Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 1 “Public Relations” (B+)
This really is the Don Draper show. Peggy couldn’t have said it better when she told Don outright that everything everyone does is to please him. As this Emmy-winning show returns for its fourth season, it’s even clearer how much of an influence Don has on everything that goes on around him. His simply not saying someone has such a drastic influence on how his profile is received, and his fury at the clients who weren’t open to hearing any of his ideas was even more indicative of just how much he runs things. His behavior is certainly self-destructive and won’t long go tolerated by those who don’t fear him, a group that encompasses his partners and Peggy on a good day. Peggy and Pete’s plan to have the women fight over a ham was actually quite clever, and it’s a pity that Don couldn’t even take a second to congratulate her before ripping her a new one for having to call him and ask for bail money. Everything is not blissful for the newly married ex-Mrs. Draper, and Henry Francis has to juggle convincing his mother of Betty’s good nature and not getting caught in between Don and Betty in the midst of a vicious argument. The new structure at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will definitely take some getting used to, and that process should be an intriguing and enlightening one. All of the actors, most notably Jon Hamm and Elisabeth moss, still turn in powerhouse performances, and it’s a great thing to have this show back.