Final Score: Jessica Pare wins the night! She'll now be referred to by her rightful character name of Megan. Megan was believable at the office, on the ride upstate, and at the HoJo's. She's a heck of a lot better than JJ in the role of Don's better half. Now that I'm warming up to Don and Megan's relationship, of course, the next episode will challenge it more.
Don's now been warned by Bert Cooper that he's lost his focus at work. This is the turning point for Don Draper. This is what will get him back in the board room, back at pitches, caring about his job. It's been six episodes in this season. It's time for Don to go back to work.
Thanks for reading! See you next week.
11:03 PM: Roger is ecstatic that his relationship with Peyton List is over. Will Don join him soon?
11:02 PM: Bert Cooper to Don: "You've been on love leave." He finally calls out Don for ignoring his job.
11:01 PM: I'll just point out that when Don was with Faye/Fay, he was swimming regularly and rallying against Big Tobacco. Jessica Pare is bad for him.
11:00 PM: Don chases Jessica Pare around the apartment. He is very out of shape. This was a confusing end to this week's episode.
10:58 PM: Jessica Pare made her own way back to New York and barred the door. Don broke it down. This is looking like a hate love moment.
10:57 PM: And Don's having his own flashback to his L.A. trip, after proposing to Jessica Pare. Insert perfunctory riot comment.
10:55 PM: And it's a final in Vancouver, where the L.A. Kings have knocked off the Canucks. Insert perfunctory riot comment.
10:52 PM: Don is still in the HoJo's restaurant. He told a police officer that his wife's been missing, and the officer said he'd keep an eye out for her. At no point did Don give the officer a description of his wife, so what exactly is the officer watching for? Every female in the town?
10:50 PM: If Jessica Pare's character was actually kidnapped, it might be more emotionally scarring if we cared about her character. It's not Jessica Pare's fault. She just takes us away from Don.
10:48 PM: Jessica Pare did run away! Or did she get kidnapped? Don the detective finds her sunglasses in the parking lot of the HoJo's.
10:47 PM: We're back to Don, driving fast and angrily in upstate New York. Oh wait, he drove back to the HoJo's. Maybe he wants more orange sherbet.
10:44 PM: I really, really hate this deceptive State Farm commercial about life insurance. It's the commercial where the wife talks about how the husband's life insurance is allowing her kid to go to college, and then the husband pops out of nowhere. Maybe it's a hallucination!
10:42 PM: Jessica Pare to Don during their fight: "Maybe you call your mother." This was a low blow, even for Jessica Pare. Don drives away from the HoJo's without Jessica Pare. Is this the end of Jessica Pare?
10:41 PM: Don is trying to make an ad campaign for Howard Johnson's, but Jessica Pare is now upset that Don gets to work on his Howard Johnson's stuff while she couldn't finish the Heinz pitch.
10:39 PM: On the ride up to Howard Johnson's, Don starts smoking, so Jessica Pare does a fake cough and gets him to open his window. I remember doing the same when I was riding with other parents in youth soccer.
10:38 PM: We're on to Don and Jessica Pare's timeline. Jessica Pare clearly wants to stay and help with Peggy's Heinz presentation. Don just does not care and wants to drive up to Howard Johnson's instead, which is starting to seem more and more off-putting as the season progresses.
10:37 PM: Roger didn't imagine the discussion! His tolerance to LSD is stronger than Peyton List's. All those years of alcohol abuse have paid off.
10:33 PM: Back to Roger in post-LSD land. Roger remembers their break-up discussion. Peyton List does not. Uh-oh. Did he imagine the whole discussion?
10:32 PM: Does the University of Farmers award MBAs?
10:31 PM: Peyton List to Roger: "You don't like me." Roger to Peyton List: "I did. I really did." Of course, they both just took LSD, so who knows if this is real or not?
10:30 PM: Peyton List: "All I think about is having an affair." Roger seems disappointed in her that she hasn't. She's not up to his standards.
10:28 PM: Roger Sterling is now imagining that he's at the 1919 World Series. His wife's mother may not have been alive then.
