‘Mad Men’ Recap: Christmas Comes But Once A Year

S4:E2 Last night’s Mad Men commenced with Betty, Henry, Sally, Bobby and baby Gene picking out a tree to decorate. Glen was worried the tree they liked would hit the ceiling, which is typical form for any stepdad (except for mine, of course!) because they’re always worried about everything, especially if they’re out-performing their wife’s ex-husband. You’d think he’d want the biggest one! The family decided to go back to another place to get a tree, and Glenn (the little boy who walked in on Betty peeing a season or two ago) emerged from the trees and motioned for Sally to come over and talk to him. Glenn educated Sally on the pending events in terms of her mother and her “new dad,” such as they’ll be having a baby soon and she should ask for something big now, before her mother’s too preggers to carry it up to her room or into the backyard. He told Sally he’d call her, which was weird because Glenn seems much more like a boy who would communicate with Sally by shining a flashlight into her room and S.O.Sing her or writing words on pebbles and sling shooting them through her window.

Back at SDCP, Don received a letter from Sally addressed to Santa Claus. It was a list of a few things he (Don) could get Bobby and Gene for Christmas, and as his secretary read it to him, it was quite sweet because it was clear the only communication he has with his family is distant, and is almost as foreign as a stranger.

Rodger had a meeting with Freddy Rumpson (from J. Walter Thompson) about a $2 million account with Pond’s Cold Cream, and the possibility of transferring it over to SDCP. The only prerequisite was Pete couldn’t have anything to do with it. When Rodger and Freddy broached the subject with Don, Peggy and Pete, Pete was particularly confused as to why Rodger would be handling the account. He seemed to forget he’s a total slug with a smile as phony as the jester’s mouth that’s the entrance to every house of mirrors.

Back at Don’s house that Betty still hasn’t moved out of, Glenn called Sally and they talked about how much Sally hates living without her dad. Glenn said it must be rough, especially since her mom’s “doing it” with someone else. The reference was lost on Sally, and probably about 60% of American viewers.

At his apartment, Don met his next-door neighbor, Phoebe, as she was hammering Christmas lights over and around her door. It slowly became clear how many women Don has in his life, even if he’s just met them, just had sex with them, just gave them a cigarette or rode the elevator with him. They’re almost like lemmings who would follow him right off a cliff if the occasion arose!

Peggy and Freddy disagreed about the best way to sell Pond’s. Freddy wanted to target the ad towards older women, even though the client specifically said they were trying to sell the cream to younger women. Freddy argued younger women look up to older women for beauty tips, which showed how dangerous it is to let a man try and sell a woman’s product, or even say anything at all.

Peggy’s boyfriend came over to her house and tried to convince her to have sex with him. Peggy wasn’t having it and was eyelash deep in work mode, but her boyfriend said he was bored with “everything” they’d been doing because it wasn’t anything he couldn’t do himself. He told Peggy he wanted to be her first, and the poor bastard didn’t even know Peggy had a child two years ago! She ushered him out the door after he started talking about how they make love in Sweden, and about all the things they’re doing right over there.

Back at Don’s apartment, Don came home drunk and Phoebe had to help him take off his shoes and put him to bed, just like a nurse’s nurse. She surprisingly didn’t touch him inappropriately, like all of us wanted her to. He’s bound to be feeling Betty’s absence, even if Betty never took off his shoes for him.

At the office, everyone was getting ready to have an insanely over budget Christmas party except for Freddy, who argued to Peggy that using Pond’s will help women get married. Peggy was profoundly irritated and she called him “extremely old-fashioned,” mostly because her boyfriend called her that and she was fed up with men in general and their manipulative ways.

Everyone enjoyed themselves at the party and talked about where they were going to enjoy the holiday. Don revealed he was going to Acapulco by himself, which Rodger’s wife Jane said “was [his] own fault.” Everyone played a game using an orange, where they had to use their chins to take it from the person next to them who was holding it in their neck, and it was so innocent and old fashioned it was almost hard to believe phones and seatbelts had already been invented.

Glenn, the “your mom’s doing it” kid, broke into the Draper house with another friend and trashed the kitchen with eggs and salt and coffee grinds. Henry, Betty, Sally, Bobby and Gene returned from somewhere to find the entire place trashed, but Sally’s room was completely untouched, except for a lanyard from Glenn. As if something that makes it easier for you to get your keys out of your purse will make up for the fact there’s an egg on Bobby’s bed!

After the Christmas party, Don left his keys at work and couldn’t get into his apartment. His secretary had to come over to give them to him, in addition to giving him an Asprin and having sex with him. Each of Don’s holidays end with a bang!

The next morning, Peggy apologized to Freddy for calling him old fashioned and admitted she didn’t want to be alone on New Year’s Eve. Freddy advised her not to sleep with her boyfriend because then he wouldn’t respect her, and that love is never a joke. Way to harsh the office mellow, Fredster!

Don spoke to his secretary about the night before, and thanked her for bringing his keys to him and subtly apologized for taking advantage of her. Then he gave her a bonus, and as she mindlessly typed away, probably compared herself to a hooker. Peggy cuddled post-coitally with her boyfriend, and Don went off with Christmas presents to deliver to his kids. Hopefully he’ll be able to get his act together by New Years.