Mad Men Recap: Shock and Awkward

Mad Men Season 6 RecapMartin Luther King Jr.’s tragic assassination takes place during this week’s Mad Men, setting up an episode that finds the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce folk fumbling their way through late 1960s race relations. Spoiler alert: Though usually well intentioned, those interactions are at times unbearably uncomfortable to watch.

The fear and sadness that permeate the hour also knock something loose in Don, who realizes that he actually kind of likes his kids (better late than never?), and serve as a counterpoint for a happy realization of Peggy’s. Let’s review what happens in “The Flood.”

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BEFORE IT ALL BEGINS | At the beginning of the episode, a gussied-up Don and Megan run into the Rosens in the building’s lobby. (Last week’s row about her job is buried/tabled/forgotten, I suppose?) The Drapers are on their way to The Ad Club of New York’s awards dinner; the Rosens are D.C.-bound for a medical conference at which Arnold’s giving the keynote address. They make small talk for a few moments, and Don’s distracted by the nearness of his mistress, who remarks that “Come Monday morning, it’ll all be a dream.” They part ways, and the Drapers arrive at the dinner. Megan makes a beeline for Peggy over at Cutler, Gleason and Chaough’s table, and the two women have a nice, easy quick catch-up. Before all of the horribleness begins, a quick list of things I enjoy about the dinner (in no particular order): the sheer Priscilla Presley-ness of Megan, Peggy’s green bow, Harry Hamlin as Jim Cutler, Peggy’s description of him (“He’s like Roger with bad breath”), Joan’s asymmetrical blue stunner and the fact that Peggy and Megan – neither of whom still work at SCDP – are the only nominees from both that agency and CGC.

Sigh. On to the terrible stuff.  As honored guest Paul Newman is addressing the attendees, someone shouts out that Dr. King has been killed. Amid the growing murmurs, the least sensitive emcee in the world takes the microphone and announces, “Let’s take 10 minutes to talk out this terrible event and then resume the program.” People crowd the payphones; Abe manages to nab a New York Times assignment covering the unrest in Harlem, and he takes off. Unbelievably, the program does continue, with Megan taking home the 1967 Andy Award of Excellence.

At his bachelor pad, Pete calls Trudy and offers to come out and stay at the house to make sure she and Tammy are safe. Though it looks like she wavers for a moment, she eventually tells him no. “I don’t want you to be worried,” he says, making me believe for the very first time in their relationship that he really, truly cares about her. (Yes, this moment – and one we’ll talk about later – makes me like Pete a little. I know. Grief causes people do strange things and all that.)

MEANING WELL, DOING WORSE | The next morning at SCDP, Harry’s bitching about how all of the primetime network preemptions – including their unaired commercials — are upsetting the clients and losing the firm money. Pete’s incensed that his colleague is being so selfish and short-sighted. “It’s a shameful, shameful day!” he bellows, and the pair argue until Bertram steps in and makes them shake hands. (“A” for effort, dude.) Let’s take a moment and talk about how Pete is pretty much the only partner on the right side of history here. Pete! With his hairline and his stupid pick-up lines and his Don envy! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he reverts next week; I’m not sure I’m ready for Campbell making me feel anything other than strong distaste.

Don’s MIA secretary Dawn arrives late and – oh, honey – immediately asks if he wants coffee. Joan comes into Draper’s office to announce that they’re closing early and to give Dawn the most awkward, least comforting hug I’ve witnessed in quite some time. Don still has a 3 pm with some weirdo acquaintance of Roger’s (played by Lost‘s William Mapother), and Dawn says that if he’s staying, she’d rather work than return home. So Don, Stan, Michael and Roger sit down with Randy, a property insurance guy who has a very awful, fear-mongering ad idea that involves a Molotov cocktail, a coupon, Native American chanting and the ghost of MLK Jr. It’s like Randy is a 1960s version of Saturday Night Live‘s Stefon. (And Stan’s giggle during the meeting is awesome. We’re going to assume he’s baked in every single scene for the rest of the season, yes?) After he leaves, Roger remarks, “Someone’s gonna do that idea, you know.” Don’s reply: “Not us.”

