Another weird episode! This one was directed by John Slattery. Should he direct more things? I’ll leave that to Judge Judy to decide. But there were some very odd moments, like Pete’s face dissolving into Pete’s face, a matchy-matchy office door transition, Ken’s two-sentence short story about Beethoven at the end, and the pacing of the scene where Handsome shows up to driver’s ed made me feel like a lunatic. Is. This. Show. On. Cough. Medicine. Or. Am. I. On. Cough. Medicine. Or. Both. But overall it was still good. Love the “party blazers,” boys! How many ladies watching last night’s episode were rushing to the kitchen trying to sabotage their sinks so that Jon Hamm could rush over and fix them? All? All the ladies? Take your shirt off slower, Don, the sink isn’t on fire! Meanwhile, Pete is right: Don is pretty ballsy giving him the side eye. Regardless of whether or not he thinks highly of Pete and is disappointed to find out that he’s as “human” as everyone else (being “human” means claiming that it’s “just doing your job” to sleep with prostitutes and just generally seeking out as many ways as possible to undermine your marriage, right?) it’s really not for him to cast any aspersions on anyone else’s moral conduct just because he married a 25-year-old and is getting it wet on the regular. Then again, does Pete seriously need to stare at the faucet that’s going to break soon? Or wistfully linger on Handsome’s biceps? Take a night class in home repair, dude! Do some push ups, buddy! Fuck your WIFE! But, of course, This Week’s Zou Bisou Bisou was the conference room fist fight between Lane and Pete and all I have to say is: YES, GOOD POINT. More things should be settled this way. I’m not joking. No one should get seriously injured, but a couple spots of blood on your silk neckerchief are in order when you are being a real PRIG. This is how men used to resolve their problems, and it worked out just fine. (I have no idea if it actually worked out fine. I’m assuming that it was actually pretty problematic in most cases and is obviously the mark of a brutish and immature society. Nevertheless, it is appealing. You loved it. Everyone loved it. Get him! Finish him!) It used to be if another man insulted you at George Plympton’s apartment, you’d punch that man square in the mouth. And for God’s sake, YOU DIDN’T TWEET ABOUT IT. (Although you know that Pete would have TOTALLY Tweeted about it and that’s why his face got ROCKED.) If you see something, punch someone.

Comments (100)
  1. Let’s just get this gif out of the way:

    OK. Now let’s settle down and discuss this episode like a family.

  2. Lane beat up Pete and kissed Joan. Living the dream.

  3. This ep was so good! Pete getting cockblocked by a teenager! The hilars boxing by two privileged men who’ve never been in a fight in their lives! Don being called superman (swoon)!

    • Lane’s been in a fight, or at least sparred. He was very obviously trained in the old-timey, mustachioed boxing tradition. He had form and poise, and it won him the fight.

      • Was it Mr. Show that had the olde tymey boxing sketch? When Lane and Pete started posturing it was IRLOL and the sketch about boxing was all I could think about.

        • I do not recall an old-timey boxing sketch, but it’s been a while since I’ve watched them all again. When I hear ‘old-timey’ and ‘Mr. Show’ I always think of ‘Monsters of Megaphone.’

          Ohhhh, Automobile!
          Baby loves my automobile!
          Can’t get enough of my automobile!
          Drive it all day loooooong!

          • So this is seredipitous and six-degrees-of-separationy, but the New Yorker had an article about Mad Men and nostalgia yesterday, specifically on how the 1960s were nostalgic for the 1920s to the extent that the Grammy winner in 1966 (over the Stones and the Beach Boys) was “Winchester Cathedral,” a vaudeville megaphone throwback song (http://youtu.be/y-Ijo_ZthDI). Which, in turn, reminded me of that great Monsters of Megaphone sketch.

        • You may be thinking of when Conan hosted SNL. He played an old-timey boxer who gets pummeled by a black boxer.

      • he also called pete “lil devil” during the fight. you could barely hear it when we were watching peggy listen in.

      • THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM THE MARQUESS OF QUEENSBURY [fisticuff noises]

    • Don and Handsome can fix my pipes anytime! HAHA! Get it?

      What is with fingering in high school? That scene at the end where Handsome goes to finger her made me think of junior high when all anyone could talk about was fingering. Does anyone “finger” anymore? Is that what kids do?

  4. …just because he married a 25-year-old and is getting it wet on the regular.

    Hello, old friend. It’s been a while since Walking Dead. Nice to see you.

