Tag Archives: Megan Draper

“Something beautiful you can truly own” – A Recap of Mad Men’s “The Other Woman”

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“At last, something beautiful you can truly own.”

These haunting words comprised the tagline for the Jaguar pitch Don Draper made at the climax of the tour de force hour of television that was “The Other Woman.”  On the surface, they speak to human nature, and its often unquenchable desire to seek spiritual fulfillment through superficial means, be it wealth, material possessions, or physical attractiveness.

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However, “The Other Woman” takes this deceptively simplistic concept to a much deeper level, by posing to viewers a very serious question, one which we are all destined to face in our lives at one time or another.  Namely,  what price are you willing to pay to get what you want out of life?  And is there ever a point where the personal sacrifices necessary for achievement outweigh the rewards?

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Let’s review, shall we?

“Let them eat lobster.”

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Last week’s “Christmas Waltz,” ended rather triumphantly, with a newly re-energized and determined Don rousing his battle-weary troops, inspiring them all to work as hard as they could, and do whatever it took to win the Jaguar account for SCDP.  He described landing the account as a “defining moment for the agency.”  (Little did he know how prophetic those words would end up being.)

By the time we return to SCDP this week, it’s evident that some of the inspirational luster of Don’s speech has already started to fade.  The ad men are tired, restless, and growing increasingly jaded about their prospective client . . . a car that, though admirably beautiful and enviably expensive, has so far proven to be woefully unreliable.  In short, a Jaguar is the kind of date you wouldn’t think twice about inviting into your bed.  But you probably would hesitate, before bringing it home to meet the parents.

(Speaking of price tags, I wonder how much Jaquar paid for the product placement it’s received these past two episodes.  Whatever it was,  I’d probably ask for my money back.)

Hungry and tired, the ad men are thrilled when a massive order of lobster arrives in the conference room to provide them with some much-needed sustenance, after a hard day’s work.  But not Peggy.  She doesn’t get any lobster, because she’s working on  SCDP’s 25 or so other accounts, and NOT Jaguar.  She gets a two-day old tuna sandwich from the nose-picking street vendor downstairs.

(I don’t know.  This part seemed a little heavy handed for me.  I mean, it’s not that big of an office.  And, from the looks of it, about 7/8ths of the entire company was working on the Jaguar Account.  How hard would it have been to offer a little lobster tail to the 5 or 6 people still working on other accounts?  Also . . . um . . . isn’t SCDP a bit cash poor now?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to forgo the lobster, in exchange for those “Christmas Bonuses” that Lane won’t shut up about?)

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“I sure would like the opportunity to get to know her better.”

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While the working stiffs at SCDP were busy eating lobster, Account Men, Ken and Pete were forced to shovel down some serious crow, when they learned that their ability to land the Jaguar account had less to do with their firm’s advertising prowess, and more to do with what was underneath Joan Holloway’s dress.  Jaguar’s pudgy dumpling of an executive definitely made no bones about what and who he needed SCDP to do in order to gain his business.  (And, honestly, if that’s how Jaguar makes its business decisions, it’s no wonder the cars are “unreliable.”)  Poor Ken Cosgrove!  The look on his face, when Scummy McScumbag proposed he be allowed to boink Joan, as a “perk” of using SCDP to advertise his product, was like someone had just clubbed a baby seal right in front of him . . .

Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that Kenny Cosgrove is actually the moral compass of Mad Men.

This would explain why he hardly ever has any lines . . .

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Pete on the other hand has never been one to look a pimp horse in the mouth.  So, of course, he only feigns mild distaste with the idea, when he not-so-tactfully broaches the subject with Joan in her office, the following day.

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Like the seasoned pimp that he is,  Pete blustered his way toward Joan’s desk, boldly demanding that she name her price, without the slightest hint of hesitation or remorse in his voice.  He does so in a way that drastically downplays the extent of what he is asking her to do, and what her agreeing to do it would say about the company for which they both have chosen to work.  “We’re talking about a night in your life. We’ve all had nights in our lives where we’ve made mistakes for free,”  Pete reasons.  (How very Indecent Proposal of him.)

And lord knows, if anybody knows a thing or two about making “free” mistakes it’s Pete Campbell . . .

