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November 22, 2014

Review: Mad Men - The Color Blue

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 18th 2009 11:55PM
Mad Men
(S03E10) "We don't need to go every week." - Betty, about church

I once had a boss, a rather bad guy, who used to brag that he was a good person because he went to church every Sunday. I used to say to myself, "yeah, because you have to go to church every Sunday." I thought of that after Betty said that above quote to Sally. I'm not very religious, but if people have to go to church every week because of the bad things they do, then Betty and Don are two people who should be going.

Well, certainly Don.

I didn't realize that this was going to be a HOLY CRAP episode. But Betty finding the Whitman's sampler box? That's season-ender territory, and it's interesting that it happened with a few episodes still left in the season. What will Betty do with the information? Leave Don? Tell someone else? Hold it over him in some way? I think we're about to see the very foundation of Mad Men shaken forever, even if Betty doesn't quite know what she's looking at yet.

Another season-ending-ish development? Sterling Cooper is for sale. Looks like the Brits might be a temporary cast of characters for the show. I wonder if Bert and Roger will find some way to get the company back, or maybe all of the bleeding that's happening at the company (Joan, Sal, maybe Peggy if she goes with Duck) is happening for some reason only the writers know about.

More thoughts:

- Miss Farrell's (and I like calling her that rather than "Suzanne" because it reminds me that she's Sally's teacher for God's sake) brother reminds me of Don's (Dick's brother) Adam. Lost, broke, going from job to job (though probably for different reasons), and the actors are even similar. I think Don saw the similarity too and that's why he gave him his card after dropping him off in Framingham, MA instead of Bedford.

- Miss Farrell isn't as interesting as Midge or Rachel (though better than Bobbie). I don't like Don being with her. I'm not saying I was thrilled with him being with Midge and Rachel, but at least they were interesting. There's something off about the teacher. And what the hell is Don doing not only giving her phone number to his answering service but also meeting her brother. Both seem very risky (though Betty finding the box makes that a moot point).

- I knew Paul wasn't going to remember that great idea in the morning. Always write things down, folks.

- I had no idea that Sterling Cooper was 40 years old.

- Who called and hung up, Miss Farrell or Henry? I don't think Henry would lie about it.

- Not sure why this ep was called "The Color Blue," other than Don and Miss Farrell talking about her student Charlie asking "how do I know if the color blue is the same blue that you see?" and Don talking about people seeing the same thing differently. Don's bathrobe (where Betty found the key) was blue, but maybe that was just a coincidence. I guess we can say each character saw things a little differently this episode.

More quotes:

"I love getting telegrams but I never send them." - Ken, about the Western Union account
"How is that supposed to help?" - Don

"He's such a toad." - Mrs. Price, about John Hooker

"I've been here ten months and nobody's ever asked me where I went to school." - Lane, on why he likes America

"Churchill rousing or Hitler rousing?" - Lane, about his speech

"Does Mona know?" - Roger's mother, about his new wife Jane



Mad Men' Photos

    Actors John Slattery, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss and cast of "Mad Men" on stage at the TNT/TBS broadcast of the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. 17498_MC_0473.JPG

    Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

    The cast of Mad Men January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks poses in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

    The cast of Mad Men poses in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Actresses January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" pose with their award for Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a Drama Series in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** January Jones;Alison Brie;Kiernan Shipka;Elisabeth Moss;Christina Hendricks

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Actresses January Jones, Alison Brie, Kiernan Shipka, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" pose with their award for Outstanding Performance by an ensemble in a Drama Series in the press room at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** January Jones;Alison Brie;Kiernan Shipka;Elisabeth Moss;Christina Hendricks

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Emily Blunt (R) presents the cast of "Mad Men" with the Ensemble in a Drama Series award during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Emily Blunt

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Emily Blunt (L) presents actor Jon Hamm the Ensemble in a Drama Series award for "Mad Men" during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Emily Blunt;Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actor Jon Hamm (C) and the cast of "Mad Men" accept the award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actor Jon Hamm (C) and the cast of "Mad Men" accept the award for Ensemble in a Drama Series during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jon Hamm

    Getty Images

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 18: 'Mad Men' actor Bryan Batt attends the Obama Pajama Party at the Ronald Reagan Building on January 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. The inaguration charity ball will benefit children in need. (Photo by Abby Brack/Getty Image) *** Local Caption *** Bryan Batt

    Getty Images

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Jack

Don JUST signed a binding contract. What do you bet the advertising firm Gray buys Sterling-Cooper... making Duck Don's boss!

