Mad Men Recap: Signs and Blunders

Mad Men Season 6 RecapIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And then Pete smoked a joint.

Lots of seemingly good stuff happens in this week’s Mad Men: Joan stands up for herself, Chevy finally signs off on the firm’s work and Don makes it through a stretch of days without cheating on his wife. But an air of dread – highlighted by the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention – seeps into everything like pot smoke into Campbell’s comb-over. You read that right: Everything’s so topsy-turvy in this episode that the last scene involves Pete getting high at the office. Pete!

In short, and to use the parlance of the times, I dug it. So let’s review what happened in the very groovy “Tale of Two Cities.”

RELATED | Who Is Mad Men‘s Bob Benson, Really?

WHAT SHOULD WE CALL ME? | Don and Roger are heading to California with Harry and Ted’s planning to “kiss the ring” at Chevy HQ in Detroit, but not before the partners meet to discuss a very important problem: The merged firm still doesn’t have a name. No one but Jim Cutler seems terribly worked up about it, which… really, guys? Aren’t you supposed to be all about image, perception and all that jazz? Whatever. I’ll just focus instead on Pete’s incredibly tiny tie, which looks clown-car small. I expect dozens of smaller ties to spill out of it at any moment. (Yes, I am aware that tie length waxes and wanes depending on the era. Please, People for the Ethical Treatment of Bob Benson’s Swim Trunks, don’t crucify me in the comments.)

On their way to the Golden State, Roger tells Don – who’s doing research — to lighten up and enjoy the fact that their status as big New York ad men means they’ll instantly charm Carnation and the other companies on their list. “Be slick. Be glib. Be you,” Sterling advises his colleague. “Our biggest challenge is not to get syphilis.” Heh. At the hotel, Don turns down Roger’s invitation to check out the Strip and instead talks on the phone with Megan, who’s upset by the Chicago police’s use of force on protesters outside the convention. He jokes about it but stops when he realizes she’s about to cry. Because she’s Canadian, “You can’t even vote,” he teases her. “But I still live here,” she points out. The cute, attentive way Don’s talking to Megan, it’s like he actually misses her – could it be that his promise to be a better husband is actually taking effect?

PARTY ON | The next day, Don, Roger and Harry sip Instant Breakfast at an uncomfortable meeting with Carnation – where, by the way, every single thing Roger said on the plane is proved untrue (ha!) – and then head to a party with Harry. (Side note in the form of a quick quiz: Harry’s tool-ness is A) enhanced by his neckerchiefs in this episode, B) camouflaged slightly by his neckerchiefs in this episode, C) unaffected by his neckerchiefs in this episode but what is the deal with his neckerchiefs in this episode?) In their sportscoats and pomade, Roger and Don stick out among the partygoers, who are mostly hippies and Cali kids and… Danny?! Yep, it’s Roger’s former cousin-in-law (and former Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce copywriter) Danny Daniel  Siegel, who’s now a Sonny Bono-looking film producer with a mean fu manchu ‘stache and no desire to listen to Roger’s short jokes. When he’s had enough of the mockery, Daniel pops Rog in his nether regions (“Hated to do that,” Danny quips, which is easily 10 times more witty than any tag line he ever came up with) and leaves with a tripping beauty named Lotus.

UP IN SMOKE | Meanwhile, Don goes looking for the bathroom but finds a hookah full of hashish, which he shares with a room full of new friends. After the smoke clears, he cozies up to a chilled-out blonde and is taken aback when Megan – clad in flower-child garb – shows up. “I quit my job. I couldn’t bear to be apart,” she tells him, and of course she’s a drug-induced hallucination. Interesting, though, that she tells him she has “another surprise” and pats her belly, which seems to make Don really happy. “What do you think it is?” he asks as she leads him through the house by the hand. “A second chance,” she replies.

