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But it's tough to feel bad for the man when, in the phone conversation with his wife, he practically molests a photo of a girl, Delores, he found in a stranger's wallet that was left in a cab Lane took to work. When he calls to locate the owner, apparently Delores' boyfriend, he basically has 1966 phone sex with her ("Oooh, do you work in a big building?" she asks, which gets Lane all hot and British bothered). Later, when he returns the wallet to Delores' boyfriend, Lane holds on to the photo.
JOAN'S MAMA DRAMA
I think I missed Joan the most during the 17-month break. Yes, she had a baby boy. No, she didn't tell Roger the baby is his. And Greg's still off in Vietnam. So Joan's meddling, awful mother (guest-star Christine Estabrook, recently seen playing a similarly awful/meddling real-estate agent on "American Horror Story") is there to help annoy/be a bad person.
It's sad to see someone as great as Joan come from someone as bad as her mother. It's not that she's apparently an alcoholic (when her mom takes $10 to buy formula for Joan's son, Joan asks her if she's getting his formula or hers. Ouch. Joan burn). it's more because her mom says stuff like Joan's "not at her fighting weight" and implies that she's going to lose her job when she spots the SCDP "equal opportunity employer" ad.
Late in the episode, Joan decides to visit the office with her child to scope things out. The front-desk receptionist doesn't even open the door for Joan when she struggles with her baby carriage, and Joan should have, with good reason, slapped her. There's a bit of tension between Megan and Joan (look, she's Joan. Don loves her) before she goes in to talk things over with Lane.
Lane puts her to work immediately on the books, which leads Joan to cry about worrying that they're looking to replace her. Lane reassures her immediately that no cadre of secretaries could do what she does, which leads to the one moment in the episode where I actually liked Lane. They laugh a bit about the birthday party Joan missed.
Wondering what happened when "Uncle Roger" meets Joan's baby? He says, "Let me see that." He holds the baby, with cigarette in mouth, as Joan beams next to him. Sigh.
We don't see Betty Draper Francis in this episode, but when Don drops the three kids off at their mom's house, which looks like some sort of Gothic castle, Don tells Sally to "give Morticia and Lurch my love," which was probably the funniest line of the episode.
So the "joke" ad about equal opportunity employment seems to have worked, as a group of black applicants show up in the SCDP lobby looking for work. Y&R sent the SCDP gang a wooden African statue, just to prove how racist they really are.
And yet, the office itself doesn't seem quite ready for this. Or willing to hire any of them, and not just because "we're not hiring anyone right now" (Roger even mutters something about "those Negroes in the lobby"). Eventually, they agree to interview each (female) applicant with the intention of hiring just one secretary.
The times they are a-changing. Slowly.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM 'A LITTLE KISS'
RANKING MEGAN: When it comes to "Mad Men" musical performances, Megan's has been the sexiest by far. But for randomness scale, we place it right between Sal's dancing/singing the "Bye Bye Birdie" song for his wife, and Roger's black-face routine.
BERT? What's up with Bert Cooper, who seemed to bolt the agency last season when Roger lost the Lucky Strike account? It's not explained, but he's back at the office, so I guess he re-thought that game plan.
PRIORITIES OUT OF WHACK: Lane's wife, Rebecca, who asks him for the name and number of Megan's interior decorator, even though they got a warning from their son's school along with an overdue bill.
BEST DESCRIPTION OF THE RESULT OF MEGAN'S PARTY: Harry says he "came home after and Jennifer didn't know what was coming." However, Megan overhears and things are, um, awkward afterward.
MOST DEPRESSION DESCRIPTION OF BEANS: From the Heinz suits: Beans are the war, the Depression, bomb shelters. We need to erase that."
BEST TRICK: When Pete finds out Roger is spying on his day-planner, he tricks him into thinking he has a 6 a.m. meeting withCoca-Cola in Staten Island. "What time is it?" Roger's lady asks as he gets ready in the morning. "Shut up," he snaps.
OH, ROGER: When Roger's upset that he's splitting secretaries with Don, he insults the woman by offering her "$50 to buy a fancy hat or a mask or something."
MOST UNNECESSARY CLOSE-UP: Joan's baby's butt as she applies diaper-rash cream.
KEN COSGROVE'S GOOD — AND BASICALLY ONLY — LINE: On Roger: "There's no one better at turning a meeting into a bender."
MOST ACCURATE DESCRIPTION OF DON'S REACTION TO MEGAN'S MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Lane: "I saw his soul leave his body."
What did you think of tonight's season premiere? Post your comments/questions below!