I've started watching 'Mad Men' a couple of years ago and I wanna see if the times are changing. And it's little by little. I remember this episode when Peggy met this lesbian girl and go to Andy Warhol's party at the time of '60 rebellion starts. Peggy tries to blend in with the in-crowd in one scene when she talks about Malcolm X being assassinated one week ago.That got my attention. Only a caucasian is talking about what's goin on that no one else cares.Peggy might become a demonstrator like the OWS people or a feminist. It was good.
So this is my first episode I have ever reviewed on TV.com, because I just realized that I have an account, and I can actually do this.
Anyway, I have always thought that Mad Men has always produced above average episodes, each and every week. It feels like I'm watching a mini movie every time. Many shows always have those disappointing few episodes where viewers wonder what happened, but I have never seen that with Mad Men.
The same goes for this episode. It follows the same vein as every other episode, and that vein is an amazing one. Although I did see this one as a game changer, as the rebel 60s are starting to emerge, and single Don is starting to have the beginnings of a mental breakdown. Also, as bad as I feel for his ex-secretary, the new one seems like she will be quite a hoot!
The future of this season looks bright, and I can't wait to watch it!
Okay, well, let's start with the good here. The scenes with Don and his secretary, or shall we say former secretary were good. Definitely did not see him getting something thrown at him when I turned AMC on. Pete Campbell actually getting some meaningful screen time was another good thing, as Vincent Kartheiser is one of the better actors on this show and has been underutilized as of late.
But all the Peggy scenes, and all those party scenes were just disastrous. Boring, pointless, proving nothing, these are words to describe that storyline.
So, half of this episode was good, the other half horrendous. A real Jekyl and Hyde thing going on in tonight's Mad Men.
Lots of rejection in this Peggy and Pete centered episode. We see how they each has evolved as characters over the past three years.
Peggy is fast becoming the new Don of the 60's as she is tasting the life that will make her a great ad women. Don did the same in the 50's and early sixties, and he rode to the top capturing the "man in the grey flannel suit" angst of that time. When the series started, it was Don mixing with artsy beatnik types. Now he is alone in a shabby apartment not knowing what he is anymore.
Ken Cosgrove looks to be rejected and more bitter now, and I think he will be coming to SCDP. He has bounced around agencies since last year, and has lost some of that go with the flow easiness he was known for. However, his talk with Pete plants the idea that getting a piece of companies advertising is not enough, to make it you need it all.
Pete has learned Trudy is finally pregnant and he is surprising overjoyed. Don told his researcher you can't judge people by how they behaved before, and this is true for both Pete and Peggy. Pete was ambivilent about being a father before, but seems to have grown up. However, the sneaky side of him resurfaces as he makes his father in law give him the whole Vick's account. His FIL strung him along with the promise of that business, and Pete used the pregnancy to make him keep his word. They don't like each other and we could tell he was not happy about it, but his daughter would let him have it if he reneged.
Allison was the ultimate rejectee as she came to realize Don is not boyfriend material, to say the least. He moved on like he always does, but that is hard to do when the girl you srewed over is in the next room.
At the end of the episode, Don, alone as usual, sees an old couple in the hallway, and she tells her husband they will not discuss it outdoors. They keep things private, like Don. Don saw himself in them and he did not like what he saw. I believe the climax of the season will be that SCDP placed all their bets on Don being the wonderboy. However, as Peggy showed, he is outdated and in a funk. He is 40 years old in 1965, where kids don't listen to anyone over 30. His insights are outdated for the emerging young, and his life is in pieces. If he is no longer the wonderboy ad man, he may be the rejected.
The slow but steady disintegration of Don Draper continues as his tenuous relationships fragment and falter. That's been the theme all season long, and the writers are not stepping back from that abyss. If anything, we are beginning to see Don's first hints of awareness of the fact, as he drunkenly attempts to apologize to Allison for his behavior.
Of course, that would approach something genuinely felt, so that simply isn't going to happen. Don is still trying to maintain the image of the man in control, at least in the office, but he is not going to last long at the rate of his current descent. If nothing else, his liver may not be up to the task, despite the many years of preparation.
The episode focuses just as much on Pete and Peggy, if not more, and it's an interesting bit of overlap. Pete's maneuvering and family successes are eerily similar to Don's own past choices, but without the creative instincts and legendary business acumen (which Don himself is lacking of late). While Pete may not have the identity issues that Don is dealing with, he is still modeling himself off of Don and others, and the end result threatens to be the same.
Peggy, on the other hand, is getting wrapped up in some of the social revolutions of the day, which is a nice callback to some of her more progressive character aspects from previous seasons. Naturally, everything that is happening with Pete brings up their past relationship, and it likely prompts some of her behavior with Joyce and her gang.
While it has been on the periphery, this is a nice way to explore Peggy's character evolution while also providing the necessary glimpse into the social shifts taking place. The decision to break out into a new agency with evolving methods and attitude may itself be a metaphor for the historical shifts about to explode on the American consciousness. And considering that those changes did not come easily or without price, this casts a foreboding shadow over the challenges to come. All of which, of course, is also a reflection of Don's tortured journey.
This was surprisingly a fast moving episode of Mad Men and thoroughly enjoyable one. We get to see a whole lot of character development, and a glimpse of where Matt Weiner would probably drive the drama to.
Vinny Kartheiser gets a good amount of screen time, where we see him excited with a certain good news, display his scheming self to put his rep on the charts, and finally unwillingly feel guilty when he is implicitly reminded by Peggy that this is not his first dad moment. I also thought his meeting with Kenny was some sort of a turning point. Kenny remarks wherever they are now, one is a slave to Don Draper and the other to some old man running creative.
Peggy has been depicted here as someone who is ready to embrace the future of creativity - be it hanging out with pot smoking party animals of the 60s or appreciating new forms of photography. Don's personal struggle continues, when his secretary Allison starts throwing her tantrums on him. He is also quick to dismiss the behavior researcher's hypothesis.
Pretty good of episode of Mad Men, and it's good to see superman without his cape.