Mad Men
At The Codfish Ball

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 6 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Oh, Canada

Don's up at the podium waiting for one of the ACS board members to finish jabbering about him; Roger whispers that there's baked Alaska for dessert, but they won't light it on fire yet so as not to wreck the speeches. Sally: "You're wrecking the speeches." Hee. Roger retorts that she's a mean drunk, eliciting a melodious laugh from Marie, which Roger certainly can't help but notice. Don finally gets his award from three people whose combined age looks to be about 847, and Roger opines that he should be by Don's side. Sally: "Go get 'em, tiger." Hee, but the last person we see looking Roger's way is Marie...

...and then we fade to a bit later, with Don and Megan returning to the table. Sally examines the award, which Don offers to her with some words about how lovely she is and how he's looking forward to her growing up. Roger then returns with a Shirley Temple for Sally ("It's time to start tapering off"), and then tells Don he promised "Frank from Ford" that he'd come over and say hello. But Roger, for his part, casts a glance at Marie, who's up from the table chatting with some random old woman, and the next thing you know, they're bellying up to the bar and Marie is telling him how she's been watching him all night, and he's so full of life and ambition. This is Accounts-level flattery to a man like Roger, so he listens, rapt, as Marie goes on that when she was younger, she was always up for trying everything, and I have to deem it rather unfortunate that she refers to this tendency with the expression "get a taste." They flirt some more, with Marie correctly telling Roger that there's a little boy inside him, and then they both agree that they should never stop trying, and should have everything they want. And this is one of the big themes of the episode, but I'm just wondering when these two are going to start talking logistics.

Well, we don't hear that part, but when Sally excuses herself to go to the ladies' room, it's fairly noticeable that Megan and Emile are the only ones left at the table. Megan slides over and tells her father she's happy he came, but for all his faults, Emile's tuned in to what his daughter's feeling, and asks why, then, she looks so sad. He brings up the "big bean success" (heh) and asks if all this is really Megan's passion; trying to deflect the line of inquiry, Megan asks in French why he's speaking English to her, but he won't be swayed: "Because you have changed. I always thought that you were very single-minded about your dreams, and that that would help you through life. But now I see that you skipped the struggle and went right to the end." Megan defensively tells him she's only at the beginning, but Emile tells her all this wealth that someone dropped into her lap is bad for her soul, like Marx thought. He tells her not to let her love for Don stop her from doing what she wants to do, and you can see these words hitting her right in that huge apartment where she lives, but she begs him in French not to do this tonight, and, finally switching to their native tongue as well, he relents. It's interesting -- Peggy's taking an unconventional path, and her mother's punishing her for it, while Megan's choice -- finding a rich husband -- is certainly more common for a woman back then, but she's also being condemned for it. The common thread is that they're both being told by a parent, who despite a fraught relationship should know them quite well, that the path they've chosen is going to make them unhappy. Whether that will prove to be true, we can only wait and see, but it's worth keeping an eye on...

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