Mad Men Season 7 Review “Runaways”

Mad Men Season 7 Episode 5 The Runaways (1)
Mad Men continued its trek through the sadlands this week. The awards for Most Pathetic go to Megan and Ginsburg. Megan kicked a pregnant woman out of her house because of unfounded jealousy, then tried to get Don’s attention by giving him a threesome. Ginsberg went totally cuckoo’s nest after becoming convinced that the computer was trying to “turn him into a homo.” The only two people in the episode who came out looking somewhat decent – and this is incredibly surprising – were Betty and Don. When these two are on their game, they exude a sense that they are better than everyone else.

The season has been relatively light on Betty moments, so it’s always fun to have her back and mixing things up with Sally. This week, she accompanied her husband to an event and drew his ire by making comments supporting the war in Vietnam. I don’t think anyone can accuse Betty of being an expert in, well, anything. Her husband certainly didn’t think she knew enough to be spouting off in public. But, what I love about Betty is that she is initially apologetic, but then she stews. Henry is such a jerk in the way he speaks to her. When she finally reaches a boiling point, she explodes and lets him know that she does not need to be told how to think. I love this juxtaposition of a strong woman with her own opinions with the other side of Betty who is upset that Sally has broken her nose and may have a hard time getting a husband. It’s

Don, who we pretty much never see with his children these days, learns that his “niece” is pregnant and asks Megan to help take care of her until he can get to California. Megan is initially cordial and supportive, until her jealousy takes over. She doesn’t seem to think that Don slept with the girl, but she is jealous over the emotional intimacy between the two. It’s unclear if there is also some jealousy over Megan not having a child. Whatever her motivations, Megan acts like a complete child and pays the girl to go away. She then throws a party where she proceeds to dance with another man in front of Don, as if she’s waving a red flag in front of a bull and yelling, “Look at me, look at me!” Perhaps it’s because he’s older, but Don doesn’t seem very impressed with Megan’s efforts. His face looks bored and confused and he eventually just wants to go to bed. But, Megan isn’t done yet. She brings in her friend and practically has to drag Don into a ménage-a-trois. If this were Roger, it would’ve played out differently. Don is less than enthusiastic, but doesn’t exactly fight them off. The best part is the next morning, where he acts like he’s completely forgotten about it. So why did Megan make such a desperate play for his attention?

The biggest train wreck of the episode is Ginsberg. He is convinced that the computer is trying to make everyone into a homosexual and he flees the office. He goes to Peggy’s house, where he awkwardly tries to hit on her. When nothing seems to work, he decides that he has to take action. So he cuts off his nipple, puts it in a box, and gives it to Peggy. Understandably, she is horrified. At the end, we see Ginsberg wheeled out of the office, presumably on his way to the loony bin. I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be seeing Ginsberg in the future.

As for Don, he returns to NY with information that Lou and Jim are trying to oust him from the firm by bringing in Phillip Morris. Don shows up at a meeting and pitches his services – which would include becoming the company’s bitch after having railed against them years ago. This is more of the Don that I don’t quite like. His behavior is a small step above groveling.

I hope in the next couple of episodes, someone puts Megan out of her misery and that something happens at the agency to restore some of Don’s dignity.