Category Archives: Mad Men

Mad Men Recap, ‘Time Zones’



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.

Mad Men Finale Recap, ‘In Care Of’



There will be much talk about ‘Mad Men”s season finale, and I feel like you can just take it for was. I wouldn’t call it explosive, but it was a great ending for what has been a disjointed season. Peggy, a character who has left me feeling a bit disappointed, got what she wanted, though briefly.

All season I thought we were supposed to feel sorry for Don, and for a moment I did. We’ve always know that he is the man falling out of the window in the opening credits, and now it’s just a matter of time until he jumps.

Pete and Bob: Well this was the love affair of the season. Bob was interesting at first, but after it was revealed that he was just another Don Draper trying to get ahead it kind of killed whatever was intriguing about him. He is good to Joan though, and Kevin, giving him a little toy car for Christmas. This irks Roger, he is the kid’s real dad after all, and he tells Bob that he shouldn’t try to play family with his side family.

Pete receives a telegram telling him that Dot is presumably lost at sea, having fell off a boat. When they leave for a flight to Detroit, Pete tries to blame Dot’s disappearance on Bob, telling him that Manolo married and killed his mother for her money. He also tries to keep Bob out of his dealings with Chevy, even though Bob is the reason why they’re there in the first place. So Bob sticks it to him by suggesting that Pete drive one of the cars, a Camaro, in the lobby. It’s a stick-shift, which Pete can’t drive, but he does manage to run into GM’s sign. Game, Benson.

When they return to New York Pete tells his secretary that he’s done in Detroit, but was he fired or did he quit the account? He discusses trying to find Manolo, but after a call realizes that his mother is gone. So Pete’s dad died in a plane crash, and his mother died, possibly, from falling off a boat. He took this all surprisingly well, but had a hard time saying goodbye to Trudy and Tammy as he was leaving for California. Pete is free from everything now, but will Bob continue to be is foil? They do make a good team, even if Pete hates the guy.

Peggy and Ted: Not so great of a team, I expected more of Peggy but the vagina wants what the vagina wants. She catches feelings as she watches Ted leave the office with Nan and the kids. The way Nan looked back at her said good night, you know this wasn’t a surprise visit. To get back at him, she puts on a skimpy dress and makes sure he sees her on her way out to a date. It was a cheap move, but I’m sure she knew what he liked. When she gets home he’s waiting in her hallway, telling her neighbors that he was a cop. He asks how her date went, terribly, but it’s all because he doesn’t want anyone else to have her. They have sex and talk about spending the holidays together, but Peggy instructs him to go home. He does, and perhaps this is where he realized the mistake he had made. Being with Peggy is a nice idea, but it’s not the right one.

The next morning he tells Don that he wants to go to California, and after an awkward meeting with some execs from Hershey’s, Don gives the job in California to him. In her office, Ted tells Peggy that he’ll be leaving, even though he loves her. He just can’t be around her, and that’s probably for the best. I thought the idea of Ted and Peggy was entertaining at first, but it ended up being kind of icky. Peggy stooped pretty low, and for what? So this might be the last we see of Ted, but it was nice having him around.



Don: So Don has been stuck between a rock, a bottle, some thighs and a hard place. He obviously doesn’t enjoy his job anymore, and he’s just barely making it work with Megan. He needed a way out, or a way to happiness and he almost had it. Stan greets him in the lobby and asks that he be able to work for Sunkist in California. Don calls it a “demotion” but when Stan talks about how he wants to use the little office as his own personal agency, this gives Don an idea. At home he has to deal with Sally not wanting to be his daughter. She’s been called to testify about the burglary, but if it means having to see him she’d rather not. Betty calls in the middle of the night to tell her that Sally had been suspended at Miss Porter’s for buying beer, and knows that she’s acting out because she comes from a broken home. It’s nice to see that she finally realizes that Sally being screwed up isn’t entirely Don’s fault.

At a bar after skipping a meeting with Sheraton, Don gets into an argument with a minister. He flashes back to when he was a kid, watching a preacher being thrown out of the boarding house he lived in. And religion, shmeligion, Don feels guilty. He wakes up in a jail cell after being arrested for punching the minister.

At home he tells Megan that he realizes he needs to change and that they can do that in California. She tearfully accepts the offer, but his announcement doesn’t go over so well at work. I think he thought they would be happy to hear that he’d be leaving. Ted tells him that he can’t just quit drinking cold turkey and that he should have one before their big meeting with Hershey’s. That drink might not have been such a great idea. He pitches a simple idea that they love, but then goes into a deeply personal story about how he was raised an orphan and would spend money he took from John’s to go buy Hershey bars. They were “the only sweet thing in my life” he tells them. Uh, yikes. This definitely wasn’t on the same level as his Carousel pitch to Kodak.

After the meeting Roger tells him that he screwed up, but he didn’t care, and maybe he should have. At home, he tells a disappointed Megan that they won’t be going to California, even though she had already quit her show and was ready to leave. She tells him that she always felt sorry for his kids, but realizes that she’s just like them now and then she leaves. When he arrives to work the next morning for a meeting, he sees that Roger, Bert, Joan and Jim have met without him. The basically tell him to hit the road, citing his “questionable behavior” for them letting him go. He decides not to explain himself and they won’t give him a return date. As he’s leaving he passes Duck Phillips and Lou Avery, who worked at another agency, on his way out.

So that’s how they do Don. Fire him and then bring in Duck. I’m sure Peggy won’t be happy about that either. He’s a free agent now, free of everything like Pete, but where does he go from here? He has no job, now wife, but he does have the kids who he takes to see the place he grew up.

