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People Can Surprise You – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko”

A WORD OF WARNING, BEFORE WE BEGIN:  I’m a Chair Fan . . . BIG TIME!  Dair Fans, some of this recap might annoy the heck out of you.  Please enter with caution.  And don’t say you weren’t warned . . .

BLAIR:  “Wait a minute!  Why am I FIGHTING with you over a stapler?  I have never stapled anything in my life!  Dorota stapled everything for me from the day I was born until middle school.  After that, my minions took over the job.”

DAN:  “Honestly, I’m not quite sure.  Just like I don’t understand how YOU ended up being the one who ‘worked hard to earn’ this internship, and I got it as a result of my ‘vast connections.’  Not to mention, the silver spoon Lily van der Woodsen has apparently, lodged up my ass, ever since she started boning my father.”

BLAIR:  “Ughhh, does this mean I’m still in that weird Nightmare World, where I suddenly know how to do thinks like ‘wash dishes,’ and rarely ever get to interact with Chuck?

DAN:  “I’m afraid so, Miss Waldorf.   I’m afraid so . . .”

BLAIR:  *closes her eyes and starts clicking her heels together repeatedly*  “There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no . . .”

Just when you THINK you know a person, he or she can start doing things that are *ahem* COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER.  If there was any theme at all to Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko” episode, I would say that would be it.  And yet, toward the end of the episode, people returned to acting JUST how you would expect them to act.  Thus, proving that, at the end of even the darkest of tunnels, a bright light will ultimately shine through . . .

“Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.  You may enter my dress.

Let’s review, shall we?

Blair plays nice(?), while Dan plays . .  . with himself

“Ak . . .  and now I’m sitting on a DIRTY FLOOR .  . . IN MY DESIGNER DRESS?  What the heck is WITH this episode?”

When the episode begins, Blair and her roomie Serena are preparing for the day ahead. 

In a rare turn of events, Serena is extremely chatty about her plans for the upcoming week (i.e. “To give my Ex-Con Teacher Friend an “I’m sorry my family TOTALLY ruined your life, but, as it turns out, you kind of deserved it, because you and your sister are ABSOLUTE NUTBAGS, who almost got me killed” F*&k, by Friday.”).  Blair, on the other hand, is alarmingly secretive about her To Do List. 

(OK, since when has Blair EVER kept quiet about her career, and / or plans for Eventual World Domination?  The only time Blair is supposed to be keeping secrets, is when she’s having Mindblowing Sex with Chuck, and doesn’t want anyone else to know about it . . . because they’d be way too jealous.)

“You know you love us  . . . together.  XOXO!”

And yet, it is absolutely essential for this Bizarro Plot of the Week that positively NO ONE, save Blair herself, know about the internship she supposedly worked so hard to secure, sometime between this week’s episode and last.  “I feel like I’m living with Don Draper,” remarks Serena.

No, Serena.   You WISH you were living with Don Draper.  I hear he “Likey The Blondes,” particularly ones that are young, extremely promiscuous, and have low self-esteem, like yourself.

Blair leaves the apartment, and meets up with her New Movie Buddy Dan, who, apparently, she’s been seeing quite a bit of, since their first Holiday Dalliance, during the mid-season finale.  (Somehow, I find it difficult to imagine Blair enjoying herself in a place where Popcorn and Soda in a Plastic Cup are the choicest items on the menu.)  It seems, based on the pair’s exchange, that these two have had plenty to talk about, during their nights out.  Everything from movies, to books, to art is discussed, analyzed, and promptly disagreed upon, in a matter of two minutes. 

And yet, during all this time, NEITHER Blair, nor Dan, has mentioned where he or she is planning to INTERN.  This is despite the fact that these two are SO scholarly and ambitious, that obtaining said internship SHOULD have been the PRIMARY thing on BOTH of their minds, ever since winter break concluded.  (I mean, it’s not like EITHER of them has been getting laid!)  But hey, Plot Devices . . . they are important, right?  So, Blair and Dan part ways, only to find themselves together again, just moments later, in the Copy Room of W Magazine.

“You want me to WHAT?  Collate?  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  You, over there, in the unfashionable suit, get Dorota on the phone and ask her to tell me what ‘collate’ means?”

Now, I find it a bit hard to believe that Blair — a girl, who just last week, memorized the entire biography of a woman on the Forbes list, and literally made a life-sized CHART of her day-to-day schedule, in order to secure an internship with her — wouldn’t even THINK to inquire as to whether there might be OTHER interns working with her at a company as large as the W Magazine.  In fact, the Blair WE know and love, would have probably collected a full dosseir on EACH of the other interns (Dan included), complete with their Deepest Darkest Secrets, and already begun the process of bringing each and every one of them down.  But, like I said, Plot Devices are important . . .

