Posts tagged next week on mad men
Posts tagged next week on mad men
Oh, boy. Last week’s episode still feels very heavy to viewers, so will the suicide of Lane Pryce still weigh heavily for people at the agency? Reading two different previews, one brief description of the finale from Slate and another from UK’s Radio Times (that has since looked like it has been scrubbed), it feels like for the most part that everything is rosy for people except two characters, Pete and Don. But nonetheless, Matthew Weiner describing the finale as 'orgasmic', makes me think this is a breather from the dour season of death anvils.
So that begs the question: How much time has passed since the suicide? Could a month really be enough time to move on from one of the named partners committing suicide? Also, how much details of the suicide have been disclosed to people at the agency? Has Don told anybody about the forgery? Is the company letting Lane Pryce resign in his boilerplate resignation/suicide note or are they letting his wife and son get the proper life insurance compensation? How has the agency picked up since then? Did they get Dow Chemical after Don’s fire-breathing, desperate pitch? Let’s go investigate the cryptogram of next week’s (only seen after the broadcast) preview:
"I’m sorry to drop by like this?"-Don Draper
So who is he trying to see? Initially, I thought Peggy Olson (already in a fix to see her again) but realized the doors do not match. The adjacent door to Peggy’s apartment is blue, not stained wood. Other viewers have noted this seems to be the residence of Rebecca Pryce. I can believe it. Don has a really guilty conscience combined with the fact he has many questions to ask Rebecca about Lane both personally and professionally be it the forgery, their financial state, and perhaps why Lane could do such a thing. I do wonder how long has passed in this episode given that Rebecca could still be in the United States given she is not employed and her husband who had the VISA when he was employed is now dead. Not sure what the immigration policies in 1967 were on that one. But this definitely looks like Don at Rebecca’s door for reasons pertaining to Lane. Given that the previews mention Don being ‘haunted by a face from his past’, it adds to the idea of how much he saw Adam Whitman’s suicide intersecting with this suicide and wondering what leads a man to kill himself. Given how the Slate preview mentioned Lane’s past coming up as well, I am assuming the abusive household is sure to come up, I think Don gets a lot of answers from Rebecca. Or, at least, the audiences does.
"I know who it is."-Pete Campbell
The defeated, irked look on Pete’s face does not bode well for him. Given that the previews for the show summary include him ‘facing the consequences of his actions’ and ‘meeting a stranger on the train’, one wonders if he is facing potential blackmail or is caught in a web. The Radio Times episode summary has Alexis Bledel’s Beth in the listings and speculation can run wild on that one. I am thinking this could be about her and Howard or how Pete’s affair with Beth gets unearthed. Is the ‘stranger on the train’ relating to her failed marriage or has Trudy gotten a private investigator to look into her husband’s recent behavior that could lead to her finding out he has had affairs? This seems like a personal phone call Pete is giving rather than business-driven call. With business, he is a completely different person, even in a state of disillusionment and anger, than how he presents himself on the phone.
"I got this, this morning"- Joan Holloway Harris
Joan hands something over to Don. What would she want to show him in her mail. Is it about her divorce (since Don is the only person who knows and may be somebody Joan can relay to about such matters as a divorced man)? Did Greg die in Vietnam? Or is it Lane-related or agency-related? This episode has consistently been mentioned of how it is ‘opportunities abound for everybody’ at the agency. This could also mean Joan. Could Lane have given her his 12.5% share of the company? Could she be harassed by the speculation that surrounds her getting a partnership (This episode is called ‘The Phantom’)? Could it be about how, and this goes back to last season, many people thought her and Mr. Pryce were a thing? Given that Don and Joan were the closest to Lane having a friend in the agency, I believe this is Joan disclosing something Lane-related to Don. Also, one of the lines that has gained the most traction between Lane-Joan is that he told her she could do his job. Will it really happen now?
