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Mad Men: The Suitcase - The Ex-Communicator

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September 6th, 2010


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02:41 pm - Mad Men: The Suitcase
I just watched Mad Men 4-7 'The Suitcase'. This is a Don and Peggy episode, and - superlatives fail me. As Alan Sepinwall says: "It's hard to imagine we will see two better dramatic performances on television this year."

The range and power of both actors is beyond anything I have seen in this season on Mad Men; some people are saying it's the best acting John Hamm has done in the whole four seasons. To some degree his task over seasons 1-3 was to convey with conviction a perfect icon, which occasionally showed cracks (like when he got smashed on the head). A mannered, formal performance. In this season the task has been much more demanding, more freeform, a man trying to maintain a threadbare façade with increasing desperation, and being constantly smashed.

And as an audience, in rooting for him, you have been rooting for successful continuing illusion. 'Fool 'em one more day, Don!' Every episode to date (I think this is right) ended with the image of a door slammed shut - another successful campaign to keep the world at bay. Another duck and dive.

In this episode Don got broken down, like Sonny Liston knocked out by Muhammed Ali. In this surrender, he was able to reverse. The key truth in Mad Men is that you have to go down, down, into darkness and authenticity, into what is down underneath appearances, in order to create new things. 'What is awful and what is good are very close together.'

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[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:September 6th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
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Don's next slogan: "Life! It's a foul rag and bone shop of the heart"?
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 6th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
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'Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea'

I didn't think of Yeats but you are absolutely right, that is the perfect poem for this episode. Have you seen it or was that just a good guess?
Players and painted stage took all my love
And not those things that they were emblems of.
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:September 6th, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
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I have not! I'm going to be a whole season behind (like Breaking Bad).

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