Sunday, May 4, 2014

At the Codfish Ball – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.7

At the Codfish Ball Mad Men EpisodeSynopsis:  Megan Draper’s parents arrive in New York to see Don Draper accept the award from the American Cancer Society honoring him for the open letter that criticized tobacco companies including their former client, Lucky Strike.  An accident necessitated Don’s children to stay in his apartment along with his in-laws giving Megan an inspired idea for the Heinz Baked Beans campaign. Meanwhile, a talk with Joan Holloway-Harris about the disturbing call Peggy Olson received from his boyfriend convinced Peggy that Abe Drexler would be proposing marriage to her.

Episode Summary: With Betty and Henry Francis in Michigan with baby Gene, Pauline Francis looks after Sally and Bobby Draper.  With her parents away, Sally takes the opportunity to call Glen Bishop at school on a weeknight and learns that the boy is still heartbroken from the recent breakup with his girlfriend.  Pauline calls for her to set up the table for dinner, but trips on the telephone cord.  The fall sprained the woman’s ankle.Continue reading...

Megan Draper’s parents, Marie and Dr. Emile Calvet, arrive in New York to attend the event honoring Don Draper for his bold open letter that criticized tobacco companies including their former client, Lucky Strike.  Soon after their arrival, Don receives a call from Sally and leaves his guests to fetch his children.  Don returns home with his children proud of his daughter for her precocious response to the emergency.  Sally called the police and performed first aid on her restless step-grandmother.  The Calvets are impressed and offered to sightsee with the children the following day and to look after them in the evening while Don and Megan have dinner with the Heinz client.  Don suggests that his wife ask her parents to look after their children at the night of the awards, but Megan refuses the suggestion knowing that her parents came to see him receive the award.  Don believes that no award will make her father like him better.  Megan acknowledges this noting that she is her father’s favorite, which is also the reason why her mother competes with her.  She imparts that her mother’s display of affection towards Don is a result of such jealousy.

Megan has an epiphany from the spaghetti she served at dinner the night before.  She conveys to Don her idea for the Heinz campaign where a mother from the Stone Age all through the future where a colony on the moon serves Heinz Baked Beans.  Don is pleasantly surprised at the splendid idea his wife had including the tag line “Heinz Beans, some things never change.”  He calls his team to inform them of the complete revamp of their human cannon ball campaign for Heinz.  Although the change upset both Stan Rizzo and Michael Ginsberg, they did admit of the idea to be superior to theirs.

A newly divorced Roger Sterling meets his first wife, Mona, for drinks.  She learns that the man has come to ask her a favor.  Roger admits that he had lost everything when he lost Lucky Strike and has since been trying to obtain another major client for his agency.  He gives her the names of the four members of the American Cancer Society with the hope that Mona can arrange a meeting with him and Firestone.  Mona acknowledging that Roger is still the one providing financial support to his family accepts the favor.  Roger apprises Don of his plan to network during the awards ceremony.  Don disapproves of the idea believing that the event is not a platform for obtaining clients even though it was the reason why he wrote the open letter.  Moreover, he believes that the award will not gain him any favors including his communist father-in-law of whose disapproval he is certain.

Peggy Olson receives a call from her boyfriend, Abe Drexler, anxious to have dinner with her at a restaurant.  The exigency of speaking with her alone made her apprehensive so much so that she speaks to Joan Holloway-Harris about it.  Peggy is certain that Abe is about to end their relationship.  Joan argues that men do not take the time to end relationships and therefore believes that Abe will be proposing marriage to Peggy.  She advises that Peggy have an answer ready especially if it is a rejection.  Peggy takes Joan’s advice and buys a new dress for the evening.  She arrives in the restaurant in gleeful anticipation of Abe’s marriage proposal only to learn that the man only wants to move-in with her.  Abe is fond of the idea of living with Peggy, but not enough to ask for her hand in marriage.  Although it is not the proposal she wanted to hear, Peggy brings herself to accept it in spite of an overwhelming feeling of disappointment.

