'Mad Men': Why it's great to see Freddy again
On last night's "Mad Men," Freddy Rumsen -- the joke-cracking copywriter who drank his way out of a job at Sterling Cooper -- made his triumphant return to the AMC series's advertising world by bringing the Pond's Cold Cream account straight to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and (kinda sorta) getting his job back.
It was fantastic to see him again, especially since the last time he appeared he had just gotten fired after wetting his pants and passing out at the office. You know, a typical Monday on the job. Such treatment, especially after Freddy -- played by Joel Murray, brother of Bill -- had clearly demonstrated his numerous, invaluable talents to his colleagues:
Suffice it to say, Freddy's return was more than welcome and we hope he sticks around for many episodes to come. Here are five reasons why.
Freddy's straight-forward rapport with Roger. Even though Roger Sterling was ultimately responsible for letting Freddy go, he clearly has a fondness for the man, who worked for Roger's dad back in the day. And that's why Freddy can walk into Roger's oh-so-mod office, dangle a multi-million-dollar account in front of the silver fox and then point out that the polka-dot, vaguely psychedelic painting on Roger's wall appears to be sucking both of them into its vortex.
As he demonstrated during last night's episode, Freddy can eat a heaping roast beef sandwich while simultaneously smoking a cigarette. Granted, that's par for the '60s-era course as far as unhealthy "Mad Men" behavior goes. Still, there's something impressive about watching that much cholesterol and nicotine enter the same middle-aged body all at once.
The fascinating dynamic between Freddy and Peggy. When Freddy took his "extended leave of absence," Peggy slid into his job and his office. When the two of them got to collaborate on the Pond's account in last night's episode, the discussions of cold cream appeal revealed the many layers in the relationship -- a bit of father/daughter, mentor/mentee, friend-to-friend and old school vs. new school. "You're old-fashioned," Peggy told Freddy rather meanly, while he duly noted that Peggy still harbors some traditional values since she clearly wants to get married.
The back-and-forth between the two is far more fascinating than anything that's happening between Peggy and her frisky boyfriend Mark, aka Karl from "Lost." Hey, maybe that's part of the problem. Mark clearly belongs with Danielle Rousseau.
Freddy's newfound sobriety. The reformed Freddy Rumsen has been sober for 16 months and is doing his best to keep it that way, even if it means avoiding the company Christmas party. He even provided support for his fellow alcoholic friend at Pond's, who got knocked completely off the wagon courtesy of a boozy lunch with Roger. For Freddy's sake, I am totally hoping he stays sober and on the right track. For the sake of great television, I can't wait until he too falls off the wagon and has another "accident" at work.
More zipper music! As demonstrated above, Freddy can play Mozart with his pants zipper. If he is again a permanent part of the "Mad Men" crew, one can only hope he gets the opportunity to further explore his talent. Maybe he can play something by Frank Sinatra? The Beatles? The possibilities for Freddy, the Man With the Musical Trousers are endless, especially now that he seems capable of getting through an entire day without accidentally wetting them.
| August 2, 2010; 12:25 PM ET
Categories: Pop Culture, TV
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