Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mad Men Episode #10 (Season 4): Hands and Knees

Why Mad Men Episode #10 (Season 4) Worked:
  • Don Draper's panic attack. Wow. He really freaked out coming into his apartment. Great acting by Jon Hamm; he really aired it out. Totally plausible. The neatly constructed lie that is his identity is starting to unravel. What an unexpected and totally fascinating plot development.
  • Don getting his daughter Sally tickets to Beatles concert. (Hold on to the stubs Sally....sell them on eBay in 40 years!). Great line: "You won't be mad if I wear earplugs." That shows how tone deaf Don is to the youth rebellion percolating all around him.
  • Dinner at the Playboy Club. Very risque and sophisticated for 1965. Mad Men's sense of time and place is impeccable.
  • The Feds visit with Betty. Lots of tension....would she sell him out? But she covered for him. She is definitely a Bond girl.
  • Roger and Joan's visit to the doctor where Roger showed that he was a stand up guy....after being a stand up guy in the alley.
  • Don's secretary's pink dress. Can you say knock-out? Can you say Temptation Island?
  • Lee Garner of Lucky Strike firing Roger in a restaurant. Another Mad Men business scene that bristles with reality. It felt like those scenes have actually been going on for decades in the expense account joints flanking Madison Ave.
  • All the scenes with Don and Pete. So much going on. But in the end, after all the tension, Pete was a stand up guy for Don (especially in the board room).
  • The partners meeting. The place seems like it's going to fall apart. So much was unsaid at that meeting.

Why Mad Men Episode #10 (Season 4) Didn't Work:

  • Many of the scenes with Lane seemed far fetched. Lane dating an African-American Playboy bunny. The bunny being attracted to Lane. Lane getting assaulted by his elderly, cane-needy dad.
  • Faye's scenes with Don. The actress can't carry the part. It's hard to understand why Don would fall for her.

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode #10 (Season 4):

  • A-. Terrific plot developments. Some stunning acting. I can't wait to tune for Sunday's show to find out what happens.

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