Let me preface this by saying that this week’s recap is brought to you under Conditions of Extreme Hardship (or maybe that should be Condiciones de Extrema Dureza), because I conformed to the worst stereotypes and contracted some kind of horrible affliction in Mexico that continued to trouble me through last night, when I finally had the opportunity to watch this week’s episode. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, putting aside my own well-being so that you might get this recap. Like you care or anything.)
Poor Joan. All she wants to do is have a normal life with a normal guy and a normal baby and everything else a 1964 woman might want and instead she gets stuck with a history of non-medically-approved abortions and a chain-smoking gyno and a husband whose finest moment was getting hit over the back of the head with a vase. And mean old Lane Pryce won’t even give her a couple of days off in January! Karma’s going to come get you, you bloody twat!
Now we are interrupted by a scene from “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Oh no, wait, that’s Don driving down the coast in his convertible. It’s so jarring when the show leaves Manhattan. Brooklyn’s like a strange and distant land to these people. OK, we’re going back to see the Real Don Draper’s Wife. She now comes equipped with a Hottie Niece who goes to Cal and has grass. That’s ridiculous! Blonde chicks never buy their own drugs! Real Don Draper’s Wife, DD, and Hottie Steph go to some bar. In the background, people are dancing like it’s Arnold’s from “Happy Days.” Steph’s a pistol! Sure, she’s all college-lefty now but you fast forward to today and you know she’s living in a retrirement community in Arizona and bitching about illegal immigrants. Later, natch, DD puts the moves on when he gives her a ride home. He was right, she did get picked up by some creep! She uses the old Your-Fake-Identity’s-Wife-Has-Cancer-And-We-Haven’t-Told-Her-Yet dodge. Boy, if I had a nickel. Hey, Don, maybe not the best time to light up a smoke!
Following the dawn light wash across the set like my high school production of Death of a Salesman, we see that DD has chosen to paint the interior of RDDW’s house aquamarine whilst wearing boxers and blowing mad clouds with her. Too bad Dark Side of the Moon hasn’t been invented yet! That might confuse and frighten them, since the most complicated musical thing they’ve ever heard is “White Christmas.” Anyway, Sis comes around and DD gets all up in her grill and says she’s gotta tell RDDW about the cancer or he will and Sis is all “The fuck I will, the fuck business is it of yours motherfucker” and DD says “I make it my business bitch” and Sis says something else I forget and DD chickens out anyway.
Back to NYC, WHEW. I don’t like the California scenes. Joan is GOING OFF on Lane. Here comes the karma! There’s been a flower mixup and Lane’s wife has gotten the card that says “Joan, you are the finely chopped dates in my sticky toffee pudding” or something like that. Anyway, so much for Lane’s marriage! Just as well, she was a bitch.
All this shit was just prelude, though, to what might be the greatest sequence of scenes in Mad Men history: Don and Lane’s Most Excellent Bro-Date!!!!! The Boyzzzz get started by splitting a fine-ass bottle o’ whiskey, then head out to catch Godzilla, taking along the rest of the bottle in a Mega-Flask. I was heartened to see that, even in 1964, guys observed the one-chair-between-them bro-distance. They’re all shitfaced and talking shit in the theater like they at the Metreon or something. If Don had a laser pointer it’d be perfect. Anyway, then on to some dinner where Lane does this:
TIME FOR SOME HOOKERS. First, let’s stop and see some standup comedy! “Hey, you ever notice how rigid and confining our gender roles are? What’s up with that?” No, instead he makes gay jokes at DD and Lane! Boy are you way off, Mr. Proto-Comedian! See, here come the hookers now! Anyway, they all head back to DD’s bachelor pad and all I can say is I hope Hooker #2 isn’t a slapper too or Lane’s in for a big surprise. And only $25? That's a bargain, even by 1964 standards. OK, that's enough.