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Davis ThinkingDavis Thinking } analysis and interpretation

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

J. Kristin Ament
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

 

With apologies for the production delay (an unfortunate case of the flu made an appearance backstage this weekend), the Unbound Edition Players at last take the stage to present “Shoot.”

 

(curtain up)

 

Scene: The lobby of a Manhattan theater during the intermission of “Fiorello!”

 

Jim Hobart: Hello, Don. Sorry about stealing that Israeli tourism business. Urine sends his regards.

Yurem: For the love of Moses, it’s Yurem!

Jim: I was talking with Jim from BBDO and Frank from Y&R at the athletic club. Your name came up.

Don: Three millionaires in towels sitting in a steam room and thinking about me? You must be confusing me with our art director, Salvatore.

Jim: We want you at McCann-Erickson. Come work for us. Just think…you’ll have thousands more a year to squander on beatnik mistresses and estranged yokel brethren.

Adele: I’m Jim’s sexy senior wife. I speak in cliché. Are you gentlemen going to talk about business all night?

Don: Hidey. This is my Stepford wife, Betty.

Betty: I did some modeling, you know.

Jim: I’m going to leverage your insecurity to woo Don.

Betty: I did some modeling, you know.

Jim: Yes, you mentioned that. Just come to an audition. Here’s my card.

 

Scene: The next morning at the Draper house

 

Francine: I’m eternally pregnant. But smoking during pregnancy is cool and fun! Hey, how was the show last night?

Betty: It was swell. A guy with a fancy pants agency wants me to do some modeling for Coca-Cola. I did do some modeling, you know. For an Italian designer named Gianni.

Francine: You’re kidding! Do you have any tacky old outfits that make you look like a sunbathing Geisha?

Betty: Hai!

Scene: That morning at Sterling Cooper

 

Peggy: Hey, here’s a package for you. Those greasy fingerprints that smell like Funyuns must be from the mailboy, yessiree. Oooh, do you smell donuts somewhere? See ya.

(Don opens the package from Jim Hobart. It’s a towel and a note reading “Welcome to the Club." Don calls Jim.)

Don: Hey, Jimbo. Thanks for the towel.

Jim: You’re welcome. Now let’s talk only in thinly veiled homoerotic banter.

Don: Um, ok.

Jim: You’re a hard man to run into. The next step is a quiet rendezvous… at the Algonquin Hotel.

Don: You’re not into the phone thing?

Jim: I’d rather do it face-to-face. I can offer you something… bigger.

Don: Small is bad?

Jim: You’ll be so much bigger here. Can you imagine the lifestyle that goes along with Pan-Am? It’s a panty dropper.

Don: Um.

Jim: Eventually you come up here, or die wondering.

Don: This is getting awkward.

 

Scene: Dr. Wayne’s office. Betty’s on the couch.

 

Betty: He gave me his card. I did some modeling, you know.

Dr. Wayne: Tell me more about that.

Betty: I like to eat hot dogs.

Dr. Wayne: Woo-hoo! Freud alert! Tell me more about that.

Betty: My mom hated my modeling. She said I was a prostitute. That Geisha bathing suit didn’t help.

Dr. Wayne: You’re angry at your mother.

Betty: You’re provoking me!

Dr. Wayne: Tell me more about that.

 

Scene: That evening at the Draper residence

 

Betty: Oh, look. You’re home. I thought you were staying in the city.

Don: No, I dumped my mistress and gave her the $2,500 bonus you don’t know about. So I’ll be here at night until I hook up with someone else. Maybe Rachel Mencken. Judging from next week’s preview, that could be happening soon.

Betty: I’m going to meet with Jim Hobart tomorrow. I did some modeling, you know.

Don: I’ll feign support while I hatch a plot to shatter your dreams.

 

S cene: The next day at the office. Peggy’s frantically erasing something on a piece of paper and stands up.

 

Peggy’s ass: Make way! RRRRRIP!

 

Scene: Shortly thereafter in the break room. Peggy walks by with a cardigan awkwardly wrapped around her waist

 

Joan: Holy God. What happened? Do they have you working on Secor laxatives now?

Peggy: No, I ripped my skirt.

Joan: Don’t you have a needle and thread?

Peggy: Have you seen the size of my ass? I couldn’t possibly find enough thread for this rip.

Joan: Come with me. I think I have a spare outfit around here somewhere. If it smells like hotel sheets, Roger’s cologne and a bird, that’s entirely coincidental.

