'Mad Men' Season 5, Ep. 4 Recap

What did you think of last night's episode of Mad Men? My take (WARNING: spoilers ahead) is below:


1) Cheers to you Joan! You finally cut that sorry excuse for a husband of yours loose. Nevermind a toast for the douchebags, just kick this douche out! Matter of fact, just have Roger send over an assistant to remove  all of his worldly possessions from the apartment and then burn them in the middle of the damn street: Greg isn't even worth a drop of sweat falling from your meticulously arched eyebrows (and anyone who's been watching for more than minute knows why). Besides you'll probably be leaning on Mr. Sterling for more than emotional support soon enough. In your own way, you discovered the feminist power that "career gals" like Peggy and Faye have been brandishing and/or attempting to wield for years. Not that you weren't powerful already, but you know, standing up to your abusive husband's a big deal.

2) Dawn, a.k.a., the sole black secretary in SCDP, finally got to say more than two words in an episode! I'm so glad the writers decided to give her a story line and didn't just use her as politically correct window dressing. Though I didn't expect her arc to start with Peggy finding her laid up in the other Don's office, it's all good. I also liked that the writers didn't shy away from exposing Peggy's covert prejudice/stereotyping when her eyes lingered on her cash-packed purse just a second two long after she decides to turn in for the night. Although Dawn got in a bit shade by leaving a note for Peggy that read in part, "Thanks for your hospitality." Can we say "snap?" Hopefully Dawn's role will continue to get larger as the season goes on.

3) Although I'm not sure if I would call this a pro, Don's entire dream sequence was expertly shot and frighteningly real. I practically clutched my comforter and broke my strand of pearls when I saw him go all Boston strangler on an old flame! I mean, copping a harsh feel in Bobbi Barrett's nether regions was one thing, but choking the life out of a former mistress and stuffing her corpse under the bed? Obviously this is Don's subconscious reacting to a run-in with his philandering past, and reveals just how much he's struggling with old demons. However, it didn't make the scene any less chilling. Half of me was relieved when the sight of  Megan's face revealed it was all a nightmare and the other half was a bit disappointed at the plot twist that would been Don Draper: Man On The Run! I don't think I want to analyze what that says about me, so I'll just reiterate my first point: a great scene.

4) Sally's scenes with her step-grandma (is that a real term? Hell let's go with it) contained some of the darkest humor in the episode. Like when dear grandma recounts being punted across the room by her father for no reason. Random child abuse! It's the gift that keeps on giving! If anything her clashes with Henry Francis's strict, old-school mother further illuminated what I've suspected since season three: give Sally a few years and she will be buck wild, m'kay? Bra-burning, pot-smoking, sneaking off into the Volkswagen with the boys, the works. But for now she's discovered the joys of mood relaxing pills, supplied by grandma after Sally read about the eight student nurses murdered in Chicago and couldn't go back to sleep. A peace offering perhaps?


1)I guess I this doesn't really count as a con, but am I the only one who feels sorry for Roger this season? Pete's cutting him down to size every chance he gets at work, he's unhappy with Jane at home, Joan's long gone (although that might soon change:); it's enough to make even the most lovable racist and misogynist's perpetual, vacuous smile turn upside down. Of course, he brought all of his current dilemmas on himself, but the Roger of season one or two would never had been reduced to groveling (and forget what you heard, groveling with a wad of dollar bills is still groveling) at the feet of Peggy--who he probably couldn't pick out of a line up back in 1960--to do his bidding. Maybe now with Joan back on the market and most likely soon to be back at work, Roger can get his groove back.

2) Michael Ginsberg--true, it's only been a few episodes, but I have no idea what to make of this guy. On one hand, his disgust at Peggy, Megan, Stan and Peggy's lesbian gal pal's (her name escape me at the moment) reaction to the Chicago murder scene photos showed he had a least some personal boundaries/convictions, but the way he showed his ass at the meeting with Don, Ken and the clients just left me all discombobulated. His whole speech did go over well with the clients, if not with Don, so that's a plus. But I'm not sure if his overactive, socially awkward routine is a new kind of approach to advertising he's testing out, like sort some of a quirky Draper 2.0. or if it's truly a part of his personality. Oh well...maybe he'll grow on me.

3)No Betty this week, save for a one to two minute appearance. I know many Mad Men fans love to hate Betty, and I'll admit her behavior's inspired many a "gurl no" and "bitch please!" to erupt from my lips, but I still want to see her gain some level of maturity and self-awareness. Her brush with death last week seemed to inspire a moment of clarity, but once her tumor was found to be benign it was back to self-absorbed, cold-as-ice Betty. Which can be fun to watch too. We've still got a ways to go before the season wraps up though, so I'm hoping Betty will have a "Suitcase" moment and at least attempt to take charge of her life.

4) Megan, I love you. You're fashion-forward, independent, make your own money and make no bones about spending it how ever you want it. And your rendition of "Zou Bisou" gave me all kinds of cringe-inducing, finger-snapping life. But girl, when it comes to Don and his prodigious boudoir rep, you got to let that shit go. True, that trollop in the elevator was pushing up on your man, but that's because...she didn't know that was your man (besides if you were inside Don's head you wouldn't have to worry about her at all). He introduced you immediately as his wife. He's told you about Faye, Rachael, the teacher, Bobbi and the rest. Hell he even told you he was Dick Witman from the jump, and that's more than Betty,  those other gals or even his own kids ever got. So relax. The man seems to be at least putting some effort into turning over a new leaf. Then again, monogamy isn't exactly Don's strong suit, so maybe you should be watchful--to paraphrase what you said, so much outside bed hopping implies not just unhappiness with a spouse of girlfriend, but a voracious appetite. So I can see your point of view. Maybe this isn't so much a con as a neutral.

So what did you think about last night's show? Discuss.