• Exciting 'Mad Men' Finale Column! (Finally!) Or, Duck And Cover: There's Always Room For A Season 2 Recap!
    You guys up for a (seriously) delayed recap? I hope so, because I've been thinking about Peggy Olson, girl wonder, and her astounding ascension in the last few episodes. Of course, "Mad Men" is all about identity and duality (although Don Draper's identity, unlike that Certs slogan, is so much more than two, two, two things in one.)
  • Episode 13: 'Meditations In An Emergency' -- Or, 'There's A Chill In Here'
    And lo onto them, an itinerant husband, and an accidental Madonna, a child was born: and he would be named Matthew and go on to write The Greatest Story Ever Told. Or close enough. The Bible talks about Immaculate Conception, but doesn't say much about one-time-middle-of-the-night-estranged-woman-on-top-of-cheating-man-on-the-floor conception. And this new child of Don the father, who came to rescue mother Betty in the stables, would be born in 1963, close enough to our god and creator, Matthew Weiner's, actual birthdate in 1965.
  • Episode 12: The Mountain King -- Or, Measuring The (Two Mrs.) Drapers
    This episode is about the dark side of partnerships, and the post-marriage or merger need to control. But we have a lot to get to, so let's just throw a chicken off the terrace and be on our way.
  • Episode 11: The Jet Set, Or Bombshells Away
    How perfect that Don arrives in Los Angeles without his luggage -- literally floating without baggage, he's free to reinvent himself (again!) The West is all about the future: Pete mentions that some scientists are trying to engineer a superstrong "Octo-man'' and even artificially build special organs for space travel. (Although all Pete really wants to do is lounge near any kidney-shaped pool.)
  • Episode 10: 'The Inheritance.' Or: The Motherlode
    Talk about a Freudian gift: this episode demands all kinds of psychological analysis of Betty's father/husband/father/husband. (This is where John Huston comes in and slaps me on the cheek.) And Dr. Parker is in de houze!
  • Episode 9: Or, The Thin Wet Line
    This is one tough episode, about blood, sweat, and piss -- or death, stupors, and naps. It also raises the usual tiny questions about identity and loss.
  • Episode 8: A Night To Remember. Or: Would You Like A Seat At The Table?
    "Mad Men" is getting richer by the minute. Last night, the cinematography, art direction, set design, writing, casting, and acting reached a new level of achievement, and I'm running out of superlatives to describe them. The show is the equivalent of a portrait by a Dutch Master: the burgher presents himself, in all of his formality and finery, while the artist, through his choices of shading, lighting, and positioning of the subject, gets us to question whether we see the man's true identity at all -- or even whether the man knows himself.
  • Episode 7: The Gold Violin. Or: Isn't It Rich? Are They A Pair?
    This was a knockout of an episode, all about conspicuous consumption, throwaway culture, and a younger generation not wanting to be told what to do. There were many revelations, starting with the tantalizing nugget that a mere ten years earlier, Don Draper was indeed toiling on the bottom run of marketing, as a lowly used car salesman!
  • 'Mad Men' Episode 6: Maidenform -- Or, Cleavage In The Office
    This episode was all about mirrors and duality, seeing double, double standards, images reflected in a loved one's eyes, and, um, things that come in pairs.
  • EPISODE 5: 'The New Girl'
    We'll start again with our "Soprano" moment, the car crash (how many crashes was Tony in?) Nonetheless, this week Don, who seems increasingly numb and fogged-out, and Bobbie, ever tilting at sexual windmills, get into a late-night highway wreck, complete with a visit to a police station and an arrest for drunken driving. The subsequent cover-up ushers in a few fabulous revelations, and this week we got some pips.
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