Peggy: Thanks! I hope it looks like a big red tater sack.

 

Scene: Don’s office. Roger walks in with a bag of golf clubs…another gift from Jim.

 

Roger: I’ve lost men like you before. You’re one in a million.

Don: Heh. Tell that to the original Don Draper. I totally stole his identity after he died in the war.

Roger: What is Jim giving you that I can’t?

Don: Bigger.

Roger: I’m open to bigger.

Don: He’ll give me Pan-Am. Hey, did you just drop something there?

Roger: Yeah, my panties. Damn you. I’m taking this personally.

 

Scene: The middle of the office. The guys are sitting around.

 

Harry: Do we ever do any work around here?

(Peggy lumbers by in Joan’s ill-fitting red dress)

Paul: I’ll admit, she crossed my mind once. Before she became a dirigible.

Kenny: The Belle Jolie people dig her.

Paul: She obviously let it go to her head. And other parts.

Pete: Well, who thinks about her?

Pete’s couch cushion: Hey, Pete, remember that morning last week when you threw Peggy down on me and were all “Take a look at THAT deer loin, subservient cabin dwelling woman! Let’s see you cook it up?” That was hot.

Pete: Quiet, you.

 

Scene: Later in Pete’s office

 

Harry: So we need to buy some more ads for Secor laxatives.

Pete: I really need to talk to those people. They have absolutely no sense of humor about their products.

Harry: Hey, let’s talk about college. My horn-rimmed glasses and I were cool.

Pete: No, I was cool. We hauled a dog corpse around campus in a wagon. My God, it was a crime to be so cool. Oooh, and speaking of criminals, we should help Nixon out by buying up all of the extra air time in those undecided states for Secor. Then Kennedy will be screwed.

Harry: Oooh, this is scary.

Pete. It is, isn’t it? But you know what’s not scary? Cirrhosis of the liver. Let’s drink up!

Scene: That night at the Draper house

Don: Who was on the phone?

Betty: Well, I went to that photo shoot today wearing a circus tent, and now I’m the girl with the cola.

Don: I won’t be an ass and ruin it for you. Yet. But just you wait.

Betty: Ya wanna bang a model?

Don: Woo-hoo!

 

Scene: The next day at the Draper house. Ethel the geriatric babysitter either is asleep or dead in the living room and the kids are playing outside with their dog, Polly.

 

Crotchety neighbor’s pigeons: Here we are, flying high. Ever so free, not a care in the world. Doodly doo.

Polly: Chomp.

Pigeon: Aw, crap.

Crotchety neighbor: If I see that dog in my yard again, I’m gonna shoot it.

 

Scene: The next morning in Don’s office. The team is there for some sort of meeting.

 

Harry: Wow, Don. You’re so great.

Paul: Lucky Strike was a brilliant campaign, like some supersonic jet flying over the market.
Pete: Oh yes. Such great work. And we’re not at all crawling up your butt because Roger’s afraid that you’ll leave us to sit around with Jim Hobart and watch panties drop.

Cooper: Who’s responsible?

Don: For what? The fact that Wikipedia has the guy who plays you on its list of “Bisexual American Actors?”

Salvatore: Hello, you.

Cooper: Wink!

Roger: Um, we apparently bought a bunch of time for Secor laxatives.

Don: Huh? That didn’t go through me.

Pete: Hey, look, Harry…a bus! I’m going to throw you under it now.

Harry: Thanks, asshole. Um, well, it was, um, my idea.

Pete: God, what a loser this guy is, huh? Can I help you get his boxes packed up?

Cooper: The Kennedy people won’t know what to do with themselves. Nicely done! Inspired!

Pete: Hey, I thought of it! Me! Me!

Don: Congratulations.

Pete: Peggy, write that down. Don said “Congratulations!”

Peggy: Chocolate covered raisins? Where? I haven’t eaten in ten minutes and am starving.

Pete: So I guess now that I’m brilliant and wonderful, my work here is done.

Don: Sit your ass down, boy.

 

Scene: Shortly thereafter in Don’s office. Peggy waddles in with another package for Don from Jim. It’s a stack of photos from Betty’s Coca-Cola photo shoot. Don hightails it to Roger’s office.

 

Don: I need to keep Betty from having any sort of life of her own. Got any ideas?

