Seminal Television – Blowing Smoke
Like Buffy needed two men to save the world, the women in Don’s life help him get where he is and do what he does in the summer of 1965. There’s Faye, who helps him get into a meeting with a representative of Heinz Beans in a secluded restaurant. The representative tells Don to wait for six months. I should start using that to turn down guys, like I’m turning down guys now.
Then there’s Midge (Rosemarie DeWitt), who still paints canvases based on what she sees when she closes her eyes. Apparently, as shown by her #4, she sees snowmen. Midge for some reason looks like Liz Lemon, although Liz would never do heroin. This scene feels slightly PSA, but Midge, a girl who has only gotten lukewarm reaction from audiences, is now a character both love and pitied. Out of pity, Don buys #4 and inadvertently supports her habit, the painting and the woman both inspire him.
Peggy also becomes ones of Don’s fairy godmothers, giving him inspiration twice. The most obvious instance is when Peggy reminds her ninja master of his own wisdom – ‘change the conversation.’ He disappoints her by being unable to change said conversation, but they’re smirking at each other later. She also drops a line earlier about how pointless it is to convince women to change brands. This line makes Don develop the idea that tobacco advertising is also pointless. The thankless work Don and SCDP have had to keeping and advertising Lucky Strike, the rules already in place against how to advertise it. Instead of fighting for Virginia Slims, Don types away, the caper music playing. He runs a full-page ad that makes Pete hold on to his toast. Nobody else pats him on the back with this move but Peggy.
Thanks to Don’s ad, Faye has to resign from her assignment at SCDP, in conflict with her firm wanting to keep cigarette accounts. Since they don’t work together anymore, they can go out in the open now. She also stakes her claim to him, telling him to have Megan make reservations. And she knows.
Also, Trudy puts her foot down, the women of CGC are uglier than the ones at SCDP, SCDP has an inexhaustible pool of good-looking receptionists, Joan still hates Lane, Sally’s addicted to creepy Glen, Betty’s addicted to Dr. Edna. Because of the latter items, for the first time in forever, Betty was better than Sally at something.
- “Mad Men Sneak Peek: Episode 12 “Blowing Smoke”” and related posts (busybeeblogger.com)