'Mad Men' recap: Christ on a cracker! Season 4, Episode 5


The title of this stellar episode was The Chrysanthemum and the Sword in honor of the agency's initially clumsy wooing of the Japanese Honda account. I did a quick bit of glib research on Ruth Benedict's enduring 1945 study. Here's her succinct description of the World War II Japanese mindset: both aggressive and unaggressive, both militaristic and aesthetic, both insolent and polite, rigid and adaptable, submissive and resentful of being pushed around, loyal and treacherous, brave and timid, conservative and hospitable to new ways. If that doesn't sum up Don to a T, I don't know what does. And it fits Betty - the mum if you'll allow me to Don's sword - in some crucial ways as well. Poor Sally's parents are a mess of blinding contradictions.


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