Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shoot – Mad Men Episode Summary 1.9

Betty Draper shoots birdsSynopsis: Jim Hobart, an executive from a competing advertising agency woos Don Draper into joining his company. Aside from bribing Don with expensive gifts, Mr. Hobart decides to use Betty Draper as well by giving her a job as an ad model hoping that this might encourage Don. Meanwhile, Peggy Olson is progressively gaining weight that her coworkers especially the men begin to notice.

Episode Summary: Don Draper is having a smoke during the intermission of Fiorello when Jim Hobart of McCann Erickson comes up to him to try and get him to join his company. Don only smiles, and did not have to give an answer for their wives interrupted their conversation. Adele Hobart pulls him to get a drink, while Betty Draper stays with Jim who after hearing that she had done some modeling decided to offer her a job at the Coca-Cola campaign ad they were working on. Later, after the show, Betty informs her husband about this, and he immediately senses it as a ploy to get him to switch sides. Though aware that Mr. Hobart’s reason for offering her a job is to get her husband to move to McCann, Betty could not help but think that the man had seen potential in her. Betty flattered and overjoyed at having given a chance reminisces her modeling days by showing her friend Francine the old dresses the designer she worked for before made for her.  Continue reading...

Jim Hobart’s courtship continues with a gift for Don. The head honcho had secured for him a membership at an exclusive club, which forced Don to give him a call. Mr. Hobart speaks of his company with glowing terms for it is an international advertising agency unlike Sterling Cooper whom he sees as a mom-and-pop operation. Hearing the roster of well-known clients McCann is handling, and the salary they are willing to offer him, Don could not help but wonder.

Betty Draper is still rapt about the modeling job that she informs her therapist about it in one of their sessions. Talk about her past as a model enabled her to open up at a much deeper level. She remembers that it was at a photo shoot for a fur company where she met Don who immediately asked her out. Though she turned him down, he managed to find a way to win her heart. Don only used to be a copywriter for the fur company back then, but seeing how much she liked the fur coat decided to acquire it for her. After two or three more modeling jobs, Betty and Don got engaged, and soon after she got pregnant. The couple decided to move out of Manhattan, and settle in Ossining to raise a family. It seems that settling down had made Betty feel old. She remembers how her mother gives much importance on looks and weight. To her, it is the only way to find a man, but when Betty became a model, her mother hated that too to the point of her calling Betty a prostitute. Her therapist concludes that Betty is in fact angry with her mother. This upsets Betty not realizing that her therapist is right.

The mad men of Sterling Cooper sit in a conference room watching Jacqueline Kennedy’s ad appealing to a Spanish speaking audience. Don Draper has trouble comprehending all the work that’s involved in putting together a counterattack campaign that may not even materialize.

Peggy Olson appears to be distracted, and it’s not just because of the extra copywriting work she’s doing. Peggy is progressively gaining weight, and it has come to a point where she outgrows her clothes. This she realized when her skirt ripped upon bending down to pick-up an eraser that had fallen on the floor. The damage is well beyond mending that the only solution she came up with is to wrap a sweater around her waist to hide it. Luckily, Joan Holloway keeps a spare outfit that she’s willing to share.

After mistaking that the bag of golf clubs that arrived for Don Draper is for him, Roger Sterling learns that Jim Hobart is wooing their top ad executive. He confronts Don about this who informs him of the offer without any reservation. More than the salary, it appears that what appeals most to Don is McCann Erickson’s big name clients like Pan Am. Roger Sterling does his best to dissuade Don from accepting Hobart’s offer, in case the unexpected bonus he received from Betram Cooper would not suffice. Word gets around pretty fast, and the other mad men are already talking about the possibility of Don moving to McCann. The subject of their conversation quickly changes at the sight of Peggy Olson who now is donning Joan Holloway’s dress. The men could not help but discuss about the young lady’s unflattering weight gain, which turned off a lot of them including Ken Cosgrove who once made a pass at her. Pete Campbell having had an affair with Peggy more than once becomes uncomfortable at their conversation, and decides to leave. It must have been so uncomfortable for him to decide to forego a nice chat with his colleagues for a meeting about Secor laxatives. However, it proved propitious for the meeting paved way for some brilliant thinking about the Nixon campaign. Faced with the dilemma of both Nixon and Kennedy camps vying for airtime, Pete Campbell comes up with the idea of flooding undecided states with Secor laxatives ads therefore preventing the Kennedy ads from appearing.