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What’s depressing is that the moment Pete broaches this subject with Joan, he has already singlehandedly taken his firm down the path to moral ruin.  Regardless of what comes after, SCDP has just become the kind of firm that’s willing to entertain these kind of offers to obtain business.  And Joan, who has spent over a decade of her life working tirelessly for the company, will never again be able to shake the fact that her bosses and colleagues value the almighty dollar over her self-respect and well-being.

In short, not all rapes happen in the bedroom . . .

But we’ve all come to expect this from Pete.  What was more disturbing, to me anyway, was the way the other partners reacted, when Pete broached the subject with them.  Bert Cooper, who, in the past, has often chastized his fellow co-workers for the ways in which their own greed and selfishness have negatively impacted the business, only uttered a few feeble words in protest, before following the herd.

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Roger Sterling, who — many times in the past, has claimed to “love” Joan, and whose modus operandi all season has been to throw money at any and all problems that stand in his way — only seemed interested in whether he would be the one to have to pony up the payment for Joan’s Jaguar prostitution fee.

Shameful!

And then there was Lane, who gamely proposed that Joan request a partnership stake in the company, as opposed to the $50,000 lump sum initially offered by Pete . . . not because he truly cared about Joan’s well being . . . but because he knew the large payment would bankrupt the already over-extended firm, while exposing his own criminal actions in the process.

In fact, Joan’s only champion at the executive table seemed to be Don, who stormed out of the meeting in a huff at the suggestion, wrongfully assuming that his obvious refusal to consider the matter would be enough to put the subject to rest.  He wouldn’t learn until later on in the episode just how wrong he truly was . . .

“You wanna go to Paris?”

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Elsewhere at SCDP, Peggy displayed her penchant for Don Draper style extemporaneous brilliance, when she came up with a new winning ending to a struggling ad campaign, off the while on the phone with the clients.  The advertisement was meant to be shot in Paris.  And Peggy, as originator of the idea, in the first place, rightfully requested the right to make the trip.  Don balked at the idea, claiming that the account was Ginsberg’s, and he would be making the trip in her place.  When Harry, Ken and Peggy urged him to reconsider, Don rudely tossed a wad of cash in Peggy’s face, inadvertently treating his erstwhile protege like the call girl, he so valiantly refused to allow Joan to be.

Oh, Don!  When even HARRY CRANE thinks you are treating women badly, you KNOW you douchedom levels have just reached Mach 5 . . .

Always the gentleman, Ken Cosgrove rushes to comfort Peggy, even going as far as to offer to leave the firm with her, if Don doesn’t reconsider his treatment of her.  But Peggy refuses to be comforted by her friend and colleague.  After all, there’s only one person’s approval she’s always been seeking at SCDP.  And it’s not Ken Cosgrove’s . . .

Don’s and Peggy’s relationship has always been complex, with Don’s treatment of the younger woman alternating between shockingly callous (“That’s what the money is for!”) and remarkably kind (“I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you back.”)  In some ways, I think the familiarity that has developed between Don and Peggy over the past few seasons, coupled with Don’s at-least-to-some-extent rightful belief that she owes her career to him, are what has led to the gradual souring of their relationship this season.  Don often thinks of Peggy like his own daughter .  . . a daughter, who he can scold, chastize, and challenge, in ways that he can’t with other colleagues, because he knows deep down they love one another, and can relate to one another on a more personal level . . . also . . . quite frankly, he signs her checks.

But what Don never really understood about Peggy was that it was never about the money, or even about being the boss’ fair-haired girl.  For Peggy, what truly drove her at SCDP was a genuine love for what she was doing, and the drive to obtain the respect and recognition for her work, she felt she rightfully deserved.  Each time Don took Peggy’s talents for granted . . . each time he passed her over for an opportunity, or slighted her good work, brought her closer and closer to the decision she made at the end of the episode.  But ultimately, it was her old pal Freddy Rumsen, the first man at the firm to truly recognize her talents, who made her realize just how valuable of a commodity she had become in the industry, and what opportunities might become available to her, if she only had the courage to pursue them.

“I haven’t decided if you are really ambitious, ballerina, or if you just like to complain?”  Freddy muses, while at lunch, with a highly distraught Peggy.  Sometimes it takes the people who know us best, to show us what’s been in our hearts all along.  When Don Draper’s slimy adversary Ken Chaough courts Peggy with 1,000 more than her asking price, and the much coveted title of “Copy Chief,” I think Peggy is less wowed by the financial sum she is offered, and more enticed by the prospect of working for someone who sees her not as a protege, or even a beloved child, but as an intellectual equal, and smart business acquisition to boot.

