Monday, April 30, 2012

Mad Men recap: Go get 'em, tiger

Spoilers for this week's episode of "Mad Men" below. Don't click through if you don't want to know.

 First, an apology for the latest (and what I suspect will be the brevity) of this blog post. I spent the weekend out of town and, after waking at 5 a.m. to catch an early train to make it to my day job in time, this is my first opportunity to post.

Also, apologies for the lack of photo, as my computer is being cranky. In fact, with the delays and technical difficulties, I was considering skipping this week's recap altogether, but this was such a strong episode, I wanted to be able to write a few words. And it might be very few, because I'm not sure how long I can keep this up before exhaustion necessitates me retiring to either bed or a hot bath.


Anyway, this week's episode had some great moments, as many of our characters found themselves dealing with raised hopes and shattered expectations. Megan finally has a shining moment, when she comes up with a perfect idea for the Heinz campaign and manages to feed it to the Heinz guy at a business dinner just before he's about to fire SCDP. This wins her an office quickie with Don, respect from the guys at the firm and a lovely, enthusiastic atta girl from Peggy. But Megan's gifts and her recent success win her no favor from her visiting father, a pompous Marxist who thinks his daughter is living a shallow life with a shallow man. She gave up on her dream, he scoffs. What dream? Being an actress? Didn't we already establish that her huge fangs made that an impossibility? His mean speech crushes Megan. I guess the obvious thing to say here is that neither of Megan's parents know when to keep their mouths shut, but more on that later.

Peggy, meanwhile, is getting completely mixed messages about Boring Abe (let's face it -- this should be his official name. Other than his religion and his self-righteousness, what defining characteristics does this dude have? Shuck him, and let the Peggy-Ginsberg-Stan Rizzo love triangle begin!). Peggy's sure Abe's insistence on meeting at a restaurant to "talk" means the end of the relationship. Joan thinks it means a proposal and tells Peggy as much. Peggy gets her hopes up, only to find that Abe's intentions are between a break-up and an engagement. He wants to shack up. Peggy takes it in stride (hey, at least she didn't dress up to get dumped) and even gets some kind words from Joan (who, after all, has solid proof that marriage isn't the dream that women are sold as little girls). But Peggy's mom dashes what little joy she had left, telling her that Abe is just using her for practice. Now, let's not forget that this is the woman who thinks Don fathered Peggy's child and was sure her daughter would get raped when she moved to the city. So her intuition isn't the best. Yet I think she's totally right about Abe. He's absolutely the kind of guy who would string Peggy along until he found someone appropriately worshipful. Peggy's better off dumping him and spending her nights discussing boobs with Stan and Ginsberg.

Don, of course, gets all kinds of mixed messages. He's happy about the cancer society award, and proud of his bright wife's victory with the Heinz account. But, he, too, gets a slap in the face when he learns that the cancer society won't do business with him because they don't think he's trustworthy. Also, Megan's dad hates him for being too successful. God, I'm hoping Megan doesn't think it's a good idea to tell her papa about Don's whorechild past. I'm guessing that that story won't win any points either.

And then there's poor Sally, who has an up and down night all together. Her clandestine convo with Creepy Glen results in a broken ankle for pill-shilling Grandma Francis (yay!), and she and Bobby get to stay with Don while Betty, Henry and Baby Gene are in Michigan (yay!). Plus she gets a swanky new dress and go-go boots (yay!). But she can't wear the boots or her makeup out in public (boo!). The ballroom the cancer society awards are being held in doesn't have a staircase (boo!). And her idyllic "date" with Roger turns sour when she walks in on him getting a mouth hug from Megan's mom (played by Julia Ormond, who was one the next big thing and is now simulating fellatio on John Slattery in front of little girls. A fickle business, the business of show).

All in all, a rough episode for nearly everyone, except Roger, the Heinz guy and Pete. Yes, Pete popped up in one scene here to show up Megan's dad. When Emile derisively asks Pete what an accounts man does, Pete flatters him and, just when the old man is eating up, smiles and reveals that THAT is what an accounts man does. Emile, already rejected by a publisher and chastised by his wife, grin sheepishly. Instead of punching him. Which is what Lane would have done. Sigh. I missed Lane this episode.

Anyway, here are some more thoughts on "At the Codfish" ball:
  • No folks, Glen Bishop didn't disappear. He's at boarding school having creepy telephone conversations with Sally and coercing her to buy the new Spoonful album. I assume he means "The Lovin' Spoonful," who indeed had an album out in 1966. According to the Internet, it was called Kama Sutra. A name Roger would appreciate.
  • Speaking of Roger, a hilarious episode for him here. The line about Jesus gunning for the loaves and fishes account was a classic and his rapport with Sally before she walks in on him and Marie is delightful. Oh, and please let's have episode where Roger babysits the kids. Any kids. I don't care. Roger and kids is a hilarious and uncomfortable combination.
  • It's not clear that Joan has told anyone about giving Greg the boot, but she does admit (somewhat) to Peggy that her union with Greg isn't a happy one. By the way, loved Peggy being flummoxed by the fact that glorious Joan has been dumped. Once again proving that the only person truly worthy of Joan is Peggy. And vice versa. Alas.
OK, I'm too tired to go on, so I'm signing off. What did you think of the episode?

1 comment:

Bill Scurry said...

As Sepinwall pointed out, that penultimate tableau of each party returning to the table more disconsolate than the previous is a visual choice few other shows could pull off.