Betty Draper decides to go back to modeling, but not without informing her husband who fully supports her decision. Wearing an over-the-top dress, Betty feels uneasy sitting in line with other casually dressed young models waiting to get picked. A little embarrassed, she is relieved at the sight of Jim Hobart who obviously immediately picks her out of the line. Later that evening, Betty gets a call that she got the job, and she couldn’t be more pleased. Seeing how happy his wife is, Don assures her that he too is happy for her.

While Betty is out on a photo shoot for Coca-Cola, her children are left in the care of an old neighbor who had fallen asleep while watching them. Sally Draper and her little brother are at the yard with their dog Polly watching Mr. Brestwood as he lets his pet pigeons fly free when their dog runs after one of the birds, and bites it. Furious, the old man threatens to shoot the dog the next time it steps on his yard. Betty returns home ecstatic at her first day at work, and is oblivious to her daughter’s distressed behavior. Later that night, Sally Draper has a bad dream about their dog getting shot only then did they learn about what happened that afternoon. This worried Don more than Betty, but his wife assures him that she’ll have a talk with their neighbor afraid that her husband might make it worse especially with him thinking of confronting their neighbor right then and there.

The next morning, the mad men of Sterling Cooper are having a meeting with Don Draper. Hoping that the man might bring along with him some of them when he decides to move to McCann Erickson, the men could not help but suck up. Bertram Cooper and Roger Sterling interrupts their meeting eager to find out who is responsible for the significant media buys for the yet to be produced Secor laxative commercials. Afraid at the unexpected visit from the owners, Harry Crane comes forward, and later on Pete Campbell not knowing what will become of them. Fortunately, despite the tone of Cooper’s voice, and the expression on Sterling’s face, both are actually very pleased at what they have done to the extent of Cooper calling their strategy inspired. The men celebrate their success with drinks at Pete’s office. They invite Hildy to join them, but later treat her badly when the buttoned-up secretary turns them down.

Meanwile, Don Draper gets an envelope from Jim Hobart containing pictures of Betty Draper’s photo shoot, and finally decides to stay with Sterling Cooper. He goes over to Roger Sterling’s office to inform him of his decision, but not without getting a raise, and an assurance that he will not be bound by a contract. Seeing how Jim Hobart operates, Don realizes that he likes the way Sterling Cooper does business. He assures Roger that if one day he leaves them, it will not be to work for another advertising company. Don Draper gives Jim Hobart a call to turn down his offer, and a piece of his mind at the way he was wooed. Unfortunately for Betty, this also puts an end to her rather short-lived comeback as a model. The news was rather upsetting causing her to lose composure as she sobs.

At Sterling Cooper, Peggy Olson gratefully returns the dress that Joan Holloway lent to her, so grateful that she even had it dry cleaned. Noticing the young woman’s weight gain, Joan feels pity for Peggy that she gives her another unsolicited advice. Not so good with words, Joan’s advice came out sounding insolent especially with her telling Peggy that she was being considered for an account only because a client’s wife thought she is harmless. Unlike Peggy, Joan’s only real goal is finding a husband, which explains her obsession with looks. Soon after Peggy understood this, she realizes that Joan no matter how blunt her words are, the woman really thinks she is being helpful. If Peggy has no other ambition but to find a husband then she absolutely has to take Joan’s advice for the men already find her weight gain distasteful. All but Pete Campbell truly feels for her. This he proved after he sucker punches Ken Cosgrove after the young ad executive akin her figure to a lobster where all the meat is in the tail. The senior executives, however, could not care less. Don Draper and Roger Sterling turn a blind eye at the brawl as the two make their way out of the office.

Don Draper arrives home, and finds her wife preparing dinner as if nothing happened at her photo shoot. Betty pretends that all is well, and that it was her decision to stop working. Don knows very well the cause of her being out of the job, but decides to humor her. He plays the good, supportive husband desiring only what his wife wants. Don comforts his wife by telling her that she is doing a great job as a mother to their two children, and how he would have given anything to have a mother like her. Don really is good with words, and his words seemed to have done the trick. The next morning, Betty Draper is back to her old job as a housewife. She cheerily whips up breakfast for her family appearing happy to be serving them, but then afternoon came, and the house is quiet without her husband and kids. She sits alone at the dining table with a cigarette on her hand just staring at nothingness. The sound of fluttering wings breaks her reverie. Betty Draper steps onto their backyard with a BB gun on one hand, and a cigarette on another. She watches as Mr. Brestwood’s pigeons fly to the bright, blue sky before aiming her gun, and shooting the birds leaving her neighbor in utter shock.

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