'Mad Men's' beautiful girls
September 20th, 2010
05:24 PM ET

'Mad Men's' beautiful girls

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, September 19 episode of AMC’s “Mad Men.”

There weren’t many bright spots for our gang this week, were there? Other than Don’s tryst with Dr. Faye Miller, who continues to grow on me, it was very much a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for almost everyone at the agency. I hate to think what would have happened had the ladies of SCDP not kept everything from falling apart completely.

First off, the unthinkable happened this week. Miss Blankenship’s stint with SCDP came to an untimely end when she passed away at her desk. The onetime office bombshell and Mistress of Zing was fondly remembered by Bert, who in drafting her obituary remembered her as such, “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She’s an astronaut.” It bears repeating that the writing on this show is truly sublime.

Although somber on its face, the relocation of Miss Blankenship’s remains was a moment that ranks up there with the John Deere Incident as one of the show’s most humorous. Though if Joan instructed me to “get a man” to assist with the move, Pete Campbell would not have been my first choice. I would have opted for Rizzo, assuming he didn’t say something that made me wish for him to trade places with Miss Blankenship first.

Don’s stress was compounded when he received an unexpected visitor in the form of Sally, who found her way into the city, desperate to escape life with Betty in Ossining. He instructed Faye to take Sally back to his apartment, where the two appeared to hit it off. (I like her too, Sally.)

Sally later asked Don if she could live with him full time and he declined, because a 10-year-old really cramps your style when you’re bringing home a different girl every night. I’d like to think that Don considered bringing the children to the city after putting Sally to bed, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The following day, after Sally attempted to prove herself as a contributing member of the household by making Don rum-smothered French toast – which sounds like the perfect breakfast on a chilly winter’s morning – she acted out when Betty had arrived to take her home. I loved the ladies in the office making the trip to reception to see for themselves what kind of mother would elicit such terrible behavior from Sally. Hint: A terrible one.

This week saw the return of Joyce, who reconnected Peggy with sexy Abe from the loft party under the guise of a girl’s night out. Abe and Peggy engaged in a discussion about business, and while Abe railed against corruption, Peggy countered his argument by saying that she primarily worked for wholesome family-owned businesses.

When Peggy rattled off a string of SCDP clients, Abe stopped her at Fillmore Auto Parts, telling her that their southern stores refused to hire blacks. This led to a conversation on civil rights and Peggy saying that many of the things blacks couldn’t do applied to her as well. Abe patronized Peggy, saying that women deserved a civil rights march of their own. Oh, Abe, I was really rooting for you until you took it there.

He made amends by showing up at the office the next day and presenting Peggy with an essay about the evils of Madison Avenue, specifically the controversy surrounding Fillmore Auto Parts. Unsurprisingly, she sent him packing and demanded he not publish the paper. Strike two, Abe.

Peggy later raised the issue of Fillmore’s race problem during an account meeting with Don, who told her that it was the agency’s job to make men like Fillmore Auto Parts, not to make Fillmore hire black employees. The civil rights issue has been bubbling just under the surface for a while now and I’m really interested in seeing where the show takes it.

Meanwhile, Joan’s husband, Dr. Rapist, was called up and expected to report to Vietnam after basic training, so hopefully we’ll never have to see him again. Upon hearing the news, Roger arranged for Joan to receive a little at-home pampering because if anyone deserves it, isn’t it Joan?

This gesture perhaps greased the wheels for what happened later in the episode. With Jane in the Hamptons and desperate to shake the gloom following Miss Blankenship’s unexpected demise, Roger convinced Joan to accompany him to dinner. You know what happened next. When the cats are away, the mice will get mugged during a trip down memory lane and engage in an adrenaline-fueled makeout session. I so want Joan and Roger to happen – don’t you just love them together?

Finally, a brief note about the parting shot of Joan, Peggy and Faye in the elevator – I thought it was such a lovely, powerful scene that put a face on Joyce’s notion of man’s desire to be supported and coddled professionally, personally and everything in between.

What did you think of last night’s episode?

