Sunday, July 11, 2010

Long Weekend – Mad Men Episode Summary 1.10

Roger Sterling heart attackSynopsis: Betty and her children are getting an early start on the long weekend by going with her father and his new girlfriend whom Betty dislikes. Don Draper promises to drive down the shore to join them the very next day. Since office is still not closed, he has to work on the troubled Nixon campaign, and assist in the Menken account. Roger Sterling after being turned down by Joan Holloway decides to pick out an impromptu date with twin models. Don Draper was forced to accompany Roger, and spend a night with the twins. All is well until Roger Sterling suffers a heart attack.

Episode Summary: The Draper’s are spending the long weekend at Betty’s family’s summerhouse. Gene Driscoll, Betty’s father, drops by their house with his new girlfriend Gloria. With her mother only gone a few months, Betty could not help but think that Gloria had been eyeing his father as early as her mother’s funeral. Don Draper who is not looking forward to spending the long weekend with his extended family much more with an annoyed wife tries to at least shorten spending time with them by going to the office.   Continue reading...

Though most of the employees are gone for the Labor Day weekend, Don Draper and his team remain to work on the Nixon campaign. This after Kennedy surprisingly moved up the polls narrowing Nixon’s lead. They start their research with a comparison of ads from the two presidential candidates. Kennedy has a light, cheerful and catchy ad, while Nixon took the route of addressing serious issues, which are off putting. Pete Campbell plays with the idea of starting a smear campaign against Kennedy. Roger Sterling, however, dismisses the idea given that the only dirt they have on Kennedy is that he is a womanizer, which Don Draper believes would even help his campaign if the women find out. Don Draper’s approach is to package Nixon as a self-made man who worked his way up the top unlike his nouveau riche opponent who was born with a silver spoon. Roger Sterling, however, also disagrees with Don Draper’s approach. He believes that running a positive ad on Nixon would only convince those people who are already voting for him, while a critical ad on his opponent might do a better job of alienating the ones on the other side. Though he seemed to have dismissed Pete Campbell’s approach, Roger Sterling in reality wants them to produce an ad that would hurt Kennedy.

Though Roger Sterling wants some serious work done on the Nixon campaign even though he is not an official client, he still would not want to spend the long weekend laboring on the new Nixon ad. This is because he already has something else in mind. Roger Sterling pulls Joan Holloway to his office to convince her to spend the night with him. Knowing that his wife and daughter, and most wives in their circle are already gone for the long weekend was the catalyst for this seemingly bold step of parading his mistress. Joan Holloway, however, has just seen the movie The Apartment where Shirley McLain played an elevator girl who was having an affair with an executive in the office where she worked. The girl who was clearly only being used then commits suicide. The movie The Apartment made her ponder on her own situation, which is not far from what she watched. Roger Sterling argues that the movie is exaggerated, but Joan disagrees. Unlike before where she responds to Roger’s every beck and call, she makes him wait for her decision.

Paul Kinsey meets the Menken’s, and as per Roger Sterling’s order, Don Draper joins him. The reason being is that Rachel Menken’s father, Abraham, will be at the meeting. Roger feels that his coming means that he will be pulling the plug on their project. The team presents father and daughter their idea of the new Menken’s, one that is more sophisticated, and will appeal to a higher class of customers. Though the old man feels that the work they’ve done was well thought out, his main concern is the new restaurant that they want to add to the store. Construction of it would mean that a considerable amount of space in his store would have to be closed out. Don Draper, however, assures him that they will build an equally large anticipation to the opening of the restaurant that will make customers line-up on its opening day. He finds that the man might be a little against change that he tries to make him understand that times are no longer what it used to be, and that his customers evolved along with it. The customers who come to their Fifth Avenue store is now far from the ones who came to his old hosiery on Seventh Avenue. Much to their relief, Don Draper and Rachel Menken alike, Abraham does not pull the plug on their project despite the old man feeling that he did not have much of a say on the decision. Don thinks that he made quite an impression on the old man. The truth is Abraham Menken finds him a little too dashing for his taste.

Meanwhile, Joan Holloway gets a surprise visit from her roommate, Carol. She learns that Carol’s boss had just fired her for his mistake that she helped cover-up. Hearing of her roommate’s unfair termination only strengthened her growing annoyance with men.

After a pleasant meeting with the Menken’s, Don Draper gets some bad news from Pete Campbell. The young ad executive has come to tell him that they have lost the Dr. Scholl’s account. The company who wants to sell exercise sandals has decided to do business with the ad agency Leo Burnett. Pete Campbell who asserts to have only inherited the account did not put up a fight, and appears to delight in knowing that the dull and humorless ad proposed by creative was the cause of their dissatisfaction. Don Draper pretends to shrug off losing an account saying that the day you sign a client is the day you start losing them. He displays his frustration the minute Pete Campbell walks out the door. Don Draper takes the liberty of informing Roger Sterling about the lost account. The senior partner though also annoyed with the news sees no reason to dwell much on it. He copes with it the only way Roger Sterling knows how – women. He invites Don Draper to come with him to the casting call for the double-sided aluminum.

