Unbound Edition. Meaningful conversations about brand, from Davis Brand Capital.

Attention Deficit Theatre: “Mad Men,” Season Three, Episode One

After nearly ten months of making ends meet by twirling signs outside of Jiffy Lube, the Unbound Edition Players dust themselves off, oil their squeaky joints, and take the stage for “Out of Town.”

(curtain up)

Scene: Don’s kitchen in the wee hours. Barefoot, he’s heating up a pan of milk

Don’s second toe: Lookee me, longer than Don’s big toe. Isn’t that a sign of royalty?

Don’s big toe: Or psychosis.

Don’s second toe: Shut it, Stumpy. I’ve seen no evidence to support that claim. Nosirree, the big guy here couldn’t be more psychologically stable.

Kitchen door: Knock knock.

Don’s second toe: Who’s there?

Kitchen door: Don’s repressed memories of the traumatic life he had before he killed that dude in the Korean War and stole his identity and spent the following years living a lie in every possible sense.

Don’s second toe: Psychosis it is.

Scene: The Whitman house, way back when. Mrs. Whitman has just delivered a stillborn baby.

Midwife: God will give you a child. I mean a living one. Not a dead one, like this.

Mrs. Whitman: I’ll settle for some laudanum and an antibiotic.

Mr. Whitman: I’m a stereotype! Belch!

Scene: The bedroom of a local prostitute. She strikes a deal with her john.

John: I’ve scraped up all of my Depression-era money. Here’s 85 cents.

Prostitute: Got a jimmy hat?

John: Couldn’t afford one. But here’s some lint and a breath mint from my pocket.

Prostitute: Get me in trouble and I’ll cut your dick off and boil it in hog fat.

Audience: Whoah… someone’s been watching Paula Dean in the off-season.

Scene: Nine months later.

Newborn baby: Waaaaaaah!

Midwife: Do you wanna hold him before you die?

Prostitute: I’ll. Cut. His. Dick. Off. And. Boil. It. In. Hog. Fat.

Midwife: Right. Probably best you don’t hold him.

(Back in present time, Don skims the skin off the top of boiling milk)

Audience: Oh, gross. For God’s sake, Weiner.

Scene: The Whitman house. The midwife appears with the baby.

Midwife: I told you God would give you a child. His name is Dick. He’s no fan of hog fat.

Dick: Hidey.

Scene: Present time in the Draper bedroom. Don brings Betty some warm milk.

Betty: Let’s spend this season pretending that last season didn’t happen. Golly, we’re happy and trusting of each other. This unplanned baby is going to have such a perfect life in our well-adjusted home.

Don: You mean our well-adjusted, monogamous home! What have those darling kids of ours been up to?

Betty: Sally pummeled your suitcase with a hammer and crescent wrench. She’s taken to your tools like a little lesbian.

Don: Aww, Betts, it’s 1963. People don’t really talk like that yet.

Betty: That’s why everyone but me got nominated for Emmys this year, isn’t it?

Don: Well, yes. That and your acting.

Betty: My people are Nordic.

Scene: The next morning in Cooper’s office. Lane Pryce, the financial officer of the new British parent company, ogles a Japanese painting of an octopus thoroughly violating a woman.

Lane: Remarkable!

Cooper: Isn’t it? Reminds me of a guy I know.

(Don walks in)

Don: My ears are burning!

(Bert Peterson, head of accounts, walks in)

Cooper: Hey, Bert. Have a drink.

Don: And a cigarette.

Bert: What, no blindfold?

Lane: No, I want you to see how much I enjoy firing Americans. In fact, we waited seven months because we heard your wife had cancer. Now that’s she’s near death and you’re drowning in medical bills, it’s the perfect time to screw you.

Cooper: Avoid the octopus.

(Bert walks out into the open office area)

Bert: Fellow comrades in mediocrity, I want you to listen to me! You can all go straight to hell!

Items on top of about four desks: Whoooooooooosh! Crash!

Pete: Are you sure it isn’t starting again?

Harry: What?

Pete: The firings.

Hildy: Mr. Campbell, Mr. Pryce wants to see you.

Pete’s pants: Fill.

Scene: Lane Pryce’s office

Lane: Pete, everyone here thinks you’re a smarmy jackass. That makes you the closest thing to a Brit that Sterling-Cooper’s got.

Pete: I see. Would you like to have an awkward threesome with me and my wife?

Pete’s couch cushion: NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Lane: Actually, I called you in here to tell you you’re the new head of accounts.

Pete: Is this really happening? I need to know this job is mine.

Lane: It’s all yours. Like a bastard son. But we must keep it quiet. Like a bastard son.

Scene: Shortly thereafter in Pryce’s office. He has summoned Kenny.

Kenny: What can I do for you?

Lane: We’re making you head of accounts.

Kenny: Sweet! How much do I get?

Lane: $21,000. And, if you’re lucky, some character development this season.

Kenny: Oh, thank God. Seriously. I keep forgetting I’m on this show.

Scene: A flight to Baltimore. Don and Salvatore are traveling to a meeting with the London Fog client and are approached by Shelley, the perky stewardess

Shelley: Can I get you an 18th drink, Mr. Hoffstadt?

Don: Huh?

Shelley: I rifled through your luggage looking for coke. You’re William Hoffstadt.

Don: Friends call me Bill. This is my associate, Sam.

Shelley: Wanna have dinner with me and Lorelai, the other trampy stewardess?

Don: Do you like octopus?

Salvatore: I’ve flown a few times, but I’ve never seen a stewardess that game.

Don: I know, right? God, I missed this show.

Scene: The hotel elevator after dinner

Elevator button: Ding!

