Mad Men covers Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, revealing why Mad Men sucks

*******SPOILERS for this season of Mad Men, especially last night’s episode.

Usually, I’m so worked up after watching Mad Men on Sunday nights that I can’t get to sleep. I lay awake think about Don Draper and Peggy Olsen and poor, daft Megan Draper and of course Joan Holloway. But not last night. Last night, I fell into a deep sleep and do you know why? Because I finally have come to terms with how much Mad Men sucks this season. You know me – I’m a ride or die Mad Men bitch. I can find praise-worthy material even in a less-than-stellar episode. By now I’m comfortable with the Mad Men pacing and I know I have to just sit back and wait for the story Matthew Weiner wants to tell. But something is seriously missing from this season, and I feel like we need to acknowledge it.

Is the problem that Don just sucks so much this season? Is it that his mistress is terrible? Is it that Megan seems especially self-involved? Is it that Peggy doesn’t have enough of a story? All I know is that the last minutes of last night’s episode were basically a metaphor for how I’m starting to feel – blindsided and depressed. Bobby Kennedy was shot in LA on the night he won the California primary. And how was that story told? In the last minutes, through Pete Campbell’s mother (who is off her rocker), through Megan’s tears and through Don’s apathy. Bobby Kennedy was Don’s age, you know? And I hated how they just tacked that crap on to the end of the show. Granted, 1968 was crazy and so many people were assassinated, but at least give the characters some real time to breathe and react, you know? I would have loved to see Peggy instead of Pete. Peggy loved Bobby Kennedy. Let her character memorialize him. I just didn’t get why they tacked it onto the end. Death always comes at the end, I suppose. Blah.

I guess what we’re supposed to be watching is how Don unravels. He’s lost his mistress now – she finally came to her senses after all of those completely boring shenanigans in the hotel room (we get it, Don, you’re a control freak about sex). But did it strike anyone else that he was just going through the motions? It wasn’t hot. It wasn’t sexy. It was just… mechanical seduction. He was trying to make himself feel. He didn’t even want to seduce her, he just didn’t want her to leave because no one leaves him and he can’t be alone (right now). Perhaps this is just the multi-season storyline of how Don kills himself, maybe. I don’t know. He’s suicidal, but I don’t even know if he acknowledges it.

Anyway, I just want to watch Peggy, Joan and Roger these days. I don’t give a crap about anyone else. OK, I’ll also take Stan Rizzo and Michael Ginsburg and Abe. Just make the show about them. If Don wants to kill himself, he should just go ahead because I really don’t care anymore.

Assorted photos of Jon Hamm from the end of April, courtesy of WENN.

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100 Responses to “Mad Men covers Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, revealing why Mad Men sucks”

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  1. dorothy says:

    Honestly, I stopped watching it. It stopped being interesting. Sad, it was one of my favorites.

    • V4Real says:

      Honestly I can say that I have never seen one episode of Mad Men and that’s probably why I don’t get the appeal of Jon Hamm. Having a large penis is not enough to reel me in.

      • Amanda says:

        ^ This.

      • hoya_chick says:

        LOL I tried watching the first few episodes but I found it insufferable and not at all living up to the hype of what I’d heard. Plus I’m use to big dongs in real life so I don’t really care about Jon.

      • Tasha says:

        @ V4Real

        I agree with everything you said +100000000

    • Jill says:

      I haven’t watched a single episode of this season, either. And I think I’ve seen every other episode from every other season at this point. I realized right before the premiere that I just didn’t care what happened to any of these characters anymore. They’re too self-absorbed for me to care about anymore.

    • danni says:

      Sylvia is the most unattractive Don’s mistress ever!!!!
      the sex scene was so Not irritant !!!!

  2. Colu says:

    This was the first episode I’ve ever hated Don. When he told her to crawl on her hands and knees to put his shoes on his feet I hated him!

    • Faye says:

      It didn’t affect me, because Don has always enjoyed humiliating women, from Betty onward. This is just a more forthright manifestation of that.

      • carol says:

        yah I don’t really get why so many women love don and men idolize him – he’s a horrible person!

