Mad Men-Hands and Knees
Ummm, this was quite good. This felt…very mature, I guess. It was a “consequences” episode which also means it was a big payoff episode and the laying down of stuff for Season 5.
When I was done I thought that the Pryce subplot for this episode was superfluous. I’ve flipped on that though and it was a good bit of character building. Lane is so fascinating as a character because so much of his life happens off-screen that when the focus returns to him it’s always some of the most absorbing parts of the show.
This season’s arc for Don has been his gradual disintegration now that he doesn’t have a family to hold together his persona. Jon Hamm sells the hell out of panic and desperation in this episode and how big the consequences for his lie could be if uncovered by the law. This was the first time I had even considered that at some point in the future everyone WILL find him out because that is how tenuous it all is.
Honestly, I think the best thing this season has been John Slatterly/Roger Sterling. Season 2 and 3 for him was about his mid-life crisis and that ended when he left the original company that he inherited to build something himself. He’s reflective but…again, more mature I think. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but…something shifted and it was subtle and Roger is fascinating to me now in a way he wasn’t before. I can completely understand NOW why Joan would dig him.
The big thing this week however was the Lucky Strike thing. This has been the spring-loaded trap we’ve been waiting to pop for a while now and the anticipation of it actually made it more disastrous when it finally did happen. We’ll probably be dealing with this for Eps 11 and 12 before we get a Don and family focused finale because that’s been mostly neglected this year like the business stuff was last year till the end and plus I read Ep descripts on Wikipedia.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2010