This season is on fire.
While the two-hour premiere wasn’t the most exciting hour of Mad Men, the following episode was a true return to form. This week’s outing continued that superb trend.
Oh Joan, how could you possible be such an awesome character? I guess it was wrong of me to assume that Joan would become a respected force in the agency after she attained partner status. A blowout with Crane this week proved that our favorite redhead isn’t nearly as powerful as she should be. It was a heartbreaking realization (they still treat me like a secretary 15 years later) and Christina Hendricks delivered one heck of a nuanced performance. This was further driven home by the arrival of a friend rising through the cosmetic ranks with the same ambitions. The two’s night out on the town was bizarre yet undeniably fascinating; I was surprised to see Joanie enjoy the single life as she made out with an unknown stranger in a psychedelic club. Simply put, her storyline was outstanding this week. Here’s hoping she doesn’t get sidelined next week in favor of someone less interesting.
I loved the focus on Dawn this week. Her dynamic with Joan just might be Mad Men’s coolest new relationship to watch. The hour ended with madame partner somewhat accepting Dawn’s apology by making her in charge of supply cards and time sheets. I guess she wants to show other women how tough it is to be in charge and still be hated. This should be awesome.
Whether it’s smoking a joint with Stan or discovering Megan’s coworkers are swingers out for some “fun”, Don had a standout week. Of course, the real turning point here was Don practically calling Megan a hooker after witnessing her first love scene on her daytime show. I don’t think any of us expected Don to show any maturity where this was concerned, but it was still fascinating to watch him take out his frustrations by paying Sylvia a visit at the end (and basically recreating Megan’s sex scene). Of course the saddest aspect of it all was Sylvia telling Don she was praying for him to find peace. Time to get your act together Mr. Draper.
The Heinz Ketchup storyline was also riveting this week as Don and Peggy finally came head to head in a pitch. Don’s reaction to Peggy’s arrival was pretty darn priceless, and it felt very full-circle to watch him resort to eavesdropping outside her presentation. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Interestingly, neither of them won as JWT swooped in for the victory. I’m sure they’ll be crossing paths again quite soon.
Pitches & Pieces
– It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, but Mr Heinz licks his ring before heading out of the meeting. Why does he do that? So he can slide his ring off before he meets the mistress.
– I loved Joan firing Scarlett so ruthlessly. I really wish she fired Krane too when he undermined her. What an annoying brat.
– Loved Joan’s mom bragging about her daughter being a “partner in a Madison advertising agency.” It really conveys what a tremendous achievement it was for a woman in that time.
– Peggy’s presentation was pretty great. I loved how contrasting it was to Don’s. While he wanted to leave it all to the imagination by not showing the bottle, Peggy put it front and center. I work in advertising and suffer through similar decisions on a daily basis so this was brilliant.
– Meredith the stupid secretary was hilarious here, particularly when Joan asked her to step out of the meeting.
An utterly captivating hour of Mad Men.