Mad Men: The Color Blue   Rewatch 
October 1, 2014 10:24 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The firm celebrates a milestone. Peggy and Paul compete on an account.
posted by Sweetie Darling (11 comments total)
 
It always surprises me how early in this season Betty finds out about Don's past, yet it takes three more episodes for her to ask for a divorce. Especially since she basically has one foot out the door already.

I should hate Kinsey, but I just feel sorry for him when he trots out the magic vulva of opportunity defense for why Peggy is better than he is. It's okay, Kinsey. In a few years you will find Hare Krishna and you won't be competing with Peggy anymore.
posted by donajo at 12:37 PM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


Quote of the episode:
Peggy, to Paul: "How do you talk to Achilles?"
posted by ChrisTN at 6:34 AM on October 2, 2014


I don't know about you all, but on rewatch I had to resist fast-forwarding through this episode so I could get to "The Gypsy and the Hobo."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:33 AM on October 3, 2014


"How come you never ask me [about school]?" - Bobby #3
"I do, it's just that your answer is always longer, so I figured I'd start with Sally." - Don

Betty is curled up with a good book, Don is curled up with his perfect teacher gal. Seems smitten with her as he has most of his dark haired lovers thus far. Reminds him of the gal in the whorehouse who took care of him when he was sick?

They get into the discussion of the color blue ... why blue? there are a number of colors out there.

"Maybe [they think blue is yellow] the truth is, people may see things differently, but they really don't want to." - Don

The whole episode reflects this: Paul picking a fight with Peggy, Susanne picking at Don by showing up on the train, Betty phoning Henry and he tells her to shit or get off the pot, Roger and Bert's whining about the anniversary dinner, Lane using Bert's vanity to get him to attend the party. Susanne and her brother, the brother and Don - until the brother finally lays it out for him. "You're not going to tell her, are you?" Despite his honesty with Don he still wants his sister to think he's trying.

Betty finally gets the 'key' to her future and Don's past. Sits there all night while Don goes back to Susanne (he stop for a drink to be "gone" the right amount of time?) He lies to her back into bed, with the line "He'll be as good as he can be", but just for friendly cuddles, which he reveals to us that he can handle. I don't know if anyone has ever tried that with him.

Sometime in the night, Betty puts everything back together. Box in the locked drawer, key in the robe, robe in the closet, and crawls under the covers, knocking the rest of the laundry onto the floor.

"Where were you last night?" - Betty Tries to drag him into a confrontation but wimps out at the last minute as he charms her into one last night of the beautiful glamorous Betty Draper.

Lane's comment about a "ballad of dissatisfaction" reminds me of the "let me sing you the song of my people" meme. But they think about London and he doesn't miss it while she can't wait to get "home". He'd already been forced to think about it until Guy got his foot amputated by Lois. Further amplified when Lane finds out the company is for sale and his wife delights in getting to go home.

We wrap up at the dinner. Lane and the Londoners are putting on an anniversary testimonial, showing off SC for sale. Betty hates Don, Don and Roger hate each other, Bert feels old.

Roger's mother is awesome. "She's Jane, she's my wife." "Does Mona know?"

PS:

There is nothing wrong with Achilles' memory. (Paul tells Peggy that Achilles has a very bad memory)

Paul never spoke to Achilles. He got drunk, maybe ate someone's sandwich (more likely dreamed it like his 'conversation' with Achilles), fell asleep. He dreamed he spoke to Achilles and got a great idea.

And Paul really gets to see how much Peggy is at this job than he is.
posted by tilde at 11:15 AM on October 4, 2014


Lane's comment about a "ballad of dissatisfaction" reminds me of the "let me sing you the song of my people" meme. But they think about London and he doesn't miss it while she can't wait to get "home". He'd already been forced to think about it until Guy got his foot amputated by Lois. Further amplified when Lane finds out the company is for sale and his wife delights in getting to go home.

