Mad Men: Flight 1

Season 2: Episode 2

The episode starts out with an announcement that a plane has gone down; thankfully it’s not a Mohawk Airlines plane, but an American Airlines (the rival) plane. For some reason, this seems to spark an energy and a motivation in Duck Phillips that isn’t unanimous throughout the office.

We then learn that Peter’s father was on the plane and we see a whole different side of him once this is brought to the watcher’s attention. His attitude and the way he carries himself reminds me of when you finish a really great book series and you aren’t quite sure what to do with your life. It seems as though Peter has never had to grieve a loss like this before.

He wanders around the office aimlessly and for some peculiar reason, goes into Don’s office. Peter and Don don’t have a very positive relationship; it’s almost like Don is his work father and Peter is the son who can never seem to please Don. His relationship with Don is almost the exact same as it was with his real father which might explain why Peter goes to him.

As the episode carries on, we see Peter become more saddened by his loss and we begin to feel sorry for him for the first time in the entire series. He comes off as this lost soul who is conflicted about who to turn to for guidance. The real kicker though is that Duck decides he wants to drop Mohawk and take on American Airlines and asks Peter to attend the dinner in which he tells an executive at American Airlines! It is at that point the viewer begins to really empathize with him.

Duck however, has no apparent conviction over dropping a very loyal and perfectly fine company for one who is in serious trouble. And it seems that Don is the only one in the office (besides Peter) who sees the issue with that; there’s nothing wrong with the Mohawk account except for that it interferes with American Airlines. It’s not like Mohawk is poisonous to the company (it is actually the exact opposite; a Mohawk airline didn’t fall out of the sky unexpectedly). Oddly enough, Peter shows up to the American Airlines meeting, and he seems to push for it, rather enthusiastically.

Despite his objection, it is Don who is “voluntold” to inform the Mohawk Airline president about the change in business. Two things strike me about this meeting:

1. Henry (Mohawk Airlines) expresses his admiration for the Japanese restaurant he meets Don in, stating it “reminds [me} of Pearl Harbour.” This strikes me as interesting because this represents a thought process of what I’m assuming is many people at the time who fought in World War II.

2. Don is tempted by a waitress at the restaurant to hook-up in a way that is familiar to Don Draper and he declines. This is striking because this is at least the 5th episode in a row that we don’t see him sleeping with someone other than his wife.

And we mustn’t forget about Peggy and her little boy. This is the first time that we see her interact with her child; first in the middle of the episode when she visits her mother and sister, where we learn the child is living there and again at the end of the episode when Peggy shows up to church in what appears to be the first time in a while. When her family goes up to receive communion, Peggy falls back and is “stuck” with the baby, who does not take to her very well.

In her interactions with the child, it seems as though Peggy looks resentful and approaches the child with a sort of hatred almost. I guess that will happen when you are a Catholic woman who didn’t know you were carrying an illegitimate child. It also does not help that her sister and mother clearly are not entirely pleased with the situation and do not try to hide their feelings.


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