September 13th, 2010
04:58 PM ET
Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, September 12 episode of AMC’s ‘Mad Men.'
After last night’s episode, it’s safe to say that the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce could use a "Respect in the Workplace" seminar. (That, and they’re desperately in need of a human resources department.)
We waded into the murky waters of gender roles in the 1960s workplace last night and boy, did it get uncomfortable. Has this show mastered the awkward moment or what? On the bright side, things seem to be looking up for Don, maybe. We’ll start there.
We opened with Don journaling through some rage and mulling cutting back on his drinking. He expressed the desire to gain control of his life and made a bucket list while he was on a roll. He even made an appearance at baby Gene’s birthday party, which was not the horrible disaster that it could have been.
Last night wasn’t without its tense moments, however, as Don had an uncomfortable run-in with Betty and Henry while out on a date with dewy fresh Bethany, who I think we might have seen the last of. Betty turned to stone and smoldered as she chain smoked her way through dinner and later lashed out at Henry on the trip home. She’s at maximum awfulness capacity, that one.
Don’s record of striking out with Dr. Faye Miller (I feel like I always have to use her full name), came to an end last night when she finally agreed to go out with him, likely due to her shouty breakup phone call in the SCDP lobby. For someone who comes across as so polished and professional I thought it was really out of character for her to have a meltdown in public. I kind of like her and Don together, even though I’m still holding out hope that he’ll one day reunite with Rachel Menken. But I digress. The date was pleasant enough, and there’s definitely chemistry but it ended with Don declining Dr. Faye’s offer to go home with him. Look at Don, exercising restraint. You’ve come a long way, baby.
Elsewhere in the office, along with the arrival of the Malfunctioning Vending Machine of Doom came some really reprehensible behavior from the boys – the art department, specifically. What’s up with that? I thought artists were supposed to be sensitive. The troubles began when Joan had to play the role of office disciplinarian after Joey and Rizzo took to loudly manhandling the machine over a rogue Clark Bar.
In Things I Did Not See Coming news, Joey sure turned out to be a real prince, eh? When Joan took him to task for publicly disrespecting her, he fired back with a string of cruel insults, among them Joan’s begging to be sexually assaulted because of the way she was dressed. Yeesh. Joan later attempted to poison the well against Joey by urging Don not to hire him on full time because of his inappropriate behavior. Don dismissed the matter as a case of “boys will be boys.” That sound you hear is my skin crawling.
Later, Joey left an offensive sketch of Joan and Layne in a compromising position in Joan’s office. Joan confronted the boys and had a great little monologue about them all being shipped off to Vietnam, which sobered them up fairly quickly.
Peggy marched into Don’s office with the drawing and demanded he speak with Joey. Don told Peggy that if she wanted to be respected she was going to have to earn it herself and gave her license to fire Joey which was AMAZING. Go Peggy! Because we’re a PG-13 operation, I can’t use the word I’d like to describe Joey, but it rhymes with "swoosh flag." Good riddance, jerk.
Joan rained on Peggy’s parade when she wasn’t particularly receptive to Joey’s firing, claiming that all Peggy had done was reinforce the stereotypes of women in the workplace. Ugh. I don’t know about you, but the skeevy office behavior in this episode made me especially grateful to be employed in the here and now.
What did you think of last night’s episode?
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