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Mad Men S07E05: "The Runaways" 


Don had a threesome. Sally broke her nose. Ginsberg cut off his nipple and gave it to Peggy as a token of his affection. You know, typical Mad Men stuff. 

At the literal and figurative center of the action rested SC&P's brand-new computer, with all of its symbolism about the future and the battle between creatives and number-crunchers as well as the physical reminder of its place as the new heart of the office: a disruptive, ominous hum. It drove Ginsberg (even more) batty by the end of its first real episode, but by the time of his reluctant exit to bedlam, the flesh-and-blood cogs in the SC&P machine were already in the process of rebelling. As Don pointed out, the agency is staffed almost exclusively with people who have a problem with authority. 


As though sensing the malevolence in the monster he created, Harry Crane dropped some knowledge on Don and saved Don's job (for now). Peggy made the call to have Ginsberg carted off, but clearly placed the blame on the computer humming away in the SC&P nerve center. After all, while it's not exactly news that Ginsberg isn't the most mentally stable person in the office, he probably wouldn't have lost it so quickly and so violently if the computer hadn't been installed—a move that clearly agitated and upset him. No, the computer wasn't shooting off mind-altering "homo-waves," but it was an unwelcome intrusion into the safe space that the creative lounge represented for him. 

Elsewhere, even Betty Francis found herself raging against the constraints of her life when her opinion on the Vietnam war proved unwelcome at a party full of neighbors and Henry's potential supporters. Whether her opinion is right or wrong is irrelevant: what it all boils down to is that her opinion conflicted with Henry's public views, and thus earned a few strange looks from his constituents. Betty pointed out that Henry hadn't coached her ahead of time about what to say and that in their private lives, their views match up just fine. And while that may be true, Henry's uncharacteristically harsh reaction and Betty's escalation of the argument into something much more important than a mere flubbed line illustrates a breakdown of the Francis family machine. 

Henry Francis has often been depicted as a much more patient husband than Don ever was, practically earning him sainthood when it comes to Betty and her WTF tendencies. Betty wanted a successful trophy husband; in turn, she made an excellent trophy wife and their relationship worked well in a slightly-less-frigid House of Cards kind of way. As a young political power couple, feeding on each other's strengths and effortlessly hiding each other's weaknesses, Betty and Henry were an unstoppable force, but the smoothness of the operation hinged on an understanding of clearly defined roles within the relationship framework. Whether it's intentional or not, Betty has struggled with the part she's currently playing. She's been unfulfilled as a housewife almost since the beginning of the series, but with her children turning against her and her husband's political career stalling, Betty's longstanding anger and disillusionment is becoming more and more difficult to conceal and ignore. Yes, Betty is immature and shallow, petty and childish and emotionally stunted... but she's not stupid (she speaks Italian!), and she's only blind when she wants to be. 


Finally, after seemingly calling their marriage quits a few weeks ago, it appears that Don and Megan are still dumping oil into that machine in hopes that it will get them back to the happiness they knew as newlyweds. Don resumed his weekend visits and Megan appeared to enjoy them, delighted when he made plans to come to California a week early—even if it was to assist in damage control for Anna Draper's knocked-up hippie niece—and not bothering to call and let him know that Stephanie skipped town with a buttload of cash, courtesy of Megan, before his flight even departed. For whatever reason, whether it be the money or the lingering feelings she still has for Don, Megan wants the marriage to work, and I'd even go as far as to say that she wants Don in California on a full-time basis. Her willingness to do anything to make Don happy was suprising, but not entirely uncharacteristic. However, his lack of outward appreciation for her consideration of his every want continues to encourage the occasional malfunction. 

For his part, Don took the first big step toward returning to his rightful place in the creative department, taking the intel Harry passed to him about Cutler and Lou meeting with Phillip Morris tobacco execs and crashing the cigarette party with smug gusto. He broke every rule in the anti-Don rulebook, but played the room right so that, for the immediate future at least, SC&P is stuck with him. 

The thing is, though, the machine that is SC&P evolved in Don's absence. The computer in the old creative lounge is the most obvious outward example of the big changes within the office, but on a personal level, Peggy, Joan, Pete, and so many others have moved on, adapted, and reshaped their respective roles within the company. The reality of the situation is that, despite his early successes, Don isn't going to be able to slip right back into his old role. He's returned to an entirely different machine—an updated model with a similar appearance that's built on a solid, time-tested design, but that's just different enough in a few key spots to require an entirely different set of springs and things to make it function. 



