Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 5 “The Flood” (A-)
What a strong episode this was, using the historical reference point of Martin Luther King’s assassination to reveal some deep truths about its characters. The shift in tone was particularly notable in terms of Don’s attitude towards Peggy, which was at first a steely one, in contrast to Megan’s warm, friendly nature, and then turned into the offer of a ride home after Abe ran off to Harlem to cover the chaos. Don driving through Harlem after he forgot to pick the kids up was powerful, as was his trip to the movies with Bobby, who was awestruck by his experience. I love that Don’s first response to Betty not allowing Bobby to watch TV was to take him to the movies, and I was even more intrigued by his immediate reply to Bobby voicing his concern about Henry being shot, explaining that he wasn’t that important. Henry getting offered a seat in the state senate is good news, and it was heartwarming to see Betty express nothing other than support and joy. Ginsberg’s blind date actually went pretty well, and it’s nice to see a bit of his home life. Peggy not getting the apartment because the realtor low-balled was unfortunate, and I’m glad that Abe finally spoke up about his feelings about the lack of diversity on the Upper East Side. Pete not being welcomed back into Trudy’s life in a time of crisis was relatively devastating, and it’s no wonder he’s having screaming matches in the office with Harry. In an extremely moving episode, no moment was quite as impactful as hearing Don talk about faking being proud of your children, which does go to show that, mistresses aside, he must really love Megan if he’s willing to bare all and open up to her in such a vulnerable way.