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mad men: "out of town"

My show is back!

When last we left the good people of Sterling Cooper a lot of things happened. I'm not going to attempt to summarize. I don't have that kind of time. 

Season 3, Episode 1: Out of Town
Salvatore and Don take a business trip out of town. Pete Campbell and Ken Cosgrove worry about the changes at Sterling-Cooper and how the changes will impact them.

The times are a changing.... so grab your martini and come discuss the changes -both personal and professional - in the lives of Don, Betty, Joan, Peggy, Pete and the rest of the gang.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
flippet
Aug. 17th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Ooh, yay! I'll be in once I've seen the iTunes version....off to check whether I've been charged for the season pass yet...

gatsbyfan
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Wow. So good.

My nails were wet so I couldn't take notes at the time. I'll need to rewatch. So many good lines. The phone book line was perfect as I have often felt the same way. Love that British accident.

"I don't know. I keep going to a lot of places and ending up somewhere I've already been." -Don Draper

The OMG moment of the episode. Don seeing Sal. The look on Don's face was magnificent. It was shock with possibly a little bit of disgust. But I love that once they are back on the plane Sal is worried that Don is going to say something but Don just pitches an idea. I love that Don is opting to ignore what he saw.

The last scene on the bed had me worried. I thought for sure we were going to see some piece of woman's clothing.
gatsbyfan
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC)
Sepinwall once again posts an excellent review of the episode.
amycurl
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
I love that once they are back on the plane Sal is worried that Don is going to say something but Don just pitches an idea. I love that Don is opting to ignore what he saw.

Well, if there is anyone at the office who'd have the attitude of "Your secret life is your secret life," it would be Don. What I *really* loved was the fact that the pitch for London Fog, "Limit Your Exposure" also speaks perfectly to Sal's condition--Don is limiting Sal's exposure. Only Don Draper could pull that kind of thing off, all while pretending to sleep on an airplane.

I also love Don's surprised reaction to Sal's observation that he's never seen a flight attendant so "game." Don does live in The Bubble when it comes to some things, doesn't he? ;)

*sigh* I do love this show.
gatsbyfan
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Don is limiting Sal's exposure
Exactly. I love the way Sepinwall puts it:as Sal braces himself to be condemned by Don, only to be relieved when Don, through his "Limit your exposure" pitch, basically gives him the 1963 version of "Keep it on the down-low."

Couple of comic relief moments of sort: Pete's weird dancing and Roger's reaction when arriving at the meeting late Oh, that meeting.

I got the reference that Roger was married (unpacking Greek treasures), but I apparently missed the fact that Joan is already married to the rapist. Poor Joan.

Only Betty can get away with a line like: She's taken to your tools like a little lesbian. She won't be winning any mother of the year awards any day soon. Something tells me poor Sally will be spending thousands in therapy to deal with her relationship with her mother.
marymary
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
OMG Sal! What a rollercoaster. As soon as I saw that elevator operator peek over his shoulder, I was like, "Go Sal!" So nice that he was finally gonna get some. (I do feel sorry for the wife, but that marriage is invalid. I don't even feel like it's cheating; his worse transgression was marrying her in the first place.)

Anyway, I was so excited for him and then...cockblocked by the fire alarm! So sad. And then Don in the window ---seriously, my heart was in my throat.

Here's what's interesting to me. To OUR minds, Don has no moral high ground here. He's cheating on his wife (and, IMO, cheating on a woman with a woman is more...cheaty) so he's no better than Sal. But that's not how EITHER of them sees it. Don's not ashamed to be caught with the stewardess --- look how he doesn't even try to make it appear that they're not together, half-dressed, on the street. Both of them accept that Sal's the one in hot water here, and NOT because he's cheating on his wife, but because he's gay. I really love how the show makes that so clear without words, using scenes like the one on the street and the one on the plane.

Speaking of which:
What I *really* loved was the fact that the pitch for London Fog, "Limit Your Exposure" also speaks perfectly to Sal's condition--Don is limiting Sal's exposure. Only Don Draper could pull that kind of thing off, all while pretending to sleep on an airplane.

Yes! I loved that bit too, a.

I also love Don's surprised reaction to Sal's observation that he's never seen a flight attendant so "game." Don does live in The Bubble when it comes to some things, doesn't he? ;)

Yes to this too. When Don said "Really?" I actually laughed out loud. It reminded me of Jon Hamm's SNL sketch about how to pick up women by being Don Draper. AND for that matter, his role on 30 Rock, where everyone treats him so well all the time. He lives in a different world than everyone else.

marymary
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:19 am (UTC)
So...Pete is still Pete. Whatever, surprise me for once, Pete.

