This episode of Mad Men is very dark. The news of the news about race riots and the 1966 murder of eight nurses in Chicago permeates the show. Today, news of a mass murder or serial killer is barely from page news.
It is 1966, this was unheard of. People were both horrified and curious. Peggy’s friend Joyce come to SCDP with gory unpublished crime scene photos from Life Magazine. And even though she is forbidden from watching the news that day, Sally sneaks a peak of the newspaper. The times really are a-changin’.
My Bad Penny
Don and Megan ride the elevator on the way up to SCDP. Don, who is fighting off a bad cold stands on the other side of the elevator. In walks someone from his past who obviously liked dipping into the Don Draper well. Andrea, the red-headed copywriter is really flirting with Don, until he informs her that Megan is his new wife.
Apparently, Megan is upset with this interchange, which is not the first and probably won’t be the last. They would have to move out-of-state to stop running into Don’s ex-lovers. But Don loves Megan and he is really trying to be a faithful husband.
“A bad penny always comes back.”
He managed to get through the Butler Shoes pitch, but Don is getting sicker by the minute. Megan urges him to go home to bed. Sweaty and sick with a cold and fever, Don gets ready for bed when who should show up but the bad penny herself, Andrea. she is hoping to reignite their former “relationship“.
Don tries to get rid of her but eventually gives in to her sexual advances. How could this happen when he was trying so hard to be good? Andrea taunts Don and promises that she will return for more. Maybe out of guilt or to keep her from coming back, Don strangles Andrea to death. It is a disturbing scene.
The Bad Husband
Joan is anxiously preparing for Greg’s return from Viet Nam. Most of that concern involves baby Kevin. Will Greg suspect that Kevin is not his baby? While her mother takes the baby for a long walk, Joan uses her feminine wiles to keep Greg’s mind off the fact that baby Kevin is almost a year old and Greg has been in Viet Nam for 9 months. But Greg is keeping a secret from Joan. He tells her that he has to go back to Viet Nam for another 2 years.
However, Joan finds out later that evening at a family dinner that Greg actually reenlisted.
Greg’s reason for leaving his wife and baby…he feels important in the military. People look up to he and it makes him feel like he is a ‘good person’. Oh no he didn’t Joan quickly reminded him that he was NOT a good man. He must have forgotten about what happened in Roger’s office before they were married.
Finally sick of his crap, Joan throws Dr. Greg Harris, the rapist out.
Meanwhile Back in the Office
Roger and Pete are still butting heads over Mohawk Airlines. Pete informs Roger on Friday afternoon that the client wants a campaign by Monday. [I can’t even write a letter to my mother that fast.] Ginsberg is with Ken and Don pitching Butler Shoes, in desperation, Roger turns to Peggy for help.
Peggy is not desperate, she has learned how the world works, so she tells Roger she will do it for all the money he has on him–$400. Peggy and Harry are going to rob poor Roger blind.
Peggy works late and as she leaves the office, she hears a noise. Dawn, Don’s new African-American secretary is sleeping in his office. Because of the riots in her neighborhood, she is afraid to take the bus home. And most taxi drivers won’t go there either.
Peggy invites Dawn to stay overnight at her apartment. They have
a little a lot of beer and some girl talk. This is probably the first time that Peggy has ever had a real conversation with a ‘Negro’. Peggy like most (white) people of that era had many mistaken prejudices against African-Americans.
This is evidenced by the subtlety in the scene when Peggy is ready for bed and notices her purse on the table (filled with Roger’s $400 in cash). Peggy looks at the purse and Dawn looks at Peggy looking at the purse. And you know what was going through their minds. “You know they all steal” or “I know you’re thinking I going to steal your purse“.
Oh, I forgot… Don didn’t really kill Andrea and stuff her limp dead body under the bed. It was all a dream…a sweaty, fevered dream. Don must have been drinking some of that 1960’s cough syrup that contained codeine.
John Slattery ( Roger Sterling) directed this episode. It looks at the lack of satisfaction that people feel once they finally have everything they ever wanted or thought they wanted.
Britain is in America Now
Lane enjoys a little bit of Britain, watching a soccer match with some English friends (Edwin Baker and his wife) at a pub in New York City. Over pints and fish and chips [that the only English food I know, except bangers and mash. And I am not entirely sure what that is.] Lane’s friend informs him that Jaguar is looking for a new ad agency. Will SCDP finally get a car account?
Lane feels proud to take this important piece of business to the firm. If he could bring in a car account, perhaps then he would be looked at as just a pencil pusher or bean counter. But Pete and Roger, like two ravenous dogs, wrestle the account away from Lane. Instead of a proper English dinner, they take Edwin out on the town. When Baker says he wants more excitement, Roger says he knows of a ‘party’ nearby. I guess ‘party nearby’ is code for a high-class brothel.
Don, Roger, and Pete take Baker to the ‘party’ and their true natures soon come to the surface. Baker sheds his posh British exterior and dive head first into the ‘party’. Pete finds a young-looking party girl who makes him feel like king and Roger goes off with a tall buxom red-head. What about Don? He sits alone at the bar. The Madame wonders if Don might not like this kind of ‘party’. But he informs her that he grew up in a brothel, but not that fancy…it was more of a whorehouse.
On the taxi ride home, Pete feels Don’s disdain for him. While Don was the king of unfaithful husbands, he tells Pete that if he had met Megan first, there would not have been a second marriage.
Pete is Never Satisfied and the Creepiest Continues
Pete Campbell should be a very happy man. He has a beautiful wife and daughter and lives in a lovely suburban home. So why is he lying awake at night, listening to a dripping faucet?
Pete gets creepier (and balder) every week. He is attending driver’s education classes at the local high school. Here’s is where the creepy factor skyrockets. Instead of watching the educational
video film, he flirts with a teenage girl in his class.
The Campbell’s Throw a Party
Trudy and Pete have a dinner party at their home in the suburbs. Ken and Cynthia Cosgrove and Don and Megan are the guests. Pete is happy to show off his house, his family and his fancy new stereo system. Dinner conversation rolls around to Ken’s writing and Cynthia reveals that he has published a few stories. [Remember how jealous Pete was of Ken’s writing talent?] After dinner, the dripping faucet in the Campbell’s kitchen finally blows up. And it Don Draper [or should I say Dick Whitman] to the rescue. He grabs a wrench, takes of his shirt and crawls under the sink, leaving poor inept Pete searching hopelessly through his toolbox.
The key to keeping Don Draper happy…
After the party, Megan drives a drunken Don back to New York. Don asks her to pull over for a little romance. I guess I wasn’t the only one that found his display of manliness kinds sexy. Megan knows the way to keep Don happy.
Pete Get’s a Black Eye
The morning after the guys takes Mr. Jaguar, Edwin Baker to a ‘party nearby’ his wife discovers chewing gum in a very embarrassing place. Lane is furious! Pete, being his usual self, demeans Lane. Before you know it, right in the middle of the partner’s meeting, the two mean to have a fistfight. The best part is, Lane, mops the floor with Pete.
Pete leaves the office that day with a bruised face, a bruised ego and a black eye. All of the dissatisfaction in his life wells up into his eyes, as he rides the elevator with Don. Trying to hold back the tears of disappoint, he tells Don “I have nothing”. Do you feel sorry for Pete?