On “Mad Men” Sterling Cooper Draper Price has definitely had a busy couple of episodes. Their getting clients, developing characters, and in Don’s case, slowly but surely swirling the drain. How close does he get to rock bottom this week? Check out our review and find out…
- Writers: Brett Johnson and Matthew Weiner
- Director: Scott Hornbacher
- Cast: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Robert Morse, John Slattery
Episode Title: “Waldorf Stories”
Roger can only come up with one work related anecdote for his memoirs…but it’s a doozy. Don wins an award, but loses some esteem in Peggy’s eyes, then forgets something important. Roger plays a prank. Peggy looks down on the new art director.
- “…And You’re a Chickens***”: Peggy was absolutely amazing this episode, calling the new art director’s bluff and getting a handle on how to manipulate him, namely with the oldest lever in the world. Her stripping down and playing chicken until he gives in was brilliant. Similar to her handling of Don, as he wins an award but proceeds to completely botch pretty much everything else in the space of three days.
- Lost Weekend: So Don goes from winning an award to inadvertently stealing a useless copywriter’s one lame idea. He also gets picked up in a bar (there’s a switch), forgets an entire day, and wakes up in bed with a diner waitress who calls him “Dick”. Yeah. This is what we call “bad.” Really, really bad. Don’s arc has largely been one of a man breaking down, and we’re starting to get uncomfortable whiffs of Freddy Rumsen.
- Pete the Partner: Pete finally getting one over on Ken Cosgrove was both a great moment and one that illustrated that, yeah, maybe he hasn’t grown as much as we thought. On the other hand…Ken Cosgrove’s back!
- Secret Origins: The sections recapping how precisely Don was hired into Sterling Cooper are brilliant, and cleverly reflected in the ongoing plotline about hiring Sterling’s cousin-in-law. It’s nice to see how Don went from fur salesman to copywriter not based on talent, but on getting Roger Sterling crocked. Then again, we remember how that ended for him. Also amusing is how all of Roger’s memories center not on business but on his childhood, something that’s rather…telling.
- Hey, It’s That Guy!: The weird syncing of Joss Whedon shows and Mad Men continues with the addition of Danny Strong, formerly of Buffy, who joins Vincent Kartheiser (Angel) and Christina Hendricks (Firefly) for at least a few episodes (he’s in next week’s preview, so we know he sticks around at least that long.) We’re guessing either Matthew Weiner is a very close friend of Joss, or just a big fan of the shows. And if he’s reading…we’d love to see Nathan Fillion make an appearance.
- Uncreative Director: We’ll limit our criticism of this art director guy to one question: what did Don see in this clown that he couldn’t find in say, a chimpanzee or other primate? There’s no hint of Peggy’s possible Sapphic leanings this week but Good Lord, it’d be nice for her to meet a guy who wasn’t a chump, a jerk, or Pete Campbell.
A really, really good episode that ends with the best praise a TV writer can hear: dammit, we want the next one and we want it now.
So besides a waitress, what exactly do you think Don got into during his blackout? Let us know in the comments!