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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 2

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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!

Brian: The episode starts with Betty and the kids picking out a Christmas tree, and consequently bringing the sociopathic sixth-grader you all know and love, Glennis the Menace, back into the equation. Diane tells me he had a thing for Betty earlier in the series, but now he’s sticking to someone his own age – her daughter, Sally.

Diane: What makes it even sadder is the conversation they have – he warns her to expect lots of new babies from Betty and her step-dad. Who says that? Meanwhile, Don’s back at the office, where his secretary’s reading a letter to Santa that’s been forwarded to him. It’s an emotionally loaded one, and he won’t be making that mistake again.

Brian: Yeah. They’d like a drum set, a necklace, and a fire truck, but all they really want for Christmas is daddy. Contrasting the Christmas gloom, I did like the back-and-forth between Freddy and Peggy this episode, and I know you’re a big fan of seeing how this all turns out.

Diane: Especially since Freddy isn’t used to the power shift; Peg’s the new copywriter, and he’s still treating her like a secretary, not to mention that they brought Pete over to the new firm – a sore spot for Freddy, since Pete got him fired for alcoholism.

Brian: Peg’s got her own thing going – her would-be-boyfriend that showed up last episode is pressuring her to get it on. She doesn’t want to, but he’s hoping that Swedish methods of seduction (read: baked goods and talking about the Swedes) would work. They don’t.

Diane: He should have tried alcohol. I can’t stand that guy. I want Peg and Joey to get together, right now. Go Team Joey! By the way, Don ends up drunk as usual in front of his apartment – why doesn’t he have a proper bachelor pad yet? I’d lose all respect for Don if I saw him there. He made half a mil when the Brits bought Sterling Cooper and he’s living in a crappy little apartment. It doesn’t make sense. And that nurse takes him back to his bed…. If that ruse worked,…

Brian: That would have been awesome! Yeah, his place makes about as much sense as Glen breaking into the Draper residence…only a child would think that eggs, cereal and jam constitutes vandalism. Oh ho, what’s this? Roger dressed up as Santa?

Diane: The Lucky Strikes guy, who’s a bastard (see last season), passive aggressively forces Roger into throwing a Christmas party. It’s nice to see Roger take a little bit of abuse and be a company man about it. He gets off way too easy most of the time.

Brian: What’s your take on Dr. Miller?

Diane: She’s kind of a heavy-handed take on the week’s theme. She was a little pushy earlier with her test – which, by the way, kudos to Don for the smooth exit – but now, she’s eyebrow beating him into submission with lines like “It all comes down to what I want, versus what’s expected of me,” and “you’ll be married again within a year.” I actually doubt he’ll be married that quickly.

Brian: Eh. She’s projecting. And big surprise, Don leaves the Christmas party, gets locked out of his apartment, and is prepared for an emergency case of sobriety while he waits for his secretary to bring his keys.

Diane: She wants the bonus, but oh no – she goes after him! She should leave him and scoot, but she stays for some awkward sofa shenanigans. That’s so dumb.

Brian: Agreed. I thought she was immune to him.

Diane: So did I! Then I was relieved when I remembered that the presents she brought to the office were from the kids’ wish list… I thought she’d gone too far.

Brian: Don gives her the polite brush-off, and says “I probably took advantage of your kindness on too many occasions.” He hands her a card with a hundred bucks in it as a Christmas bonus, which she takes – rightly so – the wrong way. I was kind of glad when she walked over to the typewriter and started banging out a letter – hopefully of resignation.

Diane: Same here. Peg succumbed to the specter of New Years as a singleton, and slept with boring Mark. Peg, I keep hoping you’re going to pick the right guy (Joey), but – well, at least this one’s not married. She may have the worst taste in men since Liz Lemon.

Brian: Her post-coital face is a little alarming.

Diane: Could be worse; she could’ve slept with Don.

Tune in every Monday for Diane and Brian's Mad Men Recap.

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