08 April 2008

Don's Babylon Three

Plenty of spoilers ahoy for Les Hommes Foux (tagline: What you are, what you want, what you love doesn't matter. It's all about how you sell it. Hmm...), episode six. After prepping for new GG episodes by reading TWOP's snarkalicious recaps, I got myself into a recapping state of mind...

What's this? A lovely breakfast-in-bed-to-be being made, complete with freshly-squeezed OJ and pretty tulips in a vase! But...Don Draper is preparing it; that can't be right - Alpha Males don’t make breakfast (unless they’ve done something really bad)! Walking upstairs, he trips and falls, spilling the contents of the tray all over himself. Foreshadowing of his impending fall from grace? Nah, not this time; it's a flashback to when he was a kid called Dick Whittington and had a cat and a half-brother. Perfect, blonde people materialise (back in the "real" world) almost immediately and yes, it's mother's day, hence the breakfast for the mommy in the house. Well, it's the thought that counts...

That night, DD is in bed in his favourite, blue PJs, reading a book called The Best of Everything (more foreshadowing? Further indication that he intends to have the best of all possible worlds? Quite possibly). Perfect Blonde Wife, meanwhile, is too busy being jealous of Joan Crawford (whose eyebrows freak her out), although she says that when she's Crawford's age, she will just want to disappear. She also has unresolved mommy issues; oh and she's still seeing that shrink of hers, thus marring DD's otherwise perfect existence. She tries to get him to admit that he fancies basically every MM character in a skirt but he's not as easily fooled as that. He distracts her by pouncing on her, after she tells him she "got an A in reproductive bio" while he admits he "flunked" and thus needs practice; he only flunked because he got caught cheating, sez PBW. Hmm... That's a little overly-perceptive at this stage in the series, PBW! She's still well up for it, though, she tells him. She thinks about fucking him all day long and spends all of her evenings primping and tarting herself up while he's tarting himself off with his assorted birds. "You have me," he assures her. "No, really."

The next day, the ad lads have a new project: marketing
Israel as a tourist destination ("if Beirut is the Paris of the East, then Haifa can be the Rome"). They don't have any ideas but that's OK because this pitch was just a thinly-veiled excuse to allow Double D to call "his favourite Jew," Rachel, AKA The Client. The one he kissed on the roof of her department store and then told her about the whole marriage thing. She was not impressed.

DD's boss Rodge also has family issues (recurring theme?). His overbearing wife and daughter pay a visit to the office - naturally, DD checks out the daughter. Rodge moans about how the daughter's a bit useless and yeah, she had it tough with one ex going off to join the army and the other killing himself but still. Oh, and Rodge is shagging Feisty Joan, the office manager, AKA Red (Rodge is very creative with nicknames). This isn’t a massive surprise. Red likes the pearl necklace he gave her (presumably not the item of jewellery or she'd be wearing it, right?) but not the room service of hotels, though she does like their little soaps. Oh, and he doesn't want to share her with her roommate so tries to persuade her to buy her own flat. She saved his marriage, after all - he was so unhappy he was going to leave his wife until he met Red! Aren't men super? Oh, and he's fed up of sneaking around, though Red sagely notes that that's his favourite part. She's pretty realistic though and says no – few of the women in this series are on the fence in this respect; they're either hardcore cynics or die-hard romantics. "We both know I'll find a more permanent situation and you'll find a new model," she surmises.

DD is hard at work on the Visit Israel! pitch; a photo of a pretty Jewish girl sets off flashbulbs in his head. It's time to call The Client. He arranges a date business meeting with her, although she haggles him down from dinner to lunch. Obviously, because she’s Jewish she drives a hard bargain. Later, DD is reading Exodus - research for his date pitch. PBW is surprised because he never reads (apart from when he does, as was the case, like, yesterday... Wake up, PBW! It's no wonder he cheats on you if you don't pay attention to these things.). PBW tries to help out by telling DD that her first kiss was with a Jewish boy; who'd'a' thunk that WASPy McWASP would have kissed a non-Aryan, eh? She then tries to get it on but DD would rather fantasise about his own kiss-with-a-Jew and/or read his book (title Exodus). Burn.

