Monday, April 14th

Mad Men: Time Zones

Peggy Olson Mad Men

The seventh season of Mad Men premiered last night. What did you guys think? I thought it was excellent. Let’s talk about it.

Only two months have passed since last season. This episode belonged to Peggy, Don, and Joan, with most of the other characters appearing in their orbits. Peggy’s wearing a kicky beanie, and that’s the most lighthearted thing happening in her life. Her new boss, Lou Avery, is a creative director of a different mindset than Don was. When Peggy presents a brilliant concept for Accutron watches that (now freelancer) Freddy Rumsen feeds her in a dramatic, camera-facing monologue, she is thrilled by the idea. Lou doesn’t give a shit and shuts her down when she fights for the idea. She doesn’t give up and tries again the next week, but ole’ Lou is immune to her charms and tells her as much.

Peggy Olsen Mad Men

Peggy realizes that she’s working with a bunch of hacks and no one cares about doing the best work. She’s the only one willing to maintain the level of creativity that Don established and she takes it very personally. I feel you, Peggy. When Ted drops by for a visit from California, she can barely stand the site of him. It is NOT civil. To add insult to injury, she still owns that horrible building and is constantly being bothered by her tenants to fix a toilet. At least her new secretary seems great. I hope we get to know you better, Shirley.

Shirley and Peggy, Mad Men

In the most beautiful scene of the episode, Megan picks up Don from the airport and everything is all sunny California glam. I want to move into this world. And apparently, Megan is already living in this world. Don is just visiting and taking time to “work” in the west coast office. Oh, so Megan doesn’t know that Don hasn’t been working for the last two months. Their marriage seems strained at best. Megan is thriving in LA with a promising career while Don is floundering. Their power structure is off.

Don Draper Mad Men

In his most raw moment, Don bonds with a beautiful stranger (Nev Campbell!) on the flight back to NYC. They each bare some painful thoughts and she falls asleep on his shoulder. Later we see Don and Freddy having lunch and realize Don is the one coming up with the creative concepts for Freddy. Ahhh, now it all makes sense. Mr. Pee Pants never struck me as that brilliant a copywriter. 

Ken has never been more stressed and desperately needs help. (He’s still wearing the eyepatch and Mr. Betty suspects it’s permanent.) When he sends Joan to a meeting in his place with the Butler Footwear head of marketing, she rises to the challenge. The meeting does not go well and Butler wants to start managing their advertising on their own, effectively firing the agency. But Joan saves the day and convinces them to stay, using some research from a professor she visits on the sly. She’s a smart cookie, that Joan. I believe she’d make the perfect account executive if they’d give her the chance.

Roger seems to have fallen off the deep end. I die when he wakes up in a trashed room with a dozen naked people all around him. What the hell? He meets his daughter for brunch and she tells him she forgives him for well, for being him. And for smelling like incense. He’s unphased by her kindness but he seems miserable and lonely, like both Peggy and Don. I’d say loneliness was the theme of the episode.

Roger Sterling Mad Men

A real moment of levity was seeing Pete Campbell, who’s taken to California like a fish to water. I gasped at the first site of his tan and pastel clothing. He had such a sad, dark season last year, so it’s good to see him looking so happy. “The city is flat and ugly. And the air is brown. But I love the vibrations!”

And that’s about it. I’m hoping we get some time with Betty next week.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Friday, April 11th

Catch up on Mad Men Season Six

I realize my life is flashing before my eyes when I see how quickly time goes by between seasons of Mad Men. It’s with a heavy heart that I anticipate this final season. I don’t want it to end! Clearly AMC doesn’t want the ad revenue and award nominations to end either, since they are splitting the final fourteen episodes over two years. That’s right. We’re only getting a trifling seven episodes in 2014. We’d better savor every moment.

Mad Men Megan and Don

Last season we saw that Don and Megan’s honeymoon phase was officially over. Her acting career took off and Don was all kinds of cranky about it. Personally, I was cranky over Don’s season-long affair with his neighbor Sylvia. Also, Megan had a miscarriage.

