Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mad Men Episode 7 (Season 5): At the Codfish Ball

Why Mad Men Episode 7 (Season 5) Worked:
  • Dialogue was exceptional tonight.  So many characters reeled off great lines.  The episode ended with a phone call between Sally and her weird male friend, a short while after secretly witnessing her step-grandmother performing fellatio on Roger Sterling.  Sallly told him she was in Manhattan.  "How's the city?" he asks.  "Dirty," she replies.  Cut to black.  Brilliant. 
  • The small period piece touches such as Ken getting the Heinz client tickets to the new Edward Albee play and Don in bed reading a James Bond novel.  Marie (Megan's mom) falling asleep in her bed with a lit cigarette was priceless, especially after Megan casually took the cigarette from her hand as ifthis type of behavior was normal (and it probably was to some extent in the mid-60's). 
  • Roger's conversation with his first ex-wife as he reveals some of the details of his trip.  
  • Megan saving the Heinz account.
  • The bonding between Peggy and Joan.  It's like witnessing first-hand the rise of the feminist movement.  Peggy reveals that she wasn't engaged at dinner but that Abe merely suggested they live together.  Joan tells Peggy they are "shacking up" (haven't heard that term for ages).
  • Megan's dad's line when he sees Sally dressed up for Don's award dinner at night.  "Little girls begin to grow up and spread their legs and fly away...."  "Spread their wings Daddy," Megan corrects.
  • The awards dinner.  So much was happening.  Pete's explanation to Megan's Communist dad of what he did for a living was brilliant.  Roger's flirtation with Megan's mom created tension and paid off with their hook-up in a seemingly empty room adjacent to the banquet hall.  And kudos to the beautifully framed last shot of the awards dinner with Don, Megan, Sally and Megan's parents all sitting unhappily at the table.
  • Peggy's mom delivered a powerful monologue when she learned that Peggy and Abe were "living in sin."  It captured all the moralizing blather of the political right from the 60s delivered with a harsh Queens accent.  You had to feel for Peggy (because nothing good will come of her relationship with Abe). 
  • Peggy's horrible checked coat.  If the producers dressed her in it to make us feel sorry for her, it worked. 

Why Mad Men Episode 7 (Season 5) Didn't Work:
  • Don getting turned on by Megan in the cab ride from dinner with the Heinz client after she saved the account.  It was over the top.  

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 7 (Season 5):  
  • A-.  Crackling dialogue and some superb scenes (the awards dinner, Peggy's dinner with her mom, the Heinz account dinner), elevated this episode.  And Roger Sterling finally got his mojo back!

No comments:

Post a Comment