Mad Men Season 5: Is Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in trouble? Readers chat about an ominous episode.

Did Don Draper Bite the Hand That Feeds Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?

Did Don Draper Bite the Hand That Feeds Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
May 1 2012 10:45 AM

Don Draper Bites the Hand

John Swansburg chats to readers about an ominous episode of Mad Men.

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John Swansburg: Yeah, that part gave me prep school flashbacks as well. "I said me too, Mom."

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Maxine Pitter Lunn: I'm really starting to appreciate Roger for his fabulous asides—corning, and the bow tie, for example. And didn't he also say "My money was on Lane?"

John Swansburg: Roger's always been a font of terrific asides, but he's been on a roll lately. The "napalm" line was great. He was also just very sweet with Sally in this episode, in a way I found very charming. Of course, it made what she witnessed that much more jarring.

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John Swansburg: Were other folks as excited as I was to see Mona Sterling return last night? I liked her line about how she first assumed Roger left her because she was getting old, but then she realized it was because he was getting old. I miss Mona! Talia Balsam and John Slattery are married in real life, and it's always fun to see them together on screen.

Annette Christy: Mona looked awesome—great to see that last night.

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Julie Schadler Chun: I was glad to see Don finally back to doing the actual work of creative ideas, even though it had to be sparked by Megan. I don't care how whipped he is, I don't buy that his whole ego wrapped up in the Myth of Don's otherworldly genius suddenly takes a back seat to a relationship with Megan and putting his complete trust and faith in Pete Campbell to make the business a success.

John Swansburg: I agree. It was good to see him sell an idea, even if it wasn't his, and I suspect that the revelation that his tobacco letter backfired will spur him into action in upcoming episodes—he's got something to prove again.

Natalie Brender: How big a blow to Don's career prospects was the revelation at the end (“you bit the hand”) supposed to be? Is that meant to be a death knell to the firm's prospects re: all big corporate clients? And shouldn't Don (and Roger) have seen this coming?

John Swansburg: ‎Great question—I really don't know. It seems like a big blow, but who knows. Maybe the firm can get by with the smaller clients who don't seem to have been offended. Or maybe a big fish will come along who does appreciate Don's gesture. But it seemed ominous, for sure.

Maryrose Larkin: The "you bit the hand" remark really points to how profoundly Draper misjudges his relationship to the larger, corporate world.

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John Swansburg: Been meaning to look: What Albee play was on Broadway in late summer '66? Anyone look it up?

Lisa Merryman Hamilton: I hope the play was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? because the Calvets are headed that way.

Miriam Isserow: I assumed the play was Virginia Woolf (all those fighting couples!) but online I found out it was Malcolm, an adaptation of a James Purdy novel. And here's a synopsis for whatever it's worth.

John Swansburg: OK, all, thanks as always for joining in. As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat beans!”