Mad Men S07E03 – Field Trip

Mad Men tries to keep the momentum going on its final season with “Field Trip”, which may have been more apt after Sally’s trip to the city to give Don some tough love. We see the other Draper kids in this episode, but of course, this shit ain’t for kids, unless you count Mr. Draper himself. Let’s go……

-Don is sitting in a movie theatre, watching a movie called “Model Shop” (shoutout to the EW recap for filling me in on this, I would have never known), which is about a guy seeing a woman who is an actress, but that is going south. Sound familiar? And I was going to say that Don’s unemployment has something to do with him being at a movie in the middle of the day, but he did this when he was working as well. We’ve see Don at the movies quite a few times. It seems to be one of his few happy places. Sounds about right for someone who has been pretending to be someone else for most of his adult life.

-Next, Don is getting dressed up to……call Dawn, because what else does he have to do? Luckily, Dawn is being a good sport about it, telling Don what is going on around the office, which doesn’t seem like a very good idea, but she’s loyal. But Don pushes it with the, “were there any calls?” line. Man, if you don’t get outta here with that…..you’re lucky you’re Don Draper. Of course, the best part of it is that there was a call. Don is so mad that he has to actually Silver back himself.

-It came from Alan Silver, Megan’s agent, who wants Don to try and calm Megan down as she is coming on a little too strong when it comes to the roles she wants, tracking down directors after auditions and whatnot. That isn’t good, so Alan suggests Don try and talk Megan down. While this is going on, Don breaks out the whisky. I’m also still trying to figure out whether it is morning or night as it is dark outside his apartment. If he is cutting down on the drinking, I guess morning whisky still counts. Baby steps, my friends.

-Peggy, Ginsberg and Stan prepare for a meeting with Lou, but Ginsberg takes shots at Peggy because his Playtex ad got nominated for an award, while Peggy points out that she was the one who gave Ginsberg the account. Poor, poor Peggy. Something needs to happen with her. But what REALLY needs to happen is a Stan/Ginsberg spinoff. AMC, you have NOTHING else going on after this ends next year. Make it happen.

-Don decides to hop on a plane and go surprise Megan, and it is getting to the point where the flight attendants know him by name, and he knows them. Don will have sex on an airplane at some point this season, mark my words. And now he is drinking tomato juice? I’m so confused by this Don Draper.

-Peggy, Ginsberg and Stan are pitching a cologne ad to Lou, who shits all over it, because that is what Lou does. He is efficient and gets shit done, but man, he has the people skills of an actual wet blanket. Remember how he treated Sally last episode? I hope he doesn’t have a daughter.

-Betty makes her first appearance of the season, having lunch with an old friend who is now working, while Betty still doesn’t really do anything. There is something different about January Jones, maybe it’s because I haven’t seen her for a while. I’m sure it’ll come to me after I’m done with this. But after they go back and forth, her friend calls her “Betty Draper”, which I found interesting because, well, she hasn’t been married to Don for a long time now. And Betty doesn’t even correct her, just kinda rolls with it. I’m fine with it because I had to go to Wikipedia and find out what her last name even was anymore. It’s Francis, apparently, and her husband is Henry. I thought it was Harry. I still don’t care.

-Harry Crane makes his first appearance at a business meeting, and he is feelin’ himself like shit going into this. He is basically pushing for more funding for his media department, while the point of contention seems to be computers, which is absolutely hilarious when you consider what age we are in now. Harry straight walks out on Jim, and I gotta say, this won’t end well for Harry.

-Don surprises Megan and looks at the bottle of Kahula like, “what in the hell is California doing to you?”. They have the sex, as the kids say.

-Meanwhile, Betty signs off to go on a field trip with Bobby, who we haven’t seen in ages. Betty isn’t that far off from Don: she has always had a nanny despite the fact that she doesn’t work or do a whole helluva lot of anything. She wants to be more of a mother, it seems, but doesn’t know how to do it. She has had her moments with the kids in the past, it just isn’t consistent. Hell, Henry may be the best thing for the kids, considering their parents are slightly insane.

-After their romp, Don and Megan finally have “the talk”. She is upset about not being able to find any work, and Don, well, let’s just say comforting isn’t his strong suit. He knows what he is trying to say, he just doesn’t know how, telling her that she isn’t handling it well, and then he tells her that her agent called him. Then Don tells her to stop acting like a lunatic and that he was worried about her, although she is kinda acting crazy; still, Don should know there are some things you shouldn’t say to a woman, especially your wife. Megan turns the tables and says that she should surprise him in New York, and she knows better than anyone what Don is capable of; remember she was his secretary. She is also suspicious of his employment, and he finally admits he has been on leave for damn near a year, to which Megan flips out and tells Don to leave. He patronizes the shit outta her, and that makes Megan even more angry.

-For me, this was the scene of the episode. While I do make fun of the whole teeth thing with Jessica Pare, that’s me being an asshole. She is a fine actress and she does more than hold her own with Jon Hamm, and we all know what he can do. She is the one that has the balls to realize that this isn’t going to work, something many of us have known for a long time. Her controlled anger and the deep breath she takes before telling him to go…..man…..if you’ve been there before, you know what that feels like. That shit cuts deep. Ain’t nothing like the moment you realize it’s over.

-So we move to Harry, who gets a call from the Wall Street Journal, which Jim set up, to talk about a computer that he has been asking about for years, yet they don’t have one. Jim calls Harry the most dishonest man he has ever met, which is saying a lot considering who he has run across in an industry like advertising. Let’s just say Harry stretched some truths in the earlier meeting.

