay but then TLo goes back to the stupid Joan's red roses well here and irritates me again:

We couldn’t help thinking of Joan’s dress as some sort of reversal of her usual “red roses of disappointment” motif. Instead of red roses on a black background, we get these stark white flowers on a red background. She’s done being disappointed. She’s furious now. It’s a relatively simple look, but the bold jewelry and the wild print make her look formidable and angry. The writing has failed to sell her anger effectively, in our opinion, but the costuming sure picked up the slack.

GIVE IT A REST WITH THE FUCKING ROSES TLO.

And also - with regards to whether Joan's anger at Don is plausible or not - and I think it is, as I covered back in the "Field Trip" thread - if you think the writing this season doesn't explain her anger well enough, go back to Season 6 and watch the show, keeping an eye on Joan's interactions with Don AFTER the scuttled IPO/Jaguar firing/SCDP + CGC merger. She is not that friendly to him, at all. It's subtle - she doesn't stomp around saying "GOSH I SURE AM MAD AT DON THESE DAYS" but she's a bit cold towards him. Look at the scene during The Quality of Mercy when Ted and Peggy are all giddy and acting out their Rosemary's Baby St Joseph's ad - Joan is mostly irritated by Ted and Peggy being all schmoopy with each other, but she's not particularly friendly to Don, either. He asks her about the number of actors in the spot and she says that in residuals alone they are way over budget, and he says something to the effect of "Why are we doing this? Have we told the client?" and she just kind of shrugs and says "I don't know, Don, I don't make those decisions." Which reminds me of when she shouts at him after he fires Jaguar about how they're all waiting on the sidelines for him to make decisions about their lives.

My point is, the idea of Joan being pissed at Don has been there, since the Jaguar firing last year, but it's been mostly under the surface - because Joan is a professional (unlike so many of the tantrum-throwing men in that office) and doesn't really bitch about work while at work. Then Don returns this season expecting to be welcomed back with open arms and her anger becomes more vocal. It's all there. It's not just the stupid red roses on her dress.

I guess this is a tangent but I keep getting annoyed when I hear complaints about Joan's supposedly uncharacteristic anger at Don. They bonded after the lawnmower incident and after Greg sent her her divorce papers, but the former incident was six years ago in the show's timeline and the latter was four years ago. Things change. Friendships change. Don being nice to her after Greg sent her papers doesn't nullify Don costing her $1,000,000.

/end grrr.
posted by thereemix at 6:22 AM on May 28, 2014 [11 favorites]


torticat: Haven't read Mad Style yet and I suppose I should read this in context but it pisses me off so much. Megan. is. not. a. golddigger.

I don't think it is accusing someone of being a golddigger to suggest that they might be interested in their share of multi-million dollars. We are talking about being financially set for life with the stroke of a pen. She'd be stupid to look the other way, and I don't think she is stupid.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


She ain't messing with no broke broke.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:58 AM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


And maybe, Joan likes roses. I went thrifting .... twenty years ago, with a friend who would is a few years younger than Peggy (was at that time period I mean). Baby Boomer kid. We found these sheets from a mill end run, slightly irregular but 10-15 years old, of blue cabbage roses. And she bought all the bedsheets we could find and shipped them off to her Baby boomer sister who was all about the cabbage roses. The woman would wear good colors, good patterns, pretty conservative, but if it had cabbage roses she was all over it, even if it wasn't that great a look for her.

I kept thinking about why Dick/Don doesn't see dead Lane - he doesn't see dead Blankenship, either, or dead Don Prime (excluding flashbacks). Can't figure it.

Interesting that Matt stated "we aren't going home with everyone" but we have. Don's place, Megan's place, Roger's place, Joan's place, Peggy's place, Bert's place (first time!), Bob's place (first time! or was it a hotel room?), Trudy's place (and he threw Charlie Fiddich back in her face*), Pete's hotel room, Stan's place.

Haven't "gone home" with Ginsberg, Mitchell, any secretarial staff or Dawn (Dawwnnnn!), Lou, Cutler, Harry, Kenny.

Not sure on how to classify Ted as he seems to live and drink at the office. Haven't seen his family, who are obviously at home but how many "late nights" does he "work" ... but have seen his plane. :P

I love the link to Pete's face. He goes so high and gets so low so easily that I've not yet ruled him going out the window.

I know we were talking up thread how Pete seemed flailing in the first season, marrying Trudy but sleeping with, messing with Peggy. Seemingly going after Don's job, trying to be a Creative, though he suspects he was hired for his pedigree**. Trying to buddy up to Don unsuccessfully. Trying to get a story published like Kenny.

*Charlie Fiddich, Trudy's first lover, who he's never gotten over being jealous of; accused her recently of seeing him, which is indecent to him as she is to him socially a married woman who shouldn't do such things (married to him, of course). Never mind that he pretty much asked Trudy why she didn't take a trip down memory's lane and bed him again to get "the bear story" in a good magazine.

** He wrote the story about the bear that Charlie put into Boy's Life (or offered to, didn't quite make clear if he took that offer up).

From what I can see of season one and season two (maybe) this is his first real job, one he got on his own but he suspects because of his pedigree which he waves around once in a while. There's some line he throws away about people telling him he's good with people, though at that point he's only okay at it, I think, compared to the way he matures into it (see Megan's Dad at the Codfish Ball). So he's trying to make a tangible success his parents don't look down on (not sure what they expect him to do but not Advertising) while they live off what little is left Keeping Up Appearances it seems.

So he tries to be Creative, with his eye on Don's office. He doesn't want to be Roger. So he pitches ideas to clients, feeds ideas to Peggy and if she uses even a tangential one, goes for lauds on it. He sees Kenny getting praise for the story and tries to make his own. Roger kaputs Ken, so Ken goes under ground and then is at Pete's during the SCDP days when Cynthia outs Ken's new name and he gets slapped again (Peggy also knows but keeps the secret).

Once Pete becomes a partner, though, he decides to stick with it. His dad is dead, his mother senile, he's just going to make it work because by now he can do it and creatively he's not even in the parkinglot.

I think he's delighted with that money from this potential sale to McCann (too happy? will fail?) because he always thought he had it until he got out into the real world, couldn't tap the Bank of Mom and Dad while they were alive, and had nothing left after his dad died in that airplane crash; they had to sell all the last of their holdings to take care of Mother until Manolo presumably pushed her off of that boat.

One of the early issues for him was that he wasn't making enough money to support Trudy in the style to which she was accustomed (buying that apartment). And that Kenny was making much more than him. But I think because he'd come from money, and this was a first real job for him, he didn't know how to ask for the 'right' amount. After that he was all about climbing up to make money; I think at that point he dropped nearly all his "creative" attempts.

When Ken passed him by for head of accounts, that hurt, too, and led to him being prepared to luck into the partnership. Why they went for him first we don't know for sure. Maybe they suspected he'd be defecting with his "sick days" and therefore more open to joining the new crew. Maybe it was his father in law and the potential billings involved if he could bring a few more along. Also helps that he knows Don's secret and has shut up and soldiered (they fired him once and then "argued" for him to be rehired in a bit of theatre after discussing the merits of his pedigree) and is the right balance of loyal and getting it done. Compared to Ken who is head of accounts but his loyalty is suspect (again with the writing - I'm pretty sure he was not yet married to Cynthia and Corning yet).

Yeepers that was a lot. Delighted Pete is lovely but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop ....
posted by tilde at 7:22 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I watched this grossly out of order last night (had read all the recaps I could find, watched Burt's dance first, then the moon landing, then the partners meeting, then the BC pitch), and am interested that there isn't more discussion of the text of Don's pitch to Ted ... a pitch that I think MW might have intended to actually be the center axis on which the whole season (parts 1 and 2) will revolve around -- "I was out of this, really on the outside, and it was terrible. You have to work." It's not clear at all if Ted agrees because Don persuades him or simply because he gives in, not seeing another way forward, but I have a strong feeling that Don's speech in that meeting will have echoes down the line.

In other topics, I wish SO MUCH that I could buy Peggy's work dresses today instead of the sundress or suit choices that I have. So flattering and timeless. Somebody (Banana Republic?) get on that please?
posted by anastasiav at 7:47 AM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought we saw Ted's wife one time?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:52 AM on May 28, 2014


I thought we saw Ted's wife one time?

More than once, I believe. We see them argue at home and we see her jealous of Peggy at the Clios.
posted by spaltavian at 7:55 AM on May 28, 2014


In other topics, I wish SO MUCH that I could buy Peggy's work dresses today instead of the sundress or suit choices that I have. So flattering and timeless. Somebody (Banana Republic?) get on that please?

Actually, I've seen a fair amount of Peggy-style work dresses on eShakti -- merchandise updates near-daily, you can purchase a stock size or submit your measurements and have any item made to fit those measurements (highly recommended for any item with embroidery on the torso), and most dresses have options to customize certain things (length, sleeve type, neckline type, remove pockets, et cetera). And right now they're having a "buy 2, get 1 free" sitewide sale.
posted by palomar at 7:56 AM on May 28, 2014


Sorry, I meant we hadn't seen Ted's family this season, in California ... I know they were at the office once in NYC, at the Clios and we "went home with him" in earlier seasons. I should have clarified my remarks were from Matt on wrapping up the season and that we weren't going to "go home with everyone".
posted by tilde at 8:14 AM on May 28, 2014


When Ken passed him by for head of accounts, that hurt, too, and led to him being prepared to luck into the partnership. Why they went for him first we don't know for sure.

I just rewatched "Shut the door, have a seat" with my daughter, who is watching MM for the first time.

I think they went for Pete because he was HUNGRY. Ken could have brought accounts too, but wouldn't have pursued them with Pete's vigor (or at all? Ken was sitting comfortable at that point, while Pete was going crazy).

It could also be that Don and Roger figured Pete had earned it, his being an annoying little weasel notwithstanding. It was Lane who had promoted Ken.
posted by torticat at 8:15 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


eshakti is hit-or-miss - sometimes the stuff looks really strange in person on my body than it did on the website (and this is AFTER customization for fit), but when it works, it REALLY works. I get crazy compliments on my eshakti dresses when I wear them to work.

