Mad Men
Signal 30

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Couch Baron: A- | 5 USERS: A
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"I Demand Satisfaction!"

And speaking of, it's also dinnertime in Cos Cob, which in addition to food comes replete with talk about the origins of the town's name (originally named after the Coe family, which I only mention because it's referenced later). Megan asks Ken "where you and... where you two have made your home," and come on, everyone can't be that drunk that they don't realize the Drapers have forgotten Mulva's name. Ken tells them they're in Jackson Heights; Trudy says she keeps trying to get them to move out where they are, but Mulva replies that she and Ken both work in the city and "my parents aren't like Trudy's. Help from them comes with a lot of strings attached." You'd think this would be a fraught topic for casual conversation, but as I've mentioned we do know Trudy and Mulva are close and besides this is a roomful of people who watched Megan sing "Zou Bisou Bisou," so maybe they feel like boundaries are over. Megan does sigh that it's beautiful out there, with all the fresh air and grass, but Ken laughs that he grew up in rural Vermont and kids tossing their bikes on the front lawn isn't exactly the country to him. Don asks if Ken misses the horseshit and although everyone laughs, Trudy does add a reproving "Don!" so Don explains that he grew up in a rural area too (again, he's a lot freer with this information now) and he doesn't miss trudging to an outhouse in the middle of winter. Pete tells him that where they are is more civilized than that, but as his face falls a bit, he adds, "But there are a lot of varmints." Hee. Ken suggests he bring his rifle home and I don't remember Pete carrying it out of the old SCDP in "Shut The Door, Have A Seat," but logistics aside, Trudy is aghast that he still has it and informs him that there will be no guns in their house. Mulva pipes up that she doesn't like them either, and references the UT shooter, "Charles... Whitmore?" which Don hilariously corrects to "Whitman," probably thinking it's not such a stretch for the culprit to be a relation of his adoptive family.

Ken outs himself as an advocate for gun control, which given his rural upbringing seems like less of a slam-dunk than I first thought; Trudy tries to put a moratorium on the subject, but Pete demurs, saying it bears discussion before opining that one little gopher-shooting rifle is hardly the same thing as an ex-Marine firing at pregnant women. Mulva tells the table that Ken predicted the occurrence in a story he wrote and you can see Ken clench as he warns, "Don't, Cynthia." At the unexpected announcement of Mulva's name, Megan bursts out, "Cynthia!" and it's so over the top that it revolves right around to being awesome, especially since when Cynthia asks her what's up, she can't even blurt out a word of explanation. Hee. Anyway, Cynthia won't be deterred, explaining that she met Ken because of his writing, as she works in publishing; her editor turned Ken down "and I thought it was all he could handle." Don and Megan ask what the story's about and Ken's still reluctant to share, but Cynthia pipes up that it's called "The Punishment of X4," in which there's a bridge between two planets used every day by thousands of people. On it, there's a robot that does maintenance and one day, he removes a bolt from it, causing its collapse and the death of everyone on it. Everyone sits in silence for a moment and Ken misinterprets the pause as lack of interest, but it seems obvious how related the concept is to the random acts of violence that are being felt all throughout American society of the time. One act, understood by none but felt by all, causes a collapse both literal and metaphorical; no wonder it feels like time is accelerating toward some awful conclusion. After a moment, Don asks why the robot did it and Ken simply explains that it was the only thing over which he had the power to make a decision. Pete lightens things up with a joke, but Megan's still interested in Ken's writing, so he explains that he started in high school and figured the bug would go away when he came to adulthood, "and it mostly has." Don muses that no one grows up wanting to be in advertising, which leads to talk about how Megan came to New York to pursue acting; after a few casting calls at ad agencies, she liked what she saw and imagined a future for herself in the industry. No one even looks tempted to make a comment about nepotism, which makes me think this dinner is just too polite to be true. Rather than press their luck, the women retire to the kitchen, leaving Pete to announce that people talk about how unsafe the city is, but his lawn boy ripped him off. Don recalls that kids in Ossining used to steal his beer from the garage refrigerator and that concept gets Pete in "I wish to subscribe to your newsletter" mode. Before we can get that far, however, there's an outcry of giggles from the kitchen and the men rush in to find the faucet that once merely dripped is gushing up like a geyser. Pete rushes to get the tool box while Don shields the flow with a pot; he then puts Ken on duty holding it, removes his dress shirt (Cynthia: "Look, it's Superman!) and opens the cabinet below and kills the water. Pete returns with the tools and Don gets to work as Trudy heads off to deal with her now-crying child and the Cosgroves watch the show with interest. Don fixes the problem in five seconds flat and then reports that the supply was turned all the way up, which forced the valve. Pete protests that it stopped the leak, but Don informs him that was a coincidence. Aw, poor Pete, but to his credit, he manages not to show how emasculated he must feel. And with Trudy holding the baby, Ken asks if they aren't supposed to say something about how adorable she is, and soon everyone's grinning like a fool -- except Megan, whose enthusiasm seems a bit more reserved...

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