So Don is sick and coughing like a man who smokes roughly 600 cigarettes a day should cough all day, every day. He and Megan get on the elevator at the agency and run into some floozy named Andrea that Don has obviously banged (probably on a desk, or in men’s room, or on a gaming table somewhere). We haven’t seen this particular chick before, but she is totally his type – brunette MILF that practically throws herself at him the moment she sees him. Things get awkward quick when Don introduces the floozy to his new wife, and later Megan gets annoyed by her new husband’s manwhoreliness, and Don is all, “I’ve slept with every hot chick in this zip code, get over it.”
We begin to realize Megan doesn’t really know just how many women Don has “worked with” before her, specifically how many he “worked with” when he was still married to Betty. She knows that he was kind of a Casanova (I mean, how could he not be!?), but she doesn’t know that he’s slept with most of the women in New York and New Jersey and that his junk is probably all crudded up like a Thai hooker’s crotch. But no matter now, Don is so sick that Megan eventually sends him home to rest. The only problem is that as soon as his head hits the pillow, this Andrea chick is at the door, and she has got the hots for Don, despite the fact that he’s got the hots, period. He looks like he’s burning up with a fever, and at this point the audience is wondering if this is even real (how did she find his place?). He shoos her out of the back door, genuinely afraid of Megan showing up (aw, he’s at least trying!) and goes back to bed.
But just like most women in the presence of Don Draper, this lady just can’t stay away, so she comes back and basically forces him into “working with” her, which is weird and wrong because Don is usually the aggressor and now this MILF is borderline raping him and making him cheat on yet another wife! And we’re still wondering if this is really happening, and once it’s over she tries to get cute with him, but he is so disgusted with her and himself that he takes the next logical step and chokes her to death.
THAT’S RIGHT. CHOKES. HER. TO. DEATH. And then shoves her under the bed.
While naked. Because why not? Her leg is sticking out from under the bed like the Wicked Witch of the West (red shoe and all!) and the whole audience is freaking out because this is just craziness. But hey, it’s okay, because none of this is real and it’s just a fever dream, and it’s all metaphorical, what with Don “killing” his temptation to stray, and actually feeling remorse at having cheated, etc. etc.
Apparently Megan was sleeping right next to him the whole time. And he’s all like, “You don’t have to worry about me,” and even though he’s all sick and messed up and sweaty he is still super hot. Sigh.
Going along with the Rape and Violence theme this week, Joyce pops in for a visit and shows the cool kids some graphic photos of eight raped and murdered nurses. There would have been nine victims, but one of them hid under the bed for the night and survived. This fascinates everyone but Michael “Ginzo” Ginsburg, who storms out of the room in disgust, calling everyone sickos.
Later, during a pitch to a shoe company, Ginzo pitches the idea of a shot of a woman’s shoe and calf (a calf and a foot like…Andrea’s under the bed? Symbolism!), and she’s being all mysterious and saying no one will know where she got her shoes or something, and these guys are going for it.
But then he tosses out an idea that he claims is “too dark” in which Cinderella has lost her shoe and is lonely and scared and basically pervert bait, and then lo and behold this knight in shining armor shows up to save her! With a shoe! Because that’s what all women are, right? Weak and afraid and only a man can save them! (But then again, it’s only a man who will attack them too. Perhaps the women should be standing up together against the men? Women’s lib, anyone?)
So of course the shoe guys love the Cinderella thing (even though Don specifically said no fairy tales – symbolism!), and they call Michael a genius, and even though they say he really “knows women,” we know that is far from the truth. Don yells at him afterwards and he’s all “Don’t do that again,” and Ginzo has no idea that if Don didn’t have the sniffles he probably would have just fired him for those shenanigans. Although really, when you think about it, that scene was reminiscent of Don a few years ago, changing his tune mid-pitch and convincing the clients of pretty much anything. Despite his ridiculous clothes, accent, and demeanor, this Michael kid could really be something else.
Peggy, who is now drinking and smoking more often than…uh…never, is hanging out in her office when Roger basically bribes her into doing Ginzo’s work for him. He seems to have forgotten that his one client (Mohawk Airlines) needs a campaign, silly him. Peggy seems to have no problem wheeling and dealing Roger, who in case you forgot, used to be the guy in charge around here. Is it because Peggy’s slightly sauced that she can do this so easily? Either way she gets $410 out of him for a couple of nights of work, which is worth between $1,000 and I don’t know – $20,000 in today’s money. That’s a lot of moola.
So she’s up late working on this thing for Roger, and it starts getting pretty creepy when she hears a noise from another room. But instead of it being a mass murderer, or a ghost, or even like a Scooby Doo villain, which would just be some old amusement park owner dressed up like a ghost, it’s Don’s new secretary Dawn! And she’s sleeping on Don’s couch! And it’s not for some First World Problem, like she got too drunk at work to go home. It’s because there are race riots! And she couldn’t get a train home even if she tried!
Peggers will not have that, not at all (girls have to stick together, right? Woo!). So she invites Dawn for a slumber party at her place. They drink some beers and get to know one another, and at one point Dawn boils all of Mad Men into one line (“Y’all drink a lot.”), and Peggy tells Dawn she knows that she’s not in the same situation, but she knows what it’s like to be the odd [wo]man out. And speaking of men, Peggy asks Dawn if she thinks she acts like a man, to which Dawn replies, “You have to, a little.”
