Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Disclaimer: This week I had an epic 5-course family dinner one night, and the next night I broke my foot taking out the trash (in the literal sense, not the Patrick Swayze bouncer sense, although I’ll probably start telling it that way) and all I’ve had to eat today is chocolate and wine. So this will either be the worst recap I’ve ever written, or the best! Stay tuned!
Iconic Opening Credits Cardboard Cutout Don turns into Real Don again, which they can do every single episode as far as I’m concerned. He’s rescheduling a lunch meeting! Angrily! Dammit! Cut to Don’s apartment, two uneaten sandwiches and two unopened sodas trying to cover their ears from Dr. Faye’s lamp-breaking cries of nooner passion. Apparently Don changed his mind pretty soon after he left her hanging in the cab after their date last week, because this certainly isn’t the first time. Don has a meeting with sexy, sexy Secor Laxatives, and Faye is surprised and flattered when Don tells her to take her time getting dressed and just lock the door behind her. “I’m taking everything interesting with me,” he explains. He has a point.
“Mmm, this bed smells like booze and regret.”
At SCDP, Roger is yelling at his agent or a publisher or something about the most anticipated memoir of the year, STERLING’S GOLD, which is demonstrably better than stupid Ogilvy’s! Roger’s book has mystery, intrigue, romance, and even “examples of how to sell things!” Well I’m sold. Caroline ruins everything by interrupting to say that Mrs. Sterling is on the line, and she’s leaving for the weekend. Roger: “It’s only Wednesday, and they have phones in Southampton!” But before he can get too annoyed that “Ira” hung up on him, Joan shows up to be annoyed with him for being too lazy to sign things. “These need signatures, not initials,” she says, handing him a stack of papers. Roger says he was just giving Caroline a hard time. “Can I interest you in the same?” Ha. Joan is not interested, as a matter of fact. When Roger calls after her wondering why she’s being such a poopoohead, Caroline steps in before he can say something truly assy to let him know that Greg has ALREADY been called up. He’s going to Vietnam right after Basic Training. I feel so guilty for wishing this fate upon you, Douchey Howser, especially because it means Joan’s even sadder and lonelier than she was last week.
“I know you don’t like to be bombarded the moment you walk in,” Peggy bombards Don the moment he walks in, “but Fillmore and Secor are both coming in tomorrow.” She can’t do anything till he signs off on these ideas she worked through lunch to finish. Don’s like “sure, I’ll get right on that. After this nap I take to recover from my long hot sweaty lunch.” Peggy is left standing exactly where she started, and Ida “Queen of Perversions” Blankenship mutters “It’s a business of sadists and masochists, and you know which one you are.”
“Peggy, your boyfriend’s here!” Stan says, which is completely hilarious since he’s actually talking about Joyce, who is a lesbian. That’s the kind of Creative talent that makes the big bucks! Joyce invites Peggy out for drinks later, and Stan feels like he needs to clarify that he is not shocked by Joyce’s “lesbian hijinks” – and thank god, because you can tell how much she gives a single shit – as long as she knows that she can never do what a man can do. “That’s true,” Joyce admits, then licks Peggy’s cheek. Peggy giggles. I’m guessing that Stan has an unwelcome anatomical reaction similar to the one he had last time he was being a complete ass to Peggy about sex in general. Peggy doesn’t miss a beat once Joyce leaves though. “Bad news: Don showed up. We’re on at 4.”
And here’s Don now, waking from his beauty nap. Mrs. Blankenship asks if his siesta has left him feeling refreshed, and he looks like he means it when he says “yes.” He also looks like he means it when he smiles at a coy phone message from Faye. Don thanks her and walks off. “ARE YOU GOING TO THE TOILET?” she asks, in her delicate way. Remember that sweet sound for the rest of your days, Don Draper.