 “Epperly” Blair’s and Dan’s modelesque, but obviously business-minded, boss informs the group that they are all fighting for the same job — which appears to be an “assistant to the editor’s assistant” — sort of deal.  (Lesson to you future employers out there:  If you want to GUARANTEE a toxic environment within your workplace, THIS is how you do it.)  That being said, I actually saw a lot of promise in this storyline . . . intially. 

I pictured Dan and Blair banding together (They are members of the SAME Scooby Gang after all), to cleverly and hilariously weed out the other interns, only to engage one another in heated battle, during the final moments of the episode.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen . . .

“W . . . T . . . F!”

I also expected for a place like W Magazine to engage its potential employees in a series of meaningful, Project Runway for Fashion Writers-esque competitions.  This way,  the “competitors” could truly showcase, which of them was the Best of the Best for the position.  What I got instead was Dan and Blair pretty much ignoring the rest of their competition (to their peril, I might add) and engaging in fundamentally idiotic battles over who made the best lattes, and who got to “handle the stapler.”  (Unfortunately, this is NOT a Euphemism for Sexual Activity).

All complaints aside, one part of GG’s take on The Devil Wears Prada 2:  Electric Boogaloo that I did enjoy, was when Blair distracted Dan from one of his menial office tasks, by shouting to him, “Oh, look!  It’s Georgina’s Baby!”

Do you remember that storyline?  Because Dan Humphrey probably wishes that you would forget it.

But when the interns actually are assigned a GENUINELY competitive task:  Who can get the most prestigious guest to attend Gossip Girl’s Fancy Party of the Week W Magazine’s promotional event?   . . .  well, that’s when things get REALLY bizarre.  As Convenient Plot Devices Luck would have it, both Dan and Blair somehow manage to get a hold of one another’s proposed guest lists.  Yet while Blair stupidly politely throws Dan’s list in the trash, determined to play fairly for once, DAN sabotages her, by preventing her prized guest from attending the event.

On the night of the party, Blair finds herself working the door, when, who should enter, but Chuck Bass.  Thus, begins, what, OF COURSE, was my favorite scene of the entire episode . . .

Source

BLAIR:  “Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.   You may enter.”

CHUCK:  Blair Waldorf . . . working the door.

BLAIR:  “I got an internship at W Magazine.”

CHUCK:  “Knowing you, you’ll be Editor and my wife by May.  Your plan is working.

BLAIR:  “So, it seems to be.”

And in that one small scene — surrounded, as it was, by abyss of woeful Chair-lessness – I found HOPE, for the couple I’ve grown to love over four seasons.  Though admittedly short, the interaction was pulsating with chemistry, sexual tension, longing looks, and above all, an unmatched sweetness.  This unique flavor of sweetness is one that Chuck and Blair reserve exclusively for one another.  Though, on occasion, they can be KIND to others (generous, and self-sacrificing even), never are these two driven, extremely serious, individuals EVER “sweet.”  Unless, of course, they are together, sharing a moment like this one.

Watching this scene, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chuck’s words to Blair, during their painful breakup, back in “The Witches of Bushwick” episode,  “When two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

That, of course, is “The Plan” to which Chuck refers in the scene.  And that plan IS working.  Because as Blair mentioned during “The Witches of Bushwick,” she needs to chart her own path in life, before she can build a true and everlasting future with Chuck.  Succeeding at this internship, is her first step down that Golden Path . . .

So, of course, Dan has to go and screw it up, by sabatoging Blair’s party list, and, thereby, causing THIS to happen . . .

Source

And then this happens to both Dan and Blair . . .

Blair is NOT amused . . .

 (I would like to note, at this point, that I was searching for a picspam on the Dair tumblr page to insert into this recap.  And the mere act of doing so NEARLY gave me a virus.  My computer started doing all these weird scary things, and I had to unplug it quickly, before any more damage can be done.  I suspect this is either the result of Dair fans wanting revenge against me for my undying devotion to Chair, or the universe trying to tell me something . . .)

Anyway . . .

Back at the W offices, Blair and Dan are packing their things, when Blair reveals to Dan just how big of an ass he REALLY is.  As it turns out, Blair’s mom DIDN’T secure Blair this internship, as Dan (and most of us) assumed.  Instead, she stalked the office, like a crazy person, to get the job . . . creepily bombarding every fax machine in the office with her resume.

Then she KILLED the intern who was ACTUALLY supposed to get the position . . . just kidding!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this “New and Improved” Blair, who’s willing to actually work hard to get what she wants, as opposed to getting there through manipulation and nepotism.   And yet, I find it VERY hard to believe that Eleanor, one of New York’s Premier Designers, couldn’t get Blair an internship at W, by . . . say . . . offering its editor an exclusive peek at her Spring Line.  Nevertheless, I agree with Blair, that, Dan’s career aspirations and talents would be better suited with him working for an enterprise like The New Yorker.  (For the record, Lily got Dan HIS job . . . probably by paying off Epperley, or screwing the director of Human Resources, knowing her.)

“You wanted an internship.  I wanted THIS one,” argues Blair.

