Monday, October 20, 2008

Mad Men: "King of the Mountain"

Last night's Mad Men, entitled "King of the Mountain" unraveled more layers of Don Draper/Dick Whitman's past. Several episodes earlier, we were taken into a flashback of Don's earlier days as a used car salesman. In walked a lithe blonde woman who took one look at fake Don and proclaimed that he wasn't Don Draper. Cut to 1962. Don's on his California journey, leaving the wealthy band of jet setting gypsies behind. He visits the mysterious blond, who turns out to be the real Mrs. Draper - Anne. Apparently, they share a past of friendship and secrets held close to the vest. Her lack of love for the real Don, made her bow to Dick's need to carry out the false identity, pretending they were married until Don/Dick (this is confusing) falls in love with Betty. "Look at you. You're in the lavender haze". I love that line. There is much to do with baptism, re-birth and renewal as Don walks into the ocean. Who will he be when he comes back to shore?

(Personal wish: I hope that Don's "renewal" makes him come back to tell Betty everything. Betty holds firm in no allowing Don to come back because he won't tell her something. She wants him to admit his infidelities, yet she seems to want to hear more from him. I'm hoping this all comes out. The chips fall. Then when the healing begins, they can find a way to stay together. I want them to work out).

Meanwhile back in Westchester County, Betty's odd desire to punish people is rearing it's Dipity Do head. At the sight of eight year old Sally smoking, she understandably (for those days) unleashes the wrath of mother hell on the child. But she's not finished. For good measure, she rings up the love sick Sarabeth to secretly take a pulse on how her broken heart is going, considering that she threw her into the arms of the young, nubile Arthur. Betty's gift of riding boots for Sally was a lovely touch in acknowledging that she may be engaging in motherhood more than ever. The notion of getting her period at that moment could be telling. There have been teasers forcing us to believe she could be pregnant.

Joan. Poor, lovely, lonely Joan. Here's hoping that she reads Betty Friedan before she does something horrible, like actually marry that rapist doctor.

Peggy is taking charge. Claiming her stake in Freddie's old office takes more testosterone than all the male copywriters can find together. Harry has to "stare at an Orangutan all day", and Paul Kinsey will continue to stew in his own jealousy while Ms. Olsen has her own wet bar.

Pete Campbell is an impressive man, if not a tad infuriating. He's like a stubborn, arrogant child who likes to throw his weight around at work, and in his marriage. Yet, I will say that it's kind of him not to harp about Don's disappearance to Peggy, admitting to knowing about the real Don Draper, but he didn't spill the beans. As for his wife forging ahead with the adoption despite his approval - he was well within his right to be angry with her and her nose butting father. Who cares if the Clearasil account is pulled? Campbell showed some cahones there. Here's hoping that he divorces that little muffin of a wife, and gets it on with Peggy once more.

Next week is the season finale. It should be explosive.

Mad Men News:

- Mad Men has been picked up for a third season by AMC. Details have not been disclosed since Wiener and crew are still in negotiation over minor items.

- Jon Hamm will be hosting "Saturday Night Live" on October 25th, with musical guest Coldplay.

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