"Damn it!"-Megan Draper
Megan also gets a letter and it definitely appears to be something unwanted. Did she get a role? Did she not get a role? Something medical-related about her or Don? Is it financial? Don and Megan this episode has included two situations of one of her ‘friends’ (not sure if it is the red-head Julia or somebody else) asking to get a job in a commercial on behalf of SCDP and the fact Don is spending money ‘largesse’ for her. What could this all mean? Not sure if it relates to this scene, however. Megan appears in black (going to acting class or a funeral?) and there is a woman in the scene but obscured, also in black. Who is it?
"Clearly states the exact opposite."-Don Draper
So is this the new business? It appears by the artwork that the agency has taken on a motorcycle account given we see a figure on a motorcycle. So perhaps, unlike last week, we finally get to see the post-Peggy Olson creative. Who is in charge of the copy-writers? And what is the latest pitch? Given motorcycles have always been about rebellion then, rather than mid-life crisis, it seems Don has to try and give a pitch that possibly involves ‘the youth-quake’. Given his other pitches this season have been more for adults, Jaguar and ultimately Heinz, and the Sno-Ball pitch was for kids, this is Don trying to come off as in on it. Is the pitch working or is he trying to volley concerns about the pitch that are clearly not from his mind but from the younger, hipper creatives?
"So is it true or not?"- Harry Crane
Leave it to Harry to be the first possible candidate to ask Joan a personal question that also may involve the agency. I doubt Ken would spill but is Harry speculating on Joan-Lane, Joan’s partnership, or the fact that she may very well fill Lane’s position and gain even more power? Joan seems to want nothing of it, sighing in disinterest with no eye-contact to Harry. You wonder if he just asks this question or if he keeps on prodding to the point Joan lashes out. Joan has shown she can break this season, such as with her outburst against the receptionist so I would not put it past her.
"Hello? I can hear you!"-Megan Draper
Megan has a new acting friend. Is this the friend vying for the commercial spot? So did she get a nasty, heavy-breather phone call? I am guessing that. Oh boy, was it Glenn Bishop? I mean, the kid knows the number! Some have speculated that because the play she tried out for, 'Little Murders', had an obscene phone call that she is just acting it out but the look on the friend makes me think it is not acted out.
Other Things Shown and Not Said:
Pete enters his house. Better be some Trudy-Pete interactions!
Megan turning her head to a figure that I presume is Don as it looks like later in the day after she receives the obscene phone call.
Don drinking something while in a shawl sweater on his bed. Holy crap, Don looks like Mr. Rogers! What is he drinking? The Radio Times preview briefly mentions a health issue. Is he drinking or is he taking something to remedy the health issue? According to a summary on the UK Sky Atlantic, it is a toothache that hopefully does not produce dreams with homicidal tendencies. He looks old and distant in this scene. Is this really supposed to be a ‘happy episode’?
How were My Predictions Last Week, You Ask?
Don did not have a health issue. It was all about Lane who was indeed discovered as a result, killed himself. Betty was annoyed by Sally preferring The Draper Love Nest but in the end she ‘wins’ as Sally rushed to have her mother to take care of her.
Joan’s new assertion of power has not pissed off people… yet. Don is still annoyed about the situation and dissatisfied by where the agency rests.
Ken did put two and two together it seems about Joan and does feel gross about it, but has not left… yet.
The finale has been described as having a ‘cheeky James Bond themed montage’ that also includes ‘getting the old Don back’ and I can only imagine what that could be. Does it involve Don or a cast of characters? Will Don stray?
Roger has a surprising reacquaintance supposedly. I do not think it is Joan. Mrs. Calvet, Jane, and even Mona would seem like more realistic guesses at this point in their relationship.
Pete’s comeuppance has nothing to do with work but it could overlap.
Somebody gets fired even as the agency takes on new business. But somebody may also leave.
We do see Peggy albeit briefly at another agency or perhaps at her apartment with her radical boyfriend that she has seemingly avoided for months.
We get a lot of Lane backstory that could reveal more about his personal history and money issues.
Joan gets more power.
They do get Dow Chemical and there is some drama with what Ken laid down because of not having Pete near the account.
Some historical event will be a bit more pronounced than usual.
