Mad Men
The Summer Man

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
Half the Battle

...and marches out to see the boys on a cloud of righteousness. She pulls Joey into her office, to Stan's palpable chagrin, and once inside, Joey tells Peggy he's sorry. Peggy gives him a chance to mean it as she tells him to repeat the apology to Joan, but Joey isn't so jazzed about the idea of Joan knowing for sure that he was the culprit, and after he unsuccessfully tries to sell the drawing as funny, he sighs that this is why he doesn't like working with women -- "You have no sense of humor." This statement being a thorn in capable women's sides for generations, it's no surprise that this is the last straw -- Peggy tells him he's fired, and sticks to her guns even when he belatedly offers to go apologize. It takes a few more tries for it to sink in, but when Joey finally gets it, he gives her a sardonic sneer and says he was wrong about her before dumping the contents of a banker's box onto the floor. Peggy winces, but she should count her blessings that she's not dealing with Burt Peterson here.

Back outside, Stan, the random, and Harry are flummoxed to see Joey carrying his stuff, and after he tells them the "fun's over" and shakes all their hands, Harry says he'll give him a call so they can have a drink. Joey's "I cannot even respond to your desperate advances right now" look is priceless, and I assume that's all she wrote for him. Matt Long, please don't wait years and years before showing up on my TV again. Peggy then appears and tells Stan to put Vick Chemical on the back burner, as he's now on Mountain Dew, and when she's gone again, Stan sighs, "Power of the poontang." Indeed, and she's not even the one who, like, cursed your very life.

In Don's office, he and Faye are discussing some boring research when he suggests they go to dinner. Faye, however, is far too savvy to let him get away with this oh-by-the-way method of asking her for a date, and points out he asked her to dinner the first time she was in his office and she turned him down, so what does he think has changed? It's not clear if she put it together that he witnessed her over-the-phone evisceration of her boyfriend, and he doesn't cop to it, instead somewhat lamely offering that he just thought the timing might be right. She goes with that, but suggests he ask her out properly "instead of tacking it on to a work day like an afterthought," so he asks if Saturday night is far enough in the future, and she replies, "Not normally, but you're in luck." Indeed. They wrap it up, and after Faye exits, Don kind of looks both apprehensive and excited, like he's not sure what he's getting himself into but he also can't wait to find out. Given my recent affinity for Faye, I know the feeling.

FRANCINE! God, how I've missed you. She comes in bearing a serving bowl, I'm assuming for the party, and Betty wastes no time in telling her how Henry is mad at her, but when Francine asks why, she only sighs that she just wants to get through the weekend, prompting Francine to point out that it's a two-year-old's party, and she'll have help. "And no one cares." HA! Stick around, girl. However, Francine then gets a look of realization, and she proves to be in the ballpark when she asks if "he" is coming; Betty replies that she told "him" about it. "Now I can only hope he won't show up and ruin it." In her defense, the last time she talked to him, he was barely in a condition to remember her name. Betty then tells Francine about the encounter with Don and Bethany, the latter of whom she describes as "all of fifteen," and if that's true maybe she's more precocious than I gave her credit for. Betty goes on to admit that she "misbehaved," prompting Francine to ask why she lets Don bother her. "We see him walking out with the kids some weekends. Carlton calls him 'that sad bastard.'" I usually try to come up with something slightly wittier than this, but "it takes one to know one" really seems to have a handle on this particular situation. Rather than go there, however, Betty snaps that any seeming patheticness on Don's part is an act, and he's living the life. "He doesn't get to have this family and that." Francine shakes her head warily: "Oh, Betty. You have terrible luck with entertaining." HA! Twice in one scene, and she's totally right, too. I think Betty should throw Henry out and settle into a nice Boston marriage with Francine here. After Betty nods in resignation, Francine considers what to say for a moment, but then counsels her to be careful, as Don has nothing to lose and she has everything. Betty takes in her friend's sage counsel...

...and then we cut to Peggy and Joan getting on the elevator together. Peggy's got a smile on her face like she's expecting to have a moment of sisterly solidarity with Joan, but when Peggy can't hold it in any longer and asks Joan if she heard what she did, Joan coldly replies, "I did. Good for you." Peggy is not so tone-deaf as to miss this one, and asks Joan to come again, so Joan tells her that now everyone in the office will know she solved Joan's problem and think Peggy's important. Peggy claims that she defended Joan, but even though I don't think it's quite so black and white, Joan is certainly on to something when she counters that Peggy was defending herself, and Peggy at least seems to see what she means by not contesting the issue further. She does, however, try to explain her actions by opining that the cartoon was disgusting, but Joan acidly replies that she'd already handled it, "and if I'd wanted to go further, one dinner with Mr. Kreutzer from Sugarberry Ham, and Joey would have been off it and out of my hair." Hmm, I wonder what she's getting at here. Is it just that Joey's first account was Sugarberry? Or is it possible that she knows about the little PR stunt they pulled?

Either way, Peggy tries to claim that it's all the same result, which (a) no it isn't, because Joan said that she had already handled it, meaning she didn't intend to go the extra mile and have Joey fired, and (b) as she's already been telling you, that is NOT THE POINT. Of course, if Peggy hadn't chosen to be so obtuse, Joan wouldn't be able to hit the home run here: "You want to be a big shot. Well, no matter how powerful we get around here, they can still just draw a cartoon. So all you've done is prove to them that I'm a meaningless secretary, and you're another humorless bitch." Oh, damn if she didn't go there. Her point made, Joan wishes Peggy a nice weekend before getting off the elevator, and Peggy, baldly shocked, takes a couple seconds before following. Good luck with that "nice weekend" part, hon.

Don writes that when a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him, and it's a good thing we're getting to the end because his journal is starting to sound like a fortune cookie here. Cut to him pulling up in front of the house to find that Henry has passive-aggressively stacked all the boxes out on the sidewalk already, and this whole episode has made me want to TP the guy's office. I should give Glen a call. Don doesn't bother to greet Henry, who's out mowing the front lawn; instead, DVO goes on that if you listen, a man will tell you how he got there; how he forgot where he was going, and then he woke up. "If you listen, he'll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel, or dreamt of being perfect." As we see Don ironically tossing the boxes into a dumpster, getting rid of vestiges of his old life, DVO

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