‘Mad Men’ Recap: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

S4:E5 We kicked off last night’s Mad Men episode with producers introducing a newcomer to the group of ad agencies on Madison Avenue. Don got a call from a reporter at The New York Times who asked what Don thought about Cutler Gleason and Chaough, the new agency that picked up the Clearasil account after Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce dropped it. The reporter wanted to know how Don felt about a man named Ted Shaw, who said, “every time Don Draper looks in his review mirror, he sees me.” Maybe, but how good does he look in a gray Gucci suit?

Back at Don’s bachelor pad, Sally and Bobby watched the news while Don got ready to go on a date with Bethenny at Benihana’s. Sally said she didn’t like that, which is completely understandable now that she knows during sex, “the man pees inside the woman.” Later that night, Sally cut her hair off in the bathroom because she wanted to be more like the girls with short hair that her father has sex with. Which is, needless to say, somehow adorable and disgusting at the same time.

Back at Don’s old house that Betty seems to have no problem continuing to live in, Betty slapped Sally across the face when she saw what she did to her hair. When Sally went upstairs to try and figure out how she was going to make her mother love her again, we realized Betty is a complete skank who overreacts to everything. We finally had a nice moment with Henry, however, when he convinced Betty not to punish Sally for cutting her hair off and instead, to let her go to her sleepover as opposed to punishing her like Betty originally intended. Why are we rooting for everyone except Betty right now?

Peter and Don met with people from Honda, who were finally willing to create a T.V. ad for their motorcycle. Unfortunately, they weren’t really there to talk about the terms of the advertisement. Instead, they were there to inform SCDP they would be participating in a competition with two other agencies to win their business. They’d be given $3,000 to create a campaign to convince them which company to sign with. But Roger walked into the meeting and refused to take part in any sort of arrangement with the Japanese, and any of their companies because of WWII. Pete stormed into his office and yelled, “Christ on a cracker!” If I liked tattoos, I’d get that tattooed on a cat or a pig or something.

Betty went and spoke to a children’s psychiatrist about Sally’s behavior, and it became clear she’s the one who really needs someone to talk to – not her daughter, who was just doing something that lots of little girls do. Of course the situation was unfavorable (on the couch with her friend sleeping next to her), but Betty revealed she felt Sally was doing things to punish her for the divorce.

Don went in to meet with the Honda people and pointed out they didn’t follow their own rules of the competition (which said “no finished work”) and that instead of coming up with some fancy shmancy ad, he was going to draw for them the idea he had…which was really just a check for the money they gave him to come up with a mock ad.

In the end, the Honda people favored Don over the two other agencies, who actually did walk into their office and present them with posters of their shiny motorcycles. Sally had her first session with Dr. Edna, which was probably bad, but not terrible. It certainly wasn’t as fun as what she was doing on the couch, but let’s be real: not much is.