Mad Men
At The Codfish Ball

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

...while Don is leading an elderly gentleman to his apartment, and it's not hard to guess that this is Megan's father, given that he's being played by Ronald Guttman, who's in the Hey! It's That Guy foreign-accent division. Professor (yeah, we'll get to that) Calvet wonders why Don didn't let the doorman take the luggage, and this is a pretty deft way immediately to let us in on the idea that he's hyper-critical of Don, because of all things, right? Don, refusing to be baited, notes from the boxes in his hands that Professor Calvet brought work with him, and he admits he's taking the opportunity of coming to New York to try to get something published again. Don tries to tell him that Megan is excited about that, but Professor Calvet informs him that Megan only pretends to find the same things interesting as he does, "because she loves me." Oh, um...is that how it's supposed to work? Don opens up to reveal Megan and her mother, who is, as I all-cappedly noted in the recaplet, is played by JULIA ORMOND, and it's not like the casting on this show hasn't always been great, but I feel like this season they're really hitting their stride with actors for whom gay men go completely batshit. (If you ever have the chance to meet him in person, ask Joe R to flow-chart Ms. Ormond's career trajectory with color commentary.) Mrs. Calvet (actually we already know her given name is "Marie"), sitting in a chair sipping a drink, is managing to make a Jackie-esque ensemble simultaneously stylish and sexy, while Megan asks why Don is carrying the bags, wondering if the doorman is drunk again. Heh. In French, Marie asks her husband why he didn't help Don, and he answers in the same tongue that she should mind her own business. "Have a drink. Become nice again." The camera makes a point of showing Don's eyes go wide at that one, so even on first viewing I suspected he was picking up the language, although I daresay he hadn't heard that exact combination of words up to this point. Megan asks them to speak English, and the first words in that language that come out of Professor Calvet's mouth proclaim the apartment "exquisitely decadent," and I know we're not supposed to like this guy but you'll forgive me for backing his play here. Hilariously, Marie intones that "Emile's" "eyes and his politics are having a fight," and then Megan goes to pour her dad a drink while Marie accepts a light from Don so sexily that it's hardly surprising when he pulls out a cigarette as well. Marie is also flattered that Don apparently remembered she likes cognac, but Emile is right there to verbally hose them off: "I see she's convinced you that she's particular. I'm the proof she is not." You do have to admire when someone's committed enough to an insult to include himself as collateral damage. That's some good spite, there. Undaunted, Marie invites Don to sit and tell them about his "adventures" that day, but Megan interrupts with the news that Sally is on for Don...

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