Linda Cardellini as Sylvia in Mad Men

Peggy had an affair of her own with Ted, her married boss. She thrived at work, showing her true talents as a copy chief, although as a boss she was cutting and cruel. I guess she learned from the best. (I learned it from watching you! Sob.) We saw the two agencies go head to head over a Heinz Sauces and Beans. There was a lot of talk about beans and ketchup last season, actually. Secret meetings, under-the-radar creative, and ZERO hotdogs eaten. Seems like a missed opportunity.

Peggy and Ted on Mad Men

Don and Peggy were reunited when the two agencies merged. Don and Ted were constantly at odds and it causes lots of office rage. The creative personalities clashed and everyone was in a bad mood. Roger longed for Joan, but she was happily dating Bob Benson. And Bob Benson was very much in love with a Greek coffee cup, as there was one in his hand for almost the entire season. Oh, and Bob Benson is gay. Oh, and Bob Benson is not who he says he is. Kind of another Dick Whitman/Don Draper dealio, with a secret identity that only Pete Campbell figured out. So we’ll probably learn more about Bob in the new season.

Joan, Roger, and Bob Benson on Mad Men

In the theme of bad moods, Betty occupied in that bitchy state of mind she loves so much, while her hair color and weight fluctuated. But like Jessica Simpson, she stuck to her Weight Watchers until she returned to her former skinny blonde glory. All the sparkle and shine from her new relationship with was Henry is gone and they settled into the same old drudgery of everyday life, just like her first marriage. She allowed herself a one night stand with Don while visiting Bobby at camp.

Anyway, Peggy’s gross boyfriend (Abe) convinced her to buy an apartment in a bad neighborhood instead of the Upper East Side and staunchly defended it against her complaints. He didn’t even take it to heart when he was stabbed by a stranger on the subway. But when he was stabbed a second time by Peggy, that was it for their relationship. (The same annoying person stabbed twice in one episode? I mean…I just love this show so much.)

Pete Campbell Mad Men

Pete Campbell carried on one affair too many and Trudy finally kicked him to the curb. His mama drama sunk his spirits even lower when his mother who had dementia wreaked chaos, starting a fire in his apartment, and marring a shady gold digger who later dumped her off the side of a cruise ship.

The Civil Rights movement of the 60s played an important role in season six. We experienced the tension, the push for change, and the devastation of losing Martin Luther King through not only the main characters, but also the black community. Don’s secretary Dawn was particularly relatable.

Dawn from Mad Men

The Draper children became more complex. Bobby showed himself to be a sad little boy, even when acting out. Sally’s relationship with Megan was fun to watch, as they are closer in age and Megan was much nicer to her than Betty ever was. But when poor Sally walked in on her father and Sylvia going at it, she shut down emotionally. Kids are resilient though, and Sally flourished at bad girl behavior during a trial night in boarding school. Later, she seemed to forgive Don when he started opening up about his sad childhood. Unfortunately, he opened up a bit too much during a client pitch and the other partners fired him.

Mad Men partners

I’m looking forward to finding out what happened to Don and Megan when she found out that he lost his job. She quit her soap opera job in anticipation of Don’s job relocating them to California. My guess is that she, if not both of them, moved anyway.

Need more dirty details from season six? Check out my recaps of each episode:

The Doorway and Collaborators

To Have and To Hold

The Flood

For Immediate Release

Man with a Plan

The Crash

The Better Half

A Tale of Two Cities

Favors

The Quality of Mercy

In Care Of

Tuesday, June 25th

A Night in Jail

We close the book on another season of Mad Men. I’m trying to appreciate them, since we have far fewer left than have passed. The season finale was so well done in my opinion. Rather than beat you over the head with drama and cliffhangers, the episode eased into it, subtly delivering blows with the grace of a delicate razor blade. You don’t realize you’re bleeding till much later.

Let’s start with Pete. In the downward spiral that is his life, he finds out his mother married her gay nurse, Manolo. Oh, and she apparently “fell” overboard off a cruise ship. So the charming Manolo turned out to be a murderer, not realizing that the old broad he married for the money didn’t actually have any money. Since Bob Benson was the one who recommended Manolo, Pete has a place to direct his rage. Bob claims ignorance, and I’m curious as to whether that’s true.

