Friday, May 15, 2015

What I’m Watching: Mad Men (Penultimate Episode)

Mad Men: Season 7, Episode 13 “The Milk and Honey Route” (B+)

How interesting it is that this show’s second-to-last episode spends so little time within the walls of an advertising agency. Most of its members made their exodus from their new employer last week, and now the one person who truly stuck around has decided that he’s headed out the door. Duck’s visits have never brought good news, but though his intentions may have bene deceptive, ultimately they’re really in Pete’s best interest. Taking a job in Wichita is a big move, and reuniting with his family is an even more triumphant one, extremely unlikely given everything that transpired between him and Trudy but wonderful nonetheless. Not everyone gets such a happy ending, of course, as seen most clearly in the tragic, surprisingly endearing case of Betty. Deemed too insignificant in her time to even be told the news of her own condition, Betty and not her ex-husband nor his many colleagues becomes the first one to succumb to lung cancer. While Henry wants to save her, Sally sees her desire not to have treatment as a selfish act. For once, Betty reacted in a mature way, content to go out on her own terms and smile at the thought of being reported to the doctor as Mrs. Robinson. It’s an unexpectedly sweet, sad way to send out one of this show’s most memorable and often despicable characters. Don wandered off to midcountry tranquility only to be beaten up and accused of theft after a night of military reminiscing, including what amounted to a full confession of his murder of the real Don Draper. Returning the money and even giving the true thief his car show his true soul and that he isn’t so concerned with what happens to him, but what does that mean for us the viewers and this show’s legacy? Can just one more seventy-five minute episode really do this show and its many characters justice? Let’s hope so.

No comments: