Mad Men: Time Zones
April 14, 2014 2:59 PM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Mad Men returns for the start of its final season (which is actually just half a season, with the second half starting next spring). Don and the gang do their thing in multiple locations: LA, NYC, and Detroit.

It was an amazing re-opening of the show with a little bit of recap on where everyone ended up since the last season and what they're currently working on. Don is back to his usual fucking up and general mucking around. Roger Sterling's escapades seem to have gone off the rails a bit as well. The time this season is set in is early 1969 and I'm curious how much further forward the writers can move the story in just six short episodes.
posted by mathowie (125 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Don's opening sequence in LAX was amazing and reminded me of the same scene in Jackie Brown (which in itself was a nod to the opening sequence of The Graduate).
posted by mathowie at 8:57 AM on April 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also, Roger Sterling's introduction into the episode with an unexplained post-orgy (6-7 women?) was totally hilarious.
posted by mathowie at 10:08 AM on April 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


The New Ugliness of Mad Men (SLAtlantic)
posted by box at 11:11 AM on April 16, 2014


6-7 women?

At least some of them are men, I think.

Also I felt so bad for him later, when there isn't even room in his bed for him.
posted by Sara C. at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2014


Me too. That feeling of exhaustion, and then having to climb into a bed that's probably stinky with someone else's sex. Less like utopia than one would immediately assume.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:19 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I also thought the body language was a nice touch. He has this intimate little chat with his girlfriend, and then she curls up with the dude next to her, leaving him totally alone and yet crowded out all at the same time.
posted by Sara C. at 11:22 AM on April 16, 2014


Less like utopia

AAAAAAAAAA PhoB, I think you just cracked the episode, for me.

Everybody is having trouble in paradise, for their particular value of paradise. Don's bicoastal marriage to a sexy young actress is a failure. Megan is so close to achieving her dreams, but it all hangs by a superstitious thread ("DON'T JINX IT!", also probably the comment about getting her teeth fixed) and nothing is in her control at all. Peggy is failing miserably at Having It All. Roger's finding out that hedonism isn't everything he'd hoped. Ken is finally head of accounts and has Pete out of his hair, and it's the worst. Joan is getting everything she ever dreamed of -- and a lot she could never have dreamed of -- in her career, but she's having a hard time accepting the personal baggage that comes with it.

Except for Pete. Utopia is utopia, for Pete. This week.
posted by Sara C. at 11:27 AM on April 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


What was the deal with Sterling's daughter? Was her speech at the restaurant a way of saying she joined a Hare Krishna group? I couldn't quite place the "replace anger with love" in a specific religion.
posted by mathowie at 11:30 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was thinking more something like Scientology. Though probably not scientology specifically because Matt Weiner doesn't want to mysteriously vanish.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:35 AM on April 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


My guess is Scientology or some fictional Scientology substitute. EST didn't start until 1971 and she's not hippy enough for Hare Krishnas - although perhaps some other Maharishi-type guru could be involved.
posted by dnash at 11:38 AM on April 16, 2014


It can't be a fake Scientology joke religion, Peggy in real life is a massive Scientologist and wouldn't let the writers mock it and would likely quit the show over it, no? I'm still pulling for Krishna.
posted by mathowie at 11:46 AM on April 16, 2014


mathowie, I'm thinking EST, or The Power Of Positive Thinking, or something sub-Scientologist. It doesn't mesh with anything from Eastern New Agey stuff I'm familiar with. Sounds more self help.

It's definitely not either Hare Krishna or Maharishi.
posted by Sara C. at 11:49 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Peggy in real life is a massive Scientologist and wouldn't let the writers mock it and would likely quit the show over it, no?

OH PEGGY NO.

I had no idea. How disappointing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:53 AM on April 16, 2014 [19 favorites]


One thing I did think of though, which is a little bit New Agey, is the School of Practical Philosophy.

Practical Philosophy was founded in '64 and I think specifically catered to people who were too serious and establishment to go full Hare Krishna.
posted by Sara C. at 11:54 AM on April 16, 2014


On the plus side, Peggy might have just become my favorite celebrity Scientologist. Take that, Ike Hayes!
posted by box at 11:54 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Except for Pete. Utopia is utopia, for Pete. This week.

"Why does it always have to be like this? Why can't I get anything good all at once?"
posted by sweetkid at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Actually the first thing I thought of when Sterling's daughter started talking about forgiveness at brunch was Al-Anon, though the rest of what she said did seem heavily religion-flavored.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:56 AM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was thinking some sort of newfangled (for the time) psychology or self-help book. Definitely had the appearance of "guru told me to release my anger and forgive," whatever it was.

Also: Neve Campbell rocked the bouffant and I was sorry when Don declined her offer because I really wanted to see how her place was decorated.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


TM is probably a little too hippie, which is too bad, because it was such a thing of the era that I'm a little disappointed it hasn't popped up. EST apparently wasn't around until '71, but it was preceded by Mind Dynamics, which could be about right.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2014


I think MM blew their wad on Eastern Religion with the Hare Krishna episode, though it's also worth noting that all this stuff really exploded (sorry) in the 70s.

It's sort of like why I get sad that there's been no formal open talk of feminism yet. And then I remind myself that most of second wave feminism was actually happening in the 70s. In the 60s you've got The Feminine Mystique, Simone de Beauvoir, and a few exiles from the New Left. People like our characters are not likely to get on board the Women's Lib train for a few years yet.
posted by Sara C. at 12:04 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Less like utopia

The Utopia thing seemed to me to be a pretty specific callback to something Rachel said in season one to Don about how the word 'Utopia' means a place that cannot exist.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:22 PM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ken is finally head of accounts and has Pete out of his hair, and it's the worst.

