Burn Down John Deere

This week’s Mad Men wasn’t that exciting. The historical references, my favorite part, seemed forced. A conversation about Vietnam? That was really wedged in there. Maybe its because not much was really happening around this time. Later in July, there is the Seven Day scuffle in Vietnam, but not much.

There were a few interesting moments.

When the men from Putman, Powell and Loeb show up, Peggy is standing with the women secretaries, rather than with the men copywriters.

Kinsey the guitar when the men show up.

Lane Price being described as a snake charmer, counterposed with Don using the metaphor of snakes that suffocate because they try to swallow too much.

Sally’s look of terror when she hears that the present is from Baby Gene.

The real story of the episode was about Joan. While she seems to take everything in life with such grace and charm, we see her have a rare breakdown during her going away party. Her husband fails to become a surgeon. He’s not good at it. Her promised life fails to come forth as she is told that she needs to keep working. Because like many good shows on Tv today, Mad Men is about failure. The failed promise of the new future. And Joan suddenly realizes her own failed future.

Product placements: Ritz crackers, Dr. Pepper soda, Hilton Hotels, John Deere

Of course, the big bang of the episode was John Deere running over the new Guy’s foot. Apparently, the inability to play golf means that he’s out of the ad business forever. But having the blood spray everywhere? Was the scene directed by Tarantino?

However, maybe his loss is everyone else’s gain. Taking down the new guy at the top means everyone else goes up. And Joan jumping in as leader to save his life, though not his foot, may be a good excuse to rehire her.

The Hilton scene was interesting, but I can’t help but think that there is the whole underlying “Oh, if only these schmucks knew what the future had in store” sense that really permeates the show. His great-granddaughter is going to be Paris Hilton. Now there is top notch advertising right there.

According to Wikipedia, the in the next ep., Betty tries her hand at politics. And then two eps after that, she hosts a fundraiser. Will Betty get involved in the Goldwater campaign? She certainly seems like that sort of cold, overly protective housewife who fears the terrible Other. I’m worried about Law and Order! Inner city instigators are causing all the riots! Other Herblock cartoons

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