      • MaiGirl says:

        Exactly! Don is and always has been a HUGE degenerate who has strange, semi-abusive, and complex relationships with all the women in his life. He’s a charming sociopath who is damaged, damaged, damaged. That’s what makes his character interesting. I think the creators are dragging us through another sad affair on purpose to show us how Don is on a downward spiral and all his games and charms are wearing thin. We all know someone line Don Draper who doesn’t know how to live and love, only to play games.

    • Apsutter says:

      I REALLY started to hate Don when he came to Megan’s show and called her a prostitute for doing a love scene. He was needlessly cruel and left her weeping so he could go f*ck his mistress. That was when I got off the Don train.

      • Eleonor says:

        I was sorry for Megan, it says it all.
        I’ve hated Don when he threw the money to Peggy, that was AWFUL; I hope Peggy will kick his ass. it seems she is one of the few person who has some power on him.

    • daisieb says:

      Sylvia and Don made sense when they were able to hide in plain sight, stealing moments together that went unnoticed due to their physical proximity. Once Arnold was out of the equation, Sylvia’s availability was unlimited and overwhelming. Don had to sabotage the relationship by making his demands greater than Sylvia’s, so that she would be the one to call it off without their having any discussion of what they were to each other.

      I had a similar reaction to Pete’s when told of Bobby Kennedy’s death. I was in a shop on the Spanish Riviera, where very few people spoke English and the owner said to us “Kennedy kaput! Kennedy kaput!” We thought he meant JFK. It was days before we were able to get the full story in the International Herald Tribune. Before that Sylvia was saying she couldn’t reach her son in Paris. In the summer of ’68 Paris was essentially shut down because of riots and strikes. We went there after we left Spain. Mobs marched through the streets and there was the sound of explosions all through the night. Black mariahs (police wagons) lined the streets. It was a time of global anxiety….In the US we had race riots and related terrorism … anti-war riots and it’s related terrorism. In Europe it was the have-nots(communists) vs. the haves.

      • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

        What a thoughtful post–thank so much! I really enjoyed reading it, because I had no idea what was going on in Paris at the time.

        Your take on Don and his treatment of Sylvia here is spot on. At the beginning of the ep, she calls and demands to see him…that was his trigger to take full control over the situation, lest she think she had ANY power (which, clearly, she did). I can’t believe she went along with as much of his bullsh!t as she did, frankly.

        The end, where Megan and her teeth were rambling on about going on vacation and he just tuned her out…said everything.

        I must say I am sick of the elevators. They seem to be in there half the show these days.

      • lolalola3 says:

        Yes. Wonderful post. thank you!

      • Happy21 says:


        Thank you so much for putting into words what I felt he was doing but couldn’t even begin to verbalize.

  3. Dawn says:

    I didn’t think it was that bad last night really. Hopefully they will deal with Bobby’s death more next episode. I loved the Roger stuff and the Joan and Bob stuff was interesting too. The world began to really change really fast in 1968 and 1969 and it can’t be an easy story to tell because there is so much. Don was rather creepy last night I do agree there but he has layers and some we like and some we don’t.

    • Apsutter says:

      Honestly this show can’t deal with every single traumatic event from 68-69 because there was so damned many! 1968 has been called the worst year for deaths in our modern era.

      • Inconceivable! says:

        I agree. It was a nice bookend to the episode, but it would suck to have EVERY Mad Men episode revolve around a death or assassination in the late 60s. This was not my favorite episode, but some are great and some are not so great.

      • Dawn says:


      • Becky1 says:

        I agree. I wasn’t crazy about last night’s episode (the episode last week was really good, though!) but they can’t spend large amounts of time on all of the huge news events of the era because there were just so many. It would also feel sort of forced and detract from the story line.

        Season 6 has not been the greatest but last week’s episode (“For Immediate Release”) was on par with some of the stronger episodes of the last few seasons. Any show that’s been on as long as “Mad Men” has is going to have it’s ups and downs. I’m a die hard fan, though, and plan on watching it till the end even if it isn’t as good as in prior seasons.

        I agree with Kaiser regarding Don, though. I’m really tired of him at this point and the scenes with Sylvia seemed too long and weren’t interesting. At this point, I’m the most interested in Peggy. I’m curious to see what if anything will happen between Peggy and Ted. I find Ted attractive in an unconventional way.

      • Ally8 says:

        They did manage to fit in a quick reference to the leftist student riots in France (they call it “Mai ’68”), when Sylvia mentioned her son being stuck there.

