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Mad Men Recap: Episode 11, "The Jet Set"

Mad Men Rundown: Episode 11, "The Jet Set"

This week's Mad Men episode has got to be the most bizarre yet. I was looking forward to Don and Pete's trip to L.A. (especially for the fashion and sets!) but did not see Don's little sojourn into an eerie little "family" coming. The mood in L.A. is surreal and exotic, with the figures around Don often moving around him in slow motion, making his departure from the realities and responsibilities of his life all the more creepy.

Back in New York, Roger and Jane get extremely serious and move their relationship to the next level even as Roger stares down what I'm guessing will be a nasty divorce. Also, Peggy gets a mini-makeover, Bob Dylan is the hot concert ticket in town, and someone comes out of the closet in the Sterling-Cooper break room. Ready to chat about this fascinating episode? Just


Don Draper: Do we even call him Don still?! By the end of the episode he is speaking as Dick Whitman. . . but I'm getting ahead of myself. Los Angeles is, as expected, totally awesome in terms of a new swinging set of people and fabulous fashion. There's an interesting scene in the poolside bar when Don thinks he sees Betty but it turns out to be some other blonde. Pete's digging the pool scene but Don cracks the whip and makes him work only to ditch him later for a young (really young), mysterious woman named Joy who hangs out with a Count named Willy. Um, yeah. The Palm Springs abode is a den of temptations and offers Don a chance to indulge in a life without strings attached — even Joy explains she wouldn't expect him to be faithful sexually. The song at the end of the episode has the lyrics, "What'll I do?" and the sight of Don's luggage arriving on a quiet Draper doorstep makes me feel ill about what his choice might be.

Peggy Olson: Aw, Peggy. She's getting more respect at the office in some ways but we finally see how confused she is about other aspects of life, like men. It's interesting to compare the sophisticated way Jane uses her sexuality at such a young age to dazzle Roger and Peggy's innocent question, "I don't know why I pick the wrong boys. What's wrong with me?" I love her budding friendship with Kurt ("I fix you") and love her haircut even more. Of course, Pete notices her new 'do as soon as he returns. I hope Kurt helps Peggy become less insecure and I hope the Mad Men folks give her a cute straight boy to go to concerts with soon.

Some more thoughts:

  • How's this for coming out of the closet in the office during the early '60s? "I make love with the men, not the women." It was an awesome moment followed by homophobic slurs and jokes (once Kurt left the room, of course). Poor Sal's face broke my heart in two.
  • Duck's fighting for his life and drinking again. He's been a truly sad and pathetic character thus far so I'm glad to see him find his mojo in the firm. I find his desire to take over Sterling-Cooper very interesting. With three weeks to go you know things are going to get nuts now that this little plot has been seeded.
  • The staging of the scenes in this show is so magnificent sometimes. I was struck by the final shot of Don from behind, sitting on the couch in Palm Springs with his arm draped along the top of the couch — a replica of the black silhouette we've come to associate with the show.
  • In both Don and Roger's scenes the women's ages come up. They're really young. I have to admit this skeeves me out, big-time.
  • Back in L.A. I noted the scene where Joy asks Don if he's ever had Mexican food and he says no. In this day and age, I can't imagine a world where Americans have never heard of Mexican food! And frankly, that's not a world I want to live in. Mmm. . . burritos.
  • I still love the business-related scenes where the creatives brainstorm around brands like Right Guard. It's so hilarious to hear them position these products at this early stage ("Men will be men," and "Women smell bad, too").
  • The episode opens on a pretty chilling scene: Don and Pete watch a scientist gleefully explain America's new missiles, excitedly talking about limiting second strike capabilities via total annihilation of cities. If I had to sit through that presentation I might have hopped in a car to Palm Springs with a total stranger too, truth be told.
  • So, ew. Joy is Willy's daughter and he is quite involved in her sex life. Creeps-ville!
  • How amazing is it going to be when Joan finds out about Jane and Roger?!

What did you think of last night? Was it weird to not see Betty at all while Don is off in the Garden of Eden with a 21-year-old? And who did he call in the end? Do you think Roger will go through with this marriage to Jane? Or will the divorce get too expensive?

