Mad Men

Season 3 Episode 11

The Gypsy and the Hobo

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 25, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • A series climax, for sure.

    There seems to be nowhere to go for this show but up. It started on a high, got better, kept getting better and is still getting better with every episode. There really is no other show like it, and this episode is a prime example of that.

    Betty's obviously distraught at revealing Don's secret of mammoth proportions. The bedroom scene where Don spills his life story - and is finally forced to feel the emotions he's been supressing for most of his life - is pivotal for the entire series.

    Not only does it let us see Don as a multi-layered character (the Shrek quote "I'm like an onion" springs unwantedly to mind), but if you pay attention you'll see that Betty is growing a backbone of pure steel.

    Now, it's difficult for a woman not to fall for Don. I know I certainly have. Chauvinism aside, we love him for his savvy, his charm, his primal sex appeal and for how he wears those suits. When Don was kicked out of the house (rightly so) a while back, we all nodded in approval - while at the same time thinking "But he's hot! Take him back!". But Betty is coming into her own, showing her strength as the strong and independant woman we know she really is beneath that high-gloss veneer of a 60s housewife. Now, all of a sudden, I find myself wondering if it wouldn't be more interesting than anything to see Betty break free of the shackles of marriage to Don.

    ... if for nothing else than to see Don let his bachelor behaviour have free reign...
  • The climax of the season occurs as Betty and Don have it out. Don's change in identity mirrors a new dog food client and Joan's husband.

    This is probably one of the most straightfoward episodes of the series as Don finally is caught by Betty and they have a talk. I thought she would hold onto the information she had, but she confronts him headlong and we see Don Draper become Dick Whitman before our eyes. This is the kind of episode where we again see why this show won emmys two years in a row.

    As this show brilliantly does, the product and the date tie into the theme, as it is halloween and a tarnished dog food company needs Sterling Cooper. The latter is a fake out as the owner of the company was a former flame of Roger's who now wants him back. Like Betty, she had a carboard perfect fantasy life of them in her head that got crushed in this episode. Roer wanted none of it, and he got the perfect revenge fantasy of dumping a dumper. As he said, this isn't Casablanca and the girl in the movie did not go on to run a dog food company.

    The product got very bad publicity in a movie (The misfits") and Don gives a speech to her about the need to change the name of the product because the name is tainted. Of course, he could have been speaking about himself too. The name doesn't matter if what is inside is true.

    Joan smacks her husband on the head with a vase, as his self-pitying finally played itself out. She knows about broken dreams as she married this guy after all her competence and planning. She set herself up for someone like Roger and realizes she's stuck with him. He tried on several identities this season and now picks the army surgeon. She is still trying to make a go of it, but we see in her face she is less than thrilled.

    Like last season, the emotional climax of the season comes not at the end of the season as we still have a few more episodes to go. The remaining episodes look to feature the fate of sterling cooper and peggy and the office and whether Betty decides the marriage is better now that she knows the truth or not.
  • Don Draper breaks down...

    AMC certainly looks bent on letting Matt Weiner use its air waves as his creative outlet. Though this wasn't the usual fast moving, entertaining episode that draws more viewers or keep people glued to their seats, it sure was nice story seeing characters develop and do extraordinary things.

    Don Drapers greatest secret finally surfaces after Betty demands answers after seeing Dick Whitman's photos last week. There were a couple of interesting unexpected events here. Betty after learning that the real Mrs. Draper had a house gifted to her by Don, decides to file for a divorce. This comes at the time when her brother and she are fighting over Papa Gene's property. Her lawyer however advices her to prove Don's infidelity in court. But Betty's intentions are much more than Don's infidelity, she wants him to go down because of the lie he has been living with her. Don's infidelity is something she has accepted and it's something that doesn't bother her anymore. Don Draper's sham of a life also comes out, very evidently from what Suzanne tells him - that he will still be unhappy with or without her. And for this Don replies that he is happy right there right then, clearly defining the nature of relationship he want's with his women. The episode title simply put it all - he wants to be the hobo and his women the gypsy; no expectations from the future and no introspection of the past. John Slattery has had one heck of a storyline this time. For the first time he refuses to cheat on his wife with an ex flame of his. This storyline along with the dog food product one, provides a contrary perspective to the well known saying 'whats in a name'. The client Mathis refuses to relabel her product despite Don telling her that the name is tainted, which in a way tells us why Don changed his name, and never went back to Dick Whitman - because it was tainted. The other focus was on Joan's character. She has had enough of dealing with her loser of a husband, and her constant need to reassure him of his potential capabilities. The outlet was finally there when she smashes a vase on his head. Her woes are still not over yet, Harris makes an sudden decision to enlist in the Army. There is also a subtle hint that Sterling might still have a soft spot for Joan, despite the fact that he willing to play the loyal game with Jane.

    Nice episode, 2 more to go.
  • The best episode in years.

    For three years...three long years everything has been built toward this moment: Betty Draper finally confronting husband Don Draper about his past, his present and his future intentions. The scene was climatic, suspenseful, just everything you could have hoped for and then some. For once the hype of Mad Men being a tremendous show was justified as Jon Hamm gave the best performance of his life tonight as he was emotional, but realistic as a businessman, a husband and a father for the first time all series. January Jones is still not on par with the rest of the cast though and where is Vincent Kartheiser?

    Still, I have minimal complaints for this episode. Just an incredible installment of Mad Men.