10:26 PM: Don Draper is now telling Roger to end it with Peyton List? Or get back with her? I dunno, because I was hallucinating a better plot device.
10:24 PM: Roger's now hallucinating that the bottle of alcohol and the cigarette are talking to him. This is going to lead him to a great new ad campaign!
10:23 PM: Roger is about to drop LSD with the college prof. The prof and his wife are waxing romantic about taking drugs. Roger's one-liner: "You always say I never take you anywhere."
10:22 PM: Peyton List is at a college professor's dinner party with Roger.
10:21 PM: A full episode of The Pitch is available now on iTunes! Alternately, jobs in advertising are wildly available.
10:17 PM: This entire season of Mad Men is sponsored by Chrysler. And therefore, by the taxpayers who lost $1.3 billion in the Chrysler bailout. So, the taxpayers indirectly sponsored Peggy's obscene day at the movies. America.
10:15 PM: Ah, I get it! This episode is a flashback of the same day, told from different characters' perspectives. Roger is begging Don to join in on a boys' trip to upstate New York. Don insists on taking Jessica Pare. Surprise.
10:14 PM: And nothing happens with MICHAEL GINSBERG and Peggy, so Peggy calls the beatnik and says "I always need you." This is a little Peggy day, huh?
10:13 PM: There's some back story discussion going on about MICHAEL GINSBERG, and blah blah blah. The point is that MICHAEL GINSBERG and Peggy are working a late night in the office, alone.
10:11 PM: Dawn, Don's secretary, just awoke Peggy by calling her "Ms. Olson." Their sleepover was a little too racist for Dawn's taste.
10:10 PM: Peggy is now washing up after the movies. Because of the warning at the beginning of the episode. I remember when she was President Bartlet's daughter. So innocent.
10:09 PM: The strange man just made a move on Peggy, to which she responds inappropriately. This must be what the warning was about at the beginning of the episode.
10:07 PM: Peggy just was kicked off the Heinz account for telling the Heinz rep that she was right and he was wrong. She's taking out her anger by going to the movies alone. And then smoking marijuana with a strange man. This is not an advisable way of dealing with setbacks at work.
10:06 PM: Peggy to Heinz: "You just like fighting." People from Pittsburgh love to fight!
10:05 PM: Peggy to Heinz: "It's the beans that brought them together." Beans have seldom brought people together for long. Unless it's windy.
10:04 PM: Don and Jessica Pare ditch Peggy on her Heinz presentation, leaving her to run the show. On one hand, Peggy is uplifted by Don's confidence in her. On the other, Peggy still hates Jessica Pare. As do we all.
10:02 PM: Beatnik to Peggy: "I'm your boyfriend, not a focus group!" This show is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.
10:01 PM: Peggy's beatnik boyfriend is a loser, plain and simple. Peggy looks kind of cute in the morning, though! And she knows how pretty she looks, which is why she immediately threatens to dump the beatnik.
10:00 PM: We're going to get "adult content" tonight on Mad Men. Every other night involving drinking and visiting ladies of the night is just PG-13.
9:58 PM: Choosing between The Dark Knight on TNT and The Killing on AMC is easy. Choosing anything over The Killing is easy. It's the bleakest painting in the entire store.
9:01 PM: "I take full responsibility." This is Peggy's one line in the preview for Episode 506. For what could she take responsibility, especially so late at night in the office? The likely answer is that she's breaking up with the beatnik reporter and going out instead with MICHAEL GINSBERG, the loudest ad man ever. Peggy feels empowered in the office, which is why she'll have her difficult phone call with the beatnik there and not talk with him in person. Why would she need to talk with him in person? Don Draper would never stoop so low in his prime.
Pete's storyline will also be interesting tonight. Will there be any development from last week's fight between Pete and Lane? Mad Men developed these siloed episodes in Season 4 where one character would grow while everything else stood still. I hope Pete's storyline develops tonight, because he's at his best when his life is at its worst.
See you at 10pm Eastern!