Sunday, April 13, 2014

Signal 30 – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.5

Lane Pryce and Pete Campbell fistfightSynopsis: Lane Pryce becomes friends with the senior vice president of public relations for Jaguar and desires to be the one to bring the account to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  His inexperience as an account man leads the other partners of the firm to take over revealing the friend of Lane’s proclivity for prostitutes.  Pete Campbell attends driver’s education, lusts for the young woman in the class, and ends up with a prostitute to Don Draper’s dismay.  Cynthia Cosgrove brags about her husband’s work as a science fiction novelist at a dinner at the Campbells causing Roger Sterling to order Ken to put a stop to it.

Episode Summary: Pete Campbell attends a driver’s education class and begins to lust for the young woman in the class.  He returns to his suburban home only to be kept awake by the sound of a dripping faucet.  Unable to bear the incessant dripping, Pete takes out his toolbox and begins fixing the faucet in the middle of the night.  He surprises himself when he manages to stop the dripping.Continue reading...

Rebecca Pryce nags her husband, Lane Pryce, about getting dressed so they can meet her new acquaintances at a pub to watch football.  Lane has no fond memories of spending hours in a pub watching football, but agrees to the wishes of his homesick wife who wants to spend her day in the company of fellow English immigrants.  Lane finds himself having an enjoyable time at the pub as he and his compatriots celebrate England’s win of the World Cup with loud cheers.  Moreover, Edwin Baker, the husband of Rebecca’s newfound friend turns out to be the senior vice president of public relations for Jaguar Cars Incorporated.  He suggested that Lane’s firm give him a call, because they are currently looking for a new agency to break them into the American market.  Lane breaks the news to the partners and all except Pete are ecstatic about the new business.  All, however, are concerned of having Lane take the driver’s seat on this account, fully aware that he is not an account man.  Roger Sterling volunteers to become Lane’s unsought adviser.  He goes over the request for proposal from Jaguar with Lane, who is intimidated with the questions.  Roger advises that the best way to answer the questions is to have the client do it, and notes that he had done it before with the Dr. Scholl’s client.  He recommends that Lane stay sober through dinner, while making sure that the client does the opposite.  He tells him that it is best to let the client do the talking and he will learn that somewhere in the middle of the entrĂ©e, the client will share a revelation.  Roger, however, advises Lane not to delve into it until dessert at which point he is to reveal that he shares the client’s problem.  Having formed a relationship with a supposed problem shared by both of them, Lane would have forged a friendship with the client deep enough to have the client feel obligated to do him a favor by filling out the request for proposal.  Lane worries that the client might be reticent.  In that event, Roger recommends that Lane do the reverse and feed the client his story enough to have him share his as well.

Peggy Olson bumps into Ken Cosgrove in a diner and finds him unwilling to introduce her to the man he claims as Cynthia’s uncle.  Peggy becomes annoyed believing that Ken has violated the pact of taking her with him when he finds a better job at another agency.  He later informs Peggy that the man he was with was truly an editor from Farrar Straus.  Ken has kept writing under the Ben Hargrove nom de plume after his success in the fantasy and science fiction genre.  His wife, Cynthia, has spoken with the publishing house and has convinced them to take the best twenty of his works and turn them into a collection.

Pete invites Don and Megan Draper for dinner at his house on Saturday.  Don fails to shirk from the invitation that he orders his wife to cancel with Trudy Campbell.  Ostensibly, Trudy had inveigled the Drapers into accepting the invitation after she had informed Megan that Don already agreed to dine with them.  Megan, who likes Trudy, refuses to be the one to cancel and tells her husband to make the cancelation himself.  Don gives Trudy a call and finds the woman ready to pounce on his excuses determined to have the dinner happen some other evening if not that Saturday.  He finds himself unable to escape having dinner with the Campbells and acquiesces to the invitation.