Photos courtesy of AMC

Additional reporting by Kate Emswiler and Kimra McPherson

Join The Conversation
johnsonkm20 johnsonkm20 8 years
Hausfrau - I definitely noticed Max Shefield from the Nanny. Wow, I used to love that show, especially the theme song! Peggy's haircut is great & modern (for the 60's)! I really hope that she gets a boyfriend soon; she really deserves it. Are we ever going to find out exactly what happened to her baby? Adoption, the aunt taking care of it, I really want more info! Really not a big fan of Jane & Roger because I'm still stuck on Joan & Roger. They much more chemistry together & Joan is way more interesting than Jane.
lyss152 lyss152 8 years
has anyone else noticed that whoever Don ends up cheating with, she is never blonde or anything like Betty. The only other blonde he has a relationship with is the one from the car dealership so it will be interesting to see who she is and what role all this plays in his past. I'm convinced it is some psychological thing. Why are his flings so different from Betty yet so like each other? what does this say about his past?
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
So far this was my least favorite episode primarily because of who Don was hanging out with. But what I love about this show is that I'm analyzing it the next day and putting pieces together that I didn't necessarily get while watching it. What makes Don so appealing to everyone he meets? Is it just the looks or are we drawn to the people that seem to be tortured/hiding things? Pete evidently interests no one. hehe
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years
I want to know more about Joan and her fiance. I have a gut feeling that something is not as it seems.
bento-barista bento-barista 8 years
First of all, LOVED the fashion in this episode. It's finally starting to look like the '60s. Joy and her "family" all looked like Ken and Barbie dolls - all tan and good looking. As for Kurt, I really like his character, he's unapologetic about his sexuality, which I didn't expect to see in a show about the '60s, and am interested to see if he plays any more of an influence on Peggy. Also, I can't believe no one's mentioned Paul Kinsey yet. I'm so worried about him and his girlfriend with all the riots going on. I felt a huge sense of foreboding when they got on the bus last episode and the fact that we have no idea how he is doing (he was briefly mentioned in this ep.) worries me more.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
Kiki La Rue: I agree, an untimely death for Roger is definitely coming. My prediction: in a sentimental gesture, he leaves his share of the company to Joan. She takes over Sterling Cooper, and turns all the men into secretaries, a la Down With Love.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
hey hausfrau - just two weeks left til the finale :( It airs Oct. 26.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
Did anyone else recognize Charles Shaunnessy from The Nanny?? I was like Hey where the heck has he been! :) Great episode though! How many more are there? I don't want to back to not having this show! :( its just too good! I also agree that he called the woman from the car dealership. But how does he know she lives out in CA? Maybe Don lived out there for some time and thats why he was so apathetic to being there the entire time?
kiki-la-rue kiki-la-rue 8 years
Loved last night's episode - especially the pop culture subtext of the whole Joy/Willie decadent "family". I think Matt Weiner (who wrote this episode) was inspired by the 1958 movie Bonjour Tristesse, which starred David Niven and Jean Seberg as euro-trashy father and daughter who are way too close and live a very care-free existence where they take great pleasure in casually using and discarding people. very much like Joy and Willie - so for Don, it really was like stepping into a movie role (all in Los Angeles, no less). very clever plot line for our Don to fall into - especially since he is always looking for an out! we'll see what develops for him out there in LaLa Land. the one false note for me was the age of Joy - Don has never seemed interested in women that young (he's had plenty of opportunities!!), but at least they both acknowledged it... as for Roger, Jane and Joan: I think that since season 2 skipped ahead from the end of season 1, something big happened between Joan and Roger that we do not know about yet. but the end result was that Joan dumped Roger and went out and found someone she could have a real relationship with, and she got engaged. Roger realized with hindsight that he should have left his wife for Joan, but now it's too late. So when he started his affair with Jane, he let himself get carried away with his feelings and he is now bound and determined to not let Jane slip away from him. he's not going to make that mistake twice - especially since he seems to believe that he doesn't have much time left in his life, so he wants to live it up. I predict an untimely death for Roger while he is getting hot and heavy with Jane...sorry, I know that sounds grim, but it seems to be inevitable.