Mad Ben Bob Benson and Pete Campbell

Pete and Bob still have to travel to Detroit together for Chevy and Pete makes a fool of himself by not knowing how to drive a stick. Come on, man, why’d you get in the driver’s seat then? His humiliations seem to know no end. Can we talk about what a tragic character Pete is? His father died in a plane crash, his mother fell off a cruise ship. After a series of joyless affairs his wife leaves him. And things aren’t going so well at work either. He is just a miserable, miserable man. I’m hoping for some Pete redemption next season.

Mad Men Chevy

In other Bob Benson news, he’s still with Joan and Roger threatens him in no uncertain terms. Joan takes pity on Roger and lets him come for Thanksgiving. He is so sweet with baby Kevin and my heart breaks for his loneliness. But seeing Bob in a frilly apron keeps me from tearing up.

Mad Men Roger and Kevin

Peggy and Ted’s attraction is intermingled with jealousy. She is enraged at seeing his wife in the office and throws on some lingerie and goes on a date to make him jealous. It works, because he storms into her apartment and spends the night. Or most of the night. Oh, Peggy. I’m happy you found love. And Ted’s way better than Abe. But you are too smart to date your married boss.

Ted and Peggy

Don is still messed up. Sally won’t see him and seems to have picked up a little of the drinky bug, getting herself suspended from school. When a pastor tried to get preachy with him in a bar, Don goes bananas and ends up spending the night in jail. He comes home and decides he wants to move to California and manage the Sunkist account and start his own little agency. Megan happily quits her job in anticipation of the move.

Later, Ted pleads with Don to trade places with him, to let him be the one to move to California. He knows his affair with Peggy will ruin his marriage and destroy his children. Taking his family to California will give him the fresh start he needs. Don relents and it probably costs him his own marriage. We don’t know for sure that Megan is leaving him, but I’d be willing to be a lot of money that they aren’t together at the beginning of next season. She’s going to California anyway.

In agency news, they are making a play for Hershey. Their campaign strategy is a nostalgic take on how children view the Hershey bar. Don talks about his own father taking him to the drugstore and letting him buy anything he wants. It’s a happy pictures and it seems he’s landed the account.

And then! And then…one of the most shocking Don Draper moments in the history of Mad Men occurs. He opens up and talks about his real childhood, growing up an orphan in a whorehouse. His memory of his first Hershey bar takes place there, and is so very sad, yet to him is still a happy memory. The power of his first Hershey bar evokes such emotion from him still. This well-written scene is so painful and it’s hard to watch Don recount this raw, honest memory in front of clients and stunned coworkers. A new side of Don has emerged and no one knows how to take it. He takes his kids to see the whorehouse where he grew up. A look of understanding, and maybe forgiveness, crosses Sally’s face.

Mad Men

Mad Men

That was enough shock for one episode, but they pushed us right over the cliff. Don is called in to an early morning partners meeting on Thanksgiving morning…and fired. He sees Duck escorting his possible replacement in on his way out.

Mad Men Fire Don

I will watch this episode at least one more time and will re-watch the whole season before the next season airs. I am struck by how human they made Don this season. His deep flaws didn’t necessarily make him more likable, but I think we all know this complex character just a bit better.

What did you think of the season finale?

Wednesday, June 19th

Boarding School

Only one episode left now. The season went by so fast, didn’t it? I feel like we don’t have too much that needs to be wrapped up at the point. The writers are free to do what they want.

Mad Men Ken Cosgrove

Poor Ken. As if the Chevy people weren’t beating him up enough, this time they actually shot him. I thought they killed him during their hunting expedition, but it looks like it was just a simple shot to the eye. (!) Not saying that I want to see Ken die or anything, but it might have made for a better storyline. Right, Game of Thrones fans?

Mad Men

So Ken removes himself from his Chevy duties and states his hatred for Detroit. Pete Campbell is his replacement on the account, meaning he has to work closely with his boyfriend Bob Benson. The question all season has been What’s the deal with Bob Benson? We finally have a little more information. The deal is…he’s not who he says he is. Sound familiar, Don Draper Dick Whitman? When Pete enlists Duck’s headhunting services for Bob, we discover that his background is more humble than he lets on. Pete confronts Bob, who asks for a day’s head start to get away. In one of the most shocking moments of the season, Pete lets him stay! This is baffling to me, and goes against everything we know about Pete. Well done, writers.

