Roberta said it first: Don loves Rachel.

Until my DVDs came, I had only seen Marriage of Figaro once—the only episode of Mad Men for which that was true. I didn’t start saving them right away, and around the time they were rebroadcast, I was in the midst of switching from Tivo (rocks) to Io DVR (sucks) and screwed up the recording. It’s an amazing and important episode, and I’d only seen it once. So I rewatched it right away, pausing only to write up everything and watch an extra feature.

Anyway.

In the early part of the season, I wondered if Don wasn’t seriously, even suicidally, depressed. (more…)

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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…)

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…)

So, Eme (sometimes Eme Kay), Basket of Kisses reader and frequent discussion chime-in-er, purchased herself the production script of the Wheel (how did we survive before eBay?), and was terrifically kind enough to share it with us truly. I was expecting to enjoy it for the cool factor, but what I didn’t expect was to come across lines that were cut. And I’m not talking about lines that were chopped out by AMC after the original broadcast; the version of the Wheel that I have recorded is in fact the uncut one (with the ‘deleted scene‘). No, I’m talking about lines that never made it to air. Possibly never made it to shoot.

There’s plenty in this treasure chest, but let me start with this:

(I omitted stage direction– Cooper flips through book— but left in character direction; emphasis mine for lines that were not included in the episode as it aired.)

DON
Are those the legendary secret files of Bert Cooper?

COOPER
No. I have to write a report to the board. My sister Alice is quite a business woman. It’s hard to be scrutinized by your sister.

DON
Those reports are always the same. This year, big, next year, bigger.

Okay so can I just say, Alice? Let’s hope we get to meet her in Season Two! Fascinating premise, and this goes back to the discussions we’ve had regarding acceptable (by BoK standards) celebrity cameos.

COOPER
(laughs)
I got a call from Abraham Menken. I’m sure you know that his daughter will be unavailable for the next three months– taking some sort of ocean voyage to Paris and whatnot.

Don tries to hide his surprise.

DON
I hadn’t heard that.
(then)
But otherwise?

COOPER

(irritated)
There is no otherwise. Why is this man calling me?

And I take a moment right here to appreciate the acting. And acting in general. You read the words on the page, and then you hear how much the actor breathes into it. A primitive insight, perhaps, but there you go.

DON
(firmly)
I don’t know. Was he unhappy?

COOPER
Roger told me you had difficulty working with this woman. As a partner, I do not expect your personal preferences to interfere with our business.

DON
Who says they have?

COOPER
It was the tone of his voice. He’s her father.

That’s it, cowboy. If I don’t see you, have a nice holiday.

Holy! So it seems that, as it was originally scripted, Cooper did not see all when it came to Rachel and Don’s affair. Which, for the record, I had never been convinced about; the words ‘personal preferences’ hearkened directly back to everyone’s take on Don’s relationship with Rachel based on their first horrible meeting in the pilot. It was Cooper’s “cowboy” that cast doubt, for me.

But I’m wondering… am I better informed now, or was the line cut for the purpose of giving the impression that Cooper knows?

This is one of those times I wish I could speak to Matthew Weiner. I am generally quite content with the nebulous nature of this show; all the gray areas and answers that Mr. Weiner may not specifically have. But this one is specific and I think there’s an answer.

(Wait. ALICE COOPER??? HA HA HA HA HAAAHH!!!!)

I have a source on this, and she’s a friend of mine with an inside track, and she totally won’t give up any information until it’s like public anyway, but I wrote her last night after reading Hullabaloo’s comment. I figure, let me try again. getting. some information. out of my friend. I’ve bugged her bunches of times and she keeps blowing me off. She’s a lovely young girl, but also a little ditzy. (So like, she forgets I’m dying for information she has, she forgets she has said no to me. It’s all good.)

From my friend:

Yeah, she is a series regular on Sons of Anarchy……she’ll be back as Rachel, but I don’t know how many episodes.

Notice the number of dots in the ellipses. Ditzy. But a good girl, nonetheless. And so, here we are, chock full of scoopy insideness, right? Well, it’s something, anyway. dot dot dot dot dot dot

(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.

Grace Dent of the Huffington Post seems to be a Mad Men fan.

Or is she?

She wrote a fun piece today all about fashion on TV, featuring lovely photos from Mad Men. Three of them, in fact, all Joan.

And yet, she refers to Betty Draper.

Betty Draper from Mad Men does ice cool femininity better than anyone since Grace Kelly.

See? That’s Joan. Ice cool is Joan. What is funny, of course, that she has the Grace Kelly thing right.

So actually, if you investigate further, there’s a whole other section with a shot of Rachel. Which is quite nice:

Yeah, suddenly that land is looking all “glamorous”, “swoonsome” and “va-va-voom”, to quote some recent reviews. And you can see why. No man here would walk around in oversized T-shirts and cropped combat trousers; instead, it’s dark grey suits and smart tailoring. As for the women, it’s all tight cardigans, wasp-waisted full skirts and ladylike dresses – in short, a look Anna Wintour has been wearing for years. The only kind of trousers a woman sports are Audrey Hepburn-esque narrow cropped ones, and only if she’s a bit of a rebel, which on this show seems to mean “recently divorced”.