Mad Men
Wee Small Hours

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 2 USERS: A-
To The Moon, Connie!
lly better than Lee Jr., who's also married. I hope it goes without saying that I'm of course not condoning Lee Jr.'s actions at all, but basically, Sal needed not to assert himself over Lee Jr. in any way here in order to deny Lee Jr. what he wanted and still escape unscathed. And really, Sal has my sympathy, but he's not completely blameless, because if he were more comfortable in his own skin he probably wouldn't be standing there giving off the impression that the very thought of Lee Jr. touching him is so unmentionable, which is clearly not helping the situation. I'm also surprised he didn't think to run down the hall and offer Kurt as a sub. Anyway, Lee Jr. says he gets it -- Sal's at work, and it's too bad, but at Minute 15 you had to know it wasn't going to end here. Once Lee Jr. leaves, Sal throws a couple of film canisters into the wall in frustration. Little late to be playing it butch, hon.

Sally and Bobby are watching TV as Betty sits on the couch (but not the monstrosity; different room) with a glass of wine and writes a boring letter to Francis. And I'll add that she actually apologizes for it being boring, as she's out of touch with writing letters, so I don't think it's harsh for me simply to agree. We hear the whole letter in voiceover, by the way, and she goes on to marvel at the fact that they've only actually met three times, and she wishes she had a clearer picture of him in her mind. Might I suggest recapping those episodes? It'll burn images into your brain, I can tell you. As she finishes, saying she hopes to hear from him soon, we see her asleep in a chair, glass of wine still in her hand. Don enters and regards her, and maybe we're supposed to think he's intuiting what she's been up to, but really I'm guessing he's merely impressed with the fact that she didn't spill a drop even while passed out.

At night, Harry and Paul are eating sandwiches in the latter's office as he keeps one eye on the TV to make sure all the ads are properly run. Given his recent promotion, I would have thought he'd be able to get a flunky to do this, but I'm not getting the sense he's dying to go home to his family. You'd think, though, Jennifer would keep him on a tighter leash even if she's forgiven him for the little incident with Hildy. The phone rings, and it's Lee Jr., who sounds like he continued to drink after the last little scene we saw. Oh, dear. I actually thought on first viewing that he was going to turn it around and say Sal made a pass at him, but what happens is barely any better: He tells Harry he has a bit of a problem, that being that Sal is "no good," and he can't work with him. Harry says he doesn't have the authority to remove him, as Pete and Roger are in charge of the account, but Lee Jr. firmly tells him he wants him not only to take care of it but also to keep it just between them. Harry, flailing about for a direction to take, opts to tell Lee Jr. that the commercial is turning out great, and Lee Jr., who I now see is deep into a fifth of Johnnie Walker Red, looks like he's having trouble keeping his eyes open here, but manages to wish Harry a good night. Paul asks what happened, and Harry comes in with a big understatement in replying that he doesn't want to know. Since Paul doesn't really do any work, though, he's got more capacity for gossip than you'd think, and he drags it out of Harry without too much effort, with Harry admitting that he didn't ask for Lee Jr.'s reason in wanting to get rid of Sal because "he was drunk as a skunk and he's scary to begin with." Paul suggests calling Pete, but Harry tells him the part where he wanted it kept between them. He concludes that he shouldn't "panic and do something stupid like I usually do," and concludes that maybe the whole thing will blow over, as Lee Jr. was really drunk, so maybe the whole thing isn't to be taken seriously. As much as I think Harry's kind of spineless sometimes, he's in an impossible situation here, so I can't really blame him for sitting tight and hoping the whole thing blows over, since that's the only decent outcome that could result from this mess. Unfortunately, he's failing to account for two things: One, that the offending incident happened many drinks ago and is much less likely to be forgotten than Harry thinks, and two, the man is from the South. It's the land where people's tolerance for alcohol is only exceeded by their inability to let things go.

Don's wide awake in bed, so it's not such an inconvenience when Connie calls, although Don acts a bit like it is, prompting this response: "I know it's a privilege to call you at home. I don't think I've worn it out!" Too bad Betty's asleep, because she'd be a good person to go to for a dissenting opinion. Despite the fact that it's eleven-thirty, Connie asks Don to join him for a drink, and Don accepts, his only reluctance coming from the fact that even crazy Suzanne probably isn't out running at this hour.

Cut straight to the Waldorf, and Don hasn't let the lateness of the hour prevent him from showing up in full suit and tie. Connie is choosing to emphasize their shared status of being plain folk who made good by pouring out something from a bottle old enough that it prompts Don to ask if it contains moonshine. Connie says no, but it is from the Prohibition era. "I have two cases, and they both say 'hair tonic' on the side." If I were Don I'd be worried that the boxes weren't mislabeled. I'm not under the impression the expression "beggars can't be choosers" didn't apply to that time period. My point is made when Don, our inveterate drinker, almost gags on the booze, but he recovers to say he remembers it, and since he's a little young to have been drinking during Prohibition I'm thinking it's poor people stuff again. Connie tells him he's in a bit of a crisis, which explains why he's drinking something at which many denizens of the Bowery would turn their noses up, and when Don asks what about, he explains that he thinks about his business a lot and he's his own worst critic, and sometimes the negative thoughts collect and make him feel bad. "And then I realize that maybe that's the reason I'm so lonesome." I'm guessing by the end of the episode Don will be able to suggest another reason or two. He tells Don that he, Connie, is not working enough, prompting the man who came in for a business talk in the middle of the night to raise an eyebrow, but Connie goes on that it's his mission in life to bring America to the world, "whether they like it or not." He adds that they're a force of good because they have God, and my skin's already crawling with all the talk of expansionism masked as munificence, so sure, go ahead and throw some religious zealotry into the mix. He decries Communists and lauds the Marshall Plan, which to be fair was not anything like what's been going on this past decade, and Don starts taking notes as Connie continues that after everything they threw at Khrushchev, the thing that brought him down was being denied entrance to Disneyland. Don chuckles heartily, which prompts a bemused Connie to ask if he never heard that before. Don: "Well, I did, but when I hear you say it, it sounds beautiful." Oh, Don. You may have verbal skills galore, but ass-kissing sounds as weird coming out of your mouth as one-liners do coming out of your wife's. Redeeming his earlier talk a bit, Connie says he doesn't want politics in his ad campaign, but there should be goodness, and confidence. He thanks Don for listening, and mournfully compares himself to King Midas. Don tells him to stop that kind of talk, and Hilton tells him he's his angel, and like a son to him. "In fact, sometimes you're more than a son to me, because you didn't have what they had, and you understand." Don, a father-hater up to this point, looks profoundly touched that Conni

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