Crumbs: Reviews » Dramas » Mad Men » Season 6 » A Tale of Two Cities
Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
and analysis of what makes them
good, bad, irritating and enlightening.

Mad Men



Episode 10 - A Tale of Two Cities

7 June 2013

Credit AMC

I'm struggling to follow the power struggle. Is the idea that if Cutler and Chaough can become the representing partners on the key accounts (like Chevy) then they would hold the cards should the agency fall out and need to be split up? Even if I've understood that correctly any split would create the same problem which prevented them from getting serious consideration in the first place - they would go back to being a small firm.

There has been no explanation given for how power or partnership is divided between the two agencies. Do SCDP etc take 50% and Ted and Jim take the other 50? If it were divided up based on the number of people involved or their investments in their respective companies then the overall percentage splits would be far more convoluted and surely allow Don, Roger and Bert to combine votes to prevent any business moves they didn't approve of?

The whole messy merger is adding to the disjointed nature of this season. Sure we have the running suicide \ Dante's Inferno theme going on but the actual functional narrative continues to bother me. For once I didn't enjoy Don's altered perception. This felt like both one time too many and a derivative version of the "guy gets high and see things" trope. To see both a pregnant Meagan pulling him back to their marriage and an armless Private Dinkins (601) felt like the latest example of Mad Men being so on the nose as to undermine their own reputation as a great show.

I don't have a handle on Ginsberg's character at all. He seems to rage and cool for no apparent reason and deserved to be fired for his utterly stupid rant at Jim. As entertaining as watching Roger trade barbs with Danny was, that too felt like silliness.

On the flip side I did enjoy the Peggy-Joan story a lot. This felt like a case where the lawless environment of the merger allowed Joan the opportunity to prove she has earned her partnership. She seemed to handle the whole business with real poise and bravery. Peggy's attempts to help her were strong too. Her belief in Ted's willingness to be reasonable and cooperate were rewarded in the end and she took a risk to help Joan when she didn't have to. It was a moment of solidarity to cheer for as everyone else fell to feuding.

The Bob Benson mystery continues. Is he gay? Is he an industrial spy? Is he really a nice guy? Will he and Joan be seduced by Cutler and Chaough into some kind of movement against their former employers?



Add your comments on this episode below. They may be included in the weekly podcasts.

Post your comment


  • No good, bad, unknown means my time is short :-( thank you for your perspective, it's good to keep track of your feelings each week.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 07/06/2013 10:25am (7 years ago)

  • What happened to the Good, Bad and Unknown format?

    Good was definitely the Joan/Peggy story. The characters were believable in their interactions with the potential client, the staff and especially with each other.

    I Liked Roger and Don on the Plane, too. All three guys and the Mustang cracked me up. The car was beautiful but if you have ever ridden in one, not so very comfortable.

    Jim seems to be Ted's Roger with a similar demeanor to the dearly departed Lane. The scenes with those two together were terrific, too.

    As to the unknown; The details of the Merger don't bother me. I actually liked the way the question of the Company's name was a thread throughout the episode and loved the resolution. Poor old Pete gets put down a peg yet again. (pun unintended)

    I would like to understand Bob Benson better and hope we get a good pay off on this character.

    The hallucinating Don segment I could have definitely passed on, too. While it wasn't so much bad it felt as you say, like an overdone Trope.

    I'm trying to rate before I read your review and I liked this episode very much. An hour of tv that can stick with me for many days after I watch it, is good TV.

    Viewer score: 78 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 07/06/2013 8:35am (7 years ago)

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments