Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Phantom – Mad Men Episode Summary 5.13

The Phantom Mad MenSynopsis: An unemployed and desperate Megan Draper asks her husband to help her get a part at a commercial foregoing her distaste for advertising.  Meanwhile, Pete Campbell learns that Beth Dawes is being institutionalized once again and comes to regret the life he built.

Episode Summary: Megan Draper has become desperate enough to pay for a screen test that a company promised to send to agents subconsciously knowing that the promised service is a fraud.  Marie Calvet, who is visiting, makes the mistake of calling Megan hopeless, but catches herself to correct her statement attributing her mistake to the misuse of the English language.  Megan and Emily review casting notices while delighting at Julia’s failure.  The TV show Dark Shadows fired Julia after only three days of work.  The incessant ringing of the phone that Megan knows to be from a prankster and Marie’s departure interrupt their schadenfreude.  Left alone, Emily decides to ask Megan a favor.  She asks her to use Don to get her an audition for the Butler Shoes commercial.  Emily heard that the ad agency is looking for a European type to fill the role for the fairytale inspired commercial.  Megan is hesitant to help her friend fully aware that Don will disapprove, but acquiesces to the request.Continue reading...

Howard and Beth Dawes join Pete Campbell on the train.  Pete notices the luggage they have brought with them and learns that Beth will be staying with her sister for a while.  Pete’s prying caused Beth to decide to seat at the smoker instead.  Beth, posing as Pete’s sister-in-law, surprises him with a call in his office and instructions for him to meet her at Hotel Pennsylvania at noon under the name Mrs. Campbell.  Pete’s reluctance to comply comes from his pride.  Pete has not forgotten how Beth stood him up the last time he had asked for her to come.

Harry Crane catches Joan Holloway Harris on her way up to the 38th floor and astutely deduces that the agency is looking into renting more space knowing that the previous occupants of the 38th floor had moved to Washington.  Harry takes the opportunity to persuade Joan to give him a better office than the one he has now.  Joan reminds him that the agency did offer Harry Lane’s old office, which he refused to accept for obvious reasons.  The death of Lane Pryce remains fresh in their minds that Don Draper, who is suffering from excruciating pain from his tooth, arrives at the office and finds a man that resembled his deceased brother, Adam Whitman.  Adam like Lane used the same method to commit suicide.  He calls to Adam, but the man just looks at him without recognition.  He then finds himself ensnared into the meeting with Topaz after the client rejects the strategy of insinuating that their product is cheap.  Topaz would like to convey the inexpensiveness of their product without depreciating its value.  Clearly, the client is displeased with the work and hinted missing the work of Peggy Olson, the woman that landed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce the Topaz account.  Frustrations rise leading to an argument between Don and Ginsberg that has become recurrent that Stan Rizzo found the display boring.

Peggy is not satisfied with her new role as Copy Chief as well as she finds her staff lacking of the competence she had been used to dealing with at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Ted Chaough’s confidence in her made her decision to join his agency worthwhile especially when he assigns her the Philip Morris account.  News of Philip Morris putting Leo Burnett on review has circulated in the advertising world causing other agencies to snatch the account.  Ted puts Peggy in charge of the campaign that will win them the account for Philip Morris’ new, top-secret ladies’ cigarette brand.

Joan presides over the partners meeting that delivered the fortunate news of an uptick in their profit due to sizeable checks from their clients.  Only Bertram Cooper received the news well for Don remains pessimistic and the others are preoccupied with other thoughts.  The empty chair reminds Joan of the man that constantly weighed their good and bad fortune.  She finds that with Lane gone, it now becomes her responsibility to voice the negatives.  She raises the issue of procuring more office space until the next quarter giving them cushion for any unforeseen financial problems.  Nobody, however, would want to discuss the issue any longer that the partners agree to table the discussion in the meantime.