One thing I noticed this time was in the previouslies, from the season finale. I had forgotten Pete's line to Peggy when she tells him she's had his baby. He says, "Why would you tell me that?" Wow, what a great line. It's not "Why did you do that?" or "Why didn't you tell me back then?" or "What happened to MY SON?" All he wants to know is why she's injecting this into his life right now. Incredible. Big hand for the writer of that line. That's a great example of why this show is so strong.

I actually don't quite understand the plot line with the British not-secretary. (BTW, gatz, from now on I'm totally calling it a "British accident." *g*)

So far I like Peggy better than last season.

Still loving Joan. I especially loved her calm and commanding conversation in the hallway while the fired guy broke lots of stuff in his office.

I liked Don's line to the stewardess, when she says he might be her last chance. "I've been married a long time. There are lots of chances." Heh. So I guess Don and Betty are still Don and Betty and the baby just cements them in place.

Boy, that Don backstory was hard to watch, huh?
gatsbyfan
Aug. 24th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
(BTW, gatz, from now on I'm totally calling it a "British accident." *g*
This is why I shouldn't post when I'm tired and in a hurry. But that is funny.
edgeriffic
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
from Sepinwall:

...hotel bellman (who has remarkable gaydar, given how brief the encounters in the elevator and then the room were)

This is exactly what I said to Mr. Edgy as we were watching. Maybe it was a pheromone thing? ;-)
marymary
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
It was pretty fast, huh edgy? Bellman was looking for a party. *g*

I agree that he didn't have much to go on, but I it didn't bother me that much. I guess my wank is this: Bellman hears the guys talking as they get in the elevator. Sal has a very gay speech pattern, so that pings Bellman's gaydar. Then, in the hotel room, it's Sal again! Quel coincidence...so he tests the waters by standing much too close. Nothing actionable (in case he's wrong and Sal is straight and decides to complain to management)... Sal doesn't budge and instead looks him in the eye and we're off to the races.
ok_with_that
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
He says, "Why would you tell me that?" Wow, what a great line. It's not "Why did you do that?" or "Why didn't you tell me back then?" or "What happened to MY SON?" All he wants to know is why she's injecting this into his life right now. Incredible. Big hand for the writer of that line. That's a great example of why this show is so strong.

A counterpoint to, an echo of, Leo learning of the real effects of the Viet Nam bombing raid, and yet...

Back when I've re-watched.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 17th, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
(Before I saw anybody else's posts, I swear that I was going to open this post thusly:)

Such a cruel fire alarm! Just when Sal was about to get some.

What I *really* loved was the fact that the pitch for London Fog, "Limit Your Exposure" also speaks perfectly to Sal's condition--Don is limiting Sal's exposure. Only Don Draper could pull that kind of thing off, all while pretending to sleep on an airplane.
Only Don indeed, Amybabe.

I thought it was a triple entendre, if you will. He's actually pitching an ad campaign to Sal. (As if how to address the matter inspired a new ad campaign. Since he's Don Draper and all.)

But he's also advising him about how to handle his true nature, and telling him "That's your business and none of mine." (It's akin to his "Move forward" speech to Peggy just after she gave birth.)

What I took from that moment is Don saying "Yeah, I saw the bellboy zipping up. None of my business. You're still one of us." It's why Sal looks so relieved after Don says "Good" and lays back in his seat. I can hear Sal processing: Don knows, he accepts it and he'll keep his mouth shut.

Both of them accept that Sal's the one in hot water here, and NOT because he's cheating on his wife, but because he's gay.
Absolutely, Mary. And all done without expository dialogue. One of the many aspects that makes Mad Men the best show on television.

I don't even feel like it's cheating; his worse transgression was marrying her in the first place.)
Apparently I agree, given that my first thought upon seeing that The Bellboy Only Rings Once was "Hey, good for Sal! This is what he really wants."

But then there's that poor, naive Mrs. Romano, who thinks Sal is sweet to her out of romantic love and not merely kindness and keeping up appearances. It'll be interesting to see that storyline going forward: Sal's conflict between who he is and who he wants to be.

Jeez, 2:35 a.m. here. More in the morning. So great to have this show back! :-)

Edited at 2009-08-17 07:39 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
The "Move forward" directive and Don's advice to "Limit your exposure" are even more connected than I first thought.

