Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 2 USERS: A
Much Nothing About Ado

Duck pushes hot chocolate on his kids despite his son's lack of enthusiasm: "It's good when it's hot to drink something hot. If you'd continued with the Scouts you would have learned that." Mark does not point out that Duck's imbibatory education was perhaps carried a bit too far, but that's what his mother's for, I guess. He tells Patricia that she can use the phone but can't monopolize his secretary, and leaves them money for the food cart: "No scraps for Chauncy." I'd feel bad for the dog if I thought there was the slightest chance that the kids were going to listen. Mark, however, is pissed that he's being forced to burn his mouth on hot chocolate at the end of May, so he pipes up that he's got plenty of money -- a hundred and fifty bucks, to be exact. Patricia shushes him, but is then forced to admit that the money came from a "Mr. [Franklin] Reeve," who's apparently greasing the kids so there will be no resistance when he marries their mother. Duck chokes back some vomit as he says they all want the kids to be happy, "and whatever his intentions, it's very generous." Mark confesses that Reeve already asked her, and Duck sucks it up and says she has the right to start a new life, especially now that Mark is at boarding school and "she's lost her man of the house." Mark seems more like a Man of the West Village to me, but unless Sal's into the May/December thing I doubt it's going to be explored. Duck's equanimity is finally shattered, though, when Patricia tells him her mother's going to stick him with Chauncy, and Mark adds that they're supposed to say goodbye to him. Duck tells them that even though Chauncy was his, he's learned to live without him so they could have some consistency, but Patricia puts paid to any further discussion: "Frank's allergic." There's nothing for everyone to do but turn and stare at Chauncy, who untimely yet hilariously slobbers water all over at that moment. Duck, beaten, tells the kids that their mother will be back in half an hour, and leaves, possibly to drink something hot, like Irish coffee.

Freddy, Sal, Ken, Paul, and Peggy file into Don's office, and Don asks what Paul's doing there, as he's not on Playtex. Ken laughs that Paul wants to get credit for his idea, and Don asks, "You sure about that?" Heh. Paul's not his usual overly sensitive self, though, merely explaining that the boys all went out the other night after their last meeting, and he looked around the bar and realized that American women have a fantasy right here -- Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. "Every single woman is one of them." He opens the door and starts pointing to the women around the office, labeling them each as a Jackie or a Marilyn. Don loves the idea, because there are few bigger fans of the Madonna/whore dichotomy than he, but Peggy pipes up that she doesn't think all women fit one of the two categories. "Maybe men see them that way." She's got a point, but it's coming from insecurity both about her own looks and the glass ceiling she keeps bumping her head against, the latter of which is underscored by her non-presence at the bar meeting, but the real tragedy is that no one even seems to consider any of this. Instead, Paul simply declares that women want to see themselves the way men see them, so Peggy elects to go down with the ship, asking which one she is. The boys, however, being the giant wusses they are, refuse to tell a woman to her face whether she's a Madonna or a whore, so they compromise, eventually coming up with Irene Dunne. Don then tells Peggy that she's going to have company on the campaign, and congratulates Paul on forcing his way onto this account. Paul beams, and Peggy glowers at him. She only has time to formulate the barest-bones plan of genocide, though, before Duck enters with Chauncy and apologizes for being late. He asks when he thinks he can bring in the Playtex people, and Don, in a much better mood than the last time the account was discussed, says that the next day should be fine. Duck asks if he can "drop some crumbs," so Don tells him about the two sides of one woman idea. "Jackie by day, Marilyn by night." Which didn't sound to me exactly what Paul pitched, but I guess we needed a thematic reason for Peggy to dress in eveningwear at the end of the episode. Don hears me, saying that maybe it's two girls, and Duck thinks it sounds good, and then says that Jane tells him Don's free for lunch. Don acknowledges that, and dismisses his troops as Duck presumably goes to get rid of Chauncy. I'd suggest giving him to Ken -- it seems like they'd have the most in common.

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