Mad Men
To Have and To Hold

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 4 USERS: A-
The Grass Is Always Greener

Don arrives home, and Megan's like, oh good, you're here, why don't you come in and sit down, I've got this great coq au vin dinner and here's a drink! Thankfully, before she can start massaging his feet, Don asks what happened, and Megan replies, "Just once, I'd like to be that wife that lays a trap and has her husband walk right into it." Heh. But you did marry an ad man, Megan. Subliminal cues are his trade.

Megan launches into an explanation of Arlene and Mel (he is the head writer, as it happens) and dinner, and Don's like, "Does it get worse?" Hey, Megan, he fell into the trap after all! She takes the proffered cue and explains about the love scenes, and Don's eyes narrow as he wonders what, exactly, those might consist of, so Megan tells him it's just kissing and hugging. "It's TV. We can't really do anything." Ah, the days before cable. How young we all were. Don at least tries for decent humor as he asks Megan what she wants him to say, and Megan replies that she wants to hear that he trusts her, that he knows it's part of her job, and it was bound to happen if things went well. Don: "Keep going; I'm dying to hear what I say next." You kind of had to give him that one, Megan. With just a hint of ruefulness, she asks if she should have hidden the development from him, so he sighs and tells her he needs to think about it; when pressed, he reluctantly admits that if he weren't her husband, he'd be happy for her. "It does mean they like you." He concludes that while he can't encourage this, he can tolerate it, and that's enough to satisfy Megan. In an episode heavy on female subjugation, I hate to be part of the problem, but Megan, you might want to serve up that coq au vin before your husband changes his mind.

So Harry, Ken and the guy we saw walking into the office are over at Dow in a meeting with Ed and some other guy, and Harry expresses sympathy for their plight, but points out that they've been in the news every other day, "and a couple of articles placed in business journals are not going to make that stop." Ed's reaction lets us know he sees the truth of that, so Harry turns the floor over to "Pierre," who pitches a one-hour primetime TV special sponsored by Dow, "starring Joe Namath and fifteen or so of his best friends putting on a show drawn from America's most beloved musicals." This is so out there I was sure it had actually to have happened in real life, but then again, variety shows were still going strong at this point. Ed asks if Joe Namath sings, getting this reply from Pierre: "Don't you want to watch it just to find out?" A prepared response, to be sure, but no less effective for it, demonstrated by Ed's sincere chuckle. He asks who the "friends" would be, and Pierre, who I guess is a network executive, runs down a bunch of ideas, culminating with this: "How about John Wayne in a sketch version of Camelot?" Hee. Ed points out that women don't like football, but Pierre avows Joe Namath's transcendent nature in that respect, and Harry brings it on home: "How would you like Dow to be responsible for making people smile?" I never thought I'd say this, but this shows the gift of inspiration, which means that Harry is actually growing up in more ways than one, and it says a lot about how appealing the idea is that his breaking into "Yankee Doodle Dandy" doesn't ruin the pitch. Even the no-nonsense Dow sidekick is impressed, so he asks what their commitment would be, and Ken runs it down: There will be six minutes of ads, three of which would go to Dow, who would also get a ten-second billboard at the beginning and end of the show. "Brought to you by Dow Chemical: Family products for the American family." Ed looks like he's going to sleep better at night, and while I don't think that's deserved, it does mean Harry did his job.

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