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Mad Men: Tea Leaves

And just like that we are at episode 3. 

Season 5, Episode 3: Tea Leaves
As Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce tries to build upon its current business, Peggy is given new responsibility. Don and Harry indulge a client. 

So what did you think? 

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( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
gatsbyfan
Apr. 2nd, 2012 03:33 am (UTC)
Oh Betty.. Talk about role reversal. My how the mighty have fallen. Betty tortured Sally for being fat and now Betty is the one who stands to lose some weight.

Interesting to me that the first person she called was Don. Rather than trying to call and see if she could find Henry.


Do you want me to take the kids?
Oh the kids, Oh god.
Birdy.
Say what you always say.
Everything is going to be okay.
Okay Bye Bye.


So Betty continues to seek out Don for comfort in situations of uncertainty.

I continue to feel bad for Henry. He has the patience of a saint and appears to be the perfect husband. His reaction to Don's phone call inquiring about her health was not surprising.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Outstanding icon choice, given that Don literally zips up someone else now.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 2nd, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Favorite lines:

Don: Your plate is full and Mohawk is going to insist on a regular copywriter
Roger: Someone with a penis
Peggy: I’ll work on that


I like working with talented people. It inspires me.

Michael: Here’s some other advantages... I have no hobbies, no interests, no friends. I’m one of those people who talks back to the radio. No girlfriend, no family. I will live here.
Peggy: Then you’re like everyone else.
Michael: I’ve never been accused of that. But I really am trying.

None of you want us to have a good time just because you never did.
Don: No, we’re worried about you.

That’s my recommendation to people saying they are getting married and having kids. Eat first.


Peggy: Shouldn’t we wait for Roger.
Don: What, he doesn’t even come to the meetings that are important.

Good work.
Promise you didn’t hire the handsomest one.

I want more Peggy and Roger. They were adorable.

And poor Peggy, could Michael have a worse interview? I look forward to seeing more of him. He looks like he will be providing some comic relief.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 2nd, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
One last thought before I go to bed.

Once again Don was seen as old. At the concert with the girl. He's sort of acting like her father. (For good reason) When Megan tries to drag him off to see her friends.

It's interesting that this is a different Don we're seeing. He's appears to be okay with it. Contrast that with Roger who's clearly frustrated by Pete's actions with Mohawk. Roger appears to want to try a bit more.

And I'll say it again... I like the scenes with Peggy and Roger. More please.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Loved Peggy in this episode.

I like Michael Ginsburg, too. SDCP is coming around to the idea that it's OK to not be uniformly white, Christian men. Notably, Don trusted Peggy with the hire, and it was Peggy who picked Ginsburg. She picked someone who would make the team better, and didn't care about him being Jewish. She cared about him being crazy, but it turns out she was worried too much about that, since Don also wants people who make the team better.

And I'll say it again... I like the scenes with Peggy and Roger. More please.
Me, too! But -- and I stipulate that the previews are consistently filled with ambiguity, given that I thought the man Megan "want to please more than" him was her father -- is it Peggy that Roger is asking "what are you doing later?" Has to be Joan, right?
gatsbyfan
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:42 am (UTC)
SDCP is coming around to the idea that it's OK to not be uniformly white, Christian men.
I think you may be giving them more credit than they deserve. They hired Dawn because they received resumes after their (stunt) ad went wrong. Don said something like she was the most qualified. But let's not forget she's a secretary, not a black man working on accounts or a creative.

And as to Michael Ginsberg, I don't think of it so much as an issue because he's Jewish and they are in New York in a creative industry. The popular campaign, "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's (rye bread)" started in the early 60s. More and more entertainers were Jewish. Would the same be true for a law firm at that time... I don't believe so.

tomfoolery815
Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
I think you may be giving them more credit than they deserve.
Yeah, maybe. :)

And as to Michael Ginsberg, I don't think of it so much as an issue because he's Jewish and they are in New York in a creative industry.
Right. What was Roger's line? "Turns out everybody has one." As if a quota were being fulfilled.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
I felt so bad for Betty in this episode, which is such a new feeling for me ... :-)

I continue to feel bad for Henry. He has the patience of a saint and appears to be the perfect husband.
I know, right? When the cancer scare had passed, and Betty concluded it's just that she's fat, he really seemed to mean it when he said he didn't see it. He looked her in the eye and told her, essentially, it didn't matter to him. He wants to have sex with her because he loves her and wants to be intimate with her.