“YOU BLEW IT UP!” | National nightmare be damned: Betty won’t take any excuses for why Don can’t come pick up the kids for his joint-custody weekend. So he drives out to the ‘burbs and returns with Sally, Bobby and Gene… then basically allows Megan to have the only interaction with them. She takes Sally and Gene to a vigil in the park, but Bobby – who’s already on Betty’s list for peeling off some wallpaper – fakes illness so he can stay home with dad. Don discerns that Betty grounded their son from the TV… then takes him to the movies to see Planet of the Apes. “Jesus,” young Draper says after the final scene of the flick, his mind officially blown. They stick around for a second showing, which gives Bobby the chance to have a sweet interaction with an African-American usher. It’s hard to tell right then, but Don has a moment as he watches his son.

Of course, that doesn’t stop him from drinking himself silly later that night, leaving Megan to put the kids to bed. “Is this what you really want to be to them when they need you?” she asks him, taking the glass out of his hand. “No,” he responds, then basically admits to faking love for his offspring until witnessing Bobby’s kindness toward the usher. “You feel that feeling you were pretending to have and it feels like your heart is going to explode,” he says, deeply affected. A step in the right direction, I guess?

MOVIN’ ON UP | Peggy puts in an offer on an East Side apartment for her and Abe (New Yorkers, did you laugh or cry at the line about the projected finish of the interminable Second Avenue subway construction?), but eventually loses to another bidder. Abe’s not that sad, which she reads as disinterest in their living situation but which is actually because he wants to raise their kids in a more diverse neighborhood. It’s very worth a rewind to watch Elisabeth Moss nail Peggy’s reaction to his matter-of-fact declaration. This pairing is growing on me.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE | As a result of helping Mayor Lindsey keep the city calm after King’s death, Henry realizes he wants to run for the Republican seat in the state senate. Betty is on board. “I feel like I’ve been asking you to do this since I met you,” she says. He’s also happy that it will allow people to get to know her – though when she later holds up one of her evening gowns and realizes it won’t fit her newly zaftig frame, she seems far less excited. (Am I alone in hoping Betty never loses her weight? Let’s face it: Bugles are good. People get fat. It happens. And the struggle makes her far more interesting/compelling in my book. Thoughts?)

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of Michael’s kinda-date with Beverly – and his admission that he’s a virgin? Do you think Don’s had an epiphany regarding what really matters in his life? What are the odds the Rosens weathered D.C. OK? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Dex P says:

    Awesome episode!!!!!

  2. David J. Schwartz says:

    Yeah, I didn’t read Pete wanting to be out of the city as any concern for Trudy or his daughter; I think he was just scared. His moment of nobility the next day was a little harder to parse until the comment about King’s wife and kids. Pete’s not empathizing; he’s just selfishly equating his own suffering to that of King. Still a douche.

  3. kate says:

    it’s interesting you interpreted Pete’s asking to come home as concern and love. I took it as cowardice and prejudice. it’s also sort of alarming to hear Don admit he didn’t love his kids until, uh, that day. I mean, we all kind of knew it, but it’s another thing to hear him SAY it.

  4. Did we spot a Harry Hamlin appearance?

  5. annea says:

    I didn’t interpret Don’s speech about his kids as him just feeling love for them for the first time that day, but that it wasn’t automatic when they were born, and took him a while to feel it.

    • Ethan says:

      I tend to agree – we’ve seen in the past that Don was a seemingly more caring parent than Betty. It would make sense that he didn’t feel real love right when they were born, but not that he didn’t love them until 1968.

      • Sally Draper's Shadow says:

        Times were different then… men didn’t take part in child-rearing. Don would have never changed a diaper or been up at night for a feeding (despite his philandering, it just wasn’t done) and men weren’t hands-on like they are now. It kind of makes sense for a man of this period to be able to bond with his child when they get old enough to actually converse. And how deeply bittersweet it was at the end when Don realized Bobby’s anxiety and fear was that something might happen to Henry on the campaign trail? It was a stealth and perfect Don Draper response: “Henry’s not that important”. Brilliant.

        • sophie says:

          I don’t know why you would say that Don’s response was brilliant, cause to me it was just another sign how pathetic and jealous he has become.
          Obviously Henry is enough important to Bobby cause he cares about him more then about his own father. I really like Henry, he is the exact opposite of Don and exactly the father figure children need in their lives.
          Oh and why exactly is Don the better parent? Yes, Betty seems cold and strict at times but she never had to actually pretend like she loves her children cause she already does and she doesn’t need a sign from heaven to actually care.

