Ch-ch-ch-changes for ‘Mad Men’
August 16th, 2010
03:08 PM ET

Ch-ch-ch-changes for ‘Mad Men’

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 15 episode of AMC’s "Mad Men."

1965 appears to be the year of milestones for our friends at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and this week’s episode contained plenty of those changes. Pete’s having a baby, Ken’s back with a fiancée in tow and Peggy made a friend.

We began with Roger telling Pete to make the Clearasil account go away because it was a conflict of interest with the more lucrative Pond’s account. Clearasil, if you’ll remember, falls under the umbrella of Pete’s father-in-law’s company, Vicks Chemical.

But Pete failed to break the bad news when his father-in-law dropped a bombshell of his own: Trudy, after years of trying, is finally pregnant with the couple’s first child. (Well, Trudy’s first child. Pete and Peggy’s lovechild is still out there, somewhere, waiting for their inevitable reunion. Or maybe that’s just me.)

Eager to keep Clearasil and bring in more business for SCDP, Pete put the squeeze on Mr. Gotrox and pressed him to hand over more prominent Vicks accounts, like cough drops and VapoRub – everything you fondly remember from the feverish sick days of your childhood.

Meanwhile, the Pond’s account continued on its quest to nail down an identity. Peggy’s vision of the product as part of a young woman’s beauty regimen faltered in a focus group when the session devolved into a sad single gal’s cryfest, bemoaning their collective lack of husbands.

Don’s secretary and onetime conquest Allison mysteriously fled the room in tears during the discussion and all but confessed her tryst to Peggy when she tried to console her. Peggy and I shared the same "WTF?" reaction when Allison assumed that she’d also suffered the drunken Rath of Don. I took her assumption to mean that the theory ‘round the watercooler was that Peggy got to where she was in the agency by sleeping her way up the corporate ladder. WTF indeed.

Allison’s decision to quit the firm was cemented after Don suggested she write her own recommendation letter for him to sign. She stormed out of the office, but not before heaving a paperweight at his head and speaking on behalf of women everywhere when she told Don he was a terrible person. Out of the mouths of secretaries comes the truth, it seems. Farewell Allison, your dramatic exit made you the Steven Slater of the '60s.

Assuming Don got the message, will we see him turn over a new leaf? Use a dash more Dick Whitman and a pinch less lecherous cad? I’m not holding my breath.

We also got a new character last night in the form of Joyce, Peggy’s new friend and an assistant photo editor for Life. Internet, I think I’m in love. With her suits and feminist ways, I’m counting on Joyce to spark an ideological awakening in Peggy.

She introduced Peggy to her equally forward-thinking friends at a raucous loft party, and their denouncement of the advertising industry left her unable to defend her polished, perfect line of work. When the party is raided, Peggy ended up in a closet with the seriously hot Abe, and there’s definitely something there. I’m hoping that Peggy dumps Mark – the dullest human alive – in favor of the brooding, be-turtlenecked Abraham.

Yet as I mentioned above, I’m still holding out hope that Peggy and Pete will one day realize they’re meant to be. Peggy was seemingly crushed to hear the news that Pete and Trudy were expecting, and their lingering glances at the end of the episode? Ugh, my heart.

I feel like we’re building up to some meaty mid-season drama, what do you think?

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Filed under: Mad Men • television • TV recaps

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rabbi Morey Huckleman

    The father has every right to know about his child.

    September 19, 2010 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. Holly Golightly

    you guys are awesome! great ideas! I think we should all be hired to write for MM!

    August 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Edina

    Thanks for straightening out the deal with Peggy's child. Any chances that there will be a child actor cast to play that character who shows up in a later episode looking like a miniature Pete (LOL!)?? Love the multiple layers in this engrossing! Peggy's heartbreak as she became aware of Trudy's pregnancy was palpable. She relived the pain of that episode in her life that she had surpressed. And when the camera stays on Pete as he awkwardly sits on his couch after she congratulates him ... priceless!

    August 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam


      It's funny you said that. I was just thinking there should be a scene where Peggy passes a little boy on the street, in a little suit, who looks just like Pete. He could be trying to talk some other little kid into trading a toy gun for a chip-n-dip. lol.

      August 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joan

    I came late to MM... and now am totally caught up with all episodes. This show, for me, is by far the best weekly fiction program on. Have never seen Breaking Bad... so I can't comment on that one. Rubicon is decent, but MM is head and shoulders above it still. Part of the attraction is, of course, the fact that it is a period piece. And what medium is used for the filming.. is it video on film? It works fantastically, whatever combination of media they are using. I think season 2 adn 3 were the best so far.. but I am holding our for Season 4 to improve.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      I think Season 4 is going to blow us all away. I have a feeling the writers are going to drop a bombshell on us when we least expect it–maybe Allison will come back in a few weeks "with child"???

      Anyone hear anything about Sal coming back?

      August 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Clete

    Big changes, double, triple whoopee. I lost interest in this show after the first four episodes. The wooden acting and boring story line killed any interest I might have had in this show. I have never figured out why all the "critics" consider this trite show the greatest thing that's ever been on television.

