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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Don Draper goes to a Cadillac dealer to inspect a new Coupe De Ville.
He has been referred by Roger Sterling. The salesman is impressed,
figuring this man can afford the car. As Don takes a look and goes
around the vehicle, he goes back in time to another place where he was
the eager young salesman. The family he is selling the car decides not
to buy it. A strange woman, that has been standing quietly behind the
group. Don asks her if he could help. Her reply: "You are not Don
Draper", which leaves him stunned. Don walks out of the dealership
without making a purchase.
Ken Cosgrove's ambition is to be a writer. During a chat, Sal reveals he has read a story by him. Naturally, Ken is impressed. He offers to have Sal take a look at his latest story. Sal gratefully invites Ken for a Sunday lunch at his suburban home. The lunch goes well, except for Kitty, who feels lost and out of place because her husband has diverted all his attention to Ken. After Ken leaves, Sal discovers his lighter and pockets it.
One thing that causes excitement is the Martison's coffee presentation by the Smith team. The executives like the calypso-like jingle with its catchy message and melody. Peggy likes what she heard. Duck Phillips comes to congratulate Don for having landed the Martinson's account. At this point, Jane, comes in the office to inform Don that Roger is waiting for him to celebrate. Duck, it appears, hasn't been included. Duck, who has been bringing the dog to the agency, takes it downstairs and frees him from the collar as he closes the door and walks back to the office.
The speculation of a new painting by Bert Cooper causes quite a stir in the office. Everyone wants to take a look at it, but since it's located inside the boss' office, no one can actually see it, unless being asked to the inner sanctum. Jane decides to take the group to inspect the Mark Rothko abstract picture. They don't know what to make out of the intriguing red painting.
Joan, who knows about the unauthorized visit to Mr. Cooper's office, comes by to talk to Jane. They two have words about the incident, but Jane proves to be a good fighter. As a result, Joan fires Jane. She wants to have her out of the office right away. Jane who is holding her belongings as she leaves, pays a visit to Roger's office. Roger, a womanizer, if there was one, sees the possibilities with Jane. He promises he will talk with Joan and to return to her desk on Monday, as though nothing had ever happened. Monday morning comes, and a defiant Joan stops by to see why Jane has come back against her orders. Jane mentions the magical name: Roger Sterling and it's clear to Joan that her former lover will take Jane under his wing.
Jimmy Barrett has made a point to invite Betty to the big party in his honor to introduce him and the series. At the party, Jimmy takes her away and he accuses Don to be having an affair with Bobbie. Sally is shocked, but as she looks across the way at a group where her man and his wife are seen talking animately, she realizes the two are involved. As Don goes to tell Jimmy they are leaving, the comedian becomes quite verbal in his accusations against Don. On the way home Betty and Don ride in complete silence until Betty throws up all over the new Coupe De Ville.
Andrew Bernstein is the director of this chapter of "Mad Men". The writing is by Maria and Andrew Jacquemetton and Jane Anderson. This episode brings up the issue of office sex politics as Jane doesn't have a problem going to Roger to secure her job. Also, the past keeps returning to Don's mind, plus his extra marital activities are finally catching up with him. Good performances by the cast. Also there's a hint of homosexuality in Sal's behavior, which will probably surface later on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Again, another will go on to be even better, but at the time of airing,
it was the best of the season.
There is really so much to love about this episode. There's the surprisingly entertaining subplot of Costgrove's short story writing, which seems dull but was actually quite interesting. There's the Elliot Schwartz cameo, something that has nothing to do with quality but made me a little biased towards the episode. And of course, there is the absolutely brilliant scene with the Barrets and the Drapers.
My biggest praise goes to five people: Jon Hamm, January Jones, Jane Anderson, Andre Jacquemetton, and Maria Jacquemetton. The first two are actors, the other three wrote the episode. They all did a great job.
The penultimate scene, in which Betty learns about Don's affair from the same man that goes on to practically spit in Don's face, is one of the best scenes in the recent memory of the show.
However, one scene in this episode is even better. In fact, it's my favorite scene in the show so far. It is a simpler moment. It is Joan walking up to Jane. I don't even like the dialogue that follows that much. But the walking is incredible. Something about the camera- work, the facial expressions on both principal characters, and, and this is important, the thrilling music that plays makes this scene possibly the best so far.
This is great television.
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