Mad Men Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

Mad Men Quotations

And a special bonus this week.

Mad Men Quotations

Each week, Chris Piascik draws one of the better quotations from the episode and we pair it with the recap I write on his site and here. If you’re reading this sentence it’s because I finished the recap before Chris finished the drawing and I had to go to bed. Check back in the morning.

I enjoyed this episode a lot, but I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. Like last week, it seemed to move the plot forward quickly, but not touch so much on bigger (and more subtle themes). I haven’t noticed if this is the first, but this episode was directed by John Slattery (Roger Sterling).

-“There’s a time for beans and there’s a time for ketchup.” Apparently, however, the time for beans at SCDP is not now. People think the agency is dying and they don’t want to be associated with it right now. “I will have an exciting idea, I know that.” Doesn’t mean much.
-Did you see Harry Crane’s office? It had an antique desk and a replica cannon. Crane really is a ridiculous character.
-Sketchy Glenn is back giving Sally Draper an additional psychiatry appointment per day. He’s really coming across as well-grounded and it’s weird. Glenn’s decided that if he can’t have Betty, he’ll have Sally instead. I loved how he turned and ran when he saw Betty.
-We’re getting closer and closer to the late 60’s and unfortunately Midge is the sacrificial lamb for the writers to depict the coming popularity of heroin/drugs. Her and her husband are so far gone that he’s willing to whore her out for a score. Her painting did seemingly inspire Don’s ad in the New York Times. Though maybe it was her obvious desperation that was the inspiration. “It’s about what she sees when she shuts her eyes.”
-“She doesn’t care what the truth is as long as I do what she says.” Sally is learning to be like Betty. Suppressing everything as a tactic to get by. Incidentally, Betty needs Sally’s psychiatrist more than Sally does. The conversation between Betty and the doctor was great and when the doctor said, “I’m a child psychiatrist”, the implication being that Betty is a child.
-Peggy wanted Don to change the name or the conversation, and according to Ken Cosgrove, Don at least changed the conversation. It was quite literally an ad for the agency, as Don mentioned, and it gave him the opportunity to get on his advertising genius high horse. I love when he gets on his advertising genius high horse. I don’t remember the exact quote, but he’s said something similar before. “This ad is genius and if you don’t get it, I’m not going to bother trying to explain it, you won’t get it anyway. Luddite.”
-Creative is “the least important most important thing there is.” Talk amongst yourselves.
-After the NYT ad, Don had to pry from Peggy what she thought of it. I feel like he has to do that quite a bit. He’ll do something, and she won’t tell him what she thinks. It’s almost as if he’s used to getting a response, positive or negative from everyone, and her not responding throws a wrench in his sense of normalcy. This conversation was a reference to the ham fight in one of the first couple episodes. Peggy said something along the lines of, “I thought you didn’t go in for shenanigans like this.” The NYT ad was a stunt in the same way the ham fight was. We’ll see if it was as successful.
-Betty finally wants to move out of the house. Sally’s bummed.
-Ted Chaough’s Kennedy was pretty atrocious, very Mayor Quimbyesque, and I was curious why they got such a poor Bobby Kennedy impersonator.
-Don paid Pete Campbell’s share, which I guess is Don’s way of thanking Pete for carrying Don’s shit. Where did Don get $150K?
-Also, did Bert Cooper really just quit? “You there, get my shoes.” It would be a fitting exit for a man without an office.

Mad Men Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

7 thoughts on “Mad Men Season 4 Episode 12 Recap

  1. jordan says:

    I think it’s important to note that Meagan was the only one to really understand the simple genius of Don’s ad. Also, I think Betty is becoming very aware of how truly childish she really is- Not only this episode’s comments from the child psychiatrist, but also Henry’s comments in the car ride home a few episodes back. And again in this episode, Sally being so mature and composed while her mother reprimands her. Betty can’t think of anything to say but “Go to your room”. And each time, Betty’s subtle reaction seems to indicate she knows the problem is her own immaturity.

    Also, note in this episode, we see that Mr. Pryce has brought his family to NY from Jolly Old and Pete and ‘Lovely’ are at odds.

    Don seems to be the first alcoholic in history to be able to “handle” his drinking successfully- for now anyway, and seems to have discovered he likes smart women like Meg and the Doctor instead of the usual too young and too easy types.

    Bert Cooper’s tirade was also great. “You there, bring me my shoes!” and leaving.


  2. the passenger says:

    Don made quite a bit of money when SC was sold to the Brits–I seem to recall Roger saying that Don’s share of the partnership would clear him somewhere around half a million, and that was in early 60s money. He was also paid quite well as CD at SC, and received a bonus when he finally signed the contract in season 3.

    This was the second episode John Slattery directed–the first was this season’s “The Rejected.”


