Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 1 USERS: A
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Betty…Whitman?
o clarify that he "has fits." So epilepsy is the diagnosis, but the effect is that Suzanne has a younger brother who's going to have trouble taking care of himself, a situation with which Don of course can well relate. Danny, this time sincerely, apologizes for interrupting and offers to leave for the night, but Don steps forward and shakes Danny's hand, saying he wishes him the best. Danny points out that he doesn't even know him, probably mistaking Don's sentiment as pity over his condition and nothing else, not that Don is going to help him out by explaining his thinking here. Suzanne walks Don to the door, but while he promises to call her the next day, kissing her in front of her brother is a bit too much to ask of him. When he's gone, Danny says Don could have just stayed in the bedroom, and his pointed tone suggests he's clear that it was Suzanne's idea entirely for him to emerge, not that that's difficult to figure. Suzanne smiles and reiterates that she wanted the two of them to meet, as Danny's her baby brother, and Danny muses that Don sure knows how to leave a room. Hey, that was nothing -- it's not like he tied anyone up first. He goes on that Don is arrogant, as he left because his plans were interrupted, but Suzanne demurs, saying he's just very private. "You don't know him." She then tells Danny that she's going to find him another job, someplace safe, but he points out that other people are the problem. Suzanne replies that people are ignorant, and scared of things they don't understand, but Danny is not in the mood to have a conversation that hits quite so close to home at the moment, and says that he's really hungry. Suzanne gives him a smile that I read as saying, "Hope you like date nut bread!"

Bertram is looking at an old photo, taken in 1923, of the original employees of Sterling Cooper. With Roger and his nerd glasses looking over his shoulder, he waxes nostalgic about how psyched they all were, and then Roger notices that everyone in the photo is now dead except for Bertram and some guy named Doug Thomson, who apparently once let Roger eat an entire roll of laxatives in the mistaken belief that they were candies. "I want him to show up and keel over." Heh. Neither man is too jazzed about going to the party, although in Bertram's case, it's because it's a reminder that his expiration date in the business (and in life, no doubt) is drawing close, while Roger more pettily doesn't want to hear Don "accept an award for his humanity." Although it does sound somewhat revolting when you put it that way. Bertram takes the time to remind Roger that Don is important, but Roger goes on that he found Don, working at a fur company and going to night school, "and that girl, Betty. I remember Mona said they looked like they were on top of our wedding cake." It's nice when you don't even have to show up to be thought of as witty. Unlike Roger, however, Bertram is serious about not going to the party, and Roger tells him it's okay: "It's not like it's our company anymore anyway." He then shows Bertram another picture, that of a woman (probably a secretary, given that she's posing while on the phone), and asks Bertram if he remembers her, and Bertram gives an offhand "Hmph!" that I choose to interpret as "I'll tell you about her, but not until you turn sixty."

Chez Draper. With the entire family on hand (except for Baby Gene, who's probably sleeping upstairs), Sally's face lights up when the phone rings, and she asks Betty if she can answer it. Betty: "If you do it right." Words handed down to her, I'd reckon. Sally gets the phone and very politely announces it's the Draper residence, but is confused when there's no response, which she reports to her parents. Betty looks shifty at this news, but Don, with infinitely more of both skill and practice in these matters, firmly tells her to replace the receiver. After she complies, she asks Betty why the person hung up, and Betty suggests it was a wrong number; however, when Sally persists, saying she could hear the other person and he or she heard her, Betty snaps at her not to take everything so personally, which just goes to show how hilarious projection can be. Sally gets back to work with a "Geez Louise," which is an extremely underrated exclamation if you're going for a G rating.

Cut to a close-up of a sketch Paul has drawn of an old man with suspenders and a bow tie holding an ear horn, with a cartoon bubble that reads, "What's that, sonny?" Not the most brilliant idea, but I'd pay a nickel to sit in on the casting sessions. After continuing to cut through a fifth of something like he's on a schedule, he gets a framed copy of that Playtex "Jackie by day/Marilyn by night" ad out. I'd say I'm glad it's getting to see the light of day, but I know what's coming, if you'll excuse the expression.

Peggy's recording some turgid ideas about the telegraph into her Dictaphone, and then accidentally burps into the mike. After taking a moment to recover, she continues, "Sorry about that, Olive." Hee. When it's time for Olive's performance review, I hope she remembers to take this tape in with her.

Back in his office, Paul moves the couch in front of the door so no one can enter, and then puts on some music, gets a hand towel out of his drawer, and starts to unbuckle his pants. The show tastefully cuts away before we go any further, but still: EW. And Peggy's the one apologizing to her secretary? I mean, not that there's anything wrong with it generally, but...in your chair? By your desk? When you're not even going to CHANGE CLOTHES OR TAKE A SHOWER anytime soon? Outside, Peggy starts to head out for the night but pauses curiously in front of Paul's door, and especially since she's really working the Jackie hair I think it's a blessing that she can't get in there.

In the dark, wearing his robe, Don enters his study, takes a key out of his briefcase, and unlocks his Desk Drawer Of Secrets. Inside, we see an awful lot of cash, which he adds to (ostensibly from the bonus check, which Betty presumably does not know about) before hearing Baby Gene start crying off camera. He pockets the key and exits the room, proving that babies can upset the plans of even the most competent schemers. For more on this subject: Dexter, Season Four.

Sometime later, Paul emerges from his office calling Peggy's name in, oddly, a very Stanley Kowalski-like way, and given what he was just up to I (a) don't know what he could want with her so urgently, and (b) am just as glad that she's not around so I don't have to find out. In response to his calls, though, we hear a man's voice coming from the break room. Paul heads over and finds a fifty-something bald maintenance man who denies having seen Peggy, and then Paul introduces himself and the two shake hands, and good God, for this guy's sake, I hope Paul either uses his left hand for that one particular activity, or that Purell existed back in 1963 and could be found in Paul's office. Anyway, the guy introduces himself as "Achilles," and explains that the name has been in his family for generations. He starts to babble on that subject, but Paul interrupts him with Epiphany Face and says he's got it -- a terrific idea for Western Union. Having little further use for people named after unfortunate mythological figures, Paul heads back into his office, wherein he pours some more out of the dangerously low liquor bottle into the glass resting on the desk, and then sits on the couch, only to realize he left the glass waaaaaaaay over there and slugs some of the stuff straight out of the bottle instead. He then stomps his feet in rapid succession to punctuate his joy at coming up with such a brilliant idea, and well done and all, but I hope the take-away from this whole evening is not g

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