Matt Zoller Seitz described this week’s episode of Mad Men as a “rickety old wooden roller coaster” … in a good way. He questioned how the merger would affect our dear Peggy, lamented the continued treatment of Joan as a “glorified secretary,” and effectively shook his head at the show’s questionably arrogant leading man. Readers had many more thoughts. Here’s what you had to say about “For Immediate Release.”
First of all, you predicted the merger weeks ago …
* “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
* “Just wanted to say the user that called a possible merger a few recaps ago… High five.” —Commenter Egghead
… and now that it’s happened, you debated logistics.
* “When Don told Peggy “Give it to Ted” - does that imply Don’s the boss, directing Peggy to report to Ted? Or that Don gave Ted the “boss” role because he doesn’t care about who appears to be in charge?” —Commenter mittens1326
* “OK, pick your favorite name for the new merged agency…GO! Considering how much everyone drinks on the show they could call it Seven & Seven or CC & Ginger.” —Commenter bostonjack
* “SDC3” —Commenter Lukenator
You disagreed with some elements of our recap.
* “I’d like to know, Seitz, how Pete’s father-in-law getting caught in a brothel with a black prostitute puts the civil rights subject matter on pause mode. I’d really like to know.” —Commenter mcblue
* “I agree; if anything it highlighted that there were still deeply entrenched taboos about interracial sexual relationships. It was all the more interesting for Pete to say this line because he was so outwardly upset about MLK assassination.” —Commenter Rustybear
You made some historic …
* “Fun fact: McCann Erickson and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners pitched together to win Chevy, in a very, very similar way as SCDP and Cutler Gleason and Chaough did. This year McCann World Group took over all business for Chevy and gave them the new Find New Roads tagline.” —Commenter davbal
… semantic …
* “I know these are common phrases in the show, but this ep specifically had Roger saying ‘shut the door’ and someone else saying ‘have a seat’ (I forget who), perhaps a call back to S3’s finale ‘Shut The Door, Have A Seat’ that similarly lit a fuse many believed to be lacking that season.” —Commenter Davissa
* “My favorite part of the episode was Don having his lightbulb moment after Ted said the word ‘We.’ It was a good callback to Joan’s line, but also shows you how far out of touch Don is with everything — ‘we’ only connected to him when it was said by Ted, someone who is effectively his equal.” —Commenter JG291
… and mathematical observations …
* “I just did a simple calculation. The firm is worth $20,000,000 if Joan is a 5% partner of the firm and her shares are worth $1,000,000 in 1968. Taking inflation into account the firm is worth $130,198,367 in today’s money.” —Commenter johnnyb0731
… while still laughing over that dinner scene.
* “I think Hamm deserves an Emmy for his reading of the line ‘I love puppies’.” —Commenter brontebrat
* “How is the title of this review not ‘I love puppies’?! Don saying those three words was the conversational equivalent of Joan prostituting herself for the good of the firm.” —Commenter DesignGirl510
* “Herb’s wife’s name is Peaches? Like Peaches and Herb???” —NYStar2000
You were skeptical of Joan’s outburst …
* “Who else thought Joan’s reaction was a bit too strong? For a fierce woman who can keep her calm in the face of almost any crap alpha males of the show give her, she seemed rather quick to explode w emotion, and reveal the cost of her partnership very openly, to a much bigger audience than she would have liked.. A million dollars is a lot of money, but it is not like Joan dreamed and worked her way to a partnership so she could get her payday during an IPO. “ —Commenter istanbul
* “I don’t exactly buy the outrage from Joan. Yes, Don is entitled, but Joan and Pete and Bert were all but taking the company public and hadn’t said a word to their partner, Don. He had a right to be just as pissed as she was. Nobody made her schtup the Jaguar guy, and Don actively tried to talk her out of it.” —Commenter Sboobydoo
* “Joan throwing her ‘sacrifice’ for the Jaguar account in Don’s face doesn’t fit her character. I’ve admired her discretion; she says precisely what needs to be said. Why would she remind everyone of her shame regarding Herb romp; where did Joan’s emotional intelligence go?” —Commenter 2uptown
… and genuinely shocked to see Roger drinking water.
* “Do you think it’s possible Roger is trying to quit drinking? He doesn’t have a drink on his nightstand, or in his office, even a visible bar in his office at that. He doesn’t meet Don at the bar, plus, when he does drink in the epi, it’s just an onion water. The second time he drinks, he could have ordered the same thing. And after he drinks it, he looks less than satisfied. Maybe his mother dying had a very real impact on him.” —Commenter Stephanies
You made note of Bob Benson’s ass-kissing success.
* “Bob Benson, now an Honorary graduate of the Pete Campbell school of brown-nosing attire, with that bright blue suit.” —Commenter seanlaw81
* “Bob’s no dummy — he’s graduated from a TP-buying underling to a whorehouse-going friend-of-Pete in record time.” —Commenter FawnLiebowitz
You were unimpressed with Julia Ormond’s French accent …
* “Also, I have to check with some other French speakers: is it just me, or does Megan’s mother have an absolutely lousy accent in French?” —Commenter t_birdo
* “I wish they would just dump the Marie character, or at least stick to her speaking in English with her awful accent. She sounds neither French (from France) nor French Canadian. As a Montrealer it’s pretty horrendous to hear her speak - it gives her character as much credibility as would a thick Scottish accent for Joanie’s mom or a car from 1995 for Don.” —Commenter germaincm
… but applauded Marie’s ability to maintain classiness while drinking straight from the bottle.
* “About Marie…You have to be beeyooteefull and so put together, practically a different species, to maintain class and look that good while swigging off a wine bottle. Pitch perfect….Julia O. stole every scene she was in last night.” —Commenter SwankyOne
Although, if you truly appreciated anything about “For Immediate Release,” it was Mrs. Trudy Campbell’s night wear.
* “My main takeaway from this episode was that Trudy Campbell wears nicer things to bed than I wear to work. That coral nightgown was so fab.” —Commenter Escapetobitchmountain
Now all that’s left to do is sit back and wait to see if Betty is still a brunette.
* “This was hands-down the best ep of the season, and I hate to say this, but which main character/actress was absent? The one and only Betty Francis.” —Commenter bostonjack
*“Prepare for Betty’s grand re-entrance as skinny Betty, dressed to the nines.” —Commenter polt343