Don seems particularly flustered by Megan's group of friends, who are all artsy and beatnik-y and non-white (they're in a band that performs at the apartment, alternating between swinging jazz and Burt Bacharach-y pop). There's even — shock — a friend who is black AND gay! "My god, is he queer!" Harry notes, reminding us how stuck in the old ways of life Harry and the rest of SCDP remain about some things. However, Harry says he's "going to smoke tea with Megan's friends," so apparently he's OK with that part of society changing.
The party features some of Weiner's best writing of the show. His humor consistently crackles and pops. Example: When Harry gives Don his birthday present, a silver-handled can that's the "Steinway of walking sticks." Roger comments: "You can stick it up your ass and have a concert."
Anyway, nothing — I repeat, nothing! — prepares you for what eventually comes. With Don seated in the center of the room, Megan gives her love his birthday present — a musical performance. Well, to be more specific, a musical performance that practically oozes sexuality (and leg). Singing in French, Megan coos "Zou Bisou Bisou" over and over again (yeah, I had to look it up, too), with French words as well that seem unimportant, lifts up her legs to levels I assume were illegal in 1966, and earns catcalls and shocked faces from the party folks.
Don seems a little taken aback as well. When the party is over, he falls right into bed — without Megan. "Party's over. I don't want to talk. I just want to go to sleep."
He thoroughly embarrasses and insults Megan, who appears on the brink of tears or anger or wanting to shoot Don in the face. "Don't waste money on that," Don says of the surprise party. "Don't use it to embarrass me again."
A "thank you" and post-party sex seemed appropriate here. It appears that not all is well in DonandMeganland. As usual, Don finds ways to self-sabotage his life. We're now pretty sure Mr. Draper can never be fully happy unless he's at work and taking names and being tough on Pete.
Later, Megan, who leaves work early to clean the house in her underwear (as one does), confronts Don about this jackass behavior. "Stop looking at me," she says. "You don't deserve this. I don't want people to think you're getting this."
"You want this," is Don's reply. And she does. As angry as Megan is, she does. They have angry-sex on the dirty apartment floor, followed by Megan offering to quit SCDP to, presumably, save their marriage. "I want you at work because I want you," Don replies.
But it's, per usual, not clear what Don wants. At all. In marriage. At work. Whether to be in control or not be in control. I didn't expect Don and Megan's marriage to be totally awesome. Honestly, I wasn't even sure if they'd still be married in the season premiere. But to be this complicated says something deep down about Don Draper. He's a man who no one still knows fully. And he's a man who still doesn't know everything about himself.
Moving on from Don and Megan, everything, we learn, is "stable" at SCDP. Business is just steady, neither good nor bad. Clients seem to come in, but they aren't major (unless you call Butler Shoes "major"). Here we, again, see conflict between old and new ways of thought and behavior. Pure generational stuff.
Let's start with Roger, who it appears has moved beyond being such a sad-sack in Season 4 and back to his good old randy, funny self. He's still holding on to the patented Sterling rule of inappropriate flirting with secretaries. In this case, Pete's secretary. Part of it, surely, is Sterling horniness, but part of it is finding out what meetings Pete has set up so he can weasel his way in (Roger's still looking for his own accounts after losing Lucky Strike).
After arriving early (and unexpectedly) for a meeting with Pete and Mohawk Airlines (the most punkish airline ever!), Roger gets the clients drunk ("You're just one behind, but it's nuclear," Roger says, coining a phrase I plan to use on a weekly basis), Pete gets himself hammered, hits his head on his office door and gets a bloody nose.
I would have liked to have seen someone actually punch Pete, but this was close enough.
Weiner has also set up a Pete vs. Roger showdown this year. Sniveling Pete whines and complains about everything this episode, from his wife's post-baby behavior ("There was a time when she wouldn't come out of the house without a robe on") to Roger butting-in on his clients and, generally, SCDP not having enough clients. Plus, he complains about the size of his office and the general look of the entire SCDP offices.