Mad Men – Recap & Review – Dark Shadows

photo: amc

Mad Men
Dark Shadows

Original Air Date: May 13, 2012

Ryan O – Associate Staff Writer

Ginsberg, Pete, and Betty try to put things in motion to get what they want. Things don’t go their way. Meanwhile, Don and Roger get back to work, but don’t go about it in the most ethical way. “Every man for himself.”

Pete, by the way, is still thinking about Rory Gilmore. Aren’t we all, Pete. Aren’t we all. We see a lot more of her than we ever did on Gilmore Girls.

Betty makes herself toast, half of a grapefruit, and carefully measures out cheese cubes. She sits at her kitchen table, takes a bite of toast (which she burned) and starts chewing, clearly counting each chew.

Pete gets in the elevator with Roger, Bert, and Don. Pete tells them the New York Times will be doing a profile on advertising and it will include SCDP. Don’t worry about interviews though, the guy from the Times seemed only to want to talk to Pete. Cue the eyerolling behind Pete’s back.

Don is examining some print ads while Joan stands and waits. He’s choosing ads to be submitted for the Clios. The writers: Megan, Peggy, and Ginsberg. Ginsberg’s name is on a lot of other ones, too. Don comments that Peggy really got buried on Heinz. Joan says he should also put the letter (the one where he says he’s not doing any more tobacco work) in with the ads, too. Don says they’re still suffering for it, they might as well get something out of it, too.

Bert comes to Roger, telling him to call a new potential client who is Jewish saying Roger’s Jewish wife will be an asset. Roger can’t believe Bert doesn’t know they’re getting divorced. But, he says he’ll still be able to handle it.

Megan and Sally are sitting on the floor in their living room. Megan is teaching her how to cry on demand. Sally puts it to immediate use when Don comes in and she asks for colored pencils so she can do a family tree for school. He leaves and goes to work.

Don goes into work, but doesn’t do anything. As he’s leaving, he stops in the creative office and notices a folder on Ginsberg’s desk, “[Stuff] I Gotta Do.” It’s mock ads for Pepsi Sno Ball Sippin’ Ice. He laughs at some and has a seat and continues to go through the folder.

Henry is double-parked and can’t wait any longer for the kids. He sends Betty in to get them while he circles. Sally lets Betty in and then goes to get the boys. Betty then wanders around the apartment, looking at the life she doesn’t lead. She catches a glimpse of Megan putting on a blouse. Megan is very, well, fit. Betty, at this point, is not, although she’s lost a fair amount of weight. (Just as a reminder, January Jones was pregnant during the filming of these episodes.) Megan comes out and is surprised Betty is standing there. They stand there facing each other against the sliding glass doors. There’s some talk and Betty takes the kids and leaves but not before Sally says, “This is irritating” to no one in particular.

Don is at work. He’s working on the Sno Balls campaign, but he doesn’t really make any progress.

Betty, at home, yells to Henry to put Gene to bed. She goes straight the fridge, still wearing her coat, get the Readi-Whip, and does what everyone who has ever had Readi-Whip has done: sprays it directly into her mouth. But, the rest of us don’t look so desperate when we do it. She catches herself and pauses before swallowing. She runs to the sink, spits it out, and rinses her mouth.

Peggy pitches an idea for Sno Ball to Don. I actually like the idea, but Don doesn’t dig it as much. Ginsberg pitches an idea about an actual snowball hitting someone in the head. Then, Don pitches an idea about the Devil sipping a Sno Ball in Hell. Stan laughs (because Stan is smart). Peggy and Ginsberg aren’t that taken with the idea initially, but warm up to it. But, Ginsberg says it’s impressive he could not write for so long and then come back with that (which he means as a compliment). They decide to work up art for Don’s and Ginsberg’s ideas. Ginsberg, by the way, is dressed appropriately for the office, dress pants, dress shirt with long sleeves, and a nice tie.

Betty is at a Weight Watchers meeting. The person running the meeting says that it’s not just the scale that determines if you had a good week or a bad week. She asks if anyone wants to share about their week. Betty’s friend encourages her to share. She says she had a bad week out there even though she had good week at the scale. She had a trying experience. She was in an unfamiliar place and saw and felt a lot of things she wishes she hadn’t, but she ended up losing a half-pound. As a bit of carryover from Don’s idea, there’s a picture of a milkshake in the corner and there’s a devil popping out of it.

