14
Sep
2009
Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 5
The Fog
Sam
This week's Mad Men was most impressive due to some particularly ambitious directing. From the opening, a scene where Don and betty are called into Sally's school to discuss with the teacher her bad behavior. There's a quick cut of wiping blood (or dirt, let's say blood for fun) from her face. It's quick and if you were looking away from the screen for more than two seconds you may have missed it. This was just the precursor to an episode where the setting wasn't confined to Matt Weiner's "˜60's.

Most of the episode deals with Betty finally having that baby. The separation of Don and Betty sets up perfect opportunities for them to divulge in some information about themselves and their significant other. These moments really only happen when they're around strangers (or drugged like Betty) because no one on this show is capable of opening up to anyone else. It's so rare it marked the climax of season 2 where Peggy confronted Pete.

In the waiting room, Don meets another expectant father who is waiting to find out how his wife and new baby are doing. He's assured by a nurse (YEARDLY FUCKING SMITH) that everything will be fine. As worried people do they spill all of their shit to anyone that's around them. We are able to learn a good deal about Don as the expectant father talks about wanting to change with the baby. He tells Don that he is going to be a better man, the man Don didn't become after having Sally and Bobby.
In the delivery room we get the much more interesting bit with a doped up Betty. She imagines herself walking down the street looking pristine. It's a perfect world where an inchworm lands on her hand for some reason. It's completely surreal. It gets stranger when she walks into her kitchen while in this hallucination and speaks to her dead father who's a janitor (she thinks she sees him mopping the floor when she's wheeled in the hospital). Betty is still emotionally a child. She talks to her parents like a little kid would.

As she's giving birth the Draper's third child, she screams for Don but of course he isn't coming, he's a man for god's sake, he waits in the waiting room. Delirious from the pain, Betty asks one of the nurses if she's slept with Don and talks about how he's never around. Betty knows how fucked up her and Don's lives are, it just takes drugs to get it out of her.

Around the office, in a much less interesting plotline, Pete and Peggy are both offered a job with Duck Phillips (COME BACK CHAUNCEY!). Pete, in a fit of SC loyalty, declines the offer right out. Peggy meditates on it for a bit, as she should, leading her to question her role at Sterling Cooper. She asks Don for a raise and he declines, but they are clearly much more on the same plane when it comes to their rapport. How Peggy handles getting paid less for doing the same job as some other men will be interesting to see how it plays out in the remainder of the season.

This episode brought something new to the table in terms of style, which surprised me in the best way. We are an episode away from being at the halfway point in the season (oh time flies when you're having fun) and things are starting to shift into high gear, this episode has got me incredibly excited for the coming weeks.

A

Notes:
-Question not raised in the review: Don gonna bang that teacher? They do have a bit in common after all.

-Hope for more Joan next week

-Naming the new baby Eugene isn't going to help Sally cope with his death.

-Yeardly Smith (Lisa Simpson if you couldn't tell by her voice) is clearly a fan of the show as she's not doing a walk on roll for money here. Good to see she likes the things that I like.

-I am pro-dream sequences especially if they are all as cool as the one's this season.

-Fuck new Bobby.

-Liked Don's baseball joke about the Yankees and prisoners both wearing stripes when they played in '29, also Don references how he's seen just about every movie.

-Also totally forgot to mention the Admiral Television thing with Pete. He says that black people love them so Admiral should try to target their advertising towards them, but it's the early "˜60's and everyone's racist. Not so much to do with characters (maybe Pete's a bit of a racist) but advertising at the time.
Tags: Mad Men
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