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The laws of Mad Men pretty much boil down to this: If one episode is full of plot twists and turns, acid trips and divorces, missing Megans and sad Peggys, the next will be considerably less exciting. And sometimes, they'll be about nothing.
But not this time! For starters, last night's episode began with the triumphant return of Grandma Pauline. Last time we saw her, she was passed out on a reclining chair with a knife hidden underneath her. This time, she's hollering for Sally to come down to dinner. When Sally doesn't answer, she threatens to eat by herself—the horror of all horrors—but instead, trips over the phone cord. This is totally Sally's fault, since she's on the phone with Glen. (Remember him?)
In addition to Grandma Pauline, last night's episode also brought us the moment we've all been waiting for: Megan's parents come for a visit. We find out pretty quick that Megan's dad doesn't really like Don, and that both her parents are reluctant to speak in English. Oh, and Megan's mom is kind of a babe. Right as they arrive, Sally calls Don to tell him that Grandma Pauline broke her ankle, and he brings both her and New Bobby over to his apartment for dinner.
Sally lies and tells everyone that Grandma Pauline tripped over one of Baby Gene's toys. New Bobby tells everyone that Sally doesn't like fish. Nobody really asked, but Megan must have already known that because she's prepared spaghetti. Megan's mom asks to be excused because they've had "a long voyage," and Megan finds her asleep with a cigarette in her hand. Later that night, Megan tells Don that she was keeping track of how many times her mom touched him. It was six. Don says it's because she's French, Megan says it's because she's competitive, and we say that there's going to be some sort of juicy conflict to follow.
Elsewhere in Manhattan, a newly-single Roger Sterling has a drink with his first ex-wife, Mona. He tells her that Jane was probably just an excuse to "blow up my life." He also tells her that he took LSD. ("I went on a trip!") After encouraging Mona to go on a little trip herself, he asks her for a favor. The American Cancer Society is going to honor Don for that letter he wrote a while back that "kicked Lucky Strike in the balls," and he needs Mona to do some fishing on the prospective clients that will be there.
At the office, Peggy, Stan and Ginsberg eat Chinese food. Abe has joined them. The conversation turns to breasts and their Playtex campaign, which appears to displease Abe. Considering the fact that Abe doesn't work there, though, maybe he should be less sensitive to everyone else's desire to talk about boobs while chowing down on Chow mein.
Later, Abe calls Peggy and tells her he wants to take her to Minetta Tavern. Peggy, convinced that this means Abe is going to break up with her, asks Joan for a cigarette. Is it just us, or is Joan the only one still dressing like it's 1955? No matter, she gives Peggy a cigarette and explains that in her experience, when a man asks you out to dinner it usually means he has something important to say. In her experience, not Peggy's. She suggests that Peggy go out and buy a new dress, because Abe might be proposing.
Megan walks into Don's office and tells him she has an idea, and "it might be really good. Or it might be terrible." In a nutshell, it's about cavemen turning into spacemen cooking spaghetti. Sort of. Don reminds her that they don't have a spaghetti account, and she says that she thought it could work for Heinz. The slogan: "Heinz beans. Some things never change." And of course, Don loves it.
And now, two back-to-back dinner scenes. First, we have Peggy and Abe. Peggy's new dress is a questionable pink number with a giant bow on it. Abe seems nervous, and tells Peggy that he asked the waitress to leave them alone for a while. He then asks her to...wait for it...move in with him. Abe says he wants them to be able to look at each other while they're writing and go grocery shopping together, and he thinks her apartment would be the perfect spot to do all that. Peggy seems a little let down that she bought a new dress for this, and awkwardly answers "I do" to the question.
At another restaurant presumably uptown, Don, Megan, Ken, and his wife Cynthia have dinner with the Heinz people. In the bathroom, Megan awkwardly learns that SCDP is about to get fired from the account. Cunningly, she whispers just that into Don's ear when they return to the table. She then nudges him to pitch her new idea, just as Raymond announces that they're going to call it a night. Megan has no problem pretending the entire idea was Don's, because they end up landing the campaign and also taking a taxi to the office to have sex. Win win!
Luckily, Peggy is too wrapped up in moving in with Abe to care all that much that Megan won the Heinz campaign. Peggy says that she's not sure what the Canadian equivalent of baseball is, but that this is a home run. Megan assures her that they have baseball in Canada. Anyway, Peggy's not jealous, and she tells Megan to savor it because "this is as good as this job gets." Considering the fact that Megan is married to the boss, though, things will probably continue to improve for her.
Peggy decides that her mother, notorious for being extremely Catholic, would like to know that she's moving in with Abe. The two of them invite her over for a ham, and Peggy drops the bomb. Naturally, Peggy's mom is furious, and says that she's going to leave and that she's going to take the cake she brought with her, because she won't celebrate them living in sin. On her way out, she's sure to tell Peggy that Abe will use her for practice until he decides to get married and have a family. Peggy's mom then comes up with a logical solution: If Peggy is so lonely, she should just get a cat. And then when it dies in 13 years, she can get another. And another. And another.
In similarly awkward situations, Sally goes ahead and gives herself a makeover. She went out with Megan's mom, Marie, and bought a new sparkly dress for the ACS awards. She paired it with lots of eyeshadow and white go-go boots, both of which Don makes her take off. Marie tells Sally that every daughter should see her father succeed, and Megan's father, Emile, storms out of the room, screaming, "You won't be happy until I'm dead." Apparently, Marie walked in on him earlier that afternoon, crying on the phone to one of his graduate students after a business meeting gone bad.
Not to be outdone by a graduate student, Marie offers to tie Roger's bowtie when he arrives at the Draper apartment. Since Roger is single now, he decides that Sally will be his date. When they arrive at the awards, he tells Sally that she'll be responsible for putting all of the business cards he receives in her purse. Sally asks why the ballroom doesn't have a grand staircase. Who knows? Roger says that Pete can be her prince charming, but soon takes that back when he sees him and his shit-eating grin approaching.
Meanwhile, Don receives his award, Megan's father tells her that she's changed, and Roger and Marie strike up a conversation at the bar. She tells him he should get "everything [he] want[s]." Guess what Roger wants? A blow job. Marie gives it to him in another room, and Sally walks in on them. Later that night, Glen and Sally talk on the phone, and he asks her how the city was. Her response: "Dirty."
Are you ready for next week! According to the previews, Don will ask where Megan is, Pete will make a secret phone call, Megan will dictate something, and there are at least two confirmed scenes of Don lying in bed.
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