Monday, 27 September 2010

Mad Men - Season 04 - Episode 10

Jeez... another intense episode. This one had me on the edge of my seat all the time.

So much is happening here.

There‘s Joan and her abortion, which I found a bit too smooth. That‘s really a thing that‘s starting to get on my nerves. The fact, that Joan is always smooth and in control and fixing things. We rarely see her real self. The vulnerable, emotional side of her. With her husband in Vietnam, I‘m curious where they‘re taking this. Will he die in Vietnam? Will Joan finally fall apart? Will she lean on Roger? How reliable is Roger?

Speaking of, Roger loosing their biggest client „Lucky Strike“ was a very powerful scene too (I knew that sleazy guy from Lucky couldn‘t be trusted. Ever since that awful Christmas party at the beginning of this season when he humiliated Roger). Then later when Roger ripped into Pete at the partners‘ meeting, I could have slapped him in the face, especially since he didn‘t come clean about the loss of their most important client.

I felt a bit sorry for Roger who is still caught in the past. In a time when business was about personal relations. We‘re family, he said. And obviously, he‘s not seeing that things are heading in another direction.

Price announcing the agency is financially stable? Uhm... I wonder how long that will be. The brief encounter with his father was an eye opener too. I must admit, I was shocked about the violent reaction of his father. When he smacked Lane with his cane, I really jumped in my chair. It gave quite an explanation about Lane‘s „weak“ character. Continued abuse in his childhood has turned him into a man who still can‘t stand up for himself. I can‘t see him going through with his  new relationship with his black girlfriend.

But the most gripping part surely was the FBI agents digging into Don‘s past and his reaction over it. Holy Cow! If Jon Hamm gets any better, he should get an Oscar not just an Emmy for his performance.

His breakdown in his flat, the panic attack, I swear I was just as breathless as he was (was I having a heart attack as well here? ;)

I loved that Betty didn‘t give him away. Even though she was clearly scared and uncomfortable during the interview, she didn‘t sell Don out. Good girl! I also loved that she phoned him, telling him about it.

Later when she was in bed with Henry, I held my breath. I was so scared she‘d tell him (since I really don‘t trust Henry not to use this against Don). She didn‘t. Thank God. (not so sure she won‘t in the future eps though).

For me two scenes stood out:

First, Don opening up to Faye and telling her about his past. I soooo hoped he would do that and yet I was surprised he did. It shows how unsettled and desperate he really was. For a while I believed he would keep trusting her, but then in the office a the end of the episode he retreated again. She clearly wants to help him, offers him to deal with this together, but he‘s blowing her off. Has he not learned? Or is it just his usual behavior over the years. Now that the worst danger seems over, thanks to Pete‘s interference, Don is going back to pretending things are fine. Back to living the lie. I agree with Faye. He should come clean about this. I‘m pretty sure he will sometime in this series. Not in this season probably (only two eps left), but I can‘t see him continuing living a lie for the rest of this series. If the spoilers are right then Weiner has two more seasons planned before the end of this story.

The second scene that stood out for me and was the best I‘ve seen of Pete Campbell this season, was when Don asked him for help. It‘s really amazing how their relationship plays out. How it has changed. In the beginning it was Pete who sought out to please Don Draper at all costs. And now he‘s turned from the attention-seeking youngster to a confident partner in an agency where his other partners are obviously not seeing the signs of change coming their way. I‘ve mentioned it before that I don‘t like Don for dropping his problems at the door of others. Job-wise it is more often than not Pete who will have to save the situation.

His loyalty is something I find astonishing.  Like he said, he's walking away from 4 mio Dollars why? Just to please Don? In the beginning I was never quite sure what to  make of Pete and a small part of me is still not a 100% sure, he won't use his knowledge about Don's past against him.

In this case it‘s even more tricky, since Don‘s personal problem forces Pete not only to keep this secret at work but he also has to keep hit from his wife.  Again I held my breath when Pete and Trudy were talking about what‘s bothering Pete. I was afraid he‘d tell her, since he despises people who are not honest. He didn't. Good boy!

The scene in the elevator was awesome. Pete telling Don off for dropping his „shit“ on him, was the right thing to do and about high time in my opinion. Someone needs to set Don straight.

