Open Thread: Time & Life

 Posted by on April 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm  Mad Men, Season 7
Apr 262015

It’s that time again! Jump on in to the open thread to schmooze with fellow Basketcases before, during, and after the latest episode of Mad Men, Time & Life.

If you’re new, please check out the comment and spoiler policies. Y’all have been very well-behaved this season!

And if you’re new or not-so-new, you should also be checking out our robust reference material. Did you know that we have detailed episode recaps, and that they include, to the best of my research capabilities, the exact dates on which episodes occurred? Turns out we’re the only ones who have that. And the cultural references section is like a stroll through the twentieth century. Fun!


  224 Responses to “Open Thread: Time & Life”

  1. T- 1 hr, 51 min.

  2. T- 1 hr, 30 min.

  3. This episode marks the 3/4 pole of S7, which means the plot should turn significantly tonight.
    I mean it’s 4 episodes left, if there were ever a time to speed things up, and leave the slow-burn behind, it’d be now.
    You hope.

    • HeyTilden, don’t give up hope — the titles of the remaining episodes have been released (check out IMDB) and just the titles are getting me pretty excited for what is to come! :-)

      Of course, that is excitement mixed with dread as Mad Men has forever ruined television for me because I can’t imagine anything as wonderful as this show every again :-(

      I will savor the next 4 episodes, and I’m sure I will watch them (and all the other seasons) over and over again.

      • Polly- I can’t find the reaming/upcoming titles for season 7 on IMBD…?? Tonight’s sounds GOOD. And they’re usually ironic/play on words/double entendres…

        • If Karl says it is ok, I’ll list them, but I don’t know if they would be considered “spoilerish”

          Karl — let me know what you think.

          • I imagine Deb and Ro, would ABSOLUTELY murder us if we wrote the titles to the last 3 episodes on their ground here.
            So, I don’t think that’d be a good idea Polly.
            I’ve seen them, and I’m even afraid to say where I saw them.

            • That’s what I thought, which is why I put it out there.

              You’ll find out soon enough, Peg4Prez — sorry I can’t help.

            • I just saw ’em too. Without saying anything spoilerish, it’s safe to suggest that the final three episodes will offer quite the expansive canvas on which to capture something pretty spectacular.

              To put it in the most modern scientific terms, it will be not unlike a Large Hadron Collider, with echos of the past and glimpses of the future smashing into each other. If that doesn’t exactly result in the God Particle, it might be even better – and confoundingly so!

      • Not on IMDB, but check out wikipedia for titles if you need to be spoiled. I am always very spoiled, but I can’t help it.

  4. T-1 HOUR.

  5. The episode title allows for any number of possibilities, though I doubt that anything about the Time Life Building will come to bear. I seriously doubt that the matter of Don’s actions in Korea will crop up, bringing the threat that he’ll be doing time, maybe life. Then again, if MW & Company were to spring that on us, now would be the time, since that plot device has been dormant for several seasons. I’ve looked online for hints about events generally and in the realm of advertising specifically, in mid-1970 that would fit, but I got nuthin’. Perhaps someone dreams up a great ad campaign for a product or service that helps manage time and makes life more enjoyable. Guess we’ll know when we know.

    I did notice that the Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto were introduced a day apart, in September of 1970, but I’m not sure we’d time jump that far ahead, since the Vega account is gone and there’s been no previous mention of the Pinto.

    Maybe the episode title is merely suggesting more emphasis on existential matters again this week. Yeah, it’s probably that.

    • I’ve written before, that I would think it would be a hoot, if DD came up with the idea for the iconic “Do you know, me?” campaign for American Express.
      Don’t know if the McCann black Irish thugs had that account, and it may have been a little too early in 1970, as I recall those great ads from the late 70’s.
      But, I was born in 69, so I wouldn’t know what was on TV before the late 70’s anyway.

      • I’m pretty sure that the American Express “Do You Know Me?” campaign was from Ogilvy, but I’d also love to see Don come up with a stellar campaign.

