Mad Men Thread: You Just Ooze Everywhere

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Thus spake Sally at the end of The Forecast. She was aggravated at having to play second fiddle to both Betty and Don in this episode so she let Big Daddy have it like one of those pesky no-neck monsters in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. It didn’t work. Don reminded her how much like both parents she is. I quite agree. She wanted the limelight just like they do and was snippy over her friend Sarah’s flirting with Don as well as a certain person’s obvious infatuation with Betty. More about that later.

The Forecast was clearly the best episode of Season-7 mach two thus far. In the previous episode, Don looked back whereas this time around he asked all and sundry what their dreams and hopes for the future were. Neither Sally nor Peggy took it very well. In Peggy’s case, she was upset that Don wanted her to look past advertising and discuss the big picture. Don is having a hard time coping with the agency’s success and is appalled that Ted Chaough’s vision of the future was confined to advertising. Ted’s career crisis is clearly over. Me, I was appalled that Ted wasn’t wearing a sweater. What’s up with that, Teddy boy? It’s not nice to make me er, sweat…

As Don groped for a bigger meaning to life, I was brought back to the song that concluded Severance: Is That All There Is? Don has at least moved on from the Zou Bissou Bissou memorial penthouse by selling it.

More random and meandering comments after the break.  The Veep  circa 1970 might have even called me a nattering nabob of negativism. Note that I don’t call Spiro T Agnew my countryman, he didn’t embrace his ethnicity until he ran for national office. Oy, such malakatude.

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The Return Of Weird Glen: In my capacity as a Mad Men pundit, I confidently predicted that we’d seen the last of Weird Glen. I was wrong, which makes me more of a savant than a soothsayer, for sooth. If you knew Soothie like I knew Soothie, oh what a gal…

Where was I? Oh yeah, Weird Glen’s appearance. He drops by Francis manor, clearly hoping to see Betty and not his old pal Sally. Betty once banned Weird Glen from ever darkening her door and from seeing Sally. Time heals all wounds as opposed to wounding all heels. I guess Nick Lowe got it wrong:

I apologize for time traveling to 1983. Not really, but back to the Betty-Glen summit meeting. Glen ostensibly dropped by to take Sally to Playland. His real purpose was to drop a bombshell: he’d volunteered for the Army, which meant a ticket to Saigon in 1970.  Hanoi Sally is pissed and loses her shit even though Glen claims it’s because he feels guilty that poor kids are fighting and dying while middle class kids like him are staying home and smoking reefer. Betty assures him the weed in Vietnam is better and supports his decision. I made up the first bit but Betty *was* a pro-war hippie hating Republican.

Weird Glen makes a second foray to Bettyland and, essentially, declares his love for her by making a pass at her. Even though he’s now a handsome 18-year old, Betty spurns him but  in a shockingly nice way. There will be no koo-koo-ca-choo Mrs. Francis for Glenbo. The end of the scene is suprisingly tender, which *almost* makes me feel bad for mocking the idea of Betty as a therapist. It looks like the great feminist awakening  of 1970 may have paid a call at Francis manor. Did I just say something nice about Betty? There’s a first time for everything.

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Mathis Drops An F-Bomb: We’ve seen a lot of young ad man, Johnny Mathis, this year. He’s a major dweeb, which makes sense because Trevor Einhorn played Frederick Crane on Frasier as a child actor. Mathis and his creative partner have come up with a *terrible* ad campaign for a new cookie from the Peter Pan peanut butter people: the Tinkerbelle. The pitch goes poorly and Mathis drops the F bomb in the meeting, which puts Pete Campbell in a tizzy like a teevee maiden Aunt. The Pegster is less freaked out but brings the problem to Mr. Fixit, Don Fucking Draper.

Don shrugs it off, he’s said weirder shit than that at pitch meetings. There was the whole “I was born in a whorehouse and a hooker gave me Hershey’s chocolate” thing. He advises Mathis to defuse the problem by using humor as he once did with Lee Garner Jr. the closeted Lucky Strike tsarevich. Unfortunately, Mathis is too literal and makes things even worse. In effect, Don had asked Mathis to be more like Marty Crane than Niles or Frasier. It didn’t work.

Mathis goes into a tirade about Don’s handsomeness and lack of character and gets his ass fired in the process. He *might* have survived in his job if he hadn’t gone all Revenge Of The Nerds on Don who has put up with uber dweeb Pete Campbell all these years, after all. I wonder if this will impact the Pegster’s budding romance with Johnny’s brother-in-law.

Joan Is Awesome, Part 4000: We saw a lot more of our Joan in this episode, which is always a good thing. I think my pal Kevin Allman was weeping bitter tears during the last episode.

