Back at SC, Pete is introducing Paul to the Madison Square Garden team as the man who authored the campaign "to ease the way for the Ravenswood nuclear power facility." The MSG guys don't seem offended that their campaign to tear down Penn Station is being equated with something as unpopular as nuclear power, which suggests they're rather savvy businessmen indeed. Paul then produces several pieces of the opposing side's propaganda, including one that reads "Rape on 34th Street," but the eldest of the guys (a total H!ITG! who normally plays bit military parts) dismisses all the headlines as the work of one New York Times writer he describes as "an angry woman with a big mouth." This guy's going to love Bella Abzug. One of the other MSG guys says she's trying to sell papers by making people miserable, prompting Pete to pipe up that his "great-great-grandfather, Silas Dyckman" (give it a rest, Pete) would have turned his boat around if he had known that the city would one day be filled with crybabies." And where would he have steered his boat if he'd been able to foresee your pouting visage last episode? Anyway, Paul suddenly, if predictably and pompously, says he doesn't think it's lunacy to "be attached to a Beaux Arts masterpiece through which Teddy Roosevelt came and went." Why is it that I agree with the sentiment, yet I want to brain Paul with a big stick? Working himself up into a lather, Paul continues that the greatest Roman ruins today are in Greece and Spain, because the Romans tore all theirs down, and when he adds that he's a Times reader, the MSG guys catch on and belligerently ask what his problem is. Rather than provide a list, Pete tries to salvage the situation by likening Paul to one of those "snide ad men you see in the movies," but the lead MSG guy dismisses Paul as a "beatnik," and adds, "This is the greatest city in the world. If you don't like it, leave." I'm surprised that neither Pete nor Paul bothered mentioning that Paul now lives in New Jersey. Also, on the one hand, the fact that beatniks were on their way out at this point combined with his attachment to Penn Station seems meant to suggest that Paul is one of those resistant to change, but...this is a guy who had a black girlfriend in 1962. Not only that, I think it's fair to say that history has judged the MSG guys to be the myopic, small-minded ones, whereas people like Paul who foresaw the need to preserve landmarks have been deemed progressive, so...it's not really clear to me what the episode is trying to say here. Anyway, when the MSG guys are gone, Pete points out that Paul didn't have any moral objections to "an atom plant on the East River," but Paul replies that it's Penn Station, and the city should have a bit more memory and respect. As you're probably aware, the demolition of the old Penn Station led to the formation of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, so as I mentioned, it's not like Paul is just being, well, a beatnik about the whole thing, but Pete's unimpressed, blithely warning Paul he's going to have to fill Don in on what happened. Less sure of his defiant stand when the specter of Don the Dad Figure is invoked, Paul tries to say that the clients will trust him more when he turns around and helps them, but Pete channels his great-great-grandfather Silas Dyckman and disdainfully replies, "Do you ever listen to yourself?" Look who you're asking, Pete. Would you?
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: B | 1918 USERS: B
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