Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



kalel posted:

The only story I can remember off the top of my head is when he tells Peggy about the time he jumped off a cruiser into the water with his shipmates. This is in one of the latter episodes of the final season. I never got the sense he held high ranking position of command, if any. If he ever mentioned a ship going off course I would assume he used the informal "we"

This is the anecdote I was thinking of, as well. I don't remember ever feeling like he was particularly high-ranking, and assumed he was in his early 20's at the time.

For what it's worth, The Internet tells me Roger was born in 1916. So, for one, he'd absolutely have been too young in 1919 to have particularly concrete memories of the World Series. And he'd have been 26+ while serving in WW2.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



It does make sense for him to be slightly older than being born in 1916...maybe 1910? You would still be sent off for WW2. Jimmy Stewart was born in 1908 but enlisted and through his celebrity was quickly promoted up, something that Roger could have also experienced through his connections...but then that also has him in his early 20s in the depression...The 1916 birth date makes sense if you have Roger be the same age of John Slattery (who would have been 45/6 in season 1.) When I would always assume he was in his 50s by then.

Perhaps this connects to that S3 episode with the dog food woman? He spent much of his 20s loving and drinking around Europe, and not really being involved in the business until he "grew up" after serving in the war.

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



small tangent

Jerusalem posted:

She leaves, Emile looking pained himself, so he is happy when Bobby curiously asks if he has to give people shots and he gets to explain that he is a professor, not a medical doctor. Don adds as he returns to his seat that anybody with a high degree in a field is called a doctor, absentmindedly noting it's from the middle ages. Emile nods and agrees, seemingly impressed in spite of himself that Don doesn't just ape social niceties but appears to have educated himself as well.... curiously, THAT he seems to appreciate.

I always interpreted "it's from the middle ages" as Don belittling Emile's station, as if to imply that calling people in non-medical fields "doctors" is an antiquated practice. at least that's how Emile seems to regard the comment based on the body language and tone of his response.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


I thought Roger and Sally adventures this episode were adorable. That's all.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Roger and Sally are an incredibly adorable double-act for sure. Their solemn war strategy at the table was a delight :)

kalel posted:

small tangent

I always interpreted "it's from the middle ages" as Don belittling Emile's station, as if to imply that calling people in non-medical fields "doctors" is an antiquated practice. at least that's how Emile seems to regard the comment based on the body language and tone of his response.

That's a really interesting take, and I'd be interested in how other people saw it because I really didn't get that read at all - the ease with which Don passes on that tidbit of information to Bobby, and how natural it comes across really seems to diverge from Emile's take that Don is too "studied" and precise in trying to always present the perfect image (which, to be fair, he often is guilty of) - it's just a natural moment that reveals to Emile that his own prejudices made him unfairly discount Don's own education, which is certainly far from formal. This is a man who does have intellectual curiosity and has seemingly learned things purely out of interest, and I feel like Emile is surprised but pleasantly so by this in the scene.

Which actually makes me consider another semi-recurring theme: people's assumptions that Don is just an empty suit despite the creative nature of his work. The beatnik reading Meditations on an Emergency assumes automatically that Don wouldn't be interested in the book and certainly would never read anything like it himself. Even Megan assumes he's reading The Fixer to impress her dad and that he'd far rather read Ian Fleming. This is a guy who is curious about things, while also being deeply insecure both due to his poverty-stricken upbringing and the guilt/fear of the lie of his life being exposed. He loves movies, and not just whatever the latest American offering is - he'll go and just enjoy an arthouse French film purely for something to do, he enjoys trying new things and exposing himself to new ways of thinking... but all anybody sees i the carefully curated image he's built for himself, and he is both actively relieved and resents that people fall for it.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




kalel posted:

If he ever mentioned a ship going off course I would assume he used the informal "we"

No spoiler since the episode was a long time ago in the context of this thread:

The story he tells Betty about shooting down a recon plane, he specifically says "The next four hours, I took us off course, just to swing by. Looking for a hole in the ocean, I guess."

That says to me that he had a command.

The story also lends some credence to the war being the only thing that Roger speaks to genuinely. His stories are super mundane and that leads me to think that he's a reliable narrator. He calls shooting down a single plane while escorting fuel carriers his biggest hit. Not fending off waves of kamikazes while almost running his ship right on the beach to provide covering fire for Marines landing. Nope, once bagged a recon plane that was flying away from his ship.

Sash! fucked around with this message at 13:41 on Nov 2, 2021

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Sash! posted:

No spoiler since the episode was a long time ago in the context of this thread:

The story he tells Betty about shooting down a recon plane, he specifically says "The next four hours, I took us off course, just to swing by. Looking for a hole in the ocean, I guess."

That says to me that he had a command.

The story also lends some credence to the war being the only thing that Roger speaks to genuinely. His stories are super mundane and that leads me to think that he's a reliable narrator. He calls shooting down a single plane while escorting fuel carriers his biggest hit. Not fending off waves of kamikazes while almost running his ship right on the beach to provide covering fire for Marines landing. Nope, once bagged a recon plane that was flying away from his ship.

i'd think that he's editorializing for the sake of the story than sticking to facts and implying he had a command role. i dont think that roger is lying here or trying to gild his service record to impress betty, but rather vets can get somewhat cagey with details and just share what is necessary for the storytelling without laying out what the chain of command was like an after action report

really the details of his service are never established, however, you're generally only going to get a command role if you are leaning towards a long-term career in the navy. if roger was a captain but isn't in the service now, it means he probably hosed up pretty seriously to get utterly kicked out of the navy, or to voluntarily quit after seeing his career prospects completely stymied. imo, this doesn't really fit with his character.

on the other hand, during the war there was a massive need for non-career junior officers to serve in a low level managerial role, guys who would likely not have any career prospects in the post-war navy and who would be expected to return to civilian life. the navy was seen as a bit more prestigious as well, and officerhood generally reserved for either lower class men of exceptional moral character, or wealthier men whose moral character was obvious. it is far more likely that roger was one of these guys, some ensign or junior lieutenant, who staffed a bridge in a less-important ship and saw some action but not too much. you could make him a low level infantry officer as well but that would mean he'd either seen no action at all as some kind of rear echelon staffer, or too much action and he'd be some haunted PTSD-alcoholic type. if we take roger as being a silver spoon rich kid, manning the helm on a destroyer is the kind of war service which would be stereotypically appropriate. if you really wanted to lean into the dashing rich kid angle make roger a fighter pilot, but we all know roger is too lazy for that

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

if we take roger as being a silver spoon rich kid, manning the helm on a destroyer is the kind of war service which would be stereotypically appropriate. if you really wanted to lean into the dashing rich kid angle make roger a fighter pilot, but we all know roger is too lazy for that

There's other times he talks about enjoying time on the water, like his "tramp steamer" story. He could have been one of the pile of East Coast fancy college guys that did Naval Reserve Officer training in college in the 30s, not really expecting it to come up later on. He mentioned being at Okinawa, for instance, and there were 132 destroyers alone there. That's a lot officers to fill out. And plenty of those ships had skippers that were basically guys that graduated college, went to work, then ended up a decade later commanding a warship. Then, when the war ended, we didn't need hundreds and hundreds of senior officers with nowhere to promote them to.

Fighter pilot Roger would have been hilarious, but instead we got B-17 pilot Jim Cutler. I like to pretend he was one of the radar equipped aircraft that made the decision to firebomb Dresden's city center, because it seems in character.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






Sash! posted:



Fighter pilot Roger would have been hilarious, but instead we got B-17 pilot Jim Cutler. I like to pretend he was one of the radar equipped aircraft that made the decision to firebomb Dresden's city center, because it seems in character.


id honestly always inferred that from the show somehow rather than consider it "headcanon" but for the life of me couldnt tell you how or where

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011





I don't think I'm posting anything spoilery here but if its the case shoot me a pm and I'll spoiler the whole post

I felt like Roger's whole thing with the military was he signed up because that's what you did at that age and in that circumstance. He's proud of having done his time but there was never any long term future for him there. It was like not using tinder in the worst of the pandemic for the rest of us. You do it, or in our case not do it for the general good but there's a timeline on that where you expect to go back to life as normal. Being in the military or not using tinder is for sad cases in the long run.

I'm being facetious here, you can replace tinder with going to a garden centre without a mask. He had a fortune to inherit and secretaries to have affairs with, of course he wasn't going to hang out saluting people and shining his shoes.

Re Emile I think he's representative of a general trend in media at the time. Doctor Melfi in the sopranos is also clueless and confusing her education for insight right up until someone gives her a peer reviewed study saying Tony is just educating himself on being a better criminal. The thinker is an ineffective man so you have to trust the doers.

