Our Mad Men season 7, episode 4 recap looks at the events of tonight’s episode titled “The Monolith” in which Don has another rough week.
Picking up with last week’s big news, Don is now back at Sterling Cooper & Partners. On his first day officially back, everyone has convened upstairs where they’re having a meeting about a computer being installed. It’s going to do “lots of magical things like make Harry Crane seem important,” according to Roger. Everyone has high hopes about the device (“It’s the Mona Lisa,” according to Stan), but it comes at a price for employees like Peggy: The computer has to take over the lounge where we’ve seen them frequently work.
The beginning of the episode began with a dinner date between Pete and Bonnie. He bumps into George from Vicks, who’s now working for Burger Chef, and they decide Pete and SC&P can work on the campaign.
A meeting with the partners finds Ted being invited back to New York to take on the opportunity, but he suggests Peggy takes it instead. Then they decide to give it to Don. Lou’s weary of this idea, so Peggy ultimately heads the project.
Lou offers Peggy a raise of $100 more a week as a form of encouragement – and a way to talk her into working with Don. After accepting with a hint of hesitation, she asserts her authority right from the start of the project by making Don come into her office instead of vice versa, which has happened on so many episodes in the past. She tasks him with coming up with 25 tags – and Don isn’t happy about it at all. He storms back into his office, throws a typewriter into his window, and leaves SC&P for the weekend.
The following Monday he skips his meeting with Peggy and is instead pre-occupied with a game of solitaire. He’s also more interested in offering up advertising advice to Lloyd, the technician who’s installing the IBM 360 in the office.
After his chat with Lloyd, Don sees the potential in his company and asks Burt if they can pitch a campaign because he thinks they have exponential growth. However, Burt reminds him that they don’t need new business right now and they frankly don’t need Don either (he compares him to dead man Lane – ouch). Feeling like he couldn’t be lower at SC&P, Don goes to Roger’s office and sneaks out one of his bottles.
Don quickly gets drunk in his office and calls Freddy about going to a Mets game. On their way out Don stumbles towards Lloyd to mumble some nonsense and passes Peggy who’s frustrated that Don isn’t doing what’s been assigned to him. Joan thinks that the partners put no thought into the decision.
Freddy ends up bringing him home instead of to the game, and the next morning he gives Don a pep talk about getting the work done and working his way back up. Don gets inspired just in time, because Peggy had just been told by Joan that he has a set of rules that he has to be following in order to keep his job. The next morning at the office, Don promises Peggy the tags she needs by lunchtime. May this be the end of Don’s bottle bottom?
Roger’s ex-wife Mona visits the office with Brooks to inform him that Margaret has run away with hippies, and she’s “terribly worried.” She tries to enlist Roger to go and save her, but Roger likes the idea of Brooks going instead. Later we hear Brooks was thrown in jail while out on his mission.
So, Roger and Mona head out to grab their daughter, who is indeed enjoying the hippie life away from Brooks and their child Ellery. Mona has little patience for her daughter’s resistance to coming back into the city to be with her child, but Roger wants to spend a little more time at the hippie ranch because he thinks Margaret won’t suddenly change her mind the moment her parents show up. That’s so not cool, man.
Roger hangs around and partakes in their ways of living with the earth – no electricity, plenty of weed, and lots of time staring at the moon. Margaret says she’s happy here, and Roger can’t argue. After seeing her run off with a guy that night, the next morning he tries to pull her away again – physically – but fails after a slip in the mud and then a reminder of how bad a father he is to her. He heads back into town without daughter in tow.
The fifth episode of the season airs Sunday, May 11 at 10 p.m. eastern/pacific on AMC. Check out a preview below: