Before we begin, a hearty congrats to Mad Men team for their third Emmy. Confetti thrown.
Episode 4.6 "Waldorf Stories"
In this episode, Don and Roger continue their downward spirals (it seems to be the long arc plot of Season 4) drinking way too much and imbibing too much awards show adulation (Don wins a Clio) or nostalgia (Roger continually reminisces). Meanwhile Peggy and Peter are on the rise, choosing pragmatism and hard work over their individual personal discomfort. The older characters tripping themselves up and the younger characters changing and rising is definitely the long arc of Season 4.
The only character chatting up the movies this week was Roger Sterling (John Slattery).
Roger: Charlie Chaplin was very lonely. That Tramp -- too much of a sad sack. Laurel and Hardy - they're much better. Except Hardy was so mean to Laurel. I hated that.Oh Roger. Who exactly is the sad clown? Clue: It's not Chaplin though he was that, yes.
Why am I talking about silent movies?
Caroline (his secretary, taking dictation): I suppose as part of the chapter on your childhood?
Roger: That part of my book is getting bigger and bigger. Why is that?
That Roger is talking about 1920s movies and wonders why aloud, is one clue that he's having difficulty focusing on work or even the present tense aka 1965. The flashback heavy nature of the episode, in which we suddenly realize that Joan & Roger go way way back (intriguing -- was she even working in the office yet?), is the other.
Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) strips off her clothes in a hotel room as challenge to her sexist faux-nudist co-worker. "I can work like this. Let's get liberated."
Finally, you have to love the choreography of the finale, which threads Don & Peggy's storylines together and also has a movie joke. Don lost his advertising award during his very own Lost Weekend. Here's his resigned banter with his secretary Miss Blankenship (Randee Heller, yes, that's The Karate Kid's mom).
Draper: Call the Pen and Pencil and see if someone found my award.Ha! Don hates her so much.
Blankenship: What's the category?
Draper: Best Actress.
But the staging is as funny as the joke.
Draper actually enters the office (blink and you'll miss him) during Peggy's story punchline in which she mocks her co-worker after their nude encounter (she's talking about a "little" change in the ad) but her hand gesture and the eyeline from art director Rizzo to her implicates Don Draper. He keeps getting emasculating this season.
Best Actress. Heh.
Other References in this Episode
(TV) Peyton Place, The Flintstones (Celebrities) The Pope, Red Skelton (Literature) A Tale of Two Cities, Noah's Ark, Playboy (Politics) The Daisy Ad, The Klu Klux Klan, The Temperance Movement
Show creator Matthew Weiner on why his actors come up empty at the Emmys. This was recorded before Sunday night's awards in which all of the actors lost again.
For diehard Mad Men fans who can't read enough.
- Shitty First Drafts "Why Betty Draper Matters" This is a smart read about housewives in the 1960s. I'm within the small minority who is fascinated (even when appalled) by the former Mrs. Don Draper so I heartily approve.
- Tom & Lorenzo The cast on the cover of Rolling Stone.
- Rolling Stone a beauteous on set photo gallery from Rolling Stone.
- Antenna The waning value of masculine detachment.
- Fast Company actors as spokespersons for brands blurs MM's boundaries
- Antenna "You're Not Going to Kill This Account" on actual and revisionist history alike.
- Scanners "...From Twin Peaks" a must read for David Lynch fans.
- TV Guide Sal will be coming back to the show in some way (!) Cameo or otherwise?
- Norsk Film Institute Mad Men at the Movies gets its own screening series in Norway. Unfortunately I am not thanked, involved, or flown over for it. Jeg gråter.