V. Illych L.
Apr 11, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT LUMBER



emile is a man of a different society who's in an increasingly doomed relationship with a woman who shares none of his interests any longer. there are plenty of these couples: they fall for each others' good qualities when they meet, establish a family quickly, then when the kids have grown up they realise that they don't actually really like each other and their foibles etc have been suppressed through the common project of the family and so allowed free reign.

they both seem to have grown up at least well-off, and while emile has the intellectual self-doubt that a lot of academics have he is also likely to be significantly poorer than almost everyone he meets outside of academia. couple this with a bit of a melancholic streak and sincerely held political beliefs and it hardens into a visceral contempt/envy for wealth and comfort, and since all our main characters are wealthy and comfortable people emile becomes a definite antagonist. his wife, meanwhile, has a completely different attitude: she doesn't understand why he's sensitive about this sort of thing and just wants to have fun; whatever youthful radicalism she once had has almost certainly faded instead of been reinforced by the times.

emile occupies the same breadwinner role as a lot of the other men in the series, but he's not as good at that role as the people with whom he compares himself. this leads to contempt from his wife, which he cannot accept on several levels, and which leads to further estrangement from her. the relationship has been dead on its feet for many years; probably the last time they could've meaningfully changed anything would likely have been while the kids were still young. for all this, he does love his daughter and he's much more honest than most of the characters in the show. he allows himself to laugh at getting played by pete, and he says what he does to megan not to be cruel (unlike almost everyone else in the show) but because he thinks it's a truth she needs to hear.

of course he has his tawdry and undignified sides, but this is mad men and they're fairly well justified for how little time he's on screen; he has this affair with his grad student because his marriage hasn't been supportive for years, the marriage is so toxic both because of his own failure to meet the expectations he has of himself but also because he and his wife have developed very different values over the years, he has these little petty lashings out at wealth and beauty (the ink on the carpet is a clear and somewhat pathetic sign of his valuing learning over wealth, which he sort of has to do), but in the end he's just a very different character who wandered into this weird, very WASP-y advertising world. i don't think he's an ineffective man, he's just not in his element here.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



V. Illych L. posted:

...couple this with a bit of a melancholic streak and sincerely held political beliefs and it hardens into a visceral contempt/envy for wealth and comfort, and since all our main characters are wealthy and comfortable people emile becomes a definite antagonist. his wife, meanwhile, has a completely different attitude: she doesn't understand why he's sensitive about this sort of thing and just wants to have fun; whatever youthful radicalism she once had has almost certainly faded instead of been reinforced by the times.

This is my exact read on them, as a couple. I imagine that Emile's radicalism looked rebellious and vital when he and Marie were young, but Marie was only ever interested in that as a sort of countercultural affect. Decades on, and the pragmatic reality - that a Leftist academic doesn't live glamorously, and that she really wants to - has driven a permanent wedge between them. In his eyes, she must look like a materialistic bourgeois harpy, and he must look to her like an ineffectual blowhard.

Emile's perspective on Don is the one I find most interesting, because it must be really complex. Gene Hofstadt just saw some dressed-up pretender who came from the dirt, but Emile probably respects that about Don. Don was born into abject poverty, and managed to navigate the farce that is capitalism to escape it. He actually *knows* what poverty looks like, which Emile probably doesn't firsthand, and found opportunities the world wanted to deny him despite that. But at the same time, Don accomplished this by embodying everything Emile despises. Ostentatious wealth, complicity in a corrupt industry, complacency with an exploitive status quo. Don is impressive in his talents, but contemptible in his choices. "Emile's eyes and his politics are having a fight."

Xealot fucked around with this message at 01:15 on Nov 4, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Xealot posted:

"Emile's eyes and his politics are having a fight."

I love that line by Marie, it's such a perfect introduction to them as a couple and is a pretty witheringly accurate take on Emile being impressed AND hating that he's impressed by the apartment, the kind that comes from decades of familiarity (which in turn builds their mutual resentment).

V. Illych L. posted:

of course he has his tawdry and undignified sides, but this is mad men and they're fairly well justified for how little time he's on screen; he has this affair with his grad student because his marriage hasn't been supportive for years, the marriage is so toxic both because of his own failure to meet the expectations he has of himself but also because he and his wife have developed very different values over the years, he has these little petty lashings out at wealth and beauty (the ink on the carpet is a clear and somewhat pathetic sign of his valuing learning over wealth, which he sort of has to do), but in the end he's just a very different character who wandered into this weird, very WASP-y advertising world. i don't think he's an ineffective man, he's just not in his element here.

Just wanted to say I loved this entire post. It's a great summary and I think a sign of just how strong the writing on this show is that Emile appears as such a fully formed character whose background/politics/personal history can be so clearly telegraphed with only a few lines and like 10-15 minutes of screen time. For a character who only existed as vague references to Megan's father being an academic who one of her friends had an unhealthy interest in, he really does show up feeling EXACTLY like how you would expect him to be.

It's a wonderful (and sadly not entirely common) thing to see in television when a character feels like a real person who hasn't just appeared in the world for the first time but has existed in it and lived a full life before they ever appeared. Mad Men's ability to do this with so many characters, some of them only bit parts who appear in a single episode, is really remarkable.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







see also: ride on mower guy

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*



Meeting Megan's parents and a sister later, I can't remember if she already showed up also are fully grounded in Quebec's Quiet Revolution happening at this exact same time. Their characters are built off of this, including Emile and Quebec's budding Left wing FLQ blowing up mailboxes (and much more later) and previously friendly-to-fascists Union Nationale government (which alot of Montreal intelligentsia were supportive of as well in the 30s and 40s.)

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






Emile definitely would have been involved in the university to felquiste pipeline and probably even personally knew the professor that lead one of the cells. but from what else we know of him so far, im sure he also pussed out and renounced everything during/after the october crisis

OnlyBans
Sep 21, 2021

by sebmojo


I feel like people are buying into the propaganda of the show when they say Emile emerges as a fully realized character. He's a caricature of a "marxist" and an "effete intellectual" and a "Continental philosopher". You can hear Buckley screaming "QUEER" from the director's chair and the writer's room.

It's the same as the African American presentation the show has earlier, where it is presented first as false consciousness (Paul Kinsey) then as fruit of a poisoned tree (Pete Campbell) then as farce (Rodger) redeemed by Conservative Ubermensch Don Draper being above the rest and simply not seeing race (the best and only way to solve racism in America).

I obliquely mentioned Emile in my earlier spoilers that got a very sad petition to have me thread banned, so I' glad we've finally met the character.

R. Guyovich
Dec 25, 1991



emile is more of a caricature than any other person on the show, i'd argue, and it's one of the series' weak points. we haven't yet reached the moment that makes this eminently clear (mlk assassination) but there's hints of it here.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



R. Guyovich posted:

emile is more of a caricature than any other person on the show, i'd argue, and it's one of the series' weak points. we haven't yet reached the moment that makes this eminently clear (mlk assassination) but there's hints of it here.

I can see that perspective. For what it's worth, if you're referring to the "applaud the acceleration of decay" comment, I know actual people IRL who said similar things of Trump's win in 2016, or of George Floyd last year. So, it's an absurd and inhuman sentiment, but sadly a plausible one for people rear end-deep in Marxist rhetoric.

I think I'd point to Herb as the most caricatured person on the show, if we're going to pull at that thread. "Greasy, stupid fatso with mobster-y Jersey accent who sells used cars and flirts grotesquely and ineptly with women" is a pretty rough set of Italian-American stereotypes, and the show doesn't pull away from it.

OnlyBans
Sep 21, 2021

by sebmojo


Being *extremely* charitable, that bit reads as an homage to Invisible Man which Wiener absolutely first read after he hate-read Obama's memoir.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




Paper Lion posted:

id honestly always inferred that from the show somehow rather than consider it "headcanon" but for the life of me couldnt tell you how or where

After Ted tries to murder some people with his airplane, he says he had a feeling that he wanted to die and asked Cutler if he never felt that way when he was flying. Cutler, absolutely flabbergasted, says "OVER DRESDEN?! I WANTED TO LIVE!"

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I had to stop writing for a bit because I was laughing too much at this scene:

https://i.imgur.com/bpmfrYm.mp4

:allears:

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005



Jerusalem posted:

I had to stop writing for a bit because I was laughing too much at this scene:

https://i.imgur.com/bpmfrYm.mp4

:allears:

That scene kills me. I quote it a lot and my wife, who has never seen the show, is always like "what? Why is that funny?".

Peggy gets so many good, funny scenes.

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

Soiled Meat

That scene was a goon favorite and the thread title around the time I started following the show live and reading the thread. So good!

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




I got extremely excited when I came across a place called PIZZA HOUSE in Rome and my wife just looked at me like I was an idiot

ram dass in hell
Dec 29, 2019

posting power flows from an av with the barrel of a gun




Jerusalem posted:

I had to stop writing for a bit because I was laughing too much at this scene:

https://i.imgur.com/bpmfrYm.mp4

:allears:

iirc when the show aired the thread title was like Mad Men S4 - PIZZA HOUSE!!! for like a month lol

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



Jerusalem posted:

I had to stop writing for a bit because I was laughing too much at this scene:

https://i.imgur.com/bpmfrYm.mp4

:allears:

Lmao

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 5, Episode 8 - Lady Lazarus
Written by Matthew Weiner, Directed by Phil Abraham

Beth Dawes posted:

Enjoy the memory. Leave it alone.

Pete Campbell makes his commute into Manhattan, enjoying a Thomas Pynchon novel when he is joined by his regular traveling companion Howard, who has had no luck getting hold of the board to play cards with. Pete does his usual job of making polite acknowledgements of Howard's seemingly non-stop moaning and complaints about his lot in life, finally putting down his book to actually pay attention when he senses that Howard has finally worked up the courage to ask him what he's long suspected Howard has been after: selling him insurance.

With a smug smile Pete reminds him that as a Partner he is already covered by his own Agency for a payout of six times his annual salary and even an agreement to payout if Pete commits suicide after two years with the policy (Pete is beaming as he says this!), so if Howard is finally working up the courage to pitch, he should keep it brief for both their sake. Howard does, pretending of course to be shocked at the idea that Pete would think he was planning to pitch but if he insists, and then does a very effective job by playing on the kind of conspiratorial thinking some of Pynchon's Lot 49 characters might be guilty of: maybe the Agency is actually screwing him over and their generous coverage is actually only benefiting them!

He leaves it at that. He doesn't provide evidence, any particular reason for Pete to believe him over his own Agency that he is a founding Partner of.... but the seed has been planted, and all he has to do is simply shrug and say he'll leave it to Pete to consider over sleepless nights. He quickly and more enthusiastically moves on to the reason he is so well-dressed today, because he's not a girlfriend he has set up in an apartment in the city, leering hungrily and happily over her, focusing on her youth, her physical traits, saying absolutely nothing about her personality or even giving her a name.

