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Mad Men Open Thread: Shut the Door. Have a Seat.

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_don_1 Sterling Cooper is dead! Long live Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce!

Also, the most depressing sight last night was during the AMC promo for all of the cool stuff coming in 2010, including a new season of Mad Men. NEXT SUMMER. After I peeled myself off the floor and wiped the snot off of my face, I flailed, punching the air and cursing the cable TV gods for feeding me crack rocks in the form of quality programming and then making me go a year in between hits. JERKS.

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_don_roger_1 I think we really saw Don begin a pretty remarkable transformation. He's lost everything, basically, and had some eye-opening conversations. Betty is capable of hurting him and keeping secrets, too. Peggy is capable of standing up to him. Don's usual MO of just telling people how it's going to go, which I've always loved but I realize in real life would be fucking infuriating after awhile, doesn't work anymore. And he got a glimpse of how this feels from the other side in his interactions with Connie Hilton. He was at Hilton's beck and call and was devoted to him. But when business dictated, Hilton dropped him and took back all of his, "You're like a son to me," sentiments. Hilton's ultra-capitalist morality might earn him a world-class hotel chain, but it sucks to work with. Don could see how this was similar to his actual father's demise. His bullheadedness indirectly resulted in him getting kicked in the face by the family horse. So Don took this lesson and applied it, finally telling Betty that she should do what makes her happy (more on this in a second), telling Roger and Bert and Pete what they need to know, and letting people like Peggy know how much they're worth to him. And wasn't that scene with Peggy totally amazing? God, I love the two of them as business partners.

I also wanted to chest bump Peggy for dryly saying, "No," when Roger asked her to get him a cup of coffee. She's not an underling anymore and she knows it and she's making sure that everyone else knows it, too.

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_sterling_cooper_draper_pryce_1 Hurray for the return of Joan! I'm crossing my fingers that this somehow leads her away from Greg for good. It was sad not to see Sal with the new group, but I can't believe that we've seen the last of him. Obviously, the issues between him and the guy from Lucky Strike will need to be resolved somehow, especially since Lucky Strike is, I think, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's main client.

Ultimately, I think Don and Betty's split, even if it's temporary, will be good. Those two obviously need some head-clearing time. However, Betty is high if she thinks that things with Henry will be okay. She splits with Don partly because his lies were too big and then immediately moves on to a politician? Hahhahahahaha! Yeah, those guys are known for their honesty and wonderful marriages. Anyway, it's interesting that as soon as Don seems to find his ground, Betty floats off into the ether, literally and figuratively. I also was heartened by the fact that Don did not immediately find the nearest brunette after his phone call with Betty. Instead he got to work making things right where he could. And what is it, exactly, that Betty wants? Don drunkenly confronting her after finding out about Henry was scary. He was far too rough, physically lashing out at her for not falling in line with the life that he constructed. I can't help but think that her affair with Henry has almost nothing to do with physical or emotional attraction, and everything to do with giving Don a taste of his own medicine. "I can make shitty decisions that affect our family, too, Mister Man!"

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_betty_bobby_sally_don_1 Stepping back a bit, I suppose Don and Betty's talk with Bobby and Sally about their split could have gone worse if, say, Sally chose that moment to reveal the fact that she's actually the Firestarter and blew up the couch that they were sitting on, but barring that I think we can chalk that up to an epic FAIL. You could see Don drawing on his classic Draper "here's how it's going to go" and seeing them make matters worse. With no other knowledge to draw upon, he simply became a daddy and held Bobby as he cried. My heart? Broken. I seriously couldn't wait for that scene to be over, not because it wasn't profoundly well-written and acted, but it was so upsetting. The fact that Bobby and Sally were effectively abandoned by their parents didn't really help. Why couldn't Don stay in the house with them while Betty was in Reno? Thank god for Carla, but she's not their mom and they know that.

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_pete_roger_don_1 We can't, and shouldn't, ever forgive Pete for his sins against the women in his life, but JFK's assassination really seemed to change him for the better. I really hope that he takes this general rebirth and runs with it and becomes a better man, husband, and accounts executive.

Mad_men_season_3_episode_13_sterling_cooper_draper_pryce_3 My big lingering question: Duck. I thought for sure that things were going to go completely sour because Peggy might have let Duck know about the coup. His role, if any, in all of this remains to be seen, but I seriously doubt we've seen the last of him.







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Comments

Snarky Amber

That episode was fucking fantastic. The end.

anna

I'm still living with my parents (oh, college debt, please disappear) so I'm subject to my Dad's television watching habits.

Sometimes, this is good: He watched the "Get my Rolodex and sound like a secretary" scene, with James Bond-ian background music, like 5 times. It's pretty much the definition of Pete and Trudy- he does stupid things, like throwing the Rolodex under the bed, but she still loves him and By God, They're Going to Be The King and Queen One Day Because They've Got Spunk. Especially now that I can contrast Trudy with Annie (the role the same actress plays on Community) I see how they are doing their social climbing together.

