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roomtone
Jul 1, 2021

The rising star of GBS!


The Don thing is interesting, because now it seems like that Roger looks up to Don in a way that was ambiguous before this. He obviously likes and respects him but the idea that Don is the rock Roger summons to ground himself here is pretty funny. The line Don uses yeah, is an echo of the toasted pitch, but it's also basically the idealised, advertised image of Don, which apparently Roger either believes in or finds comforting.

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sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Goofballs posted:

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

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


fair points, though roger's actor was only 49 when this was filmed. the hair does a lot of work.

Jane's actress is 24 years younger than him, which doesn't necessarily bear on the ages of the characters obv.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Babby*



John Slattery is the ur-Silver Fox. even before Anderson Cooper.

R. Guyovich
Dec 25, 1991



roomtone posted:

The Don thing is interesting, because now it seems like that Roger looks up to Don in a way that was ambiguous before this. He obviously likes and respects him but the idea that Don is the rock Roger summons to ground himself here is pretty funny. The line Don uses yeah, is an echo of the toasted pitch, but it's also basically the idealised, advertised image of Don, which apparently Roger either believes in or finds comforting.

which is a parallel that makes even more sense in the context of the pilot. mad men presented us with an "ideal" of that era and has spent the rest of its runtime taking that ideal apart piece by piece, starting with the very last scene of the very first episode. roger's subconscious sees don as we saw him in the lucky strike pitch — a steady and reliable genius.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Which also adds some interesting context to his attitude towards Don over his marriage to Jane in prior seasons. He clearly values Don's respect and approval and it pissed him off that Don wouldn't be a kindred spirit and understand just how great and wonderful and happiness-inducing divorcing his wife and marrying a woman 20+ years his junior was, and he lashed out because Don wasn't giving him what he wanted. But look how quickly he accepts Don back as a contemporary once they finally bury the hatchet, because that longing for Don's approval never really went away. Hell, he's openly talking poo poo about Jane to Don in episodes this season, much like he used to do about Mona before he divorced her.

It's ironic that the flashback we saw of their first meetings had Roger utterly disinterested in anything Don thought or said, and Don the guy eagerly pursuing Roger and looking up to him. Even by the end of that episode we saw Don had already figured out how to "sell" an image of himself to Roger and he's only gotten better at that over the following decade, but while he likes Roger he really doesn't particularly respect him... or at least not more than he judges/looks down on him for making choices that Don himself has also regularly made.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






its important to note that LSD wasnt actually illegal yet, that only came with nixon's drastic expansion of the war on drugs. at this period in history it was a pretty normal thing for well to do people to have a socialite connection with someone on the inside track of all the drug therapies going on and have mind expansion parties like this. the dr leary namedrop is very intentional, as he literally did exclusively this as a service basically after he got fired from his professorship.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I did not know that! I always assumed it was always at the least a prohibited substance, though I guess having a doctor hand it out means that wouldn't have mattered regardless.

Roy Gato III
Jun 2, 2013


KellHound posted:

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

“Ben Hargrove…why does that name sound so familiar…?”

I like that for as much as a good writer he is supposed to be, his pen-names are objectively terrible.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Oh also something I meant to ask: what did people think of the gimmick of this episode?

I have to say I wasn't the biggest fan, I could see why they wanted to do it, to really focus in on the ongoing plight of a single day for a character without diluting it by jumping between characters, but I don't know if they necessarily pulled it off. I feel like a gimmick like this kind of needs more one-sided views of interactions so they can be recontextualized later in the episode, but the only thing we really got like that was Don calling Peggy from the phonebooth. It's also not particularly well signposted that we've returned to the same morning, which I guess might have been intentional, but it was so weird having Don get introduced to the idea of Howard Johnson's being a potential client AFTER we'd seen him telling the others earlier in the episode that he was taking Megan there as part of research for the account, and especially weird having him talk about taking Megan there when up till that point we assumed he'd taken her the previous day.

Once she walked out in the same outfit it became obvious, and the repeated dialogue by Roger for the third jump back made it even clearer, but I don't know what the idea was in seemingly trying to obfuscate what was initially happening.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 11:13 on Oct 25, 2021

roomtone
Jul 1, 2021

The rising star of GBS!


I don't remember if it took me too long to realise it was a replayed day the first time, but I definitely never had a negative reation to the structure. Although, looking back at it, it doesn't really do anything with the overlapping timelines. The three stories barely interact and don't even really comment on each other. After they all leave the office, the only interaction at all is Peggy getting the call from Don - which I think is cool, because of the interjection of unexplained panic into Peggy's basically normal day.

I think Roger and Don's stories both benefit from being uninterrupted. Peggy's isn't that distinct, like I said it's just a normal day really, maybe a bit more eventful than usual. Roger's LSD sequence and Don's Spoorloos adventure are departures from the show's usual tone so sticking with the until their conclusions and return to normality makes sense.

I think they probably had those Don/Roger, realised what I just said, and thought okay let's do a third and make it an anthology style episode. Mad Men's short story like structure get talked about, and I think this is an extreme example of that. It's three short stories in one episode. Come to think of it, Roger's chunk is like a dream, Don's is like a nightmare. I suppose Peggy's is like...being awake.

None of that requires the overlapping timelines, but it adds some intrigue to the episode as you figure out a) what's wrong with don, b) oh we're replaying the day, c) why are we replaying the day? The answer turns out to be for no reason in particular but that doesn't really bother me. I like seeing things from different perspectives.

roomtone fucked around with this message at 12:06 on Oct 25, 2021

Roy Gato III
Jun 2, 2013


Jerusalem posted:

Oh also something I meant to ask: what did people think of the gimmick of this episode?

I have to say I wasn't the biggest fan, I could see why they wanted to do it, to really focus in on the ongoing plight of a single day for a character without diluting it by jumping between characters, but I don't know if they necessarily pulled it off. I feel like a gimmick like this kind of needs more one-sided views of interactions so they can be recontextualized later in the episode, but the only thing we really got like that was Don calling Peggy from the phonebooth. It's also not particularly well signposted that we've returned to the same morning, which I guess might have been intentional, but it was so weird having Don get introduced to the idea of Howard Johnson's being a potential client AFTER we'd seen him telling the others earlier in the episode that he was taking Megan there as part of research for the account, and especially weird having him talk about taking Megan there when up till that point we assumed he'd taken her the previous day.

Once she walked out in the same outfit it became obvious, and the repeated dialogue by Roger for the third jump back made it even clearer, but I don't know what the idea was in seemingly trying to obfuscate what was initially happening.

I didn’t mind it. Roger’s portions felt a little bit like a ‘Test Dream’ lite (which was polarizing as a Sopranos episode) and the non-linear timeline might have sought to portray to audiences a similar drug induced (or missing spouse induced) state of confusion and outside their comfort zone mindframe that the characters were going through, as well. But unlike most movies or episodes done this way, there’s no real reveal or payoff that couldn’t have been done with a more conventional timeline, I guess.

It’s weird when a show this grounded decides to do a concept episode out of the blue but I still enjoyed it. If nothing else it keeps things fresh for the audience and the writers on the 5th season of a show.

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



The structure of the episode is fine as a one-off, especially keeping in mind roomtone's comments about Don and Roger's storylines being better uninterrupted. it's sort of reminiscent of s3e7 "seven twenty three" which opens with three disconnected shots of three characters (Peggy, Betty and Don) in media res before showing how those characters got into those situations.

Tangentially, one thing I appreciate about Mad Men is the way things like dreams, hallucinations and trips are portrayed (Roger's trip, Betty's dreams/hallucinations in labor in s3, Don's visions of/hallucinatory conversations with his father in s3). Very rarely do they attempt camera tricks or too-clever editing—they're always diagetic. Makes these experiences feel a lot more emotionally honest.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






its great in the episode where theyre all on speed that they never really do any kind of "inside the mind of x character" stuff, you just see it played out rather flatly. ken dancing, dons "creative spark" as hes running around. it feels exactly like walking into a methheads house lmao

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Paper Lion posted:

its great in the episode where theyre all on speed that they never really do any kind of "inside the mind of x character" stuff, you just see it played out rather flatly. ken dancing, dons "creative spark" as hes running around. it feels exactly like walking into a methheads house lmao

that episode rules. especially Don’s arch

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

Soiled Meat

Jerusalem posted:

Oh also something I meant to ask: what did people think of the gimmick of this episode?


I generally speaking like this episode or parts of it at least but thinking about the order of the story with the time skips I'm not sure they add anything to the story or the characters (happy to be wrong if someone caexplain.) It's the sort of narrative structure you would see in a murder mystery or something along those lines and it just doesn't work for this episode IMO

I also wanted to comment on the hand job Peggy gives in the theater since something you said made me think about it differently. I used to think it was a little out of place and strange and put it down to her being frustrated and stressed out and thus acting out a bit, regaining some measure of self control which I still do think is completely wrong but I think an even bigger factor here for Peggy is her relationship with the men in her life this episode, she can't make Abe happy, she can't make Raymond happy, Don doesn't seem to care and heck she can't even make herself happy right now but at least she can make this guy happy at least for a little while.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


A great episode. I really like the gimmick structure for the reason everybody else has already cited, all three stories just work better as uninterrupted narratives. Even Peggy's, I like following the full arc of her day going wrong immediately and how she responds by going full on Don cosplay for the afternoon before winding up with the weird late night moment of perspective with Ginsberg. Her phone call with Don feels like a bit of cheap heat ("Wait, why's he panicked, what happened on his trip? I guess I gotta keep watching this same episode to find out!") but it does exemplify exactly what Cooper lays on Don in the ending. (Also, Peggy's story briefly crossing over with Don's just makes me wish there had been some way to get a scene of her encountering Roger mid-trip in there, somehow...she leaves the office to get a bite to eat and bumps into him and Jane saucer-eyed at a diner, something like that.)

