Category Archives: Mad Men

Mad Men S07E07 – Waterloo

Mad Men capped the first half of their final season with “Waterloo”, an episode that captures everything that is good and bad about the show. It was poignant and allowed the relationships to breathe, then threw something in that just didn’t seem to fit, no many how times you watch the episode (and I’m on viewing #3). Let’s go……

-The episode opens up with the launching of Apollo 11, which is the spacecraft that sent Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (and the oft-forgotten Michael Collins) to the moon, so that places the episode on July 16th, 1969. Think we’ll get to 1970 before it is all said and done? I doubt it.

-Teddy is in a plane with some Sunkist people when he cuts the engine and starts talking about how all their problems would be over if he crashed the plane. The agency seems to taking its toll on people, first Ginsberg, now Teddy, who wants the partners to buy him out so he can just leave. Things haven’t gone as planned since they joined forces to become Sterling Anderson Cooper and Friends or whatever.

-Lou shows up to try and yell at Cutler and blame Don for losing the Commander cigarettes account, but Cutler one-ups him by telling him he is a hired gun and to get to steppin’. It seems like Lou was really only brought in to help push Don out. I still wanna know what Ginsberg saw Lou and Cutler talking about in the office, though.

-Betty welcomes an old friend and her family to their house for the weekend, if only just to show that Betty has more than one friend, ol’ girl from the first episode we saw Betty in this season.

-Then we kinda go quickly through a couple scenes where Don, Peggy, Pete and Harry run through the Burger Chef pitch, then we see Peggy back at her apartment. There is a handyman working on some stuff there and he seems a little shocked that Peggy owns the building, which bugs Peggy as she has been dealing with some sexism throughout the entire season. But then the handyman gives her his number for professional reasons, and you can see Peggy on some “Stella Got Her Groove Back” shit.

-Back at the Francis house, Betty places a plate of eggs RIGHT BESIDE her ashtray. Mother Of The Year, folks! Then the older son of her friend appears with no shirt on, and Betty looks at him with some pedo eyes, while Sally enters the room before she goes out to her job as a lifeguard, but Betty notices she is wearing lipstick. The son needs to just chill and let things happen, because something good will go down if he does.

-Meredith asks Don to step into his office, where she gives him a letter from the partners on some breach-of-contract shit. As he is reading the letter, Meredith tries to comfort Don, telling him that she is his strength, and then kisses him. The look on Don’s face throughout the scene is priceless, right up there with his face during the meeting in Peggy’s office when she tells him about her ideas for the Burger Chef team. Meredith, on the low, has been the best secondary character Mad Men has added in years. That being said, Don passes it up because he has been trying so damn hard to be a good person this season.

-Don rushes into Cutler’s office, and Cutler is trying to get Don to hit him, but Don steps back and calls out the partners, who had no idea about the letter, which has to be illegal in some form or fashion. Don calls for an impromptu vote over him leaving, which he wins, but it might not matter anyway. Meanwhile, we find out that Joan is mad at Don for costing the company a million dollars when they were going to go public. However, even though Joan backed Cutler, she tells him he should have gone about it in a different way, which is fair.

-In the middle of that, Harry just runs in the middle of it because he heard that there is a partners’ meeting, but we find out he isn’t a partner just yet, so Roger tells him to get out.

-Peggy is at her apartment again, and the kid from upstairs tells her that they are moving because his mother got a job. The kid is just behind Meredith in the secondary-characters power rankings. He started off annoying, but he allowed Peggy to fulfill some maternal stuff that she claimed to be missing out on in her conversations with Don last week.

-Don calls Megan to tell her about all the stuff with the company, and then he hits her with the, “hey, maybe I’ll move out there”, which Megan throws in the bushes with an awkward silence. From there, the marriage is pretty much ended in like, 1-2 minutes. I know we have been watching this marriage dissolve for a while now, and I’m glad it is over, but it seems like they short-changed this. #DemTeef looked ill in a bikini, though, so I’ll take it, I guess.

-Roger and Bert get together to talk about the Don situation, and Bert tells Roger that he isn’t a leader. I’m not sure if Bert has always been as pragmatic as he has been this season. He probably has, maybe it was just highlighted this season. He throws out a Napoleon quote which comes in handy later on.

-EVERYONE is getting together to watch the moon landing: Don, Peggy, Pete and Harry in Indianapolis before the Burger Chef meeting, Betty and her houseguests and the kids, Bert is watching it with his black maid, Roger is with Mona and his grandson (so I assume his daughter is still off fuckin’ around in Hippyland). When it is all done, Don calls the Francis house to talk to the kids (not Betty, who said earlier she only talks to him when necessary), and Sally echoes the older boy saying that the moon landing is all a waste of money; we could be using it on Earth. Mad Men isn’t really political on the surface, but they throw you some bones every once in a while, hell, we are still having the same left-right wing/liberal-conservative arguments in this day and age. But like Betty last week with Henry, Sally’s beliefs are shouted down by Don.

-Roger gets a phone call. Nothing is ever said, but we can tell what it is: Bert is dead.

-Joan comes to the office and so does Cutler, who starts talking about getting Don out of the office. Man, this dude is just AWFUL with people. He could have easily gotten everyone on board with getting Don out if he would have handled it properly, or even let Joan handle it. Roger even says, “is this what will happen when I am gone?”.

-The younger son of the visiting guest is out looking through a telescope, and Sally comes outside to smoke. The kid tells her that smoking causes cancer, so she doesn’t light up just yet. After some talk about about the stars or something, Sally kisses the kid, who looks like he might pass out and says, “what do I do now?”. He gets called inside by his mother (whom I suspect watched all this go down), but the important thing about this scene is that we’re watching Sally Draper grow up. It has been happening all season, but here, it’s almost eerie. And was it just me, or did she kinda looked like Betty as she was smoking? Sally (and actress Kiernan Shipka, who I have been hard on in the past) is the MVP of the half-season, no doubt about it.

-Roger calls Don to tell him about Bert, and says, ““Every time an old man starts talking about Napoleon, you know he is gonna die”. He is starting to lose it a little; first Bert goes, and now Don might be out the door?