But soon, Megan’s replaced by PFC Dinkins, the drunken soldier for whom Don stood up in Hawaii. Dinkins is missing an arm and is – as he informs a confused Mr. Draper – dead. Shouldn’t he be whole if he’s deceased, Don asks? Dinkins replies “Dying doesn’t make you whole. You should see what you look like.” And then Don is seeing himself, floating face down in the party house’s in-ground pool… and then he’s waking up and coughing up water as Roger – who’s clearly jumped in to save his pal – is telling everyone to step back and leave them alone.

Let’s take a minute to unpack Don’s dream/drug fever/near-death experience/whatever you want to call it. Megan tells Don “Everybody’s looking for you.” A nod, perhaps, to the government closing in on his ID switch-up? Dinkins says, “My wife thinks I’m MIA, but I’m actually dead.” During their terrace talk last week, Megan noted that Don had been so emotionally absent, she missed him “all the time.”  And on the plane on the way home, Don has a rough-sounding cough – the same cough we saw a few episodes back, perhaps? Maybe something’s more wrong (in this chronic smoker and hard-liver) than we thought? Or maybe, between the Megan Is Sharon Tate theory and trying to decipher Bob Benson’s intentions, I’ve just got a bad case of Matt Weiner-induced paranoia.

CORPORATE DISCORD | Back at the office, after a political argument with Ginsberg, Jim Cutler is agitating for a Cutler Gleason Chaough takeover. With Don and Roger away, “Just lock the gates and leave Pete Campbell as the doorman,” Jim advises, but Ted says he has to play nice now – and that the first step will happen when he brings Ginsberg with him during the client meeting with Manischewitz. Cutler is not enamored of the idea and foists the job on a very willing Bob (who, it should be noted, is listening to a record of How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling at one point in the episode. Mark one point for the Bob-as-J.-Pierrepont-Finch camp).

Bob proves himself good at soothing Ginsberg, who’s tweaking about being part of the problem instead of the solution, and making the quirky copywriter ready to face the Manischewitz folks. Michael point-blank asks Bob if he’s gay; Bob gives him neither a yes or a no. (Mark one point for the Kim Is Not Insane camp.) And even though the meeting is a bust and the wine makers are thinking about jumping ship, Cutler rewards Bob by adding him to the Chevy account. I wonder what Ken will have to say about that?

JOAN COMES INTO HER OWN | Joan’s makeup-hawking pal from a few episodes back sets her up with the head of marketing at Avon, but their meal doesn’t go exactly as the redhead plans. “I thought it was a date, but it turned out to be better!” Joan gushes to Peggy, and she’s ridiculously cute as she realizes that she would be the account rep if the cosmetics company signs with SCDPCGCABCDEFG. But when the ladies confer with Ted, he wants Pete to close the deal… and Pete has no desire for Joan to be part of the process. “Don’t worry, you’ll get all the credit,” he airily promises her, but it’s hard to hear over the sad trombone that accompanies Joan’s crestfallen face.

Perhaps recalling her friend’s advice to take control of her career, Joan shows up at the client-courting meal the next day wearing a blue power suit and an air of determination. Peggy quickly surmises that she squeezed Pete out of the meeting, but there’s no time to argue because Avon guy arrives. Joan works the interaction, charming the dude and directing the flow of conversation; once they’re back at the office, Peggy lets her know that stepping outside the chain of command was un. cool. and will not be viewed kindly by the rest of the firm. Sit back and prepare to soak up the awesome, people, because Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks are about to have one of the most fantastic interactions of this season.

Peggy is mad because she had to work for her position – without Joan’s support, for the most part. Joan is mad because she’s just as smart and savvy as anyone else in the building, but everyone thinks she’s a cheap whore. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously.) When Joan brings up Don, Peggy says, “I never slept with him;” from Mrs. Harris’ reaction, I think this is the first time she’s ever had confirmation one way or the other. Very nice, Mad Men. Though they’re prickly with each other, Peggy still comes to Joan’s rescue while Pete is chewing her out, and when Ted basically sides with the former office manager, it looks like she’s got a slightly tarnished win on her hands.

