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Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






hamm was a high school drama teacher before this role, lets not act like he wasnt the embodiment of sweaty desperation once either. he taught ellie kemper!

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Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




I love his comedy work even more.

Too bad he died during the filming of the Greatest Event in Television History

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



your friendly reminder that pete's actor is actually older than cosgrove's

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



kalel posted:

Speaking of the five stages of grief, I want to rewind slightly and point out Hamm's incredible performance during the final scene of the last episode.

Oh yeah that's a really good example. Jon Hamm is so great at showcasing the whirlpool of emotions, insecurities and fear that are constantly in place behind the mask of the perfect man Don Draper puts out to the world (and that most of the world buys into uncritically).

feedmegin posted:

You're getting a bit Keyser Soze again :shobon:

Oops! Thanks, fixed it up.

I'm sure Ted would LOVE to be Don Draper. It's certainly what he keeps aiming for.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







ulvir posted:

your friendly reminder that pete's actor is actually older than cosgrove's

every now and then i think about them shaving his hair back a little more each season, and chuckle.

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Paper Lion posted:

im sure ive posted this before, but this is what i love about the finale. the thing that gets him to understand not only his own feelings but the feelings of another person purely and unconditionally is when he compares himself to a condiment in the fridge. he pitches an ad about the lonely condiment that everyone looks past and no one wants to use, and thats what breaks his emotional walls down.

lol that's great.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

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


Didn't see it mentioned but a big part of finding Lane's body is none of the cast had scene the corpse make-up, so when they see the body that's their genuine shock at how death-like Harris looked.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Oh man, it was effective but goddamn that is a pretty hosed up thing to do.

R. Guyovich
Dec 25, 1991



sebmojo posted:

every now and then i think about them shaving his hair back a little more each season, and chuckle.

if i recall correctly he did that on his own initiative

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


pentyne posted:

Didn't see it mentioned but a big part of finding Lane's body is none of the cast had scene the corpse make-up, so when they see the body that's their genuine shock at how death-like Harris looked.

Do you have a source on this? This is the first I've heard about it.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






Lady Radia posted:

Do you have a source on this? This is the first I've heard about it.

Harris himself. http://hollywood-news-now.blogspot.com/2012/06/for-mad-men-and-actor-harris-shocking.html

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

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



I think one of the other actors also mentioned how shocked they all were from the corpse look, like none of them expected him to look at dead as he did, and there was a genuine second or two of them pausing before moving on with the scene.

I watched the scene again, their faces are all pretty shocked in general, but there's a moment where Pete pushes Roger towards the body slightly and Roger almost immediately takes a half step back while looking directly at Lane. They're all pretty great actors so it's hard to know for sure but the moment the door swings back and they see the corpse there's some immediate body language like "holy gently caress" and it seems like they were able to carry that feeling through the scene and the different camera angle shots.

pentyne fucked around with this message at 19:38 on Dec 3, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 5, Episode 13 - The Phantom
Written by Jonathan Igla & Matthew Weiner, Directed by Matthew Weiner

Don Draper posted:

That's what happens when you help someone, they succeed and move on.

As Don Draper stuffs a cotton-ball in his mouth in the bathroom and takes a moment to try and process the pain he is feeling, Megan returns from collecting the mail to find her mother making breakfast in the kitchen. She points out she should be the one making breakfast, given Marie is the guest, but in that simple way mothers have of critiquing their adult children Marie simply notes that Megan's coffee is too weak.

She points out that Don hasn't left yet, and Marie calls out to Don that he's going to be late before wincing herself in pain... not physical but emotional. She's opened a letter addressed to her and read the contents, and when Don emerges from the bathroom Marie can't help but notice Megan hide the letter and the small film canister that came with it before greeting her husband.

Marie offers to make him an omelette but he demurs, worrying Megan further who notes that if he can't even manage an egg, he should go and see the dentist. That's what the cotton-ball was about, Don has a toothache, but in typical pig-headed man fashion he proclaims that the problem will just somehow... go away, it always does! He gives Megan a kiss and leaves, and a still critical Marie warns her daughter that she shouldn't be hiding things from her husband... which would sound hypocritical if it wasn't a warning given out of a desire to prevent Megan's marriage ending up like Marie's own.

The letter is a rejection, of sorts. Megan explains that she paid for a screentest, with the idea being the film would be sent around to Agents. Marie assumes that if it has been returned then it means the Agents didn't see anything in what they saw, but Megan has a far more likely explanation: she only shot it a week ago, they didn't send it to anybody. Their letter mentioned an Advanced Class she could take, and she's belatedly figured out that she was just getting scammed, which is part of why she hid it from Don. The company isn't helping actors connect with agents, they're just taking advantage of people to leech as much money out of them as possible.

Marie is appalled, proclaiming it is a sin to take advantage of hopeless people like this, a line that immediately sparks Megan's anger given what it suggests: that Megan herself is hopeless, that her dream of becoming an actor is simply that. Marie quickly corrects herself, saying she meant it is a sin to take advantage of people's hopes... but the damage has been done.

On the train from Cos Cob to Manhattan, Pete is joined by his regular commuting companion Howard... and somebody else: his wife Beth. Pete immediately stands, as is decorum when a woman arrives (or leaves), but it could just as easily be out of shock. Howard, blissfully unaware, asks if they remember each other from what as far as he knows is the only time they've ever met, and Beth puts on a smile and recalls the time "we almost had dinner".

All of them seated now, Howard rather inappropriately asks Pete how his second honeymoon was, and whether he created another "beneficiary" for the insurance policy Pete so recklessly signed with him: a "polite" way of asking if he hosed his wife a lot on holiday. Pete ignores that, as he should, but mostly because he's focused on Howard's wife rather than his own, asking where they're going.

Now things are a little uneasy, Howard gently patting his wife's hand and remarking that she'll be staying with her sister for a little while. When Pete asks "casually" (hopefully!) where that is, Beth excuses herself to the Smoking Car, telling Howard that he doesn't have to come when he complains that they'll have to stand. Collecting her things, Howard apologizes to Pete for her abrupt departure, simply stating she is "in a mood" before awkwardly making his way through the other passengers. As he goes, Pete can't resist reaching out and letting the fabric of one of Beth's scarves - poking out of her suitcase - run though his hand, the closest he can get to touching her.



Harry Crane joins Joan Harris in the elevator, noting with interest that she pushed the button for the 38th floor rather than the 37th, where their offices are. Joan passes that off as mistakenly pressing the wrong button, but Harry smells opportunity, noting that he'd heard the company in the floor above theirs got a big Government contract and moved to Washington, and thus the space was now available.....

Joan tries to put to bed that thought immediately, simply telling him to for once mind his own business. But Harry never met a perceived opportunity he couldn't resist spoiling by pressing too hard. He wants out of the lovely office he was "forced" into by Roger, and balks when Joan reminds him that they offered him a very nice office that he turned down, pointing out that she did the same.

They're talking about Lane's office, of course, and the light mood of their conversation (in spite of Joan's consternation at Harry pressing) is gone. Joan keeps her cool, but her sigh makes it clear she is done with the conversation, not least of all because she REALLY didn't want to be reminded of Lane and the horrible circumstances of his passing.

As they leave the elevator, Harry has to get in one last push, claiming that he's developing scurvy being in that office. She doesn't respond, and as they walk on, Don emerges from his own elevator just as men are leaving the offices of Blackwood Hodge who share the floor with SCDP. The three men pass him, but as they do Don is suddenly struck by his recognition of one of them. Turning, he looks and calls out a name. The blond man inside looks at him blankly as the doors close, and the moment passes. The name Don called?

Adam.

For a moment, Don was sure he had seen his long-dead half-brother. Realizing of course that this makes no sense, he shakes off the odd feeling and continues on into the office. His day doesn't improve from there though, as he finds himself called into a pitch meeting for Topaz pantyhose where Michael Ginsberg has delivered a rare dead fish of a campaign idea: "Always less expensive. Never cheap."

Art Garten hates the concept, which isn't helped by Ginsberg in his typical clumsy fashion declaring that no he doesn't! Art doesn't want the word cheap in there, saying it either makes their customers look cheap or the company itself, and Ginsberg's argumentative nature is exactly the wrong approach to take with somebody as equally brash and argumentative as Art himself. Art's associate does agree they wanted to push for a value approach, but not like this, and Ken's efforts to remind Art of his own eager bragging that Topaz customers could get a great product for pocket change doesn't endear him to the angry man.

So Ken knocks on the Conference Room window, getting Don's attention as he is passing his hat and coat to Dawn, having not even had a chance to enter his office before being summoned in to pretend he's completely up to speed and supportive of a thoroughly underwhelming campaign. He offers the same argument that Ginsberg did, that cheap doesn't refer to the girl and that it's funny, but Art remains unimpressed.

His key argument, one that Don can't hold up his smooth confidence through, is that this work clearly doesn't represent any woman's point of view, and he used to think he could rely on that at SCDP. He gets in a racist dig about "black coffee" not being what he means as he gestures to Dawn at her desk, but that aside his point is made and not a bad one: Peggy Olson won them Topaz's business, she had the female perspective for obvious reasons, plus when Art would challenge her on an idea she would have another one for him immediately instead of insisting he was wrong not to like what she'd just given him.

