Thursday, March 19, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S3/Ep6, “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”

There are certain episodes of “Mad Men” where great scenes seem to stack one on top of the other. “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency” is one of those. The episode is best remembered for a guy getting his foot cut off in the office by a lawnmower (leading to two of the series’ funniest lines ever, one from Roger and the other from Joan—see below). But the advent of the agency’s new British owners coming to visit sets up a series of spectacular events, including Roger realizing how no one takes him seriously, Joan’s last day in the office and so many important farewells for her, and multiple cold, hard lessons in corporate politics. Not the least of which is Don’s first official meeting with Conrad Hilton.

But for all of that, what I remember most vividly about this episode is its final scene, which caps the B storyline about Sally being scared of her new baby brother, whose name is the same as her recently departed grandfather.

Best Scene: The episode concludes with Don holding Gene in his arms in the baby’s darkened room, just the street light from outside falling across them through the window. He beckons Sally over and she slinks into his lap, still wary of the newborn. And then, Don quietly delivers one of my favorite lines of the entire series.

Best Line: Don to Sally: “This is your little brother, and he’s only a baby. And we don’t know who he is yet, or who he’s going to be. And that’s a wonderful thing.” Considering who says this line and all that comes with him, this is one of the most hopeful, uplifting scenes in the entire show.

Lines Too Funny not to Mention: Roger: “Any news?” Kinsey: “He might lose his foot.” Roger: “Right when he got it in the door.”

Joan: “I bet he felt great when he woke up this morning. … But that’s life. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawnmower.”

Grade: A