Mad Men continues to prove why it still deserves our attention this week ("At the Codfish Ball" S5E7) by giving us another hour full of 60's politics and complicated relationships while still throwing a couple surprises our way and keeping us glued to the screen, each and every second. For those of us who were not yet around during this time period, it helps to show how society, and even our social habits have evolved, but still does not seem dated or dry. It gives us enough insight to imagine what the entire world was like, but still keeps us guessing.
This week in "At the Codfish Ball," Megan's (Jessica Pare) parents come to visit from Canada. Her father, Emile (Ronald Guttman), has an important meeting with a publisher, while her mother, Marie (Julia Ormond), is just along for the ride. During their visit, they also have plans to go with Megan and Don (Jon Hamm) to an awards banquet, where Don is to be honored for an ad he wrote, that while alienated a former client, brought him great esteem throughout the industry.
Things get shaken up a bit in "At the Codfish Ball" when Don's kids come and stay with them after his ex-wife's mother-in-law (Pamela Dunlap) trips and breaks her ankle while watching them while their parents are out of town. After a morning of shopping with Megan and her mother, Don's daughter, Sally (Kiernan Shipka), is able to convince her father to let her come along to the banquet, but things continue to get more interesting when Megan's father's meeting does not go well, and his wife discovers that he's been having an affair with a grad student.
Roger (John Slattery), having had an eye-opening experience on LSD last week, spends the majority of "At the Codfish Ball" imparting his newfound wisdom on everyone from Don to his ex-wife, Mona (Talia Balsam), all the while, trying to come up with ways to revitalize his image at the office.
When Megan has a brilliant idea that saves a client from firing the firm, she feels conflicted, and ultimately Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) tries to convince her that she should be proud, but she still has reservations, which Peggy picks up on right away.
While Peggy is thrilled for Megan, she is dealing with her own issues in "At the Codfish Ball." Her boyfriend, Abe (Charlie Hofheimer), proposes to her, but not in the way she was hoping. Instead of marriage, he wants to move in together, and though Peggy is ultimately happy with the jump to the next phase in their relationship, her mother is not so happy for her, accusing her of living in sin.
In the end, there was quite a lot going on in "At the Codfish Ball," and these little tidbits are just the tip of the iceberg. At the banquet, everyone in attendance is forced to come to terms with one realization or another, and some of those facts will have long-term ramifications that we will just have to wait and see, but will surely make for some quality TV yet to come this season.
Having crossed the halfway point in the season this week, there's plenty more time for things to shake up even more in the office of Sterling/Cooper/Draper/Pryce, so stay tuned, it's going to be an interesting ride.
I give this week's Mad Men a 5 outta 5.
"Don, there's nothing you can do. No matter what, one day your little girl will spread her legs and fly away," Emile Calvet - "At the Codfish Ball" S5E7