THE CHRISTENING | Upon Roger and Don’s return, Cutler, Chaough and Cooper propose a new name for the agency: Sterling Cooper & Partners. “It’s the only thing that’s offensive to all,” Jim says. (Ha.) They all shake on it, but Pete – still vibrating with anger from the Joan offensive – claims it’s the beginning of the end for SCDP. He’s so upset he stalks into creative, literally steals the join out of Stan’s mouth (don’t worry, I’m sure he’s got another handy) and tokes up to the strains of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” And that, friends, is the grooviest thing you’re likely to see all week.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of Stan’s small but hilarious presence in this week’s episode? Were you as impressed as I was by the Joan-Peggy scene? Am I reading too much into Don’s throat tickle? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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112 Comments
  1. kate says:

    I really enjoyed this ep. Any ep where Pete is angry and someone else wins is a good ep. Also, does anyone know the song that was playing at the party while Don was following hallucinated Megan around?

    • cfm says:

      “Found Love” by The Fly Bi Nights

    • Lucy says:

      The closed captions said that the name of the song was “Found Love.”

    • 21player says:

      It was Harper Valley PTA by Jeannie C. Riley

      • JoMarch says:

        HV was playing when they got to the party, not during the hallucination (of which there have been too many lately).

    • MadMadMen says:

      Dispite the haters, I think that the character Megan brings appeal to the show. In my opinion, Megan’s character brings a softness and prettiness to the show, even if she does not have perfect teeth. I also think that Megan’s French mother Marie brings humor to the show. Killing off Megan might bring a fascinating twist, however, the show will later become boring uless the writers bring in another soft and pretty significant character for Don. Betty is off doing her own thing with her new husband

      If Megan is killed off, she may continue to appear in the show as a dream or a hulicination

    • MadMadMen says:

      Kimberly,
      When Megan exclaimed to Don “everbody’s looking for you” perhaps Megan is refering to the fact that the souls in the afterlife are or will be looking for Don

      If Megan being inclunded in Don’s hallicinated about Megan was a premonition of Megan’s demise, then Megan may soon be in the afterlife realm looking for and waiting for Don

      Don’s near death experience which included Megan was hauntingly beautiful. The scene was also eerie. Why would Megan show up with the miscarried baby and the soilder uttering the words, I’ve moved here

      Was Megan referring to her piight that she might be moving into the afterlife soon?

      I acknowledge that Don may have experienced a premonition that a new baby is coming, but the scene including flower child Megan was yet another eerie and jaring scene regarding her character

      • MadMadMen says:

        I meant to write Don’s hallucination…rut ro rits a typo Scooby Doo

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Personally, I interpreted Megan’s pregnancy in that scene as Don wishing he had that version of Megan. The pregnant, housewife version of Megan who quit her job because she just wanted to be with Don all the time. When they got married, she didn’t really have aspirations. I think he liked that about her because it meant she would be devoted to him all the time. I think Don is struggling with feminism.

      • marieameriault says:

        Regarding what happens to Don at the party, is Megan merely a hallucination or some type of apparition? Given the near drowning event, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the scene in which Don follows Megan and visits with Dinkins occurs during a brief after-death experience concluding with his successful resuscitation. It reminds me of The Big C’s Season 2 finale, “Crossing the Finish Line, in which Kathy Jamison (Laura Linney) runs a marathon and sees three spirits at the finish line, one of whom she doesn’t know has temporarily died.

        • MadMadMen says:

          Hi Marie

          2 posts above, I wrote that Megan might have gone onto the other realm or in other words died

          I surmised the theory of death, because in my opionion Megan was featured in a scene with a possibly miscarried baby and the soilder

          If Megan were a real person and not a character, my hope would be that Don merely experienced a premonition that a new baby is on the way

          You are correct , I should have used the phrase that Don temporarily died while in the pool instead of stating that Megan was part of a halluncination

          • Vikont says:

            Also note, if I’m not mistaken, that Don never made it home yet as they came to the office directly from the airport. Last time he spoke with Megan was when he called her from the hotel in CA, before the hookah party. So far everything fits with Megan’s death theory…

  2. whowho says:

    Joan’s suit at the lunch meeting was NOT powder blue!