Dan then wondered out loud (as most of US wondered) why Blair didn’t sabotage Dan’s efforts to secure a guest for the party.  “Guess I must have an undiagnosed brain injury, because I stupidly thought this fake friendship might be real!”  Blair admits.

“Well, don’t I feel like a Douche!”

Ultimately, Dan redeems himself, by calling Epperley, and admitting that HE was the one who sabatoged Blair’s internship efforts, not the other way around.  He goes one step further, by fibbing that it was BLAIR, and not Dan, who got Dan’s famous guest to arrive at the party.  He even goes as far as to tell his former boss that HE started the knockdown, drag out, fight with Blair, just to make her look bad. 

It WAS a genuinely nice gesture on Dan’s part, I must admit — one that shows that Blair was right.  Her FRIENDSHIP with Dan is a real one.  And yet, I can’t help but notice that, having lost HIS internship already, Dan really had nothing to lose, by calling Epperley, and taking the blame for what had happened at the party.  Now, had only BLAIR been fired, thereby, forcing Dan to GIVE UP the position . . . so that she could have it, in his place . . . THAT would have been a special sacrificial act, indeed. 

(A missed opportunity, Gossip Girl writers!  If you want us Chair Fans to support a Dan and Blair hookup . . . even if it’s only a temporary one, which ultimately ends in a lasting friendship for the pair . . . you are going to have to work WAY harder than that!)

The next morning, Blair is sulking in bed with Serena, when Epperley calls her, to tell her she has her job back.  Blair has 15 minutes to get her butt to the office.  (You can’t get ANYWHERE in 15 minutes, in Manhattan!)  This probably would explain why Blair showed up at work looking like THIS . . .

Looks like SOMEONE raided SERENA’s closet, by accident . . . FISHNET STOCKINGS?  PINK SHORTS?  A GRANNY SWEATER?  SERIOUSLY, B?

In other news . . .

Strange (and boring) bedfellows

Chuck’s been doing the Horizontal Mambo with Raina, in hopes that she will fall so desperately in love with him, that she will convince her father not to buy out Bass Industries.  Riiiiight . . . because THAT always works.  (And by “always,” I mean “never.”)  Chuck, I’m disappointed in you.  Clearly, you need Blair on your side to help you come up with better Diabolical Plans.

Chuck’s eyes are closed, because he’s sleeping through this scene . . . as are most fans.

Chuck’s duller than dishwater scheme hits a bit of a snag, when he learns that Russell Thorpe has hired Nate’s ex-con dad to do his dirty work for him.  So, Chuck stupidly requests that Raina fire him.  Insulted that Chuck would have the GALL to mix business with pleasure (Clearly, this chick has never watched Gossip Girl before.)  Raina kicks Chuck out of her bed . . . for about an hour.  Then she takes him back.  *Yawn*

Speaking of Nate’s Coke addicted loser of a Papa . . . The Captain of Douchebaggery . . .

 . . . he’s positively SHOCKED that his son would even THINK that he, of all people, would sabotage Chuck’s business interests, while working for his corporate enemy.  So, the morally outraged Captain moves out of Nate’s house.  And then . . . wait for it . . . he tells Russell Thorpe that he is willing to sabotage Chuck’s business interests.  SURPRISE!

Eric Finally Gets His Own Plotline!  (YAY!) Too Bad its One That Makes Him Look Like a Gullible Moron (BOO!)

The Awkward Moment when you come home, to find your Ex-Boyfriend and your Mom engaged in an in-depth conversation about your Love Life, or lack thereof . . .

This week, we learn that, even though Eric CLAIMS to have been spending time with his boyfriend, Elliot, they actually broke up weeks ago.  (Way to spill the beans to Mom, LAME-O Ex Beau, Jonathan!)  Instead, Eric has been spending his time filling up on sleeping pills, and hanging out with Drug Dealing Damien — the same guy who (1) almost KILLED Serena, by dealing the drugs Juliet used to knock the poor girl unconscious; AND (2) almost date raped his former bestie, Little J a.k.a. Raccoon Zombie.

He’s still hot though . . . which, come to think of it, may be why Eric likes him so much.

Eric eventually comes clean to his family about what he’s been doing, these past few weeks.  But, alas, Mini van der Woodsen is SO very lonely, that when Drug Dealing Damien calls him, in the last few moments of the episode, with offers to “be his friend,” Eric accepts the invitation without a single moment of questioning or hesitation.  Well, this certainly doesn’t look good . . .

Speaking of Drug Dealing Damien, his Call of Friendship to Eric seems to be in response to a recent threat he received from Ex Con,  Ben (or, as I like to call him, Professor Pedophile) who warned the Triple D to stay away from Serena’s family, even thoughProfessor Pedo claimed earlier in the episode that he had “no romantic feelings for Serena, AT ALL.”

“That’s not really true, Serena.  I dreamed about you in prison . .  .  every single time I dropped the soap.”

Regarding the Happily Now-Of-Age Sort-of / Kind of Couple . . .

