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.
"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.
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!
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.