MAD MEN Go Camping

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From a new and improved Betty to a violently deranged Peggy, last night’s Mad Men pushed all of the characters to their breaking points.

Pete’s the first to break, when he realizes that his contributions at SCDPCGC are going unrecognized by the partners. Harry advises him to see a headhunter, so he enlists the help of Duck Phillips to find a new start.

Peggy is torn between her newfound loyalty in Ted and her timeless bond with Don, causing her cower in the face of making a decision for the firm. Meanwhile at home, her relationship with Abe is on the rocks after he is stabbed and a rock is hurled through their bedroom window.

While Megan mopes about her deteriorating work environment, Don once again shuts her out of his life – signified by the drowning sirens over Megan’s complaints. He has something else on his mind – Bobby’s camping trip. On his trek to the wilderness, he bumps into a now-slender and refreshing Betty at a remote gas station, and the two hit it off like they were young again.

After the most uncomfortable singing of Bobby’s new camp song, “Father Abraham,” the adults retire to their lodges, but Betty leaves her door ajar – and the rest kind of explains itself.

While Don and Betty are going at it, Megan’s sex-crazed co-star Arlene goes in for a kiss to ease Megan’s tensions – but she’s not a lesbian, so it ends rather quickly and awkwardly.

Back in the woods, Don and Betty rehash their old feelings about their marriage. All the while, Don gives the best analogy for sex to every be spoken by anyone: “Just because you climb a mountain, doesn’t mean you love it.” Spoken like a true jackass.

Back in the city, a gloomy Roger tries to buy his way into his and Joan’s son’s life, but when he arrives at her apartment, he is greeted by the mysterious Bob Benson.

I’ve read a lot of interesting theories on who Bob is – some saying that he is Don’s lost-long son from his first time with Aimeé in the whorehouse, others stipulating that he is a Russian spy. My personal favorite theory is that he is Mad Men’s “Nicki and Paulo” from Lost, in that he will have an entire episode dedicated to him in the coming season and that he will die an untimely death that will be intended to teach some sort of thematic lesson.

On the other side of town, a fearful Peggy grabs a musket head when she thinks she hears a burglar and lunges at the shadowy figure – but it’s Abe! I was hoping she’d have killed him, but she just impales him to the point where he calls off their relationship.

Now single, Peggy tries to cozy up to Ted, who wants nothing to do with his now somewhat sleazy employee. In one of the greatest Mad Men endings to date, Peggy is shut out of both Ted’s and Don’s doors – trapped in the middle of the office as Lou Johnson’s “Always Something There to Remind Me” mocks her into the credits. Peggy now has nothing and no one – but the scenes from next week’s episode show her becoming friends with Joan – she needs that.

So what will become of Don and Betty’s one-night-stand? What will Bob Benson’s role be in the coming episodes? Will Pete leave the office? Will Bobby completely overshadow Sally in the writers’ eyes? So many questions, four episodes left. Next week’s episode is titled “A Tale of Two Cities.” Lost, anybody?!

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