Last week on “Mad Men,” Roger got some terrible news about his one account, Lane got a beat down courtesy of dear old dad, and Don nearly made another bad decision. Do things get any better for the crew this week? Not so much! Check out our review and see what happened…
- Director: Phil Abraham
- Writer: Erin Levy
- Cast: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Robert Morse, John Slattery
Episode Title: “Chinese Wall”
Peggy and Abe share cramped quarters. Roger covers up his knowledge of Lucky Strike leaving. Trudy has her baby while Pete and the other partners try to contain the damage. Don asks Faye to make a hard choice. Megan limits Don to three.
- Sterling Fallout: Roger’s meltdown this episode was arguably one of John Slattery’s finest moments on the show. He has to face his partners with the news he’s been trying to put off, and Joan lays down the law once and for all about their relationship. The look on his face as he cuddles with the wife he no longer cares about, looking at the book he couldn’t care less about, speaks volumes.
- Damage Control: The reaction of the various characters faced with the really bad news of SCDP losing its biggest client was probably one of the best comedic moments the show has pulled off all season. Even the new, serious Freddy Rumsen gets off a really good zinger or two.
- Don Juan or Don Quixote?: We’re filing this under the good because it makes for great drama, but Don managed to screw up his personal life in ways usually reserved for rock stars and soap opera actors in this episode. Not only did he sleep with Megan, he also manipulated Faye into giving him a client, and managed to make her feel bad for having professional ethics to the point where she broke confidence and got him a meeting. To Don’s credit, he probably feels like a dirt bag about it, but geez.
- Doesn’t She Have the Relaxacizer?: Also making for great dramatic material is Peggy’s personal choices, including her liaison with the doofy Abe. Not that we like Abe; we don’t, more on that below. But he’s a step up because at least he’s not a total idiot.
- Stan’s Not The Man: Stan once again establishes his complete and total inability to understand anything with two X chromosomes, and tries to humiliate Peggy for not sleeping with him only for it to backfire. Where’s Sal to sexually harass somebody into having some manners when you need him?
- Not Petering Out: Pete was faced with a rough choice this episode, and once again shows how mature he is by not accepting the offer Ted Cheough (and how does he get “Shaw” out of that, we’d like to know?) dangles in front of him. Still, Ted’s comment must have cut close to the bone, even if only Pete knows how ably Don outwitted him.
- Short People Got Nobody: We’d feel bad for Jane’s cousin being unable to get a question answered, but it’s one of the few times the show’s done a straight physical comedy joke, and it’s hilarious in how they set it up and pay it off.
- Megan’s Law: Is it us, or does the show seem a little on the fence about Megan, in terms of her personality? They drop some hints this episode that her innocence and charm might be, at least partially, a front. She does seem to care about Don’s well-being, at least for now, but Don might want to watch his back.
- Roundelay: The episode seemed to stretch a bit, for “Mad Men”, anyway, to fit everybody under its “torn between two partners” theme. Especially missed was Lane, who really IS torn between two partners, but we get why he couldn’t appear this episode. Still, talk about your missed opportunities.
- Pain and Abe: Oh, Peggy, why? Why?! He’s a sexist jackass! He writes terrible poetry! He’s kind of a weird, creepy stalker showing up at your office unannounced all the time and expects you to just drop everything for him! It’s obvious he’s just as naive and clueless as your last boyfriend, just more of a beatnik! This is not going to end well! Then again, when your role model is Don Draper…
Not quite as plot-heavy as the previous episode, but still kept the series moving, and arguably had some of the funniest small moments in the entire season. We’re sad that there are only two episodes left.
“Mad Men” airs Sundays on AMC at 10 PM.
Agree? Disagree? Wondering why Peggy was smoking and what Don was drinking? Tell us in the comments!