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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Additionally, what an incredible bit of showcraft to drop a hint of Don's teenage years at the brothel—in the middle of the rare episode that is very much NOT about him at all—and having the restraint not to pay it off until the middle of the next season. Imagine the lesser show that just crams all of it into one episode. Just utterly brilliant.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



The Klowner posted:

A bit of dark humor for the audience: Don corrects Cynthia here when she misidentifies the shooter as "Charles Whitmore." "Whitman," he says darkly as he looks at his drink.

Haha, you know Don originally having the same last name as Charles Whitman didn't actually occur to me! :aaa: That said, I love that Don is correcting Cynthia getting a name wrong when he can't actually remember what hers is. Megan blurting out,"CYNTHIA!" in delight when she hears it cracks me up, it's such a wonderfully human bit of writing. Speaking of which, this was co-written by Frank Pierson, who wrote Dog Day Afternoon! It seems he died shortly after this episode aired, what a high to go out on!

I'm not quoting Paper Lion's post because there's a spoiler tag in there I don't want to risk seeing, but just wanted to say I really dug their breakdown of Pete's character (and Xealot's comparison of Ken and Pete too). He is repulsively fascinating, and the sad thing is that every so often he does mesh and vibe with the others but it's so unnatural to him that either he takes it too far or ends up making GBS threads in somebody's hat without intending to. He's a very awkward, creepy little man. Speaking of which...

JethroMcB posted:

Also :toot: now we can post GRIMY LITTLE PIMP! without hiding it in spoilers

God bless you all for letting Harris' bellowing this be my first exposure to the line, it absolutely killed me :allears:

The Klowner posted:

Another Slattery Special. God this episode is so loving good

Yeah, I appreciate that the episode Hamm directed made a point of not trying to be flashy, but aside from that awkward edit to match frames/action on Ken/Lane opening a door, this episode is wonderfully directed and some of the camera movement/transitions are inspired. The background elements of a lot of frames are a delight too, Slattery himself watching the fight is just wonderful, he's so into it!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 23:20 on Oct 10, 2021

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


i have not ONCE let the lane-punching-pete gif drop from my computer.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



The Klowner posted:


A bit of dark humor for the audience: Don corrects Cynthia here when she misidentifies the shooter as "Charles Whitmore." "Whitman," he says darkly as he looks at his drink.

The :lost:-iverse grows larger.

Man, after just seeing the quote at the beginning I knew I was in for a barn burner. One of the best episodes of the series.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

This is by far my favorite episode! I love the end with Ken's writing over Pete being sad and bitter.

OnlyBans
Sep 21, 2021

by sebmojo


Don and Pete are such gaping holes of need. The big difference is Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore vs Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love. In both movies, Adam Sandler is just a loud, violent, horny manchild. In Happy Gilmore, people treat him like he is funny and everybody laughs. In Punch Drunk Love, people treat him like a loving psychopath.

Roy Gato III
Jun 2, 2013


The Klowner posted:

Raymond's ad ideas are just wonderful lmao

I’d be a terrible ad man and i get that it’s intended to show the widening gap between the tastes of the two generations but I think the concept is actually kind of cute and would be a hit in a society that still thinks ‘the buck stops here’ is a witty slogan.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Pryce’s fight with Pete is such a satisfying scene, I feel it’s also telling that, in contrast to earlier when Stirling wanted to duke it out, nobody did anything to prevent it from happening. its as if everyone around feels that he really has it coming this time

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



“grimy little pimp” is such a poetic insult

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


Roy Gato III posted:

I’d be a terrible ad man and i get that it’s intended to show the widening gap between the tastes of the two generations but I think the concept is actually kind of cute and would be a hit in a society that still thinks ‘the buck stops here’ is a witty slogan.

The pitch that Peggy gives them in the next episode with the college kids on the beach, having a bonfire, eating beans ("Home Is Where the Heinz Is.")...that's as good as they're going to get on the "youth" angle for canned beans. It has the idealized version of 60's youth culture, without being on-the-nose and carrying some obnoxious "Make BEANS not war"-rear end tagline. So of course Raymond hates it, because he really only sees young people as an untapped market, unable to believe that they are actual people with internal lives. Despite having a teenage daughter his understanding of youth seems to begin and end with what the media tells him.

JethroMcB fucked around with this message at 16:07 on Oct 11, 2021

General Probe
Dec 28, 2004
Has this been done before?

Soiled Meat

Jerusalem posted:

Season 5, Episode 5 - Signal 30
Written by Frank Pierson & Matthew Weiner, Directed by John Slattery

Ken, of course, was really trying to make sure they were gone, closing the door to finally fill her in on his morning meeting with his "uncle". Peggy has assumed he was a client and is furious that Ken has broken their "pact", assuming he was looking for Stan and Michael to tell them what this potential new client needed, but Ken assures her the pact still stands.

We have never heard of this "pact" before but context would suggest that - presumably thanks to their success with Topaz - Ken and Peggy have decided to work together as a team where he finds clients and she comes part and parcel as the copywriter in the deal: a mutually beneficial arrangement since Ken knows she is hardworking, creative, and quick on her feet when a client makes a sudden demand.


I thought your read on the pact was interesting because I'd never thought of it as anything but a pact to leave SCDP together and that Peggy was concerned that Ken was doing meetings with other firms without her knowledge and now I'm curious how many people read this like you did, as a pact to work more closely together/build each other up at SCDP

As always fantastic writup, thank you!

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







General Probe posted:

I thought your read on the pact was interesting because I'd never thought of it as anything but a pact to leave SCDP together and that Peggy was concerned that Ken was doing meetings with other firms without her knowledge and now I'm curious how many people read this like you did, as a pact to work more closely together/build each other up at SCDP

As always fantastic writup, thank you!

That was me too

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



My initial take was before he said the line,"Wherever I go, you go." That line kind of blew my mind, because it indicates Peggy is open to moving on from SCDP which she has actively resisted in the past despite opportunities (even before Duck was a drunken mess), and I think a big part of that is down to Don not being "himself" since marrying Megan, and Peggy thinking he has lost his edge and isn't really engaged in the firm (with his name on it!) anymore, which means she's not only not getting supported by him in pitches but she's basically doing his job as well.

When Ken initially asked where Stan and Michael were, I thought her reaction was because she thought he had a new client but wanted to work with them instead of her. Now it makes me think she was worried he was gonna fly to a new company and take them with him instead of her.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

https://twitter.com/kellhound/status/1447674940119945224?s=20 I'm reposting this penguin books mock up a friend made for me ages age because of this episode.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



That rules!

Also that voiceover from Ken at the end is one of the few times in a television show I can remember when somebody who is supposed to be a good writer narrates something they're writing that actually SOUNDS like good writing to me. I remember feeling embarrassed during House of Cards when they'd have some supposedly world class writing genius narrate some bit of writing they were doing and it sounded so trite and unappealing.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



General Probe posted:

I thought your read on the pact was interesting because I'd never thought of it as anything but a pact to leave SCDP together and that Peggy was concerned that Ken was doing meetings with other firms without her knowledge and now I'm curious how many people read this like you did, as a pact to work more closely together/build each other up at SCDP

As always fantastic writup, thank you!

I kinda remember the Ken/Peggy pact being first mentioned in Tomorrowland/sometime late in S4 when poo poo hit the fan. I think it was done before this episode, maybe I'm wrong.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



I distinctly remember being confused about "the pact" in this episode. Maybe they did mention it before, but this is the first episode I remember hearing about it.

Makes sense, though. Ken isn't that attached to SCDP, but he clearly respects Peggy. And after Lucky Strike, when the entire agency was imploding, Peggy was the only one to do anything proactive with Topaz. Which he probably noticed. Also there's that Chevalier buy she pulls out of thin air, for which Ken gives her a standing ovation...but that happens later this season, and I'm glad I looked it up because I almost spoiled it. Sorry Jerusalem.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

Jerusalem posted:

That rules!

Also that voiceover from Ken at the end is one of the few times in a television show I can remember when somebody who is supposed to be a good writer narrates something they're writing that actually SOUNDS like good writing to me. I remember feeling embarrassed during House of Cards when they'd have some supposedly world class writing genius narrate some bit of writing they were doing and it sounded so trite and unappealing.

Yeah, that's one of the things I really liked. Ken is ACTUALLY a good writer. I would read his short story collection

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Paul Kinsey's miserable "....that sounds really good..." reaction to Ken explaining the plot of one of his novels to him was such a great moment, he really wants Ken to be a gently caress-up so he can feel better about his own failure to write but has to admit the story sounds compelling :allears:

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

The BEST part is Paul probably reads all of Ken's stories not knowing they are Ken's. He is a big sci-fi fan

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER



it helps that ken's not supposed to be some transcendent genius, just good enough to get reliably published. it's a lot easier to write a paragraph or two of solid prose and some interesting plots than it is to portray a genuine bigshot author. ken cosgrove writes at a the level of a thousand people of his generation, and that's possible to credibly reproduce. contrast this with e.g. house of cards' overwrought nonsense or californication's frankly embarassing attempts at literarity

in general, mad men is really good at portraying people who are competent at creative pursuits. you really do buy don draper as being very good at his job because you get to see his enthralling presentations and some ideas which are obviously great. my favourite example of this is the hilton pitch, which is obviously excellent - but it's not what conrad wanted. conrad doesn't just want a brilliant ad campaign to get americans to go abroad, he wants the world to look to america as the great leading country - he wants the moon. if they hadn't managed to make a really good pitch for hilton, conrad's rejection wouldn't have been anywhere near as impactful.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



I forget, was the book in house of cards supposed to be fiction à la Knausgård, or was it supposed to be a political biography? if it’s the latter, then i’ve never heard of a book that doesn’t suck rear end writing-wise

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



I feel like you could spend years unpacking this one episode, there's so much going on

One small thing, I love how awkward Megan is in general. Blurting out "Cynthia!" here and "Don's divorced!" with Heinz, plus her time having to deal with the absurdity of being Don's secretary. It feels authentic though, like it's not a stereotype or she's comic relief or something.