        It was the start of the heyday of French liberalism, which expired only recently with the centrist hegemony of the European Union.

    • Lauren says:

      The previews next week seem like it will be dealing with saturday June 8, 1968 . That was the day RFK was laid to rest. I don’t think they were brushing it off. It should always be put into consideration that the time difference probably had a huge deal to do with people’s reactions ( Pete was already in bed with the 3 hour time difference). Most people in New York would probably be waking up to the news the next morning if they didn’t fall asleep with t.v./ radio on.

  4. Sloane Wyatt says:

    I disagree; Mad Men is still some of the best television around. In real life, sometimes people just don’t act interesting or move on or grow like YOU think they should. They’re repetitive in their misery and angst. I really like the way Weiner doesn’t sugar coat the annoying aspects of Draper that are in front and center now.

    Love, love this show!

    • annaloo. says:

      Me too! I love the Jim Cutler character. He IS interesting.

    • emmie_a says:

      Agreed. And this is typical Mad Men pacing. Sometimes things happen fast, sometimes slow — just like life. But in the end everything tells a story – sometimes you like the story, sometimes you don’t.

      I might be a sick puppy but I like an S&M Don. It’s sort of hot and it shows just how screwed up he is.

      And there was a good parallel between Don and Pete and how they treat the women in their lives – and how that results in their misery.

      All I want is MORE ROGER!!!

      And Peggy was being all righteous, which I understand but is ever so slightly annoying.

  5. Esmom says:

    I wasn’t upset about Bobby Kennedy being tacked on at the end. We’ve already had a couple episodes that focused on characters’ reactions to other assassinations, one just recently with MLK.

    I do agree that Don seems more despicable this season. He’s unraveling. What used to seem semi-charming, like his ability to drink others under the table, now seems pathetic. And I completely agree that the sex scenes were utterly unsexy. Again, a reflection of how low Don has sunk.

    I’ll keep watching…because even at its worst I think MM is one of the best shows on right now.

    • Cool Phosphorescent Shimmer says:

      I agree about MM’s handling of Bobby Kennedy. We couldn’t have another entire episode of people crying and emoting over another political assassination. Instead Weiner gave it to us the way the characters–and the American people–got it: all of a sudden, when no one was expecting anything bad, BOOM. There is was again.

    • Apsutter says:

      Except for that sex scene last week when Megan and don got home from dinner with that ass from Jaguar. Don ripping Megan’s panties off and lifting her up and slamming her against the dresser. HOT!

      • emmie_a says:

        I can see that but I’ve never seen or felt the passion between Don and Megan — even in that scene. I think he has waaay more passion with his mistresses, especially Sylvia. Some of their scenes have been downright hot — like when they were at dinner and Don was telling Sylvia what he was going to do to her.

    • Eleonor says:

      I think Don has always been a mess. A huge one, but now what was charming at the beginning (drinking, women) it’s pathetic because we see for him it’s only routine.
      As Joan perfectly stated it’s always about HIM and no one else. He is a huge egoistic asshole.

      • Apsutter says:

        Yes what Joan said was perfect! She was mad at him for herself but also for everyone else who depends on him. He thinks of no one but himself and everyone around him just has to wait and hope he doesn’t screw up.

      • Sarah says:

        I LOVED Joan’s scene! She was so amazing at capturing that feeling when you just want to completely loose it but you’re trying to hold it together because you’re in public and trying to maintain dignity. Stellar scene!

  6. Faye says:

    To be honest, the show doesn’t seem all that different to me this season than any other (and I am speaking as one who does not love it, even though I watch it regularly). I think maybe people are just getting tired of the same old garbage after so many seasons of it. It’s the same formula: Don’s angst + a historical event + a bit about some other people in his orbit. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I watch for Peggy, Roger, Stan, Betty (on the few occasions we see her), and some others. I could care less about Don and his Enormous Existential Pain and his Deep, Dark Secrets and his Sad, Sad Childhood (using caps because that’s how the show treats it — like these are all such momentous, unique things). I know I’m mostly alone in a sea of Don fangirls, but to me, the character has always been just anotehr cheating asshole with some talent who thinks he can act out however he wants and still be the good guy. The problem is that everyone around him mostly enables that delusion, and when they call him out on it (i.e. Betty when demanding the divorce, Peggy leaving the company, Joan last week), they are called the bad guys. To me, Don is the most boring, most predictable, and least dynamic and interesting character on the show.

