Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 8 “The Crash” (B)

I wouldn’t call this episode a bad hour, but it had a dreamlike feel that made it hard both to keep a linear narrative straight and to keep track of what was real and what wasn’t. It’s so interesting to see how the as-of-yet-unnamed office works with its various personalities thrown together, but I think that last week’s installment with Ted scolding Don for being late and then Don getting Ted drunk was more than effective enough. We also barely saw Pete in this hour, or Roger for that matter, making it all about our primary characters, Peggy and Don. It was no surprise that Stan made a move on Peggy and that she politely rejected him after giving it a moment’s thought, and she seemed truly annoyed by the sight of him having sex with another woman later. Don’s maniacal researching made him look like a madman, and coming home to a robbed house only to pass out was unnerving. For once, Betty got to be the better parent, furious at Don and Megan for leaving the kids home alone, and Henry had to be the one to try to calm things down. It’s frightening to see just how easily the would-be Grandma Draper snuck in, and paired with flashbacks of Don’s childhood, it gave the episode a bizarre mood. I think the present-day (1960s, that is) timeline is fascinating enough, and sticking there with all the drama that already exists is sufficient to make for a great and compelling episode.

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