I am seriously wishing eshakti would do a dress like that orange-and-blue stripey one (with the pleated orange skirt and tie/scarf detail) that Peggy wore in The Monolith (and asked Julio to consider for her BurgerChef pitch, compared against the grey suit). Everytime I see that dress I feel very envious. Peggy's actually been knocking it out of the park for work wear this season (with the exception of that nipple dress which is just weird).
posted by thereemix at 8:17 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've seen a fair amount of Peggy-style work dresses on eShakti

I actually love eShakti, but I think their stuff is mostly much more Betty than Peggy.

See what I really want is that very simple turtleneck with short sleeves look in a knit. Modest enough for work, easy to put on, flattering. eShakti is much more Betty than Peggy in my book. I want this dress (maybe not in green), or this one, or even this one (on Joan, not Peggy), but they're not in style currently and are almost impossible to find.
posted by anastasiav at 8:20 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would agree on that - lots of full skirts at eshakti, which are very Betty.
posted by thereemix at 8:26 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It’s interesting to note also that this is a pretty flirty and feminine look for a pitch. Peggy tends to dress more business-like than this for her pitches, as she herself told Julio. We’ve never seen her in that much makeup with her hair done up that much at any other time in the show. She never looked better or more grownup than she does in this scene.
I was taken aback when I read that at Mad Style, because I always associate wearing a lot of makeup, froufrou hairdos, and flirty clothes in the workplace as looking LESS grownup. Maybe it's because my formative years were the heyday of the power suit.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:32 AM on May 28, 2014


Even Betty isn't wearing full skirts so much in 1969 though.
posted by sweetkid at 8:32 AM on May 28, 2014


Separated at birth: Lifeguard Sally® and the Original Skipper Doll™. (Red bathing suit included.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:36 AM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Separated at birth

I had the "Growing up Skipper" doll as a kid, where if you rotated her arm around in a full circle, boobs magically popped out. Way to confuse little kids about biology, Mattel.
posted by ambrosia at 8:43 AM on May 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


I was taken aback when I read that at Mad Style, because I always associate wearing a lot of makeup, froufrou hairdos, and flirty clothes in the workplace as looking LESS grownup. Maybe it's because my formative years were the heyday of the power suit.

About one year into my first job out of college, I decided to start putting some effort into my appearance - meaning makeup (I never wore any prior to that) plus some clothes that actually fit and were not entirely shapeless and unflattering (I finally had money to pay for such things). I IMMEDIATELY was treated with more respect. It was like up until that point I had been seen basically as a little girl - I was 22 when I first started there - and suddenly everyone realized I was an actual adult. I was subsequently given more responsibility and a slight pay increase.

Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but there was no way I could not notice how the makeup, especially, changed the way all of my colleagues (men and women alike) treated me. I found it tremendously depressing at the time. I still do. I'm nearly 30. I also still always wear makeup to work now.
posted by thereemix at 8:47 AM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


There's lots of full-skirted stuff at eshakti, yes, but there are also things like this. And this. And this (there's a version with red buttons and trim that has more visual impact, but the skirt appears fuller on that one). You just have to actually dig through their inventory, but there are things there that are less Betty and more Peggy. Hell, I'm not sure who this would work on but it's definitely closer to the secretarial pool than Betty. Although who can wear a drop waist well? I sure can't. :(
posted by palomar at 9:10 AM on May 28, 2014


with regards to whether Joan's anger at Don is plausible or not

She actually says it right in this episode, in case we forgot: "I'm tired of him costing me money."

I'm sure that was edited for public consumption -- it's said in a public part of the office possibly to mixed company -- but that's really all the motivation she needs. It also explains why she turns on a dime when it seems like Don is going to start redeeming himself on that particular score.
posted by Sara C. at 9:57 AM on May 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've been doing a rewatch from the beginning of the series (I watched the pilot before the FanFare rewatch threads were proposed, and I couldn't stop), and one of the things that's jumped out at me as a pattern is how angry and vindictive Joan gets whenever something starts to go well for somebody else.

Joan's star has been on the rise while Don's been away, but he's been getting his mojo back over the last couple of episodes. In addition to the "costing me money" issue, I wonder if she sees his return to the office and possible return to a position of power as a threat to herself.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:17 AM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Grantland's Season Wrap Up has some nice notes on this ep:

Midway through the “midseason finale” of Mad Men’s final year, a strange bit of alchemy occurred: The characters became the audience. As we sat on our couches, rapt, they, too, were transfixed by a screen, watching as the fuzzy images of the first moon landing played out on television sets across the world. The surprise, from our contemporary vantage point, was that one half of Neil Armstrong’s carefully prepared statement seemed to dissipate like grains of fine lunar sand. “One small step for man,” repeated Walter Cronkite, uncharacteristically at a loss, “but I didn’t get the second phrase.” Oh well. Judging by the overwhelmed reactions of most of the cast in that moment, most Americans were lost in their own personal orbit anyway. History’s first draft is often messy; here it was temporarily illegible.
In Season 4, when eulogizing Ida Blankenship, the onetime “Queen of Perversions” who died at her desk, Bert waxed surprisingly poetic: “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She’s an astronaut.” To Bert, outer space was a source of endless fascination. It was the impossible summit that kept him climbing, the unknowable promise that kept him alive. So it was appropriate, then, that Bert Cooper died the instant the moon ceased being a metaphor and was forever transformed into something tangible. There’s a difference between gazing up at something in wonder and stepping on it with authority. A little bit of mystery winked out of the universe on that fateful night in 1969. And, I can’t help but think that, in some small way, the same thing happened on Sunday as well.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kenny making $300 a week at the start; if we do the rewatch I'll keep track of that.

I remember it was Harry that got the Kenny Pay envelope now. The $300 a week caught my ear because Pete was claiming $3600 a year when talking to Trudy about the money to buy an apartment on their own. Originally I thought he was going to object (much like Husband #2 for Scarlett O'Hara, Frank something) about her worrying her pretty little head about mortgages and how unwomanly it was for her to know about such things.

At SCDP (or SCDPCJIELRHYEWOICCG), Harry got a huge check ($13,000?) which was equivalent to about a year's salary ..

And Don, before or after promo to partner (Sterling heart attack #1) bumped to $40k.

Peggy started out at $35 a week, got a $5 a week raise in there somewhere. A few years later and move from SC to SC (PPL) to SCDP, Megan is making $75 a week (presumably her secretarial pay, not her front-desk pay (where she moved from after Allison left and Blankenship died).
posted by tilde at 10:23 AM on May 28, 2014


I had the "Growing up Skipper" doll as a kid, where if you rotated her arm around in a full circle, boobs magically popped out. Way to confuse little kids about biology, Mattel.

Me too!! My husband wouldn't believe that such a doll existed, so I went on the Internet about two weeks ago to prove it.
posted by vitabellosi at 10:35 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


We're definitely doing the rewatch. Planning is underway.
posted by donajo at 10:36 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Re the money and comparing early seasons to recently, wasn't this smack in the middle of the inflationary period that got us to the point where we look at a salary of $35* and laugh? So I'm not sure that we can compare the money from the first season to the money now and think, wow, such raises!

*At my first admin assistant job, a bit more than a decade ago, I was making more than ten times that!
posted by Sara C. at 10:38 AM on May 28, 2014


Re:ReWatch I hope rambling overarching theories about how the show is being really about Television Shows ares alloweds.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:38 AM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re Puberty Skipper, anyone else remember the pregnant Barbie with a sort of abdominal cavity that a baby (which came with the set) could fit in?
posted by Sara C. at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


If Mad Men is about television shows, it's even more wrong and irrelevant than it is about advertising.

Seriously, I have less than zero patience for Matt Weiner (of all people I mean seriously) and his griping about those terrible suits (at places like HBO and AMC!) who don't understand his vision. This is probably going to be something I'm going to have to self-censor about, to a degree, if it ends up being a topic of lots of discussion. Because oy.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


1960-69 inflation was about 24% total, ~2% a year. That's pretty moderate. The big inflation is coming in the 1970s.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on May 28, 2014


She actually says it right in this episode, in case we forgot: "I'm tired of him costing me money."

I'm sure that was edited for public consumption -- it's said in a public part of the office possibly to mixed company -- but that's really all the motivation she needs. It also explains why she turns on a dime when it seems like Don is going to start redeeming himself on that particular score.


I had a whole big long thing typed out about my thoughts on Joan's characterization this season, but my browser ate it, and ultimately what it boiled down to is this: I can't quite put my finger on the why just yet, but seeing Joan so blatantly money-hungry was really hard to wrap my head around. Her anger at Don makes sense, her desire for financial stability makes sense as that's been a constant for her. And as a feminist I have zero problems whatsoever with Joanie diving into business and figuring out that she can hold her own and be successful, I think that's awesome. So I can't figure out why it bums me out that she's so focused on getting that cash.
posted by palomar at 10:52 AM on May 28, 2014


And as a feminist I have zero problems whatsoever with Joanie diving into business and figuring out that she can hold her own and be successful, I think that's awesome. So I can't figure out why it bums me out that she's so focused on getting that cash.

It's not "getting that cash". It's cash that no one can take away from her security. Not her mother, not a man, no one.

One thing that came up in this season's threads is that she hadn't redecorated. Some things were batted around that the constant redecoration is more of a modern thing, and or that someone does it when they move into their "forever home" (not a direct quote but a feeling from the "when my [person] bought their home back in [time period] they decorated it and was done and never changed it".

I'm wondering, flipping back to an episode right around the start of S5 (?) when Gail takes a $10 from Joan's purse to buy Kevin formula, Joan asks, "Are you buying his formula or yours?". Another episode had Gail off at the track (Bob and Joan were getting ready for the beach, and Roger, feeling lonely, popped in).

Maybe it's part of the whole thing. Don't spend money on redecorating, don't spend money spoiling Kevin or her mom (not that she may have a significant amount more yet). Upgrade the jewelry and the wardrobe to fit her new status (and maybe a bit more for household upkeep) but don't show her hand about how much more she is or is not making (or lost as a result of not going public). But this way her partnership is cash valued (in theory she could have sold some of her stock once things went public) as soon as she signs. As soon as she signs she gets a chunk. A big cash chunk no one can chisel away from her.