    As for this episode, I LOL-d at the reaction shots to Bobby Kennedy’s death. Because of course RFK’s death, like MLK’s, is all about Megan. I don’t give Jessica Pare a pass anymore — the writing may be uneven at times, but she is clueless as an actress. I saw in one of those Mad Men clips on AMC that MLK’s death was a wrenching and touching event that affected Megan personally. Huh?

    I think Weiner has fallen too much in love with his Galatea (both Don and Megan), and that makes the show problematic.

    • boredsuburbanhousewife says:

      Could not agree more. I’m so tired of Don and his self absorbed angst. I just wish they could fast forward to the invention of Prozac and be done with it.

    • Apsutter says:

      I’m confused as to how it was “all about Megan?” She was weeping while seeing a man being murdered right before her eyes. That seems like a completely rational response.

      Also how freaking traumatic was that footage?! Did they actually show that on tv? The people weeping and screaming around him…yikes.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Sounds right to me.

  7. Annie says:

    I love this show, but man, I wish we saw more good things in Don. There HAVE been good things in Don before. He’s helped people.
    I don’t know why he has to be this person. I liked him messed up but not evil.

    Peggy has ALWAYS bored me, except when she had Peter’a kid. Give me more Joan and Betty.

  8. L says:

    Tom and Lorenzo captured what I think of this episode/season perfectly “So much of what happened this episode could have happened years ago…We’ve been thinking that part of the reason this season has been so plodding and felt like wheel-spinning is because there’s been no sense in the story of things being written toward an ending.”

    Don’s philandering ways have gotten boring and desperate (even to him)

    • Ally8 says:

      I love TLo, but they do get a little silly with deep analysis of wallpaper and dress colors (yes, I know Sylvia matched the hotel bathroom — woo!).

  9. Cam S says:

    I disagree with the author of this article. I liked the last few episodes. The first couple, I hated, but I’m glad I stuck with it this season.

    The show isn’t a history lesson! It’s about the characters who are in a certain era. If you want to know more about Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, there is always Google.

    I feel the show is being set up as Dante’s inferno (Don’s book his mistress gave him). It’s the 9 stages of hell: .1 First Circle (Limbo)(1st episode)
    2 Second Circle (Lust)
    3 Third Circle (Gluttony)
    4 Fourth Circle (Greed)
    5 Fifth Circle (Anger)
    6 Sixth Circle (Heresy)
    7 Seventh Circle (Violence)
    8 Eighth Circle (Fraud)
    9 Ninth Circle (Treachery) etc.

    • The Original G says:

      THAT is a really interesting theory. I’ll be watching for it!

    • eviec says:

      I like that idea, Cam. And, I liked this episode a lot. It was nice to see Bob doing something helpful and putting his schmoozy tactics to some use. That was one of my fave scenes, when he helped Joan to the emergency room.

      • Ally8 says:

        I like Bob, too; even though he’s transparently ingratiating, there’s something wonderfully guileless about it.

        He proved Joan’s mom wrong in that his good deed did involve a plan, but Joan saw it and helped him anyway.

    • Sarah says:

      Oh I was struggling to see the book they were reading. The Inferno, of course!

  10. Talie says:

    I miss skinny, crazy Betty.

    • Inconceivable! says:

      I think she will be back VERY soon now that her husband is trying to step out as a major political player on his own. I bet the next time we see her she is back to “skinny Betty” but with brown hair… Or will she go back to bottle blonde?

      • carol says:

        I would settle for any big change – I just want to see other characters being focused on – too much don and megan right now :/

  11. Merritt says:

    I can’t with Don anymore. I feel like the writers feel compelled to hit the viewers in the face with how unhappy he is each episode. It has gotten old.

    I loved the scene with Roger firing Burt. They need more of this Roger.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this Bob character. He has inserted himself into the lives of a lot of the characters at the agency. But we know nothing about him. Is there anything to know? Or is he just a red herring?

    It was nice to see Joan getting more screen time.

