1. Good morning! How are you today? A little late with the Mad Men recap, are we?
Yes, sorry. I didn’t get a chance to watch the show until Monday night; and by then, one of the episode’s biggest shockers had already been spoiled for me.
2. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and Joan going after Honda?
Nope. Sally Draper getting caught jilling off!
Really. Poor Sally. There’s no way that girl doesn’t end up royally messed up. Hopefully her new therapist will be able to do some good for Sally…and her crazytown mother.
4. And didn’t Don and Betty go a little nutso over the whole “Sally cuts her own hair” thing? I mean, I thought it looked better short.
So did I. And to be fair, I think Don was much more upset about the shit storm he was going to have to deal with when Betty found out. Talking about shit storm, that was quite the slap she administered to her daughter’s face. Overreact much?
5. At least Henry was there to be the voice of reason.
Yeah, wow. I’ve got to give Henry some more credit. Not only did he calm down Crazy Betty when she went off the handle, he also recommended that they look into a shrink for Sally. This guy is not a bad father figure, really. And neither is Don, come to think of it.
6. Why do you say that?
Well, while Betty has pretty much thrown up her hands in surrender and proclaimed Sally to be a lost cause, Don has been actively trying to figure out how to get through to his daughter. He even consulted noted marriage faker Dr. Miller (who wears that wedding ring on her finger so men will stop hitting on her all the time because she’s so smart and beautiful and now that Don knows the truth he’s totally going to tap that – Finger Bang Alert!). She gave him some very sound advice. She told him that she’s pretty sure that if Don loves Sally and she knows it, she’ll be fine.
7. Aww. Enough of all this family gobbledygook. What happened at work this week?
Don found out through the New York Times that some other ad man, Teddy (Shaw? Chah? I could never make out his last name) has been picking up all the scraps from SCDP. He got jai alai. And then he picked up Clearasil. Now he was going after Honda, an up-and-coming Japanese company.
8. I think I may have heard of them. What did SCDP do about Honda?
They went after it, thanks to Pete keeping his ear to the grindstone. Don had everyone in the company read the book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword to learn how to do business with the Japanese (Thankfully Pete had the foresight to remove all the death-signifying Chrysanthemums from the office before the Honda folks got there). They bought some gifts (a cantaloupe and two bottles of Johnny Walker Red), and tried to bow their way into the hearts of the Japanese businessmen.
8. How did the meeting go?
Swimmingly, at first. The Honda guys loved Joan, obviously. Very obviously, actually. They seemed to be impressed by what the CDP guys had to offer. Until the S (Sterling) walked into the room. He’s been holding a twenty-year grudge against the Japanese, since back when he was fighting them in Double-ya Double-ya Two.
Yeah. There were a lot of insensitive remarks about bombs and surrenders and whatnot. The Japanese businessmen were polite, but obviously perturbed. They didn’t even send the customary post-meeting gift to SCDP. Don knew they were out of the running, but he had a plan.
10. Ooh! I love savvy businessman Don! What did he do?
There were very strict rules as to how to present projects to the Honda people. Honda wanted no finished products, only mockups. They gave each ad agency only $3000 to make their pitch. Don wanted to go above and beyond and make a full commercial ad to bring in for their pitch. This almost gave Lane a heart attack because making the ad would bankrupt the company. But…Don had a stroke of brilliance.
11. What did he do?
He realized that if making the ad would bankrupt SCDP (making it fiscally impossible for them to pitch any other businesses the rest of the year), it would also bankrupt Teddy’s agency. He enlisted Peggy, Joan, and Peggy’s art designer to spend time at a film set making it look like they were making a commercial. Teddy found out about this and decided to make his own commercial. Teddy presented it to Honda. Don presented nothing to them. He resigned from the competition because he didn’t want to be part of a competition where rules were broken so willy-nilly.
12. And the Honda guys probably respected him more for that?
You’re darn tootin’. While Honda ultimately decided to stick with their current ad agency for the motorcycle division, SCDP was given the inside track to bid on the new automobile industry.
13. Do you think those Honda upstarts are gonna make a name for themselves stateside?
Only time will tell.
14. Now it’s time to get in the random bits of info I know you’re clamoring to include. What does Pete think about the Civil Rights Movement?
I’ve been very impressed with Mr. Campbell this season. His concise assessment of why the African-American people want civil rights: Lassie can stay at the Waldorf and they can’t. A little lacking in sensitivity maybe, but at least he acknowledges that there’s a problem (which is more than I can say for Roger Sterling).
15. How’s Anna’s doing?
No one’s returning calls to Don from California. I’m pretty sure she kicked the bucket.
16. Anything else?
I just want to say that I’m really not a fan of that ubiquitous actress who plays Bethany and who was the preacher’s wife on True Blood (and Pam’s sister onThe Office). And it’s totally my baggage. She reminds me of a weird girl I went to college with, who asked me inappropriate questions about my stance on birth control in the middle of choir practice.
What did you think about this week’s Mad Men? Based on the preview, are you looking forward to seeing how the show’s writers fill in the blanks between all those non sequitur lines?