-Don calls out an audible as he visits Peggy in the middle of the night to tell her about Bert, as he says she is going to give the pitch to Burger Chef. He says to her that he wouldn’t do this if he wasn’t sure she could do it, and if you couldn’t tell from the last couple of episodes, he does really care about Peggy, if no one else in the show. But there has to be some selfish reasons involved, because it’s Don Draper.

-Roger meets with the McCann guy from the sauna last week, and gives him an idea about buying the agency to push Cutler out, or at least wrest back some of the control Cutler has. He also knows how much McCann loves Don and wants him involved, which would keep Don in the company and give Roger a friend.

-Peggy looks like she is going to throw up before giving the pitch, and Don sees how nervous she is, so he takes the reins and introduces her using Peggy’s own words on how she is going to introduce Don. Peggy then proceeds to use the moon landing and the collective experience of everyone watching it to push their “everyone is welcome” tag on the Burger Chef guys, who eat it up. Happy and confident Peggy is so much better than angry Peggy.

-Roger is waiting for Don when he gets back from Indy to tell him about the McCann stuff, but Don doesn’t seem to be on board at all. He doesn’t like the McCann people at all, so I’m sure there is something I am forgetting that happened in the past.

-At the office, the partners are gathering to tell the employees about Bert, but Roger gathers everyone to tell them about McCann buying 51% of the company, with Roger in charge. However, McCann wants Teddy to be involved as he was a major part of the Buick account, and as we saw earlier, he wants out of advertising, even though he could make as much as $6 million from this. Don proceeds to pitch Teddy on the dangers of wanting out, which he has seen firsthand, and this is why he is Don motherfucking Draper. Son could sell ice to an eskimo. He also probably saved Teddy’s life, because he wouldn’t have made it out of the office alive if he refused, starting with Joan. Meanwhile, Cutler eventually gives in and agrees because, well, it’s a lot of money he stands to make.

-During this scene, Harry pops in on some “So, I hear there is a partners’ meeting” and gets shut down again. Two solid comedic moments from Harry.

-Peggy tells Don that they got Burger Chef, and she is so proud. It’ll be interesting to see where it picks up next year.

-Then, we come to the end as Don hallucinates and sees Bert, who puts on a song-and-dance routine to “The Best Things In Life Are Free”. I’m sure this has some sort of connection to Don, maybe it was some sort of goodbye from Bert to Don, but I just think it was out of place and didn’t serve a purpose. Hell, there is a good chance we really won’t know what it means until it returns, which I could see this show doing.

So, now we wait until next spring when Mad Men drops the curtain on their run. The first half of season 7 has been good to very good to straight up confusing at points, but they have done enough to keep me interested until it comes back. Does it end well for Don Draper and the crew? Will Roger end up being the leader Bert didn’t think he was? Will Betty EVER be a good mother? Who else will die? A lot of Mad Men questions still left to be answered.

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Mad Men S07E06 – The Strategy

As we approach the unwanted midseason break of Mad Men, I’m afraid the show will lose momentum. They’ve been on a bit of a roll, even though last week’s “The Runaways” was just strange, and “The Strategy” was an absolutely excellent episode, if only for the end of it. Let’s go….

-Peggy is out at Burger Chef, surveying customers on why they go there and this one lady just can’t be bothered at all, but she does answer Peggy’s questions. She is trying to come up with the right strategy for the account, and she doesn’t really look comfortable in this position of power, which is fair as she seems to be always getting shitted on by someone or something. But has Peggy ever been REALLY sure of herself?

-Pete and Bonnie are flying to New York, and Pete has #DatHairline nicely hidden by a solid combover. He has to go see his daughter, Tammy, and Bonnie wants to come, but Pete doesn’t want to confuse Tammy. He really doesn’t know how to talk to people, especially women.

-Don is carrying a bunch of stuff to the office, typewriter, papers and all. Looks like he has been working hard on Burger Chef; he has taken Freddie’s advice and is being a good little soldier.

-Joan is getting ready for work, and I totally forgot that her mother lives with her AND she has a son.

-Bonnie goes into Don’s office and Meredith is like, “who is THIS bitch?”. Lowkey, Meredith has been AWESOME this season. A solid addition. Anyway, Pete also finds Bonnie in Don’s office because he has to be scared that Don will sleep with her, which, quite frankly, he will. He then tells Don that Peggy will be leading the Burger Chef meeting, but he wants Don to be there.

-They walk into the meeting and Peggy has a look like, “what is HE doing here?”. Lou straight up asks what he is doing here, because he is a dick like that. Pete hasn’t been in the office to see what has been going on, but Don really just wants to chill in the background and let Peggy do the heavy lifting. Lou sneaks in his usual sexism with the “Who gives moms permission? Dads.”. This fuckin’ guy, man.

-Peggy pitches the idea and everyone likes it, but then Pete asks Don what he thinks and you can feel the tension in the room with Peggy and Lou, who both think Don is trying to undermine everyone, but he just wants to do his job and get back in the good books. Hell, he even says it is a good idea and gets a smile out of Peggy, which we haven’t seen in a while. But how trustworthy is Don Draper?

-Roger gets rolled up on in a sauna by a rival from another agency, McCann, I believe it is. He seems like he is recruiting Roger, and perhaps Don, to join his team, and Roger shuts him down, but the idea is out there now.

-Pete tells Peggy that he wants Don to lead the pitch to Burger Chef, which burns her to no end. Basically, it is because Don is a man. Then to make matters worse, Ted is on the phone from California co-signing all of this, and Peggy wants to crawl in a hole. Pete is trying to encourage her with, “You know she is as good as ANY woman in this business”, but it is condescending as hell, especially coming from a fuckass like Pete. The look on Peggy’s face when she leaves Lou’s office was just awful: Ted sparked a lot of her downfall when he moved, which Don caused, you have Pete being Pete with their history, and Lou, another condescending asshole. Peggy is like, “what do I have to do around here?”.

-BOB BENSON IN THE HOUSE! We haven’t seen this creep all season, but he rolls up in the spot with the Chevy boys in tow. Ken Cosgrove pokes his head out with his eye patch, and Joan makes an appearance as well, which the Chevy boys appreciate because, JOAN. Bob makes plans with Joan to see her and her family, and I forgot they had a thing, not a sex thing, but some sort of thing.

