Tonight's Mad Men was a nice three-character play revolving around people who are very good at what they do but are trying to hold on to some sort of life outside of the office and failing miserably. Anna Draper is the only person still grounding Don, a person with whom he can still be Dick Whitman. Her cancer means that Dick is all but gone. Lane Pryce kept his wife in the U.S. to start the new firm, but now she's left him for London and he has no friends until he falls in with Don, which means alcohol and prostitutes and loneliness. Joan is great at what she does, but that keeps her from being able to take time off to be with her husband who is leaving soon for Basic Training (and then Vietnam). Even when she's home, she can't take care of him -- he eats without her and she cuts herself trying to get him to take anything from her. In other words, it was a pretty freaking sad episode. Both my wife and I pointed out at the same time that tonight's show makes us like Don and Greg, even though they took advantage of their secretary and raped their wife, respectively. The point of the show I guess, that people are neither all good nor all bad. The point of this season so far, specifically, is that there is a constant struggle between what one wants and what others expect of them. Don embodied that in the season premiere and last week's episode had loads of that theme, notably Lee Garner, Jr., forcing Roger to play Santa. My one complaint about tonight's episode is that Don actually said that to Lane at one point and it came off as heavy-handed. We get it.
After the first few episodes of Entourage this season were very weak, the last two have been very strong. I thought last week that rehab was coming Vince's way, and the end of this episode did nothing to dissuade me from that notion. You had great Ari stuff, the return of Billy Walsh, and even the Turtle plot was really funny. Next season will be the last season of the show and it's flirted with jumping the shark, but obviously not quite gotten there.
Anyways, I write quickly (not as quickly about Mad Men, but it never is) because I want to pay homage to a great American. The GOP primary for Tennessee's governor was on Thursday. The man in last place only got 3,508 votes, but he deserved more. So much more. Maybe there will be another chance for the Volunteer State (#43 in last year's state rankings) to take advantage of this man's leadership, but for now we bid a teary adieu to Basil Marceaux (dot com).