Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 11 “Chinese Wall” (B+)

Seeing Roger cower in fear as his number one client is revealed to be leaving is not a pretty sight. It’s fascinating to see just how manipulative he is, faking a phone call with Lee Garner Jr. and pretending to go to Raleigh when really he’s just sitting alone in a hotel room. It’s particularly interesting that, after everything, Joan is the one who he turns to for comfort, and she isn’t going to bother coddling him and encouraging his sad sack behavior. The response by the rest of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was intriguing as well, especially when Don implied that Pete’s desire to be present for the birth of his child was an unnecessary distraction for work. It’s good to see Pete so happy and not having to take the fall again for someone else’s mistake, and it’s also good that he and Ken have gotten back on good terms so that they can work through this disastrous revelation rather taking pot shots at each other. Don trying to save a client who wants to leave is about as compelling as him trying to sign a new one, though hardly as friendly and patient (not that he’s ever really patient). For a moment, it seemed as if Don was actually ready to stop his polygamous ways, yet instead he ends up with one woman going out the door and another one on her way in. Asking Faye to compromise her professionalism to help him out led to an incredible scene where Don’s selfishness and pompousness reared their ugly heads. None of this is surprising, but it’s still just as powerful each time we see how low Don Draper can go.

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