Serena is in love AGAIN!  (It must be a Monday!)

It appears that Eric isn’t the only van der Woodsen that’s a Glutton for Punishment.  No matter that Ben had Nate’s dad beat up in prison, and hired his own sister to basically ruin Serena’s life for the entire first half of the season, Serena is positively smitten with Professor Pedo.  And when he tells her that he’s leaving town in a few days to start an Organic Farm in Ithaca (?)  (Oh, Professor, you are SO on the wrong show!), Serena is positively heartbroken.  She’s even more shocked to learn that Professor Pedo isn’t living on his friend’s couch, as he mentioned, but at a Super Seedy Halfway House  . . .

It should, perhaps, be noted that Serena defines a “Super Seedy Halfway House” as anything below 80th street  . . .

At the Gossip Girl Fancy Party of the Week, Serena’s affection for Professor Pedo grows, when he offers some “fatherly” (hint, hint, wink, wink) advice to Eric about staying away from drug dealers like Damien (and ex cons, like himself, and the Captain of Douchebaggery).  Then, Ben actually goes so far as to REJECT Serena’s romantic advances.  This nearly sends the Masochistic, Serial Dumping, S to her knees, with orgasmic pleasure. 

“Yes . . . yes . . . yes!  Reject me!  Say you hate me!  Treat me like crap, and try to have me murdered!  MORE!  MORE!  MORE!”

So, of course, Serena is flabbergasted, though not exactly surprised, to find that Evil Mommy Dearest Lily (who redeemed herself in fans eyes for precisely two seconds, by getting Ben released from jail) had tried, once again, to use her money and influence to keep Professor Pedo out of the van der Woodsen’s lives for good. 

Ben refuses the money, however.  And this prompts Rufus to take him on as a tenant.  Serena is POSITIVELY THRILLED with this new development.  But it just makes me nervous . . . really nervous. 

And that’s all I’ve got on Damien Darko.  But, of course, I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on the episode!

Until next time . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Megan’s Milkshake Brings Don’s Boys to the Yard – A Recap of Mad Men’s Season 4 Finale “Tomorrowland”

MEGAN:  (reads inscription on ring) “I will love you always, Anna – ❤ Don.”  Who’s Anna?  I thought your first wife’s name was Betty?

DON: (blushes) It was.  But . . . umm . . .  Anna is . . .  a nickname I have for all my wives.  Yeah, that’s it!  A nickname!

MEGAN:  (scrunches face, in confusion) How many wives have you had?

DON:  You mean, so far?

Watching the Season 4 Finale of Mad Men taught me that I should really pay more attention to the predictions of my fellow Maddicts.  You guys really know your stuff!  Back from the beginning of the season, when Faye first said those fateful words to Don (“You will be married again, within a year.”), many of you presumed them to be prophetic.

 

“TO ME!  I meant you’d be married to ME!  Dammit Don!”

Some of you (Alchera :)), even correctly picked Megan as the lucky Bride-to-Be!  And as far as Joan, I would say that the majority of you suspected the moment we left her sitting in that abortion clinic, that she wasn’t going to go through with it.

 

“I’ll just tell Greg the stork brought it over.  He’s such a lousy doctor, he’ll never know the difference.”

Yep, Matt Weiner is going to have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool YOU guys!

“I’ll show them!  Next year, Creepy Glen is going to go postal, and shoot the ENTIRE CAST!  They’ll never see it coming . . .  My baby boy needs an Emmy!”

While I may not have been quite as prescient as other fans of this show, I have to say, I found this to be a pretty enjoyable hour.  After what had been a kind of dour second half of the season, “Tomorrowland” left our SCDPers on a high note, one that was, at least partially, hopeful and uplifting.  Plus, it was really nice to see Don happy, for a change — cannon-balling into a swimming pool, truly enjoying the company of his children, for a change, grinning and blushing like a lovesick teenager . . .

“I think I just peed . . . “

That being said, given recent events, I still kind of think he’s an idiot  . . .

Don Draper, here is a glimpse at your own, personal, Tomorrowland!

But enough of this “touchy feely” stuff!  Let’s get on with the recap!

“Then you are stuck trying to be a person, like the rest of us.”

We all should have known Faye was totally DUNZO, the minute she told a still half-asleep Don, who had a “sick feeling in his stomach” about his upcoming trip to California, that he should come clean to the rest of the world about being Dick Whitman.  After all, “Tricky Dick,” he may be, but “Honest Abe,” he’s most certainly not! 

“And then what happens?”  Don inquires of Faye, like a child seeking a bedtime story from his mother.

“Then you are stuck trying to be a person, like everyone else,” replies Faye matter-of-factly, as if making the decision to expose the Clark Kent behind your Superman is as easy as say . . . deciding to get married to the secretary you barely know.

“But Megan is my Lois Lane . . . well, technically Peggy, is my Lois Lane.  But Megan is my . . . what was the name of Clark Kent’s secretary, again?  Did he even have one?”

