Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: B
Smoke Does Not Get In Your Eyes…

The Francis family (ugh, that's never going to sound right) is sitting around the dinner table when Henry arrives home, apparently earlier than usual. He's in a good mood, but Betty tells him that she had quite a day thanks to the "low-caliber people" taking over the neighborhood, and then, with a pointed look at the back of Sally's head, announces that she thinks it's time for them to move. Sally's eyes go wide at this unbelievably passive-aggressive act from her mother, and even as Henry expresses his predictable enthusiasm for the idea and suggests Rye as a possibility, Sally rushes out of the room. Betty only looks hatefully pleased with herself as she tells Henry that Sally will get over it...

...but upstairs, Sally lies distraught and sobbing on her bed as she holds Glen's lanyard. Betty, I'd watch out -- that thing's meant to attach to a weapon.

It's time for a meeting of the brass, and Joan, in a subdued voice, says she, Harry, Roger, and Don should probably start firing people. Pryce pipes up that they should restrain themselves from giving out overly generous severances, and Joan adds that they should try to make sure people don't take all their office supplies. I'd like to know who gets put in charge of checking people's pockets for staplers and hole punchers. I don't know if it fits character-wise, but I'd love to see Pete do it. Roger then asks Don if he's ever going to return the American Cancer Society's call, as they tried him twice that morning. Don was under the impression that it was another gag, but Roger assures him it's not -- they finally called him, and they want SCDP to come in about an anti-smoking campaign. He says this, of course, on his way to taking a drag off his cigarette, but hey, they don't have the account yet. Don is encouraged, and even Harry sees the prestige value, but Pete doesn't see how free work can help them. I'd be surprised that Pete, usually the most forward-thinking of this bunch, doesn't see how much money there's going to be in anti-smoking campaigns, but he does have a lot on his mind at the moment. Don focuses on the fact that someone called them, and they could have new work on the air, and Ken points out that there are a lot of bigwigs on the board of the ACS.

Even Roger concedes that "under normal circumstances," he'd consider this a real opportunity, and after Pete takes another swipe at Don, the meeting breaks up, with Roger offering, "I gotta go learn a bunch of people's names before I fire them." Hilarious and entirely unsurprising -- after all, we know how great Roger is at firing people. When the room has cleared out, Pete tells Pryce that he doesn't have the money, and wonders if there's any way he can owe it against a bonus or future salary. Pete, you're not exactly understanding the bank's idea of collateral here, although in the first few years of the new millennium you'd probably have been able to get away with it. Regardless, it's irrelevant, as Pryce tells him that Don paid his share. "Perhaps you weren't supposed to know that." Well, if that were true I think Don would have thought to say something to you, Pryce, old boy. Pete emerges and catches Don's eye just as Danny enters his office, and Pete silently raises his cup in Don's direction, getting a somewhat wary nod in return. And as I said in the recaplet, it reflects better on both of them that this solution was put into play without Pete having to ask for it, not only because it's repayment of a debt, after a fashion, but it shows how much Don is aware that Pete is essential to the future of SCDP. Actually, I think Don and Pete could strike out on their own and do just fine together, but having a few people to serve as buffers would probably be advisable.

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Mad Men




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