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M A D  M E N: Episode by Episode (Discussion and Review Guide) M A D  M E N: Episode by Episode (Discussion and Review Guide)

09-09-2009 , 10:36 PM
I think it was for Bettys piece of mind, and maybe even a little for the old man. Dons been nostalgic about family this season.
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09-10-2009 , 06:30 AM
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I think it was for Bettys piece of mind, and maybe even a little for the old man. Dons been nostalgic about family this season.
Yeah he's only cheated on his preganat wife once so far this season

I found the scene with him opening up to the stranger in the bar at Rogers party very interesting. This was the most we ever saw him talk to anyone about his past. I'm interested to see exactly who that guy he was talking to is and if he is gonna open up his past to people who actually know him.

He is a very troubled complex guy.
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09-13-2009 , 12:08 PM
Hey, I found this link that some people may find interesting: Footnotes to Mad Men: The Fathers of Madison Avenue

It basically discusses how the three main fathers of advertising (and three different approaches to the purpose and use of advertising) are represented by three different characters in Mad Men: Don Draper, Burt Cooper, and the British Price.

I must admit that I don't understand the whole "business philosophy" of these Brits. It makes no sense that they forced Don to turn down working with Madison Square Gardens (and all the many future jobs and commissions that such a connection would create down the road) and instead are positively giddy over landing the jai alai account, which is obviously easy money but ultimately will be a dead end in terms of future connections.

Poor Sally...I am glad that the grandfather died (yes, I am heartless) due to how nervous his interactions with Sally made me (as I mentioned in another post). But through his death, I foresee the beginnings of lil' Sally Rebel. I don't see Betty handling that at all well as what little maternal feelings that she seems capable of will be stretched to the max. I think that Betty will start treating Sally more harshly once she starts acting out, which will in turn drive (another) wedge between her and Don (I see Don as more of the absently doting father type).

I am very interested in what they're going to be doing with Joan's character this season...perhaps Peggy isn't the only female at Sterling Cooper who can write copy?

I don't know if anybody else has read anything online about Mad Men recently, but I have read a lot of grumbling about how "slow" this season has been so far. I disagree with this. It seems to me the writers are laying the groundwork for some major character changes during this season so it will seem slow and then all of the sudden, BANG! Don becomes a Buddhist monk. Peggy buys out Sterling Cooper. Joan becomes President of the World. (just kidding )

Irreversible changes are a'comin. I can feel it.
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09-14-2009 , 01:57 AM
"You have everything. And so much of it." - Peggy to Don

Wowee-wow-wow. What an episode - this latest episode, "The Fog", was definitely the most experimental episode in terms of structure that I have seen on Mad Men. At first, I admit, I didn't get it - I was like, why is there a picture of Sally with blood smeared across her face all of the sudden flashed during the middle of Don and Betty's parent-teacher conference. But, by the end, I got it - this episode was all about Betty - and what she actually thinks. I never realized it before but the writers definitely have a bit of a problem with her character in that she's not the most verbal one - she tends to keep things inside and what she does say seems to be very simplistic and childlike, so much so that she probably doesn't even really know how to really say what she's feeling anyway. So, what do the writers do? They give us flashes of Betty's perceptions of the world when she is especially stressed (as during the parent teacher conference) and when she is all drugged up during delivery. And when Betty is having her drug-induced hallucinations, they play the fiddle (not sure if that's the right instrument) in the background to show how surrealistic Betty's vision is...and then they repeat that music at the end when Betty is going to comfort her crying baby. A drug-induced fog is how Betty's life. But damn, I feel bad for Sally and her future being that her mom seems to associate her with a blood-smeared heathen child.

Don and the schoolteacher are so going to have an affair. No way that doesn't happen.

Don and Roger's relationship has really degenerated. Now, Roger only calls Don on the phone to chat whereas before he always popped into his office for a drink and some chit chat. And man, their conversation was definitely passive-aggressive on Roger's part. Rocky road ahead for these two.

Duck's baaaaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkk. I had to laugh at the "nice turtleneck" comment from Peggy to Duck. What do you guys think - is Peggy going to take the bait and jump ship? She certainly has some good reasons to with the lower pay and latent hostility everyone seems to show her at work (and I'm not talking about just Pete Campbell here). Not including her in the buying of Don's baby gift is very telling.

I don't know but the name of the prison guard seemed so familiar to me when he was talking with Don in the waiting room...anybody else know if it's supposed to be significant? And why do you think the prison guard ducked his head and wouldn't acknowledge Don later when they saw each other in the hall at the hospital?