Is that actually something Ken wanted? I mean, I remember way back when, Ken was happy to become head of accounts. But, since then, he's seemed pretty happy to not rise to the top: he tries to get home for dinner, he won't run to his father-in-law for business ("I'm not Pete Campbell"), he puts his free time into his fiction writing, etc. I got the feeling that what Ken has right now is what everyone expects he should want, but not something he really ever truly desired.
posted by meese at 12:48 PM on April 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


The utopia theme is thick with this episode. From the New Republic blog post:
"This is "Mad Men," so we know there's lots of heavy symbolism. While Megan dozes off in front of her new, unwanted TV set, Don catches the title cards of Lost Horizon, a 1937 Frank Capra movie about a man who finds his way to Shangri-la but then leaves paradise too soon (get it?!)
In these days of war and rumors of war—haven’t you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight? Of course you have. So has every man since Time began. Always the same dream. Sometimes he calls it Utopia—Sometimes the Fountain of Youth—Sometimes merely "that little chicken farm.”
California has always been Don's Shangri-la, the place he yearns to escape to, but as Ted Chaough keeps saying, it’s still winter in Los Angeles. Coyotes howl outside the door. Disneyland is just a resting place for ashes."
posted by iamkimiam at 12:52 PM on April 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


Marie Mon Dieu, the Neve Campbell character is given a name in the credits (Lee Cabot), so perhaps we'll see her again.

One thing I noticed about the scenes with her and Don (and was confirmed by a recent podcast I heard) is that it was the first moment of real intimacy Don had during the episode. Everything else was fake or put off or unwanted. But then this stranger on a plane is whispering and sharing and sleeping with her head on his shoulder. It seems to make him think. When Lee asks how long he'd been married (as a follow up to the infidelity question), Don responds with "Not long enough." Says it all, really.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:58 PM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


One thing that seemed like it was a throwaway but I'd like to go back, watch again, and really think about, was Megan's protestation at the new television set. She said something like, "Don't you know all my friends are starving?" It's interesting that she would pretend to be a "starving artist" too, given that the Drapers are fairly well-off.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:15 PM on April 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know that she's pretending to be a starving artist, but rather she's trying to be less ostentatious in general. Although, it's interesting to me that Don is trying to front that he's richer than he is and Megan is trying to put on that she's less wealthy than she is. They are so completely out of sync with each other. Hence, Time Zones. (note also all the themes of time, timepieces, ageing, death, etc.)
posted by iamkimiam at 2:21 PM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think also that Don buying that TV was really encroaching on her sense of independence. She moved to LA, alone after Don cost her her job. And she found a place in the hills (even though Don wanted to be by the beach). She even mentions the next place in "I" terms, and then corrects to "we". All through the visit she picks at him (e.g., "don't tear the ads out of my magazines", "don't flick your cigarette butts") and avoids sex with him. She's basically checked out. Plus, she cooked him coque au vin, which if I recall correctly, was a deliberate attempt to soften a death knell the last time.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:29 PM on April 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Maybe Don could just switch over to Marie.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:39 PM on April 16, 2014


i did notice the queen of the agent, the men in roger's bed and the bicostal/bisexual vibe, i did wonder about the queerness here--as a kind of symptom of moral decadence.
posted by PinkMoose at 4:36 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a little too early for est, and she wasn't really speaking the right language for it. Margaret's too conservative for a non-western religion.
I wondered if if she was high on the Jesus. I think that was more of a counterculture movement, though, and doesn't seem right for her living in New York.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:29 PM on April 16, 2014


Based on her "station in life" I'd guess Gestalt Therapy, but I did Gestalt and none of the language sounds right to me.
posted by Sara C. at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any ideas about why Megan might have been nervous about having sex with Don?
posted by crossoverman at 6:09 PM on April 16, 2014


No, I think Margaret most likely just read The Miracle of Forgiveness, which was published in 1969.
posted by misha at 6:11 PM on April 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought it was interesting that Dawn called Lou by his first name, whereas Don was always "Mr. Draper." As much as we're being set up not to like him because he is immune to Peggy's charms (a great line), it's possibly an insight into his more relaxed management style.

And were Dawn and Ginsburg flirting? I approve.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:12 PM on April 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


But the real question, where's Bob Benson?
posted by codacorolla at 7:08 PM on April 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


This talk about utopia is interesting because I've always thought "Are you hurting the one you love" Was about Don. ("You said you got to heaven but it wasn't enough... You'd like to stay in Heaven but the rules are too tough..") (hope that's the right video, can't watch it on my phone)
posted by bleep at 7:19 PM on April 16, 2014


Sweetie Darling: Tom and Lorenzo's MadStyle post did note that they were dressed in similar shades, which they remind us Janie Bryant usually does consciously to indicate characters are connecting (or we're meant to be connecting them). So, good call!!

Regarding Lou, I liked the point from the main thread about it being useful for Peggy to have a boss with whom she didn't work well. Too bad he also had to be a condescending misogynist, though.
posted by kickingthecrap at 8:21 PM on April 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Regarding Lou, I liked the point from the main thread about it being useful for Peggy to have a boss with whom she didn't work well.

To me it seemed like he was saying "I'll pick my own favorites, I'm not going to continue to further the career of Don's protegé". It's office politics: he's going to put his own stamp on Creative and being the rising star under the previous regime is only going to hurt her now. She should be shopping her resume now while her market value is high, because he's not going to let her win any more medals or score any serious industry points for a good long while.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:55 PM on April 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


At the end of "The Rejected" there's a scene where a bunch of people troop in to look at Megan. I still can't figure out why. She's not the first Quebecois to live in NYC.
posted by brujita at 9:47 PM on April 16, 2014


But the real question, where's Bob Benson?

On line one, I think. Or did I imagine that? Maybe someone was ready for that one o'clock with Bob Benson.
posted by mwhybark at 10:14 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was kind of underwhelmed by this episode until poor one-eyed Ken tossed Joan's earring and missed by a mile due to his lack of depth perception. That was a laugh out loud moment that somehow reset my emotional levels and then the rest of the episode was amazing, especially Peggy and Don's closing moments.
posted by cilantro at 11:35 PM on April 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


Bob's in Detroit, right? Working with Chevy?
posted by tracicle at 11:58 PM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I can't remember the last time MM really made me laugh, but when Pete appeared, tanned and preppy and grinning like a little kid at Christmas, I full-on belly laughed. I actually loved him at that moment.