-Peggy goes to tell Don he is wanted to lead the pitch, and he immediately thinks something is up, asking whose idea it was because she did such a good job in the preliminary pitch. Poor Peggy: even when she is trying to be fake-nice, mufuckas don’t take her seriously. Don is like, “fine, whatever you want”, but then he throws out a new idea about catering to kids, which plants the seed in Peggy’s mind that her idea isn’t good enough. Have I been too hard on Peggy this season?

-She then sees Megan at the office, and one of the secretaries is like, “I didn’t even know he was married”, so that has to tell her something. Stan stops in and gives Megan a hug, and when Peggy says she is in for a visit, Stan is like, “Thanks for the subtitles”. DAMN….I’m surprised Peggy hasn’t punched someone in this episode. Don seems to be surprised when Megan shows up, and the look on his face is, “what the hell is she doing here?”.

-#DemTeef, tho.

-Cutler tells Roger he wants help with the Philip Morris people, and Roger doesn’t look like he trusts Cutler one bit when he says, “stop thinking about Don and start thinking about the company”.

-Bob gets a late-night call from one of the Chevy guys, who, um, got arrested for trying to blow an undercover officer and he needs to be bailed out. He says he calls Bob because he could keep it a secret, which made me think Bob was gay, which I suspected, but Bob says something about “I am not of your stripe”, so now I’m confused as to what he is. Anyway, he then learns that Chevy is taking their account away from Sterling Cooper Dikembe Mutumbo and Co., but there is probably going to be a promotion in it for Bob, which means a permanent move to Detroit. But then the Chevy guy asks Bob how he lived in New York with so much temptation and Bob replies, “it was hard”. Is he gay or not”?

-Peggy can’t sleep with her mind racing, in quite a sexy piece of lingerie, because it’s the 1960s. She is so damn frustrated with the work situation.

-Pete shows up at Trudy’s, and while she is gone, Tammy is there. It doesn’t matter though, because she wants no parts of her father and would rather stay with the help. Even his child knows how much of a fuckass Pete Campbell is.

-Don awakens to Megan making breakfast and offers to take her shopping. She misses him, but not New York. They’re trying to pull it together, but you can see the cracks showing and no amount of threesomes can help that (although it doesn’t hurt to try).

-Peggy is at the office on what I think is a Saturday, and she is smoking; I don’t remember ever seeing Peggy smoke before. She calls Stan for some reason, but he isn’t coming in. She is so insecure after Don threw out his idea that she asks Stan if he has been “noodling” (Don’s word) with new ideas and Stan doesn’t have time for her games, he’s just tryna eat this banana. He does at least ask her if she wants him to come in, but you get the feeling that he wouldn’t and besides, Peggy says that his baby is calling, which reminds you that she’s lonely.

-Pete brings Tammy back, but Trudy still isn’t home. He cancels his date with Bonnie to stay and wait for her, which sounds like something stupid that Pete would do. #DatHairline went back about three inches throughout the episode.

-Don’s phone rings as he and Megan are getting ready for dinner, and for a brief second, I thought it was Bonnie because she looked up to no good, so props to the editing team for fooling me. It’s actually Peggy, who has been drinking by herself in the office and decides to call Don and tell him his idea was shit. Don is like, “Dude, I don’t care, do it your way” and she asks why he is undermining her, because she doesn’t trust him either. Now I don’t, and I don’t know which way to go with this. That was a solid petulant look Peggy gave when Don hung up on her, though.

-Pete is drunk when Trudy gets home, and has the nerve to shit on her for being out all night, possibly out on a date because Pete isn’t fucking Bonnie at all. What a dickhead. Son is like, “I don’t like you carrying on like this, it’s immoral” and she hit him with that, “you’ve seen your daughter for the year, don’t you have a plane to catch?”. Now #DatHairline goes back to the back of his neck, and he plops his beer bottle down in a cake, because that’s what fuckasses do.

-Bob arrives at Joan’s to take the family out, getting something for her mom and son, but nothing for her….stay tuned.

-Megan is taking some stuff back to Los Angeles, but is it for good? She wants to meet somewhere neutral, not New York or Los Angeles. The gap is getting wider.

-Bonnie doesn’t seem to like New York, or Pete in New York as he is always busy and way more of a dickhead than he is in L.A. Welcome to the real Pete, sweetheart. He is well on the way to fucking this up, too.

-Don stops by Peggy’s office and she is still giving him grief. And then we reach the crux of their beef: Don says he is there to help her do whatever she wants, and she replies, “well, how am I supposed to know?”. Even he is like, “that’s a tough one”. She wants his help, but doesn’t really know how to ask and Don recognizes that. He takes her through the process he would use to figure it out, which she has seen before since she worked for him, and Don drinks at the office, which is against the rules, but Peggy doesn’t know that and she doesn’t care. Even though I don’t know if I trust Don, it is good to see him back and working because Pete said something to Lou earlier like, “you’ve never seen Don Draper at his best”. He is damn good at what he does, and Peggy knows this better than anyone.

-After family day, Bob decides to surprise Joan with her gift: he proposes to her. It seems like he is only doing it because it would look good as he moves up the ladder at Buick, but not for love and that is what Joan wants, although Bob saying, “my face doesn’t please you?” is pretty good. Joan says he shouldn’t be with a woman, and he is like, “you’re old and you live with your mom”. It’s like dudes in this show are trying to piss the women they love off. She then learns that the agency is losing Buick, which is another matter entirely.

-Don and Peggy are still kicking around ideas, and she doesn’t seem to know the concept of family because she just turned 30, she is single, and has no one. Don says he worries about a lot of things, but not Peggy, but he has a lot of the same worries that she does. Then it hits her: Burger Chef is a place where it doesn’t matter who you are with, because they are family. Don and Peggy have been through a LOT on Mad Men, and he looks at her as a sister or maybe even a daughter, which is why I don’t want to think he undermined her on purpose. I might throw Don in the bushes if he double-crosses Peggy. They end the scene slow-dancing to “My Way”, which is fitting. My favorite Mad Men scene is back in Season 5 when Peggy told Don she was leaving the agency, and he kissed her hand and wouldn’t let it go….shit got dusty in the room for a second. This dance sequence is going up there. I’ve missed the Don/Peggy relationship.

