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September 1, 2014

Mad Men: My Old Kentucky Home

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 31st 2009 1:18AM
Joan_AMC_Mad_Men(S03E03) It might be a Saturday, but there was work to be done at Sterling Cooper. At the Draper house, Gene was discovering that Sally could be both an ally and an adversary, and is certainly an interesting child. Was Betty like Sally as a child, you have to wonder? Meanwhile, Roger and Jane hosted a garden party on derby day which was a reason for some of the staff to rub elbows.

But not all. Peggy, Smitty and Paul were stuck working on Bacardi at the office, but that wasn't a reason not to party. Peggy's new secretary, Olive, seems to want to be a surrogate mother to Peggy. She worries over her, much to Peggy's surprise. More on that later.

Jane was a source of irritation for Joan when she appeared at the office, and if looks could kill, Joan had her slayed. You could just tell it was one of those, "It could have been me moments" for Joan.

Couple that with Joan's dinner party for Greg's doctor friends, and you can see her straining from the choice she's made. To add insult to injury, Joan finds out that Greg's not the super doctor she hoped he was, and then he puts Joan on display, having her play the accordion and sing "C'est Magnifique." Poor Joan.

Out at the garden party, it was even worse. The soiree wasn't just old fashioned, it was positively nostalgic, especially when Roger performed in blackface to sing "My Old Kentucky Home" and Pete and Trudy did an elaborately choreographed Charleston. Of the latter, you couldn't miss Pete's efforts to impress the higher-ups. He can brown-nose and dance at the same time.

The party was oddly amusing to Betty, who looked radiant even in pregnancy clothes. A strange man approached her and asked to touch her belly. It was a reminder of last season when Betty seemed to seek out the attention of strange men, only now what was her motivation? Don has been remarkably attentive to her, at least when he's in New York.

Don disliked much of the party and befriended a guy at the bar, Connie, who was reminiscent of Gene -- only with his faculties. As Don proceeded to fix them drinks, Don revealed another dark chapter from his past, parking cars at a country club and pissing in the trunks of the richie-riches who didn't let him use the toilet.

While stuck doing the Bacardi work, the resentful Paul -- who wanted to be at the garden party and still chafes at being part of the establishment -- called his old Princeton pal, Jeffrey. The guy was a drug dealer with a satchel full of dope, pills, etc. They wanted grass, and in her typically defiant Peggy Olson way, she tried marijuana, too.

When Olive (who wouldn't leave Peggy alone) disapproved, a lucid -- and high -- Peggy let her know that Miss Olson doesn't need a mother. Like a young Bette Davis, Peggy is coming into her own. She is completely in control even when she's high as a kite, or fooling around with a younger man like last week's show.

The incident with Gene and Sally and the $5 bill seemed less about the money and more about power. Once Sally returned the money, in an oblique way so as not to have to confess to her crime, Gene was ready to resume their relationship. He gave her the book and she read to him again. He didn't need to reprimand her; he just needed her to do what he wanted. Sally could understand that, perhaps because she's truly Don and Betty's child. (By the way, will Bobby ever speak?)

Finally, when Jane made a drunken scene and embarrassed Betty at the party, it was the impetus for Roger and Don to joust. Roger believed Don was jealous of his happiness. Don's reply, "No one thinks you're happy. They think you're foolish," belied the truth.

Later, Don was indeed envious of Roger and Jane dancing alone, so much so that he sought out Betty and kissed his wife. Don needed to grab whatever happiness he could get.

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Lisa DeAngelo

Where did the party take place? Was it at Roger's home or somewhere else?

September 28 2009 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ATK

Not sure if this will work for anyone else who said "wait, where have I seen Jeffrey before?" but I've seen him here:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1917592

His EP is pretty good actually, if anyone is interested after his TigerTones performance.

September 02 2009 at 4:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
me not you

I dont think Don was envious of Roger. I think he sought out BEtty cause he saw what a sham Rogers new "happiness" was and was greatful for the -in his mind - predictable stable home life everyone at his office envied. Maybe for a moment he felt glad to be himself and siezed that moment with his unbelieveably smoking hot wife. No pregnant woman has ever looked hotter!

September 01 2009 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan_Screenplays

LITTLE SALLY DRAPER WILL *KILL* GRANDPA GENE! And, um, other...observations. My Mad Men blog, for those inclined toward humor whilst being a serious Mad Maniac...and for those who thought Jerry the weed dealer looked like Tom Cruise or Christian Bale...there's a reason...
http://actfourscreenplays.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/mad-men-3-3-roger-goes-blackface-joan-rocks-the-accordion-peggy-gets-high-and-sally-draper-continues-on-the-road-to-prison/

September 01 2009 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan_Screenplays

LITTLE SALLY DRAPER WILL *KILL* GRANDPA GENE! And, um, other...observations. My Mad Men blog, for those inclined toward humor whilst being a serious Mad Maniac...
http://actfourscreenplays.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/mad-men-3-3-roger-goes-blackface-joan-rocks-the-accordion-peggy-gets-high-and-sally-draper-continues-on-the-road-to-prison/

September 01 2009 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Becky

I was very uncomfortable with Roger's version of My Old Kentucky Home. Living just down the street from Churchill Downs and a lifelong citizen of Louisville, Ky, we take that day (Derby Day) and the song very seriously. Even in the 1960's no one here would have donned a black face to sing it. It is unacceptable to mock our state song. Still love the show and will be a fan forever.

September 01 2009 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the dude

i'm thinking that after roger gets married he and joan get back with having an affair together. for joan it would be part being unhappy with her marriage, missing roger, and getting back at jane whom she obviously is hating. with roger it will be him being trapped in another loveless marriage after awhile. some people are never happy with their choices and fall back to what they should have done.

September 01 2009 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Koads

About bobby speaking, he did when they were on the picnic...

September 01 2009 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

Does anyone know what book Sally was reading to Gene?

August 31 2009 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sarah's comment
DB

Edward Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"

September 01 2009 at 12:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dhall

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

September 01 2009 at 5:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RT

I'm sorry, but this season has just been very disappointing and this was the worst episode ever.

The problem is that NOTHING is happening... there's no conflict, the storylines (the Alzheimer's dad) are boring, and some of the stuff is just ridiculous. The British takeover has done nothing but bore me to tears. Where's the office backstabbing and maneuverings that were so great in the first two years?

Who ever wrote this episode must have been smoking something, the decided to write about it. "Hey, let's give the hot redhead an accordion!"

August 31 2009 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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