Sunday, October 2, 2011

Love Among the Ruins – Mad Men Episode Summary 3.2

Love Among the Ruins Mad Men episode summarySynopsis: Sterling Cooper is going after new businesses with Ken Cosgrove eyeing Pepsi and Pete Campbell going after Madison Square Garden. Complications arise when Paul Kinsey’s activist tendencies comes in full display as he and Pete meet with the executives of Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile, Betty Draper learns that her father’s girlfriend has left him, and is now living alone with only her irresponsible brother to check on him. She and Don come to a decision that they may soon regret.

Episode Summary: The mad men of Sterling Cooper including Peggy Olson watch a reel of Ann-Margret singing Bye Bye Birdie to serve as inspiration for a pitch to land the account of Pepsi’s new brand of diet soda called Patio. Ken Cosgrove leads the team hoping to land a contract with Pepsi. Meanwhile, Pete Campbell is in talks with executives from Madison Square Garden. They are looking for an agency to help them drown out the public outcry with their plan of demolishing Pennsylvania Station, and replacing it with Madison Square Garden. Pete brings with him Paul Kinsey given his work in a campaign that cleared the way for a nuclear plant. Much to his chagrin, Paul displays his disgust with the plan of demolishing what he considers to be a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts. Continue reading...

Lane Pryce calls for the senior partners to inform them that their London office just lost the Campbell Soup account. To Bertram this is a fact of life, but to Lane this is an opportunity lost for Sterling Cooper could have snatched the account, but instead it went to BBDO.

Betty Draper now in what appears to be her second trimester drops by the office to accompany her husband at a dinner with the Pryces. The secretaries entertain her as she waits for Don by guessing the gender of her unborn child using an old world trick. The sight of Roger Sterling only added to her already foul mood. Neither parties appear to be good company as all appear to have been obliged to spend an evening together. The Drapers did not want to be at the dinner as much as Rebecca Pryce did not want to leave London for New York. Aside from the obligatory dinner, Betty is bothered about her father’s situation learning that his girlfriend has left him, and that her irresponsible brother is left to look after him. She informs Don that she has invited her whole family to stay at their house over the weekend.

Roger Sterling gets a visit from his daughter and ex-wife to discuss her daughter’s wedding. On top of having to pay for the whole wedding, Roger learns that Margaret would rather not have Jane attend it. Moreover, Mona has already replaced him. Luckily he does not have to spend lunch with his family as he and Don have been sent to the lion’s den. Lane informs Don that Pete and Paul managed to irate the Vice President of Madison Square Garden, Edgar Raffit, in their previous meeting. Don and Roger are to woo the man with a plan to make Sterling Cooper the agency to make New York see past the ugliness of causing the ruin of a beloved landmark, and to fall in love with an unappealing Madison Square Garden. Don takes the campaign in a different direction. Instead of a Cyrano de Bergerac approach, he suggests that they change the conversation. Using his visit to California as inspiration, he manages to sell his idea of out with the old, in with the new. Don sees New York as a decaying city that needs a facelift. Madison Square Garden is the beginning of a new city on a hill. Edgar Raffit is charmed with the direction they are to take, and his only request is for Paul Kinsey to be out of the account.

The Hofstadts arrive at the Drapers. Betty is relieved to see her father well, but William says otherwise insisting that Gene’s mood constantly changes. He would rather have their father sent to a nursing home, but Betty knows William’s ulterior motive. Her brother has always had his eye on the ancestral house. With their father out of the picture, and Betty having a home of her own, it makes logical sense for William to keep the house.

After Don’s masterful pitch to win the Madison Square Garden account, he is told to drop the account for their mother company is not interested in projects that would take a long time to materialize. Don argues that Madison Square Garden is a long-term investment that has the potential to bring an enormous amount of revenue, but the London office has decided, and they are to comply. Lane takes full responsibility for having the agency go after this new business only to turn them down.

Though probably not the best time to get Don’s approval, Peggy Olson shows him the creative for the Patio ad. Surprised to hear that Don has not seen Ann-Margaret singing Bye Bye Birdie, she shows him the reel. Peggy finds it odd that the commercial is meant to attract men when their goal is to get women to drink diet soda. Don puts it in another light that Peggy would rather not hear. Men want women like Ann-Margaret, young, excited, and desperate for a man. The sad truth is that girls want to be her, and although Peggy continues to deny it, she herself is one of those girls. Tired of exuding the persona of an odd young woman, Peggy decides to act like the women of her age. She enters a crowded bar, and steals a line from Joan Holloway to get the men’s attention. It worked like a charm.

Don arrives home, and finds it a mess. William managed to make Betty feel guilty for not being able to take care of their father, and has convinced her that they only have two options either they send Gene to a nursing home or William and his wife will move in with him. Don puts his foot down, and solves the problem. He orders William to pretend having come up with the solution that Don presented to him. Their father will be staying with the Drapers with William covering their father’s expenses, and the much-disputed house will remain untouched. In addition, Don kicks William’s family out of his house forcing them to leave the car they arrived in, and take the train back home. So it has been decided, and Gene is not the least bit pleased with other people running his life.

Peggy picks up a young college student at a bar and has dinner with him. They end up in his house about to make love, but then Peggy becomes fearful of making the same mistake she made before. Nonetheless, the two end up in bed. Peggy tries to sneak out without waking her lover whom she has no plans of meeting again. Unfortunately, the young man wakes from his sleep, and finds her on her way out. Peggy manages to fend off any chance of starting a relationship, as what the two of them had is nothing but a one-night stand.

Betty hears a noise downstairs. She wakes her husband, and together they find Gene emptying bottles of wine into the sink. The sounds of the sirens had prompted him to do so thinking that they were still living in the time of Prohibition. Betty comes to a realization that her brother was right after all. Their father is indeed ill.

The Drapers attend Sally’s school’s Field Day to watch her class dance around the Maypole as a symbol of renewal of springtime. Don watches Sally’s teacher intently as she dances around the pole with her students. The teacher is carefree and happy like Ann-Margaret. He may have just found himself another lover.

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