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Fridge Brilliance

  • Loads. This show greatly benefits from a close viewing.
    • The best might be the scenes of Don's father and his relationship and how Don seems stuck following the same path, until Don finally breaks free.
    • Lane Pryce is the only one with a Mets Pennant. It's 64, the Mets are new, and the rest of them have long lasting loyalties, but both the Giants and Dodgers just left meaning the rest of the office either is Yankee fans or heart broken.
  • There is a scene somewhere in the series (this troper unfortunately forgot the exact episode) where we see Don Draper read "The Great Gatsby", by F. Scott Fitzgerald. That's when the sheer amount of similarities between the book's protagonist Jay Gatsby and Don Draper dawned upon me, and I realized that Gatsby was probably an inspiration in the creation of the Don Draper character (SPOILERS ahead):
    • They are both a typical embodiment of The American Dream, both coming from very poor families and, by themselves, climbing their way up the social ladder.
    • They both got to where they are by shady means, Jay by bootlegging and Don by manipulating Roger Sterling to get his career defining job.
    • They both carry around a personality that isn't their own; Jay Gatsby is really Johnny Gatz and Don Draper is really Dick Whitman (although Jay Gatsby hasn't explicitly committed identity theft, as Don has).
    • To a certain extent, the reason for their false personalities could be that they literally needed "a new name", to even get remotely accepted in the upper social classes, in spite of their piss poor heritage.
    • They are both suave and dashing on the outside, but have a shady, dark and troubled past.
    • And, by god, this troper had another realization. The "F" in Donald F. Draper and F. Scott Fitzgerald both stand for, guess what, Francis. You might scold me for WMG'ing here, but it's just too good of a coincidence for me!
  • Bertram Cooper is at several occasions seen recommending Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged". Later in the series this troper realized that he is the embodiment of Ayn Rand's objectivist ethical philosophy - he is the ultimate ethical egoist / rationally selfish man. This means all his actions are, in one way or another, directed by a pragmatic attitude of what he thinks best for himself, not some predefined idealism of what is "right". How can we see this? When he first finds out the truth about Don's identity and desertion, he doesn't give a shit, because Don is a giant resource for the company, and by extension, himself. When he later needs Don to sign a contract, and is close to loosing the giant resource that Don is (which would hurt himself and his wealth), he has absolutely no qualms blackmailing him with said knowledge, forcing him to sign the contract, and thus, securing his resource. Berty doesn't care if desertion or blackmail is somehow "wrong" and "unethical". If it can help him and his situation, he's OK with it.

  Bert Cooper, after learning the truth about Don: There is more profit in forgetting this right now.

  • Mad Men: In episode one of season two, Don sends a copy of Meditations in an Emergency to an unknown person, with a note saying "Made me think of you. -- D." Several episodes later we find out that it went to Anna, the widow of the real Don Draper. I didn't realized he'd signed it just "D" until I rewatched 2x01, but of course he did that because to her he's Dick or replacement-Don, not Don.
    • Also, it gives him some cover. For Anna, he's signing it as Dick, if anyone else finds it, he can claim he's signing it as Don.

  • Fridge Horror: A major part of Peggy's season 2 storyline was her coming to terms with her surprise pregnancy and the birth of her child at the end of season 1. At first it seems like just incredibly powerful denial on her part. Fast forward to Season 3's The Fog which shows what it was like for a woman to give birth in the mid-sixties, specifically twilight sleep. It was horrifying for Betty to be drugged into an amnesiac state while giving birth, but at least she had been there before. Now imagine Peggy, who had no idea what to expect and DIDN'T REALIZE SHE WAS PREGNANT, to suddenly be put in that state....
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