Mad Man Chat – Episode Two

A roundtable discussion on episode two of Mad Men’s fourth season. First in a series.

Mark: I can’t decide if Glen (the kid who broke into Betty’s place and trashed it) is a scary psycho or just a misguided kid who means well.

Like on the one hand, he’s carrying a knife around and he talks all creepy on the phone to Sally. He’s cold and he broke into a person’s house, trashed it and then left his lanyard on Sally’s pillowcase. That’s pretty crazy.

But, what was his aim? Him and Sally talked on the phone about how she wanted to move out. I’m pretty sure Glen used words to the effect of “one day she’ll (meaning Betty) wake up and want to move.” And by trashing the joint, isn’t he just making that day come a little quicker? Sure it’s crazy and awkward and kind of stupid, but his heart seems to be true, in that sense.

Jenn: I feel that Glen’s intentions are good. He was trying to help Sally. I think in a way he’s the old, jaded, “seen it all” kid since his parents divorced when there was an even larger stigma and that’s why he’s trying guide Sally using his experience. He’s a sad kid. His mom (and new stepdad?) seem to neglect him and he’s acting out/looking for someone to care. However that doesn’t mean he’s NOT a psycho.

What we have is a damaged and lonely kid who we know grows strange attachments to females that give him attention (not just the hair thing, he also broke into their property and lived in the dog house for a while I’m pretty sure) and now destructive behaviour. And he has access to powertools at his tree-cutting job! He’s not too far off from torturing small animals for fun and breaking in to watch Sally while she sleeps.

Side note: am I the only one who finds it a little odd that Glenn is played by creater/writer Matt Weiner’s son? How did that come about? “Oh, we need an awkward and creepy kid to convincingly pass for a future serial killer/date rapist? Well that reminds me of my oldest son….”

Heather: It’s nice to see that they’ve introduced Glen back into the series as I was wondering what kind of strange kid he would turn in to. They’ve taken it to a level I didn’t expect but at the same time, it’s not surprising. I’m not exactly sure where they’re going with the whole Sally/Glen thing. The kid gives me the creeps. Always has. Next thing we know, seeing as they’re introducing some extremes lately, he’ll be masturbating in a tree watching Sally as she plays with her toys or something in her room. Yeah, I went there. As for the creator/writer choosing his son to play the role: I didn’t know that, and I think it’s hilarious.

Glen is obviously trying to show Sally he cares. In his own warped way.

Mark: What about the letter Allison’s typing up at the end of the episode. Is there any chance she isn’t quitting? I mean I would if I were her… but she seems smitten with Don! It wouldn’t surprise me if she sucked it up and just put herself into her work – meaning the typing was just some memo or something unimportant.

Jenn: I felt momentarily that it was a resignation – and I wouldn’t blame the girl one bit. However she’s in the preview for next week, and honestly she was a little smitten with Don so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just her typing up some work. I got the vibe that despite Don obviously trying to give her the brush-off, she’d still take it as a “he doesn’t want anyone at work to know! but I’m still basically his girlfriend! maybe he’ll marry me! it happened to Jane!”

I sense a lot of awkward moments and uncomfortable silences coming up between those two. (not that Don Draper doesn’t usually just have uncomfortable silences… sometimes I feel like he speaks three sentences per episode).

Heather: I also sense a lot of awkward moments coming up between those two in future episodes. I look forward to them. I also expect some kind of out burst. I didn’t think she was typing a resignation at the end of the episode. I knew she was hurt, and totally upset with the whole situation, but what I got out of the end of that episode with her typing whatever it was what typical women back then would do in that situation – absolutely nothing. She was just continuing on with her day to day duties and realizing she’s a silly pants for getting involved with the “fabulous Don Draper”.

Mark: Yeah, I agree. He’s got her wrapped about his little finger, I think. It’s funny that Don was a dick to her (haha get it?), but was still far from the biggest ass in the episode, Lee Garner Jr. Is he a big asshole or the biggest asshole?

First he screwed Sal (in more then one way), now he’s basically trying to turn Roger into a marionette, or at least provoke a heart attack. It’s really cool when Mad Men has a clear asshole to root against (Ducks was another) and I can’t shake the idea that he’s going to get screwed somehow before the season is over, if only on Karmic Principals.

Heather: Oh man, Lee Garner Jr. is something else. I hope we get to see him rot.

Jenn: Lee Garner Jr. can just fuck right off. I mean, I’m still bitter over Sal. I wish they didn’t have to take Lucky Strike to SCDP so that they’d have no reason not to hire Sal back in the art department. But no, the southern douchenozzle has to stay and now he’s trying to take down silver fox Roger?

I hope he tragically gets lung cancer and becomes firm proof that smoking kills. And Sal leads the public health campaign to ban cigarettes (alongside his new boyfriend played by Zac Efron. Honestly they put him through so much, let’s give him something positive).

Mark: Finally, the biggest question of all: would you have danced in that Christmas Party conga line? Don’t lie!

Heather: No way. I have a hard enough time dancing as is. At my birthday this year we were at a pub I used to work at, they made me head a “train” around the bar. I sucked at it. The band ended up making fun of me. I was okay with that. I’m totally okay with being The Suck at Dancing. This way no one will ever ask me to do it again.

Jenn: Oh my god, the conga line. It’s almost the nerdiest white people thing ever (Pete and Trudy mainly. They look like such dorks with their little “hey!” poses!) but Joan manages to work it. I have no idea how one can make leading a conga line look good, but she does it. I would not make it look good, therefore I’ll sit that one out. I’d probably be stuck sitting on the sofa listening to Bert Cooper drone on and on about how health care will ruin America (neat little dig at the teapartiers there. see how outdated your viewpoints are?)

Mark: True story – I have danced in conga lines at office parties before. So hell yeah I’d be in that line. I’m sorry but when you see a conga, you get in the conga and don’t ask questions. That’s Bud Rule 452 (or thereabouts).


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