And this week a bonus.
Each week, Chris Piascik draws something from the episode to go with this recap.
Last week’s episode would have been difficult to top, so they went introspective this week. They just went through the spring, the traditional time of rebirth, but now it’s about to be the beginning of summer and things are changing.
-Don’s writing a journal. Getting introspective, swimming, and cutting down on the drinking. The dark downtrodden Don of the beginning of the season is apparently gone, last week was the rock bottom it seemed, and Don is on the path to digging his way out. “I should have finished High School. Everything could have been different.” Well, if you say so.
-“I’m kidding around here.” There’s really no reason Ida Blankenship is on the show. As far as I can tell, she doesn’t serve any purpose. I imagine something will happen with her at some point, but then again, maybe it won’t.
-Did you notice? No racial or ethnic slurs this week. 2 in the first 2 minutes last week and none this week? Just rampant sexism is all… Er…
-Joey and Joanie… Joey’s mother issues wouldn’t let him be bullied by Joan, but mostly it was a way to show that Joan is of the Dr. Faye Miller School of Catching More Flies With Honey. Peggy thinks she was doing Joan a favor for firing Joey, and she was, but Joan just thinks it’ll reinforce their respective stereotypes. Not really a situation Peggy could win, or would want to. Nice reference by Joey to Joan being raped and then in the next scene she goes home to her rapist husband. She bursts into tears when he suggests she talk to her work friends.
-Seriously? A Budweiser product placement in one of the journal writing scene?
-Don’s list of things he’d like to do is surprisingly short and to the point. Climb a mountain, or travel anywhere, and get control of his feelings. I guess he feels one Clio is enough, but I definitely expected that list to be a little bit longer.
-“Every date feels like a first date with you.” “Don’t you want to be close with anyone?” Get used to it, sister, this is Don the Drape we’re talking about. Bethany wants Don desperately, or rather she wants what he can give her. He’s the right kind of guy for her, she thinks, but this new Don probably isn’t going to end up with her. In fact, going down on Don in the cab might be the last we see of her.
-“I bet she was thinking of that line all night” was actually a line cut out of Casablanca. Maybe not, but didn’t Don’s voice-over dialogue sound straight out of a noir movie? Actually, this was a pretty neat trick, aging the voice in Don’s head, making it sound almost sepia. Wonder if they’ll keep using it.
-“I’m working, all the time.” When you’re not drinking or sleeping on your couch.
-I liked the scene with Henry and Betty in the car. I’ve written a couple times in the past about whether was a great actor playing wooden, or just an awful actor. This was one of the first scenes I thought she was really great in. At the end of the scene when when she was pouting against the door, she really looked like a little girl.
-“People tell you who they are but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” Don has said stuff like this before. More than once.
-“You need 3 ingredients for a cocktail. Vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency.” Peggy Olson’s Bartender’s Bible will be out next week at booksellers all over.
-Don looked at alcohol different all episode. In the first meeting, he was going in and out, probably in some kind of withdrawal, on the date with Faye, before the date with Faye. There was a cool scene where he looked at his liquor tray, looked at his watch, and then called Ida for some coffee. You go, Don. Make a change today.
-“You want some respect, go out there and get it for yourself.” “Don doesn’t even know who you are.” “It’s just a job Joey, you’ll get another one.” Peggy really sounded like Don when firing Joey. It’s a move away from “the guys”, a group she had been moving to, up towards Don. This is a really interesting dynamic to watch this season.
-“Don has nothing to lose and you have everything.” Remember when Francine wanted to shower with Don? While she’s right that Don has nothing, Betty and Henry don’t really have a whole lot. It was hard to tell if Don was invited to the birthday, or if he just came, but Betty was trying to make it work. We’ll see how this plays out.
-“A man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him.” I don’t really know what this means at all.
-“I’ve been a little out of sorts lately.” Ya think?
-“He’s a handsome 2-bit gangster like you.” Faye pretty clearly sees Don for what he is, but still wanted to use him for sex. Wonder where this is going to go.
-There wasn’t any music at the end. Last week the open door shot played out with Bleecker Street by Simon & Garfunkle (a sort of foreboding song to play over the idea of an open door). This week, Don playing with Gene. More uplifting, and no music at all.