Speaking of smart business acquisitions . . .

“She just comes and goes as she pleases.”

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Don is both shocked and more than a bit hurt, when his wife fails to consult him about taking an audition which, if she gets the the part, would require her to live apart from him for months at a stretch.  Later she goes on to say that, if he told her she couldn’t take the job, she would turn it down, but would probably hate him for it.

Megan continues to prove that she’s the one wearing the skinny jeans in the family, when she arrives at Don’s office in search of a quick pre-audition quickie to “up her confidence.”  (Interestingly enough, it’s Megan’s sex kitten-like brazenness that ultimately inspires a morally aghast Ginsberg to come up with the tagline for Don Draper’s ultimate Jaguar pitch.)

But then, it’s Megan’s turn to get her ego taken down a few pegs, when she arrives at her audition, and the men on the other end of the casting couch are more interested in what’s underneath her dress, than the words that are coming out of her mouth . . .

“You’re one of the good ones, aren’t you?”

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A little older, and substantially less naive about the inner desires of men / the ways of the world, Joan Holloway seems to have reached her decision regarding the Indecent Proposal made to her earlier by Pete, and somewhat seconded by Lane.  With an air of confidence that belies the inner turmoil she is obviously feeling, images of her repeated mistreatment by her soon-to-be ex husband ripe in her mind, Joan demands her five-percent stake in the company.  Pete’s response is smug and self-satisfied, with just the slightest hint of remorse.  “He’s not that bad,” Pete offers, wrongly assuming that Joan’s suitor’s lack of total hideousness will somehow soften the blow of what she’s about to do.

“He’s doing this,” Joan replies, matter-of-factly.

When Don hears that the rest of the partners went behind his back to orchestrate this agreement he is horrified, particularly in light of the tender moments he and Joan shared the week before.  With a sense of purpose, and a surprising amount of concern for his colleague, Don rushes to Joan’s home, begging her not to go through with this, telling her that he was 100% against it from the beginning, and that sacrificing her own integrity and the company’s for a single account is simply not worth the price.

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There’s a wistfulness in Joan’s face, as she listens to Don’s words that makes more sense later on in the episode.  For a woman who has been used and mistreated by men her entire life . . . a woman who has been taught by her own mother, that a woman’s greatest ambition should be to be “admired,” Joan is seeing, for the first time, a man who truly cares about her . . . someone who is willing to go to the mat for her . . . to fight for her . . . to put his own career and financial security on the line for her well-being.  She’s touched, honored, and impressed by this man with whom she’s never had a romantic history, but with whom she shares a history nonetheless . . .

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We don’t get to see the aftermath of that scene . . . how Joan responds, after Don walks out that door.  Instead, we are treated to an interplay between Don’s riveting, and yet, slightly disheartening, in light of recent events, Jaguar pitch about man’s elusive desire to “own” unattainable “beautiful things,” be them overpriced unreliable cars, or strong smart single mothers, who are willing to do what they can to provide for their children, even if it means sacrificing their own sense of self . . .

As a viewer, it’s incredibly hard to see Joan make this sacrifice . . . a woman who has always been the steadfast and sturdy rock, of SCDP . . . the unofficial mother of the gang.  She put her trust in her colleagues, and they let her down, by putting her in the position to entertain an offer she simply couldn’t refuse.  Of course, it’s even more heartbreaking, when we learn the truth about Don’s last ditch effort to get Joan to reconsider her decision.   Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that he was too late . . . that by the time Don arrived on Joan’s doorstep, the deed was already done.  Joan just couldn’t bring herself to tell him.

Had Don arrived earlier, would it have made a difference in Joan’s decision?  Perhaps not.  But now viewers will inevitably always be left wondering, and so will Joan . . .

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 “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”

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Learning that SCDP landed the Jaguar account is a highly bittersweet moment for Don, particularly when he learns, based on Joan’s sudden presence at the partner’s meeting, what she sacrificed to achieve it.  Now, he’ll never know whether he could have won the account on the merit’s of his pitching skills alone.  Far from being in the partying mood, Don finds himself surprisingly eager to engage in a personal conversation with Peggy, the only woman remaining in his life, who he truly believes he understands.  Little does he know that Peggy is about to turn his world upside down.  “You really don’t know when things are good, do you?”  Peggy inquires, clearly talking about more than the landing of the Jaguar account.

