Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ladies Room – Mad Men Episode Summary 1.2

Ladies Room Mad MenSynopsis: When Betty Draper runs into an accident after losing faculty of her hands, and the physicians cannot find anything physically wrong with her, they suggest that she see a psychiatrist. Don Draper becomes upset and disturbed at the thought of his wife having to see a shrink. Meanwhile, it is Peggy Olson’s second week at the office, and the young woman is ecstatic at having gotten her first paycheck. Her happiness is short-lived after learning the harsh truth of how men treat the women at their workplace.

Episode Summary: Don and Betty Draper are having dinner with Roger Sterling and his wife Mona. Roger’s order of fried chicken reminded him of his nanny Belva whom he adored. Having shared something about his childhood, Roger tries to get Don Draper to do the same. Don who has mastered keeping his past private yet again manages to avoid having to talk about his childhood. The ladies excuse themselves, and make their way to the ladies room. Betty who has trouble holding her liquor finds that her hands had gone numb, and embarrassingly had to ask Mona to help her with putting on lipstick. Moreover, Betty had started to talk about her mother’s passing, which Mona didn’t appear to be interested in hearing. Luckily, a line had already formed in the ladies room requiring the women to leave, and abruptly end their conversation. Though clearly the alcohol had gone to her head, Betty was sober enough to ruminate on why her husband keeps to himself. Betty knows nothing about her husband’s past, and she wonders who the man beside him really is.  Continue reading...

Peggy Olson just got her very first paycheck, and she is on top of the world. Meanwhile, a colleague is feeling just the opposite, and she could not help but wonder why. Meanwhile, Ken Cosgrove briefs his colleagues about Gillette’s new product -- a deodorant in a can. The very first one to create such a product, Ken is thrilled with his client’s innovation. Unfortunately, his colleagues do not share the same sentiment especially when one of them gets a dud. His coworker who is much smaller than him manages to snatch the spray can he is holding opening up his lack of basketball skills despite his lanky stature. Things get much worse for Kenny when Don Draper suggests that one of them should test it. All eyes point at the easiest target – Ken Cosgrove. Much to his chagrin, the three men overpower him. Bertram Cooper enters the room just as three of his employees have their colleague pinned down on the desk getting his armpits sprayed with deodorant. Not exactly shocked at what the men were doing, Cooper was more surprised at finding Don Draper to be the instigator. The senior partner, however, is more concerned with his company not working on the Nixon campaign than what he had witnessed. Though Nixon did not hire Sterling & Cooper to help them win the election, Bertram Cooper wants Don Draper to organize a team dedicated to working on it.

Paul Kinsey’s lunch plans changed when Don’s did. He turns to Peggy who had just pulled out her lunch from the drawer, and subtly invites her to have lunch with him not necessarily offering to buy her one. Peggy set on saving turns him down, and sticks with the lunch she brought to work. Joan pities the young woman, and decides to treat her out. Luckily or maybe purposely they come across three of their male colleagues who insist on buying the two ladies their lunch. At the diner, the men open up talk of whether or not Peggy is romantically attached to anyone. Obviously, nobody knows about the affair she had with Pete Campbell right before he got married. All they know is that Pete is currently in Niagara Falls having a blast at his honeymoon. Meanwhile, Ken Cosgrove as if given the license after offering to pay for lunch hits on Peggy in an attempt to regain his masculinity after earlier events had it undermined.

It is afternoon, and Francine is at the Draper’s chatting with Betty about Helen Bishop, their new neighbor that had just moved in. The women feel sorry for the divorcee who was left alone with her nine year-old boy and baby. Later, Betty is out on a drive with her two children when she passes by Helen Bishop’s house, and sees the exhausted woman pulling a large box of her things to the house with many more boxes waiting to be hauled. Suddenly, Betty’s hands become numb, and could not grab on to the wheel. She loses control of the car, and swerves on to the lawn hitting a fountain. The car stops, but her hands continue to shake, but regains control of them after realizing that her children are in the backseat. Luckily, Sally and Robert were neither harmed nor shocked. In fact, the kids who are now on the floor of the car appeared to have enjoyed the accident.

Apparently, Don Draper is having Midge for lunch. The two once again have their afternoon tryst. Don though the one who is attached appears to be more concerned with Midge having relations with other men. He uses the new television that now sits in the woman’s living room to bring up the subject. Knowing that the eccentric artist would not have bought one for herself, Don probes as to the source of this generous gift. Not wanting to go into an argument with her lover, Midge throws the television out the window pleasing Don Draper, but infuriating the woman on the sidewalk that almost got hit with it.