Megan and a friend are running lines in Megan’s living room to help the friend with an audition (for Dark Shadows). When they’re done, Megan laughs at the character and the writing. The friend gets annoyed and says it’s all so easy for Megan, sitting in her throne on 73rd and Park (which is in the Upper East Side), while her friend and lots of others have to act and wait tables for a living. Megan says that’s unfair and that she’d kill to have an audition in that piece of crap soap opera. Her friend apologizes, she’s nervous and hasn’t had a job in a while.

Roger calls in Ginsberg. He asks him if Ginsberg can keep a secret. “No.” Roger is a bit confused, but carries on. He tells Ginsberg he’ll be going on a client dinner, which will involve business. “And murder.” Nope, no dinner for Ginsberg. Now Roger just needs ideas for Monarch Wines, who make Manischewitz, which is often drunk by Jewish people. “But now they want to make wine for normal people.” Ginsberg is disgusted by that. “You know, people like me.” Roger talks about how he wants some great ideas by sundown on Friday, “I did do some research.” Ginsberg is surprised by how much Roger hates Pete. But, Ginsberg thinks his other work might suffer, so he’ll need some compensation. Roger can’t believe this is happening to him all over again just like what happened with Peggy. He tries to offer $200. “You wipe your ass with $200.” He forks over his whole wad. “I’ve gotta start carrying less cash.”

Late at night, Henry is cooking a steak when Betty comes into the kitchen. She’s sorry he has to eat fish five times a week. They sit and talk about Henry’s job, which isn’t going well. She gives him a great pep talk about how she’s thinking about him. She says that everyone is in charge of themselves and she’s there to help him just like he’s there to help her. “We’ll figure out what’s next.” Wow. Look who is growing up and gaining maturity thanks to Weight Watchers. He offers her a bite of steak. She says she can’t since she’d have to “count it” toward tomorrow. He waits a moment, saying it’s after midnight and gives it to her. It’s a really sweet moment, definitely the nicest scene the two of them have shared this season.

Roger calls Jane to ask her to come to the client. “Why not ask Joanie? She’s a professional something.” But, Jane says she’ll go if he buys her a new apartment. Some back and forth, but he relents, which is great since Jane has already found the perfect place.

Pete is working when Beth (RORY GILMORE! sorry, still not over that) opens his door and quietly closes it behind her. She’s wearing a big fur coat and you can tell there’s nothing else underneath. He’s not sure what’s she’s doing there. The coat opens and, yeah, Rory Gilmore is wearing lacy panties under the coat and that’s it. She says she’d forgotten him until she saw him again in the New York Times Magazine. They start making out and we snap to Pete, lying on his couch, clearly daydreaming.

Sally and Bobby are sitting at the kitchen table in the Francis kitchen. Sally is working on the family tree. Bobby wants to watch TV and Betty checks the homework he did. She looks at everything and notices a note Don wrote to Megan on the other side of a drawing Bobby did (of a smiling whale that’s been harpooned three times). Betty reads the note and isn’t pleased by it. “Lovely Megan, I went to get a light bulb. When I get back, I’ll be able to see you better. Love, Don.” She turns to Sally and tells her not to forget Don’s first wife. Sally says Betty’s on there. Betty says she means the woman before Betty. Sally is confused. She says, “Anna Draper, she’s deceased.” Sally wants to know who she is. “I don’t know why Megan didn’t tell you, ask her.”

In the conference room, Harry, Ken, and Pete are talking about how they aren’t completely happy as Peggy and Ginsberg watch. Harry says there’s a lot of empty promises. Don and Stan come in with the art for Sno Ball. While Ken and Pete like both, they like Ginsberg’s work with the snowball hitting someone in the face a bit more than Don’s ad with the Devil. They’ll present both to the client.

Don takes the boys out and Megan sits with Sally on the couch. Sally wants to know who Anna was. Megan is shocked Sally knows that name. Sally rips into Megan, saying Megan is a phony and she acted like she was friends with Sally. Megan tries to explain. Sally doesn’t understand why Don married Anna. Or Megan. Megan has had enough. She gets up to leave, saying Sally needs to talk to Don about it. “I don’t want to and don’t tell him I asked. I mean it. Are you going to make yourself cry?” Megan says that she really is Sally’s friend.

Betty’s friend lost a full pound that week. Betty only maintained and is a little disappointed. Thanksgiving is ahead and it’s a challenge. The leader tells them to fill themselves with family and love instead of food. Betty seems to try to absorb that message.