Ken tries to salvage this as best he can by suggesting they Copy Test the "cheap" idea to see how it works, and Art states (not asks, states) that Topaz won't be paying for that research because it should have been done already. Don shakes their hands, pretending utter confidence and that he's not bothered by this disaster, but once they're gone he demands Michael and Stan explain why they didn't get any research done on their idea.

Michael's response being a complaint that they never had to do any for Topaz before just further solidifies Art's point, but Stan sticks up for the idea, pointing out that them liking it and the client not just proves it is good! Don isn't impressed by either response, asking if they consider what just happened with Topaz a success, and Michael complains that at this point he considers it a success just to go a single day without Don calling him an idiot.

Fed up, Don leaves, and Stan sighs that he's getting sick of this dynamic.... clearly this is not the first time they've fallen short in Don's eyes since Peggy (who he took for granted while Ginsberg had success after success) left. For Michael though it's even more frustrating, because he's finally getting to see what it is like when he has ideas that not only fail to impress but get called out for being bad, and he can't just insist his way through to convincing others that they're wrong and he's right.

In Pete's office, he's buzzed and informed that his sister-in-law is on the line. Picking up the phone, a little surprised but not alarmed, he says hello to Judy... and of course it's not her, it's Beth. With a hushed, angry shock he whispers that he's at work, buzzing through to Clara and asking her to go to the lobby to fetch him some lifesavers, wanting to avoid any chance she is listening in. She of course asks why he can't just get them form the machine, throwing him off for a moment before he complains that he wants them fresh.

With Clare dealt with, he demands to know what Beth wants, childishly whining that he doesn't appreciate only being remembered to exist because of their encounter on the train. When she tells him she has checked in to the Hotel Pennsylvania under the name Mrs. Campbell he's further infuriated: she wants HIM to come to the same hotel where he once tried to arrange an assignation and SHE stood him up?

He warns her she'll have to wait for nothing just like he did, but when she tells him this could be their last chance and the call ends, he kicks away from his desk pouting miserably... because he knows just like she probably knows that of course he's going to go. He complained (hilariously tone-deaf) that women get to have it all their own way and dictate the terms of how a relationship goes, and in this case at least this is exactly what is going to happen. He just can't help himself.

https://i.imgur.com/gwhuX6g.mp4

Things aren't all sunshine and roses over at CGC, however. Peggy Olson, well established in her role now as Copy Chief, is getting to see things from the other side of the Don/Copywriter relationship. Dressing down two hapless copywriters, she reminds them that their task SHOULD be a simple one: 125 words and 15 of them have to be Ajax!

Ted Chaough pops in and "asks" the others to give him Miss Olson, and they quickly escape from their boss and their boss' boss, grateful to be out of there. Once they're gone, Ted asks if she smokes, and when she admits not really (she probably smokes more dope than tobacco) he tosses her a white carton of cigarettes and informs her she does now. Her task now is to "research" this product and come up with a name for it, it's Philip Morris' top secret new ladies' cigarette.

Leo Burnett thought the product was too small to bother with and so Philip Morris opened it up to other agencies. Now Ted wants to pounce, seeing this as an in to the tobacco industry that could make his Agency millions and lift them up another level to the size of the old Sterling Cooper, which did so on the back of American Tobacco.

Ted has a man wheel in big boxes of the research they've been provided, telling her to go through it first before setting her writers to the task. Peggy, still feeling her way in the working relationship with Ted, is a little leery of his initial suggestions as to how she might want to proceed, openly questioning if he is giving her a suggestion or simply telling her what he wants the end result to be.

She's pleased by his response, even if he is insisting she become a smoker: she's a woman and she smokes, so what does SHE want the campaign to be? It's a vote of confidence in her, and a tacit acknowledgement that she will know far better than he what will work for women. That might seem like a small thing, but after years of having men tell her what women ACTUALLY want, it's such a relief to have it acknowledged that hey, maybe a woman has a good idea of what a woman wants!?!

At SCDP, the Partners meeting is proceeding with remarkable, welcome and entirely unexpected smoothness. The reason why is obvious, Joan is reporting on what Lane Pryce had hoped for and waited on for so long (and never saw come to pass): the bills have finally been paid. All of 1966's third and fourth quarters' work has passed, all the payments have been made, and for the first time since American Tobacco pulled out the company is flush with cash.

When Joan states that they're having their best quarter, Don comments that given it is March it is their ONLY quarter, and a delighted Cooper explains that she isn't talking about 1967... she's talking about the entire life of the Agency so far. On top of this good news, they still have Jaguar and Butler's payments set to come in the next quarter, meaning they're on track for two extremely positive quarters in a row.

Cooper gets straight down to the most important thing in the world to consider after this great news... has Joan found him an office yet!?! She admits that she got prevented from going to 38 by Harry Crane sharing her elevator, not mentioning that he correctly guessed what was going on. She will be meeting with the Building Manager at lunch, however, and Roger chimes in simply to say she should get them more than they need... he for one is obviously tired of the heavy doubling-up their cramped conditions necessitated, even if he himself had an exceptional office.

Joan asks if there are any objections to the plans to take up a whole other floor of the Time-Life building, and of course there are none.... but there is an empty chair. Joan's eyes are drawn to the spot where Lane Pryce SHOULD be seated, and her minds drifts to memories of his prudent financial management (she has no idea about the embezzlement, or the credit extension under false pretenses) and his conservative nature where he constantly preached restraint.

So she raises an objection of her own, pointing out that they're making big plans based on a SINGLE positive quarter. It's a reasonable objection, she doesn't want them to ignore what has been demonstrated to them time and time again: that sudden disasters can happen that drastically reduced expected incomings. Pete though just wants to vote and get the gently caress out of there, but Joan suggests rather than a vote they table the discussion till June when they have a better sense of things.

Scarlett calls for a vote on tabling, and everybody declares aye, Joan grumpily correcting Scarlett that a tabling only requires a second, not a vote. Pete and Don are both entirely fed up, the latter because of his tooth (he nurses a scotch on the rocks against the side of his face between sips) and the former because there is somewhere he wants to be (and resents wanting). Don complains, asking if the meeting is over yet, and sharply Joan points out it is not... so Pete collects his things, announces that Don has his proxy, and simply leaves.

"We can do that?" Don responds in the silence that follows Pete's departure, a whole new world of being able to get out of work opening up to him.



Hating himself as he goes about his "other business", Pete arrives at the Hotel Pennsylvania where he is greeted by a clearly drunk Beth when he knocks on her room door. She embraces him, happy and relieved he arrives, while he seethes over how pathetic he is for having come when called. A little miffed herself, she asks why he came if he's so angry, and miserably he simply mutters that she knows he HAD to.

She leads him to sit with her on the bed, him still irritable enough to slap her hand away and take a seat himself rather than be lead to it. But when she admits that she isn't staying with her sister, Howard checked her into a hospital, he becomes concerned, asking what is wrong.

"I've been very blue," she tells him with a sad smile, and then horrifyingly explains to him what the doctors in all their great wisdom have settled on as the best cure for being sad.... electroshock therapy. That's.... that's insane. She has depression by the sound of things, and given the time she lives in and the husband she has it's not really a surprise why... and the cure is to zap her brain full of electricity!?!

Pete is just as horrified, even in 1967 this sounds barbaric to him, though mostly because he thinks that's a treatment reserved for "crazy" people. Beth doesn't want to talk about that though, she wanted to see him because when the process is done things will be "different". She reveals this is not the first time she has undergone this process, and that it creates a "grey cloud" (THIS is what "helps"?). But doing so tends to make her lose her memory, sometimes months worth of it, and so this is her last chance to enjoy Pete's company before she likely forgets him or their affair ever happened.

Torn between his lust and his revulsion, Pete comments that if she is willing to go through with this (I get the feeling she really doesn't have a choice) she must be crazy. But Beth just asks him to please let her have this, a wonderful moment they can share together knowing it won't last and that she won't even remember it. If she'd have been so callous as to point out this was largely every cheating husband's dream (an affair where the woman doesn't even remember having it) then he might have found the strength to pull away. Instead they kiss, and with a,"Oh God!" of surrender to his baser impulses, Pete forgets all about his objections (that were more based on power dynamics than morality) and submits to his passion.

At the Draper residence, Megan and a friend sit on the floor like teenagers looking through the Want Ads. They're looking at casting calls, of course, Megan's blonde friend (who has a touch of an accent I can't quite place) complaining that everybody wants redheads nowadays. She points out that even JULIA got work thanks to being a redhead, a not particularly complimentary view of their mutual friend's talent, and Megan giggles and points out that she only worked for 3 days on Dark Shadows before she was fired and they cut her part out of what aired entirely.

Her friend gasps, more from the fact that she never watched the show in the first place and has continually told Julia how much she is enjoying her work! As they laugh over that, the blonde points out that the reason Megan isn't working is because she won't answer the phone, referencing the phone that has been ringing away as they talked but that Megan has pointedly ignored.

Megan answers, waits for a response and then snaps that she can hear them before hanging up. "Heavy breathing?" her friend asks, and Megan admits that at first she thought it was a mistaken caller but they've just kept on calling over and over again, and haven't once said sorry or spoken at all.

Oh God please don't be Glen, please don't be Glen.

Marie steps out of the bedroom, a little surprised and chiding her daughter for not letting her know they had company. Megan, who has devolved straight back into little girl mode, introduces her mother to her friend - Emily, we get a name at last - and confirms that yes she did make an appointment for her at the hairstylist's.

