Maybe I just need a “Brooklyn Avenue” from Canter’s, but what stuck out to me in last Sunday’s Mad Men episode, Time Zones was Don taking healthy bites of food, not once but twice.
First meeting with Pete for the aforementioned pastrami where they put coleslaw right on the sandwich. Unemployed Don takes a huge bite.
Later in his drafty living room, Freddie Rumsen brings the food and he attacks what looks like another sandwich as they talk.
Food for Don is typically a functional element of life – let me eat so I don’t actually die. He’d never be considered a foodie, not that such a thing existed in his day.
Remember his housekeeper commenting that he never eats, way back in Public Relations (Ep. 4.01)? Back then, he was spiraling downward, post-divorce, and imitating a slow-motion train-wreck.
In January 1969, he’s disconnected once again, from his firm, his wife, his marriage … but he’s also hungry.
I think working anonymously through Freddie is the right approach for him right now. He’s obviously still sharp, and keeping active through his friend in the business. (We could also comment that he was shining his shoes, which is a sign of humility – we won’t go that far.)
With 13 episodes left over two seasons (by the way, if you make me wait 10 months between episodes, fuck you that’s two seasons), we know it won’t be a straight line upward for Don—his fortunes will wax and wane repeatedly.
However I take his huge appetite as a sign that the motor is running, and it’s getting the fuel it needs.