After a long and painful wait, the fourth season of Mad Men finally began on AMC last night. (Serious spoilers are about to begin.) At the end of season three, it seemed like most of our character found themselves on shaky-if-exciting new ground. Many (but not all — sorry, Sal) of our favorite Sterling Cooper employees went off to form their own agency, and Betty left Don for a new man. There were so many changes, and creator Matthew Weiner is so unpredictable and cagey, that some people were guessing the next season would start something like ten years in the future. (Those people were wrong.)
We do pick up in a new world, though. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is bustling, if not booming: their position is tenuous, and everyone seems to get it but Don. Betty and Henry Francis are married, though not without their issues. (Issue No. 1: everyone hates Betty.) And I could go on, telling you about how awesome Joan looked (so awesome) or how weaselly Pete seemed (slightly less weaselly, but still pretty weaselly). But I thought instead I’d skip all that and get straight to the sexin’. So, what all went down on last night’s episode?
The Sad Saga of Betty and Henry: Oh, this is a bleak one. (Just kidding, they’re all bleak!) Betty and Henry may be settling into their new life, but both seem somewhat off. Henry wants to make out in a car, but Betty thinks they shouldn’t. Betty wants to have sex on Thanksgiving, but Henry is too full. Henry wants to have sex in Betty’s house right after Don leaves, but Betty thinks they shouldn’t. (But then they totally do.)
Adiós, Don Juan: To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this set-up: Roger’s new wife Jane helps set Don up on a blind date with one of her friends. You know the drill: Don thinks she’s dumb and then sleeps with her, or thinks she’s interesting and sleeps with her, or hasn’t met her yet and sleeps with her. But Don — who over-confidently made his bed before the night — is denied by the surprisingly assertive young woman. Though he does get a kiss in the car.
Please, Ma’am, May I Have Another: Now we’re talking. Enough of the awkward, uncomfortable fumblings! Bring on some kinky shit. In a shocking move from our former ladies man, Don hires a hooker on Thanksgiving night. But what happens after that is just as surprising: as she’s on top of Don, the woman says, "I know what you want," to which Don growls, "Then do it." And then she totally starts slapping him in the face. It was awesome.
Total: Two somewhat-failed make-outs in cars, one successful if off-putting act of sex, one failed attempt at Thanksgiving sex, and one dalliance with a very aggressive prostitute.