'Mad Men' recap: "Do You Take These Teeth..."

mad-men-s4-jon-hamm-320.jpgOn "Mad Men": Joyce brings a friend, "Caroline," in to see Peggy, as she just got canned from her job as a model for an ad campaign for Topaz pantyhose and is looking for work. Harry, after grossly hitting on Caroline for a while, gets Ken to call over to the agency handling the campaign, which results in them hiring SCDP to pick up the pieces. Ken and Peggy go in for an emergency meeting, and Peggy wows the Topaz guys with her ideas and lands the account, which is SCDP's first new business since Lucky Strike left.

Speaking of which, the meeting with the American Cancer Society is imminent, and Don is nervous as hell, but Faye suggests that his anxiety might have something to do with the secrets he's been living with, and urges him to confront his past. In the meeting, the ACS board expresses their belief that lung cancer is avoidable with the right campaign behind it. Don, however, tells them that tobacco is in the business of getting new smokers, i.e. teenagers, and pitches the idea of linking cigarettes to mortality in a teen-specific way. The board, a bunch of bigwigs as mentioned last week, is impressed, none more so than the CEO of Dow Chemical, who just happens to be well acquainted with Ken's father-in-law-to-be, who's at Corning. Ken, however, is too worried about jeopardizing his relationship with Cynthia to exploit that connection, and... then that storyline is basically dropped. Well, cancer can wait, I guess.

Joan gets a promotion to Head of Agency Operations, although there's no money for a salary increase and in fact she's having to deliver the mail on account of SCDP's newly skeletal staff. Sure, force the pregnant lady to push a mail cart around. And oh, I'm not making a joke -- JOAN IS REALLY PREGNANT, as many of us suspected.

Don is taking the kids to Disneyland in spite of the fact that the Francises are indeed moving. However, Glen comes by to say goodbye to Sally while Betty is out, and on his way to the exit, Betty returns and catches him, and when Carla takes the blame for the visit, Betty fires her, although not without coming reaaaaal close to a Carla-style smackdown, and don't think we all wouldn't have loved to see that. Betty then has to tell Don that Carla can't come on the trip, a real problem since she was supposed to watch the kids while he took business meetings, so Don gets the idea to bring Megan along in her stead, which seems insane on the surface but seems to work out splendidly at first, as Megan is a total hit and even teaches the kids French lullabies they can sing to get Gene to sleep.

Don then brings Sally and Bobby over to meet Stephanie, the late Anna's niece, as he's finally selling the house, and when Sally notices the "Dick and Anna" that Don painted last time he was there, he takes a step toward heeding Faye's advice and admits that Dick is him. Stephanie also gives Don Anna's engagement ring from, well, Famous Original Don, saying Anna wanted him to have it. This causes Don to do some serious soul-searching, and after the kids are in bed, he goes to see Megan, and despite her questioning the wisdom of their hooking up again, they...do, and not only that, after a sleepless night, Don ends up PROPOSING TO HER. Yes, you read that right. And look, even though it's out of nowhere, it does fit with the seasonal theme of people doing what they want rather than what's expected of them, it fits with Don becoming more and more Roger-like in many ways (Megan being the Jane here), and Faye did call it when she said he'd be married within a year. Still: I don't I'm going out on a limb when I say that I think this is not going to be popular with the viewing audience. Anyway, she accepts, and soon Don is telling the partners plus Joan his news. Everyone blesses the union, but behind closed doors, Peggy and Joan have a nice little bitch session about what jerks men are, and how good it is to see the two of them getting along again. Don then calls Faye to break the news, and she's completely devastated, although she does get in a good parting shot or two. Probably nothing compared to the shots her father will get in if she ever tells him.

Finally, when Henry finds out what Betty did with Carla, he lays into her but good, and they have an ugly fight about it. This paves the way for Don comes out to the house for a listing appointment, as he's also selling the Ossining house now, and finds Betty still there, and they have a nice nostalgic moment about the times they had in the house before Betty admits that things aren't prefect, and all the change in her life has made everything difficult. This, of course, is just the perfect opportunity to tell her about his engagement, and Betty is obviously hurt but covers to say she's happy for him. In the end, Don lies in bed with Megan, still unable to sleep, and we say goodbye to Season Four.

Photo credit: AMC