Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 3 USERS: A+
Goodbye, Norma Jean
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

In a hotel room, we open on Don sitting on the side of the bed in only his boxers. He coughs deeply -- not for the first time in recent memory -- before opening the door to retrieve his shoes and the paper, which has a headline about Marilyn Monroe's death, asking, "Accident or suicide?" And here I hadn't thought about Heath Ledger in a couple of weeks. He takes this in...

...and we cut to Betty, sitting on her bed in only a nightgown as we hear Carla getting ready to take the kids to school. Betty gets up and watches morosely from the top of the stairs, but once they're gone, she heads back to her bedroom.

Peggy and Don get on the same elevator at SC, and Hollis asks if they heard about Marilyn. The answer is of course yes, and Peggy comments that it's very upsetting, while Don gruffly says he's not surprised, given what he knows about her. Peggy: "You just don't imagine her ever being alone. She was so famous." Hollis intones, "Some people just hide in plain sight." I'm glad Hollis was available to be dusted off for that little piece of thematic bubblegum wisdom. Peggy adds that her mother and sister keep calling, and Don offers another homespun nugget: "Suicide is disturbing." I think someone gave these guys decaf by mistake. Inside, Peggy notes that they dodged a bullet with Playtex having turned down the Jackie/Marilyn campaign, as they'd have to pull the whole thing. Don looks impressed that she's thinking of business at a time like this, especially as, after Peggy heads off, he notices that all the secretaries in the office are grouped together in mourning. Seeing Don, one of them nudges Jane, who pulls herself together to greet her boss and tell him people are waiting for him in the conference room. Don, referring to her tears, asks if she needs to go home, because he apparently thinks the only liquid that's socially acceptable to expel at this office is piss. Jane smiles that she's fine, so Don heads to the meeting...

...with Harry, Paul, Ken and Sal. Ken says he doesn't understand "this stupid blood drive," and complains that he'll be lucky to get eight people from Accounts. "Campbell's afraid of needles; Duck doesn't give two craps." That sounds vaguely like a country song. I'm guessing these four are there as Department Captains or whatever, but I wonder how Don got roped into this. Then again, he does have some time on his hands. Harry tells him the logistics of the plan, and Don tells Paul to pull everyone he can find -- interns, switchboard operators, even elevator men -- and offer them a dollar to be a copywriter for a day. Ken whines that that's not fair, and Sal snickers that he should have thought of it himself. "That's the money they'd make actually being in the Art Department." Heh. Ken asks what the prize is if they win, and Don replies it's simply helping another human being. "Also, there will be women fainting. I'd think you'd like that." And if that doesn't work, at least you'll have a shot at Pete. Harry pipes up that if they get 100 percent participation, they'll get a mention in the Times, and after Don calls an end to the meeting by standing up, Harry invites Don and Betty to the Mitch Miller concert later that week, for which he apparently has tickets through his media connections. Don begs off, saying his "kid" is sick, a lie that causes his cough to resurface again. He claps Harry on the arm: "You'll know what that means soon enough." Heh, again. When Don's gone, Paul laughs at Harry for getting shot down, and I see why Paul keeps Harry around, because he's the only one in the office more sensitive to rejection than he is.

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Mad Men




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