When Betty made the remark about "it's because your mother's obese" I said aloud "Ah, Betty's back." Henry's mother is a piece of work, though.

His reaction to Don's phone call inquiring about her health was not surprising.
Not at all. Imagine how that made him feel. We're sympathetic to Betty because she was freaking out and Henry wasn't home, but ... she called Don, not Henry. We also know what transpired in the phone call between Betty and Don.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 2nd, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
That’s my recommendation to people saying they are getting married and having kids. Eat first.
High Harry is fun! I like how paternal Don was with the girl who was focused on meeting Brian Jones. (Although she probably would've been safe with Brian Jones. Any of the other Stones, watch out.)

Speaking of patient spouses ... Megan responded much better to the situation than Don, apparently, expected her to. I like that she's still pissed at Harry. She should be. :)

Pete really made Roger eat it, didn't he? Of course, that's just tit-for-tat, considering the way Roger treated him in the last episode. Roger asked when things are getting back to normal; obviously what's unspoken is that this is the new normal: Pete, Peggy and Ken making things happen for SDCP, Roger -- and Don, possibly? -- on the sidelines.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
I like how paternal Don was with the girl who was focused on meeting Brian Jones.
I did too. It reminded me that the girl wasn't that much older than Don's daughter and he was getting a preview of some coming attractions.

Though, Mo Ryan, rightly commented that it was also another case of Don doing "work".

Don: What do you feel when you hear them.
Girl: Brian Jones. He’s a troubadour
Don: So you feel romantic


It's research. He is mentally cataloging the information for the future.

Pete really made Roger eat it, didn't he? Of course, that's just tit-for-tat, considering the way Roger treated him in the last episode.
Maybe. But I felt Pete might have gone a bit far. It is one thing to say something about Roger in front of Roger or the other partners or even a senior staff member like Peggy. However, he practically ridicules in front of the entire office. Roger's name is still on the masthead. That's just not a wise move.

Roger asked when things are getting back to normal; obviously what's unspoken is that this is the new normal: Pete, Peggy and Ken making things happen for SDCP, Roger -- and Don, possibly? -- on the sidelines.
Roger's talent was to deliver the client using booze and whatever means. Don's job was to capture the client in by giving them something that they didn't know they wanted or needed. Unfortunately for both of them they are growing older and loosing touch with the demographic their (future) clients are going starting/about to start marketing to, Boomers.



tomfoolery815
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
It's research. He is mentally cataloging the information for the future.
Yep, Mo nailed that, too. It did remind of his first scene in the series, asking the waiter about his cigarette brand.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
However, he practically ridicules in front of the entire office.
Well, this is Pete Campbell we're talking about. Revenge is like muscle memory for him.

Roger's name is still on the masthead. That's just not a wise move.
I don't know. All Roger was left to do was bitch to Don in private. He could still try to further the cycle of vengeance, but on the career continuum, Roger is much closer to Cooper than he thinks.
flippet
Apr. 4th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
and he was getting a preview of some coming attractions.

Absolutely.

and I *love* how the ending music functioned in much the same way (Sixteen Going on Seventeen). It beautifully played a dual role there - Sally, starting to grow up, and pushing her ice cream away - she's going to be developing/keeping her figure, will soon be interested in boys (absolutely 'on the brink') - while you have Betty who was once in that place, the beautiful young ingenue, wooed by a dashing man...and her time is passing, she's losing her figure, and aside from the thyroid issues, has apparently decided to let herself go somewhat as well, finishing off Sally's ice cream.

All very much about youth coming into their own, this time around.



