Mad Men

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Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: C+
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Do You Know How "Taps" Sounds on a Ukulele?

...and then a friendly and energetic young girl named "Karen Erickson" (played by the always-enjoyable Carla Gallo from Undeclared and Carnivale, just to name a couple) comes in to see Peggy, and after mentioning that she works at a travel agency, tells her, "Everyone on the first floor loved your humorous ad!" Heh. I hope Peggy buys Joan some flowers or a nice gift certificate. The girl tells Peggy she thinks they could be friends, and Peggy, hilariously stiffly, tries to sell the idea that she's fun. The girl mentions that her last roommate was always shutting her door, while she feels there's only one reason to do that, and she babbles about getting along with men better than women and not liking sailors and blah while Peggy looks like someone who's decided to try to conquer her fear of roller coasters and is realizing she's probably going to vomit along the way. But after some stumbling over the fact that Peggy works longer hours than the girl, it looks like they might actually become "roomies." I bet they'll be getting stoned together, too. Awesome.

Gene has failed to pick Sally and Bobby up, and it's apparently been quite a while, as Betty arrives on the scene. Sally asks what happened, and Betty reasonably tells her it probably slipped his mind, because she doesn't know about the nonexistent oranges.

Joan covers her face with a rag and sprays the poor ants dead. They may be the first casualties of jai alai, but I doubt they'll be the last.

Sal is showing the fruits of his labor to the SC boys and the Patio client, complete with an Ann-Margret look-alike, a recreation of that silly running around, and insipid lyrics about saying goodbye to sugar -- and the clients hate it. Sal looks chagrined, but Don firmly points out that this is exactly what they asked for. To their credit, the clients don't deny that, but they still feel that something's not quite right about it. Even at this point, if you pay her any attention you can see Peggy smiling to herself, and I'm glad she's at least having some fun with her Cassandra status. Ken offers to send a dupe back to the office with the clients, but they firmly reiterate that it's not what they're looking for. The meeting breaks up, not without Peggy throwing a rather triumphant side-eye Don's way, and then Harry frustratedly tells Don and Roger that even though the ingredients are there, the Patio guys are correct - something's not right, and what could it be? Roger: "It's not Ann-Margret!" And while I don't personally view that as a detriment, I'm still forced to conclude that Roger earned his paycheck this week just with that one line. Also, if you're keeping score, Pete is waaaaaay ahead of Ken this week.

Sally's sitting on her stoop, playing with a doll, when the Oh Shit moment we've been waiting for arrives and a police car pulls up. As if we didn't already know what was coming, as Sally goes to get Betty, the officer doffs his cap as he gets out of the car. He doesn't drag it out, and neither will I: Gene is dead. Sally wails as Betty leans against the column for support, but she recovers quickly, so he tells her that he collapsed in line at the A&P. He does not add, "While buying peaches for a girl who will now feel guilty about that for the rest of her life," but he might as well have. Betty stammers incoherently, but the officer is forced to tell her that they need instructions with respect to Gene's body. Betty acknowledges that absently before heading back inside and shutting the door, leaving a distraught Sally to walk up shakily and rest her head against it. Oh, this poor child, seriously. But at least she has parents who will talk her through this difficult time!

Speaking of whom, Don's in his office when Sal drops by, saying he thought he'd "bring [him]self to the woodshed." Heh. Don deadpans that it must be horrible to have a client insist on something and then change his mind once he sees the finished product. "I hope it never happens to me." Sal's not comforted by Don's self-deprecation, but just as he takes a seat, Don's secretary opens the door and informs him he's got an urgent call from Betty. Don doesn't look like he's anticipating it, and when he hears the news he looks severely bummed and tells Betty he's very sorry. Once he's off, he tells Sal, who's picked up at least a general idea of what's going on, that he has to go, but he shouldn't ruin the only good thing to come out of the Patio debacle. "You are now a commercial director." Sal giddily asks how he knows Don isn't just saying that to spare his feelings, and Don replies that he'll know when he hires him again. He gives Sal a friendly clap on the arm, and Sal looks like he might burst with joy. I think Kitty's still going to go untended, though.

Peggy and Anita walk Katherine into the living room, having her cover her eyes. Given the news Peggy's about to break, they should have taped up her ears as well. When they let Katherine look, she's delighted to see a new TV, which she pronounces "beauty-full." Heh. Anita, who's totally become BFFs with Peggy, who apparently paid for the TV, prompts Katherine to thank her, but the TV is obviously the cushion to the blow that's coming, as Peggy informs Katherine about her plan to move to Manhattan. Katherine takes it even worse than the daughters expected, snitting that family is cheap these days, and they should take the obvious bribe of the TV back, because it'll just remind her of how stupid Peggy thinks she is. Anita defends Peggy, prompting Katherine to up the guilt quotient by telling "both of yous" that someday they'll feel the broken heart she's carrying. (Hello, resistance to change and saying goodbye.) After a pause to smoke, she tells Peggy, "You'll get raped. You know that." Amazingly, Peggy isn't rendered speechless here, but the conversation doesn't improve, so the daughters leave the mother to sulk. Anita tries to say it didn't go that badly, which at first seems like spin, but indeed, as Peggy says goodnight, you can hear that Katherine has turned the TV on. Righteous anger doesn't stand a chance against that thing. If it did, I would have spent a lot more of my life outdoors. The program continues...

...without missing a beat into the next scene, which starts with Sally once again hiding under the dining room table. William and Judy have made it up already, and William toasts to "Eugene Hofstadt Number Two." Don doesn't get the reference, so Betty, who looks like hell, explains that there was another Eugene Hofstadt at his bank, hence the addition to his name. I think I would have preferred "The Second Eugene Hofstadt," for reasons both immature and obvious. Judy offers that he's with Ruth now, and Betty replies that she hopes so; she remembers him once asking what happens when he gets to heaven and has two wives. William makes a crack about Gloria that gets everyone to laugh momentarily, but that's all Sally needs to hear, and after Betty bites into an overripe peach that was apparently in Gene's car (not sure how that works with the timeline, but whatever), Sally comes in and berates them for laughing and for apparently being unaware that Gene is gone forever. William and Don at least try to mollify her somewhat, but Betty, without even looking at her, tells her she's being hysterical and sends her off to watch TV. Sally looks to her father for an alternative opinion, and Don looks conflicted, but defers to his wife (...again), and as Betty looks distraught, Sally leaves...

...and heads into the TV room (and she's still in her damn ballet outfit, heartbreakingly enough). She settles down to watch a news report about a Buddhist monk fatally setting fire to himself, and you'd think Buddhism might be a source of comfort at a time like this but apparently you'd be wrong. We cut to a shot of her lying on the floor in the dark as the adults carry on in the kitchen...

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