Pete is surprised, and in keeping with Pete it's not because he has any moral objection but because he fears discovery: what if his wife finds out? Howard shrugs, as if his wife's feelings on the matter are the least important thing in the world, and even ties it back into his pitch by saying that his wife is happy and satisfied because she knows she is being taken care of. Just like that he's off, spotting another commuter to try and push his sales pitch on. Pete tries to set Howard's affair and most important his pitch aside and return to his book, but that seed of doubt is already sprouting: surely they MUST be trying to take advantage of him? After all, he absolutely would if he had the chance!

Megan is typing away in Don's office when Dawn buzzes in to her let know that a Jack Shapiro has just called for her... or rather, for Megan Calvet. She leaves Don's office and collects a message from Dawn, thanking her for moving away. As she goes, she shares a smile with Don who is sitting in the conference room watching a rather energetic presentation by Michael Ginsberg (does he have any other kind?), but her smile disappears the moment she is out of sight, and she makes her way to the payphone, looking back behind her in case Don might be standing these casting an accusing finger at her.

In the conference room, Michael is running through the artboards put together by Stan, admitting that they've put together a shot-for-shot recreation of A Hard Day's Night, involving a black and white foot chase into a color bar where the leading man will find himself mobbed. The pitch is for Chevalier Blanc, a men's fragrance, and the idea is so incredibly simple that it is still (painfully) used in advertising today: wear this fragrance and woman will not be able to control themselves and want to gently caress you. "It's more trouble than it's worth" is the tagline they've come up with, and the Chevalier Blanc people are delighted, applauding as Michael wraps up.

Of the two executives, one is a typical middle-aged man in a suit but the other - Rick - is younger, more flamboyant, and pushes that they want that Beatles sound for the ad, even if the Beatles are impossible to get. Stan and Harry both assure him that there are a million bands that sound like the Beatles (I guess that's why the Beatles ended up forgotten to history, an obscure footnote in time!) and if they can't find a song they'll just make one of their own. Ken cheerfully wraps up the meeting and they all make their exit, Don barely hiding his grimace after shaking the departing Rick's hand. He tells Stan to find a leading man who isn't like Rick, causing Stan to crack a joke that you have to look into your finer men's rooms to find somebody like Rick, because yes they've assumed (and may be right) that Rick is gay, and have zero issue openly mocking the man who'll be paying their bills.

How many times did poor Sal have to sit through just these kinds of "jokes" beyond the ones we saw?

Michael of course is more concerned with reveling in the applause he got, though Don is unimpressed, reminding him that the concept was largely Chevalier Blanc's ("do something like A Hard Day's Night!" I'm presuming was their "helpful" suggestion) so of course it was applauded. Don's more concerned about getting the right music, and here Michael is the closest thing to somebody with his finger on the pulse of the young American male, suggesting a number of potential bands they could approach. As Michael and Stan ponder which of the bands might be closest to the Beatles sound, Don for once is completely out of his element, and it clearly pains him... but he has a solution, he'll just ask Megan! He leaves, and Michael and Stan exchange a glance, clearly not happy that their own input is being ignored so the boss can ask his why and then give them the directive rather than actually listening to them.



Pete has been summoned to Roger's office, where his suspicions are immediately raised when Roger is.... nice? And offers him a gift!?! There are two sets of skis by the couch, and Roger offers him to pick whichever he likes or even take them both. When a suspicious Pete asks if they explode, Roger nods and agrees that Allen Funt sent them over, before explaining that the head of the Head Ski Company demanded that Pete Campbell handle his account... at a lunch that ROGER had set up. Yes, Roger is continuing his surprising if belated push to find new business, and is having to swallow his pride when those he does manage to land are all after Pete.

Of course Roger doesn't display any bad feelings about this, despite his recent LSD experience he's still not going to wear his heart on his sleeve, so he simply notes that Pete has started to make quite a name for himself. More than that, he claims that it is what HE wants, proclaiming that his big plan was always to get to relax and kick back while somebody else went and did all the heavy drinking dinners entertaining clients.

There may even be some accuracy to this claim, except of course he thought he would be doing it from a position of power and unassailable security as one of the two top men at the Agency, instead of getting edged out and continually pushed further into a corner by his own growing irrelevance. So he stands and watches Pete happily carry away the spoils of HIS lunch, even cracking a joke at the awkward way Pete carries both sets of skis, doing his best to give no sign of what an indignity this is, having done his best to try and present it like him magnanimously giving Pete something rather than Pete taking something away from him.

The end of the day comes and Megan returns to Don's office to find him preparing to leave. He's got a client dinner of his own to attend, and asks hopefully if she'd like to join him to help make it a less drab affair. She demurs, and he finally gets a chance to bring up music after earlier discounting Stan and Michael's suggestions. It turns out he wasn't just dismissing their knowledge (though that's how they felt) but that he simply didn't want to reveal/acknowledge his own lack. He notes that music didn't used to be so important, and when she points out it has ALWAYS been important he clarifies: jingles? Yes. But now everybody wants a song, and a specific type of song.

She's right that he usually prefers his clients be specific (Geiger's "something like that!" was NOT specific) but he can admit to her and perhaps ONLY her that he doesn't like the specificity on a subject he himself doesn't really understand. That's why he said he would ask Megan for a suggestion, because with her he can be honest, with the others he (feels that he) cannot). Still, music aside, she notes with a smile that they both still have work to do, before giving him a kiss and promising she'll be home when he gets back. He leaves with a smile, but her own drops once he is gone. Something is up, and it's not good.

In Pete's office, he sits in the dark drinking - ironically when he was stuck in the lovely office he rarely did this, now he has a big well-lit one again he's back to old, bad habits - pondering who knows what, maybe the unfairness of being a well-off white male executive from an old New York Society family? Or perhaps whether Roger IS taking advantage of him somehow by making him the workhorse of the Agency? Or hell maybe he's just wildly misinterpreting some overheard comment by a passing secretary as a personal insult.

Or hell maybe he just doesn't want to leave the city and go home? Dreaming of getting to do what Howard does and have an apartment in the city for some tiny redhead with big breasts to watch him eat something he hunted.

Leave he does though, discovering Peggy is still there - of course - sitting in the Creative Lounge making notes. She cracks a joke about the skis and is impressed when he notes they have a sports goods account, pointing out that getting presents this early in the relationship is a good sign. He half-agrees, noting with half-amusement and half that vague suspicion that they gave him the present without ever meeting him. Peggy chuckles and makes a joke about him being a world-famous skier, and he seems a little unsure how to answer that, just laughing and saying goodnight, as ever the underlying tension of their past relationship making their encounters awkward.... for him. Peggy seems absolutely fine and completely unfazed.

He awkwardly drags the skis away, and now Megan shows up, quite clearly ready to leave, surprising Peggy who notes that she thought they would be working together. Megan apologizes, explaining that Don just called her and she has to go and meet him for dinner.

Hmmmmm?

Peggy doesn't question it, just notes with a shrug that there's nothing she can do about that if Megan's gotten the call from Don. Megan is quick to remind Peggy that she doesn't have to stay herself, she could go home, but Peggy isn't feeling it, reviewing the notes she has and mumbling that something isn't right. Confused, Megan reminds her she took it down exactly as Peggy dictated, and Peggy agrees - it IS exactly what she wanted... but it's not "it".... or maybe it is! Megan can't help but laugh at that and that sets Peggy off too, realizing how silly she sounds. She wishes Megan a good night, and goes back to pondering her work and trying to figure out why it isn't doing it for her right now. Megan, meanwhile, heads off to join Don for dinner....

HMMMMM?

At the Cos Cob station, Pete awkwardly takes his skis to his waiting car, which he will drive back home, having presumably gotten his license at last. A woman stands by another car, looking around nervously, and when she sees Pete is the only person who has gotten off the train, she apologetically gets his attention, asking if he has seen Howard Dawes? Immediately he guesses she must be Beth, Howard's wife, and she has to shamefully admit that she has no idea who he is, while Howard might have told Pete plenty about her he hasn't ever seen fit to talk to her about anybody he sees or meets or regularly travels with during the long hours he isn't at home and she is all alone.

He introduces himself as he tries his best to fit his skis in the car, joking they should swap since hers is bigger. But that's the problem, she's locked her keys in the car and Howard is nowhere to be seen, and she's worried he's fallen asleep on the train, and not for the first time. All Pete has to do here is simply tell her the truth, that he didn't see Howard on the train on the way back this evening. Instead he decides to "help", suddenly "remembering" that he saw Howard get cornered in a conversation at the Oyster Bar so he might be some time. He offers to call a locksmith so she can get back into the car, but instead she wearily asks if he can just give her a lift home, since the house is unlocked and she can just sort the car out tomorrow in the light of day.

Against his better judgement, but feeling like he really doesn't have a choice, Pete soon finds himself driving her home, apologizing when his bumpy driving causes the skis to hit her on a turn. He suggests she take his number so that when Howard arrives at the station and calls home, she can call him and he'll drive down and pick him up, but she's clearly figured out that Howard won't be back if he wasn't on that train, saying he'll probably stay at the city since "we" have an apartment there. She scoffs at the "we" part, since she's obviously never seen and probably never will see it, and seems to catch the nervous look in Pete's eyes at mention of the apartment, and realize that he may know some other things that she perhaps only suspects.

She comments on how odd it is that he's a stranger to her but knows things about her marriage that she doesn't, and Pete is far too quick and defensive in his response that he doesn't know anything. She relents slightly, commenting on his AWFUL driving instead, and he admits that yes he is from Manhattan and he's only just gotten his license. This leads to a sideline of conversation he's more secure in, even getting a little fired up when she badmouths living in the city, something he longs to return to. She admits it can be exciting, but the homeless people upset her, she can't help but make eye-contact and they latch on and ask her for money, and she'll give it to them and then be unable to stop thinking about them all day.

