In which we learn some life lessons
Everyone learnt some valuable lessons this week except for Don Draper, who has apparently descended into a sociopathic level beyond empathy. He's a MONSTERRRRR. The Arrested Development/ Mad Men Tumblr must be on fire with all the material they got this week. The entire episode is filled with a weird, tense energy. From the references to Rosemary's Baby to the odd lighting and shadows, I felt as though something could go wrong any second.
Lesson #1: Matthew Weiner is mean.
Unlike Weiner, let's get this out of the way quickly. This week in Vietnam symbolism, a rosy-cheeked plaid wearing Ken Cosgrove gets shot. For the next 14 minutes, I was a wreck, and every time the phone I rang or a door opened I was waiting for the inevitable bad news. Which is exactly what Weiner had in mind, I presume. So rude, but an incredibly effective method to create tension. Echoes of what parents and families must have had to go through waiting for news about their son or brother or father.
And when you presume the worst, you're happy to settle for a broken leg or a shot eye. Poor, poor Ken. And I can't imagine Chevy is too happy with this negative exposure. They're depicted as a company whose executives stop for lunch on the way to the hospital after they've shot one of their business associates. I'm sure they're less than thrilled they're the Vietnam allegory for this season. I don't have high hopes for Ken. His wife is pregnant and he knows where the land mines are hidden. This does not bode well.
Lesson #2: The patriarchy is strong. And shitty.
Sally ( let's just go ahead and call her Holden) wants to run away from her dad and right into boarding school. I wonder where she gets her instinct to flee. Caught on the cusp of adolescence, Sally can't seem to escape the heady world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Seeing her grapple with skeazy teenage boys and being called "a lying little tease" was gut-wrenching. Listen up, guys. You are never owed sex. Oh, you drove all that way to hang out with Sally, "Rollo"? Big fucking deal. Sally then went to Glen for help, who is a weird mix of brother and crush. When Glen is one of the only positive male figures you know, it's a sad state of affairs
Lesson #3: Don is a big baby.
The first and last shots of the episode were an overhead angle of Don lying in the fetal position. He certainly acted like a baby this week, playing hooky and drinking what was orange-flavored vodka first thing in the morning. And I thought being paying prostitutes to slap him was rock bottom for Don. Apparently not. Since Ted took his girl Friday, he took Ted's juice. Of course, the thought that Peggy is a free independent woman never seemed to cross his mind. Here's patriarchy rearing its ugly head again. Don might be a master manipulator, but he's just a sad little boy who misses the mother he never had. That's no excuse for his callousness and contemptible self-serving nature. Silver lining- at least his relationship with Betty seems to be stable?
Btw- I didn't even have time to get into Bob's luggage this week. Turns out he's just a nobody from West Virginia who reinvented himself to get ahead in business. Sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? I don't know what they're building to this season, but I'm sure it's not pleasant.