A Very MAD MEN Yom Kippur

Pretty Betty.
Pretty Betty.

Episode 307 “Seven Twenty Three,” Air Date 9/27/09

Okay, same deal with the “Glee” recap. I had the best of intentions, but it kind of fell apart. Especially because I was fasting, and tired, and spoilered. But I started the recap, so… why not publish it? Right? So you’ve been warned. This starts out slow, and ends up with a two-sentence string trying to tie it all up. (Sort of.)

I have about 15 episodes of various shows to catch up on, and I’m jumping into “Mad Men” first because already two people have accidentally spoiled me. (I’m looking at you, Mom and Thomas.) Apparently last night’s episode was a doozy. (“Doozy?” Who says that anymore?) (I do? I guess.)

Oh wow, from the Previously On alone, I can tell that this is going to be a meaty episode. There’s the clip of the guy who hit on pregnant Betty (“I’m from the governor’s office”). And look, there’s the Maypole-loving teacher who called Don. And a whole bunch of business stuff.

Can we talk about “Mad Men’s” amazing opening titles? Can you think about this show without that amazing RJD2 song getting stuck in your head?

Peggy is asleep in some man’s bed. And that’s all we see! (Also… jealous.) (Or not.)

Good times?
Good times for Peggy?

Cut to… Betty, lounging on a couch or divan. It could be a therapist’s couch, but I don’t think so. She’s wearing a nice dress, and she’s… luxuriating.

Cut to… Uh oh, is that Don? Is he dead?

Bad times for Don.
Bad times for Don.

No, he’s not. Don wakes up face-down in what looks like a motel room, maybe. There are twin beds (or maybe two full beds?) with red comforters. Don’s face is all bloody!

He holds his sore neck, and… now it’s the day before, I guess. Don’s tying his die. He’s getting ready for work. So dapper and efficient, that Don.

Downstairs, and older woman is helping Betty redecorate. Don says it all looks fine, but Betty isn’t satisfied.

Betty: All you do all day at work is evaluate objects. I would like the benefit of your eye.

Wow, what a loaded statement. And objects=women, right? That’s one interpretation. Don tells Betty where they ought to move the end-table and the lamp, and he’s right. Future interior decorator? Nah, probably not.

Don and Sterling enter the elevator at work.

Sterling: I watched the sunrise today.

Don: How was it?

Sterling: Average.

Ha. Sterling tells Don that Ogilvy wrote a book called “Confessions of an Ad Man.” “It’s the book everybody writes,” Sterling says. “Only he got it published. It should be called, ‘A Thousand Reasons I’m So Great.'” (Jealous much?) (Very much.) (That’s a rip on a quote from “Vampire Diaries,” and I love it.) (The original was Caroline saying, “Cocky much?” and Damon answering, “VERY much.”)

Don is 15 minutes late, and when he gets to his office, the Fab Four (Pete, Harry, Sal, and Paul) are waiting. Don’s like, I told you guys not to hover! C’mon, guys. But they’re hovering because… Conrad Hilton is sitting in Don’s office. Don tells the guys to come back in twenty minutes. “You look great,” the secretary whispers to Don. Go get him, Tiger!

Paul: Take an hour if you need it.

Harry (angry, to Paul): He wants to look busy!

Is it just me, or does Harry seem kind of stupid this season? Maybe just naive. And the secretary’s name is Allison, because Don tells her to hold his calls. She cocks her head to one side, as if to say, “Duh.” I love her yellow dress.

“Connie” sits at Don’s desk. When you’re as rich as Conrad Hilton, you can do whatever you want! And you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to be as rich as Connie. “Nine-thirty?” Connie says, when Don comments that seeing Connie is a nice way to start the day. “It’s practically lunch.”

Connie has come to discuss a personal matter with Don, and Don sits down across from Connie, who remains in Don’s chair. “I don’t know what I’m more disturbed by,” Connie says. “The fact that you don’t have a Bible, or that there’s not a single family photo.” “I’m easily distracted,” Don replies, lighting a cigarette.

“You should have those things,” Connie insists. “They’ll make you feel better about what you do.” Connie is very observant, but he doesn’t know Don.

Connie: Start showing up on time.

Don: Maybe I’m late because I was spending time with my family, reading the Bible.


Connie: Are you nervous, Don? I’m finding you hard to talk to.

Don: Well you caught me by surprise, Connie. I think you know that.

Connie laughs, and it kind of creeps me out. And then this creeps me out further.

Connie: You’re a married man so you’ll have to use your imagination, but uh, I have this… involvement. I can’t say it’s perfect, and my needs are being met. But I have significant needs, Don. Catch my drift?

What does he need? Prostitutes? Male prostitutes? Higher thread-count sheets? Six-ply toilet paper?

Connie: So what do I do when my eye starts to wander?

Don: Don’t you have a coterie of trusted advisors, friends, kings that might counsel you better?

Ha. True story. Don is a zing factory around Connie. He is pumping out the zings, and Connie apparently likes it. He wants Don to handle the Waldorf Astoria, the New York Hilton, and the Stadler Hilton. “It’s just New York, but my eye has definitely started to wander.” So… what is his eye wandering at? Don? Coded speak: Can get awkward.

As Connie leaves, he says, “Having me in your life is going to change things.” “I look forward to it,” Don replies. Connie says some more about young people, energy, and sharing dreams, and it feels oddly… romantic? Sexual? I think my Yom Kippur fast is making me a little bit giddy. (Maybe that’s not the right word.)

