Its time for new business as Don deals with some old faces.
Mad Men: Season 7: Episode 9: New Business: GRADE: A
Don seems to be dealing with women of the past again this week. Last week it was the ghost of Rachel and now its Megan and their divorce. We get to see Betty for a brief moment who is getting her masters is psychology since people like to talk to her apparently. Yeah I don’t see it either. The proceedings of their split seemed like a mutual thing when agreed but money of course has gotten the better of them in their proceedings. Allowances and all and well she comes along with her mom and sister to get her things from Don’s place. This whole portion of the episode is great mainly for Jessica Paré’s performance as we see what we’re used to in a upbeat, more positive Megan transform into an angry, bitter version of herself. She’s just getting all her things form Don’s while dealing with her mom, Marie, and her sister. Marie in this episode is so full of bitterness herself she could power a nuclear plant with it. She keeps dissing at Don any moment she can for what he’s done. Megan is so relieved when she gets to leave and have lunch with Harry Crane about getting some more roles, but of course Harry turns this more into a chance to try and finally nail Megan, which Harry relates as to why she isn’t getting that many parts right now. Things take a worser turn when Megan sees that Marie has bribed the movers to take all of Don’s furniture out and needed Roger to help with the bribe, well before they defiled the place. What a great day to have your mom comment on your failed marriage while she sleeps with another man.
Seeing how Megan just keeps getting shit on shit piled on her is fascinating by the time we get to her and Don’s meeting where she states, “I wasn’t going to give you the satisfaction of knowing you ruined my life.” Don writes up a $1 million check and Megan is free. Megan is so done with giving any fucks she’s barely phased when her sister tells her Marie is leaving their dad for Roger. Megan is finally free, but her happiness came at a price that she will always remember and that was the most fascinating part of the episode that still stayed with me after watching it. Don has ruined Megan on love and marriage. Don went about this all wrong, ignoring Roger’s advice while trying to give Pete, who looks more punchable in golf clothes, advice on rebuilding life after a failed marriage, but yet he seems to have kept his promise and took care of Megan. He wasn’t trying to do anything to hurt her, he just wanted what was best for her in the situation.
Speaking of Don, he and the rest of us get to know a little more about Diana the waitress. Don can’t seem to get her out of his mind and tries to get to know more. Diana seems to be cut from the same cloth as she’s had a troubled past. She had a child die and she abandoned her other child with her father back in Wisconsin and Don appears to be the way she forgets about it. She doesn’t want him dragged down in her emotional baggage, thinking he hasn’t dealt with this sort of thing. Don still wants this, he wants her. Don’s the most level headed and well adjusted character in this whole episode in all honesty. Don’s become more fascinating by the episode on Mad Men and this week’s was no exception.
Oh and we get a surprise return of Linda Cardellini and Syliva Rosen as she, her husband, Don, and Diana share an elevator. Awkward.
The main subplot involves Peggy and Stan working with much talked about photographer Pima Ryan (Mimi Rogers) for a vermouth commercial. What Stand doesn’t care for about Pima is what Peggy does as she sees her ambitious self inside of her. She too could give less a fuck what men think of her. What I loved most about this is how vulnerable we get to see Stan be as he is clearly intimidated by her work. Seeing another side of Stan via Jay R. Ferguson’s performance was great to see as he and Peggy light up the screen together but his chemistry with Mimi crackles, especially in the dark room. Mimi Rogers brings such a force with her as Pima, an ambitious woman who is aggressive in what she wants and knows how to go and get it. Peggy admires this until Pima seems to try and seduce her. Its a nicely done moment that conveys the awkwardness perfectly. Her seduction gets Stan to loosen up after they do it in the darkroom, but Peggy says she won’t be giving her another job.
This was great to watch in how Pima up-stirred Peggy and Stan and what this could do to them going forward in the season. They don’t know what to think now and need to figure out how to deal with that.
Mad Men has one its finest episodes in a while dealing with worlds being up-stirred for many of our characters and how it affects them and will. Don is ready for a true final chapter in his life and seems to want it in Diana so I’m interested to see if she stays around. I honestly think this season could be going anywhere so I’m not making a guess as to how it all ends.