Mad Men Recap: Don’s Still a Jerk, Betty is Mean

mad-men-jon-hamm-public-relations-s04e01 (Season 4, Episode 1, ‘Public Relations’) Words can’t describe how happy I am to have ‘Mad Men’ back. Did you watch the season four premiere last night? I watched the screener copy several weeks ago, and watched it again last night just because.

I love the “scrappy upstart” that Don Draper and Roger Sterling are building. Everyone seems energized to be creating a new ad company together, even if they were ticked off at Don for the crummy interview he gave, which resulted in a crummy story their clients hated because he didn’t mention them.

And let’s face it. Being an ad guy, Don should know first-hand that what he says will come back to either haunt or hurt the company.

I also loved the caper that Peggy pulled off with the hams – hiring actors to stage a fight over hams. That’s sort of genius. Don hated it and barked at Peggy that she needs to think a little more about the image of the agency; he should take his own advice.

As for Betty, she just seems to hate being a mom more than ever, and seems like she’d run off with Henry at the drop of a hat to get away from ALL of their combined relatives. Where’s child protective services when you need them?

Love the new offices! So sleek, so glassy, so open. They don’t even need a conference table. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Image: AMC


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jane Boursaw, Jane Boursaw. Jane Boursaw said: Mad Men Recap: Don’s Still a Jerk, Betty is Mean #madmen @bettydraper @dondraper #1960s #amc […]

  2. Denise Schipani via Facebook Avatar

    Best: Henry’s mother saying, “she’s a silly woman.”

  3. Jane Louise Boursaw via Facebook Avatar

    Denise – I’m sort of loving Henry’s mom so far. Betty needs some serious therapy! Stuffing a marshmallow into Sally’s mouth at the table? What the heck…

  4. Denise Schipani Avatar

    Loved the episode too! I have to say, though, that while Betty is certainly misguided (and marrying Henry on the rebound/as an escape was a major oopsie), I think going off on her for being mean and a terrible mother are slightly unfair. I heard Matt Weiner on the NPR show Fresh Air yesterday, and he addressed this (it’s an interview worth listening to online if you can!). He said, listen, I was raised in the “go watch TV” era, as was I. Betty’s the mom of her times, though more distracted and thus making more mistakes than others of her generation. But gosh, THAT pendulum swing wildly from then till now, right?!

  5. Erica Manfred Avatar

    I am also thrilled to have Mad Men back. What did you think of the slapping scene? I found that absolutely startling, so much so that hardly anyone has mentioned it. I don’t think people know what to make of it. Here’s Don Draper spending Thanksgiving with a prostitute getting slapped. It makes sense in a way, from what I’ve heard and read about men who go to dominatrix’s–they’re often powerful men who have to be in control in their business and everyday lives and want a woman in control in bed. But it was still stunning.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Thanks for the note, Erica! I agree – that slapping scene was startling. I still don’t know what to think about it, but your thought about powerful men wanting a woman to have control in bed makes a lot of sense. As always, Mad Men continues to offer some thought-provoking character studies.

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