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Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012


Ken certainly gains a different perspective of things by the end

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Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Gaius Marius posted:

Ken certainly gains a different perspective of things by the end

hahahahaha

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk



could you refresh my memory on that? vvv oh yes ty I'd forgot vvv

sebmojo fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Oct 21, 2020

lurker2006
Jul 30, 2019


sebmojo posted:

could you refresh my memory on that?
He gets shot in the face while he's out duckhunting with ford execs and loses an eye. This starts a little arc where he becomes disillusioned with the accounts game and wants to focus on his writing but then he goes back on it. Ken was always a secondary character on the level of Silvio and Kinsey but I though his end in the show was kind of abrupt.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


Yoshi Wins posted:

Pete is a jackass in this episode (unsurprisingly!), but we see that he is not 100% useless. His idea to shut Kennedy out of the Illinois ad market is clever. But it’s satisfying to see him miss out on some of the credit by letting Harry “take the blame” at first.

His glee at scoring a win for Nixon makes some of his later developments, like his visible disgust at Roger's Derby Day party and sadly huddling on the couch with Trudy following JFK's assassination - wearing his finest black mourning turtleneck, no less - that much wilder.

lurker2006 posted:

He gets shot in the face while he's out duckhunting with ford execs and loses an eye. This starts a little arc where he becomes disillusioned with the accounts game and wants to focus on his writing but then he goes back on it. Ken was always a secondary character on the level of Silvio and Kinsey but I though his end in the show was kind of abrupt.

Ken carries on a fulfilling writing career under multiple pen names, marries Larissa Oleynik, and manages to eventually take over her Dad's job as a Dow executive where all he'll really do is make things difficult for the company that made him miserable for a decade. He lost an eye and won at everything else.

a new study bible!
Feb 1, 2009



BIG DICK NICK
A Philadelphia Legend
Fly Eagles Fly



Ken also has one of the most fun scenes in the whole show.

All it took was some meth.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




a new study bible! posted:

Ken also has one of the most fun scenes in the whole show.

All it took was some meth.

And is essential to one of my favorite small scale fun scenes.

"I've started cooking—actually made myself a—what is it, honey?" "A Pop-Tart, Ed." "It was very good."

Adjunct Professor Metis
Aug 1, 2014




That final scene of Betty shooting the pigeons is such a clear memory in my mind. I had honestly forgotten what the context was, but it's just a fantastic image.

I am also loving this thread, and concur that you should ramble for as long as you want! I'm sad whenever I come to the end of one of your posts, so I was thrilled that there was a whole second one to keep reading!

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

We are Not Amused

Forktoss posted:

That's Chevrolet, not Heinz, isn't it?

It's both. After Heinz, Ted and Peggy come to drink and ask if they can join the lonely hearts club. Don and Pete say how do you know we aren't celebrating, and Ted say Obery (i don't know how to spell it) does and Heinz bought it in the room. It is part of the build up to Ted wanting the merger because he assumes the same thing will happen with Chevy.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God


Sash! posted:

And is essential to one of my favorite small scale fun scenes.

"I've started cooking—actually made myself a—what is it, honey?" "A Pop-Tart, Ed." "It was very good."

And it is so good because that his character is exactly the kinds of greatest generation guy who would be proud to put something in the toaster.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


KellHound posted:

It's both. After Heinz, Ted and Peggy come to drink and ask if they can join the lonely hearts club. Don and Pete say how do you know we aren't celebrating, and Ted say Obery (i don't know how to spell it) does and Heinz bought it in the room. It is part of the build up to Ted wanting the merger because he assumes the same thing will happen with Chevy.

Ogilvy, of real world ad firm Ogilvy and Mather. (I love the moment in "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" when Joan surmises that at least one other ad firm has already dragged the Honda executives to Benihana, thinking they're appealing to their tastes, and one of them grumbles "...David Ogilvy.")

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Jerusalem posted:

Welp it finally happened, after the last 8 episodes maxxed out at like 45k characters, I ended up going overboard on this one. If these things are getting way too verbose, let me know, and I'll try to be a bit more efficient with my wordcount. I tend to - and greatly enjoy - rambling on about a point

I think every episode can be sufficiently described within the limit of one post. There are some dialogue exchanges where you really only need the gist to get the point across. Then again the show is really rich with layered meaning and there are many instances of scenes or exchanges that become much more prominent in retrospect. It's never a bad idea to expound on a scene or bit of dialogue that seems significant, at least with this show

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013


Adjunct Professor Metis posted:

That final scene of Betty shooting the pigeons is such a clear memory in my mind. I had honestly forgotten what the context was, but it's just a fantastic image.

It's truly the first classic gif from the series.

pokeyman
Nov 26, 2006

That elephant ate my entire platoon.


Jerusalem posted:

Welp it finally happened, after the last 8 episodes maxxed out at like 45k characters, I ended up going overboard on this one. If these things are getting way too verbose, let me know, and I'll try to be a bit more efficient with my wordcount. I tend to - and greatly enjoy - rambling on about a point

It's arbitrary, and obviously you can do as you please, but I feel like keeping to one post per episode seems right. Though maybe that's impossible for e.g. a particularly busy season finale.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006



I just really appreciate the amount of analysis you put into these, it’s been a fun late night read.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Adjunct Professor Metis posted:

That final scene of Betty shooting the pigeons is such a clear memory in my mind. I had honestly forgotten what the context was, but it's just a fantastic image.

There's something about the cigarette dangling from her mouth, like she's just sitting there and then kinda shrugs, goes,"Welp, time to shoot some pigeons I guess..." and up she gets to go do what needs to be done.

Yoshi Wins posted:

It's truly the first classic gif from the series.

Roger just suddenly projectile vomiting out of nowhere for me

Annabel Pee
Dec 29, 2008


Jerusalem posted:

Francine drinks in hungrily Betty's stories of being a model, a past she knew nothing about and which excites her immensely... and Betty too, as she remembers the exhilarating, terrifying but ESPECIALLY freeing experience of being a model. She was even a muse for awhile for an Italian fashion designer named Giovanni who was obsessed with Americans (he wanted to be called Johnny) and gifted her a number of dresses. She kept all of them and of course they all still fit, and she models them to a gaping Francine who can't quite believe that Giovanni did all this for her... and their relationship was REALLY only platonic? It's an eye-opened for her and a treasured memory dusted off and reexamined for Betty, the memory of a time in her life where she was the center of attention and her life was full of energy and excitement.