Here's the issue of Life Roger was flipping through.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



JethroMcB posted:

Here's the issue of Life Roger was flipping through.

Holy poo poo that is a lot of ads :stare:

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Babby*





Coulda used some of that SCDP magic there. They lost out to this?

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



JethroMcB posted:

Here's the issue of Life Roger was flipping through.

The sole user review is quite something.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



kalel posted:

The sole user review is quite something.

I expected the worst, but man that was really beautiful :shobon:

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

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


Paper Lion posted:

its great in the episode where theyre all on speed that they never really do any kind of "inside the mind of x character" stuff, you just see it played out rather flatly. ken dancing, dons "creative spark" as hes running around. it feels exactly like walking into a methheads house lmao

"Chevy is spelled wrong!"

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Thank you for waiting, here is my "At the Codfish Ball" summary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwdu0GKb8A#t=29s

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 5, Episode 7 - At the Codfish Ball
Written by Jonathan Igla, Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Peggy Olson posted:

This is as good as this job gets.

A couple of kids are playing a game in what appears to be an apartment hallway when the phone rings. One answers and calls to the other, telling him it's his dad. Another kid fresh out of the shower passes by as the boy takes the phone, and it's.... gently caress this can't be good.... it's Glen Bishop. It's a payphone, and given the number of other kids present this is unlikely to be a field trip, presumably Glen got shipped off to a boarding school or home for juvenile delinquents at some point. He answers the phone, delighted that it isn't his long-absent father on the phone but Sally Draper (Sally noooo), not only calling him but doing so on a weeknight! Which means her mom must be out on the town?

Sally explains Betty and Henry have taken baby Gene to Michigan, leaving Sally (and Bobby!) with "Bluto", a very cruel description of her step-grandmother. This has apparently been a frequent subject of conversation, since Glen chuckles and asks if "Bluto" still smells like a toilet. Sally didn't call up just to complain though, asking how he is doing, and he admits he is supposed to be studying for trig but can't be bothered, and Sally rolls her eyes that he's still upset at "her", presumably an ex-girlfriend of Glen's.

That would rule out a juvenile facility, presumably, he's at some kind of co-ed boarding school. Glen, to his credit, doesn't shy away from feeling feelings, a smile on his face but insisting that she not mock him because breaking up does hurt. "Not for the girl," grins Sally, and Glen can't help but grin too even if he does playfully tell her to shut up. He does seem to get a little serious though when she points out he'll be going to the same camp next summer (so presumably it was a summer "fling") and quickly changes the subject - I wonder if this camp girlfriend actually existed at all - asking if she got the new Spoonful album. She shrugs, pointing out that it is on the radio all the time, ignoring Glen bellowing back an insult at another student sticking his nose in to the conversation, and then hears Pauline calling out to her to go set the table, complaining to Glen that she and Bobby are treated like Pauline's "slaves".

Pauline, a scotch in one hand, bellows from the hall again when she hears no reply, then complains to herself that it looks like she'll just be eating by herself. She continues on forwards, her foot catching on the telephone line strung across the floor of the hall to lead into Sally's bedroom, and with a great cry topples forward and crashes to the ground. The phone is snatched out of Sally's hands, shocking her, and she races out into the hall to discover Pauline lying in a heap moaning in pain. Horrified, she asks if she can move, and Pauline rolls over and cries out in more pain, calling out that something is wrong with her ankle.

Bobby races to see what the noise is, and Sally - quickly taking charge - instructs him to get some water while she calls for help. When a shocked Bobby simply stands, staring in horrified fascination at Pauline, Sally snaps at him to go and he finally does as he's told. As far as Glen knows, the call simply ended, and maybe he thinks Pauline snatched the phone from Sally (which technically she did) and is even now haranguing her much like he imagines his mother "unfairly" harangues him. One thing is for certain though, whether his camp girlfriend was real or not, he may think (or hope) that his relationship with Sally goes (or could go) a lot deeper than she seems to think it does.



Don and an older man arrive out of the elevator on Don's floor, Don carrying multiple pieces of luggage as the older man mildly chides him for the absurdity of carrying it all himself when the doorman offered to help. The man's accent is French, and it quickly becomes apparent this is Megan's father, who has used the visit to New York to see his daughter as an excuse to bring his work with me and see a publisher. Don, clearly wanting to stay on the good side of THIS father-in-law, assures him Megan is excited about his chances, but her father simply smiles and admits happily that his daughter pretends to be interested in his interests because she loves him.

They enter the apartment, where Megan is sitting with her mother, Marie. Megan immediately asks if the doorman was drunk "again" when she sees Don carrying all the luggage, revealing freely what Don was probably trying to keep hidden. I'd say that this indicates the difference in their upbringing, that she grew up feeling she could reveal things while Don grew up learning to suppress and hide, especially embarassing things... except almost immediately Marie and Emile have a "good natured" argument very deliberately in French where Marie asks her husband - Emile - why he didn't help, and Emile replies with a little smile but just a bit too much bite that she should mind her own business and have a drink so she will be "nice" again.

I don't know how long they're staying, but it's going to be a loooooong trip.

Megan, a little strained since she knows EXACTLY what they're saying, asks them to please speak English. Emile meanwhile stops to really take a look around the place, impressed by the size and luxurious decor, which he proclaims are "extravagantly decadent". Don tries to play it down, saying the apartment mostly came this way and Megan - who largely decorated the place - quickly corrects him that it didn't. But Marie takes great pleasure in poking her husband with a stick, noting wryly that Emile is confused because "his eyes and his politics are having a fight", knowing that her husband is impressed in spite of himself.

As Megan details what is for dinner and how she wants them to enjoy their vacation, Emile pulls out his cigarettes but either doesn't notice or doesn't care that Marie has pulled out her own as she passes. Don, of course, notices and immediately steps up to offer her a light, something she deeply appreciates, though not as much as him letting her know he's saved a nice cognac for after dinner as well, a little smile lighting up her face as she quietly, admiringly notes,"You remembered.

The phone rings and Megan leaves to answer, while Emile manages to mask an insult towards his wife as a self-deprecating comment about himself, noting that she has fooled Don into thinking she is particular when HE is proof that she is not. She winces slightly at her husband embarrassing her, lavishing attention on Don instead, insisting he sit and tell her about his "adventures" today. Before he can though, Megan informs him that it is Sally on the phone and assures him she is okay but he really needs to talk to her. Frowning, caught between being confused and worried, Don leaves Megan and Emile behind to stew in the resentment of a long-running marriage.

The opposite, oddly enough, is happening elsewhere in New York as Roger Sterling enjoys a pleasant drink with.... Mona! Yes the original Mrs. Sterling, who has dyed her hair and looks like no longer being married to Roger has turned back her biological clock 10 years. Without the smothering chains of marriage (not every marriage is like this!) they seem to have lost much of the disdain either had for the other, and when Mona gets in a few digs they seem more designed to amuse them both than score any points, and Roger demonstrates a level of self-awareness she certainly didn't ever see in their marriage. Margaret, it seems, has not made any bones about the fact that she's thrilled Roger and Jane broke up, while Mona chuckles it's a little unsatisfying seeing him actually not broken up about it.

When he admits that he's started to ponder if Jane was just the excuse he needed to blow up his life, she's genuinely surprised, since while most people figured that was what it was from the outset Roger himself seemed determined to remain cozily burrowed up in the safe cocoon of his wealth and power to never have to be introspective enough to figure that out.... has he been going to a psychiatrist? Nothing like that (though he should, Jesus Christ does he need it, and continually unknowingly finds alternatives) he promises... no, he just took LSD instead!

"Of course you did," she notes, because of course Roger would do that rather than actually admit he needed help. With the fervor of the recently converted (religion, sex, drugs), he excitedly wants to share it with the world, telling her she HAS to try it, admitting that all these years people have told him he doesn't understand how other people feel and.... turns out they were right! It took an acid trip for him to empathize with his wife, and now he wants to share this wonder that most other people just... generally get by actually talking to each other.

But enough of the fun, it's time to get down to business. He hasn't just called her out for a pleasant catch-up, and his newly discovered ability to share emotional experiences with people aside he's still Roger Sterling.... no he wants her to scope out a series of potential business leads for him! The American Cancer Society is going to be honoring Don soon for his Lucky Strike letter, and four of the members are people he wants to meet. So what does that have to do with her, he admits that when they were first married he ignored her telling him about powerful businessmen he could have met if he'd attended the same luncheons she did... and he wants to correct that mistake now.

Why? Because he's come to see a deep significance to his trip making him relive the 1919 World Series. He identifies it as when everything "went bad". Because OF COURSE Roger Sterling turns out to have bet big on the result of that game, and though he had no part in or knowledge of the massive corruption that caused that White Sox team to be forever known as the Black Sox, all the money he won was based on a lie. .

Bah, I both overthought the above crossed out text AND forgot/miscalculated Roger's age. It isn't that he won at the 1919 World Series (he would have been a kid!) but that he views it as symbolic of himself, a rigged game where he hadn't actually done anything to deserve the spoils.

This has lead him to grasp another fact everybody else already knew (and that Lee Garner Jr straight up told him to his face).... Lucky Strike was never something he earned, it was something he inherited. When he lost Lucky Strike, he lost everything, and even after all that he continued to float along with power he no longer had any real claim to, relying on his enormous wealth to let him continue to get away with things.

Now, finally, slowly, the tide has started to turn. Even the prospective Howard Johnson's account came about as a result of an old client reaching out to him, now he has decided to be pro-active. He wants to meet these four men, he particularly wants to meet with Firestone, knowing that successfully wooing a client that size will firmly put him back on top at SCDP again... and that it will be something he has done himself. Yes with Mona's help, but only insofar as he wants to use her as research. That he came to her speaks volumes to Mona, because it acknowledges something he rarely ever did in their marriage: her worth.

