Our furnace has entered our family into a scientific experiment without asking our permission first. And I KNOW I didn’t sign any waiver indicating my acceptance of a frozen state as a consequence of participating (UNWILLINGLY) in this stupid medical trial. You’ve overstepped your bounds, furnace!! But regardless, we are running an experiment all the same as we await a replacement part for our furnace. So now we meet every descent down to the first floor with a quick rundown of the best, most efficient route to whatever the destination is; a review of our contingency plan should one of us not return from our foray into the zone of sub-zero (OK, it’s 57 degrees down there, but it FEELS like sub-zero); and heartfelt goodbyes should the person become frozen during the trip. I think we’ll devolve from our currently equitable and civilized approach to who makes the trip to the first floor for errands or tasks into paper/rock/scissors competitions or a loud holler of “Not it!” to decide who is forced to go as the temperature drops much further. Eventually, we will just become so rude and savage and that we’ll be unable to meet each other’s eyes when we recall how bad things got when we reach the other side of this little “experiment” — if we ever reach the other side of this experiment.
It’s entirely possible that this is all my fault. I’ve been suffering from neck issues all week thanks to my herniated disks’ decision to make me feel old and decrepit by reminding me just how much I use my neck every single minute of the day. Maybe the furnace watched me icing my neck down and decided that a full-body freeze would just resolve the issue that much faster. If so, false, furnace. My neck was on the mend. Your attempt to turn me into a flesh-sicle isn’t warranted or appreciated.
I’ve stopped performing car concerts. For good. Well, that’s unlikely. For now. Sure, I miss belting out the lyrics (mostly I use the original lyrics, but sometimes I substitute new ones) and adding kick-ass dance moves as necessary. It’s one of my favorite car pasttimes, and I don’t even mind the stares I receive from fellow travelers. But I’ve found something I enjoy even more. At least for now. It’s Comedy Central Radio, and it has given me a whole new way to be weird while driving. Laughing out loud is a far more enjoyable way to zip around town than getting annoyed by people. Although I have to admit that I was unable to avoid rolling my eyes at the person who was weaving all over the place ON THE INTERSTATE. As I passed the driver I noticed that she was using her iPAD!! Seriously?!? Look, I’ve seen some ridiculous activities in other cars – I once saw a man consuming SOUP while navigating – but maybe a driver shouldn’t be playing with their tablet while driving? And it wasn’t like she was consulting the tablet for directions. She was swiping and typing. I had to drive beside her (while performing defensive driving manuevers) to confirm because I just couldn’t believe someone could be this crazy.
BUT I DIGRESS — As I was saying, Comedy Central Radio makes driving a treat. And providing the opportunity for fellow travelers to witness my bizarre laughing out loud and/or pounding the steering wheel in glee at random intervals is just icing on the cake.
So, I’m watching the scene with my precious Kenny and my mouth drops. I was actually hoping for a dream sequence to close that scene though I abhor those machinations generally. I’ll take it if it means that Kenny’s spared that injury and indignity. Anyway, Kenny’s line, “Chevy’s killing me,” doesn’t feel quite that hyperbolic after that scene. Poor Ken. Pete is perfect for that account and will finally get a chance to use that .22 of his. Speaking of which, am I wrong or do we have two plot devices in this season? It looks like Pete’s .22 is back for another cameo, and Bob is feeling a little less like a character and a little more like a plot device. Both are loaded and ready to go off, and both are potentially pointed at Pete. I can’t wait to see which one actually fires.
I’m rooting for Ted and Peggy less and less as the pairing becomes more and more inevitable. I always wanted Stan to be the one to win her heart anyway. Hey, Peggy, he’s actually available! Though their mutual admiration (Ted’s and Peggy’s) is charming to me because there is something pure at its core, I’d loathe being a colleague of theirs. Don and Megan catching Ted and Peggy at the movie launches Don’s petty side and subsequent setup of Ted. His self-righteous reaction to the Ted and Peggy relationship is the definition of hypocrisy because while Ted and Peggy crossed the decency line with the kiss, they haven’t remotely approached a transgression that could be categorized in the same ballpark as Don’s many crimes. He’s made so many nasty plays and betrayed so many people that he has purported to care about that I keep thinking that he’s out of moves that can disgust me further, but he surprised me this week. Watching Don remove the Clio (if they do get this ad made and it wins an award) from Peggy’s hands by saying it was Gleason’s last idea is bound to mean that he’s lost her forever. I just can’t see her forgiving him for that. And I certainly won’t. I gasped when he did that. As uncomfortable as I was with the pregnant silence that descended when he pushed Ted in front of the firing squad, I literally gasped when he said that the ad concept was Gleason’s last idea.