What she's talking about is at least a basic form of empathy, even if filtered through the lens of,"I don't like that they're making me feel bad for them" and especially even if she is painting all homeless with a broad brush, telling a story about her father refusing to give money to a homeless person once despite her begging him, simply informing her that they couldn't look after EVERYBODY. Pete doesn't necessarily approve of this but he certainly doesn't disapprove either, musing that the solution appears to be learning to ignore them, and doesn't quite seem to grasp the significance of her pointing out that is exactly what everybody else who lives in the city does. It's true her own solution of "I just won't go there so I won't have to learn to ignore them" isn't much better, but never in a million years does it seem to have occurred to Pete that the answer to her father's "We can't look after everybody" is "...why not?"

Peggy is, of course, continuing to work late into the night when the phone rings. She answers and is surprised to hear Don, who is at home, asking if Megan is there. She asks if she's not with him and Don, sitting at home in front of the TV looking exhausted, quips that yes this is all a hilarious joke they're playing on Peggy Olson. She explains Megan went to meet him at the restaurant, and when a confused Don asks what time she shrugs - if she was good at timekeeping she wouldn't be working late - and says it would have been after he called her.

Alarm bells start ringing though when Don says he never called, and like Pete she can't just say she doesn't know and instead offers that Megan must be at home, and is painted further into a corner when Don says he's calling from home. Frantic, she starts to try and work out some all-purpose lie to cover every eventuality before finally getting mad at herself (and him, and Megan) and just blurting out she doesn't know where Megan is, does HE know where Abe is?

"Goodnight, Peggy," says a tired and not particularly alarmed Don, more amused at Peggy's reaction than concerned about the implications of what she's telling him. He hangs up, and Peggy is left sitting at her desk, confused and not a little irritated that Megan lied to her and ended up putting her into an incredibly awkward situation with her boss.



Pete pulls up outside the Dawes Residence and compliments how lovely the home looks... at which point Beth - now no long having to worry about his bad driving - hits him full force by asking him if it is harder to lie to her now that he knows her?

Get the gently caress out of there, Pete!

Trying to laugh it off, Pete assures her that Howard is surely working, and is horrified when she mumbles that Howard wouldn't care if she was alive or dead before exiting the car and rushing to the front door. He sits, stunned, for a moment, and then perhaps fearing he just heard her last words exits the car and follows after her. She doesn't shut the door (which wasn't locked, as she said) behind her, not as an invitation but because she's been barely holding it together this entire trip and isn't thinking, and Pete is right in the door after her.

He closes it, surprising her, and apologizes but insists that she is being very dramatic so he had to make sure she was all right. Appalled at the gall, she acknowledges that he drove her home but that is the end of their arrangement for the evening, and demands he leaves. Instead he steps up and grabs her by the shoulders, talking and acting in what he surely sees in his own head as a manly and authoritative manner, insisting that he won't go until he is sure she isn't "hysterical".

Get the gently caress out of there, Beth!

Instead, she kisses him, and of course he kisses her back before astonishingly actually exhibiting some measure of self-control by pulling away and declaring she is just trying to get back at her husband (without acknowledging WHAT there is to get back at). But when she kisses him again and moans that if he wants her he can have her, he can't resist. Unlike with poor Gudrun, there is no mistake that this is a reciprocated lust, even if it is born out of misery and a desire for revenge. He grabs at her, lifts her (or tries, despite what the prostitute told him he isn't deceptively strong), presses her against the couch, and she kisses back with a feverish energy as she sets aside all her inhibition and restraint for one evening at least.

Peggy is still beavering away in the office, or trying to at least, when the phone rings again. Suspecting it is Don, she gently picks it up and listens horrified to Don - who is lying in bed still drinking - saying hello, calling her by name. What does she do? What should she say? So she brings all her immense creative skills to bear to the problem, and comes up with a genius solution:

https://i.imgur.com/bpmfrYm.mp4

She sits for a moment, unable to believe how pathetic (and hilarious!) that was. Don, perplexed, calls again, and she can't take it anymore. She collects her things, realizing the only safe way out is to leave the office (he MIGHT call her at home, but it's unlikely), walking out as the phone keeps ringing. I just gotta take a moment to rave about this scene, because goddamn is it hilarious but also Elisabeth Moss is incredible here, that loathing disbelief that her lizard brain came up with THIS as her escape mechanism for the call is just perfectly portrayed, like she's an outside observer who can't believe what they just saw... except what they just saw was themselves!

Anyway, Peggy got the gently caress out of there!

In post-coital bliss, Pete lies on the floor beside Beth, their sex so hurried and unexpected that she didn't even get fully undressed and they made it no further than the rug and a couple of cushions for comfort. Pete of course is buzzing with excitement, thrilling to the fact that this happened, while Beth - while not regretting her decision - also seems like whatever it was that was eating her up has been temporarily exorcised. She notes that she used to be reckless like this, not elaborating further, and when Pete asks her to say something, looking for the further thrill of the shared experience, she simply shrugs and notes that she's had men pay attention to her since "before it was appropriate" and in her experience they really don't listen or care about what she has to say, they just watch her lips move.

I'm listening to every word you say," assures Pete, whose own deepest fantasy is to have somebody dote on him and give him their undivided, fascinated attention where him simply existing is enough to satisfy them. She comments on his blue eyes, likening them to the pictures of Earth from space, which he takes as a compliment. But when she asks if it bothered him to see Earth tiny and unprotected in the darkness of space, he doesn't follow through on the source of anxiety, instead making a half-joke asking if this means she DOESN'T like his eyes after all.

That's enough, she made a minor effort to share her feelings when he said he was listening, but he doesn't understand, so she sits up, wrapping her shirt tight around her, telling him in no uncertain terms that this can never happen again. He seems confused, then tries to agree, then tries to kiss her, uncertain how to react when she doesn't let him complete the kiss and tells him to get home.

As he dresses, he watches her lighting up and tries to catch lightning in a bottle a second time by repeating his earlier proclamation that he didn't want her to be left alone. This time though she isn't caught up in passion, instead pretending a disaffected air, eager not to let him in any closer, already questioning her moment of madness and a return to the recklessness of her youth. Acting as if the sex simply cleared her head, she simply states that she's going to have a snack and go to bed, reducing the sex to a mechanical act that is done and had no further beating.

When he repeats that he doesn't want to leave her alone, she simply tells him thank you for the ride home, as if this was a simple transaction. Foiled by her businesslike dismissal - unlike with Gudrun whose emotional state left him feeling resentful and ready to "correct" her - he does as he is told. He sits in his car for a few moments, not quite sure what to do, perhaps even considering another impulsive racing through her front door, but in the end he checks his hair, makes himself as presentable as possible and then drives home to his loving, beautiful wife and their daughter.

Megan returns home at last, where Don is pleased to see her and asks where she was. Before she has a chance to be caught in a lie, he tells her - without accusation or suspicion, just confusion - that he called Peggy and she said she's left to meet him. Knowing now what NOT to say, she explains she went out for a drink with "Joey and Troy" and lied to Peggy about where she was going as an excuse to get out of work.

Don has no problem with that, he likes to get out of work when he can too and thinks it is great that his wife does too (but will tear his hardworking employees a new one when he accuses them of wasting time/not getting their work done). She leaves to get some crackers, asking if he wants any, and he declines. She leaves, and there is no moment of a frown or a suspicious look. Don doesn't question his wife's honesty, he has taken what she told him completely at face value.

The next morning, Peggy greets Don and Megan when they get into the same elevator as her, though only Don is unaware of the tension both women are feeling knowing that Peggy knows Megan lied. Megan, clearly dreading having to deal with Peggy, peels off when they arrived on their floor to go to the bathroom, but Peggy - after a quick look after the departing Don - isn't putting off the confrontation and follows after her.

Making sure nobody else is around, she takes Megan aside who immediately apologizes, promising she never thought Don would call her. Peggy isn't so easily mollified though, warning her not to ever put her in that position again. Megan wants to explain though, even if Peggy doesn't seem particularly interested in hearing what she was actually up to, insisting it isn't what she thinks and explaining that she read for an off-off-Broadway play on the weekend and got an unexpected callback last night.... but she didn't get the part, so that's that, she's done.

Peggy was NOT expecting to hear that, caught now between still being angry and being confused: why didn't she just tell Don that she was going for a callback? Megan seems appalled by the idea, tell him she still wants to be an actress? Peggy is even more confused, does she want to be one or not? When Megan looks uncertain how to answer, Peggy takes the wrong message, assuming that Megan is - like many including Peggy herself - second-guessing her own abilities as a Copywriter. So she gives her what she thinks is a pep-talk, assuring her that while copywriting is hard she is doing great and should keep it up, and she's not just saying it to be nice, she genuinely really sees talent in her.

Which makes Megan's next admission hit her even harder, as she listens in horror as Megan admits her fantasies about dumping Stan's artwork in the trash so she will get fired or at least yelled at enough that she can get understandably upset and quit... until she realized that no matter what she does she will NEVER get fired. If she is expecting sympathy, now she does NOT get it, as an outraged Peggy grasps at last that Megan does NOT want this job, a job that she herself fought so hard to get, that so many others that she knows (and that also had real talent, and also Paul Kinsey is there too) would kill to have.

This was not the reaction Megan expected, and she puts on a scoffing face, saying she's sorry she told her, but Peggy isn't having that, reminding her that she didn't tell her poo poo, Peggy CAUGHT her in the lie, and she might act like she wants advice but clearly she's already made up her mind. Megan scoffs again, laughing dismissively at the idea that Don is an easy person to approach with this type of thing, and Peggy cuts to the heart of the matter, saying that whether that's true or not she can NOT keep lying to him.

When Megan, barely holding back tears, lashes out by taunting Peggy that it's easy to offer solutions to OTHER people's lives, Peggy doesn't rise to the bait. Just like she gave up on trying to formulate a lie to Don on the call last night, she gives up on trying to have a frank conversation with a woman who is technically her junior but in practice holds a position well above her and just nods and agrees... this is MEGAN'S problem, not hers, and she doesn't care what she does. She walks out of the bathroom, leaving Megan behind holding back tears, because she DOES want advice but she was understandably lashing out because of how emotionally fraught her situation is... but this is NOT Peggy's problem, this is not something Peggy could or should fix for her, and she certainly doesn't have to waste time in the bathroom helping Megan, especially if she has to face up to insults and accusations herself in the process.



