Mad Men S04E12: Blowing The Whistle On Big Beans

Don is having a secret meeting with the guy from Heinz trying to get some business so that the firm doesn’t close. The guy from Heinz explains how hard it is to get the word out about beans when you’re standing in the shadow of Big Ketchup. Sure. But then they keep talking about it. Whoa. How much am I really supposed to know/care about the marketing difficulties the bean industry faced in 1965? A lot, apparently. “We all majored in Bean Communications in college, right? Good, so let’s carry this scene out in real time.” Turns out, the beans make you fart thing was a PRETTY BIG DEAL. Anyway: Don and Mr. Ketchup get along pretty well, but he’s not ready to change advertising firms. Besides, everyone knows that Don Draper’s firm sucks and is exploding. Don begs, basically. He offers to give Dr. Heinz a lowered commission. The guy is like, ha ha handshake, no. He says he will check back with him in six months. Everyone, basically, is saying that they’re going to check back in in six months. But the firm will be shut down in six months! Uh oh. The math doesn’t add up! Back at the office, some fat old man explains that the way to save the firm is to go after another tobacco account. He says that Philip Morris is introducing a new cigarette for women and they want to use a new agency. Great! It’s only five million dollars in billings (which sounds like a lot of money to me even in 2010 much less 1965 but what do I know? Nothing, obviously. I’m sure five million dollars is an embarrassment) but it’s a start. Thank you fat old man.

Oh wait, NO THANK YOU, FAT OLD MAN. On the day the partners are supposed to meet with Philip Morris, everyone gathers in the lobby, hat literally in hand, only to discover that no one is coming. The fat old man is like, “yeah, no, my bad.” Yikes. Roger Sterling tells him he is an asshole. WHOA. I guess they kept it pretty real back then. (Other ways they kept it back then: racist, drunk, slim-fitting.) So now people are just straight up freaking out. Harry Crane needs a drink. Get out of here, Harry Crane.

The bank has offered the firm an extension on their loan in order to cover a reduced payroll for the next six months. However, this will require a collateral investment of $50,000 (and/or $100,000) from each of the partners, and also major staffing cuts. Pete Campbell is like, “I know what to do: BITCHFACE.” He bitchfaces the shit out of this news. He goes home and his wife bitchfaces him and he’s like, don’t you think I’m already bitchfacing as bitchy as I can? Pete Campbell’s bitchface is so intense that his bitchface has a bitchface, Tax Masters style.

Oh, hi Midge.

Don meets Midge in the lobby of his office. She wants him to come over and have dinner with her husband and buy a painting. At the very least, she wants him to pay for a cab ride downtown because she “lost” her purse. Sure, Midge. (There’s Something Wrong with Midge.) Don goes over to her house and meets her husband, whose name is Yikes. Right? I’m pretty sure his name is Yikes McTrainWreck. Anyway, it turns out that Midge didn’t actually lose her purse. What she actually lost was her NOT BEING ADDICTED TO HEROIN. That’s gone. Don asks what it’s like and she says it’s like “drinking 1000 bottles of whiskey while someone licks your tits.” No it’s not. I mean, I’ve never done heroin, but unless it’s like instantaneously dying from alcohol poisoning in a pool of your own bloody vomit while someone licks your tits, then no. (Actually, now that I think about it.) Don gives her husband $10 to buy groceries, and it’s really hard to tell whether he thinks $10 is too much or too little? He’s the Mona Lisa’s smile of reacting to Don’s $10 in grocery money. Don writes Midge a check for $300 to buy her terrible heroin painting. She is like “what am I going to do with a check?” Uh, you’re going to jump off a bridge? I mean, no offense, but what you are going to do with a check is jump off a bridge. Don empties his wallet and gives her $120. Whoa. Don carries around MAD CASH!!!!! That is so much money to be carrying around in 1965!!!!! I always knew Don was a baller, but now I know that Don is a BALLER.

Meanwhile, it’s Halloween apparently.

Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about the Sally/Glenn plotline. I was under the impression that Mad Men was a show for ADULTS. When I turn this show on, I expect to see drinking and fucking and door slamming, not two mediocre child actors stuntedly delivering lines about Coca Cola backwash while wearing hilarious-looking football costumes. In any case, Sally and Glenn sneak off every day to sit in some rusty weeds and talk about whatever kids in the 60s who were a little bit broken used to talk about. Feces? I have no idea. Sally’s therapist says that she is doing great and only needs to come in once a week, which makes Betty really angry, because Betty doesn’t think Sally is cured. Go to bed, Betty. You have clearly needed to go to bed all season, and yet here we are, one episode before the finale, and you still have not gone to bed.

In other Sally news: she wants to have dinner with Henry for some reason? Unclear. Even Betty doesn’t seem to want to have dinner with Henry, so I’m not sure what Sally sees in him. He comes home early one day for a “Family Dinner” and is being a REAL STEPDAD with his stupid face/voice. “Howdy, gang, Old Dad is home and ready for some groovy grub.” Shut up, Henry. But that is the same day that Betty catches Sally having a completely innocent childhood friendship with Glenn, so as soon as Henry sits down, she brings up the topic of moving, because it’s only a matter of time before Sally’s having babies in a pile of rusted out car parts. Sally runs to her room. (I do like when Betty tells Sally that she knows Glenn WAY BETTER than Sally knows him. Uh, relax, Mrs. Robinson.)

Back at Bachelor Towers, Don is staring at Midge’s painting, “Heroin #4.” He stares at it so long that he realizes he has GOT to write in his diary. (Because there’s no space left on his jeans.)

He writes a letter to Big Tobacco, and the next day he takes out a full page ad in the New York Times. And then he walks into the office like whut?

Everyone is so mad.


Don explains that it was a last ditch attempt to present the company as a viable agency willing to take risks. Everyone else explains that he’s an asshole. Of course, this is going to bend one of two ways, and really only one way: Don is going to turn out to be a visionary, and this desperate Jerry Maguire shit is going to pay off in the end with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Campbell Bitchface leading the industry as the Most Visionaries. But can I just say right now that I kind of hope that doesn’t happen? I kind of hope Don Draper falls on his big, fat, beautiful no homo face? Just for once. Because, even though this season has been all about building Don Draper back up from the big fall of having to move into a pretty awesome apartment in Greenwich Village and having his own advertising agency and carrying around $130 in throwaway money, the truth is, for as “hard” of a time as he has supposedly had it this season, it seems like he’s had a pretty decent time! He fucked errbody. He has $150,000 1965 dollars to just put up as collateral without batting no naturally long eyelashes. (He pays Pete Campbell’s share of the bank loan and for, like, two seconds, Pete’s Bitchface disappears.) I’m just saying: broken Don Draper is still doing better than whole everybody else. Boo hoo, I’m sure.

The doctor has been fired because her research agency would like to keep researching how awesome and delicious cigarettes are. So now she and Don can make their relationship public. “P.S.,” she adds with her eyes and insinuations, “enough with the secretary.” On her way out, the doctor stops into Peggy’s office to say goodbye and Peggy asks her to get a drink sometime. The doctor REALLY doesn’t want to get a drink with Peggy. It’s kind of hilarious. “I’m sure we’ll see each other again sometime,” she says. “We certainly don’t need to get a drink. And worst case scenario, we never see each other again, but at least we won’t have had a drink together that neither of us wants to get.” Goodbye, Peggy. The doctor won’t see you now. (Get it? You get it.)

Everybody is fired. Step into Don’s office, everybody, because you’re all fucking fired.

Uh ohhhhhhhhhh. Bye, everybody!

Next week: Season Finale!!!