Even by Mad Men standards there was a whole lotta sneaking around going on in To Have and to Hold. If he could pass a background check-and we know he couldn’t-Don should have volunteered his services to Richard Helms or James Jesus Angleton of the CIA. The ketchup skulkathon, of course, turned into a fiasco with SCDP losing Heinz beans without gaining “the prestige that comes with ketchup.”
The episode as a whole was a bit of a breather after some of the heavier goings on in the first 3 episodes. It mixed hilarity with hypocrisy and was mercifully light on some of the heavy handed symbolism that I complained about last week. I think Dante’s Inferno has been consigned to the outer edges of purgatory for now; at least I hope so. Time for a few comments:
Et tu, Pegster: Stan Rizzo had several star turns in this episode. First, by getting his Draperness to smoke weed and laugh. Don has been a dour boy all season so it was a relief to see him smile however briefly.
I also grooved on Stan’s Roger Daltrey/buckskin fringe jacket. I halfway expected him to swing a microphone and belt out See Me, Feel Mealthough A Quick One might fit the mood at SCDP better.
A highlight was the bar scene after the meeting with Mr. Ketchup. Stan flipped Peggy the bird and Kenny Cosgrove glared at her after bitching out Don and Pete. I suspect Stan will not be talking shop with the Pegster for awhile, which is a pity because those two have real chemistry.
Peeping Don: Don continues to be Mr. Voyeur. He spies on Megan/Corrinne on the soap set and eavesdrops on Peggy’s presentation to Monsieur Ketchup, which was pure-d Double D except for the fact that it didn’t work. Don himself is on a losing streak with clients and with everyone except for Sylvia Rosen who is the only character who’s a bigger hypocrite than he is. She’s praying for him? Really? I thought she was shtupping him while claiming friendship with his wife.
Joan’s Not Wild About Harry: We got to see more of our Joan this week: on the town with her friend Kate, yelling at secretaries, and scrapping with the preternaturally pompous Harry Crane. I’ve been waiting for Harry to start lobbying for a partnership, which he may deserve on the merits but will never get by dissing Joan to the other partners. She took a particularly nasty bullet for them and they’d rather not be reminded of that fact even if they have a habit of treating her like a glorified secretary.
I did, however, get a kick out of the whole Dow Chemical Presents Broadway Joe On Broadway scene. Escapist entertainment was what 60’s teevee was all about, after all. That and napalm…
Don’s Dawn: I remain disappointed in how the show’s only regular African American character is being used. The scenes between Dawn and her friend were kinda meh and only of interest for her perception of SCDP as a joyless, hard drinking work place.
Fleeting Pop Culture References: James Garner. Joey Heatherton. The Smothers Brothers. Speaking of the latter, here’s the Who on their show essentially demolishing everything in sight. It was the smashing ’60’s as far as Pete and Keith were concerned: