Mar 8, 2015

Mad Cap: "Tea Leaves"

January Jones
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 3
"Tea Leaves"

"When do things go back to normal?"
- Roger Sterling (Roger Slattery)


Betty Francis (January Jones) decides to take a sick day, which gets Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) concerned. When Betty starts to feel strange, she calls Don Draper (Jon Hamm) for advice. Having gained weight, she is concerned and decides to go to the doctor. Meanwhile, Don meets Megan Draper's (Jessica Pare) parents, who insist that he gets The Rolling Stones to sign off on an advertisement for them. With Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) in tow, he goes to one of their concerts. He is stuck talking to an enthusiastic young girl whom he feels concerned about. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) insists that Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) hires a copywriter named Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman), who is rude to her. This goes over, especially with Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) officially getting Mohawk Airlines back. Don calls Henry to see how Betty is doing, but doesn't get too many answers. Betty is stuck to wonder what is going on with her body. Sterling worries that his importance to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is fading while growing increasingly sad.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Don Draper (Jon Hamm)

It's business as usual for Don as he has to deal with a million things. He has to think of his sick ex-wife, who may have cancer. He has to humor Megan into not being worried too much about it. He is trying to keep everything on track, but he is concerned that the world is changing in a shocking and sad way. After waiting around for The Rolling Stones to come out, he discovers just how sick things are and begins to have a change of heart. He has Peggy hire Michael and it ends up being another day at the office. He can do it all without breaking a sweat. If nothing else, I love how the first two episodes have built up his trajectory this season as having to deal with massive changes in the work force and society as well as family.

Left to right: Elisabeth Moss and Ben Feldman
Best Scene

Along with the changing times comes the reality that men are more crass and casual. Sadly, women still don't have any say at this point, which puts Peggy in an awkward position. She can hire Michael, but she might be working for him one day. Michael is disgusting and very much a man's man with a lot of enthusiasm. Still, he can't learn names and the fact that he is still the new guy and is getting better treatment than Peggy is alarming. The most notable incident involves the final interview between Don and Michael with Peggy in the room. The three of them reveal their true politics as Don demands that Michael speaks for himself, leaving Peggy insecure in ways that the past four years of hard work feel counter intuitive towards.

UP NEXT: "Mystery Date"

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