Faye’s faux pas aside, the not-long-for-this-world couple shared a sweet and emotional goodbye, that, in hindsight, did seem to have a bit of finality to it.  It was almost as if Don’s trip to “Tomorrowland” was his metaphorical journey to his own future, in which Faye, now inextricably linked to his past as Dick Whitman, was destined to take no part.

The Happiest Place on Earth?

“Don and I thought it would be best, if we approach from the rear.”

The sad part is, I didn’t even make that title to be funny.  Pete ACTUALLY said it!  You’ve just gotta love a heterosexual man, who’s not afraid of a little rear penetration . . .

Speaking of butts, Joan is working hers to the bone, having now been forced to assume mail clerk duties, as a result of SCDP’s drastically reduced staff.  When she arrives at Lane’s office, he has some good news to share with her.  And by “good news” I mean, news that could be “good” but actually ends up being kind of lame.  You see, the “good news” is that Joan has received a promotion, and, with it, a new fancy title:  Director of Agency Operating Relations, or something like that . . .

The not-so-good news is that, while the position does come with increased responsibilities, it comes with NO increased pay.

“Lane, darling.  Next time you are planning to screw me over, I’d prefer being approached from the rear . . .”

While Joan is busy running the entire company, more or less, for free, Don is over at the American Cancer Society, trying to save it from financial ruin, by pitching a “free”advertising campaign.  Given Don’s usual penchant for dishonesty, I found the unusually blunt approach he took with these, as Pete called them, “Fat Cats,” oddly refreshing.

“MEGAN!  Get me another cigarette, NOW!  My No Smoking campaign is on TV!”

After more or less admitting to the Executive Board that he IS, in fact, a smoker (most of the Board is too) and that he only wrote the article, in an attempt to save his agency, Don pitches yet another one of his brilliant campaign ideas.  This one features young kids spending time with their knocking-at-death’s door parents.  The campaign is intended to target teens, the largest demographic of NEW smokers.

“But [teens] hate their parents,” remarks the only female on the Board.

With parent’s like THESE, can you blame them?

Don explains that the commercials would not actually be about “the dying parents” but about the teens, themselves, who, he claims, are nostalgic for their lost childhood, and fear the future, which they automatically equate with death. 

In short, here we have a chain smoker, who is running away from his past, pitching an anti-smoking campaign that advocates  embracing the exact same thing he is fleeing.  Ironic, no?

Back at the office, Don’s new whore best friend, Pete, is just gushing over how great Don performed at the meeting.  And I have to say, it’s nice to see these two playing so nice, for a change.

It just goes to show ya, sometimes all it takes is some compromise and understanding and $50,000 to repair a long-lost friendship.

As it turns out, one of the “Fat Cats” on the American Cancer Society Board is also an Executive of Corning Glassware, as well as a good friend of Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law.   So, Don and Co, request that Ken take the influential men golfing, in hopes of scaring up some new business.

“YAY!  I have more than one speaking line, this week!”

However, Ken, unlike say . . . everybody else in the office . . . is not one to mix business with family life.  Therefore, he absolutely refuses, to jeopardize his new marriage, for something as insignficant, in the scheme of things, as the possibility of a new account.  “Why can’t you just call Corning for a meeting?”  Ken inquires rationally.

“Don and I think would be best if we approach from the rear,” replies Pete.

“Did he just say what I THINK he said?”

Alas, Ken is more of a “frontal entry” guy, so he blows off his boss’ request.  “I’m going to service the 30 percent of this firm that are MY clients,” Ken concludes before storming off.

Wait a second . . . did he just say “service?” 😉

“Just because you’re sad, doesn’t mean everybody else has to be.”

“I’m BAAAAAACK!”

When Betty chased Creepy Glen into the woods last week, we just knew his temporary disappearance from the show was just too good to be true, right?  Just like the Big Bads in horror movies, Creepy Glen just HAD to come back  for his FINAL SCARE.  Except, this time, his doing so, royally screwed over the woman who quite possibly remains the most moral character on the show.  Carla!

“Now we can finally start discussing my spinoff, Mr. Weiner?”

Now, those of us, who’ve watched the show from the beginning, know that there are plenty of VERY good reasons why a mother would not want their daughter hanging out with a kid like Creepy Glen.  For starters, he’s “Creepy.”  He also invades and trashes peoples homes.  He also plies little girls with cigarettes and spiked Cokes.  Unfortunately, none of these VERY valid reasons are why BETTY doesn’t want Glen to see Sally.  No, her reasoning actually has more to do with . . . JEALOUSY.

It’s like the Evil Queen and Snow White all over again!  Betty just can’t stand having a man reject her for a younger model, even if that “man” is a Bad Seed 13-year old, and the “younger model” is her OWN significantly more age appropriate daughter.

“I’m the fairest one of all!”

