Mad Men

Season 3 Episode 4

The Arrangements

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Sep 06, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
166 votes
  • Sally Draper gets some screen-time.

    It's a testament to how powerful Mad Men is as a show that my favorite story arc of the season so far isn't Don Draper or Peggy Olsen or Pete Campbell, but instead Sally Draper's plot. I don't know why Sally's plot suddenly became so interesting to me, but after "The Arrangements" ended, I was actually excited to see where the writers would take her next. After Sally gets closer and closer to her grandfather, Gene ends up collapsing in a grocery store and passes away. When Sally learns this, she grows withdrawn until she hears her family laughing in the living room in regards to a memory about Gene. Sally grows furious that her family is laughing when Gene is dead and never coming back. She watches TV, staring intently at the screen as they show a photo of a man who set himself on fire.

    This is a very effective way to not only bring the plot involving Sally and Gene to a close but also an efficient way to bring a new plot in: the maturing of Sally Draper. I'm not sure how much time the show will cover, but Sally is quickly becoming an interesting aspect of the show, something I wouldn't have thought before.

    Meanwhile, the stuff at Sterling Cooper wasn't holding my interest as much as it usually was, but it was still great. We had Pete bringing in a new account, one for the sport jai alai.. Now, maybe it's just because I know nothing about this sport or what it is, but I didn't care too much about it. And Peggy's plot, where she looks for a new roommate, was funny and gave Joan a great little moment where she gives advice to Peggy on getting a good roommate, but it didn't feel all that important in the long run.

    However, one thing I loved is Peggy announcing to her mom that she's moving to New York. It was a heart-breaking scene to watch the mom chastise Peggy like that.

    If I had more time, I'd write about other aspects, but overall, the episode was strong.. definitely my favorite of the season.
  • Betty's dad Gene dies, Peggy moves to Manhattan, Pete brings in a loaded client...

    Mad Men continues to shock us at intermittent periods, be it Sally Draper playing spaceman with a plastic bag or Bobby handling a meat cutting knife. I know children do not watch this show, but nevertheless it is something they should keep off. I don't plan on writing how slow the show is has written a million articles about it. Rather, I would be happy if columnists wrote about the positive aspects of it. Pete brings in a new client this time, and earns the trust of Pryce and the Brits. Peggy takes another step in the direction of becoming a bold woman. She decides to rent an apartment in Manhattan and has a hard time convincing her mother to let her go.

    Don had a minor role this time around. His only big job was to talk a client out of giving business to Sterling Cooper, and he fails to execute that. The biggest storyline this time around was Gene's death. It will be interesting to see what effect it has on Sally.

    Other storylines such as Sal finding it hard to show love to his wife, failing at his directorial debut, and Joan giving Peggy the much needed advice were some good filler ones. Decent episode.
  • Don clashes with his father in law, Peggy looks for a roommate, a new wealthy client comes to the firm, Peggy gets proved right with Patio.

    This episode had some laughs with little Sally Draper driving, Peggy getting pranked with her ad for a roommate, and the spoiled wealthy kid of a shipping magnate and his dream of making Jai Lai the next big sport.

    This episode had a theme of generational conflict as Don's father in law and Horace Sr. both have some troubles with the younger generation. If last episode's Sterling in blackface signaled the decline of a generation, this episode may be the "older generation strikes back" episode.

    A super wealthy client dismissively named "ho ho" (reminded me of JFK Jr.'s "John John") a trust fund baby, wants to pursue his dream of making Jai Lai the next great sport and is willing to spend a million dollars to do so. He has a man crush on the star player (again ridiculously named "Pasci") that the guys of Sterling Cooper can barely keep the smirks from their face. Even the Brits, although they love the money, are dismissive of their wealthy client.

    They set up a meeting with Ho Ho's father, and he is clearly dissapointed with what his son become, but tells Sterling Cooper to take the business, as if they don't, someone else will. This story was the high point of the episode, as Horace Sr.'s embarassment with his son was hard to watch in a good way. Don actually tries to impart fatherly advice to Ho Ho over dinner and risks the account, but the kid is too spoiled to take it and too stupid to see it for what it was. (thankfully for Pete)

    This episode also continues to show what an asset Pete is to the firm. Last episode, with his mean Charleston, showed he is very at home with the WASP culture of the rich (Sterling will never fire him, he is one of "them") This episode, Pete is shown to be a long term scheemer, as his friendship with Ho Ho lands a whale for the firm. He was reveling in showing off how his connections can bring business, and the Brit was impressed.

    Elsewhere, Don's father in law parallels this storyline, as he thinks his son in law is a joker and was intent in imparting wisdom to his grandkids before his death. He tells Sally she can be whatever she wants, lets her drive, and also tells his grandson, over Don's objections, about his experience in WW1. He, like Horace Sr. is clearly dissapointed with his daughter's choices in life. He puts down Don when talking to Betty, and it was telling she did not contradict him. (shows the state of their marriage.) Betty acts spoiled and petulant when he wants to talk about the arrangements of his death, but is shown to be very practical as he dies and the arrangements are needed.

    Peggy is again stretching her wings as she wants to move to Manhattan, and the firm has fun pranking her bookish ad for a roommate. She takes Joan's advice to create a sexy persona for herself to get a roommate, and I'm sure laughs will be provided as her new roomie is a party gal and is the opposite of Peggy. I loved the line with her roommate saying she hated her last roomie because she always kept the door closed (exactly what Peggy would have done) and saying the door should be closed for "only one thing" to which Peggy can only dumbly ask "what?" (should have been a red flag to the, she is proved right with the Patio spot, as the client clearly did not know what they want, as they insisted on the ad then hated it. She proudly walks by Don with an "I told you so" look on her face, and Don understood.

    The weaknesses of the episode were Sal's wife finally getting what the problem with her marraige is . Really? It took Patio for her to finally see it, not complete lack of sexual interest in her? Also, the child actors are over their heads with the material the writer's wanted of them to deliver, and it came off as stiff.
  • Bah.

    Forgettable, irrelevant and random. That pretty much describes this episode of Mad Men. Why was Grandpa Gene killed off? I didn't care much for him, but come on, people did like him and there was no reason to do this. Just lame writing that I am sure some people will describe as art, but is really just slow and boring.

    I didn't get around to watching this episode until about a week after, and now I know why I put it off for so long. This show is just not as intriguing as it once was and is not near the top dramas on TV.