So she agrees, though not before taking advantage of his new self-awareness to admit that she once thought he married Jane because SHE had gotten old, before realizing it was because HE had. He grins as he points out he hasn't had a heart attack since, but that's not the point - the point is that she stopped blaming herself for HIS mistakes. With that out of the way, she agrees that she can't see the harm in helping him, after all, he is STILL the one who is financially supporting her and Margaret even after all this time (presumably she didn't end up remarrying as Margaret thought she was going to?). Pleased, Roger asks her to get him what she can by Friday, and with a grin she tells him he'll be surprised just how much she can find out in that amount of time.

What a drat shame Mona has been so sidelined as a character for so long. Who even knows if she will be back again, whether with a meatier part or at least the odd cameo here or there: but almost every appearance she's made since Roger divorced her she has been fantastic, and this scene is no exception. If only Roger could have seen (or appreciated) the intelligent, beautiful, savvy and dedicated woman he took for granted for a quarter century. As the old saying goes, you have to lose something before you can miss it. Roger at least finally understands her worth, but even now he doesn't regret the divorce, because he had grown to resent her (completely unfairly, HE was the one at fault in their marriage)... but imagine what could have been.



At the Draper apartment, Don is gone leaving just Megan and her parents. Their meal half-finished, Emile inquires how long the lease on the apartment is for and she reminds him what she has presumably already told him: they BOUGHT the apartment, it's theirs. Marie grunts at him not to count Megan's money, and he complains back that they "leave it in piles". All of them are speaking French, not to hide what they're saying (they all speak it after all!) but because is their first language, though they are bilingual English is not how they chat casually, an idea that the American Don is obviously still struggling to wrap his head around. So it is that Emile's complaints are directly in front of his daughter, who testily points out that Don isn't just a good man but somebody who built himself up from nothing, clearly thinking her father thinks of her husband as somebody who wants to show off his money.

He complains that Don's manners are too studied, Marie coming to his defense by noting that he is being polite. It isn't entirely clear what Emile's problem is with Don, maybe beyond the fact he naturally views the older man who married Megan with suspicion, perhaps because it isn't entirely clear what Emile's own values are. He seems to hold money in disdain but clearly values or even covets it, and the fact Don is a "self-made man" doesn't seem to impress him, as if Don's manners being "studied" should be held again him. Why? Does he think Don is a pretender and thus to be looked down on? Or does he look down on the fact that Don feels like he has to put on an appearance in the first place?

Their testy conversation is broken up by Don announcing his return, and he hasn't come alone. Sally and Bobby are with him, the former being delighted to see Megan who is just as happy to see her, the two having a hug. Emile and Marie light up as well, these may not be their grandchildren but they're close enough, and they enjoy seeing young people in the house. Don introduces them as Dr. and Mrs. Calvet but they're quick to insist the kids use their first names instead, Emile shaking Sally and Bobby's hands with a big smile.

Don explains that Pauline broke her ankle, and Megan is horrified, but Don notes it could have been worse and then turns to Sally and asks if she wants to tell them what happened? This kind of line usually comes when a kid has done something bad, but no Don is beaming with pride and when Sally seems reluctant, explains that she called the police who called an ambulance. He then prompts her to continue, and she elaborates that she elevated Pauline's foot as instructed and put ice on it, and helped keep her calm.

The best part of this account is that Sally explains Pauline tripped on one of Gene's toys rather than on the phone line SHE has extended across the hall, putting the blame on a baby who isn't even in the State!

Marie and Emile are entranced, complimenting Sally. Bobby meanwhile has focused on what is really important... THERE'S FOOD! Eyeing up the meal, he notes that Sally doesn't like fish, and Megan explains that as a reward for Sally's good deeds she has made her spaghetti. As they all take their seats, Marie warmly recalls that she used to make spaghetti for Megan as a child, as it was her favorite. Don explains to the kids they'll be sleeping in Bobby and Gene's room tonight since he can't put Emile and Marie into bunk-beds.

Everybody laughs, but Marie suddenly seems pained, and with an apology explains the long voyage has taken a lot out of her and she must go lie down. Don is immediately up as she prepares to move, pulling her chair out for her, the studied politeness and social decorum that Emile seems to find so distasteful (not least because Marie clearly appreciates it, and even if they are studied Don at least thinks to do them while they clearly don't even occur to Emile until after the fact). She leaves, Emile looking pained himself, so he is happy when Bobby curiously asks if he has to give people shots and he gets to explain that he is a professor, not a medical doctor. Don adds as he returns to his seat that anybody with a high degree in a field is called a doctor, absentmindedly noting it's from the middle ages. Emile nods and agrees, seemingly impressed in spite of himself that Don doesn't just ape social niceties but appears to have educated himself as well.... curiously, THAT he seems to appreciate.

Megan pops away to check on her mother as the rest continue their meal, finding her already asleep on the bed with a lit cigarette still dangling in her hand. Megan takes it away and gently shifts her mother's arm before turning off the lamp and returning to dinner. They're staying in Sally's bedroom, and two small beds have been pushed together for the Calvets to sleep in. Is this why Marie suddenly had to go to sleep? We've only seen a hint of their married life so far after what is understandably a stressful long trip, but did they ever actually plan to sleep in the same room? Was there a plan even at the start that one of them would sneak out and use the other bedroom, a plan now foiled by Sally and Bobby's unexpected arrival? Or did she genuinely just hit the end of her social battery and need to collapse?

Meanwhile at SCDP, Peggy, Megan and Stan are having a healthy dinner of chinese food and beers (Michael is drinking coke :3:), joined by Abe who is sitting in and eating with them. Michael, understandably nervous, is milking Peggy for whatever information he can get on "Mr. Heinz" since presumably he's the lead copywriter on that account since she got dumped from it, and he knows in addition to that Geiger already poo poo on two pitches they all thought were golden. She can't help him much with that though, all she can offer is that Geiger is boring and has a daughter, Stan noting that maybe that is where Geiger gets all his lovely ideas from?

The conversation shifts when Peggy complains about all the shrimp being gone and Stan warns Abe that her bra size will go up if they're not careful. Abe is understandably shaken, not quite believing Stan just cracked a joke about his girlfriend's tits... in front of his girlfriend! If he thought that was surprising though, he's really blown away when Michael joins in on the action and Peggy actually laughs and rolls her eyes about. The reason is a simple one, they're working on Playtex at the moment and Peggy has been testing out the bras to be their "inside man" and get insight into what women would want. Michael is opposed to the idea of Peggy pushing for an older customer, while Peggy notes she's right AND that Don agrees with her assessment. Stan criticizes this, saying just because Peggy is a "boob-carrying consumer" doesn't mean she is automatically right or that he and Michael don't have insight into what women want in their bras.

Abe, who really wants to be an open-minded guy, is clearly deeply uncomfortable with this casual banter about Peggy's breasts and decides a strategic retreat is the best bet. So like Marie, he excuses himself, saying he's got a deadline so he's gonna have to go. Peggy is a little surprised but takes him at face value, and he gives her a little kiss before heading out, promising to call her in the morning. Once he's gone, Stan grins and declares that Abe is too good-looking for her, and Peggy can't help but grin herself. Not because she agrees that he's too good looking for her, but that he is very good looking! Seemingly she hasn't the slightest clue how uncomfortable he was.



In bed, Don is reading The Fixer when Megan joins him. She's amused at his choice, promising him that his father won't mind if he prefers reading James Bond, but he insists it is a good book and she should read it herself. He does put it away though, switching off the light, ready to go to bed feeling rather satisfied, especially since Emile and Marie have said they'll be happy to take the kids out sightseeing AND watch them in the evening so Don and Megan can have dinner with the Geigers.

Megan ponders this and suggests Don give her some money since her father won't even buy himself a pretzel if left to his own devices. But she's far less sure when Don notes they've also offered to watch the kids on the night of the American Cancer Society honoring him, saying that they came to New York to attend that dinner. Don reminds her they came to see HER, plus her father is meeting with publishers (publisher she corrects, making a point that it is only one), so no they'll call the sitter and her parents can attend the dinner with them.... doesn't he want them to come?

Danger, Don! Danger!

He seems to know it too, putting the onus on Emile, saying he feels like no matter what he does her father won't like him. She waves that off with a little smile as she takes great satisfaction in explaining that is because she is his favorite, before noting this is why her mother is so competitive with her. Don is confused, because for as canny as he is in reading people he completely missed this. When Megan points out that Marie touched him six times in an hour he shrugs this off as her being "French" and with a sigh Megan says that is NOT what that was about.

Realizing this is NOT a conversation he can in any way emerge from unscathed, Don does the smart thing and makes an escape in a puff of humor, extending his hand for a handshake and wishing Megan a good night. She can't help but laugh, shaking his hand and reminding him they'll be gone Sunday. They both roll over to sleep, Megan beaming, happy to have her parents in the house, Don happy to have navigated a potentially dangerous conversation unharmed, and the first day of the Calvets visit ends about as well as they could have hoped even with (or because of) the unexpected addition of Sally and Bobby.

The next day at SCDP, Don - to his credit - is reading through a self-learning guide to speaking French: he actually IS putting in the effort to be able to communicate with his in-laws. Megan pops into his office unannounced (Dawn seemingly is used to her comings-and-goings by now) and asks if he has a minute, and with a grin he promises that if she looks the door and gets Dawn to hold his calls she can have 5. With a grin she calls him a pervert but insists this is about work... before second-guessing herself and admitting she thinks it is, at least.... she's had an idea.

The trouble is while she thinks it is really good she also knows it might be terrible, and Don's comment that she's established a firm bed of insecurity is curiously not a joke or a bit of fun prodding... but the kind of thing he might say to Peggy to another copywriter (particularly the lost, lamented Paul Kinsey). What does that mean? That he's doing exactly what she asked him to do, he's treating this like work, and she's a copywriter presenting an idea to her Creative Director for approval/feedback.