Peggy is venting Joyce-ward about her precarious situation at work – she knows she has to hire more copywriters, but the more talented guys she recruits, the more her job is in danger. But oh my! Look who’s here! It’s Abe, of making out in the closet during a police raid fame. I’ve been wondering if we’d see him again! Surely he’s a way better match for Peggy than boring old Karl From Lost, right? Joyce excuses herself to play darts, giving up her seat so Abe and Peggy can resume flirtation. He confesses that he’s been trying to find a way to run into her again, and she’s flattered. Hilariously, Abe tries to call out for a Johnny Walker on the rocks, but Peggy ends up having to order for him. “Bartender here listens to me,” Peggy says sort of apologetically. Girl power!
Because this is the internet, I feel comfortable claiming that this is exactly what I look like in my glasses and pajamas (Not Pictured: Broken Foot Moon Boot).
Ding dong! Unsolicited Swedish massage ladies calling! Joan’s watching TV on the couch with her excruciatingly adorable glasses/ponytail/jammies combo when the doorbell rings. The Swedish ladies explain Swedishly that they’re not at liberty to say who, but someone ordered her a massage, manicure and pedicure. No one knows quite how to say “Sorry I was an asshole, nobody told me your husband was being shipped off to almost certain death in a hellish war zone that will soon become the golden standard against which all other hellish war zones are compared” like Roger Sterling.
“Blah blah Greece blah blah society downfall corporations blah status quo blah” Abe is saying. Peggy, of course, depends on quite a few evil corporations to pay her bills, so she gently defends companies like Samsonite and Filmore Auto Parts, saying they’re essentially family businesses. Abe’s like, oh, you mean the “they won’t hire black folks so there’s a boycott” Filmore Auto Parts? Peggy had no idea, and she’s not even sure she believes him. Abe’s sure they’re really nice family racists, and he figures SCDP has an investment in looking the other way. Peggy explains that actually, it’s their job to help them sell stuff. “If this is true, it’s not good for their business,” she says, clearly not the reaction Abe was expecting. He asks, facetiously, if they would have done a campaign for Goldwater, and she answers, with no irony, that that would have been spectacular. “Did you vote for him?” Abe says in disbelief. “Of course not,” Peggy says, genuinely puzzled that he would assume so. She acknowledges that Civil Rights is more than just a marketing problem, but also, “I have to say: Most of the things Negroes can’t do? I can’t do either, and nobody seems to care.” Well, we care a teeny bit less on account of the thing where people aren’t hanging women from trees. But there’s a point there – a lot of the most important meetings take place in clubs that don’t allow women. Abe points out that there are no Negro copywriters, but Peggy says she thinks they could fight their way through like she did. Hey, there’s your solution to your “I want better copywriters but I’m afraid they’ll get promoted over me” problem! Plus you’d clear your social conscience a little. Pete’s always been pretty vocal about the opportunity he sees in the “Negro market. So there you go. SCDP hires the first black advertising copywriter! And then probably never promotes him or respects him in any way. Anyway, Abe chuckles. “Alright, we’ll have a Civil Rights March for women!” He teases, and that’s a little too patronizing for Peggy. “You’re opinionated, and you’re criticizing me,” she says when he tries to apologize, and politely takes her leave.
Christ, the sexual tension is practically boiling off the screen. Get a room!
Possibly my very favorite exchange of the episode: Bert Cooper is hanging out in a comfy chair next to Mrs. Blankenship’s desk. They’re both working on their own copies of the NYT Crossword Puzzle. Bert: “A three letter word for a flightless bird.” Ida, without looking up: “EMU.” Bert: “No, it starts with an L.” Ida: “The hell it does.” HA! Oh wow, this pair is comedy gold! I look forward to many such comic exchanges between them in the future for years to come. Sigh.
