Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S1/Ep7, “Red in the Face”

One of the most uncomfortable episodes of “Mad Men” ever. Just about every scene is incredibly awkward and difficult to watch. From Roger horning in on dinner at the Draper house and making a pass at Betty, to Pete hitting on the girl at the department store counter, to Betty’s confrontation with Helen Bishop in the supermarket about giving Glen a lock of her hair, to Roger and Don’s competitive drinking at lunch. This installment also cements the weird relationship between Roger and Don; they fight and compete against each other like brothers, but in the end they always remain loyal. The episode is well-executed, memorable, and dripping with drama, but it’s still not one I like to return to.

Best Scene: Earlier in the episode, Don bribes the elevator operator to take the lift out of service so that he and Roger have to walk up 23 floors after a huge lunch of oysters and alcohol. It’s Don’s way of getting back at Roger for being part of the “Greatest Generation” and for one-upping him at dinner in front of Betty. Don beats Roger to the office; Roger enters a few seconds after and throws up his lunch in front of the Nixon reps. The best part? The Nixon guys don’t seem to mind that much.

Best Line: Pete: “Did I miss something?” Roger: “No. Don and I talk all the time when you’re not around. In fact, we’re going to do it right now. Don, shall we?”

Grade: B-

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