Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Night To Remember – Mad Men Episode Summary 2.8

A Night to Remember Mad Men Episode SummarySynopsis: The flyer for a dance at her parish that Peggy entitled as “A Night To Remember” is causing quite a stir among the older parishioners, while Joan Holloway learns that she has a knack managing broadcast operations. Meanwhile, an incident at the dinner party that the Draper’s hosted became the catalyst for Betty Draper to confront Don about his affair with Bobbie Barrett.

Episode Summary: Betty Draper goes out for an early morning ride, and is without a doubt pre-occupied. By the time Don Draper wakes up, Betty has returned home though still in her riding clothes. Already, she is in an awful mood, which her husband associates with the upcoming business party the couple is hosting. Continue reading...

Peggy Olson drops by her family’s house for a visit. Lucky for her, her mother is out, while his brother-in-law is resting his back as always. Anita worries that her husband is feigning illness to avoid having to work. News of her husband’s back problems has spread, and even reached Father Gill who decided to give the Olson’s a surprise visit. Ever since the awkward conversation they had on Easter Sunday, Peggy acts uncomfortably around the young priest though he seems to have put his knowledge of her indiscretions behind him. Father Gill encourages Peggy to become more involved with her parish, and asks her help in marketing the CYO dance. The young woman tries to evade having to join the committee by using the demands of her job as an excuse, but Father Gill though subtle in his ways has the talent to bring people into submission.

At Sterling Cooper, Harry Crane experiences first hand the wrath of Duck Phillips, this after a botched Maytag ad placement on The ABC Sunday Night Movie. The Maytag ad appeared right after the scene introducing the murderous Russian spy referred to as an agitator. Unfortunately, the Maytag commercial was called “The Amazing Agitator”. The executives from Maytag were furious, and are using this oversight as an excuse to withhold payment of the agency’s services. Harry Crane clearly is unaware of the ad placement, and Duck Phillips threatens to dissolve his department if this happens again.

Harry Crane bit off more than he could chew, and did not realize until now. The television department being only a one-man team, Harry is now learning the difficulties of the job he created. His work now demands having to read through TV scripts, but he does not have the luxury of time nor the manpower to do the job. He asks his colleagues for help, but as expected the mad men of Sterling Cooper only laughed at him.

Sterling Cooper sees a potential market for Heineken only the foreign brewing company is unconvinced. Don Draper was proposing to Heineken that there is a market for their beer in American households. He believes that because the beer is imported, American housewives would be more willing to show off this brand of beer than any other brand. Unfortunately, Duck Phillips was not able to communicate this to Heineken. Given the resistance from the beer company, Duck thinks that the anticipated business dinner at the Draper’s will not push through, and worries that this would irate Betty. Don Draper is not worried unmindful of his wife’s already antsy behavior. In fact, Betty has already been acting strange. The woman overly anxious about the upcoming dinner with executives from Heineken is close to suffering a nervous breakdown. Betty, in her desire to make everything perfect ended up smashing a fidgety chair into pieces.

Peggy Olson receives a call from Father Gill. The flyers that she had designed for the dance, and called “A Night to Remember” has been causing negative buzz within the CYO committee. The committee believes that the theme of the flyers is sending out the wrong message to the girls. Father Gill not wanting to be part of the debate urges Peggy Olson to meet with the committee to hear their thoughts.

Harry Crane receives a visit from Roger Sterling after sending out a request to get help for his department. Harry wants to hire a person who would be in-charge of Broadcast Operations. The person’s responsibilities involve reading scripts, setting up meetings to discuss media placements with the networks, getting their client’s approval, and ensuring that Sterling Cooper’s clients are not misrepresented in the ad and TV tie-ins. Though Roger was not amused, he did send a memo to the employees offering the opportunity to help the television department. Joan Holloway read the memo, and is offering help. Although she is not what Harry expected, the young ad executive whose wife his pregnant, and would want nothing more than to be at her side at a decent hour is willing to accept help from her. Joan could not assure Harry that she will be able to find someone to do the other responsibilities that he had in mind, but she is confident that she can find someone to read the scripts, and prevent another Maytag fiasco.

Though the dinner with the people from Heineken did not push through, Duck was still able to salvage it by getting a hold of Crab Colson of Rogers & Cowan. While she and Carla are preparing dinner, a glimpse of Sally Draper’s Winnie the Pooh recital provided a pleasant distraction to the guests. Duck Phillips arrives a bit late frustrated at showing up without a date not that him coming without a woman was more embarrassing than Petra Colson’s intoxication. The woman, who even before dinner already had one too many to drink, hits the door jam that leads to the dining room. Even Betty Draper is not immune from embarrassment. There is no doubt that she is a very good hostess coming up with a subtly themed dinner that showcases cuisine from around the world. Much to her chagrin, the limelight once again shines on Don Draper after she inadvertently fell into his marketing trap. Betty Draper had served Heineken pointing out that it is imported beer from Holland. Duck innocently thought that Don was behind her serving Heineken just to prove his point about a housewife’s willingness to showcase the imported beer. Betty completely unaware of her husband’s marketing strategy just became the subject and proof that validated Don Draper’s theory.