    August 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Christie

    Peggy told Pete about having his baby in Season 2? Is that true?

    August 18, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |

    I have high hopes that Don will someday become a likeable person who treats women with respect, but unlike you, I do not want to see Peggy hook up with Pete again. He is such a priviledged baby who hangs onto coat tails! Peggy is a strong woman who needs to be challenged and respected like I think her new-age closet boyfriend is capable of doing. Let's see!

    August 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Holly Golightly

    I agree: Roger is awesome. Will agree that the show is not as good now as S1 and 2, but I am loyal and still love it! Definitely don't think Don is boring or cliche–on the contrary, I think he is fascinating and mulit-nuanced! Wondering where there going with Peggy and the beatniks? Is there a romance ahead for her and Joyce? I'm hoping for one with Abe–very cute! Ditto to all that was said about Peggy and Pete! Someone please answer me: Why did Pete marry Trudy? Money/Appearances? I always thought he was much more ambivalent about her until this episode. Where is Sally? Please bring her back! And that blonde Ponds woman is quite nasty. I completely understand Allison's heartbreak. Who wants to be used like that? And maybe Don is turning over a new leaf. I too wish he could find his soulmate–but I doubt that will happen anytime soon or the show would end!

    August 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rob

    Worst season yet! The show is just getting worse and worse. I wished the media would have never got on board. This show was so good until it got so much coverage and all of you "Johnny come lately" viewers came into the mix. I just hope Breaking Bad never gets that much media coverage. Unlike this show that show has just gotten better and better. I will say this. This past show was better than most of the season so far. Here is to showing more Roger sterling. That man steals every scene he is in. Don is so boring and cliched it is not funny.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kathy L.

    I just wish Don would find his true mate but I guess Im wishing for something that'll be unDon-like but good grief, it's gotten to the point where if Don is in a scene, on the opening scene if there's a woman there, I already know he'll bone her. As drop dead gorgeous as he is, he's a dog in heat 80% of the time but a brilliant Ad Exec, I"ll give him that.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim

    can't wait for new weeks episode

    August 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Daniel Paul

    This season just keeps getting better and better. Last week with Don flying out to California and the tortured knowledge of his friends illness and this week with Peggy's new found independent spirit, and Cambell's wife being 'with child'.

    Favorite part was Pete. All the returning Mad Men have found a new sense of confidence in the way they talk to others, deal with others in the office, and hold themselves. We've seen it with Harry Crane demanding Pete to 'fix it!' in the first episode and now with Pete dealing with his father-in-law. 'Ch-ch-ch-changes' indeed. Can't wait to see how far they push the beatnik Peggy or how they look at the generation. We've seen mostly a 'type-A' 1960's person but the decade is now in full swing and the hippies are around the corner. Drug abuse? I hope not, enough boozing and womanizing as is but they are definitely keeping it interesting. Can't wait.

    Also the last scenes with Peggy and Pete staring at each other, separated by the glass, both spinning off in opposite directions and really being mirrors of themselves, wow. That was amazing. Then the old couple right after was good too. Reflecting how alone Don is and how aware he is becoming of himself. Good stuff. Best Drama! Let's go for a fourth year at the Emmy's and may there be four more.

    August 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marta

    I loved last night's episode. I felt so sad for Peggy when she found out about Pete being "pregnant"... I think is so messed up that not even between he can aknowledge that he has a son already!

    The whole Don's secretary breakdown was so lame. Am I supposed to believe that she didn't know, what was she getting her self into by sleeping with him? Plus it was such a sad "one night stand", they didn't even take their clothes off!

    August 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin Collins

      Question that I hope someone can answer please 🙂
      Does Pete even know that Peggy had his child? Is the child still with Peggy's family?

      August 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Robin: Yes, Pete knows about the baby. Peggy told him in the final episode of S2. The baby was never with Peggy's family. It was given up for adoption at birth.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • KellyJean

      I thought that the baby was with Peggy's sister? Wasn't there an episode where we saw him in the crib?

      August 19, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Janeofalltrades

      Peggy did not give the baby up for adoption. Her sister took the baby in as her own and Peggy is just "removed" from the child and in the past when they showed them together (this is when there was a priest potentially interested in her) she was uninterested in her child and her sister was resentful of her. And yes Pete knows hence the lingering connection/glances...

      August 19, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      Peggy's baby WAS given up for adoption at birth. Read this excerpt from an interview with Matthew Weiner:

      "All season long, fans of the show have been speculating about whether Peggy’s sister is raising the baby that Peggy had with Pete. And that was intentional, creator Matthew Weiner said. “I mislead the audience all over the place, and that’s the fun of the show. I give out little bits of information at a time and then play on that,” he said in an interview on Monday.

      I asked him if Peggy’s sister is raising Peggy’s baby, and he said, no, that is not the case. Peggy’s sister was pregnant when Peggy had her baby, and the sister gave birth around the same time. Her youngest child is her own child; the sister is not raising Peggy’s offspring. Peggy’s baby is not being raised by her sister. That child was given up for adoption. "

      August 20, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |

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