Joan goes to the Los Angeles office where she finds Not My Problem Lou still trying to pitch his awful sounding “Gomer Pyle as a monkey” comic strip, this time to Hanna Barbera. I wonder if he proposed him as a sidekick to Huckleberry Hound? Lou himself belongs in The Flintstones but that’s neither here nor there.

Joan runs into a handsome developer played by Bruce Greenwood while interviewing job candidates. I’m glad Joan had a meet cute moment. But it’s a bit unnerving that it was  with a guy who reminds me of a West Coast Roger Sterling. Joan clearly has a type.

The meet cute moment went South when her new beau admitted than he was done with raising children. Apparently, they’re too sticky to take to the pyramids or some such shit. Joan dismisses him with withering sarcasm worthy of Mathis’ teevee mom, Lilith from Cheers. It worked. She receives an apology and the promise of a future that includes her mother and Roger’s boy Kevin. Roger the Sterling Silver Tongued Devil isn’t going to like this.

Peggy might call herself a feminist but neither Joan nor Betty would. They’d associate the term with bra burning, Jane Fonda, and slacker hippie babysitters. Joan has *always* been a de-facto feminist except for the moment with the creepy car dealer from Jersey. Betty has not but she seems to be changing. I guess it’s the whole going back to school thing but I have a feeling that Rockefeller Republican Henry isn’t going to like it.

No More Looking Back: Like New Business, the episode closes with Don in an empty apartment. His annoying real estate agent was finally able to close the deal after kvetching the entire episode of how it “reeked of failure” and looked like the home of a “sad person.” She was right but my mother was real estate broker and if one of her agents had said such a thing to a client, they would have joined Johnny Mathis on the unemployment line. Instead, Don took the abuse and learned from it. I’m seeing signs of real change. Who knows, maybe Don will become a scientologist like Elisabeth Moss or create something like EST. Oops, wrong show, the latter factors into the current season of The Americans. I apologize for being an Esthole. I would, however, have liked to have been a fly on the wall when Mimi Rogers, who is scientologist Tom Cruise’s ex-wife, and Moss worked together. I wonder if they discussed Going Clear…

Back to Don Fucking Draper. Things may be looking up for him but I have a feeling he’s not long for the corporate ad agency life at McCann & Malaka. He’s a born renegade, maverick, rebel, shit stirrer or whatever you want to call it.  I no longer think he’s plunging down the elevator shaft like the dude in the credits even if he’s still a man in a Hopper painting:

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Don’s forward thinking gave me an earworm. Let’s travel in time to 1975 and the closing track of Schoolboys In Disgrace, which makes me think of Weird Glen. I hope he survives to hear this klassic Kinks koncept album. He, too, was once a schoolboy in disgrace:

7 thoughts on “Mad Men Thread: You Just Ooze Everywhere

  1. Aaaargh says:

    The whole Glen/Betty thing was like a scene from Letters to Penthouse, some kind of bizarre wish fulfillment thing for Dad. I don’t believe for a minute Glen’s enlisted–I think that’s just a way to get out of his situation and he’s really heading for California to reinvent himself a la Don Draper, and getting the old man to think well of him in the process—plus it seems to get Betty all hot so that works for him too. But he’s shown himself to be conniving and insincere every time he’s onscreen so I can’t imagine that he’s telling the truth about this. He and Betty sure deserve each other. I hope this is the last we’ve seen of her.

    I love how all the things that Peggy listed as her goals in life were things Don has done and finds utterly meaningless, so he just craps all over them for her. Let her find that out for herself, Don.

    It was nice to see something seemingly go well for Joan for a change. This show has been pretty hard on her character.

    I can’t tell where this show is heading, and it doesn’t have a lot of time to head there. Maybe the show will just stop, or Don will step in front of a bus and the screen will go black. I expect it will be almost certainly something fan-infuriating, though.

    • Adrastos says:

      @Aargh: Intriguing theory since Glenn has been known to prevaricate. BUT when Sally called his house in tears, she spoke to Weird Glen’s mother who was also crying.

  2. Kevin says:

    I did miss Joan in the episode before this one. And I hope we get an update on Dawn and/or Shirley before it’s over.

  3. Mark E. Bye says:

    Ugh! My biggest fear is that @Aargh’s prediction of the series conclusion being “almost certainly something fan-infuriating”, seems all too real a possibility, if the history of this show is taken into consideration.

    • Adrastos says:

      @Mark: There is the Chase legacy to consider. OTOH, Terence Winter ended Boardwalk Empire well but Weiner is more dedicated to Chasian perversity than Winter.

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