“Mr. Draper, we regret to inform you that it is every man for himself.”
Selfish people acting in their own self interest was all over Mad Men this week and why not? I can’t imagine a better way to describe the baby boomers who rocketed out of that decade and unleashed the bleak and horrible future we inhabit today. Although, Weiner and company seem to conclude that they learned from the best: their elders!
I always love the scenes on this show in elevators. It must be the confined space and the notion of people going up and people going down. It is a good cheap metaphor for life. Like ten for a dollar cheap. Peggy and Roger (not pictured) had the best scene with both of them getting A+ lines off. Peggy: “I’m not an airplane.” and Roger’s delightful: “Are we married?” when Peggy started to complain about his selfish behavior. I love how talkbacky and mouthy that Peggy has gotten this season. It has crept up on me but it is my favorite character development this season (along with her super chummy office pairing with Stan, now 50% less douche).
I am less excited about what is behind door number two. In this case, the very confusing Betty storyline. Betty has always been the extra piece of the puzzle that sits on the edge of the table the whole time. You know it’s good, you just don’t know where it fits. Now it can’t even fit in a living room without knocking a lamp. Subtle.
Betty attends a Weight Watchers meeting and dreads the coming food apocalypse that is Thanksgiving. But maybe if she wasn’t a gainer married to an encourager, she wouldn’t have this problem! The hallmark of the late 60s was the hippie movement but I don’t think this is the kind of hippie they were talking about:
Fortunately, we got to see some flashes of the old vindictive Betty fighting to get out. Unhappy that Megan gets a loving Don and a beautiful Manhattan apartment, Betty uses her old tricks to try to drive a wedge between Don and Megan. But second (ahem, third) wife Megan isn’t having it! And Betty resorts to the usual childish throwing of things and bitchy attitude that has been her calling card for five seasons. And that is something to be thankful for.
Overheard in a NYC Taxi: “Can I drop you on Fifth?” says Don to some sketches.
New was Don feeling threatened at work by Ginsberg, the talented copywriter who keeps hitting it out of the park. He wasn’t threatened by Peggy but perhaps it is some kind of lingering mid century sexism. No matter how talented a woman is, she will never be a man. Like Roger and Bert in the elevator(!) debating if fishing is a sport, since Bert sees it as man versus fish, not man versus man.
But then it all ends in a big cloud of smog, once again showing how terrible and dirty the city is, and how even in a glamorous apartment, you aren’t shielded from how terrible life is down below. After all, you can act only for yourself but in the end, you exist in the larger world with everyone else (hint, hint Tea Party devotees!). And the dark clouds of ominous change continue to loom not far in the distance.
Mad Men airs Sunday nights on AMC.