Mad Men Thread: My Thoughts Are A Jumble

Episode-9-don

No, not my thoughts: Don Draper’s thoughts. I have mixed feelings aboutThe Summer Man. I’m glad that my prediction about Don bouncing back seems to be coming true but I wasn’t crazy about the voice over device. While the idea of Don the diarist is an interesting one, I don’t think Samuel Pepys or Edmund Wilson have anything to worry about.

Onto some of my typically random and discursive comments since, likeDouble-D, I rarely write in increments larger than 250 words. Holy tweeter tube, Batman. Hmm, perhaps my thoughts are indeed a jumble; no surprise there:

Betty was back and seemed seized by a bad case of “I don’t want him but nobody else can have him either.” Her reaction may have caused Don to finally notice that Bethany is a Betty clone.

It was swell to see Henry’s peevish side after he’s been such a mensch in previous episodes; if, that is, a WASP can be a mensch. Betty’s big pout over hubby-1 cast a pall over hubby-2’s meeting with John Lindsay’s henchman Lindsay was the MSM’s pet for a few years although the infatuation faded away as his stewardship of the Big Apple became increasingly inept. Lindsay will eventually change parties and run as a Democrat for President in 1972. Like another former Mayor of Noo Yawk, Lindsay based his hopes on the Florida primary and all the transplanted NY voters living there. Lindsay finished in single digits and dropped out. I guess nobody told Mayor 9/11 in 2008 that his strategy had already been tried and failed 36 years earlier…

The best bits, of course, occurred in the halls of SCDP. The vending machine bit was a real knee slapper whereas Joey’s cartoon of Joan and Lane was a real face slapper. Peggy thought she was standing up for Joan by shitcanning Joey but Joan didn’t see things that way. It was another misunderstanding between two generations of working women. For a better and more lucid discussion of Joan and the Pegster’s issues, read Nelle Engoron’s very perceptive post at Open Salon.Here’s a brief sample:

Peggy takes the assertive course of firing Joey, to which he responds with, “Well, I was wrong about you.”By acting in a business-like and authoritative way, Peggy has changed her status and how she will be seen in the future.Joan
argues against Peggy’s approach saying if she’d wanted Joey fired, she
could have arranged to have Mr. Kreutzer of Sugarberry Ham get him axed,
missing the point that having men do your power work for you (and
working behind the scenes to make that happen) is the old model of
womanhood that leaves women powerless to do otherwise.Don
gives Peggy power behind closed doors which she acts on publicly; Joan
believes in the opposite model of being the powerful woman behind the
man while appearing publicly in a limited and traditionally feminine
role.

Good stuff and there’s much more in her post. Me, I think that the only thing a douchebag like Joey understands is brute force and/or decisive action. Btw, his first scene with Harry was a howler. The latter has become a full-tilt name dropper since his ascent to teevee guru. He remains, however, a malaka as well as a putz. Joey misunderstands Harry’s malakatude and thinks he’s hitting on him. Joey has a very high opinion of himself, his work on the Mountain Dew campaign notwithstanding.

Finally, I just watched the episode again and liked it more the second time around. That happens frequently, which is one reason I loveMad Men. I’m glad that Don is slowly regaining his master of the universe mojo; it’s better for the show as a whole. Don may not be getting any satisfaction but he’s finally bouncin’ back:

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7 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: My Thoughts Are A Jumble

  1. virgotex says:

    While the idea of Don the diarist is an interesting one, I don’t think Samuel Pepys or Edmund Wilson have anything to worry about.
    of course they don’t. Don’s diary-ing VO, Cheeveresque Swimmer-ing, sensitivity, new-leafitude is all a very self-conscious -and not a little desperate- affectation of change. The most telling part of his voiceover is when he says, ostensibly about the young Betty-clone: “People tell you who they are but we ignore it… because we want them to be who we want them to be.” I think that both parts of that statement are really about Don himself.
    I don’t think he’s being insincere- I think he believes what he’s telling himself, and the way in which he’s doing it, but I’m not so sure we can believe it. He’s trying to sell his brand new cleansed self to himself, and everyone else.
    Though, for the record, I doubt the sincerity of his very smooth “this is as far as I can go tonight” move with the doctor. I think he knew exactly what he was doing there, that it would pay off better in the end.

  2. Adrastos says:

    Yeah you rite. Don is always selling himself even to himself. The move with Dr. M was a very smooth one indeed because she expected him to pounce.

  3. Athenae says:

    I think at least part of Joan’s anger at Peggy was that for a proud person, being defended is as bad as being attacked, if not worse. And Our Joan is proud and always has been.
    A.

  4. MichaelF says:

    Really like the bank of windows in Don’s apartment; speaking of windows, I didn’t notice Stan’s “contribution” to the Joan-Joey scene until I watched the episode again…
    Also, either the Slate magazine thread or Wolcott linked to this Museum of NYC exhibit on John Lindsay that’s pretty good:
    http://www.mcny.org/exhibitions/current/Mayor-John-Lindsay.html

  5. Kevin says:

    I didn’t care for the voice-over narration either.
    Poor Joan. She has never appeared as anachronistic as she did this week – her whole look works for her, but not for the time and place.
    I also thought Dr. Faye Miller’s appearance was interesting, particularly in the restaurant scene. Her dye job looked harsh and her makeup seemed like she was assuming a character. Given her field and her brief allusion to her past (a family with Mob connections), is she as self-invented as Don is?
    Last: did no one else notice Betty’s disastrous attempt at a birthday cake? Two lopsided layers that looked like a fallen soufflé. Francine was right when she said Betty didn’t have the knack for entertaining.

  6. Sophmom says:

    I was pretty entertained by Don’s attempt at journaling and laughed out loud at, “I wish I’d finished high school.”

  7. Adrastos says:

    I’ll be watching Joan very carefully in the coming episodes. She’s smart enough to adapt but too proud to admit that she has. She’s looking very 1960 and it works for her but it reinforces the sexy office mom stereotype.

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