Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 6 USERS: A+
A Lucky Strike

Don shows up at the door of a thin, pretty woman with a bohemian air whose name we'll soon learn is Midge (Rosmarie DeWitt). With a smile, she notes that he didn't hesitate to call at a late hour, and adds that he's lucky she's still up working, and is alone. In light of my earlier warning, I hope you won't take it as too much of a spoiler if I say that she's not kidding. We see that she's got a drafting table on which she's got several drawings of puppies, as she lets us know that thanks to the invention of "Grandmother's Day," she'll be busy with that kind of treacle for a while. And not that I didn't love my grandparents that were still alive when I was born, but still: blech. Grandparents shouldn't have a made-up holiday that kids can forget and then feel guilty about. Isn't that what parents are for? Anyway, Don asks Midge if he can run a couple ideas by her, as he's having a "situation" with his cigarette account. This sends Midge from the puppies to the nearby bar set, so she really should thank him for stopping by. Don reveals that the Trade Commission is cracking down on cigarette advertisers' health claims. Midge: "I get Reader's Digest." Heh. I love how in the first four minutes of the series, Reader's Digest is already crossing racial and socioeconomic lines as The Magazine Of The People. And it's over thirty years before Homer Simpson will sing its praises! Midge offhandedly goes on that this same crisis reared its ugly head five years earlier, and he dealt with it then. "I know I slept a lot better knowing doctors smoke." Nice. Don says, however, that the "safer cigarette" era is over, and there will be no more testimonials from medical professionals. Midge: "Is this the part where I say Don Draper is the greatest ad man ever, and his big, strong brain will find a way to lead the sheep to the slaughterhouse?" Only if you want to moonlight as the Exposition Fairy. The costume's included! Don complains that he's got nothing for this one, and the young kids at his firm are going to be all over him. It's easier to believe when you haven't met them yet. He asks what her secret is, and as she undoes her blouse, she replies, "Nine different ways to say 'I love you, Grandma.'" Heh. Don figures out that the time for talking has passed, and moves in for the kiss...

...and then we cross-fade into what looks like early morning, with Don and Midge lying in bed smoking. Don tells her they should get married, and when Midge laughingly asks if he thinks she'd make a good ex-wife, Don non-seriously tells her he's serious. "What size Cadillac do you take?" Sometimes what's meant as an offhand joke can really give you a window into a person's psyche. Anyway, Midge reminds him: "You know the rules. I don't make plans, and I don't make breakfast." Hmm. I always thought The Rules were a little different, not that they really applied in my situation anyway. Don gets up out of bed, complaining again about his advertiser's block, but Midge somewhat dismissively tells him people love smoking, and nothing's going to change that. Well, there are plenty of people who love to smoke who have quit or cut down tremendously because of the health risks. Were it not for the deleterious effects, I personally would have had so many cigarettes today that I wouldn't even be able to see the screen. Don sighs that there's a kid who walks by and cases his office every day, looking at where he's going to put his plants. Midge smiles and asks if he's handsome. Don gives her a semi-amused, semi-annoyed "Oh, going to trade me in for a younger model, eh?" look, but seriously, Vincent Kartheiser still looks like he's twelve. I know Midge doesn't exactly hesitate to break the law, but come on.

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Mad Men




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