Bullet Points – Mad Men 06:10

Well, here we are, in the home stretch of the season and there are whole host of issues are arising in the world of Mad Menthat are making Don and everyone else uncomfortable. But what is interesting (if sad) is that it seems the men of SCDP are giving their company away. I’ll talk about that more in a minute but first up there are some interesting trips to be had.

First up, we had a new player in the business, Ms. Joan Harris! Thanks to her friend Kate, Joan got set up on a surpise lunch date with the marketing director of Avon. While Ted was excited about it, Pete was insistant to cut her out of the meeting. Maybe that explains why she deliberately “forgot” to invite Pete to the second luncheon, which led Joan and Peggy to a knock-down, drag-out fight at the office. And it was kind of shocking to see Peggy really let Joan have it with all of the shitty treatment in the past, even going so far back to the old days of Sterling Cooper. It was almost a decade’s worth of resentment that came out in that hallway. That said, Peggy’s save of Joan while she was getting read the riot act by Pete and Ted was pretty darn cool. While I highly doubt that the two will every see completely eye to eye, or have a meeting with Ms. Streinham and Ms. Cottin Pogrebin, it’s heartening to see them come together in pre-femenism solidarity.

Meanwhile, Ginsberg had one of the worst episodes of the week. Man Oh Manischewitz! It was painful to watch the talented (“He’s Lightening In A Bottle!” said Ted) temperamental (his calling Jim Cutler a fascist) and neurotic Ginsberg fall apart but that’s what happened. It was all a part of a major theme in the episode; the CGC gang is not feeling at home with the SCDP merger. From his shouting match to his idea of firing all the SCDP staff while Roger and Don were away, Jim Cutler is ready for a rebelion! Thankfully Ted talked him down off of that ledge, and in an odd way, so did Bob Benson: Man of Mystery. And while Manischewitz went bad, Bob was rewarded by being added to the Chevy team.

Speaking of the SCDP camp, Don and Roger head off to Los Angeles for meetings with Sunkist, Carnation, and some avocado company. Once again, the show returns back to California; the land of sunshine and Don’s happy place. It was the home of the late Anna Draper (the wife of the real Don Draper and the beloved confidante of our Don Draper) and it was interesting to see Don so uncomfortable with being in California this time; this was purely business and no pleasure, and his and Roger’s awkwardness at the pool party was a sight to see. As dapper as they both looked, they were out of place in a party while Harry Crane was working the room like a pro, and the formerly nerdy Danny Siegel has become a major player in the scene. but it did lead to this sight…

As with the last time he was at a pool party in California, Don was on drugs and started hallucinating. Don’s hallucinations once again revealed his thoughts about his life. Megan came out in full hippie drag and was pregnant and subservient to Don, while a one-armed PFC Dinkins came with his lighter to chastise Don and to lead to the jaw-dropping sight of Don floating face-down in the pool. Thankfully Roger managed to save Don from death. Which goes to show that some people were not made for hashish.

While the episode is titled “A Tale of Two Cities,” it could easily have been titled “A Tale of Two Camps.” And like all arguments you could pic either side. New York of Los Angeles. Peggy or Joan. The Women or the Men. SCDP or CGC. There’s no clear answer to choose.

Last points:

– This all happened during the riots of the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots in Chicago. And it was interesting to clock everyone’s reactions to it; from Joan’s shock, to Don’s annoyance, to Megan’s horror and clear eyed assessment that Humphrey won’t be elected.

– Sterling Cooper & Partners. I have to agree with Pete on this when he hissed “This isn’t the company we worked to have.” Pete may be selfish and was a bit of a prick to Joan, but he’s at least clearly seeing what’s going on. Ever since the merger, Roger and Don in particular have been rather cavalier in their attitudes to what is going on in the firm in light of Jim and Ted being a part of it. Like Duck mentioned last week, Pete has no solid place in the firm. No wonder he goes off and starts smoking up at the end of the episode.

Image Credits: Jordin Althaus/AMC, GIF Credits Here

Originally Published on 3 June 2013 as part of my column “The Idiot Box” for l’etoile magazine.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Bullet Points – Mad Men 06:13 | Todd O'Dowd

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