Mad Men: A Night to Remember   Rewatch 
August 10, 2014 8:54 AM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Peggy contributes on a pro-bono project. Duck and Don try to create market appeal to a new demographic. Harry is overwhelmed with the workload in his department and recruits assistance from an unlikely source.
posted by tracicle (18 comments total)
Most of all: poor Joan. She accidentally winds up in a role that she ends up loving, and she's good at it, and Harry is so shortsighted that he never realises what he's passing up in favour of a clueless outsider. Joan, unlike Peggy, won't speak up for herself.

I thought it was mildly funny that Joan's fiance (whose name always escapes me) has a chair that looks like a throne, while Joan waits on him.
posted by tracicle at 9:35 AM on August 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Harry's such a clueless oaf. Don would have recognized the talent.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

I thought it was mildly funny that Joan's fiance (whose name always escapes me) has a chair that looks like a throne, while Joan waits on him.

As cringe-inducing as it is to see Joan subservient to that asshole, I like seeing Joan relaxed at home, with her hair up in a scarf and barefoot. She seems happy.

Is Dr. Rapist's name Greg? I had to sit on that for a minute to come up with something other than "Dr. Rapist".

It's probably wrong to want to punch a priest, right? Is it better if the priest is played by Colin Hanks?
posted by donajo at 10:35 AM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Greg is Dr. God. He knows it and Joan acts on it. It's only later that the reality sets in. Harry probably assumes that Joan won't want to keep working once she's married, and he's right. That's her plan. Of course we all know what happens but right now Joan's plan is to quit working and birth babies with Dr. Greg Rapist. So she's not looking for a career. If Joan weren't engaged, he might have asked if she wanted the job, but she is and he knows that HIS wife will quit the phone company once the Little Crane arrives.

As for Peggy and Father Asshole, he's trying to teach her to be subservient and shamed and Peggy is having NONE of it. It's a glorious thing to watch. Peggy will do it this one time and she'll NEVER get roped into this nonsense again. Good for her.

With every word Father Asshole pushes her further and further away from the church. Bless his heart.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh my lord, every time I watch the scene with Peggy defending her flyer to the church dance committee, I have PTSD flashbacks to doing marketing at a university, where every faculty member seemed to have a veto vote over my work. With no Father Gil to run block.

Having grown up in a very loose and liberal Episcopalian church with excommunicated Catholic parents, I just can't fathom Father Gil's badgering of Peggy. Beyond appearing to be a complete breach of Anita's confession, his motives seem sketchy at worst (to shame her) or overreaching at best. Were (are?) priests really like that?

(Yes, Dr. Rapist's name is Greg Harris.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2014

I think some priests were like that.

Re: Harry, I really don't think the possibility of offering the job to Joan crossed his mind. It's just another entry on the long list of times where he doesn't have a good read on the situation.
posted by drezdn at 1:37 PM on August 10, 2014

Harry had no reason to think Joan would ever WANT the job. They made a big deal in the beginning about it interfering with her original work.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2014

This is the episode where I totally wrote off Harry.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 PM on August 10, 2014

This is the episode where I totally wrote off Harry.

And this is why I give Don and Freddy a lot more credit for encouraging Peggy's talent than if... Harry wasn't so dumb.

Joan doesn't want a career, she wants to be living Dr. Rapist's little story. Sterling Cooper was just supposed to be the stop on the way there.
posted by RainyJay at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2014

When Father Gill was marveling over the copy machine I couldn't help but be reminded of this Xerox commercial - "It's a miracle."
posted by cwest at 10:25 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Joan would have been fantastic in that job.

Roger has never liked Harry, has he?
posted by cwest at 10:40 PM on August 10, 2014

Harry is kind of a slimeball, he fits in so well in the T.V L.A world and keeps rising up but gets no respect from the NYC people cause he's , well a toad.
posted by The Whelk at 10:44 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought you fellow MM fans might like to know, Matt Weiner will be doing an AMA on reddit. 8/19 at 4:30 pm eastern. Link to AMA page. Calendar is in the right hand column towards the bottom.
posted by cwest at 3:33 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

A Night to Remember was also the 1958 movie about the Titanic.
posted by brujita at 5:33 AM on August 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Harry is, in my estimation, the most modern character in terms of the workplace. He's not a preternaturally talented, artist type, like Don and Peggy. He's not a wealthy, apex networker/gladhander like Roger, and he doesn't have any of the family connections of Roger, Burt, Pete or even Ken. He appears to have come from a middle class/upper middle class background without any blueblood heritage.

He's just a guy who was smart enough to figure something out at the right time, mostly before his "betters". Though Peggy gets this storyline from a feminist perspective, and Don (somewhat) from class perspective, Harry respresents the quasi-democratization of business too. For all his mediocrity in talent and charm, he does succeed in a meritocracy. So his story has been consistenly interesting to me, even though he's ever more a jerk.
posted by spaltavian at 6:25 AM on August 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yeah, he's the guy that succeeds *despite* himself.
posted by tracicle at 6:33 AM on August 11, 2014

In Harry's defense (and I can't believe I'm saying that), he does seem to have good interpersonal skills outside of SC. He has good rapport with the guys at the network and with his counterparts at the sponsor companies. Later, he's able to build connections and get invited to parties in L.A. So to spaltavian's point, maybe his ordinary-ness isn't as much of a negative - or maybe he's not as self-conscious - when he's not held up against Roger, Pete or Don.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 9:48 AM on August 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Betty has so much pent-up anger. I guess I didn't notice the first time around. The thing the Israeli's said still rings true, Don (and his family, by extension) is the target market. The face of up-and-coming America. When Bert compared him to the founding fathers, when his American (!) pitch is all about there being no past, only the frontier. Don is clearly not happy about his family being dragged into the Heineken pitch, but goes with it anyway.

Joan forgets her homemaking duties (setting the table) for the scripts. Work is more important. Too bad she's on that track (33!) and can't see that there are no rails.

No Bert.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:34 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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