Thursday, March 19, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S3/Ep2, “Love Among the Ruins”

This is a middle-of-the-road episode. A few memorable moments, but as a whole it doesn’t really take us anywhere. There are three main plot threads: First, Peggy experimenting with being the type of woman men find desirable, all the while balancing that against the type of businesswoman she really wants to be; second, Sterling Cooper’s work to recruit Madison Square Garden, which ultimately blows up in Don’s face thanks to his new bosses; and, third, there’s Betty, the matriarch of her family in the absence of her mother. Betty has been portrayed as so childlike in past seasons, but now she’s clearly the head of her side of the family, and I like seeing her like that. There’s also a lot of good Don/Peggy stuff here, too, but this episode still doesn’t quite stand out in any significant way.

Best Scene: After Betty and her brother argue over their father’s wellbeing for the first half of the episode, Don comes home and has had enough. He calls William into his study and solves the problem—forcefully, and brooking no argument—in about 1 minute. It’s a sacrifice on Don’s part to let Betty’s father move in with them, but he’s trying to do the right thing for his wife, for once. But, then, he ruins it a few minutes later by ogling Sally’s teacher on field day in the creepiest way possible.

Best Line: Don ro Roger about being late to a client lunch: “What else did you have to do today? What else do you have to do all week?”

Grade: C+