If she's getting any money from Dr Rapist we haven't heard about it. Having to rely on that when he bothers to send it might be an issue as well.
posted by tilde at 11:07 AM on May 28, 2014


A large part of the story arc about the firm is its reluctant incorporation of TV (and TV's proxy character, uber-square Harry Crane). The current predominance of TV, which necessitates bringing in a computer for targeted ad-buys, is indirectly causing a lot of the political tension between creative and management. TVs also feature as background material in many shots (and central focuses in many more - think about Don's nadir and all of his drunken TV watching). Commentary on television as a cultural artifact is definitely part of the show's grammar, but I don't know if I'd say a central part in my personal analysis.
posted by codacorolla at 11:12 AM on May 28, 2014


That came over as attacky but I didn't mean it that way, palomar ... just expanding what might be the motivation and urgency as a driver.

She's been kicked a lot and she's seeing women do more than she was ever told she could do, and she wants it to work and not kick her in the ass, much like happens to Pete over and over with him doing things the way he is supposed to.
posted by tilde at 11:14 AM on May 28, 2014


seeing Joan so blatantly money-hungry was really hard to wrap my head around.

I feel like anyone currently participating in this discussion would be irate if their company was days away from going public (which equals $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for all partners), and then some fucking mope had a hairbrained scheme to merge with another agency, not only depriving them of that fat cash they were about to get, but actually diluting their stake. By sneaking around to merge with CGC, Don literally stole money out of Joan's pocket. You don't have to be "money-hungry" to be upset about that.
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah it seems obvious to me. Joan is upset about the money because it's money.
posted by sweetkid at 11:22 AM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Or as they say on The Wire, "This America, man."
posted by sweetkid at 11:24 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I appreciate Joan's anger at Don, which I'm not sure would happen on other shows. The romantic notion is that money doesn't matter and that friends stick together. This is easy when you're probably set for life, like Don, Roger and company are. It's much harder when you're doing probably at the very least a 50 hour work week (I'm guessing - it seems like Joan's job would probably extend beyond a 9 to 5) and still living with your mother and child in a cramped apartment while everyone else is in a Manhattan penthouse. Joan SHOULD be angry at Don.
posted by codacorolla at 11:25 AM on May 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm glad they remembered to point out the Nipple Dress.

I was going crazy, knowing we've seen that particular Nipple Dress before, but I couldn't put my finger on when and I didn't see TLo mention the repeat: it was in The Crash.
posted by sallybrown at 11:28 AM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that's why I was so careful to state that I totally get where Joan is coming from, her anger makes sense and I'm not faulting her for that, and that the issue is mine. Evidently I'm the only one here who feels weird about it, so you can all stop telling me I'm wrong now.
posted by palomar at 11:36 AM on May 28, 2014


Because we're poisoned by society to want her to be nice and get over it already? I know I am.
posted by tilde at 11:46 AM on May 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is probably going to be something I'm going to have to self-censor about

LOL ;)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:10 PM on May 28, 2014


I'm interested more in where the Joan/Roger feud is going. He's irritated with her because he feels she's being disloyal, and wasn't thrilled to see her move to Accounts mostly because it was a Cutler power move, but other than that I think they've kept a somewhat subtle simmering resentment going between them.
posted by sweetkid at 12:14 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Now that's one couple that truly deserves each other on this show. But of course they'd actually make each other happy as equals so that can't really occur.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:20 PM on May 28, 2014


I dunno, I don't see a romantic connection between Roger and Joan anymore. I don't think they'd make each other happy.
posted by sweetkid at 12:22 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


You're probably right, I just loved it when they were together. Maybe now that Joan is a bit more on his level financially and age-appropriately they could find a real connection and mutual respect? At least he could help her redecorate and take her out to Studio 54 and shit.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:26 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


OMG I see a fantasy webisode scenario coming on, Potomac Avenue.
posted by sweetkid at 12:27 PM on May 28, 2014


if only there was someone with an AO3 account around here
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree that Joan is in a very "fuck bitches get money" mindset at the moment. Frankly, since she's the one responsible for her mother and son (not to mention herself!) that's just her being responsible. Also, it's nice/heartening that she's holding out some kind of hope for love (as per what she said to Bob Benson) but in the present moment, I'm sure she's not looking for boyfriends or to play the wife, and is generally feeling ambitious and cool-headed at the moment. Also, these guys *literally* pimped her out and she *literally* whored herself for the company, the least she can do is get as much of a payday as they do.

I don't think that Roger is any good for anyone right now, though was he watching the moon landing with his ex (Margret's mother?). Who was that woman he was with?
posted by rue72 at 12:30 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


if only there was someone with an AO3 account around here

*Camera zooms on me about to bite into a calzone*

"..what?"
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on May 28, 2014 [6 favorites]



I don't think that Roger is any good for anyone right now, though was he watching the moon landing with his ex (Margret's mother?). Who was that woman he was with?


Mona, his ex wife and Margaret's mother. They recently went upstate together to visit Margaret/Marigold at the hippie commune.
posted by sweetkid at 12:32 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's weird, right? Doesn't she have a husband? I wonder if they're rekindling things over this ~crisis~ with Margaret?
posted by rue72 at 12:39 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Please, I'm with you palomar. Of course Joan has cause to harbor bad feelings against Don after the myriad shitty moves he has pulled during his tenure at the agency, and you're far from the only person to point out that the manifestation of her anger these past several episodes has come across as a little off.

In general, I have been dissatisfied with the treatment of the "Don's road to redemption" arc this half season. I think a big reason why people are having so much trouble with the behavior of Joan (and others) this season is because the show has framed her anger, as well as every other obstacle to Don's return to form, as something awful and inexplicable that is happening to the hero of the show. It's not that I expect or want tv to be just like real life, where professional and interpersonal conflicts can take much more protracted (and boring) forms, but with the pile-on of people being mean to Don and the casting of Lou and Cutler as easy villains (albeit super fun and hilarious villains), the strings of the puppet master were a bit more visible than usual.

Weiner has said in interviews that viewers are having trouble with the anger being thrown at Don because they don't understand that the gap between s6 and s7.1 was only eight weeks and that the anger is fresher in the minds of the characters than the viewers, but from my perspective, the problem is that it is crazy that Don would think people would take him back so soon and with so little fuss, and it only compounded the problem that there wasn't enough room in the seven episodes for anything not contributing to this central plot.
posted by mustard seeds at 12:40 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Though they've always been friendly (or at least they seemed so to me, like at Roger's mother's funeral), maybe they're just buddies, I don't know.
posted by rue72 at 12:40 PM on May 28, 2014


rewill: Pete's face. Pete's face.

What's Pete reacting to there? Is that just "I'm gonna be rich" carry over from the meeting they just got out of, or was there something else?
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:46 PM on May 28, 2014


I want to see a gif of Pete mouthing "he's crazy" while spinning his finger around his ear when he was standing in Cutler's office while Cutler was on the phone with Ted. It's Classic Pete but I have also totally done that when I've been the silent one on a phone call.
posted by sweetkid at 12:50 PM on May 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


Maybe it's the hints they've dropped about Gail drinking and playing the ponies, but I have a suspicion Joan might have experienced a lot of instability growing up. Combined with the instability of her courtship and marriage to Greg, and her not wanting to sink all her cash reserves into a new place when the one she's had forever suits her needs for now seems perfectly understandable to me.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:59 PM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Joan is the only one of the partners who can't go somewhere else and retain her status. If S&C&Partners goes under, she goes back to being an office manager with a salary and her savings. Her new account skills are less than six months old, and she doesn't have the client list that Pete, Roger and Cutler have accumulated. I totally understand why she fears Don after watching his self-destructive spiral threaten the agency. She's never going to be courted by another agency: they won't even understand what it is that she does. The current agency is Joan's only shot to be something more than the office manager.
posted by gladly at 1:17 PM on May 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


gladly: “The current agency is Joan's only shot to be something more than the office manager.”
Not to mention that, as we saw a couple of episodes back, she understands a great deal more about how to actually run a business than her colleagues seem to give her credit for.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I want to see a gif of Pete mouthing "he's crazy"

As you wish
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:27 PM on May 28, 2014 [14 favorites]


that's an excellent assessment gladly. I wanted to tell you this so badly that I am asserting my self control to write this comment before clicking on Sweetie Darling's "He's crazy" gif.
posted by sweetkid at 1:28 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]



Re Puberty Skipper, anyone else remember the pregnant Barbie with a sort of abdominal cavity that a baby (which came with the set) could fit in?


That was Happy Family Midge, often available on eBay along with Happy Family Allan.
posted by jgirl at 1:30 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


rue72 I think Roger and Mona are one of those couples who get along much, much better once they are no longer married. I know two such couples in my real life. "Buddies" is a great way of putting it.

I thought Mona married that guy Bruce Pike who she brought to Margaret's wedding and Roger's mother's funeral, but maybe it's just a long-term relationship? Or maybe they split up. Seems weird Bruce wouldn't have been at the house watching the moon landing with them if he was still with Mona.
posted by thereemix at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


These are the lyrics I thought of during the episode that were knocked out of my head and have been bugging me ever since:
Come on Peggy! You can do it!
Come on Peggy! There's nothing to it!
If you want nothing, don't ask for something
If you want something, don't ask for nothing
Our mother should have just named you Laika
It's for your own good
It's for the neighborhood
posted by bleep at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's Monday Morning, Peggy.
posted by sweetkid at 2:25 PM on May 28, 2014


Re Mona and Bruce, did Margaret say something about them in passing at brunch in Ep 1? I'm not near the TV at the moment but can go watch later.

I love where Roger and Mona have landed, but it's probably another case of affection for the actors coloring my judgment.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:00 PM on May 28, 2014


I really appreciate that T&Lo acknowledged Peggy's Mad Style moment in the episode, when she's all "grey is a color that men wear" to Julio.

My favorite thing they pointed out--which, like most sartorial things on the show, I hadn't noticed at the time--is that in the end after seeking his advice, Peggy basically borrows Julio's own outfit. Green top with blue and tan stripes? Uh... yes!
posted by psoas at 3:28 PM on May 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


Joan is the only one of the partners who can't go somewhere else and retain her status.

