I, for one, loved how they started out the episode — Freddy Rumsen in a straight on shot, pitching Accutron. It’s a pitch about how people live their lives: “Do you have time to improve your life?”. Not only is the pitch undoubtedly setting the stage for the new (and last) season of Mad Men, it really brings the audience in, as if we are a part of the story too. Who among us isn’t working toward the same end? Of course the show ends on the same note as the commercial on Don’s TV asks “Haven’t you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight?” This will be an interesting season, for sure.
The new guy — the guy who replaces Don (hopefully temporarily) seems more Mr Rogers than the does Ad exec. He seems to settle for mediocrity (not that Mr Rogers does) more than Don ever did. He’s relaxed in his cardigan, as opposed to Don’s sharp and freshly pressed suits and shirts of previous seasons. He doesn’t press his team for better.
Did anyone else think that Ken Cosgrove looked like a younger version of “The Governor” from (also) AMC’s “The Walking Dead”?:
(I couldn’t find a picture from yesterday’s Mad Men, where Ken’s hair was all over the place, much like the Gov wore his)
Anyway, we hear tyrannical ranting and think it is Pete, only to find Ken. Like The Governor, his happier days have passed him by just to be replaced by seeming lunacy.
And Peggy – I truly feel bad for her. She has a boss that doesn’t care about her, and has reduced her place on many levels. Abe is gone, and she is constantly reminded of her affair with Ted. She has annoying tenants. I don’t blame her for crying in a crappy apartment. She wanted to live on the UES, but Abe convinced her otherwise.
Joan started out the series as a strong sassy woman, but we see less and less of that as time has passed through the series. I’ve been watching the series over, and her role is so drastically different than it was 5 seasons ago. She seems so… meek… these days. Life has definitely taken its toll on her. Though I did love when she put that marketing guy in his place – that is the Joan we know and love. Most don’t give her a chance, thinking she only has sex to sell, but she is so much more of that, and I am glad to see that peek out again.
Don. He seems so out of place. His gray suit in LA. Shaving in the airport makes him seem like a transient. His gray suit in that cluttered hippie-like macrame-styled cabin his wife keeps, as opposed to the open, clean MCM lines of his apartment in NYC. Taking meetings in a cheap diner as opposed to a swanky restaurant. And then, of course, we see him having some kind of break down on his snowy balcony at the end. Hmmm… Frankly, I am glad his marriage to Megan is on the skids. I never liked her. Some blogs like Tom and Lorenzo have even mentioned that her reference to the sounds of the canyon up in the Hollywood Hills is a direct reference to the opening of the book about the Manson killings (Helter Skelter), but I don’t think it is a direct tie-in. Anyway, Don’s scenes seem so awkward and uncomfortable, which is understandable considering how we left the end of last season. I mean, he even turned down the tete-a-tete from the plane, which is unusual for him. Instead you hear him directly address his failings as a person and as a husband.
Lastly, we see people that we would least expect experiencing his new thought process of the sixties — Roger’s daughter, Margaret, as well as Pete. Roger, of course, is practically in full on Hippie love-in/commune/drug induced mode. I wonder what toll this will take on his health — he has had several heart attacks! Glad to see Pete happy for a change, though. I think we have seen very little of Pete actually happy; normally we see him scowling over being displaced or cast aside (or keeping Don’s secrets).
All in all, I am excited (albeit quite sad) to see where this season goes. I hope Don rejoins the fold sooner rather than later — he can’t go much lower than where he is. Also, I hate the new guy and prefer to see him go, with him cardigan-wearing, mediocre ways.