Don: Well, this is me.

Shelley: Let me see if your bed is different than my bed.

(Shelley stumbles around drunk and grabs Don for balance)

Don: Seriously. They can’t ever cancel this show. This is the greatest gig in Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, seeing Tina Fey on the can was funny and all, but watch this… Mwah. Mwah.

Shelley: I’m engaged. On the other hand, you might be my last chance.

Don: I’ve been married a long time. You get plenty of chances. Hey, it’s my birthday.

Shelley: Let me see your driver’s license.

Don: Hey, look! Jimmy Hoffa! Mwah. Mwah.

Scene: Salvatore’s room. He has called to report a problem with the air conditioner.

Bellboy: Hello. I’m here to service your unit.

Salvatore: Sorry for the mix-up. You see, I have totally different hardware at home. I hope I didn’t break anything.

Bellboy: It’ll be fine. Just needs a firmer grip.

(The bellboy kisses him passionately and puts his hands down his pants)

Salvatore: Oh my God!

Audience: Oh my God!

Fire alarm: Ding ding ding ding ding!

Scene: Don’s room. He and Shelley jump out of bed and hurry down the fire escape. They happen upon Salvatore’s room and see him getting his shirt on.

Don: Come on, Sal!

Bellboy (entering the room, half-dressed): Boy, that Rock Hudson’s dreamy, eh?

Salvatore: Squirm!

Don: Oh my God!

Scene: The next morning at Sterling Cooper. Pete walks past Hildy’s desk.

Hildy: Congrats!

Pete: Thanks. How did you hear?

Hildy: Mr. Pryce just called. There’s a meeting with the heads of accounts.

Pete: Excuse me?

Hildy: The heads of accounts. There’s a meeting.

Pete: What are you talking about?!

Hildy: Account heads. For our agency. A meeting. I’m sorry, did you
forget your line?

Pete: What are you saying?!

Scene: The London Fog office in Baltimore. Don is with the clients, Morris and Howard, and Salvatore arrives late.

Salvatore: Sorry I’m late. Plumbing problems in my hotel room.

Howard: My dad here is worried about the business. Everyone who needs a raincoat has one.

Salvatore: Reminds me of ballsack.

Everyone: Um, what?

Salvatore: “Our worst fears lie in anticipation.” You know. Balzac.

Don: Ah. What Sal means is that London Fog is a 40 year old brand. There will be fat years and lean years, but it is going to rain.

Salvatore: Ballsack.

Scene: The return flight from Baltimore. Salvatore opens the window and nervously stares out.

Don: Hey, Salvatore. I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to be completely honest with me.

Salvatore’s bowels: Drop!

Don: Listen carefully to what I’m saying. London Fog. An ad with a subway car. A girl wears a short tan coat. She’s flashing a guy. It says… wait for it…”Limit your exposure.”

Salvatore: That’s it. And now I’m picturing a coat closet. It’s a deep closet. A comfortable, safe, dark closet.

Scene: Pete’s office. His wife, Trudy, has stopped by to congratulate him on his promotion.

Pete: Mother of God.

Trudy: Do you have a fever?

Pete: What is on your head, woman? It’s like a giant black gumdrop.

Trudy: Here, I bought you a tacky desk set that says “Peter Campbell-The Buck Stops Here.”

Pete: This is just perfect. I’m job sharing with Kenny, I think I just committed to having a threesome with Lance Pryce, and my wife looks like the love child of a Beefeater and a Shriner.

Trudy: What?

Pete: Seriously, is there a propeller on top of that thing?

Trudy: You’re a lot like my dad. He’s a prick, too.

Scene: That night at the Draper house. Don has come home from his trip.

Betty: Sally has something to tell you. Sally: I’m thorry I broke your thuitcathe. I juth didn’t want you to go.

Don: Aw… You’ll alwayths be my girl.

(Sally starts to ferret through his suitcase)

Betty: Your eyes look tired.

Don: Well there’s not much sleeping going on when I’m not here. Believe you me.

Sally (holding up an airline wings pin): Daddy! Daddy! Are theeth for me?

Don: Uhhhhh’ve course they’re yours…Shelley.

Sally: My name’th Thally.

Don: Don’t be ridiculous, honey. The pin clearly says Shelley.

Betty: Seethe.

Sally: Oh. Daddy, tell me about the day I wath born.

Don: Well, Shelley, it was the middle of the night, it was raining very hard, and I had just come home from work. I was washing my hands compulsively, and Mommy was smoking and fishing through my jacket pockets. Your mother can tell you the rest.

Betty: Actually, I was pretty drunk. Go play with your dad’s tools, Shelley.

(curtain down)

The opening sequence with the scenes leading up to little Dick’s arrival Chez Whitman felt completely out of alignment, but after that, we were merrily rolling along. Speaking of merrily, did Betty do some kind of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind treatment where everything from the past was just erased? And poor, poor Salvatore, so close to having his bell rung. Was that “Limit your exposure” concept really used for London Fog? I wouldn’t have thought a female flasher would be particularly relevant for an ad in 1963. The office tension is delicious, though, with the Pete/Kenny cage fight and the general loathing of the snooty Brits. In next week’s episode, “Love Among the Ruins,” we get a visit from Lane’s wife, who is just as you’d expect. Did the first episode of the season grab you like a bellhop?


Revisit Mad Men Season I and Season II Recaps

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Unbound Edition is a publication of brand capital consultancy Patrick Davis Partners. For the Mad Men of today, we curate the latest brand and marketing articles from across the web and share our own thoughts on current brand strategies and marketing initiatives. Subscribe to our daily email or rss feed, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.


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