Tag Archives: Sarah Newlin

You say you want a REVOLUTION? – A Recap of True Blood’s “I Smell a Rat”

Why does one bad apple  vampire have to spoil it for the whole bunch?  You see, up until this point on the show, Humans and Vamps?  They were getting along JUST FINE! 

Sure, there was a certain fringe group of humans that weren’t all too keen on letting the vampires play in their Human Games . . .

But they were just a bunch of religious wackjobs.  And no one cares what religious wackjobs think, anyway. 

That was before THIS happened . . .

Special thanks to Carol for this awesome GIF!

Suddenly, those “religious wackjobs” were starting to sound mighty convincing to a lot of people.  As a result, many of our friendly neighborhood vampires found themselves having to take certain “defensive” measures, to maintain the “status quo” . . .  And that was when all the POO really started to hit the fan.

Secrets were revealed, loyalties tested, and plenty of supernatural creatures were forced “out of the closet,” in the process.  In fact, so much went on during this episode, that I don’t even know where do begin.  Wait . . . yes, I do  . . .

Everybody Loves a Good FAIRY tale . . .

After weeks upon weeks of hinting and speculation, Bill finally revealed to Sookie, “her TRUE Nature” (or as Bill calls it, her “Nashahhhhh.”) When she finally finds out, Sookie is less than pleased.  “I’m a FAIRY?  How f*cking lame!”  Sookie gripes.

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

You know Sookie, there are a lot of WONDERFUL things about being a fairy.  After all, every time a bell rings, there’s a chance you may get your wings . . .

Oh, that’s angels?  Nevermind . . .

So, anyway, apparently, vampires just go CRAZY for fairy blood!  In other words, to Vampire Eric and Vampire Bill, Sookie tastes something like this .  . .

This begs the inevitable question as to whether Bill loves Sookie for her spunky, mind-reading, big-boobed self, or because her blood tastes like something he would order at Baskin Robbins.  Bill, of course, claims it is the former. 

“It is not your blood I love.  It is the way you scream ‘BEAAAAAAAAAL’ that really makes my heart flutter and my ear drums burst into flames.

Bill begins to wax poetic about how much he LUUUUUUVES Sookie, and wants to protect her for all eternity, and blah, blah, blah.  While he speaks, you can literally hear the violins playing in the background.  Super small ones . . .

When there’s a WILL, Vampire Eric gets his way .  . .

Meanwhile, Eric is at Fangtasia, drafting his Last Will and Testament with a lawyer, while Pam (who is looking FABULOUS, in her smokin hot purple leather dress, by the way) looks on, in not-so-silent protest.

“Let’s see, the rest and residuary of my Estate goes to Pam.  My heart .  . .

. . .and my weiner . . .

. . . belong to Miss Stackhouse.  But to whom shall I leave my crown?

Of course!  Lafayette – a King’s Crown for my favorite QUEEN!”

Vampire Pam is disappointed in her Maker.  It’s not like Eric to just roll over and “play undead,” just because some Big Gay Vampire King is mad at him.  She thinks he’s acting like a total pussy, and tells him as much.  But Eric, convinced he is about to meet his Maker . . .

Yeah . . . that one too, I guess.

 . . .  is determined to make his final arrangements.  He immediately asks SlutBall Yvetta to act as his witness, while he signs the will  . . .

Poor Dumb Yvetta!  She actually believed Eric was going to leave all his fortune to HER, just because the pair had a few good rolls in the coffin.  OK, a few good SIX-HOUR rolls in the coffin, but still . . .

“But you PROMISED!”  Yvetta whines, like the whorish Dancing Baby she is . . .

“I promised you a job and lots of good sex.  That’s all,” insists Eric, causing poor Yvetta to wet her diaper, before storming out in tears.

Out, Out, Damn Spot!

“Dammit!  This is the THIRD shirt I’ve lost to Vampire Guts.  If only there was a way to cope with tough-to-remove stains like these . . .

Thanks Tide!”

When we last left Tara, she was being rescued by Jason Stackhouse . . .

. . . who turned her abusive ex-boyfriend, Franklin . . .

 . . . into THIS . . .

Poor Franklin, if only he could have used his “Mad Texting Skills” to dial 911, things might have worked out differently for him . . .

We love you too, Franklin . . . you creepy psycho stalker, YOU!

Now, Jason, has had SOME experience killing EGGS . . .

 . . . but virtually NO experience, killing VAMPIRES (well, unless you count poor, Vampire Eddie, but that was purely for recreational purposes  . . .)

