Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Fog - Mad Men Episode Summary 3.5

Betty Draper gives birthSynopsis: Betty Draper struggles to deliver her third child, while Don Draper wait for hours in anticipation of his newborn. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips who now works at Grey Advertising woos Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. The young man rejects Duck’s offer, while Peggy gives it some thought.

Episode Summary: Don and Betty Draper are called in Sally’s school after an incident involving their daughter and her schoolmate. Sally, a well-behaved student, has gotten in a violent fight with her schoolmate, which surprised her teacher. Due to her pupil’s uncharacteristic behavior, Miss Farrell thought it best to ask the Drapers what has changed in their household, and learns that Sally’s grandfather recently passed away. Miss Farrell now understands that the poor child is grieving, and requires more attention; something she probably does not get at home. Betty, unable to handle being reminded of her father’s passing, excuses herself leaving Don alone with the teacher. In a rare act, Don Draper shares a bit of his past with Miss Farrell, acknowledging the fact that he too has lost someone at a very young age. Realizing how the meeting is upsetting the very pregnant Betty Draper and already aware of the reason for Sally’s actions, Miss Farrell informs her that there is no need to discuss it any further.Continue reading...

Pete Campbell is brooding over the Admiral television account after seeing that their campaigns did nothing to increase sales. He, however, noticed that there is growth in African American communities, a market they have not targeted. Moreover, they seem to be out-buying other ethnic groups. To add to Campbell’s annoyance, Ken Cosgrove walks in to gloat about the freebies he received from his client, Birds Eye.

Lane Pryce is pinching pennies, which exasperated Don Draper causing him to walk out of a meeting he was already late for. Pryce is equally annoyed, and later confronts Don to point out the inefficiencies of his department. Don defends his team arguing that it is the way creative teams work, and they are good at their jobs despite the nuisances Pryce has trouble overlooking. Don recommends that Pryce get his hands dirty instead of merely pinching pennies with office supplies and expense accounts. He needs to turn his attention to media for clients have no qualms paying for it. He needs to help Bert Cooper and Harry Crane grow the media department.

Pete Campbell gets an unexpected call from his Uncle Herman, and is more surprised to learn that the man on the other line is actually Herman “Duck” Phillips. The man who was unceremoniously terminated felt the need to put on a charade to avoid raising any bells. Duck, now working for Grey Advertising wants to meet with Pete Campbell possibly to offer him a job.

Don Draper too receives an unexpected call from Miss Farrell to apologize for that morning’s meeting. The teacher found that her reaction to hearing the news was overboard and inappropriate, but explains that it was only due to her own personal experience of having lost her father at a very young age. Betty’s going into labor interrupts the call. Moreover, Don lies when his wife asks who was on the phone knowing very well that Miss Farrell did not call merely to apologize.

Betty Draper is wheeled into the maternity section, while Don is asked to stay in the waiting room. A man named Dennis Hobart anxious about his wife’s condition is waiting in the solarium with Don Draper. Mr. Hobart had a good sense of bringing a bottle with him, while he waits, and he shares a drink with Don. Don seems to be more open to strangers, and begins to tell the man about to be a father of the first time Betty gave birth. He remembers getting worked up, and being told by a nurse to imagine just what his wife must be going through. Mr. Hobart, a prison guard, tells Don what it’s like to have his job. The man sees himself as a king whose subjects are out to get him, but he does say that not all prisoners are vicious. He does tell him that all of the criminals blame their parents for their behavior, a mentality Don finds to be full of crap.

Understandably, Betty Draper is irritable, and becomes even more so when she learns that another doctor is filling in given that hers is out drinking. The nurses’ medication puts Betty to sleep where she dreams walking in their neighborhood, and catching a caterpillar in her hand. Meanwhile, Don and Mr. Hobart fuss with the cigarette vending machine. The long wait is causing anxiety on Mr. Hobart. Betty is still not in labor, and the medication has worn off giving way to a more irascible and getting close to a violent woman in labor. Her behavior is a result of her growing distrust of her husband. Not seeing him in the room, Betty fears that the man has left; something he has done before. After hours of waiting, Mr. Hobart finally receives news that he is now a proud father of a baby boy. However, his wife has lost a lot of blood, and is currently undergoing blood transfusion, but is not in mortal danger. With this new change in his life that he believes he does not deserve, Mr. Hobart tells Don that he vows to be a better man.

Betty Draper still hasn’t gone into labor. She struggles to deliver her baby to no avail. Betty falls back to sleep, but now in her dream she walks the hospital’s hallway that then turns into their house. She sees her father mopping the floor with his blood-soaked mop. Betty asks him if she is dying, but the man deflects her question to his wife, Ruthie. Betty’s late mother reprimands her for asking such a question. Moreover, the woman who is standing beside a bloodied African American man sitting beside her warns Betty of the consequences of speaking up. Ruthie advises her to be happy with what she has, which her father confirms. Betty Draper wakes up in a hospital room with her baby in her arms. Don Draper is right there with her, and informs her that she gave birth to a baby boy. She names her son Eugene, after her father.

