September 20th, 2010
05:24 PM ET
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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