Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mad Men - The Doorway (Parts 1&2)

It’s season 6, Addicts!! Welcome to the newest season of Mad Men. I’m so happy to have the whole office back together again. Since we last left our friends at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (aww…I just realized how ultimately sad it is that they’re title includes Lane) they finally landed an account to replace the loss of Lucky Strike; Jaguar. That account came with a high price. Joan had sex with the man from Jaguar to lock in the deal with the agency. In exchange for her prostitution she secured for herself a partnership in the company, and not a silent one. Don tried to talk her out of it but it was too late. Pete had his affair with Gilmore Girls only to have her go through electric shock therapy and lose her memory of him, thus resulting in a fight with her husband when he found out about the affair. Trudy agreed to let Pete have an apartment in the city to prevent such things from happening on the train again. Oh Trudy. Lane killed himself in the office after Don caught onto his thievery. Meagan went back to acting and left the agency. Peggy also left the agency to go work with mean Ted and be her own Don. Our last image was of Don sitting at a bar when a woman comes up to him and asks if he’s alone.  We’re in for a long haul this week, it’s a 2 hour premiere! So grab your cocktail, light your smokes and enjoy!

A man is looking down at us and pumping someone’s heart back into action! Is it Don?! We hear Meagan crying out in the background.

Flash to Megan’s bare stomach in a bikini with Don reading The Inferno on the beach. Aloha! Don seems to be enjoying his vacation in a very different way than Megan is doing what I would; enjoying the sun, sand, and water while laying and rotating to prevent any serious burning to my skin. I miss the beach. Megan later goes to buy 2 joints and Don doesn’t seem interested. “I know you’ve tried it, but you’ve never had sex high.” Don decides they should have sex regardless of being high.

They are partaking in a traditional Hawaiian feast with all the foods that would be serving to royalty. I love that those dancer are probably exactly the same today as they were in 1968. There was no real research into seeing what they would look like as opposed to today. Don and Megan are on a business trip to create an ad for Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Megan is charming as ever and Don is his silent self. The dancers try to get Don up to join in the dance but Megan says she’ll do it when he declines. When she comes back a woman comes up to her and calls her Corine and is a gushing fan and asks for an autograph. Megan has landed herself a role on a soap opera. Good for her! We’ll see how this changes the  marriage.

After their “intense” sex, Don gets up and goes to the bar. There’s a man passed out on the bar and his friend comes over and tries to revive him but is wasted off his ass. When Don lights his cigarette the man recognizes the lighter as military issued and shows his own.

Don and PFC Dinkins discuss their respective branches. Don says he was in Korea and Dinkins says he thinks it’s funny that as great as it is to come to Hawaii it’s going to be exactly the same environment over in Vietnam. “We’ve got this 50 caliber machine gun, you should see what it can do to a water buffalo!” He says he has 8 months left to serve. He’s about to get married tomorrow, and someone told his fiancé that married men survive longer in the war since they have something to live for. Dinkins then asks Don how he would feel giving away the bride, since his wife came up from Mexico to meet to get married, and his friend that’s passed out is the best man. Don thinks it might be weird to look back on your wedding pictures and see a stranger.

Megan wakes up alone and goes to find Don. When she finds him on the beach she just smiles and takes a picture of them, without Don noticing.

Back in New York we see the Francis family at the ballet with some random girl. I can only assume it’s a friend of Sally’s. Better gets pulled over with her Grandma Francis, Sally and the friend in the car. Grandma Francis blatantly name drops her son expecting the officer to let them go. The officer says he’s a state trooper, and he’s not too worried about some Mayoral diplomat from Manhattan. She actually demands he give them a stern warning and let them go. The officer then says the ticket isn’t for speeding, it’s for reckless driving. When Grannie Frannie says that getting pulled over has ruined the whole night and that it can’t get any darker than this, the friend pipes in with, “My Mom’s dead” and everyone has a good chuckle.  

Betty has lost some weight, but it kind of looks like they just took a piece of foam and wrapped it around her neck. Not your best efforts, AMC. Sandy is apparently a stellar violinist and everyone in the family begs her to play for them. “It makes me feel so much.” That’s a weird statement. At the age of 15 she’s going to Julliard.

