[Review & Recap] Mad Men: Season 5 Episode 5 "Signal 30"
“It might have been living in the country that was making him cry. It was killing him with its silence, and loneliness, making everything ordinary too beautiful to bear.” — Dave Algonquin
Named after the gruesome Driver’s Education video that shows the perils of car accidents, Episode 5 explores relationships; business and otherwise, and the lines that can be drawn, blurred or crossed. Signal 30 isn’t the only cautionary tale. Within the episode Peter Campbell comes face to face with what he thinks he wants and what he actually has.
“Signal 30” opens with its namesake playing from a projector in a classroom. Pete Campbell sits, watching, snickering inappropriately at the gory details. A teenage girl named Jenny Gunther sits diagonally across from him. He stares longingly at her face, then her body, trailing down to her feet as she shakes a crossed leg dangling a flip flop. The flip, flop transforms into the drip, drop of a leaky faucet in his Cos Cob, Connecticut home. Who knows how long it’s gone on; Trudy doesn’t even hear it anymore. To Peter it’s a glaring annoyance. So much so he must get out of bed in the middle of the night and fix it.
Cut to Lane and his wife Rebecca at home, preparing to take in some “football” with fellow British “immigrants.” Lane is reluctant, but sucks it up to make his wife happy. He tells her he’ll pretend to have a good time. And pretend he does, laughing and drinking it up with his new acquaintances the Bakers. It’s July 30, 1966 and England bested West Germany for the World Cup Final.
As the work week begins, Ken Cosgrove walks into a diner and runs into Peggy Olson. He appears uncomfortable, and reluctant to introduce her to his gentleman companion. Peggy assumes it’s a business associate, and it is, just not the kind she thinks. Joan is back in the office and running the partner meetings. Much to everyone’s surprise and Pete’s displeasure, Lane has a bit of new business. He shares that his new contact Edwin Baker, is an exec at Jaguar and has set up a business dinner. The other partners offer him advice on sealing the deal, knowing that client relations is not his forte. The most humorous being Roger, who likens the meeting to a date where you relax, act as if you have nowhere to go and wait until they tell you everything you want to know. “It’s hard to make a mistake, you just lie,” he assures him. –next—More Recap