Mad Men
The Flood

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Couch Baron: B | 4 USERS: A-
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White People Problems

The emcee introduces "Paul Newman," and while it's kind of easy, I admit I'm reasonably entertained by the choice to film him entirely from the SCDP cheap seats. Maybe it's the part where everyone at the table is squinting like they can't tell if it's him either that sells it for me. "Paul Newman" tells the crowd that he's not there as an actor, and hilariously, Cutler asides to Peggy, "We invited him because he's an actor." Hee. "Paul Newman" goes on that he's there because he has six kids, and he's worried about their future; as such, he's supporting Gene McCarthy, who he says stood up to Lyndon Johnson before it was politically expedient to do so. The crowd gives this some polite applause, but over it, a man's voice asks "Paul Newman" if he's aware that Martin Luther King is dead. A horrible gasp travels throughout the room, after which Abe gets to his feet and demands to know who said that. He's obviously hoping it's a joke, in as poor taste as it would be, but the emcee retakes the podium and confirms the worst by telling the room that they were hoping to keep the news quiet until the event ended, but now that the cat's out of the bag, they're going to take ten minutes for everyone to process "this terrible event." We get some shots of privileged, exclusively white people looking stricken...

...which is then contrasted with a cut back to the diner. Beverly and Ginzo are still obliviously exchanging small talk when the news comes in over the establishment's radio. All the customers kind of absorb it at the same time, and after a crash comes from the kitchen, we see the African-American workers looking stunned and despondent. Ginzo, fiery as ever, barks that "they" just had to do it, and after another shot of the inconsolable employees...

...we cut to Rye, where Sally and Bobby are looking despondent as Betty stares bleakly into space, her tapping hand betraying her anxiety. Henry enters and wonders why they're not all crowded around the TV, but Sally tells him Betty won't let them watch. Betty shoots back that, essentially, they might show something kids shouldn't see before telling Henry he doesn't have to go. Henry, however, heatedly replies that "they" are going to burn down the city; seeing the kids' worried expressions, he tells them more calmly that everything's fine - he just has to go help the mayor. Betty asks him to be careful and to call, and Henry acknowledges that with a wave of his hand...

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