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Mad Men

AMC

66
/100

Episode 7 - At the Codfish Ball

2 May 2012

Credit AMC

I thought this was another good episode but one that wasn’t as strong as the previous three.

Peggy’s story was very interesting as we see a mundane relationship scenario from 2012 in all its awkward glory in 1966. Peggy tries to be happy with just living with Abe but she realises she would ideally want marriage too. She obviously doesn’t share her mother’s puritanical viewpoint but doubtless she has absorbed those values to some extent.

It was a good test for Peggy’s role as a modern woman but I was surprised by it. Despite being with Abe for a year she hasn’t seemed that into him. She was bickering with him a few episodes ago and gave a stranger a hand job last week. So I wasn’t convinced by the idea that she would get so excited at the thought of marrying him. Then when she argued with her mum it seemed like her perspective was that she might never do better than Abe. Of course we all feel insecure and lonely but again that didn’t feel like the Peggy I’ve gotten to know.

I did like Joan’s supportive response though. She’s come a long way and been through a bad enough marriage that she sounds genuine when she commends Peggy’s bravery. Peggy then decides to pass it on and congratulates Meagan on successfully pitching Heinz on her idea.

The pitch scene was solid. The passionate cab ride afterwards was better. It was great to see Don and Meagan so wrapped up in one another and watch Don light up as he finally gets to mix his two great loves together. The happy couple both get brought down later on though. Meagan’s father claims she has given up on her dreams which I assume was acting. You wonder whether that’s true and if Don will push her to stay near him rather than be off with people her own age.

Don’s disappointment was much needed. His New York Times Ad remains one of the best pieces of plotting I’ve ever seen on TV. It captured the brilliance and the bone headedness of his character in one remarkable idea. At the time it seemed like a master stroke of rebranding but now we see the other side of it. SCDP may have a lot of trouble attracting major companies if they all fear Don will stab them in the back like that.

Sally’s story was solid as she sees the downside of growing up. Roger stole the show on that side of the table as you might expect. His LSD euphoria only boosts his foolish ego as he messes around with Meagan’s mother when he should know better.

Finally I loved Pete’s line “That Emile, is what I do everyday” after he smoothly flattered the old man. It was a nice trick of writing, reminded us that Pete is good at his job and pushed Emile further into seeing Advertising as a soul destroying occupation.

Personally I didn’t think the episode flowed as smoothly as the last three have done. And obviously I question the Peggy characterisation but otherwise this was more quality TV.

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  • I agree with Brando, in fact I'll go further. Kill off Don and Betty and have a spinoff with Sally and Roger and a whole Daddy Warbucks/Annie situation going on.

    Posted by Derek, 01/05/2012 9:52pm (7 years ago)

  • I could watch Sally Draper and Roger Sterling hang out for an entire episode.

    Posted by Brando, 30/04/2012 4:59pm (7 years ago)

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