Mad Men: The Grown Ups   Rewatch 
October 8, 2014 5:50 AM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Don meets with an impressive candidate. Peggy second guesses her taste in men. Pete makes big career decisions.
posted by Sweetie Darling (9 comments total)
These plot descriptions (from iTunes) are as full of non sequiturs as the Mad Men promos. I always laugh when I pull them.

But I guess they couldn't lead with "the President gets killed and Betty asks Don for a divorce."

But Don met with an impressive candidate (off-camera) and had a 30-second conversation with Lane about it.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:55 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is the episode I always want to skip just to get on to "Shut the Door, Have a Seat".

Although I do *love* Betty/January Jones's "What is going on?" outburst when Oswald is shot.
posted by donajo at 8:35 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also: "This is America. You don't just shoot the president."
posted by donajo at 10:25 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love Roger and Mona's relationship in this episode, but Jane in that red suit is just an amazing (and complicated) trophy wife.

(I also realized on this watch that Mona and I have almost the same hairdo, and I got a little sad.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:24 AM on October 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think 1963 Jane Siegel Sterling is my favorite Jane Siegel Sterling.

(I can imagine her getting married a couple more times throughout her life, and adding on last names like a soap star. Or Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler.)
posted by donajo at 10:41 PM on October 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

I also realized on this watch that Mona and I have almost the same hairdo, and I got a little sad

Take heart Sweetie Darling, Mona is always attractive and classy.

I'll never get use to seeing Peggy and Duck together.
posted by cwest at 6:14 PM on October 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

On BertCooperWatch, he's in the kitchen (the source of action) watching the news (the most important thing going on.)
I just realized that Henry Francis has a grown-up daughter. Perhaps why he's so good with and for Betty, who never really became an adult.
Also, this episode confirms for me that Trudy Campbell Is A KGB Spy. Look at that tactileneck!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2014

This episode seems to be all about women being treated like children, which goes with the title. First there's Mona and Margaret (and Margaret really is acting like a snotty 13-year-old here), then Roger and Margaret, and then Margaret and Jane are paralleled, both exciting the room in the same sulky manner after being told off by their respective grownups.

Duck hides the news from Peggy (although I'm sure it's so she isn't distracted from his mission, to make up for three weeks of presumed abstinence), although Betty lets Sally and Bobby watch everything, even after Don halfheartedly tells her not to.

And finally Betty's face, without makeup, wearing white, when Ruby is shot. She's so uncomprehending (like so many others, I suppose) that she seems a child. And she has no one to trust to tell her everything will be okay. Don's been lying to her for years, after all, so why should he be telling the truth now? Sometimes her reasoning is so clear, without her saying a word. January Jones is really great.
posted by tracicle at 11:27 AM on October 19, 2014

This was the first episode of this show that I ever saw, and is a weird entry point for many obvious reasons, but I mostly remembered the ending with Peggy and Don in the otherwise empty SC offices. I think that image of them as the two people who will return to work just because they can't handle the world outside of work informed my viewing of the rest of the series.

Roger is fully himself but also a gent in this episode. I love the way he uses his toast to praise Mona and spin the horrific happenstances around the wedding date into praise for the bride and groom. My only interpretation for the title is that nobody is acting like a grown-up in the aftermath of the assassination, though Roger and Mona seem to be doing the best jobs of anyone.

Trudy and Pete choosing to stay on the couch is a masterstroke. It's the flipside of their expert Charleston in "My Old Kentucky Home" (in much the way that Roger's toast is the opposite of his horrifying blackface number there.) Rather than performing perfect couplehood to Roger's blueblood crowd to prove they're the envy-worthy pair, they're skipping the wedding to actually be together during this time. I feel like it's the closest we ever see them. Also, with no pretense and nothing to prove, Pete is upset because he sees the change that Kennedy represented slipping away. Pete is a cowardly, sniveling, privileged Connecticut trust-funder (who probably raped a foreign au pair not too long ago) but he's also someone with actually progressive ideals, which we don't see much of in Sterling Cooper's offices. That's a nice and interesting moment that fits with his frustration over not being allowed to pursue the "negro market" earlier in the season.

Betty, whom I'm normally generous towards, seems both genuinely upset by the news and also opportunistic of it. (The shot of her returning from the ladies' room to see a framed choice of Don and Henry is a little unbecoming of this show, really.) Where her initial shock over the Dick Whitman stuff was genuine, the end here feels like she's playing it up because she's made her choice and needs leverage. And fair enough - Don's super unfaithful, overly private while still getting reports from her shrink about their meetings, often handles her physically during confrontations, etc. She deserves to get out if she sees a better life with Henry. But hitting Don with his past (which, again, is all very sympathetic and forgivable) feels like nailing Capone on tax evasion.

Final thoughts: We've seen Jane being inappropriately drunk several times this season. Is she a lush, a lightweight, or just young? Also, the season did a great job of setting up the Aqua Net idea such that it doesn't sound ghastly until we see it in pictures in this context.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:46 PM on February 3, 2020

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