Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Little Kiss, Part 2 – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.2

African Americans apply for a job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce
Synopsis: All, especially the men, are still abuzz about the surprise party for Don Draper.  Megan Draper, however, has become upset after learning of his husband’s disapproval of the party.  Lane Pryce, who appears to have money troubles, happens to find a wallet with a modest amount of cash in a taxicab.  He takes the time to find its owner, but begins to fantasize over the girlfriend of the owner whose photograph he keeps in his wallet.  Meanwhile, the ad Roger and Don put up on the Times as a prank to Y&R has caught up with them.

Episode Summary: Lane Pryce finds a wallet in a taxicab and takes it upon himself to see its return.  He arrives at his office only to receive a call from his anxious wife wanting to get assurance that their son, Nigel, will be enrolled at St. Paul’s in the fall.  Rebecca Pryce’s call comes from her finding in the mail a letter that threatened the dismissal of their child from school if their financial obligation has not been met.  Lane assures his wife that the letter is nothing but a school’s way to force parents to pay earlier than necessary.  Rebecca seems oblivious to their finances as she asks Lane to ask Megan for her real estate agent and her decorator.Continue reading...

Joan Holloway Harris arrives to find her baby in the arms of a filthy plumber.  Joan could not hide her disapproval that her mother made it a point to express her disappointment with her rudeness.  If Joan had initially expressed her gratitude for having her mother help with the newborn, she now challenges her to leave for home.  Incensed at her daughter, Gail Holloway shows Joan the ad from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce declaring them as an equal opportunity employer.  Joan finds it odd that the ad was placed on the advertising column instead of the want ads section.  Moreover, she notes that the agency does not have money to hire more employees.  Gail points out that the ad was meant to look for Joan’s replacement without her finding out.  Joan refuses to believe her mother’s assumption noting that Megan Draper had invited her to Don’s party.  Gail reminds her that the invitation came at the last minute.

Don Draper and Megan Draper arrive at the office minus the bliss.  Roger Sterling sees him arrive and imitates Megan’s sultry song and dance leading Don to warn him about mocking his wife.  They make their way to a partners’ meeting that Pete Campbell purposely called to transpire in his office forcing four grown men to squeeze in his couch.  He has called the meeting to announce that Mohawk Airlines has decided to return to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  However, the main purpose of the meeting is to emphasize the unsatisfactory layout of his office, one that is unsuitable for someone in his position given that he has brought in the most accounts.  Pete wants Roger’s office, but the senior partner refuses to accept his demand.  Nonetheless, Pete needs a better office before he meets with the clients from Mohawk Airlines.

Don passes by the pantry and receives praise for Saturday night’s party from Stan Rizzo and Harry Crane.  Stan and Harry continue discussing the party especially Megan’s seductive performance that continues to be on their minds.  Harry begins sharing his fantasy about Megan when the woman arrives at the pantry without his knowledge.  Stan acknowledges her presence, but Harry dismisses it as a joke and continues to describe salacious things she plans on doing to her.  Unable to stand Harry’s perversion, Megan finally makes her presence known much to Harry’s chagrin, and Stan’s enjoyment.  Later that day, Harry receives word from his secretary that Roger wants to speak to him at his office.  Fully aware of his misbehavior, Harry becomes apprehensive of the impromptu meeting believing that Roger wanted to speak to him about the incident with Megan.  Soon he learns that Pete is to take his office, but misunderstood this as him being terminated only to learn that Roger only meant for him and Pete to exchange offices.  Relieved Harry confesses to have made fun of Zou Bisou Bisou and learns that Roger did as well.  When the reality of the request had sunk in, Harry refuses to agree to it.  Roger, however, bribes him to submission with the cash he has in his pocket.  The cash amounted to a month’s worth of salary minus taxes.  Pete finds Harry packing up only to learn that Roger had spoken to him about giving Pete his office.  Pete is still displeased for having a bigger office was not the point he was trying to make.  He wanted to drive his importance as the only person to bring in all the business.  Meanwhile, Harry continues to despair the loss of his beautiful office and his anxiety over the incident with Megan resurfaces.  Later, Pete admires the view of his new office and despite not getting what he really wanted accepts it as a consolation.  He then gives his secretary permission to allow Roger to do what he wants and to put down an early morning appointment with Coca-Cola on his calendar.  The venue will be at the coffee shop in the ferry building in Staten Island.

