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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a few thoughts on ‘Mad Men’: “Hands and Knees”

More like “Secrets and Lies.” Is SDCP teetering on the edge of dissolution? It sure seems that way after Roger’s lies about Lucky Strike — the cigarette brand, their major client, is abandoning them. And after Pete’s lie about North American Aviation — he took the blame for losing the account — which came about because of Don’s lies about his identity; his secret may have come out in the FBI background check for his security clearance.

Why does Pete take that hit for Don, anyway? We know Pete doesn’t like Don much, and anyway, NAA is a client Pete has been cultivating for a while and doesn’t want to lose. Don is so terrified that it seems like it would be easy for Pete to push him out of SCDP altogether; Don would willingly go, wouldn’t he? He’d run away rather than be prosecuted by the army for dissertion. Isn’t that why he set up the trusts for his kids, because he assumes he’s going to have to escape? We may realize that Don is the foundation of the agency, and that it would probably not survive his loss, but I’m not sure Pete is fully aware of that. So why didn’t Pete push Don out?
Perhaps that’s coming in the near future…

How awful for Joan to get pregnant now, by Roger, when she was hoping to have a baby with her husband. (She was genuine about that, wasn’t she? Now I’m not so sure: maybe she merely thought that a baby would keep her husband home, not that she particularly wanted a baby itself…?) Disgusting for the doctor to tell Joan that she is “ruined” — what an appalling term to apply to the situation. And what an odd thing for the woman in the waiting room at the abortion doctor’s office to assume that Joan was not there for an abortion herself, that Joan must be there with a daughter. A kick in the teeth for Joan, but odd. Perhaps only teenaged girls are presumed to be ruinable…

Lane has a secret, too: a Negro Playboy Bunny girlfriend? Oh, and he never told us his dad was Blank Reg, either.

For all the disasters in this episode, I guess it was a pleasant surprise for Don to actually get those Shea Stadium Beatles tickets for Sally. I was certain, once we learned that he’d promised Sally those tickets without actually having them in hand, that this would be yet another disaster. At least Sally will be happy.

And now Faye knows Don’s secret. So many people know now…



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