Maybe its a really obvious reference, but is this supposed to be Gianni Versace?

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God


Annabel Pee posted:

Maybe its a really obvious reference, but is this supposed to be Gianni Versace?

I enjoy the idea of lil' Giovanni Versace taking photos in the 50s, I don't think that works.

Annabel Pee
Dec 29, 2008


haha oops, I thought he was a little older for some reason.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

gently caress those pigeons anyway

banned from Starbucks
Jul 18, 2004






The dog jumping up and eating a pidgeon was some of the worst effects I've seen

Incelshok Na
Jul 2, 2020


I enjoyed the show but I have zero interest in watching it again, so the long write-ups are nice. They take less time to read than it would to watch an episode so I win bigly. Keep writing, write as long as you want.

Farmer Crack-Ass
Jan 2, 2001

~this is me posting irl~


I'm also really digging the write-ups!

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012


I love jerusalem saying macanns guy took dons rejection well giving that the whole series could be read as an eight season play by him for don to make a drat commercial for coke. lol. I wonder how he'll react to the ending?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


Season 1, Episode 10 - Long Weekend
Written by Andre & Maria Jacquemetton, Bridget Bedard & Matthew Weiner, Directed by Tim Hunter

Bertram Cooper posted:

Don't waste your youth on age.

With the temperature nearing 100 degrees, Don Draper is still wearing a full suit and somehow looking cool as a cucumber as he descends the stairs in the morning to head out for work. He stops an excited Sally from running around inside the house carrying a kite, but winces slightly when she excitedly informs him that Grandpa and Aunt Gloria are there. Only half-joking, he conspiratorially asks if his daughter will keep quiet if he sneaks out, giving her the giggles.

In the kitchen, Betty is refusing to allow her father to have sugar in his coffee, telling him he can take or nothing. Gloria was all for giving him some, causing Betty to scowl and remind her amused father that Grandpa Herman "woke up a cold leg" and she doesn't want him getting diabetes and having to have a leg amputated. Sally rushes in to hug her grandfather and Don saunters in and gives him a respectful handshake and calls him Gene, though we already know from earlier conversations that he's not a particular fan of Betty's father.

He's his usual charming - if, of course, misogynistic - self with Gloria though, greeting her warmly before noting having another woman to help cook and clean will be a relief to Betty. Gloria jokes that she lives to serve and Gene jumps on that with great pleasure, declaring they're all witnesses: it's quickly become apparent that "Aunt" Gloria is simply what the kids call her, she's actually Gene's lover. This explains Betty's clear distaste for her too, though Don isn't too quick on the draw this morning and is left confused when Betty asks him to help her with her suitcase, reminding her the trip is only for a weekend.

When the penny finally drops and he joins her upstairs, Betty lets vent with her vitriol towards Gloria: she's a vulture, hanging around funerals with a top button undone like it was a Sadie Hawkins' dance, sinking her claws into her father the moment her mother was dead etc. She shits all over Gloria's character and also her family: her own late husband was a failure who cheated on his taxes! Her daughter - basically only Betty's age - "never" married and her son was (he's dead?) "funny".

Don of course, thinks she's overreacting, and he's right... but he's also foolish for not really grasping that it's probably healthy for Betty to just release all this vitriol to him now as a safety valve. She's about to take the kids and head up to spend a weekend with her father AND this woman she considers an intruder, she doesn't want Don to reason with her, she wants to unload. She especially doesn't like Don reminding her that her father remains a sexual being, telling her that unlike a housekeeper Gloria doesn't have to go home at night.

He might not like Glen, but he's also not unsympathetic to his situation. He was married for 40 years and now he's alone, it's only fair that he be allowed this happiness rather than living as a shrine to his daughter's idealized memories of her mother. He needs a woman around, not just for sex but to help look after him: he comes from a generation even more dependent than Don's on their wives and mothers to handle every single domestic duty there was. He tells Betty to just suck it up for tonight and then he'll join her tomorrow and take them all out to dinner, and they can enjoy the long weekend together as a family. She wants him to come now, but he can't: half the office have already taken advantage of a Friday off to make it a 4-day weekend, and he needs to complete his duties before he can join them on Saturday and enjoy three blissful days in the sun with his family... and "Aunt" Gloria.



Work isn't exactly an escape for Don though. He joins Pete, Paul, and Harry in a meeting room to watch two political ads. One is for the Kennedy campaign and is light on facts, issues or policy... but lighthearted, catchy and appealing. The other is for the Nixon campaign and it covers the pitfalls of federal expenditures... and is dull, boring and lifeless. Don can't even bear to watch the second fully, telling Harry to turn it off.

The team are both bewildered and slightly impressed that the Kennedy Campaign ad basically looks like an advertisement for a product, complete with catchy jingle. It doesn't tell anybody anything other than that it wants you to vote for Kennedy, but it does that very well. Pete Campbell not incorrectly points out that it pays to remember that the Presidency absolutely is a product, while Don laments that Nixon's ad was put together by people who understand policy but not people.

Paul lightens the mood by singing a jingle of his own mocking Nixon's boring campaign ads. That gets a laugh, but Don is still worried: given Nixon's record and status it should never have been this close to begin with. Once polls start closing, the narrative shifts: what was once a fait accompli is now not necessarily so cut and dry.

Roger enters the room late but tells Don that he's already seen the ads, and reminds everybody else that they need to be watching these as they air on television itself: part of their job is being aware of what the general public are seeing, not just what they get their hands on for viewing in meetings in closed rooms. Pete asks why there haven't been any ads making personal attacks on Kennedy... surely the muckrakers must have found something on him, so why hasn't it been all over the news?

The truth, of course, is that what mud there is doesn't actually matter. Kennedy's big "secret" is that he's a womanizer, and all of them understand that a young, handsome man like Kennedy being a womanizer in this day and age will actually be more likely to get him votes than lose them... hell, of all things it would probably get more WOMEN to vote for him. But while they've been all talking up Kennedy and down Nixon, Harry reminds them all that Nixon IS leading the polls. Roger however echoes Don's own earlier comment: it should NEVER have been this close.

