Mad Men: Field Trip
April 27, 2014 8:20 PM - Season 7, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Halfway done with the final half-season, this episode moves the story forward on several fronts.

Betty is back! And things aren't so well.

Don makes a surprise trip to LA! And things aren't so well.

Roger tells Don to come back to work! And things aren't so well.

The Partners put Don in his place! And surprisingly, he accepts.

Also: the triumphant return of Harry Crane!
posted by mathowie (529 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I loved that last line. Shittier TV would have given us a static, more broken Don we were meant to admire. But this is something else.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:22 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Harry Crane is about to learn how much it sucks to have great ideas and people who can take credit for them.

Peggy and Don, whoa that was some animosity there.



(Also Joan in roses again huzzah)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:23 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bobby Draper becomes Jon Waters.

It is known.
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also Don's playing the long game. He knows he'll edge Lou right out if he wants.. until then he just gets to be Creative Guy coming up with ad campaigns and someone else handles everything else.

It seems like a win-win for Don. If he can maintain it.

Bobby Draper is a grotty little wanker. There I said it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:25 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's nice to see Trudy has moved on, but I'm worried she may be an alcoholic; these last two episodes it seems her scenes have revolved entirely around vodka.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:26 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


At least Meredith appreciated Don coming back.
posted by rewil at 8:26 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh yes! And the perfect revenge by putting Meredith on Peggy's desk. That was a gorgeous little twist of the knife.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:27 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]



Betty is back! And things aren't so well.

Don makes a surprise trip to LA! And things aren't so well.

Roger tells Don to come back to work! And things aren't so well.

The Partners put Don in his place! And surprisingly, he accepts.

Also: the triumphant return of Harry Crane!


I don't know why but I hear all this in Roger Sterling's voice.
posted by sweetkid at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Trudy? Pete's Wife? did I miss something?

Megan don't go full Sean Young, never go full Sean Young
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's nice to see Trudy has moved on, but I'm worried she may be an alcoholic; these last two episodes it seems her scenes have revolved entirely around vodka.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:26 PM on April 27 [+] [!]


Trudy?
posted by sweetkid at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2014


LOU HAS A FUCKING KITSCH TIKI BAR IN HIS OFFICE

LIKE HE WOULD

Oh god BERT'S office tho.

"I'm wearing boots"
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


So will Francine's comments start some wheels turning in Betty's head? Her talking about how the kids grow up and hate her could be mental repositioning to make it self-acceptable to do something outside the home that's not modeling. (As well as being typically Betty.)
posted by rewil at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


(Allison Brie is doing Smirnoff commercials with Adam Scott)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


(oh)
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm worried about how they've taken away all of Don's superpowers: Booze, Improvisation, and the Number of Fucks he gives (which was ZERO at last count)
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:33 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Great use of If 6 Was 9
posted by maggieb at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well that's the point of giving Don Fucks; then he has them to run out of.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


The agency is all running strange and being middle-managed and middle-brow and middle-Lou-Is-perfectly-adequate-out the wazoo.

The creatives (ave Peggy) we're so happy to see Don!

Harry Crane, oily grease pot or MOST oily grease pot.

COMPUTERS.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought Peggy was in Lane's office? That won't go over well.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:35 PM on April 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


So will Francine's comments start some wheels turning in Betty's head? Her talking about how the kids grow up and hate her could be mental repositioning to make it self-acceptable to do something outside the home that's not modeling. (As well as being typically Betty).



I thought her whole storyline was how she wanted to be a traditional wife and mother unlike Francine is now and wanting to go on that crappy farm trip was her trying and failing to engage with Bobby. I think she's genuinely frustrated with herself in the end there.
posted by sweetkid at 8:36 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually it seemed like everyone except Peggy & the Partners new band name were happy to see Don back, if somewhat confused.

I thought Peggy was in Lane's office? That won't go over well.

I think Peggy's leaving again, this time for good, to create her own agency.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:37 PM on April 27, 2014


This Apartment thought he was going to say no but then we realized how much of a masochist he is and how much his only sense of worth is through working - saying yes to the restrictions and not coasting on the future money is what makes him Not Roger, whom he can never respect cause Roger has always had money and will never need anything, physical or spiritual, Don still has that horrible sucking wound in the center of himself.

Plus it makes him feel both downtrodden AND part of the team. That's like win win.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also I want to say "cause you're a strange distant parent who gets into the kid's power games rather than being above them, BETTY but I get it dear god I've seen your family but still."

Henry contintues to be a Nice Guy which is kind of shocking for this show.
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Well yeah, if you go to a farm field trip dressed like Grace Kelly in the best way possible, things might get a little awkward. Especially since you can only fit two sandwiches into a Dior.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:39 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Right, the field trip was supposed to validate Betty's life choices as "right" (and therefore Francine's as wrong). And, once again, she proves she is terrible with children. Which is why they don't love you, duh.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:40 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought her whole storyline was how she wanted to be a traditional wife and mother unlike Francine is now and wanting to go on that crappy farm trip was her trying and failing to engage with Bobby. I think she's genuinely frustrated with herself in the end there.

I was so proud of her with the bucket and the nice shot of Bobby. One step forward, many steps back.
posted by rewil at 8:40 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Dammit The Whelk you had to mention Lou's tiki bar and now I can't stop seeing it.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:41 PM on April 27, 2014


I kind of like that we've seen this ongoing study of someone's who's a parent but Not Good With Children.

Dawn being overwhelmed by work was adorable for some reason.

Roger's smoking jacket didn't fit and I was mad.

STILL NO BOB


NOT GREAT.
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


That last line surpised the shit out of me: "OK"???? Wtf.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:43 PM on April 27, 2014


BOB IS DEAD GET OVER IT
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:43 PM on April 27, 2014


BOB IS EVERLIVING LIKE THE SUN
LIKE THE TIDES

AS THE MOON
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


He went on a cruise over the holidays...
posted by rewil at 8:44 PM on April 27, 2014


Ken had a kid with Alex Mack!

I am kind of in love with Alan Silver I want to have lunch with him today
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on April 27, 2014


Bob lives he is alive and well in the land of Chevy. When your palm turns red you can see him when it becomes your time for Carousel.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:46 PM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


I know Lou sort of replaced Don, but the job he does isn't even in the same universe as the one Don did, so I found it a little weird that Lou was afraid of how he'd work with Don, when it seems Don could actually flourish in a slightly-above-the-other-creatives-but-not-managing-them type role. As sad as it was to hear Don accept The Offer at the end, it could actually work great for him.
posted by mathowie at 8:46 PM on April 27, 2014


Three things from the Bobby/Betty plot:

1. Parent/child relationships are brittle as all heck.
2. Betty is a full-on chain smoker. That can't be good.
3. Always pack a secret extra sandwich. Always.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:46 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I hope this doesn't mean a demotion for Dawn. So does Dawn, I think.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:48 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought her whole storyline was how she wanted to be a traditional wife and mother unlike Francine is now and wanting to go on that crappy farm trip was her trying and failing to engage with Bobby. I think she's genuinely frustrated with herself in the end there.

Yeah. She's Trying To Be Mom instead of just letting stuff happen. The irony being that he seems to worship the ground she walks on and she just doesn't recognize it; the kid is still miserable at dinner from hurting his mother. I think she actually doesn't know what uncalculated love is about really; she's been judged largely on her charm and her charms, and hasn't ever really had anyone saying "She's Betty Draper and she's just the best" without any subtext at all.

Her kid was saying that all episode, visibly proud of his mother. And she either didn't recognize it or didn't trust it. It was really weird to watch, like they were building up to this big mother/son Moment and they both just sit there miserable. And after the heroine shot of her drinking the milk, it all seemed so good for just a moment. Like, she had that perfect day in her grasp, she just had to let the gumdrop thing go, but couldn't for some reason. He didn't ruin the day exactly; her reaction as an adult was what ruined the day. She had the responsibility to turn it around and didn't.

I mean I know she has these weird conflicted relationships with her kids, but he had been giving her every thing she could have possibly wanted, she made him look awesome with the milk, and then smash we're back to Drapers Don't Talk.

That last line surpised the shit out of me: "OK"???? Wtf.

No! Totally obvious he was going to say yes. 1) clients basically off his back, 2) pushes him to do something he wants to do anyway (cut down drinking), 3) gets back in Megan's good books, 4) lets him just be Creative Guy without any of the distractions, 5) lets the showrunners have him break the rules in spectacular fashion but win somehow anyway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:48 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's weird seeing Megan dressed like my grandmother. Crochet is doing her no favors. NONE.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:49 PM on April 27, 2014


Lou is just so ....icky. Pandering, mediocre, extended-doctor-metaphor-icky. A real Frank Colon playing Sam Vines, a paper-clip audit bureaucratic ninny. Lou isn't scared of WORKING with him, cause Lou doesn't work, he's scared of losing salary and status.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 PM on April 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


I kind of like that we've seen this ongoing study of someone's who's a parent but Not Good With Children.

Agree.
posted by sweetkid at 8:50 PM on April 27, 2014


Or will Lou make them buy out his contract?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 8:51 PM on April 27, 2014


Bobby is the anti-Sally, totally pining for more time with his Mom and being rebuked at every turn.

Ah well maybe Gene will work out.

I actually hope Henry being a Not Terrible Parent will rub off on some of them.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


ACTUALLY Betty's first scene in that little cafe gave me DIZZY SPELLS cause that's all period pine interiors and you still see that in Nice Respectable Village New England places.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think her antipathy is that she wanted to raise a mini-Betty and Sally is so not that at all, and Bobby isn't Sally.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:54 PM on April 27, 2014


3) gets back in Megan's good books

Not so much. He's still in New York.

I don't think he's ever going to get back in her good books.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:55 PM on April 27, 2014


Bobby is the anti-Sally, totally pining for more time with his Mom and being rebuked at every turn.
Sally wanted that too, with horse riding and makeup and kissing advice. Betty indulged some of, too, maybe she can turn things around or maybe it is just a matter of time.
posted by sweetkid at 8:55 PM on April 27, 2014


I love that the first time we see her after her promotion is when she's pulled off a short floral dress with the Peter Pan collar and go go boots as work attire. That seemed a big departure from her regular wardrobe.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:57 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


She doesn't actually like kids, or at least she's super bad at dealing with them. As before, I like that we a parent who is just kinda shitty at parenting.

I have a feeling Betty is great with teenagers.
posted by The Whelk at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved how accurate the scene of Don's return to work was. It just perfectly captured that Odysseus-back-from-the-war feeling. Plus, Ginsberg saved the day. That was neat.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2014 [11 favorites]


That's because Betty is a teenager herself. She just needed to let the sandwich thing go and it would have been fine, but she felt bad, so she had to make Bobby feel like shit, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:59 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ginsberg was the happy puppy! Don is back! All is saved! The kingdom is whole again!

Although I like the fear seemingly everyone has that Don has supernatural powers and all he has to do is show up and bam! everyone's achievements are undone cause of the SINISTER AD WIZARD IS BACK.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah Betty is trapped somewhere around sophomore year, and it's understandable (HER FAMILY MY GOD) but jeeze.
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on April 27, 2014


that being said, she was good with the anarchist squatter kitchen meet-and-greet, I think she'll be more comfortable once her kids are grown.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on April 27, 2014


I don't think Peggy is really mad don is back. I think she just hates her life right now.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:06 PM on April 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Also so Megan is just, going nuts in a house in the hills my herself? Cause if she did do what Alan said you know there was a lot of nights before that spent alone and curdled with worry and anxiety, both real and unreal, that spills over into it. Desperation is a familiar perfume, and Megan is having a hard time of it.

I wonder how much Don recognizes the flop sweat?
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on April 27, 2014


Despite the fact that Ted is apparently the great white whale of Peggy's love lift it took four mentions of his name before I remembered who he was. Ted, you fly planes yet are still unremarkable.

What are the housing laws in NYC in 1969? I know some-places require a super to live in the building, depending on square footage, etc. Can Peggy just hire someone to take care her tenants? She's part of landowning, tenant-having class now, that's what they do - or are her working class sensibilities and frugality getting in the way or would it be legally impossible? Or is she just too overworked to even think straight?
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 PM on April 27, 2014


And she didn't get nominated for any Clios, and we know how much she wants one.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:15 PM on April 27, 2014


It's not that the Clios are stupid it's that it's UNFAIR. Peggy's sense of fairness gets all tangled up inside her ego but it's still at the root of most of her huff.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Somebody on Basket of Kisses (I'm two-timing) pointed out that Roger might have brought back Don to try to stem Cutler's march to the sea, dismantling the old SCDP.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:23 PM on April 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Culter was totally But What About Lou/Ted and trying to ...to borrow another show's words, totally replace the former people with his own House.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 PM on April 27, 2014


Speaking of giving zero fucks, Betty smoking on a bus full of children, amirite?

For all that Don is very much presented as completely out of touch with the changing world, his arc throughout the show mirrors the arc of society of that period in important ways. Weiner said explicitly that Don's terrible year in season 6 was meant to mirror America having one of the worst years in it's history in 1968.

Now it's 1969 and Don has crashed and burned and SCletters has been taken over by middle managers who just want some stability, thanks very much. I haven't looked at the '70s as closely as I have the '60s, (was born in '77 so I have no experiential knowledge) but it's always felt like a hangover and drying out decade to me.

Don had his years to let his imagination run wild and try to create the world he wanted. Now, everyone is tired.
posted by dry white toast at 9:27 PM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


The use of cigarettes as symbol, representing old, insidious ways is really interesting on this show. We haven't seen the main cast light up in a loooong time but smoking is still for the "villainous" or outside characters.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


OR, another way, we've gone from Lucky Strikes being a huge client and everyone smoking everywhere all the time to Don's Anti-Tobacco Letter and smoking being ocassional, noted for occurring and less common.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 PM on April 27, 2014


So Ted is just out in LA hiding from temptation and not doing any useful creative work, isn't he? I feel like there's a shoe to drop.
posted by dry white toast at 9:34 PM on April 27, 2014


Also, Dick Whitman made another appearance. In the elevator on the way up to the office. That is one terrified little puppy.
posted by dry white toast at 9:36 PM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


My recording cut out right as the credits rolled, can anyone tell me what song was playing?
posted by palomar at 9:40 PM on April 27, 2014


"If 6 was 9," maggieb linked a copy upthread.
posted by rewil at 9:46 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another for me and you another year with nothing to do.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:47 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just hope Don didn't sign anything that has to be the worst contract negotiation in history.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:48 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can someone parse what the article and Harry and the computer were all about? They're just looking at Demo data? Neilson ratings? Focus groups? What's up with that. (I have no idea how the tv industry works obviously).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:51 PM on April 27, 2014


"Please sign away all your leverage so you can have the privilege for working for us with lots of restrictions."

"Do other places want to hire me?"

"Oh yes. Plus everyone here kinda hates you."

"Done."

"Sign here."

"Can you choke me and slap me around a little bit first?"

"Of course, Meredith?"
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 PM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


DON, NO!
posted by The Gooch at 9:57 PM on April 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder where this is going. How can Don go back to this place? It seems so claustrophobic. He could start over again somewhere else, he's done it before, why would he want to go back, especially under these terms. Part of me thinks this is just lazy writing but I'm hoping there's a payoff down the road that makes it clear either A. He's got a plan. Or B. Something huge goes down outside of his control anyway that justifies this choice.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:57 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Of all the in-office interactions with the newly-returned Don, I found the least awkward, and yet the most potentially fraught, was Ken's. Telling Don about his child, and how visiting the carousel with his baby reminded him of Don, reminded the audience of Don's heyday, that magnificent Kodak presentation at the end of season 1. And yet it also reminds us of Don, with professional vigor and esteem, at a time when he's at, if not lowest, most likely to be aware of what he's lost. Subtlety has been in short supply lately, so that one bit really resonated with me.

(When are we figuring this episode was? The season finale was Thanksgiving '68; last week was Valentine's Day '69. This field trip was suitable for light-jacket wearing for the kids, cardigans for the mom's. I grew up in NY state, and for warmth and picnicking on the ground weather, we're looking at late April, early May. Clio nominees are announced late April nowadays, but I'm not sure if was like that back that. Any pointers noticed?)
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:58 PM on April 27, 2014 [7 favorites]


So with a clear head, you got up every day and decided that you didn't want to be with me

I know Megan has been a polarizing character, but Jessica Pare absolutely broke my heart with the reading of that line.
posted by The Gooch at 10:02 PM on April 27, 2014 [19 favorites]


if Don got a job at a new firm he'd have to learn a whole bunch of new names and who want's that
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Gooch: totally. Her face when she saw he was there, so purely in love with him. Totally not suspicious at all, just joyful. I still can't decide if they are really over, but it clearly totally damaged Don to think of losing her (while completely setting him on the wrong track--she doesn't give a shit about the agency). She's very different from the other women he's loved--she trusts him and needs him in a normal wife sort of way.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:12 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fuck Joan also. Where's the loyalty man?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:13 PM on April 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


She doesn't want Don scuttling her nascent accounts career by dropping another grenade with a client.
posted by dry white toast at 10:15 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Interesting thought: what if, instead of just giving away all his leverage, Don had agreed to their terms on the condition that Peggy replace Lou.
posted by dry white toast at 10:20 PM on April 27, 2014 [8 favorites]


Did anyone else notice the look Betty gave Francine when Francine referred to her as "Betty Draper" instead of "Betty Francis"?
posted by ambrosia at 10:33 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Lou has a two-year contact (thanks, Duck). Wonder what that would cost them. Less than Don, surely.
posted by rewil at 10:45 PM on April 27, 2014


There were cooler ways Lou could have played that. Anything would be cooler than what he did. "I'll sell papers in the lobby but I have a two year contract" == "nobody else wants me and now at the first sign of trouble here I'm calling myself a millstone around your neck to save you the trouble of realizing it yourself." That was fucking pathetic: a man doesn't realize he's holding a decent hand and throws it away in a little tantrumette.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:09 AM on April 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


Why is Peggy so impossible? The first episode, she's sobbing. The second episode, she's screaming at everyone. The third episode, she hates everybody. What's up with her? I get that she's single and nobody's protégé -- is that what this is about?

How can Don go back to this place? It seems so claustrophobic. He could start over again somewhere else, he's done it before, why would he want to go back, especially under these terms.

He doesn't want a new life, he wants his old life. He's homesick.
posted by rue72 at 12:10 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's something incredibly epic about the way he walks back in and lets them wrap him in chains. It comes across as a victory, like he's some kind of demigod they have to chain to the rock in order to gain his power without being destroyed by him. And he lets them do it. They did their worst and he didn't even blink.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:36 AM on April 28, 2014 [29 favorites]


Like, she had that perfect day in her grasp, she just had to let the gumdrop thing go, but couldn't for some reason. He didn't ruin the day exactly; her reaction as an adult was what ruined the day. She had the responsibility to turn it around and didn't.

I think she was genuinely hurt. He ate his food and traded hers for an extra treat for himself, like she didn't matter to him at all. How would Bobby have felt if she'd sat there feasting on everything he'd packed while he didn't get anything for lunch?
posted by rue72 at 12:43 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I get that she's single and nobody's protégé

I've seen the protege thing mentioned (here?) but don't think that's what's going on with Peggy. She doesn't need a mentor or a father figure, she just wants recognition for her work. And a decent love life, though I think that's secondary for Peggy.

She stopped being Don's protege when she left the agency... actually well before that. I'm not sure she really had anything left to learn from Don, except for the kind of thing you get from batting ideas around between equals. But Don never managed to treat her as an equal, he just threw cash in her face and basically told her to get lost.

Ted... Ted hired her because of her talent, and I think he was somewhat in awe of her (which accompanied or turned into puppy love). Ted didn't teach her anything; she pretty much brought what she'd learned from Don to Cutler & Chaughletters, along with her own talent. She was only ever Ted's "protege" in that he offered her more money than she even asked for.

And now because of Don's and Ted's issues she's stuck working for Lou, who's a mediocre asshole who basically despised her from the get-go and takes any opportunity to smack her down. She has neither the creative genius boss to inspire her nor the worshipful boss who loved everything she did. And along with the professional set-down she's lost a guy she was really in love with.

All of that in her mind, right now, comes down to Don Draper. Don, who only intermittently showed respect for her and certainly didn't let her know how valued she was until she was walking out the door; who showed up unwelcome while she was doing fine at C&C and proposed a merger, bringing her back in his orbit; who humiliated her and Ted in a meeting and (in her mind, I think) enabled or maybe even drove Ted's move to the west coast.

So I understand why she's pretty pissed at Don. And Ted too.

And further, in her personal life she's also a victim of another man's vision, stuck in a house she never wanted on the deteriorating UWS.

But really the huge thing for Peggy is professional recognition, and she's getting hit so hard there she doesn't know which end is up. (I loved Ginsberg's comforting line, something like "They didn't reject you, they didn't even consider you!")

Considering that Peggy's biggest professional problem right now is LOU, and her biggest personal nemesis is Don, who is also her best potential ally against Lou and is now also reporting to him, it should be really fun to see how all this plays out.
posted by torticat at 1:34 AM on April 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


I am so mad at Roger and Joan for going along with that patently unfair agreement. My Dad actually said out loud, "Don't take that deal, Don." in the beat before Don says, "Okay."
posted by ob1quixote at 1:43 AM on April 28, 2014


I think she was genuinely hurt. He ate his food and traded hers for an extra treat for himself, like she didn't matter to him at all. How would Bobby have felt if she'd sat there feasting on everything he'd packed while he didn't get anything for lunch?

That's how I took it too. But it was like she couldn't AT ALL get inside a kid's head and realize it wasn't personal, or even acknowledge his attempts to make it right. He said he would go and get the sandwich back, and she said "no" and lit a cigarette.

It's definitely coming out of her feelings of failure to connect with Sally, and inadequacy in the conversation with Francine, but it was so petty and over the top it almost felt like a regression for Betty. I mean come on, she offered Sally a smoke. She really can't accept an apology (plus obvious adoration) from her son? She's more messed up than we'd thought.
posted by torticat at 1:53 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


But it was like she couldn't AT ALL get inside a kid's head and realize it wasn't personal, or even acknowledge his attempts to make it right.

Bobby liked showing her off, but he assumed the lunch (and the day) was all about *him,* not *them.* She felt shut out by that, so she shut him out. I think she understood that he had been thoughtlessly selfish, and that's exactly what upset her.

I think a lot of the characters -- Don, Betty, Peggy, and Lou, for sure -- were struggling in this episode with feeling that they'd outlived their usefulness or place in the world. I don't think it's messed up for Betty to get so upset about her own obsolescence (though I also don't blame Bobby for being bewildered by her!).

