A Mad Woman's Review of Episode 2 of the Final Season of Mad Men

Don't read on if you haven't watched this week's episode of Mad Men

Last night was Valentines Day on Mad Men, and February 14th had plenty of love, just as long as you knew where to look, which unfortunately Peggy did not but more on that later.

The episode began with Don Draper in bed, his alarm clock goes off at 7:30 and he sleeps in until past noon.  The next scene is him tidying up his apartment, he's dressed and looks like he's ready to go out but after a knock at the door we learn that he was preparing for what we can assume is his regular meeting with Dawn, his SC&P secretary.  She gives him some facts about what's going on at the firm, and as a sweet gesture brought him Sweet'n Low and Coffee-mate.  Don tries to get her to stay multiple times before paying her, to which she, always the professional, tries to deny but Don insists.  It's a sad scene that gives us insight into just how lost Don Draper is.  The highlight of his entire day, the reason why he got out of bed, was to meet with his secretary who can provide breadcrumbs into the ad agency which once had his name on the door.  It's a pathetic attempt to be part of the world where he was seen as a hero but being on a forced leave with no given return date, what is he supposed to do?

The Flower Dabacal: Stan, Ginsburg and Peggy are seen in the elevator, where Peggy is being her bossy self, (was it me or did Peggy just get under your skin the entire episode starting with this scene??) is trying to get Stan to work all night.  Eventually it is revealed to Peggy that it's Valentine's Day and her face falls, but after walking into work Peggy finds a bouquet on Shirley's desk to which she believes are hers and takes to her office. When Shirley enters Peggy's office and sees her roses on her bosses desk, she tries in vain to set Peggy straight, but Peggy is so in her own head that she cuts Shirley off while convincing herself that the flowers are from Ted.  After calling his office and leaving a convoluted message with Ted's secretary which is supposed to read as "back off I don't want to be with you anymore" instead just has Ted worrying that they've lost a client.  Then after laying on her couch most of the day Peggy re-gifts the ornate bouquet to an elated Shirley, who had been advised by Dawn to let it go.  This seems like all is right with the world until Peggy then tries to throw the flowers away forcing Shirley to explain the true origin of the roses.  An embarrassed Peggy then screams at Shirley telling her that she had plenty of time to rectify Peggy's error and that it would have been a great gift for her to not say anything.  This is Peggy at her worst; wrong and loud about being wrong. And then just plain ugly to someone that moments before she was on her pulpit about how she should have bought Shirley flowers "out of respect." 

A Funeral: Yay, we got to see Sally Draper!  And she is gorgeous and actually kind.  Whilst the rest of her boarding school 'friends' are using the funeral of their suite mates mother to go shopping in the city, Sally seems to be truly upset about the loss and once in the city she decides to go see her Dad. (Was it me or was the whole lost purse scenario just a way for her to get away from her frenemies?) Only thing is, she shows up at the firm that her dad was ousted from.  After a brief interaction with Don's replacement, the ever more despicable Lou Avery, and a fruitless attempt to speak with Joan she heads to Don's penthouse where she waits for him to arrive.  After Don greets Sally there's a phone call from a worried Dawn who explains that Sally stopped by the office and spoke to Lou but she's not sure what Sally knows and that he should be on the lookout because Sally may be on her way over.  Don insists on driving Sally back to school where the best moment of the episode takes place.  After some heated and horrible comments flung at each other (Don even stoops as low as to compare Sally to Betty-their mutual enemy), Sally cuts through to her Dad by saying, "Do you know how hard it was for me to go to your apartment?"  Sally then explains how she's terrified of running into 'that woman' being trapped on the elevator with her.  Being forced to smell her hairspray and not throw up (great acting on Kiernan Shipka's part, I mean truly bravo!) this resonates with Don, who pulls into a diner and him and his daughter have a heart to heart where he confides in Sally the real reason he hasn't told anyone about his suspension; because he's ashamed.  Understanding that this a real moment with her father, Sally asks him if he stills loves Megan?  And he says "of course he does" to which Sally retorts, "Why don't you just tell her you don't want to move to California?"
Yes why indeed?  Once they arrive at Sally's school, Sally tells Don, "Happy Valentines Day, I love you."  Which totally discombobulates Don and you can see it on his face, as he watches his little girl walk through the door. 

Joan Has Finally Moved on Up: The two doors to her office are being constantly being utilized throughout this episode with whiny SC&P employees wanting their secretaries moved around.  (Yes you guessed it, Peggy wants Shirley moved because of her own error, Lou wants Dawn moved because Sally, or as he puts it something that is taking up too much of his time, came to the office. After Joan moved Dawn to reception, Bert Cooper "requests" that Joan rethink her rearrangement because people can see Dawn from the elevator (jeezzz).  So Joan is quite fed up by the time Cutler shows up to talk Avon and what has been obvious to us for at least one season is made apparent to him; Joan has two jobs.  He explains there's an office for an "account man" upstairs if she wants it.  So finally Joan is where she should be, but of course, the always selfish Roger tries to crap on her parade when he sees Joan moving her things.  Because it's always the Roger show and he's still bent out of shape about losing to Cutler earlier.

Things of Note:
-Hilarious when the CA and NY offices are having a conference call, "WE CAN HEAR YOU."  yells an angry Pete, while Ted holds up a note that says, "Stay out of it." That was classic.

-There he is, there's the Pete we're used to seeing, a whiny Pete Campbell.  I loved it when Roger hung up on him mid-rant and Pete's secretary was the one that pointed out that the call had been dropped.

-Ted saying that they still didn't mention which one of Peggy's clients they had lost.  

-Shirley and Dawn's inside joke about how everyone mixes them up

-Dawn trying to prepare her airhead replacement before just saying that she'll take all of Mr. Draper's calls at reception.


-Don taking a lunch to, if nothing else, network and hear what's being said about him around town.  Smart but should he just lock in a new job?  Should he at least entertain the idea of moving to California with his wife? 

-How weird was that elevator scene with Sterling and Cutler, was that an open threat?  And do you think that Roger and Don will open up their own firm, again?  Roger is so obviously misses Don, we see it throughout this episode as he tries to joke with Lou, who isn't having it, down to the disagreement with Cutler during the conference call.  And it seems he may be the only one that does.  Cutler referred to Don as, "Don who?  You mean our collective ex-wife who still receives alimony?"  Ouch.