Mad Men

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Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: A+
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All the Real Girls

Joan's in her pajamas and glasses watching TV when there's a knock at her door; when she opens it, she sees two Scandinavian masseuses with a table who say they're from "Madame Inga's," and that they've been commissioned to give her a massage, manicure, and pedicure. Hmpf, the only unexpected knocks I get on my door these days are from the UPS guy, and I can't remember the last time he offered me a massage. Joan tells the speaking masseuse that she didn't order it, but the woman tells her it's from "a friend" and includes tip. Joan shows them in, and the sly smile on her face seems to indicate she knows exactly which "friend" it's from. Hey, when it comes in that form, his money's good around here.

Back in the bar, Abe is off on a rant about corporations that I would normally just react to with "pinko" except for the part where it scores some neat then-and-now points by referencing a crisis in Greece. He goes on that it's an illusion that a coup could never happen here, and after an uncertain pause, Peggy asks, "Are you from Brooklyn?" Heh. He says yes, and when she tells him she is too, he offers that he doesn't hear an accent. Peggy: "One more drink and it'll come out." That sounds like a verbal contract to me. Anyway, it's clear that they quite like each other, so it's a shame when Peggy starts listing SCDP's clients, because when she gets to Fillmore Auto Parts, Abe tells her that they're worse than a corporation, as their Southern stores won't hire "Negroes." Peggy's surprised, given what she's seen of them, but Abe tells her he's sure they're "perfectly nice, for racists," and adds that SCDP certainly has a vested interest in looking the other way. Peggy claims that as an ad agency, they try to help their clients look better, and as such would counsel them against their racist position as being bad for their business. Abe doesn't even know how to respond to that, and asks if she would have done a campaign for Goldwater, and Peggy says that would have been amazing. Oh, Peggy. Abe tries to tell her that civil rights aren't something to be fixed with a mere PR campaign, and Peggy concedes that she agrees, but opines that a lot of the things African-Americans can't do, she can't do either, and nobody seems to care -- for example, in her industry, a lot of business takes place at golf and tennis clubs where women aren't even allowed to enter, much less join. "The University Club said the only way I could eat dinner there was if I arrived in a cake." Frankly, I'd be surprised if you'd get the dinner even then.

Abe, his Brooklyn accent nicely coming to the surface, subtly indicating that maybe he's getting a little lubricated, tells her there aren't any African-American copywriters, but Peggy thinks they could have fought their way in like she did. "Believe me, nobody wanted me there." I'm not going to say either of them is entirely wrong; it's a tough debate even to frame rationally, but on top of the fact that there's an argument to be made here, she clearly feels strongly about her position as a woman in the working world, so the point is that his dismissive response of "All right, Peggy, we'll have a civil-rights march for women" is both ill-advised and uncalled for. Peggy takes this as the cue to end their impromptu date, and although Abe does a lot better with his argument by telling her he only meant that women aren't currently being shot to keep them from voting, the damage is done, as she tells him he's opinionated and he's criticizing her. He tries to claim it was just discourse, and moans, "I shouldn't have let Joyce leave." Heh. Peggy does nod to let him know she doesn't hate him or anything, but that doesn't mean she's not out the door right after.

Bertram is sitting out with Miss Blankenship as they both do the Times crossword; he asks for a three-letter word for a flightless bird, and when she supplies "emu," he tells her it starts with an "L." Miss Blankenship: "The hell it does." Couldn't have said it better myself. Don arrives and asks for coffee and for her to let him know when Faye arrives, getting this reply: "It's hard the way she breezes past me." I'd suggest Miss Blankenship come back to haunt the place, except with the things that go on here I think any ghost would be the one that would end up traumatized. When Don heads inside without replying to that comment, Miss Blankenship tells Bertram in reference to Faye, "She's pushy, that one. I guess that's what it takes." Bertram looks around all, "You say something?" and he's always been one of my favorites but if this is all they're going to give him to do it's time to ship him off to a Japanese pasture somewhere.

Joan comes in to see Roger, looking quite relaxed, and thanks him for his thoughtful way of apologizing. After some characteristic banter, he seriously tells her that it'll be okay, but she replies, "People love to say that!" Fair. Roger suggests they go out to dinner, but this only gets Joan's hackles up about how he must be expecting something, which seems perhaps a little unfair but is still understandable given where her head is. I'll leave any jokes about Roger's head to him -- I'm sure he's made them all before. Joan exits...

...while Peggy comes out to Reception to find Abe waiting for her. Turns out he wrote a piece for her that he claims expresses what he was trying to say the night before without his "abrasive tone," but given that it's entitled "Nuremberg On Madison Avenue," I'm not sure quite how smoothly it's going to be received. He says he'll wait while she reads it, so with a somewhat puzzled but pleased smile, she heads back into the office...

...while in the conference room, Faye is giving a presentation to none other than three people from Fillmore, with Don and Ken, who you'll remember brought the account to SCDP, also in attendance. The pitch is that men have the desire to get their hands dirty, but some of them have become so domesticated out in the suburbs that they don't know how to fix their cars. She goes on that her research shows that men will spend a good amount of money for the satisfaction of doing manual labor, and "ladies love a man who's good with his hands." I'm seeing Roger Sterling lines everywhere now.

One of the Fillmore guys, a douche with a thick Boston accent, doesn't like it, saying that if he saw suits (or "jokiz," as he calls them) like Ken and Don in one of their stores, he'd figure their prices went up, while the youngest of the bunch disagrees just as vehemently, hilariously addressing the douche, also in a Boston accent, as "salt of the earth," as he says they can't depend on auto mechanics for their entire business. "Don't we have enough problems with the boycott?" Well, and with being racists, too. Don't forget that part! Don tells them they're at a standstill until they agree on a strategy, but Ken pipes up that they could market to both groups -- "Where the pros go, and everyone's welcome." Don retorts that that's not a strategy, "that's two strategies connected by the word 'and'," but Ken tells him he certainly can do both, and the Boston guys lean forward in anticipation of seeing two New York suits fight. It'll surely be more satisfying than Clay-Liston, right?

Before things escalate to that degree, however, a concerned-looking Megan enters, and no sooner has Don told the three of them to make up their minds and vote, Megan whispers something in his ear that gets him out of there immediately. The guy in the middle, who it turns out has a severe stutter, asks why it is that they have to convince Don, and it's too bad that no one in the room was present for the first episode, or they'd be able to supply the obvious answer: "So you don't end up like Jantzen."

When Don comes out to Reception, we see the reason for his chagrin -- Sally is there, accompanied by a grandmotherly woman we've never seen before. We quickly get the story -- Sal

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