Also the contrast cutting from their scene in the LA diner to Roger and Margaret in that stuffy, frilly restaurant was hilarious. East vs west indeed.
posted by tracicle at 11:59 PM on April 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I thought the Gladys Knight and Julia (he calls Dawn "Nurse") jokes from Lou about Dawn were interesting as far as racial progress ... we've evolved our tacky racial jokes away from cracks shoe polish minstrels. Begrudging respect/mocking of progress there?

I look forward to more of Lou -- he's kind of a jerk -- and seems mediocre. I'm curious to see what that combination looks like up against the others at the firm.

I dug Freddy's role in the episode very much - he makes a good beard for Don. Freddy is so together now - from laughingstock drunk to scrappy survivor - and the way Don talked to him, and Peggy too - he's getting respect and making his living.

Also: loved seeing Canter's for real. Though they can't have been happy that Pete makes a crack about lack of quality bagels in L.A.
posted by artlung at 12:02 AM on April 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


There are no quality bagels in LA!

Hell there are no quality bagels in all of California. I grew up in San Francisco. Rock hard hockey pucks. Awful.

I didn't appreciate this fully till I moved to New York. On the train now headed into the city for work and fantasizing about my forthcoming breakfast, which will involve bagels. Mmmm bagels.
posted by thereemix at 3:27 AM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The time this season is set in is early 1969...

Huh. For some reason, I had it in my head that that was Nixon's second inauguration on the tv, making this 1972. But, then, the Atlantic article states Weiner has said the series won’t make it to 1970. Oh well...

I was flabbergasted to see Don still wearing his damned hat. By '69, wearing a hat like that labeled you solidly as old-fashioned, out of touch, and not to be trusted. I'm convinced that Weiner is using Don's hat as a some sort of symbol of Don's state of mind/being/existence. The day he tosses it in the garbage will be the day he accepts himself. Or some sort of thing like that.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:07 AM on April 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


I don't typically like dinosaur rock, but this season's use of psychedelia in the soundtrack is pretty great. The way that the Vanilla Fudge and Spencer David Group songs were used was really awesome. Does Mad Men do a Spotify playlist like other shows?
posted by codacorolla at 7:24 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


mathowie: "Peggy in real life is a massive Scientologist and wouldn't let the writers mock it and would likely quit the show over it, no?"

*jaw drops*

Elisabeth Moss is a Scientologist?!

Alas, poor Zoey Bartlet. We hardly knew ye.
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


"..., but rather she's trying to be less ostentatious in general....I think also that Don buying that TV was really encroaching on her sense of independence.
posted by iamkimiam
"

And yet she bombs around LA in a new Austin Healy. I'm not sure the TV has to do with being less ostentatious but rather is the exact same thing as comments of "I don't own a TV" comments on Mefi.

She doesn't want to be seen as someone that has too much time for TV, thus the crappy portable she owns when Don shows up.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:18 AM on April 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


She doesn't want to be seen as someone that has too much time for TV, thus the crappy portable

OMG this is exactly why I have a small TV. I guess less for "be seen" and more "don't want to think of myself as"
posted by sweetkid at 9:20 AM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was a laugh out loud moment that somehow reset my emotional levels

This is a great nutshell explanation of why drama series like this need moments of levity!

Why, yes, I am in the middle of the Super Dark Dumb Ole Boring Dominion War episodes of Deep Space Nine. I miss Lwaxana Troi so much, guys. It's not even right. I'm starting to like the Ferengi. You really need a joke here and there to keep the equilibrium.
posted by Sara C. at 10:01 AM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


loved seeing Canter's for real.

FWIW I was talking to a location manager friend of mine about this last night and he is almost positive that the actual location used was not Canter's. Yes, despite the huge Canter's logo on the wall in the background.

Can anyone who spends more of their time/disposable income in Los Angeles Delis weigh in?

Also, the bagels in Los Angeles are like kaiser rolls with holes in them. I'm not sure if it's the water excuse, or if bakeries here just don't understand what a bagel is supposed to be like. There are a few OK ones out there, though. I went to a hole in the wall bagel joint last weekend that was about on par with any of the random Brooklyn Bagels, Bergen Bagels, Court Street Bagels, Village Bagels, Hot & Crusty Bagels, etc type places in NYC. Not Essabagel or H&H level, but totally passable.

Every single thing Pete says in his little speech about how great California is is a thought that I had when I moved out here. It's uncanny.
posted by Sara C. at 10:05 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


By '69, wearing a hat like that labeled you solidly as old-fashioned, out of touch, and not to be trusted. I'm convinced that Weiner is using Don's hat as a some sort of symbol of Don's state of mind/being/existence.

I had this thought, too, but if you notice when he walks out of the airport into the pickup area, pretty much all of the male extras are wearing hats just like his. I think cool young people were definitely not wearing hats, but there were still plenty of establishment hat wearers out there in early '69. And Don is in his 40s. There's no question that the show would depict him as "establishment".
posted by Sara C. at 10:11 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


tracicle: but when Pete appeared, tanned and preppy and grinning like a little kid at Christmas, I full-on belly laughed. I actually loved him at that moment.

That was my favorite part of the whole episode. He finally found where he could fit in!
posted by schnee at 10:35 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's an especially interesting little character development since he was an absolute fish out of water the first time he visited Los Angeles.

I wonder if the takeaway is that Pete just needed to get out from under the Dyckman thumb and have to fend for himself a bit, in order to figure his shit out?

OTOH I really would have loved it if he could have gotten there without destroying his marriage. Trudy in sunny California would have been such a hoot.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad: "Huh. For some reason, I had it in my head that that was Nixon's second inauguration on the tv, making this 1972. But, then, the Atlantic article states Weiner has said the series won’t make it to 1970. Oh well..."

It's definitely his first inaugural.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:47 AM on April 17, 2014


Sara C.: "Super Dark Dumb Ole Boring Dominion War episodes of Deep Space Nine"

OH NO YOU DIN'T

*brings out ALL the knives*

Seriously, the show was 1000x better during it's 5th, 6th and 7th seasons.
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I guess, but seriously though somebody needs to crack a smile every once in a while, even if -- like this Mad Men episode with Ken's depth perception -- the humor is dark.
posted by Sara C. at 10:57 AM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don will fall this season. All the way.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:02 AM on April 17, 2014


1969. I hope someone goes to Woodstock! I guess Sally is too young, she was born in 1954 so she'd only be 15.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 11:06 AM on April 17, 2014


Maybe Bert could go to Woodstock. They haven't given him anything to do in a while.
posted by mikepop at 11:09 AM on April 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sara C.: "the humor is dark."

