Mad Men S4 Episode 7

21 Oct

Quite simply one of the best things I’ve seen on television all year.

Many TV series have found gold in two hander episodes. Eastenders has even done it enough times to warrant a specific Wikipedia entry about it (honestly). Last night’s episode of Mad Men might not strictly fit into that category, but the stellar performances by both Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm ensure it will go down as one of the best episodes of any show, ever. Yep, I’m going there.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the relationship between Peggy and Don. Even so, this episode excelled in examining their evolving friendship in a realistic way. Let me firstly state that I am not a Peggy/Don shipper. I have no wish whatsoever for them to get together and enjoyed that this was explored in the episode as Peggy confirmed it is not that she is hurt that Don hasn’t slept with her (like every other woman who crosses his path), but that nobody can understand why he would have in the first place. It is undeniable that the pair have a deep bond though. Peggy realises this as she learns Mark has invited her monstrous family to her surprise birthday party; Don realises it as he discovers that Peggy, like him, lives for and through her work. The similarities don’t end there. They both have mysterious or secret pasts – the ‘baby’ conversation was brilliantly executed and completely in keeping with the underplayed MM style. Will anyone ever find out Pete’s the babydaddy? Do we even want the secret to out?

As I argued in my previous MM post, Don doesn’t need another lover, he needs a mother. His grief over Anna Draper’s death and Peggy’s subsequent care for him made this evident. Don was really at the lowest he’s ever been (or at least that we’ve ever seen him since he became DD) in this episode. Shirt spattered with vomit, tussling with Duck and bawling – only to clean up and look as sharp as a pin come morning, the only sign of his weakened state a hand-squeeze of recognition and an open door (surely I don’t need to explain the significance of this).

If I may digress for a minute, other things I loved from this standout episode were (in no particular order, to quote Dermot): the look on Pete’s face as he saw Peggy and a blooming Trudy leave the ladies together; Ken Cosgrove back in the fold; the revelation of who Dr Lyle Evans is; Ms Blankenship’s saucy past (and one of the most politically incorrect lines I’ve heard in a while) and an illicitly drunk Roger calling for back up at a dinner with recovering alcoholics. It had to happen sooner or later.

A friend of mine who’s up to speed with the States has told me to expect more marvels. Whether anything can live up to this, I don’t know, but the ride is splendid.

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One Response to “Mad Men S4 Episode 7”

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  1. Tweets that mention Mad Men S4 Episode 7 « Telly And Tea -- Topsy.com - February 10, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by perioddramasuk, Helen Stuart. Helen Stuart said: Those of you watching #madmen on #bbc2 should really look at my blog posts: http://bit.ly/gJepUz You won't regret it. […]

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