That's really perceptive, gladly.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:52 PM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I had a "it's full of stars" moment when Bert was watching TV and said, "Bravo." So I was not surprised when Roger got the phone call, I knew it was Bert.

My husband and I were talking about his dance number the next day, and he said, "I remember him now! I saw him on Broadway in 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,'" so he's watched this entire show without realizing who was playing Bert.

Was really sad when Megan dumped Don over the phone, even though I knew it was coming.

Questions I have are:

- Is Lou going to put up a fuss or kill himself or otherwise throw a wrench in the works?
- Will Peggy get a role in the new agency or will she be downgraded again? (how much power will McMann have over them?)
- Will Harry Crane also be a wrench in the works? He is good at dropping things where he shouldn't, telling Don info that he shouldn't have, and is obviously ticked off at not being made partner;
- Joan was visibly happy at the thought of getting that much money. But happy people do not make for good dramatic TV. What lengths will she go to to make sure the deal goes through (if someone messes it up)? Push someone out a window? Throw someone under the bus? I can see her doing that and I hope she does, I loved the look and line she gave Cutler: "You shouldn't have done that," just before she walked back into her office.

I loved the Meredith moment. Hope she does not get all stalkery and blackmailing Don next (1/2) season.

I thought Sally kissed the boy because he was nice to her. I had a big laugh when she came downstairs all done up and my husband said, "she looks different. Why does she look different?"

So much sads for Peggy when Julio told her he was moving. Loved the moment when the guy gave her his number.

I remember watching the moon landing and it was really surreal. This big thing in the sky with the Man in the Moon and someone had flown there?

Not sure you can find Joan dresses in real human women sizes online. She wears couture sheaths that are tailored, with lots of foundation undergarments. Maybe a Maggie London sheath, altered. But a lot of vintage 1960's dresses are in absurdly small sizes compared to today. Probably more luck with the Peggy dresses, mock turtleneck sheaths with short sleeves (or even alter a long sleeved dress).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:03 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is Lou going to put up a fuss or kill himself or otherwise throw a wrench in the works?

I've got my money on, "yells something unintentionally hilarious and storms off into the sunset with rounded shoulders.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:52 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Robert Morse watches another rocket launch in The Loved One (1965)

If you've never seen this weird gem, I highly recommend it. Besides the Morsey goodness, there's a darkly hilarious sendup of the funeral industry that provided the direct inspiration for several elements of Disney's Haunted Mansion attraction, and a subtle dramatic performance by Liberace, of all people, that left me wishing he'd done more serious acting.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:00 PM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


But I caught that Lou line, "I've worked 10 years in tobacco!" only to have this guy mess it up sort of thing. And Cutler telling him he is only a hired hand. Don fights back when Cutler tries to put him in his place, but what will Lou do? He already hates the creative staff for making fun of him, he either has to get out or get back at them.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:16 PM on May 28, 2014


Lou's got a two year contract. They'll just buy him out and send him on his way. No drama.
posted by ambrosia at 5:20 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


No drama.

What? This is a drama! Lou is angry, he is disenfranchised. Cutler cut him down. There can be no happy ending here, there has to be strife, and Lou is a point, or Harry Crane is a point, even Meredith can be a point, but there has to be a gum in the works. And Joan will take care of it, somehow. I was right about someone dying (and said possibly Bert) and I was right about Don and Peggy having an intimate moment. Cutler is creating monsters here, with disenfranchising both Lou and Harry.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:33 PM on May 28, 2014


I'm not worried about Lou. I think he will be gone when we return, the way Duck was. They're not going to invest precious time in the last 7 eps to him. Harry, we've seen, can be bought. They gave him the commission on the TV special the last time he threw a hissy fit about wanting to be a partner. And this time it's his own fault (as most things are with Harry).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:36 PM on May 28, 2014


yells something unintentionally hilarious and storms off into the sunset with rounded shoulders

And then we get to burn that hideous tiki bar.
posted by Sara C. at 5:47 PM on May 28, 2014


A question I hadn't thought about until I started musing about the Harry thing:

Once a company is bought and becomes a subsidiary of another company, are there "partners" as such anymore? My first thought is that Harry will ultimately get his partnership as a gesture to Cutler, but he'll have missed the boat on the really good stuff.

I could also see Harry jumping ship. I was always surprised that he never did before, since Sterling Cooper has been treading water since somewhere around the lawnmower incident and there are plenty of other ad agencies out there who'd be happy to have someone with Harry's connections and enterprising spirit.
posted by Sara C. at 5:51 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Surely there must be some new character on the horizon, a McMann overseer.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:52 PM on May 28, 2014


Sara: nope no more equity. They could get shares in McCann but probably they'll all take cash and just be employees with paychecks. No more owning anything.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:57 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Surely there must be some new character on the horizon, a McMann overseer.


Bingo. I think this tension will be a big part of next season. That's if the deal goes right through. Which it might not.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:59 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sara: nope no more equity. They could get shares in McCann but probably they'll all take cash and just be employees with paychecks.

Is that right? McCann is buying 51% of SC&P, so they'll have control of the company, but the rest of the partners should retain equity. I think?
posted by donajo at 6:04 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sara C.: "And then we get to burn that hideous tiki bar."

"I'm drinking rum!"
posted by Chrysostom at 6:17 PM on May 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


With only seven more episodes, any new character introduced is going to have to remain minor and relatively under-developed. Then again, Mad Men has never displayed economy of character, and has always erred on the side of bringing in yet another character when the situation would have worked just fine without a new character. So you're probably right.

If it were me, I'd use either the dude they made the McCann deal with over the last few episodes, or wasn't one of those dudes earlier this season who was trying to lure Don Draper away from SC&P from McCann?

Or maybe bring back someone from earlier seasons as that annoying McCann babysitter. Duck, maybe? Dr. Fay would be pretty great, but I don't know how they'd pull it off since she's not strictly in advertising.

But yeah, if Weiner is true to form he'll bring in someone new and waste half his remaining time building that character when he should be giving us more of what we actually want to see.
posted by Sara C. at 6:22 PM on May 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Bob Benson. He is put in charge and he has say over Joan and everyone else. Don and Ted have to answer to Bob Benson. Pete splutters endlessly.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:32 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bob Benson just took an in-house job at Buick and also is incredibly underqualified for such a position.
posted by Sara C. at 6:40 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Buick is why McCann is buying them out.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:44 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If we're talking songs from "How to Succeed," then Joan and the secretaries would be perfect for "A Secretary Is Not a Toy."
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:51 PM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Bob Benson spilled the cards to Joan, after his Chevy cohort spilled the beans to him. Joan spilled the beans to Roger and Roger spilled the beans to the guy from McCann. Buick wants Bob Benson but Bob Benson works for Sterling Cooper (etc.). The guy from McCann said, okay, but we want all of your Chevy team, including Don Draper and Ted. And Roger said, "I don't know if I can do that." And then Don got Ted on board. So Bob Benson is a hot property and Joan rejected Bob, and Joan has also not let Roger in on some stuff lately, so she's up against a wall here. It would only make cosmic justice for her to be reporting to Bob after rejecting his offer.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:55 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


No one's talked yet about Betty and her friend - I found their tiny bits of conversation intriguing - like Betty saying she thinks of Don as an old boyfriend "a teenage anthropologist would marry."

T&Lo said she was a snob for wearing pearls when the family came to visit, of course, but if Kellie Martin and Betty were both Mawrtyrs it seems like this is a different bond than she's had with most women on the show -someone she bonded with during all nighters with coffee and curlers in their hair, giggling while typing out papers. There was something sweet and easy about their conversation about Rutgers scholarships, passion about France, and marrying men without eyebrows. It wasn't the slight competitiveness and sarcastic barbs she had with Francine, even though I have a lot of fondness for that friendship too.

Betty didn't seem to be "preparing a face to meet a face" as much as usual, although of course with Betty there's always a bit of that.
posted by sweetkid at 7:02 PM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'd love a fantasy webisode of Betty and Kellie Martin (don't remember the character's name) chatting about their Bryn Mawr days.
posted by sweetkid at 7:07 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


In which I hope we hear about something other than anthropology, Italian, modeling and horses. If we have to have more Betty I want 3D Betty.
posted by bleep at 7:11 PM on May 28, 2014


I don't know, I feel like we've only touched the tip of the iceberg with anthropology, Italian, modeling and horses. Those are all interesting topics that we haven't heard Betty say that much about (modeling the most).

Like...did Betty watch Nanook of the North in class? Why anthropology?

What were the modeling apartments like in Italy?

Things I must know.
posted by sweetkid at 7:22 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's true, I would enjoy that.
posted by bleep at 7:37 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I would also be completely down for hearing Betty wax on about how her anthro training informed her perspective on the modeling world, or on travel, or even on the riding circuit. But then, I think that Betty often has really interesting things to say.
posted by rue72 at 7:39 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


But then, I think that Betty often has really interesting things to say

You're my new favorite
posted by sweetkid at 7:44 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah that scene was like "Wait ..Betty has a friend? Why don't we see more of her friends?" (I mean, I know why but still.)

I'd be very interesting in seeing what Betty wrote about for her degree.
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think he will be gone when we return, the way Duck was.

And thus was born SC&P's newest rival. GOC: Grumpy Old Curmudgeons Advertising Agency. Their motto is, "No Client Too Bothersome, No Employee Too Irritating, No Sweater Too Avuncular."

And then we get to burn that hideous tiki bar.

You can throw that glorious tiki bar on my funeral pyre; until then, it stays!

Yeah, I would also be completely down for hearing Betty wax on about how her anthro training informed her perspective on the modeling world, or on travel, or even on the riding circuit. But then, I think that Betty often has really interesting things to say.

PREQUEL! "A Mad Summer Dream" or something like that. Or maybe "The Sweet Life" if you wanted to include more pf her pre-Italy days. You'd have to find just the right actress.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:56 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]



PREQUEL! "A Mad Summer Dream" or something like that. Or maybe "The Sweet Life" if you wanted to include more pf her pre-Italy days. You'd have to find just the right actress.


