SALLY'S PSYCHIATRIST CALLED
by MOLLY LAMBERT
Who knew all it would take is divorce for the Drapers to finally develop onscreen chemistry? It's a real screwball comedy figuring out who's to blame for Sally's masturbation mishap. I've never enjoyed Jon Hamm and January Jones in an episode so much as I did in this one. They're a regular Ross and Rachel now! Too bad for Don that Henry Francis is kind of that dude. The dude who is normally that dude, Roger Sterling, was very much not that dude this episode. He was more like Walter Sobchak.
You know who else is that dude? Pete Campbell! Man I know he's a rapist and always acts like a snitch but he is kind of killing it on the regs this season! When he invoked his paternal responsibilities I gave him a LOL high five through the TV. Wouldn't it be cool if Pete ended up being like an awesome dad? I'm kind of thinking he will be. He's always been the most feminine friendly and forward thinking of the Mad Men men.
It's never not going to be slightly clumsy setting up new villains and love interests in an already established universe, but Mad Men is doing its damndest. I'm really starting to cotton to Focus Group Faye, who is clearly going to be Don's next romantic Donquest, especially once I realized she was the former Mrs. Christopher Moltisanti.
Cara Buono didn't get to do too much on The Sopranos, but that character never had a chance in hell following Adriana La Cerva. However, Dr. Faye might have some good odds on Rachel Menken, who let's face it wasn't even THAT great, we just think of her fondly in comparison to Bobbie Barrett and the grade school teacher.
Can't we just shut up and enjoy the sparks between Faye and Don? I mean, she's hot and smart and has a heavy New York accent and is obviously supposed to be his equal. They haven't even kissed yet, but they had a lot of heat sake bombing together. Just let it play out, okay? You know it's all going to go to hell sooner or later.
The new villain, Ted Shaw, is clearly a foil for Don meant to remind us of the "old" Don from the "old" Sterling-Cooper, the Don we are used to, the Don some people have been bemoaning the demise of this season. Brilliantly, by parodying what was annoying or has become rote about the "idea" of Don Draper the character, Shaw makes us no longer want to see Don be that guy. He's the Cy Tolliver to Don's Al Swearengen.
If anything, we now want Don to change even more because we are realizing that his greatest strength is that ability to change. No longer chained to being "Don Draper, Sixties Alpha Male" could be ultimately liberating for him, just like it will be liberating when Joan and Betty realize what Peggy already instinctively knows, that it's not that much fun to be Mrs. anybody compared to how nice it is to just be yourself.
What was more tone-deaf, those Clorox bleach ads that suggest using Clorox to get your mistress's lipstick off your collar (UR MISSING THE POINT) or the AMC in-house promos for Jerry Bruckheimer's Pearl Harbor? Who is more tone-deaf about Pearl Harbor, Jerry Bruckheimer or Roger Sterling? Wasn't Don's date with Bethenny Anna Newlin Van Nuys the best Benihana date scene since The Forty Year Old Virgin?
I can't believe Roger was such a racist dick in that Honda account meeting. It was obviously not just about Pete Campbell's chip or whatever. We know from his blackface exploits that Roger can be a racist dick but I thought he was just going to say something racist but wry (wrycist?) like "Japanese girls. Beautiful. Sideways vaginas."
Sally overshadows Bobby, but Meadow Soprano was also always more central to Sopranos plotlines than A.J., although I loved in the last seasons when A.J. came to the forefront and whiffed spectacularly at being the kind of man Tony Soprano is.
Real Talk though, what was Sally getting off to watching "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."? That one of the dudes kind of looked like Don? Or that they were tied up together? Is she into gay slash fic? Or was it just run of the mill masturbation out of boredom and horniness? I mean her friend was ASLEEP. It's not like she was masturbating ON her.
I enjoyed the whole Honda plot where they incepted the other ad dudes. I reference Inception so much lately that my friend tells me my references have no meaning. That's when I say "yeah exactly maaaaaaaaaaan" and hit the bong knowingly.
Actually I spent most of Inception trying to figure out what Leonardo DiCaprio's character's name was (Dom? Tom? Thom? Rob? Bob?) much like I spent this Mad Men trying to figure out what Don's new nemesis's last name is (Chaw? Shaw? Schaw?)
The song they played at the end was "I Enjoy Being A Girl" from Flower Drum Song, a song that figures heavily into my own personal mythology since I protested having to sing it in probably 4th grade on the basis that it was sexist. I got in trouble a lot in elementary school for arguing about radical gender politics (nothing has changed).
The important thing is, Don's going to get horizontal on a couch with somebody other than the whore who slaps him around. Soon Don will be forced to talk to a therapist about himself. And you know what? It will probably be good for him.
There is no change without acknowledgement. Maybe even Don is ready to admit that the "old" Don Draper, which was Dick Whitman's conception of a sort of ideal man, kind of fucking sucks. Since that life phase is over anyway, why not let go of it completely so that a better more zen Don Draper might emerge? It's like Inception.
"About a Girl (acoustic)" - Nirvana (mp3)
"Bad Girls" - Donna Summer (mp3)
"I Enjoy Being a Girl" - Tiny Tim (mp3)