Finally, 17 months later, Mad Men has returned to our TV screens. I’ve been living off Pan Am in order to compensate for my desire for a nostalgic past. But this season isn’t working so much on the boozing and womanizing as it is in baby mode. We move from Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) secretary-turned-wife’s bare back to the wrinkly butt of Joan’s (Christina Hendricks) baby. And no one’s even poured a glass a scotch. What’s going on?
Here’s a surprise — Don is turning forty. Not so surprisingly,Roger Sterling (John Slattery) kills the vibe by showing up a little too late for the birthday party. Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) performs an adorable but deliriously sexy French song in front of all his co-workers, embarrassing him and throwing his authority out the door. So much for birthday sex Looks like Roger was saying more with the quote, “The only thing worse than not getting what you want is someone else getting it.”
Besides the lack of alcohol and smoking in the building, the boys are done yelling at each other for lost accounts and are instead fighting over office space. Megan’s joined the creative department and Joan is making a comeback with her fat post-pregnancy ass. Speaking of ass, the most entertaining moment in this episode is when Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) talked about what he’d do to Don’s wife with her standing right behind him at the office kitchen. He’s been freaking out ever since wondering if it ever made it to Don.
On another note, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) is still bitching about his perpetual junior status, Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) is still dating that Williamsburg journalist and is totally green in the face about Megan’s new influence on the weirdly happy Don Draper. In two hours there still hasn’t been any progress or really any drama about work, marriage or children. Hopefully Don will get frustrated and become that untouchable powerful threat he always was or Megan will learn a few things from Betty and make Don’s skin crawl in a less pleasant way. Or she can just clean up the apartment in black lace underwear telling him she wants to quit. Good for her. Is he going to let her get away?
At least we get a few words of advice: “Stable is one step backwards between successful and failing.” Let’s hope this season can eat its own words. Perhaps we can start with hiring a negro receptionist to pike Lane Pryce’s (Jared Harris) lust for American women?