I have to say, last night’s episode of Mad Men was by far my favorite of the sixth season. The writing was crisp, it was beautifully directed and shot, and some of the scenes may go down as a few of my favorites of the show’s entire run. It felt fun, a bit playful. Like Rizzo giving Peggy the finger on his way out of that bar and her smiling coyly back at him. I think that moment — immortalized in the GIF above — captured the entire episode pretty well.
Anyway, let’s dive right in, shall we…
– Thinking of naming my fantasy football team this year “Timmy From Ketchup’s Ascot.”
– Pete’s “bachelor pad” is absolutely terrible, downright seedy. I could virtually smell the rapey-ness emanating from my television. So perfectly Pete. I loved the look of disgust on Don’s face when Pete offered it to him after Don dropped a sarcastic, “nice place” on him.
– “Don knows that or he wouldn’t be here. He’s not that polite.” — Pete Campbell. I have no idea what this means, but I’m sure it’s a back-handed compliment of some sort.
– F*ck yeah Megan Draper in a French maid outfit. More of this, PLEEZE!
– No man living with a woman will ever find a penny under his doormat without being mind-f*cked silly ever again.
– Stan Rizzo’s beard was particularly impressive in this episode, as was his bitchin’ jacket…
– And you just knew that Rizzo working on the secretive “Project K” would drive Ginsberg absolutely batty…
– Nice to see Don and Stan smoking weed while discussing “Project K” to celebrate 4/20 weekend. And I knew I’d seen Don Draper’s stoned face somewhere before…
– Soon after his secretary Scarlett commented “Harry has great ideas,” we see him pitching “Broadway Joe on Broadway” — which may be the most terrible idea ever — to Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law. It’s as if Matt Weiner’s setting up Harry Crane to become the head of NBC programming in the present era: “Just imagine — Joe Namath in a straw hat.”
– I have to admit, I did not see Harry Crane making a heel turn coming at all! He actually has a legitimate gripe but presented it in the most prickish way possible.
– I’ve no idea where Meredith came from, but she may be my new favorite character. And God bless Roger Sterling for paving the way for Harry to burst in and make an ass of himself.
– “Everybody’s scared there. Women crying in the ladies room. Men crying in the elevator. Sounds like New Year’s Eve when they empty the garbage, there’s so many bottles. And I told you about that poor man hanging himself in his office.” — Dawn. Translation: “White people are f-ing crazy.”
– I agree with Tim Burke: this was one of the best Mad Men frames ever.
– Oh, and here’s another star from the ’90s on Mad Men: Ted McGinley, best known as Jefferson D’Arcy on Married With Children, playing a soap opera writer who’s a swinger on the side.
– Is it just me or did Megan actually seem kind of open to the idea of swinging with another couple? Meanwhile, Don Draper’s penis will not share a vagina or a room with another man. Sorry, Jefferson!
– I absolutely loved the standoff between the two competing ad agency representatives outside of the hotel suite in which Timmy from Ketchup was being pitched. And Don listening to Peggy’s pitch — specifically the look of recognition on his face that Peggy was pwning him — was sort of priceless.
– Of course the tom-catting Don would insecurely show up on-set to watch over Megan’s love scene. And now with Don essentially calling Megan a whore to her face, I have a feeling their marriage has officially jumped the shark. Didn’t he do something similar with Betty? When and if Megan ever does bust him boning the neighbor’s wife he’ll surely play the “I’M DOING THIS BECAUSE YOU MAKE OUT WITH DUDES ARE WORK!” card, right? Meanwhile, the chemistry between Don and Dr. Rosen’s wife in this episode was absolutely smoldering. I really enjoyed everything about the two of them being on screen together last night, and was especially taken by the exchange they had in bed in the end where she tells him what she prays for: “For you to find peace.” That line sort of punched me in the gut.
– I never thought I’d say this, but I kind of miss Betty.
– Finally, we’ve all been the third wheel at some point, right? I think we can learn a lot from Joan’s handling of the whole thing.
(GIFs via Chet Manley)