Even in loss of life, Miss Blankenship supplies one among Mad Males’s funniest moments. When she expires unexpectedly at her desk in season 4 episode 9 “The Stunning Women”, her exit results in some some grade A clowning. Nonetheless upright on her wheelie chair, her corpse draped in a blanket that leaves her legs comically uncovered, she’s wheeled throughout the again of shot in a silent farce. Don and co.’s eyes widen as they try to maintain their assembly on observe whereas, behind their purchasers’ heads, Pete and Joan push Miss Blankenship to a greater place.
It’s solely afterwards, when Ida’s being borne away in additional dignified fashion on a medical gurney, that Mad Males as soon as once more justifies its title as Finest Written TV Present of All Time. (Sure, we are able to combat about it, however to warn you, I’ll win.) Bert Cooper, the one member of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce crew to have made the journey across the solar extra occasions than his ex-secretary, stubs out the enjoyable with emotions. Actor Robert Morse fantastically deflates Cooper with grief and everyone sobers up – figuratively, in fact, that is nonetheless Mad Males.
Later, tasked with writing Miss Blankenship’s obituary, inveterate advert man Cooper is annoyed that he can’t give you the proper slogan to ship her on her method. Pacing round Roger Sterling’s workplace, he berates himself for an absence of concepts. Roger in fact is aware of precisely what to do – name Joan, who calmly and successfully begins drafting copy. The obit fills out with sort however bland platitudes: loyal pal, devoted caretaker, quietly in her sleep… “What’s her occupation? Secretary?” asks Roger. “Govt Secretary,” corrects Joan, conferring slightly extra dignity on the useless lady.
Bert Cooper speaks, after which walks out of the room: “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th flooring of a skyscraper. She’s an astronaut.”
It’s one hell of a line. And it describes one hell of a journey, not simply from the dust to the sky, from the previous to the long run, however from punchline to… innovator, conqueror, hero – phrases not generally used to explain lowly feminine secretaries of their sixties.
The road equates the achievements of Miss Blankenship – a sort of Roz from Monsters Inc. in human type – with the achievements of the 20th century. In keeping with Cooper’s tagline, Ida didn’t simply reside her life, she flew it from star to star. (Two years earlier than Miss Blankenship’s loss of life, Russian Valentina Tereshkova had been the primary feminine cosmonaut to journey in house. If not for her, then Bert’s eulogy might need been extra banal.)