Anyone who’s ever left a job before, can relate to Peggy in this moment . . . the mixture of fear,  guilt, excitement, and sadness, coursing through her veins, as she thanks Don for seeing something in her that no one else did . . . for changing her life . . . and, finally, for making it possible for her to chart out a new path for herself.  At first, Don can’t take Peggy seriously.  This is the one woman Don thought would never leave him.  Once again, he wrongly assumes that this discussion is about money, as he blithely asks Peggy to name her price, echoing Pete’s discussion with Joan earlier in the episode.

But Peggy can’t be bought or swayed.  Her decision is final.  And when Don realizes that, his reaction is surprisingly emotional.  In fact, the only time we’ve really ever seen Don get this emotional was when he learned that Anna Draper died, last season . . . Ironically, Peggy was with him in that moment too . . .

On the surface, Don is his cocksure self, telling Peggy not to bother with her two week notice, since there are tons of freelancers out in the hall waiting to take her place.  But all that bluster falls away, when Peggy goes to give him that final handshake.  Barely concealed tears welling up in his eyes, Don grabs her hand, and kisses it repeatedly, refusing to let go, as Peggy looks away tearfully, both embarrassed and touched by this show of emotion by her father figure, her colleague, and the man who was once her hero.  For Don, the act is one mixed with emotion, caring, and just a hint of desperation.  It harkens back to the pilot episode, in which Peggy grabbed Don’s hand, in a feeble attempt to seduce him, and he brutally rebuffed her.  It also harkens back to that moment in “The Suitcase,” when Don grabs Peggy’s hand, while she offers him solace after a long and difficult night.  Like Joan’s hand on Don’s cheek, earlier in the episode, the hand kiss is a simple gesture.  But one that is frought with so much history and meaning.

On the way out of the office for the last time, Peggy catches Joan’s eyes, and the two share a meaningful look.  Here are two strong, very different women, having recently both made bold and life-changing decisions, ones that will inevitably lead them down very different paths.  Then, Peggy sighs and turns toward the elevator, waiting to take that final step.  When she does, she smiles, ready to face whatever comes next.  And despite all the tragedy, turmoil, and disappointments that filled the episode, how could you not root for an ending like that?

[www.juliekushner.com][FangirlsForever]

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The Week in WTF – A Look at Some of this Week’s Most Jaw Dropping TV Moments

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Greetings Couch Potatoes!  It’s been quite a week in TV Land.  Planes exploded . . . teens overdosed, graduated, flunked out, and enlisted in the army.  There were breakups, hookups, divorces, surprise pregnancies, conspiracies, embarrassing sexual encounters, blatant check fraud, and fake deaths.  Someone even joined the Hari Krishna!

So, sit back, relax, and let’s relive all the WTF . . .

Game of Thrones – “The Prince of Winterfell”

So, it turns out that, contrary to popular belief, Theon Greyjoy didn’t actually kill those two Stark boys, burn up their bodies, and hang them out to rot, outside the Gates of Winterfell.  Instead, he killed two random farmer boys, burned their bodies, and hung them out to rot, outside the Gates of Winterfell . . . which I guess is a relief . . . unless you happen to be those two farmers boys . . .

In other mistaken identity news, Cersei did not, in fact have Tyrion’s Whore beaten, like she claimed she did.  Instead, she had some OTHER whore beaten, who Tyrion had to PRETEND was his whore, to protect his real whore.  Am I sensing a pattern here?

Oh hey, it’s the Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth comedy hour!

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Needless to say in the romantic comedy version of this story, Brienne and Jamie would tip over their canoe in a sexually tense fight, and would subsequently have to “get out of their wet clothes.” Then, they would fight some more, finally ending a passionate kiss, only to have some medieval object get in the way . . . like a metal face mask . . . or an inconveniently placed sword . . . Ouch.

In other news, please, for the love of all that is holy, GIVE THIS WOMAN BACK HER DRAGONS!

Mad Men – “Christmas Waltz”

So, um . . . remember This Guy . . .

 (Paul Kinsey)

Well, he’s baaack . . .  except . . . well . . . I’ll let you see for yourself . . .

See, folks, this is what happens to you, when you’re dumped by Don Draper.   You either put on a ton of weight . . .

