Archive for September, 2010

Ep 9: Exploration of Identity

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 by greg1835

Ep 9: More Exploration of Identity.

So we have a core MM thing going on, in the exploration of identity.

Peggy is still between the proto-hippy and the old guard. Yet again the proto-hippy guy disrespects her and cares not for what she her own self cares about, her work; of course thinking and insisting he’s right and gentle and righteous but is really nothing other than a bully. In addition, Peggy needs not nor wants a Superman, but he tries to be, not well rounded enough to know that’s what he’s really doing to her. He’s wrong but insists he’s right.

Sally is at the same time a rebel from Betty, yet a model of Betty.

Dr. Faye is down a certain path, having identity come in to play with her about what she feels Don is assuming she’s supposed to be vs who she really is.

Joan is getting a little bit of it as well. Joan is caught somewhere between the identity of Blankenship, but also she was somewhat the proto-Peggy before Peggy, but she’s closer to Blankenship.

Then Blankenship dies. Bert and Roger are a bit tore up. It’s the beginning of the end of the old guard.

Roger has stared death in the face before. His war experience. His 2 coronaries. And now, the mugging could have gone that way. He dealt with the coronaries through Joan and sex. He dealt with it also through marrying, and more likely sex, with Jane. Here, the mugging, he deals with it through sex yet again.

Identity again with apparently from last episode Don telling Faye Gene thinks his Daddy is someone else. Now here Sally is getting along fine with Faye as a surrogate Mommy, and in the end also hugs greatly, and affects, Megan the hugging secretary. Sally doesn’t like her Mommy yet right now seems ok with someone else being her identity Mommy as long as she’s connected with Daddy.

What’s also interesting is Don had said to blonde Anna he wants her to meet his kids, and after there is no more Anna, suddenly Don is all sweetheart on blonde-semi-Anna/Betty clone Dr. Faye. And here he trusts her with his kid in a home-y sorta way. Don is still searching even if it isn’t overt and our attention was directed elsewhere.

Probably nothing: But, Roger after Blankenship dies, in being with Joan, takes her hand. Roger’s confiding usually consists of telling her she’s the best piece of ass he’s had. Here, he takes her hand. Don took Peggy’s hand in a different way, but still, after Don should have done that with Allison. Roger should have done that before instead of parakeets and jokes, if you remember season 1. He’s doing it now though. They both Roger and Don should have been able to offer that before and didn’t; but they’re both at that point now.

The new young guard is busy angry philosophizing in their moments of angst, the old guard is embracing hands in their moments of angst. Differences.

Two great edits: Don at the end, when you didn’t think he’d take that drink but he does; and the edit is immediately to Peggy doing the same.

Also, the end shot in the elevator. The 3 women, Don’s women and their differences yet all connected by him. Joan: the old guard. Faye: the seemingly Betty surrogate he apparently needs. Peggy: the one who is most mirrored to him. Peggy, the porridge in the middle we all actually want in someone.

It’s another exploration of the idea of 3 they’ve done before and the idea of identity this episode. Great episode. Makes your brain hurt but it’s worth it.

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Mad Men Season 4 Episode 8

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 by greg1835

Very different episode, very interesting. Was it about relationships?

Was it about Don searching for home? Are they related? Earlier we had Don combating then confiding later a little bit while she is doing dishes in the office with Dr. Faye. The home motif. We had the surprise waitress call him Dick so apparently inebriated he at least was honest to some degree. We had him visit Anna and actually be affected. He has a home both in actual real estate there, and within her herself. And last week we had him lay his head in Peggy’s lap; a man trying to find home. And now, in the end tonight… he goes home. So we have had a current theme of Don losing his place in life.

And here, we have a parallel in Joan, seemingly losing her place. She’s losing her command of the office, and losing her man at home as well. Don and Joan, more emphasis tonight of the theme of being lost. Joan is now starting to get lost. And then later, so is Betty as well.

Enter Peggy. She formerly of the new artsy side of things, yet hasn’t been back there. Last week she spends the day with Don, the old guard. This week she sides with the old guard again in the form of Joan. Peggy is yet still searching, and so is Don, each in their own way.

Two weeks in a row now, Peggy told a guy off. Last week with her weenie boyfriend, and this week firing the guy. And both weeks she got schooled; last week by Don in that relationship metaphorical argument and here tonight also by Joan. Peggy who has embraced young, has now rejected young. Peggy fires the guy this week and in essence, fired the boyfriend last week. But she has also in her embracing of the old guard the past two weeks felt it’s rejection as well. Peggy, like last season, is still caught somewhere in the middle.

And Peggy and Joan’s relationship is similar to Peggy and Don’s in that it’s both honey and vinegar. The young guy this week was joking about Joan the same way they all joke about Peggy and office sex. She acted like Don in telling them “give me three ideas….” like Don would say to her. Then, Peggy takes the porno picture to Don, for Don to take charge of it.

Similar to the mouse last week, wanting Don to take charge of it. Peggy again, caught in the middle of her own self. This time instead of standing on the chair saying eek! like last week with the mouse, she now takes Don’s go-ahead and puts her hands on the issue and kills the guy, firing him, unlike the mouse last week where she needed Don to do it. That’s what I think the mouse was about.

And we come back to Mr. Draper. Bravo Mr. Draper: Don’s date was not exactly full of laughs. Betty shows up with Henry, with Henry trying to be Alpha male. Don plays it cool. (and of course the irony of Betty saying about Bobbie Barrett.. .”she’s so old” when you see Don’s date’s reaction to Betty) Predictably, Betty looks over more than once. Yet Don never does the same.