Don is drinking more heavily than usual. Sally catching him having an affair really bothered him, I guess. Megan suggests he reel it in a bit, and he agrees to stay home from work one day. Probably good, since he started the day with a Screwdriver. Ugh. Does anything sound less appealing than liquor in the morning? Later, he and Megan go to see Rosemary’s Baby and run into Peggy and Ted. I don’t know if they are having an affair or not, but clearly their relationship has reached a new level of compatibility and it’s evident to everyone. Especially Don.

Mad Men Don and Megan

Mad Men Peggy and Ted

In a move unlike the level-headed Ted we know and love, he disobeys a client’s budget to cast a commercial. Peggy has the idea of her life and he wants to bring it to fruition and see her win a CLIO. I’d like to see her win one, too, but c’mon, Ted. Don’t be a fool. Don catches it all in the knick of time and calls the client, which leads to a very tense meeting. Don powerfully toys with Ted, almost outing his feelings for Peggy in front of everyone. In one fell swoop, he gets the client to approve a higher budget and takes Peggy’s dream away, crediting the ad concept to the late Frank Gleason. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I hate for someone to lose credit on their own creative idea, but I also hate that Peggy is so blatant at work. I guess when it comes down to it, I’m always on Don’s side.

Mad Men Sally Draper

Sally is exploring a right of passage every New York rich kid who needs to escape their terrible parents tries: boarding school. She spends the night at a prestigious school as a trial. Not having been to boarding school, I can’t speak to this with any authority, but I believe the mean girl behavior is pretty typical. But Sally wraps those bitches around her finger when she smuggles in boys, booze, and cigarettes. It’s good to see Glen again!

Mad Men Glen

This storyline is so much fun. I hope Sally enrolls and we get to see her flourish into a bad girl. Betty lets Sally smoke in the car on the way home. Mother of the Year!

Wednesday, June 12th

Juice Wars

Another slow episode, at least, initially. Don and Roger are wooing Sunkist, while Ted’s half of the agency is jamming on Ocean Spray. They can only pursue one of these clients to avoid conflict. I love that in the late 60s we are getting treated to so many recognizable brands on the show. Speaking of recognizable brands, do you remember when Volkswagen had awesome advertising? Here’s one in particular that I loved, featuring one of our very own Mad Men.

Anyway. Arnold and Sylvia have a son, Mitchell, who looks to Megan for Canadian connections so that he may dodge the draft. Can’t blame the kid.

Mad Men Draft-Dodger

Maybe it’s his own veteran status or his lingering feelings for Sylvia, but Don goes a little nuts worrying about this. He brings everyone down at a lighthearted Chevy dinner. Ted sees they’re entering into risky territory with the client, who are a bit more conservative and he saves the night. Later he lays into Don but then offers to use his airplane connections to help Mitchell. Don agrees to stop getting in Ted’s way at work. He calls Sylvia and tells her the news. She cries and Don’s shunning is over.

Chevy Dinner

Mad Men Don and Ted

Sally and her annoying little friend Julie are staying in NYC for their Model UN activities. They flirt with Mitchell and Julie slips a note under his door from Sally, only to tell a livid Sally later. Luckily Sally is BFF with the doorman and borrows his giant keyring whenever she wants. She sneaks into Mitchell’s apartment and catches Sylvia and Don doing it. They die. I die. All of America dies. This is the horrific scene I’ve been fearing all season. Sally takes off and a stricken Don wanders around fearing the consequences. Daaaay-um. I just can’t believe this. Mr. Betty and I scream and pull out our hair.

Mad Men Julie and Sally

In the second worst animal to be spotted in Peggy’s apartment (after Abe) she realizes she has a rat problem. But that is nothing compared to her encounter with Pete’s mother who sits down and talks about her baby with Pete. Of course, she has no idea about the actual baby Peggy and Pete conceived. She merely thinks Peggy is Trudy. AWKWARD!

Mad Men Peggy and Pete's Mom

Pete’s mother thinks her male nurse is her boyfriend. That really sets Pete off and he takes it out on Bob Benson, who recommended Manolo. Bob assures Pete that Manolo is gay. Then he attempts to play footsies with Pete and hits on him. Oooohhh, so that’s the deal with Bob Benson. He’s gay. Pete is not interested. And I feel bad for Joan.