On the other hand, my dad watched the "tell the kids about the divorce" scene nearly as many times. I left the room at that point. It's just too sad.

I feel like we're being teased about Sal; there were at least two moments last night I thought could bring him back- Peggy's "I don't have art" and then "the art department is locked."

So very glad Joan is back and running things like the olden days.

In conclusion, I am now in love with Price and Cooper more than ever. Especially's Price;s "Happy Christmas!" and Cooper's threat to lock Harry in the store room.

Snarky Amber

Okay, some more thoughts, other than the fact that this was at the very least the best episode I've seen (still haven't watched the first two seasons yet).

That scene in Peggy's apartment was almost...romantic. Like, Don and Peggy are never going to happen on a romantic level, I hope, but when he said he would spend the rest of his life trying to hire her, you could easily take that scene out of context, remove the word "hire" and insert "marry," and have a clip from some great romance movie's marriage proposal scene. That's especially because of the fact that he was seated while she stood. The way he looked up at her, he may as well have been on one knee.

I absolutely adore this new dynamic, wherein Don admits how much he needs and respects Peggy, which is a nice contrast from, "there's nothing you do that I can't live without."

blackeyedgurl

After this episode I think Burt Cooper might be one of my favorite characters. He gets some of the best lines (personally I loved the bit about Pryce and how he didn't know how to do what he did), and he is just the adorable old guy who just can't quit doing what he loves.

Also: I see Sterling realizing that he values Joan way more than tarty young wife.

Also: I see this move as a way for Joan to reclaim her freedom. I think if she has to choose between Greg & Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce and Maybe Campbell she's going to go with the group of guys who appreciates her. Who knows maybe Harry will hire her on to help with the TV stuff, she was awesome at it before, and I think this is Joan's step up.

Also: JOAN GETS SHIT DONE. 'nuff said.

Also: I kinda of hate Betty Draper, and I see this Reno divorce thing failing, mostly cos I think her stupid boyfriend is going to screw her over majorly. Also: anyone else notice that this Epi is supposed to be around Dec 14th, and Betty is leaving for what, 6 weeks? Those kids aren't getting any Christmas with mommy.

Also: Sally: Is so gonna end up running away from home and joining the Manson Family.

Also: WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT SO DAMN LONG?!@?!?!?! *flails on ground*

Erin

I'm hoping maybe Bets is going to rent an apartment, forward the mail, and fly right back to Ossining.

Lori

I looooooooooooooved this episode and nearly wept real tears when it ended. Next summer is far away!!

-I was waiting for Duck to rear his ugly head but he didn't. I'm guessing there will be fall out from him next season.
-I hope they were opening a door for Sal (kicking in a door?) to come back... I miss Sal.
-When they were scrambling to find stuff I shouted at my TV "GET JOAN" and then Roger jumped up to call "someone". oh yes you DID do what I told you to do TV. Now make me a sammich.
-The scenes with Don and Peggy were two of my favorite. When she stood up to him for not actually asking her and then his humility (and that great line about trying to hire her) are in my top 5 favorite moments from this show
-I think only bad things will come out of the Henry Francis thing. He told the lawyer something about the governor not needing a scandal (re: whether they were sleeping together). I can't imagine it would be too much less scandalous the way they're going about it.
-Bert Cooper is hands down awesome. As is what's-his-name Pryce.

So not fair to have to wait.

TasterSpoon

Thanks, Erin. I was confused at the end, wondering whether she was literally going to live in Reno for 6 weeks while Carla stayed with the kids. It didn't make sense, but your solution does.

Have gained appreciation for Trudy and Pete (I too was finding it helpful to see how Trudy is distinct from Annie). They do make a good team. Did I forget something from last season? What made her stop talking about wanting a baby? I keep waiting for that to come up again, and it never does.

Also was expecting more Duck.

Am curious to see how [guy with the beard who now respects Peggy and was bummed that she left with Don et al.] figures in next season. His reaction was priceless.

And remember that Pryce's wife couldn't wait to get back to England? She will not be pleased.

I'll have forgotten all of these plot points by next summer.

Suzy Q

Holy shit!

BEST. EPISODE. EVER.

inkypop

loved this episode. it made me and my husband stay up until one in the morning talking about it in bed.

the tell the kids about the divorce scene broke my heart. i cried, because that was pretty much verbatim the conversation my parents had with me.

I may take some heat for this, but I disagree with you on Sal. I love his character, but as far as being a closeted gay man, what else do they have for his character to do? We get it, he's conflicted. After his non-affair in Baltimore, scaring Kitty with his Bye Bye Birdie, and then the Lucky Strike incident and subsequent trip to the rest stop/bath house, I'm not really sure what's left for him.

helenel

I liked that Don just held Bobby. You never see Betty do that.

helenel

Also, maybe Duck was too busy preparing for his guest shot on "Castle" last night.




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