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jessie B

    Fantastic post on the episode. I've been reading Slate's TV Club for quite some time and find their commentary interesting, though sometimes obvious. Your observations and feelings about the characters (love Faye, love Joan and Roger) are right in line with mine. Curious to see what you think will happen to Sally (I predict drugs) and Greg (I fear disability in Vietnam and Joan caring for him the rest of her life.) Have you noticed the way Betty is always depicted smoking ike a chimney? I think she's gonna crack somehow, sometime soon.

    September 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Holly Golightly

    This show was awesome, as usual. Poor Sally! I wish Don would let her come live with him. Anything's better than the Wicked W itch of the 60's, Betty! Kiernan (Sally) should get an Emmy! LOVE Joan (Red) and Rog together! I will miss Miss Blankenship! And I do like Abe–hope they bring him back. Getting SO tired of Stan. Long live Mad Men!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. tracy

    I hope Don eventually hires a black secretary. Betty will eventuallybeatthe crap out of the kid. And I hope DOn rents a less gloomy and dark apt. He is loaded after all right??

    September 21, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • dee-dee

      I think Don shoulld hire a very cute (the usual) secretary who is secretly bi-racial. She should look the part and be another Joan ..... just that good. Let her keep who she really is hidden until revealing it to Don........ what would he do ?

      September 21, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • G-Girl

      dee-dee that would be a good plot twist, considering Don is the man of secrets.

      September 21, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dot dot dot

    Emu. RIP Ida. She was hilarious, but I think they had her kick the bucket at just the right time.

    Sally is just the saddest thing ever, having to try so hard to get at least one of her parents to want her. Not gonna happen, kid.

    Big YES to Joan and Roger coming back to life. Joan has lost her sparkle since marrying Dr. McCreepy, and Roger lights her right up. And she does the same for him.

    September 21, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. LucysMom

    The season started off slowly but KA-POW they draw you back in. The writing is just fantastic as well as the actors delivering them. I am going to miss Miss Blankenship. She delivered the most deadpan one liners that had me smiling through the show. I don't think Roger and Joan will ever be formally together so to speak but I am sure that isn't the last we have seen of their hook ups. Didn't like Abe was a little to sanctimonious for me, glad Peggy showed him the door. Love this show can't imagine what the season finale is going to be but it will be here too soon!

    September 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. coach4771

    This season has definitely hit it's stride. Can't believe there are just 4 episodes left!!! And I really doubt it would happen, but little Kiernan Shipka (Sally) should at least be nominated in the next TV awards.

    September 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. C

    No, they did not just make out. They were DOING IT. It showed her unzipping his pants! Well, maybe not showing it, but the sound was heard!!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. portalpunk

    luv the bullet bras red wears!!!!!!

    September 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. D-day

    I find it funny that after watching 3 seasons of mad men we haven't learned that what we expect won't happen.
    Everybody says that Dr. Rapist will die. The worst that could happen is he comes back... in a wheelchair.
    You say you like Dr. Faye? Never gonna happen with Don.
    So brace yourselves. I'll bet Weiner has a motto that he follows: the most horrific real things must happen.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsEl

      I noticed Dr. Rapist was seeming awfully nice in the last episode. He carefully and lovingly bandaged up Joan's booboo and sat her down on the bed happily reassuring her. But we know he's dark, so the Vietnam war will at least make that darkness re-emerge. But Joan's relationship with Roger is no better ... as of this past episode he proved himself to be a coward. My father, who was of that generation, and my mother for that fact, would have looked that mugger in the eye and scowled at him while they were being mugged. And I'm pretty sure my father would have hit the guy. But Roger was such a wimp! He just wanted it to be over – but he didn't really act "like a man". So Joan should find herself a better option.

      September 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 2-Skinny

    Pretty sure they didn't just make out...

    September 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaybejean

      While clearly from the results we learned about in this week's episode, it was more than a make out session, but it was unbelievable, if only because of the mechanics. You may have to be a woman of a certain age to understand that the upholstery worn then by all women and now by older ones, would be impossible to come out of in an easy, fluid and quick way. There would be much tugging and pulling to get out of it. Moreover, that being the case, her dress would have had to come up at least to her waist to manage it. In addition to Joan being quite the lady, there is no way a woman would expose herself that way, even now, in such a semi-public place. Even just after having her life threatened.

      September 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |

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