“Did I ever tell you about this time I drank Vampire Blood and got this massive boner for HOURS?  Good times!”

 So, the elder Stackhouse was, understandably,  a little freaked out . . .

I can’t believe I’ve killed such a brilliant texter!  Oh the lack of humanity!

So, Tara, who is VERY experienced in the art of Vampire Cleanup, takes charge, instructing Jason to pick up Franklin’s guts . . .

. . . dump them in his truck, and drive them FAR FAR AWAY! 

While Jason is handling the first load, Tara takes some time to pay her last respects to the love of her life  . . .

Nothing says loving like a LOOGEY!

“Oh, Tara!  How I’ve longed to taste your spit again!”

Jason and Tara then ride back to Jason’s house, where Fairy Sookie is waiting for them, and looking for some protection.

Sookie Plays Shrink . . .

“I should really charge by the hour for this!”

Poor Sookie!  She came to her brother’s house looking for safety, and some R&R  — after being on the run from vamps, werewolves, and maenads for THREE SEASONS without any breaks.  But NO ONE will let the Poor Fairy rest!  All they want to do is talk her ears off about their petty little problems.  First up is Tara, who wants to give Sookie the play-by-play in her neverending “Why I hate vampires” saga . . .

“He made me wear an ugly dress.  And he was a VERY bad kisser!  It was TERRIBLE!”

Next up was Jason, who inexplicably stayed clothed for the entire episode.  And for that reason, he must be PUNISHED!

“Bad for him.  Good for US!”

Jason finally admitted to Sookie that HE  broke killed Eggs, not Andy.

Take that, recent outbreak of Salmonella Poisoning!

Sookie responds by giving Jason the WORST ADVICE EVER!  “Tell Tara.”

Seriously?  What good could it possibly have served for Jason to tell Tara about Eggs, just moments after she suffered the traumatic experience of watching her abusive boyfriend die right in front of her, AGAIN!

And yet, tell Tara, Jason did, just moments before the fiesty femme was about to give him a Gratitude F*ck, for saving her from being murdered by Franklin.

“See this, Jason?  This is your chances of getting laid during this episode going down the drain . . .”

“Sh&t!  Not AGAIN!”

Tara dashes out of that room, faster than you can say “blue balls.”

Next, Vampire Eric comes to visit Sookie . . . TWICE!

The first time Vampire Bill is there.

The second time, he is in SOOKIE DREAMS!

“Woo hoo!”

Both times, the message is the same.  “Sookie, you want me, and my sexy body . . .

“Who doesn’t?”

 . . . and don’t trust Bill.”

In the first encounter, Sookie more or less blows off Eric.  And yet, she is noticeably distraught, when he not-so-subtly alludes to the very real possibility of him meeting his “final death.”  It is likely Sookie’s anguish over THIS first encounter, that causes her to DREAM of Eric that night.  And that dream . . . well . . . it deserves it’s own BOLD SUBHEADING, don’t you think?

Why aren’t MY dreams like THIS?

Sookie is dozing on the couch, when she awakens to find Eric perched on its armrest, peering down at her.  “Will your blood ever wear off?  I’m tired of dreaming of you.”

“Huh?”

(Hey Sookie, if you ever get tired of dreaming of Eric, I’d gladly take those pesky dreams off your hands for you.  No problem.)

“It’s not just the blood.  You KNOW you have feelings for me,” whispers Eric, as he leans in closer.

“Ew,” replies Sookie, but her rapid breathing, and “f*ck me” eyes  say something else entirely.

Dream Eric then leans in and kisses her gently.

In spite of herself, Sookie closes her eyes and moves in closer.  “You know you like this,” probes Eric, kissing the side of her neck, “and this,” he continues, kissing the front of her neck.  “And you know you can’t trust Bill.  That’s not my blood talking.  It’s your survival instinct,” concludes Eric, as he leans in to bite Sookie’s neck. 

Sookie sighs in ecstacy, and then (unfortunately) wakes up with a  start.  She HAS to go see Eric to engage in a hot six-hour sex session with him find out why he said he was about to die, and she can’t trust Bill.

Hallelujah!  Dreams CAN come true!

NOT a DREAM!

Sookie sneaks out from the “grounding” Papa Bill Compton enforced on her, and heads off to Fangtasia to visit Eric.

Time for dessert!