  12. truthful says:

    WOW, and I thought it was just me, I wouldn’t even admit ot friends that I have stopped watching this season epi’s long ago…

    it was almost torture, I don’t get it and at this point I do not want to.

    at least I am not alone and of course I blame Megan for all of it. I really enjoyed the show before she came on but I still continued to watch, cause it was a habit that was hard to break.

  13. Apsutter says:

    That’s kind of the point about don. It’s not supposed to be exciting or titillating this season because he’s stuck in an endless cycle of being an ass. He knows that he’s stuck and either unwilling or incapable of making any sort of real change within himself. The glamorous side of his life is gone. This is what happens to serial womanizers and narcissists as they age. It’s not pretty and they end up pretty unhappy. I think Weiner’s doing a good job of conveying the fact that Don is resigned to the fact that he’s not a great guy and doesn’t know how to be happy.

    However last weeks episode was GREAT! I love when it’s about Don kicking ass at work. Maybe he’s just one of those guys who is only truly happy when he’s shining at work.

    • Ally8 says:

      Except I don’t find his advertising ideas all that brilliant either. They’re not cutting edge — he just filters 50s old chestnuts through modern graphics. It would shift merch, dealership radio ads-style, but I don’t think that by 1968 everyone would think he was an advertising genius.

      Also, didn’t they just nab Chevy by becoming a big agency? So why are they firing people and shrinking again? (Because they’re opening up a Detroit office, I guess?)

  14. stella lane says:

    Loved the old crazy skinny Betty. sooo cruel. They should still be married torturing each other to death.(Don).

    • Ally8 says:

      Yes, I miss those two together. It was pure Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: The Early Years.

  15. Ellie66 says:

    I love this show! I saw all 5 seasons in a couple of weeks than started with season 6 (I wish they would just put all the episodes up at once I hate waiting a week) anyway last night was the first time I was really disgusted with Don just the whole “crawl on ur hands and knees and get my shoes” thing made me want to slap him. I’m glad the mistress dumped him. I will watch till the bitter end because I want to see everybody in 70s polyester. Lol!

  16. Eleonor says:

    I am appreciating this season more than the previous one.

  17. jamee draper says:

    I still LOVE this show,and with 30 Rock gone it is the only show I care about.I think Kaiser may feel about Mad Men the way I feel about Dexter and Modern Family,I think she is just tired of the show.That happens.Sometimes,especially after the 6 or 7th season of a series the characters have all worn out their welcome.It’s not that Dexter is an awful show, it is the same well written show.But after 6 years I just don’t care about those characters anymore.But that doesn’t mean that it is a bad show now,you just get tired of the same characters year after year.I really think that all cable drama shows should take a page out of The Soprano’s handbook and end after 6 good seasons.

    • Apsutter says:

      I’ll second you on Dexter!! They should have let that show die with dignity two seasons ago. Now it’s just drawn out and terrible and we have nothing but Deb swearing terribly for 12 hours a season.

      • jamee draper says:

        Yeah Dexter hasn’t been great since the Trinity killer.But can you think of any drama that has been good in the 6th and 7th season?True Blood is another one that is pushing it with me. It is impossible to sustain that quality forever is my point.That’s why I give MadMen a break and still love it.I am also glad they didn’t spend the whole episode talking about Bobby Kennedy’s death.After M.L.K’s episode a few weeks ago it would’ve been too much.

      • Gelda says:

        I quit all these shows afew seasons ago. True Blood was the first to go. Then Dexter and Madmen. I am amazed that people still sit through it. Thats some insane loyalty and idle time lol.

        A good show knows when to leave. Thats why The Wire is the best TV show of all time. That and the genius writing, casting, acting, filming, directing, location selecting, make up and wardrobing and probably catering.

      • apsutter says:

        I’m just watching The Wire right now. I like it but I don’t think it’s as good as everyone says it is. Six Feet Under is another show that knew when to shut it down. That show was so damned good and that series finale makes me cry like a baby everytime.

  18. DEB says:

    Never mind Don, or the show, for a minute. Why the hell would someone only 43 years old destroy her face to the point that it’s sideways and unable to even smile properly. It’s hideous. She was so pretty before. Also ruined: her nose 🙁

  19. LBNYC says:

    Yeah, it’s becoming a yawn-fest. And Don’s S&M sex commands last night were just silly and unbelievable. Such stupid cliches.

    At this point, I’m looking forward to the return of AMC’s “The Killing” in June.

