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Mad Men: The Arrangements

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 7th 2009 12:48AM
Mad Men
(S01E04) "He has no idea how confused America is going to be about that J. - Don, about jai alai

In the late 80s, when I was doing sales and marketing for a national music magazine, the staff played a joke on one of the new salespeople. We had to get a certain number of sales per day and she wasn't having any luck, so I called her phone and pretended to be a customer. I think I told her I was going to buy thousands of dollars worth of magazines. Looking back now it was an immature, cruel thing to do, but I thought of that during tonight's scene with the Sterling Cooper gang calling "Margaret" and pretending to be a potential roommate. People are such jerks.

But this episode was mostly about what happened to Gene...

It's odd, but even though Gene has been confused and confrontational and acting inappropriately, it seems to me that he has also been some sort of sane voice of reason in the Draper household (other than putting salt on ice cream). He's paying attention to Sally, telling her she can be whatever she wants to be (I don't think letting her drive was a sign of his mind going, I think it was a sign that he was dying and he wanted to teach Sally something he didn't teach Betty), and being responsible enough to draw up the papers for what happens after he dies.

Betty is being her immature, selfish self, so she's certainly not going to be "bothered" with any of that. When the police show up to break the news that Gene has died (I think his death sort of symbolizes the end of his generation), Betty isn't really protective of Sally's feelings.

When Sally is upset and watching the TV news report about the monk setting fire on himself (if Gene dying symbolized the end of one generation, this was a hint of the next), for a split second (just a split second) I had this terrible image of Sally doing the same thing. Hey, she's tried smoking, drinking, and stealing money, so arson shouldn't be too far behind. But she just went to sleep (though next week's preview shows some trouble at school...)

At Sterling Cooper, the ad guys (and gal) have a meeting about the sport of jai alai ("it's going to be bigger than baseball!"). They have a way of getting behind winners, eh? First Nixon and now jai alai, big in Florida but something most Americans don't have any association with. I don't know where this plot is going. I'm more interested in what's up with Sal and his wife. The OH MY GOD MY HUSBAND LIKES MEN look on her face as he was acting out his ill-fated commercial was priceless.

I like how Don doesn't give a crap about Sal's personal life (much like Cooper doesn't care about Don's secret). He's not homophobic or evil towards Sal, he still treats him the same, which is probably not what a lot of SC folks would do if (when) they find out. Some will be nasty, I bet.

But no one is as nasty as Peggy's mom. Wow, how cruel can you get? I did like how the sister was pretty supportive of Peggy moving to Manhattan (that's going to be a great subplot, I bet), but the mom is all about guilt and pretty much calling her daughter a whore/bitch. I think that Betty and Don will ultimately be better off with Betty's dad out of the picture, and I think Peggy is going to be better off with her mom out of the picture. (Side note: loved Joan's roommate ad advice to Peggy. Maybe she does have a future at Sterling Cooper.)

Quotes:

"He's still dead, Ma!" - Peggy, to her mom, about the Pope

"I am one of those girls." - Peggy, to her sister, about Manhattan girls

"As they say at the freshman mixer: you get a yes, you go home." - Pete

"Victory medal. France. I should have another one for beating the clap!" - Gene

Mad Men' Photos

    Actors John Slattery, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss and cast of "Mad Men" on stage at the TNT/TBS broadcast of the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. 17498_MC_0473.JPG

    Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

    The cast of Mad Men January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks poses in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    The cast of Mad Men poses in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Actresses January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" pose with their award for Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a Drama Series in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** January Jones;Alison Brie;Kiernan Shipka;Elisabeth Moss;Christina Hendricks

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Actresses January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" pose with their award for Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a Drama Series in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** January Jones;Alison Brie;Kiernan Shipka;Elisabeth Moss;Christina Hendricks

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Emily Blunt (R) presents the cast of "Mad Men" with the Ensemble in a Drama Series award during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Emily Blunt

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Emily Blunt (L) presents actor Jon Hamm the Ensemble in a Drama Series award for "Mad Men" during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Emily Blunt;Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actor Jon Hamm (C) and the cast of "Mad Men" accept the award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actor Jon Hamm (C) and the cast of "Mad Men" accept the award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 18: 'Mad Men' actor Bryan Batt attends the Obama Pajama Party at the Ronald Reagan Building on January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. The inaguration charity ball will benefit children in need. (Photo by Abby Brack/Getty Image) *** Local Caption *** Bryan Batt

    Getty Images

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Katie

I think Pete and Peggy's lovechild will come back somehow in the final (6th, correct?) season, as a quasi-bookend to Don being discovered by Adam.

Recall last season, the scene when Don spoke to Peggy in the hospital, and gave her the exact same advice about swiftly forgetting one's past and continuing forward as if it never happened. History does repeat itself, after all...

September 09 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jessica

Yes, Peggy's mom was horrible - but then I realized they are Catholic and in typical form tried to load Peggy's shoulders with guilt about moving out and upward instead of being a mom, being a housewife, leaving her mother, etc.
I too thought for a second Sally was going to do something similar to the news report. She looked so sad paying on the floor. Almost like a dog who has gone days without food or water. Just laying there waiting to die.
I laughed watching Sal do the commercial for his wife. He was so girlie, it was great. The look on her face spoke volumes - but Sal didn't see it. He's slipping with his act.
Can't wait for me episodes. Was Peggy and Pete's baby ever spoke of again? Or swept under the rug? Weird there isn't any odd moments between the two of them.
I so want to be Joan Holloway.

September 08 2009 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the dude

sally is about the right age - eventually she will run off to woodstock weekend and find herself when we get to '69 - really got me that gene went so quick and off screen - i expected him to be around most of the season - what ever happened to peggy's priest friend - there looked like a gleam in peggy's eye when she was around him.

September 07 2009 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Taz

Regarding the following: "When Sally is upset and watching the TV news report about the monk setting fire on himself, for a split second (just a split second) I had this terrible image of Sally doing the same thing."

My gosh, so did I!!

September 07 2009 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rjbtrdx

I can see Sally becoming on of the hippies in the Haight in a few years (she will call herself Starchild or maybe Gene) and eventually go straight and become a housewife and mother(with mother's little helpers). Don will try to understand and Betty will dismiss her because she is clueless. But will Sally ever understand why she is such a mess? And poor Bobby. Does he even exist?

September 07 2009 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rjbtrdx's comment
BC McKinney

Sally doesn't understand that she's a WASP and not supposed to carry on like that instead of displaying dignified grief. In the early 1960s children were not coddled and catered to like they are now.

I think it's a shame that Gene will not be around to buy Bobby his first hooker. Maybe Don will step up.

I wonder if Peggy's Mom doesn't think she should live in Manhattan because that's above her place in the world. The aspirational culture was still fairly new, and not necessarily accepted by older people--you didn't buy a Cadillac just because you could afford it, you bought an Oldsmobile or Buick more appropriate to your social status.

September 07 2009 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

The last scene in which Sally gives her rant before going to sleep watching a monk set himself of fire was so disturbing. From her driving a car in the beginning of the episode to curling up feebly under the table was just unbelievable. Full review of the episode on my blog.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/09/review-mad-men-s03e04-arrangements.html

September 07 2009 at 4:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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