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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 10

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By Diane Cooney and Brian Lynch 

 Diane CooneyBrian Lynch

During this season of Mad Men, our own Diane Cooney and Brian Lynch will offer their own commentary about the previous Sunday night episode. Feel free to argue, debate, or offer your own commentary regarding Don Draper  and co.- just keep it clean of course!

Episode 10: September 26th, 2010 

Diane: Just so we can fill you in for tonight's episode: last week starts off with Joan going into Roger’s with the baby bombshell we predicted last week.

Brian: Yep. We totally called that one.

D: Back in Ossinging, Betty’s sewing… she’s got skills. Guess Home Ec was part of liberal arts education. Don calls her to tell Sally she’s going to see The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Wouldn’t have expected her to react like that… is she old enough to think they are cute? How amazing after arriving in ’64 they were playing sold out stadium shows a year later!

B: Dude, it’s The Beatles. PS, stop being such a history geek. That’s my job.

D: Lane’s dad shows up - without Nigel, Lane’s son. What a great name… Nigel Price. Hope he makes an appearance in a later season. Lane’s father tries to order him back to the UK to take care of his family. Lane stands by his guns…. And doesn’t fold. Offers to take his old man out for dinner….

B: You know this is going to be a fun sub-plot.

D: North American Aviation. This plot lines ties back to Pete’s experience out in California from last season. That’s one bit of realism I like – that it takes a long time to land those big client. Pete’s been surprising well behaving and mature lately… which is good but makes for boring TV. Where’s a childish outburst when you need it?

B: Sally hit that quota last week, but we’re still on overflow from…oh, everything Betty’s done this season.

D: Good point!

B: Lane ropes Don into coming to the dinner, as a personal “favor”. Yikes.

D: I do like Lane. I hope his family doesn’t crush his soul. Good plan bringing Draper in for backup.

B: I don’t think Don could resist.

D: Hmmm. We don’t just have a sexist line of the week, we get a whole scene at the Playboy Club! Lane apparently is a member (ewww). He makes a point to ask to speak to the African American waitress…. I love watching an amused Don Draper.

B: I love watching Lane try to be suave around said waitress. Hilarity ensues.

D: Special agents show up at Betty’s door… from the department of defense. Uh oh… what did Henry do?

B: Space hookers.

D: You’re crazy. Don has requested security clearance… and so, a routine back ground check to do work for the department of defense is needed. Hmmm. How are the hookers going to go over?

B: As long as they’re not space hookers or Commie hookers, he’ll be fine.

D: I love how the G-men get to the heart of the series’ question…”Do you have any reason to believe he’s not who he says he is?”

B: Of course not!… lately. Wait - Don’s got Meghan for a secretary? This will also not go over well.

D: Hey, I totally called that one!  Betty gets Don on the phone - he didn’t know about the security clearance. Betty’s surprisingly nice to him about this. They switch into a conversation as if they expect the phone bugged. Hmm. I thought for a moment I was watching Rubicon.

B: Calling it now; Mad Men is really Rubicon set forty years prior. Dick Whitman is actually a Russian secret agent; Betty is actually still a bitch.

D: Poor Meghan, she needs to stop offering to be fired. But I respect her level of accountability.

B: Agreed. After the bit in the last episode where she comforts Sally, I’m really hoping she survives the season.

D: Oh now. This whole thing may send Don off the edge. Also, Lane has apparently fallen for his “chocolate bunny”….

B: I believe he said something a little bit more offensive than that, but yes. And Roger gets chewed out for “ruining” Joan. Greeeaaaaat. But he also knows a guy in Morristown who’s very good with these sorts of things, and he sticks that knife in by making Roger write the recommendation out himself.

D: Ooh, and what’s this? Don pleads with Pete to ditch a $4 million account? This is pretty desperate, even for Don. “You can run the agency without me.” Wow.

B: Meanwhile, Roger is trying to persuade Joan to stay with him. Desperately. Joan decides to take care of things by herself, no Roger. You’ve got to hand it to her, with everything else going on in her life, it’s a strong move.

D: Speaking of strong moves, Betty tells Henry about the background check, and Pete goes to talk to his friend at the NAA. Don’s starting to bug out, because technically, he’s a deserter. Not good for him.

B: And in the shocker of the episode… the Lucky Strike guy effectively cans SCDP. That’s right, after all the dickery they’ve had to put up with from him because Lucky Strike makes up a giant part of their client base, they get fired, and SCDP might go under as a result. Roger gets a 30-day extension, but that’s going to cause some tension in the office for sure.

D: Meanwhile, Don has a panic attack from the two suits in the hallway as Dr. Faye brings him back to his apartment – and after she helps him recover, he tells her the truth.

B: Parts of it, anyway. And as Lane tells his father the truth about his “chocolate bunny” he gets cold-cocked by that nasty lookin’ cane his dad carries around. Damn, that looked like it hurt!

D: “Put your house in order.” Wow. That was intense. No wonder Lane liked the US so much.

B: Pete can’t tell his pretty wife why Don is causing him such agita, and Joan is coming back on a bus. It seems like the common theme is people dealing with terrible situations by themselves; Don can’t really go to anybody about the identity thing, Joan wants Roger to be part of his life (and not hers), Roger’s keeping the Lucky Strike thing close to the chest, and Lane deals with divorce the way Don would.

D: Why haven’t we seen Peggy this episode?

B: You know, you’re right. Meanwhile, Don wasn’t flagged, but Pete is very put-out about having to walk away from a $4m contract because of Don. They announce it at the meeting, and meanwhile, Roger doesn’t say thing one about losing Lucky Strike.

D: I dread how that’s going to unravel in future episodes. I hope it doesn’t kill Roger. Lane announces he’s taking two weeks or a month to put his house in order. Don, rather than spend time with Faye, wants to be on his own tonight. And yes, he DOES get the Beatles tickets. I think he’s lining Meghan up to be his next conquest. Or is Meghan strategically placing herself in that position? Putting on lipstick right in front of his doorway… I can’t help contrasting her behavior to the current Mrs. Sterling….

B: I’d hope not. He needs another Mrs. Blankenship, and fast.

D: Does anyone else think it was improbable that Joan was back to work that quickly? If I’m right… does that mean there’s another hidden pregnancy in the works?

 

CLICK HERE to read the previous week's recap

To contact or argue with Diane, reach her at DCooney@philly2philly.com

To contact or argue with Brian, reach him at blynch@philly2philly.com