Torquemada
Oct 21, 2010

Drei Gläser


:f5:

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I'm very sorry! Massive deadline pressure on me in real life has kept me from writing up the next episode! I should still have it done before the end of this weekend, and I'll aim for the next before the end of the week. The good news is that in a week or two all the deadline pressure is (mostly) off and I'll be able to do much more regular updates.

I'm really sorry, believe me I'd much rather be watching Mad Men than doing most anything else!

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



Jerusalem posted:


I'm really sorry, believe me I'd much rather be watching Mad Men than doing most anything else!

welcome to my world

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



sending you all my energy Jerusalem. deadlines are lame imho

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



In all honesty Mad Men is a show that you can't understand without re watching it. Take your time, cause you won't be seeing the same show when you watch it again

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 5, Episode 6 - Far Away Places
Written by Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner, Directed by Scott Hornbacher

Jane Sterling posted:

I knew we were going somewhere, and I didn't want it to be here.

Early in the morning, Peggy Olson roots around in her drawers in her bedroom, half dressed and upset that she can't find her violet candy, explaining to Abe - who is still in bed - that Don gave it to her before a presentation once. He doesn't see the big deal, she can just buy some herself, but she grunts that this wouldn't be the same, so he chuckles that she is being "Catholic" and offers to buy some more for her and say a "bracha" over it.

Clearly he understands why she wants the candy: it is ritualistic. She has a presentation and wants the comforting presence of the familiar to ease her nerves. But while he understands WHY she wants it, he clearly doesn't understand how important it is or has chosen to not indulge in this understandable security blanket, a fact she doesn't appreciate.

He suggests they go and see The Naked Prey tonight, his main selling point being that he's heard it is awful and he's thinks it would be fun to go share in something stupid with her. When she seems reluctant, he tries to sweeten the pot by reminding her she'll get to see Cornel Wilde wrestle naked with a boa constrictor, and isn't happy at her clearly having her mind elsewhere.

She explains she's not really able to focus on anything other than the big Heinz pitch coming up today, and now Abe's good natured ribbing has run its course, and HE is in a bad mood. He complains that she wants to keep him in a drawer at her office and only ever pull him out when she needs him. He complains she only calls him over for sex and isn't in the mood half the time when he arrives, or only goes through the motion when she permits him. He complains that she sounds like his dad when she irritably points out it might be nice to have a second after walking through the door before he's after something from her. That last one really stings, because - write this one down fellas - girls don't like being told they remind you of your father!

Peggy for her part doesn't help matters by going straight to the nuclear option when he starts complaining, asking if he wants to break up with her, and he complains further that most guys wouldn't even bother trying to have a conversation about their feelings and he's her boyfriend, not a focus group. He doesn't do his own sense of maturity much good though when he storms out the bedroom door half-dressed and snaps,"HAVE A lovely DAY!" at her, and just like that they've had a huge argument that stemmed entirely from Peggy asking him about her candy.



At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Peggy arrives to her office where Michael is having a heated phone conversation complaining about not wanting the person on the other end to come till Friday. Spotting Peggy, he quickly ends the call as soon as possible, adding a,"Yeah me too," which presumably is a reaction to being told,"I love you," by the other person. One would presume this is his father, though Peggy assumes a girlfriend and tries to offer a sympathetic ear, noting that she just had the same conversation herself. Michael, sullen, disagrees, since her conversation obviously got to be private, as if it is Peggy's fault for walking into what is her (and Stan and Michael's) office.

Stan arrives, immediately giving an excuse for why he is late, and Michael points out that Peggy herself only just arrived, causing Stan to complain to a perplexed Peggy that SHE shouldn't be giving HIM a hard time then. Megan also arrives, and though she doesn't offer it as an excuse she does tell them a "funny" story about bumping into college students in backpacks who asked her how to get to Broadway. Stan doesn't get it, and she explains that they're exactly like the people in the campaign they'll be pitching to Heinz today... she could have cast them right then and there!

But as quickly as she arrived, she has to leave, as Don pops his head in the door and asks for a moment. With her gone, Stan takes the moment to stir the pot and be catty, asking Peggy with an incredulous smirk,"SHE goes to casting now?" Peggy, still mindful of the disaster with Abe, tries her best not to get distracted or rise to any bait so she can remain laser focused on Heinz, simply shrugging that she guesses so and pointing out Megan has been "sorta" her junior on this campaign.

As she continues looking through her drawer, Stan tells a pointless story about being at dinner with a large-breasted woman called Salome who was very funny, but he couldn't concentrate because he's feeling depressed over realizing his own art will never be as good as a photograph (remember Sal's concern over the rise of film and photography to replace drawn art in advertising?). Michael perked up little to listen to this but Peggy ignores it, rooting around in her drawers till to her great relief she finds the candy. Grabbing it, she remarks with relief that she couldn't bear one more bad omen today.

Don then walks in with Megan and informs Peggy that both he and Megan are going to miss the presentation!

Peggy stares, stunned, and Don apologetically - but not TOO apologetically - explains they need to go on a trip as part of the Howard Johnson's Account, which apparently is another feather in SCDP's cap. He reminds Peggy that this is HER pitch and him being there wouldn't change anything, before telling an intrigued Michael - who talks about how much he enjoys Howard Johnson's - that Megan has never been to one herself. Megan seems a little flustered, and Peggy manages to get out uneasily that they have all of her work, and with that Don is done, claiming he'll call from the road and leaving. Megan fetches her things and awkwardly tells them to break a leg before she rushes after her husband.

Once they're gone, Michael sighs that this is a sign of a disaster, but Stan - in surprising solidarity with Peggy - insists it is a vote of confidence from Don. Peggy certainly wants to see it that way, but it's clear how nervous she is considering she asks Stan to pass her one of his cigarettes and lights up, clearly feeling that impending sense of doom that has been growing heavier and heavier all morning getting closer.

Still, she's a professional, and when it comes time to pitch... pitch she does. With the terror of the wait over and the thing itself happening, she gets lost in the moment, presenting in front of simple art by Stan that showcases the spirit of what Raymond Geiger asked for without the awful, tone-deaf details he requested. It's young college-aged kids, hanging out at a campfire on the beach, playing guitar and singing on a beautiful summer's night... and cooking beans over the flames. All this accompanied by Peggy's words, as she paints a picture of inclusion, safety from the dark, of the unifying appeal... of beans. "Home is where the Heinz is," she finishes as she reveals the last piece of art, the slogan that will wrap up their proposed ad.

It's... good. It's not great, but it's as good as you're going to get if you run with the client's half-baked idea, and it is what he asked for even if not specifically the imagery he envisioned. Geiger sits smiling, caught up in the spell... until it's over, when he immediately starts complaining: why aren't any of the kids eating beans? Stan quickly points out that one of them literally is, but Geiger isn't listening, instead musing to himself that he did ask for college students.

"I know you did, Raymond," says Peggy, hoping the informality will make them seem more like friends than business associates, and assures him they want him to have everything he wants. But now his smile is far from wistful appreciation, more patriarchal smugness as he informs her that if she wants to give him what he wants, she has to stop writing down what he asks for and figure out what he ACTUALLY wants.

This motherfucker I swear....

Ken steps up, playing his part to support Creative and sell the client on the pitch, pointing out that he was watching Raymond's reaction during the presentation and he saw that it was carrying him away in the moment. Geiger doesn't deny it, he straight up admits that it is a sentimental piece of work, and one that triggers his own memory of youthful nights on the beach... but that means that the ad only works for him, not for kids.

"Kids have memories!" snaps Peggy, and when Geiger snaps back around to look at her she realizes that sounded a little sharp and quickly softens, all smiles as she continues that so do the homemakers who use Heinz. Ken again tries to back Peggy up, noting how passionate she is about Raymond's product, while Stan - still in crisis-mode over his self-doubt about his art - stresses that photography will really bring out the excitement in the kid's faces, and the glow of the campfire.

But Raymond has managed to overthink himself out of liking the thing he asked for, and feeling like he's been hit from multiple angles he makes an appeal to authority: did Don sign off on this?

NOW Peggy has had it. She's run through two campaigns she meticulously crafted to meet HIS demands, largely going against the mindset she came up with through Sterling Cooper under Don Draper's mentorship. She's been saddled with not only fronting this pitch but being the senior Creative member (Stan might technically be above her, but even he has long since grasped that she "outranks" him, as seen by him offering up excuses for being late earlier), all while Don has been either absent or completely toothless when he is present... and now this son of a bitch is dismissing her hard work yet again?