Don and Megan arrive back from Hawaii and are greeted by the doorman. We get a flashback to them arriving at the apartment and Jonesie (the doorman) collapses while one of the neighbors, Dr. Rosen, starts CPR. It’s all sort of a confusing scene. So perhaps he’s the person who got CPR in the beginning.  

Betty and Henry are in bed together and Betty says that she can notice that Henry is calmer than usual because of the music that was played. She says she could see that Bobby and he had the same look in their eyes when they were watching Sandy play. “She’s only a year older than Sally, shame on you. She’s just in the next room, why don’t you go in there and rape her? I’ll hold her arms down. You said you wanted to spice things up. Will it ruin it if I’m there? You know what? If you wanna be alone with her I’ll put on my housecoat and take Sally for a ride. You can stick a rag in her mouth and you won’t wake the boys. “

What, in the hottest and sweatiest parts of hell, just happened? That face you see right there? That’s her glee with herself after she said all that. She kisses Henry goodnight and mocks him for blushing. Hot damn, woman! I blushed!

Megan is going over her script for tomorrow and she’s upset because she only has one scene. She’s a maid on the show and she’s supposed to take someone’s coat and put it away. She’s glad to have the role but she’s frustrated with the capacity of it. She thinks that going on vacation has damaged her chances of progressing.

Betty gets up for a minute snack and finds Sandy at the table smoking. Maybe I’m wrong, but doesn’t that seem like Betty should be freaking out about it? She freaked out at Sally not too long ago for it. It’s not even mentioned. They discuss how Betty is trying to lose weight. Betty tries to reach out and say that she understands how she must be feeling with the passing of her own mother, thinking she’s upset because of the holidays. Sandy says she can’t go to Julliard because she got rejected. She doesn’t really want to go and play the violin, she wants to go live in New York City, and she doesn’t want to wait the 2 years she has left of high school. When Betty tries to tell her to wait, Sandy gives her a rant about the vicious cycle of doing “what’s right” and how it doesn’t make anyone happy. Betty tries to explain that even when she lived in the city as a model they ate soup out of cans and shared a place with 5 girls and it lacked all the glamour she thinks she’ll find. Sandy says there are people in the village where the kids are just living, and people can be very democratic if you let them.  HA!

Over at Peggy’s place Abe has to make a mad dash to the bathroom. I feel your pain, bro. I’ve been there. The phone rings and its Burt Peterson. Don’t worry; you don’t know who he is yet, so stop feeling foolish. He’s one of Peggy’s co-workers and he’s calling at midnight to tell her bad news. The Koss Headphones group (YAY for Milwaukee!!) wants to meet with them because a comedian made some jokes about the war and soldiers wearing Vietcong ears around their neck. The ad they have running for Koss right now is a picture with a caption “lend me your ears”. Koss wants to pull their superbowl ad, which even by today’s standards is an emergency for an ad agency. I’m glad to see Elisabeth Moss as Peggy. I’ve been watching her on Top of the Lake and her barely passable Australian accent is starting to wane on me.
Don rides in the elevator with Dr. Rosen and they’re making pleasantries. They discuss the new camera that SCDP is selling and Don offers to give him one for free if he swings by the office.

Roger is in therapy. Ha! If there was ever a man that needed it the most and would be the least likely to take any heed to it, it’s Roger Sterling. He wants his therapist to laugh at his jokes, and the therapist tells him that they’ve discussed it and he can’t laugh at every joke. I love Roger. Roger is irritated that he has to go through all these big experiences that are supposed to leave a big impact on you before you die.

Peggy is in the office with Burt (the balding guy) and Lawrence. Lawrence is there to perform the skit and jokes that he watched on the Tonight Show, since the YouTube video of it was removed from the internet for copyright infringement. Based on the jokes Peggy doesn’t see that the ad needs to be changed at all.

“My name is Bob Benson. I’m upstairs, in accounts.” Meet the newest brown-nosers at SCDP. He offers him one of his cups of coffee that he specifically went out to get. He offers Cotton Bowl tickets to Don and there’s no mystery about his intention. He leaves Don with the artists and copy writers while they’re getting high in the office. Did that really happen back in the 60’s? I also am enjoying the gross 70’s style starting to creep in; the nasty moustaches, the longer sideburns, the general gross fashion and style that went on during that time. I’m banking on the fact that Don won’t ever change style.

