On this week’s episode of AMC’s Mad Men, characters were thrown a major historical curveball and audiences were able to live through them to see what possible reactions would have been to the assassination of a legendary figure in American history. First Mad Men tackled JFK’s death and Marilyn Monroe, but this one seemed to cut a little more deep.
Don and Megan attend the advertising awards where Paul Newman is the host. Don has been avoiding Peggy lately after losing a client to her, but Megan makes sure to say hello. In the middle of his speech it is announced that Martin Luther King Jr. has been assassinated and the crowd is in shock. Peggy was up for an award, but Megan received one instead. No one praised her or seemed to care, mostly because they were focused on the tragedy. Some characters were affected more than others and in surprising ways. Don Draper however seemed focus on his role as a father.
Betty wants Don to come get the kids for his weekend with them even though there are riots in Harlem due to Dr. King’s death. Don takes the kids back to Manhattan and finds out that Bobby has been grounded because he destroyed his wallpaper. Neither of Bobby’s parents discuss why he did this, a possible hint at some OCD or latent emotional issues he is dealing with. Instead, Don takes him to the movies to see Planet of the Apes and is pleasantly surprised when Bobby talks with a black usher about it being a sad day.
But Don was also concerned about Sylvia and Dr. Rosen, who went to D.C. for a conference. He couldn’t get ahold of them and instead focused his alcoholic laments on his terrible parenting and lack of involvement in his kids’ lives.
Others at the office did their best to deal with the alarming news. Both Peggy and Don’s secretaries showed up for work and Joan even attempted to give Dawn the most awkward hug in the history of the world. Classic. Pete and Harry’s secretaries didn’t show up and Harry proceeded to be a major douche about the assassination as it will lose the company tons of money in advertising and lost programming. For some reason, Pete showed a noble side and gave Harry the lecture of this life. Burt Cooper attempted to step in, but to no avail. The night before, Pete called Trudy to see if he could come home and protect his girls, but it was clear he wanted comforting for himself.
Ginsberg’s father set him up on a blind date, which he did not appreciate and which did not go well. Apparently, Ginsberg is a virgin and his father is very concerned. The date ended with the tragic news.
Peggy put an offer on a Manhattan apartment on the upper east side, but it didn’t go through. Her boyfriend Abe was happy because he wants to raise their kids on the West side. Peggy was shocked by his admitting to wanting to have kids with her, but beamed a little despite herself.
Roger brought a creepy client Randall Walsh in to meet with Don, Stan, and Ginsberg about advertising, but found out that the dude was off the reservation when he said he spoke with Dr. King’s ghost the night before.
Harry tells Betty that he is thinking of running for Senate and she is delighted at the news. She’ll be a senators wife, a dream come true. But as she holds up one of her old dresses to her newer, bigger body and admires her dark hair, she seems a little lost.
Bobby can’t sleep and Don goes to comfort him. The boy is afraid that Henry, his step father will be shot and killed like Dr. King. Don assures him that this will never happen, but may feel a little stung that Bobby is more concerned about Henry than his own father. Don seems to want to step up to the plate, but we’ll believe it when we see it.