“Mad Men,” Season 4, Episode 4: “The Rejected”

And here I thought the Vietnam War was going to take center focus this season on “Mad Men.” Who knew it was actually going to be the battle for sexual liberation.

We see nude photos rejected by Life Magazine (hence the brief nudity warning before the episode began). We see a focus group of young women melting down because they know men are pigs no matter how pretty they make themselves. We see Don’s secretary Allison, who’s been rejected by him, liberate herself from Don and proclaim it will be interesting working for a woman instead of him. We learn that no one owns Peggy’s vagina; it’s only being rented. And we also get a look inside an underground art house movie (pornography by 1960s standards) party.

It’s subtle, but it’s happening. On one side we see the women freeing themselves from the men. On the other we see the men holding onto them. Pete is acting like he fulfilled his duties as a man by impregnating his annoying wife. And Don can’t be bothered to apologize to anyone, much less a woman.

But that’s all just the subtext. On the top layer, we have ourselves a Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) show. Peggy meets a lesbian photo editor on the elevator who invites her to the underground party I mentioned earlier. At first I thought Peggy was being naive and would only embarrassingly find out later that she was the object of a woman’s desire. But apparently she got it.

Peggy is clearly the most progressive, free-thinking person at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. She even smokes some grass (or refer  — which term is more period appropriate?).

Pete is forced to break the news to his father-in-law that SCDP has to drop the campaign he threw Pete’s way last season. But Pete is delayed when he finds out his wife Trudy is going to have a baby. He acts as if it’s the first time he’s ever fathered a baby, of course. I wonder if his love child with Peggy will ever resurface.

Pete also has a lunch with Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton). We finally get to see Ken, whose been in the credits all season. Ken tells him he’s getting married then picks a fight with him as usual. I knew I could count on Ken to give it to Pete.

There’s not much of a Don Draper (Jon Hamm) rundown to do, but I’ll try: Don gets a picture of him and the real Don Draper’s widow. He has an “aww” moment since she’s the only one who seems to bring out his emotions. He drinks a little. Smokes some cigarettes. Feels slight guilt for the way he treated Allison. Remembers he has a penis and crushes the guilt. The end.

There’s been no Betty (January Jones) for two episodes but it looks like we’ll see her next week as she admits she “wants him dead.” I’m sure she’s talking about Don. Or maybe it’s one of her kids. She does seem to hate them. Can’t wait.

Did You Enjoy this Post? Subscribe to Hollywood Hills on Facebook, Twitter, & Email