So, anyway, Betty steps out of the house to get some groceries.  And, not a minute later, Creepy Glen, who has been watching the home for lord knows how long (See what I mean, about the “creepy?”), “casually” pops in to say goodbye to Sally, in anticipation of her upcoming move out of the neighborhood. 

Carla kindly dismisses him at first.  However, ultimately, the sweet housekeeper can’t deny her surrogate child One Last Goodbye with the Little Goober, who very well may be Sally’s only friend.  (Especially, if news got out around the playground about her unique brand of “slumber party entertainment,” which we witnessed a few weeks back.) 

OOPS!

And so, Carla lets the star-crossed pair rendezvous One Last Time.  How very Romeo & Juliet!

“assuming Romeo was MAJORLY Creepy . . .”

To my pleasant surprise (and possibly only because Matt Weiner does not allow his son to kiss girls yet), the final meeting between Sally and Glen is actually fairly chaste (handshakes and hugs were exchanged), and only slightly creepy.  (“I say goodbye to people all the time, says Glen.  “I’m good at it.”)

 

Sure, Glen.  This guy was good at “saying goodbye” to people too!   They just didn’t often get the chance to “say goobye” back. . .

And yet, despite all this, I couldn’t help but feel just the teensy weensiest bit bad for Creepy Glen, when, as he was leaving the Francis household, the Wicked Witch of West New York returned.  *cue The Wizard of Oz’s Flying Monkey Theme Song*

She starts screaming her head off in a way that NO WOMAN should scream at SOMEONE ELSE’S child.  (No matter HOW creepy he is.)  Feeling partly responsible for his presence in the household, Carla steps in and assumes some of the blame.  Betty briefly softens, long enough for Glen to earn a bit of my respect, for having the courage to utter two very important lines to the former love of his life.

(1) “Why do you hate me?” and

(2) “Just because you are sad, doesn’t mean everybody else has to be!”

(I can’t believe I just gave an “Oh Snap” to Creepy Glen . . .)

After Glen exits stage left hopefully for good, Betty turns around and FIRES CARLA!

The Wicked Wench didn’t even let the housekeeper, who RAISED her kids for 11 years, say goodbye to them!  Seriously, could this b*tch GET any more EVIL?  Oh . . . yeah . . . she CAN!  Betty even REFUSED TO WRITE THIS WOMAN A JOB RECOMMENDATION, despite the fact that this was obviously Carla’s ONLY source of employment for 11 YEARS! 

I don’t think I’ve had this much hate in my heart for a television character in a long time!  Perhaps, Betty’s old sad sack of a new husband said it best when he told this Sorry Excuse for a Human Being, “NOBODY is EVER on your side!” 

HEY BETTY!  Here’s looking at YOU, kid!

“We landed a new account!”

 Ken and Peggy!  Now here’s an unexpectedly fun duo, who I wouldn’t mind seeing on screen together more often.  (It’s kinda too bad he married Alex Mack.)

 It all began when Peggy’s new gal pal, Joyce, popped by her office with a “model friend” of hers, who was looking for work.  Apparently, the model, along with the advertising agency that hired her, had all been unceremoniously fired by a company named Topaz Pantyhose.  While Harry sees the model’s appearance in the office, as an opportunity to cheat on his wife AGAIN . . .

. . . Peggy forms an idea that will actually be GOOD for business. 

“Hey,” she thinks to herself.  “If Topaz is unhappy with their current representation, maybe they can be happy with SCDP!”

Despite the impending holiday (Thanksgiving, I presume?) Peggy, with the help of Account Man, Ken, wrangles a  last minute meeting with the company.  During this meeting, Peggy proceeds, as is becoming the usual, to knock the pitch out of the park — coming up with five possible advertising campaigns, seemingly out of mid air. 

And guess what?  This Dynamic Duo land the half-million dollar account by themselves — garnering SCDP the first new business it has gained since the loss of Lucky Strike!

You know what I wish?  I WISH that I had an animated GIF of Ken lifting Peggy up in the air and twirling her about, when the pair first found out they landed the account — because it was the CUTEST, MOST JOYOUS thing EVER!  Take THAT, Alex Mack!

Yet, unfortunately, I do not yet have such a GIF.  And so, I will highlight this joyous moment with another GIF, which features Pete doing the Happy Dance . . .

“I’ve got the rest of my life ahead of me.  And so do you!’

Just as Don’s lawyer is telling him that he should remarry, so that he can have turkey on the table at Thanksgiving, who should call Don at the office, but THIS Turkey.

She’s calling to tell him.  “Ooops, I fired our housekeeper of 11-years, two days before your big business trip / family vacation to Disneyland with the kids.  Too bad, so sad, for YOU!”

“You mean, I actually might have to change a DIAPER?  NOOOOOOOO!”

After trying not particularly hard to find a new “Father’s Helper” for Don to take on his trip with him, Megan announces that NO ONE is available on such short notice.  So, Don, ever the horny generous soul, offers to double Megan’s salary, provided that she come to Disneyland with him and screw his brains out care for the children while he is working.

