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episode 5: the chrysanthemum and the sword

Much to discuss. Much to discuss.


Episode 5: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
Don and Pete go against Roger in efforts to win a new account.


Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
marymary
Aug. 23rd, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
That was fun! I loved the Honda fake-out. Joan was born for it, of course, and Joey and Peggy driving in circles on a set. Ha!

And omg it's Smitty! Of Kurt and Smitty! Wasn't I just missing them aloud last week? Ted (HITG from Desperate Housewives, btw) dismisses him: "You know what, why don't you go work for your boyfriend, get out! And give me 20 words for 'pimples' get out!!"

I also liked how Cooper and Sterling knew the Japanese, but in very different ways. That Roger scene with the Honda people was so awful to watch. And I loved the scene with Joan and Roger later. "Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?" Joan: "You fought to make the world a safer place, and you won, and now it is." Very nice.

Onto other subjects: isn't Henry a better dad than either of Sally's parents? Wow, loving the heck out of Henry this week. I think my favorite moment was how he called Betty out immediately (implying that the slap was really directed at Don) but in such a way that Betty responded. And then he suggests therapy, which is going to end up benefitting his wife immensely. Love Dr. Edna -- she struck me as very spot-on. :)

Funny:

Peggy (regarding the woodpecker): "Don't touch it!! I want to see how long it goes."

Mrs. Blankenship! I hope they don't fire her for a few more episodes.

Awesome:

Don: "You LET me?"
Price: "You think Joan can rent stage space without talking to me?"


tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
That was fun! I loved the Honda fake-out. Joan was born for it, of course,
As we were reminded during the impromptu Christmas party, Joan knows how to make a presentation. Mary, I loved the wide shot of Peggy driving the motorcycle around the stage, too.

And I loved the scene with Joan and Roger later. "Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?" Joan: "You fought to make the world a safer place, and you won, and now it is." Very nice.
It's a special bond those two have, so it makes sense that Joan would be the one to knock some sense into Roger. I especially loved it when he was setting up a "the heroes are the ones who didn't come back" story and she just cut him off.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
Betty is such a fucking child. Oh, you realize slapping your daughter's face for cutting her hair was impulsive? (slow, sarcastic clap) Bravo, Betty. One of my MM buddies at the office said that Betty should never have had children, since she doesn't like them.

I noticed that the only time she smiled in this episode was when she saw the dollhouse in Dr. Edna's office. Betty will be the one, in the mid-'80s, furious at the criticism of Barbie's unrealistic measurements.

isn't Henry a better dad than either of Sally's parents?
Pretty much, yep.

I think my favorite moment was how he called Betty out immediately (implying that the slap was really directed at Don) but in such a way that Betty responded.
I appreciated that, too. I also liked that they nearly simultaneously said "Hey!" when she hit Sally. It may be the first thing Don and Henry have agreed on.

And then he suggests therapy, which is going to end up benefitting his wife immensely.
It would be nice if, in the process of helping Sally, Dr. Edna slaps some (metaphorical, of course) sense into Betty.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
At the risk of incurring the wrath of Amycurl ... I really liked Pete this week.

Roger's behavior in the boardroom was disgusting. But, for a change, it's Pete who calls him on his shit:

"You're wrapping yourself in the flag so you can keep me from bringing in an account, because you know that every chip I make, we become less dependent on Lucky Strike and therefore less dependent on you."

Leave it to Pete to get to the heart of the matter, to make it mostly about the agency, while still being egotistical. And a tad ridiculous: "I'm expecting a child."
marymary
Aug. 24th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
I noticed that the only time she smiled in this episode was when she saw the dollhouse in Dr. Edna's office.

And I believe she smiled when Henry calmed her down, after she slapped Sally. That's what was so impressive and charming about that scene -- once Henry pointed out that she was really mad at Don and Henry sympathized, all the aggression went out of her.

I agree that she's basically a child. In fact, didn't January Jones even say that about her character? I think so... Betty tells Dr. Edna she feels Sally is acting out just to punish Betty -- a very immature interpretation. That's how a kid would think about it.

It would be nice if, in the process of helping Sally, Dr. Edna slaps some (metaphorical, of course) sense into Betty.

Thankfully, Dr. Edna is the right kind of therapist. (As opposed to that horrible man who "treated" Betty before.) When Betty says she feels like Sally is punishing her, Edna says something like, "That must be painful for you." And then suggests regular meetings with Betty. It seems like she'll be able to get Betty to a better place.

On Pete...I agree that he was right to try to set Roger straight. I think he was absolutely right that they need to focus on business and only business and that Roger's issues have no place in the middle of the Honda deal. That Roger scene was SO painful to watch. If I were his partner I'd want to kill him!

But I think Pete misunderstood Roger completely. I think Roger was absolutely sincere in his response to the Japanese. For Roger, this IS about the war. Not about trying to get the better of Pete Campbell! Roger hates the Japanese becuase he saw what they did to his friends and what they tried to do to his country. But Pete is so out of that generation that he can't imagine that's true -- he thinks, "Roger must be threatened by me."
tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
And I believe she smiled when Henry calmed her down, after she slapped Sally.
I think you're right.

That's what was so impressive and charming about that scene -- once Henry pointed out that she was really mad at Don and Henry sympathized, all the aggression went out of her.
Yes, I agree. But that brings me back to the idea that she doesn't actually like children. Betty looks at Sally and sees a burden, rather than a person or a daughter.