Don arrives and they are taking pictures for publicity. Everyone is staring in appreciation at Joan. She is a very beautiful woman. Roger demands that his shoe-shiner be here to make him look perfect for the picture. Pete is pestering Don immediately about his ideas for the Royal Hawaiian. Harry is mad that he’s not getting included in the pictures and storms past Joan on the stairs telling them to keep the noise down. I love Harry too!

Don goes into his office and the photographers have rearranged his office on him to take a better picture. Don doesn’t like it. He stares out his window and all we hear are the waves crashing on the sand. He’s disappearing.

Peggy sits with the Koss group and they debate about whether or not the super bowl ad needs to be changed. The guy comes up with a “solution” that sucks and makes no sense. Peggy tries to be Don the best that she can. She does a pretty good job. She talks her way into getting a few more days and time to come up with someone else that will be effective. She’s told for the second time that she needs to get mean Ted for help, because clearly she can’t do this on her own.

Don is sitting with his writers and they’re going over an oven cleaner. They keep trying to use the word “love” in the ad, but Don doesn’t think it’s the right word. “What’s the difference between a husband knocking on a door and a sailor coming home? About 10,000 volts.” Well said! He objects to their continuation in the trivialization of the word “love”. As he’s having his Don moment, Dr. Rosen is brought over. He stops the girl from announcing his presence right away so he can see Don in action.  They go to get the camera and they seem to have genuine friendly conversation. It would seem , that Don may have a real friend coming out of this. It would be a first.

Roger is on the phone with some daily bimbo when Caroline (the assistant) comes in with tears in her eyes and says she has bad news. She tells him that his mother passed away and it has zero affect on him. She’s far more upset than he is. His mother was 91 was its not a shock. He tells Caroline to talk to Joan and put things in order. Just as Caroline goes to leave she lunges at Roger and hugs him tight. Holding both of the glasses they’d been drinking out of he rubs her back with her thumbs. Ha! It makes me laugh. Then again, Roger usually is a great moment of comedic relief on the show.

Don goes to get his picture taken and they try to make it very casual and unrehearsed looking, as opposed to his co-workers. They ask him to be lost in thought and do what he normally would do in his office. He goes to light a cigarette when he looks down at his lighter. On one side it says, “In life we often have to do things that just are not our bag.”

When he turns it over, he sees that he has Dinkin’s lighter, and not his own. He seems concerned and upset. He can’t seem to focus anymore. I’m confused.

Megan wakes a now sleeping Don to tell him that they have asked her to come into work every day this week. Her character is getting a bigger part and she’s elated at her success. She feels bad that she won’t make it to Roger’s mother’s funeral. Once she’s gone Don picks up Dinkin’s lighter and throws it in the trash. Something is not right here.

Betty comes into the kitchen and Sally tells her that Sandy left and went to Julliard early. Betty is upset that Sandy left without saying goodbye. Sally, it turns out, didn’t think too much of Sandy. “She acts like she’s 25 just because she uses tampons.” What? Betty goes into Sally’s room and takes a picture of Sandy off the mirror and leaves.

Roger is surrounded by old ladies, and Burt Cooper. Jane arrives to show her support for Roger. One of the old ladies is hell bent to speak first with her eulogy. Jane offers to give back his mother’s ring in case he wanted to give it to his daughter, Margaret. There is a big plate of deli sandwiches that arrive with a card on it. Ken, Pete and Harry are all there to offer their condolences. The card is from Bob Benson. Roger doesn’t know who that is and Ken says that it’s from them. Ken tries to start a conversation about who’s mother’s are still alive. Don walks in clearly hammered, drink still in hand as a matter of fact.

As the lady is getting ready to give her eulogy, Roger’s ex wife walks in with her new husband/boyfriend. We don’t really know what position he holds yet. Her eulogy talks specifically about how important Roger was to his mother, how often she spoke of him.

As she’s talking, Don’s “lunch” comes back up.  The ad men rush him out of the room as he’s apologizing. Roger takes the advantage of broken up time and tells Mona’s beau to leave as well because this is supposed to be a family event. “This is my funeral!” He screams for everyone to get out. When no one gets up to leave he storms off himself.