So she lays it out, the idea she got from last night's dinner: a woman making the meal her mother made for her. She imagines it going all the way back to caveman times, through the middle ages and the Renaissance to the modern day and beyond, to the moon (Conrad Hilton would be impressed!), an ongoing cycle of mothers teaching their daughters who become mothers and teach their daughters and so on and so on. Don considers it, nodding and admitting it's not a bad idea at all... with one problem: they don't sell spaghetti.

Now she is confused, explaining what she thought was obvious. It was spaghetti that gave her the idea, but the idea translates to what they are pitching: Heinz Baked Beans. Don takes this in, mind racing through the picture she has painted but replacing spaghetti with beans, and to his great astonishment.... it works! Impressed, he tells her to come over here and she laughs it off, assuming he just wants an excuse to make out a little, but he stands and comes to her. This wasn't a sexual come on, it was an atta-boy. He's impressed, and he considers what they were planning to pitch to Heinz, a human cannonball idea that Megan admits is good... while clearly believing her idea is better.

Don obviously agrees, opening the door and asking Dawn to fetch Stan and Michael. Alarmed, she tells him they'll hate her for running an end play like this and he should take credit for the idea, but with a smile admits when he asks that no she doesn't want him to do this: she had a great idea and she wants to revel in the credit for it.

Just for a second remember that Don and Peggy once ended up in a screaming argument over Don getting all the credit for the Glo-Coat ad she gave him the kernel of an idea for, and Don angrily insisting that's how the job works.

He considers a possible tagline, going with,"Kid's want beans and they have forever", but Megan already had an idea and shares that with him too,"Heinz Beans, some things never change." He's astonished anew, admitting openly that this is a much better tag than the one he came up with (to be fair, on the fly), which makes her even happier. Stan and Michael arrive, not sure what to expect but certainly not to learn that Don has decided to change Heinz. Again.

Blissfully unaware of all this after being removed from the account for the crime of calling out Geiger on pointlessly discarding an idea he requested AND liked, Peggy is working in her office when she is buzzed and informed that "Mr. Drexler" is on the line. She takes the call, Abe in a phone booth asking her to join him for dinner tonight. Absentmindedly she reminds him it's a Thursday and she'll be busy till late, but he points out she'll have to stop and eat at some time. She agrees with that, but simply says he can stop by to eat with her at the office like the previous night, but he insists that he can't talk to her there, it needs to be tonight.

Suddenly paying attention, grasping that something is up, she suggests 6pm but he insists on 7 and then hangs up. Now she's worried, only half taking it in when Stan and Michael return pissed off, Stan smashing his Heinz artboard over his knee. Michael explains that "the boss' wife" had an idea, not calling her Megan now, reducing her to her association, while Stan goes so far as to say it wouldn't have been her idea (why would Don lie? He's the Creative Director, he can change their direction whenever he wants!). Peggy, still in a bit of a fog over Abe, asks if the idea is any good and that's where a large part of the problem becomes apparent, as Stan admits it is better than what they had. Sure he's justified to be upset at the last second change, but also he's mad because he knows it is the right call: "Some things never change" is simply a better idea.

"Good for her," Peggy mumbles and leaves the office, knocking on Joan's door to tell her she needs to pull out of attending the "final mix" with Vick tonight for something very important. Joan isn't particularly bothered by that but does point out it was Peggy who scheduled it in the first place, and Peggy simply mutters that she has something else she needs to do. Joan, still unbothered and not really paying attention, notes that Peggy shouldn't feel bad since this hardly ever happens, and Peggy agrees that it doesn... and then simply just stands there.

Finally she asks if she can borrow a cigarette, and when Joan doesn't respond says her name to get her attention. Now Joan gets it at last. Peggy isn't here to pull out of a work event... well she is, but that's largely just window-dressing, she's really here because she needs somebody to talk to. So Joan asks if she'd like to close the door, and gratefully Peggy is into her office like a shot.

She accepts a cigarette from Joan and vents, saying she thought everything was going great but now Abe is insisting they have dinner tonight despite seeing her last night, and wouldn't say for what reason. Joan lights up too, seemingly relieved that it is what to her seems like a problem with a simple explanation: in her experience if a man insists on a meal he has something important to say, and it's usually a proposal.

Peggy blinks, mind processing this idea that honestly hadn't occurred to her rapidly before quickly dismissing this as something that only happens to women who look like Joan, not her. Joan is adamant though, men don't take the time to end things, they ignore you until YOU insist on a "declaration of hate". Peggy is surprised that Joan has wisdom on even this subject, outright admitting it shocks her that any man would dump her rather than the other way around, and Joan tuts and reminds her that she's just like every other woman. More to the point though, if Abe IS going to try and dump her, Peggy will know how to deal with it... but if he's going to propose, she needs to know how she will respond, ESPECIALLY if her answer is a no.

Her mind opened to new possibilities she hadn't considered, Peggy is momentarily overwhelmed, a broad smile crossing her face as she dares to believe, to hope that Abe is planning to make them more than just boyfriend and girlfriend. Now all thoughts of Vick are wiped from her mind, as well as any other work for the day, as she ponders whether she should go home and change. Joan, who has never thought particularly highly of Peggy's clothes, sweetly suggests maybe she should go shopping instead, and Peggy leaves in a daze, stopping to grin back at Joan as she floats on cloud 9.... is Abe going to propose to her? Time to raise her hopes sky high based on pure conjecture!



In Don's office, the Drapers are working as a team, running through the finer points of their newly created campaign for Heinz. Dawn buzzes in to let Don know that Mr. Sterling is here to see him, and he lets Roger in who is surprised that the couple are ACTUALLY working and not just taking advantage of working together to make out. Don sends Megan away to break up their ideas into frames for art, and Roger immediately makes a beeline for the drinks, telling Don he too has been working all day, with Don assuming he means he emptied his own liquor bottles and is now raiding Don's.

But no, Roger is being genuine, not simply relying on Mona but sending Carolyn to the library to collect photos of the top figures at the awards dinner, and with a little bribery he even thinks he can get hold of the seating chart! Don reminds him that he isn't taking the honor lightly, which delights Roger who insists he say something like that at the dinner! Don is unconvinced by Roger likening this dinner to being lowered into a goldmine on a bucket, saying the Titans of Industry who will be there are all true believers in the dangers of cigarettes and while he'll do what he can to represent SCDP he also isn't going to go overboard... after all his in-laws will be there.

Roger laughs that they won't know he's a hypocrite, but becomes concerned when Don mentions Emile is a communist. That is NOT a laughing matter to Roger, though he softens when Don admits he doesn't actually know WHAT Emile's politics are, just that he's some kind of Socialist or Maoist or something and clearly dislikes Don's lifestyle.... plus, you know, the fact he's sleeping with his daughter! Amused by that, Roger promises him that he's probably overthinking things, sharing his own recent astonishing insight: often the people you think are thinking about you... aren't!

"Lots of people that haven't taken LSD already know that, Roger," Don points out. Because OF COURSE Roger is the type of guy who takes a drug once and then won't shut the gently caress up about everybody needs to try it, and OF COURSE Roger assumes his mind has been opened to unique experiences rather than just being a common empathy that most people who weren't bought up sheltered by incredible wealth and privelege just naturally have.

Peggy, wearing a brand new dress, joins Abe at the restaurant at 7 as promised. He compliments how good she looks (if he recognizes it is new dress, he makes no mention) and they take their seats, making nervous small talk more to be expected on a first date, discussing the menu and the service. Abe admits he asked the waiters to give them a moment alone before inquiring their order, but a nervous Peggy asks if she can get a drink and Abe seems momentarily at a loss, finally agreeing that sure he can call somebody over. Peggy of course immediately changes her mind, seeing this has thrown Abe off her script, a script that she WANTS him to follow.

At first, that's exactly what he does, or rather he follows the script she has written in her own head for him. He talks about how they've reached a place where he wants to be with her all the time, about how they love being together but it is always so hard to find time or work out a schedule, and he wants to find a way around that. She manages to gasp out a happy little,"Oh my God," as he continues, realizing that all her fantasies are going to come true, her handsome, tall, intellectual, passionate boyfriend is going to propose to her, it's actually happening!

So when he declares, nervously, that he thinks they should move in together, her reply is a coquettish little,"How would we do that?", ready to hear him deliver those magic words, to hopefully even have a ring, maybe even to get down on one knee and do the full traditional thing. Instead, Abe enthusiastically explains they could live at either of their places but hers makes the most sense, and though she holds her smile now it is more strained, more forced as she slowly comes to a horrified realization: he's not proposing to her, he just wants them to live together. No marriage, no ring, now ceremony, not even a piece of paper.... they'll just.... live together.

Sensing that something is off, somehow completely missing that a Catholic girl might have been expecting a marriage proposal, he assumes she is wary of the idea of the two of them being together, and says she doesn't need to give an answer right away on such a big step. So Peggy takes a big step of her own, as he nervously collects his menu and prepares to call a waiter, she reaches out and takes him by the hand. He looks up at her and she says the word HE wanted to hear: "Yes."

"You've made me so happy!" he gasps, truly and genuinely happy and feeling like they've taken their relationship to the next level, not grasping that Peggy was hoping for a more extreme version of that. He asks her if she still wants to eat, and now the words she says have a cruel double-meaning for her, as she holds that smile and tries to contain her disappointment.

"I do."

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 22:11 on Nov 1, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



The Cosgroves have joined the Drapers for dinner with the Geigers, where Cynthia is doing her duty well by her husband by talking up Don, explaining her own father is on the American Cancer Society board and told her the voting for Don to be honored was unanimous. Raymond is impressed, and apparently the subject came up because Don invited the Geigers to attend the dinner as well. Raymond appreciates that, but explains the plan is for he and his wife to leave after he is wowed by whatever pitch SCDP has waiting for him tomorrow.