And so, off head Don, Megan and the rest of the “fam” to see Mickey Mouse.

Now in California, Don comes home from a days work to find his now lobotomized unusually well-behaved Stepford children singing French songs with Snow White Megan.

Now, maybe I’m just a cynical and miserable person, but I found the whole scene a bit disturbing.  (Loved Megan’s dress though – So CUTE!)  Don, however, who’s used to coming home to the site of Betty screaming at the top of her lungs and performing evil pagan rituals on his children, ate it all up.  “You said you have no experience with kids.  Yet, I come home and you’re like Maria Von Trapp,” Don exclaims with amusement and intense passion.

“The hills are alive, with the sound of ME-GAN!”

The next day, Don and the children visit Anna Draper’s home, so that he can sign some documents relating to her will.  And, who should answer the door at Anna’s house but Stephanie . . . yet another WAY TOO YOUNG chick Don tried to hit on this season!

“The hills are alive, with the sound of Ste-phanie!”

When Don asks Stephanie if she is back at college, she replies that she is not.  “I have my whole life ahead of me,” she sing-songs.  “And so do you minus about twenty some-odd years.

Stephanie also takes the time to offer Don, Anna’s engagement ring from the REAL Don Draper.  “She wanted you to have this so that you can propose to your young nubile secretary, tomorrow morning.” Stephanie explains.

Don looks quizzically at the ring, before shoving it away in his pocket.  Meanwhile, Sally has noticed a very peculiar inscription on the wall of the house.  “Who’s Dick?”  She inquires innocently.

Kudos to Don for not peeing himself right there in Anna’s house.  “That’s me.  It’s a nickname I call myself sometimes.”

Way to GO DON!  Baby steps . . .

Having (sort of) freed himself of one of his many lies, and having received a bit of closure on the “Anna Chapter” of his life, a jubilant Don cannonballs into the hotel pool, while Megan and the kids look on with shock and Glee. 

“Pretty cool, Don!  But a belly flop would have been WAY COOLER!”

That night, Don stays home with the kids, while a hot-to-trot Megan goes out with her haughty-looking “French porn star actress friend.”  When the two stop by to say good night, Don looks at Megan like he wants to devour her whole.  Is it any wonder than, that a surprisingly shy and goofy Don, makes an excuse to pop by Megan’s room that night to go over “Disneyland plans?”

“Disneyland plans?  Is that what the Middle Aged Ad Execs are calling it nowadays?”

Before you know it, Don and Megan are out on the balcony, “looking at the stars.”  Then Megan starts talking about her “large but loveable” teeth, which Don takes as an open invitation to start cleaning them with his tongue.

DON:  My, what big incisors you have, Megan?

MEGAN:  The better to EAT YOU WITH!

Before you know it, Don and Megan are between the sheets, performing a Late Night in the Office, Part Deux.  And I’ve gotta say, in four seasons, I’ve NEVER seen Don so smitten!  “You don’t know anything about me,” muses Don, while thanking his lucky stars that this is, in fact, still the case.

“I know you have a good heart . . . and that you are always trying to be better,” replies Megan. 

(Let’s pause, while I write this down .  . . you never know when a line like that will come in handy . . .)

After that, Don TOTALLY goes all GIRLY MAN on Megan, and starts gushing over how majorly hot he is for her.  It’s sweet — and yet seems SO out-of-place coming from Mr. SUPER Emotionally Repressed!

Who are YOU?  And what did you do with the REAL Dick Whitman Don Draper?

Typically the guy who’s constantly keeping women at a safe distance emotionally, even while they are close to him, sexually, Don shocks us all, by asking Megan, timidly, whether she will ever make love to him again, or whether this will be — like their first fling in the office — a two one-shot deal?

Secretary Megan is officially my NEW hero!

Now, we all know Megan’s been scoring HUGE on this trip.  (In more ways than one!)  However, Girlfriend doesn’t REALLY cinch the deal, until the next morning at breakfast.  And it all comes down to one word:  “Milkshake.”

Sorry . . . I just couldn’t resist.

When Sally and Bobby start fighting, at whatever fast food joint the family is dining at that morning, they accidentally spill milkshake all over the table and, consequently, Megan’s dress. 

Possibly suffering from PTSD-esque  flashbacks of Betty going apesh*t, every time someone dropped a speck a salt in her lap, Don starts flipping the eff out!  But milky-dress Megan, like Monica Lewinsky before her, remains completely calm about her now-white stained frock.  “It’s just a dress,” she says, cheerily, as she mops up the liquidy goo.

So, OF COURSE, Don HAD TO PROPOSE the next morning!

Wait . . .  what?? SERIOUSLY?  That’s a joke right?  He actually proposed?

Yup!

“I keep thinking about you.  I feel like myself whoever the eff that is when I’m with you.  I’m in love with you,” Don gushes, as he take Dead Anna’s engagement ring out of his pocket.

