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Mad Men S04E11: “Is That All There Is?”

Peggy’s at the beach. (REMINDER: Mad Men season 4 takes place in the year 1965, before the world was covered in water and our only remaining memory of beaches was of burning fields of endless oil-soaked death mud.) Everyone jumps in the lesbian’s car, and when they get home THERE IS A METAL HOOK HANGING FROM THE DOOR HANDLE. Just kidding. When they get home they DO IT. You see, when they get in the lesbian’s car, Peggy is forced to sit on the lap of that Human Turtleneck from a couple weeks ago, and at first she is like, gross, but then she is like, I want to sit on your lap WITHOUT my clothes on. So they do that. Well, first the guy is like “POLITICS!” but Peggy tells him to shut up and do it. So he shuts up and does it. (And again the next morning. Peggy!!!!) The guy tells her that she has shoulders like an Olympian. Sliiiiiiiick. This guy is definitely the Mystery of 1965. “Did you see the fight outside? I have to leave in 10 minutes because my cousin is in town. You have the shoulders of a man. No, I just mean, like, you know, a world class athlete man. These are actually my mom’s binoculars.” Guy’s probably drowning in poon. (Gross. And no he’s not.)

Ken Cosgrove is at dinner with his fiance and her parents telling what I’m sure are hilarious anecdotes when another ad man walks up to say hello and to give his condolences. Wait a second! Give his condolences for what? Yoops! The fellow ad man explains that Lucky Strike is leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and heading over to BBDO. Eek! EMERGENCY PAJAMA PARTY!

Everyone is freaking out about this latest Lucky Strike news. Except for Bert Cooper who is freaking out that no one else wore their pajamas. “WHERE ARE YOUR GUYS’S PAJAMAS?! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!” Roger plays it pretty cool, though. He calmly explains that it’s impossible that Lucky Strike is leaving the agency, and that he is wearing his pajamas underneath his suit. To calm everyone down, he makes a fake phone call to Lucky Strike. Roger Sterling is a good actor! This guy knows what Roger Sterling is talking about:

So the news is out. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. They change the name of the agency to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. There is an all-staff meeting, and people are like, “It’s a good thing we changed the name of the agency to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Fuuuuuuuuuuck because FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.” That’s what they are like. Don gives everyone a very stirring pep talk in which he explains that the agency is going to survive and even thrive because of this crisis, and he reassures everyone that “it will be exhilarating.” Haha. Will it, Don? Will it be “exhilarating”? Just to clarify, you are still talking about doing copywriting work at an office in midtown, right? Very exhilarating, I’m sure. MY DESK IS A ROCKETSHIP! Peggy gets to the meeting late because she was busy getting it wet. When she hears the news, she remarks that something bad happens for everything good that happens. The good thing in this case is getting it wet and the bad thing is the imminent dissolution of her hard-won career. It’s a little self-involved to assume that just because she boned some leftnik with sand in his boat shoes that she single handedly brought upon the demise of an award-winning advertising agency, but she’s at least right that getting it wet is great. (Sorry. Sorry for TREATING YOU LIKE ADULTS WHEN IT COMES TO SEX.)

Today I want to rap at you guys about safe sex.

Meanwhile, Trudy is at the hospital having her baby, which obviously means EMERGENCY HILARIOUS PANTS AND RIDICULOUS BLAZER MEETING!

Pete’s father-in-law refers to the agency where Pete works as an executive accounts manager and is also a founding partner as a “thrill” and a “folly.” Oof. I’m as susceptible as anyone else to the golden-hued nostalgic belief that the world was a better place when the men all had white skin set jaws and furrowed brows and a reluctance to talk about their feelings, and I’m not very impressed with Peggy Olson’s new boyfriend’s anarchism, but it does seem like the world was kind of a sad place when the pressure to conform and maintain a middle-class status quo was so powerful that founding a midtown advertising agency could be seen as a youthful caprice. Anyway, Pete has to get back to the office. He’s late for Glenn Beck’s show.

Clients are fleeing. They lose Glo-Coat. OH NO! NOT GLO-COAT! Don smashes his Clio. Suddenly, as if by magic, the clients all return and the agency is not only restored by doubles its revenues! His momentary outburst of self-destructive impotent rage worked! Just kidding. He tells his secretary to make sure he doesn’t get too drunk. You know, normal things you ask a secretary. “Have those files on my desk by three and I will have you on my couch by eight.” Stuff like that. Work stuff. Also, sorry, SPOILER ALERT.

Roger says he will fly to Raleigh and fix things with Lucky Strike but he’s going to do no such thing because Lucky Strike has been gone for weeks. So he sits in a hotel room in New York and booy calls Joan. Joan will not come to Roger’s Hotel Room of Shame. So he goes to her house. Smart. She ends it. “I’m not a solution to your problems,” she says, “I’m another problem.” Ooof. R.I.P. Joan and Roger! He says that he wishes he had known that the last time they would have sex was the time on the street after they got mugged. Haha, why? Why does he wish he had known that at the time? Oh right. Anal.

Dejected, Roger goes home to his wife. And his…harp?

ELSEWHERE: Don asks the doctor to help him out by giving him all her secret contacts.

Is it just me, or are the men on this week’s episode TOO SMOOTH? Between Doctor Shoulders, Professor Coward, and Mister Rolodex, it’s weird that the women are ever even wearing any clothes at all. (Although, to be fair, they definitely are not wearing any clothes A LOT OF THE TIME.) The doctor gets furious that he would ask her to jeopardize her entire career just because he’s going through a rough patch. Ugh. Women’s lib is THE WORST, right you guys? SHUT UP AND GIVE HIM WHAT HE ASKS FOR, YOU BITCH! (P.S. eventually she basically does. Good girl.)

Since the doctor wouldn’t give Don all of her secret contacts, he goes to a funeral and tries to find clients there.

Stay classy, San Diego, indeed.

After her boyfriend pretends to be a UPS guy, or whatever, and Peggy totally Don Drapers him in her office in the middle of the day, all the fellas are like “Hello, Peggy.” The date-rapey rugby player takes his shot, again, because he knows that it’s a numbers game, and that you always have to double check your work. When he gets rejected for a second time, though, he exacts his revenge by leting Peggy give a presentation with lipstick on her teeth. I guess it makes her look unprofessional, but no more unprofessional than the client.

Ew, dude. Stop it. Stop doing that. Peggy nails the presentation anyway, so who cares. Seriously not entirely clear what the point of this segment was.

Pete has a baby. Congrats, Pete. Don has a baby, too. Yikes, Don.

At last, a REAL secretary around here. “I’m not going to run home crying tomorrow,” she says. NIIIICE. She’s a keeper! Don goes home and the doctor is there waiting for him. Yoops. Don invites her in and excuses himself to wash the secretary smell from his entire body and burn his clothes cuddles up with her on the couch. She explains that she is going to use her secret contacts to help him land the Heinz account. Finally, a woman going out of her way to give Don Draper what he wants.

It’s almost ridiculous how difficult it is for Don Draper to get what he wants. Almost.