Don is surprised to hear that, noting that Ken got them tickets to the new Edward Albee play, and it is Ken who is surprised when Raymond reveals he and his wife have already seen it. Both Don and Ken are uneasy when Raymond explains they actually got into New York a couple days earlier and have been sightseeing on their own dime, something generally expected (gently caress it, REQUIRED) of the advertising agency to handle.

The Geigers seem a trifle uneasy as well, and Mrs. Geiger - Alice - excuses herself to freshen up, which of course means that Megan and Cynthia join her. As they leave, Raymond looks around the restaurant with a beaming smile and admits he'd always wanted to eat here, but always thought it was restricted to Time Life Employees. So presumably they're in The Tower Suite, which was indeed a private club but only during the day (known as the Hemisphere Club), before opening to the public as a restaurant at night.

In the bathroom, as Megan adjusts her lipstick in the mirror she is joined by Alice who tells her that she really does like her. Megan is pleased if a little confused by this statement, assuring Alice she likes her too. Alice explains she's only telling her this now because Raymond is putting on such a "good show" since he didn't want to come to dinner and just wanted to do it in the office instead, but she really does hope they can stay friends regardless. Cynthia joins them which puts an end to the conversation, but Megan is left mind-racing as she hurriedly interprets what Alice just said (or didn't say) and puts it together with the two of them coming into town early, spending their own money, and making a point of seeing the sights.... and it does not equal a pleasant result.

They return to the table where the men are discussing the toothlessness of the Truth in Packaging Act compared to its original intention, Ken assuring Raymond he won't have to change up and actually, you know, tell the truth on his packaging of Heinz products! The men stand as the women return, and Megan makes a point of giving Don a little kiss... and takes the opportunity to whisper her conclusion into Don's ear.

"We're getting fired."

At first Don is stunned, of course, but as everything and everybody - including Megan - continues to go on as if everything is normal, he allows himself to sink back into his seat. His face looks mildly concerned but it is nothing compared to the screaming whirlwind of chaos probably taking place in his mind... but this is Don Draper, he's long known how to mask how he is feeling from others. When Ken asks if anybody would like a nightcap and Raymond notes that he thinks they'll just turn in, Don pounces on the chance to extend things out further and just please let him have a moment to think, to scramble, to come up with a strategy or even a response to having the rug pulled out from under him like this.

So he turns on the charm, laughing that this dinner is "saving" him from a house full of children and in-laws, and calls to the waiter to ask for a bottle of Sauternes and six glasses. It's a desperation ploy, and Raymond isn't going to be enticed to stay for a simple bottle of wine, mentioning they have the early morning meeting and their flight back to prepare for. It's Megan who comes to the rescue, seizing Don's earlier joke and seeing a chance to use it as a launching pad for rescue.

At first he isn't sure what to make of it, still adrift when she chuckles that Don puts on an act but really he loves having a full house. When she tells him to tell them all about last night, everybody is intrigued while Don is at a loss... until finally it clicks, and he realizes that she is in work-mode, masking it expertly as a loving wife wanting to share a wholesome story.... and now finally he is in work mode too. It's time for the Don Draper who wowed Kodak. It's time for him to turn nostalgia and the trappings of the American Dream into a pitch... and just not let them realize till it's too late that it is a pitch.

And pitch he does, a broad and natural (fake) smile on his face as he speaks of having three generations under one roof, easily co-opting Ken's pathetic line about kids loving beans when Raymond agrees that it's never been a problem getting children to eat them. He essentially gives Raymond the pitch that Megan gave him, something she eagerly encourages by prompting him, knowing that tonight is about presenting a unified front an impressing Raymond as much as possible to save them from disaster. Raymond is impressed, listening along with a mesmerized Alice as they talk about passing through history, of the repeated motif of a mother and son always eating beans through to the current day.

When Raymond suggests they could use the same mother and child for each setting, Don pretends that the idea had never occurred to them but that he's floored by what a great idea it is. Megan prompts him to continue and Don pushes on into discussing the future, though here he insists on saying that part was Megan's. It was ALL her idea, but this isn't about stealing credit, and this gesture is more about Don wanting her to share in some of the credit she has willingly given to him.

The only person who doesn't grasp that something special is happening is Cynthia, who starts to ask if she can get another coffee and gets hurriedly shushed by Ken. He himself almost botched this at the start when he - not realizing they were getting fired by Heinz - tried to warn Don not to do business here at the table (to be fair, it's been drummed into him forever that this isn't done) but he's seen the spell that Don has woven now and doesn't want it broken.

It is Raymond Geiger though, and he's discarded two pitches tailor-made for him just so he could continue to enjoy - as a business expense - being fawned over and traveling to New York and getting to take his wife to fancy places. So he tries to force down his enthusiasm, remembering belatedly that the plan was to turn down whatever was pitched tomorrow and leave without a backwards look at the company that wasted months chasing their business. Except Alice hasn't figured out what he's doing either, noting perplexed that he must love this idea, it's EXACTLY what he told her he wanted!

He fixes her with an icy stare and too late she realizes she has overstepped her bounds. She quickly pretends to be interested in anything else, asking Cynthia to pass her the cream. Sensing something is off but not knowing what, Ken assumes that much like the other two pitches he initially enjoyed and then talked himself out of, Raymond is doing this again, and scrambles to salvage things by saying they have other ideas they're working on too. Don shuts him down with a similar icy glare, declaring authoritatively that no, this is it, THIS is what he'll be getting pitched to him tomorrow.

Now Ken knows that this is Don's position, and from the safety of that position he reframes his own stance, pointing out to Raymond that he can save him the trip tomorrow morning and they can go down to the offices now and look at the work. Raymond is still on the precipice, Don attempting to stare him down and by sheer force of will topple him, caught between clearly loving the pitch and also having already decided to ditch SCDP (if he ever intended to do anything but string them along while reaping the benefits). Ken gives the final little push, asking if they should turn the Sauternes into champagne... and finally Raymond relents. As a wave of relief sweeps over the table, Don takes Megan's hands, awash with love for her even more than he already thought possible: she's saved them, not just with her ideas and her figuring out what was happening with Raymond, but in her willingness to give Don the spotlight. With her help, Don has finally won the account that he has been chasing since the end of season 4, and that already contributed to the destruction of another relationship with Dr. Faye Miller.



With the dinner over, the euphoria of a successful pitch is paired with their sexual chemistry, and Don and Megan are making out like crazy as they hop into a cab. Don is in awe, admitting that his plan was literally to just scream into Raymond's stupid face for wasting all their time using them as an excuse for a trip with his wife (like Don did with Megan last episode!) but Megan saved the day: she can do it all, and she's good at all of it!

She's equally feeling the rush, feeling the energy of not just a successful pitch but HER successful pitch, coupled with the clear and genuine appreciation of her husband. But of course, they have a house full of children and in-laws just like Don joked.... they can't really relax and have wild, crazy and loud sex like they clearly want to. So this time it is Megan, not Don, who eagerly suggests that they use Don's office for sex instead, and Don of course is over the moon and more than happy to follow her suggestion: what could have been a disaster has turned into a triumph, and on top of that he's getting laid!

The next morning Peggy arrives and pours herself a coffee in the break room. Joan joins her, letting her know there is champagne in the conference room thanks to Don and Megan selling Heinz last night over dinner. Her expert eye doesn't just pick up on Peggy clearly feeling a little lost though, but the fact her fingers are bare, and so as diplomatically as she can she asks if she doesn't feel like celebrating. Peggy of course tries to put a brave face on it, explaining to Joan that it's better than the marriage proposal she'd convinced herself she was getting... they're going to be moving in together!

Joan's initial reaction, a little smirk and a playful,"Shacking up?" clearly makes Peggy's doubts grow even stronger, and to her credit Joan realizes this and quickly pulls back from the playful teasing to speak honestly. She promises Peggy that it's not a bad thing, sensing that Peggy wants to believe that but can't quite shake that Catholic guilt that she's doing something wrong or that Abe is taking advantage of her in some way. She stresses that Abe clearly wants to be with her whatever way he can, and Peggy allows herself to get worked up and agree with that, declaring that she doesn't need some piece of paper to define them as a couple.

She immediately regrets that, after all Joan is married (Lane still calls her Mrs. Harris, did she actually divorce Greg or are they just separated/estranged?), but Joan promises her she takes no offense: after all, Greg has a "piece of paper" with the US Government he clearly values more than the one he had with her. Now it is Peggy who feels like she has upset Joan, and she apologizes, but Joan assures her everything is fine and that she is happy for Peggy's romantic development. They hug, Peggy still clearly feeling some lingering trepidation in spite of herself, and that hug itself really demonstrates how far their own relationship has developed since that first episode.

In the conference room, everybody is laughing and drinking champagne to celebrate Don and Megan's success. Ken is gleefully recounting the events of the night, astounded when Harry suddenly speaks up to complete the story as if he was there! As he incredulously notes this, Stan pulls away from the group to go and shake Don's hand, who reminds him he should he shaking Megan's. He does so, a smile on his face but not quite as broad and friendly as the one he offered Don. Megan decides to slip away, explaining she's going to let Peggy know the good news, and Don happily suggests she tell everyone. As she goes, Ken asks Pete if he'd like to give Lane the good news, and Pete "selflessly" tells Ken to do so since he's earned it, before adding on that even with signing Heinz they're still 15k in the red on this account... because, you know, he's Pete Campbell and he just can't help himself.

Also there's a good chance the reason he thinks Ken "earned it" is because he's terrified Lane will beat the poo poo out of him again if he goes anywhere near him.