Pete said last episode that he felt like he was trapped in limbo, like he was already dead or was being treated like he was. I think that the characters are struggling with that feeling generally.
posted by rue72 at 2:18 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


When are we figuring this episode was?

The AV Club review makes a good point that the episode deliberately avoids this information, leaving the audience as adrift as the characters. There are a lot of callbacks to earlier seasons - Francine, the carousel - but no way to pinpoint where exactly this episode sits in 1969.

I can't imagine they would have jumped another two months, but I guess we'll have to wait to next episode to even try to place this one.
posted by crossoverman at 3:55 AM on April 28, 2014


Someone at reddit said the film at the beginning was Model Shop, which was released on April 1, 1969.
posted by gubo at 4:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Actually it looks like it came out in February in New York and April nationwide. But maybe the writers were thinking April.

I have been hoping that 2001: A Space Odyssey would show up on Mad Men but I'll settle for Gary Lockwood in a sports car.
posted by gubo at 4:55 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yay for happy Francine, who seems to really love her new job.

Peggy gets Meredith for a secretary. Heh. Totally deserved after the way she treated Shirley.

I've never been a Steggy shipper, but I'm starting to think something might happen there. Those two have such a solid relationship they can be perfectly blunt and their relaxed selves with each other without it causing the least acrimony. Getting naked together worked wonders! And I don't dislike the idea of Steggy. Peggy does need someone who's liberal and creative rather than staid and conservative, because without someone to shake her up she's going to be the most obnoxiously narrow-minded Republican ever by 1985.

Poor Bobby!

Joan's the only person who gets to go into Cooper's office shod. And he calls her "dear". There's some genuine caring and affection there. So sweet.
posted by orange swan at 5:22 AM on April 28, 2014


Can someone parse what the article and Harry and the computer were all about?

By this time, big agencies were starting to use computers to analyze consumer trends, habits, sales, etc. etc. It's the beginning of modern marketing. Most of them leased time on some big iron at universities and elsewhere. The article Harry was called on the carpet over was about a competing agency that actually had their own, in-house, computer. The client was concerned that the agency wasn't on the cutting edge of things. Sort of a "I don't think your dick is big enough" moment. Harry tap-danced his way around it by shoveling a lot of buzz words and vague promises.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:24 AM on April 28, 2014


In the meeting, Cutler says he has a problem with Harry, and Roger says he's gone.

Is he really gone, sacrificed by Roger to get Don?
posted by rewil at 5:28 AM on April 28, 2014


Probably not, though Roger would have been willing to go that route. They later talk about getting Harry a computer.
posted by orange swan at 5:31 AM on April 28, 2014


Is he really gone, sacrificed by Roger to get Don?

I think it was more of an act. Roger playing the decisive leader, in turn shining a light on Cutler's inability to actually do anything other than complain and have meetings. That scene with the partners (and the one with Harry with the client) really underscored Cutler's obsession with appearances and his inability to actually do any work.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:33 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I haven't read a thing here yet but Bobby 4 summed the episode up perfectly: "I wish it was yesterday."
posted by tilde at 5:48 AM on April 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


I wonder if one of the unspoken roots of the tension between Bobby and Betty was the fact that it was over food. Henry asked her later that evening if she'd eaten and seemed resigned to hearing her say she wasn't hungry. I suspect that her weight gain and weight loss (especially in the heyday of diet pills) might have resulted in some disordered eating on Betty's part.
posted by PussKillian at 5:55 AM on April 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


So if Don is now reporting to Lou, does that mean he and Peggy will have to pitch against each other?
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:10 AM on April 28, 2014


Roger playing the decisive leader

I'm torn between feeling like (a) Roger orchestrated the whole return-of-Don clusterfuck knowing that the other partners* would be more amenable to rehiring Don if he's already sitting there in the office waiting (perhaps related to the endowment effect, not that ol' Rog would think of it as such) rather than having the meeting before inviting him back and (b) Roger just being a thoughtless dick about other people's comfort because that's his style.

*I understand Cutler standing in for Ted, but does Roger saying "I'll speak for Pete" sound weird to anyone else? Do the two of them have any sort of rapport?
posted by psoas at 6:21 AM on April 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


%n: "A real Frank Colon playing Sam Vines, a paper-clip audit bureaucratic ninny. "

It's *Fred* Colon. And I don't think that's a very accurate assessment of Colon as a person.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:22 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, this episode should've been called EAT YOUR CANDY.

"Here's what you thought you wanted, now coated in a glossy sheen of SHAME. Enjoy!"
posted by psoas at 6:22 AM on April 28, 2014 [21 favorites]


I understand Cutler standing in for Ted, but does Roger saying "I'll speak for Pete" sound weird to anyone else?

It's just a game of chess between Roger and Cutler. Cutler brings out his piece (Ted), and Roger counters with Pete, evening things up.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:30 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have been hoping that 2001: A Space Odyssey would show up on Mad Men

Well, the next episode is called "The Monolith".
posted by dry white toast at 6:30 AM on April 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


When are we figuring this episode was?

Don was reading Time while cooling his heels waiting for the partners. You could look at the Time cover archive, if it's killing you.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2014


One thing that really struck me when Don returned to the agency is just how completely out-of-time and antique he now appears, with his skinny tie, his hat, and his Brylcreemed hair with the razor-sharp part. He looked so much like a ghost walking his old haunt. He just didn't fit anymore.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:35 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


People should watch that last scene whenever they think of signing a contract without a lawyer present.
posted by drezdn at 6:36 AM on April 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


I think Roger saying Harry was gone was just his quick way of disposing with Cutler's attempt to avoid the topic.

And I also don't think he had any particular scheme about how Don was going to re-enter the firm. He's too old to be dramatic or have serious fights with Don or over personnel. I read it as Don saying "I want to come back" and Roger saying "ok, sure, whatever, Lou is boring anyway" and Roger figuring out the rest as he went along.

Also I'd bet that putting him under Lou had little to do with wanting to further humiliate Don and everything to do with not wanting to eat Lou's contract. And/or Cutler saying that was the only way he'd agree.
posted by dry white toast at 6:39 AM on April 28, 2014


Did you get the vibe the teacher on the bus was hitting on Betty?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:40 AM on April 28, 2014


More like crushing on her.
posted by dry white toast at 6:41 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don was reading Time while cooling his heels waiting for the partners. You could look at the Time cover archive, if it's killing you.

It's after Eisenhower is dead, so I think we're in April 1969.
posted by gladly at 6:43 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did Don give a "code name" when he talked to the other ad agency?
posted by drezdn at 6:44 AM on April 28, 2014


Clarence Birdseye
posted by Thorzdad at 6:45 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, and what the heck was with that woman who came up to Don when he was meeting with the other agency at dinner? I thought for sure she was a hooker they arranged, but then they flat out denied it.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was weird. But, the next scene with Don at Roger's apartment certainly made it seem like Roger got wind of the meeting and sent the girl to send a message somehow.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:49 AM on April 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


The drawn out tension of "is he back, or isn't he?" was riveting.

I was actually surprised at the vehemence of Joan and Bert not wanting Don back. Don's been decent to Joan all this time, and sure he had a rough year and needed the break but Joan acted like she never wanted to see him again, anywhere, ever. Yikes. When they started with "put it to a vote" - well, seems like the only votes for Don would've been Roger and probably Pete had he been there.

I imagine that "you'll be reporting to Lou" was probably put in there hoping he'd say "no" and go away.
posted by dnash at 6:57 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tom and Lorenzo
posted by anastasiav at 7:02 AM on April 28, 2014


"You'll have to report to Lou."
"I'm in"
"You'll have to listen intently as Harry describes people he schtupped in Los Angeles."
"You're just sweetening the deal."
"You'll be in Lane's haunted suicide office."
"Makes sense."
"You'll be required to take Pete on a road trip across America, so he can discover himself."
"it'll be fun."
"You'll have to spend time with Bobby and Gene."
Don tears up the contract and sprinkles it on Cutler's head.
posted by drezdn at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2014 [15 favorites]


So if Don is now reporting to Lou, does that mean he and Peggy will have to pitch against each other?

Hope so. Unless Don decides to play fair and chummy, her being such a bitch toward him will come back around on her.

Did you get the vibe the teacher on the bus was hitting on Betty?

I did and I usually don't pick up on stuff like that. It might do wonders for Betty to take a little walk on the wild side. If only she didn't have to worry about it getting out and hurting Henry's political career...

"Here's what you thought you wanted, now coated in a glossy sheen of SHAME. Enjoy!"

That could be the subtitle for the entire series.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:15 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have the feeling Cutler's going to snap at some point.

I think she was genuinely hurt. He ate his food and traded hers for an extra treat for himself, like she didn't matter to him at all. How would Bobby have felt if she'd sat there feasting on everything he'd packed while he didn't get anything for lunch?

He's what, ten years old? His mother can't behave more maturely than a ten year old? She has to make him feel miserable all day?

'Disordered' doesn't even begin to describe Betty's relationship with food.

Hope so. Unless Don decides to play fair and chummy, her being such a bitch toward him will come back around on her.

Don will crush her if she doesn't play ball, because while he needs certain archetypes in his life (someone to Approve, A Woman, etc), individual actual people are totally disposable. He doesn't actually have any friends or any definition of his life outside of his work (his children, I think, are just byproducts of needing A Woman in his life). If Peggy gets in the way of him coming 'home' again, she's dead in the water.

Course it'll be hilarious if they end up having to share an office. If they're moving him into her office, where on earth is there for her to go?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:19 AM on April 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


It might do wonders for Betty to take a little walk on the wild side.

She went to an all-girl's school, and then lived in a shared apartment with other models. I doubt that side has many mysteries for her, if she were into it she'd already know it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:21 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I imagine that "you'll be reporting to Lou" was probably put in there hoping he'd say "no" and go away.

I got the vibe, particularly coming immediately after the conversation between partners about how expensive it would be for the agency to fire Don, that the unpalatable terms and conditions they came up with for his return were entirely about pushing Don to quit.
posted by The Gooch at 7:24 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sharing an office (and Meredith) with Peggy is the best sitcom spin off idea yet.
posted by vbfg at 7:25 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


She went to an all-girl's school, and then lived in a shared apartment with other models. I doubt that side has many mysteries for her, if she were into it she'd already know it.

That could, if one were to beanplate, be exactly at the root of her antipathy towards the pretty, bra-less teacher. Stirs up memories from school she thought she had firmly buried.

Honestly I think the only way for Betty to save herself is to become the ultimate Politician's Wife. Fits in with her soft skills, gives her a purpose, and lets her continue the 50's traditionalist thing that's still structuring most of what's in her head.

I got the vibe, particularly coming immediately after the conversation between partners about how expensive it would be for the agency to fire Don, that the unpalatable terms and conditions they came up with for his return were entirely about pushing Don to quit.

Yeah, today we'd call that kind of contract 'negotiation' 'constructive dismissal' and it would be illegal. They're putting him under an onerous set of restrictions that are not easily gamed (mark my words, he will game them, though), extremely easy to mess up, and will come back to bite someone on the ass. My guess is Joan's going to suffer some or most of the fallout when the shit hits the fan.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:27 AM on April 28, 2014


"Is Don's Marriage Over? His Career?" (The Atlantic)
posted by box at 7:33 AM on April 28, 2014


Also, this episode should've been called EAT YOUR CANDY.

"Here's what you thought you wanted, now coated in a glossy sheen of SHAME. Enjoy!"


Wow. Really well-observed metaphor there. Don seems to be all about turning to face his past rather than running from it now. He told Megan the truth at the beginning of their relationship, he's put everything on the table with Sally, he threw his ace card -- his air of mystery -- away in the most public way possible with Hershey, now he's at work letting everyone peck at him and not even trying to spin what happened. He's not a guy heading for a crash anymore, he's in it and and building something up from reality.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:35 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Despite the fact that Ted is apparently the great white whale of Peggy's love lift it took four mentions of his name before I remembered who he was. Ted, you fly planes yet are still unremarkable.

It's easier for me to remember him if I think of him as Ezri Dax's brother.
posted by drezdn at 7:35 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


The marriage can only be saved--and even then I think it would be touch and go for a while--if they get back into the same city.

Don's not leaving NYC unless it's in a pine box. Megan's not leaving LA until it becomes crystal clear to her that her career is never going to go anywhere--perhaps if/when she finally gives in to a 'casting couch' moment and still doesn't get the part she'll realize and come running back to New York.

(I'm 90% convinced there will be a casting couch moment for her. Weiner's obsession with Sexxxxxxxxy Pare pretty much guarantees it. I don't think it'll be pretty.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:38 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am torn on the gal in the white dress being an emissary from Roger. Just how would he have the oppty to know Don was downstairs at the Algonquin, even if Don had known Roger was in the Algonquin? I know he moved out from Jane quite a while back ... I guess a hotel fits his style and sexplorations, but I just can't put the two together.

I think more it was Don knows where Roger lives and had gone to him, despite the gal hitting on him like crazy or whatever she was doing. Unless it's another code name, like Clarence Birdseed. But Roger seemed slightly surprised to see him so ... I'll have to watch it again.

Megan's an ass.
posted by tilde at 7:38 AM on April 28, 2014


(I'm 90% convinced there will be a casting couch moment for her. Weiner's obsession with Sexxxxxxxxy Pare pretty much guarantees it. I don't think it'll be pretty.)

I think she's expecting it and that being ready for it was part of why she kicked him out.
posted by tilde at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2014


Don's not leaving NYC unless it's in a pine box.

I dunno. I can easily imagine that the partners in NYC exile Don to LA, just to get him out of the office. Probably at the instigation of Lou and Cutler. None of them in NYC really have any respect for the LA office, so they would see it as hiding him in a closet.

Flash-forward and the LA office wins more awards than the NYC office.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:41 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Flash-forward and the LA office wins more awards than the NYC office.

That would require moving basically the entire setting of the show to LA. It's called Mad Men because they're on Madison Avenue. The show is very much about a specific time and place--New York and environs in the late 50's and through the 60's. If he gets banished to LA it'll either be for only an episode or two, or it'll be the final episode.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:45 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


The only way it was possible for Don to be in California was when Anna was there. If he tries to be a part of it on his own he ends almost dying in some way that involves a swimming pool.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:45 AM on April 28, 2014


Judging from the way she reacted to Don just showing up, does it seem like Megan has been cheating on him?
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on April 28, 2014


I don't know, she seemed authentically surprised and pleased to me.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was absolutely, 100%, expecting Megan to come through that door with groceries and some handsome young man in tow.
posted by anastasiav at 7:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Judging from the way she reacted to Don just showing up, does it seem like Megan has been cheating on him?

As she was opening the door I was wondering if she was alone or not.
posted by dnash at 7:48 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was absolutely, 100%, expecting Megan to come through that door with groceries and some handsome young man in tow.

Oh good, it wasn't just me then. I was fully expecting her to be tossing some sweetums talk over her shoulder as she came in, then catching sight of Don.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:52 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If Megan was already acting so embarrassingly desperate at auditions that her agent decided to call in her husband to reel her in, I think that she has already been offered the casting couch. Judging by how Dark Night of the Soul she seemed, I think it's likely that she took someone up on that offer, too.

She got so upset about Don being distant, and was so happy curling up with the phone when he happened to call, and cared so little about him getting paid -- I think that she *does* still love him. I think she might be feeling guilty over a casting couch mistake that's already happened, but I don't think that she's looking to cheat right now, I think she genuinely wants him to choose her over his (hypothetical) job and come to LA.
posted by rue72 at 7:56 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I really feel like Don has truly turned a corner. This is the most honest, authentic Don we've ever seen; in every scene, he surprised me with how different he seemed and how unusual (for Don) his behavior was.

I'm totally on tenterhooks to see if he can keep it up, or if he'll once again revert back to his old ways (going back to the classic Mad Men theme of "can people ever really change?")

Also, was anyone else totally on edge during the scene where Don first comes back into the office, with various shots of the office intercut with Don looking at his watch and then close-up shots of his face? That whole sequence was extremely emotional for me for some reason, but I can't exactly figure out what the show was trying to do there.
posted by ladybird at 8:10 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interesting take from the AV Club comments:
Betty's a textbook case of borderline personality disorder. Every perceived slight cuts her, agonizingly, to the quick; positives she finds almost impossible to see. The way she was raised and her relationship with Don surely are part of what's made her so oversensitive to rejection. So she sees something Bobby did unthinkingly as that rejection, and she misses all the ways he was communicating how excited he was to be with her on the field trip; or it just doesn't seem like anything because he REJECTED HER by not understanding that sandwich was hers.
I asked my wife, the psychiatrist: "Yup."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 AM on April 28, 2014 [16 favorites]


Also, was anyone else totally on edge during the scene where Don first comes back into the office, with various shots of the office intercut with Don looking at his watch and then close-up shots of his face?

Yes. The way it was cut, it wasn't immediately clear if he actually went to the office or if he was just sitting at home imagining what going to the office was going to be like. I can't say exactly why they might've wanted to give that impression, but it definitely fed into the unease that continued for the rest of the day.
posted by dnash at 8:16 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Seems like the first couple episodes of this season are (even more than usual) about people wanting not only what they can't have, but wanting what three seconds of critical thought would tell them will never ever ever ever happen.

Betty will never have the relationship she wants with her kids.

Lou will never command the respect Don did/does.

Don will never move to LA to be with Megan.

Peggy.. well.. it's tough to figure out what she actually wants, isn't it? She's miserable at work, she's miserable at home.

Also, was anyone else totally on edge during the scene where Don first comes back into the office, with various shots of the office intercut with Don looking at his watch and then close-up shots of his face? That whole sequence was extremely emotional for me for some reason, but I can't exactly figure out what the show was trying to do there.

I'm pretty sure they were trying to make us unsure as to whether he went in, or if he's fantasizing his return while sitting in fear in his dank little apartment.

Betty's a textbook case of borderline personality disorder.
...
I asked my wife, the psychiatrist: "Yup."


I have BPD and yeah, there are lots and lots and lots of echoes there.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:17 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, and what the heck was with that woman who came up to Don when he was meeting with the other agency at dinner? I thought for sure she was a hooker they arranged, but then they flat out denied it.

My immediate thought was that if Don had gone up to her room, Megan would be waiting there to slap him.

(I feel like we have indeed met that woman before. Am I wrong?)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:32 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wondered if the woman in the restaurant was the stewardess from his flight to LA? And either Don wasn't recognizing her out of uniform or he was deliberately pretending not to recognize her?
posted by dnash at 8:34 AM on April 28, 2014


Skimmed the episode here at lunch - She's not the stewardess and a few sites insist the firm trying to hire Don did hire her for him.
posted by tilde at 8:39 AM on April 28, 2014


I don't think we've met restaurant lady before, and pretty sure she and the stewardness are different people. I think she was just a red herring, or maybe she (and the flirty stewardness) was just the writers wanting to let us know *once again* that although Don may have lost nearly everything, he hasn't lost his preternatural ability to attract women.
posted by ladybird at 8:40 AM on April 28, 2014


Oh, and Don ignoring the woman's advances is just another example of how he's changing his ways.
posted by ladybird at 8:41 AM on April 28, 2014


I wondered if it was the woman from the flight too but I don't think so. If I'm wrong the magic of make up is hiding something you'd think they'd want to make a bit clearer very well.
posted by vbfg at 8:46 AM on April 28, 2014


That's what I took from it too. That after his evening with Sally, and his fight with Megan, Don is actually trying to change. I hope that it's real, and it takes. Most of all, I want this changed Don to somehow bring Peggy back to the person she was before she became so bitter and angry. (Of course, there's an argument that Don set into motion the chain of events that caused her bitterness and anger.)

Even though it's not dramatically interesting, I wish there was time to see a breakfast meeting with the unparalleled charm offensive of Ken and Joan. I really just want to watch them succeed for like 5 minutes.
posted by gladly at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2014


She's not the stewardess and this site insists the firm trying to hire Don did hire her.

Yeah, I made the same observation as that site, she looked oddly like Anna's niece.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Restaurant lady was definitely a setup by the other ad agency! What else would she be? Roger had nothing to do with it; the last thing on his mind at the moment was intervening in Don's professional life (or in any other aspect of Don's life). The door opening on Roger instead of the woman was just one of MM's little visual jokes.

And the restaurant lady ploy failed because 1) Don had no intention of taking the agency's offer, he was just there to pick up a bargaining chip for talking with Roger; 2) Don has natural distaste, because of Jaguar, for this kind of Business At a Very High Level as Pete called it; and 3) Don's on his best non-cheating behavior at the moment. Megan was the whole impetus behind his suddenly taking initiative on getting his job back instead of waiting for SCP to call him back, or whatever it was he'd been waiting for.
posted by torticat at 8:59 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's something incredibly epic about the way he walks back in and lets them wrap him in chains. It comes across as a victory, like he's some kind of demigod they have to chain to the rock in order to gain his power without being destroyed by him. And he lets them do it. They did their worst and he didn't even blink.

I've been thinking about this terrific comment and it feels really true to me. Thanks for this, I really love this idea.

Also, I'm now having this bizarre fantasy that on the next day back at the office after that meeting, Don pauses outside the door of SC&P for a long moment, and quietly but defiantly says to himself, "I just want them know they didn't break me" *cue OMD's If You Leave*
posted by ladybird at 9:00 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is Roger living in a hotel now, or is that his apartment? Friend and I couldn't figure out last night. If apartment, how did Don get past the doorman to surprise Roger? If hotel, why?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:05 AM on April 28, 2014


I'm pretty sure he's living in the hotel while Jane is (maybe?) still at the house?
posted by anastasiav at 9:06 AM on April 28, 2014


If it's at the hotel, it would make sense that Don might have had the meeting there in hopes of having Roger find out about it.
posted by drezdn at 9:09 AM on April 28, 2014


Actually, now that I think about it, how does Don even know where to find Roger?
posted by ladybird at 9:10 AM on April 28, 2014


Megan's an ass.

tilde, why is Megan an ass? We found out in this episode that she'd been suspecting Don of having an affair this whole time, with good reason, and yet stayed loyal to him to the extent that she was totally delighted when he showed up unexpectedly (yikes). And then she discovers it's not that, but he's been lying to her about having been put on leave, which should have freed him up to join her in California but apparently didn't, in his mind. What a cut. She's been betrayed by Don so many times, and when he does show up in her life it's only to act like a "daddy," moving in a huge TV she doesn't want or trying to intervene in her professional life.

I was so glad when she ended things with him, even though I love Megan and have always rooted for their marriage. She was right that it would have been better for both of them to break up. Or better for her, at least; it would be pretty devastating for Don.

