Is there anything more notable in domestic American politics of the 60s than the death of Martin Luther King Jr? Well, aside from the JFK assassination. The JFK episode was much better, I reckon.
The assassination of MLK rips open the sheltered bubble that our Madison Avenue bunch have blissfully created for themselves, exposing them to the civil rights turmoil roiling in the rest of society. That’s why we were getting so much of Dawn, the Black Secretary last week. The Mad Ave Crowd have no idea how to deal with it. For example, we get a hugely insensitive Harry Crane who harps on about losing money because of alterations to regular TV programming. All that goodwill I had for Harry last week – vanished in an instant.
Also, there’s a lot of awkward consoling of the ‘black folk’. Bobby Draper reaching out to the cinema sweeper. Peggy comforting her black secretary. Most awkward of all, Joan’s “we’re all so sorry” to Dawn? Okay… that’s the kind of naive ignorance I expect from Betty. The MLK thing is really screwing with the Mad Ave Crowd’s minds.
However, much like the JFK episode, the assassination of MLK similarly serves as a catalyst that spurs all characters to ponder their priorities. In the face of great human tragedy, all the Mad Men can think about is themselves.
Seeing Peggy stand in the centre of that apartment felt like a giant WIN for women. Okay, so the apartment wasn’t great. It was still the Upper East Side! Okay fine, it was basically falling off the UES into the sea. The point is, it was hugely satisfying watching that realtor cow stumble all over herself when she found out that PEGGY was the buyer and not Abe. Hurrah!
Turns out Abe is quite the modern man! Honestly, he kinda skeeves me out, but it was once again thoroughly satisfying to see a man completely un-intimidated and proud of his woman’s achievements. Abe is that guy. And he wants babies with her. Did you see her JOY? All I want is good things for Peggy!
40 pts (for buying her apartment, because that’s AWESOME) + 5 pts (for showing us her gleeful girl side) = 45 pts
Allen Ginsberg’s long lost cousin
I don’t really know what’s going on here with Michael. They probably just realised he still existed and they should do something with him. I imagine it went something like this:
Writer #1: “Oh hey! There’s that short Ginsberg kid. Its episode 5 and we haven’t done anything with him yet.”
Writer #2: “OH RIGHT! Let’s just stick him in some shitty blind date.”
Writer #1: “Gee whiz! What a great idea, pal!”
Writer #2: “Indeedio. Let’s reveal that he’s a lil ole virgin too. Hah!”
0 pts (lets face it, he did nothing this episode) + 1 pt (okay, pity point for still being a virgin) = 1 pt
Despite his laundry list of flaws and insecurities, the one thing I have always admired in Pete is that he is a man of modern times. Well, that’s not really accurate because we’ve still got racists and bigots festering throughout the ass-cracks of society. But the point is, Pete is a man who believes in equality and dignity for all. One can do nothing but applaud when he delivered a verbal bitch-slap to Harry’s fat insensitive face.
He believes in respect, dignity, and equality for all. Just not for his wife, apparently. In all honesty, I believe Pete does the best he can. Its this crippling inferiority complex that he’s nursed all his life that has led him to his worst decisions. Of course, he likes to swing his dick around the office and with the lay-deez (or at least, he tries to). How else will he assure himself that he’s just as good as everyone else? Here’s some advice, Sideburns. You already have a number of good qualities. You have nothing to prove and no one to prove it to. Be the good man we know you want to be.
I savoured the small crumb of Brie that we got in this week’s episode (Brie = Alison Brie = Trudy Campbell. Geddit? So clever.) You can tell he loves her. She is his only match in life. Stand your ground, Trudy! Demand the respect you deserve!
20 pts (“ITS A SHAMEFUL, SHAMEFUL DAY!”) + 5 pts (for pleading with Trudy like the worm he knows he was) = 25 pts
Oh, Fat Betty, slam ba-lam
If we were playing ‘Snog, Shag, Marry’, the top of my Mad Men list for ‘Marry’ would be Henry Francis. Mr Perfect Husband has decided to run for senate! Huzzah! Exactly what Betty has been pushing for. But, did anyone else notice the look of sheer TERROR when he says that he’s excited for everyone to meet her? HAHA!
5 pts (for reminding us that she will always be superficial, vapid, Skinny Bitch Betty, no matter how chubby she gets)
El Douchebag Draper
The list of douchebaggery committed by El Douchebag this week:
1. Forgetting to pick up his children (whom he rarely sees)
2. Pawning off his children on Megan
3. Undermining their mother (regardless of how batshit Betty is, you shouldn’t do that)
4. Calling to find out about his married neighbour mistress while Megan is out taking care of his kiddums
5. Being a no good drunk that admits he never loved his children until maybe now
Mad Men has always managed to preserve a cold detachment to its characters. We see them without sentimentality – we seem them as they are. But this week, swelling orchestral music when Don admits his guilt over his lack of love for his children does little to win me over. In fact, I find it a little distasteful. Let me hate El Douchebag with all his flaws because he, of all the characters, deserves my loathing.
– Infinity pts (as usual)
WINNER: MISS PEGGY OLSON
BONUS reminder that Jon Hamm is NOT Don Draper (something I can’t be reminded of enough):