She explains warmly to Emily that she is in town for a week to celebrate Easter with her daughter, since Emile is an atheist, and asks what their own plans for the day are. They're going through the casting notices, Emily explains, and Marie - who essentially called her daughter a hopeless dreamer earlier - offers them "bonne chance" and makes her exit.

Emily is charmed, Marie is so elegant and encouraging! "I guess so," is also Megan to offer. Now that they're truly alone though, Emily takes a seat beside her friend to let her know if she had it in her power to help Megan in any way she absolutely would. "...okay?" smiles Megan uncertainly, and Emily gets to the rub: her Agent put her up for a very cute part of a Beauty & the Best "European" type for Barnett Shoes, and she would love it if Megan could put in a good word with her with Don.

Welp, there it is.

Megan takes a moment to parse what she's been asked, grasping that Emily means Butler Shoes, and a thrilled Emily agrees before insisting that she doesn't want to make her uncomfortable and she'll understand if Megan says no.. all the kinds of things you say and genuinely mean until you're told no and then get mad about it. Megan points out that Don isn't the one who casts these parts, nor does anybody else at SCDP, that's a decision made by the clients. But Emily insists that she just wants the chance, if he can get her the audition then that is all the chance she needs and she'll make it on her own merits from there... she just wants the chance.

Uncertain, feeling a little sick at being used this way but understanding the struggle and the need to hustle, Megan says she will do what she can. Emily, delighted, kisses her and declares her Megan's eternal slave, and Megan laughs back and tells her not to hold it against her if it doesn't work out before tossing her a newspaper and teasing her to find Megan work now. Emily, already mentally considering herself cast, of course laughs and eagerly scans through the classifieds.... while Megan has one brief naked moment where he mask falls and the empty sadness of realizing she has been used by her friend emanates clearly from her face.... before she sets it aside and goes back to pretending everything is fine.



Beth lays on her side in bed, watching Pete sleep, drinking in every inch of him with her eyes, feeling a post-coital bliss much like their first sexual encounter helped shake her out of the nervous wreck she'd been feeling at the time.

Quietly she tells him she should go, that Howard will be coming to see her after work. Pete, not sleeping after all and just quietly enjoying feeling relaxed for the first time in a long time, cracks a joke about how she wasn't able to find her nephew's birthday party for four hours (this was the lie she told she get out of the hospital in the first place). But when Beth starts to slide out of the bed, he pulls her back, wanting to lie with her a bit longer.

He tells her that she can't say she isn't happy now or doesn't feel better, and that does sour things slightly. She pulls out of his arms and sits on the edge of the bed, putting on her bra. Pete, more serious now, tells her she can't let Howard do this to her, calling him a monster. Trying to keep some levity in the moment, Beth cracks that he just dislikes Howard for voting for Goldwater, but Pete doesn't want to joke, he's serious now.

His proposed solution? One very familiar to Don Draper: he suggests they just run away and live in California. It's full of sunshine, it's impossible not to be happy there! She can't though, and when he asks why not she opens herself up, revealing without outright saying it that her depression causes such a darkness inside of her that she has contemplated suicide on more than one occasion.

Lane's recent suicide fresh on his mind, Pete turns his head away and mutters that is a recourse for "weak people" who can't solve a problem. Seeing she won't get constructive dialogue from him on this subject (yet another reason why she's in a situation where the "only" option given to her is electro-shock therapy), she turns the mood light again, saying he can "solve" the problem of zipping up her dress. She sits with her back to him and he pulls her into his arms again, asking what will happen if she forgets she loves him?

She doesn't want to have this conversation, and so she offers a rather brutal but honest assessment of their relationship: neither of them know each other, they just happen to have the same problem. What she means is that they're in unhappy marriages, but Pete proclaims that they're only sad because they're apart. "Then I was wrong," she notes, whether our of genuine agreement or just to make him happy, but she still has to go, and she still has to do the treatment, because for as bad as it is... it works. Temporarily at least.

Pete, considering this, finally acquiesces and gives her a loving kiss on the head. He doesn't release her though, asking for just five more minutes. With a quiet nod, she agrees, and they lay there together for what at least one of them assumes will be the last time.

Don returns home to find Megan and Marie drinking wine on the couch. He promises that his tooth feels better, and Marie explains she made soup to be on the safe side. He steps into the bedroom to get changed, and Megan excuses herself from her mother and slips into the bedroom to join him, ready to follow-up on her earlier chat with Emily.

She starts by checking on his health, noting she didn't get a kiss so is he telling the truth about feeling better? He promises he is and they kiss, and she makes a point of collecting up his things for him to change into as she "casually" mentions that Emily told her Butler Shoes were shooting a commercial. "Beauty and the Beast," agrees Don, and Megan follows up noting that Emily further said they were after a European girl. That got her thinking, and she'd be mad at herself if she didn't ask.... but she thinks SHE would be right for it.

Oh poo poo.

Not Emily. Not a friend. Her. Megan wants the part.

Don hadn't really been paying attention but that has gotten his focus. She sits on the bed beside him and passes him her screentest reel, not explaining why she just so happens to have one. He expresses his disbelief, not that she'd ask him for this but that she'd have any interest in doing a commercial... he thought she hated advertising.

Oh double poo poo.

Now she gets upset, because this has turned around into Don continuing to hold it against her that she rejected working as a copywriter despite her obvious talent for it. Trying and failing not to sound condescending, not like he's taking out his resentment on her now, he points out it isn't theatre, film or television, it isn't art like she is always talking about wanting to be in. She counters that any of her friends would kill to be have part in a national commercial.

She is trying to keep her mood light and breezy, both to hide how mortified she is to be doing this and also so as not to offend him by getting upset at his frankly rather insulting response. To be fair to Don, he has also kind of been ambushed with this, but he doesn't do himself any favors when she points out a commercial gets you exposure and a Union membership and he counters that the only reason her friends would want it is for the money... and she doesn't need any.

Triple poo poo with a side of oh gently caress.

Megan's face just collapses, her eyes searching Don's for any sign of recognition or commiseration with her pain. Quietly she asks him a simply, heartbreaking question: does he know how hard it was for her to even ask him? He doesn't, of course. Nor does he know the extra guilt heaped on top that she asked for herself rather than the friend who first brought her attention to the commercial.

Don of course counters grumpily that it'll be just as hard for him to ask Charles Butler Jr. to hire his wife, and when Megan assures him like Emily did her that she just wants a chance, her name added to the pile, that she'll do it under the name Megan Calvet, he points out that Ken, Stan and Ginsberg would all be there and know her. He winces as a sharp pain emanates from his tooth again, and for the moment she forgets all about this argument and is just the worried wife, insisting she call a dentist.

"I'm better," he insists, and as if the pain and her reaction finally triggered some sense of empathy in him, he calms himself down and tries to talk this through calmly. Megan telling him to forget what she asked but explains that her continued failure to find work has been hard on her. Don can understand that, but he has a point when he notes this is NOT the way she should want this: she wants to be somebody's discovery, not somebody's wife.



As they talked, the phone started to ring and both ignored it. But as it continues, with some irritation he asks if she is going to get it (the... the phone is RIGHT next to him!), and she tells him somebody has been calling and hanging up up all day. Now he's mad, but he also has something "safe" to take it out on, so he snaps up the receiver and asks hello, and when he gets no response demands to know who it is.

For a moment there is silence, and then a voice asks if Marie is there. "Emile?" asks Don, and we cut to the other side of the phone where indeed a white-haired man sits hoping to speak to Marie Calvet.... but it's not her husband Emile, and his "accent" wouldn't fool Megan if she heard it, but thankfully it's Don on the other end when the caller asks,"Marie, s'il vous plait." Itís NOT Glen after all, obviously, and thank God, but who is it?

It's Roger Sterling. Oh God.

Don quietly tells Megan that it is her father and he thinks he is drunk. With a sigh, Megan steps out into the living room and tells her mother daddy is on the phone. She picked up and says hello, and Megan bellows out to Don that she's got it, so he hangs up. NOW Roger is speak freely, revealing to Marie that it is him, and Marie only takes a second before declaring in French that yes she is alone and they can speak freely since Megan is in the other room.

Getting the hint, Megan returns to the bedroom to give her mother her privacy, while a bewildered Roger tries to explain to the still French-speaking Marie that he hasn't got a clue what she is talking about.... but he is fascinated by her use of the word (actually name) "Regina"!

Megan brings Don a drink to help with his pain, and he promises her that if he could help her with getting the part he would. She tells him she understands but excuses herself to take a bath before dinner, turning on the tap and then taking a moment to stare at herself in the mirror, breaking down into sobs as she faces up to the humiliation of "betraying" a friend and her own dignity and getting absolutely nothing from it.

Unaware of her daughter's devastation, Marie is enjoying a flirty chat with Roger, surprised but not displeased he knew she was in town (Don was complaining she was drinking all his liquor, Roger quips), especially pleased that he wants to see her but teasing him that they could arrange a dinner between the four of them. Taking her at her word momentarily, Roger asks if she'd really be willing to do that and she warns him that no, she is NOT that type of woman.

But when Roger - who is of course calling from his office, because he really has nowhere else to go or be - asks her to come and have dinner with him in his "apartment" and that the bellboy who brings them room service will be their chaperone, she is intrigued. Not by room service itself (she's not the coat check girl), but by the fact he's currently living at the Stanhope Hotel (he could just move back into his old place, surely? Jane is out now).

