Roger Sterling is like a walking sense of entitlement. He was more or less born into his job. His name, as he says in Red in the Face, is on the building, and he even acknowledges that makes him feel entitled. He thinks he can and should have any woman just for the taking, so that he is disgusting with the twins in Long Weekend (suggesting incest is A Bad Thing) and angry at Don for being more attractive in the bar in Red in the Face. How dare anyone usurp his entitlement?

He’s also really insecure, maybe because he hasn’t actually earned anything. He wants to restrict Joan; keep her in a birdcage, and that feels like both: entitlement and insecurity. Right of ownership combined with fear of losing her.

The most telling thing of all is the dialogue with Don in Shoot; Don considers the McCann-Erickson offer, Roger says he’d be afraid of failure. Don is not afraid. Don says he might leave advertising, Roger says “What else is there?” Don runs away, true, but he also runs forward; he remakes himself. And Roger can’t do that, he can only hang back. And diddle women to persuade himself he isn’t full of fear. Roger is a guy who doesn’t know what else there is.

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I just figured something out: Betty has a clear vision of who she is. The thing is, she very rarely expresses that vision; she very rarely even allows herself to know she has that vision.

In Shoot, she has perhaps her most revealing therapy session. She talks about how important it was to her mother that Betty be beautiful, how she pushed her in that direction. But then, when Betty became a model, her mother disapproved strongly; called her “a prostitute” (which is holy shit, pretty nasty).

Now we see her anger at her mother, and also her anger at Don (although they don’t discuss that). Just as mother tried to stop her from modeling, Don succeeded at stopping her (by getting her pregnant and marrying her and moving her to the suburbs, away from the Manhattan modeling world). As she tells the story of the end of her modeling career, her voice gets flatter, less animated, sadder word-by-word (great acting, that).

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Okay, here’s a thing.

In Shoot, Jim Hobart, from McCann Erickson. He’s on the phone with Don, pitching the woo, and says, to show how much power they have:

“You want to sell corn, we do a show about Indians”.

The very next scene, Betty is talking to Dr. Wayne. (I included more of this than is necessary for my point; I just really like this monologue. I got a lot of it… not all, but a nice chunk.)

“He was just a copywriter at the fur company. I remember he saw that I didn’t like giving the coat back. That’s always the hardest part.

He asked me out. He wasn’t shy. I liked that. I said no. Then three weeks later the coat arrived at my apartment. Who knows what kind of Indian trading he had to do to get it.”

Hmm.

And in the final dinner scene between Don and Betty, there is corn on the cob on the table.

Does it have a secret meaning? Is it a subtler theme than even birds or trains?

Or maybe it’s just lyrical. Sometimes, I will place a word into a song (or a blog, for that matter), because it just sounds pretty. Maybe this painting just needed a touch of blue here, here and here, to have it be just so.

That’s a fun title if you like typing “oo.” Which I don’t particularly.

Roberta just reminded us of her long, interesting post about discussing Shoot with Matt Weiner.

Roberta said:

Often [Matt Weiner]…gets a visual and works from there. So at some point he saw Betty in a pose with a golden retriever, and holding a green bottle. His plan was to use Heineken, but they didn’t want in (or, their lawyers didn’t). Coke was a great fit, because they were an actual client of McCann-Erickson, the agency that was wooing Don in Shoot.

Now, as we know, Coke has brown/black bottles (clear pale green bottles with Coke-colored liquid, actually; creating a black/brown NOT GREEN effect).

In Shoot, Jim Hobart of McCann-Erickson starts seducing Betty for the Coke campaign, comparing her to Grace Kelly, and saying:

Your coloring with a green bottle and an Irish setter…

Except hello! Coke. Not. Green. So presumably that line was written when it was going to be Heineken, and then never fixed.

I love catching stuff like that.

Mad Men seems to have taken home another trophy, this time at the 12th annual Art Directors Guild Awards.

— Excellence in Production Design for an Episode of a Single Camera Television Series: “Mad Men” — Episode 9 “Shoot”. Dan Bishop, production designer.

No doubt, this is the kind of kudos we expected all along. When I first started watching, what I told people was that at the very least the production, filming, set design/dressing would get props. Not that those elements are least.

I just re-watched Shoot the other day. Stunning.

SO not to beat a dead Weiner horse, but he spoke extensively about the episode. I asked him (I actually never finished my long and wind-y question, because he jumped right in, and Janet Maslin interrupted, and I interjected into her interruption, and herds of antelope and kittens were running wild in the streets) about his themes, like birds and trains, and he picked up the bird talk and ran with it.

First he mentioned that the new testament considered birds to be good symbol. (more…)