Monday, August 31, 2009

Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home” Party Time!

Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home” was a mixed bag of events, with three parties of differing kinds, plus one child stealing from her grandfather.

First things first – Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) steals $5 from her grandfather when he’s not in the room. Despite the fact that Gene’s (Ryan Cutrona) mind is becoming more scattered, he misses the money right away and get annoyed with Don (Jon Hamm) when Don tries to fix the problem by handing him $5 of his own. Carla (Deborah Lacey), the housekeeper, feels like Gene will accuse her, so she tears apart his room to look for the money. Eventually Sally sees the problem that she has created and finds a way to return the money by throwing it on the kitchen floor when no on is looking and pretends to “find” it. Gene seems to have forgiven her when he allows Sally to go back to reading him a book – which is where they started before Sally took the money. Somehow I think that Sally, who if I recall last season too a few sips of one of her parent’s drinks when they weren’t looking, is going to be a problem child for the Drapers as she grows up. At least it is good to see that in this case, she saw the repercussions from her actions and decided to make it right.

As far as the three parties going on, one was formal, one was informal, and one was a “pot” party in the office. Joan (Christina Hendricks) and her husband are having a dinner at home with her husband’s boss, the chief of surgery. Don and Betty (January Jones), Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie), Harry (Rich Sommer) and Jennifer, and Ken (Aaron Staton) are going to a posh outdoor party hosted by Jane (Peyton List) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery). And Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Kinsey (Michael Gladis ) and Smitty get stuck working at the office over the weekend on a new campaign for Bacardi that is needed first thing in the week. Their creative block turns into a pot party.

For Joan’s party, she and her husband Greg (Sam Page) want everything to be right, but for different reasons. Greg wants to be deferential to his boss, Joan wants to maintain etiquette rules. They find a compromise and the dinner party goes on. But Joan seems uncomfortable when the wife of the chief of surgery tells her not to get pregnant, and tells her how hard things were for her and her husband when they started out. She also seems to be slightly embarrassed that Greg has asked her to play the accordion for them, but she bounces back just fine, performing a number in French. It seems Joan has made a very positive impression for Greg. Somehow, I feel that Joan will soon get tired of being the perfect wife doing all the perfect things only for the benefit of her (creepy) husband.

At Sterling Cooper, Peggy, Kinsey and Smitty (Patrick Cavanaugh) are trying to come up with new ideas for the Bacardi ads. They’re miffed that they have to work the weekend (Peggy moaning that the accounts people “hate creative”). Peggy’s new secretary Olive (Judy Kain), who is an older and seemingly very stable woman, seems to be protective of Peggy and stays in the office as long as Peggy is there. But when Peggy leaves Kinsey's office Kinsey decides to contact an old friend who deals drugs in order to get some pot. The dealer, Jeffrey Graves (Miles Fisher) arrives with a whole assorted bag of tricks, but they stick with the pot. Smitty uses Kinsey’s sweater to block the bottom of the door so the smell won’t escape. Later, when Peggy makes a move to go back into Kinsey’s office, Olive stops her, as she knows exactly what is going on in there. But Peggy goes in anyway, and shocks the rest of them when she decides to join them in the fun. Jeffrey seems rather taken with her. As Kinsey becomes more morose and Smitty more useless, Peggy is enlightened by being high and comes up with the beginnings of a great ad scenario. She goes back to her office, knowing she is high, to continue to work. Olive seems displeased that Peggy joined in, but Peggy reassures her there is nothing to worry about, and asks Olive to set up her Dictaphone, planning to go to work while her creative mind was turned up on full. In fact, she tells Olive “I’m in a very good place right now.” I wonder if Peggy will make any further connection with Jeffrey or him with her, and if drug use will become a requirement for Peggy in the future in order to get the creative ideas flowing. In fact, as Peggy tries to be respected at one of the boys, she mistakenly thinks she has to do everything they do in order to belong, and in a way, she is loosing herself. I am a little disappointed that Peggy seems to falling into a trap that she has to be like them in order to succeed.

The outdoor derby day party at the country club hosted by Roger and Jane seem to look like a good time. Betty feels that her dress makes her look like an umbrella, as she is so far along in her pregnancy. She is surprised when, while she waits for her friend to leave the ladies room that a man approaches her and seems to be taken by her pregnant beauty. He asks to put her hand on her belly, admitting it is the martinis taking. She finds out later that this man is Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) and he works in the governor’s office. Also at the party, Pete and Trudy perform the Charleston, and Roger performs “My Old Kentucky Home” in blackface for Jane. Don goes off and bonds with a lonely bartender and makes his own drink with the liquor that is available. Later, when Jane seems loopy and falls while trying to get some food, Don and Betty realize she is drunk. When Jane makes a comment about Don and Betty getting back together, Betty gets ruffled and walks off, and Jane, seated, grabs at Don who is standing next to her chair. Roger sees this and wonders what is going on. Don tells him that Jane is drunk, and Roger thinks that Don is just jealous that he is happy, but Don knows that what Roger has is not happiness. Later, Don finds Betty standing alone in an open area, and they share a kiss. I wonder, though, was Betty thinking about the slight thrill she seemed to get by another man finding her attractive, even when she was pregnant? Was Don kissing her because he feels they can have more than what Roger and Jane have, or was there something else going on in his mind?

After watching this episode, while I have concerns about Sally, I think her experience with stealing ad how it affected her grandfather may have had a more lasting positive effect on her. I can’t say the same for Peggy, who seems to be falling into the same traps as her coworkers whom she often looks down upon. Jane, who at the beginning of the show seemed to condescend to Joan, seems to be having trouble coping with her new life with Roger, and clueless Roger thinks everything couldn’t be better. Betty and Don seem to be on better footing, although I sense once the baby is born, Betty will become even more depressive and Don may be forced away again. It’s very interesting and complex drama that keeps me coming back for more!

Inside Look Mad Men “My Old Kentucky Home”

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

No comments: