Looks like Don Draper is going to need a(nother) new secretary.
The position has been cursed since Peggy Olson left — like the Defense Against the Dark Arts post after Dumbledore refused to give it to Voldemort.
(Tell me you got that.)
“Mad Men” season 4 just gave us “The Beautiful Girls,” which was all about women. Girl power, if you will.
You want to be a liberated woman? Follow the lead of Ida Blankenship (as played by the amazing Randee Heller) former “Queen of Perversions.”
She may be an incompetent secretary (at least she never ran over anyone’s foot, like Lois) but she’s razor sharp with the quotes.
A few favorites from her final day at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce:
Blankenship to Peggy: “It’s a business of sadists and masochists and you know which one you are.”
Coop wants a three-letter word for a flightless bird. Blankenship says “Emu.” Coop says it starts with an “L.” Blankenship: “The hell it does.”
Blankenship on Dr. Faye Miller: “She’s pushy, that one. Guess that’s what it takes.”
Blankenship to Don: “Are you going to the toilet?”
Blankenship on Sally: “She looks so chubby in the pictures.”
Our girl Ida died sitting in her chair in front of Don’s door and the men of the office mourned her, especially Cooper and Sterling.
Roger Sterling: “She died like she lived: Surrounded by the people she answered phones for.”
Or as Cooper put it, she was born in a barn and she died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. “She’s an astronaut.”
In keeping with the show’s “men never know what’s going on” theme, Coop and Sterling had no idea what to do for Ida’s obit, so they called in Joan to handle the details.
Other hear them roar moments:
Peggy arguing civil rights, race, women’s lib and business ethics with Abe and getting her faced licked by counter-culture lesbian friend Joyce. Joan looking cute in her pajamas and glasses, getting a free mani-pedi and massage courtesy of Roger since her hubby Greg is being shipped off to Vietnam. Don sleeping with Faye and having her joke, post-coitus, about who will look at the look at the clock first. Sally taking the train by herself to see Don, to the irritation of everyone.
Line that says it all, from the nice lady/total stranger who took Sally from the train to SCDP: “Men never know what’s going on.”
Neither Don nor Betty wanted to take care of Sally.
Don ended up asking Faye to take Sally to his apartment: “I’d have my secretary do it, but she’s dead.”
(Ha! As if Blankenship would’ve done it! She’d just tell him off.)
Faye isn’t good with kids. She loves kids, but she chose not to have them and she does not view that as a failure. But she does view her time with Sally as a test that she failed.
Poor Sally. Approaching puberty with this much anger, this much confusion and so little attention or affection. Oh man is Sally going to raise hell in the late ’60s. I just want to give her a hug.
In other news, as Faye tells us earlier in a marketing pitch, primitive suburbanites still want to get their hands dirty. A woman loves a man who’s good with his hands. Primal stuff. So when Joan and Roger are mugged, and Roger protects Joan (while also giving their money away), the brush with death seems to turn her on and they re-launch their affair.
Don has a new girl named Megan. Megan passed the Sally test. Not sure how long she’s going to stick around, but I’d like to make a pitch for the return of Lois.
Lois is indestructible — unlike Jane, Allison and Blankenship. Lois didn’t quit or die, she was just transferred to Kinsey, where she continued her path of destruction.
And maybe, if we train her well, Lois could run over Betty’s foot.
Catch up on my “Mad Men” archive here.
By the way, season 4 is the best season yet — by far — and I’m proud to have “Mad Men” in the #1 slot on my list of the top 15 shows on TV.