Sal goes to pop some aspirin with his drink as the buzzer rings and Peggy announces that someone named "Greta" is there to see Don. Sal snarks that they get to hear from their "man in research," and then the door opens to reveal that Greta is a severe-looking German woman who enters and stridently tells the boys that they're looking more relaxed than she expected with the big meeting coming up. (I didn't mention it in that recap, but Greta reappears in "Babylon.") Don tells her he understands that the idea of including medical testimony is dead, and Greta says that's an apt choice of words. However, her department's research has provided a solution -- telling people that despite the risks, cigarettes are simply too good to give up. The men pooh-pooh the idea of brazenly acknowledging that cigarettes are as good as death, but Greta says that before the war, she studied with Adler in Vienna, and they postulated that what Freud termed the death wish is as powerful a driver as reproduction and physical sustenance. And then they tested their theory by playing Russian roulette after picnicking and having each other for dessert on the banks of the Danube. Greta, you name-dropping, death-defying tart, you! Don is insecurely dismissive, again, and Sal queenily opines that people living one way and thinking the exact opposite is ridiculous. I've said it before (after?) and I'll say it again: Be as on-the-nose as you want with this character, and I'll still laugh. Don takes the long way around Lake Condescension to get to a valid point, which is that his concern isn't getting people to smoke, but getting them to smoke Lucky Strikes in particular. After some bickering about the health hazards of smoking, Greta hands over her report, which Don tosses into the wastebasket while commenting that he finds her whole approach "perverse." This from the man who owns a t-shirt that reads, "I'm an iconoclast! Don't ask me how!" Greta rises and wishes Don good luck at the meeting. "I'm sure it will be a quick one." Heh. When she's gone, Don tells Sal he'll take that drink now. Well, at least he waited until 10:05.
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A | 1552 USERS: B-
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