mad men

The Secrets of Harry Crane, International Mad Man of Mystery

Another season of Mad Men comes to an end on Sunday. It’s been a roiling, tumultuous series of episodes, delving deep into the inner lives of Don, Peggy, Pete, and many others in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. And yet one fan favorite has remained largely in the background this season: head of media Harry Crane. His lovably neurotic ways were in short supply: a worry here, an abrupt dismissal there. Frankly, his low profile was suspicious. Was it because nothing was going on with this character? Or was there in fact a great deal going on with his character, but nothing that he could let on? We suspect the latter! Here’s a theory: What if the whole shlumpy demeanor is a cover, and he is in fact a suave superspy, infiltrating SCDP to pull off his covert assignments? This puts the past twelve episodes in a whole new light! So let’s take a look at season four from a new perspective, that of the Secret Life of Harry Crane.

They all think I got this sunburn while selling the first-ever jai alai television special to Hollywood. What they don’t know is that the special for SCDP will also be broadcasting subliminal anti-Communist messages for another agency, the CIA. I reprogrammed the satellites myself. In space. That rocket going pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa … As my face burned with the heat of reentry, all I could think about how much I wanted to return to my sexy handler, Miss Blankenship, code name Astronaut.
No! My anti-Communist brainwashing jai alai special has been killed by Don’s sloppiness … But I have to maintain this cover!
Just so nobody suspects my secret life, I’d better eat a cookie. No: two cookies. No: three cookies. Okay, four. Just to be safe.
My wife would never guess how many lives I’ve ended with this tie pin. I could kill a man next to this Christmas tree right now: Bam! “Was it the guy in the brown blazer? Or the guy in the black blazer? The guy in the red tie? Or the blue tie?” While witnesses argue, I’d blend into the office pool, a plaid, striped, camouflaged phantom.
Ah, we meet again, Lee Garner Jr. … Or should I say, Kronsteen. You win this round. But I know all about your Operation Lucky Strike, SPECTRE’s plot to kill Americans with lung cancer. What I want for Christmas is your head on a plate.
“Gee, sorry Don, they need me in L.A. again … ” Ol’ Dick Whitman here is so tangled up in his own lies that he’ll never notice mine …
Back from “L.A.” Ha. And what a headline: “16 Communist Spies Found Dead in Phnom Penh Whorehouse.” Actually, it was 19 … Oh well, time for a doughnut.
These glasses? As fake as Clark Kent’s. And I’ve hidden a tiny pinhole camera behind this menu.
“Drink up, fellas!” Don thinks he’s a genius. What he doesn’t know is that every glass I pour is laced with a little cocktail invented by bartenders at the MI:5. Two-parts rye whiskey, one-part sodium pentathol, with a dash of Temazepam. One glass of that and a client will even buy a cliché like “cure for the common breakfast.”
“You’re a good-looking guy! I can get you an audition!” I don’t trust this kid Joey. I’ve got to push him out of the office before he blows my cover.
I egged Joey on, knowing that if I couldn’t get rid of him first, Joan would put in a call to a certain Mr. Sugarberry (a.k.a. Red Harvest, a.k.a. Boss Hogg). But I never anticipated that Peggy might take him out first. Maybe I should recruit her …
“That’s my mother’s afghan!” My weakness has always been a beautiful woman. And Miss Blankenship was a horny, horn-rimmed Queen of Perversions. Maybe that’s why I was too blind to see that she was a double agent. She had to go.
All I can think about is money: prime-time billings and Peyton Place plotlines. It’s like I’ve lost track of why I’m even here …
Peggy almost blew it with that lipstick. If it hadn’t been for my special tonic, those guys would have laughed at her.
Come to think of it, that Bert Cooper does love his Asian art. Maybe too much. And who wears a goatee like that? Ho Chi Minh and Lenin, that’s who.
“Out, Harry!” Too close for comfort, eh? That Red-sympathizing, Asian-art-loving, barefoot-walking bohemian may talk the right talk, but he has crossed the wrong red-blooded patriot. A shot of this hallucinogenic scopolamine on my way out the door, and he’ll be barking mad in minutes.
It’s all over now. Lee Garner Jr. has escaped the agency. How could this have happened? Was I double-crossed? Seems there’s always a femme fatale. Was it … Peggy?
The Secrets of Harry Crane, International Mad Man of Mystery