Monday, January 26, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S2/Ep6, “Maidenform”

There are a few episodes of “Mad Men”—maybe one a season—where the characters on this show act so abhorrently, it’s enough to make me contemplate not watching anymore. Here’s one.

Worst Scene: After a meeting goes south, Duck turns to drink. Just as he’s about to take the first swallow, though, he looks down and sees his dog staring at him. He is so ashamed of what he’s about to do, he takes it out on the dog by walking it downstairs and releasing it into the city. Characters on this show have done a lot of awful things, but this is easily one of the worst. It’s another of those “rub it in your face” moments, where it’s so over-the-top horrible I feel it takes away from the show. It also makes Duck such an unredeemable person it sucks all interest out of him, other than wanting to see him utterly fail. That makes for a certain type of drama, but it’s beneath the standards of this show.

Best Scene: In a mirror of the scene above, the episode ends with Sally staring up at Don as he shaves. The look of pure adoration from his innocent daughter causes Don to feel the shame of his behavior—penetrating his armor of denial and “forward motion.” Much like Roger’s heart attack, though, this scene would mean more if it had led to any real change in Don.

Best Line: Roger: “I’ve been married for 20 years—I know the difference between a spat and spending a month on the couch.”

Grade: D-