The next day, the ad lads are doing Project Lipstick, only they don't know a thing about lipsticks (or care much either). It seems they don’t know very much about anything – good things they’re only there to make DD look even better! Red rounds up the troops (the secretaries) into a room with a one-way mirror, and then provides them with a vast array of lipsticks while some stern Fraulein from the lipstick company ("Belle Jolie" - beautiful pretty? Definitely in need of some brand strategy) interrogates them about their lipstick habits. They even get to do some brain-storming (the word "brain" scares most of them but the sight of a rainbow of (red) lipsticks distracts them). Meanwhile, the men letch away behind the glass. Rodge enjoys a great view of Red's very curvy, red-clad ass - obviously she knows he's watching, which only makes her cocktease all the more. Peggy ("mouse ears" to the lads) feels a bit out of place amid all the glamour but she gets the last laugh because her comments (she calls the tissues used by the women to blot their lips a "bucket full of kisses") earn her the chance to do some copy writing. Get in!

Rachel is in red too but in a suit that is much classier than Red's red dress. In fact, there are plenty of references to red in this episode (Castro and Kruschev are referenced later on too) - are we on red alert? Is disaster about to strike? Is all this really foreshadowing? Either way, The Client has obviously been badly burned by D-Squared. After his attempts to sweet talk her fail, she insists they talk business and he tells her about the convenient plot device known as Project
Israel. No, she's not the only Jew in the city but she is his favourite (smooth, D, very smooth). Then he spills his drink on his tie (intentionally or does The Client really make his composure slip that much?) and she, of course, dabs it clean. He wants a unique insight from her - something you can't find from reading a book (I'm beginning to think that all of DD's supposed creative genius is actually pirated from the many birds in his life; watch your back, Mouse Ears, or he'll pull a Working Girl on you). She says that Jews have been exiled all over the world and so are good at doing business with people who hate them. I don't hate you (sg/pl?), he sez, and holds her hand. She doesn't object but then goes off on some philosophical tangent about how in Greek, Utopia can mean two things - "the good place" and "the place that cannot be" (one senses etymology isn't her primary concern, here; subtext: you’re hot but your wife thinks so too so we can't do this; please don't make me). Then she tells him not to bill her for lunch and storms off.

Later, The Client is debriefing with Barbara, her sister. She really likes Double D and he even has all his hair and is sometimes funny (after a couple of drinks)! What a catch!, thinks Babs. The Client wants him, though, and she wants to ignore everything else about him. She's on the side of the cynics too and tells her sister that people don't marry for love any more and that good things may come but there is rarely any future in them. She doesn't tell her sister about PBW but Babs is married and can probably guess. The good catches are always married.

It's a busy day for DD, though, as he heads off to see Midge (Independent-Woman-in-Chief) for a quickie before the 5.31. Midge answers the door in her knickers and is about to lose a lot more of her clothing but then her, er, friend Roy arrives.
Roy isn't too impressed to see a shoeless DD, although it's clear that whatever he and Midge are to each other, they aren't exclusive. Roy invites them both to a soiree downtown; DD says no ta but Midge talks him into it by promising to wear a skirt with no knickers. Cheeky minx. He isn't too impressed with the ents, though, and after a pissing contest with anti-establishment Roy (who asks how DD sleeps at night given that he is "perpetuating the lie"), someone starts singing "By the Waters of Babylon" - a nice, acoustic version - which sends DD into montage mode. He has some inspirashun for Project Israel and then as the singer sings "we remember thee, Zion," he thinks about The Client, who is also montaging, looking very Jewish; then there's PBW, looking WASPish and applying make-up on the PB daughter so that one day, she too can primp herself up for someone who is off gallivanting; oh, and DD looking all emo (nice one, Double D - going on a date with a girl and her fuck buddy and thinking about PBW and The Client); finally, there's Red and Rodge getting dressed - for the last time? - both looking sad, as they go down to catch their cabs. IT'S ALL SO TERRIBLY UNFAIR. "Fate" sure ain't being kind this week...

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