Oh. I can't breathe. I want this now.
posted by sweetkid at 8:17 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bob Benson spilled the cards to Joan, after his Chevy cohort spilled the beans to him. Joan spilled the beans to Roger and Roger spilled the beans to the guy from McCann. Buick wants Bob Benson but Bob Benson works for Sterling Cooper (etc.). The guy from McCann said, okay, but we want all of your Chevy team, including Don Draper and Ted. And Roger said, "I don't know if I can do that."

Once again, I'm reminded that sometimes this show requires a lot of background knowledge to make any sense to the viewer. I took all this in passively when it happened onscreen but now seeing it all laid out like this (thanks, MMD!), I realize I don't quite get it. I get the Chevy XP bit, but:

What was the relationship between Chevy and Buick--apart from that they're both GM brands--that would make Buick want to hire Bob (as a what, exactly?) and is the idea behind the buyout that McCann is... losing Buick and thinks SC&P will snatch it up, so better to keep them in-house? God, this is convoluted.
posted by psoas at 8:43 PM on May 28, 2014


Buick want to hire Bob (as a what, exactly?)

Marketing manager, probably.
posted by sweetkid at 8:52 PM on May 28, 2014


-Buick want to hire Bob (as a what, exactly?)

--Marketing manager, probably.


That's my guess, too. But Bob seems like the kind of fellow who - as long as it doesn't require something like an engineering degree - could, in the words of Bobbie Barrett, "Pick a job and then become the person that does it."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:24 PM on May 28, 2014




I bet Matt could find some way to monetize all of the development that comes out of these threads....
posted by bleep at 9:43 PM on May 28, 2014


I'll run a limited netflix series just on A Young Bob Benson, Talented Con Man. Six episodes plus retro feel you can't lose.
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm intrigued by the fact that James Wolk has said he knows more about Bob than the audience does, from working with Weiner on the character. I like that mystery. I don't want to know, but I like that there are secrets to Bob we'll never know. That's why he doesn't get a fantasy webisode or spinoff from me.

But James Wolk needs to team up with Kyle Chandler on a project, like brothers or something or just, anything.
posted by sweetkid at 9:56 PM on May 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


You could call it Bob Benson's Short Shorts.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:57 PM on May 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Bob Benson, from child of pigfucking tobacco farmers to D.C gigolo to murderous social climbing gadfly.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on May 28, 2014


I just watched the episode and I've only started on this thread but I have some feels, yall, as the kids say
posted by naju at 10:12 PM on May 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Shit I thought there was two weeks before the pseudo-finale. Just watched the episode.

Thoughts (also responses to a few comments near the top of the thread):

-In last week's episode, Don said he got married in '55. So how can Sally have been born in in '54? No way did Betty have kids out of wedlock.
-In earlier seasons, whenever the partners started discussing business, Don would usually leave the room (in Season 4 when they're worried about going under, in Season 5 when they're discussing Joan's Indecent Proposal). It only occurred to me recently that Creative is on another floor entirely from Accounts in SCBLARGH.
-Peggy's pitch was perfect. Not for the scene, but for the series. It was Weiner's elegiac epitaph for Mad Men, and for the 60's.

The 1960s was the seismic sloughing off of the previous America and the ushering in of the modern America the world knows, for better or worse. I firmly believe that everything that defines American society and culture, with all its divisions and tensions, are the ongoing unresolved eddys of that period.

Of course Bert died. When we landed on the moon, his world was utterly and completely gone.

Peggy's speech nailed everything that has made the show what it is.
posted by dry white toast at 11:18 PM on May 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


In last week's episode, Don said he got married in '55. So how can Sally have been born in in '54? No way did Betty have kids out of wedlock.

Sally's sixth birthday took place onscreen in season 1. The show has played fast and loose with continuity before, though.
posted by Sara C. at 11:26 PM on May 28, 2014


I thought that Peggy said that she didn't remember 1955, but that 1965 had been a good* year, and then Don agreed and said that he got married (in 1965), meaning that he got married to Megan. Though that's just my recall based on seeing the episode last week, I don't know for sure.

*Maybe that conversation was also a callback to that other Sinatra song, "It Was a Very Good Year"?
posted by rue72 at 11:30 PM on May 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's so much set dressing/wardrobe stuff in this episode that just made me squee.

Cutler's watch is a gold Accutron Astronaut(screenshot), with the lizard skin band from a regular Accutron 218. I have a gold 218, and a Snorkel. I've actually never seen anyone wearing an Accutron in a tv show/movie before. I instantly spotted it because of the distinctive bezel and lack of a crown(it's on the back on 214 series watches like the Astronaut). The astronaut was an expensive watch at the time. My coworker bought a 218 in 1969 at the naval exchange and said it was a little more than half the cost of a rolex explorer. The astronaut was about the same price. It was also not a very popular watch and didn't sell all that well, although there may have been a flurry of popularity in 69 as it was used by NASA(although the apollo astronauts wore omegas, they used the Astronaut for other stuff). It's actually a kinda oddly thick watch and lays on your wrist like a chunky diving watch because the rear-facing crown with its flip down key adds a lot of depth.

Also, the beautiful fan shown in this scene is a Freshn'd Aire Circulator. This was basically the dyson airblade of its day compared to the average fan you'd get at sears, which is to say it was also pretty expensive. Check out this hilarious/awesome ad for it. Kinda weird to see it just randomly shown in a deli like that, it was probably put there just because it looks cool. The one shown there is a pedestal version, but that was simply a conversion kit they'd mail or sell you at the store when you bought a standard one. I own one of these and it's beautiful. I used to have two, and i wish i had kept the other one. They're massive though, and i live in a tiny apartment with one closet and very little storage.

The fan in Peggy's apartment(closeup) is also one i own, a Westinghouse Riviera. I have both sizes of the floor model, and the thin wheeled-stand model which was the "mobile aire", which is the one she has.

Another random tidbit is that i love Cutler's glasses... and then my coworker showed up a couple days ago wearing them. he's apparently had them since the early 70s or something.

This kinda makes me wish i had gone through the entire series with an eye for products/etc i recognized and made a blog where i just identified things incase people wanted to track them down and try and buy them.
posted by emptythought at 2:05 AM on May 29, 2014 [18 favorites]


I thought that Peggy said that she didn't remember 1955, but that 1965 had been a good* year, and then Don agreed and said that he got married (in 1965), meaning that he got married to Megan.

Yes, I was sure he was referencing his marriage to Megan in 1965.
posted by crossoverman at 2:29 AM on May 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought it was '65 / Megan as well.
posted by Stacey at 5:33 AM on May 29, 2014


Yeah, it was certainly a reference to marrying Megan in 1965.

Don and Betty probably got married in late '53, and Sally was born, like clockwork, 9 months later in mid-'54.

That means Betty got married at 21 (she says she's 28 in Season 1). I know people typically got married earlier then, though I would think mainline WASPs would still generally be older than 21.
posted by spaltavian at 6:02 AM on May 29, 2014


There is definitely a math-not-working thing with Betty's age and all the things she managed to accomplish before marrying Don at supposedly 21. Bryn Mawr. Modeling in Italy. Modeling at the fur company. How did that all work?
posted by ambrosia at 8:27 AM on May 29, 2014


Isn't it kind of weird that Peggy wouldn't remember 1955? She was 14.
posted by Sara C. at 8:29 AM on May 29, 2014


There is definitely a math-not-working thing with Betty's age and all the things she managed to accomplish before marrying Don at supposedly 21. Bryn Mawr. Modeling in Italy. Modeling at the fur company. How did that all work?

Is Betty vain enough to lie to a child about her age? Maybe she was really 31 in 1960.

Isn't it kind of weird that Peggy wouldn't remember 1955? She was 14.

She was 16, (she mentions just turning 30 in last week's episode), so it's even weirder.
posted by spaltavian at 8:43 AM on May 29, 2014


I'm guessing she went to Italy summer before senior year, got told she could be a model, came back to the US, dropped out of college, moved to Manhattan, did 3 jobs, met Don in November and was done.
posted by bleep at 8:52 AM on May 29, 2014


This kinda makes me wish i had gone through the entire series with an eye for products/etc i recognized and made a blog where i just identified things incase people wanted to track them down and try and buy them.

I would be all over that. On my wish list: a to-the-floor version of Peggy's curtains.
posted by sallybrown at 9:00 AM on May 29, 2014


Peggy might have tuned out that year if that was the year she watched her dad die of a heart attack in front of her.
posted by tilde at 9:02 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is Betty vain enough to lie to a child about her age?

absolutely. it would not only tie with her character but with her general contempt for what kids think, etc.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:03 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


(not that I don't also believe that continuity slips could be a thing either)... but take it from someone who lived with women of that era and social strata - even for women who were married, turning 30 was considered a Very Big Deal, and not in a good way. It was considered polite fiction to lie about one's age for as long as you could gracefully get away with it (c.f. Joan's rage at being exposed as 30 in Season 1)
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:06 AM on May 29, 2014



There is definitely a math-not-working thing with Betty's age and all the things she managed to accomplish before marrying Don at supposedly 21. Bryn Mawr. Modeling in Italy. Modeling at the fur company. How did that all work?

Is Betty vain enough to lie to a child about her age? Maybe she was really 31 in 1960.

absolutely. it would not only tie with her character but with her general contempt for what kids think, etc.


I dunno, she was saying how old she was in front of a kid who probably thinks anyone over 12 is an ancient giant. I'm thinking continuity slip.

Especially because Betty has been shown to be about the same age as January Jones, who was 28/29 when they were filming the first season.
posted by sweetkid at 9:14 AM on May 29, 2014


Yup. I was born in 69. Throughout my childhood, Mom would only ever say she was "25." I think when my older brother reached college age she started saying "30-something." It's a family joke, but to this day you cannot get her to state her actual age out loud.
posted by dnash at 9:15 AM on May 29, 2014


I'm going with continuity slip. I'm relistening to these & season one mid point has Roger & Joan together only a year at that point, putting Don only a year at SC at that point.
posted by tilde at 9:16 AM on May 29, 2014


I was 15 in 2000. I don't remember much. Y2K paranoia, 9th grade?...kind of a blur. For real. I'm a year younger than Peggy. I can believe not remembering 9th grade. A lot has happened to her since then. It's a lifetime ago.
posted by thereemix at 9:29 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's definitely a continuity issue -- the episode "Waldorf Stories" takes place in 1955 and depicts Don and Betty early in their relationship despite the fact that, based on what we've already seen on the show, Sally was theoretically born a year prior.