When he promises that all he wants from her this time is conversation (she used her mouth in other ways the last time they met) she agrees, but warns him he must lower his expectations. "Below conversation?" he asks, and she can't help but laugh. They hang up, and she is left intrigued and flattered and most of all feeling desired, something she hasn't had from Emile in a long time.

Don sits in his bedroom and drinks to numb the pain of his tooth and the exhaustion of his "discussion" with Megan. The scene transitions to the next day, and Don - looking a little the worse for fear as his tooth continues to bother him - returns to the office. It is a bustling place now, the extra money and the momentum of the success from Jaguar has the place buzzing, the Creative Lounge filled with workers but so too Lane's old office, which has been converted to another Creative space to take in the extra freelancers they hired on in the wake of their victory.

As Don passes that room, where Lane Pryce once agonized over financial issues both before and after his fall from grace, a man sitting at a typewriter catches his attention... once again, it's Adam Whitman, seemingly back form the dead, working away. Adam turns and stares directly at Don as he moves past the door, knowing he can't have seen what he thought he saw, continuing on to his office.

Dawn greets him, collecting his hat and coat and letting him know Mrs. Harris has been waiting in his office for some time. He steps inside and finds Joan waiting as promised, and as he takes a seat behind his desk she takes one on the other side to explain that she wants to reopen discussing the extra space. Don jokes that he hopes she isn't going to put somebody in HIS office next, and she admits with a forced breeziness that belies her obvious bitterness that she's starting to wonder why she is bothering to be so responsible and careful... because the money just keeps rolling in.

She presents him with an envelope, the source of her bitterness. Just like Howard Dawes warned, the Life Insurance Policy that all the partners have with the firm is really more to the benefit of the Agency itself than the families of the deceased. Lane Pryce's Death "Benefit" has come in, another cruel joke from the universe that makes a mockery of the $7500 that lead to him taking his own life: SCDP has benefited $175000 from Lane's death, almost 25 times the amount he "loaned" himself, more than triple his own money that he put into the Agency to keep it afloat in the aftermath of Lucky Strike's pullout.

Don's shock is quickly covered up, a lifetime of practice in hiding his emotion coming to the fore as he tries to pretend the amount doesn't astonish him and that it doesn't leave him feeling wracked with guilt. Joan, however, doesn't mind expressing her emotions (which is why she'll probably live to 100, and Don probably won't), admitting that she can't stop thinking and asking herself WHY did Lane do it? What could she have done to prevent it?

"Nothing," insists Don firmly, mostly because he's trying hard to convince himself that he couldn't have prevented Lane's suicide even though he does blame himself (and, rather uncharitably, that was probably part of Lane's intention on top of everything else, to make Don feel bad). But of course he is living in his own little world, it never occurred to him that Lane might have had interactions with others that cause them to feel guilt to.

Such is the case for Joan, who ponders if she could have in some way kept him from killing himself if she'd just swallowed her pride (not for the first time) and given him what he wanted. "What did he want?" asks a confused Don, and she simply gives him a meaningful stare that says it all: he wanted HER of course, in spite of Joan never offering him any encouragement, and now she believes if she'd just let him have his way with her if might have kept him alive.

It's illogical but understandable. Had she done as she now wishes she had, it would have changed things of course, but not for the better, and it would have caused stress and tension between them for absolutely no gain. She is also ignorant of Lane's tax woes, his fears of exposure, or that indeed Don had fired him the Friday before he killed himself.

Don knows all those things, but there is no point in airing that dirty laundry now and perhaps making her think less of a man she clearly liked and respected in spite of his moments of lecherous desire for her. So he points out that they should pay back the money Lane put into the Agency out of the Death Benefit, and when she asks if they should take a vote he simply states,"No," and leaves it at that: it's clear he's long since past believing his fellow Partners will do the "right" thing.

Joan leaves, noticing his wince of pain and suggesting he go to a dentist she knows on the top floor of the Chrysler Building... even if the dentist can't help, you get a great view! He insists of course that the problem will just go away by itself. She leaves, passing Dawn who was waiting with the ice outside the door for their meeting to finish. Joan is quick to remind him to put the ice on his face and NOT in his drink, and he does just that, sighing in relief as the coldness numbs his face. This pain at least he can take steps to mask, even if he refuses to do the actual sensible thing and get it fixed... kinda the Don Draper playbook, really.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Marie pops into Don and Megan's bedroom, calling to her daughter to get up, letting her know it's noon. Lying prone in bed, Megan mumbles that she doesn't feel well and that Marie should go to The Cloisters without her. Marie strides up and puts a testing hand against Megan's forehead, judging that she doesn't have a fever, and Megan admits miserably that she's just too sad to do anything.

"I know," agrees Marie, no fool. But when Megan asks what she should do, the advice she gets isn't what she wants to hear at all, as Marie takes the chance to criticize her: she lives in a beautiful home and she has a handsome husband who will give her anything she wants.... even if she won't give him a family.

THAT does raise Megan out of her funk a little, as sadness is replaced by anger, demanding to know why Marie is always so kind to strangers but doesn't care what SHE wants to do? Marie is untroubled by the accusation, gently stroking her arm and explaining that Megan is chasing a phantom. Even more appalled, Megan gasps that she is supposed to be encouraging, perhaps remembering what Emily said about Marie's nature, but Marie simply smiles and states simply that not ever little girl gets to do what they want... the world cannot support that many ballerinas!

"Is that what you tell yourself?" snaps Megan harshly, lashing out at her mother to make her feel bad for making HER feel bad. Marie sits stunned for a moment, then harshly declares that she is an ungrateful little bitch, before turning her face away from her daughter and exclaiming to nobody (but making sure Megan hears) that she thanks God her children aren't her whole life.

With that she leaves, a miserable Megan left behind feeling even worse than before, now believing that her mother doesn't just not believe in her dream but thinks she is "an ungrateful little bitch". Her own lashing out was in reaction to Marie's "kind" cruelty, but Marie is a hell of a lot more practiced at the art of chipping away at somebody's ego: hell she's had decades of practise with Emile (who probably gives as good as he gets). She sees Megan has everything she wishes she had for herself, so of course she is outraged that Megan doesn't seem to value it, ignoring a lesson hard learned by so many of the women (and some of the men) in this show: being financially secure doesn't automatically equate to happiness.

Meanwhile, Don is paying a painful visit he has been putting off... and it isn't to the dentist. Rebecca Pryce stands at the door to what is now HER apartment rather than hers and Lane's, letting him in with icy politeness, explaining she is waiting on a bed delivery for her mother who is coming to stay with her.

She allows him to take a seat but offers him no refreshment, simply stating that she has "nothing" in the house, which might be a reference to the poor state of her financial affairs but is far more likely a coldly polite way of saying,"gently caress you I'm not giving you anything to eat or drink."

Don apologizes for not expressing his condolences before now, explaining that with the funeral happening abroad (of course the final insult to Lane would be that he be buried in a country he no longer considered home) and her declining their offer of a memorial service, he wasn't sure how to go about doing so. "We're not ones to wallow," Rebecca offers back, putting it down to a difference between the American and British culture.

Reaching into his coat, Don withdraws an envelope and extends it to Rebecca, explaining that in the previous year each of the Partners put in collateral to secure credit for the Agency. Though they had six years to repay that collateral, it was "unanimous" that the return the full amount to her now to help her through the difficult time.

She stares at the envelope, not trusting it but also knowing she can't refuse it, and finally reaches out and takes it before immediately standing to indicate this awkward meeting is over. He stands, and now finally the bitterness can't be contained anymore, and she sneers that she hopes HE feels better now. Confused, he assures her the amount will help, and she demands to know how much it is. "$50,000" he explains, but if he expects her to swoon with gratitude that will assuage his grief, he doesn't get it.

Instead, Rebecca snarls that he had no right to fill "a man like that" with ambition. Turning, she strides to a table and pulls Lane's wallet out of the drawer, revealing something that she found inside, presenting it to Don and demanding to know who it is.

It is, of course, Delores. Don has no idea who that is, no idea that Lane himself didn't know who she was, only ever spoke to her once on the phone and kept the photo simply as a fantasy of what he dreamed might be. For him, this was the last thing he expected when bringing a widow a check for $50,000, to have it greeted with disdain and then a photo of a stranger jabbed in his face as accusations were leveled against him.

With utter contempt she asks him to cast his mind beyond the office to all the brothels he frequents, making it clear she believes that Don was a corrupting influence, perhaps recontextualizing the Edwin Baker disaster and believing that Lane was indulging in the same degenerate behavior as all the other Partners.

"I should go," Don quietly says, knowing there is nothing to be gained by remaining. She agrees, but as she lets him out he turns to do the right thing, offering one more,"I'm sorry for your loss." She has regained her composure but not lost her bitterness, and now she hits him with a brutal body-shot that hits all the harder because it is so accurate. The Agency owed Lane Pryce far more than giving her $50,000 of Lane's OWN money, so she doesn't want him leaving here thinking his "magnanimous" gesture was doing anything for anyone but himself.

