Mad Men: A Tale Of Two Cities
Season 6, Episode 10
Don, Roger, and Harry visit Los Angeles, while Joan tries to land Avon.
- California as escape; Anna’s home, and where Don proposed to Megan. But it’s changed, taken over by drugs and hippies, and as symbolized by Danny (fired in season 4) – populated by people seizing the opportunity for a clean slate / new beginning – things Don had to travel to Korea for. And: loved Danny getting the last word by hitting below the belt.
- Don’s trip calls up an idealized fantasy – Megan, pregnant and quitting her job – but then things turn oddly dark, culminating with a possible nod to another Los Angeles situation. Maybe the iconic man-falling the credits will prove to be Don?
- Joan’s motivation for independently landing a client is all too clear, but what’s interesting is how she and Peggy bump heads over the means, despite them both being women adjusting to their newfound office powers. They’ve always seen situations from different perspectives, but this episode had me realizing they could really kick ass if they worked together. Pete may be foreshadowing something when he asks sarcastically if they’re forming their own agency…
- Bob Benson seems to have wheedled his way into an actual client-facing job, more evidence to one theory that he’s the new Don Draper. But it underlines how the SCDP + CGC merger is slipping out of Don and Roger’s control.
- Generational conflict, with Vietnam brewing in the background, from Ginsberg’s outburst to Don’s vision of the soldier he met in Hawaii.
- Poor Pete; increasingly marginalized – at least he decides to “turn on, tune in” at episode’s end.
I’ve been waiting for this episode the entire series; a late-sixties culture clash between men in suits at a drug-infused party. Don and Roger now look out of date and out of their element, naively unaware that their moment is passing them by.