Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: A+
All the Real Girls
ly hopped the train to New York because she wanted to see Don, but she didn't have enough money, so she tried to hide from the conductor between carriages until the woman here found her. Don has Megan take Sally to his office so he can deal with the woman's disapproval in front of fewer people; he offers to pay her for the ticket and her time, but she only says that someone should be keeping track of Sally, adding that the types on that train are a most unsavory lot. I wonder if one of them is the guy that runs into Roger and Joan later. Don tells the woman he didn't know, garnering this response: "Men never know what's going on." For someone who wandered into the episode for two minutes, she's certainly got a strong grasp of its theme. Abe, who's still sitting out there waiting for Peggy, seems amused, as if he's not a prime example of what she's talking about, and then the woman and Don exit the scene...

...and then we cut to Don returning to his office, with Miss Blankenship smiling, "She looks so chubby in the pictures!" Heh, nice nod to Kiernan Shipka's newfound beanpole-ness. Don orders her to get Betty on the phone immediately, and then notices that the participants in the meeting are looking at him. They really need some curtains for that damn conference room, and you'll know if you've seen the episode already that this won't be the last demonstration of that need either. Miss Blankenship gets to dialing...

...and inside, Don asks Sally what she was thinking. Sally, calmly enough, tells him she wanted to see him without having to wait two weekends, but he's unimpressed, and then Miss Blankenship buzzes that Betty is on the line. When Don tells her what happened, she's surprised but not overly so, and explains that Dr. Keener thought it would be good for Sally to walk from camp to her appointment by herself. Hmm, so I guess Sally wasn't overly concerned about letting down her therapist. But at least they won't have to figure out what to talk about next session. Don sarcastically puts down the psychiatric institution, but Betty counters that Sally needs to learn responsibility, and when Don half-snarls that Betty's the one that needs that lesson, Betty doesn't even bother bringing up the numerous ways he's failed on that front this season. Instead, she informs Don that he can keep Sally until she meets Henry in the city the next evening, and hangs up. I know people hate her, but I have to admire the way she just refuses to take even one iota of shit from Don Draper these days. It's especially refreshing in this episode, where women are getting dump trucks full of it from men. Thwarted, Don tells Sally not to touch anything and then warns Miss Blankenship not to let Sally leave the room before rejoining the meeting. As last words you ever say to a person go, they could be worse but overall leave something to be desired.

Peggy returns to Reception, pulls Abe out to the elevator area so as not to be overheard, and although she doesn't explain to us exactly what he wrote, you can infer that it portrayed Fillmore in a bad light and also mentioned their ad agency, and as Peggy points out, everyone knows that SCDP is the agency of record for Fillmore, and especially since he's throwing around comparisons to war criminals, she could lose her job if he publishes the story. It's not clear to me if he made specific allusions to her in the story, or if she thinks she'll get canned because people know of her connection to Abe, or both, but he offers that maybe she's better than the industry in which she works, albeit in the abrasive way he claimed he was trying to avoid. In response, she rips up the story and says she's not a political person, but he tells her she's political whether she likes it or not, and he certainly has a point there, given her own description of the hardships she's faced to get where she is today. However, he loses ground when he goes on that she should be flattered, not insulted, and that she inspired him. "You look so earnest." And cute! Don't forget cute! Oy. Peggy is not impressed with his attempts to explain, and tells him she needs his word that he'll destroy the story, and, defeated, he agrees. "I won't bother you again." I'm thinking that this is why some couples agree not to talk about politics. Abe looks severely bummed as Peggy stomps away, and whatever else you can say about him, it's clear he really likes her...

...and I think she likes him too, still, so I'm not surprised that when she sees Miss Blankenship apparently sleeping in her chair, she hisses at her to wake up. However, when she marches over to her, she gets more than she bargained for when she taps her arm and she falls forward like a rag doll. Peggy gasps in horror, and after unsuccessfully trying to get Caroline off the phone, she rushes into Don's office, but only finds Sally there. Hilariously, she sternly tells Sally not to come out of Don's office, to which Sally irritatedly replies, "I know!" Heh.

The next thing we know, Megan is interrupting the meeting again, and when she leads Don over to his office, we see Joan, Peggy, and Caroline all standing in tears over Miss Blankenship's corpse. Don takes a moment to express some confused sympathy, and then after Peggy asks if they should call an ambulance, Joan corrects her that it should be the coroner, and then Don wonders what they're going to do about the people in the conference room. Joan tells him she'll take care of the Blankenship situation, but when Don tells her Sally's in his office, it's the last Jenga move, especially given that that eliminates Don's office as a makeshift morgue, and she breathes, "Why?" Megan pipes up that Sally is "visiting," and this reflexive covering for Don will serve her well if she's going to replace Miss Blankenship for any length of time. Joan, recovering herself, tells Megan to get a man and a blanket -- "there's an afghan on Mr. Crane's couch" -- and when she leaves to carry out those orders, Don bemusedly offers that Miss Blankenship seemed fine just a bit earlier. Having no answer to that, Joan can only shake her head, so Don heads back into the meeting... which Faye sums up their current position, that being that by holding onto Fillmore's reputation as a place for professionals, they can still attract men of all types. "Something like, 'Fillmore Auto Parts: For The Mechanic In Every Man.'" Although that still sounds like two strategies to me, they're at least married smoothly now, not that that's Ken's point when he rather sassily adds that "although it seems immaterial to you, the Fillmore brothers like it." Normally, I'd expect a smackdown both now and later for that, but Don is way too distracted by the awesomely hilarious stuff that's going on outside, as Megan has enlisted Pete's help, and he and Joan cover Miss Blankenship up with the afghan and then awkwardly manhandle her out of there while still in her chair, and the whole thing is just edited so deftly, with a terrific WTF reaction shot from Ken and then a total Mona Lisa smile from Faye when they see what's going on, and then after the group is out of view, Harry appears and whines, "My mother made that!" HA! This was certainly the funniest scene about an old lady's death you'll see this season, although if someone wanted to cut together a YouTube version with a vaudeville score, I can personally guarantee about fifty hits.

Don gets the Fillmore brothers to sign while behind them, the joke's not over, as Megan, now wearing prim white gloves, returns to the scene and gingerly carries Miss Blankenship's leather desk protector out of there, and then Don asks Ken to show the guys out, and Ken is certainly on the qui vive enough to use the door that doesn't go in Miss Blankenship's general direction. Faye follows Don out the other way, and when they're out of earshot, Faye expresses her disbelief, as she was just talking to Miss Blankenship. After Don takes a moment to close his eyes and massage his forehead in quite a Pryce-like manner, he asks Faye if she could do him a big favor: Take his keys from his bag, bring

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