She closes the door in his face, even then with control rather than slamming it or losing her temper. Don simply walks away, and any hopes of assuaging his guilt go with him. Because she's right, this payment was his way of trying to feel better about the blame he assigned to himself for Lane's death, and in the end what did he do? He simply gave her back Lane's own money. In some sick way, it's a validation of Lane's own (twisted) logic about why he felt justified in stealing the $7500.... it was after all "his" money.

On top of all the tragedy though, one thing that stands out to me... Rebecca has remained in the United States. She hated being there at first and her and Lane's relationship was a strained affair at the best of times. After their reconciliation though, from the first episode of this season we saw her as a changed woman. Happy, supportive, loving, indulgent of her husband's foibles but ever pushing him not in a nagging way but a gentle, encouraging way to act in his benefit.

With Lane dead, and especially with the funeral taking place in England, you'd almost expect that she'd welcome the chance to return to London in spite of her earlier criticism of the decline in manners there. But here she is, back in America, still making a go of it, even having her mother come to stay. Is it as simple as not wanting to disrupt Nigel's education any more than it already has been? Or did she truly come to love New York and consider it home? Is remaining here the last gesture/memorial she can make to a man who she thinks should have never been "ambitious"? In spite of everything, in spite of Delores, was this a final way of saying,"I love you?" to a man who broke her heart?

This is one of the (many) great things about a show like Mad Men. Even a relative minor supporting character like Rebecca Pryce ends up being such a complex, interesting and fascinating character.



Pete returns home to his own beautiful and loving wife and family, seeing Trudy happily feeding little Tammy at the table. Pete takes a moment to brace himself before forcing a smile as he sucks up the tragedy of being married to a beautiful woman who loves him near unconditionally and has never been anything but supportive of him, maybe thinking about how much it must suck for Beth to have such an ungrateful dipshit of a husband as he does so.

He grabs a beer out of the fridge and Trudy tells him dinner is in the other room, but she left out the plans she wanted him to see at the table. He steps up and takes a look, confused at what he is seeing, and she reminds him they're plans for the pool they're going to be building. He stares at the mockups, showing dad (him) relaxing at poolside while the loving wife of course brings him drinks and the toddler wades into the water. It's an idealized form of the American dream, of domestic perfection... and it terrifies him.

Staring quietly at it, he mumbles that he isn't sure about this, the addition of a pool is permanent (by which he means, it commits him to remaining here in the suburbs) but she just pleasantly notes this as a positive: it adds tremendous value to the property! "Tammy could drown...." he adds, not intentionally maliciously but perhaps feeling a little of that "blue" that Beth mentioned himself. This is a step too far for Trudy though, who snatches Tammy up as she starts crying, demanding to know what is wrong with him and warning she is tired of his doom and gloom as she carries the baby out of the room.

It's a very good question!

Meanwhile, Marie and Roger's conversation is going great! In that they launch themselves through the doors of the bedroom making out like crazy as they crash into the bed. Marie chuckles that everything Roger said was a lie: there was no dinner, no chaperone and especially no conversation, but Roger just grins and tells her to stop acting demure... she's already on the bed!

They make out some more, and she admits that she's glad he called. He admits he is glad she came, and not for the obvious reason he wanted. She playfully shoves his face away, not believing him, but he insists, admitting that he has been shaken by Lane's suicide... because it's made him consider faith of all things. For Lane to have committed suicide, Roger is convinced Lane must have been sure he would be going somewhere better, or else how could he have done it?

This, of course, makes perfect sense to Roger, who has spent his life in pursuit of something better, something more exciting, more fresh or new or young or energizing. Marie isn't sure she likes where this is going though, especially when Roger starts talking about he feels like his "better place" is right here with her.

And then he asks her to take LSD with him!

She bursts out laughing in shock, and he explains that her heady mix of calmness and adventurousness inspires and excites him. He wants to take LSD again to really feel "here", but he doesn't want to do it alone, and he feels like if he does it with her he will be alright. Marie takes this in seriously, and offers a serious response: she doesn't want him to ask anything of her or expect anything of her, nor will she provide it.

This isn't what she's here for. She has a husband already, one who infuriates her as much as she infuriates him. With Roger she simply wants the excitement and the taboo and that is enough. "Oh," Roger offers, but when she places his hand on his breast and asks if there is something else she CAN do for him... he gets over his disappointment pretty drat quickly!

Don returns home and finds a clearly wine-drunk Megan waiting for him on the couch. She switches off the television, slurs that she misses him and then stands up to seductively approach him... and stumbles and falls to the floor. He's quickly to her side, helping her up and telling her that he'll get her to bed, asking where her mother is and simply taking it in stride when she moans that Marie abandoned her.

They flop onto the bed together, Megan still trying to "seduce" him in her sloppy fashion, but when he cringes back from her attempt to kiss him she grasps that it's not distaste for her but the pain from his tooth. The mood - what little there was - is gone in an instant, and she flops back in the bed and grunts at him in exasperation to just go to the dentist... because she NEEDS him right now.

He tries to calm her down, but with a pained moan she says this is the only thing she's good for, that this is all he wants from her: to be the willing, waiting receptacle for him to come home to, loving and grateful and otherwise non-existent as anything other than an extension of himself. That isn't what he wants, or at least he doesn't want that to be what he wants, and he tells her as much. Megan, even if she's drunk, knows that too... but makes a heartbreaking point: it's either that he refuses to give her a chance OR she is a terrible actress, and whichever is true is ultimately pointless because how the hell would HE know?

"You're really drunk," is all he can offer, not wanting to engage in an argument on this but also knowing there is some truth to what she has said: he has made all the right noises about supporting her desire to be an actor but he hasn't really engaged in it beyond the odd surly remark about how she hates advertising or abandoned him and the happy little bubble he'd put himself into with her being there at work and here at home for him.

Whether a blessing or a curse, Marie comes home at that point, calling out a greeting that distracts them both. Don tells her to sleep it off and slips free from the bed, while she rolls over and curls up into a miserable drunken stupor. Don leaves the bedroom, where Marie is a handy target for him to unburden himself of some of his own anger and upset over this blight on his home life, choosing to blame her for Megan's state.

Marie though is both unapologetic and unphased by Don's accusations about her abandoning her daughter to be a drunken mess. She was out with her own friends in New York (Don's business Partner!) and after all, she is HIS wife....when she left Emile and Marie's home she was a happy girl, so she won't accept the blame. Don can play the blame game too though, noting that her "happy" girl is miserable when Marie comes to visit, but Marie simply shrugs and warns that this is what happens to somebody who has an artistic temperament but is not an artist.

That is a rather cold thing to say about her own daughter, but it does play into what Don perhaps suspects or believes about Megan, about what Joan assumed in spite of Peggy's claims otherwise: that Megan simply doesn't have what it takes to be an actor, even if it is something she desperately wants. Marie, that confident smile on her face infuriating now, gives Don her advice: if he nurses Megan through this defeat, he will have the happy home he desires. With that she's off to write postcards to friends about her adventures in Manhattan, none of which are likely to mention her affair with Roger or her fight with her daughter.

Don is left considering what she said, the rather callous call to him to gently guide Megan into giving up her dream so he can get what he wants for himself. It's a strategy that basically removes almost all agency from Megan herself, and the horrible thing is that Marie probably thinks she is doing her daughter a favor, assuming like too many parents do that their children REALLY have the same values and likes/dislikes as themselves and just need to "mature" into understanding it.

Is that what Don wants? Wouldn't that just be treading down the same path that helped cause the collapse of his marriage to Betty? Standing alone in the dark in his own home, Don can't even bring himself to pick up a discarded piece of clothing when he bends down to get it, affected by the sudden sharp returning pain of his tooth. Instead he slumps down into the chair, miserable and alone, not sure what he wants or if he is willing to do the things that would get fulfil his own selfish desires.



The next day he has finally surrendered, giving up on the mad pretense this his tooth would simply get better on its own. He sits in a dental chair, mouth stretched open as the dentist roots around and comments that he was dangerously close to developing an abscess and in a worst case scenario losing a jaw: he should have had this tooth extracted days ago.

Don has to feel stupid as he admits he was hoping the problem would just go away, and the dentist puts on the gas mask and steps out the room as the gas does it work and knocks him out... until a shadow crosses over his face and he opens his eyes to see Adam Whitman - rope burn purple and angry around his neck - grinning down and telling "Dick" he's in bad shape.

He stares up at his dead brother, bewildered, groggy from the gas, and asks what he is doing here. With a shrug Adam conversationally points out that you lose your job when you die! Reviewing Don's mouth, he notes that he'll have to take it out... but it isn't the tooth that is the rotten thing inside of him. He goes to leave, and Don reaches out to stop him, in a daze, delirious and confused but knowing he doesn't want the brother he abandoned to go again.

The guilt of Lane's death has triggered the thought of Adam, another man whose suicide Don blames himself for, and even if some part of him knows this isn't real he doesn't want it to end. Even if he's telling him cruel "truths" that Don believes about himself, that there is something rotten and wrong within him that causes other people pain. Like Adam. Like Lane. Like Betty. And now perhaps even Megan?

"I'll hang around," promises Adam, a big grin crossing his face as he points to the rope burn and asks Don if he gets it. The lamp turns off and suddenly Don, blood caked around his mouth, is back in the real world, looking up confused at the dentist who is explaining to him that he can't smoke for at least 24 hours and should take the rest of the day off. With that he simply leaves the room, and a still groggy Don looks around perhaps half-thinking he will see Adam still there. There's nothing though, just one enormous and bloody tooth with a black circle of decay in it: the source of all his pain. Or one of them, at least.

