Monday, October 11, 2010

Mad Men and Drinking, Season Four, Episode 12: Cold Turkey

Don Draper didn't give up booze in "Blowing Smoke," the penultimate episode of "Mad Men"'s fourth season. He gave up cigarettes. At least on paper. Stymied by SCDP's inability to get a meeting with any new client since losing Lucky Strike, he came out against Big Tobacco with a full-page ad in the New York Times, announcing that, since smoking was bad and bad for you, the firm would no longer be taking on tobacco clients.

It was a bold move, one that pissed off his partners since he (naturally) didn't consult them; a cynical move, since Draper readily admitted he placed the ad to "change the conversation" about the firm and generate new business, not wave the flag of his ideals; and, ultimately, a somewhat sincere and heartfelt gesture. Lucky Strike had been bad for SCDP. It caused them to act badly (i.e., fire Sal; indulge the odious Lee Garner, Jr.) They have depended on it too much. They were addicted to its money. Now they'll have to really work.

Draper took a number of belts of the brown stuff during the episode. In his office and at the grubby apartment of erstwhile Boho mistress, now heroine addict, Midge. Though he kept his head when he should. There was a menu on the table of the black, tomb-like restaurant when he met with Heinz's "beans, vinegars and sauces" man, but no drinks on the table. Pete, who doesn't drink much anymore, took some painkiller at home after learning he had to, as a partner, pony up fifty grand as collateral for the bank. I do not, however, recognize the squat little bottle of whiskey Pete keeps on his bar in his apartment.

Old New York restaurant call-out of the week: La Caravelle. One of the great old French places in Manhattan. It existed on W. 55th from 1961 to 2004. We didn't see it, but Don and Faye were planning to go there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pete's bottle looks like Crown Royal to me...