In Don's office, Ken is explaining that they'll be meeting with a Phil Beachum who holds the impressive title of Head of Desserts. A delighted Don hopes with a title like that he weighs 300 pounds, getting a good laugh from everybody. Peggy joins them, Ken explaining that another executive there, Pat Wallace, was a big fan of the banter Don and Megan had together during preliminary meetings, and would like them to show that off to Beachum. Don calls out to Dawn to find Megan, and Peggy simply remarks that she's not coming, confusing Don who quickly puts that aside when Megan does arrive moments later, apologizing for being late.

Peggy eyes her up suspiciously, Megan looks not only none the worse for wear but is beaming as she joins Don. She's even further amazed (and disgusted) when Don and Megan break into a little double act at Ken's urging, an example of what they'll be showing Beachum. The product is Cool Whip, and Don plays the hapless boob of a husband who keeps asking questions while his loving wife Megan insists he just taste it.

"JUST TASTE IT!" Peggy roars at last, fed up with the sickly-sweet cuteness. But this of course is the point, though it's meant to be amusing and charming rather than aggravating, as it is for everybody but Peggy who has a different context. This is the actual closing line of their proposed commercial: the wife will keep insisting, the man will keep asking pointless questions, and a thrilled Don beams that people will be yelling it at their tv screens.

Stan and Ken are thoroughly charmed, Stan delighted that it's such a clever twist on the typical stupid husband/pushy wife cliche since, shock of shocks, they're a married couple who actually like each other! A more reserved Peggy asks Megan and Don if they'll be in the ad itself, and Ken sighs that he tried but they weren't interested, and Peggy pushes further: who is "they"? Cool Whip or Don and Peggy.

"We're not interested," Megan insists carefully, but as everybody packs up Don finally twigs that something isn't right, perplexed as to why Peggy doesn't seem impressed by what everybody including himself sees as a winning idea: doesn't she like it? She does, she admits, still not smiling, she's just absorbing it. With that she leaves, a nervous Megan watching her go, knowing that this meeting has only brought into sharper relief the lunacy of not telling Don the truth.

While Megan is struggling about reaching out to the one she loves, Pete is taking a gamble and reaching out to the one he lusts. He makes a call from the payphone to Howard's home, presumably having the number from Howard's business card, and whispers Beth's name when she answers, delighted to hear her voice. On the other end, looking like a quasi-Jackie Kennedy, Beth is pained to hear his, but notably does NOT hang up.

There's an incredible side-moment during this call where Harry steps out of the elevator and makes eye contact with Pete, who asks Beth to wait a moment and opens the door. The two stare at each other and finally asks Pete what he wants, and a confused and agitated Pete complains that it was Harry who came over to see him! They stand and stare at each other awkwardly for a few more moments before Harry finally leaves. It's a wonderful little scene, not really needed at all but just marking a delightfully little human moment where a couple of work colleagues (and progressively less close friends) mistake a polite acknowledgement for a request to chat that puts both sides out.

Having got rid of Harry, Pete turns his full attention back to Beth, who is horrified that he might be calling from his office and that his secretary put the call through for him (at least the days of the switchboard seem to be over, when those women could listen in on any call). He assures her her is calling from a payphone, which does little to ease her mind, and she reminds him of all the things they need to consider, not least of which is that he rides on the train with her husband twice a day and only lives 20 minutes away, and that she'd see his wife at the market.... if she ever went (I love that she has to tack that last little self-aware part on!). Confronted with reality, Pete admits he knows all this... but asks her nonetheless if she's sorry he called.

Instead of answering, she tells him to leave things alone, to just cherish the memory... hell, to fantasize about it if he wants, admitting that she will too, but that it's over: it was a one night stand and that was all it ever will be. She tells him not to call her again, and finally Pete hangs up, accepting at last that this unexpected tryst will have to go back to the stuff of fantasy only.

Late that night (or rather, early the next morning), Don is woken by Megan who has decided at last that she MUST talk with him. She has chosen the middle of the night to do so, the kind of talk many a person has come to dread when in a relationship. Stroking his hair, she calls his name till he wakes, and then admits that she lied to him last night. Sitting up, he's still only half awake as he asks her to explain, and is further confused when she explains that she was at a callback for an audition.... because, well, frankly, so what?

She explains she felt bad about lying to him, and again he seems bewildered by the source of her guilt, pointing out she's told him the truth now and asking if she does it often? She assumes he means auditioning and is startled when he clarifies he meant lying. No! She quickly assures him of that, continually thrown off-balance by him not really reacting the way she expected and asking things that aren't actually on the top of her priority anymore, like whether she actually got the part. He's not bothered at all to learn she's still pursuing acting, more confused as to what the big deal is that necessitated waking him in the middle of the night.

The trouble with sitting on something for so long is that you end up having the inevitable conversation in your own head a million times before the actual thing. So it is with Megan now, who has to keep reminding herself the things she's kept obsessing over are things that Don has absolutely zero idea even happened. She explains how exciting auditioning again was, how she felt she was actually very close to getting the party and how exciting that was, and that she could feel the rust and knows she needs to go back to her acting classes to get back on the top of her game.

He still doesn't understand, assuming that she's angling for doing the Cool Whip ad after all and explaining that they can't be in it, it's bad for business. She didn't meant that though, she was telling the truth when she said she wasn't interested: she wants to act, not just get cast in something the Agency is pitching. She could be on Broadway, or Off-Broadway, or even films, that's the kind of acting she wants to do.

Trying to be supportive, but taking largely the same tack that Peggy did before getting outraged, Don mistakes her desire for acting as an insecurity with her work as a Copywriter. He explains as gently as he can that we don't always get to choose where our talents lie, expressing his (genuine!) amazement at how incredible what she did with Heinz was, how she was able to think naturally in a way that he had to take multiple years to training himself how to think. When she tries to explain that she felt better failing an audition than succeeding at Heinz, he still doesn't grasp it, explaining that he can understand the lack of excitement at the time because she was working to make the client happy... but in a few weeks or months when HER advertising is everywhere on television and in magazines and she sees billboards on the street, THAT is when the satisfaction will finally hit home for her, and it will be a wonderful thing.

It still isn't getting through to Don, the strength of her feeling for this. She shunts aside the copywriting for the moment to concentrate on something he can't argue away behind the shield of his experience, saying that she can't even stand to go to the theater anymore because all she feels is envy... and she knows soon it will become bitterness and she doesn't want that. So Don finally asks the pertinent question, the one that gets to the heart of the matter: what DOES she want to do?

Admitting there is no guarantee of her success, and that she is grateful for the opportunity he gave her... but she never tried as hard at acting as she did at advertising, and it will never be for her what it is for him. He STILL doesn't get it, assuming that he put in a tough position by making her work at the same Agency as him, stressing again her talents as a copywriter (the kind of praise that Peggy would have once died for, the kind of praise that once made her follow him from Sterling Cooper to SCDP) and promising she could get work at any other firm easily.

"I don't want to do it, Don," she says at last, ripping the band-aid off and finally just putting it out there in words, and FINALLY he gets it. She's sorry, but all she has ever dreamed of is being an actor, and somehow that got away from her and now she wants to pursue it again. Don takes this in, quietly and seriously, and finally says exactly what she has dreamed he would say and feared he wouldn't.... if it is her dream then he can't stand in the way.

She's stunned but happy, and when he points out she woke him in the middle of the night so obviously she wants to do something NOW, she hasn't really thought that far ahead- she woke him because she felt the need at last to talk, while for Don he assumes it was because she wanted some action taken. So she promises she can stick around and keep working till they find a replacement, and then help train them. He shuts down that idea though, she doesn't want to stick around training somebody else, knowing that all she'd be doing is thinking about what she could be doing instead.

So no, he makes the plan for her and this time she's happy to let him: tomorrow they'll go into work and she'll say her goodbyes, and by the end of tomorrow she'll be completely free to pursue her dream. Happy beyond her wildest imaginings, she thanks him profusely, for his love and his understanding and his support. She tells him she loves him, and of course he reciprocates. She curls up in his arms, her long-standing stress and worry finally exorcised by this late-night talk. Nestled in his arm, feeling supported and loved, she falls asleep glowing with love and joy.

Megan Draper is a happy woman.

Don Draper, meanwhile, who lay there and quietly took in all she had to say and said all the right things and showed she could have talked to him at any time... lays not-sleeping, his own mind racing now (he wouldn't wake her to talk it out though, he's from a generation that simply broods). The support and love he showed her were genuine, but they do not sit alone. His wife is leaving the job he loves, that she is good at, and that he loved doing with her, all in pursuit of something he didn't even know she was still interested in.

Don Draper is NOT a happy man.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



The next day they come to SCDP as usual, the happy couple arriving to work together... for the last time. She's nervous, and Don takes a moment to give her a supportive smile before she heads into Peggy, Stan and Michael's office while Don heads into Joan's. He closes the door behind him, and she realizes this isn't a normal good morning greeting. He's wet from the rain outside and not looking particularly happy as he explains that Megan is quitting, and Joan's,"Oh," response is as carefully non-judgemental as possible. She asks if he wants a seat but he's quick to explain it isn't like "that", meaning this isn't a break-up between him and Megan, but she is up for a play and even if she doesn't get it (she already didn't, is he saying that to save face, avoid explanation, or did he really not fully grasp the timeline she gave him?) she wants to pursue acting as a full-time career.

