Mad Men
Far Away Places

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 8 USERS: C+

Of course, if she's that superstitious, she should know that you don't set yourself up by saying such things out loud and she pays the price for her moment of weakness in the form of a ba-dum-bum reply in which Don returns with Megan and says they're going to have to miss the presentation in favor of heading upstate "for Howard Johnson's." Peggy can't believe it, but Don somewhat defensively points out that she's running the show. "How does me sitting there change anything?" Given how the last Peggy-helmed Heinz pitch went, this is an absurdly irresponsible decision to the point where even Megan looks wildly uncomfortable, so it's lucky we've got Ginzo around, who placidly offers that he loves Howard Johnson's. "The colors. The atmosphere. The clams." Hee. Don, rather stupid in his excitement, says that Megan's never been to one and the obvious capriciousness of the trip is so embarrassing that Megan apologizes. Peggy, admirably enough given that she almost dumped her boyfriend over this presentation, says that she supposes it's okay, since she's got all of Megan's work and Don promises to check in from the road, not particularly convincingly. After he leaves and Megan reluctantly follows suit, Ginzo drops the pro-HoJo act and intones, "Well, that's a disaster." Heh. Stan, however, plays cheerleader, telling Peggy that Don's frivolity is a vote of confidence and I do continue to love how reliably Stan has Peggy's back. She asks him for a smoke and a close-up of him giving her a light...

...fades into the presentation artwork, which depicts some kids around a beach bonfire, one of them holding a pot containing, presumably, Heinz baked beans. Peggy pitches the idea that the beans brought the kids together and made them safe and heads to the slogan, "Home is where the Heinz is." Personally, I liked the bean ballet better, but this does seem more in line with what Raymond wanted. Regardless, a brief back-and-forth leads to this outburst from the client: "Stop writing down what I ask for and try to figure out what I want!" Peggy's eyes narrow and even though Ken tries to intervene, when Raymond asks if Don signed off on this, Peggy acidly informs him that he loves it, and "maybe Don doesn't understand what you wanted either." Sensing this could get out of hand, Ken tries to jump in once again, but it's only moments before Peggy is stepping forward and telling Raymond that she thinks he does like the idea. "I think you just like fighting." Committed now, she leans in and tells Raymond that he has to run with this concept, because it's young and it's beautiful, "and no one else is gonna figure out how to say that about beans!" Despite Peggy's earlier agita about the presentation, I think she's pursuing a gambit here rather than completely losing her head and if this were a show that gave into cliché more often, Raymond would see the error of his ways and applaud Peggy for her gumption. Instead, however, he turns to Ken and asks if he can believe her (Ken has a very Larry Tate "That depends" moment in response) and then turns back to Peggy, red in the face and informs her that she's lucky he has a daughter or he wouldn't be so understanding. And wrapped up in that comment is the obvious truth that he would be hearing her differently were she a man, a theme the show allows its characters to struggle against but never to defeat.

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