Mad Men: Seven Twenty Three
by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 28th 2009 12:30AM
(S03E07) "Maybe I was late because I was with my family reading the Bible." - Don, to Conrad Hilton
I've never understood why some people say they can't get into Mad Men (or they watch the show and think the same thing) because "nothing ever happens." I think a lot of stuff happens in every episode, but a lot of it is done with silences and not something more intense. But even the people who think that the show is too "slow" will have to admit that like last week's episode, this episode had a ton of character development, mystery, and plot twists.
I like how this episode opened with three distinct mysteries, and we had to find out during the episode how each one came to be (how's that for hooking an audience?). Don with a banged up face in a hotel room, Betty reclining on a couch and looking all lovelorn, and Peggy in bed with a mystery man. Halfway through the show, I figured out who Peggy was in bed with (and still can't figure out why why why - gah!), but the other two were a mystery.
Betty's furniture shopping (and sudden political involvement) was interesting, but not as interesting as the whole scene with Don picking up two hitchhikers, taking drugs, and going to a hotel room. How scary and bizarre, though it wasn't as scary and bizarre as I thought it was going to be at first. I honestly thought that they were going to have a threesome, and that would have been way too much for viewers to take (well, at least with another guy involved). Don is the "hero" of this show, but I sometimes have to be reminded that he's also kind of messed up and can be a jerk (Hamm is great in scenes like this and the scene where he chews out Peggy).
It's funny ... when this episode started, I was thinking that they haven't focused on the whole Don Draper/Dick Whitman thing. All these things that Don does, all the cheating that Betty found out about last season, and there's still a major secret that he is keeping from her and everyone else (well, except for a few people at the office).
I was rather surprised when the whole contract dilemma was solved by Cooper practically threatening Don with his knowledge of Don/Dick, because he's the one who told Pete "who cares?" when Pete told him about it. And now he's saying "sign this contract because I know something about you." But I think Don was smart to sign it. Not so smart to take drugs with two strangers in a dark hotel, though. I hope he makes up with Roger. The show needs that bromance.
Also great to see Duck be a major player this season. When he left last year, I thought he'd be a character in for one season, cause some problems and then he'd be gone. But now he's back at a rival agency and seducing Peggy (I think this will now be referred to as the "Duck F**K"). I think I would have rather looked at the eclipse directly than watch those two in bed.
A lot of things happen on this show, and I can't wait to see what happens next.