Seven Thoughts on Last Night’s Mad Men
Every Monday morning from here on out—or at least until the mid-season break—the minds behind Kempt are sharing our thoughts on everything from the menswear to the Ritz crackers in last night’s episode of Mad Men.
The Miracle Mets. “Long shot odds. Improbable redemption. That’s the story of the 1969 Mets, who came out of nowhere to win 100 games and the World Series. It may also be the story of Don Draper in this season, set in the very same year the Amazin’s won their first Series. It was hard not to read all that into Don’s discovery of Lane’s old pennant; the team that once seemed as hapless as a sad-sack Brit trying to transcend his past in NYC is about to become a surprising winner. One can only hope Don’s 1969 plays out as well as it did for Koosman, Seaver and the rest.” —P.L.U.
The Monolith. “One year prior to this, a little movie called 2001: A Space Odyssey blew the minds of many a tripped-out filmgoer. This episode—while not referencing Kubrick’s masterpiece directly—felt very much indebted to it. (The show’s long indulged a soft spot for sci-fi; see Don taking Bobby to Planet of the Apes, or Ken writing Philip K. Dick–style short stories.) First, there’s the episode’s title, referencing the bizarre obelisk seen at several key points throughout 2001. Then there was Roger’s crack about Don not having clubbed any apes (similar to the opening half hour of 2001). And then, of course, the monolith-style computer at the center of the office, if not the episode. Much like 2001 is about technology’s power over man (and man’s power over it), the machine represents a certain space-age fear of (and fascination with) machines. I’m not sure it added up to much—kind of like the episode as a whole—but it was interesting to see what Weiner and co. did with it.” —P.L.U.
This episode felt rather shark-jumpy. “See: Roger going to sleep with his daughter in a hay bed. (Does Mad Men have a second unit that shoots all its hillbilly/whorehouse/commune scenes?) Matt Weiner didn’t share a writing credit on this episode and I can see why. Thought this was one of the worst episodes of the series. Didn’t believe some of the characters’ actions. Some of the dialogue felt too on-the-nose. And it was a little on the dull side. Like one of the Sopranos episodes that they let Michael Imperioli write. But it still had some good lines. Including this one: ‘These people are lost and on drugs and they have venereal diseases.’ And this one: ‘It’s as black and strong as Jack Johnson.’” —S.D.
Maybe I’ve watched too much Game of Thrones, but… “I was semi-expecting Roger to end up in some kind of awkward Free-Love-for-All that would end in a very awkward encounter between him and his daughter. I’m glad it didn’t, but I was also a little disappointed that Roger’s stint in ‘Shangri-La’ was so short-lived and seems to have ended Roger’s trend in that direction with a whimper. So in that sense, I agree about the show’s flawed inconsistencies.” —J.W.
Burger Chef is supposed to be Burger King, right? “Joan looked pretty damn foxy in that dress. I like what the higher floor is doing to her wardrobe and hair. I used to play Ultimate Frisbee with Lloyd the computer person. Good guy.”
Hey, remember last week when I said that Lou’s going to have to ditch the comfy cardigans for a snappy sport coat? “He did. Sadly, it didn’t make him any less unpleasant.” —N.B.
Adam’s Fun Facts of the Night. “In case anyone cares, Peggy’s $100/week raise from Lou would be the equivalent of a $644/week raise in 2014. I couldn’t help but notice that striking Coca-Cola can that Don was seen drinking (and then spiking) at more than one point during the episode last night. Well, furthering the space/moon theme, it just so happens that Coke’s 1969 campaign was actually titled ‘Moonshot.’ This was their 1969 TV spot.” —A.W.
— Najib Benouar
— Shawn Donnelly
— Paul L. Underwood
— Adam Weinberg
— Jason Wire