And so we have arrived – the final seven episodes of Mad Men. But will TV’s classiest drama go out with a bang? I sure hope so, but I did not enjoy this opener.
The thing about Mad Men is that its slow, and you need a couple of episodes to get into its atmospheric and thought-provoking storytelling. However, Severance was far from the show’s finest hour. It tried to delve into Don’s psyche by having him come to terms with the death of one of his first mistresses (Rachel), and it did so through a bizarre dynamic with a random coffeeshop waitress. Sadly, I was unaffected by the entire ordeal, and I didn’t understand what message the writers were trying to convey. Something about the idea’s execution was half-baked and ill-conceived. A pity.
Thankfully Joan and Peggy were around to pick up the slack. The duo’s meeting with a gang of pervert clients further showcased the time period’s rampant sexism, and I found it increasingly hard to watch Joan calmly absorb all the insults. Even more compelling? The event did not bring Joan and Peggy closer together. In fact, Joan snapped at Peggy (no surprise there), and chose some retail therapy to cheer herself up. It’s no secret that I adore Christina Hendricks in the role, and the scene in which she denied ever working in that expensive boutique (as the saleswoman tried to offer her an employee discount) was pure gold.
Also interesting to note, Ken Cosgrove received a whole lot of focus as his professional crisis reached an intriguing conclusion: he returned to the firm as a client after getting brutally sacked. This development was tremendously satisfying, and I can’t wait to see him make Roger’s life a living hell. God knows that slime-ball deserves it.
Pitches & Pieces
– The opening with Don and the girl in the mink coat was pretty naughty huh?
– Alley sex! Way to go Don, always keepin’ it classy!
– I admittedly really enjoyed Don visiting Rachel’s family and his interactions with her judgemental sister. Awkward.
– Peggy was definitely right to get frustrated with her date eating a dish he hadn’t even ordered. What a wimp! However, the passport issue was odd and tedious.
Roger: Don’t go back there. A lot of roaches.
Don: Are you surprised?
Roger: Only by the size. There was one making a phone call.
Client; Why aren’t you in the brassiere business?
Joan: Excuse me?
Client: You should be in the bra business. You’re a work of art.
Peggy: Should we get lunch?
Joan: I want to burn this place down.
Roger: So you’re going to fire us?
Ken: No, it’s going to be way worse than that. I’m going to be your client. And I hate to tell you, but I’m very hard to please.
An underwhelming and disappointing return from Mad Men. On the bright side, the only way to go now is up.