Mona goes up to check on Roger as he’s sprawled on a bed. Mona agrees that her friend shouldn’t have come. He says he doesn’t feel anything in regards to the day and the situation. “I feel like she always wanted to spend time with me, and I never did.” I’ve had emotions like this before about my own Dad who passed away. They can be killer. Mona reminds him that he has a family of his own, and that his daughter misses him. He makes an ill conceived pass at her and she brushes him off.

Ken and Pete take a drunk Don home. When they meet Jonesie in the lobby Don keeps asking him what he saw when he died. He doesn’t want to answer, but then he finally says he saw a white light. “Was it like hot tropical sunshine? Did you hear the ocean?” I sense foreshadowing!!

Betty is in the dodgy end of town trying to find Sandy. She’s got the picture and is asking random people if they’ve seen her. Maybe I’m naïve, but this seems like a ridiculous idea. She stops 2 boys and they say they haven’t seen her. She asks to go in and check the house for herself. It’s an abandoned house where squatters live. Squatters being young teenagers/adults that are banking on those democratic people Sandy mentioned. It’s a shit hole. She’s walking around and she sees the violin case with the bright blue scarf that Sandy had at their house. She calls out for her and walks in on a man peeing instead. Ha, that’s what you get Betty. She goes into the kitchen and talks to the 2 boys and accost them to know where Sandy is. They all assume she’s looking for her daughter. They ask her if she knows how to make goulash. She offers a few tips to them, and seems concerned for their safety. It’s like she’s actually taking pity on another human being, despite how uncomfortable she is being in the house.

Margaret and Roger are in the parlor together and you can see the desire in her face for his attention and love. He gives her a jar of water that was collected from the River Jordan. Both he and she were baptized with it. That’s such an odd and interesting keepsake. Margaret asks if she was left anything else, and Roger says that his mother left everything to the zoo so they could name the animals what she wanted. Margaret is disappointed because she has an opportunity to discuss. It’s an investment in something that’s the wave of the future; refrigeration. She explains refrigerated trucks and that the investment is in the technology, not in anything that’s being transported. Roger says if he can see something on paper, he’s willing to give it a shot.

Megan comes home to find Don in bed and she tells him that her character pushed someone’s mother down the stairs. She’s afraid that people won’t want her autograph if she’s a mean character. She pulls the thrown away lighter on the nightstand and says the maid found it and didn’t want them to think she was stealing. What is with that face?! What is it about the lighter that’s ruining his life?

It’s now very dark and Betty is still in the shit hole. She’s talking them through the recipe and waiting for it to be done. She asks if pot is expensive. 2 other boys arrive “home” and Betty asks about Sandy again. One of the boys says he bought the violin from her because she was trying to buy a bus ticket to California. They talk about how they take everything the “establishment” throws away. They call her a bottled blonde and make fun of her money and appearance. She tells them they have bad manners and they deserve what they get. She takes the violin and catches her coat on a lose nail and rips her nice coat. She gives it a second thought and leaves the violin on the floor before going home.

Abe comes to Peggy’s office with dinner. Peggy says she’s doing something Don used to do; write a letter to a fictitious friend telling them all about how great the product is. 2 of her cronies come in all excited with their “3 very different angles”. They come in with 3 tag lines thinking their separate ideas and Peggy calls their bullshit. She’s rather rough with them and Abe isn’t sure if that’s how to talk to your workers. He puts on the headphones and is jamming out to his music, bobbing his head along to it. It sparks an idea in Peggy’s head.

Pete finds Don and reminds him that Sheraton (Royal Hawaiian) is coming in to hear about the designs. Don hands Dinkin’s lighter to Dawn and asks her to send it back to his battalion, no note because he merely found it on a barstool.

Roger is back in therapy talking about how his mother loved him and that now he’s going to spend the rest of his life losing things and people. Roger refuses to acknowledge that he’s grieving in any sort of way.

Ken walks up the stairs toward his office when he see’s Ben sitting in the common space, for lack of a better term for what that area is. It looks more like a waiting/sitting area for the upstairs portion of the office. Ken remembers the plate of food that arrived with his name on it. He asks if he’s meeting with someone important, because the only reason for him to be out here would be to make it look like he’s more important than he really is. He calls him out on the deli meats and Ben says that there wasn’t supposed to be a card. 
 He remembers when his father died that any gesture meant a great deal to him. Ken cuts him down to size. I don’t have a total opinion of Ben yet, but so far I’m not a fan.

