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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 8

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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 8: September 12th, 2010 

B: On the heels of last week’s episode, Don Draper decides to change his ways a bit. He starts writing a diary, switches to beer, and takes up swimming - only two of which are difficult for him.

D: Hey – I’m calling it Don’s Journal..even though he is writing in a little notebook. Should he have a Moleskine? I was psyched to see Don in the pool. Is it me, or do all the complex, handsome, smart guys do some laps when they need a little piece and quiet? Fox Mulder used to swim too… Don sports a conservative pair or trunks…no Speedo’s on this man!

B: Peg feels “like Margaret Mead” as she watches those crazy boys try to get Joey’s watch out of the vending machine. Joan gets more than a little angry with his behavior, which leads to them having a sit-down in her office – and leaves her angrier than ever. It also nets Joey our sexist line of the week, with his remark about rape. That was cold, Joey.

D: Any more of this, and I’m disbanding Team Joey. He’s turning into the guy who’s sweet and charming, and then when you get to know him he lets his numerous flaws surface.

B: I do feel bad for Joan, though. She’s got a lot going on, and the last thing she needs is Joey trying to knock her down (more than) a few pegs to be Big Man with his friends.

D: Joan went home early and spent some time with her husband.. their scenes stress me out. I keep wondering if he’s going to snap again. I have trouble understanding their relationship – she seemed legitimately upset at the prospect that he’s going away.

B: Because he said “you’ll have your friends at the office.” She doesn’t have any. Meanwhile, Kenny, Stan, Joan and Don are working on their Mountain Dew campaign, which requires some rework – and they’re looking to bring Joey on full time for a while.

D: I wondered for a moment if Don was having a moment thinking about Peggy – but I think he was aware of how they all have adopted the cocktail ritual during the day. He’s continues his journaling with a list of things he wants to do.

B: I’m just happy to see the guy try to better himself. This season’s been kind of a wake-up call for him.

D: Agreed. Also, we need more Harry. Sometimes I can’t believe he works there at all. Its miraculous that he identified the TV trend – he hasn’t displayed that much insight since! I can see him with a new career of casting director. Though it was a bit weird that he commented on how handsome Joey was.

B: Yeah. Or that he had a picture of him. Creepy. Then, Don takes his new blonde, Bethany, out for dinner.

D: I hope he doesn’t sleep with her. Oh, goody. My favorite blond is also at the restaurant! Henry, Betty and some politico hack are having a working dinner. Why did Betty go?

B: Henry had the misguided idea that she’d be the charming trophy wife. Also, you like Betty? Yikes. Please tell me you were kidding.

D: Yes, kiddo, I was. I did enjoy Bethany’s response when she found out the rude ice princess was Don’s ex. Classic. Betty tries to apologize to Henry later…but he can give her a dose of winter too.

B: Anyway, Henry calls up Don after Betty’s done being a whiny, hung-over brat, and they discuss a time for Don to get his things out of the garage. Don takes the mature out. Betty and Henry? Not so much.

D: Agreed! I’m excited about this self-reflective Don.

B: I think we both are. The team’s trying a new angle for Mountain Dew, involving the science of cocktails and “wet blanketry”. That’s a field I could get into. The science of lewd boss sketches, not so much.

D: Yeah, I feel like Joey’s lost all common sense in this episode. Posting the pic to Joan’s wall? The boy clearly has unresolved mommy issues.

B: I do like that Don’s still encouraging Peggy to take charge. I mean, she runs the unit. “You want some respect? Go out there and get it for yourself.” And so she does, pushing Joey to apologize…and then firing him after he mouths off again. You’re inconsolable, aren’t you?

D: I was surprised – but I would have done the same thing. Joey was an ass, especially to accuse Peggy of having no sense of humor. That’s not how you treat your work buddies.

B: Agreed.

D: I agree with Joey about one thing, though, I think Stan does harbor a secret crush on Peggy. He’s never been the same since their naked work session. Poor Peggy, she never gets a break!

B: Yeah, honestly. Then Joan burns Peggy something fierce for going by principles and ignoring office politics. Here Peg thought she was doing something out of sisterhood and common interest, and instead, Joan points out the glaring flaws in her logic.

D: I lost respect for Joan after that. I appreciate she operates from survivor mode, but let’s add up how their decisions are shaping their lives; Peggy has a fulfilling career, she won’t settle for a mediocre relationship, and she’s trying to do the right thing by her colleague. Joan? Married to that man, with that job? I wouldn’t want her life - not for a second.

B: Advantage, Peg. But let’s not forget that Joan is the one who’s working behind the scenes; she’s got the social savvy to get what she wants without publicly humiliating them. Also, Don’s having a good week. Dinner with Dr. Miller. “It’s a She”, as Mrs. Blankenship says.

D: I’m starting to warm up to the Faye. Aesop was right.

B: Honestly, I think Don’s the one who has everything right now. He doesn’t have the kids, but he’s getting the life he wants, piece by piece.

CLICK HERE to read the previous week's 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

Rolling Stone cover: http://amygrindhouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Lots-of-Bewbs-on-Mad-Men-Rolling-Stone-Cover.jpg