Sunday, April 18, 2010

Red in the Face – Mad Men Episode Summary 1.7

Roger Sterling throws upSynopsis: Roger Sterling having no plans for the night after learning that Joan Holloway is unavailable convinces Don Draper to go drinking with him. Showing no signs of going home, Don decides to invite him to dinner. All is well until an inebriated Roger makes a pass at Betty. This angers Don Draper causing him to cook up a scheme against his boss. Meanwhile, Pete Campbell begins his streak of embarrassment after his wife orders him to return a duplicate wedding present they received.

Episode Summary: Don Draper calls his wife’s therapist for an update, and the news is not at all pleasant. His initial assessment is that Betty has emotions of a child. Dr. Wayne, however, confesses that there has been little progress made especially with Betty’s reticence. He believes that he will be able to tackle deeper issues than petty jealousies and anxieties that Betty suffers from as she becomes more forthright with her feelings.  Continue reading...

It’s only Thursday, and everybody acts as if it’s the weekend. All have plans, and couldn’t wait to get out of the office except for Peggy Olson who plans on staying over to work on copy for the Belle Jolie campaign. Roger Sterling thought he was in luck when his mother-in-law fell down the stairs forcing his wife and daughter to spend the weekend with her, but Joan Holloway is not at his beck and call. The woman whom he loves to call Red already made plans of her own leaving him searching for other company. The unlucky person this time is Don Draper, and even unluckier is his wife Betty who has to settle for salad after her husband invites Roger for dinner at their house. A couple bottles of liquor, packs of cigarettes, and war stories later a drunk Roger makes a pass at Betty while her husband is rummaging for more alcohol at his request. Don Draper returns not seeing what had actually happened, but nonetheless sensing something disquieting had transpired. He confronts his wife about the incident particularly upset at her flirtatious behavior towards his boss. What would have been a quiet evening at the Draper house ended with marital discomfort, all thanks to Roger Sterling.

Roger may have been drunk the previous night, but he was sober enough to realize his mistake. Like a true friend, he confronts Don about it with a good bottle of wine as peace offering. Don Draper pretends to not know his concern, but Roger sees right through him. The man whose name is plastered on the wall does his best to apologize for making a pass at Betty blaming it on intoxication. He tells of a story when he got so drunk that he went home only to learn that he is in the wrong building. He may not have been as inebriated as he was then, but he was close. Mistaking Don’s car for his is evidence enough. Don accepts his boss’ apology ending the awkwardness of the incident.

While the boys were out at happy hour last night, Pete Campbell was with the in-laws. Marriage has clearly changed his lifestyle, and he unknowingly set himself up for teasing when he brought with him to work a wedding present his wife had ordered him to return. His new domesticated lifestyle once again causes him to miss out on fun. Lunch out with the boys is replaced by an errand for the wife. Still, Pete asserts that it gives him joy to please his wife even if it means waiting in line at the store. No good deed goes unpunished. This he realized when the woman who was in line with him at the store slightly made fun at him doing errands for the wife. The woman not only managed to insult him, but also made it sound as if his willingness to fulfill his domestic duties is hindering his career growth. Pete Campbell’s embarrassment streak continues when a friend sees him in line returning the Chip ‘n’ Dip present he and his wife received at their wedding. His ego takes a beating when his attempts at flirting with the sales clerk to get her to give him cash instead of store credit fails miserably. Feeling emasculated, Pete Campbell finds comfort at using the store credit to buy a BB gun. He takes his aggression at taking aim at the women in their office, but a woman yet again puts him back in his place. Hildy, his secretary, spoils the fun with a meeting reminder.

The men meet in preparation for the ad campaigns that would follow Richard Nixon’s nomination. Though without an official opponent, the most part of the meeting went on to speculating who it would be. However, Bertram Cooper seems sure that it would be Kennedy, the inexperienced Catholic boy who is the son of a millionaire. The men run ideas based on their client’s slogans, and so far it all boils down to experience, which the supposed opponent doesn’t have. However, Pete Campbell feels that there is more to Kennedy’s appeal than meets the eye, but his comparison of the politician to Elvis did not sell well with senior partners. It’s not just Pete Campbell’s day for his grief extends to his home where he met his wife’s fury upon learning that he had exchanged their wedding gift for a BB gun. Don Draper’s evening was not pleasant as well despite his loving wife preparing roast beef for dinner. It seems as though Don had forgiven his boss for last night’s incident, but has trouble doing the same to his wife.

Much to his embarrassment, Pete Campbell returns to the office with his BB gun. Oblivious to his problems, Peggy Olson comes in to ask his opinion about the copy she wrote. Clearly, the young man’s mind is somewhere else, but instead of ignoring the young woman he shares with her one of his hunting fantasies. Peggy could not help but feel aroused at the young man’s detailed account of how he would take the animal he hunted, clean, dress, and hand it over to a woman who will cook it for him only to watch him eat the fruit of his labor.

Meanwhile, Betty Draper sees Helen Bishop at the grocery store, and learns that the woman has been avoiding her after finding a lock of her hair in Glen’s treasure box. Betty confirms that she indeed had given the boy a lock of her hair, which appalls the woman even more. Helen’s disgust at her only caused Betty to slap the woman causing the other women at the grocery to give her disapproving stares. News of this incident spread fast that Francine could not help but ask her friend about it. Betty did not deny whatever story she heard for she herself could not believe her actions. Francine, however, sees some good at Betty letting people know that she could be tough when necessary, and she is not all sweet and perfect. Naturally, Betty is more willing to share her deeper thoughts to a friend than to a therapist. How people see her is really only a carefully painted front, which is a lesson she learned from her mother. She does her best to keep her appearance, and many times she is aware of how men look at her, but there too are times when certain stares cause her to feel ashamed, and even guilty.

Don Draper despite accepting Roger Sterling’s apology, and having a good time with him at lunch feasting on platters of oysters, and glasses of martinis truly has not fully forgiven the man for making a pass at his wife. Having bribed the elevator operator to pretend that the elevator is out of service, and already late for the meeting with Nixon’s brain trust, the men have no other choice but to use the stairs. Clearly unfit, Roger struggles to get to the Sterling Cooper offices on the 26th floor. He makes it all right, but only to throw up in front of their clients. Don Draper has had his revenge.

Watch the Mad Men Episode Red in the Face
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