Monday, October 11, 2010

Mad Men 4.12: No Smoking!

So how can Mad Men manage to surprise in this season in which every week has delivered an unexpected punch?   By Don publicly denouncing smoking in episode 4.12!  Smoke will no longer be getting in SCDP's eyes, at least if Don has his way.

Indeed, Don's act - going for a full-page ad in The New York Times, in which he declares war on smoking, all the damage it's done to the health of Americans, and the health of his company - is roundly attacked by every one of his partners.  Pete's concerned that clients will lose faith in SCDP's loyalty (indeed!), Cooper's furious that Don did not include the partners in the ad (!), Lane's angry that Don did not consult the partners beforehand, and Roger's just angry.  (I thought Roger's best line, though, came when he called a consultant who failed to deliver a promised presentation to a possible client, an "asshole".  Roger has consistently had the best lines for the past few shows.)  The responses of the partners - the reasons for their anger - reflect their inner demons and personalities, what really motivates them.   Cooper, at this stage in his life, is in it for his reputation.  He's so wounded that his name does not appear on this declaration of war that he takes his leave of his partners and the company - apparently, at this point, for good.

Who approved of what Don did?   Megan liked it and tells him so - though for what combination of wanting to curry favor with Don vs. her admiring Don's courage/honesty, whatever, is not clear.  Don tells her it had nothing to do with standing up for what's right - it was the best move for SCDP given its plummeting client list - this at least gets them in the public eye, and turns the vice of Lucky Strike leaving into a virtue.

Peggy, unsurprisingly, approves for the right reasons.   She jokes about Don's chiding her about pulling stunts - because, if we believe what Don says (who knows what he really thinks), his ad in the New York Times was a high-profile, high-principled gimmick - a stunt wrapped in a public ethic.

Ready for next week's season finale?

See also Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim"

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

                 Special Discount Coupons for Angie's List, Avis, Budget Car, eHarmony, eMusic, Mozy, Zazzle

The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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