Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 10 “The Color Blue” (B+)

There’s a recurring theme in this episode of thinking about change and the way people have lived their lives, and it’s extraordinarily powerful and equally well-done across the board. Perhaps the most staggering is the realization by Sterling and Cooper that all of the people in the photo with Cooper were dead, and Cooper’s decision not to attend the party said quite a lot. Lane’s discovery that Sterling-Cooper was back on the market and for sale again marked the second time that he has said to really contemplate what he’s been doing for the past year or so. After his transfer to an equally less desirable location that wasn’t London was averted by that bloody office crisis a few weeks back, he now has no idea where he stands. His conversation with his wife while they’re sitting in traffic says quite a lot, and really drives home the fact that the British invasion was an extremely good idea for this series. Betty’s mistaken discovery of Don’s divorce papers was a monumental event, and while it’s likely that she’ll harbor much resentment towards Don for a while, she probably won’t bring it up to him until the season finale, by which point his sleeping around will probably alienate her to a breaking point. Don’s affair with Suzy’s teacher is particularly compelling, and the different ways in which they view their relationship really are irreconcilable and fascinating. Don’s drive to Massachusetts with her brother was mesmerizing, and Don’s conversations with these people who somehow come into his life are always layered with meaning. The most meaningful moment of the episode was its fantastic closing shot, where Don gets up and walks past a clearly furious Betty to accept his award. The look on his face as he begs the audience to sit down and cease their applause says so much, and it’s one of the best closing shots of an episode I’ve seen.

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