Anyway I don't think that's going to happen; Weiner likes Jessica Pare too much to cut her out, and she's not critical enough to the general story to continue to follow her separately, Betty-style.
posted by torticat at 9:11 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh and I thought Megan's line "I can't believe after all this time you don't know me better than that" was utterly heartbreaking. She has stood by him through ALL his shit and he still doesn't trust her enough to really let her into his life.
posted by torticat at 9:15 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Roger bought Jane her own apartment, which he then "ruined" by seducing her in it, so maybe she did end up staying at the old place. But that was also the same apartment he lived in when married to Mona, yes?

Roger said he called Don at Christmas, so maybe that's how he knew where to find him if Roger is not living at home.
Not that it matters, but I found the not knowing distracting in the premiere and again last night.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:23 AM on April 28, 2014


Don might well know where Roger is staying just because Dawn has been keeping him abreast of everything going on at the office... the folks there would certainly know how to get in touch with Roger.
posted by torticat at 9:35 AM on April 28, 2014


So at this point is it safe to assume that Bobby is going to try to be an actor, musician or comedian?
posted by drezdn at 9:39 AM on April 28, 2014


And Jon Hamm's acting during the contract acceptance were amazing to me. He made his face go from horror to acceptance so well.
posted by drezdn at 9:41 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


So at this point is it safe to assume that Bobby is going to try to be an actor, musician or comedian?

Not for nothing but my older lifelong bachelor friend said " I'm sure it doesn't mean anything but I think I've seen distant wealthy ice mother whom I longed for affection from in roughly three billion coming out stories."
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


What if Betty and Don get back together move back to Ossing and the series ends exactly where it began. That would be brilliant in a Terry Gilliam's Brazil sort of way.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


What if Betty and Don get back together move back to Ossing and the series ends exactly where it began. That would be brilliant in a Terry Gilliam's Brazil sort of way.

I'm probably the only Mad Men fan on earth who is actually rooting for exactly this to happen. They're both damaged goods, and surely Henry is good for her, but how come nobody ever pulls for Detty? (Or is it Bon?)
posted by ladybird at 10:01 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


They're both damaged goods, and surely Henry is good for her, but how come nobody ever pulls for Detty? (Or is it Bon?)

Because she's a terrible, terrible person, more unlikable than Lou Avery, although not as despicable as Joan's ex-husband?

In a show that's recently been jam-packed with cringeworthy scenes, hers are the only ones I have to fast-forward through at this point.
posted by JeffL at 10:08 AM on April 28, 2014


If that happens, we should call the pair Bick.
posted by drezdn at 10:08 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


'Disordered' doesn't even begin to describe Betty's relationship with food.

And Bobby's reasoning was that he'd had no idea she'd be eating. Her kids have definitely picked up on this stuff (last season Sally was all "Why are you counting my meals?")

Don working under Lou . . . should be cringeworthy. As Roger pointed out, he didn't submit anything to the Clio's that didn't have his name on it. I wonder if we'll see Don and Peggy revolt when they can't get any traction for their own ideas.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:20 AM on April 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think more it was Don knows where Roger lives and had gone to him

I think that whole sequence is meant to be deliberately ambiguous. I bet they cast a woman who was meant to look sort of like a previous lover (I thought she kinda looked like Bethany Van-Nuys), so we are doing the same thing Don is doing; mentally flipping through our rolodex of his conquests trying to place her.

The fact that we initially think he's going up to meet her, and then Roger opens the door suggests there's supposed to be a parallel between him sleeping with her and entreating Roger to bring him back. Probably repeating old patterns.

Which is interesting because I agree Don is trying to change.
posted by dry white toast at 10:46 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought she looked like Anna Draper's niece.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:47 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just went to that scene and puased the PVR: she definitely looks like Anna's neice, but about 10-15 years older. Foreshadowing perhaps?
posted by dry white toast at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2014


I bet they cast a woman who was meant to look sort of like a previous lover (I thought she kinda looked like Bethany Van-Nuys), so we are doing the same thing Don is doing; mentally flipping through our rolodex of his conquests trying to place her.

I'd think this was pretty fanciful if it were any other show, but here I think you're right. There was something odd about her look, like the casting director keeps going for a certain type and it bothered me. I thought Bethany as well before settling on Stephanie -- whom he didn't sleep with but he did very creepily hit on. It's a little scary when a screenwriter / showrunner can play you like that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:58 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The showrunners definitely aren't shy about wanting the viewer to perceive something in a certain way (i.e. the heart attack in the opening scene of Season 6).
posted by dry white toast at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, she was very much not embarrassed by Don's failure to recognize her, where I think most women would be mortified. She just rolled with it.
posted by dry white toast at 11:04 AM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I thought she kinda looked like Bethany Van-Nuys

I thought the woman in the restaurant looked a little like Bethany Van Nuys too, until she opened her mouth and seemed more sophisticated than Bethany. Not that Bethany hasn't likely matured in the last few years, but I bet that girl (Bethany) is married already.

Agreed that that whole scene was supposed to be a little awkward and ambiguous.
posted by sweetkid at 11:06 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I found weird was that she didn't say who she was when Don didn't recognize her. Seems like the normal thing would be, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I'm Jacqueline Smith, we met at the Clio awards dinner last year?" or whatever.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on April 28, 2014


I think she was hitting on him, straight up. They'd never met, that was just her "opening line". What was weird about it was that she interrupted their private conversation (as opposed to, say, waiting until he was getting up from the table) to do it.

What bears more investigation, I think, is why we're getting so many references to Don's physical attractiveness this season .... from the comments by Silver ("movie star") to the comments during the last "not really a business lunch" to today ... Don's physical appearance and charisma have been commented on in story many times before, certainly ("they look like the couple on the top of a wedding cake") but I can't recall it coming up explicitly as text (vs. subtext in the way people behave toward him) so many times in a row before.
posted by anastasiav at 11:32 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree; a call girl come-on.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:44 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe something is going to happen to Don's pretty face?

(or maybe Hamm had a contract rider "characters on screen must constantly be noting how handsome I am and when not in the room they should be asking where the handsome man is.")
posted by The Whelk at 11:59 AM on April 28, 2014 [9 favorites]


What bears more investigation, I think, is why we're getting so many references to Don's physical attractiveness this season

Good point! Also the secretary's comment (was it Meredith?) when someone asked why he was in the office and she said "Does it matter?" LOL.

It might be that in past seasons his attractiveness/charisma has gone without saying, but now that he's crashed so hard, all this is a way of telegraphing that he's still got it. Outdated sense of style and all.
posted by torticat at 12:03 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


And asking where Poochie is.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:03 PM on April 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think she was hitting on him, straight up. They'd never met, that was just her "opening line" I just think the parallel with the Jaguar deal was too obvious to be coincidence. Of course it could just be that the Jaguar deal still is still in Don's mind, leading him to misinterpret a simple pick-up attempt as part of the business negotiations. But I doubt it.
posted by torticat at 12:05 PM on April 28, 2014


(Oops, sorry, tried to correct my formatting there and lost my line breaks.)
posted by torticat at 12:08 PM on April 28, 2014


January Jones's Instagram is winning me over to her. Case in point: cowselfie.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:21 PM on April 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


While it's not unbelievable that a young woman staying alone at the Algonquin would pick up a handsome, well-dressed man dining alone in the restaurant, barging right up and doing it in such unequivocal terms when there are two other businessmen at the table crosses a line from bold into possibly nuts territory. That they set it up seems massively more probable.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:24 PM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


January Jones' instagram is awesome but then again I was won over by her long ago.
posted by sweetkid at 12:24 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


torticat I think it's mostly hold over from not liking Megan At All. I went through to watch the last couple of seasons these last couple of weeks and she simply is a petulant child.

Send him home, yeah. Kill it then? Seems a bit much, even for a third marriage (and she KNOWS its his third marriage, though only his second intentional one). Even for the time. It might even be part of kicking him out before he kicks her out.

Maybe she's the one reading feminist literature. I think she liked having power over him and doing his own thing and now she has neither. She was "managing up" mostly, and here, with him far away, she can't, and she's totally stuck at the end of the canyon with all her demons (by choice).
posted by tilde at 12:55 PM on April 28, 2014


Just went to that scene and puased the PVR: she definitely looks like Anna's neice, but about 10-15 years older. Foreshadowing perhaps? I think it's more like a reminder for Don of another time where he showed restraint, worked towards a real relationship with a woman rather than just using her. Made it even more clear to him that he should go back to SCletters and fix things with them and his wife. Not that it will work. I have bad feelings it will all crumble at his touch soon even more.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:03 PM on April 28, 2014


I don't think she was a callback to Anna's niece. People seem to get blondes really mixed up on this show (like people thinking the woman at the end of Season 5 who asked Don if he was alone was Megan's acting friend - or Heather Graham).
posted by sweetkid at 1:08 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just a random reference to the sexual revolution then.

Wait no that's Roger's gf.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2014


I can't help but remember that Megan is actually really good at writing copy (Clio!), and wonder if that's going to become an option again if her career continues to nosedive.
posted by dry white toast at 1:33 PM on April 28, 2014


Almost every moment Megan is onscreen in this episode she is treated like a child.

Her manager calls her husband to rein her in? Don comes because he's worried about her, not just to surprise her, and she calls him Daddy in response.

The phone call between them, where she is in control, though. Is she going to give him another chance, with the "Don't lie to me, I'm your wife," I thought yes, and I wondered if she would punish him with ambiguity. How much work is he going to have to do, and will she break it off for realsies if he really goes back to work?

Just...how good an actress is she, anyway? What are the chances she'll end up giving in and heading back to NY? Or maybe even back to Canada?

As far as Don's outdated style, he still blended fine with all the other partners (excepting Joan, obvs). They all still wear the conservative suits, slicked back hair, hats. Don's ties in this episode, though, ugh.

You know who needs a drinking ban at work? Fricking Peggy, man.
posted by tracicle at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't help but remember that Megan is actually really good at writing copy (Clio!), and wonder if that's going to become an option again if her career continues to nosedive.

I think her career is actually going relatively well, seeing as she's only been out in LA for a few months and has already filmed a network pilot, and this is coming off of a couple seasons as a major character on a soap back in NYC. She's maybe such a huge mess right now, though, because she wants her career to be absolutely *spectacular* seeing as she (inadvertently) sacrificed her marriage for it.

Her manager calls her husband to rein her in? Don comes because he's worried about her, not just to surprise her, and she calls him Daddy in response.

What I thought was interesting was the contrast between Megan and Pete's girlfriend (I'm sorry, I don't remember her name?).

Also, between Pete's girlfriend and Francine, who are both realtors and maybe not even very far apart in age, but who might as well be living in different time periods as well as different time zones. Bizarre.
posted by rue72 at 1:45 PM on April 28, 2014


Shame Candy would be a great name for band/tumblr/webcomic
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:52 PM on April 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


Francine is a part time travel agent, not a realtor (that was Betty's mistake).

Interesting article about the use of time in the latest Mad Men from Vulture.

From that link:

But it's not only Don who's having a time crisis. Betty is, too. She gets lunch with her old friend Francine and humble brags that maybe she's just "old-fashioned." Francine agrees and calls her "Betty Draper." If Betty's bothered by it, it doesn't register, but that's not Betty's name anymore, and it hasn't been for a few years.


I thought Francine calling Betty "Betty Draper" was a really interesting moment. Betty says that maybe she's old fashioned and then Francine calls her "Betty Draper." But Betty isn't Betty Draper anymore because she divorced the husband who was cheating on her, while Francine stayed with Carlton.

Not that it's "old fashioned" to stay with someone who cheated on you, but I think that was a subtle comment on the choices these two women made, and their relative ability to make them.
posted by sweetkid at 1:53 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Next time somebody doesn't want to own what they did I say we all go "eat your shame candy Bobby" okay I'll stop now
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:00 PM on April 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


i couldn't help but contrast Bobby bitterly biting down on that candy with Don's anecdote in the terrible Hershey meeting about eating the candy bar the prostitute bought him and thinking it was the only sweet moment he knew in life.
posted by sweetkid at 2:02 PM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


but how come nobody ever pulls for Detty? (Or is it Bon?)

Call me a killjoy, but I'm rooting for no cutesie mashed couple names whatsoever on FanFare.
posted by JenMarie at 2:26 PM on April 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


I feel like what they're doing with Peggy is setting her up to make a huge leap forward, from the furthest place backward as possible. Every single thing happening to her just increases the tension, like she's a rock being pulled in a slingshot. Except that when it finally gets let go, she'll find that she was tied to the rubber band.

I just thought up a promo item!
posted by iamkimiam at 2:27 PM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


I also loved how this episode was rejection, rejection, rejection all over the place, until the very end, where Don gets the last word. "Okay."
posted by iamkimiam at 2:37 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


"I'm torn between feeling like (a) Roger orchestrated the whole return-of-Don clusterfuck knowing that the other partners* would be more amenable to rehiring Don if he's already sitting there in the office waiting (perhaps related to the endowment effect, not that ol' Rog would think of it as such) rather than having the meeting before inviting him back and (b) Roger just being a thoughtless dick about other people's comfort because that's his style."

and possibly (c) Roger is bored and wanted to have a fun, not-your-average day at the office.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:40 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I found weird was that she didn't say who she was when Don didn't recognize her. Seems like the normal thing would be, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I'm Jacqueline Smith, we met at the Clio awards dinner last year?" or whatever.

I thought it was Anna's niece Stephanie too, and she didn't explain herself because she couldn't very well say, "Hey, remember me? You were sort-of but not really married to my aunt? I knew you as Dick?" in front of strangers. But I just re-watched "The Good News" this weekend, so I have Anna on my mind.

I'm just proud that Betty didn't demand that Bobby go get her sandwich back from the child who didn't have one.
posted by donajo at 2:41 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I know it probably didn't happen, but I kind of wish they had some outtake footage of that last scene with Jon Hamm giving different comic answers instead "okay" -

"I'm not your monkey!"

"Lou THIS suckers!"

"Well THAT escalated quickly."

"Stipulations? I'll show you stipulations!"

etc.
posted by sweetkid at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


The huge irony is that Don's new job will be going through the client's coat pockets looking for money. If he finds enough he gets to drink in the office.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:45 PM on April 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm just proud that Betty didn't demand that Bobby go get her sandwich back from the child who didn't have one.

No Bobby traded both sandwiches for candy.
posted by sweetkid at 2:46 PM on April 28, 2014


He traded Betty's sandwich for Suzy Roger's gumdrops, because Suzy didn't have a sandwich.
posted by donajo at 2:51 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Roger is weirdly unconnected. I don't think he has any motivations in regard to business or the future of the firm. He has money and endless ways to entertain himself and that seems to be all he needs right now. I don't think he gave a thought to his telling Don to come in to the office until he showed up.

What was Betty's line about Bobby's teachers bralessness? Bobby says something about the teacher liking him and Betty says “that blouse says she likes everyone.”
A new bitterer Betty.
posted by readery at 2:58 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


the film at the beginning was Model Shop, which was released on April 1, 1969.

And that exact bit of music in that scene is used as the bridge in Fila Brazillia's "Here Comes Pissy Willy" from the Power Clown album. I almost fell over when I heard it. I only learned about that film recently and I've been meaning to watch it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:00 PM on April 28, 2014


What the hell was Suzy's mother thinking? Sending your kid on a field trip with only a bag of gumdrops?! It was shame candy from the very start.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:09 PM on April 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


suzy possibly packed her own lunch - didn't know how to make a sandwich
posted by tilde at 3:48 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bobby says something about the teacher liking him and Betty says “that blouse says she likes everyone.” A new bitterer Betty.

She seemed more amused -- farmer's daughter pitches forward when the bus hits a bump, she's got at least three buttons open and she presents significant boob for seemingly much longer than necessary. When othermom makes the udder comment I was a bit surprised Betty didn't get it since she'd already got the matinee show.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:49 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


...but I still can't deconstruct the bit when shortly that crack is made, farmer's daughter hands Betty the bucket of milk, saying "feel how warm it is", Betty drinks and says it tastes sweet. There is some weird dairy kink subtext going on there but damned if I can parse it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:53 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well also just fresh cow's milk would be really warm and sweet
posted by The Whelk at 4:23 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


That was just some product placement for the Raw Milk industry.
posted by drezdn at 4:52 PM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


TIKI BAR!!! (Big screen viewing)

Francine rocking a pantsuit.

Peggy's desk says it's the 31st so it's March/early April. The dark / light contrast for ny/la is a bit off but maybe exaggerated so people notice. An improvement over shouting on costal calls.

& Ginzo stopped him just before he did slink back out the door.

March April and Ken is still a cyclops.

Gumdrop girl Likes Bobby. That look they traded after Betty drank the milk? He had two bananas in the sack; & one left, she going to ignore that too? Touchy Betty indeed, if not clinically something. At least that's my guess as to why she traded gumdrops. & in Bobby's defense when does he see Bwtty eat?
posted by tilde at 5:06 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interesting article about the use of time in the latest Mad Men from Vulture.

Great article. The AV Club review talks about how because the episode doesn't specify a date, we feel as ungrounded as the characters. The different references to time certainly make that seem very deliberate.

And the scene where Don sits at home looking at his watch thinking about going into work - and then we discover he's really already there, made me think of the phrase "unstuck in time".

That phrase, of course, is from Slaughterhouse-Five. Which was published in March 1969.

Good work, show.
posted by crossoverman at 5:19 PM on April 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


I don't think he gave a thought to his telling Don to come in to the office until he showed up.

Yeah, this exactly. Don wasn't on Roger's radar until he showed up at his hotel door, and barely so after he left.

Roger's mostly checked out as far as work is concerned, but present enough to find Lou a total killjoy and Cutler a threat. So, without particularly working on it either before or after Don's visit to his room, he's perfectly happy to go to bat to get Don back. Along the lines of Sweetie Darling's comment earlier--Don basically provides Roger with a tool for pushing back heavily against Cutler--the partner who backs Lou, promoted Joan probably to get under Roger's skin, made veiled threats about being Roger's adversary, and is up to who knows what all else.

And Roger's canny and still aware enough to have solid business reasoning for his position... both the agency's present weakness in creative, and the prohibitive cost of buying Don out. I loved how he and Cutler both got to shouting in that meeting--which didn't even really have to do with their respective feelings about Don, but rather with their distrust of each other.
posted by torticat at 5:20 PM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


the film at the beginning was Model Shop, which was released on April 1, 1969.

One other observation: google's synopsis of this film, which I haven't had a chance to watch yet:
George (Gary Lockwood) is a disillusioned 26-year-old who has just quit his stifling job. He lives in Los Angeles with an aspiring young actress named Gloria (Alexandra Hay), who is none too pleased with his recent unemployment. [...]
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:33 PM on April 28, 2014 [10 favorites]


Ehehehehe
posted by The Whelk at 5:35 PM on April 28, 2014


i couldn't help but contrast Bobby bitterly biting down on that candy with Don's anecdote in the terrible Hershey meeting about eating the candy bar the prostitute bought him and thinking it was the only sweet moment he knew in life.

That's a great insight. Man you guys are smart and I love these threads.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:42 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Was Don crying during that movie? Or just looking fraught?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:43 PM on April 28, 2014


I understand Cutler standing in for Ted, but does Roger saying "I'll speak for Pete" sound weird to anyone else? Do the two of them have any sort of rapport?

I agree with this in general, but in this one instance Cutler probably wouldn't be speaking up for what Ted wants. Even though Ted is kind of checked out of life right now, I think his moral compass plus "creative" solidarity would leave him firmly in the keep-Don camp. My instinct says Pete would also stick by Don in this particular scenario, so actually Roger would be more correct in speaking for Pete than Cutler would be in speaking for Ted.

Of course, Cutler was just doing this to score one more point in his corner, and I'm sure Roger couldn't care less about what Pete actually would have wanted. Still, it's interesting to see how Don's re-emergence throws into stark relief the way allegiances have shifted in the office (see also: Joan's response to Don's return).
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:53 PM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bluto was right, Betty is a "silly woman."

Can we throw Lou and Jim out the window already?
posted by luckynerd at 5:55 PM on April 28, 2014


I love this metaphor from the AV Club review:
The characters know that their places have shifted, but they’re waiting for the music to end, so they can all sit down and realize who no longer has a seat.
posted by donajo at 5:56 PM on April 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I wish they'd revisit Ginsberg's mental issues. Last season the poor lad seemed close to a psychotic episode and I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.
posted by subbes at 6:28 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Don was sitting on the bed looking at his watch I was fascinated to see his face twitching in nervousness. Such a tiny detail and so powerful.

Also, Peggy is just so MAD. I feel so bad for her.
posted by mynameisluka at 6:44 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wish they'd revisit Ginsberg's mental issues. Last season the poor lad seemed close to a psychotic episode and I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I think he had some anxiety stuff going on, but right now he just seems like a jerk. A lot of anxiety stuff isn't portrayed well on television usually so I think that's why people read it as schizophrenia/psychosis/etc. But I don't think it's meant to be that serious.
posted by sweetkid at 6:53 PM on April 28, 2014


My instinct says Pete would also stick by Don in this particular scenario, so actually Roger would be more correct in speaking for Pete than Cutler would be in speaking for Ted.

I agree with this, but I thought it was weird they didn't have Pete and Ted on the phone or do some sort of explanation on how they followed up with them. Then again they had Don and Ted agree on the merger without consulting anyone else.
posted by sweetkid at 7:06 PM on April 28, 2014


What I found weird was that she didn't say who she was when Don didn't recognize her. Seems like the normal thing would be, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I'm Jacqueline Smith, we met at the Clio awards dinner last year?" or whatever.

She absolutely said her name. It was Emily Arnet or Arnett.
posted by dry white toast at 7:40 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay, I missed that.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:03 PM on April 28, 2014


It was kind of weird for them to completely exclude Ted and Pete from that conversation. My first thought was that maybe it was just to avoid the hassle of getting a call through to LA, but now I'm thinking it might have been because they were specifically avoiding getting their input. I could see Jim in particular not wanting Ted involved if he guessed that Ted would support Don.

Either way, I hope in the next episode we get to see how the LA crew responds to news of Don's "triumphant" (read: pathetic) return.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:25 PM on April 28, 2014


It does seem problematic not to involve partners - even those with lesser shares - in major decisions for the company. I see this as another thing for Pete to flip out about.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 PM on April 28, 2014


Actually, pathetic was probably the wrong word to use there. This episode certainly showcased a Donald Draper who has been diminished in a lot of ways, but I think this is the first episode in a long time where I found myself really rooting for Don. I haven't personally been won over by Don's other recent gestures (like showing his kids the house he grew up in), but there was something about the way Don seemed so humbled (and nervous!) when he came into the office that really got to me. And even though he's definitely been knocked down a few pegs, there was a certain dignity in the way that he accepted the truly terrible deal they offered him.

I guess what I'm saying is Weiner better not kill off Don just when he's finally becoming a likable human being.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:29 PM on April 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


(see also: Joan's response to Don's return)

Yeah... and I know it's already been said upthread by various people but I really hated that. I guess it can be justified as in character in terms of Joan's practicality, but it doesn't seem to fit at all with her personal history with Don and underlying trust/respect for him. Also having her be one of the people listing the stipulations seemed especially harsh (though I like the underscoring of her new authority--definitely not a silent partner!).

So they clearly set Don up to fail*, Don who for years wouldn't accept ANY contract and now is bound by an all-or-nothing agreement with job + partnership at risk! Obviously Don's never been great at obeying rules, even normal-office-protocol-type stuff. Does he stand a chance here?

What are the restrictions again? No alcohol but hospitality; no one-on-one client meetings; no straying from pre-approved script with clients. Answers to Lou. What else was there, and which one is he most likely to run afoul of?

*I don't see Joan doing this either. She wouldn't set Don up for a humiliating crash-and-burn. Better to eat the cost than to get rid of Don this way. Joan took a far more humiliating hit herself for the agency, of course... but Don had vehemently opposed that.
posted by torticat at 9:52 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pete's girlfriend (I'm sorry, I don't remember her name?).

i don't think you'll find this on IMDB, but around here the canonical name is Malibu Betty, iirc.
posted by mwhybark at 9:56 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Couple of thoughts:

Bobby was totally thinking Betty wouldn't miss the sandwich. He tells her "I didn't think you'd eat." Betty has mentioned she's still trying to "reduce" in the first episode this season (I think) and the comment from Henry that evening just confirms this.

Don getting a call from Megan's agent totally recalled to me Don getting a call from Betty's shrink in the early seasons. Weiner LOVES these kinds of call-backs.

There is NO WAY boring-ass stick in the mud Lou picked that tiki bar out for himself. I bet Dawn bought it for his office.

Someone mentioned not understanding Joan's vitriol at Don. But remember, right before his meltdown when he fired Jaguar she was so pissed at him for making her go through that situation for an end result of nothing.

The girl at the Algonquin was absolutely set up by those guys trying to hire Don.

Regarding the obsession with Don's appearance: did anyone notice during episode 2 (Valentine's Day) that there was a lot of clever writing in the dialog? References to asking Don on a date, kissing the man with Sunkist (?) in Cali and other business metaphors about who is romancing who. I don't think these mean anything, just an example of the show's super-clever and subtle writing.

I feel so sad for Peggy. She sacrificed her personal life for her career and both suck right now.
posted by Brittanie at 10:01 PM on April 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Joan finally clawed her way up to an upstairs office and into an "account man" position, and she's terrified of losing it. She's probably worried (with good reason) that Don will usurp her, seeing as he's so much more experienced, a founding partner, etc etc etc. I don't think she was being malicious toward him, just self-protective.

The thing I think is most likely to trip Don up is the "never alone with clients" thing. There are so so so many ways that could go wrong -- it's not as though everything the clients do is under his control. The last time he had a business dinner, the guys hired him an escort!

I'm actually kind of hating how nobody smokes, everybody's trying to dry out, probably soon people are going to start running on their lunch breaks or something. Maybe another big client will be some kind of weight loss or health food company. I hope they score big and get Tab!

The women who don't work or only marginally smoke are still smoking, and Don was smoking while he wasn't working (I remember him snubbing one out in the diner he ate dinner in with Sally). I guess it's just the unemployed and the marginally employed who are real smokers now.

I think he had some anxiety stuff going on, but right now he just seems like a jerk.

I've actually been really liking him this season, but I also take his jokes as him busting Peggy's chops rather than being mean. He seems more confident and insightful about others to me lately -- maybe he's got a girlfriend, or at least moved out from his dad's? (OMG maybe Peggy could hire Ginsberg's awful father to be her super).
posted by rue72 at 10:08 PM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


With regard to the terms of his return, I really hope Don negotiates some kind of end date for those restrictions. Six months or a year, maybe, but he can't seriously operate indefinitely under the rule of never going off script or being alone with clients.
posted by JenMarie at 10:13 PM on April 28, 2014


There is NO WAY boring-ass stick in the mud Lou picked that tiki bar out for himself. I bet Dawn bought it for his office.

Tiki may be retrocool now but by the end of the 1960s it was an old-fart thing. It's associated with service in the Pacific. Servicemen would drink in bars that were decorated in a Polynesian style, and after the war bars opened up all over the place to cater to the tens of thousands of returning vets who had positive associations with them, and it became a fashion in itself. But by 1969 it's associated with guys like Lou, and not fashionable at all.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:55 PM on April 28, 2014 [8 favorites]


He seems more confident and insightful about others to me lately

"Boy you smell good!"

OMG Ginsberg always knows the right thing to say.

I agree rue72, I love him. And am sad that he's been sidelined for quite a while. He's really good at his job and is one of the few who, like Peggy and Don, are passionate about good creative.
posted by torticat at 12:16 AM on April 29, 2014


I don't think she was being malicious toward him, just self-protective.

That's probably true. I like to think of Joan as being a loyal person, and while she probably is to a normal degree, when I think back I guess it's not necessarily an overriding quality. Definitely self-protection is, and with good reason.

Also I suppose it could be debated whether the partners really set Don up to fail in a machiavellian way, or just decided they couldn't afford not to take him back but couldn't do so without protective measures for the agency. Probably the motives of the various partners differed on that, actually.

As others have said, I really missed Pete's and Ted's input in that discussion. Although the discussion was amazing TV as it was.
posted by torticat at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2014


A lot less smoking, yes, but it's there. I think people were too startled or busy this episode, but Don was smoking in the theatre, Betty on the bus & at the farm, Don at Megan's, Joan at the conference table meeting where they laid it out for Don.
posted by tilde at 1:44 AM on April 29, 2014


It seemed like every time food was referenced (not only during the picnic), Betty lit a cigarette. I want to rewatch to check, but when she's lunching with Francine and she suggests splitting a dessert, Betty lights up. Then at the picnic, previously before drinking the milk, and I think she's smoking at the table when Henry asks if she's hungry?

Smoking is an appetite suppressant, so it would make sense in Betty-land to smoke when hungry. No wonder Bobby doesn't think she'll eat; she's been chain smoking all morning.
posted by tracicle at 2:14 AM on April 29, 2014


tracicle - agreed. I've had kids only slightly younger than Bobby want to freak out because I sat down to a meal and didn't grab or order a soda pop. You'da thunk I'd announced I was sending the dog on a tour around the world for a year without us. The "extras" thing that bundled with the episode talked about Bobby being "selfish" but no, he was just being a kid.
posted by tilde at 4:02 AM on April 29, 2014


The "extras" thing that bundled with the episode talked about Bobby being "selfish" but no, he was just being a kid.

I think that was just January Jones explaining how she sees Betty's take on it, not a suggestion that Bobby really was being selfish.
posted by torticat at 4:52 AM on April 29, 2014


I actually think what's most likely to trip Don up is the "sticking to the script" part. Clearly Peggy has been chafing at answering to Lou and watching him shoot down all her good ideas, so I can only imagine it will be ten times harder for Don. Plus, part of his genius was the off-the-cuff, save-the-day, dazzle-them-with-his-brilliance presentation style, and I could totally see him jumping into that role again without even thinking about it.

With that being said, the entire contract seemed very draconian, and I suspect that with the exception or Roger, their goal really is to see Don fail, allowing them to fire him without having to buy him out.

On that note, although I understand the self-preservation instinct, I was particularly disappointed with Joan's reaction to Don's return. On the flip side, I really enjoyed seeing Roger go to bat for Don. I always liked the Roger-Don alliance, especially in earlier seasons, and I think if Roger had thrown Don to the wolves, it would have felt like the biggest betrayal out of anyone.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:15 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just skimming through the episode to check and yes, she lights up when Francine offers to share the coffee strudel (or whatever it is). Then on the bus and outside the barn. Bobby is so, so matter-of-fact about where the sandwich is gone. He really doesn't expect her to want it. I wonder if this has happened before, where he or someone else has given her meal away and it's been no problem. Anyway, she does indeed light another cigarette in lieu of the sandwich.

She's smoking when Henry comes home and into the kitchen ("Did you eat?" "I'm not hungry").

Guess that's her new diet.

She looks incredibly childlike when she asks Henry if he thinks she's a good mother. No makeup, big blue eyes, hair relaxed. Emotionally immature, I guess.
posted by tracicle at 5:31 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems like what convinced the partners to bring back Don was fear of competing with him creatively. So I don't entirely understand their motivation for making him report to Lou; it removes the main asset Don provides. I guess this keeps anyone else from having him too, but everyone (except Jim) seemed to really be smarting over the Cleos.

I'm not suggesting this as a realistic plotline in any way, but I could see Don countering with "I'll report to Peggy" before accepting Lou.

Which come to think of it, why did they bring in a hack to be Creative Director when they had Don's better-behaved protégé already in the wings as Copy Chief? I know, "sexism", but they didn't have to actually give her the credit or power they gave Don. They could have done some sort of Peggy-Stan co-dominium (a la Kenny and Pete in Season 4) and it would be better and cheaper than having to hitch themselves to an outsider with a two-year contract. It's not like Don was the only one who believes in Peggy at this point.
posted by spaltavian at 6:07 AM on April 29, 2014


I think their more immediate concern was keeping him under control if they could use him creatively (Hershey was a smash before he got all real on them) as long as possible without having to buy him out or allow him to do further significant damage. Maybe Lou will quit with being frustrated with "behaving" Don. He's still cheaper to lose or stick in an office with nothing to do than paying off/out Don.
posted by tilde at 6:10 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I buy that Joan was pissed to see Don. I think she remained pretty pissed at him ever since he fired Jaguar and rendered her awful night moot. I think she was able to table that anger because at first it seemed like good things might be coming of that - Chevy, the merger, then Avon landed in her lap. But at the end of the day, when he imploded in front of Hershey, I think she saw that not as the implosion it was, but yet another example of Don doing something impetuously in the moment and ruining an account. Now that she's a partner and has a real stake in the business, I think she feels every new account and every lost account more acutely. I think the Hershey debacle cemented in her mind that he was unreliable and unstable and was putting her livelihood - and that of her child - at risk. So yeah, I am not that surprised to see her be ready to kick Don to the curb. I think it's self-preservation, and it's legitimate anger. He's not who she thought he was - not because he's some poor kid who grew up in a whorehouse and ate sad chocolate all the time, but because he was "one of the good one" in her mind (recalling what she said when he showed up - too late - to tell her not to sleep with Herb), and then he completely fucked things up in that meeting, for what would appear to those who weren't directly mired in Don's psyche at the moment (that is, no one in that room) no discernible reason. He's messing with the business he created and he's out of control. He's a risk. She's in charge of the company's finances now (after Lane's demise) - he's a liability. Of course she doesn't want him back.
posted by thereemix at 6:14 AM on April 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "the film at the beginning was Model Shop, which was released on April 1, 1969.

One other observation: google's synopsis of this film, which I haven't had a chance to watch yet:
"

Why be coy? Go straight to the New York Times' review from February 12, 1969:
Specifically, the movie covers 24 hours in the life of a disenchanted young man (Lockwood), whose affair with a staggeringly dense, would-be actress (Alexandra Hay) is breaking up.
posted by barnacles at 6:20 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I want Peggy to quit. After this, she's been effectively demoted. They didn't tell Don he'd report to Peggy (THE MOTHERFUCKEN COPY CHIEF). They told him he'd report to Lou. They slid him in one rung above her. This is basically what they did to her to begin with by bringing Lou in in the first place. Now she's been moved even further down. And yeah it's not like the partners even told her what the plan was, she's just gonna FIND OUT via a memo or worse, via Don just showing up and moving his shit into Lane's office - which is HER office at the moment, if you will all recall. So to her, it's gonna seem like he's come back and taking over her space.

And of course it's gonna piss her off because it's yet another way Don has fucked up something in her life. He ruined her personal life by scaring off Ted and then letting him leave for LA, and now, when her professional life isn't so hot at the moment because Lou, for whatever reason, doesn't like her, he's come back to ruin it some more. Girl needs to be shopping her fucking resume up and down the avenue and get the hell out of there. She's been languishing under a variation of the same regime that has employed her since she was 20 years old. She needs to get out, and she needs a fresh start. That workplace is absolutely toxic for her.
posted by thereemix at 6:21 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Joan's right. He's not stable, he's never thought of anything beyond himself that they can see, aside from the moment he tried to stop her from going through with Jaguar (or so he thought).

I want to figure out what the hell they are going to do with Peggy. I thought I saw someone walking around with a brown file box, but it might have been files, right before the conference room. I'm pretty sure it was not Meredith but it was a blonde. The only place I can think to move her is that storage space where Don was holed up with Stan for "Project K".

Another alternative might be the crappy office where Harry Crane was before he moved again (I think he's now in Pete's old office that was Harry's old office before Roger paid Harry to move). AKA she'll be in the pillar office.

I watch this for Peggy but unless she starts her own thing I can't see how they aren't going to make a shambles of her. Maybe her place needs to burn down and she rolls that with, oh, why not, Duck and Pete, maybe Stan with Freddy and make it roll. Meredith for protective cover :P.
posted by tilde at 6:31 AM on April 29, 2014


Which come to think of it, why did they bring in a hack to be Creative Director when they had Don's better-behaved protégé already in the wings as Copy Chief? I know, "sexism", but they didn't have to actually give her the credit or power they gave Don. They could have done some sort of Peggy-Stan co-dominium (a la Kenny and Pete in Season 4) and it would be better and cheaper than having to hitch themselves to an outsider with a two-year contract. It's not like Don was the only one who believes in Peggy at this point.

My theory is they brought in Lou because when the decision was made to put Don out to pasture Ted had already fled to LA (or at least was packing up his family and avoiding the office for fear he would love his resolve and fall back into Peggy's arms). With him (and Pete, if you'll remember - he was also packing up his life for LA) not being there to officially weigh in on the next steps, it ends up falling to Roger, Jim, and Bert to figure out what to do. Bert Cooper wasn't going to declare Peggy (whom he once referred to a "a little girl" - "you're letting a little girl run your business" he said to Don back in Season 5 when the Heinz Beans guy got completely fed up with Peggy) in charge of anything. Roger knows she's talented, but he's not really going to go out of his way to champion her. Neither is Jim.

The problem is that without Don or Ted in that office, Peggy has no one there in the executive suite who's fighting her corner. Stan lurves her but Stan doesn't rank highly enough for his feelings to have an impact. That's Peggy's biggest career problem at the moment - because of the circumstances of her employment over the last decade, she ended up hitching her star to two flawed mentor-types who both abandoned her for various reasons. She doesn't have an anchor. That's why she's flailing. Roger, Bert, and Jim brought in Lou because it just didn't occur to them ever to give Peggy the reins, because she's just not on their radar the same way she was on Don's or Ted's.
posted by thereemix at 6:32 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Peggy had already been in the pillar office for a while. Moving her back there would add insult to injury - so you know that's what's gonna happen.
posted by thereemix at 6:33 AM on April 29, 2014


tilde: "She's not the stewardess and a few sites insist the firm trying to hire Don did hire her for him."

She's staying in the hotel at the top floor. The guys from California were probably staying the in the hotel; that's why they had dinner in the restaurant there. Easy enough to arrange another room on the same company account.

What's more, as Don's gaze followed her and we saw the last scene as he's looking over his shoulder, they're grinning like hyenas behind him, just a bit out of focus. Clearly part of the "drama".

What's more, it has a weird tie-in with Megan's likely casting couch moment. One is trying to use sex to get a job, one is trying to get a job and is being offered sex.
posted by barnacles at 6:34 AM on April 29, 2014


Where are we getting that Megan has had a casting couch moment? I'm all for theorizing and such but I haven't seen any evidence of that at all in the actual text of the show. Speculating idly on a hunch like that seems to lead to weird places like the internet's insistence that Megan is Sharon Tate last season.
posted by thereemix at 6:40 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Were those guys at the dinner from California? I thought that the JAG guy (who he had lunch with last episode) and his colleague was from Wells Rich Greene. They were a really cutting-edge advertising agency in NYC at the time, and one of the founding partners was a woman named Mary Wells. That's why at the end when Roger is telling the partners that they can't afford to be competing against Don creatively if they cut him loose, he says something like "Do you want be at a hotel somewhere for a presentation and see Mary Wells sitting in Don's lap?"
posted by thereemix at 6:46 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


~I want Peggy to quit.
~Peggy had already been in the pillar office for a while. Moving her back there would add insult to injury - so you know that's what's gonna happen.


Yeah. It's become pretty obvious that Peggy has zero respect in the office. Lou, especially, seems to use her as his human ashtray. I'd love her to quit, too, but I can't see that happening.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:48 AM on April 29, 2014


No, they were local. Wells, though - maybe Peggy will get it in her head to work for a woman.
posted by tilde at 6:50 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


...maybe Peggy will get it in her head to work for a woman.

Except, Peggy relates to women about as well as she relates to men. Not very well at all. She's really an island unto herself.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:52 AM on April 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


torticat: "What are the restrictions again? No alcohol but hospitality; no one-on-one client meetings; no straying from pre-approved script with clients. Answers to Lou. What else was there, and which one is he most likely to run afoul of?"

The following occurred to me regarding the contract restrictions:
  1. Never one-on-one with clients: Fine, whatever, let the accounts folks do their thing. This won't be a problem.
  2. Stay on script: I'm sorry, did you see the season opener and that script Don had Freddy memorize and deliver to Peggy? Another non-issue.
  3. No drinking: "Thanks, I'm trying to cut down on my drinking anyways." He told Megan as much! And in an office spinning off the rails as it is, this'll give him a bit of clarity that some others (c'mon, Peggy!) are lacking.
  4. You'll work under Lou: This is where it gets interesting and difficult. But it'll probably be the restriction that Don wriggles out from under and simultaneously proves to the entire office just how dreadful Lou is and just how good he (and Peggy [c'mon, Peggy!!]) are.

posted by barnacles at 6:58 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


You forgot having to have everything he pitches approved by all the partners. That will cause issues as well I'm sure.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:00 AM on April 29, 2014


That was no alcohol in the office. It did not prohibit his drinking outside the office.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:01 AM on April 29, 2014


I think the preponderance of the evidence is that Peggy actually relates to men better than women. As far as I can remember, the only female friend Peggy had on the show was the one who introduced her to Abe, and that she was originally trying to get with Peggy.

Other than that, she and Joan have gone back and forth and she had an uneasy friendliness with Megan. She pretty consistently can't get along with secretaries, co-worker wives and her female relatives.

She doesn't get treated very nicely by most men, but I think she sees the Old Boys Club as less opaque than the upper-class women rules she clearly never mastered. My guess is that she was kind of a tomboy in Brooklyn.
posted by spaltavian at 7:01 AM on April 29, 2014


Potomac Avenue: You forgot having to have everything he pitches approved by all the partners. That will cause issues as well I'm sure.

I forgot that. And importantly, it's approval by the partners, not Lou, which means he'll get to show up and undermine Lou with every client he touches.
posted by spaltavian at 7:02 AM on April 29, 2014


But there's no way the partners will approve something that Lou doesn't.
posted by thereemix at 7:03 AM on April 29, 2014


threemix: "Were those guys at the dinner from California? I thought that the JAG guy (who he had lunch with last episode) and his colleague was from Wells Rich Greene. They were a really cutting-edge advertising agency in NYC at the time, and one of the founding partners was a woman named Mary Wells. That's why at the end when Roger is telling the partners that they can't afford to be competing against Don creatively if they cut him loose, he says something like "Do you want be at a hotel somewhere for a presentation and see Mary Wells sitting in Don's lap?""

Ack! I was misinformed by my usual go-to source for keeping all the names and faces in TV shows straight. I'll just turn around here and give her a good "J'Accuse!" and maybe steal the cat from her ...
posted by barnacles at 7:03 AM on April 29, 2014


thereemix: But there's no way the partners will approve something that Lou doesn't.

What makes you say that? I'm pretty certain that's exactly what's going to happen eventually. Lou is there to provide a throttle on Don, it is not a vote of approval on his creative talents over Don.
posted by spaltavian at 7:06 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Speaking of cats I rewatched "A Day's Work" last night and the scene where the cockroach scuttles across the floor of Don's apartment had my cat SERIOUSLY intrigued. He walked up to the TV and put his little paws up on the stand and had his nose touching the screen and it was like awwwwww he's dumb. But I love him.)
posted by thereemix at 7:07 AM on April 29, 2014


But none of the partners work in Creative, and they're going to defer to Lou. Don will suggest a pitch, and Cutler will say "Well, if Lou approves then that's fine." I actually think that of all of the conditions of the contract this one is the worst.
posted by thereemix at 7:09 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cutler will say that. Ted, Pete, Roger, Bert and probably Joan will not. They don't work in Creative, but they'll usually know a good pitch and a bad one. The only reason they brought Don back at all was Roger reminding them that Don is going to beat Lou creatively.

Lou is not their guy. His biggest advocate could only muster "he's adequate". He's only there to not cause trouble, they won't take a bad idea over a good one just to help him. If they were seriously never willing to accept Don's ideas without Lou's approval, they would have either not brought Don back, or they would have said even Don's ideas have to go through Lou. They want to filter Don's access to clients, not to themselves.
posted by spaltavian at 7:17 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know if they'd even bother to ask Ted. He is completely off their radar. He didn't even get a say in whether Don came back (though it's safe to assume that he might have pled Don's case).

I think the reason why I'm having trouble believing that this is going to turn into a thing where the partners end up shutting Lou down by endorsing all of Don's pitches is that it just seemed awfully clear to me from that last scene where Don was hearing the terms of his return that except for Roger, basically everyone in that room wants to see Don fail.

And Don having to report to Lou is essentially telling him that his ideas have to go through Lou. Isn't that what reporting to someone means? Peggy reports to Lou - that's why she couldn't use Freddy/Don's Accutron pitch, even though it was good - because Lou has the final say.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that there's a fundamental paradox at play when you have these two conditions:

1. Anything you pitch has to be approved by the partners.
2. You report to Lou Avery.

They are setting him up to fail.

I'd love to be wrong, but at the moment I can't seem to feel optimistic about this.
posted by thereemix at 7:25 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


She doesn't get treated very nicely by most men, but I think she sees the Old Boys Club as less opaque than the upper-class women rules she clearly never mastered. My guess is that she was kind of a tomboy in Brooklyn.

