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Mad Men



Episode 3 - The Collaborators

17 April 2013

Credit AMC

I'm not sure what to make of this episode. For once it felt like it was more of a plot detail piece than something which told much of a standalone story. Peggy is going after Heinz Ketchup which could cause conflict. We get more info on the Jaguar work along with a lot about Don and Pete's marriages.

After saying that he wanted to stop last episode Don seems pretty committed to his affair. It seems like he gets consumed by them. The uncomplicated release of emotional\sexual gratification becomes his hobby. He can compartmentalise the act in part because he had to do the same when realising how his mother paid for them to live in a brothel when he was a teenager. Sylvia seems so taken with him that he can steamroller her guilt and apprehension along with his own. He and Meagan looked fairly happy in Hawaii and yet now he slumps in front of the door as if going home is the last thing he wants to do.

Meanwhile Pete is finally able to be Don and seduce a neighbour's wife without the issues it brought him last season. Except that he is almost instantly caught and Trudy ends their marriage. I haven't got enough of a sense of their marriage to really take much from their swift separation. I can only see it in contrast to Don who has always been much smoother and whose wife took much longer to find her resolve than Trudy.

The way Don ruined the Jaguar meeting deliberately was entertaining but also odd. He was forced to say the opposite of the campaign he sold them on and I wondered if it would concern him that the Jaguar men might now look at him as a fool.

There was plenty of interesting stuff in the background as Meagan deals with a society which frowns on abortion, Peggy learns to lead, Vietnam heats up and Joan gets to react disgustedly to Herb's presence.



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  • The episode had me fully engaged most of the time. Collaborators work together to bring down an enemy. As the title suggests, but not all collaborations are deliberate.

    Peggy didn't want to abuse her friendship but will in the end. She's headed on that slippery ethics slope Don has to compartmentalise to navigate.

    Pete, never my favorite character, fishes in his own backyard to realize his dream and it was a pleasure to watch him crumble inside as he is caught.

    Don takes charge in the arena he conquers best - another man's wife. He can't walk in the door because he knows he'll destroy Meagan in the end and its like watching his mother being degraded all over again.

    He throws the meeting as a way of championing Joan against Herb but knows how little and how late he is.

    There were other little moments between Peggy and her boss that echo her relationship with Don. I look forward to seeing more of them working off each other.

    The other interesting tableau was the end of the dinner party at Pete's as the men tried to seduce Trudy while he's working the wives. I was beginning to think we were heading into "key" party territory. I much prefer that Peter got his comeuppance.

    Also, I wasn't sure if Meagan had a miscarriage or an abortion. I thought her confession to Sylvia was looking for validation of the latter and she fell apart only when she didn't get it, not because of the 'miscarriage' itself.

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 17/04/2013 8:48pm (7 years ago)

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