Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Prestige That Comes With Ketchup

I know there's a lot going on in the world these days, but here's the real debate: Does a hot dog cry out for ketchup or mustard? I feel like we need both ketchup and mustard on a hot dog, but others disagree and feel like only ketchup is the way to go. I'm recapping two episodes this week, so settle in and pay attention.

During a meeting with Heinz Baked Beans and Heinz Ketchup in last week's episode, we learn that Beans doesn't want Heinz Ketchup meeting with SCDP because Ketchup is outselling Beans. After Ketchup leaves the meeting, Beans tells SCDP that under no uncertain circumstances are they to have any more meetings with Ketchup and that he only brought Ketchup in to keep things peaceful at work. Stan calls Peggy and tells her the lowdown as a funny story, but when Peggy relays the story to her boss, Ted, Ted sees an opportunity. He encourages Peggy to set up a meeting with Ketchup. Ted tells Peggy to put her friendship with Stan aside and think about her own advancement. Grow some balls, Peggy!

Heinz Ketchup. The condiment of choice for freckled scamps all across America!

Pete's having another affair, but this time it's not with a depressive who forgets him after her shock treatments, all Eternal Sunshine-like, nor is he lusting after a 15-year-old in driver's ed. In a Total Draper Move, he is of course having an affair with his neighbor, and he takes her to his apartment in the city. She Doesn't Understand How This Works, so she decides to leave her husband because she wants to be with Pete, and her husband beats her up. She flees to Pete and Trudy's, where Pete shows exactly 0 empathy for her and takes exactly 0 blame for her predicament. Pete only disrespects her more after her husband has assaulted her, and he makes it clear he doesn't want her, and Trudy takes charge and cleans her up, but not before she figures things out. The jig, she is up. Trudy tells Pete that they're done and she wants him to move out. Hell's bells, Trudy! I have always liked Trudy, and I enjoy that she's finally stopped publicly denying that she's married to a slimeball. Trudy has grown balls!

I am going to wash you out of my hair. With LIE soap.

Megan reveals to Sylvia Rosen that she had a miscarriage and she's feeling guilty because she was feeling relieved because she doesn't want to be pregnant and have a baby since her acting career is just starting to take off. Sylvia tells her she understands, and she seems a little relieved herself, because a baby might put a damper on that affair she's having with Megan's husband.

I understand there's this thing called "subtext" and the writers like to use it a lot in scenes like this one.

Lady Executive Peggy basically treats her underlings the way Don treated her, and they leave some feminine itching/cleanliness powder on her desk, complete with a joke prospectus. 

Things I'm over: Pete Campbell, finding a husband, respect from my coworkers, and this decade.

This week,
Don and Pete are having a secret meeting with Ketchup in Pete's skeezy clandestine-hook-up-where-he's-living-now-that-Trudy-kicked-him-out bachelor pad. Ketchup suggests that they have the presentation at Pete's apartment, but Pete wants to get a hotel. Because that's what you do in a hotel room. Backroom deals and women you don't respect. Don and Pete decide to bring Stan on board to work on the secret Ketchup project. Creative geniuses that they are, they decide to call it "Project K." Don undermined Pete in a meeting with Jaguar last week, but this week Don and Pete are working together to undermine Ken Cosgrove's baked beans account.

Don's secretary, Dawn (no kidding), is conflicted about working at SCDP. She meets with her friend at a soda fountain and her friend tells Dawn she feels like SCDP is going to take advantage of her because she's their only black employee. At the office, Harry Crane's secretary, Scarlett, tells Dawn she has to leave work to get things done for Clara's birthday, and asks Dawn to punch her out when she leaves. Dawn is hesitant about helping Scarlett lie on her time card, but Dawn doesn't want to make ripples and so she agrees.

Joanie's mom is getting a make-over from Mary Kay by Joan's friend Kate. Joan's mom has stopped hating Joan and is really proud of Her Joanie being a partner in a Madison Avenue advertising firm. Good thing Mom doesn't know how Joanie got that job. Joanie would also like to sell you some Johnny Walker. Kate is tired of not being able to advance at Mary Kay, so she is interviewing with Avon.

