Mad Men: The Wheel   Rewatch 
July 13, 2014 6:25 AM - Season 1, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Season 1 finale. As Thanksgiving approaches, Don's work responsibilities interfere with his domestic life. Peggy is given a new opportunity, provoking the ire of some of her colleagues. Betty makes a startling discovery.
posted by tracicle (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Poor Harry.
posted by RainyJay at 9:33 AM on July 13, 2014


It's a nice moment of comic relief that Don doesn't question (or even notice) that Harry's in his underwear.

This is an episode I wish I'd been able to see as a first watch in real time, particularly the cliffhanger of Peggy's baby. (OTOH, it was/is nice to be able to jump right into S2.)

The more I watch, the more sympathetic I am to Betty. That scene in the parking lot with Glenn is heartbreaking and the moment when Francine realizes that Betty doesn't actually know (consciously) that Don cheats is terrific.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:54 AM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Probably one of Don's best moments, built on a mountain of heartache.
posted by drezdn at 10:59 AM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd forgotten just how much Ayn Rand was mentioned this first season.

Forgive me; I know this is inappropriate, but I could totally watch Rich Sommer in his tighty whiteys all day long.

DAT CAROUSEL PITCH.

Even within this episode, I hardly know what to make of Betty. In her conversation with Francine, she seems pathetic. In the parking lot with Glenn, she's vulnerable and emotionally open (even if inappropriately so). In the psychiatrist's office, she's taken control of her life by gaming the system. I get Betty whiplash.

Poor Peggy. It will shock you how much this never happened.
posted by ChrisTN at 12:14 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never really got why Harry darts out of the room during the Carousel pitch. Is there something specific he knows or is remembering that makes him well up and have to leave?
posted by Happy Dave at 2:46 PM on July 13, 2014


It's because of the troubles he's having with his wife. Seeing all the smiley happy photos of Don and his family is getting to him.
posted by Aznable at 2:51 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


One of the things I love about this episode, and the Carousel pitch, is that we see Don silently working on it throughout the episode. He goes home and asks Betty where their slides are. He's looking at the slides before he opens Adam's box of pictures. The pitch doesn't come from nowhere. He doesn't come up with it on the spot ("It's toasted") and it's not from his writers ("Something beautiful you can truly own" was Ginsberg and "Some things never change" was Megan). It's something he worked on for days.
posted by donajo at 4:30 PM on July 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


One of the things I love about this episode, and the Carousel pitch, is that we see Don silently working on it throughout the episode. He goes home and asks Betty where their slides are. He's looking at the slides before he opens Adam's box of pictures. The pitch doesn't come from nowhere. He doesn't come up with it on the spot ("It's toasted") and it's not from his writers ("Something beautiful you can truly own" was Ginsberg and "Some things never change" was Megan). It's something he worked on for days.

Yes, but the final impetus for his pitch came from Harry. Harry spoke of taking pictures of hand prints on glass, inspired by the outlines of hands on the cave walls of Lascaux. As if someone was reaching through the stone trying to communicate with us, to let us know that they were here. Painting or slide, from the present to the past, from the past to the present ... a time machine.

In my opinion, it was the best pitch Don has given in the entire show.
posted by cwest at 4:47 PM on July 13, 2014


There was just so much, so quickly in this episode. I loved it, but it was immediately evident that it was the season finale.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:07 PM on July 13, 2014


Aznable: "It's because of the troubles he's having with his wife. Seeing all the smiley happy photos of Don and his family is getting to him."

Right - I think it's because I saw this pitch out of context on Youtube before I ever watched the series, and my bafflement was genuine the first time round as the only character I knew was Don Draper.

Also, I should stop surfing the web on my phone when I'm watching TV.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:42 AM on July 14, 2014


I've kept current in this show, but this was the last episode I watched where I felt like Mad Men was a good show.
posted by fleacircus at 8:53 PM on July 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don isn't moved by appeals to childhood memory because his are terrible.
Bert knows about Don and Rachel.
"Who knows why people do what they do? " I dunno, Don, you're the ad man.
Did Peggy mess with the voice ad girl on purpose?
And does Don know he is loved, or is it just another pitch?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:01 PM on July 16, 2014


I'd forgotten that Peggy was made junior copywriter as much as a revenge thing for Don over Pete as for her actual talent.
posted by tracicle at 5:53 AM on July 21, 2014


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