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

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.

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.

Huh, I didn’t even know they gave awards.

Nominations are for Best Dramatic Series, Best New Series and the single episode “The Hobo Code.”

The awards will be given Wednesday, December 19.

Roberta is obsessed with Betty, but for me, it’s mostly Don (although all of the characters have their fascinations).

What I learned in Episode 12 was that Don is improvising, and he’s operating out of panic. We know a bit about his childhood; “I’m a whore-son” he said matter-of-factly in Episode 8. My thoughts at first was that he had an intense (and justifiable) urge to get away, that he was full of rage, and that he was a social climber. Dick Whitman couldn’t have the home in Ossining, so Dick Whitman had to be over.

But in Nixon vs. Kennedy I saw something different: Terror. Don fears he can be dragged back to “Dick Whitman, Whoreson” at any time. His escape hangs by the thinnest of threads. And all he really wants to do is run. He wants to run with Rachel. He wants to drown in the comfort that Rachel offers, and he wants that comfort to be a running away of a kind.

All of it is improv. He had no master plan when he became Don Draper, no plan when he buried his past, no plan when he didn’t get off the train. It’s all a little boy running away from home with his meager possessions tied in a bundle and resolutely refusing to cry.