I think this line: “We’ve all been there – I mean, not with Peggy,” that Don delivers to Ted after he’s effectively thrown a wet blanket over their blossoming love affair is pretty telling. I think that the jealousy Don is feeling when he sees the closeness between Peggy and Ted is more complex upon second viewing than I thought initially as the episode played out. As Peggy’s come into her own, I’ve watched as Don has developed an attraction to Peggy that would never be acted upon but was no less real. I think he respects and admires Peggy (as much as he is capable) and that translated into an attraction to her. I never thought their relationship was strictly mentor/mentee; I always thought there was something more. But I thought that door closed when Peggy left. I think that line shows that Don hasn’t fully gotten Peggy out of his system though she is so far removed from his type of woman which explains his sneer as he delivers the second half of the line. And that just makes him all the more disgusted with the current state of affairs. Yep, pun intended.
As far as the other gun (named Sally) that was loaded in the last episode and pointed squarely at Don, my mother hit the nail on the head in my opinion. Sally will most likely use this secret she knows as leverage to get everything she wants from her father. I think that might explain that smile on her face when she was watching the smackdown Glen delivered to Rollo. She’s enjoying this experiment that she conducted with Glen, and he reacted perfectly according to her script. She’s ready to begin manipulating her father. Is this how she feels Betty operates as well? I don’t know if the discovery of her father’s adultery was the catalyst or the entire driving event.
I have to give some kudos to ol’ Roge for his continuous bon mots referencing Kenny’s eye patch in that scene where Pete’s given the Chevy account officially. That was an enjoyable scene.
What did you guys think? This is quite a setup for the final episode, isn’t it?
Well, that episode was kind of a big deal.
And the walls come crashing down!! I wish it hadn’t fallen to Sally to bring Don’s recently-constructed glass house to the ground. She’s been let down so many times by the adults in her life, and I had hoped that her glimpse into Roger and her step-grandmother’s sexual side might be her last inappropriate brush with the secret lives of grown-ups. I can’t imagine her healing from this enormous betrayal by her father who was already way behind on the scorecard. The one thing he had to offer was that he “supports her dreams” but that won’t be enough to soothe the pain of this horrifying discovery. And Don’s pathetic explanation that he was “comforting Sylvia” is never going to fly with Sally. Sally sees the distinction between husband “comforting” his wife and neighbor from upstairs “comforting” other man’s wife.
Watching Don and Sylvia’s conversation, it’s again clear that this relationship was one of Don’s most meaningful. He’s always been more invested in his flings and his friendships than his socially-recognized romantic relationships. Of course Don’s ability to care for anyone only goes so deep. While he has deep feelings for Sylvia, he doesn’t hesitate to take advantage of her gratitude and talks her into bed again.
That Don had to endure the gratitude from Arnold and Mitchell followed by Megan’s adoration and kiss in front of Sally was perfect and I hope he’s developing a really nice ulcer. He’s got enough of a moral compass left that he felt a healthy kick to the gut when he had to suffer through that charade with the added punch of “Sylvia sends her gratitude. She’s overwhelmed.” He deserves far, far worse than that of course for what he’s put all the women in his life through.
Poor Peggy had to endure a few bombs from Pete’s mom, although that first one was a surprising direct hit. I’m always surprised when there’s a mention of Peggy and Pete’s child, but now the child has been alluded to twice in the past few episodes which makes me wonder what’s coming in the final episodes of the season. I enjoyed the easy banter between Peggy, Pete and Ted, and it’s clear that Ted is still trying to battle his feelings for Peggy. I hope I can still root for Ted when all is resolved one way or the other. Peggy and Pete have a nice familiarity with each other that I hope desperately doesn’t end up with Peggy settling for Pete. It would be terrific for Pete to be hitched with Peggy. She’s such a shining star in so many ways, but he’d be terrible for her. That Pete was so repulsed by Bob’s advance was disappointing since I thought Pete was more open-minded and progressive. Hey Pete, a no thanks would have been all that was needed here. With his racist response to the prostitute that his father-in-law was with and his response to Bob’s advance, it’s clear that Pete’s progressive stance has been more about appearances than about seeking to change the status quo. Which is good in one way. It means that my intense dislike of Pete has been justified all along. I would find myself on the Pete Campbell love train from time to time when it seemed that he had more progressive leanings. Now I know it was all about trying to be correctly positioned to take advantage of changes in the business climate and didn’t reflect his own personal views.
