This was a tense episode of Mad Men, and Don’s walk around that office was as gripping as anything the show has done in sometime. It felt so good to see Don positively interact with all the old creatives (sans a still bitter Peggy), but everyone else giving him the cold shoulder (besides an exuberant Ken Cosgrove) just slowly stacked up the tension to the point where I could barely take it any more. I hate seeing Joan so opposed to Don’s return and I can’t really put my finger on why she would feel that way. Don was always Joan’s biggest supporter, I hope she can pried away from team Cutler.
Speaking of Cutler, I don’t even know what that guy wants anymore. He wants a computer now? Does Harry Crane get to stay? I don’t know, but I do know that I have never liked Harry as much as I did in this episode as he brushed Cutler off with ease. Only problem is, Harry is team Harry.
What a relief it was to see Roger go to bat for Don though and have a beat on everyone as they tried to counteract his arguments. I love this Roger and it is a shame we don’t get to see more of him. Roger needs a tag team, and Don should be it, but that meeting with Don in the conference room proved that the Don dissenters had an ace up their sleeve. So Don is back, but they have gotten Don to put his shares of the company on the line if he ever slips up again. Worst of all, he has to report to Lou. I can’t wait to see those two go at it in the coming weeks and I wonder what Don has up his sleeve as he so confidently accepted that fucked up offer.
On the Mrs. Draper front, the current one decided she might want to join the former as she is letting her professional career get the most of her. When Megan gave Don the boot from California she seemed pretty certain that she never needed to see Don again, but that late night phone call left a door open; possibly. Still, she was brutal to Don when she found out that her agent has sent him out to straighten her out, and it’s not that Don didn’t deserve some of it, but there seems to be a trend that whenever Don decides to be truthful he gets nothing in return. No wonder he has been lying all these years. Is the last we have seen of Megan? Or is she going to pop in on him in NY like she threatened.
Betty on the other hand has one her most motherly episodes to date, as she goes on the titular field trip with Bobby. It’s all sparked by her friend mentioning the diminishing role that mothers seem to have as their kids grow up, but I think Betty has always wanted to see herself as a great mother. And she is awesome, for about 65% of the field trip, then Bobby had to go and trade Betty’s sandwich for the cute girl’s sour balls. Betty reacts as expected, pouts as expected, shames as expected, but I kind of feel like her final moment with Gene and Henry might be setting up her final arc for the series; growing up and being the best mother she can be. Well, I guess unless Sally finds a way to ruin all of that.
Some Short Takes:
-Lou is still the worst, and now he has that awful tiki bar in his office. I hope Don crushes him on his return.
-I miss the Betty death looks.
-What was up with that women who tried to pick up Don? Was that just her lame attempt to pick him up of did Don completely blank on knowing her. Still, the cut to Don in the hotel hallway and the reveal of Roger was the laugh of the night, so it was worth it.
-That front desk secretary couldn’t be any whiter.
A nerve-racking and transitional episode for Mad Men has us already at the halfway point of the season next week. I hate this shortened season, but Weiner and team seem to be doing a great job of plotting things out so far this season. The grounds at which they are bring Don back to the office is going to make for some interesting television, I can’t wait to see how it shakes out.