Thursday, January 29, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S2/Ep12, “The Mountain King”

The meat of this episode focuses on Don spending time with Anna Draper (technically his ex-wife) in California. Their relationship is fleshed out with flashbacks, showing how deep their bond is. As she tells him at one point: “I always felt that we met so that both of our lives could be better.” Don is clearly at the crossroads here, and as Season 2 heads into its final episode, we’re left wondering what he will decide to do. It’s a notion reinforced at the end with a line from Peggy: “What ever Don does or doesn’t do, I’m sure it’s with good reason.”

In the meantime, business continues at Sterling Cooper, where Peggy succeeds at another pitch and gets her own office, while the partners (minus Don, of course) decide to sell the agency. One of the best shots of the episode comes after the partners’ meeting, where Bert is left alone to contemplate what just happened. He’s more about the work than the money, and he knows he just sold out; it’s a decision that will have long-lasting ramifications for him, as we will see for seasons to come.

Best Scene: In a flashback, we see Don tell Anna about Betty for the first time, and his intention to marry her. He’s so filled with hope and joy. He loves the way Betty laughs, and the way she looks at him. He’s excited about the prospect of starting a family. It’s a nice callback to his pitch for the Carousel, and a heartbreaking reinforcement of how much pain and suffering has come between the two since.

Best Line: Don: “I have been watching my life. It’s right there. I keep scratching at it, trying to get into it. But I can’t.”

Grade: B+