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In Matthew Weiner’s version of a “Tale of Two Cities,” Don smokes hashish, Roger fails to seduce a tripping hippie, and Joan goes rogue

“Anyone can tell you not to run makeup ads during football.”

Joan: the gingery rebel gone rogue! And I sort of love it! In “Tale of Two Cities” the top tier of the firm is on opposite coasts, and of course, everything has to go completely wrong. Joan, who is set up on a date with the man who just so happens to be the new President of Marketing at Avon Cosmetics, has a potential lead. A HUGE lead. When Joan mentions the news to Peggy, Peggy excitingly wants to run and tell Ted, because he, “lovesss new business,” and, “he doesn’t care where it comes from.” But things don’t go according to plan. Ted’s immediate reaction is to send down Pete, who eagerly suggests setting up a meeting with him and Peggy. And suddenly Joan’s little gem isn’t really hers anymore. Obviously she wants full credit, since it is her lead after all; which, who’s to blame her? So in the heat of things she decides to go behind Pete’s back, scheduling the breakfast meeting sans Pete. So not really the proper B2B protocol. Funny how through all of this, the firm still doesn’t have an official name. People are sending letters making up their own acronym for the merge. “We are big New York ad men from an agency with 7 letters in its name,” Roger kids.

Don, Roger, and Stan take a trip to Los Angeles to convince the Carnation people how they can market Instant Breakfast the best, but the guys’ cocky New York City exec statuses don’t fool anybody. In fact, it ends up hurting them in the end (sorry Rog, so much for your world explorer analogy!). The meeting begins with an intense discussion of politics and the war protests, then Carnation ends up calling out Don et al for accusing the west coasters of not working “as hard,” and that previously when Carnation worked with agencies in different time zones, things “didn’t really work.” Not good.

Thankfully to get their minds off the horrible meeting, Stan knows of a hot entertainment industry party in the hills, where there’s lots of tacos, booze, hash, and very, very important people like the President of Warner Bros and Earl Rice from Kodak. They end up runing into an old co-worker turned Hollywood screenwriter, Danny, aka “Daniel J. Siegel,” who also used to be related to Roger via his ex (they’re cousins). Roger doesn’t seem to like Danny very much, constantly making jokes about him being short, but later ends up getting punched in the balls for his behavior (appropriate), pretty funny stuff.

It seems as though Don still hasn’t lost his interest in knockout blondes, or knockout anythings, for that matter. After he takes a puff of hashish out of a hookah (which, must have been some really strong hash?), he starts kissing on the hostess and hallucinates a pregnant Megan. Then somehow ends up almost drowning in a pool? Like I said, must’ve been some really strong “hash”…

When everyone returns from the office, a box of goodies is sent from Avon to the firm, revealing how Joan went behind Pete’s back to schedule the meeting. And Pete is NOT happy. Demanding a meeting with Ted, Peggy gets the boot out of the conference room and Joan’s being scolded. Thankfully Miss Peggy saves the day (even after her and Joan’s heated discussion outside the office), sending a fake message that Avon Cosmetics is on the phone for Joan, leaving her off the hook. “You better hope they actually call,” she says.

The episode ends with a very happy, squinty-eyed Pete, smoking one of Stan’s joints. He stares at a hot bod walk by in a little yellow dress, and, um, life is good? Apparently. But will Joan get to take hold of the Avon account? Or even get the account for that matter? Is Carnation Instantly Over With? Is Don’s hallucination a forecast of his future (dead in a pool)? I mean, I’m still trying to get over the fact we never got to see Roger watch a girl dance in a cage on the Sunset Strip, so, forget trying to answer any of these questions…


  • “Just stay away from actresses.” –Megan “I hate actresses!” –Don
  • “SCDCC sounds like a stutter and looks like a typo” –Don
  • “Our biggest challenge is to not get syphilis.” –Roger
  • “I wanna go to the Sunset Strip, watch a girl dance in a cage” –Roger
  • “Be friendly and charming after you stuck your fascist boot on my neck!” –Ginsberg
  • “I’m the world’s most expensive babysitter.” –Cutler
  • “Anyone can tell you not to run makeup ads during football.” –Joan
  • “I don’t want to show up to a meeting with bugs in my teeth.” –Roger
  • “Can you imagine a police man cvracking your skull? That would change your whole life.” –Megan
  • “Hippies don’t wear makeup at all.” –Andy
  • “Last night was disgusting.” –Jack
  • “Look, we’re sorry your last girlfriend hurt you. We’re in your office right now.” –Roger
  • “You were so brave, letting Don carry you to the deep end of the pool.” –Joan
  • “I’m not scared! I’m a thug! A pig!” –Ginsberg
  • “We’re conquistadors. I’m Vasco de Gama, and you’re some other Mexican.” –Roger
  • “Tell me the truth. Are you a homo?” –Ginsberg

(photo via zap2it)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.