  5. “You’re a grimy little pimp” is definitely my new favorite insult.

  6. Right now, werttrew is cursing that Gabe posted this early and that his class doesn’t get out until 5:30 p.m.

    • Perhaps surprisingly, I don’t have much to say about this week’s episode. I thought it was great.

      *Pete getting punched is pretty great. It’s funny how Lane Pryce is really a pretty big weasel and yet is maybe the most decent man among the four partners?

      *Pete’s going to die, isn’t he? I mean, they’re just seems like a lot of hints that he’s headed off a cliff.

      *”Chewing gum on his pubis” is destined to be one of the all-time great Mad Men lines.

      *Yeah, Pete’s definitely going to die this season.

      • Can you elaborate on why you think Pete is going to die? I’m intrigued.

        • I also said that Pete was going to die this season. He seems so depressed. A lot of them seem depressed, but he seems like a character who would actually kill himself. I think he’s going to commit suicide.

          • I can definitely tell that Pete is barrelling toward a breaking point, but I guess I just never considered that DEATH could be a possibility. I’ve been more caught up focusing on how he has invested all his energy into achieving the “old” cultural picture of success (a la Don), and now, just as he finally seems to have attained that ideal life, it’s like he got on the wrong train as he watches the new cultural revolution of the 60s begin to take off. Now that I think about it, however, Pete committing suicide would be pretty brilliant and totally heartbreaking because of just how much sense it actually makes.

            I’m really interested in going back to look for specific pieces of foreshadowing now. Off the top of my head I count the mention of the gun he has at the office, the multitude of defeats he suffers this episode culminating in saying “I have nothing” to Don… actually maybe I don’t have to look that hard at this. Regardless…

            WERTTREW GET BACK IN HERE WITH US!

        • He’s written to be shown as being crazy miserable in the suburbs. He loves the traffic noise at Don’s birthday party, he complains about his wife not caring about her looks anymore. He was laughing at the traffic school movie that showed real photographs of dead people at traffic accidents, they have referred to the gun he keeps in his office more than once this season, Don says that spending a weekend night in the suburbs is just as good as shooting oneself, Pete hits on a teenager who thinks of him as some nice old guy in her class and she gets shebanged a few seats away from him by “Handsome”, he gets beat up by Lane in a fight that most people would have bet on Lane to lose – in front of his buisiness partners, some of whom he mistakenly thinks are his actual friends, oh – and his wife wears the pants in that house. So much so, that he goes to a whorehouse and has the girl call him her king.
          I think the writers have been incredibly elaborate.

  7. Question! Dick Whitman/Charles Whitman. Coincidence, or what?

  8. I really liked that Pete was playing the second movement of Beethoven’s symphony at the start of the “second movement” of the episode. Bravo! But Ken’s little story at the end made me cringe a bit.

    Also, the weird transitions really took me out of the episode. But who cares? More fighting! I hope Pete cries at least three more times this season.

    • Ken’s story at the end didn’t really stick with me so much as the fact that he’s still going to write but under a new pen name, and that he was pulling directly from Pete’s comment about his stereo housing a mini-orchestra or whatever. I was like, “Yay! Ken’s doing it! You’re the best, around! Nomma nomma nomma na bring you down! You’re the best, around! etc.”

  9. Oh Pete… you are *such* a horrible, manipulative little weasel.

    • Also, I find it funny that Roger and Don can be gross and awful and it’s part of their character and somehow forgivable, but when Pete does it… ugh, he just comes off worse than usual.

      Is that acting or just that guy? Because I wanted to punch him when he was on Angel as well.

      • YES! This guy will be typecast forever as a whiny little bitch. Because that’s all he can do. Watching him get punched is so satisfying, and part of that is leftover Angel angst.

      • I think the Pete story is supposed to prove that charm never really goes out of style. Charming men like Don and Roger got away with a lot during the 50s, but they still do in the 60s or any era because they can. Even Lane has more charm than Pete. If Pete would have kissed Joan she would have slapped him. But she forgave Lane because he’s charmng–not in a sexy Don/Roger way but in a sad sweet kind of way. Pete has all of the ingredients that should make him a baller. He’s bringing in accounts, he has the house, the family and now even the bigger office, but he still can’t quite get there and never will because he lacks that charm. Last week we all saw Don talking to that teenager, and you just knew he could have gone there with her, but he didn’t. This week we see Pete longing for a teenage girl and it just seemed creepy. No matter what Pete does, he will never be fulfilled in that profession, the way Roger says you can be.

