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Monday, April 9, 2012

Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust

Three fine stories in Mad Men 5.4 tonight -

Greg's back home on leave from Vietnam.  I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn't see much of a future for Joan and him - an obvious point, because she and Roger belong together - but I was thinking Greg just wouldn't come home.  Tonight provided a better solution:  Greg comes home, but soon tells Joan that he's volunteered for another tour in Vietnam.  Joan tells him to leave and never come back.  She and her baby - which is Roger's - will be better off without Greg, even if Joan and Roger don't get together, which I expect they will.

Meanwhile, Don has a bad cold with cough, and runs into an old flame in the office elevator with Megan.  Not clear how old the flame is - did they sleep together before or after Don married Megan?  Don tells Megan it was before, but with Don you never know.   He eventually goes home to sleep the cold off, but the flame shows up at his door.  He says go away but lets her in, they sleep together, and when she comes back for another round, Don strangles her to death.  Not to worry, it's just a dream (pretty clear that it was, especially with the strangling).   Does this dream symbolize that Don has throttled his extra-marital proclivities?  Probably not - but it was a good dream.

And the third good story has Peggy offering her couch to Dawn for the night.   Peggy has qualms that Dawn may steal money from Peggy's pocketbook, but Peggy stops short of saying anything to Dawn.  Morning comes, Dawn is gone, and the pocketbook is on the table with a note of thanks to Peggy.  Her trust was justified.   It was one of most uplifting moments of the series, in a series with otherwise few uplifting moments.

One story which was not at all uplifting, and more in line with Mad Men's typical ambiance, is the current event de jour for the episode:  Richard Speck's torture, rape, and murder of eight student nurses in Chicago in July 1966.  Women ranging from Peggy and Megan in the office to Henry's mother at home are more fascinated, even titillated,  than horrified by the story, especially the crime-scene naked photos brought into the office.  Was that an accurate portrayal of women at the beginning of the sexual and feminist revolutions?  Dunno - I wasn't in any comparable office at the time.

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..."  4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ... 4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: 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 ... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 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 ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ... Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ... Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) at Light On Light Through

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