      • Devon says:

        It always seemed like Don had love for Sally but I feel like this is the first time he really felt it towards Bobby, and well poor Jean I guess just has to wait a few years and say something clever that awakens Don’s love for him

  6. Sally Draper's Shadow says:

    This episode was nicely character-driven. Don’s feelings for his son underline the self-searching he seems to be doing this season, his examination of his youth and his preoccupation with mortality. It’s as though he realizes that his children may be his only opportunity to experience immortality. Pete, on the other hand, was only offering to spend time with his daughter to appease his own confusion and grief. Betty… I’d like to see her lose the fat suit. She seems to have learned a few lessons in humility. She might be motivated with the idea of being in the public eye and while I agree with Megan that she’s a true “piece of work” it might be more interesting to see her back at her fighting weight again. Not referring to her physique when I say this, but she’s gotten a little soft. I’d like to see the beautiful (but vulnerable) and cunning Betty return. She’d make a hell of a political wife.

    On an even more superficial note, my highlights were: Joan peering through her glasses to get a better look at Paul Newman, the makeshift bathtub-countertop in the Ginzburg kitchen, and any, any, any Kiernan Shipka appearance.

  7. gerry says:

    The episode begins with everyone having dinner: the Rosens in DC Don and megan at the awards, Ginzberg with his setup date and betty with family. Dinner being the quintessential 60′ s & 70’s family event…but showing here how each character’s life relates to family…withpete ultimately having chinese delivered alone in his sad apartment.
    1. Rosens go to DC while Don & Megan go to AC (advertising club)…it would be ironic if megan were sleeping with doc Rosen (& her miscarriage were an abortion)
    2. For a gjuy sleeping w/ Rosen’s wife, Don is inordinately interested in the doc…calling him in DC
    3. Bobby begins the episode peeling the layer of the present off to reveal the past…presaging Don’s revelation about his emotions and the implied fact that if he felt fake emotions, his father likely did….and so will bobby…until the movie & bobby moving Don.

    • Breshvic says:

      Don, while presumably friends with and at least slightly concerned for the good Doctor neighbor, was more than likely stealthily inquiring because he is more worried about his paramour (whom he is not supposed to ‘fall in love with’).

  8. Sam says:

    Was Bobby being bothered by the wallpaper implying he is developing obsessive compulsive tendencies? I wonder if they would use this as a chance to explore the taboo of mental illness back then.

    • Perhaps, and that would definitely be an interesting story arc… but I think the fact that we all saw the wallpaper misaligned is supposed to be a little irking to all of us, and maybe an indicator that things in this episode were going to be… off. I know I did little things like that when I was a kid, and I’m not OCD. What interests me more is Betty’s typically overdramatic reaction, and the adorable way that Bobby tries to cover it up/lie by omission/frame the story differently to his dad.

  9. Kris says:

    I have a very strong feeling that the doctor and his wife (Don’s mistress) were killed during all the mayhem. When Jon Hamm was on Live With Kelly and Michael he said Linda was in a “few episodes” which leads me to believe she is not going to be on for the entire season. I feel like something bad happened to them.

  10. rebecca says:

    It says everything that Bobby was more upset about something happening to Henry than to Don. Henry is the father and husband to Betty and the kids that Don refused to be. I have a feeling that Henry will die this season and Don’s petty comment about him not being important will come back to haunt him when he realizes that the kids love Henry more than they love him.

    please get Betty out of that stupid fat suit!!

    And don’t even get me started on Jessica Pare’s horrible acting in this episode. What does Weiner see in her??

  11. Joe says:

    I can’t take another scene with January Jones in that fat-chin prothesis. The thing is not well made and the fakeness of it draws so much attention, I can’t look away long enough to focus on Jones’ equally-prosthetic poor acting. I’ve always though she was a weak link in a show of fantastic actors and the weight gain plot line and ridiculous fat suit are not helping her. I’m hoping (and trusting) that there is some point to this plot that will be revealed later. Maybe Betty dies as a result of a radical diet to try and fit into that dress before Henry is senator?