"Don LOVES this work," she snaps, glaring a hole in him as she points out that maybe Don doesn't understand what he wants either. Ken quickly tries to jump in and say they shouldn't speak for Don, but Peggy is doing more than speaking for Don... she is BEING Don. Or rather, she is being what she wants Don to be: the sometimes surly, disdainful, authoritative Don Draper who stares down clients and lets them know when their ideas are bad, who doesn't mind dressing them down or even "firing" them when he has to. She suspects Geiger needs this, to have a Creative Director who will work with him but take control when it is necessary to prevent his endless dithering from wasting all of their time.

The trouble is.... Raymond Geiger is the old fuddy-duddy running the currently out-of-vogue brand of Heinz because he's exactly the type Heinz thinks best represents that part of their company. He has ideas, he thinks he's being innovative or an out-of-the-box thinker, but he balks at anything outside of his comfort zone even when he's the one who asked for it. And you know what is REALLY outside of his comfort zone? A "little girl" telling him what to do.

So when Peggy ANNOUNCES that he has to accept this pitch, that she knows he loves it but just seems to like fighting over things more, that very few clients ever get to see something that makes them "feel" so he should be grateful for what they've produced for him, that NOBODY will be able to make something this "young and beautiful" about beans.... he's aghast. He turns to Ken (a man!) and asks if he can believe this girl, and Ken has no idea if he is being furious or happily stunned, so cravenly declares he doesn't know... what does Raymond think!?! What Raymond thinks is that Peggy is "lucky" that he has a daughter so he's understanding about her daring to call him out (who does she think she is... a man!?!).

Peggy turns her head, realizing that this hasn't gone as she wanted. Ken, desperate to salvage this, quickly tells Geiger that while they've pitched passionately today they're not through and have more ideas to try! Geiger frowns, deliberately looking past Peggy at the art once again, frowning and grunting that it's "close"... and there it is, the other aspect of Geiger even beyond his failure to find a connection between his own mindset and the youth he desperately wants to attract.... this is somebody who likes being fawned over. Somebody who enjoys people running after him and trying to curry his favor, seeking his approval and backing.

Ken of course is employed to do just that very thing, quickly agreeing with Geiger that it is "drat close" and suggesting that just the two of them go out for dinner and a show tonight to help take his mind of things. "You can try," agrees Raymond warmly, enjoying being fawned over, ignoring Peggy entirely who is just left fuming over her failure to force Geiger's hand and make him accept that he knows this is a workable (hell, a winning) campaign.

They all leave, Peggy seething as she watches Pete greet Raymond warmly outside, ignoring Stan both commending her balls and also stating it was a suicidal move, growling at him to fetch him the sketches of the "talking beans" so she can write new dialogue: a third string idea for a campaign notion all built off the vague musings of an out-of-touch old beans salesman. Stan leaves, and now it's just Peggy alone in the conference room, in her seat and feeling furious at the world... only to have further insult piled on when Pete pops his head in the door and explains to her calmly that she's off the Heinz campaign. She demands to know what Geiger said, but Pete - no stranger to the mad whims of clients - simply responds Geiger said she was off, and leaves.

There it is, her big play at taking that step up into the authoritative hole left not only by Don's physical absence but by his personal happiness completely falling flat. She was right, but that doesn't matter. She's a woman, and that was all Geiger needed to completely disregard everything she had to say, as simple as that.



So what does she do? Well she does what Don would do... she takes a big drink of booze and then just fucks off to go see a movie! As she leaves through Reception, Cooper - who still does not have an office - is seated on the couch reading the paper, remarks that everybody has somewhere to go today, and offers a grinning,"Very good," when she grunts she's going to the movies, something she would have never dared admit to him back in the Sterling Cooper days... and that she'd probably never had admitted on any other day here at SCDP. He grins, but the moment she's gone his face drops: he isn't pleased about their Senior Copywriter just loving off, especially given the Creative Director (and one of the junior copywriters, albeit Don's wife) has gone as well, is this what happens when the cat's away?

Peggy probably figures her career at SCDP is over anyway, so she barely registers Cooper existing as she takes the elevator down, and of she goes to see Born Free (not The Naked Prey!). Watching alone in the middle of the day in a near deserted theater, eating from a bag of popcorn, she smells marijuana in the air and turns to see a young man openly smoking in the row behind her. She whispers to him he's going to get them into trouble, and he whispers back a simple enough reply.... would she like some?

"Sure, what the hell," she shrugs, it's just that kind of day! So she takes the joint, takes a toke, lets it sit and then exhales before turning to pass it back... and he's gone? Not for long, he's taken her acceptance of his drugs as a good sign and decided to take a seat beside her, and now suddenly Peggy's gone from turning down her boyfriend's offer to see one film to seeing another solo to smoking dope with a complete stranger who has decided to hang out with her for the rest of the film! It really is just that kind of day.

She passes the dope back, and they take turns taking drags, not speaking beyond an initial hello, half watching the film but mostly just getting high. As the movie progresses, a stoned Peggy opens up, loudly critiquing Elsa the lion's chances of making it in the wild while her chuckling companion warns her to keep it down. This gives her the giggles, but she seems to sober up when he reaches down to her thigh and strokes it, telling her that everything will work out for Elsa.

She takes his hand away, but not aggressively, and places it gently on his own crotch... and doesn't pull her own hand away. When he leans over to kiss her she stops them, whispering to him to just watch the movie... while she reaches down and undoes his belt. Never taking her own eyes off of him, she gives him a handjob there in the dark of the theater, which he is happy to enjoy. It's interesting the way she watches his face, is this her way of washing away the misery of her "failure" with Raymond earlier? To tell a man what to do and make him accept that she can give him exactly what he wants rather than let him stumble his way through what he thinks is the way things are done?

Or maybe it's as simple as she's just frustrated and this is as much a release for her as it will be for him?

Returning to SCDP, she washes her hands (I hope to God not for the first time since the movie ended!) and steps out of the bathroom to discover Michael having an angry argument with his father right there in the corridor. The argument is based on the elder Ginsberg insisting that he told Michael he was coming in, and the younger Ginsberg angrily reminding him he told him NOT to come in!

When Michael complains that he doesn't need to come to work to see him given he sees him plenty at home and even stares at him when he sleeps (!), his father pouts that he didn't want to see him anyway, just to use the photocopier! Why? He lifts up an old bound folder and explains he is building his "case", causing Michael to throw up his arms in disbelief... this is clearly a sore point for him, his father is engaged in some kind of legal case that Michael clearly thinks has no standing.

But as he turns his head dramatically away for effect, he realizes that Peggy is standing nearby, and in disbelief asks,"Again?" as if she has somehow sneaked into... the open corridor of the office where they work.... in the middle of the day. The elder Ginsberg is delighted though, a pretty young lady who his son knows? Well this is just wonderful! He greets her with a smile, promising her that he is the "original" when she tells him she works with Ginsberg (everybody at the office appears to call him by his surname).

Michael really doesn't want his father talking with Peggy and especially not flirting with her, either one is obviously embarrassing for him, but as he pulls his father away, the elder Ginsberg wraps an arm lovingly around his son, clearly not insulted or angry with him in spite of their argument. With that excitement over, Peggy can finally do what she returned to the office to do, following once again in the path paved by her mentor Don Draper... and slips into his office to lie down on his couch and take a nap!

Afternoon passes into evening, and Peggy is woken by Dawn who informs her it is 8:30 at night... and Mr. Draper is on the phone. Fearing the worst, she sits up and tells Dawn she can leave for the evening, and Peggy will take the call here in Don's office. Once Dawn is gone she picks up the phone and presses the button, ready to be torn a new one by a furious Don for loving up the Heinz account.

What she gets is a disheveled, frantic looking Don in a phonebooth hurriedly telling her that Dawn didn't get any calls, did she? When she asks about what, he demands to know if anybody has called her. She tells him no, it slowly sinking in that he hasn't called about Heinz, that he in fact seems fully unaware of it. So she decides to bite the bullet and at least give him the news herself, explaining it didn't go well and she takes full responsi... and he's already hung up.

She sits a moment, bewildered, unsure if he heard her or already knew and didn't care, completely unaware of the obvious state he was in from our privileged view of what he looked like in the moment. She hangs up herself, then returns to her office to do the work she didn't get to do today, another long evening that the likes of Bert Cooper are completely unaware of.... only those incredibly rare times she dares to ditch work like the Partners so regularly do.

She's not the only one though. Michael is working in the office with her, uncharacteristically quiet as he scribbles notes on a legal pad. She asks him why he didn't mention his family before, saying his father seemed nice, and he grunts that the elder Ginsberg ISN'T his father.... Michael is actually from Mars. She giggles, but again he is being uncharacteristic, not turning to look at her, not energetic, just grunting without expression that he doesn't mind if she doesn't believe him but Mars IS where he comes from.

Still assuming he's just been deadpan, a giggling Peggy plays along, but starts to get unsettled by his continual insistence and his unusually subdued body language. It's a weird time, even weirder than giving a handjob to a stoned dude in a movie theater, sitting in the dark with a colleague she barely knows who has suddenly started with disturbing sincerity explaining that he's a displaced Martian whose own alien race tried to keep his origins a secret from him.

Things get even darker when he grunts that his father, who he refers to as "that man", told him he was born in a concentration camp, which he says is impossible, and it is pure "convenience" that his mother died in that concentration camp which is why he has no memory of her... all he remembers is being five and his "father", Morris, collecting him from a Swedish orphanage. Since then, he has only received one "communication" from his Martian people, telling him to stay where he is.