The Drapers and the Cosgroves have dinner with the Geigers, the Heinz client, where they learn that Ken’s father-in-law is on the board of the American Cancer Society.  Cynthia Cosgrove does note that the decision to give the award to Don was unanimous.  The conversation about the award began with Don’s invitation for the Geigers to attend, which Raymond Geiger politely turned down.  Don is surprised at the rejection and the news of the Geigers cutting short their trip to New York.  Alice Geiger, who has become fond of Megan, alludes to her husband’s plan of pulling out the Heinz account from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  The women return from the powder room allowing Megan to whisper to Don the unfortunate news.  Don tries to extend the dinner, but Raymond insists on ending it until Megan urges her husband to relay the evening he had with his children and in-laws.  He begins to tell of having three generations of their family in his home that evening and his observation of Megan as she spooned baked beans onto Sally’s plate while her mother looked on with nostalgic joy.  Megan informs the Geigers that the scene gave Don an idea about the campaign, but to their consternation, Ken dissuades him from pitching it at dinner.  Fortunately, the story already caught Raymond’s interest that the client himself insists that Don continue with the pitch.  Don relays the idea of taking a series of one-shot little movies beginning with a mother from the Stone Age serving beans to her son by the fire up to the present then to the future in a lunar kitchen where a child takes off his helmet to eat a spoonful of beans.  Megan reinforces the pitch with her thoughts about how a mother, a child and dinner will always be the same despite the changing world.  Don then utters the tag line “Heinz Beans, some things never change.”  Raymond is not ready to make a decision, annoying his wife who found the idea exceptional.  Ken informs the client that they have other ideas to show him, but Don makes it clear that what he had pitched is all they have.  The account executive finally understands the urgency of having the client agree to it at that moment and advises to skipping tomorrow’s meeting with a decision that very moment.  Raymond Geiger approves of the idea and they celebrate his approval with champagne.  Don becomes very proud of his wife for feeding him the pitch and fanning the fires of Raymond’s curiosity averting him from upsetting the client consequently saving the account.

The agency celebrates the success of husband and wife saving the Heinz account with champagne.  Joan informs Peggy about the celebration, but notices that the copywriter might not be up for it seeing that she is missing an engagement ring.  Peggy masks her disappointment with feigned contentment at having been asked to move in with her boyfriend.  Joan, noticing that Peggy is not entirely thrilled with the idea, brings herself to provide consolation in place of condescension.  She states that she found her situation romantic given that Abe wants to be with Peggy no matter what.  Joan’s words indeed brought Peggy comfort.  Megan leaves the celebration to inform Peggy of their success and finds that her boss is in fact happy for her.  Peggy confesses that her success should have made her jealous, but is surprised that it brought her pleasure instead.  She finds that she is reliving her own success through Megan, which is something to be cherished.  Peggy tells Megan that she should revel in it for it is as good as it gets.  Her words, however, had the opposite effect on Megan.  Later, Peggy invites her mother to have dinner at her apartment with Abe to announce their decision to live together.  As expected, Katherine Olson disapproves of their decision and leaves the apartment with the cake she brought for dessert.  Katherine finds that their living in sin is not a cause for celebration.  She believes that Peggy is selling herself short certain that Abe will just be using her for practice until he decides to marry and start a family with another woman.

The following day, the women return home from shopping.  Megan and her mother urge Sally to ask her father to allow her to attend the awards ceremony.  Marie, in an attempt to convince Don to approve of the request, states that every daughter should get to see her father as a success.  Her statement made Emile livid picking a fight with his wife in front of the children alarming Don.  He learns that Emile’s meeting with the publisher was a failure that he phones his girlfriend, his graduate student, to seek comfort.  Despite the disturbing scene earlier that day, Emile and Marie have recovered and they are ready to attend the awards ceremony.  A newly divorced Roger arrives without a date and finds himself flirting with Marie.  Sally entering the living room in her evening dress interrupts their flirtation and enchants everyone including Don, who is mesmerized by her.  He, however, does not cease his role as a father and warns of not allowing her to attend the awards ceremony if she does not remove her makeup and change her shoes to something more age appropriate.  Soon as they arrive, Pete Campbell reels Don away from his family in order to introduce him to Ed Baxter, Ken’s father-in-law who also happens to be an executive at Dow Corning.  Roger takes over in keeping the Calvets and Sally company in Don’s absence, but his goal of obtaining new clients keeps him away from them from time to time.  Marie has been observing him the whole time amused at his interaction with Sally whom he named as his date for the evening.  The child finds the lackluster event a disappointment and becomes bored.  To add to her disenchantment, the entrée for the evening is codfish, a dish she dislikes.  At last, his father receives his award and returns to their table.  He offers her the award, but Sally politely refuses it believing that the award brings his father joy.  Don, however, tells her that it is she who brings him joy.  Regretfully, his obligations to his agency, once again keeps him from his family.  With everyone away including Sally, who had gone to the ladies room, Megan begins a conversation with her father.  Emile knows his daughter all too well and declares that she is not truly happy with her life.  He is disappointed with her for giving up her dreams after falling in love with Don.  His regret stems from seeing that his daughter’s wealth and success were handed to her and not earned.  Meanwhile, Sally becomes witness to the ultimate disenchantment that evening as she catches Roger and Marie having sexual intercourse.  It happened about the same time her father comes to a realization with the disillusionment of his success.  Ed Baxter tells Don that no one will want to work with him after the seething letter that betrayed his client that he published in the newspapers.  He comes to a realization that the letter that earned him the award is the same one that will cause his ruin.  All return to their tables defeated especially Sally, who for the very first time becomes aware of filth.


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