The problem is, Don has no idea how to hire somebody leaving like this. Somebody getting fired? Sure. Somebody retiring or being quietly let go to please a client? Okay. But somebody voluntarily leaving? Somebody who will continue to be around (and who he is married to!) as well? How exactly does this work? Do they make an announcement? Throw a party? Joan, ever the professional, suggests that the wisest course of action is that the girls take her out to lunch, and tests the waters again by asking if that is okay or if Megan will be "disappearing".

She will not, Don explains again, at pains to make it clear he's not breaking up with his new young wife. He goes to leave, but Joan calls out to pause him, assuring him that she will take care of everything. He doesn't respond, but it's a relief and one more thing off his shoulders to deal with, now he can retreat to the safety of his office cocoon.

Peggy enters the office where Megan is working at the desk, and when Megan says,"There you are!" she can't help but retort rather acidly,"Been here for awhile," because of course she - the Senior Copywriter - is usually in well before her junior who doesn't even want the job but gets to come and go as she pleases thanks to her husband. Megan ignores that to explain she was waiting so she could tell all of them, looking at Stan and Michael who are working at their own desks while listening to the radio and apparently completely unaware the other two are even there.

Fighting back tears, Megan starts to explain that she isn't going to be working here anymore, and Peggy's hard face cracks, concern welling up in her when she says how upset the other woman is... which makes her angry because Stan and Michael still aren't listening, so she bellows for them to pay attention, causing them to twist around in their chairs. She gives Megan the go-ahead, and she repeats herself... and Michael is up out of his chair in a rage, demanding to know if Don fired her and loudly calling him a son of a bitch!

"No," laughs Megan through the tears, explaining she's going back to acting. Stan laughs and Peggy is outraged, Megan quick to admit she'll have to get used to that while a horrified Stan realizes that his surprised laughter was construed as mocking her ability, and he quickly tries to explain himself. Michael is already talking though, in typical Michael fashion jumping from subject to subject as he considers if acting is easier for girls before insisting she tell him if clothes are provided for the actors or they need to bring their own!

"Shoes too?" he asks when she stammers out that yes costume is provided, and Peggy grunts,"YES!" in a tone that makes it clear he needs to stop asking these types of questions. Getting the message, he just extends his hand to Megan and even offers exactly the right kind of good luck wish, but telling her to break a leg. Stan shakes her hand as well, and then it's down again to Megan and Peggy. A little unsure how to proceed, or even where things still stand with them, she looks to who was technically her boss and rather shamefacedly admits that she was only halfway through most of her current work but now she has to hand it over to, of course, Peggy. Peggy accepts it and doesn't comment on it, simply asking Megan if this is really what she wants. By way of answer, Megan - still fighting tears - promises her that she has always appreciated everything Peggy did for her, and not just what she did for her yesterday (give her the push to finally tell Don the truth).

She has to leave to see Joan, and the three watch her go, Peggy admitting at last that Megan quitting took a lot of guts. Michael disagrees, in that what shows Megan had guts was skipping out without paying him back the $15 she owed him from various lunch money he lent her when she was short! ...how is he supposed to get it back now? Ask Don!?!

Peggy grunts that this wasn't the reason she left, and Stan hits far closer to home than Peggy would like to admit when he guesses that reality hit her: she put in all that work and effort and creativity for months, and for what? For Heinz Baked Beans. Peggy, who has always taken great pride in her work regardless of the product, can't help but feel that a little, as one person leaving to pursue their dreams inevitably makes her consider whether she is really pursuing her own.



Pete arrived, joined walking down the corridor by Harry who wants to know why he's late. Pete grunts that he missed the early train, which presumably he did to avoid Howard, and when Harry tells him about Megan (the real reason he wanted to chat, to gossip) as they enter Pete's office, Pete is unsurprised, complaining that "they" do what they want, even to somebody like Don Draper.

"They" being women, I assume, because of course Pete would be a grubby little misogynist in addition to being a grimy little pimp.

Harry of course is pleased Megan won't be around anymore, saying they no longer have to look over their shoulders to make sure they don't say something that could get back to Don via her (not mentioning that one of those things was Harry openly slavering about how much he wanted to gently caress Megan and getting caught). He finally picks up on Pete's bad mood though, asking if Trudy is pregnant? She's not, and Pete goes into what to Harry is a bizarre tangent, asking him if the picture of the Earth made him feel small and insignificant? Harry's answer is the typical "I sure do hate my wife, the woman who I consider to be my soulmate, eh fellas!?!" humor that Jennifer makes him feel that way, before chuckling in a low voice that there's nothing "little" about him.

"Save it for your convention whores," grunts Pete, alarming Harry who hisses at him to keep his voice down before angrily stating that no, the pictures of Earth he finds to be majestic! Pete has already moved on though, quietly complaining that "they" give you a glimmer of hope in the midst of rejection. As he vents about how "they" give a hint of suggestion, a promise of a possible future, a veneer of deniability that they never intended to suggest EXACTLY what they're were suggesting, Harry finally grasps that Pete is talking about a woman other than either Megan or Trudy. At which point Pete says one of the most laughable things he - or any character - has ever said in this show set in 1960s New York where men make and break the rules, treat women as disposable objects or figurative children and get to do whatever they please whenever they please without a hint of remorse or regret:

"Why do they get to decide what's going to happen?"

Jesus Christ, Pete.

"They just do," says Harry, commiserating with his fellow man about the unfairness of being a wealthy white male in 1960s Manhattan, and takes his leave.

Lunchtime comes and Don escorts Megan to the elevator to see her off for her meal. She promises to return afterwards to collect her box of things, but Don points out she really isn't going to want to come back here and do the walk out again once she's had the farewell lunch, so he'll collect her things and bring them home with him. She thanks him, gives him a long kiss and then gets into the elevator, telling him she'll see him at home. "You will," agrees Don, a man inside the elevator smiling politely at her as she enters before suddenly casting a dark look Don's way before going back to his magazine. I'm not sure if he's mad at Don for holding up the elevator or just jealous that he got to kiss such a pretty lady, but it's kind of hilarious just how pissed off he is for like 1 second.



Who the gently caress is this guy? :xd:

The moment she's gone though Don seems to second guess himself, and he hits the button. It's too late though, another elevator door opens so he walks over to enter it, perhaps to follow her down to the lobby.... and there is no elevator car there. Just an empty shaft, a yawning pit that if he was to step into would be the end of him. Confused, he looks down and sees it traveling down the shaft, far out of his reach, just like he perhaps fears Megan now is. He steps back, unnerved by this utterly unexpected twist, as if fate was conspiring to keep him from her, or warning him of the danger should he follow.... and the moment has passed, it is too late to chase her down to say or do who knows what. The title of this episode is taken from a Sylvia Plath play that discusses both rebirth and a desire for death, and I can't help but think Don staring down into the chasm in some way ties to his own feelings of doom and misery in the wake of this shake-up in his life.

He returns to his office to pour himself a drink, but there is no rest or moment of reflection to be had, because the work goes on. Ken, Stan and Michael excitedly enter his office, bringing a record sent over from Chevalier of EXACTLY the music they want for their ad. Stan slaps it on along with an off-color joke about Rick's boyfriend, while Don offers the other men to help themselves to drinks as he prepares to listen to this sound of the present. Ken insists it's a pretty good song, but as it plays and he desperately pretends to dance along like he's caught up in the rhythm, Stan simply shakes his head at the incredibly poor choice of song.

Don agrees on that at least, why are they playing this? They already know they can't get the Beatles! Except... it's not the Beatles. It also sounds nothing like the Beatles beyond the barest possible surface similarity. Michael is actually physically pained listening to it, claiming the song is 30 years old, and though this particular recording probably isn't, the song is: it's September in the Rain and it was written in.... 1937. It's the kind of hip cool trendy new song that Roger Sterling might have been listening to when HE was young, and it is certainly not the Beatles.

But Don Draper literally couldn't hear the difference between this song and the Beatles. This is what he meant about not being in the know, he's clearly the type for whom music - even though he might appreciate it and enjoy listening to it - is largely something he just doesn't think about or bother with. Many (perhaps most) people do, and Megan's claim that music has always been important is certainly accurate, but for Don Draper? Most songs that share a broadly similar beat probably all just lump together in his head. Which is why he's genuinely confused when Michael straight up swears, complaining the song is "stabbing me in the loving heart", not getting why music would produce such a visceral reaction in somebody. This is the other problem as well, a big part of Don's image is that he's masterful in every aspect of Creative when it comes to advertising, but music is an obvious blind-spot and not one he likes being exposed, and Stan and Michael are both young enough that they might start looking down on him as old and out-of-touch if they grasp that he's weak in this area.

Ken asks the others to excuse them, not because he senses Don's unease, but because he's going to add to it. They're due in the test kitchen tomorrow, but that was when Megan was going to be part of the act, what do they do now that she's gone? Cancel it? Don is fully back in control in this field, acting like he's totally unbothered, insisting that they can go ahead and just get Peggy to replace Megan, and they'll tell them Megan is sick. Ken doesn't question his boss, just agrees and says he'll go let Peggy know (I'm sure she'll be thrilled to have MORE work dumped on her). That leaves Don alone, his beloved wife no longer a fixture of the office, and a record player taunting him with how out-of-touch he is on this facet of advertising.... and maybe that's a sign of worse to come?

Howard joins Pete on the train that night, the rain still coming down outside. Pete admits he's surprised to see him, and Howard smugly explains that tonight he'll eat dinner with his wife and sleep at home and "balance" will be restored, as if it's all as easy as that. Pete stares unseen at him with a mixture of envy and contempt before he comes to a decision, declaring that he followed up on Howard's advice and checked his insurance policy... and he was right! So he's gone ahead and set up with another broker, a decision that upsets Howard who gasps that he didn't even give him a chance. Smugly, Pete reminds him he's telling him now, and Howard - desperate to make up for a lean month - says he'll go home, a bite to eat and then bring the paperwork to Pete's house. No no, that won't do, little baby Tammy is sick... but hey, maybe he could drop by Howard's house first before going home?

Jesus loving Christ, Pete.

