Episode Reviews (3)
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Betty gives birth to her third kid. Peggy and Pete meet Duck. A lot of subtle references and symbolism thrown around.
AMC's original series is getting really hard to follow. I do on an occasional basis like to read between the lines; introspect, analyze, compare and contrast. Right now, this is pure overkill.
We get it, our lives are complicated. So is the ones of Don Draper, Betty, and every cast member. And using Betty's acid like trip to explain her life's mistakes and her strained marriage, just gets a wee bit insane. Also, I would be deeply disappointed if Don goes and sticks it Sally's teacher. It's like a form of blackmail. You don't generally expect the pivotal character to do unacceptable things, and at the same time you ought to accept the character flaw just because he/she is the protagonist.
Possibly the best turnaround of events is the return of the trouble maker -Mark Moses as Duck Phillips. We loved to hate him in Desperate Housewives, and we find him just as despicable here. So we had two contrasting situations connected to the Duck Phillips story. One- Peggy who has the appreciation of her superiors contemplates on leaving Sterling Cooper to head to Duck's company. And on the contrasting side, we have Pete who gets treated like scum for his good initiatives clearly refuse Duck's offer. With that said. The Admiral product was a good start to what could be very thought-provoking plot on race issues. Its a delicate issue, and I wonder how they'll tackle it.moreless
first great episode of the new season. Heavily symbolic and quote worthy. About birth pangs on a personal, office and nationwide level. Some want to be the catilpillar and some want to be a butterfly.
The theme of this episode is difficult to pin down. In a way, it is birth pangs, a refusal to grow up on one hand and wanting to on another. The main story dealt with a caterpiller/butterfly theme, as some wanted to stay a catilpillar and others wanted to be a butterfly. The caterpillars were highlighted by Betty giving birth and her weird "Soprano-esque" dream while under drugs. It highlighted her refusal to accept adulthood. Also, the client in this episode, Admiral television, also is refusing to grow up in a way by not recognizing that they are a company that "blacks" like.
Peggy, Pete and the Brits (surprisingly) represent the butterfly. Betty asks Don "what if this is my time?" while asking for a raise. We finally see what happened to Duck, who consistantly for him sort-of guessed the truth to Pete and Peggy while being wayyyy off..lol
Pete correctly sees that Admiral is selling well to blacks and his conversation with the black elevator operator recalls Don's first scene of the first episode when he asks his black's waiter opinion on lucky strike cigarettes. His conversation with the elevator man was great as it showed the great issues of that time. He preaches the American dream to one who only rolls his eyes, and has reason too. Admiral reacts harshly to his common sense and is reprimanded by Roger and Bert, and is defended by the Brit, as he points out they may be behind the times.
As to caterpillars, Betty is one both figuatively and literally, as she has a "catcher in the rye" vision about having one in her hand and clasping it refusing to let go. This is hammered home in the next vision as she acts very childishly to her parents (who are really her subconscience) who tell her to not question things and be happy with what she has. Although January Jones is great, what has not explored is why she refuses to grow up. this really needs to be developed.
Peegy is a butterfly who is straining to break free as she is courted to leave by Duck, and unlike Pete is too naive to see thought to the fact he is a loser. She asks Don "what if this is my time?" He sympathizes, but the Brits are not in a giving a raise to employee mode. Don is also disgusted by their penny pinching.
Finally, Dons penchant for cheating is again dealt with as talks with his girl's teacher and another expectant dad in the waiting room. The show is clearly laying the groundwork as to whether Don will stray again or if he will finally "grow up" (ties into the theme again) He has a conversation with a expectant dad where his love is new and contrasts with Don's third time baby plus having trouble in marriage vibe. He is clearly touched by the guy, as he promises to Don, like he is God, that he will be a better man. Tellingly, like promises made to god, he sees him the next day and after an initial smile, he averts his eyes. He knows he will sin again and is hiding his shame, much like we would after saying something like that to god and knowing the next day when the crises is averted they will not live up to it.
Probably the episode they will submit to the Emmys. I could probably write another 2000 words on how complex the episode was and was very well acted. Reminded me of the Sopranos and Battlestar Galactica, there was soo much going on on so many levels. Great episode!moreless
The slippery slope continues.
This episode had some entertaining parts, but the days of Mad Men being an elite drama (some say it was once television's best show, but I never did) are long gone. The Academy will still nominate it for Emmy awards because their process is laughable, but to me the show is just not entertaining anymore.
They give me no reason to care about these characters. It is so hard to tell who stands where and what their true intentions really are and when that is the case you cannot get emotionally attached in their behavior, and thus the viewer loses interest. People think that I wish failure on the show, but that could not be further from the truth. I want Mad Men to be good again, I just don't know if it will happen.moreless