    Otherwise, I think the episode did a decent job of portraying the awkward fracturing of everyday life that comes from a major tragedy. Rote routines suddenly become surreal, with their insignificance magnified. The limits of emotional bonds in the workplace are strained as everyone does a dance trying to figure out what feelings can be shared without forever breaching the comfortable roles and walls that have been established. I don’t think it was as masterful a portrayal of human interaction as Mad Men has showed in the past, but it was good.

    It seems the writers are on a full-blown mission to make Don completely unlikeable. His grandiose, over-intellectualized observation about how he faked loving his children until he took one of them to a movie and saw him being nice to someone was vomit-inducing. Don is such a despicable character, I loved when Bobby unintentionally socked him in the gut by admitting he was afraid Henry (and not Don) could be shot.

    I have a feeling Don won’t be making it to the last season of Mad Men. I think the final season will be post-Don’s-death (or perhaps post-another disappearing/identity makeover) and will be about the kind of scars someone like that leaves behind.

    On the upside, I just can’t get enough of Peggy!

  12. MadMenFanatic says:

    Can I ask a serious question because I wasn’t alive back then:

    Were the reactions from all these White people realistic? It seemed more like this is how the writer WANTED these characters to react/behave over the assassination rather than how comparable real people in their shoes would have reacted.

    Yes, huge loss — but not sure it had as big as an impact into the White community as it was portrayed here. Just last year, they were new to having a Black employee!

    Just asking!

    • Kathy says:

      You are 100% correct in your suspicion. I lived through this and while MLK’s death was a shock, it was more along the lines of, “oh, crap, now what?” — Except for some outliers, members of the white community did not look to MLK as their hero. The loss was NOT equal to the loss felt when JFK was killed. No matter what the PC factions would like everyone to believe. Revisionism is my number one pet peeve, as I think history should be recorded in all of its unpleasantness. When I watched the JFK episode, I felt Mad Men portrayed the reaction of the characters with perfection. This episode not so much. At the time, most white people’s reaction followed that of Betty – concern for the volatility of the situation, rather than expression at the loss of a personal hero.

      I anticipated this story line, and thought that with the emergence of Dawn from the background, Mad Men would deal with the death of MLK by showing the contrast of its effect on the African American characters vs the mainstream characters.

      No way, did the lilly white Madison Avenue ad men internalize the assassination as a personal loss. Harry more accurately portrayed what their reaction would have been then Pete, who was totally unbelievable in his outrage.

      • Lindsay says:

        I’m glad this was brought up. I was born long after this period and was quite surprised at the intensity of their reactions. Thanks for the insight Kathy- that sounds more realistic.

      • Pete was quite believable in his outrage, because it mirrored him having the strongest reaction to Kennedy, AND being the only one who really looked disgusted at Roger in black face. Pete is a weasel, but this is been an area where he has been consistent.

      • MadMenFanatic says:

        thanks, Kathy — I appreciate that insight!

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I wondered about this all too. Up to this point it seems like the characters gloss over what’s happening with civil rights. Like anything major that happens in the country with that is just some news story on the radio in the background while they’re dealing with their own personal lives. And I suspected that was probably an accurate historical portrayal. The characters seem to do much the same thing with Vietnam. They ignore it for the most part. In a way I kind of like that, because it’s truthful to what was really going on with that generation and social class.
        I do think someone like Pete would have been hypocritically outraged though, because Pete sees himself as a progressive liberal. He thinks he’s a Kennedy. I’m not saying he is a progressive liberal, I’m just saying he sees himself that way, so he absolutely would express outrage over the events even if he didn’t actually feel outrage.

    • fantod says:

      People who were politically liberal at the time took Dr. King’s death very hard. He had been speaking out against the Vietnam War and in favor of social justice for the poor and left-behind of all races. Some people thought he might run for political office someday. (The Rev. Jesse Jackson, part of his circle, later ran for President in the Democratic primary twice, so that wasn’t implausible.) In contrast to the more extreme members of the Black Panthers, for instance, he was the civil-rights leader who was willing and able to work with white leaders. Just as both Kennedy assasinations made people feel as if they were living in an unstable banana republic, so did the assassination of Dr. King — in all three cases, it seemed improbable that a lone, marginal person could have done it independently. So yes, it made white people feel terrible, too.

