Mad Men is back! With an action packed, hope-filled, exciting, energetic, hilarious episode — I am reminded why I am so obsessed with this show.
This episode reminded us how smart and wily these ad-men really are (get it, Roger!). We had hilarious moments that literally made me LOL (Human poop on the stairs? Don saying “I love puppies!” I die). And also, we have some jarring moves in a new direction. All in all, a very hopeful episode. But still, the tone of the season leaves me with this nagging feeling that something dark is around the corner—and makes me want to stay in the cozy place that is this episode forever.
Here are 5 things we learned:
1. I’m still bored with Don and Megan. Seriously, bored. Her mom offers some insightful insights—yes, it is hard to be with someone while they are signing autographs. And yes, I think a big part of their issues are that Don sees her as not belonging to him anymore. But the bigger issue (dare I say?) is that Megan didn’t see any of this. She won’t see any of this. She can sexify herself up as much as she wants, she can get Don’s attention and get in his pants, but can she be there for him in the way he needs her to be? Should she? Do I care anymore at this point?
2. Prostitution consistently ruins SCDP. I loved the parallel this week with Pete and the whore-house, and Don and Herb. By seeing his father-in-law at this classy establishment, Pete lost SCDP a gigantic account. The day after, in fact, that Don lost Jaguar by throwing a hissy fit to Herb—whom we know he has never wanted to do business with since the Joan debacle. In a way, I respected Don’s decision to no longer work with Jaguar, to make a stand (even though he says they were done with SCDP anyways). But Joanie, Joanie, Joanie made me change my mind. She was right—if she can deal with him, Don can deal with him. Seriously. No, she doesn’t feel 300 pounds lighter, if anything, I’m sure she feels now like that man’s weight is going to be on her for the rest of her life, and nothing even came out of it. In two very real way this week, sex and prostitution were central reasons the company lost big business, and ran straight into the arms of CGC.
3. Abe is pushing Peggy right into Ted’s arms. Weird hallucination, right? And as much as Ted can rock a turtleneck and seems to be this sweet innocent bunny, I’m not sure they could ever have this life together. I’ve been thinking, maybe this is the kind of man she needs. I know last week I was all Team Abe—but this apartment! This is what she BOUGHT? A place where people poop on the stairs and throw off fireworks in front of your door? Yikes! But Abe, sweet Abe, thinks the neighborhood is changing, thinks this is good for them—to be with the people! He challenges her in many ways, but so does Ted. She looks up to Ted, they both put all of themselves into their jobs, and he is basically a sweet, toned down version of Don. But when I saw the two of them in the same room together, asking Peggy to be head of Copy of their spanking new merged company—I thought, are Ted and Don that different? Ted will probably cheat on his wife. Ted is just as clever as Don. Ted spends nights in the office because he doesn’t want to go home. In the grand scheme of things, he’s just another Ad guy. And doesn’t Peggy want more?
4. Sterling is a clever SOB. Don’t ask me why, but when I saw him throw books into his bag and run to the airport, I had this image in my mind of Roger Sterling writing a screenplay and using this stewardess to find big Hollywood producers to execute it. Hilarious. Unfortunately, not what happened. DAMN this was a smart move, Roger! For so long he’s been on the back burner, and here he goes, getting shit done. So much respect for this move. He proved to us today why he is such a good accounts man, and why he is so great at his job. He doesn’t drink with the man in the airport, he doesn’t tell Don about Vicks, he closes Chevy after one airplane ride. Nothing shady or scummy about it. I repeat: Respect.
5. We have a merger. I feel like I should have had a different reaction—excitement? Fear? Joy? Instead, the whole time I was thinking it was a trap. I was practically screaming, DON DON’T TELL HIM YOUR PLANS! HE IS LYING. Right? Even though it all worked out and in a million ways is a smart decision—it seems too quick. It seems thoughtless. Don doesn’t even know SCDP just lost another client, and he still agrees to this merger immediately. No consideration for this other partners—he just wants Chevy. He wants to beat the system. He smiles for the first time in months—because he is excited, worked up, hopeful, scared. But, still, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Don’s excitement when he first started SCDP, of his excitement when he first starts any affair– he loves the thrill. He loves a new challenge. But he never does for long. As Faye Miller beautifully and accurately quoted at the end of Season Four: “I hope [Ted] knows you only like the beginnings of things.”