…because American jokes sometimes end with a British guy losing a foot to a secretary on an out of control John Deere tractor. No joke there.
Alright, so you’re here, and August and Marco are here, let’s talk about last night’s incredibly fun and surprisingly grisly episode of Mad Men, “Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency.”
August Bravo: What’s Sally so scared of? The opening scene of each episode is always interesting, always setting up each individual episode, always so full of promise, but this one… not so much for me.
Marco Sparks: Sally’s scared of ghosts! And freaked out that her mom named that baby after her dead grandpa. Will by the baby want his $5 too?
Last week while Mad Men was on, the nation was watching the perfectly scripted drama of Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, and this week… did they win the emmy?
The answer, of course, is yes, yes, yes! And this was a good episode to have airing while they were winning the emmy for best outstanding drama, and best writing, because there was quite a bit of outstanding drama here and, again, some surprises.
August: Big accounts move slowly, but the John Deere sure doesn’t. That Ken Cosgrove sure knows how to make an entrance.
Marco: Yes, he certainly does. “You may want to shave your beard.”
August: “What, who the hell are you people?” Kinsey asks, quite rightfully too. I think that man would rather quit than shave that face fur.
Marco: It’s the ultimate sign of his prestige and pretensiousnes, isn’t it? The persona he’s perfected of himself, and fully believes me, demands that he have that thing on his face.
Poor Don. He really seems to get his hopes up, thanks to Bert Cooper, about leading this jet set life of traveling back and forth between New York and London. What a fun show that would be. And then… not so much.
August: And then he has to bury the hatchet with Roger. Don’s always been one to be pretty upfront with people…
Marco: Painfully upfront.
Augut: …but he never seems to like to confront Roger.
Marco: Probably his closest male buddy. And besides, what good does confronting Roger do? He’s a horny little child. Like he’s said before: he lives life lik he’s on shore leave.
August: And Don tries to put all that animosity behind them. I wish that feud would continue, and would escalate. It would be so much more interesting.
Marco: You may get your wish. We’ve got a whole half a season left. But I enjoyed Roger’s little anecdote about the severed hand. What a bizarre bit of foreshadowing.
August: And then there’s Pryce, my favorite new character. Ah, poor Pryce The snake charmer. To Bombay he goes!
Marco: Bombay. Ha ha! That’s where I send all my ex-wives!
August: He’s not moving away, he’s moving up.
Marco: And you have to love Jared Harris, song of Richard Harris, and his quintessential Britishness, especially in this scene. The pride, the “Oh, you shouldn’t have, chaps!” look on his face as he gets the box. Then he opens it…
August: But he’s a man who always does what he’s told. I was liking him too, like I said,and sad at the thought of him leaving so soon. And what was up with Roger not being on that org chart? Something’s up there.
Marco: “I’m being punished for making my job look easy.” Story of my life, man.
August: I love what Bert says. We took their money, now we have to do what they say. I’m afraid Roger isn’t quite aware of that yet.
Marco: I think that basically sums up Roger throughout the course of the entire show/1960s. The times, they are a-changin’.
August: I think Don’s the same way. He’s just better at not showing it.
Marco: Time magazines Man Of The Year, 1963. Fighter of communists! And lover of parties and drinks with strangers in empty bars.
August: I love the appearance by Conrad Hilton, my girlfriend Paris’ grandfather requesting a meeting Don.
Marco: Don’s right. Mice and hotels? Not a great combo, Connie.
August: So, he was offering Don a job there, right?
Marco: Or at least a reach around, definitely. But I don’t think that Don Draper would be satisfied with either, not really.
August: But it’s nice to be offered.
Marco: Oh, definitely.
August: What was with the Prime Minister and the prostitutes?
Marco: They were referring to “the Profumo affair.” And then there’s that scene. That scene!
So good. My favorite ever. Yes, I’m that guy. And fuck Chekhov’s Gun, I’m waiting for the wikipedia article on Chekhov’s Tractor now.
August: You know, I actually happened to be out of the room when that scene ran. My chicken bake had just finished cooking. Woe is me. Luckily, it came on two more times before I went to sleep. Poor guy. The doctors say that he will never golf again. Tsk tsk.