Joan finds out Scarlett lied on her time card and had Dawn punch out for her. Scarlett tries to explain that she was organizing things for Clara's birthday, but Joan fires Scarlett. Scarlett runs away on her go-go boots, crying. Harry gets pissed because Joan fired Scarlett, and Harry tells Joan to reneg her firing. Joan refuses, but Harry orders Scarlett back to work. Then he sees Joan in the partners meeting and storms in. Harry threatens to leave and expresses bitterness about Joan's promotion and the reason behind it. Bert Cooper encourages Joan to keep Dawn because the industry wants to see firms employ people of Dawn's ethnicity, and Bert also encourages Joan to keep Scarlett, leaving Joan feeling undermined and insulted. Joan may technically be a partner, but her job description hasn't changed at all and she still has to defer to the male partners to make administrative staff decisions.

I am NOT on ANYONE's case about them getting paid for work they didn't do because of how I got promoted.

Kate takes Joan to a soda fountain which is equipped with phones that facilitate random hook-ups. The manager of the soda fountain hits on Kate and they all end up in a cab together.

In Susan Lucci news, Megan is on set of her soap (in this redonkulous maid costume), and she gets the news she gets to do a nekked scene with the leading man. Megan has to break the news to Don that she has to cheat on him for pretend. Don tells her he's not thrilled about it, but he won't be a jerk and stand in her way. Whatevs, Don. And yes, this is meta.

Cosgrove and Harry meet with Dow, trying to put a happy face on their napalm. Seems Dow is having some PR issues. They plan to force Joe Namath into some sing-a-long with Julie Andrews and John Wayne and call it "Broadway Joe." Brought to you by Dow Chemical. For real. Dow green-lights the idea, and Harry's stoked that he brokered a huge deal with a major client. Joe Namath dancing! What could possibly go wrong? I LOVE THE SMELL OF JOE NAMATH DANCING FOR NAPALM IN THE MORNING!! 

In awkward dinner conversation news, Don goes to dinner with Megan's co-star and her producer husband. Apparently, her producer and co-star are swingers and want to smoke bud with Don and Megan at their place to "see what happens." Megan's like, "Do you mean fondu?" and they're like, "If that's what you're into!" and Megan's like "What?" and they're like, "Group sex! Group sex with fondu!" and Megan is like "OMG. AND I'M SUPPOSED TO BE THE INNOCENT ONE!" 

They're taking that "Swinging Sixties" thing literally. Don does a good job of looking shocked, but you know Don's curious about Megan's co-star's ladybits and she's not an entirely unappealing piece of ass. Certainly he's done worse.  But he can't have sex with another woman with Megan in the room. Or with her watching! That's just not the kind of cheating he does! Awww, darn it. Then she'd know.

I'm sorry. My self-loathing doesn't extend to orgies.

Hubby seems very eager to swing with Don (ho-yay!) and the wacky Hollywood types do their best to convince Megan and Don to swing. Don's too into lady parts to be interested in studio exec peen, so the Drapers politely refuse. Still no reason to skip dessert. Fondu? Maybe that's Don's solution to a lasting marriage. Maybe Don should swing.

I'm totally fine with plain tobacco and he's completely satisfied with his current extramarital affair so...rain check?

Another awkward car ride away, Kate makes out with the soda fountain manager. Kate is married BTW. Then they go to a disco, where Joan feels even more left out. Joan is approached by an intoxicated Beatle and Joan gets some action. The next morning, Kate tells Joan that she envies her high-powered career as a lady executive. Since Joan is still functionally only head secretary, Joan reveals to Kate that being a female "executive" isn't what it's cracked up to me, but Kate is optimistic (and bubbly! and blonde!) and encourages her to make a power play at SCDP.

Bert and Roger tell Harry that his temper tantrum the day before showed "initiative," and they give him the full commission check for "Broadway Joe." They disappoint him by not offering him a partnership. He's pretty bitter about Joan sleeping her way to the top, so it remains to be seen if he gets tired of being unappreciated and grows some Peggy balls and leaves.

