It was business as usual for the seventh season premiere of ‘Mad Men.‘ I was already feeling a little ambivalent about this season, and there’s consensus that this episode was just plain boring. Still, it deserves to be dissected a bit. Here’s what all the characters have been up to.
Don: We didn’t even see Mr. Draper until about 8 minutes or so into the episode. He gets dressed, smoothly goes through the airport and greets Megan. The events of last season would have lead us to believe that these two were done, but apparently they’ve resolved most of their issues. Megan is getting a huge role on a CBS show and he has to be the supporting husband. As far as his work goes, he’s not doing anything but still collecting checks from SCDP. Perhaps to feel like he’s actually earning them, he has been feeding Freddy Rumsen ideas, which he then gives to Peggy, and she pitches them to her new boss. Peggy didn’t seem to question Freddy’s new found awesomeness, but did she really think he came up with all that great stuff on his own? And now that he’s bi-coastal, Draper is spending a lot of time on planes–which means even more opportunities for random hookups. However, the woman he meets on his flight, played by Neve Campbell, falls asleep in his arms, but doesn’t want to sleep with him. Not the first woman to turn him down, but there wasn’t enough chemistry here for this to turn into a thing.
Peggy: So Pegs now works under an indifferent boss named Lou Avery. He doesn’t seem to respect her, or her ideas, and if there is anything that Peggy liked about Don it’s that he at least entertained her ideas. Not only that, she still has to see Ted around the office. They share an awkward moment in the break room, and she winces at him kissing his wife in the hallway. Stan tells her to “buck up,” but her personal and professional lives are a mess, literally. It’s her responsibility to fix the awful plumbing in her building, and the stress of work and overflowing stopped up toilets makes the poor girl break down in tears. Something tells me Peggy isn’t going to be thrown a bone anytime soon.
Pete: Who would have thought that Pete would be the one to have it all together, for the most part. He’s enjoying California, a bit too much. He’s ridiculously tan, and chipper, but he does know how to turn Cali oranges into orange juice. Losing his wife and kids would have broken anyone else, but Pete has officially embraced the bachelor lifestyle, the hippie attitude and the sun.
Joan: At this point, Joan seems to be the only one running SCDP. One-Eyed Ken can’t get a moments peace and is freaking out about all the accounts he’s handling. Joan takes it upon herself to keep a big shoe account after a cold, and quick, lunch date with the company’s representative Wayne Barnes, played by Dan Byrd. She visits a professor to learn more about business strategies, and more than likely will help SCDP to keep the account. I hope nothing happens between her and Wayne though, I mean, he’s just a kid. Joan’s son stays at home for a reason.
Roger: I don’t know what the hell is going on with Roger’s life, but it’s kind of creepy. He seems to be living, and sleeping. with at least 4 other people. He wakes up naked on the floor to answer his daughter Margaret’s phone call. She wants to have lunch, and at the table she forgives him for kind of being a bad dad. The way she forgave him though was a little weird, as if it was a step in some sort of process. Maybe Margaret is in a cult, or is embracing the hippie movement herself.
This was the lowest rated premiere for the show since it’s debut. Is it me, or has AMC barely been promoting it? I’ve seen more commercials for that damn Revolutionary War spy show than this one. Even though it’s going to be split, this season already feels long.