NOTES

– "Ted Chaough is useless." Tell us how you really feel, Harry. 

– I'm really glad the Ginsberg/Peggy stuff in her apartment stopped before I had to start hating Ginsberg. 

– OMG the nipple in the box. 

– Lou: "Do you know who had a ridiculous dream and people laughed at him?" Stan: "You?"

– Did the "Scout's Honor" storyline make you feel any sympathy for Lou?

– Sally sassing Betty never gets old. NEVER. 

– I had the brief and delirious thought that Betty could accidentally end up with a sort of political career based on being pretty and conservative. Betty Draper = Anita Bryant? 


What did you think of "The Runaways"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/17/2015

Season 7 : Episode 14

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I love everything about Mad Men. But I remember the 60's, I was in junior high at the time of this episode. And I can tell you for a fact that mini skirts were NEVER that short. It's ridiculous. it throws everything off when the show is so off on their history.
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I just don't get why Don did not go for a lawyer once presented with this new illegal infringement on his contract.In real life, his character would have sued the living blood of SC&P. I know I have written that before, but it still bugs the hell out of me.

Because Bert Cooper knows something about him.
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Yes, Betty is immature and shallow, petty and childish and emotionally stunted... but she's not stupid (she speaks Italian!), and she's only blind when she wants to be.


I'm getting a little sick and tired of Betty being the only character on this show labeled as childish or "emotionally stunted". Are you really that blind that you cannot see the immaturity and childishness of the other characters . . . including Don?
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Am I the only one who caught the 2001: Space Odyssey reference. It was when Ginsberg was watching Lou and Cutler in the new computer room. The scene was filmed the same way when the A.I was watching the two speak, but was only paying attention to their lips.
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There have been many 2001 references on the show lately. Especially last week's The Monolith. But yes, I noticed this week's also.
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Still the greatest movie ever made.
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I just don't get why Don did not go for a lawyer once presented with this new illegal infringement on his contract.In real life, his character would have sued the living blood of SC&P. I know I have written that before, but it still bugs the hell out of me.
There is a reason, aside from the freezing temperatures needed for superconductivity, that computers are found in the basements or on their own floors.These things were noisy and very unsettling. Nowadays, these are basically silent. but still making a cranking sound that is very much reminiscent of dentistry .At the same time, Ginsberg going batty should have been used by Don as leverage against those who accused him from loosing his mind and justifying his plight. After all, there was already one suicide and now this; making it clear that SC&P is not a mentally safe working environment. Well, this is the price paid to live in a non-Union country. Or one that is very wary of its representatives,sometimes for obvious reasons.
If true that the dwellers of SC&P have moved on from the Draper Era, they have moved towards the wrong direction. No one is better off because Draper is no longer the navel of the firm. They are all living in a kind of bubble of being independent from his genius, but we see as the episodes come and go and they are all dismantling at their seams. Ginsberg's flying off to La-La-Land is just the tip of a very unsavory iceberg that will probably culminate at the raining of men that we see introducing every episode.
This season we see the critique of the rural against the city. Basically, Don Draper is a rural man gone to the city, and so is Betty and Peggy. It is interesting to note a gender bias here. Don has kind of made it on the force of his rural understanding of his client's needs and lost his senses when e grew away from these feelings. Both Betty and Peggy have not fulfilled their needs or found their place because being in part rural deprived them culturally from ever attaining the standing they desire.
But the 1960s changed that with the communes, the revival of naturism (anyone who saw the Woodstock movie knows what I mean) and even the revival of occultism renewed the times with ceremonial spirituality. But neither Peggy nor Betty, and especially not Megan, are hippies.
Megan wants to partake of this hippiness, and she sure is at the right place and the right time for it; but she can't. Her response to Stephanie is why she will never be free from her Bourgeoisie.
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I can't believe there wasn't more thought of how Megan treated Stephanie! She was all nice and then it seemed like when Stephanie mentioned Don's secrets she flipped and basically kicked her out! Did you see how nervous she was when Don was on the phone with her the next day? Huge acts of desperation: getting rid of Stephanie, slutty dancing at party and a threesome. I was hoping Don would find out about how she ran Stephanie off and go ballistic on Megan, well hopefully that's coming at some point!
Megan was the worst this episode!!
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I have a feeling that Don's niece will be the catalyst that finally causes something bad to happen to Megan. The niece said that her boyfriend had to serve time for possession or selling drugs, so perhaps he will eventually be released and then find out that the niece got $1000 from Megan. (I can only imagine that must have been a great deal of money in 1969.) Don's niece and her boyfriend may show up at Megan's remote house and demand more money... and something will happen to Megan. I just had a bad feeling about that whole scene. Megan was being so … idk, self righteous. She was just not kind to the niece at all.
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I've been thinking since Megan moved to the canyon that she's going to be the Sharon Tate of the Mad Men timeline.
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According to an internet inflation calculator I found:

