Mad Men S04E09: Looking Good, Ladies!
Don Draper’s got an important business call. He’s all business. “Buy! Sell! We need to close this deal and I won’t take no for an answer. You’re fired.” Oh, wait, that’s not the head of General Motors he’s talking to, that is the sexy doctor he is talking to. And when he schedules a lunchtime business meeting it’s not a lunchtime business meeting at all, it’s a lunchtime BANGNESS meeting (sorry). Seriously, though, the doctor is all banged out. And yet she hardly even touches her sandwich! You know, when you say over the phone that you’re going to get sandwiches and discuss business as a cover story for how you are really going to go home and bang, you don’t ACTUALLY need to buy sandwiches if you don’t want sandwiches. I’m sorry to get so hung up on this point, but as someone who RESPECTS sandwiches, I don’t like to see a good sandwich, especially a sandwich wrapped in wax paper, just languish on a counter somewhere, even if they are languishing for sex reasons. At the very least, I want to see Don Draper and the doctor sitting in bed, hair all fucked out, faces all glossy, complimenting each other on each other’s sex, and then EATING THOSE SANDWICHES. At the very least! Don has clearly given the doctor keys to his apartment. That was fast! Last week he was Mr. Hard to Get and this week he is Mr. Married to the Doctor Already Practically. He tells her to let herself out and then he goes to the office reeking of sex and announces that he’s taking a nap. Uh, you guys, we are seriously all in the wrong line of work.
Of course, the real story of taking a one way ticket to Lunchtime Bang Town is that you open up the possibility that 12 years later your chronic masturbator of a daughter will run away from home and ride the rails like a masturbating hobo all the way to your office and her bitch of a mother won’t even come get her and you’ll have to fucking take fucking care of your fucking daughter for a whole night. ALWAYS WRAP IT UP, FELLAS! Oh, hi, Sally.
Seriously, though, while I know that Don Draper could be working harder to get his plaque up on the wall for Employee of the Year in the Fatherhood Department, Betty needs to chill with the unapologetic loathing of her children. “Like it’s so fun to raise her?” she spits into the phone. Yikes. Has Xanax been invented yet? Betty, get into your time machine and travel to whenever Xanax was created and take a Xanax. You need 2 chillllllll. And Don needs to get back to his meeting with some racists. Don asks the doctor to take Sally back to his apartment and hang out with her. Yikes. Classic second date stuff. Definitely not forcing someone into an almost impossibly uncomfortable and intense situation right after you started dating them and this will definitely not become an issue later in the episode, I’m sure. They’ll probably just have a great time but never have to talk about it because it’s so cool and not a problem!
Oh no! You guys!
It’s just a tough world out there. And if it gets any tougher, Don might never finish his meeting with the racists! Speaking of the racists, Peggy has a forced encounter (lesbians are clever!) at a bar with a dude who is DEFINITELY wearing your yellow turtleneck under your leather jacket. He gets very political very quickly, because he knows how to treat a lady. Peggy explains that she has no sympathy for black people because no one cares about women. Yikes. I mean, yes, of course, but also no, not at all. This was 1965, though, so they didn’t have the concept of things that are or are not “mutually exclusive” yet. Other things they did not have: VCRs, flip-up Dwayne Wayne sunglasses, BlueTooth headsets. “Oh sure,” the guy smirks, “we’ll have a civil rights march for WOMEN.” HAHAHAHA. Fist bump. Regardless of where you stand on the women’s lib of man-hating lesbians, I think we can all agree that when you are trying to impress a lady, you should definitely make fun of the last thing she said with a condescending, smirking tone/face. You’ll be beating women off with a stick! Literally! Because you’re a hateful sexist asshole!
Meanwhile: ROGER AND JOAN. Fuck. You guys. I honestly wish that I could just carve a tiny hole inside the flirty, humid space between those two and curl up and DIE.
They are both married and they are both miserable and they both love each other and they both can’t admit it and they both have their issues, but boy, it is fun to watch them struggle with all of that TOGETHER. At first, Roger really steps in it because Joanie’s Forever Boyfriend has been called up to Heaven (Vietnam, but BASICALLY). So he sends her a massage. Slick! So slick. Let’s be honest: “send someone a massage” went in the Gentleman’s Handbook last night. “NOTE TO SELF: FIND OUT IF THIS IS REAL.” Joan loves it, duh, but then she is skeptical. Next thing you know, Roger’s going to be buying a couple of sandwiches that no one’s actually supposed to eat, and then where will they be? Eventually, though, Roger convinces her to have a meal with him, and if I can’t just carve a tiny hole inside the flirty, humid space between those two and curl up and DIE, then I would at least like to become the piece of cheesecake that they share. And DIE.
Then they get mugged! Then they TOTALLY DO IT! It’s a lot like the climactic airport tarmac scene in Speed. The next day, Roger apologizes, but Joan doesn’t want an apology. She does, however, want everyone to remember THEIR HUSBANDS AND WIVES AT HOME. Eek. Luckily, I am dead, so I don’t have to think about the moral insufficiency of their romance.
Roger also gets the line of the episode if not the season if not the entire show ever, re: Mrs. Blankenship: “She died like she lived, surrounded by the people she answered phones for.” Incredible. Although here comes Bert Cooper with “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She was an astronaut.” Good lord. Who knew?! Mrs. Blankenship, the face that launched a thousand GREAT LINES.
Sally and Don have some decent father-daughter bonding time over rum-soaked French toast, but eventually it is time for her to go home to her horrible, beautiful mother. But she doesn’t want to go. Like, REALLY doesn’t want to go. She wants to masturbate at her dad’s house full-time. Don asks the doctor to go talk to her.
Oh boy. Don. Come on. Dude. Buddy. Friendo. You’re a slick-talking 65-year-old business owner. Why don’t you come up with five clever slogans for how bad of an idea that is and have them on my desk by good grief o’clock. Sally jets down the hall and then the jet comes in for a landing. BOOM. Classic faceplant (classic because 1965). (Sally Draper, of course, would grow up to found Break.com.) Uh oh. Some secretary helps her up and later cries. Excuse me, but is everyone’s moon cycles aligned? Is that what is happening here? Don escorts a smush-faced Sally out to reception where her nightmarish, gorgeous cunt of a mother is waiting with a lit cigarette. And ALL of the Draper women come out to greet her. Ha!!!!
Get out of here, Betty.
The doctor confronts Don about this whole, you know, making her be a mother to his child two minutes into their relationship thing. But for as much as Don can be obtuse about human interactions and the ways in which other people live a life compelled by human emotions, there is one thing that he is not obtuse about, and that is how to keep the Bang Flame alive. You never want to snuff out the Bang Flame, unless you’ve lit it with a secretary, or a pain-in-the-ass. But the doctor is neither of those things (yet), so Don is like “Don’t worry about being a good mother-figure because it doesn’t matter. I don’t even give a shit about those kids. Let’s get some sandwiches.”
All of the women get into the elevator. Good night, ladies. Please take care of yourselves!