        • A man can dream SmilerG. :)
          I was tryin for irony there.
          Don comes up with it, and then has to lam it for the rest of his days, with Peggy in tow.
          As you can see I have no future in screenwriting.
          Maybe daytime soaps???

        • Yup, it was Ogilvy.
          The campaign ran from 74-87.
          Thanks, SmilerG.

      • For whatever it’s worth, here’s a link that lists new stuff that was introduced in 1970. Whatever it is, if it even is, will be on that list …

      • Have thought for some time, and have previously posted, that things might come full circle and end on the date that the moratorium began on TV cigarette ads (January 2, 1971).

  6. T-29 minutes.

  7. T-15 min.

  8. Roger and Pete are due, respectively, for storylines.

  9. Closing Song ” Time of your Life”

  10. I have a funny feeling about tonight’s episode. A foreboding one. Things were too happy last Sunday.

    On another note, I would love to see whatever happened to Faye Miller…

  11. Well, here we are again…

  12. And Here.



  13. Hi everyone! Trying to figure out how I can break away and get myself to NY for the finale party. *crossing fingers* SO looking forward to meeting Deborah and Roberta.

  14. TRUDY!

  15. Meagn! Boo!

    Trudy! Yeah!

  16. Allison Brie – TRUDY!!

  17. Trudy

  18. Kenny is relishing putting the screws to Pete.

    • Seriously!

      • I hope he doesn’t turn into a complete dick.

        • I think he will want his pound of flesh, so to speak, but he is basically a decent person and will tire of this soon.

          • I think we’re seeing it sort out. Then again, Ken hasn’t been the same since he lost his eye in Michigan…

    • I wonder if something related to Dow might lead to Don’s identity issues? I think SC&P only does work on home products, so it isn’t an issue now, but what if they want work done for a military products division?

  19. Ooooooh… Diana! And “I work with bird-brains…”

  20. And DAWN!

  21. Peggy’s never heard of the Heisenberg effect.

  22. The Time-Life Building

  23. I suspect we just found out the meaning of the title.

  24. Yes, Pete, have a drink. Seriously.

  25. And the little machine between Don’s ears starts whirring and flashing.

  26. If Duck shows up again, I’ll be astonished. Large cracks will appear on Madison Avenue.

  27. Or it could be the end of the firm.

  28. Who wants to bet there is no “Lisa”?

  29. There was some talk about Joan’s new guy being a grafter/fraud. He’s got a nice office and a secretary at least.

  30. Well, a lot of us have said the show will end with Don leaving advertising. Maybe this is the way advertising will leave him.

  31. Don Draper has a five year contract not Dick Whitman.

  32. So far, this is shaping up to be a real barn-burner!!!

  33. Weiner doesn’t like to repeat himself, so I think this is some version of The End.

  34. Pete sees Peggy with a child that would be the exact age as theirs and……

    • They’re also both wearing blue, which is significant. She was wearing blue when the priest gave her the blue egg in “Three Sundays.”

  35. Cali beckons?

  36. Lou’s bar made the move

  37. I loved Speed Racer!

  38. That Lou! A cartoon mogul!

  39. Lou’s goin’ to Tokyo. Don to LA?

    • If the stress of the work ethic in Japan doesn’t kill Lou, his disappointment that Scout’s Honor won’t turn out to be the next Underdog, probably will. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, if it does, but I hope he gets smacked upside the head with the reality stick before that. If nothing else, maybe he’ll wind up selling newspapers in a lobby somewhere.

  40. Jared Harris was listed as the director for this episode! Go, Lane! Back from the dead to direct! :)

  41. 3 accounts in 24 hours? They did it before…

  42. There’s that theme stolen from Cannonball Adderley’s “Autumn Leaves” again.

  43. What’s my best offer? McCann. Of course …

  44. “I feel like a spy.”
    “You look like one.”