Back at SCDP, Joan is preparing to leave but spots Peggy, telling her she was missed at Megan's farewell lunch and getting in a little dig at Megan by noting that maybe Peggy has too much work now to have attended. Peggy is eager to show there were no hard feelings and explains that she told Megan she'd like to take her out to a lunch of just the two of them, and Joan shifts into full gossip mode, admitting that she didn't expect Megan to quit, just to fail. When Peggy admits that actually she feels guilty, that maybe she was too hard on her and scared her away, Joan is quick to shut that down, remarking that Megan is just another "second wife", all of whom seem to work from the same playbook.

Peggy doesn't want to bitch about Megan, who she did end up genuinely liking over time, saying she doesn't think it was like that, but Joan - who probably lead the cheering and happy talk at the lunch only a few hours ago - points out she's going to end up a failing actress with a rich husband. Peggy continues to defend Megan, she doesn't think she will fail as an actress, she thinks she may actually be one of those girls who just turns out to be good at everything. In that case, Joan insists, Peggy was right to be hard on her! She points out that Don met Betty doing a print ad, that she used to be a model before she became a housewife... that's the kind of girl Don marries.

She says goodnight and leaves, and Peggy is left not entirely sure what to make of this encounter. After all, for all the talk about Megan, isn't Joan's dismissal of her and looking down on her more about Don's faults and problems than any that Megan or Betty before her had? Or maybe Peggy is once again comparing herself unfavorably to the women in Don's life: not because she wants Don (that 1st episode disastrously clumsy come-on notwithstanding) but because she in some way looks at the women he is attracted to as somehow an exemplar, one that she doesn't live up to in her own mind regardless of the praise he has (sometimes begrudgingly) heaped on her?

Howard brings Pete to his home for what he thinks is the first time. He admits that he actually has no idea where his kids are, and Beth comes walking out and freezes in horror to see Pete standing there. Howard doesn't even notice, simply introducing Pete and asking where the kids are (at her mother's) before waving off Pete's insistence that he doesn't want to be a bother before successfully guessing his age and heading off to grab his papers, leaving Beth alone with the mad she was unfaithful with once and then begged to stay away.

He immediately steps up and passes her a piece of paper, whispering that he will be at the Hotel Pennsylvania at 12:30, and when she hisses,"NO!" at him he decides to answer that by forcing a kiss on her (yeah, this is more like with poor Gudrun). She reciprocates a little but then pulls away, telling him she doesn't want that, and he puts the ball in her court, saying she can throw the paper out if she wants. Howard returns with his papers, still none the wiser, not remotely seeing his wife's obvious distress or that Pete himself is quite flustered.

Beth asks to see him alone for a moment, and once they're gone Pete either decides he's done all he needs or is in a panic she's about to tell on him, so grabs his coat to leave. But Howard is already back, still all smiles, almost rolling his eyes as he notes she has a migraine, as if the very notion is ridiculous or that he thinks she should have been able to push through debilitating pain for his sake... but hey the two of them can still have dinner, it's baked chicken! Pete allows himself to be convinced, continuing his intrusion into the home, ready to put up with literally signing an insurance policy just for another chance to bang his acquaintance's wife.

Don returns home where he finds Megan literally barefoot in the kitchen, cooking dinner and listening to a news report on President Lyndon Johnson urging North Vietnam to give up a war they couldn't win (oof). He watches her for a few moments before telling her playfully she shouldn't cook in bare feet, and she turns and beams with love to see him, her perfect husband who has given her everything she could ever want and been so understanding. She joins him and gives him a kiss, telling him cheekily to not get used to this because there will be a lot of crying from rejection in the future, and giggles when he pretends she meant him.

She's made beef bourguignon and he has a taste, shocked at how hot it is, and she admits she did expect him to come home drunk. Carefully, seriously, he tells her what he's probably been telling himself all day: it's fine. He's not mad or upset that she's stopped working at SCDP. She beams again, radiating love, telling him so, that she loves him and that he's everything she hoped he would be. He tells her the same, and she goes back to cooking... and once again once he isn't having to put up a front his smile fades. Because he means everything he says.... it's just that there is a difference between meaning it and feeling it.



The next day finds Don physically at the test kitchen, but mentally 1000 miles away. He's barely listening (Peggy of course is nodding and smiling along) to the explanation of the samples in front of them, given presumably by Pat Wallace. Ken is with them, they're going to do a blind taste test while a woman named Sarah takes notes on their reactions. After they all try Sample A, a large (but not 300 pound) Phil Beachum makes his entrance, played by Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding!) who seems a very jovial sort, welcoming them and asking what they thought.

Peggy is full of praise for Sample A, and Beachum looks expectantly to Don, asking if this is the bit where he answers his wife? Wallace nervously has to explain that Megan is sick, so Peggy is filling in, and clearly Beachum isn't pleased, he was expecting to see this great double-act he'd heard so much about. Wallace assures him it will be just as good, and they turn to watch the show, Don and Peggy prepared to reenact the show Don and Megan put on earlier.

It's... a disaster. Peggy, unlike Elisabeth Moss, has never been a great actor, always getting by on the strength of her ideas and her passion for them. When she tries to offer the two bowls on the counter to Don, Wallace warns her not to pick them up, but worst of all, what comes naturally to her tongue isn't the "Just Taste It" line, but "Just Try It". Don doesn't help, essentially a plank of wood for her to act against apart from when he's grumpily correcting her lines. Beachum stands and watches this display, then cuts them off by declaring,"Well!" and shaking their hands, then just trudging off. A nervous Wallace follows after him, while Ken gulps back his water before trying to put the best bow on this he can by insisting they did great, and besides it won't be them in the commercial, they'll be casting it.

Don though wants to take out his aggression, and wouldn't you know it once again Peggy is in the perfect place. He sarcastically asks if they'll be able to find an actress who can remember the line,"Just taste it", but Peggy isn't going to sit and take all the blame, angrily reminding him that he didn't want to rehearse and only allowed them one run-through that HE did half-assed while she was thrust into a role at the last minute. Missing the point entirely, he snaps that he knew his lines perfectly, and Ken - desperate for Mommy and Daddy to stop fighting - asks if maybe Megan might be convinced to come back to do it in the office at least.

When Peggy says that Megan isn't the problem, Don isn't done venting, complaining that she never wanted Megan there as a junior in the first place, she was threatened by her! Peggy isn't having that, after all the work she put in mentoring and supporting (and yes sometimes doing the work of) Megan she won't let him change history and pretend that SHE was the problem. She points out that it was her who trained Megan, not him, and she spent 8 months defending her from the people who just assumed she'd been gifted everything and could do no wrong in Don's eyes.

He yells that Megan was great at the job, something Peggy never disputed, and she hits him back with a truth that REALLY hurts: Megan thinks advertising is stupid. He denies this, claiming she hated the cynical and petty people she was forced to work with, and Peggy hits the coup-de-grace, reminding him that she did everything right and is STILL getting the blame from him, and it's not HER that Don is angy at so SHUT UP!

Hell loving yes, Peggy!

It's only now, after she's dunked on Don so hard it's a wonder he's not a little head on some shoes with a couple of hands poking out, that we discover that yes poor Sarah is STILL standing there watching this all unfold. When Don has no retort to make and reaches into his pocket for a cigarette she finally speaks up, clearly not wanting to but having no choice, reminding him there is no smoking inside. So the three of them just stand there, miserable, their little act a disaster that might cost them the client, and Don can't even fall back on his addiction for comfort. All in all, the first post-Megan day for SCDP has not been a good time.



At the Hotel Pennsylvania, 12:30 has come and gone and Pete sits alone in his room, a bottle of champagne untouched on its tray beside the bed. Like a child he lashes out that he didn't get his way, tossing one of the glasses at the wall and shattering it against the mirror. Standing, he takes his case and coat and leaves the room without a backwards look, the champagne remaining behind. For some reason, Beth wasn't turned on by the guy she told to stay away finagling his way into a dinner invitation by her husband and telling her to come get some gently caress at a hotel in the city she told him she hates visiting. Weird. Who can figure women, eh fellas?

Roger pops into Don's office, having apparently only recently gotten the news on Megan himself and asking if Don has been avoiding him. "Yes," grunts Don from his couch where he's laying with a drink on his chest, before explaining she left to follow her dream. Roger pours himself a drink, admitting it's admirable to follow your dream, pointing out that he never really got that choice, his father dictated what his career would be and here he is multiple decades later doing just that. Don points out that he himself grew up in the 30s, so his big dream was having indoor plumbing!

But while Roger admits that Megan could be a good actress, he's convinced this is just the start of her process to figuring out she wants a baby (I beg you all, don't take relationship advice from Roger Sterling), but Don points out he suggested going for children right from the honeymoon and she straight up told him that Sally, Bobby and Gene were enough. Roger at least had the foresight to understand a baby with Jane would have been a mistake, though he couches it via insulting his soon-to-be second ex-wife, saying who would want to put a kid through having her as a mother.

So they sit there, two middle-aged men who grew up within a very restrictive system who are watching the world slowly (VERY slowly) opening up, and Don puts it out there: why SHOULDN'T she be able to follow her dream? After all, he doesn't want her to end up like Betty, or her mother. Roger for once is quiet on that, because of course he's got his own feelings about Marie Calvet. I won't be silent on Betty though, because there it is again: Don blaming Betty for the situation HE demanded. It was him who wanted Betty to be a housewife and nothing else, who had to restrain himself to "allow" her to briefly re-pursue her modeling career. She wanted to be involved in his business, she wanted to work with him as a team, she wanted to have a passionate sex life with him. It was Don who prevented most of those things from happening, and while they don't excuse Betty of some very real and obvious issues she had and continues to have, to so callously dismiss her for not living her dream when HE was such a big part of that, well... gently caress him!

