Thursday, May 24, 2012

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 5, Episode 10 “Christmas Waltz” (B+)

Christmas episodes at summertime always feel strange to me, yet this one was so layered and moody that it wasn’t a problem at all. Starting with Lane getting a call about the massive amount of money he owes set a melodramatic tone for the episode, as he fought hard to get Christmas bonuses given out and then saw them taken away after he had forged Don’s signature and cut himself a check to cover his costs. It’s sad to be the odd man out when everyone is sitting so comfortably that giving up a bonus is an easy decision, and I hope that it doesn’t end up backfiring for the kind-hearted and hard-working Lane. Pete’s frustration with the lack of excitement from the partners about his Jaguar prospect was superseded by the energy around trying to land the account, which was well-timed with the announcement of bonuses since it seemed to distract from the fact that all of the employees would have to give up their holidays to work day and night to land the account. Joan did a terrific job flipping out at the secretary for allowing her to get served divorce papers, and Don was extremely smooth in his handling of the situation, slipping her out of the building and then going with Don to look at Jaguars. That particular act of friendship didn’t pan out well for Don since, rightfully so, Megan is refusing to accept his lifestyle and instead makes a stink about him not being home. The return of Paul was odd at best, and I’m not sure it was a productive use of either Harry or Paul. I guess it’s more effective as a melancholic commentary on what happens to those that weren’t lucky enough to be successful.

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