'Mad Men' Recap: Don Can't Avoid His Failure as a Father

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don draper the floodWell, Matt Weiner did exactly what he said he couldn't wait to do -- "get to the destruction. Let's get to the loss." We got to one of the first devastating losses of 1968 in this week's episode "The Flood." After Megan and Don -- all dressed up and off to the CLIO Awards for advertising -- meet up with Sylvia and Arnold -- who are headed to D.C. for a speaking gig -- in their building's lobby, they head their separate ways. But little do either couple know what's really about to happen that night: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.

Completely unnerving, disturbing, shocking news everyone learns in the middle of the CLIOs, and which goes on to shape the shocked tone of the rest of the episode. But it also seemed to trigger everyone's most fatherly instincts ...

Even Pete, who you would never guess would be affected by something like this. Yet, he calls Trudy and suddenly starts acting protective and asking about their daughter Tammy (thank goodness she blew him off, though!) in what seems to be a weasly way to get back into the house, possibly for his own comfort's sake.

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Then, when Peggy loses out on the Upper East Side apartment she made an offer on, she presses Abe to weigh in on what she should do. And he tells her he'd rather raise their kids on the Upper West Side. Whaaa? So cute! Looks like he'll be sticking 'round for a while as her potential baby daddy.

Meanwhile, Michael Ginsberg's father is being a total yente, trying to set his son up with a nice Jewish girl and lecturing him about how, in "The Flood," Noah's animals entered the ark two by two!

And Betty -- played by January Jones in a crazy-looking, phony-baloney fat suit and that still totally off-putting daaaark brunette dye job -- makes Don step up to the fatherhood plate, guilting him into driving up to Westchester to get the kids and driving them back through Harlem, through the heart of where all the post-assassination riots are taking place, back down to his apartment. But it seems he's more than glad he did, once he spends some QT with Bobby (who has been punished by Betty for ripping his bedroom wallpaper, which is a whole other curious situation) at a screening of Planet of the Apes.

Most heartwrenching moment -- aside from the obvious historical one -- had to be when Don realizes how much he treasures his kids, likely because he caught a glimpse of himself in Bobby that day. And then Bobby turns around and says he's scared that HENRY could get shot. Oh boy, that's gotta hurt. But maybe it's exactly the wake-up call Don needs to step it up, as a dad and in other aspects of his life?

Did you get the feeling the theme of the episode was fatherhood? How do you think they handled the assassination?

 

Image via AMC

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