Mad Men
Wee Small Hours

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 2 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
To The Moon, Connie!

...which is also being heard in Ossining, and as Carla arrives, the kids finish their breakfast and Betty, reading the paper, tells them to go play upstairs. After we see a close-up of the Times article she's perusing that talks about the unlikeliness of Rockefeller winning the Republican Party's nomination over Goldwater, Betty tells Carla she didn't sleep the night before, so Carla suggests she take a nap. Carla deserves a raise, and I say that without even factoring in the events of the rest of the episode.

In the Study of Adultery Groundwork, Betty writes a note to Henry that asks, "Does anyone else read this?" In case you ever wondered why Betty never pursued a career in international espionage, you have your answer. By the way, January Jones is left-handed. Send me a thank-you note when you win the Mad Men pub quiz at your local watering hole.

Peggy, Kurt, and Smitty are in Don's office, and I'm glad to see that Peggy's alive, given the news report on the radio. Hopefully enough time has passed since we last saw her that she's walking normally again, too. Anyway, the idea being pitched is a drawing of a window showing a view of the Acropolis in Greece, with the tagline, "Your window on the world." Don crabbily tells them the window looks as old as the columns, and they also can't pretend that's the view from the Athens Hilton, because it isn't. I hope that means Don did his research and not that he also got a recent trip to Greece, because if it's the latter he should be a lot happier, late-night phone calls notwithstanding. In quick succession, Don calls the tagline flat and then, when Peggy reminds him that it's his, tells her not to use his ideas if they stink, like she or anyone else is really in a position to do that. He then makes fun of my dear Kurt's ESL status, and I'd tell him how good a way that is to get on my bad side if he weren't going to do so much worse later on. Besides, Kurt has proven to be totally unflappable, unlike Sal, who's fabulous in so many ways but when you get down to it is just a very fruity porcelain kitty. Sounding more impotent than threatening, Don tells the group he can't do this by himself, and all I can say is in that case, way to motivate them, guy. Peggy, however, just gives Don a small smile as she leaves, which means that either (a) her instinctive understanding of Don, sadly on vacation for some time, has returned, or (b) she's just happy because she's getting to work on the campaign like she wanted, and besides, this is kind of the best he's treated her this season. If it's the latter, I hope she's taking away this key lesson: Have other people around with whom to share the blame.

We're on a commercial set, and Lee Garner Jr., the younger Lucky Strike guy from the pilot, has returned, and hilariously, given Pete's pitch to him in that episode, is making Pete smoke a Lucky over his protests that it's bad for him. Pete takes a drag and promptly starts hacking up a lung, to everyone's amusement, and then Sal, who's directing the commercial, comes over and tells them they've got it. Lee Jr., however, isn't sure he likes the way the actor ends up staring off-camera instead of straight into it, and despite the fact that Sal explains they want the viewer to focus on the product instead of the actor and Pete adds that Lee Sr. signed off on the concept, Lee Jr. still isn't convinced, and asks Harry what he thinks. Harry opines that he's the client and they should do what he wants, proving that he learned nothing from the Ann-Margret debacle, but I'm too amused at Pete continuing to hack away like he suddenly materialized on the surface of Venus to notice. Lee Jr. at least turns on the Southern charm for Sal, so they try it again his way. As you're no doubt aware, that will only go so far.

The next day, Don's again driving to work before sunrise, evidently, from the way he keeps checking out the side of the road, hoping to encounter Suzanne again. Up until now, there were many unflattering labels I would apply to Don with respect to his behavior toward women, but stalker was not one of them.

That afternoon, Carla's in the kitchen when Betty returns with the kids, who just finished their first day of school, and checks the mail and finds a letter from Francis. After Carla goes to check on the now-crying baby, she opens the envelope and sees an address and this response: "Betty, you asked me if anyone reads my mail. Not anymore." These two really are not stealthy enough to have an affair, not that that's not going to be even more evident soon. With a smile, Betty puts the letter into her purse, and then turns to Sally and notes how quiet she's being, wondering if she's tired. Sally says she isn't, but she really wants a pencil case to put in her loose-leaf. Either she asked for it already, was denied, and now is pouting, or she's being good to influence Betty's decision, but Betty's response of "We'll see" gives nothing away.

In the editing room at SC, an editor is playing the footage back as Sal and Lee Jr. each watch over a shoulder. After some talk about how the voiceover is temporary, Lee Jr. says he knows he's supposed to wait for the finished product, but he's fascinated by the process. Sal asks if he'd ever get into movies, but as he pours a drink, Lee Jr. responds, "Not while my father's alive." Interesting that he doesn't apply that restriction to certain other upcoming forays. The editor leaves the room to get to work on the final sound, and as Sal busies himself with the projector, Lee Jr. drains his drink and asks Sal if he'd please forget what he just said about movies and his father, as he had "a long, wet lunch." Sal absently asks if he had too much to drink, and Lee Jr. says that, and other things: "Secretaries nowadays, they don't give you a choice, know what I mean?" It's kind of doubly tragic that Sal lives in such deep denial of his homosexuality, because if he were clued in, he would notice how clearly Lee Jr. is subtextually feeling him out here. Like here, that last line clearly implied that Lee Jr. wouldn't choose women if given the freedom not to, and if Sal were on the qui vive, ironically enough, he'd have a chance to ward Lee Jr. off by making a big hetero show by talking about how he loves banging secretaries. I mean, he probably wouldn't fool him, but it would send an unmistakable signal that might allow him to escape the situation alive. Instead, though, he obliviously tells Lee Jr. that he doesn't have a secretary, and when Lee Jr. pointedly then asks how his take turned out, Sal gets him to lean over his shoulder, so that whole thing's a done deal, and it's only a matter of seconds before Lee Jr. puts a hand on Sal's chest and another on his shoulder. Sal jumps up like he just got a cattle prod in the back, but I doubt that's what happened with Lee Jr. having had so much to drink. Lee Jr. says the editor won't be back for a while, and offers to lock the door, but Sal, instead of trying an approach that wouldn't lead to wounded pride (perhaps pointing out that maybe Lee Jr. isn't appreciating the risks of the situation, or better yet, using his Catholicism as an excuse), he tells Lee Jr., with an air of offended dignity, that he's married. There are a number of reasons why this is the exact wrong thing for him to say, but they all tie in to this: He is a flaming homosexual. Any other gay man could see him coming a mile away, so for him to pretend to Lee Jr. that he doesn't go that way is to call him stupid, which is not what you want to do to someone who could hold your fate in his hands. And anyone could see his wedding band, so if his "I'm married" is meant to convey that he's staying faithful to his wife regardless of his sexual orientation, that's no good either, because then he's saying he's mora

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