-Bonnie is on a plane back to L.A. without Pete, because fuck him, while Megan is on the same plane. Does Don have another threesome awaiting him on his next trip out west? He is bangin’ both of them, whether they know about each other or not.

-The partners meet to talk about Buick leaving, and Cutler wants to run a spot in the paper with their computer, and their new partner, Harry Crane. Roger and Joan are pissed about it, but is voted down by the rest of the partners, and Don has to be cool about it since Harry told him about the meeting with the tobacco guys. Roger and Joan meet in his office, and Roger starts scheming, which I figure we will see next week.

-Don, Peggy and Pete meet at a Burger Chef, where she wants to shoot the commercial. Pete puts up a fight and looks to Don, who is like, “she is doing it her way, deal with it”. We end with it looking like the actual ad in Burger Chef, Peggy wiping food off Pete’s face, smiling, the whole nine. Mad Men is brilliant at shots like this; they know how to frame a scene.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the Don/Peggy dynamic until I was writing this, and for that alone, I think “The Strategy” was great. But I can’t help but think this won’t end well for them, and there will be some sort of cliffhanger as we reach the halfway point of Mad Men‘s final season.

Mad Men S07E05 – The Runaways

The complaint about Mad Men that I hear from most people is that it is too slow, things don’t move along quickly enough and I get what they’re saying; I touched on this a few weeks ago. But they have been pushing the pace of the show as of late, and “The Runaways” takes that to a whole new level. I’m pretty much working this out in my head as I go, because I’m not quite sure what I just watched. Let’s go…..

-We start in the office, where Stan is smoking weed and reading some comic he found in the Xerox machine, and it is Lou’s. Oh, the 60s. The offices were like a nightclub, apparently. Anyway, Stan gets a chuckle out of it and you know this isn’t gon’ end well.

-Peggy tries to get on a civil level with Don in the elevator, asking about his weekend plans and such. Where did this Peggy come from, after spending the first four episodes being cold and telling Don he wasn’t missed? At least she is putting forth the effort.

-Shirley chastises the guys for making fun of Lou’s comic. This really isn’t gon’ end well. They’re not smart enough to keep it under wraps.

-Don receives a call from Stephanie Horton, who is Anna Draper’s daughter, but when we first see her, I’m thinking she’s some girl Don knocked up, because why not? It took a minute to figure out who she was, it has been a while since we saw her. She calls him Dick at the end of the conversation, which is a bit telling.

-Don then calls Megan to tell her that he is coming out this weekend, and Stephanie will be going to her house as well. Again, everything seems to be cool between Don and Megan. Did I miss an episode? It seems like Don is now cool with everyone outside of Lou. I don’t get it.

-The guys show Don Lou’s comic, and he warns them to keep it under wraps, but again, these guys aren’t that smart.

-Henry is on the campaign trail, and Betty is trying to be a good little housewife by making food for visitors, although the help still has to do the homework. Not everything at once, I guess. I suppose she is making an effort, like Peggy.

-Stephanie arrives at Megan’s, and this whole situation is just weird. It seems like Stephanie is fishing for something. Megan acts like she is cool with it, but she also seems kind of uncomfortable, which is fair, considering some pregnant woman you’ve never heard from your husband before today just shows up at your house.

-Finally, the bubble bursts as Lou is in the bathroom when the guys start making jokes at his comic’s expense. All you had to do was just do it smartly, you can still have fun. Now, they have to go to a meeting in Lou’s office, and he isn’t happy at all. We learn that Lou used to work with some guy named Chet, who created a character named Underdog to sell cereal. Lou wants to be the next Chet, but now the guys are dumping on his dream and Lou comes back firing. Lou is a dick on his best day; now, he’s pissed. He makes the crew stay late, which throws a wrench into Don’s plans to go to L.A. tonight.

-Henry and Betty are having visitors, but their beef comes to the surface when Betty answers a question about the Vietnam war in the wrong way, while she learns he is on Nixon’s side when it comes to ending the war, which is news to her. The rift is getting wider.

-Lou forces Don to stay late and miss his flight, and Lou is just being petty for no reason other than he doesn’t like Don, who gives him advice on how to handle people, but Lou doesn’t care.

-He breaks the news to Megan that he can’t make it out, then Stephanie enters the room and the two have this strange conversation. We learn that Stephanie got pregnant by some musician who is now in jail for selling weed, and Megan sort of chastises Stephanie for getting in this situation, but it is all very awkward. Megan writes a cheque for $1,000 to basically get her out of there. Stephanie says something about knowing all of Don’s secrets, which has to plant a seed in Megan’s head.

-Henry and Betty start fighting about what happened early, and he basically tells her to shut up and look pretty while they’re out on the trail. Then we see Bobby outside the door listening to them argue. Poor Bobby, just getting shafted this season so far.

-Lou, on his way out, tells Don he doesn’t even need the work right now, which means, “you could have left on your flight tonight, but fuck you, I’m petty”. At this point, I just want him to catch a piledriver through a table. What an ass.

-Betty gets a call from Sally’s school, and all she says is, “is she okay?”, but it doesn’t sound very motherly. It’s almost like she can’t be bothered, because she probably can’t.

-Don arrives in L.A. to find Megan’s friend Amy at the house, as the two were going to the market. So basically, Don came out to L.A. for nothing, Stephanie is gone, Megan is going out with other people and having a party, he must be like, “why am I even here?”. It’s a question Don has been asking himself all season.

-Ginsberg is at the office, trying to do work, when he spies on Lou and Cutler having a conversation about something. He looks strung out on something. Son is starting to lose it a little.

-Henry picks up Sally, who hurt her nose sword-fighting with golf clubs with friends, which sounds like a complete lie. Betty calls her an idiot for messing up her face, which is her most valuable asset, then Sally says, “where would she be without her perfect nose? She wouldn’t find a man like you. She’d be nothing.”. Betty just seems mad that she gave Sally said nose, then threatens to break Sally’s arm, because she is the mother of the GD year, but Sally continues to be smart with her, and I respect it. All this scene needed was a few Funkmaster Flex bombs dropped on it.