October 21 2009 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bruce Kahl

Picky, Picky.
Don lives in Westchester County, NY--Dobbs Ferry?--and when you commute southbound to NYC where he works the sun is on your left--east--not on his right as shown in this episode.

October 20 2009 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sally Meyer

Since I'm 75+ YO, I really appreciate the contexts and nuances that the writers reveal: Suzanne Farrell, Prima Ballerina, in real life, was Balanchine's muse and love - she was much younger than he. Remember that Don said to her - in bed - after the Blue Game - that she was the only person he knew who loved what she did! This period was such a transitional time for women. Peggy, Betty, Suzanne, Midge, Rachel, Joanie, etc. etc. not only are fully developed characters, but they are also representative of the struggles and choices that women of that era faced. I knew so many Betties in College - the blonde ice queens who got frat "pinned" before graduation - and the only careers they might have trained for were either as teachers or nurses.... Peggy is the most interesting of the lot to me - her self-liberation is almost an anomaly -- Joanie is clearly as creative and has as much - or more - potential than P., but she is relegated to expressing her freedom through sexual avenues: Roger - and her cad Dr. - and earlier Paul?? I'd like to have the writers sketch her evolution - because she has so much strength. I worked in typing and steno pools for several years in the '60's, putting my husband thru grad. school - and there was always a super-strong, clerical pro, overseeing the operation - a capable woman who actually made everything work in that business.
And, did you note that Betty was reading "The Group" - Mary McCarthy's novel about female "journeys" and her memoirs in a way during that time. I feel this show is a brilliant sociological treatment of that era - as well as a compelling drama - the depth of their lives as portrayed by these wonderful actors - is like a living scrapbook for me.... Thanks for your comments: "Whitman's Sampler" indeed -- great observation....

October 19 2009 at 5:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
angelv

Loved this episode! I can't wait to find out what happens in the next three episodes.

Did anyone else think Peggy looked a little heavier than normal? Could she be pregnant again?

October 19 2009 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dgm103

At the end of the first segment Roger picks up a small photo off Bert Cooper's desk and asks "Rememebr her?".

Looked like Gale Storm to me. Anybody else care to guess or explain the connection?

October 19 2009 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

This is going to sound so strange, but everytime Ms. Farrell is on the screen, I cannot help but think of Gloria from The Sopranos. Everything is fine now but soon she will be throwing hunks of cooked meat at Don and Don will end up trying to choke her. Ok. I know that will not happen but honestly, that is all I think about anytime I see her.

Also, was this the first time we have seen Lois since she ran over Guy with the John Deere mower? I was unsure whether or not she was fired for that. I guess she was not fired.

October 19 2009 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaidez

"Whitman's sampler box"...very clever!

October 19 2009 at 6:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

Miss Farrell has been perplexing to me. I get the feeling that maybe she wants to be more than Don's usual girl. She wants Don to meet her brother, she calls him (I thought she was the one who hung up), and shows up on the train just to talk to him. I don't think she knows exactly what she wants, but she's pushing Don who is reciprocating.

Don is taking plenty of risk, but he looks around on the train the make sure no one recognizes. After being with all these other women that have not been that attentive to him, maybe Don is willing to take chances and step outside his comfort level. And with everything going on at work, it's possible is reaching the point where he doesn't care anymore and with Betty's revelation looming, there is bound to be lots of bad things happening. Full review of the episode.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/10/review-mad-men-season-3-episode-10.html

October 19 2009 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
e

This season has tilted severely to time with the family whereas the first two where much more centered on work and the interaction there. If I wanted to see Don and Betty cheat on each other I would just record a Soap from the afternoon - not to say they are bad, I just prefer the work interaction on Mad Men much more than their personal life.

October 19 2009 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rebecca

The first thing I thought of when seeing this episode's title was the French fairytale Bluebeard - the tale of a woman who marries a man with an unknown past (ex wives!) and who forbids her from entering his secret, locked room (filled with the bodies of his ex wives!).

October 19 2009 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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