Edited at 2012-04-04 08:21 pm (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Apr. 2nd, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
In my mind Mo Ryan nails it in this entry as to why I'm never going to like Betty. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-ryan/mad-men-recap-tea-leaves_b_1398059.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

All things considered, I think Jones did a reasonable job with the script she was given, but Betty's not a character I'm ever going care much about. That ship has sailed, as it were; "Mad Men" has had years to make me like Betty, but the best I can do is tolerate her, and she was tolerable here.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 2nd, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
I think JJ's acting ability has been unfairly maligned. For proof, I suggest watching her again in the scene in the nearly empty Draper house at the end of Season 4. And as I said above, I felt a great deal of sympathy for Betty during her health scare.

That being said, yeah, Betty's just not that likeable. She's permanently unhappy, and without much justification, given her privileged upbringing and comfortable life in two marriages. I stipulate that Don's infidelity is absolutely justification for unhappiness, but she was unhappy independent of that.

Plus, she has seemed on the verge of turning Sally into another Betty, and not in any of the ways that that would be positive or neutral.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 3rd, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
I think January has her moments. The scene you mentioned as well as the scene in season 1 when she's shooting at the pigeons. But she rarely impresses me unlike the other actors on the show. Now maybe that's just because she's surrounded by incredible actors. But I sort of doubt it.

Matthew Weiner in the interview with Charlie Rose seemed to suggest that people hating on January had to do with being somewhat jealous of her beauty. Um, no. If I was going to be jealous of anyone's beauty on that show it would be Christina Hendricks.

I stipulate that Don's infidelity is absolutely justification for unhappiness, but she was unhappy independent of that.
That was perfect justification for being unhappy. However I think Betty's one of those people that is never happy. As soon as they get what they want, they discover its not what it was cracked up to be. Maybe it's the time and because she was always taken care of she doesn't know how to make herself happy. Or maybe she's just really in need of some antidepressants and unfortunately she's not living in an era when one in every ten people is on some antidepressant.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 3rd, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
Matthew Weiner in the interview with Charlie Rose seemed to suggest that people hating on January had to do with being somewhat jealous of her beauty. Um, no.
That was a hollow defense, wasn't it? Weiner didn't seem to want to acknowledge that Betty is more unlikeable than likeable. And JJ, like so many actors who play unlikeable characters, seems to have talked herself into liking Betty.

However I think Betty's one of those people that is never happy.
Yes. This.
flippet
Apr. 4th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
As soon as they get what they want, they discover its not what it was cracked up to be.

That was so much of this ep.

Poor Betty. She's so cold, but she really is just this broken little girl inside. She wanted the money, and the glamour - and she got it (just look at that house, and the events she was supposed to continually be going to) - but all her coldness has only been reflected right back on to her. Even Henry runs hot and cold - I agree with Tom that he was being genuine when he said he didn't see the extra weight, and still desires her - but I felt distance from him towards her actual fears and needs.

So when she gets a shock, although she does look for Henry first (which is at least how it should be) - when she needs that warmth, she homes in on Don. Who absolutely has it for her - he had no idea why she was calling, yet still answered with 'Bets'.

Henry knows that Don and Betty have something indefinable, that they'll always have, beyond the kids, and beyond the fact that they can't be/stay married, and that's naturally quite threatening, because Henry will never have that, and will never have the history they have.
amycurl
Apr. 3rd, 2012 07:11 pm (UTC)
Two things:

Was the Heinz couple supposed to be Mr. and Mrs. Heinz? If so, then they have a teenaged son, not a daughter (or a son as well.) When there is well-known offspring, you need to get it right, or it's distracting.

In other offspring issues, I *loved* the casual dig at Romney. Sure, Henry is supposedly talking about George Romney, but I can't imagine that it wasn't slipped in as a deliberate dig.

Was it just very clever use of padding on January, or did they actually get her to gain weight? The reason I ask, the back shot when she is getting out of the tub--that flesh looked pretty real. I was surprised by that shot.