      • Pete has no social skills and he is not aware of that fact. Dude is stiff. I swear his character thinks he is just like Don, and maybe Roger, and is clueless. Maybe because he’s a partner and thinks Don is his friend that others will magically think he is awesome. (sad trombone noise)

    • I have love for Pete; but he was at his best when his father died and he had those few brutal-funny scenes with his brother. They were like these two demented alcoholic orphans. I wish Bud would come back for at least an episode.

  10. Chewing gum on his pubis!

  11. Fred OvOxo Garcia  |   Posted on Apr 16th, 2012 +18

    Never thought I would say this but I don’t care that the show has no clear lead character anymore. Don is turning into Eric Camden and it’s okay by me.
    And also:
    -You’re my king.
    - Okay.

  12. this is the first episode of this season that I have enjoyed. I loved this episode a ton

  13. This season feels like the psychedelic season. Is it because 1966 was the real emergence of the psychedelic era? Possibly. In any case, these guys seem to be swapping their Benzedrine for some mescaline.

    Pete’s descent into a post quarter-life/pre-midlife crisis is fascinating to watch. That time when you first start to realize you’re not a kid anymore and facing your inevitable mortality is wanton and leaves you restless and forlorn.

  14. The direction was definitively different in this episode. I loved the way the fight scene was directed, seemed campy and surreal in a way that it worked for the episode. The one time I think it took away from the episode was the car sex scene. I mean the camera panning up instead of just fading? It seemed kind of cartoonish, in my opinion, I’m almost surprised there wasn’t one of this after it:

  15. i think this was a GREAT episode. Like it might be one of those 1-2 every season that are like “YES. THIS IS WHY I WATCH THIS SHOW!”

    many people are commenting on the big payoff in getting to see Pete Campbell punched in the face, but in truth, it’s a mask for totally identifying with him throughout the rest of the episode.

    not that we’ve all tried to pick up high school girls, or needed a prostitute to pretend we’re The King to feel like a man, but you know has before? Don Draper. fans quite often rag on Pete for being a skeezy creep – no more than they have in this episode – but we’ve all followed Don there and loved it all, and still thought him to be cooler than cool. Don pretty much said, “I am you” in the cab.

    The crushing void between perceived success vs. self actualization is a major theme of the show, and now we’re seeing the same realization Don has gone through, without the “cool” factor and capability of hiding that struggle from view.

    people that won’t admit that they strongly identified with – and felt incredibly sorry for – him by the end of the episode are in self-denial, or are just blissfully unaware of the more “ugly” parts of their humanity.

    • I think that in the cab Don actually inferred that (paraphrase) ‘I was where you are now, yet I thought you were all good and your wife is solid and don’t throw that away, I currently love my life because my wife is hot and does not make me miserable and want to cheat.’

  16. Ken Cosgrove is becoming my favorite character because he, like all his coworkers, has a secret life. Only that secret life is a genuine aspiration to be creative. And his wife supports him in that. And they seem to love each other and support one another.

    He shines this shaming light on everyone who comes within range, yet he’s not so dull as to be merely moral. When he and Don shared reminiscences of real rural poverty, it was amazing.

    And I love that the show is acknowledging that sci fi was once this leading edge genre where a rapidly changing society was grappling with the ramifications of social and technological innovations. Really neat stuff! Ken’s practically Kurt Vonnegut.

    • Three cheers for Cosgrove’s involvement in ’60s scifi genre fiction! Reach for the stars, Ken!

    • Yes! Exactly this. Yes!

    • A friend of mine noted that Star Trek started in 1966, and he is convinced that this season will end with Ken getting a job working for Gene Roddenberry.

    • I wanna know more about this Peggy/Ken pact situation. Would Peggy really leave the comforting professional arms of working for Don to follow Kenny Cosgrove to another agency? The drama! The intrigue!

      • Messica, that’s another thing I didn’t even think of. Ken actually respects Peggy’s intellect and talent. Dude’s even better than I said!

        • Yeah, and he never once even thought she was the one who told on him for writing on the side. He knew her character (and Pete’s), and just knew she wouldn’t have told. Ken seems to be the only husband on the show that hasn’t cheated on his wife too. I really hope he doesn’t. I can’t stand the thought that absolutely everyone cheats.

        • You may never get to see this, but if you do, my secret, unwritten Paggy/Ken fanfiction dreams include them having lunch together while she explains to him the importance of the ERA. /boringfeministisboring

  17. “We’re supposed to be friends” might be the saddest, most delusional line I’ve heard on this show.