Don decides to explore another tangent: why attack? Wouldn't it make more sense to play up the obvious story they have to work with? Nixon is a self-made man, a real success story who came out of the Navy and within six years was Vice President of the United States. If anything, Don sees himself in the likes of Richard Nixon, a comment that really will not age well. But Roger reminds him of a fact Don himself should realize: positive ads only reinforce the mindset of those who were going to vote for Nixon in the first place. Negative ads however might be enough to get some fence-sitters over the edge to vote for him, and Pete points out that there are currently a LOT of fence-sitters.

Roger lays down the law: whether the Nixon campaign wants it or not they ARE going to produce a commercial that attacks Kennedy hard. He wants them to get right on it... after the long weekend. After all, it's Labor Day, he really doesn't want to be the Boss to tell his employees they HAVE to work over Labor Day weekend. Pete's adds in a completely necessary,"I agree" as if he has any say in the matter, and makes things worse when he declares they'll go down swinging, all but declaring that they're going to lose.

Putting his distaste for Pete and his misplaced enthusiasm aside, Roger reminds Don that the final sign-off on their revitalization project for Menken's Department Store is today. Rachel's father - who has the power to nix the entire thing - will be present. They've already been paid regardless, but he wants the whole thing to be a success to add to their portfolio, so Don will be there to "ride bare-back" on Paul. Don agrees, while Paul has to swallow his pride at the indirect insult after being the person who ended up spearheading and running the entire thing. As they all break up from the meeting, Roger tells a surprised Don to be on his best behavior, but not for the reasons Don fears he knows: Roger still thinks Don dislikes Rachel and that the feeling is mutual, and he doesn't want their personalities to cost them the client.



After leaving the meeting, Roger spots Joan talking with some of the secretaries and simply can't resist. Putting on his boss face, he asks "Miss Holloway" to join him to discuss something, and then takes great pleasure as they walk as throwing out double entendres along the way as they pass other secretaries, making it sound like they're just picking up parts of a longer conversation about paperwork. Once in his office though he wants to throw all pretense aside, though Joan was smart enough to leave the door open a crack so he doesn't get TOO forward.

His wife and daughter are leaving town for the long weekend, and so is basically every wife in town (well, all the ones that matter). That means they are free to move about in public: they can go to a Broadway show, they can eat dinner in public (though probably not in the nude, as he suggests), they don't have to hide away.

Joan however suggests a movie, perhaps The Apartment? Proving he's not always the most savvy, Roger explains he already went to see that with Mona, a not particularly timely reminder of the fact he is married and does that type of thing with his wife and not her. Joan has an ulterior motive for bringing up that film though, saying she heard Shirley MacLaine was good in it. Roger scoffs at that, a white elevator operator? A white FEMALE elevator operator at that?

Too late he realizes that Joan has already seen the movie, and she's bringing up Shirley MacLaine because she sees the obvious parallels between herself and Miss Kubelik. She's revolted at the way the men in the film treated MacLaine's character, and the dark and dangerous situations she found herself in as a result.

As an aside, please go watch The Apartment if you haven't seen it before. Seriously.

Roger, still remarkably tone-deaf, laughs this off, likening it to the time Mona got mad at him for hitting their dog with his car. Except it was in a dream. And they don't have a dog. But Joan really doesn't want yet another reminder so close to the last of Roger's affectionate stories about his wife. Peggy's brutal revelation of the way the men in the office think of Joan has to be fresh in her mind, and though she offers a sweet smile and a promise to call Roger later about what they can do over the weekend, it's clear that the mood is NOT there right now. She leaves, sashaying her hips as always, Roger finding the walk as irresistible as always... but this was not the exciting response and promise of passion he was expecting.

Paul is passionate though. He's giving the pitch for Sterling Cooper's modernization plans for Menken's to Rachel and her father Abraham. It's extensive, well-researched and almost intimidating in its scope: a brand new atrium, wider aisles, chrome display cases, a first-floor restaurant and tea-room... and three months of the entire store being shut down while construction takes place.

It's the latter that concerns Abraham Menken, who points out they have gone into great detail on all the things they want (him to pay) to build but very deliberately tucked the construction schedule away. Don steps in here as Creative Director to make the case for Paul and the others' hard work: those three months are used to build anticipation. Think of it like a movie premiere, there'll be a line on the first day desperate to get inside, and Ken Cosgrove admits that yes they'll pay people to stand in that line if it will help to build that anticipation.

Abraham isn't unreasonable, he respects the effort that has gone into the proposal, but what he asks next is directed as much if not more towards his daughter than the ad men... does he have to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Can't he keep what works about Menken's now and ADD new things on top of that? Don is more forthright here, but not necessarily in a cruel way. Rather, he appeals to his vanity as a father to point out that his customer base are now more like Rachel than himself. They have grown up, they are better educated and more sophisticated, and their tastes have grown with them. They know what they want and they are not afraid to spend money to have it.

Playing up his knowledge of Abraham's history, most of which he got firsthand from Rachel herself, Don points out that Abraham's objections to not wanting to abandon his current setup isn't really that accurate, after all he had no trouble abandoning their first location on 7th Avenue. If he wants to hold on to the "marble palace" he currently has he'll just end up being an old man whose grandchildren don't recognize the value of. If anything, they might pity him for not being able to move on (for all Don's apparent dislike of Gene, he seemed to respect Gene's ability to move on with his life after his wife died) and modernize.

This modernization may have been Rachel's idea, but she isn't about to stand for her father being talked down to, especially if it's also Don's way of (far more subtly than Roger with Joan earlier) hiding his desire for her in plain sight. She reminds them that the history and story of Menken's is NOT some copywriter's fantasy printed on a brochure, it ACTUALLY happened. Her father is a self-made man who built himself up from nothing, can any of THEM say the same?