  3. cfm says:

    Is Ginsberg okay? Does he have a mental illness or something?
    Remember back in his early days when he told Peggy he was a Martian? His ramblings about virginity on his date earlier this season.
    And tonight he talked about transmissions beaming into him telling him to do harm.
    He says, I don’t touch pot, it makes you crazy. Is he already?
    And when he called himself “death”, I got worried he might actually kill one of the “fascists” he works for by season’s end.
    Anyone else? Or am I the crazy one?

    • kate says:

      I think that for the most part Ginsberg is just neurotic, as well as a bit fatalistic and cynical and dark. His ramblings, to me, speak of a guy who just naturally spends a lot of time in his own head thinking about stuff. For some reason he reminds me of Alvy Singer in the film “Annie Hall.”

      • cfm says:

        In total agreement with the Woody Allen comparison. The diner date scene was so Alvie Singer.
        I hope you’re right and it’s just neurosis, but the death and voices telling him to kill tonight seemed… more disturbing.

      • susela says:

        A lot of neurotic people went a little crazy in 1968. In a five-month span, we had two political assassinations and cops beating a bunch of young kids. It felt like the world was falling apart. Reality tilted—and so did some people’s brains.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          I absolutely think Weiner is trying to draw comparisons between 1968 and current times with the political discord and how the country is falling apart, and reality is getting tilted for previously normal individuals, and their brains are getting warped and they’re starting to do violent things…or just incite violent things. I see a lot of similarities between this season of Mad Men and 2012-2013.

          • Susan Fleming says:

            Anyone who compares current times — when the country is on the way up after being dragged into the gutter — and 1968 didn’t live through 1968. Two of the nation’s most charismatic leaders assassinated, rioting everywhere, police beating up college students, young men being drafted to their deaths….there’s absolutely no comparison. In fact, 1968 was the opposite of 2013.

          • Mad Men - 1968, a year of madness says:

            Wanted to make a note of agreement w/Susan’s comment – I was a very young boy in 1968, and that year was one of the first years I remember start-to-finish. That year was very, very rough – I’ve never seen another year like it (or as bad) since, and that includes 1974/Watergate and Oil Crisis, 1980/Iran Crisis, 1991 recession, 2001/Sept 11th.
            .
            1968 was just a rolling month-after-month of bad news – no let up with the exception of the Winter Olympics in Feb. and finally the end of the year with the Apollo 8 mission in December. The assassinations, political conventions, riots, Vietnam war which went from bad to worse and a general sense that ‘the post-war [II] good times were coming to an end.’ It was one of those years that just stays with you – you can never really shake it off.

            I remember how worried my parents and other adults around me were that year. I remember playing with my little green army men around the Christmas tree one night, and my brother and I were watching the news about the Vietnam war, and my mom came into the living room and asked me to stop playing and put my army men away. The only time my mom ever asked me to stop playing – I think the news of the war, Christmas time, etc. was getting to her. Compared to what we have today in 2013, this year is a party [and of course, we know it's not, but it gives you an idea of how difficult and tragic1968 was].

          • Jains says:

            Susan is so correct! No comparison to the polymorphic 2013 and clearly schizophrenic 1968!

    • DJ says:

      Ginsburg’s reference to death was a quote from the Bhagvad Gita “I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” It’s what Robert Oppenheimer said when the first atom bomb was tested. It reflects Ginsburg’s anguish at being part of the establishment of Madison Avenue during the turmoil of August 1968.

  4. JoanFan says:

    It says Blue POWER suit not powder blue suit.

  5. Patrick Brooks says:

    Dutch Reagan is a patriot, Richard Nixon is an opportunist. “Jack” at Carnation knew it then and we know it now.

  6. Carol says:

    My fearless prediction: Megan is going to find out about Don’s affair with Sylvia, run off somewhere in the city, and get killed while she’s pregnant, a la Sharon Tate.

  7. TV Gord says:

    I hope the people who keep saying nothing is happening this season are still watching. Stuff is definitely happening!

