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‘Mad Men’ Review: “At the Codfish Ball”

Mad Men At the Codfish Ball
AMC

Mad Men’ Season 5 serves up its seventh episode of the year, as Megan comes up with a pitch to satisfy the Heinz people with their beans campaign, while her parents visit to attend an awards ceremony for Don, and Peggy faces down a unique proposal from her boyfriend Abe.

Last week’s ‘Mad Men’ episode “Far Away Places” added new glory to the season that already introduced Fat Betty and  Lane Pryce vs. Pete Campbell by putting Roger Sterling on an acid trip, so what will the latest episode bring?  Even less Fat Betty, to be sure!

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Mad Men’ episode seven “At the Codfish Ball!”

Some boys play lacrosse in the halls, when a nearby phone rings…it’s Sally Draper, calling for (not so) little Glenn Bishop!  So, that’s still going on.  The pair catch up, when in an effort to call Sally away for dinner, Pauline trips over the phone cord and breaks her ankle!  Meanwhile, Don entertains Megan’s parents, who seem none-too-impressed with their extravagant lifestyle, when Sally calls don with the news.

Elsewhere, Roger shares drinks with his ex-wife and catches her up on both his separation from Jane, and his recent LSD trip, but really wants to pry his wife for information on Firestone executives, who will be present when Don gets honored by a cancer society for his infamous letter last year.  Luckily, she takes enough pity on and support from him to agree to do the research he needs.  Megan shares dinner with her parents, who criticize the way Don throws around money, before Don himself arrives with the kids in tow.  They join for dinner, though Megan’s mother excuses herself, while calling the children animals in French.  Cold, yo.

Elsewhere Peggy and the ad boys share dinner with a seemingly uncomfortable Abe, while Don and Megan settle in for the night, unable to…you know.  At least they won’t have to deal with her mother’s uncomfortable advances for much longer.  Yeesh.

The next morning, Megan interrupts Don with an idea she had serving Sally spaghetti, the way her mother had her, that they could turn the mother and child across time idea into a strategy for Heinz beans, under tagline “some things never change.”  Don admits the idea to be brilliant, and immediately gets Stan and Ginsburg on it, to their chagrin.  Across the hall, Peggy gets a hurried invitation to dinner from Abe, which she thinks to be the sign of a breakup, but Joan reminds her might be a proposal.

While Don and Roger prepare to schmooze later that week at Don’s award ceremony, a gussied-up Peggy meets with Abe for dinner.  Rather than propose however, he suggests the scandalous notion that they move in together, likely to her place!  Though clearly crushed, Peggy ultimately says yes, adding a poignant “I do” to Abe’s question if she thinks they should order.

Out to dinner with Heinz again, Megan learns from the man’s wife in the bathroom that he intends to fire SDCP from the campaign, so Megan presses Don to tell Heinz about their ad idea.  It’s a risky gamble as everyone notes, though ultimately Heinz seems to have been swayed by the visual of beans in the future.  Turned on by her having saved the account, Don practically does Megan right there in the cab, and with all the company at home, they opt to make a quick trip to Don’s office instead…

After Joan congratulates Peggy on bravely accepting Abe’s taboo invitation to move in with one another, Peggy also gets a chance to congratulate Megan on her success, noting that she gets to experience her own first major victory at the office through another perspective.  The next morning, Don wakes to find the girls out, and Bobby dripping ink on his carpet, before the girls return from shopping.  Sally politely asks her father if she can attend the award ceremony, and when Megan’s mother makes a crack about daughters seeing their father’s success, Emile storms off in a huff.  Evidently, his meeting with a publisher didn’t go well, and he’d been caught crying on the phone to one of his young grad students…

Peggy invites her mother over to dinner to share the news, while back at the apartment Don and everyone get ready for the ceremony, even an adorably dressed up Sally Draper.  Less make-up and hooker boots though, for Don’s tastes.  Wouldn’t want Sally to be one of those girls who spreads her legs and flies away!  At the actual party, Pete makes conversation with Megan’s father, while Don talks with Ken’s father in law Ed Baxter (hey look, Ray Wise!), and Roger enlists Sally Draper to be his “date,” and to hold onto all the business cards he collects.

Peggy’s dinner doesn’t go so well, her mother storming out believing that Abe is using her as “practice” for a real marriage, while back at the party Don is crushed to learn from Ed Baxter that none of the companies would actually work with him, based on his infamous newspaper ad.  Emile talks down to his daughter for buying into the capitalism of the country and selling short her own dreams, while Roger makes a move on Megan’s mother, who’d been eying him all night.  Of course, leave it to Sally to be the one to walk in on Megan’s mother…ahem…servicing…Roger, and by the end of the night everyone (but Roger) slinks into their seat at the table disappointed.

Later that night, Sally calls Glenn once more.  The city is dirty, she says.  She doesn’t mean the streets.

There is no chance Sally Draper will turn out to be anything resembling normal, is there?  Between all the things she’s witnessed from her mother and father, her peculiar relationship with Glenn (boy got tall!), and now this, some poor therapist is going to be employed for years.  Oh well, at least we finally put that Heinz beans campaign to bed!  Or, at least Don and Megan did.  Heyo!

Did you get your fill of swingin’ ‘Mad Men’ action?  What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode recap of ‘Mad Men’s latest effort “Lady Lazarus” on AMC!

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