I kind of doubt she was tomboyish... it's more the intersection of it being upper-class and women's rules that she was flummoxed by. She always dressed very girlishly but--by necessity--in a utilitarian way. Those dresses gotta last!
posted by psoas at 7:33 AM on April 29, 2014


So if it doesn't work out, he leaves for good and they absorb his shares. What if he quits? There was a vague passing comment about a non-compete (upstairs, before they all meet with Don), but I didn't catch that part. I think they let him back also because they're worried about clients following Don to a new firm.
posted by tracicle at 7:38 AM on April 29, 2014


If he quits they have to buy him out and terminate his contract, which includes a non-compete. This is the only flaw in their plan, as I can see it. They are taking a gamble on whether Don's sense of pride will keep him from quitting. He's already sort of relinquished his leverage on that front, though - he had an offer from Wells Rich Greene and instead of taking it he used it to go to Roger and say "Look other people want me so take me back."

Now that Don's agreed to go back Wells Rich Greene is going to rescind their offer. Down the line if Don gets fed up and wants to quit, it will already have gotten out in the industry that Don turned down an offer from Wells in order to return to SC&P. Then, his wanting to quit will be evidence that his return didn't go well. His reputation in the industry will be tarnished and he won't be in as strong of a place to negotiate a good deal at another firm.
posted by thereemix at 7:46 AM on April 29, 2014


Peggy reports to Lou - that's why she couldn't use Freddy/Don's Accutron pitch, even though it was good - because Lou has the final say.

Ah, poor Freddy. I'm sure he thought this Cyrano business with Don was going to lead him out of the freelancing wilderness he's in. He's going to be pretty gutted (or pissed off) when he realizes Don's back at SCLetters but with no power to bring him in as well.
posted by anastasiav at 7:46 AM on April 29, 2014


And Peggy's going to be pissed if she figures out Don was using Freddy ...
posted by tilde at 7:52 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh yes. That'll be the icing on the cake for her.
posted by thereemix at 8:00 AM on April 29, 2014


And Peggy's going to be pissed if she figures out Don was using Freddy

I wonder how Freddy is going to take this? Don's essentially cut him loose.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:36 AM on April 29, 2014


I don't think Don is worried about Lou at all. With him back it's going to get real clear to everyone else how badly Lou fits in and is generally bad at his job, and Don knows it.

Although I'd like to see Lou answering the phones some day.
posted by Big_B at 10:15 AM on April 29, 2014


I'd imagine there'll be a popular front among all the creatives except Peggy -- right now she's perverse enough to ignore the fact that she flourished under Don and is going nowhere under Lou. If Ted doesn't keep out of it my guess is that his honest appreciation for Don's skills and the fact that Don slapped him awake and gave up California for him will have him stepping in on Don's side as well. Don isn't always liked but he's appreciated. If you have enough people on your side you can pretty much make anything happen, even in a hierarchy.

If there's one thing I've learned about managers and execs is that a huge part of the time they're uncomfortable with making tactical decisions and they really don't like going out on a limb, because they usually don't really understand what's going on on the ground. Tactically they almost always do what they're told by someone closer to where the work is done, even if they'll never admit it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:22 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


My biggest concern is where the writers are going with this scenario. Are the stipulations and the risk that he could forfeit his partnership stake really just a set-up for making Don lose everything in the end? To return to being dirt-poor old Dick Whitman again?

The reactions to Don's return didn't make sense to me. Peggy is still under the mistaken impression that Don sent Ted away to California. If she knew that Ted begged to be sent far away from Peggy would her opinion of Don change?
Joan's coolness to Don made no sense to me at all...indifference maybe, but she was actively against his return. It doesn't fit her character.
posted by rocket88 at 10:40 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


It seems like what convinced the partners to bring back Don was fear of competing with him creatively. So I don't entirely understand their motivation for making him report to Lou; it removes the main asset Don provides. I guess this keeps anyone else from having him too, but everyone (except Jim) seemed to really be smarting over the Cleos.

They're trying to hide Don away from the clients -- they don't want random weird pitches sneaking through. Lou is ostensibly going to act as a levy to keep the clients safe from getting washed away in a wave of Don's drunken sweaty weirdness.

It wasn't just the Hershey meeting that went south last season -- remember the debacle that was Don trying to come up with something for Chevy? He also threw up and had to get carried out of Rodger's mom's wake. I actually thought that stuff was worse and made him seem more unstable than the Hershey pitch. Actually, I don't really understand why everyone's acting (within the show) like the Hershey pitch was *so* horrible anyway? Sob stories about growing up or seeing a lot of suffering in the '30s and '40s are a dime a dozen, those were hard times, and Don was talking about Hershey's boarding school and chocolate specifically being bright spots for him back then. He was kind of meandering/off-track and a bummer, but I don't actually know why the Hershey guys were *so* taken aback? I can accept that we're supposed to think Don humiliated himself, and the agency by proxy, and move on -- just saying it just doesn't ring true to me.

Which come to think of it, why did they bring in a hack to be Creative Director when they had Don's better-behaved protégé already in the wings as Copy Chief? I know, "sexism", but they didn't have to actually give her the credit or power they gave Don. They could have done some sort of Peggy-Stan co-dominium (a la Kenny and Pete in Season 4) and it would be better and cheaper than having to hitch themselves to an outsider with a two-year contract. It's not like Don was the only one who believes in Peggy at this point.

Peggy is a terrible manager. She's fairly good with the creative, but she's terrible at actual personnel management and that's where she's been failing as a copy chief. Last season, her underlings hated her and thought she hated them, and she ended up doing a lot of their work for them because she couldn't get them to do things how she wanted. She didn't even come close to taking on a protege of her own.

The agency is turning its focus away from creative to the point that "Accutron is Accurate" is a viable/adequate pitch, and their top creative guy (Ted) is forgotten in LA. Meanwhile, Joan is getting ahead by studying up on MBA curricula. I don't think that they can promote Peggy any higher if her principle responsibilities would be management-oriented, and managerial, business-side (as opposed to creative) work is what the top brass cares about now. It's a cultural shift. I do think that Peggy is likely to get lost in the shuffle.

If she does go start her own agency, I hope she's smart enough to get some Accounts people to come with her, because that's the real bread and butter (I think that she and Pete would actually make good business partners in that sense and I'm kind of shipping them (shhhhhh) so maybe if things end up going south for him in Cali...?).
posted by rue72 at 10:50 AM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think it was the specific "whorehouse" part of Don's Hershey breakdown that put it over the top. If he had just said that he grew up poor...maybe that could have worked out.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on April 29, 2014


Whorehouse, reading the magazine in the toilet, going through the johns' pockets (not to mention, the whore who deflowered him at 13) ... Very rich storytelling but not exactly client-friendly.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:19 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


right now she's perverse enough to ignore the fact that she flourished under Don

In addition to everything else that's gone wrong between Don and Peggy, the last professional interaction she had with him was in the meeting with St Joe's when he humiliated/scared the living shit out of her and Ted. In that meeting, Don took Peggy's idea for St Joe's and attributed it to Cutler's and Chaough's dead partner.

I don't think she's being "perverse" to question how much she was actually flourishing under Don.

BTW, when Don gave the credit for that ad to Gleeson, I thought he was also robbing Peggy of a chance for winning a Clio for it. Was that not explicit, but just an inference on the part of viewers? Pretty sure we discussed it here. Because it was interesting that in the last episode, it was, or should have been, back in the running for the award.
posted by torticat at 11:36 AM on April 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


Joan's coolness to Don made no sense to me at all...indifference maybe, but she was actively against his return. It doesn't fit her character.

The speech she gives after he fires Jaguar because he didn't like working with the slimeball pretty much explains it. This is not a small thing that she's just gonna get over, it was a game changer in her perception of his role in the company; a personal injury that's emblematic of the overall pattern of how everything revolved around him.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's easy for us, the viewers, to sweep the Jaguar thing (whoring her out => ditching the client to make it pointless) under the rug, or focus on earlier good stuff between the two of them. But it would be an *enormous* thing to Joan, and it was not that terribly long ago. Don't forget she's a single mom, too - she really needs to watch out for herself.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:52 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don: Don’t you feel 300 pounds lighter?

Joan: I don’t. Honestly, Don, if I could deal with him, you could deal with him. And what, now? I went through all of that for nothing?

Don: Joan, don’t worry, I will win this!

Joan: Just once, I would like to hear you use the word “we.” Because we’re all rooting for you from the sidelines. Hoping you’ll decide whatever you think is right for our life.
(Good examination of this here)
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:00 PM on April 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's easy for us, the viewers, to sweep the Jaguar thing (whoring her out => ditching the client to make it pointless) under the rug, or focus on earlier good stuff between the two of them.

I was just going to comment on this exact thing, except in relation to both Joan and Peggy. It is SO easy to focus on the sweet/honest moments between Don and Joan or Don and Peggy, and forget how both of their personal contributions have been collateral damage in Don's always taking care of business His Way. In Joan's case a contribution that came at great personal cost, and in Peggy's case, an idea representing the best work she's ever done.

I don't even think Don was wrong in either situation; surely everyone but Joan cheered when he fired Jaguar, and his little fiction about Gleeson arguably saved the day with St Joe's. Still, in both cases he took action without so much as a heads-up to the players most affected, as if he didn't care or hadn't even noticed.
posted by torticat at 12:03 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


As that link points out, there was more to it than just what she did with the dirtbag to get the business; he destroyed the IPO that she'd been working on with Cooper and which would have made her personally quite wealthy.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:05 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


And thanks, thereemix, for laying out the situation with Joan in such a credible way. I appreciated that.
posted by torticat at 12:05 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


rocket88: Are the stipulations and the risk that he could forfeit his partnership stake really just a set-up for making Don lose everything in the end?

It would take a lot more than that to drive Don to the poorhouse. Even with the lean years of SCDP, he made a mint off the original sale sale of Sterling Cooper and then got another payout when SC and PPL were sold to McCann. (They only sold a controlling stake to PPL, not everything, so they still had equity in the firm. Lane makes this clear when, explaining his embezzlement to Don, he reminds him that he got nothing while the other partners lined their pockets.)

We know he paid out $150,000 to keep SCDP afloat (his full share plus Pete's junior share), but he made half a million off the original sale of SCDP (about four million today). Add in the second sale and his annual income and Don could probably just live off investments at this point. He hasn't been exactly frugal, but we haven't see him raiding his accounts either.
posted by spaltavian at 12:27 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wondered about that, Pete's Junior share. Lane obviously marked it as Pete's, but when liquidated would it go back to Pete or to Don because Pete is presumably paying him back or the money has been forgiven (all tied to him finding out about Dick Whitman, etc).
posted by tilde at 1:00 PM on April 29, 2014


"1. Anything you pitch has to be approved by the partners.
2. You report to Lou Avery.

They are setting him up to fail.
- theremix:


Yep. They were stuck... his stake is 3 years of the firm's profits, and buying him out would set him free to be a giant competitive advantage to any firm that would pick him up.

This move serves both the the pro-Don camp (Roger), the anti-Don camp (Cutler, Cooper) and the pragmatist (Joan) and in this way they set him up to fall on his own sword, and thus giving up his shares if he flames out. And they get some work out of him this way.
posted by stratastar at 1:00 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The beginning of this arc is to paint the son of a whore breaking out of the role everyone assigned him as a throw away child and a worthless, poor, piece of crap, striving upward to success, money, family, friendship, praise, power. Conquering and selling, Accutron and Rachael Menken, and power that comes in that until he gets disgusted with (himself? falsity? entrapment he's tangled himself in? running away?) and tries to undo it?

"Jesus Rachel, this is it, this is all there is. Life is slipping through my fingers like a handful of sand."

Everything is the end of the world with him, before he's revealed as Dick Whitman. Then he survives it and strives and thrives and trash it again.

Now he's rebuilding it without it being a complete start from scratch (Wells et al), but he's got to grit it.

He'd lose some money in the partnership dissolution (I mean, if he fails and they kick him out), but it's the life, the illusion he earns and burns he wants back, always struggling for some kind of peace.
posted by tilde at 1:12 PM on April 29, 2014


The stipulations just didn't sit right with me as a plot device. It doesn't seem realistic from a business or legal standpoint to structure an agreement where having a drink at work means forfeiting millions of dollars worth of partnership equity.
I mean, obviously the writers plan to have this happen or it wouldn't have been introduced, but the way it was handled is straining my suspension of disbelief. This is too much of a character departure for almost everyone involved. I hope they have a clever way of developing this in a more believable fashion.
posted by rocket88 at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


But it would be an *enormous* thing to Joan, and it was not that terribly long ago. Don't forget she's a single mom, too - she really needs to watch out for herself.

The merger with CGC that Don spearheaded also sank the IPO that Joan and Bert had been working on, and that would have meant quite a good payday for the partners, but it would have mattered to Joan the most.
posted by gladly at 1:27 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait, no, the merger came after. The loss of Jaguar sank the IPO, I think.
posted by gladly at 1:28 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, it was the loss of Jaguar that sank the IPO. Pete's brother suggested that another IPO could be possible after the dust settled post-merger and it was clear whether the newly-merged firm was viable long-term.

But the point is that Don fired Jaguar and that ended up hurting Joan twice - first, making the whole prostitution thing meaningless and second, gutting what was to be a huge payday for her.
posted by thereemix at 1:31 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, obviously the writers plan to have this happen

Honestly, I think that will be the dramatic tension for part of the season, but I don't think they're going to have another crash and burn. I'm expecting a Gordian Knot- solving situation along the lines of Shut the Door, Have a Seat, rather than more Season 6 wheel-spinning.
posted by spaltavian at 1:35 PM on April 29, 2014


It doesn't seem realistic from a business or legal standpoint to structure an agreement where having a drink at work means forfeiting millions of dollars worth of partnership equity.

Yes, it's a profoundly shitty set of stipulations and honestly Don shouldn't have accepted it. Or at least he should have gotten his lawyer involved to present a counter. But really, what Don should have done was accept the offer from Wells Rich Greene and forced SC&P to buy him out.

And it's totally believable that this set of partners would do this. Cooper, Cutler, and Joan wanted to show him the door. The didn't want to give him any stipulations at all. Cutler was going to ask him to leave, period. Joan has been angry at him since he fired Jaguar. Cutler doesn't want any more drama. Cooper doesn't like the rumors that are going around the industry because of Don's drama. These aren't departures of character for any of those three. Then Roger laid out for them why and how it would bankrupt them, and also put them at a creative competitive disadvantage, and they all thought, crap, now what? So they came up with what they saw as a set of parameters that would make it super easy to accuse him of breech of contract. And Don, like a big dummy, agreed.
posted by thereemix at 1:41 PM on April 29, 2014


I mean hell Joan, Cutler, and Cooper all thought that they had ALREADY fired him in November.
posted by thereemix at 1:43 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Or at least he should have gotten his lawyer involved to present a counter.

Yeah, but that would be completely out of character for him. He's not a risk-averse person who gets advice, professional or otherwise, from people before doing things.

Think of all the risks he has taken, not the least of which was deserting from the army and assuming a dead man's identity for years - and admitting this to multiple people, including an an ex-wife, and an ex-girlfriend.
posted by JeffL at 1:48 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


honestly Don shouldn't have accepted it. Or at least he should have gotten his lawyer involved

This is where his background rears again, though. He's worthless but he can do something and he'll do anything to win it all back, the tenuous approval, the partnership, the power, the position, the love. Despite ALL HIS TIME doing all this for these what, fifteen years (maybe a little more as I think he was there even before he married Betty - a little fuzzy on that) - he's still that kid from nothing, with nothing, to whom it would not occur to hire a lawyer or renegotiate.

He's always done it "on his own" and "from nothing". He's no Lou (which I suspect was part of the point of that tantrum to mirror Don's lack of).
posted by tilde at 1:49 PM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


I find the part of this story arc that is least believable is not that Don would accept the terrible deal offered by the partners, but that the partners would have ever hired such a complete zero as Lou as the guy in charge of the Creative part of the business - and signed him to a two-year contract, even.
posted by JeffL at 1:53 PM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


JeffL I really think they picked Lou because they wanted someone who had zero potential to create big drama. Duck Phillips (now headhunter) brought him in. I absolutely can believe that Cooper or Cutler got on the phone with Duck and said "Look, we need someone here who is the anti-Don," and Duck, who HATES Don was ALL OVER THAT and brought them the most mediocre of mediocre guys ever. Lou Avery is the Creative Director of Duck Phillips' dreams.
posted by thereemix at 1:56 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Lou is anti-drama, which is what the partners wanted. He may have turned out more mediocre then they expected, but that's not necessarily going to be clear from the interview process. Besides, even though they don't take the creatives seriously, the partners know they have some good people on that team, they figure Lou can just manage them.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:59 PM on April 29, 2014


When Duck was laying out his plans for the new Sterling Cooper under PPL at the end of Season 2 (since he was supposed to be president), he said that he wanted it to be a company that's principle mission was the ruthless acquisition of new business. Where Creative would play second fiddle to Accounts. That's exactly what's going on at SC&P now. Years later, Duck Phillips has found a way to stick it to Don.
posted by thereemix at 2:00 PM on April 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


From S3, when Betty finds the Box Of Secrets: "I knew you were poor. I knew you were ashamed of it. I see how you are with money. You don’t understand it.”
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:34 PM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


As a compulsive social climber who got ideas above my station that line was a total knife in my chest.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's sort of interesting to me that the partners bought the "if Don goes to another agency it's bad for us" angle, given that their recent opinions of him are that he's a crazy, imploding drunk who's probably not even capable of decent work. They don't know he's been funneling pitches in through Freddy. For all they know Don is indeed washed up and wouldn't be real competition anymore.
posted by dnash at 3:09 PM on April 29, 2014


In Defense Of Betty

Betty is an Anthropologist. No really, that's what her degree is in. I keep forgetting that.
posted by The Whelk at 3:10 PM on April 29, 2014 [10 favorites]


I don't think their opinions include "not even capable of decent work". About thirty seconds before he tanked the Hersey meeting, he gave a brilliant pitch that had landed the account. I don't think anyone doubts his creative prowess.
posted by spaltavian at 3:30 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interesting that the dinner Megan interrupted had Rod Serling at the table. Maybe she'll get a part in Night Gallery; one of the first of the series was the directorial debut of Stephen Spielberg. Then we could have some really creepy death/macabre stuff going on. This was also the time period when Dark Shadows was running. I remember watching that on TV, along with Vincent Price movies, etc.

I mean, someone has to die. Who's it going to be? Roger, with his prior heart attacks and partying ways? Bert? Lou? And then Don has to step in for him? Or maybe they will balk at that and give it to Peggy, and Don will have to work under Peggy. I can see Joan suggesting that at a partners' meeting, all the more to put the screws to Don and every other man who has used and abused her as she climbed the ladder and broke the glass ceiling.

I guess I really want to see the women come out on top in this whole thing, LOL. Don should have told Megan he was suspended, and he should have told her that her agent was calling him behind her back. That kind of betrayal almost hurts more than a man having an affair.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:37 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's worse than an affair, it's like he was cheating on her with another life. Icky.

Given how much iof a tease this show is, no one is gonna die, it'll just be doom and portents with no pay off, frustrating and full of malaise, like the 70s itself.
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Death is a constant theme! I'd be surprised if they don't give a nod to Judy Garland.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:53 PM on April 29, 2014


I mean, someone has to die. Who's it going to be?

My money is on Pete. Think of it this way: both of his parents died in improbably unfortunate circumstances (his father in the plane crash, and his mother got tossed overboard by her money-grubbing, gay conman husband) so clearly fatally bad luck runs in the Campbell family. Plus, the fact that Pete is the only one who's loving life this season makes him the most likely person to be knocked off by Weiner, because this show is perverse that way. Also, this may be getting too far into conspiracy theories, but Pete's conversation last episode with Malibu Betty about natural disasters felt like foreshadowing to me. Like, life will be going great, and then out of nowhere, some act of god ruins everything (hint, hint Pete).

My prediction: Pete will die in an earthquake.

Okay, probably not, but if it does happen that way, you heard it here first!
posted by litera scripta manet at 3:54 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


the reality of living in a world without feminism

Thanks, The Whelk. I'm just high school and intertubes learneded, so I appreciate the perspective of that.
posted by tilde at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2014


Okay, well according to this wikipedia article, there was a big earthquake in San Fernando Valley that killed 65 people, but it occurred in 1971 so probably a bit outside the time frame of this series.

Maybe the show will end with one of those montages where they freeze frame on different people and tell you their entire life story in 2 sentences, like:

Sally: Went to Princeton, majored in poli-sci, eventual two-term congresswoman in NY state legislature.
Bobby: Dropped out of high school, failed actor/singer-songwriter, spent the rest of his years smoking pot in Betty's basement.
Pete: Died in 1971 San Fernando Valley earthquake.

et cetera, et cetera
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:13 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Marie Mon Dieu: "Interesting that the dinner Megan interrupted had Rod Serling at the table. Maybe she'll get a part in Night Gallery; one of the first of the series was the directorial debut of Stephen Spielberg. Then we could have some really creepy death/macabre stuff going on. This was also the time period when Dark Shadows was running.

Dark Shadows has already come up - Megan's friend Julia was auditioning for it, back in season 5. The show itself was filmed in New York, so Megan would need to come back to be involved in that. Plus, she probably thinks she's above soaps at this point.

I mean, someone has to die. Who's it going to be? Roger, with his prior heart attacks and partying ways? Bert? Lou? And then Don has to step in for him? Or maybe they will balk at that and give it to Peggy, and Don will have to work under Peggy. I can see Joan suggesting that at a partners' meeting, all the more to put the screws to Don and every other man who has used and abused her as she climbed the ladder and broke the glass "

Yeah, but Joan definitely has an antipathy towards Peggy. Even if she recognizes her creative value, I don't she her wanting to lift Peggy up as some sort of feminist solidarity.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2014


Roger and Cooper would have to have a heart attack to let Duck back in under any capacity. Joan'd have to be hurting but confident she could manage him.
posted by tilde at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2014


My money is on Pete.

But no one would care if Pete died. Does Pete even know about Peggy's baby? There has to be a Peggy rage moment, she's building up to it.

Don has proven over and over again that he cannot be intimate with women, emotionally. He hides things, he lies, he doesn't just say, "bad day at the office, dear," he is unavailable.

---------------

Yeah, but Joan definitely has an antipathy towards Peggy. Even if she recognizes her creative value, I don't she her wanting to lift Peggy up as some sort of feminist solidarity.