Megan goes into the bedroom and tells Don that Sally asked about Anna and she answered Sally as best she could. Don immediately gets angry and starts to call Betty. Megan tells him not to. Sally can hear them shouting from down the hall. Megan says him calling will give Betty exactly what she wanted. Don relents and they apologize to each other.

Peggy is working late when Ginsberg shows up so that he can do that work for Roger. Peggy is slightly annoyed that Roger went to him for it. Ginsberg does not explain that it’s because he’s Jewish and it’s for Manischewitz wine.

Pete wakes Don up with a phone call about the NYT. SCDP isn’t in it. Pete doesn’t know why they aren’t in it. Don gets angry and yells that Pete should know since Pete talked with the reporter so much and then hangs up.

Don then talks to Sally about what happened with Megan. Sally is even snotty to Don, but Don stays calm and explains who Anna was and that he’s sorry Sally even has to think about these things because she’s just a little girl. Sally insists she’s not a little girl. Don says okay and that an adult would apologize to Megan.

Peggy gets into an elevator with Roger. She wants to know why he went to Ginsberg when the work she did for him on Mohawk was great and she kept it a secret, which Ginsberg didn’t do. Roger says it’s because it was Manischewitz and Ginsberg was perfect for it. Peggy is sick of hearing that. She’s not an airplane, either. She can write for anything. She says that Roger isn’t loyal. He says everyone is in it for themselves. “Every man for himself.”

Ken is briefing Don on the way to the Sno Ball client meeting. Harry is with them, too. Don is looking over the work. He puts his ad with the Devil in his bag. He leaves Ginsberg’s work on the seat in the taxi. Deliberately. What was that Roger said? “Every man for himself”?

Betty calls Sally in. Sally got an A+ on her family tree and Betty is very proud. She says Sally should thank Megan for her help. Oh, and what DID Megan say about Anna, she asks Sally. Sally says they spoke very fondly of her and they showed her pictures and everything. Betty is a bit surprised, but says Sally can go watch TV. Sally is no one’s pawn.

Roger is at dinner with the Manischewitz people and is getting along pretty well. Jane is there, too. Then, the client’s son shows up and he’s a good-looking guy who is clearly very fond of Jane, who seems likewise inclined. Roger mentions one of the ideas he has for a campaign and the client is impressed.

Harry comes back from the meeting with the great news that the client loved the ad. Ginsberg wants to know if they liked his ad. “Don’t know, Don left it in the car.” Ginsberg races out of the room; Peggy smiles.

Roger and Jane are on the way back from the dinner. They stop at Jane’s new apartment, which she hasn’t moved into yet. They, of course, start making out. “Roger, wait.” He does, but then they continue.

Ginsberg slips between the elevator doors just as they’re closing. He says it’s too bad the client didn’t see both ideas. Don doesn’t like showing two ideas; it’s weak. Ginsberg says he feels sorry for Don. Don doesn’t think about Ginsberg at all.

Jane is sitting on a couch in her new apartment. Roger comes out of the bathroom. Jane is sad that Roger ruined her new apartment by creating that new memory in it with her. He realizes what he did and he says he feels terrible and he actually seems to mean it, too.

Pete is on the train when Howard gets on and sits down. Howard is going to spend as much time as he can with his girlfriend before having to spend time with his wife. Pete gets annoyed and tells him he should spend more time with his wife. Or, he can spend Thanksgiving with his girlfriend and Pete will screw his wife. Howard laughs. “The grass is always greener.” For Pete and Betty and Roger.

Betty’s Thanksgiving plate has a thin slice of turkey, a Brussel sprout, a ball of stuffing smaller than the Brussel sprout, a little bit of sweet potatoes, and a bit of green bean casserole. She eats all of the stuffing in one bite.

Best Lines: Jane to Roger regarding dinner: “Why not ask Joanie? She’s a professional something.”

Ginsberg, after Ken, Pete, and Harry liked his ad, “Look on my works ye mighty and despair.”
Stan: “You should read the rest of that poem, you boob.” (The poem is Ozymandias.)

Betty at Thanksgiving on what she’s thankful for: “I’m thankful that I have everything I want and that no one has anything better.”

Best Shot: The shot of Jane on the couch. There’s unpacked boxes everywhere and a rolled-up rug. We can see out the windows since there’s no drapes or curtains on them. The very first thing she opened in that apartment was Roger’s zipper and she regrets it deeply.

Song over the end credits: Maurice Chevalier, “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away” from 1930.

What do you expect to happen in the coming weeks? Let’s hear your Two Cents!

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