Don, who actually literally said the same about himself in the earlier meeting about Nixon, assures Abraham he meant no offense, and Abraham promises him none was taken. With that out of the way, Rachel tells her father that this IS the plan and he can see it wasn't thrown together willy-nilly, and he agrees. With that he has tacitly agreed to the renovation project, and the meeting wraps up with everybody satisfied... with the exception of Rachel who has gotten what she wanted but is still unsettled by being around Don.
She quietly warns him not to screw this up, then leaves with her father who likens Sterling Cooper to a Czarist Ministry: you walk in and end up being told that whatever they're telling you to do was YOUR idea. He was however impressed with Don Draper... but finds him a trifle too "dashing" for his liking. Rachel smiles at that, perhaps because she both agrees AND because this is part of what makes him so appealing to her. Don might see himself in Nixon, but there's a fair bit of Kennedy in there too.



In the break room, Joan is putting up a notice about the offices being closed over Labor Day weekend when her roommate Carol unexpectedly comes walking in. She's surprised to see her at only 10:30 in the morning, even Joan can't slip out for lunch THIS early! A horrible thought surfaces, is Carol "late" again? Does she need to see Dr. Emerson?

Nothing like that, a sweating Carol promises, which just leaves Joan even more baffled: why did she walk multiple blocks in a heatwave then? Carol explains, she's the secretary for a publishing company executive called Mr. Aldridge, and part of her duties have involved her essentially doing the lovely part of his job for him by reading through the "slush" pile of submitted works and then writing the rejection letters. But today in a meeting the Editorial Director demanded to know why Aldridge hadn't responded to work from a poet from Yale called Marlon Rice, and Carol covered for him by saying she had read and rejected the work herself.

Rather than standing up for her, Aldridge fired her at the Editorial Director's command, and Joan refuses to credit him for at least being apologetic to her afterwards. Fed up with men herself, she declares it's really not worth all the building up they give men in their own heads, and rejects Carol's desire to go sit in a movie and cry. Instead they're going to get a measure of revenge on men in general by going out for a night on the town, finding some REAL bachelors and emptying their wallets.

There's more bad news elsewhere, it seems like the Friday before a long weekend is the time for dumping this stuff on people. Don is reviewing papers in his office when an entirely too cheerful Pete Campbell enters to inform him of some bad news: Dr. Scholls is dumping them in favor of Leo Burnett.

Don is initially shocked but quickly regathers his composure, not least of all because Pete is having far too good a time delivering his news. Why? Because the reasons given by the company for dumping them was due to being unhappy with Creative, calling their campaigns dull and humorless. Pete further twists the knife by saying he has never lost an account before, and especially not one that was with the company BEFORE he joined. In other words, he believes that all the blame for this loss falls squarely on Don Draper, and that there is no getting around or obfuscating that fact. Any chance he sees for Don's image to be tarnished is a good thing, and to add insult to injury he asks Don if he wants to tell Roger or if Pete should do that on his behalf? ....or would Don prefer to wait till AFTER the weekend to deliver the bad news?

Don assures him that losing a client is no big deal - you start losing a client as soon as you sign them! - but he will take care of informing Sterling. He waits for Pete to leave, and once he considers enough time has passed he sweeps his desk clean, smashing everything to the floor in a rage. Don constantly lives with the fear of exposure, imposter syndrome born of the fact he is literally an imposter. Losing Scholl's is just another chink in his armor to leave him exposed.

Peggy, who was nowhere to be seen when Pete arrived, enters the office confused, having heard a weird sound from her intercom. Spotting the contents of his desk on the floor in a pile, she bends down to collect it up but he stops her. He informs her to remove her Dr. Scholl's inserts, everybody on the floor had been instructed to wear them to help appeal to the client's ego but that's all over with now. He tears up his file on Scholl's and tells her to throw it out, then gathers his courage to go deliver the bad news to Roger.

He's getting his haircut (and nosehair trimmed!) in his office, and he isn't pleased to hear the news, but his anger is directed at Scholl's themselves, as well as a little at Leo Burnett. Don admits that Campbell told him with some glee that creative was to blame, but he disagrees, sales were steady which means whatever he was doing was working - though he couldn't help but get in a little quip about hoping the ink on his recent raise had dried before delivering the news. Roger admits that the blame is far more likely to lie with the firm itself (which means himself and Cooper), they let billing creep up slowly over time for no reason beyond the fact that they could.

Don, pouring himself a drink, happily tells Roger that if he is trying to cheer him up then it is working. Roger offers the same platitude that Don gave to Pete - you start losing a client the day you sign them - and now that he's on the other side of the equation Don doesn't mind scoffing and asking if he REALLY believes that? Roger continues to try to play it off as no big deal, but once the barber is gone doesn't mind letting out a little of his frustration. He also sees a chance to turn this to his personal advantage at least, he wants Don to join him for the weekend carousing.

Don is quick to remind him he is meeting with Betty and the kids tomorrow, and Roger after a token effort to convince him dumping the family for the weekend is a GOOD thing compromises and demands he give him tonight at least. He already told Don he didn't blame him, but now he wants payback for that kindness but Don agreeing to be bait so HE can pick up young, pretty girls for himself. First stop is a casting call at 4pm by Freddy Rumsen for a double-sided aluminum campaign, because Roger knows how Freddy's mind works. Don is amused, but he also knows that he is getting out of losing a client spectacularly well and it will not pay to deny Roger at least this much.



Peggy is happily carrying a folder of papers when Pete Campbell descends on her life like a raincloud. Freddy Rumsen has given her the proofs for the Belle Jolie account, so it is no wonder she is on Cloud 9 - she's carrying about the execution of ideas that SHE created. But her good mood disappears when Pete forces her to stop and talk to him, made worse when he has the arrogance to be offended when she isn't willing to pretend like there's absolutely no reason to be upset with him. Not only is he forcing her to talk with him, he's upset that she has the temerity to not be happy about being forced.

She keeps her voice low but her feelings clear: she is trying her best to get along, she is trying to just do her job, but HE is the one causing the problem. Every day that there are anywhere near each other, she has to worry about if he intends to be nice to her today or if he's going to be cruel. Pete of course is outraged at this, doesn't she know that HE is the victim here? Why he's married! Why won't she consider his feelings and how bad it would be for him if people found out he was sleeping around on his beautiful, devoted and loving wife?!? Has she no shame!?!