  18. Did anyone else kind of hate that they had Lane kiss Joan? I know he was feeling vulnerable and stuff and that he apologized right away, but I really liked their friendship and was kind of hoping they’d keep it at that – with no hints of him trying to get something sexual from her. I don’t know, am I alone in this?

    • I don’t know, it made me feel uncomfortable but I felt it was very true to the show/the era. Lane himself says that his role in the company is essentially useless, that Joan could be doing his job. Of course, Joan isn’t doing his job because she’s a woman, and still seen as a sexual object. Joan’s too smart for that shit though, you can tell because while she clearly is in no way enjoying the kiss, she doesn’t react negatively to it, she merely endures because to do otherwise would risk her job. Did I just go off on an unrelated tangent? Probably.

      Also, we know that Lane is obviously very sexually frustrated within his marriage, and any sort kindness women show to him (Playboy bunny girlfriend, lost-wallet lady on the phone) is misconstrued as a mutual attraction. Lane is a very lonely guy. He messed up with Joan, but I think she’s too wise to let that get in the way of their work relationship. So yes, I didn’t like it, but it fits with the show very well and helped develop characters, etc.

      • I also really appreciated Joan’s actions immediately after the kiss where she coolly stood up, approached the door, is she leaving? Nope. Just opening the door to the outside world, like high school kids who can’t do anything risky in their room because a parent could poke their head in and check up on them at any moment. What a good idea. Joan knows what’s up. She probably knows all about closed doors. A parallel could probably be drawn from that to Handsome with his hand up the girl’s skirt in the Driver’s Ed classroom at the end of the episode. Another example of a generational divide perhaps?

        • I agree with you both that Joan handled the situation perfectly (because, duh, JOAN) and I actually ended up liking the scene because of her reaction and his sheepish apology, but I still found it kind of predictable on the show’s part. Other than Peggy/Don, we don’t get a lot of opposite sex friendships on this show without there being some underlying sexual tension (whether it’s mutual or one sided) and I had been enjoying watching their camaraderie grow without having to worry that at any moment Lane would fuck it up by hitting on her. I don’t think that he caused any irreparable damage, as evidenced by Joan’s acceptance and then dismissal of his mistake, but I found it to be a sort of cop out. I wish he could have interpreted her kindness as them reaching a deeper level to their friendship without taking it to “that” place, you know?

  19. What was with that door transition? It bugged me a lot.

    • I’m hoping that all the fancy camera stunts were Slattery’s homage to the revolutionary filmmakers of the 60s. Also, it was a little refreshing change from a traditionally shot MM episode.

  20. “I can’t believe how much I enjoyed watching you fix that sink.”

    I can.

  21. Dug how this episode showed how these characters have come from the first season. Especially since Lane used to admire and like Peter for much of the last two seasons! Don and Pete’s conversation also showed how much their dynamic has changed. Don never lost his temper and seemed legitimately disappointed in Peter and his decisions.

    I thought this episode did a good job of….if not humanizing, then certainly explaining Pete’s whole deal. He’s getting older and that’s terrifying to him! He lost a fight to a man atleast 15 years his senior! You get the sense he truly resents his daughter. The fact that Don is the closest thing Pete has to a friend at SCDP speaks volumes.

    Ken being mildly successful sci fi writer is a cool touch and I think it really grounds this show in a sense of reality. You know there had to be a ton of guys like him doing that. Roger telling him to knock it off was sad, talk about sour grapes.

  22. I liked when they cut to the beginning of partners meeting and Cooper was massaging Roger’s back whilst saying, “Don’t worry, Richard Nixon is lying in wait”, or something like that. That was funny.

  23. I liked the episode overall, but thought the dinner party scene was too long — not enough happened to warrant taking up practically a third of the episode. Watching it felt like actually being forced to attend a boring dinner party in the suburbs.

  24. you grimey little pimp IS a great line and no one can take away from it’s glory …. BUT my personal favorite mad men line of all time is when the young don draper overshares with a perfect stranger in a perfect way with, “didn’t ya hear? i’m a whore child!”

  25. oh also i don’t buy for a second that if don met megan first he wouldn’t have cheated. that’s just an absolute lie.

  26. I am truly surprised that no one has made mention of a man named “Hanson” blocking Pete’s access to an underaged female.

  27. It’s the first act. A gun was mentioned. Get ready for office rampage Pete Campbell by act three.

  28. what this episode proves is that we need more Trudy

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