Mad Men

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

Back at the office, the party's still going on, and Ken and Blue Panties Allison come out from Paul's office as Ken says he couldn't find any absinthe. Paul's cheesed that Ken went in his office, and gets more so when Ken produces a one-act play called "Death Is My Client" that Paul apparently wrote. It's funny how these guys all write in their spare time. They'd totally be competing for blog hits if the internet had been invented yet. Ken starts to read it aloud, and Paul loses his temper and keeps trying to grab it away...

...but then, everyone's solemn and a model of decorum as they're getting ready to do a reading of the play. HA! I swear, the way this show keeps zigging when you expect it to zag is just brilliant. Sal and Joan are the principal players, with Hildy reading the stage directions, I think, and Paul's the overly-invested director, even smoking a pipe as he mutters to himself. So funny. Everyone else is set up on chairs watching; when Sal makes a comment about not being some "boorish natural like that hat [not familiar with that particular sense of that word, but that's what he says, and the closed-captioning agrees] Cosgrove [Ken's surname]," Ken guffaws in disbelief and is like, "That's crackerjack, Kinsey." Paul looks sullen as he thinks, "Just wait 'till my next one, ass." The scene ends with Sal and Joan stage-kissing; everyone applauds, but Joan's got this "Oh, I SEE" look on her face. I hope she does -- she'd be the best fag hag in the whole wide world.

The crème de menthe is at critical levels, but that's not stopping everyone from dancing to polka music; Sal and Joan match each other's moves expertly, a touch I loved. Ken quiets everyone, though, as a critical return is coming in -- Nixon has carried Ohio. (That one's true.) Everyone cheers, and Harry happily kisses Hildy on the lips, but she looks at him for a moment, and then returns the favor with one that crosses the line. Realizing that, she breaks it and apologizes, saying she's very tipsy; embarrassed in turn, he leaves...

...and retreats to his office, where she catches him. They both apologize again, but when Harry tells her, taking off his glasses, "I'm drunk, I'm happy...I'm not myself," she sees that for the tacit invitation it is. She compliments his eyes, and there's a moment of anticipation and nervousness before they totally start macking and slam the door.

Probably much later, the TV announcer is saying that while California is still undecided, the candidates have gone to bed. As have most of the SC partiers -- Joan and Paul are the only ones still conscious. After Joan turns off the TV, Paul invites her to sit with him; after some preliminaries, she does, saying that he looks so different when he's drunk. Probably true, Joan, but I'd imagine the gallon of crème de menthe you had might be affecting your perception as well. As shown in the previouslies, it was implied in the first episode that Paul and Joan had dated at one point, or at least that there was some level of involvement somewhere along the line, and oblique reference is made to that here, with him asking if she's going to call him Orson Welles again, and her countering that he loved that. He looks at her adoringly and asks what he did wrong, and she tells him he's got a big mouth. He protests, but she repeats the accusation, and he cops to it. He asks if she liked the play, and she tells him no. Paul: "The meaner you are, the more I like you." I like Joan too, but I have to tell you, Paul -- that's kind of clichéd for an aspiring writer. He gets up and offers her his hand, asking her to dance, she accepts, and they do a little drunken cha-cha that's far more affecting than you might expect it to be.

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Mad Men




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