After Connie exits, the office claps for Don.

Betty sits in her new living room with some Ladies Who Lunch. “I cannot believe you just had a baby AND you redid your house,” one woman says. “Are you suicidal?” Oh, so it was a joke. In the Next Week On, they made that line seem serious. (NEVER TRUST PROMOS.) Betty is interested in replacing Francine as secretary of… Pleasantville? (They really refer to a “Pleasantville.” That’s not even snark.) Oh, the Junior League.

The ladies want to appeal to the governor about… something something water. Blah blah blah. “The Rockefellers own half the land here,” one woman says. Ooh, that’s interesting. (Also, Rockefeller is the governor.) “Real estate,” another lady says. “That’s scary.” Really? (Were female real estate agents common back then?)

Guess who knows someone in the governor’s office? Betty does! That guy from the party who hit on pregnant-Betty. Henry Francis. “I know who he is,” one woman says. “He used to be the Republican Party chair for Westchester County. I know him.” But she thinks they have a better chance if Betty calls. Because Betty is the prettiest. Duh.

“It’s not adorable to pretend like you’re not adorable,” says another lady.

There are only three ladies other than Betty, by the by. I just don’t know their names.

Don and the Fab Four are having a meeting about jai alai. Don wants to start in Miami.

Pete: Hoho wants it everywhere. He just bought land in Seattle. It’s an indoor city.

Okay, don’t tell me that “Hoho wants it everywhere” isn’t a little bit dirty.

But really, the guys want to know about Connie. All that Don will say is that he met Connie at a party. Don Draper, Man of Mystery. (As usual.)

Okay guys, sorry to poop out, but let’s speed this up.

Want to know the Drapers’ phone number? It’s Wilson 4, 8038. You don’t need to 555 it when the phone numbers of the period don’t exist anymore. I DARE you to prank call Wilson 4, 8038. Not gonna happen!

I don’t think we knew this before, but the Drapers live in Ossining, NY. It’s a town in Westchester County. (Thanks again, Wikipedia!)

And that’s as far as I got! But here’s a very quick recap of what else happened, off the top of my head…

Um, Betty had lunch with Henry Francis (and Bobby accidentally hung up on Henry when he called the house, which only cemented Betty’s hatred of her children), and he told her to buy an antique fainting couch, and she did. But it looked terrible in her living room! (They are totally going to have sex. They rain-checked a hike to some reservoir. Sex in the woods.)

Don got into an argument with… everybody, because he didn’t want to be tied down by a contract, and ended up driving drunk (and smashing the empty glass out his window) and taking pills while driving and getting grifted by some drifters on their way to Niagara Falls (supposedly, to get married so that the guy could avoid the Vietnam draft).

Don hallucinated that he saw his dad while he was in a motel room with the grifters, but for a moment I wondered whether he was seeing the real Don Draper. Until the hallucination started drinking moonshine. (He lifted it with one hand, and supported it with the crook of his other arm. It was weird, and specific.)

Archie Whitman, drinker-of-moonshine.
Archie Whitman, drinker-of-moonshine.

Also, Sally’s teacher hit on Don HARDCORE during an eclipse, and I think it was a turn-off for him, because he’s all about discretion. But we’ll see. And Don looked at the eclipse with his sunglasses on. No pinhole viewer thingy for Don! (He didn’t go blind, in case you were worried.) (Or has he been blind the whole time? METAPHORS.)

Eventually Don agreed to sign the contract and Cooper sat at Don’s desk (everybody’s sitting at Don’s desk this week!), but Don doesn’t want to deal with Sterling at all. Ooh, all because of Jane? Or because Sterling called the house and tried to get Betty to convince Don to sign the contract? Anyway, Don is not a fan of Sterling right now, probably because Sterling is the opposite of mysterious. Sterling’s transparent philandering makes all secret philanderers’ wives get suspicious! Or something like that.

Peggy and Pete get gifts from Duck. Pete gets cigars (ha, Freudian) and Peggy gets an Hermes scarf, which she LOVES. Pete wants her to give it back, and Peggy goes to a hotel to give it back to the Hermes people (because Duck’s new agency is too ugly to host clients there?), but ends up having sex with Duck.

I can't believe I had sex with a man named Duck. Let's do it again.
I can't believe I had sex with a man named Duck. Let's do it again.

Ha, she’s still wearing her watch? She’s a woman after my own heart. (I am very attached to my watch.) (Not literally) (Yet.)

I think Peggy did it (heh) because Don yelled at her (again), and told her that any full-grown man would love to have her job (sexist) when she tried to ask for a place on the Hilton account.

Oh yeah, Duck is apparently sober again (good for him), but he says, “I can taste the alcohol on your breath” when he kisses Peggy, which is so vampire of him. (Vampire Bill once said to Sookie, “I can smell the sunlight on your skin.”)

Basically, Peggy is totally lonely. Duck is the only person paying any attention to her right now. Sure he’s using her, but at least he’s making her feel special. (SOB.) Seriously, nobody even notices when she wears the same outfit to work the next day. (JOAN would have noticed.) (Where’s Joan?)

And that’s more or less what happened. And we went back to those maybe-flashback scenes several times. But they made more and more sense, as it went along and the mysteries became less mysterious.


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