I'm not talking feminist solidarity: I'm talking Joan getting back at Don by using Peggy.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2014


Does Pete even know about Peggy's baby? There has to be a Peggy rage moment, she's building up to it.

Okay, alternate theory: After being screwed over one too many times by SC...initials, Peggy quits her job and storms off to California to have that confrontation with Ted that she's clearly been fantasizing about since his "I'm giving you your freedom" speech at the end of season 6. Then she goes one office over and confesses to Pete about their long-lost love child, they have hot sex, everyone realizes that Pete/Peggy has been this show's OTP all along, and they live happily ever after. End scene.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:35 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


> Does Pete even know about Peggy's baby?

Yeah, she told him about it.
posted by vbfg at 4:39 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, end of season 2, in a speech that should have won Lizzie Moss an Emmy.
posted by thereemix at 4:43 PM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pete's already dead, though! He can't be the one to go.

I think Pete's in hell (he carries it with him, Satan-in-Paradise-Lost style), and Joan just ascended to heaven (aka, an upstairs office). I don't think either of them will actually die on the show, since they've both symbolically died and moved on already.
posted by rue72 at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, end of season 2, in a speech that should have won Lizzie Moss an Emmy.

Argh! I give up! But I agree she should get an Emmy.

She was fantastic in Top of the Lake. So tense, so good. By good, I mean, so awesome.

I don't care who dies so much as I care how who dies moves the story arc forward. It's not quite a soap opera, not like Knots Landing or Dynasty, because we are brought into their lives with apparent time passages and then we have to guess (!) about things, but I just want to get out my Sears catalogue and start flipping through it for the costume design alone.

Truly fantastic and I can't wait to see the next episode.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:10 PM on April 29, 2014


Well, if someone's going to die, lung cancer or emphysema would seem to be the obvious causes.
posted by dnash at 5:15 PM on April 29, 2014


Eh, Pete's too happy to be in hell. He's frustrated with aspects of work, but has a foxy lady friend, is getting some sun, and found a good deli.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:15 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Chiming in late to a discussion upthread... the thing that put Don's pitch to Hershey's over the top was him telling them flat-out they shouldn't advertise, because no one needs to be told what Hershey's is.

This show is full of terrible, despicable people, yet I still don't want to see any of them die. *sticks fingers in my ear* La la la, I can't hear y'all. Everything is okay in MMland.
posted by donajo at 5:17 PM on April 29, 2014


Eh, Pete's too happy to be in hell. He's frustrated with aspects of work, but has a foxy lady friend, is getting some sun, and found a good deli.

I think he was just baked* when he met Don. You saw him in that rant to Ted!

*And yes, that is a pun. I tried to think of more puns equating hell and LA, but then I figured you guys could do that for yourselves.
posted by rue72 at 5:18 PM on April 29, 2014


I've been meaning to go back and check, but we've had at least one death every season right? I don't want anyone to die either, especially not a main character, mostly because I think it would be so devastating it would take focus away from all their individual storyline resolution.

But maybe there has to be at least one, even a minor one. Also re: Whelk's In Defense of Betty, I didn't like that article as much as the one from last year with the exact same title that I made an FPP about.

It's always great to see people defending Betty, though why she's any worse than the other characters isn't as cut and dry to me as it is for other people, but that LA Review of Books article was a bit repetitive with the judging and the judging and the Betty judges etc.
posted by sweetkid at 5:49 PM on April 29, 2014


I've been meaning to go back and check, but we've had at least one death every season right?

Here's what I came up with based off of memory and wikipedia:
Season 1: Adam Whitman
Season 2: Pete's father
Season 3: Betty's father
Season 4: Anna Draper, Ida Blankenship
Season 5: Lane Pryce
Season 6: Pete's mother, Frank Gleason

I'm probably missing some, but out of those, the only really consequential ones (at least as far as the series arc is concerned) were Anna, Lane, and Adam, so I think there's a strong precedent for only having a minor character die.

My Pete/earthquake theory notwithstanding, I'm totally in favor of a no-one-dies final season for Mad Men.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:13 PM on April 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


Okay, this Vulture article is a year old, but it still touches on themes.

We still have the door themes: Megan walking through the door to find Don, Don at Roger's room, etc. I am still not convinced that the blonde girl was from the guys at his dinner, but she was sent to give Don a message to go up to Roger's room. A signal to come back. How else would Don find Roger in a random hotel room?

And I didn't think Dark Shadows had anything to do with Megan; I was just saying that it was of the time. But possibly she could be cast in Rod Serling's next show. Because he was mentioned.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:19 PM on April 29, 2014


I'm totally in favor of a no-one-dies final season for Mad Men.

I agree, especially since in a sense they all die, since we'll never see them again.

*SOB*
posted by sweetkid at 6:20 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


OMG of course we will see them again. There will be a spin-off show. Come on now.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:25 PM on April 29, 2014


Oh the characters will come back that's not what she's saying.

We are the ones.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:26 PM on April 29, 2014


It's like M*A*S*H, come on. You can't just end it.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:29 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree, especially since in a sense they all die, since we'll never see them again.


DON'T LEAVE ME MAD MEN! What will I do without you?!

*shakes fist, starts sobbing*

Seriously, though, I'm kind of annoyed about the whole split-final season thing, but every time it hits me that we're almost at THE END, I start getting really sad, and it almost makes me okay with the fact that they're dragging this out. Although it would be nice to get a couple extra episodes out of it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:30 PM on April 29, 2014


It's like M*A*S*H, come on. You can't just end it.

AfterMad?
posted by JeffL at 6:31 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


No seriously, now I'm just starting to get close to these people, and they want to end it all?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:33 PM on April 29, 2014


I don't really think they'll kill off a main character but then again

SPOILER FOR SOPRANOS AFTER THIS OK

This is the man that had Tony Soprano kill off fricken Christopher!! Right before the end! THE HELL
posted by sweetkid at 6:36 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


But in between Mad Men episodes I'll be watching British period dramas or cooking shows or finding something else to do or watch. The time lapse is really annoying. It doesn't make me like the show better, it makes me pissed off that the creators dangle some carrot of "next half season" in front of me. Get with the Netflix program, Mad Men.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:41 PM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


At least in MASH and All in the Family, the characters were close. This show is constantly out of reach. It's in the mind of the creator, but it rarely dips down into the depth of the common man and how do we connect to that? We don't. We're always left to guess. And not in a good way.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:57 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


About thirty seconds before he tanked the Hersey meeting, he gave a brilliant pitch that had landed the account. I don't think anyone doubts his creative prowess.

Yeah it seems like there was some talk at the time that he was just phoning it in, but that definitely wasn't Weiner's intention--he explicitly said Don was at the top of his game creatively. Not that that viewers can't interpret it differently if they like, but it gets problematic when you start attributing that view (that Don was in decline) to the partners. Joan even said "I think he's a creative genius."
posted by torticat at 7:05 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Whelk, "It's like he was cheating on her with another life" is about the best description ever. DEFINITELY the way Megan sees it.
posted by torticat at 7:07 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd be surprised if they don't give a nod to Judy Garland.

Which can lead into a Very Special Episode about Stonewall where Sal has found himself.
posted by crossoverman at 8:21 PM on April 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


"I know how I want you to see me."

Don Draper is the product. Dick Whitman is the creative selling it to you.
posted by Sara C. at 8:33 PM on April 29, 2014 [8 favorites]


Sara c I have to go to sleep right now but I'm going to be arguing with you about that comment in my dreams I just know it
posted by sweetkid at 8:44 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also I cannot WAIT for what T & Lo are going to say about Dawn's very Joan-esque monochromatic yellow dress tomorrow.
posted by Sara C. at 8:46 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


AAAAAAH JOAN LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO GLARE AT AND COMING UP EMPTY IS EVERYTHING

(OK, that's the last of my liveblogging, in the spirit of no liveblogging on fanfare.)
posted by Sara C. at 8:49 PM on April 29, 2014




Well, if someone's going to die, lung cancer or emphysema would seem to be the obvious causes.

Where is Pete's rifle these days?
posted by mikepop at 7:18 AM on April 30, 2014


Pete's rifle is a .22 - his secretary says he could bag a squirrel with it.

Mad Men deaths - Betty's mom died just before the first series, heavily referenced. The actor who played Pete's dad died, so they wrote him out into a real-world disaster.

And is it me or do an awful lot of those actors have cleft chins? I don't know many in the real world save the few I'm related to ...
posted by tilde at 7:54 AM on April 30, 2014


It does seem likely that there will be a death, there's always at least one.

What if it were Peggy? Would be interesting commentary on futility and wasted talent etc.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:58 AM on April 30, 2014


LOU HAS A FUCKING KITSCH TIKI BAR IN HIS OFFICE

LIKE HE WOULD


My first thought on seeing that was "I hope Don burns that thing when he gets his office back."
posted by Sara C. at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2014


Re Betty, I mostly wanted to shake her and say

Your son gave away your sandwich to the kid whose mother sends her to school with candy instead of lunch.

This means he is a good person and you have somehow managed not to completely fuck him up. And also, hey, at least you're a better mom than the no-lunch mom.

Eat something when you get home, it's not like you have no experience with skipping lunch.

Christ, woman.

(Though, yeah, I know the whole idea was that she intended to model the behavior of Perfect Homemaker Mom, and when the day didn't go off without a hitch it obviously meant that Her Life Is Empty. And, hey, if it takes one skipped lunch to get Betty a part time job on a political campaign, so be it.)
posted by Sara C. at 8:51 AM on April 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Maybe Lou will die, and everyone will celebrate with a bonfire of the Tiki bar!
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:59 AM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The comic timing of Bobby saying "I didn't know you were gonna eat!" was perfect. They picked the right actor to help expand Bobby's part. He's almost like an audience stand in at times with his reactions to how crazy the situations around him become.

I recognized the dysfunction in the farm trip but I also thought so much of it was hilarious.
posted by sweetkid at 9:01 AM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think Peggy is really mad don is back. I think she just hates her life right now.

Agreed. Peggy just cannot even, like, at all.

If Don has run out of fucks to give, Peggy has run out of can.
posted by Sara C. at 9:05 AM on April 30, 2014


Mad Style is up.
posted by palomar at 9:10 AM on April 30, 2014


Betty treats every mistake and transgression by her kids as an attack on her personally, so it's pretty much a no-brainer that she'd treat giving away her sandwich that way.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:11 AM on April 30, 2014


Joan's the only person who gets to go into Cooper's office shod.

Joan was a total villain in this episode, but I love that she just asks for what she needs vis a vis the boys' club. It's not realistic for her to take her shoes off when she needs to have a conversation with Cooper, so she just informs the most senior person at the company that she won't be doing that, thanks.

Ovaries of steel.
posted by Sara C. at 9:17 AM on April 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


The comic timing of Bobby saying "I didn't know you were gonna eat!" was perfect. They picked the right actor to help expand Bobby's part. He's almost like an audience stand in at times with his reactions to how crazy the situations around him become.

Truth. Bobby IV is the best Bobby, by far.
posted by donajo at 9:20 AM on April 30, 2014


Consider Bobby tearing the wallpaper. Betty's reaction is not "you damaged something nice for no reason and you need to not do that", it's "you did this to hurt me." Poor kid. Also, she has this weird way of not being able to relate to kids as such: "that blouse says she likes everyone" is something you say to one of your grown up friends, if you're catty, not to your little boy who's just having a happy day. And she never seemed closer or more warmly disposed to Sally than when she was giving her a cigarette.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:23 AM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


she looked oddly like Anna's niece.

Wouldn't Don have immediately recognized her name, though?

The main problem seems to be that Mad Men has officially hit Peak Blond.
posted by Sara C. at 9:32 AM on April 30, 2014


Holy crap, Cutler's zebra skin rug has EARS?
posted by ChuraChura at 9:45 AM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else find it odd that Harry's office is furnished with antiques? I know the guy's a douche personally, but he's undeniably forward-thinking when it comes to seeing where the advertising industry is going in terms of using new technological advances, and he wears the trendiest (if also the most ridiculous looking) clothes of any man at SC&P.
posted by orange swan at 9:57 AM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Her manager calls her husband to rein her in?

I got echoes of Don's talks with Betty's therapist, here.

I'm noticing a lot of callbacks to early seasons, this year. I'm sure it's because you've got two ends of a very turbulent decade to compare, and also because it's the final season. So I'm not sure whether the show is saying something about Megan and Don with that, aside from the way that times have changed and this marriage is not that marriage.
posted by Sara C. at 9:58 AM on April 30, 2014


Does anyone else find it odd that Harry's office is furnished with antiques?

I always assumed (and apparently Rich Sommer also assumes) that Harry's wife decorates his office.
posted by palomar at 10:11 AM on April 30, 2014


Also, between Pete's girlfriend and Francine, who are both realtors and maybe not even very far apart in age, but who might as well be living in different time periods as well as different time zones. Bizarre.

A few things about this.

1. They are actually pretty far apart in age, at least in the way generations were thought of at the time. Francine was the mother of a six year old in 1960, which means she can't be younger than 34. Bonnie is 25, tops. This is a not insignificant age difference nowadays, but it's HUGE in the late 60s, when the Generation Gap is a thing.

2. They are, in fact, living in different time zones. Even now, there are distinct cultural differences between East Coast and West Coast (and differences between the Northeast and SoCal, especially). In the 60s, before the internet and cheap airfare, those differences were probably even stronger.

3. I think one thing that is very different here is that Francine is a wife and mother working part time mostly to pass the time, while Bonnie is a young career woman. Their entire outlook and relationship to their work is going to be different, as is the way that their cultures expect them to talk about work. Bonnie is expected to be a go-getter and to express open enthusiasm for the work for its own sake. Francine is probably more expected to be like, "And don't you know it, I actually like this!" Because there's this whole other world that Francine is supposed to value over being a travel agent.
posted by Sara C. at 10:18 AM on April 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Does anyone else find it odd that Harry's office is furnished with antiques?

No, because his office screams 1974, and Harry has always been the most forward-looking man on the show in aesthetic terms.

My grandparents renovated in the mid 70s and pretty much every stick of furniture in their house is a knockoff of Harry Crane's office furniture.
posted by Sara C. at 10:22 AM on April 30, 2014


"Now, Betty isn't there to see Bobby chase away another boy who tried to sit in her spot on the blanket, so she assumes he thinks so little of her that he'd give away her food, when in fact he's being a kid who just wanted candy and was blinded to the implications of that pursuit."

That's from Alan's HitFlix review but I think it misses the mark on Bobby's motivations. I agree with others here that there was ample reason to believe his Mom wouldn't be eating, plus his motive was helping the other kid, not just getting candy. I'm sure he would have just given the girl the sandwich, but then there would have been no shame candy for Betty to act on.

(Just catching up so I'm a bit late to the game and everyone has done a good job of saying what I want to say already!)

I was surprised by Megan's reaction to Don's visit given her mood the last time he was there. I guess we are to presume there were some nice phone calls since then.

Quite a few "Don improvement" moments - only having tomato juice on the flight, bringing up his wife to the stewardess, ignoring the woman from the restaurant. I thought he might go up to her room just to figure out if he ever really knew her or if it was just a random (or not so random, if part of the firm sweetening his deal) come on. "Hey, I used to black out a lot so maybe you could give me some more clues of when we met?"

I did wonder if he was actually considering going with the new firm and her advances were what convinced him to go see Roger instead. If he went with the new firm, he would more easily slip back into the hard-drinking, skirt-chasing Don Draper they thought they hired. At SCP he has already broken that persona, so he can go back in trying to be a reformed Don Draper - drink less etc., and SCP people would welcome such changes (even while being skeptical of them).

The "if you break the rules you lose your shares" contract seems a bit crazy (if that is what is meant by shares being "reabsorbed") but I'm not surprised that didn't stop him because even without that he has enough money, and just having more money is not what he cares about (previously).

He doesn't care about the rest of the conditions because he just wants a foot in the door (or back in the door, in this case) of SCP. He took the original Don Draper's identity to escape his background and get his foot in the door of a new, more prosperous life, and he used Roger to get his foot in the door of SC and the ad industry. He knows just being let back into SCP is all he needs.

He knows he is improving. He's still drinking less. Just months before his insecurities had him weeping on his balcony. He is still battling them - sitting in his apartment, looking at his watch, being nervous in the elevator - but winning. For now.
posted by mikepop at 10:52 AM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


My major disappointment with this episode, and really the season as a whole right now, is that they sort of backed themselves into a corner with Don and SCDPLETTERS and Hershey and the suspension.

Because, no, there is absolutely no reason for Don to go back to the agency at this point. No rational person would do that. And then when he gets that terrible conditional contract, despite getting another perfectly acceptable offer at another agency that seems excited to be working with him? The rational answer is No. Nobody would subject themselves to all that -- and the drama of the whole thing -- when you have another equally good job waiting for you, and a bed that isn't all shat up.

However, due to what Mad Men is, you have to get Don back to SCDPSTUFF somehow. Just like the show can't be California Ad Men for its last season*, it also can't be Don Draper Now Works At Ogilvy. The show is a workplace drama about an ad agency. You can't remove the protagonist from the workplace setting.

Unfortunately they've done such a good job getting Don out of SCDPBLERG that it's hard to buy him going back. And it would be equally hard to buy the agency accepting him back with open arms and no drama.

*Though I guess Parks & Rec is pulling this off? Highly unorthodox, though.
posted by Sara C. at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also I like that the writers have now made it canon that everyone at the agency totally remembers which office is Lane's Office and agrees that it's the office nobody wants.
posted by Sara C. at 11:23 AM on April 30, 2014


But Peggy is in Lane's office now and has yet to complain about it. I get why the partners would see it as a punishment to put Don in there, but they are also going to displace Peggy on top of that for no reason. I find that to be sort of over plot-mechanistic as well: does Peggy really need more reasons to resent Don?

And honestly, wouldn't putting Don in the office with the pillar (and no windows) be a better punishment than Lane's office? That office SUCKS.
posted by thereemix at 11:30 AM on April 30, 2014


The office with the pillar is in Accounts, I think. Don's office has to be near the Creative team.

I'm unclear on the location of Suicide Gulch with regard to where the Creatives currently are based. I'm also not positive that's Peggy's office -- do we have that on any authority more reliable than Tom & Lorenzo?
posted by Sara C. at 11:31 AM on April 30, 2014


One thing re Mad Style and I'll shut up, I promise:
The framing is almost exactly mirror images of each other
Yeah, Tom and/or Lorenzo, that's how intercutting and phone calls work. If the two actors are framed too similarly and facing the same direction, it looks wrong.

Why do we let these people comment in any way on anything related to media?
posted by Sara C. at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I know, I really can't even with T&Lo any more. Although i would have thought they would mention that Betty and Gene are both in blue in the kitchen scene where she agrees to go on the field trip, and perhaps this ties them together since Gene is the only one whose love she can count on by the end of the episode...cause that would be a T&Lo thing to do. But they didn't.
posted by sweetkid at 11:42 AM on April 30, 2014


Am I the only person who thought that Don's arrival back at the Agency was a long, self-pitying fantasy about how everyone was going to hate him when he returned, a fantasy that took place while he was sitting on his bed looking at his watch?

I am? Okay then. Maybe I shouldn't watch the show when I'm sleep-deprived and on pain medication....
posted by jokeefe at 11:55 AM on April 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


OK, I lied, Mad Style is reminding me about something that really bugged me in this episode:

How old is Gene, at this point?

The kid is still in footie pajamas and a booster seat, and in the scene where Betty decides to chaperone the field trip she physically picks him up and carries him out of the room. But wasn't he conceived around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in like 1963/64? He's got to be at least 4 by now. I think Sally was mixing cocktails by that age.
posted by Sara C. at 11:59 AM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


yea I dunno, I think they're keeping him young to keep him out of the way a little bit.
posted by sweetkid at 12:02 PM on April 30, 2014


I guess he looks about 4 though when he's sitting in the kitchen.
posted by sweetkid at 12:07 PM on April 30, 2014


In Defense Of Betty
It’s the perfect reason to pick a fight — and the perfect fuel for Betty’s larger argument that her children don’t love her. With that belief in hand, she can feel better about how very unrewarded she’s felt with her life. What’s more, the onus of that failure isn’t on her — it’s on them, and their lack of love. It’s that incredible lack of self-awareness, these accumulated acts of self-deception, that make Betty such a tragic character.
Amazing essay. Thanks!
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 12:11 PM on April 30, 2014


Other sites seem to think Peggy is back in the office she was in before she left the agency, so maybe the Don/Peggy office drama will not materialize. Where exactly Don now falls in the hierarchy of creative personnel and how he tries to interact with her is still fraught with problems.

Still, there are some possible positive factors for Peggy: someone else who actually cares about creative copy; suddenly Lou hates someone more than her.

Ideally she should get out of the agency but we are running out of show for all that to happen again.
posted by mikepop at 12:17 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gene looks 4. But it certainly looks like he's being treated like he's 2, what with the footie pyjamas and the booster seat, and even a possible hint that he might still be breastfeeding. But, I mean, Betty is terrified of her kids growing up, so, yeah, of course she babies him.

He's Baby Buster.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:24 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Plus, it's chilly and footies are awesome. I'm a bit younger than Gene but we were wearing footies for as long as we could get them for our size/age, right about the time I hit double digits.
posted by tilde at 12:26 PM on April 30, 2014


The torturous analysis of Joan's dress-with-roses on Mad Style is what set me off this morning:

So what’s the deal here? We admit, it took us a while to sort of recalibrate our settings on this one, since this has nothing to do with her marriage, but here’s what we think: Her marriage is long behind her; well and truly over. She’s moved on. We kinda thought that’s why her yellow roses were featured so prominently as she moved into her new office. But she is once again dealing with a square-jawed, handsome, good-on-paper alpha male who’s secretly a mess of insecurities and who makes rash decisions that deeply affect the people around him without ever asking for their input. Don is the office version of her husband and she’s already put up with that shit once in her life. She’s not about to let another handsome, privileged man screw up her life because of his own issues. Hence the red rose dress, which is now a symbol not just of her husband, but of the ways in which the men around her have disappointed her and how she no longer puts up with it anymore. This costume actually underlines and helps to explain her anger in her scenes.

The level of over-reaching here is ridiculous. I've said a variation on this elsewhere regarding TLo, but this is seriously reminding me of some of the sad, grasping-for-straws desperate things I wrote as a first-year film student thinking I was being OMGDEEP about OMGSYMBOLISM.
posted by thereemix at 12:30 PM on April 30, 2014 [6 favorites]


I did some math and he's got to be older than 4 (and way older than the 2 or 3 he's being portrayed as right now).

