John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling directed this week’s episode of Mad Men, The Rejected. That might explain why this was one of the funniest episodes of Mad Men I have ever seen. The show starts out with a hilarious three-sided conversation with Don and Roger on a conference call with Lee Garner Jr. from Lucky Strike, who is angry about the recent law banning certain types cigarette advertising. Don reaches for a bottle of bourbon.
Don: Why is this bottle empty?
Allison: You drank it all.
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has landed the Ponds Cold Cream account, which in direct conflict with Clearasil. Roger and Lane put Peter Campbell in the uncomfortable position of informing his father-in-law that they are dropping Clearasil as a client. When Pete attempts the tell Trudy’s father, Tom the bad news, Tom drops some news of his own. Trudy is pregnant. This news is good for Pete in more than one way. He now has leverage over his father in law, which he uses to ask for the entire Vicks cough products line–a $6 million account. These are 1965 dollars.
The news of Trudy’s pregnancy circulates around the office. When Peggy is asked to sign a card for the happy couple, she goes to personally congratulate Peter on becoming a father. Is that sexual tension? Are there residual feelings between those two? Who can say? But Peggy returning to her office and banging her head on the desk says things are not over in the Pete and Peggy saga.
Your Problem is NOT My Problem!
Dr. Faye Miller conducts a focus group with a few of the secretaries, including Allison to find out their more about their beauty routines. The girls ate put at ease by Faye’s casual manner and being to open up about their personal lives, giving more credence to Freddy Rumsen’s idea that women only want to be beautiful so they can get married. While Don, Freddy and Peggy look on from a two-way window, Dottie starts crying about the state of her love life, which reminds Allison of her situation with Don. Allison breaks down in tears and runs out of the room. Peggy goes after her to calm her down. Allison, assumes that Peggy has also had an affair with Don they share a broken heart. Peggy quickly informs Allison, “Your problem is not my problem. Get over it!”
Poor broken-hearted Allison. She is hiding out in Don’s office when he returns from watching the focus group. Don Draper is not emotionally equipped to deal with a crying women, especially one who is crying about him. She quits and ask Don to write her a letter of recommendation. He tells her to type up the letter on his stationary and he would sign it. She went OFF!. Throws a paperweight at him and tells “You are not a very nice person” . — Don, now you know why they say don’t %$&# where you eat.
No, But He’s Renting It
Peggy takes a walk in the wild side when she meet a girl in the elevator who works for LIFE Magazine. Joyce, played by Zosia Mamet (the daughter of playwright, David Mamet and actress, Lindsay Crouse) shows Peggy some nude photos of women that were rejected by the magazine and they strike up a friendship. Later that week, Joyce shows up in the lobby of SCDP to invite Peggy to a party in a Greenwich Village loft.
Peggy arrives at the party, which filled with the cool crowd, people too young to be is beatniks and not old enough to be hippies. Joyce greets Peggy with a compliment, “Don’t you look Swellegant”. Joyce leans over and nibbles Peggy’s ear and is quickly rejected.
Peggy: I have a boyfriend
Joyce: He doesn’t own your vagina.
Peggy: Yeah, but he’s renting it.
Peggy is now a member of the ‘In-Crowd”. When her new friends come to SCDP to meet her for lunch, Pete is meeting with Tom and the other Vicks VIPs. As Peggy walks into the elevator, she and Pete share a gaze. Mmmmm?
Poor Sad Don
Allison is gone and Joan brings in the ancient, Mrs. Blankenship as Don’s new secretary. Don Draper is sinking further down into the depths of despair. He has done so many bad things, it is hard to understand why we still like him. Perhaps that can be explained by the final scene in “The Rejected”.
Don Draper is sitting in his office, in the dark, alone and drinking. Why go home? You have lost your Barbie-doll wife and your beloved children. You have even lost a good secretary, who cared about you. Why not stay in the office, the only place you feel alive? Don walks down the hallway to his apartment, past an elderly women who has been to the market. Her husband awaits her at the door…”did you get the pears?…did you get the pears?…did you get the pears?” She walks into their apartment and tells him, “we’ll talk about it inside“.
Don watched them , perhaps thinking that even this old man has something to look forward to and someone to come home to. Don goes into his lonely apartment, sits down to type Allison a letter. He starts to tell her how sorry he is, but he throws it away. Poor, sad Don.