It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Mad Men returned with much fanfare last night. Unfortunately, during the second hour—shortly after Megan’s provocative performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou—I had to go from AMC to ABC for GCB. I suspect Kim Gatlin and I were the only two people watching in all the land. Sad times. Anyway, let’s recap.
The fourth episode, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” opens at church. Amanda has had the audacity to wear “slacks” to church, and everyone is losing their minds. After inciting a riot, it’s time for Amanda to leave church and head to the dayshift at Boobylicious. (Seriously. Can this woman not get a nightshift ever?) But there’s a problem: while causing a holy war with those slacks, she’s misplaced her keys. She looks high, and she looks low. Mostly she looks low, and while doing so, Cricket’s closeted husband, Blake, catches sight of her glorious behind. As everyone knows, if you look good in slacks, you’re a fashion designer. So Blake approaches Amanda about joining his fashion company as a consultant. Amanda considers the opportunity. “It’s harder for a woman to find the right pair of jeans than it is to find a man,” she muses. But she’s worried that Cricket might not be onboard. “Cricket might blame me for everything including the acne she had in high school,” she points out. (In Cricket’s defense, let’s not forget that Amanda did tell everyone that she had the gift that keeps on giving back in high school.)
Nonetheless, Amanda gets to work on her concept for the most incredible jeans in the entire world. The result is Westward Ho, jeans that manage to mix the worst elements of Ed Hardy and True Religion. Blake obviously loves the fancy jeans immediately. He begins production and wants to plan a “fashion spread.” The problem? Where in the world is he going to find models? Should he call Kim Dawson. Unnecessary. In addition to waiting tables and designing the most fashionable jeans in the world, Amanda also books models. She calls her friend Topaz and books the Boobylicious waitresses for the shoot. One assumes Boobylicious will also handle catering.
But guys, disaster strikes! Photos from the shoot are leaked to a Christian website, and people are losing their minds. Christians want an apology for those ugly jeans! It’s even worse than the time that Amanda wore slacks to church. Things are so bad that the company will have to take a $25 million loss. Cricket should be freaking out, but instead she’s stoic and says that the company will not apologize for having no taste. But then Armadillo Mart pulls its order, and it’s up to Amanda to find out who leaked the images AND come up with a solution. She does both in the next 20 minutes. Westward Ho becomes Westward Hosannah and the leaker turns out to be Cricket. It seems Crickett was threatened by Amanda’s friendship with her closeted husband, so she was willing to sabotage her own company in order to sabotage their relationship.
What’s going on with the other girls? After admitting that he hates his life, Zach is having marital troubles with Sharon. She’s mad, and really who can blame her? They are in counseling, however, and their unmarried minister suggests a rather radical treatment: Sadie Hawkins week. Zach must take over all of Sharon’s responsibilities at home and Sharon must find a job. At first, Zach’s end of the bargain is a snap. Instead of homemade meals, he makes frozen pizza for their hateful daughter, McKinney, who claims that “the pizza is just as good as yours” to her heartbroken mom. (The father and daughter also refuse to share even a slice of pizza and delight in tormenting Sharon. It’s really messed up.) In the meantime, Sharon gets a job at the church and puts together a set of Ikea-like shelves. She ends up empowered; he ends up overwhelmed. (His hateful daughter stops eating the frozen pizza because she thinks it’s causing her acne. I suspect it’s something worse, like crystal meth.)
Moving on, Carlene’s husband, Rip, wants her to steal Amanda’s computer in order to trace his stolen millions. Even though she feels strongly about loving, honoring, and obeying her husband, Carlene has a hard time with this request and eventually refuses. Luckily, she’s able to confirm that Bill, Amanda’s ex husband, is really dead without breaking “Number Eight.” How does she do this? She asks Amanda a few direct questions. So that storyline died. Carlene also catches her son doing bad things to himself while looking at Westward Ho products online, brings a manicurist named Chardonnay over to Amanda’s house, and dresses up like Dale Evans.
Speaking of costumes, we can end with Gigi. (What about Heather, you ask? Exactly.) Carlene’s Uncle Burl (played by my sister’s elementary school crush Bruce Boxleitner. What’s up, Scarecrow and Mrs. King?) has returned to town, and guess who’s with him? Abbey Ewing! She’s taking a break from Knots Landing and going by the name “Bitsy” these days. Anyway, in honor of Uncle Burl’s return, Gigi plans an elaborate costume party—”Come as your favorite Texan” is the theme. Suspicious of Gigi’s motives, Bitsy suggests that they dress as a team. Bitsy will dress like Barbara Bush, and Gigi can dress like Laura Bush. “Two Bushes are better than one,” she says.
Obviously, Amanda dresses like red-swimsuited Farrah. Heather dresses up as Selena. Blake and Cricket arrive as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Sharon decides against her Anna Nicole costume and instead goes with Mary Kay Ash. Once the costumes have been established—and Amanda can mimic the Farrah pose a few times while pretending to listen, it’s time for the drama. Gigi and Bitsy are not getting along at all. Uncle Burl has come back to Dallas due to health problems—but also because of Gigi. And Bitsy does not like this one bit. She informs Gigi that she is getting Uncle Burl out of town ASAP, health problems or no. But before she can do that, Gigi changes clothes. When asked who she’s portraying now, she answers, “My favorite Texan. Me.” Also, Bitsy dies.
Was she murdered? Did she choke on the rib she was chowing down on? Only Kim Gatlin and I will find out next week. Give Don and Roger my best.