Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dark Shadows – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.9

Don Draper competes with Michael GinsbergSynopsis: Roger Sterling bribes Michael Ginsberg to come up with an ad to help land the Manischewitz account using his race as an excuse for having enlisted his service.  The truth is Ginsberg has exhibited brilliance that even Don Draper finds himself competing with the young copywriter for Pepsi’s Sno Ball creative.  Meanwhile, Betty Francis struggles to lose weight and to avoid finding comfort in food with every trial she encounters.

Episode Summary: Unaware that Roger Sterling is in the midst of a divorce, Bertram Cooper believes that Roger’s Jewish wife, Jane Siegel, might help them land a business with Max Rosenberg, owner of Monarch Wines, a company that manufactures the Manischewitz brand of Jewish wine.  The company aims to market their wine to gentiles as well.  Although there is truth in this, Pete Campbell’s recognition in the advertising world after The New York Times sought him for an interview for a literary profile on hip agencies the newspaper wants to publish may have prompted Cooper to go directly to Roger instead of presenting the account at the partners’ meeting.  Roger speaks privately with Ginsberg to enlist his services for the potential new business and requests that he keep his work from Don Draper until they land the account.  Roger ends up bribing the reluctant Ginsberg into accepting the duplicitous arrangement.  The money he gave Ginsberg turned out to be nothing compared to the bribe he had to give his former wife.  Roger agrees to buy Jane a new apartment in exchange for her agreement to join him for dinner with clients.Continue reading...

The lack of a parking spot forces Betty Francis to pay a visit to her former husband’s apartment.  Betty, who still is in the process of losing the weight she gained, becomes anxious about meeting her husband’s new wife.  She finds a lean Megan Draper dressing in the bedroom of Don’s posh Manhattan apartment adding to her anxiety unaware that Megan found their encounter equally uncomfortable.  The awkward meeting caused a dieting Betty to find comfort in a mouthful of Reddi-wip.  She, however, immediately realizes the enduring consequences of the temporary relief from the oral gratification and decides not to swallow.  Her decision proved favorable as she loses half a pound during a weigh in with Weight Watchers.  It is a loss she and other dieters found gratifying after hearing of her trying week.  Betty later learns that dieting had left Henry Francis craving for meat, but finds that her husband’s work drove him to a late night meal.  Henry has come to a realization that his current job is a dead end after recognizing that Mayor John Lindsay really has no intention of running therefore realizing his mistake at leaving his post as Rockefeller’s Director of Public Relations and Research.  Weight Watchers appears to have not only helped Betty lose weight, but also to become aware of other people’s needs most notably of her husband, Henry.  She states her willingness to provide him support just as he had always given his.  This statement pleased Henry, who shares a small piece of meat with his wife as her reward.  Betty seems to be a better person altogether showing patience and compassion towards her children, but this quickly changes after coming across a love note Don wrote to Megan.  Aside from turning to food for comfort, Betty turns on Don and Megan by informing Sally Draper, who has been working on her family tree homework, about her father’s first wife, the late Anna Draper.  This confounding information caused the child to ask about her father’s first wife giving Betty the opportunity to have Megan answer the perplexing discovery.

There is truth in the Weight Watchers leader’s words when she reminded the dieters that thin people struggle too.  This is especially true for Megan that unwittingly handed sour grapes to a friend and fellow struggling actress.  The young woman who had sought her help in preparing for an audition for a soap opera becomes upset with her unfair criticism causing her to reproach Megan for her good fortune of affording to live luxuriously despite being unemployed.  The aspiring actress who moonlights as a waitress learns that Megan is envious of her for having received a chance to audition albeit it is for a preposterous soap opera.  Later, Megan finds herself in another confrontation, but this time with Sally.  Having acted like a friend instead of a second mother to the child, Megan finds herself trying to win Sally’s friendship after the young girl accused her of dishonesty.  Contempt meets her obsequious attempt to regain the child’s friendship.  Sally becomes guilty of her behavior towards Megan after hearing her and Don arguing about confronting Betty for deliberately creating strife.  Don comes to a realization of the consequence of doing so after Megan astutely points out of giving Betty the pleasure of having known that her spite bore fruit.

Pete wakes Don with an agitated phone call after seeing the article on The New York Times that is devoid of any mention of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Pete manages to blame his failure at Don’s indifference, infuriating the creative director.  His shouts roused the children including Sally, who later becomes the recipient of her father’s anger.  Don explains his marriage with Anna as a marriage of convenience and apologizes for subjecting Sally into the befuddling knowledge of such an arrangement.  Moreover, he claims to have intended to inform them about her had she not pass away.  He confirms that it is her house that they visited in California.  The next day, Betty receives word from Sally’s teacher for her excellent work with the family tree.  She speaks to her daughter about it, Anna Draper in particular, certain that Don and Megan would have tried to elude having to divulge her identity.  Betty’s plan backfires when Sally informs her that husband and wife had no qualms about speaking about Anna and even spoke very fondly of her.

Don Draper begins to miss crafting creative after realizing that his copywriters have done all the creative work.  The copy Michael Ginsberg has been working on for the Pepsi product Sno Ball made him chuckle.  He ruminates on the campaign and forms the idea of Sno Ball as an indulgence.  He comes up with the tag line “sinfully delicious” that he believes to be brilliant.  Don sneaks his idea of a devil sipping a Sno Ball in the meeting with his team surprising everyone especially the tactless Ginsberg, who candidly congratulates Don of having rid of his creative block.  Don soon finds himself competing against Ginsberg as both of their ideas are presented to their colleagues.  Ginsberg’s idea immediately elicited laughs from everyone and becomes picked as the better of the two.  He arrives late at night at the office on a weekend and finds Peggy Olson also there working.  Proud of getting recognition, Ginsberg informs Peggy of having come to do some work for Roger that the senior partner had bribed him to do in secret.  Roger soon receives contempt from Peggy, but his decision to enlist the help from Ginsberg paid off anyway for the copywriter crafted a truly brilliant ad.  His idea is to run an ad on the side of the bus, one that is a picture of bus seats with a case of Manischewitz under each seat.  The clever ad conveys the message that Manischewitz is for every race, because it makes it appear that whoever is riding the bus has bought the wine.  The Rosenbergs are blown away by Roger’s supposed idea that bringing Jane to dinner appears unnecessary and a mistake seeing that Max Rosenberg’s son, Bernard, has taken a liking to Jane.  Seeing another man flirting with his former wife educed a desire to be with Jane.  The two have sexual intercourse in Jane’s new apartment, one that is supposed to give her a fresh new start on a life without Roger.  Jane later feels that spending the night with Roger sullied her plan to begin anew.

Harry Crane arrives at the office and delivers the good news of Pepsi having bought the pitch for Sno Ball.  Ginsberg is the only one lamenting the success after discovering that Don pitched his idea after he purposely left Ginsberg’s storyboard on the cab.  The young copywriter confronts Don about his last-minute decision to pitch his idea only to learn that the creative director could not care less about him.  Thanksgiving arrives and Don is spending it with Megan and her friend who is thankful for having landed a role in a soap opera, while his children spend it with Henry and Betty, who has to settle with measly portions of Thanksgiving dinner.  Betty savors every bite of her scanty Thanksgiving meal.


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