'Mad Men's Glen Bishop Has Returned, So Let's Look Back Upon The Many, Many Creepy Stages Of His Character
On Sunday night's Mad Men, we were treated to a phenomenon for which we had passionately hoped but had been too afraid to believe might actually happen: the return of Glen Bishop. The creepy little fella who lived across the way from the Drapers in childhood has been charming and haunting us since Season 1, drudging up insecurity in Betty, envy in Sally, and once yelling at Bobby for mistaking him for a Christmas tree farm customer. Now, he gets his sendoff... and quite the transformative one at that.
If you caught Sunday's episode of Mad Men, you know that Glen has certainly achieved a more flattering physical stage, even washing away some of that intrinsic creepiness by virtue of how well his matter-of-fact demeanor fits his hip sense of style. But just because Glen is cool now, that doesn't mean we want to forget the old Glen. The wonderfully creepy Glen who has delighted us these past many years.
Let's take a look back through the stages of Glen to remember just how beautifully bizarre that little boy was.
We couldn’t blame poor Glen Bishop for his oddball decorum when we first met him back in Season 1. At only eight years old, the lonely tot was only first beginning to understand the nature of social interactions. That said, his proclivities for bathroom peeping and requesting locks of his lady friends’ hair didn’t promise much for the young man’s future.
The love that a grammar school-aged Glen once exhibited for his friend and neighbor Betty Draper is kicked up a notch when he pays her a visit, earning in return for his affection only a sandwich and some chocolate milk. We continued to be unnerved by his very presence; his jarring articulation and piercing stare just felt… off.
Now a working man, Glen emerges from the dark corners of a Christmas tree farm to insist to Sally that he’ll “call her sometime.” And he’s brandishing a switchblade, to make matters more… shudder-worthy.
Later in Season 4
Now an athlete, Glen has just enough moxy to put the moves on Sally, using his football uniform to his advantage. Shoulder pads do not distract from the creepiness of his stone-faced glare, though.
(Side note: This might be the most wonderful still image in the history of photographic science.)
Stoic Glen manages to chat up and put down Sally all at once while on a long-distance call with his old friend, swapping jabs at his school buddies and her step-grandmother. Throughout the conversation, his facial expression never changes. Not once.
Later in Season 5
Within minutes of reuniting with Sally in her father’s uptown apartment, he admonishes her for not using the peephole, speaks unflatteringly of her living quarters, and asserts that the two hail a cab to the museum. Although sophistication does not elude Glen, tact seems to.
Driven to fury by a transgression imparted upon his longtime chum, Glen goes ape on a school friend and treats him to physical punishment… this happens after he swoops in through Sally’s window and treats her roommates to his cold grins and distant witticisms.