Mad Men: Red in the Face   Rewatch 
June 22, 2014 6:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Roger joins Don for an evening of dinner and drinking, during which Roger's behaviour leads to a rift in their relationship. Pete faces trouble at home as he struggles with his new marriage.
posted by tracicle (35 comments total)
 
"It's a chip-n-dip!"

"You want to bounce me off the walls? Would that make you feel better?"

"What is wrong with you?!"

"That would be wonderful."

I love this episode. There's so much going on.

(Also, I just wrote an episode preview!)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:15 AM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love Pete's face the first time he explains the chip-n-dip. He's actually adorable.

It's all downhill from there.
posted by tracicle at 8:22 AM on June 22, 2014


Interesting casting note on this episode for those of us with kids: The woman at the customer service counter who Pete tries to sweet talk into letting him return the chip-n-dip was the original Marina on The Fresh Beat Band.
posted by The Gooch at 8:55 AM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I had completely forgotten the Betty-and-Roger moment. Weird to recall now.

Everything about the grand storyline of Pete And The Chip-N-Dip is amazing.
posted by Stacey at 8:58 AM on June 22, 2014


Was Betty flirting? Even now, I'm not 100%.

This episode captures atmosphere very well and is a good display of how masterful setting and season is done in this series. It's more than set dressing. That Indian Summer night between Betty, Don, and Roger is perfect. You can almost smell the clover on the air.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:05 AM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think Betty was flirting. I think she was intrigued to be spending time with a man who would actually "deign" to talk about himself. And Roger is a great conversationalist! But the only man's attention she wants at this point is Don's. The early scene in bed, where she confesses how much she wants him, is so sad on many levels.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:07 AM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


My instinct has always been that she was, a little bit, but it's the kind of harmless, intentionless flirting that you do with an acquaintance in front of your husband with your husband's boss. Roger is the one who transgresses in assuming it might be anything more. And of course, Don can't understand at all. Any woman who does something like that is automatically a whore to him.

Also "hot pants" always makes me want to giggle.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:09 AM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


That scene with Roger over for dinner is so awkward I can barely stand to recall it right now. Ugh.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:37 AM on June 22, 2014


Did they get Trudy to literally phone in her one line in this episode? It was so weirdly filmed, that scene where she's yelling at Pete while he sits in the armchair holding his gun.
posted by tracicle at 11:58 AM on June 22, 2014


This has always been one of my favorite episodes, between the chip-n-dip stuff, Betty slapping Helen Bishop in the grocery store, and Roger, that smarmy bastard, puking in front of clients. Don is no angel here, getting mad at Betty for Roger coming on to her, but god, Roger is such an asshole in these early episodes. He had it coming just for eating Betty's steak.
posted by donajo at 12:08 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


All the men in season 1 seem to be such utter jerks. I do love it in this one when Roger calls Pete Paul, though.
posted by tracicle at 12:16 PM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Pete's sexy hunting fantasy with his department store gun is so perfect. I've always wondered why that did it for Peggy--was she imagining herself as the hunter, too? Does she like the idea of being with a big strong hunter guy, instead of the wimpy doofus coworkers she ends up banging? Was it just that she likes that Pete is being so open with her, even if it's about his pitiful ego-driven desires?
posted by almostmanda at 1:17 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to read Alan Sepinwall's recaps from back in the day. All that not-knowing and wondering!

After multiple watchings and with the gift of hindsight, I think Peggy's trip to the sandwich cart is our first clue to her pregnancy. It's the first episode where I noticed her breasts, so I guess they'd started padding her up.

I may have said this last time, but I just love Hildy and her no-bull attitude with the boys (and her barely-contained contempt for Pete).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:21 PM on June 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Campbell's Gun... It's like Chekov's Gun except it never goes off.*

*If anyone is going to kill themselves by the end of the series, I think Pete is the most likely, but he'd have a heck of time doing it with that .22.
posted by drezdn at 6:37 PM on June 22, 2014


Bert on Kennedy “He doesn’t even wear a hat.”

Don’s trick is less impressive when you realize that there was chalk on Roger’s door for the hobo code of “This man can not keep down his oysters.”

“It’s like eating a mermaid.” More Don Draper is a secret merling proof.
posted by drezdn at 6:38 PM on June 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Betty never read the second part of Little Women(published in 1869). John brings home a friend from work after Meg's had a day from hell ( she had told him his friends were welcome anytime and he took her at her word) with predictable results. They do manage to hash out that he needs to send word in ample time.
posted by brujita at 6:53 PM on June 22, 2014


What matters is that Don blames Betty, not Roger. Betty was being the perfect hostess, and then she goes in to do the dishes, and Roger accosts her while Don is outside. Yet Don is mean to Betty, once again. Even though he himself is out and about with Midge and Rachel. So many times men think a woman being pleasant and nice is an avenue to sex, but they don't think it is, they are taught to be nice and pleasing to all men. Roger really stepped over the bounds there, but Don blamed Betty. Way to go, Don.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:54 PM on June 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


brujita: Meg's woeful "The jelly won't jel" is my go-to phrase when domesticity is just too hard.
posted by tracicle at 10:02 PM on June 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


How is it possible that Roger is still alive after six and a half seasons?
posted by cwest at 12:32 AM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lots of people red in the face in this episode.

Pete feeling embarrassment while trying to return the Chip 'n' Dip and humiliation from Trudy's tongue lashing.

Trudy's (although we don't see her) anger at Pete.