Betty knows she's pregnant around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which happened in October of 1962. He'd have been conceived in late summer of that year, or maybe Labor Day weekend. (remember it happens at the Hofstadt summer cabin?)

That means Eugene was born sometime around June of 1963.

Current show time is March or April 1969. Gene turns 6 this summer, and is most likely in Kindergarten.
posted by Sara C. at 12:31 PM on April 30, 2014


Re: Betty and Bobby: I watched the Behind the Scenes clip for this episode on iTunes and January Jones said something interesting - that Betty was almost treating the day with Bobby like a date, and having that sort of expectation that the day would go perfectly, and then when something goes wrong it completely deflates her.

I don't really have anything more to add there, I just thought it was a great insight.
posted by thereemix at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yea thereemix, also I don't know what they were getting at with "Don is the office version of her husband" - I don't agree at all.
posted by sweetkid at 12:35 PM on April 30, 2014


If we're talking "office spouses", Roger has always been the office version of her husband, even to the point where Bert has to restrain her from going after him when he storms out of the conference call last episode.
posted by thereemix at 12:37 PM on April 30, 2014


I think they're keeping Gene young so they don't have to pay for a child actor who has speaking lines.
posted by thereemix at 12:38 PM on April 30, 2014


Roger has always been the office version of her husband, even to the point where...

Even to the point where they have a child together.

That said, I definitely detected a hint of some special fear from her about Don returning, beyond just the general "don't shit in my punchbowl" stuff. Maybe he reminds her of how she got where she is, and she was liking the idea that he was safely put away? At this point very few of the people who were major players in the Jaguar deal are even around anymore.
posted by Sara C. at 12:42 PM on April 30, 2014


No one show this to Tom and Lorenzo.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:47 PM on April 30, 2014


Even to the point where they have a child together.

Well I figured that went without saying.


I said this earlier but I think Joan is still angry at Don for firing Jaguar, which nullified her prostitution and ruined the IPO that was going to give her a big payout.
posted by thereemix at 12:48 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's an old (season 5?) layout of the SCDP offices. I also think Peggy is back in her old office (that she used to share with Stan and Ginsberg), not Lane's office.
posted by donajo at 1:35 PM on April 30, 2014


The office with the pillar is in Accounts, I think. Don's office has to be near the Creative team.

I think all of Accounts is upstairs now that they have a second floor, and the pillar office is downstairs. It was given to Peggy after the merger.


(I clearly have NOTHING to do at work these days. I just keep sitting here refreshing this feed and thinking of things.)
posted by thereemix at 1:36 PM on April 30, 2014


Watched more Season 2 at lunch. The opening sequence strikes me.

He walks into his office, puts down his briefcase (square, though they've been soft leather in the show), and everything (his old office, not as much his new pre-Lou layout though they are similar) falling away under him while he stands there. Then there is a cut away to him falling, out side of the building, with that little lady giant foot kicking him after he sort of splashes into the and disturbs the liquor in the glass he falls past ... otherwise no ads move other than the whole ad moves away.

Some of the advertising images in his office in that sequence actually hung in Sterling Cooper back in the day, as I recall.

He falls, and falls, and falls, and falls ... and lands into his chair, smoking again.

It's not Jon Hamm's silhouette, but it is supposed to be Don Draper from what I recall of earlier interviews of the opening sequence.

He's still in the suit - so the money and the position (as referenced by Pete in s1/s2) comes back, maybe not in the same way, though.
posted by tilde at 1:47 PM on April 30, 2014


That floor plan makes no sense as a real office that would really exist in the real world.

Which isn't to say it's not how the sets are laid out, but damn, no thought was put into that, like, at all.

For one thing, where the hell do all the other accounts people who aren't partners work?
posted by Sara C. at 1:47 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


yeah I never really got a handle on what's happening on the second floor.
posted by sweetkid at 1:50 PM on April 30, 2014


>The office with the pillar is in Accounts, I think.

Wasn't the office with the pillar a plot point when they'd first moved into this building? As I recall they later expanded to the floor above and accounts moved up there.
posted by vbfg at 1:55 PM on April 30, 2014


That linked floor plan is the early days of SCDP, before the expansion and merger. I'm not sure they really had any other accounts people at that point.

Now, I think the accounts guys (and Joan) are all on the second floor. Even Roger moved up there I think, on top of where he was before.
posted by dnash at 2:00 PM on April 30, 2014


Yes Pete was in the pillar office and brought everyone in there for a meeting to make a point about how much it sucked, reason #318 I love Pete - he does the most realistic officey stuff.

And this.
posted by sweetkid at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2014




a possible hint that he might still be breastfeeding

Betty doesn't breastfeed. This was established around the time of Gene's birth (but is also totally appropriate for her class and era).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:17 PM on April 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi, I think we can conquer the world with our shared encyclopedic knowledge of Betty Hofstadt Draper Francis.

Ok maybe not the world but a weirdly specific trivia night, sure.
posted by sweetkid at 2:22 PM on April 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


If that floor plan is accurate then Peggy isn't in the office marked "Peggy Olson". The Valentines episode clearly showed Shirley's desk right in front of Peggy's door while the floor plan shows a narrower hall opposite the board room.
posted by rocket88 at 2:36 PM on April 30, 2014


I'm curious what being in Layne's office will do to Don, what with his guilt over the two hanging deaths we've seen. Maybe we'll get the ghost of Mr. Price?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:40 PM on April 30, 2014


ugh, I hope not.

I had a strange thought which I guess I'll share since I've been unproductive enough today -

I feel like the scene where Don tells Lane he needs to leave the company over the embezzlement is one of the few genuine moments of sympathy any character has really had on the show.

One of the others came this season when Sally and Don were in the diner and he said he stayed in New York because he wanted to "Fix it."

Lane couldn't fix it, but Don can.
posted by sweetkid at 3:08 PM on April 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, I think Don showed in his scenes with Megan that he has no idea how to "fix it".

That said, Don and Lane are so different, psychologically, that I really doubt that his second marriage being destroyed would be enough to do him in. And he does seem to know how to "fix it" where his career is concerned.
posted by Sara C. at 3:53 PM on April 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's because no matter what, Don knows he can always find a woman to look after him. Why do yourself in when you only really regard wives and mistresses as accessories and subservient to your whims? They're basically interchangeable for him.

Lane didn't exactly have that going for him.

I'm really curious to see who's in which office next episode.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:59 PM on April 30, 2014


I'm really curious to see who's in which office next episode.

Mad Men - the only show where I care about office redistribution.
posted by crossoverman at 9:26 PM on April 30, 2014 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I felt like T&L were phoning it in this week. The only thing that struck me in their post was Betty's salmon large-lapelled dress echoing Francine's suit.

I didn't mind Don's brown suit (hideous tie, though, but still appropriate for the time). I wondered if it was deliberately slightly more colourful to start to link him more to the earthy California colours.

tilde, I always thought that last silhouette in the opening sequence looks like Roger's. Not that it's supposed to be, probably, I just think they used him for it.
posted by tracicle at 12:19 AM on May 1, 2014


Matt wanted something with a guy jumping out the window.

Another neat one though not the one I read originally ...

Oh, the diamond sparkles, too, saw that on not teeny screen last night.

Okay, done with that analysis. No clued there it seems.
posted by tilde at 4:40 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


My major disappointment with this episode, and really the season as a whole right now, is that they sort of backed themselves into a corner with Don and SCDPLETTERS and Hershey and the suspension.

Not only did they back themselves into a corner, but their rationale for how they're trying to get out of it was completely nullified about 3 minutes after they presented it to the audience.

Put simply: what if Don had said "no"?

The entire premise of why the partners offered him this contract was because if they fired him, they'd have to buy him out. It therefore stands to reason (and I'm not a lawyer, but I'm fairly sure this is true) that had Don said "no", the only recourse the partners would have would be to buy him out.

Unless you're a fortune teller or a psychic, I don't think there is any way you could have predicted that Don would have said "yes" to the contract. It seemed designed, in fact, to elicit a "no" response. So ... what's going on there?

It feels like the partners' actions can only be explained by them having read the script beforehand.
posted by tocts at 6:35 AM on May 1, 2014


I think they knew him well enough that he wouldn't say "no". He ran for years, even as a juniorpartner, without a contract. Just like he had no context to argue with a lawyer on his side for a better return, his self image and self worth is so wrapped up in not being an ad man but being part of SCLETTERS, he wouldn't say no. Non compete didn't scare him.
posted by tilde at 7:23 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well that and Don gave up his leverage by going to Roger in his hotel room and telling him that Wells Rich Greene offered him a job. If he had gone to Roger and said "Hey Wells Rich Greene just offered me a job, and I'm gonna take it," that would've been the end of that. But what he did was go to Roger and say "Look, this other company wants me. You haven't contacted me about giving me my job back, what gives? I want to come back." Boom, leverage gone. Roger knew, right then, that Don had no intention of taking that other job. Hence, the partners could make a pretty good gamble that Don would probably be willing to accept whatever ridiculous conditions they offered him.

The lesson to be learned here is DON'T USE OTHER JOB OFFERS AS LEVERAGE FOR YOUR CURRENT JOB. Because once you tip your hat that you won't take the other job, you've given up your leverage. What Don should have done was ask Roger for his job back without telling him about Wells Rich Greene. Then, when they gave him the humiliating conditions, he could've had the opportunity to tell them to shove it.

But of course Don wasn't going to do that because Don is Don and his self-worth is wrapped up in being a partner at SC&P.
posted by thereemix at 7:29 AM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


In fact my theory is that Don specifically requested that the dinner meeting with the Wells Rich Greene JAG guy be at the Algonquin Hotel because he knew Roger had been living there, and his intention the whole way through was to force Wells to give him a job offer and then immediately go upstairs to Roger and be like HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES NOW GIMME MY JOB BACK DUDE.
posted by thereemix at 7:32 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


had Don said "no", the only recourse the partners would have would be to buy him out.

They were probably prepared to negotiate. So they put forth conditions worse than what they would have eventually accepted, which is why the contract seems so unreasonable. They might not have budged too much on pre-approving things, but (for example) they might have been happy to reabsorb half Don's shares and buy out the other half if he messed things up. That's still a big financial win for the company.

We (as viewers) were not entirely shocked to see Don take this deal. We've been shown how important work is to him, that he's been ghostwriting via Freddy, that he's gotten his drinking under relative control already, etc. The other partners probably assume he's been on a months-long drunken womanizing bender. They're surprised when he shows up at the office since "leave without a return date" is standard for "don't call us, we'll call you". Between the act of him showing up (and hanging around all day) and Roger's knowledge of the other job offer that Don doesn't really want they know they have leverage, but I bet they were surprised by the instant capitulation.

I do wonder about timespans in the contract though. Are Don's shares at risk forever? Practically speaking it doesn't matter, since there is less than a year left in the show timeline and the contract would likely cover at least a year.
posted by mikepop at 7:38 AM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Boy you smell good!" - Ginsberg

In other words, "Wow, you no longer have bourbon emanating from your pores!"

Hopefully we get to see a bit more of Ginsberg with Don's return and some focus on (maybe) the creative process/conflict and (no doubt) the Don/Peggy conflict. While at the end of last season Ginsberg was a bit fed up with Peggy, he seems comfortable and friendly with her now. He's probably content at work on the one hand - maybe more of his ideas (invisible boy) are getting through since Lou is not favoring Peggy's ideas. On the other hand, he knows they are not being as creative as they once were. He's one of the few excited to get Don back into the process because he sees it as pure creative opportunity and is oblivious to office politics. He could be an effective buffer between Don/Peggy, but Peggy might see his willingness to work with Don as a betrayal.
posted by mikepop at 7:56 AM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know if I agree that Ginsburg is comfortable and friendly with Peggy these days. I get a sense of barely contained hostility in everything he says to her. The V-Day masturbation crack was not nice - it kind of crossed the line from "humorously ribbing my boss" to Mean, and then in this past episode he just kind of rubs it in her face over and over about her lack of Clio nomination - first being all smug about how he got nominated for his work on Playtex after inheriting the account from her and then being all like "Hey don't feel sad it's not that you weren't nominated, it's that you weren't even considered!" in Lou's office when they were discussing the nominations. I think he really doesn't like her at all.
posted by thereemix at 8:58 AM on May 1, 2014


Although, I'm mixed on how much of the "you weren't even considered" was needling, and how much was just Ginsburg's being bad at social cues. He has been known to say some unintentionally cringeworthy stuff.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 AM on May 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I read that as an earnest attempt at consolation. He wasn't saying Peggy's work wasn't good enough to be considered; quite the opposite. He was on her side, casting the Clios as a corrupt circle jerk.

He could have phrased it better, but it was Peggy who was misreading cues there, just like she's been misreading cues all up and down every episode this season.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:29 AM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ginsburg's being bad at social cues. He has been known to say some unintentionally cringeworthy stuff.

That's how I read it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:30 AM on May 1, 2014


I think it's a mix of a few different things.

One this is a sort of element of boys club behavior in a male dominated industry. There's a strong tradition (in my particular male dominated field, not sure about advertising specifically) of dealing with hierarchy and rank by ribbing, taking the piss, horsing around, and stuff that can border on hazing at times. Peggy is the boss and she has to put up with this stuff to a degree.

Another angle on it is that a lot of dudes in dude culture -- especially fields with a creative element -- just assume that all things about women are lame and boring and perfect for mockery. Everything Peggy does is going to be a laff riot to someone like Ginsberg, not because he's a bad person who has a particular problem with his female boss, but because FEMALE BOSS HYUK HYUK AMIRITE.

I still deal with both of these things in a male dominated creative field in 2014. I'm sure it was worse 45 years ago.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 AM on May 1, 2014




I still deal with both of these things in a male dominated creative field in 2014.


ugh I could talk about this a whole lot
posted by sweetkid at 9:40 AM on May 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Especially with all the single/cat/Valentine's Day/try-hard stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 10:04 AM on May 1, 2014


cat?
posted by sweetkid at 10:09 AM on May 1, 2014


In response to Peggy's roses, Stan quips something like "Who knew your cat could afford it?"

It's my read that Ginsberg falls more on the oblivious side - I think his masturbation comment was meant as comedic riffing/ribbing, but also felt like it crossed the line a bit. On the other hand, I don't think he would make the same comment behind her back. On the third hand, are there examples of him taking just as bad shots at Stan? I'd have to re-watch to look for any but certainly none jumped out like that comment did. I'd also have to re-watch to see Peggy's reaction to the comment(s).

But he remains pretty oblivious overall. He's the only one who feels no awkwardness at Don's return and jumps right into reviewing work, and it was also my read that he was on Peggy's side about the awards.
posted by mikepop at 10:29 AM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


at the Algonquin Hotel because he knew Roger had been living there, and his intention the whole way through was to force Wells to give him a job offer and then immediately go upstairs to Roger

Oh absolutely, that's how I took it also.

I'm not sure it matters, by the way, that he handed over his bargaining leverage to Roger. If Roger hadn't been willing to go to bat for him, he'd have been SOL anyway (and in the hotel room scene, it initially looked like that's what was going to happen). Don put all his eggs in one basket (to complete my metaphor salad here), but it was the only basket he had.

And Roger, in addition perhaps to genuinely liking Don, had his own political reasons for getting him back into the office. So even if he could have used the other agency's offer against Don, he wasn't going to do that.
posted by torticat at 11:12 AM on May 1, 2014


I'd also have to re-watch to see Peggy's reaction to the comment(s).

I feel like she's been exasperated but not offended. In fact I've been surprised at how well she's taken his jabs.

I think Ginsberg and Peggy get along fine, almost like a brother and sister who bicker but don't really hate each other. And Ginsberg's line about her not being considered for the Clios was intended well, but just hilariously tone-deaf on his part. Not being considered is Peggy's biggest beef with the men in her life, both professionally and personally. She'd probably rather be rejected than not considered. But Ginsberg's not subtle enough with interpersonal relationships to have picked up on that, nor mean enough to intentionally use it against her.
posted by torticat at 11:19 AM on May 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


...also Ginsberg's interaction with Peggy there echoes Don's interaction with Megan. In each case the guy says basically "it's not that bad," without recognizing that to the woman the truth is pretty much worse.
posted by torticat at 11:25 AM on May 1, 2014


And Roger, in addition perhaps to genuinely liking Don, had his own political reasons for getting him back into the office. So even if he could have used the other agency's offer against Don, he wasn't going to do that.

Honestly I think Roger DGAF about the financial implications of finally shelving Don. He just knows the agency does better work--makes him more money--when Don't around.

Plus, he (Roger) is bored and at a crossroads in life and if nothing else, bringing Don back will provide some fantastic entertainment.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:50 AM on May 1, 2014


...are there examples of him taking just as bad shots at Stan?

(belatedly recalling Ginsberg flinging an x-acto knife into Stan's arm)
posted by mikepop at 12:00 PM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Plus, he (Roger) is bored and at a crossroads in life and if nothing else, bringing Don back will provide some fantastic entertainment.

Yes. also Roger used to be integral to the business and misses being important to something/anything. I think he's been there and back and is searching about for a purpose. He was so ready to meet his daughter for breakfast. He wants back.

I would not be surprised if he winds up remarried to his ex-wife (played by John Slattery's real life wife, Talia Balsam). If there ever was a world weary character, it's Roger. He's Don's ghost of Christmas future; grown kid that can't stand you, untethered from any responsibilities and dead tired of it all.
posted by readery at 12:49 PM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mona has already remarried (he was at Roger's mother's funeral) and they've met. At the same event, she turned him down for a roll on the furs (why would they be on the bed if he'd kicked everyone out unless they were his mother's?). And when Don "quit tobacco" he met Mona for a drink (still married to Jane but maybe broken up?) and he mentioned he never should have married Jane and she was firm about them not getting back together.

Maybe if her current husband dies and they work together to solve whatever crisis his daughter is going through (and hell, give him a third heart attack) they might get back together.
posted by tilde at 1:58 PM on May 1, 2014


No, the clear answer is that they will team up to solve crimes.
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on May 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


we ALREADY decided that Sally Draper : Demon Hunter IS A THING, now we're just breaking out the arc of the first season
posted by The Whelk at 2:43 PM on May 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


yes crimes

crime solvers they are
posted by sweetkid at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2014


SUPERNATURAL crimes.

In a pizza van
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM on May 1, 2014 [3 favorites]


Headquarters though is Pizza HOWSE
posted by sweetkid at 2:56 PM on May 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Great interview with Weiner today on Fresh Air. I love that Terry Gross watches the show - she asks questions on behalf of the fans. No secrets spilled, but it left me feeling less dread about Don's fate.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:07 PM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


I haven't listened to it yet but I imagine he alludes to Don and Peggy having a spinoff where they solve crimes
posted by sweetkid at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


I caught the first half of the Weiner interview in the car yesterday. I love that he acknowledges that Don and Sally's conversation isn't really appropriate. However, he says something about how he's still writing the finale and wishes he had more time to wrap everything up. That makes me . . . worried that we're going to get an overstuffed finale, a la, I don't know, HIMYM. I don't really want to know where everyone ends up so much as get a fitting end for the people who matter.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:13 AM on May 2, 2014


One of the things he said about the split season is that, with two premieres and two finales, he is having to focus more on the main characters* with fewer ... can't remember the words exactly, but he said something like, "We won't get to go home with people."

(* Who are main characters? Don, Peggy, Roger, Pete, Joan? Sally?)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2014


As long as we get to see Bob Benson again I will be okay.
posted by thereemix at 7:12 AM on May 2, 2014


Bob Benson shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love Bob and despair!
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 AM on May 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


On Netflix, the actors playing Don and Peggy are credited first.

I'd say Don, Peggy, Pete, Sally, Joan, Roger in that order.

Watching more early MM - Grandpa Gene telling Sally how Grandma Ruth used to work as a drafter for an engineer in the 20s, and that Sally reminded him of Ruth, and she's special and don't let her mother break her (in so many words) and she can do anything she wants to do ...
it's leading up to his death so she's got that.

And earlier in the season (or late last) we've got Don telling her he will always come home and back to her. He's never pushed her away.

But Matt's still writing the finale? A thing like that. Now I'm afraid to jinx it. Premonitions of JK Rowling changing her ending and then disliking the second ending. But I'd put up with Old Fashions at Mad Men World at Universal. :P
posted by tilde at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


I kinda wonder if this means we won't get anymore of Ginsberg's homelife with his dad, which is too bad because I find it fascinating. Much more interesting than Roger, at this point.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:57 AM on May 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


That's madness. Does Ginsburg's dad get a book of his wit and wisdom? No.

ROGER4LYFE
posted by Chrysostom at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I kinda wonder if this means we won't get anymore of Ginsberg's homelife with his dad

agreed, I'd love more of that too.
posted by sweetkid at 9:09 AM on May 2, 2014


I dunno. Roger is funny and all, and I like the tension that he brings to the office. I just feel like his hippie playboy by night, disinterested executive by day act is sort of well-trod right now. Whereas mysteries are still unfolding about Ginsberg, the only minor character we've "followed home" over the past few seasons.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


In response to Peggy's roses, Stan quips something like "Who knew your cat could afford it?"

But very unlike Ginsberg, there's no maliciousness there. Stan and Peggy really like each other a lot, and he can rib her without attacking her (or if he does, it's by mistake). That "every inch a girl" comment wasn't an insult.

Ginsberg is way too "why tears, Earthwoman?" to have that kind of give and take with anyone. He goes for the throat without even meaning it, I think.
posted by spaltavian at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just feel like his hippie playboy by night, disinterested executive by day act is sort of well-trod right now.

That's fair. But man, would I watch the hell out of Roger Sterling: Playboy Private Eye.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:41 AM on May 2, 2014


I just feel like his hippie playboy by night, disinterested executive by day act is sort of well-trod right now.

He would never get to where the Crimers were operating because he would get distracted by some hot young thing and then go get drunk.
posted by sweetkid at 9:43 AM on May 2, 2014


I kinda wonder if this means we won't get anymore of Ginsberg's homelife with his dad

Maybe that will be the spin-off series. Ginsberg and his Dad, negotiating the 1970s in NYC with occasional flashbacks to their earlier lives.

"why tears, Earthwoman?"

Opening line of the spin-off.
posted by mikepop at 9:50 AM on May 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


please stop saying the word spinoff or the TV gods will hear you and it will happen and everyone will cry
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:04 AM on May 2, 2014


In all seriousness I could totally go for a "Gotta Call Saul" Ginsberg-related spinoff with a different tone, but still in the period/universe of Mad Men. Maybe Ginsberg gets transferred out to California and fish out of water hijinks ensue? "A Martian In California", maybe?