Ken and Cynthia Cosgrove are already at the Campbells where Pete shows off his enormous stereo.  Don and Megan arrive bearing brownies from William Greenberg bringing nostalgia to Pete, who terribly misses Manhattan having spent most of his life there.  Pete could not contain his and Trudy’s delight at Don coming to dinner and Pete makes him aware of it.  Dinner ensues and Trudy begins to speak of the history of their neighborhood, Cos Cob.  At that time, Don and Megan still could not remember the name of Ken’s wife, but learn that the two have settled in a humble neighborhood in Jackson Heights, Queens despite Cynthia’s family being well off.  Cynthia confesses that unlike Trudy’s parents, hers requires something in exchange for every favor asked.  Megan finds the country delightful, but Ken, who grew up in rural Vermont, and Don in a farm with an outhouse do not share the same enchantment for the country.  Pete agrees that it is a charming neighborhood, but confesses to have many varmints causing Ken to divulge that Pete had kept the BB rifle he got for a wedding present.  The conversation turns to the sniper Charles Whitman, who murdered at least twenty people, and it made Trudy uncomfortable enough to ask to change the subject.  Megan, at last, learns of the name of the wife of Ken and almost reveals of not remembering it when she exclaims her name after finally hearing it.  Ken tries to prevent his wife from telling them of his work as a writer, but Cynthia is too proud of what he had accomplished that she reveals that his secret career as a writer was what brought them together.  Cynthia worked at the publishing company that had rejected Ken’s works numerous times.  Intrigued at Ken’s work, they urge her to share the novel Ken wrote.  Cynthia shares with them the plot of The Punishment of X4 where the main character is a robot whose job is to maintain the bridge between two planets where thousands of humans travel on every day.  The robot, however, removes a bolt from the bridge causing it to collapse killing everyone on it.  Learning of Ken’s secret life, Don shares that Megan came to New York to become an actress and had gone on auditions on a few commercials.  It was there that she decided to work for an advertising agency believing it to be a fun work place and eventually seeing herself working in creative.  The women go to the kitchen to get the desserts only to be sprayed with water from the faucet prompting the men to see what caused the screams and laughter.  Don takes action as a flustered Pete rushes for his toolbox.  He found that the supply was turned all the way up, something Pete had done for it stopped the leak unaware that doing so was just a coincidence.  The palaver, however, woke up the baby, but her cries melted everyone’s hearts including Don.  On their way home, Don, who is too drunk and horny to drive, asks Megan to pull over that they can make love.  Megan does so after being frightened with Pete’s car accident statistics and after being turned on by her husband fixing the sink.

Lane is having dinner with Edwin trying very hard to follow Roger’s suggestions.  He learns that Edwin had spent three years in North Africa during the war living like a dog, but mistakenly associates the man’s memories with melancholy.  Edwin, in fact, confesses that he had the best time of his life in North Africa for he associates it with his youth.  Lane, however, could not relate for he spent the war working as a supply assistant in Rosyth that he did not even spend any time away from Britain.  Finding that they do not have anything in common, Lane asks if Edwin’s wife is pleased with them being immigrants in America hoping that his wife shares the same homesickness as Rebecca.  Edwin, however, states that he has not a complaint in the world. He returns to the office the next day with news of his failure prompting Pete to suggest that he let the account men and Don meet with Edwin for dinner to talk about business allowing Lane to maintain his personal relationship with Edwin.  Lane is disappointed at having been thrown to the sidelines, but consents to the plan.  Don, Roger, and Pete have dinner with Edwin and Don proposes that they deliver the message that the Jaguar XKE is pornographic.  Edwin confesses that he intends to hand the account to them, but he would like to have a good time and makes it clear to them of the lasciviousness of his desires.  Roger brings all of them to a high-end brothel where everyone but Don succumbs to the allure of the women.  Seeing him at the bar without a woman beside him made the madam mistake him for a cop.  Learning that he is not, she entices him with other prospects, but Don continues to decline the offer noting that he grew up in a whorehouse.  After a salacious night, they drop off Edwin to his home leaving Pete and Don in the cab.  Pete, overcome with guilt especially after becoming aware that Don did not succumb to temptation, becomes upset with the man.  Although Don had said nothing the whole evening, Pete believes that the man is judging him that he confronts Don about it.  Don did find Pete sleeping with a whore abhorrent, because he saw that Pete had risked throwing his happy life with his wife and child for a night of lust.

Pete attends another driver’s education class and converses with Jenny Gunther, the young woman who confesses to find the accidents shown in class gruesome.  Moreover, the young woman becomes worried about the violence that struck Chicago and the University of Texas that troubled many especially parents and children.  She finds that the world has changed and that time has been slipping them by.  Pete could not agree more.  She finds herself revealing her love for the botanical gardens.  Pete claims that his family had donated part of it and invites the young woman to see it with him.  The young woman declines the invitation without being blunt about it.  He asks the young woman again the next time they meet and she continues to make excuses.  The arrival of Handsome, her classmate in Chemistry, provides her an opportunity to escape Pete’s prodding.

