Mad Men: The Gold Violin   Rewatch 
August 6, 2014 9:42 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Don debates buying a new car. Cooper has a new piece of art in his office that attracts the interest of the workers at Sterling Cooper. Don's new secretary finds her way.
posted by Sweetie Darling (14 comments total)
 
Ugh, Jane. I forgot how manipulative and unlikeable she is. First time we get to see Joan's RageFace, I think.
posted by tracicle at 12:05 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


For a show that's filled with casual racism, sexism, and homophobia, I'm ashamed to say that the littering in this episode bugs me more than any of those things. Pick up your trash, you monsters!
posted by donajo at 12:56 PM on August 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


That felt like another one of those ham-handed WOW CAN YOU BELIEVE THE SIXTIES moments.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:48 PM on August 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh for sure, but it still bugs me.
posted by donajo at 1:50 PM on August 6, 2014


Me too. It doesn't seem like something Betty would do (she would make the children clean up), and the dramatic blanket fling is a bit much.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:27 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love the painting. Kinsey is scared, Jane is superficial, Harry is oblivious, Ken is the artist, and Sal is ... interested.

Bert: "Probably because it's none of their business." And "Would you say I know something about you?" The sphinx of Madison Ave!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:14 PM on August 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


AskMe on the littering scene
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:27 PM on August 6, 2014


Yes, the littering scene was a bit much.

Both Jane and Joan are unpleasant in this episode. I'm sure Joan behaved far worse when she was younger than Jane ever could. I generally like Joan, but I enjoyed Jane's immature back talk and her letting Joan know that Roger is her new "friend." Must burn a little, eh Joan?

Harry's approach to art: "Maybe he has a brochure in here, something that explains it."

More anti-semitism, Betty: "You people are ugly and crude."

Completely forgot about Betty throwing up in Don's precious car. Enjoyed that the most.
posted by cwest at 10:56 PM on August 6, 2014


Jimmy is a magnificent man, able to completely shell shock the Drapers by seeing through Don's extremely obvious philandering façade. And then to actually talk about it, to them. If they were the kind of couple who could talk to each other, compare notes... Well, they wouldn't be the Drapers then.


Kinsey is the weak link. Ken and Jane we just curious. Sal is more interested in both of them than the painting: Jane is one of Don's faceless girls who is slowly coming into realization of the power she has (used by the episode's end!) and Ken is the True Artist type that of course Sal wants to bring home and make dinner for.
posted by RainyJay at 4:40 AM on August 7, 2014


I remember having this discussion back when the episode first aired, but I'm still not convinced on rewatch that Betty's "you people" remarks to Jimmy were about being Jewish (although I think it's clear that's how he took them). It's not that I think she's necessarily incapable of anti-Semitism, but to me that scene, and the whole situation she was in, were all about her and Don living in completely different worlds. I think Don was absolutely included in "you people." My impression was that she didn't mean Jews, but rather the Manhattan high flyers, show folk, and wheeler-dealers of Don's world.

Also, I want Sal and Kitty's apartment. And Kitty's dress.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:54 AM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think Kitty suspects that something is up.

As for littering, Husbunny commented, "clearly this is pre-Indian."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:15 AM on August 8, 2014


It struck me in the episode that Jane is actually a good secretary for Don. Except for the flirting with Roger and the B&E, but I have to admit that I would've done the same, on both accounts, in her shoes.
posted by donajo at 7:52 PM on August 8, 2014


I think Kitty suspects that something is up.

Oh, Kitty. Good on her for calling out Sal on treating her like shit.
posted by donajo at 7:56 PM on August 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I remember having this discussion back when the episode first aired, but I'm still not convinced on rewatch that Betty's "you people" remarks to Jimmy were about being Jewish (although I think it's clear that's how he took them). It's not that I think she's necessarily incapable of anti-Semitism, but to me that scene, and the whole situation she was in, were all about her and Don living in completely different worlds. I think Don was absolutely included in "you people." My impression was that she didn't mean Jews, but rather the Manhattan high flyers, show folk, and wheeler-dealers of Don's world.

Chiming in five years later, I'm still not sure. I think that if Betty were to be vocally anti-semitic this is exactly how that would reveal itself: Jimmy's directness to her about Don and Bobbie's affair is coded in that moment as not just a stereotypically "Jewish" trait, but one absolutely as far as possible away from Don's uber-WASPy taciturn nature. In that moment, especially if she were reaching for a way to instinctively defend Don against Jimmy's accusations, I think it makes sense that she's pass judgement on all jews and then go back to not thinking about them much at all back in Ossining.

But on the other hand, the Big Letter Theme of this episode is the dream turned rotten. The perfect violin that can't play music. The girl who followed her childhood crush all the way to New York and is now trapped in a hopeless marriage. The perfect Sunday drive with all the detritus in its wake, the vomit in the Cadillac, the Rolex that gets run over by a car, just so ABC can "bury Candid Camera", the fun, lightly naughty little trip to see the Rothko, which wakes the dragon in Joan. And the glamorous night out with the celebrities that Betty wanted that led to Jimmy and Betty on that couch. In that light, it's very possible that "you people" refers to the celebrities and other café society types that she was so interested in being a part of moments ago.

So I'm not sure.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:30 PM on May 28, 2019


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