Mad Men – Season 4 – The Summer Man

What’s happening to our favourite bad boy, Don Draper?  Is he growing up?  Changing?  Realizing that his drunk, womanizing ways are not the best path in life?

In this episode, The Summer Man, along with the change in season, we see the continuation of a changing Don Draper, after the phenomenal Don/Peggy episode of last week.

We start with a dip in the pool at the New York Athletic Club where Don can’t even get through a full length of the pool without almost coughing up a lung.  But, as Don says it tough to get in that first time, once you are in your are free and you don’t even sweat.  There is nothing like a good swim to clear your head.  But, you do have to love our freshly showered Don Draper coming out of the gym, putting on the cool shades and lighting up.  Maybe it’s the smoking that’s making it tough to swim?  One step at a time.  You still look great.

Along with the swim, comes a decrease in the alcohol consumption and the start of journalling.  Yes, I said it.  Don Draper is journalling.  Writing down his thoughts and feelings.  A man from the 60s writing down his feelings.  Heck a man from any decade writing down his thoughts and feelings.  Amazing.

This new Don Draper finally gets a date with Dr. Faye and he’s such a gentleman.  So impressed.  Is this something that we should get use to or will our old Don be back?  Not sure which I want?  New Don will be good for a while.

Then there was poor Joan.  As Dr. Faye said to Don, when you are out of sorts you should look at the calendar, because something is probably about to happen.  For Joan that’s basic training for her husband.  For Don, it’s his son’s birthday, who doesn’t know him.

Joey treated Joan horribly and if that happened in the current day and age he would have got a lot more than fired.  Was glad to see Joey leave and to see Peggy do the firing.  It was time for her to stand up and make a point to those boys.  What will the dynamic be now?  You do have to feel bad for Joan.  She really doesn’t have any friends and not doing much to help herself, as she tells Peggy off for firing Joey.  Joan is going to go through a rough couple of months.

Of course, as mentioned before we had to deal with Betty and Henry this week.  Henry driving into Don’s stuff.  Which Don ended up throwing in a dumpster.  So there, Henry.  And what is going through Betty’s head?  Jealousy of Don’s life?  Missing Don?  Wishing she didn’t have the kids to deal with?  What?  Betty also has some demons to deal with.

Was glad to see Don show up to baby Gene’s birthday party.  Our Don is a changing man.  And with Dr. Faye’s story, I think that he really heard what the moral was.  “Kindness, gentleness, and persuasion win where force fails.”  Maybe we should all think about that…..

And just a final observation that I’ve had before, I’m always amazing how nothing is missed on this show.  The gyms, the restaurants, the apartment buildings and even the tab on the can of beer.  Yes, Don peeled back the tab on the beer to open it, just like the old days.  Impressive.  And the restaurant where he was having his date and ran into Betty, Barbetta, is one that people would have frequented at the time and still do.  And the apartment building where Don dropped little Miss Blow Job off at, was a place for women only to live.  The Barbizon.  Great job Mad Men!

© 2010, Anne-Marie. All rights reserved.