'Mad Men' Recap: 'The Beautiful Girls'
This episode strongly features two favorite 'Mad Men' female characters: Don's daughter Sally and his unapologetic secretary Ida. Unfortunately, neither of them have a good time during this episode, but they are great fun to watch.
Let's start with Ida. After having some more good one-liners (to Don: "Are you going to the toilet??" and about Sally: "She looks so chubby in the pictures...") she dies so fast she doesn't even time to drop dead. Instead her head rolls back, her mouth agape, dark glasses pointed at the ceiling. The scene that ensues, featuring Pete attempting to wrap Ida's body in a blanket made by Harry's mother, is perfectly comic, but there are poignant overtones.
Cooper, who was last seen doing crossword puzzles with Ida, says, "She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She was an astronaut." Okay, he's no Robert Frost, but clearly he feels the loss. Roger is less sentimental: "She died like she lived: surrounded by people she answered phones for." Don seems uncomfortable and imposed upon: "I would have my secretary do it, but she's dead."
And Sally: clearly this child is disturbed... by something. She attempts to flee Betty's abode on the subway and beelines it for Don's office. Don is clearly displeased, and throws Faye into the fray by having her take Sally to his apartment, and later, calm her down. Faye, who by now has gone all the way with Don, is clearly uncomfortable in this role, and with children in general. She later tells him, "You shouldn't have put me in that position." And for once, he looks sheepish and apologizes. Maybe she brings out the sensitive side of Don? Or is he still on a roll after 'The Suitcase' episode?
Back to Sally, what is this child afraid of? She so wants to live with Don; she makes him french toast topped with rum. Does she know her way to his heart or what? So is she simply tired of being barked at by Betty to go watch television? Does she find Henry as insecure and annoying as we do? Or is something worse going on? What's the deal with that Glenn kid, anyway? Are they still involved?
Peggy, meanwhile, is in a romantic quandary: Abe, whom she met at a party a few episodes back, is clearly interested in her, but treats women’s' liberation as a joke, and attempts to impress her with political commentary that leaves a bad taste in her mouth. But clearly, she is interested. At least this guy doesn't invite her mother out for dinner on her birthday.
And Joan... whoa, Joan. Soon after her husband is shipped off for active duty in Vietnam, Roger feels guilty for being hard on her and sends over a masseuse. Later, after going out and getting robbed on the street, she initiates a quickie with him right there on the curb. Clearly this woman isn't getting what she needs. And Roger, who already has a new young bride, isn't either. Do they have a future?
Will you miss Randee Heller, who hilariously played Ida? (She was the mom in The Karate Kid, you know.) What's next for everyone? Will Megan, the receptionist who comforted Sally, be Don's new secretary (and possible lady love)? Will Betty find something out about what's going on with Sally? Do Don and Faye have a future? For that matter, do Peggy and Abe, or Joan and Roger? There's not much time left in the season. These last few episodes promise to be eventful.
The Beautiful Girls: A-
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