The Suitcase featured a rareMad Men “action” sequence as well as frequent puglistic references. It was set on the day of the Ali-Liston rematch; neither fight was very good nor lasted very long. Ali (still called Clay by the gang at SCDP) kicked Liston’s ass in 90 second and a drunken Duck Philips jumped on an equally shitfaced Don Draper but not much happened after Duck sat on Don’s chest. Duck was lucky that Don didn’t upchuck on him before Peggy broke it up and sent the loathsome Duck on his way. I didn’t notice if he did the duck walk when Peggy hustled him out of there but he’s no Chuck Berry…
It was an episode full of milestones: a misguided surprise party thrown by Peggy’s nebbish boy friend Mark led to their breaking up. Peggy was expecting a “romantic dinner” but the nebbish invited the entire Olson clan. Big mistake, dude: I would rather swim with piranhas than have dinner with Mrs. Olson. She puts the o in virago. For his part, Don spends the evening ducking a phone call from Anna Draper’s niece telling him that the only person who really knew Dick/Don was dead. Don got stinking drunk, blew chunks, re-bonded with Peggy and looked like his old self the next day. But will it last? Pass the whiskey…
Jon Hamm was *spectacular* in this episode as he showed us every aspect of Don’s complex persona. It was great to see Peggy tell Don some things that have been eating at her; especially Don’s taking all the credit for the Clio winning floor wax ad. I’m not sure if their exchange of confidences will bring them closer but I was relieved that Don didn’t hit on Peggy. The last thing either of them needs is to share bodily fluids with one another.
The episode dealt with the growing generation gap in a pretty nifty way. Don is old school: he bet on Liston and dismissed the idea of using Joe Namath in the Samsonite ad campaign.Why? Ali is too mouthy, too ethnic and Namath hadn’t played a pro game yet. Don seemed to reconsider Ali by the end of the episode and he *really* should change his tune on Namath who, in a matter of months, will be the hottest celebrity in the country. I don’t know about y’all but I thought that the ad acted out by Peggy and company was pretty good. Maybe not a Clio winner but not as bad as Don said it was.
Finally, I cannot conclude this post without mentioning the divinely incompetent Miss Blankenship. It turns out that she’s a Sterling Cooper lifer because she used to be Bert Cooper’s mistress. Her presence as Don’s secretary is Joan’s crafty way of punishing him for shtupping and driving away the lovely and clever Allison.
The title of episode-7 has given me a raging earworm so I thought I’d share it. Listen to a bit of Badfinger while leaving a comment:
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