  45. Oh, well. Ken, I guess, has decided to be a dick.

    • I suspect he did that to be decent, because I think he well knows his job is not going to be safe with McCann doing the advertising. I know McCann is not the client in this case, but Ken is new to the position and hasn’t developed his power base.

      • Ken even said he was the new guy. There’s no power base for him to use.

        Sure, he did it to be a jerk to Roger. And relish that moment.

        BUT, he was being pragmatic for himself. Dow will be happy to have all its advertising under one agency.

        And Kenny won’t have to walk a tightrope.

        AND he gets a really nice series exit.

    • I think we’ve seen the last of Ken.

  46. “We couldn’t remember why it didn’t work out.”

    You will.

  47. Ted with the Letraset letters. Nice

    • I remember working with those as recently as 30 years ago. PageMaker must have pretty well trashed their business.

    • In ’71/’72, my high school graphic arts class had a small machine that generated various headline fonts using a photographic-like process. It was a quick, compact method to produce great looking headlines on a strip of paper – all ready for paste-up. I’m surprised that SC&P didn’t have one. Compared to the Letraset pressure transfer method, it was a breeze to use. I looked online for a photo of the device, but I can’t recall the name of the manufacturer.

  48. Well, so much for the fantasy of Ted and Peggy ever getting back together.

    • I still have the Pete and Peggy getting together again fantasy and while we are at it, Don and Betty.

  49. Joan – go get Avon, not the files. You’ve certainly saved the day before

  50. In the commentary to “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” Weiner said that sometimes things have to be satisfying. But he’s done this story before and this ain’t the finale. So we’ve at least got twists coming, or tragedy.

  51. But what about the fantasy of Pete and Peggy…

  52. When Pete told Peggy the news, what did Pete think would happen with Peggy?

    • I think he thought she’d contact a headhunter, as she did.

      • Yes but because Pete thought Peg would be fired or because Pete thought Peg wouldn’t like to go to McCann but had a job there if she wanted it?

        • It didn’t seem like Pete thought she would be let go, but I think he wanted her to be prepared & have options.

    • I was shouting at the screen for them not to do something stupid. Fortunately, nothing stupid happened.

  53. Well they certainly gave Ken two great farewell

  54. I can’t imagine how bad a Japanese-made “Scout’s Honor” would be…although Speed Racer did have a monkey as a sidekick…Chim-Chim?

  55. Well, THAT turned out to be unexpectedly bizarre!

  56. I did not see a Scots clan fight breaking out. That escalated quickly.

  57. MacDonalds and Campbells! Nice right cross Peter.

    • I thought Pete’s blue blood ancestors were called Dykman.

    • Any episode where we get to see Pete punch someone is a good episode.

      • I really enjoy Pete’s arc over the series; it’s so full of ups & downs.

        Any time Pete isn’t punched by someone is considered an “up” for him.

    • I had to pause, while I laughed. It felt like a good five minutes! Hilarious, game of thrones like 300 year old grudge!

      I was just writing a week or so ago about no more good episodes like New Amsterdam. This is definitely the New Amsterdam of the end of Mad Men!

  58. My family is in the Cambell clan! I know the story, Cambells stand down!

    • Auto correct is I full force!

    • I’m a Campbell too! Via Quebec, of all places. We actually don’t have a good reputation among the clans, although our tartan does feature a nice Pete Campbell Blue.

      • That’s because the Campbell Clan tended to side with the English crown and not support the Scottish way of rebelling, and of course there was that little bit of trouble when they killed their guests after giving them safe haven for 3-4 days, those clans haven’t forgotten that.

        • Ouch, quite the legacy! Thanks for the background. I did know a MacDonald from England and she would look at me sideways sometimes. Smart woman.

          • A lot of Scots relocated to America in the 1600-1700’s, usually following their Clans and so even today in the Appalachian mountains, MacDonalds are taught to watch out for the Campbell’s. Of course, you realize this incident took place in the late 1600’s.

            • I loooove that this true!

              It’s so Game of Thrones!