Also, was this the first episode that Mr. Hamm as directed? Or am I just forgetting another earlier ep?

Okay, maybe that was four things. I was told there would be no. math...

Edited at 2012-04-03 07:13 pm (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Apr. 4th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Heinz couple supposed to be Mr. and Mrs. Heinz? If so, then they have a teenaged son
I don't know. I'll have to go back and rewatch. I didn't think they were for the same reason. I though the Heinz family only had one son. And after googling it looked like H. J. (Henry) Heinz II retired as CEO in 1966. For a show that prides itself on being authentic that seems like a big mistake.

I *loved* the casual dig at Romney.
I loved that too. And you do have to wonder if it were a dig. Reminded me of the cover of Newsweek that they just put out mentioning Romney running only it was George.

Was it just very clever use of padding on January, or did they actually get her to gain weight?
She was very pregnant when they started filming. I seem to recall reading something saying you wouldn't see much of her in these episodes because of that. (Not that I'm complaining about less of her.) But they did some make up work with her too which at times made her look odd.

Also, was this the first episode that Mr. Hamm as directed? Or am I just forgetting another earlier ep?
Nope, that was his first. The Silver Fox directed a couple before but that was his first.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 4th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
I *loved* the casual dig at Romney.
I loved that too. And you do have to wonder if it were a dig. Reminded me of the cover of Newsweek that they just put out mentioning Romney running only it was George.

I seem to recall reading that Romney was pretty much a second-tier player in the GOP of the '60s and early '70s: In the mix, but not held in the same regard as Nixon or Goldwater, who were the only men nominated for president by the Republicans from '60 to '72. So it could have been merely an historically accurate representation of Mayor Lindsay's feelings about the Michigan governor.

It's worth noting that this was the first episode they filmed for Season 5, so as to accommodate JJ's pregnancy, meaning that it was filmed last summer. Although I see that one of Mitt's kids chose to be offended (tm Mary) about what Weiner said about his grandfather.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 4th, 2012 04:59 am (UTC)
But they did some make up work with her too which at times made her look odd.
Seeing JJ in the makeup and padding reminds me of Peggy's unexplained weight gain during Season 1. I remember us speculating about it until it was explained in the season finale.
marymary
Apr. 9th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Catching up!

As expected, a lot of great comments from you guys. I was nodding my head a lot as I read down the thread.

I, too, thought the conversation between Don and Betty was sweet. And afterward, he was sincerely worried about her. When Megan started talking about needing to step in with the kids, he cut her off because he didn't want to think about it. And when he told Roger, he said "Betty has cancer," even though he didn't have the test results.

I liked how both spouses were supportive...to a point. Megan seems good, until she starts blithely wandering into surrogate mom territory and Don cuts her off. At which point she says, "This affects me too, you know." Wow. And then, at the end, "She (Betty) just needs to have something to call you about." WOW.

And I do think Henry's a good husband. Where he crossed the line for me was not telling Betty Don had called. That's a lie -- Sorry, Henry. That interferes with Betty's relationship with the father of her kids. I get that he was jealous, and it's outweighed by his other good behavior, but still.

I agree with you guys, Betty looked strange. I think they did a typically bad job having Betty gain the weight. She gained a lot, for her, maybe 30 lbs? But it still doesn't make her very heavy. IMO, that kind of weight gain wouldn't change her face so much. But makeup artists LOVE to show it in the face. I think that's why she looked odd. Though she almost looked prettier than usual, to me, sometimes.

Some of you were talking about Betty being incapable of happiness -- I thought that was striking when she got the news from the doctor. Henry has a normal reaction -- happiness and relief. Betty's like, "Great, I guess I'm just fat, huh?" I laughed out loud because it's so Betty and it's also sort of understandable. Maybe only to women -- IDK. :) Anyway, she snapped back to sadness so quickly.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 9th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
But makeup artists LOVE to show it in the face.
I saw a GIF from "Nixon vs. Kennedy"* in Season 1 that led me to pull out the disc and watch yesterday. Makeup artists do love to show it in the face, Mary: Not only did they put padding on underneath Elisabeth Moss' clothes, they attached stuff to her cheeks and under her jawline. It was jarring to be reminded how many pounds they put on Peggy.

