Tag Archives: DonDraper

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Mad Men Season Seven: Waterloo

“Bravo” – Bert Cooper

Bravo. Hell, I would have yelled encore had that been a live performance, through my tears at Bert’s closing dance number. I’m not sure what I’d be yelling it for more–for Bert or for Roger. Or maybe for Don, for Peggy or for Sally. No, I think it was for this episode, which somehow managed to top the magic that was last week and bring it all on home.

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If we had to divide this season in half and wait until 2015 to see the rest of 1969, this was the way to do it.

As for what happened…what DIDN’T happen? In history, this was the week of the moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s famous walk. But it was a day of historical import for the rest of the world in Sterling Cooper. In family land, Don’s marriage finally ended (thank god) and Sally Draper kissed a boy. In the office, Peggy made the Burger Chef pitch, and brought the client to tears in a way that only Don ever has. Ted came home to NYC. Cutler made his move to oust Don and take control of the agency. Roger stepped up and beat him. Harry lost his chance at that partnership.

But it was the death of Bert Cooper that mattered most.

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Mad Men Season Seven: “The Strategy”

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!
– Frank Sinatra “My Way”

This week, Pete and Megan both returned to New York City to deal with their marriages. But the person I was happiest to see show up was Bob Benson, on leave from CBS Detroit. (Here’s hoping he’ll be back from Detroit a little more now that his CBS series The Crazy Ones was canceled.)

But more than seeing the characters I miss return to the fold for even a little while, the best part of tonight was how perfect this episode was.

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Let us be blunt: last season was bad. It was worse upon rewatch. So many people were asking at the end of last season if Mad Men had lost the magic, if it had run out of story. We were just watching Don spin his wheels in the mud, no traction, no forward momentum. Six seasons in and we were in the same place as we were before. Why were we still watching?

Because of episodes like tonight. Episodes that could act as moments of closure, and images of Peggy and Don slow dancing to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

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Mad Men Season Seven: The Runaways

“I’m prepared to leave the agency. Just know that the man that wrote that letter was trying to save his business, not destroy yours.” -Don

This week on Mad Men, Don and Megan continued to work on their doomed marriage for reasons no one can surmise. Don continued to work on his marriage to SC&P. And Betty–for the first time ever–considered the concept of not being confined and defined by marriage.

This was a weird episode. We have had odd episodes before–usually one per seasons, and in retrospect they’re never as weird in context, once we have all the context. The problem is that we only have two more episodes before this season gets chopped in half (much like the Judgment of Solomon, AMC wanted the baby split. Too bad Weiner did not do the loving mother thing and insist it live whole no matter what.) So tonight’s weirdness may not get the chance for context until 2015.

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That being said, I’m not sure any context could have prepared me for where we went with Ginsburg and his paranoid ramblings about the new computer. First–I hesitate in what to call the odd molestation Ginsberg attempts on Peggy in order to “relieve the pressure” he claims the computer is building up inside him. That would have been icky enough. But then we go straight to him cutting off his nipple and handing it to Peggy in a  bracelet box as a way of saying he was sorry. I…Mean…WHAT?!

The worst part was this was way more interesting that anything else tonight. (Or maybe I just watch too much Game of Thrones. I dunno.)

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Mad Men Season Seven: “The Monolith”

“Oh, believe me: there’s always a hierarchy.” -Roger

Tonight’s episode was a two fold story–the A plot was All Don all the time. The B plot, which we’ll discuss first–was Roger discovering that though she seems far more put together, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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Everyone who guessed the other week that Margaret was going to join a cult, pat yourself on the back. You were close. A commune was more like it, full of raggedy clothes and unkempt hair and total lack of bathing. It was so distressing for all involved that Mona and Roger had to take a field trip up to try and rescue her. Every time I see Mona and Roger together, I get so sad for all they could have been. If Roger hadn’t been a selfish bastard, and just kept Jane like he kept Joan before her, and stayed with Mona…they could have lived as happily ever after as anyone ever does. Instead their disastrous marriage and years of issues have driven their daughter to think she’s rebelling and being as different as she can be by doing this. Instead she’s really just being like them. Changing her name to Marigold, might be different, but replace the haze of pot smoke with the sipping of alcohol and instead of having orgies in barns, have them in upper west side apartments, and she’s just re-enacting their own behavior as parents with her own son. Roger, to his credit, is speaking from experience when he tells Margaret this is not the way. But she won’t hear it. We reap what we sow.

Speaking of reaping, we only get a moment with Pete out in Cali, but it’s an important one. he stumbles into another NYC transplant out in Cali–a former salesman from Vicks, who you might remember as the client Pete’s ex-father-in-law was responsible for them having. It’s been a long time and a lot of drama since then. Pete’s no longer even married to that family. But it’s a hard truth that sometimes it’s who you know, and people like working with people they feel they have a connection to. That’s how Pete got to bring in the national campaign for Burger Chef.

