Mad Men 5.1 – layers

I haven’t watched 5.2, but it’s DVR’d.

At first I was pretty underwhelmed at first the season opener, 5.1, “A Little Kiss”. I wondered about watching the rest of the season – what would be the point? But apparently it needed to stew. I feel like I “get” the episode after a full week of subconscious mulling. It is, in the end, about character. The shocking or exciting bits are really just for show – the base of the show revolves around character development and change. Which, hey, pretty cool that a show cares that much about character. They take a hit sometimes on it, but it will have legs because of it.

Updates on our peeps –

  1. Roger is devolving. His relationship with Jane has reached the conclusion we thought it would hit earlier, until they had that sweet party at their house in the summer. Now it’s there – they can’t seem to understand each other or stand each other. He’s poaching Pete’s business buying influence because he can’t earn it. He still gets great lines, but he’s headed for another falling out.
  2. Pete is becoming a fuddy-duddy. He isn’t apologetic about his being a father, and he’s gradually settling into his age and maturity and place in the company. He still precious, but as it turns out he actually was worth his weight in gold, they were smart to bring him on.
  3. Don is high all the time. He works and lives with his fix, a young, pleasant, sexy relationship. He’s opened up to her about his past, somewhat at least (she knows he’s Dick Whitman) but he’s still controlling and selfish. His Id is in full swing, except around his kids, which is where he’s always shown his humanity.
    The weird interaction between Megan and Don in their apartment is completely intentional – this is Megan’s power over Don. He won’t let her go, because she’s his drug, and his role at work is his power over her (along with his handsomeness, which everyone keeps mentioning in case we forgot) but their connection after is almost warm and normal. Megan is smarter than she lets on. It will be interesting to see where she ends up – not where I could predict, likely, since that’s how the show rolls.
  4. Joan’s “Oh no they’ve replaced me” plot was kind of frustrating, basically it’s the tension to keep her included and sweep in an ongoing black character. Her talk with Lane, though, was my favorite scene in the episode, I enjoy their professional camaraderie and scoffing at everyone else in the office.

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