    • Esmom says:

      I think that was the point of his behavior with Sylvia. It was once hot but now it’s just rote. He can barely even go through the motions he’s so dead inside.

      • Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

        Yep. And also that she didn’t obey. She didn’t crawl over to get his shoes, she walked, then she dumped him.

        He’s losing it. His jaded perversions seemed inventive and sexy in a young, energetic Don. He seemed experienced and very sexually confident for someone so young.

        The same perversions in the middle aged Don just seem skeevy and embarrassing.

    • Ally8 says:

      Ugh. The Killing. Enough with the female mutilation shows. Especially that crapfest of inane storytelling.

  20. Jacqueline says:

    It remains to be seen how they could still handle RFK with Peggy on the coming episode. I was laughing at the exchange when Roger fired Bert Cooper again. That was hilarious.

  21. Jane says:

    I enjoy the show and Don has always been portrayed as damaged so seeing him unravel even more isn’t out of character. I mean, the man doesn’t even use his real name.

    The opening credits seems to be fore shadowing the end of Don. I hope it isn’t as blatant as what we are seeing in those opening credits. Maybe more along the lines of him being pushed out of the company and having done something that follows him and prevents him from being picked up by any other PR firm.

    I don’t get what they are doing with Betty and the over weight thing. Or anything else with Betty’s story. They need more Peggy, more Joan, and more Roger.

    • Pandora says:

      Yep yep yep, I totally agree.
      I think sometimes maybe one hour a week isn’t enough to explain a lot, and this is probably one of the first examples of literary style character complexity brought to television and perhaps those are the necessary constraints. I think those loose ends and pregnant pauses all add to the intrigue though.

      There’s nothing simple about Mad Men, it’s ambiguous and doesn’t follow the classic narratives we love so well, like those drawn from Ancient Greek myth for example. It challenges me with its almost banality at times, and I really really love it for this reason.

      I’m really curious about the mercurial Betty and her husbands possible entry into big time politics; I’d really love to see Joan and roger finally shack up, but maybe that ship has sailed. We may never find out .

      And there’s nothing more fitting than Pete Campbell becoming his dementia inflicted Mothers keeper during her descent, in a crummy apartment he and his dad used to use for revolting lunch hour trysts.

      • kate says:

        very well said. I think if you’re too mad men send you can’t hate the entire season this year it’s just starting off slowly, as usual. I loved the last two episodes and think they’re finally bringing some depth back into the show. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  22. M says:

    I always thought Jon Hamm could play Christian Grey if he was older. Don Draper has that. Do you all remember when he had the prostitute slap him?

    I can’t imagine Don jumping off a building but either he will kill himself or end up old and alone for the end of MadMen. I don’t think he will get a happy ending per se. If Don is killed off it’s has to be something with liquor.

  23. Happy21 says:

    I don’t agree that Mad Men sucks. Not at all. I was expecting somehow that the two ad agencies would come together because we need PEGGY! I suspect there is more to it than that.

    I am loathing Don more than I ever have loathed him before this season. I really, really hope that he starts unraveling soon. I somehow think Peggy is going to have some part of it…

    I loved the Joan and Bob storyline this week. I thought it was so sweet how he cared for her. Could Joan finally find love?

    I didn’t mind how the Bobby Kennedy assassination was covered, I thought it was a good ending. I’ve always like how this show, the death is always part of the story but it still takes a backseat and it shows how it affects the characters and stories but it is isn’t the actual story.

    I must admit I am really missing Betty and I hope to see more of her in a trophy wife kind of capacity now that Henry’s political ambitions are growing. She’s a beauty and she should be shown off.

    I was very glad to not have to look at Megan’s face much last night.

    • Happy21 says:

      Oh and I’ve got to add that I am over the moon about Harry Hamlin being cast in this show. I am a HUGE Michael Kuzak (LA Law) fan girl and seeing Harry makes me really happy 🙂

  24. Mira says:

    Disagree. Mad Men is genius writing from Matt Weiner. It’s one of the only shows that captures the fact that life is incremental and executes it in a brilliant manner. Otherwise Mad Men would have long been in the never ending daily soap territory.

    Last night’s episode was no different. Don’s assholeness, previously only a subtext, is getting more pronounced this season. I enjoyed the scenes between Don and Ted, and when Peggy confronted Don about getting Ted drunk. I want to see more of Betty and Sally though.