Betty Draper prepares dinner for her family still a bit shaken up about the accident. Don Draper who didn’t learn of it until much later because he was out with Midge still was already aware of what happened by the time he got home. Upon his urging, Betty tells his husband about having lost faculty of her hands, which led to the accident. The two doctors whom Betty had consulted could not diagnose the problem, but are both positive that there is nothing physically wrong with the young mother. The doctor had suggested that she consult a psychiatrist. This angers Don Draper who does not believe in shrinks. Betty thinks that the stigma that comes along with having to see a psychiatrist is the reason for Don’s annoyance, but her husband explains that he had always seen the need to go to therapists as a sign of unhappiness. It is for this reason that he disapproves of her having to go to one. Don would like to believe that his wife is content and happy with her life, and Betty though clearly is not, tells her husband that she is.

The idea that his wife is unhappy continues to bother Don Draper, and he carries it with him at the office. Paul Kinsey and the team working with the Right Guard aerosol can campaign were the unfortunate recipients of his sour mood. Paul presented ads that featured the product as something from the future, and out of this world. Don rejected all of his ideas with the notion that the ads ignore what women want. He believes that it is the ladies who do the shopping, and therefore should be their target audience. The team leaves Don’s office led by Paul, the most dejected among all of them. Paul asks Peggy once again, and this time she agrees even if she has to pay for it. Luckily, he was only joking when he asked that she pay for his lunch, and actually paid for both their sandwiches. He also showed Peggy around the office keeping her informed of what the different departments do. This after the young woman mistakenly thought that account executives tell copywriters what to do. Paul corrects her saying that only Don Draper, the head of creative, tells the writers what to do. Unlike Ken Cosgrove, Paul acted like a gentleman around Peggy, and even let her in the little known fact that there are women copywriters.

It is 4:30pm and Don Draper’s mind is still preoccupied with the idea of his wife needing a psychiatrist. He asks his friend and boss Roger Sterling who just a few nights ago had mentioned that his daughter was consulting one. Roger telling Don that he must be mistaken clearly shows that there still exists a stigma at having a family member going to a shrink. He tells him that the growing need of women having to see a psychiatrist is more likely than not a fad.

Don Draper arrives home bringing with him a present for his wife thinking that it will somehow take her worries away. He could not be more wrong, and this he learns when Betty starts to fuss about a bruise she thought she saw on her daughter’s face as a result of yesterday’s accident. Betty starts to think of horrible things that would have happened to her children especially her daughter who could have been scarred for life. Seeing how disturbed his wife has become, Don Draper has a change of heart, and is now willing to send Betty to a psychiatrist. In fact, he brings his wife to a shrink the very next day. Upset at having to come to terms with Betty seeing a psychiatrist, he seeks comfort from Midge who did not appreciate her lover telling her about his wife’s condition. Midge fully aware that she is a mistress states that being reminded of it makes her feel cruel. The two nonetheless spend the afternoon together. It seems that Midge is just what the doctor had ordered. Gone are Don’s worries clearing up his mind to think of the perfect copy for the Right Guard ad.

Don Draper called-in sick, and his employees could not wait to take the day off as well. Peggy Olson, however, continues to work, and even foregoes her lunch date with Paul. She goes to his office to inform him, and learns the sad truth that all the men at Sterling Cooper are the same. Gone is Paul’s gentleman act as he closes his office door, and starts to kiss Peggy. She pulls away going with the excuse that she is already romantically attached with another man. Infuriated with what happened at lunch, Peggy decides to sneak out the office thirty minutes before five. Joan Holloway sees her, and reprimands the young woman who has only been with the company for two weeks. Joan noticing the woman’s uncharacteristically poor work, and nasty attitude probes Peggy learning that she is upset after being harassed by men who took her out to lunch. Joan’s advice is for Peggy to just let it ride for it will not be long until they forget about her and start picking on a new girl. Her talk with Joan did the trick. Peggy regained her composure, and finished her work without errors. She goes to the ladies room, and sees just like the other day that another female colleague is crying. Having experienced first-hand how the men at her workplace treat women as dessert, Peggy is now fully aware as to the cause of the many sobs that occur inside the ladies room. However, instead of taking the sad route she decides to take Joan’s advice, and becomes unaffected by it all.

Betty has started her sessions with the therapist. She believes that her anxiety is the cause of her problems, which unfortunately is manifested with her hands going numb. Her doctor neither agrees nor disagrees with this analysis. In fact, he has not uttered a word despite being asked a question so Betty is left to do all the talking. She continues her session with talk about her mother passing away.

A day with his lover, and an evening with his wife, Don Draper has everything. Don is pleased to see his wife unconcerned with anything, and plainly enjoying dinner with her husband. Curious as to what transpired at her therapy, Don could not wait to hear about it from the doctor without Betty’s knowledge of course. So it appears that the doctor does know how to speak, but he only gladly does so to the man who writes his paycheck.

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