Mad Men Thread: A Rap Session About Margarine


The merger of SCDP and CGC is on, but the new agency remains a horse with no name. Hold on, that’s a Seventies song. Never mind. The overall theme ofMan With A Plan was power. Don started the episode busting Ted’s sweaterless chops. Then he re-enacted theStory of O with Sylvia, but he ended up looking like a lost little boy who grew up in a whorehouse. Except for Sylvia’s breaking if off with Don, that whole storyline left me cold even if she did look fetching in thatred dress, a color that is associated in Don’s mind with hookerdom. The whole thing was a skeezy trip to Snoozeville.

My bromance with Ted Chaough: I’m falling hard for Ted. He may hate being called nice but he is. Did you notice how stunned Ginsburg and Stan looked at Ted’s suggesting a “little rap session about margarine?” They’re not used to having a boss who sits down in the writer’s room with the creatives instead of summoning them to the Draperdome.

Don may be able to out drink Ted, but the latter has his own plane and aviator glasses to boot. Ted really one-upped Don when he flew them Upstate to meet with Mohawk Air. Hmm, I wonder if Stan will get a mohawk soon? If not, I can see Bobby Draper with one in 1977 at a Clash show…

The biggest contrast between my boy Ted and Don Fucking Draper is that Ted knows who he is, and is comfortable in his own skin. It may bother Petulant Pete that he doesn’t have a chair at the meeting but Ted shrugs and gives up one to placate the preppie pissant.Ted also has at least one close friend, his dying partner Gleason. He advised Ted to rope-a-dope Don and wait him out. Excellent advice. Ted’s presence at Gleason’s bedside is in stark contrast to Don letting his only true friend, Anna Draper, die alone.

I love Ted’sGilligan’s Island formula, which baffles Don who is stuck in the 1950’s. As applied toMad Men, I see Don as the skipper, Ted as Gilligan, the Pegster as Mary Ann, Cooper as Thurston Howell, and Joan as Ginger. Yeah, I know, Don looks nothing like Alan Hale Jr but he did treat my little buddy Ted as *his* little buddy. Bottoms up.

Bob Benson: International Man of Mystery- Bob came into somewhat sharper focus when he took Joan to the ER and finagled her a Doctor. It’s the first time he did someone a solid that was more than just brown nosery. I’m still unsure as to what he’s really up to-my guess is that he’s undercover and plans to write a tell-all book-but he’s up to something. It would be interesting if he turns out to be our Joan’s new love interest. I’m afraid my friend Kevin might get jealous if that’s the case but he’ll just have to suck it up…

My mother can go to hell and Ted Chaough can fly her there: Nobody does petulance as well as Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell. He seethed with insecurity, jealousy and childish rage for much of the episode. Dealing with his demented dipsomaniacal Mother brought out the worst in Pete. I halfway expected him to kill her and stuff her body in his clothes hamper. The old girl is not as far gone as her son thinks: she noticed he had too much laundry for his crib to be anything but a fuck pad. Pied a terre, my ass.

Historical references: Who knew that margarine was invented for Louis Bonaparte aka Napoleon III? I did not. Btw, my mother was the daughter of a dairy farmer, so margarine was verboten and derided in our household as the devil’s spread.She’d have been down with Ginsburg on that subject…

The most interesting parts of the tedious Don-Sylvia scenes were her reference to her son’s presence in Paris during the days of rage, and the fact that Don confiscated her copy ofThe Last Picture Show. McMurtry denial could be a capital offense in some parts of Texas. Big Sam is not amused…

I loved the way they slid Bobby Kennedy’s murder into the end of the episode.Using Pete’s demented old bat of a grande dame mother as the messenger added an element of black humor to a grim situation. Pete assumed that the Kennedy boy they killed was Jack and went back to sleep.

Do It Again: Roger didn’t play a large part in the episode-John Slattery directed it-but his one big scene was a doozy. He fired Burt Peterson again or is that re-fired? It gave me an earworm, which is why I’ll give Steely Dan the last word:

10 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: A Rap Session About Margarine

  1. Roger’s brilliant dialogue in the second-firing scene reminded me of one of my former bosses who was foul, funny, and cruel. The guy could rip someone a new one and have his victim thanking him for the privilege of owning a new orifice.

  2. It struck me from the photo you used that the staircase has become Joan’s throne room where she dispenses judgment and spoils to her want.
    The whole “Woman in Room 503” stuff was Don telling Sylvia it’s over. Don’t ever say to Don Draper “I need you” cause you’ll turn around and he’ll be gone. Knowing he can’t never see her again since she lives downstairs and she’s friends with his wife, he gets her to be the one to say it’s all over by pushing her beyond her limits.
    Pete’s mom and Trudy’s dad need to get together. I bet Pete could convince both of them she’s a 200 black hooker.
    If this was any other show (like one on network TV) Bob Benson would be heading towards throwing Joan’s counterpart from CGC out the window as a favor. Thankfully Mad Men doesn’t go in for the easy plot devices.

  3. I think the whole show is taking place in Bob Benson’s head, and that’s why we’re seeing him. I mean, they gotta end this thing somehow. Maybe it’ll be that Dick Whitman died in Korea, too, and the whole thing’s been purgatory.

  4. @A: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. No more St Elsewhere endings. Almost used an exclamation point but I still have standards.

  5. I want to know why Peggy consistently wears those butt-ugly clothes. I find it hard to believe that an ambitious woman in the late ’60s would put on that crap (and I was well into my teens by then, and a fashionista). I mean, those hats! Good god. I get “conservative” — what I don’t get is “hideous.” is she making them herself from some leftover Simplicity patterns she found in her mother’s basement?
    I agree that no dairy farmer would use margarine (unless that’s the point).
    As far as how the series will end, my friend Simels thinks Don will wind up in the bummer tent at Woodstock. Since that’s 1969 and we won’t get there, I think it will end with Nixon’s election. After all, they worked on Nixon’s failed campaign in Season 1 —

  6. I think Don will keel over dead in 1970 or late 1969. They’ll definitely get into the Nixon administration but only Matthew Weiner really knows so I could be wrong.

  7. Ah, I didn’t realize this isn’t the last season — then Simels might be right. Or maybe Don’s Devil Daughter winds up in the bummer tent at Woodstock. She seems ripe for it.

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