Mad Men

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Couch Baron: A+ | 3 USERS: A+
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"Mr. Campbell. Who Cares?"

We open on a close-up of a TV; the broadcast is telling us that it's late afternoon on Election Day. The institution of the Presidential election holds some bitter recent memories for me, but I'm sure the cheery general tone of this show will more than make up for that. A hand turns off the set, and we see that it belongs to Bertram; we're in his Japanese-themed office, and we get a quick glance at his shoeless feet before the door opens and Don enters with another man, whom he introduces as "Herman Phillips." The guy shakes Bertram's hand and genially says that actually, he goes by "Duck." Well, only if you insist. Don jokes (or not, hard to tell) that their research said they weren't to call him "Duck," and he should have told him, but Duck responds: "I like when you say 'Herman'." Hmm. We may want to have Sal sniff this guy out. Bertram sits, and Don informs him that Duck was in London with "Y and R." Bertram wonders, then, if this isn't a step down for him, and I in turn wonder if, given the show's concerted efforts to depict SC as bumbling and out of touch, if it isn't more like a tumble down the whole staircase. Duck says, though, that he'd welcome the opportunity to move back to "the power center of the world," and also to put on some weight, as English food leaves a lot to be desired. Well, sure, back in 1960, Duck. But having lived there forty-something years later, I can tell you that...you're still right. Duck and Bertram do a little verbal dance, and then Bertram asks whom he voted for. Duck: "If I say Nixon, you'll think I'm buttering you. And if I say Kennedy, you'll want to reform me, so I'll say Nixon." The man does his research. Bertram regards him long and inscrutably, and Duck gives Don a quizzical look before they head out. Currently in Duck's head: "Should have said Kennedy, should have said Kennedy. STUPID!"

The boys are in the main area, and Ken says he hears Bertram has a "smoker" at the Waldorf at 6. Harry: "Twenty-three skidoo!" Hee. That seems a little dated for the sixties, but I'm going to allow it. Everyone's in for a big watch-the-returns bash except for Pete, who claims to have a party at his in-laws to go to. Harry informs us that his wife has to work that night, as the phone company is a zoo on Election Night. Paul opines that, while a Nixon victory would be best for Sterling Cooper, that night will be a win-win for them: if Nixon wins, great, and if he loses -- he puts a hand on Ken's arm -- "let me console you!" The boys laugh, but with the amount of booze that surely will be consumed tonight, I could see some sexual fluidity occurring. And we haven't even gotten to Drama Hour yet. Everyone then observes Don leading Duck out; they note that this is the first interviewee that Don deemed worthy of bringing to Bertram. Ken whispers that he heard Duck disintegrated in London. "Got involved with some woman he met at the British Museum." Oh, dear. I hope they didn't do it on one of the Elgin Marbles. Those things have been through enough. They see Don sharing what seems like a warm handshake with Duck as Ken goes on that Duck is divorced and lives in a hotel. Well, that explains Don's affection -- Duck is living his ideal life. Harry speculates that Don is bargain hunting, since Duck is damaged goods, but Ken thinks he's the best candidate they've brought in. Through this last part, Pete swivels his head and watches Don like a psycho, just in case you weren't familiar with like, every moment of this season.

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Mad Men

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