It occurs to me that, even in this moment with Henry and Don, that Betty has always defined her world according to the man in her life. Is that accurate? I know it's a reflection of the times, and the character relative to the times in which she lives. But we look at her in comparison to Joan and Peggy, who are defining their world for themselves, albeit to differing degrees.

I agree that she's basically a child. In fact, didn't January Jones even say that about her character? I think so... Betty tells Dr. Edna she feels Sally is acting out just to punish Betty -- a very immature interpretation. That's how a kid would think about it.
I believe JJ did. And I have to think it's to her credit that I dislike Betty so much. Srsly.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
But I think Pete misunderstood Roger completely. I think Roger was absolutely sincere in his response to the Japanese. For Roger, this IS about the war. Not about trying to get the better of Pete Campbell!
We learn that over the course of the episode, that Roger is sincere. But then Roger only shows that to Joan. It's the reason Don tells Roger that Pete's right. I think Don believes that. And there's the thoroughly valid point that these Japanese businessmen are just that, businessmen. I don't recall any objections from Roger when they were discussing Volkswagen way back in Season 1.

I know that in our little community, we have great sympathy for Roger, because that could easily be Bob Leckie talking if he'd gone into advertising after the war. (Although Leckie, with his move-forward perspective, seems more likely to have forgiven by '65.) We can't help but have our perspective on World War II colored by BofB and The Pacific.

Pete and Don are right that landing Honda would be great for business. They're wrong to think Roger is insincere in his feelings.
marymary
Aug. 24th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
We learn that over the course of the episode, that Roger is sincere. But then Roger only shows that to Joan.

I think Roger shows only Joan the softer side of his feelings -- that it's about loyalty to the guys who fought and died. But he gives no indication, ever, that his anger is about anything other than the war. He gives no indication that his emotions are directed at Pete or a desire to be the big man by retaining Lucky Strike's share of the pie. I felt that Pete was the only person who misunderstood Roger's motives. When Don said "He's right," I thought Don was saying, "He's right that we need Honda and you have to stay out of it."

I was certainly sympathetic to Roger, eventually, when he opened up to Joan. But I was mostly APPALLED at him! :) Having been in many, many meetings with clients, I truly died a little when I watched that scene with the Japanese.

It occurs to me that, even in this moment with Henry and Don, that Betty has always defined her world according to the man in her life. Is that accurate? I know it's a reflection of the times, and the character relative to the times in which she lives. But we look at her in comparison to Joan and Peggy, who are defining their world for themselves, albeit to differing degrees.

Yeah, I think Betty has taken the traditional route (from being cared for by her father to being cared for by Don, then Henry). Peggy is ambitious AND as yet unmarried. Joan is ambitious in a different way -- I think there was some sensitivity on her part to being 30 and unmarried at one point, right? So they've either chosen or just walked into a life that's not about a man. I think it's absolutely a reflection of the times (though I know plenty of women who do the 2010 version of Betty :D).

Speaking of Betty and the times, I think the show does a great job of showing the roots of Betty's various issues. The stories of her father coming home from work and spanking the kids, the story of her mother nailing the nudist magazine to her brother's door. It's all shame and violence and control; Betty's perpetrating that on her kids, just to a lesser degree. As she talks to Dr. Edna, she recognizes that what her mother did to her brother was wrong. The slap aside, Betty's main response is to send Sally to therapy. I'd say it's a degree better. And Sally's kids will probably be a bit better off than she was.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 25th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
Speaking of Betty and the times, I think the show does a great job of showing the roots of Betty's various issues. The stories of her father coming home from work and spanking the kids, the story of her mother nailing the nudist magazine to her brother's door. It's all shame and violence and control; Betty's perpetrating that on her kids, just to a lesser degree.
That's all certainly true, Mary.

It was interesting to see Don, who's always been contemptuous of both talking about your feelings and therapy, open up to Dr. ... (I don't remember her name, but I do know that that's Cara Buono and that she was a brunette in The Sopranos) ... Whatshername, as they drink sake. Maybe it will even occur to Don that talking with someone about it, whatever it is, can be helpful.
marymary
Aug. 26th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
It was interesting to see Don, who's always been contemptuous of both talking about your feelings and therapy, open up to Dr. ... Whatshername, as they drink sake. Maybe it will even occur to Don that talking with someone about it, whatever it is, can be helpful.

Yeah, I liked that. I loved his line, "Why do people want to talk about things?" because it's a great Don line. Then he proceeds to talk about things. :) And Faye was wise when she said Sally just needs to know Don loves her.

It was nice to hear Betty identify her dad's death as the start of Sally's issues. At the time, Betty didn't make many apparent allowances for Sally's feelings about her grandpa; Betty was certainly pretty messed up about herself, but that's no excuse. So it's good that she at least recognizes that was a blow to Sally.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 26th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Faye
Thank you. :-) (I was too lazy to look it up at the time I posted)

was wise when she said Sally just needs to know Don loves her.
Yes. Sage advice.

It was nice to hear Betty identify her dad's death as the start of Sally's issues.
It truly was. ITA about Betty taking her dad's death especially hard, but when your children aren't grown you still have to also be a parent in those situations. So, to be fair, it does constitute progress for Betty to recognize that Sally was/is hurting, too.

Sorry for the repost! I'm inexplicably having my posts go places they don't belong.

And for the edit! But it was you/you're. I know you understand.


Edited at 2010-08-26 01:25 am (UTC)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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