Mar 5, 2015

Mad Cap: "Blowing Smoke"

Left to right: Marten Holden Weiner and Kiernan Shipka
Welcome to Mad Cap: a daily rundown of every episode of the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. During this time, I will be compiling my thoughts and highlights as we travel through every moment and season of the Emmy-award winning drama that has come to define modern TV. The goal is to be a refresher on every moment for Don Draper and his band of advertisement executives leading up to the final season. Stay for all of the shocking moments and the brilliant acting performances, and make sure to chime in with your thoughts and criticisms on why the show means something to you.

Season 4, Episode 12
"Blowing Smoke"

"Well, I gotta go learn a bunch of 
people's names before I fire them."
- Roger Sterling (John Slattery)


Things are looking bad for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. For starters, Lucky Strike is going to back out of their partnership. Even Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) is complaining to Trudy Campbell (Alison Brie), who refuses to let her relatives get involved. Meanwhile, Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) is hanging out with Glen Bishop (Marten Holden Weiner), who is trying to convince her that he is a nice guy. She attends therapy and everything is believed to be going right, even though the therapist thinks that Sally Francis (January Jones) could use some help herself. Don meets up with Midge Daniels (Rosemarie Dewitt) at her house to meet her husband and to discover her art career. Things go over well until she reveals that she hates her husband. When Betty discovers that Sally has been hanging out with Glen, she punishes her daughter and claims that Glen is a bad influence. Don writes a slanderous article against Lucky Strike in order to damage their reputation and send them off to other clients. He also has to fire some people in order to make things work out. He does, leaving the company to start anew with a slimmer staff and the need for some more clients.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jon Hamm
Don Draper (Jon Hamm)

It is a tough time for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Somebody has to go and the tough decisions need to start getting made. In the case of Don, he takes initiative and slanders the client who formerly gave them a lot of wealth. He spends a good chunk of time solving problems and reacquainting himself with Midge, who hasn't been around in awhile. As things go, he becomes a force to be reckoned with, even going against the company's initiatives in order to get things moving. It is a stubborn approach, but it saves the company quite a bit. While this perfectly parallels Sally disobeying her mother, it seems like the family is going through some rough times in ways that match the drama of Don here. With one episode this season to go, there's plenty to speculate as to what will happen next.

Best Scene

Does anyone doubt that Don would take it upon himself to put the company in jeopardy with a very well written article about how he hates Lucky Strike? In the moments when he is reading the letter aloud, it is scanning over the large staff of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and their discovery of the article. It is a scary moment for almost everyone with no power at the company, as they stand a chance of being in jeopardy. Don's partners feel the threat and change is beginning to be made. Oh, the terror. What is going to come besides a whole lot of firings? By the end, we don't know too much, but it is a beautiful summation of a season that has been about moving on and discovering something new in the business world.

UP NEXT: "Tomorrowland"

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