Which makes Lane even more of an ass when he creates/joins SCDP in a few weeks. it's no wonder his wife packed up and moved back to London without him.
posted by donajo at 12:05 PM on October 4, 2014


Paul never spoke to Achilles.

What suggests to you that this is a dream? I always figured that Paul did speak to Achilles and we see the conversation in its entirety. Paul blames Achilles for forgetting his great idea, because he's gloomy and doesn't want to blame himself. But he never actually told Achilles his great idea.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 11:20 AM on October 5, 2014


Yes, I think Paul did speak to the janitor named Achilles. I saw nothing to indicate it was a dream.

There was a nice little touch in the shot of Paul in his office after speaking with the janitor. When Paul got his "great idea" he was holding the apple he had just pulled out of the refrigerator. It was an "apple of an idea" - or better put it was the apple that plunked Newton on the head from that apocryphal story relating how he received his brilliant insight. Paul goes back to his office, sets the apple on the desk, pours whiskey in a glass, and then retreats to the couch carrying the bottle and forgetting the glass of whiskey and the apple. The shot from behind the desk shows the apple (the great idea) sitting behind the glass. The apple can be seen through the glass of whiskey, but not clearly. Paul sits on the couch, a drunken mess. The shot tells the story of what's going to happen the next morning. Paul's great idea will be obscured by the alcohol fumes in his brain. The alcohol caused him to not write the idea down and also caused him to forget it. It's a small thing, but I like it.
posted by cwest at 11:56 AM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Which makes Lane even more of an ass ...

I don't think Lane is an ass. Lane has outgrown his life, including his uptight wife. Living in America has opened his eyes to the possibilities of living life differently. As Lane says, since he has been in America no one has asked him where he went to school. That's a British thing. Where you went to school says a lot about you in the UK of those days - even today, to some extent, I suppose. Lane wants to get out from under his background and all the class expectations. Lane is attracted by the possibility of freedom and social mobility. His wife never will be. She knows her place and wants to stay in it. Lane has outgrown her.
posted by cwest at 12:16 PM on October 5, 2014


Living in America has opened his eyes to the possibilities of living life differently. As Lane says, since he has been in America no one has asked him where he went to school. That's a British thing. Where you went to school says a lot about you in the UK of those days - even today, to some extent, I suppose

I went to elementary school with a kid whose parents were British expats (in the US). His father was in the shipping industry. And my mother asked his mother, why the US? The UK has lots of shipping and cargo business.

"He has the wrong tie," she replied. The wrong school background, to really be successful. Like Lane, he didn't go to the right school, so he'll be a flunkie, the trusted right-hand man, as,long as he stays in the UK.

People in this show are trying to break out of what they are, the roles to which they are assigned. Dick becomes Don. Peggy goes from secretary to copywriter. Roger divorces Mona and marries Jane. Pete tries to break out, and is frustrated at his failures.

PPL's offices scream studio to me. Not at all how I'd picture them.
Kinsey juuuuuuust realized that Peggy is actually better at this than he is.

Lane didn't tell his wife that they are going to Bombay? That seems like the best way to keep her happy in NYC.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:50 PM on October 9, 2014


Paul never spoke to Achilles.
What suggests to you that this is a dream?

Lady Lazarus. I wonder if it was a trial run for that episode. Seems so real but it's not - the faintest ink (that he didn't write it down) is better than the best memory.

The best memory - his memory of thinking he talked to Achilles and came up with the best idea in the world ....
posted by tilde at 7:43 PM on October 11, 2014


People in this show are trying to break out of what they are, the roles to which they are assigned. Dick becomes Don. Peggy goes from secretary to copywriter. Roger divorces Mona and marries Jane. Pete tries to break out, and is frustrated at his failures.

I'm watching through for the first time, but Pete seems to me like the inversion: the guy who's frustrated that the world isn't giving him the life he thought he was entitled to because of where he comes from.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:08 PM on September 11, 2016


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