Mad Men

Season 3 Episode 7

Seven Twenty Three

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Sep 27, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
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  • Walls are closing in Don in the office and at home. Betty gets flirty and Peggy seals a surprising relationship

    Don is really getting his clocked cleaned the last two episodes. I got the feeling he is getting old now that he is approaching 40. What struck me about the episode was how quickly everyone called him out on any play he made. Sally's teacher quickly cut through what we thought was Don's almost 007 charms by laying out he wanted to sleep with her, which caused a hasty retreat by him. He really did look like a drinking cheating dad in the same shirt as all the others! Maybe he may not sleep with her after all. It reminds me of last season with Bobbie when she remarked about getting the "Don Draper" treatment. That really pissed him off. lol He doesn't seem to like women who see him so clearly.

    Also significant was Hilton and Cooper both sitting in "his chair" while talking to Don. It was an alpha dog move that Don wouldn't allow in previous seasons, Hilton or no. Its almost like the chains of stability and conformity rob him of his strength.

    Betty also nailed Roger's ill-advised call to her, by asking "you might not be here in three years?" he again revealed he did not want to be tied down, which Betty, to her credit, immediately picked up on. His father chiding him about his ways also played out that his BS is getting old. He was easily taken by the "couple" that robbed him. He lost his mo-jo as the scene in the hotel room recalled the first episode of season one with his artsy mistress and her friends with the drugs. This time, he was only an older guy to be taken advantage of by them, he was not his confident self as in season 1.

    In the office, Sterling and Cooper both also echoed the episodes theme as they are getting tired of Don's Mr. Mystery routine. Hilton was the catalyst to Don volunterily chaining himself with a contract, which he resisted through the life of this series. Cooper especially called him out by playing what he knows about Don from season 1. Life and what it means is overtaking Don, finally making him commit in more ways than one.

    Peggy worships Don, and his dressing down of her led to her being receptive to Duck. (of all people) She is attracted to confident men, and for all his faults, duck is confident. She originally slept with Pete because he also was confident with her. (which is why she hates him now, she found out his outer shell of confidence is hollow inside) Duck's willingness to hit on her so brazingly and explicitly turned on her attraction circiuts to a tee. This echoed Pete coming to her in the first episode, drunk in season one. She may be trying to replace Don with Duck as a mentor.

    Betty, Don and Peggy are the focus this season, as Betty is again flirting in her repressed way. Just a touch from the guy makes her dizzy and she buys the couch he pointed out as a momento to her desire. She clearly wants an affair, but is so repressed by middle class housewife conformity it may not happen. He made it clear (in an implicit way) he only went up there to see her. Its hard to see how an affair could come to fruition, as she would need a set of circumstances to justify it to herself and to be alone where He could be bold without anyone seeing. Seems a tall order for the guy.

    This episode seems to be building to the climax for the season and we wonder if Don can regain his mojo. Life is conflicting with his self image as his drop everything on a dime lone-wolf mentality both at home and in the office.
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