Mad Men keeps getting better and better. Also, dirtier and dirtier.
Sinning city dwellers seemed to be this week's theme...
- Peggy will be moving in with her boyfriend - without getting married. Once informed of this news over dinner, her mother abruptly leaves so as not to be in a house of sin.
- Meanwhile, things are steaming up between Don and Megan, as they bond over a successful pitch to the Heinz account. "That's actually better," says Don regarding Megan's idea for an advertising line over his own - something that both surprises him (we are reminded of his huge ego) and turns him on (he likes self-confident, powerful women). They find that they just can't keep their hands off each other.
- The real dirty comes from Roger and Megan's visiting French mother. Of course the French bring out the most sinister in us all. Poor Sally happens to walk in unnoticed as she is pleasuring him in an adjacent room at a fancy dinner.
Mad Men seems to have always been a proponent of breaking through surfaces to get at the core of things - people's secrets, unpredictable behavior, surprise traits or skills, and so on. Yet it has also always relied on stereotypes in order to develop its story lines and characters. Megan's French parents play into all the stereotypes - he is a self-involved, egotistical intellectual; and she a slutty, flirtatious attention-seeker. Roger is sleazy and predictably ends up in some sexual act with such a French lady.
There were a few interesting and nice points to the episode:
- The relationship between Sally and Glen. I love this one, because they bond over ineffectual, deeply flawed parents; and because they both share a certain mature sense of humor beyond their years. Sally has always been one of my favorite characters, and with every episode the little actress Kiernan Shipka proves herself more and more. I see a bright future for her, on Mad Men and elsewhere. I wonder if Bobby will ever get done justice by a capable actor and a good script.
- Sally again: the relationship between her and Roger. This is a pairing we rarely see (have we ever)? He is sweet as her guide through the dinner party where her own father is too busy self-promoting and schmoozing with his wife. They have a good back and forth, as she has with almost everyone, especially Don.
- Peggy's face as she reacts to her boyfriend's proposal that they move in together. Elisabeth Moss does a nice job of capturing her anxiety and excitement. Peggy's private life has always been a source of strife and drama; and although this is good news, it's sadly tainted by the "sinister" situation of "shacking up" outside of marriage. She skillfully shows both sides of this new development. I'm still a bit disappointed by the lack of strong story given to her character. Don's new relationship with Megan is given so much weight and focus; yet Peggy's is glossed over and very superficial.