September 8, 2009By Joe Diliberto Posted: Sep 8, 2009
There was a reason this week's MAD MEN was called "Fathers and Sons": because it was all about 'em. The episode opened with Horace, the son of wealthy shipping magnate, eager to blow his inheritance on a bid to popularize jai alai. The fact that many of you don't even know what that is (let alone how it's spelled) indicates what a pipe dream that was. But we're looking at it with 40 years of hindsight. I almost laughed out loud when Horace demanded to show jai alai on all three networks at the same time.The '60s really were an idealistic time, eh?
But the week's big development was Betty's father passing away. Gene only recently moved in with the Drapers, but he quickly spiraled out of control, causing chaos like letting Sally drive, giving Bobby a World War II souvenir German helmet — even eating ice cream with salt on it! Gene foreshadowed his own death by discussing his will with Betty (The mere mention of it creeped her out!), and the very next day he died while standing in line to buy fruit at the A&P. It would be fitting if he was shopping for oranges, because just the night before he had mentioned smelling oranges. And oranges always portended death in the Godfather movies.
Speaking of movies, Sal directed the Patio commercial and turned in a spot-on pastiche of Bye, Bye, Birdie that the Pepsi people rejected as simply "not right." Don's lackluster defense of Sal's work was not right, but I guess the customer always is. Don was also looking out for the customer when he tried to submarine the jai alai deal as a waste of Horace's money. Clearly, Don is growing more and more detached from his job, as well as his homelife. It's a drift that is paralleled by Sal. His wife, Kitty (is that really innocent Sarah Drew from EVERWOOD?), tried to seduce him in a little green nightie, but he was all about work. I guess she was wearing green because she's jealous of the attention his job gets....
In one of those odd juxtapositions of the TV schedule, this week's GREEK was entitled, "Our Fathers," and dealt with ZBZ's Daddy/Daughter weekend. This gave Thomas Calabro a chance to once again play Rebecca's father, the scandal-plagued Senator Logan, before reprising the dastardly Michael on tonight's reboot of MELROSE PLACE on The CW. Somehow, I doubt Michael has undergone a similar spiritual awakening. Tom Amandes (I guess this is EVERWOOD week!) played Jordan's father, Jack Reed, while Kadeem Hardison portrayed Ashley's daddy, Brian. Predictably, guy each sided with his own daughter in a mini-spat of their own. But family problems were not the only dirty laundry aired: Ashley's boyfriend Fisher confessed to Casey that he and Rebecca kissed at the party, and Casey reluctantly agreed to keep the secret to spare Ash's feelings. Too bad Rebecca decided to tell Ashley — and to point out that Casey knew and hid it from her. Rebecca is a great villainess, because that pretty smile always distracts from the knife going in your back.
The line of the night belonged to Dale, who was so upset over breaking his chastity vow that he described the encounter thusly: "It was magical...ly disgusting!" Dale's self-flagellation led him to consider Catholicism, as embodied by Catholic schoolgirl Mary-Elyse, who also captured Cappie's eye — but he was interested in more earthly delights.