Sunday, March 28, 2010

5G – Mad Men Episode Summary 1.5

Don Draper hugs his brother Adam WhitmanSynopsis: Don Draper’s picture appears on a magazine after winning an award. It is a proud moment for him, and one he modestly relishes. However, Don did not anticipate his brother seeing his picture, and recognizing him for who he truly is – Dick Whitman. The sudden entrance of his brother into his life troubles Don, and he hatches up a plan to escape his past. Meanwhile, the ad men at Sterling Cooper, Pete Campbell and Paul Kinsley in particular are envious of Ken Cosgrove’s fifteen minutes of fame. This after the young man’s short story gets published in a well-respected magazine.

Episode Summary: Don and Betty Draper both drunk return home from an award ceremony jubilant at Don having won an award. The couple wakes up later than usual, and with a hangover. Don still forces himself to go to the office where news of his winning has spread especially with his picture appearing on Advertising Age.  Continue reading...

Congratulations was in order too for Ken Cosgrove who got his short story “Tapping A Maple On A Cold Vermont Morning” published in the Atlantic Monthly. Dropping by the creative director’s office for the morning meeting that had been postponed due to Don’s tardiness, the team learns that the young account executive is actually a writer who has written two novels. Their conversation is cut short to talk business not that Pete Campbell or Paul Kinsey were really interested at learning about the young man’s accomplishments. Their client, Liberty Capital Savings, has come to Sterling Cooper to ask the mad men to help with their new promotion. Don Draper proves why he won the award with yet another original idea of creating executive accounts exclusive for men whom he believes are the one who actually are in charge of finances. The concept is so appealing that even the most critical people in his team acknowledges the advertising talent of the man. The talent of Ken Cosgrove, however, is another matter for the other young ad executives had started to sour grape at their colleague’s good fortune.

Don Draper has many talents, and he also has numerous vices. One of them is women, and this, Peggy Olson learns after accidentally overhearing her boss’ phone conversation with his lover, Midge. It was a booty call that Don Draper proves ready to answer as he immediately leaves the office the moment he hung up the phone. Though he came to answer to the woman’s needs, he did not leave without letting the woman know of his disapproval at her calling his place of business. Don need not worry about Midge hoping for something more than their trysts. The woman wants nothing more than to provide him an escape.

Still disturbed with Ken Cosgrove’s feat at having a story published, Pete Campbell decides to get his wife’s opinion on a story of his own. Truth is, he only wants her help at getting it published. It was a desperate move given that he is asking his wife to grovel at her former boyfriend’s feet if only to soothe his ego that fellow account executive Cosgrove had inadvertently compromised. Ken’s accomplishment reaching Roger Sterling, and meriting praise from the named partner should give fodder to his need of getting published. Good thing his wife Trudy wants nothing else, but to fulfill Pete’s desires and does what she is told. She goes to see her former boyfriend Charlie Fiddich who is now a publisher. Charlie is still attracted to Trudy, and sensing how much getting her husband’s story published means to her makes a gauche proposition.

What appeared to be another day at the office for Don Draper takes an unexpected turn when he receives a surprise visit from Adam Whitman. Don Draper who finds his brother standing at the office’s reception is shaken more so because the life he left behind has come to haunt him. He desperately tries to convince the young man that he is mistaken, and that he is not Dick Whitman. Adam having seen his picture in a magazine could not be swayed, and is certain that the man who calls himself Don Draper is in reality Dick Whitman. Unsure of how else to handle the young man, and careful not to make a scene, Don agrees to meet him later at a coffee shop. As promised, Don goes to the coffee shop to meet the man who claims to be his brother. Despite his constant denial, Adam continues to insist that he is his big brother Dick the one whom he thought had died. Don Draper concedes explaining that he could not bear going back to his family. Little did he know that Adam only a child back then had seen him hiding in the train. Don doesn’t have fond memories of the woman who raised him, and is pleased to learn that she and her husband had passed away. Therefore, the only family he has left is the young man who sits across him. Unfortunately for Don, Adam wants to learn more about him. Moreover, the young man wants to be part of his family. This scares and angers Don Draper who leaves his brother declaring that he should forget about him.