You can bet Sally and Bobby #4 were watching this and Gene was off in the distance playing alone with his toys.
"Someone’s not going to be happy and I would rather not stare at it for a month?"-Don Draper
-Is somebody getting fired? Was two weeks notice (and I am guessing Christmas vacation could play a role in this) a whole lot longer back then? Is is a really bad pitch idea before going to Christmas break? Or is somebody just choosing a terrible Christmas/Holiday decoration? This looks like Sardonic Don Draper talking to either the partners or even creative. His body language suggests let’s just put this situation under the rug. Since Don really seems out of his element in work, talking to either Roger or Bert or Lane or the creative team are equally plausible.
"Your promise was to EXTRICATE me from this situation altogether!"- Lane Pryce
-Why, hello again, Lane! What the hell have you done since we last saw you? Is this calling back to his stolen photo of Dolores in “A Little Kiss” that led to him meeting a shady as hell boyfriend? The phone conversation is at night in his darkened apartment so it is either a really big secret that Lane is keeping from Rebecca or it may involve him back in his home country since the other line on the phone may very well be calling him in the morning from London.
Either way it is good to see Lane back on camera again since his last appearance in “Signal 30” was one of the best episodes of the season and his story seems to hold a lot of the focus and most mystery. Like Don last week, we see him in the office in the very odd, possible late hours, as well as look bitter, and not just from the cold, as he leaves the offices of SCDP. I am not even going to bother to guess on this one, I want to be surprised.
"He’s sorta been threatening to stop by."- Unknown Secretary
Harry Crane still being at SCDP has been a real surprise. He seemed to be in a Hollywood haze for all of Season 4 and there are many indications to suggest he wants to get out. His only real job has been to get Don with The Rolling Stones and that failed. He has mostly sat in Pete’s old office after taking $1,100 bribe from Roger and hanging out around the office, like talk to Pete when they are not even on the same wave-length. Very little of Harry this season but that appears to change since he has been placed in the vague plot summary as, ‘Harry helps out of a friend’. So is this “friend” the one who is threatening to stop by? I say yes but since I not too involved in the Harry Crane universe, I have no idea who this person could be. Maybe from Hollywood? Last episode, very subtly, Harry openly expressed his discontent for his work as head of the Media Department being nothing but a “bunch of empty promises” which got a response out of Peggy in addition to Ken Cosgrove informing him that at least his office is in the same building. I think Harry could be a candidate to leave the agency and hey, if that in some bizarre way in the Mad Men universe saves Ken or Peggy or even Pete from leaving as in also possibly leaving the show, I am okay with that.
"You may have to stay until 5:30!"- Pete Campbell
-Is there a bigger concern troll in the offices of SCDP than Pete Campbell? He is, of course, telling this to Don who may still actually need this push. I am guessing Don followed Roger’s advise on him and Mona’s relationship that things need to be on a schedule now that Megan is out of his work-life. Is Don taking off early before Megan leaves for acting classes for some afternoon delight? I am going to imagine that this comes as surprise to Don given the holiday season happening but Pete’s tough love may be reflecting the different economic state of SCDP from Season 4 with that elaborate Christmas party to now post-Lucky Strike where it is all about business.
"I couldn’t care less!"- Joan Holloway Harris
I am not really paying attention to what Joan said but her outfit caught my eye. She has worn this before and the rose-patterns are very much apart of her character’s relationship with Greg. As Tom and Lorenzo have pointed out in their Mad Styles review of the “Lady Lazarus” episode, the dress may be seasonally appropriate but it looks like a bunch of dead roses on her dress that reflect her relationship with Greg. Remember, in that episode she confided to Peggy that the marriage with Greg was essentially over in that outfit. Joan’s body language in the scene comes off with a certain ease and casualness versus the front she usually puts on in the office. I feel like only two people in the office are allowed to see Joan act this way and those two are Peggy and Lane. I am guessing Peggy is at the other end of this conversation. But the conversation also shows a bit of deflection, that she should care about something. But what?
