So how did this year's Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series follow up its win? With a shocking turn of events that made me stop and wonder if I was on the right channel.
Even the pun-y title, "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," was sort of un-Mad Men-like. But with an episode loaded with the visit from Sterling Cooper's British owners, Joan's last day, and Sally's aversion to her baby brother, there was a lot going on.
To see what I thought of this week's episode (spoilers ahead!), just
- The bloody British invasion: Eeeeeeeeeew! In the grossest Mad Men scene ever, secretary Lois runs over visiting Guy's foot, splattering blood all over employees and the walls. (Did it really need to spray like that?! It was like an episode of Dexter.) I wanted to make like Peggy and pass out, though Sterling does get points for his "foot in the door" joke.
- The Mad Men laugh factory: The second funniest joke of the episode is Joan's "One minute you're on top of the world, the next minute some secretary's running you over with a lawn mower." Don laughed! A full-on chortle! And early on, John dryly punks Kinsey by telling him he should shave his beard. "That was a joke," he tells an irate Kinsey. I needed the assurance myself — and for the whole episode. I was thrown off; this is usually a giggle-free hour of TV.
- More Joan, please: I was happy to see so much screen time for Joan. Even though I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop with her husband, I like that he's humanized when he doesn't receive his residency. Likewise, that prompts more of Joan without her standard her steely office manager facade as she offers sympathy and comfort to her devastated husband. It's an obvious contrast to Don and Betty's relationship, where communication is not a strong point. Later, she tears up when Sterling Cooper celebrates her contribution, and then once again shows how much the office needs her when the accident strikes.
- Don and Roger's barbershop date: Sure, Don tells Roger he looks like a fool earlier in the season, but unlike Burt Cooper I didn't really sense that they need to patch things up. I still love that Burt sends Don and Roger on a date in an effort to get them to be buds again.
- What's in a name? Sally's inability to gain closure over Grandpa Gene's death is all wrapped up in her new brother. I gotta say, I was a little weirded out myself that Betty chose to name the baby after her father. There's a clear winner in parenting this week — Betty tries to solve Sally's problem with a Barbie doll "from" baby Gene, while Don tenderly shows Sally that the baby's life is a new start. I couldn't help but swoon.
What moments stood out to you in this week's episode? Were you as beside yourself as I was over the foot/lawnmower scene? And what did you make of Conrad Hilton's summoning Don to a meeting?
Photo courtesy of AMC