$1,000 U.S. (1969) = $6,438.50 U.S. (2014)
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Wow. More than I thought. That would certainly go a long way in 1969.
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Thanks. This was a good thing you did that.
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Hey, no one mentioned it but that was Sara from Arrow playing Stephanie. I almost did not recognized her. Maybe this crowd do not watch Arrow.I do not seem to recall her appearing at all.

My question is she a new character that was just introduce or did she appear before in earlier seasons?

I like Ginsberg, now we will missed his antics, what a way to go. I am not surprised if it was based on a true story that back in the day when computer first started arriving, it really drove some people crazy.

Since this is the last season, we are not getting enough stories about Joan. She seems non existent at all since the beginning of the season. We even got a little bit of Peter. I missed the old crew.

And is Neve Campbell's character coming back at all? or was that just a cameo appearance?
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I miss Salvatore Romano. In this show, as in real life, people move on or change or just move...
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Caity Lotz was so much more natural here than in the Arrow... I almost didn't recognise her..! And sure as hell I never recalled her ever being on Mad Men when watching the Arrow!!
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Stephanie (same actress, Caity Lotz) appeared in earlier seasons; she's Anna Draper's niece (we saw her when Don went to California to visit and Anna had cancer).
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I probably did not take notice then and must have forgotten about her. Now she is famous in Arrow.
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I am not stupid.I speak Italian! :)))


Man that line made me laugh so hard,and i think that i will write on some kind of motivational poster and set it up in my office(not that i speak Italian mind you,but that whole scene along with the delivery from Betty was just perfect).Whenever i feel lousy at work i can just look at it and it will instantly get me in a far better mood :)
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My favorite line of the night!
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Ménage à Don!
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Hamm Sandwich
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Like many suburban housewives in the late 60's an increasingly frustrated Betty Francis's own suburban odyssey seems to have stalled.
The space age was in full swing but to believe the ads that ran at the time, while men went to the moon, housewives were left back on earth to clean it. The dawning of the space age may have caused some businessmen to ponder their obsolescence but homemakers needn't worry- their jobs were securehttp://wp.me/p2qifI-2eD
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I thought this was one of the better episodes in a while. We had the tension between Megan and Stephanie (and Don), Don getting back to his good old self (especially in the end when they were planning to screw him), and the whole thing with Peggy and her crazy co-worker. I have to say, though, I kind of felt for him for a little while when they had him sitting at his desk behind that annoying humming (would drive me crazy too if suddenly introduced!).
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Can we ditch Megan now? The way she treated a girl obviously in need of help, even after Stephanie confided in her about panhandling was really upsetting.

I really don't like this split season deal. It felt like this season just started and I was just getting used to the characters again. The storylines feel empty like what is Pete supposed to be doing? Peggy is randomly upset and idk why, we never really saw too much of Joan I guess..it just feels off.
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Megan had an abortion last season and she's obviously not really over it yet, that's why she was so flustered when Stephanie said she'd be pregnant one day.

She wasn't being a bitch (well, not intentionally), she just also didn't want to confront her own fears and problems, like if she loses Don then that abortion was for nothing and that's why she tries so hard to hold on to him, even though he's such an ass.
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Megan did not have an abortion last year, she had a miscarriage. She told Sylvia that she was relieved, because otherwise she probably would have had an abortion.
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Hi guys! This was an excellent excellent episode. I also liked this article! I found it on a new social media site called Moptwo (this is NOT spam)! They have A LOT of Mad Men content and the cool part is that it's all on one place. The link is: moptwo.com/hashtags.php?name=MadMen. I have a page on the site, I think they just launched. Anyway - take a look!
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A better title for the episode would have been "How Don Draper Got His Groove Back and Ginsberg Lost His Mind". And when Ginsberg loses his mind, he really nips it in the bud box. lol