It can be. "In the Cards" was pretty light and funny.
posted by zarq at 11:09 AM on April 17, 2014


Oh man do not even talk to sweetkid about Woodstock.

I actually think Sally is perfectly primed to go, because Woodstock is the sort of thing that would seem cool for a 15 year old and she's already shown a proclivity for sneaking around and rebelling against her mother in predictable ways.

One thing people forget about the 60s is that everyone doing youth counterculture was really, really young. A lot of the hippies were 15 and 16 year old kids. This really struck me reading Joan Didion's writing about San Francisco in, I think, Slouching Towards Bethlehem (but maybe The White Album?). In hindsight the Summer Of Love seems like a groovy scene where consenting adults shattered social norms. On the ground at the time, it looked like broken families and homeless kids throwing their lives away.

However, I think Sally's perfect position for Woodstock means probably she won't go, because Matt Weiner is crafty like that.

My guess is that we get a sly nod in the form of a quip about traffic up to the Catskills being really bad, or Stan contemplates going and then blows it off.

WAIT GUYS WHAT IF ROGER GOES TO WOODSTOCK
posted by Sara C. at 11:12 AM on April 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, the B-story for "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" was freakin' hilarious.
posted by zarq at 11:12 AM on April 17, 2014


Roger & Bert road trip to Woodstock.
posted by mikepop at 11:16 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


He finally found where he could fit in!

What did Trudy tell Pete at the end of last season? "You're free of them. You're free of everything"
posted by rocket88 at 11:17 AM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Stan totally seems the Woodstock type.
posted by dnash at 11:18 AM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, things that happened in the summer of 1969:

Woodstock
Moon Landing
Stonewall
Tate-Labianca murders and the Manson Family

What else?

How likely is it that this is the axis that the mid-season split is going to revolve around?
posted by Sara C. at 11:21 AM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


FADE OUT CREDITS TO REVEAL SEVERAL ROADIES ARGUING BACKSTAGE ABOUT VOLTAGES. WE HEAR THE MUFFLED SOUND OF GUITARS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THE NEAR DISTANCE. CAMERA PANS TO REVEAL AN OLD MAN WITH A GOATEE SITTING ON AN UNUSED AMPLIFIER IN THE CORNER. HE IS READING A NEWSPAPER AND NO ONE IS PAYING ANY ATTENTION TO HIM.
posted by mikepop at 11:25 AM on April 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Other things going on that summer via Wikipedia:

The Weathermen rise out of the ashes of SDS, though this happens in Chicago and I think the famous Greenwich Village townhouse explosion doesn't happen until 1970. The Young Lords is also founded around the same time. I'm pretty sure NONE of this is going to end up on Mad Men unless Abe comes back.

Brian Jones dies.

Zodiac Killer.

Chappaquidick.
posted by Sara C. at 11:32 AM on April 17, 2014


What else?

There's been a lot of airplane imagery in the promotional materials. The 747 debuts in February.

In March they have some assassination-related news they can circle back to (Sirhan and James Earl Ray both plead guilty) if they want to revisit any of that.
posted by mikepop at 11:37 AM on April 17, 2014


Chappaquidick

Which of course led to this fake VW ad by National Lampoon.
posted by mikepop at 11:43 AM on April 17, 2014


(which I now find wasn't published until 1973 so not going to apply here)
posted by mikepop at 11:45 AM on April 17, 2014


We're already post inauguration which means over a week past Joe Namath's famous Super Bowl III upset win.
There's also the start of the FLQ crisis in Quebec giving a Megan connection but any mention is extremely unlikely.
I don't think there will be any historical tie-ins until the moon landing and possibly Woodstock.
posted by rocket88 at 12:00 PM on April 17, 2014


I had this thought, too, but if you notice when he walks out of the airport into the pickup area, pretty much all of the male extras are wearing hats just like his.

Yeah, I noticed that. All those hats were a bit too obvious, though. I didn't take that scene literally. It seemed to be more like a fugue-state sort of thing playing in Don's head, almost as if he was a character in one of his ad pitches.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:23 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]




Yeah, I can't see Sally going to Woodstock. She's going to be something of a rebel, but she's not going to rebel by dropping out and getting high. She's going to be the high achieving, superficially well-behaved preppie kind of rebel.
posted by orange swan at 12:40 PM on April 17, 2014


I can't remember where it was, but there was an interview recently where Matt Weiner said that people who expected Sally to become a hippie dropout were totally misreading the character. She's the hyper-responsible oldest child of an alcoholic, and she's all about being in control of her life, not losing control. I think his quote was that Sally's upbringing isn't how you make an addict; it's how you make a senator.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:56 PM on April 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Well, a lot of totally normal non-hippie people went to Woodstock. It was just a rock concert. Its association with dropout counterculturalists is mostly in hindsight. Now, if they wanted to have Sally at the Human Be-In, that would be different.

But Matthew Weiner has weighed in, so yeahhhhh.

And obviously this proves that Roger is going to Woodstock.
posted by Sara C. at 1:09 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just kind of skimmed through this article and though I'm annoyed by the tone of the thing, I am kind of interested in thinking about how the moon landing will play on Don's psyche.
posted by Tevin at 2:09 PM on April 17, 2014


Roger is more likely going to Altamount at this point.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:14 PM on April 17, 2014


I sort of hope that the moon landing is something that Don and Bobby can bond over, but I feel like they already sort of did that with Planet Of The Apes.

I wonder who this year's Bobby will be?
posted by Sara C. at 2:25 PM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh man do not even talk to sweetkid about Woodstock.

OMG I have had meetings for hours but was keeping an eye on this thread and wanted to comment so badly (also saw the Weiner denial in RS which yessss):

People have been talking about Sally going to Woodstock since way back when she was a little girl cutting her hair and masturbating at a sleepover. I can't understand why there's such a desire to see this happen.

