Recap Digest: Mad Men 7.11, "Time & Life"

Apr 27, 2015 by Alex Castle

A distinct feeling of déjà vu pervaded a big chunk of this week’s episode, as the five principals of Sterling Cooper & Partners, once again faced with an existential threat to the firm, scrambled to fight for its survival.

What at first looks like a clerical lapse—SC&P has not paid its rent, and receives notice of its eviction from their office space in the Time & Life building—turns out to be an intentional move by the firm’s new corporate parent to dissolve and absorb it into McCann Erickson.

Mad Men has rarely been better than in the moments when the characters are trying to keep themselves afloat professionally; there is an Ocean’s Eleven, putting the team together, sneaky scam kind of vibe to the episodes where the old... Read More

Recap Digest: Mad Men 7.10, "The Forecast"

Apr 20, 2015 by Alex Castle

Don Draper, as well as his fellow partners, continue last week’s theme so aptly summed up with the Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is?” in this week’s episode. Not many Mad Men episodes have as explicit a framing device as Roger’s assignment to Don to give their corporate masters at McCann a “Gettysburg Address” about the future of the firm, but as the show winds down it certainly seems appropriate to have Don asking the big questions, of himself and the people around him.

It’s striking how steadfastly Don has clung to his look even as everyone around him gives in to the spirit of the times; not only does he still keep his hair short and Brylcreemed, he just refuses to give up on that fedora;... Read More

Recap Digest: Mad Men 7.9, "New Business"

Apr 13, 2015 by Alex Castle

Something didn’t sit right with me for the duration of this episode; I felt disoriented throughout all of it, as the storyline with Don and Diana the waitress from last week surprisingly continued, with Don spending some shoe leather on how to find her at her new job and then striking up a courtship.

They didn’t seem to have anything in common at first other than a tendency to skip right to dessert (so to speak) without a lot of chit-chat, so I was puzzled by this relationship that they both seemed to be treating as important right away. But then it hit me, when Diana spoke of her lost daughter and abandoned home in Wisconsin, that Diana is like a female Don: she cut and run when things... Read More

Recap Digest: Mad Men 7.8, "Severance"

Apr 06, 2015 by Alex Castle

It is always great to rejoin the characters at Sterling Cooper at the beginning of a new season of Mad Men; they’re all such sharply drawn, specific characters that more than most shows, they feel like real people, and it’s exciting to see what they’ve been up to since we left them. Last season (or half-season) ended on the moon landing and Sterling Cooper & Partners selling out to McCann Erickson, making the partners rich and saving Don’s job, and as the story picks up nine months later, in April 1970, Don and Roger are catting around, Don is visited by a vision of Rachel Katz (from season 1), who he soon learns has just died of leukemia, Peggy and Joan are dealing with a rather startling level of chauvinism... Read More

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