      • Kathy says:

        I do understand what you are saying, but I still think the episode portrayed the event through the enlightened 2013 views of social justice. There is a difference between people ‘feeling bad’ and the sucker-punch response that was depicted by most of the characters in the episode and I just don’t think that was an accurate depiction of the event and how it played out in 1968. I am disappointed in how Mad Men folded this historic event into its story. I feel it was tainted by political-correctness. MLK was not as revered (although respected) in 1968 as he has come to be in the time since. If there was a group of people who had little appreciation or concern for the plight of the minorities in America in 1968 it was the very characters in this show, so their portrayed response to this seemed forced to me.

        The relevance and impact of MLK’s message was really not a given at the time. I think that when he was assassinated, most white people felt bad, sure, and really concerned that the racial tensions that had been building would escalate to dangerous levels, but I don’t think that most felt the loss of a personal hero.

        I wished that Mad Men would have used the event to depict what this tremendous loss meant at the time to the African American community.

        • The Beach says:

          Kathy, as another person who lived through that era, I found both of your posts on this subject to be spot-on and very well stated.

        • Reginald says:

          Exactly, these people would only have cared about how the problem impacted them. I’ve been searching online for some other people who noticed how fake this episode was. If the writers did the opposite and portrayed the raw realness of the situation, I would have had a lot more respect for this show. No body wants to identify as the racist when depicting the civil rights movement. It wasn’t us, it was those other white people or those southern white people or I would never have acted that way if in that situation at that time in history. Give me a break.

  13. cfm says:

    I knew the MLK assassination was on the horizon and had assumed it was why we had been given the brief view of Dawn’s personal life outside of work: so we would get to see her reaction to the awful news. I was surprised and disappointed when we didn’t. Then I realized it was by design. Like Megan asking Don, “do you think your secretary is okay?” I as a viewer wondering the same thing. When we finally do see her, she’s all business. But she’s trying to live the MLK dream and work with these people whose trash resembles that of a New Years party.
    Peggy’s secretary’s reaction was heartbreaking. She had felt it was going to happen and angry people were rioting over the death of a nonviolent leader.
    The diner worker dropping the dishes as the news comes over the airwaves, the movie usher quietly doing his job. These little glimpses were so telling and subtly moving.
    I think Pete was scared to be in the city. Trudy used the word “shameful” to describe the assassination when talking to Pete before he used it with Harry. Pete even asked the delivery man if things had calmed down out there.
    Peggy was concerned about living in the area, Don was concerned for Sylvia, Harry was concerned for the clients, Megan was upset by her father’s reaction, Abe wanted the big story, Roger thought MLK’s words would save him, Henry found it exhilarating, Peggy didn’t want to watch but felt guilty turning off the TV, Bobby feared Henry would get shot, Ginsberg went home to tell his father. Our reactions to a national tragedy definitely are tells into what’s important to us in that moment.

    • cfm says:

      *Betty didn’t want to watch the TV, not Peggy

    • Rob says:

      I can’t agree with you more. I just wanted to say that I thought this was a very well thought out post and really spot on with everyone’s desires and hopes and fears in the moment. I have to say, I too was disappointed by their “use” of Dawn. I knew that she would factor in. But I wanted more of that. I wanted Don to worry about her when she didn’t show up. For some reason, I felt like he would be more concerned about her, but I guess not. Also, I do not like this continuing assassination of Joan’s character. That hug was brutal to watch, not just for the intended purpose, but because I felt like Joan would have more sensitivity to this situation than they made her have. I have no idea what they’re doing with her character. I agree that I felt Peggy’s scene with her secretary was far more compelling than the one with Don and Dawn and that, to me, was a mistake on the part of the writers of this episode. I knew the MLK assassination was around the corner, but I was expecting something far more “epic” (for lack of a better word) after what they did with the JFK assassination episode. I think this was a beautiful episode, but it should (and could) have been different. I look forward to the Kennedy Assassination coming up to see how they relate this event to that event.

      But, I really wanted to thank you for that comment. It was incredibly insightful.

  14. Talmidge says:

    I didn’t interpret Don’s speech as him saying he didn’t love his kids until that day but I think it meant that this was the first time. I think he loved his kids because that’s what I father is supposed to do. In fact the times he’s around them I actually kinda thought he was a pretty good dad. I think it was that moment when bobby was talking to the usher that he realized his kids were real people and he started loving his son not because he felt he needed to but because it was genuinely there.