It's actually Peggy who spots Megan first, as the latter pauses outside the conference room and seems to be momentarily overwhelmed. Peggy calls out a congratulations and gives her a hug, explaining that Joan already told her.... that Harry told Joan that Meg signed the account! Oh Harry. Looking a little startled, Megan quickly tries to play off her part, saying she can't take all the credit, but now Peggy is in the Joan position of trying to get a younger co-worker to look on the bright side, saying that whatever the equivalent of baseball is in Canada, this is a home run.

"We have baseball in Canada," grins Megan.

"Then this is a home run!" exclaims Peggy!

She explains that the first time she landed a big account, the others all acted like it was the kind of thing that happened all the time, clearly intimidated by her success and wanting to act like she was nothing special. Now she's had this job for awhile, she knows for a fact that something like this does NOT happen all the time, and she wants Megan to revel now in this moment. She speaks from the heart, openly and honestly, explaining that getting to see Megan achieve this too makes it feel like she is in some way getting to relive her own success. She isn't threatened by Megan, she isn't intimidated or jealous. She's happy. She's proud. "This is as good as this job gets," she tells her, and she means it in all sincerity,"Savor it."

"You're right, I will," agrees Megan, forcing a smile, and then moves on. Peggy watches her go, and she knows that something isn't right. She doesn't know what, and maybe Megan doesn't consciously know either though I suspect she goes. Because "This is as good as this job gets," cuts both ways. For Peggy, it is a goal to aspire to and enjoy on those fleeting highs when you reach it. For Megan, it might just be that having achieved her goal and succeeded so wildly in this job has made her face a startling and unwelcome realization: this is as good as it gets... and it doesn't actually feel as good as she thought it would. What does that mean? Has she chosen the wrong career path after all? Is the "best" she can hope for odd moments where she achieves and everybody else is exhilarated while she only feels mildly satisfied? The true exhilaration came for her in the immediate aftermath of her and Don working in synch, but while Don continues to ride that high, the wave had already receded for her.

The next morning at the Draper residence, Don emerges from the bedroom to find Emile and Bobby already in the living room. He asks where the others are and Emile, who is going through his notes, explains Marie and Megan took Sally out shopping. As for Bobby? Well Bobby is "helping" Emile, who has given him a fountain pen to fill up with ink. Don stares down at his son busily filling up the pen, the spilled ink mostly (but not entirely) on the newspaper they laid down but some getting into the carpet. "Thanks, Emile," Don notes wearily.

The girls return, all smiles, Don's eyes popping at all the bags and boxes they're carrying. Megan assures him it isn't as bad as it looks, then can't help but giggle and admit that even so, it IS pretty bad! Marie prompts Sally who very sincerely and politely asks her "papa" if she can attend the dinner with them. Don is delighted at that "papa" but isn't making any guarantees, and of course Marie and Megan reveal they already bought her the dress, effectively forcing his hand. Warmly, Marie declares that every daughter should get to see her father be a success, and Emile immediately slams his hand on the table and roars in French that she won't be happy till he's dead, then storms out of the room in a huff, clearly taking the compliment aimed at Don as an insult indirectly aimed at himself.

Marie isn't taking that lying down though, storming after him and shouting also in French that nobody will care when he's gone. They yell back and forth at each other, him likening her to her mother, their words alien gibberish to all but Megan. Don tries to ease Sally's clear concern, telling her everything will be fine and of course she can go to the dinner. Momentarily forgetting the yelling, she excitedly asks if she can show off her dress, and Don doesn't know how to react, while Megan's eyes remain fixed on the closed door where her parents are letting their invective fly. She leaves the room as well, and a concerned Don tells Sally and Bobby to watch tv, while he follows after her.

In the hall, he quietly asks what is going on, as if Marie and Emile could hear anything over the sound of their screaming. Even so, Megan quickly pulls him aside to whisper her answer, maybe more to protect Sally and Bobby from overhearing it than anything else. Her father had the meeting with his publisher (singular) and was back home within the hour, and Marie walked in on him on the phone to his latest grad student Claudette, crying. Don, who of all people should know better, doesn't immediately grasp the significance of this beyond the fact clearly nobody wants to publish Emile's latest book, and that Emile was understandably upset about that.

Megan has to explain to him that if he was going to cry to anybody it should have been her mother, leaving it unsaid that Emile is presumably having an affair (one of the insults Marie hurled at him was about his girlfriend), and not just a sexual one either given he feels close enough to her to call and share his emotions with her. He grasps the implication at last, but now he has more immediate concerns, what does this mean for them attending the dinner tonight? Megan promises him it will be fine, they argue like this all the time and always recover. It is the sincere belief of a grown woman who still doesn't want to believe that her beloved parents would ever not be together, and all Don - who knows better from his own childhood and the breakup of his first (legally second) marriage - can do is offer her what comfort he can in this moment.

That evening at Peggy's home, Abe helps her set the table as they prepare for a very special dinner. It would perhaps be more accurate to call this their home now, but the place isn't just spotless because her boyfriend is living here now... Peggy is ready to share the news of her new living arrangements with the person she fears most in the world. Not Don Draper, not Pete Campbell, not Joan Holloway.... her mother.

Katherine comes in all smiles, greeting Megan with a kiss and politely calling Abe "Abraham", but clearly pleased when he quietly completes removing her coat when she starts and then pauses in mid-motion, and even more pleased when he offers to get her a sherry. She bought a desert, Peggy noting this as the quiet observation of a woman who knows her mother has somehow judged her or found her wanting before even arriving. Katherine warns her that the desert is delicate so she should leave it in the box for Katherine herself to remove later.

Still, she does compliment the nice smell of the food, and Abe happily explains that Peggy made his favorite: Ham. Katherine can't help but let out a surprised,"Really?" at that, clearly having assumed that Abe being Jewish precludes him from eating pork. Still, all in all so far the evening is off to a pleasant enough start.

At the Draper home, Megan's assurance seems to have proven true, as both Emile and Marie are all dressed up along with Don and Megan, ready to go. Bobby eagerly races to answer the door, surprised to see the man on the other side of the door, asking if HE is babysitting. "No," grins Roger Sterling, looking like he's already had a few drinks, and enters the apartment, greeted happily by Don who introduces him to the Calvets. Roger shakes Emile's hands, distractedly notes that the ladies look ravishing and tries to be good and decline Megan's offer of a drink before throwing that out the window and asking for one... and for somebody to help him with his bowtie, he's going stag and his doorman wears a clip-on!

Marie of course is more than happy to do this for him, Emile glowering as she flirts with Roger who just automatically flirts back without even thinking about it. All thoughts of this disappear from everybody's minds though when Sally emerges, Don gasping in shock to see his little girl all dressed up, her hair done, make-up on, looking like a little woman. Megan, Marie and Roger all just automatically blurt out that she looks beautiful, while Emile offers a genuine melancholic advice to Don born of his own experience: there is nothing he can do, one day all daughters spread their legs and fly away.

Roger bursts out laughing, shocked by this statement, and for once Marie defends her husband, asking why Roger is laughing since what Emile is saying is true. "Wings, daddy" a mortified Megan corrects her father. For Don though, his eyes haven't left Sally, and now he reminds her that she's not a fully grown women yet, telling her she'll need to lose the boots and the make-up. She's stunned, but they're part of the ensemble! She initially refuses, but when Don calmly shrugs and says the alternative is to stay home, she immediately capitulates: some battles you don't try to fight.



They arrive at the dinner, Sally immediately disappointed that this ballroom doesn't have a grand staircase. Roger cheekily points out her handsome prince is on his way though as he gestures to Pete Campbell approaching, before chuckling,"Nah!" Pete arrives, complimenting how lovely Sally looks before immediately turning to business and asking Don to come meet Ed Baxter, Ken's father-in-law. Don is happy to do so, asking Megan to join them, and she seems a little nervous at leaving the others (mostly her parents) alone, but Roger assures he he'll keep an eye on everybody.

That's the opposite of reassuring!

Don finally meets Ed Baxter (Yay, Ray Wise!), thanking him for the honor, but Ed laughs and throws his hands up, admitting he had to recuse himself from the vote given the conflict of interest. Still, he's impressed by Don's "stirring copy", and when Don quickly includes Megan in the mix by talking up her talents as well, Ed admits that Cynthia told him all about the successful dinner with Heinz. "She's a natural!" agrees Pete quickly, seeing which way the wind is blowing and deciding to go all-in like the grimy little pimp he is. Megan appears a little unsettled, whether because she's worried about her parents, put off by Pete's obvious insincerity, or just uncomfortable with Don continually praising her... or maybe a combination of all three.

At the table, Emile himself is also fixated on his daughter, and he clearly doesn't like what he sees. He gets distracted though when Pete comes over to introduce himself and shake his hand, while Roger is busily filling Sally in on who everybody is, giving her little tidbits of information and admonishing her not to forget them. "I won't," she nods seriously, as Roger enjoys running through the names he has to go with faces, the result of his research (which largely consisted of getting Carolyn and Mona to find things out for him) paying off already because he doesn't feel lost or without purchase in a room full of strangers.

Marie watches, charmed as Roger easily keeps Sally entertained, telling her to collect the business cards he brings back from his chats in her purse, and to tell him,"Go get 'em, tiger!" whenever he seeks out somebody else to meet. Sally nods happily, pleased to have something to do, while Pete has gotten Emile wrapped up in a discussion of what HE does at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The trouble being, even after being told... Emile still doesn't quite grasp what it is that Pete does?

At an earlier time, Pete might have been insulted or laughed it off while seething about it. Now? He starts to explain and then decides to take a different tack, asking what it is that Emile does? He's a scholar and an intellectual, right? Emile nods that this is largely covers it, and Pete tells him not to be so modest, after all he has heard he is a bit of a trailblazer! Charmed, his ego stroked, Emile tries to play this off but drinks it up as Pete ponders how much better the world would be if they knew more of the work that Emile Calvet did.... and THAT is what Pete does all day.

