Mad-Men 3.12, The Grown-Ups (open spoilers)

Second to last episode of the season.

I knew it was coming and it still gave me chills and goosebumps. It happened 20 years before I was born and I did a report about JFK in Grade 9 but this still gave me a surreal feeling watching it.

I thought everyone watched Cronkite back then. It was interesting to see some people tuning in to other stations.

I don’t know but from Alan Sepinwall’s summary of the episode he stated:

"While Walter Cronkite’s reaction as he reports the official word of JFK’s death is the most famous TV image from that day (and one of the most famous of all time), I thought it was a nice touch that the secretaries changed the channel in Harry’s office from CBS to NBC, since Huntley/Brinkley were the more popular news team of the period. "

So this was what Weiner meant by “not making a big dead” out of the Kennedy assassination? :wink: Very good episode.

So much for the claims that the Kennedy assassination wouldn’t play a significant role in the storyline.

ETA: Missed it by that much!


Some people were speculating that the show would treat the assassination as a “background event,” but that would have been a serious error in terms of historical accuracy.

I’m surprised that the wedding happened. My parents were married on Dec. 8, 1963 in NYC. My mom told me that weddings were being canceled all over the place in the weeks after the assassination, and that they were worried that they might have to cancel theirs too. So I didn’t think the wedding on the show would have gone ahead. But then again, Roger’s daughter’s wedding was the very next day, so maybe nobody even had the time to think of calling it off.

Interesting scene with Sally comforting Betty–in obvious contrast to the way Betty didn’t comfort Sally after Gene’s death.

As much as I really don’t like Betty, it was gratifying to see her tell Don that she didn’t love him anymore. But damn she’s childish! That scene where she asks Don something like “how do you know everything’s going to be okay” was disturbingly similar to the scene where Don had to reassure Sally and Bobby.

Not that Don is so great at that fathering thing. When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald right on TV and Betty screamed and the TV announcer started yelling, and Sally asked what was going on, Don said “nothing.” Nothing? Sally’s not an idiot. She knew damn well that something really surprising and important had just happened. Betty and Don manage to find new and exciting ways to invalidate her every day.

Boy, I’d like to see Sally Draper as a teenager.
Also–is Duck married? Peggy said he wasn’t, but he called his kids. Is he divorced?

Duck is divorced. If you remember, his ex-wife left his dog with him, and he just let the dog out onto the streets of Manhattan.

One question. The episode description says, “A candidate makes an impression on Don.” Who was that referring to? I think he had a brief conversation with Lane Pryce about someone he wanted to hire. Was that it?

I really like the way Don’s world falling apart is taking place at exactly the point in history when his generation’s whole way of life is about to be swept away by seismic cultural changes. This season has been impressively well-written.

The speculation was because Matt Weiner himself said he would treat it as a background event. Duck is divorced. His wife remarried last season and we met his two teenage kids.

Did 9/11 see a similiar wave of canceled weddings? I later had a coworker who was schedualled to be induced on that day, but went into labor over the weekend. She sure was glad about that.

Sally Draper is a Doper - she posts on the Straight Dope as singular1.
Seriously - I was her age at this time, and I have so much in common with her that I find her fascinating! I recently read an interview with Weiner where said she ends up joining the Weathermen. I ended up getting briefly involved with the White Panthers, so that’s close. I am watching very closely to see how she develops over the next seasons. It’ll be very interesting to see if they transition her into her adolescence and independence in a way that resembles my experiences.
One thing that tweaked me was the kids coming home and seeing it happening on tv. I was in school when it happened - I first heard about it on the playground at recess, and we all came in and the teacher told us what had happened and we had a moment of prayer. Mr. singular remembers something very similar. So they screwed up the timing a little, but that’s not anything to get worked up about. Very good episode - there’s only one episode left, right?

It was just heartbreaking to see her (Sally’s) impulse to go to her mother, hesitate, and then finally go put her arm around Betty.

Thanks for explaining the Duck situation. I didn’t watch last season. I’ve picked up on most of the backstory, but I’ve missed a bunch of little stuff.

That’s so funny! I was going to say “she’s probably going to end up joining the Weathermen or something.” But I figured I had said enough already.
As far as Matt Weiner saying that he was going to treat the assissination as a background event–I guess he can say “Gotcha ya!” Even moreso because it just seemed entirely obvious that the assassination would take place during the season finale.

I’m glad he did it this way, so the finale can focus on what’s going on with the characters without the distraction of the assassination.

BTW–was Suzanne mentioned this show? I wonder if Don is still seeing her?

Here is a blog entry from the New York Times interviewing people who really got married on November 23, 1963. One groom from that day remembers lots of no-shows, which is consistent with the show.


I was in first grade in 1963, and I distinctly remember being let out of school early, maybe around noon, but not knowing why, and running home (this was back when six-year-olds could walk to and from school with friends and no adult chaperones) curious about what was going on and seeing my mother sitting in her rocking chair with tears in her eyes. I spent the next few days trying to figure out what was going on. I mean, I understood that the president had been shot and killed, but I was mystified as to why someone would do that. Oh, and I lived outside Philadelphia, so I was in the same time zone as the Draper kids.

I had the same question. I think the heated discussion with Lane was about his firing of the art director without telling Done. So who was the candidate? Something they cut out and failed to update the ep guide?

Weiner did literally treat the assasination as happening in the background, I love how Pete is talking about office politics and you see the news break in on the TV that Kennedy had been shot while they go on obliviously with their convesation. We were watching on my laptop and the sound isn’t great so my wife didn’t catch it at first.

Duck Phillips will not be cock blocked by a presidential assassination.

BTW, I liked Don’s explanation for coming in to work on a national day of mourning, “The bars were closed.” Although the real reason was that he wanted to get away from Betty for the day.

And considering that Don didn’t say anything explicitly about the Aquanet ad, have they realized that they have to change it?

I would say that it was treated as a background event. Sure, it happened and everyone reacted to it, but it doesn’t seem like it will significantly change anything in anyone’s lives. Outside of a few fewer people at Mona’s wedding (Mona barely even being a character in the story), it really didn’t make any difference to anyone except a day of looking gloomy.

One thing I noticed though was that it seemed to be mostly the women who were all rolling about crying. The men seemed to act like I would expect most people to act: They sat about figuring out how this was going to effect business but otherwise didn’t seem to care about it beyond comforting their family members. I wonder if things were similar on 9/11. I was in Japan at the time, so I didn’t see what was happening here. Personally, I didn’t care, I just went back to bed after saying on the phone to my mom, “Well someone’s going to get bombed and that will be that.”

I’m also a little surprised by the poll results. Season 1 and 2 were amazing TV. This season I haven’t been anything near impressed by any of it. I’ve been waiting for Don to leap out with energy, charm, and mystique again, and he just hasn’t. I thought they might try switching to the other characters if they’d run out of things to do with Don, but they -really- haven’t. Rather, they threw several of their characters out and simply continued to follow Don around doing nothing of much note.

I’m sure they’ll throw in some sort of dramatic twist for the final episode like that the one brother of the school teacher shows up and stabs Don or Peggy elopes to the competition, taking Don with her, or Pete goes crazy and shoots up the office or whatever, but for any one of those, while I can kind of see how they lead up to it, I don’t feel like the season has actually lead up to something. Various stuff was introduced that could have been interesting, but then it was dumped or shipped off. For it to come back and be the big finale is just cheap, but if they don’t do some sort of finale then there’s just been nothing of note the whole season beyond that half the cast was sacked.