“Fellow comrades in mediocrity, I want you to listen very carefully: You can all go straight to hell!”
Ahh, the Season 3 Premiere! Here we are in April 1963, roughly 6 months post-finale of Season 2. And oh hey, we have a new Bobby. Back to the grind.
Putnam Powell and Lowe is in full force having obliterated about a third of the Sterling Cooper workforce, and things feel uneasy all over.
We open on Don heating up some gross milk in the middle of the night, the eve of his real birthday. Flashing back to his inferred birth story, Don’s human giant dad Archie heads off to a hooker; she later dies giving birth to their baby, to Dick. The midwife drops off the baby in the middle of the night, and though Abigail has been wanting a baby so badly, the fact that this baby at her feet is the product of her bastard husband’s affair with a hooker is not what she had in mind.
Obviously it’s tainted the way she saw Dick growing up, and intensely coloured how she treated him. The effervescent feeling of always being unwanted is something that Don carries with him every single day.
Betty is very pregnant at this point in time, and Don flexes his copywriting skill by crafting a relaxing seaside story to lull her to sleep. Probably better than inventing a work travel lie to protect the kids from their marital troubles á la Season 2.. it looks as if they are actively trying to be closer to one another here in the Season 3 premiere, but it’s still not quite right.
And now, introducing PPL’s CFO Lane Pryce.. seen here admiring an octopus pleasuring a lady in Hokusai’s famed ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’.
image courtesy of Auction Exclusive
Bert: “I picked it for its sensuality, but it also, in some way, .. it reminds me of our business. Who is the man who imagined her ecstasy?”
Lane: “Who indeed!”
Burt Peterson, a wholly unpleasant man, gets sacked and raises hell in the process of exiting the building. Joan explains to the repellant Mr. Hooker (Lane’s personal assistant/glorified secretary) that if had she known Burt was getting fired that day, she would have made the proper arrangements for a peaceful exit. Instead, we get to hear this bald asshole shouting, “Drop dead, you limey vulture!” and scaring the shit out of the ladies in the steno pool.
Apparently Burt Peterson fucked some things up with London Fog, as Don and Sal depart to Maryland to smooth things over soon after that mess.
Turns out their TWA stewardess is an intense thirst trap. Apparently Don let his brother in law borrow a suitcase, as the stewardess calls him Mr. Hofstadt (‘Bill’). Explaining to Sal, “he never tires of putting his name on other people’s things”; touché, Don Draper.
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They go for dinner with said parched stewardesses and the pilot; everyone is an idiot. Don and Sal have a little fun playing the parts of more interesting men, top secret type stuff. Couple of G-men working as accountants, hunting for Jimmy Hoffa. During dinner you can see Don resigning himself to banging that chick, it’s all too easy.
After dinner, they all head to their rooms. Don and the stewardess make out, then she lets him know she’s engaged, as if he’s her last chance.
“I’ve been married a long time. You get plenty of chances.”
It’s Don’s birthday, his real birthday. The poor man’s Betty undresses for him, stating that everyone’s always asking her if she’s a model (but she’s not); and hey, Don is married to an actual model.
image courtesy of AMC
In other news, Sal lets go and has a gay encounter with the very well manicured bellboy in his sweltering room. He’s shocked and intrigued, but SUPER into it. This guy had the cojones to make a bold move unlike that Belle Jolie dude, and it paid off. And then, the fucking fire alarm goes off in the hotel. On his way down the fire escape, barely clothed Don spots Sal in his room with the bellboy, and is completely jolted.
On the plane ride back to New York, Sal is waiting on pins and needles for Don to say something about seeing him with a man, obviously in the midst of getting around to a bang. Instead, and true to form, Don comes up with some London Fog copy that reads like a cryptic warning; ‘Limit your exposure.’
At the office, Lane lets Pete know he’s now Head of Accounts, without telling him that Kenny .. is also Head of Accounts. Pete, true to form, is comically infuriated to learn that Kenny is the other Head of Accounts. Trudy grounds him and reminds him to be a fucking normal person and get on with it. Pete walks into Don’s office later on to complain, but thinks better of it and ends up thanking Don and Roger for the promotion. Bert Cooper pops in and rewards him, a true Yankee, with Penn Station.
That night in Ossining, Sally admits to breaking Don’s suitcase. “I don’t have an allowance.” “Then don’t break things.” Sally desperately didn’t want her father to leave on another trip, and he reassures her that he will always come home, she’ll always be his girl. One thing is for sure, Don has seen to it that those kids have a marginally better upbringing with some form of love rather than the mess he and Adam experienced as kids.
Sally finds the parched stewardess’ TWA wings in Don’s suitcase, assuming they’re for her. In a nice family moment, Don begins telling the story of the night Sally was born; cue the Lord of the Rings music. Don stares off for a beat, imagining his own birth again, feeling dejected. Sally came into a home that wanted her, unlike his own birthday, marred with distress.
Betty picks it up and then, right there in the midst of it, ‘in the middle of the night’ claiming to have just come home from work to drive her to the hospital, it’s obvious that Don was stepping out even then. His face says it all. What is he doing? Where is he going with all of this?
below image courtesy of Imgur
“I don’t know. I keep going to a lot of places, and ending up somewhere I’ve already been.”