Don passes his glass, expecting another top-up from Roger. Instead, Roger surprises him by deciding to forgo a second drink for both of them, instead imparting some wisdom: he has to go home, he has to establish a routine. It's advice Mona's father gave him, and he doesn't say if he followed it or not, but he was certainly married to her for longer than he ever was Jane. He leaves, and it's just Don now, considering that maybe Roger Sterling just gave him good marriage advice.

So he returns home, where Megan is just getting ready to leave. She's pleased to see him, saying she wasn't sure if he would be back before she left for her acting class. She has something for him, another reminder of the effective system they had when they worked together, as she gives him a copy of the latest Beatles album, suggesting he listen to one song in particular so he can get a better sense of "what's going on" in music today. With another kiss she's out the door, and Don is all alone in his home, just like he was all alone at work. The first day of many to come, and who knows how many nights.

He puts on the song, Tomorrow Never Knows, a psychedelic, LSD-inspired track that sounds absolutely NOTHING like September in the Rain. As he sits in his chair with his drink, alone in his penthouse apartment, a brief montage plays to show what else is going on in a world increasingly divorced from the one that Don Draper knows and was in many ways the master of.

Peggy and Stan work late into the night, Stan wordlessly passing a joint to Peggy who smokes it without hesitation or any surprise. Once she, Kinsey and Smitty hid away in an office surreptitiously smoking pot. Once Kinsey told her with worldly authority of the best ad agency he knew having copywriters who openly smoked pot... now that remarkable thing has become... just something they do. In the open, unafraid and unconcerned, the time when the terror of being labeled a dope fiend quickly shifting away to a more mainstream acceptance of drugs (despite the terrified, scrambling reaction of the Establishment that would have impact for decades to come).

Pete and Howard leave their train together, Pete spotting that Beth has come to pick up Howard. As Pete gets into his own car though and Beth moves to the passenger seat of hers, she sees him looking and draws a little love heart into the condensation on the window, before winding it down and up to clear all sign. There is is, yet another of those little vague promises that maybe there might be something more.... or maybe not. Pete has to learn that he doesn't get to set the parameters of this relationship, or even if there will even be one. He can complain all he wants about how "women" get to make these decisions, but it's one of the few acts of agency Beth has, and she means to employ it.

Megan runs through exercises in her class, finally back where she wants to be, pursuing her dream safe in the knowledge that her husband values and loves and supports her, and wants only the bes-

The music stops.

In the empty apartment, Don has cut the song off halfway through. He doesn't get it. He doesn't like it. He doesn't understand it. Like a machine going through the motions, Don takes his drink into the bedroom, uninterested in doing anything. He tried, he really did. He wants to understand why music is so important now, about what is distinct about it that drives people so. Beyond that, Don wants to understand what is going on beyond that, to tap into the world and how it is changing. Not for business, not to be a better ad man, but to be a better husband and man. And he wants to, God he wants to. He knows that it would be wrong to force Megan to stay in advertising, even if she is genuinely good at it. He knows that it is right to support her acting, whether she succeeds or fails. He knows all these things... but he can't force himself to feel them.

No matter whose fault it was (Don's), his marriage to Betty was not a partnership. Not a genuine one at least. Because he dictated the terms, he controlled everything, he made her subservient to his ideas of what was right and wrong. With Megan, he wanted something more, and for a time he had it. He loves spending time with her, he loves having her around at work, he REALLY loved that she was genuinely good at every aspect of it, from ideas to execution to entertaining clients to having the knack to pick up on subtle things, things he sometimes missed. It wasn't so much that he loves the work (he does, but not with the driving all-consuming passion he once did) but that he loved being able to work with her. She was his equal, a lover, a peer, somebody who opened his eyes to the new, who helped him understand things he didn't, to help him grow.

That's gone now. He still has her, he still loves her, she still loves him, and he treasures their time together. But now they're not partners, not in the same sense they were. Now they live separate lives, often together but not always, following separate paths, interacting with separate groups, moving in different circles. Don knows it is right for her to pursue her dream, and that it is right for him to support her doing so... but that doesn't mean he doesn't also resent it. Just like she feared she would with the theater, Don fears that resentment could poison his love.

There is no music in his life.

https://i.imgur.com/zZDmMJc.mp4
Episode Index

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 21:39 on Nov 10, 2021

Mover
Jun 30, 2008

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


One of my favorite endings to a Mad Men episode. I imagine Tomorrow Never Knows cost most of this episode’s budget but it was 100% perfect

Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


I love this episode very much and the ending is so so very good. Pete is such a gross dipshit in this episode. Fun fact this is how Vince kartheiser and Alexis bledel met.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I just couldn't look at your old avatar anymore
Fucking nauseating!


Using licensed music in TV shows seems like a relic of the past. Maybe the stuff I watch is cheap or low budget but since Glee was famous for being the iTunes special of the week I can't think of any show that used a lot of music to make dramatic points.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







pentyne posted:

Using licensed music in TV shows seems like a relic of the past. Maybe the stuff I watch is cheap or low budget but since Glee was famous for being the iTunes special of the week I can't think of any show that used a lot of music to make dramatic points.

derry girls (which is amazing) has a gobsmackingly good line up of enormous 80s track, nfi how they swung it

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


Love this episode. Finally, some of the dominoes start to tip. It's also surprisingly comedic - "PIZZA HAUS," Ginsberg's immediate assumption that Don fired his own wife and his righteous fury, the test kitchen stuff. Also, something about Don's deadpan "Yes; we're playing a hilarious joke on you" tickles me. I noted it before in spoilers, but I also find Don's reaction to Ginsberg swearing funny. These people smoke, drink, lie compulsively, sleep around, use plenty of uncouth language...but an unguarded F-word is still jaw-dropper.

There was a lot of talk about the significance of the empty elevator shaft when this originally aired, but it seems pretty cut and dry to me and in-line with Jerusalem's take. Megan left that office with no intention of returning - at least not as an employee of SCDP - and only when he sees the visual metaphor does Don actually recognize the totality of her intention and how that's going to impact him. (There were also a decent number of people speculating that somebody would pull a Rosalind Shays, now that an empty elevator had been introduced. Those people were apparently watching a very different show.)

Mover posted:

One of my favorite endings to a Mad Men episode. I imagine Tomorrow Never Knows cost most of this episode’s budget but it was 100% perfect

A quarter-million well spent. Allegedly, Apple Corps also wanted to know story details and the context before they were ready to cut a deal.

Bismack Billabongo posted:

Pete is such a gross dipshit in this episode.

This is such an interesting encounter for Pete; he's instantly behaving like a teenager head-over-heels in first love after one brief encounter with Beth, and it's kind of sweet...then the circumstances of the whole affair crash back onto you and you just go back to "Eugh, Pete." Anyhow, it's immediately apparent that why they've been building Howard up as an even bigger lout since the season opener. Compared to him, the Grimy Little Pimp still comes across as the Good Guy by the end of the hour.

(Life Magazine with the photos Beth waxes poetic about. A bit of anachronism at play here; Full-planet photography was still two years away.)

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



JethroMcB posted:

There was a lot of talk about the significance of the empty elevator shaft when this originally aired, but it seems pretty cut and dry to me and in-line with Jerusalem's take. Megan left that office with no intention of returning - at least not as an employee of SCDP - and only when he sees the visual metaphor does Don actually recognize the totality of her intention and how that's going to impact him. (There were also a decent number of people speculating that somebody would pull a Rosalind Shays, now that an empty elevator had been introduced. Those people were apparently watching a very different show.)

Haha, I watched LA Law spottily when I was a kid but never saw this. Was this the inspiration for how Joey's Days of our Lives character got killed off in Friends?

Anyway yes the empty shaft is a really shocking/surprising moment, it has an air of unreality to it that Don is clearly feeling, while also snapping him into reality that yes, this is real, Megan is gone (in the work sense) and all he can do is stand and watch.

JethroMcB posted:

(Life Magazine with the photos Beth waxes poetic about. A bit of anachronism at play here; Full-planet photography was still two years away.)

Thanks for the link, and oof one of those letters to the editor about how they should concentrate on the "notable progress that has already been made in improving the lot of the Negro" :stare:

Mover posted:

One of my favorite endings to a Mad Men episode. I imagine Tomorrow Never Knows cost most of this episode’s budget but it was 100% perfect

JethroMcB posted:

A quarter-million well spent.

Absolutely, it fits perfectly to the scene.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

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

Mover posted:

One of my favorite endings to a Mad Men episode. I imagine Tomorrow Never Knows cost most of this episode’s budget but it was 100% perfect

It most certainly was. I love the "no one can afford the beatles" line and then ending with a Beatles song. This is also when they came back from a long argument/negotiation about the budget for the series in general. It is very most soaking in their victory over AMC

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Moddie*





The record scratch is a great moment in the series, because you know Don has finally reached his "uncool" phase. It isn't just music.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







i love the liftshaft because it's such a huge clanking metaphor and it doesn't give a gently caress.

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



There's a lot of fun moments in this one

- I love the shot right before Pete begins to trick Howard into inviting him home for dinner. There's Pete's plastered-on smile; then Howard leans forward to place his things on the ground, his head obscuring Pete's face; and when Howard leans back again, Pete's expression has completely changed to one of ugly, seething revulsion. It's a great visual demonstration of one of Pete's core character traits: the interplay between obvious facade and the rotten emotional core beneath it.

- I really appreciate the extremely diplomatic answer Ken gives when asked to give his thoughts on one of the formulations of Cool Whip: "Can't imagine it getting any better than this!"

- Don's face and his frozen mid-lighting-up position when the assistant tells him not to smoke is priceless

Also, Don's comment "don't cook in bare feet" weirdly calls back to Anna Draper's excuse for having a broken foot before Stephanie told her the truth, though I'm not sure the significance of it (unless this is just something people say that I'm not aware of?)

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

There was also some criticism at the time (9 years ago christ!) that Don should love the Beatles because they are the ultimate product.

Which clearly missus the point.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply