Mad Men
The Doorway

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B- | 8 USERS: B-
Beyond The Veil

In the elevator at SCD(P?), Don is counting the seconds until the elevator closes when a handsome young man holding two cups of coffee hops on and asks him how his trip was. Don baldly replies, "I'm sorry, but your name escapes me," but the guy is undaunted, enthusiastically telling him he's "Bob Benson" from upstairs in Accounts. And I didn't realize this on first viewing, but the actor, James Wolk (I did at least place his name without help) was the lead on the critically acclaimed and VERY short-lived Lone Star. Benson chatters on a bit about how they spoke at the Christmas party, recalling that Don seemed to know his way around Pennsylvania before offering him one of his cups of coffee. Don's a bit bemused by this bait without a clear hook, but accepts, whereupon, after they get off the elevator (we can see on the door that they kept Pryce's name, so that's that question answered), Benson goes on that "through low-level corruption" he has tickets to the Cotton Bowl - Crimson Tide vs. Texas A&M - before asking Don if he plays football. Don: "What's in that coffee?" Hee. Realizing Don is asking, as my friend's grandmother used to say, "Who put a nickel in you?" Benson admits that he's trying to schmooze Don for business purposes, whereupon Don saunters into the common area to greet his team with an appropriate amount of skepticism: "I smell creativity!"

And I smell awesomeness, for when he turns, we see Ginzo is sporting longer hair and a huge 'stache, while Stan has opted for a full-on beard. There are two other members of the team - one a middle-aged woman we haven't met before - and after Benson goes off probably to give his remaining cup of coffee to another partner, Stan grins that he can't believe Don just got off a plane given how great he looks. Don replies that Stan looks great, and neither of them are getting any arguments from me, so let's turn to Ginzo, who asks Don to settle a bet - on the plane, are mothers allowed to hold their babies in their laps for the whole ride? Don's pretty sure the answer's yes, to the woman's dismay; Ginzo (has his accent mellowed out? Further research is required, but this has tragic potential) replies that she couldn't know, because she never had kids. "And the last time you left town was in a covered wagon." Kind of refreshing she's getting as much shit as anyone else right from the get-go. By the way, a guy who may or may not also be part of the team is asleep on the couch - I might not have noticed if I hadn't paused it at a particular moment - as the team turns its good-natured ribbing toward Don before Stan asks if Don brought anything back that could help him with his art concepts. Don, however, replies that he had an experience. "I don't know if I can put it into words." Don, to borrow a phrase from your ex-wife: "Are you on dope?" When Don's gone, the dorky new guy points out that Sheraton (suck it, Connie Hilton!) is coming in on Friday, but Ginzo defends his hero, saying he just got back and is still thinking. Don't worry, nerd, you'll worship at the altar of Don Draper soon enough.

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