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4-5: "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" 2010.08.22


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#601

EleanorAquitain

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 11:41 AM

I don't know...I get the impression Roger has accepted the racial ideas he was raised with as reasonable and not really thought to challenge them. His line to Bert doesn't necessarily mean that Roger felt strongly about the pov of black people even the way Pete does. It could just be Roger pointing out to Bert that he (Roger) is right in thinking that the government is going to have to give in and give them the law they want. Bert may have thought they could placate them without giving them that, that they didn't really need it.


I think that Roger has accepted the racial ideas that he was raised with as reasonable. But I also think that that line was meant to show that even someone like Roger has the ability to revise his feelings. Given the fact that there were a lot of people who came to recognize that the Civil Rights Law was necessary, who were able to see that the way that they were raised was wrong, I thought it was a nice touch.

#602

possibilities

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 12:43 PM

I also think one purpose of this little scene was to add nuance to his anger about the Japanese, that is to show that Roger is not simply a racist who thinks all races are inferior to whites.

I think it also gives layers to Bert's position. Bert is okay with Japanese people, but he opposes civil rights for African Americans? That's interesting. Neither he nor Roger is what I'd call an anti-racist ally. They just have different prejudices in play.

I re-watched the latter part of the episode this afternoon, and in the scene where Betty calls to tell Don about the psychiatrist, I totally missed that he suggested, instead of calling a doctor, that Betty talk to Sally herself. I had been so focused on his "boy or girl?" question, and on his general skepticism about the shrink, that it totally went by me that he actually had a positive parenting instinct, which Betty (and Henry) not only didn't think of, but rejected as ridiculous. It's really kind of sad that actually Don has a lot of good instincts as a parent, and we've seen him have as many warm moments with the kids as Betty has had (maybe more of them), but he just doesn't see it as his right or his responsibility to act on those ideas, and he doesn't care enough (or have the self-esteem? feeling of empowerment?) to make the effort. Betty is more stable than he is, and whatever else she's done, she never left for a month with no warning or explanation. But if we could take the good things Betty does, and the good things Don thinks should be done, we'd be able to create a pretty good parent out of the two of them.

Edited by possibilities, Aug 29, 2010 @ 2:10 PM.


#603

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 2:27 PM

One thought I had about what Don does/doesn't do when he has the kids. I would think that when he did live at home, he probably didn't really "do" much of anything with them alone. I'm sure they did some things as a family, going to the beach or a park, but if he was alone with them he probably considered it 'babysitting' and spent most of the time working or reading the newspaper while the kids played in the backyard. I think he did arrange to go on a date when his kids were there because he really didn't know what to do with them.


We used to do things like going to the hardware store, grocery shopping, etc. But that's really for families who live together at the same house! Don certainly had no need to take them to buy wingnuts or something. So he had to think of little activities like taking Sally to Macy's where she saw that necklace. (Btw, if you are too young to remember 1965, there were not a lot of television channels on TV; just the major networks and PBS, which had mostly cultural offerings. And of course no movies on tape or DVD or on demand. So, not a lot to watch, except on Saturday morning cartoons.) Yes, they did go on a picnic in an earlier season, the one where it seemed Bobby was going to drive the car into the lake, and when they went home they left all of their trash behind.

Does Henry ever complete a pass? Maybe that one in the car, but otherwise it seems like they are always getting interrupted. (I thought it was kind of icky that after Sally comes home from her sleepover, Betty and Henry go back to sleep, locked in an embrace, with the door open. If Sally got up at night, she would have seen them.)

#604

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 3:30 PM

I already deleted this ep from DVR and am in need of a clarification: in the kitchen scene, did Dr Faye say that she has kids but is not married, or does she have fake kids to go with the fake husband? My 12-year-old non-HDTV does not do a good job of picking up on the low, mumbly vocal tones on this show.

#605

Dev F

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 3:43 PM

Don asked Faye if she had any kids and she said no, and then he asked what her husband did and she admitted that the whole marriage was made up.

Edited by Dev F, Aug 29, 2010 @ 3:44 PM.


#606

michellems

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 4:30 PM

(Btw, if you are too young to remember 1965, there were not a lot of television channels on TV; just the major networks and PBS, which had mostly cultural offerings. And of course no movies on tape or DVD or on demand. So, not a lot to watch, except on Saturday morning cartoons.)


Taking this to the "Things Were Different" thread.

Bobby and Sally seem to just watch whatever's on. I think Don just tries to continue whatever daily routine they used to have, but adds a little treat to it like popcorn and coke with their TV. You get a treat when there's a sitter, and Don, like most fathers of his generation, probably does consider watching his own kids to be "babysitting."

Edited by michellems, Aug 29, 2010 @ 4:37 PM.


#607

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 6:46 PM

Bert is okay with Japanese people, but he opposes civil rights for African Americans?


Oh, I don't think he opposes it, he just can't see (literally does not see) the exigencies of it yet. It's a process. It doesn't mean he's a huge bigot or an avowed racist (bigotry and racism are two distinctly different things, IMNSHO), it means he is coming to terms with the changes. He has not displayed vituperative hatred nor said that "they should not have gotten what they wanted."

Robert Morse is 79, per Wikipedia, so if we figure that Bert is 79 as well, then Bert was born in 1886 -- a scant nine years after the end of Reconstruction! And here he is witnessing the struggle for public accommodations -- a lot has happened!