Lane receives a call from Delores, the girlfriend of Alex Polito, the owner of the wallet he found in a taxicab.  He remembers her as the lovely young woman in the photograph that Alex keeps in his wallet.  His conversation with Delores slides into inappropriateness and his offer to drop off the wallet at the woman’s house made Delores uncomfortable.  Realizing the uneasiness of his proposition, Lane instead asks that Delores retrieve the wallet from his office.  The woman agrees to it and Lane could not contain his delight at getting a chance to meet her.  While dreaming of Delores, Lane receives an unexpected visit from Joan.  The woman who is still on maternity leave decided to drop by after seeing the want ad on the newspaper.  Joan is surprised to see a new receptionist at the desk.  The young woman did not know her.  Moreover, she learns from her that the previous receptionist is now being trained on the job Joan used to do.  Joan who brought his newborn son with her receives a warm reception from her colleagues including Don, who is genuinely happy to see her.  Another person ecstatic to see Joan is Roger, whose joke about wanting to see his baby troubled her until Roger clarified that the baby he was referring to is Joan.

Joan later finds herself discussing work with Lane despite her still being on leave.  Lane is worried about the agency’s finances, since Heinz refused to approve the creative.  He was counting on the Heinz’ payment for they were going to use the money for the production of the Christmas ads for Sugarberry and Vicks.  Joan, unable to contain her dissatisfaction, brings up her supposition of being replaced after seeing the ad on the Times.  Lane clarifies that the ad she saw was not really a want ad, but rather a gibe directed at Y&R.  Moreover, he elucidates the sad state of the books after Joan had gone on leave and confides in her the ineptness of the two women who have temporarily taken over her job.  Joan breaks down in tears at learning how much she is needed at the office.  Later that day, Lane’s fantasy of meeting Delores is dashed with the arrival of Mr. Polito.  The man has come instead of Delores to claim his lost wallet.  Although disappointed, Lane keeps the photograph of the woman.  He is in disbelief that a woman like Delores would be attracted to an unrefined, potbellied man like Mr. Polito.

Peggy Olson, who was the last person to want to hold the baby, ends up with it after everyone had to leave to attend to his or her work.  Megan’s comment about them having to take care of the baby is probably better than leaving it at the steps of a church only emphasized the reason for her reluctance to hold it.  To add to her unpleasant memory, Pete arrives and is equally disturbed with the sight of Peggy with a baby carriage.  His arrival gave her the opportunity to pass the responsibility of looking after the baby to him.  Peggy then leaves an awkward moment for another with a conversation with Megan, who begins to express her disappointment with her colleagues for their behavior during and after the party for Don.  She later learns that Megan’s ire is directed at Don after she alluded to his distaste of the surprise party she organized.  Peggy then uses her obnoxious comment at the party as an excuse to bring up Megan’s displeasure, which she attributes to Don’s dissatisfaction towards the party.  Learning of this and Megan’s flight home, Don wastes no time to be with his wife.  He, however, did not come home to apologize.  He finds his wife upset and begins to clean their filthy house in her underwear.  Her defiance and the sight of her half-naked arouse him that the two make passionate love on the floor of the living room.  After they are done, Don tells his wife that the only reason he disliked the party is that he did not want his colleagues in their home.  He makes it clear to her that the problems they have in the office have been there before her.  Megan, however, could not help but wonder if working alongside her husband is a good idea.  Don does not care about work.  He wants Megan at work, because he wants her.  Conversely, Don wants Megan to have what she wants.  Husband and wife, once again arrive at the office with the same devotion as before.

They were surprised at the sight of numerous African Americans at reception hoping to land a job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Inside, the partners are confounded as how to address the situation.  The person responsible for the ad is nowhere in sight for Roger is at Staten Island for a supposed 6 A.M. meeting with Coca-Cola.  He, nonetheless, arrives in time to find the applicants at the reception and could not help but smile at the reason for their presence.  Afraid of becoming the subject of a protest, Don suggests that they just hire one, but Lane contends that they cannot hire anyone now.  Pete suggests terminating the new receptionist, but Roger makes it clear that they cannot have an African American be at the front desk.  Soon, the receptionist enters with an African American artifact that Y&R sent along with a racist resume.  The partners meet with the applicants with a statement that they are only accepting resumes for a secretarial job position, and make a promise to schedule an interview on applicants that meet their qualifications.

Watch the Mad Men episode A Little Kiss, Part 2
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