Mad Men
Waldorf Stories

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 3 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
…And The Clio Goes To…

I mean, I'm not offended or anything, but much like I felt about "The Rejected," I think the show is trying too hard here to make a thematic point at the expense of character consistency, when it usually marries the two so gracefully as to seem like it isn't even trying. This is a challenge for any show that's been around a while, though -- the more established the characters are with the viewers, the tougher it is to keep them behaving in a believable way and still tell new stories and investigate interesting themes such as ambition, awards, and the relationship between the two. Anyway, Joan informs Roger that he's "crossed the border from lubricated to morose," and bids him goodnight. He watches her go, and then looks down the bar at Don and the giggling bimbo...

...before being tossed into another flashback, with Don greeting him in the lobby of the old SC. Roger seems not to recognize him until Don mentions the store, to which Roger sighs, "Oh. The fur guy." He asks what Don's doing there, and Don tells him he has a meeting, to which Roger replies, "Name one other company in this building." Heh. Good one, Sterling, but now that we know, I wish we'd been treated to footage of Don hiding behind a newspaper in the lobby and wondering why the hell Roger gets in so late. Don, busted, says he just wanted to stop by since Roger didn't reply to any of his messages, and Roger tells him, "That's my message for you."

Another instance that rings false to me -- even if he finds Don's behavior presumptuous, which I don't find particularly in character to begin with, I find it tough to believe that Roger would gratuitously be so dickish -- I don't think you can have an Accounts mentality and burn bridges, even ones you think go nowhere, not to mention the fact that he's always seemed to have a fairly egalitarian attitude toward other servicemen types. I'm sure I'm in the minority -- really, how could I not be with a negative opinion -- but sometimes an episode just does not click for me, and this seems to be one of those thankfully-rare instances.

Anyway, Don asks if Roger never needed a break, and Roger, who seemingly has been handed most things in life, finally softens a bit as he asks where Don's employer thinks he is. Don answers by telling him that his boss knows he wants to do what Roger does, and adds that he thinks Roger is "a very important man in a very important agency." Do your research, Don. Don adds that sure, he's risking his job, but he'd love to buy Roger a drink and hear any wisdom he has to offer. Roger tells him it's 10 AM...

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