Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mad Men Season 7 (Episode 9): New Business

Mr. Lonely: Don Draper charts a solitary path as the final season of Mad Men winds down.
Why Mad Men Episode 9 (Season 7) Worked:

  • The action and dialogue relating to Don and Megan's split including the furniture removal from Don's apartment.  Turned out that Roger footed the bill (he gave Megan's mom $180).  Also good, the scene between Don and Megan in the lawyer's office (and a million dollars to her!!!).  Good writing and good acting especially by Jessica ParĂ©.  She called him "an aging, sloppy liar" and sold every word of her line.
  • Don's response to the waitress Diana showing up at his apartment in the middle of the night: "It's 3 a.m.  You know why you're here."  And good retort when she asked him why he was dressed in a jacket and tie: "I'm vain."  Glad he didn't have on a smoking jacket.
  • The scenes between Don and Diana.  It's still a bit of a mystery whey they connected and it feels like Don has suddenly become a compassionate social worker with her -- where did that personality trait come from? -- but there's no denying that the scenes were intriguing especially when he showed up at her apartment.  The big question: will we see more of her in the final episodes?
  • The thread featuring Harry and Megan.  He is such a weasel and Don totally caught on to his lame attempt to cover his botched seduction.  

Why Mad Men Episode 9 (Season 7) Didn't Work:

  • Bad hair.  Roger's hair and mustache is so out of character that it makes all his scenes too cartoonish.  His look is slick....and now he looks anything but slick.  And Pete's hair won't win any awards this season either.  Sideburns are too long and he's sporting something of a semi-combover.  
  • Bad sex scenes.  Pema the photographer -- doing a Pussy Galore imitation -- jumps Stan the hostile art director in the darkroom.  Huh?  That was telegraphed immediately but it was poorly staged and written.  And then she hits on Peggy in another awkward, poorly written scene.  When Roger rushes to Don's apartment with moving money for Megan's mom, they quickly hop in the sack (er...make that the floor...the moving men might have taken the bed).  Another cartoon-like scene in a show that used to have more flair and sophistication.
  • Random milkshake scene with Don's Connecticut family.  Their agents must have been squawking about not being in enough scenes this year.  
  • Scenes with Megan and her sister.  Who cares? Besides, it very late in the series to bring in another character and her baggage.  

Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 9 (Season 7):  B.  Wildly uneven but the show ended with some strong scenes.  While it seems out of character for Don to be showing interest in the well-being and emotions of another woman, his relationship with Diana seems like a path for his redemption.  Will the show continue in that direction?  So far in this half season, Roger's scenes are flat and disappointing.  And agency life -- a reliable plot point in Mad Men's seven years -- has not really been a factor either in the first two shows.

1 comment:

  1. In total agreement with your "worked/didn't work" assessment. Don comes across as a pathetic character more and more, and he even looks more "worn" (yes, he is older.) The reality of his life continuing with woman after woman is repetitive and sad, but I agree, the scenes with Diana drew me in. The stark contrast of the waitress uniform with his fancy neighbor's (what's her name?) evening attire was a visual of the range of women Don's bedded over the years.