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Alabama Coach Nick Saban might be the greatest college football coach in history—but only because he gave up on the pro game.

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It's been said that science fiction is never just about the future and historical fiction is never just about the past. They're also about the society that produced them—right here, right now. I remembered this maxim while watching the twelfth episode of "Mad Men," "Blowing Smoke." The current season is set in the mid-'60s, and the characters often seem far removed from twenty-first-century American norms. But the panic engulfing them is of the moment. There are no abstract principles at stake. It's all about paying the bills, keeping the lights on.

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This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of "Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. Like all good TV dramas, “Mad Men” has the memory of an elephant, quoting a remembered line or gesture from a previous episode in a way that subtly reminds you of what has changed.

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This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of"Mad Men" episode recaps.

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