Guest post by Basketcase JB
In an interesting twist, Sally has become another hobo in Don’s life as she rides the rails to New York City to escape her confining, cheerless existence. The hobo has been a recurring Mad Men theme, beginning with Season 1’s ‘Hobo Code’, to Season 3’s ‘The Gypsy and the Hobo’, plus last week’s inclusion of the hobo anthem, ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ at little Gene’s birthday party.
In retrospect, closing episode 8 with ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ gave us a hint of what Sally was about to do in episode 9, as the song is about the hobo’s paradise – free of struggles, punishment and want. Episode 8 gave us the cleaned-up kiddie version, about a sugared land of candy and soda pop, but Don probably knows the gritty original (as heard in the film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’) with its whiskey lake and cigarette trees, where ‘they hung the jerk who invented work.’ (If Roger Sterling had a theme song, would this be it?)
At her father’s apartment, Sally got a taste of life on ‘Big Rock’ updated for the sixties, with delivered pizza on demand. And she conforms to the definition of a hobo as a traveling worker; like the one from Dick Whitman’s youth, she’s willing to do odd jobs (e.g., making breakfast). This isn’t the 1930s, however.
But if Sally knew the hobo code, how would she mark her father’s door? Would it be with a knife, the symbol of betrayal, for the man who made her go back to Ossining?