Mad Men Live Blog: Season 5, Episode 5 – “Signal 30”

Final Score: Lane wins, even though Joan turned him down. Why? Because Lane punched Pete right in the face! In the face!

Pete loses his dignity at home, at work, and even at driver's ed, where he loses the affections of someone who get drunk on vanilla extract. What's notable is that John Slattery directed tonight's episode, which means that Roger beat up Pete, too. 

This episode doesn't advance Mad Men's overall plot. It's a one-off that destroys Pete as a man, but Pete's been destroyed before and comes back strong. The Mad Men team just wanted to have a night at the fights. In seven days, everything will be reset.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.

11:04 PM: Peggy says "I take full responsibility" in the next episode preview. It's clear she will have a fling with MICHAEL GINSBERG!

11:03 PM: Mad Men's getting into the habit of this voice-over package at the end of its episodes. Not a fan. I'd rather have a cold close.

11:02 PM: Ken's still writing!

11:01 PM: Sad Pete to Don: "Why are we having a fight? At work? We're supposed to be friends." Pete has evidently never worked.

11:00 PM: Ken to Peggy: "Ben Hargrove is dead." Evidently, Ken would rather be a rich salesman than a poor artist.

10:59 PM: After winning his fight, Lane goes for the big prize – Joan! He swoops in for a kiss, and Joan…opens the door! To his office, not her heart.

10:58 PM: Lane is on his couch, recovering from the fight. He's hurt, but that good hurt which comes from winning!

10:56 PM: We're getting a Mohegan Sun ad in New England. It's the incredible story of how five attractive singles check in alone, and within a day, become fast friends, going to concerts and dinner and gambling! This has not been my casino experience.

10:54 PM: Jon Hamm follows up the awesome fight by telling us about the patents of Mercedes-Benz. Buzz kill.

10:52 PM: Lane beats up Pete! He hit him right in the face! Roger: "I had Lane." Bert Cooper: "Reschedule the meeting."

10:51 PM: Pete and Lane are about to fight. Roger: "I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?" Pete is awful at the fighting thing and Lane is much faster.

10:50 PM: Bert Cooper is rubbing Roger's shoulders at the partners' meeting while talking about Nixon entering the 1968 presidential race. No comment.

10:48 PM: Roger admonishes Ken for writing at night, mainly because Roger's book didn't succeed. Remember that? Back when Peyton List was on the show?

10:46 PM: AT&T's ad for Genco Services (an energy services firm? in Texas?) seems like what would have happened if Vito Corleone had emigrated to Houston.

10:43 PM: Pete sneaks back into his villa in Cos Cob, upon which he immediately gets in the shower. Finally! The women of this era have the sense of smell, but only in this episode has that been acknowledged.

10:42 PM: The SCDP men get the Jaguar man's business by showing him a "fun" time. This method will not appear on The Pitch.

10:41 PM: Don calls the matron's place a "whorehouse." The matron likes Don's honesty and buys him drinks. Honesty is the best policy.

10:39 PM: Of the four men at the fancy brothel (Jaguar man, Pete, Roger, and Don), only Don hasn't made a purchase.  Pete required several different come-on lines before accepting the phrase "You're my king."

10:37 PM: The Jaguar man wants to commit adultery, and the men of SCDP are more than happy to help.

10:33 PM: A high school jock joins driver's ed and swoops in on Pete's high school crush. Quote the jock: "My name is Hanson, but everyone calls me handsome." He's going to Holy Cross.

10:31 PM: Lane is kindly reprimanded by Roger and Pete for not closing the Jaguar deal. The scene shifts to driver's ed, where Pete's going to close the deal with the high school student. 

10:30 PM: Why is Jessica Pare so cheery? Is it because she's a Quebecois? She really, really loved watching Don fixed that sink.

10:29 PM: Don is now fixing Pete Campbell's broken kitchen drain. With his (dress) shirt off. Don is a handyman, Pete is emasculated. This post is sponsored by Mercedes and its excellent flow meters.