Tired of being meek and letting him walk all over her, Peggy acidly asks him if he'd like her to lie on his couch again so he can work out his "confusion" over being married. That's enough of a rebuke to send him packing, but not before an arrogant sneer and a declaration that she has "some imagination". He declares that now she's a writer she thinks she doesn't need him anymore, again playing the victim when he has never actually done ANYTHING for her at any point since she started working at Sterling Cooper. But now in his own head she has somehow used him, exploited him, taken advantage of him. Poor Pete Campbell!

By pure "chance", Harry, Ken, and Paul just so happened to be hanging around the Art Department with Sal when who should show up but the casting hopefuls for the double-sided aluminum campaign. Freddy Rumsen's mind indeed works the way Roger thought it would: he's put out a casting call for attractive young female twins to be "Miss Double-Sided Aluminum", and all the eligible men (and Harry) have shown up on the prowl.

But as they try their weak game (Ken's is especially bad, while Paul sticks with the old "You ever try Ukrainian food?" angle), into the mix come Roger Sterling and Don Draper. They beat a quick retreat when Roger asks if any of these men have any work to do, outranked and chased off by the pack leaders who have come to take first pick of, let's be blunt here, the prey. Roger wanders down the line of women, drinking in the assembled twins hungrily, with one pair in particular catching his eye: Eleanor and Mirabelle.

With no testing, no discussion, not even token consultation with Freddy Rumsen, Roger declares to the assembled twins that he and Don are using their authority to declare Eleanor and Mirabelle the new faces of Cartwright Double-Sided Aluminum. The other women are irritated but probably in some way relieved to get out of this particular meat-market. Especially when Roger invites his two chosen ones to come upstairs and have a drink to celebrate. Taking the barest moment to confirm the girls are of age (they're 20), Roger is off with the energy of a younger man, "asking" Don if he is coming. Don, who just wants to go home, get some sleep and then drive to the shore to be with his family, knows he has no choice.

Past 5pm and the office has emptied out, everybody has either raced out to the bars, back home, or out of the city to enjoy the long weekend. Everybody but Roger, Don, Eleanor and Mirabelle. They're in Roger's office, drinking and sweating, the air-conditioning off now which means the heatwave is hitting them full-force. Both girls are clearly slightly uncomfortable but also fully aware what Roger at least is wanting (and perhaps expecting) from them, and things they say indicate they're far from the simple, naive girls that Roger clearly thinks they are. Mirabelle's "special talent" is dressage, which she has won multiple blue ribbons for, and Eleanor's quiet line about everything Roger says having a double-meaning goes to show his "witty" double entendres such as those offered to Joan earlier are far from as subtle as he thinks they are.

What is also far from subtle are the moves he's making now, all backed up by the implication of his power to get what he wants. Don keeps a fixed, forced smile on the whole time as he witnesses Roger's "seduction" techniques, which are crude and blatant and only really acceptable to anybody because of the air of authority granted by his money and his station as a named partner. He asks to touch Mirabelle's skin and then ignores a proffered arm to slide a finger up her thigh. He states rather than asks that Eleanor has to feel her sister's skin too, and both girls are willing to go at least that far for the titillation value... but of course that's not enough for Roger. He insists they kiss, and their faces fall in dismay, not so much at him personally but because this is something they've been asked many, many times before and it depresses them that men keep trying to to turn their blood relationship into a fetish fantasy.



Don is willing to take this as his cue to get the gently caress out of there, and Roger is happy to let him go, thinking he's about to have a shot at a threesome with twins. But Eleanor sees Don departing as a chance for her and her sister to escape too and gets off the couch, saying they should be going to. Laughing, smiling, happy... and speaking with utter authority, Roger declares that NOBODY is going anywhere. If Don leaving is their cue to go too, then Don is staying. Eleanor, seeing Don as a life preserver, asks if he wants to dance, anything to keep herself away from Roger and the risk of him trying to force incest with her sister purely for his own gross sexual gratification.

So, forcing the smile again, Don finds himself dancing with Eleanor. Or rather, she dances and he stands in place letting her sway with him. All while Roger goes back to making his moves on an awkward Mirabelle who is probably not feeling particularly keen about the guy who just tried to force her to make out with her sister.

In their apartment, Joan and Carol are getting ready for their night on the town. Joan is complaining that she's too Doris Day when she wants to be Kim Novak, who Carol promises her she is far prettier than. Carol zips up her dress and takes a sniff of her perfume, and Joan asks if she is wearing too much. Carol takes a moment, staring in the mirror, and Joan thinks she is about to cry again over her firing. It's the opposite, Carol says right now she is happy, because of how much she loves being with Joan. How she lights up a room. How ever since she first saw her in college she hasn't been able to take her eyes off of her. How she came to New York to be near her. How she jumped at the chance to be her roommate. How she's only happy when they're together. In short..."I love you."

At first Joan just thinks it is happy girl-talk, but the more she talks, the more Joan starts realizing the familiar beats of confessions/declarations she's heard from many, many men before. When Carol asks her to think of her as a boy, there can be no confusing what is going on here. So Joan takes a moment to let it sink in, but when Carol starts to lean forward desperately yearning for a kiss, Joan instead just gives her a friendly smile and agrees it's been a hard day for Carol and they should just go out there tonight and try to forget about it.

Carol's face falls for just the barest moment before she pulls herself together. She smiles and nods, pretending like the heartfelt declaration of love she just made wasn't the hardest and most difficult think she's ever done in her life. Joan declares she's starving and heads out of the bathroom, and Carol's face collapses again, barely holding back tears before she jams her emotions down. She took her shot and her fantasy did not come true, and not as much as it pains her all she can do is try not to risk their friendship at least. It's 1960 and she can probably thank her lucky stars that Joan didn't declare her a monster and pitch her out of the apartment, but she sure as poo poo doesn't feel lucky right now.

Roger and Mirabelle have moved out of the office into the empty secretarial floor, while Don and Eleanor have been left sitting to drink and listen to the sounds of their "fun" reaching even through the closed doors. Don is doing his best to keep his "well this is all just great and normal fun, huh?" face on, while Eleanor has been waiting for him to eventually make his move. When he doesn't, she decides to make it for him, kissing him on the lips. He doesn't reciprocate, and she pulls back, asking if he has gum, perhaps thinking her breath stinks or maybe his does and that is why he isn't making his move.