Finally Emile grasps that Pete's job is to butter people up and make them feel good about themselves. The fact that he was so easily hooked might easily anger or frustrate him, but instead Emile shows a willingness to laugh at himself (just not to be looked down on by Marie), delighted at Pete's clever display and apt demonstration of his skills in a way that precludes Emile from waving off those who fall for such cheap tricks as gullible buffoons... because that would make HIM a gullible buffoon!

The entrees start arriving and Roger realizes he has to work his way around the room now before everybody is seated and eating. He makes a quick exit, a pleased Marie watching him go and beaming to Sally that her "date" is very resourceful. Sally is preoccupied though, because he entree is - of course - fish. She tries her best, taking a bite, and though it is expertly cooked the fact is that... she just doesn't like fish!

At Peggy's (and Abe's), they've finished up their meals and Abe collects the plates to take them to the kitchen. Left alone for the moment with her daughter, Katherine apologizes and says she was planning to stick around for desert but "this" is taking longer than she expected. Peggy isn't quite sure how to react to that, but when Abe returns they go full force forward, holding hands and explaining that they have something to tell her. "Really?" she asks, waiting expectantly, and so Peggy explains that they're very serious about each other... so they're going to live together.

"....what?" she asks, and clearly this is not what she thought "this" would be. If anything, she probably had the same idea that Peggy did, that this was going to be the announcement of an engagement, that her daughter was finally getting married even if it was to a nice Jewish boy instead of a nice Catholic boy. Still, Peggy patiently explains, she knows her mother may not approve but it's important to her that she knows what they're doing. Calmly, gently, Abe assures Katherine that he will take good care of her daughter. The two hold hands, radiating love, and wait for Katherine's response, which will surely understand and appreciate their candor and hone-



Oh.

Yes she literally demanded her cake back! She grabs her things, ready to storm out, but Peggy follows her after, twisting her around to face her. Abe, horrified to be caught in the middle of this, awkwardly excuses himself to fetch Katherine a taxi, leaving mother and daughter alone. Peggy is furious at her mother, who is equally furious at her. Katherine complains she SHOULD have just lied to her, because doing this is rubbing it in her face, and they're far from the first couple to live together without being married. Peggy retorts that she doesn't want to lie, she wants her mother in her life and that means being honest about what is going on in it.

That's not the type of relationship Katherine wants though, and that's been clear for a long time. She wants Peggy to do the "right" thing, and more importantly to be seen to do the "right" thing. When Peggy sarcastically notes she figured Katherine would be happy she wasn't "marrying the Jew", it hints at another unseen argument the two probably had when she first told her she was dating Abe and Katherine probably said some very nasty things about his background. Katherine roars that this has nothing to do with it, blaming herself for there being nobody around to set Peggy "straight" after her father died. When Peggy hits back that her father would want her to be happy, Katherine insists that no he'd be just as mad at her as Katherine herself currently is.

With real venom, actual disgust in her voice, she warns Peggy that Abe ("that boy") will simply use her for "practice" and then move on when he's ready to actually get married and have children, and it WILL happen. Devastated that her own mother would say something like this, she asks a question that speaks to a long-standing theme we have seen with Peggy over the years: she is desperately afraid of being alone. She asks Katherine if that's what she'd prefer, and Katherine seems momentarily stunned before hardening her heart again and offering a cruel piece of advice her sister (Peggy's aunt) once gave her: if you're lonely, get a cat. They live for 13 years, then you get another one, it lives for 13 years, you get another one, it lives for 13 years... and then you're done.

With that horrifying piece of homespun "wisdom" she leaves, Peggy starting to break down once she's gone. Part of Katherine's fears and prejudice are in Peggy herself, of course, they can't help but be given her upbringing. But most of what makes her cry is that her own mother has reacted with such venom to the thing (and person) that makes Peggy herself feel truly happy. It is a rejection of what makes Peggy happy, and thus a rejection of Peggy as a person herself.

At the awards dinner, everybody (Trudy isn't with Pete today, but he would have jumped at the chance to stay in the city) is at the table watching as Don waits his turn to be honored with others up on the stage. Roger cheerfully accuses Sally of being a mean drunk when she doesn't laugh at his Baked Alaska joke, which causes Marie to giggle, which of course gets Roger's attention, because the only thing he likes more than attention is positive attention.

Don is called up and presented with his award, and as photos are taken Roger ponders openly to Sally that shouldn't he be at her father's side? "Go get 'em, Tiger," Sally helpfully offers, and he's immediately off like a shot. The dinner continues, Sally facing up to the disheartening reality that adult dinner parties like this largely consist of sitting around doing nothing while people come and go to quietly and pleasantly chat among themselves. Don and Megan return to the table and she gets a momentary respite, asking to see her father's award.

He presents it to her, asking if she'd like to keep it, and is thoroughly charmed when she tells him he should keep it since it makes him happy. Thrilled, he explains sincerely that what makes him happy is a young woman who will one day soon be wearing make-up... but not today. She nods at that and he gives her a paternal, loving kiss on the head, Emile beaming at the display as it brings to mind his own fond memories of Megan at that age. Roger returns with a Shirley Temple for Sally, explaining sternly it's time for her to taper off the booze, then tells Don - who only just sat down - that he promised Frank from Ford that he'd pop over and have a chat. Weary but willing to do his part without going overboard as promised, he collects himself up and goes. Roger pauses a moment though, spotting Marie near the bar cooing over baby photos an older woman is showing her.

He joins her at the bar, admitting that normally he'd offer to buy her a drink but it's a free bar. With absolutely zero inhibition, Marie admits she has been watching him all night, marveling at how he is so full of life and ambition, thankfully not adding on,"For your age" to ruin the effect. Instead she talks about when SHE was younger, how she full of spirit and was willing to try everything and anything, and most importantly never be sorry for making mistakes in the process.... until one day she made too many mistakes.

"Where was I that day?" he chuckles, making her laugh and claim that inside of him is a little boy. The way she says it sounds so charming and full of life, even though we know that "little boy" is just that Roger is often just incredibly immature. He does offer her a valuable notion though, that he reached a point in his life where he realized you should never stop trying. It's a line that might carry a bit more weight if we didn't know he was born wealthy and only got richer as he got older, where he had the freedom to make all these mistakes, but for Marie it's a philosophy that inspires her. She agrees with him, noting that they SHOULD have everything they want, and Roger goes silent in the aftermath of that statement, recognizing it for exactly what it is, a small smile slowly crossing his face.

At the table, Sally announces to Megan that she's going to the ladies room so can she watch the award for her? Solemnly Megan promises Sally she's got it, and now at last she's alone at the table with her father. She moves over to sit beside him, telling him how glad she is that he is here, and he offers back a question that shows he can still read his daughter at least: then why does she look sad?

She insists she isn't, just tired after a busy week, and he chuckles at her "big beans success". She asks him not to make fun, but lets slip more of her own feelings (kind of like Peggy with Katherine) when she says she knows he doesn't approve of her choice of work. Emile obviously sense that too, as he looks around the room of "Titans of Industry" and asks her if THIS is her passion. He explains that he always thought her single-mindedness would carry her to success in whatever she wanted to do, but instead she simply skipped the struggle and went right to the end. Now she has wealth that she did not earn, and though he doesn't necessary agree with Marx that the money belonged to or is deserved by somebody else, he does think that simply being given things is bad for your soul.

Wow, and he's only known Roger Sterling for a few hours!

Megan is a little stunned at how openly Emile is expressing these ideas, even moreso that he's doing so in English to signify that she's no longer the same person he raised, she has become somebody else. Trying to hold her own, she tells him not to beat her up with politics because he hates that she loves Don, but rather than raise to that bait he reiterates his earlier point: he hates that she gave up. He doesn't dispute that she loves Don, but he doesn't think she should use that love as an excuse to give up on what she really wants to be and to do.

"Not tonight, Papa," she manages at last, reverting to French, too stunned and upset by his words (which clearly echo her own doubts) to want to continue this. Where he might have continued with Marie (and probably louder and angrier) he demurrs with his daughter, reverting himself back to the loving and doting father rather than the stern authoritarian giving a moral lesson. He gently pats her hand and tells her, in French, that okay, not tonight.

Sally meanwhile is struggling to find the bathroom in this bewildering place. She spots some large double doors and, hoping against hope, steps up and opens one of those. On the other side isn't a bathroom, it's a large room with a couch facing the opposite wall across the other side from the room. Roger Sterling is sitting in that couch, and Marie is... Sally squints, trying to understand why Marie is on her knees and what she's doing with her head near his lap and bobbing up and down like tha-



Wendy Torrance, eat your heart out.

Ed Baxter happily explains that he's been telling Ken they should get out of the advertising business, advice he clearly thinks should apply to Don Draper - whose daughter has just stumbled upon his mother-in-law fellating his business partner - as well. They're having a drink together at a quieter part of the ballroom, and Don is amused by Ed's advice, waving hello to another man when they make eye contact. Ed turns around to see who he is looking at, then turns back and admits he could introduce him if he wants... but he wouldn't want to waste Don's time.

Now Don is genuinely confused, the man in question is on the Board and seems to like his work. Oh Ed agrees with that entirely, in fact he'd go so far as to say they LOVE his work. All the members of the Board do, in fact... they just don't like him. Don is bewildered, and Ed seems genuinely confused, like he's telling Don something that should be obvious (and to be fair, every other partner in the Agency told him would happen): they'll bury Don in awards but they're never work with him, and the reason for both those things is the letter he wrote. It was articulate, creative, devastating to Lucky Strike and expertly put together... and it also showed that Don Draper will bite the hand that feeds him.

