This episode starts off with Betty’s mother in law tripping and hurting her ankle and Sally and Bobby coming to stay with Don and Megan. It also happens that Megan’s parents are also visiting, apparently to toast Don at an award ceremony given by the cancer society. We soon discover that Emile who is a socialist professor and Marie, played by the ravishing Julia Ormond, are stuck in a toxic marriage and that maman is a promiscuous, chain smoking alcoholic. If that sounds familiar…it should.
At dinner on the first night of their arrival, Marie openly flirts with Don and then, very drunk, excuses herself before passing out in the bedroom. In a pose similar to the opening of Mad Men we see a lit cigarette dangling from her hand. Is Marie a female version of Don? Perhaps we are given a premonition that maybe Megan’s attraction to Don wasn’t just a coincidence after all.
At work Megan comes up with an good advertising idea for Heinz, based on timeless concept of moms feeding dinner to their kids. Don likes it and gets the team to work on the creative. In the meantime distraught Peggy who thinks her boyfriend is about to break up with her, comes to Joan for advice. Joan tells her that men take women out for dinner to propose and to be ready.. Alas Abe, the boyfriend proposes, but not marriage- living together. It wasn’t the proposal she wanted, but Peggy accepts anyways because she doesn’t want to end up alone. Peggy’s mother isn’t very happy with the news, she tells Peggy that she is selling herself short and that Abe will use her for practice before moving on to someone else.
In the meantime, Megan saves the Heinz account by tipping off Don at dinner that the client is thinking of firing the agency. The newlyweds show an impressive improvisation to save the day and ultimately the account. This makes Megan a hero at the office and seemingly renews Don’s passion for her. ‘I want you” he tells her in the cab, almost the same words we hear later in the show coming from Marie. Both get what they want.
Back at Don and Megan’s apartment, Sally asks to come to the award ceremony. When Marie tells her that she should come because every daughter should be proud of her father, Megan’s parents explode in a huge loud argument. The family goes to the awards anyways, where Marie and Roger after flirting, begin a ‘dangerous liaison’. Unfortunately Sally catches them in the act. Don also learns that while the society maybe honoring him, the advertisers won’t be working with him after the way he ‘bit the hand’ of the tobacco companies with his now famous letter. At the end of the evening, the family reassembles back at the dinner table, where all seem lost…..
The show ends with Sally telling her friend that the city is dirty.
Missed our previous recaps? See what happened in previous episodes of Mad Men season five .
photo via : AMC Mad Men