When we last left Don Draper and his stalwart crew of ad men, he and Peggy had a close, personal night together in the affecting episode “The Suitcase” and she, in her own way, helped Don get a fresh start. So how’s Don doing with that? Check out this week’s review to find out…
- Writers: and Matthew Weiner
- Director: Phil Abraham
- Cast: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Robert Morse, John Slattery
Episode Title: “The Summer Man”
Don starts writing a journal, and starts getting some satisfaction. Joan and Peggy lock horns over the d-bags in the creative lounge. Henry and Betty continue sniping at each other.
- Don the Diarist: “Mad Men” rarely uses voiceover as a method of pushing the plot forward, but this insight into Don’s head was a great way to give us some context and peek into his skull as he starts getting over his alcoholism and putting his life back together.
- I Can’t Get No: A quick note to say that we loved how they casually dropped the Stones in, and with a perfect choice that sums up Don before he gets his life back together.
- Joan Puts Doofuses In Their Places: Joan cutting down the fratboys Peggy was forced to work with was absolutely brutal, not to mention deserved. And it was simultaneously sad, as you could tell she was thinking of her husband, and hilarious for the looks on their faces.
- Peggy the Fiery: Don granting Peggy the authority to unilaterally fire that little weasel might be one of the best fist-pump moments this season.
- Great Lines from Pete: “When did we get a vending machine?” Pete, Ken, and the rest seem a little underused this season, but he got a great one-liner off, at least.
- Peggy V. Joan: It’s a little odd that Peggy and Joan haven’t advanced in their professional relationship in four years. That little elevator ride felt like a flashback to the first season, and it’s a little weird that Joan would lecture her like that, especially since she’s kind of lost that level of authority over Peggy (who is technically above her).
- Silent Moments: Maybe it was just the cost of the Stones, but those quiet credits were an unusual choice, to say the least.
- The Betty and Henry Show: Does anybody else feel like Betty and Henry are in an entirely different TV series, and we just had a random crossover between the two shows? We’ve mentioned before that Betty no longer really fits now that she’s out of Don’s life, and this episode just kept driving nails into that coffin with Don dumping the stuff he no longer wants from the house into the nearest dumpster, and Betty showing off her total obliviousness to Don’s lifestyle (“he’s living it up”…sure he is, Betty). Even as they made the effort to tie Betty and Henry back in with Don, it just felt more and more like they were forcing a bad indie movie into a pretty great show. We’re sure the writers have something waiting for Betty and Henry but man, it needs to come soon because we’re not sure how much more of this suburban repression we can take!
A solid, engaging episode that pushes the plot, but isn’t quite last week’s brilliant work.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!