Holy poo poo, Michael.

Peggy is understandably horrified, not by the nonsensical Martian stuff (though if Michael genuinely believes it then that is extremely disturbing) but by the revelation that his mother was killed in the Holocaust and he himself was born in a concentration camp and adopted at 5 years old. It's an origin she never would have in a million years suspected, and quietly she asks him if there was others like him. Now he does look at her, albeit in the reflection from the window, and admits that he doesn't know... because he's never been able to find any.

How do you react to something like that? Peggy has no idea, and so she simply returns to her work. Finally, when she returns home, she calls Abe, asking him to come over. He was in bed, and he's still upset at her, so he grumbles,"You need me, huh?" but she makes no pretense, admitting that yes she does, and the lack of any fight or fire tells him more than anything else that something is wrong. He asks what is wrong, and she tells him a truncated version of Ginsberg's story, omitting the Martian part to mention only that he was born in a concentration camp... isn't that impossible?

"It happened," he admits uneasily, the idea clearly not sitting well with him either, and when she asks him again to come over he agrees. When she tells him to hurry, he doesn't have to clarify that he will. They had an argument, it was lovely and it was bad... but it's irrelevant now. The bad pitch, the handjob, getting dumped from Heinz, even Ginsberg's disturbing origin and even more disturbing and seemingly sincere insistence he is a Martian... none of that really matters. What matters if that she needs somebody to help comfort her, and she wants it to be him, and he wants it to be him just as much.



In the morning, a chipper Roger Sterling approaches Dawn's desk and informs her that he is going to go and wait inside Don's office, and he wants her to buzz him when Don arrives: one buzz for Don, two if Megan is with him. Dawn doesn't really get any say in the matter, it may be Don's office but Roger is another named partner, so he lets him in and with a smile heads straight for the liquor, disappointed to find an empty bottle waiting.

A good secretary, Dawn buzzes to warn him that Don is coming, but she's also obviously told Don what is waiting for him too as he opens the door with a frown looking like he's dreading the intent behind this meeting. That disappears with a relieved grin when Roger says they should "play hooky", and he closes the door behind him, interested in hearing what scheme Roger is cooking up.

He reminds him of how they used to represent double-sided aluminum in the Sterling Cooper days, causing Don to remark that this brings to minds twins and Roger ending up in hospital with his first heart attack. That's not the part that Roger wants to focus on though (well, maybe the twins), because Bob "whozit" (he literally can't even remember the name of a guy who could make them a ton of money!) who worked for that company has made the move to Howard Johnson's, and yes shock of shocks Roger might actually be bringing in a client, and a pretty high profile one at that.

Hang on... Don already spoke the previous day about Howard Johnson's being a client?

Roger suggests they take a completely unnecessary fact-finding trip to the Plattsburgh, New York Howard Johnson's, an excuse to get out of the city and drink a shitload of booze and get up to trouble, much like they did with those twins when casting for double-sided aluminum. Don can't quite believe he's seriously suggesting this, saying no, but Roger "playfully" pleads with him, saying alone he's an escapee from a wealthy mental hospital but if it is the two of them then they can be rich, handsome perverts!

Don considers the map Roger pulled out, musing that he does love Howard Johnson's ("we'll stop by!" insists Roger, as if that wasn't the entire point of the trip).... and that Montreal is only an hour's drive away. Pained, Roger realizes that Don is thinking about Megan as a travel partner instead of him and moans that the point is to FORGET the wife, hell he's largely doing this so he can get out of a dinner with Jane's friends tonight, admitting that he deliberately mispronounces Frank Lloyd Rice's name just to irritate them.

When Don suggests that Roger bring Jane along and they make it a foursome, he does so knowing it's the last thing that Roger would want to do. "Newlyweds" he sighs in disgust, giving up his dream of an escape to a boy's weekend and admitting defeat, saying he will give Bob's name to Dawn. They step out of the office, Roger sighing to an utterly confused Dawn that it was a terrible idea, watching as Don goes to fetch Megan who is wearing the same outfit from yesterday.... and far too late I come to the realization that this is going to be one of THOSE episodes: the same day/night seen from the perspective of multiple characters one after the other.

It isn't the day after the Heinz Presentation, it is the day OF the Heinz presentation, and that makes things even worse because Don spoke about Howard Johnson's like everybody knew it was an account when presumably this is still the early stages of a move by Roger to woo a new client... so as far as Peggy and Stan and Michael know, Megan really is just going for a fun day-trip with her husband rather than working. This is why every scene up to this point was a Peggy scene, and why presumably the next few will be Roger's, followed presumably by Don's (or Megan's) as we get to see why he looked so disheveled and upset when he called Peggy in the evening.

That's for later though, for now the evening is Roger and Jane's, as the two - all dressed up and looking miserable - travel up the elevator to their dinner with Jane's friends. Angry, Jane demands Roger say something and he complains he already told her the two most important things: she looks nice AND he doesn't want to do this. She snaps back asking what he actually DOES want to do? Sit at home with his vest open yelling at the television for the next twenty years?

Don't threaten him with a good time, Jane!

He does apologize, more an "I just want my wife to stop being mad but I have no idea why she is" apology, reminding her that he doesn't know these people, and she snaps back that she does... but it isn't about the people, it's that this is important to her and obviously she thinks that should be enough to make it important for him too. She looks herself over, her dress and jewellery and hair are dazzling, but she sighs she should have worn something more comfortable. This time Roger seems sincere when he assures her that she really does look good, just making her frown harder because once again he isn't really listening or understanding: it's not about whether she looks good or not, she wishes she felt more comfortable, but he is equating her attractiveness with positivity when she wants him to understand and want her to feel good, not just to look good.

The dinner itself seems pleasant enough. Jane's friends are a little pretentious, but no more than you might expect most well-to-do New Yorkers in the 1960s to be. What is to their credit is that they - thanks to the wonderful privilege of wealth - seem open to new ideas and ways of thinking, as they all engage happily in a conversation on the nature of truth, the relative nature of good and bad, and the fallacy that discovering the root cause of a thing will "fix" that thing. They're academics, psychiatrists, people of some social standing, and Roger of course fits right in even if he doesn't consider these "his" people, because one thing he's always been very good at is turning on the charm and knowing when to say exactly the right thing at the right time with just a hint of wry sarcasm.

Which of course also means there are times when he says exactly the wrong thing, as he does when the academic leading the conversation suggests they postpone until they "turn on", and Roger turns that into a quip about turning in, asking Jane,"Shall we?" in a way that assumes she will automatically agree with his decision to make an early exit from the evening, as if coming along and indulging this far was enough. As everybody else leaves the dining room, she hisses at him that this is important to her, he was supposed to clear his schedule, after all... they're going to be taking LSD together!

Oh thank God! When the academic said "turn on" I thought they were going to an orgy!

Roger seems completely taken off-guard, not angry but more bewildered: did he really agree to take LSD with her? She can't believe it, he really doesn't listen to her, she hasn't sprung this on him out of nowhere, they made plans together and it's clear he was largely not listening beyond,"Dinner with my friends". Upset, she pleads with him to do this with her, claiming not only that she can't do it alone but that it will be good for them, because as everybody knows doing psychedelics in an unhappy marriage cannot possibly backfire in anyway.

So Roger joins Jane in the living room, sitting next to another (very loving) couple who look eager to partake, and across from a much more nervous couple who quickly explain that despite the lovely evening this is a bridge too far and they've decided to call it a night. The others are sad to see them go but non-judgmental, saying pleasant goodbyes before settling back in. The academic promises them that he will be their sober guide as they write down the same message on a piece of paper, his partner (wife?) the psychiatrist assuring them she has taken LSD 4 times already so they can rely on her expertise!

This is another example of that same privilege mentioned earlier, they're open to new ideas and even trying drugs, and a large part of that is because they're insulated from much of the negative effects most other people would be. In an era of draconian drug laws and a no-tolerance policy towards "delinquents" and a growing group of ne'er-do-wells called "hippies", it turns out rich people can sit around and happily do whatever drugs they want and not only is it not to be frowned on, it's a valuable learning experience and opportunity for self-growth!

So Roger and Jane both pop a cube of acid into their mouths and let it melt away, ready to experience... well they don't know what, but safe in the knowledge that even if the worst happens they'll be perfectly fine. That's proven readily enough by the message they all wrote, an explanation of what their name is and where they live, explaining that they've taken LSD and asking for help: should they go on a bad trip and burst free of the apartment and get out onto the street, then they fully expect on being found that rather than being arrest or thrown into jail they'll just be helped home to relax... maybe pay a little fine afterwards, but that's all - that's their "truth", that they have a freedom far and beyond that which most people can dream of.



They settle back on the couch, and the evening proceeds, Roger noting that everybody else appears fixated or feeling a euphoric rush of some kind: Megan is staring frowning at nothingness, the other woman is gleefully running her fingers over the texture of the couch, the psychiatrist is eagerly stroking the face of the academic.... and Roger is just bored. He says as much, telling Dr. Leary (presumably the psychiatrist) that her product is boring, standing up and moving to the bar to pour himself a drink: now there is a drug he can rely on!

Or "Dr. Leary" was just a reference to Timothy Leary, as aBagorn helpfully pointed out!