She also wore that outfit when Don told her that Megan was quitting and spitting out venom to Peggy that she believes Megan, like Jane, follows the ‘second-wife playbook’. Is there something with Roger or even Don that she could be talking about? I think it may have something to do with the fact that her husband is not home for Christmas or more specifically, for Kevin’s first Christmas. Joan not being too upset makes sense in her dress as she believes the relationship is dead and perhaps she has come to terms with the fact that she is not even going to bother to deny that Kevin’s father is not Greg. But perhaps to somebody like Peggy who like the rest of the office only sees the surface of her relationship, the idea that Joan’s husband is not home for Christmas or to see his son’s first Christmas is very unusual. I hope Joan can confide more about her personal life to somebody not named Roger in this episode. More Joan in general is always good and it looks like she is spending the holiday at a bar, notably with a flower pendant that further minimizes the Greg relationship.
"Maybe you and I should go as a couple."- Don Draper
This again could be Sardonic Don and this clips wreaks of audience misdirection. If this is Joan or even Peggy at the other end of this and that it will go anywhere, I will eat my hat! He could very well be telling this to Roger Sterling or Pete Campbell. He sounds a bit exhausted but not desperate, very casual, so I am thinking this is being dryly sarcastic and that Don is not being serious. He could be answering advice to somebody like Lane or Roger about going to dinner without their spouse since one’s marriage is destroyed and the other’s marriage does not appear to be in good shape either. Don and Lane last season bonded over their singles status so I could believe Lane would ask such a thing to Don. But if this is Joan, oh boy, may it just be for posing…. which hopefully leads to absolutely no misunderstandings.
"That’s a twist."-Peggy Olson
Again pushing the misdirection by having Peggy follow the Don clip. Who is she talking to. Judging by the blazer that seems to try to be festive but looks out of date seasonally, I will eliminate Pete, Roger, and Bert from the blazer candidates. The blazer in fact looks like the blazers Ken, Pete, and Don wore for “Signal 30” but looking again and the print patterns do not match. But looking back at “Dark Shadows” it appears to be Harry Crane’s winter coat and that Peggy sounds happy for him. Please, oh please, may this be him leaving SCDP!
Other scenes and stuff only shown after the airing of “Dark Shadows”: There is a dialogue-free scene of Megan in a formal gown soaking in what I am going to guess is Don acting like a child about going out. I am assuming she dragged him to see it because he seems very dressed down compared to Megan, just from work and does not look like he wants to be there as Megan’s looks for his reaction and it does not match hers. I am assuming they are at a play for either one of her friends or a work by somebody that she is hoping will get her a gig with in future instances.
Then there’s Harry saying, “They’re derived from reality but there are hopes and dreams.” With him sitting down at an office of a higher-up. Not sure if that is him a new agency or talking to the friend.
Joan is going to open up to more people about the downfall of her relationship with Greg and perhaps the details as far as the paternity of her child, though stopping at Kevin not being Greg’s. This seems like it could be Joan’s “The Suitcase” with opening up to somebody on a professional level about her personal life right down to the bar.
Lane is in trouble and this will last more than a single episode whether he likes it or not. Why? I want more Lane Pryce.
Don is up to his neck at work to the point he and Megan can not have a holiday exhale which leads to a misunderstanding where Megan’s ‘orange sherbet’ is not well-received by Don and we have a reversal of ‘Far Away Places’, except no chasing around each other in the apartment but just a bitter Christmas.
Harry has a lifeline to leave SCDP but that leads to the question of who now will be the head of Media. The politicking begins.
How did I do last week, you ask?
I nailed Betty getting jealous but I had no idea she would be the ‘Anna card’ on Sally. I did get the chain of events wrong. Her revelation to Don that Sally knows about Anna came after Sally and her were alone after Don took Gene and Bobby out to someplace we will never know about.
I knew Megan was reading from a script but it was not for her but her theater-kid earnest friend Julia as Megan dismisses the script.