Here are just a few reasons why it's a bad idea, off the top of my head:

1) For people born after the 60s or who have no memory of the time period, the main cliche thing that comes to mind for a lot of people about the 60s is the hippie/flower child/peace sign waving Woodstock image. Sure, we know other things happened, many other things, but it's such a cliched, iconic image and I think the show has always done a great job sidestepping those things and referring to historical events only as a backdrop/aside to things happening in the characters' lives (JFK's assassination was the same time as Margaret Sterling's wedding, MLK was the same night as an awards event, the main reason they were even paying attention to JFK's election was because Nixon campaign was their client). The 60s is the time period but the context is always the characters' personal lives. Putting Sally at Woodstock would make the context Woodstock, not Sally. It's just too big of a thing. It would overshadow her and anything we were supposed to get out of her going there. It would be a Forrest Gump move.

2) As the character has evolved, it's clear that she's just not the kind of person who would be interested in Woodstock. Teenagers' tastes change fast, sure, but she's not that interested in politics or the war, she hangs out with other preppy kids, not hippies or people inclined to be hippies, she isn't that into substance abuse unless it pisses off her parents, it just doesn't make sense with her character. She's not a wild child. As said previously, she's kind of turning out the way a lot of children of alcoholics do - hyper controlled, personal pressure to succeed, "parenting" her younger siblings in some ways.

3) There's something about narratives about young women with bad/neglectful/etc parents that seem to bring out people being all, "I hope she just goes WILD" that's sort of icky to me and I see that with Sally Goes to Woodstock. Why? Is going wild with sex and recreational drugs and etc supposed to be a gratifying release for a girl like Sally? I doubt it. It kind of reminds me of the "keep your daughter off the pole" Chris Rock jokes about how that's a father's job, which I hate. A more mild version of that, but still.

4) I kind of hate the idea of anyone going to Woodstock, because I can't see them showing that in anything besides a clunky, Forrest Gumpy, cheesy manner. They've done a good job of not showing lookalikes for famous people, so they probably wouldn't have a stand in for Jimi Hendrix brush by Sally and drive her crazy. So they'd just have a lot of crowd noise and kids on drugs and people offering Sally illegal substances in tents. Roger is already at the edge hedonism wise so I don't know what would be in it for him either.

tl;dr no one should go to Woodstock. If the show ends that way at all I'll be pissed.
posted by sweetkid at 2:35 PM on April 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


I wonder who this year's Bobby will be?

I suppose it's Gene's turn by default? Or perhaps Gene is Henry Francis' son by circumstance at this point.
posted by gladly at 2:52 PM on April 17, 2014


I could see Roger going to Woodstock because he's already running with the crowd where it'd make sense he'd hear about it (especially since he's rich and could bankroll the drugs, the tent and the travel expenses). Roger also has the motivation, since he's looking for anything to reconnect him with youth or give him a larger sense of purpose (I'm not saying either would be successful, but that's what it would represent to his character).

I can't imagine that they'd show too much there. The most effective thing might be a comment in passing, or maybe a single hallucinogenic scene.
posted by codacorolla at 3:03 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if Roger goes to Woodstock it's going to be, like, he wakes up on Monday with a raging hangover and mud in strange places. Or some hot young hippie chick is all, "We're going up to this rock concert, wanna come?" and then the result is left to our imaginations.

I would be very, very surprised if Mad Men prominently featured Woodstock in an episode.

I think it's highly likely that we'll have an episode that takes place either at the end of June or mid-late August (if not both!) and that that episode/those episodes will be right at the midpoint where Season 7A becomes Season 7B. There may even be a cliffhanger aspect of it, though I don't think said cliffhanger will depict any of those iconic events in a direct way.

If the show really does plan to redeem Don, I predict that summer 1969 is going to be integral to that. Again, I don't think that's going to mean history is rewritten so that Megan is one of the Manson murder victims, or Don goes to Woodstock, or anything that heavy-handed. But I think the show is going to play with the chaos of that particular summer, and the split season means the show is poised to really make the most of it.
posted by Sara C. at 3:13 PM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I could even see Don fitfully trying to grasp toward the younger generation by following some hippies toward Woodstock (a la that episode where he just kind of floated around in California) but getting sidetracked when they break down the chainlink fence to get in-- Don wanders off and follows someone talking about Chevy and tries to pitch to them and winds up in yet another dark bar staring into the middle distance with a forgotten daisy crown sitting crookedly on his head.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:16 PM on April 17, 2014


My parents were actual counterculture people in the tri-state area in 1969 and even they missed Woodstock (they were young and in love and went camping that weekend instead). My mom went to the Newport Folk Festival that year, but we like to tease her and tell her that it's not nearly the same thing.

I don't think the show has anyone that's quite the right demographic for Woodstock, except maybe Stan but even then I can't see it. Sally is a hair too young, and everyone else is too old or too square. Sure, Roger, maybe. But I guess I'm not particularly interested in the narrative of Roger at Woodstock, personally.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:33 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Woodstock wasn't really that culturally important or interesting at the time and it is even less meaningful now.

It's much more likely we'll see Don get into it with Warhol at an Exploding Plastic Inevitable show.

Or, with the increasing LA focus, stab someone at a Doors show.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:10 PM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Music really isn't much more than a background signifier in this world is what I think. Doubt these characters would care that much about a concert.

I'm really surprised no-one in this thread has gotten into the Manson murders, which have in some people's opinions hung over the last couple of seasons as an omen of some kind. And now Megan lives in the Hollywood Hills.

The dark times are coming. I used to expect this show to end with either grace or sadness. Now I think grand tragedy is actually way more likely.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:18 PM on April 17, 2014


I'm really surprised no-one in this thread has gotten into the Manson murders

I think we really talked the Manson Murders to death last season.

Though I was wracking my brain trying to figure out where Megan's little bungalow is. Don mentions "The Hills" as opposed to the beach, but does he have a perfect sense of neighborhood nomenclature? Megan herself says something about "the canyon".

