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Mad Men



Episode 4 - To Have and To Hold

24 April 2013

Credit AMC

I really enjoyed this episode. All the elements of it appealed to me in various ways.

The exploration of Don's attitude to loyalty and fidelity linked everything together at the core. The way he punishes Meagan's fictional infidelity by escaping to his real one was so sad and even there Sylvia sees through him. The rank hypocrisy doesn't make Don seem any less real. It's not edifying to men to say it makes him more so. He feels each woman should want him and that affection should be in its own proper slot. The suggestion that he might share that affection in a swinging scenario doesn't appeal to him and the sight of Meagan with another man makes him genuinely angry.

At work he goes against his own advice and takes the Ketchup meeting which he hopes, like an affair, will be a secret. He is insulted when Peggy and Ted show up, again as if he's being cheated on and that his work is being compared to theirs. He listens in at the door (as he did last week in flashback) to see the act take place and hears Peggy use his words to compete with him. It was rich, interesting storytelling and the fact that poor Ken was made a fool of and Stan's friendship with Peggy took a nasty blow added to the sense of this business encounter being like a dirty affair.

Joan of course won her place at the table in an equally grubby way and now lives with the awkward admiration of her friends and family. It's comforting to be looked up to but Joan knows that the reality at work is quite different. She is undermined by Harry Crane (who's aggression in the premiere now makes more sense) and hurt that her position as partner can't insulate her from being treated as lower than her actual status. I really liked the scenes with her at the restaurant and club. It gave us a real 60s vibe and the soundtrack got my attention which doesn't often happen. It was also nice to see Joan enjoying herself and giving in to the charms of a more youthful culture that she wouldn't normally interact with.

We also got to see Dawn's point of view and it was fascinating to hear her perspective on an office filled with tears, empty bottles and suicides. Her friend assumes that she will be taken advantage of at work and although that is partly true, she is also protected by her ethnicity. Her honesty and efficiency wins the day though and although Joan claims to be punishing her she's also making a character judgment.



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  • The generation depicted in Mad Men is my Mother's she was a 20 year old woman at the start of the decade and had 4 kids by 1970.

    I continue to be amazed by how far women have come since this time.

    This show is a nice view back. Glossy, slick and colorful - just like advertising.

    To Jeremy - I for one don't really 'root' for Don. But he is definitely the Alpha Male in a Male dominated society not so very far from where we are today. As such he is fascinating to watch.

    Viewer score: 70 / 100

    Posted by Yogabon, 24/04/2013 12:55am (7 years ago)

  • Lots of entertaining moments in an ultimately flawed episode. Harry barging in on the partners' meeting was great, as was Don eavesdropping on Peggy's successful pitch to Heinz in which she used his "change the conversation" line.

    I didn't fully buy Don visiting Megan at the shoot to smolder during her love scene. It felt a little too neat for him to be right there at precisely the right time.

    And the "Don the misunderstood troubled soul" angle that we've heard before and which closed this episode seemed to be an apology for his deranged hypocrisy simply to keep viewers rooting for him despite his cruelty.

    Viewer score: 57 / 100

    Posted by jeremy, 23/04/2013 1:41am (7 years ago)

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