“The air is toxic.”As Megan plopped a gelatinous glob of canned cranberry sauce onto her Thanksgiving spread and tried to keep toxic smog out of the Draper’s 73rd and Park—the “killer smog” was actually a real thing that mysteriously killed hundreds in NYC—Mad Men viewers knew that there was little that the chipper French Canadian could do to flush the toxicity out of this week’s episode.
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Blanket statement alert: Everyone, and I mean everyone, was a jerk this week. “Dark Shadows” was a variety show of chilly interactions and biting remarks with brief interludes of Betty (still overweight, still bitter) alternately weighing cheese cubes and spraying whipped cream straight out of the can and into her mouth. Best breakout bitchy performance went to Sally Draper, whose cold rapport would make Betty proud. (The episode did air on Mother’s Day, after all).
Evidence: This picture, which could also have served as a twisted Mother's Day card.
Lead up: Precocious Pete is interviewed by a NYTimes reporter about the 'hip' ad agencies ... because that's exactly what his ego needs.
This provides fodder for his afternoon daydream about Rory Gilmore/Beth coming into his office wearing nothing but a fur coat, announcing, 'I forgot about you and then I saw you in the New York Times Sunday magazine'--because even in Pete's wildest fantasies, he knows he isn't going to get the girl based on his personality.
In the end, Pete sees that he was left out of the article completely. He calls Don to whine, to which Don replies, 'Don't wake me up and throw your failures in my face. It's Sunday for chrissake'
Betty Draper was vacillating between literally weighing cheese squares and eating grapefruit halves to squirting cans of whipped cream directly into her mouth -- because according to Mad Men writers, women who are overweight have absolutely no control.
Betty is trying to get her weight and emotions under control by attending Weight Watchers meetings, free from Jennifer Hudson cameos, but she has good weeks and bad weeks.
It was almost heartbreaking when she went into Don and Megan's apartment for the first time to pick up her kids, self consciously sucking in her stomach before knocking on the door. But, in true Betty fashion, just when you start feeling a minute amount of sympathy for her, she lashes out.
When going over her kids' homework, she sees that Don has written Megan a spontaneous love letter of sorts on the back of one of Bobby's pictures. So she lashes out, telling Sally, who is working on a family tree, that if Megan had actually wanted to help her with her project, she would have told her about Don's first wife, Anna.
As Megan puts it, Betty just wants ''the thrill of having poisoned us from 50 miles away.'
While Sally and Megan were once bonding and practicing how to cry on cue, after Sally learns about Anna's presence, she turns into a mini-Betty and accuses her step mum of being 'phony' and nothing special to her father anyway.
'Are you going to make yourself cry?'
After Don shuts Sally's surly behaviour down and tells her as little as possible about his past life while still easing her into the fold, Sally goes home and turns on Betty. She lies that Don and Megan showed her pictures of Anna and 'spoke very fondly of her.'
Watch out, Cool Whip.
SCDP is in the running for the Manischewitz wine account, and Bert Cooper asks for Roger's services. 'This requires some finesse… and quite frankly your Semitic wife.' He then looks at his watch when Roger tells him about his impending divorce to which Bert replies, 'Already?'
Roger then tells resident Semite, Ginsberg, about the potential account--'They make wines for Jews and now they're making one that they want to sell to normal people'--and asks important questions about the potential client:
'How Jewish are they? You know, Fiddler on the Roof, audience or cast?'
Roger ropes Jane into going to the dinner and playing the doting, Jewish wife in exchange for agreeing to buy Jane a new apartment that is free from the haunting memories of their marriage.
He then manipulates his way into said new apartment and sleeps with Jane for, presumably, the last time.
He leaves her in tears on the couch, telling him that he has tainted this living space as well.
'You get everything you want and still you had to do this,' Jane says.
SCDP was pitching to the Snowball account this week, and after being out of the game, Don comes up with some meh copy about a devil eating a snowball in hell. While his devil voice in the pitch meeting is priceless, and frighteningly dad humour-y, everyone agrees that Michael had a better idea.
No matter, Don leaves Michael's pitch in the cab and ends up winning the account.
Michael is livid and approaches Don in the elevator the next day.
'I feel bad for you,' he says.
Don responds, 'I don't think of you at all.'
Game, set, match.
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