              The Gods do not forgive killing a guest under ones roof! Ha!

  59. SECOR!

    • Yes, Kyle Secor. I knew I knew him but that he didn’t look like that then. I had a crush on him from Homicide.

      • “HLOTS” was the best drama on TV — until Mad Men and Breaking Bad came along! I wish it would become available via streaming. A lot of people missed this gem and it’s worth discovering. Great stories, believable characters, loads of guest stars. Brilliant television.

  60. You do what you want with your children.

  61. Honestly Stan never struck me as someone who would warm to kids. It seems a bit out of character.

  62. Nobody ever stops Don in the middle.

  63. Uh-oh. That’s a lot of fruit to dangle out there… and it’s possible someone has out-Drapered Don.

  64. coca cola!

  65. …or just go to Toots Shor’s and have a beer.

  66. Another new agency?

    • They all have four years left on their non compete clauses. They couldn’t work, and they didn’t get their money…

  67. Pop some champagne. Beer steins.

    I’m glad he missed it. Now spirits of elderflower?

  68. Is that the same bar they were in back in 1960 or 1961 when Peggy went out dancing with everybody?

    • PJ Clarkes. Was trying to figure that out also. If so, they haven’t shot in that part of it before (Other time was Zosia Mamet setting Peggy up with Abe)

    • To me it appears to be the bar where Don told Roger Betty wanted a divorce and Roger spilled the beans about Henry. Right when the were celebrating the new agency.

  69. They’re not going to take me seriously over there. Joan has that meeting burned into her brain. Those tears burn and burn.

    • But it does open the door for her new guy, after 4 years she can leave with lots of money and a great career and do fun stuff for the rest of her life, not so bad of an ending.

      • I am just REALLY hoping that, if that’s not the case, the guy’s not a grifter (as was suggested above).

        Because, if THAT’s the case, there’s there’s no promise of a great life ahead – there’s just the salacious grin on Ferg’s fleshy face as she deals with him every damn day.

        • Yeah, was that a fake call out to a non existant secretary?

          Oh Joan. Use your noodle.

          Go to Avon, like Ken went to Dow.

          Do not run to Jim McCloud.

  70. Oh Stan, don’t go there.

  71. Stranger on the Shore playing in the background.

    • As I recall, that selection was used at the end of S-2. Fitting for this episode. Once again, music for someone to be screwed by – in this case, SC&P.

  72. Stan is trying to figure out if he just learned something about Peggy.

  73. Acker Bilk. Stranger on the Shore.

    • Sam tune with Betty and Handsome Stranger….

    • They used that in one episode many years ago over the closing credits, didn’t they? It was a big hit in 1962, so I’m guessing it was back then.

  74. Playgrounds.

  75. I am glad she told Stan.

    • I am, too.

    • I’m not sure if I would describe it as her telling him, or Stan figuring it out. Either way, I think it’s a turning point in thier relationship. He’s one of the few people to know her deepest darkest secret. Don, Pete, and her family know, and I think that’s it.

      • For me, Peggy telling someone not involved in the situation was like a bomb going off. So major. Even with Don (ie The Suitcase episode) it was eluded to & not spoken about so directly.

  76. Is this the third time Weiner has used Stranger on the Shore?

  77. Beat episode of this last half-season by far, for my money.

    • Agreed. This is when things really start to get rolling.

      • It seems like the end is starting to fall into place.

        • Which is fantastic, but also kind of sad. The final shot of the original “Upstairs, Downstairs” was the movers taking a sofa out of the house. So many important conversations took place in and around that sofa.

          I can’t come up with a similiar object in SC&P that would have the same emotional significance, but that’s where it feels like this is heading.

  78. Whoa! Roger spilled the beans…

  79. And I am glad Roger told Don about Marie.

    • I was a little surprised that was actually a thing. I half expected that when Megan’s sister mentioned how Marie stormed off to get a divorce & be with Roger, it might have been a last minute, half-baked plan she came up with without running it by Roger first. Like how she last minute cleaned out Don’s apartment & was stuck with not being able to pay the extra cost for it.

