Mad Men “At the Codfish Ball” Review

Mad Men At the Codfish Ball Season 5 Episode 7
The men took a backseat in “At the Codfish Ball,” this week’s episode of Mad Men, and the ladies stepped forward, including Sally Draper who hasn’t taken center stage for awhile, but is growing up before our very eyes. Megan’s French father might have hilariously mixed up his English when he told Don that all daughters eventually spread their legs and fly away, but the message still got through.

While I was glad to see that Sally has been defying her mother and secretly keeping in contact with Glen, I have to say that I find his character just as creepy now as when he walked in on Betty in the bathroom back in season one. Sally has always been much more her father’s daughter than her mother’s, so it should come as no surprise that she lies with the greatest of ease, and even goes so far as to blame her brother for sending their step-grandmother to the hospital. What does she get in return? A trip to the city to stay with her father. Lying reaps rewards.

But although Sally is in a rush to grow up in order to get away from her mother (can you really blame her?), she saw far more than she was ready to see during her first night out with the adults when she walked in on her other step-grandmother (the unhappy, but gorgeous French one played by Julia Ormond) with her head in Roger Sterling’s lap. The city is “dirty” she later told Glen, but one has to wonder what this awkward sexual awakening will lead to, especially in relation to the older, more experienced Glen.

I hear rumors that a lot of fans hate Megan for being too perfect of a character, but I feel that we don’t know nearly enough about her to judge anything just yet. She might seem like the perfect match for Don, but I sense skeletons in her closet. Even her father hinted that there was something she gave up for her husband. Her acting career? Maybe, but I wonder. Still, Megan scored major points this week by saving the entire Heinz account, but even that wasn’t enough to garner her father’s approval. Worked on Don though. But with his reputation in the toilet and Megan’s on the rise, how long until that starts to affect their marriage?

This season has not been kind to Peggy so far. This week, instead of getting a marriage proposal from Abe, she got an invitation to live with him “in sin.” How sad was it to see her go out and buy a pretty dress (although it was hilarious when Joan suggested shopping instead of changing into something she already owned), just to find out that Abe was only willing to commit so much. Living together was big in the 60’s, and Peggy has never really done the “right” thing, at least according to her mother, but it still feels like she really is selling herself short. But what can she do? She’s fantastic at her job, but she doesn’t act like (or dress like) either Megan or Joan. She’s slowly becoming one of the guys, but it only bothers her when someone points out that she’s supposed to want diamond rings and wedding bells and pink dresses. More than anyone else, I think, Peggy is torn between what she actually wants and what everyone expects her to want. Maybe she should just give in to the unresolved sexual whatever that exists between her and Stan.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know below!