Welcome to Mad Cap: a daily rundown of every episode of the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. During this time, I will be compiling my thoughts and highlights as we travel through every moment and season of the Emmy-award winning drama that has come to define modern TV. The goal is to be a refresher on every moment for Don Draper and his band of advertisement executives leading up to the final season. Stay for all of the shocking moments and the brilliant acting performances, and make sure to chime in with your thoughts and criticisms on why the show means something to you.
Season 5, Episode 1-2
"A Little Kiss"
"I've been 40 for six months."
- Don Draper (Jon Hamm)
It's been some time since the end of season 4's events. Everyone is celebrating Don Draper's (Jon Hamm) birthday as Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) fights Roger Sterling (John Slattery) for respect. Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) throws him an excellent party that results in him embarrassed by the show, as he was never privy to this type of treatment. Sterling gives Pete the old office of Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) as a deal, but it doesn't work. Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) tries to land a bean client who is out of touch. Pete and Trudy Campbell (Alison Brie) has a child. Megan is frustrated that everyone in the office is cynical. Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), who now has a child, decides to visit Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce after finding a suspicious advertisement for new jobs in the paper. It is supposedly a joke. Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) finds a wallet in a cab and decides to take matters into his own hands by returning it. He gives it to a man, but keeps the picture of his wife, as he finds her attractive. Despite Megan's complaints about Don being too cynical, they end up falling passionately in love. Pryce talks to Joan and she realizes that the company needs her. Things continue and soon everything is moving forward with the company.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Megan Draper (Jessica Pare)
In the first two hour episode (which will be labeled as 2 episodes for continuity's sake) of season 5, it covers a lot of ground in telling us just what is going on with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. For the most part, it's business as usual and the wardrobe is a lot more bright. For starters, the writing is a lot more kinetic and fun. The show feels like it is enjoying its free formed structure. However, you wouldn't tell it by Megan's intrusion into the scene. Not only is she Don's new wife, but she seems like a welcomed spruce up of the show's dreary office politics. Yes, it is impossible to properly call one person an MVP in an episode that covered so much ground, but for the sake of Megan coming in and throwing a party and trying to change Don entirely, this is her moment to shine. Also, with an excellent performance number, there's not much to hate. This is the Mad Men that I hope continues to evolve and get more interesting. I have enjoyed it thus far, but right now it seems to be in that sweet spot of confidence and play.
It is a weird moment that hinges on a lot early on. It's before Megan dives too deep into the myth of Don and the miserable coworkers. All she wants to do is impress her man on his birthday. What better way than with an elaborate dance routine that left some calling it "burlesque." For starters, it's in French and has a seductive quality to it. Also, with the wardrobe appearing a lot more colorful, it is an indicator of what Mad Men can turn into over the next season. It could be so much more than a drab 60's series. In fact, I hope it is. Still, Megan makes herself known early and only goes on to be a sore thumb for the rest of the episode, asking everyone around her to smile. Also, you'll be humming that song for awhile after this.
UP NEXT: "Tea Leaves"