Mad Men Discussion: Don Draper Loves Puppies

While last week’s episode of Mad Men was kinda heavy — what with the MLK assassination and all — this week’s episode was pretty goddamn fun and at times flat-out hilarious. With that said, the first 15-20 minutes of the show were very difficult on me, as seeing an exuberantly happy Pete Campbell is generally akin to someone taking a massive dump on my soul. I mean, just look at that smug bastard’s happy little face…

But then I started to suspect that Pete’s early over-the-top euphoria over the firm going public was likely setting up for a massive calamity about to befall him, and boy was I right. Pete’s spectacular fall was almost as delicious as a blackberry cobbler covered in ice cream.

Anyway, let’s dive in, shall we?

– First off, let’s take a moment to relive Pete slipping on the stairs, shall we?

– Speaking of Pete slipping on the stairs, I’d be interested to know if that was originally in the script or if Vincent Kartheiser accidentally fell in the course of rushing down the stairs to confront Don in the scene, and then he just played it off as if it were meant to happen? And is it just me or was Scumbag Pete trying to seduce a tipsy and high on dreams of riches Joan in that opening scene?

– How do I get Bert Cooper’s job? Seriously, I would kill to have a job where I have to do nothing but sit around with my shoes off and drink all day and get rich in the process. That’d be beyond awesome.

– Speaking of Burt Cooper, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering “what the hell is ‘Liquor of Elderflower’ and where can I find some?” last night. The answer: it’s St. Germaine.

– Here, have some classic Pete “I have big things coming” Campbell bitchface with your lunch today, everyone…

– More reasons to adore Roger Sterling (as if we needed any): he uses the recent death of his mother to lure a flight attendant back in bed for more sex (“My mother just died (pats mattress)”), and then he uses the flight attendant he’s been sexing up with the help of his dead mother’s memory to sabotage his enemies. Evil genius on so many levels.

– I think I may be falling in Mrs. Robinson-esque love with Megan’s perpetually drunk, sassy French-Canadian mom. For a while there I wasn’t sure if she was going to bang Dr. Rosen or Roger, or maybe even have a threesome with both of them, but then the scene at dinner with the fat Jaguar creep and his pina colada-sipping wife sealed the deal.

– And how crazy would it be for Don if his mother-in-law had an affair with his mistress’ husband, with Megan completely oblivious to everything?

– I wonder if Pete would have been as bent over running into his father-in-law in a whorehouse if the whore his father-in-law was apparently banging wasn’t a big black woman?

– I was actually kind of moved when Joan broke down in the office confronting Don. Christina Hendricks really is one hell of an actress.

– “Just once, I would like to hear you use the word ‘we.'” – Joan Holloway

– The one major gripe I have with last night’s episode is that the merger of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Cutler Gleason & Chaough seemed a little rushed, a little forced. Like, could that sort of thing really happen in the way that it played out? It just seems to me that there’d be a few more hurdles that would need to be jumped before dispatching Peggy to compose a press release. And Don is a selfish prick, obviously, but considering what just happened earlier with Joan — who we know he genuinely cares for and respects — would he really go out and spearhead such a merger on his own?

– Last week I voiced my suspicion that Peggy and her boss Teddy would soon enter “the Bone Zone.” Let’s all take a minute to remember this in lieu of her making out with him and then later fantasizing about sex with him.

– Is it just me or did Peggy seem less than thrilled over the idea of going back to work for Don Draper?

– BTW, the car “designed with a computer” Chevy introduced in the late 60s as an alternative to the Ford Mustang was the Vega, and it turned out to be a massive lemon — one that almost destroyed GM — after being initially praised my auto critics. Here’s what a ’69 Chevy Vega looked like…

And here are a couple of old magazine ads for it…

– Hey Matt Weiner — more of Marie Calvet, PLEASE!

– I would have loved to have seen at least a little Harry Crane in this episode, especially after his big coming out moment last week. Speaking of, Rich Sommer defended Harry’s reaction to the MLK assassination in an interview with Vulture.

“Listen, Harry went about it in a bad way, but, other than that, nothing he said was inaccurate,” he told Vulture at last night’s Lucille Lortel Awards. “I mean, he was all entirely factual. So it was hard for me to be mad at him. It was a sort of crime of passion the way he did it, but he’s — you know, he’s not wrong. He just did it the wrong way.”

Your thoughts are encouraged in the comments.