Mad Men: Don Makes Some New Friends

Remember that episode of The Sopranos where Tony got shot and the entire episode was his coma dream about what his life would be like if he were a salesman instead of a mobster? This episode was that mixed with the episode where the Brady Bunch goes to Hawaii mixed with boring. But Peggy meets her first non-closeted homosexual, and the first thing he does is give her a makeover!

Don and Pete go to LA, where they see a presentation about missiles that’s supposed to set us up for the Cuban Missile Crisis which is coming up soon. Then Don goes off to Palm Springs with a Viscount and his daughter, Joy, where he has sex with Joy and has mexican food for the first time and hangs with this group of self-described “nomads” who are all about free love. This is represented by Time Warner Cable with this description:

Also, Don faints:

To be honest, this episode was bad. It was, from beginning to end, a perfect example of the things this show does wrong: the heavyhanded foreshadowing of historical events (in this case the Cuban Missile Crisis), the heavyhanded “Things were so different then!” stuff (Don’s never had Mexican food!), and the heavyhanded symbolism. Oh my god, the symbolism. Don sees a woman who looks like Betty, Don hangs out with freewheeling nomads, Don sees some kids and remembers his own kids, etc etc etc. So let’s just focus on the two most interesting scenes from this episode. Kurt casually comes out to the Sterling Cooper office, and we’re supposed to watch Sal’s face:

Then, he and Peggy go on a friend-date, where he updates her look:

It’s such a cliche that it’s wince-inducing, but it could be the beginning of an interesting friendship. Anything to distract from the long business talks (gentlemen, you’re boring the ladies!) Also, there was a bit of a bombshell that was hardly worth an hour: Don called and set up a meeting with someone using his real name, Dick Whitman. Oooh. Maybe he’ll fake his own death and then there won’t be a show!