He doesn't have gum and he also can't bear to be here much longer, so he again decides to try and make his exit. As he stands to go though, Roger and Mirabelle return, the latter down to her underwear and on all fours while Roger rides her like a horse. Eleanor cringes at the display, while Don pretends to be amused and Roger and Mirabelle collapse to the ground laughing. Don takes the chance, saying his goodbyes and heading out the door. Mirabelle is alarmed to see Eleanor following him, but she promises her sister she'll be right on the other side of the doors.



Outside, Don takes the chance to speak normally: he'll call Eleanor a car so she can get the hell out of there. She doesn't want to leave without her sister though. She isn't willing to sit in the same room while she has sex (and especially not with Roger who would try to make her join in) but she also isn't going to leave her alone. She admits she has "been around the block a few times" but Mirabelle is far less experienced, and she asks Don to please stay with her so she isn't alone in the building waiting (and vulnerable to Roger).

Roger himself has seemingly calmed down in what I assume is post-coitus, unless all they did outside of the office earlier was horsey-rides in their underwear. He lies with his head in Mirabelle's lap, and again demonstrates his complete lack of tact by not openly talking about his wife, but about his daughter Margaret. He even admits she is fairly close to Mirabelle in age, seemingly lacking the ability to recognize that comparing his teenage daughter to the young woman he just effectively bribed/coerced into having sex and tried to make kiss her own sister perhaps isn't the most thoughtful thing in the world.

Mirabelle finds herself having to console this man more than old enough to be her father, stroking his hair and assuring him that all girls love their fathers. He immediately flips the switch from grumpy dad to horny middle-aged man, marveling at the softness of her skin again, declaring he wants to eat her up like Dracula and then jumping straight into making out with her again.

Unsurprisingly, Joan and Carol have had success going out on the prowl for men. They bring two middle-aged men who are scoring WAAAAAY out of their league back, thanking them for being gentlemanly and walking them up. Neither of the men know each other, they just happened to be sitting next to each other at the bar, and they're extremely thankful for that fact now. As Joan and Carol prepare them drinks, one of the men - Franklin, a teacher at Fordham University - takes the opportunity to whisper to the other that,"The redhead is mine", already divvying them up like prizes to be claimed.

Franklin "regales" them with his hobby of "collecting" examples of bad language like his Polish janitor telling him about his wife "not speaking real good English". He finds this hilarious, why the man only speaks two different languages!

Joan of course knows exactly how to use words to get what she wants, asking the "Professor" if he would kindly help her change a light fixture in her bedroom. He jumps at the chance of course, following her eagerly into the bedroom where she shuts the door behind them. That leaves Carol alone with the other man, who asks her what they're going to do and then answers for her by just abruptly kissing her. Carol, barely holding back tears, utterly miserable, takes a moment and then sourly, defeated, mumbles,"Whatever you want." Well that's all he needed to hear, ignoring all the obvious signs of her distress, he is immediately all over her.



In Don's office, he and Eleanor share a drink and she asks him outright if he's married. He admits he is and she tells him he kisses like a married man: he has his own way and he can't be talked out of it. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though, with a grin she tells him that if he'll tell her what to do, she'll do it exactly as he wants. Don, who is only here tonight under obligation, explains that being in his own office where he hears executives push ideas all day makes it even more obvious to him that she's selling herself too hard.

She doesn't have time to decide if she should be offended or amused by this, because Mirabelle's voice calls out for her, yelling that something is wrong. Alarmed, Don races outside and finds her shaking in her underwear between the desks where secretaries work all day for low wages and constant sexual harassment. She says something is wrong with Don's "friend", declaring she should have never tried to get him to try and have sex a second time.

Rushing into Roger's office, Don is shocked to find him laid out naked on the floor, clutching his chest and complaining of intense pressure. Don shouts at them to call an ambulance and then leave, ignoring Mirabelle asking if he is okay. Shortly after, with the twins gone, ambulance attendants (properly trained paramedics wouldn't be a thing until 1970) wheel Roger out on a stretcher. He moans,"Mirabelle, Mirabelle...." as he goes and Don halts the stretcher for a moment, carefully lifts Roger's head... and then slaps him hard across the face.

"Mona. Your wife's name is Mona!" he sternly reminds Roger, who is shocked to his senses enough to at least stop talking and just glare at Don for the slap.

At the hospital, Don waits for a nurse to finish checking on him, then moves to Roger's bedside and asks how he is doing. Quiet, serious, grey-faced and more than a little belligerent at his own fate, Roger complains that when he got his ulcer he did everything the doctors told him including eating plenty of cream and butter and now he's been hit with a coronary. It seems unlikely the doctors also told him to drink like a fish and chase after twenty-year-old women for marathon sex sessions though.

But his close brush with death and warnings from the doctor have him facing the uncomfortable reality of his own mortality. Almost timidly, he carefully brings up the subject of "energy" to a confused Don, finally outright saying what he means: does Don believe in the soul? Don - whose experience with religion has been far from comforting - isn't quite sure how to answer that, especially when it becomes clear that Roger wants to but doesn't, admitting that he wishes he was going "somewhere". In other words, he knows he is going to die, maybe not today or tomorrow or even a year from now, but eventually... and there will be no heaven or hell for him. He will simply... cease to be, and the idea terrifies him even more than eternal damnation.

Blessedly for Don, Mona arrives at just that moment to take the focus on him and these difficult spiritual questions. Roger breaks down into tears to see her, telling the wife he was just happily cheating on only a few hours earlier how much he loves her. She kisses him and holds him and tells him she knows, and then informs him that Margaret is outside. That makes him break down again, he doesn't want her seeing her father in this pathetic state, but she insists, knowing it is the right thing to do. Don motions for her to come in, and the usually stand-offish Margaret rushes to her father's side and embraces him.

Don closes the door and watches through the window as Roger hugs his daughter close, as his wife Mona joins in the embrace and Roger pulls them both close too. What is Don thinking in this moment? In the power and beauty of family? Or that this is all just a facade bought on by a mixture of guilt and fear? Does he think of the cruel authority with which Roger used those two young girls, particularly Mirabelle? Or is he thinking as he so often does of himself, and his own needs and desires to find something, anything, to cling onto that will make him feel whole?