-Ginsberg goes to Peggy’s to get away from the humming of the computer, which is obviously making him crazy. He comes up with a theory that the computer is making Lou and Cutler gay, which doesn’t even make any sense. At this point, I think he’s on drugs, like, hard shit. Peggy is just trying to have a relaxing Saturday and she gets this, and the kid upstairs comes down to watch TV. She is doing so well, just leave her alone, shit.

-At Megan’s party, Amy and Don are outside and I got the feeling that they’re going to have the sex. Some band at the party start playing what I recognize as the loop from “Phone Tap” by The Firm; the original song it samples is “Petite Fleur” by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band. Megan starts dancing with some guy and Don doesn’t look very comfortable with it. Is Megan on some swinger shit now and didn’t tell Don? Then, in walks Harry Crane, who goes for a drink with Don.

-We then cut to the Francis house, where Bobby goes into Sally’s room and tells her Betty and Henry have been fighting a lot lately, and he has a constant stomachache. Bobby is stressed the fuck out, b. He wants to go back to school with Sally, and it’s a nice moment between the siblings.

-Ginsberg is creepily watching Peggy sleep, then tries to force himself on her to ward off the gayness that the computer is causing. He has officially lost his mind, folks. But you just wait, it gets even more crazy.

-After a few drinks, Harry tells Don that Lou and Cutler are trying to bring on Commander cigarettes, which would essentially end Don at the office since he has shit all over the tobacco industry in the newspapers. Harry is giving Don the heads up, so he does have a couple people on his side at Sterling Cooper Neil Patrick Harris and Co. But what is Don going to do about this?

-He’ll figure that out in New York; for now, he is in L.A., and back at Megan’s house. Megan and Amy are smoking weed, and Don just wants to go to bed, where he is joined by Megan….and Amy. Yeah, Megan may be on some swinger shit now. Don tries to fight it for whatever reason, but that is just stupid. Get ya threesome on, Don.

-In the morning, he speaks to Stephanie on the phone, and when he says he is worried about her, Megan slams a dish. She is obviously not comfortable with Stephanie. This whole episode has been pretty uncomfortable. But you just wait: there is so much more.

-Betty and Henry have yet another fight, and Betty is mad that people think she is stupid, but she isn’t because SHE KNOWS ITALIAN. Solid argument, Betty. She might know Italian, but she has no common sense. I get where she is coming from, though. She wants to be more than a pretty face, which is slightly ironic since she used to be a model.

-Back at the office, Ginsberg goes to Peggy and apologizes for his actions, but he has it figured out now. He really does have feelings for Peggy, but needed a way to release his feelings. How does he do that, you ask? By cutting off his nipple and giving it to her in a box. Peggy is like, “yeah, I’ma need you to just chill right here”, and gets out of the office, past her secretary and goes to call someone, I assume it was the cops.

-Don bursts in on Lou and Cutler having a meeting with the cigarette people, which has to be breaking the rules that the partners set up for him. But Don tells them that he will step away from the company if the account goes to them, not to mention, he knows how to beat the anti-tobacco people as he has worked with them before, and he will even apologize in public. Basically, Don is at their mercy. All I can think is, what is the end game? Don is smarter than Cutler or Lou, there has to be an end game.

-Back at the office, Ginsberg is being wheeled out on a stretcher, so Peggy called a hospital, either mental or a regular one. Either way, Ginsberg’s crazy ass is on the way out, but he yells, “get out while you can!” before he is gone. Then Peggy gives the computer some teary-eyed side-eye, and I have no idea what she is thinking.

-Don puts Lou and Cutler in a cab, and Cutler says, “You think this is going to save you, don’t you?”, to which Don slams the door in his face and calls his own cab.

This was one of the stranger episodes of Mad Men I can remember. I’ve watched it twice and I have no idea where they are going with this. How will the rest of the partners react to Don’s stunt? What is Stephanie’s angle, if we even ever see her again? Will Henry and Betty fight more? Will Betty threaten more of her children? Will the computer make it out of the office alive? I still don’t know how I feel about this episode of Mad Men, but I’ll give it one thing: it made me think.

Mad Men S07E04 – The Monolith

The world of Mad Men got a shakeup last week as Sterling Cooper Bell Biv Devoe & Partners seemed to welcome Don Draper back into the fold, but with a slew of stipulations and rules that Don shockingly agreed to. Would he continue to adhere to them in “The Monolith”? Let’s go…..

-We open with Pete and his girlfriend Bonnie out to dinner at a place called Burger Chef, which is supposed to be a fast-food restaurant, but it looks pretty fancy for a greasy joint. He notices a guy named George, who used to work for Vicks, which was run by Pete’s father-in-law, Tom. George tells Pete that Tom had a heart attack, which is news to him, so obviously he and Trudy don’t talk that much. Don’t they have a kid together? Shouldn’t they talk more? Either way, Pete ends up getting the agency a meeting with Burger Chef.

-Don steps off the elevator and he seemingly has been back at work for a while now. The agency is finally receiving the computer Harry wanted, but there is going to be construction and the writers’ lounge will be now gone. Roger said the new computer will “do all sorts of magical things, like make Harry Crane seem important”. This bodes well for the episode. We need snarky Roger, who then asks Don to catch a drink in the office, but that is against the rules.

-Ginsberg isn’t happy about the lounge being crushed for the computer, while Stan compares it to the Mona Lisa in that it will revolutionize the game. Ginsberg asks Don to move a couch and then freaks out because it will likely be too big for his office. This is the Ginsberg I was used to: railing against the man as he sees his job being swallowed up and yelling about couches being full of farts. He started off the season a little soft.

-On a conference call with New York, Pete tells the partners that Burger Chef wants to bump their advertising, and New York wants Ted to move back, which Ted isn’t feeling at all since he left N.Y. with his tail between his legs. He suggests Peggy, I’m assuming to get on her good side, but I doubt Don will quit smoking before that happens. Don is brought up to lead the campaign, but everyone is skeptical and we find that out he has been doing nothing for the last three weeks. Lou says on the call that Don is a valuable piece of talent, but says to Jim (when Roger leaves) that Don will implode. Could Lou BE any more deplorable? I can’t wait for this to blow up in his face.