A sleepless Don Draper arrives at Sterling Cooper, and finds his office filled with gifts for his newborn child. He hasn’t even settled into his office when he receives a call from Roger Sterling asking that he get himself to the art department and approve their work. It is as if the office stood still when Don was out albeit he was only away for half a day. Meanwhile, Peggy Olson is out to lunch with Duck Phillips. Pete Campbell arrives surprised to see the young woman there, and based on Peggy’s reaction his arrival shocked her as well. What was more shocking was Duck Phillips telling them that he is aware of their secret relationship, one that Pete quickly denies. Duck, however, is convinced that he is correct in his assumption after witnessing how Pete helped Peggy get Freddie Rumsen’s job. Peggy attempts to clarify about her getting the job, but Duck need not hear it. He is in admiration of the two’s ambition, which he finds rare in the advertising industry. He offers the both of them jobs at Grey Advertising, which Pete immediately turns down. To his surprise, Peggy shows interest at Duck’s proposal. Duck continues to woo Pete, pointing out that his ideas, and will to take risks will not fly at Sterling Cooper. Instead of winning him over, the young man is more certain now of his decision to reject Duck’s offer.

Pete Campbell makes his way back to Sterling Cooper, and gets to work before even reaching his floor. He begins a conversation with Mr. Hollis, the African American elevator operator. He asks him what brand of television he has in his home, and is disappointed to learn that the man has an RCA, convinced that he has an Admiral. Pete continues to ask questions to the point of pulling the emergency stop causing the poor man to feel uncomfortable, but Pete assures him that he truly just want to know the reasons why he chose RCA over other brands. Despite all the trouble, Pete does not get the answer he wants to hear. Mr. Hollis insists not knowing what brand of television his friends has, and claims not to even use the TV. Pete apologizes in a way claiming that his actions were brought about by his job.

Betty Draper looks out the window of his hospital room carrying her newborn child, and finds her family outside happily waving at her. That night, Sally Draper gets out of bed, surprised to see her father in the kitchen cooking. The young girl seems a bit disappointed to learn that her baby brother is getting grandpa Gene’s room. Don Draper assures his daughter that everything’s going to be all right, relieved that Miss Farrell had given the young girl the same assurance.

Pete Campbell meets with the Admiral executives, who do not appear to be sorry about losing Bert Peterson, a man they find to be a fool. The purpose of the meeting is to introduce them to his replacement, Harry Crane, a fitting one for he is Sterling Cooper’s expert in television media. Pete Campbell informs them of having discovered growth on African American communities, but is surprised to learn that Admiral is already aware of this. He proposes a new strategy of targeting the African American market, recommending shifting their media dollars to the more efficient market. In addition, he suggests that they produce integrated ads that would appeal to both black and white audiences. Admiral’s unwillingness to go with the strategy that seems to be a clear winner astonishes Pete Campbell.

Don Draper tries to catch some sleep in his office when Peggy Olson arrives to personally hand him her gift for his newborn son, but her visit is more than just gift giving. Peggy Olson asks Don Draper for a raise, pointing out that she hasn’t earned her secretary’s respect, because she knows that she only earns seventy-one dollars more than she does. Moreover, she is aware that Paul Kinsey earns a lot more than her despite turning in poorly done work. Lastly, she learned that an equal opportunity law has been passed where women who do the same work as men should be paid the same amount of money. Unfortunately, Don Draper claims that it is not a good time for him to give out raises with Lane Pryce pinching pennies.

Pete sees Peggy come out of a closed door meeting with Don, and confronts her about it worried that she told him about their meeting with Duck. Already sharing a job with Ken Cosgrove, he is afraid that management hearing of their meeting would cost him his job. Peggy does not have the same dilemma, because other agencies vying for her will only make Sterling Cooper want her more. He warns her that her decisions affect him. It is not Pete Campbell’s day. Senior management calls him to a meeting to reprimand him of the strategy he proposed to Admiral Television. Bert Cooper informs the young man that their client has no interest in becoming a television company for colored people. Pete argues of not seeing the logic to turn down an opportunity to make more money to which Bert explains that no company wants to be involved with a sensitive issue. He catches a break with Lane Pryce coming to his rescue. He believes that pursuing the African American market is not a terrible idea, and that they should continue with the strategy, but not with Admiral Television.

Don Draper arrives home with his wife, and newborn child. The joy of having another baby quickly dissipates for Betty when she once again has to get up late at night to attend to her crying child.

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