Grabbing a bottle of Stolichnaya he pops the top off to pour himself a drink.... and suddenly Russian music is blasting into the room, surrounding him, filling the air. In typical Roger fashion he doesn't panic or get alarmed, just out of utter curiosity replaces the top which causes the music to cut off, then pulls it back out to fill the room with music again.... and he's delighted! Chuckling he pours himself a drink and reseals the bottle, cutting off the music in time to hear the academic - who is still sober - waffling on about dreams, light and reality. "Okey-dokey" he agrees, unimpressed, taking a seat next to Jane as Dr. Leary eagerly explains that he's actually quoting from the Tibetan Book of the Damned, the academic (also a Dr. Leary?) correcting her that it's the book of the dead.

Roger doesn't care, lighting up a cigarette as the other woman crawls on the floor gasping that she doesn't want to die. He takes a drag and a flat note plays, his cigarette instantly burning straight down to the nub. Looking back up, somehow the Drs Leary have ended up on the couch with the confused husband of the other woman who is staring in fascination at a hand mirror. Jane is horrified by her own arm, while the academic explains all absence is death. Roger of course is answering all of this out loud with more of his typical wry comments... except he's not actually talking, just thinking, the words never actually leaving his own head.

Jane agrees that absence is death, saying she feels that way when Roger goes to work, but he doesn't pick up on the significance of this (does SHE feel dead or does she feel like he is), instead aimlessly leafing through a magazine to look at the advertising, chuckling happily to himself that the conversation is going on around him and he doesn't have to be involved. An ad for hair dye catching his attention, an arresting image of a man whose hair is half grey and half black, and he finds himself fixated on the difference, leaving the couch and a miserable Jane to look at himself in the mirror where of course his own hair has also turned grey/black.

"Don't look in the mirror," the academic tells him, remembering that he's supposed to be the guide, and now Roger's hair is fully white once more as he turns away. "Why didn't you tell me that?" Roger asks, his reflection moving just slightly out of time with his real self, and the academic smugly reminds him he did... so Roger looks in the mirror again!

"Look at me," Don Draper tells him with stern confidence, standing behind him in the reflection,"Everything's okay. You are okay. Now go to your wife."

"Why?" asks Roger, not questioning how or why Don would be here, and Don's words are exactly what he needs to hear, even though they're actually coming from the academic... it's just that when they come from Don Draper's mouth and in his voice they sound so much better and more authoritative to Roger: "She wants to be alone in the truth with you."

Roger turns and sees himself sitting next to Jane again even though he's still at the mirror, and he looks to where Don should be and instead sees him and Jane dancing. The Roger who is dancing registers that Jane is crying, holding a rose in her hand as she weepingly tells him that it is so beautiful here, and this time when he says they should go home she's happy to comply. They sit dazed in the back of their cab, lost in their "truth", Roger suddenly seeming to notice her there and realizing they've left. He lifts the $5 note in his hand, holding it to pay the cabbie when they arrive, and is startled to see Bert Cooper as the face on the bill rather than Abraham Lincoln.

Now they're home, in a bath together still in a daze. The sound of a roaring crowd make Roger turn and look to the side of the tub, and he begins cackling with delight, explaining to a confused Jane - who thinks he is laughing at her and asks in a panic what is wrong with her - that it's the World Series! He points eagerly at nothing, further elaborating it's the "Black Sox" in 1919. "Were you there?" she asks, and he admits that no he wasn't, which makes him laugh harder... because he's there now!

Eagerly he points out the old style cars, and Jane is dismayed because SHE can't see it, which coupled with her line about what was wrong with her and the earlier line about absence and death makes it very clear that she is a VERY unhappy woman. But she allows herself to enjoy Roger being present, turning around and nestling up against him as he continues to laugh, reveling at the unexpected appearance of the 1919 World Series in his bathroom.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 11:44 on Oct 24, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Lying on the floor of their bedroom after the bath holding hands, they stare at the ceiling. Roger asks what the time is and Jane muses on how all of time could possibly be encapsulated in a few numbers. Lifting her hand, Roger kisses it and Jane remarks that she can feel his lips and reminds him that she is still here, and he agrees that he can see her... and that she's beautiful. She sighs that he always says that... it is ALL he says, but Roger misses or ignores this to joke about finally understanding why her friends are so smart, intimating that it's because they're always stoned.

Jane corrects him, Catherine is her doctor, not a friend (so presumably Catherine is Dr. Leary), and Roger agrees that he did know that... but he didn't know it too. Jane, melancholy, points out that she feels Catherine might know her better than Roger does, but admits that he probably doesn't want to know when he asks if she really thinks he should.

"Because it's over?" he asks simply, and she doesn't freak out or get angry or try to deny it, just muses that Dr. Leary is waiting for her to admit it, and she thinks Roger is waiting for her to admit it too. Roger notes that instead she wrote this poem for him tonight, either referring to a real poem unseen or simply referring to the night/experience itself as one (or mixing up in his drugged mind today and the start of their relationship), and she agrees that she knew they were going somewhere... she just didn't want it to be here.

For a moment they simply lie quietly together, and then he asks her something that would normally backfire spectacularly, asking if she feels as relieved as he does. She's not upset though, admitting that all she has been able to think about is having an affair, and he admits to being surprised she has NOT indulged. She admits there was a kiss but that she stopped it there, pointing out the ridiculousness that she was then angry at him for not appreciating her moral fortitude despite not knowing anything about it. She won't ask him to tell her the same though, she has simply assumed he has had affairs, simply stating that all she really knows is that he didn't fall in love with any of them.

Ironically, as far as we know his only infidelity was with Joan and a one-off encounter with a prostitute while wooing Jaguar. Not that ANY infidelity is okay, but he certainly exhibited more self-control than most of us would have expected, including Jane.

Now he is confused though, if she is willing to tolerate his affairs and knows he hasn't fallen for anybody else... then what is the problem with their marriage just continuing as is? Sadly she notes the thing that has repeated come up throughout the night, to allusions to her own low self-esteem and their likely source: Roger doesn't like her.

"I did," he admits freely, and not without sadness and melancholy of his own,"I really did."

Again, she does not react with fury or sorrow, simply curls up against his chest. He places an arm around her, and they lay together on the floor, united and together in their joint understanding of their inevitable separation.

The next morning he dresses as she sleeps in the bed. He takes a seat on the bed beside her when she wakes and apologizes for saying it yet again, but it is still true: she is beautiful. "Last night was beautiful," she corrects, and he agrees, but now she's curious where he's going, and becomes alarmed when he explains she can take her time and there is no rush for her to leave, he'll check into a hotel for now so he doesn't displace her. Sitting up in the bed, she asks what he is talking about, and he wistfully talks about how beautiful it was that they could sort this out without screaming and lawyers, and in horror she asks him if he is leaving her. No, he corrects, they're leaving each other just like SHE wanted, and he's happy they could do it the way they did, together in the "truth".

"I didn't say that," she gasps, and for a moment I had the horrible thought that Roger imagined the entire breakup in his drug-induced state. But when he reminds her of things she told him that only she could know, like quoting German spoken by her father ("Yiddish," she corrects him), or her confessions to her psychiatrist, it becomes clear that Jane was hoping/trying to suppress her own memories of the night before. She was there, she was an active participant in that conversation, and the sober reality of it the next morning had her trying to convince herself it can't have really happened.

Now it cannot be escaped, and so she has to admit to the truth, even if it scares her, even if she was willing to try and retreat back into the comfort of a marriage with a man she has fallen out of love with and who has fallen out of love with her. It is a beautiful ending, aided by a mutual understanding and oneness of mind that they hadn't shared since their early days as a couple, but it is still an ending, and that is sad.

"It's going to be expensive," she quietly says, the reality of the ramifications settling in, and she's not speaking about for herself and he knows it: there may have been no screaming, but the lawyers will come, and Roger is going to end up with a fairly significant amount of his wealth going to her, and they both know it. He's not happy about it, but he's also willing to accept it as a consequence. So he leans forward for one last kiss, and this marks the only true sour note for him when she pulls back. He doesn't push it, it's over and he knows it, and so he stands and leaves, and a marriage most people thought was doomed from the start comes to an end. The only thing surprising is the relative civility and gentleness with which it happened... thanks to the magic power of LSD!



Back to the previous day, Roger leaves Don's office and forlornly tells Dawn it was a terrible idea, while Don eagerly decides to go let Megan in on his own wonderful (terrible) idea... they can just dump work for the day and go to Howard Johnson's! He of course at first puts it in a more professional way, solemnly explaining that Howard Johnson's need them to visit Plattsburgh immediately... which is complete bullshit. But with a grin he points out they can make it a long weekend, and while she does seem pleased by the idea she reminds him that they have the Heinz presentation today. He... doesn't care! He doesn't even note that he trusts Peggy or that he has given it a second thought, instead grinning cheekily and asking her if she remembers California and the two hotel rooms.

That gets a grin from her over the fond memory, but she still seems iffy about dumping out of the Heinz presentation, pointing out they can just do it all on the weekend. Don though doesn't like denying himself of things, and though he still says it with a smile he pulls rank, declaring that as her boss he is ordering it. She grins, both enjoying the fun of things but still a little uncertain about abandoning the rest of the team... but it's been made clear that this is happening, and so she decides to do her best to match his own obvious enthusiasm.

