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“Just a gigalo, everywhere I go”: John Hamm directs season 6’s episode II “The Collaborators” and good God could Mad Men get any better? [SPOILERS!]

“There will come a day/
Youth will pass away/
Then what will they say about me?/
When the end comes I know/
They’ll say just a gigolo/
As life goes on without me”

Season six’s second episode left me a little heartbroken for the loyal wives in the show, Megan and Trudy, but “The Collaborators,” directed by none other than Jon Hamm himself, was also a pretty complicated and sexy series of cheats that ended up intertwining these very loyal ladies and the “other” women in their man’s life—making for some pretty awkward encounters. Even worse: Don and Pete seemed to enjoy these moments—did you see Pete’s gaze when his wife was patting the crazy neighbor’s face full of blood? It’s like it turned him on or something!

Ironically the drama within the characters of the show do not reflect much on the fact that all the advertisements have been lackluster as of late at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. And when the Mr. Heinz Baked Beans man himself, Raymond, comes back for a visit to settle a Jaguar deal, Don sort of ruins everything by not wanting to succumb to his demands—ticking off Pete and Roger in a time where this client would be valuable. But Don is not a salesman, sometimes I don’t even know what Don is, but the meeting did not go well.

So while “The Collaborators” wasn’t nearly as heart-racing as the season premiere, it did give us a more complex look at Don’s latest affair while revealing more of his odd past, and a heartbreaking look at how ugly (and hot) things can get when it comes to these people’s infidelity.

Don: This episode showed Don’s dark side even more so than normal; you could just see it in his eyes throughout. The ads suck, his marriage plateaued much quicker than he would have liked—why not sleep with his hot neighbor (#DonLogic) and slip her some cash for the favor? Here we get a painful glimpse at Don’s early life brothel, which was triggered initially by him and Sylvia’s “transaction,” and I mean, I get the whole weird childhood psych thing (peeping tom!), but Don has a great lady who despite her shortcomings does at least put forth effort in the end; she is truly devoted 100% to him. So if Don wants to be free and alone, screwing every woman he just so happens to want, then he should be free and alone, not stringing Megan along the way. We’ll see how much longer he can keep this affair rolling under her nose.

Pete: What’s with the guys picking the worst possible candidates for cheating? Could Pete have possibly chosen anyone crazier? His wife put it perfectly when she said, “at least be discreet.” Not only is this woman off the wall (she doesn’t even like music!), but she’s damaged and desperately wants to be with Pete. “Take me to the city!” she says, bloodied after her blatantly plotted attempt to homewreck Pete’s marriage unravels. Pete’s quickly regretful of his decision, not realizing the intensity of it all—like when Trudy finds out the truth behind this mysterious woman, she gives Pete the boot and threatens to destroy him. Sigh.

Megan: Woah, so Megan was almost preggers, and this just reinforces how how much of a little craphead Don is. While Megan confides in Sylvia and FEELS BAD about drinking while being pregnant possibly causing the loss, we all know who should really be feeling bad: Mr. Draper and Miss Sylvia. I hate that Megan is so perfect and loyal because it’s hard to not want to feel sorry for her; but I don’t want to pitty her! I want some rich actor to come sweep her off her feet ASAP so she can forget about Don and his antics. I know she was feeling guilty about the miscarriage, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise (I mean, I certainly don’t want any little Don Drapers running around!).

Peggy: Peggy’s the new Don and now she thinks everyone hates her because she has the highest of standards, ever (but that’s okay, because it’s Peggy and I love her.) She ends up overhearing some hush hush info about the very same Heinz account that’s failing  from SCDP, and her boss Tom, eavesdropping on the conversation, later uses the information to try and persuade Peggy to go after the account. I sense a duality here within Peggy’s character in that she wants to be this top-notch ad lady, running her crew of creators, but yet in reality she’s held back in the sense that she won’t do ballsy things like go after Heinz. Or will she??? I don’t think Quest feminine hygiene powder is going anywhere…And I don’t think her co-workers think so either.

You’ve also got to love the ending when the ever-so-appropriate Bing Crosby song (from 1931!) “Just a Gigalo” comes on, as Don sits alone—hating it all.


  • “What was that about the pool?” – Pete “He’s insistant we all go skinny dipping.” – Trudy “Tell him to get his own pool.”- Pete
  • “I knew it’d be you.” – Sylvia
  • “Well, it’s nice to know that no matter what, I got something done today.” – Don
  • “You don’t mind sitting across the table from your wife and my husband?” – Sylvia
  • “I have money, I just never have money.” – Sylvia
  • “This didn’t happen.” – Don
  • “I think I have some peanuts and some cheese crackers.” – Pete
  • “That’s a pretty shade of lipstick.” – Pete
  • “Sometimes you gotta dance with the one that brung ya.” – Don
  • “I just wish watching TV during the day didn’t make me feel so guilty.” – Sylvia 
  • “I fired the maid today.” – Megan “Good riddance.” – Don
  • “Quest: feminine hygiene powder.” – Peggy (ew!)
  • “Did you get all gussied up for me?” – Herb
  • “I know there’s a part of you you haven’t seen in years.” – Joan
  • “There’s nothing like things going badly when you leave, is there?” – Ted
  • “I would like some guidance on this menu from my favorite Italian.” – Don 
  • “You have to know what I want is what you want. Is that what you want?” – Don
  • “Don’t be cute. I still have his spit in my hair.” – Pete
  • “Well the North Koreans really took that ship.” – Arnold
  • “I want you all the time. And you suddenly you decided you want something more than that? Well then that’s news.” – Don
  • “I’m drawing a 50-mile radius around this house, and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you.” – Trudy

(photo via Allie is Wired)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.