  15. penny says:

    The Harry Hamlin apperance really threw me. However, his blatent drooling and repeated stares at Megan leads me to believe they will hook up . The repeated leers at her cannot be a coincidence. Many times there is a foreshadowing in the episodes.

  16. Pat D. says:

    Like Kathy above, I read Pete’s little debate with Harry as grandstanding. I didnt buy for a second that he gave a damn about MLK either dead or alive, merely that he was putting on a show for people “Hey, how about that Pete—he’s deep; he cares!”. Pete seemed to be saying all of the right things in faux outrage while nothing in his expression convinced me he believed a word of it. Kudos to Vince for that scene.

  17. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    Nice to see Ted’s wife again – Nan [Timi Prulhiere]. I like her. We last saw her in S4.5 – ‘The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.’ I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been fascinated with the Ted-Nan combo. She seems very uneasy about Ted’s work, and he referenced her a couple of episodes back in ‘The Doorway’, telling Peggy that he needed to spend some uninterrupted time with her during the holidays. There seems to be an age difference between the two as well – I can’t imagine that’s by accident. Matt’s too careful for that. If Ted and Peggy get something going, I would love to see a Don and Nan interaction – she just seems like a ‘Don kind of woman – a kindred spirit’ – someone who could really challenge him and someone with a tormented soul and unease Don might respect.
    The song playing at the end of the episode was/is the beautiful and popular ‘Love is Blue’ instrumental by Paul Mauriat. The song was huge back in 1968, and has been evergreen ever since. The album cover/LP is very collectible, and interesting to note that the young lady on that LP cover has a strong ‘Megan vibe’ going for her.

    • Lyn says:

      Yes, and you just know that the fact it was a French composition — “L’amour es bleu” — figured in to its placement at the end. I found that it ran through my head all day, along with the nice memory of a time when an instrumental (like this song featuring a harpsichord, or one by, say, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass) actually could be a huge pop music hit!

  18. GG says:

    I think that Joan sincerely did try to hug Dawn. Dawn is the one who did not resposond to the hug becuse Dawn was trying to remain business like. I considered Dawn’s response fascinating. Dawn tried to remain centered and professional as the others scammered
    I also think that Dawn was shocked by the reaction of the Caucasion people around her.As an African American living in 1968 Dawn has already witnessed tragedy and violence among her people and she knows how to proceed forward

    I thought the writers did an excellent job writing Dawn’s reaction

    i agree with the post that stated that New York Ad Men could and still can be very liberal. Also,. this was not a time when 24 hour cable news bombarded us with constant scenes of violence In 1968. Tthe murder of a man the caliber of Martin Luther king would have riveted many. Within the swell of decadence, in 1968 there was still a sensibility of innocence about a high profile person being killed

    By the way, when Don stated that Henry was not inportant enough to be killed, i thought the phrase was glib and hilarious Tthroughout the show, I always did scense that Don loved his children

    On another subject, I always did think that Gene might be the child of the man with whom Betty had the one night stand. A few seasons ago, when Betty was shown resenting Don and thus Don’s children, she was shown pouring on the affection to baby Gene

    I also think that Meagan may have had a feeling that Don is sleeping with the neighbor. That is why Meaghan told the doctor’s wife about the miscarriage to let the Dr’s wife know that Don is still also bedding Meagan and thus staking Meagan’s territory

    • Gretchen H says:

      I think Gene is Don’s son. Betty had the liason with the stranger after she went to her doctor and talked to him about having an abortion — so she was already pregnant at the time of the affair.

  19. gina says:

    I was confused with this episode after last weeks confrontation between Meagan and Don and now everything is OK. Didn’t make much sense after calling your wife a whore

  20. Gus says:

    Its fiction. Get over it. Hamm acting and dumb people talking and moving like robots.

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  22. Geoco76 says:

    I’m impressed by the great insights on this board! I totally agree – in retrospect, that the impact of the MLK assassination is way overplayed. It’s also true there is nothing about Pete Campbell that would indicate he’d be at all affected by it, but in his case it’s fairly clear he is actually channeling anger and frustration for events in his personal life.

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