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Mad Men



Episode 7 - Man with a Plan

14 May 2013

Credit AMC

This was a really interesting episode and played very much to the series' strengths as we focus on Don's internal response to chaos at work. The way he wanted to turn Sylvia into his needy play thing only to end up begging her to stay was affecting. Nothing is ever enough for Don and each time he ordered her around you could see Sylvia questioning quite whether she wanted to still be here.

The merger brought out insecurity in Pete as well as Don. Both seemed childishly insecure at their reduced authority. Don trying to out-alpha Teddy and openly whining about being upstaged by Ted's pilots licence. While Pete's anxieties were an open book as he harshly deal with his mother. None of this was particularly subtle, continuing the trend of the whole show to veer between the unspoken and the spelt out. I did enjoy seeing Ted's different approach to work and amusing attempt to ask Don to be more professional. The chaos of the merger had a real "the more things change" feel to it. Not just Burt being fired again but Joan showing Peggy to an office or Don drinking heavily. We've seen everyone moving into new offices multiple times now and it was entertaining just to see how everyone adapted.

We've yet to see Bob Benson crack under pressure. His brown nosing became a positive asset as he handled Joan's sudden pain with immense charm and discretion. We don't know what lurks behind his kindly smiles but on this occasion his hard work paid off as he clung to his job.

Mrs Campbell's dementia was handled in cartoon fashion. Perhaps in some cases one's memory can leap around to random points in time but it didn't reflect the more common symptoms of very sad confusion and misunderstanding.

We close the episode with Don zoning out from life once more. He only seems to find temporary fulfilment from being worshipped either at home or in the office. Not even Robert Kennedy's assassination can pierce his funk. Another Kennedy being shot, not butter but margarine I guess.   



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  • Good, but not outstanding. I'm glad Joan is smart enough to see through Bob's motivations but she still softened enough to let it have an effect on her.

    Peggy telling off Don was terrific and if Don were to improve himself at all, she'll have a hand in it.

    The Don/Sylvia thread headed too far into Shades of Grey territory and made Don look utterly foolish in the end. I'll miss Sylvia. I enjoyed the actress and wish she could be given something more to do.

    I feel a bit guilty that I enjoy Pete's suffering so much. Dementia was handle much better on Grey's Anatomy (my guilty pleasure tv)

    The montage of Megan trying to reach Don was well-done. The marriage appears to be headed for some very hard times.

    I really want more Peggy and Joan interaction and not in a kinky way. (Please have them avoid that!)

    Viewer score: 65 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 14/05/2013 9:16pm (7 years ago)

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