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Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm Reflect on Mad Men’s ‘The Suitcase’ Episode

Duck and Don come to blows in "The Suitcase."

Mad Men's season premiere is still months away — the agony, oh, the agony — but the Daily Beast's thorough dissection of "The Suitcase" from Matt Weiner and Jon Hamm is bringing all the Draper-drenched emotions right back to the surface. Weiner admits to being the Peggy to David Chase's Don back in his Sopranos days, only to have Hamm call him out for also having "some Pete" in him. Ha. Also, Weiner fleshes out the symbolism of the Sonny Liston–Muhammad Ali fight that Peggy and Don drunkenly watch in the bar, which later has echoes in Don and Duck's whiskey-fueled punch-a-thon. "The whole Muhammad Ali/Sonny Liston thing is confusing to us now because Ali is a cultural icon that is beloved [but] Don is betting on Liston," Weiner says. "Liston is the one that he identifies with and Liston loses ... It's almost like Don is the champion and he's suddenly becoming the underdog." Is it almost like that, or is it exactly like that? "The Suitcase" is all about reversing everyone's roles — Peggy stands up to the boss, Don melts down, and Ali (still Cassius Clay at that point) knocks out Liston in one of the most iconic moments in sports history. That episode really is one of the show's best. [Daily Beast]

Photo: Michael Yarish/AMC