Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mad Men 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved?

About as wrenching and Sopranos-like Mad Men - Episode 2.8 - as has been on so far, as Don and Betty start going the way of Tony and Carmella in the middle of their series, the priest gives more than a sermon, and Joan gets used - professionally - by Harry.

Betty could not have just absorbed what Jimmy told her last week about Don and Bobbi and done nothing. Tonight it came to a head, in a great performance by January Jones, as Betty goes through controlled fury, confronting Don, perhaps trying to live with his lie and his denial, but seeing Jimmy on her television in his Utz ad and deciding to throw Don out.

Yeah, Don is getting what he deserved. But it's hard not to feel a little sorry for him, just as with Tony Soprano.

Meanwhile, Father Gill - well played Tom's son Colin Hanks (who looks like Pete Campbell, doesn't he?) - is coaxing Peggy to tell him her secret. Is he attracted to her, and she to him? I'd say so. And in the last scene, he pulls out a guitar and plays a rocking gospel song all to himself and us.

Back at the firm, Harry is being expected to do more than he bargained for as head of the new TV division. Roger refuses to let Harry hire some extra help to read scripts, so Harry gets Joan. She does a great job, the client is thrilled with her and her analysis and ... Roger rewards Harry with a new guy from the outside to give him the help he needed.

This, of course, is no reward to Joan, just another confirmation of the rampant male chauvinism that she both parlays to her benefit but cannot help being stung by, just like any woman, whatever her savvy, in 1962.

Grim, unrepenting, unrelenting, all around. Well, here's one thing - at least no one on Mad Men is likely to get shot - I hope.

Looking forward to next week.

See also: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12: The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men

And listen to my fabulous 20-minute interview last Fall with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

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