Sookie begins the meeting with all intentions of talking business, but Eric is much more interested in enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse Tongue Special, for his “Last Supper.”  Eric moves in close to Sookie, invading her personal space with gusto, just like he does in ALL of my favorite scenes, “If I meet the true death without at least having kissed you, Sookie Stackhouse, it would be my biggest regret.”

SQUUUUEEEE!

“That’s what I did during this scene!”

“Why does it sound like you are saying good bye,” whispers Sookie.

“Because I am,” responds Eric mournfully.

And then he leans in . . . and kisses her .  . . for REAL!  And guess what?  She KISSES HIM BACK!  And I’m not talking that peck on the lips, “I’m just humoring you, but you really remind me of of my grandpa,” kissing, either.  I am talking REAL, HONEST TO GOODNESS MAKING OUT, complete with arms fondling backs, and bodies squeezed tightly together like two halves of a delicious peanut butter sandwich.  In short — It’s the moment Sookie and Eric fans have been waiting for.  And it. is. AWESOME!

But then Pam (who I usually adore, but not today) has to come and screw it all up.

Pam implores Eric to either give Sookie up to Russell, or USE her, to save his own life.  (Note: There was some talk earlier in the episode, of Sookie’s blood permitting vampires to walk in the sun.  However, Bill assured Eric that the effect was only temporary.)

In the final scene of the episode, Eric shocks all of us, by carrying Sookie into a dungeon (the same one where he held Lafayette prisoner during the early part of Season 2), and chaining her to a wheel, by her neck. 

Who knew Eric was so into S&M?

Sookie immediately concludes that Eric has betrayed her.  But has he?  Or is he just doing this to save HER life?  Only time will tell . . .

Tommy Makes His Move (But So Does Hoyt!)

Back at Merlotte’s, our favorite Baby Vamp and Teen Shapeshifter are working HARD, and getting dirty together on the floor . . .

 Mmmmm, KINKY!

Unfortunately, Arlene the Ass isn’t helping them AT ALL!  Instead, that b*tch is  watching TV . . .

And who’s on the tube, you ask?  It’s Looney Tunes Hatemonger, Steve Newlin, of course!

For those of you just tuning in, Steve Newlin was one of the main villains of True Blood‘s Second Season.  He is the leader of a Vampire Hate cult called the Fellowship of the Sun.  The oddly charismatic Steve even briefly indoctrinated Bon Temps own Jason Stackhouse into his Sick Sad Cult World . . .

Fortunately, however, Good Ole’ Jason couldn’t keep it in his pants, as per usual . . . And when he started doing the horizontal mambo with Steve’s wife, Sarah . . .

 . . . Steve decided he didn’t want Jason in his little club anymore.

So, anyway, Arlene is busy not-cleaning, and watching Steve Newlin peddle his hate, when she suddenly blurts out, “It was only a matter of time before one of y’all got caught on film.”  (“Y’all” obviously referring to Jessica and the rest of her vampire kind.) 

OH NO, she DIDN’T!

Well, needless to say, Jessica doesn’t like that comment very much . . .

OK.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I loved this scene.  But the whole “Vampire gets mad and pushes the bad guy (or girl) against the wall, super fast” thing?  It happens EVERY SINGLE EPISODE.  And it’s getting kind of old.  Why can’t they just drop kick the bastards, and be done with it?

Apparently, Jessica has a little something she wants to say to her Good Ole Pal, Arlene.  “OK.  We get it.  You don’t like vampires.  Well I don’t like narrow minded skinny bitches with bad dye jobs.  But at least I’ve got the courtesy to keep my mouth shut about it . . . most of the time,” seethes the  Baby Vamp.

Meanwhile, Tommy, who has been watching this entire exchange take place, is clearly turned on . . .

“Damn!  This is better than the porn I watched on PayPerView last night, and charged to Sam’s credit card.”

“You don’t think he knows, do you?”

After Arlene scampers away, like the whiny coward she is, Tommy moves in for the “kill,” telling Jessica how hot her fangs and rage issues are to him.  But Jessica is still hung up on Hoyt, and she tells Tommy as much.  “Then why are you here with me and not him?”  Tommy asks, with surprising amount of bravado, seeing as Jessica has given him NO REASON whatsoever to believe she’s interested.

“If you want my body, and you think I’m sexy, come on Vampire let me know!”

“Because this is my shift.  Duh!  Because Hoyt is too good for me,” Jessica pouts.

Never much for self-respect  (You know what they say about lying down with dogs, after all .  . .), Tommy responds, “But I’m not too good for you.”

