MAD MEN RECAP: You Know It’s Hit The Fan When Don Drops A Cigarette


This is a Recap of Mad Men Season 3 Episode 11, “The Gypsy And The Hobo”, originally airing October 25th, 2009. Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the episode, I’m gonna force you to open a box of spoilers.

It was a rough week for Don Draper, to say the least. How rough? He was so nervous, he frickin’ DROPPED A CIGARETTE. What’s next, him inaccurately eyeballing a double-shot?

Mad Men Cigarette Drop

Don’s quick stop home turns into a no-holds-barred “let’s get it ALL out there” discussion, in which Don quietly and truthfully answers every one of Betty’s barbed questions, nervous about the weight of his information but also partially relieved to finally spill his secrets to someone.

I’m about the most annoying person in the world to watch tv with — I can’t make it through a Lost episode without talking over dialogue a dozen times with my painful jokes, but I can’t help it — and yet, I was completely silent throughout this entire conversation.

Mad Men Table Tension

I didn’t break out of my silent captivation until after the commercial break, when Don was brushing his teeth in the mirror and I jokingly exclaimed on his behalf “HOLY SH*T, the TEACHER!!!!!” (Ed Note – I love hearing my voice). The teacher, meanwhile, figures things out after a mere couple hours and finally exits the car to walk home (and has grown a long white beard by this point).

After the jump – Niagara Falls, Frankie Angel:

Even rarer than Don Draper dropping a cig? Don Draper crying. Well-deserved Jon Hamm Emmy, here we come:

Mad Men Don Crying

Ultimately, Betty remains paralyzed by the information but unable to channel her anger into action, handcuffed by the security offered by Don, her ties to the children, and a complete lack of viable legal options:

Mad Men Legal Advice

Meanwhile, the Mad Men Season finally accepted my Suggestion Box request and delivered a heavy Roger subplot, giving us a glimpse into his carefree younger days in Paris spent with a horsemeat heiress who eventually broke his heart (presumably by revealing to him that the food that his dog was enjoying was horse). Also, quick FYI to horsemeat lady: People call chicken “chicken.” So that’s not your problem, dumbass. Anyway…

Roger and Annabell then share a nice, casual business dinner:

Mad Men Roger Baggage

A smashed Annabell then throws HER horsemeat (read: vagina) at an equally drunken Roger, who decides to become the first dude in Mad Men history to not f*ck a person! It was like the triumphant moment in The Dark Knight when the two boats decide not to blow each other up because Gotham is finally ready to believe in good, only with f*cking.

Roger then compounds the problem the following day when Annabell pleads “You were the one” and Roger effortlessly responds, “You weren’t.” Because Roger truly, deeply loves Jane…Aaaaand he’s been lovingly talking to Joan on the phone all week. The One? More like, The Two, am I right? Or The One but it’s really Joan…? We’ll see… So many ellipses…

Joan, meanwhile, smashes a vase over her husband’s head, confirming her status as arguably the awesomest character on the show and climbing her husband to the coveted #3 spot on the list of Lamest Matthew Weiner Show Characters (behind A.J. Soprano and Tony Soprano’s sister). I don’t mean “lame” as in poorly written, I mean lame as in well-written to be really frickin’ lame. Hopefully he gets shot during his second day in the Army so Joan and Roger can finally get together. (Jane also gets shot during his second day in the Army, somehow).

The only weak point in the otherwise phenomenal episode was the very end, which was more on the nose than a fake nose that you wear on your nose (does that make sense? No time to delete.) Mad Men pulled a total Sex And The City “Spell out the symbolism super directly” — throughout the entire episode, the air of Halloween provided the perfect backdrop for an episode about Don pretending to be another person for half his life, which was awesome, but then the episode ended with a trick-or-treat neighbor asking Don “And who are YOU supposed to be?”

Mad Men Halloween Guy

I was half-expecting a Carrie Bradshaw voiceover to chime in, “Here they were, putting on costumes to go trick-or-treating, just as I was prepared to take off the costume I’d worn my entire life…”

Ah well, I got my Roger and Joan and painful Don-Betty tension and a horsemeat focus group, so believe me, I’m not complaining.

Also, take it from the AMCtv player — If you wanna cheat on your wife, go with Clorox:

Mad Men Clorox Ad

Episode thoughts? On a scale of 9-10, how awesome was this episode? Favorite parts/lines? End of season predictions? Will Sterling-Cooper get sold to Duck Phillips’ new firm? Tune in next week! To the tv, not the internet. But then the internet afterwards.

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