Mad Men
To Have and To Hold

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 4 USERS: A-
The Grass Is Always Greener
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Before I start, a reader pointed out to me that Trudy told Pete she won't be "a failure" in response to Pete asking her if she wanted a divorce, which he took to mean "no." I agree, but I wonder if, once tempers cool, she'll realize just how much work keeping up the necessary appearances will be. Of course, if she's only waiting until she's got something else going to dump her cheating husband, I doubt she'll have to wait long. Anyway, since Trudy's not even in this episode, let's forestall any further discussion...

...and get right into Pete, standing at the bar in his New York pad fixing a drink, as he asks an unknown presence if he or she hasn't yet told anyone "that you're looking to change your life." Maybe it's the hideous cheap stained translucent plastic in the foreground, but this initial camera push-in seems cheap, especially combined with the misleading dialogue. The place is tiny; there's no need to hide around corners for a reveal that's coming in two seconds anyway. It feels staged for a scenes-to-come appearance, which as everyone knows are the most irritating part of this show, and it makes me miss the often-thematic opening close-ups on which the show used to rely.

Anyway, Timmy Ketchup tells Pete and Don that he's looking for "an exploratory mission," but Pete brings up the issue of Raymond, although he does pretty much imply that Don's the only one who's concerned here, which is weird; as I mentioned in the recaplet, of course Don showed with Mohawk Air that he's more client-loyal than the rest of them (when he's not firing clients, that is), but it strikes me that losing Beans, a national account, would be a much bigger relative blow to SCDP than losing Mohawk was to the more established SC, so maybe Don's not the only one who should be treating this seriously. Timmy replies by talking about his account's monetary value and prestige, and after Pete, whose hairline actually seems to be receding by the episode, assures Timmy that Don knows all of that, Timmy assures Don that if he does "the work" (a spec pitch, it seems) and Timmy likes it, he guarantees that Raymond will fall in line. I'm sure Don doesn't buy that, but I suppose he can't very well take Timmy through the details of just how much Raymond despises him.

Timmy goes on that if he doesn't like the pitch, Raymond never needs to know, but Don isn't quite satisfied: "I don't know if that solves my problem." His delivery suggests that his "problem" may be linked to the fact that he likes Timmy almost as much as Raymond, but Timmy offers to keep things as clandestine as possible as he tells them they can even have the pitch at Pete's place. Pete, however, assures him that they'll get a hotel -- wouldn't want to interrupt the bimbo foot traffic now that he's somewhat officially off the chain -- and then Timmy excuses himself, saying he's supposed to be meeting someone, "and she likes me to wait for her." I might sense some mannered contempt there, but I'm going to have enough sexism to deal with in this episode without actively looking for it. Timmy tells them to take their time, adding that he doesn't need much of an excuse to come to Manhattan.

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Mad Men




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