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  . . . or you start working at the A&P, join the Hari Krishna movement, and pen bad Star Trek spec scripts with titles like “The Negron Complex.”  That hair though . . . it reminds me of someone . . .

 See, all this time, I’ve been dating Puck from Glee, I never knew he was a Hari Krishna.  You think you know a guy . . .

Meanwhile, Lane Pryce is in deep doo-doo, because he started forging company check’s to pay off his Mother Country tax debt . . .

But hey, Don Draper isn’t really Don Draper, right?  So, I guess if you’re going to forge someone’s name on a check, his is probably your best bet.  After all, he forges his name all the time.  Anyway, Lane  . . . you’re probably going to end up in jail . . . or deported . . . or you just might off yourself by the season’s end.  But hey, it could be worse.  You could be wearing this shirt . . .

In other news, Don and Megan went to a play.  Apparently, it was supposed to be about the horrors of advertising.  But to me it just looked like an extended public service announcement about why we should bring naptime back to the workplace . . .

Speaking of Megan . . . Don, the next time you plan on going out joyriding an getting wasted with Joan after work, you should strongly consider calling your wife, and letting her know you are going to be late . . . unless, of course, you enjoy eating spaghetti off your dining room wall . . .

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This, of course, brings me to my absolute favorite part of this episode . . . Don and Joan . . . Joan and Don.  This mostly platonic (but highly sexually charged) pairing is filled with so much awesomeness that no elevator, bar, or backseat of a newly purchased Jaguar could possibly contain it.

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And, perhaps, the most shocking thing of all?  They haven’t slept together . . . yet.

Girls – “The Return”

Those of you who watch “Girls” know that it is not at all uncommon for the main character, Hannah Horvath to do, say, or experience something that makes you want to go hide under your bed in cringeworthy embarrassment on her behalf.

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But regardless of how you might personally feel about Hannah, your heart really had to go out to her in this week’s episode.  I mean, no one should have to help her late-middle aged father off the bathroom floor, while he’s suffering from a sex injury, after an unfortunate incident involving doggy style in the shower with mom.  NO ONE!

“Help, I’ve fallen, and I’ve still got it up!” 

Glee – “Goodbye”

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Nineties kids and teens alike really got a kick out of this week’s Glee finale, which bid its senior class adieu by covering moderately oldies but still goodies, like the New Radicals “Get What You Give,” and “I’ll Remember,” which I mistakenly thought was “That Madonna Song from A League of Her Own” but my friend informed me was actually “That Madonna Song from With Honors.”

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(I guess I just forgot to “Remember” where the song came from.)

But I think a few weeks from now, when fans think back on this episode, less will be thinking about the music the grads sang and more about THIS . . .

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If watching Burt Hummel dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” on his son’s behalf doesn’t make you smile, you don’t have a soul.  I’m sorry.  There’s just no nice way of saying it . . .

In less happy news, here’s a little tip my old wise ass has for those of you folks who are currently eagerly awaiting your college acceptance letters.  DO NOT . . . I repeat . . . DO NOT decide to open your letters with your friends because you think it will be a “bonding experience.”

You know what’s not a “bonding experience?”  Anything that entails your getting heart ripped out of your chest, while having to pretend that you’re actually happy for your friend who got into the school you didn’t, while your lifelong dreams were squashed . . . like a bug lying on a football field during game time.

And yet, while it was certainly shocking that Whoopi Goldberg let Rachel “I choked” Berry into NYATA, but not Kurt (I mean, let’s face it,  no one was really all that surprised about Finn getting dumped from The Actor’s Studio, right?), that was actually not the most jaw-dropping moment of the episode.  That moment actually came much later, when Finn did the classic 8:53 p.m fake out, and decided to . . . um . . . White Fang his high school sweetheart, Rachel.  (Those of you who watch New Girl know exactly what I’m talking about.)

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That’s right.  Finn Hudson didn’t marry Rachel Berry.  And he didn’t let her postpone her acceptance to NYATA to spend another year with Finn in Lima.  Instead, he broke up with her in the car on the way to their “wedding,” shoved her on a train, while she blubbered like a baby, and announced he was enlisting in the army . . . all in under five minutes . . .

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Run Finn . . . Run!

Now, if you’ve ever read my Gleecaps before back when I actually used to write Gleecaps you probably know that I’ve never exactly been the biggest Finchel fan.  And yet, I found this whole scene surprisingly emotional, due in a large part to Lea Michele just really knocking the scene out of the park.

