Mad Men recap: Nurse murders! Fever dreams! Dumped husbands! Sally on barbiturates!

Photography courtesy of Michael Yarish/AMC

After last week’s Jon Hamm-directed episode in which we had a health scare for Betty, a close call with the Stones for Harry and Don (one guess at which of those two we think has got the moves like Jagger), and the debut of a new copy writer who we’re sure would be fun at any Passover dinner, we’re ready to dig in to what Mad Men is best at: revealing its characters’ flaws.

Read up on the most disturbing episode ever »


Photography courtesy of Michael Yarish/AMC
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When “freelance copywriter” Andrea greets Don in the elevator by calling him: “my bad penny.” What she’s really saying is…
“We had sex.” (Lonely Island style?) It’s clear that this was one of Don’s more flagrant affairs. And while we’re not sure if any of Don’s fever dream is to be believed, the mention that they had sex on Lincoln Center’s loading dock means we’ll definitely be picturing that rendezvous at the next New York Fashion Week held there.

When Ginsberg calls his co-workers sickos, what he’s really saying is…
“I am brash and nuts, but I am also the only guy in this office that treats women with a modicum of respect.” Will Ginsberg be our moral compass this season? Or is he telling off his colleagues because he can’t tell off dear old dad?

When Sally says “Grandma Pauline wears so much perfume. Every time she comes near me I want to barf.” What she really makes us wonder is…
What perfume do you think Pauline Francis wears? She’d probably chalk up French perfume, like Guerlain’s Shalimar, to something perverse, so we’d go for something local. White Shoulders, perhaps?

Photography courtesy of Michael Yarish/AMC
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When Don says “It’s footwear, don’t make that mistake.” What he’s really saying is…
Fashion people are uppity, make sure you use the right lingo. We’re sure John Fairchild would approve of Don’s commitment.

When Mrs. Holloway takes her leave of Joan and Dr. Greg and says: “I’ve got everything, and so do you, Greg.” What she’s really saying is…
“You’ve got a perfect family here, Greg, and it’s my job as mother-in-law to remind you how lucky you are.” With a side of: “It’s also my job to make my presence as annoyingly clear as possible.”

When Megan refers to Don’s past indiscretions as: “That kind of careless appetite.” What she’s really saying is…
“I know you have a wandering eye, so I’ll be keeping both of mine on you.”

When Michael Ginsberg describes the Cinderella ad to the Butler clients, what we’re thinking is…
This guy should direct movies. That Cinderella story sounds way better than anything else that came out in 1966. (Seriously, the top-grossing movie that year was Hawaii, and the second was The Bible: In The Beginning, ooof.)

Photography courtesy of Michael Yarish/AMC
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When Roger scolds Peggy with: “Are you drunk? Get your feet off that desk.” We can’t help but think…
This week is just as fun between these two even though Roger is the sober one and Peggy is the drunk one. When we get “Hey Trotsky, you’re in advertising” we’re grateful Roger’s got Peggy on the campaign because hopefully that means more of these verbal pas de deux between these two.

When Don lets in Andrea, all that we’re thinking is…
This has to be a dream. Or are we watching Fatal Attraction: Alex’s Mom Andrea? Sally, hide your bunny.

When Sally says to Grandma Pauline: “I know you don’t think so, but I’m a good person.” All we can think is…
Why not ask her to buy you Mystery Date so we can watch you play?

When Mrs. Holloway says over dinner with the in-laws: “You know, Joanie plays the accordion.”  What she’s really saying is…
“Awkward.”

When Mrs. Holloway says: “I’ll go put this away” later in the episode. What she’s really saying is…
“Awkward. Again.”

Photography courtesy of Michael Yarish/AMC
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When Peggy is walking down the SCDP corridor late at night, what we’re thinking is…
We half-expected to find Michael Ginsberg on the other side of the door, not offering Peggy a shoe, but maybe smelling Don’s things and trying to root out his “genius” essence.

When Peggy says to Dawn about how she became a copywriter: “I didn’t even ask for it…I was discovered.” What she’s really saying is…
“I like to tell other women my story about how I was so talented that it could not be ignored.” Yawn, Peggy. And then all this business about acting like a man? What is she asking Dawn to reassure her about?

When Sally comes downstairs because she’s scared of the lunatic on the loose, what we’re really thinking is…
Are those Betty’s Bugles Pauline is eating? And, it’s too bad Sally’s sleepset is not in Janie Bryant’s Maidenform collection. We’d just as happily take Joan’s long black negligee and peignoir or Peggy’s embroidered-collar pajamas. Side note: we never want to go camping with Michael Ginsberg and Grandma Pauline, they’re both too good at scary stories.

When Grandma Pauline asks Sally before giving her a barbiturate: “You know how to take a pill?” What we’re really thinking is…
What’s worse: a step-grandma who tells her granddaughter about rape and murder and then gives her a pill to help her sleep or a mother that makes her kid feel bad about her sexuality and moves so her daughter can’t hang out with the kid who once crushed on mom? Jury out.

When Don strangles Andrea, what we’re thinking is…
This has to be a dream, so we’re free to covet her tangerine pumps, even after she’s been pushed under the bed like Cora Amurao.

When we see little Sally asleep under the couch, we can’t help but wonder…
We know that she’d be too young to be cast in the leading role, but how can we somehow fit her into The Valley of the Dolls?

When Don says to Megan Nightingale: “You don’t have to worry about me.” What he’s really saying is…
This fever was like a really bad case of STDs in my brain that has warned me off casual sex forever.

When Joan says to Dr. Greg: “I’m glad the army makes you feel like a man, because I am sick of trying to do it.” Followed by: “You’re not a good man. You never were. Even before we were married and you know what I’m talking about.” What she is really saying…
“I’ve had enough of bolstering you up, you failed-surgeon rapist jerk.” Leaving us all to cry: “Roger’s time has come!”

Mad Men airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. See you next week, when we are considerably less terrified, but even more intrigued (Natch).