You know, back when she had no idea she was pregnant. ;-)


*Not sure if we discussed this back then -- I suppose I could go back and look -- but this is also the episode where Pete attempts to expose Don's past. Mr. Silver Spoon (Kennedy/Pete) vs. The Self-Made Man (Nixon/Don).

Edited at 2012-04-09 06:58 pm (UTC)
marymary
Apr. 9th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Did anyone catch Roger's line that suggested jumping off a building??? Maybe someone mentioned it and I skimmed too fast. About Pete -- he said something about falling and then something like "I'm hanging onto the ledge and the kid is stepping on my fingers." You know how everyone's always speculating about the opening credits being some kind of foreshadow of Don committing suicide? I was thinkig, OMG it's Roger. I don't really believe that, but that's the thought I had in the moment.

Like you guys, I enjoyed the convo between Don and the girl. "No, we're worried about you." It reminded me of Season 1 where Don was hanging out with the hipster girlfriend and her friends. Someone of the younger generation mocks Don for being old and out of touch, and he turns it right back on them. Often, when Don is the smartest guy in the room, I find him harsh or disappointing. But for some reason when he wins the conversations with youngsters I just LOVE it. Not that he put her in her place like he did with the guy in Season 1, but he had the perfect answer. That's exactly right -- he's not envious, he just knows more than she does and she's the one that doesn't get it.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 9th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
You know how everyone's always speculating about the opening credits being some kind of foreshadow of Don committing suicide? I was thinkig, OMG it's Roger. I don't really believe that, but that's the thought I had in the moment.
I caught it and didn't really focus on it until later when several of the critics started speculating that Roger was the one that was going to jump out the window. The more I think about it the more I think everyone might be on to something... He's got an unhappy marriage. And his work-life is a shambles. Before he always had one thing going for him. Now, not so much.

Makes me wonder if we are going to see a Roger crisis moment.
marymary
Apr. 9th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
I managed to stay totally unspoiled until I watched this ep last night! So I hadn't seen any reviews and didn't know they were saying that. But it was so clear, I'm not surprised the critics were talking about it.

It would be interesting to see happy-go-lucky Roger in crisis as opposed to Don. And it almost makes more sense. Like, Don has already navigated the dark places. If Roger lost everything, he wouldn't have a plan.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 9th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Megan seems good, until she starts blithely wandering into surrogate mom territory and Don cuts her off. At which point she says, "This affects me too, you know."
Well ... it does. I think the comment was meant to be about Don not keeping things from her. Yes, that is the mother of his children, but she's his wife. I don't find her out of line there.

And then, at the end, "She (Betty) just needs to have something to call you about." WOW.
Yeah, that was bitchy. No redeeming qualities to that one. :)

Where he crossed the line for me was not telling Betty Don had called. That's a lie -- Sorry, Henry. That interferes with Betty's relationship with the father of her kids.
Absolutely right, Mary. Henry should have more respect for that aspect of the Don-Betty relationship.

I suspect it's a reflection of stepparent attitudes in 1966, that the new marriage trumped parentage from the old. Henry and Megan don't respect the Don-Betty relationship because people didn't do that generally.
marymary
Apr. 9th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Of course, Betty should have told Henry that she told Don, and then Henry wouldn't have been caught off-guard. But if we're going to start listing the things Betty should do instead of what she does.... :)

I like Henry and I was rooting for him to be the biggest person in the situation and tell Betty Don had called and he'd told Don the news. It's not right, somehow, that Don looks good (relationship-wise) relative to Henry.

Re: Megan, I mean...just have the presence of mind, upon hearing someone might have cancer, not to talk about yourself for next four sentences or so.

Having said that, Don DID lie to Megan, when he said he didn't know why Betty might be calling. But if we're going to start listing the things Don should do instead of what he does.... :)
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