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).

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