The second episode of this half-season closed the book on the Mad Men chapter known as Don and Megan. Truth be told, I didn’t even find their story line all that interesting this time around, which is a little sad since I’m guessing we won’t be seeing her again. Because really, once your ex gives you a million-dollar check, why would you come back?
Instead, the episode’s most notable characters were the distinctly sad waitress, Diana, and the exceedingly cool photographer, Pima, played by Mimi Rogers.
First up: Diana.
Don’s fixation on Diana, which was spurred by the loss of Rachel Menken Katz, which wasn’t really his loss since he hadn’t seen her in, oh, 6 years or so, continues in this episode.
As usual, Don can’t be by himself and he seeks solace in Diana, seeking her out in stalker-lite fashion and then bringing her over to his place for a bit of his usual shenanigans. But we quickly find that Diana isn’t exactly interested in a romantic interlude with Don and that she herself is in search of escape from her own pain–namely, the loss of her daughter to the flu two years prior. While Don certainly feels for her pain, you can already tell this isn’t going to work out.
In one amusing scene, Don and Diana both get in the elevator of his condo and run into none other than Arnold and Sylvia Rosen. You’ll remember Sylvia (played by Linda Cardellini) as the neighbor he was having an affair with that brought out some of the ugliest sides of Don ever. As the Rosens step out, Diana quickly asks,
“How many girls have you had in this elevator?”
To which Don lies, “That’s not who that was.”
Why Don can’t ever just be real about who he is and what he does, well…perhaps then there wouldn’t be a show.
We don’t see Diana again until the final scene, where Don goes to meet her at her apartment and we find her sad (surprise!) and drinking. Here, she confesses she actually had two daughters, the one that died, and another she left behind with her husband. She then confesses to Don that he made her momentarily forget her other daughter–a feeling she did not want to repeat. And just like that, Don is on his own again.
The other interesting story line involved Pima, the photographer Peggy hired for one of their campaigns. Stan is obviously threatened by Pima from the get-go, arguing that Peggy really had to reach to find a female photographer, and acting like a basic jerk when he finally does meet her. But the self-assured Pima doesn’t give a damn, of course. After Peggy apologizes for Stan’s behavior, Pima replies,
“Men like him don’t bother me…and they shouldn’t bother you, either.”
This is a great bit of wisdom that Peggy surprisingly still needs to hear, for no matter how long she’s been at the business, she continues to allow Stan and others to get to her from time to time.
Pima is definitely not at all like Peggy. She’s got her own set of rules, including bringing Stan’s ego down a few notches and then seducing him in the dark room. Why? Probably just because she can.
And just a few moments later, she even lightly comes on to Peggy, who quickly freezes up and, to be honest, disappointingly, doesn’t reciprocate. Really now, who doesn’t totally miss Peggy’s great lesbian friendship with Shoshanna-er, Joyce (played by Girls’ Zosia Mamet) on the show?
When all is said and done, and Stan boasts about his romp with Pima, Peggy seems surprised and upset by the whole thing (once again, letting Stan get to her). The only way she feels she can get the power back is by letting him know that Pima came on to her as well, a fact that Stan doesn’t much appreciate, either.
The episode ends with Don returning to his apartment to find that Megan (or rather, Megan’s mother) has taken everything he owned–a good set up for the next episode.