Then, Jessica leaves his ass.  BURN! 

Ummm, Tommy.  I have a book recommendation for you . . .

Meanwhile, Hoyt is in the car with a VERY HORNY Summer .  . .

Summer is ready to do it with Hoyt, because she thinks screwing him will save their dead-in the-water relationship.

“I have a mouth like a hoover, if that helps!”

To Hoyt’s credit, he doesn’t enjoy his Summer.  Instead, he grows some balls, and finally kicks the antiquing, porcelain doll collecting, freako to the curb.

“Does this mean no more biscuits?”

Immediately after ditching Summer, Hoyt rushes to the bar to profess his love to Jessica!

But she once again blows him off . . .

When Hoyt storms out, Tommy rushes after him, to rub salt in his nemesis’ wound .  . . so Hoyt decks him.  Then Tommy turns into THIS . . .

. . . and attacks Hoyt.  (Ummm . . . weirdest fight over a girl, EVER!)

When Jessica comes outside, and sees Hoyt being attacked by Doggy Tommy, she easily tosses him into the trees, like he’s a random piece of dust that got on her shirt.  It is the coolest thing EVER! 

 (Another note: It’s uncertain at this point, whether Jessica KNOWS what Tommy is.  Perhaps, she just thought Hoyt, was being attacked by some random mangy mutt.  Perhaps not . . .)

As Naked Tommy looks on sadly from the bushes, Jessica tells Hoyt she loves him too.  She then forces him to drink her blood, to heal his Tommy bites.

Awwww yeah!  It’s only a matter of time, before these two are de and re-virginizing eachother regularly once again.  And I for one, couldn’t be happier . . .

I’m sorry, Tommy!  I know things haven’t exactly been easy for you during this episode.  Fortunately, however, I have something that is sure to cheer you right up . . .

You’re welcome!

Sam Merlotte Gets “Lost”

While Tommy was busy getting beat up by a girl and rejected, his dog partner in crime, Sam, was equally busy altering his entire personality from the past three seasons — by snapping at everyone, drinking heavily, and experiencing flashbacks.  Since when did Sam Merlotte become Sawyer from Lost?

“Is this another Flash-Sideways?”

Just like a certain, Flight 815 survivor, apparently Sam Merlotte was somewhat of a con artist in his “past life.”  In fact, he made most of his cash by robbing banks and jewelry stores, using his shapeshifting abilities to sneak in and out unnoticed.

“And to think, all this time, I’ve been relying on my good looks and great abs to get me in the door . . .”

In Sam’s little flashback, he seems to have a girlfriend . . .

Yeah, bye bye is right, b&tch!

The girlfriend is played by Arielle Kebbel.  And if you know the actress, you knew the character was a goner, the moment she appeared on screen.  After all, Arielle bears the dubious distinction of being the girl who’s character gets tragically killed in EVERY SINGLE supernatural TV show or horror movie in which she is featured . . .

This is DEAD Arielle Kebbel in The Vampire Diaries.  Believe it or not, she actually played a VAMPIRE in that one . . .

Anyway, apparently, Arielle (or whatever her name was in the episode) was only using Sam, so that she and her boyfriend could get his money and booty .  . .

 . . . runoff, and live Trashily Ever After.  When I heard this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another blonde brat who tried to do the EXACT SAME THING to the man who loved her . . .

Yeah . . . her.  Apparently, it was LOST Day on True Blood . . .

So, b&tchy Arielle and her beau escape with poor Sam’s moolah, while Sam lies writhing on the floor, plotting his revenge.  He gets it the next night, when he arrives in dog form at the couple’s campsite.  (Really?  A campsite?  All those jewels and cash, and these two couldn’t afford a hotel?  What gives True Blood?)

So, Sam morphs back into human form, and holds a gun at Bad Boyfriend’s head . . .

Sam then knocks the dude unconscious and waves the gun over his prone form.  Then Arielle takes out a gun and holds it at Sam’s head.  Not thinking clearly, Sam instantly shoots his so called lady love dead.  In anguish, he then shoots the boyfriend to cover his tracks, and leaves the campsite. 

AHA!

So, NOW we know why Sam was on the run from the cops during the first season!  It all makes sense now!  I just wonder why he never got around to changing his name, seeing as “Sam Merlotte” may or may not still be wanted for murder . . .

Speaking of Murderers .  . .

Arlene FINALLY tells Terry that the baby in her belly is not his, but rather Evil Rene’s.  And you know what?  Terry is AWESOME about it . . .