Joan, sans glasses, pops in to thank Roger for the gift. “I knew I was rubbing you the wrong way,” the Quip King quips, “so I thought I’d have someone rub you the right way.” Huh huh. “It’ll be okay,” he says seriously. “People LOVE to say that!” Joan says with that awesome fake brightness she has. Roger offers to buy her dinner, but that puts her off. “I forgot for a second that you’re incapable of doing something nice without expecting something nicer in return.” Roger swears he didn’t mean it like that, but it’s ended their pleasant little exchange anyway.
Abe, who’s gone from awww to SHUT UP in record time, is waiting in the SCDP lobby when Peggy shows up for work. He wrote something! For her! And he really wants her to read it! Now! Peggy’s like, yeah, okay, we’ll put it on the fridge next to all my other favorite manifestos so we can see it every day! She says she has work to do, and she’ll totally read it, but not exactly right at this moment, mmkay? Abe says he’ll wait, presumably much to poor Megan’s chagrin.
At the conference table, Faye is telling the Filmore Auto Parts guys that every domesticated suburban dude wants to think he’s a mechanic, so that’s the demographic they should be targeting. One of the guys gestures toward Ken and Don, joking “you mean like these guys?” “Actually,” Ken deadpans, “I’m from Vermont, and Don here is a competitive fly fisherman.” Ha. Two of the Filmore brothers are bickering about it – one says that a bunch of suits in their stores will drive away their real mechanics. The other says that between Sears and the boycotts, they shouldn’t care who their customers are as long as they have some. Don interrupts to say that he can’t move forward till they agree on a strategy. Ken says why not do both? “Filmore Auto Parts: Where the pros go, and everyone’s welcome.” Don: “That’s not a strategy, that’s two strategies connected by the word ‘and.’” He’s kind of bitchy about insisting that they do one or the other but they can’t do both. “Sure you can!” Ken says, asserting himself maybe a teeny bit too much for Don’s taste. There you go, Kenny! Side with the client! Good cop bad cop! Don says they should vote, since there are three of them, and the one who’s been silent till now – who stutters, incidentally – will be the tiebreaker, but he doesn’t know either. Meanwhile, Megan of French Extraction has quietly slipped in to whisper something to Don, who excuses himself to the lobby, where he finds SALLY! So it’s a businessy office episode AND a Sally episode? Perfect!
Anyway, some random lady tells Don she found Sally sneaking around the train, hiding from the conductor, and said she was going to see her dad. “I wanted to see you,” Sally explains simply, and she really does look like she’s fine with all this, because hey, whatever else happens, she got to visit her cool Dad in his cool Manhattan office building. Don asks Megan to bring Sally to his office, then thanks the lady, offering to pay for her train ride and her time. “Men never know what’s going on,” she eyerolls. Don looks up: “I offered you money, and I said thank you!” Sheesh, lady. Should’ve taken the money.
She’s gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse. (Pizza, rum toast, then the zoo!)
“She looks so chubby in the pictures!” Mrs. Blankenship beams as Don comes tearing down the hallway. Aw. He tells her to get Betty on the phone, and when Betty answers she is of course immediately terrified for her daughter’s wellbeing. I kid, she just gets annoyed at Don. “She needs to learn responsibility,” Betty gripes, without bothering to ask if she’d been assaulted or anything. “YOU need to learn responsibility!” Don yells, which is not the smartest thing to say, since she decides to teach him a lesson by saying she’ll pick Sally up tomorrow, he can deal with her if he thinks it’s so easy. Well, Betty, it might be SLIGHTLY easier for an unemployed wealthy woman with a full time maid/nanny, yes, and you still manage to be terrible at it, so I wouldn’t get all snippy. Anyway, Sally looks pleasantly surprised by how well this whole thing is turning out. She looks SO PRETTY. And she’s proudly wearing a necklace I think is safe to assume is the engraved initialed one she asked him for in her Santa letter. Awww!
“I don’t want to hear it,” Don says to Mrs Blankenship’s cataract goggles without waiting for a reaction of any kind. “Just make sure she doesn’t leave that room.” And yeah, alas, not expecting a reaction from Ida Blankenship turns out to be the prudent thing to do at this exact moment.
