You’d have to have the superpower to see into the future, Matthew Weiner, or both to figure out what in the hell the characters on Mad Men are talking about in these comically, infuriatingly vague teaser previews at the end of every episode.
But after compulsively watching the AMC drama for six seasons, you can start to pick up a few things and spot the clues. I correctly guessed from last week’s preview that a bitch-faced Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) was angrily changing the channel on his clicker because of his wife Trudy (Alison Brie) because he’s Pete and Pete is the worst. But could I have ever guessed in a million years that she would finally lay down the law with her terrible husband in the stellar Jon Hamm-directed ep? Nope!
And therein lies the frustrating genius of Matthew Weiner. Had he included Trudy telling Pete, “I will destroy you!” in last week’s preview, the thrill of that satisfying moment would have been diluted. That said, seemingly inconsequential snippets like Megan telling Don “Yes, sir” can throw you for a loop. Here I thought she was being submissive (she did, however, agree to get back in bed per Don’s instructions), but really she was just hiding from him and their increasingly sad circumstances. Damn these previews!
Alas, I will try again and see how I fare during next week’s brand new episode. (Is it Sunday yet?) Check out the preview below, along with my predictions for what’s going on beneath those thinly veiled sentences.
Pete: “So you haven’t officially told anyone?” — Oh, shut up, Pete. From the look of things he’s back at his apartment in the city (where, thanks to Trudy, he’ll be there a hell of a lot more) and he’s talking to his poor side dish girl Brenda who wound up bloodied by her husband in the last episode about their fling gone terribly awry.
Ken: “I know that every gripe he has is directed at me in this company.” — Let me guess, the king of gripes…Pete!
Don: “Keep going, I’m dying to hear what I say next.” — Megan appears to be smiling when Don says this to her, so I’m going out on a far limb here — he’s helping her read a script for the next episode of her soap opera, and he wants to know what his “character” will say next.
Joan: “Please don’t involve yourself in this.” — Please let us have more Joan. I don’t care who she’s talking to (though, judging by this I’m going with…Stan) just more Joan next week.
Pete: “What is that supposed to mean?” — Oh, shut up, Pete. Assuming that the Jaguar meetings continue to go as badly as they did last night, it looks as if Pete is spewing venom at either Don, Bert, or Roger.
Bert: “That’s not going to happen.” — So, deal with it, Pete.
Don: “I don’t know if that solves my problem.” — Which problem?! Don Draper just has so many these days, but this one looks work-related, so I’m venturing a guess this is directed at Roger.
– Hilarious, pointless shots of people raising their eyebrows.
– Hilarious, pointless shots of Harry, Stan, and Ginsberg’s respective facial hair. The tease better not be that any of them are shaving!
– Stan sneaking into a privately marked door (maybe he’s doing recon work at Peggy’s office after she inadvertently got her boss to go after the Heinz ketchup account).
– Don eye-f**king the camera as elevator doors close, presumably as he watches a sexually satisfied, but emotionally conflicted Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) go back to her apartment a floor below.
Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran
‘Mad Men’ Preview Predictor: ‘What Are You Talking About?’ Exactly.
‘Mad Men’ Recap: Don Draper is a Whore
‘Mad Men’ Premiere Recap: Don Draper Has No Idea Who He Is Or Why He’s Sleeping With That Woman