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Mad Men: Signal 30


Another Sunday night and a new episode of Mad Men. ::happy::

Episode 5: Signal 30
Lane strikes up an interesting friendship. Pete entertains guests

Tonight's episode is directed by Mr. Slattery. Here's hoping it features some more scenes with Roger & Peggy.

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( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
tomfoolery815
Apr. 16th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Pete getting his ass kicked was a long time in coming. As Ken said, he's surprised Lane beat him to it. (Although I do recall Ken and Pete swinging at each other in Season 1. Can't recall who swung first, though.)

How awesome was Joan in the scene afterward? I thought she was leaving Lane's office after he impulsively kissed her -- especially since she'd just told him how he was not like the rest of them -- but she opened the door, then returned to the seat next to him. Joan's a good friend, isn't she?

Back to Pete: I think Pete thinks you can say whatever you want, and there will be no consequences. That's all-but-certainly a by-product of his privileged upbringing. Meanwhile, Lane poses as someone of similar upbringing, but he's much more middle class than upper class, and of a certain 19th-century gentility. If he'd had gloves on when Pete insulted him, he would've taken one off and slapped him with it.

Not sure what Pete meant at the end, in the elevator, when he told Don "I have nothing." Is it a reference to his dad blowing his inheritance? Because he certainly would seem to have everything else a man in 1966 could want.

Loved Don's whole bit in the cab, when Pete was, somehow, trying to make Don feel bad about Pete's infidelity, about appreciating how good he has it.

Also enjoyed the hooker toggling through the scenarios until she found the one he wanted. Yes Pete, she is very good at this.

Hey, look, it's Lisa's studly brother from "Suburgatory!"
tomfoolery815
Apr. 16th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Favorite lines:

"Cynthia!" I thought Megan was rather Pam Beesly in that moment. Not in an unattractive way. (tm No-No-No Donna)

"Oh look, it's Superman." Not that Don and Megan aren't having a lot of sex these days, but Don was so getting laid after that moment. :)

"I know a cooler head should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?" I also loved how, even as Don was pulling the drapes on the conference room, neither he, nor Roger, nor Bert took his eyes off of Lane and Pete.

And, of course, the chewing gum line. Made all the more hilarious by Lane's outrage-filled delivery.
flippet
Apr. 16th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Wow. What a fantastic episode. I loved it.

It was funny, I laughed out loud, and yet it was also so full of pathos. Exactly what a perfect MM episode should be. Definitely one to re-watch.

Speaking of JS directing - there was one bit of direction/editing that stuck out at me, and I wish it hadn't...when Kenny opens Peggy's door, it cuts to Lane opening his door for Roger. (Or was it the other way, I forget now.) At any rate, it felt like it was supposed to be a clever cut, or that it 'meant something' - but if it did, I didn't get it, I only noticed it, which bothered me.

But anyway.

It's hard not to feel sorry for Pete. He's trying so hard to BE Don Draper....and failing at every turn. That's what he meant when he said he 'had nothing'. He has none of the suave sophistication that Don exudes like breathing, that he's craved and striven for basically all his life. He can't 'close the deal' as well as his wife, who he's lost respect for, he can't be a man and fix a leaky faucet, he can't even sleep with a 'sorority girl' and score points for it...he's doing exactly what Don would have done just a few years back, and not all that 'badly', but...Don's moved on to cooler things, like fidelity. (Or, he's made it look that way, at any rate.) No matter what Pete does, he just can't win. He can't even close the deal with the high school girl (who, I can't decide if she was really that innocent, or if she wasn't quite, you know? She reminded me a lot of Diana Agron, actually.) Everyone else gets what Pete thinks he wants - and he only gets a handful of sand and a clock on the nose for all his efforts.

I loved Ken's storyline - once again he's showing that he's a lot more mentally healthy than most of these other guys. He has something that they don't. He's not a drunk, he seems to love his wife (who really supports him), and he's not so wrapped up in his job that he forgets to make room for his life. He is his writing, so much so that he can't give it up - and more power to him. I do think his robot story is certain foreshadowing, but I'll have to think on it to pin it specifically.

Lane/Joan was interesting. She is a good friend, but she also didn't seem to resist much. Have to consider that a bit more as well.

Poor Lane - much like Pete, he can't quite measure up on his own efforts. I was especially struck by his mention of trying to get to 'the front', but being stuck with the supplies instead. Picture of a wimpy failure, no matter the truth that it did indeed take everyone's efforts.

I died laughing at the fight, though - the faces of Roger, Don and Cooper! They a) couldn't believe it was happening, and b) couldn't believe their luck at having front-row seats.

I loved Megan, trying to remember Cynthia's name. And not letting Don get out of going to the Campbells' if he didn't have the balls to make that happen himself. And being totally turned on by 'Superman' - who wouldn't? The man who takes charge, and more importantly, knows how to. Even if he hated living in the suburbs, Don was good at it.

