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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mad Men 6.3: "Good Company"

Mad Men is almost always good company, but some weeks it's better company than others.  Last week's two-hour season six premiere gave us an interesting, meandering episode with a powerful punchline.  Tonight's 6.3 was taut and powerful throughout, with punches that connected in every scene.

The main theme was infidelity - mainly Don's with Dr. Arnold Rosen's wife Sylvia, and some memorable scenes with the arch loser Pete as well.  Don and Sylvia arrange to have a foursome dinner with their spouses - who are "good company" in Don's words - but for a variety of important reasons, this doesn't happen.   Megan is upset about the miscarriage she revealed she had - upset because she was apparently considering an abortion and didn't tell Don she was pregnant.   This is only the second time we've seen abortion as an issue on Mad Men - Joan was close to having an abortion but decided against it (in the first season, Peggy doesn't know she's pregnant until she goes into labor, and gives up her baby for adoption).  Megan only hints that that's what she was thinking about - in an excellent conversation with Sylvia - and her miscarriage made the option moot, but it's important and realistic to see the women of Mad Men beginning to deal with this problem.

Back to the story ...  Megan is too upset about her miscarriage to go to the dinner, which leaves Don with Arnold and Sylvia, but then - of course - Arnold is called away to see a a patient, which leaves Don and Sylvia alone at the table.  Sylvia's uncomfortable for all kinds of reasons, including that Megan told Sylvia that Don didn't know about Megan's pregnancy.  But in another series of fine intercut scenes Don gets Sylvia to see how much she enjoys sleeping with him, and the two end up in bed together, once again, back in Arnold & Sylvia's apartment in the same building as Don & Megan.  Don's charmed extra-curricular life continues - but I'm guessing that it won't survive this season.

Pete - who as I indicated above is the perennial loser on the show - is already running into problems with his affair with a neighbor, and before the hour is over his wife throws him out of the house.  It's amazing she put with him for so long, but Pete serves as a perfect Don wannabe character on Mad Men, in business as well as pleasure, aspiring to have what Don has, but never getting it and never understanding why.

And rounding out the episode tonight is a return of the beans, beans, the musical fruit theme, with a Heinz Beans vs. Heinz Ketchup rivalry that pulls in Peggy, and the zhlub who got to sleep with Joan last year (so SCDP could get his company Jaguar's business) back for more and Don applying his acumen to make sure he doesn't get it.

Mad Men is back firing on all cylinders.

See also Mad Men 6.1-2: The Lighter and the Twist

See also Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale ... Mad Men Season Five Finale

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange ... Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree ... Mad Men 5.8: Mad Man and Gilmore Girl ...Mad Men 5.9: Don's Creativity  ... Mad Men 5.10: "The Negron Complex" ... Mad Men 5.11: Prostitution and Power ... Mad Men 5.12: Exit Lane

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 3Mad 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


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