Mad Men Brings the Sexual Intrigue/Grossness. Oh, and Let’s Not Forget the Chaise Lounges.

I think the best way to start this week’s (much belated) Mad Men recap is by appreciating the perfect perfection of this still:

don draper face-plant

Huzzah.  Yes, today’s moment of embarrassment comes as a result of Don make the smart decision of hopping in his car with a tumbler full of whiskey, picking up two seemingly innocent ne’er-do-wells, pops a couple phenobarbitols, has a hallucination of his awesomely white-trash father:

archie whitman awesomely white trash

And then the two kids beat up Don senseless and take his money.  Given his self-destructive recklessnes, Don seems to be an ad man on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Perhaps I should muster up some sympathy, but instead I’ll just relish how–as a single image decontextualized from the narrative itself–the Don Draper post-face-plant picture is pure comedy gold.  GOLD!

But it was just Don making bad decisions this episode.  Oh no no no.  Peggy was in the bad decision business as well:

NOOOOOOOO!  DUCK PHILLIPS?  PEGGY OLSEN GOT IT ON WITH DUCK FRICKIN’ PHILLIPS?  AAAAGH!  MY EARS!  MY EYES!  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

As usual, I remain ever faithful that Mad Men‘s writers indeed have a vision, and I could see this as being something that they could mine some great material from this, but this scene feels even weirder and more jarring than the John-Deere-meets-foot scene from last week’s episode.  Duck and Peggy?  Really?!?  Yeah, he plays it smooth, and Peggy–like Kitty–needs her tending, but why the writers actually felt the need to go there is confusing.  And gross.   That said, I could buy this actually happening in real life, so I applaud them for daring to go where no audience member ever wanted.  Mad Men‘s gradually developing, oh-so-special brand of batshit crazy has entered the bedroom, y’all.

Thankfully there was Betty, though, who made me long to be a 60s housewife.  Seriously, then I could have this den:

And I could also wear this dress:

betty draper i adore this outfit

The dress?  The embroidered gloves?  THE SUNGLASSES???  I simply adore this outfit.  And the fact that the colors match the gum balls.  It’s very Jacques Demy.  I may not make a good drag queen (blame it on the beard), but how can you not feel pretty in this outfit?

Anyways, Betty tried her hand at “local politics,” which translates to “subtly flirting with a silver fox who you met at a Kentucky Derby party and works for the Governor.  For a good cause.”  I’m hardly complaining, though, because this brought back Henry Francis, and I relish watching those two interact.    It’s like a great classic Hollywood movie where all the sexual tension and eroticism is all subtext and nuance.  Even ordering apple pie with cheddar cheese or talking about Victorian fainting couches (I want that too!  Even if the interior decorator insists it ruins the living room, I want it!) is laced with this intoxicating undercurrent of carnal anticipation.  Is season-two-screw-a-stranger-in-a-bar-bathroom Betty seems to be back?  That was Betty at prime fierceness, and we can all agree that you can’t ever have too much of that.

Also in this episode, there was much ado about Conrad Hilton requesting Don be under a three-year contract to secure the Hilton account.  Don wasn’t having it, Roger called Betty about it (which Don really wasn’t having, hence his little joyride that ended in the aforementioned face-plant), and Don eventually signed the contract.  I’d go into more detail, but this is business talk, and my name ain’t Wall Street Journal.  

Lastly, it needs to be mentioned that there’s something seriously ridiculous with Sally’s teacher.  One episode she’s drunk dialing the Drapers in hopes of getting some hot Don action, this one she’s rebuffing imagined come-ons during a class outing.  Oh, and then she says all of her students’ fathers are philanders.  In front of the kids.  But that’s fine, because when kids hear a word they don’t know, they never ask their parents what it means.  She’s obviously crazy AND probably going to have an affair with Don at some point this season (Don Drapers don’t change their pinstripes).  As with all things Mad Men–particularly this season–it’s rather difficult to know where this story’ll go, but I get a feeling it’s going to be particularly delicious.

PS: This week was the first week at Sterling Cooper A.J.H. (After Joan Holloway):

joan watch week 1

I’d propose a hunger strike, but HA!  Like I’d make it past the morning with eating.  Whatever.  Hopefully the writers bring back the World’s Second Greatest Joan soon.  I’m starting to get the shakes.

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4 Responses

  1. I agree that the Duck-Peggy thing is an excellent follow-up to the lawn mower-foot debacle. I am so very excited to see what unlikely combination they come up with next.

    I’m voting for Sally’s teacher-Betty-scotch.

    Also, where do you get your screencaps? There’s one from last week I wanted.

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  2. Hahahah. Nice review. I really loved this episode. We are way behing here in good old Blighty but still loving it!

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    • So glad to hear you liked the post, and agreed: this episode is quite spectacular. The whole third season is something special, and I can’t help but feel that by the season’s end, Matthew Weiner and his crew really achieved something special. Keep watching, and enjoy!

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  3. […] Mad Men Brings the Sexual Intrigue/Grossness.  Oh, and Let’s Not Forget Chaise Lounges. (S. 3, Ep. 7: “Seven Twenty Three”) […]

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