Roger learns of Ken’s work as a writer and reproaches the man for it accusing him of having his attention divided because of it.  He then leaves Ken in his office to ponder on their conversation and attends the partners’ meeting.  A livid Lane arrives and asks Joan Holloway-Harris to leave the room.  Lane goes on a rampage about losing the Jaguar account due to the previous night’s activities.  The events of which Edwin’s wife learned after finding her husband with chewing gum on his pubis, information that caused laughter amongst the men, which only angered Lane even more.  Lane is in disbelief at Pete’s statement that it was Edwin, who wanted to spend a salacious evening, believing that his friend has no taste in such activities.  Pete insults Lane with a statement that Edwin had not shared his proclivity for lasciviousness, because he found him to be a homosexual.  Lane continues with his tirade with an accusation that they had lost his account to which Pete argues that their need for him had expired the day after he fired them.  Lane challenges Pete to a fistfight to address the insults slung at him.  Pete looks at the other partners for help, but they remain silent eager to see the two fight like men.  He accepts the challenge and Pete lands the first punch, but Lane fights back drawing blood from Pete’s nose.  The men continue to watch as Peggy arrives at Joan’s office to find her listening through the intercom.  Lane lands a few more punches on Pete enough to knock him down on the floor ending the fight and prompting the men to come to the fallen man’s aid.  Pete is up on his feet despite the bloody nose and returns to his office just as Lane did.  He, with a bruised face and ego, decides to leave the office and finds Don holding the elevator for him.  Pete, in tears, confesses that he has nothing.  Joan comes to Lane’s aid with a bucket of ice and consoling words.  Pete’s statements made the man ponder of his role in the agency.  Her words, however, stirred passion in Lane.   He kisses her passionately.  Joan does not reject the man, but shows her disapproval by opening the door of his office.  Lane apologizes for his actions.  Joan accepts it and continues to be his friend with a statement that he had done what everyone wanted to do to Pete.  There is truth in her statement and Ken could attest to that for he believes that it was Pete, who tattled to Roger of his extracurricular activities.  He informs Peggy that he is putting Ben Hargrove to bed, which he does but gives life to Dave Algonquin with a new novel called “The Man with the Miniature Orchestra”.  The protagonist who is miserable with his life in the country resembles Pete.  There is no end to Pete’s misery as he attends the driver’s education class and finds Jenny in the arms of Handsome.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Episode 1 Season 2 – The Tudors Episode Summary 2.1

Queen Catherine of Aragon leaves court
Synopsis: King Henry VIII is made the Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England as far as the law of Christ allows.  The bishops have agreed to the title, because the caveat invalidates the whole bill.  Lord Rochford identifies Bishop Fisher as the person preventing the King from receiving full authority over the Church of England.  He orders the murder of Bishop Fisher.  Meanwhile, Queen Catherine of Aragon refuses to relinquish her role as King Henry’s lawful wife.

Episode Summary: Ambassador Chapuys returns to London in 1532 with a letter of encouragement and support for Sir Thomas More’s efforts in championing the cause of the Queen Catherine of Aragon.  Sir Thomas More, however, requests that Ambassador Chapuys not deliver it to him for although he has gained the confidence of the King he finds that no one is indispensable in the eyes of King Henry VIII.  Accepting the letter will do their cause a disservice for it will only bring forth suspicion and prevent Sir Thomas More from boldly speaking in favor of the Queen.Continue reading...

King Henry VIII summons Sir Thomas More to convey to him the complaint from the House of Commons regarding the cruel behavior and the abuses of the prelates and the clergy.  Moreover, the King relays to him the supposed desire of his people to be free of clerical rule.  Although Sir Thomas condemns the abuses of the clergy, he makes it clear that he cannot condone the vision of private belief and personal grace.  He continues to support the Church, believing it to be a palpable community that is the permanent and living sign of God’s presence.  Despite his beliefs, Sir Thomas assures the King that his loyalty and love for him prevents him from speaking against the King in public.  King Henry VIII arrives at the Parliament in Westminster to speak to the Lords and Graces about the charges laid against them.  They have been accused of betraying their King and their country for supporting the authority of the late Cardinal Wolsey and the Bishop of Rome.  King Henry VIII states that it is his sacred duty sealed before God and by solemn oath at his coronation to restore right order on Earth and assert the immunities and princely liberties of their realm and crown.  The Bishop of Rochester, Bishop Fisher, addresses the Lords and His Majesty regarding the request to admit King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church in England.  Bishop Fisher states that agreeing to the request will result in abandoning the unity with the See of Rome.  He warns of their realm drowning in a wave of heresies, sects, schisms and divisions that will separate them from the Christian world.  Archbishop Warham recommends giving King Henry VIII the title of Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England as far as the law of Christ allows.  None of the Lords and Graces expressed contempt to the proposition and so the King becomes the head of the Church of England.  King Henry VIII informs Anne Boleyn of the decision delighting the woman who believes that her rise to the throne as the new Queen of England is nearing.  Her father, Lord Rochford, however, apprises Anne of what truly happened at the tribunal.  The Bishops had indeed voted for the King to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England, but they had added a caveat that bounds his authority under the law of Christ.  Lord Rochford remains hopeful believing that only one man stands in their way, and that is Bishop Fisher.

