Where have we heard that before?

Nixon vs Kennedy. Rachel to Don, when he wants them to run away together. Don to Pete, when he attempts blackmail. You haven’t thought this through. You haven’t thought this through.

In the Wheel, Don learns that Adam has hung himself. (more…)

In Hobo Code she was still a party girl (witness The Twist, and also ‘we all work so hard’). By Nixon vs. Kennedy, not only was she a tight-ass, but she had a reputation as such.

Ken: Draper has plenty of booze.

They look towards Peggy, working at her desk despite the party around her.

Ken: (continues) We could ask her to join us. That might soften her up.

So what happened?

Okay. In Hobo Code she finally gets to have sex with Pete again. And I’m sorry folks, goodness knows I am not a fan of Mr. Campbell, but it was kind of beautiful. Evidenced by the tenderness between them afterwards… even from him. (more…)

Not if she could help it.

Awhile ago we got into a feisty discussion about Rachel’s reaction to Don wanting to run away in NvK.

(And lately we’ve been so filled up with news and scoops. But we still love talking about the show!)

No. Something happened and, I want to go and I want you to come with me and I don’t want to come back.

What happened?

What does it matter, isn’t this what you want?…

…You want your children to go on without a father? You know how that felt.

Are you having an attack of conscience after all this?

No. I’m watching you talk because I feel I don’t know you.

You know more about me than anyone.

You won’t even tell me what happened.

And so I think this is where it begins.

In Don’s partial defense, I don’t think that he can physically speak the words (the answer to ‘what happened’.) But I think that his anger at Rachel serves to seal this window shut; I believe that Don doesn’t tell Rachel what happened. Ever. Regardless of how this scene turns out. They run off to Buenos Aires? She still never finds out why. (more…)

We just received an email from a self-proclaimed long-time BoK lurker. (We love that more of you are de-lurking!)

She is an Emmy voter, and just received… ahh, screw it, I’ll just pull it from the email.

As a long-time “lurker” on your blog, I wanted to give you the heads up (if you’re interested) that as an Emmy voter I just received AMC’s Emmy “For Your Consideration” DVD package today containing six episodes each of “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.” I was so excited that they sent half the season that of course it’s in my DVD player right now. The episodes AMC is sending out for consideration are as follows:

“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
“The Hobo Code”
“Long Weekend”
“Nixon vs. Kennedy”
“The Wheel”

I wouldn’t want the job of narrowing the selection down! Can’t wait to vote for my favorite newcomer!

That is a lot of great stuff to pull from. A-freaking-mazing!

She gave me permission to print this, but I posted so fast I didn’t ask if I could print her name, so I didn’t. So R, feel free to out yourself if you like. And thanks for the scoop!


R & D

Don: It shouldn’t have been that close.

Cooper: But it is; it always is.

Whedonesque has been talking a lot lately about the HBO film Recount (it is written by Danny Strong, who played Jonathan, a recurring character on my beloved Buffy, the Vampire Slayer). I don’t have HBO, so I was missing the buzz. It looks amazing. It premiered this weekend. If you saw it, do tell.

Television Without Pity has a wonderful interview with Danny. His approach to this topic (the 2000 presidential election and its ridiculous results) is well worth reading about. EW also has a great article about the film.

During my initial viewing of Nixon vs. Kennedy, way back when, I couldn’t help but think of the 2000 election debacle.

Now I’m not sure how much the writers, Lisa Albert, Andre & Maria Jacquemetton, (and of course, always Weiner at the helm), intended the modern day metaphor. I can’t imagine it escaped their collective gaze, but at the same time, it seemed like they didn’t much play it up. I think that what was more important in terms of serving the show was the comparison of Nixon v Kennedy and Draper v Campbell. (more…)

Two thoughts this last time I watched Nixon vs. Kennedy (okay, a zillion thoughts; two I’m posting about here).

First: Holes. At the beginning of the Hobo Code flashback, Dick “Bowlcut” Whitman is digging a hole. For fun. His stepmother asks him to stop. In the opening of the final flashback in Nixon vs. Kennedy, Private Dick Whitman is digging a hole. Nice visual continuity, that.

Second: Fairness. In discussing the outcome of the presidential race, Cooper tells Don that Nixon will allow Kennedy’s election shenanigans in Chicago to go uncontested so that he’ll have a chance to run again. (It was more complicated than that, but that’s how he tells it.) Don says that it doesn’t sound fair, a phrase which brings astonishment to Cooper’s face.

Later, Peggy says that what happened in the office isn’t fair. The first time I saw this episode, I thought that the phrase of Peggy’s that pushed Don past his fear was “some people…people who aren’t good can do whatever they want” (I may have that imperfectly worded, but it’s close). But at that point I didn’t notice the parallel “fair”s, and we do know that Peggy parallels Don. I think the simple, plaintive “It’s not fair,” the child’s voice that was never answered, never soothed, is what ultimately compels Don to at last fight back.

Okay, one last parallel. Rachel calls Don a coward. Don remembers that he was a coward; he pissed himself. And y’know? He’s still pissing himself. Calling Pete’s bluff, he is, at last (in a way that honestly doesn’t soothe him, merely surprises him) not a coward.

In The Hobo Code, Salvatore says “I know what I want.” In Nixon vs. Kennedy, we get to see what he wants.

They’re reading Paul’s play, and the scene ends with Salvatore’s character kissing Joan’s character. They kiss, the audience responds, and—probably because of the audience response—Sal gives it all he’s got, dipping her back and making quite a show of it. The office goes wild, whooping and cheering, and the camera gives us a close-up of Sal’s reaction; beaming, joyful, fulfilled. This is what he wants, this praise for being “a man,” for being, well, heterosexual, for doing it right. It is the only moment when we see Salvatore really happy.

In a video posted on AMC’s Mad Men blog, Alan Taylor (who directed Smoke Gets In Your Eyes as well as Ladies Room and Nixon vs. Kennedy) talks about stylistic uses of the camera that set the period every bit as much as the costumes. Interesting!

Check it out.

(I don’t usually issue spoiler warnings, because we started this blog after the first season had aired, but this little entry does reveal something from the finale, so if you’re about to see it for the first time this weekend, just hang out and read this next week.)

In the Wheel, Don finds out, through a disgruntled Bertram Cooper, that Rachel has gone on a three month ocean voyage.

Rachel’s objection to Don’s let’s-run-away panic was, among other things, that she couldn’t just up and leave her life.

(Though I’m not gonna lie. A three month ocean voyage seems a perfect plan to get away from and potentially over a romance gone bad. Especially one that mixes with your professional life.)

But also of course, it is ironic because Don’s let’s-run-away panic was, as it turned out, premature and unnecessary. Everything turned out fine. Oh, it’s hindsight week here at BoK.

Ahh, 20-20 hindsight. Writers, of course, plan a season, and know what they’re doing.

In Hobo Code, when everyone is out partying and doing the Twist, there is a teeny quick shot of Harry asking Hildy to dance, and a few moments later you see them Twisting up a storm with each other.

(It also happens to be a bad continuity snag. Harry had, seconds earlier, walked away from Pete with two glasses, heading for refills. I mean it’s possible that he could have put them down because he wanted to dance, but the timing was tight, and really is unlikely.)

Oh, those crazy kids.