Draper and Roger Sterling arrive at casting seeing that the other mad men had the same idea as they had. The men had started flirting with the many twins waiting to be cast, but their arrival had signaled that their time is up. Roger Sterling starts to take his pick, and immediately he sets eyes at his prey, and just like that casting is over. The senior partner has decided, and Cartwright Double-Sided Aluminum now has found their new models – Eleanor and Mirabelle. Roger Sterling invites the twins up to his office for a drink. Don Draper of course comes along. Roger begins fondling Mirabelle, and when he asks that the two girls should kiss Don Draper has had enough, and announces of his leaving prompting his date to suggest the same. Roger somehow manages to make them stay.

Meanwhile, Joan Holloway who managed to resist her lover’s urging to spend the night with him is at home with her roommate getting ready for a night in the town. She gets the shock of her life when Carol tells her that she is in love with her. Apparently, Carol whom she met in college had followed Joan to the city just to be near her. Despite the startling confession of her female friend being in love with her, Joan blocks her roommate’s revelation relating her strange declaration as a result of the awful day she had. Though clearly hurt, Carol plasters on a smile, and goes along with Joan.

Don Draper is still at Roger Sterling’s office stuck with the other twin whom he clearly is not interested in given that he fends off every advance that the young woman makes on him. Roger Sterling and his date are horsing around literally. Don Draper once again announces his departure and offers to call a cab for his date, but she pleads him to stay with her and wait for her other twin who is still entertaining Roger Sterling.

Meanwhile, Joan Holloway and Carol return to their apartment accompanied by two men they met at the bar. After one drink, Joan immediately invites her date to her bedroom much to Carol’s dismay. Carol is then left in the living room with the man whom she has no interest in, but seeing that she had lost the battle with Joan she agrees to be used.

Don Draper being a complete gentleman to his date agrees to stay with her and wait. The young woman sensing the man’s refusal to take advantage of her asks what it is that she can do for him to like him. Don Draper tells her that she is trying too hard. It was then they heard Mirabelle’s cry for help. Don Draper and Eleanor rush to Roger Sterling’s office, and find him lying there with his pants down suffering a heart attack. Don Draper orders the twins to call the ambulance, and leave right away. The paramedics arrive just in time, and they roll him out of the office with him crying for Mirabelle. Don Draper grabs his boss by the hair, slaps, and reproaches him to make him yell his wife’s name instead of his lover’s.

Don Draper spends the rest of the night at the hospital to be with his friend, while he waits for his wife and daughter to arrive. Roger Sterling’s life-threatening ordeal seemed to have changed him. Roger ponders on his life. He breaks down at the sight of his wife rushing to his side, genuinely declaring his love for her. Weak, ailing, and terrified, a completely different persona from the fun-loving, no-holds-barred Roger Sterling, he reunites with his family including his teenage daughter whom his relationship is strained. Upon getting a call from the office, Joan Holloway immediately rushes to the office with her date in tow. Joan arrives and finds Bertram Cooper waiting for her. He orders that her date leave, and she tells him to ignoring his annoyed resistance. Bertram Cooper then delivers her the news of Roger suffering a heart attack. He informs her that he survived, but is hospitalized for the time being. Bertram had called her to help with sending telegrams to their clients informing them of the senior partner’s condition, but more so to provide assurance that business will not be affected. Joan Holloway though in tears at having heard the news of her lover’s condition starts to type the telegrams as Bertram Cooper reads the names of each and every Sterling Cooper client. When the work is done, Bertram and Joan walk together to the elevator, and the old man gives her some unsolicited advice. Bertram Cooper tells Joan Holloway that she should not waste her youth on age.

Don Draper is still in the hospital. He picks up the phone to inform his wife of the news, and to tell her that he would have to postpone joining them at the shore. Betty Draper like her husband dislikes being at the shore, but more because of her father’s new girlfriend being around. It was painful for Betty to sit and watch her father act around his girlfriend the same way he did with his mother. She feels that her father has moved on, and completely forgotten about her mother whom he was married to for around forty years. Don urges her to stop having those thoughts, which are most likely fodder to her depression. Later, Pete Campbell arrives at the hospital curious as to what happened. Don Draper pretends to not know anything about the cause of Roger’s heart attack. To add to the dreadful day at the office, Pete and Don hear the television ad that is playing in the hospital lobby. The Kennedy’s had beat them to the punch, and had launched a critical ad against Nixon. The ad claims that Richard Nixon is not as experienced as he makes himself to be, and that even President Eisenhower thinks that the current Vice President has not made decisions in the White House.

Don Draper troubled at the recent events seeks comfort for the very first time from Rachel Menken instead of Midge. Rachel who received the telegram about Roger Sterling’s heart attack is nonetheless surprised at finding Don Draper at her doorstep. Don copes with the distress of finding his friend suffering a heart attack the way he knows it. He kisses Rachel Menken who unlike Midge resists; finding that having an affair would do no good. Seeing his friend almost losing his life made Don Draper ponder about his own mortality. Don once again kisses Rachel feeling that he should live as though there is no tomorrow. Rachel at first resists telling Don that he should go to his wife, but then gives in. Later, it is Don who stops to tell the woman that they should not continue unless Rachel is certain that this is what she wants. Don Draper and Rachel Menken finally make love, and even after he already got what he had long desired, Don Draper stays. He even opens up a part of him that he never had shared with anyone else before – his past. Don Draper tells Rachel Menken that his mother like hers died of childbirth. Moreover, he tells her that her mother was a prostitute, and that right after he was born Don was brought to his father and his wife. His father, on the other hand, was a drunk who died after getting kicked in the face by a horse. His stepmother then married another man, and they were the ones who raised him.

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