Sunday, April 13, 2014

Signal 30 – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.5

Lane Pryce and Pete Campbell fistfightSynopsis: Lane Pryce becomes friends with the senior vice president of public relations for Jaguar and desires to be the one to bring the account to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  His inexperience as an account man leads the other partners of the firm to take over revealing the friend of Lane’s proclivity for prostitutes.  Pete Campbell attends driver’s education, lusts for the young woman in the class, and ends up with a prostitute to Don Draper’s dismay.  Cynthia Cosgrove brags about her husband’s work as a science fiction novelist at a dinner at the Campbells causing Roger Sterling to order Ken to put a stop to it.

Episode Summary: Pete Campbell attends a driver’s education class and begins to lust for the young woman in the class.  He returns to his suburban home only to be kept awake by the sound of a dripping faucet.  Unable to bear the incessant dripping, Pete takes out his toolbox and begins fixing the faucet in the middle of the night.  He surprises himself when he manages to stop the dripping.Continue reading...

Rebecca Pryce nags her husband, Lane Pryce, about getting dressed so they can meet her new acquaintances at a pub to watch football.  Lane has no fond memories of spending hours in a pub watching football, but agrees to the wishes of his homesick wife who wants to spend her day in the company of fellow English immigrants.  Lane finds himself having an enjoyable time at the pub as he and his compatriots celebrate England’s win of the World Cup with loud cheers.  Moreover, Edwin Baker, the husband of Rebecca’s newfound friend turns out to be the senior vice president of public relations for Jaguar Cars Incorporated.  He suggested that Lane’s firm give him a call, because they are currently looking for a new agency to break them into the American market.  Lane breaks the news to the partners and all except Pete are ecstatic about the new business.  All, however, are concerned of having Lane take the driver’s seat on this account, fully aware that he is not an account man.  Roger Sterling volunteers to become Lane’s unsought adviser.  He goes over the request for proposal from Jaguar with Lane, who is intimidated with the questions.  Roger advises that the best way to answer the questions is to have the client do it, and notes that he had done it before with the Dr. Scholl’s client.  He recommends that Lane stay sober through dinner, while making sure that the client does the opposite.  He tells him that it is best to let the client do the talking and he will learn that somewhere in the middle of the entrée, the client will share a revelation.  Roger, however, advises Lane not to delve into it until dessert at which point he is to reveal that he shares the client’s problem.  Having formed a relationship with a supposed problem shared by both of them, Lane would have forged a friendship with the client deep enough to have the client feel obligated to do him a favor by filling out the request for proposal.  Lane worries that the client might be reticent.  In that event, Roger recommends that Lane do the reverse and feed the client his story enough to have him share his as well.

Peggy Olson bumps into Ken Cosgrove in a diner and finds him unwilling to introduce her to the man he claims as Cynthia’s uncle.  Peggy becomes annoyed believing that Ken has violated the pact of taking her with him when he finds a better job at another agency.  He later informs Peggy that the man he was with was truly an editor from Farrar Straus.  Ken has kept writing under the Ben Hargrove nom de plume after his success in the fantasy and science fiction genre.  His wife, Cynthia, has spoken with the publishing house and has convinced them to take the best twenty of his works and turn them into a collection.

Pete invites Don and Megan Draper for dinner at his house on Saturday.  Don fails to shirk from the invitation that he orders his wife to cancel with Trudy Campbell.  Ostensibly, Trudy had inveigled the Drapers into accepting the invitation after she had informed Megan that Don already agreed to dine with them.  Megan, who likes Trudy, refuses to be the one to cancel and tells her husband to make the cancelation himself.  Don gives Trudy a call and finds the woman ready to pounce on his excuses determined to have the dinner happen some other evening if not that Saturday.  He finds himself unable to escape having dinner with the Campbells and acquiesces to the invitation.

Ken and Cynthia Cosgrove are already at the Campbells where Pete shows off his enormous stereo.  Don and Megan arrive bearing brownies from William Greenberg bringing nostalgia to Pete, who terribly misses Manhattan having spent most of his life there.  Pete could not contain his and Trudy’s delight at Don coming to dinner and Pete makes him aware of it.  Dinner ensues and Trudy begins to speak of the history of their neighborhood, Cos Cob.  At that time, Don and Megan still could not remember the name of Ken’s wife, but learn that the two have settled in a humble neighborhood in Jackson Heights, Queens despite Cynthia’s family being well off.  Cynthia confesses that unlike Trudy’s parents, hers requires something in exchange for every favor asked.  Megan finds the country delightful, but Ken, who grew up in rural Vermont, and Don in a farm with an outhouse do not share the same enchantment for the country.  Pete agrees that it is a charming neighborhood, but confesses to have many varmints causing Ken to divulge that Pete had kept the BB rifle he got for a wedding present.  The conversation turns to the sniper Charles Whitman, who murdered at least twenty people, and it made Trudy uncomfortable enough to ask to change the subject.  Megan, at last, learns of the name of the wife of Ken and almost reveals of not remembering it when she exclaims her name after finally hearing it.  Ken tries to prevent his wife from telling them of his work as a writer, but Cynthia is too proud of what he had accomplished that she reveals that his secret career as a writer was what brought them together.  Cynthia worked at the publishing company that had rejected Ken’s works numerous times.  Intrigued at Ken’s work, they urge her to share the novel Ken wrote.  Cynthia shares with them the plot of The Punishment of X4 where the main character is a robot whose job is to maintain the bridge between two planets where thousands of humans travel on every day.  The robot, however, removes a bolt from the bridge causing it to collapse killing everyone on it.  Learning of Ken’s secret life, Don shares that Megan came to New York to become an actress and had gone on auditions on a few commercials.  It was there that she decided to work for an advertising agency believing it to be a fun work place and eventually seeing herself working in creative.  The women go to the kitchen to get the desserts only to be sprayed with water from the faucet prompting the men to see what caused the screams and laughter.  Don takes action as a flustered Pete rushes for his toolbox.  He found that the supply was turned all the way up, something Pete had done for it stopped the leak unaware that doing so was just a coincidence.  The palaver, however, woke up the baby, but her cries melted everyone’s hearts including Don.  On their way home, Don, who is too drunk and horny to drive, asks Megan to pull over that they can make love.  Megan does so after being frightened with Pete’s car accident statistics and after being turned on by her husband fixing the sink.

