Mad Men Live Blog: Season 4, Episode 5 – “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”

11:03pm: FINAL SCORE: Pediatric Psychiatrist +4/week in inflated billings; Honda +3000 in returned dollars from SCDP; Roger Sterling +1 WWII flashback. At least Don focused on beating the competition instead of beating his colleagues into drunken stupors. The plots still seem thinner this year than last, but at least we learned that Roger's racism is inconsistent, so his character got fleshed out a little more. Sally and Betty and Henry are all boring and need to move far away. Maybe Henry can get a job in D.C. as an advisor and they can all move away from Don. If he doesn't want the kids, then let someone else have them.

11:00pm: So SCDP wins Honda by default because no one follows the rules. Because that's how business decisions are made.

10:58pm: OK, he didn't yet, and he actually resigned the account, but it's part of a scheme.

10:55pm: OK, our conclusion. Don's going to go the "Appeal to America" route.

10:54pm: If the Cisco commercial teaches us that "going to China" is watching a web conference, then I have front-row seats by watching a football game. Web conferences aren't quite as cool since the common use of Skype.

 

10:53pm: The GEICO commercials are incredible. I'm switching to GEICO!

10:51pm: Betty is backdoor driven into therapy of her own after taking Sally for some treatment.

10:46pm: Faye: "You'd be surprised what people say to an interested stranger." Evidently, she's not that interested, as her wedding ring is fake.

 

10:41pm: OK, this fake commercial plot line is awesome. It may not make SCDP win, but it'll bankrupt fake Don Draper, hopefully. It's like Operation Fortitude for beatniks.

 

10:39pm: The drinking bird is the best part of the episode thus far. Roger's tirade was compelling, though, but Don's making a left turn! He's going to deceive the fake Don Draper into spending a lot of money on a fake commercial for Honda (against "the rules"). So, some sophisticated slapstick.

10:31pm: I think I mildly care about how this pitch to Honda will work. They're not drinking enough and dating enough. Blah. The commercials with the fictional ad agency are a lot more interesting.

10:27pm: Too much Betty/Sally/Henry. Get back to Roger and Don and loving America.

10:23pm: Oh God. Sally Draper was doing something really, really inappropriate. Steve McQueen was involved, I think. Betty responds maturely by threatening physical torture.

10:17pm: Is Roger Sterling drunk? Or, by yelling at the Honda executives, did he set up a Don Draper classic presentation about how Honda should present Japanese cars in post-WWII America?

10:11pm: Don Draper's babysitter/hallmate got Don into a heap of trouble with Betty for letting Sally cut her hair. Betty, who's back on for the first time in three weeks, starts by slapping her child and threatening Don with death. Henry, weakly, responds by letting Sally do whatever she wants. Betty calls Henry "soft." Even though he's a Republican.

10:07pm: Sally wanted to look pretty by cutting all her hair. I think she had a good point.

10:04pm: Roger Sterling: pro-civil rights, anti-civility.

10:01pm: That's a pretty anticlimactic "I think we're done here." Very unlike the promo.

9:59pm: The iPad doesn't solve anything for me.  It looks like a fun toy.

9:57pm: AMC's watermark logo has "Rubicon Premiere" next to it, which is a little confusing — is it the premiere episode? Is it just a premiere of a new episode? It's the latter, but that's not clear to first-time viewers.

9:34pm: Mad Men is on tonight with various amounts of big promises. Netflix is providing more reason to get into premium cable shows. But hey, we'll see. I'll be here as Don and Co. move the plot another inch tonight.

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