-Roger gets word from his ex-wife Mona and his son-in-law Brooks that Margaret has gone to a commune of some sort, Mona says a cult. That’s what the consensus theory seemed to be. She came out apologizing in episode #1 or #2, and that is unlike Margaret. Something had to be up. Mona blames it on Roger, of course. She might not be wrong. Roger has never struck me as the “take your kid to soccer practice” kind of father.

-Don is sitting in his office, smoking relentlessly and reading the paper. He is dying in there. He overhears Harry talking to Lloyd, the computer guy, rather loudly, about Tim Conway playing a TV character that tries to kill himself for an entire episode of a show. Don says, “he was trying to get out of his contract”. Sound familiar? Anyway, Harry starts talking all over Don and he has been pretty douchey since he was passed over for partner for Joan. I can foresee this not working out in his favor.

-Don and Lloyd start talking about the new computer, which I figure is the inspiration for the title of the episode, and Lloyd says computers are a metaphor for what people are thinking, which is that computers are going to take their job; the battle between man and technology.

-Peggy slides by Don’s office and into Lou’s, where she gets a raise of $100 a week and the Burger Chef account, but with it comes a caveat: she has to take Don. Lou is not only an asshole, but he is a coward as well. We kinda saw that with the way he handled Sally Draper in the second episode. Peggy won’t even go into Don’s office when she gets the news….is she really about that life when it comes to her mentor?

-Instead, she gets her secretary to bring Don to her, along with some Mathis cat I don’t think we’ve seen before. This is my favorite scene of the episode: Peggy tells Don and Mathis that they’re working under her for Burger Chef, and she needs 50 taglines for the campaign because that is how Lou does it. The look on Don’s face is just priceless. I might have to find the picture and make a “Are you fucking kidding me?” meme. It was even better the second time I watched it. Peggy was so proud of herself, while Don threw his typewriter into a window, which didn’t break somehow. Then he peaces the fuck out and Lane’s Mets banner is back on the wall where it always was.

-Side note: how long until Don has sex with Peggy’s secretary out of spite?

-Don returns from the weekend and he has work to do now with a bunch of research on Burger Chef. Roger follows right behind him to make sure he is there, because he wants him to do well. Roger put his ass on the line for this, too.

-However, he has his own issues as Mona called to say that Brooks is in jail in Kingston, which I assume is close to where Margaret is. Road trip!

-Peggy calls a meeting to receive the taglines and Don skips it because, well, he doesn’t want to. I see his point, but you gotta play the game, Don. I hate seeing him like this. As much of a fuckup as he is, Don is great at advertising. But instead of disciplining him, Peggy just postpones the meeting because she’s a slight coward, which I can understand in this situation.

-Roger and Mona are on the worst road trip ever. Mona blames herself for Margaret’s problems and she is getting advice from Life magazine, which sounds like a solid plan. All I glean from this is that Roger and Mona weren’t the best parents, but they do indeed love their daughter.

-Side note: Jon Hamm is in a Disney movie about finding cricket players in India and turning them into baseball stars? That might stink like a garbage strike in the summer.

-Don is reading in his office when Lloyd the computer guy wants advertising advice, which Don sees as an opportunity for the agency. We see a glimpse of the old Don back in action, and with Roger gone for the day, he takes this information to Bert, who shoots him down like shit. Was Bert always a douche? Did I miss something over the first six seasons? Why the hell is Don even here? No one seems to know. So what does Don do? Steal a bottle of booze from Roger’s office. This should go well.

-Roger and Mona get to the hippy house, where Margaret is now marigold, everyone looks like they smell like patchouli and funk. As Mona describes them, these people “are lost and on drugs and have venereal diseases”. She is right on for at least two. Mona then blows up at Margaret’s explanation (she is sick of regular society, basically), Roger gives her the keys to go back to the city and he’ll deal with Margaret. 

-Don is hammered in his office, where he has put the Mets banner on the ceiling now, which makes him want to see a ball game. He calls Freddie, whom he has been feeding ideas to, and Freddie also pissed himself at work a few seasons ago. Is Don asking for help in a really roundabout way?

-Back on the farm, Roger is peeling potatoes with the hippies, smoking weed and such because we all know Roger likes to party sometimes. He doesn’t seem too out of place with the crew, but you get the idea that this won’t last.

-Freddie sneaks into the office and tries to gather Don up and get him out of there. When Freddie is telling you to get it together, you know you’re fuckin’ up. But before they leave, Don sees Lloyd and spouts some stuff off about Lloyd not being who he says he is, and Lloyd has to be like, “Damn, you smell like vodka, bruh”. Don then says, “you don’t need a campaign; you’ve got the best campaign since the dawn of time”. What does that even mean? A way to getting computers to take jobs from humans? Freddie is like, “dude, we need to BOUNCE”.

-Freddie tells Peggy he is taking Don for the day, and she doesn’t bat an eye. Joan stops by her office and Peggy exhales, telling her that Lou dropped Don on her. Joan calls him a coward because that is what he is, but she also tells Peggy about the Don Rules, not specifically, but that they are there. Either way, ANY Joan is good Joan, even though she’s plottin’ on Don.

-Roger and Margaret are sleeping in the barn, and they are getting along swell until Margaret leaves to go have the sex with ol’ boy who runs the commune. In the morning, Roger is like, “enough of this, we’re out” and tries to drag Margaret out, and they end up in a mud puddle. Then Margaret unloads on Roger, who tries to guilt her for leaving her son and she basically tells him he did the same thing, getting his secretary to send birthday presents. After Margaret hits him with that ether, he has no choice but to leave.

-Meanwhile, Freddie had taken Don home; there was no ball game. He tells Don that he is pissing away his chance to get back into the fold, whereas Don thought he was going to stroll back into his old job (Bert told him that, but in a far more douchey manner, especially from someone who was Don’s friend, it seemed). Basically, be a good soldier and man the fuck up. Freddie also gives him a cup of coffee “as black and strong as Jack Johnson”, the great boxer. Oh, Mad Men, you’re such a treat sometimes. I groaned and snickered at the same damn time.

