I thought that this episode was amazingly well written. In fact, I thought that it was one of the best episodes of mad men that I had ever seen, and that says something. The characters seemed more likable to me, especially in the case of Pete Campbell. I had never seen the character written with so much vulnerability and humanity, which I was glad to see because he's my favorite character. Even Don Draper was slightly less insufferable than usual. I hope that this writer gets to work more on Mad Men in the future.
This episode was all about walls and those who want to get inside them vs. those we keep out. This was a heartbreaking episode for Roger as he had a wall up to all except Joan, and he got rejected for it.
Roger kept hidden the fact Lucky Strike was leaving until Ken got hold of it. Roger acted like he was on it, but was acting the whole time as he stayed in a hotel feeling sorry for himself instead of fighting for the account. The only person inside his wall is Joan, and she had enough of him once she learned he was lying. Joan is Roger's Anna Draper as to Don, she is the one he can be himself to. However, she did not like what she saw. Roger had a sad denounement in this episode, where we saw he wasn't a very good anything. His main account was Lucky Strike, that he lost. He saw himself as a titan of Madison Avenue, but we learned last week his account was inherited from his father, and he really never did anything in his life. He is a fossil in the new ad world, and he has no contacts and seems to not want to try anymore.
Roger possesed enough self awareness to know this, which is why he tried with the new agency, but maybe he was too old to change. Cooper summed him up, saying Garner (Mr. Lucky Strike) never took him seriously because he never took himself seriously. His young wife presents him with his book, which she probably paid to get bound and published, and it was an ironic and sad ending to his life. Sterling's Gold was fools gold, as he never did anything, he inherited all his life and power. His wife is proud of him because he always has a wall up to her. Only Joan finally saw the pathetic truth. He is not much of an ad man or even a man, as he probably blown his one chance at a legacy when Joan had her abortion.
Don also is constructing a new wall with Faye, as she gives in to her morals and gets a meeting with Heinz for him after he rolls in the hay with Meghan. The song at the end is "Welcome to my World", and this is a foreshadowing that Faye is the new Betty. Don lies to her, and this will be the new cycle of lies which is the flaw to him. Meghan wants in the wall to Don, saying she knows everything about him and thinks her monitoring his drinking lets her in, but we know she really knows nothing about him. Don is creating new walls after letting Faye in last episode, as the cycle of lies begin anew.
Finally, Pete and Peggy also let people into their walls, as Peggy lets Abe in and Pete attempts the same with his father-in-law, only to open himself up to a new job offer. Pete gets a good offer, but he is obviously peeved that his father-in-law uses his confession of weakness to set up the meeting. Peggy tried to keep the wall up with Abe, but it came crashing down as she admits she wants him to stay. This is misinterpreted as just general horniness by Stan, who agai hits on her, and is rejected again. However, he lets her pitch the client with lipstick on her teeth, which she appreciates with a smile at the end, knowing her let her do it. Stan is growing on me, he has no clue, but is amusing in his cluelessness.
SCDP puts up a wall with their employees that everything is fine, but we see everything isn't. The funeral was another example, as a bunch of ad men were there to poach the dead guys old clients, the wall of sympathy was a ruse to get at his old clients as Don looked at the poor family of the departed, knowing their grief meant nothing to what was really going on. The ad men really were jackals poaching the dead, business trumps ethics.
SCDP needs a white knight and I have a sense of foreboding about Roger. His story seems to have a sad end. The whole season seems to be setting him up for a sad end. He has no accounts, is irrelevant to his firm, has no Joan, and a young wife he obviously regrets marrying. We might be seeing the end of Roger in the show, he will either die or retire. They painted his character into a bad corner, which the show doesn't usually let the chracters out of (ex. Sal)
Mad Men is pretty good this season, the pace of the show has definitely quickened and the hour flew by, but it is still not as good as all the critics will lead you to believe. Jon Hamm gave one of his weaker acting performances of the season, and Elisabeth Moss just has no idea of how to play her character which still continues to struggle in navigating a personal and professional life. I hope that the show is building toward an explosive season finale, but right now it does not look that way.
And please, stop ending every scene with an unfunny joke. This is not Two and a Half Men, you don't have to do that.
This episode was a little bit different. We don't see any protagonist, no Don Draper magic, and no subtle messages floated around. This was just another typical corporate american drama.
Tensions are on the rise after Ken discovers from a friend that Lucky Strike has given SCDP the finger. But it was funny how Matt decided to handle the scenes following that. Peggy is completely detached from the gravity of the situation, and makes out in her office with some random guy with no job. Pete is offered a job in another firm. And Don does the usual - make out with his secretary.
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