Mad Men Season 6 Review “The Flood” – Damn Dirty Apes

The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr took center stage in “The Flood,” this week’s episode of Mad Men, eliciting some surprising reactions in the characters we thought we knew so well. Was anyone else a little shocked to see Pete Campbell take the breaking news so hard? He even wanted to spend time with his wife and daughter in the aftermath, something Pete never showed any interest in before, not to mention butting heads with Harry who, apparently, has become the least-liked man in the office.

But was Harry’s anger about losing advertising dollars to news coverage really a sign of racism or just that he’s a selfish man obsessed with the almighty dollar? We kind of already knew he’d become a full-fledged jerk after last week’s fiasco with Joan and Scarlett, and anyone who thinks Harry isn’t sleeping with his secretary should rewatch that episode, so it’s entirely possible this is just another nail in his coffin.

The best moment for me was Dawn’s reaction. After battling to get into the office on the day after the news broke, she was ready to work, no doubt something she believed Dr. King would have wanted her to do, as much as he didn’t want people looting and rioting. But everyone, even Don, insisted on treating her as if she’d lost a personal friend just because she was black. Yes, she was sad and shaken, but she wanted to quietly carry on, the complete opposite of Peggy’s secretary who paid lip service to keeping the fight for equality going, yet took Peggy up on her offer to go home. The look on Dawn’s face when Joan hugged her in consolation…it was priceless. Dawn became my new favorite character right then.

As for Don, his thoughts were only with his mistress, as she was caught up in the worst of the riots because she’d accompanied her husband to Washington DC. However, Don soon found a distraction in the unlikely form of his middle child, Bobby. The Jan Brady of the Drapers became a real little human being this week, unknowingly capturing his father’s attention and his heart after they bonded over back-to-back viewings of “Planet of the Apes,” during which Bobby, unlike the fake, showy consolation of Joan and Peggy, actually showed solidarity to a black theatre usher. It shocked the man as much as it awed Don. He later confessed to Megan that he’d never really loved his son until right then. Funny…even with all we know about Don’s many, many faults, it was still slightly upsetting to hear him say he didn’t really love his children. Is that because they’re products of his time with Betty, or is he really just missing that part of his soul?

Speaking of Betty, she started to cultivate dreams of being the next Jackie Kennedy after Henry started toying with the idea of running for office. I just know one thing: all of the wallpaper in the White House lined up during Jackie’s reign. Did anyone else notice that it wasn’t just the paper in Bobby’s room that didn’t line up; the paper in the master bedroom didn’t either. That whole household is disjointed under Betty’s rule.

In other news, Peggy tried to get a dream apartment, only to be underbid, but her relationship with Abe is still going strong, SCDP won a big advertising award, but no one cared in the wake of the assassination, and Ginsberg’s dad set him up with a sweet schoolteacher, and the date, while rocky, wasn’t terrible until the news broke, even after he blurted out that he was still a virgin. Ben Feldman is the new Adam Goldberg, but a whole lot cuter.

What did you think about the episode? Let me know below! And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.