Mad Men Season 4 “Christmas Comes But Once A Year”

Tonight’s episode of Mad Men was a damn interesting one. First off, I can’t think of another time where I’ve seen a Christmas-themed episode on the first day of August. I thought it might be difficult to put myself in the holiday spirit, but, because the show is so well written, it’s not supposed to put you in the spirit. If anything it just makes you want to go to a 60s advertising agency party, especially one where Joan’s leading the conga line. Hubba hubba.

The episode kicks off by reintroducing us to Glen, the creepy kid who lives in the neighborhood that Don used to live in and Betty still does with the kids and her new husband (not weird at all, I’m sure). You’ll remember him as the boy that Betty gave some of her hair to, which I’m pretty sure makes her the reason he’ll become a serial killer in the 80s. Anyway, the Ossining bunch doesn’t do much but go Christmas tree shopping and have their house broken into by Glen (yet another sign of his obvious future) who throws food all over the place, which is great because the less Betty the better. The missus thinks its his attempt to scare the family into wanting to move, which is something Sally wants. I think it’s so he can show her how close he can get with ease, but then again, I’ve seen a TON of horror movies (and am watching another as I type).

It’s funny, sometimes I take notes while watching shows and early in the episode I typed “I like Don’s relationship with his secretary” because they seemed to have a nice rapport that didn’t cross the line and he seemed like he was taking care of her, saying he’d make sure she got a bonus no matter what. In fact, I was thinking that we never actually saw Don get with one of his secretaries did we? Until about 30 minutes later, that is, after Don had gotten back to his sad man apartment and realized he forgot his keys so she came over and gave them to him. And then gave it to him (see what I did there?). The next day he returns to the trashed office and gives her her Christmas bonus, but it comes off as incredibly awkward, leading her to type a letter I will assume is her resignation, but will obviously have to wait until later to know for sure.

So that’s how the episode ended, but that wasn’t all that happened. Peggy’s dating Carl from Lost which is funny. This is the guy who met Don last episode when he helped bail out the women doing the ham stunt. He’s a total goober and keeps talking about her losing her virginity to him. They finally have sex by the end of the episode and he asks if she feels different to which the missus said something like “He must not be too experienced because she’s had a kid and I’ve heard things change down there after that.” I will concede to her vast knowledge of womanhood on that one. Peggy also gets into it a little with the newly returned Freddy Rumsen (yeah, the guy who got drunk, pissed himself, got fired and wound up providing Peggy with her first office). He’s on the wagon, but he’s old fashioned and kind of sucks at his job.

What else, what else? Ah, yes, the party. First off Trudy was there and it’s always fun to see Alison Brie either here or on Community. The party looked pretty fun, like I said and made me want to go to there, but the scenes between Roger and the guy from Lucky Strike were intense. Lucky Strike Man (Lee) zeroed in on Roger and wanted to embarrass him. Is there a reason on the show we’ve seen for this? I couldn’t remember anything, but my memory is the pits. It was completely worth it though to hear Don and Roger calling him Hitler and doing pretty hilarious German accents the next morning. I wonder why he didn’t focus on anyone else. Also, I wonder if this character is based on a real person or any real events involving Lucky Strike (a real company) and their real advertising agency or if it was all just dreamed up using a now-defunct company. Anyway, I find this element of the show fascinating, like the portrayal of Paris Hilton’s great grandad (there might need to be another great in there somewhere) Conrad Hilton a season or two back. 

It’s funny and a testament to how well the show is written that Don was around three different women, two of which I was certain he was going to sleep with and another I didn’t and he wound up sleeping with that one (the secretary). Don met his neighbor who is a nurse who literally tried jumping his bones at one point on the pretense of helping him out. I also thought he might get down with the psychologist woman whose test he refused to take. I hope she sticks around and maybe even gets Don to open up.

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