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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 5

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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!

Brian: I love Don’s crotchety old secretary, Mrs. Blankenship. She cracks me up, because she obviously doesn’t care about etiquette at this point. She just wants to get the job done, and if that means buzzing Don in the middle of a phone call, so be it.

Diane: I would respect her more if she seems remotely competent. I think she’s just clueless. That Campbell kid is on fire, lining up an impressive meeting with Honda. Everyone’s thrilled until…..

Brian: Uh oh. You wanted more Roger, Diane, and you got Bitter World War II Veteran Roger – not exactly the one you wanted when it came to schmoozing the Japanese.

Diane: Yeah, and I expected more sizzle from Bert. He was surprisingly academic and kind of boring when he chimed in with a few pearls of wisdom. A reporter calls hoping to get a quote from Don about his competition – this annoying upstart from one of the other agencies.

Brian: Don’s getting the hang of this press stuff.

Diane: Loved his line about his competition, “I’ve never heard of him”.

Brian: And I believe we have an early candidate for Sexist Line of The Week – as the Honda reps are visiting Sterling Cooper Draper Price and ask each other, “How does she keep from falling over?” in reference to the voluptuous Joan. Classy, gents.

Diane: Agreed, we have our winner. Love that Joan didn’t miss a beat.

Brian: THE NURSE IS BACK! YES!

Diane: As a babysitter.

Brian: DOESN’T MATTER! SHE’S BACK, BABY!

Diane: You are so predictable. Whatever. She’s trying to take care of the kids, and then Sally decides to act out a little by cutting her hair while Don’s on his date. Bad news for Sally and the Nurse – think her odds of being Don’s next brunette went out in the trash with Sally’s locks of hair…

Brian: “Consider this severance pay?” NO! DON! IT’S NOT HER FAULT!

Diane: I don’t like this weekly appearance of harsh-misplaced-anger Don. A dose of self awareness would be excellent right about now. I wonder if your friend the nurse will be getting an apology from Mr. Draper in a future episode.

Brian: Here’s hoping. Things are a bit bleaker when Don drops off the kids at the house, and Betty promptly slaps Sally when she sees the new hairstyle. Does this woman have any understanding of how to treat kids? At all?

Diane: Its oddly reassuring to see both her ex and her future ex tell her to settle down. Harry, I have bad news for you, sir, you married Psycho Barbie!

Brian: Betty, now might be the time to stop blaming Don for everything, and realize that you are a crappy parent…but it could also be the time to blame him even more. It’s not like your daughter hates you of her own free will or anything. It’s all Don’s fault. Yes. His fault.

Diane: Back at the office, the gang is figuring out how to win a shot at the Honda work, after Roger went rogue.

Brian: Don the evil genius comes out to play, and Peggy and Joey finally get the ok to pull a stunt They hoodwink the director, mislead that twerp who thinks he can out-Don Don, and Joey’s on point outside the studio door -

Diane: -without further ado -

Brian: the best moment of the season – Peggy riding the red Honda around the rented studio space in a circle, while the director and the rival agency folks stew outside, wondering what they’re up to. Last week’s bit of peeking over the divider was good fun, but this was outright fantastic.

Diane: Finally Peggy’s having a little fun at work!

Brian: Sally’s got a sleepover with one of her classmates, but - uh oh. Sally’s getting a little, erm, risqué. Betty is going to flip.

Diane: Probably the most awkward scene in the series. Sally’s promptly sent packing to her house, so her mother can deal with her. I feel like the show she was watching might be an important clue, but I can’t watch that scene ever again.

Brian: It’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I cheated, I looked it up. And I agree. If and when I get the DVD’s, that scene is getting fast-forwarded like yesterday’s business. By the way, Don, “GOOD AFTERNOON, YOUR DAUGHTER’S PSYCHOLOGIST CALLED.” If I’m ever able to afford my own secretary, I want Mrs. Blankenship.

Diane: I’m going to call pretending to be your…. Nevermind. Stay on point, Brian!

Brian: Pete’s in good form this episode, I have to say. He’s running around and really trying to get a second “C” in SCDP, and sticking to his guns on the Honda deal with an obviously bitter Roger around can’t be easy. And yet he’s on top of everything, Honda-wise. “Christ on a cracker” indeed, Mister Campbell.

Diane: He swears like a grandma. SCDP pulled a lesson out of that old Chrysanthemum and the Sword (yes, I will be reading that soon) to outmaneuver their competition and save face with the Honda team.

Brian: Which got them in the back door. The contest was a sham, but that Don Draper move set them up with a contract for Honda’s nascent automobile division. If this episode teaches us anything, it’s that A) Don Draper was a Japanese businessman in his past life (not his Dick Whitman life), B) Peggy is chock full of awesome this season, C) Chrysanthemums symbolize death, and D) nobody can figure out how Joan stays upright. NOBODY.

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