'Mad Men's' dysfunctional family Thanksgiving
May 14th, 2012
11:13 AM ET

'Mad Men's' dysfunctional family Thanksgiving

[The following post contains spoilers from the May 13 episode of AMC's "Mad Men."]

This week's episode kicked off the 1966 holiday season and served as a reminder that families – whether nuclear or professional – are almost always rife with drama.

We opened with Don putting together a portfolio of work to submit for a New York Times profile on "hip" ad agencies. In doing so, he realized how much of an impact Ginsburg's had on the firm's recent business.

He was also impressed with Michael's pitch for a Pepsi product called “Sno Ball,” but appeared just the slightest bit put out when the guys – Pete and Cosgrove – declared Michael's pitch funnier than his own, a play on the expression “a snowball's chance in hell.”

Later, when the NYT article came out, SCDP was nowhere to be found. Pete was livid but Don remained decidedly “meh” at being excluded.

When it was time to present the Sno Ball campaign to Pepsi, Don made a last-minute decision to go with his pitch and left Ginsburg's artwork in the cab. The firm landed the account but Michael was angry when he discovered that Don ditched his pitch.

Don, who clearly didn't take the Times' hint that SCDP was perceived as a firm that produced dated work, appeared nonplussed when Michael confronted him.

The firm worked to court another new client in Monarch, the company behind the kosher wine Manischewitz. Bert gave the account to Roger because of his marriage to Jane, who's Jewish. She reluctantly agreed to go to the client dinner with Roger, but only if he bought her a new apartment.

They later had sex in said apartment, and afterward Jane was remorseful because she wanted a fresh start in a new place, but the new place was now tainted with the stench of Sterling. So, what? Does he buy her another new place, or will she call in a hazmat team to decontaminate? Who knows, they're both kind of awful.

Prior to the Monarch dinner, Roger quietly recruited Ginsburg to draft a few ideas for him to pitch, all but certifying his position as the firm's rising star. After the way Don treated him, however, I'd be surprised if he didn't jump ship for another agency before the end of the season.

Elsewhere, Megan had settled into her new life as a student of the stage, but received a rude awakening when a fellow actress called her out for being able to avoid living the life of a starving artist. Megan had perfected the ability to cry on cue, though, so that's something to be proud of I suppose. Those acting lessons she's not struggling to afford sure are paying off!

Betty, meanwhile, was still fat. She and Megan had an awkward run-in when she came into the city to pick up the kids. Now a matronly suburban hausfrau, Betty was clearly out of place in the comfortable, modern apartment and was jealous/intimidated/ashamed/all of the above after catching a glimpse of Megan's trim figure as she changed clothes.

Upon returning to the Haunted Mansion™, she quelled her anxiety with a shot of Reddi-wip, the clichéd drug of choice for stress eaters everywhere.

She later talked through her troubles at Weight Watchers, but got all fired up again when she found a love note from Don to Megan on the back of one of Bobby's drawings. Then, because she's a horrible b****, she casually reminded Sally to include Anna Draper on the family tree she was working on for class. This was the first Sally had ever heard of the original Mrs. Draper and Betty refused to comment further, instead directing her to Megan with any questions.

Sally and Megan later clashed over Anna's ghost, just as Betty had anticipated. What she did not expect was silence from the city afterward. Megan convinced Don not to call Betty and take her to task over the issue, as that would give her exactly what she wanted. Megan – 1, Betty – 0.

Don was very honest with Sally and told her about his relationship with Anna. When she returned to Rye, Sally told her mother that everything in the city was sunshine and roses. Then Betty devoured an entire layer cake and a litter of kittens because as far as she knew, her plot to stir the pot failed miserably.

So what did you think of last night's episode? Help yourself to some Brussels sprouts and let's talk it out in the comments.

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Carolyn

    I love every episode of Mad Men. Every episode has a lot to say about human frailties and human behavior. Love, love, love it!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Observer

    Great episode!
    Looks like Don is seeing his mortality. Will be curious to see how this develops.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |

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