'Mad Men' Season 6, Episode 3 Recap - 'The Collaborators'


Here we are, the third episode of Mad Men — did you catch last week's double header? — and finally, we have a long-ish scene with Pete Campbell and his Very Important New Sideburns. He and Trudy are hosting a party, and Pete is — as usual — flirting with every woman there. But, interestingly, Trudy is flirting with every dude there! She even goes up to Pete and is like "Lol, that guy just asked me to go skinny-dipping with him." This scene sets us up for some major Pete and Trudy drama, but more on that later.

Next we see Don Draper step into his elevator. It opens on the Rosens' floor, where we get a glimpse of Dr. Rosen and his wife, Sylvia, arguing about money. Sylvia, remember, is Don's new mistress. She lives on floor below the Drapers. Convenient! Or, terrible. We'll have to see how this one plays out.

Flashback scene! We learn that Don Draper was raised in a whorehouse, which maaaybe explains some of his views towards women. The kid that they cast as young Dick Whitman is not convincing.

We all know what John Hamm looked like in high school.

Now Don is in bed with Sylvia. "You don't mind sitting across the table from your wife and my husband?" she asks. Don answers, "I don't think about it." (Puts sunglasses on.) "They're both good company." Okay, he didn't put sunglasses on. But he may as well have.

Lindsay Weir's  Sylvia's cocktail ring game is really on point, by the way.

Back at Pete and Trudy's, it looks like wannabe Don Draper is trying to seduce a woman he met at that aforementioned party. Ugh. What is it with the new, "opposite of swag," Pete? The more unruly his sideburns get, the worse his personality becomes.

Down in the laundry room of the Draper-Rosen apartment complex, Megan is busy firing her maid. Sylvia walks in on the awkward moment, and the two grab a drink — which leads to Megan confiding in her neighbor-slash-husband's-mistress that she had a miscarriage two days ago.

Our first Joan sighting of the episode! She's wearing a jaunty scarf that coordinates with the fabric of her sleeves — it's really some next-level matching. Herb — remember the skeezy Jaguar exec from last season? — pops into her office, unannounced. "I had no idea you'd be darkening my doorway," Joan says, which is great. Let's all make a mental note to use that phrase as much as possible. Preferably when the pizza delivery guy arrives.

On to Peggy! No one at her new office likes her, and she's pretty bummed about it. But at least she gets to weat eggplant bosslady dresses, like this one.

While back at the Draper residence, Megan is wearing a robe that looks like a full-body Vera Bradley bag.

Whoa. Remember the woman Pete Campbell brought back to his apartment? She's just arrived on the doorstep of Pete and Trudy's Westchester home — with a bloody face. She says that she and her husband just had a horrible fight, and Trudy (who has no idea Pete is having an affair, remember) tends to her immediately — offering to drive her to a hotel, where she'll be safe. Because Trudy is the best.

Meanwhile, Don, Dr. Rosen, and Sylvia are out to dinner — Megan stayed home because she wasn't feeling well — when Dr. Rosen gets a call and has to head to the hospital. So it's just Don and Sylvia now! I didn't really catch what they said (I was making snacks. It seemed really important to do that at the time.) but it must have been hot, because when I came back 30 seconds later, they were rolling around on Sylvia's bed while opera played. Of course opera plays when Don Draper has sexytimes.

The next morning, Trudy is already up waiting for Pete before he heads to work. She knows. "I let you have that apartment. Somehow i thought there was some dignity in granting permission. All I wanted was for you to be discreet. She lives on our block!" she says. And then, she lays down the law. "You will be here only when I tell you to be here. I am drawing a 50 mile radius around this house and if so much as open your fly to urinate I will destroy you." Trudy is kind of my favorite now.

And...we end with a flashback scene. Young Don Draper, watching through a peephole as his mother has sex with a strange man for money. Then, real time Don Draper (or, you know, 1968 Don Draper) sits down in front of his apartment door, as if he's afraid to go inside, while "Just a Gigolo" plays. It's supposed to be a sympathetic scene, but...I don't really feel anything? Is the audience really supposed to forgive this guy again?

So, what did you think? Was this episode more eventful than the first two? Were you as upset about the lack of Betty and Sally as I was? Who got the shortest end of the hair stick? (Ew. Hair stick.) Pete or Peggy? And, most importantly, how disgusting are those commercials for boneless Kentucky Fried Chicken that AMC keeps playing?  Let us know!
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