At the hospital, a nurse pops into Beth Dawes' room to let her know that her brother has come to visit. Surprised but pleased when she sees Pete looking in over the nurse's shoulder, she quickly agrees and asks him to come in. The nurse beams at the two of them, agreeing with Pete that they share the same eyes, then leaves them alone.

Beth, delighted, points out that she doesn't have a brother, and a pleased Pete explains it was the only way he could get in. She is confused though, what is he doing here? Gently, wistfully, Pete admits that he was worried about her, and she takes that in, a small moment of panic on her face before she quickly shores it up and nods, agreeing that that's right, as if she'd simply forgotten something obvious but remembered now.

It sinks in too late for Pete. When she greeted him with a smile and let him in, when she gleefully told him she didn't have a brother.... she wasn't playing along to trick the nurse, she wasn't in on the little game that Pete was playing. She knows she doesn't have a brother.... but she has no idea who Pete is.

"I'm sorry, I'm in the wrong room," he says after a single horrified moment. He stands to leave but she insists he stay, all pleasant smiles, living inside her little gray fog, just happy to have company, all her pain and anguish temporarily washed away by the electroshock to leave her in a kind of happy stupor that will only last as long as it takes for the miserable nature of her marriage to make her feel "blue" again.

He claims he is here to see a friend, but she wants him to stay, so he does. She wants to know about his friend and what is wrong with him, and so a miserable, soft-spoken Pete tells her their story, hating that she will never know that it was about them. So he tells her his friend got involved with another man's wife and that there were complications.

It is a sad, compelling performance from Vincent Kartheiser as Pete lays out all the reasons his "friend" chose to have the affair. Part of what makes the scene work so well is that Pete - being Pete - edges so close to self-awareness in what is an expression of genuine emotions that were long overdue being shared... but he never quite makes the leap, never quite sees the connection.

He talks about how it made his "friend" feel young and strong and loved again. That it was exciting, and thrilling, and made him feel alive. That when it was over, it broke his heart, and made him realize the family he did have were a temporary bandage over a permanent wound. The wife who loves him, the child they made, the perfect family home, the success at business. Pete knows he should be happy, and he knows he isn't.

Acknowledging that is good... it's just sad that he never quite makes the next step to realizing that there isn't some exterior source that is the cause of this lack of satisfaction he feels. The closest he gets is talking about a permanent wound, but even then he can't or won't acknowledge that HE is the source of his unrest and his unhappiness. He can't stand the idea of being "done", of being settled in the suburbs with a wife, a kid, even a pool, and that being it for the rest of his life. He'll continue to work and get lauded and bring in business and make money, and go home to his loving family and beautiful house... and that will be it. That will be all he does, all he has to do, and it isn't enough and it isn't exciting and it doesn't make him feel alive.

Beth takes this all in, a sounding board who doesn't realize that he'd put all his hopes in her giving him that excitement and pep he was missing. What is left of her is a pleasant, happy and warm woman... and completely lacking in the fire, the energy and yes even the stubborn streak that he found so appealing. She promises him that the hospital will fix his "friend" up, that they're very good. "He'll be fine," Pete agrees, and then leaves her room. He came to see Beth Dawes... but she's not there anymore.

At a movie theater, Don does something he hasn't done in a long time - or that we haven't seen him do. He's decided gently caress work for the day, persumably due to his tooth, and just gone off to see a film. But as he walks down the aisle, he realizes that he's not the only one who has had that idea... Peggy Olson is there too!

Spotting him, she is startled for a moment and then leaps up and hugs him, asking how he is. A broad and genuine smile on his face, he asks if she is waiting for somebody but no, she's here alone. She steps along to let him have the seat beside her and settle in, their happiness at seeing each other erasing the painful means by which they last parted ways.

So why is she here? He can't resist teasing, asking if she lost her job, and with a grin she says no before cheekily asking him if he lost his! She asks after Megan and he smiles thinly that she is fine, before a more natural grin spreads across his face and he points out she is rather early in her tenure at CGC to be avoiding the office. She can tease back just as easily now, no longer his underling (and she long considered them peers even then), pointing out that she's knocking out the cobwebs: a trick she learned from a certain somebody!

They sit happily together for a moment, and then Don asks how things are going. They're going good, though she asks if that is "okay" for him, and he admits that this is what happens when you help somebody: they succeed and they move on.

"Don't you want them to?" she asks, pondering why he would be sad about that, and Don replies by saying the one thing he knows he should have said when she told him she was leaving to work elsewhere... words she has probably dreamed of hearing in only her wildest fantasies.

"I'm proud of you."

He admits that he just didn't know she would go ahead and succeed like she did without him, but it's clear that he doesn't begrudge her this. When he asks what she's working on now, she shows off her cigarette and notes it's the women's cigarette he'd always been after, and with a sigh he admits that he misses that "easy money". She agrees it's easy to have... just not easy to win, but he assures her with full and sincere confidence that she will crack it and win the Account.

With great pleasure she informs him that she will be going to Virginia to tour the factory, even if she will be going with Frank Gleason. Richmond is no Paris, but she's still going and that in itself more than anything makes her feel like she has finally arrived. The lights go out as the movie begins, though Peggy asks before they settle in to watch properly that he give his love to Megan, and suggests they, her and Abe get together for dinner. Don, still feeling sensitive on the subject of Megan, agrees with a quick yes, grateful that the movie is starting and they can spend the rest of the film watching in companionable silence.



An exhausted Pete is sleeping on the train, on his way back to the suburbs he hates, when a hand slaps down on his shoulder and he looks up to see Howard Dawes has happily joined his "buddy". Howard settles across from him and gleefully suggests they get off at Harrison, go back into the city and "make some trouble", because he's on his own and Pete can even tell Trudy the truth that he fell asleep to cover his absence!

"You are the most disgusting person I have ever seen," sneers Pete, revolted that Howard would be so eager to go out and cheat on his wife after making her go through electroshock therapy. Not grasping the sincere revulsion, Howard laughs it off thinking Pete is just being a bit of a wet fish... until Pete just comes right out with it, asking how Howard could do something so cruel and allow the hospital to erase Beth's brain.

Howard isn't the brightest spark, but he can put 2 and 2 together. For a second he's confused as to how Pete could possibly know this, and then it all clicks and shockingly his reaction is.... amusement? "It's YOU!?!" he gapes, before shaking his head and saying with disgust (for Pete yes, but also for Beth) that she always spreads her legs for the first chump she can find.

That is more than Pete can handle. Outrage, he launches himself at Howard, the two of them brawling, tumbling to the floor, the larger Howard quickly getting the best of Pete and managing to land a punch to his face that bloodies his lip. Then they're being hauled apart, a large train conductor separating the two and ordering them to go to separate cars. Howard complains that Pete started it and his things are in the bar, and the conductor simply states the latter is no surprise to him. Howard doesn't counter that, the conductor is a large, no-nonsense looking guy.

As Howard leaves, Pete calling him a prick as he goes, the conductor calmly tells Pete that he's going to take a couple of minutes to cool down and then he is going to go and apologize to Howard for starting the fight. Pete is shocked, and absolutely adamant he will do no such thing. The conductor is in no mood to argue, simply stating that Pete and Howard both are commuters and have to ride the train every day, and he doesn't like fighting on HIS train.

Pete, looking for an argument, wanting to vent, sarcastically asks if this is really the conductor's train, pointing out that he doesn't pay to ride on it, in fact THEY pay the conductor to ride on it. Yes, Pete literally pulls out the,"You work for us!" line and demands that the conductor go down there and apologize to Howard himself.

The conductor takes this in, nods, and then warns Pete that he's about to throw him off the train. "Go ahead, you fat piece of crap!" snaps Pete, offending the conductor who draws himself up tall and sternly reminds Pete that he is an Officer of the New Haven Line.

"I'm President of the Howdy Doody Circus Army!" sneers Pete, and the conductor has had enough, grabbing Pete and telling him he's coming with him. "Get your hands off me!" yelps a disgusted Pete, and shoves the conductor forcibly backwards as he fucks around...

https://i.imgur.com/s2Y230e.mp4

...and he finds out.

"You can't do that!" gasps a shocked Pete as the conductor simply collects his luggage and tosses it onto his lap, then simply remarks,"Get off the train," before walking away. Pete is stunned... there are CONSEQUENCES to his actions!?!

When he finally returns home, Trudy is sitting up knitting and is shocked to see him limping, bloody, and with a giant black eye. "Were you in another car accident!?!" she asks in a panic, indicating his late adoption of driving hasn't been smooth, and he manages to get out past his fat lip that the car is fine and doesn't have a scratch on it.

She doesn't care about the car though, she cares about HIM! She looks him over, mortified, and he mumbles that he fell asleep and drove into a ditch, hoping that she'll buy this as the reason for his injuries despite the car being undamaged. She doesn't question him, simply leads him like a child to the couch and settles him down, looks him deep in the eyes.... and tells him she can't live like this.

Oh my God, is it FINALLY happening!?! Has she seen reason at last!?!

But no, she's concerned for him, she's scared, worried about how hard he works to make a good life for them before then driving all the way out here from a long train trip from the city... she worries that one day he won't make it home. "I'll come home!" he assures her, after only a few days earlier telling his mistress he wanted to run away to Los Angeles with her.