My guess is that someone realized the math doesn't work to have Don and Betty married in '53, so they just conveniently forgot about it.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 AM on May 29, 2014


I'm relistening to these & season one mid point has Roger & Joan together only a year at that point, putting Don only a year at SC at that point.

I'm pretty sure the continuity shift happens in Season 4's "Waldorf Stories", which also posits that Roger and Joan have been carrying on their affair for five years when we meet them in 1960. Which seems unlikely, especially since at some point between 1955 and 1960 she needs to also be dating Paul Kinsey.

Also, if Joan had already been working at SC prior to 1955, it wouldn't be any big secret that she'd be around 30 in 1960.
posted by Sara C. at 9:44 AM on May 29, 2014


Couldn't she be dating Paul Kinsey and still sleeping with Roger?
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


the episode "Waldorf Stories" takes place in 1955 and depicts Don and Betty early in their relationship

No it doesn't:
In flashbacks, Roger (who is writing a memoir), remembers how he met Don as a fur salesman in 1955. During that time, Roger was involved with Joan Holloway, for whom he sought to by a fur coat. When Don learns the older man works in advertising, he tries to include his resume and portfolio in the box containing the coat, but Roger throws them out. Later, while heading to work, he runs into Don, who is hounding him for a job at Sterling Cooper. Despite trying to blow him off, Roger agrees to go out with him for drinks. The next day, Don shows up in the lobby and claims Roger hired him after saying "Welcome aboard." As they enter the elevator, a puzzled Roger has no memory of what really happened, but Don smiles to himself, implying that he conned his way into Sterling Cooper.
No mention of Betty in the flashback. We know that Betty met Don when he was writing copy for the fur company, and in the flashback we see an ad in the fur store that features Betty. In an earlier episode, when Betty went through Don's home office desk and found his box of photos and papers, she found divorce papers for Don and Anna Draper. He got divorced from her on Valentine's Day 1953, and he and Betty were married that spring.
posted by palomar at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


"Pick a job and then become the person that does it."

I never thought much of Bobbie, but that quote and the one upthread are great.
posted by jgirl at 9:49 AM on May 29, 2014


(Okay, I suppose that two years into a marriage is still "early in their relationship", but it's consistent within the show that they were married in '53.)
posted by palomar at 9:50 AM on May 29, 2014


No mention of Betty in the flashback.

Not in that summary, but, yes, Betty is mentioned. She's the model in the fur ad, and IIRC there's heavy subtext that Don wants to move up in the world so that he'd have a shot with her.

Which really means they probably got actually married more like '56, unless "Waldorf Stories" depicts January of 1955 and the ad agency/Betty courtship went off without a hitch.
posted by Sara C. at 9:50 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Why would Betty still be modeling for the fur company after being married for two years and having a baby at home? Keep in mind we're talking about the 50s, here. I'd love it if Betty and Don had that unconventional a life together, but I'm pretty sure they didn't.
posted by Sara C. at 9:51 AM on May 29, 2014


Couldn't she be dating Paul Kinsey and still sleeping with Roger?

She could be, but that's a whole lot of shitting where you eat for someone as smart as Joan.

It is possible that Joan and Roger had an on and off thing, though. Maybe they were hot and heavy in '55, then took a break wherein she openly dated Paul, then later fell back into it. It works with what we know of Roger and Joan through the life of the series, in terms of them always sort of having an unspoken thing with each other.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on May 29, 2014


She's the model in the fur ad,

Yup, I'm pretty sure I said that right up there in my comment. And it's pretty believable to me that a tiny fur company that lets their salesman do their ads probably doesn't refresh their ad campaign a whole lot.

I really don't get where you get the idea that Don and Betty were married in 1956. If you're basing that on the scene where Don and Peggy are talking about 1955 vs 1965, it just comes off like you mistook his statement about marrying Megan in '65 as something else and you're really trying to make it stick.
posted by palomar at 9:55 AM on May 29, 2014


The fur ad would be for the company's current stock, and thus, yes, would have to be less than three or four years old.

I really don't get where you get the idea that Don and Betty were married in 1956.

With the continuity of "Waldorf Stories". If Don and Betty are not yet (seriously?) dating in 1955, it seems unlikely that they would go from zero to married in just a couple of months. Especially considering Betty's social status. They'd have a big church wedding in Philadelphia that would require planning. Even if Don gets the advertising job in early 1955 and proposes to Betty the same day, there'd still be invitations to engrave.
posted by Sara C. at 9:58 AM on May 29, 2014


I don't think she's saying they were married in '56, just that's what the timeline of "Waldorf Stories" suggests, while the kids' ages suggest '53.
posted by spaltavian at 9:59 AM on May 29, 2014


The ad wasn't necessarily new - a good ad might be out a while and near the end of its run. She met him at that shoot and she mentioned the feeling of having the beautiful items taken off of her at the end of the shoot (either after the McCann coke ad flirting or later on when she talks about meeting Don).

She mentioned they lived in the city a while after they were married but moved out to Ossining when the kids came. She did a major redecoration right when Gene was born.
posted by tilde at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also Betty dropping out of college at 20 to "be a model" is.... no.
posted by Sara C. at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2014


Also, it seems odd that Betty would date (or marry) a fur salesman to begin with, right? It's high-end, but it's still retail.
posted by spaltavian at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


a good ad might be out a while and near the end of its run.

It's not about whether the ad is good, it's about whether it advertises the company's current stock. And you'd better believe that a fur company in the 50s is updating its designs from year to year. This was a cutting edge luxury product, for rich people. Don't change the merchandise for half a decade and why is anyone ever going to come back?
posted by Sara C. at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2014


If Don and Betty are not yet (seriously?) dating in 1955,

They got married in May of 1953. I don't get why that's hard to understand.
posted by palomar at 10:06 AM on May 29, 2014


They got married in May of 1953. I don't get why that's hard to understand.

On the other side of the timeline, that doesn't leave a lot of time for Dick Whitman to go to Korea (the war started in mid-1950), assume Don's identity and get sent back, move to New York and get a job, and meet and start dating Betty with enough time to get properly (by her standards) engaged and married. It's possible, I suppose... this is really the first I'd thought through the order of events like this though.
posted by psoas at 10:33 AM on May 29, 2014


Bob Benson, from child of pigfucking tobacco farmers to D.C gigolo to murderous social climbing gadfly.

Whelk, this is a story about Bob, not you :P
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:35 AM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Don's timeline is as weird as Betty's is, if you shoehorn them into that 1953 wedding date.

It stands to reason that the Dick/Don transition must have happened sometime close to the end of Korea, because whether his tour was almost up or not, the military is not giving up an able-bodied soldier during wartime. There was a draft for Korea. "Oh but I only have like six weeks left!" is not really a thing. (My own grandfather had his tour extended when the Korean War started.)

So newly minted Don Draper comes home from the war in, charitably, late 1951. He gets a job in a car dealership and has his run-in with Anna. Then he leaves the car dealership for a job at a fur company. All in the space of less than two years. That done, he meets Betty and they have their entire pre-marriage relationship, from "want to get coffee sometime" to walking down the aisle, in under one year despite the fact that he's just a fur salesman who writes a little ad copy, and she's a model from a wealthy background.

So in 1951 we've got ineffectual little Dick Whitman, and in 1953 we've got Alpha Male Don Draper seducing models. Right.

It's theoretically possible, but it makes a lot more sense to revise the timeline to 1955, giving Don a few years to find his footing, as well as giving him and Betty a vaguely reasonable relationship timeline.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 AM on May 29, 2014


So newly minted Don Draper comes home from the war in, charitably, late 1951

Don's said when asked that he was only in Korea very briefly. Since he was assigned to work for Don Draper building the field hospital in 1950, and since he hadn't been at the site very long before it blew up, it seems an extremely far stretch to believe that he lingers in hospital there for a year before being sent home. I'd put him back in the states by early 1951 at the absolute latest.

As for the length of his courtship with Betty -- I don't know about you, but I have tons of couples in my family tree with what seems like an extremely short courtship before marriage given today's standards. My grandparents, who are just three years younger than Don's supposed to be, married within four months of meeting, and no, it was not a shotgun wedding. "Vaguely reasonable" is not a lengthy courtship, for the time period being shown.
posted by palomar at 10:52 AM on May 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sorry, Sara C., I just don't buy the retconning you're pushing. It doesn't fit with the show's established timeline.
posted by palomar at 10:55 AM on May 29, 2014


Yes, Dick was in Korea very, very briefly. He literally had just met Real Don not that long before the accident happened. Part of what makes the whole Dick-stealing-Don's identity thing so interesting - to me at least - is that Dick clearly went to Korea to escape his awful family, then realized the war was kind of worse, then seized an opportunity to escape both the war and his family by switching the tags. He has a concussion, he recoups briefly and then gets sent home - because Real Don was almost done with his tour in the army. So he get Real Don's purple heart and goes home on Real Don's schedule - or maybe even a little ahead of time because of the accident, let's say early 1951. He doesn't get off the train in PA - Adam sees him on the train but can't stop him. He ends up in CA at the car dealership, Anna discovers him. He moves to NYC, takes some classes at City College while working for the fur company - this can all easily happen during 1951-1952. Meets Betty in 1952, falls in love, asks Anna for a divorce at Christmas time in 1952 (which was shown on the show), divorce finalized in early 1953, marries Betty soon after. Marrying Betty gives him the confidence to become Alpha Male Don. Browbeats Roger into a job two years later.

I also always got the impression that part of the reason Betty's father never liked Don was because the relationship moved super fast. He didn't trust Don. Then on top of that Don "[didn't have] any people." Like palomar I know people in my extended family who got married after like 4 months of dating. Scares the crap out of me but there ya go.
posted by thereemix at 11:09 AM on May 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Anyone looking for sunshine and optimism is not going to get it. I find it weird so many people thought this episode was triumphant and optimistic. Even the musical number was abruptly brought back to a crushing reality. Things are on the edge of a precipice. A firm with some semblance of integrity is being sold to a giant, megalithic, global ad agency - no way this bodes well. If you want to think about the 70's, think about the scene in Boogie Nights where Philip Seymour Hoffman commits suicide. (That was marking the beginning of the 80's, but the sentiment is there - under all that stuff of the 70's, all was not well. Matthew Wiener gets this better than anyone.)
posted by naju at 11:13 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don wasn't in Korea for long, but he could not possibly have joined up at the very beginning of the war, or his tour would have been extended when the military realized he was barely injured.