In both instances, Don's addressing somebody who feels they're on the verge of losing their keys to the kingdom. As Amy pointed out upthread, if anybody knows how to keep a secret life secret, it's Sterling Cooper's alpha male.

In both instances, Peggy (having just given birth) and Sal (on the plane) have worked hard to attain the Sterling Cooper life, want to keep it, but perceive a massive impediment to keeping it. So Peggy gives up her baby, and earlier Sal found that a sweet young girl from the old neighborhood makes a lovely beard.

At a critical juncture, accidentally or otherwise, Don is there to tell first Peggy, then Sal, "here's what you must do to keep what you've attained."

What makes it Mad Men is that Weiner knows his audience is smart and can be shown these things indirectly, not be hit over the head with them.

Edited at 2009-08-17 04:10 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
Boy, that Don backstory was hard to watch, huh?
Yes, Mary. It tells us a bit why Don is being exceptionally (for him) sweet and attentive to Betty: He associates childbirth with death.

Someone (Goodman, probably) tipped me to the line "His name is Dick, after a wish his mother should have lived to see." Funny, and a touch sad, presuming that Dick ("Did you know I'm a whore child?") heard that story, too.

That backstory further illuminates why Dick would want to shed his original identity: His mother died giving birth to him.
amycurl
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Another thing I loved (to hate) is the consistency in Pete's "aiming for human emotion and missing by *thismuch*" personality. So MAD and UPSET to have to SHARE something that should be rightfully HIS because he's, you know, HIM! What. an. asshat.

And then the whole interchange after the joint meeting between Pete and the other guy...with the other guy looking at him like, "WTF? Way not to be a person..." He's so happy, and energetic, and enthusiastic about being given the opportunity. So genuine. *Exactly* the way he was towards Pete in the elevator when he thought the position was his alone. While Pete was exactly the opposite of the way he acted in the elevator....

Ah, yes. The bus is on its way now...

Something tells me poor Sally will be spending thousands in therapy to deal with her relationship with her mother.
Word, gatz. I think it was the "OUT!" that actually got to me more. I can't imagine speaking to my own daughter like that, when she's *not* the one in trouble.
amycurl
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
t tells us a bit why Don is being exceptionally (for him) sweet and attentive to Betty: He associates childbirth with death.

It also comes back to the line with the flight attendant:
"It's my birthday."
"I'll need to see your driver's license."
"That won't help."
It won't help for many, many reason, won't it? ;-) (Another great little throw-away line...) It's not until that exchange, I think, that Don decides to have sex with her. I noticed that he was a lot less aggressive and assertive than we've seen him with other potential conquests before.

There's a lot in this episode about the sex/death cycle in general. Very mythic and biblical of them, I thought...
tomfoolery815
Aug. 17th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
And then the whole interchange after the joint meeting between Pete and the other guy...with the other guy looking at him like, "WTF? Way not to be a person..."
You know how, back at TWoP, occasionally TWW would be described as "Broadway in my living room"? Mad Men is a major motion picture in your living room, for moments like this: That awesome shot, pulling back from Pete's face, as he's seething with rage at the sight of Ken, all Eager Beaver and smiley. Brilliant.

He's so happy, and energetic, and enthusiastic about being given the opportunity. So genuine.
Yeah, I thought they were patronizing each other in the elevator, but after further review only Pete was being patronizing. Shocking. ;-)

"They want us to hate each other. I refuse to participate in that," Ken says. Ken looks at his glass and says "Hey, thanks for the water!" Pete looks at his glass and says "HE took half of MY water!"

tomfoolery815
Aug. 18th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
Still loving Joan. I especially loved her calm and commanding conversation in the hallway while the fired guy broke lots of stuff in his office.
When she said "Despite your title, you are not a secretary," my first thought was "God, that's hot." :-) She was in total control of that moment.

Then, when she and Peggy were waiting for an elevator and Peggy started complaining about Lola, her secretary: "I'm not at work yet." Heh.

Speaking of Peggy, I love the way they showed us her further evolution in pretty much one small moment: Lola's blathering about Hooker's British accident, and how he could read her the phone book. Peggy responds as if she's channeling Don: "When he gets to 'S,' I need Howard Sullivan at Lever Brothers." Ha!
elinorigbe
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
"I'm not at work yet."