“Are you serious with this?” Peggy hisses at Abe, waving his “Nuremberg on Madison Avenue” article in his face. Aw, this was back in the good old days, when invoking anything Nazi-related in any political discourse didn’t automatically render your entire argument worthless. A pioneer of empty rhetoric, paving the way for political website comment section trolls everywhere! Anyway, Peggy is furious. He’s written an indictment of her profession, specifically referencing a client on record as belonging to her employer, and comparing them to Hitler. And he’s completely astonished that she’s upset about it! Why should an artist such as herself have to work for a bunch of people who are directly comparable to war criminals responsible for the horrible torture and murder of millions of people? I mean, that’s Don in a nutshell, amirite? He means well, but he could get her fired, and she tears it up, but she hands him the pieces for some reason. I guess cause it’s safe to assume he doesn’t have it saved on a thumb drive or anything. So that was nice of her, but it’s a loose end I don’t like.
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle claims yet another victim. How do you sleep at night, Will Shortz?
So she barrels down the hallway, annoyed and not a little spooked, stopping at her office door to wake up Mrs. Blankenship, who seems to have fallen asleep at her desk. Seems to have. Peggy approaches, asking if she’s okay. Mrs. Blankenship responds by falling face forward on to her desk. Mrs. Blankenship? Is no more. She is expired. Deceased. She is an ex-Queen of Perversions. Peggy freaks out quietly, knowing that screaming like a girl is a bad idea in the office when there are clients around. She quietly calls for Caroline, who motions to her that she’ll be there in a second, sheesh. She runs to get Don, but instead she finds Sally, sitting and swinging around in her dad’s fancy executive chair. Wait, what? This is a weird fucking day. “Do NOT come out of there!” Peggy scolds. “I KNOW!” Sally says as Peggy shuts the door. It’s a 2 second interaction full of awesome. So she finally finds Megan, apparently, who has to interrupt the meeting yet again.
Don, exasperated, follows her out of the conference room to find Peggy horrified, Joan misty-eyed, and Caroline inconsolable. He makes a perfect “you have got to be fucking kidding me, Universe” face for a second, then catches himself and does the appropriate thing, which is stare wide-eyed and say “Poor thing.” Then back to business. “What about them?” he gestures at the Filmore guys, who are probably getting tired of Kenny’s made-up fly fishing anecdotes. “I’ll attend to this,” Joan assures him, because of course she will. “Sally’s in there,” Don tells her. “WHY?” Joan stage-whispers incredulously. She sends Megan to get a man and a blanket. “There’s an afghan on Mr. Crane’s couch.” Of course there is. Harry’s office is an antique store/Victorian dollhouse for some reason. “She seemed fine just a minute ago,” Don says, because even though it’s a thoroughly stupid and pointless thing to say, you always end up saying it anyway. Don gets it together and heads back into the meeting, where he can see the entire sad farce play out. For some reason the man Megan ended up finding is Pete, who for the second week in a row does nothing except show up and be kind of useless and buffoony. They scramble to cover Ida’s body with the borrowed Afghan (Harry, offstage: “My MOTHER made that!” And incidentally, for the severalth week in a row, Don fails to come up with an interesting or clever campaign. Ken and Faye have done that for him, slogan and all. To be fair, he’s distracted today, but unless a lot of stuff is happening while we’re not looking, he’s been coasting lately. “Filmore Auto Parts: For the Mechanic in Every Man,” Faye announces. Behind them, Joan holds Mrs. Blankenship’s chair while Pete attempts to dislodge her from it, until they just decide to roll her out.
Filmore Auto Parts: For Guys Like Pete Campbell Who Work On Their Cars So They Can Feel Manly Because In Reality They Can Barely Manage To Cover An Old Dead Lady With An Afghan.