  3. jimbo slice says:

    Yes, “the passenger” you are correct when Sterling Cooper sold out to the Brits, Roger said something along the lines of “you’re set to clear close to a half a million dollars, now go back to your office and try to figure out how much I made off this” (roger kill’s me)

    But the question of Don’s, Roger, and Bert’s finances, liquidity, etc. have always been a mystery to me, I wonder if it will ever be revealed. Don also had a meeting with his accountant at the beginning of season 4 and he was looking over his investments, and he said something like “looks like I’m already a very rich man.” Funny that if Betty had any idea the real wealth of Draper would she have ever left him? Remember towards the end of season 3 when he told her about his past, she made the assumption that he was horrible with money…LOL. Last laugh on you Betty, Don called he says he needs the rent check from Henry Francis….hahahaha


  4. Rachel says:

    John Slattery did direct the episode. This was one of my favorite episodes in the series thus far, but mostly because of the writing. That being said, the edits and cuts (especially in the first twenty minutes) were terrible, quite possibly the worst I have ever seen in the show’s existence. I work in the technical side of advertising, so these gaps really frustrated me. I have always respected this show for it’s pitch-perfect timing, so I can’t believe this came across Matt Weiner’s desk and went into full-scale post-production. I know it’s not all his fault, but Slattery should stick to acting.

    Don’s taste in women has significantly matured this season. Instead of childish train wrecks (i.e. Betty) he has developed a taste for incredibly sophisticated, level-headed, intelligent, beautiful women. He even turned down easy, cheap sex from Midge (something I don’t think I have ever seen Don do). He’s growing when it comes to relationships, even if he is balancing two or three at a time.

    I think Don is starting to depend on Peggy’s input more and more. The minute he makes any major decision he seems to always consult her reference or opinion.

    Like I said last week, I really am starting to see a changing of the guard. Advertising is always about fresh ideas. The old way of thinking is always out, and advertising is about to take a huge shift in the 60’s. The partners just can’t get their heads around Don’s innovative NYT ad because that kind of thing was simply not done during that time. Did you notice that the typeface for the ad was done in Helvetica? Even though that type has taken over the advertising world now (American Airlines, Coke, IKEA, BMW, transit maps, tax forms, I could go on), in 1965 that would have been an incredibly progressive lettering to use, especially in an old-school publication like the NYT.

    Don sees the future and the rest can’t keep up. Like you said, it was stroke of genius, but the old guard won’t accept it. Bert Cooper even quits over it, and says that SCDP “created a monster.” However, you see the young guard embrace the ad… Megan, Stan, and Peggy. Megan says, “it feels different around here.” In season 2, it was mentioned (I can’t remember exactly who said it, but I think it was either Roger or Pete) that Don was one of the few people in the world who can change and shape public perception. Obviously he has figured out a way to take a moment that seems like a death rattle–losing Lucky Strike– and comes up with a fresh idea to combat smoking, a much larger and abstract idea (which he came up with while looking at an abstract painting). He ripped those old pages out and started fresh, and with boldness. I can’t wait to see what is going to progress with the advertising; I have been growing tired of the soap opera-ness this season so this episode was like a breath of fresh air to me.

    Thoughts on next week’s finale entitled, “Tomorrowland.” I could be reaching but isn’t Tomorrowland part of Epcot Center in Disneyworld? Didn’t Connie Hilton say last season he wanted to build hotel rooms on the moon, but Don wasn’t ready? And didn’t we see subtle clues like the stuffed Mickey Mouse that Lane got for his son a couple of episodes back; and the mouse that scurried in Don’s office with Peggy when they had their all-nighter? I think Hilton is going to see Don’s brilliant NYT ad, get in contact with him, and reel in Disney for advertising while he builds hotels in southern Florida for the upcoming theme park (they began construction for it in Nov. 1965). A stretch… but I could totally see it saving the company and usher in the era of youthfulness which has become the theme of this season.


  5. jordan says:

    @ Jimbo: Betty said something like “I’ve seen you around money- you don’t understand it.” Don doesn’t understand it. He never had it and he only uses it when he needs to and does things no one else would: He’s not BAD with money. Giving his girl friend his bonus check in an earlier season episode showed the money wasn’t important it was the gesture. Buying his 1st wife a house because he thought it was right. Paying for Pete’s share, EVEN after his negative response to the ad, because Don’s moral compass may be a bit skewed when it comes to marital fidelity, but he’s a gentleman with his work family. And note: Don has no apparent outside friends at all.

    @ Rachel: “Tomorrowland” does suggest Disney but you never know. I like the way you’ve tied it all together.


  6. jimbo slice says:

    @jordan: i think he paid Pete’s part because Pete jumped on his sword with the government looking into Don’s past a couple ep’s ago. Remember Bert’s line from season one: “Fire him if you want to Don, but I’d keep an eye on him, one never knows how loyalty is born.” Also Don never gave her the house, he started charging them rent at the beginning of this season actually. Also @Rachel, I think you’re right about the Disneyland tie in. I also have been waiting for Hilton to come back into the picture.

    Cant wait for Sunday!


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