A not-so-merry 'Mad Men' Christmas
August 2nd, 2010
04:31 PM ET

A not-so-merry 'Mad Men' Christmas

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 1 episode of AMC’s “Mad Men.’’

It may have been Christmastime ‘round Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on last night’s “Mad Men,” but it clearly wasn’t the most wonderful time of year.

Yet there were a couple of bright spots as we welcomed back two old favorites, one of whom was Glenn Bishop, the forlorn little boy Betty developed an odd relationship with during the show’s first season.

Having returned to town with his newly remarried mother, Glenn approached Sally while she was out with Betty, Bobby and Henry looking for a Christmas tree.

The two bonded over the troubles of being children of divorce and Glenn advised her to take advantage of her position now before a new baby came along – a peculiar kid, that one.

As an odd gesture of solidarity and affection, Glenn later broke into the former Draper, now Francis home and vandalized the place, leaving his lanyard as a calling card on Sally’s pillow. I found it oddly charming and a little disturbing, but it’s a comfort knowing Sally found someone who understood her.

A recently sober Fred Rumsen was also a welcome sight, returning to SCDP as copywriter. He didn’t come empty-handed either, bringing the valuable Pond’s Cold Cream account with him. There was one caveat: Pete Campbell had to be kept away from the company executive Cal. This request backfired when Roger took Cal out for one of his famous three martini lunches. Cal, like Fred, is a recovering alcoholic. Whoops.

In a brainstorming session, Fred and Peggy butted heads over the direction of the Pond’s account. Peggy felt that Fred’s antiquated ideas of who the Pond’s woman would be were terribly old-fashioned, and Fred didn’t quite seem to grasp that Peggy was now one of the agency’s established copywriters, rather than a secretary whose sole goal in life was to marry.

The two later made amends, and Fred offered Peggy some advice on her relationship with her boyfriend Mark – don’t sleep with him if you want to marry him, and don’t keep him waiting if you’re not sure if he’s marriage material. Oh, Fred! You and your crazy old-fashioned sexual mores!

It doesn’t appear as if Mark was “The One,” and Peggy wound up sleeping with him toward the end of the episode. Mark was under the impression that Peggy was a virgin, but we know better. I’m secretly holding out hope that she and Pete get together one day.

Lucky Strike’s Lee Garner Jr. also made an appearance last night, throwing Layne’s plans for a budget-conscious SCDP Christmas party into a tailspin. Eager to please their number one client, the agency threw a holiday blowout complete with a conga line, awkward conversation and forced joviality.

And speaking of awkward, how uncomfortable was that scene with Lee and Roger over the Santa suit? Yeesh. When Fred was a no-show for his Santa gig, Lee forced Roger to assume the role. To add insult to injury, Roger was then made to pose for the traditional “picture with Santa” with all of the employees.

Don seemed to lurk in the shadows in this episode, going about living his lonely bachelor’s life. He met Phoebe, a young neighbor who called him out for always returning home drunk, and Fay, a female consultant hired by the agency who spurned his advances and put him in his place.

In somewhat of a backhanded way, Fay guessed that a man like him would be married again within the year and then apologized, saying no one liked to be branded as a particular type.

Drunk and dejected, Don later had meaningless sex with his secretary who left the party to bring him the keys he left behind at the office. He coldly danced around the topic the following day, leaving her with nothing more than a Christmas card and her yearly bonus. Did I mention that this is the same secretary who did his Christmas shopping?

So much for a Merry Christmas! What did you think of last night’s episode?

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Filed under: television • TV recaps

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soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Holly Golightly

    Ok, where is the recap/commentary for last nite's show?????

    August 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cat

    MORE JOAN!!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carrie

    Gross! Pete is a weasel.

    August 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Holly Golightly

    Sure, now you do....Ok, I luuuv John Hamm. Love Freddy. Love Glenn–a little creepy though. Love Sally–how grown up is she?? Want Peggy and Pete to hook up again. Wanted Don to make it with either the nurse or the blonde ad exec. And Don never has any direction. Oh, to have been an attendee at that office party! More Joan please!

    August 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Holly Golightly

    cnn, why won't you post my comments??

    August 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Patty H

    Well, it was good....I guess I really wanted to see Don go to Betty's and open the gifts with the kids....Luv Glenn what a creeper.................yes, this is the best show since the SOPRANO's.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marta

    Seriously, you took forever to post this blog today!

    I loved the episode. Can't wait for P & P to hook up again. And for Pete to meet his kid! I'm hating Don as a bachelor! Is like he has no direction in life or idea on how to live it. Without a wife.

    August 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |

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