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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 3

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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 night's episode. Feel free to argue, debate, or offer your own commentary regarding Jon Hamm and co.- just keep it clean of course!

Episode 3: August 8th, 2010 

Diane: We start off strong, with Joan at her OB/GYN, getting a check-up. She’s off birth control, and wants to know – whenever it’s possible, given his deployment – that she and Greg can start a family. It might take a while, since the doctor says it’ll be a good month before she’ll be fertile again. Given that she’s had a “couple of procedures” – including a dealing with a prior pregnancy – or two, it seems, who knows for sure I think this is the safe discreet doc Peggy visited back in Season 1.

Brian: I’m trying to figure out how Joan makes a hospital gown look that good. And Allison the secretary is… still here? What!?

Diane: She’s a trooper. And a fool.

Brian: True. I was hoping she quit, for dignity’s sake. I think somebody better put out the big light, because I can’t stand to see her this way…

Diane: Hah! So true. She’s still hopeful. Lane’s admin isn’t too bright, either. But I love Lane’s line about fried chicken after Joan offers to take his lunch order and asks, “Breast? Thigh?” – “One of each, please!” But he totally torpedoes her request for vacation time with Greg, and he’s a real jerk about it. There’s an all important planning meeting. Made me wonder what’s really going on with him.

Brian: Meanwhile, Don is on his way to LA, to visit his “ex-wife”, Anna Draper – the only other woman aside from Betty who knows he’s Dick Whitman. Her sister and saucy niece, Stephanie, show up – and Anna pretty much wants to set Stephanie up with Don.

Diane: Really? I’m not sure that’s what was going on. I thought she wanted them to meet – but because they are her two favorite people. Anna gets rid of her boring sister, but knows her niece has weed. That makes her the cool aunt.

Brian: Don, you should’ve stayed married to her.

Diane: That I agree with! Back at Chez Holloway-Harris, Greg and Joan get into another fight. I know he’s trying to be good, but he goes back and forth between being really mean and really nice; he needs to pick one already. Geez. Don, Anna, and Stephanie go out drinking, which leads to some banter between Don and Stephanie.

Brian: That scene was a whole lot of fun. She’s damn cute, to boot. Plus, Don wants Anna to meet his kids, and we get a nice moment of vulnerability. Betsy really did break his heart. In other news, Don Draper has a heart!

Diane: You think everyone is cute! I always knew he has a heart – Jon Hamm does devastated like no one else. After the scene in the car with Stephanie, I’m thinking that Don needs to put an end to his a thing for pretty blondes who dig the social sciences... she drops a real bomb about Anna. His ex-wife’s got cancer. Wow. Don gets mad. Very mad. He’s a mad, mad man!

Brian: I like that, after staying up all night, he gets straight to work on painting Anna’s wall. Meanwhile, her sister’s being a total pain in the ass about the cancer thing; he may be “ just a man in a room with a checkbook,” but he’s a man in a room with a very BIG checkbook.

Diane: I hated that scene. I was hoping he was going to tell her to go to hell…. But I think he was trying to do the right thing, and not create chaos in Anna’s life. The way he said good bye, he knew it was the last time, and she said her good byes with a smile. So sad! And more bad….news, Peggy’s all excited about her dress for her date with Mark on New Year’s. Ugh. Ditch him. Team Joey! I missed Joey this episode. And oh man, Lane’s admin is going to get it now for mixing up the flowers – Joan got the ones meant for his wife.

Brian: I felt a little bit of guilty pleasure when Joan ripped into Sandy, especially when Sandy a) admits she doesn’t know what egregious means, and b) may have single-handedly doomed Lane’s marriage. Between that and her “what is this regarding?” bit earlier, I’m glad to see her go.

Diane: Back at the Holloway-Harris house, Joan and Greg were having one of their tense conversations, and she sliced her hand in the kitchen. Greg got all alpha male – and we know that generally is awful news for Joan, but this time we got Dr. Jekyll - he’s actually got a pretty solid bedside manner. I laughed at that hillbilly joke. Come on, it was a little funny!

Brian: Okay, it was. But on to my favorite part of the episode – Lane and Don enjoying some quality time together. As it’s Don Draper, of course it involves booze and hookers, but I think it went to a whole new level when they got drunk and went to go see Gamera. That was awesome.

Diane: It was funny, but awesome? You’re such a nerd.

Brian: No, it was awesome. I’m standing by that.

Diane: I think Lane needed a good time out, especially after what happened with his wife left him for London. Plus, now he and Don have more to talk about, and Don makes a good point about Lane trying to save his marriage – “is that what you want, or is that what’s expected of you?” I love it when Lane cuts loose with the steak, but he looked lonelier the morning after. Find a nice secretary to seduce, Lane, you’re a partner in the firm, after all!

Brian: Don’s the king of bad influences, but he’s a decent guy, as we’ve seen in this episode. A decent guy who likes his working girls just a bit too much.

Diane: Eh. Lane thanks Don for his hospitality, and back at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, 1965 is off to a somber start.

To contact or argue with Diane, reach her at DC@dianecooney.com

To contact or argue with Brian, reach him at  brian.andrew.lynch@gmail.com