Come on! This is not the worst indignity Rich Sommer has suffered on cable television!

Project K presents their work to Ketchup. It's a decent campaign, but is on the whole a little lame. Project K leaves the hotel room and speak of the devil! It's Peggy! Peggy, Ted and another staffer are about to present to Ketchup. Don listens at the door while Peggy gives their presentation. She explains the difference between castsup and ketchup, which has always confused the hell out of me. OMG, thank you, Peggy! Ketchup buys Peggy's team's idea, which is, "Heinz. The Only Ketchup." 

At a diner after their presentation, Don, Pete and Stan are having drink. Cosgrove storms in, angry because Beans found out they were meeting with Ketchup and so he called Cosgrove, who denied it. Beans finds out the truth and tells Cosgrove he's done with SCDP. Cosgrove is pissed because he was left out of Project K and because they went behind his back and talked to Ketchup, and how he looks like a liar to Beans. Oh, that darn cat. She is out of le bag. 

Look on the bright side! At least you still get to work with me!

Joan puts Dawn in charge of the supply cabinet and the time cards. Dawn is thrilled, but Joan explains that it's a punishment

Don goes to the set and watches Megan film her "love scene," which is hardly what anyone would call graphic, and for some reason he is pissed. He follows Megan to her dressing room, berates her, and leaves her in tears. What an ass. Predictably, immediately after humiliating his wife at her place of employment, Don shows up at Lady Rosen's house and they do sex. I've taken to just looking away when Don cheats. 

I'm fucking your wife.

Harry is threatening to quit SCDP and it seems like Cosgrove is right behind him, and it would be interesting to see if Harry and Cosgrove would be willing to go work for Ted after Peggy betrayed Stan. Will Don get bored with Sylvia Rosen and bed the wifey half of the Swingin' Duo? Don't touch that dial! 


Mad Men. AMC. 10 p.m. Eastern. Sundays. 


Clovis said...

Can we just skip ahead to the point where Joan, Peggy and Dawn form a super-powered Lady Marketing Group and take over the world? They could also possibly employ a by-then-aging Lady Edith Crawley as their rebel writer in residence in a nice bit of crossover casting with Downton Abbey.

Thought my favorite detail about these episodes? The ho-yay hollywood guy is played by Ted McGinley, who's been referred to as "the Patron Saint of Shark Jumping" because he always joins a show right when it start to, well, jump the shark. Do we spot a fin in the water, Mad Men writers?

Arsenic Pie said...

Well, I feel like they've been leading up to Something Huge since last season. I do think something major will happen toward the very end of the season, but since they can't kill Draper off just yet, there must be another staff member death. Speaking of Downton Abbey, I do feel like Big Deaths are what happens when writing staff feels like they've written themselves into a corner with a character and/or run out of ideas for them.

Betty is MIA since the premiere, so I'm wondering if we're going to see her again in the following episodes. I'm wondering if they've just run out of material for Mrs. Francis.

I do feel like someone else at SCDP will die this season. You know it won't be Bert Cooper. That old coot will outlive us all. Maybe after another cast loss, Lady Edith can come hobbling in on her walker and tell the men to get out and let the ladies run things for a change. #riotgrrl

Clovis said...

My math is likely off a bit, but isn't there at least a possibility that Lady Edith in 1968 would be about the age of Bert Cooper? Better yet, if he could be older than her, she could engineer a coup whereby she marries him and takes over SCDP. Clearly I will not rest until an aging-yet-feisty Edith makes an appearance.

I agree about killing off characters once writers don't know what to do with them anymore. I think that's why I appreciated the jokes that they used for Cheyenne Jackson's character on 30 Rock so much - once when he didn't show up for, like, a year because they couldn't use him, they just had the character say that he was trapped in a Canadian avalanche for the past six months. Brilliant.

Either way, I say the Death Clock has begun ticking. Do not send to ask for whom the Writers Room Bell tolls...

Clovis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.