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amy_c
amy_c
Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 7:18 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 7:18 AM EDT
What did you think of The Good News? Discuss the episode with us here!

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Greg1835
Greg1835
1. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 9:34 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 9:34 AM EDT
So Don Draper grows a heart. And, subtly, signs a contract.

But before we get into that, to me this episode was about 2 things: Bonding and mirroring.

Don bonding with Anna even deeper than their prior deal. Joan actually bonding with Dr. G with her marriage. Don and Layne bonding.

All three are mirrored in the idea of marriage, like Goldilocks and the porridge: one marriage is over, (too cold), one is in shambles in the process of ending (middle can go either way as we begin), and one is turning upside (surprisingly good news). The over-schooled will draw Greek literature philosophy of everything in moderation, "a bad, a good. and something in between." The 3 bears motif. The ancient Greek philosophy of literature and life. That's what I think bc they've done it before, notably w the 3 parties episode last year.

Starting with Don:

Don has a bond obviously with Anna. He's cared, but he's never been affected. This is the first time we've seen him that affected over a woman. When Pete's dad died Don offered him a drink and to go home. Don, with Anna, actually wants to stay... in her home, unlike his own with Betty. His painting of the wall was just like when in season 2 when he was fixing her chair (after Betty had smashed their chair bc he didn't fix it).

And this is important: He actually signs his name on the wall, in ink, a CONTRACT. He signs his name, in ink, to a woman.

In the end though, he's still Don, with his arm comfortably around his call girl. It's comfortability like a relationship but with no strings. Perfect Don, all middle ground.
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Greg1835
Greg1835
2. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 9:35 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 9:35 AM EDT
Joan and Dr. G: She cuts her hand, and here Dr. G is right on it. And competent. And her Superman. As much as women love Joan bashing his head with the vase, she still needs him to be her Superman. The conflict within us all. We're one thing but still need another. We both men and women have a little Don and Joan in us respectively.

But quite a difference from last year during Guy getting his foot cut off. There, she was the one Dr. G couldn't be in his own life, she was the calm, collected one, taking charge and ruling with common sense over blood. He was the one she found out had bad hands, while she had delicate hands in her time of stress.

Here, very different isn't it. Total direct reference. Here she's in a little blood, and he now has the steady, reassuring hands. He's filling her stereotype that she's generally always wanted. They started out arguing, and end up bonding. Not the first two people. Dr. G even says later, "I can fix this".
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Greg1835
Greg1835
3. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 9:36 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 9:36 AM EDT
Layne: The fish out of water, which seems to be a common theme we see much of. Layne the priss, now Layne one of the locker room boys. The rite of ritual, the "virgin" Layne now initiated as one of the real men via getting laid through the boys will be boys office. Now he's a man.

Most of the women can't get into Don Draper, but one of the boys now is, without much effort on his part and actually more effort on Don's part. One of the general mysteries women scratch their head at when it comes to guy/male bonding vs guy/girl/relationship things. Welcome to the world of men behaving badly, i.e. another theme of Mad Men.

So Layne has the bad marriage now. Another theme of life we see in Layne is that you can only punch a man so much in the face until he eventually leaves.

His wife and his former company did just that. He left his former company, now he at least symbolically is leaving his wife. Did you notice, actually since last year, the slow assimilation of the outside Layne? In the beginning of the episode he's talking about ordering chicken, an American home food staple, and at the end he's all about steak. Hardly tea and crumpets, fish and chips. And of course it ends with what it ends with. Not where Layne started out last year is it?

And did you catch the upbeat music at the very end as Layne walks in the office? Metaphor intended.

Two men who are opposite, and yet come together. Similar to sometimes Don and Peggy (Peggy last week acting the virgin as if to have a past she erases from her mind and acts like it never happened; just like Don has. "This never happened")

An exploration of binding and mirroring, this whole episode.
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amy_c
amy_c
4. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 1:12 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 1:12 PM EDT
"
And this is important: He actually signs his name on the wall, in ink, a CONTRACT. He signs his name, in ink, to a woman.
"
This is a great catch! I didn't even think about that. I really loved him as Dick and was hoping he would take her to Acapulco so she could have one last vacation. I hope she makes it to Easter so she can meet the kids, but I doubt it. It really seemed final when he walked out the door.