The smog did play into things on a literal, on-the-nose,
Peggy was responding to Harry’s very woe is me ‘empty promises’ quip but that weirdly went nowhere that episode but could go further this coming episode.
Peggy was really ignored this episode to the point her pitch got phased out like her dress on the couch when it became Ginzo vs. Don.
Don does consider Ginsberg a creative lifeline but not somebody to put under his wing as Ginsberg does not operate in such a way and neither did Don by looking through his stream of consciousness ideas and pulling together an ad and dropping Ginzo’s ad.
Pete was fantasizing about Beth but his sensitive, ‘you can’t be here’ was also in his fantasy. That creep…..
Howard nor Beth died but Pete really wanted gave a truth-telling tongue-lashing to Howard that was so ridiculous out of context that there was no way Howard could believe Pete would dare sleep with his wife.
Don was indeed working up a storm and he is very much off his game.
Roger did invite Jane out for dinner and this deal required Roger to pull out Jane’s J-card that in Season 1 seemed like a suicidal task.
The smog happened but the kids were not at Don’s for Thanksgiving so they were not in harm’s way from the smog although I will still refer to Betty as the Smog Monster.
It’s Thanksgiving of 1966. New York City has a smog issue. It killed 169 people.
Draper Love Nest:
Don gets the kids for the weekend (since it is November is it Thanksgiving weekend?) and takes Bobby and Gene out while Megan and Sally appear to be spending their time entirely at the Draper Love Nest. Baseball season’s over, not sure if the Garden with Rangers or Knicks games would be appropriate for two little kids (Bobby #4 is super short) nor would Yankee or Shea Stadium for a Jets or Giants game. Maybe a movie? Only kids-related films I could find that could fit is the Adam West Batman film or the family comedy The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming! Would he take them to the parade? Would Sally and Megan not go? Screw it, Don is totally taking the boys to see Fantastic Voyage or 10,000 B.C. to keep up with the Raquel Welch quotient.
Megan appears to be doing a table reading of a script she has. It sounds very Betty. Is she having Sally or Don do a table reading with her? I believe it has to be a script because it seems un-Megan, especially given the context of her previous rapports with Don, Sally, or any of the kids.
Henry and Betty have driven to the city. Their conversation seems a bit too open to have the kids sitting in the back. So are the going into the city for something? Are they seeing somebody? Or are they just picking up the kids for the Francis version of Thanksgiving? Henry seems to be in a hurry while stuck in traffic. This drive also seems to be all about Betty the way Harry talks to her in an exasperated manner and it does not seem like the first time she is having this little moment. They’re going to some place she wants to that Henry is not too enthused about.
Crackpot theory: Did Megan do the unthinkable and invite those two over for Thanksgiving dinner? Surprise again, Don! She does it because she got a TV or theater call back to play an evil mother. She slyly invites Betty because Sally remarks how much the part is like her mother. Betty is there to be studied!
Don does indeed appear to be surprised by something Megan tells him in a very Don, “Are you kidding me?!?” way. Is it something to do with her new acting career or is it something as simple as the kids are coming at last second? I notice that Don and Megan are in the same clothes as they are shown when Don kisses Megan goodbye when he takes the boys out (although it is not very noticeable with Don in an overcoat) which seems to take place after the news. Given Betty’s propensity for such shenanigans, such as inadvertently planting the seed for Don’s second marriage by firing Carla for the Disneyland trip, this is believable. But boy how I would love for some legit Betty-Megan interactions. Betty last referred to her as the 20 year-old girlfriend.
I noticed that on the original promo telecast there was Sally remarking, “How did you do that?” or something in that vein. I think she was talking to Megan. So I am guessing there is going to be a little bit of girl time between those two. Betty’s going to hate that.