Draper needs to stop behaving the way he has throughout the years. If he ever wants to live a „normal“ life, he needs to stop living a lie. And he has to learn to trust other people.  The funny thing is, Don has many people around him who are loyal to him and worth his trust, like Peggy, Pete and Faye. He just doesn't see this, or he's so set in his ways that it's hard for him to break out of old habits like keeping people at a distance. But then, that's what makes this character so interesting  :)

This whole episode had a feeling of impending doom lurking around the corner. Not only the financial disaster for the agency, regarding Lucky Strike, but also all the personal drama going on for all the main characters.

For the umpteenth time: The writing on this show is brilliant! Really, really BRILLIANT.

I can‘t wait for the last two episodes and to find out how they‘re going to end this season. (somehow things don‘t look too good for SCDP).

It's official... summer is gone...

"A bathtub can help you to relax and ease away your physical and mental tensions."
 (from a bathtub shop)

True, true, true!!!

And... as of today, it's official: 

I took my first soak in the bathtub... yup, summer is gone. 

Friday, 24 September 2010

So I like ducks...

... I really do.

My baby and I took a wonderful walk through downtown and the city park the other day and watched these guys dozing in the early morning sun :)

Ducks just remind me of my happy childhood when my Mom took us to the park to feed the ducks :)

(all pics (c) Lausi)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New rug...

Remember my bedroom project?

Took forever to find the right rug.... but I got it today :)

It needs to straighten out first before I'll find the perfect position for it, but it makes the whole room much more cozy and warm :)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Mad Men - Season 04 - Episode 09

This week's episode starts out with a familiar scene. Don in bed with a woman. So, Don's sleeping with Faye now...uhm... what a surprise NOT! Their "taking it slow" didn't last too long then. I think they make a cute couple but I can't see that leading to anything too serious. At least Don trusts her enough to turn to her when it comes to his daughter. He asks Faye to look after her when Sally turns up in Don's office after she ran away to be with her dad.

This was definitely Kiernan Shipka's episode. She was breath-taking as Sally in this episode. Great job for such a young actress.  I really feel for that girl (the character). She's got a mother who's like a cold fish to her and a father who loves her but doesn't really know what to do with her.

She's really desperate and instead of getting the love and attention she needs, she's constantly pushed away. Betty just doesn't know how to relate to her child's problem. All she sees is that Sally doesn't "function" as Betty wants it. Instead she accuses her daughter of being "out of control".

As for Don, I can forgive him more easily, since he's a man and men in the sixties didn't really spend much time with their kids it seems. I believe him that he loves Sally and the moment when he puts her to bed is so sweet and tender. But at the first sight of problems, and when Sally throws the tantrum in Don's office, he's completely helpless and unable to deal with the situation.

It's Megan in the end that catches the poor girl and just takes her in her arms. She's really the only person who responds instinctively and gets "physical" with Sally and hugs her.

It's kind of sad to watch the little girl cry out for help and attention. I'm curious to see where this will end.

On a more humorous note... I cannot believe they killed off Miss Blankenship ... LOL.

Poor soul died in the office and everyone was so awkward and at a loss at what to do. Trust Joan to handle the situation though. (I'm beginning to think there's really NOTHING Joan can't fix :)

The scene where Don had to sit through a meeting while watching through the glass walls as Joan and Pete "drag away" Miss Blankenship, that was so funny.

I really liked Cooper's reaction to her dead. And LOL about Roger fearing to die in the office. A word on Roger and Joan... oh..oh... I wonder how much honest feelings there are on Roger's part. He seems to really care about Joan.

All in all a great episode, with less Don Drama but instead, giving us a good follow-up to what's happening to the other characters.

Next one please! :)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Fall Decoration for my Terrace...

I started on the Fall decoration for my terrace today. Since our wild wine provides plenty of gorgeous leaves I had everything I needed right there in my backyard :)

Just added some pumpkins and different cushions for the chairs (hopefully to enjoy the remaining few warmer days this Fall might bring us).

(all photos copyright (c) Lausi)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

September Sky

... Awesome sky tonight.... 

Reminded me a bit of old Renaissance paintings...

(all photos copyright (c) Lausi)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Mad Men - Season 04 - Episode 08

Mad Men you rock!

I don‘t know how they do it, but each week they surprise me anew.

It‘s so nice to see Don cleaning up his act and trying to get back on his feet. To have him write a journal is just brilliant. It gives us insights into his thoughts so that we can share the pain he feels about what he considers his failures in life.

This was also a very strong episode for Betty. I‘m glad about that. I missed her character a lot. So far she hasn‘t had that much to do in season 04 but whenever she‘s on it gets intense and interesting. I already suspected that she was not over Don. In fact she seems far more hung up on him than he is on her. The strong reaction she showed when she saw him on his date with Bethany is a clear evidence that she still has feelings for him.