It's a much bigger change for him, than even for Roger, for Don, or certainly for Pete.

We have to view Bert, and all of them, in light of his own historicity.

Going to the Bert thread with this.

Edited by Jschoolgirl, Aug 29, 2010 @ 7:35 PM.


#608

HickoryColt

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 7:57 PM

Deleted and moved to the bert thread

Edited by HickoryColt, Aug 29, 2010 @ 7:58 PM.


#609

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Posted Aug 29, 2010 @ 8:01 PM

Holy crap! I have that doll house that Betty was staring at wistfully in the shrink's office! I don't have the furniture anymore, but the house has been sitting in my closet for years. I store small articles in the rooms.

#610

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Posted Aug 30, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

Re: Pete's views on race, on one of the commentaries MW said he had no doubt that Pete, like Betty and Sally, was largely raised by a black woman. Just a little note on the author's view of his history there. I don't think it "explains" his more open mind, but that's in his past.


In a later commentary (possibly for the S3 show with the Admiral TVs subplot), MW adds that Pete's political identification is as a paternalistic FDR/New Deal liberal.

#611

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 11:54 AM

In light of one of the revelations in "The Suitcase," I paid particular attention to the scene in which the Honda account is first mentioned by Pete. When Pete asks who Dr. Lyle Evans is, Joan pipes in with, "I have no idea." But the fact that she felt the to say that, and the subtle facial expressions and eye movements that follow it, tell me that Joan knows exactly who Dr. Lyle Evans is.

#612

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 1:10 PM

I got that impression, too, though I wouldn't say that for sure. Seems like Joan has a better poker face than that.

#613

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 2:39 PM

I don't think she had a clue.

#614

YetAnotherAlex

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 3:18 PM

" Agreed.

Edited by YetAnotherAlex, Sep 9, 2010 @ 3:21 PM.


#615

uclagirl

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 7:30 PM

I got that impression, too, though I wouldn't say that for sure. Seems like Joan has a better poker face than that.


Normally, sure--but that really came out of the blue, and she wouldn't have been expecting anything like it. So I can see her reacting differently than she might otherwise. I expect we'll find out--there's no reason for the storyline otherwise.

#616

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Posted Dec 9, 2010 @ 10:02 AM

Congrats to Erin Levy, for her Writers Guild of America nomination for this episode. I thought it was extremely well-crafted, weaving together office stories and personal stories in a very compelling way. It was the first episode of season 4 that made me go "Wow, that was really good!"

#617

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 11:50 AM

OMG Betty, its friggin hair. It grows back (in its original color too and good thing Betty doesn't have to deal with that). And you know what's wrong with Sally? She wants attention. You are ignoring her, Don's ignoring her. I wonder if Betty has told her anything about growing up, Sally is 10 after all. I thought Don was a bit out of line with the babysitter. Did you want her to go into the bathroom with Sally when she pees?

Good old Pete, forward thinking again with the Japanese (and Honda too) as well recognizing they can't be dependent on Lucky Strike. Too bad Roger had to torpedo things. Loved Don's "commercial" idea and really doing his homework on the Japanese. And yes, they worked on their car idea. I do have to wonder, in light of Roger's anti-Japanese rant, how he deals with Bert's Japanese interest?

I don't know how Don can stand Mrs. Blankenship.

#618

Wilhelmina

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 6:21 PM

Sally broke my heart this episode. I really felt for her; it sucks to be a kid caught between your parents, and not knowing what to do. Nothing you do is ever right.

I don't think she was molested by Grandpa Gene- it's normal to masturbate before puberty. I think that man did a number on Betty's head, though. Good lord, that woman is a mess.

I loved Pete and Peggy riding the motorcycle was awesome.

#619

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 8:03 PM

I thought Don was a bit out of line with the babysitter. Did you want her to go into the bathroom with Sally when she pees?

Definitely out of line, but Don was not applying logic here. He was scared shitless of Betty's response and took it out on Phoebe.

#620

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Posted Sep 29, 2011 @ 5:55 PM

He was scared shitless of Betty's response and took it out on Phoebe.

I don't get the impression he is scared of Betty's response. I think it's more he just doesn't want to have to deal with Betty's crap, and he knows she will freak out, blame him and it's a major annoyance for him.

#621

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Posted Sep 30, 2011 @ 8:16 AM

"Scared shitless" might be overstating it a bit, but to me it felt like more than annoyance on Don's part. Given what Betty knows about Don, I think at some level he is a little scared/worried about how she might use that against him. There was a genuine and palpable sense of relief on his part in Hands and Knees when Betty called him about her visitors from government but assured Don that she had told them nothing.

#622

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Posted Nov 16, 2011 @ 8:06 AM

Roger said something about making it his goal to bury Pete back in S1 or S2. Since the time that Coop overruled Roger/Don and kept Pete on board, Pete has been a Roger punching back. He busts his balls at every opportunity. So, it doesn't surprise me that a newly confident Pete (who IS reading Roger's insecurity correctly) bites back. That's not Roger's only motivation, it's clear he holds dear his military service and feels strongly that the Japanese are still the enemy. But Pete is not wrong that Roger likes the agency dependent on his Lucky Strike account.

And I knew the cantaloupe was actually the best gift, my Japanese mother in law has talked about it in the past. I think Pete blurting it out, however, was funny.