Which only served to underscore how Pete's not. Pete doesn't seem to have a place in this world, and I can't help but feel bad for him...and have a bad feeling in general. Maybe Pete's the robot.
flippet
Apr. 16th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
Ooh, one great, subtle moment. When the sniper is mis-mentioned, and Don reflexively pipes up 'Whitman'.


Also...hm. Pete's gun was brought up again this ep. (Ooh. With Trudy saying 'there will be no guns in this house.' Run, Trudy, run.)


Shall I begin taking bets as to whether he blows his head off this season? (And the sniper was mentioned as targeting pregnant women - will Pete take his family out as well? Someone else? Ponderances...)

Edited at 2012-04-16 06:11 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Apr. 16th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
It's hard not to feel sorry for Pete. He's trying so hard to BE Don Draper....and failing at every turn. That's what he meant when he said he 'had nothing'. He has none of the suave sophistication that Don exudes like breathing, that he's craved and striven for basically all his life.
Good theory, Flipcy. The dinner party was filled with overt and subtle reminders of the fact that Don is the alpha male of SDCP. Pete seemed genuinely pleased that Don had finally accepted the invitation, even to the point of promising him the biggest steak. (Which reminds me of Chris Rock's bit about Daddy gets the biggest piece of chicken.)

Then, without even trying to underscore his status, the sink starts spraying water; Don tears off his dress shirt* and two women think about being Megan for a night. While Megan thinks "Wait, I am Mrs. Draper! Sweet!"

One reviewer I really like (Sepinwall) said that Pete says "I have nothing" because what he has -- and he has quite a lot, starting with a loving, supportive wife and beautiful baby girl -- will never be enough for him. It's why he was flirting with the teenage girl (Really, Pete?) until Tessa Altman's hunk of a neighbor came along to be more age-appropriate attention for the girl.

*Good Lord, what was with that hideous sport coat? I can honestly say that's the first thing they've had Don or Dick wear that looked bad IMO. Not even Jon Hamm could pull that one off.

Edited at 2012-04-16 07:55 pm (UTC)
flippet
Apr. 16th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
*Good Lord, what was with that hideous sport coat? I can honestly say that's the first thing they've had Don or Dick wear that looked bad IMO. Not even Jon Hamm could pull that one off.

Ha, yes. Like what Tom & Lorenzo were saying about late 60's-into-70's fashions - that even the normally rather smooth men of SCDP were not going to come through that unscathed. ;-)
gatsbyfan
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
That scene in the conference room was laugh out loud funny. Not something I would typically associate with Mad Men. The humor is usually more subtle. I'm really going to have to rewatch it again because it was just too much.

How great was Trudy? I loved her on the phone with Don. Don do you want to go through your list of excuses and I combat every one. Don Draper unable to say no to Pete Campbell's wife.

"Cynthia!" I thought Megan was rather Pam Beesly in that moment.
I actually didn't like that moment. I agree with Tim Goodman, it made her look dim-witted. I would have preferred something more subtle like her turning to look at Don like "Cynthia!" without actually saying it.

I enjoyed the scene with the partners. It was clear the second Lane was walking off they were going to have to pick someone to talk to him. Lane isn't a sales guy. Lane is the guy the sales guy has to go talk to about expense reports. He isn's smooth. God bless Roger for attempting to give him what appeared to be sound advice in handling the client dinner.

Another favorite line: Saturday night in the suburbs that's when you really want to low your brains out.
Don has clearly started over. He's got the apartment in the city, a hot young wife, and cannot imagine living in the 'burbs.

Pete on the other hand is at the other extreme. He's learning to drive (a necessity if you live in a 'burb), and dealing with pesky household issues like a leaky faucet.

The thing I thought interesting was that Don said that he wanted to make a baby with Megan. Was that a flip comment because he had been drinking and just wanted to have sex? Or is that the next step he sees in their marriage. Because I'm not sure that's Megan's plan. I think Megan likes working and doesn't want to become a Mom just yet.

gatsbyfan
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
The scene at the brothel was fascinating to watch. In the past Don would have been the first person, or maybe second after the client, to go to a room with one of the girls. Now, he's sitting at the bar chatting up the Madame was is comping his drinks for his advice to not bring in tvs.

Anyone think it was interesting that Roger's girl bare a resemblance to Joan?

Loved Don's whole bit in the cab, when Pete was, somehow, trying to make Don feel bad about Pete's infidelity, about appreciating how good he has it.
I did't get the impression that Don was trying to make him feel bad. I think Don's not unhappy like the rest of them and because he didn't participate Pete took that to mean he was judging him.