-Don steps off the plane in New York and gets right to work, trying to set up a meeting to talk about a job, which he does. Shoutout to using a fake name like “Clarence Birdseye. He gets an offer at dinner, while getting approached by a pretty blonde that Don thinks came from the men he was having dinner with, and she tells him where her hotel room is. But Don goes to the room after dinner, and there is Roger, so I’m thinking he saw Don and sent a lady there to get him to come upstairs? But then Roger acts surprised when Don shows up at the door. That part really confused me, but it’s not really important.

-The important part is the back and forth between Roger and Don, who fire shots off at each other (Don says he made the agency, while Roger counters with hiring Don and giving him the shot he needed). But down deep, these two are best friends and Roger eventually tells him he misses him and wants him to come back. We need this, too. Shit hasn’t been the same for anyone since the team broke up.

-Then it goes into Don calling Megan, and props to the way this was done: how it moves from scene to scene (I have no idea what the technical term is) and the use of music….this is why Mad Men is Mad Men. It was stylish, for lack of a better word. Don hits Megan with the “baby baby baby pleeeeeease” and she brushes it off like nothing, although you can see how much it hurts her. Again, Jessica Pare knocks this out of the park.

-Betty and Bobby are off on the field trip, and shoutout to Betty to smoking in a school bus full of children. Bobby is trying to talk to Betty about monster movies or something, and while Betty obviously doesn’t give a damn, she is at least trying to give a damn and that is a start. Bobby is so happy. He tells the teacher, “we’re having a conversation!” like he and Betty don’t talk at all. Betty also points out that the teacher’s shirt is damn near undone. Shoutout to that.

-Don heads to the office, but him walking in is cut together with shots of him at home, looking nervous as shit and we haven’t seen this Don in a while. Speaking of people who haven’t seen Don in a while, he walks up on Lou, who has no idea what to do and looks like he saw a ghost. He gets reacquainted with everyone, like Ginsberg, who tells Peggy that Don is back. Peggy’s secretary might be his next conquest, by the sounds of her seeing him. Stan joins the party and they’re all kinda stunned at what is going down. Dawn wonders what is going on and it’s right about now that he figures out this was Roger’s idea, he didn’t tell anyone.

-Back at the farm, Betty and another kid’s mom hang back and make fun of the bra-less teacher and smoke instead of watching the kids milk a cow. Mother of the year, my friends.

-And at the office, the pleasantries continue, but Joan is leery about why Don is there and goes right to Bert Cooper, which is unlike Joan. It becomes clear to Don that he isn’t wanted when the copywriters are called into a “meeting” just to get them away from him. Where the hell are you, Roger?

-Betty decides to drink milk straight from the cow’s udder. Okay, that cancels out not going into the barn right away. Again, she is at least trying.

-Roger finally shows up and goes on about being the president of the agency, but he does have partners and he’ll have to sit with them to decide if they’ll bring Don back into the fold. Roger’s lack of fuck-giving has to be about -600 now, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was high coming into the office.

-Betty goes to wash her hands before lunch, while Bobby gets stuff ready. She realizes Bobby ate his sandwich, then traded hers to a girl for candy. She is PISSED. Like father, like son, I guess. At least he didn’t give away the spot she was sitting in.

-Lou is pissed and freaks out on Jim for Don being back, but Jim is just finding all this out now and talks Lou off a cliff. Lou says something about possibly needing security if Don freaks out, and that just shows how out of touch he is in this company.

-The partners finally sit down for their meeting, and Roger is the only one that wants Don back. Jim, Joan and Bert thinks he was on a leave, while Roger states it was just to get his head straight. Jim wants Harry and the media department to have a computer, but thinks there is no need for creative personalities, which doesn’t make a lick of sense. Roger says that the agency’s lone nomination was because their creative department wasn’t out there like that since Don left and Lou wouldn’t back anything he didn’t do, so the partners are all over the place. Jim finally blurts out that he is mad that Don essentially sent Ted to Los Angeles, so it’s personal. Joan points out that buying Don out would be incredibly costly. I’m a fan of how hard Roger is fighting for Don….it’s personal on all sides, just not for Jim.

-The Francis household winds down for the night, with Betty and Bobby not speaking over the sandwich fiasco. The only thing Bobby says is that he wishes it were yesterday. These poor kids, man.

-Peggy approaches Don only to say that they don’t miss him at the office, to which he replies with a thank you. She can’t even shit on people right. Snap the fuck out of it, Peggy. Stop being petty. We know you’re mad because Don was behind Ted leaving, but he was married. Don’t turn into Don. We already have one of those.

-Betty is sad that the kids don’t love her, all because of the sandwich. She needs to calm down and realize kids do stupid shit. She thinks Gene will eventually resent her as Sally and Bobby probably do. Maybe get rid of the nanny and do stuff with the kids herself, but that may be asking far too much.

-The showdown begins as Don walks into a conference room, where the rest of the partners are. You can almost see Don giving himself a mental pep talk, but he enters and it is easy to see what is going on: Roger on one side, Joan, Bert and Jim on the other. They have decided that they want Don back, but with a few stipulations: he can’t meet with clients by himself, he has to stick to a pre-approved script during meetings, he will be in Lane’s (RIP) office and he has to answer to Lou. If he breaks any of those, he is fired and his partnership will be split between the remaining partners. And guess what? Don says, “okay”. That’s it.

Things are going to get interesting at SC&DOPPYeahYouKnowMe. Don can’t be taking orders from Lou for that long, I can’t see that at all. That will be thrown in the bushes by the end of the half-season. Meanwhile, Betty has to put forth a better effort with her kids and I think she will; she has to start with Bobby, like, NOW. I also want to see how long it’ll take someone to go at Peggy, because I think that will be the only thing that wakes her up. My guess is Stan does it. They just keep chugging along in Mad Men.

 

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