Mad Men: Far Away Places   Rewatch 
December 14, 2014 4:33 AM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Peggy is rattled by a pitch while Don visits a potential client.
posted by Sweetie Darling (10 comments total)
What is it about a Howard Johnson's restaurant that causes people to fight?
posted by drezdn at 7:20 AM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Alternate description: Megan eats dessert; Roger watches the World Series; Peggy washes her hands.
posted by ChrisTN at 12:42 PM on December 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

I'm really loving Roger's trip. The structure of the episode - focusing on couple at a time - lets us treat Roger and Jane with the seriousness they take themselves. I think cross-cutting would have made it too jokey.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:27 PM on December 14, 2014

And Cooper is the only one to call out Don. The only one who can.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:43 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was going to point out how Peggy was channeling Don in the pitch, but apparently, her whole story in this episode is supposed to be her trying to do what Don would do (and learning that it doesn't work for her).
posted by drezdn at 11:11 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

To this day, I still sometimes answer the phone like Peggy: PIZZA HOUSE!
posted by mochapickle at 4:25 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]

The commentary for this episode, with Matt Weiner, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, and Jon Hamm, is funny and just all around great.

Weiner says that the part for the guy in the movie theater for the casting call was called "hand job recipient." Slattery: "I tried to get an audition for it, but they wouldn't see me."

Concerning the hand job scene, Elisabeth Moss: "What I actually was most embarrassed about, I wanted to say like, 'Just so everyone knows, this is not how I would do this. I'm much better than this." She had the guys cracking up over this.
posted by cwest at 12:27 PM on December 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Just mentioning how much I love this episode and also how the somewhat strict formalism of the show allows it to be broken in werid ways like this.
posted by The Whelk at 6:35 AM on December 22, 2014

It's interesting. When Peggy loses it in the pitch, she's pulling a move we've seen Don do a time or two as well, when his ego and vested interest in the work gets him to stop listening to the client saying 'no,' but it's never worked out for Don either. No, I think the thing that Don does effortlessly that Peggy can't is selling nostalgia. She gets it more intellectually than at a gut level. Similarly, Peggy is way better than Don at selling the excitement of the new. Don is dismissive of new things and terrible at predicting the future (and knows it, to an extent - it's the thing he can compliment Pete on.) So when Peggy pitches the campfire work, it doesn't hit as heart-string tugging. It hits, if anything, like Peggy proving to the client that his own idea lays on the screen like a dead fish.

Not coincidentally, this is one of the hardest scenes for me to watch.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2020

Oh man but I had forgotten about the rest of the episode. I don't love how this is directed. It's not quite as ostentatious in its "Look At Me" artsiness as another series might be with similar material, but it's in the ballpark. The Roger/Jane/Timothy Leary stuff drags on forever (though at least to some productive end. I've never dropped acid and don't know if they're supposed to still be under some effect of it the next morning, but Roger's being rather flippantly excited about them splitting while Jane is clearly upset and feels like the world is crashing in around her. Say what you will about Roger but he's usually more empathetic than he was in that moment.

And the HoJo's trip is just... gah. It's well done (though the "Artsy" shot choices while Don is pulling out seem designed to make us expect him to hit something, which bugs me) and feels very real. Don was the bigger asshole here but both of them are, of course, being assholes here. It's interesting to me that, with Don, Megan resorts to a sort of childish tantrum mode when she needs to assert herself. I feel like that isn 't her normal way of dealing with conflict but rather learned behavior of what Don expects, and it explains a lot about Betty too. I also feel like we've gotten no indication that Megan is an abuse survivor, but when Don comes through the door (granted, he kicks it in) she's acting like someone expecting to get hit. (Coming from my experience with an ex-girlfriend who was a survivor. I almost never get into a "fighty" mode when arguing and never, ever get violent, but I remember when we were talking about something, not even arguing, and I raised my voice because I guess I felt like I wasn't being heard, and that triggered something for her and she ran screaming away from me to lock herself in the bedroom. It was terrifying, obviously.)

We know Don well enough to know that he's not a wife-beater. (We've seen him get physical, of course, restraining Betty or Megan when he feels like they need to calm down. Tying Bobbie Barrett to the bed. Pulling on Megan's hair during their fight at the end of "A Little Kiss." Which isn't great.) but that scene back at the apartment felt like Megan was expecting to be beaten. Maybe they were both just super amped-up emotionally and scared about what the fight meant for them, and maybe I'm projecting my own experiences here. It was all just extremely upsetting, which was the point I guess. But damn if I don't feel good about it.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:03 PM on February 19, 2020

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