-So, Don walks into the office and goes straight to work on the taglines Peggy wanted, walking past this GIANT computer (as I write this on a Thinkpad that is massive by today’s standards) which is supposed to change the game. I think Don sees this as a challenge; not only will I not give the partners the benefit of kicking me out, but this computer won’t take my job either, because computers can’t read people (or potential clients) the way other people can. He tells her she’ll have them by lunch, when Peggy came in expecting a fight. He looks like he has a slight case of the shakes, because, DON DRAPER.

We are getting all kinds of mixed signals about Don’s future at the office, but Freddie’s advice should at least get him back in the good graces of the partners, although Lou is still going to be waiting for him to slip up. With three episodes left until the midseason break, the pace is starting to pick up with Mad Men.

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.

 

Mad Men S07E02 – A Day’s Work

After a solid return, Mad Men comes back with “A Day’s Work”, which makes for quite the eventful Valentine’s Day at Sterling Cooper Magic Johnson and Timothy or whatever the hell they’re calling it now. Office politics are getting outta hand, Don still has a secretary somehow, and no one cares about poor little Petey. Let’s go….

-Don is chillin’, eating Ritz crackers like a boss, because he ain’t go not job and he ain’t got shit to do (he might as well get high, shoutout to Friday). He is trying to cut back or quit drinking, which is still blowing my mind. He gets a knock on the door and it’s Dawn, who is his little spy at the office. Of course Don Draper has a secretary and no job; IT’S DRAPER SEASON, BITCHES.

-Peggy is in the funk of all funks to start the season; she is getting shit on by new boss Lou Avery and the dude she loves (Ted) bailed with his family to Los Angeles and it’s Valentine’s Day. She wants Stan to hand in some work before the end of the day so she can work on it over the weekend because, lonely, but Stan brushes off what she says and along with Ginsberg, proceed to mentally beat her down in her single-ness. It was kinda funny, but damn, Peggy, you’re better than this. Ginsberg saying that she had an evening of gloomy masturbation planned? And he DIDN’T get punched? I don’t like this new Peggy.

-Next is a conference call between the office in New York, and Pete out in Los Angeles. Pete says he has an in with a Chevrolet guy out west and thinks he is getting the next account, but the rest of the gang want Bob Benson on the job, which of course makes Pete livid. But I don’t care about this part of the scene; the best shit is the problems they’re having with conference calls because it’s 1968, no one knows if anyone is still on the line, and Roger just doesn’t care about anything outside of swinger sex, apparently. I figure drugs is in on that as well.

-Pete continues to bitch about not being appreciated, first to Ted, who tells him to “just cash the checks; you’re going to die one day” when Pete says something about starting his own company. I feel like he has tried this before and got shot down. He also tries with his girl, Bonnie, who resists Pete’s advances because she has an open-house to run and she has her own shit to do, which is different from the women in New York. That’s fine with Pete because deep down, he likes being told what to do.

-Dawn and Shirley are having a chat about the white people in the office calling them by the other’s name, and I’m going to say that this is the third time that two black people have had a scene together in Mad Men at the same time. This has been ongoing throughout the run of the series, and when Mad Men handles race relations, it’s often awkward and clunky. Shirley is Peggy’s secretary, and Peggy sees some flowers at her desk, but she thinks they are hers. They’re actually from Shirley’s fiancee. That’s going to be awkward when the truth comes out. However, Peggy cuts off Shirley’s explanation and wants her to send a note to Ted, whom she presumes sent said flowers.

-While Shirley is dealing with that, Dawn is keeping Don in the loop while getting flowers to Lou’s wife, and then Sally Draper shows up at the office while no one but Lou is there. Sally doesn’t know her dad doesn’t work there anymore, so shit gets awkward with Lou. Now that I think about it, “awkward” would be the perfect word for this episode, but there are a ton of awkward Mad Men episodes out there. Anyway, Sally has no idea what is going on because this isn’t the office she is used to, while Lou yells at Dawn for this, like it’s her fault. Lou comes off as a bit of a dickhead so far. He wants Dawn gone to another part of the office.

-Why is Sally in the city, you ask? We learn at the beginning of the episode that her roommate’s mother has passed away, so she and her friends have used the day as an excuse to go shopping. She lost her purse, which is why she was looking for Don, but obviously, she doesn’t know what is going on.

-Speaking of, Joan is just getting bombarded as she is handling accounts now, plus handling all of the secretaries, so she moves Dawn out of Lou’s hair, but now she is out front and Bert Cooper is wary of a black woman being able to be seen from the elevators. That sucks, Bert….you were my dogg. But I suppose I should have expected it because, Mad Men.

-Don is out having lunch with a colleague from another agency, where he learns there are stories going around the industry as to why he has been out of commission for a while. Say what you want, but Don is very good at his job and he will get scooped up by someone, whether it’s the old crew or someone else. Plus, he likes getting his ego massaged and this meeting did that.

-Back at the office, Peggy wants the flowers gone, saying they’re cursed, which is when Shirley tells her they weren’t for her in the first place. Peggy loses it and goes on about how Shirley embarrassed her, but really, she is just embarrassing herself with her outburst. That shit is really unlike Peggy, and it’s probably not going to get any better any time soon.Then she bursts into Joan’s new office, demanding that Shirley is moved and Joan is like, “I ain’t got time for that shit”.

-On the low, Dawn gets promoted to handling the secretaries so Joan only has one job now. You can tell the office culture is changing with the times. I know it’s only two episodes, but there is substantially less drinking and smoking in the office, there are more women around, Joan and Peggy have positions of authority (kinda) and hell, Dawn is even doing stuff. Keep an eye on this.