The view out the windows looks a lot like Topanga, but I think Topanga was way too out there and rustic for where someone like Megan would live in 1969. Also it would be an absolutely absurd place to take a taxi from.

Laurel Canyon, maybe, but I think that's even more hippie-ish than Megan at this point. Certainly not somewhere Don would feel even vaguely comfortable. But it does jibe with Megan's uncomfortableness with the TV and insistence that everyone she knows is broke/starving.

Sharon Tate lived in Benedict Canyon, and there are a few other places around the Hollywood Hills that have "Canyon" in the name, like Coldwater Canyon, Beachwood Canyon, etc. On the other hand, wouldn't the Hollywood Hills be way too swank for slumming Megan and her little cabin?
posted by Sara C. at 4:33 PM on April 17, 2014


Jon Hamm just told Vulture he thinks it's cool people are talking about the show so much, but he doesn't think there's any there there re: Megan/Sharon Tate.

Also, as usual I wasn't thrilled with the T&Lo recap as usual, but one especially weird comment they made was that Betty has been associated with Grace Kelly and Joan with Marilyn Monroe, but neither of them have died tragically the way those two did, so there's no reason that associating Megan with Sharon Tate means she'll be murdered. But isn't Sharon Tate known more for her murder (and famous murderer and famous husband) than for her acting career, unlike Grace and Marilyn? That observation seemed off to me.
posted by sweetkid at 4:56 PM on April 17, 2014


While the show hasn't always stuck to one episode/one month, a lot of last season was like that - and if we've got seven episodes in the first half, I think it would be fitting to end in July 1969 around the time of the moon landing. Of course, the one episode/one month thing would push the second half of the season into 1970, which Weiner has always said won't happen. (Though a little part of me would like it to end in March 1970, one decade after when the pilot was set.) So I expect the second half of the season will have episodes set closer together in time, the march of time working against these characters.

And if the show continues to split its time between New York and California, I'd suspect Weiner will skip Woodstock and go straight to Altamont in December - a symbol of the end of the hippie movement.
posted by crossoverman at 5:04 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I have a personal interest in Woodstock, because I know a guy who was a film maker in NYC and he used to go around filming people like Barbra Streisdand and Aretha Franklin. He actually developed a lot of the film techniques used in Woodstock.

And his partner said, "hey, going to film a movie in upper NY state, wanna be involved?" and this guy said, "no! I've had enough of corporate suits! I'm going to Mexico to film there!" and then he got back and saw them all winning the Oscar.

This same guy also had a crew filming when Bobby Kennedy got shot, and the young woman who was part of his crew got his blood sprayed on her, and she came back to New York and quit the film business. "I didn't blame her," he said.

He was a camera man for Merv Griffin and was once offered a producer job at Jeopardy and turned it down (corporate suits) and came to Maine and became a serial entrepreneur. But damn, he has the best stories from the 1960's, including eating lunch with Linda Eastman and a friend ("beautiful girl").

I was too young for Woodstock, so maybe that's why I idealize it, but this whole show is fascinating to me, because I was born and grew up in the 1960's and my memories are of scratchy mauve couches at my grammie's house and a giant wood grained TV playing Lawrence Welk, and arguing with my sister over who could have Davy Jones as a boyfriend. We would go into the back porch/den, where we had a black and white TV, and do the Monkey dance and watch the show. The regular living room was formal, with a fireplace, and no TV allowed in there. Every Sunday we had a fancy dinner and my mom would get the special ice cream glasses out of the china cabinet and we could have ice cream sundaes for dessert. She wore clothes like the women wear in this show and my dad wore suits and went to work. Nobody in my family even thought about wild child stuff until the late 1970's and Zeppelin and pot was everywhere so why not?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:04 PM on April 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I thought that was neither here nor there. On the one hand, no, obviously the show isn't going to have Megan be murdered by the Manson Family. For a million reasons we're all aware of.

On the other hand, there is a lot more here than just an aesthetic comparison. Joan didn't take classes at the Actors' Studio. Betty didn't marry the prince of a European micro-nation. Megan is an up and coming actress who just moved to a house in the exact neighborhood the Manson Murders will take place in, a few months from now in show time.

On the other other hand, I just found the most ridiculous blog post comparing all the tiniest details of every Meghan scene in this episode to a Sharon Tate/Manson Family thing (for instance hearing coyotes and the restaurant El Coyote, where Sharon Tate ate her last meal), and oy vey, guy, relax!
posted by Sara C. at 5:05 PM on April 17, 2014


a giant wood grained TV playing Lawrence Welk

There's another bit of set dressing from my childhood I should start looking out for -- we had a hand-me-down TV from my grandparents, which would have been new circa this period. It's not the set Don bought Megan, sadly.
posted by Sara C. at 5:07 PM on April 17, 2014


Betty didn't marry the prince of a European micro-nation.

Yet.
posted by crossoverman at 5:08 PM on April 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


I will be very, very, even extremely, surprised if Megan turns out to get murdered à la the Mansons. That does not feel like this shows M-O at all. The Manson murders were in August, 1969, and given the show's usual time spans, it's almost certain the show will reach that point sometime in these two mini-seasons. It would be more like this's show's standard to have a moment where the Tate murder makes the news and Megan turns to Don sobbing "OMG that could've been me!" I think modeling Megan's styling after Sharon Tate is just a form or "local color" - it evokes the history that we all know now, but the characters are as yet unaware of.
posted by dnash at 5:23 PM on April 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


We had a wood paneled TV when I was a kid, too. I think my parents probably bought it late 70s? It lasted a while. I think probably into the late 80s.

I also vaguely remember things like TV dials and rotary phones though I don't think I ever had to learn to use them properly before they were out of use.
posted by sweetkid at 5:28 PM on April 17, 2014


I also clearly remember watching the 1965 version of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. This would have been around 1968 or 1969. I remember crying, and my mom asked why and I said, "because it's over!" And she chuckled. At that time, popular movies only came on once a year, like Wizard of Oz, and we looked forward to them with great anticipation. Sound of Music, Gone With the Wind, etc. Those were big deals. I imagine the ad execs thought so as well.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:35 PM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. TV dials. I have so many memories of being my parents' remote control and adjusting the TV antenna. I'm pretty sure that's why they bought me the bean bag I wanted from TG&Y. The TV was the center of our family universe.