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So, remember that friend of mine?  The one who corrected me about the film source of that Madonna cover?  Well, this scene actually prompted a rather heated discussion between us.  I mean sure, we started off simply enough, by discussing whether Finn Hudson was built for a career in armed services, and whether we thought Cory Monteith would look hot in a buzz cut . . .

But eventually we got around to talking about the nature of Finn’s sacrifice.  Personally, I thought it was probably the most noble thing the character has done in his entire time on the show.  In fact, watching this scene was the first time I really believed Finchel might actually make it in the long haul.  Because let’s face it, had Finn let Rachel defer her dreams on his behalf, the mutual resentments that would inevitably fester between them would have inevitably eaten their relationship alive.  Now, Rachel can sow her wild oats for a little while with some hipster types, Finn can finally get a haircut that fits his face, and eventually, they both can live happily ever after . . .  EVERYBODY WINS!

My friend, on the other hand, thought Finn was a TOTAL ASS for surprise dumping Rachel in a car, and subsequently inviting all her friends and her TEACHER (?) to the train station to see her snot and cry.

To each his own, I guess . . .

And finally . . .

Revenge – “Reckoning”

Now, here is a show that’s known for its twists, turns, and that adorable bionic dog that didn’t age for 20 plus years.  (R.I.P. Sammy!)

So, when it came time for the finale, we expected drama.  We expected to see Nolan fighting for his life, and Emily rushing to rescue her only true ally . . .

Most of us probably even expected that Emily would face off against the EEEEEVVVIL White Haired Man . . . but probably wouldn’t actually kill him . . . because it’s only the show’s first season . . .

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But I don’t think any of us expected those aforementioned things to be the LEAST shocking aspects of the episode . . . only to be topped by Emily breaking off her engagement with Daniel . . .

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  . . . Emily subsequently opening her heart to Barman Jack, only to find out that her alter ego, Faux-Manda Clark, is back in town and totally pretending to be pregnant with his child . . .

And then came the last five minutes of the episode, which packed into them no less than THREE potential deaths, one awakening from the dead (Emily’s mom), a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY, and possibly the best use of Florence and the Machines song “Seven Devils” of all time!

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(You also might be “freaking dead.”)

 Don’t believe me?  See for yourself . . .

Now, personally, I don’t really think either Victoria or Charlotte Grayson actually went into that big ole Hamptons Mansion in the sky.  (Lydia’s probably a goner.  I mean, seriously, how many times do they have to almost-kill this woman, before she finally stays dead?)  But I still have to give the writers props for “going there,” and for crafting what was possibly the best five minutes of television I’ve seen all year.  And as for Season 2, all I’ve gotta say is this . . .

So, there you have it, my Week in TV WTF.  What were YOU watching?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Game of Thrones, Girls on HBO, Glee, Mad Men, Revenge

The Lazy Recapper Takes on Sunday and Monday Night Television (Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Gossip Girl)

[The Vampire Diaries’ Recap for “Do Not Go Gentle” is on its way!  Check back early Saturday morning, April 28th, E.S.T.]

May Sweeps is fast approaching.  And it’s already been quite the busy week in TV land.  Let’s see, we’ve had decapitations, mutilations, demon baby births, people turning into snails, travels to alternate dimensions, fake family reunions, real family reunions, LSD trips, and people claiming to be Martians . . .And that was all before midnight on Monday!

So grab your sword and crossbow, and let that funny tasting sugar cube melt on your tongue, because it’ time for a trip down TV’s Memory Lane, Lazy Recapper’s style.

Once Upon a Time – “The Return”

This week on OUAT, we learned the real reason why poor little Baelfire never brought his dad, Rumpelstiltzkin in to talk to his class on Career Day.  Sure, turning straw into gold, bargaining for first born babies, and turning people into snails, just because they gave your son a boo-boo is a great job.

 “I also have fabulous hair.”

But for some reason it doesn’t make the Rumpel family all that popular with the townsfolk.  Gee . . . I can’t imagine why?

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Es carg – OH NO!

Understandably, Baelfire (Um . . . can I just say, as far as names go, this one is pretty darn awful.  Then again, what do you expect from a guy who’s name sounds like the German word for “Butt Stilts”) is a bit tired of being Fairytale land’s least likely to be Prom King and/or get laid before the age of 55.  So, the young lad vows to find a way to make his dad’s DARK MAGIC evaporate, faster than one can say “Bippity, Boppity, Boo.”

