"Mad Men" – Season 4, Episodes 6 & 7 Review

9/14/2010 Posted by Admin

"Mad Men" – Season 4, Episodes 6 & 7 Review

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

Episode 6 of "Mad Men" was a snoozer. It began with Roger’s cousin-in-law looking for Don to give him a job. Unenthused by what this kid had to offer, Don wishes him the best of luck and sends him on his way – forgetting what it was like to be the one seeking approval and looking for a break.

This is contrasted by Roger’s continued flashbacks of first meeting Don – Don was a strappy young fur salesman looking to break into advertising. He meets Roger as he looks to buy his mistress at the time (Joanie) a present. Long story short, Roger reflects back on the days when he was king, while in the present Don has eclipsed him. Don wins a prestigious advertising award (that is basically a stolen idea from Peggy) and doesn’t even invite her to attend the award ceremony.

The night proceeds awkwardly while Don continues in his alcoholic way of overindulging to belligerence, and there is an unexpected kiss exchanged between him and Joan when he wins the award. He then goes on to present an ad campaign to Life cereal while drunk, and simultaneously steals an ad idea from the kid he turned away. Peggy sees this and tells him the ethical issue when he is sober.  Functioning as his conscious, she convinces him to give Dan a job.

Making up for the weakness that was Episode 6, we were presented with a loaded Episode 7. The focus was on Don and Peggy and their unique relationship that has always mimicked a brother/sister interaction. However, this week it was unclear whether it would continue down this path or move on to a more romantic sort of entanglement.

This week marks Peggy’s 26th birthday. She receives an unexpected gift from Duck, who spends his entire time on the episode drunk and proclaiming his love for Peggy. He tells her he got canned from Gray and that he wants to start his own agency and have her be the creative director, only problem--he has no clients and no capital. He then begs to see her that evening, but she already has plans with her new boyfriend, Mark.

Except these plans get busted when Don asks her to stay late and show him a pitch for Samsonite luggage. Grudgingly, she adheres and continues to spend the entire evening working, when she should be on a dinner date. She later finds out that her boyfriend had planned a surprise party for her with her family and she gets furious and breaks up with him for using her birthday as an excuse to get in with people she can’t stand.

Meanwhile, Peggy has it out with Don over not getting recognition for the award he won and for keeping her late on her birthday. They duke it out, go to their separate offices and then reconvene like nothing happened. A classic brother/sister type moment. Don then takes Peggy out to dinner for her birthday and then for drinks. During drinks Peggy complains about being single again, and Don reassures her that she is “cute as hell.”

They return to the office to gather their belongings, but Don proceeds to vomit in the bathroom. In the interim, Duck finds his way into the office late night, looking for Peggy. He accuses her of being a whore and Don proceeds to get into a fistfight with him.

Meanwhile, Don has his own reasons for staying late. Earlier in the day he finds out that Stephanie has called from LA with an urgent message. He knows immediately that Anna must have come to her final days and he puts off calling her until the morning. We can thus understand a little better why he wants the company of Peggy, she is the only person next to Anna whom he feels truly comfortable with.

The two end up falling asleep on the couch, with Don waking in the middle of the night to see a ghostly image of Anna. She has a suitcase and is looking at him and smiling. It is clear that she has passed away, but also that she sees Peggy as her replacement in Don’s life.

While Don gets the final word of Anna’s death in the morning, Peggy is there for the conversation. She sees Don weep while exclaiming that Anna is “the only person in the world who really knew me.” Peggy replies, “That’s not true.”

Later in the day Don holds Peggy’s hand and I am still not sure if it was meant as a thank you, or as an indication of a budding romance. What was always missing with him and Betty was the lack of true intimacy, knowing the other person’s true personality and qualities, and loving them anyway. Peggy and Don have this. Only time will tell if they will see this as a building block for the future.

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