Things might be moving along a bit more slowly in terms of storylines for Don Draper, but season 5 of MAD MEN is doing quite a bit to evolve the other characters around him.
As we delve into the eighth episode of season 5, here’s what we’re looking for in terms of storylines for tonight’s episode: Lady Lazarus
PETE’S DESCENT INTO DARKNESS
Ever since the new agency started recruiting Pete Campbell, he’s had a chip on his shoulder. Whether he was concerned with being recruited alongside Peggy, or having Ken Cosgrove brought on, being slightly emasculated at home when Don fixed the kitchen sink, being majorly emasculated at the office when Lane Pryce bloodied him up, or through the rejection of Driving Instruction girl, Pete is not having a great season in terms of self esteem. One might wonder whether the comments during the dinner party about Pete having a rifle might have been foreshadowing to a dark moment looming in a future episode.
GLENN, GRAMA AND THE LADY FRANCIS
Thus far we’ve seen comparatively little of the ever expanding Betty Francis, but viewers have to believe that she will play a much larger role as the season continues – and it’s all about her relationship with Sally. We’ve seen the relationship continue to grow between Miss Draper and Glenn. Given how Betty feels about their once-neighbor, she won’t be happy when she learns that communication between her daughter and the boy down the block continues. As tensions between Sally and her mom continue to grow, the discipline Betty’s mother-in-law was instilling in Sally will have an interesting role in how things progress. That can only spell future fireworks for Betty, her husband and his mom, too.
PEGGY SHACKING UP
Though her character has never been defined by the constraints of being a Good Little Catholic Girl, Peggy Olsen made a huge leap to remove that veil when she told her mother that she was going to be shacking up with Abe. Her mother expectedly disapproved of the arrangement, but Peggy continues to exert her independence by not caving into what her mom wants for her. When Joan suggested that Abe might be proposing, Peggy seemed to like the idea, so how will she feel if her mother’s concerns about Abe manifest into a realization that he doesn’t consider her “wife material”?
His new wife is quite different than the other women Don Draper has been with throughout the series. With Megan’s recent success in coming up with good creative work and having the keen business acumen to pull the trigger with Heinz over dinner, she has shown that her aspirations to do Don’s job aren’t just a pipe dream. Their Howard Johnson blow-up seems to have blown-over, but is that a short term detente, or was that just a transformational moment for Don Draper? The future of the series could be considerably altered based on the answer to that question. With one potential client telling Don that his anti-smoking letter may have soured potential future clients, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce may have to look for new and exciting options for the future, and that may leave the door open for Megan.
MINGLINGS OF ROGER STERLING
Free from what he considers the shackles of marriage, Roger Sterling is loving life. Getting the blow job from Megan’s mom during awards night? Not unexpected. What was a bit of a surprise was when he spent time with his ex-wife, enlisting her help to increase his potency at the office through networking. Might that on-again-but-thus-far-strictly-professional relationship muddy the waters when he starts considering his options – potentially with the newly single Joan? And what of the redhead bombshell’s child, how long until Roger realizes it’s his?