He offers to raise the baby as his own, and give it so much love, it can’t possibly turn evil.  (Awwww, I heart HIM!)

And yet, Arlene STILL wants to get rid of the baby.  So, she asks her new “Wiccan” friend Holly to help her out in this regard.

Arlene is a total Poopyhead!

In fact, that’s what I think I will call her for the rest of the Season .  . .

Have a nice trip, boys!

Lafayette’s and Jesus’ story this week, started with a miraculous rescue . . .

 . . . and ended with a “trip” that looked like a Disney World ride . . .

“Hey, isnt that the old hag from Snow White?  Weird!”

It all started when Trailer Trash Barbie . . .

  . . . Crystal, along with Jesus . . .

 . . . and Lafayette were driving around with a half-dead Calvin Norris in the backseat.  Since there didn’t seem to be any time to get to a hospital  (And lets face it, with the exception of Jesus, NONE of those folks have an ounce of health insurance.), Lafayette decides to take the whole gang to his house.  There, he feeds Calvin some of that vampire blood he has been dealing.  Calvin heals almost immediately, but then disowns his daughter for letting two gay guys feed him V.  Talk about ungrateful!

“Them f*ckers is a WHOLE NEW DIMENSION of trash!”  Lafayette muses. 

Trash . . . the final frontier.

Alone again, Jesus, who despite being all holier than thou, and “I can’t date a drug dealer,” just episodes earlier, begs Lafayette to take V with him. 

Remembering how much he LOVED the stuff last time . . .

 . . . Lafayette agrees, and the two have this weird theme park-esque tripping sequence, where they proceed to tell eachother about their family roots, both of which seem steeped in freaky voodoo-type magic.  But the absolute weirdest hallucination of them all was THIS GUY . . .

Apparently, Jesus has an evil grandfather of some sort.  (Hope his name isn’t Judas . . .)

And finally . . .

Bat sh*t crazy Russell . . .

 .  . . picked up some random male prostitute, holed up with him in a random hotel, and talked to him as if he was Talbot, before staking him.

“Oh, Russell!  This is BEYOND offensive!  I am WAY cuter than this guy!  And you did it in a seedy motel, with COTTON sheets instead of silk.  If my guts weren’t trapped in that vase of yours, I’d be ROLLING OVER in my grave!”

Oh, and I almost forgot . . .

After Jason uninvited Bill to his apartment, because Bill gave him WAY TOO MUCH crap for accidentally letting Sookie, a GROWN woman, escape, Crystal . . .

 . . . snuck into Jason’s house, and revealed herself to be one of THESE . . .

Watch out Tara, I smell a CAT FIGHT in your future . . .

So, there you have it folks, another spectacular installment of True Blood is in the can.  Can you believe there are only two episodes remaining, before we bid this fabulous Season adieu?

 [www.juliekushner.com]

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Welcome Back, Mr. Draper! – A Recap of Mad Men’s Season 4 Premiere Episode “Public Relations”

You’ve been missed . . . you sexy Mad Man, YOU!

Hard to believe, it’s been a FULL YEAR since those crazy cats at Sterling Cooper up and left the agency that still bore THEIR OWN NAMES, to start a brand new one.  (Actually, it’s EASY to believe.  Every day away felt like pure torture to me!)  But, hey, the past is in the past, right?  It’s a new year (1964), and our Mad Men have a shiny new logo, and a brand new office, to call “home” . . .

Pretty snazzy, right?

So, pour yourself some scotch, light up a ciggy, and practice your “John’s” and “Marsha’s,” because it’s time to start recapping!

” . . . so cheap, they couldn’t afford to get us a whole reporter!”

“We’re crude, inappropriate, mean-spirited, and make fun of cripples.  But you love us, anyway!”

When the episode begins, Don is seated at a coffee shop, enduring a tedious interview with a bland journalist from an advertising rag.  The purpose of the interview is to drum up business for the still fledgling Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce advertising agency, which, a year after it’s inception, is still just finding its sea legs.  “Who is Don Draper?”  Bland Journalist inquires, ironically echoing nearly the exact sentiments of practically EVERY newspaper / magazine that has covered Mad Men in the past three years.

Others who have reviewed this episode found Don’s reply to this question, obnoxious.  I, however, felt it was entirely understandable, if not exactly polite or appropriate.  To me, “Who are you?”  is the autobiographical equivalent of that all-too-familiar job interview question, most feared and despised by prospective employees the world over:

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

There is absolutely NO good way to answer a question like this succinctly, without sounding at best, trite, and, at worst, like a total tool.  It’s a stress question, pure and simple.  Bland Journalist himself  all but confirms this, when Don challenges the nature of the inquiry.  “How do people respond, when you ask them that question?”  He scoffs.

“Usually they think about it for a moment, and then say something cute.”  (That’s right, because “cute” and “trade magazine” are clearly synonymous with one another).  Nevertheless, here are some examples of answers Don COULD have given:

“I am the walrus.”

Who am I?  That’s a secret I’ll never tell.  XOXO, Gossip Girl.

Instead, Don simply replies that he’s from the Midwest, where he was taught that it is impolite to talk about yourself.  He’d much prefer to talk about his new ad campaign for his client, Glo- Coat, but Bland Journalist isn’t biting.  He’s got all the information he needs.  “It’s only a couple hundred words, but, with any luck, the picture will be bigger than the article,” concludes Blandy.

Good call, Ad Age magazine!  VERY good call!

To make things even more awkward, Pete and Roger arrive on the scene, crowding Bland Journalist with their good natured butt-kissing, and shameless self-promotion, respectively.  “Here’s my card.  You’ll probably want to write an article about me when I finish my book,” offers Roger, completely without irony. 

Bland Journalist is apparently so excited by this prospect, that he knocks into the table and twists his leg around . . . his wooden leg, that is.  Awkward apologies are muttered all around.  And with a “sincere” thanks from Pete for his service to his country (turns out Blandy’s a Korean war vet), the Journalist is on his not-so-merry way. 

“Would you look at that?  [Ad Age] is so cheap, they couldn’t even afford to give us a whole reporter,” quips Silver Fox, Roger Sterling.

Pretty harsh, right?  In his defense, this isn’t the first time Roger’s dealt with the extremity-challenged, in a business capacity.  Perhaps, you recall last season, when this . . .

 . . . let to this . . .

 . . . and, subsequently, this . . .

So, coming from the guy who once did THIS . . .

 . . . I’d say Roger was surprisingly well behaved.  Wouldn’t you?

Is it any wonder Blandy ends up writing an article that makes Don look like a total prick, putting the company in jeopardy, and forcing clients to seek representation elsewhere (including Harry’s precious Jai Alai)?


“I’m trying to be an adult about this.   But it’s just SO HARD!”

Next stop for the trio is an impromptu meeting with Jantzen, a swim suit company, that wants to advertise bikinis (I’m sorry, TWO-PIECE SUITS), without resorting to any sex appeal whatsoever.  They justify this by claiming to be a “Family Company.”  Yeah . . . You know who ELSE is a “Family Company?”  Hooters . . .

“Give me my Ham (and my Jon Hamm!)”

Disgruntled that “Family Companies” like Jantzen are the kind they now have to beg for business, the Hot Trio heads back to their “new” office . . . well, it’s new to us anyway.  While bemoaning it’s small size (Employees have made a habit of lying to clients, and pretending it has a second floor . . . It doesn’t.), Scrappy Curmudgeon, Bertram Cooper, unwittingly gives us a nice tour of the place. 

During that tour we learn that Joan FINALLY has her own office . . .

And Peggy has a new part-time assistant / art guru.  The bad news is, it’s not Sal . . .

The good news is, this New Guy is pretty cute too!

Nice butt!

The character’s name is Joey Baird, and he’s played by Matt Long, who you may remember from the recently cancelled series, The Deep End, or the not-so-recently cancelled series, Jack and Bobby, or (blushes) the movie Sydney White, starring Amanda Bynes.

Wait  . . . that’s not a good picture of him.  Let me show you a better one . . .

You’re welcome!

When we first meet Joey, he’s playfully enjoying a little inside joke with our favorite Secretary-turned- Senior Copy Editor, Peggy Olson.

Love your newfound spunk, confidence, and laidback attitude, Peggy!  Not so crazy about the new ‘do . . .

Throughout the episode,  the two coo “John” and “Marsha” to one another repeatedly.  I’ll admit that, while I thought the whole bit was cute and amusing, I didn’t get the reference at first.  Upon further research, I learned that “John and Marsha” was a comedy sketch originated by a man named Stan Freberg in the late 1950’s.  If you are curious about it, you can find it, here.  However, it’s more or less what you see on the show.  Namely, lots of different variations on ways of saying the same two names, OVER and OVER and OVER again . . .

