Oh thank goodness! A video recap of this past week’s episode of Mad Men that spares me the emotional agony of having to really go into detail with this episode:
It’s not as though this past week’s episode was bad. Au contraire! This past week’s episode was quite exceptional. There were little pleasures to be had, like how Pete Campbell spent the entire scene where Sal was filming the Lucky Strike commercial histrionically coughing up his lungs after some of the Lucky Strike fellows convinced him to try a cigarette. It may not be this:
But then again, what is? That’ll do, Pete. That’ll do.
Then there’s Conrad Hilton, and he is one fantastically crazy old man! When he’s not thinking of his hotels as missions bringing American values to Godless nations or have a depressive episode, he’s getting ornery over saying that he wants the moon and not literally getting the Moon in his ads. Damn, y’all, looks like somebody needs his gilded Depends changed, ASAP!
Also, I think it’s safe to say that AMC needs to start making webisodes of Betty Draper writing letters that are set to montages of her doing things in the Draper household. It was like The Lake House, except without time travel and ugly turtleneck sweaters and general awfulness. So really it was nothing like The Lake House. I just enjoy referencing that movie because it was so ridiculous. And Sandra Bullock’s turtleneck sweater was so ugly.
All jokes aside, though, it really was a spectacular little sequence with this gentle, poetic rhythm to it that made it hard to not feel for Betty as a pre-Feminine-Mystique housewife, and my bet’s now on Betty to pick up Frieden’s seminal work. Added to that, getting such a brief yet clear glimpse at her loneliness just makes her hurling the cash box at that much more spectacular. I’ll take fits of hysterics, no matter how brief, however I can get them; but when they’re rooted in emotional honesty as opposed to scripted excess, it’s like discovering fine wine when you’re you’re used to fermented grape soda.
But, really, I don’t think anything can make up for this scene, which I pretty much think is the worst:
Obviously nothing about this scene is poorly executed. As is all things Mad Men, it is quality. It’s just that this quality happens to be quality heartbreak, so like I said: WORST.
After the thrill of seeing him and the bellhop in the season opener, it was hard enough to watch Sal rebuff the client’s advances, a painful reminder of how quickly and willfully Sal has already shut his closet door. But for this to turn him into a liability, and for him to lose his job at Sterling Cooper? That transcends merely depressing and enters the realm of flat out cruel. Historically accurate cruelty, I must concede, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to elicit a visceral reaction:
Seriously, I could barely take it when Joan announced she was leaving Sterling Cooper before she discovered she would not be living the posh life of a surgeon’s wife, and the knife got twisted good when we discovered she’s since then found herself at a dress shop. But now they’ve gotten rid of Sal as well? UGH. Really, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before everyone I like is essentially written out of the show.
I suspect Peggy will die in some freak subway accident on her way to see her family in Brooklyn. Betty’s going to stick her head in the oven because her husband’s a scoundrel and her daughter’s a lesbian. And Pete Campbell? He’ll drop acid, think he’s a turkey, and throw himself out the window. All while shouting “Hell’s bells, Trudy!” I could obviously be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised at this point.
Oh, and lastly, there’s this line:
The fact that this bullshit came out of his mouth, along with the fact that she totally went for it, just goes to show that they both need to put their genitals under lockdown. They probably deserve each other.