    I’m tense about the way Cutler wants to weed all of “them” out of the agency. This could be a explosive season finale this year! I love it (despite the tension)!

  8. trylon says:

    So…SC&P…Sterling Cooper & Partners. Although, most of the other partners could pretend it stands for:

    Sterling Cutler & Partners
    Sterling Chaough & Partners or even
    Sterling Campbell & Partners

    so really, the only thing it can’t stand for is Sterling Draper & Partners

    • Lisa G says:

      Sterling Harris & Partners is also out.

      You may not like how it happened, but she *is* a partner (not that they treat her that way.)

  9. Singing_gal says:

    I knew when I saw last week’s preview for this ep and saw Joan and Peggy in a scene together that it would be EPIC. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, one of the best episodes of the season. And I loved Joan’s floral dress at the beginning. fabulous!

  10. Bob says:

    By the way, I’m slightly appalled at your lack of an ‘ear’ for Hollywood names: it’s DANIEL J. SIEGEL. DANIEL C? Please…..

    • znachki says:

      I loved the bit of meta in that scene, since the actor – Danny Strong – is now a screenwriter with an Emmy for “Game Change”, and is working on the script for Mockingjay in the “Hunger Games” series. Go Jonathan!

      • Stacy says:

        I loved that, too….Danny Strong has come a long way from being one of Buffy’s “nemisises” ;-)

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Oh, come on, no need to pick on Kimberly. There are much more important things in the world to save your appall for. Possibly mishearing a person’s middle initial really shouldn’t be one of the those things.

  11. Bob says:

    Also Benson continues to confound as regardless of whether he is a deep down ‘weasel’ or not, his ‘take the high road with a self-effacing demeanor’ approach is continuing to pay off. I know the trap door is coming any episode because he’s too ‘vanilla’ for AMC to keep on Weiner’s shoe-string payroll but I still find it amusing that he’s the topic of so much wrath on this site.

    • susela says:

      The actor also has a role in a new fall series, the one with Robin Williams, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing much more of him. Presumably he’ll be in Detroit with Ken.

      • Susan Fleming says:

        He could do both. Allison Brie does double duty on a NBC sitcom while playing Trudy Campbell in Mad Men.

  12. bob says:

    Am I the only one that was disappointed that Don didn’t really die?

  13. Dawn Croft says:

    I was freaked out by Bob Benson’s office. Anyone catch how spartan it was? In close up you don’t really notice, but jeez, for 1 second there is a broader view and it is devoid of anything remotely human.

    • Susan Sherman-Tanzer says:

      Good catch…are you implying serial killer?

    • Sara says:

      My thought exactly. I don’t know what it means, except that he’s not really doing anything and may actually be there without ever having been hired. Just showed up and everyone thinks someone else gave him the job. Could be a red herring to the explosive stuff that seems to be ahead.

      • George Costanza - give me those Penske files! What Penske files? says:

        Hey, it’s not Bob Benson – it’s George Costanza! If Bob works the Chevy account as diligently as George held and caressed that ‘Penske file’, SC&P may have a hit on their hands! However, me thinks Bob’s office is so spartan because Bob doesn’t think he’ll be there for very long. Maybe he’s really working for B&B as their spy.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Hmmm. I guess I have to say I’ve noticed the smarter, more successful people at my job are the people who never bring anything personal in to their work space. They never let their home lives intrude on their job lives. I think that might be what’s going on with Bob? I’m going to have to stick to this “Bob is a ladder-climber” theory, lol. I came out and said that’s what I thought he was in an earlier review, and I don’t want to have to admit I’m wrong, haha.

  14. I’m really getting tired of these (incredibly unrealistic) drug trips: LSD as truth serum, speed as 72-hour hallucinogen and now hash as psychosis-inducing out-of-body experience? C’mon man

    • Jackie says:

      Everybody did drugs back then (with the exception of Ginsburg, I guess). Illegal or prescription or alcohol, everybody was doing something. I think Mad Men has always been great at capturing the essence of the era. And yeah, I was around back then.

