Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
All the Real Girls
ld this up as an example of such a theme coming together without any of the characters' actions seeming inorganic or feeling like the show is hitting us over the head. Megan tells Don that she was on her way to see him because Betty has arrived, so Sally, the fight gone from her, walks out with Don...

...to Reception, in which Betty is waiting, and they must have some decent soundproofing for her not to have heard anything from within. Betty rubs Sally's chin and says she was worried about her, and Joan, Peggy, and Faye can't help coming out to see if everything's all right, although Joan characteristically quickly recovers herself and tells the others they should go. After Betty mildly complains that they've made her late, she tells Sally to say goodbye to Don, and I expected Sally to give him the silent treatment as punishment for not letting her stay, but somehow the flat "Goodbye" she gives him is orders of magnitude worse. Kid's a pro, I'm telling you. Betty and Sally cross paths with Joyce on their way out, and Don at least takes the time to thank Megan, who I don't want to forget has had something of a rough couple of days herself. When he's gone, Megan definitely seems a little sniffly, and I have to say, Jessica Paré is doing quite a bit with the little they've given her so far. She pulls it together to give Joyce a smile and ask if she's there to see Peggy...

...while inside, Don comes back into his office to find Faye sipping a drink. He asks if she can make him one of those, and he's probably wrestling with sobriety issues so it's not surprising it wouldn't occur to him that that's perhaps the Wrong Thing To Say, but she turns to tell him no, she can't -- in fact, she won't do anything for him, because he shouldn't have put her in that position with Sally. Don blurts that there was no one else to watch her, and it's not like he wasn't in a shitty position but he's not grasping the fact that it still wasn't her responsibility, not to mention the fact, as she puts it, that she's not good with kids, and the fact that Sally flipped out after she tried to talk to her makes it feel "like there was a test and I failed it." She goes on that sure, it occurred to her that she might someday meet his children, but she doesn't have any, and he bows his head, finally getting what she's saying, before coming to her and whispering that he's sorry. Faye clarifies further that she loves kids, but she chose to be where she is, and she doesn't view being childless as a failure. He tells her it doesn't matter, meaning I guess that he's admitting he screwed up here and she doesn't need to be anyone other than who she is, and then pulls her into an embrace as he mutters about what a mess the whole situation has been. She hopefully offers, however, that part of it has been good, and after he sincerely agrees, they kiss briefly. Things aren't completely fixed yet, though, as she tells him she's going to go home because she didn't really sleep, which sounds to me like she was stressing over Don and Sally, and says that they can have dinner on the weekend. He agrees, and she leaves, giving him a somewhat watery smile on the way. When she's gone, he picks up the drink she left and takes a sip, and considering how much I wanted some booze just watching this episode, it's hard to blame him.

Meanwhile, Joyce catches Peggy also drinking and suggests they take it someplace else, but Peggy wonders what new surprise Joyce might be getting ready to spring on her. Joyce takes the opportunity to opine that men always want a woman to be "their girl," which explains why the Abe thing didn't work out. "Maybe it's biology. It's like men are this vegetable soup, and you can't put 'em on a plate or eat 'em off the counter, so women are the pot. They heat 'em up, they hold 'em; they contain 'em." Ah, so tortured metaphors are the surprise du jour. Joyce adds that she wouldn't have helped set Peggy up with Abe if she didn't think he was "very interesting soup," but while Peggy smiles, she still tells Joyce she'll take a rain check. Joyce asks if she's angry or lovesick, and Peggy admits she doesn't know. When Joyce is gone, Peggy takes one more sip and gets ready to leave herself...

...and then outside, after Joyce disappears into an elevator, Joan comes out, followed by Faye. The two of them get on, and then Peggy rushes out and joins them. We close in on a beauty shot of the three of them staring into space, women whose outer beauty is all men see but whose inner beauty is by far the more radiant, and then the doors close. And even though it's not in keeping with the episode, I hope the three of them end up getting wasted and having a pot party just like in 9 To 5. See you next week!

John Ramos is a writer and film producer living in Los Angeles. You can email him at couchbaron@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/couchbaron and https://twitter.com/eastfifthbliss.

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Mad Men

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