Monday, September 20, 2010

Mad Men “The Beautiful Girls” Recap & Review

All photos from AMC

“Jesus, what a mess”. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) couldn’t have said it any better, because things sure got messy for just about everybody in this episode of Mad Men, “The Beautiful Girls.” Don had what many may call a day from hell, but things weren’t exactly perfect for all the women in his life. This was an episode with lots of drama but also lots of dark humor.

It’s clear that Sally is having some serious coping problems that likely will not get fixed by her mother or her father. She wants out of her mother’s house, but Don, while he loves Sally, doesn’t want a young child complicating his life. While Don seems to be striking up a serious relationship with Faye, I wonder how long it will really last, and if the beautiful receptionist Megan – who seems to have a way with kids – will be Faye’s competition.

Joan is struggling with her husband going off to war, and the tug of her past relationship with Roger. Roger and Joan are great together but know that their respective marriages complicates thing greatly. Somehow, I have this feeling that the marriage issue will be “resolved” with Greg going to Vietnam (and maybe not coming back). Peggy, on the other hand, is growing a conscience, and while she is concerned about racial equality, she seems even more concerned about gender equality. Sadly, no one can see her viewpoint on the latter.

Here’s what happened:

It seems Don’s day is going to go well when Don slips out for a nooner with Faye (Cara Buono), but goes downhill fast when he gets back to work and things don’t go well with his meeting with Fillmore Auto Parts, Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) also seems to be back to his normal, cocky self, which seems to annoy Don.

Joyce Ramsay (Zosia Mamet) drops by to invite Peggy for drinks, and Jjoyce seems to be impervious to Stan Rizzo’s (Jay R. Ferguson) lesbian jokes. It seems that the invitation for drinks is just an excuse for Abe Drexler (Charlie Hofheimer) to stop by and connect with Peggy. Things seem to be going well until Abe starts on his anti-corporate diatribe and talks about Fillmore Auto Parts’ refusal to hire black workers in the South. When Peggy relates it to the injustice women face in the workplace, Abe gets flip about it and Peggy gets offended and leaves.

Joan (Christina Hendricks), meanwhile, is in a bad mood as her husband Greg is now going to Vietnam right after basic training. Roger (John Slattery) – who is still trying to get someone interested in his memoirs - wants to console her in his own special way, but she is having none of it. He later sends two women to Joan’s apartment to give her a massage, manicure, and pedicure. She gets somewhat annoyed at him the following day when it seems he expects something in return for his gesture.

But the mess really cranks up when Sally (Kiernan Shipka) decides to take the train to Don’s office – alone, and without having the money to pay. An older woman (a stranger) escorts Sally to the office, and Don, who is taken out of the Fillmore meeting for this news, is not thrilled one bit with Sally, making her stay in his office. Things get worse when Miss Blankenship (Randee Heller) dies at her desk. The secretaries try to cover things up so the Fillmore people don't see the events when the coroner arrives.

Peggy gets even more upset with Abe, who has dropped by the office with an article he wrote, inspired by Peggy, called "Nuremberg on Madison Avenue." After Peggy reads it, she returns to a waiting Abe and she is furious as Abe has mentioned the corporate racial issue with Fillmore Auto Parts. She is worried this will implicate her and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and tears it up, saying she could lose her job over it. Abe feels he misjudged her.

Joan tries to calm Roger after Miss Blankenship’s death, and Roger moans he doesn’t want to die in the office. He invites her to dinner, where Roger tells Joan she’s not in his memoirs, although she has been all the “good stuff” in his life. Later, after dinner, Roger and Joan are robbed, which shakes Joan up, especially since her wedding ring was stolen. That doesn’t stop her from responding to Roger’s kiss.

Don has to deal with Sally, and asks Faye to take her to his apartment and watch her until he gets home. After Faye exits Don's apartment, Sally promises Don she’ll never do it again, and then asks questions about Faye, which Don gingerly answers. The next morning, Sally makes Don some French toast and puts rum on it, thinking it is maple syrup. Don eats it anyway. He agrees to take the morning off and spend time with her before she has to go back home to her mother.

Back at the office, when Cooper and Roger have difficulty writing Miss Blankenship's obituary they call in Joan. After Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) walks out of the room – commenting that Blankenship was born on a farm and died on the 37th floor, calling her an astronaut – he leaves Joan and Roger alone. Roger apologizes for what happened "in the heat of the moment" but Joan replies that she not sorry, and reminds him that they're both married.

Working on the Fillmore campaign, Peggy suggests the use of black entertainers for their jingle, thinking this will help them in the south. But Don disagrees, saying, "Our job is to make men like Fillmore Auto, not Fillmore Auto like Negroes.”

Things get ugly again for Don when Betty (January Jones) arrives to get Sally and Sally does not want to go home with her. When Don brings in Faye to help out, Sally gets even more upset, screams and yells, then runs down the hall, making a scene. She falls face down on the slippery floor, and Megan (Jessica Pare), the receptionist, easily consoles Sally. When Megan tells her “It’s going to be alright,” Sally replies “No, it’s not.” Sally leaves with Betty, looking back sadly. This whole situation rattles Faye, who goes into Don’s office and pours herself a drink and gets upset with Don, saying she feels like she failed a test, going into why she wanted a career and not children at this time. Don assures her that what happened with Sally wasn't her fault. When Faye leave his office, Don sips on her drink.

When Joyce stops by to visit Peggy, Joyce tells Peggy that men are like soup and compares women to soup pots, asking. "Who wants to be a pot?" She adds that she wouldn't have helped Abe with Peggy "if I didn't think he was some very interesting soup." When Joyce asks Peggy "Are you angry or lovesick?" Peggy is not sure.

At the end of the day. Joan, Peggy, and Faye get into the elevator together, three beautiful girls who has three different kinds of days, all affected by three different men.


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.

1 comment:

AJ said...

You know, I have somehow managed to miss most of Mad Men, and now I am beginning to feel like I have really missed out on something great!