Monday, April 6, 2015
Mad Men's Back!
Oh, I love Mad Men. I can't describe how it's impending ending makes me feel. I'm definitely overly attached. But I thought I'd just leave some thoughts here because what are blogs for, amiright? I wish I could say I have all the answers or understand all the underlying themes and ideas, but I don't have the time of a film student in a master's program, nor the weird mind of Matthew Weiner himself. But I do love talking about it, and warning for spoilers ahead!
Hitting the road running in this episode we're back with philandering Don, splashy swingin' 60's dresses, and Roger's hilarious moustache. The foreshadowing is also strong in this episode as Don dreams about Rachael - Rachael from the first season!! I had to hit pause to scream that Rachael was back just like all the conspiracy theorists had warned. She's modelling fur coats, and leave's with the ever so ominous "I'm supposed to tell you you missed your flight."
The next day Don wants to get in touch with her under the auspices of selling cheap department store pantyhose and dear ditzy Meredith has to break the bad news that she had just died last week. Ominous!! Foreboding!! Death!! Is this the warning that Don's death is approaching?? I can't help but feel that the ultimate ending of this series has to end with his death/possible redemption. It's been headed in that direction since the beginning, but how will it happen and what will it mean is what's killing all of us right now. Will Don figure out what is important in life? What real love is?? I know...we just have six more episodes to go...
On to Ken. I've always loved, loved, loved Ken. He's been my one of my favourites from the very beginning and the seasons where his character is largely ignored alway pain me. In this episode his father in law from Dow is retiring, his wife is imploring him to quit the job he hates and finally write his sad, sweet novel, while Roger is giving him the axe because McCann hates him. I was so routing for his introspective moment in the telephone booth to come to fruition, that he'd leave the torrid world of advertising with a clean break, but in the final scene he ever so perfectly shows up to announce how he's screwing Roger and Pete by becoming head of advertising for Dow. Fairly awesome, but the novel!!
Pete wasn't a major figure in this episode, but the lines he did have were so perfectly Pete that I watched them and laughed with relish. Poor Pete and his apartment building.
Peggy and Joan and their parallel yet disparate rise in the business has always been one of the best story lines of the show and last night's episode played it up perfectly. Peggy and Joan endure a torturous meeting with some McCann asses who say some truly reprehensible things to Joan. I thought she was going to leap across the boardroom table and rip them all new ones, but she makes it through the meeting only to say to Peggy in a perfect elevator scene that she wants to burn the place down. Peggy tries to commiserate but can't help but say what she really thinks: that Joan can't have it both ways. She can't rise in the business because she's a beautiful woman, become a partner and recently extremely wealthy, while not putting up with the catcalls of the piggish men they work with. Peggy also goes on to remind Joan that she's now filthy rich because of the recent takeover, and she doesn't have to do anything now. But it's also fairly obvious that Joan is frustrated and disappointed that her job title and wealth don't even affect the way men treat her, even these things she's long aspired towards don't get her the respect that she deserves.
It's always interesting to see how although Peggy and Joan should be on the same side because they're both extremely smart women, they face the sexist working world in completely different ways. Although Joan is an office and advertising genius, would she have been so valued by the partners if she wasn't beautiful? Would she have had to crawl up the ladder the same as Peggy? Would Peggy have become a wunderkind a la Megan if she had been more curvy? It's another reminder that the world is unfair in a myriad of ways.
And then goes Joan goes shopping. And it was awesome. I hope she's going to use those new boots to walk all over someone in an upcoming episode!
We also got to see Peggy go out on a really weird date. But I have to say that I was so cheered by the fact that Peggy stopped the date when she did. Maybe her smarts about men are finally coming to fruition. Maybe she's finally getting it! Maybe this is a foreshadowing of her happy ending!! (Maybe I'm deluding myself?)
Can someone remind me if Ted Chaugh got divorced while he was in California? He seemed really eager for that Vogue party and those rising hemlines! His moustache was also amazing.
I don't really want to get into the weird waitress situation. I have a feeling that it was yet another weird prophetess sexual encounter for Don. I would really love to read someone flesh out the idea that Don comes to personal realizations through women and some kind of sexual encounter. I'm sure this has to do with his past and his mother, but it's an idea that I'd like to see completely fleshed out in a linear way so I could wrap my head around it a little better. Because it's been seven seasons and it's still really weird.
Other than that I thought it was an almost perfect episode. Crisp, spot-on writing that moved quickly through the office. There is of course much to find out about all those we didn't see in the episode, and Don's empty sad apartment which I'm sure was symbolic of his inner life.
My baby's almost up from her nap, I'm leaving now.
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