Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mad Men Episode 5 (Season 5): Signal 30

Why Mad Men Episode #5 (Season 5) Worked: 
  •  The pub scene in the beginning with Lane and his wife.  It was a small window into his complicated life.
  • The first partners' meeting where Lane practically boasts about his discussions with Jaguar.
  • Roger's advice to Lane on how to be a great account executive during a business lunch.  "Be nice to the waiter....and don't let him near the check."
  • Don's checked sport jacket that he wore to Pete and Trudy's Saturday night dinner party.
  • Don and Pete's awkward ride in the taxicab after the evening in a whorehouse (where Don did not participate).  "Why do I feel like I'm riding with a nun?" asks Pete in the line of the evening.
  • Lane kissing Joan.  Her response was priceless (after she opened the door to his office):  "Every man in the office has wanted to do that." A beat.  "Hit Pete Campbell." 
Why Mad Men Episode #5 (Season 5) Didn't Work:

  •  The fist fight between Lane and Pete.  Very implausible on so many levels.  Lane should have just slapped Pete or thrown water in his face.  The show teetered on the edge of slapstick here.  I almost winced watching it.  .  
  • The scene in the brothel.  Somehow, it wasn't staged right.  The only part that hit the right note was when Pete went into the room with one of the women and the camera held on his cold face.
  • The driving school scenes with Pete.  Not sure where they were heading.  So many scenes this season go nowhere and this certainly was one of them.  

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode #5 (Season 5):
  • C-.   Another subpar episode.  Don has becoming boring!  When Don is reduced to fixing faulty kitchen sinks, you know the show has sprung a leak.  Roger appears weak and helpless.  The show's two big guns are shooting blanks.  And the big tension is that Kenny's after-hours fiction writing escapades have been discovered.  It will be interesting to see how the conflict between Pete and Lane is resolved. 

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