Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mad About the Men: Seven Twenty Three

Spoiler Alert. Season3, Episode 7:

Teacher knows best.

And it was quite enjoyable to watch ‘Miss’ take Don Draper over her knee last night and give him a good tongue lashing. In fact, this entire episode was really about Don getting shown his arse, and I have to say I rather enjoyed it.

He was on splendidly grouchy form and all the more handsome for it: late to the office and dressed-down by Conrad Hilton, shouting at Peggy (even though we kind of agreed with him), shouting at Betty, getting told by Sally’s teacher that he’s just like all the other guys and finally, taking a joyride, drink in hand, picking up a couple of hitchhikers and finding himself face down and bloody on the shag pile of a cheap hotel room. The New York Hilton, this was not.

But perhaps his greatest loss, his most profound reduction came in the unlikeliest form of a tete a tete with Burt Cooper. The mild-mannered, sock-footed eccentric showed his teeth and essentially blackmailed Don into signing a three-year contract because after all, ‘who’s really signing this contract anyway.’ It was all done so quietly, so disturbingly. Suddenly you understood how this man had built his empire, and it wasn’t by serving drinks in a room full of Rothko.

Like a phoenix from the ashes though, we are certain Don will rise again. Probably next week.

Peggy and Pete had a nice little scene together about the Hermes scarf and for once Pete actually flexed some fairly admirable moral muscles. Peggy just wanted the pretty thing in the box and hey, who can blame the girl. As usual though, Pete’s best intentions sent Peggy down the road to ruin as she ended up in bed with Duck, whose wooing speech will traumatize my memory for weeks to come. Duck, apparently, likes it in the morning. Gag.

In other news of not-so-dangerous liaisons Betty met with Henry Francis as the ghost of her Kentuky-Derby-party-past came back to haunt her too. She was clearly expecting him to make an advance and was obviously miffed when he didn’t. But patience, dear Betty, patience. It will come. Her random and amusing moment of the week was buying that fainting couch on a whim, oh and that fabulous little beat when she hung up the phone in Don’s office and checked the locked drawer in his desk without even thinking. It’s these tiny glimpses that make these characters so fantastically real. Keep checking Betty, one day you might find it open.

Imagery of sleep, unconsciousness, sunrises, eclipses and so on were abound. The meaning of these could be stretched into a PhD thesis at this point. I’ll leave you to dwell on that.

Line (s) of the week:
Duck on the ad agency Grey: “It’s a Penn Station toilet with venetian blinds.”
Peggy to Pete: “Stop barging in here and infecting me with your anxiety.”
Next Week: More Pete Campbell. Finally!

Diligently construed by E. Nolan
Photo by Carin Baer

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