      • CmonReally says:

        But really — they did them at the office back then? NAH

        • Jains says:

          Yes they had drugs in the office and all the booze possible. I graduated from high school in the Midwest in 1961 with a guy who went on to the same college I attended majoring in advertising. He was drunk every single day and night. (So o.k. you could drink there at age 18 making it easy and now you can probably guess the college). Believe it or not, he graduated, ended up on Mad Ave and he is the one who came up with, A diamond is forever” for de Beers. It probably takes only one amazing slogan like that to live off of for the rest of your life. Is it possible to be creative and sober in advertising at the same time?

          • Jains says:

            Correction: my high school classmate did not create the diamond tag. He worked many years on the campaign.

      • JoMarch says:

        Don’t speak for “EVERYONE” Jackie; I was the demographic for drug-users in the 60’s and I DIDN’T NOR HAVE I EVER taken a recreational drug or misused prescription drugs, and I’m not alone. Sound like I’m bragging? Take whatever attitude you want; just don’t lump everyone together. You give a false idea of the people of the time.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          Is it fair then to just say it was a common occurrence and that many people drank and did drugs? Or maybe the drug use was just higher in glamorous, high-paid environments and big cities? You don’t have to take it so personally. Of course there always exceptions, I’m sure Jackie knows that.

    • The Beach says:

      I didn’t get Don’s hallucinations after smoking hash. It wasn’t LSD. It was “bubble melt hash” which was used in hookas. Maybe it was a bit stronger than the pot back then, but it wasn’t hallucinogenic.

      • susela says:

        I thought maybe Don was having hallucinations as he was drowning, although the high from the hash may have gotten him into the pool in the first place.

  15. slkr925 says:

    Isn’t Joan a partner? I thought there was some level of responsibility that came with that. She’s being treated just like any other employee.

    • MissMe says:

      My hubby and I discussed the same thing! Even if she didn’t follow the proper channels or protocol, she doesn’t answer to Pete Campbell and he has no business talking to her that way. Joan has every right to court Avon. Pete is being Pete. I wanted Joan to remind Pete that she’s a partner and deserves some respect.

      • Meg says:

        I was reminded of when Lane tried to court Jaguar. It was his contact, and he threw similar fits about it when the account guys tried to swoop in and take over. Her role in the firm, especially with Lane dead, is very similar to what Lane’s was. She manages the business side of things, numbers and financials–it’s why she was so involved with the IPO stuff. I actually *almost* sided with Pete on this one, but ultimately couldn’t because he’s such a little turd.

        • Huckleberry says:

          How could you almost side with Pete when the women were shut out of accounts and anywhere else until they barged their way in. She’s not at all like Lane. Lane lacked the personality for accounts. Joan has it.

    • TD says:

      This is still the 1960s. That’s the whole point–she’s a partner in name only. That’s what she’s been struggling with all season. She’s still treated as only the “office manager” at best and “office girl” at worst. No, at worst, she’s the “office whore” to those who resent her partnership.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Yep, pretty much. I hate to say this too, but because of how she got her partnership, I doubt the other partners will ever be able to take her seriously as an equal. They all feel like they earned their jobs through smarts and hard work, and don’t really feel like she earned hers the same way.

    • she will always be seen as a glorified secretary and that’s all. even though she deserves much more and is just as capable if not more, than everyone else there. so she deserves so much more respect. she’s not an employee working under pete and the other partners, she should be treated as an equal.

  16. MM says:

    I thought the proposition of naming the firm was to misdirect the scdp people. “Here, let me appease you by putting your names in the title (and not ours) while I abscond with your business (and potentially Don).” My prediction is this merger will be kaput by seasons end.

  17. Kathleen W says:

    When Roger told Don that he wasn’t a good swimmer it reminded me of the season when Din swam at the Y during his lunch to stay in shape. I miss those bare-cheated hot-Don scenes.

  18. cat says:

    Why does Don suddenly care about Megan? I thought he was as bored with her as everyone else is.

    The only thing I liked about this episodes was the Joan and Peggy bits.