Marco: I love the subtle implication there. No golf? Your career is over, limey.
The monkeys at Sterling-Cooper: “He might lose his foot.”
Roger: “Right as he was getting it through the door.”
August: And that fucking look that Don and Joan give each other as he tells her to get home to her lucky husband.
Marco: Her lucky bastard of a husband. I, for one, would like to see that guy go become a surgeon in Alabama. His hands have shit for brains!
August: And he’s a bit of a rapist.
Marco: I like that everyone at the Joan Going Away/Welcome, British Invasion/Hack n’ Slash party all thought that Joan was crying from sadness of leaving her job, or the beauty of Guy MacKendrick’s speech. But really, she was realizing that her dream of the perfect life as a doctor’s wife was not all it was cracked up to be and she was stuck with that loser.
Also, Guy MacKendrick? With a name like that, you deserve to have your foot fed to a tractor.
August: But during that look, all I could think about was how Don and Joan needed to sleep together right then and there.
Marco: Right in the middle of the waiting room? Nice.
August: And why haven’t they slept together yet?
Marco: Because America can’t handle that jelly just yet.
August: They’re so much alike, it would be something ever viewer would cherish. And maybe tha’s why it’s never meant to be?
But I loved Roger’s reaction to the foot situation, the glibness. The not giving two shits.
Marco: Somewhere in this business, this had to happen before, he says. That’s the kind of thing I love from Roger. That he knows this business inside and out, even when he’s not really doing shit in it.
August: He’s getting paid, that’s what he’s doing. But with his concern/tantrm about not being on that slide/chart, I think he migt be getting a little worried.
Marco: He might need another chocolate sundae and a shave! Who know that Roger was a pre-metrosexual.
August: “They reorganied us and you’re the only one in this room that got a promotion.”
Marco: My closet fear is that when all is said and don, Harry Crane will be the president of Sterling-Cooper.
August: And Pete Campbell still won’t be the sole head of Accounts.
Marco: I feel like Bobby Draper’s query about petting his newborn brother is another clear step towards him being a serial killer or just an all around bad dude when he gets older.
August: And the barbie doll in the bushes, a clear rejection by Sally of her new brother, baby Eugene. Does she even look at him at all when Bobby asks if he can pet him? Does she feel like he’s replacing her grandfather? Maybe. The worry about him taking Grandpa Gene’s room and her terrifyng cries in the night might persuade one to definitely think so.
Marco: I think at the start of the season, I was worried that this year would be haunted by Gene Hofstadt, the way he elderly always haunt us, even when they don’t have the courtesy to die, and thankfully, he did. And now Sally feels that the baby is Grandpa Gene, reborn and tinier and uglier and probably just a bit messier.
August: And Don finally reveals his true feelings for Betty’s dad. And that name. Something I’m sure she knew very well.
Marco: Betty, again, the worst mother of the 1960s. She treats Sally moderately better than Bobby – though, she’s right, he is boring, and probably should go bang his head against the wall – but only because she sees in Sally a little version of herself, one placated by gifts, even if she can’t be bothered to deal with the little version of herself.
But that thing with Baby Gene “giving” Sally the barbie? That’s creepy. But I think Don summed up this storyline well as he sat Sally down and properly introduced her to the newborn. “We don’t know who he’s going to be yet.” So true. And with this show, who you become isn’t necessarily who you have to continue to be.
August: I liked this episode, as I like them all, but it felt shorter than usual. Quick, I guess. Nothing too crazy about it, or in it. I think they expected the John Deere scene to dominate the entire episode.
Marco: Just a little temporary frenzy. Don’t get too comfortable, kids.
August: But, you know, I wasn’t feeling it.
Marco: Let’s leave this, like the episode itself did, with Bob Dylan singing to Woody Guthrie about Cisco Houston, Leadbelly, and a bunch of dead miners. Andthat’s why you never shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
Hey, hey Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song,
‘Bout a funny ol’ world that’s a-comin’ along.
Seems sick an’ it’s hungry, it’s tired an’ it’s torn,
It looks like it’s a-dying an’ it’s hardly been born.