Where do we even begin with the happenings on Mad Men’s Season 7 Episode 5? Runaways? What runaways? Those who are running away from reality perhaps?
Shall we note the mild confusion when Anna Draper’s niece calls out of nowhere – now a very pregnant hippie in need of a little money and a hand? (Megan is miffed, and foils that reunion.)
How about Don swallowing his pride when Lou’s put downs simply must be tolerated? (And tolerate them he does. Freddy set him straight. He’s a Big Boy now.) Better yet, shall we note the annoyance (and resigned acceptance) at the shenanigans of the creative crew, minus professional discipline, or as Don puts it, “having trouble with authority?”
Speaking of bewilderment, perhaps we should cut right to the threesome, courtesy of a stoned Megan after a pot-plentiful party. First she indulges in a replay of Bisou-Bisou with a denim clad hottie, not her husband. But girl-on-girl action with Don in the middle?
Yikes! What has the moody Megan been up to in Hollywood? And here her hubby has been so good about keeping it zipped – except in his wife’s bed. Now she’s grabbing his crotch in the Draper Domicile West, and locking lips first with him then her gal pal Amy, just inches in front of his face.
Yup. A bit befuddled. Nonplussed even. But hey, it would be impolite to refuse a little free love, right? Then again, little in this world is free. What might the cost be down the proverbial road?
Don? Coasting? Not Exactly
What else is cookin’ on the Left Coast?
Harry shows up at Megan’s party – shall we all sing “it’s a small small world?” – and he and Don are both relieved to see another of their own species. They take off to a bar which they both seem to prefer, where Harry spills the beans that Cutler and Lou are up to some shenanigans of their own. So what’s going on? Trying to nail Philip Morris – the very tobacco giant that Don maligned in his brilliant one page ad two seasons back.
That would be Good News for SC&P, and Bad News for Don.
If they land that deal? Goodbye Columbus?
Not quite. Philip Roth was last week’s news. Try Goodbye Don Draper.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside!
Shall we cut to Betty and Henry for a quickie? No, not that kind of quickie. Don’t think he’s getting any , do you? Things seem very frosty between these two, except when they’re arguing in a dead heat. Unfortunately, Bobby, who will be joining his sister on the shrink’s couch by the 1980s, worries about another divorce after seeing his step-dad take a pillow to the couch after a big fight.
At last, a glimpse into the Francis household, as Betty rebels against type or expectations. Or maybe Betty is just Being Betty. Hmm. Spinoff? “Being Betty?”
Oh wait. Maybe she can invite Ginsberg along as a “bit” player. He can provide macabre comic relief, and she can be the brains of the operation. After all, as she reminds us:
I can think you know. I speak Italian.
Ah… That line was among my faves for this episode!
Gonzo for Ginsberg?
Speaking of Ginsberg, who has been increasingly intense (and bizarre), he’s convinced the computer is making him crazy. There’s “pressure” in his head that’s going to explode unless he finds a release, and he tries to mount Peggy for just that. She rebuffs him – ah, another most excellent word – and she sends him packing. It’s Monday morning (it seems) that he shows up in her office cleaned up and calmer, telling her he has feelings for her and offering her quite the token – having found the ‘valve’ for his release.
Talk about a nip slip on television!
Yes, that is Michael’s bloody nipple in a small gift box for the Chief Copywriter. Seriously. Couldn’t he have stopped to wrap it in some pretty paper and maybe tie a ribbon on it as well? As for Ms. Olsen, she certainly attracts a fine caliber of manly specimens. Ginsberg’s courting technique is making Pete and Duck look uber romantic! Cue one gurney and restraints for the (now?) former copywriter who is wheeled away, presumably to the loony bin.
Betty, the Hawk? (She’s No Emily Post)
Betty, you’re looking mighty sane in comparison to Ginsberg! You’re a mean mother, but maybe it’s just that feminist awakening a few years late. After all, you may be suffering a delayed reaction to reading “The Feminine Mystique.” Might you join Battling Bella in a year or two, with a spiffy hat? Your hubby is practically laying down the gauntlet when he sarcastically tells you to run for office.
Does that count as running away from the real world?
Now, now. Let’s check your qualifications first. You’re tired of toast points, but can you see Russia from your kitchen? No? Well, maybe just local politics then. Stay out of foreign policy, do you mind?
And of course you’re miffed at your officious spouse – and everyone else who may be telling you to “shut up.” Besides, not only do you speak Italian (and look damn good doing it), but after your Vietnam faux-pas at the dinner party, you can sure put Hubby in his place!
You’re sorry you forgot to inform me of what I’m supposed to say. Guess what. I can think all by myself.
E vero! But can you say it in Italian?
Scouts, Snouts, and the Latest Bouts
Did I suggest that everyone was running away from reality? Well, perhaps not everyone.
Megan and Amy? Yes, indeed.
Lou, with his dream of beating out “Underdog” as a cartoon character, with his own “Scout’s Honor” drawings that were found and ridiculed by Stan and the other creatives? Color that a “si.”
Henry and Betty, thinking they have a marriage? Oh wait. That is marriage. Never mind. But perhaps the former Mrs. Draper ought to be “scouting out” a few other options. Wasn’t it four years ago, while pregnant with Gene and before romantic Rome, that Beautiful Betty caught Henry’s eye?
Is a Hubby Number Three really out of the question?
So who is dealing in reality, despite talking about running away? Sally! And that’s despite the latest run-in with her mother over getting smashed in the face, fooling around with golf clubs. And what a great argument between these two! Betty’s upset that her daughter may be ruining her pretty face, and isn’t a woman’s calling card her looks?
Fortunately, the sweet little snout isn’t broken.
Still, who won this round?
I say we give it to Sally… by a nose!
Super Don Returns!
There were some wonderful snatches of dialog in this episode, including the short scene between Don and Lou in the office in which the former Creative Director informs the current facsimile-of-same that he would “let him go” in a delightful double-entendre.
But shall we cut to the chase?
Don is definitely dealing in reality when he takes a risk by interrupting the meeting with Philip Morris, and turning things around in his favor. He offers to resign if it will get the business for SC&P. Then again, he entices them with the possibility that they could be the company that forces him to apologize – hello, let’s all eat dirt! And the bonus? He knows their competition’s strategy.
I was wondering how Don might possibly regain his footing with his colleagues. Very clever. Score one for the Draper Camp!
All rise as we applaud… Don stands in front of the Algonquin Hotel like the conquering hero. After putting Cutler and Lou in a cab. He whistles for one of his own and stands tall. Oh-so-very-Clark Kent, just bursting to remind us that he’s superman.
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