Mad Men, Season 5

Whither Kenny Cosgrove?
Talking television.
May 29 2012 12:31 PM

Mad Men, Season 5


Whither Kenny Cosgrove?

Mad Men (Season 5)
Ken Cosgrove, abandoned

Michael Yarish/AMC.

Patrick, I can think of one high-profile example of a person throwing money in another person’s face. But it only serves to reinforce your point that the gesture is an assertion of power and contempt. Otherwise, why shoot up the club?

John Swansburg John Swansburg

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

At the risk of overanalyzing Don’s gesture, one last point about the money toss. There was another insult embedded within it, I think. Before throwing the bills, Don says “You want to go to Paris? Here” (or words to that effect). But this wasn’t about Peggy wanting a trip to Paris on the company dime. It was about acknowledging her conference-call coup, about ownership of an idea, and about her authority at SCDP. That Don made it a fight over a travel perk only made the slight sting that much more. You’re right, Patrick, that ultimately there was a number for Peggy: $19k. But the other thing she wrote on that pad was “Copy Chief”: It wasn’t just the money, it was the authority that comes with that title.

As the president of the Kenny Cosgrove fan club, I was glad to see him briskly follow Peggy out of Don’s office and make an effort at consoling his colleague. (Earlier, I’d also loved the silent standing ovation he gave Peggy during her Chevalier Blanc freestyle.) I guess I should be glad Peggy was having none of it—had she honored the Olson-Cosgrove pact, she’d have taken Kenny with her to Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough, and I’d be mourning his departure from the firm yet again. I wonder why Peggy decided in the end not to bring Kenny with her, per their deal. Perhaps she recognized that in order to truly start again on her own terms, she couldn’t have someone along for the ride who knew her when she was just a secretary, even if he had later become a confidant and cheerleader for her work.


Despite his sweetness toward Peggy, Cosgrove didn’t emerge from this episode with his reputation fully intact. He’s less comfortable with Herb-from-Jaguar’s quid pro quo, and makes some effort to protect Joan (“You like redheads. I know some redheads”), but ultimately he doesn’t exactly object to the idea of prostituting Ms. Harris for the sake of the account. “Well, we wanted to be in the car business,” he says to Pete with some resignation, but not enough.

Julia, what did you make of the Megan plot this week? Is she a beautiful woman that can’t be owned? She stood up yet again for her freedom and for her career choice when Don balked at the idea of her sojourn in Boston. But she looked mighty objectified in that audition.

Ginsberg eats lobster?




Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.