Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 1 USERS: B-
My Left Foot…
ot the most flattering product-placement moment in history, I'd say. Across the room, we see Lois looking a bit unsteady as she hops aboard the Deere, and then Peggy, soldiering forward on the wings of booze, tells Joan she's really glad she got what she wanted, and she remembers how Joan said she could do the same on her first day there. Meanwhile, Lois doesn't look like she's had much experience behind the wheel. Or if she has, people have suffered for it. Peggy starts to tell Joan something else even more touching, I'm sure, but...OH MY GOD! Holy fucking shit, Lois just RAN OVER MACKENDRICK'S ANKLE! Mother of God! Now THAT is not the most flattering product-placement moment in history. By the way, the event happened with a delicious shot of Harry, Paul, Hildy, and that goofball with the glasses getting sprayed with blood and shredded paper. Awesome. And by the way, now I get what the title was all about, to wit: "...and doesn't walk out." The people who do this show are sick, and God love them for it. Anyway, Lois safely crashes the Deere into an office, while Joan springs into action, unrolling MacEndrick's pant leg and sending Hildy off for the first-aid kit as Peggy literally swoons into Pete's arms and everyone else but Ken, who's at Joan's side, stands around uselessly. MacEndrick is continuing to howl in agony and shock as Smitty reports that an ambulance is on its way. Joan applies the tourniquet with assured hands, which I'm sadly sure would make her husband jealous and not proud. But if SC isn't glad to keep her after this, they are the most ungrateful people on either side of the Atlantic.

In the Presidential suite, Don is surprised to learn that Conrad Hilton is actually the old coot "Connie" for whom he fixed a drink at the country club three episodes ago. Nice. Don chides himself for not having recognized him when they first met, but Connie tells him next week, the error would have been less forgivable, as he shows Don an advance copy of next week's Time cover, on which we see his photo. Don asks how Connie found him, and he says he called around and told people he had a nice long talk with a handsome but unidentified fellow from Sterling Cooper. "Your name never came up. Apparently you don't have long chats with people." Heh. Don asks what he's doing there, and in answer, Connie shows him a couple of print ideas for Hilton on the table featuring a random cartoon mouse. Don is not thrilled with the idea of dispensing free advertising advice, but when Connie implies there might be more to the relationship in the future, he opines, "I don't think anybody wants to think about a mouse in a hotel." I'm guessing the hotel industry in Orlando would disagree. Connie, however, sees Don's point, and confesses that the idea was his. "You got something better?" Don says he might, but he wants a shot at Hilton's business, and Hilton agrees. "But the next time somebody like me asks you a question like that, you need to think bigger." Translation: I will bankroll a new ad agency with you at the helm. Or maybe not, but I'm going to keep pushing that one for the moment. Don replies with a story about snakes that's meant to say, "One thing at a time, Grandpa," but before the old codger can dredge up some countering homespun wisdom, Connie's executive secretary emerges from another room and informs Don that he's got an emergency call. I hope they didn't disclose the nature of the emergency, or Connie's going to think twice about bringing his business to SC.

In the aftermath, there's still blood on the walls, although you can see evidence of some mopping having occurred, and Harry is berating Smitty for allowing this to happen, with Ken, Pete, and Paul in attendance. Incidentally, Harry and Paul have stripped down to their undershirts so as not to have MacEndrick's blood quite so close at hand, but the figurative bloodletting continues, as Harry basically opines that MacEndrick would have made the place so much more enjoyable (probably true, from what we saw) and Smitty ruined the whole thing. Roger then turns up and, the events of that day having no doubt exceeded even his wildest fantasies, jovially notes, "It's like Iwo Jima out there!" Leave it to him to come up with a culturally sensitive reference. Paul adds that MacEndrick might lose his foot, and Roger faux-sadly replies, "Right when he got it in the door." Hee. The boys can't help but crack up at that, probably not least because Roger's attitude suggests that they're not all getting fired, and Roger drives (ooh, sorry) that home before leaving: "Believe me, somewhere in this business, this has happened before." Anytime you want to screen archival footage of that, Roger, I'll bring the popcorn.

Joan gets a soda out of a machine in the hospital waiting room (for ten cents, and by the way, you can tell how much more popular the show's gotten by the numerous product placements scattered throughout the episode) when Don turns up. Even apart from the fact that the lower part of her dress is covered in blood, she looks like hell, at least for her, and in a somewhat hoarse voice, she tells him there really was no need for him to make a personal appearance, although when she called him, she really thought MacEndrick might die. But while he's out of danger, he's lost the foot, and Pryce apparently yanked Powell and Ford out of dinner to talk to the doctors. I just hope that when they see MacEndrick, they let him pout over his predicament for at least a little while. In a nicely framed shot, Don and Joan take seats with Joan's bag of presents in between them, and Don tells her that apart from all the mayhem, she's going to be missed. She replies that's nice to hear, especially coming from him (and she addresses him by his given name for the first and only time that I remember), and then, after a pause, Joan speculates that MacEndrick probably felt great when he woke up that morning, "but that's life. One minute you're on top of the world, next minute some secretary's running you over with a lawnmower." Like we didn't know Joan was capable of writing copy. Despite the parallel to Joan's situation (or perhaps because of it), she and Don laugh, but they recover themselves when the three Brits emerge from inside. Ford thanks Joan for her quick thinking, and Pryce adds that she may well have saved MacEndrick's life, but Powell somberly intones, "Such as it is." I'm thinking the company just saved a fare to Bombay. Yes, they pronounce his career over, and although Don doesn't quite see that, Ford points out that he can't walk, and Powell adds, "He'll never golf again." Hee. The new plan is that Pryce will remain in his current position indefinitely, and after Pryce tells Joan they'll reimburse her for the dress, Ford and Powell head in to break the news to MacEndrick, who will probably take it fairly well given all the drugs he must currently be on. But it's just too bad Roger wasn't around, or you know we would have been treated to a snappy joke about MacEndrick's severance package. When the two visiting Brits are gone, Joan and Don share a long look of mutual admiration, and she finally allows herself to give Don a kiss on the cheek, which almost -- almost -- causes him to blush before Joan shakes Pryce's hand and hits the road. Once she's left, Pryce gets a Dr. Pepper for the two of them before remarking to Don that he's been reading a lot of American literature lately, and quoting Tom Sawyer: "I feel like I just went to my own funeral. I didn't like the eulogy." Hopefully this is his way of telling Don that all the penny-pinching and general wet-blanketing he's been perpetrating is going to stop, although a tiny part of me wonders if he's also confessing that he slipped Lois a hundred to drive the Deere like Mr. Magoo.

Don reaches his front door and sees the Barbie from "Gene" lying in the bushes, which I confess would make me want to turn right around and sleep in the car. However, he soldiers forward, and upstairs, finds Sally asleep with the nigh

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Mad Men




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