If there’s ever a guinness record for “Television show with zero bad episodes” Mad Men would be in the running (along side Toddlers and Tiaras). Episode 7 should be called “Megan’s parents are coming to dinner…and they are going to raise hell”
Episode 7 starts off with Sally calling her old creepy friend Glen at his all boys camp. I was shocked to see how much older Glen looked. It’s obvious that once Sally and Geln’s hormones start to eat away at eachother’s brains, they’ll question their relationship. In a perfect world these two would get married someday, and have children. Sally would read her children the story of Repunzel, and replace the wicked mother with her very own. The phone call is typical of Sally, complaining about being a slave, and hating her life. This call, however was cut short by her drug dealing granny slipping on the phone cord in the hallway. I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh at little at her grandmothers ridiculous cries for help.
Next, we are introduced to Megan’s extremely French-Canadian parents. Right off the bat they start speaking in their native tongue, and completely excluding Don. We learn from the very beginning that Megan is never fully comfortable around her folks, and understandably so. Don then receives a phone call from Sally, informing him of her grandmothers tumble, which means Sally and Bobby are making an appearance at the Draper residence. In the next scene we see Roger and Mona out for drinks, catching up and flirting like old times. It seems to be one of those “distance makes the heart grow fonder” situations. Roger’s failed attempt at being with a younger woman (that he had absolutely nothing in common with) makes him appreciate Mona that much more. He fills her in on his life altering LSD trip, and informs her of how symbolic his hallucinations were. He is now able to come to terms with some suppressed feelings he had on the lucky strike debacle. Realizing that it was the moment in his life when everything as he knew it would change forever. He also lets her know of the American Cancer Society’s party, in honor of Don and his infamous letter to the public.
We are then taken back to the awkward integrating of the in-laws at the Draper house. They seem to be worried about her current life choices. They obviously don’t think that Don is the man she should be with. The apartment downtown, and perfect children aren’t enough to impress these two. It’s no wonder that Megan won’t take any crap from Don. It seems as though she’s spent her entire life proving herself, and defending her actions. It’s ironic that she acts out as a child, when that’s exactly what she’s been trying to prove that she’s not. Megan’s mother rudely excuses herself from the dinner table, and falls asleep with a lit cigarette in her hand. Would it be forward of me to assume that this has happened before?
Finally Peggy makes her first appearance, and at work of-course. She’s seen having lunch with Abe her and fellow copywriters. Abe seems to feel inferior to the people Peggy surrounds herself with at work, including her. He can’t keep up with their witty back and forth banter about Playtex and age demographics. He comes up with an excuse of still being hungry after having just eaten, and leaves. Peggy is so happy around Ginsberg and Stan that she dosen’t even notice that her boyfriend is clearly upset, and feels left out. I have a feeling that something inappropriate is bound to happen between Peggy and Stan. These two are clearly perfect for each other. Plus they’ve already seen each other in their underwear. It’s almost like fate is pushing them together, but they don’t realize it because they are both equally obsessed with work.
Next, Megan and Don have a discussion in bed about her family. Don tries to slip in that he would rather her parents not come to the Cancer Society banquet dinner. Which is completely understandable, simply based on the fact that they hate him. She informs Don that her father only hates him because she’s the “favorite” and that it makes her mother jealous. Immediately the dynamic between these two becomes much more interesting. There’s just something about a competitive mother and daughter relationship that gets me every time. Maybe it’s all the Lifetime television for women that I was forced to watch as a child? Megan even went as far as to count how many times her mother touched Don over dinner (6 to be exact). The next day at work, Megan comes to Don with a revelation. A Heinz campaign inspired by her recent visit with her parents. The irony that the idea involves Megan’s mother literally becoming her is not lost on me. Megan, as always is worried that the rest of the office will hate her for being Don’s equal.
