Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 4 USERS: A-
That's Some Great Business Sense!
what she wants to do, apparently a little too gruffly, as she asks how he can talk to her that way, given the condition she's in. If they didn't set her up to say that line with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of wine in the other on purpose, I will be sorely disappointed. She orders Don to stay in the room with her rather than go downstairs to belatedly hang up his coat, and I can only imagine that once she loses her pregnancy weight she's going to be wearing pants quite often.

Ha! William and Judy are being forced to sleep in bunk beds. It's a cheap laugh, but I'll take it. William says it's funny how Betty's being, given that she and Gene used to fight all the time, and adds that he cares about family too. "You know, Don had nobody at their wedding. Nobody." This comment echoes the deep mistrust Gene expressed toward Don last season, as long as you've got your resentments scorecard out. Speaking of which, Judy asks why they can't just move in with Gene so she can take care of him, but William crabs that it's bad enough working for him. "I'm a thirty-year-old man. I don't want to have somebody tell me I have the wrong tie on." Forget what I said about a cheap laugh -- it's the bunk beds that make it art.

Dressed for bed, Peggy's hanging her delicates to dry; she then takes a brush and diffidently works on her hair as she goes to the mirror. After a moment, though, she turns a shoulder and starts doing her best Ann-Margret, singing what words she knows of Bye Bye Birdie with all the attendant vapid smiling and hair-tossing and general prepubescent vamping, and Elisabeth Moss's instincts are just consistently so brilliant that it almost seems like I'm doing her a disservice to go on and on about them. I mean, I've heard so much about District 9 at this point that it's almost sure to turn out to be a disappointment, probably through no fault of its own. Anyway, Peggy goes right back to brushing her hair, which is a welcome reminder that Ann-Margret can be turned off just as easily as she's turned on.

In Don's office, there's a meeting going on about the new MSG account, and surprisingly, Don tells Paul that although he has to keep a low profile, he'll still be working on it. This decision is rendered moot, however, when Pryce enters and asks to speak to Don privately. When they're alone, he informs Don that London feels that the staff requirements necessary to service MSG outweigh the potential benefits, especially given that the place is unlikely to open for at least two years. Don tries to argue that MSG will be their gateway to the World's Fair, "the largest trade show in history" (and held in New York City in 1964), not to mention the hotels, concerts, and sports that will be affiliated with the place. "This could mean thirty years of business!" Pryce gently says London isn't interested, prompting Don to take his head off for not even checking with them first. "Why the hell did you buy us in the first place?" Pryce, taking a long, regretful moment to really contemplate the question: "I don't know." Again, not sure this really lands -- is the only point that Don's a visionary? I mean, I don't find the reaction of the distant overlords-come-lately of any interest whatsoever, especially in the context of American social change, and Don's getting enough screen time devoted to his sensibilities in this episode. It's possible we're meant to conclude that Pryce is starting to break with his bosses' way of thinking, but for a character that was just introduced last episode it's a little difficult to say. Anyway, Don, no happier with that answer than Pryce is, opens the door in lieu of being all "I. Said. Good. DAY!" When Pryce is gone, Don bites out to his secretary that she can tell Pete MSG is dead, and then Peggy, who's been waiting, inquires if he has a second. Don roughly asks if it can wait, but Peggy, mistaking his sharp tone as a lack of respect for her as a woman rather than the "Now's a bad time to get me on your side" it is, says no, so Don shows her in. She presents the storyboards for the ad, and after slamming the name, Don confesses he doesn't get it, not having seen Bye Bye Birdie... then we're in the conference room getting borderline screeched at again. Don, however, doesn't see it that way, saying that the pure way Ann-Margret throws herself at the camera "makes your heart hurt." I'll agree with him if I can add the words "not in a good way." Peggy repeats her assertion that the ad isn't targeting the user, but Don disagrees, saying that she's projecting the image of being happy that she drinks Patio, and the truth is that "men want her, and women want to be her." As I said, not in a good way. Peggy tries one more time to convince him, but Don ends the meeting: "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems. Leave some tools in your toolbox." Peggy stands stock still as Don leaves the room...

...but on the elevator down at the end of the day, Roger catches her and asks her opinion as a "young girl," prefacing his question with this: "You're the only one around here who doesn't have that stupid look on her face." How quickly he forgets Mrs. Harris. Peggy asks what he's getting at, so he inquires what her father would have to do to make her not want him at her wedding. Peggy confesses that her father passed away, to which Roger replies, "There you go. You'd do anything." Roger of course means that she, like most girls, would love to have her father at her wedding, but Peggy looks at him like she's wondering if he's drunk. Honey, he was drunk when it was five o'clock somewhere, not just here.

In Brooklyn, Peggy gets off the subway. She walks past the entrance to a crowded and lively watering hole, and stops in front of the window. Moments later, she's checked her coat and has made it to the bar. Uncharacteristically, she's friendly to some guys, even repeating Joan's little comparison about the place being so crowded it's like the subway. The two guys she's talking to laugh, and one of them asks where her drink is. She refrains from replying "Up your butt," which is too bad because that response looks age-appropriate for him.

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Mad Men




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