Soon they're driving, out of the city and into the "country", Megan reviewing the map and noting the same thing that Don did earlier: they're not all that far from the border and her parents' home in Montreal. Even though he also clearly considered this himself, he reminds her that her parents will be visiting them soon enough (just like with Betty, he can tolerate home visits on his own turf, he deeply dislikes being the visitor). Happily he explains they won't have to do much "work" tonight, they'll be given the royal treatment by somebody called Dale when they arrive, and he asks if she likes orange sherbet, surprised to discover she has never had it.

Still, he's not an unobservant man, even if he has clear blindspots. He can tell something is off, and asks if she is okay. She assures him she's just a little tired, and so he recommends she take a nap, more than happy to drive in silence, promising that she when she wakes up she will feel like she is on vacation. Now she gives him a little of that playfulness he is looking for, as she cheekily asks him to recount Howard Johnson's business to help her to fall asleep, as she curls up against the side of the window and settles in for a snooze.

She's woken sometime later coughing due to Don's cigarette, and irritably asks him to wind down his window so the car doesn't full up with smoke. He does as he's told, and she checks her watch, considering that the Heinz presentation will have passed by now and wondering how it went. Don shrugs, stating Peggy will be fine and surprised she's thinking about it at all, and she admits that she felt like she abandoned the team. Don doesn't, openly stating that he feels no guilt and trying to turn it into a little joke by claiming she needs to get SOME benefit to being his wife.

Seeing that she's still troubled despite (or because?) of his joke, he promises her that he'll check in with Peggy later, and that seems to settle her somewhat. All the signs are there that something is wrong, but he's determined to make this into a fun little romantic getaway, wanting to recapture the magic of that trip to California where he first saw her as something more than just a competent secretary who he'd once had guilt-free sex with.

He's still in that mindset when they enter the Howard Johnson's restaurant, asking if she brought the swimsuit from Acapulco (he finally made it!), and she admits that she forgot it in her rush to pack. He doesn't let that get him down though, he bought his and says they can buy one after they eat and enjoy the indoor pool. They're greeted by Dale Vanderwort, the manager who greets them with a strained smile, making a bad joke about how he'd have rolled out the "orange carpet" if he'd had more notice... remember Don told Megan they HAD to go, like it was a decision out of his hands, and poor Dale just let the at out of the bag that this was completely unexpected.

If Megan notices she gives no sign, and when Dale offers to show them to their room she speaks up to ask if they can get something to eat or drink first? He's (overly)eager to please, assuring them he will bring them a sample of EVERYTHING, and leads them to a booth before heading away to make good on his promise. Make good he does, as shortly after we see Megan picking at one of multiple plates of different foods piled up on the table, they really do have a sample of everything!

Don returns from the gift counter and happily tells her he brought her a gift, and she beams with genuine pleasure when he reveals it is... a backscratcher! He got one for Bobby too, and a box of saltwater taffy for Sally, and Megan is surprised when she asks what he got for Gene and he readily admits... nothing. Not out of a lack of love, but purely because he knows at that age Glen won't realize he missed out or remember what he got anyway, and he knows Sally will share and she'll make Bobby share too, and Glen won't know the difference.

That's... that's not the point! You don't buy somebody a gift to win brownie points on some imaginary chart of gratitude!

The waitress arrives, noting that they didn't finish anything, and Don explains they sampled everything. She offers them desert and Megan brightens up, asking about their pie, but Don overrides that, asking her to bring them three scoops of orange sherbet and two spoons. The waitress leaves and suddenly Don is in business mode, looking about Howard Johnson's and considering the positives: bright colors, candy for the kids, a fully stocked bar for the parents.... does Megan think it's a delightful destination?

"It's not a destination," Megan offers back,"It's on the way to someplace." Don considers that, it's a good observation and though they obviously can't use it as a marketing slogan it gives him something to work with to build towards. He ponders a like situation: a long car ride, mom needs the restroom, the kids spot something they like, the family has no choice but to stay etc. But as he turns over a placemat to scribble ideas, Megan is understandably upset, as Don jumps casually and easily between work and home mode on a dime. She points out that HE likes to work, so why can't she?

Pausing, Don delivers a response that beggars belief: they didn't HAVE to go on this trip and she should have told him if it was so important for her to stay for the Heinz presentation!

She complains that she never actually got the chance, especially since he did it in front of everybody else and embarrassed her by turning her into just Don's wife rather than a member of the team. Don takes exactly the wrong approach, smirking at the idea of being upset about being removed from that "crack" team, and she angrily starts to remind him that she IS on that team when the waitress returns with the sherbet... and suddenly Don is right back into happy home/family mode as if nothing happened, cheerfully telling the waitress that Megan has never tried orange sherbet.

He passes the overflowing glass of sherbet too her with a smile, telling her to try it, and trapped by social convention Megan has to set aside that they were in the middle of a fight to pick up the spoon and take a mouthful. She immediately recoils, the shock of the overwhelming sweetness overpowering, shaking her head with a smile as she pushes it away, telling the waitress sorry but it tastes like perfume to her.

"That's why we make 28 flavors!" smiles the waitress, assuring her it isn't for everybody, but as Megan moves on from this failed experiment to ask for a scoop of chocolate instead, now it is Don who is offended and angry! After the waitress leaves he turns a faux smirk Megan's wait and asks her,"Really?", and when Megan promises him that she didn't like it, he grunts rhetorically,"There's no chance you're trying to embarrass me?"

Oh yeah I'm sure the waitress rushed back to eagerly gossip that a customer... didn't particularly like sherbet and asked sweetly for something else, boy her husband must be a loser rear end in a top hat idiot!

So what does Megan do? She decides gently caress it, if he's going to be childish so is she! She takes the sherbet back and doles up an enormous spoonful and shovels it into her mouth, moaning with fake delight and blaring,"Itsh sho delishus!" as he sits stunned, watching. She scoops more and more into her mouth as he casts his eyes about, worried the other customers are all staring and whispering,"My God, Don Draper's wife is enjoying sherbet!" He demands to know what's wrong with her as she finally puts an end to the charade, wiping her mouth clean with a napkin and glaring at him, and she responds icily that maybe he should make up a schedule so she'll know when she's supposed to be working and when she's his wife.

He means to give as good as he gets, sarcastically agreeing that he really must be a monster, he's having her eat ice-cream! He suggests if she's really upset she can ring her mother and talk behind his back in French, and she snaps back that oh of course she MUST be talking about him, there isn't possibly any other subject that a mother and daughter might discuss. "The woman speaks French!" Don snaps back, unable to comprehend that anybody who can speak English would ever rather speak another language including their native tongue. Which is when Megan goes too far, by hauling out a dangerous and unspeakable weapon she immediately regrets, asking him why he doesn't call HIS mother.



She immediately regrets it and wishes she hadn't said it, but she can't turn back time. It's said, it's out there, and the pain and hurt in Don's eyes says all too well what a mistake it was. He doesn't know how to react, wanting to get angry but too upset to do more than just stand up and leave the booth, marching right out of the restaurant, ignoring her calling after him.

She chases after him, still upset herself, telling him not to walk away. Turning, he glares at her and demands she get into the car but she refuses, saying that she's talking to him. She regrets what she said, but they're still having an argument, and she expects him to engage in it, because that's how you get through this stuff, by communicating.

Unless you're Don Draper, who just shrugs, pretends indifference and says okay, hops into the car himself while ignoring her complaining that he cares more about what a truck stop waitress thinks than his own wife... and literally drives away and leaves her standing shocked and outraged alone in the parking lot. He straight up just abandoned her! Sure he's understandably and even justifiably pissed off at her (as she is at him) but... I mean... her gobbling the sherbet was childish but this is something else altogether, loving hell. Maybe Pete was right, maybe the honeymoon phase is over.

Did any of what she yelled at him get through to him? About how he treats her interchangeably as different people as his own needs dictate with little thought for her as a person? An employee, a wife, a hostess, a worker, a lover, a slave. If they did, he tries to pretend they didn't, affecting a nonchalant air as he drives away through the countryside, lighting up a cigarette (no need to lower the window now!) and trying his best to act like he isn't also regretting his childish outburst.

But he can't sustain it. A man with a history of walking away when things aren't going exactly how he wants them to, he has learned over the last few years that it is never as easy as he wants it to be, and it only gets harder as he gets older and more entrenched into this niche in the world he has carved for himself. He can't just abandon his wife in the parking lot of a Howard Johnson's, no matter how much cruel satisfaction it gave him in the moment, so with a great sigh he turns the car around and heads back.

What does he expect upon his return? She's not in the parking lot, so he returns to the restaurant and asks the waitress if she has seen his wife. She informs him Megan was there, but she's gone now and she doesn't know where she went. "To the hotel?" he asks, but she just shrugs and points over to a now empty booth, saying she was talking to "those fellas over there" but they've all left now. Noticing at last that Don looks concerned, she remembers that she saw them all heading to the parking lot, but admits that she just figured Megan was looking for him.

Now he's concerned, what "fellas?" Has Megan allowed a bunch of strange men to give her a ride? Is she in danger? He returns to the parking lot, looking around for her but there is no sign... and then he sees her sunglasses lying on the ground, which only adds to his fear. Returning to the restaurant, he takes another look around, going so far as to step into the women's restroom. Leaving, he finds Dale waiting for him, who remarks enthusiastically that Don is REALLY checking the place out if he's going into the women's restroom!