After Faye says her stupid thing you always have to say even though it’s stupid, because what the hell else do you say (“I was just talking to her!”), Don pulls her aside and asks her to please take Sally back to his apartment and just sit with her till he can get out of the office. Faye’s like, uh, what? Don: “I would have my secretary do it, but she’s dead.” I guess she’s the nearest female, and she’s given him some insightful parenting advice before, plus the psychology thing, so hey, sure. Don tells Megan to find Roger and Bert at lunch. Oh, Roger and Bert. They knew Ida like none of us did.
Don pokes his head into his office and tells Sally, “This is my friend Faye. She’s going to take you to my apartment.” Faye, poor thing, has no idea what to do with herself. “Hello!” she says. “My name is Faye.” “I know,” Sally says. “My dad just said that.” Heh. Got her dad’s sardonic wit, that one.
I start getting a little teary-eyed the moment I see teary-eyed Bert Cooper, looking old and helpless and deeply sad. Roger pats him on the back and Bert goes off to call her niece, apparently her only family. So yeah, Bert really really adored this broad. She was his Joan, I guess. Joan, who is Roger’s Joan, follows Roger as he runs toward his office to hurry up and be sad before anyone notices. “You should go home,” Megan tells Don, and miracle of miracles, he matter-of-factly says “Yes.”
“Know what I could really go for right now? Desperate furtive pent-up death trauma nostalgia alley sex. And cheesecake.”
Meanwhile, Roger heads straight for his couch and Joan heads straight for his bar. “I don’t want to die in this office,” he says miserably. He already almost has. Twice. “If it looks like I’m going, open a window, I’d rather flatten the top of a cab.” And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out all the many references to jumping out of windows over the years, which of course is what the whole opening theme is. There are those who think that someone will eventually be that guy. And there are those who think Roger has outlived his usefulness as a character, to which I say, oh my god, what show have you been watching, because I would never forgive this one if It ever threw Roger out of a window. Exhibit A: Joan hands him his drink and says “Poor Ida.” Roger: “She died like she lived: Surrounded by the people she answered phones for.” You’re gonna throw that guy out of a window? Seriously? Joan cracks a sad little smile. He’s feeling sorry enough for himself that she agrees to go to lunch with him. So thanks for that, Ida.
Don comes home to two pretty blondes on his couch, one of whom is as happy as I’ve seen her in months. Faye is just relieved. She says it went fine, but she has dinner plans, okbye! Don walks up to Sally with his Stern Angry Dad face. She responds with “Can we order a pizza?” Don pauses, admiring the fruit of his loins and the fearless negotiating skills she inherited from him. He tells her to promise she’ll never do this again. She promises. Then she curls up on the sad brown couch and smiles to herself. She doesn’t care how much trouble she’s in. This is all she wanted, and whatever punishment awaits her in Ossining will be worth it. Is everybody tired of me talking about how astonishing Kiernan Shipka’s performance has gotten, or how much I love when Don talks to her like she’s an actual person with actual thoughts, or how believably these two actors play against each other? No? Okay, good. (Read this interview with Kiernan Shipka, holy crap.)
“You know, I’m a little creeped out by your astonishingly mature performance, which is starting to make Dakota Fanning look like the Olson Twins.”
