Mad Men
A Little Kiss, Part I

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 3 USERS: B-

Joan is stretched out on the couch when Gail returns with Kevin and when Joan asks how he was, Gail tells her he was fussy, but the elevator knocked him out. Joan puts an arm around her and asks, "Who would have thought you'd be so good at this?" Good to know her sleep deprivation hasn't reduced her capacity for backhanded compliments. Joan wonders what she's going to do when Gail goes home, giving Gail the opportunity to ask if Joan really intends to return to "that office." Joan points out that Gail worked, but Gail says that was out of need and points out that Greg's a doctor. Joan, however, tells Gail that she promised, and they need her at SCDP; even though she obviously feels conflicted about it, she goes on that Greg will be stationed at Fort Dix "for a second year," so she'll be able to commute until he's done, after which they'll see what happens. Gail declares that Greg won't allow Joan to work, which is not phrasing Joan appreciates, and Gail's quoting "Whither thou goest, I will go," is met with this response: "And how did that work out for you?" Gail heads off to the kitchen, presumably to get a shot of "formula" after that hellacious line.

Pete turns up to the Mohawk meeting and as he walks into the restaurant's dining room, his face falls like a popped soufflé upon seeing that Roger is drinking up with the clients. What's more, it turns out Roger called them and told them to come early, but Pete is able to control his rage enough to tell Roger through gritted teeth that he's really needed back at the office. Roger, after casting an amused and appraising eye at Pete, stands up to take off. Presumably he feels like he's made his point, but much like with the Y&R guys, it's not quite clear what he thinks -- if he needs to skulk about stealing glances at Pete's calendar so he can horn in on his meetings, he's gone from merely useless to active nuisance. Anyway, Roger clearly thinks he's the most popular guy in the room as he throws around money and airline puns (although Pete's play on him being "in the bag" is the only genuinely funny remark), but despite one of the Mohawk guy's seemingly genuine declaration that he loves "that guy," I don't think Roger's any closer to being the man people talk to when they've got business on their minds.

It's time for the Heinz presentation, and Peggy explains that they're proposing to use microphotography and a new high-speed camera to depict a "bean ballet." Stan, handling the storyboards, hilariously starts humming a background waltz as Peggy explains the beans will spin toward each other before landing in sauce contained in a can of Heinz. She's completely into the idea, but there's no way I can make it sound anything less than completely Smurfy on the page and the look on the Heinz guys' faces agrees with me. The lead guy defers saying what he thinks of the presentation by asking questions about the photography, but eventually he cuts to the chase -- beans aren't photogenic, at least not on an individual basis. After beckoning Don with her eyes that it's time to join them, Peggy smiles mirthlessly at the client and then Don enters and tries to sell the idea that they're being bold, like the guy wanted. Clearly, Peggy is expecting Don to bring this on home, but when the client sticks to his guns ("It's got no message," he says, and Peggy looks stung), Don lets him babble about how he wants the younger generation to be excited about beans before saying they'll work on it. Peggy and Stan exchange a side-eye as the client goes on about kids with picket signs clamoring for beans, which I suppose has a message, ridiculous though it may be, and Don's like, leave the ideas to us grandpa. After Ken takes Heinz to the elevator and Stan likewise makes himself scarce, Don asks Peggy if she's got anything else, and she admits what she pitched was her best idea so far. Don opines that it's not surprising "that man" doesn't have a taste for ballet and when Peggy counters it was a joke on ballet, Don replies, "And you can't be surprised he doesn't have a sense of humor!" Heh. Peggy, trying to stay measured but with an edge nonetheless, admits that she thought Don would come in and tell the client how great the idea is, but Don patiently responds that this is business that "wandered in over the transom," not that they pitched, and as such they can expect to have to work for it. Peggy somewhat bitterly says that if she'd known that, she would have saved this pitch for the second round, but Don assures her they'll hook them next time. Once Don's gone, Peggy takes a seat in frustration...

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Mad Men




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