I made it to the Backstage Bar last night to watch Mad Men. They show it every Sunday and there was a nice large screen and the volume was turned up to a good level, but in vain because three unbelievable assholes at the bar talked over the entire episode. They were clearly aware of the fact that most of the people there were trying to watch television, but this didn't stop them from loudly conversing in the cavernous echo chamber that is the Backstage Bar despite the fact that people were shooting them dirty looks every other minute though in true passive aggressive Portland fashion no one approached them to ask them to shut their bridge and tunnel holes. Not your humble, non-confrontative blogger, nor the bartender. There were other people talking in the bar as well but they weren't BELLOWING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS. So fuck those people.
Onto the recap. Spoilers below.
I'll make this quick because, thanks to the aforementioned assholes, I didn't hear half of the episode. For instance, I didn't realize that Peggy was jerking off a complete stranger in the movie theater. I thought it was Abe.
Of course that wouldn't have made sense after the fight they had in the beginning of the episode. This whole episode was about people fighting, couples fighting. There was also an inventive, point of view structure, a rare experiment for Mad Men. I was all like, "OOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH" when I figured out what the hell was going on.
Starting with Don and Megan, the most upsetting part of the episode. I have been waiting for the Don and Megan situation to blow up and it finally did with a shocking bit of domestic violence. One theory confirmed, Don cannot handle an independent woman. He left Faye because she was too take charge, and I thought Megan, his little fan, would be a less challenging fit. But she is very much her own person, daring to insult Don where it hurts, to lock him out of his own house. Don's reaction was extreme, but predictable. He's been physically abusive before. Many times in fact. To watch him become such a monster though was terrifying.
But then there was a really fun part. Jane and Roger try LSD together! Jane had more screen time then she's seen since Season 2, but mainly to service their separation as a couple. The trip was hilarious, I thought. Well edited, amusing, not overdone. Roger comes out the other end self-assured and ready to move on. And they played one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. Points.
And we finally got more Peggy. Poor Peggy, trying her best to imitate Don, taking a passionate tone with a difficult client, then berating him when he can't make up his mind. Peggy can't pull it off though. And so, like Don, she acts out sexually and chemically, then takes a nap in the office.
I haven't got much more. It really bears a rewatch since I missed a bunch of dialogue. There were definite themes of time, heritage, and truth. In the end, Cooper reminds Don that he is Don Draper, as much as that persona has been deconstructed, it is the foundation for their business. We'll see if Don can pull it all together.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!