Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by dirwuf, Oct 25, 2012.
I enjoy the show but this episode was not so enjoyable.
I was wondering when somebody would pick up on that reference. Kennedy was getting a lot of "booster vitamin shots" for a certain period of time, but eventually realized the dangers and got rid of the doctor.
So is this just the Mad Men Appreciation Club, where no critical views are tolerated? It would be rather a dull thread if everyone just said "Great episode last night!" week after week and often contrasting, well argued points of view help to enrich the discussion. I've followed this show for years and think it's one of the best things running on television, so naturally, I have pretty high expectations by this point. This is the first season where I've felt generally let down by the quality of the writing. It seems like there's a lot of rehash of old themes with some lazy plotting and not much in the way of forward development. I suppose that it's inevitable that by Season Six, a show tends to lose some of its original freshness.
Of course, even mediocre Mad Men episodes are more compelling than a lot of other programs and I'm still interested in seeing what happens to these characters, though Don is becoming increasingly loathsome and pathetic by now and it's getting hard to watch. He doesn't seem to give a crap about his kids or his wife or much of anything else, apart from vainly trying to satisfy this vast hunger of his. (He doesn't even seem to care that much about the good of the firm at this point, as we saw as he sort of walked away from the Chevy account to pursue his own selfish path to glory. Ted must be having merger's remorse by this point.) I was stunned how, as he was returning to the apartment at the end after days away, he was already plotting how he would get out again to go harass Sylvia some more. He's really angling for the Father of the Year award this season. I guess it was something that he at least accepted responsibility for leaving the door open on the phone with Sally, but his final comments after that should have been "I'm sorry" and "I love you".
It's not yet clear to me exactly what this big advertising breakthrough of his was, though it seems to be rooted in his need for some kind of a loving mommy figure to nurture him (as we see in the soup add that echoes his experience with the kindly whore from his youth). So do people think that he's really on to something here or is it just a self absorbed fever dream of his?
I don't think his "breakthrough" had anything to do with advertising or the Chevy account and had everything to do with his master plan for getting Sylvia back. Whether or not he proceeds with the plan or even if he remembers what it is after his "crash" is to be determined.
It's pretty obvious there was no breakthrough - he was in a speed induced tailspin - he was supposedly working on Chevy but really working out how to get Sylvia back - which he was obsessing about, but in the end he ignored Sylvia in the elevator and walked away from Chevy saying call me in 1970 when you are ready to do an ad.
It's so much more though -- leaving doors open -- that people come in and steal things or hurt you and his conversation with Sally at the end - it's my fault - i left the door open - forget about it.
Don is shutting down the doors - the hatches etc --- he opened the door to his heart with Sylvia but it all went wrong.....
He walks to his office and closes the door at the end.
I do not think that people are beginning to really dislike Don is some accident - the writers / story is showing Don as a seriously flawed human being - unable to love and his disturbing upbringing that is in part to blame. Here's a man who has tried to escape his past in many ways - even taking on the name / identity of an other man, but cannot escape his past and who he is.
I guess that his work and his personal life were becoming conflated to the point where, in his sleep deprived/druggy stupor, he couldn't tell the difference anymore. He was reaching for the big idea that would put him over the top at work, bring Sylvia back and satisfy all of the longing in his life, but advertising only deals in mirages not true fulfillment.
It was interesting to see young Don actively resisting the advances of the motherly prostitute there. It almost came across like a form of abuse and of course, he got punished by his stepmother for the transgression.
The episode certainly made me/us? think and that was a good thing. I'm going to rewatch it -- ultimately I think it's an important episode of the season.
I like Mad Men - i like the 60's and i like the story --- the sets, clothes and production level take it up a notch or two, but what really sets it apart is the writing.
There is a lot going on and you do not always get all of it when you first see it.
Often i watch it again the next night - how often do you do that with a TV series ?
Yes - Bingo! & when he could not ........ he walked away from Sylvia, chevy et all.
I agree, I think Mad Men is a very different television show. I at first equally disliked it as much as I liked it because I did not LIKE any of the characters. In time I learned to like a few and understand most more . . . my interest deepens as it goes along. I usually watch each episode at least once more after broadcast and before the next airs, then I buy the Blu-ray sets and watch the seasons over. . . I think I've seen all but Season 5 at least three times through on disc, and 5 will get at least one more viewing before 6 is released on disc.
