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November 28, 2014

Mad Men: Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 21st 2009 12:34AM
Mad_men_Roger_Don
(S03E06)
What do disappointment, opportunities and snakes have in common? They're all themes in this episode of Mad Men. The British, in the form of Powell, Ford and Mackendrick came to Sterling Cooper for a visit, but what that visit meant was anybody's guess. The visit wrecking holiday plans for the staff -- no Independence Day for you, colonists -- was obvious irony and true nonetheless. And the Guy walking into the ad agency, well, it would be a hollow joke after this tragedy. More after the jump.

While Harry, Pete and the others seemed concerned, Don was intrigued, especially when Bert theorized a position that might have genius Don living in New York and London. Don shared the possibility of London with Betty, and he was so happy about it, he was even smiling in bed before sleep. While he couldn't sleep with excitement, Sally couldn't sleep because Grandpa Gene, seeing the new baby as carrying his spirit, his name and even looking like the old man, haunted her.

Continuing the bonding they shared last week, Don was able to get through to Sally when Betty's proffering a Barbie -- a gift from the baby -- didn't do the trick. Proving to be a better father than he ever had, Don brokered a peace between baby Gene and Sally, telling her that the newborn was still unformed, still open to become whatever he might choose to be. Much like Dick Whitman became Don Draper.

The disappointment Don felt when the London appointment turned out to be just another Brit supplanting Pryce in the Sterling Cooper offices was eased by a surprise call from Conrad Hilton. Connie was the old guy Don met at the country club during Roger's derby party. A call from Hilton opened the door to a world of opportunity, at least in Hilton view. After getting Don's opinion on some ads -- "I want you to give me one for free" -- Hilton expected Don to ask for the moon. Don asked for his business, making a snake allusion and proving he can hold his own with the big boys.

The snake bit harkened back to Pryce getting the boot to Bombay in the form of a gift from his British masters, a stuffed cobra in a basket. They admire him so much for squeezing the fat out of Sterling Cooper that they wanted to replace him with Guy. "You always do as you're told," they tell Pryce, and he didn't disagree.

You want more disappointment still? Roger wasn't included in the flow chart for the company that bears his name. At least Bert was able to set him straight; Roger took the money, he had no right to complain.

But Joan had disappointment coming and going. Greg failed to get the chief residency and may never become a New York surgeon. Greg, the rapist with low self-esteem, told her, "I have no brains in my fingers." To her credit, Joan comforted him when she needed it herself. She appeared the next day for the office party -- not a surprise party as planned by the secretaries thanks to Hooker's big mouth -- even though she had nowhere to go and needed to stay at Sterling Cooper. At least Peggy and Don cared enough to give Joan her props.

Thankfully, Joan was there. After Lois's wild ride on the John Deere severed most of Mackendrick's foot, only Joan's quick actions saved him from bleeding to death. In the hospital, Don and Joan, the two most valuable members of Sterling Cooper shared a moment before Powell and Ford came with Pryce, basically to make sure that Guy was alive, even though he was out of his new job. He couldn't play golf anymore, not without a foot, so he was useless to them. Pryce was reinstated. Snakes all around.

Roger had the best/funniest observation of the night, pointing out that Guy might lose his foot when he just got it in the door.

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Jeff N.

Just a great episode. It is what TV can be if well written and acted.
A+++

September 23 2009 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan_Screenplays

Good to see all the activity about the greatest show on tv, Mad Men. Winner of Emmy for Best Drama and Writing two years in a row!
Here's my humorous recap, if you're interested...
http://wp.me/pCufw-4a

I too wonder about that last Joan-Don moment. Was that a "what could have been" moment or "what WAS" moment? I'd like to think neither, because I always thought of them as recognizing that they both were attractive people who could pounce on one another, but they also had strong mutual respect for each other as professionals so in the end they decided to keep it polite and never fooled around. Plus, Don would have respected that Joan was Roger's girl, even though we don't know exactly how long that lasted. Thoughts?

September 22 2009 at 2:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

From the way Sally interacted with Eugene, you can see that she never fully grew up which is why she has no clue about raising a child, or more specifically connecting emotionally with her own children.

