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The Best Mad Men Recap Reader Comments: ‘To Have and To Hold’

Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) - Mad Men - Season 6, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC
Photo: Michael Yarish/AMC

Even our Don-doting Matt Zoller Seitz grew impatient with this week’s episode of Mad Men. He was disappointed with Dawn’s dialogue and wondered whether the man who once said advertising invented love to sell nylons really deserves peace. Readers had even more musings on this episode. Here’s what you thought of “To Have and To Hold.”

You politely disagreed with us …

* “I don’t understand the praise for Peggy’s pitch. 1) She had exactly what the client said he wanted and still couldn’t seal the deal;  2) She resorts to cribbing Don’s old lines; and 3) She sold out her friend to even get the opportunity to pitch the business (and deserved Stan’s middle finger).” —Commenter seanlaw81

* “Peggy wasn’t in the restaurant when Don used that ‘change the conversation’ line in S3. Did he use that line more than once? Does he ever use a line more than once?” —Commenter bonmotable

* “Matt, I doubt very much that Harry Crane will get spirited away to another agency. If that happens, it won’t be a leading agency; he’s too old-guard for that. Trying to sell Dow to American TV watchers with ‘Joe Namath in a straw hat’? There’s a cultural moment in motion all around him, and he has NO CLUE.” —Commenter teewrecks

You picked up on some subtle references …

* “‘My bad penny’ was what Andrea called Don when she ran into him on the elevator at the start of last season’s ‘Mystery Date.’” —Commenter ohonestly

* “[D]idn’t young Don use the excuse of ‘I dropped a penny’ when caught looking through the keyhole in last week’s episode?” —Commenter greenvillageeast

* “Also [did anyone else notice] how Ken ignored Peggy in the diner? They had a pact, if either left SCDP the other would go too…and Peggy didn’t take or tell Ken when she left.” —Commenter itsagas

* “No one has mentioned the big revelation that Joan was once married for 6 months.” —Commenter NYCer1

… and added clever observations. 

* “It seems from Ginsberg’s lack of screen time that he was merely a plot device to show how out of touch Don has become from youth advertising. That’s a shame, I hope he gets more play in upcoming weeks.” —Commenter seanlaw81

* “I think the Dawn scenes offered some hitherto unseen perspective — Dawn is more like the viewer than any other character yet. She has the same qualms, the same judgments, and the same misgivings about SCDP as the silent observer, and I found it interesting. The fact that she’s still sort of haunted by Lane’s suicide when everyone else seems to have moved on is a testament to her ‘everyman’ quality — she just wants to keep her job, but can’t help but be a little uncomfortable, just like the viewer.”  —Commenter wonkers

You paid attention to details …

* “One thing I find somewhat unrealistic about MM this season (and last season, too) is the fact that Joan, as lovely a woman as she clearly is with a definite effect on men, has made no effort to update her look or wardrobe and therefore looks very old-fashioned.” —Commenter FawnLiebowitz

* “The phone restaurant was Ma Bells on 45th Street in the theatre district.” —Commenter spm2013

* “The Le Cirque reference bothered me. It didn’t open till 1974.” —Commenter AMANWITHAPLAN

… and weren’t afraid to criticize Matthew Weiner for not doing the same.

* “That was sloppy. Not a good sign if they are letting the details slip away.” —Commenter cookiedibbs

* “Am I the only one who hated the noodly ‘spy’ music that was playing when Stan sneaked into the ‘Private’ room to work on Project K? Very ham-handed and unnecessary for Mad Men. Please stop that, Matt Weiner.” —Commenter Sargasm

You picked up on that sneaky 30 Rock reference

* “Did Ted order an Old Spanish at the bar? If so, is that a reference to the faux cocktail made by Cooter in the Governor Dunston episode of 30 Rock? In that very same episode, Liz makes a reference to Mad Men. 30 Rock and Mad Men worlds colliding!?!?” —Commenter nlette

… made some SCDP predictions …

* “I’m beginning to suspect that SCDP might start thinking about merging with Ted Chaough (and Peggy’s) firm. That comment about the 2 agencies being about the same size and losing Heinz ketchup to J. Walter Thompson – which someone noted was the biggest ad agency in the world – seemed telling. Plus it would keep Peggy prominently in the show and provide some interesting new sources of tension (now that Lane Pryce is gone), as well as being true to the times, when ad agencies were merging and changing character.” —Commenter Gadfly22

* “I’m beginning to wonder if, in hindsight, SCDP’s pursuit of Jaguar is going to be seen as the lynch-pin that led to the demise of the company.” —Commenter marmad

* “I hope that they are setting Joan up to be friends with Dawn. She hasn’t had a real friend since Peggy left, because none of the other women are on par with her. Dawn is a lot younger, but it was interesting the way their scenes outside of the office were so similar. Both of their best friends were married or getting married, and ‘didn’t have to worry about’ keeping a job.” —Commenter ohplease1

… and, once again, you are rooting for someone to get hit in the face …

* “After Harry’s behavior, he’s giving Pete competition for characters who deserve to be slapped. May I propose a Mad Men death cage match between the two?” —Commenter toooldforthis

… though Matt Zoller Seitz has more gruesome plans. 

” If there is indeed an ANCHORMAN style brawl, Pete needs to get his arms lopped off like Luke Wilson.” —Vulture TV critic MZS

At this point, we think you deserve some comic relief …  

* “At this point, Roger shows up to work just to see if some comical shit happens and smirk to himself.” —Commenter 77BC 

* “Vulture needs to do a ‘best of Meredith’ reel. SCDP would be lost without her.” —Commenter holdforhollisgreen 

* “I’ll forgive these last couple episodes if I get to see Betty do some more weird stuff.” —Commenter girlfrommich

… because you really are the Coca-Cola of commenters.

* “I loved the wardrobe decision that had Stan dressed in a mustard-colored suit at a ketchup pitch.” —Commenter scallion

* “160 comments (and counting) [Now 446 (and counting)!]. What did the last Modern Family get, twelve? This is easily the most interesting and compelling discussion group on the site.” —Commenter KDMz

The Best Mad Men Recap Reader Comments