Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 12 “Blowing Smoke” (A-)

Wow. It hasn’t been long since the fantastic formation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and now they have to conduct cost-cutting measures so severe that it takes all of the fun out of their mutiny at the end of last season. The departure of Cooper, someone who has always been on the sidelines as compared with the other partners, is quite a surprise, and it’s likely that they’ll suffer in his absence because of his many years in the business and considerably influence as a figure in the industry. As is stressed in this episode, Don is really the reason that people know the firm, and his unapproved public diatribe against smoking comes as a real shock. It’s a brilliant move, and credit is actually due, as is not uncommon, to Peggy for providing him with the proper provocation. For a show with so much smoking, thinking about the agency as anti-smoking is unbelievable. The call that was supposedly from Bobby Kennedy was an additional blow that Don didn't need. The sheer amount of people fired is striking, and seeing the head honchos at the firm line up to depart for yet another meeting that doesn’t end up happening is heartbreaking. Don paying for Pete’s share of the personal contribution to keeping the firm afloat was incredibly interesting, and it’s fascinating to see how their relationship is developing, summed up perfectly in their final silent salute to each other. Betty deciding to move seems like an especially harsh punishment for Sally, which is surely going to drive even more of a wedge between them. It’s hard to tell how things are going to end up for all of the characters on this show, and I’m sure next week’s finale will provide some compelling answers.


Greg Boyd said...

Any idea when this show is coming to DVD? I'm going crazy not being able to see it when everyone else is raving about how awesome it is. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and pay $1.99 a pop for each episode. I don't know... just frustrating. Good things come to those who wait, I guess.

Movies with Abe said...

Here's a list of release dates for previous seasons: