Mad Men Musings: “Severance”

Peggy Joan

**if you have not yet seen the latest episode of Mad Men, please avert your eyes”

The season premiere of Mad Men’s oeuvre saw the return of Don Draper in all his morally compromised, emotionally dysfunctional glory, and although i still haven’t fully recovered from the general ick of it all, I’ll just get right down to business with a few random thoughts…

Don, You Ignorant Slut.  in a stroke of character development that was completely and utterly lateral, last night’s fare saw Don once again embracing his male sluttiness.  During this episode, we were treated to a weird, voyeuristic intro in which he ordered around a beautiful woman who was semi-naked beneath a fur coat (a pullback eventually and mercifully revealed she was simply auditioning at a casting call for a fur commercial); a double-date with Roger during which both men grossed up the joint with three women who appeared to be at least half their ages; an answering service Don apparently employs to juggle his many conquests/prospects; his propositioning of the operator from said answering service; his drunken, red-wine spilling, bedroom floor bumping with a flight attendant; and finally, an impromptu back-alley encounter with a diner waitress (because she inexplicably reminded him of Rachel Menken, one of his first mistresses). Ummmm….

Reese Disgusted

At this rate and given his prior sexual shenanigans (anyone remember that f-ed up Thanksgiving S&M sex with a prostitute??), he seems to be following the yellow brick road to VD, which he’ll use to whip up a brilliant marketing pitch for a pharmaceutical company.

Say ‘Hello’ to My Little Friend.  Although this is the beginning of the end, Matt Weiner decided it would be a good idea to introduce a new character, aka Roger’s mustache…

Roger's 'stache

…. at first I was all..

Ross WWYDT

… and then I realized he and his ‘stache were very likely going to bring the party back to his pad for a foursome with Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood, and then i was all ….

Colin Farrell gif

Dream Lover.  Department store heiress Rachel Menken was Don Draper’s only sidepiece who didn’t fully annoy me.  Beautiful, refined, and fiercely independent, she was a much better fit for him than Betty, never backing down from him and always calling him on his BS, right up until Don tried to convince her to run away with him.  Appalled at the idea that he would completely and selfishly abandon his children, she wisely observed that he didn’t really want to run away with her, he just wanted to run away. And with the exception of one brief encounter in a later episode, the purpose of which was solely to reveal that she was married, she’s been MIA, at least until last night, when she returned for a surprise cameo in Don’s dream.  Oh my GOD!  She’s finally back!!  If anyone can straighten out Don, RACHEL MENKEN CAN!! This made me happy….

Fallon Dance

… until it was revealed that Rachel was actually dead…
Dean SOB

….from leukemia…

Alison Brie sad

Way harsh, Weiner.  Just….way harsh.  But then …wait a minute…. it actually got BETTER…..

Don just had to pay his misguided respects, showing up with a cake at Rachel’s apartment while her family was sitting shiva, only to be greeted by her rather tersely polite sister.  After trying to pass himself off as a former colleague, he made the unfortunate mistake of saying his name, which prompted sis to abruptly drop the polite act and utter one solitary remark with all the warmth of an Easter Island statue. “Oh.  I know who you are.”

Kelso Burn

Dress for the Job You Want.  After enduring a meeting with Peggy in which 3 ad execs stopped short of verbally raping Joan, she inexplicably turned on Peggy in the elevator when Peggy began to suggest that perhaps Ms. Harris isn’t being taken seriously by male executives because she dresses far too provocatively.  Of course, Joan handled this in typical Joan fashion – by gutting Peggy with a Spartanly brutal dagger of truth:  “What you’re saying is I don’t dress the way you do because I don’t look like you. And that’s very, very true”.   After Joan left the elevator, Peggy (and very likely the rest of us) had only one thought …

BBT

Stray Observation No. 1:  has anyone else noticed that even though an entire decade has passed, the style of Don Draper’s suits has not changed, the length of his sideburns has not changed, and that oil-slick black coif of his has not shown even the slightest trace of gray?  Is it super-strength Grecian Formula?  Has he simply stopped aging?  And if he has, are we being Shyamalan-ed?!?!?!

P&R

Stray Observation No. 2:  In an episode that involved Mr. Tapdancing Nice Guy himself, Ken Cosgrove, Pete Campbell emerged as the only likable character, which left me confused and scared.  Matt Weiner, seriously….

what is going on

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