Sheraton is there and Don starts talking about how he had such an experience. It wasn’t so much because it was Hawaii, but because of the way you feel and behave while you’re there.

The hotel boys are confused. They want to know where the person who left the footprints went. “He got off the plane, shed his skin and jumped off.” They talk about how it reminds them of A Star is Born where Norman Maine walks into the ocean as the movie is ending, leading you to believe that he is killing himself because he can’t stand his life anymore. It’s a powerful movie, you should watch it. Judy Garland has a very self aware moment on camera where shit gets real, real quick. I had the same sort of feeling based on the image of the tie. It reminded me of a noose, and I thought of death. They want to know where the image/context of their hotel is in the ad. I can’t blame them. It looks sort of like they’re advertising for all of Hawaii. They seem to be stuck on the fact that death is being conjured for them from many different angles. They say they’re not afraid to be provocative. When they leave Don asks Stan if he thinks the image reminds him of death. “Of course! That’s what’s so great about it!” Stan, you’re one of my favorites, you and your nasty new beard.

Betty comes in and Marilyn has been killed by Elizabeth Taylor. The boys must have gotten to her. Bobby says, “I hate it! You’re ugly!” Ha! Henry is a fan. I see big changes coming for Betty this season.

Roger comes down to his office and there’s shoe-shine box waiting for him. Caroline tells him that there’s more bad news, his guy died and the company sent over the box. Roger goes into his office, opens the box and starts to cry. Emotions will always get you, boys and girls. You can run for a long time, but they will eventually pour out of your eyeballs.

Don and Megan have their New Year’s party with 2 couples from the building, one of them being the Rosen’s.

It’s Linda Cardellini! Freak and Geeks star! It makes me laugh because I’m currently watching Boy Meets World and she’s on a few episodes as the girl that broke Cory and Topanga up. They start telling stories and Megan breaks out the pictures from Hawaii. This is always so awkward for me. It’s hard because you go on these amazing travels, and you want to share the pictures you took, but we all know how much it sucks to have to sit through other people’s trips, that you weren’t a part of. It’s hard. I always get a raging case of jealousy. And it always comes off as bragging. They’re scrolling through the pictures and Don sees the picture Megan took of him giving away the bride. There’s no response. Disappointing, after all that drama with the lighter, I expected more.

Stan and Peggy are on the phone with each other, Peggy on speaker phone. They discuss whether or not they think Joan and Roger are still sleeping together (where has Joan been all episode? I always feel like there’s never enough of her!). It’s clear that they really enjoyed working together and that they miss it. “I’m gonna go get some coffee, you want some?” Stan asks like they are still in the same office. Ted shows up and apologizes for ignoring all of Peggy’s messages. She tells him about her potential idea. She shows an outtake of the photo shoot with the guy from the print ad. He’s bobbing his head to the music like Abe was.

She thinks you could show the images with no music in the background and a tag line like, “Sounds so sharp and clear you can actually see it.” Ted praises her work and tells her that she should’ve sent the cronies home a long time ago if she knew she had a bullet in the chamber. He says nice things about her. “He likes you!” Stan chimes in over the speakerphone when Ted has left the room. This is why I love Stan. Peggy gets sparkly eyes looking after mean Ted.

The Rosen’s and the Draper’s are toasting and when Albert gets a phone call from the hospital saying he’s needed immediately. It’s snowing heavily and they have to figure out how to get him there. Its 1 AM on New Year’s Eve with snow on a Sunday in New York City, good luck getting a cab! So they go into storage and pull out skis. I shit you not. That’s dedication!  

NO! Don! Don’t do it! Ugh! Why must things never change! This has been going on for a while, apparently. She was the one that suggested The Inferno. She asks him what he wants for this year. “I wanna stop doing this.” “I know.”  He goes home and crawls in bed with Megan who kisses him and says she loves him. Don, you’re a bad man! Why do we still love you?
Congrats on make it to the end of the recap! Keep in mind this was the first 2 episodes, so next week it won’t be so tedious to read! Hopefully it wasn’t too much of a chore! We then get a the vaguest preview for next week that I’ve ever seen. No one says more than 5 words in each sentence and each scene lasts all of 2 seconds. We see Pete getting fat though. Yay! Miserable things happening to Pete are good things for me!

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