Does everyone remember Don’s pitch for the Hawaiian Resort back at the beginning of the season. A man arrives, he strips off all his clothes and disappears.
Tonight, Don did just that. He stripped away his barrier between himself and Dick Whitman that’s stood all these years. In the process he lost his job, he lost his wife and he lost his children. As we looked upon SC&P and the end of the episode, he was gone. Disappeared. At his desk, now head of creative: Peggy Olson.
“My father has never given me anything.”- Sally
So after last week’s absolute horror show, Sally has decided she wants to go to boarding school. Don’s been on a bender apparently since it happened, and is so relieved/guilty/drunk when Betty calls with the news that he’s all for this. He’ll pay for all of it! Sure! Fine! So off to Miss Porters School goes Sally, to interview for an escape from the hell she was born into. I’m a little stunned, but mostly disappointed. I wanted her to go full on stoner hippie. Running away from the family is such a Don like move–I just thought she’d do it via drugs instead of physically.
“Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you — very good care of you — if this person would do anything for you — if your well-being was his only thought — is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him?” -Bob Benson
So Bob is gay. We have our proof tonight, as he makes a pass at Pete, though it was sort of weird and underhanded and might have been missed if he hadn’t touched knees with Pete afterwards. Not only is Bob gay, but his nurse friend Manolo, the one that he got for Pete’s mother is also gay. Unfortunately *that* couldn’t be kept secret, especially after Mrs. Campbell is going around making it sound like she and Manolo are getting it on. Pete’s is about to fire Manolo for sleeping with his mother, until Bob explains that could only be the product of Mrs. Campbell’s fantasies, as Manolo doesn’t like the ladies, er, you know what he means? So instead Pete takes out his freak out over Bob’s pass by firing Manolo for the crime of being socially sexually unacceptable, and calls being gay “disgusting.”
We have a company name: Sterling Cooper & Partners. “It’s the only thing that’s offensive to all.” When in doubt, offend everyone.
It’s certainly the creed of those rebelling in 1968. Rebellion is everywhere–in the dress code, in the culture and now, in the streets. Yes, we have reached the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Yes, it was in another city than the two we visit tonight, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t on television affecting the under current. It upset Megan, who sided with the protesters. It upset people like Cutler, who see the protesters as long haired horrors. Better yet, it caused Ginsberg to start spouting words like “fascist.” That’s always a good time.
But the biggest rebellion of them all this week was The Rebellion of Joan Harris.
“Status quo, ante bellum.” – Arlene
Don is finally not the only one kissing other women in this marriage. Megan’s (bisexual? closet lesbian?) co-star Arlene, who we last saw trying to get both Don and Megan into bed with her and her husband decides it time to try to just get Megan into bed, husbands need not apply. The scene between them as Megan cluelessly gives off all the wrong signals and suddenly finds herself in a very embarrassing situation was almost as funny as the sight of her as her “twin” in a blonde wig on their terrible soap opera.
But when it comes to funny, nothing beats Peggy stabbing Abe with a harpoon.
Let us all pity Ken and his job. Then let us admire his “It’s My Job” dance:
Update: It is now on youtube (albeit backwards):
Revel in the glory.
This is “SCDPCC.”
This is “SCDPCC” on drugs.
I suppose it was time for us to have another Lost Weekend with Don, but this time without the booze. I mean, seriously, Joan was absent for one episode (and Pete down to a 30 second cameo) and THIS is what happens? Dr. Hecht arrives with serum for everybody! I guess it’s sort of a parallel to Sterling’s LSD doctor that Cutler has a speed freak doctor, but holy hell. “Complex vitamin superdose,” my eye. No complex vitamin superdose would send someone with a weak heart to the hospital with cardiac arrest. (No, it was someone from CGC’s creative team, not Roger. I’m sure you were all concerned too.)
“Move forward.” -Peggy
This week saw the death of Bobby Kennedy. I actually was starting to wonder, when we’d reached the half way mark and he wasn’t dead yet that perhaps they were saving that until next week. But then someone mentioned his name and I knew it had to be coming. I guess it was about time they used an historical event as an episode button. It also revealed the point of this week: those who do not understand their history are doomed to repeat it.
There was lots of repetition in this week’s episode, and not just by characters like Don who can’t stop making the same mistakes over and over. There was the repetition of roles in the workplace as SCDP and CGC merge together into one office. (There’s still no official name for the company. SCDCC I presume?)
This was a jam packed episode that lead us to the inevitable conclusion I never saw coming: Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler, Gleason & Chaough! That’s a heck of a lot of initials.
This roller coaster of an episode starts with Joan, Pete and Bert working in secret to take the company public. (I know it was supposed to be Saturday, but Joan with her hair down was fab.) Can I say, that’s a really odd group? In fact, the whole thing was really left field, but I didn’t have time to not believe it, since it got scooped before it could happen. In some ways I felt bad–Joan was looking at being a millionaire, and all her single mommy problems solved with money. Pete just wanted to double the size of the company. But the banker is right: ”It’s a common mistake to not ask questions when you want something because you’re afraid of the answers.”
“The man knew how to talk. I don’t know why but I thought that would save him.” – Roger Sterling on the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
It is April 4th, and though it took a good 15 minutes to get there, indeed history unfolded and we learned that Martin Luther King Jr has been assassinated. (While at an awards banquet for Advertising, of all things, where I was personally wondering if Harry Fucking Hamlin as Jim Culter is going to be a regular running character. Anyone else want to see Jim vs. Roger? Show of hands.) Suddenly whether or not that guy standing at the podium was a good facsimile of Paul Newman in 1968 seemed a whole lot less important. Like with the JFK episode back in season three, it’s like watching a 9/11 type event with old fashioned technology. Ie: Abe running for the payphone to see if he can get assigned a story. Though somethings don’t change: everyone was glued to the TV, just like we were two weeks ago over Boston. Still, some things are very different. Do you think nowadays that awards ceremony would really continue? And that the majority of people would stay? That’s a level of denial that our access to technology simply doesn’t allow. Still, it was nice to see Megan get her award, even if she’s no longer in the business.
Also? I loved her outfit, her hair, the works. Let’s move on.
“Everybody’s scared there. Women crying in the ladies’ room. Men crying in the elevator. It sounds like New Year’s Eve when they empty the garbage, there’s so many bottles.” -Dawn
Tonight we had four stories: Dawn, Joan, Megan, and Peggy. All women, all trailblazers, all of whom are miserable.
Let’s start with Dawn, because it’s the spring of 1968, we’re literally weeks from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the riots that followed, and so now, finally, six seasons in, Weiner has a black character who we focus in on. How timely! I found myself more sorry for her than any one in quite a while. Dawn is more utterly alone that Peggy, or Megan, or Joan ever was. She’s not just female, she’s black. She’s the first the other secretaries will turn on when stuff hits the fan (like Scarlett, Harry’s secretary does when the Time Card stamping scandal comes out. More on that in a second.) Her friend Nikki may admire her for where she is, and what she’s doing, but all Dawn sees is how miserable everyone in her offices is. She’s not sure she really wants in…but then given the chance to be taken under Joan’s wing and handed the keys to the kingdom (and the store room and the time card stamper), she takes them up.