    • Jen says:

      Yeah Don being all in love with Megan again was such a letdown after the Don and Betty greatness that we got last week. They have no chemistry and are boring beyond words. Is it wrong that I hope the Megan dying rumors are true?

      • Kevin says:

        no, at the beginning I didn’t mind her much, but now she needs to die I cannot stand her anymore. I would assume don would be happier without her anyway.

      • Chloe says:

        I truly thought that he would come home from LA & find her dead in the apartment. I sat there, waiting and waiting. And then – there she was in next week’s previews. *sigh*

        • MadMadMen says:

          Chloe

          Next week Don could merely be seeing Megan as a flashback. She may not appear in the next episode as a current character. Only time will tell

      • Susan Fleming says:

        I think seeing Betty with Henry after his night of lovemaking with her, gave him closure with Betty for the first time and that — along with the recent closure of the affair with the neighbor — helped him to appreciate Megan more.

  19. Jack says:

    Anyone else think Pete is on the verge of losing it and going postal in the office? Anyone?

    • The Beach says:

      Maybe smoking a little weed will do Pete some good. He needs to chill out somehow.

    • susela says:

      Well, they do say that if you show a rifle in Act 1, you have to use it in Act 2. I’m guessing Pete still has his at the office?

  20. O'Brien says:

    Great recap, but I want to add one thing – the fact that Joan was out on what she THOUGHT was a date at the beginning of the episode might also be a point in favor of the “Bob Benson is Gay” theory. While it’s still possibly Bob and Joan are seeing one another, as one might have assumed based on the fact that they went on a beach vacay last episode, and that they’re just not exclusive at this point, it could also be interpreted to mean that they’re just friends. And in Mad Men world, no two people that good-looking could just be friends and going on a beach vacation with no sexy times UNLESS one of them were gay. Also, Avon guy was much older than Bob, which might indicate that that’s really what Joanie is looking for…oh, Bob Benson. You have blown up my mind this year, just by living!

  21. Michelle says:

    I enjoyed the in-joke of Danny/Daniel Siegel being a “Hollywood player” now, since Danny Strong (the actor) won an Emmy for his writing/co-producing “GAME CHANGE” .

  22. Heathers says:

    I thought Pete’s miniature tie was just another representation of himself- disheveled, home life is a mess, and just an over all tool. Jack, you may be right. I think at some point Pete is going to completely snap and it isn’t going to be pretty.

    • i thought pete was going to snap from way back in season 1 when he found out he had a child with peggy. he was in his office with that gun… it’s going to happen real soon and i can’t wait!

  23. Kavyn says:

    Great episode!

  24. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I kind of thought Peggy’s line “I never slept with him” was more a dig at Joan’s act of prostitution than anything else. It seems like everyone in the office must know about it by this point after Harry announced it in front of Meredith awhile back. It seems like this episode had a few digs at Joan with that.
    .
    Don’s cough…it could be lung cancer, for sure. But I am wondering if it isn’t just something that’s symbolically connected to the illness we saw that he had when he was a kid, like certain things trigger that memory of the prostitute taking care of him. Or maybe he coughs when he has anxiety? I dunno, I do that.
    .
    The most interesting part of the episode to me was Don’s hashish experience. First of all, I’m not sure hashish quite affects you in that much of a hallucinogenic way, but whatever. Ummm, I wouldn’t know? :) The line, “You don’t get put back together just because you’re dead. You should see what you look like.” I wondered if a bunch of internet conspiracy theorists would come out and start screaming that Don was really dead, and in the end of the series we find out he really died in Korea. (Egad, they better not end the series that way). It was a super interesting conversation. Deep stuff. It made me think a lot about how Don had really become Don Draper, and at this point to him, Dick Whitman was the one who truly died after he got blown up. Lots of ways to interpret that conversation. I’m still thinking on it.

    • GG says:

      I innocently thought that Don’s coughing was due to his having just smoked hash

      I also intrepreted that his coughing had to do with almost drowning in the pool

      However, Britta and Kimberly shed valid points as to the deeper reasons why Don’s cough has persisted through out the season

    • Sarah says:

      When he said “you should see what you look like” I thought he meant the real Don Draper.