Mr. Cromwell introduces the obscure cleric, Mr. Cranmer, to George Boleyn, who was recently tasked to negotiate with the Graces following the Convocation of the Bishops.  He reports that two bishops, Bishop Fisher and Archbishop Warham, remain recalcitrant to the King’s wishes.  Later, George Boleyn and Lord Rochford meet with the cook, Mr. Roose.  The cook receives money, a vial, and a threat against his family if he fails in his mission.  Mr. Roose nervously pours the contents of the vial to the pot of soup he is stirring.  The pot of soup is sent to the dining room where the bishops including Sir Thomas More are dining and discussing the success of invalidating the bill that makes the King the head of the Church of England through the addition of the caveat.  Bishop Fisher asks one of the servers to give him only a small helping of soup.  Everyone is given a bowl except for Sir Thomas More, who refused getting one.  Bishop Fisher asks if Sir Thomas has considered resigning his post as Chancellor and delights at hearing that Sir Thomas has decided to keep his position in order to fight for Christendom.  Soon, the Graces who have been devouring the soup begin to gag and die from the poisoned soup.  Bishop Fisher, who ate only a small amount of the soup, survived the poisoning.

Sir Thomas More reports the incident to the King and of the rumors surrounding the identity of the person who sought the bishop’s death.  He informs the King that Wiltshire and Boleyn have been rumored to order the murder.  Moreover, Lady Anne has been suspected of involvement.  King Henry becomes livid at hearing the accusation against Lady Anne believing that people find her at fault for every unfortunate event in their realm.  Although Sir Thomas refuses to impute anyone for the murderous deed, he warns the King about not seeking justice for the crime for it would appear that the murders were done with his blessing.  Mr. Roose, indeed, has been sent to the Tower of London.  The cook has been tortured to divulge the identity of the person who ordered the murders.  Lord Rochford joins Mr. Cromwell’s interrogation to ensure that the man remains silent.  Mr. Roose refuses to divulge the person who conceived the crime.  He is sentenced to die by boiling.

Mr. Cromwell presents Mr. Cranmer to the King stating that it was he who posited that the Great Matter is a theological and not a legal issue.  Hearing of this, King Henry VIII appoints Mr. Cranmer as his personal chaplain.  The cleric could barely utter a word to express his gratitude.  King Henry VIII later speaks with Lord Suffolk after learning that he married Catherine Brook, his seventeen-year old ward, that his young son may have a mother.  The King, fully aware of Lord Suffolk’s proclivity to philandering, feels sorry for the young bride.  Although Lord Suffolk does not contest the King’s incredulity, he does declare that his love and admiration for Ms. Brook has brought a change in him.

Anne Boleyn wakes in her bed as the ray of sunlight hits her eyes.  Beside her lay the poet, Thomas Wyatt, who professes his eternal love for her.  Thomas makes love to Anne Boleyn only to wake and find that it was only a dream.  The following day, he sees Anne, now addressed as Lady Anne.  Mr. Wyatt has found status in court through the patronage of Mr. Cromwell.  He presents the entertainer, Mark Smeaton.  At the request of Lady Anne, Mr. Smeaton plays a joyful tune on his violin and gives her a brief lesson.  Later, she sees an attendant delivering linen to Queen Catherine, the one she uses to make his shirts.  Livid, she confronts the King about it, angry at having found that the Queen still makes him shirts.  Lady Anne believes that the act displays intimacy between the King and Queen.  The King who has things that is more pressing in his mind, matches Anne’s anger.  He, however, informs Queen Catherine that she will no longer make his shirts.  In an attempt to placate King Henry, the Queen speaks of their daughter Mary whom she says is unwell.  However, her suggestion that they both visit their daughter only added to his anger.  King Henry proposes that the Queen go and visit their daughter and that she stay there for good.  Queen Catherine of Aragon, although hurt by the King’s words, make it known that her rightful place is to be at the King’s side.

