In this latest episode we have the following:
- The episode title "Lady Lazarus" is the title of a poem written by Sylvia Plath (one of her "Holocaust poems" that uses Nazism as the ultimate symbol for oppression); this one alludes to the mythological bird called the Phoenix, and the speaker describes her unsuccessful attempts at committing suicide not as failures, but as successful resurrections.
- The book Pete was reading on the train was a novella by Thomas Pynchon, published in 1966, The Crying of Lot 49, a mystery of sorts in which novel's protagonist discovers a group that has for centuries been connecting the disinherited and the discontented via a secret underground postal system.
- Pete explains to his fellow commuter Howard, who sells life insurance, that he has a great life insurance policy which, after two years, covers suicide!
- Pete dragging the Head skis; the company was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950 by Howard Head who thought skis should be made of materials other than wood; as a "future" point, the company is currently headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Kennelbach, Austria, and is listed on the Austrian Stock Exchange.
- The first song to appear in the show, suggested by a client, was a verson of a 1937 song "September in the Rain" done by The Wedgewoods in 1964; but it was also the 13th of 15 songs performed on January 1, 1962, by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best in the legendary audition with Decca Records after which The Beatles were rejected with the dismissal comments that "guitar groups are on the way out" and "the Beatles have no future in show business."
- The second song to appear in the show being played by Don as recommended by Megan was the final track of The Beatles' 1966 studio album Revolver, "Tomorrow Never Knows" the lyrics of which are adapted from the book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead co-authored by Timothy Leary.
- Don, after seeing Megan off in the elevator to his left, pushes the button and the doors to the elevator to his right open, offering him an empty elevator shaft to leap or fall into.
- Cool Whip, introduced in 1967 by the Birds Eye division of General Foods, the ultimate laboratory-created product, made of made of water, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil, sodium caseinate, vanilla extract, xanthan and guargums, polysorbate 60 and betacarotene; the sodium caseinate was the only product derived from milk and it wasn't until 2010 that both skimmed milk and light cream were added to Original Cool Whip.
- And this:
Pete, whose experiences were one of two story arcs this week, hooks up with (and I'm deliberately using a term that would never have been used in 1966) Howard's wife Beth (played by "Gilmore Girls" star Alexis Bledel). But Pete wants it to be more - he's desperate to connect, but on his terms. Like everything in his life, he neither connects nor gets anything on his terms.
Pete ponders: "Why do they get to decide what's going to happen?"
Harry replies: "They just do."
And I'm not quite sure what the deal was with the picture of Earth from space. My memory is that in August 1966 the Lunar Orbiter did take some pretty impressive picture of the Earth rising over the Moon. But it was black and white. In 1968 we saw some color pictures. But I feel that Weiner may have taken some artistic license to create the scene where Beth compared Pete's eyes to pictures of Earth from outer space. It allowed her to say: "It didn't bother you to see the Earth tiny and unprotected, surrounded by darkness?"
We sure seem to be headed for some tragic consequence involving Pete.
Megan's choice to leave advertising was the second story arc of the episode. Megan came to New York to be an actress. But everyone is so supportive of her successes in advertising, she doesn't want to disappoint them. So we have a series of events that, given the past on "Mad Men", might make one think she's cheating on Don.
But her cheating is that she went to a call back on an audition for a part in a play. "I felt better failing in that audition than when I was succeeding at Heinz," she tells Don. And so he supports her seeking her dream.
But he says to Roger: "I was raised in the thirties. My dream was indoor plumbing." He also says"I don't want her to end up like Betty, or her mother."
Peggy doesn't respond so well to Megan's dreams, saying "You know there are people killing to get this job.You're taking up a spot and you don't even want to do it?"
Joan tells Peggy: "She's going to be a failing actress with a rich husband. That’s the kind of girl Don marries." But Peggy sees a winner in Megan.
Megan and Don spend a great deal of time assuring each other of their mutual love. But Megan is removing herself from Don's world, actually rejecting it. What does that mean for their future?
The other memorable quote of the night was from Roger who said: "Jane wanted a baby, but I thought, 'Why do that to somebody?'" But we know that Joan's baby is his.
As usual, there was much more in this episode.
Edited by phrelin, 07 May 2012 - 01:36 PM.