Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 2
Love Among the Ruins
Tonight's episode was a standard bridge episode--it set up the things to come while serving up some excellent character moments at the same time. Unfortunately for me, this is my first time watching Mad Men live (I have heretofore just waited for the DVD release and marathoned through it) and so my immediate reaction after any given episode is still, "Alright, next?"

The British rule over Sterling Cooper is sending out mixed signals tonight, as Don is ordered to secure the Madison Square Garden account, then told to dispense with it (silly brits, everyone knows Madison Square Garden would make S-C a shit ton of money...). Paul is as "progressive" as ever, insulting the MSG bigwigs for tearing down his beloved Penn Station in order to reate their venue. Meanwhile, Cosgrove hopes to get a one-up on Pete (largely absent from tonight's episode) by securing Patio, a diet drink for women that they decide to market towards men (Because, as Don explains to Peggy, if men want her, women will want to be here. Duh, Peggy. Clearly Don can sell better to women that you).

The most important aspects of this episode, however, were the personal ones. The title, "Love Among the Ruins" is particularly apt. Paul is upset that a landmark he loves, that defines for him his city, is about to become a ruin. Roger is being shunned by his daughter for leaving his mother, yet finds comfort in his love for Jane (as he says, "Its easy to adjust to happiness.").

Peggy is lonely, entertaining herself first by imitating a sexpot from Bye Bye Birdie (heartbreaking!) and then by having a one night stand with a college student who matches her mouseyness for mouseyness. Betty is struggling to love her family while her brother tries to dump er father in a retirement home and her father loses his mind. Betty's Dad tries to love his life while standing in the ruins of his own mind. And Don tries to make the charade he has built himself work, while secretly longing to take off his shoes and run in the grass with another free-spirited brunette. Each character is trying to find love among the ruins, or make the love they have work, even if it has already been effectively ruined.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:

-As per usual, Don Draper is not to be trifled with. He puts Betty's brother in his place, and out of Don's house, without blinking an eye.
-Sally never fails to break my heart. She's so earnest and pure and good, and SAD.
-"Do you ever get three sheets to the wind and try that thing on?" Roger, how you continue to be my favorite character.
-On another Roger note, I loved the moment between Roger and Joan. They are clearly still in love with each other ,despite both being married to far less adequate partners. And when he called her "Mrs. Harris." Mad Men, you sure know how to break my heart.
Tags: Mad Men
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