Joan and Roger are eating at some crowded little diner. “Why did you always pick this place?” Joan wonders, and Roger says it’s cause there was no chance of running into anyone, which means that this must be a special Joan/Roger adultery diner! Aww. “The clientele is older than I remember,” Joan whispers. Roger: “But not us!” He wishes Joan would talk to him about things. Aw. They both need friends. Real ones. “My husband doesn’t like it,” Joan shrugs. She’s very good at this whole “making bed/lying in it” thing where Greg is concerned. Roger says he knows it must be hard for her, but at least she was prepared when he signed up. “I wasn’t consulted,” she says, instead of “oh my god, he was such a shit surgeon he couldn’t get a job in the city unless he told the Army he’d get shot at if they needed him to.” Roger is outraged, but Joan changes the subject: “Because you always tell Jane about your decisions. She’s the woman behind the man, isn’t she?” Ha! Roger can’t even pretend to be offended, because the notion is inarguably hilarious. Roger asks if she listened to his memoirs, and when she says no, he doesn’t believe her. “And you’re not the least bit curious if there’s a chapter called “Joan”? “There better not be,” she smiles. “I know,” Roger says. And that’s the problem. “Every time I think back, all the good stuff was with you.” He apologizes for pestering her, and says he doesn’t expect anything to happen. “I appreciate that,” she says, in a way that suggests she isn’t especially put off by the actual pestering.
Don and Sally are on the couch. He’s reading the paper, she’s watching TV. It’s the sweetest thing in the world. Oh no wait, this conversation is the sweetest thing in the world, and I have to try really hard not to just transcribe it directly. “Can I ask you something?” She begins, which is the awesomest precocious way for a 10-11 year old to start a conversation. “Yes, I’m still mad at you,” Don answers without looking up, his tone suggesting otherwise. “Are you going to marry Faye?” Don makes a pretend confused face. “What? No.” Well, says Sally, who is picking up some sleuthing tips from the Nancy Drew books she’s reading, she’s obviously his girlfriend, since she had his keys (Don, patiently, “I gave her my keys.”) and she knew he had peanut butter (“Everybody has peanut butter.”) and she said she’d been wanting to meet her. “Why would she want to meet me?” Don finally says okay fine, he likes her. And they work together, and he talks about Sally a lot. Which made my heart melt, out here in another universe, so I’m sure it makes Sally happy. But now that Don’s engaged in this conversation, he asks her if she likes Faye. Sally shrugs. “She seems nice.” “Okay. Well maybe we’ll see her again sometime.” “…oh.” Sally says, crestfallen, because she’s already got the one step-parent and that’s weird enough, even though she probably likes him better than she likes her mother. But no worries: Pizza’s here!
Place your bets now: This is the encounter that finally knocks Joan up. Hear that, Douchey Howser? We think this old guy’s sperm works better than yours!
Joan and Roger are trying to take a nice stroll home from their lunch/dinner, but they find the old neighborhood has gone downhill. And to prove their point, here comes Generic Black Guy Robber! And whatever, if they’d made the guy white, nobody would be shutting up about what a stupid Hollywood liberal white-guilt bit of casting that was, so Matt Weiner kind of couldn’t win here. Anyway, Roger knows what to do: He looks down at the ground, pushing Joan between him and the bad guy, and tells her not to look up. He calmly hands over all his jewelry and cash, but the robber guy isn’t dumb, and isn’t leaving without Joan’s ring, which she sadly hands over, all metaphorical and whatnot. Then that’s it. It’s over. Joan turns into the same non-superhuman girl she turned into when Greg had to sew up her finger, and it’s just really interesting to see what it takes to get her guard down. She’s terrified but Roger keeps her calm. “My ring,” she whimpers. but he looks her in the eye, and even more metaphorically tells her that it’s okay: “Everything can be replaced.” And the adrenaline and built-up terror and sadness and everything just comes bursting right out and she kisses him. Ahh. It’s about time. And then they kiss some more, and before you know it there are grunts and sighs and undergarments being shifted and we’re right back to the good old days.
