'Mad Men' Recap Season 7 Episode 3: It's Chilly At The Top

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Poor Don Draper: episode three of the seventh season of the hit HBO series Mad Men saw the philandering advertising genius as drunk and as sad as ever as he was simultaneously pushed away by estranged wife Megan and SC&P, the company where he used to be king. Don's marriage was at breaking point when he received a call from LA informing him that Megan is having trouble dealing with rejection from auditions.

Christina Hendricks Mad Men
Megan Pushes Don Away In The Third Episode Of Season Seven.

The vulnerable actress tells Don "it's sunny here for everyone but me," and jokes about slitting her wrists in the bath tub and meets her husband's concern with sarcasm. Don tells her to "Stop acting like a lunatic" and reveals that he has been on a forced leave of absence. Upset that Don hasn't been in LA during his time of work, Megan sends him packing, saying "This is the way it ends. It's going to be so much easier for both of us."

More: Why did no one watch the 'Mad Men' season 7 premiere?

Back at the office, Peggy's self-esteem has been dented by a snub from the CLIO nominations after the sexist, disagreeable Lou Avery didn't submit any work that he personally didn't develop. After a passive-aggressive meet-up with old neighbour Francine Hanson, Betty Draper is inspired to volunteer to accompany son Bobby and his classmates on a trip to the farm.

John Slattery
Joan Treats Don's Return With Frost After Assuming He Had Left.

Bobby revels in the fact he has his mother's undivided attention but things soon turn sour when Bobby trades his sandwich for candy and Betty's selfishness spoils her one chance to bond with her son. "It was a perfect day, and then he ruined it," she complains to Henry.

Things begin looking up for Don when he is made an offer at Dave Wooster's agency which sparks an argument during a later conversation with Roger Sterling. Don wants to know where he stands at SC&P but things aren't so clear: "Does SCP still want me?" he asks, receiving the response: "If you want to come back, come back. " A perhaps stones Roger adds sweetly, "I miss you."

Don Draper Mad Men
Will Don Be Packing His Bags To LA For Good?

Buoyed by Roger's warmth, Don returns to the office on Monday but immediately realises things aren't going to be the way they were before seeing as Roger hadn't told any of the staff that Don was coming back. Peggy greets him with an "I can't say we miss you" and even Joan is surprisingly cool, saying snidely that Don "is a very talented man, but how does he fit in to everything now?"

Cooper welcomes Don back with a certain coolness that includes a few stipulations that seem designed to make Don walk away: he's not allowed to be alone with clients, he has to stick to the approved scrip at pitch meetings, he can't drink in the office, he's given Lane's old office, and frustratingly he has to report to Lou.

Don's casual agreement to the rules may have shocked a few viewers but the mystery of the man's thoughts is one of the things the show does so well. How long Don will last in his manacled state is unclear: him keeping his head down and abiding by the regulations would be rare so it could mean he actually will head to LA for good this season.

More: Recap season 7 episode 6: everyone still hates Valentine's Day.

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