Oh and what was up with Betty's mother? Do we really know anything about her other than she seemed to have a pretty emotionally abusive relationship with Betty? What was with the black man sitting in front of her during Betty's hallucination - am I forgetting some information that we have already been told about Betty's mother?

All in all, a very interesting episode.
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09-14-2009 , 03:24 PM
Weird episode for sure. I think it was weak by madmen standards, like when always sunny went back to 1776. Nice to see both shows taking a bit of a chance to bring us something different though.

I think the real Peggy would jump ship in a second. I don't see them adding a second office or cutting her air time, so no. Nice to see Duck back.

I was puzzled by the guards snub as well. Maybe he felt weak for being so open? or even after seeing his baby it took all of 1 day before he decided he wasn't really going to be a better man.

Black dude was Medgar Evers, he had just been killed. Strange scene.
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09-14-2009 , 03:39 PM
I think both children are going to have a rough few months. Their father isn't around very much, their mother is immature, has to care for a new born and still seems to be depressed.

I liked the Peggy of this episode a lot more than the past few weeks.
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09-14-2009 , 03:40 PM
Oh, and yeah I definitely think the guard dude was just embarrassed about being all drunk and emotional.
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09-14-2009 , 07:03 PM
Agree that this episode showed how Betty feels and that she is basically lost. Her comments about Don when she was first in the hospital room "he's never where you think he is!". She's kind of trapped and she knows it but doesn't know what to do about it.

No Joan in this episode? BOO!!!!

I'll lay 2 to 1 Don boinks Sallys teacher sometime soon.

Duck is more of a weasel than Campbell. Peggy has to stay doesn't she? Lotsa fireworks with the Brits coming too.

I love this show!
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09-14-2009 , 08:38 PM
"You're a housecat. Very important, with little to do."

Loved this line from Gene to Betty.
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09-14-2009 , 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by entertainme
"You're a housecat. Very important, with little to do."

Loved this line from Gene to Betty.
Yeah - this was definitely another great line.

I also loved the shot where they had Betty awakening from her drug-induced dream stupor and the camera is close-up on her face. And as she's looking down and the camera widens out, there's suddenly a baby in her arms.

The poor kid. Betty doesn't seem to like the ones she's already got very much. And now there'll be one more for laughs.
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09-15-2009 , 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Losing all

Black dude was Medgar Evers, he had just been killed. Strange scene.
How did you figure that out?
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09-18-2009 , 03:56 PM
I took S1 to my cousin's last night. It was fun to watch it with her screaming at the TV, "No way!", and me playing devil's advocate, "What do you mean? He's the man of the family. Of course, he has to know what his wife said to her psychiatrist. How else is he supposed to care for his family?"
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09-21-2009 , 07:39 AM
Last night's show was a freakin' riot.
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09-21-2009 , 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wynton
Last night's show was a freakin' riot.
I love the writing and the directing.

They basically offered up the John Deere thing on a platter in that "you can see this is going to end badly but we're going to make it ridiculously awesome anyway because we're that good" and then they immediately cut to: "Yeah, you remember that old guy from that awesome bar scene at the garden party? Well he's back now and guess who he is."

The pacing is so good, especially when they slow it down and just perfectly capture the vibe of "four men in a room."
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09-21-2009 , 12:28 PM
Holy crap!

Joan - what are you going to do? When she was sitting in the hospital with Don, there was a moment of silence and you could see Joan thinking and I literally yelled, "Just spit it out and ask him for your job back. He's Don Draper - he'll understand and won't mock you for it." But she didn't. And when she was just looking at him before she gave him a kiss on the cheek, I just kept thinking, "Don is the type of man Joan always wanted (at least on the surface anyway)." God, her husband is a dick...divorce him now, Joan, it's not going to get any better.

Poor Sally. I literally laughed out loud when Betty was giving the Barbie to Sally and Sally was saying something about how babies can't write and Betty said "He wants you to have it," (or something like that) very forcefully and I laughed. Threaten your child into accepting a gift seems like such a good strategy to put her at ease, doesn't it? I see Betty devoting herself exclusively to Baby Gene now - partly to honor her father but maybe more so to annoy the crap out of Don...

And now the highlight of the episode: John Deere. Wow. Definitely did not see that one. I can't decide whether it's a loss to all the SC employees or not to lose the wunderkid. He seemed like he would be open to more savvy business ideas than Price. And damn but that was cold - he has no foot and thus no job. And something needs to explain this to me: other than Roger (who was omitted entirely) and Harry (who received a promotion), nothing else really changed for any of the other SC executives in that reorganization plan, right? Everybody pretty much just kept the position that they already had? That was my interpretation of it (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

Also, quite interesting that they're bringing Conrad Hilton into it. Don is going to be bringing in some big business in for SC. Wonder if Price is going to try to steal all that glory from Don.

