Mad Men Season 4 Episode 4 was the first set in 1965. But Mad Men Season 4 Episode 4 had another first, since Mad Men Season 4 Episode 4 was the first directed by a cast member. John Slattery stepped into the director’s chair, although alter ego Roger Sterling was largely absent for the second straight week. Instead, a few other characters that were largely neglected last week got back into the spotlight. Episode 4 was primarily bittersweet for Pete and Peggy fans, while Don’s image received yet another blow.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
Last week’s title “The Good News” was largely ironic, since Don, Joan and Lane received the exact opposite of it the whole way through. But this week’s title “The Rejected” was more fitting, as rejection was in full force on the show, as per usual.
The first Mad Men Season 4 Episode 4 rejection was scheduled to go to Pete’s father-in-law. Although the Clearasil account he gave Pete helped form the new agency, a conflict of interest left Pete in the position of severing ties. However, it got put on the backburner when he received news he hadn’t gotten since the end of Season 2.
Meanwhile,Episode 4 was a rare episode in which Don didn’t hit on anyone new. But the repercussions of bedding, and then rejecting, secretary Allison came to a head during an emotional focus group session. Any slim hopes that Don wouldn’t make himself look worse as a result were naïve, however.
In the meantime, Peggy saw the latest hints of the growing 60’s subculture.Episode 4 actually came with the warning of nudity, though it was just due to nude photos. But the counterculture exposure did not end there for Peggy, after her latest identity crisis.
There was also a long awaited return in the middle of Episode 4. One of the left behind Sterling Cooper 1.0 workers, Ken Cosgrove, finally reappeared to help Pete at a key moment. Yet the likes of Paul Kinsey and Sal Romano are still absent, while Ken is still listed as a regular character.
But after being absent last week, Pete and Peggy were the spotlight characters this time, as the wounds of their mutual rejections reopened. For those hoping that Don would show any hints of good behavior, after some brief hope in the first half of last week’s episode, it still may be a very long wait.
Following Mad Men Season 4 Episode 4, Slattery will move back in front of the camera, although he’s scheduled to direct the next-to-last Season 4 hour as well.
Boob Tube Dude- “Mad Men Recap: The Rejected”
Television Without Pity- “The Man-Boy Becomes A Man”
New York Magazine- “John Slattery on Directing His First Episode of Mad Men”