The Only Mad Men Recap You’ll Ever Need, Episode 2

Well, I guess the question about what they were going to do with January Jones’ real-life pregnancy has been answered. Aside from just making her settle into a slightly bigger house dress, they decided to throw in a cancer scare. (Though really, what is any drama worth its salt without one?) From the Betty storyline, I gathered three things:

Betty only takes .04756 seconds after finding out she doesn’t have cancer to become a huge bitch again. “Your mother is obsese.” LOL
What is that house?!?! It looks like a mansion that an eccentric millionaire would buy to host theme dinner parties and seances. I want to live in that house.
I got kind of melty in the heart when Don was super concerned about her and called her “Birdie” to reassure her. Shame on Henry for not telling Betty that he called her back — though, to be fair, if you were looking over your shoulder at a guy like that who used to do your wife on the regular, you’d probably be pretty uneasy, too.

Anyway, aside from all of that awkward weight-gain talk and hippie women walking around what looked like the Four Seasons to read your fortune, we got back into some more classic Mad Men fodder. Back in the office, things are pretty steady. Don has a cute new secretary named Dawn! Oh, the jokes they can wiggle out of that one! This is probably going to be the lulziest secretary sitting outside his desk since trusty Mrs. Blankenship. Aside from that, Roger’s finally getting a single, solitary bone thrown in his corporate doggy bowl to make him feel like he’s relevant or necessary.

And speaking of clients, how weird is it to have the whole Heinz-Rolling Stones storyline and be musing about how oooooold all of that seems, and then think about how the Stones are still around, kicking, and doing TV appearances? I wonder how Keith Richards must feel watching it…assuming he still has the powers of listening comprehension. Either way, it was a nice way to get some people out of the office and back socializing with kids to remind them just how very square they are. Harry and Don went to the concert where they couldn’t talk to a bandmate to save their lives, and settled for hanging out with the pot-smoking whippersnappers and their puffy hairdos. It’s always weird watching Don interact with young girls, as they consistently seem so intoxicated by his older-man charm, which from our side always looks like his desperate clinging-on to superiority and relevance. This girl, though, backstage at the Stones concert, seemed almost like the teenage daughter that Don didn’t want to let go out to hang with her friends. You could almost imagine him asking, “Are there going to be boys there?” It doesn’t help that he goes home to a woman only slightly closer to his age bracket who’s trying to get him to go get drunk/sunburned at Fire Island in her booty shorts. Grandpa Draper is too old for these shenanigans.

Side note — why does everyone hate Harry? I know he’s kind of a sleazeball (though drastically less so now than in season 4), but he just so desperately wants to be liked by everyone. It’s almost endearing. And watching him plow through 20 straight White Castle burgers while talking about how you need to eat first when you bring home some dinner for your family, I saw a bit of myself. I feel you, Harry, I feel you. Don’t let Don get you down — he has no soul.

I don’t know what to think about Megan. On the one hand, she’s just a fun-loving, go-go dancing, French-Canadian wood nymph who wants to inject a little fun/marital sex into Don’s fetid emotional swamp of a life, but she seems a bit conniving. Clearly she weaseled her way into a job that she doesn’t deserve, and she certainly isn’t hurting for money/status/power anymore, but that’s not really what digs at me. She seemed almost perky at the idea of taking over the Mom position from Betty, and upon finding out that B was fine, let it go with a simple, “she just needed a reason to talk to you.” WHAT. Who says that?! I hope Don is starting to realize that his relationship is more babysitting at this point than interacting with a life partner, but I still don’t wish happiness on him, so he can go ahead and take his child-bride out to dinner.

Yay for Pete sticking it to Roger. Yay for Pete doing anything, really, but the more he chips away at Roger’s status, the better things likely are for the company in general. Also, when Roger mentioned hanging on a ledge with Pete’s feet on his knuckles, I couldn’t help but picture Scar and Mufasa over the buffalo stampede. Except in this version, Scar is the good one and Mufasa is a dried-up old account executive with a cocktail dress for a wife and an office that looks like a psychiatrist’s waiting room on a spaceship. Long live the king.

I really like the new guy. I know that he was kind of an enormous spaz with Peggy, but his home life certainly seems tough/endearing, and his jacket being about four inches too short only added to the charm. He seems talented, but a sincere underdog, and thus pretty much Peggy v.2.0. I thought it was kind of sweet how Stan tried to get Peggy to stick up for herself and not get run over by the guy he was sure was being hired to climb the ranks faster than herself. I want Stan and Peggy to have their own spin-off sixties comedy where they’re perpetually giving each other “Oh, you!” looks. In any case, I’m excited to see what the new copywriter will do. (Kind of surprised Don liked him though, as chipper and weird don’t usually seem to be his favorite qualities in a person.)

Also, I miss Joan. Come back next week, Joan. Come back. Everyone misses you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – AMC

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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