Franklin walks Joan onto the 23rd Floor of Sterling Cooper, where she's surprised to find nobody but Bertram Cooper, who is uncharacteristically sitting at a secretary's desk. He orders Franklin to leave with no added niceties, and Joan is quick to sooth his bruised ego by thanking him for escorting her but asking him to please go. Still offended, he makes his exit with a sour,"Suit yourself", either because he thought there would be more to the night to come or their encounter was cut short before he could finish: Joan is here because Carol received a message essentially commanding her to come back to the office as soon as possible.

With Franklin gone, Cooper feels free to talk. Joan is horrified as he informs her that Roger has suffered a heart attack. She barely has time to register her feelings though as Cooper continues: it is imperative that every single one of their clients is informed of this first by Sterling Cooper. He is going to read out the details of every single client on their books, and Joan is going to write up a telegram for each one explaining what happened to Roger and assuring them that the firm is still positioned to service their advertising needs and business will not be interrupted.

Keeping herself composed, Joan takes her seat and gets to work, a master as always of keeping her emotional turmoil in check. Whether it be with Carol's confession, Roger's attempts to cajole her into being a bird in a cage, men coming on to her or now this horrible news... she has to keep going strong and refuse to buckle under the pressure. So she types away, tears forming in her eyes and blinking them away, a true professional.

Don calls Betty at the summer home, where she was failing to sleep in bed with both children due to her father and Gloria making a big, performative deal about how they definitely 100% sleep in different beds absolutely. He tells her that Roger has a heart attack and she is aghast, asking what happened, asking if he's okay etc. He offers a sanitized version of course that is technically true: he was at work and keeled over. The doctors don't know if he'll be okay, but Mona is there at least. He starts to explain that he won't be able to be there tomorrow as promised, and she immediately cuts him off to say she understands and isn't expecting him.

But if Don was hoping for the same comfort that Roger took in Mona and Margaret's presence, he doesn't get it. After the initial surprise and concern, and the acknowledgement that he can't leave... Betty slips back into complaining about her father and Gloria, about how much she hates seeing them together. Her father even hovers around behind Gloria while cooking in the same way he did with Betty's mother, and she hates that he is pretending she didn't exist. That's an overstatement of course, but her feelings are understandable and perfectly legitimate... it's just that right at this very moment, Don doesn't think they're particularly important. He doesn't say that, obviously, but he hangs his head and closes his eyes, and then simply offers empty platitudes and suggests she just try not to think about it.

Betty can't, she tried but it just bothers her too much. She knows that people say life goes on, but that doesn't mean that life going on is necessarily a good thing. Forcing herself off the topic, she asks Don if she should come up and he considers for a moment - of having her there to be with him for support - and then tells her no, there is nothing she can do. She tells him to give Mona her love and reminds him to eat, and then they hang up.

Don spots that Pete has arrived, presumably most of the higher ranking executives have been informed either by Cooper or, more likely, Joan. He doesn't bother with even a sanitized version of events when Pete asks what happened, simply telling him,"I don't know." They're distracted by the television, an unwelcome reminder of the uphill battle they're fighting just to get picked up by a Presidential candidate who has gone from unbeatable to seemingly vulnerable, all thanks to a clever and effective advertising style campaign by rival John F. Kennedy.

A Kennedy campaign ad plays up examples of President Eisenhower dismissing his own Vice President Richard Nixon's accomplishments, offering a reminder at the end to vote for Kennedy. It's worth noting that in this and other episodes, we have seen and heard Richard Nixon. We have seen and heard Jackie Kennedy. We've even seen and heard Dwight Eisenhower. But of JFK? Only images. We've seen photos, a smiling face and a full head of hair, an air of confidence and youthful energy. Advertising has played up his charisma, his drive, his inherent goodness. Similarly, advertising has played up Nixon's age and lack of all that. But not only have we not yet heard any of Kennedy's policy ideas (apart from Nixon trying to denigrate them), but we haven't heard any of Kennedy's own words. It's ironic, given he was so good at giving speeches, but I think it's deliberate. After all, as Pete reminded everybody: The President is a product. Kennedy is the advertising age at its highest, the President of the United States is being decided by who has the best jingles and the most effective slogans.



Failing to find the comfort he wanted from his wife, Don seeks it elsewhere. He wasn't interested in Eleanor, but not because as a married man he wanted to be faithful to his wife. He seeks his "medicine" from women he can feel a connection to, and with Midge seemingly in his past now, he goes to the apartment of one Rachel Menken.

She received the telegram from Sterling Cooper and assumes this is what this must be about, but Don has other things on his mind. He asks to be let in, for her to get him a drink, and she allows both, asking if he wants her father to make a call and try and get better doctors. Don shrugs at that, noting that Roger is rich so the best healthcare probably isn't going to be an issue. As for Roger himself? He's gray and weak, and that seems to have hit Don harder than anything else. When Rachel notes that Roger is his friend and he doesn't want to lose him, that hits a little too close to home.

It's hard to get a sense on if Don truly likes Roger, he certainly seems to for the most part but detests those times he has to sit and fake a smile and let Roger wallow in his degeneracy. Wracked by guilt by his conflicting feelings, of revulsion, pity and contempt warring with respect and love, Don tries to shove all that aside by stepping forward and kissing Rachel. Unlike Carol or Mirabelle, she isn't just willing to let a man do "whatever he wants" and pushes him away. She likens this event to a solar eclipse that Don is treating like the end of the world, an excuse for him to go anything he wants only for everything to have to go back to normal the next day.

She refuses to let him pretend he doesn't know what he's doing, but tells him what he really needs is sleep. He sits at least, and asks her to join him, and even that she won't just give him without a fight, asking him why, making him tell her. He admits that he feels like she's looking right through him standing at a distance like that, so she joins him on the couch. He admits what is truly wracking him right now, telling the story of the first time he acted as a pallbearer. He was 15-years-old and the fact he was a pall-bearer made him realize that there was nothing being hidden from him anymore, he was near enough to an adult now. More than that, though, he had "moved up a notch": like Roger he had come to the realization that death is inevitable, and that he was moving ever closer to his own.