Along with the always adorable Pete Campbell (who I’ve majorly crushed on for three seasons straight, DESPITE his evil tendencies and smarminess; and who was unusually sweet, polite and altogether smiley, in this episode) . . .

I LOVE YOU . . .

 .  . . even though you might KILL ME!

 .  . . Peggy and Joey devise a cheap and easy way to advertise for one of their smaller clients, Sugarberry Ham.  The “advertising” will involve paying off two actresses to viciously fight over the ham in a grocery store, on the day before Thanksgiving.  Knowing that Don will likely disapprove of the stunt, they decide not to tell him.  Initially, the plan seems to go off without a hitch.  The “fight over the ham” makes headlines, and Sugarberry increases their advertising budget, as a result.   But then, one of the actresses charges the other one with assault, and an arrest is made. 

So, on Thanksgiving morning, Peggy has to call Don, with her tail between her legs, so that the actress in question can make bail.  Don initially balks at the request.  However, eventually, Don recalls that very special time when Peggy bailed HIM out of jail for drunk driving, while he was schtupping that comedian’s wife during Season 2 . . .

That is NOT Betty Draper . . .

He ultimately relents, allowing Peggy to come to his apartment to retrieve the cash.  Afraid of getting reamed a new one by her boss, Peggy brings her new boyfriend (fiance?) for protection.  Unfortunately, New Beau Mark doesn’t look like he could protect Peggy from a frisky kitten, much less Don.  Mark is played by Blake Bashoff, who Lost fans may remember as Dead Karl.  He looks like this . . .

 . . . only a bit older, and less bloody.

Mark does manage to let it slip that Peggy is his fiance, an admission which raises Don’s eyebrows, and which Peggy denies vigorously.

The next day at the office however, Don DOES ream Peggy a new one, for not informing him sooner about the stunt, and for jeopardizing the firm’s reputation.  But New and Improved Peggy more than holds her own in the Lion’s Den, arguing that the stunt DID in fact increase profits for Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce.  “Our reputation is pretty much where you left it,” retorts Peggy, not so subtly hinting at her boss’ Ad Age snafu.

Peggy also calls Don out on being spiteful, when he tells her she can’t take part in the Jantzen pitch meeting.  “You know, we’re all here because of you.  Everyone just wants to please you,” Peggy concludes matter-of-factly, before turning on her heel and stalking out of his office.  You GO GIRL!

Bitch Slaps and Girl Trouble

But Peggy isn’t the only lady giving Don Draper “girl trouble.”  He’s also coping with the fact that his wife is currently living in HIS marital home with the Deadly Boring Henry Francis, while HE keeps paying the mortgage (more on those two in a bit). Unaccustomed to seeing Don Draper NOT getting laid on a regular basis, Roger decides to set him up with cult leader Sarah Newlin from True Blood one of his tartlet new wife’s friends, Z-list actress, Bethany Van Nuys.

Bethany kind of reminds me of a slightly younger version of Betty Draper, on uppers.  She twirls to show Don her borrowed dress, and bemoans the sorry state of the world.  Later, on the taxi ride home, Bethany lets Don make out with her, and feel her up a bit, but will not let him walk her back to her apartment, “I know that trick,” she whispers coyly.

When he declines an invitation to spend Thanksgiving with Roger and his wife, Bethany offers to see him again on New Year’s Eve.  “We’ll see how things go,” she concludes, nonchalantly, before leaving Don to nurse his blue balls . . .

Unable to get a proper FREE lay, Don is forced to resort to paying for one.  In a slightly disturbing scene, Don invites a hooker to his shabby apartment, and instructs her to slap him in the face over and over again, with increasing force, as they screw.  I haven’t felt this uncomfortable watching Don Draper, since last season, when he picked up those hitchhikers, took some hallucinogenics, danced seductively with that teen from the kid show, Zoey 101, and passed out on the floor . . .

Now, I know there are a lot of powerful CEO types who enjoy being dominated in the bedroom, as a change of pace from their day-to-day lives.  But Don Draper has been SO emasculated, in practically every way possible, in recent episodes, that it’s a little surprising that HE, of all people, would be into this sort of thing. 

When Don picks up the children, the tension between him, Betty, and Henry is palpable.   To make matters worse, when he drops them off, Betty has intentionally stayed out past curfew.  He is, therefore, forced to wait alone in the dark of his former home, watching television, waiting for the inevitable confrontation to ensue . . .

In Evil Wench and Mr. Boring News . . .

Yes, that’s how I feel about them too, Sally!