People were not going home from Korea because welp, time's up guys! So long, please don't ever write!
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on May 29, 2014


No, DICK wasn't in Korea for long. We don't know how long the original Don Draper was there.
posted by palomar at 11:16 AM on May 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Things are on the edge of a precipice. A firm with some semblance of integrity is being sold to a giant, megalithic, global ad agency - no way this bodes well.

Also, the fact that this is not the first time people at the agency have pulled something like this doesn't bode well. Remember all the other times they sold the company, left to form their own new agency, merged the agency, etc? None of those were the quick fixes they hoped for at the time.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on May 29, 2014




Sorry, that's what I meant. Dick wasn't in Korea for long.

Either way, regardless of how long Don had been there, the military was not discharging people for concussions, and there was a draft. They needed every able-bodied man they could get. People's tours absolutely were extended.

The only way it works is if this all goes down toward the end of the war, when manpower was no longer as vital.
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 AM on May 29, 2014


That done, he meets Betty and they have their entire pre-marriage relationship, from "want to get coffee sometime" to walking down the aisle, in under one year despite the fact that he's just a fur salesman who writes a little ad copy, and she's a model from a wealthy background.

I find the timeline awkward also but this is the one part of it I believe. It seems Betty knew almost nothing about Don's background even many years after they married, so I can buy her failing to thoroughly vet his current job status / social standing and just believing whatever story he spun her at the time (he could have sold himself as an ad man working in-house for a fur company rather than a fur salesman).

I also think (relevant to the discussion of Betty's first kiss above) that people underestimate/simplify Betty's selection in men. We know she likes to think of herself as sophisticated, and there is an undercurrent of appreciating someone who is "different," albeit only in the sense of being better than the norm (not just unusual). She didn't just want someone with a corner office, she wanted someone who felt *special* and gifted - someone as charismatic as Don - because that would reinforce her image of herself as special. So I don't think his actual job at the time they met is as crucial as the way he was able to sell her on their future together.

(I found Betty's description of Don to Kelli Martin strange for this reason - I can't see his effect on Betty fading that way, regardless of the passing of time. But that may be what Betty wishes she would feel.)
posted by sallybrown at 11:22 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


ITS HERE MY GIFT TO YOU PEOPLE

AWESOME
posted by sallybrown at 11:25 AM on May 29, 2014


Real Don's time in Korea was almost up. Dick went home on Real Don's timeline.
posted by thereemix at 11:26 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


"accounts man and small mammal Pete Campbell."

My hat is tipped to you, sir.
posted by psoas at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Real Don's time in Korea was almost up. Dick went home on Real Don's timeline.

I don't think that's the sticking point. Sara C. is saying that even though Real Don's tour was up, the authorities would have extended it regardless of Real Dick / Fake Don's injury.

I know zero about military history, so no clue how common that would have been at the time. But in a universe in which Real Dick pulled off his identity switch (successfully, so far), I can buy that luck also went in his favor on this point and Real Don's tour of duty wasn't extended, maybe because of his injury or rank or maybe just because.
posted by sallybrown at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


My grandfather served one term in Korea. It's not unheard of.
posted by palomar at 11:35 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Additionally, Real Don was an officer. I think it's unlikely he was drafted. A cursory search didn't turn up anything relating to policy governing discharge of wounded officers during the Korean war, but deciding to send him home doesn't strike me as an uncommon outcome given the circumstances.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:37 AM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


We'll have to do some timelining. To the REWATCH! But my recollections seem to indicate Real Don (Or Don Prime) was supposed to be near his end of tour.

Summer after college she started modeling in Italy (watched S1E9 over lunch).
posted by tilde at 11:43 AM on May 29, 2014


Oh, and she was modelling a Russian Blue fur and he was the copywriter; she turned him down when he asked for a date. He saw her give up the fur reluctantly and after she turned him down he had it sent to her apartment three weeks later. Soon engaged, pregnant, no mention of when the wedding was in there, but they moved a bit after that for raising the kids in Ossining and she suddenly "felt old".
posted by tilde at 11:57 AM on May 29, 2014


Real Don mentions that the army paid for engineering school for him. He's too old for ROTC but I'm thinking it's something similar - they paid for school, he owed them a few years and got sent to Korea in the process.
posted by thereemix at 12:02 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: “ITS HERE MY GIFT TO YOU PEOPLE
It was worth the wait.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:05 PM on May 29, 2014


ITS HERE MY GIFT TO YOU PEOPLE

Whelk, not that you care but I seriously love you for this and so much more of your continually stellar literary contributions to my life, so if I ever happen to be in NYC I will buy you and your spouse whatever dinner and adult beverages you desire. Consider this my IOU.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:22 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I graciouslly accept.
posted by The Whelk at 12:24 PM on May 29, 2014


There can be no happy ending here, there has to be strife, and Lou is a point, or Harry Crane is a point, even Meredith can be a point, but there has to be a gum in the works.

I don't know much about business or estate law, but I wonder if something in Bert's will might create a stumbling block to the sale. I believe Bert and Alice were all the family each other had left, so I'm not sure who'll be in charge of his estate.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:26 PM on May 29, 2014


This kinda makes me wish i had gone through the entire series with an eye for products/etc i recognized and made a blog where i just identified things incase people wanted to track them down and try and buy them.

Both the Harrises and the Campbells had some GORGEOUS vintage red Pyrex baking dishes I had to freeze-frame and drool over.

And Peggy's sister had the same wall-mounted waxed-paper-and-foil caddy that hung in my Granda's kitchen forever.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:29 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was just about to come say "Look what some crazy and fantastic person has posted on the internet for us!" and then I read the byline a second time.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:35 PM on May 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


This essay is the end result of all these 600+ Mad Men comment threads.

I dedicate this essay to YOU Metafilter Mad Menners.
posted by The Whelk at 12:39 PM on May 29, 2014 [11 favorites]


I wonder if something in Bert's will might create a stumbling block to the sale. I believe Bert and Alice were all the family each other had left, so I'm not sure who'll be in charge of his estate.

I firmly believe that the reason that Don asks Roger "is his sister still alive" as a reminder to the audience that Bert has a sister. We'll see her again, I have no doubt.
posted by anastasiav at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


We'll see her again, I have no doubt.

And I'm still not clear where her partnership interest went. She was at one point a silent partner. Did she get bought out? Did Bert leave his share to his sister?
posted by readery at 12:45 PM on May 29, 2014


She was a partner in the original SC. She would have had a controlling stake (51%, presumably) of her shares bought in the PP&L deal, and then I imagine the remainder when McCaan bought PP&L.

That doesn't mean she necessarily was a partner in SCDP, which is technically a new company. If she begged off, that means she's not a partner in SC&P. Although, there is a missing 5%, and if that's on purpose, and not a writing error, maybe she did decide to invest in either of the new companies off camera.
posted by spaltavian at 1:10 PM on May 29, 2014


readery I think it's pretty much assumed she got back her investment and was out once PPL came in and was not invited to fund SCDP.

The Whelk, Marvelous. I've got to say that every time I hear her sigh over Pete in the early days, she reminded me of Agent 99 sighing, "Oh, Max".
posted by tilde at 1:12 PM on May 29, 2014




IIRC PP&L was just a buyout; they didn't have any shares. They may have asked her to invest in SCDP, though.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:05 PM on May 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Regarding the conflict, I agree. Roger pushing the "all fixed" button is way too simple, especially as things draw to a close. I'm not in the "Don's dying" camp, but I don't think we're going to muddle around for another half-season and see him flourishing as creative director at yet another jumped started amalgam of agencies.

It seems as though Harry has to be at least part of that. He's always been rebuked by the higher ups at the agency, and most recently he helped Don out of a fix. When it turns out that he just barely missed the boat on becoming a partner while everyone else (including Joan, who he's always sort of condescended to) strikes it insanely rich. He's going to blame Roger for that, probably rightly so. Harry is the type of person who's going to become increasingly powerful in the coming decades. He's a technocrat who can bullshit about the worth of his technology. I can see Harry being a primary antagonist going into the final stretch of the season.
posted by codacorolla at 2:08 PM on May 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Okay, guys, we have a rewatch plan. Here's the calendar: http://tinyurl.com/MadMenRewatchCal. Posts will go up on Sundays and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM Eastern, with thanks to tracicle and Sweetie Darling. We'll label the posts as Rewatch, and discussion of the whole series will be permitted.

You all have 2 days, 16 hours, and 17 minutes to rewatch "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" before the first post goes up.
posted by donajo at 2:43 PM on May 29, 2014 [20 favorites]


There can be no happy ending here, there has to be strife, and Lou is a point, or Harry Crane is a point, even Meredith can be a point, but there has to be a gum in the works.

...

I wonder if something in Bert's will might create a stumbling block to the sale.

I think the sale's a done deal. There's plenty of room for strife/drama without pulling back on the McCann deal.

The reason I think this is that Matt Weiner never gives a resolution like that and then pulls back in the next episode with a big "PSYCH!" Pretty much what you see is what you get whether it's Betty's divorce or Don's proposing to Megan or Sal's firing or Joan's getting Avon or Peggy leaving to work with Ted or... or... or...

The story always moves forward, not back. And fans always question whether what we're seeing is what's REALLY happening/going to happen, but with Weiner, it generally is. (I'd be interested to hear counter-examples, but I can't think of any.)
posted by torticat at 3:08 PM on May 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


/me nods in approbation. Our domination of FanFare shall never end!
posted by adrianhon at 4:36 PM on May 29, 2014


This article is from before the finale but lays out Bob's job at Buick pretty much the way I understand it. What's weird is that everyone seems so sure that Bob will bring SC&P to Buick because of his loyalties and the good faith he's built with the agency and with GM. I mean, it's very likely, but not "uncle, let's merger" likely. That seems like a TV plot thing more than a real life thing though.
posted by sweetkid at 4:38 PM on May 29, 2014


I dunno, sweetkid, I've worked in three very different industries & as a temp in secretarial & light industrial. Lotta inter company links.
posted by tilde at 5:09 PM on May 29, 2014


-I wonder if something in Bert's will might create a stumbling block to the sale.