“Do you have any idea how many things had to happen for us to be here in this moment?”  He asks.

Megan, for her part, looks a bit taken aback, but ultimately, agrees to marry the Poor Lovesick Schlub.  Immediately, Megan picks up the phone and begins excitedly babbling in French to her mother (who lives somewhere in Canada), undoubtedly giving her the news that precisely every mom wants to hear. 

“RICH!  RICH! Your daughter is going to be RICH!”

“What do we do now?”  Megan inquires.

“I guess we tell everyone,” says Mr. Usually Super Secretive.

(Seriously, this chick has magical powers!)

See?  I told you.  She’s TOTALLY a vampire!

“That’s Bullsh*t!”

“Hey Joan!  Do you want to start the “Guess the Divorce Date” pool, or should I?”

Back at the office, everybody politely feigns excitement and positivity, upon hearing Don’s “excellent news.”  But it’s Roger who wins the Two-for-One Special, for having both of the best one-liners of the scene.  Here they are, in order:

1) “Who the hell is [Megan]?”

2) “Let’s have a toast.  Megan, can you get us some ice?  Just kidding.  See, Don, this is how you are SUPPOSED to act, when your colleague gets engaged!”

Dear, Sweet, Roger!  You’ve been a total loser, ALL SEASON!  But I still love you!

When Peggy and Ken arrive to announce THEIR good news, Peggy is blindsided by Don’s.  The poor girl looks positively crestfallen.  I suspect the reason for this is three-fold. 

(1)  Don’s unplanned announcement TOTALLY pissed on her Topaz party;

(2) through all that has happened, Peggy always looked up to Don.  Now, by shagging YET ANOTHER secretary, and marrying her in record time, Don has let Peggy down, AGAIN;

(3) (subconsciously) Peggy has always been a bit attracted to Don, and somewhere deep down, probably hoped they would eventually end up together.

To add insult to injury, Don pulls Peggy aside later, and “thanks her for her concern.”  He also tells her that “[Megan] reminds me of you.  She has the same spark that you do.  She’s just WAY HOTTER!  She admires you just as much as I do.”

Now, in all fairness, I know Don was trying to be nice here, but TALK ABOUT A SLAP IN THE FACE!  Damn!

“I SO need to get high right now!”

In one of my favorite scenes of the night, Peggy pops into Joan’s office for a Girly Gab and B*tch Session.

“I just saved this company!”  Peggy gripes.

“It happens all the time.   They are always in between marriages.  [Don will] probably make [Megan] a copywriter,” Joan replies

“I learned a long time ago, not to get my only satisfaction from this job,” adds Joan cooly.

“That’s BULLSH*T!”  Peggy yelps, as the two erupt into uproarious laughter, as, I suspect, did many of us back home.

I really do hope we get to see more Joan and Peggy Bonding Sessions next year.  Those two sure have come a LONG way in their relationship, since Season 1 . . .

Speaking of “coming a long way” . . .

“When are you going to tell them YOUR news?”

Through a VERY LONG DISTANCE (How much do you think THAT cost?) phone call to Greg in Vietnam, we learn that Joan has, in fact, kept Roger’s bastard child, and is trying to pass it off as Greg’s.  And while Dr. McRapey . . .

(who looks so sweet and adorable sometimes – especially in that uniform – I often have to remind myself why I’m supposed to hate him)

 . . .  does show some initial concern as to why his Should-Be-In-Her-Second-Trimester-Already wife is “not showing at all” in pictures, he quickly forgets all logical reasoning (not to mention everything he supposedly learned in Med School), when she informs him that her ALREADY MASSIVE BOOBIES, have, in fact gotten bigger.

Um . . . yeah . . . good luck out there, injured soldiers!

Two scenes I honestly cared very little about followed.  The first was Don’s dumping of an understandably bitter, Faye.  “I hope [Megan] knows you only like the beginnings of things,” she pouts. 

(How very true . . .) 

The second was Don’s reuniting with Betty in their now-empty old house — a scene which I would have found nostalgic and sweet, had I not spent an entire season coming to DESPISE BETTY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!

In Betty defense, she was much more gracious, upon hearing news of Don’s impending nuptials to Megan, than Faye was.  Though, of course, given that she is married to Dull Henry, she really has no reason whatsover to weigh in on Don’s personal life.  Nonetheless, given the “come hither eyes” Betty was giving Don, throughout the scene, and her admission to him that “things aren’t perfect,” between her and Henry, I suspect we might find her divorced yet again, next season.

The final scene of the episode features a contemplative Don, spooning with a sleeping Megan in his dingy apartment, while staring up at the night sky into his  . . . Great Big Beautiful Tomorrowland?

So, there you have it folks, a poignant end, to a VERY poignant season of Mad Men.  What did you think?  Are you planning to enter Joan’s and Lane’s Guiess the Divorce Date pool?  Or do you think Don and Little Miss Sound of Music here are going to make it for the long haul?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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