That final scene with the two of them in the elevator was just devastating. I've never seen Don laid low like this.
Dr. Robert? More like "nothing is real."
A few things that we saw actually happened. The rest were the product of chemically altered perception.
It was a good episode and i enjoyed seeing Don get the tables finally turned on him by a woman. As far as the plausibility of them being totally wired on speed in the office, it's not that far out when you consider JFK taking shots and various people being hopped up then. From what i have read a lot of people where still not aware of the dangers of chemicals and amphetamines at the time. It was normal for people like Johnny Cash to pop pills as well as other people in creative industries before they realised it was doing a lot of damage. When you wonder how people like David Crosby and the like got into such as mess with Cocaine and other stimulants you read interviews with them where they vouch that they genuinely thought that it was harmless and non addictive when it started to appear in the late 60's.
This was well before my time, but I could buy this to some extent because it was my impression that, if you got your stuff from a doctor, there wasn't a lot of shame in partaking in certain types of "approved" stimulants and mood levellers. After all, this was the age of "diet pills" and half the housewives out there were using "mother's little helper". A bunch of exec's, especially in a more freewheeling world like advertising where getting pissed to the gills over lunch wasn't unheard of, getting some chemical assistance to burn the midnight oil? Sure, why not.
Don: "Where did you learn to do that?"
Ken "My mother, no, my first girlfriend."
Now, do any of you think that these words came out of Ken's mouth? That's obviously Don's thoughts. The first woman that was kind and nurturing to him was also the first woman that he had sex with.
Possibly, but it could have also have been Ken's words and those words prompted Don's flashbacks throughout the whole episode.
It was pretty clear that Don was not in control of his first sexual encounter (and who knows how many after that). Maybe a lot of his sexual behavior, especially the dominance scenes with Sylvia, ahve been him trying to gain sexual control. This would make his rejection by Sylvia even more devastating.
I don't know, Don was pretty close to rock bottom in Season 4 before Megan came along at the very end of the season and (temporarily) pulled him out of the self-destructive alcoholic spiral he was in.
Yeah, he was in a pretty bad place there too, though I'm not sure if I'd characterize it quite like that: At one point, after hitting the bottom, it seemed like Don was making an effort to get his own life on track--laying off the booze, exercising, journaling--but then he kind of gave up on his attempts at self improvement. Looking back, it seems like his hasty decision to marry Megan was just another one of his attempts to reshuffle the deck and reinvent himself without fully addressing his underlying problems. Don't get me wrong, I like Megan--she's too good for him--but it's clear now that he isn't committed to the relationship at all. I suspect that it's only a matter of time before she puts the truth together about him.
Good points. While I think people were getting "approved shots" from a doctor, I can't believe they would be lining up in an office ready to drop their pants. Plus, they were so over the top with their behavior in the office. I think there were plenty of martini lunches in that era, I can't believe that scenario would happen like that. Interesting to see what happens (if anything) next.
Excellent analysis of the episode! Was really disappointing and, up until now, I was much happier with the writing this season than last. Still, I think at it's best, Mad Men is the best show that's ever been on television. I just wish they'd get over the "tricks" with Don's head. We get it already. Not only does he reach into the past for everything (an example of really bad "on the nose" writing) but last season he was seeing ghosts... come on!
OMG - Weiner turns this into a Beatles thread!
I didn't see Joan or Bob this episode. Hmmm...supply closet?
I think that's the truth. The whole point of advertising is to create a need in people, and then sell them a product to satisfy that need. A lot of what happens in Mad Men is telling stories about people who get what they think they need, only to discover it's either not what they expected, not what they really wanted, or both.
I think it's interesting that the fortune teller/I-Ching lady came in and told Don, "your question is 'does anybody love me'?'" And I think that's a key element of the show: that Don pretends to be this confident, successful guy who in reality is extremely needy, shallow, and desperate for attention and affection. For the record, I think the show is as good as it's ever been, but the difference is now we're seeing Don's flaws raw and exposed more than ever before.