Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Summer Man – Mad Men Episode Summary 4.8

Don Draper swimmingSynopsis: Don Draper starts to keep a diary that has his innermost thoughts including that of his youngest son Gene whose birthday is coming up, and one he is advised not to attend.  Joey Baird blatantly disrespects Joan Harris causing the otherwise tough woman to be brought to tears.

Episode Summary: Don Draper starts to write a diary revealing his innermost thoughts, of how he hints of being an alcoholic, and how he did not finish high school.  He goes for a swim at the gym only to find himself out of breath.  Don arrives at the office glad to see Ms. Blankenship back from her eye operation only to be reminded that it only cured her eyes and did nothing to her muddled brain. Continue reading...

The mad men of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are fussing with the vending machine that ate Ken’s change.  Joan Harris reprimands them, but gets disrespect from Joey Baird causing her to speak to him privately about his attitude.  However, instead of getting an apology the young man continues his insolence and goes on to call Joan a whore.  Joey leaves without remorse for the insults he hurled at Joan.  The woman was brought to tears, but is too taken aback to retort that she just decides to leave for home instead.  She arrives home to find that her husband is all packed for his basic training reminding her that she is going to be left alone soon, a thought that brought her to tears.

Don learns that Betty called to inform him that he couldn’t have the kids that weekend for it is Gene’s birthday, a party he cannot attend.  He begins to write about this on his diary, admitting to the fact that the poor child was conceived in a moment of desperation.  He then goes on to write the things he wants to do beginning with a goal to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or to any place in Africa and to gain control over the way he feels.

Don meets with his team about the Mountain Dew project, and learns from Ken Cosgrove that the client hates what they have done.  He orders a redo of the creative, and tells Joan of his plan to have Joey work full time for a couple of weeks to toil on Mountain Dew.  Joan is reluctant to give Joey the job, and informs Don in front of his team of the complaints she had received from the girls in the office about the young man.  Joey, however, appears to be in good terms with the men especially Harry Crane who had even gone to show the folks at Peyton Place Joey’s picture, thinking that he could be the young fresh face the show is looking for.  Although Joan’s statement came as a surprise to Peggy, it made her confront Joey about it, and learns that the young man had told her off.  Peggy warns her about getting on Joan’s bad side, but Joey is adamant that he did the right thing.  Moreover, he unconsciously reveals his issues with her mother whom he claims to be very much like Joan.

Henry Francis and Betty Draper have dinner with Ralph Stuben, a man apologetic for dragging husband and wife to an impromptu dinner.  Betty’s pleasant behavior turns on a dime the moment she sees Don at the restaurant with the young woman, Bethany Van Nuys.  Seeing that they will eventually bump into each other, Henry decides to approach Don.  It made for an awkward meeting that made Bethany even more uncomfortable especially after learning that the beautiful woman Henry is with is Don’s ex-wife.  Being in the presence of her ex-husband’s date is even more distressing for Betty who did not expect the dinner meant to thank Henry for securing the Governor’s endorsement for Congressman Lindsay would be upsetting.  What would have been a delightful dinner with Henry learning that the Congressman is planning on building a team around him becomes a disastrous one with Betty ending up being drunk.  Meanwhile, Don and Bethany ended up having a good time especially Don whom Bethany serviced inside the cab.  It only took one look at his ex-wife to make a sweet girl who had been playing hard to get to become a woman anxious to please a man.

Don arrives at the office to an uncharacteristic Faye Miller.  The woman’s angry voice could be heard outside the phone booth where she sat yelling at who appears to be his soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.  Meanwhile, Betty wakes up to find Henry ready to go to work, and apologizes for her behavior the previous night.  Henry accepts her apology, but on his way out takes his anger on Don’s things that are still lying in the garage.  Soon Henry gives Don a call subtly asking him to get his things out of the house, a request that Don accepts without a fuss.  However, Henry makes another request; the man would rather have him fetch his things the day before Gene’s birthday party.  This annoyed Don and almost drove him to get a drink.

Despite her hesitation to make Joey a full time employee, Joan shares Don’s request to Lane, but because the matter is really up to her, the man does not have a say.  Knowing that rejecting the request due to personal matters is wrong, Joan instead asks Lane to get rid of the vending machine, the thing that started it all.  Following an inquiry from a colleague about the closed meeting between Lane and Joan, Joey begins to sketch an inappropriate drawing of what he believes is happening inside Lane’s office.  To make it worse, Joey posted the sketch on Joan’s window for her to see.  Joan confronts the men, and this time she has something to say that would push their buttons.  Joan blesses the day that the men are drafted in Vietnam where they will yearn for home, and there is a good chance that they may not return.  Peggy was there to witness the confrontation, and she takes it upon herself to remove the offensive drawing.  Moreover, she brings it to the attention of Don, and his solution is for Peggy to just fire the guy.  This is not what Peggy had envisaged when she came to Don, but he is right to pass the responsibility to her for she is Joey’s boss.  Don having to do the dirty job for her will only reflect badly of Peggy.  Seeing his point, Peggy calls Joey to her office, and tells him to apologize to Joan, but the young man would not budge.  Moreover, he adds a misogynist remark that only made it easier for Peggy to fire him.  Joey is in disbelief and thinks that Peggy was bluffing, but it is soon made clear to him and to the other men as well that she is in charge.  It was a moment of triumph for Peggy until Joan makes her realize that it is not.  Joan could have approached the matter differently and had gotten the same result, but she did not for getting Joey fired for his behavior does not prove anything other than Joan being a meaningless secretary and Peggy being a humorless bitch.

Don meets with Dr. Miller to go over Fillmore Parts then segues to asking her to have dinner with him.  Unlike before Faye accepts his offer, but only if he asks her again in a way that showed that he had given it much thought.  Meanwhile, Betty is stressing out about Gene’s birthday, and her friend Francine could not understand why until she realized that Don is the cause of her stress.  Betty tells her about running into Don in the city while he was on a date with a very young woman causing her to misbehave.  It seems that Betty’s annoyance stems from seeing Don happy for getting the life he wanted.  Francine warns her against Don believing that the man has nothing to lose, while she has everything.

Don fetches his things from his old house only to find it on the curb, and Henry outside the house mowing the lawn.  Later, he drives to an alley and dumps all of his things in the garbage.  That night, he has dinner with Faye at a fancy restaurant, and learns that her father, though not exactly a mobster, is connected to the mob.  Don shares with her the fact that he is not allowed to attend his youngest son’s birthday party, because the boy thinks that Henry is his father.  Don takes the opportunity to tell Faye that he does admire her work even though he often seems not to, and goes on to ask how she manages to get people to do what she wants.  The woman believes that kindness, gentleness and persuasion win where force fails.  Don seems to have used this approach on Faye with him refusing to take her home with him, which only made the woman want him more.  The next day, Don goes for a swim and finds himself in competition with a younger man.  He later decides to attend his son’s birthday party causing Henry alarm knowing that his presence annoys Betty, but Francine’s comment the other day caused her to have a change of heart so much so that she brings her son to Don that the two can spend some time together.

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