We don’t know about you, but every time we hear “and then” there’s another chance for the ladies at home to misunderstand. We get that a lot. But in the meantime, let’s talk about last night’s Mad Men, the appropriately titled “The Color Blue,” and then go drink and listen to jazz in our office, have a chat with the Greek night janitor and the maybe masturbate into our special box of secrets…
August Bravo: 40 years wouldn’t be a significant year if it weren’t the average lifespan for a man in this business.
Marco Sparks: I really liked that scene of just Bert Cooper and Roger Sterling together, talking about the good old days together. And the present, what there is of it. It’s fascinating to hear Roger constantly go on about guys he knows in “this business,” or things that have happened in “this business,” as if he really is an old pro. And he may be, but not to the extent of Cooper, and yet Roger really wants to be in that previous generation, to live in the ebb and flow of their rules, their ways.
August: Now we know what makes Don Draper smile. Its 5,000 dollars! And we know what doesn’t make him smile: Meeting his mistress’ brother. Tsk tsk. He doesn’t want to ruin this.
Marco: I’m fascinated by those few occasions that Don picks up a sense of right and front, something that seems to him fleetingly at times, but in this particular case, he wants to do right by his new inamorata, since she seems to be refreshingly bold and pure in his eyes, but at the same time, no one wants to hear the brother of the new chick you’re sleeping with bitching about their problems in the middle of the night on a long road trip, am I right?
Marco: Though I love his comment on Don: “He knows how to leave a room.”
Marco: What do you think of Miss Farrell now? She was a character of much speculation as this season started to pick up steam, but now we’re here. And we’re steamy, right?
August: What do I think of her? I’m in love. That’s what I think.
August: She wants Don. Everything about him. She barely knows him, but she’s crazy about what she knows. And I think she will go crazy if she doesn’t get him. Or get him more than she has him already. Her eyes make her look like she’s on the brink of insanity without her.
Marco: And Don Draper is attracted to two things in life:
1. Waking up in the morning next to a mistake.
2. Crazy women.
August: Apparently Pete isn’t the only guy mad at Peggy for having those constant ideas.
Marco: Peggy Olson, the ultimate feminist.
August: Women in the 60s had it hard, man. But maybe they put themselves in that position. They don’t care about your marriages, your jobs. They just want you. They set themselves up for disasters.
Marco: They court disaster in the best ways, then eat it up and spit it out. Like spontaneous ideas in a pitch session. I loved Don and Peggy and Kinsey’s moment of not so much bonding, but of understanding over the lost idea. Oh, the bits of angelic genius lost to us when we’re shitfaced and not terribly close to a pen and paper. Also, I think we found something that Kinsey is really good at: Being in awe of Peggy.
August: Kinsey, my man. Almost got caught doing the dirty in his own office. On himself. If that’s not classy, I don’t know what is.
Marco: I don’t mind sharing with the world that the shit that goes down after hours in the offices here at Counterforce would shock the pants off of you. But it does involve a lot of jazz, some self harm, forgetting to write down golden ideas, and Greek janitors.
August: Achilles! Born leader. Also born to give inspiration.
Marco: I think the sad thing is a lot of guys want to be Don Draper, but instead they’re probably, at best, Roger. At worst, Pete. It’s bad for the intellectuals to, cause you don’t realize that you’re actually a Kinsey.
August: London calling! Ha ha, did I catch that right? Sterling-Cooper is for sale?
Marco: They’re lean and profitable now, ready to go to the highest bidder.
August: Even though his wife is ready to get the fuck out of New York…
August: …but I’m really going to miss Lane Pryce if he goes.
Marco: If he goes being the key part. I could see him staying behind, maybe sans wife. Also, I have a feeling that Bert Cooper isn’t long for this world. Maybe Don and Roger and Lane will be running the company next year. Hopefully with Joan back and a much happier, more out of the closet Sal along for the ride.
Which will be totally worth since I’d love to see that flashback episode to when Don and Roger met and Roger found Don working at a fur company and going to night school.
August: Betty and Don both think the phone call is for them.
Marco: “Jeez Louise!”
August: What kind of sham marriage is this?
Marco: Probably the same as most marriages during that time period. The difference is that Betty’s really getting hers too, which I love. It’s sad that Don not only doesn’t respect Betty’s intelligence to hide his running around better. And it’s a toss up between whether he doesn’t respect herself enough to not realize that he’s pushing her away (though not necessarily into the arms of another ma) or that he trusts her more than that.
August: We know Don loves her, but he clearly doesn’t respect her. And there she is, just longing for that phone call from the man in the Governor’s office.
Marco: And Don is fearing that the phone call is from Miss Farrell, who, to be fair, does seem a bit… obsessive, even if she does know that things between Don and her probably won’t end well. I’m not convinced that it wasn’t her calling the house.
August: Both of these women just want these men more than they’re wanted, I think.
Marco: I think that Henry Francis from the Governor’s office had a bit of a point last week, Betty did need to come to him. She is married and he shouldn’t be going after her. That doesn’t stop the guy from being a dick though.
August: Betty says he family doesn’t need to go to church every week. I love that. No repenting in the Draper household.
Marco: Repenting? Fuck the past. Put it out of your mind. It will shock you how much these things you don’t like never happened.
August: OMG. FML. Betty found Don’s secret stash.
Marco: His secret identity. Literally.
August: What’s he going to do?
Marco: Can’t wait to find out. But more importantly, what is she going to do? I think we’ve seen some mountains and valleys in the debate over Princess Betty this year, but really it’s all setting up that the ball is in her court now.
August: Yeah, really. For a second it looked like she was going to hesitate with that drawer…
Marco: …and she never would have found the key if it weren’t for baby Eugene’s crying leading it to being within her grasp on laundry day.
August: But then Betty just dove right in!
Marco: Good for her. The unexamined marriage is no marriage to be fantasizing about other people in.
August: There’s been so much character development this season with Betty. Finding out she is and what she dreams of. Cause she’s just been so pent up all this time. And now she’s going to lash out.
Marco: She is. She totally is, but I think it’s going to be more controlled this time. Don lying to her isn’t something new and she knows that. Granted, she doesn’t know what she knows yet. There’s some divorce papers and the deed to a house belonging to an Anna Draper. And pictures with her husband in the war and just a name: Dick Whitman.
August: The drama! What is Don going to do next! And what is he doing now? This entire season he’s been so full of surprises, I feel. Sure, he is every season. I mean, he’s always been the man of mystery.
Marco: Maybe especially to himself?
August: But this year he’s even more spontaneous, more reactionary. Everything he does now merits a WTF?
Marco: And that’s the best kind of leading man for a television show of such literary depth. But back to the new tension between Don and Betty over knowing Don’s “secret,” I was literally just gripping my chair watching Don make the phone call (that call, the mysterious call to the Draper residence, and the fact that Don’s phone service calls Miss Farrell’s home – who knew the phone could be such a perilous weapon in 1963?) to Betty, telling her what time to be ready for the Sterling Cooper birthday bash. Betty’s not feeling good and Don’s telling her he wants to show her off and… ah, the drama.
August: Seriously. And you can’t frame a phone call.