I was done with Don before we got here, but I am interested in seeing where he’ll be when we start the next, and final, season. Will he still be with Megan? Will he has moved on with someone else he doesn’t care about? Will he have side burns and a leisure suit? Will he have actually moved forward?

Until next time!


Mad Men Recap, ‘The Quality of Mercy’


Seeing as how this is the next to last episode of the season I was expecting some big revelations, or maybe another death. It’s time to admit that even when you break down all the good parts, this season was quite underwhelming.

We did find out more about the mysterious Bob Benson as Pete went back to being the smarmy character I liked to loathe. Again the episode belonged to Sally, who is desperately trying to figure out how to get away from boys. It’s a mad world, and it’s run by mad men.

Sally: After catching Don with Sylvia, she no longer wants to visit him on the weekends. Betty calls while Don is home sick and tells her that Sally wants to go away to an all-girls boarding school. Don offers to pay for her tuition, and she’ll have no problem getting in because Henry’s daughter also attends Miss Porter’s. So Betty takes her up for a day and she’s immediately mean-girled by her potential roommate and another student. Sally just kind of went with it, even giving them money and promising to give them anything they want, which of course means boys. Well the only boy she knows besides her brother is Creepy Glen, who climbs through the window with his friend Rolo. They drink, they get high, you know regular teenage stuff and one of the girls, Mandy, invites Glen back to her room.

Sally goes off with Rolo who tries to feel her up, and then calls her a tease when she rebuffs his advances. Glen pounces on him and they scuffle until Rolo reminds him that he’s his only way home. Even though Glen will probably never completely shake his creepiness, it’s nice to know that he’ll thrown down for Sally.

On their way back home Betty asks Sally how her stay at Miss Porter’s was, knowing that the headmistress told her about what she and the other girls did. She offers a cigarette, because if she’s going to smoke she might as well do it in front of her. Betty asks if Don has ever given her a beer and Sally responds that her dad has never given her anything, which I’m sure made Betty very happy.

Pete, Ken and Bob: My poor Ken, the weirdest things keep happening to him. After he told two Chevy execs that his wife was pregnant, they offered to take him hunting, even though they’ve probably never been hunting before. Startled by a noise, one of the guys shoots into the woods and accidentally hits Ken. He shows up to work with an eye patch over his right eye and tells Pete that he just can’t handle that account anymore. Pete is more than ready to take his job and they tell Bert that Ken will stay in New York while Pete takes over in Detroit. He wants Bob off the account but the partners know that Chevy loves him. Face to face, Pete tells Bob that he doesn’t want to work with him and that he should watch what he says to people. Guess he didn’t like that little knee tap.

Pete calls up Duck Phillips for any leads he can give to Bob so that he’ll want to quit because everyone else likes the guy, except him and Don. In his office, Bob speaks Spanish with someone on the phone telling him that Pete is conniving and trying to get him fire. When Dot stops by to ask Pete for her passport, she tells him that Manolo isn’t happy about the way he’s been treating Bob. Which begs the question, who is Manolo to Bob anyways? Is he really just a caretaker that he happened to know? When Duck calls Pete back he tells him that Bob has lied about pretty much everything, his background, where he went to school. Bob Benson isn’t even his real name! Of course SC&P is the only company who didn’t do any background checks on him.  Pete confronts him about what he knows, but Bob plays dumb, probably instinctively, but apologizes for treating him the way he did. Pete knows that he can’t win against someone who is willing to lose it all to get ahead, so he might as well play nice. Bob, whoever he really is, can stick around as long as he keeps his distance. Smart move, Pete.

Don, Ted and Peggy: The weird love/hate triangle that’s been going on between these three finally came to a head when Don decided that he wanted to spare Ted and Peggy the same embarrassment he’s gone through with office romances. Or at least that’s the lie he went with. Megan tells him to stay home for the day because he’s sick, and looks it, but work never stops.

Harry calls from California to tell him that Sunkist wants their business, but Ted is already working with Ocean Spray which could cause a huge conflict. At the office, Ted and Peggy are doing a horrible job at hiding their flirting from the other creatives. While they sample juices, they giggle with each other as they act out a commercial. After a showing of ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ Megan and Don run into Peggy and Ted who quickly lie their way out of the awkward situation. Don instantly knows what’s up, and as they act out their St. Joseph’s aspirin ad, inspired the by the movie, he tells them that they’ll be over budget.

Later Ted tells Don that St. Joseph’s stopped production on their ad when Don sent the budget to them. Ted is more concerned about how Peggy will take the news than the fact that a huge ad won’t make it to air. In a meeting with the St. Joseph’s people, Ted tries to convince them to move forward even with the big budget. Don butts in saying that he knows what they want, but that the ad has become personal for Ted. Totally caught off guard, Ted lets Don tell them that the campaign was Frank Gleason’s last idea and that’s why they feel so strongly about it. It was an uncomfortable move, and a risky one, but they went for it. He then tells Ted that him and Peggy are way too public and that he’s been there before, and boy has he. So maybe Don was trying to save the two from being the talk of the office, but I also think there were some slightly selfish reasons behind him trying to break up Ted and Peggy. As good as they both are, they aren’t as sharp when they’re too busy acting like 4th graders. Peggy chastises him in his office, saying that he ruined their commercial and calls him a monster. All Don can do is curl up into the fetal position on his couch.

Besides finding out that Bob isn’t who he says he is (and we all saw that coming right?), there wasn’t a lot to this episode. I don’t expect the finale to be filled with anything big either, but something has to happen! It better not involve Glen and his eyebrows either.