Don’s tucking Sally in to the top bunk. She’s wearing a plain white T-shirt, and there’s something just immeasurably sweet about a little girl wearing her dad’s shirt as a nightgown, especially when she’s also still wearing that monogram Christmas pendant I can’t stop looking at. He asks her if she’s sure she doesn’t want to call home, and she is totally way sure, yes. “I want to live with you all the time,” she says simply, a sentiment which has probably been expressed before, and has been the general theme of this whole day for her, but still, she has to spell it out. And again, she’s in this tiny brown 1-2 bedroom apartment right now, and if she never saw her gigantic mansion in the suburbs ever again she’d probably be just fine with that. Don sighs. They can’t do that. “What about your brothers?” “They can live here too. I’ll watch them!” But Don just kisses her on the forehead and tells her to go to sleep. Then he sits at his Voiceover Journal for a couple of seconds till he decides he doesn’t have anything to tell it that it doesn’t already know. Sigh.
I’m not the most maternal woman in the world, but if that girl made that face at me I’d take her to the dinosaur museum every day for the rest of my life.
He wakes up to sounds and smells he’s not expecting. Sally, all messy-haired and adorable, made french toast! She’s totally proud. She does it all the time! “And there’s no shells in it!” Carla taught her. Of course she did. “Do you want me to turn on the TV? We could watch the Today show,” Sally says in her best Betty voice. Like if she just makes him enough french toast and shows him how grownup and well-behaved she is, he’ll take her away from that place she hates. Ah, christ. This episode is killing me. Don bites into his breakfast. “What’s on this?” he asks her. “Mrs Butterworth’s,” Sally says, going into the kitchen and showing him the bottle. “That’s rum!” he says. “Read labels!” Yeah, your dad works hard to make up the bullshit they put on those labels, young lady. Sally, her little brow furrowing: “Is it bad?” Don: “Not really!” He tells her to get dressed so he can go into the office. “Can’t we do something?” She begs. Sally smiles as big as I’ve ever seen after Don says okay, fine, no negotiating: He’ll move everything to noon and they’ll go to the Central Park Zoo. “And the dinosaur museum!” She says. Nope, she has to pick one, cause they only have till noon, period. And of course the next time we see them they’re strolling down the SCDP hallway a few minutes before Betty’s supposed to pick her up there at 5. Heh.
Bert is distraught. He’s in Roger’s office – because apparently he doesn’t have one of his own, which is why he’s spent this whole season just hovering around various couches being awesomely weird. It’s also sad! Get this man a wall he can hang a Hokusai on and a door to leave his shoes in front of, he’s earned that! He’s trying to write Ida’s obit, but he can’t think. For all the talk we did about how sitcommy Mrs. Blankenship was, and how hilarious that revelation was on Roger’s memoir tapes, this genuinely morose Bert makes me feel guilty for not knowing her like he did. Roger calls Joan in for help, and of course she totally gets that shit did right away. “Loyal friend, devoted caretaker,” she scribbles as Bert agrees sadly and silently. “She was born in 1898 in a barn, and she died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper,” Bert says. “She was an astronaut.” Christ on a cracker, that’s a pretty damn beautiful thing to say. Move over, Top Ten Mad Men Quotes of All Time. Bert wanders off sadly and Joan is left alone with Roger, who chides her gently about having to write an obituary to get her to see him. “I’m sorry,” he tells her. “It was in the heat of the moment. And there was a moment.” Joan, surprising everyone, says she’s not sorry. “But I am married. And so are you.” Sigh.
From zoo to museum to this…
So Sally and Don are back from their all-day date and she’s just beaming. “Where’s Mrs. Blankenship?” Sally wonders when Don introduces her to Megan, who’s sitting outside of Don’s office. Megan looks pretty smitten with Sally, because come on. “She went away! I’m helping out for awhile.” Don asks her to watch Sally for a few minutes before her lovely mother arrives, and he heads down the hall to check in with his team. Ken tells him the Filmore brothers want a jingle. A C-c-catchy tune. Don scolds him for being an ass, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought “Oh no, K-k-k-Ken’s c-c-coming to k-kill me!” (Readers older than college: Do not look at the date on that link unless you’re looking for an excuse to get sad and drunk.) Harry says no rock-n-roll, the Filmores were thinking Perry Como, but Peggy’s like “what about Harry Belafonte?” And they all look at her like she suggested a Satan-Hitler romantic duet. Please take a moment to let your imagination picture the late-night infomercial for that album. She says he might help with their image in the South. “They don’t want help,” Stan says. “Why are we doing business with someone who doesn’t hire Negroes?” Peggy wonders. After a few blank stares, Don says that their job is to make men like Filmore Auto, not Filmore Auto like Negroes. Peggy nods. That’s the answer she’ll have to tell herself too.