Roger: Hey, how about I pay you $40,000 to stay here?

Don: $45,000 is good.

Roger: Yay! Let’s get drunk. So why are you really staying here?

Don: I like the way you do business.

Roger: Well, I do try to be as civilized as you can be. Especially when I have those hot nooners with Joan at the hotel behind my wife’s back. Yessiree, I am ALL about ethics.

Don: Whee!

 

Scene: Later in Don’s office. He calls Jim Hobart.

 

Jim: Have I bribed you enough yet?

Don: No. I’m gonna stay here at Sterling Cooper. That way I can totally control Betty and keep her from modeling.

Jim: Really? And what about Pan-Am?

Don: I can find a new mistress to drop her panties.

Jim: OK. Well, I’m going to have my super gay brother-in-law fire Peggy from this Coca-Cola thing now.

Don: Swell!

 

Scene: Later in the office break room

 

Peggy: Here’s your whorish red dress. I had it dry cleaned.

Joan: Why don’t you keep it? Have it taken out to fit your sizeable ass?

Peggy: No, it’s yours.

Joan: God, you’re fat and pathetic. Don’t you want to do well here? And by “well,” I mean “Paul.”

Peggy: I’m the first girl to do writing in this office since the war.

Joan: Oh, please. You’re only being considered for account work because the client’s wife took one look at you and knew her husband would never want to jump you.

Peggy: You’re a tramp.

Joan: Yes, but I look good in my clothes.

Peggy: I’m not a virgin.

Joan: Right.

 

Scene: Later that afternoon in the office. Everyone’s sitting around drinking and trying to hook up.

 

Peggy’s sizeable ass: I’m leaving now.

Pete: Wow, I hope I don’t do something that comes with no setup whatsoever. That would make this whole scene really weird.

Kenny: It’s a good thing she left. It wasn’t going to happen for her.

Paul: It depends on how much we drink.

Kenny: How drunk do you have to be? We call girls like her lobsters. All the meat’s in the tail.

Everyone: Yuk yuk! Hoot! Holler!

Pete: I’m going to beat you up now, which might make sense if Peggy and I had so much as spoken to each other today. But we haven’t, so it’s going to seem really forced, like the writers are trying to jar the viewer with something surprising and wacky.

Betty: Oooh, that sounds like fun. Can I try it later?

(Pete wails on Kenny)

Paul: Way to go, guys. Now I’ll never get laid.

 

Scene: The night at Don’s house

 

Don: So how was your day? Because I certainly had nothing to do with it if your dreams were crushed or anything. Pardon me while I twirl my moustache and cackle maniacally.

Betty: Boy, they sure love me and offered me tons more work, but I don’t think I want to model anymore. Manhattan’s harsh. Yessiree, it’s entirely my idea to quit. I so totally wasn’t fired or anything.

Don: Well, um, if that’s what you want. Golly, you’re a good mother.

 

Scene: The next morning at Don’s house

 

Don: So now that I’ve successfully killed your spirit, what will you do today?

Betty: We’re going to the community center to watch them fill the pool.

Don: That sure sounds like fun. What a fulfilling life I’ve given you.

Betty: Yes, thank you. I’m certainly not going to pull a Campbell this afternoon and do something weird to end the show on a random “Twin Peaks” note.

 

Scene: Later that afternoon. Betty’s still in her nightgown and goes outside to watch the birds fly.

 

Crotchety neighbor’s pigeons: Here we are again, flying free. Woo-hoo! Lookee us!

(Betty, cigarette dangling out of her mouth, holds up a BB gun and starts firing)

Betty: I DID SOME MODELING, YOU KNOW!

Gun: Bang. Bang. Bang.

Crotchety neighbor’s pigeons: You are the worst shot ever. Is that thing even loaded? LOSER.

(curtain down)

 

Ugh. Not a favorite episode. Betty just doesn’t do it for me. The unbearably wooden acting by January Jones certainly doesn’t help. And, yeah, I get that Pete was all over Kenny because the Peggy insults finally became more personal, but come on. That fight scene was from the screenwriting school of Trying Too Hard. And I don't think Peggy's pregnant.

On the upside, we get some Don/Rachel interaction in this week’s episode . But, on the downside, Roger gets all pervy with a couple of sisters. Bluh.

So we have four more episodes before “Mad Men” goes on hiatus. Anyone have nominations for another show for the Unbound Edition players to take on after that?

 

 

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