Betty's humiliation and anger from being berated by Don and confronted by Helen.

Helen is literally red in the face from Betty's slap.

Don's anger at the Roger/Betty flirtation.

Roger's embarrassment for stepping over the line at the Draper house and his humiliation at the hands of Don.

Peggy being flustered, or better said aroused, from Pete's storytelling.
posted by cwest at 1:11 AM on June 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Other things.

With Pete's assessment of Kennedy, we get the first real glimpse of his ability to have insight into future trends and markets.

Roger's exchanges and lines. There were several good ones this episode, it's hard to pick just one.

Don: "Bet they gave you a medal."
Roger: "They did. But not for that. It was for drinking."

Roger ( in a very chipper manner): "Good news. Mona and Margaret are going out of town for the weekend. Mona's mother fell down the steps."
Joan: "You're really blessed."

Also, my mother had the exact same overnight case that Joan has in this ep.
posted by cwest at 1:51 AM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the end of the firm handling Nixon's campaign isn't it? Either way, Don's been feeling ambivalent about supporting it the whole time, more out of a general Fuck You to the established old boys network than some raging secret liberalism, but I think his sabotage of Roger is wrapped up with his disgust at taking on something as uninspiring as sweaty face CIA stooge Tricky Dick. Don wants to reach America through it's heart (wallet) not its brain (voting booth). He has less than no interest in anything as fickle and ephemeral as politics.

Why does Peggy get so flushed at Pete's vision? I think it's just at the poetry of the thing. It's partially an attractive fantasy (particularly to someone jammed with new mom hormones) but really at this stage in his character Pete is sort of functioning as Peggy's muse, in the way that Rachel or Midge inspire Don. I definitely wish he'd stayed in that capacity over the years, instead of becoming a bitter little unpoetic square, but that would be a different, more traditional will-they-or-won't-they type of show.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:14 AM on June 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


They still have to pull the Secor laxatives stunt that keeps Kennedy of the tv in Illinois. Don actually sees himself in Nixon, as he sees Kennedy as someone born into success and Nixon as a self-made man.
posted by drezdn at 5:20 AM on June 23, 2014


Ah fair enough. But I still think he's very much annoyed to have to use his talents for persuasion and dream making anywhere outside of the realm of capitalist product.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:47 AM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Pete's has a young man's aspiration to be good at everything - the client side and the creative. He admires Don but can't see yet that Don is terrible with people unless he's mesmerizing them with a pitch. Pete really is good at strategy and Weiner always has him very forward-looking, and as he becomes more essential to the agency(ies) as an account man I think he lets go of the need to mark his territory in creative too.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:19 AM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don actually sees himself in Nixon, as he sees Kennedy as someone born into success and Nixon as a self-made man.

Can that be an analogy for Don and Roger? Or maybe for Don and Pete (except that Pete starts well because of his connections but fails to really succeed except indirectly).

I'm always surprised at Don's humiliation of Roger in this episode. I think this is the only time we see him pulling a trick like this, carefully planned out to embarrass someone publicly for his personal gratification. And others have done worse things to him than flirt with his wife.

Roger's "apology" is kind of hilarious, though.
posted by tracicle at 7:30 AM on June 23, 2014


I watch these early episodes...did I ever even watch this show? I remember barely half. I did watch the first three seasons as a catch up so might have been half asleep for episodes.

Now I see that Don is always kind of stuck. I think part of his inability to move to a new job is his lack of background. Only he knows how lucky he is. He doesn't want to work on a campaign because of the possibility of background checks.

I know this comes up in a later season, where he torpedoes a new client because he can't pass a background check?

Also I think part of Don's anger at Betty for 'flirting' with Roger is his powerlessness.
posted by readery at 9:03 AM on June 23, 2014


I've always wondered why that did it for Peggy--was she imagining herself as the hunter, too? Does she like the idea of being with a big strong hunter guy, instead of the wimpy doofus coworkers she ends up banging? Was it just that she likes that Pete is being so open with her, even if it's about his pitiful ego-driven desires?

She's pregnant and hungering for the flesh of still-warm meat. I didn't understand that scene at all until I went through the first trimester myself and was anemic and constantly wanting to gobble down nearly-raw steaks.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:30 AM on June 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


How is it possible that Roger is still alive after six and a half seasons?

I wonder this every time I re-watch the first season. He has two heart attacks within the first year of the show, and it's not like he makes healthy lifestyle choices. How on earth is he still alive 9 years later?
posted by donajo at 11:46 AM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


The healing properties of LSD.
posted by drezdn at 12:39 PM on June 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


"I guess what I'm saying is at some point we've all parked in the wrong garage.”

Ugh Roger, that is just so wrong on so many levels.
posted by hush at 1:34 PM on June 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love how Don vocally guides Roger to his car, so he can drunk drive all the way back to the city. "Nope, that's MY car, there you go!"

Nice.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:48 PM on June 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


I love how Don vocally guides Roger to his car, so he can drunk drive all the way back to the city. "Nope, that's MY car, there you go!"

Yeah, but don't you figure he'll be mostly sober by the time he gets to where he's going?
posted by MoonOrb at 1:50 PM on June 23, 2014


He made it to the Knights Inn off the Taconic!

"I know that place well ... great water pressure."
"I slept in the car."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:22 PM on June 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


"By the way: Matherton? He has the clap."
posted by ChrisTN at 1:29 PM on June 25, 2014


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