Lane is having dinner with Edwin trying very hard to follow Roger’s suggestions.  He learns that Edwin had spent three years in North Africa during the war living like a dog, but mistakenly associates the man’s memories with melancholy.  Edwin, in fact, confesses that he had the best time of his life in North Africa for he associates it with his youth.  Lane, however, could not relate for he spent the war working as a supply assistant in Rosyth that he did not even spend any time away from Britain.  Finding that they do not have anything in common, Lane asks if Edwin’s wife is pleased with them being immigrants in America hoping that his wife shares the same homesickness as Rebecca.  Edwin, however, states that he has not a complaint in the world. He returns to the office the next day with news of his failure prompting Pete to suggest that he let the account men and Don meet with Edwin for dinner to talk about business allowing Lane to maintain his personal relationship with Edwin.  Lane is disappointed at having been thrown to the sidelines, but consents to the plan.  Don, Roger, and Pete have dinner with Edwin and Don proposes that they deliver the message that the Jaguar XKE is pornographic.  Edwin confesses that he intends to hand the account to them, but he would like to have a good time and makes it clear to them of the lasciviousness of his desires.  Roger brings all of them to a high-end brothel where everyone but Don succumbs to the allure of the women.  Seeing him at the bar without a woman beside him made the madam mistake him for a cop.  Learning that he is not, she entices him with other prospects, but Don continues to decline the offer noting that he grew up in a whorehouse.  After a salacious night, they drop off Edwin to his home leaving Pete and Don in the cab.  Pete, overcome with guilt especially after becoming aware that Don did not succumb to temptation, becomes upset with the man.  Although Don had said nothing the whole evening, Pete believes that the man is judging him that he confronts Don about it.  Don did find Pete sleeping with a whore abhorrent, because he saw that Pete had risked throwing his happy life with his wife and child for a night of lust.

Pete attends another driver’s education class and converses with Jenny Gunther, the young woman who confesses to find the accidents shown in class gruesome.  Moreover, the young woman becomes worried about the violence that struck Chicago and the University of Texas that troubled many especially parents and children.  She finds that the world has changed and that time has been slipping them by.  Pete could not agree more.  She finds herself revealing her love for the botanical gardens.  Pete claims that his family had donated part of it and invites the young woman to see it with him.  The young woman declines the invitation without being blunt about it.  He asks the young woman again the next time they meet and she continues to make excuses.  The arrival of Handsome, her classmate in Chemistry, provides her an opportunity to escape Pete’s prodding.

Roger learns of Ken’s work as a writer and reproaches the man for it accusing him of having his attention divided because of it.  He then leaves Ken in his office to ponder on their conversation and attends the partners’ meeting.  A livid Lane arrives and asks Joan Holloway-Harris to leave the room.  Lane goes on a rampage about losing the Jaguar account due to the previous night’s activities.  The events of which Edwin’s wife learned after finding her husband with chewing gum on his pubis, information that caused laughter amongst the men, which only angered Lane even more.  Lane is in disbelief at Pete’s statement that it was Edwin, who wanted to spend a salacious evening, believing that his friend has no taste in such activities.  Pete insults Lane with a statement that Edwin had not shared his proclivity for lasciviousness, because he found him to be a homosexual.  Lane continues with his tirade with an accusation that they had lost his account to which Pete argues that their need for him had expired the day after he fired them.  Lane challenges Pete to a fistfight to address the insults slung at him.  Pete looks at the other partners for help, but they remain silent eager to see the two fight like men.  He accepts the challenge and Pete lands the first punch, but Lane fights back drawing blood from Pete’s nose.  The men continue to watch as Peggy arrives at Joan’s office to find her listening through the intercom.  Lane lands a few more punches on Pete enough to knock him down on the floor ending the fight and prompting the men to come to the fallen man’s aid.  Pete is up on his feet despite the bloody nose and returns to his office just as Lane did.  He, with a bruised face and ego, decides to leave the office and finds Don holding the elevator for him.  Pete, in tears, confesses that he has nothing.  Joan comes to Lane’s aid with a bucket of ice and consoling words.  Pete’s statements made the man ponder of his role in the agency.  Her words, however, stirred passion in Lane.   He kisses her passionately.  Joan does not reject the man, but shows her disapproval by opening the door of his office.  Lane apologizes for his actions.  Joan accepts it and continues to be his friend with a statement that he had done what everyone wanted to do to Pete.  There is truth in her statement and Ken could attest to that for he believes that it was Pete, who tattled to Roger of his extracurricular activities.  He informs Peggy that he is putting Ben Hargrove to bed, which he does but gives life to Dave Algonquin with a new novel called “The Man with the Miniature Orchestra”.  The protagonist who is miserable with his life in the country resembles Pete.  There is no end to Pete’s misery as he attends the driver’s education class and finds Jenny in the arms of Handsome.


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