Mad Men

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Where Have You Gone, Dick Whitman?

Oh, man. This show. Love! Let's get right to it.

Previously: Don made out with Rachel, but she dropped him when she found out he's married; Don's brother Adam (last name Whitman, which just might be significant) showed up, and Don paid him five grand to go away. Lots of other stuff happened, too, but I'll recap it all eventually. Oh, and I'm not explaining who all these people are here -- I'll do it when I go back and do the first episodes, but in the meantime, that's what the AMC site is for.

We open on some quick stylish shots of the Draper kitchen; among them is a look at two perfectly singed pieces of toast popping out of the old-school toaster and someone dumping a can of frozen orange juice into a glass pitcher. I won't go on and on about how enjoyably stylized and period-accurate the show is, especially when The New York Times just ran a big piece on that very subject, but it hasn't gotten by me, you can be sure. Turns out Don is making breakfast in bed for Betty, and he grabs a section of the paper on his way, but as he starts up the stairs with the tray, he unwittingly steps on a toy that's been left out, and everything goes flying and he lands on his back at the foot of the stairs. We then seamlessly see an older man in a cardigan vest admonish him: "Dick Whitman, you watch where you're going!" Also in the shot are two older-school-dressed and miserable-looking women, who are watching him, and two female attendants, who are not. The camera moves closer to Don as his eyes unfocus into the memory, and then, after a cut to the man asking him if he's going to cry or get up, we see the young Dick, dressed in period-appropriate shorts and suspenders and lying in Don's place, tell his "Uncle Mack" that he's getting up. The young Dick has an extremely unfortunate bowlhead haircut, which could go a long way to explain why Don is so desperate to forget this chapter of his life. Uncle Mack asks Dick what he's afraid of, and Dick tells him there was a lot of screaming. Mack: "Always is." That comment is clarified when the party moves over to a beatifically smiling woman who's holding a newborn in her arms; she tells Dick he has a new brother. Dick denies that he's his brother, but Mack says they have the same father (...interesting -- where is he?), and we learn that, of course, this is the young Adam, named "after the First Man." Dick regards his new brother balefully; we then cut to Don, still lying on the floor with his head raised, watching the scene, and then Don and young Dick share a long, inscrutable look before Dick turns back to the tableau in front of him. You see, kids, if you don't put away your toys, you force your parents to relive haunting, painful memories from their childhoods. I hope you can live with yourselves. Anyway, Don's reverie is broken by the appearance of his family at the top of the stairs. Sally calls to him, and then Betty hurries down and asks if he's okay. Don: "Happy Mother's Day." I hope that means you're at least going to clean that mess up, Don, but if you ad men were good at that, you wouldn't need Joan around the office.

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Mad Men

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