Who Had The Worst Day At Work On Mad Men Last Night?
1:30 pm, April 29th | by Sarah Devlin
Every Monday, we’ll be asking the question “Who had the worst day at work on Mad Men last night?” Last night was the fourth episode of season 6 of the critically acclaimed drama. So, who had the worst day?
Was it Peggy, who lost out on an apartment she didn’t seem all that certain she liked, though she grew to like it quite a bit more when it turned out she couldn’t have it (funny how that happens)? She also had to deal with an apathetic boyfriend, who was using the fact that she was the one buying as an excuse not to care very much about where they lived. He grew even more distant when news broke that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot and he was sent to cover rioting in Harlem for The New York Times. As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, Peggy learned of the assassination almost immediately after being told by her boss that she hadn’t won an award she was nominated for, before the ceremony even began. She handled these various indignities quite well, and ultimately seemed excited to know that her boyfriend had thought at least once about where they might raise their future children. It was a tough day, but not the worst.
Was it Betty, who was rattling around her creepy house dealing with her increasingly capricious children while getting almost no help from Don? She also had plenty to worry about when Henry kept getting called into Manhattan to try to quell the riots alongside the mayor. This led to an epiphany on his part, and he informed her that he would be seeking a state senate seat, which would probably lead to an attorney general appointment, and who knows what else? Betty was genuinely happy for him, until he reminded her that his more visible political career would also require her to be more visible, and we last saw her looking at one of her old dresses in the mirror and possibly regretting her new dark dye job.
Was it Ginsberg, who came home from a difficult day at the office only to find that his father had brought him a prospective bride and wanted him to take her to dinner? The poor girl was under the impression that he knew that this was happening ahead of time, and dealt with his confusion very kindly. Unfortunately, once the got to the diner (Ginsberg ordered soup, because he is perfect) he bombarded her with nervous energy, including an admission that he’s never had sex, and she reassured him (but also kind of broke his heart, you could tell) that she was doing her parents a favor by going out with him and had no expectations for romance. Add this to his father grilling him about whether or not he likes girls at all, and you have a pretty bad day on your hands. Still, it wasn’t the worst.
Was it Megan, who had to deal with two out of three of Don’s moody kids while he drank and took Bobby to the movies? Does it make it any better that she is probably used to it by now?
Or was it Pete, who has been shown to be rather progressive (on racial politics, not sexual), flipping out at the news of Dr. King’s assassination? He tried to use it as an opportunity to reconcile with Trudy, or, in a less cynical reading, he reached out to her because he knew she was feeling the same things he was. Regardless, he was rebuffed and spent another night alone in his apartment eating Chinese food.
Was it Dawn, who had to wrestle her way downtown to work only to learn that the office would be closed for a day of remembrance? Also, in perhaps the first documented instance of Joan doing something awkward, she gave Dawn an extremely weird hug and told her “We’re all so sorry,” a sentiment as nice as it was super weird. Compared to how Joan was treating her in last week’s episode, however, this is a definite improvement.
Nevertheless, this week’s worst day award has to go to Don. His lady love Sylvia took off for a weekend in Washington, D.C., with her husband, and you could see him crumbling at the realization that she would not be available to him for a few days. This discomfort was compounded when he spent the weekend watching news reports of riots in D.C. He had a deeply weird encounter with creepy Ethan from Lost, appearing here as an insurance salesman who believed he could communicate with the spirit of Dr. King. He forgot to pick up his kids and got reamed out by Betty, and then brought them to his apartment only to fully absorb how alienated from them he has become. He took Bobby to the movies and seemed to be looking at him for the first time, leading to a realization he shared with Megan about not really loving his kids and having to fake it, which made him wonder about whether or not his father faked his affection for him. He’s finding, though, that he loves them now, which makes the realization that they can’t connect even more painful. Am I the only person who wondered if this was true, or just something he made up because Megan was begging him to open up? It’s dark either way. See you next week!