Monday, October 26, 2009

Will I Ever Know The Sweet Hello

  • Random Pop Culture:
    • We didn't learn much this week in the NFL. You still have this middle class of teams -- count Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, and Cincinnati among them -- where a team can either blow a team out or get blown out at any time. No rhyme or reason. Weird year.
    • You can probably say that Favre cost the Vikings the game with the two turnovers that went for TDs in the last few minutes. The most questionable call though was in Brad Childress calling timeout with four seconds left and the Vikes down ten. They literally could not tie the game at that point. Instead, Favre gets sacked hard on the last play.
    • Went to a play at the Shakespeare Theater downtown tonight, the first in an annual subscription, so I didn't really get to see anything except Mad Men, which I will always stay up to watch no matter how late.
  • Mad Men Thoughts:
    • I gush so much about this show that when one episode is better than the others, I can't find the words to sing its praise. This one was better than the others.
    • Last week, I said that I was coming around on Betty. No reason to stop that this week. She was smart enough to figure out that Dick Whitman wasn't just some random guy that was in pictures Don had. She also went far beyond what I would give her credit for and was entirely straightforward with Don. I think this is because the option of divorce was eliminated for her by the lawyer. At the very beginning, when she's leaving for the trip, she asks Don for cash, knowing full well that he has the stash in the drawer. That's the sort of passive-aggressive Betty I've come to know and love. But when he stops by the house and she's there, she is of one focus, telling the kids to go upstairs and confronting Don about the drawer.
    • That's where the greatness of the episode came in. At first Don was defiant, but once Betty shows him the keys, the "Don" melts away and all that is left is poor Dick Whitman. Jon Hamm played it perfectly. All of the life left his face and he sat down, in shock, in the kitchen to tell Betty the truth (or mostly the truth, since he didn't tell her he switched dogtags with Don Draper in the trench in Korea). The discussion at the kitchen table reminded me of the last scene of the second season when, after Don's return from California, Betty told him she was pregnant and they sat at the table, staring at each other. But this time, Hamm had a bleary-eyed thousand-yard stare going on. Just painful to see, but it got more painful as they went upstairs and Don/Dick went through the pictures and finally opened up about his brother Adam. A "wow" sequence.
    • Interesting that, upon waking, Don saw the pictures and the shoebox on the dresser, picked up the pictures to put them back in the box, and then realized that everything was in the open and left them out.
    • Also interesting that Suzanne was afraid for her job when Don called her in the morning. I think the assumption was that she would have no hesitation in wrecking Don's life if he screwed her over, but it's obviously more complicated than that. Again, sucked to be a woman back then.
    • And rape-y Dr. Greg is going to get killed in Vietnam. A good point that I read in a review of the episode -- Roger's story had to do with love lost during World War II (the Casablanca stuff was great), Don's story had to do with his catharsis during the Korean War, and Joan's story had to do with how her life is going to be changed by Vietnam.
    • And in thinking of Vietnam, it's yet another example of how setting this in the past lets the writers include implicit themes because of famous historical events. The episode ended on Halloween night, 1963. November 22 is bearing down on them like a freight train and they have no idea how the world is about to change, but we do.
  • Random Music Video:
    • There's really no other choice. "Who are you supposed to be?" Fade to black. And then this song:

1 comment:

Betsy said...

Finally caught up on the last two Mad Men. Love Betty. She owned him. Felt kinda bad for Ms. Farrell, but honestly, what is she thinking? I at least get what he sees in her. But I don't really get what she sees in him. Also, what, no Sal? We all want to know what happened to him!