Also, coincidentally, Don’s date began rather lame yet suddenly when Betty is here and he knows she’ll be looking, suddenly he apparently had turned on the charm because he now has the girl laughing basically in front of Betty. Don doesn’t need the cue, he knows who and what Betty is. Don’s date did not suddenly turn interesting, he’s turning on the charm with his own date playing Betty’s game.

Don is not the first one of us to have to relegate himself to this crap. But, it does in fact work. And of course, in the end, Betty is in fact somewhat welcoming to him when he comes home. She at least smiles and that’s a start. Well played Mr. Draper.

¬†Betty wants to play games, Don will play games. We’ve all been there and done that. However later now we have the contradiction. Don was just bad but now tries to be good with Dr. Faye. He had no interest in being good with the younger blonde date. He said yes to she who not matters yet acts like now Dr. Faye matters. Will she buy it? Is he real? Does he mean it? He is in fact looking for a home this season since he has none after being tossed by Betty. He in fact has no home in losing Anna. Is he legit with Dr. Faye, or is he still just Don Draper?

The end was terrific. We have his usual history of affairs being with brunettes and home being with blondes. 3 blondes accept him tonight. The young date finally “accepts” him in the cab, Dr. Faye accepts him as a real date, and in the end when he comes home, (<–the concept of which is an important theme tonight) Betty now suddenly at least let’s him in.

Baby Gene has a different Daddy now with Henry. Don always had a different Daddy. Don comes home and picks up Gene, and not Sally. (Interesting, given last week in a quick shot with Don at his desk vs Peggy you see his family pics of his kids; only Sally and Bobby though. And they’re both blocked by that pic of Anna and Don in a frame however, ( [where Don is playing Roger’s book tape] ).

Who was Don writing to? Anna? Is he actually writing to Betty the same way he wrote to Betty from the hotel room before? His own self, a diary? Is it him coming home to his own self?

He sank deep, arms spread in the pool. He walked in the ocean, arms spread in Cali. His own self is an unknown. Who is he writing to? What really is home for Don? Is it really coming home to responsibility, or is beautifully simply a woman’s lap to lay your head on?

Mad Men Season 4 Episode 7

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2010 by greg1835

SO…. we begin with 2 men needing Peggy. And neither in the way a woman wants to be needed or wanted.

Duck is inventing the idea of a “marriage” in order to woo the girl. Don is needing her for reasons of utility.

Peggy is needed by two men who are drunk. And she is also needed by her lame boyfriend, for reasons other than her. Everyone wants a piece of Peggy from Duck, to Don, to her boyfriend and family, to the new creepy art director, to her new artsy friends who don’t care about her work. But she’s never wanted in the way anyone would want to be wanted.

Is Peggy going to be the next to crack? Is the idea of cracking a theme this year? Peggy finally did crack a little, in the fact that she cried in the women’s room like we thought she’d never do. Then, Don cracks as well. More bonding and similarity.

There seemed to be another theme of marriage and avoidance. Don looks at his pic with Anna, which in position and posture is close to the idea of a wedding pic. He doesn’t call Cali. Peggy has the guy dining with the family, and she is clearly avoiding him and it. Don and Peggy are both avoiding, yet together.

Peggy after the whole season so far away from the old guard, is now for once in with the old guard in the old guard way here with Don. She’s still searching for her identity.

They decide to tie themselves to work in order to avoid. They’re both avoiding personal responsibility when it comes to relationships. They’re both avoiding metaphors with marriage. Yet they engage in a marriage of sorts when they argue like a married couple in that heated moment. That almost vicious argument was more analogous to couple fighting than work fighting. But, they end up tying themselves to each other. They tie their hand together at the end regardless. Relationship analogies?

Suitcases are about travel yet they both stay home, yet away from home.

Another Mad Men exploration of the idea of 3 in the idea of there are 3 kinds of suitcases. Similar to the idea of 3 classes of people we saw in the Kentucky Derby episode last year, among other examples of the idea of 3 we have seen before.

Another idea of 3 is that we found out Don really did visit her in the hospital, and they’re bonded in that way; and Pete has a place in each of them in Pete’s knowing of what she did, and Pete’s knowing what Don did regarding Korea.

Again like a couple, they not only fight, but they bond as well. Don tells her about growing up on a farm, his Dad, Uncle Mack, Korea etc. He never does this. But he does now, with Peggy.

In the very end, she sleeps on the couch in the office, just like we’ve seen Don time and time again. And in talking over the account at the end, did you notice she critiques him in the same way he critiques everyone?

Their whole thing is backward. The whole episode begins as a metaphor of a marriage and obligation and frustration, and yet ends up as a first date if you think about it.¬† It’s backwards. They begin with the necessary evils and obligations and arguing, and end with the fun and interest and innocence of a first date. Their night ends with his head innocently in a knowing girl’s lap. That’s all the man wants even though he probably doesn’t know it yet.

But then maybe he does, gently taking her hand similar to the pilot episode when she took his. In the pilot she did so because she thought it was her duty and thought it was right. But here Don does so because it’s right and more importantly because he wants to, and something he should have and did not in fact do, with Allison. Did Mr. Draper learn?

One of the basic motifs of the show is lines drawn and differences. They have a line drawn between them in their differences, yet like anything that spins around and around that eventually comes back where it began ( I feel another motif of the show but that’s just me), they time to time come together just for a brief moment.

His taking her hand, I was reminded of the U2 song “One” with the line, “We’re one but we’re not the same”