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Mad Men Season Seven: “Field Trip”

“He is a very talented man, but how does he fit in to everything now?” -Joan

Technically, it’s Betty who goes on the class field trip with Bobby. But, as always, it’s Don’s travels which matter more.

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Don travels twice this episode. First up: LA (mid week because why the fuck not?) Word, via Silver, her agent, has gotten back to Don that Megan is “losing her nerve” begging to re-audition for parts and crying at directors for more chances. She’s forgotten “Fake It Till You Make It” is the law of the land out there. Can you blame her? If she fails in LA, she has nothing to go back to but New York and a husband she’s no longer in love with, who is lying to her about having a job. I’d be frantically interrupting directors at lunch too. Honestly, I’m not sure why Don went out there, except the hubris he could magically do something. Showing up midweek causes Megan to immediately ask if he’s been fired, which was way too close to home. He could delay the inevitable with sex, but once he was out there, it wasn’t long before she started asking the hard questions. After all, she was his secretary. She knows what the office sounds like, and when he calls “from the office” it’s too quiet. He can accuse her of acting like a lunatic over her career all her likes. At least she has one.

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Mad Men Season Seven: “A Day’s Work”

“Keep pretending. That’s your job.” -Dawn

A Day’s Work for Don–hitting snooze until 12:30 in the afternoon, drinking away the next few hours waiting for Dawn to stop by with the dirt for him to feed off of. Hell of a life for what Cutler calls “our collective ex wife.”

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Dateline: Valentine’s Day 1969. This is a banner day. It is the day Joan finally gets the promotion in full she earned a season and a half ago when she got that partner title, and moves up with the account men. Because that’s where she belongs. It took long enough.

Where is Bert Cooper? I want to see his face as he learns that his complaint about having an African-American where people can see her from the elevator wound up putting Dawn as head of personnel in Joan’s stead. Times are changing, Old Man.

More on those in a minute. First we need to spend time with Don and his accidental Valentine’s Day date, Sally.

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Mad Men Season Seven “Time Zones”

“He was thirsty. He died of thirst. His company sent him to a hospital. I was supposed to be part of the cure somehow, and all I did was observe. I thought he was really getting better and a doctor told me he would be dead in a year. They all would be. I’m going to close my eyes now.” -Lee

Dateline: January 1969 (And there’s Nixon getting inaugurated.) We open our final season of Mad Men (first half) with Freddy Rumsen doing an ad pitch. Yes, Freddy. I know, weird. Where is Draper? Oh wait, he’s been fired. Fine. Where is Sterling, or even Cutler or Chaough? More importantly, why is Freddie doing a total Don imitation?….and why is he pitching it to Peggy? 

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Welcome to the final season of Mad Men, where nothing has changed, and yet everything had changed. Everyone seems to have swapped places–Freddy is playing Don (even if he’s pitching to Peggy.) Ken seems to be Pete now as head of accounts. Joan seems to be Ken now, rescuing accounts from drunken irresponsible imbeciles like Cutler. Where is Pete? Gone native in California, the only one who is enjoying the transition. After Don pretty much blew his chance to go to Cali so Ted could, Ted’s miserable there as can be.

The only person who is still doing their usual role is Peggy. She’s been passed over for Don’s job, which was given to one “Lou Avery” (you may remember seeing him at the tail end of last season, post Don firing.) Everyone loves Lou…except Peggy. Poor Peggy. This was the worst. This Lou guy is is an old accounts guy, who sees Peggy as barely fit to be getting his coffee. Women in the workplace? Bah! One boss like this, and it’s like she’s gone back five steps. Peggy’s technically got the position, but the glass ceiling just dropped all the way own so far she can’t even squat properly, let alone stand on her own two feet. Watching her be squashed like this, when to me, at this stage she is the heart of the show, is horrifying.

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Mad Men Season 7: What Do We Know?

Mad Men is finally back this Sunday! What do we know? Nothing! Well, that’s not true. Weiner wishes we knew nothing. But we know more than you think. Flavorwire does the math for us.

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For instance:

  • It’s more like Seasons 7 and 8.

The season is split in half over two years the same way they did Breaking Bad. We knew that going in. Because once this is over in June 2015, AMC doesn’t have anything other than The Walking Dead. Don’t let me they have Turn. I saw the trailers and got all excited for 18th century fashion. Then I saw the reviews. That one is kind. Let’s hope they manage to pull something out before Mad Men ends.

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More Mad Men Season 7 Pics

I should have known. Mad Men loves to drib and drab out their promotions. Over the weekend, they continued to add to the collection of “Mad Men On A Plane” stills.

The good news: We get a much better shot of Peggy’s outfit, and she’s in the forefront with all the other guys from Sterling Draper behind her. (Note Harry still favors the scarves and Stan’s still in a shaggy jacket.) But they are all out of her way.

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