“And that’s how I get my face looking so sparkly and demonic, each day.” 

And wouldn’t you know, some things actually ARE easy in fairytale land.  Upon meeting a rather ornery, and self-righteous fairy, Baelfire learns that the key to turning his snail-hating, and baby-loving dad, with the poopy name, back into a normal man is a  . . . bean(?).

“Are we supposed to be vanquishing evil or cooking?”

But this, of course, isn’t just any bean.  It’s a Time and Dimension Traveling Bean.  Baelfire, of course, is THRILLED.  He can’t wait to share the good news with ole pops!

“By the way, if you ever run into Tinkerbell, tell her I think she’s really hot.”

However, unfortunately for Baelfire, Rumpelstiltzkin isn’t quite so ready to give up his magic ability to prevent the snail population from inevitable extinction.  So, when Baelfire tosses the bean, and the inevitable funnel cloud of smoke and gas emanate from it (Insert Inevitable Bean-Eating Flatulence Joke here), only the little guy has the courage to travel to the Land of the Boring and Magic Free.  Meanwhile, the miserable and extremely guilty feeling Rumpel remains in Fairytale land, totally and utterly alone.

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But, as we all know, Rumpel did eventually made his way into the Land of the Boring and Magic Free.  Does that mean there is hope for an inevitable father/son reunion?  Who did little Baelfire grow up to be, anyway?  Was it this guy?

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Well, that’s what most of us thought, at least until about 40 minutes into the episode, when The Stranger (who just keeps getting Stranger by the Minute) waved a hunk of steel in Rumpel’s face, while chanting some ridiculous prayer purposed toward making the poor old guy his lifelong slave.  Not exactly the kind of sentiment that fits on a Father’s Day card . . .

“Because I care enough to send the very best . . . here, let me shove this pretty sword in your neck . . . Dad.” 

So, here’s my new theory on August the Stranger.  (I saw the promos, after all.)  He’s actually . . . wait for it . . . PINOCCHIO.  It would certainly explain his peg leg, and penchant for donkey paper weights.   I’m thinking that, even though magic successfully converted Pinocchio into a “real boy,” in Fairy Tale land, that magic has an expiration date here in the boring real world.

“On a positive note, I don’t have to worry about that pesky nose-growing thing, anymore . . .” 

And this means that August is doomed to revert back into a puppet status, unless someone*cough Emma Swan cough* can ship him back to Happily Ever After, ASAP.  Makes sense, right?

You know what makes less sense?  What happened this week on Mad Men . . .

Mad Men – “Far Away Places”

Here are just a few of the many things I learned, while watching Mad Men, this week.

(1)    Take LSD!  Not only will it help you divorce your wife, it will also make your liquor bottles musical, and enable you to perfectly recall old baseball games, while getting pruny in your bathtub!  Talk about efficient living!

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Just beware of “shrinkage” . . .

“I was in the tub . . . I swear it was only because I was in the tub!”

(2)    Michael Ginsburg may be an honest-to-goodness Martian.  But Stan Rizzo only owns one suit jacket.  And it just so happens to be that hideous green plaid one.  Which one do you feel sorrier for?

My vote goes with Stan.  Rumor has it the Martians are pretty snazzy dressers . .  .

(3)    Peggy Olson is NOT Don Draper.  And giving someone a hand job during the movie with all the cute little lion cubs in it, or yelling at a client, who doesn’t like her idea, does not make her him.

“Can I get some popcorn with that?’

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Oh, and . . . whatever you do, don’t ask her for her thoughts on beans.

“You WILL like my advertising idea, or I’ll have my good friend Rumpelstilskin turn you into a snail!” 

Speaking of Don Draper . . .

(1)    When Don Draper says you should like Orange sherbert, you BETTER like Orange sherbert.  And don’t even think about ordering yourself a pie for dessert.  Because you’ll end up walking home from that Howard Johnsons in East Deliverance, U.S.A, ALL BY YOURSELF . . . just you and the ten rednecks who tried to hit on you, outside the phonebooth. Yes, I’m looking at you, Megan!

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(2)    This one is also for Megan, or any of you future Ms. Draper’s out there.  When your husband (a) murders women in his sleep and shoves them under his bed for safe keeping; and (b) only seems to like having intercourse with you on the floor, AFTER he’s failed to scratch your eyes out or strangle you . . . you might want to reconsider the single life.