Though against her will, Peggy Olson agreed to meet with the CYO committee. She tries to convince them that there is nothing sexually suggestive about the flyer, and Father Gill shows his support. Unfortunately, his support of Peggy’s work is short-lived. Father Gill has a change of heart after hearing the comment from an older parishioner about how the flyer only appeals to girls. The woman was afraid that the boys would not attend the dance unconvinced of Peggy’s argument that the boys will follow after hearing that the girls will be coming. Without Father Gill’s support, Peggy is left to rework the flyers to please the committee. She, however, confronts the priest about his lack of support. She makes him understand that him enlisting her services also means that he should stand by her decision, build trust with the committee, and convince them that she is the expert. Unfortunately, the priest just did the opposite. Father Gill listened to what Peggy had to say, and vows to be by her side the next time around.

The dinner at the Draper’s was a great success. Unfortunately for Betty, the embarrassment with the Heineken beers was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Her humiliation is deeply rooted. Betty Draper confronts Don about his affair with Bobbie Barrett, a woman much older than she is. Don Draper lies through his teeth, but Betty Draper is convinced. In her anger and disgust, Betty can’t sleep in the same bed as her husband. Still in her clothes the night before, she has breakfast with her children. Much to her disappointment, Don Draper appears unaffected. Betty is set on finding more evidence of her husband’s affair, but finds nothing.

Joan Holloway found a person to read the scripts in her, and she is doing an excellent job with it. The executives at Maytag who once were furious with Sterling Cooper’s television department are now very pleased, and are delighted to learn that she is managing the Broadcast Operations at Sterling Cooper. It is not only Maytag who is pleased. Another client insisted on meeting in-person with the television department to discuss potential media placement. Harry Crane suggests buying a spot in “Love of Life”, but Joan politely suggests going the route of “As The World Turns”. Having read the script, and talking to CBS about its special summer storyline, Joan was able to persuade their client to buy a spot on “As The World turns”. Joan seems to have found her calling. Regrettably, her hard work did not pay off. Roger Sterling after receiving calls from very satisfied clients, and good news from accounting, decides to make the Broadcast Operations position official only it will be reserved for a man. Joan is taken by surprise. She only learns of the decision after the fact. Harry Crane had already hired what appears to be a boy straight out of college whom she has to train to do the job she was an expert at, but no one at Sterling Cooper seems to have recognized. All her hard work were for naught.

Now convinced of Don Draper’s marketing strategy for Heineken, Duck Phillips calls the executives of Heineken to meet with them, and they agreed. With research that prove that beer consumption at home has increased, the mad men of Sterling Cooper are convinced that Heineken should extend their market to housewives. Their test, although not exactly statistically significant, showed promise, and some proof to their hypothesis. The more convincing story was how Don’s wife fell into this marketing trap. Betty Draper, a well-off, educated suburban housewife is exactly the target consumer Sterling Cooper sees fit for Heineken. The test, and the cute story was enough to convince Heineken to tap a market they have not thought of reaching.

Don Draper arrives home only to find his wife in a peculiar state-of-mind. Betty who still has not changed her clothes has spent the whole day finding proof of her husband’s affair. Don is resolute, and maintains his innocence. Seeing how distraught his wife is, he decides to sleep on the couch. His wife awakens him. She, though not as disturbed as she was earlier, is still confused. She asks her husband if he loves her, and if he hates her. Don tries his very best to answer genuinely, but Betty does not know what to believe.

Peggy Olson invites Father Gill to the office with the sole purpose of impressing him. She did not anticipate having another awkward conversation with him. Father Gill brought to her attention his knowledge of her not taking Holy Communion. He urges Peggy to talk to him of her problems. He observed that she has been pushing away people, and wanted to help her get to the root of her behavior. Though he was able to persuade Peggy to help with the flyers, convincing her to talk about her indiscretion is beyond his power of persuasion. Peggy Olson refuses to go to confession.

Betty Draper has snapped out of her daze, and is ready to be a housewife again. Unfortunately, Jimmy Barrett’s Utz commercial came up on the TV set. All the hurt and anger came rushing back in. Betty gives her husband a call telling him not to come home.

Watch the Mad Men Episode A Night to Remember
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