Lysa1237 Lysa1237 8 years
I must admit this was not one of my favorite episodes yet it had some really good moments. Don, hearing all about bombs and future developments (change) got freaked out and ran off with "joy" to Palm Springs, really liked that he was seeing Betty everywhere (karma?) ugh kinda not what I expected out of the whole Cali trip. I really didn't like his new friends, Is he going back to S.C soon? hopefully even though I'm looking forward to him returning and (maybe) Duck will be his new boss HAHAHA, sounded like Duck wants to take over S.C now that Roger might be kicked out since Mona's lawyer, (duck's ex wife's lawyer) might take him to the cleaners. Duck drinking again? hmmm Freddie Rumson all over???? YAY peggy got a makeover, it makes her look older but cute :)(pete dykeman Campbell noticed) LoL. Felt bad for Sal, you can see it was eating him inside that he wished he could come out like Kurt did, will he or will he keep it quiet? will he return or throw away that lighter? the suit case thing, creepy specially after Betty said something about dreaming a suitcase (last week's episode).
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
I don't think Jane would bother trying to get to Joan. She got exactly what she was after... and I still think she sucks. And I was positive it was already clear to them that Kurt was gay and just like someone else mentioned I was positive he was with the other guy.
longhornlass04 longhornlass04 8 years
Kurt is really one of my favorite characters, and i'm totally ok with him being gay, but for some reason i saw a budding romance with him and Peggy. Oh well, they can have a gaymance too. She did need that makeover desperately. :)
CocoChic CocoChic 8 years
Oh, I can't believe Duck is trying to get Sterling out of the company!
lylpookie lylpookie 8 years
I think the Roger/Jane thing will go on a bit more just to further the fight between Jane and Joan. Jane's going to breeze in as the fiancee of Roger and raise hell for Joan...maybe even try to convince Roger to fire her. I was also creeped out by the fact that Count Willy was all up in his daughter's business. I cannot imagine my dad walking up to a stranger, not alone a much older man, to hook me up with him. I hope that with Kurt's revelation that he's gay, Sal will at least have someone to talk to about it. I wonder if the comments of the other guys will push him over the edge to confess, or will just seal him up even further. I do have to admit that the bluntness of Ken's "Kurt's a homo" and Pete's reaction did give me a chuckle.
hooligan hooligan 8 years
At the end of the episode, I thought that Don/Dick was calling someone associated with the military - as to come clean about who really died back in Korea! In the scenes from coming attractions, you see Don walking somewhere where there are sailors in the background! When Don jumped into Joy's car, I thought that he was trying to recreate what he had with Midge and her Greenwich Village boho milieu! The doodoo will be hitting the fan in the next three eps! Hope the last episode isn't toooo much of a cliffhanger!
skiwi skiwi 8 years
Oh and I always thought that the 2 new young ad men at Sterling Cooper were a couple :P guess I was totally wrong.
skiwi skiwi 8 years
Anyone recognize Joy from She's the Man? I absolutely loved her in this episode, something about the way she spoke and that smile she had was very intriguing!
CocoChic CocoChic 8 years
Thank God for Peggy's makeover! That was a long time coming. She needs a gay man in her life. Palm Springs was creepy. Joy's dad coming into the room with her and Don in bed was even creepier! :shudder: Speaking of the luggage arriving at the Draper home at the end, how can Don stay in California after seeing that man with the kids? Doesn't that make him feel guilty?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I loved last night! Kurt coming out to everyone, and poor Sals face I didnt know if it was disgust,admiration, or love! "kurt is a homo" remark when Pete got back made me laugh so hard! Who did Don Call as Dick Whitman? I think he called the woman we saw earlier in the season in the flashback where he is selling cars, she came up to him and said "I know youre not Don Draper". I think Don, by hanging out with the seemingly fun and Amoral family group , hit rock bottom, he wanted to be really really free but it wasnt all it was cracked up to be, the sounds of the children playing really hit that home i think.
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