Mad Men episode 711 – “Time & Life”
What’s in a Name
The episode title is likely a reference to the Time-Life building where the agency has resided for the past six or so years and from where they’re essentially being evicted.
The Missing Link
The parallels between “Time & Life” and “Shut the Door. Have a Seat” (313) are obvious: in both episodes, Don masterminds a plan for him and his confidants to avoid working for McCann. This time around, they don’t have Lane Pryce to help make it happen. Jared Harris is still involved, though; he’s the director of this episode.
A season of Mad Men isn’t complete without Peggy talking or thinking about her estranged child. Stan is the third co-worker to learn about Peggy’s fateful decision. She tells Pete in “Meditations in an Emergency” (213); she probably tells Don well before telling Pete, but in any case, Don knows about the baby in “The Suitcase” (407).
Cutler 1, Sterling Cooper 0
Rogers proclaims, “After all that, Jim Cutler wins. All that cash and no McCann.” This statement implies that the partners have already bought out Cutler’s stake in the agency (“all that cash”) and that Cutler is no longer with them, so he doesn’t have to share their fate (“no McCann”).
I know that Lou is supposed to be a character who viewers hate, but I’m glad that his story has a resolution.
Besides the status of Cutler, this episode answers a couple of other questions I’ve had about characters: Ted is in fact divorced and Dawn is still working for the agency.
Ted has told Don in “The Forecast” (710) that he’d like to have a pharmaceutical account, so he’s clearly happy when Jim Hobart mentions Ortho Pharmaceutical to him. Pete mistakenly thinks that Hobart is talking to Joan, who later points out that hasn’t had an account mentioned for her. Allegedly, Roger gets Buick, Pete gets Nabisco, and Don gets Coca-Cola. Hobart has previously tried to use Coca-Cola to woo Don, through Betty, in “Shoot” (109).
The song that plays during the transition between the partners’ boardroom defeat to their barroom comfort is “I Followed My Heart.” This song has played in “Seven Twenty Three” (307) while Don dances with the hitchhiking girl in a motel room.
“You are okay”
Apparently, this line has stuck with Roger all of this time. A few years after hearing it in the Don’s presentation of the pilot episode, he imagines it the LSD trip of “Faraway Places” (506). A few years later still, and in a state of semi-sobriety, Roger repeats it to Don.
I hope that Peggy will cross paths with Duck Phillips somehow, who is last seen as a headhunter throughout Season 6. Besides introducing Lou to the agency in “In Care Of” (613), Duck mentions in “The Better Half” (609) that he’s gotten Burt Peterson a vice-president role at McCann. Peggy’s headhunter advises her to work for McCann, so maybe he’ll connect her with Duck, who obviously has connections with McCann.
In “New Business” (709), Roger mentions that he’s avoiding a golf outing with a McCann client because Burt Peterson is the account man. I wouldn’t be surprised if Peterson returns, now that McCann is absorbing SC&P, and with a vengeance. Roger has been mostly responsible for the man’s less-than-dignified firings in “Out of Town” (301) and “Man with a Plan” (607).
Mrs Draper № 4
I think Don’s visit to Diana’s apartment, now occupied by other tenants, is supposed to stir up memories of Adam Whitman’s suicide in “Indian Summer” (111). The man who answers the doors mentions that she had left her furniture, like how Don learns in “The Wheel” (113) that Adam had left his hush money behind. I believe that we’ll see Diana alive again, however.