Mad Men: Public Relations   Rewatch 
October 15, 2014 6:07 AM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Don makes a mistake that jeopardizes the new agency.
posted by Sweetie Darling (12 comments total)
 
Hurrah, season 4 is here! Season 4 Peggy is my favorite Peggy.

I'm never sure what they are trying to do with the Bethany Van Nuys character. It's pretty clear that Don has moved on from Betty and her ilk. He seems completely bored with Betty Redux, until there's a possibility of sex. And he seems to be covered in that arena anyway.
posted by donajo at 3:45 PM on October 15, 2014


Harry makes a suicide "joke."

I'm pretty sure this is the first episode to mention Cutler Gleason and Chaough (They took the jai alai account).
posted by drezdn at 8:37 AM on October 16, 2014


I'm really curious about the symbolism of tables in this episode. SCDP discusses how they don't have a conference table yet, and try to make it a selling point. The idea of not having a table might be brought up again in the camera shot where Don works while the kids watch tv. Their thanksgiving "dinner" together is sharing snacks in front of the tv. Then there's Henry's mom's house with the giant table with two leaves that need to be stored.
posted by drezdn at 9:17 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


drezdn, there seems to be some issue of "falseness" when the characters are sitting with a table between them and "realness" when a table is absent.

Don and tables. Don is interviewed three times over a table. First, Don (the false Korean War vet, the deserter) is interviewed by the Ad Age reporter (a real Korean War vet with a false leg). "Don Draper" himself is false, an identity assumed by Dick Whitman. "Who is Don Draper?" "Don Draper" decides he wants to tell no story to the reporter.

The second "interview" takes place over a table with Jantzen. The two Jantzen guys think the creative wizard Don Draper can come up with a great ad without them changing the way they think or look at their product and customers. Don doesn't relieve them of this false impression.

The third "interview" is over a table at dinner with Bethany Van Nuys. She thinks Don is a lonely divorced man interested in marrying again. He's not. He reluctantly agreed to a date with Bethany and he's still dealing with the divorce fallout. He's not going to marry a Betty clone anyway. Don does not relieve Bethany of her false assumption.

These three interviews are resolved in reverse order. With no table between them, Roger tells Don Bethany approved of Don though he was a bit "grabby" in the cab. Don decides to let this thing ride. He is unsure. That's the truth. No decision one way or another. With no proper table between them, Don presents his ad to the Jantzen guys. They don't like it and Don decides to hit them right between the eyes. Tells them the truth, part of which by the way foretells the future. The "You need to decide what kind of company you want to be. Comfortable and dead, or risky and possibly rich." This plays out in the first part of season 7. With a proper table between them, Don tells the Wall Street reporter a story. Not a completely real story, but a story that is true to his idea of selling a company that is "risky and possibly rich."

Thanksgiving tables. The meal at the Pauline Francis table (which has been "falsely" enlarged) involves lots of pretension and false fronts. Later, when Henry has to listen to what his mother really thinks of Betty he is taking the false table apart. Don's Thanksgiving meal with his children, as you mentioned, involves no proper table. There is no falseness between them.

The conference room scenes, with no table, all involved real conversation. Even with the Jantzen guys, even though he was presenting an ad. Bert Cooper stated the table theme towards the beginning of the episode with "Atherton thought the lack of a conference table was deliberate. He felt that a circle of chairs demands a conversation."

No proper table between Don and his accountant. They really like each other. No tables between Don and Betty in their scenes. Lots of friction, and that's just how it's presented.

Peggy and tables. Peggy gets the idea to create a stunt to impress Sugarberry Hams while sitting on the table in the creative lounge. More falseness. Peggy speaks to the two "actresses" over a table. The charade has been successful. At least, up to that point. There are no proper tables between Peggy and Don during their scenes. The scenes indicate the state of their relationship. Don is abusive and she has to put up with it.

Sorry for the length of the comment. But this table theme has been bugging me more that I knew.
posted by cwest at 9:32 AM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


In no particular order.

Roger hands the Ad Age reporter his card and says "...I'd love to bend you ear when I finish my book." Is this the first time we know that Roger really is writing a book?

The Glo-Coat ad and Roger's book, two important items that will figure large in ep. 7, "The Suitcase."

Don's accountant: "So how are your balls? Are you enjoying yourself?" No accountant has ever said this to me.

Pete says happily: "I can use my expense account if I say they're whores!" Hooray!

Don's apartment is incredibly depressing. Weiner said that this would be a typical divorced man's furnished apartment in Greenwich Village for the time period, but my God, how dreary and soulless can you get?

Pauline Francis is a wonderfully hideous personality.

We get the first look at the column in Pete's office that will irritate him all season.
posted by cwest at 10:04 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eeek!

"John."

"Marcia."

"John."

"Marcia."

I'd forgotten that awesome exchange.
posted by tracicle at 12:32 PM on October 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


What is that John/Marcia exchange from? I know I've seen/heard it before. The internets say it's an old advertising gag, but I know I've never seen that before. I'm picturing a cartoon in my head, sort of a Hanna-Barbara style.
posted by donajo at 12:49 PM on October 19, 2014


Oops, it's Marsha, not Marcia.
posted by tracicle at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2014


Aha! I remembered! There's a John/Marsha reference in the animated sequence at the beginning of the Hayley Mills "The Parent Trap".
posted by donajo at 3:10 PM on October 19, 2014


According to the imdb trivia page, it's a reference to a Stan Freberg bit.
posted by drezdn at 7:09 AM on October 20, 2014


Apparently, Stan Freberg originated it, but it's been referenced several times in pop culture. The Parent Trap one is what I remembered it from.
posted by donajo at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2014


Aha! I remembered! There's a John/Marsha reference in the animated sequence at the beginning of the Hayley Mills "The Parent Trap".
- Which of course sees the same type of attempted conspiracy by children to re-unite divorcing parents - which we see in this episode. More public relations here.
posted by rongorongo at 3:09 AM on September 4


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