But she tells him he was right, putting aside her own fears and trepidation, she promises him that tomorrow they're going to go and find him an apartment in the city, so on those nights when he works hard he can simply stay overnight rather than make the long and now obviously dangerous commute home.

What can Pete say? Nothing. He simply lets her curl up in his arms, this trusting and loving woman who wants only the best for him and continually gives him the benefit of the doubt, forgives his transgressions, and gives him nothing but near unconditional support.

This is part of what makes Pete's story so repulsively fascinating. Because he's not entirely unsympathetic, and he was right to be revolted by Howard's treatment of and attitude towards Beth... but look at his own towards Trudy? Not quite as cartoonishly evil, but even so... he doesn't deserve her, and he doesn't appreciate her, and yet she continues to there at his side, episode after episode, season after season.

Another husband considers his own wife. Don Draper sits in the conference room late one night at SCDP and watches Megan Calvet's screen test. What does he think as he watches it? There is little to be gleaned performance wise, there is no audio and Megan is mostly filmed from different angles while talking silently to the cameraman or aiming to convey particular moods. Is the smile that lights up his face when he sees her simply that of a husband who loves his wife? Or an ad man who recognizes a potential Beauty of their Beauty & the Beast campaign?

A line from his chance meeting with Peggy resonates. You help people, they succeed... and they move on. Is that what Don fears? That if he does aid Megan in her quest to achieve her dream, she will succeed and then move on without him? She accused him drunkenly of wanting her to fail, but she thought that it was because either he didn't think she had the talent or wanted her to himself. I think the truth is closer to the latter, but that doesn't tell the whole story. He fears that when she succeeds, she will realize that she doesn't need him, that somehow his well-hidden sense of inferiority, of being a fraud, will see him lose yet another woman from his life. He doesn't think Megan is a failure, he thinks HE is a failure, and that it will only be a matter of time before she sees that.

His mother died when he was born. Betty left him. Anna died. Megan stopped working with him. Peggy moved on. Megan almost got the Broadway part and we saw his reaction to the notion of her disappearing for 2-3 months. Will she abandon what little of her he has left if she succeeds?

Some time later (Pete's face has healed up somewhat) Joan Harris leads the other partners onto the 38th Floor. Clearly they abandoned the idea to table the discussion till June, the move to 38 is happening, and now it's just a matter of figuring out what goes where, and who gets what prime spot. Joan marks where she thinks the stairwell connecting the two floors should go, while Pete takes in the large windows and happily notes that he will have the same view as Don.

"Congratulations," offers Don back, long past caring who has a bigger office (especially since his is always big!). But even so, this is cause for celebration. At the start of Season 4, Don lied to upsell the success of SCDP, claiming they had taken over two floors of the Time-Life Building after starting from nothing. It was a lie that Cooper wanted no part of, as everybody was crammed into whatever space they could. Now, the lie has become the truth, and the five partners stand looking out at a fresh renewal of their Agency.

Notably, in the space between the two pillars in which they stand, the "phantom" of Lane Pryce is nowhere to be seen. The empty chair at the Conference Table, the office now occupied by Creatives and the flash of Adam Whitman in Don's mind... not there. The gaps are even, the spaces are filled. This is Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce now, and none of them feel the absence of Pryce, who helped make all this possible.



And so Season 5 ends. Don capitulated in the end, ignoring Marie's advice to nurse Megan through her failure and reap the rewards of her letting her dream go. Instead he props her up, risking it all in the hopes that her happiness would strengthen their bond and rekindle the creative, personal and professional happiness he felt during the first months of their marriage. She is Beauty for Butler Shoes, greeting Charles Butler Jr. happily on the set of their commercial, telling Don she loves him... but already being pulled away by calls to get in position, her kiss to him more cheek to cheek to avoid smearing her makeup.

Don watches as she excitedly goes to get her hair and make-up checked, Megan's attention on everything but him. He walks off the set, the fantasy exposed as mere set dressing in a open, dark void that he is walking into, leaving all that brightness behind.

As You Only Live Twice begins to play, this astonishing season that somehow improved on every great season that preceded it wraps up. Don enters a bar, taking a seat and smoking a cigarette as he orders an Old Fashioned. The camera pulls back, showing him alone, the one thing he doesn't want to be.

In Richmond, Virginia, Peggy Olson steps out of the shower brushing her hair, enjoying her first trip as Copy Chief, chasing down a lucrative tobacco contract, having finally "arrived" in Advertising. It's not quite as glamorous as one might have hoped though, as the view from her motel window isn't off a beautiful skyline or sweeping fields of tobacco, but two dogs humping on an asphalt carpark.

Pete Campbell sits at home, listening to music on his headphones, still hating the stillness of the suburbs, still unsatisfied with a life in which he has achieved immeasurable success and all almost entirely on the back of hard work (aided, it's true, by the headstart of a family pedigree and built-in connections, if not the fortune that should have gone with it).

Roger Sterling stares out at the city Pete longs for. There is no Marie with him, but he has decided to search for the meaning and "enlightenment" he once found, and has taken LSD by himself. He seems fine though, simply standing and staring out at the great city before him.... I mean, he is standing on a chair, but that's fine. Yeah he's spreading his arms like they're wings, but he's stationary and seems happy. Sure, he's completely buck-rear end naked... but he's otherwise fine!

At the bar, a young, pretty woman asks Don if he has a light. He lights her cigarette and she thanks him, then apologizes and admits her friend - another young, pretty woman at the end of the bar - was wondering if he is alone. Don simply sits for a few moments without speaking, then finally he turns his face to look at her, a small smile begins to curl his lips... and just as if it seems we might hear his answer, might see if Don can control those base urges he feared so much during his fever dream... the episode ends with a cut to black and a roll of the credits.



The answers we seek will come in season 6, and I can't wait to get there.

Episode Index

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 09:24 on Dec 6, 2021

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



I've never been as mad at a tv show as I was with this episode

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Gaius Marius posted:

I've never been as mad at a tv show as I was with this episode

The people needed to know the truth about the rampant dog humping going on in Richmond in the 60s!

In all seriousness, was it the electroshock storyline? Seeing this as the accepted and seemingly commonplace method of "curing" "feeling blue" was really horrifying. 1967 wasn't THAT long ago.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 07:06 on Dec 6, 2021

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




I once watched two dogs fighting over the contents of a garbage bag from the window of a train in Richmond, so this episode really resonated with me.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Jerusalem posted:

The people needed to know the truth about the rampant dog humping going on in Richmond in the 60s!

In all seriousness, was it the electroshock storyline? Seeing this as the accepted and seemingly commonplace method of "curing" "feeling blue" was really horrifying. 1967 wasn't THAT long ago.

Electroconvulsive therapy is actually quite effective for treating serious cases of depression
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/about/pac-20393894

It gets a bad rap from this time period when they'd just blast every dick and Jane with some current without anesthesia, but it's not some quack science

Anyways no, I watched this whole drat season in one go, and rode that entire emotional rollercoaster and then when Don walked away while "you only live twice" played I knew drat well where it was going. And I didn't like it one drat bit

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


You mention that Pete was clearly in another car accident that Trudy calls him out on, but I'm 95% sure she's referencing when Pete got the poo poo kicked out of him by Lane, and that was Pete's excuse at the time.

Great write-up as usual. Couldn't spot any Betty/Peggy mix-ups, but you did say that something was a great question after a cut off sentence - a copy/pasta issue?

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






a lot of really intricate writing and layering in this episode. the phantom being adam, lane, megans acting career, enlightenment, happiness. dons fear of losing megan being woven into the other stories as well. i love that the final question is specifically "are you alone?", its the exact phrasing that you can see don sit there and really, truly ponder before turning his head to answer.

i disagree somewhat on your read of pete in this episode. i think he does fully understand everything he is saying to beth and has internalized it. hes going home upset but ready to give up on his own phantom, seeing the pain of that situation, seeing (and being directly told by both beth and howard) that cheating isnt actually going to help his depression, only for the swerve of capitulation to him having an apartment...what else could he do but sit there and stay silent? after all, maybe he was too quick to give up...maybe just being in the city sometimes will be enough. maybe THIS is the thing that's missing! like i said in an earlier post, i dont view pete as malicious. hes someone that was told to want certain things, and isnt happy now that he has them. his malaise is that he doesnt understand why they dont make him happy, and he doesnt understand what would instead. its honestly a terrible emotional cage to be trapped in

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Gaius Marius posted:

Electroconvulsive therapy is actually quite effective for treating serious cases of depression
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/electroconvulsive-therapy/about/pac-20393894

It gets a bad rap from this time period when they'd just blast every dick and Jane with some current without anesthesia, but it's not some quack science

Anyways no, I watched this whole drat season in one go, and rode that entire emotional rollercoaster and then when Don walked away while "you only live twice" played I knew drat well where it was going. And I didn't like it one drat bit

yeah i've heard it described as a reset button for the brain, which is probably woefully inaccurate but does make an intuitive sort of sense.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






the way they shoot don leaving the set is the answer to the question of what hes really seeing when he watches megans demo reel: shes radiant, and in that high opinion and love for her, he feels self loathing for himself by contrast.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Paper Lion posted:

the way they shoot don leaving the set is the answer to the question of what hes really seeing when he watches megans demo reel: shes radiant, and in that high opinion and love for her, he feels self loathing for himself by contrast.

maybe.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Paper Lion posted:

i disagree somewhat on your read of pete in this episode. i think he does fully understand everything he is saying to beth and has internalized it. hes going home upset but ready to give up on his own phantom, seeing the pain of that situation, seeing (and being directly told by both beth and howard) that cheating isnt actually going to help his depression, only for the swerve of capitulation to him having an apartment...what else could he do but sit there and stay silent? after all, maybe he was too quick to give up...maybe just being in the city sometimes will be enough. maybe THIS is the thing that's missing! like i said in an earlier post, i dont view pete as malicious. hes someone that was told to want certain things, and isnt happy now that he has them. his malaise is that he doesnt understand why they dont make him happy, and he doesnt understand what would instead. its honestly a terrible emotional cage to be trapped in

I think the truest he has been to himself is that moment when he's talking to Beth and tells her that his family is a temporary bandaid on a permanent wound. But even then I don't think he can quite bring himself or simply still doesn't understand that he is a large source of the problems he has. There is a lot of people treating the symptoms rather than the cause in this series, not just restricted to Pete. He goes through regular bouts of deciding to clean up his act and be a good and loyal husband and father before he ends up feeling trapped and resentful again and doing something stupid that makes him feel guilty and go back to the cycle, but he never really quite seems to figure out that he is the common denominator for a lot (not all!) of his problems.