Sir Thomas More pays Bishop Fisher a visit at the Bishopric of Rochester where he is recuperating.  He informs him that the King had showed severity towards the criminal.  Bishop Fisher, however, still frail from the poison that almost ended his life worries that the King might pursue his divorce while he lies in bed unable to put up a fight.  Sir Thomas consoles the bishop with news that only Sir Thomas Boleyn supported his proposal to proceed with the divorce without the Pope’s permission.  He notes that not even the King’s good friend, Lord Suffolk, gave him support.  The King, however, speaks to Lord Suffolk with a request, which he fulfills.  Lord Suffolk asks Queen Catherine to withdraw her appeal to the Pope, but the Queen continues to refuse to relinquish her role as the King’s true wife.  Charles Brandon returns with discouraging news that the Queen will remain unquestioning to God and her conscience.  King Henry confronts Ambassador Chapuys with a message to the Emperor.  He is unwilling to be judged by the Pope in his marital affairs and is unafraid of the threat of excommunication.  Despite the Queen’s refusal to fulfill the King’s request, King Henry informs Anne that they are to leave court for a while with a promise that the Queen will be gone upon their return.  Queen Catherine of Aragon watch as King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn leave court.  Soon Mr. Cromwell arrives to inform her on behalf of the King that she is to leave and settle in the King’s house, The Moor.  Moreover, she is to return to him the official jewels of the Queens of England.  Queen Catherine refuses to return the jewels that are rightfully hers.  She, however, leaves the court where the people including Lord Suffolk and Sir Thomas More show their respect and sadly bid her farewell.  A messenger of the Queen arrives at the lodge where the King and Lady Anne are staying with a message from the Queen.  He relays the Queen’s regret for the King not bidding her goodbye and asks of his health.  The King attacks the messenger with the message that he does not want any of her goodbyes and he does not desire to provide her any consolation.  She is no longer to send him any messages.

In Rome, Cardinal Campeggio speaks to the Holy Father regarding the King of England’s Great Matter.  The King had sent a letter urging the Curia to make a final and favorable decision on his annulment.  King Henry VIII includes in his letter a complaint against the Pope’s predecessor, Pope Clement VII, for delaying the pronouncement.  The recently installed Pope, Pope Paul III, also received a letter from the Emperor written on behalf of his aunt, Catherine.  The letter urges the Pope to prevent the annulment and to excommunicate the King.  Pope Paul III finds that they must not antagonize the King of England lest he begin a war against them.  He wonders why no one has tried to get rid of Anne Boleyn whom he believes is the cause of all this strife.  Ambassador Chapuys meets with a man who claims to be a close servant of the King willing to assassinate Lady Anne whom he believes to have bewitched the King into betraying his lawful wife and the Holy Church.  He receives a blessing from Ambassador Chapuys.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mr. Selfridge - Episode Summaries

PBS does it again and delivers a deliriously addicting close to obsessive TV show, Mr. Selfridge. Based on the book Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead, the show tells of the story of the real-life visionary, Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American entrepreneur that changed shopping in England with his department store called Selfridges. Also of interest are the lives of his employees such as Agnes Towler, a shop girl with ambitions of becoming a window dresser just as the urbane, Henri Leclair, whom she becomes infatuated with. Stories, characters, and even history abound in this TV series. Let these episode summaries refresh your memory of the marvelous TV show that is, Mr. Selfridge.

Mr. Selfridge Episode Summaries

Season 1

1.1 Episode 1 of Season 1
Agnes Towler meets Victor Colleano
Harry Gordon Selfridge comes to London with an ambitious plan of opening a grandiose department store. He encounters many obstacles in his way beginning with the withdrawal of support from his partner after finding Mr. Selfridge a reckless businessman. Mr. Selfridge must now establish new relationships that will help him fulfill his dream. Meanwhile, Miss Towler, a shop girl at a glove counter loses her job due to Mr. Selfridge and learns that the man is the proprietor of the much talked about department store. >>Read Episode 1 of Season 1 of Mr. Selfridge