|Photo via AMC via Michael Yarish|
I slacked on Mad Men Monday the past two weeks (beach trip then bad cold), but last night's episode has rejuvenated my desire to discuss. I loved the formatting of Episode 6 (Far Away Places) -- one day, three different perspectives: Peggy, Sterling, and Don.
Peggy's day began with a squabble with her boyfriend due to her stress over a pitch to Heinz later in the day. He's frustrated that she is always thinking of work...sound familiar? It seems that Peggy is officially becoming a "Mad Woman" -- puffing cigarettes and gulping shots to deal with the stress, sleeping at the office and working into the wee hours. Sadly, the presentation to Heinz doesn't go so well and in the words of agency co-owner Cooper, it's because Don has been on "love leave" and allowed a "little girl" to run the show (ouch). Ginsberg (new copywriter) revealed to Peggy that he was born in a concentration camp. Not sure whether to believe him or not, this disturbing news leads Peggy to end her day in the arms of her boyfriend. "I always need you," she says. And well, you'll just have to watch to see what she needed earlier in the day at the movies...
Off to a day-in-the-life of Roger Sterling. So far this season he's been pretty low-key. This episode delved much deeper into the Sterlings' marriage, which obviously has issues (recall the scene in an earlier episode when his wife asked where he was going so early in the morning and he replied "shut up"). At the advice of her therapist, Mrs. Sterling invites Roger to a dinner which is actually a controlled environment to try LSD in hopes of learning "truths" about life and marriage. Although reluctant and skeptical, Roger does take the LSD and ends up having quite the ride. Bottles of liquor that play symphonies when opened, cigarettes that blow like a horn with each puff, visions of Don, and the ever-chilling "look in the mirror." The trip leads the Sterlings to amicably agree that their marriage is over and has been for some time.
Finally, the adventures of Don and Megan. Upon arriving to the office, Don (after convincing Sterling to back out), pulls Megan from her copywriting presentation duties for a long weekend at the Howard Johnson, a potential new client. The couple heads for the diner at the hotel, famished after the drive, and the proverbial "all hell" breaks loose. Don, ever the advertiser, begins targeting the Howard Johnson consumer immediately, then pressures Megan to try the famous orange sherbert, which of course, she doesn't like. Her distaste, met with Don's look of sarcastic disbelief, sets Megan off and, after shoving spoonfuls of orange sherbert into her mouth, she urges Don to let her know when her role of wife ends and coworker begins. Typical Don rushes to the car, asks Megan to get in, and speeds away after she refuses, leaving her steaming on the sidewalk alone. When he realizes what a jerk he's been and returns to the hotel, Megan is nowhere to be found. Don spends the next 7 or so hours waiting at the diner, calling his home and anyone he can think of, and finally heads home...Megan is there. She doesn't want to see him, touch him, or talk to him, but Don literally kicks in the door, chases Megan through the apartment, and tackles her to the ground. In tears, Megan tells Don she can't believe he left her there and that these fights diminish their relationship. It ends with Don on his knees, head buried in her tummy, big brown innocent eyes, and the realization of the pain of potentially losing her.
Heck of a day. That's what I find so spectacular about Mad Men, the layers. That with each episode, you know a character just a little bit better than before and so much makes sense, yet remains confusing. I'm really liking Megan. She'll stand up to Don and doesn't allow him to objectify her, but she definitely has a serious soft spot for him. I'm already excited for next week! PS: How AWESOME was the fight between Campbell and Pryce last week? Classic!