    • Ally8 says:

      That scene was too brief, but I loved how their baggage immediately floated to the surface. She’s still mad he didn’t try to prevent her leaving or fight to get her back, and he’s still mad she quit. Peggy’s loyalty clearly having shifted to Ted is probably one of the daggers in Don’s control-losing psyche this episode.

  25. hannah says:

    I tried to watch a few episodes of season 1 . Never understood the hype about the show or John Hamm

  26. Sarah says:

    Ok I guess I was the only one who got something a little different from Don’s douchebaggery last night. I think it was significant that he overheard that fight between Sylvia and her husband. He looked scared afterward. I saw his actions at the hotel as his messed up way of ending their affair. He objectified her (a common theme with the women in his life) and sort of burned it out. Don’t get me wrong I’m not defending what he did, but I thought his motivation was ending the affair– possibly because he didn’t want the burden of keeping up an affair with a divorced woman (who may start wanting a commitment from him). Basically things were getting too complicated for him and rather than end it, he ruined it. Like he says when she’s leaving: it’s easy to walk away when you’re satisfied.

    • Esmom says:

      Ooh, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Interesting!

    • Sachi says:

      This theory would make more sense, IMO, if he didn’t look surprised and confused when Sylvia said it was time to go home and she was dumping him. He even said “Please.” to her, something that he rarely says to anyone.

      I think he didn’t expect to be dumped at all. He wanted control of the situation because he didn’t have control over the other aspects of his life, and he treated Sylvia like a wh*re. For Don, that was just him asserting dominance, but for Sylvia it was something she didn’t and wouldn’t lower herself into doing. She had hours alone in the hotel room to think about what Don was doing to her and reducing her to being.

      When they were in the elevator on the way home, Don looked almost identical to how he looked when Betty told him she didn’t love him anymore. He looked like a man whose world was crumbling around him.

      I think he really felt something for Sylvia. I don’t know if it’s the same depth of feeling he had for Rachel Menken, but Don looked hurt when Sylvia told him it was over.

      As for what he says about leaving when satisfied, I actually thought it was him lashing out at Sylvia: she’s gotten what she wanted from him and now she’s leaving. She’s had her fill of an extra-marital affair so it’s easy for her to walk away. She’s not damaged like him and she can always pull herself together and get out of that cycle of cheating.

      But what about him? What about Don? As Joan said before, it’s always about Don and what he can get from other people. He wanted to be the one to end it when he was done with her. He thought he had control over Sylvia but in the end, he had control over nothing.

  27. Sarah says:

    Ok I guess I was the only one who got something a little different from Don’s douchebaggery last night. I think it was significant that he overheard that fight between Sylvia and her husband. He looked scared afterward. I saw his actions at the hotel as his messed up way of ending their affair. He objectified her (a common theme with the women in his life) and sort of burned it out. Don’t get me wrong I’m not defending what he did, but I thought his motivation was ending the affair– possibly because he didn’t want the burden of keeping up an affair with a divorced woman (who may start wanting a commitment from him). Basically things were getting too complicated for him and rather than end it, he ruined it. Like he says when she’s leaving: it’s easy to walk away when you’re satisfied.

    • Ally8 says:

      That’s clever. I was struck by how alarmed he looked in the elevator, but then they didn’t come back to it, except that he had even worse fear on his face in the plane.

      I like your theory. However, there is something to the simple explanation that he knew she wouldn’t have to go home (husband out of town) and keeping her in that hotel room made her one thing he could control that made him feel secure and like a big man (unlike all the change in the office & Ted the plane guy whom the secretaries are crushing on). Not to mention the harking back to the whorehouse red and every woman having her own room for customers.

      Sylvia being a middle-aged mom (for the 60s) makes me think that there is some hope in that Don may have finally merged his Madonna and whore figures in his deadened brain/heart.

  28. dajhd says:

    It’s supposed to make you feel sick. This is a show set in a time of metamorphosis, but the main character’s an asshole who’s stuck in the 1950s, he still expects the world to change for him but it refuses to.

  29. Sachi says:

    Don is gross. What else is new?