Pete despite his pride is so anxious to meet with Beth that he makes Don his proxy for the vote.  He arrives at Beth’s room angry with himself for his weakness and learns that the woman wanted to see him before she goes through shock therapy.  Beth, who has gone through shock treatment several times, wants to spend time with him aware that the treatment will put her in a haze for a period.  Pete is reluctant to sleep with Beth after hearing of her mental illness, but his lust for her overcomes him.  Pete believes that he has fallen in love with Beth and asks her to run away with him to Los Angeles.  Beth does not take his offer seriously.  Pete returns home and finds plans for the swimming pool Trudy wants built.  Instead of sharing the excitement of having a pool, Pete worries that their child, Tammy, would drown in it.  This upsets the toddler and Trudy, who finds Pete depressing.  Pete impersonating Beth’s non-existent brother pays Beth a visit, but he finds her a completely changed woman, one without the recollection of him.  Pete prepares to leave, but Beth insists on him staying.  He soon finds himself divulging the insecurities brought about by his aging that he tries to assuage by having an affair with another man’s wife.  Pete comes to a realization that the life he built is not the life he truly wanted.  He falls asleep on the train ride home only to be awakened by Howard, who persuades Pete to join him on a night of debauchery.  Pete expresses his disgust at Howard for having the time of his life after sending his wife to a mental institution.  Howard realizes that it was Pete with whom his wife was having an affair.  He engages in an altercation with Pete that caused the other passengers to break them apart.  The train conductor asks Pete to apologize to Howard, but he refuses to do so and ends up insulting the conductor who later punches Pete and throws him out of the train.  Pete arrives home with a severely bruised face alarming Trudy.  Trudy feels sorry for Pete and concedes to her husband’s old request of having an apartment in the city in order for him to avoid the late hour commute.

Megan informs Don of having heard about the “Beauty and the Beast” commercial for Butler Shoes and asks his help to get her the part in the advertisement betraying her friend, Emily, in the process.  Don is surprised with Megan’s request given her aversion to advertising, a repugnance she is quick to deny.  Megan argues that the part will give her the exposure she needs.  Don is disinclined to concede to Megan’s request for he finds it embarrassing to ask his client to hire his wife.  Seeing that Don will not grant her wish, Megan foregoes the request.  Don reasons that Megan would regret getting the part because of him for it would be best to be somebody’s discovery instead of somebody’s wife.  The incessant ringing of the telephone interrupts their conversation.  Megan explains that she has been getting the crank calls all day leading Don to answer it instead.  He hears a man’s voice on the other line asking for Marie and mistakes it as Megan’s father, Emile, when it truly is Roger with a phony French accent.  Roger invites Marie to his hotel room at The Stanhope and the woman accepts.  A window of opportunity arrives when Megan is too depressed to accompany her to The Cloisters following Don’s rejection of her request.  Marie arrives at The Stanhope and she immediately lies on Roger’s bed.  Roger explains his desire to cease the day given the way one of his partners ended his life and asks Marie to take LSD with him that he may fully appreciate the time he has with her.  Marie rejects the offer and states her distaste for having to take care of Roger.  Marie merely wants to have fun.  Roger understands and frolics with the carefree woman.

Joan Holloway Harris receives the letter for the one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollar death benefit from the company insurance policy.  It is money that will allow them to purchase more space for their agency.  She could not help, but feel guilty for profiting over Lane Pryce’s suicide.  Don recommends paying back the fifty-thousand dollar collateral Lane put in the agency after Lucky Strike left.  Don personally delivers the check to Rebecca Pryce.  She finds the act as a way for Don to appease his guilt instead of an act of charity.  Don arrives home to find his wife heavily intoxicated.  Megan has been waiting for him ready to be with him, but Don’s toothache gets in the way.  Megan could not take another rejection.  She explains that she needs Don to want her for she has come to believe that her only worth is to satisfy her husband’s needs.  Marie arrives and gets reproach from Don for leaving her daughter in such a state.  She passes the blame on Don after claiming that Megan left her home a happy child a stark contrast from the woman she is now, one that has an artistic temperament despite the absence of artistic talent.  Marie advises Don to nurse her through a defeat that he may have the life he desires.

Don finally sees a dentist who informs him that his tooth should have been extracted days ago.  He imagines having a conversation with his late brother Adam whose presence has haunted him since Lane’s suicide.  Adam tells him that it is not Don’s tooth that is rotten.  Don begs Adam not to leave him.  Don comes to and finds his rotten tooth taken out.  He decides to go to the movies and bumps into Peggy Olson, who is very delighted to see him.  Don worries that Peggy is already avoiding her new office, but learns that she merely is taking his advice.  Peggy, in fact, is happy at her new agency and is excited with riding the plane to Richmond, Virginia to tour the cigarette factory as part of research for the much-coveted Philip Morris women’s cigarette account.  Don returns to the office later that night and watches Megan’s audition reel.  Soon, Megan is cast as Beauty for the Butler Shoes commercial and her adoration for Don grows.  Don watches his wife as he takes her place at the rehearsal.  His love for her diminishes and he considers the offer of a woman at the bar.


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