When we first see Betty, this season, her and two of her three kids (What happened to Baby Gene?  Who stole Baby Gene?) are spending Thanksgiving with Henry’s family.  Clearly acting out, when Henry’s mother (who sort of didn’t look OLD enough to be his mother?) asks Sally Draper if she is enjoying the food, she poutily replies, “No.  I’m not hungry.”

In response, the kindly Betty shoves a heaping serving of marshmallows in Sally’s mouth, practically choking her own daughter.  Taken by surprise, Sally gags and spits up pre-chewed food all over the fancy table.   Betty then roughly drags Sally out by her arm, her long nails clawing into Sally’s wrist.  “You’re pinching me!”  Sally yelps, for the whole dinner table to hear.

Between this exchange and Betty’s later, “Don’t tell your Dad how mean I am to you” – threat in the hallway, late at night, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a movie I caught on cable recently.  Here, let me show you a clip . . .

“Well, she’s absolutely right!  Wire hangers ruin EVERYTHING!”

Seriously, could Betty BE a more hateful mother to her kids?  Fortunately, Naive and Not-Too-Swift, Bobby Draper, has, so far, gotten himself through this whole ordeal mostly unscarred.  But Sally?  That girl’s got “join a Doomsday cult” written ALL OVER HER!

“Time to drink the Kool Aid!”

Even Henry Francis’ cold shrew of a mother thinks Betty sucks at parenting.  “I’ve raised raised a few children in my day.  And those kids are terrified of her,” she cautions.

And the SECOND Worst Mother of the Year Award goes to . . .

“I see what appeals to you about her, and you don’t need marriage to get it.  She’s a Silly Woman, Henry.  And why are you still living in that man’s dirt?” Betty’s Monster-In-Law-To-BE continues.

“Because I’m a pig.  Oink, Oink!”

Clearly affected by his mother’s speech, sniveling rat, Henry, refuses to stick up for Betty, when Don confronts her about their not moving out of the house.  “He’s right, you know!  You haven’t even started looking,” whines Henry.

(Whatever happened to the guy who said, “I’ll take care of you, Betty.  I don’t want you to OWE [Don] anything, Betty?”  Has Mommy Dearest, Betty, sucked THAT out of him too?)

And you know what the ABSOLUTE WORST thing about this couple is?  They keep THEIR DOG CHAINED UP OUTSIDE!

FOR SHAME!

Don throws a temper tantrum, then FINALLY RE-grows a pair, and saves the day . . .

This picture has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with what I’m about to tell you.  I just really like it is all!

In the last few moments of the episode, Don and the rest of SCDP meet with the holier-than-thou Jantzen Swimsuit execs.  Don responds to their request that he keep their advertising pure and clean by . . . NOT LISTENING TO THEM AT ALL! 

 “So well built, we can’t show you the top floor,” Don pitches, showing the saintly wing nuts a highly suggestive (especially given the times) photograph of a woman wearing only a bikini bottom, and a white band across her boobs, so that you can’t tell whether she’s wearing a top, or not.

For whatever reason, Don’s advertisement kind of reminded me of THIS.

Well, the Jantzen people are appalled.  You can almost see their panties getting tied in a knot over the thought of this “lewd” picture representing their “Family Company.”  When they politely protest, Don berates them for their prudishness, and violently kicks them out of the office.  “Get me an interview with The Wall Street Journal,” he barks.

“And I thought I was the baby of the office!”

The Season Premiere Episode of Mad Men ended much as it began, with Don Draper being interviewed by a journalist, this time a slightly less bland one from The Wall Street Journal.  Here, a newly animated Don (humbly) touts himself as the driving force behind SCDP.  He then launches into the story of how SCDP got started, which is basically the same story that made up the Season 3 Finale.  A very exciting tale indeed!

So, there you have it, the Season Premiere Episode of Mad Men.  So what did you think?  Was it everything you hoped it would be?  Do you hate Betty and Henry as much as I do?  Do you think I’m weird for crushing on Pete for as long as I have?  Important questions . . . all. 

But before you go, I have something you might want to try . . .

It’s a little quiz from AMC’s website, in which you “interview” for a job at SCDP.  The first time I took it, I got “Secretary,” which, I have to admit, bugged me a bit.  Apparently, I’m a bit too nice for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce . . . So, I “interviewed” again and got “Account Manager.”  Much better .  . .

You can try the quiz, here.

[Watch Mad Men Sunday nights, at 10 p.m. on AMC.]

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