--I think the sale's a done deal. There's plenty of room for strife/drama without pulling back on the McCann deal.


True, but a stumbling block could complicate the sale without necessarily stopping it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:18 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm starting to think things get even more meta. Not only is Mad Men the sequel to "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and pays homage to 30 Rock when Ted Chaough orders an "Old Spanish", but Dick Whitman is digging out and building a field hospital designed by 3 year 6 month "I'm almost outta here now that I've made up for the military paying for my Architecture degree" veteran Lt. Donald Francis Draper (prime).

Much as I'm sightly amused by Harry screwing it up again worse that Pete (who manages to keep moving upward and onward), I have to agree with the assessments that hes' going to be part of the last of the season. Lou's not happy, but I think Cutler is going to be pragmatic.

Ginsberg comes back, grabs Pete's gun, starts shooting at the computer, and people scatter from it with Harry going out the window. I guess I'm having too much fun throwing people out the window with a tidy little ending. Just remember how The Sopranos ended....
posted by tilde at 5:41 PM on May 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of hoping we'll find out that Burt Peterson is working for McCann and that Roger somehow ends up gleefully firing him again.
posted by orange swan at 7:31 PM on May 29, 2014 [16 favorites]


I mean, it's very likely, but not "uncle, let's merger" likely.

But, as mentioned in that article, there was more going on behind the scenes than we were privy to (Bob's "there's something else coming down the road" comment). I imagine something about that is what Jim Hobart had caught wind of. Whatever's going on, it's not all resting on Bob.
posted by torticat at 8:11 PM on May 29, 2014


I can see Harry being a primary antagonist going into the final stretch of the season.


Missing the boat on the last partner's deal might be enough for him to jump ship to another agency. Along with his experience and connections he's probably been featured in an article or two about their computer and futuristic. Possibly Cutler gets a job at another agency and convinces Harry to come along, possibly peeling off a couple of clients with them. It would have to move pretty fast since not much time will pass between the end of this half season and the stat of the next, but in a world where Roger can arrange a sixty-five million dollar acquisition deal in two days it is feasible.

That would leave a pretty big hole in the agency that maybe Joan would try to step up and fill.

I'd love the next episode to open with the SC&P logo in the lobby being taken and replaced with a giant "STERLING" but that doesn't seem too likely.
posted by mikepop at 5:42 AM on May 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


A giant silver sterling. I like it.

Hmm. Would be interesting, if the story turned out to be just as much a story about Roger's rise to real power within his agency as anything about Don. Hmm hmm.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:56 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone needs to photoshop Slattery onto this poster.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:08 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this show would be where it was without the internet?

Unlike most shows in this binge-whenever-you-want-moment, Mad Men requires a from-the-beginning kind of dedication.
posted by tilde at 6:44 AM on May 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think we can combine a lot of frequent requests into one spin-off series or comic book run or whatever.

Two lower-rung agency employees (who happen to be minorities) start looking into seemingly minor but strange occurrences in the office. They are not sure what to make of things when they are contacted by a "freelance paranormal investigator". She provides exposition and explains to the pair that the agency seems to be at the nexus of some sort of pan-dimensional cultural rift, where elements from popular culture, current events and other media somehow replay themselves throughout the agency in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways. She needs people on the inside to further her investigations. She finally convinces them by showing them old newspaper photos of a young Bertram Cooper, who looks exactly like Robert Morse - who is currently starring in a play about scheming executives in NYC. One of the employees recalls Bert humming "I Believe in You" while puttering around the halls late one night.

From there they uncover more evidence of some sort of outside influence on office events, employee actions and even how employees are dressing. They can range from subtle - "Why and how did Ted order a drink that doesn't seem to exist?" to the more direct - they secretly observe Ginsburg observe the lip-reading scene from 2001. They regularly meet up with the investigator in her office in a secret room below the nearby MoMA. As things progress they must learn why Don in particular seems so strongly connected to things, while fighting from becoming influenced themselves.

If it's done as a comic book, it would be easy to incorporate lots of minor interactions with the main characters around the edges of episode events. Plus you get to incorporate lots of NYC and all the social upheaval they would be experiencing. Popular fan conspiracy theories could be investigated.
posted by mikepop at 7:09 AM on May 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


And Bert could actually introduce Don to Ayn Rand, which he promised to do, but as far as we saw, never did.
posted by tilde at 8:23 AM on May 30, 2014


Forgot to add - a lot of Ken's science fiction stories could come into play as well.
posted by mikepop at 8:42 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


S T E R L I N G • D R A P E R
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:01 PM on May 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


S T E R L I N G • D R A P E R • O L S E N
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:55 AM on May 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


P I Z Z A H O U S E
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM on May 31, 2014 [16 favorites]


M O N K E Y • W A F F L E • P A N T S
posted by blueberry at 11:46 AM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


P I Z Z A H O U S E

This my vote.

S T E R L I N G • D R A P E R • O L S E N

Not happening.
posted by sweetkid at 11:48 AM on May 31, 2014


T E A M • P E G A S U S
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:10 PM on May 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


H A L L O W A Y • O L S E N • D R A P E R • C A M P B E L L
posted by rue72 at 12:16 PM on May 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


(and maybe S T E R L I N G but only if he's a silent partner)
posted by rue72 at 12:17 PM on May 31, 2014


C R A N E • C O M P U T E R • C A M P B E L L

(Change the theme to either The Odd Couple or Three's Company)
posted by codacorolla at 12:34 PM on May 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


WHITMAN • HARGROVE
posted by drezdn at 2:40 PM on May 31, 2014


CHAMBERS & ASSOCIATES
posted by psoas at 2:56 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


CUTLER, BENSON & ROMANO
posted by Sara C. at 2:59 PM on May 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


SALLY AND BOBBY GO BOATING
posted by sweetkid at 3:15 PM on May 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


They invent the first Ad Agency with a fictional mascot and theme:

P.J MCGILLACUDDY'S OLD FASHIONED FAMILY ADVERTISEMENT SERVICE AND SPAGHETTI FACTORY
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on May 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


OLSEN AND DRAPER DETECTIVE AGENCY & JUICE BAR
posted by sweetkid at 3:34 PM on May 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


GLAD GLENN
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:44 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


COSGROVE & COMPANY. By day they run a literary representation agency, by night they fight the forces of the supernatural.
posted by The Whelk at 3:48 PM on May 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Jeepers Kenny, that Frankenstein is still on our tail!"
"Hold on to your kiester, Pete, the fine folks at Burger Chef will be able to help us!"
posted by codacorolla at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


C O M M E R C I A L S - Я - U S
posted by Sys Rq at 5:40 PM on May 31, 2014 [5 favorites]


W E Y L A N D • Y U T A N I • D R A P E R
posted by Rock Steady at 8:01 AM on June 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


That Draper, always thinking a new and better life awaits him at another off world colony.
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on June 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


You're mixing your SF films there, The Whelk.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 AM on June 2, 2014


You should have seen the pitch that landed Tyrell Corp. Pete Campbell is making a mess of the Blue Sun account though.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:18 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


It seems like Cutler is constantly hinting that he knows people at the New York Times. I wonder if that's going to be important in the second half of season seven. It's also interesting to me, because (IIRC) an article in the paper is what led to Ted getting competitive with Don.
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on June 4, 2014


Yeah, but he did get an interview for Harry with WSJ, right? And waaaay back in season four, Ad Age on Don was sucky so I thought Cooper called NYT. I'd think any ad agency with enough buying power would know someone at NYT.
posted by tilde at 2:09 PM on June 4, 2014


Look how gorgeous Teyonah Parris (Dawn) is IRL

Not that Dawn's not pretty, but ... wow.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:07 PM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Wow indeed. Teyonah Parris is a total knockout.
posted by palomar at 5:54 AM on June 5, 2014


Is that her real hair? It's gorgeous.
posted by donajo at 8:25 PM on June 5, 2014


I doubt that's all her real hair but her body is slammin....I get why Dawn's covered up, it's sort of a Peggy Part 2 thing (but without the PEGGY NO)...but still, damn.

I think the gorgeous face still comes through under the bad Dawn hair.
posted by sweetkid at 8:33 PM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


She looks so much older on the show, what with the wig, minimal makeup, the clothes and her demeanour. Real-life Dawn is an entirely different person.
posted by tracicle at 10:57 PM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Don spends most of the series actively trying to avoid McCann. He turns them down in the first season, and Sterling Cooper Draper Price comes into existence because Don wanted out when McCann bought PPL and Sterling Cooper. So either Don has changed or he's willing to accept a position he's actively avoided for so long, just so he can keep working in advertising.
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]




Vulture posted pictures of Jon/Don from recent filming

He's back in California again, it looks like, judging from that shirt.
posted by anastasiav at 9:54 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


That motel looks very East Coast, though.
posted by Sara C. at 4:55 PM on June 18, 2014


The vegetation doesn't. Much yucca.
posted by Miko at 9:41 PM on April 8, 2015


All this Harry Crane talk gives me the opportunity to (once again) pimp for my favorite podcast, Never Not Funny. Here's Rich Sommer's episode from March of this year, which you can listen to for free right at the link. Rich is so funny. I always look forward to his Never Not Funny episodes.

I too am a fan of Rich Sommer's work as Harry. Here's a thing: I am both a board gamer and -- of late -- a Mad Men viewer. I had read somewhere that Rich Sommer was also a gamer, to which I said, "Hunh."

Today I was listening to a podcast on board games which some of you may know: Cardboard! The host mentioned first being introduced to guest Jon Schroeder by a mutual friend, and then he lampshaded the moment by announcing he was dropping the name of the mutual friend, Jon Hamm. Suddenly it all clicked into place: I went back and looked at the podcast art -- yes, it is Cardboard with Rich Sommer.

A thing like that.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:46 AM on September 1, 2015


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