Mad Men S04E05: Sally, Interrupted.

Don is trying to have a business meeting in his office about the big shoe polish account when he gets a phone call from the New York Times. The reporter wants to know how he feels about another advertising firm taking over for the Clearasil account, the same firm that took over the jai alai account. Uh, I can answer this one: HE FEELS CALM AND COLLECTED, AS USUAL. These reporters with their GOTCHA journalism. The more things change the more they stay gotcha journalism. Although, you can tell that Don is a little annoyed because he puts one extra ice cube in his pre-lunch glass of gin. Truth be told, I don’t really understand why he would be bothered about the Clearasil thing. He had to give up the account because he got a bigger account, so who cares. That’s like the New York Times calling to ask him how he feels about someone taking over his sloppy seconds. (In this metaphor, Clearasil is an emotionally detached sexual partner rather than a facial cleanser.) Also, this show might need to relax a little bit with all of the reporters always trying to get the scoop on the latest advertising industry gossip. We’ve all read newspapers. THOSE ARE NOT IMPORTANT ARTICLES THEY ARE WRITING.

Now, if you will excuse him, Don has a date at Benihana.

A couple of months ago, I went to Benihana for the first time with some friends. It was in a strip mall in Long Island. Most of the people there were teenagers on dates, and people who liked their cocktails very SWEET. There was one group of people dining at one of the horseshoe dining corrals across from ours where one of the men refused to take out his BLUETOOTH EARPIECE. We had a really fun time, and we ate a lot of food cooked right in front of us, but it wasn’t that fancy or anything, is my point, it kind of felt like Epcot Center, and also I couldn’t help feeling upset the whole time that my hard-earned money (the hardest earned in the world?) was going straight into Steve Aoki’s DJ Boyz slush fund. But look at Don sitting there! He looks great!

Up walks this young hotshot from another advertising agency, you know, the one everyone can’t wait to read about in the New York Times?! He gives Don a hard time. Even his wife is like “Whoa.” Don seems a little ruffled by it, but it’s probably just the overhead lighting at Benihana. It really can be garish. I suppose it keeps the focus on the food? When he gets home, the babysitter from down the hall who Don is definitely going to KABANG later this season (don’t doubt it) tells him not to get mad (uh oh) but Sally cut her hair. Don doesn’t get mad. He gets VERY mad. He gives her severance and also says the word “shit”! Language Don! You are in mixed company, not joking around with the boys down at the racist, anti-Semitic Country Club, sir! He is mostly mad because Betty is going to be mad. And she is! Don is like “You need to CHILL.”

She sends Sally up to her room. Henry suggests that she is mad at Don, not Sally. Henry says he understands, because in the early days of his divorce, his time with his children was precious, and it makes him so mad that Don hired a sitter instead of spending time with Sally and the other one who doesn’t even have a storyline about being troubled. For a second I was like, he has a point, Don should have stayed home. But then I was also like, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, HENRY. It seems to me that when you break up a marriage, regardless of the other person’s willingness, unhappiness, or collusion, then you have ceded your ability to give MORAL SPEECHES about ANYTHING. Aren’t you going to be late to the clearance sale at the J. Crew Sweater Outlet, Henry?

And then, of course, this:




Meanwhile, Roger is so mad about the Honda account, because his friend died in World War II. It’s basically as if Honda was trying to open a Mosque Dealership at Ground Zero. At first he just tells everyone they are not doing business with Honda. But then, when everyone is like “hush, Roger,” he interrupts their meeting and insults Honda right to their faces. Yikes. On a sidenote: at some point during this episode I actually did the math for the first time, and figured out that Sally Draper is about my parents age, which would make Don Draper and Betty Henry about my grandparents age. And that is when things really started to feel weird in my thoughts! Anyway, I’m kind of on Team Roger on this one, actually. I mean, it’s not fair to make an entire nation of people suffer in perpetuity for the nation’s role in a multi-national violent conflict (the same way that I do feel that Americans should be able to travel on vacation in foreign countries without being spit upon, for example, because that’s no fun) but you certainly can hold their multi-million dollar corporations responsible at least inasmuch as you can choose not to have dealings with them. “Some of us are trying to build something here,” Pete says. Sure, Pete. Like when you tried to BUILD A BABY IN PEGGY’S TUMMY?

So they lost the Honda account, just like they lost all the accounts. Except that Don read a book called The Art of War The Chrysanthemum and the Sword and came up with a scheme. He’s a regular Ocean’s 12, he is. They will simply get the other advertising guy, Mr. New York Times Top Story, to THINK that they are breaking the rules and spending all their money on an ad, even though that is expressly forbidden in the rules laid out by Honda. Then, in order to beat him at his own game, Mr. News will do the same thing. Except his own game isn’t that game at all, it’s another game. And when Don shows up, he explains that Honda didn’t honor its own rules, and he resigns the company from the competition. And that is how they WIN the competition.

DING DONG. This guy knows what Don’s talking about:

Roger apologizes to everyone for having principles and promises never to have principles again. Yay!

Henry talks Betty into thinking Sally needs to go to therapy. Don is not happy about it. He knows that nothing good ever comes from talking about your feelings, or even having feelings in the first place. He knows that all Sally really needs is a bunch of whiskey and a cigarette. Betty goes to the therapist to see if she will be a good therapist for Sally. The therapist is like “You know who I would REALLY like to give some therapy to? You, you coconut.” Don will probably fuck the therapist before the season is over.

Gotta land the big Child Therapy account somehow. Some people are trying to build something here.