    • Did anyone else notice when Don was kissing the blond and she called him his name that he said, “that’s not my name.” Then we had the hallucination and the death talk – particularly with the soldier? Curious. I wonder if we get more developments in the Dick Whitman story coming up.

    • Jennifer says:

      Insightful and thought provoking review as always. Thank you.

      Britta – I agree entirely with your anlysis of both the Peggy comment and Don’s cough.

      Initially I thought Peggy’s statement to Josn that she never slept with Don was offered for the factual truth. Maybe it was. But, I you look at Joan’s reaction clearly it is one of hurt. It didn’t match and I rewound a couple of times until it donned on me as you point out, that Joan was hit because this was a barb from Peggy about Joan having slept her way to success and a partnership. Keep in mind this is still the 60s and these are the only two women in the office who aren’t secretaries. They both know this and we have seen the beginnings of a sort of feminist bonding and comrade row between these two before. Joan asks Peggy to the subversive client breakfast hoping (and anticipating) that Peggy will support her efforts to contribute more substantively. Joan’s hurt is realizing that Peggy (not just the men in he office) thinks of her in this way. Particularly after just seeing her quite competent performance with the Avon client.

      Peggy went there. It was an incredibly poignant moment for me being the only woman with a seat at the table in my company, today in 2013. Like many woman, i have been surprised and privately hurt by female colleagues when I’ve experienced unjustified attacks, been undermined etc from the very female colleagues I had expected (or hoped) for support.

      Perhaps it is a female thing but it was incredibly powerful for me and I was heartened to see Peggy ultimately “save” Joan later on in the episode. (Although I am not sure Joan needed saving; as others have written above, Joan is a partner after all.). Nonetheless, I was touched for both Joan and Peggy to recognize the value of female friendship and support in the office – particularly where the leadership is dominated by men.

      I am not a feminista by any stretch but having risen to the top of sorts in my field, I’ve reluctantly come to accept that gender plays a larger role in the office than I was willing to admit. Even today. And it’s fascinating to see women of my mother’s generation grappling with those same issues.

      The other insight I loved from Britta, was About Don’s cough and it being an emotional trigger that takes him back to his youth. Perhaps even a nervous tick. Didn’t he do this when learning of his brother’s suicide? Fabulous.

      This show continues to keep me interested in large part because of the ways in which the nuanced layers of each character continues to be revealed – while some characters mature and change and others keep struggling with the same issues over and over.

  25. gina says:

    Did anyone think it was odd that whenever we’ve seen Pete smoke a cigarette he coughs and hacks but inhale a joint no problem

  26. GG says:

    The funniest scene would have been if the firm had sent Bob to the party in California

    Would Bob have walked around like a guidance counselor advicing the ladies that Hash was not healthy for their lovely bodies and minds

  27. bobby927 says:

    Danny & Lotus = Sonny & Cher

  28. Susan Fleming says:

    Instead of saying “I hated to do that,” as he was walking away from his hit on Roger, I wish Daniel would have said , “The cure for the common asshole.”

  29. Everybody's looking for you. says:

    Best line in this very solid episode – Illusion~Megan to Don: “It’s cool – it’s California – everybody shares.” That might be a line Don could use in an upcoming ad campaign … maybe for the account for those ‘avocado people.”

  30. William says:

    Lots of good insights here. Anyone else suspect that Ginsberg might somehow kill Meagan? “I am become Death…meets…Sharon Tate”? He’s always resented her. I’m just sayin’.

  31. Danielle H. says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention that John Slattery, the fantastic Roger Sterling, directed this ep. I like his direction efforts the best. This was one of my more favorite episodes of the season so far. I’m beginning to think I like this show best when I binge watch it, as I did with the first 5 seasons. It’s more fun and comprehensible that way, lol.

  32. Margareta says:

    After being in relationship with him for nine years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is (spirituallove@hotmail.com) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything.Margareta.

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