Tim Tan Huynh

Mad Men episode 712 – “Lost Horizon”

13 May 2015 — Don, Roger, Peggy, and Joan are all trapped, in some way, in the transition to McCann. They deal with their different problems in different ways.


Secretary of the Year

Meredith has proven herself as Don’s secretary, despite Betty’s claim. In this and previous episodes, Meredith has done her best to keep Don on track, both in and out of the office. This Meredith is a far cry from her scatterbrained self in Seasons 5 and 6.

The Lord of the Ring

Meredith shows some of her initiative when she hands Don the envelope of his personal effects, which she’s gathered for safekeeping. Megan has obviously returned the Draper family’s diamond ring to Don, but will it end up on Diana’s finger? Will Don give it to Sally or Bobby?

The Wind Blows…

Don hearing the wind blowing in his office and then checking the window’s integrity is an obvious allusion to the show’s intro, but I doubt that Don falling out a skyscraper to his death will be the show’s ending.

…and McCann Sucks

I believe that Jim Hobart is being genuine when he says that Don is his “white wale.” On the other hand, Don later realizes that Ted and probably other creative directors have been told that they’re going to bring McCann “up a notch,” too. The meeting being full of creative directors and led by a research expert seem to seal the proverbial deal for Don. His ad hoc exit from the meeting, and presumably from the agency, is logical if anti-climactic.

Leaving on a Jet Plane (Not)

Don looking out the window and watching the plane might be reminding him of the last time he’s abandoned his job: he flies to California for business in “The Jet Set” (211), but then he bails on Pete. The plane in the sky could be an allusion to another knee-jerk theory about Don’s ultimate fate; the scene might be acknowledging, though probably not foreshadowing, the idea that he is the man who will become known as DB Cooper.

Harry Crane, Media Guru and Office Jerk

In “A little Kiss” (501), Megan tells Peggy that Don “really doesn’t like” Harry. Pete confronts him about the death of Martin Luther King in “The Flood” (605), and in “The Rejected” (404), Pete blames him for badmouthing Ken to others, which Ken acknowledges. In “To Have and To Hold” (604), Joan and Roger face Harry’s insulting challenge to Joan’s role and Harry’s demand of a partnership. In “Lost Horizon,” Roger does nothing to hide his disdain.

On the other hand, Harry seems to get along with co-workers who aren’t partners. Cooper and Cutler have shown respect for his business moves, too; he’s spearheaded a TV department and introduced computer technology. Will Harry thrive at McCann with his cutting-edge ideas and show-business connections? Or will he clash with the wrong people again and get forced out this time?

Generation Kill

Eric Nenninger is this third actor and second cast member who I recognize from the HBO miniseries. Nenninger plays Bill Phillips, of Conley Research, whose business card is used for Don’s subterfuge in Wisconsin. Eric Laden, the other Generation Kill cast member, has played Betty’s brother William in Seasons 2 and 3. David Warshofksy has appeared as one of the Fillmore brothers in “The Beautiful Girls” (409).

Three Stooges

Joan has to deal with a chauvinist, a lecher, and a cheat. She doesn’t deserve to be treated this way, but she hasn’t always been nice to everyone, either. Joan gives well-meaning if blunt advice to Peggy in “Ladies Room” (102), “Shoot” (109), and “Maidenform” (206); in “Flight 1” (202), Joan belittles the black girlfriend of Paul Kinsey, her ex; and in “Waterloo” (707), she not only votes against Don, she blames him for costing her money.

Sweet Irony

Don has convinced Ted to stay in the advertising business, thereby making the buyout by McCann possible, but once they’re at McCann, Don leaves while Ted watches.

Sigmund “Fraud”

Betty is reading Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria when Don visits. He is humoring Betty when he asks, “Is that what Freud says?,” but I think about the pilot episode in which Don dismisses the agency’s researcher after she talks about Freud’s Death Wish theory.

Sayonora, Ed

Both of Peggy’s underlings who’ve survived the SCDP-CGC merger are gone. Ed speaking Japanese on the phone comes out of nowhere, and I think that he might work with Lou Avery. Even though Ed is defiant with his final work and casual quitting, he seems leave on good terms with Peggy. I think that Peggy might later re-connect with Ed and, in turn, with Mathis and then with Mathis’s brother-in-law Steve.

The Phantom of the Office

Peggy tiptoeing through the office is the most suspenseful moment ever; Roger playing the organ, which has been seen in “Time & Life” (711), might be the funniest. The late Cooper has appeared to Don twice, either as a hallucination created from self-aware emptiness or as an actual phantom. In any case, Cooper’s most identifiable possession is The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife painting that Roger gives to Peggy. It is first seen in “Out of Town” (301).

Leave it Bauer

Don’s visit to Diana’s former home is surprising and not surprising. The unplanned nature of it has probably caught most viewers off-guard, but Don has done this sort of thing more than once. The Bauer household isn’t run-down, but I get the impression that Diana’s daughter is bratty and that her ex-husband is domineering. Her the new Mrs Bauer’s apparent comfort in the home reinforces the notion that Dina has left for good.