On Bad Men and Fearless Ladies – The Lazy Recapper Mini-Caps Mad Men’s “Mystery Date”

On July 13, 1966, a real-life Mad Man named Richard Speck raped and tortured nine student nurses, in the boarding house where they were living at the time.  Eight of them were killed.  Only one survived.  She did this, by miraculously managing to hide under a bed, undetected, while a horror movie unfolded inches away from where she lay . . .

It kind of makes you think twice about a childhood game, that revolves around opening the door to “sexy strangers.”  Don’t you think?

(Some doors are best left closed . . .)

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 The episode “Mystery Date” reflected on this real-life tragedy, and how it impacted the lives of the women and men, who lived during that time.  In a sense, the Speck murders functioned as the unofficial villain of this hour of television.  From Don Draper to young Sally, this week, all of the characters of Mad Men were forced to cope with issues of female violence, and what it means to feel “safe” in a world that is often terrifying . . .

Of course, since I’m a Lazy Recapper, I’m probably not going to address any of that stuff . . .

After all, it’s much more fun to talk about important things . . . like what the heck Stan Rizzo is wearing on his head!

“The Seven Dwarfs called, Stan.  Dopey really wants his hat back.”

Let’s review, shall we?

Don Draper’s bout with the flu this week on Mad Men taught me two things: (1) yes, hot people do, in fact, get sick, just like everybody else;

“I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately.  Perhaps it has something to do with this massive flood in my office.”

 . . . and (2) being sick can make you INSANE!

I mean, think about it . . . one minute, Don is defending his honor to his wife, when a former fling of his hits on him right in front of her, in an enclosed space.

(Love in an elevator . . . . living it up, when you’re going downnnnn.)

DON: “So, Wifey #2 . . . I guess this would probably be a bad time to ask for your thoughts on threesomes?”

The next minute, he’s STRANGLING HER TO DEATH, AND SHOVING HER CORPSE UNDER HIS BED!!!

Officially out of the running for Wife #3 . . . 

Wait . . . what’s that you say?  That Don’s seeming murder of Sexual Conquest 323 was just a Fever Dream, Symbolizing the Protagonist’s Subconscious Fear that his Slutty Past will Come Back to Haunt Him / Ruin his New Marriage?  And that his shoving her under the bed, reflected that same subconscious’ reaction to the Speck Murders, specifically, the hiding place of the lone female survivor?

Well, thank you, Dr. Freud.  I feel much better knowing that the man I have sex dreams about one of my favorite television characters isn’t an actual murderer of women.  Still . . .  having dreams like that is pretty f*&ked up, if you ask me.

Speaking of Bad Men, Joan FINALLY kicked to the curb her no good hubby, Dr. McRapeyPants, after he blatantly admitted that he would rather spend another year AT WAR, halfway across the world, and possibly DIE, than be with his wife and Roger’s lovechild their newborn baby son.

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 She also not-so-subtly called him out on that one terrible time, a few seasons back, during which he forced himself on her in Don Draper’s office, thereby incurring the wrath of Mad Men fans, like myself, for all eternity . . .

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We love you, Mama Joan!  You’re a FEARLESS, and just all-around awesome woman, who’s decades ahead of your time! But . . .  that still doesn’t make it OK for you to do this . . .

Hey Mommy Dearest, you are ONE TOSS AND TURN AWAY FROM SQUISHING YOUR BABY!  Get thee to a crib, GO!

Speaking of questionable parenting tactics, Grandma Francis found a fabulous way to get a stressed-out Sally to sleep, the night after the latter learned about the Speck murders . . . and by “fabulous” I mean “ridiculously inappropriate and more than a bit disturbing” . . . 

(WARNING: Here comes that “survivor under the bed” motif again!)

Fifteen years from now, when Sally’s a cast member on Celebrity Rehab, she will undoubtedly be telling Dr. Drew all about the time Grandma Harris slipped her some Seconals and let her pass out under the couch, while Granny sat above her holding a steak knife . . . 

On a much more positive note, Peggy Olson officially became my spirit animal, when she OWNED Roger Sterling, cleverly convincing the latter to give her $400 out of his own pocket, by simply uttering two words: “Dazzle Me.”

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Of course, this causes one to wonder just how much money Roger Sterling carries in his billfold.  And, perhaps more importantly, what’s he REALLY spending it on (aside from paying for the silence of his underlings, of course)?

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French lessons, maybe? 

Peggy may have handled Roger Sterling, like a boss.  However, she was a bit less savvy with new co-worker Dawn.  Sure, things started off OK!  When the ambitious copywriter learned that Dawn had been forced to spend the night at the office, out of fear for her own safety, she gallantly invited the latter back to her home  so they could get wasted together for a few drinks and some Girl Time Bonding . . .

(By the way, Peggy’s becoming a bit of a lush.  Don’t you think?)

(Then again, I guess it takes one to know one . . . )

Of course, she then proceeded to make poor Dawn feel like a crook, when she very blatantly eyed her newly chock-full-of-cash purse, before leaving the latter to sleep on her couch for the night.  Oops!

Speaking of socially awkward . . . New Guy, Michael Ginsburg, is actually growing on me, ugly suit preferences and all . . .

“I’m sexy and I know it.” 

(Even though the way he painted the “Cinderella Meets Prince Charming” story as a thinly-veiled Date Rape Scenario, during a pitch meeting, means I’ll probably never watch Once Upon a Time the same way, ever again  .  . .)

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 And that was Mad Men in a Lazy Recapper’s nutshell!  What did YOU think of the episode?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

2 Comments

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2 responses to “On Bad Men and Fearless Ladies – The Lazy Recapper Mini-Caps Mad Men’s “Mystery Date”

  1. TerraBeth

    I think Michael Ginsburg is sexxxyyyy.

    I liked the recap, short as it is. You definitely picked the choicest moments. My mom and I were cheering at the screen when Joan was having her proto-feminist moment.

    • Hey TerraBeth! I had no clue you were a Mad Men fan! 🙂 I’m starting to think we are TV Twins. 😉

      I used to do full recaps of Mad Men, but they got very few readers. 🙂 And my new “real life schedule” has made it very difficult to find the time and energy to write full recaps. (I’m still trying to figure out how to cope with how to write nice, non-bitter, things about Gossip Girl: the DAIR YEARS *gag*)

      That said, Mystery Date probably ranks up there in my favorite Mad Men episodes of all time (right along with “The Suitcase,” “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” and the one where Pete told Peggy he loved her . . . yes, I shipped them). So, I had to do SOME kind of tribute. 🙂

      Mad Men has always been a sort of Slice of Life type show, with more focus on character development and atmosphere, then twisty turny plot twists So, to have an episode where SO MUCH happened, and the “Mystery Date” theme was so pervasive throughout, was really a treat.

      And yeah, Joan and Peggy definitely made us female fans proud, this week! It’s about damn time, Joan!

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