The doctor said he’ll never golf again.
A wooden leg. They’re so cheap they can’t even afford a whole reporter.
Freddy has always been a disaster, as long as we’ve known him. We first know him as a lovable drunk. Then his drinking escalates to the point where he is unemployable.
As a recovering alcoholic, he seems a little more “out” than would be comfortable for the average ad guy. When things get stressful at work, he seeks out his sponsor and heads off to AA meetings–and while he doesn’t outright declare he is doing this, neither does he put much effort into concealing it.
In Season 5 it’s a few more years down the road. Perhaps Freddy is more integrated with his recovery; perhaps now he has worked it out so it doesn’t draw so much attention. But from what we see in his lunch with Peggy, he is also looking for work, so it’s likely he still freelances. Freddy is freelancing and yet he was not part of the gaggle of freelancers Don brought in for Jaguar. Why? Is he just not a great writer? His writing had always been respected in the past. Is he too high-level for people to want to pay? I don’t think so, because Dale is around, and he’s no kid anymore, and probably commands a high wage.
Freddy Rumsen doesn’t drink. It isn’t the stigma of alcoholism– regardless of whether you know he has had a problem in the past or you don’t, it comes down to this. He is an executive-level Creative who does not drink. He does not come to parties. He will not be drinking with clients.
And with that malady, friends, Freddy Rumsen is not valued. He cannot be client-facing. It’s hard to pull off being a non-drinking executive in today’s environment, but in the 1960s, Freddy Rumsen is no longer, if you will, top shelf.