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TV Recap: Mad Men, “At the Codfish Ball”

What does one do when a show you love follows up a remarkably brilliant episode like Far Away Places with a middle of the road moment such as this? The answer is you suck it up and wait for next week.

So far this season we’ve seen the limits of Don and Megan’s marriage, Roger try his best not to become archaic, Pete push his ambition in a way that takes him farther away from his wife and quite possibly happiness, Joan leave her husband and Peggy be frustrated. This episode however offered us pretty much nothing of worth when it comes to the meat of the character arcs of the show.

Don and Megan have a bit of discomfort having to entertain Marie and Emile Calvet, Megan’s parents, as well as Sally and Bobby Draper, after Grandma Pauline broke her ankle. However, that discomfort shows as a blessing in disguise with no real consequence, it serves as a reason for Megan having a brilliant idea to save the firm having to lose the troublesome Hienz account. Somehow I feel like the idea was a lesser version of anything previously mentioned only accepted because it came from Don’s mouth, but that’s just me.

Roger, fresh off his recently decided move away from Jane, decides to take a step out in the world again and keep pushing to make himself useful by trying to woo possible clients via his ex-wife, Mona. Not much is proven in this episode that it’ll actually happen, except for his adventurous nature with Marie – Megan’s mother – during the awards event.

Earlier this season Joan kicked her husband out after he decided to resubmit himself for Vietnam. Peggy and Joan have a moment where they look at each other and truly seem to be admiring each other. Joan admires Peggy for being able to be with a man, even when she’s unable to tell if it’s good or bad news that’s coming, and Peggy admires Joan for never letting men get the better of her. The two have always been the somewhat examples of the professional woman in this age, and their moment truly doesn’t do much other than hold the screen in pause.

The moment of the show I believe has to go to Megan and Emile Calvet, when Emile confides his true opinion of her to his daughter. All evening he’d been making snide remarks that only a drunk would make, but now it all becomes apparent. His utter disappointment and this independent woman he raised decided to stop being her own person and take on the life of this man, who seems to lack any inspiration or academia that would impress him, and just accept it as her own rather than do the much more difficult contrary action. It’s a bitter moment that I honestly had to stop for a bit to let sink in.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

About Andrew Robinson

I love movies, I love TV so obviously I blog. You can read all my other ramblings on this and that over at