Mad Men, Season Four, Episode Six, "Waldorf Stories"
I suppose it's a bit clever to air the episode about Don and SCDP winning a top award at the Clios on the evening the Emmys bestowed two major awards on Mad Men. Let's hope the similarities end there, so we don't see the show barreling toward the Abyss as rapidly as Don is. Sheesh! A forty-eight hour blackout during which he's seen stealing ideas he hated from a young man he scorned, hitting on Dr. Faye (yeay to her for saying 'no,' recognizing what a messed-up state he's in), bedding two different women--one of whom he falls asleep on while she's going down on him, the other of whom he apparently told his name is Dick--and blowing off his date with his children. I haven't sympathized with Betty in awhile, but here, she was completely justified in her tirade against him. How much farther does he have to go--do we have to see him go--before he hits bottom? Is that going to be Episode 13 of the season, with Season Five opening on him in an AA meeting? Nice eight month long cliff-hanger?
The Life cereal rep thought Don's ad might be too sophisticated for readers to get: "I think it's kind of smart for regular folks. The irony part." Mad Men writers don't underestimate their audience's ability to get irony. This show featured several good examples: the self-referential bit about winning awards while on the way down; ending an episode in which we watched both a success for Don and his tumble into darkness with the upbeat singing of "up the ladder of success"; and highlighting the flashbacks of Roger's initial encounters with Don in which we discover that he thought Don not worth hiring, but did so in a drunken blackout, similar to the one that led to Don having to hire Danny. Is Don being compared to Danny, whose idea he stole to make the Life men happy? Might Danny prove to be extremely creative like Don can be? Or is part of the point that Don isn't as good as he and some others think he is? (BTW, I see from the previews that Tom Lenk [Danny] will be back next week. He's still just that creepy Andrew from "Buffy" to me. I don't know how long I'll be able to watch him if that doesn't wear off.)
And, finally, shifting focus a bit: We know what Don did to receive Joan's punishment of that secretary. What did poor Peggy do to deserve that asshole Stanley? She sort of showed him up, taking his bluff about working in the nude to "liberate" the mind, but I expect he's the type who will never accept that he might be wrong--especially from a woman--and double especially from a smart woman like Peggy. She seems to have pegged him: "You're lazy and have no ideas," but where's that going to get her? She also had to deal with Don's lack of acknowledgment of her role in the floor polish ad to the point of not even inviting her to the awards. Even Joan seems to be tiring of these men as she left Roger in a pool of drunken self-pity at the bar, clearly disgusted with him.
Oh, yeah, and I almost forgot the final irony of the quick ending ad for the iPhone ap that challenges you to mix your cocktails as well as they do on Mad Men! You too can head for that alcoholic abyss....and have fun and glamor while doing it, Mad Men-style!