Mad Men - "Nixon vs. Kennedy"
Harry and Hildy – I didn’t even know their names but I liked their short time in the spotlight though the question must be asked? Is anyone on Mad Men ever going to be faithful?
Joan seems to have twigged about Salvatore though if Peggy hadn’t been so angry she might have noticed that he said that he had taken her blouse (a great line). Peggy’s indignation the morning after was righteous and I can see how the consequences may not have seemed inevitable to her. Her misery in Don’s office makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve been in Peggy’s situation before when everyone else seems to behaving in an unseemly fashion or in ways that are an anathema to your world view and it’s hard to deal with when you are serious or po-faced or humourless (delete as appropriate). It feels like Peggy is over Pete – please let that be so – because he really is an obnoxious shit who isn’t even very good at blackmailing (he gives all his evidence back to Don and then tries to blackmail him).
Jon Hamm has won awards for this show and in this episode you can see why. His Dick Whitman is a million miles from his charming Don Draper and his charming office Don Draper is a million miles away from his sweaty panicky Don Draper.
I don’t understand how Dick can have become Don so easily because surely Donald Draper had family and friends. It just seems too implausible at the moment but I guess/hope we will get more information for it to eventually make sense.
There were two outstanding scenes. Don’s frantic rush to Rachel and his desperate pleas for them to run away and her realisation that all he wanted to do was run away and being with her was just a bonus. I like that she dismissed him and I will be disappointed if she succumbs to him again although I will be sorry not to see her and Maggie Siff again.
The second amazing scene was “Who cares?”. Actually, that whole sequence from Don confronting Pete to Pete running after him (and pulling on Don’s arm) to Pete actually going ahead with his snitching was amazing. Don’s face was hilarious.
The ironic thing about this episode is that nearly fifty years hence we have completely different attitudes about Nixon vs. Kennedy. The spoilt privileged Kennedy is held in high esteem while the self-made Nixon was found to be dishonest. Okay, that’s not ironic, that’s season two and beyond as Pete becomes a legend and Don is revealed as a crook. Ha. You read it here first!