March 5th, 2010

breaking bad

Mad Men Blogging

Oh, yeah, baby, now we are getting somewhere. This week's episode of Mad Men 'Seven Twenty Three' was like a consummation of the promise that had been building up over the first half of the series. The numbers are a date - the date of the total eclipse of the sun 7/23/63 (US date notation) that preceded the Kennedy assassination 11/22/63 by five months. I have a feeling that 7 and 23 are two of the 'Lost' numbers? The episode began with a flash-forward to events which followed the eclipse, and then explained how they came to be, and I think this may also be a Lost trademark? Reflecting both the eclipse and the assassination, the king - Don Draper, is wounded in the head, and lies bleeding.

The episode was structured and relentless. In the way that an eclipse results from the intersection of big cosmic trajectories, an inevitable catastrophe, the events of this episode rolled around - forces bigger than Don Draper crush his will. In response he lashes out, and is diminished. We are reminded that he is (or at least has been) utterly unscrupulous, or he wouldn't be where he is. What is threatened is his freedom and dominion. Roger asks him: “Are you afraid you’re going to have a boss?” This is the key question. Under threat he suddenly loses all his cool and strength.

At one point it looked like Don was going to get into a threesome with a couple of hitchikers, the boy on the run from the threat of the draft, and this possibility caused consternation among the Mad Men bloggers I have been following. Shagging Joan Holloway - yes please (was their attitude) getting it on with some hippy boy - no thanks. I felt quite differently, but it was not to be, as the hippy boy doped him with barbiturates and broke his head.