Not sure that this will lead to anything, but we learn that Ted’s wife is frustrated with his work schedule. He seems like a great dad though. He really is the flip side of the coin for Don, all honesty and lightness. It’s a nice contrast to Don’s broody darkness.

Mad Men Ted

One thing I really miss about this season is Don’s sheer creative genius. No matter what demons he was battling and how supremely flawed he was, we forgave him because of his talents. But the writers aren’t playing up his work and creativity anymore. He’s lost that dimension and I think it’s a disservice to the show. Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 4th

California Dreamin’

I love when Mad Men has a California episode. L.A. at that time was just magical.

Mad Men

Roger, Don, and Harry are trying to woo a new client, Carnation Instant Breakfast. Roger assumes they will be a bunch of dumb hicks, but they are tougher than the average prospective clients. The meeting was rough.

Luckily, Harry takes them to a groovy party in the hills where he wants to talk to some movie producers. Roger runs into an old nemesis and makes lots of short jokes and ultimately gets punched in the junk. Don smokes a bunch of hashish and almost drowns in the pool, where he hallucinates that Megan is there and happily quit her job and is pregnant. Is that what he really wants? Another Betty?

Mad Men Roger

Back in NYC, Michael Ginsberg is having mood swings all over the place. Ted describes him as “lightning in a bottle” which I guess is why he’s allowed to mouth off and call the partners fascists and nazis. The partners themselves are still at a deadlock when it comes to renaming the agency.

Mad Men Partners

Cutter is supposed to be saving the Manischewitz account, but sends Bob Benson is his place with Michael Ginsberg. We didn’t get to witness the meeting, but we learn that the agency is up for review, meaning their days on the account are numbered. No one cares. Ted finally got Chevy to sign off on the creative. Whew.

Speaking of accounts, Joan is doing a little networking of her own and has a lead on Avon.When it comes time to pass the reigns over to Pete, she cuts him out of the loop. Peggy is livid. Neither she, nor Joan, are trained at closing deals with clients and when Pete finds out…well, let’s just say that Pete and Joan’s recent friendship is probably over.

Mad Men Joan and Peggy

Peggy intercepts Joan from her firing squad of Pete and Ted by saying Avon is on the phone. We hear Ted give Pete the brush-off. It’s Joan’s account. If they land it, that is.

Mad Men partners

The partners get together one last time in the episode and settle on an agency name. Sterling Cooper and Partners. SC&P. Has a nice ring to it. I think they can finally start acting as a unified team now.

Tuesday, May 28th

Old Habits Die Hard

How lucky were we that they still aired Mad Men over the holiday weekend? And if you ask me, they made up for last week’s odd episode with a double shot of awesome this week.

There is still no cohesion in the agency and they are struggling with the margarine creative. Don and Ted are at odds conceptually and put Peggy in the middle. She refuses to choose a side, earning no one’s respect and finding herself an island at work. Ted confesses his feelings for her and she admits to thinking about him, too. Aw, can’t these two crazy kids get together?

Betty is back! And she’s skinny and blonde, like the old Betty we know and love. Or hate.

Betty Draper on Mad MenShe and Don are on their way to Bobby’s camp, separately. But they get together for some wholesome family fun.

Father Abraham

Later, Don and Betty get together for some less than wholesome fun of their own…in Betty’s motel room. I DID NOT SEE THIS COMING! I actually can’t believe either of them wants to go there. But she seems to need the validation and he’s a pig, so…I guess it isn’t that surprising. They have a nice moment and Betty muses that poor Megan doesn’t realize that loving Don is the worst way to get to him.

Megan seems down in the dumps. She’s having trouble playing the role of twins at work. She’s no Haley Mills.

Haley Mills in the Parent Trap

When her friend Margaret (who you may remember as half of the swinging couple from earlier in the season) comes over to run lines, she puts the moves on Megan. Poor Megan. Work and home are both a shit storm these days. She tells Don that something has to change in their relationship and he agrees.

Joan, Bob and Roger in Mad Men

Roger is feeling sad and lonely. He wants to hang around Joan and be a father to Kevin. When he drops in with some Lincoln Logs for the baby, he is shocked to find Bob Benson there with some short shorts and his ever present Greek coffee cup. The happy couple are headed to the beach and want no parts of Roger. Poor Roger. On a show of lonely souls, Roger is the loneliest.