I really hate this whole split season thing. Not enough episodes for each half to justify the split and the long wait for new episodes will be awful.
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At the end, when Ginsberg came into Peggy's office, I was disappointed and thought "Aw man, a cheesy proposal?" and then Peggy opened the Nipple-Gift and then I was mortified, followed closely by crying from laughter when Peggy asked Ginzo to sit down as she snuck out of her own office.
Emotional rollercoaster, I tell you.
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I really liked this episode but its probably due to the TOTAL CRAZINESS of the last 10 minutes of the show (Ginsberg no!). This will be a long post so P1 will be about Megan, P2 Ginsberg and P3 Lou and Betty storylines.
Ok, I will admit that I wasn't happy with the fact that Megan is back (I really hoped she was finally written off) but she was apart of a really interesting story. I find it very interesting how she totally sent Stephanie thinking that by doing that Don would give more attention to her. She also tried by dancing with that random guy followed by the 3some but in the end she didn't get what she aimed for. You would think that she wouldn't attempt to drive away the one remnant of the only good thing Don ever had (knowing that he told her his whole life story). Im not quite sure yet but do you guys think that she thought that Don got her pregnant? I kind of got that vibe, especially when Stephanie had to point it out to Megan that nothing happened b/w her and Don. (Side note from the LA story line: Harry finally did something good for once in like 4 seasons!)
As for Ginsberg. Im so sad/shocked about what happened to him. After his introduction in S4 I had always hoped that there would have been more storylines involving him but unfortunately there never really was, but my god what a send off! Its interesting how throughout his time on the series he always mentioned really strange things but for the most part I always assumed that he has being very figurative and not literal about his thoughts. For example when he told Peggy about his theory that he was actually a alien left on the earth. Going back you have to wonder if he literally thought that or if it was him speaking about how he was born in a concentration camp and felt out of place (if that's even true). In the last season there was talk online about how Ginsberg might have been schizophrenic but I guess its turned out to be true. After his talks with Peggy about how the computers where making everyone gay (Lou/Cutler and him having feelings for Stan after looking at his shoulder) I just assumed that he was finally coming to the realization that yes he was gay (something else that has been hinted at). I did not expect that van Gogh-esk thing he did!
The only thing that I think wasn't needed was the Betty storyline it was boring and if it served some sort of bigger purpose I did not care one bit. I did find Lou's need for some sort of recognition funny, glad Stan didn't get fired over finding those silly cartoons.
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The real question is: how can you NOT get excited when you look at Stan's shoulders?
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Also what was the deal with Peggy hanging out with that kid? In the last episode he was on it didn't seem like she cared that much for him. My God! is this the start of another Betty/creepy Glen relationship?! (it prob isn't but ya never know)
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Things used to be more innocent. I remember going over to the neighbor's to watch TV when I was little. I think our parents had more trust in the world then.
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Actually I was thinking more about the fact that the only other time she interacted with that kid it seemed like neither liked each other that much. And I find it weird that if two people don't like each other why would they spend time together? But after thinking about it I can totally see Peggy making him her surrogate son cause that kid would be roughly the same age as her son.
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Ohhhhh, huh, I didnt think about having a connotation to her son. That works,
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Well the world was more trusting then. Hell the world was way more trusting 20yrs ago. I remember the things I did as a kid that I'd fear kids doing now. Though I'm sure a lot if it is a lot that my neighborhood went down the drain.

But no. People over all are much more selfish now and don't know their neighbors. Family and Community, units have gone waaaaay down hill.
And it doesn't help with the messages kids are being taught in school and tv these days. No respect for your elders or teachers. Parents are especially stupid (look at Nick and Disney shows).
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Boring, boring, boring.....until the threesome and then awesome followed by boring. It was so obvious that Jim is making moves to get rid of Don but to do it so carelessly is stupid. Roger, Pete, Ted, Harry and probably the whole agency apart from Lou, Cutler and Joan are on Don's side. Does Cutler think he is going to really win? I doubt he makes it the second half of the season. Mark my words, cutler and Lou will be gone by the end of 7.07.
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Lou - sure. But how or why would Cutler go?
He's a partner, he doesn't really have to do anything. And if the others want to get rid of him they'd have to buy him out, which would set them back immensely, as they said when they discussed buying Don out.
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