I think it’s fair to say that last night’s Mad Men was a sort of filler/catch-up episode to delve into the personal lives of the characters, since the majority of this season has been spent focusing on the structural changes to the newly named Sterling Cooper & Partners.
Peter’s mom comes into the office with Dr. Manolo, the caretaker that Bob Benson had recommended for Peter. She rambles to Peggy, thinking she is actually speaking to her daughter-in-law, Trudy, which makes Peggy vulnerable when she brings up their child – something both Peter and Peggy have sworn to never speak of again.
Later, Peter and Peggy drunkenly converse over dinner in preparation for their flight, with Ted as their pilot. Something’s kindling there…again.
Meanwhile, Don arrives home to find Megan consoling a teenaged boy, who we discover is Arnold and Sylvia’s son, Mitchell. When Sally and her friend arrive at the apartment later for their Model U.N. trip, they both are keen on the boy, who has sent back his draft card in protest, making him a 1A Lister.
Don does what he can to try and help Mitchell. He eventually makes an agreement with Ted, who has a connection in the Air Force. But it comes with a price. Ted asks Don to “end the war” between them, meaning dropping the Sunkist account to focus on Ocean Spray.
All the while, a newly single Peggy has a mouse in her house. Good plot point, Weiner. She calls to her go-to-man, Stan, but he’s over her, like, three episodes ago. Way to burn your bridges, Peg.
My favorite Mad Men mystery, Bob Benson, added another segment this week when he spoke to Peter about true love. While delivering a moving monologue, he rubs his leg up against Peter’s, which draws back Ginsberg’s question from last episode, in which he asked Bob if he was a “homo.” But he’s with Joan, right? Like, with Joan. Or maybe it’s a cover up. Or maybe, like I’ve written previously, the writers are just screwing with us and there’s no real mystery at all.
At the end of the episode, Sally’s nameless friend tells her that she had slipped a note under Mitchell’s door, causing her to panic. She tricks the doorman into giving her the keys to all the apartments in the building and heads straight for Arnold and Sylvia’s room. Once inside, she looks around and is relieved at the sight of the note. It’s the sight of another thing that will probably force her into therapy, like her mother. Sylvia is screwing Don as a way of saying, “Thank you,” for helping her son. Quite the favor.
With only two more episodes left this season, I am left with so many questions. Is my “Don Draper is already dead” theory right? Who is Bob Benson? Will Cutler and Ted stay onboard with the firm or will they split? And Peter – isn’t he still questioning his role at the firm? And can Peggy be cool again? Please?