I am not going to lie, after one viewing of this week’s episode of Mad Men, Chinese Wall; I can’t help but think that this was one of my least favorite episodes of the show yet.
What’s great about Mad Men though is that the episode was still a solid hour of television even if it was less than. The show has been so good week after week, this season especially, that when a flat and off episode like this hits it really sticks out. Sure there were some laughs, a giant bomb was dropped on the company with Lucky Strike, and Don regressed much to the chagrin of most viewers out there; so why did it not resonate?
I think one of the things we can point to is Don’s regression mentioned above and how familiar it all seemed. You could argue that he thought Faye was done with him, and he also did try to stop things on two occasions, but Don folding for his secretary, again, felt stale and out of character for someone who has been so diligently trying to straighten himself out. Sure people have relapses, and I hope Megan throwing herself at him is all this is, but it wasn’t interesting or at least surprising; just disappointing. Though the heart of the relapse might be in that Don was just happy someone told him he did a good job at something on a day where he felt incredibly vulnerable.
We have spent most of this season dealing with Don picking himself up from the bottom, but Roger’s slimy handling of trying to bed Joan and the whole Lucky Strike debacle was the worst we have seen that character yet. Drunk, pathetic, and sad are the ways of Roger Sterling right now emphasized even further that he has a very loving and supportive wife in Jane at home. When Pete and Don dressed him down in his office over losing Lucky Strike there wasn’t a false word uttered with Cooper landing the final blow as they left him emotionally beaten in his office. I also wonder where they are going to go with Roger’s book. I will wager a guess that some company head is going to read it, get inspired, and make Roger relevant again at the company as he works with the new client. Or he burns all of his bridges and finds himself on the way out of SCDP.
Pete’s storyline was the most enjoyable as they pretty much cemented his importance to the firm and that he is invaluable to the company. Don and Cooper believe Pete wouldn’t have lost Lucky Strike and Pete is going sleepless as he devotes every minute trying to save the company when not at the hospital waiting for Trudy to give birth. I think Pete is going to have a big couple of final episodes this season and he better show Ted Chaough the door; maybe even crushing him in it along the way.
Peggy had an odd episode as well this week as she sleeps with seemingly dead fish Abe and seems quite smitten with him. And on top of this Stan makes yet another pass at her and fails yet again. In retaliation he lets Peggy give a pitch with lipstick on her teeth and her response of just laughing it off just seemed really odd to me; did I miss something?
On to the bullets:
-Where is the Faye and Don fling going to go from here? Will he own up to his mistake or will the Megan mistake be the last one Don makes with Faye?
-Does Megan think banging Don is going to help get her a promotion? Why else would she throw herself at him? Or is she just a Draper groupie?
-Glo-Coat bailed on SCDP, so much for sticking with the genius who put you on the map. I hope they come back to Don and he tells them to go f*** themselves.
-Really liked the humor in the episode this week; picking up clients at the funeral and Peggy turning her Don Draper on and turning Danny and Stan on in the process.
-I felt like the look and feel of the episode didn’t help with my enjoyment either this week as it was shot terribly uninteresting and looked like crap compared to the rest of this season’s high photographic standards. Added to this, the writing didn’t seem all that sharp either.
And that is about all I got for you right now, only two weeks left!