Lane was hilarious yelling in pseudo-Japanese during the Godzilla movie. I love the empty seat between the two that straight men sometimes feel is necessary when they go the theater with their pals.

I honestly thought Joan was insisting they go to the hospital after she cut her finger because she didn't trust him to handle it. I mean, he is only joining the Army because he's a not-so-great surgeon, right? I'd be nervous, too!

So yeah, it was nice to see him take care of her and be competent. Interesting that she finally broke down and cried at that moment. When Lane earlier told her "Don't go crying about it," I thought to myself that she would NEVER do such a thing.

Missed Roger this week! He would have had a blast with a few hookers at a nightclub.

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SamCookeFan1
5. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 9 2010, 9:35 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 9 2010, 9:35 PM EDT
I loved the roller coaster ride of emotions that this episode took us on. The scene when Don knows he may never see Anna again, and yet she is so okay with his leaving, loves him conditionally, unlike Betty who was all about conditions, that it made me tear up. Then, the mix up with the roses was so well-crafted, the lines Joan delivers so flawlessly only adding to the brilliance,that we were better already. I found Jan and Dean a strange choice as their popularly was waning, yet they did create skateboarding with that song, so I suppose the writers were going for a youthful feel. Still, she was a college student at Berkeley, not aA a teeny bopper.. The biggest hits of 65 were The Birds and The Bees, This Diamond Ring, anything from Rubber Soul or Help,, Eve of Destruction, I'm Gonna Be Strong, Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter, and Walking in The Rain. Even the Beach Boys were moving toward more reflective music. Do you find this valuable?    
amy_c
amy_c
6. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 10 2010, 7:13 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 10 2010, 7:13 AM EDT
Maybe she was trying to refer to something that wasn't so hip anymore, like Jan and Dean, since she probably thought Don was so un-hip.

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SamCookeFan1
7. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 11 2010, 9:09 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 11 2010, 9:09 AM EDT
I meant to write that Anna loved Don "unconditionally;" that was mistype.No, I think they were going for an upbeat, silly sound, because Don seemed happy and relaxed, for the first time in a long time, getting away from both his pressure cooker work environment, as well as his make-due single life. And he felt a bit silly with this college girl, yet, as always, he does appear to respect women of intellect.
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JonHammered
8. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 12 2010, 4:38 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 12 2010, 4:38 PM EDT
Was the instrumental guitar music a song from that era? Or maybe it was an original composition for the soundtrack? Do you find this valuable?    

SamCookeFan1
9. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 13 2010, 9:26 AM EDT | Post edited: Aug 13 2010, 9:26 AM EDT
So far it has been from that era.Week one, they used a Buddy Stuart song-I think it was "My Poor Poor Heart", not certain-when Don brought the kids back to an empty house after a visit, waiting for Betty to return. It underscored the sadness and frustration that single parenthood is fo all involved. Instrumentals were a huge part of the 60s because they were designed for radio play before the news or to begin and end shows. Telstar, The Lonely Bull, Walk Don't Run--all were huge hits, and Mad men has used the first two already. Do you find this valuable?    
madam79
madam79
10. RE: Episode 4.03 - "The Good News" Discussion Thread
Aug 15 2010, 3:12 PM EDT | Post edited: Aug 15 2010, 3:12 PM EDT
I wonder if we can say that Don loves Anna unconditionally, there are things Don has not told Anna. He didn't tell Anna that after he rejected his brother he killed himself, he only told her about rejecting him. She believes to know everything about him, but she doesn't.

Nonetheless, Anna is like the mother he never had, spiritual, but not religious, apparently free of judgment. I wonder if we will learn more about their relationship. Was it ever romantic?

BTW, Dr. G should have been a pediatrician.
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