Prediction: Don and Megan get the kids for Thanksgiving weekend thanks to Henry’s tight schedule but Betty demands that on their way to what I assume is his political operative functions she wants to go to the Draper Love Nest to check in on Sally or just specifically, Sally and ‘that good for nuthin’ skinny French-Canadian harlot who stole my first husband when I was prepping to win him back with booze and angry sex in an empty house who has now also stolen my daughter’. Megan is actually doing a table reading with Sally who will also be interested in acting and they watch the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows that Sally is OBSESSED with since neither of them want to even think about going out in the smog. Also note, Megan still barefoot and in jeans (**gasp**). Maybe Megan gets a Dark Shadows script. Like many soap operas it was shot in New York and since the days of yore soap opera appearances provided a steady pay check to stage actors. Dark Shadows, however, may be a little too pop history but it could just be the script.
Now moving onto SCDP:
Much like Don’s lonely exit from the office of SCDP after Megan left. Did he pull an all-nighter (Megan’s acting classes are at night) or did he just go into an empty office on a holiday? He does have a lot of catching up to do.
Bert Cooper is telling who we presume is Roger that ‘This requires your finesse’. Another feather in the cap for ‘Roger’s got his groove back!’. Does Don’s fall mean Roger’s rise from the ashes? Roger is also calling somebody to have dinner. Is it Mona? It cannot be Joan, since I think Roger would just go into her office to ask. Or is it Jane’s pseudo-intellectual psychologist who introduced him to LSD? Or is it a client/account?
Harry Crane once again appears to project himself onto a situation because when he says ‘empty promises’, Peggy’s sarcastically inquisitive ‘What were you promised?’ seems like a line any character would ask to Harry in that situation because of what a total buffoon he has become. Seems that the creative team may be getting a pep talk from Harry as Head of Media and Peggy acting out since really, when was the last time Harry was specifically involved in anything work-related besides him smoking pot at a Rolling Stones concert?
Joan’s “It’s something to talk about.” I notice her hair is less put together. She may be talking about a current event, I guess. Too oblique for even me to try and decipher.
Pete is in Loveland over Beth, the poster girl for Mother’s Little Helper. What else could he be laying down in his office looking stupid for? But wait, who is this unexpected person in his office? Is it Beth? Pete’s tone makes me think it has to be a woman and a very vulnerable situation about to unfold.
Pete has been stalking Beth and she gives him a tearfully depressing piece of her mind to him before she splatters it while falling into Chekhov’s empty elevator shaft… or she just kills herself at SDCP. Her death leads Howard to suspect the affair and as does Trudy who immediately wants a divorce that causes her father to take away the accounts he has given Pete through Clearosil. The PR damage to the SCDP makes Don’s letter to Lucky Strike a distant memory and Pete has to be put on leave if not quit/fired from his position. I could go on and on. SCDP’s competition has to deal with dropping balloons on civil rights activists, they have to deal with dropping liaisons off buildings. Either way, Pete is destroyed professionally, ethically, psychologically, and romantically.
Transition into “You wonder who is going to get hit next!” by Don at a pitch meeting (Ginzo is beside him). Okay now even the promos have the illusions to violence and death and given this comes off a Pete clip…. Nah, it could be Don trying to get his groove back too.
Also missing from the original promo after episode is a scene of Pete with Bert Cooper, Don, and I think Roger all on an elevator telling all of them to be patient (But sadly no Lane Pryce). Pete would be the first one to be neurotic about an account so I am pretty sure people catch on to his weird behavior. In fact, I think he gets a look from Bert and Don. They are all on an elevator in their trench-coats either all going to see a client are just had a rough time with a client. Side-eyes could mean latter.
It’s back to work time at SCDP. Don will finally try to be serious and the copy-writers are moving on to media with an account (oh no, are we back to the Heinz Beans account?). Peggy’s work relations continue to be rocky while Ginsberg’s prospects are on the up with Don having him as his new ear to youth culture. Roger definitely gets his groove back with a client. Pete does indeed get a visit from Beth to cut it out and she probably is not long for this world but not as dramatic as my crackpot theory (coming back to the city was hard enough, I am thinking if there is a suicide it is in Howard’s love nest to spite him). Pete Campbell is also probably gone from even reasonable work productivity, suicide or not. Hopefully there is some Lane Pryce. Maybe that is who Joan was talking to!