Gaius Marius posted:

It gets a bad rap from this time period when they'd just blast every dick and Jane with some current without anesthesia, but it's not some quack science

I did think to mention that I know it's been refined over time, but figured it was already verbose enough a write-up, especially since the way it was being administered in this episode was really quite awful, effectively ignoring a lot of very clear reasons why Beth might be feeling "blue" in her utterly miserable relationship with Howard.

Lady Radia posted:

You mention that Pete was clearly in another car accident that Trudy calls him out on, but I'm 95% sure she's referencing when Pete got the poo poo kicked out of him by Lane, and that was Pete's excuse at the time.

Great write-up as usual. Couldn't spot any Betty/Peggy mix-ups, but you did say that something was a great question after a cut off sentence - a copy/pasta issue?

Just left the start of an abandoned/rewritten sentence in there by mistake, thanks for spotting it!

I did wonder when she asked about another car crash if he'd made up a story to cover Lane beating him up back then, but figured it might be be drawing too long a bow - especially given he stressed the car was all right, which made me wonder if she'd gotten upset with him for denting or scratching up the car himself at some earlier point. Could be both things or neither, I guess the main point is that he has to lie to her this time for certain, because he's been out and about doing the wrong thing and he has to make up lies to cover up for his actions, which just adds to his stress and exhaustion which he usually ends up taking out on her in some way.

I've said it many times, but Pete really is a simultaneously fascinating and utterly revolting character. A lot of credit to Kartheiser for somehow managing to make such a loathsome figure often sympathetic or at least pitiable, and making it clear he often can't (or won't) help himself and just has to gloat at the wrong moment or rub somebody's face in something. Even that moment when all the Partners are up on the 38th Floor enjoying a moment of their mutual success, he has to make a point of declaring that he's going to have the same view as Don. It's the kind of thing you might think, or comment to your wife or even a friend... but to just blurt it out in front of Don and the other Partners for absolutely no reason? And he doesn't even realize it's a pretty lovely, pointless thing to say, but this continuous kind of poo poo really adds up and makes people grow to dislike you, especially when you do end up pulling something truly awful like the way he orchestrated making Joan prostitute herself for the Agency.

Edit: It's part of what makes the train conductor putting up with about 30 seconds of his bullshit and then just punching him in the face so good! Finally somebody (other than Lane) had enough and just hit him!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 09:39 on Dec 6, 2021

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


I've mentioned it before in spoilered posts but the fact they have "You Only Live Twice" playing juxtaposed with Don, a guy who's literally been two different dudes and is often living two lives, as he is literally walking away from his (second) wife, it just kills me. From both a narrative perspective and a sound perspective; the way the grandiose score comes in as he leaves the set, I get chills every time. It's gotta be one of my all time favorite scenes in the show.

I always thought Megan's drunk "that's all I'm good for" bit was pretty heartbreaking too as far as minor moments go. It's clear she doesn't just want to be "the trophy wife", she genuinely wants to make it on her own merits, but she's also having a great internal struggle with whether or not to take advantage of the connections afforded to her through her marriage. Not everybody has that type of privilege (which she's frequently made aware of) and it's cool that she didn't waste it, but you can tell the decision itself is going to have some lasting consequences for both of them

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



I suspect the retrospective on this season will be a doozy.

"Love is a stranger" by itself is a curiously ambiguous phrase. It could mean that love is completely absent from your life, or perhaps that love is present but you're unaware of it. It could also mean that "love" comes to one in the form of a stranger, through a chance meeting or a one night stand. We hear Nancy Sinatra sing the phrase as we see Pete and Don's faces; for all of their differences, they share the feeling that something is wrong with their lives— perhaps even that something is wrong with themselves—and they fill the void with work, with extramarital affairs, with alcohol, with miniature orchestras. They're a sad pair, more alike than either of them could know.

Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


Now that the season is over some unspoilered thoughts.

  • This episode is way way way blunt and is probably the worst season finale IMO. The last scene is a masterpiece and it makes me feel a lot better about the episode as a whole.
  • I hate the Adam stuff. It makes sense that Don would be thinking about him and if they really felt the need to work that angle in I would have been into it more with him just lurking and not speaking directly to Don.
  • Individual scenes in this episode are beautiful, the meeting with Rebecca, Meganís meltdown and Pete getting into his train fight are all great and the ending montage again is flawless.
  • I love the way they cut directly from Don walking out of frame in the dark warehouse into the bar.
  • The face on Hamm at the end is perfect. The ambiguity of the cut to black is fun but that face tells you everything you need to know.

Season 5 rules. Best episodes are Signal 30, Little Kiss, Codfish Ball and Commissions and Fees imo.

Mover
Jun 30, 2008

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


round of applause for don draper who has made it one full season without cheating on his wife

Ungratek
Aug 2, 2005



I remember groaning and feeling my eyes roll out of my skull when Adam tells Don "your tooth isn't what's rotten".

Great season though - every Pete story was incredible.

R. Guyovich
Dec 25, 1991



the "it's not your tooth that's rotten" is maybe the biggest over the top sledgehammer of a moment since the pilot. mad men is pretty good about threading the needle with things that in other shows would be the stuff of melodrama, but they poke themselves occasionally

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






its blunt, but it works, and the reason why is because it isnt for OUR benefit, its for DONS benefit. hes the one trying to ignore problems, and this tooth is the physical manifestation of that. which he then continues to ignore!!! this is his subconscious spelling things out for him as plainly as it can because he refuses to acknowledge anything consciously. the other reason why i believe this is because, frankly, i DONT think theres anything inherently wrong with don as a person. hes just traumatized as gently caress and has no tools to handle it. this is his own self loathing talking to him. the showrunners arent communicating that he is a bad person to us, its adam communicating what don really thinks of himself back to him.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


mad men is not a subtle TV show

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






i dont think thats entirely fair. on the first watch through, there is a lot of subtlety because you can tell that the actors are trying to convey SOMETHING but you dont really have that window into their minds yet, until we get information later in the show that really informs the earlier performances. don draper can be read like a book once you know what his deal is, the problem is that we dont find out the full extent of things until the crash in season 6. some characters we never get that full interiority for and are left making assumptions or putting the pieces together ourselves.

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



Lady Radia posted:

mad men is not a subtle TV show

I think mad men is very subtle in a lot of ways, but I also have a terminal case of the brick brain so I'm not the best judge of that sort of thing lol

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



R. Guyovich posted:

the "it's not your tooth that's rotten" is maybe the biggest over the top sledgehammer of a moment since the pilot. mad men is pretty good about threading the needle with things that in other shows would be the stuff of melodrama, but they poke themselves occasionally

Yup. I think the character interactions in normal life are pretty subtle, but their weird personal hallucinations sure aren't.

"It's not your tooth that's rotten" is up there, for sure. Then there's S6: "Dying doesn't make you whole. You should see what you'll look like." I guess you could throw in Betty's drug-fueled dream as she gave birth to Gene, or Roger's entire LSD experience. Bunch of hacks, these people's subconscious minds.

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


I like the weird hallucinations personally :shrug: they don't happen often but they're fun diversions. I think the weakest one I can think of is maybe the one with Don hiding the lady under the bed

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Theyre alright, they aren't Sopranos level dream sequences but really what is.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


I love how loving blunt the show is so saying it's the least subtle thing ever isn't an insult. Just yeah it has lines like "It's not your tooth that's rotten" and the entire Hobo Code episode.

algebra testes
Mar 5, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Lady Radia posted:

I love how loving blunt the show is so saying it's the least subtle thing ever isn't an insult. Just yeah it has lines like "It's not your tooth that's rotten" and the entire Hobo Code episode.

Hobo Code blew my mind when I first saw it lol.

I was a decade younger I guess.

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kalel
Jun 19, 2012



I've altered my opinion slightly, mad men is subtle in its themes but it is not subtle in its character interactions, if that makes sense. What the characters feel about themselves and about each other should be pretty obvious from scene to scene, but how those interactions fit together in the larger tapestry and what you're supposed to take away from it is very much left up to the viewer

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