    Poor Megan. But again, what else is new? I never believed Don would change and their marriage would be “the one” to straighten up Don. He’s too broken and damaged for any woman to be able to help him and no amount of marriage and affairs will change that.

    Bob Benson is still a mysterious character. He seems to be a goodhearted fellow, but who really knows what his intentions are? His kiss-ass attitude paid off though, when Pete and Joan both wanted to keep him on the job.

    Roger is hilarious.

    Peggy is awesome, telling Don off.

    Ted is hot. 😀

    • Esmom says:

      I didn’t find Ted hot…until last night. He’s the anti-Don. And he’s awesome.

      • apsutter says:

        Yes! Him giving up his chair showed his self confidence while also revealing Pete’s pettiness and insecurity.

  30. jamee draper says:

    But I feel like people get so invested in Don that they forget that they are SUPPOSED to get invested in Don.You’re suppposed to hate him,hate the people around him,hate the things they do.What’s wrong with being angry and passionate about a character and a t.v show?If you want a handsome likeable leading man you can root for why not just watch Castle? That has never been what Madmen is about.I love to hate these people, and that lies the brilliance of this character drama.

  31. Call Me Al says:

    You are falling into Weiner’s abyss. Just think about it for a second. The last 3 seasons have been like this. We all start getting all feisty and pissed off about midway through the season, and then Weiner comes in for the kill. Remember last season, nothing seemed to be happening, then in the last 3-4 episodes the deal with Joan and Jaguar happened, then Lane’s suicide, etc. It’s like a roller coaster. Be patient. We’re almost to the top of the first hill.

  32. Meg says:

    I 100% disagree with this post!
    ‘Is it that his mistress is terrible?’-don is self destructive, that’s why we watch
    ‘Is it that Megan seems especially self-involved?’-where does your hatred of her come from? she’s been don’s best partner ever-so warm and approachable. lord did you prefer betty? you bitched less about her
    ‘Is it that Peggy doesn’t have enough of a story?’-ARE YOU KIDDING? she bought a BUILDING with her boyfriend! her man who doesn’t demand she drop everything she loves and have his kids or wait on him like a maid. He actually seems secure with himself unlike every other guy pretty much on the show. I’m jealous of her life and the power she’s built up for herself.

  33. Ally8 says:

    The show works better watched on DVD, where you can see the long arc, and how a scene in episode 2 connects to a scene in episode 9.

    Watching episode to episode is exasperating, but it’s still the best (certainly the most attractive) hour of television all week.

    I always think I’m annoyed with it, but then I watch each episode 3 times, and with the scant plot-per-episode out of the way, I can enjoy the subtleties, visuals and crumbs of sneaky information (e.g. last night, Bob getting a heads-up from Bert Petersen that he was about canned right before he glommed on a way to schmooze a vulnerable partner into helping him keep his job).

  34. Sawbuck says:

    I disagree with your opinion of the season and last night’s ending. I think the repercussions of Bobby’s death with be on full display in the next episode – and Don’s seeming ambivalence are leading up to Don’s breakdown. You have never seen him say “please” to ANY woman in his life – unless it was to just go away. He did last night, and the poor schlub is going to snap like a twig. We are watching Don Draper lose his mind this season.

  35. Sassy says:

    Does anyone here read St. Aubyn? This last episode reminded me of the sadistic eating the figs off the ground scene. I am American, and hope that some of the British commenters get my point.

  36. anet says:

    Finally, Celebitchy and I can agree on something with Mad Men and Matt Weeeener’s horrible writing. He’s unattractive writer/creative producer reveling in pretending to be hot and seductive and sociopathic….because in real life no one would ever appreciate his existence unless he has to pay for it. I get the little themes here and there…but the show should have been written by more diverse people including more mature WOMEN.

  37. barbiegirl says:

    Enjoyed reading this post, but I have to disagree. From the beginning of this season, I’ve said this is the best one yet. I enjoy shows where I don’t necessarily love every character. That’s the beauty of Mad Men–every character is severely flawed and real–and there’s always some scene or creative arc which makes you think–like Betty shooting the neighbors birds, or Peggy doing anything in a movie theatre. In this ep, I think the main arc is now going to bring in something with that douche Bob and Joan. He’s hot for a douchebag. And as for Don–sexy as hell, but he is on a fascinating downward spiral. I also love that Trudy is a badass now. Super cool.