I'm super excited to see how they handle the moon landing. I did not know until I read this Slate article that the space race was a big deal for wristwatches and that Bulova handed out Accutrons to test pilots to try to get on board that gravy train. Sorry Bulova, but if I every have several thousand dollars lying around to pick up a luxury watch I'm gonna have to go with the Omega because BOND JAMES BOND.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:54 PM on April 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


My mom had a Bulova watch. And a coral and gold leaf bracelet.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:17 PM on April 17, 2014


Beverly Glen and Nichols Canyon( where Father Yod lived)are also possibilities for Megan's house. The Hollywood Hills part of the Santa Monica mountains end at Laurel Canyon.

I think Pete lives in Park La Brea, which is also across the street from LACMA.
posted by brujita at 10:37 PM on April 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think his quote was that Sally's upbringing isn't how you make an addict; it's how you make a senator.

Omigod, she's gonna end up following Phyllis Schlafly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:35 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


mikepop: "There's been a lot of airplane imagery in the promotional materials. The 747 debuts in February. "

Given that we've got as far as January 20th, there aren't many major US plane crashes left for 1969. I suppose Don could always be on Allegheny 853 or Mohawk 411. The Allegheny flight was a DC-9, so at least it's a jet, but why would Don be flying out of Boston?

He flies a lot, he said that. Hell, he's the only person I've ever seen using the plane bathroom razor plug. Wouldn't be completely crazy to take him out that way.
posted by barnacles at 8:41 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mohawk having a history with SC&P, as well.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:35 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


If 1960s era telephones were not so big, Roger's first scene would have needed to be shot from the waist up.
posted by The Deej at 11:20 AM on April 18, 2014


Oh I didn't think that they would take him out in a plane crash. The 747 debuts, but there is some time before it offers regular commercial flights. I just thought it might play into the themes of the season somehow, especially with characters spread out on both coasts (and Detroit).

There is a lot of other space stuff leading up to the Moon landing in July, so there is plenty to build up with to lead into July if they want to focus on that.
posted by mikepop at 11:24 AM on April 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


one-eyed Ken tossed Joan's earring and missed by a mile due to his lack of depth perception

Partly, though it was covered in the other thread he might be used to lack of stereo vision by now. I think that it might have been anger, too (I saw her crack a smile slightly after he threw it at her) that made him miss. He spun and to me looked like he wobbled in the doorway at the exit - again, anger, frustration and depth issues. I have issues with my eye and a half so I can imagine wearing a patch a while would throw me off, especially when stressed and upset.

Yeah I blew some bonus money on MM after all. I came back for Lou and the Ginsberg/Dawn dynamic.

If not for the fact that he knows the ending (filming is wrapping on the second half of the seventh season) and has since the fourth season, I'd have my five shiny Lincolns pointed towards the Don Draper/DB Cooper theory.

Then again, JK Rowling said she had too, and the last word of the last book would be "scar" and then she changed it, so ... who knows.
“Once I knew what (the ending) was, I could see that there are things throughout the entire series that will seem related to it,” he says. “Certainly there are things in these first seven episodes that you’ll go back to and be able to say, ‘Oh there it is.’
posted by tilde at 12:16 PM on April 18, 2014


Yeah, in the aftermath of HIMYM, any showrunner who says they've known from the beginning how their show would end seems kind of questionable, to me. It's just not something you can know, and if you force that knowledge by making a decision you can't back out of, that might not be such a great thing.
posted by Sara C. at 5:43 PM on April 18, 2014


When Lou said he was going to go with "Accutron is Accurate", the amount of restraint it must have taken to not burst out with "you take something that stupid, empty and obvious to the client and they'll laugh in our face and fire us" is almost incalculable. I mean are they trying to depict him as a compete incompetent, or was he just needling Peggy and not really serious?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:46 PM on April 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Did I catch it right: Is Megan under the impression that Don is still working at the agency?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 12:48 PM on April 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's my take on it, yes.

How wealthy is Don, anyway? Probably not fuck-off wealthy, but solidly upper middle class instead?
posted by codacorolla at 1:28 PM on April 19, 2014


It's been established that, as one of the major partners in SCDPLETTERS, he is fully in Rich Person territory at this point. That's one of the major story arcs of the first couple of seasons. Don goes from upper middle class creative director of an ad agency to Name On The Building over the course of the first half of the 60s.

Either way, at this point his wealth via his career is coming from his stake as part owner of the company, and not so much via the dollar amount on the paycheck he draws for showing up. It doesn't much matter whether he works for a living or not. Certainly a couple months of leave aren't going to make a significant dent in his finances. He's still a partner at SCDPLETTERS whether the payroll department cuts a check to him this week or not.
posted by Sara C. at 1:35 PM on April 19, 2014


By the way, did anybody notice his eyes glittering a bit at the idea of Los Angeles real estate? I couldn't tell whether he was just dazzled by Bonnie's looks or what, but before it was revealed that Don still has a toe in the ad game, I wondered if he was fantasizing about leaving his old life behind and funneling his SCDPLETTERS capital into the real estate market. Utopia With Rachel style.
posted by Sara C. at 1:37 PM on April 19, 2014


By the way, did anybody notice his eyes glittering a bit at the idea of Los Angeles real estate? I couldn't tell whether he was just dazzled by Bonnie's looks or what, but before it was revealed that Don still has a toe in the ad game, I wondered if he was fantasizing about leaving his old life behind and funneling his SCDPLETTERS capital into the real estate market. Utopia With Rachel style.

Yes, I noticed how interested he seemed in the real estate, too.

Speaking of Don being rich, it was strange to me how bothered he seemed hearing the coyotes at Megan's. It made me think of the phrase, "the wolf at the door" -- but there's no wolf at Don's door, really, so why is he worried? It also made me think about how Megan didn't want Don's gift of the big TV, because her friends are "starving." I guess all that talk about hunger and Neve's husband's "thirst" was just about how insatiable some appetites are? I don't exactly know what Don's insatiable for on a more metaphorical/abstract level, though.

