Monday, August 2, 2010

Don Draper's Unlucky Strike

While Don Draper isn't too fickle about who he sleeps with, he knows he fucked this one up.

After leaving the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Xmas party, Don had left his keys in his office in his usual drunken form. While he was ready to jump on the firm's psych consultant or the cute nurse across the hall, there are some lines Don doesn't cross.

Which of course he did when he nailed his own googly-eyed secretary after she came to the rescue with the keys in one of the queasiest scenes in the show's history. Alcohol is a hell of a drug. Just ask Freddy Rumsen, returning to the agency clean and sober after 16 months.

So what makes Don so different from Big Tobacco heir Lee Garner, Jr.? While the Lucky Strike prince can make any demands he wants (they are the #1 client responsible for some 70% of SCDP's billings), he does so in the brashest possible fashion.

Lee Garner, Jr. can threaten to fire the agency if he isn't accommodated by Art Director Salvatore Romano in a same-sex tryst. That was the likely tipping point for the likable character's departure from the firm last year.

Or he can pull out his swinging dick (figuratively of course) and demean the boss, Roger Sterling, in front of the entire agency, forcing him to be Santa at the Xmas party and putting his hands on Roger's wife. But Roger handles it with charm.

Nobody seems to know exactly what Roger Sterling does. When he comes back drunk from a client meeting, Peggy says, "I can't believe that's his job." But it's the ability to keep the big fish clients, the quirky, greedy, selfish perverts and their insatiable appetites...happy.

So back to the scoundrel tale of the tape:

Lucky Strike's Lee Garner Jr. is a bully who gets what he wants through sheer power and intimidation.

Don Draper uses his power to persuade and use and hurt people to get what he wants, from the same people who only want to please him.

"The morning after" meeting with his secretary was just as icy and sad as it could possibly be. He thanked her for bringing him his keys, which translates into "last night never happened." Allison gets a $100 bonus on a generic holiday card, while Don walks out of the office with the presents for his kids that she shopped for and immaculately wrapped.

Who is the more dangerous predator?

1 comment:

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