Pete, another lonely soul, took Harry Crane’s advice and met with a headhunter. And the headhunter is Duck! Duck tells Pete that he needs to spend time with his family or nothing else in his life will work.

Pete Campbell on Mad Men

And finally…Peggy. She and Abe continue to live in the gates of hell. When Abe gets stabbed getting off the subway, it is the last straw and she wants to sell the building even if she takes a loss. Abe, on the other hand, isn’t bothered by the stabbing and won’t tell the police anything. Abe is a man of the people, that’s for sure. But I still don’t like him.

The next night Peggy comes home to a rock thrown through their bedroom window. She is really afraid but Abe leaves her alone to go to work. She sleeps with a makeshift spear, which appears to be a broom handle with a sharp knife attached to the end. When chaos and screaming erupt outside, she guards the window with her weapon, turning to stab Abe deep in the belly when he startles her. I guess the second stabbing of the week was worse than the first, because he berates her in the ambulance and ends their relationship.

Ted and Peggy in Mad Men

Now that she’s free to date Ted he’s no longer interested. So sad!

Tuesday, May 21st

Grandma Ida

Well, this episode was weird, wasn’t it? Not one of my favorites, actually. But let’s discuss anyway.

Silvia and Don from Mad Men

Silvia is holding fast to her breakup with Don and he is not taking it well. It’s undignified, really, and I hate seeing him this way. Waiting outside her door, chain smoking and sweating. Oh, he’s sick, too.

Mad Men Ted

A lot of the agency is sick and rundown. They’ve been frantically working on creative for Chevy for six weeks, only to have each concept rejected. Poor Ken is stuck entertaining them and is now using a cane. He’s coming apart at the seams. Ted comes unglued when partner Frank dies.

Mad Men Quack Doctor

The work load isn’t going to let up (does it ever?) so they bring in a doctor quack who gives them shots. His own mixture of B complex vitamins and stimulants. Do they work?

Overstimulated Mad Men

Um, yes. They work. Well, kind of. Everyone remains high as a kite for the rest of the episode, leading to close to an hour of confusing moments. Don has several flashbacks to an incident where he was very sick as a kid in the whorehouse. His mother wasn’t exactly sympathetic, so another prostitute nursed him back to health. And then some.

Peggy makes out with Stan. Ken tap dances, and no one can seem to come up with a decent idea for Chevy.

Ken Tap Dances

The more interesting part of the episode happens outside the agency. Megan lets Sally babysit her brothers while she attends a play. Bobby is bratty, Sally is bored, and Gene eats PB&J. But the place is really livened up when “Grandma Ida” appears. She just walks in the door insisting that she’s Don’s mother. Then she changes it to nanny. Bobby seriously wonders if he’s been black this whole time without realizing it.

Grandma Ida Mad Men

Good ole granny cases the joint after a nice chat with Sally over eggs. Clearly a thief, she takes off after Sally calls the po-po. Things were a little scary there for a few minutes. When Don finally comes home from work, three days later, he walks in to find the cops, his neighbor and his angry/upset family waiting in the living room. He gives us as manly a faint as I’ve ever seen.

Let’s hope next week is better.

Wednesday, May 15th

Margarine Tales

The day has arrived! The agencies merge. And it’s weird. And I LOVE IT!

Mad Men Merge

There’s all kinds of office shuffling and ego bruising as the two agencies learn to work with each other. The secretaries and Roger all seem extra bitchy. The creatives are crammed into the same space, with the exception of Peggy who gets Harry Crane’s office. Ha ha!

Mad Men Brainstorm

The first brainstorming session is about margarine. The team is pretty stumped on coming up with ideas because they are rusty margarine is disgusting. Don shows up 40 minutes late and pisses off Ted. And Don’s pissed, too. Everyone’s pissed.

Ted and Don

Maybe Don shouldn’t have blown off his first day of work to hang out with Sylvia. I don’t know about you, but I hate this affair. More than any other affair in the whole series. Part of it is Sylvia’s housecoats and head scarves. Yuck. She looks like she got lost on the way to Sanford and Son.

Sylvia

Don keeps her trapped in a hotel room pulling some dominant bullshit and eventually she calls off the affair. I’m surprised it ended like this. I thought Megan or Arnold would catch them in a horrible, dramatic scene. Looks like Don gets off easy again.