Foreplay?

In other, People You Definitely Don’t Want to Marry News . . .

Game of Thrones – “Garden of Bones”

(Special thanks to my pal, Andre, for all the awesome screencaps!)

Hey Joffrey Baratheon, you seem to be getting to that age, when boys start growing hair on their chest . . . their voices change . . . they stop thinking women are icky, and start wanting to get some.  Given all that, you might be interested in hearing some tips on how to woo women.  Here’s a hint.  Don’t do ANY OF THE THINGS YOU DID DURING THIS WEEK’S EPISODE OF G.O.T . . . (or any episode of GOT for that matter)

You heard me, boy.  That means, no having women stripped naked in public for your amusement, no making them stare at their father’s decapitated head for fun, no menacing them with crossbows, while someone shoves a hot poker up their asses, or flogs them with a belt.  Need I say more?

Speaking of demon seeds, Melisandre gave birth to some hideous looking black puff of smoke that makes that thing that came out of the guy’s stomach in the movie Alien look downright cuddly by comparison.

The whole scene gave me an awful flashback of that Miracle of Life video they made us watch in middle school.  I’m still traumatized by it to this day.  (There’s no better form of contraception, as far as I’m concerned.)  Which reminds me, I wonder what kind of health coverage one gets working for the “Lord of Light?”

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“I wouldn’t know.  I work for the Prince of Darkness, myself.”

Speaking of Stannis’ seed, it’s looking to me like Renly won out in the gene pool competition in the Baratheon family, BIG TIME.  Not only did he kick his brother’s ass in their High on their Horses pre-war pissing contest, this week . . . he’s also better looking, more popular, funnier, and most importantly, didn’t sire that nasty black sh*t that came out of Melisandre’s uterus .  . .

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“Now, I know how Danny Devito’s character felt in the movie Twins.”

Too bad Renly doesn’t play for my team . . .

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Meanwhile, Arya visited Harennhaal Castle, where her infamous “People to Kill” list grew by about ten names.  But, unlike many of her co-captives she got to keep her head . . . literally.  So, yayyyy, Arya!

Elsewhere, on greener pastures, Dany, Mother of Dragons, used her feminine wiles and genuine kick ass nature to enter what seems like the nicest locale on this show, not to mention the only one that looks remotely clean.

Sausage Party 

My only question then, is why did they give it a totally lame name like QARTH.

“I pity the fool who pronounces it as QUARTH.” 

Speaking of totally lame . . .

Gossip Girl – “Despicable B”

Blair made a TOTAL ASS out of herself, at one of Dan’s dull emo parties, by wearing a totally inappropriate, and not particularly cute dress, and making an awkward rambling speech, no one cared about . . . all because the New Yorker referred to her as  “low brow.”  Now, she’s worried she lost sight of her “true self.”  Glad you caught on Blair.  We’ve been worried about that, since the whole “Pact with G*d” episode . . .

Sometimes, the truth hurts . . . 

More drama on the Lily the Greedy Van der B*tch front.  But at least this time she’s found the right target for her ire, her sister . . . who got carted off to jail at the end of the episode for paying someone to pretend to be a family member, in order to free up some trust fund cash.

 Just try not to drop the soap . . .

Speaking of the faux-sibling, in question Ivy ultimately got off scott free for the part she played in the scheme.  She even got a check for $1 million for her troubles.  She ended up tearing up the check though . . . You know, because she has  .  . . like . . . standards, and stuff.  MORON! 

Ivy Dickens . . . a real bastion of morality.

Speaking of fake family members, remember when we found out that Diana Von Slutsky was actually Chuck’s bio mom?  Well, now, it turns out . . . not so much.  But get this, UNCLE BART might be his dad.  Seriously?  How old would Bart have to have been when Chuck was born?  TEN?

I know those Bass boys start sexing young, but this is a bit ridiculous.  And how about all those times Bart tried to get Chuck to OD on DRUGS so he can steal his hotel from under him.  Talk about things you won’t find on the Father’s Day Hallmark cards . . .

And that’s what you missed on Sunday and Monday night television . . .

(F.Y.I. Tuesday night television will be getting its own recap this week . . .  So, Glee and New Girl fans, be on the lookout . . .;)

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See ya next time!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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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]

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