Peggy Olson who had recently discovered Don’s extramarital affair is put in a tight spot when Betty Draper along with her kids shows up in the office to have their family portrait taken. Unsure of where her boss had gone, but suspects that he like the other day had come to visit his lover, Peggy enters a state of panic. She runs to Joan Holloway for help to get her out of this awkward situation, and ends up telling the office manager about her boss’ affair. Luckily, she had gone to the right person who although tricked her into revealing Don’s secret affair would be the last one to expose it. Moreover, the experienced secretary tells her what she simply should have done, which is to not overcomplicate the matter. According to Joan, she should just spend her time entertaining Betty and the kids, and apologizing for forgetting to remind her boss of his appointment. Finally, Don Draper arrives, and like Joan had predicted has a viable excuse ready. Betty and the kids along with Don leave to have their portrait taken not suspecting anything. Peggy is relieved, but Betty is less than pleased especially because the pictures had come out badly.

The meeting to pitch their new idea to Liberty Capital Savings has arrived. Don, however, is still preoccupied with the events of the previous day, and decides to pass the torch to Paul Kinsey who did well at pitching the new ad. The client is more than pleased, and is in fact excited at promoting the proposed executive private account. They believe that some clients are already doing this only not officially, and therefore the bank is not benefitting from it. Creating the new service as Don and his team had proposed gives them license to monetize what some of their clients have been doing all along. Don returns to his office victorious at having sold his brilliant idea, but a letter from his brother puts an end to his delight. The envelope contained only an old picture of him and Adam, and a note of where his brother is staying in case he changes his mind about not having him in his life.

Don, once again, leaves the office earlier than usual. This worries Peggy. Joan Holloway sees this in the young secretary’s face. In fact, she attests that that is all she sees on her day after day. When Peggy signed up to become a secretary, she did not anticipate that her job required keeping his boss’ record clean both at the office, and at home. Joan knows very well the intricacies of their job, but she attests that it is the best.

Now that word of his writing prowess has spread through the office, Ken Cosgrove wastes no time to use it to appeal to the ladies. Envious of his colleague’s success, Paul Kinsey who is a writer by profession sets out to humiliate the young man. Later, he admits that his ill-mannered display was brought about by his concern of having to compete with him too. With that, Ken declares that Paul had already lost. Another man who is competing with Cosgrove is Peter Campbell. He couldn’t be more pleased to hear that his wife had managed to convince her old lover to publish his work. However, his mood turns sour upon learning that his article will appear in Boys’ Life magazine. Pete Campbell upsets his wife for his ingratitude; more so for forcing her in an awkward situation with her former boyfriend.

Peggy Olson need not worry about where her boss had gone this time for he as he stated had truly gone home. In addition, Betty Draper in all honesty approves of her despite the mess the other day. Betty, however, notices that her husband has become even more distant. Always good at keeping secrets, Don Draper attributes his preoccupation to matters in the office when in reality he is disturbed by his brother’s sudden entrance in his new life. After staring at an old picture of the two of them, Don Draper burns the reminder of who he was. He, however, decides to see Adam who couldn’t be more delighted at his brother’s change of heart. Don arrives at his brother’s dreadful Times Square apartment, but the purpose of his visit is far from what Adam had hoped for. Don takes out from his briefcase $5,000 worth of cash; it is money he kept secret from his wife. Adam’s only desire is to be reunited with his long lost brother. Unfortunately, Don wants the exact opposite. Don Draper wants his brother to take the cash, and disappear taking along with him any memories of Dick Whitman. Adam Whitman though utterly dismayed at his brother’s request doesn’t put a fight, and complies.

Don Draper without looking back leaves his brother to come home to his wife and kids. Betty who is ignorant of her husband’s troubles patiently waits for him to propose buying a summerhouse of their own. Knowing how her husband dislikes spending summer with Betty’s father in her family’s rest house, she thought that Don would agree to the idea. What she does not know is that Don had just recently spent a considerable amount of money in forcing his brother to stay away. Like a good wife, Betty does not argue, and stands by her husband’s decision.

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