Mad Men Episode 9 Recap

Episode 9 starts off with what seems to be a very sad and depressed looking Betty. She’s weighing cubesImage of strange looking cheese, and chomping on slightly burnt toast. The Betty of yesteryear would most likely be seen smoking and gossiping about the woman she’s become. An overweight and depressed housewife living in a house of dysfunction. Betty has become somewhat of a slave to her weight. Next we are invited in on some morning elevator talk amongst the men of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. What would a 30 second elevator ride be without Pete gloating about something? Apparently the New York Times is writing an article about “hip” New York City agencies, and they want to feature SCDP. The only problem is that they, of course, only want to speak to Peter. It makes sense right? Pete Campbell is exactly what you think of when imagining hip New Yorkers. Roger makes a funny joke about the company being called “Stearling Campbell Draper Pryce”. Pete is like the little brother that none of these men ever wanted.

ImageNext we see Joanie, presenting some of the recently worked on projects to Don in his office. Don catches a glimpse of the names attached to each project, and It dawns on him that Peggy’s ideas are being buried by Ginsberg’s. How ironic that the guy she didn’t want to hire is now outshining her with his unconventional methods. He mentions it to Joan, but she doesn’t react. Don is probably the only person in the office that could understand the magnitude of the situation. Work is just as important to Peggy as it is to him…probably more. We are then taken into Rogers office, as Cooper propositions him with a project. He wants Roger to take part in schmoozing a Jewish wine executive with his ex-wife Jane (I’m guessing it’s because she’s pretty and Jewish).

Next we see Megan and Sally having some stepmother, stepdaughter bonding time on the floor of the apartment. Megan is showing off Imageher acting chops, and teaching Sally how to cry on demand. This is exactly what Sally needs, a lesson on how to be even more dramatic. Later that night, Betty patiently waits outside to pick up the kids. They end up taking so long that she is forced to actually ring Don’s door bell. I would imagine that this is something that Betty has fantasized about for a long time. What would it be like when she actually enters his home? What would her interaction with Megan be like? We know by now that Betty isn’t the confident Barbie doll she once was. Had she not been suffering with her weight, she probably would have forced this interaction a long time ago. As she apprehensively enters the apartment, she becomes overwhelmed. His home is beautiful, and it’s filled with reminders of her old life. Things she hadn’t seen since her painful divorce. Just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, she sees Megan changing clothes in her bedroom. Yet another reminder of her old life…Megan’s body. The final straw is seeing Megan kiss the kids goodbye. Megan shows more affection with a 4 second kiss than Betty has her entire life. The stress of it all forces her into a whipped topping relapse.

ImageThe next day, Don and the copywriters share their ideas for a Pepsi drink called “snowball”. Peggy needs for Don to like her idea the way she needs food and water. To say that Peggy is having a hard time at work lately would be an understatement. Everyday she watches the men around her prosper off of mediocre ideas, and hers never seem to see the light. It all seems to have started with Heinz, and its been a snowball effect ever since (pun intended). Don pitches an undeniably good idea involving the devil. The frustration of having to sit through Don pitch ideas to himself, and have the final say seems to be wearing hard on the copywriters. We then get to sit through one of Betty’s awkward Weight Watchers meetings. She shares with the group that she had a “trying experience” the past weekend, and that she lost half a pound. She left out that she shoved a can of whipped cream in her mouth and purged it in the sink.

Later, Roger calls Ginsberg into his office to help him come up with ideas for the “Jewish wine” project. ImagePresumably because he’s Jewish. By help him, I actually mean pay him to do all the work. The office is passing this project around like a hot potato. The final puzzle piece in this elaborate plan is for Roger to convince Jane to actually show up with him to the dinner. She informs him that the only way she’ll come is if he buys her a new apartment. The old one is apparently filled with to many memories from their ridiculous marriage, and drug induced divorce. He buys into it (literally) and agrees to get her the home of her dreams. I’d like to know just how rich this man actually is, and how I can get in on it. All of a sudden we’re in Pete Campbell’s office, and Beth shows up to seduce him. She’s wearing a gigantic fur coat, with nothing underneath. She tells Pete that she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, and confesses how badly she wants him. Just as she goes in to kiss him, we find that Pete is actually day dreaming on his office couch. It’s to no surprise that this is merely a dream. I don’t think a woman has wanted Pete that badly since Peggy’s first week in the office years ago.

ImageWe’re taken back to the Francis residence, as Betty helps Sally with her family tree diagram. Megan has already started her on it. Betty finds a note written to Megan from Don on the back of one of Bobby’s drawings. It says something about him going off to find a light bulb, and coming back to “find her better”. I bet he wrote it after one of their chase and tackle fights in the living room. The note sends Betty over the edge, and she decides to try to stir up some trouble for the Draper’s (while gnawing on a celery stick, of course). She lets Sally in on one of Dons many family secrets, that he was married before her. I have to say, this is probably the most conniving things Betty has ever done. Sally obviously doesn’t take it well, and blames Megan for not telling her. This is one of those moments that you just know Sally will bring up in her future therapy sessions. The next day she confronts Megan about it. If she’s inherited anything from her mother, it’s her way of defending herself. To try to hurt the person who’s hurt her as much as she possible can. She calls Megan a “phony” and tells her that she’s “nothing special”. She even mocks her for crying. Megan tells Don about the incident, and he goes straight into “my secret past is catching up to me” panic mode. Megan tells him that if he calls and confronts Betty about it, she would win. She would get exactly what she wanted. A glimmer of darkness in their perfect life together. Being overweight really brings out Betty’s evil side.

Ginsberg returns to the office after work to get started on the “Jewish wine” project for Roger. He, of Imagecourse, runs into Peggy. Where else would she be in the middle of the night but behind her typewriter. He spills the beans on the project, and she takes personal offense. She’s obviously wondering why Roger wouldn’t come to her to do the extra work. She worked really hard last time to take care of the pro-bono work he gave her. Why would he not come to her again? Peggy’s frustration is building and building lately, I’m sensing something really big happening to her sometime soon. She confronts Roger in the elevator, and tells him that he isn’t loyal. The next morning Don finally comes clean to Sally about Anna. He tells her that they had a marriage that helped them with a law, and forces her to apologise to Megan. Pete calls Don to tell him that the New York Times article was a bust, and that they aren’t actually mentioned at all. Yet another embarrassment blown up in Pete’s face. Sally puts an end to Betty’s reign of terror by telling her that Don and Megan were extremely honest about Anna. He even showed her pictures. Nice try Betty, maybe next she’ll show Sally pictures of all the women he cheated with.

ImageFinally its time for the “Jewish wine” dinner ( I never want to have to type that again). Jane ends up accompanying him, and plays up to the “beautiful Jewish girl” role. Roger pitches Ginsberg’s idea, and they love it. Jane spends the night flirting with the executives son, which apparently makes Roger want her again. He’s made a habit of going after his ex-wives, it’s a little backwards.Roger and Jane end up having sex in her new apartment, and the next day she resents him for taking advantage of her. She feels as though he’s ruined her new, and clean apartment. It’s now filled with yet another horrible memory of Roger. In the office, Ginsberg is enraged by the news that Don didn’t even pitch his idea to the “Snowball” executives. Peggy seems to relish in it. He confronts Don in the elevator and calls him miserable.

The episode ends with it being Thanksgiving. Megan tells Don not to open the door because the city is filled with toxic air. The irony in that statement sums up this entire episode.

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