Mad Men: The Jet Set   Rewatch 
August 20, 2014 5:12 AM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

On a business trip to Los Angeles, Don becomes acquainted with some exciting new friends. Peggy looks for romance at work. Duck starts thinking about the future of Sterling Cooper.
posted by Sweetie Darling (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm still not sure I understand what Weiner was trying to do with the Palm Springs people (although I do love the introduction to sexy California Don/Dick). The one guy - the Viscount? - looked so much like Christopher Guest, to the point of distraction, and the Eurotrash was drawn with such broad strokes.

Joy gives us THE MESSAGE for this episode: "Why would you deny yourself something you want?"
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:57 AM on August 20, 2014

I think Alan Sepinwall's (pre-HitFix) recap gives a pretty good explanation of the Palm Springs crowd--he points out that they're "rich and cultured enough to easily move from place to place, identity to identity[...] and never worrying about the consequences", which holds obvious appeal for Don.

Willie, the "Viscount", will always be the kinky German Porche thief from "Super Troopers" to me.

And I am dying for someone to explain why a name spelled "St. John" is pronounced "Sinzhin".
posted by lovableiago at 8:38 AM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

lovableiago, I had to reread Jane Eyre after that episode, after discovering that's how St. John Rivers' name should be said.
posted by tracicle at 9:55 AM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, I came across that information elsewhere--I just don't understand why! :)
posted by lovableiago at 10:31 AM on August 20, 2014

(Especially considering that both "Saint" and "John" are very English words--I could see a non-phonetic pronunciation if they were from a different language...)
posted by lovableiago at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2014

I just watched this episode again with commentary from Weiner, the director and David Carbonara the musical director. Weiner says he was influenced by Slim Aarons' photography in setting the tone and style for the episode, so that is a new internet rabbit hole for me to explore.

Duck's face before, during and after that drink - heartbreaking. Weiner says he wanted the scene to play like Popeye eating his spinach, and it certainly does.

Pete saw Tony Curtis in the men's room! Then says, "a thing like that" - one of my favorite Pete-isms. I read somewhere that Vincent Kartheiser used to catch himself saying it.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

And I am dying for someone to explain why a name spelled "St. John" is pronounced "Sinzhin".

I was acclimated to this because of many episodes of viewing Airwolf so I didn't bat an eye when I heard it in Mad Men.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:59 PM on August 20, 2014

Here's more of that fabulous house, which to my vague disappointment is located not in Palm Springs, but Chatsworth (San Fernando Valley).
posted by lovableiago at 1:16 PM on August 20, 2014

Tangential: Why Jon Hamm Won't Win An Emmy (Again)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:09 PM on August 20, 2014

This person thinks that the pronunciation of "Sinjin" is a linguistic relic of the Norman invasion.

Tangential: Why Jon Hamm Won't Win An Emmy (Again)

I love this show, obviously, and think that Jon Hamm is fantastic, but I don't think he deserves the Emmy just because he's been nominated 7 times and never won. As they say, it's an honor just to be nominated. According to the Emmy voters, he's been in the top 5 of television dramatic actors for seven years. That's a huge accomplishment in and of itself. There doesn't seem to be a case for why he should win over Bryan Cranston or Kevin Spacey or any of the others. It's not a career award.
posted by donajo at 3:22 PM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Regarding this actual episode, I find the jet set to be insufferable. Although I do want to go out and get a chile relleno for dinner.

It's also amusing how Pete just sort of goes with the fact that Don skipped out early. He doesn't even call SC to find out what happened - it's just "meh, I guess he went home and didn't tell me."
posted by donajo at 3:26 PM on August 20, 2014

Oh, and Kurt! "I have sex with the men, not with the women." And giving Peggy a much-needed haircut. I wish he's stuck around instead of Ginsberg. He's much more entertaining.
posted by donajo at 3:31 PM on August 20, 2014 [6 favorites]

This was a great Pete episode. I loved that he just took charge when Don disappeared.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:31 PM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

After that depressing presentation on MIRVs and total annihilation I would have been tempted to run off with a group of nomads myself.
posted by cwest at 6:43 AM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Don makes a rare social misstep when he tells the jet set, "I assume you're all well off." There's a pause, some throat clearing, and the topic is immediately changed. Very wealthy people do not talk about money.
posted by orange swan at 8:44 AM on August 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just as a point of reference, Sinclair is actually a corruption of St. Clair.