I wish Peggy didn’t have to be on rat patrol because Abe talked her into buying a fixer-upper, but I thought her late night phone call to Stan was a nice payoff. I still think those two have such great chemistry: the actors and the characters. I’m rooting for that relationship to gain more focus over the next episodes because I really enjoy watching them.
I watched The Killing before I watched Mad Men and it totally threw me off my game. And this episode of Mad Men was packed with things I wanted to address, but I don’t have time to watch the episode again to catch them all.
So here’s what I have for this week:
- Don tries his hand at what I’m calling a suicide attempt regardless of the fact that he was on a bad trip (no, I’m not trying to make a pun there though I think this LA trip ranked far below his other trips to the west coast) and I’m thinking with the many balcony shots and sirens in Don’s scenes this season, the opening credits shot of the man falling feels awfully close at hand.
- I’m trying to be neutral about Ted after his treatment of Peggy last week. At best he was guilty of a miscue there in that last scene and that’s really giving him the benefit of the doubt. I know he’s guilty of some misconduct where Peggy is concerned. But I enjoy every scene that Ted’s in. It could be that Kevin Rahm is really effortless with his portrayal and I’m enjoying that aspect. Or it could be the character’s just likable and believable. I haven’t been able to suss it out yet. I think it’s clear that Ted and Bert are the peacekeepers in this crazy mess of a new agency. I thought the new name was a strange compromise, and I really wish we had been privy to Crazy Cutler and Ted discussing that.
- As much as Don and Roger have been clinging to the old while trying to remain relevant as times change so rapidly around them, that scene when they arrived in LA was the most obvious visual evidence of how out of touch they still remain in many ways. Just looking at them in their suits standing next to silly Harry Crane who is far more comfortable in the current environment in every way was glaringly obvious. It was odd to think Harry might best these two in the end mainly because I find him to be so ridiculous and though he did anticipate the tv revolution, I’ve always felt that he backed into that. But he should get credit. His ideas are sound. I am becoming more and more annoyed with Roger’s inability to take anything seriously, and I really enjoyed the smackdown that he received via Jack and George at Carnation that directly challenged his New York condescension.
- Watching how the haves and the have nots react to the political upheaval and upcoming election is interesting. Megan is the outlier because she is a member of the haves but is very affected by the rioting and the war and is frustrated by Don’s ability to distance himself from it. It was interesting to watch Ginsberg’s righteous anger be pierced and then fueled by Crazy Cutler’s technically correct but escalating comment that Ginsberg’s just a hypocritical hippy who cashes the paychecks funded by his enemy.
There’s so much I wanted to discuss about Joan and Peggy’s pursuit of Avon, but that deserves more than a brief mention in this post. “I thought it was a date, but it turned out to be better!” I hope Joan can land that account. That Pete will be the loser if Joan lands this is a nice payoff.
I love Arrested Development, but I am not as devoted a fan as the numbers of them that binge-watched Sunday when the new season dropped on Netflix, and now I’m in a bit of a quandary. Because I’ve seen what they’ve been saying on Twitter and elsewhere. And it doesn’t look good folks. I want to know what happens with the Bluths, but right now I’m in happy land where the show was awesome right up to the end. I mean, sure, it may have gotten the teensiest bit jazzhandy at the end, but it’s Arrested Development. If any show can get away with a little scenery chewing, it’s this one. What if I join Netflix and watch the new season and I’m disappointed. And then it’s like at one of those less than stellar dinners when you look down and discover that you’ve totally jacked up your entree/side/side bite progression leaving you with a last bite of bland potato mash left on your plate. You can’t have the last bite of your dinner be bland potato mash.
So what should I do? Should I game Netflix for the freebie month (if they still have that deal) and binge-watch Arrested Development only to discover I’m horribly disappointed in the final season and suffer the extra indignity of being unable to cancel Netflix because I like Netflix. Then the joke is so totally on me that I can’t deal. Huh? Huh? Talk to me, wise people. What should I do? I don’t want to be left saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
More gifs here: http://its-arrested-development.tumblr.com/post/48155328328