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Philly2Philly's Mad Men Recap: Season 4 Episode 9

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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 9: September 19th, 2010 

Diane: With Don being so restrained with the Doctor last week, I thought they might put off the eventual hookup, but this week has Don and the Doc getting it on…

Brian: On a lunch break, no less. Hot.

D: After that, Joan comes in to Roger’s office all business. Price is taking 2 weeks off when his son comes to visit.

B: Ever the egotist, Roger’s bemoaning the fact that nobody’ll publish his memoir.

D: Boy, Joan’s in a fine fettle. One of the other secretary’s tells Roger that her husband will be going to Vietnam.

B: Fettle? Seriously?

D: Yeah, fettle. Peggy stops Don for his approval of some of the creative work.

B: And Mrs. Blankenship delivers an absolute humdinger of a line to Peggy – “It’s a business of sadists and masochists, and you know what one you are.”

D: Peggy’s lesbian friend comes to visit, and Stan is ridiculous - even for Stan.

B: So true. He’s just messing with them, but after the Joey business last week… he hasn’t changed at all. This guy knows where his comfort zone is.

D: Joyce says to Stan, “Give it a break jughead. “ He responds with, “I’m not shocked by the lesbian hijinks”. (What is that the word of the week?)

B: And surprise – Abe the writer’s back!

D: The friend gets points for hooking Peggy up. She’s alright.

B: Even after the face lick and lesbian hijinks?

D: You’ve got a point, but her heart’s in the right place. And I’m amused Peggy’s amused. She’s just happy to have a normal guy to go out with.

B: Meanwhile, speaking of guys who are anything but normal, Roger arranges for Swedish masseuses to Joan’s apartment for a manicure and massage. He’s buttering her up for something.

D: “It’s a gift from a friend.” I think I’m starting to understand the appeal of the sugar daddy.

B: True that.

D: Abe is going off on a tangent about her working in advertising. She tried to explain that the plight of the African Americans is similar to her dreams of career advancement, “Believe me, nobody wanted me there.”

B: And now, they can’t live without her. Crazy. I like that bit about the Goldwater campaign. She’s a real professional.

D: Abe’s earnestness backfires. He tries to salvage the conversation. Peggy accuses him or “criticizing” her, but he protests that is was “discourse”. Come on, of course he’s a nerd with no social skills! I say give him another chance.

B: No, he’s got social skills, but tact is something completely different. But to his credit, they’re both Brooklyn kids.

D: “All right Peggy, we’ll have a civil rights march for women.” Abe tries to save the night… and fails miserably. I wanted to knock his head against the glass ceiling.

B: There goes that second chance. She’s a woman who got bumped up to copywriter from the secretarial pool; no way she’d take that lightly. Then again, we’re looking at this from a modern “ladies can do stuff, too” perspective. Back then, I’m pretty sure that a lot of people would think he’s right.

D: Joanie’s really beating up Roger this episode.

B: No kidding.

D: Oh man, Abe wrote a story for Peggy to apologize to her? How sweet.

B: Don’t give him a break just yet. I think that this, once again, may backfire on him. He’s too opinionated.

D: Peggy reads the piece – we never hear it – but she is mad! Oh Abe, what were you thinking? And I’d love to know who’s giving Peggy fashion advice.

B: Yeah. Is it Kurt from Season Two? Again, there’s the recurrent generational divide going on, like with the Bikini folks.

D: The current client of the week bored me. And not just because they sell auto parts.

B: The president plays up the “this is the way we’ve always done things and I don’t want no sissies playing mechanics” angle, while his cohorts represent the “if we don’t sell to the so-called ‘sissies’, somebody else will, and we’ll be dead in the water” point of view. I loved that last dig – “Ever hear of a little place called Sears?”

D: There goes Kenny pretending he’s part of the creative team. Ahh, my favorite Don retort of the day - “That’s two strategies connected by the word ‘and’”.

B: Meghan interrupts the meeting, and Don finds that a strange woman has escorted Sally to her office – since Sally ran off on the way to therapy, hopped a train, and has ended up in the city. And takes the opportunity to stick it to her.

D: Oddly enough, the lady didn’t inquire about Betty’s maternal skills, and was quick to tell Don, “Men never know what’s going on.”

B: Don doesn’t take a ride on that guilt trip, “I offered you money and I said thank you.”

D: He might get slapped the next time he says that to a woman. Blankenship ‘s line, “She looks so chubby in the picture” is more foreshadowing of more troubles for Sally.

B: Don is back with the auto guys, and Faye has been keeping the conversation going.

D: Peg doesn’t want to deal with Abe’s story, and she sticks her head in Don’s office (loved how she told Sally that she shouldn’t move, and Sally yelled back, “I know!” Then, she finds the dead body of Mrs. Blankeship, sitting upright, mouth agape at her desk.

B: NOOOO! Megan pulls Don out of the meeting, and everybody’s trying to figure out what to do with the body while the meeting’s ongoing.

D: Even Don looked upset, as the ladies were all in various stages of crying.

B: And in the background, Joan and Pete are trying to move the body of Mrs. Blankenship out of the office.

D: I think Meghan’s the new girl to watch – she is showing as much professionalism as Joan – and she’s more discreet than Jane ever was when she was manning Don’s desk.

B: Agreed.

D: Don sends Faye to his place to watch Sally. Roger and Joan have a mini wake for Blankenship. He’s been extra morose lately. I do wish they showed a little about his home life to explain what’s going on.

B: Not really. You just need to know it’s bad. Also, Roger is worried he’s going to die in the office.

D: Faye survived her baby sitting detail. Seems to have gone better than earlier in the day.

B: Definitely. “Hello, Daddy.”

D: I like how Sally can switch back and forth mimicking her parents. I think she can have an intense extra serious moment like Don – and then throw a weird fit like her wretched mother.

B: She’s learning from the best.

D: Poor Sally would rather live with Don. Can you blame her? Pizza, New York City, and no ice queen mother.

B: No such luck for Sally. But she does get to have pizza and Daddy, at least. She’s happy with that much.

D: Sally asks some tough questions about Dr. Faye. And Don answers them.

B: Yikes.

D: Roger and Joan go for dinner in a dive, and then get mugged on the way home… they take all their money and her ring. They start kissing… and she tells him not to stop there, and he’s doesn’t. We’re lucky he didn’t have another heart attack on the street.

B: Which, on the plus side, might drive someone to pick up his memoir for publication. And Sally asks more questions, then cooks Don some French Toast.

D: Ok Sally’s scaring me with her oedipal domestic kick. Yikes.

B: Yes, I agree. But Sally, don’t listen to your father. French Toast with rum is a brilliant idea. Remember it for when you go to college, where such recipes will make frat boys’ hearts go pitter-patter with delight.

D: But they do go sightseeing together, which is nice. At SCDP, Bert and Roger struggle with Blankenship’s obit.

B: “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She’s an astronaut.” That’s just awesome, if you ask me.

D: Better than “Cause of death: Don Draper”.

B: Ooh, and after all of that political talk with Abe, now Peg wants to get her point across at the office, and she gets laughed at. Yikes.

D: Sally throws a tantrum. Man oh man. Meghan steps in to help out – do you get that sense that she too might have had a upsetting childhood?

B: And again, Betty is just being a real pain in the ass. I think I’m in the unpopular camp of people who can’t stand her or January Jones.

D: I thought everybody dislikes her! I thought Faye might have killed her long term chances with Don, but he took her meltdown really well. I think she’s self aware enough to realize she can’t do that again any time soon.

B: The ladies had a tough week at the office. Most importantly - who thinks Joan’s going to be knocked up by Roger?

D: I do!

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