What a great episode - and it's so funny how different it is in every respect from last week's.
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09-21-2009 , 12:37 PM
Quick question: when Hilton implied that Don should have asked for more than just his business, what specifically do you think he had in mind?
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09-21-2009 , 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Wynton
Quick question: when Hilton implied that Don should have asked for more than just his business, what specifically do you think he had in mind?
I'm not sure. It was a very mysterious question...almost seemed like a feeler/fishing type of question. Instead of directly asking him, "What exactly do you want/expect from me, Conrad Hilton, a very rich man?" he instead asks him that line. Hilton seemed to be trying to figure out exactly what kind of man Don is. Also, that whole scene struck me as being kind of job interview-y, especially when Hilton was asking him for his advice about the ads and Don was initially resistant.

If Hilton does give his business to SC, he'll definitely only be working/speaking with Don. None of the higher execs - Price, Cooper, and Sterling - are people who Hilton will be trusting directly with his business. It almost seems like Hilton would be Don's exclusive client....but maybe that's just me over-reading things.

What do other people think?
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09-21-2009 , 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Wynton
Quick question: when Hilton implied that Don should have asked for more than just his business, what specifically do you think he had in mind?
Well Hilton is an old man, probably in search of a successor. Don is a master of advertising. The hospitality and advertising businesses have a lot in common.

Seemed like a job offer to me.
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09-21-2009 , 02:15 PM
I would have liked to see the new guy dumping on Campbell a few more episodes, that was great, so was the tractor scene obviously. The Brits don't waste any time throwing a cripple under the bus "He can't even play golf" FFS!


I thought Hilton was saying Don should'nt have gone for the long con in that spot, but I really didn't get it.
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09-21-2009 , 02:20 PM
Oh and after getting passed over, maybe even demoted I don't see Don trying to win a Hilton account for SC. More like for himself, if not a new job. Then again that wouldn't work for the show, like Peggy going to work for Duck.
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09-21-2009 , 03:13 PM
What do you guys think about Don and Roger's relationship? Has it truly been mended by a simple trip to the barbershop?
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09-21-2009 , 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by HobbyHorse
What do you guys think about Don and Roger's relationship? Has it truly been mended by a simple trip to the barbershop?
Well, since:

1) a drink, a punch, or having to spend 20 minutes in the same room usually immediately settles any differences between two men (and especially something common and forgivable like a questionable choice of a women)
-and-
2) this show is really good at capturing male relationships

then I'm going with yes, it's mended.
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09-21-2009 , 07:58 PM
Yeah, last night's episode was awesome. My fav. of the season so far.

Some things that haven't been mentioned:

Don showed something like real ambition last night, which I don't think I've seen before. He always cared about his job some and was of course naturally really good at it, but he didn't ever seem emotionally invested at all. Then last night he is lying in bed wide awake smiling in anticipation of a promotion? And clearly disappointed when he didn't get it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynton
Quick question: when Hilton implied that Don should have asked for more than just his business, what specifically do you think he had in mind?
I was wondering that too. The first thing that came to mind was to come work as like an exec and run an advertising department at Hilton. Not really sure what else he could've meant.

The combination of those two events is kind of confusing. Even after Hilton said that line Don, based on his little anecdote, seemed like winning Hilton for SC is all he wanted, nothing more. But at the same time he was very clearly disappointed with the firm hours earlier.

And I think Shane nailed the question about Roger and Don.

Last edited by SL__72; 09-21-2009 at 07:59 PM. Reason: Oh, and the blood splatter was awesome.
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09-21-2009 , 08:00 PM
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What a great episode - and it's so funny how different it is in every respect from last week's.
I have nothing to really add to what has already been written here. But this show is great at shifting gears from episode to episode and even scene to scene. And now there are lots of different directions things can go.
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09-21-2009 , 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SL__72

Some things that haven't been mentioned:

Don showed something like real ambition last night, which I don't think I've seen before. He always cared about his job some and was of course naturally really good at it, but he didn't ever seem emotionally invested at all. Then last night he is lying in bed wide awake smiling in anticipation of a promotion? And clearly disappointed when he didn't get it?
This is a great point, SL_72. And you're totally right - I hadn't even really thought about it but it really is the first time Don has shown real enthusiasm and excitement for his work. And Betty too seemed excited about a potential move to London. It made me think of Revolutionary Road where they think that all of their marital problems and disfunctions will be cured if they just move someplace else.
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