This says to me that, as much as Joan controls the office with her calm presence, to her it's just a job. She excels at it, but it's not her life; she doesn't take it home with her, ever, and she doesn't get back in to it until she's actually back in the office "at work."

To Peggy, on the other hand, it's a career.

tomfoolery815
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Exactly, Elinor. Standing there on the ground floor, Joan is still off shift.
flippet
Aug. 18th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Another thing I loved (to hate) is the consistency in Pete's "aiming for human emotion and missing by *thismuch*" personality. So MAD and UPSET to have to SHARE something that should be rightfully HIS because he's, you know, HIM! What. an. asshat.

I actually don't see it as being an asshat, so much as simply being an infant. He has never moved beyond a very young child's exceptionally egocentric stage of emotional/cognitive development. It's sad, really.


And yeah....totally disappointed for Sal. :-(

The whole thing with Sal was so well-played. Because as much as we love Don, and want to ascribe positive sensibilities to him--he is still a product of his time, and would certainly have some disgust at the situation. The fact that they could show that, yet still have Don be sympathetic to Sal's situation (because in a way, he shares it) was fantastic.


I was actually hoping that Don would resist, this time. Because the stewardess was doing most of the work. Still have hope for Don--still see him as the good guy, even when it's apparent that he's such a cad. Another very talented walk of the line.


I've been interested in the art, for some reason (and I haven't actually worked it out yet). Except that it's very linear--with lots of tangled and crossing lines. The octopus. The strange brown wooden thing tacked to Cooper's wall. The lines of the ant farm. Thin, intersecting, choking lines.

Well. Maybe there's my answer right there. :-) God, I love this show.


tomfoolery815
Aug. 20th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I was actually hoping that Don would resist, this time. Because the stewardess was doing most of the work. Still have hope for Don--still see him as the good guy, even when it's apparent that he's such a cad.
I thought he might resist as well Flip, especially after he'd been so sweet and caring with Betty. But ... this alpha male tiger doesn't change his stripes, apparently.

Bryan Batt on that scene:

There's great camaraderie, lots of banter and fun on the set, but when we got to the scene, everyone was so respectful. Anytime there are bedroom scenes, the sets are closed. It really helps the actors produce and puts them at ease. Orestes Arcuni plays the bellboy and he's straight. I told him, "Close your eyes and pretend I'm Christie Brinkley."

Ha! BB is dating himself. I imagine young Mr. Arcuni hearing that and saying "Who?" :-)

http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2009/08/bryan-batt-interview.php
flippet
Aug. 20th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
But ... this alpha male tiger doesn't change his stripes, apparently.

Nope. And to be fair, I wasn't thinking so much of a stripe-changing, as a not-this-time small victory.

I need to watch it again to see if I am really getting the sense that I think I am--that Don *is* having second thoughts about his behavior, for a variety of reasons, but it's like he can't stop himself - an addiction out of his control. Like he's less on the 'I want to, so I'm going to' side, and more 'I want to, but I shouldn't' gray middle.

The more he realizes he has to lose, the bigger impact it's going to make when he does, inevitably, lose it. It's gonna go big, is all I can think.


Orestes Arcuni plays the bellboy and he's straight. I told him, "Close your eyes and pretend I'm Christie Brinkley."

Ha! And he did well, I think. :-)

I have been absolutely repulsed by the comments I've seen on a few sites, though sadly not surprised. :-(

But I thought it was written, acted, and filmed exceptionally well.



D'oh! I ought not to subthread, for the benefit of others. :-)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Like he's less on the 'I want to, so I'm going to' side, and more 'I want to, but I shouldn't' gray middle.
I lean toward the former. His behavior and demeanor, once it became apparent he was not going to resist the stewardess' advances, suggests that he's just going to be more discreet. That the lesson he learned from his affair with Bobbie was "Only on road trips" or something.

I have been absolutely repulsed by the comments I've seen on a few sites, though sadly not surprised. :-(
Facebook, for example? Yeah ... at least there are also people calling them on it. Homophobia, like racism, isn't dead.

But I thought it was written, acted, and filmed exceptionally well.
I do, too. Because I like Sal so much, I want him to be happy. And clearly, he was on the verge of extremely happy until the fire alarm spoiled everything. ;-)

Edited at 2009-08-20 06:08 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Jul. 20th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
Watching the replay of this episode just now, I'm reminded of yet another installment in Roger Gets All The Best Lines:

Roger, to Pete, in Don's office: "Help yourself ... not the Stoli."
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