I think that Don sees the Jet Set as an amusing diversion, but he know's he'd just be a pet, he can't afford to actually live that lifestyle (even with his $500k from the sale of SC.) He enjoys it for the weekend, then he heads off to visit Anna. I love that he arrives by bus, pretty much the complete opposite of the Jet Set.

Pete is in his milieu with the defense contractors, he's never been in a war and he's not overly concerned with what the product is actually used for. Don...he doesn't need a MIRV, apparently a Zippo can do just as much damage.

Peggy's hair. I HATE makeovers as a rule (so cliche) but MAN it's an overnight change, when her hair grows up, SHE grows up.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:31 AM on August 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

St John is still around in the UK and Commonwealth. I've met a few over the years and never come across the Sinjun spelling, nor heard it pronounced Saint John. Even in the UK the name is faintly ludicrous which I think is the joke. I think Putnam Powell and Lowell are VERY BRITISH in ways even most British people are not.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 10:02 AM on August 24, 2014

Her name is Joy. It seems like a very deliberate choice to me.

The scene in the pool with Christian and children: Don looks so torn between this life of constant escape, and the love of his Sally and Bobby.

Poor Sal and his face during Kurt's outing. And Ken is such a...jackass about it.

Peggy's post-haircut dress, first seen from the waist up, looks like it could be a Joan dress.
posted by tracicle at 6:33 AM on August 26, 2014

Oh, Sal.
I think Don sees something of himself in Bernard, a child dragged along with the adult's problems. California represents the future, in this show, and it makes sense that Pete, with deep ties to the past, didn't like it. Yet Pete is regularly the most forward-thinking on the show.

Is Faulkner the go-to to show someone who is studying American lit in college?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:29 PM on September 1, 2014

"I just saw Tony Curtis in the men's room!"
"Handing out towels?"
"Tony Curtis, Don! A thing like that."

Bookending tracicle's comment about the kids and escape - as he floats into the bar at the start of the episode in LA, he sees a woman with Betty's shape and hair with his back to him (they use this more directly a couple seasons later).

Odessa doesn't end in A, Don.


He's in borrowed clothes ... I'm assuming Joy's father's clothes .... kind of weird. Then again, seeing Don in a polo shirt is a shock to me. He's white shirt and tie, or undershirt. Don, unbuttoned? Reality shift for me.

I think NY scenes are more interesting, but maybe it's my annoyance at the Jet Set people. Was kind of jarring but makes sense - another kind of Richness compared to what Campbell comes from and the Mainline brat he married.

"Enjoy the dancing beans." Yeah I wish Kurt had stuck around, too.

I agree about the trope of the makeover, but she's still coasting on some of the boost from keeping Bobbie Barrett overnight, too.
posted by tilde at 11:39 AM on September 7, 2014

I mean, Odessa doesn't end in O, Don.
posted by tilde at 5:35 PM on September 7, 2014

Her name is Joy. It seems like a very deliberate choice to me
Oh, yes, I am sure it was!

- On my first watch of Mad Men here. This was my favourite episode so far in a crowded field. We get the contrast between California and New York made wonderfully - with the flood of sunlight, the Mexican food, the open top cars, the pools and with the cool exotica of Martin Denny's version of Misirlou. Hedonistic exotica ("why would you deny yourself something you want?") seemed to be the theme of the day here in fact. The shock of the new also. Younger women for Don and for Roger, Kurt's open homosexuality, Duck's crate of gin, an impending flood of money and prestige clients for buyout of SC, Peggy's new hair-do.

We only get any sense of regret for these changes in Johnny Mathis's version of "What'll I do?" that plays over the end credits. Still hanging on to the dreams of the old world as the tide comes in.
posted by rongorongo at 11:33 PM on August 21, 2019

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