      • Remember Roger’s misspent youth was in Paris! And his first love is very similar looking to Marie…

  80. So we’ve had Joan & Roger on the couch, Pete & Peggy on the couch, Don & Roger at the bar, the return of Trudy, and a reference to Peggy’s baby. I feel like the show is really throwing some softballs at the audience. If we don’t get a glimpse of Sal, I may lose my mind.

  81. “You are OK.”

    The sign on the billboard on the side of the road.

  82. Roger kisses Don – Who saw that coming?

  83. Is it me or did Don consider having another drink?

  84. don’t sweetheart me!

    • A little surprised that Don D wants to take Meredith with him to McCann.

      • REALLY surprised

      • I think that Meredith has grown into a great secretary for Don.

        • Punishment secretaries end up being the best secretaries for Don.

          • Well, I know you don’t mean Miss Blankenship the “Queen of Perversions” – she gave us several comic moments in each of her few episodes.

            Then Joan filled in until Dawn was hired (right?).

            Then Don got the boot and Lou later booted Dawn, who landed in Joan’s old office with her old duties. Meredith was assigned to Don when he “OK”ed the stipulations for his return.

            • The best part of Miss Blankenship was the comedy, but she was some great pay-back to Don for sorely mishandling how things went with Alison. I feel like it might have been part of the catalyst for him trying to snap out of the destructive low point he’d hit after the divorce.

              Meredith was promoted from receptionist to be Peggy’s punishment secretary. When the partners reluctantly let Don come back, he received the dead man’s office as punishment, & therefore my assumption that Meredith was a punishment for him too.

      • She’s been a good secretary for him. Don always appreciates loyalty—he noticed it with Pete (after their initial problems in first season) and with Harry. Meredith warned him right away about the letter he received from the other partners last year, saying he had breach of contract, and it gave him time to figure out what to do.

    • Does she not remind you of a kitten doing little baby kitten fights with a toy. Appropriate for the comment about putting a bell on her, too funny.

  85. They really wouldn’t be still using a 914 in late 1970… there were better models Xerox introduced since 1959. Although there WERE plenty still in service. I think they finally retired the last of them around 1980. They had one on display in the lobby at Xerox Square in Rochester in 1985.

  86. And… devolution into chaos.

  87. Moral of the story: Do Not Listen to Meredith.

  88. Argh. No immediately replay of this one… guess they wanna push TURN. Not sure if I feel like waiting up till after this for a probably encore presentation.

  89. This one was good. Sorta wished we’d seen Diana return.

    • Maybe that part of life is gone. Don can’t run back to Dick?

      • Maybe. I would like to think Don doesn’t spend the rest of his days with damaged people OR with people with whom he has to perpetuate the Don over the Dick Whitman.

  90. Sweet- Stan and Peggy breathing into the phone together.

  91. Nobody listened to Don as he tried to rally the troops like he did when they were gearing up for Jaguar. This isn’t the end; it’s the beginning. Is that a harbinger of what’s next for Don? Will he leave advertising altogether for “life lived”?

    Fantastic episode.

    • Have to admit, that looked scripted and wrong. I’ve been in “all hands” meetings like that, and the last thing anybody does is devolve into talking among themselves when they know they don’t have enough information yet. They stand there and hear what has to be heard, ask questions, THEN they blow the rest of the day gossiping.

      • I dunno…I’ve attended my share of these meetings myself, and once people realize the news has been delivered and the rest on what management has to say amounts to bullshit feel-good smoke-blowing, folks start chattering.

        • Agreed. And at one such meeting after a colleague got up and walked out in disgust, I did too. It was just not worth it to listen to all that bs so this felt real to me too.

  92. Trudy and Pete. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ms Brie.

  93. What song played at the end of the episode, and who sings it?

  94. Buick.
    Ortho Pharmaceutical.
    Coca Cola

    What was the fifth account?

