Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 5): Christmas Waltz

Why Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 5) Worked
  • .Lane's dilemma.  And here I thought Pete ranked as the sleaziest person in the office.  Looks like Lane needs $8,000 and he'll have to forge a company check to get the dough.  But will he get away with it?  This dilemma created enormous tension in episode 10.  The partners' meeting was particularly well written.  It looked liked Lane might get his cash after all, but the firm picked a more prudent course.  The brilliance of the writing is that the audience is rooting for Lane not to get caught even though what he's doing is highly immoral.
  • Harry's Hare Krishna flirtation.  There were so many nice touches in this subplot as Harry tried helping a former copywriter-turned-Hare-Krishna-devotee.  Harry's checked overcoat caught the look of the times perfectly.  His attraction to the former druggie/prostitute Lockshmir rang true.  The best (and very sly) part of this storyline was Harry's Hare Krishna friend giving him a spec scriptfor an NBC drama by the name of .....Star Trek!  
  • Don's supposed laziness and lack of fire.....and his surprising turnaround.  We saw him in the beginning of the episode resting on the couch in the middle of the day.  And Pete calls him out for always leaving at 5:30.  But in the last scene at a company-wide meeting, Don gives an inspirational speech telling the employees that they'll have to work every weekend through Christmas.  "Prepare to swim the English Channel and swim in champagne in Paris," he implores them.  Let's hope for the sake of the firm -- and the show -- that the old Don is back.
  • Don and Joan hitting a bar in the middle of the day.  Lots of sexual tension in the air.  That'll pull viewers back next week to see what happens.
Why Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 5) Didn't Work:
  • Joan's tantrum at receptionist.  A bit out of character for her to lose it like that at work.  But the scriptwriters needed an excuse for her to leave the office with Don.
  • Lockshmir hitting Harry after having sex with him.  Her anger was not clearly explained.
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 10 (Season 5):  
  • A.  Outstanding episode filled with action-filled subplots.  Tension abounded in most of the scenes.  Don finally got his cajones back.   For the most part, Megan took a back seat and that gave more time for the excellent office scenes.  There's definitely a need to tune in next week to see what happens with all these important plot developments.  

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