Actually I think this would be a great webisode / digital / branded-content concept, if AMC was into doing that like some other networks are.
posted by Sara C. at 10:08 AM on May 2, 2014


1) I really wish we had had some webisodes. I think Meredith would be a great candidate for those. A whole webisode of Meredith being ridiculous at reception.

2) Is Weiner still doing the NASA in the 60s themed show?
posted by sweetkid at 10:09 AM on May 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


AFAIK AMC is very very much into web integration with their shows. Walking Dead, unless I'm wrong, has webisodes, stuff you can follow along with on the website while the ep first airs, etc.

That said I think webisodes of Mad Men would cheapen the whole thing. Don't milk the cash cow; tell the story and let it stand on its own merits.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2014


OMG MATT WEINER IS INVOLVED WITH THAT?????? AAAAHHHHHHH

Sorry everyone, that's the pilot I'm most excited about this year. (It's called Astronauts' Wives, BTW.) One of my biggest worries was that most period shows have not been able to cash in on the success of Mad Men, but if Weiner is the showrunner that solves that problem.

AFAIK it has already been picked up to series and is definitely happening. As is my other favorite drama pilot of the year, where Halle Berry plays an astronaut nowadays/in the near future.

There's also a sitcom pilot about NASA in the 60s, which Matt Weiner is not involved with, but which also sounds brilliant and probably doomed to failure.

Basically if you were predicting a bunch of new TV shows about astronauts for 2014-2015, you probably win a prize of some kind.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2014


I have to chime in that I'm more interested in a lot of the secondary characters (Ginsberg) than the mains (Don) at this point, and I'm disappointed that the "not following everyone home" has been a consequence of the split season. I like Mad Men best when it follows characters home, or wherever a writer's whim takes them. Good job creatively screwing your flagship show, AMC.

That said, having introduced so many people we care about and having only one season to resolve everything probably wasn't going to result in the series' best season.

It's strange, though, because I've felt like a lot of this season has lacked traction -- there are only a couple of characters who feel like they're living through stories, as opposed to changes in status whose emotional effect isn't extensively explored (Joan, Dawn) or painful vignettes that repeat (Peggy). It doesn't feel like a rush to closure; it feels a little bit Becketty.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sara C I looked it up and I think what I was talking about is Cocoa Beach.
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 AM on May 2, 2014


Good job creatively screwing your flagship show, AMC.

Eh. If they took a hard left and focused the last season on newer characters like Ginsberg, an equally loud contingent would be complaining that it was the Michael Ginsberg Show now and what about DON who is the PROTAGONIST OF THE SHOW, and aren't they going to wrap up Y or Z ongoing storyline about Betty, etc. etc.

Also they are to an extent restricted in how much of this they can do by the fact that, yeah, they are both contractually and by the network required to focus the show on the established main characters. Dawn, Ginsberg, Glenn, Trudy, etc. just aren't that important to what the show actually is. If anything the show skirted problems with this in Season 5 when fans criticized it for focusing too much on Megan.
posted by Sara C. at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2014


Re that period NASA show, I'm conflicted. That might all be misinformation, and Weiner might really be involved with the Astronauts' Wives project. Or that might be the Astronauts' Wives project, under a different name and with a misunderstood/telephone-game-ified concept.

Journalists covering NASA in the 60s sounds like a terrible idea for a TV show. Like, hey, here's this really exciting setting, but instead of actually dealing with any of that A+ previous track record approved (Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, etc) type of content, we're going to stay with these boring people sitting in an office talking about it.

Also there is no way that the mayor of Cocoa Beach, Florida, would know about a project like this in advance of it being on literally any entertainment industry radar. Or that there would be even the slightest chance that it would actually be shot there. The great thing about an astronaut show set in Florida is that Florida and Southern California look very similar. I know of a new TV show set in suburban Detroit that is shooting in LA. "Cocoa Beach" would definitely shoot in LA.

This has been a derail
posted by Sara C. at 10:28 AM on May 2, 2014


I think my view of who's important on Mad Men is permanently warped by the fact that the Year of Megan and Ginzo was the first season I saw.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:30 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's Don and Peggy's show. I wish we had more time with almost every character, but I don't want any of it to come at the expense of those two.
posted by spaltavian at 10:45 AM on May 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't mind the show focusing on Don and Peggy at all, but I do kind of frown a bit at spending a third of an episode focusing on Betty Francis going on a field trip when we're running out of episodes and could easily spend that time with Dawn, Ginsberg, Stan . . . though I do admire Weiner's dogged insistence on focusing on the internal lives of 60s and 70s housewives, on the other hand. I just think that some of the minor characters have grown increasingly more fascinating than some of the major ones at this point.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2014


I do kind of frown a bit at spending a third of an episode focusing on Betty Francis going on a field trip when we're running out of episodes and could easily spend that time with Dawn

What

we are not Betty friends any more
posted by sweetkid at 10:57 AM on May 2, 2014


I like Betty! And I've really enjoyed some of her recent plots (seeing her visit St. Marks was great). But time is of the essence now and well, Dawn and Ginsberg have stolen my heart.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see the scripts published.
posted by brujita at 12:00 PM on May 2, 2014


I would make room on my bookshelf for the complete collection of those.

Ideally director or showrunner copies with notes.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:12 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I do kind of frown a bit at spending a third of an episode focusing on Betty Francis going on a field trip when we're running out of episodes

I felt that way too, PhoBWanKenobi.

I love JJ and am interested in Betty, but not really interested enough to watch her playing out a scene that could have taken place in season 1.

People like Don and Peggy are still dealing with some of the same demons as in season 1 too, of course; but that's still interesting to me because the context for them has changed so much. It kinda seems like nothing has changed for Betty except that she has a nicer husband.

(Which actually makes her behavior seem worse because she doesn't have reasons for her bitterness and insecurity.)
posted by torticat at 1:12 PM on May 2, 2014


It kinda seems like nothing has changed for Betty except that she has a nicer husband.

That (and her fucked up relationships with her kids and another reference to her seriously disordered eating) seemed like exactly the point of that sequence to me.

Francine changed--that was highlighted pretty heavy-handedly.

Betty has not, and doesn't know how to.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:25 PM on May 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Betty moves forward and falls back, moves forward and falls back. She acquires a little bit of wisdom and self-awareness, moves a little way towards honesty and agency, and then it's back into the chilly perfectionist cocoon. There's realism in this, but also sometimes a sense that the character is periodically being restored to factory settings.
posted by thesmallmachine at 1:31 PM on May 2, 2014 [6 favorites]


I kind of wonder if this will be one of the last extended plotlines featuring Betty (as opposed to focus on one of her children). If the message is that she doesn't change, this would be a good way to send it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:38 PM on May 2, 2014


To me, this show is about assimilation. A focus on characters who are still actively trying to assimilate, like Dawn and Ginsberg, seems like a perfect fit, to me. Characters like Betty and Roger, who were born and bred to the world they're in are more useful as foils at this point, I think, so when the show digs deeper into their stories, it feels a bit stale. They used to be the Old Guard and were in direct opposition to characters like Don and Peggy, so it made sense for them to have an active/large role, but now that Don and Peggy are the old guard, they feel less relevant.

That said, I'm still never actually sad to see a Betty scene or storyline, she's my favorite. Though both Dawn and Ginsberg are pretty close behind her.
posted by rue72 at 1:47 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the message is that she doesn't change, this would be a good way to send it.

That occurred to me too. And that would be fine (though sad). As long as we don't have to spend more precious time seeing how not-changed she is.

But I doubt Weiner's wrapping her up like that. I think he's just about as in love with January Jones as he is with Jessica Pare. :)
posted by torticat at 2:03 PM on May 2, 2014


He's kinda going to have to wrap her up like that. He just doesn't have enough room left for a serious character arc for her that doesn't leave the audience going either "WTF where is everyone else?" or "WTF that was way too fast to make any sense" or both.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:04 PM on May 2, 2014


Keeping in mind that one of the themes of the show is the question "Can people change?", I wonder what Betty's unchanging story arc means for the rest of the characters' resolutions.
posted by Sara C. at 3:07 PM on May 2, 2014


My wild-ass guess is that her not changing points to the necessity of other people, outside interests, and work in effecting change in people.

She doesn't really have any of those. She has a totally disordered relationship with her kids (that she's not self-perceptive enough to see as a catalyst for change), she and her husband may as well be living in different worlds (did anyone catch the look of desperation on his face in the kitchen last episode?), she has no job, not even a volunteer one, she has no hobbies... Betty lacks every catalyst necessary for personal change to really happen. She lives in a Betty Bubble.

By comparison, everyone at SCDPOMGWTFBBQ is constantly having to interact with each other and the city, which cannot help but at least put the opportunity for change at everyone's feet.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:14 PM on May 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ideally director or showrunner copies with notes.

Mad Men usually had really great DVD commentaries with Weiner and the writers and cast. For some reason, there weren't any included with Season 6. I was terribly disappointed.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:17 PM on May 2, 2014


The especially interesting thing about Betty and change is that in the sixties, it was the lives of people like Betty that changed the most. Nowadays Betty's entire life seems completely insane and not like anything lived by anybody in 2014. (For example it's completely unheard of for a woman to stop working when she gets married, just to name one detail.)

On the show, we're seeing how women like Betty are changing, whether it's women who are Betty's age and in almost identical circumstances (Francine), women who are a little younger and yet in similar circumstances (Trudy), and women who are both younger and who find themselves in radically different circumstances as early adopters of the social changes of the 60s (Megan, Peggy).

So it's not as though the show is positing that women in the 60s have a completely static role. Instead, life is leaving Betty, herself, as an individual, behind.

One thing I would not have anticipated from Season 1 is that Betty would be so stuck while Joan would change so much. If I had to predict, I'd have had Joan stuck in a life that wasn't working despite the new freedom of the times, and Betty doing something a little more like Francine's character arc. (I totally anticipated a "Betty gets a job" storyline that never happened over 7 seasons, which is pretty amazing in terms of Weiner's ability to play against stereotype.)
posted by Sara C. at 3:34 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Okay so it wasn't just me expecting that to happen then.

From the first season I expected Joan's arc to be increasingly bitter as she gets older and the secretaries get younger, while Betty would work in some middle-high level in something respectable.

The other way around is more interesting.

And I don't think I said the show is suggesting 60's women have a static role, I was saying that Betty lives in a bubble with no catalyst for change, while everyone else in the show is constantly having to interact with others for a whole host of reasons. That pushes change.

Plus, I do think Betty kind of wants to change, but she can't figure out how. I could see Weiner having enough time to write in a Betty Becomes Perfect Political Wife (you know with the helping out with dealmaking behind the scenes and shit) storyline and that possibly being a satisfying arc for her.

But I think most likely we're going to see her in the final episode in some shot calling back to the first ever shot of her, except the only difference is now she looks dated.

Also just because it would be hilarious, Bob Benson should come back and marry Joan.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:46 PM on May 2, 2014


(I mean like as a beard thing, but I think she'd revel in throwing that news in certain peoples' faces at work)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:49 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


He's kinda going to have to wrap her up like that.

Do you mean "we're done with Betty, that episode was the last word," or "Betty's going to be like this for the rest of the show because there isn't time for her to change"? If the former, that's what I was saying seems unlikely for Weiner to do. If the latter, that seems probable, but god I wish they wouldn't devote time to it!

My wild-ass guess is that her not changing points to the necessity of other people, outside interests, and work in effecting change in people.

Yeah. My first thought was, that's kind of a tendentious point for Weiner to make--that a woman can't find it fulfilling to be a SAHM even with a fully supportive partner. But then I thought, Betty's not even a SAHM, she's like a figurehead mom. She has a maid who takes care of the house and the kids, so much so that it's a Big Deal when she decides to chaperone a field trip.

And you're right, she has no outside interests, and no one can change while living in a bubble.
posted by torticat at 3:54 PM on May 2, 2014


The strange thing is that Betty used to have interests: reading, riding, local politics (the latter motivated largely by her interest in Henry, but she seemed to relish the highs of it). All of that seems to have dropped away and, again, I honestly can't tell if it's depression or just the writing of the character flattening out.

I feel like my dispassion for Don and Betty lately (and these are two characters I've always been deeply invested in) has something to do with the fact that we've seen them cycle so many times that it's hard to have any hope for them, even when hope seems to be on offer.
posted by thesmallmachine at 5:16 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


And this would be easier to take in another story, but MM traffics in hope -- it's what Don's spent his life selling, and it's what the series sells us in finale after finale, year after year. I'm sure that the sense of cycles grinding away is quite purposeful, but at times it just feels like a series of willful lifts and drops: "You thought Peggy would be even slightly OK in the long term, didn't you? Peggy's never gonna be OK! That pantsuit was meaningless!" After a certain point, even I get skittish about stepping aboard.
posted by thesmallmachine at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Peggy's going to be fine.

The hope would seem superficial if it weren't earned. You need the lows in a story if your highs are going to be worthwhile. We're seeing this in GoT now where the Khaleesi has been moving from easy victory to easy victory for a while now, and she's starting to wear a little thin as a character because of that. If every episode was the PEGGY WINS A CLIO show, we'd stop caring about her. We need "Peggy, no!" in order to feel excited about that pantsuit.

I would never have predicted that Francine would traipse around in (professional) pants like NBD before Peggy really did.
posted by Sara C. at 5:52 PM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, I agree. I was trying to say something more to the effect that Mad Men is about people who lead shitty lives, full of anxiety or humiliation or instability, and who are also incredibly good at selling themselves fantasies of future success, respect, fulfillment, physical perfection. They're locked in cycles of flight and crash, flight and crash -- every time it happens they get a little more self-aware, but most of them are absolutely incapable of stopping; the only lasting change is that the flights take more and more fuel. People like this are exhausting to be and know, and not much less exhausting to watch.

In real life, I'm very susceptible to fantasies and fantasists. I have to work harder than most to keep out of that orbit, which is part of why I've always been more comfortable with shorter-form storytelling (and, frankly, more coherent when I talk about it). It offers the reader and writer a little more distance and control. Long-form TV tends to take on something of the shape of life.

(This isn't a grand unified theory of Mad Men; I do think a couple of these people have managed to get off the Giant Hope and Despair Death Plane, most prominently Joan.)
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:02 PM on May 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sara C., that's what didn't feel right to me about Blue Jasmine: she has a degree and has had connections to work that could fulfill her. The movie would have worked better if it had been set in the 70's.
posted by brujita at 1:38 AM on May 3, 2014


I was trying to say something more to the effect that Mad Men is about people who lead shitty lives, full of anxiety or humiliation or instability, and who are also incredibly good at selling themselves fantasies of future success, respect, fulfillment, physical perfection.

They don't have shitty lives, though. They have ridiculously lucky and often glamorous lives, to the point a lot of them (maybe all of them) have trouble staving off ennui. There isn't a character on the show who wouldn't be called a wild success professionally. That even includes characters like Betty, who is still a housewife, but now to a wealthy politician who seems upstanding, kind, and loves her children like his own.

I actually think that these people lead wonderful lives, full of anything that they could ever want, and more respect than they could ever have thought possible, and they've had so much for so long that now they've got ennui. They're bottomless pits, because not wanting for anything just makes them want something to want. They sell themselves (and their clients) the specter of "satisfaction" but I don't think that they can ever be satisfied.
posted by rue72 at 2:25 AM on May 3, 2014


Also, I think when we see "Dick Whitman," it's us seeing Don wanting something concrete and being satisfied with getting what he can get. So I think that satisfaction actually *is* possible for people (within the show).

I think it's an issue of "can't have the sweet without the bitter." They don't have much bitterness in their lives right now, so they can't taste the sweet too well, either.
posted by rue72 at 2:39 AM on May 3, 2014


Do you mean "we're done with Betty, that episode was the last word," or "Betty's going to be like this for the rest of the show because there isn't time for her to change"?

Yes.

Weiner has eleven episodes to wrap up--or at least leave tantalizing questions about--a really large number of characters. I think this was probably Betty's last major appearance, and the whole point is to show her bubble and her changelessness.

We'll see her again, for sure, but there just isn't time for a character arc that brings her real, believable change (unless they kill off Henry?) that won't detract from a) pacing, and b) the other, arguably more important characters (Don, Peggy, Roger, Joan, etc) losing screen time and thus having their arcs shortened.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2014


I think we can all agree that the last 11 episodes of Mad Men need not include Glenn. He's at least one character who doesn't need a wrap-up plot line.
posted by donajo at 9:03 AM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I actually love Glenn, and his relationship with Sally. Would love to see him one last time.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:07 AM on May 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Glenn has to go shoot Jon Lennon sheesh he's busy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 AM on May 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Weiner talked about his family on Fresh Air and used the phrase "my son who's on the show" - in the present tense, unfortunately. I suspect we will see Glenn one more time.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:42 PM on May 4, 2014


Gah no.
posted by sweetkid at 1:48 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh yes please. I want to see what happens to Glenn. And how Sally feels about it.

Not that I think there's time, interest, or background to have any kind of romantic nonsense there, just that her reaction to whatever Glenn does (will he be old enough to be drafted by the end of the series?) could be very, very interesting.

Or maybe they just run off to Canada. I dunno. Either way I want to see where his arc goes, instead of just being a disposable character.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:09 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


We need an ending montage ala Six Feet Under set to a peroid song, giving us the future fates of every single damn character, right down to Meredith.
posted by The Whelk at 2:25 PM on May 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just like every Richard Dreyfuss movie!

The shark survived, and went on to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:36 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


That makes me . . . worried that we're going to get an overstuffed finale, a la, I don't know, HIMYM. I don't really want to know where everyone ends up so much as get a fitting end for the people who matter.

Or, for fucks sake and i know i'm shooting the golden goose here or whatever, breaking bad. Fuck do i ever get the feeling that AMC forces people who do shows for them to overstuff finales. It's like "no loose ends, you MUST tie everything up!".

I'll be annoyed if this show feels like the last couple episodes had to work their way down a checklist. I already got twinges of that feeling with the combo trip to california almost-breakup and him coming back with roger.

AFAIK it has already been picked up to series and is definitely happening.

Is that not a totally separate thing? I had trouble finding much on the AMC show that wasn't old like this, but i had a feeling those were just too concurrently developed concepts.

Nowhere that i look at the ABC one does it mention Matt at all, whereas the stuff about the AMC show does. I think people are getting confused and mixing stuff up here.
posted by emptythought at 3:09 PM on May 4, 2014


Just saw S4 The Suitcase again. Paints a pretty big arrow towards Don & Peggy - Anna smiling down on them as she dies in his vision ....

I think that's his Plan unless he changes it at the end (now) like Rowling changed it back in the day (originally the last book was going to have the last word as "scar", that is, she'd written the final chapter and was now wending towards it.
posted by tilde at 3:44 PM on May 4, 2014


I am almost 100% positive that Don and Peggy are not going to get together romantically. Period.

But, yes, I do think the resolution is going to heavily involve their reconciliation as professional collaborators and mentor/protege.
posted by Sara C. at 3:46 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


We need an ending montage ala Six Feet Under

No one needs that. Ever.
posted by brina at 4:06 PM on May 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Six Feet Under's montage was totally appropriate for that show. Sometimes I feel like it's set up a ridiculous precedence that we're supposed to know how every single character who has ever graced our television sets has ever died, which is stupid.

Stupid for us, the viewers, and stupid for the networks, too. How else are they going to cash in on spin-offs and reunions?!

(Kidding, mostly, but I'll take a dozen Brady Brides over the HIMYM finale any day.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:18 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I am almost 100% positive that Don and Peggy are not going to get together romantically. Period.

They will, however, get together Doggy-style.

(Sorry.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:21 PM on May 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Great Sys Rq, now I can't unsee that.
posted by sweetkid at 5:18 PM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


They will, however, get together Doggy-style.

It was foreshadowed at the end of season five when Peggy was in that motel, watching the two dogs out the window.
posted by crossoverman at 5:29 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The finale is: Elisabeth Moss wakes up in bed, and realizes it was all a dream, and that she's still living in the White House, with her dad, President Bartlet.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:46 PM on May 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


And her first thought is, "Wait, I live here in the White House? I'm like 22. Can't I get a job after college? Did my dad ruin the economy?"
posted by Sara C. at 6:54 PM on May 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


That was no contract. That was an intervention. Don has just eagerly snapped up the chance to do away with all his freedom because he isn't terrifically pleased with what his freedom's gotten him. Some of the rules he'll have to follow might actually do him some good. (When the girl comes/is sent to the 'new job' meeting, that's what breaks Don. He realises that's who he is to these people and has had enough of it. "And I can't drink? Sign me up!") Other rules he signs up for will totally neuter his creativity. Someone said upthread that Don's 68 was supposed to echo the terrible year the US had. Well, this is our 'okcomputer' 1969. Don's signing up for a 'fitter happier more productive' future under a computer driven quantitative/cybernetic management ethos.

(The Radiohead bit is just a coincidence, but I think the feelings referenced above and the world it engenders end up as subject matter for them to write songs about.) Plus, 'Carver' as symbolic pun for 'scientific' management. While I am teetering on the edge of timecube-y-ness, let me again recommend the documentaries of Adam Curtis as contextual primers, notably 'The Century of the Self' and now 'Machines of Loving Grace'. It's eerie sometimes how the thematic threads intertwine with Curtis’ docs. (I wonder what he thinks of MM.)

I for one welcome our new computer overlords.
posted by aesop at 11:48 PM on May 12, 2014


Also, Curtis’ 'The Living Dead' contains ample material to furnished Sally Draper : Demon Hunter with a metahistorical monster-killing subtext.
posted by aesop at 12:06 AM on May 13, 2014


I haven't listened to it yet but I imagine he alludes to Don and Peggy having a spinoff where they solve crimes
posted by sweet kid
Check out Top of the Lake.
posted by blueberry at 10:09 PM on May 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, please do, Top of the Lake is so good.
posted by palomar at 10:13 PM on May 18, 2014


I haven't listened to it yet but I imagine he alludes to Don and Peggy having a spinoff where they solve crimes
posted by sweet kid


I have checked out Top of the Lake (and yes, it is good) - "Don and Peggy solve crimes" was a joke I made last year about the 7th Season.

Also I have a habit of making up TV show scenarios involving different weird characters and then just trailing off on what I want them to actually do so it's just...solve crimes.
posted by sweetkid at 1:23 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Solving crimes is a totally legit thing for random character pairings to do. I support and approve of this.
posted by palomar at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


palomar and sweetkid...solve crimes.
posted by sweetkid at 7:33 PM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Finally, an excuse to buy that deerstalker I've been eyeing!
posted by palomar at 5:59 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


One might even say you've been...STALKING it.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:36 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ooh, nicely done.
posted by palomar at 10:07 AM on May 20, 2014


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