Peggy admits that she doesn’t know if she wants to have to act like a man to get ahead, and unfortunately for her I don’t think she’ll get her wish. But it’s a little surprising Peggy feels that way considering how naturally she has fallen into her current situation, how she could screw Roger out of all that money with a drink in her hand, how she can shoot the shit with the Creative guys without a problem. In short, Peggy is like, the coolest! Why should she want to pretend to be some damsel in distress, a Cinderella without a shoe, when she can make much older men shake in their fancy loafers?
At the end of the night, there is an incredibly awkward moment when Peggy’s purse (chock full o’ Roger’s cash) is sitting there on the table, and Peggy thinks to grab it, but kind of slowly slinks out of the room backwards. Sure, Dawn is almost a complete stranger, but she’s a black woman, and even though Peggy seems to be as liberal as they get on this show, she still has that moment of doubt. But she doesn’t act on it, and in the morning Dawn has left her a lovely note, thanking her for her hospitality.
Sally calls Don at work and is totally bitter/cynical/hilarious about her current situation. She’s stuck in the haunted mansion (otherwise known as the Francis residence) with Henry’s awful mother Pauline, which is, naturally, ruining her entire life. This woman is just a leetle beet sadistic and obsessed with Sally being a prim and proper little lady, so she has to problem smacking her, correcting her, lying to her, and teasing her with information about this mass murder thing that everyone can’t stop talking about.
Pauline tells Sally to start being more disciplined (has she met Betty!?) and start acting like an adult (although seriously, Sally does act like an adult , it’s just that she’s forever surrounded by assholes), and she tells her a heartwarming story about her own father kicking the crap out of her for no reason at all. He said, “That’s for nothing, so look out.,” and this is apparently ~*valuable advice*~. Of course! Sally needs to learn that unprovoked acts of violence against girls is A-okay. And instead of trying to assuage Sally’s fears about the murders (which she read about on her own after all), she tells her what happened in the scariest way possible.
Pauline: One dark and stormy night, a handsome man knocked on the door of a house full of young nurses.
Sally: Oh yeah, this happened on American Horror Story, right?
Pauline: No. Those girls got ready for bed, and there was a knock on the door, and it was a handsome man. He had probably been watching them from afar, all those young, innocent nurses stirring his desire. They probably thought<i> he can’t rape nine of us</i>…they didn’t know it was going to be worse than that…they didn’t know what was in store for them! MWA HA HA!
Pauline’s so freaked out that she’s sitting there with a giant knife, so of course there is no way Sally can go to sleep now. Unless – perfect! This smug old bag is going to give her a Seconal, which is only a a teensy little barbiturate – why not give it to a 12-year-old? (I will bet any amount of money Sally is a full blown drugged out hippie by ’69, mark my words).
The next morning, Betty and Henry come home to find Pauline unconscious on the couch, and Sally unconscious underneath it – the way that the sole surviving nurse was able to escape, in the same place Don shoved Andrea’s lifeless body under the bed. Symbolism!
Meanwhile, Joan is at home getting ready for her stupid controlling asshole rapist husband to come home from Vietnam, and her mother, as usual, is being infuriatingly old fashioned about everything while wearing a stupid net on her head.
Joan’s Mom: Just make sure everything is perfect and be as subservient as possible. I’ll get the baby out of the house.
Joan: But he’ll want to see the baby.
Joan’s Mom: A man has needs, Joan. You must bow to his every whim and desire and if he sees fit he will see the boy.
Joan: He will be happy to see his family.
Joan’s Mom: By the way there’s no way he didn’t cheat on you while he was gone, but that is a soldier’s privilege.
So Greg comes home and Joan is all excited to see him, except within about 90 seconds he is bossing around her stupid mother, and the mother is more than happy to serve! She peaces out with the baby so Dr. and Mrs. Harris can have some ~*alone*~ time, and they jump each other’s bones the second she leaves. Everything seems like it might actually be okay for 5 seconds, that is until…
Greg: Oh btw I’ll be going back to ‘Nam for a year. Good luck with the baby. And stuff.
Greg: My darling, this is my duty to my country, so no lip. And I’ll be here for like 9 whole days, so I’ll totally help you out a little when I’m not out drinking with my buddies.
Later they go out to dinner with Greg’s parents, and he’s just loving the fact that he gets a salute in the middle of the restaurant from some young soldier. He was a nobody when he was home in the States, but apparently he is hot shit over in the war zone. Which is why he apparently lied about why he’s going back – he volunteered! Can you believe this guy!? And he’s all, “They NEED me, I’m sooo important!” and Joanie’s about to explode, and then here comes the accordion guys to give a little mood music for her meltdown. It’s a moment that’s both funny and sad, and reminds us of that time a few years ago when Greg forced Joan to break out her accordion in front of their dinner guests, making her dance like the puppet he thinks she is. UGH! I hate this guy!
Which is why I actually cheered out loud when, at the end of the episode, Joan does the bravest, smartest thing ever. She confronts him about freaking RAPING her and generally being a complete asshole. She tells him:
1) You’re not a good man. You never were.
3) Never come back.
4) Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
5) And by the way, you’re a terrible misogynistic person who deserves to be on the receiving end of a little napalm in the morning.
Huzzah! *tosses confetti* Let’s hope he gets blown to smithereens in some Vietnamese jungle! I only wish she would have yelled, “AND THE KID’S A STERLING…DICK!” After a whole episode of women being beaten and raped and killed, one of them finally stands up for herself. And you know she’ll be okay. Because she’s Joanie and she can do anything.
The last shot we see is Joanie laying on the bed with her mother, who is in a fetal position, with a tiny little man lying between them. SYMBOLISM!!