Mad Men: And the Emmy, I Mean CLIO Goes to...
Mad Men: And the Emmy, I Mean CLIO Goes to...
Lisa Palmer
Lisa Palmer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The beginning of tonight's Mad Men threw me for a loop.  Flashbacks are regularly used in Mad Men, but I was a bit confused when we were thrown into one with only a handshake as a transitional device.  After twenty minutes of watching the episode, I still didn't know what direction or path I was being led down. One thing I can tip my hat to is the excellent timing of coinciding award shows. Tune in to NBC and get Mad Men winning best drama. Tune in to AMC and get Don Draper winning his CLIO. Either way, Mad Men wins. However, it was only towards the end of the episode did I understand why we were given Don Draper's second origin story which coincidentally was a major glimpse into a milestone moment for Roger Sterling.

"Award or no award, you're still Don Draper."

The next line of this dialogue, of course is another one of Don's attempts to play coy, but all it really did was show us his ultimate uncertainty about his own identity.  He says, "Whatever that means," to which I muttered, "duh." Yes, Don. We're all aware you don't know who you are.  I only wish that the mystery was less appealing to all the women falling at your feet.  Was anyone else confused when he woke up with a different woman than he went to sleep with?  Betty was actually in the right when she chewed him out on the phone and I raise a glass to Dr. Faye who has rejected him twice now.  Keep it up, Faye. And by the way, what was with all the under the table shady business with the hand holding? And that kiss Don laid on Joan certainly raised my eyebrow. Probably rattled Sterling in retrospect too. Joan certainly looked like she enjoyed herself.

"I can work like this. Let's get liberated."

The character of Peggy this year has grown exponentially!  I love the fact that she's the one with the balls when she had to work with the most annoying art director in the world.  So many fun lines of dialogue in the scene where she gets naked to work on the cough drop ad.  While Peggy does get some great lines, it's unfortunate because she never really does get the last laugh.  She can quietly enjoy the fact that she has ownership over the art director's balls, but in the end, Don will most likely take credit for any ad she does write copy for.  It's a man's, man's, man's, man's world out there. And while Peggy can have her witty lines and smugness, will she ever get what she deserves? 

"You couldn't have done it without me."

So we finally figure out how Don started at Sterling Cooper.  Surprise, surprise. Alcohol played a heavy role in his faux hiring.  It is a perfectly fitting start for Don's second life.  With Dick Whitman, he assumed the role of Don Draper assuming he would have a better life.  In his second assumption of Don Draper, he lied to Roger about being hired and managed to succeed in business without really trying.  Well done, Dick. Lest we forget to mention the parallel between Don and Jane's cousin and Don.  Don worked his way into Sterling Cooper in a most dishonest way. Roger wanted nothing to do with him. What's the different between what Don did and what this young kid is doing? The difference is honesty. And sophistication. And smarts. Don hits on two out of three. And they're the right two.

Who's more embarrassing: Pete or Don?

I really don't know who embarrassed himself more in this episode.  Don during his drunken "Life" meeting or Pete when he met with Ken Cosgrove in "his" conference room.  I am well aware both men have large egos that overcompensate for their mutual identity crises, but Christ on a cracker, keep it together, men!  Don, I'm not sure when, but someday soon, a young woman will be knocking on your door in about 9 months with a fun surprise. Does Pete really believe everyone hates him, or does he use that as an excuse to try and show off his power at any given moment? Or lack there of...?

Peggy Equals Roger...?

One of the best parts about a show like this is learning what draws together some unlikely characters. Peggy and Roger were both feeling overshadowed during this episode. Peggy is constantly fighting an uphill battle as the only woman copywriter at SCDP and struggles to earn any credit for the work she does and that Don puts his name on.  Roger, seemingly confident has, as Joan put it, "crossed the border from lubricated to morose."  His insecure self is starting to make an appearance at work, at the bar, during client meetings, and then in his final scene with Don where he needed to make sure he was acknowledged for letting Don into his world that is apparently now all Don's.

Ego is everything in this business and the constant push and pull between the men on the show is bound to come to a head before the end of the season.  Thoughts?

Side note-anyone else catch Jon Hamm as a Gleek at the Emmys? Who could not love him? Follow me on twitter @TVTherapy for more information on Glee, House, True Blood, and of course, Mad Men.

(Photo courtesy of AMC)