-Finally, we have Don and Sally, who finds Don at the apartment and he lies to her about working, then when she says she needs a written excuse as to why she is gone, Don tells her to tell the truth, which damn near made me spit on my laptop. While in the car, Don actually tells her the truth about not working, she chastises him and Don feels like the child, which in many ways, he is. She says something about it being more embarrassing to catch him in the lie than his actual lie, and that goes back to last season, when Sally walked in on Don and the doctor’s wife, Sylvia. Instead of going back to the school, they stop for lunch and Don starts telling Sally all sorts of things, like not wanting to go to California to be with Megan and not loving her anymore, which I don’t think he does. Hell, he doesn’t call her on Valentine’s Day. That is how most husbands and/or boyfriends die. When Sally gets dropped off, she tells Don she loves him, which may be the first time I’ve ever heard her say that. It’s definitely a rarity.

While I did say this was an awkward episode of Mad Men, I also think it was pretty humorous just because I don’t think they know any other type of humor. They didn’t stick too long on one thing, and they even threw in a few new wrinkles. Sally came back swinging and I’m interested to see how she progresses (which amuses me since I hated really young Sally) and I assume we’ll see Betty at some point soon, probably next week. Mad Men is off to a surprisingly strong start in the final season.

 

Mad Men S07E01 – Time Zones

Mad Men kicked off its seventh and final season on Sunday, and it kinda flew under the radar because of Game Of Thrones, which is fitting as these two shows are about as opposite as it can get. You’re not going to get much physical action on Mad Men, but you will get some excellent acting and a show that looks the part of a “great” show. Whether or not the writing holds up, that’s another story. Anyway, let’s go…..

-“Time Zones” opens up with Freddie Rumsen pitching an ad campaign to Peggy, who is now the creative director of Sterling Cooper and Partners (remember, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce merged with  Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough at the end of last season), but she never had the power that Don Draper had in this position. She’ll likely have to give it back whenever Don returns to the office, but for now, she has a hand in making the decisions, which is a start. She hits Freddie with a solid backhanded compliment basically saying she didn’t expect his idea to be that good. 

-The office is much different now that Pete and Ted are in Los Angeles, Bob Benson’s crazy ass is in Detroit, and Don isn’t there, which leaves Peggy, Ken Cosgrove (in Pete’s old spot) and Joan, who is sent to a meeting with Butler Shoes as Ken is too busy. Joan is finally officially doing some marketing work, but mufuckas still don’t take her seriously after all she has done for the company. She goes to said meeting, and the Butler guy doesn’t want to give her the time of day, but she does learn that Butler is going to pull their account from SC&P, which she manages to delay…..for now.

-We get to Don, who is making his way to Los Angeles to see Megan (#DemTeef), and he still isn’t back to work. The partners did force him to leave, so Don has been chillin’, flying between the two time zones (and you have the name of the episode). Megan picks him up at the airport in a convertible. Don is so not a California guy. He never has been. Every time he is out there, it just seems awkward.

-The two go out for dinner with Megan’s agent, Alan, who wants to reassure Don that he isn’t trying to get with Megan. He then tells her that she got a callback for a pilot on NBC, and he also tells her she doesn’t have to get her teeth fixed yet, which made me laugh, because, #DemTeef. Megan seems different; she has been hanging out with hippies and living in some sort of cabin, yet she drives a convertible. She won’t have sex with Don, which is probably tied to her miscarriage and, I don’t know, I’m not sure this marriage can handle the commuting. It’ll be interesting to see how it evolves. I’ve never been a big fan of this character anyway.

-Don hooks up with Pete, who is getting used to L.A. life nicely, gettin’ his tan on and looking less dorky. He has a nice girlfriend in real estate who seems to resist Don’s flirting and Pete doesn’t even seem to care. Pete with confidence….it’s a weird thing to see.

-Meanwhile, Ted is back in New York; he hates it in L.A., but he had to leave to save his family. Peggy doesn’t care one bit and all but kicks him in the nuts in the brief time they’re in the office together. Peggy is MISERABLE now. She seems to be a landlady of some sort, or maybe just a helpful neighbor to the lady upstairs whose toilet is messed up. She is moving up the corporate ladder, but personally, Peggy is a god-awful mess.

-Speaking of messes, Roger Sterling makes an appearance with a room full of women, like, four or five of them. He wakes up naked to a phone call from his daughter Margaret, who was beefin’ with Roger the last time he saw her and wouldn’t let him see his grandchild. He thinks she is trying to get money out of him because that was what happened last season, but he’ll find he is in for a surprise because at the lunch, she tells Roger she forgives him for all of his issues (the drinking, the womanizing, etc.). Roger still thinks the fix is in, but she just wants to forgive him…..for now.

-Don heads back to New York, and he sits down next to an attractive woman on the plane, because he’s Don motherfucking Draper. On first glance, I was like, I recognize this woman and she kinda looks like the doctor’s wife he was banging last season, but not her. Turns out it’s Neve Campbell, who I haven’t seen in ages. Good for her, doing stuff and things. She offers him a sleeping pill and he turns it down, surprisingly. The two flirt back and forth because, well, Don motherfucking Draper. He tells her he is a horrible husband to his wife, while she just spread her husband’s ashes at Disneyland. It’s a pretty weird exchange which I thought was going to end in the airplane bathroom, but not so much. Hell, they fall asleep and she even offers him a ride home, which would obviously end up in sex, but Don declines, and I’m so confused. How many times has Don turned down the chance to cheat on any of his wives? Two? Three? She turns away, but there is no way we don’t see Neve Campbell again. We don’t even know her name in the show, but she’ll be back.

-Don is chillin’ with Freddie, and we learn that Don has been feeding him with ideas and pitches to take back to the company, which makes total sense because, as Peggy alluded to, Freddie isn’t that good and that pitch from the beginning of the episode sounded like vintage Draper. Hell, he thinks to have a drink, but instead puts the bottle of booze down and goes outside to sit and think. Not drinking? Not cheating on his wife? WHO IS THIS DON DRAPER? The episode ends with the song, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, which is obviously towards his relationship with Megan. The final shot of Don just sitting is a trademark shot from Mad Men.

So, that was that. A solid first episode, even though it suffered in the ratings badly. It’ll be interesting to see how the whole split-season thing works out for Mad Men, which will run seven episodes now and the rest in the spring of next year. It worked for The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, but will people still care about a show with little to no action (guns, violence, etc.), even a show with a pedigree like Mad Men has? That could be a bigger storyline than anything we see on the show.