Also, I've been trying to re-watch last season on Netflix because it's been so long since I saw it last, and this reminds me of Don's hangup last season about his girlfriend using the phrase, "I need you and nothing else will do," and how he had a thing (with her) about wanting to feel needed, and how he enjoyed controlling her like a puppet, and how he insisted to her in the hotel room (which he kept trying to keep her from leaving) that "in this room you only exist for me."

That thing of keeping his girlfriend holed up "for him" in the hotel room also reminded me of his story of holing up in his room as a kid to savor eating his chocolate bar because it allowed him to pretend he was someone else with a different life. It's kind of funny that he couldn't do the same with Megan, but she's got the coyotes howling and her acting and it's not really possible for them to lock themselves away in there or for Don to pretend that she's for his enjoyment alone.
posted by rue72 at 2:52 PM on April 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I figured he was bothered by the coyotes because he's a city boy*. It is kind of unsettling how much wildlife -- and not the cute kind of wildlife -- there is everywhere in Los Angeles, even in relatively dense and settled areas. As opposed to the urban areas of the East Coast where you rarely see any animal higher on the food chain than a pigeon.

It still kind of freaks me out that you'll often see coyotes on hikes in Griffith Park, which is an urban park in the middle of the city. There shouldn't be wild carnivores and fro yo within a mile of each other, surely?

I also thought it showed how uncomfortable he was with Megan's choice of where to make their home base in California. This is not what he would have picked. Not just out of preferring this neighborhood to that neighborhood, but fundamentally.

Also it seems like a great symbol of Los Angeles at that time. An uncontrollable wildness much closer than you'd think seeing the place during daylight.

*Yes, I realize he did some growing up on a Pennsylvania farm. But that was a long time ago, a world he was desperate to escape, and symbolically East Coast farmland is usually depicted as bucolic and not wild in the way that the West is seen.
posted by Sara C. at 3:16 PM on April 19, 2014


It still kind of freaks me out that you'll often see coyotes on hikes in Griffith Park, which is an urban park in the middle of the city. There shouldn't be wild carnivores and fro yo within a mile of each other, surely?

They're ubiquitous in the urban west -- I think Greater LA may be the only city vast enough to really filter them out. And not just the west, either: this is getting way off topic but I really recommend anyone interested in this watch Nature's Meet The Coywolf.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:56 PM on April 19, 2014


Yup. I live in Central Austin, not even near a park bigger than a swing set and a sandbox, and coyotes eating pets is an ongoing concern here.
posted by donajo at 9:16 PM on April 19, 2014


(We actually did the math on SDCP shares and capital valuation in a prior MM thread, iirc. It may have included or branched out into compensation figures as well. As a man lazier than Roger Silver, I leave it to your intrepidity to locate said prior art.)
posted by mwhybark at 12:02 AM on April 20, 2014


Just watched the middle episodes of last season; at $9 a share, Joan' portion (assuming she is a junior partner) is worth, in Pete's words "at least one million dollars").

Don is worth more than that; there is an aside that he's already got money. Here's the Vulture's valuation of things, though they seem to indicate that they didn't go public, but it's been a long time since I watched the season.
posted by tilde at 4:25 AM on April 21, 2014


Certainly a couple months of leave aren't going to make a significant dent in his finances.

More than that; I think Freddy has a line in that late scene (with the reveal of exactly what work Don keeps needing to get back to, neither what he's implying nor something he's actually inventing) noting that Don's still getting paid. He's just not being allowed to work. Like folks have said, it's his name that's at stake, not his pocket book.

Or, probably more to the point, it's his sense of any kind of identity as a guy who seems only satisfied when he's doing his version of accomplishing something; he wouldn't be any happier with his name on the side of a building that he sits idly inside of than he has been with just continuing to be married to any particular beautiful woman.

And, which, really, having just watched this episode last night (been cramming on Season 6 all week) I loved that opening long slow pull-away shot with Freddy doing a better-than-Freddy pitch. A completely unsettling way to jump right into the dangling question of Don's fortunes with the agency after the season break; when was the last time we really even thought about Freddy, and here he is, way on his game, and what about Don? And then the slow littering of work references from Don, unexplained, throughout the episode to string it along.

When he said that to Neve Campbell's character, that was the moment that it really stuck for me, though, and became something more interesting than just "Don's lying about work"; because this is the one person he's had a conversation with in the episode who he has no reason to tell that lie to. They're strangers, she doesn't know what he purportedly does, and he doesn't have to tell her no for any clear reason. But he has to go to work. How much of that is a lingering mental struggle for some kind of fidelity to Megan (or to the more abstract idea of not being terrible at marriage) and how much is Don's fundamental need to be doing the work I don't know exactly, but I think it's definitely at least significantly the latter. Because at that moment it's clear from what we know of Don as a serial philanderer that the thing making him say "I've got to get to work" isn't him not wanting to go home with this woman.
posted by cortex at 10:12 AM on April 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tilde, they did not end up going public, because that was the point where Don and Ted decided to merge their two agencies.

I'm not sure how the merger would affect all the various partners' material wealth, though I think someone like Don would be relatively safe. It's probably less good for more junior partners like Joan and Pete.
posted by Sara C. at 10:31 AM on April 21, 2014


when was the last time we really even thought about Freddy, and here he is, way on his game, and what about Don?

Especially since we've already seen Freddy's return to work after getting sober, and the results were dreadful.
posted by Sara C. at 10:37 AM on April 21, 2014


"And yet she bombs around LA in a new Austin Healy."

That's not a new Austin Healey, it's a few years used. And while it looks shiny and fantastic on first view, the whole image breaks down after a minute. That's my read at least, from the big bold Don and Megan slow-motion entrance, theeeeeen…practicality sets it. "I can't adjust the seat." and it's all downhill from there.

My point being, while she's not exactly a starving artist by any stretch, within the context of LA at that time, she is and is trying to be at least a little modest. Also, she's a buzzkill. (Which is pretty damn impressive, considering her starting point.)
posted by iamkimiam at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2014


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