Mad Men Rewatch: Waterloo

 Posted by on April 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm  Mad Men, Season 7
Apr 012015

Mad Men, Waterloo: Roger Sterling The last time that Roger and Bert saw each other, Bert gave a discourse in leadership. Roger, Bert said, is not a leader.

So what does Roger do? He takes the lead.

Roger was already “noodling” with the idea of approaching Jim Hobart, I think. That’s why he was so happy in the previous episode, when he understood that Bob Benson was going to Buick. Roger likes knowing how to negotiate and what the game is. Roger is often lackluster at work; he’s a great account man who doesn’t always bother. From Season 1, he’s felt “my name on the building” gave him all sorts of special privileges, and that included being pretty lazy when he felt like it.

But two things happen after Bert dies. Bert, the father figure. Bert, the man who has looked after Roger ever since the senior Sterling died. Bert, whom Roger hears say “You’re not a leader”. First, Roger tells Jim Hobart that he must be president of SC&P after acquisition. Second, he takes control of a partners meeting that was on the edge of devolving into argument and acrimony. Sit, have coffee, and listen.

Roger was never more aware of needing to impress Bert Cooper than in that moment, when Bert was gone.


  10 Responses to “Mad Men Rewatch: Waterloo”

  1. Roger has the juice!
    It’s in his blood and if he was a real lazy cat he would never gone in with the new agency.
    I think Roger is deeper than he appears but is probably a man who learns by looking in the rear view mirror at life.
    I wonder how little Kevin will make out. Will Roger beg Joan to marry him? Would she take him?
    Will Mona find out who Kevin is?
    Stay tuned for this an more of our story; As the Carousel Turns.

  2. Roger was showing loyalty to his people. He actually likes the people he lords over.
    Cutler, and his computer would put him on a deck chair, and the thought of that is awful.
    Mr. Sterling had his finest hour here.
    Since it arised out of virtuous concern, and not simple self-interest, elevates this episode into the pantheon.

  3. I just rewatched this two days ago, and that was what impressed me most too. Bert tells Roger “You are not a leader”. That bites, and Roger tells someone “Bert was harsh with me. But he was right” (or something like that). Roger then becomes a leader, for the first time.

    By the way, I think Bob Benson was going to Chevy, no? Chevy was dispensing with an outside ad agency, because they going to take it all in-house, and Bob was to become part of that. So now they want SC&P for Buick, to do for Buick what they had done for Chevy. It all seems a bit confusing on GM’s part (why take advertising in-house for Chevy but use an outside agency for Buick?), but I suppose GM let the separate lines run themselves.

    • Bob was going to Buick. That was the key point that made Roger realize why Hobart approached him. Hobart wanted the XP talent team so that McCann wouldn’t risk losing Buick to that team.

    • The deal with McCann was by a long stretch Roger’s biggest leadership victory (that we’ve seen) but not his “first time”.

      Relatively minor, but Roger also engineered getting Pete Harry’s office-with-a-window. He could well have let Pete smolder over that one.

      • That little shit.

        • Pete is so consistently such a prick, that it remains a mystery to me why I still root for him – even his last selfishly self-involved destruction of his California romance. She seemed a lot more than a pretty face – a real catch.

          He has some fine moments, however, such as Codfish Ball when he flatters Dr. Calvet to demonstrate “what (he) does for a living” – very cynical and respectful all at the same time.

  4. Bob’s going to Buick.

    I think….

  5. I truly love this as the end of a fantastic three episode stretch starting with ‘The Runaways’ and ending here with ‘Waterloo’.
    It’s been awhile and I’m glad to have the show back, even if it’s for the last time. Thank you Lipp sisters for all your hard work on this site!

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