For the new season of Mad Men I’ve teamed up with my friend Aaron Cohen, of Unlikely Words, to do something a little different. I know, I know… we’re already on the second episode—what can I say? We had a late start. Anyway, Aaron will be posting a recap of each episode and my daily drawing for that day will be about or inspired by that episode.
Here’s Aaron’s recap:
Christmas, 1964. 2 new characters (Phoebe, the nurse neighbor, and Dr. Faye Miller, the product marketing scientist) and 2 old characters (Sketchy Glenn and Ready Freddie Rumsen). Tonight’s episode seemed, more than other episodes, to contrast old fashionedness with the new way of doing things. I can’t remember men typing before (except for maybe Roger at one point), and tonight we had Don (who is quite adept at the typing, he’s no hunt and peckerer) and Freddie tapping away. Peggy also had a typewriter at home, which seemed to be in the middle of the scene. There’s also Freddie’s old fashioned thoughts on how to market to women contrasting with SCDP’s hiring of a market research firm, Motivational Research Group.
-It’s weird the Christmas episode airs in August. Subtle how Don gets Bobby a drum set for Christmas. That’ll make Betty very happy. I imagine she’ll never let him play it.
-”Suffice to say, we’re in a fraternity together.” Freddie is back and he’s in AA. Did a pretty good job staying clean this episode.
-It was pretty clear that something is going to happen between Faye Miller and Don just based on the first scene, they were eying each other pretty heavily. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a couple episodes before she pops up again. “I’m disappointed, I thought you came in to flirt, but you came in to fight.” During their last scene, Faye also expressed her advertising philosophy: “It all comes down to what I want versus what’s expected of me.” This calls to mind Don’s explanation from season 1, “Advertising is based on 1 thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? It’s the smell of a new car, it’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard, on the side of the road, that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.”
-Another contrast in this episode was Lee Garner’s overt sense of entitlement compared to Don’s less explicit. Lee acts like spoiled child, petulant and needy, forcing SCDP to re-plan their Christmas party. “I trust you’ll make the necessary improvements.” He genuinely seems pleased with his gift. “Reminds me of when I was a kid. Remember that? You ask for something and then you get it? Makes you happy.” Don gets what he wants, but does it a little quieter. Having Allison bring his keys to him is one thing, making a move on her, and Phoebe to boot, show Don as a cad, taking what he wants. At least Lee Garner is paying a lot of money for SCDP to tolerate his boorish behavior. “Put it on, Roger. Put it on.”
-Sally Draper really does seem happy that Sketchy Glenn trashed her house as a way of showing his love. I don’t know what’s going on here. “Don’t turn on the lights, shithead.”
-So, er, Don’s going to Acapulco by himself?
-Last week, Don mentioned his floor wax commercial was supposed to make viewers feel like it was a part of the show they were watching. Dove did that on this week’s episode of Mad Men, and I’m a little surprised Mad Men went for it. More gimmicky then I expect from them.
-At the Christmas party, Bert Cooper and the market research dude are railing against socialism and Obamacare. Good times! “If they pass Medicare, they won’t stop until they ban personal property.”
-Pete and Trudy in the front of the Conga line. They love to shake it.
-Peggy almost certainly doesn’t think her boyfriend is marriage material, otherwise she wouldn’t have slept with him.
-Which leaves us with Don and Allison. I suppose it was bound to happen at some point, Don sleeping with someone from work, but he’d always been so careful before. We know he likes being taken care of. After last episode’s prostitution scene, I was concerned Don would give Allison her Christmas bonus after giving her a Christmas bonus (wink, wink), he did the next worst thing and gave it to her the next morning. “I just wanted to say thank you for bringing my keys.”