He offers Don his room key and asks if he needs help with his bags, and Don grabs on this moment of hope: did Dale give Megan a key? Is she in the room now? Upset and crying or maybe even just angry but who cares so long as she is safe! But no, Dale hasn't seen her, and Don absentmindedly takes the key from him before Dale quietly admits they have a problem.... they had to close the pool! It seems a kid had an "accident" but he quickly assures Don this doesn't happen a lot, while Don clearly couldn't give a poo poo (unlike the kid!).

Back in the parking lot, he hopes against hope, but there is no sign of Megan. He looks through windows, desperately hoping to see her, the dread rising, the sense of helplessness rising. Time passes, day becomes night, and Don - for want of anywhere else to look - sits in the restaurant once more, at the counter pondering who knows what horrible possibilities in his mind. As the waitress passes he passes her a bill and she reminds him he already took care of his bill, but he asks for change so he can use the phone. She assures him that Dale will let him use the restaurant phone but he doesn't want to do that, a payphone offers him some degree of anonymity at least.

Considering carefully, knowing this is a diplomatic quagmire, the waitress decides to risk it and carefully tells Don that, while it may not be her business, she sees couples get into fights in the restaurant all the time: his wife will be fine, she probably just got a lift home with those kids (downgraded from fellas to seem less ominous).

He doesn't reply, just hopes she's right, and heads out to the parking lot where we see his side of the call to Peggy. He hangs up, not hearing Peggy's acceptance of full responsibility for a Heinz debacle he has no idea about and wouldn't care about if he did. Once again he returns to the restaurant, drinking yet another coffee as he works up the courage to make another call.... to Megan's mother.

She answers sounding tired, it's late in the evening and Don isn't entirely sure how to explain himself, opening timidly with saying he called to say hello before asking if she's heard from Megan. Slightly confused, Marie says she hasn't, and asks if everything is all right, knowing that your daughter's husband calling you out of the blue late at night to ask if you have heard from her tends not to be a good sign. Some part of Don's creative flair sparks up at last and he explains he wants to buy her some jewelry but can't remember which metal she is allergic to: gold or silver?

Taken in, Marie explains cheerfully that 24 karat gold or sterling silver are both fine, before hitting him with a massive guilt-trip when she declares he is a fine husband for checking, explaining it is only gold alloy that bothers Megan's skin. Miserable, both relieved that Megan isn't there and terrified about what that could mean, Don has to cut off his mother-in-law talking about what a good husband he is to stammer out to her to please not ruin the surprise, hating himself for continuing this deception when if anybody should be told Megan might be in trouble it is her. He hangs up after managing a simple Au Revoir, then buries his head against the phone, unsure what to do now.



He's woken in a booth inside the restaurant sometime later into the night by a State Trooper, who very politely and even somewhat apologetically explains that customers aren't allowed to sleep here. Don sits up, nodding and agreeing that of course not, and asks what the time is. It's 1:45am, and he admits that he's been waiting for his wife, explaining that she "ran off" and he hasn't been able to find her, neglecting to mention it was him who took off on her first, expecting her to just be waiting here when he deigned to return.

The trooper tells him he patrols up and down the road throughout the morning so he'll keep an eye, which is about all that Don can hope for after "only" a 7 hour absence. Don takes this in, then steps outside into the cold air to wake himself up, smoking a cigarette before returning to the phonebooth and making another call that goes unanswered: presumably to their home, hoping that she might have gotten back there like the waitress said. With no answer, and it being clear that she isn't anywhere around the Howard Johnson's, he feels there is only one option left, and climbs wearily into his car and prepares to make the long drive back to the city.

As he drives, listening to the radio, his memory drifts to the end of the trip whose magic he thought he could forcibly recapture. For the first time, we see him at the tail end of the trip to California, driving home with Megan in the passenger seat helping navigate by suggesting directions by map. A tired Sally emerges from the back seat, clearly having woken from a deep sleep, asking where they are and where they're going. Don reminds her they're going to her new house, and she complains that she doesn't want to go back, she wanted to stay on vacation. Don grins and agrees that he wants that too, making Megan smile, both of them aglow in their newly resparked relationship.

Sally asks when they can go back and he happily lies that if she goes back to sleep, he can tell her when she wakes up. That makes perfect sense to her exhausted kid mind, so she rests her head back down on a conked out Bobby and falls back to sleep. Don, energized and feeling more alive than he has in months, whistles "I wanna hold your hand" with a cheeky look Megan's way, and she reminds him that he was going mad hearing Sally constantly singing it. He admits that it's stuck in his head, and continues to drive feeling alive and loved and like a whole new world of opportunity is open to him.... transitioning immediately to him alone and miserable in his car driving home without knowing if Megan will be there or not, and which he should be desperately hoping for.

So he puts his key in the lock, turns the door... and utter relief washes over him when he finds the chain on the door. She's alive. She's safe. She's home.

Then comes the anger. He calls for her, and finally she answers, yelling at him to go away. Forcing himself to calm down, warring emotions of relief and fury all tangled up inside him, he tells her to open the door, but she refuses. We've only seen his perspective, but she'd had a miserable series of hours herself, wondering when he would return, IF he would return, perhaps wondering what he was doing during that time, did he just gently caress off and drive for awhile, or did he go elsewhere and do who knows what? Did he even care she was gone? Did he think about her at all?

He demands she open the door or he'll kick it in, and when she yells back that she doesn't want to see him and he needs to leave her alone, he follows through on his threat and boots the door open. She demands to get out and, childishly, he complains that he said he was sorry (No he didn't!) and she snaps back that she doesn't care. He demands to know where she was, complaining that he stopped every 20 miles and called the apartment, so why didn't she answer if she was here?

"BECAUSE YOU'RE A PIG! YOU LEFT ME THERE!" she rages back at him, but he pays no attention to this reminder that it was HIM who abandoned her at the parking lot, not the other way around. Instead he demands to know where she was, and she hisses that she spent 6 and a half hours on a bus and then had to struggle with getting a cab at 5am from the Port Authority, when all anybody wanted to give her was "an offer". Yes, he was worried sick, but due to a situation he caused, and she hasn't just been off having fun or callously ignoring him, she's been devastated herself.

"I thought you were dead," he repeats quietly, angrily, as if this fear trumps her anger, and she lashes out at him in a rage at him once again ignoring her feelings in favor of his own. He grabs her after she strikes pitifully at the side of his head, and she tries to shake him off, finally tearing free and racing towards the bedroom as he gives chase, furniture knocked over in their path as his longer stride allows him to get through the door before she can close it behind her.

She tries to hide behind the bed, vaulting over it when he lunges at her and racing back out the door. She doesn't really have a clear idea where she's going, just that she's trying to get away from him, and when he grabs her in the doorway of the living room they topple over into the sunken floor, both crashing onto their backs side by side in a miserable echo of Roger and Jane's drug-induced bliss.

She weeps miserably, breaking down into tears, and finally asks the question that actually penetrates his self-driven worldview: how could he do that to her? Does she mean tackling her to the ground, or abandoning her in the parking lot? Most likely the latter, and Don finally admits what he rarely likes to admit: that he doesn't know why he did what he did. "It was a fight," he offers at last, the closest he can get to admitting his actions were childish and stupid, a suggestion that both of them did silly things because of the highly charged emotional state they were in.

"No," Megan sobs, turning to look at him at last,"Every time we fight, it just diminishes us a little bit."

Don knows that, he's always known that, even if he doesn't want to admit it. When he told Pete that he'd still be on his first marriage if it had been to Megan instead of Betty, it was denying a truth obvious to all (particularly Dr. Faye Miller): Don loves the beginning of things, and he hates it when that freshness fades and little things begin to chip away at that love. He adored Betty for years, now she's the nagging ex-wife who he has to put up with because of the children. Megan doesn't want that for them, and Don doesn't want it either, but part of avoiding it is acknowledging that it could happen, that he and Megan aren't some perfect union. That's part of what this Howard Johnson's trip was about : Don trying to make the vibrancy and brightness of their California trip happen again.

She turns away and slowly gets to her feet, telling him she has to go to work. But he stops her, this time not angrily but desperately, pressing his face against her stomach, holding her tight, and instead of accusing her by saying,"I thought you were dead!" he admits his feelings, his terror that he thought he had lost her. She looks down at him and something in the genuineness of his raw emotional state reaches her, and she nods, not resisting or tolerating his embrace by sharing in it, her hands on his upper arms, gently soothing him. They're far from alright, but they're better than they were... just for the moment that little more diminished than they were.



They return to work a couple as normal, the next day has finally arrived for good. When Megan moves away to enter Peggy's office, Don stops her for a moment to offer her a hopeful, sad but loving look, and she returns it with a sad but accepting smile that becomes warmer and more inviting as she allows herself to feel it.

Dawn greets him as he arrives, admitting she wasn't expecting him (given he had her clear his calendar for the week!) and asks how his trip was. "Great!" he lies, then frowns as he collects up some campaign art for Playtex and sees a giant red line through it with,"Do over," written on it. Confused, he asks what this is all about, and is even more confused when Dawn tells him Mr. Cooper dropped it off this morning. Bert Cooper!?! Yes indeed, she points out he's in the conference room and asks if he'd like her to get him, but Don decides to go check in on this bizarre turn of events himself.

He enters the conference room, his displeasure clear as he drops the rejected art on the table and demands to know what the hell this is all about. Cooper shows no guilt or unease at having interfered into a section of the business that has never been his area of expertise, informing Don that a client left the building unhappy yesterday because Don has "a little girl running everything." Don is quick to defend his department (but not Peggy personally), saying his department is fine, they just need more bodies which Lane won't allow them.

"You've been on love leave," Cooper retorts, pointing out that it is amazing things are going as well as they are given how little Don is actually doing. Stunned and not a little outraged at being questioned like this, Don warns Cooper that this is none of his business. Cooper, the man who has been a bit of a running joke these last two seasons as a much loved but clearly past his prime senior figure, the man who is charitably called an eccentric, who spends his days in the conference room or the reception area reading newspapers and not really doing much of anything else... looks Don dead in the eye and reminds him just why he's been successful in advertising for over 40 years.

"This IS my business," he declares, and with that simply stands and walks out, leaving Don to face up to a hard truth. He stands and watches Peggy walk by one way, then Stan, Michael and Megan the other, all of them acknowledging him in some way but then going about their business without him. And why not? That's the way he has set things up to be, the way he has been acting ever since he married Megan and decided his married life was the only thing he cared about (the direct opposite of his final years with Betty). He has been absent in spirit and often in body: he doesn't care about building campaigns, he doesn't care if clients walk all over them and poo poo on ideas they know will work, he doesn't care about making sure their clients customers are simply treated as demographics and market numbers, he doesn't care about the art.

In his place, Peggy has tried to be what he was, and she's as capable if not more of doing so... apart from the fact that Don can get away with it thanks to being a tall, handsome, well-built middle-aged man while she is, even now, treated as a "little girl" throwing a tantrum or unable to control her emotions. The irony being that Peggy would agree with Cooper's assessment of Don, because it's one she's given herself: he's "happy", and that made him next to useless as their Creative Director because he simply didn't care.

In this state, he's tried to have his orange sherbet and eat it too, treating Megan as an extension of himself, assuming that like him she'd be glad to ditch work and just be with him, forgetting that he has the benefit of having worked his way to the top and the acceptance and respect of his peers while she is still trying to prove herself to hers while also still being energized and excited by the actual work itself.

The end result? Bert Cooper has had to put him in his place like they were back in Sterling Cooper when he was the undisputed king and master of all he surveyed and Don needed to be taught regular lessons as he was slowly lifted up into the upper echelon. Suddenly he is disrupted from his contemplation of all this when Roger Sterling opens the door and happily (and a little drunkenly?) declares he has an announcement to make... it's going to be a beautiful day! With that he leaves, and Don - who has no idea Roger is happy because he's divorcing the woman he claimed made HIM happy, another distressing parallel path Don might be on - faces another horrible realization: was he on his way to being as ultimately vestigial to SCDP as Roger has become?

This odd, slightly wonky episode that tried something a little off-the-wall and at least partly succeeded ends with Don sitting alone on the conference room table, considering his place in this Agency, in this industry.... and in his life. What decisions will he make? What path will he choose? What impact will it have not only on himself but all around him? That remains to be seen, but one thing at least is for certain: he can't say it wasn't made clear to him that a choice HAD to be made.



Episode Index

aBagorn
Aug 26, 2004


Fairly certain that Roger is making a joke about Dr Timothy Leary, known proponent of LSD, when he calls it "boring"

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



Oh, Peggy's going to the movie theater... oh god, she's going to the movie theater.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



aBagorn posted:

Fairly certain that Roger is making a joke about Dr Timothy Leary, known proponent of LSD, when he calls it "boring"

:doh:

Jesus Christ, how did I not make the connection with Leary?

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


The LSD scene is definitely one of my favorite sequences in the entire show. I just love the pairing of Roger having a mid-trip existential crisis to one of the darker tracks off of Pet Sounds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsPHOfqrOWY

If you listen closely (at about 2:30 here), the "Don't look in the mirror" comment is definitely Don's voice too, not the guide's.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Oh it's definitely Don's voice, I just think it's the "guide's" words, if that makes sense. He's standing there telling Roger not to look in the mirror, that he's okay and everything is okay, and to go be in the truth with his wife, but Roger sees and hears him as Don because Don is somebody whose opinion he actually respects, so his mind replaces the guide with Don instead.

That's how I saw it anyway. I love that scene, all the little disjointed slightly off elements - some of which stand out and that he notices, others (like his reflection being slightly out of sync) he isn't consciously aware of. It really captures the hyper-real unreality of a first trip (at least in my experience!).

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



It's interesting how Peggy has tried to fill the void created by Don. She really does, possibly unconsciously, attempt to become him: she abuses clients and coworkers like Don, she naps and goes to the movies like Don, she uses work to push away loved ones like Don, she's even physically intimate with non-S.O.'s like Don! But in each of these cases, the show makes a point of demonstrating why she can't be him, even if she wants to. She can't yell at clients and get away with it because she's not a man. She can't treat her coworkers like trash because she does really value them and they open up to her when they're vulnerable (Stan tells her about his photography anxiety, Michael tells her about his upbringing and his beliefs about himself). She might get into fights with her S.O. but she allows herself to be vulnerable and emotionally honest (a lesson Don is just on the verge of grasping). She jerks a random guy off in a theatre... uh yeah actually that was kind of weird. But she was high as balls so *waves hands dismissively*

The wonderful irony is that Peggy can't be Don because she isn't a broken mess of a human being.

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011





Peggy jerking off a random at the movies never made sense to me but its a pivotal episode for Roger that I appreciated. I think at this point I had given up on Don and felt pity for Megan. I won't talk about the future outside spoilers its like Roger wakes up after 60 years. He was going to be fun on screen anyway because he's Roger but this is the point where he wants to actually try. Previously he was just privileged and coasting his entire life but post the lsd trip he wants to do this for real. Very cool.

Its probably a time thing but I never got what the younger women see in the older men. Like if his spouse was entirely cynical and just waiting for him to die due to his lifestyle I would get it but Jane seems to have actually loved him at some point despite what must be a 35 year age gap. I'm sure there are winter spring romances that aren't cynical but Roger is very jaded, how is she around that thinking he's a romantic. I just don't get it. I'm pushing 40 in a few years and I can't imagine trying to date someone in their early twenties, it would be a stretch to date someone in their late 20s. You push that out to 30 years and what would they even talk about. Apparently nothing given what they showed us but you marry that? Its more understandable with Don because he's insanely handsome and the age difference is 10-15 years not 30. I know it happened once upon a time but its weird from 2010 onwards

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


Jerusalem posted:

Oh it's definitely Don's voice, I just think it's the "guide's" words, if that makes sense. He's standing there telling Roger not to look in the mirror, that he's okay and everything is okay, and to go be in the truth with his wife, but Roger sees and hears him as Don because Don is somebody whose opinion he actually respects, so his mind replaces the guide with Don instead.

That's how I saw it anyway. I love that scene, all the little disjointed slightly off elements - some of which stand out and that he notices, others (like his reflection being slightly out of sync) he isn't consciously aware of. It really captures the hyper-real unreality of a first trip (at least in my experience!).

Yes, absolutely! All great points, I only brought it up because I think I missed it the first watch.

Honestly the Peggy thing doesn't seem that jarring to me, she's definitely had an impulsive rebellious streak in her ("I'm Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana,"; her excursions into the proto hipster world with Joyce, that one random bar hookup she had), I think in this particular case it was definitely a reaction to feeling powerless at the Heinz pitch.

I also love where Roger's character goes after this episode as a direct result of his trip. I don't personally get the appeal of a May/December romance myself but I like that they kind of juxtapose the end of that relationship with Don and Megan's fight/the end of their honeymoon period. Maybe it was easier to get into a relationship with that big of a gap just due to cultural differences at the time--Jane strikes me as somebody who just got caught up in the idea of "marrying rich and young" and the status it carried that ended up genuinely enjoying Roger's company despite herself. I mean I'm not into older men at all but John Slattery definitely lays on the charm in that role, he's great at playing the guy you know isn't great for you that is simultaneously hard to let go of. In Jane's case you didn't necessarily want to divorce due to differences like that because marriage itself, beyond being a status thing was also a security thing

R. Guyovich
Dec 25, 1991



Jerusalem posted:

Oh it's definitely Don's voice, I just think it's the "guide's" words, if that makes sense. He's standing there telling Roger not to look in the mirror, that he's okay and everything is okay, and to go be in the truth with his wife, but Roger sees and hears him as Don because Don is somebody whose opinion he actually respects, so his mind replaces the guide with Don instead.

That's how I saw it anyway. I love that scene, all the little disjointed slightly off elements - some of which stand out and that he notices, others (like his reflection being slightly out of sync) he isn't consciously aware of. It really captures the hyper-real unreality of a first trip (at least in my experience!).

"everything is ok. you are ok" is also a deliberate echo of don's "it's toasted" pitch from the pilot. don's even wearing a similar suit

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



R. Guyovich posted:

"everything is ok. you are ok" is also a deliberate echo of don's "it's toasted" pitch from the pilot. don's even wearing a similar suit

I was just checking the first page of the thread to keep my offline copy of a file up to date and came across that line from the first episode and was like... holy crap, Roger filed that line away DEEP in his subconscious! :allears:

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