I liked Don's comment: Roger is miserable. I didn't think you were. Pete and Roger have a lot in comment. They need other people's recognition.

tomfoolery815
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
I did't get the impression that Don was trying to make him feel bad. I think Don's not unhappy like the rest of them and because he didn't participate Pete took that to mean he was judging him.
I expressed myself poorly there. I meant that Pete was trying to make Don feel bad about not being one of the boys, and that Don was saying "appreciate what you have."

Pete tries to sting him by noting it's Don's second marriage, and Don implies if he'd married Megan first, he'd still be on his first marriage. Megan is so much warmer and generous than Betty. But then, most people are.

I liked Don's comment: Roger is miserable. I didn't think you were.
Yes, you nailed it. The obvious implication is: What's your excuse?
tomfoolery815
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Anyone think it was interesting that Roger's girl bare a resemblance to Joan?
Like Donna Moss, Roger is not cryptic.
tomfoolery815
Apr. 17th, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
How great was Trudy? I loved her on the phone with Don. Don do you want to go through your list of excuses and I combat every one. Don Draper unable to say no to Pete Campbell's wife.
So great. Pete has the manners for social occasions, but Trudy has the charm. She made Don let her have her way, and even made him like it.

I actually didn't like that moment. I agree with Tim Goodman, it made her look dim-witted. I would have preferred something more subtle like her turning to look at Don like "Cynthia!" without actually saying it.
This is a rare moment of me disagreeing with Goodman. I didn't think it demeaned her at all. They've all been drinking quite a bit by that point in the evening; tongues get looser and less filtered.

Another example of this, IMO, is Cynthia's "Look, it's Superman" comment. Because Trudy and Cynthia are feeling no pain, they're uninhibited about ogling Don with their respective husbands within range.

That scene in the conference room was laugh out loud funny. Not something I would typically associate with Mad Men.
I laughed out loud too, Gatzy. I thought it was great. In light of Lane's frustration at his place at SDCP (as he discussed more sanely with Joan afterward), and feeling like the butt of the joke, it does seem logical that he would go all Marquess of Queensbury on Pete.

I also think Goodman's wrong about the awkwardness of the fighting style. These are two men who haven't been in many fights. Might've even been Pete's first. (The one fight I've ever been in was in the 6th grade, and it was less a fight than this psychopath walking up and starting to punch me for no reason. If I were to get in a fight today, my form would probably be somewhere between Lane's and Pete's.)
amycurl
Apr. 19th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
I, too, loved this episode.... Who knew that Lane would be the bus that I have *longed for* when it comes to Pete?

I'm liking Trudy more and more everyday. Honestly? They should hire her, rather than Pete, to take over accounts. Can you imagine how amazing she would be?

I liked how they showed that Don put that jacket on unwillingly. He must *really* love Megan. I guess this is one of the hazards of having a much younger wife? The jacket made the baby Jesus cry.

I took Pete's "I have nothing" comment as proof that he realizes how empty a person he fundamentally is inside. What kind of internal life does he have? Even Roger is slightly more self-aware. My favorite line of the episode was actually "Professor-Emeritus of Sales." Roger at least was once very good at what he does, maybe this would be the perfect role for him, going forward.

Joan getting up and closing the door and then deliberately signaling that she was going to act as though it didn't happen and wouldn't change anything between them...I've been *loving her so much since she kicked Rapey McRapester out of the house.* Actually, just moments before the kiss, I had mentioned to Mr. Curl that I was wondering about the future relationship between Lane and Joan. There's a true mutual respect and partnership that is emerging there, which is, of course, what a lot of the romantic partnerships in this show lack and which is the basis for most healthy relationships. They are both in unhappy marriages, for different reasons. There is definitely potential there, I think. Maybe it will just take Lane's wife finding the picture in his wallet (how stoopid can Lane be, really?)

Enough ramblings for now.....

Edited at 2012-04-19 03:01 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Apr. 19th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Who knew that Lane would be the bus that I have *longed for* when it comes to Pete?
That bus is nearly five years late for you, is it not Amybabe? :)

I'm liking Trudy more and more everyday. Honestly? They should hire her, rather than Pete, to take over accounts. Can you imagine how amazing she would be?
Trudy's awesome. I love noting how composed and self-assured Trudy is in comparison to the tightly wound Annie on Community.

There's a true mutual respect and partnership that is emerging there
Great point! We've had two scenes in Lane's office that have demonstrated how they truly care for each other and look out for each other. I suspect Joan opening the door was about keeping Lane focused on propriety ... and at least a little of having had her fill of affairs with married co-workers.

I also noted that while Lane initiated the kiss, Joan did not pull away for a few seconds. She was for it before she was against it, ifyouknowwhatImean. :) Maybe opening the door was to keep Joan focused on propriety ...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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