    • There WASN’T one – one for every partner but Joan.

      That’s one of the reasons she was crying at the end – they’ll never take her seriously at McCann.

      • Not only will they not take her seriously, the same guys who harressed her in the meeting with Peggy will be doing that to her every chance they get. With her organizational skills would she not make the perfect partner for her real estate developer boy friend?

        • I don’t know how this sort of thing works, but could they buy Joan out of her contract, freeing her to work and play with Mr. Real Estate?

          • It probably depends on how the contract was written, but contracts are bought out in business all the time. I have forgotten how much she stood to make, but I am sure it was small change to a huge firm like this.

  95. A general comment about the S-7b so far. MW seems to be deftly avoiding a problem that Vince Gilligan ran into, in the last half season of Breaking Bad — needing to cram a helluva lot of resolution into fewer episodes than in a full season. Some have said that the BB pace seemed too hurried toward the end, but I’m not sensing that on MM. Hope he can maintain this in the remainder of the series.

    • They’ve got two episodes left– at least, that’s what AMC says– but somebody (I won’t say who) lists three episode titles (I won’t say what, what or what). May we safely assume then that the finale is two hours long?

      • I think it’s two episodes, then the series finale.

      • Yes, as RetroGirl says, her are total 3 episodes left. While the finale is not 2 hours long, I remember reading somewhere that the 2nd to last episodes will have a slightly longer run time, like 5 minutes maybe. And the finale will be slightly longer, like 15 extra minutes or something. I really wish I could find the article that says exactly how much longer.

  96. It was nice to see Joan hug Don. I hope her bad juju toward Don is past.

  97. Did anyone notice Don’s expression in the scenes from the next episode? Very odd – if I didn’t know better, it looks like he was about to cry.

    • The scenes from the next was like a parody of scenes from the next. It was so random and out of context.

  98. What the hell did that last scene mean? The best I can figure is that all the SC&P employees were sending the message: “Sell it to somebody’s who’s buying.”

    Also, there was a reference to Cutler in this episode. I had thought he’d been jettisoned, due to McCann’s acquisition of SC&P, but now I wonder if he just landed at McCann. Maybe we haven’t heard or see the last of him. Not good, especially if Cutler and Harry get together again.

    • I don’t think he was let go, so to speak. He was a partner and voted for the merger, and I understand from what the other partners said they all had a 5 year before pay off date along with a non-compete clause. I do suppose they could have bought his contract out, but I suspect he is lurking around somewhere just because he can, ready to do a few power plays.

    • He took the money and left!

      Roger says that Cutler was the only one who got a good deal. If I understood it right. Still have to watch a second time…

    • Don’s speeches don’t work. And/or since they are not their bosses anymore they don’t have to listen.

  99. Great episode. I thought Hobart’s pointed mention of Coca Cola to Don was a direct reference to the Season 1 episode “Shoot,” where Hobart gives Betty false hope that she’d get a modeling gig for Coca Cola in an attempt to lure Don away to McCann. Anyone else?

    • Coca-Cola. It’s the Heinz Ketchup of soft drinks.

      I did kinda get that vibe from Jim Hobart, from the way he emphasized the name.

      Back when he first attempted to snag Don, by way of Betty, he also tried several additional inducements on Don. McCann is bigger, better, international. Then there was the NY Athletic Club robe and membership. And, I keep thinking about the warning to Peggy from her headhunter about McCann being vindictive. I don’t doubt that Hobart thinks he can get good work out of Don, now that he’s got him, but I wonder if he really wants that. Maybe his main motive was to finally have him.

      Who knows. Maybe Hobart will learn what Archie Whitman learned, one long ago, stormy night: Just because you’ve got the horse in your barn, doesn’t mean you can shoe him and make him carry your grain to market.

      • Great point! Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

      • I think that McCann just wanted to 1) get Buick and 2) get rid of SCDP. None of them can compete. So whether they work for McCann or not it doesn’t matter.

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