Rachel is stunned by the open revelation of such a personal moment, especially from somebody normally as buttoned-up as Don. He tries again to kiss her and again she refuses to go with the moment, even though she wants him in spite of all reason and logic telling her this is a bad idea. She reminds him of his wife, she tells him to go to her, she rejects him declaring that THIS, this moment right now, is all that there is and he can feel it all slipping away. That's just an excuse for bad behavior to her mind, a reason to get away with doing something he knows he shouldn't be doing.

But he knows her protests are intellectual, and this time when he kisses her she kisses him back. Even then, he's aware enough (or perhaps simply still revolted enough by Roger's throwing around of his status to get what he wants) that he stops himself to tell her honestly that if she tells him NOW that she doesn't want this, he WILL stop. Now it is her who has to make the conscious decision to accept him in full knowledge that he is a married man and there is no future in this. She hesitates only a second before saying,"Yes please", and they go back to kissing.

At Sterling Cooper, the telegrams are done and Cooper and Joan prepare to leave. Cooper decides to take this moment for a rare interjection into the personal life of one of his employees below the top executive level: she can do better. She assumes he means Franklin and mumbles that he's just a friend. Cooper lets her know without outright saying it that despite their precautions, he is fully aware that she is having an affair with Roger Sterling. "Don't waste your youth on age," he offers.

Stunned, she does as she's asked. They enter the lift, and he asks her to press the button for the ground floor. The doors close on them as she on some level realizes she has become exactly what she feared: a white, female elevator operator engaged in a doomed affair with a top executive. But there is no sign of any "Buddy Boy" to come save her, no Gin Rummy or fruitcakes. She is Miss Kubelik, and the city that means everything to her is threatening to eat her alive.



Their lovemaking done, Don and Rachel like on the couch naked, Rachel smoking and for once Don not. He mentions her mother who died in childbirth, and tells her his did as well... and that she was a prostitute. It all comes spilling out, more information than we have ever been given, this time not seen in flashback by a silent Don Draper contained all in his mind, but verbalized by him to another person. She died and the baby was brought to Don's father and his wife, and when he was 10 his father, drunk, died after being kicked in the face by a horse. His father's wife married another man, and he was raised by "those two sorry people".

Having unburdened himself of this lead ball in his belly, he waits for her response. She gives him exactly what he wants and needs. She doesn't question him. She doesn't turn that around into a story about herself. She doesn't try to fix him or offer an alternative view. She simply, quietly kisses the back of his head. It is an almost motherly gesture, one of unconditional love and support. It's what Don has desperately wanted and hunted for his whole life, what he yearns to see in Betty without recognizing she (and Rachel!) are their own people with their own issues who need their own support. The physical affection finally comforts him in a way that mere sex never could, and he closes his eyes and relaxes, finally falling asleep after the first very long night of a long weekend.



Episode Index

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013


Don seriously could have killed Roger with his revenge ploy in Red in the Face. I think he’s thinking about that when he looks gravely at Roger with his family. I also think he’s upset at the emotional display, because he is never that open with anyone. And he’s upset that he will die one day.

I think Don seeks out Rachel because the pursuit of a woman enables him to be more emotionally open. I believe a central thesis of this show is that emotional openness is necessary for good mental health, and, well, Don is not mentally healthy. He is totally closed off to his own wife. But somehow he finds it possible to show vulnerability while pursuing a woman sexually.

It makes some sense: there’s an associated endorphin rush. We know by looking at his drinking that Don has problems with addiction. He also has a sex addiction. By getting a “hit” of something he craved, his head clears enough to make a confession he needs to make.

Another reason is that Rachel is unlikely to tell anyone about this. Don is the one who is more in the wrong, morally, as he’s the married one, but Rachel also has an incentive to keep the fact that she slept with a married man a secret. Don doesn’t trust Betty with his secrets, but he sees Betty every day. He probably feels “safer” telling a mistress than his wife. Which is TREMENDOUSLY sad!

The confession scene is pretty important for making Don sympathetic, even though it’s not OK for him to behave as he does. We now know he was an unloved orphan. It begins to make sense that he became an impostor who sells false happiness.

Fun casting fact: the actors who play Roger and Mona are married in real life. They do always have good chemistry in scenes together.

Incelshok Na
Jul 2, 2020


I remember during the run of Madmen a friend of mine got divorced. He thought of himself as very modern but, well, he was from rural Illinois. I had described Mad Men as "lifestyle porn for a certain type of man" and very much meant "for him" because he was a little too into it, drinking manhattans with cheap bourbon and vermouth left to spoil at room temperature. His wife left him for a myriad of reasons but one that always stuck out to me was that he was a direct-to-consumer salesmen, cold calling people to sell them stuff and she was a lawyer. At one point she had the opportunity to get a really exciting job but that would mean that she would make more money than him so, of course, it was a non-starter.

When he got divorced there was a lot of stuff going on. I remember that eventually I offered to teach him how to do laundry (which he gratefully accepted). I also found out that he was living off of what he called "astronaut eggs" the one thing he could cook. Crack and egg into a cup, scramble it a little with a fork and microwave it. That was the limit of his culinary abilities. For a man who expected an impeccably clean house he didn't have the skills to actually make that happen.

That is extremely alien from how I was raised and the community I was raised in so I was like, "wow, these people do exist and this isn't an exaggeration".

Incelshok Na
Jul 2, 2020


Yoshi Wins posted:

I think Don seeks out Rachel because the pursuit of a woman enables him to be more emotionally open. I believe a central thesis of this show is that emotional openness is necessary for good mental health, and, well, Don is not mentally healthy. He is totally closed off to his own wife. But somehow he finds it possible to show vulnerability while pursuing a woman sexually.

Part of it is that Don absolutely has a "type" and society has a different "type" that is expected from a man like him. Since he is a shell, he married and had kids with the kind of person he was expected to and not the kind of person he wants. It's a great example of how the patriarchy hurts both men and women while also highlighting that the ways it hurts women are imposed from the outside and the way it hurts men are self-imposed.

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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Yoshi Wins posted:

Fun casting fact: the actors who play Roger and Mona are married in real life. They do always have good chemistry in scenes together.

Another fun fact, John Slattery is actually Talia Balsam's second husband. Her first was George Clooney.

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