Sylvia

Poor Joan is sick at work. Clutching her side, barfing into a trashcan, sick. Trusty old Bob Benson puts down his Greek coffee cup for once and takes her to the ER. He elegantly lies to get her to the front of the line and visits her later at home, brings her baby a football. Looks like a budding romance to me. This could finally explain Bob’s presence. Joan swiftly saves Bob’s ass when they fire a ton of people from both agencies.

Pete is afraid of being pushed out of his job, and I must admit, he’s probably not being paranoid for once. When his mother shows up at his apartment, clearly in the early stages of dementia, I can feel his blood pressure rising. He’s got a lot on his plate. All the gin and tonics in the world don’t keep her from starting a fire in Pete’s kitchen.

Pete's Mother

The best part of the episode was the dynamic between Don and Ted. Their creative and management styles are so different, not to mention their personalities. Don gets Ted sloppy drunk and before he passes out on the floor of his office, he tells Don his Gilligan’s Island theory. How each character represents a segment of the market. Huh. I guess if that’s true I’ll be in the same market as the professor. (Truth: I am Gilligan.)

Just when it looks like Don will win this battle of wills, Ted turns out to be a pilot with his own plane. Don is terrified on their small, stormy flight to see a client and the playing field is now level.

Don and Ted Flying

The episode ends with the assassination of Bobby Kennedy.

Megan and Don

What troubling times these were.

Tuesday, May 7th

The Friendly Skies

Well! What an episode. I love when they focus on the agency and the work. Most of you watch the show for the fashion or characters’ intriguing story lines. Not me. I watch for the thrill of the advertising. Who wants to look at Jon Hamm when there’s Heinz Beans on the screen?!

Anyway, Megan’s mommy is in town, making rude comments about anything and everything in her secret language no one can understand. Oh, that’s French? Whatever. Megan’s mom is a huge bitch and I love her. When Megan confesses that her marriage is rocky, she tells her daughter to dress sexier. This outfit she wears to dinner does the trick:

Don and Megan

While the dress was a success, the dinner was not. They were joined by Herb and his stupid wife. When Herb suggests that Don run his work by some kid who writes flyers for Herb, Don fires him as a client. Bye-bye, Jaguar. Later, Megan’s mom talks about Herb and wife and says, “She’s the apple that goes in the pig’s mouth.” I laugh gleefully and will use that phrase from now on.

Roger has been dating a stewardess who gives him access to the upscale airport flight clubs. This is how he’s getting business these days, by casually stalking corporate bigwigs waiting for their flights. He successfully lands SCDP a chance at the new Chevrolet car. Good thing, because Pete and Joan almost kill Don for firing Jaguar. Joan’s mad because she went above and beyond to win that account. Pete’s mad because it jeopardizes the company’s chance to go public. And his chance to get back together with Trudy.

Another blow is dealt to Pete’s ego and to the agency when he runs into his father in law at a brothel. Um, awkward! The father in law yanks his Dow Chemical business faster than you can swallow your Vicks Cough Drops. He runs and complains to Trudy and oddly enough, she wasn’t thrilled to find out both her husband and father hang out with hookers. Weird. So she kicks him out forever.

Abe and Peggy

Peggy and Abe bought an apartment in what must be the Little Juarez section of New York. Seriously, it’s heinous. Abe wanted to live among the “real” people and now they have junkies pooping on their steps. Is that real enough for ya, Abe? God. Why hasn’t Peggy left this guy yet?! It’s not like she doesn’t have other options. Her boss Ted gets swept up in her talent and ambition and lays one on her at work.

Peggy and Ted

She finds herself thinking about Ted and flirting with him. Ted, meanwhile, finds himself flirting with Don Draper in Detroit. Okay, not flirting per se, but flirting with the idea of merging pitches. When they are both in line for the Chevy pitch, they realize it’ll just be a battle of the big agencies to win the business, while their smaller agencies will provide the creative ideas that get stolen. So they decide to band together and stay up all night working on a new pitch. They also share their own pitches to each other at the bar and I have a major ad geek out moment. I FREAKING LOVE THIS SHOW!

They win the business and break the news of the merger to Peggy. They ask her to compose a press release announcing the news. We hear her voiceover as she types up the release and it’s an awesome ending. YEAH!