THE MAD AVENUE PRESS—MAD MEN SEASON 5 EPISODE 9 RECAP
It’s a jungle out there. As the dark shadows rear their ugly heads, it becomes a fight to stay in the game for Don, Betty, Roger and the gang as they realize that one is truly a lonely number in Mad Men Episode nine.
Mad Men, Season 5, Episode 9, “Dark Shadows”—Although everyone seems to have a dark shadow looming behind them, loneliness seems to be weighing more than Betty’s cheese.
Things took a bit of a turn last during this episode where it seemed that everyone is fighting to get back in the game. With Megan gone, and a stern warning from Burt Cooper last episode, Don has gotten a wake-call and has finally realized that he’s been doing nothing.
When Don goes into Ginsberg’s office and sees his creative file, he feels inspired and goes back to his office to drum up his own ideas for a new Hostess Sno Ball campaign. Later, he gets his creative crew to weigh in on his devil idea and they tell him it’s great. They seem shocked that he’s contributing and it was nice to see Don back in action, but for some reason, Don still felt like a fish out of water and it seemed to lack that same fire it once did. But when his idea sells, it doesn’t sit well with Ginzo, who thinks he’s the star of the show. He says to Don in the elevator, “”I feel bad for you.” To which Don replies: “I don’t think about you at all.”
Which brings me back to the point of who’s the boss. Both Peggy and now “Ginzo” Ginsberg both feel so entitled that if a partner asks them to do work, they ask for additional pay, mainly from poor sap Roger, who pays them off. What’s up with that?
But even though Roger has to pay people off to make him look good these days, you can’t help but love his comic relief, but his selfish nature is really starting to creep in. After Burt tells him to secretly woo a Jewish wine account, he calls his ex Jane, who wants an apartment in return (to which he obliges), to accompany him on the dinner because she’s Jewish. When the son of the client makes eyes for Jane, later that night he sleeps with Jane in her new apartment, where she points out that he’s now ruined for her. Working for sad and lonely Roger seems to be paying off for Peggy, Ginsberg and whoever crosses his path, but is he getting anything out of it?
What’s more exciting is that Betty was back. She’s now trying to take control of her life by joining Weight Watchers. As she weighs each cube of cheese and savors every chew, you can’t help but feel sorry for her sad state of unhappiness. When she goes to pick up the kids at Don and Megan’s place, she steps inside to see their happy place and has an awkward run in with the svelte Megan, who after Betty tells her that their apartment is nice, replies, “I think you’ve seen enough of it.” At her own house, Betty sees a note from Don to Megan that was slipped in with the kids’ homework. On one side, it’s a loving note to Megan, while the other side shows a fat whale drawing that’s been speared. Betty, who once adored by Don is now the poor, fat whale.
Betty also becomes desperate to hurt Megan and Don’s happiness by using Sally. When she tells Sally about Don’s first wife Anna, Sally is angry that Megan never told her. But when Don tells Sally the truth, he also tells her that Betty is only trying to hurt him and Megan. When Betty confronts Sally about finding out about Anna, Sally says it went well and they only had good things to say about her. Betty’s plan to cause shit backfires.
As Thanksgiving dinner approaches, at Don’s, he reminds Megan to be happy for her friend who got an acting part in a play. At the Francis house, as everyone says what they’re thankful for, Betty says, “I’m thankful that I have everything I want, and that no one else has anything better.” —which she chews on…slowly.
Who or what is the dark shadow for each cast member?
Don — His dark shadow seems to be Ginsberg. He notices how fast he’s rising in the agency and after Don sees his work, realizes he has to step up his game.
Megan — Her dark shadow is acting. After she rehearses lines with a friend, she giggles at the absurdity of the story. When her friend points out that she doesn’t have the luxury to turn things down because she doesn’t have the back-up of living in a posh apartment on 73rd street, Megan is taken down and notch a says in return that if she had the chance to audition for something terrible she would in a heart beat.
Betty — Food, Megan, Megan and Don… No matter how you see it, Betty has demons all around her but last night, food was her strongest dark shadow. Spying Megan in a state of undress when picking up the kids made her feel so insecure that the first thing she did when she went home was spray whipped cream into her mouth only to spit it out immediately. All done in that dark, creepy kitchen.
Pete — Although episode nine didn’t focus too much on Pete, Beth did enter the picture. He can’t seem to shake his train friend Howard’s wife and even tells him “Why don’t you spend Thanksgiving with her and I’ll go to your house and screwyour wife.” It also appears that Poor Pete, is also his dark shadow. After her boasts to everyone that the New York Times wants only him for a piece they’re writing on the hippest people in the agency world, his bubble bursts when he sees that he wasn’t included the article.