The argument with Henry later was also very interesting. He senses that Don still holds a place in Betty‘s life (and maybe heart) and I must say I did not expect him to be so jealous over it. He seemed always quite calm and collected and even reasonable to me in the previous situations where he was not only civil towards Don but even defended him on at least two occasions against Betty‘s bitching.

That has obviously changed now. He wants Don out of their life. The way he drove his car into Don‘s things and later when he asked him to pick up the rest of his stuff, that was clearly to put Don into „his place“. To show him who‘s the man in the house now. Does Henry feel threatened by Don? It‘ll be interesting to find out if Betty can make this marriage work. She‘s already repeating the same mistakes she did with Don, I think. She‘s again in denial about the problems and it really WAS rushed that she married Henry (although understandable with a baby on its way in the early Sixties).

Don‘s date with Faye was another surprise for me. That he didn‘t take things further than making out in the car was AWESOME. And their conversation over dinner very, very interesting too. Has Don learned to give a bit of himself? To open up to some degree. Is he longing for a real relationship, to finally be close to someone? (like he was to Anna, who sadly passed away) I hope so. I hope we‘ll see Don „grow up“ emotionally.

(On a side note... have I mentioned how hot this guy is when he gets going? ;) ... I could watch him make out for hours...)

Okay... mind out of the gutter again...

There was a lot of sexism in this episode. To be expected in 1965. I can‘t wait to see how this will change over the course of the remaining years and the sexual liberation that might have taken a bit longer to really reach America.

The way Betty confronted the guys and tried to stand up for Joan was nice to see, even though her efforts weren‘t appreciated by Joan later, who told Peggy she only helped undermine her value as a secretary. To be honest, I think Joan acted like a real jerk in that moment in the elevator.

Go you, Peggy! You‘re on the right track. It would have been an even stronger signal had she taken these steps without going to Don first. He‘s still her mentor and guiding her. „You want respect, go earn it for yourself.“ Don is right of course. Still... nice job, Peggy, kicking that guy‘s ass out of the office :)

Last but not least, I‘m sooooo glad Don went by his son‘s birthday party. It really made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, seeing him with his two-year old on his arm. *sigh*

Roll on next week! I cannot wait to see how Don Draper's journey will continue :)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Mad Men - Season 04 Episode 07

OMG... I love this show!

This one was a real killer! I cried. No...., actually... I bawled my eyes out over that one. What an incredible emotional roller coaster.

We learned more about Peggy and Don in this one episode than in the previous three seasons. I just can‘t get over how brilliant the writing of this show is. How amazingly the writers fit in more and more pieces of the puzzle.

The confrontation between Peggy and Don in the office, his angry outburst, her despair... I‘m speechless. Don really is a selfish bastard in that he‘s using Peggy because he can‘t face up to the truth of Anna‘s death which he knows the phone call from California will tell him. He‘s scared, scared to make that call and scared to be alone.

And Peggy? She‘s running away too. From a life society tells her she‘s supposed to want but that just isn‘t her. I think in a way she‘s also using Don, as an excuse to not go to her birthday dinner. To be honest, I‘m glad she and Mark broke up, since he was such a wuss and I never understood what she saw in him. Her chance of marriage and a conventional life? But like she told Don, it just doesn‘t feel right.

To see them get personal and to really share their honest thoughts with each other was just awesome. I was so afraid they (writers) would go down the easy road and have Don sleep with her, but they didn‘t. Instead they made this so much more powerful the way they ended this episode.

This simple and sweet gesture when Don put his hand on hers, that spoke of so much respect and affection he holds for her that I cannot help but hope that there will be more between them one day.

Could she be the one to save him from himself?

A word on Jon Hamm and his performance. That was out of this world. Truly, truly outstanding. So was Elisabeth Moss BTW.

I don't care how many more Emmies in a row this show will win, they deserve every single one of them! 

Okay... I‘ll take a deep breath now and then watch this episode a second time, I guess.

It really was THAT good :)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Pre-Fall Garden...

It is only a matter of time until Fall will have caught up with us. The garden is already showing the first signs with the fallen plums and leaves.

However, hoping for some more late-summer, golden-fall days, I've "pimped" my terrace with blooming chrysanthemum flowers and matching scarlet colors.

Love it when the leafes of the wild wine change their colors to all shades of red and scarlet...
(mind you, it's a real "mess" to clean up...)

A special friendship... soooo heart-warming :)