Last night was the penulitmate episode of Mad Men's fifth season, and the writers pulled out all the stops. During the episode, we get a glimpse of Sally and Megan's similar style, how Betty warms up blue a bit, and Don in his shirtsleeves.
There are so many spoilers coming up in this recap, so consider yourself warned!
Don The episode begins with Don in the barbershop being complimented by a rival ad man on scoring the Jaguar account. This whole scene, from the traditional barbershop to the two ad men wearing suits to get their hair cut, could be pulled from an earlier season of Mad Men. It just goes to show, underneath his shiny (and groomed) facçade, Don Draper is a man of extreme habit.
Lane Lane's plotline turns out tragic this episode, leaving a real cliffhanger for the tone of the season finale next week. For Lane's first scene he wears his usual mismatched tie, vest, and jacket combo. Throughout Lane's tenure on Mad Men, I'd always taken his mismatched style as something that reflects his bumbling personality--kind of a well-intentioned fool--but as we've been finding out, there is a much more troubled side to Lane.
Pete and Joan In the partners' meeting, now including Joan, the SCDP crew discusses the billing of the Jaguar account. Pete wears a black suit with a light pinstripe and a diagonally striped tie--his dull tones and patterns reflect his pompous malaise this season. Remember when all Pete wore was blue suits? Those were the days.
Joan is someone who has had a very slow sartorial development, though this may be the first time we see her in polka-dots. She looks more cutesy than ususal, as though she's trying to pare down the assets that she traded for a partnership.
Scarlett Scarlett is the new Joan in the partner meetings, and she's doing her best Season 4 Joan impression in a snug emerald green sweater dress, gold ball earrings, and up-do.
Betty and Sally Meanwhile upstate, Betty and Sally are packing for a weekend ski-trip. Betty wears an ice blue, navy, and white knit sweater to reflect her icy personality. Even with an extra 20 pounds and a comfy sweater Betty is still the opposite of warm and nurturing. Her relationship with Sally seems to be at its most bitter point ever--so bad that Betty doesn't even protest Sally's request to be left with Don and Megan over the weekend while the rest of the Francis clan skis.
Bert Bert Cooper says his three lines this episode; this time they are to Don inquiring about a check made out to Lane. Bert wears a grey suit, dotted bowtie, and a pocket square folded into a shape that resembles a little crown. Bert is kind of like the Queen Elizabeth of SCDP: old school, made of money, and has been wearing the same thing forever.
Don and Lane One of the things I love about Don sans-jacket is that you can always see his undershirt sleeves. He is one of the few SCDP men who will remove his jacket in the office, and the hint of his undershirt only serves as a reminder of his physical power. Lane, conversely is wearing at least three buttoned up layers, and pleading for mercy.
Sally and Megan Sally arrives at Chez Draper in a broad-collared, printed minidress and knee high socks. Megan is perfecting her Upper East Side Beat wardrobe with a knit sweater, cropped pants, and no shoes. The interesting parallel between Sally and Megan is that both of them are trying to act older and dress to gain respect.
Rebecca Rebecca buys Lane a Jaguar as a reward for his hard work, which ends up being a catalyst in his self destruction. She lovingly wears a red ensemble trimmed with fur--symbols to show how enamored she is with Lane and of her considerable wealth.
Megan and Sally Megan and Sally go out on Sunday while Don prepares for this meeting with Dow Chemical. They are both bundled in winter wear, but Megan is wearing bare legs and a bum-skimming miniskirt. She has to slut it up a little to go out with Julia, her actress friend.
Don This is Don's working-from-home outfit. At least he matches the furniture.
Megan and Sally At lunch Megan wears a corduroy jacket and striped sweater, and Sally wears a teal sweater and tan jumper. There are similarities between their choices (and haircuts)--sweaters and tan accents. It's easy to see that Sally idolizes Megan as a woman whom she wants to be like.
Julia The drapes may or may not match the carpet, but they match the dress. In the world of TV, I imagine Julia gives birth to Carrie Bradshaw--the kooky outfits and the sex talk over lunch...it all makes sense.
Sally and Glenn Sally makes a date with Glenn, world's most monotone speaker, when Don and Megan leave her home alone. She gets dolled up in a printed dress, white tights, and knee-high boots. The white accents play to her innocence, sexually and psychologically. Glenn has dressed up too, in a suit and tie, and does his best Holden Caulfield impression throughout the trip to the museum with Sally.
Sally and Betty After getting her period for the first time in the middle of her date with Glenn, Sally darts home to Betty, who is suprisingly mothering. Sally changes into a little girl nightgown, and Betty wears a cobalt dress and pearlescent earrings. She's still in blue, but it's warmed a little, just like her personality towards Sally.
Bert, Joan, and Pete Bert has the job of alerting Roger and Don of Lane's suicide when they arrive from the Dow Chemical meeting to an empty office. Bert, Joan, and Pete wear outfits similar to what they wore the day before: Bert in a suit with an odd pocket square, Joan in a tiny-printed dress, this time bronze flowers instead of red dots, and Pete in a black suit and diagonally striped tie.
Now that SCDP is without Peggy and Lane, their future seems a bit uncertain. The previews for the next episode show Don arriving at someone's apartment that looks a lot like Peggy's, so fingers crossed there is a Draper-Olson tête-a-tête in the coming episode.