Does anyone feel sorry for Joan? She either discards her spotless persona by admitting she needs a job, showing her life isn't all it's made out to be, or have financial trouble. Full review of the episode on my blog.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/09/review-mad-men-season-3-episode-6-guy.html

September 21 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
claude garmon

I think Mad Men is what everyone is saying it is and that's brilliant! I'm still trying to decide if it's the best
tv I've ever seen ever (of course, I liked Kings; Shakespeare with alzheimer's, that was), but whatever the case, let's face it-- this show is to regular tv what the New Yorker is to TV Guide. Mad Men may seem as long and drawn out as a chapter of Tolstoy-- and I hope it lasts as long as War and Peace-- but its understanding and delineation of landscape (temporal) and character (eternal) is as sharp as Nobokov writing about a knife with a fine-point Sharpie in a photograph on extra sharp paper off a cell image from hi-def film shot by Stanley Kubrick using a Hubble camera mounted on tri-pod just across a glass and chrome table with sharp edges, set for high contrast, from the artist with the mandate "make it sharp!" if you catch my drift.
Funny that a show that is neither in error nor unaware concerning its unhurried pacing, episode-wise or season-arc-wise, and despite the odd comment from the action junky set, reveals just how good its sense of timing truly is. They knew that they would be nominated for the emmys at least, and just might win some more. Is it just fortunate timing that they spent the first few episodes seemingly cut loose from any new seasonal thrust, airing the equivalent of establishment-scene episodes before setting forth with The Fog" --and then "Guy walks into an advertising agency" just in time for viewers tuning in to see what those emmy nominations were all about? Or are they, about the business of crafting a masterpiece, just that good? Now new viewers have had the experience of action we regular viewers have never seen (or even conceived of -- a you tube scene in mad men) before, in the same great show. All aboard for the rest of the run, everybody.
As for Don (Juan? Quixote? Corleone? All, I vote) in the waiting room last week, the episode was called The Fog, so I believe the scene was both, more than real or dream-- Surreal, as the first movies to use actual fog for such touching (bruising even) encounters called it back in the days of black and white (which suggests that the entire show was putting the revelatory power of the surreal to work for it, not just the unnatural birth portion). The show incorporates the language of so many movements and puts them to work for it (minimalist existentialist dilemma anyone?) that they don't need no fog to do no isolated dream imagery. I don't know what to call that lawn mower scene (although Joan seemed to sum it up best). But I bet that Guy will forever remember the bitter irony of the Snapper that came out of the fog. Bet THAT seemed surreal.

September 21 2009 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dgm103

I'm glad to see Connie's return. Chelcie is a great character actor. Hope this is the first of many more episodes. Now, if they could just find a way to bring back Jimmy Barrett...

September 21 2009 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the dude

don and joan - sitting in the hospital near the end - nothing being said between the two at one point - both staring off - i think that was saying a lot - let's not forget that moment - don, betty, sal, joan, could be the power group with connie being the wild card here - don and bert and roger have money from the buyout so that still needs to play out somehow. plus the looming november of 1963 events. this is going somewhere and i am liking it.

i really did not like that mackendrick was going to "take over" and was kinda shocked at how he was resolved and resolved quickly. but you gotta admit, even tho it was a sad moment for his character, gods it was funny in a evil sorta way. the blood cleaning on the window scene in the background while roger was cracking one of the best lines in the history of the show was just beautiful. maybe this is the start of the battle for indepedance for SC from the brits?

gods this is a great show!!

September 21 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

I'm surprised at the lack of mention of Don comforting and acting the part of a good father. I thought the scene quite poignant & moving. It was perfectly placed after all that went on. Kudos to David Weiner.

September 21 2009 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kiko

I think Joan will come back to SC as an assistant/script reader (again) for Harry's new television department. He'll need some staff with his new promotion.

Betty may be the worse mother ever, but she knows the little tricks like wrapping the Barbie gift with newspaper comics. Nice visual touch there, anyone else notice?

If anyone goes with Duck, it'll be the Accounts guy who doesn't get picked in the end? That's still dangling over Ken and Pete's heads.

September 21 2009 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Hopefully Don's working w/Conrad Hilton will prevent Paris Hilton from being born somehow. Please.

September 21 2009 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob Sassone's comment
Gwin

Bob: if only!!

September 21 2009 at 11:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stacey

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Dorothy. My name is Scarecrow, this is Cowardly Lion, and I know the Tin Man is around here somewhere...."

September 21 2009 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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