September 6th, 2010
05:01 PM ET
Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, September 5 episode of AMC’s "Mad Men."
Last night’s episode was a good one, no? We dealt with lots of baggage – figuratively and literally – so let’s get to it!
Tasked with coming up with a campaign for Samsonite, Peggy, Joey, Danny (ugh) and Rizzo (double ugh) presented a mock-up of a commercial that would star Joe Namath manhandling a Samsonite suitcase. Don was not impressed. He wasn’t the only one. Sal’s Patio Cola dance from last season is the benchmark by which I measure all SCDP presentations. Anyhow, Peggy was admonished while the boys shuffled off to smoke cigarettes and talk about dames, presumably.
Shortly thereafter, while most of the gang left to take in the infamous Cassius Clay – Sonny Liston “Phantom Punch” fight, Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss stayed behind to work on their submission reels for next year’s Emmy Awards. Man, I thought some of this episode’s scenes were the most powerful of the entire series.
Don, after receiving the message he knew would come from California with word of Anna’s death, delayed returning the call and created a distraction for himself by sentencing Peggy to a night of toiling away together on the Samsonite account. Unbeknownst to Don, it was Peggy’s birthday. Peggy’s big dull dud of a boyfriend Mark planned a surprise party in her honor and after several delays, she finally told him she couldn’t make it. He, in turn, broke up with her. Good riddance.
When Peggy told Don that he was making her work on her birthday, the conversation became heated and landed on the topic of Peggy’s work on the Glo-Coat [sic] campaign, for which Don won the Clio. Don’s advice to Peggy boiled down to stop being such a baby, your time will come. Peggy retreated to the restroom to have a good old-fashioned Office Cry.
They two made up later over a moment of levity in Don’s office. While brainstorming ideas for Samsonite, Don discovered the notes Roger recorded for his memoirs. We learned that Bert Cooper underwent an unnecessary surgery that resulted in the loss of his testicles and Miss Blankenship was once the office vixen. I’ll never look at you the same, Ida.
Don later took Peggy out for dinner to celebrate her birthday and began to volunteer little tidbits of information about his past. The night continued at a bar where the conversation turned to dating. Peggy alluded to Don having a type. Don told Peggy she was pretty and datable. She confided that both co-workers and family members suspected their relationship was far more personal than professional. She talked about what she wanted out of life, and at the moment her career was more important than the traditional roles of wife and mother. They talked about her baby. For an exchange in a smoky, 60s version of a sports bar, it was awfully poignant.
Upon returning to the office, Peggy found herself dealing with not one drunk, but two. Don, who had been drinking since receiving the message from California and Duck Phillips, of all people, who found his way to the offices of SCDP with the intent on leaving a homemade gift for Roger. Seeing Don in the office with Peggy, coupled with her rebuffing his advances earlier in the episode, Duck lashed out and called Peggy a whore. That set Don off and in attempt to defend her honor he threw a punch, missing Duck by a mile. The two rolled around on the floor in a mildly entertaining attempt at a fight. It’s the thought that counts, Don.
Don and Peggy eventually passed out in Don’s office – his head on her lap. He awoke to a vision of Anna carrying a suitcase. For a moment I thought her appearance was going to inspire the Samsonite campaign. “Samsonite! So long-lasting it will survive the trip into the afterlife!” Does Anna’s exit mean that we’ve seen the last of Dick Whitman? Will Don choose to salvage Dick’s positive qualities and incorporate them into his life as Don Draper?
When Don finally called Anna’s niece the next morning, we got the news we expected to hear – that Anna had died. Don was heartbroken and tearfully told Peggy that Anna was the only person in the world who really knew him. Sniff. Just thinking about such an enormous loss and then applying it to your own life is almost too much to bear.
Later, when Don shared his idea for the Samsonite account with Peggy, he gave her hand a gentle squeeze and a knowing glance. Was it a thank you? A sign of solidarity? Bottom line, Peggy is totally the New Anna, you guys. They’ve been through a lot together, these two. I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops from this point forward.
What did you think of last night’s episode?
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