They laud his willingness to make a moral stand (after decades of willfully helping sell a deadly and addictive poison and only growing a conscience AFTER they were fired) but also detest his lack of "loyalty" (to a company that fired him!). For Ed it's the most obvious thing in the world, and of course it is, because this is America, and just like Heinz some things never change. The only people who get to have things both ways are the rich and powerful, and though Don is loaded with money and lauded by the powerful, he is not even remotely as rich as Roger and probably nowhere near the same stratosphere of Cooper... and they themselves were dwarfed by the Garners.

Don is stunned, or horrified would be a more accurate description. Everything he was warned of was true: he managed to change the conversation on SCDP being at death's door for long enough for them to survive, and he's been rewarded with honors and the offer of pro-bono prestigious work... but he's killed he and SCDP's chances of ever being accepted into the elite. Ed's face falls when he realizes too late that Don didn't know ANY of this, but he also quickly gets over it and moves on, simply offering to get Don another drink (that he doesn't have to pay for!), because he's one of those who get to do what they want, be hypocrites, espouse moral truths while wallowing in hypocrisy...and are untouchable. Don's in a nice suit, he has plenty of money, but he hasn't come all that far from Dick Whitman parking cars at a bar after all, and now the equivalent of pissing in the trunk was writing a letter to the New York Times: he temporarily irritated somebody who then moved on without a thought and continued to lived a blessed existence denied to him.

There are two scenes left in this episode. The last was clearly considered necessary to bookend the episode, but feels extraneous to me. It concerns Sally Draper calling Glen Bishop late at night from Don's apartment for a chat, wanting to clear her head of the horrifying realization that Marie was sucking Roger's dick. Glen "jokes" that the other boys think she's his girlfriend, and he probably dies a little inside when she laughs that off and without a second thought says they're not. He asks her how New York is, and with an almost too fast cut to black she simply replies,"Dirty."

But forget that scene, it's kind of clunky and doesn't really work and feels like an odd end to the episode. Where the episode SHOULD have ended was on a final beautiful shot of everybody returning to the table in various states of dismay. Megan and Emile sit in silence, both considering what has become of their life, Emile considering what has become of Megan's as well as his own. Marie returns without a word, not looking at her husband, while Don comes back and considers the award that now feels like a mockery, despite the fact he'd openly told Roger he didn't want to consider tonight a business night - it's one thing to deny yourself something, quite another to have it denied you. Sally returns still somewhat stunned, quickly allowing a waiter to take away her Shirley Temple, named after a child star famous for, among many other things, singing,"At the Codfish Ball" and being for many a symbol of childhood innocence they never wanted to be lost or to see grow up.

There they sit, five utterly miserable people, stunned and saddened or made miserable by their lives, or their work, or by both. On a night that is supposed to be a celebration, just like it was for Peggy and Abe, it has ended in sadness, introspection and a questioning of their life choices. You'll note, of course, that the supposedly newly awakened to empathy and self-reflection Roger Sterling is nowhere to be seen.



Episode Index

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 22:04 on Nov 1, 2021

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Jerusalem posted:

Thank you for waiting, here is my "At the Codfish Ball" summary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwdu0GKb8A#t=29s

I immediately got a bitcoin ad, I can only assume this was intentional on your part

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Gaius Marius posted:

I immediately got a bitcoin ad, I can only assume this was intentional on your part

The Chip 'n' Dip scene, but it's Pete enthusiastically explaining blockchain technology to Ken.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Pete wild eyed and insane yelling at trudy about how GME is going into short squeeze any day now, meanwhile Ken has already sold months ago and reinvested the idiot cash into real stocks.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Pete paying Stan $1000 for a letter dictating Pete owns an original sketch he did (that Stan keeps locked in a drawer), Stan just gives photocopies of the original to everybody in the office for free.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Babby*



"We have Canada in baseball," grins Megan.

I think the line would have been even better this way

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



Love this episode!

I don't think Roger actually attended or bet on the 1919 World Series (doesn't really line up age-wise), he just sees the event itself as symbolic of his inherited wealth. He has realized that his upbringing (the game, so to speak) was rigged in his favor, and when the jig was up and Lucky Strike left, he lost his sense of self-worth. Now that he's realized that fact, he's choosing to be proactive instead of resting on his laurels and pouting.

We've watched this character stumble through relationships for over five seasons, the whole time utterly unaware of himself and blind to his own shortcomings. As eyeroll-worthy as it is to see a man of such enormous privilege talk about simple emotional truths like he's the first one to have discovered them, it's very gratifying to see this manchild finally gain some measure of self-awareness, even if it was at the hands of a drug-induced dissociative experience.

Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


This episode is delightful as is this entire stretch. I don’t really have anything else to add except that I love this season oh so very much.

Ungratek
Aug 2, 2005



"People who haven't taken LSD already know that" is one of my favorite lines in the whole series, especially since Roger just shrugs and accepts the criticism.

JethroMcB
Jan 23, 2004

We're normal now.
We love your family.


The immediacy of the cut to black after Sally says "Dirty." gives that unnecessary final scene a little weight and edge, but yeah, the credits definitely should've come after the tableaux of the disappointed extended Draper family. (Speaking of, the comedy beats in the dinner pitch scene come off as clunky and forced. Just a couple of miscues that stand out in an otherwise great episode - really weird because Uppendahl is usually a pretty reliable director for the series and has another outstanding installment later this season.)

So after all his hemming and hawing about wanting something current that speaks to youth culture, Raymond really wanted a rote depiction of American domesticity with an explicit assurance that it will continue indefinitely. Who could've seen that coming?

Ray Wise as Cynthia's dad is such perfect casting, somebody skilled at playing congenial with a level of ice and menace behind their words. He barely registers that he's breaking terrible news to Don and has a terrifically flip "You should've known" attitude as the reality sets in - but he's still having a great time! Fantastic company, open bar, what more could you want?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



kalel posted:

I don't think Roger actually attended or bet on the 1919 World Series (doesn't really line up age-wise), he just sees the event itself as symbolic of his inherited wealth. He has realized that his upbringing (the game, so to speak) was rigged in his favor, and when the jig was up and Lucky Strike left, he lost his sense of self-worth. Now that he's realized that fact, he's choosing to be proactive instead of resting on his laurels and pouting.

Yeah I don't know why but I keep thinking of Roger as being close to his 60s when I think he's "only" supposed to be late 40s to early 50s in the actual show? Old enough to have served in World War 2, but in 1919 he would have been a kid at most and probably more likely a toddler. You're right that he views the 1919 World Series as symbolic of himself, a rigged game where he hadn't actually done anything to deserve the spoils.

kalel posted:

We've watched this character stumble through relationships for over five seasons, the whole time utterly unaware of himself and blind to his own shortcomings. As eyeroll-worthy as it is to see a man of such enormous privilege talk about simple emotional truths like he's the first one to have discovered them, it's very gratifying to see this manchild finally gain some measure of self-awareness, even if it was at the hands of a drug-induced dissociative experience.

Oh yeah, it's actually lovely to see, even if I can see him being the type of guy who gets really irritating about it, and doesn't quite grasp that these enormous revelations for him are just kinda how most people feel and think automatically.

JethroMcB posted:

Ray Wise as Cynthia's dad is such perfect casting, somebody skilled at playing congenial with a level of ice and menace behind their words. He barely registers that he's breaking terrible news to Don and has a terrifically flip "You should've known" attitude as the reality sets in - but he's still having a great time! Fantastic company, open bar, what more could you want?

He really is expertly cast, and yeah a perfect encapsulation of the utterly insulated and hypocritical powerful who can both laud Don for his "morals" while simultaneously seeing it as an absolute given that none of them would ever work with him because of them.

Also I just loving love seeing Ray Wise in anything, he's so good!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 22:13 on Nov 1, 2021

WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010



Jerusalem posted:

Yeah I don't know why but I keep thinking of Roger as being close to his 60s when I think he's "only" supposed to be late 40s to early 50s in the actual show? Old enough to have served in World War 2, but in 1919 he would have been a kid at most and probably more likely a toddler. You're right that he views the 1919 World Series as symbolic of himself, a rigged game where he hadn't actually done anything to deserve the spoils.

According to a fan wiki I looked at he was born in 1916, so yeah he would have been 2 or 3 years old.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



It's extra dumb I made the mistake since Roger complains to Cooper at one point that the latter doesn't respect him because he was too young to be in business during the Great Depression.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




Jerusalem posted:

Old enough to have served in World War 2

There's a few bits and pieces that make his age really odd to work out and one of them is his WWII service. For his WWII stories to make sense, he'd have to be in his mid-30s before 1945. His stories imply that he was in command of a cruiser. He doesn't specify what type of cruiser, but he does say "cruiser" in one story. A couple of his stories have phrases that would have required him to be in command, because he mentions taking the ship off course to do something. But, even that young is pretty young to command even a light cruiser. A destroyer or destroyer escort skipper was routinely in his early to mid 30s.

It is also possible that his command was not the cruiser he referred to and that he served on a cruiser before getting a command of a lighter ship, which comes up in his story about shooting down a recon plane. That story has enough details that require it happening no earlier than November 1944.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Roger does seem like the type to juice up his stories over the year.

kalel
Jun 19, 2012



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

kalel fucked around with this message at 01:06 on Nov 2, 2021

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Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


kalel posted:

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

i agree with all this. roger is too young to have been a captain in ww2, unless he's in his sixties. if he were a very young hotshot captain, he would almost certainly still be in the navy and not an advertising executive. it is much more likely that roger was a junior bridge crew officer, most likely a lieutenant of some kind - the kind of position a rich kid who grew up near the water could get if he really wanted to get into the thick of the fighting. it makes more sense to me that he was involved in the command of the ship as part of a smaller ship's captain's immediate staff, but not himself in any position of command

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