Mad Men

Season 7 Episode 4

The Monolith

12
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 04, 2014 on AMC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
49 votes
3

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Episode Summary

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The Monolith
AIRED:
Sterling Cooper & Partners prepares for a guest; Don calls an old friend; Roger confronts problems at home; Pete underestimates Peggy.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Monolith

    6.5
    They have ruined the Pete character so much this season and this episode just furthered that regression. Forgettable show tonight.
  • "Do the Work,

    9.0
    In LA Pete, on a dinner date with his girlfriend Bonnie, runs into George Payton (a rep of Burger Chef) tells him that they're putting McGann agency into review. He gets his card and informs the partners about the potential for the account. Pete may be a crafty little weasel but he is good at business talk. He even says "that's what people talk like" when he is telling Bonnie about his conversation with George and how there's a shorthand that most business people follow. To be honest I remember Pete's interesting arc last year involving his mother and Trudy leaving him while he went to West Coast. After all that deserved melancholy he seems to be right back to where he was before, happy and blissful at the top of world as if none of it ever really mattered to him which is a shame.



    Don arrives on his official first day back to find that Cutler was taking Crane seriously by installing a computer where the creative lounge is (forcing creative to work from their offices from now on heaven forbid) and to wow clients with how cutting edge SC&P is. Don is put onto the Burger Chef pitch under Peggy's supervision along with another junior member of creative. Seeing the difference between Don's "couldn't care less" attitude and the chipper "eager to please" ness of the young guy really showed how Peggy is being put into an uncomfortable position. As Roger said, Don had been in his office for two weeks without being put to work at all. Don seemed ok with the arrangement and he was getting some reading done too. He's not opposed to getting back to work but he definitely has a problem with Peggy and the "new rules" the management put him under. Him dodging Peggy, flat out not coming to the next day meeting when he was supposed to have 25 tags (Avery's method of campaign angles coming from snappy tags instead of the other way around as Peggy explains). Don even tries to put his efforts on something that doesn't concern him as he strikes up a conversaton with the computer installation guy and thinks about a pitch to them which Bert brutally shoots down. Hitting a new low point Don talks past Roger's secretary to get a bottle of vodka from Roger's office and gets sloshed in his own office (breaking rule number one basically of his new contract) and calls Freddy Rumsen to go to a ball game. One moment that really stuck out to me was when he found the New York Mets banner under Lane's old desk, showing how his fallen comrade had tried so hard to make the States his home. Freddy comes to get Don and take him to the game but not before saying cryptic things to computer installation guy about how "you're not a friend" and how he "sees through his act" meaning Don was clearly talking to someone else in his mind than the actual person. But who? Seeing Freddie take the clearly drunk Don home and give him the talk he needs was a great way to show how far Freddy has come since his pissing his pants at the office and getting fired back in Season 2. His honest "do the work, Don" and how he has to prove all of the others wrong about him rings true. It even motivates Don to actually go in the next day and begin typing Peggy's assignment on his typewriter. After all, Don isn't off his game for pitches (he'd been feeding them to Freddy for months) he's just frustrated with how downsized he feels from his old position as most workers do when computers start to get rid of human work spaces (something the episode brought in as a theme rather masterfully). But Peggy should really start getting some good material out of Don now that he's got his head out of his own posterior and I'm excited to see them work together towards something, even if the dynamic is a bit hard for Don to swallow. It was also good to see Avery show a decent side this week and also give Peggy a raise, and put in charge of an account of her own creatively despite their sometimes animosity towards one another.



    Joan wasn't really in much this week other than to listen to Peggy whine and tell her that her raise was approved. Her going from differing mentor to shoulder to cry on/confidante is good for her Peggy and their found sisterhood on the show. I just hope they give her more material this half of the season than having to move offices and inform people of things that the partners vote on.



    Roger had an odd week as he travelled to the countryside to "rescue" his daughter from a hippie commune of sorts where she is living now. Humorously Margaret's husband Brooks had already tried to get her but ended up in jail for starting a fight later that night so Roger and Mona go instead. Once they arrive Mona won't have any of the "gibberish" that Margaret is spouting about being happy there and Roger enlists himself to stay and try to talk to her. While their moments of bonding don't last long (him having to see his daughter go off into the night with the bearded guy must've been hard for him to watch as he led her from the barn) but Roger himself understands the counterculture embrace far more than Mona does with his open relationship with his new girlfriend as well as his embracing of drugs. But he is ultimately unwound by her living a sexually open lifestyle and tries to drag her off with him (because that would totally work right Roger?) and he falls in the mud which stains his suit and pants and he storms off to catch a train back to Manhattan. Poor Margaret, after all she's been through and forgiving her father and only wanting to show her parents that she was happy completely backfiring on her like that must be hard.



    This was a fantastic episode that gave us more office politics as well as several more insights into one of TV's best ensemble dramas (if not the best). I only hope that we get more of the characters that seem to be more left out now (Joan mainly) than they have or maybe that's just because this is a half season it feels more rushed. Either way, only three episode left this year is hard to accept and I wish they would've just done the 13 and been done this year instead.moreless
  • classical mad men episode as gorgeous

    10
    what a perpect episode was. this show is amazing. every episode is just like a novel. i hope last 3 episodes this year will be very strong just like season 3s last 3. i cant wait sunday...
Jessy Schram

Jessy Schram

Bonnie Whiteside

Guest Star

Josh McDermitt

Josh McDermitt

George Payton

Guest Star

Robert Baker

Robert Baker

Lloyd Hawley

Guest Star

Joel Murray

Joel Murray

Fred Rumsen

Recurring Role

Harry Hamlin

Harry Hamlin

Jim Cutler

Recurring Role

Talia Balsam

Talia Balsam

Mona Sterling

Recurring Role

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