Megan gestures for Don and he tells them to pick one, then heads out to get Sally to meet Betty in the lobby. Sally, barely looking up from The Clue of the Black Keys, declares that she wants to stay. “Well you can’t.” Don says. “I want to stay and I don’t know why I can’t!” Sally says, exasperated that no one seems to understand such a simple idea. She promises she’ll be good, but as soon as Don grabs her arm to lead her outside, she freaks out, yelling “NO! I’m not going, I’m not leaving, I HATE it there!” The whole office presumably hears this bratty yet heartbreaking exchange. Faye does, at least – she sticks her head in to see if everything’s okay, and Don’s like “Finally! A girl person!” and asks if Faye can just talk to Sally. “What???” Faye says, which is the appropriate response. She’s a woman and she’s a psychologist but that doesn’t make her a child psychologist, or a mother figure of any kind. Reluctantly she gives it a shot. “Hi Sally. Remember me from yesterday?” Ha. Sally says nothing. Faye says she knows Sally doesn’t want to go, but her mom came all the way out here. “You don’t know my mother,” Sally snaps. She just really, REALLY doesn’t want to go back home. She tells Faye to shut up and when Don reaches for her she takes off full speed down the hallway and plants herself on her face.
…and then straight on to this.
The whole office seems to feel as bad for Sally as I do. Megan happens to be closest, so while everyone else is just staring, she goes to help Sally up, and Sally just grabs onto her and hugs this complete stranger like she’s never once hugged her mother, ever. “It’s going to be alright,” Megan smiles. “No, it’s not,” Sally says, breaking my heart and presumably everyone else in the room. “I fall all the time,” Megan smiles, and helps her onto her feet. Sally has stopped struggling now and is just sad. Don walks her out to Reception, where Betty is waiting. Joan, Peggy and Faye all follow, maybe out of some maternal instinct, maybe just because this whole thing is so heartbreaking, or maybe just to gawk. But it seems sort of protective to me. “I was worried about you,” Betty says. No she wasn’t. She touches her in that same “Is this how I’m supposed to do it?” robotic way that she touched Don after he poured his entire soul out to her. I’m sure she’s saving the good stuff for the ride home. “Thank you,” Don tells Megan after Betty guides Sally away, and Megan barely responds, perhaps because it looks like she’s on the verge of tears.
“It’s cool, mom, Dad’s only had sex with one of these ladies. You can guess which one on the ride home!”
Don finds Faye having a drink in his office. “Can you make me one of those?” “No,” Faye says. Don’s just not having the best luck with Beautiful Girls today. “You shouldn’t have put me in that position,” she says. “I’m not good with kids!” Don says it wasn’t her fault, but she says it feels like there was a test and she failed. Looks a little like that from out here too, Faye. Don apologizes, genuinely I think, and tells her it doesn’t matter. He hugs her and kisses her, but this conversation is far from over.
Joyce comes into Peggy’s office apologizing for Abe’s douchebaggery via a soup metaphor of questionable clarity. She wants to take her out for a drink again, but Peggy’s not in the mood. “Are you angry or lovesick?” Joyce wonders. “I don’t know,” Peggy replies.
As the elevator doors close on Joyce, Joan steps out and presses the button. She holds the door for Faye, who’s right behind her, then Peggy, who’s behind Faye. The doors close on the three of them – Joan looks mournful, Faye looks confused, and Peggy, in the middle, looks pretty content. Beautiful Girls.