10:27 PM: Don to the dinner party: "No one grows up wanting to be in advertising." This post is sponsored by Mercedes and its thousands of patents.

10:25 PM: Jessica Pare to Ken's wife upon finding out her name: "(SMILE!)" Now, Ken's wife is going on and on about Ken's story, and like the rest of the party, I am falling asleep.

10:24 PM: We're back at the dinner party. Ken is from Vermont. Like all good writers. 

10:23 PM: Jon Hamm tells us to buy a Mercedes because of its many patents. I'm going to take a guess that every car company has thousands of patents. My Ford Escape has a patent – on awesome!

10:20 PM: Lane admits to his fellow Englishman that he was a supply agent in the war. He's Chester A. Arthur, the 21st U.S. President! Did you know that Chester Arthur opted out of joining the Civil War as a combat leader when given the chance? Courage is key in our leaders.

10:19 PM: Pete is such a transparent brown-noser. Is this what people do? Do people ask co-workers over just to flatter them?

10:17 PM: Ken's wife looks about a decade older than Ken. Pete lives in Cos Cob, apparently.

10:16 PM: Pete just invited the high school student on a date to his family's botanical gardens. I'd bet that Trudy's OK with that.

10:15 PM: Pete to high school student: "Aren't you going to Ohio State?" Who from Greenwich is going to college at Ohio State?

10:13 PM: Trudy to Don about the party: "Do you want to go down your list of excuses?" Trudy is a better salesperson than Pete.  Meanwhile, Pete is hitting on a high school student.

10:12 PM: Roger gives Lane actual good advice about Jaguar's RFP. His quote about Dr. Scholl's hits home: "I once got a guy from Dr. Scholl's to write the thing." It sounds like dating advice, but isn't all business just dating? 

10:10 PM: Ken Cosgrove tells Peggy he's getting published under the pen name Ben Hargrove. Per a Google search, "Ben Hargrove" works at a behavioral center in Orlando. Perhaps the writing didn't work out.

10:08 PM: Don to Jessica Pare about Pete and Trudy's dinner invite: "She got this far by subterfuge. She'll understand when you pull the plug." Don sees a spy in Alison Brie.

10:07 PM: Lane is happy about bringing in Jaguar, or bringing Jaguar for an intro. He's going to handle it because he's English and the other guy is English, and since England just won the World Cup, every Englishman likes another.

10:04 PM: Friend of Lane: "We beat the bloody Jerrys for the World Cup! It's the end of football!" Oh, if only he knew…

10:03 PM: Lane and Wife of Lane are arguing over going to watch a football match. This is the year England wins the World Cup! 

10:02 PM: Correction: Pete's going to hit on a teenager he met in driver's ed.

10:01 PM: Prediction: Pete Campbell's going to crash into something while getting his driver's license.

10:00 PM: "On the next episode of AMC's The Killing: Gray skies!"

9:59 PM: Chef Not Marcela won Chopped. On to Mad Men!

9:55 PM: Chopped is concluding its B-team Food Network hosts battle. How awkward is it for the judges to be more famous than the competitors? I guess I'll root for Chef Marcela since she's the only one whose show I've actually seen. 

9:53 PM: Don Draper is back from his illness and Madchen Amick is still alive. How is she still in her 40s? It feels like she's been acting for decades. She's young enough to replace Jessica Pare. Hmm.

It's not Jessica Pare's fault that her character's landed Don. I just want Don to be single, because he's more entertaining when he's single. He's not the type to want to get married to anyone. 

Anyway, "Signal 30" is tonight's title, and per the wisdom of Google, "Signal 30" was the name of a highway accident shock video shown to drivers in training. Maybe this is for Pete, if he's decided to get his license? Maybe he'll collide with JJ as he practices driving in suburbia. 

Here we go!

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