Abe then calls Peggy and convince’s her to meet him somewhere for dinner. She’s sure that this will be the dinner that finally ends their already failing relationship. Who better to ask relationship advice and have a cigg break with than joan? I love any scene that involves Joan giving Peggy advice. These two have been through so much together, and it really shows in moments like this. Joan is somewhat of an office mother to Peggy, and has been from the start. Joan somehow convinces her that the dinner will instead be a proposal, and that she should go shopping to prepare for him to pop the question. Peggy’s ora is as pink as her pepto inspired dress when she arrives. In Peggy’s mind this means that she hasn’t actually been cheating on her boyfriend with her job, and that everything must be fine. We haven’t seen her this dolled up since her awkward short bangs days. It’s nice to see her embrace her feminine side around her boyfriend for a change. In my head, she channels Joan while she shops. This dinner feels like more or a first date for high school freshman than a wedding proposal. Just as Peggy thinks Abe is about to ask for her hand in marriage, he then asks for a key to her place instead. Her heart pops like a balloon, and just like that she’s deflated back to reality. Realizing that this, in his own way is Abe’s version of a proposal.
Megan, Don, and Ken meet the annoying Heinz family out for dinner, hoping to sell them Megan’s campaign. The equally as annoying Heinz wife accidentally informs Megan in the bathroom that they are actually there to be fired, leaving it to Megan to save the day. She pitches the idea to Heinz and they love it. Finally somebody makes this man happy. I don’t know how many more times I could stomach hearing him say “we’ll think about it”. Hopefully we wont have to see him much more after this. It’s in this moment that Don and Megan’s relationship finally starts making sense to me. The reason these two are so in love is because they challenge each other, but not just negatively like I’ve stated in the past. Megan is just as much of a mental challenge as she is physical for Don (they have great sex, and she’s hard to catch when he’s chasing her around the house). Betty would’ve felt completely lost at an executive dinner like that. Megan on the other hand, was in charge the entire time. All while still letting Don appear to be the man. The shade has officially been lifted from my eyes when it comes to these two. Megan and Peggy share the peak moment of the episode for me the next day at work. Megan is worried that Peggy will for some reason be jealous that she came up with the winning idea for Heinz . Peggy of-course isn’t mad at all, and praises her. She reflects on her Belle Jolie days, and informs her that they as strong women need to stick together in the office. In this moment, you can totally see in Peggy’s mind that she feels like a bit of a trailblazer at work. She was not only the first woman in the company, but probably one of the first in general to be where she is today. Our little Peggy has come such a long way.
Peggy’s bible thumping mother pays a visit to her and Abe’s newly joined apartment. Is it just me, or is this woman right on the verge of becoming Carrie’s mom? She’s never really shown any form of support for anything Peggy has done or accomplished in her life. She’s dead set on making sure she feels worse about herself after every one of their visits. She of-course has a problem with Peggy and Abe living together. In her mind Abe is using Peggy as target practice for his future wife, as so many men do… She also has a problem with them living in sin. I’m pretty sure that bridge was crossed once Peggy gave birth to her illegitimate child. This time though, Peggy stands her ground. This years Peggy already has more life experience than her mom could ever imagine. She’s the Annie Oakley of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and she gave a hand job in a movie theater a week prior.
Last but certainly not least, the American Cancer Society banquet. Only minutes after Roger arrives at the Draper house, he’s already in a full blown romance with Megan’s mom. She seductively ties his bow tie, two feet away from her husband. Blatantly aiming to make him jealous. Apparently this woman is in competition with everyone around her. As they are preparing to leave, Sally shows that she has officially come into her tween-hood. She’s donning a full face of makeup, a sparkly go-go dress, and white patent leather, knee-high boots. Her coming of age moment is shortly lived when Don forces her to loose the makeup and pre “Pretty Woman” inspired boots. Sally unofficially becomes Roger’s mini date at the banquet. Roger is like the guy in your family that you call uncle even though you aren’t exactly related by blood. Megan’s mother appears to be turned on by Rogers charm. She may as well just have sex with him at the dinner table, with the way she’s looking at him because the eyes she’s giving him aren’t hiding anything. The two disappear together, with no apparent fear of being seen. Megan’s father informs her that he feels like being married to Don has changed her for the worse, and in the end Sally walks in on Megan’s mother giving Roger a blowjob in an empty banquet room. A moment Sally will most certainly remember for the rest of her life. Don is then introduced to Ken’s father in law, Ed Baxtor. He informs Don that his career is basically over after the letter he wrote, because most companies are afraid to trust him.
The episode ends with a much needed phone call to Glen from Sally. He asks her how the city has been so far, and her amazing responce is “dirty”. Leave it to Sally to sum up the episode perfectly in one word.