Mad Men: Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency
by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 21st 2009 12:34AM
(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.