Unpacking MAD MEN Episode 407

Dear Peggy, This should be your Facebook pic! Love, the Future

Just finished watching last night’s “Mad Men,” Episode 407: The Suitcase. Written by Matt Weiner and Matt Weiner alone. Did you notice that the episode was about Peggy’s frustration over being the underling idea-submitter, always watching her hard work get rewritten, and not getting credit or awards for her contributions?

And Don’s reaction? Fuck you, Peggy! Your pay is your thanks!

More and more, I see the world of “Mad Men” as a reflection of the world of TV writing. Just sayin’.

So yeah… let’s do a quick rundown of what happened.

-Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) was in a big boxing match. And it was also Peggy’s 26th birthday.

-Peggy ran into pregnant Trudy Campbell in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce bathroom, and Trudy dissed Peggy about being an old maid by saying “you’re still young.”

-Duck wanted to start a new company with Peggy, but luckily Peggy knew he’d gone back to his drinking ways. Duck showed up at Peggy’s office to DO her, but ended up in a wrestling match with Don, which may or may not have lasted longer than the Clay/Liston match.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a Duck.

-Peggy’s boyfriend, Mark, arranged a surprise birthday dinner with her family (I thought he was going to propose, because some people sic families on people for proposals, but I guess I was wrong). But Peggy stayed at work with mean-drunk Don (without telling him that she had plans), and she and Mark broke up over the phone, as Mark sat with her entire family. Awk. Later Peggy tells Don that she expected romance and candlelight, not for Mark to round up the people who annoy her the most. I get that. Bye Mark. I’m over you, too.

-Peggy says, “I’m single!” in a way that is sad, adorable, and exactly what I do every time I’m single again. (Peggy imitating life.)

"I'm Elysse?!"

-Don discovered one of Roger’s dictation tapes for his autobiography, and we found out that Don’s crazy old-lady secretary was a “hellcat” (AKA used to sleep with Roger, kinkily) and that Burt Cooper has no balls (LITERALLY), because they were surgically removed by the mysterious Dr. Lyall Evans to whom Roger alluded in the Honda episode. Why they were removed, I don’t know. But Cooper maybe had the doctor killed?

[-Upon further reflection and prayer, I’m not sure if Cooper ACTUALLY had his balls removed, or whether Dr. Lyall Evans, like, had an affair with his wife. I’m guessing it’s the latter. Because Cooper doesn’t have a high-pitched voice. I kinda feel like an idiot for not hitting this conclusion earlier. (But at least Peggy was also confused about it, in the episode.) (I’m such a Peggy, you guys– in case you didn’t get that the first thousand times I said it.)]

-The new guy, Danny (the “cure for the common x” guy) is so short! But actually seems like a fun coworker, despite his annoying-ness last week? His line about James Bond meeting a girl underwater is one of my faves. And even though his name is Danny, he’s Jewish? Our first Jew since season 1!

-Don takes Peggy out for dinner at some cheap Greek diner, which is funny because Mark and the fam were waiting for her at a really fancy Greek-themed place.

-Peggy tells Don that her family thinks he’s the father of her given-away baby, and therefore they hate him. Don DOESN’T know that Pete’s the father. Don tells Peggy that she’s super-cute, but he couldn’t sleep with her when she was his secretary. Peggy’s like, yeah right, never stopped you before. But Don’s like, men would line up for you. And she’s like, what? And later he fights Duck for calling her a whore. So… Peggy, you don’t know your own wiles. (And you looked really pretty this episode!)

-Anna Draper is dead, and Don drinks so much that he barfs, and he’s really sad, and he talks to Stephanie on the phone, and Peggy sees him cry? And I think Peggy is going to be his next Anna? And maybe marry him if not-really-married Dr. Faye Miller doesn’t? (And if Peggy doesn’t end up with secretary-Megan or one of the people from the lesbian party– Abe included.)

-Don actually tells Peggy a little bit about his parents and his past– such as, he was in the Korean war. Both of them watched their fathers die.

We're not so different, you and I.

-Peggy has never been on a plane, and I kind of want Don to take her to California with him if he goes there to do Draper-stuff.

-The actual famous Samsonite idea is the elephant one, which Don rejects. Later they see a mouse. That’s kind of funny. Elephant, mouse.

-Um… that’s all I feel like talking about? I can’t think of anything else right now. Oh yeah, Don sees Anna’s ghost, holding a suitcase. Is it Samsonite? I don’t know.

-And I didn’t watch LAST night because this happened (my usual)…

Falling asleep on the couch, that is.

I watched “Mad Men” last night rather than this morning because I was voraciously reading The Hunger Games. People have been urging me to get my butt in gear and read it, and I finally complied. So good! I’d be reading the 2nd one right now if I wasn’t waiting for my sister to mail it from St. Louis. Once again, I wish teleportation existed! (I might just have to Kindle it.)

Not surprising that I would love this book, because it’s all about snacks and TV. (That’s not entirely why, but that’s how I can justifying writing about BOOKS on here. No books allowed!) (Wait– books allowed! I make the rules.) In the future. Really!

The book revolves around this sick televised “Survivor”-type showdown that captivates the nation. First it felt like the Olympics, complete with nationalism (only in this case it’s district-ism) and built-in human interest stories. Then it was like “Survivor,” only you didn’t get voted off the island– you got KILLED off. Then it got all “Bachelorette.”

It’s totally telling us that we are the worst. Sorta.

But I’m not making it sound as awesome as it it. Just read it so we can have a very scholarly discussion about it. (Off the blog. Nothing scholarly happens here.) (I’m about to post a picture of a ladybug cupcake.)

Um, yeah. Sorry I haven’t been recapping “Mad Men” for the past few weeks. Sorry this recap is kinda scattered and lame. It’s Labor Day. I’m not supposed to be working too hard. (I actually did some Labor yesterday. I lifted a couch! And I might do some IKEA-ing today… I’m doing this holiday all wrong.)



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